Established in 1958, the West Morris Regional High School District operates two schools, West Morris Central High School and West Morris Mendham High School. The district serves the students of five Morris County communities, Chester Borough, Chester Township, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township and Washington Township, in grades 9 through 12. Students from Washington Township attend West Morris Central High School, and students from the Chesters and the Mendhams attend West Morris Mendham High School. The regional district covers an area of just under 100 square miles and its population was 470,212 persons in the 2000 census.
The district’s Long Range Plan stresses the mission of providing students with “an intellectually stimulating experience in a safe environment” that promotes “a shared passion for learning, academic excellence, involved citizenship, personal responsibility and a respect for diversity.” This mission has provided the cornerstone for district initiatives aimed at fulfilling the potential of our students as “creative, confident, compassionate and resilient individuals.”
Curriculum: The district’s curriculum reveals a wide range of offerings in a variety of disciplines. The curriculum sequence allows students of varying ability levels to pursue a rich number of options in the arts, technology, and in the traditional academic areas. Twenty-one Advanced Placement courses are offered, and West Morris is one of only a small number of public high school districts in New Jersey that offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma, a rigorous internationally recognized college preparatory program. In addition, the district offers Bartley Academy to address the needs of disaffected and at-risk students.
West Morris students have excelled academically in a variety of areas. These include consistently high SAT scores with a number of students becoming National Merit finalists and Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholars. International Baccalaureate diplomas have been awarded to 90.3% of those students attempting the diploma, while Advanced Placement scores have remained consistently high with a majority of students earning a “3” or better on the AP exams. The district Special Education program has won a number of grants and is widely recognized for creating innovative programs stressing inclusion and achievement.
Professional Development: The West Morris District is committed to a professional development model that provides a continuum of learning opportunities focused on the knowledge, skills and attitudes essential to student learning. The capacity for professional growth, connected to individual, school, and district goals, has been created through systems such as a differentiated supervision evaluation approach and a standing staff development team. Professional development focuses on learning in school through the use of consultants, technology labs and workshops. Out of school professional development consists of specialized training, conferences, and discipline-specific workshops. These activities are overseen by a district Director of Staff Development and funded through the Board of Education.
Grants and Partnerships: West Morris was the first district in New Jersey to receive a Teaching American History grant from the United States Department of Education. This grant totaled over half a million dollars and fostered the strengthening of history instruction throughout our curriculum. It has allowed the district to enter into partnerships with the National Council for History Education, the New York Historical Society, Princeton University and the Smithsonian Institution. In addition, the district has recently partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to offer a certificate program to our students. A second Teaching American History grant was awarded to the district in 2005.
A commitment to technology in education has led the district to seek a federal grant that allowed it to purchase laptops for the entire faculty. A partnership with Dell Computers has strengthened this commitment. Teachers’ web pages allow the faculty to provide information to their students and parents about the curriculum. The West Morris District continues to seek partnerships that will allow it to fulfill the mission described in its Long Range Plan.
The West Morris Regional High School District enjoys a reputation for excellence and a commitment to its students. This begins at the district level and is reinforced in each school and strengthened in each individual class. For more information, you can access the individual high schools' web pages: West Morris Central High School at www.wmchs.org; and West Morris Mendham High School at www.wmmhs.org. You can also access the district website at www.wmrhsd.org.