Projects proposed with this referendum are designed to continue Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s long tradition of academic exploration and accomplishment. In addition to core academic facilities like upgraded science labs, an updated media center, and renovated classrooms, the proposal would provide for improvements in facilities for fine arts, athletics, and other extracurricular activities.
The Oct. 2 referendum focuses on technology, safety, and efficiency for better education. Highlights include:
- Revamping science labs to improve class and lab set-up to support the instructional approaches of Next Generation Science Standards, including better student-access storage, ADA accessibility, and safety sightlines.
- Reimagining space for technological advances, including multipurpose technology labs and specialized learning environments. All spaces will be centrally located and easily accessible.
- Continuing the integration of security technology throughout the building and designing all renovations to meet the latest safety standards.
- Renovating and reconfiguring existing classrooms to meet the needs of innovative instructional techniques and to create space that is better matched to RFH needs.
- Reconfiguring the Guidance Offices to give students better access to staff, and resources, and improved privacy.
- Upgrading the auditorium with additional lighting, stage controls, ceiling renovations and aisle carpeting.
Why does RFH need these upgrades?
Teaching methods have changed significantly since the high school’s last renovation of instructional space. For example, the school’s science classrooms – currently filled with individual desk-and-chair combinations – do not lend themselves to a modern, collaborative approach. Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) call for students not just to learn concepts, but to practice them, and RFH’s current classrooms make it difficult to blend instruction and practice.
All renovations and construction would be designed with security as a significant element, although it may not necessarily be visible. The proposal aims to improve student and staff safety without noticeably impacting the student experience and opportunities. RFH has continually invested in school safety, and this referendum would be part of that effort.
Projects would improve the school’s auditorium with new lighting, stage controls, ceiling renovations and aisle carpeting. Student athletes, their competitors, and fans would see better outdoor lighting and turf installation – both designed to cut down on injuries. The improvements would impact the large number of RFH students who participate in extracurricular activities.
The referendum includes ways to integrate current technology in the curriculum, and ways to plan for its evolution. It would improve instructional areas to allow a greater focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), while encompassing robotics, virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), and other technological advances.
Renovation, rather than new construction, would help the school be more efficient and would provide greater flexibility in classroom space and technology use. Reconfiguring existing space – such as eliminating an underutilized exterior corridor – would provide greater mobility, maximize classrooms with flexibility, and expand technology use. Additionally, the state provides more funds for renovations than for new construction.