Twenty-four students at Glen Rock High School in Bergen County tested positive for the novel coronavirus after returning from Spring Break so for the rest of the week classes will be taught remotely. No other school in the district is affected. On Monday in-school instruction in Glen Rock High School will resume its hybrid schedule, in place since September 11th, 2020 in all district schools.
Apparently Spring Break in Glen Rock was a blast. No surprise there: the typical house price in this Bergen County hamlet is $688,598 (compared to New Jersey’s average of $382,096) and the median household income is $166,450, (almost twice as much as New Jersey’s median income of $85,751). Ninety-three percent of the 731 students at Glen Rock High School are white or Asian The annual cost per pupil is $18,260 but, hey, that buys students a selection of 20 AP courses, access to an “Accelerated Learning Academy for STEM” at Princeton University,” and a Rocketry and Aerospace Engineering Club. Almost everyone meets or surpasses expectations on the state standardized tests, average SAT scores (math and verbal combined) are 1224, everyone graduates, and 16 months after graduation 90% of Glen Rock High alum are in college. There is one teacher for every nine students.
Good thing you don’t live in four and a half miles away in Paterson. There is no news to report about the impact of Spring Break partying on the district schedule but that’s because schools for 25,000 students have been closed for 13 months. (A tentative reopening is planned for May.) There are 15 high schools in Paterson. One of them, East Side High School (famous for the movie “Lean on Me” where principal Joe Clark was played by Morgan Freeman), has a similar number of students as Glen Rock High School but that’s where the kinship stops.
The four and a half miles between Glen Rock and Paterson might as well be four hundred. The median household income in Paterson is $39,282, is about 25% of Glen Rock’s. The average home price is $237,500, far less than NJ’s average and a third of Glen Rock’s but that’s not that relevant because because only 23% of Paterson residents own homes. SIxty-two percent of students at East Side High are Hispanic, many speaking Spanish at home, and 23% are Black. It is unclear how many AP courses are offered but 2% of students take an AP math and 1% take an AP science course. The annual cost per pupil is $17,236, less than Glen Rock despite enormously different needs. On state standardized tests, only 17% of East Side High students are proficient in reading and 11% are proficient in math; 9% are considered “college ready” when they graduate. The graduation rate is 83% and 49% of students enroll in a two-year or four-year college. Average SAT scores (math and verbal combined) are 821. There is one teacher for every 16 students.
Meanwhile, Glen Rock’s party-hearty high schoolers will be back in classrooms on Monday.
Paterson’s East Siders? Who knows.