Sat, October 25, 2014

3662/p330847627_2680.jpg

MANALAPAN-ENGLISHTOWN REGIONAL SCHOOLS  
  A HISTORY LESSON WITH A FUTURE


Manalapan Township and Englishtown Borough were originally part of Freehold Township. Manalapan, as a separate entity, was established in 1848 when Freehold Township divided. Although Englishtown identified itself as a separate village in the 1700s, the official incorporation of the Borough took place in 1888.  

Private schools preceeded public schools in both communities. For Manalapan, the first school on record was the Mattisonia Grammar School, founded in the Tennent area in 1766. The last of the town's eight one-room schoolhouses, Thompson Grove School, built in 1847, is pictured above. The first school in Englishtown was established in 1817 in the tavern-house (now known as the Village Inn).  According to James Brown in his book, Manalapan in Three Centuries, by 1885, Manalapan was divided into six school districts with five hundred ninety eight students. The six districts might be considered comparable to the six schools that comprised the district through 2001. However, the student population in the 2001-2002 school year was almost ten times larger.

In 1909, a public school was built in Englishtown on the corner of Main and Pine Streets. Around that same time, the Monmouth County Superintendent of Schools wrote to the State Commissioner of Education stating that there were 17,154 students and 401 teachers throughout the entire county. Today, the 1909 Main Street building serves as the Board of Education office. Today, Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School district has approximately one-third as many students as were found in the entire county in the early 1900s. Today, the Manalapan-Englishtown students are taught by 445 certified teachers or more than existed in Monmouth County around the turn of the century.  

Manalapan and Englishtown formally joined as a regional elementary district in 1963.  That year, the population of the district was 1140. According to a September 13, 2002 article in The Star-Ledger , for the past twenty years the Manalapan population soared within the thirty-one square miles. During that twenty years, Manalapan increased by more than seventy-five percent to approximately 34,000 residents. Growth is also a factor in the school district.  In 1982, there were 3209 students. Today, twenty-five years later, slightly more than 2300 additional students have been added to the roster. As of June 21, 2007, the district had 5540 students: 5253 from Manalapan and 287 from Englishtown.