The Bergen County Technical Schools District was founded in 1951 to oversee the County’s growing need for vocational education. The Bergen County Vocational-Technical High School, the first full-time facility of its kind in the state, opened in 1952,offering students training in plumbing, carpentry, masonry, and electrical work. When industry’s needs later changed from hand tools to computers, technical education in the District was adapted to meet the needs of an evolving job market and provide students strong academic and technical skills to meet the challenges of the future. In the late 1980s, the district began offering before- and after-school enrichment classes for students interested in high-tech areas such as computers, physics, and electronics. The program opened the world of modern vocational education to gifted and talented students.
With the aid of a $6 million county bond, the district began to bring unparalleled technology to the county. Secondary students from throughout Bergen County used the campus’s computer and science labs in cooperative and exploratory programs. Middle school students—and their teachers—were exposed to new technologies through a program called ECEMS (Enrichment and Career Exploration in Math and Science). In-service workshops and a professional development school, Apple Academy East, one of the most successful test sites for Apple Computer, followed. These innovative offerings helped initiate full-time programs in technical, career-driven areas for talented students who wished to study in an exciting, non-traditional learning environment.
Today, the district’s secondary programs include Applied Technology High School, a full-time high school program with a concentration in engineering technology located on the campus of Bergen Community College; the Bergen County Academies, seven magnet high school programs that meld college prep classes with a career focus; Bergen County Technical High School/Paramus, a secondary program with a full-time option for special needs students and a shared-time option for students from local sending districts; and Bergen County Technical High School/Teterboro, a full-time program with nine technical concentrations. The District also offers full- and part-time technical instruction to over 18,000 secondary and adult students.