Dwight Morrow High School

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Dwight Morrow High School
Type Public high school
Established 1932
School district Englewood Public School District
Principal Peter Elbert
Asst. Principal Daniela Small-Bailey
Faculty 102.6 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1,044(as of 2011-12)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 10.18:1[1]
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Maroon and White
Athletics conference Big North Conference
Mascot Maroon Raiders
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Newspaper Engle Magazine
Yearbook Engle Log

Dwight Morrow High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school located in Englewood, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Englewood Public School District. The school also serves students from Englewood Cliffs, who attend as part of a sending/receiving relationship.[3] The school has been accredited since 1928 by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.[2]

Founded in 1932, the school is named after Dwight Morrow, a businessman, politician, and diplomat, who lived in the city who was also the father in law of aviator Charles Linbergh. The school shares its campus with the Academies@Englewood and Janis E. Dismus Middle School. Dwight Morrow & the Academies at Englewood are located east of Miller's Pond and share the same administration. Janis E. Dismus Middle School, formerly Englewood Middle School, is located south of Millers Pond and operates independently.

As of the 2011-12 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,044 students and 102.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.18:1. There were 422 students (40.4% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 93 (8.9% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Awards, recognition and rankings

The school was the 83rd-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 322 schools statewide, in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2010 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 128th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[4] The school was ranked 180th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[5]

Academic programs

The Academies@Englewood also known as A@E or Academies @ Englewood is a four-year comprehensive magnet public high school program started by Dr. John Grieco (founder of the Bergen County Academies) in an effort to diversify the Dwight Morrow High School campus, to raise the standard of public education for Englewood residents, and to attract white residents of Englewood and Englewood Cliffs back to the public school system.[6] The school was created at a time when Englewood and Englewood Cliffs population was about 42% and 67% white, respectively, while the Dwight Morrow was some 99.9% African-American and Hispanic.[7] As established, the school would accept 75 students from Englewood and Englewood Cliffs, and 75 students from out of the district in each grade, for a total enrollment of 600 students.[8]

The school was established in 2002 with four academies: Finance, Information Systems, Law and Public Safety, and Pre-Engineering. A fifth academy, Biomedicine, was added in 2004. The school graduated its first class in 2006, with 91 students, about half of whom were from Englewood, the other half from other North Jersey communities.

The school participates in the Interdistrict Public School Choice Program, having been approved on November 2, 1999, as one of the first ten districts statewide to participate in the program.[9] Seats in the program for non-resident students are specified by the district and are allocated by lottery, with tuition paid for participating students by the New Jersey Department of Education.[10] The school's participation in the program has drawn students from over 40 Bergen County, Hudson County and Passaic County towns.[11][12]

As of the 2007–08 school year, the school requires students to declare a major that will guide their course selection throughout their four years at the school.[13]


The primary controversy with the Academies is its location on the Dwight Morrow High School campus. The South building was taken away from Dwight Morrow High in 2002 to establish the Academies and the two schools also share a single auditorium and gymnasium. This left Dwight Morrow High with only the North Building and fewer available classrooms. Residents in the City of Englewood have expressed feelings of anger in allowing the Academies to operate on the campus; newspapers such as The Record have quoted residents accusing the Academies of being a racist institution, regardless of the fact that there are many African American and Hispanic students attending the Academies@Englewood, which was created to reintegrate Dwight Morrow, a school that was subject to years of white flight.[14]

The Englewood Board of Education has repeatedly attempted in various ways to integrate the two schools, but that task has been proven difficult due to many issues. The original idea in bringing the Academies to Dwight Morrow High School campus was to diversify the student body of Dwight Morrow while setting a higher standing for education in the entire district. The campus itself has been diversified, but the two schools are kept almost completely separate. Until recently, the schools only shared classes such as electives, music, art, and physical education, but from the school year of 2006-2007, they have operated on the same day schedule, helping many students share core classes. If the Academies@Englewood are not included as a part of the Dwight Morrow High School student body, the school still remains overwhelmingly minority, about 98% Black and Hispanic.

A 2005 report by the New Jersey Department of Education documented the continuing segregation between the Academies and Dwight Morrow, with African-American and Latino enrollment in the Academies declining each year, despite the stated goal of achieving greater minority balance.[8][15]


During the 1980s, changes in local demographics drastically altered the school's ethnic body resulting in an African American majority. The nearby district of Englewood Cliffs attempted to end its sending receiving relationship with Englewood due to the poor performance of the school. This led to a bitter court battle between Englewood and Englewood Cliffs beginning in 1985, a move characterized by Englewood as racist. By 1992, the school was 97% African American and Hispanic. "There were more violent incidents reported at DMHS (Dwight Morrow High School) than any other school in Bergen County in the 1991–92 school year, and test scores remained painfully low." [16] Court battles continued, in an attempt to desegregate the high school.

According to Assemblyman John E. Rooney, "white students from Englewood Cliffs, the district trying to end its obligation to send its students to Dwight Morrow, feared for their safety at the heavily minority institution." Most Englewood Cliffs parents have chosen private school over Dwight Morrow High School.[17]

Current situation

In the Fall of 2002, a new magnet program was opened up in an attempt to attract non- African American students back to the school. The opening of the new academy led to more discrimination from the viewpoint of Englewood's African American community. The academy was given a portion of the campus to operate on, and the regular high school, Dwight Morrow, continued to operate on the remainder of the campus. The academy has a diverse population and is kept separate from Dwight Morrow while occupying the same campus. This has created two distinct schools on one campus. Dwight Morrow has recently had protests, overcrowded classrooms and an inferior education.

"The books are old and the classes are overcrowded,' said..., a junior. "In my history class at least five students have to stand up each day.".[18]

The academy has highly qualified teachers as well as better resources.

"Academies@Englewood; longer school day, rigorous and engaging core academic curriculum, technology, upgraded classroom materials and equipment not available to Dwight Morrow students, climate reflecting high expectations, inviting classrooms. Students are spirited and proud of their school and opportunities."

Dwight Morrow high school continues to have major problems and continues to be 97% black and Hispanic. If the Academies @ Englewood are included as part of the High School's total population, that percentage is considerably lower.

Many residents of Englewood feel that the City of Englewood has worked against the progress of the high school by opening up the Academies. About 50% of the students are from Englewood. Englewood's African American community feels the city and the board of education has put its minority residents second with this move.

"For the past three years they've been feeling like second-class citizens in their own town, sharing a campus with another high school touted as academically superior, and getting no respect...The message to kids and parents at that 97 percent African-American and Hispanic high school is that for so-called integration to happen on the campus, you must swallow the bitter pill that tastes like apartheid."[19]


The Englewood Board of Education has plans to integrate the Academies @ Englewood with Dwight Morrow High School. The plan to phase the two schools into one will take place over the next few years. The integration of Dwight Morrow with the Academies has caused much controversy.


The Dwight Morrow High School Maroon Raiders now compete in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.[20] The school had previously participated in the BCSL American athletic conference of the Bergen County Scholastic League.[21]

The boys basketball team won the 2008 North I, Group II state sectional title, defeating Pascack Hills High School 72–65 in the tournament final.[22] The win marked the team's first sectional title since 2005, ending a two-year run by Pascack Hills.[23]


Core members of the Dwight Morrow administration are:[24][25]

  • Peter Elbert, Principal
  • Daniela Small-Bailey, Assistant Principal

Notable alumni

See: Portrait_Gallery_of_DMHS_Grads


Dwight Morrow High School has two buildings. One building is called the North building and was the original structure of the school. Later on the Academies at Englewood, also known as the South building, was added to the campus in 2001. The High School's North building was built using Gothic architecture. The North building features a 100 foot tower.

Millers Pond on the campus coupled with the Janis E. Dismus Middle School on the grounds lends a collegiate atmosphere to the school.

Popular culture

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Data for Dwight Morrow High, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed July 23, 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dwight Morrow High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed June 12, 2011.
  3. Dwight Morrow High School 2010 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 12, 2011. "Dwight Morrow High School serves Englewood and Englewood Cliffs."
  4. Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 27, 2011.
  5. "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  6. Commissioner Librera Praises Local and County Officials For Launch of Academies @ Englewood, New Jersey Department of Education press release dated September 5, 2002. Accessed June 28, 2007.
  7. Newman, Maria. " As an Injunction Ends in Englewood, an Era in School Desegregation Closes as Well", The New York Times, April 4, 2003. Accessed April 1, 2008.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "COMMISSIONER FINDS MAGNET SCHOOL CREATING 'NEW PATTERN OF SEGREGATION' IN ENGLEWOOD", Education Law Center press release dated February 25, 2005.
  9. Interdistrict Public School Choice Program: Approved Choice Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 19, 2008.
  10. Interdistrict Public School Choice Program: Introduction, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 19, 2008.
  11. Dwight Morrow High School 2010 School Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 12, 2011.
  12. Rutgers report on New Jersey's school choice program.
  13. Hu, Winnie. "Forced to Pick a Major in High School", The New York Times, August 16, 2007. Accessed August 17, 2007. "But starting this fall, freshmen at Dwight Morrow High School here in Bergen County must declare a major that will determine what electives they take for four years and be noted on their diplomas.... The comedians David Feldman and Rick Overton, alumni of the high school, are scheduled to conduct a comedy writing workshop in October."
  14. Aaron, Lawrence. "Englewood students take on a daunting assignment", The Record (Bergen County), November 9, 2005.
  15. Englewood Cliffs v. Englewood Report to the State Board, New Jersey Department of Education, January 14, 2005. Accessed June 28, 2007.
  16. Anne E. Tergeson, "School denies it's a hotbed of danger", The Record (Bergen County), October 22, 1993, sec. B, p. 1.
  17. Englewood school turns heads
  18. Englewood students stage walkout over chaotic conditions, The Record (Bergen County), September 23, 2005
  19. Students still feel slighted at Dwight Morrow
  20. League Memberships – 2013-14, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed July 23, 2014.
  21. School Info, Bergen County Scholastic League American Division. Accessed March 9, 2008.
  22. 2008 Boys Basketball – North I, Group II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed March 9, 2008.
  23. Stapleton, Art. "Stapleton: Englewood rallies for title", The Record (Bergen County), March 4, 2008. Accessed March 9, 2008. "The Maroon Raiders (19–8), with their first sectional title since 2005 in their back pocket, now will travel to Vernon for Thursday's State Group 2 semifinal against Lincoln."
  24. Administration, Dwight Morrow High School. Accessed September 26, 2011.
  25. Curley, Mike. "Ex-principal of middle school to lead Dwight Morrow in Englewood", Northern Valley Suburbanite, June 29, 2011. Accessed September 26, 2011. "At its June 16 meeting, the Board of Education voted in favor of a resolution to shift several administrators, including replacing Dwight Morrow Principal Dorian Milteer with Peter Elbert.... Elbert had been principal of the Janis E. Dismus Middle School until he was removed in September 2010 after the district restructured the school because of its failure to meet the No Child Left Behind Act benchmarks over the previous five school years.... Among the other changes, Daniela Small-Bailey will be moving from assistant principal of the Dr. John Grieco Elementary School to assistant principal of the high school."

External links

Coordinates: 40°54′29″N 73°58′50″W / 40.908126°N 73.980656°W / 40.908126; -73.980656