Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts

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Cicely L. Tyson School Community School of Performing and Fine Arts
35 Winans Street
East Orange, NJ 07018
Type Magnet middle school / high school
School district East Orange School District
Principal Anita D. Champagne
Asst. Principal Melissa Espana-Rodrieguez
Elvin Williamson
Faculty 78.0 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 6 - 12
Enrollment 832[1] (as of 2012-13)
Student to teacher ratio 10.67:1[1]

Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts is a specialty magnet public middle school / high school that serves students in sixth through twelfth grades in the city of East Orange in Essex County, New Jersey, United States, as part of the East Orange School District, offering separate middle school and high school curricula. The school is named for actress Cicely Tyson. Students are accepted based on their talents. The school teaches core disciplines while focusing on the creative potential of the students.

As of the 2012-13 school year, the school had an enrollment of 832 students and 78.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.67:1. There were 523 students (62.9% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 62 (7.5% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

In September 2009, Tyson's historic Elmwood Avenue building (formerly known as Vernon L. Davey Junior High) closed, and a new $180 million, 300,000 sq ft (28,000 m2) facility on Walnut Street (on the site of the former East Orange High School) took its place. The new facility is among the largest and most technologically advanced schools ever built in the state of New Jersey, with extensive performing arts facilities which meet or exceed the highest professional standards. The school consists of an elementary school and middle/high school.

The high school's 800-seat theater has been built to Broadway standards in terms of sound, lighting and acoustics. In addition to the school's theaters, students have access to a TV studio, art studios, music rooms, individual performance practice rooms, drafting rooms and shops to build and design stage sets. The classrooms all feature smartboards, advanced integrated audio-visual systems, and multiple computer workstations.

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 247th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology.[2] The school had been ranked 233rd in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 221st in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[3] The magazine ranked the school 208 out of 316 schools.[4] The school was ranked 255th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[5] However, 2009 reports published in the Newark Star-Ledger indicate Tyson to be the most improved school in an Abbott District, and among the most improved schools in the state of New Jersey, this year.


Core members of the school's administration are:[6]

  • Anita D. Champagne - Principal
  • Melissa Espana-Rodriguez - Assistant Principal
  • Elvin Williamson - Assistant Principal


  1. ^ a b c d School Data for Cicely L. Tyson Community Middle/High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed March 24, 2015.
  2. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  3. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed December 1, 2012.
  4. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 10, 2011.
  5. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  6. ^ Staff Emails 2014-2015, Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts. Accessed November 19, 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°45′14″N 74°13′14″W / 40.753953°N 74.2206°W / 40.753953; -74.2206