A brief history of Garfield
When the area that is now Garfield was first developed in 1873, it was known as East Passaic. In 1881, the community's name was changed to Garfield in honor of President of the United States James Garfield.There are two explanations given for the circumstances behind the renaming. According to one, shortly after Garfield was elected to the presidency the founder of East Passaic said, "tell everyone...don't speak of East Passaic anymore; call it 'Garfield' after the man who will lead this great country to prosperity." Seven months later, President Garfield was assassinated but his name remained with the community.The second theory holds that after Garfield's death in 1881, a new train station was named in his honor, which in turn led to the surrounding area becoming associated with his name as well.
Garfield was originally incorporated as a borough on March 15, 1898, from portions of Saddle River Township and Wallington. At the time, the New Jersey Legislature set Garfield's boundaries as they exist today. On April 19, 1917, the borough became the City of Garfield, based on the results of a referendum held two days earlier.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 2.160 square miles (5.594 km2), including 2.099 square miles (5.436 km2) of land and 0.061 square miles (0.158 km2) of water (2.82%). Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Belmont, Bogart Heights, Dundee Dam and Plauderville. The city has land borders with adjacent Elmwood Park, Lodi, Saddle Brook and South Hackensack. The Saddle River is a shared border with Wallington. There are three bridges over the Passaic River crossing the municipal and county line to Passaic and Clifton in Passaic County.
The Garfield Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide, which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement that the state cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.
As of the 2014–15 school year, the district and its 12 schools had an enrollment of 5,279 students and 447.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.8:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Garfield Early Childhood Learning Center (329 students; in PreK), Garfield Public Preschool Annex (138; PreK), Washington Irving School #4 (422; K-5), Woodrow Wilson School #5 (310; K-5), Abraham Lincoln Elementary School #6 (360; PreK-5), Roosevelt School #7 (355; K-5), Christopher Columbus School #8 (413; PreK-5), James Madison School #10 (393; K-5), Garfield Middle School (981; 6-8), Garfield High School (1,052; 9-12) and Garfield Auxiliary Middle School & High School (63; 6-12).
Public school students from the city, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student's home school district.
Bergen Arts and Science Charter School, which opened in September 2006, serves public school students in the district, as well as those from Hackensack and Lodi. As of the 2014–15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 959 students and 77.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.5:1
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2017 US Census Bureau, American Community Survey. Home value data includes all types of owner-occupied housing.