Morris School District
|Morris School District|
|31 Hazel Street|
Morristown, NJ 07960
|Business administrator||Anthony LoFranco|
|Students and staff|
|Enrollment||5,216 (as of 2018–19)|
|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 (102 students; in grade PreK)
- Karen Andre, Principal
- Elementary schools
- Alexander Hamilton School (293; 3-5)
- Edward Cisneros, Principal
- Hillcrest School (288; K-2)
- Gregory Sumski, Principal
- Thomas Jefferson School (314; 3-5)
- Cristina Frazzano, Principal
- Normandy Park School (302; K-5)
- Christopher Miller, Principal
- Sussex Avenue School (301; 3-5)
- Lorri Vaccaro, Principal
- Alfred Vail School (297; K-2)
- Janet Kellman, Principal
- Woodland School (289; K-2)
- Cristina Frazzano, Principal
- Middle school
- Frelinghuysen Middle School (1,081; 6-8)
- Joseph Uglialoro, Principal
- High school
- Mackey Pendergrast, Superintendent
- Anthony LoFranco, Business Administrator / Board Secretary
Board of education
The district's board of education, with nine members, sets policy and oversees the fiscal and educational operation of the district through its administration. As a Type II school district, the board's trustees are elected directly by voters to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with three seats up for election each year held (since 2012) as part of the November general election. The board appoints a superintendent to oversee the day-to-day operation of the district. The nine elected seats on the board of education are allocated based on the population of the constituent municipalities, with five seats assigned to Morris Township and four to Morristown; a tenth representative is appointed by Morrs Plains to represents that district's interest on the board.
- District information for Morris School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2020.
- Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending April 2013, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- Morris Board of Education District Policy 0110 - Identification, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020. "Purpose The Board of Education exists for the purpose of providing a thorough and efficient system of free public education in grades Pre-Kindergarten through twelve in the Morris School District. Composition The Morris School District is comprised of all the area within the municipal boundaries of the Township of Morris and Morristown. The Morris School District operates as an all purpose regional Pre-Kindergarten through twelve district."
- Morristown High School 2016 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 7, 2020. "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 April 1, 2020.
- Our Schools, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- 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 June 7, 2020.
- Alexander Hamilton School, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- Hillcrest School, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- Thomas Jefferson School, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- Normandy Park School, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- Sussex Avenue School, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- Alfred Vail School, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- Woodland School, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- Frelinghuysen Middle School, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- Morristown High School, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- Central Office Administrator & Staff Directory, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- New Jersey School Directory for Morris County, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
- Welcome from the Superintendent, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- Business Office, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- New Jersey Boards of Education by District Election Types - 2018 School Election, New Jersey Department of Education, updated February 16, 2018. Accessed January 26, 2020.
- Comprehensive Annual Financial Report of the Morris School District, New Jersey Department of Education, for year ending June 30, 2019. Accessed June 7, 2020. "The District serves an affluent area in northern New Jersey comprised of the Town of Morristown and the Township of Morris.... The Morris School District is a Combined Type II district located in the County of Morris, State of New Jersey, comprising the Town of Morristown and the Township of Morris. As a Type II district, the School District functions independently through a Board of Education. The board is comprised of nine members elected to three-year terms and one sending district member appointed annually. The purpose of the district is to educate students in grades K-12."
- Members of the Board, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020.
- What is the Board of Education?, Morris School District. Accessed June 7, 2020. "The Morris School District Board of Education is an elected, unpaid group of 10 citizens (5 from Morris Township, 4 from Morristown, and one from Morris Plains) who serve as representatives of their community."