Principal Goals

Would you be willing to sleep on the roof of your school?

What about lip-sync to Uptown Funk in front of a captive audience of teachers and students?

It’s not a hypothetical scenario. Inspired by the call for Newsela Goals, Principal Kurt Schweitzer of the Union School in Rutherford, N.J. will be taking on one of the these tasks when students reach their goal of reading 10,000 Newsela articles this school year. Given that Union School students have already read 4,263 articles, Principal Schweitzer might be in need of some heat lamps – just in case he ends up on the school roof on a frigid February evening.

Principal Schweitzer on the roof
Principal Schweitzer on the roof of Union School

From Principal Schweitzer:

I have had the opportunity and privilege to work with the children of Union for the past eight years as the assistant principal, director of special services and now going into my second year as the principal. Newsela has been a great tool for us to assess our children’s abilities to infer, analyze, interpret and critique different levels of texts in all subject areas. These skills are essential and valuable to the development and future of our children.  Furthermore, in order to nurture and foster these skills appropriately, we need develop proactive relationships and communicate effectively.

As we move forward, it is vital that we continue to build and develop a collaborative relationship between home and school. The key to developing a strong partnership is effective communication. This is a skill that can be forgotten at times due to the vast amount of information we are bombarded with on a daily basis. However, it is an essential skill that needs to be nurtured and fostered by all of us. We can accomplish this through teamwork, valuing each other’s opinions, and understanding that we all share the same goal of doing what’s in the best interest of our children.

Union School will be unwavering in our commitment to provide our children with a sound education that focuses not only on critical thinking skills, but social and emotional growth. The most important investment we can make is in our children’s education.  This is a complex process and a journey that requires the support, guidance and involvement of everyone.

Find an excerpt of Principal Schweitzer’s letter below, and be sure to check back here to track the students’ progress!

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Do you have a great Newsela story to share? We’d love to hear it. Email us at