Teaneck Public Schools

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Teaneck Public Schools
1 Merrison Street
Teaneck, NJ 07666
District information
Grades pre-K to 12
Superintendent Vincent McHale (interim)
Business administrator James Olobardi (interim)
Schools 7
Students and staff
Enrollment 3,845 (as of 2011-12)[1]
Faculty 333.8 FTEs
Student-teacher ratio 11.52:1
Other information
District Factor Group GH
Website www.teaneckschools.org
Ind. Per pupil District
 %± vs.
1A Total Spending $24,019 97 $18,891 27.1%
1 Budgetary Cost 19,036 101 14,783 28.8%
2 Classroom Instruction 11,698 101 8,763 33.5%
6 Support Services 3,224 96 2,392 34.8%
8 Administrative Cost 1,674 86 1,485 12.7%
10 Operations & Maintenance 2,111 88 1,783 18.4%
13 Extracurricular Activities 327 82 268 22.0%
16 Median Teacher Salary 76,404 93 64,043
Data from NJDoE 2014 Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending.[2]
*Of K-12 districts with more than 3,500 students. Lowest spending=1; Highest=103

The Teaneck Public Schools is comprehensive community public school district serving students in pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade in Teaneck, Bergen County, New Jersey, United States.

As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's 7 schools had an enrollment of 3,845 students and 333.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.52:1.[1]

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, ostensibly 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.[3] However, because socioeconomic data is derived from the municipality as a whole and a significant proportion of Teaneck's more affluent families send their children to parochial or other private schools, the usefulness of District Factor Grouping in the Teaneck district's case is disputed.[citation needed]

Awards and recognition[edit]

The Teaneck Public Schools have been recognized by the New Jersey Department of Education as part of its Best practices program. The district was awarded in the 1997-98 school year for its Passport Portfolio Program,[4] and in the 2000-01 school year for its Early Literacy Initiative.[5]


Harvey B. Scribner, who later served as New York City School Chancellor, was hired in 1961 by the Teaneck Public Schools to serve as superintendent of the district. There he oversaw the adoption of mandatory busing in 1965 in which Teaneck voluntarily integrated its public schools.[6] Despite angry phone calls from some parents and the occasional death threat, Teaneck's integration went smoothly and Scribner recalled that he was "literally crying" on the first day of school in 1965 when buses rolled into school without incident.[7] Teaneck's 1965 busing plan was widely reported as the first district in the nation with a white majority to implement a voluntary school integration program.[8][9]

A 1982 teachers strike that lasted for 19 days was settled after a judge threatened to jail striking teachers and pressured the board of education to negotiate an agreement.[10]


Schools in the district (with school facilities and principals as listed at the district web site,[11] school history from the Teaneck Virtual Village[12] and 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[13]) include the following:

Elementary schools
  • Bryant School[14] with 344 students in pre-K and Kindergarten: Principal — Leslie Abrew. Built in 1927. Named for poet and journalist William Cullen Bryant. School #6.
  • Hawthorne School[15] with 344 students in grades 1-4: Principal — Deirdre Spollen-LaRaia.[16] Built in 1925. Named for author Nathaniel Hawthorne. School #5.
  • Lowell School[17] with 313 students in grades 1-4: Principal — Antoine Green. Built in 1935. Named for author James Russell Lowell. School #7.
  • Whittier School[18] with 368 students in grades 1-4. Principal — Pedro Valdes. Built in 1923. Named for John Greenleaf Whittier. School #4.
Middle schools
  • Benjamin Franklin Middle School[19] with 570 students in grades 5-8. Principal — Natasha Pitt. Named for founding father and inventor Benjamin Franklin.
  • Thomas Jefferson Middle School[20] with 598 students in grades 5-8. Principal — Angela Davis.[16] Named for American president Thomas Jefferson.
High school
Defunct schools
  • Eugene Field School. Constructed in 1956. Used as Board of Education Central Administration Offices. School #8. Named for poet and humorist Eugene Field.
  • Emerson Elementary School- Built in 1916. Original School #3. Named for author, essayist, and 19th century philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • Washington Irving School — Built in 1906. Original School #2. Named for author Washington Irving.
  • Longfellow Elementary School- Built in 1910. School #1. Named for poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


Teaneck has received attention in the media due to sexual crimes committed against minors by faculty members. Joseph White, former principal of Teaneck High School, pleaded guilty to official child endangerment in June 2006 and was sentenced to one year in prison. White had been charged in 2002 with fondling a 17-year-old student and was subsequently acquitted.[22] James Darden, an award-winning former eighth grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, was charged with sexual assault and misconduct in June 2007. He pleaded guilty on December 2007 to a charge of aggravated sexual assault and faces up to 8½ years in prison when sentenced on January 18, 2008.[23]


Core members of the district's administration are:[24][25]

  • Vincent McHale, Interim Superintendent [26] [27]
  • James Olobardi, Interim School Business Administrator / Board Secretary [28]


  1. ^ a b District information for Teaneck Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed June 11, 2014.
  2. ^ Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending April 2013, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed April 15, 2013.
  3. ^ NJ Department of Education District Factor Groups (DFG) for School Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed March 18, 2015.
  4. ^ New Jersey Department of Education Best Practices: Passport Portfolio Program, Accessed June 6, 2006.
  5. ^ New Jersey Department of Education Best Practices: Early Literacy Initiative, Accessed June 6, 2006.
  6. ^ Marks, Joan. "The Lessons of Teaneck", The New York Times, November 19, 1972. Accessed August 18, 2010.
  7. ^ Blair, Jayson. "Harvey B. Scribner, New York Schools Chancellor in a Turbulent Era, Dies at 88", The New York Times, December 24, 2002. Accessed August 18, 2010.
  8. ^ Staff. "Harvey Scribner", The Record (Bergen County), December 27, 2002. Accessed August 18, 2010. "He was a champion of school integration in Teaneck, the first community in the nation to voluntarily integrate its school system by busing."
  9. ^ Teaneck, Fairleigh Dickinson University. Accessed August 18, 2010.
  10. ^ McGrath, Ellie. "Little Room to Negotiate", Time (Magazine), October 18, 1982. Accessed June 4, 2007. "There were a record 242 strikes in the 1979-80 school year. The following year there were 191; so far this fall there have been about 65. Only some 20 strikes are still in progress today, and few seem likely to continue for long. A 19-day strike ended in Teaneck, N.J., last week after State Superior Court Judge Sherwin Lester leaned on both sides. He ordered teachers back to work and, when they refused, began commandeering school buildings for use as makeshift jails to confine groups of teachers during the day. When an intransigent board of education failed to produce a quorum for a crucial bargaining session, the judge pressured board members to negotiate with the union. The final three-year settlement for the teachers represents yearly pay increases of from 7.5% to 9.7%."
  11. ^ School Listing, Teaneck Public Schools. Accessed June 12, 2014.
  12. ^ Teaneck Virtual Village - History of Teaneck Public Schools, Teaneck Public Library. Accessed June 12, 2014.
  13. ^ School Data for the Teaneck Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed June 12, 2014.
  14. ^ Bryant School, Teaneck Public Schools. Accessed June 12, 2014.
  15. ^ Hawthorne School, Teaneck Public Schools. Accessed June 12, 2014.
  16. ^ a b c Pinto, Jennifer. "New Principals to Greet Students This Year: Dennis Heck takes the helm at THS; Angela Davis to lead TJMS; and Deirdre Spollen-LaRaia fills principal role at Hawthorne", Teaneck Patch, August 31, 2011. Accessed August 31, 2011.
  17. ^ Lowell School, Teaneck Public Schools. Accessed June 12, 2014.
  18. ^ Whittier School, Teaneck Public Schools. Accessed June 12, 2014.
  19. ^ Benjamin Franklin Middle School, Teaneck Public Schools. Accessed June 12, 2014.
  20. ^ Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Teaneck Public Schools. Accessed June 12, 2014.
  21. ^ Teaneck High School, Teaneck Public Schools. Accessed June 12, 2014.
  22. ^ Markos, Kibret. "Ex-principal in Teaneck gets 1 year", The Record (Bergen County), November 3, 2007. Accessed December 24, 2007.
  23. ^ Markos, Kibret. "Teaneck teacher admits classroom sex with student", The Record (Bergen County), December 18, 2007. Accessed December 24, 2007.
  24. ^ District Administration, Teaneck Public Schools. Accessed June 11, 2014.
  25. ^ New Jersey School Directory for Bergen County, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed March 23, 2015.
  26. ^ www.teaneckschools.org/domain/19
  27. ^ http://archive.northjersey.com/news/education/board-appoints-interim-superintendent-1.1649926
  28. ^ http://www.teaneckschools.org/domain/72

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°53′14″N 74°00′26″W / 40.887088°N 74.0071°W / 40.887088; -74.0071