New Milford Public School District (03-3550-050)

NEW MILFORD HIGH SCHOOL

“A Snapshot of New Milford High School”

New Milford High School serves a diverse community of approximately 620 students in grades 9-12. The highly qualified staff is committed to engaging all students in realizing their full potential through a rigorous educational program. Home to the Academies@NMHS, the school has received national recognition for its innovative practices that effectively integrate instructional technologies into the routine classroom experience. With a dedicated focus on cultivating strong, knowledgeable, self-reliant citizens who possess the confidence, motivation and skills to achieve success in life, the pursuit of academic excellence remains at the heart of the New Milford High School experience. The professional staff nurtures creativity, productivity, and responsibility while ensuring a safe, challenging, and supportive environment.

The curricular program is designed to prepare students to think critically, master the challenges of lifelong academic, cultural, social, economic, emotional, professional advancement, as well as, constructive participation as citizens in an interdependent global society. The Academies represent a bold, new direction for education, one that considers student interests, national need, and global demand for highly qualified graduates capable of competing at the most challenging levels. The Academy of Arts and Letters, the STEM Academy, and the Academy for Global Leadership offer concentrated studies in well-defined, career-focused areas directly connected to university majors and workforce need. The Academies@NMHS cultivate emerging professionals through authentic learning opportunities, service, and independent projects to develop the knowledge, skill, character, and work ethic necessary for success in the global marketplace.

New Milford High School’s comprehensive academic program features courses at the Advanced Placement, Honors and College Preparatory levels. Motivated students select from eighteen AP courses, which include Biology, Calculus AB, Statistics, United States History, European History, Physics, Language and Composition, Literature and Composition, Computer Science, Chinese Language and Culture, French Language, Spanish Language, Chemistry, 2D Art Portfolio, 3D Art Portfolio, Economics and Psychology. Students have the opportunity to take a variety of college credit-bearing courses through the Fairleigh Dickinson University Middle College Program and additional high school credits through Virtual High School online courses.

A variety of electives in all content areas enrich the program of studies. Popular electives include Engineering & Design, Probability & Statistics, Forensics, Marine Biology, Family Consumer Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Contemporary Issues, Human Development, Holocaust Studies, Digital Journalism, Creative Writing, Film Studies, Shakespeare Survey, Law, Business Strategy, Accounting, Marketing/Advertising,Digital Media, Digital Darkroom & Editing, Public Speaking, Musical Theater and Culinary Arts. Each year a cohort of students participate in the Early Childhood Development course that includes a practicum in the district’s very own “Pre-School” for community children. The Related Arts program reflects the trend toward technological infusion, especially in Computer Applications and Graphic Arts where students design world-class graphic materials using the latest industry standard software on multiple computer platforms with high-powered processing capability. In addition to district-provided technology, students are encouraged to participate in a Bring Your Own Technology initiative, as well as use their cellphones as mobile learning devices. The yearbook staff has worked in conjunction with the Graphic Arts Department to produce an award winning yearbook, The Emerald, which has received Outstanding Layout and Design awards for the past ten years. The Graphics Arts Department has also received praise from Papermill Playhouse for its production of Playbills for the Spring Musical and is responsible for the layout and design of our highly acclaimed Holocaust Book. This past year also saw student involvement in the “redesign” of our district’s website. As society moves deeper into a global economy and an ever-increasing technological world, NMHS curriculum is continually updated and programs improved, while still maintaining a focus on the core knowledge and skills necessary to excel in a competitive world.

Approximately 94% of graduates apply and are accepted to post-secondary institutions, with a vast majority attending two and four-year colleges and universities. Less than seven percent enroll in other career-oriented schools or enlist in the military. Colleges and university students were recently accepted to include American University, Babson College, Baruch College, Bentley University, Binghamton University, Boston College, Boston University, Case Western Reserve University, Centenary College, College of William & Mary, Cornell University, Drew University, Drexel University, Emerson College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, FIT, Fordham University, Hofstra University, James Madison University, Marist College, Mass College of Pharm, Montclair State University, NJIT, NYU, Northeastern University, Penn State, Princeton University, Purdue University, Quinnipiac University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Pace University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Stony Brook University, TCNJ, United States Military Academy - West Point, United States Naval Academy - Annapolis, University of Connecticut, University of Delaware, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of South Carolina, University of the Sciences - Philadelphia, Villanova University, Wagner College, Washington College, William Paterson University. Average SAT scores: Critical Reading: 516, Math: 532 and Writing: 510. Average ACT Composite: 23. Approximately $1,500,000 in scholarships were awarded to members of the Class of 2016.

Of special note is NMHS’ Holocaust/Genocide education program, which includes instructional components both within the classroom setting and beyond, as follows:
• elective: The Holocaust, Genocide and Human Behavior
• elective: Contemporary Genocide: A Call to Action
• two-day seminar at The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC
• day-long symposium with Holocaust survivors
• two-week Holocaust Study Tour at sites in Germany, Czech Republic, and Poland.

The goal of the program is to provide students with educational experiences that help foster an understanding of the value of all human life. This program challenges students to examine their personal attitudes and behaviors while grappling with the historical complexity of the Holocaust era.

The mission of the newly modernized New Milford High School Library Media Center is to provide activities and resources that will assist the entire school community to become effective, responsible users of information, preparing and empowering them for lifelong learning while also fostering a love of reading and literature. Our mission directly relates to the mission of our school in providing engaging, participatory, authentic, learner-centered, innovative learning experiences and opportunities for both students and staff. Our school, with the library as its hub, will equip each student with the necessary tools they will need to lead productive lives in today's ever-changing society. The media center offers students high-quality print (fiction and nonfiction) and electronic resources that support and augment the school curriculum, as well as, to promote leisure reading. It has emerged as a bustling hub for intellectual and creative activity, much of which surrounds the makerspace, which includes a 3D printer. Our makerspace, along with our flexible learning environment, provide opportunities for students to collaborate, participate in and showcase their learning and skills. The school community is ensured to be able to access resources and receive assistance at any moment of the school day. In collaboration with subject-area teachers, the media specialist designs, implements, and evaluates inquiry-based lessons that are differentiated and provide learning opportunities for all abilities and interests while at the same time, meeting curricular requirements and integrating 21st century technology tools. Our long-term commitment is to continue to design excellent school library programs that boost student achievement and to support and challenge effective instruction; one that recognizes, supports and facilitates the ever-changing information environment. We will continue to provide instruction based on current best practices in librarianship, education, and educational technology. This year with the exciting addition of a 20x4 foot interactive video wall with multi-function panoramic projector systems designed to enable active student collaboration, promote creativity, critical thinking, and communication, students use personal devices to capture their thoughts as notes, images and sketches, contributing them to a shared panoramic canvas when ready. Embedding individual work at the front end of the collaborative process fosters creativity and ensures participation by all. Once ideas are shared, a group or an entire class can work with the contents on the expansive canvas to classify, discuss, debate and think critically. The canvas’s space and structure means no one’s contribution gets lost. Students refine ideas and explore different perspectives as they work together to reach shared understanding.

In areas other than academics, NMHS offers numerous co-curricular activities. Students participate in the annual Panasonic Creative Design Challenge, an annual engineering competition that saw our team reach the finals last year. There is a marching band, drumline, color guard, jazz band, string orchestra, chorus, and ensemble choir. The Social Studies department sponsors the High School’s Mock Trial team, which prepares students to present cases at the Bergen County Courthouse in competitions sponsored and organized by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation. Last year the Ethics Bowl Team won the New Jersey Competition and advanced to the Nationals in North Carolina. Other co-curricular activities include Math League, Art Club, Environmental Club, Engineering Club, Project Unify and Model UN.

The spring musical has consistently received awards and accolades from Papermill Playhouse’s Rising Stars Awards and the Helen Hayes Metropolitan Awards Programs. The musicals are supported by active parents in the Musical Theatre Booster Club and alumni who have returned to their alma-matter and have pursued theatre, art, design, and production post high school. All programming affects and involves over 25% of the school population in acting, musicianship, stage crew, scenic design and decoration, graphic design, production, costume design, industrial arts, production, direction, and lighting.

The New Milford Community Service Program provides direction to students wanting to volunteer services to the New Milford community and surrounding neighborhoods. Senior students through the Senior Service Project, donate their time while gaining valuable experience in the workplace. Over the past several years, the students of New Milford have demonstrated why this is a great place in which to live. New Milford is a community that cares.

The New Milford High School Peer Leadership Program provides students with opportunities to develop leadership skills that reflect a commitment to society. Peer leaders take on a variety of roles within the school community that include training and leading students in social action causes and assisting in the transition process for new students and incoming ninth graders.

With more than half of NMHS students participating in at least one interscholastic sport, the athletic program has continued to make a name for itself not only in the NJIC and Bergen County, but also throughout the state. In 2015-16 the school produced 89 All League honorees, 7 All county athletes, and 2 All State players,as well as, 24 Triple Varsity Letter winners. The track program set six school records and 7 athletes qualified for the state championships. Eleven programs qualified for the NJSIAA state tournament and 5 participated in their respective county tournaments. One varsity team was league champs and another varsity team won a sectional championship. Lastly and most importantly, NMHS was recognized as a NJSIAA Sportsmanship winner for the 3rd consecutive year. All of this was accomplished by our student athletes and a well respected coaching staff who are all state certified in Concussion/AED Awareness, CPR/First Aid and Heat Acclimatization.

As the high school’s classic facilities are constantly being updated, most recently with the completion of a fully restored theater/auditorium, an updated auxiliary gymnasium, there is no doubt that New Milford High School is much more than courses, test scores, and extracurricular activities—it is a reflection of a caring and dedicated community whose values and hopes include equipping students with the tools necessary to be good people.