Pictured are current, past, and future graduates of the International Baccalaureate program at Red Bank Regional: (back row) IB Coordinator Ryan Hilligus, Kevin Burke, Sara Murphy, Katie Moran, Caroline Garth; (middle row) Isabella Ramos, Madison Ciccone, Hannah Haugenes, Skylar Haugenes, Alex Sosa, Cece McCarthy, Amy Lonergan, Summer Smith, Sophie Pouso, Emma Guinnessey, Elise Katz; (front row) Grace Noglows, Sophia Mazzini, Hannah Christensen, Victoria Sullivan, Kristen Wimmer, Sophie Navarro, Ashleigh Lloyd.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Several weeks preceding Red Bank Regional High School’s graduation ceremony, a smaller one was held for a special group of students — those receiving the coveted International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. RBR is one of only four schools in the county, and 14 in the state of New Jersey, to offer the internationally renowned IB program.

The school’s IB coordinator Ryan Hilligus addressed the seventh RBR IB graduating class, asking that the students reflect on their “two intense years” in which they attended over 1,000 hours of IB classes and approximately 20 hours of exams; wrote thousands of words of extended essays and completed over 4,000 hours of creativity, activity, and service efforts.

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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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BilingualStudentsSixteen RBR graduating seniors are the first in their school’s history to achieve a Biliteracy certification on their diploma. Pictured above are: (left to right, back row) RBR Principal Risa Clay; Darby Olex-Memoli, Kevin Burke, Brooke Willemstyn, Jack Fioretti, Brenda Ramos, Isabel Kupilik, Hannah Haugenes, Kathiusca ParrisValencia, ELL Coordinator and IB Teacher Rose Powers; (front row) LeidyFabiana Villegas, Fausto Benitez, Cassie Jain, Carlos Pantle, Daysi Arevalos-Avalos;  Katherine Hurtado.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

For the past two years, a handful of high schools have participated in a pilot program to establish a bilingual literacy certification for graduating students. The movement known as the Seal of Biliteracy is currently working its way through the legislative process to make New Jersey the tenth state in the nation to offer such a certification.

Sixteen Red Bank Regional High School students from the graduating class of 2015 were awarded that certification at the June 8 RBR Senior Awards Ceremony. The recipients were  Daysi Arevalo-Avalos, Cassie Jain, Brenda Ramos, Fausto Benitez, Isabel Kupilik, Maya Smith, Kevin Burke, Darby Olex-Memoli, Julia Sullivan, Jack Fioretti, Carlos Pantle, Leidy Fabiana Villegas, Hannah Haugenes, Kathiusca Parris Valencia, Brooke Willemstyn, and Katherine Hurtado.  All of the students earned their second language certification in Spanish, with the exception of Cassie Jain, who earned it in French.

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