BACK IN BLACK…AND RED AND WHITE

rbms-uniformsStarting in October, Red Bank’s public school students must wear uniforms. For now, it’s optional, but many have chosen to start the school year in according threads. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Schools across The Green opened up the 2010-11 academic year today.

In Red Bank, many of the students not only got acclimated to the start of a new school year, but also a new look.

Red Bank public schools‘ new uniform policy, in which all students must wear collared red, white or black tops and khaki pants or skirts, doesn’t officially take effect until October 21, but a large number of the children showed up on the first day flashing their school spirit. So did some of the teachers, even though the uniform policy doesn’t affect them. It was a show of solidarity, said middle school principal Maria Iozzi.

“The teachers are really excited seeing the kids with their uniforms on,” she said. “It’s that sense of pride and unity.”

That’s the purpose of the uniforms, superintendent Laura Morana said.

The middle school plans on having a little fun with the change, too. On “back to school” night, September 30, Iozzi said students and teachers will hold either a fashion show or present a classroom-made video to parents outlining what the children must wear.

Also new in Red Bank education today: the lauded pre-k program kicked off at newly-renovated space at St. Anthony’s Parish. The program for Red Bank’s three and four year olds is at capacity with about 220 students. And that still doesn’t cover everybody, Morana said.

“We have enough three year olds in the area to generate a new class,” Morana said last month. “We would like to add one more class next year.”

Over in Rumson, students showed up on their first day of classes to see an extension of its own kind. The Rumson Country Day School just put the finishing touches on its 20,000-square-foot addition, Riker Hall. Anybody interested in seeing the addition, there’ll be a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony at 11:30a next Friday at the school.

Middletown students start classes Tuesday.