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BOE MEETS MONDAY, JULY 21, 2014

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BOE MEETS MONDAY, JULY 21, 2014

The next Regular Public Meeting of the Ridgewood Board of Education will be held on Monday, July 21, 2014 at 5 p.m. 
 
The public is invited to attend the meeting at the Ed Center, 49 Cottage Place, Floor 3. The meeting will be aired live on FiOS channel 33 and Optimum channel 77. Or it may be viewed live via the district website atwww.ridgewood.k12.nj.us using the “Link in Live” tab. 

Click here to view the agenda and addendum for the June 23, 2014 Regular Public Meeting.

Click here to view the webcast of the June 23, 2014 Regular Public Meeting..

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Ridgewood school district’s energy program produces results

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Ridgewood school district’s energy program produces results

JULY 11, 2014    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, JULY 11, 2014, 12:31 AM
BY JODI WEINBERGER
STAFF WRITER
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A “behavior modification” program designed to conserve the district’s energy use has turned in significant savings, but when put against the cost of hiring an energy conservation company, the district is just breaking even.

Last year, the Board of Education signed on for a three-year contract with energy-savings company Cenergistic for $168,600 per year and hired an energy specialist for $75,000 per year.

Although the data is not complete, Business Administrator Michael Falkowski told the Board of Education at a meeting on Monday, June 23, that a conservative estimate of savings puts them at 14.3 percent, or $128,235.

It’s been difficult to fully calculate energy savings, said Falkowski, because the district is in the process of disputing some bills with PSE&G. Falkowski said savings could be about 20 percent when all the information is compiled.

If the district does not break even, Cenergistic will fund the difference because it’s a “no loss” contract. When Cenergistic first pitched the program, they hoped for Ridgewood to see a savings of more than $3 million over 10 years, representing a roughly 30 percent reduction in expected energy costs.

“It’s been difficult to produce a comparison from year to year when the data isn’t available,” Falkowski said.

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/energy-program-producing-results-1.1049698#sthash.rzUGCbRe.dpuf

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Ridgewood school district’s five-year math review under way

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Ridgewood school district’s five-year math review under way

JULY 11, 2014    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, JULY 11, 2014, 12:31 AM
BY JODI WEINBERGER
STAFF WRITER
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With big changes in state testing and curriculum standards coming down the pike, the Ridgewood school district is embarking on a five-year review of its math program.

Although curriculum reviews are routine – Superintendent Daniel Fishbein said they are done every five years – part of the process will look at the sequence of classes and lessons to make sure math topics are adequately covered in time for the standardized testing dates.

“The Common Core has come through and has changed the landscape,” said Greg McDonald, supervisor of mathematics, science, and technology.

The review began during the 2013-14 school year with a committee of teachers and administrators researching best practices and analyzing the current program, along with compiling standardized test results and conducting satisfaction surveys.

In response to one question, 100 percent of teachers in grades K-8 said they supplement the current math program in some form.

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/five-year-math-review-under-way-1.1049840#sthash.BPn5Cbam.dpuf

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Ridgewood students, educators trying to find a way through the pressure

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Ridgewood students, educators trying to find a way through the pressure

JULY 1, 2014    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2014, 3:22 PM
BY LAURA HERZOG
STAFF WRITER

This past school year, Ridgewood High School (RHS) Assistant Principal Jeff Nyhuis dealt with a surprising problem.

He had to work with sports coaches to block out unscheduled time – during the summer. Some families have children playing so many summer sports, it’s a struggle for them to find time to vacation.

“It ends up encompassing the whole summer, so no one can really get away,” he said. “It’s ridiculous.”

It’s just one more indication of the P-word: Pressure. It’s a well-known word in Ridgewood.

And it’s a word that Ridgewood’s recent graduates, and RHS’ upcoming juniors and seniors, will learn even more about in the future as they struggle to stand out in a world that can be far more competitive and demanding than RHS. Some concerned educators and parents worry about RHS students who are already struggling too much to be the best in everything, working harder but not necessarily smarter, and sometimes forgetting to enjoy what they are doing.

In recent years, some concerned parents and educators have been fighting back against sources of stress (facing adults, as well as children), and this year was no exception. On the other hand, some parents and educators point out that pressure itself is not bad; challenge and competition can motivate and ready students for a tough world, they observe.

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/ridgewood-students-educators-trying-to-find-a-way-through-the-pressure-1.1044279#sthash.B5w73MN4.dpuf

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Ridgewood Board of Education approves new administrators

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Ridgewood Board of Education approves new administrators

JUNE 27, 2014    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2014, 2:46 PM
BY JODI WEINBERGER
STAFF WRITER
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The school board voted on Monday to move forward with hiring new administrators under the condition that Superintendent Daniel Fishbein research whether teacher evaluations qualify as unfunded mandates from the state.

A lengthy Board of Education (BOE) discussion resulted in a 4-1 vote, with trustee Christina Krauss as the lone dissenter.

Fishbein spoke of the long-standing need to replace the administrators let go in 2010 when deep budget cuts set in, but to some BOE members that argument paled in comparison to what they believe is the real issue: increased workloads from the state-required evaluations.

Because of the state- mandated transition to a new evaluation system, administrators’ teacher evaluation “events” have increased from 44 to 109, Fishbein told the board at a previous meeting. But, he emphasized, Ridgewood has fewer administrators when compared to other districts and the need for new hires predates the evaluations.

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/trustees-sign-on-for-supervisors-1.1042907#sthash.nelqCiyv.dpuf

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Ridgewood Education Foundation Commits to 1:1 Technology

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Ridgewood Education Foundation Commits to 1:1 Technology 
June 9, 2014 

Ridgewiood NJ, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Daniel Fishbein has announced the receipt of a grant of $250,000 from the Ridgewood Education Foundation for the district’s new 1:1 Computer Device Initiative.The Ridgewood Education Foundation (The Foundation) will issue its first disbursement of $100,000 to the Board of Education at its July 23 meeting. Ongoing disbursements of $50,000 will be issued annually thereafter for an additional three years.“The 1:1 computer device initiative is the next step in the District Technology Plan and an important aspect of our goals for twenty-first century learning,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Daniel Fishbein.“On behalf of the Ridgewood Board of Education, I wish to thank The Foundation for their leadership and vision to partner with us in this exciting new program as part of their ongoing commitment and support of the district’s mission of excellence.”

Specifically, the grant will allow the district to purchase and distribute Google tablet Chromebook technology at all levels, K-12, starting in September at the high school and moving into the middle and elementary schools over the next several years.

Chromebooks and the accompanying suite of apps called Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and Google Drive allow users to store and share files from any device that has an Internet connection. As part of the1:1 initiative, the district has provided GAFE accounts to all students. Students in grades 6-12 have also been issued email accounts for internal use only. Using GAFE and Google Drive, students will be able to
access their work at school and home throughout their years in the district. Teachers will be able to provide instant feedback to students on their assignments and easily monitor student contributions to group work. All work done using GAFE is managed by the Ridgewood Public Schools in a safe and closed environment and is the property of the Ridgewood Board of Education

“Clearly from the district’s vision and plan the role of technology will be increasingly important in enhancing academics,” said The Foundation president Jennie Wilson. “The Trustees of The Foundation felt this was an important initiative for Ridgewood schools and vital to twenty-first century learning skills across the district. The vote to fund this grant to the schools was unanimous and very exciting for all trustees. It supports academics and fits perfectly with our mission to enhance education in the Ridgewood Public Schools.”

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Mandates lead to call for new school administrators in Ridgewood

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Mandates lead to call for new school administrators in Ridgewood

JUNE 23, 2014    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2014, 1:52 PM
BY LAURA HERZOG
STAFF WRITER

The Board of Education (BOE) recently renewed discussions on whether the district should add two more administrative positions next school year.

The move is part of the superintendent’s three-year plan, which was announced last year, to ultimately replace seven administrative positions that were cut in 2010, when the district lost all its state aid and had to make big budget cuts.

The new positions would help lighten the load facing the district’s overworked administrative staff, argued Superintendent Daniel Fishbein. The schools chief first proposed the new positions, a science supervisor and a special education supervisor, at a BOE meeting in May.

But some BOE trustees, especially Jim Morgan, had doubts about the superintendent’s proposal, because it would add fixed costs of around $300,000 to the already strained, and rising, budget. Morgan also questioned the necessity of adding administrative positions, because the district is already operating effectively.

BOE Vice President Vince Loncto and trustee Christina Krauss also expressed reservations at the time. BOE trustee Michele Lenhard was absent for the discussion, and BOE President Sheila Brogan expressed support for the new positions.

In light of the opposition facing him, Fishbein came prepared at a June 2 meeting with a data-based argument in favor of the positions. He quantified the workload of administrators, and provided trustees with a list of other districts similar to Ridgewood with larger administrative staffs.

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/mandates-lead-to-call-for-new-school-administrators-in-ridgewood-1.1040099#sthash.1m6A3CEY.dpuf

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BOE MEETS MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2014

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BOE MEETS MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2014

The next Regular Public Meeting of the Ridgewood Board of Education will be held on Monday, June 23, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. 
 
The public is invited to attend the meeting at the Ed Center, 49 Cottage Place, Floor 3. The meeting will be aired live on FiOS channel 33 and Optimum channel 77. Or it may be viewed live via the www.ridgewood.k12.nj.us using the “Link in Live” tab. 

Click here to view the agenda for the June 2, 2014 Regular Public Meeting.

Click here to view the webcast of the June 2, 2014 Regular Public Meeting.


2014-2015 Budget Information
Taking effect this year, the Ridgewood Board of Education has opted to move the annual school board elections from April to November, thereby eliminating the public vote on the proposed general tax levy if it is at or below the statutory tax levy cap. Since next year’s proposed budget falls within the mandated cap, it will not be put to public vote.
 
The Board approved the 2014-2015 budget at its April 28 Regular Public meeting

Click here to view the Budget edition of Newsline, sent to Ridgewood residents in May. The newsletter provides information about next year’s school budget.


Click here to view the Fiscal Year 2015 User Friendly Budget.

Click here to view the Fiscal Year 2015 full budget.

Click here to view the 2014-2015 Budget Presentation.

To send a question or comment about the 2014-2015 school budget, please email the superintendent at[email protected]

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Reader Points to Conflict of Interest Between BOE and Valley

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Reader Points to Conflict of Interest Between BOE and Valley 

Between the half-mil with which Valley cheaply bought the BOE and the glaring conflict of interest represented by the Superintendent’s physician-wife’s relationship with the hospital, the Board would have done better to “recuse itself” than to force its president to make appallingly inaccurate statements (“no problem! bring it on!”) so destructive to children and so exciting to Valley that Valley’s legal team quoted her in its final (thank goodness), unexpected greatest-hits slide show on Monday night. This was the definition of sellout.

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BOE MEETS MONDAY, JUNE 2, 2014

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BOE MEETS MONDAY, JUNE 2, 2014

The next Regular Public Meeting of the Ridgewood Board of Education will be held on Monday, June 2, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. 
 
The public is invited to attend the meeting at the Ed Center, 49 Cottage Place, Floor 3. The meeting will be aired live on FiOS channel 33 and Optimum channel 77. Or it may be viewed live via the district website atwww.ridgewood.k12.nj.us using the “Link in Live” tab. 

Click here to view the agenda for the May 19, 2014 Regular Public Meeting.

Click here to view the webcast of the May 19, 2014 Regular Public Meeting.

2014-2015 Budget Information
Taking effect this year, the Ridgewood Board of Education has opted to move the annual school board elections from April to November, thereby eliminating the public vote on the proposed general tax levy if it is at or below the statutory tax levy cap. Since next year’s proposed budget falls within the mandated cap, it will not be put to public vote.
 
The Board approved the 2014-2015 budget at its April 28 Regular Public meeting.

Click here to view the Budget edition of Newsline, sent to Ridgewood residents in May. The newsletter provides information about next year’s school budget.


Click here to view the Fiscal Year 2015 User Friendly Budget.

Click here to view the Fiscal Year 2015 full budget.

Click here to view the 2014-2015 Budget Presentation.

To send a question or comment about the 2014-2015 school budget, please email the superintendent at[email protected]

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