Category Archives: Schools Scene

Find out what’s going on in the RFH Regional High School and Rumson and Fair Haven school districts.

R-FH Schools Blizzard Prep: Early Dismissals

The impending blizzard brings with it closings and cancelled/postponed meetings and events within the next few days.

So far, in Rumson:

• There will be a 1 p.m. dismissal on Monday at Forrestdale and Deane Porter schools, according to the district website.

All activities are cancelled.

• The school district’s PARCC Parent Workshop set for Monday at 7 p.m. will be rescheduled. Check the district website for updates.

So far, in Fair Haven:

• There will be early dismissals on Monday at both Sickles and Knollwood schools, according to the latest post on the Fair Haven Schools website.

Sickles will dismiss at 12:10 p.m. and Knollwood at 12:30.

“For the safety and well-being of our students and staff, FH schools we will have an early dismissal today,” Superintendent Nelson Ribon post on the district website. “Overnight forecast models show a potential for extremely windy conditions (blizzard warnings) during the early afternoon along with snow.”night:

So far, for Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School:

• There will be an early dismissal at 11:45 a.m. on Monday.

All after-school activities have been cancelled.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will update this article as information becomes available. Please check back for updates.

Catching Up with New and Old Fair Haven Board of Ed Members

Former Fair Haven Board of Education members Katy Frissora and Cathy Alescio with Viola L. Sickles School Principal Cheryl Cuddihy (center). Photo/courtesy of Fair Haven School District
Former Fair Haven Board of Education members Katy Frissora and Cathy Alescio with Viola L. Sickles School Principal Cheryl Cuddihy (center).
Photo/courtesy of Fair Haven School District

The following is an edited press release from the Fair Haven School District:

Since Jan. 7, three new Fair Haven Board of Education members have been seated at the dais. They and their predecessors are offering a glimpse into their goals for the district and looking back at what brought then to the board.

Jennifer Halcrow, Bruce Padula, and Karen Saad have been sworn in to three-year terms on the nine-member board at the 2015 reorganization.

The three new members will serve on the board with Michael Bernstein, Claudia Brasch (vice president), Mark Mancuso (president), Tracy Rehder, Jeffrey Spector, and Randi Walker.

Jennifer Halcrow’s family has lived in Fair Haven for eight years. She has three children attending Viola L. Sickles and Knollwood schools.

Halcrow, who was drawn to Fair Haven by the excellent educational opportunities and strong sense of community, has a master’s degree in business administration and hopes to apply her skills toward achieving educational goals.

“My focus is on student achievement and academic excellence in the classroom as well as fiscal responsibility while budgeting to the needs of our children,” Halcrow said. “I also have an interest in improving communication among our parents, administration, and school board.”

Bruce Padula has been a Fair Haven resident since 2010. He moved to New Jersey to attend Seton Hall University Law School after graduating from Villanova.

A  partner Cleary, Giacobbe, Alfieri & Jacobs law firm, Matawan, Padula has a son in kindergarten and a daughter who will start school next year.

“Fair Haven is a truly special and unique community with dedicated and caring parents, volunteers, professionals, and neighbors,” said Padula. “My goal is to make Fair Haven schools the best they can be; and I hope to lend my professional experience as a school board attorney to the board in order to help achieve this goal.”

I am grateful for the support and trust this community has placed in me.”

Karen Saad discovered the borough of Fair Haven during a lunch stop at an eatery on River Road.

She “fell in love” with the town and is now a resident with three children who are currently students in the school system. Born and raised in New Jersey, she graduated from The College of William and Mary with a degree in accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant.

She worked for the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm based in Washington, D.C. prior to moving back to New Jersey to raise her family.

“As an active volunteer in our schools and community, I love connecting with friends and neighbors and using my professional skills in finance, consulting, and accounting to enrich these organizations,” said Saad. “I am so excited to be a part of the board and will work to ensure that our children have the best possible educational experience.”

The oath of office was administered by Board of Education Attorney Anthony P. Scarrillo.

Katy Frissora and Cathy Alescio look back at their board time

Among those in attendance at the swearing-in was former board member Katy Frissora, who was thanked by Mancuso for her eight years of dedicated service.

Frissora and Cathy Alescio, who served one term of three years, did not seek re-election this year when their terms expired.

A former PTA president, Alescio attended many board meetings — something she considers an important prerequisite — before making the commitment to run.

“I sometimes hear parents discuss a concern; and I encourage them to get to know their board members on an informal level as well as during a meeting,” said Alescio.

Alescio’s commitment to understanding parents’ concerns translated into making certain that decisions about administrators and curriculum were considered from every angle during meetings of the committees to which she was assigned — Negotiations and Personnel. She expressed pride in how effectively she and her fellow committee addressed some very tough decisions.

“At the end of the day, I knew that I wasn’t elected just to represent the interests of my children,” said Alescio. “I was elected to represent the over 700 families who send children to our schools.”

Frissora focused on curriculum and community relations during her time as a board member. She worked with administrators to help parents visualize and understand how curriculum was being implemented in the classroom.

“Starting when I was a parent of a first grader, and then as a board member, I realized that parents are hungry for information about how their children are learning,” said Frissora. “I was emphatic about how we must use every possible tool — whether it’s social media, newsletters, photos, a teacher’s written communication, or a phone call — to share what is happening in classrooms with parents.”

Frissora was pleased to be known as the Board of Education’s “onion peeler,” examining each layer of every issue to come up with the best possible outcome.

“My mantra to parents has always been ‘for every question you have, your board members are asking the exact same question and discussing pros and cons’,” said Frissora. “I am so proud of how deeply the board on which I served probed into every question surrounding every decision, and I am confident that the present board will do the same with new onion peelers.”

Both Alescio and Frissora expressed a desire to see Fair Haven schools continue to be unique, as well as maintain their focus on developing confident learners.

“Cathy Alescio and Katy Frissora will be greatly missed by the Board and district,” said Mancuso. “The amount of time and energy they poured into their terms on the Board are a testament to their strong work ethic and absolute devotion to our schools and children.”

They helped invigorate and strengthen every committee on which they served, and are model board members worthy of emulation. I look forward to their continued interest and participation as stakeholders of our community.”

RFH Students Help to Empower Women Globally Via Fundraising

The following is an edited press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School: 

The recent fundraising efforts of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s (RFH) Global Women Empowerment organization will facilitate the education of two girls in Uganda and empower others around the world in different ways.

The more than $2,000 raised will be funneled to Change A Life Uganda’s Tuition for Tots-to-Teens to help the girls, Daisy and Patricia, finish high school and Global Women Empowerment, a student organization at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, recently completed a highly successful fundraiser in support of Change A Life Uganda’s Tuition for Tots-to-Teens.

Continue reading RFH Students Help to Empower Women Globally Via Fundraising

Sports Success: RFH Places 2nd in ShopRite Cup

The following is an edited press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School:

Based on an extremely successful fall sports season, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) has achieved a high ranking in the 12th Annual ShopRite Cup 2014-15 Fall Standings.

RFH is ranked second among all Group 2 schools, and stands at fourth place among all public schools in New Jersey.

The top five Group 2 high schools in the ShopRite Cup Fall Standings, in order, are: Haddonfield, 34 points; Rumson-Fair Haven 31 points; Collingswood,16 points; Madison, 16 points; and Kinnelon, 15 points.

The ShopRite Cup is presented jointly by ShopRite stores and the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). Winning schools earn ShopRite points for top finishes in competition as well as for sportsmanship.

RFH earned points for the Girls Cross Country Sectional Championship, Field Hockey Group Championship, and the Football Sectional Championship.

Parents Get ‘Google Apps for the Classroom’ Education

The following is an edited press release from the Fair Haven School District:

The Fair Haven School District gave parents an opportunity to get some hands-on experience with Google Apps for the Classroom.

Parents gathered at the Media Center of Knollwood School on Dec. 2 for the fourth event in a series of several planned by the district’s new Fair Haven Family Institute. The Institute was created to relay information to parents on initiatives undertaken throughout each year in the district.

As part of the Go Google! event, parents received hands-on experience with the capabilities of Google Apps for the Classroom. The program was hosted by Ellen Spears, district director of Curriculum, as well as Sickles School Principal Cheryl Cuddihy, Knollwood School Principal Kevin Davis, and district supervisor of Instructional Programs and Support Kathy Elgrim.

Continue reading Parents Get ‘Google Apps for the Classroom’ Education

Another Closing of Another RFH Show

Julia Mosby and Ben Ley after “Miracle on 34th Street” performance at RFH. Photo/Barbara Mosby

By all accounts, the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players’ Miracle on 34th Street was a smashing success.

The show, which ran Friday and Saturday nights, closed with a Sunday matinee.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect couldn’t make it to this show, but cast member Julia Mosby’s mom Barbara captured a couple of post-show moments and sent them. So, the photos are being featured as our Retro Pic(s) of the Day.

The photos, of course, included Julia and RFH grad and friend Ben Ley, a former RFH Jazz Ensemble drummer, who now attends NYU.

Take a look. If you have any photos you’d like to add, please feel free to send them to us, with proper credit, at evd@rfhretro.com.

 

A Theatrical Weekend: RFH’s ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ Opens

A theatrical kind of weekend is on tap in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, starting with opening night of the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) production of Miracle on 34th Street on Friday.

Curtain time for the holiday classic is 7:30 p.m. on Friday with a Saturday show at the same time and a closing matinee on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Based on the classic 1947 movie and novel by Valentine Davies, the Tower Players’ version of the story of a white-haired bearded man named Kris Kringle and his embattled, tradition-inspired journey as a 34th Street Macy’s Santa, has been dubbed “part nostalgic throwback and part cutting-edge entertainment,” according to RFH staff.

Continue reading A Theatrical Weekend: RFH’s ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ Opens

The Details on the Big RFH Football Win

The following is an edited press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School:

Everyone knows that the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) football team has claimed its second consecutive NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II championship.

The Bulldogs shut out Delaware Valley High School in a 21-0 rout on Dec. 6 at Kean University’s Alumni Stadium.

Here are some quotes and details about the win that were just released:

Continue reading The Details on the Big RFH Football Win

Knollwood Cross-Country, Field Hockey Athletes Honored

The following is an edited press release from the Fair Haven School District:

The Knollwood School Cross-Country and Field Hockey teams were recently honored for their outstanding seasons.

The Fair Haven Board of Education threw a pizza and cake party in the Knollwood School All-Purpose Room for the athletes and coaches prior to the start of a scheduled Nov. 19 meeting.

An awards ceremony, commemorating all the athletes’ accomplishments, took place at the beginning of the meeting.

Continue reading Knollwood Cross-Country, Field Hockey Athletes Honored

RFH Students Keep Animals Cozy for Winter

The following is an edited press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School:

Just in time for the winter months, animals at the Associated Humane Society shelter in Tinton Falls were provided with warm bedding thanks to a recent fundraiser.

The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) organization Paws and Claws — dedicated to assisting and spreading awareness of organizations that support domestic pets and wildlife — held a towel/linen drive from Oct. 20 to 31.

Continue reading RFH Students Keep Animals Cozy for Winter

Fair Haven Parents Get Informed About PARCC

The following is an edited press release provided by the Fair Haven School District:

Parents of Fair Haven students received a wealth of information about upcoming Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) at a Nov. 12 PARCC Parent Presentation.

PARCC assessments will be administered to Fair Haven students in third through eighth grade in March (Performance-Based Assessments) and May (End-of-Year Assessments) of 2015.

Hosted by the district’s supervisor of Instructional Programs and Support, Kathy Elgrim, and held in the Knollwood School Media Center, the district-sponsored PARCC Parent Presentation focused on:

• what PARCC assessments are, and what they are designed to accomplish;
• steps being taken at both Viola L. Sickles and Knollwood Schools to prepare all students; and
• how the assessments, taken on individual laptops using Google technology, will appear to students.

PARCC assessments are based on the core belief that assessment should work as a tool for enhancing teaching and learning. They are designed to gauge how students are progressing in school and whether they are on track for postsecondary success.

The assessments, which cover the areas of mathematics and English language arts, will also provide teachers with the ability to identify students who may be falling behind and need extra help.

PARCC assessments focus on the newer, more rigorous Common Core Standards which have been adopted by 47 U.S. states thus far. The New Jersey State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards on July 12, 2010. The three-year implementation phase was completed during the 2013-14 school year.

Students from 15 states, including New Jersey, will be participating in PARCC assessments during the 2014-15 school year.

“The Fair Haven schools have been teaching according to standards for years, and the district’s report cards were redesigned during the 2003-04 school year to better reflect the standards,” said Elgrim. “As a school district, we are already aligned with these key standards —the taking of the assessments is another step in the process.”

In addition to aligning the curriculum — including math and literacy programs — to Common Core standards, the Fair Haven School District is preparing students for the PARCC exams by:

• teaching PARCC technology skills to students in grades three through eight;
• teaching keyboarding skills to students in first through fifth grades
Providing small computer-based assessments to first and second graders; and
• addressing Common Core Standards in Kindergarten classes, and providing Kindergarten students with access to Ipads and Google Chromebooks.

Elgrim noted that seventh graders at Knollwood School were selected to take the PARCC Math Assessment as part of a “field test” during the 2013-14 school year, and are therefore somewhat familiar with the process.

But she stressed that all students in all grades are being thoroughly prepared for the assessments and will be receiving hands-on exposure through the use of laptops with Google technology.

Elgim outlined some of the benefits PARCC assessments offer when compared with the more recently utilized NJ ASK, including a larger number of shorter testing sessions (less taxing on students), extended testing time for all students who require it (50 percent for all students, 75 percent for special needs/classified students), and the potential for school districts and parents to receive data more quickly (once standards for comparison are established).

The data received will allow for comparisons among students and sections, and also between grades and among schools.

NJ ASK will continue to be used for student assessments in the subject of science, and will be administered to students in fourth and eighth grades in May, 2015.

Those in attendance expressed gratitude for the information presented, as well for as the opportunity to ask questions and get a hands-on “feel” for the PARCC assessments using individual Google chromebooks.

“I felt that this was very beneficial,” said Olivia Ross, parent of a second grader at Viola L. Sickles School. “I feel much more informed.”

Additional information on PARCC assessments, including details provided at the PARCC Parent Presentation, can be found on the Fair Haven School District web site (fairhaven.edu) under PARCC.

“PARCC Parent Presentation” was the second in a series of events planned during the school year by the Fair Haven Family Institute. Upcoming presentations include “Google for Education” which will take place on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Knollwood School.

For additional information on the Fair Haven Family Institute, please visit www.FairHaven.edu.

About the Big RFH Field Hockey NJSIAA Win

It was last weekend, on Nov. 15,  when the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Field Hockey team won the school’s first NJSIAA Group II title.

The girls won the title over Bordentown High School in a 3-2 victory that came on the heels of a historic Shore Conference Title win against Shore Regional High School on earlier in the month.

A small Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect breaking story ran on the day of the NJSIAA Group Title win.

Here are more details about the game, provided by RFH:

Madison Maguire, Peyton McCauley, and Lilly Croddick scored goals for top-seeded RFH, and goalie Anna Babiak had four saves.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the efforts of these girls over the entire season, and certainly in their Group II Final game,” Head Coach Julie Vaccarelli said. “This is another first for the program — we have never before made it to the group final, and to win in our very first appearance is just spectacular.”

The RFH field hockey roster consists of: seniors Abigael Donohue, Catie Ebner (Captain), Molly Lake, Maggi McCann, and Peyton McCauley (Captain); juniors Anna Babiak, Kara Dixon, Bridget Fitzgerald, Maggie Jennings, Madison Maguire, Kiera McKay, Gabrielle Ramirez, Masie Sapnar, and Kate Sustick; sophomore Ali DeVito; and freshmen Lilly Croddick, Emma D’Amelio, Kaitlyn MacGillis, Megan MacGillis, Makenna Maguire, and Molly Nowell.