Award Year: 2018

South Side High School

140 Shepherd Street
Rockville Centre, NY, 11570-2297

(516) 255-8944

Mr. John Murphy, Principal at time of Nomination

Rockville Centre Union Free School District

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Educate our students to become independent problem solvers. It is our goal to empower each student to meet the challenges of tomorrow's emerging world. The District will provide a safe, nurturing environment in which individual and civic responsibility is fostered, diversity is respected and all students are enabled to realize their full potential.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 7%
  • White: 78%
  • Hispanic: 10%
  • Asian: 3%
  • Two or more races: 2%
  • ELL: 2%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 15%
South Side High School Class of 2018

South Side High School Class of 2018

Founded in 1896, South Side was the first public high school on the south shore of Long Island. Our reputation and success stem from a personalized approach to learning, heterogeneous grouping, and universal acceleration. As a former principal once noted, "When classes become more heterogeneous, teachers become more ingenious, and students thrive."

At South Side, all ninth and tenth grade classes are detracked. All students take IB English and History in grade 11, and students are grouped heterogeneously in English 12, where every student has the opportunity to take the IB Language and Literature exam in May of their senior year. In 2018, 61% of the graduating class completed the requirements for a full IB Diploma. Ninety percent (90%) of all South Side graduates completed one or more IB or AP courses, including 67% of those who qualified for free or reduced lunch and 50% of students with special learning needs. All special education students are fully integrated into general education courses.

A "programmatic" or holistic approach to learning includes a new emphasis on social emotional learning; all teachers have been trained in mindfulness and meditation techniques. Thanks to the support and generosity of the Board of Education and the community, students balance academic success with a healthy involvement in extracurricular activities, and can choose from over 70 clubs and organizations.