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Private High Schools in New Jersey

sadler6sadler6 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
I have a son applying to high school next year. He is currently in a small catholic school. He is a very strong student and athlete as well as being well rounded and appreciates the arts. We are only considering Pingry, Delbarton, Newark Academy and Morristown-Beard. Does anyone have any recommendations, thoughts, experiences? Prefer facts, not rumors. Pingry has reputation of fantastic school. Not big in many sports (lacrosse good) but hear it is feeder to ivies. Campus not that great (even with new athletic center (btw - college level athletic center), very cold feel) and kids seem disconnected with low school spirit.Very academic and the ivy connection is huge. Delbarton has an incredible campus and maintains a very strong reputation. Great in (all) sports. Heard used to be able to pretty much guarantee access to good colleges but historic key contact is no longer viable. matriculation starting to drop (but still good). starting to bring in kids that may not necessarily deserve to be there based on sports ability and they are expanding overall enrollment so bigger classes. Huge in school spirit and the "brotherhood" which is nice. Newark Academy has great campus, excellent reputation, somewhat like Pingry just a little "softer". Strong academics and also maintains strong school spirit and is feeder in to top schools. Morristown-Beard is beautiful. top facilities. Seems like it is becoming differentiator.. Kids all seem really happy and very positive vibe......very collaborative. Strong sports program (except football). School made massive investments over last 8 years in new buildings,facilities and technology. Opening new 25,000 square foot math/science building next year (looking forward to seeing it when we go for our campus visit during application process). Big in to community/school spirit. Matriculation good but getting better each year.Never heard a negative word from any parent/student that is involved in MBS. From speaking with parents and kids that go to each of the schools, they all seem like strong options. Thoughts anyone???
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Replies to: Private High Schools in New Jersey

  • kiddiekiddie Registered User Posts: 3,120 Senior Member
    I live in NJ and am familiar with all these schools. One differentiator is that Delbarton has a religious affiliation and is all boys - the others are co-ed and secular. If all boys and or catholic are important then your decision is made - if you don't want that then you can narrow it down to the other three.

    What sports is your son interested in - although all four have what I would call strong sports programs - they definitely have differences in which sports they excel in. So that would be the next criteria - for example - Delbarton is strong in LAX, wrestling, Pingry soccer and LAX, not sure about the other two, but it can be easily researched (just check their season records on NJ.COM).

    Anecdotally, I know a strong Delbarton family (Dad and two sons all went). Both boys played sports (assume the father did also) and attended top colleges. Know a few kids who went to Pingry. They participated in the theater program (I saw a couple of the productions - very good) - again attended top colleges.
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 970 Member
    Newark Academy has IB program and is very academically focused (vs. athletic).

    I think Morristown Beard's vibe is as you say...more collaborative and happy.

    Pingry very strong academically. Agree on campus.

    Delbarton - DIdn't realize they were growing - how many students per grade?
  • sadler6sadler6 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    My son's primary sport is baseball. He is also very good at golf and tennis too. The religious aspect is not primary. He is in catholic school K-8 and we support our beliefs at home. Looking for best school and fit. Heard Delbarton HS classes are upward of 140 kids now. Started accepting more kids last year and not all stellar. School is on track to exceed 600 kids. What school has better athletics...Newark Academy or Pingry? Which is more academic? Is Pingry more athletic and NA more academic? Trying to find good balance between both. Hear MBS is more like a college setting. Once kids meet requirements, they can focus on their core interest. A person I know said their son is a junior and met all requirements so that next year will be primarily taking all math/science AP courses.They were really good in baseball but heard many of the key bball kids graduated last year.
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 970 Member
    NA is more academic. It has IB program which is very demanding. Both offer some very advanced math classes.

    MBS has more of a campus (different buildings). I think it's the most balanced, and probably not as grueling.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,334 Senior Member
    Based on kids who have graduated in the last few years (so this is anecdotal -- I don't know more than a handful), the culture at Pingry is quite competitive. I thought Delbarton had a very good baseball program -- is that no longer the case? Did you look at Gill St. Bernard'? Several athletic kids we know have gone there but I don't know much about their academics.

    I'm confused by your comment about Delbarton "Started accepting more kids last year and not all stellar. " If you know kids who do not have good character or values, you may want to consider whether you think the school would be a fit for your son, but if a school of that size has an academic track that will fit your son, why would you be worried about less academically able students?
  • JanwelJanwel Registered User Posts: 109 Junior Member
    They are all great schools. You are splitting hairs. Let your son decide which one he likes best if he gets into all of them.
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 970 Member
    Look at the curriculum guides. The schools have different offerings in some areas.
  • sadler6sadler6 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    Thanks for all of the insight. Very helpful. The application process begins in about 5 months. Many friends have gone through it recently with their children and we are just trying to get ahead of it. You are right. All good options. Will see what my son thinks after he tours and does a student for a day at each school. I think my concern is driven by the fact that I always thought Delbarton or Pingry. Now seems to be Delbarton on downswing and Pingry not such a great environment (but still incredible ivy feeder) and we are hearing such great things about Newark Academy and Morristown-Beard. I will have to wait and see what my son thinks and listen to his suggestion on where he thinks would be the best fit. Thank you.
  • sadler6sadler6 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    I will look in to Gill St. Bernard too. I do not know much about GSB. Thanks for the suggestion.
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 970 Member
    5 full-day visits seems like a lot...I would take him this summer to check out each of the campuses.
    Also, they may have Open Houses in the spring, which are a good way to get a preview of the schools.
  • sadler6sadler6 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    Great suggestion plus he may just get a certain feeling where he is just not interested in pursuing one or two which will help in the decision making process.
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 3,781 Senior Member
    When looking at matriculation data from those schools, you should cross reference it with number of minority students. URMs at those private schools tend to place very well and so the matriculation list may not be indicative of how unhooked applicants will place.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,334 Senior Member
    Did you look at Oratory Prep?
  • sadler6sadler6 Registered User Posts: 29 Junior Member
    No-I did not look at Oratory Prep. I have heard wonderful things about OP. I know families that have sons that attend OP and they are very happy and only have great things to say. I was looking for something a little broader. The schools we are looking at have more of a campus feel and expansive curriculum with global study opportunities and strong(er) athletic programs. I believe that both Delbarton and Morristown-Beard have stronger global study programs over Pingry and NA, I think MBS offers the most global opportunities and broader scope over a school year.
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 970 Member
    What are examples of MBS "global opportunities"?

    NA has "global opportunities" through the IB program, which is an internationally focused academic program. And I believe they have travel opportunities as well.
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