Elizabeth Public Schools

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Elizabeth Public Schools
500 North Broad Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07208
District information
Grades K-12
Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer
Business administrator Harold Kennedy
Schools 34
Affiliation(s) Former Abbott district
Students and staff
Enrollment 24,875 (as of 2013-14)[1]
Faculty 2,084.0 FTEs
Student-teacher ratio 11.9:1
Other information
District Factor Group A
Website http://www.epsnj.org
Ind. Per pupil District
spending
Rank
(*)
K-12
average
 %± vs.
average
1A Total Spending $21,722 88 $18,891 15.0%
1 Budgetary Cost 17,444 95 14,783 18.0%
2 Classroom Instruction 10,704 97 8,763 22.1%
6 Support Services 2,620 77 2,392 9.5%
8 Administrative Cost 1,470 56 1,485 -1.0%
10 Operations & Maintenance 2,396 92 1,783 34.4%
13 Extracurricular Activities 176 22 268 -34.3%
16 Median Teacher Salary 76,558 94 64,043
Data from NJDoE 2014 Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending.[2]
*Of K-12 districts with more than 3,500 students. Lowest spending=1; Highest=103

Elizabeth Public Schools is a public school district headquartered in Elizabeth, in Union County, New Jersey, United States, serving students in pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide,[3] which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.[4][5] The district is one of New Jersey's largest, with a culturally diverse student body coming from 50 countries and speaking more than 37 languages.[6]

As of the 2013-14 school year, the district's 34 schools had an enrollment of 24,875 students and 2,084.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.9:1.[1]

The district is classified by the New Jersey Department of Education as being in District Factor Group "A", the lowest 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.[7]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

In 2015, Elizabeth High School was one of 15 schools in New Jersey, and one of nine public schools, recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School in the exemplary high performing category by the United States Department of Education.[8][9]

In the 2008-09 school year, Victor Mravlag Elementary School No. 21 was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education,[10] the highest award an American school can receive.[11][12] For the 2006-07 school year, William F. Halloran Alternative School #22 was one of four schools in New Jersey recognized with the Blue Ribbon Award.[13] William F. Halloran Alternative School #22 earned a second award when it was one of 11 in the state to be recognized in 2014 by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.[14][15][16]

In 2007, Dr. Albert Einstein Academy School No. 29 became one of 24 schools selected from across the United States and the only NASA Explore School in the state of New Jersey at that time.[17]

In the 2012 "High School Challenge" published by The Washington Post, a continuation of high-school rankings formerly published in Newsweek, ranked Elizabeth High School as the best public high school in New Jersey, and the 76th-best in the United States.[18]

History[edit]

Battin High School was constructed in 1913 at 300 South Broad Street on the site of a mansion that had been donated to the city nearly 25 years earlier by Joseph Battin, president of the Elizabethtown Water Company, and namesake of the school.[19] Originally operated on a coeducational basis, the school became female only starting in 1929, after Thomas Jefferson High School was constructed and dedicated to serve male students.[20] In 1977, district officials stated that the inability to determine attendance zones for the two comprehensive high schools after Thomas Jefferson High School opened in 1929 combined with the expansive shop facilities in the new building, led the district to decide to split students by sex, with girls at Battin and boys at Thomas Jefferson.[21] By 1972, Battin was the only public high school in New Jersey operated exclusively for women, despite coeducational programs at both Princeton University and Vassar College. By that time, a policy under which pregnant students had been required to withdraw from school had been eliminated and students were allowed to return to school after giving birth and attending a special off-site program during their pregnancy. Though 40% of graduating students went on to college and district officials insisted that the curriculum was standard across the district's separate high schools, a student criticized the difference in expectations of male and female students, noting that "Boys are expected to be engineers and attorneys. Girls are supposed to be secretaries and mothers."[22]

Battin High School and Thomas Jefferson High School were both closed at the end of the 1976-77 school year, after the Elizabeth High School complex was completed and all of the district's students, male and female, were accommodated at the new four-building facility, ending the city's status as "the only community in the state with separate public high schools for boys and girls". The $29.3 million project included renovations to Thomas Jefferson High School, which was integrated into the new complex. The Battin High School building, together with the four existing junior high schools, was repurposed as a middle school for grades six through eight.[21]

Schools[edit]

Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[23]) are:[24][25]

Early childhood centers
  • Frances C. Smith Center for Early Childhood Education No. 50[26] (300 students; in grade PreK)
  • Donald Stewart Center for Early Childhood Education No. 51[27] (300; PreK)
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Early Childhood Education No. 52[28] (300; PreK)
Elementary schools
  • George Washington Academy School No. 1[29] (1,316; PreK-8)
  • Winfield Scott School No. 2[30] (639; PreK-8)
  • Nicholas S. La Corte-Peterstown School No. 3[31] (649; K-8)
  • Joseph Battin School No. 4[32] (728; K-8)
  • Mabel G. Holmes School No. 5[33] (969; PreK-8)
  • Toussaint L'ouverture-Marquis de Lafayette School No. 6[34] (793; PreK-8)
  • Terence C. Reilly School No. 7[35] (998; 2-8)
  • IPrep Academy School No. 8[36] (Opened in 2013)
  • Jerome Dunn Academy No. 9[37] (New school)
  • Elmora School No. 12[38] (734; PreK-8)
  • Benjamin Franklin School No. 13[39] (435; K-8)
  • Abraham Lincoln School No. 14[40] (762; K-8)
  • Christopher Columbus School No. 15[41] (664; K-8)
  • Madison-Monroe School No. 16[42] (771; PreK-8)
  • Robert Morris School No. 18[43] (563; K-8)
  • Woodrow Wilson School No. 19[44] (741; PreK-8)
  • John Marshall School No. 20[45] (450; K-8)
  • Victor Mravlag School No. 21[46] (192; PreK-8)
  • William F. Holloran No. 22[47] (772; 2-8)
  • Nicholas Murray Butler School No. 23[48] (740; PreK-8)
  • Charles J. Hudson School No. 25[49] (560; K-8)
  • Dr. Orlando Edreira Academy School No. 26[50] (524; PreK-8)
  • Dr. Antonia Pantoja School No. 27[51] (1,032; PreK-8)
  • Juan Pablo Duarte - José Julián Martí School No. 28[52] (905; PreK-8)
  • Dr. Albert Einstein Academy School No. 29[53] (810; PreK-8)
  • Ronald Reagan Academy School No. 30[54] (778; PreK-8)
High schools

Board of Education[edit]

The district, with more than 26,000 students, is one of the New Jersey's largest school districts.[citation needed] The $507 million budget is mostly subsidized by state aid, which accounts for 82.6% of the district's budget, while property taxes cover 11.6% of the budget.[61]

The district is governed by a nine-member board elected in non-partisan elections. In recent years, the school board has had a majority led Rafael Fajardo, a former school board president who has at least six family members on the payroll.[62] Although he is no longer on the panel, Fajardo controls the school system with the support of five current members: Ana Maria Amin, Elcy Castillo-Ospina, Tony Monteiro, Paul Perreira and Carlos Trujillo. Opposing the Farjado group are Charlene Bathelus, Maria Carvalho, Stan Neron and Jose Rodriguez.[63][64]

Controversy[edit]

In June 2011, the Union County Prosecutor's Office was investigating charges that members of the school board gave jobs and promotions to employees in exchange for political contributions. Republican members of the New Jersey General Assembly asked for records relating to district spending for entertainment, travel, equipment and other expenditures.[65]

The Investigations Unit of the New Jersey Department of Education reviewed district practices in 2008, following a state auditor's report that undocumented aliens were being improperly hired by the district in custodial and clerical positions. The district's business administrator indicated that the district had been hiring non-citizens for math and science teaching positions due to the inability to find qualified citizens qualified to work in those positions. . Other findings had shown that $88,000 was spent by the district for what was deemed to be political advertising and that employee information had been taken from confidential files to be used for soliciting political contributions.[66]

Some other recent headlines include:

  • At least $1.5M paid out secretly by Elizabeth schools, a fraction of workers' settlements;[67]
  • Elizabeth Board of Education used taxpayer money to keep lawsuits hush-hush;[68]
  • Investigation finds Elizabeth school board pressures workers to fill campaign coffers;[69]
  • Elizabeth school officials' kids don't pay full meal costs, records show;[70]
  • Former Elizabeth Public Schools Equipment Manager Robert Firestone admitted that he conspired to defraud the school system through fraudulent business practices for his personal gain, according to the FBI and US Attorney's office.[71][72]

Administration[edit]

Core members of the district's administration are:[73][74]

  • Olga Hugelmeyer, Superintendent[75]
  • Harold Kennedy, Business Administrator / Board Secretary[76]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b District information for Elizabeth School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed June 18, 2016.
  2. ^ Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending April 2013, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed April 15, 2013.
  3. ^ Abbott School Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 15, 2016.
  4. ^ About SDA, New Jersey Schools Development Authority. Accessed December 22, 2016
  5. ^ SDA Capital Program, New Jersey Schools Development Authority. Accessed December 22, 2016.
  6. ^ About Elizabeth, NJ, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  7. ^ NJ Department of Education District Factor Groups (DFG) for School Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  8. ^ 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools All Public and Private, National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Accessed November 14, 2016.
  9. ^ Mueller, Mark. "Which N.J. schools were named National Blue Ribbon schools?", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, September 29, 2015. Accessed November 14, 2016. "Fifteen New Jersey schools have been recognized by the federal government as National Blue Ribbon Schools, a designation that celebrates excellence in academics or progress in closing the achievement gap among groups of students.... Each of the 15 New Jersey schools was chosen for the 'exemplary high performing' category, which weighs state or national tests, high school graduation rates and the performance of subgroups of students, such as those who are economically disadvantaged."
  10. ^ U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Program: 2008 Schools, United States Department of Education. Accessed April 13, 2011.
  11. ^ "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."
  12. ^ "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."
  13. ^ No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools in 2006, United States Department of Education. Accessed April 13, 2011.
  14. ^ Goldman, Jeff. "Which N.J. schools were named to national 'Blue Ribbon' list?", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, October 2, 2014. Accessed December 31, 2014. "Eleven New Jersey schools have been named to the annual National Blue Ribbon list, the U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday."
  15. ^ 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools All Public and Private, United States Department of Education. Accessed December 31, 2014.
  16. ^ Lannan, Aktie. "Elizabeth gifted and talented school earns National Blue Ribbon School designation", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, October 1, 2014. Accessed December 31, 2014. "Federal education officials designated the William F. Halloran Gifted and Talented School No. 22 as a National Blue Ribbon School, one of 337 selected nationwide based on academic excellence and progress in closing the achievement gap. This is the second time School 22 has received the honor in the past 10 years, according to the school department. It was first named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2006."
  17. ^ Smith, Heather R. Starry-eyed, NASA. June 22, 2010. Accessed April 13, 2011.
  18. ^ Staff. "America's Most Challenging High Schools 2012: New Jersey", The Washington Post. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  19. ^ Elizabeth Through The Ages, Visit Historical Elizabeth, NJ. Accessed March 16, 2015.
  20. ^ Hatala, Greg. "Glimpse of History: When Battin was co-ed", The Star-Ledger, June 11, 2012. Accessed March 16, 2015. "According to research by Kristin Kulick, director of special projects for the Elizabeth Board of Education, the academic year 1976-77 was the last year male and female students attended classes separately."
  21. ^ a b Horowitz, Ben. "Elizabeth Awaits Coed High School", The New York Times, July 10, 1977. Accessed March 16, 2015. "ELIZABETH'S 48-year role as the only community in the state with separate public high schools for boys and girls will end in September with the opening of a new fourbuilding complex at the corner of South Pearl and South Streets."
  22. ^ Bloom, Kathryn Ruth. "Battin High in Elizabeth, the only All-Girl Public School", The New York Times, September 24, 1972. Accessed March 16, 2015. "ELIZABETH - With women having invaded Princeton and Vassar a coed college, the days of the single-sex school might seem to be over. They're not, though, for the girls at Battin High, one of three public high schools in this industrial city; the girls are students at New Jersey's only public all-girl high school."
  23. ^ School Data for the Elizabeth Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  24. ^ Schools, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  25. ^ New Jersey School Directory for the Elizabeth School District, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  26. ^ Frances C. Smith Center for Early Childhood Education No. 50, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  27. ^ Donald Stewart Center for Early Childhood Education No. 51, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  28. ^ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Early Childhood Education No. 52, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  29. ^ George Washington Academy School No. 1, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  30. ^ Winfield Scott School No. 2, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  31. ^ Nicholas S. La Corte-Peterstown School No. 3, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  32. ^ Joseph Battin School No. 4, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  33. ^ Mabel G. Holmes School No. 5, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  34. ^ Toussaint L'ouverture-Marquis de Lafayette School No. 6, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  35. ^ Terence C. Reilly School No. 7, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  36. ^ IPrep Academy School No. 8, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  37. ^ Jerome Dunn Academy No. 9, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  38. ^ Elmora School No. 12, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  39. ^ Benjamin Franklin School No. 13, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  40. ^ Abraham Lincoln School No. 14, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  41. ^ Christopher Columbus School No. 15, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  42. ^ Madison-Monroe School No. 16, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  43. ^ Robert Morris School No. 18, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  44. ^ Woodrow Wilson School No. 19, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  45. ^ John Marshall School No. 20, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  46. ^ Victor Mravlag School No. 21, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  47. ^ William F. Holloran No. 22, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  48. ^ Nicholas Murray Butler School No. 23, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  49. ^ Charles J. Hudson School No. 25, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  50. ^ Dr. Orlando Edreira Academy School No. 26, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  51. ^ Dr. Antonia Pantoja School No. 27, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  52. ^ Juan Pablo Duarte - José Julián Martí School No. 28, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  53. ^ Dr. Albert Einstein Academy School No. 29, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  54. ^ Ronald Reagan Academy School No. 30, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  55. ^ Elizabeth High School Upper and Lower Academy, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  56. ^ John E. Dwyer Technology Academy, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  57. ^ Thomas A. Edison Career & Technical Academy, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  58. ^ Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  59. ^ Admiral William F. Halsey Leadership Academy, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  60. ^ Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  61. ^ Small upticks in government aid: State funding, which Gov. Chris Christie intends to increase for every district in New Jersey, makes up 82.6 percent of Elizabeth's budget. At $419 million, proposed funding to Elizabeth for next year is very slightly higher than this year's actual state funding of $417 million."
  62. ^ Sherman, Ted. "Investigation finds Elizabeth school board pressures workers to fill campaign coffers", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 22, 2011, updated June 13, 2011. Accessed August 25, 2015.
  63. ^ Lannan, Katie. "Elizabeth school board shake-up: Fajardo drops election challenge, gains seat when president resigns", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, January 7, 2015. Accessed August 25, 2015.
  64. ^ Khavkine, Richard. "With election of two new members, Elizabeth BOE will govern with two distinct factions", NJ.com, November 11, 2013. Accessed August 25, 2015.
  65. ^ Sherman, Ted. "Two investigations launched into Elizabeth school board", The Star-Ledger, June 13, 2011. Accessed September 5, 2011. "The Elizabeth Board of Education has become the focus of two investigations in the wake of charges that jobs and promotions at one of the state's largest school systems were tied to political contributions.
  66. ^ Cuozzo, Kenneth. "Elizabeth schools get state scrutiny", The Star-Ledger, May 30, 2008. Accessed September 5, 2011.
  67. ^ "At least $1.5M paid out secretly by Elizabeth schools, a fraction of workers' settlements", The Star-Ledger, July 24, 2011.
  68. ^ "Elizabeth Board of Education used taxpayer money to keep lawsuits hush-hush", The Star-Ledger Editorial, July 27, 2011.
  69. ^ "Investigation finds Elizabeth school board pressures workers to fill campaign coffers", The Star-Ledger, May 22, 2011.
  70. ^ "Elizabeth school officials' kids don't pay full meal costs, records show", The Star-Ledger, August 21, 2011.
  71. ^ FBI press release on Robert Firestone
  72. ^ "Former Elizabeth schools employee admits to defrauding district", The Star-Ledger, January 5, 2011.
  73. ^ Contact Information, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  74. ^ New Jersey School Directory for Union County, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 22, 2016.
  75. ^ Superintendent of Schools, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  76. ^ Business Administrator, Elizabeth Public Schools. Accessed September 28, 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°39′49″N 74°12′41″W / 40.663509°N 74.21151°W / 40.663509; -74.21151