Ridgefield Park High School
|Ridgefield Park High School|
|1 Ozzie Nelson Drive
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660
|Type||Public high school|
|School district||Ridgefield Park Public Schools|
|Assistant principals||Michelle Aughey
|Faculty||81.2 (on FTE basis)|
|Enrollment||1,143 (as of 2010-11)|
|Student to teacher ratio||14.08:1|
|Color(s)||Red and White|
|Athletics conference||Big North Conference|
Ridgefield Park High School is a six-year comprehensive public high school that serves students in seventh through twelfth grade from Ridgefield Park, in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Ridgefield Park Public Schools. Students from Little Ferry attend the district's high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Little Ferry Public Schools that has been in place since 1953. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1930.
As of the 2010-11 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,143 students and 81.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.08:1. There were 296 students (25.9% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 74 (6.5% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Awards, recognition and rankings
For the 2005-06 school year, Ridgefield Park High School was one of 22 schools statewide selected as Governor's School of Excellence Winners, an award given to schools that have demonstrated significant academic improvement over the previous two academic years.
A team of students was one of five finalists in the 2004 New Jersey Business Idea Competition Winners at Fairleigh Dickinson University representing the Northern Region, which covers Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren Counties. Three other RPHS teams were semi-finalists.
The school was the 237th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2012 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 207th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 180th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 161st in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state. Schooldigger.com ranked the school tied for 145th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (a decrease of 25 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (81.3%) and language arts literacy (96.7%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
The Ridgefield Park High School Scarlets now compete in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Prior to the 2010 realignment, the school had competed in the Bergen County Scholastic League (BCSL) American Conference, which included private and public high schools located in Bergen County and Hudson County.
The football team won the NJSIAA North I Group III state sectional championships in both 1975 and 1976, and won the North I Group II state titles in 1995 and 1996.
The cross country team won both the Big North Division Championship and the County Group C Championship in the 2011 fall cross country season. The team hadn't won a division championship since 1985 and had never won a county championship title. The team finished off their 2011 season with an undefeated dual meet record and several championship titles, including the Group 1-2 Maroon Invitational, the program's first invitational championship.
In 1916, Ridgefield Park High School was the subject of a groundbreaking ruling by the New Jersey Commissioner of Education, who ruled that teachers could remove their jackets while in class. A principal and teacher at the high school had been removed from his duties, based on charges against him that included 'conduct unbecoming a teacher' related to the removal of his coat while teaching one day. The charges were dismissed and the teacher was reinstated.
13 of the 17 students featured in the 1978 documentary film Scared Straight! were from Ridgefield Park High School. Over 300 students, nearly a quarter of the school's enrollment, had voluntarily participated in the program at Rahway State Prison (now formally known as East Jersey State Prison), in which the students were given a hard look at the "physical and psychological brutality of prison life." The program was credited with contributing to a sharp drop in teen-aged crime in Ridgefield Park from 1976 to 1978.
Core members of the school's administration are:
- James Donahue, Principal
- Michelle Aughey, Assistant Principal
- Michael Raimondi, Assistant Principal
- Michael Kilmurray, Dean of Students
- Jimmy Gnecco (born 1973), singer/songwriter of the band Ours.
- Mike Isabella, chef and reality TV Star on Bravo's Top Chef.
- Robert A. Lewis (1918-1983), co-pilot of the Enola Gay, the plane which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
- Steve Lonegan (born 1956), former mayor of Bogota, New Jersey from 1995-2007.
- Ozzie Nelson (1906-1975), band leader and TV star.
- Gregory Olsen (born 1945), entrepreneur and scientist who in October 2005 became the third private citizen to make a paid trip into space with Space Adventures, Ltd.
- Buddy Valastro (born 1977), owner of Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey and star of the TLC show Cake Boss.
- Data for Ridgefield Park Jr Sr Hs, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 10, 2012.
- Little Ferry Public Schools 2010 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed July 12, 2011. "The Little Ferry Public School district is a unique district nestled in Southern Bergen County. We enjoy the full support of our board of education, governing body, parents, and the community at large. We have just shy of 1,000 students in our Pre-K – 8th Grade setting, and are responsible for over 400 high school students who we send to either Ridgefield Park Jr.-Sr. High School or the Bergen County Vocational Technical High School and Academy."
- James, George. "School Districts' Battle On Tuition Goes to Court", The New York Times, December 16, 1989. Accessed May 27, 2008. "Little Ferry, a borough of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) and 9,900 people, has sent its high school students to this neighboring 1.92-square-mile (5.0 km2) village of 12,000 people, since 1953."
- Ridgefield Park Junior / Senior High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed August 29, 2011.
- Snapshots of 2005 Governor’s School of Excellence Winners, accessed July 25, 2006
- Awards Ceremony for the 2004 - New Jersey Business Idea Competition, Fairleigh Dickinson University. Accessed November 27, 2006.
- Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 28, 2012.
- Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 18, 2011.
- "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
- New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Schooldigger.com. Accessed March 5, 2012.
- League Memberships – 2012-2013, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 27, 2012.
- New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association League Memberships – 2009-2010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 15, 2012.
- School Info, Bergen County Scholastic League American Division, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 4, 2009. Accessed August 29, 2011.
- Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 24, 2011.
- Schwartz, Paul. "Ridgefield Park captures school's first boys cross-country invitational title", The Record (Bergen County), October 1, 2011. Accessed August 28, 2012. "Ridgefield Park's boys have won one major championship in the past 50 years of cross-country, the 1981 BCSL American championship. Friday the Scarlets won their first ever invitational title by routing the field at the Group 1-2 Maroon Invitational at Garret Mountain."
- Staff. "SHIRT SLEEVES WIN.; Commissioner Kendall Rules Teacher May Take Off Coat.", The New York Times, July 9, 1916, p. 16. Accessed March 18, 2011
- George, Jason. "From a C Student to a Celestial Traveler", The New York Times, May 16, 2004. Accessed December 24, 2011. "In 1962, with an F in trigonometry and a C average at Ridgefield Park High School in New Jersey, Gregory Olsen seemed destined for the final frontier of a steady job, evenings in front of the television and, if lucky, vacations on the Jersey Shore."
- Janley, Robert. "'Scared Straight!' Film a Part of Life for Many Students in One Town; Officials Are Pleased Arrest Rate Drops Only Volunteers Go Father Fears Future Effect", The New York Times, May 6, 1979, p. 37. Accessed March 18, 2011.
- High School Administrative Staff, Ridgefield Park Junior-Senior High School. Accessed March 18, 2011.
- Ung, Elisa. "Little Ferry native Mike Isabella takes on the 'Top Chef' finale", The Record (Bergen County), March 16, 2011. Accessed March 18, 2011. "Isabella, 36, spent most of his childhood in Little Ferry and later graduated from Ridgefield Park High School and the New York Restaurant School (now known as the Art Institute of New York City)."
- Fosdick, George. History of Ridgefield Park High School, Ridgefield Park Jr. / Sr. High School Alumni Association. Accessed February 12, 2008. "Bud Lewis '37 was the co-pilot of the Enola Gay Aircraft which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, leading to the end of World War II, a war in which over 1,000 RPHS graduates served. Many years later, when questioned about his role in WWII, Lewis commented, 'I would rather be remembered for being a member of RPHS Championship Football Team than for being the co-pilot of that plane.'"
- "Candidates for 9th Congressional District to Appear at Forum", Fairleigh Dickinson University press release. Accessed February 12, 2008.
- History, Ridgefield Park High School. Accessed December 7, 2006.
- Kerwick, Mike. "Behind the scenes with Cake Boss Buddy Valastro", The Record (Bergen County), October 11, 2010. Accessed March 18, 2011. "Case in point: The day Valastro turned 17, he learned his father was dying of cancer. A few weeks later, his father was dead. Valastro dropped out of Ridgefield Park High School to take over the bakery."
- Ridgefield Park High School
- Ridgefield Park Public Schools
- Ridgefield Park Public Schools's 2012–13 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- Data for the Ridgefield Park Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics
- History of Ridgefield Park High School