2010 Top High Schools

Proven winners stay on top of our rankings, but all New Jersey public high schools face a host of new and daunting challenges this year.

Click here to view New Jersey’s Top Towns.

Any champion will tell you the toughest challenge is staying on top. But that’s just what Millburn High School managed to do in this year’s ranking of the state’s top public high schools. The Essex County school, which was number 1 in the New Jersey Monthly ranking in 2008, repeats as our high school champ in 2010.

In fact, the top of this year’s high school ranking is almost identical to the 2008 list, with McNair Academic of Jersey City and Tenafly High School repeating in the number 2 and number 3 spots, and Glen Ridge High School moving up one notch to number 4.

The Top High Schools list is based on data reported by the schools to the Department of Education for the 2008-2009 school year. Click here for an explanation of our methodology.

In addition to publishing the Top 100 Public High Schools in this section, we also have compiled the top 10 schools by District Factor Group, which ranks schools based on their socioeconomic peer group (click here to view the rankings by district factor group); and a list of the Top 10 Most Improved High Schools, based on our ranking. See the full rankings below.

What the rankings do not tell us is how the schools will fare after losing $820 million in direct state aid this year. Under Governor Chris Christie’s cuts, many of the state’s most successful school districts lost every penny of state cash assistance (although the state will pay for certain teacher benefits and the districts’ social security contributions).

That’s the case at Millburn High School, where aid was cut from $3 million for 2009-2010 to zero for the new school year. MHS principal William Miron says the cuts forced an approximate 7 percent reduction in his school’s budget. That has meant increasing some class sizes, eliminating some classes (five sections of Chinese instead of seven), merging a number of clubs, and cutting back sports schedules. Districtwide, about six administrative positions were eliminated, some through retirements; administrative responsibilities were spread among teachers through the creation of department-chair positions.

“We did a pretty good job of contracting without eliminating teaching positions,” Miron says.

A similar scenario is playing out at New Providence High School in Union County, which made a strong leap in the new ranking, moving from number 17 to number 5. The district’s state aid was cut from $1.48 million to zero. NPHS principal Paul Casarico reports that seven teaching and support positions were eliminated districtwide, including two and a half teaching positions at the high school. “Some of the opportunities that kids could take part in won’t be there this year,” Casarico says. At the high school, that means larger class sizes, fewer coaches (although no sports were dropped), and fewer clubs and activities.

Further down the rankings, Glassboro High School is also feeling the pain; its district lost $1.7 million, or 10 percent of its state funding. As a result, four and a third teaching positions were cut at the high school, and class sizes have grown, especially in electives like art and African-American history, says principal Santina S. Haldeman. Her school also cut several teams (cross-country, winter track, spring golf), the fall play, and an after-school weight-lifting program.

Glassboro, which has many students from low-income housing areas, has made good progress, moving from number 197 to number 188 in the rankings. (It is number 10 among its District Factor Group peers.) But Haldeman is concerned about hanging onto the gains. “I worry about what the future will bring,” she says. “I think this is just the beginning. I can’t imagine how it will be a year from now in terms of loss of teachers and programs.”

Click on the links below to read our Top High Schools rankings in the categories listed:

Click here to view the 2010 Top High Schools methodology

Full 2010 Top High Schools rankings (pdf)

2010 Top High School rankings (alphabetical)

2010 Top High School rankings (by county)

2010 Top High School rankings (by district factor group)

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RANK
Full Top High Schools Rankings
2010
2008
High School
County
1
1
MillburnEssex
2
2
McNair Academic (Jersey City)Hudson
3
3
TenaflyBergen
4
5
Glen RidgeEssex
5
17
New ProvidenceUnion
6
8
Northern Highlands Regional (Allendale)Bergen
7
12
Pascack Hills (Montvale)Bergen
8
10
ChathamMorris
9
4
Mountain LakesMorris
10
16
MontgomerySomerset
11
14
Haddonfield MemorialCamden
12
24
Ridge (Bernards Twp)Somerset
13
29
CranfordUnion
14
9
Northern Valley Regional (Demarest)Bergen
15
35
MadisonMorris
16
21
West Windsor–Plainsboro SouthMercer
17
11
HolmdelMonmouth
18
31
Park RidgeBergen
19
23
Ramapo (Franklin Lakes)Bergen
20
7
RidgewoodBergen
21
34
KinnelonMorris
22
20
LivingstonEssex
23
25
Pascack Valley (Hillsdale)Bergen
24
15
Governor Livingston (Berkeley Heights)Union
25
22
SummitUnion
26
38
West Morris MendhamMorris
27
37
River Dell Regional (Oradell)Bergen
28
28
Glen RockBergen
29
19
West Windsor–Plainsboro NorthMercer
30
18
Northern Valley Regional (Old Tappan)Bergen
31
30
Rumson–Fair Haven RegionalMonmouth
32
36
Bernards (Bernardsville)Somerset
33
13
RamseyBergen
34
55
EmersonBergen
35
40
Indian Hills (Oakland)Bergen
36
48
West Essex (North Caldwell)Essex
37
33
Highland ParkMiddlesex
38
39
Hopewell Valley Central (Pennington)Mercer
39
47
MoorestownBurlington
40
32
Jonathan Dayton (Springfield)Union
41
27
WestfieldUnion
42
45
Whippany ParkMorris
43
42
West Morris Central (Chester)Morris
44
6
PrincetonMercer
45
57
James Caldwell (West Caldwell)Essex
46
100
Pequannock TwpMorris
47
54
MontvilleMorris
48
49
Watchung Hills RegionalSomerset
49
51
LeoniaBergen
50
87
Parsippany HillsMorris
51
60
Wayne HillsPassaic
52
65
RandolphMorris
53
53
VeronaEssex
54
86
MetuchenMiddlesex
55
26
CresskillBergen
56
68
MahwahBergen
57
61
Cherry Hill EastCamden
58
59
Point Pleasant BeachOcean
59
41
Voorhees (Lebanon Twp)Hunterdon
60
43
North Hunterdon Regional (Clinton Twp)Hunterdon
61
64
Red Bank RegionalMonmouth
62
69
Scotch Plains–FanwoodUnion
63
46
Wayne ValleyPassaic
64
97
Ocean TwpMonmouth
65
52
J. P. Stevens (Edison)Middlesex
66
78
MorristownMorris
67
91
Bridgewater-RaritanSomerset
68
93
WaldwickBergen
69
50
Science (Newark)Essex
70
106
Morris Hills (Rockaway)Morris
71
76
East BrunswickMiddlesex
72
75
Fort LeeBergen
73
72
RutherfordBergen
74
58
South Hunterdon Regional (West Amwell)Hunterdon
75
89
Columbia (Maplewood)Essex
76
81
Fair LawnBergen
77
73
SomervilleSomerset
78
63
SpartaSussex
79
88
Morris Knolls (Denville)Morris
80
109
Colts NeckMonmouth
81
84
HillsboroughSomerset
82
90
AllentownMonmouth
83
128
Dwight Morrow (Englewood)Bergen
84
104
ParsippanyMorris
85
62
Hunterdon Central (Flemington)Hunterdon
86
79
Eastern Regional (Voorhees)Camden
87
118
Palisades ParkBergen
88
83
Delaware Valley Regional (Alexandria)Hunterdon
89
74
South BrunswickMiddlesex
90
107
Mount OliveMorris
91
96
Cherry Hill WestCamden
92
56
WestwoodBergen
93
117
MarlboroMonmouth
94
85
MontclairEssex
95
92
Middletown SouthMonmouth
96
67
Hanover ParkMorris
97
80
Haddon TwpCamden
98
77
ParamusBergen
99
110
Ocean CityCape May
100
108
Shawnee (Medford)Burlington
101
95
Arthur L. Johnson (Clark)Union
102
103
SecaucusHudson
103
70
Cedar GroveEssex
104
119
WeehawkenHudson
105
126
SpotswoodMiddlesex
106
162
DumontBergen
107
82
Hasbrouck HeightsBergen
108
105
Lenape Valley Regional (Stanhope)Sussex
109
n/a
Robbinsville High SchoolMercer
110
166
DunellenMiddlesex
111
94
Shore Regional (West Long Branch)Monmouth
112
135
Ridgefield MemorialBergen
113
178
David Brearley (Kenilworth)Union
114
121
TeaneckBergen
115
98
RoxburyMorris
116
44
Midland ParkBergen
117
196
Creative and Performing Arts (Camden)Camden
118
113
Monroe TwpMiddlesex
119
102
PitmanGloucester
120
124
LawrenceMercer
121
176
Henry Hudson Regional (Highlands)Monmouth
122
120
Lenape (Medford)Burlington
123
137
Rosa Parks Arts (Paterson)Passaic
124
115
ManasquanMonmouth
125
157
High Point Regional (Sussex)Sussex
126
111
Matawan RegionalMonmouth
127
125
ManalapanMonmouth
128
114
West OrangeEssex
129
168
Haddon HeightsCamden
130
112
BoontonMorris
131
66
University (Newark)Essex
132
129
Freehold BoroughMonmouth
133
172
Point PleasantOcean
134
152
Cherokee (Evesham Twp)Burlington
135
134
Seneca (Tabernacle)Burlington
136
234
BergenfieldBergen
137
101
Wood-RidgeBergen
138
194
North Warren Regional (Blairstown)Warren
139
116
Mainland Regional (Linwood)Atlantic
140
146
PiscatawayMiddlesex
141
198
North ArlingtonBergen
142
130
Clearview Regional (Harrison Twp)Gloucester
143
132
North BrunswickMiddlesex
144
170
Passaic Valley (Little Falls)Passaic
145
131
Lakeland Regional (Wanaque)Passaic
146
171
John F. Kennedy Memorial (Woodbridge)Middlesex
147
187
WoodstownSalem
148
158
South PlainfieldMiddlesex
149
163
Kittatinny Regional (Hampton Twp)Sussex
150
138
Henry P. Becton Regional (East Rutherford)Bergen
151
173
BogotaBergen
152
156
VernonSussex
153
140
Burlington TwpBurlington
154
192
Southern Regional (Stafford Twp)Ocean
155
127
WallMonmouth
156
165
Technology (Newark)Essex
157
71
Brimm Medical Arts (Camden)Camden
158
167
Jefferson TwpMorris
159
143
Middletown NorthMonmouth
160
141
NutleyEssex
161
99
New MilfordBergen
162
211
Old BridgeMiddlesex
163
245
Liberty (Jersey City)Hudson
164
161
CinnaminsonBurlington
165
209
South AmboyMiddlesex
166
164
Raritan (Hazlet)Monmouth
167
160
NewtonSussex
168
207
Arthur P. Schalick (Pittsgrove)Salem
169
177
EdisonMiddlesex
170
142
Saddle BrookBergen
171
148
HawthornePassaic
172
195
AudubonCamden
173
136
Pompton LakesPassaic
174
159
HowellMonmouth
175
149
Washington TwpGloucester
176
123
ButlerMorris
177
133
Monmouth Regional (Tinton Falls)Monmouth
178
182
LyndhurstBergen
179
155
DelranBurlington
180
175
HightstownMercer
181
214
Jackson MemorialOcean
182
185
West DeptfordGloucester
183
169
MiddlesexMiddlesex
184
147
KeansburgMonmouth
185
191
West MilfordPassaic
186
153
Northern Burlington Regional (Columbus)Burlington
187
139
HobokenHudson
188
197
GlassboroGloucester
189
199
Hamilton East-SteinertMercer
190
145
Roselle ParkUnion
191
236
HackettstownWarren
192
188
ColoniaMiddlesex
193
n/a
Barnegat High SchoolOcean
194
190
Gloucester CityCamden
195
189
Wallkill Valley Regional (Hamburg)Sussex
196
144
ManvilleSomerset
197
151
Gateway Regional (Woodbury Heights)Gloucester
198
184
HackensackBergen
199
203
WoodburyGloucester
200
174
HopatcongSussex
201
150
Franklin Twp (Somerset)Somerset
202
179
Warren Hills Regional (Washington)Warren
203
193
New EgyptOcean
204
200
WallingtonBergen
205
154
Arts (Newark)Essex
206
246
Long BranchMonmouth
207
180
Ridgefield ParkBergen
208
224
PalmyraBurlington
209
206
Pennsville MemorialSalem
210
201
Memorial (Elmwood Park)Bergen
211
n/a
Met East HighCamden
212
122
Freehold TwpMonmouth
213
216
HarrisonHudson
214
228
BellevilleEssex
215
n/a
Jackson Liberty HighOcean
216
218
Kingsway Regional (Swedesboro)Gloucester
217
287
HillsideUnion
218
208
Bordentown RegionalBurlington
219
240
Timber Creek Regional (Gloucester Twp)Camden
220
215
DoverMorris
221
292
Cicely Tyson Performing Arts (East Orange)Essex
222
212
Toms River NorthOcean
223
242
Rancocas Valley Regional (Mount Holly)Burlington
224
210
ClaytonGloucester
225
238
Lacey TwpOcean
226
181
BloomfieldEssex
227
217
Egg Harbor TwpAtlantic
228
n/a
International HighPassaic
229
231
WoodbridgeMiddlesex
230
235
KearnyHudson
231
225
Sterling (Somerdale)Camden
232
213
Sayreville War MemorialMiddlesex
233
239
HammontonAtlantic
234
186
South RiverMiddlesex
235
220
Cliffside ParkBergen
236
205
Lower Cape May Regional (Cape May)Cape May
237
183
Florence Twp MemorialBurlington
238
230
Absegami (Absecon)Atlantic
239
204
Toms River EastOcean
240
219
LodiBergen
241
227
Manchester Regional (Haledon)Passaic
242
248
BayonneHudson
243
229
UnionUnion
244
254
Oakcrest (Hamilton Twp)Atlantic
245
258
EwingMercer
246
202
Delsea Regional (Franklin Twp)Gloucester
247
255
Atlantic CityAtlantic
248
251
Brick TwpOcean
249
265
KeyportMonmouth
250
250
BelvidereWarren
251
261
Brick MemorialOcean
252
269
Highland Regional (Blackwood)Camden
253
266
Penns GroveSalem
254
256
LindenwoldCamden
255
252
Deptford TwpGloucester
256
226
North PlainfieldSomerset
257
273
Central Regional (Berkeley Twp)Ocean
258
262
Hamilton West-WatsonMercer
259
223
CliftonPassaic
260
244
ManchesterOcean
261
249
RahwayUnion
262
241
Pinelands Regional (Little Egg Harbor)Ocean
263
232
Middle TwpCape May
264
260
Hamilton North-NottinghamMercer
265
277
PaulsboroGloucester
266
257
Pemberton TwpBurlington
267
237
CollingswoodCamden
268
267
Burlington CityBurlington
269
264
Toms River SouthOcean
270
259
WilliamstownGloucester
271
288
EmersonHudson
272
283
Abraham Clark (Roselle)Union
273
282
Memorial (West New York)Hudson
274
278
Central (Newark)Essex
275
222
Vineland SouthCumberland
276
275
PhillipsburgWarren
277
284
SalemSalem
278
221
Triton (Runnemede)Camden
279
253
WildwoodCape May
280
281
Asbury ParkMonmouth
281
298
RiversideBurlington
282
303
New BrunswickMiddlesex
283
268
NeptuneMonmouth
284
299
LindenUnion
285
233
Union Hill (Union City)Hudson
286
285
GarfieldBergen
287
307
IrvingtonEssex
288
243
Bound BrookSomerset
289
311
Eastside (Paterson)Passaic
290
314
John F. Kennedy (Paterson)Passaic
291
279
Cumberland Regional (Upper Deerfield)Cumberland
292
263
East Orange CampusEssex
293
301
East Side (Newark)Essex
294
302
ElizabethUnion
295
247
WillingboroBurlington
296
294
North BergenHudson
297
286
Buena RegionalAtlantic
298
290
PennsaukenCamden
299
309
PleasantvilleAtlantic
300
276
Overbrook (Pine Hill)Camden
301
271
Maple ShadeBurlington
302
272
CarteretMiddlesex
303
297
BridgetonCumberland
304
n/a
Newark VocationalEssex
305
291
Lincoln (Jersey City)Hudson
306
289
MillvilleCumberland
307
293
PlainfieldUnion
308
295
William L. Dickinson (Jersey City)Hudson
309
274
Winslow TwpCamden
310
305
Weequahic (Newark)Essex
311
306
Barringer (Newark)Essex
312
304
Henry Snyder (Jersey City)Hudson
313
312
PassaicPassaic
314
296
Malcolm X Shabazz (Newark)Essex
315
308
OrangeEssex
316
300
LakewoodOcean
317
310
Trenton CentralMercer
318
270
Perth AmboyMiddlesex
319
313
West Side (Newark)Essex
320
280
James J. Ferris (Jersey City)Hudson
321
315
Woodrow Wilson (Camden)Camden
322
316
CamdenCamden
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