West Orange Public Schools

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This article is about the school district in New Jersey. For the school district in Texas, see West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District.
West Orange Public Schools
Superintendent: James O'Neill (Interim)
Business Administrator: Mark Kenney
Address: 179 Eagle Rock Avenue
West Orange, NJ 07052
Grade Range: K-12
School facilities: 11
Enrollment: 6,807 (as of 2010-11)[1]
Faculty (in FTEs): 587.0
Student–teacher ratio: 12.01:1
District Factor Group: GH
Web site: http://schools.woboe.org
Ind. Per Pupil District
 %± vs.
1 Budgetary Cost 15,517 87 13,632 13.8%
2 Classroom Instruction 9,835 97 8,035 22.4%
6 Support Services 2,028 62 2,166 -6.4%
8 Administrative Cost 1,686 102 1,379 22.3%
10 Operations & Maintenance 1,629 64 1,674 -2.7%
13 Extracurricular Activities 261 63 258 1.2%
16 Median Teacher Salary 66,652 86 57,597
Data from NJDoE 2009 Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending.[2]
*Of K-12 districts with 3,501+ students. Lowest spending=1; Highest=105

The West Orange Public Schools is a comprehensive community public school district serving students in Kindergarten through 12th grade in West Orange in Essex County, New Jersey, United States.

As of the 2010-11 school year, the district's 11 schools had an enrollment of 6,807 students and 587.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.01:1.[1]

The district is classified by the New Jersey Department of Education as being in District Factor Group "GH", the third highest of eight groupings. District Factor Groups organize districts statewide to allow comparison by common socioeconomic characteristics of the local districts. From lowest socioeconomic status to highest, the categories are A, B, CD, DE, FG, GH, I and J.[3]

The district currently consists of seven elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school. In the 1990s, the district was ranked among the top 1% of schools in the nation by The Washington Post.[citation needed]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

During the 2008-09 school year, Hazel Avenue School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education,[4] the highest award an American school can receive.[5][6]

NAMM named the district in its 2009 survey of the "Best Communities for Music Education", which included 124 school districts nationwide.[7]



The schools in the district (with 2010-11 school enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[8]) are:[9]

Elementary Schools (grades K–5)
Middle Schools (grades 6–8)
High School

Defunct school facilities[edit]

  • Three schools have occupied the same location on Gaston Street. The first was the original West Orange High School, built in 1898. It burned down in 1913, was rebuilt, and linked by a shared auditorium to Fairmount Avenue Elementary School. In 1912, the elementary school had been built behind the high school with its entrance on Fairmount Avenue. (At that time, Fairmount Avenue ran parallel to Gaston Street but it no longer exists.) In 1922, when a new high school was constructed on Northfield Avenue (now Seton Hall Prep), the old high school was transformed into Gaston Street Junior High School. Fairmount Avenue Elementary School remained the same. In the 1950s, Gaston Street Junior High School closed, and the building was transformed once again and became part of Fairmount Elementary School, and then later into the Board of Education offices. In 1972, Fairmount Elementary School dropped the "Avenue" from its name and it was moved to a new building on the corner of Northfield and Gregory Avenues (now the Solomon Schechter Day School Lower Campus). The Board of Education offices remained on Gaston Street and took over both old school buildings. In the late 1970s, both buildings were demolished and the Board of Education offices were relocated to Eagle Rock Avenue School. The Gaston Street/Fairmount Avenue land parcel became the site of the Fairmount House (now the John P. Renna, Jr.) Senior Citizens Housing Complex. A small portion of the land became an extension of the parking lot for the adjacent Town Hall.
  • Eagle Rock Avenue Elementary School – Converted into new Board of Education offices.
  • Fairmount Elementary School – Sold and became Solomon Schechter Day School Lower Campus (Jewish).
  • West Orange High School (Northfield Avenue) – Sold and became Seton Hall Preparatory School (Catholic).
  • West Orange Mountain High School – Built in 1960 as a second high school, located behind Abraham Lincoln Junior High School with its entrance on Conforti Avenue. It became the "new" West Orange High School when the two high schools merged in 1984.
  • Abraham Lincoln Junior High School – On Pleasant Valley Way, it was adjacent and connected to West Orange Mountain High School through a shared auditorium. Later, when West Orange Mountain High School became the "new" West Orange High, Lincoln was closed and the building absorbed by the "new" high school in order to enlarge it.


Core members of the district's administration are:[10][11]

  • James O'Neill, Interim Superintendent[12]
  • Mark Kenney, Business Administrator / Board Secretary


  1. ^ a b District information for the West Orange School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed January 14, 2012.
  2. ^ Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending April 2013, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed April 15, 2013.
  3. ^ NJ Department of Education District Factor Groups (DFG) for School Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed October 27, 2009.
  4. ^ U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Program: 2008 Schools, United States Department of Education. Accessed April 5, 2011.
  5. ^ "CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department", Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve."
  6. ^ "Viers Mill School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test", The Washington Post. September 29, 2005. "For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can bestow upon a school."
  7. ^ "Nationwide Survey Finds the 'Best Communities for Music Education' in U.S.", NAMM, April 16, 2009. Accessed November 13, 2009.
  8. ^ West Orange Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed January 14, 2012.
  9. ^ Schools, West Orange Public Schools. Accessed December 6, 2012.
  10. ^ District Administration, West Orange Public Schools. Accessed December 6, 2012.
  11. ^ New Jersey School Directory, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 6, 2012. As of date accessed, Dr. Donna Rando is listed as Acting Superintendent.
  12. ^ D'Onofrio, Mike. " School Board Appoints Interim Superintendent; The West Orange Board of Education unanimously votes James O'Neill as interim superintendent on Tuesday.", WestOrangePatch, August 8, 2012. Accessed December 6, 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°47′39″N 74°14′04″W / 40.794148°N 74.234557°W / 40.794148; -74.234557