Morris School District
|Morris School District|
|31 Hazel Street|
Morristown, NJ 07960
|Business administrator||Anthony LoFranco|
|Students and staff|
|Enrollment||5,123 (as of 2014-15)|
|District Factor Group||GH|
The Morris School District is a comprehensive community public school district that serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade from three municipalities in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. The communities in the district are Morristown and Morris Township, along with students from Morris Plains in grades 9-12 who attend the district's high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Morris Plains Schools.
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.
In addition to its PreK-12 program, the Morris School District operates a Community School that offers an extensive adult school curriculum. The Community School also provides a before and after-school childcare program, Sunrise Sunset, for Morris School District children of busy parents. Housed in each of the District's elementary schools, Sunrise Sunset offers a supervised environment in which boys and girls can work and play before and after school. The Community School's summer program, Summer Plus, provides children with a local alternative to summer camp.
Two schools are known to have operated in near the Green in Morristown in the 18th century. One was in use from 1732–1767; the other, known as the "Steeple School," stood from 1767 - 1799.
From the early to mid-19th century, local schools included the Franklin Street, Bridge Street, Mt. Kemble, and Washington Valley Schools.
The Maple Avenue School opened in 1869 on land donated by George T. Cobb.
An early, 18th century school, located three miles west of Morristown was described as follows: "The building was constructed of logs, and instead of glass window, sheep skins were stretched over apertures made by sawing off an occasional log.
In 1971, the district was regionalized under an order by the New Jersey Supreme Court that combined the two separate pre-existing districts, which ruled that the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education can cross district lines only for desegregation purposes. The decision found that Morristown and the surrounding Morris Township constituted a "single community without visible or factually significant boundary separations" but that de facto segregation existed because Morristown had a substantial black population while the surrounding township did not. By pairing schools across the two municipalities in the merged district, the district could keep a black population at about 20% of enrollment in each elementary school.
In May 1974, the Harding Township School District was given permission by the State Commissioner of Education to end their sending / receiving relationship with the Morris School District and begin sending their students to Madison High School starting with the 1975-76 school year, ruling that the withdrawal of the mostly white students from Harding Township would not "cause a disproportionate change in the racial composition of Morristown High School".
- Lafayette Learning Center (PreK; 176 students)
- Dr. Karen Andre, Principal
- Primary schools
- Hillcrest School (K-2; 318)
- Gregory Sumski, Principal
- Alfred Vail School (K-2; 332)
- Janet Kellman, Principal
- Woodland School (K-2; 305)
- Marie Hardenberg, Principal
- Intermediate schools
- Alexander Hamilton School (3-5; 271)
- Edward Cisneros, Principal
- Thomas Jefferson School (3-5; 317)
- Cristina Frazzano, Principal
- Sussex Avenue School (3-5; 323)
- Lorri Vaccaro, Principal
- Multiage magnet school
- Normandy Park School (K-5; 368)
- Lora Clark, principal
- Middle school
- Frelinghuysen Middle School (6-8; 1,144)
- Joseph Uglialoro, Principal
- High school
- Mackey Pendergrast, Superintendent
- Anthony LoFranco, Business Administrator / Board Secretary
Board of education
The Morris School District Board of Education has ten members; five from Morris Township, four from Morristown, and one from Morris Plains. The representatives from Morris Township and Morristown are elected by the voters of each individual municipality to three-year terms of office. The Morris Plains Board of Education appoints a representative to the Morris School District Board to represent Morris Plains on issues affecting Morristown High School, who is also eligible to vote on district-wide issues.
School Board elections are held in April of each year. In addition to selecting members of the Board of Education, voters also are asked to vote on the proposed budget for the subsequent school year.
- District information for Morris School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 7, 2016.
- Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending April 2013, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- Morristown High School 2016 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed May 16, 2017. "Comprised of 1,848 ethnically diverse students speaking more than 20 different languages, the educational program serves the students entrusted to the school by its communities: Morristown, Morris Township and Morris Plains."
- Morris Plains Borough School 2016 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed May 16, 2017. "Borough School continues its collaboration with the Morris School District, strengthening and supporting the send-receive relationship between the two districts. As Borough students graduate from eighth grade and enroll in Morristown High School, it is important for them to have all of the same opportunities to connect with curriculum requirements that their high school classmates had as students in the Morris School District."
- NJ Department of Education District Factor Groups (DFG) for School Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed September 4, 2014.
- Staff. "In Morris, a Painful Schools Merger", The New York Times, October 21, 1973. Accessed July 19, 2017. "In 1971, Dr. Carl E. Marburger, the former State Commissioner of Education, ordered the merger of the two school systems. His decision was based on a ruling by the State Supreme Court that school district lines could be crossed to avoid 'de facto' segregation caused by housing patterns. The thrust of the court's decision was that, in fact, the two municipalities were a 'single community without visible or factually significant boundary separations.'"
- "Commissioner Reverses Plan for Morris Schools", The New York Times, May 2, 1974. Accessed November 9, 2017. "Contending that it would not significantly 'cause a disproportionate change in the racial composition of Morristown High School,' the state's Acting Commissioner of Education, Edward W. Kilpatrick today allowed Harding Township to send its high school students to. Madison High School rather than to Morristown after June 1975.... In 1971, during the time the regionalization of the Morris districts was pending before the Commissioner, Harding Township, an affluent semirural town of three‐acre‐minimum residential zones, petitioned the county superintendent to allow sending of high school pupils to the smaller Madison High School with a much smaller black population. Subsequently, Harding began to send its ninth graders to Madison despite objections from Morristown."
- Staff. "Morristown High School Closed After Racial Fight", The New York Times, May 7, 1974. Accessed November 9, 2017. "Morristown High School has about 400 black students, most of them from Morristown. Most of the high school student from Morris Township, Morris Plain: and Harding Township are white. Morristown and Morris Township were forced to merge their school systems two years ago to advance racial integration. Last week Harding Township was given permission by the State Education Commissioner to withdraw its students from Morristown High and send them to Madison High."
- School Data for the Morris School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 7, 2016.
- Directory of Schools, Morris School District. Accessed May 17, 2017.
- New Jersey School Directory for the Morris School District, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
- Lafayette Learning Center, Morris School District. Accessed May 17, 2017.
- Hillcrest School, Morris School District. Accessed May 17, 2017.
- Alfred Vail School, Morris School District. Accessed May 17, 2017.
- Woodland School, Morris School District. Accessed May 17, 2017.
- Alexander Hamilton School, Morris School District. Accessed May 17, 2017.
- Thomas Jefferson School, Morris School District. Accessed May 17, 2017.
- Sussex Avenue School, Morris School District. Accessed May 17, 2017.
- Normandy Park School, Morris School District. Accessed May 17, 2017.
- Frelinghuysen Middle School, Morris School District. Accessed May 17, 2017.
- Morristown High School, Morris School District. Accessed May 17, 2017.
- Central Office Department Contacts, Morris School District. Accessed May 17, 2017.
- New Jersey School Directory for Morris County, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
- Board of Education, Morris School District. Accessed September 4, 2014.