Montclair Film Launches 505 Film + Friends Program

BY  |  Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 4:27pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Film

Montclair Film today announced the launch of 505 FILM + FRIENDS, a new, inclusive sensory-friendly screening and socializing group for young people. The program will feature film screenings, discussions for small groups, and opportunities to socialize and meet new friends in the warm, welcoming environment of Montclair Film’s Cinema505. The groups meet twice monthly, with Teens aged 14-18 meeting on Fridays from 4:00pm – 7:00pm, and Young Adults aged 18-26 meeting on Sundays from 6:00pm – 9:00 pm.

Using the medium of film, students will be provided with the opportunity to explore their own real-life challenges and begin to learn about film and filmmaking. Discussions will integrate film vocabulary such as narrative, theme, main and supporting characters, set design, costume design, continuity, careers, genres, as well as storytelling techniques.

Montclair Film + Education is partnering with Dr. David Steinke, PhD, School Psychologist & Private Practice, Melissa Schaffer, Arts Educator, BFA Theatre Arts, Theatre, Music, Certified Movement Specialist, Playwright, and Dr. Priya Lalvani, Advisor, PhD, Associate Professor of Disability Studies, Montclair State University, who will be providing facilitation and advisory services for all 505 Film + Friends programs.

“Montclair Film always seeks to reach a broad range of audiences through the power of film,” said Montclair Film Education Director Sue Hollenberg. “505 Film + Friends provides a positive, thought-provoking, and welcoming environment for people with and without disabilities to leverage the magic of movies to inspire creativity, develop social skills, build confidence, and make connections.”

To see a complete schedule and register for 505 Film + Friends, visit and select the appropriate age group for your needs.

Scholarships are Available for Qualified Students. To apply, visit

Montclair BOE: After-School Initiatives, Healthy School Lunches, Homework Policy

BY  |  Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Board of Education

With the days of school kids hanging out in ice cream parlors like the old Gruning’s in Montclair or malt shops like the fictional Pop’s Choklit Shoppe frequented by Archie Andrews and his pals at Riverdale High long gone, The Side Door has been providing a place for middle-school students to go after school and have a good time every Friday. Susan Johnson of Side Door went to the Montclair Board of Education’s September 18 meeting to promote the initiative.

Side Door is a drop-in center for middle-school students located a block away from Buzz Aldrin Middle School, at the Union Congregational Church on Cooper Avenue.  Available for free, the center offers activities such as basketball, touch football, table tennis, and video games, with help for homework also offered.  The activities also include live music and there are snacks for sale.  There is no registration required, and the activities are at no cost.  Volunteers from the high school, Montclair State University, and elsewhere in town serve as mentors and chaperones.

Board member Joseph Kavesh offered his verbal support for the side door program.  He said that the time after school is an important time to engage students in positive activities and when they are most susceptible to being disengaged.  Johnson noted that most of the students involved in Side Door are boys, because girls after school like to get their nails done, go to friends’ houses, or the like, “and the boys get out of school and go, ‘I don’t know, what do you want to do?’  So they end up at Side Door.” Continue Reading

Sponsored Post: L3 Academy is an Award-Winning STEM Learning Center in Montclair

BY  |  Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017 2:00pm

L3 Academy

An award-winning STEM learning center located in Montclair, L3 Academy offers a variety of programs from robotics, coding, Minecraft, math, science (Candy Science this term!), entrepreneurship and many others. Each semester, new and previously popular classes are offered in Montclair (and now Totowa!).  

Turning Exposure into Deep Interest: Robotics

L3 offers children a chance to try something new or do something they love. For those who have a deeper interest, L3 Academy offers a tiered progression where students can continue to work towards building more functional competency or even go to competition. For example, our L3 Academy Robotics Club offers both exposure and progression through programs such as:

l3 aademy

Coding, Videogames and Building Apps

For its coding classes, L3 Academy offers Intro to Programming I & II (Wednesday, Saturday), Python and several other languages. Build an App is back this winter.  It takes time to gain proficiency, but exposure can also spark interest.

Young Learners

L3’s Young Learner series is geared towards students ages PreK/K. Our goal is for children to feel comfortable working with gears or getting messy with science. Fall classes include:

Math: I Love Math & Competitions

L3 wants kids to love math as much as the two co-founders. In fact, the basis of its math classes is similar to those of Russian math circles, but with an emphasis of mastering foundational math. Math competition is offered and hosted at L3.


For those who don’t know what they want, why not try out the STEM Sampler or Tinker Lab classes? Or maybe mom or dad can gift you a month of Minecraft?  Stock Wizards is offered to all those junior Wall Street tycoons. Last year, one of our students ranked #2 trader in NJ’s Stock Market Game.

L3 Academy’s Mission

“Our mission is to foster a lifelong love of learning no matter what the subject,” said Yin Chang, Co-Founder, L3 Academy. “Much of our programs focus on critical thinking and problem solving as well as encouraging hands-on functional skills. Our students learn how to do it themselves; collaboration skills; self-respect as well as respect for others; and most importantly how to recover from not doing something quite correctly.

“Persistence or just plain grit is the foundation for a wonderful future. To be able fail or make a mistake, recover and learn from it is one of the most valuable lessons we can offer. We encourage kids to laugh it off, learn from it and don’t give up.”  

Birthday Parties & Camps

Let’s not forget birthday parties and camps, which are offered year-round.


Contact L3 Academy at 973.783.8333 or [email protected].





Montclair Board of Education: PARCC, Preschool Funding and Use of School Facilities

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 07, 2017 6:38am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Board of Education

The Montclair Board of Education held an uncharacteristically short and sparsely attended workshop meeting on September 6, the last day of summer vacation for the students.  The board spent much of its time discussing an item on the agenda regarding public use of school facilities and voting on rote business office issues.

Board member Eve Robinson asked about bringing preschool education back to the district.  She said the state budget this year allocated money for preschool funding for districts that were permitted to apply, but Montclair was not one of them.  Robinson proposed it be returned to the budget in the hope of qualifying for state aid when the state’s 2018 budget is worked out.

“I would like to keep it in your district goals so that we can be continually be working towards being able to responding when the expansion comes out and goes out to other districts,” she said.  She specifically asked the Interim Superintendent Barbara Pinsak include it in the district goals.

Superintendent Pinsak asked if including preschool funding as an official goal would help keep it from getting pushed away.  Robinson said it would, noting that has gotten pushed back in the past.  She made it clear that there should at least be a plan in place should state preschool funding be expanded.  The board will likely discuss it at a workshop in the near future.

Superintendent Pinsak reported that there were difficulties with communicating school bus schedules and apologized for any inconvenience that may have been caused, and she added that they district was working on the situation and resolving the issues quickly.  She also reported that individual scores for the students who took the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests to their parents with a letter explaining how to interpret them.  It will be posted on the district’s Web site on September 7.

The one major agenda issues was a review of Regulation 7510, which governs public use of district resources and facilities.  Board member Joseph Kavesh asked if there was any concern with the rule requiring the parties interested in using district facilities to submit a certificate of insurance for bodily injury at a minimum of $1 million, with the suggestion that it should be higher.  Board President Laura Hertzog said it could be raised for some special events using school facilities, like a gymnastics event, and Robinson cautioned that raising the minimum would have a detrimental effect on non-profit groups wanting to use the facilities, since they were unlikely to be able to afford anything higher than a million dollars.  Board President Hertzog stressed the district could be flexible in determining what the minimum should be, depending on the group involved.  No action was taken on this discussion topic at the meeting.

Only two people participated in public comment.  Student Noah Gale, a Montclair Hugh School senior and a regular student resident at the board meetings, praised the board for their fine work and welcomed back everyone, including new Business Administrator Emidio D’Andrea, for the 2017-18 school year.   Jordan Thompson said he believed there should be two student advocates to address discrimination who are neither district employees nor union members who report discriminatory acts by the staff to the assistant superintendent’s office.

On the search for a new superintendent, Board President Hertzog acknowledged the ad recently placed in the Star-Ledger posted for a superintendent, which showed forward motion on the issue.  She said she was pleased with how the search firm Hazard Young Attea & Associates (HYA) has been helping to find a permanent superintendent.  The interim superintendent, meanwhile, announced that the community was starting a food drive to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey during the second full week of September, and she encouraged people to get involved.  Also, Robinson had an announcement of her own.   She informed the board and the audience that there will be a meeting of the School Climate and Culture Subcommittee at the Charles H. Bullock School library to discuss respect for diversity, emotional and physical safety in the schools, and participating in school life, among other topics.  The meeting is at 1 P.M. on Sunday, September 17.

MFEE Seeks Montclair High School Students For Junior Board

BY  |  Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 3:07pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Calling all Montclair High School students! Do you have ideas on how to improve education and support the teachers and students at MHS? Would you like to make a lasting change at your school?

Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence (MFEE) a non-profit that raises funds for the Montclair Public Schools — will establish a Junior Board for the 2017 – 2018 school year and is currently accepting applications from MHS students interested in becoming philanthropists and change agents in their school community.

The MFEE Junior Board will be comprised of two to three MHS students from each grade level. Any student who is interested in improving his or her school community can apply!

The Junior Board will be given $2,500 and tasked with allocating those funds in grants awarded to MHS teachers and/or students who apply. As a Junior Board Member you will be a decision maker in the entire process.
Continue Reading

Montclair Public Library Goes Back to School!

BY  |  Thursday, Aug 31, 2017 12:31pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Public Library’s Youth Services Staff is ready for school! Staff will be on hand at the back-to-school nights at Montclair Public Schools with information about all the library resources available to support your child’s educational needs.

Family Storytime @ Bellevue Avenue Branch

This program is designed for newborns through five year-olds accompanied by a favorite adult. Share books, stories, finger-plays, rhymes, and music with your children. Enjoy a story session that encourages a love of reading and fosters the development of early literacy skills. Children of all abilities welcome. Family Storytime takes place on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. *Please note that registration is required for each individual storytime.
Registration required
Newborns to 5 year-olds
Wednesdays, September 6 & 20 at 11am
Kids Place @ Bellevue Avenue Branch Library, 185 Bellevue Ave., Upper Montclair
*Please note that the Library is not otherwise open during program. Continue Reading

Sponsored Post: Fusion Academy Opening Soon in Montclair!

BY  |  Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 3:00pm

Fusion Academy is a private middle and high school where all 250+ classes are one-to-one: one student and one teacher per classroom. This unique education model was born over 28 years ago out of frustration with the status quo and the passionate belief in the power of positive relationships to unlock academic potential. But Fusion’s school model isn’t solely about the smallest class size possible, it’s about helping kids flourish not only academically, but emotionally and socially, too.

Many of our students feel they don’t ‘fit’ at a traditional school. That sense of not belonging can make school an uninspiring place to be. Fusion serves kids who aren’t flourishing in a conventional environment, and offers them a community where they feel connected, supported, and understood. This creates a perfect solution for kids who have mild learning differences or social anxiety, those who need a customized schedule, and those who are gifted and need to be more challenged.

One-to-One Works
You can’t hide in a one-to-one classroom. You aren’t competing with 40 other students to be heard. You aren’t afraid to speak up or be wrong because it’s just you and the teacher. And there’s no possibility of falling through the cracks. This is why one-to-one works. Continue Reading

Bradford School Hosts Ice Cream Social For Kindergarteners and Transfer Students, 9/6

BY  |  Thursday, Aug 24, 2017 12:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

bradford school

Calling all families of incoming Bradford students. Celebrate your child’s start at Bradford School with Ice Cream Social for Kindergarteners and Transfer Students on Wednesday, September 6th, 6:30 p.m. in the courtyard of Bradford School, 87 Mount Hebron Road, Montclair.

General information about Bradford School procedures will be distributed and PTA volunteers will be on hand to answer questions. (Parents/guardians will also have an opportunity to join the PTA and order Bradford school t-shirts).

Montclair BOE: New Hires Include Gayl Shepard As Teacher on Special Assignment

BY  |  Monday, Aug 21, 2017 10:35pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Board of Education meeting started with a presentation by Peter Coyl, director of the Montclair Public Library. Coyl spoke about a partnership with Toni’s Kitchen and Partners for Health that helps produce meals for students during the summer, to fill the gap when the free and reduced school lunch program isn’t available during summer break. Coyl said the program is open to anyone under the age of 18 and there’s no need to prove residency or income. Kids can come and get a free lunch and so far, during the eight weeks that the program has been running this summer, the library has served over 2000 lunches.

Montclair Library director Peter Coyl details special programs for students.

Coyl also highlighted other supports the library offers students, including databases for students to get homework help after school, where they can log in and get help from a certified teacher on in real time, Coyl says.

New Hires And Recall of Paraprofessionals

Following Coyl’s presentation was a report from interim superintendent Barbara Pinsak, who began by mentioning that administrative retreats were underway this week, with staff reviewing goals and looking at next steps for the district’s Undoing Racism program.

Pinsak then listed numerous repairs and upgrades to various school, including floor repairs at Bradford School; carpeting and painting at Hillside School; and replacing of toilets and lockers at Montclair High School, as well as renovations to the high school parking lot.

In addition to sprucing up schools, the district has been busy with staffing, from before end of school year through to September. Pinsak introduced Mr. D’Andrea as business administrator and board secretary and a new district director of special services, Tom Santagato.

“This summer to date, we’ve employed approximately 20 new staff members and we were able to recall nine teachers and one secretary, not because we are adding positions, but primarily due to retirement or resignation,” Pinsak said, pointing out that Montclair has stayed within budget. Pinsak said the district did add some positions — two full time and one half time special education teachers based on student’s IEP needs. A social work position was added for the Academy at Glenfield pilot and one math teacher at Renaissance based on new algebra initiative at the middle school.

“The other good news,” Pinsak added, “is that I’m pleased to report we were able to recall over 30 of our full time and four half time paraprofessionals for the district.” Pinsak said five additional para positions were also added based on new student needs. Continue Reading

Montclair High School Freshmen and New Rowers! MHS Crew Learn to Row Weekend, 8/26-27

Sunday, Aug 20, 2017 8:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Calling all Montclair High School freshmen and new rowers. MHS Freshmen Crew wants you. Attend a Learn to Row Weekend on August 26-27 at Nereid Boathouse, 350 Riverside Avenue, Rutherford, NJ.

No experience necessary; for information and registration, visit For more information, email Coach Lorna Rundle at [email protected]

Featured Comment

And we can get this project completed in time for Montclair's sesquicentennial when we can stick a fork into historic preservation as a public policy.

Tip, Follow, Friend, Subscribe