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LITTLE SILVER: BOROUGH EYES AVAILABLE LOT

The property, marked with a star, would provide direct public access to Challenger Field. (Image by Google Maps. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Little Silver officials hope to solve a longstanding problem of access to ballfields with the purchase of a vacant property, under action initiated by the borough council.

But it’s far from a done deal, hinging on financial help from Monmouth County and the property still being available when the town’s ready to make an offer.

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RUMSON PRESCHOOL WELCOMES NEW DOGS

Krisanne Zajac joins the Rumson Bulldog to welcome the preschool class of 2017.

Press release from Rumson Public School District

The Rumson Public School District is pleased to announce year eight of the implementation of its integrated preschool program. The primary goal of the program is to provide developmentally appropriate educational experiences that build a strong foundation for future academic success. All children in this program are encouraged to grow socially, cognitively, emotionally and physically and to have fun doing so.

The program was established with two goals: improve early childhood education practices, and develop the highest quality preschool program. To accomplish these goals, Rumson has partnered with the New Jersey Departments of Children and Families, Education, Health, and Human Services in an effort to enhance their preschool program and offerings.

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RED BANK: KIDS’ AUTHOR ‘ROCKS’ AT MDCC

Courtesy of Gilda Rogers

In a recent visit from children’s book writer Sandra L. Richards (pictured at left), the children of  Monmouth Day Care Center were treated to a reading of the author’s RICE & ROCKS. Illustrated by Megan Kayleigh Sullivan, it’s the story of a boy whose embarrassment over the traditional dishes served up by his grandmother is turned into a celebration of cultural diversity, thanks to a favorite aunt and a talking pet parrot. The kids of MDCC were also treated to their own free copies of the book, courtesy of a generous donation from Morgan Stanley.

RED BANK: ART AND SCIENCE IS PRIMARY

This Thursday, March 23, Red Bank Primary School invites the community to view an exhibit of student artwork, and take part in fun interactive art/science activities, as the River Street school hosts its 2017 Night of the Arts and Sciences. All students in grades K through 3 will have their creations on display, with Kindergarten and First Grade children and their families invited to attend from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., and Second and Third Grade children and families welcomed between 6:30 and 7:15 p.m. Parents and guardians are advised to remain with their children at all times, and more information (plus a closer look at all of the activities and exhibits) can be found by going here to the Red Bank Primary School Art website maintained by the school’s art educator, Ms. Rachel Mambach.

RED BANK: ACLU ENTERS CHARTER BATTLE

CPA Scott Landau turns a drum as business administrator Theresa Shirley looks on during the charter school enrollment lottery last April. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The American Civil Liberties Union has joined two other organizations already waging war on the Red Bank Charter School‘s existence.

The ACLU of New Jesey said Thursday that, along with Fair Schools Red Bank and the Latino Coalition of New Jersey , it would appeal the state Department of Education’s decision earlier this week to allow the 19-year-old school to operate for at least another five years.

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RED BANK: CHARTER WINS FIVE MORE YEARS

The Red Bank Charter School campus on Oakland Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank Charter School is good to go for at least another five years, following an extension of its operating charter announced Wednesday night.

The generally expected renewal comes amid an upswell of tension over the school’s existence, in the form of a pending claim of segregation.

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RED BANK: FEDS TAKE ON ‘SEGREGATION’ CASE

The Red Bank Charter School, on Oakland Street, hotly disputes allegations that the borough schools are “segregated” as a result of its enrollment practices. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03As requested three months ago by two advocacy groups, the federal Justice Education Department is investigating allegations of segregation leveled at the Red Bank Charter School, correspondence obtained by redbankgreen on Tuesday showed.

The decision by the department’s Office of Civil Rights to open an investigation “in no way implies that the OCR has made a determination with regard to its merit,” a government letter to the complainants said.

But the revelation set off a fresh round of sniping in a bitter battle over the charter school’s existence.

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RED BANK: CHARTER FOES ALLEGE FALSE DATA

rbcs graduation 061516 2Attendees at the charter school’s graduation ceremony in Riverside Gardens Park last June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank Charter School engaged in “outright fabrication” of data used to support its pending request for a five-year charter extension, opponents alleged Thursday.

The purported falsification, concerning the numbers of resident white and Hispanic children who attend private and parochial schools, was used “in a deliberate attempt to mislead the state Department of Education and to perpetuate the myth that the taxpayer-funded 200-student school reflects the pre-K through 8th grade demographics of the community,” according to two groups seeking a shutdown of the school over alleged civil rights issues.

The charter school dismissed the allegations.

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RUMSON: K KIDS TAKE CHARGE OF PROJECT

Press release from Rumson School District

DP_Community_Helpers_PhotoSome chose police officers and firefighters. Others favored letter carriers, doctors, nurses, and teachers — while veterinarians proved to be a very popular choice.

Recently, Rumson School District kindergarteners embarked on an exploration of the importance of these and other “community helpers.” With each student encouraged to select the community helper that interested them, and that they wanted to learn more about, the project allowed them to work independently and search for answers to questions they created, on their own.

Teachers such as Ms. Feeney were on hand to guide, coach and facilitate the students as needed, helping them find books and online resources, and encouraging them to stretch their ideas and reflections. Students expressed excitement over their being allowed to choose which helper they could research, and what type of information they wanted to learn.

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RUMSON: PJ LIBRARY EVENT FOR KIDS AT CBI

Press release from Congregation B’nai Israel

On Sunday, January 8, Congregation B’nai Israel will host a “PJ Library” event for children in Pre-K through Grade 2 and their parents, in which participants will create a personal story book, view Jewish children’s videos, explore Jewish songs and enjoy refreshments, all at no cost.

Scheduled from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the program will include an adult discussion on building a Jewish home library. Guests will also have the opportunity to register for the monthly Jewish book or music CD that PJ Library provides for free.

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RUMSON: AN OPEN HOUSE AT DEANE-PORTER

deane-porter-schoolPress release from Rumson School District

On the morning of Wednesday, February 1, 2017, interested parents and their children are invited to attend a Preschool Open House session at Deane-Porter School, the public primary school serving Rumson borough residents.

Scheduled for 9:15 a.m., the hour-long session will allow adult attendees to pick up a registration packet for enrolling their child in the 2017-2018 school year. Children and their parents/guardians will be able to visit classrooms, and kids will be invited to take part in some of the offered activities.

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RED BANK: TURF HOLDING UP, SAYS SICKELS

rb-basie-turf-120516-5Rubber-crumb exposure at midfield and the sidelines, below, of the football field at Count Basie Fields is not indicative of the type of turf failure reported elsewhere, says the borough administrator. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb-basie-turf-120516-6Failing artificial-turf playing fields made by an industry-leading manufacturer are not an issue in Red Bank, according to borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.

three-day investigative exposé by NJ.com earlier this week reported that hundreds of turf fields across the United States were beginning to deteriorate long before the eight-to-ten-year life expectancy touted by the Canadian manufacturer, FieldTurf. The company knew about the failures but hid them as it continued to sell the fields, at prices often exceeding $500,000, the report alleged.

But the fields installed by the company at Count Basie Fields here are holding up well, Sickels told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: DISTRICT CALLS FOR CHARTER END

rbcs 032216 2The charter school’s five-year renewal request is pending with the state Department of Education. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank school district has quietly but officially called for the non-renewal of the Red Bank Charter School‘s official sanction, district Superintendent Jared Rumage confirmed Tuesday.

In an October 13 letter to the New Jersey Department of Education, Rumage told acting Commissioner Kimberley Harrington that the existence of the charter school “greatly inhibits the ability of our schools to meet our goals” and imposes an “unfair financial burden” on both borough and state taxpayers.

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FAIR HAVEN: A ‘YELP’ FOR PARENTS AND KIDS

alex-skove-cathy-goldin-kidgooroo-102616-1Alex Skove and Cathy Goldin, founders of Kidgooroo, at Booskerdoo in Fair Haven last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hoping to turn frustration into gold, two women from the Greater Red Bank Green have taken on the challenge of helping parents identify the best available extracurricular programs for their children.

Think of their online service, called Kidgooroo, as a kind of Yelp for harried moms and dads.

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LITTLE SILVER KIDS EXPLORE DISABILITIES

wheelchairsGetting around with the use of a wheelchair, and managing everyday tasks with disability-simulating mitts, were two of the activities explored by Point Road School students during Celebrating Different Learning Abilities Day.

Press release from Little Silver School District

handsOn a recent Friday, third grade students at Little Silver’s Point Road School took part in the school’s 10th Annual Celebrating Different Learning Abilities Day. The event was created to educate students about disabilities, as well as to help raise awareness and acceptance of individual differences.

The third grade classes rotated through five rooms, where they learned about different disabilities. In each room the students participated in hands on activities that were specifically designed to give them a glimpse of what it would be like to live with various Physical, Learning, Developmental, Hearing and Vision related disabilities.

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RED BANK: P.R. BATTLE OVER CHARTER SCHOOL

rbcs 032216 2The charter school’s five-year renewal request is pending with the state Department of Education. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The two sides in the recently renewed tussle over the future of the Red Bank Charter School crossed swords in the form of press releases Monday.

First, the Latino Coalition of New Jersey issued a release decrying the school’s use of nearly $40,000 to pay an outside firm for public relations.

That was followed by a press release, issued by that firm on the school’s behalf, questioning the coalition’s standing.

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RED BANK: SOIRÉE KICKS OFF HOLIDAY SEASON

rbba-111716-20
rbba-111716-4The first-ever Holiday Soirée thrown by the Red Bank Business Alliance at the Molly Pitcher Inn turned out to be quite the affair, as more than 300 attendees packed two ballrooms to sample small plates, dance, bid on artwork and generally kick off the holiday-party season. In the process, the RBBA raised some $19,000 for two nonprofit organizations — Jason’s Dreams for Kids and Clean Ocean Action.

Check out redbankgreen’s photos below to see who you know. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: CHARTER FOES CLAIM BROAD BASE

rbms 121715 1A rally at the Red Bank Middle School last December, shortly after the charter school announced its proposed expansion plan, drew a standing-room-only crowd. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Who’s behind the Civil Rights complaint against the Red Bank Charter School filed with the Justice Department earlier this week?

According to charter school Superintendent Meredith Pennotti, it’s a “small group that seems bent on further dividing the community” with a complaint that she called “meritless.”

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B&G CLUB CUTS RIBBON ON RED BANK UNIT

bgc-ribbonKids from the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County joined Red Bank Unit Director Christy Davis (above) recently for a ceremonial cutting of the ribbon for the newly renovated facility on Drs. James Parker Boulevard. 

bgc-kids_labPress release from Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County

Recently, some of the more than 300 young members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County (BGCM) joined Red Bank Unit Director Christy Davis for a momentous occasion, when the director of the Red Bank Unit officially opened the organization’s newly enhanced and expanded 4,000-square foot facility at 138 Drs. James Parker Boulevard.

The BGCM’s Red Bank Unit underwent a major transformation over the last few months, highlighted by a completely updated computer lab. Thanks to an $18,500 grant by OceanFirst Foundation, BGCM was able to update the lab’s workstations and enhance the computing infrastructure.

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RED BANK: GROUPS SEEK FEDS PROBE OF CHARTER SCHOOL FOR STUDENT ‘SEGREGATION’

rbcs graduation 061516 1Charter school Superintendent Meredith Pennotti speaking at the school’s eighth-grade graduation ceremony in Riverside Gardens Park in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[NOTE: This post was updated to include a prepared statement from charter school Superintendent Pennotti.]

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1A group of parents and Latino rights advocates have asked the federal Justice Department to “investigate and ultimately remedy” enrollment and funding practices at the Red Bank Charter School that they claim make the borough’s public schools the “most segregated” in New Jersey.

In documents released Tuesday, the Latino Coalition of New Jersey and the newly formed Fair Schools Red Bank claim the school and the administration of Governor Chris Christie have violated the civil rights of borough students by failing to address ethnic, socio-econonic and fiscal disparities between the charter school and the public school district from which it was carved out 18 years ago.

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RED BANK: BURSTING WITH KINDNESS

rb-dance-for-life-111316-5rb-dance-for-life-111316-6First came the “freezemob,” as hundreds of orange-clad participants stopped in poses of kindness on a stretch of Broad Street in downtown Red Bank. Then came the “flashmob,” as music was cranked up and the mob broke into joyous dance.

The occasion was the fifth annual ‘Dance for Kindness,’ a campaign to support random acts of kindness that involved 100 locations around the globe Sunday. redbankgreen trained its lens on the local edition; please check out the additional photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.) (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge) Read More »