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9-12 & Ungraded
Public
Maplewood, NJ
Students enrolled: 1,858

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17 Parker Ave
Maplewood, NJ 07040

(973) 762-5600
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Map of Columbia Sr High School address.

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INTERMEDIATE

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June 15, 2014
My daughter graduated from CHS in 2012, and we have many friends whose children are still there. It was a great experience for her all around. She had many excellent teachers, and a few were superb. It is a school where teachers value intellectual curiosity and enthusiastically encourage critical thinking. The arts are superb. She is now at an excellent, large university with an international student body and she finds that she has been unusually well prepared both academically and because of her experiences with the diverse community of Columbia High School.

- submitted by a parent
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
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
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
October 09, 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
March 25, 2011
In 1967,68 and 69 it was a fabulous school. I am not familiar with its qualities now.

- submitted by a community member
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
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
no rating October 03, 2009
Diverse, accepting community.

- submitted by a parent
September 01, 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
June 24, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
March 09, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
March 07, 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
October 14, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2008
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- submitted by a student
February 18, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
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
January 15, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
January 09, 2008
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- submitted by a student
December 18, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
February 28, 2007
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- submitted by a student
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
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
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
December 09, 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
September 19, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
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
August 23, 2005
good town, not that great a school. always fights errupting. students not challenged enough.

- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
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
August 02, 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
no rating July 31, 2005
CHS is a wonderful comprehensive high school. The students are very diligent workers and sports programs are very well run.

- submitted by a teacher
July 13, 2005
Columbia High School has two high schools in one. The economic spectrum to which its students are drawn from has an extreme gap. The students are either upper middle class or the lower tear of middle class, but the two seem to coincide in harmony with very little clashing issues. The upper levels of Columbia earn CHS its prestige. There were graduates who went on to each Ivy League school in '05, and at least seven '05 graduates went to Cornell. The percentage of students going onto a 4-year college is very high, but again because of the upper levels. In the lower levels, there is a lack of discipline. This isn't the teacher s fault, but the students; they don't want to learn. The athletic department is incredible and there are a lot of clubs for the students. If a student WANTS to, they could do very well here.

- submitted by a student
June 27, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
April 24, 2005
As a student at Cloumbia High School, I think that the school is out of control. The secruity guards are a little too freindly which many of the students can get away with anything. The pricipal Ms Pollack talks about how she cares but yet does nothing to help solve the problem. Kids are in the hallways fighting everyday and all the guards just do is stand there and watch until the principal shows up and that it when they show action. But other than that i think it has a very good educational system. It may not a good enviorment but it has the greatest teachers that you cant find that do care for the students.

- submitted by a student
April 22, 2005
Being a teacher in this school for the last ten years, I can honestly say that the once prestigious reputation that Columbia had in the past, is in the past. The administration of Columbia and the district try to cover-up the reality of what the school has truly become. The hallways are constantly filled with students and the students are increasingly disrespectful. Discipline has virtually become non-existent in this school. Ask any teacher or student if there are consequences for their actions, and there answer will be no. The school is becoming increasingly difficult to teach in, I would think twice before sending my child here for their education.

- submitted by a teacher
August 31, 2004
Columbia High School is an old, esteemed and now diverse institution. Its enrollment now includes a significant number of accomplished African American students, including a Rhodes Scholar. Students can avail themselves of a broad array of Honors Courses in Sciences, Mathematics, English, foreign Languages and History, often scoring highly in the corresponding SAT II s. Columbia s graduates enroll in all leading Ivy, Private and Public National Universities. Its graduates have gone on to successful careers in education, law, science, health care and the performing arts. Graduates have captured Oscar, Emmy and Grammy nominations. My daughters graduated (2002, 2001 and 1997) Columbia High School subsequently matriculating ed to Franklin & Marshall, Rutgers and Maryland, respectively. Each demonstrated different academic interests and accomplishments. Two pursued degrees in Education and one in Performing Arts. Columbia prepared each of them with the academic and social skills necessary to succeed in college and career.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2004
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- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2003
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- submitted by a parent
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Last modified: December 15, 2014

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Columbia Sr High School
17 Parker Ave, Maplewood, NJ  07040
(973) 762-5600
Last modified Columbia Sr High School is a Public school. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Columbia Sr High School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 40 reviews. Top