Henry Hudson Regional School District (25-2120)

Henry Hudson Regional School District

Henry Hudson Regional School is a comprehensive public school, which serves two communities of students: Atlantic Highlands and Highlands, NJ. The school is located on a high bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Sandy Hook and the Navesink Twin Lights Historic Center. Highlands is part of the Bayshore Regional Strategic Plan, an effort by nine municipalities in Northern Monmouth County to reinvigorate the area’s economy by emphasizing the traditional downtowns, dense residential neighborhoods, maritime history, and the natural beauty of the Raritan-Bayshore coastline.
Henry Hudson Regional School is a 7-12 school with an average enrollment of 310. Henry Hudson Regional provides a curriculum that is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and fosters high academic achievement for all students. Although small in size, Henry Hudson Regional School offers a wide array of honors and Advanced Placement courses either in-house or through online education. Students in the twelfth grade can enroll in courses at Brookdale Community College, through a Dual Enrollment agreement between the two schools.

Middle School students participate in a “school within a school” approach to learning. A team of teachers has been trained to work together during a common planning period to develop interdisciplinary problem-based learning opportunities for all 7th and 8th grade students. In a time when districts are limiting course offerings for students, Henry Hudson is assigning Spanish I to all 8th graders while increasing Spanish to a full semester for 7th graders. Also part of this enriched learning experience is a dedicated middle school counselor, who will assist students with the transition from elementary to middle and then middle to high school. HHRS is in its third year with a STEM Academy through a robust Enrichment program, which includes 3-D printing, engineering and virtual laboratories. This year HHRS Board of Education added a STEM Coordinator to the staff to augment the program and expand course offerings to the high school students. This program offers game design and advanced science courses with the goal of beginning a class in Engineering Design/STEM in the fall of 2017 HHRS has a truly innovative approach to reaching students with disabilities with the adoption of a therapy dog, “Hudson”, who attends school every day and is scheduled with students throughout the school day. He has improved school climate and enhanced the classroom environment in an extremely positive manner. In 2016 the District Administration Magazine recognized the HHRS Therapy Dog and the school as a “District of Distinction”—only 24 schools in the nation were awarded this prestigious honor.

Regardless of size, the school offers an extensive selection of extracurricular activities and athletics. With a cooperative agreement with Keyport High school, Henry Hudson students are able to compete in a wide variety of sports that they would not otherwise have an opportunity to participate in due to the size of the school. Henry Hudson also allows the sixth grade students from Atlantic Elementary and Highlands Elementary Schools to participate in athletic teams, thereby giving the students the opportunity to become acclimated to Henry Hudson a year before they are required to attend.

Athletics are not the only shared services at Henry Hudson. In February 2012, the Henry Hudson Regional, Atlantic Highlands Elementary and Highlands Elementary School Boards of Education voted to share superintendent services. Dr. Susan Compton is the shared superintendent for the three school districts, having been hired in August 2013. Henry Hudson Regional also shares the business administrator with Atlantic Highlands Elementary School. The Tri-District Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction and the Tri-District Supervisor of Special Education travel between the three schools, and this has enhanced articulation among the two sending elementary schools and Henry Hudson. This has allowed for the greater alignment of the following curricular areas: Mathematics, Science, Language Arts Literacy, and Visual and Performing Arts. Each year the three districts work collaboratively to enhance a new curricular area annually.

Most unique about Henry Hudson Regional is that 40% of the student population plays an instrument in the award-winning school band. The school has also created a talented A Cappella Choir and Jazz Band. The Henry Hudson Regional High School Concert Band received First Place in the Hershey Park Festival of Bands in May 2012 and First Place in the Busch Gardens Festival of Bands in May 2013. Both the middle school and high school bands were awarded the Espirt de Corp Award for their behavior throughout the competition. The high school band received “Best Band overall” in the weekend long competition. In 2014, both bands in the middle school and high school placed once again in First Place at Dorney Park’s Music Festival. In addition, Henry Hudson is the first school in Monmouth County to embrace the Arts High School Program and currently is the home to the Middle School of the Arts. In 2016 both bands placed first as well as being selected as the Best Bands Overall at Great Adventure, NJ.

Henry Hudson Regional School is the proud to have won the prestigious IEEE Robotics First Place Award, First Place in SKILLS USA competition in the category of Broadcast News Production and also placed First in CJ Group 1 Girls Varsity Softball. All this was accomplished during the 2014-2015 school year. During the 2015-2016 the students continued to place in SKILLS USA as well as in athletics.

Henry Hudson Regional School District, with a rich history spanning 54 years of education, is a school committed to a student-centered approach to learning with an emphasis on rigor and excellence in academics, the arts and athletics. HHRS is truly a “private school within a public school setting”!