Morris Hills Regional School District (27-3370-050)

Morris Hills High School

Morris Hills High School is a comprehensive, four-year public school located in the heart of Morris County. The school is part of a regional school district that includes our sister school, Morris Knolls High School. There are over 1,300 students enrolled in grades 9 – 12. The school serves the local communities of Wharton, Rockaway Township, and Rockaway Borough where the school resides. The student population is culturally diverse, contributing to a richness of both student to student exchange and understanding.

A commitment to excellence is the cornerstone of all Morris Hills High School programs. Currently, we offer a Magnet Program in Mathematics and Science, as well as being an AVID School, promoting college-readiness skills for our students. Both programs are growing, with our Math/Science Magnet boasting 28 students in this year’s Freshman Class. The Math/Science Magnet Program contains a total of 141 students. The Morris Hills Regional District has a long history of providing a rigorous curriculum in a block schedule setting that allows for students to focus on higher order thinking skills, reasoning, and problem solving. Teachers in the district participate in a wide range of staff development programs, most of which are taught on-site. This outstanding program has received recognition and awards over the years as one of the finest in the state of New Jersey.

Morris Hills High School is currently a fifth year AVID high school which provides students with a trained team of teachers and administrators who work with students in the “academic middle,” inviting them to make a commitment to improve their study skills with the goal of attending four year colleges and universities. These instructional study skills and teaching strategies are also being used school-wide as Morris Hills High School is a certified AVID secondary school. This school-wide college-readiness system, with accelerated student learning, uses research based methods focused on increasing the number of students who enroll in, and persist in, four year colleges. This school-wide mission creates a college-going campus where the goal is that all students will graduate college-ready. The AVID Program contains a total of 82 students. Morris Hills High School graduated its first AVID cohort of nine students during the 2015 – 2016 school year. All nine students went onto four year colleges and universities.

Each spring, through a state mandate, Morris Hills High School students are tested in the PARCC. Our SAT scores for 2016 were 520 in Critical Reading, 558 in Mathematics, and 531 in Writing. Our Advanced Placement test results indicated that 91.4% of 279 students taking 688 exams scored a 3 or higher. These results have allowed our students to continue to be successful at the next level with 90% of our graduates attending either two or four-year colleges. Morris Hills High School remains committed to continue the pursuit of raising scores on all standardized tests, enabling students to have full access to all possibilities in their futures.

Our extra-curricular activities and inter-scholastic sports offerings seek to involve every student into one of our many after school programs. With our mantra of “there is something for everyone” at Morris Hills High School, we attempt to provide offerings that allow our students to have roots beyond the school day. Our athletic program traditionally produces championship caliber teams while bringing home an even greater dividend – receiving the NJSIAA Sportsmanship Award as best in the conference seven of the last eleven years.

A vital summer read program, exposing all grade levels to a common read, and following up with an in-person visitation by the author has sparked great community enthusiasm in recent years. Linking the read to an identified school-wide theme has also anchored both our vision and our mission.

Morris Hills High School has become a Google Applications for Education school, bringing new innovative opportunities through Google Apps for Education. Administrative and teacher training punctuated the summer of 2016 in order to welcome some amazing new technologies.

Parental involvement in our Home & School Association has helped promote a strong sense of school spirit within our school. This school spirit, in turn, allows us to successfully combine communities of students into a united student body. Important school events, sports schedules, and activities are posted on our district website at www.mhrd.org. Active community communication is something Morris Hills High School sees as imperative. Open communication with parents is accomplished by housing a “Principal’s Corner” on the school website. The “Principal’s Corner” contains all pertinent information and letters submitted by the high school principal. Additionally, the school website houses a Twitter feed where daily information is posted.

Morris Hills High School has implemented an Instructional Coaching Model which focuses on collecting, analyzing, and utilizing data to identify student needs, assess changes in classroom instructional practice, and measure student progress within a reflective, non-evaluative context. We are all extremely excited to work within this new paradigm of professional support. Additionally, the Morris Hills High School is implementing an Academic Advisory Council to support the district as it works to ensure excellence and continuous improvement. Its primary mission will be to provide recommendations that lead to the improvement of existing instructional programs and to create new initiatives that address student achievement.

On behalf of the faculty and administration of Morris Hills High School, I would like to thank our sending communities for their continued dedication and support of our outstanding high school. Our pledge is to continue to provide an atmosphere of trust, inclusion, respect, and healthy interaction as we pursue excellence on all fronts, both within the classroom and outside of its walls as well.