FAIR HAVEN: A GALLERY OF FUTURE ARTISTS

A large crowd of visitors admired an array of art created by students in grades K through 8 at Sickles and Knollwood Schools at the April 25 Fair Haven School District Art Show.

The event was organized by borough art teachers RoseAnn LaBrocca, Jessica Data and Chris Dudick.

Above, Sickles School first-grader Jude Burkhardt and third-grader Brody Burkhardt with Brody’s mixed-media painting. At right, Sickles School third-grader Celia Cope and her mom Carolyn admire Celia’s “Kitty Kitty Love” papier-mâché creation.

FAIR HAVEN KIDS CELEBRATE TRANSITION DAY

Fair Haven Transition DayIt’s an “enduring and endearing tradition” that scores of Fair Haven students have participated in throughout the years — and this past Monday, the third graders at Viola L. Sickles School hopped onto their bicycles or boarded the “big red trolley”  as they celebrated their move to nearby Knollwood School during Transition Day. A song and memory-filled Parent Show, an informative tour of their new school, and a special performance by members of the Knollwood glee club, band and orchestra were enjoyed by the incoming fourth graders, with the highlight of the day the traditional rolling journey that saw the kids cheered on by district administrators, eighth grade peer leaders and teachers from both schools.

FAIR HAVEN SOLDIER MAKES WALL OF HONOR

knollwoodFrom left, Joe Perrotto and Denise, Stefani, and Charlie Sciametta at the ceremony marking the unveiling of Anthony Sciametta’s photo (top center) on the Knollwood School “Wall of Honor.”

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Anthony Sciametta, a 2011 graduate of Knollwood School in Fair Haven, has joined the special “ranks” of those commemorated with a photo on the “Wall of Honor.”

Commissioned and designed in 2011 to honor graduates serving their country in the armed forces, the “Wall of Honor” is featured in a main hallway at Knollwood School. Anthony’s photo  was unveiled at a ceremony held on the afternoon of December 16.

A 2015 graduate of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, where he ran four seasons of Cross Country track and was named Captain of the team as a senior, Anthony received the “U.S. Army Top Future Soldier Award” as Central Jersey’s most outstanding recruit. Anthony enlisted in the Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in 2015 during his senior year at RFH, and graduated from Basic Training at Fort Benning, GA on December 11, in the presence of his parents Denise and Charlie and his twin sister Stefani. He was assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, First Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, at Fort Drum, NY and traveled there immediately after his graduation.

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FAIR HAVEN ENVISIONS FUTURE OF SCHOOLS

FH schoolsFair Haven Police Sergeant Jesse Dykstra, Knollwood School eighth grader Joey Laughinghouse and Sickles School Library Media Services Specialist June Sustick discuss goals for the future of the school district.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Fair Haven community members collaborated in a unique way at a recent Strategic Planning Workshop tied to the future success of the school district. The workshop entitled “Defining Action Steps” was held on December 1 at Knollwood School, and facilitated by Dr. Charles Ivory and Dr. Gerard Woehr of the nonprofit Education Information and Resource Center (EIRC).

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FAIR HAVEN WELCOMES NEW PRINCIPAL

Press release from Fair Haven School District

AmyAfter serving as Assistant Principal for the Rumson School District since 2013, Amy Romano will soon be featured in a new role as principal of Knollwood School in Fair Haven. Romano’s hiring was made official at the November 18 meeting of the Fair Haven Board of Education, and she will step into her new assignment in January 2016, at the conclusion of winter recess.

Romano has served as Assistant Principal in the neighboring Rumson School District since 2013.

Prior to her post in Rumson, Romano (pictured with Fair Haven Superintendent of Schools Nelson Ribon at the November 18 meeting) taught various grade levels for ten years in the Plainfield and Howell school districts. She served as Lead Teacher in the Howell schools for two years, coaching teachers on instructional strategies and curriculum. Romano also stepped in as Principal of Rumson’s Forrestdale School, during the maternity leave of current Principal Jennifer Gibbons.

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AN EXPEDITION FOR FAIR HAVEN KIDS

google fhPress release from Fair Haven School District

Thanks to a partnership between Google and the Fair Haven School District, students from Viola L. Sickles and Knollwood Schools enjoyed a recent a “virtual reality” field trip experience, courtesy of an event showcasing Google Expeditions. The schools were among the first chosen for beta testing, from a wait list of approximately 6,500 schools.

Google Expeditions associates visited both schools on November 17 to introduce Expeditions to students in grades one through eight. Expeditions is a program that Google has created — using a cardboard viewing device, smartphones, and the Google Expeditions app — to create a virtual experience of places and activities. Google views Expeditions as the “next level” in learning, since students can actively engage in the lesson.

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FAIR HAVEN KIDS TAKE PART IN MAKER FAIRE

Fair Haven makerFair Haven School District EdTech Coach Chris Aviles joined students from Knollwood School in a “Maker Faire” event at Barnes and Noble in Eatontown.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Recently, a group of eight students from Knollwood School joined Chris Aviles, EdTech Coach for the Fair Haven School District, in a special “Maker Faire” event that allowed participants an opportunity to experience some of the latest trends in 3D printing, robotics, coding, and more.

The event, held at the Barnes and Noble Booksellers location in Eatontown, took place between November 6-8. Event sponsors included such tech companies as Ozobot, SPRK, and Protocol.

Barnes and Noble representatives invited Aviles and his students to participate during an “Innovation Lab” program offered to fifth and sixth graders at Knollwood School. The EdTech Coach agreed, and on November 7 the eight Knollwood students helped facilitate two hands-on workshops — a “Little Makers” session for ages 5 and up, and “Junior Makers” for ages 8 and up — that allowed youngsters to explore the creation of structures using Lego brand building materials.

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FAIR HAVEN MARKS A WEEK OF RESPECT

FH week 2Laraine Gaunt holds up the letter “R” for respect while addressing Sickles School students, as Principal Cheryl Cuddihy looks on.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

During the week of october 5 through 9, Fair Haven schools marked a state-mandated “Week of Respect” with meaningful activities and new initiatives designed to encourage kindness and acceptance.

Sickles School welcomed Laraine Gaunt on Monday for an official kickoff of the new yearlong campaign, “It’s OK 2B Different.” Gaunt, an educator whose grown children had attended Sickles School, helped to create the program. She spoke to students in Pre-Kindergarten through third grade classes about the importance of respect.

“Treat others the way you want to be treated,” Gaunt told the students. “Be a buddy, not a bully, and you will soon learn everything it takes to be a good friend.”

“It’s OK 2B Different” is based on the premise that teaching young children respect for individuals (even the bully) will promote understanding and tolerance before bias, hate, and prejudice can occur. “The color of love is always the same in the eyes of a child …” is the philosophy behind the program, which received its official start at Sickles School in 1978, when it was written and introduced by the school’s administration, teachers, and parents.

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FAIR HAVEN HARVEST FEST A SUCCESS

Harvest Fest 1From left, Harvest Fest Co-Chairs Christine Hayden and Kim Kennedy and Sickles School Nurse Nora Navarro and her daughter Sophie display information and ideas for the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Saturday, October 3 came in on a wave of coastal flood warnings and hurricane trackings — but despite having to relocate from its usual out-of-doors venue to the All Purpose Room of Knollwood School, The Fair Haven School District’s annual “Harvest Fest” was once again a resounding success. And on an autumn afternoon more soggy than crisp, the inclement weather could not dampen the enthusiasm of volunteers or attendees at the fundraiser for the Fair Haven Parent Teacher Association.

Harvest Fest 2015 featured a plethora of games, a pumpkin decorating contest, and exciting live performances. Refreshments available for purchase included soup and sandwiches from BFF Market in Fair Haven. Seed to Sprout, a new Fair Haven eatery, generously donated cookies to the bake sale, which also featured homemade baked goods.

Approximately 100 parent and school-age volunteers (from seventh grade through high school) kept the action going for the large crowd. PTA Co-Chairs for this year’s Harvest Fest were Christine Hayden and Kim Kennedy.

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FAIR HAVEN TO HOST PLANNING WORKSHOPS

knollwood 1Knollwood School is the place, and October 7 the date for “Fair Haven Pride,” the first of four public-welcome workshops in the borough’s Vision 2020 strategic planning initiative.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

The Fair Haven School District will host a series of four workshops to elicit suggestions from the community as it embarks on “Fair Haven Vision 2020,” a 2015-2020 strategic planning initiative. The first workshop, “Fair Haven Pride,” is scheduled for October 7 from 7 to 8:30 pm, and will be hosted in the all-purpose room at Knollwood School All-Purpose Room.

Additional 7 pm workshops are scheduled to take place at Knollwood School on November 11 at 7 pm (“The Vision”), on December 1 (“Defining Action Steps”), and on January 21, 2016 (“Data Night”). Each will adhere to a strict 90-minute time-frame, and those wishing to participate are not required to attend all four workshops.

“Our district’s goal is to engage school employees, parents, students, community members, business owners, and government leaders in the plans being made for the future of our school system,” said Fair Haven School District Superintendent Nelson Ribon. “I encourage attendance at any or all of these workshops, where we hope to engage the entire community in an important conversation about the needs and expectations of our schools.”

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‘UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENCES’ ACTIVITIES ENLIGHTEN, INSPIRE FAIR HAVEN STUDENTS

Sickles School 4Volunteer Risa Bertodatti assists third grade students with a hands-on activity during Understanding Differences Day at Sickles School.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Each year, an innovative day-long program at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven helps third-grade students explore and celebrate differences. Presented on May 15, Understanding Differences Day featured hands-on activities and presentations throughout the day, hosted by school staff members and volunteers.

Covered topics covered physical disabilities (including visual and hearing impairments), as well as developmental and learning disabilities. Students engaged in interactive learning activities that included the maneuvering of crutches and wheelchairs (supplied by Little Silver Pharmacy), the making of name tags using Braille, and a demonstration of how a visually impaired person might keep track of money and organize food.

Guest speakers included Lori Timney, who is hearing-impaired and who shared her life experiences with students. Volunteer Sarah Maris helped students to understand the challenges faced by individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Down’s syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Sickles School Social Worker Nicole Green and Sickles School Psychologist Ashley Goral hosted an information session about learning disabilities; this session included presentations by students from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School who discussed their personal experiences and ways in which they have learned to cope through the years. At the conclusion of the morning and afternoon sessions, all of the third grade students participated in reflective writing sessions based on what they had learned.

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FAIR HAVEN YOUNG ARTISTS A HIT

FH artVisitors to the Fair Haven School District Art Show admire self-portraits created by eighth graders at Knollwood School.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

“Make Your Mark” was the theme of the Fair Haven School District Art Show, with more than 1,000 pieces of student-created original art displayed at Knollwood School on the evening of April 14.

This year’s edition of the annual show represented the District’s implementation of new standards in the visual arts.  The new standards focus on essential questions to help develop both critical thinking and problem-solving skills, with students are encouraged to create, present, respond, and connect their artwork to ideas that have personal meaning.

Kindergarten through third grade students at Viola L. Sickles School, and fourth through eighth grade students at Knollwood School each contributed at least one project for display.

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SPECIAL HAPPENINGS AT FAIR HAVEN SCHOOLS

LesterAuthor Lester Laminack conducted workshops for young writers, and addressed parents and teachers on the topic of the writing process, during his recent visit to the Fair Haven School District.

Press releases from Fair Haven School District

An appearance by a talented special guest speaker — and some events that featured the talents of Fair Haven students — were among the highlights of the late winter and early spring at Viola L. Sickles and Knollwood Schools in Fair Haven.

On February 26, the  rousing musical No Strings Attached was presented by the 6th, 7th and 8th grade Performing Arts Troupe at Knollwood School. Inspired by the familiar tale of Pinocchio, the show tells the story of Carl, a young boy seeking to dodge all responsibility. He makes a deal to trade work for fun — and unwittingly ends up transforming into a puppet member of the Magical Mystery Marionettes. Carl learns that “no strings attached” is not all he had hoped for — but with the help of his loyal friends, he recovers his human powers in time to help save his beloved father from the mouth of a whale.

Directed by Social Studies teacher Alison Dooley and Literacy teacher Gabrielle Illiano, the production featured Lisa Sandoli as Carl/Pinocchio, and Jacob Gerbman as Gepetto. The 25-member cast also included Lucas Tucker as Cricket, Grace Gallagher as Blues Fairy, Isabella Mitterando as Professor, Giovanna Darcy as Madame Azure, Anna Phillips as Marionette/Dipstick, Nora Doonan as Marionette/Fox, Fiona Lenahan as Cat, Mikey Bogardus as the Driver, Lauryn Jones as Tina Tuna/Peg, and Blodwen Bindas as Mary Annette.

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FAIR HAVEN SCHOOLS CELEBRATE SEUSS

seussStudents at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven listen intently as they try to guess the identity of a “mystery reader” during the school’s birthday celebration for Dr. Seuss.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Even a cranky “Grinch” would have been smiling at the Fair Haven School District’s birthday celebration for beloved author Theodor Seuss Geisel — the writer and cartoonist (1904-1991) best known under his pen name, Dr. Seuss.

The extravaganza at Sickles School kicked off on March 2 – Suess’s birthday and “Read Across America” day — with a “Birthday Celebration” assembly.  Kindergarten-through-third grade students, attired in red and white in honor of the Seuss character “The Cat in the Hat,” listened as faculty members, onstage but hidden by the curtain, acted as “mystery readers.” When challenged to guess the teachers’ identities, the students succeeded “one hundred percent.” The entire assembly then took part in a spirited rendition of “Happy Birthday to You.”

The fun continued as Guest Readers from the community visited classrooms to share Dr. Seuss books. Guest Reader Kevin Davis, Principal of the fourth-through-eighth grade Knollwood School, read a few of his favorites to third graders. Another celebratory event at Sickles was the creation of a “Books Will Build You Up” music video (which can be viewed here), featuring students and staff celebrating the joys of reading.

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FAIR HAVEN: PARCC IT HERE FOR THE FACTS

PARCCPress release from Fair Haven School District

Based on the core belief that assessment should work as a tool for enhancing teaching and learning, PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessments will be administered to Fair Haven students in third through eighth grade in March and May of 2015 — and this past November 12, parents of Fair Haven students received a wealth of information about the program during the “PARCC Parent Presentation.”

Focusing on the newer, more rigorous “Common Core Standards” which have been adopted by New Jersey and 46 other states, PARCC assessments are designed to gauge how students are progressing in school and whether they are on track for postsecondary success. The assessments, which cover the areas of Mathematics and English Language Arts, will also provide teachers with the ability to identify students who may be falling behind, therefore requiring extra help.

FAIR HAVEN SCHOOLS GROWING WRITERS

Press release from Fair Haven School District

“When you think you’re done, you’ve just begun,” is the motto of the Student Writer’s Workshops at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven.

And while you may have guessed otherwise, Colleen Doogan told a roomful of surprised parents that her blossoming writers actually get excited when they hear this phrase.

“They view it as an invitation to carry on with a process they thoroughly enjoy,” said Doogan, who is in her first year as the K-3 Literacy Coach and provides support for teachers to enhance their reading and writing instruction.

This gratifying fact was revealed during the Parent Literacy Lab at Sickles School on the evening of October 9. Doogan hosted the event for parents of students in Kindergarten through fifth grade, to demonstrate how Fair Haven Schools are growing good writers through modeling, engagement, and reflection.

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FAIR HAVEN KIDS MAKE A MARK FOR DOT DAY

RFH Dot DaySickles Art Teacher RoseAnn LaBrocca explains International Dot Day activities to her second grade students.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

The message board located near the entrance to Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven proclaimed, “International Dot Day – Make Your Mark.” Yet even after being forewarned, visitors to the school would still be pleasantly surprised by the level of excitement — as well as the sheer number of dots — creatively displayed throughout the building on September 15.

In the hallway outside Kerry Kennedy and Pamela Greenhall’s classroom, young Kindergarteners excitedly sponge-painted dots on a poster taped to the wall. Courtney Robinson’s first-grade class sat on a dot-embellished carpet while discussing the collaborative dot art project they would soon be displaying for the entire school to see. Nan Hagen’s second graders were thinking hard about how to represent themselves in individual name-glyphs, carefully marking colorful dots to represent their personal characteristics. The third graders had filled their hallway with a dazzling display of dot-centered artwork, displaying their talent and ability to “think outside the box.”

It was all part of International Dot Day, an initiative held each year on September 15, and inspired by the best-selling children’s book The Dot, written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.

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RUMSON: NOVEMBER EXCITES EDUCATORS

V__32A3Left to right, author and tech expert Alan November is pictured with Superintendent Dr. Peter Righi, Avon School District Chief School Administrator Christopher Albrizio, and Fair Haven School District Superintendent Nelson Ribon.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Alan November, world-renowned education technology expert and author of the best-seller Who Owns the Learning, wasted no time setting the tone for his keynote presentation on September 3 at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

“I would rather have good information than good technology,” November noted in his opening remarks at Staff Professional Day, the official “kickoff” to the new school year. “The real revolution taking place in teaching right now is not about technology, it is about information.”

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THERE’S A NEW PRINCIPAL AT SICKLES SCHOOL

cuddihyCheryl Cuddihy has been appointed Principal of Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Fair Haven Superintendent of Schools Nelson Ribon has announced the selection of Cheryl Cuddihy, M.Ed, M.A. as Principal of Viola L. Sickles School. Cuddihy’s appointment was approved at a scheduled meeting of the Fair Haven Board of Education held at Knollwood School on the evening of June 25, 2014.

A resident of Middletown, Cuddihy most recently served as Vice Principal of Red Bank Primary School. Prior to joining the Red Bank Borough School district in August 2013, Cuddihy taught Kindergarten, first, second and fourth grade at Leonardo Grade School and Nut Swamp Elementary School in Middletown Township. In 2005, during her first year of teaching at Leonardo Grade School, she was the recipient of the “Teacher of the Year” Award.

“I am very excited to be joining a progressive educational community which embraces the achievement of literacy skills through the workshop model,” said Cuddihy, who was selected after an extensive search process, and who plans to become a familiar face at Sickles School well before her official start date of August 1.

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FAIR HAVEN FOUR SWORN IN BY BOARD OF ED

image-1Fair Haven Board of Education Attorney Anthony P. Sciarrillo administers the oath of office to newly re-elected members  Jeffrey Spector, Katy Frissora, Michael Bernstein and Claudia Brasch.

By MARY ANN KAMPFE, Fair Haven School District

The Board of Education of the Fair Haven School District held its reorganizational meeting on January 8, inside the Media Center at Knollwood School.

During the 7 pm event, Board of Education Attorney Anthony P. Scarrillo administered the oath of office to newly re-elected members Michael Bernstein, Claudia Brasch, Katy Frissora, and Jeffrey Spector. All four were incumbents who ran unopposed.

According to official results received from the Board of County Canvassers, Bernstein, Brasch, and Spector were duly elected as members of the Fair Haven Board of Education for a full three-year term. Frissora was duly elected for a one-year unexpired term. They serve on the board along with Cathy Alescio, Elaine Lehnert, President Mark Mancuso, Tracy Rehder, and Randi Walker.

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