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Best School Districts in NJ 🏫 What Are the Best New Jersey Schools
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Best School Districts in NJ 🏫 | What Are the Best New Jersey Schools?

New Jersey rules the school! Scholaroo ranks New Jersey as the best state for public schools in the country, giving the state high marks for student success, student safety, and school quality. If you want your child to thrive in school, you should move to New Jersey. 

However, there are hundreds of school districts in NJ to pick from, including public and private schools. You should examine many types of schools in New Jersey, including vocational and magnet schools in NJ, as they have unique curricula and experienced teachers who can help your child. But you should narrow your options down, using standardized tests, college readiness, and AP participation measures. You should also look for New Jersey schools that have top extracurricular programs. 

If you’re not sure where to start with New Jersey school districts, don’t worry. Here are a few of the best school districts in NJ, with detailed descriptions of their top elementary, middle, and high schools. 

Union County Vocational Technical Schools | Scotch Plains, NJ

Union County Vocational Technical Schools serves residents in Union County. Union County is in northern New Jersey, and it includes Elizabeth, Scotch Plains, and Union. Union County is one of the most prosperous counties in the state, with a median household income of $95,000. Union County is the best NJ school district for high school students, as it contains eight of the best high schools in NJ for students in 9th through 12th grade. It also contains one adult education institution, making it a good choice if you want occupational training. 

US News ranks Union County Magnet High School as the best high school in New Jersey and in the top 30 high schools in the country. 99% of students test at or above the proficiency level in reading and science, making Union County one of the best magnet schools in NJ for college readiness. Union County Magnet High School offers unique technical education programs, with students taking digital modeling, computer programming, and architecture classes. The school has a partnership with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), so high school students can earn credits for NJIT and graduate early. 

Millburn Public Schools | Millburn, NJ

  • Area served: Millburn, Short Hills
  • Enrollment: 4,697
  • Number of schools: Five K-4 elementary schools in New Jersey, one 5th-grade school, one 6-8 middle school, one 9-12 high school
  • Student to teacher ratio: 11.2:1
  • New Jersey School Performance Card

Millburn Public Schools serves students living in Millburn Township. Millburn is well known for being a prosperous commuter town for people working in New York City. It also contains several top attractions, including The Mall at Short Hills

Milburn Township Public Schools contains eight schools in New Jersey, including a unique 5th-grade-only school, Washington School, which is one of the best elementary schools in NJ for learning how to use technology. Washington School’s curriculum includes technology classes, with students learning how to use smart software, interactive tablets, and Chromebooks. Public School Review ranks Glenwood Elementary School in the top 1% of schools in the United States for standardized test scores. 82% of Glenwood Elementary students test at or above the proficiency levels in mathematics and reading, making it one of the best elementary schools in New Jersey for college preparedness.

US News ranks Millburn High School in the top 20 high schools in New Jersey and top 500 high schools in the country. 62% of Millburn High School students pass at least one AP exam, with 293 students becoming AP Scholars. 97% of graduates go on to attend four-year colleges, including Ivy League schools and top liberal arts schools, which has one of the highest college attendance rates amongst the best high schools in NJ.

Northern Valley Regional High School District | Demarest, NJ

  • Area served: Bergen County
  • Enrollment: 2,101
  • Number of schools: One PreK-12 school and two 9-12 New Jersey high schools
  • Student to teacher ratio: 8.9:1 
  • New Jersey School Performance Card

Northern Valley Regional High School District serves students living in Bergen County, including students in Demarest, Closter, and Old Tappan. Bergen County is the most populous county in New Jersey and one of the largest commercial hubs in the country, with a GDP of $72.8 billion

Northern Valley is one of the best school districts in NJ for preschool and high school students. It contains three top schools. Northern Valley Central serves students in PreK to 18 years of age, and it’s one of the best schools in New Jersey for students with special needs. The institution has a student-to-teacher ratio of 1:1 on the preschool level and 2:1 on the primary and upper elementary levels, making it one of the best elementary schools in NJ for students who need an individualized curriculum. Students can receive speech, occupational, and physical therapy from trained and experienced therapists, and parents can receive training to assist their students at home. 

US News ranks Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest in the top 20 high schools in New Jersey. 88% of Northern Valley Demarest students test at or above the proficiency level in reading, 28 percentage points higher than the state average. Northern Valley Demarest is one of the best schools in New Jersey for athletes, as it’s home to championship girls’ volleyball, boys’ swimming, and ultimate frisbee teams. 

US News ranks Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan in the top 50 high schools in New Jersey. Northern Valley Tappan has received various awards for great New Jersey high schools, including three Blue Ribbon School Awards of Excellence. 96% of Northern Valley Tappan students in the Class of 2020 went on to attend two or four-year colleges. 

Princeton Public Schools | Princeton, NJ

  • Area served: Princeton
  • Enrollment: 3,740
  • Number of NJ schools: Two PreK-5 elementary schools in New Jersey, two K-5 elementary schools, one 6-8 middle school, one 9-12 high school
  • Student to teacher ratio: 11.0:1
  • New Jersey School Performance Card

Princeton Public Schools serves students living in Princeton and Cranbury Township. Princeton is best known for Princeton University, but it’s a very livable community for everyone. Travel and Leisure Magazine named Princeton the third-best place to live in New Jersey in 2023, noting its range of top stores, restaurants, and attractions. Princeton Public Schools is a diverse school district. 21.8% of students identify as Asian or Asian Pacific Islander, 15.9% identify as Hispanic or Latino, and 6.3% identify as Black or African American. 7.8% of students identify as two or more races.  

Princeton is one of the top school districts in NJ for artists. US News ranks Littlebrook Elementary School among the 25 best elementary schools in New Jersey. Littlebrook Elementary School has a student to teacher ratio of 10:1, giving each student plenty of support in the classroom. Littlebrook’s curriculum is diverse and full of unique programs, including QUEST, a program for gifted students. 

Princeton High School is a New Jersey Model School in the Arts, receiving recognition from the state government for its top dance, music, theatre, and visual arts programs. Princeton High School has a graduation rate of 97%, with 68% of students passing at least one AP exam. Qualifying students can take classes at Princeton University and Mercer County Community College for college and high school credits.

Princeton is also home to some of the best private schools in NJ. The Princeton International School of Mathematics and Science (PRISMS) is a STEM-focused private school where students conduct research projects over two years. PRISMS regularly sends students to top colleges, including Ivy League schools, making it one of the best private schools in NJ for college admissions and acceptance.

Tenafly Public Schools | Tenafly, NJ

  • Area served: Tenafly
  • Enrollment: 3,582
  • Number of schools: Four K-5 elementary schools, one 6-8 middle school, one 9-12 high school
  • Student to teacher ratio: 11.7:1
  • New Jersey School Performance Card

Tenafly Public Schools serves students in Tenafly, an affluent and safe suburb of New York City. Tenafly Schools ranks in the top 5% of New Jersey school districts for high school graduation rates and test scores. US News ranks Tenafly Middle School in the top 20 best New Jersey middle schools. Tenafly Middle School employs 73 full-time teachers, 88.2% of whom have three or more years of experience. 76% of students test at or above the proficiency level in reading, 31 percentage points higher than the state average and most New Jersey middle schools.

Tenafly High School received a National Blue Ribbon School Award in 2005 for academic excellence. Tenafly is one of the best public schools in NJ for extracurriculars. Various student-run extracurricular teams have won awards and state championships, including the marching band in 2022 and 2023. 95% of Tenafly High School seniors attend college after graduation, and over 84% of students score a 3 or above on at least AP test

Livingston Public Schools | Livingston, NJ

  • Area served: Livingston
  • Enrollment: 6,056
  • Number of NJ schools: One PK-5 elementary school, five K-5 elementary schools, one 6th grade middle school, one 7-8 middle school, one 9-12 high school 
  • Student to teacher ratio: 12.3:1
  • New Jersey School Performance Card

Livingston Public Schools serves students living in Livingston Township, a township in Essex County. The township is well known as a bedroom community for New York City, though it’s home to several corporate offices, including Verizon New Jersey and The Briad Group. 

Livingston Public Schools has been named three times on the College Board’s Advanced Placement District Honor Roll, an honor for school districts that increase access to AP classes and increase students’ AP scores. Heritage Middle School is well known for FemGineers, a club designed to encourage female students to participate in STEM classes. Many participants in FemGineers go on to attend high-level math classes at Livingston High School

New Jersey Monthly ranked Livingston High School in the ten best public high schools in NJ in 2018. The school has a graduation rate of 98%, with 70% passing at least one AP exam, higher than some of the best public schools in NJ. Livingston High School is home to dozens of extracurricular teams, including award-winning speech and debate, history bowl, and string orchestra clubs. 

Ridgewood Public Schools | Ridgewood, NJ

  • Area served: Ridgewood
  • Enrollment: 5,613
  • Number of schools: One preschool, six K-5 elementary schools, two 6-8 middle schools, one 9-12 high school
  • Student to teacher ratio: 13:1
  • New Jersey School Performance Card

Ridgewood Public Schools serves students in Ridgewood. Realtor.com named 07450, Ridgewood’s ZIP code, as the third-hottest ZIP code in the country in 2023, praising the community for its “relaxed village feel” and close proximity to New York City. The school district is well known for the Ridgewood Cambodia Project, a student-run organization that visits and supports a primary school and a middle school in Cambodia.

Glen School is a top preschool in New Jersey. Glen School supports several programs for students with disabilities and learning differences, including Ridgewood In-District Therapeutic Supports, a counseling program that gives students long-term mental health care. The program is supported by West Bergen Mental Healthcare, and both parents and students can receive services from West Bergen.

Students at Ridgewood High School score an average of 566 on the PSAT for reading and writing, 92 points higher than the state average. 95% of students meet or exceed the college readiness benchmark score of 430 for students in 10th grade, making it one of the best public high schools in NJ for students looking to matriculate to a top college after receiving their diplomas. Ridgewood High School has several programs you can’t find at other New Jersey schools, including marketing, business, and family and consumer science courses. 

New Jersey Schools FAQ

What Is the Best NJ School District?

Union County Vocational Technical Schools is the best NJ school district, with top high schools and unique vocational programs

What Is the Best High School in New Jersey?

Union County Magnet High School is the best high school in New Jersey, with 92% of students passing at least one AP exam

Does New Jersey Have Good Schools?

Yes, New Jersey has great schools, including top programs for students with special needs.

New Jersey school districts are phenomenal! If you’re the parent of young children, you can send your kids to top elementary schools in New Jersey in Princeton Public Schools and Tenafly Public Schools. Teenagers can attend the best high schools in NJ in Union County Vocational Technical Schools and the Northern Valley Regional High School District. 

But before your students can start going to the top school districts in NJ, you need to figure out moving to New Jersey. Harrington Movers is the top moving company in New Jersey, having served New Jersey residents for over 25 years. Contact us today at (973) 313-2246. 

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