Hillside Students Learn To Serve on Martin Luther King Day

BY  |  Monday, Jan 16, 2017 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

mlk hillside

It’s a day on at Hillside School with more than 300 students and parents participating in service activities in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Continue Reading

Montclair BOE: Renaissance, Budget, School Lunches and Renaming A School Discussed

BY  |  Thursday, Jan 12, 2017 7:23am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Board of Education spent its January 11 workshop meeting looking back and looking forward.  Interim Superintendent Ronald Bolandi gave a presentation of the district’s accomplishments in pursuing various initiatives and goals in recent years.

the Montclair Board of Education

the Montclair Board of Education

Among the accomplishments he cited were developing a tutorial program in each school with after-school services and available busing for said services,  initiatives to work with local clergy to bring tutoring to the neediest students, the development of an elementary-level literacy and math program with input from parents and staff,  extensive training in the district’s “Undoing Racism” initiative, and developing a training program with the teachers’ union that employed full-day training as opposed to half-day sessions, which Superintendent Bolandi called counterproductive.  He was particularly proud of the program to work with Montclair State University to assist the district with tutorial and staff development programs.  The superintendent noted the involvement of Montclair State educational students in the program, and he credited Dr. Debbie Evans, the interim director of elementary education, for her efforts. Continue Reading

Montclair High School Junior Starts Accessible Tutors To Level Playing Field

BY  |  Monday, Jan 02, 2017 2:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

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If you’ve ever tried to hire a private tutor for your child, you know it can be costly — from $50 to as much as $150 a session. And that’s if you can get a spot — for many popular tutors in town, there’s also a long waiting list. Owen Kaplan, a Montclair High School junior and math whiz, has been tutoring middle school students in algebra for a few years. Kaplan recognized a lack of equity in the town when it comes to access to tutors. Families who can afford private tutors are getting their students the extra help they need. Kaplan adds that while there are good programs such as IMANI and Succeed2Gether, he believes there is still a need for more affordable tutoring options as evidenced by the continued achievement gap in Montclair.

Kaplan decided to start Accessible Tutors, a non-profit that allows parents to pay what they can but guarantees that all of the tutors (who are also high school students) get paid the same hourly rate. Some parents might pay $5 for a tutoring session, others might pay $35, but the tutors all receive $20 for an hourly session. Accessible Tutors launched as a 501(c)(3) through HackNCraft NJ and Kaplan has already matched middle-school kids with high-school tutors. Continue Reading

Montclair’s CGI Celebrates 20 Years With “Community Speaks: Criminal Justice Reform”

BY  |  Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 6:44pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

How justice is being served and its impact both nationally and in Montclair was the topic of an important conversation started and led by students of Montclair’s Civics and Government Institute (CGI) Wednesday, December 14, at “Community Speaks: Criminal Justice Reform,” a panel discussion and community event held in the high school’s George Inness Atrium Annex that also recognized CGI’s 20th anniversary.

dcaption

Maya Jenkins, CGI president, joined by
Alex Tsemberis, CGI secretary of press, addresses panel at Community Speaks: Criminal Justice Reform.

Students organized and ran the entire event. Molly Povich, secretary outreach, offered opening and closing statements, while Alex Tsemberis , CGI secretary of press, and Maya Jenkins, CGI president, acted as co-moderators, posing questions to the panel exploring the meaning of justice and how meaningful reform can take place.

Panelists included Nick Turner, the president of the Vera Institute of Justice, and Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, who both appeared in the Ava DuVernay documentary “13th.” Portia Allen-Kyle, the Pratt Criminal Justice Transparency Fellow at the ACLU-New Jersey and Deputy Chief Wilhelm B. Young of the Montclair Police Department, were also on the panel; Young was joined by some of his colleagues.

Is Justice Just?

“Justice at its core is to respect the dignity of everyone and recognize people for what they are, and where they have come from. People should not be reduced to the offense they may be accused of or have committed. We need to think of these people as brothers, fathers, mothers,” said Turner. “When we start to see people as other, that’s when the justice system goes awry.” Continue Reading

Montclair BOE: Presentation of World Language Program, Bolandi To List Capital Improvements

BY  |  Tuesday, Dec 13, 2016 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (8)

The Montclair Board of Education received a long-awaited presentation on developing a world language program at its three-hour regular meeting on December 12.  Jessica Lasusa, the district’s world-language consultant, gave an extensive overview that included a slide program, which is expected to be available on the district’s Web site on December 13.

World language consultant Jessica Lasusa

World language consultant Jessica Lasusa

Lasusa explained that acquisition of a second language, applied linguistics, and ideas for teaching, should ideally blend into a seamless fashion in instructing world languages. But in reality only teaching ideas by themselves works in the classroom.  She recommended a strategy for allotting time once or twice a year through grades K-8 for language articulation with a unified program between teachers in different schools at the same level of course, something teachers themselves told her was of primary importance.   The collaborative effort would include proficiency targets and benchmark assessments to gauge student’s progress, along with professional development sessions for both teachers and administrators, and special emphasis on code-switching – alternating between English and another language with a single sentence – to help the students immerse themselves in the other language.  Lasusa said that promoting culture, communications, comparisons, communities and connections to the world languages – the “5 Cs” – are more important than grammar in getting high school students up to fluency in said languages.

Lasusa said that everyone in the district has to work together to bring world languages into sync across the district, and that maximum exposure to other languages is the best way to success. She advocated emphasis on Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese.  She also said that the best way to build literacy in both English and other languages is to teach with a 50-50 ratio between English and the second language. Continue Reading

Montclair High’s The Passing Notes Bring Birthday Cheer to Bloomfield

BY  |  Friday, Dec 09, 2016 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Passing Notes sing at Van Vleck (Facebook)

Passing Notes sing at Van Vleck (Facebook)

When you hear a performance by the The Passing Notes, Montclair High School’s student-run A Cappella group, it’s easy to become fans of these amazingly talented performers. The Passing Notes sing for free at various fundraisers, community events and concerts, including most recently at Van Vleck House. Stephen Colbert is a fan; he had the group warm up his audience recently with a performance before The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

But The Passing Notes’ biggest fan just might be Michael, a Bloomfield teen with autism who was treated to a very special performance to celebrate his 13th birthday. Continue Reading

CSBK Montclair Banking Center Supports Nishuane Elementary School Thanksgiving Food Drive

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

CSBK Montclair donated 35 turkeys to the Nishuane School Thanksgiving Food drive last week. One of the special holiday traditions at Nishuane is the annual Fall Food Drive, where students, families and staff donate a variety of non-perishables, fruits and vegetables so families-in-need in the Nishuane School community can have a healthful and bountiful Thanksgiving feast.

Pictured from left to right: Erica Mitchell – Parent Co-Chair Nishuane School food Drive, Karen Andes – President, Nishuane School PTA, Evan Kozak, Assistant Principal, Nishuane School, Maria Kosmider – CSBK Community Banking Specialist, Luise Young – CSBK Marketing Assistant

Pictured from left to right: Erica Mitchell – Parent Co-Chair Nishuane School food Drive, Karen Andes – President, Nishuane School PTA, Evan Kozak, Assistant Principal, Nishuane School, Maria Kosmider – CSBK Community Banking Specialist, Luise Young – CSBK Marketing Assistant

Continue Reading

Montclair BOE: Bolandi To Step Down End of February, Superintendent Search Update

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 4:20pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Buzz Aldrin Middle School received a big check from the Man on the Moon Committee and the Montclair BOE was treated to a performance from super cute cowboys and cowgirls square-dancing from the Bullock school, but the main event of the night was a presentation and subsequent reactions to the findings of Hazard, Young and Attea (HYA) and Associates — following community outreach and an online survey to develop the desired characteristics for the next Montclair Superintendent.

Montclair BOE accepted a $38,041.33 check from the Man on the Moon Committee on behalf of  the Buzz Aldrin Middle School.

Montclair BOE accepted a $38,041.33 check from the Man on the Moon Committee on behalf of the Buzz Aldrin Middle School.

Before the presentation started, the Board also had some news to report. Board president Jessica de Koninck announced that Interim Superintendent Ron Bolandi has to leave at end of February 2017, not at end of March as the Board previously believed. As a result, the BOE will need to look for another interim superintendent in December to serve until the permanent superintendent, is found and hired for a more realistic July 1st start date. Continue Reading

Bloomfield High School Presents Fall Play: The Servant of Two Masters

BY  |  Monday, Nov 14, 2016 3:30pm

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Bloomfield High School Thespian Society offers their fall play, The Servant of Two Masters, produced and directed by Brandon E. Doemling, at the Westminster Arts Center/Van Fossan Theatre, on November 17, 18, and 19 at 7:00 p.m. Set design is by Ralph Turano, lighting by Nicholas Von Hagel, and costumes by Corky St. Clair. The cast includes 16 Bloomfield High School students, with 13 on the crew. Continue Reading

Bradford Elementary School Holds “Bradford University”

Monday, Nov 14, 2016 11:15am

Bradford University

Bradford Elementary School holds the fourth annual “BRADFORD UNIVERSITY” this Wednesday, November 16th from 7 – 8:30pm. This event is open to all parents and care takers in the Montclair community. Continue Reading

Featured Comment

Montclair is relatively heterogenous and, it could fairly be said, takes pride in its diversity. Has Montclair named a street or school after Dr. King? Why is that?

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