Essex County Vocational Technical Schools (13-1390)

Essex County Vocational Technical Schools

The Essex County Vocational Technical Schools (ECVTS), comprised of the Bloomfield Tech Campus, Newark Tech Campus (aka: West Market Street Center), North 13th Street Tech Campus and West Caldwell Tech Campus, is a district that has been recognized by US News & World Report, Business Week Magazine and School Matters Magazine for its outstanding performance in improving student outcomes. Three of its schools have been designated by the United States Department of Education as National Blue Ribbon Schools. Two schools have also been recognized as New Jersey Title 1 Distinguished schools. Bloomfield Tech was honored as a Blue Ribbon school in 2009 and was also a New Jersey Title 1 Distinguished School in 2008. West Caldwell Tech was recognized as a Blue Ribbon school in 2012 for its outstanding effort and remarkable progress in improving students’ academic performance. Newark Tech was recognized as a Title I Distinguished school in 2013. In 2015, Newark Tech and Bloomfield Tech again, were honored as Blue Ribbon schools by the US Department of Education. The school district provides college-readiness and career and technical education courses for more than 2,000 high school students in Essex County.

The district, the oldest and one of the largest career and technical school districts in the state, serves a diverse population of students. More than 85 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunch and over 90 percent are from school districts formerly known as Abbot Districts. The ECVTS population includes regular education students, special education students, as well as students with Limited English Proficiency and adult learners who attend classes in the evenings. Over 85 percent of ECVTS graduates indicate that they pursue post-secondary education in college or technical school.

The district provides state-of-the art instruction in over thirty career and technical areas including: health careers, music production, computer and business technology, law and public safety, graphic design, green energy, television production, dental assistance, automotive, building trades, culinary arts, advanced manufacturing, pre-engineering, robotics and cosmetology.

Students at Essex County’s Vocational Technical Schools outperform the students in their home sending districts on the High School Proficiency Assessment, the state-standardized test measuring the mastery of standards in Mathematics and Language Arts Literacy. Over the past twelve years, student academic performance has continuously improved. The district met its academic goals in Mathematics in 2006, and in 2007 achieved its goals in both Mathematics and Language Arts in all the measurable subgroups. In 2008 and 2009, the district achieved its goals in Mathematics and Language Arts in all subgroups but Special Education. However, from 2010-2015, all four schools and the district achieved their performance goals in both Mathematics and Language Arts Literacy in all the measurable subgroups based on the results of the High School Proficiency Assessment. The most recent QSAC monitoring process placed the district in the high performing category.

More specifically, all four of the Essex County Vocational Technical Schools have shown marked and consistent improvement in student academic performance as measured by statewide test scores. Newark Tech’s passing rate for Mathematics on the statewide High School Proficiency Assessment rose to 100% in 2015 from 39.7% in 2003, while its Language Arts scores improved from 73.3% to 98.8% during the same time period. At North 13th Street Tech, students raised their Mathematics test scores from a 25.1% proficiency in 2003 to 91.6% in 2015 and their Language Arts scores shot up to 99.4% in 2015 from 63.0% in 2003. At Bloomfield Tech, students’ scores in Mathematics rose from a 46.0% in 2003 to 97.5% in 2014 and from 83.5 % in Language Arts to 100.0%. From 2011-2015, 100% of the students at Bloomfield Tech demonstrated proficiency in Language Arts Literacy on the High School Proficiency Assessment. In 2012, Newark Tech and Bloomfield Tech were recognized as high performing Reward schools by the NJ Department of Education. Bloomfield Tech was again recognized in this group in 2013. In 2015-2016, both schools were honored for their exceptional performance on improving student performance. In addition, in 2016 there was improvement by students in performance levels 4 and 5 on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) in ELA09, ELA10 and Geometry.

Of special significance is the performance of the students at West Caldwell Tech. As a recipient of the School Improvement Grant (SIG), the school has demonstrated that it has the capacity to implement programs that significantly improve student academic performance. For the first time in the school’s history, it achieved its academic goals for six consecutive years with record proficiency rates in mathematics and language arts literacy. In 2015, 100 % of the students demonstrated proficiency in language arts literacy while 86.4% were proficient in mathematics. As mentioned above, the school was recognized as a 2012 National Blue Ribbon school for improving student achievement. In recognition of the progress that was made with the use of the School Improvement Grant, the school was honored with a visit from U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan in 2013.

The district was also recognized for several notable achievements recently. In 2009, the North 13th Street Tech campus was one of only 10 High schools in the country chosen to participate in a Professional Learning Community by Learning Forward, an organization that works on state learning standards. The Bloomfield Tech campus hosted the first statewide Green Energy Task Force for statewide educators in 2009. The West Caldwell Tech campus’ Culinary Arts students came in second place statewide in 2009 in the ProStart Culinary Competition and won several awards at a statewide FFA competition. In addition, the school was recognized with the Green Ribbon status in 2016. In 2011, Newark Tech was recognized as one of the top twenty five Career and Technical Education Schools in the United States by the National Association of Career and Technical Education Directors.

The Newark Tech campus also hosted a legislative panel for the Joint Committee on Public Schools in 2009, showcasing its programs and students to New Jersey’s state senators, assemblymen and assemblywomen. The North 13th Street Tech campus was chosen to take part in a four-year fine arts program by the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn and is an active participant in the Poetry Out Loud program.

The Essex County Vocational Technical School District has partnerships with many public and private entities, including: Essex County College, New Jersey City University, Rutgers University, Bloomfield College, The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, The New Jersey Institute of Technology, Public Service Electric & Gas, Covanta Energy, the New Jersey Council of Building Trades, and the state of New Jersey.