Accio, new school year!

If you're unfamiliar with that spell, "Accio" is the incantation uttered to bring forth an object within the world of Harry Potter. Teachers and faculty within the Dennis Township School District in Cape May County are taking a page from the magical world of "The Boy Who Lived" in order to bring the fun to the 2022-2023 school year.

The school district shared a video this week revealing to the students that upon their arrival back to school this year, every homeroom will be sorted into "houses", just like at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series. If you're not too familiar with the "Harry Potter" books or films, students are sorted into one of four houses once they arrive at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry during their first year. You can either be sorted into Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, or Slytherin.

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Students will get the same treatment at Dennis Township schools this year. Once sorted into their houses, students, teachers, and faculty will compete in challenges and events throughout the year that will earn them points for their perspective houses. The goal is to encourage bonding and teamwork in an effort to achieve a common goal. Just like in the "Harry Potter" series, students themselves can earn points for their houses that will be calculated into the overall score of each house.

Kudos to the folks at Dennis Township schools for coming up with such a fun way for everyone to connect and put forth the maximum effort this school year! It sounds like the kids are going to have to so much fun with this.

Watch the video announcement sent out to students below.


NJ school holidays with the biggest buzz

Just which days NJ schools have off remains a reflection of its community. Some New Jersey towns now have populations that celebrate religious holidays not previously taken as a district-wide day, such as Diwali or Eid. Other days off are not religious in nature, but are still stirring up controversy or buzz around the state. The following have been making the most news, heading into the 2022-2023 school year.

New Jersey high school graduation rates

The lists below show 4-year graduation rates for New Jersey public schools for the 2020-21 school year. The statewide graduation rate fell slightly, from 91% in 2019-20 to 90.6%.

The lists, which are sorted by county and include a separate list for charter schools, also include a second graduation rate, which excludes students whose special education IEPs allow them to qualify for diplomas despite not meeting typical coursework and attendance requirements.

Columns with an asterisk or 'N' indicate there was no data or it was suppressed to protect student privacy.

School aid for all New Jersey districts for 2022-23

The state Department of Education announced district-level school aid figures for the 2022-23 school year on Thursday, March 10, 2022. They're listed below, alphabetically by county. For additional details from the NJDOE, including specific categories of aid, click here.

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