Montclair’s Park Street Academy Celebrates Community Helpers

BY  |  Sunday, Nov 13, 2016 10:45am

Montclair’s Park Street Academy celebrated “Community Helpers” in October by teaching children about the world around them through a variety of special guests and programming.

Beginning with a visit from Officer Batelli of the Bloomfield Police Department, children learned about the various ways that police officers help the community in daily life. Officer Batelli, also a PSA parent, spoke about his job as a police officer, how his job is to help keep people safe, and what to do if you’re lost or need help: always look for a police officer in uniform!

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Safety is important, so a week later the firefighters from the Montclair Fire Department held an outdoor presentation for PSA students. They explored a fire truck, learned about the equipment and how it is used, and discussed what firefighters do in the event of a fire. Firefighters also shared safety information, including fire prevention tips, “stop, drop and roll” and how to call for help in the event of an emergency. Continue Reading

Montclair Co-Op School Students Donate “Arks”

BY  |  Saturday, Nov 12, 2016 11:45am

On October 6th this year, seventh and eighth graders from Montclair Cooperative School traveled to Rutland, Massachusetts, to personally deliver a check for $11,000 to Heifer International, the nonprofit organization that works to alleviate hunger and poverty by providing assistance with livestock and agriculture. The students had earned the funds over the summer as a project of their Global Issues Theme Study class. The amount was sufficient to fund two of what Heifer refers to as an ark – 15 pairs of a variety of livestock that are given to needy families. The animals give them a reliable source of food and income and the offspring of which they commit to passing on to someone else in their community.

mcsheifer2016 Continue Reading

Find Out About Montclair Crew: Rowing Open House

BY  |  Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 12:30pm

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If you’ve ever wondered how Montclair’s Crew team trains to win championship medals, now is your chance to find out.
Find out about Montclair Crew at the Rowing Open House, Thursday, Nov. 17, at 5:30 p.m.

Varsity rowers and first-year rowers will talk about their experience and coaches will answer questions and talk about training, competing, and college recruitment. Continue Reading

Ready, Set, Bid! Auction of Fun Things To Do To Support MHS Gymnastics

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 2:00pm

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Montclair High School Girls Gymnastics Booster Club is holding an online auction with the theme of “Fun things to do in Montclair” featuring donated prizes from Montclair businesses and residents.

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Prizes include tickets to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Portraits by Michael Stahl and more. The auction starts today, 11/8/2016, and ends 11/18/2016.

What Do You Want in a School Superintendent? Montclair Residents Speak, Search Consultant Listens

BY  |  Friday, Nov 04, 2016 8:34am  |  COMMENTS (1)

It may have been sparsely attended, but the forum last night, held by consulting firm Hazard, Young and Attea (HYA) and Associates requesting public input on the search for a new permanent Montclair superintendent of schools, offered a lively exchange of questions and suggestions during the hour-long session.  HYA’s Dwight Pfennig led the forum on his own; his colleague, Brad Draeger, was absent.

School-superintendent-search consultant Dwight Pfennig

School-superintendent-search consultant Dwight Pfennig

Pfennig began by explaining he was meeting with people in the district administration and was hoping to meet with students to discuss the superintendent search on November 7.  He outlined three areas where feedback is needed:  what residents liked about Montclair schools; what they expected the challenges for the next superintendent in the next three to five years; and what they considered to be the most important characteristics for a superintendent to have.

Most of the residents in attendance especially liked the magnet school program.  One resident said the magnet program helped make Montclair schools a place in which all students felt welcome and free to be themselves.   But resident Andrew Gideon thought the magnet system could be improved and updated.  He cited the fact that the district has technology magnets at the elementary and middle-school levels but technology has permeated the school system.   “Some time in the next five years, certainly in the next 10 years, someone’s going to have to sit down and take a very detailed view of what changes need to be made,” he said. Continue Reading

Montclair BoE: Keeping Kids With Food Allergies Safe, And Questions About SAIL

BY  |  Thursday, Nov 03, 2016 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (7)

The Montclair Board of Education spent three hours on numerous topics at its November 2 workshop meeting, and Interim Schools Superintendent Ronald Bolandi made announcements regarding staff placements.   Terry Woolard, formerly of the South Orange/Maplewood school district, was announced as Barry Haines’s replacement as the Montclair district’s technology director.  Superintendent Bolandi also mentione an elementary position which would involve working with interim elementary education director Debbie Evans.  The board chose not to fill it at this time and is hoping to do so soon.  Meanwhile, the board announced another forum in the search for a permanent superintendent that will take place at 6 p.m. at the Montclair High School George Inness Annex cafeteria, the regular site for school board meetings, on November 3.

The Montclair Board of Edcuation

The Montclair Board of Edcuation

The rest of the evening was given over to presentations.  Sandra Nicastro of the Toms River consulting firm Strauss Esmay Associates was there to present her company’s services to help Montclair set up a policy manual for its school system.  Strauss Esmay has developed policy and regulation manuals for 470 New Jersey school district – covering 80 percent of the sate – and Nicastro explained how the district could use the firm’s online services to stay abreast of education policy guidelines and mandates and craft its manuals.  A Web page would be available for the public to access and review school policies, while the district administration office would be able to access from Strauss Esmay’s site to review updates and alerts on new policy guidelines, as well as a monthly newsletter.  Strauss Esmay has helped schools write policies on everything from transgender students to medical marijuana.  School Board President Jessica de Koninck had a measure to enter into business with Strauss Esmay placed on the agenda for the board’s November 21 meeting, and she said she hoped it would be operational some time after the first of the year. Continue Reading

Glen Ridge High School Chorus Performs For Seniors Golden Circle

Tuesday, Nov 01, 2016 10:31am

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The Glen Ridge High School Chorus performed at the Seniors Golden Circle Luncheon, held in the new, updated GRHS library, on Monday October 24th. The Chorus performed a selection of songs to the crowd of delighted senior citizens including “Burn” from the Tony Award-winning musical, Hamilton, “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables, “What I Did For Love” from A Chorus Line, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” by Carole King. Principal Louis Melchor played guitar for Tyler Matos’ rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me To the Moon.” Continue Reading

Marching Ridgers Place Second at State

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016 5:24pm

The Glen Ridge Marching Band finished in Second Place, Divison 1A at the USBands New Jersey State Championships on Sunday, October 23. The band performed its show, Aaron Copland’s Rodeo on the campus of Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, receiving a score of 86.088.

Drum Major Lucy Smeets accepting the 2nd Place Trophy in Glassboro. Photo: Neil Nathanson.

Drum Major Lucy Smeets accepting the 2nd Place Trophy in Glassboro. Photo: Neil Nathanson.

The Marching Ridgers will perform twice this coming weekend. On Saturday, October 29, members will take part in the USBands competition at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. On Sunday, October 30, the band will march in an open competition hosted by Bloomfield High School at Foley Field. Continue Reading

Montclair Superintendent Search: Here’s How You Can Help

Friday, Oct 21, 2016 3:55pm

Montclair Superintendent Search: Here's How You Can Help

Montclair Board of Education wants the community’s help in its search for a new superintendent:

As you may be aware, the Montclair Board of Education has initiated its search for a new Superintendent. To counsel us through this important process, we have retained the services of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in assisting Boards with the consideration of candidates for Superintendent.

A key step in this process is to identify the characteristics we will be seeking in our new Superintendent. We would greatly appreciate your input and assistance with this important task. We, therefore, invite you to participate in this process in the following ways:

• Attending Open Forums to be held on two dates in November (see below)
• Completing an online survey that will be located on the district website www.montclair.k12.nj.us starting October 24, 2016.

The Open Forums, each of which will be facilitated by a member of the consulting firm, will be held as follows:

Dates: Tuesday November 1st , Thursday November 3rd
Time: 6:00pm
Location: Montclair High School George Inness Annex Cafeteria
North Fullerton Ave.

Please complete the online survey by November 11, 2016.

Thank you in advance for your assistance with this most important task.

Sincerely,
Members of the Montclair Board of Education

Montclair BoE Begins Superintendent Search, Focus Groups To Start in November

BY  |  Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016 9:00am

The Montclair Board of Education’s regular monthly meeting on October 17 devoted an hour to scheduled business and two hours to a last-minute add-on.  But that add-on was not an issue of minor importance; it was, in fact, a preliminary session with representatives from Hazard, Young and Attea (HYA) and Associates to begin the process of selecting a permanent replacement for Interim Schools Superintendent Ronald Bolandi.

Montclair Interim Schools Superintendent Ronald Bolandi and Montclair Board of Education President Jessica de Koninck

Montclair Interim Schools Superintendent Ronald Bolandi and Montclair Board of Education President Jessica de Koninck

Executive search associates Brad Draeger, a former superintendent of the Livingston district, and Dwight Pfennig started going over the process with the board by explaining the search for potential candidates.  The idea was to spend time reaching out to people in the district in order to get a feel of what Montclair residents are looking for in a schools superintendent.  Drager and Pfennig explained that they would hold focus groups with different segments of the population – community leaders, teachers, parents of current schoolchildren, parents of pre-schoolers – to get a basic understanding of what the district needs.  The search is to focus on what’s working in the district, the challenges facing Montclair, and the characteristics that Montclair are looking for in a superintendent.   The resulting leadership profile concocted by the search firm would then set out to identify candidates that fit the criteria and allow the board to interview and examine candidates for the job before making a final decision – hopefully by February.  Superintendent Bolandi is scheduled to leave at the end of March. 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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