East Brunswick High School
- For other schools named Brunswick High School see Brunswick High School (disambiguation).
|East Brunswick High School|
|380 Cranbury Road
East Brunswick, NJ 08816
|Type||Public high school|
|Motto||"Excellence With Honor and Integrity"|
|School district||East Brunswick Public Schools|
|Principal||Dr. Michael Vinella|
|Asst. principals||Sara DiMaggio Forte
|Faculty||167.0 (on FTE basis)|
|Enrollment||2,246 (as of 2013-14)|
|Student to teacher ratio||13.5:1|
|Mascot||"Bruiser" the Bear|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Average SAT Scores (2013-14)||577 Math
East Brunswick High School is a comprehensive public high school serving students in tenth through twelfth grades in East Brunswick Township, in Middlesex County, New Jersey, operating as part of East Brunswick Public Schools. The school was recognized by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program in the 1990-91 school year. It has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1965. The school motto is "Excellence with Honor and Integrity."
As of the 2013-14 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,246 students and 167.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.5:1. There were 234 students (10.4% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 89 (4.0% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
East Brunswick High School opened for the 1958-59 school year. Previously, students living in the Township attended South River High School in neighboring South River. In that first year, the school housed grades six, seven, eight and nine. Those four classes occupied the school until June 1962, when the original 9th graders became its first graduating class and the school contained grades nine through twelve. Because the school exceeded its intended capacity of 1,700 students, freshmen were dropped into the town's two junior high schools in 1967, later one junior high school. Enrollment reached a peak of about 2,600 in 1973. By 1990, the school had less than 2,000 students, falling to around 1,700 by 1997. Additions to the school were built in 1965, 1971 and 2001, in efforts to ease overcrowding. The 2001 expansion included a second level of classrooms, over the administrative offices; a corridor connecting three "buildings" that had previously been connected only by a covered outdoor walkway; and expanded facilities for the cafeteria, library, arts and athletic departments.
The school day at East Brunswick High School begins at 7:26 AM and ends at 2:12 PM. It operates its daily bell schedule on a 12-period system.
In the beginning of the 2005-06 school year, due to security reasons, the school instituted an ID system in which the students must wear their IDs at all times.
Awards, recognition and rankings
East Brunswick High School was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive, during the 1990-91 school year.
In the 2012 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 45th in New Jersey, after being ranked 48th statewide in 2011. In Newsweek's May 22, 2007 issue, ranking the country's top high schools, East Brunswick High School was listed in 997th place, the 30th-highest ranked school in New Jersey. The school was ranked 886th in Newsweek's May 8, 2006, issue, listing the "Top 1,200 High Schools in The United States".
During the 2001-02 school year, East Brunswick High School's Intergenerational Program was honored by the Best Practices Program in the state of New Jersey.
The school was the 47th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology. The school had been ranked 121st in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 71st in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 76th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 60th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state.
Schooldigger.com ranked the school tied for 109th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (a decrease of 35 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (87.9%) and language arts literacy (94.4%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
In addition to regular, honors, and Advanced Placement classes, the curriculum also includes numerous electives in Humanities, Business, Visual Arts, Music, Drama, Family and Consumer Science, and Technology Education. Two Cooperative Education programs are available, as well as a shared time program at the East Brunswick campus of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical High Schools. Students are encouraged to elect courses outside their major interests. Students may receive credit for private music lessons.
East Brunswick High School offers a full range of clubs and events. The school is perhaps most well known for its success in the national We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution competition, for which it won the national title in 1998, and then again three years in a row between 2004 and 2006. East Brunswick High School has also won the state competition for nearly every year in the past 25 years. Other clubs include Model United Nations, Mock Trial, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Key Club, Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Math Team, Academic Team, Science League, Code Club, Clarion (school newspaper), Emerald (yearbook), Drama Club, Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, African American Club, Asian American Club, Spanish Club, French Club, German Club, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Club, Amnesty International Club, and various honor societies. East Brunswick High School is also one of the growing number of schools in the country that has various religious clubs such as According to Jesus (A2J, formerly known as Bible Club), Islamic Club, Coptic Orthodox Club, and the Jewish Student Union.
Pay to play
In the 2006-07 school year, a pay-to-play policy was implemented for all extracurricular activities due to the difficulties of the school budget. The cost to participate in a club is $15. For an athletic activity, or an activity needing regular school bus transportation, the cost is $50. This program has continued into the 2007-2008 school year. However, some clubs have returned to being free. This is likely to continue as long as the annual school budget continues to pass.
The East Brunswick High School Bears compete in the Greater Middlesex Conference, which operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. With 2,229 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2014-15 school year as Central Jersey, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,083 to 2,230 students in that grade range.
The boys volleyball team won the 2007 NJSIAA South Jersey sectional championship with a 25-19, 31-29 victory over Southern Regional High School. The team went on to win the overall state title, defeating St. Peter's Preparatory School, 25-21, 25-22. This was the 6th state championship in East Brunswick boys volleyball history, also winning in 1999-2001 and 2003–04, tied for second with the most overall titles with Bridgewater-Raritan High School.
The East Brunswick girls soccer team has been one of the most successful programs in New Jersey. The Bears have won 27 of 30 county/conference tournament championships, including 21 consecutive championships from 1980 to 2000. The Bears won five consecutive Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament titles, including a 2-1 victory over Old Bridge in 2007 and a 3-0 win over Bishop Ahr in 2008.
The girls tennis team has one of the most notable streaks at the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMCs). The team has won the title for nine consecutive years from 2006-2014.
The girls bowling team won the Group IV title in the 2007-08 season, after bowling a 1077 in the state final.
After winning their second Group IV championship in 2008, the girls tennis team won the Tournament of Champions, defeating Millburn High School and ending that school's streak of winning 98 consecutive matches.
The football team won the Central Jersey Group IV state sectional championships in 2004 and 2009. The East Brunswick football team won the Central Jersey Group IV state sectional title in the 2009-10 season, defeating Brick Memorial High School by a score of 9-0, earning the program its first sectional championship since 2004.
Football coach prayer controversy
On October 7, 2005, shortly after being informed by Superintendent of Schools Jo Ann Magistro that he would not be permitted to join his football team in prayer as he had done in the past and that some parents had complained about the prayers, East Brunswick High School coach Marcus Borden resigned from his position. Borden, also a Spanish teacher, had by then had a 23-year career with East Brunswick Public Schools. District spokeswoman Trish LaDuca told the East Brunswick newspaper Home News Tribune that a "representative of the school district cannot constitutionally initiate prayer, encourage it or lead it." Following Borden's resignation, nearly 100 players, parents, and coaches arrived at his house pleading for his return. Borden agreed and received pro bono legal representation the next week. He filed a lawsuit against the district on November 23 that year alleging that it was violating his constitutional rights; lawyer Ronald Riccio represented Borden.
Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled on July 26, 2006, that Borden could bow his head and bend his knee if the team captains (i.e., students) lead the players in prayer. However, this decision was overturned on April 15, 2008 by a unanimous decision in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in which Judge D. Michael Fisher concluded that "a reasonable observer would conclude that he is continuing to endorse religion when he bows his head during the pre-meal grace and takes a knee with his team in the locker room while they pray."
The school district had all its staff input their students' grades into a computer program called InteGrade Pro. Starting with the 2009-10 school year, InteGrade was replaced with a system known as Genesis, which provides a unified, wholly online attendance and grading system. Genesis also features auto-updating grades, a huge improvement over the previous online component to the InteGrade system, ParentConnect, which only updated once daily. If a teacher finds the need to, progress reports will be mailed to students' homes at a designated date near the middle of a quarter. At the end of a quarter, the grades are exported by teachers to administration, where they are formally presented to the parents/guardians of students through a formal report card.
The Board of Education changed the grading system to a "quality point" type of system where grades are equal to a number (GPA) and the GPA from the four quarters plus midterms (and/or finals) are averaged as well. Grade Point Average calculations are weighted three different ways: Standard scale, Honors Scale, and AP scale. The Honors Scale transposes GPA values to their respective letter grades by a factor of 1.15, while the AP scale transposes by a factor of 1.25.
Core members of the school's administration are:
- Dr. Michael W. Vinella, Principal
- Sara DiMaggio Forte, Assistant Principal (grade 10)
- Glen Pazinko, Assistant Principal (grade 11)
- Matthew Hanas, Assistant Principal (grade 12)
- Michael Barkann (born 1960), television personality, Comcast SportsNet, USA Network.
- Dedrick Dodge (born 1965), safety for eight NFL seasons, from 1991 to 1998.
- Jesse Eisenberg (born 1983), actor, whose films include The Squid and the Whale, Zombieland, The Social Network and "Now You See Me (film)".
- Kathleen Elle (born 1997; class of 2015), stage name of singer-songwriter Kathleen Lonski, winner of the Seventeen magazine and Secret 'Mean Stinks' anti-bullying contest.
- Tomas Kalnoky (born 1980), singer and guitarist of Streetlight Manifesto and formerly Catch 22.
- Joanne Lipman (born 1961), founding Editor-in-Chief of Conde Nast Portfolio; former Deputy Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal.
- Josh Miller (born 1970), NFL punter.
- Ari Ne'eman (born 1987), autism rights activist.
- Heather O'Reilly (born 1985), soccer player for the US Women's National Team, three time Olympic gold medalist.
- Brian Selznick (born 1966), author and illustrator best known for his book The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
- Cenk Uygur (born 1970), radio talk show host of The Young Turks and columnist for The Huffington Post.
- Jim Vallely (born 1954, class of 1972), Emmy Award-winning writer Golden Girls and Arrested Development.
- Stefan Weisman (born 1970), composer.
- Dave Wohl (born 1949), Assistant General Manager of the Boston Celtics.
- Aaron Yoo (born 1979), actor who appeared in the films Disturbia and 21.
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- Chodan, Melissa. "East Brunswick earns school's first T of C tennis title", MyCentralJersey.com, October 29, 2008. Accessed June 7, 2011. "In a matter of three hours the Bears won the Tournament of Champions, garnished the school's first girls T of C tennis title and broke Millburn's 98-game winning streak with their 3-2 victory."
- Polakowski, Art. "Millburn, NP, KPS topped local tennis season", Independent Press, December 5, 2008. Accessed June 7, 2011. "Millburn lost to East Brunswick in the 'T of C' finals, which terminated the Millers' three-year, 98-match winning streak."
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- Schmidt, Michael S. "Coach Sues Over Right to Pray With Team", The New York Times, November 23, 2005. Accessed November 21, 2015. "Marcus Borden, who quit as head coach in October when the school district threatened to fire him if he continued to pray with his team, is asking the state Superior Court in Middlesex County to allow him to bow his head in prayer over pregame meals and to kneel in the locker room with the team before games."
- Finley, Bill. "Coach Is Allowed to Pray With Team", The New York Times, July 27, 2006. Accessed November 21, 2015. "Judge Dennis Cavanaugh of the United States District Court for New Jersey ruled Tuesday that Marcus Borden, the coach at East Brunswick High School, can bow his head and bend down on one knee during student-led prayers."
- Kelley, Tina. "Coach in New Jersey Cannot Pray With Players", The New York Times, April 16, 2008. Accessed November 21, 2015. "A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the public school district in East Brunswick, N.J., was not violating the constitutional rights of a football coach when it prohibited staff members from participating in student prayers."
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- Ross, Mary Anne. "'Same sweet kid,' but now he's a movie star: Jesse Eisenberg, 23, tells local audience about his roles in major films", Old Bridge Suburban, December 14, 2006. Accessed December 9, 2007. "Growing up in East Brunswick, Eisenberg attended the Frost and Hammarskjold schools and Churchill Junior High School. He went to East Brunswick High School for one year before switching to a performing arts school in New York."
- Makin, Cheryl. "East Brunswick teen gives voice to bullying victims", Daily Record (Morristown), January 30, 2014. Accessed July 9, 2015. "When Kathleen Lonski has had something to say, she has found her words take on more meaning when put into song. Most recently, a song the East Brunswick High School junior wrote about bullying attracted the attention of the annual Secret 'Mean Stinks' and Seventeen magazine contest."
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- Kalet, Hank. "EBHS Graduate to Take Web Show to Current TV: Cenk Uygar, an East Brunswick High School graduate and host of The Young Turks, will debut a new cable version of the web show on Current on Dec. 5.", EastBrunswickPatch, December 1, 2011. Accessed January 9, 2012. "East Brunswick High School graduate Cenk Uygur will take his popular Web-basd political talk show, The Young Turks, to Current TV starting Monday."
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- East Brunswick High School Website
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