August 28, 2014 at 6:30 PM
UNION COUNTY, NJ - All five of Union County’s vocational-technical high schools have placed among the top public high schools in the latest nationwide survey. The five schools include the new Academy for Performing Arts, which graduated its third class in June, and UC Vo-Tech, Union County’s traditional high-demand career skills training school.
The survey, available online from The Daily Beast (an affiliate of the leading global media company IAC), consists of a selected national pool of 700 top-performing high schools.
“The Union County Vocational-Technical School District shares a mission of preparing our students to embrace life-long learning, engage with their peers, meet the demands of challenging careers, and emerge as civic leaders,” said UCVTS Superintendent Peter A. Capodice. “This latest recognition is a testament to the dedication of our students and the administrators, staff, and parents who all contribute to this mission.”
“The Freeholder Board is committed to supporting opportunities that provide our students with a firm foundation in today’s competitive workforce, and it is gratifying to see the well-earned reputation of UCVTS echoed in a national survey,” said Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak.
In the Daily Beast survey, Magnet High School ranked 24th. Magnet also ranked #4 out of 25 schools included in the survey’s highly competitive Northeast region.
The Academy for Allied Health Sciences ranked 43rd nationwide and #10 in the Northeast.
UC-Tech ranked 70 nationwide and #21 in the Northeast.
The Academy for Performing Arts ranked 89th nationwide, and the Academy for Information Technology ranked 175th nationwide.
Among other recent recognitions, all five schools were also included in the US News & World Report 2014 survey which compared more than 31,200 public high schools nationwide. Magnet and Allied Health were awarded Gold rankings, Information Technology was awarded Silver, and Performing Arts and UC Vo-Tech both won Bronze.
Magnet High school and Academy of Information Technology also each received a National Blue Ribbon for excellence in 2013 from the U.S. Department of Education.
The UCVTS campus is located at 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains. Expanded and updated considerably within recent years, the campus now includes five high schools that engage students in challenging college-level academics and high demand workforce skills within a supportive environment:
The Academy for Allied Health Sciences – AHS offers a comprehensive program that prepares the doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and health care managers of tomorrow.
The Academy for Information Technology – Students enrolled in the Academy pursue a college-level technical training program in computer science and a full regimen of honors level academic classes.
Magnet High School – The Magnet is one of the most competitive and successful specialized programs in the region. Students follow a comprehensive course of study in engineering as well as mathematics, science and technology.
The Academy for Performing Arts – APA combines intensive study in theatre arts, dance, and rigorous academics culminating with a senior year at Kean University. Vo-Tech’s newest school, APA graduated its first class in June 2012.
Union County Vocational-Technical High School – UC Vo-Tech combines high-end academics with access to career or technical training program in high demand fields including automotive technology, building trades, communication, public safety, culinary arts and cosmetology.
Highlights from the 2013-2014 school year include a first-place finish for the Robotics Club at the Regional FRC FIRST Robotics competition, six medals in the statewide Science Olympiad competition, three top winners in the State Aviation Art Competition, and national placement for six members of the Future Business Leaders of America Club at the FBLA conference in Tennessee.
UCVTS students are also encouraged to engage in community service projects, including the annual campus-wide Relay for Life fund raiser for cancer research which raised $138,000 last spring.
“UCVTS is an invaluable public asset that helps to grow the next generation of our entrepreneurs, civic leaders, and successful professionals,” Hudak said. “The Freeholder Board is very proud to support our students and the entire school community.”
Development of the UCVTS campus continues this year, with construction starting on a major expansion of UC Vo-Tech. The addition will include 10 new classrooms and two new computer labs for biology, chemistry, and physics.
The application process for UCVTS begins when prospective 8th-grade students attend a required information session at the campus in Scotch Plains. The first session will be on Saturday, September 20. Students who are interested in applying to enter as freshmen in fall 2015 can visit ucvts.tec.nj.us for the schedule of available sessions and all details about applying.