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RED BANK: SPORTS SURGE BOOSTS ACADEMICS

Taniaya Morris scoring this season for the Lady Rockets. (Photo by Mark Costa. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Coming off what Superintendent Jared Rumage called “the most successful year ever in the history of Red Bank Middle School sports,” district officials have also harvested some gold about the relationship of athletics and academics, they said recently.

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RED BANK REGIONAL: $17.9M PLAN ON BALLOT

Frank Neary, who heads RBR’s finance committee, addressing the audience at the council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Voters in Red Bank, Little Silver and Shrewsbury are scheduled to decide the fate of a $17.9 million capital plan for their shared high school later this year.

On Wednesday night, two Red Bank Regional High officials told an audience at the borough council meeting that a December 11 referendum is, in part, critical to maintaining a cash cow: tuition paid by non-district students.

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RED BANK: MONMOUTH MUSIC TO CLOSE

Monmouth Music owner Mario DiBartolo plans to open the STEM Music Academy in the space. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Even as he was buying Monmouth Music two years ago, Mario DiBartolo knew he was swimming against the current that has swamped so many small retailers in the past two decades.

Yes, he hoped to retain the Red Bank store’s loyal customers and continue selling guitars and other musical instruments, he told redbankgreen last year. But his investment was really in the Monmouth Street real estate that housed the 30-year-old business, he said.

Now, he’s throwing in the towel on retail.

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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.

RED BANK: LIBRARY DIRECTOR CHECKS OUT

Red Bank library staff and patrons held a sendoff party last week for the retirement of director Elizabeth McDermott, seen above speaking with public utilities director Cliff Keen.

Monmouth County Freeholder John  Curley, a former Red Bank councilman, presented McDermott with a county proclamation recognizing her for, among other accomplishments, leading the library through the most turbulent period in its 81-year history.

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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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RUMSON: ‘RIVAL’ TEENS UNITE TO SAVE LIVES

The student leaders behind the Ridge Road Run 5K, as seen on Ridge Road, are (left to right): RBR senior Michael Eulner, Shrewsbury; sophomore Claudia Kelly, Little Silver; senior Thomas Lloyd, Shrewsbury; RFH senior Ellie Gibney, Fair Haven; RBC senior Lily Salcedo; RFH senior Teddy Sourlis, Rumson; and RBC senior Courtney Carroll, Middletown. 

[Press release from Red Bank Regional]

The sports rivalries among three Two River schools are legendary.  It is always a super sweet victory when the Red Bank Regional (RBR) Buccaneers can defeat Red Bank Catholic (RBC) Caseys or Rumson Fair Haven’s (RFH) Bulldawgs, and vice versa for all three teams, two of which are located on Ridge Road, and the other not too far away.

However, seven students from all three schools have recently collaborated to use that rivalry to generate a very positive event.

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RED BANK: VISCOMI ADDS WILD CARD TO RACE

Viscomi serves on the board of ed, where she leads the finance committee, and is on a number of borough committees. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The 2018 race for two Red Bank council seats looks like it will have a wild card.

Sue Viscomi, a board of education member and former Republican stalwart who has expressed increasing antipathy in recent years to the local arm of the party, has started gathering signatures for a run as an independent in the November election, she told redbankgreen on Monday.

Her entry would appear to add to the challenge for the two presumptive Republican candidates, already facing the prospect of an anti-Trump backlash in a majority Democrat town, and could eat into support for the two Democrats in the race, both newcomers to elective politics.

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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: BASIE LANDS $100K NEA GRANT


Press release from Count Basie Theatre

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $100,000 to the nonprofit Count Basie Theatre for its mindALIGNED collective impact initiative. Read More »

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: 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: UNDEFEATED SOCCER TEAM LAUDED

Sporting neckties that many of them learned to tie just an hour earlier, the members of the Red Bank Middle School boys’ soccer team appeared at the borough council meeting Wednesday night, when they were lauded for a second consecutive undefeated season.

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ON THE GREEN: REASONS TO BE THANKFUL

For Thanksgiving 2017, redbankgreen‘s All Good page is loaded up with fresh news about kids, charities, volunteers, teachers, philanthropy and more on the Greater Red Bank Green.

Take a moment to scroll through the dozen or so newest posts, or do an even deeper dive into the All Good archive. Seeing all the good work that goes on around here may inspire others to chip in. But if nothing else, we’re hoping it gives readers additional reasons to be thankful for their neighbors, and a little more hopeful about the future.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and thank you for reading redbankgreen.

TINTON FALLS: RANNEY GETS NEW LAB

The new Virdi Science Lab at Ranney School, made possible in part by the Virdi family, below.

Press release from Ranney School

On Wednesday, November 8, Ranney School dedicated the Virdi Science Lab, a state-of-the-art learning environment that embodies the school’s commitment to fostering innovation and experiential learning in the classroom.

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