River Dell Regional High School

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River Dell High School
"Dedicated to academic excellence and social responsibility."
55 Pyle Street
Oradell, NJ 07649
Type Public high school
Principal Lorraine Brooks
Vice Principals Brian Long
Jeffrey Principe
Faculty 88.0 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 9 - 12
Enrollment 1,080[1] (as of 2012-13)
Student to teacher ratio 12.27:1[1]
Color(s) Black     and gold     
Athletics conference Big North Conference
Team name Golden Hawks

River Dell High School is a four-year comprehensive regional public high school, part of the River Dell Regional School District, which is shared with the neighboring communities of Oradell and River Edge in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. Located in Oradell, River Dell High School has been a four-year high school since 1994, and is accredited by the New Jersey Department of Education and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.[citation needed]

As of the 2012-13 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,080 students and 88.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.27:1. There were 12 students (1.1% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 9 (0.8% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

During the 1997-98 school year, River Dell High School was recognized with the National Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education,[2] the highest award an American school can receive.[3][4]

The school was the 31st-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.[5] The school had been ranked 104th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 27th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[6] The magazine ranked the school 37th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[7] Schooldigger.com ranked the school tied for 113th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 16 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (87.5%) and language arts literacy (94.40%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[8]

In the 2011 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 63rd in New Jersey and 1,866th nationwide.[9]

In its 2013 report on "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast ranked the school 819th in the nation among participating public high schools and 60th among schools in New Jersey.[10]


River Dell High School offers students a wide variety of college preparation, honors, and Advanced Placement courses. River Dell offers a Junior MBA program in which students are eligible to earn a scholarship after taking five business-related courses and completing a project if they intend to major in business in college. River Dell requires every student to take three years of mathematics, two years of foreign language (French, Spanish, Italian, or Mandarin Chinese), four years of English, three years of science and three years of history. Concurrently, as requirement by the state of New Jersey, students must fulfill 5 credits in business, technology, and life skills related classes. The school offers 13 Advanced Placement courses, ranging from Chemistry, to Art Portfolio, a senior internship and mentor ship where students are allowed to get a hands on feel for various professions, and various Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA) offering a student a chance to earn college credits.

River Dell is based on a day with six 56-minute periods on a four-day rotating bell schedule. Each student is given their own laptop to use for classwork both for school and home use. The school has a large number of electives and courses.

Facilities and programs[edit]

Construction was completed as the result of a 2003 referendum that allowed a $28.9 million school renovation project. Many of the facilities in the school were inaccessible during the construction. Following the completion of the construction in the spring of 2007, the school had a new wing, which included six science and eight general classrooms, two music rooms, and two gymnasiums. Enhancements to the library, art rooms, technology and computer labs, and athletic fields were also included.[11]

Starting with the class of 2009, each freshman has received a hybrid tablet PC-notebook computer for use during their four years of high school. In June before the 2008-09 school year, the Board of Education voted to buy 1,100 HP laptops so that every student in all four classes could use a new laptop. These replaced the former Tablet PCs that were given out with a traditional laptop computer.[12]

Extracurricular activities[edit]


The River Dell Regional High School Golden Hawks compete in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[13] With 807 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2014-15 school year as North I, Group III for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 754 to 1,076 students in that grade range.[14] The school had previously competed in the Bergen County Scholastic League (BCSL) American Conference, made up of schools located in Bergen County and Hudson County.[15][16] The school colors are black and gold.

The girls varsity soccer team finished the season with a record of 21-2-1, winning the BCSL championship, the 2006 North I, Group II state sectional title and defeated Haddonfield High School by a score of 1-0 to win the Group II state championship in the team's first ever finals.[17][18]

The girls basketball team won the 2007 North I, Group II state sectional championship, edging Pascack Hills High School 38-36 in the tournament final.[19]

The varsity wrestling team won the 2009 BCSL American Division championship. River Dell's boys soccer team won the BCSL American and State Sectional Championships.[citation needed]

The football team won the North I Group II state sectional championships in 1985, 1987 and 2007.[20] River Dell's 2007 football team went undefeated, compiling a final record of 12-0, with a defense that allowed 28 points all season long. On December 1, 2007, the team won the North I, Group II state sectional championship with a 12-7 win over Pascack Valley High School, in a game played at Giants Stadium. The win was the team's first section title since 1987.[21][22] The River Dell football team went undefeated in the BCSL American Division losing in the state sectional semi-finals to Jefferson Township High School. River Dell's 2009 football team played Ramsey High School for the North I, Group II state sectional championships at Giants Stadium by a score of 36-10.[23] In 2011 River Dell lost the sectional final at Metlife Stadium against West Essex.

The school has had a distinguished cross country program, led for many years by coach Bill Keith. The girls team has won two Bergen County Group Championships (1983-Group III, 1985-Group II) and two league titles (1984-NBIL, 2000-BCSL American). The boys team won the Bergen 2 title in 1987 and captured the Bergen Group III Championship in 1999, 2000, and 2002, with the school's lone state sectional title coming in 1999. The team also dominated the BCSL American Division in the 2000s, with titles in '00, '02, '03, and '05. The boys team had 17 consecutive dual meet wins in the 1999 and 2000 seasons, and in 2000 recorded the lowest score in the league championship meet (30) in 35 years.[24]

The school instituted a random drug testing program for all students participating in any and all extra curricular activities and/or sports. River Dell was one of three schools in New Jersey that received a grant of $43,100 in 2008 from the Office of National Drug Control Policy towards the cost of operating the program, which detected two students with drugs in their system and another student who had been using alcohol among the 77 students test in the 2007-08 school year.[25]


River Dell offers 47 extracurricular clubs ranging from Dance to Marching Band to Media Club to Debate. Its Chemistry Olympics A and B teams placed 11th and 9th in 2009.

River Dell is noted for its yearly play and musical. This year, River Dell put on its own rendition of the Greek Mythology Olympiaganza. This year's musical was Willy Wonka. In previous years, River Dell has put on performances of Grease, The Wiz, Beauty and the Beast, High School Musical, Into the Woods and Guys and Dolls. Students are placed based on auditions.

River Dell is also known for its select choir. Under the direction of Lisa Smith, the choir is frequently adjudicated and has won numerous awards, including gold awards at the New York Choral Festival in 2003, 2007, 2008, and 2010. Three of those festivals were located in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and the other was in Carnegie Hall. Every year, the choir features members who participate in Bergen County, all-region, all state, and even all-Eastern chorus.

River Dell's marching band has competed in various competitions throughout the North East Division of the USSBA taking 8th place on November 11 at the USSBA Northern States Competition in Allentown, Pennsylvania.[26] The band's show this year was Fusion: The Music of Cirque du Solei. In past years, the band has done Steely Dan, Sound's of Santana, James Brown, the Who, and the Nightmare Before Christmas. The band has earned two first-place finishes, while capturing several caption awards including three best percussion awards. Also the band plays in various parades and festivals throughout the country.

On January 31, 2009, River Dell's Academic Decathlon team took 3rd in New Jersey's region II, advancing to New Jersey's State Academic Decathlon, a feat which has not been achieved since the 2001-02 school year. They repeated this feat again in 2010.[citation needed]


Core members of the school's administration are:[27]

  • Lorraine Brooks, Principal
  • Brian Long, Assistant Principal
  • Jeffrey Principe, Assistant Principal

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School Data for River Dell Regional High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed March 29, 2015.
  2. ^ Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
  3. ^ "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."
  4. ^ "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."
  5. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  6. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed December 2, 2012.
  7. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed June 9, 2011.
  8. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Schooldigger.com. Accessed March 4, 2012.
  9. ^ Mathews, Jay. "The High School Challenge 2011: River Dell Regional High School", The Washington Post. Accessed September 11, 2011.
  10. ^ Streib, Lauren. "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast, May 6, 2013. Accessed May 9, 2013.
  11. ^ School board election guide: River Dell Regional, The Record (Bergen County), April 13, 2006
  12. ^ River Dell to Continue Student Laptop Program, The Record (Bergen County), June 11, 2008.
  13. ^ League Memberships – 2014-2015, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 23, 2014.
  14. ^ 2014-2015 Public Schools Group Classification: ShopRite Cup–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for North I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed November 23, 2014.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ School Info, Bergen County Scholastic League American Division, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 6, 2009. Accessed August 29, 2011.
  17. ^ HISTORY OF NJSIAA GIRLS SOCCER, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 19, 2012.
  18. ^ Narducci, Marc. "This one is a heartbreaker for Haddonfield The Bulldogs fell, 1-0, to River Dell, which got an early goal and then put a lid on Bulldogs star Maggie Lupinski.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 19, 2006. Accessed June 19, 2012. "That was the fate of the Haddonfield girls' soccer team yesterday as the Bulldogs lost to River Dell, 1-0, in the Group 2 state championship at the College of New Jersey.... An example of how Haddonfield controlled much of the play is the fact that the Bulldogs had 11 corner kicks, compared to just three for River Dell, which finished 21-2-1 while playing in its first state final."
  19. ^ 2007 Girls Basketball - North I, Group II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed July 25, 2007.
  20. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. N.J.S.I.A.A. FOOTBALL PLAYOFF CHAMPIONS, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 30, 2011.
  21. ^ Gross, Andrew. "Stingy Golden Hawks hold off PV", The Record (Bergen County), December 2, 2007. Accessed December 5, 2007. "So River Dell – 6-4 last season and 3-7 in 2005 - completed a 12-0 season, allowing just 28 points."
  22. ^ 2007 Football - North I, Group II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 3, 2007.
  23. ^ Kinney, Mike. "Ramsey 36, River Dell 10", The Star-Ledger, December 4, 2009. Accessed June 27, 2011. "Paced by the brilliant running of senior halfback Zach Donnarumma, Ramsey shook off a long TD run by River Dell on the game’s second play, rolling to a 36-10 victory last night for the NJSIAA/Gatorade North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 championship before a crowd of 8,018 at Giants Stadium."
  24. ^ Paul Schwartz's All Time Lists. Accessed August 29, 2011.
  25. ^ Kindergan, Ashley. "Random drug tests at River Dell High School boosted by federal dollars", The Record (Bergen County), June 8, 2008. "River Dell Superintendent Patrick Fletcher said the money will fund better testing that can detect smaller amounts of drugs and alcohol in students’ systems. River Dell is one of at least three high schools in northern New Jersey to start up random drug testing programs last year."
  26. ^ http://bandstuff.org/event_html/E247.php
  27. ^ 2014-2015 Handbook, River Dell High School. Accessed November 23, 2014.
  28. ^ Levin, Eric. "A Woman on Top", New Jersey Monthly, January 2008. Accessed June 23, 2008.
  29. ^ Roberts, Jeff. "Oradell's Ginny Capicchioni first woman on men’s USA lacrosse team", The Record (Bergen County), April 12, 2011. Accessed July 29, 2015. "The Oradell resident knows what awaits her and Team USA next month at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship in Prague.... Capicchioni never played lacrosse at River Dell, which did not field a girls program at the time."
  30. ^ Friedman, Alexi (2009-06-14). "U.S. attorney nominee has more than a decade of experience as a prosecutor". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 
  31. ^ Puma, Mike. Parcells made struggling franchises into winners, ESPN.com. Accessed October 11, 2006. "When he entered River Dell High School in 1955, Parcells was one of the biggest kids in his class at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds."
  32. ^ Roberts, Jeff. "Where are they now? Billy Paultz of River Edge", The Record (Bergen County), December 21, 2010. Accessed June 27, 2011. "Paultz would play 15 professional seasons, and his teams made the playoffs each year. The 6-foot-11 center was selected to the ABA’s All-Time Team in 1997 after three All-Star appearances and a 1974 championship with the New York Nets. Not bad for a kid from River Dell High School who didn’t play until he was a senior in 1966."
  33. ^ Billy Paultz player profile, Basketball Reference. Accessed December 5, 2006.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°56′40″N 74°02′05″W / 40.944425°N 74.034642°W / 40.944425; -74.034642