With the budget season now underway, residents may want a reminder why they pay such high taxes.##M:[more]## That came in the form of the New Jersey Department of Education’s annual report card which shows that when it comes to quality education, West Windsor-Plainsboro rates among the state’s best. Released on February 2, WW-P high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools all received consistently high marks.

High School North ranked fourth in the state with an average SAT score of 1197. Only Milburn (1247), Montgomery (1244), and Princeton (1237) finished higher. High School South was right behind in fifth place with an average SAT score of 1194.

At High School North, 95.5 percent of students in grade 11 passed Language Arts in 2003-’04 while South 11th graders passed at a rate of 94.9 percent. At North, 90.6 percent of students in grade 11 passed mathematics, and at South that number was 92.1 percent. In addition, 82.7 percent of North’s graduating seniors planned to attend a four-year college. At South that percentage was 84.3.

At High School North, with an enrollment of 1,"240 students, 83.2 percent of were taking Advanced Placement classes in 2003-’04. At South, with an enrollment of 1,"542, the percentage taking AP classes was a 77.2. The average class size at North was 19.7. At South the average class size was 21.1 students.

WW-P middle schools also fared well. Eighth grade students at Grover Middle School passed Language Arts at a rate of 94.3, tops in the county. Community Middle School was second best at 92.3 percent. The numbers were equally impressive for math, where 93.3 percent of Grover Middle students passed eighth grade math, again, best in the county. Community Middle students were second, at 89.5 percent.

Grover’s enrollment in 2003-’04 was 1,"161, for an average class size of 20.7. At Community Middle, where the total enrollment was 1,"066, the average class size was 21.8 students. In addition, the percentage of students in special education classes at Grover Middle School was 8.4, while at Community Middle it was 12.9 percent.

The district’s elementary schools also came out well in the state report card ranking in the top 10 percent in the state. At Dutch Neck Elementary, with a total student population of 703 and an average class size of 19, third graders had one of the highest passing percentages in the state at 97.4 percent for language arts and 94.9 percent for math.

At John B. Wicoff School, with a total student enrollment of 390, 96 percent of third graders passed language arts and 97 percent passed math. The average class size at Wicoff is 18.6 students. At Maurice Hawk, with a total school population of 732 and an average class size of 18.8, 95.2 percent of third graders passed language arts and 95.2 passed math.

At Town Center Elementary, the district’s newest school, the total student population was 721 and the average class size was 19.5. Third graders passed language arts at a rate of 94.8 percent and 92.3 percent passed mathematics.

At the district’s two upper elementary school the numbers were equally impressive. At Millstone River School, with a total population of 804 students and an average class size of 21.2, 95.7 percent of fourth graders passed language arts and 88.5 percent passed math. Both among the best in the county. At Village School, with a total student enrollment of 659 and an average class size of 22 students, 93.5 percent of fourth graders passed language arts and 88.8 passed math.