Do you have children who will be attending the Freehold Regional High School District in the near future or even down the road? In this episode of Monmouth Redefined, I’m going to share eight different things you need to know about applying for the different programs within the Freehold Regional High School District. We’ll take a look at what the school district offers and how to make the most of your children’s education.

Entering High School

If your kids are still in elementary or middle school, you may not be thinking about high school. But let me tell you: the years go by quickly. When the time does come, it can be overwhelming and confusing to research different high schools and try to figure out which is best for your kids.

For those of you who don’t know, I have 13-year-old twins: Nicholas and Gabriella. As soon as they started eighth grade this year, we were informed we needed to figure out high school for the following year. I was clueless about this and didn’t realize how quickly they had to apply.

I was overwhelmed and stressed with helping them try to figure out which ones may be a good fit for them and helping them understand the requirements involved. Because I just spent the last several months going through the process, I decided to make a video that will hopefully help other parents navigate the process when the time comes—because it truly can be a bit overwhelming, confusing, and stressful.

About The Freehold High School District

The first thing you need to know is what Freehold High School District is all about. The district consists of six towns: Manalapan, Marlboro, Freehold Township, Freehold Borough, Colts Neck, and Howell. Within the district, there are several different magnet programs as well as international bachelorette programs your children can apply for.

If they are accepted, they will attend the high school where the program is held. For example, we live in Manalapan Township. My daughter applied for a magnet program that is housed at Howell High School. If she is accepted, she will attend Howell High School instead of Manalapan, where she’s Zone 4.

The district will provide her with transportation as well. The programs are four-year courses of study, similar to college-level work. Additionally, the application process is competitive.

Receiving Your Letter

The second thing you need to know is that when your child starts eighth grade, you will immediately receive an email letter. This will contain information about both the magnet and the IB programs. If I remember correctly, I literally received the email on their first or second day of eighth grade.

As I said, it can be overwhelming. School will have just started, so we’re already overwhelmed. Then, this email comes through and you’re already thinking about ninth grade. Although eighth grade has just started, the letter you will receive will provide you with all the different programs as well as links to the different programs.

This will enable you and your child to begin exploring and figuring out which programs—if any—they are interested in.

Keeping Track Of The Calendar

The third thing you need to be prepared for is the timeline of the open houses and webinars. This year, they began as early as September and went to about mid-October. We did attend a few of them, and they were very informative and helpful. The fourth thing you need to know is that they do have very strict deadlines in place this year.

Applications could be submitted as early as September 26 but no later than November 1. So if your child decides they may be interested in applying to some of these programs, you need to take the time during these months to attend the open houses and watch the webinars. You can also talk to other parents and students so that your child can figure out which programs they are interested in applying to.

The Programs Offered

The fifth thing you need to know is what programs are actually offered. At Freehold Township High School, the animal and botanicals science program, computer science, and global studies programs are housed. The business program is held at Marlboro, while Freehold Borough offers culinary arts and hospitality management. It also includes the medical sciences program.

Howell includes humanities and fine and performing arts, the latter of which is divided into three separate subcategories: acting, dance, and music, video, and production. Colts Neck houses the law and public service and ROTC programs. The law and public safety and science and engineering programs are held at Manalapan High School.

The international bachelorette programs are held at Freehold Township and Howell High School. These are even more rigorous and academically challenging than the magnet programs.

Choosing A Path And Program Requirements

The sixth thing you need to know is that your child can only apply to two programs and the IB program if they choose. If they are accepted into more than one program, they will at have to choose which program they want to attend.

The seventh thing you need to know is that there are different criteria and requirements for each program along with their grades and teacher recommendations. Some of the programs require essays, interviews, auditions, and entrance exams. It is important that your child truly understands what the program entails and that they have a deep interest and passion for it.

The programs are very competitive. To give you an example, my daughter is applying to FPAC, which is the dance program at Howell High School. Only 18 students will be accepted for this program, and you have students from all over the six townships applying and auditioning for this program.

Because of this, it’s important that the students understand the competitiveness of many of these magnet programs. You want to make sure you help them to set realistic expectations.

Acceptance And Waiting Lists

The eighth and last thing you need to know is that the students typically find out if they are accepted into the program—or programs if they applied to one or two—sometime in February via email. They also do have waiting lists.

If your child is not accepted into the program, they will be placed on a waiting list in case one of the students who were accepted decides not to attend. I have spoken to many parents whose children have gone through the different magnet programs, and I hear truly wonderful things about the programs offered. Aside from the emphasis placed on the subject, the students form a close-knit community and many make lifelong friendships.

Get A Great Education In Monmouth County

If you have children who will be attending the district, I hope you found this video helpful. I know as I was doing my research, I couldn’t find much information aside from what the district provides. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to direct you to some resources.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of Monmouth Redefined, my show all about living here in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Stay tuned to see what I feature next!