Press releases from Red Bank Regional High School
Over the past decade, Red Bank Regional High School has experienced remarkable academic success by every measure — with one of the primary reasons for that success taking place during the “summer vacation” month of July.
Known as Summer Slam, the freshman transition program plants the seeds of a new community of high schoolers formed from many different communities — primarily the sending towns of Red Bank, Little Silver and Shrewsbury, as well as other Monmouth County municipalities where K-8 districts offer RBR’s four-year academies as an alternative to their eighth grader’s high school choice.
With over 100 students enrolled in this voluntary program, over a third of the incoming freshman class is represented. Summer Slam is operated by The SOURCE, RBR’s School Based Youth Services Program and staffed by RBR Freshman Academy teachers.
RBR utilizes the summer months to give other students an edge on the new school year. Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors were also busy in the pre/AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) courses and a special IB writing program. Here, teachers emphasized the skills students need to enhance in order to be successful when taking the most rigorous classes the school has to offer. RBR also continues a special program introduced last year to prepare seniors for the complicated and daunting college application process.
The emphasis is on academics in a fun, collegial atmosphere. For example, geography is explored in a scategories game. Grammar and vocabulary skills are honed utilizing versions of Scrabble, trivia and Jeopardy. Students conduct science experiments in measurement by calculating their running speed through the RBR halls. Math problems are solved using group dynamics.
This year, a culminating activity took place at Lincroft’s Thompson Park, in collaboration with The Community YMCA. Students solidified their relationships with their new classmates, competing in outdoor field games including tug of war, kickball, relay and potato sack races and other team-building skill activities.
The RBR building is also host to a regular summer school program for credit make-up, and welcomes students from other school districts. RBR’s special education students attend an extended school year program with their teachers. Enrichments programs are offered for English Language Learners and other students using AVID skills.(AVID is an evidence-based college preparatory program.)
Additionally, The RBR Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) offers a five-week VPA visual and performing musical performance camp. The camp’s culminating activity, the musical Hollywood Hillbillies, was presented on August 6, in the RBR auditorium. The spirited production boasted lively music, high-kicking dancing, and a cast of rising fifth to ninth graders (under the direction of Kristopher Zook) that featured Mara Campolattaro (Rumson), Alexa Kirkpatrick (Shrewsbury), and Brendan Loftus (Little Silver). Also featured were Kie Antone (Leonardo), Michael Bogardus (Fair Haven), Shealyn Grant (Little Silver), Penelope Hill (Little Silver), Brady Ann Lynch (Little Silver), Victoria Pater (Red Bank), Lily Pena (Red Bank), Camille Pugliese (Red Bank), John Tuohy (Little Silver) and Ben Zatorski (Red Bank).
Over 70 students took part in the musical production, and art exhibit, which featured the creative art work of other campers, many of whom choose to attend RBR for its renowned Academy of the Visual and Performing Arts program. RBR VPA graduates returned to the summer program as interns working with RBR VPA teachers who guided the campers through a two week rotation of all visual and performing arts including dance, drama, crafts, creative writing, piano, percussion, photography, visual art and vocal music. During the final three weeks of the program campers chose to concentrate on either the musical theatre tract (including acting, dancing and singing) or the visual arts tract, which includes fine arts and handcrafts. For more information on the RBR VPA program, visit the RBR website at www.rbrhs.org.