Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District (23-3150)

Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District

The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools have been providing high school students and adults with the opportunity to receive quality career technical and academic education for over 100 years. The passing rate on nationally certified occupational competency tests, the job placement rate for our graduates, and the steady increase in the passing rate on the New Jersey High School Proficiency Assessment, demonstrates our commitment to helping our students achieve high educational standards through career training and academic competency. The most recent placement data reveals that our overall job placement rate is 95% of graduates available for employment are employed.

Founded in 1914, the district offers Middlesex County residents quality career technical education programs at campus locations in East Brunswick, Edison, Perth Amboy, Piscataway and Woodbridge. The district offers career programs with courses at the secondary and post-secondary levels, adult evening school and apprenticeship programs. There are also many programs which serve special education students and gifted students. High school students must meet all the academic requirements for graduation mandated by the New Jersey Department of Education.

Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools continue to maintain their ongoing commitment to provide the highest standard of career and technical education to the residents of Middlesex County. Some 9,500 students, high school age and adults, within Middlesex County benefited from our program offerings this past year.

The Academy is the first New Jersey high school to specialize in engineering. It is located on the campus of Middlesex County College in Edison. The Academy is a high school specializing in Pre-Engineering Technologies driven by a rigorous honors curriculum. Students major in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology or Civil and Mechanical Engineering Technology.

The East Brunswick and Piscataway Campuses have been restructured to emphasize Schools-Within-A-School where career theme majors or specialties become the focus of a particular “School”. These small learning communities are a vehicle to enhance student performance and achievement.

The Perth Amboy Campus building is designed with extensive technology and classrooms networked for voice, video and data. The Schools-Within-A-School structure provides students with a curriculum that combines both academic and career related courses.

The Academy provides students with a small learning community that focuses on college preparation. The curriculum is rigorous and fosters hands-on learning with an emphasis on math and science that is integrated into the Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences career majors.

Each year student completers take industry-certified examinations in their career majors. Ninety-five percent of occupational programs met or exceeded industry-certified occupational competency examination standards.

Each year, senior students participate in the Cooperative Education program to gain valuable work experience at local business and industry sites throughout the greater Middlesex County area. In the 2015-2016 school year, 138 students were employed in 114 local businesses. The students spend half of the day in school and half of the day working in the private sector.

Our technology mission is to ensure that all students and staff will be actively engaged in meaningful activities in a technology-rich environment that enhances learning, communication and productivity. The district currently has more than a 2:1 student/computer ratio with over 2,000 computers in classrooms and occupational programs. The district’s website www.mcvts.net links parents and students to a greater awareness of programs, student achievements and awards. It includes a variety of instructional software, media selections, and teacher aids. The East Brunswick Campus houses a Professional Development Laboratory which provides an array of in house professional development courses.

During the 2015-2016 school year, approximately 700 students with disabilities from every school district in Middlesex County were provided career technical training. The Career Choices Program at the Woodbridge Campus serves as a career diagnostic service for 8th grade level special education students.

On May 3, 2016, thirty-six students from the East Brunswick, Perth Amboy, and Piscataway Campuses joined the ranks of distinguished members of the National Technical Honor Society. The honor society candidates were selected according to national guidelines. Students were recognized for their scholastic, leadership, civic and personal achievements. At the Academy of Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences, ten students were inducted into the National Honor Society and nineteen into the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica (Spanish Honor Society). At the Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies, thirteen students were inducted into the National Honor Society and nine into the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica (Spanish Honor Society).

Senior Ruchit Patel has been invited to give a TED TALK at the November TEDx conference at Columbia Heights. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available at TED.com and have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, and others.

Electrical/Computer Engineering junior Ajaita Saini participated in the program Girls Who Code at Microsoft in Times Square, New York. She enhanced her skills in programming languages, hardware, public speaking, entrepreneurship and development. Ajaita’s project aimed to create an optimal work environment by automatically minimizing common distractions. Her project has been selected to be demonstrated at the BuiltByGirls Challenge in San Francisco.

The East Brunswick Campus partnered with the Friends of East Brunswick Environmental Commission to host a freecycling event on Sunday, October 25th. FREECYCLING is an extension of our “Green” approach to education and is simply an opportunity to donate and recycle virtually anything. But that's only half of it; the best part is that participants can take away anything they want that someone else left there. It's a big trading event and it's all FREE! FREECYCLING is a way for all of us to find something we need and keep as much material out of landfills as possible - in a fun way. A vendor removed unclaimed household and clothing items that remained after the event; to be reused or recycled at a future date.

The Perth Amboy Campus “Green Team” in collaboration with the City of Perth Amboy Community Center donated their time at the community garden on Brighton Avenue in Perth Amboy. The “Green Team” will be taking care of one of the community garden plots.

The joint NJIT/Rutgers University-Newark Theatre Arts and Technology Program brings together university faculty members and design professionals associated with the McCarter Theater. A panel discussion of their exciting work was presented to East Brunswick Campus theater students and college students from NJIT and Rutgers-Newark on November 12th. The panel focused on STEAM (21st century creativity arising from the interaction of art with the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in a professional theater environment. Those attending were invited to take part in a discussion of how STEAM can inspire theatrical storytellers the way Charles Darwin inspired Henrik Ibsen and James Gleick inspired Tom Stoppard.

Piscataway Campus “Aspire High” students attended two Career Pathways field trips to Seton University and Monmouth University on October 31st and November 21st. The Career Pathways Program sessions included personal hands-on experiences, demonstrations, and discussions on understanding how the 18 Character Development and Leadership traits impact post-secondary and work-place readiness opportunities. The program helped students gain the experience and knowledge necessary to start making career decisions regardless of their background or academic interest. Both trips were rewarding and a fun way to explore future aspirations.

Over 50 students, staff and family members attended the annual Big Chill 5K at Rutgers University on December 5th. The entrance fee for the race was an unwrapped toy that was donated to the Rutgers University Toys for Tots program. The East Brunswick Campus raced as a team called EB Tech Tigers. Physical education teacher Ms. Stephanie Pegues helped organize this great activity.

The School of the Arts, Dance Program presented “…and bathed her head in grace” on December 10th and 11th. The performance featured Greek mythology weaved into a visually stunning and technical dance performance. Dance instructor Ms. Cleo Mack beautifully choreographed the piece. The dance focused around the mythological character Pandora and her relationship with Zeus.

Principal Robert Fuller, MCVEA President Frank Paprota, and Director of Special
Education Dr. Tracey Maccia represented Perth Amboy Campus at NJEA headquarters in Trenton to take receipt of a $10,000 grant award for the construction of the cross-curricular aquaponics project. The grant was co-sponsored by Sustainable New Jersey for Schools and the NJEA. More than 70 schools statewide received grant awards ranging from $1,000-$10,000.

Piscataway School of Career Development history teacher Ms. Zeises hosted an assembly on the Holocaust on December 1st. Survivor Mrs. Lois Flamholtz of Monroe Township spoke with 200 students from the Piscataway Campus and the Piscataway School of Career Development about her experiences. Mrs. Flamholtz was just 16 years old when she was taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp with her family. She was the only one in her family of six to survive the war. Mrs. Flamholts shared her deeply personal recollections of emotional, physical and mental torture. Her story was a solemn awakening for everyone who attended.

The United States History II honors classes have recently completed the second annual New Deal research collaboration with the Woodbridge Public Library. The project began as a class research project focused on locating and analyzing Works Progress Administration buildings and murals from around New Jersey. It evolved as students began to browse the local historical periodicals and oral histories from across the state via the Woodbridge Public Library website. Students became captivated with the low cost of items in the weekly advertisements, the political cartoons in their original format and the announcements of engagements, parties and farewells. Instances of common practice during the nineteen thirties seemed foreign to today’s teenager. With assistance from Woodbridge campus librarian, Lindsay Franklin and the usage of the media center, students debated the seven to ten most essential stories of each year and channeled them into a decade defining eleven-foot-long mural. The mural represents New Jersey with symbols corresponding to each event that occurred in our state throughout the 1930’s. With the cooperation of Wendi Rottweiler, the Local History Librarian at the Woodbridge Public Library, the murals will hang for the second year in a row helping community members to learn about the history of our state during the New Deal Era.

Congressman Frank Pallone visited our school on January 14th to address Dr. Menell’s Principles of Democracy class and Mr. Buonagruo’s Law and Safety class. Students had the opportunity to ask Representative Pallone non-scripted questions across a wide array of topics. The Congressman appeared to enjoy the interaction with our students as he candidly answered each question. Congressman Pallone’s visit concluded with a tour of the new Pre-Engineering and Manufacturing Technology classroom.

The Perth Amboy Campus boys basketball team wrapped up their second consecutive Gold Division title and qualified for home games in both the Greater Middlesex Athletic Conference tournament and the NJSIAA tournament.

Piscataway Campus debate team competed in its first debate of the year against South Plainfield on February 23rd. The two debate topics were: Resolved: The superpower status of the United States is a force for good in the world and Resolved: Human genetic engineering should be banned in America. Piscataway Campus students demonstrated strong skills in articulation, critical thinking and research. Junior David Rivera was recognized for his rebuttal and freshman Richard Faria Santos for his second affirmative speech.

The Academy’s Moody’s Mega Match Challenge team has received an Honorable Mention award. Only 78 of the 1,084 teams that entered the competition were so honored. Senior Ruchit Patel and juniors Willian Defaria, Megh Shah, Sid Lingala and Vraj Shah will share a $1,000 scholarship prize. Academy mathematics instructor Alberto Rivera-Dominguez served as the team’s volunteer coach.

The School of the Arts, Digital Film program, hosted the 34th annual Black Maria Film Festival. The Black Maria Festival is a tribute to Thomas Edison’s development of the motion picture at his laboratory in West Orange. It is a project of the Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium, a nonprofit organization that is associated with the New Jersey City University Department of Media Arts in Jersey City. The showcase for independent film and video makers will feature the four Stellar Award-winning films from its juried competition, as well as eight other short films by filmmakers from around the country and Puerto Rico. The films range in length from four minutes to 15 minutes.

New Jersey Department of Environment Protection Commissioner Bob Martin met with students in our Green Program of Study, Green Ambassadors and Agriscience Technology on April 21st. Commissioner Martin presented important information on the responsibilities of his office and how each and every person can help the environment. After his presentation, the Commissioner held a question and answer session where students asked the Commissioner about issues relating to the environment. After the presentation, Commissioner Martin toured our Green Lab.

East Brunswick Campus hosted the Fourth Annual Inspire 5K on May 15th. The Inspire 5K is a race to honor the memory of 2006 graduate Paul Chrzaszcz who tragically passed away. The purpose is to set up a scholarship fund in his name to a graduating senior. This race is also in partnership with East Brunswick Tech’s mission to establish healthy lifestyles in our school district. Over 250 people participated in the race. It is especially noteworthy that each campus in the district had students and faculty participate in the race which truly exhibits what the Inspire 5K is all about.