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South Jersey High School Guide

by Marissa Bottino, Chelsea Barlow, Erica Bauwens, Allyson Budassi, Colleen Patrice Clark, Samantha Haggerty and Allie Harcharek

For parents of upperclassmen, this change of season may be a welcome one, as a sense of familiarity and routine falls into place; while for those with younger students, it could mean a whole new atmosphere of getting to know your school. To help ease the transition, we present Suburban Family’s High School Guide, our detailed report on the ins and outs of a selection of South Jersey’s public and private high school schools.

This year, along with information about what makes each school unique, we’ve also taken a look at important statistics such as average senior class size, a breakdown of average SAT scores by category, and more (all gleaned from the New Jersey State Report Card and information submitted directly from schools). Read on to see how your child’s school ranks.

Bishop Eustace
Senior class size: 209
Tuition: $15,400
Average SAT score breakdown:
Math: 578
Critical Reading (Verbal): 576
Essay: 576
Student/teacher ratio: 13:1
Graduation rate: 100 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree: 99 percent
Bishop Eustace prides itself on preparing students for college in a number of ways. For starters, the 32-acre campus is set up much like a university, with students walking between seven separate buildings for classes. There are also more than 30 honors and AP classes available to students. Since Bishop Eustace first opened its doors in 1958, more than 98 percent of its graduates have pursued a college education.

Camden Catholic
Senior class size: 190
Tuition: $7,550-$7,800
Average SAT score breakdown (Top 10 percent):
Math: 644
Critical Reading (Verbal): 636
Essay: 637
Student/teacher ratio: 15:1
Graduation rate: 100 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree: 70 percent
At Camden Catholic, freshmen will be eager to get to work thanks to the Family Laptop Program at the school. Kids are allowed to use laptops during school hours, which is in addition to the 200 desktop computers already provided, helping accomplish a 3:1 student/computer ratio. The high school campus is also very diverse, bringing in students from 70 communities in South Jersey.

Cherokee
Senior class size: 531
Average SAT score breakdown:
Math: 531
Critical Reading (Verbal): 508
Essay: 497
Student/teacher ratio: 11.2:1
Graduation rate: 97 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree (district-wide): 66 percent
At Cherokee, there’s a focus on health and wellness, as demonstrated by programs like the Wellness Club right on down to unique offerings in the cafeteria. Developed by Burlington Township’s NutriServe Food Management, the school’s cafeteria offers a menu that includes daily vegetarian meals, house-made black bean salsa, freshly baked whole grain breads and produce from Jersey Fresh local farmers. The Marlton school has also upped the ante on technology in the classroom: Teacher Nate Knauss earned a 2012 NJTEEA Image Award for advocating tech literacy, while other instructors have introduced teaching aides like video conferencing, digital photo manipulation, and even real-life circuit building in an electronics technology class.

Cherry Hill East
Senior class size: 547
Average SAT score breakdown:
Math: 576
Critical Reading (Verbal): 546
Essay: 555
Student/teacher ratio: 13.2:1
Graduation rate: 98 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree: 73 percent
Ranked No. 226 on a 2011 list of America’s Best High Schools in Newsweek, East is known as “a measure of success in challenging and preparing students for post-secondary education—and life.” This past spring, the high school was recognized as a Reward School by the state, as it’s among the highest performing schools in New Jersey based on a three-year average of graduation rate, and performance on the New Jersey High School Proficiency Assessment and HSPA tests. The school newspaper, Eastside, is consistently recognized as a top student newspaper, with several awards and scholarships given this year from the American Scholastic Press Asso­ciation, National Quill and Scroll Society and National Scholastic Press Association.

Cherry Hill West
Senior class size: 358
Average SAT score breakdown:
Math: 519
Critical Reading (Verbal): 504
Essay: 518
Student/teacher ratio: 12:1
Graduation rate: 91 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree: 96 percent
The school is only getting better, as it has risen in the ranks to be included in Newsweek’s list of America’s Best High Schools in 2011, coming in at 402 out of 500 schools in the nation. Plus, their high standards go beyond education, taking their talents to the pool with a budding swim team that earned an undefeated regular season and a spot in the Division A state finals last winter.

Eastern
Senior class size: 528
Average SAT score breakdown:
Math: 567
Critical Reading (Verbal): 535
Essay: 543
Student/teacher ratio: 13.5:1
Graduation rate: 94 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree: 69 percent
Eastern is the proud home to a sports dynasty. The Dawson family, seven siblings consisting of Eastern alumni, tackled competition while at the school and later in life with the Dawson girls taking field hockey by storm. You could find middle sister Rachel leading the U.S. Field Hockey team at the Olympics in London this summer, and older sisters Natalie and Sarah shared a stint on the U.S. team as well. Meanwhile, younger sisters Meghan, Melanie and Hannah all went on to Division 1 universities to pursue their sport. Eastern is also well known for its award-winning theater program, which includes team theater, an annual fall play and spring musical, and the popular, student-directed One-Act Play Festival.

Gloucester Catholic
Senior class size: 172
Tuition: $7,775
Average SAT score breakdown (Top 10 percent):
Math and Critical Reading: 1245
Essay: 602
Student/teacher ratio: 18:1
Graduation rate: 100 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree: 65 percent
Gloucester Catholic takes pride in serving others and students learn how to work together. Freshmen and sophomores enjoy a service retreat day where they provide intense service to an area agency in need, as well as participate in community-building exercises. Juniors and seniors are required to do 20 hours of service as part of their religion class, which leaves each student with a lasting commitment to spreading good.

Haddonfield Memorial
Senior class size: 210
Average SAT score breakdown:
Math: 577
Critical Reading (Verbal): 568
Essay: 569
Student/teacher ratio: 11.1:1
Graduation rate: 97 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree: 97 percent
Students who are working hard to attend college have an advantage here. Haddonfield Memorial offers an academic partnership with Drexel University to help prepare students for college. They have the opportunity to take college-credits courses while still in high school and, therefore, enjoy a more enhanced curriculum and head start on higher education.

Lenape
Senior class size: 482
Average SAT score breakdown:
Math: 547
Critical Reading (Verbal): 509
Essay: 505
Student/teacher ratio: 11.4:1
Graduation rate: 96 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree (district-wide): 66 percent
At Lenape, teachers incorporate the iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone, and a wide range of software in their students’ curriculum, making sure they’re on top of the game and ready to compete academically when they reach college. The thought is to make them technologically responsible, which is a skill they’ll carry with them beyond high school and college. To ensure a close reationship between the school community, parents and residents, there’s Lenape Partners in Education—a program in which parents and staff from the high school meet once a month and plan programs together such as Project Graduation and Safe Homes, in which parents pledge to provide a safe and healthy social environment in their home by prohibiting alcohol or drugs.

Moorestown
Senior class size: 349
Average SAT score breakdown:
Math: 588
Critical Reading (Verbal): 561
Essay: 557
Student/teacher ratio: 10.9:1
Graduation rate: 96 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree: not available
Moorestown High School honors its tradition of academic excellence through the implementation of a strategic plan that is giving students the necessary tools for success in the 21st century. With a $12.9 million renovation already under their belts, students use the latest technology through innovative courses that range from Internet astronomy to electronic journalism in order to prepare for trends and careers in this technological age.

Moorestown Friends
Senior class size: 74
Tuition: $24,600
Average SAT score breakdown:
Math: 611
Critical Reading (Verbal): 616
Essay: 639
Student/teacher ratio: 9:1
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree: 100 percent
Graduation rate: 100 percent
Freshman will have a chance to enjoy new classrooms this coming school year. Moorestown Friends dedicated a new school building with Hartman Hall in May, making room for eight math classrooms, a choral music suite, technology lab, conference room, student lounge and more. It’s the first new building at the school in almost 50 years.

Paul VI
Senior class size: 231
Tuition: $7,765
Average SAT score breakdown (Top 25 percent):
Math: 597
Critical Reading (Verbal): 587
Essay: 593
Student/teacher ratio: 15.1
Graduation rate: 100 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree: 71 percent
Paul VI is known for having one of the most comprehensive TV broadcast programs in the area. A student news team updates the student body each morning with community news, sports schedules and more—broadcasts that are also available online. A TV production course also provides students with experience producing, writing and directing broadcasts.

Seneca
Senior class size: 347
Average SAT score breakdown:
Math: 527
Critical Reading (Verbal): 506
Essay: 508
Student/teacher ratio: 10.6:1
Graduation rate: 96 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree (district-wide): 66 percent
Among the many activities that Seneca High School has to offer is a program that could entice more than a palate or two. The Future Chefs of America club teaches students how to cook, taste, and overall experience cuisine in a way they haven’t before. Past activities of the club have included a trip to New York City, hosting dinner for school functions, and participating in food charity events.

Shawnee
Senior class size: 402
Average SAT score breakdown:
Math: 551
Critical Reading (Verbal): 543
Essay: 533
Student/teacher ratio: 12:1
Graduation rate: 98 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree (district-wide): 66 percent
Shawnee is one of the schools in the Lenape Re­gional District that participates in the innovative Defy the Issue campaign, a community effort that combats illegal drug and alcohol use by young people. It strives to educate residents, families and students while empowering them to say no through multiple initiatives using real raw data about alcohol and drug use in teens. On the academic side, while Shawnee is known for its sports, it’s also known for the arts. It has added to its outstanding art program in recent years, adding a double-period Advanced Placement studio art class, which is the equivalent to a first-year college studio art class. Students can even receive college credit depending on their scores.

Washington Township
Senior class size: 666
Average SAT score breakdown:
Math: 507
Critical Reading (Verbal): 493
Essay: 491
Student/teacher ratio: 11.1:1
Graduation rate: 94 percent
Percentage of graduates pursuing a four-year degree: 52 percent
Creative arts are important for kids, but Washington Township High School takes it to a whole other level with their performing arts center, located in the center of the school. Most school shows are held there, but notable entertainers have performed on the stage, such as Tony Bennett, George Carlin, and Jessica Simpson to name a few.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 6 (August, 2012).
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