On a list of New Jersey schools with the best teachers in the state, Millburn Senior High School and Livingston Senior High School ranked first and second, respectively. Both schools are public high schools, with students in grades nine through twelve enrolled. Livingston Senior High School has 1,809 students; Millburn Senior High School has 1,522. Both are ranked as ‘A+ Schools’ by Niche.com, using a variety of categories, such as academics, extracurriculars, teachers, and food. Only 2.5 percent of the schools on Niche.com receive A plus ratings.
Out of the school in NJ, 241 schools in the state were surveyed by Niche.com, making it all the more impressive that Livingston and Millburn managed to score so strongly.
Livingston has a student-teacher ratio of 11:1, which allows teachers to make sure that no students are left struggling, and makes it easier to provide a more tailored, individualized educational experience. Millburn has a similar ratio of 13:1.
The teachers in the schools are also well-received by the parents and students, according to statistics posted on Niche.com. Teachers at Millburn Senior High School earned 4.2 points out of a possible five, and teachers at Livingston Senior High School earned an even 4.0 out of five.
“They care,” said Millburn Senior High School Principal William Miron, when asked what he thought made the teachers in his school so acclaimed. “The students know that they care about them, that they are interested in both their progress and in them as human beings – they are interested in them academically and personally. It goes beyond driving the kids to do well. Every student needs people interested in helping them get above and beyond, and that is what our teachers can do.”
Many of the teachers in these two schools are very experienced, having been teaching for at least three years. Niche.com also totals the percentages of teachers who have been working for only one or two years – in Millburn Senior High School, only 9.8 percent of teachers have been teaching for only that long. In Livingston Senior High School, 16.3 percent of teachers are in their first or second year.
“It takes more than expertise in the field to make a great teacher,” said Miron. “High school level teaching means that they need expertise in their field, but that is a dime a dozen. The tough part is how teachers share and convey information, and how they get students to learn on their own, and how they encourage and connect with students.”
Niche.com’s rankings are unique because much of the data and many of the reviews come straight from the parents and students, allowing a more hands-on view of the school, rather than just using statistics and information found in surveys and censuses. It also weighs a variety of different factors, with each factor accounting for no more than 15 percent of the ranking, as to get a well-rounded view of the school. More information about the methodology of their rankings can be found at https://k12niche.com/rankings/methodology//.