This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Midland Park High School4
Posted August 18, 2014
- a parent
Because the school is small, there is a great deal of flexibility. Underclassmen can take courses far earlier in their educational careers than elsewhere. The small class size means that educators and administrators really know their students and have time for them. Relationships built with teachers are deeper, longer and more meaningful here. Kids have the opportunity to test the waters by participating in multiple activities. It is not unusual for a kid to vein in the band performing at halftime and then running onto the field to play football, as well. There is a strong sense of community, too --people here look out for one another's children and parents are very involved in the PTAs and Education Foundation.
I graduated Midland Park high school in 1991. We had about 100 kids in our graduating class, including students from HoHoKus and the hearing impared program. The class size enabled a closeness that still exists today. It was very inclusive, allowing friendships to develop among all grades. Today, graduates' children attend school together.
Small town mentality=small school offerings. Having had my kids go to the jr high part of this school then transferring to private high schools (like 25% of all graduating 8th grade classes here, that says something in itself) because of the very limited sports, AP and honors classes, activities and clubs. People who fight regionalization are hurting no one but the kids who live in a "bubble". Since MPHS already has a co-op program in place for football, wrestling and cheering they have to recognize at some level the small school environment simply doesn't work. The kids have to suffer from some sort of identity crisis when you have to play for and cheer for the neighboring town's school. The kids that attend Here who keeps in touch with mine are limited in forming new friendships as well. The cliques are formed in grammar school and no one goes outside those boundaries for any reason. The bullies, populars, jocks, etc. remain in tact and that is what you deal with for 6 years here. REGIONALIZE people is the way to go to offer the KIDS the best opportunities to develop academically, socially and athletically. Not Doing so only hurts them, no one else.
Academically, the school is on the upswing. There has been a change in administration and additions made to teaching staff. Performance and enrollment in AP courses has risen considerably. SATs are up and the latest essay scores show how well-prepared the kids are in writing. Mathematics has been a weak spot in the past but has improved considerably. Because of its small size, students here have opportunities to participate in sports, drama, music, broadcasting, etc., that they might be shut out of elsewhere. Teachers and administrators are extremely accessible and responsive to parents and students, open to being creative with course of instruction at all levels. Active PTA, Boosters, etc. Facilities are dated and need improvement.
A parent All 3 schools share one common thread.. Caring teachers and Administrators that take the time to know each and every child by name and work with their strengths and weaknesses. There are ample extra curricular activities offered .Very little offered in the way of the arts and languages.Sadly , the community is not progressive and does not value academia as much as neighboring towns. As a result , budgets include very little extra that would enhance educational offerings . The buildings are old and need extensive repairs . Not uncommon to find leaking ceilings. The teachers do the very best they can with what they have, but need more monetary support to become more technologically and academically up to date . There is a lot of potential here .
A public school with the advantages of a private school. Caring teachers and administrators, as well as involved parents. I have had 4 children graduate from Midland Park HIgh School and go on to college, graduate school, and careers. They were extremely well-prepared, especially in writing and Math. One HS English teacher even reached out to them for feedback on their freshman year of college English to insure she was preparing them adequately. I think the easy accessibility of the teachers which came with a small school translated to college, where my kids did not hesitate to approach professors or advisors directly with their concerns. My kids also participated in a lot more activities than they would have had the opportunity to do at a larger school. Coaches and advisors often accommodated each other's schedules because they knew that their programs were "sharing" the same participants.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both large and small HS's but MPHS is a clear example of what's good within a small school environment. For the most part the teachers are very good but they could work a little harder compared to other districts. The comment about regionalization is based on ignorance....you really need to find out what's involved and frankly, the surrounding districts aren't interested. It can't be done unilaterally.
Although the high school is small, it has so much to offer. My child has had wonderful, caring, and highly motivated teachers. The teachers and administration are interested in the success of every child. The school has increased its offering of AP courses, has honors classes and many extra-curricular activities. Students in MPHS are not just numbers. They are students that receive individual attention in this small and nurturing environment.
Private school attention in a public school. All the teachers/administrators know all the kids, whether they've had them in class or not. Makes for a great, supportive environment. Many honors and AP classes are offered, and kids can participate in more than one extracurricular at a time, and the coaches/advisors help them work around time conflicts.
Small school with all the benefits of a larger one. MPHS gives kids a great environment to excel, including honor/AP courses, National Honor Society. etc. Your kid does not get lost, but instead can form great relationships with teachers/students. Best Marching Band program around!