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Freehold Regional welcomes back 11,200 students

By Peter Elacqua
Staff Writer

More than 11,200 students from eight sending municipalities have returned to the six high schools that make up the Freehold Regional High School District as the 2016-17 academic year has gotten underway.

Enrollment is down about 200 students from the 2015-16 school year, according to district administrators.

Speaking at a recent Board of Education meeting, Superintendent of Schools Charles Sampson said he and Business Administrator Sean Boyce visited each building in anticipation of the new year.

“The crews did terrific work to ready the buildings to receive our students and faculty,” Sampson said.

He said the district received an $86,805 career pathway grant for Freehold High School, Freehold Borough.

“This past winter, the state Department of Education offered a grant to help school districts build high school career pathways programs,” the superintendent said. “These are specialized multi-year career preparation programs that provide students with advanced training in a particular occupational field, often through partnerships with businesses, colleges and other organizations.

“We developed a proposal to modernize Freehold High School’s computer science program by updating the equipment and remodeling the space to further facilitate innovation and collaboration. We are drawing inspiration for this space from actual computer science workplaces,” Sampson said.

“As a grant recipient, we will have access to partnerships with New Jersey-based industries and organizations working with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Talent Networks program. Through these partnerships, we hope to offer authentic career readiness experiences to our students. We are excited to move forward,” he said.

Administrators said rooms in two high schools were redesigned over the summer and transformed into collaborative learning spaces. Teachers will be able to sign up to use these spaces and students will be able to work collaboratively on projects and lessons.

Two such rooms have been completed at this time, one at Manalapan High School and one at Howell High School. The collaborative learning space in each building was created by converting a conference room. There are plans to do the same at Freehold, Freehold Township, Colts Neck and Marlboro high schools, according to administrators.

“I am excited to begin another school year and see the groundwork our administrative team laid this summer come into action in our buildings,” Sampson said. “This school year marks year five of our strategic plan, which has been an excellent guiding tool for the district’s growth over the past few years. We will begin the process to form our next strategic plan later this fall.”

The sending municipalities in the district are Colts Neck, Englishtown, Farmingdale, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Howell, Manalapan and Marlboro.

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