Holmdel High School students had a great deal to celebrate last month when they returned to school, as the district recently learned that the high school moved up from its 2014 No. 12 ranking to capture the No. 7 spot on the latest New Jersey Monthly listing of the “Top 100 Public High Schools.” This year’s ranking also places Holmdel in the top spot in Monmouth County.
According to the magazine, the methodology for this year’s ranking differed slightly from that of previous years, including the rankings published in September 2014. Previous rankings were based on a set of metrics that included scores on the former state high school assessment known as HSPA. Given that the assessment is relatively new, the magazine chose not to include PARCC results as one of the metrics this year. Included in the methodology are:
• Data on students in grades 9-12 taking at least one class in the visual and performing arts
• The percentage of students taking at least one AP test in any subject
• Student performance on standardized tests (SAT and AP)
• 16-month college enrollment score
“It is gratifying to be recognized for our district’s commitment to excellence,” said Principal William Loughran. “I am very pleased for the students, staff, and the community.”
Holmdel High School is entering its second year of implementation of the “rotating block,” a schedule that has also been implemented in a number of schools in New Jersey Monthly’s “Top 10,” including No. 1 Chatham High School.
The district has already started to roll out goals for the new year, as introduced by Board of Education President Joseph Hammer and new Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert McGarry at the August 31 board meeting. In his welcome back message to the community, Dr. McGarry suggested that the district’s ambitious 2016-2017 goals share a common theme: “Optimizing for Innovation.”