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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.
Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

RED BANK: YO, VOTE FOR THIS PHOTO

rbms-red-ribbon-week-photoRoughly 200 Red Bank Middle School students gathered on the school’s lawn recently to form a red ribbon in support of the national Red Ribbon contest, which touts the anti-drug message of “YOLO – You Only Live Once.” 

The aerial photo, taken by volunteer firefighter Joe Holiday using a drone, has been entered into a contest in which the school is hoping to win $1,000 and an iPad. To vote for the photo, go here. (Photo by Joe Holiday. Click to enlarge)

RBR FEMALE STUDENTS EXPLORE ENGINEERING

mikayla-byron-rbrSenior Mikayla Byron of Red Bank, a student at Red Bank Regional’s Academy of Engineering, works on a project during engineering class.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

For over 15 years, Red Bank Regional High School has provided an engineering program academy as a rich curriculum option for its students. RBR’s Academy of Engineering program is modeled on curriculum developed from Project Lead the Way (a non-profit organization that develops educational S.T.E.M programs in conjunction with industry).

Since its inception, it has more than doubled its enrollment with over 120 students enrolled this year, of which nearly 20% are female.  This fairly represents the percentage of women who graduate college with engineering degrees; however, RBR is one of the few schools that give students a real flavor for the industry prior to attending college.

Read More »

RUMSON SCHOOLS HOST EDUCATION EXPERT

deane-porter_teachers_in_breakout_session_with_dr-_kingorePress release from Rumson School District

In October, the Rumson School District welcomed the internationally recognized author and educator Dr. Bertie Kingore to Forrestdale School for two days of continuing education for our teachers. Over the course of those two days, Dr. Kingore spent time with teachers across all grade levels, focusing on her theme that “educators understand the importance of nurturing every student while we recognize and appropriately challenge high ability learners.”

As a sought-after speaker on differentiation, reading and gifted education, Dr. Kingore (pictured in a “breakout” session with teachers from Deane-Porter School) has been recognized as an authority on gifted students’ rights, responsibilities and differentiation needs. She is the author and developer of the Kingore Observation Inventory [KOI], which is used to assist teachers in designing appropriate differentiated learning experiences for young learners.

Read More »

LINCROFT: BCC TO HOST FALL OPEN HOUSE

brookdale_campus_2Press release from Brookdale Community College

On Sunday, November 6, Brookdale Community College will hold its annual Fall Open House inside the Collins Arena on the Lincroft campus.

Between the hours of 12 to 3 p.m., high school students, career-changers and residents of all ages are invited to meet with Brookdale staff, ask questions and explore more than 50 degree and career training programs offered through the college.

For the first time, attendees will also be able to take customized “academic tours” and meet with representatives from Brookdale’s four Academic Institutes: Business and Social Science; Health Sciences; Humanities; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Read More »

RED BANK: LUNCH BREAK, RBR TEAM TO TUTOR

suzanne-keller-gwendolyn-loveThe SOURCE director Suzanne Keller and Lunch Break exec director Gwendolyn Love are pictured at the launch of the expanded Red Bank Regional Community Tutoring Program at Lunch Break.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

This school year, the Red Bank based nonprofit Lunch Break has graciously offered its facility to the Red Bank Regional High School District, for the expansion of its popular Community Peer Tutoring Program. Dedicated to a mission of “Removing all obstacles that impede a students’ academic success,” the program is operated by The SOURCE, RBR’s School Based Youth Services Program.

Fifty freshmen will meet at the newly renovated Lunch Break dining room every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m., for homework help with their teachers. RBR upper classmen from the school’s National Honor Societies, Key Club and International Baccalaureate program also provide tutoring support for the students under the teachers’ supervision.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN KIDS EMBRACE ‘THE OTHER R’

duffy-gaunt-butler-fhSuzanne Duffy, Laraine Gaunt, and Suzanne Butler at the “It’s OK to Be Different” assembly, which helped kick off the “Week of Respect” at Sickles School in Fair Haven.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

At Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven, the subject of respect – like reading and writing — is taught all year long. During this year’s state-mandated Week of Respect, Sickles  students participated in meaningful activities designed to reinforce lessons about kindness and acceptance.

A kickoff event was held on Friday, September 30, and featured the “It’s OK to Be Different” assembly presented by the program’s creator and director Laraine Gaunt. An educator whose now-grown children once attended Sickles School, Gaunt introduced “It’s OK to Be Different” in 1978 to teach young children respect for all individuals and to promote understanding and tolerance.

“It’s OK to Be Different” is a year-long initiative at Sickles School and complements the tenets of the Responsive Classroom Philosophy already in place at all grade levels – “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully” (Pre-K and Kindergarten), “Understanding Disabilities” (First Grade), “Respect for Different Learners” (Second Grade), and “Celebrating Cultures”  (Third Grade).

Read More »

RFH DEPOSES ‘KING & QUEEN’ OVER BULLYING

rfh 010516Friday night’s homecoming game at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional will be the first in memory not to feature a king, queen and attendants. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[CLARIFICATION: Some of the quotes that appeared in the original version of this article were mistakenly attributed to Superintendent Pete Righi.]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The king is dead. The queen, too. In fact, so is their entire court.

Officials at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High have killed the longstanding tradition of a homecoming king and queen because it had turned into a form of mass bullying.

So there will be no fanfare for student royalty when the 3-1 Bulldogs host undefeated Saint John Vianney Friday night.

Read More »

RED BANK: COUNCIL TO MEET FRIDAY EVENING

rb borough hallHeading out for an night of fun Friday? Kick things off with a council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See update below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s mayor and council won’t meet Wednesday night in observance of Yom Kippur.

Instead, they’ll meet Friday. At 6 p.m.

Read More »

HOW RBR’S VPA TEENS SPENT THEIR SUMMER

rbr-vpa-studentsAmong the Visual and Performing Art major students at Red Bank Regional who spent their summer perfecting their skills are (left to right, standing) Penny Hill, Mara Campolattaro, Jack Faccone-Stockwell, Claire Taylor, Megan Moran; also (kneeling) Shea Grant and Gabriella Scerbo.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Summer vacation may already be a distant memory borne away on a suddenly seasonal Navesink breeze — but to the students of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Red Bank Regional High School, the activities of the school-year break continue to impact the new academic year in the most positive ways.

“Our students never cease to amaze me with their level of dedication and pursuit of perfection for their craft,” observes VPA lead teacher Kris Zook. “I am always delighted to learn what wonderful programs they attended or experiences they had in pursuit of higher performing art achievement.”

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN KIDS GET A LEGO UP ON LEARNING

bricks-4-kidz-fair-havenSickles School third graders get a hands-on lesson with a Bricks 4 Kidz model building project as Media Specialist June Sustick looks on.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Kindergarten through third grade students at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven recently enjoyed a unique learning experience thanks to Bricks 4 Kidz, an enrichment program designed to teach children STEM concepts through hands-on learning using LEGO® bricks.

Director Melina Stock visited Sickles School on September 26-30 for an instructional “in-school field trip.” This consisted of active building sessions for individual classes with the goal of creating finished models.

Working with a Bricks 4 Kidz original design and LEGO technic bricks, the students built their mechanical masterpieces – colorful sailboats for first through third graders (with varying levels of challenge based on grade level) and shiny red apples with bright green stems for Kindergarten students.

Read More »

RUMSON SCHOOLS WELCOME THERAPY DOG

violet_-_therapy_dog_with_kids_at_deane-porterStudents at Deane-Porter School greet their new reading buddy, Violet, Rumson-Fair Haven’s therapy dog.

Press release from Rumson School District

Often, children who have difficulty reading, fear the judgment they receive and become self-conscious while practicing the skill aloud. A reading program involving a dog as a listener has the potential to change that.

Recently, students at Rumson’s Deane Porter and Forrestdale schools welcomed a very special regular guest, as Violet, the official therapy dog of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, joined several RFH students in English Language Arts classes at the two borough schools.

Read More »

LITTLE SILVER: HARASSMENT SUIT COST $290K

carolyn kossack 090612Superintendent Carolyn Kossack, seen here in 2012.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03lawsuit that accused Little Silver’s school superintendent of same-sex sexual harassment was settled for $290,000, a website focused on government settlements reported Monday.

The case, which also alleged wrongful termination, was resolved last November, but its monetary details were not previously disclosed.

Read More »

RUMSON: STADIUM SECURITY BOOSTED

RFHNew security measures will go into effect at Borden Stadium beginning with tonight’s football game, school officials said. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional football fans, stripped of their signs and giant heads for the first home game of the season, won’t be able to bring backpacks and bottles to the second and future games, school officials announced Thursday.

Citing last weekend’s bombing spree in Seaside Heights, New York City and Elizabeth, school officials have imposed new restrictions at Borden Stadium, officials said in a letter sent to community members Thursday.

Read More »

RUMSON: BATCHLER RESIGNS AS RFH TEACHER

batchler 062716 7Former RFH head football coach Bryan Batchler, seen here working out with college players at Red Bank’s Count Basie Fields in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Ousted Rumson-Fair Haven Regional football coach Bryan Batchler has resigned as a teacher in a secret settlement with the school, redbankgreen has learned.

In a statement issued Thursday, the school’s board of education said it had accepted Batchler’s resignation on August 9.

Read More »