Millburn is not an outstanding high school because of rankings; rather, we are ranked because we are outstanding. Over the years, Millburn ranks highly in most studies. While rankings will fluctuate; our tradition of excellence endures.
Many factors contribute to make us this benchmark of excellence. Our town deeply values education and is highly supportive of the school system. Our faculty consists of highly trained and caring professionals. A high level of expectation trickles (or even, gushes) down to our students. As a result, our students are provided with tremendous opportunity to reach their potential in a wide assortment of areas. Rankings are fun to read and analyze but rankings cannot fully measure a school’s overall performance. As Einstein is credited: “not everything that matters is measurable and not everything that is measurable matters.” We value student effort, character and participation in activities ranging from the academics to athletics to the arts. Rankings are flattering but remember that "pats on the back are nice but use them to push you to greater heights.”
Unquestionably, we focus on academics at MHS; however, not at the exclusion of other goals! Much energy goes into our athletics, arts and activities programs. We value character development and personal growth; indeed, these are enduring qualities of life. Our ACE initiative encourages students in Addressing adversity; Creating balance; and Enabling Communication. This overlaps with 3 R's that we constantly encourage: Resilience, Responsibility & Respect. Academics are important but must be attained in conjunction with personal human growth.
The MHS community are all Partners in Pursuit of Excellence in all facets of life. We have a tradition of excellence that dates back many years. In my office is a 1957 Suburban Life magazine featuring MHS: America’s Finest High School. We have evolved through the years.
In an age of Google searches, content acquisition and memorization of facts/procedures is far from sufficient in the education of our students. Students face evolving demands in their life requiring what is commonly called 21st Century Skills.
Students must be provided the challenge of solving problems that foster critical thinking and creativity. Connections with past learning, with world applications and with other disciplines, must be intertwined with new lessons. Student discussions are essential components of learning whether with partners, groups or on-line all which serve to stimulate analysis and reflection. Indeed, students must develop the ability to express themselves clearly both verbally and in writing as well as critically evaluate what they read and hear.
Opportunities for collaboration between students and teachers stimulate skills needed in the workforce. These characteristics should be present in lessons in each unit of study if not observed daily.
In short, school should develop
Problem Solvers: critical and creative thinkers
Communication/Discussion: Read, Write, Listen & Speak