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Dwight Morrow High School
High school in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States
As of the 2018-19 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,063 students and 83.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 12.7:1. There were 475 students (44.7% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 85 (8.0% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
The Academies at Englewood is a four-year magnet high school sharing the campus that serves students in the ninth through twelfth grades from across Bergen County. The program was started by Dr. John Grieco (founder of the Bergen County Academies) serving students in the ninth to twelfth grades in Bergen County. The school was initially created in an effort to diversify the Dwight Morrow High School campus by attracting elite students outside the Englewood community to an academically-challenging, high-performing school, and the program was modeled after his Bergen County Academies. The school was additionally created to raise the standard of public education in Bergen County, and is now part of the Englewood Public Schools District (formerly part of the Bergen County Technical Schools District). Dr. John Grieco also served as the district superintendent during the school's inaugural years. Established in 2002, the Academies at Englewood include five professional and academic divisions.
Located on a 37-acre (15 ha) park-like campus and constructed at a cost of $750,000 from a design by architect Lawrence C. Licht, the school was opened to students in January 1933 with a capacity of 1,200 students, helping to ease overcrowding at the existing high school and junior high facilities.
The school is named after Dwight Morrow, a businessman, politician, and diplomat who lived in the city; Morrow was also the father-in-law of aviator Charles Lindbergh. The school shares its campus with the Academies@Englewood and Janis E. Dismus Middle School. Dwight Morrow and the Academies at Englewood are located east of Miller's Pond and share the same administration. Janis E. Dismus Middle School, formerly Englewood Middle School, is located south of Miller's Pond and operates independently.
During the 1980s, changes in local demographics drastically altered the school's ethnic body resulting in an African American majority. The nearby district of Englewood Cliffs attempted to end its sending receiving relationship with Englewood due to the poor performance of the school. This led to a bitter court battle between Englewood and Englewood Cliffs beginning in 1985, a move characterized by Englewood as racist. By 1992, the school was 97% African American and Hispanic. "There were more violent incidents reported at DMHS (Dwight Morrow High School) than any other school in Bergen County in the 1991-92 school year, and test scores remained painfully low."  Court battles continued, in an attempt to desegregate the high school.
According to Assemblyman John E. Rooney, "white students from Englewood Cliffs, the district trying to end its obligation to send its students to Dwight Morrow, feared for their safety at the heavily minority institution." Most Englewood Cliffs parents have chosen private school over Dwight Morrow High School.
In Fall 2002, a new magnet program was opened up in an attempt to attract non- African American students back to the school. The opening of the new academy led to more discrimination from the viewpoint of Englewood's African American community. The academy was given a portion of the campus to operate on, and the regular high school, Dwight Morrow, continued to operate on the remainder of the campus. The academy has a diverse population and is kept separate from Dwight Morrow while occupying the same campus. This has created two distinct schools on one campus. Dwight Morrow has recently had protests, overcrowded classrooms and an inferior education.
"The books are old and the classes are overcrowded,' said..., a junior. "In my history class at least five students have to stand up each day.".
The academy has highly qualified teachers as well as better resources.
"Academies@Englewood; longer school day, rigorous and engaging core academic curriculum, technology, upgraded classroom materials and equipment not available to Dwight Morrow students, climate reflecting high expectations, inviting classrooms. Students are spirited and proud of their school and opportunities."
Many residents of Englewood feel that the City of Englewood has worked against the progress of the high school by opening up the Academies. About 50% of the students are from Englewood. Englewood's African American community feels the city and the board of education has put its minority residents second with this move.
"For the past three years they've been feeling like second-class citizens in their own town, sharing a campus with another high school touted as academically superior, and getting no respect...The message to kids and parents at that 97 percent African-American and Hispanic high school is that for so-called integration to happen on the campus, you must swallow the bitter pill that tastes like apartheid."
Dwight Morrow High School has two buildings. One building is called the North building and was the original structure of the school. Later on the Academies at Englewood, also known as the South building, was added to the campus in 2001. The High School's North building was built using Gothic architecture. The North building features a 100-foot (30 m) tower. Currently, the campus shares two buildings: the south building and the north building. The campus also shares the office of the board of education and the superintendent.
Millers Pond on the campus coupled with the Janis E. Dismus Middle School on the grounds lends a collegiate atmosphere to the school.
The Dwight Morrow High School Maroon Raiders compete in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). With 826 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as North I, Group III for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 786 to 1,074 students in that grade range. The school had previously participated in the BCSL American athletic conference of the Bergen County Scholastic League. The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group III North for football for 2018-2020.
The boys track team won the spring track state championship in Group III in 1965 (as co-champion) and in Group II in 1992.
The boys track team won the Group III indoor relay championships in 1970 and 1971.
The boys' basketball team won the 2008 North I, Group II state sectional title, defeating Pascack Hills High School 72-65 in the tournament final. The win marked the team's first sectional title since 2005, ending a two-year run by Pascack Hills.
^Spelling, Ian. "Playing the keys to success: Bernard Belle", (201) magazine, April 4, 2017. Accessed August 27, 2018. "Belle started playing in Reality, a band formed while he attended Englewood Junior High School. His sister, Regina - a Grammy Award-winning singer - joined the group. He continued to perform while at Dwight Morrow High School, and, in 1985, Regina paved the way for him to play in her new band, The Manhattans."
^Beckerman, Jim. "For Regina Belle, time for a special payback", The Record, October 31, 2004. Accessed June 17, 2016. "It was at Englewood's Mount Calvary Baptist Church, and then Paterson's Friendship Baptist Church (presided over by Belle's uncle, the Rev. Fred Belle), that Regina Belle began attracting attention with her vocal abilities. She sang her first solo in church at age 8; by the time she graduated from Dwight Morrow High School at age 17, she was the church's star singer."
^Rohan, Virginia. "Blast Forward", The Record (North Jersey), March 26, 1999. "After graduating from Englewood's Dwight Morrow High School, he headed off to Harvard..."
^ abHu, Winnie. "Forced to Pick a Major in High School", The New York Times, August 16, 2007. Accessed August 27, 2018. "But starting this fall, freshmen at Dwight Morrow High School here in Bergen County must declare a major that will determine what electives they take for four years and be noted on their diplomas.... The comedians David Feldman and Rick Overton, alumni of the high school, are scheduled to conduct a comedy writing workshop in October."
^ abcde"Dwight Morrow to hold fundraiser", The Record (North Jersey), June 20, 2007. Accessed November 19, 2007. "The celebration will feature alumni acts including musician Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers, actor Clarke Peters, and comedians Rick Overton, David Feldman and Michael Dermansky. Comedian Richard Lewis will appear on video."
^Rondinaro, Gene. "Picturesque, Affluent West of Palisades", The New York Times, November 3, 1996. Accessed July 9, 2007. "A former football standout at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, Mr. Harper was interested in finding a small, diverse community to live and raise a family in away from the media hype of New York's sports world."
^"Ex-Rocker turns 'He-Man" in Live Fantasy Show"], The Star-Ledger, February 11, 1987. "....Howard grew up in Englewood and attended Dwight Morrow High School, though he regrets not graduating."
^Mansour, Josh. "Happy Birthday To Englewood's Doug Howard", Englewood Daily Voice, May 3, 2016. Accessed August 27, 2018. "Happy birthday to Englewood native and noted musician Doug Howard.... Howard attended Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, at which time he was introduced to Ernie Isley of the famed music group The Isley Brothers, who gave him his first bass lessons."
^Wilner, Paul. "Isley Brothers: A Family Affair", The New York Times, March 13, 1977. Accessed August 27, 2018. "While their older brothers toured America, the younger Isley boys enrolled successively in Englewood Junior High and Dwight Morrow High School. 'We always had lots of instruments lying around the house--Stratocaster Fenders and jazz instruments--so naturally we were interested and decided to learn how to play,' Ernie Isley said."
^Hertzel, Bob. "Janet Murk a true pioneer for women's athletics", Clarksburg Exponent Telegram, July 9, 2015. Accessed May 28, 2020. "Janet Murk, in the 1940s, had actually played for the Dwight Morrow High School boys baseball team ... briefly. She played four, maybe five games, before she was called into the principal's office. 'They called me into the principal's office and said it wasn't the proper way for a young lady to conduct herself, playing ball,' she said on the phone from the assisted living facility in which she now resides."
^Diduch, Mary. "FTC chairman returns home to Bergen", The Record (North Jersey), June 20, 2012. Accessed June 21, 2012. "When Jon Leibowitz was growing up in Englewood, his friends and classmates at Dwight Morrow High School knew him as smart kid who didn't flaunt his intelligence, and who was friends with everyone. Few could have imagined he would end up running the Federal Trade Commission, a powerful federal agency with more than 1,000 employees."
^Levithan, Robert. "MLK, Selma, Marriage Equality, You and Me", Huffington Post, January 20, 2015. Accessed August 27, 2018. "Dr. Martin Luther King was only 39 when he was murdered in 1968. I remember that day clearly. I was a Junior at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, New Jersey and I was amongst about ten students who were summoned to the vice principal's office to discuss how to 'not have an eruption of violence' in our school."
^Staff. "Freddie Perren", Contemporary Black Biography:Profiles from the International Black Community, p. 122. Gale (publisher), 2007. ISBN0-7876-7932-1. Accessed August 27, 2018. "At Dwight Morrow High School, Perren was a member of the marching band, the orchestra, and sang in the chorus."
^Stewart, Slam (Leroy Elliot)Archived 2012-08-31 at the Wayback Machine, Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians. Accessed February 4, 2013. "Leroy Elliot Slam Stewart was born on September 21st, 1914 in Englewood, New Jersey. Stewart started his musical journey at age six playing the violin. Claiming he didn't care for the timbre of the violin, Stewart switched to the string bass while attending Dwight Morrow High School."
^Moss, Irv. "Education continues to stoke former Steeler", The Denver Post, January 22, 2008. Accessed January 1, 2015. "The experience took Tepe back to his roots in Englewood, N.J., and to a time when he needed the incentive of playing football to keep him in school.... Born: June 18, 1930, North Bergen, N.J. High school: Dwight Morrow, Englewood, N.J., 1946-48"
^[While in New York, his godfather said Jackson should contact his nephew David Townsend who had been a guitarist with The Isley Brothers. The Isleys produced their band Sunrize with David and drummer / writer Everett Collins and long-time friend Tony Herbert (bass) from David's high school, Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, N.J."
^Leonard, Tim. "Soccer still giving to former Dwight Morrow star Elias Zurita", The Record (North Jersey), January 4, 2011, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 7, 2011. Accessed August 27, 2018. "It all looked so familiar to Elias Zurita as he was watching television with his daughter, Bella, not long ago. The movie, called "Gracie," had a soccer theme, but it was the field that caught Zurita's eye. The two-time All-State selection for Dwight Morrow High School looked incredulously at the screen and swore he saw his old Englewood stomping grounds."