Principal's Report 2012-2013
The 2012-2013 school year was another very successful year for Mainland Regional High School. Enrollment slightly decreased to approximately 1500 students in our 9-12 building. The school serves the communities of Linwood, Northfield, and Somers Point with a total population of 26,511. Work concluded on our schools $40 million renovation which dramatically improved and updated our facility by providing additional space to accommodate our academic and extra-curricular programs as well as updating our technological infrastructure and reducing our environmental footprint via solar energy.
Our school continues to excel academically, scoring well above the state averages on the Language Arts and Mathematics sections of the HSPA. Our SAT scores continue to be above state and national means. The 2013 graduating class reported the following post-graduation plans: 58% to attend 4-year colleges/universities, 29% to attend a 2-year college, 3% to begin employment, 1% to attend vocational/technical schools, 2% going into the military, and 7% undecided.
Mainland Regional High Schools curriculum includes more than 220 diverse course offerings covering the breadth of a solid college preparatory program. There are 23 Advanced Placement courses, 33 Honors courses, and 14 Gifted/Talented courses offered. Additionally, dual enrollment through the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey was offered in 2 of our courses, Pre-Calculus and Biology.
Advanced Placement participation is an important component of our school. In the 2012-2013 school year, 313 of our students took 715 AP exams in 26 subjects. Overall, 70% of the tests resulted in grades of 3 or higher. In 2011, The Washington Post ranked Mainland Regional within the top 4% of America's high schools and the top high school in Southern New Jersey. The commitment of MRHS to a strong Advanced Placement program is clear and we will continue to embrace the AP program due to the many benefits received by students involved, most importantly, their preparation for college success. The success of this program was further reflected in the 2013 rankings of Americas Best High Schools released by Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Each placed Mainland Regional within the top 2000 high schools nationally for how well it prepares its graduates for college.
School goals for 2012-2013 demonstrated a continued focus on the development of a common language of instruction rooted within The Art & Science of Teaching (Marzano, ©2007) as a means to prepare teachers for the new evaluation system while ensuring that their professional practice continues to develop. Faculty involvement in Professional Learning Communities and seminar classes addressing effective instructional practices aligned to a standards-based curriculum continued to support staff through these changes. Teachers continued to work collaboratively to revise curriculum and develop common unit plans to ensure alignment to the Common Core Standards. In addition, the high schools Response to Intervention (RTI) Program continued to address the academic needs of identified at-risk students and was expanded to include a lab component in Algebra and Geometry. In 2013, U.S. News and World Report also ranked MRHS among the top 5% of high schools nationally and 41st in New Jersey. Mainland Regional has met either the Performance Goal or the Progress Target for each of the new AMOs (Annual Measurable Objectives) outlined in the No Child Left Behind Waiver by the state of New Jersey. This included the AMOs for our student body overall, as well as all measured subgroups. In 2012, New Jersey Monthly ranked Mainland Regional in the top 100 high schools within the state and best in Atlantic County because of our success with all levels of students.
Moreover, the high schools bell schedule and technology policies that afford students greater freedom while expecting responsibility continued to have a positive impact on the high schools culture and climate. These freedoms include a revised electronic device policy that permits usage during the school day as well as permitting seniors to leave campus during their lunch and off-periods. In addition, MRHS continued to implement a unit lunch period in which the entire student body has lunch at the same time throughout the school. During unit lunch, students are afforded opportunities to not only eat, but receive extra help, study, and/or meet with athletic teams and clubs.
The high school community continues in its tireless pursuit of creating and maintaining a responsive educational climate for all stakeholders. Mainland Regional believes that all students across all curricular content areas can be successful provided teachers take ownership of student achievement and develop the relationships necessary to foster student engagement and connectedness. In the 2013-2014, MRHS will join the Inter-district School Choice Program enrolling 35 students from outside the district in the High School.
Professional Development in 2012-2013 was rooted within collaboration focused on the implementation of the NJ Core Content Standards and the newly adopted Common Core in Language Arts and Mathematics. The District Education Advisory Committee (DEAC) and School Improvement Panel (SIP) continued to facilitate and support the implementation of 21st Century and research-based instructional practices and planning as a means to support teacher professional growth and foster greater levels of student achievement. Many teachers participated in ETTC training and attended workshops from other providers, including national conferences.
A strong athletic program with 25 varsity sports and successful co-curricular and extra-curricular programs is a tremendous source of pride for our school and community.
We at MRHS continue to be committed to innovation and adaptation as a way to meet the ever evolving needs of the 21st Century, our communities, and most importantly, our students in order to ensure they are prepared for whatever their post-graduation plans may be.