Manchester Township School District (29-2940-040)

Manchester Township High School

Manchester Township High School is a four-year comprehensive high school that serves the students of Manchester Township and Lakehurst. The school has an enrollment of approximately 1000 students. In alignment with the district mission, the high school seeks to provide high-quality, student-centered education that addresses the needs of the whole person within a healthy, democratic environment. The district philosophy of “Excellence by Example” continues to be the driving force behind the initiatives implemented for the 2015-2016 school year at Manchester Township High School.

From an academic perspective, Manchester Township High School has had some exciting developments and programs during the 2015-2016 school year. For example, MTHS has finalized our extensive, multi-year investigation of block scheduling, which we will be implementing in the next school year. This is one facet of our desire to look for ways to maximize instructional time and help students meet with success. In addition, teachers, staff and students suggested possible new courses through surveys. From this data, the high school created and wrote curriculum for 16 new courses, including AP Comparative Government and Politics, AP Environmental Science, Lab Forensic Science, Lab Marine Science, America in the 1960s, Spanish 2 Honors, Business Law, and a variety of elective choices. The new offerings will allow students to pursue courses that align with the career path and interests. Through an examination of the AP Potential Report, we are steadily increasing our AP enrollment. In the middle of the 2015-2016 school year, students attended a new course/elective fair to become more knowledgeable about the new courses and were able to develop a plan in line with their interests and career goals. In our effort to provide technology to meet the needs of 21st century learners, we continued to roll out additional chromebooks and document cameras. In addition, this year over 95% of classrooms were equipped with an interactive whiteboard In partnership with Ocean County College, we have a dual enrollment partnership that gives seniors more opportunities to earn college credits while still in high school above the traditional AP and JumpStart opportunities. Furthermore, through a partnership with Ocean County College, students enrolled in College and Career Readiness will be able to take the Accuplacer. During the 2015-1016 school year, we added the PSAT9, which means all students in grades 9-11 will be offered one of the PSAT levels. In the classroom, teachers are encouraged to use meaningful and real world learning activities. During the 2015-2016 school year, the Financial Literacy students attended a Financial Literacy fair that used real-life scenarios for authentic learning. Our Tomorrow’s Teachers class continues to train future educators and place them in classes in elementary schools throughout the district. Students develop lessons under the supervisor of both their classroom teacher and the elementary teacher they work with. Furthermore, through a partnership with the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, students in our ROTC program and those who have an interest in STEM were able to attend programs highlighting the STEM fields in the military.

Our school culture is one that is based on mutual respect. In an effort to reinforce that message, we continue to offer a program called Heroes & Cool Kids, which gives high school leaders the opportunity to develop and deliver a series of important lessons to our sixth grade students in the middle school. Lesson topics include Good Decision Making and Mutual Respect, which give middle school students the tools and understanding to say no to drugs and alcohol. The high school students are trained at a one day workshop where they learn the material and develop the lessons to present to the middle school students. We enjoyed a fifth very successful year with the Challenge Day program, where we expanded to a two-day program. The goals of the program are to increase personal power and self-esteem, to shift dangerous peer pressure into positive peer support, and to eliminate the acceptability of teasing, violence, and all forms of oppression. A team of 25 teen leaders helps facilitate this impactful program. The program was a big hit with students, staff and community members alike. Another successful program in Junior Achievement, in which teams of high school students facilitate the program in the elementary schools. It is intended to help students see how the education and choices they have today can positively impact their future. Furthermore, this year MTHS has been developing a process to reintroduce the Peer Mediation program.

The high school is also a very caring and compassionate place as evidenced by our community service projects throughout the year. MTHS has a strong partnership with our PTA and continue to work collaboratively for the students at the high school. Our Peer Leadership Program continued its “Helping Hands for Hunger” food drive during Thanksgiving and once again fed over 150 families. The effort was supported by the entire building including a number of clubs and athletic teams. Other schools in the district and community groups were represented as well. Our student government association had a very successful “Hawkapalooza” lip sync contest which benefited Hope Loves Company, a national ALS charity, and the district’s “Kevin’s Kids holiday drive, which supports families in the school community. “March Madness” took over the district and raised money for scholarships in honor of fallen students and staff members. The Student Government Association also supported Autism Speaks, POAC Autism Services, and Caps off for Cancer. Manchester Township High School also hosted the fifth annual “Relay for Life” in connection with the American Cancer Society and raised over $26, 000 for cancer research. The event was held in June and was once again an inspiring effort between all the school and community groups involved.

The high school staff continues to use student data and collaborative professional teams to inform instruction and help kids meet with success. Our Assessment Committee, School Improvement Panel, and Professional Development Committee use data from formative assessments, summative assessments, and staff surveys to set building initiatives and develop Professional Development activities.

Our students encountered success in a variety of clubs, academic and sports teams during the year. With 20 clubs to choose from, our students are supported in their interests that range form academic clubs like Science and History to community service driven organizations like the Key Club and Habitat for Humanity. On the athletic front, Shore Conference B-South divisional and South Jersey Sectional championships were earned by Boys Bowling and Girls Bowling. The Girls Bowling team also went on to win the Group 2 overall state title. Girls Tennis, Girls Basketball and Girls Lacrosse were all co-champs of the B-South division.

We are extremely proud of the efforts of students and staff alike as we work to live up to the district motto of “Excellence by Example.”