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Education

Old Bridge (NJ) Township Public Schools

Student Success: Making it Happen through

Connections & Positivity

Old Bridge Township Public Schools is a 42-square-mile suburban school district located at the southern end of Middlesex County, in central New Jersey. The district has a total day-time student enrollment of just over 9,000 pupils, and students are housed in a pre-kindergarten annex, 12 elementary schools grades K-5, two middle schools grades 6-8, and a single campus high school with a separate facility for 9th graders. The population, exceeding three thousand students, makes it the third largest high school in the state.

The positive climate change in Old Bridge directly impacted student success through individual, intrinsic motivation, as well as the growth and professional development of the Old Bridge staff. The district experienced an increase in collaboration among staff, across grade levels, departments, buildings and district-wide. This team approach has increased our expertise and spread this knowledge exponentially, reaching more students, therefore providing greater opportunity for success on all levels.

Powerful professional development has allowed the district to adopt a culture of positivity in the Old Bridge Schools, and transfer those feelings into trust with the community. Old Bridge Public Schools has forged a strong relationship with

Character.org, which focuses on defining and encouraging effective practices and approaches for quality character education, and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas. In recent years, Character.org has bestowed the following recognition on our schools:

• 13 State Schools of Character

• 11 National Schools of Character

• 1 National Model School of Character

• Old Bridge Township Public Schools was selected as a NATIONAL District of Character

Furthermore, the Old Bridge School District has been bestowed with these fine testaments to a district climate and culture shift:

• The Marching Knights of Old Bridge High School will represent the United States in Normandy France for the D-Day anniversary.

• The District Orchestra received the Spirit of Boston award given to the competing school that demonstrates teamwork, character, and benevolence.

• Local media selected Old Bridge High School as having the greatest school spirit.

As a result of the positive paradigm shift in the culture and climate of the schools, the district has witnessed a direct correlation between improved school climate and advancements in student performance.

This year Old Bridge School District received the acknowledgement of being placed on College Board AP Honor Roll. Only a total of 547 school districts across the U.S. and Canada are being honored by the College Board for simultaneously increasing access to Advanced Placement coursework, while maintaining, or increasing, the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. A mere 34 districts, out of 296 in New Jersey, have met the criteria to be placed on the AP Honor Roll this academic year. Old Bridge is one of the few districts to not only meet the rigor for recognition, but to meet the criteria multiple years.

The SAT results in New Jersey gained on average 1 point, and decreased nationally by 3 points; Old Bridge increased from 1,474 (2008) to 1,559 (2014). An average score of 1,559 brings OBHS 88 points above the national average, and 45 points above the state average. Only six years prior, where adequate, Old Bridge High School was only scoring in alignment with the national average.

Continuing with academic recognition, Old Bridge schools made an impression with the National Title I Association, which has been selecting examples of superior Title I school programs for national recognition, through the National Title I Distinguished Schools program, since 1996. This year, Cheesequake Elementary School was nominated as a National Title I Distinguished School for exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years. Furthermore, the schools have witnessed the following accomplishments in the past year:

• 38 percent reduction in Special Education referrals

• 58 percent reduction in incidents of violence, vandalism and substance abuse

• Dramatic declines in reported incidents of HIB

• Two members of the instructional staff selected as New Jersey Department of Education Exemplary Educators.

• Two Nationally Distinguished PTAs

• Successfully converted from half-day to full-day kindergarten

Old Bridge Township was founded upon rich family traditions and a commitment to community mindfulness. Our schools are a reflection of those founding pillars. Through a quality of character driven focus on academics, athletics and the arts, Old Bridge Township Schools will always be a tremendous source of local pride and global impact! w

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