Jefferson Township

Public Schools

Falcon Pride!


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  • Dr. Patrick Tierney

    Mrs. Jeanne Howe
    Assistant Superintendent

    Ms. Dora Zeno
    Business Administrator

    Mrs. Margaret Widgren
    Director of Student
    Personnel Services
    District Anti-Bullying Coordinator

    31 Rt 181
    Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849
    (973) 663-5780

Superintendent's Message

  • A Message from the Superintendent

    Posted by Patrick Tierney at 2/13/2017 8:30:00 PM

    Public Statement made at 2-13-2017 Board of Education Meeting

    By Superintendent of Schools Patrick Tierney

    I would like to take a few moments to address the events which took place at the Boys’ Varsity basketball game versus Dover on Friday, January 27th.

    Many accusations and comments have been made and it is my intention to clarify what many have heard and read.   

    First, let me be clear, racist and/or other malicious statements and conduct, of any kind, are neither condoned nor tolerated by the District or the Jefferson community.

    This matter was brought to our district’s attention on Saturday morning and we immediately, began planning to address it.  Initially, we intended to begin the investigation first thing on Monday morning, when the students and other District employees returned.  Unfortunately, during the weekend, the matter  played out on social media, including input from  individuals with  agendas that extend far beyond the realm of Dover and Jefferson in Morris County, New Jersey.  This resulted in the district not being given the opportunity and ability to fully address the situation internally or between the two school districts as timely or quickly as we may have liked.

    Our investigation has been concluded. We have found the following:

    • One student made the comment, “Build a wall.”  This was in response to an adult from Dover accusing our students of being racist before the game even began.
    • Five students chanted, “Ashy knees” while a Dover player was taking foul shots.
    • The students engaged in this behavior were identified by video and through student interviews.
    • Our students have been disciplined according to the student code of conduct.  The specific discipline of any student is not and will not be public information.

    Based upon interviews by numerous adults present, it became clear that the adults did hear the students  saying something; however, the chant was not able to be comprehended and/or the phrase was not known to the adults present at the game.

    Moving forward, we have outlined a plan to prevent these types of incidents from reoccurring.

    • On Monday, January 30th, the High School principal and athletic director met with each grade level to review proper sportsmanship and expected behavior towards our guests at home games.   Misconduct will not be tolerated, and our staff has been empowered to remove students who cannot abide by our code of conduct.
    • A physical barrier has been placed between the players warming up and the spectators during home games.
    • The site supervisors will be instructed to stop any shouting if they do not understand what is being said and ask the fans to report any misbehaviour that we don’t see and or hear.
    • Consistent with NJSIAA recommendations and good sense, we have attempted to schedule a meeting between  the student and athletic councils from both schools.  The Dover administration has asked that this meeting not be scheduled until after our Board meeting tonight.  
    • The student who started the chant, “Ashy knees” has written a letter of apology, which has been forwarded to the Dover administration.   

    It was my and my Administration’s desire to meet with representatives of Dover, both Administration and student body, sooner rather than later, in order to resolve the incident and not inflame this situation.

    It is unfortunate that this incident, which involved a few students, reflected poorly on the school, the district, and township.  These individuals’ actions truly do not reflect the character or the belief system of our school district or our community.  The students are remorseful, as am I, my Board and the entire community.   In a letter of apology, our student said, regarding this incident, “Again, I'm sorry for offending anyone but it was not intended to be malicious or racist. I hope we can all learn from this and come together as neighbors.”

    As stated earlier, we acknowledge the fact that inappropriate statements were made.  We took the matter seriously, addressed the issue with our students and will move forward with the hopes that this will never happen again.

    In conclusion, and from the words of President John F. Kennedy, If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.

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  • A Message from the Superintendent

    Posted by Patrick Tierney at 2/6/2017 8:00:00 AM


    I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and congratulate Mr. Jim Smith (Jefferson Township Middle School teacher) on being selected for the 2016 Outstanding Teacher of American History Award for the State of New Jersey by The Daughters of the American Revolution.  
    On behalf of the Jefferson Township Public Schools, we wish Mr. Smith the best of luck as he moves onto the national level for consideration.
    Great job Mr. Smith!
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  • Jefferson Jefferson Township New Jersey

    Jefferson is the northernmost township in Morris County formed by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 11, 1804, from portions of Pequannock Township and Roxbury Township. The township was named after Thomas Jefferson, the President of the United States at the time the township was created.

    The township has two large divisions, Milton and Lake Hopatcong. Each half has its own first-aid squad, fire department substation and set of elementary schools. Both sections of the township share a high school and middle school.

    Jefferson Township has many natural and recreational facilities to offer including Lake Hopatcong (the largest lake in New Jersey), Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, and Camp Jefferson to name a few. Jefferson Township also offers many community activities including sports, scouts, library programs, concerts, picnics, as well as its yearly Jefferson Days celebration.

    Our Schools

    The Jefferson Township Public School District is committed to providing a quality education to all of our students, from kindergarten through grade 12. With approximately 3,000 students district wide, our seven schools promote the highest standards of academic excellence, as well as the highest social and ethical expectations within our learning community. Our district’s comprehensive K-12 curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they will require to be life-long learners, productive workers, and responsible and contributing citizens. At the Jefferson Township High School, our co-curricular programs offer a complete range of inter-scholastic athletics. We are consistently recognized by the NJSIAA for our sportsmanship.  Students compete in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference as well as Morris County tournaments in athletics.

    Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) exist in every school.  Within the PLCs, teachers work together to improve instructional practices.  The district continues to focus on tools for student assessment.  These assessments enable teachers and students to identify strengths and areas needing additional work. Unit and semester assessments are designed to prepare students for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) administration.

    The district has incorporated the Common Core Standards (CCS) in all curricular areas and professional development to assist our teachers is on-going.

    Our Mission

    All students are held to the highest standards for academic, social and ethical behavior. They are motivated to learn, self-assured, and confident individuals. Students are prepared to apply their skills and knowledge as productive citizens in an ever-changing world. 

    Members of the educational community are facilitators of learning who work cooperatively and support students. The educator differentiates instruction while encouraging inquiry-based learning, critical thinking skills, and community based activities.  Instruction focuses on practical and technological problem solving applications. 

    A diverse curriculum provides opportunities which promote student learning. The curriculum emphasizes interdisciplinary connections and a global perspective.  Student assessments provide continuous feedback on achievement of benchmarks which align with learning outcomes, state, and national standards.

    It is the expectation of this school district that all pupils achieve the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards at all grade levels.

    Belief Statements

    • We believe that Jefferson Township students should develop a sense of responsibility emphasizing interpersonal relationships, good citizenship, cultural and global awareness.
    • We believe that Jefferson Township students learn best in a safe and secure environment which encourages them to accept challenges and become creative problem solvers.
    • We believe that Jefferson Township students should be able to communicate appropriately and effectively with others in a diverse population.
    • We believe that Jefferson Township students should be prepared to apply acquired skills and knowledge in an ever-changing society.
    • We believe that Jefferson Township students should reach the highest academic, social, and ethical standards.
    • We believe that Jefferson Township students should make positive contributions to the community.
    • We believe that Jefferson Township students should become life-long learners.

    Strategic Plan 

    The District will be hosting the third and final strategic planning session on December 12, at 7:00 PM at the Jefferson Township High School Media Center.  All are welcome to attend.

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