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RIDGEWOOD BOARD OF EDUCATION STATEMENT REGARDING THE COMPLAINT FILED JANUARY 18, 2019 IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY, BERGEN COUNTY LAW DIVISION

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Ridgewood Board Of Education

Ridgewood NJ, In July 2018, the Ridgewood Village Council adopted a resolution moving the annual school board elections from November to April. On April 16, 2019 Ridgewood voters will have the opportunity to vote on the annual school budget. The Board of Education is seeking clarification on the effect this change has on board member terms.

Board members are elected for three-year terms. Currently, all sitting board members were elected in November elections, those terms expire on the 31st of December of the third year of their term. With the change to April elections it unclear when current board member terms expire.

The Superintendent of Ridgewood Public Schools, on behalf of the Ridgewood Board of Education has filed a Verified Complaint against the County of Bergen and the New Jersey Commissioner of Education seeking clarification of the terms of all sitting board members. The Superintendent has filed the complaint because there are two differing points of view on board member terms. The opinion by the courts is that the term of a member of the Board of Education cannot be shortened. A response from a Bergen County official opined that those terms can be shortened.  Our goal in filing this complaint with the court is to have a response that will allow us to proceed according to law.  

It is expected that a decision will be made well in advance of the February 25, 2019 filing deadline for the April 2019 elections.

Any questions regarding this action should be addressed to the Superintendent and Board of Education at 201-670-2700 x10530.

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RHS Jamboree 2019 has started its journey

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Since 1947 Jamboree has raised over $1 million in need based scholarship funds for graduating Ridgewood high school students. And we put on a show in order to do it!  Save the dates! The show will run February 7th 8th and 9th. See times above. Bring a friend! Make a night of it! You’re in for an evening of good fun entertainment. There will be singing, dancing, and a little bit of humor now and then!

Can’t make it to the show? You can still donate to this great cause.  Click on the “Donate to Jamboree” tab above, or click here: .  Feel free to share this with friends and family.

However we know we’ll see you at the show!!

Questions?  Email the producers at [email protected]

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Ways to Apply for a Student Loan

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, You’ve just cleared high school and are looking into joining college. You’ve be told about taking a student loan, and since your parents credit is incredibly awful, your only option is to take it in your name.

So you did what lots of other students do when looking out for a loan – visit the government student loan site. But since the site doesn’t break the process into simple, easy-to-understand chunks, you end up getting confused. In which case, you found it hard understanding the terms used, the kind of loans being offered and how best you can access them or if there’s some other place you should visit to get the loan.

Well, don’t fret – this post covers all the possible ways you can access a student loan.

Look at the Possibility of Going to School without a Student Loan

A student loan is NOT free money, but a loan you’ll be required to pay after you graduate—and with an interest of course. So if there’s remotely a chance that you can still foot your school fees and your upkeep without relying on loans, then go for it.

For US based students, you have the option to access Pell Grant through FAFSA. Read this bearing in mind that grants don’t require you to pay back.

Also try looking at the possibility of securing a scholarship or securing a part time job to help you out.

Lastly, you might want to settle for a school with the lowest tuition fee. Do this and some time in future when your friends and family will be struggling with repaying their student loans, you’ll be looking back and thanking yourself for the decision you made.

But if you really must take a loan, here are a number of ways to apply for them:

Applying for a Private Student or Federal Loan

The application process to follow will vary depending on the type of student loan you wish to apply

Application Process for Federal Student Loan

To apply for a federal loan, you have to start by filling out the Free Application for Student Aid (FASFA) form. This form can be downloaded at FAFSA.gov. Once filled, the form should be sent back to FASFA for evaluation.

Here’s a number of things to keep in mind while filling out the form:

  • Filling the form is absolutely free. You’ll NOT be charged for downloading and submitting the form.
  • You’ll be required to complete a FASFA form every year you apply for a loan.
  • Make a point to get the form as early as possible (starting from October 1st) to increase the chances of getting the loan.

Application Process for a Private Student Loan

Private student loans are mostly offered by banks, financial institutions, or a Mammoth Investor. Which is to say, you’ll be applying for it directly to the lender.

Instructions on how to apply for the loan:

  • Start by visiting the bank’s site and learn more about the loan. Check out for their interest rates, their repayment options and the highlighted benefits associated with the loan.
  • If satisfied, go ahead and fill out the application form. The instruction to follow should be provided on site, so no need to worry on how to go about it.

You’ll also be required to choose a repayment option that best suits you and the type of interest you’re most comfortable with.

  • You may be asked to include a cosigner. Don’t hesitate to add one as this increases your chances of being awarded the loan.
  • Lastly, the lender will go ahead and check your credit score and later on getting back to you with the decision they’d have made.

Getting a loan shouldn’t be that much of a tough task. If anything, there exist several avenues to access one. So if one fails, just knuckle up and check out for the next available option.

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Ridgewood Board of Education Reorganization Summary

photo courtesy of Boyd Loving

BOARD REORGANIZATION

OFFICIAL RESULTS OF SCHOOL ELECTION (November 2018)
Candidates for Board – Three Year Term
Cristopher Kaufman: 4,579
B. Vincent Loncto: 3,055
Personal Choice: 29      

Total November Election Votes Cast: 11,400

SWEARING IN, NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS OF BOARD OFFICERS
Newly elected Board member Cristopher Kaufman was sworn in, followed by a roll call of the Board and nominations and election of a new Board president and vice president. Jennie Smith Wilson was elected President. James Morgan was elected Vice President.

PRESENTATIONS

BOARD GOALS UPDATE
Dr. Fishbein provided an update on the status of the Board goals at this mid-point in the school year, as follows: 

1) Negotiations with the REA have been completed with an approved REA contract; RAA negotiations will be starting;

 2) Identification of capital projects for a bond referendum will be starting with meeting with LAN Associates; 

3) Full-Day Kindergarten update will be presented to the Board at the April 29 meeting; 

4) Special Education Department study to be reported on this spring; 


5) Community Strategic Planning consultants are being interviewed at this time.

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Ridgewood School Board Comes up with School Resource Officer Funding

Ridgewood Schools schools were cleared of the shelter in place Order

file photo by Boyd Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,the Ridgewood School Board and the Village Council have come to terms funding a School Resource Officer .After beginning the 2018-2019 school year at odds over who should pay for the new school resource officer(SRO), the Ridgewood Board of Education has finally agreed to a co-funding agreement.

In September, Village Council members claimed school district officials had reneged on good faith negotiations to co-fund the salary 50-50 for the school resource officer. Municipal officials claimed the Board of Education was asked to contribute $100,000 for their fiscal year. Board members asserted they made it clear from the start that funding for the SRO was not in the 2018-2019 district budget and the village’s 2018 operating budget covered the expense.

In December after serious public pressure  and a disastrous election defeat by the sitting school board president the Ridgewood Board of Education unanimously voted to contribute up to $100,000 towards the SRO, prorated and effective Jan. 1, through a shared services agreement with the village.

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Ridgewood Schools Audit Reports 2009-2017

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Ridgewood School Board Legislation and Advocacy

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Legislation and Advocacy

Contact information for legislators; Board testimony on pending legislation, resolutions approved by the Board in support/opposition of pending bills, and letters sent from Dr. Fishbein to legislators.

Board Resolutions in Support/Opposition to Legislation

Resolution Advocating Gun Control

Resolution for Improvement of PERS Pension Budgeting Information

Resolution for Regulatory Relief for America’s Schools

Resolution in Opposition to Moving the Annual School Election to November

Resolution in Opposition to Senate Bill 1872 and Assembly Bill 2810 “Opportunity Scholarship Act”

Resolution in Support of A1695

Resolution in Support of A3399/S2330 – The Option to Waive a Pupil’s Right to Transportation

Resolution in Support of National Principal’s Month

Resolution in support of Pension and Health Benefits Reform

Resolution in Support of the Allamuchy School District

Resolution in Support of the Restoration of 2009-2010 State School Aid Cuts

Resolution Opposing S1191/A3627 (Undermining a School Board’s Ability to Subcontract Services)

Resolution Opposing S2163 and A3696 (Requiring Binding Arbitration over Disciplinary Matters Involving Non-Teaching Staff)

Resolution Opposing Senate Bill S1459, Establishment of a County-Wide Purchasing System

Resolution Opposing the Proposed FY 2014 SDA Assessments

Resolution Opposing the Superintendent Salary Cap

Resolution Requesting Full Compensation for New State Staff and Administrator Evaluation Mandates

Resolution Seeking Amendment to Senate Bill 2925/Assembly Bill 4132 To Retain Local School Board and Superintendent Authority over Personnel Decisions

Resolution Seeking Amendment to TeachNJ – S1455 to Retain Board of Education and Superintendent Authority over Personnel Decisions

Resolution Supporting Paramus Public Schools

Resolution to Delay Use of the NJASK and PARCC Testing Data to Evaluate Teachers

Resolution to Support New Jersey Schools on the Enrollment of Resident Children

Superintendent’s Correspondence to/from Legislators

Correspondence from Assemblyman Rumana Regarding S1882

Correspondence from Assemblywoman Huttle Regarding the “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights”

Correspondence to Assemblyman Burzichelli Regarding A1489,A4140, A4142 Regarding Prevailing Wage Legislation

Correspondence to Assemblyman Cryan and Assemblywoman Quijano Regarding A4058-School Shelter Grant Program

Correspondence to Assemblyman McKeon Regarding A3883-Establishment of Temperature Control Guidelines and Standards for School Facilities

Correspondence to Assemblymen Russo and Rumana, Senator O’Toole, and Governor Christie and Response from Assemblyman Rumana Regarding Resolution Supporting Paramus Public Schools

Correspondence to Senator Buono Regarding S3129-Evaluation Standards for Teacher Performance

Correspondence to Senator O’Toole and Assemblymen Rumana and Russo Regarding A3523 – Use of Interim Administrators

Correspondence to Senator O’Toole and Assemblymen Russo and Rumana Regarding S1872/A2810 Tax Credit/Voucher “Opportunity Scholarship Act” Bill

Correspondence to Senator Ruiz Regarding TEACHNJ

History of School Funding:

How To Contact Ridgewood District 40 Legislators

Opinion: Unfunded Mandates Weaken Anti-bullying Efforts

Proposed Amendments to Contracts of District Superintendents

Testimony Before the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee Re: FY 2015 State Budget

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2018-2019 Ridgewood Board of Education Goals

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  1. Complete negotiations on the REA and RAA contracts.
  2. Identify the capital projects to be included in a Bond Referendum and design a communications plan.
  3. Schedule a Board presentation on the 2nd year implementation of the full day kindergarten program.
  4. Monitor progress made to address the Special Education Department study recommendations with reports to the Board in January and June of 2019.
  5. Plan and facilitate a community meeting with representation from a wide range of stakeholder groups to develop our next 3-year Strategic Plan (2019 – 2022).
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The Public Education System is Failing Our Kids

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress, aka the nation’s “report card,”  was released last April and its was filled with some very sobering facts on public education. As we head into 2019 the Ridgewood thought it was time to restate some of the findings.

According to the report only 37 percent of 12th-graders tested proficient or better in reading, and only 25 percent did so in math. Among black students, only 17 percent tested proficient or better in reading, and just 7 percent reached at least a proficient level in math.

The atrocious National Assessment of Educational Progress performance is only a fraction of the bad news. Nationally, our high school graduation rate is over 80 percent. That means high school diplomas, which attest that these students can read and compute at a 12th-grade level, are conferred when 63 percent are not proficient in reading and 75 percent are not proficient in math.

For black students, the news is even worse. Roughly 75 percent of black students received high school diplomas attesting that they could read and compute at the 12th-grade level. However, 83 percent could not read at that level, and 93 percent could not do math at that level.

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Super Science Saturday: March 2 at Ridgewood High School

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Super Science Saturday, hailed as the “Greatest Science Extravaganza in Northern New Jersey,” brings fun and excitement to science through professional presenters and student projects. As a joint project of the Ridgewood Board of Education and the Super Science Saturday Volunteer Committee, we aim to bring all science lovers together for a day of fun and learning for all ages.

In an effort to make Super Science Saturday an even better experience, we have changed venues to Ridgewood High School, giving more space for student presenters in our “Hall of Science.” Our adult presenters will also have generous space throughout hallways, the Cafeteria, and the Campus Center.

Super Science Saturday will appeal to everyone from the casual observer to the aspiring scientists. Most of all, we hope to spark an interest in science among children, showing them the wonders of science. Through interactive exhibits such as a wheelchair maze, live animals, and demonstrations of chocolate making to more complex brain wiring demonstrations, Super Science Saturday will satisfy the scientific appetite of everyone.

We encourage everyone to join the fun! Check out our volunteer page to learn about getting involved. This day cannot happen without the support of dedicated volunteers. Sign up now and make this Super Science Saturday one to remember.