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RED BANK: DISTRICT GETS FUNDING BOOST

Jobs and after-school programs that were cut this spring are being restored, said Superintendent Jared Rumage, seen at left with board president Fred Stone before a lobbying trip to Trenton in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank school officials have been busy in recent days restoring jobs, programs and contracts eliminated just four months ago.

Under Governor Phil Murphy’s first budget, the borough’s 1,422-student pre-K-8 district saw a 55-percent jump in state aid, which board members said Tuesday night was a cause for both celebration and frustration.

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RED BANK: RAIN DELAYS MOVIE FEST MURAL

Sunday’s rain forced a postponement to completion of a new Indie Street Film Festival mural begun in Red Bank by area students Friday night. The volunteers will try again next Sunday, according to a post on the festival Facebook page. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Meantime, the National Weather Service forecasts mostly sunny skies and a peak temperature around 89 degrees on the Greater Red Bank Green Monday. But there’s an 80-percent chance of thunderstorms Tuesday evening, which would impact the planned screening of “Cars 3” in Riverside Gardens Park, so stayed tuned for an update. The extended forecast is below.

FAIR HAVEN: A DAY OF COMMUNITY

The seventh annual Fair Haven Day once again offered borough residents an evening of food, games, music and community at Fair Haven Fields Saturday.

redbankgreen was there to capture the event in pixels, right down to the spectacular fireworks finale. Click ‘read more’ for additional photos. (Photos by Mariah Woodbury. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: LIBRARY DIRECTOR TO RETIRE

Elizabeth McDeromott, center, at the 2015 Red Bank Mayor’s Ball. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Elizabeth McDermott, who guided the Red Bank Public Library through perhaps the most turbulent chapter of its 81-year history, will retire at the end of June.

An ex-software industry consultant who changed careers well into adulthood, McDermott announced her retirement in the spring issue of the library’s newsletter, out this week.

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RED BANK: SCHOOL TAX HIKE, JOB CUTS LOOM

Jobs and after-school programs are on the cutting block unless the state comes through with an additional $750,000, said Superintendent Jared Rumage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The average Red Bank homeowner would pay about $117 more in taxes to support borough schools this year if New Jersey legislators don’t come through with more funding, Superintendent Jared Rumage said Tuesday night.

Even with the levy increase, the local primary and middle schools could see cuts in staffing and extracurricular programs such as jazz band and the fledgling cross-country track team, he said.

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RED BANK: STATE UPHOLDS CHARTER RENEWAL

The charter school’s main building, on Oakland Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank Charter School does not engage in “segregative” enrollment practices, the New Jersey Department of Education ruled last week in upholding the school’s latest five-year operating charter.

In letter dated April 16 to the charter school, Acting Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet rejected assertions of bias by Fair Schools Red Bank and the Latino Coalition of New Jersey, and found instead that the charter school “is seeking, ‘to the maximum extent practicable,’ to enroll a cross-section of Red Bank Borough’s school-age population.”

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RED BANK: HUNDREDS MARCH FOR GUN LIMITS

Joining a movement that arose from the slaughter of 17 students and adults at a Florida high school last month, hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Red Bank Saturday as part of a nationwide ‘March for Our Lives‘ effort to demand bans on assault weapons and other legislation to reduce gun violence in schools.

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RED BANK: CHARTER AID BOOST SLAMMED

District officials say they may have to eliminate a new cross-country program in order to balance the budget. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank school board members and parents reacted with outrage Monday night to an effective reduction in state aid under funding announced by the administration of Governor Phil Murphy last week.

Though nominally a $178,503 increase for the district, more than that sum is to be relayed to the Red Bank Charter School, Superintendent Jared Rumage said at a board meeting at the primary school.

With the district seeing an effective decline in aid while state funding to the charter school’s rises $1,025 per student, “I think the time has come to have the discussion about running two public schools in Red Bank,” Rumage told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: CHAMPION HOOPSTERS HONORED

Players from the Red Bank Middle School girls’ basketball team, seen here with coach Amy Campbell and boys’ coach Issac Nathanson, won plaudits at the borough council meeting Wednesday night for nabbing their first Shore Athletic League championship in 24 years last month. Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: WALKOUTS GET DETENTION

Fair Haven Superintendent Sean McNeil, seen below at a January event, expressed pride in Knollwood students who walked out, but told them there had to be consequences. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Seventy-two Fair Haven middle school students were ordered to report for detention after participating in a walkout Wednesday to mark the one-month anniversary of a mass school shooting in Florida.

Meanwhile, just half a mile away, hundreds of Red Bank Regional High students observed the nationwide walkout without penalty. But the fact that they were sequestered within the confines of the school stadium, and surrounded by police, irked at least one student.

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RBR SUPERINTENDENT: ADDRESS GUN ACCESS

Superintendent Louis Moore speaking at an anti-hate rally in Red Bank last August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

This essay, titled ‘Schools Will Not Be Secure Until We Address Access to Lethal Weapons,’ was submitted to redbankgreen by Red Bank Regional High Superintendent Louis Moore.

Since the tragedy at Columbine High School almost 20 years ago, school districts have implemented measures to protect students and staff from the threat of a mass shooting. Entrances have been hardened with “mantraps” and bullet resistant glass. “Active shooter” drills are now regularly conducted along with fire drills. New security staff have been hired and all staff are trained on best security practices.

Yet the brutal massacre in Parkland, Florida demonstrates that schools remain vulnerable and the threat is ongoing. Read More »

RED BANK: MAN CHARGED IN CHILD ASSAULT

A Red Bank man was arrested last month on charges arising from an alleged aggravated sexual assault on a child in early 2017, police said.

Travis Lane, 59, of South Pearl Street, was arrested February 20, the same day police were made aware of the allegations, Chief Darren McConnell told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: MOMS FLOCK TO GUN LAW EVENT

Amy Downey offered cookies prior to the start of a Moms Demand Action orientation meeting that drew a full house to Shapiro’s Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The murders of 17 people by a gunman in Florida last week prompted a hasty new-member orientation in Red Bank Tuesday night for an organization dedicated to what it calls “common sense gun laws.”

Volunteers with Moms Demand Action said the February 14 slaughter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland has unleashed a surge of interest unseen since the group’s founding five years ago in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut murders of 27 children and adults.

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LITTLE SILVER: LAWMAKERS ADDRESS FUNDING

Local residents and school officials, including state Senator Declan O’Scanlon, below, turned out for the event at the Markham Place School. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Dozens of taxpayers and school administrators from the Greater Red Bank Green packed a Little Silver auditorium Wednesday night to press legislators for help with education costs.

 

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RED BANK: SUPPORT GROUP’S PLAN APPROVED

Family Resource Associates intends to buy and occupy the former home of Red Bank Veterinary Hospital. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A nonprofit that provides therapeutic services for people with disabilities and their families plans to relocate to Red Bank after clearing technical hurdles in the borough’s zoning laws Thursday night.

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RED BANK: STUDENTS STAND FOR PEACE

Students at the Red Bank Middle School were out on Harding Road taking turns sharing messages of peace and other reminders of Martin Luther King Jr. outside the Red Bank Primary School Tuesday.

According to vice principal J.T. Pierson, a new group of 20 students will be out every 15 minutes during the school day. (Photo by J.T. Pierson. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: CHARTER RESCHEDULES LOTTERY

[UPDATE, January 8, 2018: The enrollment lottery addressed in the announcement below has been rescheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday, February 10, with the application deadline now set at 4 p.m. February 9.]

(Press release from the Red Bank Charter Schoo)

Red Bank Charter School (RBCS), a high-achieving, racially and ethnically integrated, tuition-free preK-8 public school, has announced that the deadline for Red Bank families to submit an application for the 2018-19 school year is 4 p.m. on January 10, 2018.

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RED BANK: NORTH POLE CALLING

RBR students Stacy Osorio, on the phone above, making pre-Christmas calls with Stacey Tepoz from Santa’s workshop (borough hall) earlier this month. Below, Heather O’Donnell cracks up after calling a wrong number with Emily Maier. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Press release from Red Bank Regional High:

Little Silver:  A big part of the Christmas season for little girls and boys is visiting Santa Claus and reciting him their Christmas wish list.  That is not always possible for some boys and girls in the Red Bank community, especially those whose families do not own or drive cars and can’t take them to visit the local mall, where Santa usually sets up shop.  So nine years ago, community leader David Prown, assisted by his good friend Enrico Ciabattoni, facilitated a special communication with Santa Claus and those kids in Red Bank he might have missed.

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RED BANK: SNOW ADDS MAGIC TO LIGHT-UP

The first snowfall of the season added to the magical air of the Christmas tree lighting event at Ralph ‘Johnny Jazz’ Gatta Park in Red Bank Saturday.

The event, organized by the borough Parks & Rec department, featured a visit by Santa Claus, who arrived by fire truck. Were you there? Check out redbankgreen‘s photos from the event below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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