The Academy of Saint Elizabeth is a private college preparatory secondary school for young women located in Convent Station, New Jersey, United States. Established in 1860, the academy is the oldest secondary school for young women in New Jersey. The school is within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, but operates on an independent basis. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1928.
As of the 2009-10 school year, the school had an enrollment of 244 students and 25.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a Studentâ"teacher ratio of 9.5:1.
The community of Convent Station, which is adjacent to Morristown, was named for the railway station constructed in the 1870s to accommodate the 200-acre (0.81Â km2) complex of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth that also includes the College of Saint Elizabeth and Saint Anne's Villa. The religious order was founded in 1859 in Newark, but in 1860 the motherhouse of the new religious order and the academy were established on the site near Morristown.
The academy is a member of the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools.
The Academy of Saint Elizabeth was founded at Morristown in 1860 by the Sisters of Charity. In 1859, Mother Xavier was commissioned by Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley to establish a school for young women in New Jersey, the first secondary school for young women in the state. The Academy was established in Madison in September 1860 in a white frame building that still stands. The renaming to Convent Station would come later when Mother Xavier provided funding in the 1870s for the Convent Station train station just outside the school's gates.
When the religious order founded the academy, they moved their mother house and convent from Newark onto a parcel that was located on the developing "Millionaires Row" that stretched from Lonataka Parkway to the center of Morristown, described as the "inland Newport" because of the numerous wealthy families who built grand homes along the route. In 1865, Morristown changed its incorporation to the new "town" category with a boundary that then excluded their large land holdings. Thirty years later, that boundary line officially delineated two governmental jurisdictions in 1895 when Morristown was formally set off from the rest of Morris Township.
The College of Saint Elizabeth was founded in 1899 as part of the complex and, notably, it is the oldest women's college in New Jersey and one of the first Catholic colleges in the United States to award degrees to women. After the new boundary delineated the governmental jurisdiction of Morristown as a smaller area, a community eventually grew up between Morristown and Madison as a separate entity that eventually took its name from the railway station built on the extensive Saint Elizabeth's property.
The first students entered in 1860; the Registration Ledger of September 1 still resides in the principal's office, as do the records of every succeeding year. In 1865, the new Academy building was completed and its first commencement exercises were held on the growing campus. By then, the school had gained a wide reputation for scholarship and was recognized and accepted throughout the state as an institution of strong academics, culture, and Catholic learning for young women. The Sisters continued to acquire land whenever it became available, allowing for a campus that is today over 200 acres (0.81Â km2) and also the home of the College of Saint Elizabeth, founded in 1899.
Initially it served as a boarding school with students from many countries, but in the 1970s it became strictly a day school. The dormitories were converted into classrooms.
The Academy of Saint Elizabeth competes in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). Before the NJSIAA's 2010 realignment, the school had competed in the Suburban Division of the Northern Hills Conference an athletic conference made up of private and public high schools located in Essex, Morris and Passaic counties.
The Academy's swim team won six straight Northern Hills Conference Championships (2002â"2007) and came second in the 2007 Morris County Championships.
The Academy requires four years of mathematics, English, and theology courses, at least three years of the same foreign language (French, Latin, or Spanish), and two laboratory sciences. One art class is required. Juniors and seniors may take college preparatory, honors, or AP courses, while freshmen and sophomores are limited to college preparatory and honors. The AP classes are offered in Calculus AB and BC, Latin: Vergil, Spanish Literature, English Literature and Composition, English Language and Composition, U.S. History, European History, Chemistry, and Biology.
- school website
- Data for the Academy of St. Elizabeth, National Center for Education Statistics