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Why did #4 WMM and #11 WMC's ranking soar over 40 spots in the 2014 NJ Monthly?

posted Sep 8, 2014, 7:24 AM by mpendergrast@wmrhsd.org

The answer is simple -- For the first time ever, the NJ School Performance Reports included IB along with AP in its College Readiness MetricCongratulations to the West Morris Regional High School community for recognition as the most successful regional high school district  in New Jersey as calculated by NJ Monthly.

Both of our high schools are International Baccalaureate World Schools and WMRHSD was the first school district in NJ to establish the IB program.  Our students have the opportunity to participate in a global curriculum with international standards and benchmarked tests. Having a rich IB program as well as a robust AP program is unique among schools in the nation and it provides our students with alternative pathways toward success. This sets WMRHSD apart and distinguishes our students intellectually, academically, and how they are prepared for life and the next academic challenge. 

In 2012-2013 school administrators partnered with the NJ Department of Education to promote the inclusion and recognition of IB along with AP in the NJ School Performance Reports, formerly named The NJ Report Card.  This has had a significant impact on the accuracy of our performance data.  As a result, NJ Monthly was able to include IB in its metrics for this year’s ranking.  It is also important to note, over the last three years both Central High School and Mendham High School improved in every single metric considered in NJ Monthly.  The result speaks for itself – Mendham High School’s ranking ascended from  #45 to #4 in the State and Central High School's ranking ascended from #56 to #11.   The re-imagination of the West Morris Regional learning experience has set the bar even higher for continued student success in the coming years. 

Nonetheless, rankings cannot measure the total qualitative learning experience or the life preparation for each child. In fact, a narrow-minded focus on statistics may obscure students’ individual uniqueness.  The West Morris Regional community reasserts our commitment to the highest academic standards.  Yet, it is important to understand this commitment goes beyond excellence in quantitative knowledge and skills as measured by standardized tests.  It also includes an environment that fosters an innovative mindset, participation in rich co-curricular and athletics programs, acquisition of technology competencies, practice of service and entrepreneurial principles, as well as experiences that lead to the development of resilient, well-balanced adults.  These subjective components are difficult to measure in rankings but they are equally important to the total high school experience.

 We thank our students, teachers, counselors, administrators and parents for their commitment to continual improvement and a high standard of excellence. Congratulations to the entire West Morris Regional School Community!