Ridgefield Park High School

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Ridgefield Park High School
Ridgefield Park High School is located in Bergen County, New Jersey
Ridgefield Park High School
Ridgefield Park High School
Ridgefield Park High School is located in New Jersey
Ridgefield Park High School
Ridgefield Park High School
Ridgefield Park High School is located in the US
Ridgefield Park High School
Ridgefield Park High School
1 Ozzie Nelson Drive
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660
Type Public high school
School district Ridgefield Park Public Schools
Principal James Donohue
Asst. principals Michael Kilmurray
Michael Raimondi
Faculty 94.0 FTEs[1]
Grades 7-12
Enrollment 1,258 (as of 2014-15)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 13.4:1[1]
Color(s)      Scarlet and
Athletics conference Big North Conference
Team name Scarlets[2]

Ridgefield Park High School is a six-year comprehensive community public high school that serves students in seventh through twelfth grade from Ridgefield Park, in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States, operating as the lone secondary school of the Ridgefield Park Public Schools. Students from Little Ferry attend the district's high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Little Ferry Public Schools that has been in place since 1953.[3] The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1930.[4]

As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,258 students and 94.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.4:1. There were 379 students (30.1% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 118 (9.4% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

For the 2005-06 school year, Ridgefield Park High School was one of 22 schools statewide selected as Governor's School of Excellence Winners, an award given to schools that have demonstrated significant academic improvement over the previous two academic years.[5]

A team of students was one of five finalists in the 2004 New Jersey Business Idea Competition Winners at Fairleigh Dickinson University representing the Northern Region, which covers Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren Counties. Three other RPHS teams were semi-finalists.[6]

The school was the 209th-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.[7] The school had been ranked 237th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 207th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[8] The magazine ranked the school 180th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[9] The school was ranked 161st in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[10] Schooldigger.com ranked the school tied for 145th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (a decrease of 25 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (81.3%) and language arts literacy (96.7%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[11]


The Ridgefield Park High School Scarlets[2] compete in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJISAA).[12] With 738 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as North II, Group II for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 508 to 770 students in that grade range.[13] Prior to the 2010 realignment, the school had competed in the Bergen County Scholastic League (BCSL) American Conference, which included private and public high schools located in Bergen County and Hudson County.[14][15]

The boys' basketball team won the Group III state championship in 1924 (defeating Glen Ridge High School in the tournament final), 1926 (vs. Princeton High School), 1927 (vs. Roselle Park High School), 1934 (vs. Woodbury High School), 1944 (vs. Rahway High School), and won the Group II title in 1960 (vs. Riverside High School).[16]

The baseball team won the Group III state championship in 1974 (defeating Franklin High School in the final game of the tournament) and 1977 (vs. Rancocas Valley Regional High School).[17]

The football team won the NJSIAA North I Group III state sectional championships in both 1975 and 1976, and won the North I Group II state titles in 1995 and 1996.[18]

The cross country team won both the Big North Division Championship and the County Group C Championship in the 2011 fall cross country season. The team hadn't won a division championship since 1985 and had never won a county championship title. The team finished off their 2011 season with an undefeated dual meet record and several championship titles, including the Group 1-2 Maroon Invitational, the program's first invitational championship.[19]


In 1916, Ridgefield Park High School was the subject of a groundbreaking ruling by the New Jersey Commissioner of Education, who ruled that teachers could remove their jackets while in class. A principal and teacher at the high school had been removed from his duties, based on charges against him that included 'conduct unbecoming a teacher' related to the removal of his coat while teaching one day. The charges were dismissed and the teacher was reinstated.[20]

In March 2006, alumnus Gregory Olsen (RPHS '62), an entrepreneur who paid $20 million to become the world's third paying space tourist visited his alma mater to share his experiences in space.[21]

Popular culture[edit]

13 of the 17 students featured in the 1978 documentary film Scared Straight! were from Ridgefield Park High School. Over 300 students, nearly a quarter of the school's enrollment, had voluntarily participated in the program at Rahway State Prison (now formally known as East Jersey State Prison), in which the students were given a hard look at the "physical and psychological brutality of prison life." The program was credited with contributing to a sharp drop in teen-aged crime in Ridgefield Park from 1976 to 1978.[22]

Ridgefield Park High School was featured on TruTV's The Principal's Office in 2009.[23]


Core members of the school's administration are:[24]

  • James Donahue, Principal
  • Michael Kilmurray, Assistant Principal
  • Michael Raimondi, Assistant Principal

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School data for Ridgefield Park Jr Sr High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Ridgefield Park High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 25, 2015.
  3. ^ James, George. "School Districts' Battle On Tuition Goes to Court", The New York Times, December 16, 1989. Accessed May 27, 2008. "Little Ferry, a borough of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) and 9,900 people, has sent its high school students to this neighboring 1.92-square-mile (5.0 km2) village of 12,000 people, since 1953."
  4. ^ Ridgefield Park Junior / Senior High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools, backed up by the Internet Archive as of April 14, 2012. Accessed June 5, 2015.
  5. ^ 22 Governor's Schools of Excellence Winners Recognized, New Jersey Department of Education, November 22, 2005. Accessed July 21, 2016.
  6. ^ Awards Ceremony for the 2004 - New Jersey Business Idea Competition, Fairleigh Dickinson University. Accessed November 27, 2006.
  7. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  8. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 28, 2012.
  9. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 18, 2011.
  10. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  11. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Schooldigger.com. Accessed March 5, 2012.
  12. ^ League & Conference Affiliations 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
  13. ^ General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  14. ^ New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association League Memberships – 2009-2010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 24, 2011. Accessed November 23, 2014.
  15. ^ School Info, Bergen County Scholastic League American Division, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 4, 2009. Accessed August 29, 2011.
  16. ^ Public Past State Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 22, 2017.
  17. ^ History of the NJSIAA Baseball Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 22, 2017.
  18. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 25, 2015.
  19. ^ Schwartz, Paul. "Ridgefield Park captures school's first boys cross-country invitational title", The Record (Bergen County), October 1, 2011. Accessed August 28, 2012. "Ridgefield Park's boys have won one major championship in the past 50 years of cross-country, the 1981 BCSL American championship. Friday the Scarlets won their first ever invitational title by routing the field at the Group 1-2 Maroon Invitational at Garret Mountain."
  20. ^ Staff. "SHIRT SLEEVES WIN.; Commissioner Kendall Rules Teacher May Take Off Coat.", The New York Times, July 9, 1916, p. 16. Accessed March 18, 2011
  21. ^ a b George, Jason. "From a C Student to a Celestial Traveler", The New York Times, May 16, 2004. Accessed December 24, 2011. "In 1962, with an F in trigonometry and a C average at Ridgefield Park High School in New Jersey, Gregory Olsen seemed destined for the final frontier of a steady job, evenings in front of the television and, if lucky, vacations on the Jersey Shore."
  22. ^ Janley, Robert. "'Scared Straight!' Film a Part of Life for Many Students in One Town; Officials Are Pleased Arrest Rate Drops Only Volunteers Go Father Fears Future Effect", The New York Times, May 6, 1979, p. 37. Accessed March 18, 2011.
  23. ^ Decicco, Robin. "Ridgefield Park students to test their cooking skills.", Ridgefield Park Patriot, January 22, 2010. Accessed November 25, 2015. "The Food Network came to the high school because of a connection high school Principal Eric Koenig has with a freelance producer. The same freelance producer who produced TruTv's The Principal's Office, in which Koenig appeared on last year, said he was looking to feature football players on a cooking show."
  24. ^ Contact Us, Ridgefield Park School District. Accessed November 25, 2015.
  25. ^ Ung, Elisa. "Little Ferry native Mike Isabella takes on the 'Top Chef' finale", The Record (Bergen County), March 16, 2011. Accessed March 18, 2011. "Isabella, 36, spent most of his childhood in Little Ferry and later graduated from Ridgefield Park High School and the New York Restaurant School (now known as the Art Institute of New York City)."
  26. ^ Fosdick, George. History of Ridgefield Park High School, Ridgefield Park Jr. / Sr. High School Alumni Association. Accessed February 12, 2008. "Bud Lewis '37 was the co-pilot of the Enola Gay Aircraft which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, leading to the end of World War II, a war in which over 1,000 RPHS graduates served. Many years later, when questioned about his role in WWII, Lewis commented, 'I would rather be remembered for being a member of RPHS Championship Football Team than for being the co-pilot of that plane.'"
  27. ^ "Candidates for 9th Congressional District to Appear at Forum", Fairleigh Dickinson University press release. Accessed February 12, 2008.
  28. ^ History, Ridgefield Park High School. Accessed December 7, 2006.
  29. ^ Gavin, John A. "Harrison 'Hatch' Rosdahl, ex-pro football player, at 62", The Record (Bergen County), June 18, 2004. Accessed July 31, 2014. "RIDGEFIELD PARK - Harrison 'Hatch' Rosdahl, a professional football player for seven years, died from injuries suffered in a fall at his home Tuesday.... He graduated in 1959 from Ridgefield Park Junior-Senior High School, where he starred in football and track."
  30. ^ Kerwick, Mike. "Behind the scenes with Cake Boss Buddy Valastro", The Record (Bergen County), October 11, 2010. Accessed March 18, 2011. "Case in point: The day Valastro turned 17, he learned his father was dying of cancer. A few weeks later, his father was dead. Valastro dropped out of Ridgefield Park High School to take over the bakery."

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°51′35″N 74°00′52″W / 40.859861°N 74.014456°W / 40.859861; -74.014456