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GreatSchools Rating

Columbia Senior High School

Public | 9-12 | 1856 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

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25 reviews of this school


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Posted March 12, 2013

While there are many positive aspects to my son's experience at this school (2010 graduate), we made the decision to move out prior to our daughter starting her freshman year. We were paying very high taxes and for that expected an excellent school. If you ask the teachers themselves, they will tell you there are too many admins doing little to earn their keep. My daughter now attends Ridge in Basking Ridge and there is no comparison. She has rocketed to honors and raves about the quality of teachers. Leveling students is in my opinion a very bad idea. It's one thing to have an honors class but another to be ranking kids early on. Many kids need to be around better students in order to improve. Middle school/high school kids don't need to be publicly labeled in that way...they've already got enough pressure. It's sad to see the Maplewood S. Orange schools going downhill. There are lots of good things about the community, but seeing the contrast in schools made us realize our tax dollars were not well used. Now we pay less than a quarter of what we paid in Maplewood with a public school system that is ranked nationally. Columbia isn't even ranked in the state. Sad!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 21, 2012

This is a good school with tons of A.P class options and extracurricular activities. Inside the classrooms, I feel very safe and in a good learning environment. The hallways, however can be overwhelming at first, and I sometimes expect to see fights breaking out. If you get involved and stick with the right people, it is a great school. There are so many activities to get involved with: tutoring younger kids, sports, community service clubs, marching band, yearbook, improv, photography, etc. This school lets you try out many different things to see what you want to do in college and the rest of your life.
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 13, 2012

I have two sons who have graduated from CHS and a third who is completing his second year. I am an active parent and have always been very pleased with the academic and extra-curricular programs. Both of my older sons got accepted to the colleges of their choice and are progressing well and ready to leave their mark on the world. I haven't always agreed with everything decision made by school personnel, but have always been made to feel that I had a forum with which i could express my concern and even appeal a decision. CHS, unlike private schools, takes all students who walk in the door and provides them with the tools to be successful.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 9, 2011

My son graduated from this school, completed college and is now working in a wonderful job. In addition to academics he grew because of the diverse environment. He is proud to have know so many people with so many race and/or religious foundations. He also learned more the love of knowledge and the desire to explore. Columbia High School has a lot to offer
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 25, 2011

In 1967,68 and 69 it was a fabulous school. I am not familiar with its qualities now.


Posted March 13, 2011

The upper levels of this school have expanded greatly in recent years, under the guidance of the excellent principal who took the helm in 2006. Many students now take AP classes, and most continue to receive credit-worthy test scores. The school continues to excel in the arts, receiving a Grammy (yes, that same organization!) for its music program, which was given to a handful a schools nationally though thousands applied. Graduates go to the top colleges. More than this, though, is that the students are intellectually curious and active: kids come home and talk about ideas discussed in class. Very cool.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 16, 2010

Full of opportunity, Columbia High School can provide an incredibly positive environment and atmosphere that allows talented and determined kids to grow. Rich with AP courses and a diverse array of extra-curricular activities, the school can provide a structure that sets students up for future success, if they are motivated self-starters. Students who do not get admitted to Honors, Advanced or AP classes may find themselves in challenging learning environments, but the school is very open to mobility paths (especially after parental involvement.) Students that are not eager learners be warned, the school structure, teachers and students are not welcoming of those that do not put forth consistent, rigorous effort. These students do in fact fall through the cracks and receive very little support and encouragement to succeed. At the end of the day, Columbia provides limitless opportunity for those students willing to capture it.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 30, 2010

Columbia is a great school for anyone who wants a diverse, intense education, with a supportive arts and sports program.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 3, 2009

Diverse, accepting community.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 1, 2009

This school has loads of character and history the community is great and the kids in the school are so friendly
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 7, 2009

Columbia has changed greatly in the past 3-4 years, because when I started there it was very chaotic especially when a lot of freshman had study halls. But I have seen the change in the amount of people wandering the hall the now lack of distraction to enhance the educational learning experience. A lot of the honor and ap classes are not as diverse but there are plenty of educators that are willing to teach at the level, because the teachers care about what happens to there students. Coming into this community from a non-diverse to this one really opened my eyes to see how everyone is a very cohesive unit and involve everyone in intellectual conversation and sharing of ideas. At the moment the principal leadership is at average, but it should be raised because we have three great principals that kept well run school
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 31, 2008

yes there is a lot of student involvment in this school but if you aren't a honor or an AP student then the quality of the education really diminishes. Some of the classes are too big and I think the majority of the staff is too based on disipline rather than education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 14, 2006

Columbia is a vibrant, diverse school that refects the surrounding community of politically active, accomplished and creative citizens. This means that conflict occurs, voices are heard and the system is challenged. Aside from adult inflamatory actions which have taken advantage of the student body in recent years, the level of conversation and debate in the school has been a positive thing for both of my kids. Seniors who graduate from CHS are prepared for life in a much more practical way than they would be at more protective schools that only emphasize test scores. Many graduates attend top notch schools, many teachers go way beyond the call of duty and many parents agree that they are thrilled to have their kids at CHS!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 26, 2006

The quality of the academic program is great if your child is a non-minority honor student. The teachers are outstanding but morale is extremely low. They have been working without a contract and the administration treats them very poorly. For extremely talented students the music program is great. Sports are competitive and the number of activities is high. Parental involvement is moderate to high. Right now the climate of the school is volatile. There have been student walkouts and protests. Great diversity in the student population but way too many students. Guidance counselors are overwhelmed with caseloads exceeding 250 students. Freshman failure rate is a very serious issue that I have not seen addressed. This school badly needs some restructuring from the top down. It has a lot to offer and is at a turning point now. Either it will take a turn for the better or continue to deteriorate.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 21, 2006

Inspite of the principals insistance that there are not 2 schools, merely children who want to learn vs children who do not want to learn - the atmosphere in Level 3 is not conducive to learning, even for the children who want to learn. Unless your child is already achieving, CHS is not the place for them.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 9, 2005

I was eager to attend Columbia but when I got there I was disapointed. Some of the teachers are not great teachers and some of the staff discriminate against certain students.
—Submitted by a student


Posted August 28, 2005

school system is very good there. the teachers take their time to teach and leave the school knowing that you have learned something.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 23, 2005

good town, not that great a school. always fights errupting. students not challenged enough.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 15, 2005

School contains a wealth of academic programs including many AP courses. Faculty is top notch and genuinely care about the students' progress.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted August 2, 2005

Very poor communication between school and parent. We were never warned about our child's status and only found out how poorly she was doing when we got her report card. Teacher's seem overloaded and inaccessible, not to mention, uninterested in her success. She hasn't had any teacher that's made an effort to motivate her. School may serve self-directed students, but certainly fails in reaching the student who is struggling. In addition, it is like living in the dark ages, there is no email access to teachers, or to school. No cyber options. It's as if the computer has not yet been invented. This in a school in an affluent community, just half an hour from NYC. Shocking!
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Language Arts Literacy

The state average for Language Arts Literacy was 92% in 2013.

426 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
97%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
90%
Math

The state average for Math was 80% in 2013.

426 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
85%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
83%

2010

 
 
79%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2012-2013 New Jersey used the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) to test students in grade 11 in language arts literacy and math. The HSPA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New Jersey. Students are required to pass the HSPA in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: New Jersey Department of Education

Language Arts Literacy

All Students97%
Female99%
Male94%
Black95%
Asian100%
Hispanic100%
Pacific Islandern/a
White98%
Other ethnicityn/a
Economically disadvantaged93%
Non-economically disadvantaged97%
Special education79%
General education99%
English language learnersn/a
Non-migrant97%
Limited English Proficient Current Plus Formern/a
Limited English Proficient Formern/a

Math

All Students85%
Female88%
Male83%
Black76%
Asian95%
Hispanic82%
Pacific Islandern/a
White97%
Other ethnicityn/a
Economically disadvantaged66%
Non-economically disadvantaged89%
Special education48%
General education90%
English language learnersn/a
Non-migrant85%
Limited English Proficient Current Plus Formern/a
Limited English Proficient Formern/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2012-2013 New Jersey used the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) to test students in grade 11 in language arts literacy and math. The HSPA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New Jersey. Students are required to pass the HSPA in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

The different student groups are identified by the New Jersey Department of Education. If there are a small number of students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: New Jersey Department of Education

Biology I

The state average for Biology I was 58% in 2013.

499 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
63%

2012

 
 
63%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2012-2013 New Jersey used the New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT) to assess students in Biology. The New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT) is standards-based, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined by the state of New Jersey. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level on the test.

Source: New Jersey Department of Education

Biology I

All Students63%
Female65%
Male60%
Black41%
Asian86%
Hispanic44%
Pacific Islandern/a
White92%
Other ethnicityn/a
Economically disadvantaged29%
Non-economically disadvantaged72%
Special educationn/a
General education69%
English language learnersn/a
Non-migrant63%
Limited English Proficient Current Plus Formern/a
Limited English Proficient Formern/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2012-2013 New Jersey used the New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT) to assess students in Biology. The New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT) is standards-based, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined by the state of New Jersey. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level on the test.

The different student groups are identified by the New Jersey Department of Education. If there are a small number of students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: New Jersey Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2011-2012 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Black 52% 16%
White 38% 52%
Hispanic 5% 22%
Asian 4% 9%
Two or more races 1% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2010-2011

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 22%N/A33%
Source: NCES, 2010-2011

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Dr Lovie Lilly

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Targeted Assistance program (TAS)
School leaders can update this information here.

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17 Parker Ave
Maplewood, NJ 07040
Phone: (973) 762-5600

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