AFTER 40 YEARS, BUSTING OUT OF SCHOOL

mastro-classStudents at the Mastro Montessori Academy during a class with elementary directress Sasha Cherniavsky last week. Below, an architect’s drawing of the new school, to be built on White Road in Shrewsbury. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

mastro-renderingA little-known private school in Little Silver that’s called a modified Cape Cod its home for the past 40 years is getting ready to double in size.

Tucked in between a dry cleaning operation and a string of industrial buildings off Branch Avenue, the Mastro Montessori Academy plans to start construction soon on a two-story, 8,100-square-foot schoolhouse on White Road in neighboring Shrewsbury.

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RED BANK: SIDEWALKS AS HOV LANES

mori-bus-100511A ‘walking bus’ destined for the Red Bank Charter School heads west on McLaren Place Wednesday morning. The group, organized with help from Safe Routes Red Bank, and others from around town celebrated International Walk to School Day. (Click to enlarge)

PRE-K BEGINS YEAR WITH 60 STAYING HOME

head-start-090611The lights were on Tuesday morning as the staff awaited the arrival of pre-k students for the first day of the school year at the Head Start school on Drs. James Parker Boulevard. (Click to enlarge)

Red Bank’s multiyear ramp-up to a full pre-kindergarten program reaches a new plateau Tuesday, with room for every four-year-old whose parents desired enrollment having a classroom seat.

But opening day of the 2011-’12 school year also means that fewer three-year-olds could be accommodated than initially expected, leaving some parents disgruntled, says Superintendent Laura Morana, who oversees the two-school district.

“Maybe one thing parents don’t understand is that we cannot accept every three-year-old,” she says. “There is a five-year program calling for gradual expansion of the program to 2013-’14, when all three- and four-year-olds will be enrolled. It’s not as though we’re neglecting the three-year-olds.” Read More »

SEA BRIGHT TAB FOR SRHS: $90K PER STUDENT

taxesBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

If voters approve school budgets next week, Sea Bright, which sends students to two different districts and has no schools of its own, will see both increases and decreases to the education portions of tax bills.

But borough property owners will still be saddled with an outsized tab for the 17 students it sends to Shore Regional High in West Long Branch: $90,000 per kid, almost three times as much as any other sending district pays.

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MORANA TO CHRISTIE: LOOK BEFORE YOU CUT

img_9861072309Superintendent Laura Morana in her office in July.

Red Bank schools Superintendent Laura Morana is urging Governor-elect Chris Christie get a up-close look at the district’s pre-kindergarten program before taking a scalpel to the state budget, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

The district is one of only five statewide participating in a pilot program to establish early education curricula outside of the 31 economically troubled so-called ‘Abbott‘ districts. Red Bank got $2 million from the state Department of Education for an expansion of its program to 165 students this year, from 15 three-year-olds last year, and Morana had hoped to increase enrollment to 225 next September, the Press reports.

During his campaign to replace Gov. Jon Corzine as the state’s chief executive, Christie derided pre-k programs as state-funded babysitting, the Press says. But Red Bank’s program has been won positive reviews from researchers at Harvard, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins universities for its benefits in boosting academic achievements in early school years, Morana says.

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