Piscataway Township and Its Public Schools
An Excellent Place to Live and Work
Whether you are visiting Piscataway for the first time, or currently live or work here, you will find that it has a lot to offer, including a wealth of recreational, cultural, sports, shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities. Piscataway is also the home to two branches of the public library.
Piscataway is a suburban, college community, located in central New Jersey with easy access to major highways, state parks, and the Jersey shore. Proximity to New York City is certainly an advantage, but Piscataway is home to several corporations and the Livingston and Busch campuses of Rutgers University, making it a destination for both employment and education. We are a diverse community, populated by over 50,000 people who represent African-American, Caucasian, Asian, Indian, and Hispanic cultures. You can also find housing in a variety of price ranges in this 19 square mile township.
The Piscataway School District serves over 7,000 students in pre-school through 12th grade. In addition to our high school, there are four schools that educate students in kindergarten through third grade, two intermediate schools serving grades four to five, and three middle schools for students in grades six, seven, and eight. The district also operates a grant-funded preschool for 67 financially eligible children and a tuition-based preschool program.
The New Jersey Department of Education recently designated Piscataway School District as a “Highly Effective School District” after evaluating us through its Quality Single Accountability Continuum, also known as QSAC. The QSAC process is designed to evaluate the thoroughness and efficiency of all the public school districts in the state and focuses on five areas: Operations Management; Personnel; Instruction and Program; Governance and Fiscal Management.
Student achievement is our number one priority, because we believe that all students must be academically prepared to face the challenges of the future and to be ready for college if that’s where they choose to go. Receiving the “Highly Effective” rating means that we are on-track to reach that goal and we will continually strive to update and improve what we offer our students.
In 2005, Piscataway introduced full-day kindergarten to help improve academic performance in the primary grades and the program has been demonstrating gains. We restructured our middle schools in 2006-07 to help meet the special needs of today’s middle school students and to make sure our three middle schools provide equal access to high-quality education. In 2009, we relocated all of our preschool classes to one building - the former St. Frances Cabrini School. This building offers large, bright, airy, up-to-date rooms with lots of outdoor space. Consolidation in one location has allowed for easy, effective sharing of our educational resources amoung classrooms and staff.
The district prides itself on its creative approach to learning and its emphasis upon helping each student discover his or her potential. Whether the subject is early childhood literacy or advanced placement chemistry, teachers use a variety of teaching methods to reach students with a wide range of abilities.
The district’s academic program is supplemented by services that include special education, programs for academically talented students, health care, educational and personal counseling, English as a Second Language, before and after-school child care, arts, athletics, and extracurricular activities.
This is a district where teachers are valued, supported and empowered. Over half of the teaching staff has advanced degrees. The district also conducts an extensive staff development program designed to provide classroom teachers with the most up-to-date instructional strategies and opportunities for professional enrichment. This includes offering special training for our preschool, kindergarten and first grade teachers in teaching English to speakers of other languages, for example. In Piscataway, our class size is low, creativity is encouraged and teachers help students reach their highest potential.
Facilities Support the Learning Environment
The buildings in which learning takes place play an important role in our students’ education. Therefore, the administration is involved in continually assessing our facilities to make sure they are safe, energy efficient, well maintained and up to date. Additionally, all school districts are required to maintain a Long Range Facilities Plan.
2008 saw the completion of a $53 million modernization and expansion project for Piscataway’s ten schools. The project was designed to keep pace with increasing enrollment and current instructional requirements and included everything from new tech labs and flooring to window replacement.
A 60,000 square foot addition at Piscataway High School connected the two previously separate buildings and added new music rooms, science laboratories, a café and a broadcast suite. Arbor and King Schools gained additional space through the construction of four modern classrooms featuring central air and heating, wall-to-wall windows and bright light fixtures. Grandview Elementary opened a new wing with six new classrooms, including art and music rooms. Both Arbor and Grandview also gained new gymnasiums. New computer tech labs were added at both intermediate schools and other schools received air conditioning upgrades, parking expansions and other improvements.
During the summer of 2010, construction began on $2.9 million in renovations to the High School auditorium with an anticipated completion date of November 2010. This extensive work includes the replacement of seating, curtains, stage floor, new sound and light systems, dressing rooms, upgrades to the dance studio, and air conditioning at no additional taxpayer cost. Funding was provided through a combination of state grants and efficient use of capital reserve funds.
In spring of 2009 we completed a $1.2 million dollar project to install 800 solar panels at our three middle schools. The project was funded, in part, by a grant from the NJBPU (New Jersey Board of Public Utilities) in the amount of $430,000. These solar panels will reduce our annual energy bill by about $68,000 and, during off-peak usage times, we will even be able to sell the excess energy we generate for a 100% profit. Using solar energy also means reducing polluting emissions, a benefit to all who live and work here.
We are also participating in a new program offered by The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities that is aimed at assisting local governments in identifying opportunities for increased energy efficiency.
Fiscal Planning Supports Student Achievement
In assembling the budget, the administration weighs proposed expenses against the following standard: will this expense improve the environment for learning? Will this expense result in students who feel safe and motivated to learn, and staff who are committed and well prepared?
Many items in a school budget represent fixed costs, such as utilities, transportation, debt service, and costs for programs that law requires, such as special education.
As the annual budget proposal is developed, the administration keeps the community appraised by holding a series of programs designed to assist voters in making an informed choice.
For More Information
If you are interested in finding out more about our school district, including curriculum, test scores and college admissions, please contact your child's principal, or the public information office. You may also visit individual school websites.