For families with
school age children, living in a community with an excellent school system
is crucial. The community's expectation of an excellent education is accompanied
by strong support for the school system and its high standards. The School
District of the Chathams was established on June 1, 1988, incorporating
the previously separate Chatham Borough and Chatham Township School Districts.
The district ranks high in achievement by all standardized measures and
in comparison with comparable districts across the nation. Creative and
talented teachers at Chatham High School challenge students with a rich
and demanding curriculum. Students armed with a strong work ethic and
an excellent elementary education, as well as encouragement from home,
excel at local requirements and standardized measurements that compare
these students with their counterparts across the country. Not only do
almost all the students graduate from high school, well over 90% continue
their education, with a majority attending four-year colleges.
The district believes that it has an obligation to students and the community to provide opportunities in academics, athletics, and the arts. The balanced curriculum in the district offers significant opportunities in each of these areas both in class and as part of the extra-curricular program. Students learn to appreciate the significance of their individual as well as the collective society's impact on the environment through the study of science, social studies and world languages. Character education is an integral part of the K-12 program in the School District of the Chathams. Students are taught age-appropriate values in the areas of responsibility and respect for self and others, as well as the importance of learning. In an effort to provide for the needs of students and families, there is an After School Enrichment Program in the elementary schools, as well as a Work/Family Connection Program that provides care for students when there is no adult at home. All Grade 4 and 5 students are housed at the Lafayette School, which opened its doors to serve this population in 1995.
grade configuration has allowed the district to provide extra- curricular
opportunities that are age-appropriate and an enrichment program that
targets the unique needs of students in this age group. The school's motto,
"When you enter these doors, you are loved first and taught second,"
is symbolic of the school's effort to teach the whole child and help students
be well prepared for the Middle School. The district believes that since
all students in grades four and five are housed in the same facility,
we have minimized some of the transition problems that students encounter
in middle school when they enter from a variety of elementary schools.
Chatham Middle School has successfully balanced the necessity to deal
with the academic needs of students in Grades 6, 7 and 8, while teaching
social skills and enabling students to explore a variety of extracurricular
activities that are personally positive and that expand students' horizons.
Chatham High School regularly ranks as one of the top public high schools
in New Jersey. The curriculum is rich and diversified. Students have the
opportunity to pursue those subjects that they are interested in, as well
as those that will best prepare them for college. Enrollment in Advanced
Placement courses is high, and student achievement on AP and Achievement
Tests is something that is a point of pride for both the schools and the
community. Technology has become one of the indispensable tools that teachers
use, and students apply those skills as they progress through the school
The value of sports and the integrity of the program are validated by the high number of participants. Close to two-thirds of Chatham High School students participate in the athletic program. In recent years, the Chatham High School Boys Soccer Team has won two State Championships. Many teams have qualified for the County Tournament, the softball team won the sectional championship, and over 50% of the teams qualified for State Tournament play. The Board of Education and the Administration believe that one of their prime responsibilities is to keep parents involved in their student's education and provide them with opportunities to comment on the strengths of the district and also to make suggestions for its ongoing improvement. School and district newsletters are mailed to the parents and members of the community on a regular basis throughout the year. The Chatham Education Foundation is an organization of volunteers from the parent community and the community at large. These dedicated citizens give of their time and energy to supplement the educational program through mini-grants and creative awards to the district throughout the year. Chatham is strategically located so that students and parents are often able to take advantage of educational and cultural activities offered by institutions of higher learning, which include Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and the College of St. Elizabeth, in addition to the County College of Morris.
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