Somerville Public Schools
|Somerville Public Schools|
|51 West Cliff Street|
Somerville, NJ 08876
|Business administrator||Bryan P. Boyce|
|Students and staff|
|Enrollment||2,398 (as of 2018–19)|
|District Factor Group||FG|
The Somerville Public Schools are a comprehensive community public school district that serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade from Somerville, in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States.
The district is classified by the New Jersey Department of Education as being in District Factor Group "FG", the fourth-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.
Students from Branchburg Township attend the district's high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Branchburg Township School District. For many years, Branchburg has accounted for 60-65% of the high school's enrollment.
The sending / receiving relationship between Branchburg and Somerville was formalized in a 1956 agreement between the two districts, though Branchburg students had attended Somerville High School before that time. In 1970, the Somerville district determined that rising enrollments meant that it would no longer be able to include students from Branchburg and set 1975 as the end date for the sending relationship. Branchburg started the process of acquiring a 76-acre (31 ha) site for its own high school that could accommodate up to 950 students.
In May 1971, Somerville reconsidered its planned termination of the sending arrangement and informed Branchburg that its students would still be welcome in Somerville even after the planned 1975 date. Despite the failure of a referendum to pay for a new Branchburg high school, the Branchburg district decided that it wanted to terminate the relationship, even after Somerville had reconsidered its decision. Branchburg filed a petition in 1975 with the New Jersey Department of Education seeking to terminate the send/receive agreement.
Based on a report by the hearing examiner released in 1977, Commissioner of Education Fred G. Burke issued a 1978 decision that the petition be rejected based on the ability of Somerville to serve students from Branchburg with a quality high school education, the financial impact of higher per-pupil costs to both municipalities and the creation of greater racial imbalance in the Somerville district. The State Board of Education agreed with the Commissioner's decision and Branchburg's appeal to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division was rejected in a 1980 decision.
Awards and recognition
Somerville Public Schools was voted one of the "100 Top Schools in Towns You Can Afford" in the January 1996 issue of Money magazine. Somerville High School was ranked as one of the "Top 75 Public High Schools" by New Jersey Monthly magazine in its September 1996 issue.
- Elementary school
- Van Derveer Elementary School with 802 students in grades PreK-5
- Robert Reavey, Principal
- LaNova Schall, Assistant Principal
- Middle school
- Somerville Middle School with 371 students in grades 6-8
- Anthony Benjamin, Principal
- Lani Perruso, Assistant Principal
- High school
- Somerville High School with 1,195 students in grades 9-12
- Gerard T. Foley, Principal
- Scott Hade, Assistant Principal
- Timothy Teehan, Superintendent
- Bryan P. Boyce, Business Administrator / Board Secretary
Board of education
The district's board of education, comprised of 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. A tenth representative is chosen by the Branchburg district to represent its interest on the Somerville board.
- District information for Somerville Public 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.
- Somerville Board of Education District Bylaw 0110 - Identification, Somerville Public Schools. Accessed September 3, 2020. "Purpose: The Board of Education exists for the purpose of providing a thorough and efficient system of free public education in grades K through twelve in the Somerville School District. Composition: The Somerville School District is comprised of all the area within the municipal boundaries of the Borough of Somerville."
- NJ Department of Education District Factor Groups (DFG) for School Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed February 3, 2015.
- Somerset County School Districts-Sending/Receiving/Regional, Somerset County Superintendent of Schools. Accessed June 15, 2020. "Branchburg K-8 Grades 9-12 Sent To Somerville"
- Somerville Public School District 2016 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 15, 2020. "Somerville Public Schools provides a full range of educational services for students in preschool through grade 12 residing in Somerville Borough, and grades 9 through 12 for students residing in Branchburg Township."
- Grip, Richard S. Demographic Study for the Somerville Public Schools, Somerville Public Schools. Accessed June 15, 2020. "In the last six years, Somerville residents have comprised 36-41% of the student population at Somerville High School."
- Branchburg Tp. Bd. Ed. v. Borough of Somerville Bd. Ed., Justia. Accessed December 5, 2017.
- Weischadle, David E. "Can Consolidation Help Our Schools?", The New York Times, April 1, 1979. Accessed December 5, 2017. "Last year, the Somerset County community of Branchburg sought to stop sending its high‐school students to the nearby Somerville district in order to build its own high school. Reminiscent of the Morris Township‐Morristown crisis of the early 1970's, the Branchburg request was denied last fall by Dr. Fred G. Burke, the state's Commissioner of Education. The denial was based partly on the fact that two small high schools would, have resulted."
- "100 Top Schools In Towns You Can Afford You Don't Have To Move To A Wealthy Suburb To Find Topnotch Public Education. Our Survey Spotlights High-Quality School Districts Where House Prices Are Still Reasonable", Money magazine, January 1, 1996.
- Streib, Lauren; and Yarett, Ian. "America's Best High Schools 2012", The Daily Beast, May 20, 2012. Accessed July 18, 2012.
- School Data for the Somerville Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2020.
- 2019-2020 Somerset County Public School Directory, Somerset County, New Jersey. Accessed June 15, 2020.
- New Jersey School Directory for the Somerville Public Schools, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
- Van Derveer Elementary School, Somerville Public Schools. Accessed June 15, 2020.
- Somerville Middle School, Somerville Public Schools. Accessed June 15, 2020.
- Somerville High School, Somerville Public Schools. Accessed June 15, 2020.
- Administrative Headquarters Directory, Somerville Public School District. Accessed June 15, 2020.
- New Jersey School Directory for Somerset County, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
- 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 Somerville Borough School District, New Jersey Department of Education, for year ending June 30, 2019. Accessed September 3, 2020. "The Board is an instrumentality of the State of New Jersey, established to function as an educational institution. The Board consists of elected officials and is responsible for the fiscal control of the District. A superintendent is appointed by the Board and is responsible for the administrative control of the District."
- Board of Education, Somerville Public Schools. Accessed June 15, 2020.