Apple Inc. recently named both Pascack Valley High School and Pascack Hills High School as "Apple Distinguished Schools," according to district officials. This is the fifth consecutive year both schools have won the award.
The award is given annually to schools which are "exemplary learning environments and centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence," according to a letter from Apple. There were 43 schools across the country that won the award this year.
The Pascack Valley Regional District has emphasized technology. There has been a "one-to-one" laptop program for nine years, giving a computer to each student in the district. The curriculum includes many technology-oriented classes, including programming, computer science, mechanical engineering and robotics. They have also offered an after-school class in app design from Hills alum Denny Kwon. Students from both high schools have used skills from the class to design iPhone apps that offer news from the schools.
"We call ourselves the 'eLearning District' and we were among the first districts in the country and the first in New Jersey to offer students this cutting edge approach to pedagogy," Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Barry Bachenheimer said in a press release. "We are very proud of the work our students, teachers, and administrators do on a daily basis and we are pleased that Apple chose to recognize us this way."