Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Students visit the U.S.S. New Jersey- Alternative Education

Mr. Munoz's and Mr. DeBenedetto's U.S. History II classes attended the U.S.S. New Jersey Battleship Naval Musuem in Camden, NJ on March 13, 2009. The classes really enjoyed the experience of actually seeing a battleship in person. "This Iowa class battleship's size is amazing," said Jorge Rodriguez, a junior at Demarest. This is just one example of the educational field experiences that DHS (Demarest High School) offers it's student body.

Alternative education- a foundation of the educational philosophy of Demarest High School, is also known as non-traditional education and includes a number of approaches to teaching and learning other than mainstream or traditional education. While some aspects of alternative education have strong political, scholarly, or philosophical orientations, others are more informal associations of teachers and students dissatisfied with some aspect of mainstream or traditional education. These educational alternatives, which include charter schools, alternative schools, independent schools, and home-based learning vary widely, but often emphasize the following components:

Maximum teacher/student ratio of 1:15
Small student base
Clearly stated mission and discipline code
Caring faculty with continual staff development
School staff having high expectations for student achievement
Learning program specific to the student's expectations and learning style
Flexible school schedule with community involvement and support
Total commitment to have each student be a success

Demarest HS is designed to meet the needs of students who are not succeeding in a traditional setting for any number of reasons. Students are provided with a variety of options that can lead to graduation and are supported by services for the student and their immediate family that are essential to success.

Background on the USS New Jersey
BB62 (U.S.S. New Jersey) was built at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and launched December 7, 1942- just a year after the Pearl Harbor Attack brought America into WWII.

The USS NEW JERSEY (BB62) was actually the second ship to be called “NEW JERSEY”, the first being BB16, a turn of the century (19th century) battleship. The first Battleship New Jersey (BB-16) was a Virginia class pre-dreadnought that served from 1906 until she was sunk as a bombing target in 1922. She sailed with the Great White Fleet and served her country in World War I as a training vessel.

NEW JERSEY was decommissioned for the last time on February 8,1991 at Bremerton, Washington where she resided until heading home to New Jersey. She was officially stricken from the Navy list on February 12,1995 but was then ordered reinstated by an order of congress as a mobilization asset under Bill 1024 section 1011. On January 4, 1999 NEW JERSEY was again stricken from the Navy list and IOWA replaced her as a mobilization asset.

Mr. Munoz and Mr. DeBenedetto are both members of the Hoboken Curriculum Committee and have done outstanding work in articulating the revised Social Studies curriculum for the Hoboken School District.