Happy first day of school, Newark!

[caption id="attachment_226869" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Newark parents and students at a district back-to-school rally in August 2019.[/caption]

Good morning! Like the rest of Newark, we're spending the first morning of the new school year with a mix of feelings: excitement about what's to come, trepidation about how much ground there is to cover, and just plain tiredness after a summer of sleeping in.

We know you have a lot on your mind this morning, so we'll keep things simple, with just two items for your back-to-school reading list.

First, we asked parents and students who attended the school district's Back to School Rally last week what they're looking forward to this year — and what they hope improves in their schools throughout it. Check out their answers here, and reply to this email to add your own.

Second, you can check out our own new-school-year's resolutions here, in a post where we outline our coverage plans for the school year. We're going to be paying special attention to the changes Superintendent Roger León is making, to the lives Newark children are leading, and to the city's high schools — and what happens to their graduates. If you read closely, you'll find teasers for an upcoming project and for a special education-focused reader event on Sept. 21. More soon!

We're looking forward to the new school year and to getting to know more of you, our readers, this year. All our best for a great first day and please stay in touch!

— Patrick Wall and Devna Bose, your Newark reporters