Science Park High School (New Jersey)

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Science Park High School
Sphs.jpg
Location
262 Norfolk Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Information
Type Magnet Public High school/junior high
Established 1974 (Science High) 2006 (Science Park High)
School district Newark Public Schools
Principal Lamont Thomas
Faculty 63.2 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 7-12
Enrollment 761 (as of 2011-12)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 12.03:1[1]
Campus Urban
Color(s) Blue      and Yellow     
Athletics conference Super Essex Conference
Nickname Chargers
Newspaper Voltage
Website

Science Park High School, formerly known as Science High School, is a magnet public high school located in the University Heights section of Newark in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. The school is operated by the Newark Public Schools and opened in 1974. The school is for college-bound students, offering many Advanced Placement equally rigorous honors courses and as of the 2013-14 school year, IB classes to those who choose to apply.

As of the 2011-12 school year, the school had an enrollment of 761 students and 63.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.03:1. There were 464 students (61.0% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 131 (17.2% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1] The student population is composed of 40% black, 30% Hispanic, 28% white and 2% Asian/Pacific Islander.

Academics[edit]

The mission of Science Park High School is to transform mathematics and science teaching and learning by developing ethical leaders who know the joy of discovery and forging connections within and among mathematics, science, the humanities and the arts by means of exemplary laboratory environments characterized by research, innovative teaching, and service.

SPHS operates on nine 42-minute period schedule, as opposed to "block" scheduling common elsewhere in the Newark Public Schools district, where students take their classes in four longer "blocks." Unlike other high schools in the city, SPHS students take two science courses specific to their academic year. SPHS students are generally expected to take Advanced Placement courses in the latter half of their four years at the school, with many students taking Advanced Placement American Literature their Senior year while many Juniors enroll in an Advanced Placement English III course.

SPHS offers math courses ranging from Geometry (offered to qualified in-coming Freshmen) to AP Calculus, Science courses are offered ranging from a Freshman year Earth, Space, and Life Sciences course to a Sophomore year Physics course to AP Biology and AP Physics.

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 72nd-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.[2] The school had been ranked 116th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 69th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[3] The magazine ranked the school 50th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[4] The school was ranked 53rd in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state.[5]

During the 2009-10 school year, Science Park High School was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.[6]

Schooldigger.com ranked the school 17th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 5 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (98.8%) and language arts literacy (100.0%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[7]

In its 2013 report on "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast ranked the school 687th in the nation among participating public high schools and 53rd among schools in New Jersey.[8]

History[edit]

For 32 years, Science High School was at 40 Rector Street in Newark, in a building that was originally the Ballantine Brewery. After the brewery closed, it was acquired by Rutgers–Newark and was converted into a facility for chemistry research and training.[9] In the 1970s, the Newark Public Schools leased the structure and converted it for use as a high school until 2006. The building is part of One Riverview, a residential complex.[10] The class of 2010–2011 was the first to graduate Science Park High School having spent full four school years in the new building located at 260 Norfolk Street.

Science Park Logo

New location[edit]

The new building has a capacity of 926 students and is located on a 6-acre (24,000 m2) campus. The school was renamed Science Park High School because of its location near and connections with the University Heights Science Park. collaborative venture between Newark's higher education institutions, the City of Newark, and private industry.

The building includes a state of the art solar and geothermal energy system and highly efficient heating and cooling. The new facility includes grades 7-12. At the completion of grade 8, students may apply for entrance into the high school in the same manner as other students from Newark elementary schools.

Athletics[edit]

Science Park Atrium

Science Park High School competes in the Super Essex Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[11] With 578 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2014-15 school year as North II, Group II for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 493 to 732 students in that grade range.[12] The school competed in the Colonial Hills Conference prior to the NJSIAA's reorganization.[13]

Sports:

The basketball team won the 2008 North II, Group I state sectional title with a 51-40 win over Bloomfield Tech High School in the tournament final.[14][15]

Debate[edit]

The Science High School Debate Teams was established in 1979 by Brent Farrand and quickly became the model for urban debate programs nationally. By the early eighties, the Science HS Debate programs had nationally competitive teams. By the mid-eighties, the Science HS program boasted nationally ranked teams. The main difference between the Newark Science HS debate program and other nationally competitive programs was the make-up of the debate team. This was a team of students from all walks of life, economic backgrounds and ethnicity. The Newark Science HS Debate program seeded the idea that debate teams from the inner city cannot only participate in debate, but they could dominate. Science High School debaters have been nationally ranked and routinely compete at the highest levels of high school debate.

Mr. Farrand served as the debate coach and Algebra teacher for over 20 years at Science High. Jonathan Alston and Randy Mitchell currently coach the debate program at Science maintaining its national prominence.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Data for Science High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed November 24, 2014.
  2. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  3. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 27, 2012.
  4. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed January 31, 2011.
  5. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  6. ^ 2009 Blue Ribbon Schools: All Public and Private Schools, United States Department of Education. Accessed October 29, 2009.
  7. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Schooldigger.com. Accessed February 23, 2012.
  8. ^ Streib, Lauren. "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast, May 6, 2013. Accessed May 9, 2013.
  9. ^ "40 Rector Street". Emporis. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  10. ^ Munson, John (September 27, 2013). "Shaq comes back to Newark to break ground for city's first high-rise apartment in more than 50 years". The Star-Ledger. 
  11. ^ League Memberships – 2014-2015, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 24, 2014.
  12. ^ 2014-2015 Public Schools Group Classification: ShopRite Cup–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for North II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed November 24, 2014.
  13. ^ Home Page, Colonial Hills Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of November 19, 2010. Accessed November 24, 2014.
  14. ^ 2008 Boys Basketball - North II, Group I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed March 10, 2008.
  15. ^ Kinney, Mike. "Ortiz, Frierson help Science capture crown", The Star-Ledger, March 5, 2008. Accessed March 10, 2008.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°44′24″N 74°11′09″W / 40.739898°N 74.185874°W / 40.739898; -74.185874