Pompton Lakes High School (PLHS) is a four-year comprehensive community public high school in the borough of Pompton Lakes in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States, operating as the lone secondary school of the Pompton Lakes School District. The school serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from Pompton Lakes as well as those from Riverdale who attend as part of a sending/receiving relationship. The high school is accredited by the New Jersey Department of Education and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 662 students and 51.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.9:1. There were 80 students (12.1% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 16 (2.4% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
The school mascot is the Cardinal. The actual structure of the building displays a classic colonial revival exterior, a product of the New Deal Era. The building was constructed in 1932 and was opened to students in September 1933.
During the 1986-87 school year, Pompton Lakes High School was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.
The school was the 153rd-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology. The school had been ranked 85th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 173rd in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 156th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 188th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state. Schooldigger.com ranked the school as 127th out of 376 public high schools statewide in its 2010 rankings (a decrease of 2 positions from the 2009 rank) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the language arts literacy and mathematics components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
Built in 1932 in Colonial Revival style, the High School opened to students in September of that year and graduated its first class the following June. Students from Pompton Lakes attended Butler High School before the opening of Pompton Lakes High School. At its opening in 1933, the school received students from Wayne, Oakland, and Midland Park as well as Pompton Lakes. Since then, the school has maintained much of its original structure, with additions of a larger library, another locker room, and an entirely new wing erected in the 1960s.
For much of the 1996-1997 school year, the comedy In & Out (starring Kevin Kline and Tom Selleck) was shot in and around the high school. Many different classrooms and facilities were used as the set for the movie, as well as many students were used as extras.
Many different courses and programs are offered at Pompton Lakes High School, including: Physical Education, Independent Study, Teacher Aide, Language Arts Literacy (including elective courses), Social Studies (including elective courses), Science (including elective courses), Mathematics, World Languages (Spanish, French, German), Business/Technology, Industrial/Technology, Family and Consumer Sciences, Art, and Music.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses offered include AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP Calculus, AP Statistics, AP United States History, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Spanish Language, AP German Language, AP French Language
There are many different clubs that students can participate in at Pompton Lakes High School, including: Assembly Planning Committee, Environmental Club, FBLA, Health Careers Club, Interact, Marching Band, Spring Musical, National Honor Society, Peer Helpers, Performing Arts Club, Student Council, Student Movement Against Cancer (SMAC), Student Opportunities for Academic Recognition (SOAR), Yearbook, Varsity Club, and Zonta club.
The Pompton Lakes High School Cardinals compete as part of the 37-member North Jersey Interscholastic Conference (NJIC), which comprises private and public high schools located in Bergen County, Hudson County and Passaic County, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). With 515 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as North I, Group II for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 495 to 761 students in that grade range. Prior to realignment that took effect in the fall of 2010, Pompton Lakes was part of the smaller Bergen-Passaic Scholastic League (BPSL).
Boys sports offered include: football, soccer, cross country, basketball, wrestling, fencing, bowling, winter track, baseball, spring track and tennis. Girls sports include field hockey, soccer, cross country, tennis, basketball, fencing, winter track, bowling, softball and spring track.
The field hockey team won the North I Group II state sectional championship in 1975, 1977 and 1997-1999, the North I Group I title in 1986-1988, 1991 and 2008-2010, and won the North I / II Group I title in 1993; the team won the Group II state championship in 1999, defeating Collingswood High School in the final game of the tournament.
The football team won the NJSIAA North I Group I state sectional title in 1982, 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and won the North I Group II state sectional title in 1997. The 1998 boys football team were the North I, Group II state football champions, beating Westwood Regional High School 7-6 on a snowy field. In the fall of 2005, the Football and Boys Soccer teams advanced all the way in their respective playoffs, both bringing home state championships. The football team won the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North I, Group I title, defeating Hasbrouck Heights High School 27-7 in the final. The team won the North I Group I state title in 2011 and 2012 with a win over Glen Rock High School and Cedar Grove High School, respectively.
The boys' soccer team won the Group II state championship in 1996 (vs. Somerville High School) and won the Group I title in 2005 (vs. Bordentown Regional High School). The 1996 boys' soccer team were league and state champions with an overall record of 23-1. The team's only loss was in the final of the Passaic County tournament to Paterson's John F. Kennedy High School.
The 2001 boys' tennis team won the North I, Group II over Rutherford High School 3½-1½ in the tournament final.
In 2001, the girls softball team won the North I, Group II sectional championship, edging Mahwah High School 1-0. The team repeated in 2002, again winning by a 1-0 score in the final, this time over top-seeded Hawthorne High School, their first sectional championship since their win in 2002. The 2007 team won the title, with a 4-1 win vs. Saddle Brook High School. The 2008 team repeated the North I, Group I title, defeating Park Ridge High School 8-3 in the tournament final.
The boys track and field team won the 2006 and 2007 North I, Group I state sectional championships tying Hasbrouck Heights High School in 2006 and winning outright with 65 points in 2007.
The girls tennis team won the 2007 North I, Group I state sectional championship with a 4-1 win over New Milford High School. The win was the team's first ever state sectional title.
The field hockey team is a perennial power in northern New Jersey. The Cardinals have won the Passaic County title 14 times, most recently in 2008 when they beat Wayne Hills High School 1-0 in the final. Pompton Lakes also won three consecutive sectional titles from 2008–2010, defeating Boonton High School 2-1 in the 2010 final.
The school also has a marching band and color guard which competes in USSBA competitions. The Cardinal Marching Band has been a part of PLHS sincethe 1930s, with up to 100 students participating.
Core members of the school's administration are:Vincent Przybylinski Jr., Principal
Anthony Mattera, Assistant Principal
Selected for its "beautiful auditorium, a great gymnasium" and other aesthetic qualities, the high school was used extensively as a filming location for the 1997 movie In & Out starring Kevin Kline.Cat Bauer (born 1955), author.
Charlie Getty (born 1952), played ten seasons in the NFL, mainly for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Michael Weiner (born 1961), Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association