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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-FAIR HAVEN MAKES HONOR ROLL

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional School District

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional is one of 433 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll.

To be included on the Honor Roll, RFH had to, since 2014, increase the number of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. Among RFH students, 52 AP scholars scored 3+ on three or more AP exams, with 26 designated Scholars with Honor scoring 3+ on four or more exams (average 3.25), and 48 designated Scholars with Distinction scored 3+ on five or more exams (average 3.5+). The district’s 134 AP scholars represents an increase of 53 percent over 2015.

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LINCROFT: FREE WELDING TRAINING FROM BCC

welding-bccStudents hone their welding skills during a free training program hosted by Brookdale Community College in 2015. (Photo by Brookdale Community College)

Press release from Brookdale Community College 

Jobless men and women can train in an in-demand trade at no cost, as Brookdale Community College co-hosts a free welding training program for area residents beginning in February.

Offered in partnership with Ocean County College, The 166-hour program is open to unemployed individuals with a high school diploma or equivalency degree. Training, which takes place from February 7 to March 30 at OCC’s campus in Toms River, will cover a wide range of hands-on skills and basic industry knowledge, including arc welding, welding fabrication, blueprint reading, resume writing and job search skills.

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LINCROFT: BCC SEEKS 2017 HONOREES

brookdale-mainsignPress release from Brookdale Community College

The Alumni Association of Brookdale Community College is seeking nominations for the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award and the college’s annual Honorary Degree award, both of which will be conferred at the college’s commencement in May.

All residents are encouraged to nominate a candidate or candidates they believe to be worthy of recognition, with the deadline for nominations set for Monday, January 30.

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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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FAIR HAVEN, LINCROFT: BIG GRANTS LANDED

small_factory_2Special-needs education programs developed by the Fair Haven animation studio Small Factory have been recognized with a substantial grant from the National Science Foundation.

Two small businesses on the Greater Red Bank Green — one in Fair Haven, the other in Lincroft — have been named recipients of major grants from the National Science Foundation.

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SHREWSBURY RESIDENT JOINS BCC BOARD

latonya-brennanPress release from Brookdale Community College

Shrewsbury resident Latonya Brennan was sworn in as the newest member of the Brookdale Community College Board of Trustees during the board’s monthly public meeting in Lincroft on December 20.

An insurance and risk management professional specializing in education, Brennan has previously worked with the New Jersey School Boards Association and the New Jersey Schools Insurance Group. She is also a past president of the Associate Business Members of the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials.

Brennan currently serves as area vice president for Arthur J. Gallagher and Co. Risk Management Services in Princeton. She is among a select group of insurance professionals to hold a Certified School Risk Management designation.

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RUMSON BOARDS CELEBRATES TOP STUDENTS

Press release from Rumson School District

At the November 30 meeting of the Rumson School District Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. John Bormann and fellow board members congratulated students in grades 3-8 for obtaining perfect scores on the 2015 PARCC English Language Arts, PARCC Mathematics, and/or NJASK Science assessments.

The PARCC is given each year in the Spring to students in grades 3-8, and the NJASK is given in science to students in grade 4 and in grade 8.

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RUMSON: TEAMWORK WINS BIG, AT RCDS

rcds-forensicsSophia and Kathryn, two students at Rumson Country Day School, learned the fundamentals of teamwork, confidence building and public speaking, during the school’s recent Forensics Festival.

On Saturday, December 3, some 45 students from five schools competed at the annual Forensics Festival hosted at The Rumson Country Day School, vying for top honors in  categories that included dramatic pairs, storytelling, and humorous interpretation of literature.

Two RCDS sixth graders named Sophia and Kathryn were among the participants who secured a finalist award, both of them crediting “working with a supportive partner” for their win in the dramatic pairs competition. For Kathryn — a new student at the school this year — the Forensics Festival represented an “opportunity to work closely with a partner and make new friends,” while smoothing the sometimes difficult experience of transitioning to a new school.

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RUMSON: LANGUAGE PANEL THINKS GLOBALLY

world_language_panel_presentersLeft to right: presenters Mark Jeffers, Gianna Maita, and Sue Finley are pictured at the second annual “World Language in Our Community” panel discussion, hosted at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

On November 28, five distinguished guests participated in the second annual “World Language in Our Community” panel discussion, hosted at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. This year’s panelists were Sue Finley, Taylor Forry, Mark Jeffers, Gianna Maita, and Greg Thomas.

Student attendance was optional, and – in a repeat of last year — there was a “standing room only” crowd. The panelists shared their career and life experiences as they related to world languages and cultures, and participated in a follow-up question and answer session.

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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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RUMSON SCHOOLS TEACH CRISIS PREVENTION

crisis_prevention_institute_-_mrs-_sandy_self_ldtc_mrs-_arlene_troynousky_ldtc_and_ms-_kimberly_bohichik_bcbaSandy Self, Arlene Troynousky, and Kimberly Bohichik take part in a Crisis Prevention Institute training session hosted by Rumson School District.

The Rumson School District has continued its push to bring new and innovative ideas and strategies to their staff — and in November, the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) training provided school personnel with ways to de-escalate potentially challenging behaviors, both in and around the classroom.

The CPI is an international training organization that teaches more than 1.2 million human services professionals each year how to safely and effectively manage behaviors. The core principles driving the program focus on the care, welfare, safety and security of all students and staff.

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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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FAIR HAVEN KIDS GET ‘THE BLUES’

schuman_hans_image4-1Hans Schuman, executive director of the music education group JazzReach and drummer for the group’s Metta Quintet, was among the musicians who gave a special presentation on Blues music to students from Fair Haven and Red Bank.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

On November 17, third graders from Sickles School in Fair Haven got a lesson in “learning the blues,” in an exciting event at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank.

Accompanied by music teacher Vince Mottern and chaperones, the students attended “Yes Indeed!,” a program (presented by the musical education group JazzReach) that explores the evolution of the blues genre, as well as its impact on American music and history.

After a live performance of blues and jazz music by members of the Jazz Reach Metta Quintet, the Sickles students and their teachers – along with the Red Bank Primary School students and teachers also in attendance – participated in a Q&A session with the musicians as well as musical demonstrations.

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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: 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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RUMSON STUDENTS HELP PLAN SCHOOL’S I-LAB

forrestdale-ilabThe second phase of the Innovation Lab at Forrestdale School has been designed with input from inspired students, teachers, administration and members of the community.

Press release from Rumson School District

The Innovation Lab at Forrestdale School has completed Phase 1 of its design and construction. Part of a collaborative effort between administration and teachers, the first phase was made possible through a generous donation from the Rumson Education Foundation.

Currently the home of the technology/STEM classroom, which all Forrestdale students are enrolled in, the lab includes a student activity learning area that could be configured in countless possible arrangements in order to meet the needs of the students’ technology and STEM-based activities, as well as a state-of-the-art, touch-screen teacher and student display, and other technologies.

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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: VAN ZANDT LINEUP TO ROCK BASIE

van-zandt-guadagno-111416-1Steven Van Zandt and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno on stage at the Basie Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

basie-marquee-111416A four-night campaign of classic rock shows curated by E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt in coming months will help drive a $20 million expansion Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, officials said Monday.

But the names of the acts to be spotlighted in the series remained under wraps at a press conference held on the stage of the Vaudeville-era venue.
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RED BANK: CHARTER CLAIMS NO ‘SEGREGATION’

rbcs 032216 5A five-year renewal of the Red Bank Charter School charter is pending before state education officials. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See update, below]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank Charter School Superintendent Meredith Pennotti went on the offensive Thursday, blasting critics who claim the publicly funded alternate school is responsible for “segregation” of school-aged children in the borough.

In an opinion piece published by the Asbury Park Press’ app.com, Pennotti took aim at what she calls “the same small but vocal group in town” that “kicks into high gear in an effort to shut us down” when the school comes up for renewal every five years, as it has this year.

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LITTLE SILVER: A GUEST VIRTUOSO AT RBR

rbr-interstring-christian-howesThis past October 21, Red Bank Regional High School welcomed renowned musician and educator Christian Howes, as a lead-in to the school’s annual Inter-String Concert. The Ohio-based guest artist conducted an all-day workshop that brought together students from Red Bank Middle School and Little Silver’s Markham Place School, working with RBR high school string players and culminating in the concert event that showcased the talents of 65 young musicians.