Wardlaw-Hartridge School

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The Wardlaw+Hartridge School
The Wardlaw+Hartridge School is located in New Jersey
The Wardlaw+Hartridge School
The Wardlaw+Hartridge School
The Wardlaw+Hartridge School is located in Middlesex County, New Jersey
The Wardlaw+Hartridge School
The Wardlaw+Hartridge School
United States
Coordinates40°35′41″N 74°22′48″W / 40.594603°N 74.380101°W / 40.594603; -74.380101Coordinates: 40°35′41″N 74°22′48″W / 40.594603°N 74.380101°W / 40.594603; -74.380101
TypePrivate, Day
MottoPioneering. Thinkers.[4]
CEEB code311230
Head of SchoolAndrew Webster
Faculty57.1 FTEs[1]
Enrollment465 (2018)
Student to teacher ratio7.6:1[1]
Campus36 acres (150,000 m2)
Color(s)     Green and
Athletics15 varsity sports[3]
Athletics conferenceGreater Middlesex Conference
Team nameRams[2]

The Wardlaw+Hartridge School (commonly referred to as Wardlaw or W+H) is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational day school located in Edison, New Jersey, United States, serving students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. It is divided into three administrative divisions: the Lower School, the Middle School, and the Upper School.

As of the 2017-2018 school year, the school had an enrollment of 465 students and 57.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 7.6:1. The school's student body was 30.4% White, 13.7% Black, 9.3% Hispanic, 39.7% Asian, and 7.0% two or more races.[1]

The Wardlaw+Hartridge School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools.[5]


The Wardlaw Country Day School[edit]

In 1882, the precursor to the Wardlaw School, The Leal School for Boys, headed by Mr. Wardlaw, serving boys from first grade to senior year of high school, was founded in Plainfield, New Jersey. In 1916, Charles Digby "Pop" Wardlaw moved from teacher to Head and purchased the school, and changed its name to The Wardlaw School. In 1959, the school was purchased from 'Pop' Wardlaw and renamed The Wardlaw Country Day School. The campus on Central Avenue was expanded with a new classroom wing and auditorium. In the late 1960s, the Wardlaw school moved to a campus off Inman Avenue in the bordering town of Edison.[6]

The Hartridge School for Girls[edit]

The Misses Scribner and Newton's School for Girls was founded in 1884 in Plainfield near the Wardlaw School. The school name was changed to The Hartridge School when, in 1903, Miss Hartridge became the school's owner.[6]

For many years, the Hartridge School and the Wardlaw School were closely affiliated. Each school would invite students from the other school to dances, and the two schools shared a drama department (out of necessity, as boys and girls were both needed to fill roles in school plays and musicals.)[6]

The Wardlaw-Hartridge School[edit]

The Wardlaw School and the Hartridge School merged into one coeducational school, the Wardlaw-Hartridge School, in 1976. The former Hartridge campus became the Oakwood campus for the K - 7 Lower School, while the former Wardlaw Country Day Upper School campus became the home to the Upper school for grades 8 - 12.[6]

In 1991, many students of the Vail-Deane School were assimilated into the Wardlaw-Hartridge School. The Vail-Deane school, founded in 1869, boasted a rich history, and the school's Alumni Association was merged with Wardlaw-Hartridge's. In the 1990s, Wardlaw-Hartridge created a 6-8 Middle School on the Edison Campus. In 1997, the consolidation of the lower, middle, and upper schools to a single campus was completed when the Lower School moved into a new wing on the Upper School campus in Edison.[6]

Facilities and campus[edit]

The Wardlaw Hartridge School sits on a 36-acre (150,000 m2) campus on Inman Avenue bordering the Plainfield Country Club. The Campus includes the school building, athletic facilities, and two houses (Fargo House and Hill House).

Plans for expansion[edit]

In 2003 and 2004, the school remodeled both the Upper School science facilities and the Middle School, increasing classroom size and adding new features to facilitate the use of technology. There is a long-range project termed "The Master Plan" which encompasses several plans to expand the school. This includes extending the Lower School, extending the school to enclose the central courtyard, and building a theater for performing arts.


The Wardlaw+Hartridge School is a nonprofit organization and is run by a Board of Trustees.[7] The current President of the Board of Trustees is Randolph Rogers '81.[8] Aside from the faculty and academic administrators, the school employs a Business Office, an Admission Office, a Development Office, and a team of receptionists.[9]

Furthermore, each division has its own head, whose role is most analogous to that of principal in a public school. Each division head has an administrative assistant.[10] The Upper School has a Dean of Students, charged with overseeing student affairs, including discipline, the Upper School dress code, and clubs.[citation needed]

Student life[edit]


With about 420 students in grades PK-12, class sizes at Wardlaw are small, for example, upon graduation, the Class of 2006 had 25 students and the class of 2010 graduated with only 4 more. Despite having so few students, students are still offered the opportunity to take more rarefied classes despite small enrollment; for example, AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism has two students enrolled as of Spring 2010.

School day[edit]

Wardlaw+Hartridge's normal school year is about 165 days (a bit shorter than public and parochial schools). The Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools all require students to be present for attendance at 8:00 AM.[11] Lower School students are dismissed between 2:45 and 3:45[12] In the Middle School, students not participating in sports are dismissed at 3:15 PM; those participating in sports are dismissed at 4:30 PM.[13] The academic day in the Upper School ends at 3:16 PM, and athletics run from 3:30-6:00 PM.[14]

In the 2010-11 school year W+H started on a 7-day rotating schedule within its Upper School. The previous year they were on a 6-day rotating schedule while only two years before they were on a fixed weekly schedule. In 2015-2016, the schedule changed to rotating A weeks and B weeks.

Getting to School[edit]

Wardlaw+Hartridge is a day school with no on-campus housing for boarding students. Students commute daily from all over New Jersey; some students have lived as far as Lumberton Township, New Jersey (about 50 miles away) while attending. Students with licenses may register with the Upper School Office to drive to school and park in designated parking spots, however, only Seniors are allowed to leave campus during school hours.[15]


Lower Schoolers spend most of their time in their teacher's classroom. Lower school students only attend certain classes called "specials," lunch, and gym outside their teacher's classroom. Each year, the student moves to a new homeroom teacher, and teachers typically teach one grade level for many years.

Middle schoolers move from class to class, but meet daily in "homerooms," their advisor's classroom. These advisors are designated at the beginning of sixth grade and students keep the same advisor through their Middle School career.

Upper schoolers congregate each morning before class in the school's All-Purpose (AP) Room for "Morning Meeting," and are seated by their advisor. Like the Middle School, Upper School students are appointed to an advisor who advises through their entire Upper School Education. Upper school students technically have a "homeroom," the homeroom of their designated advisor, but students typically spend less than one hour a week in their homeroom. Each team of advisors is overseen by a class dean, who accompanies the class from freshmen year to graduation.

Dress code[edit]

Students at Wardlaw-Hartridge are required to abide by a "developmentally approved dress code." PreK and K students may wear casual clothing, but the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School each have uniforms.[16]

Student organizations[edit]

Student Council[edit]

Both the Middle School and Upper School have student councils that function to consult with student groups and/or outside agencies on matters of fundraising within their respective divisions.[17]

Under the supervision of the Middle School Head, the Middle School Student Council (consisting of an Executive Council and advisory representatives), organizes dances and social activities for the Middle School.[18]

Upper School Judiciary Board[edit]

The Judiciary Board is a body made up of an elected student chair, one elected student from each class of the Upper School, and four faculty members. Students who commit major disciplinary infractions may be referred to the Judiciary Board by the Upper School administration. After a hearing, the Judiciary Board has a closed hearing, and then makes a recommendation for disciplinary action to the Upper School Head. Any student who commits a major disciplinary infraction is entitled to a Judiciary Board hearing.[19]

Upper School Clubs[edit]

There are many student-run Upper-School clubs. Clubs are usually academically, athletically, or artistically based. Examples include The Science and Math Society, Model United Nations, The Beacon newspaper, The Table Tennis Club, Visions Literary Magazine, Tempora et Mores yearbook, W-H Choral Society, and WHTV.

WHTV (Wardlaw-Hartridge Television) gives students a chance to create their own comedic news segment to show to the rest of the school during the Upper School's morning meeting. Students and teachers alike enjoy laughing it up while watching new episodes of it air. The club has even gone as far to create a short movie in January 2010 under the leadership Charles Pivnichny and Gregory Lamparello both members of the 2010 graduating class. The movie was a spoof on the popular James Bond movies of the 90s. WHTV titled their movie "000" or "Double O Zero" starring Charles Kennedy 10' and edited by Anthony Martin 10'. Several of the more recent WHTV productions can be viewed here: http://wptest.wizkidweb.com/posts/videos/whtv-videos/episodes/


Besides the Dean of Studies, each department (English, History, Language, Art/Music, and Science) has a department chair, a position filled by a teacher in that department.[20] Department chairs are appointed by the Head of School, and they are not based on seniority, but rather, they are rotated between teachers in the department in several year intervals.

The Lower School[edit]

Lower School students follow a traditional grammar school education, with emphasis on grasping basic skills in the English language and basic Arithmetic. Students are also exposed to enrichment in learning about Earth sciences and Social Studies, including instruction about the history of New Jersey (in Fourth Grade) and ancient civilizations (in Fifth grade.) Lower School students enjoy "specials," instruction in rooms outside their usual classroom. These include a special Science and Technology class, Art Class, Choir, and Band.

For the youngest students, PK-3, Wardlaw-Hartridge has introduced a SmartStart program.

All Lower School homerooms and most "specials" are in the newer branch of the school, completed in 1997. Encore, the Lower and Middle School afterschool program, is managed by the Lower School and run in the Lower School wing of the school.

The current Lower School Head is Silvia Davis.

The Middle School[edit]

The Middle School is intended to provide a transitional experience between the self-contained learning environment of the Lower School and the freer, more individualized environment of the Upper School. Middle School students have little course choice, except in foreign language. The current Middle School Head is Dr. Corinna Crafton.

English and Social Studies[edit]

Middle School English and Social Studies are linked by regional focus. In Sixth Grade, students study Africa, South America, and Asia. In Seventh and Eighth grades, students focus on the United States. In all years, grammar, writing skills, and public speaking are developed between the two subject areas.

Mathematics and Science[edit]

Each Middle School student follows a set curriculum in both math and science. In math, each student progresses from a general math course in sixth grade, through prealgebra in seventh, to algebra I in eighth. In science, students move from topics in life science in sixth, to topics in chemistry in seventh, to earth science in eighth.

Foreign Language[edit]

The Foreign Language curriculum begins by requiring all sixth-grade student to take a survey course, Introduction to World Languages, of Latin, Mandarin, and Spanish. After this, students must choose to continue one of the languages in levels IA and IB in seventh and eighth grades, respectively. This is the only academic course choice offered to Middle School students, but once they have chosen, they may not change for the duration of their Middle School career.


The Middle School experience is organized around homerooms. Each student is placed in a homeroom of around eleven students as soon as he or she enters the Middle School and stays with that homeroom throughout his or her Middle School career. Each student starts the day in homeroom and eats lunch with the homeroom on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The homeroom teacher serves as a student's advisor.

The Upper School[edit]

The school offers 18 Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and each year, students are recognized as National Merit Commended Scholars and AP Scholars. Since 1999, all students have been required to purchase a laptop computer for use at school, and the school, particularly teacher Tom Hunt, was recognized for this incorporation of technology into the classroom with an Alan Shepard award. The school maintains a WiFi Network, several network-accessible laser printers, and email on the whschool domain to facilitate the students' use of technology for their schoolwork.

Upper Schoolers are required to fill a certain number of credits to graduate (currently 24.5). All students must fulfill 4 credits in English, 3 in math, 4 in science, 3 in history, 1 in the arts, 0.5 in health, 1.5-2.5 in various electives, and 2-3 in a foreign language (through level 3.) Wardlaw-Hartridge gives letter grades; in percentages: 100-97=A+, 96-93=A, 92-90=A- 89-87=B+, 86-83=B, 82-80=B-, 79-77=C+, 76-73=C, 72-70=C-,69-67=D+, 66-63=D, 62-60=D-, Below 60=F. For the calculation of GPAs, letter grades are converted into numbers corresponding to the middle percentile of the letter's range, and then averaged. Certain grades are weighted, however: AP grades are factored in with a multiplier of 1.05, and Honors Courses are factored in with a multiplier of 1.025.

Wardlaw-Hartridge does not encourage inflation of grades and will only employ a grade curve in extreme cases. However, to make sure one class does not detract greatly from a student's GPA, Wardlaw-Hartridge has a policy by which no student can receive a grade lower than a 55 on his or her semester grade.

The current Upper School Head is Dr. Bob Bowman.


Wardlaw Hartridge offers instruction in visual and performing arts. The Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools all hold a Holiday Concert in December and a Spring Concert in May.[21] Several other musical events are held throughout the year, including "Cabaret," "Open Mic Night," a classical music recital, etc.[22]

Visual arts class and choir are mandatory for all Lower School students, and band class is mandatory for 3rd-5th graders. In Middle School, students must take visual art and choir, but students may choose between participation in band or keyboard class. In the upper school, all art classes are electives. These include Art I, Art II, Art III, Sculpture, Band, Concert Choir, and Chorale. AP Music Theory and AP Studio Art are offered to qualified students. Beyond this, in both Middle School and Upper School, students may choose to participate in small instrumental ensembles, such as a brass ensemble. Furthermore, the Upper School offers two annual theatrical productions: a fall play and a spring musical. In 2006-2007, the play was Harvey and the musical will be The Music Man. Often the Middle School students are needed to participate in the musical due to the small size of the school, as is the case with The Music Man.

During the 06-07 school year, four students were accepted to the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra and one to the Greater Princeton Youth Chamber Orchestra.

Also, during the 06-07 School Year, three students were accepted into the Central Jersey Regional Orchestra. One student was accepted into the Central Jersey Mixed Choir, and one other student was accepted into the Central Jersey Women's Choir.


The Wardlaw-Hartridge Rams[2] in the Greater Middlesex Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[23] Wardlaw-Hartridge offers eight Varsity sports and several Junior Varsity sports.[3]

The school participates as the host school / lead agency in a joint boys' lacrosse program with Union Catholic Regional High School, under an agreement that expires at the end of the 2017-18 school year.[24]

Participation in Middle School physical education is mandatory for students in grades 5,6, 7 and 8, but students can choose to enroll in either a sport or physical education class.[25]

Parent-run organizations[edit]

The Parents Association is a parent-run organization that organizes the annual Fall Fair, a Saturday event where students run fundraisers for clubs and classes, sports teams play their rivals, and the Parents Association rents children's rides and holds a sale in the school's All Purpose Room. The Parents Association also does hospitality for school events.

The Booster Club is another parent-run organization, which runs fundraisers to raise money to make donations towards enhancing the school's athletic programs.

Summer programs[edit]

Wardlaw-Hartridge runs a summer camp, a preschoolers' summer camp called Camp Funshine, and summer school in many high-school level courses. The Summer Programs Office runs these programs, and many Wardlaw-Hartridge Students attend camp or classes over the summer.[26] A sizable proportion of summer school students are high school students at J. P. Stevens High School in Edison, New Jersey.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c School data for Wardlaw-Hartridge School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed August 15, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Wardlaw-Hartridge School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 28, 2016.
  3. ^ a b All School Handbook. p. 109, The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. Accessed December 15, 2007.
  4. ^ The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. All School Handbook. p. 7. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  5. ^ List of Member Schools, New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. Accessed August 13, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e The Wardlaw Hartridge School. History. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  7. ^ Independent School Placement. Client Schools. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  8. ^ The Wardlaw+Hartridge School. Board of Trustees. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  9. ^ The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. All School Handbook. pp. 8-10. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  10. ^ The Wardlaw+Hartridge School. All School Handbook. p. 8. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  11. ^ The Wardlaw+Hartridge School. All School Handbook. p. 14. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  12. ^ The Wardlaw+Hartridge School. All School Handbook. p. 47. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  13. ^ The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. All School Handbook. p. 57. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  14. ^ The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. All School Handbook. pp. 73-74. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  15. ^ The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. All School Handbook. pp. 75-76. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  16. ^ All School Handbook. p. 17. Accessed December 15, 2007.
  17. ^ The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. All School Handbook. p. 18. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  18. ^ The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. All School Handbook. p. 67. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  19. ^ The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. All School Handbook. pp. 96-97. Accessed December 15, 2007.
  20. ^ The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. All School Handbook. pp. 9-10. Accessed December 15, 2007.
  21. ^ The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. All School Handbook. pp. 46, 78. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  22. ^ The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. All School Handbook. p. 78. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  23. ^ League & Conference Affiliations 2016-2017 Archived 2012-11-09 at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
  24. ^ NJSIAA 2017 - 2019 Co-Operative Sports Programs Archived 2017-07-31 at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 22, 2017.
  25. ^ The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. All School Handbook. p. 66. Accessed December 11, 2007.
  26. ^ The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. Summer: Welcome Accessed December 11, 2007.
  27. ^ "Gregory Casagrande '81 Thanks Middle Schoolers for Donation", Wardlaw-Hartridge Alumni Times. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  28. ^ Gormley, Ken. Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation, The New York Times. Accessed June 22, 2011. "His first public speaking contest was at the Wardlaw School in Plainfield, a small private grade school that Archie rode to on a bicycle."
  29. ^ Fitzgerald, Thoms F. Fitzgerald's Legislative Manual, State of New Jersey, 1971, p. 379. J.A. Fitzgerald, 1971. Accessed November 12, 2017. "Jerome M. Epstein (Rep., Scotch Plains) - Senator Epstein was born in New Brunswick on March 15, 1987. He attended Wardlaw School, Plainfield, and graduated at Rutgers University in 1958 with a B.A. degree."
  30. ^ Colonel Julia E. Hamblet, Who's Who in Marine Corps History, United States Marine Corps History Division. Accessed June 22, 2011. "She was born in Winchester, Massachusetts, on 12 May 1916. After attending the Hartridge School, Plainfield, New Jersey, she entered Vassar, graduating in 1937 with a B.A. degree."
  31. ^ Biographies in Naval History: Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, USN, Naval History & Heritage Command. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  32. ^ [1]
  33. ^ Yahoo! TV. Mary McCormack: Biography. Accessed on December 11, 2007.
  34. ^ Whitney, Jeanne. "Youth Actors Hit High Note With Carousel at NJPAC", Westfield Leader, July 30, 1998. Accessed June 22, 2011. "By the end, when Billy Bigelow turns up in Heaven, he is met by wise old Starkeeper, played with confidence by 15-year-old Justin Restivo. Mr. Restivo is a sophomore at the Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison and his film credits include Leave It To Beaver, among others."
  35. ^ "Reynolds Named Wheelchair Sports, USA Athlete of the Year; Illini Junior to be Recognized at Oct. 20 Dinner in Warm Springs, GA", University of Illinois, October 1, 2001. Accessed July 17, 2012. "University of Illinois junior swimmer Lauren Reynolds (Basking Ridge, N.J./Wardhaw Hartridge) was named Wheelchair Sports, USA Female Athlete of the Year, the organization announced recently."
  36. ^ [2]


External links[edit]