Thursday, August 21, 2008

HHS Among Top Five Improved NJ Schools

New Jersey Monthly recently posted an article on the most improved high schools in the state. Hoboken High School had the second largest increase, moving up 121 places in this year's rankings. Proper caution and perspective must be taken with any such rankings as it is often very dependent on the methodology employed. We are confident that Hoboken High School, and all our other campuses, are part of a good district striving for excellence. The recognition is certainly welcomed and reflects the collective efforts of many people over a period of multiple years.

The full article can be accessed by pointing your browser to:
Below is the text from the article:


2008 rank: 139
2006 rank: 260
Change in rank: 121

As an urban institution that is also part of a special-needs district, Hoboken High School has faced many challenges over the years.

But things are looking up. Hoboken High’s graduation rate is up to more than 95 percent from 88.6 percent in 2006; 60 percent of its diverse student population—the school is about 67 percent Hispanic, 20 percent African American, and 11 percent white–go on to a four-year college.

Lorraine Cella has only been principal at Hoboken High for a year, but she has already implemented innovations that seem to be making a difference. A literacy expert, Cella emphasizes reading and writing for her 550 students. Every three days, the entire school devotes each class to reading or writing about a current issue, such as the Iraq war in history class or childrens’ health in gym class.

“The problem with school in general is that students find it boring,” says Cella. “We have to look at what is relevant to them. If we can connect what they are studying to issues of today, then they have a reason to learn the background to their subject.”

Data point: Thanks to a decline in enrollment, average class size at Hoboken is down to 13.6 students from 16.3 in 2006.