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Private High Schools in New Jersey

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Replies to: Private High Schools in New Jersey

  • sadler6sadler6 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    OK. I think Delbarton is out. It is down to Pingry, Newark Academy and Morristown-Beard (possibly Gill St. Bernard. Still have to get more info). I was speaking with a parent of a current student at Delbarton. They were not very happy. They said that it is nothing that they expected. Said "Brotherhood" is for the outside world to see. Not necessarily day to day. They said teachers in HS were ok. They said that kids used to leave their bags in the hallways and it used to be a great place but now things have been getting stolen and school has changed. They said the school is expanding and that they are trying to raise funds for another building that will really benefit the administration but will also provide more classrooms and that they will be able to expand the school even further. Seems that they will become traditional big catholic school like Seton Hall Prep, just at 3 times the cost (side note - for Catholic school, I am hearing great things about Oratory more and more lately). Apparently, the quality of student has been dropping significantly over the last couple of years. They said that one of the feeder schools, Far Hills Country Day, padded the kids transcripts and now they have to deal with a larger pool of kids that are not of the best academic quality. They would take a certain percentage of kids that may not necessarily excel in academics but were solid athletes.The issue is that the scale is leaning towards more less qualified academic students and a decrease in the standard of teaching. It was an insightful conversation. Looks like Delbarton may be going through a downward spiral PLUS a friend that knows that we are looking to apply to multiple schools in the coming months just sent me the following article from April 27th.....very disheartening. I had no clue. They present so well. Pingry has had their issues too. Sickening. It is my understanding that Pingry has addressed their issues. Still bothersome. I really wish Newark Academy was having an Open House soon. The one positive is that on this day next year, I will know where my son will be going to high school. Cannot get here soon enough.

    Another former Delbarton student accuses priest of sex abuse in lawsuit
    By Justin Zaremba | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
    Email the author
    updated April 27, 2017 at 1:02 PM
    MORRISTOWN -- Another former Delbarton School student has come forward alleging he was sexually abused by a priest at the elite boys' prep school decades ago.
    The Delbarton School, a private school located in Morris Township.Robert Sciarrino | NJ Advance Media
    The former student is the sixth man represented by attorney Gregory Gianforcaro to accuse one of the Benedictine monks who taught at the school of sexual abuse. All six have filed civil suits against the private school.
    Many of the accusations of sex abuse of students date back to the 1980s and 1990s, but, in this latest case, the man alleges he was sexually abused by the Rev. Richard Lott, also known as Edward Lott, on January 1, 1976.
    "The plaintiff is a former Delbarton student who like my other clients, is seeking both damages and accountability from an institution whom we contend was responsible for unspeakable acts against them," Gianforcaro said in a statement. "With regard to the previously filed cases, we are continuing to litigate them."
    The man also accused the school and its officials of negligence, misconduct and fraudulently concealing information from him in order to shield the school from criminal prosecution and scandal.
    Delbarton's attorney, Donald Okner, declined comment.
    Gianforcaro's other clients have accused five other monks of sexual abuse -- the Rev. Timothy Brennan, the Rev. Justin Capato, the Rev. Benedict Worry, the Rev. Donal Fox and the Rev. Luke Travers.
    No criminal charges have been filed in these cases due to the statute of limitations.
    Delbarton won't appeal $170K verdict in ex-coach's lawsuit
    Marc MacNaughton left the school in 2005
    Brennan, however, was convicted in 1987 of criminal sexual contact with a 15-year-old Delbarton student.
    The allegations against Travers, who served as the school's headmaster from 1999 to 2007, date back to when he was a teacher at the school.
    This past January, former Delbarton track coach Marc MacNaughton received a nearly $171,000 judgment after a jury found school officials sabotaged his chances of obtaining employment after he left.
    MacNaughton's attorney previously said Travers and school breached their separation agreement with him to keep a potential sex abuse scandal quiet.
    MacNaughton has said his contract wasn't renewed in 2005 because he reported Travers for making students uncomfortable by excessively hugging them and patting them on their buttocks. He and the school then entered into a separation agreement in which both parties promised not to disparage the other.
    An eight-person jury later found the school had violated the agreement.
  • greatlake12greatlake12 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I can speak to the private school/baseball thing. My son is a little younger than yours and baseball is his sport. We looked at Delbarton, Pingry, MBS and NA. I thought Delbarton would be his first choice... excellent academics and baseball. He crossed it of his list after open house. Did not even want to apply. I was shocked. Crossed Pingry off list because he did not like the physical environment and baseball not stellar. He loved his visits at MBS and NA. LOVED them. I liked both. MBS has better HS baseball team no question. Great coach there. my son chose NA. Accepted to both and when he went back to visit he just loved NA more, even though baseball team may not be as as stong as MBS it is still strong. He will continue to play club, and in talking to others, club can be more important than HS team if interested in making college baseball connections.
    Also, if baseball is really an important factor you can not disregard Seton Hall Prep. Baseball there is in a class by itself. Kids go there FOR baseball.
  • sadler6sadler6 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    Thanks. Delbarton is out for us. We live in a community that has a good public school but many families send to private. We have been speaking to so many families at each of the schools and my son has been connecting with other kids as well. Interesting fact about baseball...the varsity baseball coach at Morristown-Beard and Seton Hall Prep are brothers. The 3rd brother is baseball coach at Seton Hall University. They are a great family and baseball is in their blood. Fantastic coaches. So, a family member connected me with a friend who owns college counseling company (price is upward of $25k). They were willing to have a conversation with me. Some input. If you have a kid in high school today, Pingry is way to go if they are very academically strong students and you are going that route. This is not taking in any other factors (friendships, school spirit or experience). Pure academics. We are looking for academics, athletics and overall experience. Newark Academy is also great and has positive rep. I did hear from two families in town that they have experienced bullying with their daughters. Heard nothing about boys. Have you heard anything about it? Could just be these two families. Have you heard of any issues? Any insight? Interesting on Morristown-Beard. They said Morristown-Beard is going to be big rival over next couple of years. Apparently they have strategic plan and have been spending millions to become top private school and college community is taking notice. They are changing curriculum and doing a lot of positive changes and enhancements. I have to say that we have been driving up to each of the schools and walking around. My son really likes MBS and NA too. The kids that he knows at both are good kids. I think we are going to be going the same route as you between NA and MBS but will be applying to Pingry too.
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 1,201 Senior Member
    What makes Pingry the best for pure academics? Are they improving things? I know a few kids that went there, super athletes but more athletic than academic; and others that were simply wealthy and not above average academically.
  • sadler6sadler6 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    No clue. Just what was said. I am speaking with a lot of people knowing that each person is going to give me their personal view which can vary greatly person by person. I am taking in all info and eventually will determine by how my son likes each school. Kids know what is their best fit and I will (highly) take that in to consideration. The college recruiter just said that Pingry is very well received when applying to college. They could be a Pingry grad for all I know. Re: your comments. I have heard that the money is even more a driving factor than athletics.
  • nonchalant321nonchalant321 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    edited September 2017
    I graduated from Delbarton about 20 years ago so the impression I have may very well be outdated. It was a stellar school, academically and in the arts and athletics. I should put out there that I probably didn't fit the profile of what many here consider the typical Delbarton student. I had a few close friends during my school years but didn't keep in touch with most after graduation - Facebook helped a lot with the rest. My family wasn't wealthy, I participated in a sport which I enjoyed but didn't excel at, and my focus was in instrumental music. On top of that I'm the son of first generation immigrants. Perhaps I could give some insight from the perspective of an alumnus.

    While I attended the school, I felt it was privilege to be there every day. The music program offered was way better than what would have been available in my town. In fact, there were so many interest activities and volunteer opportunities available that I truly believe any student could find something they love AND discover new things they didn't know they would enjoy. Delbarton really nurtured that in boys - to explore, be a part of the community and take the lead. If it didn't exist, the school would support you to go and make it happen.

    Delbarton was also a place that taught students to have class and integrity in whatever they do. I think the impact of this lesson wasn't always evident during teenage years. Cheers during sports event weren't always classy on both sides. However, as the years went by and I saw how my classmates carried out their lives through college, young adulthood, and parenthood - I could see that the seed planted during our high school years did take root. I will also say that most of my classmates seemed to have carried on the desire to serve the community well into their late 30s.

    A few final notes on the things I appreciated most about Delbarton - having been exposed to some of the most talented people I have ever met on a daily basis inspires me til today, and it was a "brotherhood" in the sense that there was no one labeled as a "nerd" or "awkward", and the star athletes weren't any more popular than the star composer or guy who started a juggling club, or the student who lead a service trip to an impoverished African nation. We were all brothers in the sense that diverse talents were appreciated, lauded, and encouraged by all.

    That said, I'll be the first to say the school isn't for everyone. There are kids who never adjust and leave, and there are kids who may not really adjust but just stick with it through graduation for various reasons. The academic workload can be tough and stressful. The style of writing taught during English and History classes would have been challenging to college English literature freshmen. Students who demonstrated competency were able to take pre-calculus or even AP calculus as high school freshmen. I like to think that many are like I was - not feeling like I "fit in" with the majority of the student body, but still finding friends that I can relate to and keeping so busy with all the opportunities offered that I didn't have time to reflect whether I fit in or not...plus enjoying the beautiful campus and the camaraderie with teachers and monks, cheering on classmates in their hockey games, attending plays and concerts my friends were in, going on retreats, and enjoying the garden as a senior.

    A long time ago, my parents sent me there because they believed Delbarton was a place that could instill conservative values but also nurture a liberal mind. Looking back over 20 years later, I can see that it was. That's not to say all those positives I mentioned can't be experienced at another school - they certainly can. If I have a son one day, I would be happy for him to experience a Delbarton education.

  • sadler6sadler6 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    Thank you very much for your insight. I fully agree with your perception of Delbarton from 20 years ago. That is what I had always heard of the school. Unfortunately, I think things may have changed significantly over the years. I do, however, appreciate your response.
  • cbdl2024cbdl2024 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    definitely, pingry is more athletic and NA is more academically
  • zbor43zbor43 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I can tell you my perceptions as the parent of a current sophomore at NA who entered NA in HS after attending public schools. We looked a variety of private schools that were within a reasonable distance of our home, including Pingry, Delbarton, Newark Academy, and Montclair Kimberley. After a number of visits and talking to administrators, teachers and parents we settled on NA. We felt that the academic approach, option for an International Baccalaureate diploma, and culture of the school were a great fit for our son. A couple months into his freshman year I asked him what he thought of NA and the response was "I love my school". NA has an extremely collegial, supportive environment. There is academic competition among the students, but it is not in the forefront. My son loves the fact that his peers are all friendly towards each other. It is an academically challenging environment, but the school has done an excellent job of helping him to develop the skills and habits needed to be an excellent student.

    To be honest, I'm not overly focused on IVY league college placement as a deciding factor for selecting a high school (both my wife and I have IVY graduate degrees but went to non-IVYs for undergrad). While this could be a long discussion on its own, suffice to say that depending on specific undergraduate area of study and the personal style/fit of a student, there are far more than eight exemplary colleges and universities in the US. Our focus has been on giving our son the opportunity to develop the skills, habits, and commitment to education that will allow him to be successful in the future, and so far NA has exceeded our expectations.

    While I am not intimately familiar with MBS' baseball program, I can say that NA has a strong baseball program. My son was a varsity starter for NA as a freshman last season and their team was the NJ Prep B Tournament Champ and was the NJ State Non-Public B runner up, losing in the state championship game to Gloucester Catholic (an 18 time state champion). NA plays in the Super Essex Conference, which is highly competitive and includes Seton Hall Prep and Millburn (NJ Group 4 State Champ in 2017).
  • djv1222djv1222 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Sadler6: I was following this thread - where did your son get accepted and where is he going? We are deciding between MBS and Pingry.
  • sadler6sadler6 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    Congrats!
  • sadler6sadler6 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    Congrats on your son getting in to Pingry and MBS!! Both wonderful schools. We ended up applying to multiple schools. My son was accepted to Pingry, MBS, Newark Academy, Peddie and Blair. We have since opted against boarding school so it came down to Pingry, MBS, and Newark Academy. Neither my son nor I were fans of Pingry but it has such a good reputation so it cannot be discounted. Good school but after visiting and meeting kids and families, it just is not aligned with what we want for our son. Our son loves MBS. Incredibly welcoming. Newark Academy is good too. We have not yet signed a contract. My son had a great student for a day at MBS. The campus and facilities are very impressive. Has you son done a student for a day at each school? Which did he prefer? It is amazing how different each school is when comparing one another. We have to send back contracts soon. Decision to come. Good luck to you too!
  • sattutsattut Registered User Posts: 967 Member
    I tutor in NJ students at all these schools. Pingry, Blair, and Newark Academy are excellent. Newark is not so much the preppy crowd. I would not recommend Delbarton. I don't think MBS is at quite the level of the first three I mentioned.
  • Pansy23Pansy23 Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    why are you discounting Peddie? just curious, my daughter is WL there and she loved the school..
  • sadler6sadler6 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    Why do you think MBS is not at same level? It appears that MBS is very focused on becoming a predominant private day school. They have been putting literally millions of dollars of investment in to the facilities and they have been hiring teachers with higher degrees from top universities. In speaking with the school administration, they have very signifcant educational goals. Can you share some insight? I am still trying to wrap around Pingry. On aesthetics, MBS has such a beautiful campus. It is like a mini college campus. Newark is nice too. Pingry seems very sterile. I have been hearing good things about NA. It seems like people either love or hate Pingry. There is not a middle road and that concerns me. From my interaction, people have a very positive view of both MBS and of NA.
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