The Mendham Borough School District is a fully accredited elementary district responsible for the education of students in kindergarten through eighth grades. Schools in Mendham Borough are Hilltop Elementary School (K-4) with 360 students located at 12 Hilltop Rd. and Mountain View Middle School (5-8) with 310 students located at 100 Dean Rd.
The Mendham Township School District is a fully accredited elementary district responsible for the education of students in kindergarten through eighth grades. Schools in Mendham Township are Mendham Township Elementary School (K-4) with 450 students located at 18 W. Main St. in Brookside and Mendham Township Middle School (5-8) with 460 students located at 16 Washington Valley Rd. in Brookside.
Students in public school for grades 9 through 12 in both the Mendhams and the Chesters attend West Morris Mendham High School located on East Main St. in Mendham Borough, and is part of the West Morris Regional High School District, which serves students from the surrounding Morris County school districts of Chester Borough, Chester Township, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township and Washington Township (Long Valley).
Hilltop Elementary School (K- 4) – is part of a small historic Mendham Borough K–8 school district where most are known by name, where teachers are more than caring, where parents are more than involved, and where community support is constant. High standards, excellence, and tradition seem to be the keywords when one considers the Mendham Borough Schools. Many alumni leave to pursue their higher educations and careers, but later return to raise their own families in the community and the school system.
First built around 1930, Hilltop Elementary School originally housed the community’s kindergarten through 9th grade students. After several additions and grade level reorganizations through the years, in 2001-02 Hilltop was closed for a “re-build” and re-opened in September of 2002 as a beautiful new three floor elementary school for Mendham Borough students in kindergarten through the fourth grade. Located in southern Morris County, Hilltop School now houses approximately 360 children in a suburban “neighborhood school” setting. There are three kindergarten classes and four sections of each of the first through fourth grade levels with class sizes of 20 students or less per class.
School personnel and parents work in concert to provide on-going academic challenges in a warm, safe, caring and supportive environment. Students are regarded as competent and contributing members of our school community. The Hilltop learning community believes that children learn best in an environment that models values and provides deliberate and meaningful learning experiences. This is achieved through differentiated instruction, investigation, hands-on experience, daily practice, and on-going student and program evaluation. The district is committed to providing a strong related arts program that includes programs in art, instrumental band, strings, vocal music, library, technology, physical education and Spanish.
Parental volunteers are very active and play an invaluable role at Hilltop School. The district’s active Home School Association plays a key role in enhancing the education process sponsoring a variety of cultural arts assemblies and resident workshop programs for the elementary school. The H.S.A. also holds community fundraisers for the purchase of classroom reading libraries to support the Columbia University Teachers College Reading Workshop Program implemented in the 2007-2008 school year. The H.S.A. Kids Care Service Club sponsors many school service and fundraising projects. Students have been writing letters and their parents have been donating supplies to soldiers and soccer equipment for the children overseas in Iraq. Parents also play a large part designing and teaching after-school and enrichment courses including sculpting, drama, yoga, karate, mad science, and chess.
Mountain View Middle School (5–8) – strives to meet the unique challenges of adolescence by providing its approximately 310 students with positive, self-directed, developmentally appropriate and reflective learning experiences that assure they are prepared, academically, emotionally, and socially to grow as individuals and become responsible members of tomorrow’s global community.
In 2008 Mountain View Middle School was awarded the distinction of a “School to Watch” by the New Jersey Department of Education. The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform established the standards necessary to provide exemplary learning experiences for middle-level learners as defined by the Schools to Watch ® program. We remain steadfast in our desire to hold Academic Rigor, Developmental Responsiveness, and Social Equity as guiding principles and look to continue to evaluate and adjust our organizational structure to enhance the middle school experience for all learners.
At Mountain View we have made great strides in defining and communicating our expectations for all students. We speak in one voice as we articulate high academic standards for all and strive to develop curriculum and instructional practices that support this quest for higher learning. We have embraced three major curricular initiatives.
Teachers College Reading and Writers Workshop has become the model for our language arts literacy program. Targeted staff development, both on and off campus, has unified our staff as we work together to enhance student reading and writing skills. In the area of math we have committed to “Algebra for all” as we set the goal of having all students complete Algebra I by the time they leave our school. We recognize that some students may need support to accomplish this goal, and we have created safety nets to optimize their chances for success. This is the second year that our work has earned us a $25,000 grant from the Center for Teaching & Learning. As working members of the PMI (Progressive Math Initiative) we work with math professionals from around the state to develop challenging and interactive curriculum geared toward middle school algebra. We have also started to look critically at our delivery of foreign language. As participants in the New Jersey S.T.A.M.P. (STAndards Based Measurement of Proficiency) pilot, we have accumulated five years of data and are responding to these data with curricula revisions and adjustments. This has already yielded positive results as we recorded significant improvements in our performance on the test in years three, four and five.
We celebrate the “art” of teaching. Teachers consistently work together to develop challenging, relevant lessons that follow the principles of Understanding by Design and Differentiated Instruction. District investment in professional growth through participation in the Differentiated Instruction Institute at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia has increased our understanding of best practices in Differentiated Instruction. We now have one teacher at each grade level who has trained at the University of Virginia. Each teacher serves as a mentor to other team members to help enhance their practice.
We stress data driven decision making. Our teachers are given the available data and encouraged to generate their own additional data through pre and post assessments, performance tasks, portfolios, base-line, and benchmark activities. Careful records are kept and shared. Release time and common planning time is utilized to analyze these data to make informed decisions on instructional practices.
Excellent middle schools recognize that this period of development is unique and honor it through the creation of structures and systems that promote the total well being of the student. The major restructuring of the school day in 2006 was initiated to help accomplish what Breaking Ranks in the Middle refers to as “Personalization and the School Environment”. For a small school it was unacceptable that our core teachers were responsible for upwards of 120 students, preventing any meaningful personal connection. The creation of grade level teams permitted teachers and students to develop bonds that encompassed the social, emotional, and intellectual development of the young adolescents. Modifications to the schedule permitted teachers to utilize common planning time to share insights and concerns about students, plan relevant and engaging lessons, and offer students choice in their learning. Teams continue to evolve into small learning communities.
Mountain View makes great use of the limited resources available in a district this size. A responsive and compassionate child study team serves the school population well. The school psychologist is housed in our building and maintains an open door policy to students. Four extra-ordinary special educators travel with the grade level teams, providing intellectual and emotional support. On-going training in Differentiated Instruction helps teachers modify lessons in content, process, and/or product to meet the needs of all. Our special education students thrive in the least restrictive environment with multiple courses offered with the benefit of in-class support. IEP’s are honored and 504 plans are designed to aid students overcome their individual difficulties.
All students are accepted for their individual gifts. Learning styles are identified the first week of school and strengths and weaknesses noted for consideration in placement in cooperative learning groups, and to guide differentiated instructional practices.
Mountain View is committed to heterogeneous grouping and open access for all students. We believe that intelligence is dynamic, not fixed, and therefore it is imperative that we support our learners in all means possible as they explore their interests and expand their horizons. Our bold experiment that dismantled tracking (which began in math at the 6th grade) four years ago continues to prove beneficial.
Although Mountain View participates in a competitive athletic league, all newly added sport teams are inclusive. Cross Country, Competitive Cheerleading, and Lacrosse encourage and welcome all interested parties without the risk of cuts. Both our Girls’ and Boys’ Cross Country teams earned county championships their second year of competition while our competitive cheerleading squad continues to rise in the adjudications.
Mountain View Middle School can serve as a laboratory environment for best practices in middle level education. Unified under the pledge “This I Believe” (National Middle School Association), the Mountain View staff share a vision that propels them forward. All decision-making is guided by the simple question “How does this benefit kids?” Risk taking is encouraged and teachers and administrators are challenged to maintain their philosophical and moral imperatives about what constitutes exemplary middle level practices. We are working towards an enhanced professional learning community and take advantage of the time afforded for common planning and professional development. We continue to strive to provide an exceptional learning environment for each individual student.
Mendham Township Elementary School (K-4) – provides a rewarding educational experience for approximately 450 students in pre-kindergarten through grade four. The developmentally appropriate approach of the curriculum places a strong emphasis on the individual growth of students in a nurturing, empathetic, yet intellectually vigorous environment supported by all faculty and staff members, parents and the community at large.
The curriculum is arranged to integrate skills and conceptual understanding, to employ traditional and alternative assessments designed to measure student progress against personal learning goals and curricular outcomes. All students participate in a full range of academic offerings and unique experiences to enhance the mind as well as the body in art, music, physical education, technology, library/media science and the cultures, customs and language of the Spanish speaking nations. Parent volunteers also support instructional initiatives in many classrooms. A balanced literacy initiative continues with additional leveled-readers and novels available for students. Teachers use small group instruction such as Guided Reading, conduct literacy centers, and hold reader’s and writer’s workshop conferences. Extensive staff development has furthered the implementation of Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop and differentiated instruction. The collection of math data is analyzed to pinpoint areas needing enrichment or reinforcement. A standards-driven, inquiry-based science program is also in place.
Development of character is a vital component in a child’s early education. At Mendham Township Elementary School, we believe that each of us plays a vital role in our children becoming well-adjusted, responsible, mindful and compassionate young people with the ultimate goal being a dignified, morally driven, and inquisitive adult. With the additional resource of a School Counselor, our educators and parents engage collectively to educate children in such a way that they develop an affection for ethical behavior by using the curriculum as the medium to experience respect, compassion, responsibility and self-control.
A collegial atmosphere exists for teachers. They exchange and explore ideas and new initiatives continuously. Each year, the Mendham Township School District dedicates a number of full and half days to professional development. The theme for the district’s professional development program remains, “We have to reach them to teach them,” which addresses strategies to meet the needs of the whole child – social, emotional, and academic. With the implementation of professional learning communities for the purpose of improving the experiences and achievement of all children, teachers are able to focus on best practices to improve instructional strategies and curriculum implementation.
Classroom educators are encouraged to team with resource, basic skills, art, music, technology, physical education, world language and library/media educators on challenging projects that engage children’s multiple intelligences, meet the needs of various learning styles, and contain a self-assessment component to guide children toward establishing personal standards of excellence, goal setting, and making meaningful decisions. Educators are also encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to plan together and share their talents, ideas and techniques with fellow professionals. Strategies include, but are not limited to, sharing ideas for differentiating instruction, scientific investigations/inventions, indoor/outdoor experimentation, problem solving and writing across the curriculum, research and re-enactment of historical events using primary sources, and design through principles of science and mathematics.
A range of educational services is available for students with special needs through the multidisciplinary Child Study Team. Children between the ages of 3 and 5 years are serviced by the pre-school team and an inclusion pre-school class is available, in district. Resource educators in grades K-4 collaborate with general education classroom educators to instruct and support students eligible for special education services in small groups and within their classrooms. Regular education teachers are provided professional development to implement progressive interventions to meet the needs of diverse learners in the general education classroom. We provide a Co-Teach classroom (Grades 2-4) to provide special educational students an appropriate inclusive curriculum. Our Intervention and Referral Services Team, consisting of volunteers from the faculty, is available for educators to consult with colleagues to brainstorm effective interventions and document progress toward resolving the academic, behavioral and/or medical issues of children in their care.
Our Gifted and Talented Program provides opportunities for students in grades K-2 to have weekly in-class enrichment activities facilitated by our Gifted and Talented teacher. Identified Grade 3 and Grade 4 students are provided instruction in language arts and problem solving/project based learning activities.
As a community of learners and leaders, our goal is to prepare all students to meet the challenges of the new century as responsible, productive citizens at home and in the global community.
Mendham Township Middle School (5-8) – The Mendham Township Middle School community takes great pride in providing all of our approximately 460 students with a rigorous academic program within a student-centered environment that recognizes and respects the worth and dignity of all individuals. Our motto is “Every Student Every Day!”
Our instructional programs accentuate four core areas: mathematics, integrated language arts, science, and social studies. Additionally, related arts instruction encompasses technology, art, music, library media services, French, Spanish, Mandarin, health and physical education. Our programs aim to endow our students with a well-balanced educational experience necessary to meet their cognitive and affective needs. All of these instructional services, with the exception of sixth, seventh and eighth grade mathematics are provided within a heterogeneous classroom setting.
Complementing our instructional programs is a variety of co-curricular activities designed to enhance and expand educational opportunities for all students within our fifth through eighth grade middle school. Our school offers a series of activities, programs, and competitions designed to challenge our more capable students. There are also numerous clubs and activities open to all children. They include, but are not limited to, Forensics, Global Awareness, Student Council, Chorus, Band, Orchestra, Yearbook, Science Olympiad, Book Club, Marsville, Cognetics, Quest, Gateways, Model Congress, and Newspaper. Student support services are provided through Peer Leadership, DARE, Advisory classes, academic lab, Homework Club, zero and tenth period supplemental classes, and guidance services. There is also extensive opportunity for participation in interscholastic athletic competition through girls and boys soccer, girls and boys cross country, girls and boys basketball, girls field hockey, girls and boys volleyball, softball, baseball and girls and boys lacrosse.
Special Education programs are provided through a combination of educational supports and related services. At each grade level, resource centers are available to eligible students in Reading/Language Arts, and Mathematics. In-class support programs are also provided with content area teachers and special education teachers who co-facilitate instruction. The Child Study Team works with parents and students to select appropriate services to benefit each student.
Mendham Township Middle School is extremely fortunate to have the unyielding support and cooperation of our school community. We foster the concept that education is the cooperative effort of parents, students, and educators. The Home School Association and the Mendham Township Education Foundation are very active and valuable organizations that donate time, resources, and financial assistance to our school. The H.S.A. provides cultural arts experiences that complement the curriculum. In addition, it sponsors parent advisory groups at all grade levels and members volunteer their time and assistance at school functions.
Mendham Township Middle School offers students a positive educational experience that includes a challenging academic program, a supportive environment, a professional staff and an involved community, all of which ensure our students a most rewarding “Educational Experience of the Highest Quality.”
West Morris Mendham High School (MHS) – is part of the West Morris Regional High School District which was established in 1958. The district operates two schools, West Morris Central High School (WMCHS) and West Morris Mendham High School (MHS). The district serves the students of five Morris County communities, Chester Borough, Chester Township, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township and Washington Township (Long Valley) in grades 9 through 12. Students from Washington Township attend WMCHS, and students from the Chesters and the Mendhams attend MHS. The regional district covers an area of just under 100 square miles and its population was 470,212 persons in the 2000 census. As part of the West Morris Regional High School District, MHS enjoys a reputation for excellence in all areas, is a college preparatory institution with approximately 1,250 students and is located at 65 East Main Street in Mendham Borough.
ACADEMICS: 2009-10 marks the 12th year that the International Baccalaureate program is being offered to students. Completion of the 2-year program will lead to either a full IB diploma or individual certificates of accomplishment recognized internationally. Sixty IB diplomas were awarded to members of the class of 2010. The program of studies features a wide range of International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement offerings. Mendham High School was admitted to the International Baccalaureate Organization in 1998 and was one of the very first public high schools in New Jersey to offer this program. This internationally-monitored curriculum provides a rigorous course of study for highly focused students. Such students may elect to be candidates for the IB Diploma, widely accepted as the finest secondary program available.
The MHS class of 2010 achieved an average SAT score of 1150 and an average ACT score of 26. Several students earned perfect 800 scores on the SAT Reasoning and the SAT Subject tests. Other academic achievements include: 3 National Merit Finalists; 1 National Hispanic Program Scholar; 12 National Merit Commended Scholars; 26 Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholars; and 35 students were recognized by the College Board for Advanced Placement test results.
Part of the academic program is the Special Education Department, which enjoys statewide recognition. MHS is preparing students for further study as well as transition into other post secondary options. The district was one of the 18 original pilot districts selected for training in inclusive educational practices and continues to emphasize providing student support in all mainstream programs.
ARTS: West Morris Mendham High School distinguishes itself in the area of the performing arts. Students in the music program distinguished themselves by being selected to All-State, All North Jersey Area, All North Jersey Region, All-Eastern, and National competitions. Students may join band, orchestra or choir or their offshoots – jazz band, marching band, wind ensemble, show choir, select choir, quartets, and string ensemble. MHS produces two dramatic productions each school year which are hugely successful. Mendham High School has an outstanding art program taught by practicing artists. Students have enjoyed recognition in local, state, and national competitions. Some MHS art students have been awarded scholarships to the best art schools in the country. The high school gains a new student-generated mural each year and the walls feature regularly changing displays of student and faculty artwork.
ATHLETICS: We had a great year athletically in 2009-2010. We currently offer 22 interscholastic sports with most of those having sub-level programs. Over 65% of our students participate and in 2010 we added boys and girls swimming. We began 2009 in the newly formed Northwest New Jersey Athletic Conference and in that year won a remarkable 11 conference championships. We also won our 3rd county title in a row in boys basketball and a sectional title in fencing. 2009-2010 also saw Mendham win 3 state championships in boys basketball, boys lacrosse and girls lacrosse. While championships are important, we feel interscholastic athletics teaches students life lessons and helps contribute to making them good citizens. We are very proud of our program and see great things in the future.
ACTIVITIES: The Activities program supports 50 clubs from technology to photography. The largest and most popular activity is the Service Club. This group of students is actively involved in volunteer work and fundraising for local charities. Also noteworthy: the International Club, which promotes understanding of various diverse cultures; Future Business Leaders of America, which molds young people into business leaders; Peer Leadership, which supports students in their assimilation into the high school; the Drama Program, which showcases young actors; academic teams from biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. The Mock Trial team, which showcases students in a courtroom setting, has been successful over the last few years on the county and state level. The Gay/Straight Alliance continues Mendham’s commitment to the development of a diverse and tolerant student population.
FACULTY: The “Commitment to Growth” thrives in a building where faculty members model the behavior of academics for life-long learning. Five members of the faculty hold doctorate degrees, and 63% of the faculty has earned master’s degrees. Teachers continue their training in the IB program. Throughout the year several faculty members attended subject-related seminars at institutes of higher learning or traveled abroad to enrich their professional knowledge.
ARTICULATION: In a 9-12 regional high school district is vital to success. There is ongoing communication with our sibling school, West Morris Central. Vertical articulation occurs with four elementary schools (Black River Middle School, Mendham Township Middle School, Mountain View Middle School and St. Joseph School) to foster a K-12 curriculum and a smooth transition between 8th and 9th grades. Our Counseling Department has also instituted a Freshman Transition Program to help assimilate 9th graders into the school community.
It is a school in which inquiry is fostered, intellect is challenged, and skills for lifetime success are developed. District efforts in staff development, technology, and curriculum revision, coupled with motivated students, positive parents, dedicated teachers and administrators will prepare the way for even stronger innovative educational programs in the 21st century.
Mendham NJ Public School Links