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Dr. Fishbein: Reflecting on the school year


Dr. Fishbein: Reflecting on the school year

JUNE 27, 2014    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2014, 12:31 AM

Each June I reflect on the many great opportunities the Ridgewood Public Schools and the Village of Ridgewood provide our youngest citizens, culminating in the Ridgewood High School graduation at the close of the school year.

While the many school-related activities are too numerous to list, here are some representative highlights from the district this past school year:

The Remedial Early Development (R.E.D.) graduation at the Glen School. This event is more than an important milestone for the students, parents and staff; it is a personal career highlight for me. Friday Friends is a fabulous program where students with special needs meet, learn and play along with their peers.

The Orchard Museum of Art (OMA). Held at Orchard Elementary School each year, the museum is a celebration of the creative process in the fine and performing arts, culminating with a performance — this year Romeo and Juliet — in the school’s unique outdoor amphitheater.

The Ridge Restaurant and 18th century encampment. Ridge Elementary School’s fifth graders open a restaurant every fall to raise money for their June promotion activities. During the school year they also participate in an 18th century encampment, spending 36 hours as recruits in the Continental Army where they sew, cook, drill, set up camp and are spectators at a musket shooting demonstration by Ridgewood Board of Education Facility Manager Steve Tichenor, who is also a military re-enactor.

Hawes ducks. Perhaps you saw the 100-plus Hawes Elementary School ducks running in the Ridgewood Memorial Day Run this year. Their inspiration comes from real-life mother duck Henrietta, who nests each spring in the school’s inner courtyard and, once the ducklings are hatched and ready to swim, marches her brood through the halls of the school, out the door and into the brook beyond.

Up mountains and under the sea at Willard. Willard Elementary School students were treated to an author visit this year by everyone’s sweetheart, “The Sound of Music’s” Julie Andrews. Students also had a Skype session with Jacque Cousteau’s grandson from his underwater lab.

Acting at Somerville. Somerville Elementary School students in kindergarten through fifth grade took action for a cause, participating in a walk for autism and raising nearly $1,000. In addition, fourth and fifth graders put on a lively production of “Shrek the Musical.”

Travel at Travell. Travell Elementary School students traveled the world at their International Expo heritage celebration featuring their community’s cultural foods, artifacts and performances. Fifth graders went to circus school for a week and put on a show highlighting the importance of teamwork and cooperation. The school readied for summer recess with a children’s book swap to encourage reading while away.

Celebrating history at GWMS. George Washington Middle School eighth graders just returned from their annual overnight trip to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. The school’s sixth graders worked with Civil War re-enactors to gain a better understanding of what life was like in the nineteenth century.

Music and more at BFMS. Benjamin Franklin Middle School had a fantastic concert season, as orchestras, concert bands and choirs all performed to full-house crowds of parents and grandparents. The school community also donated more than 120 turkeys to needy families as a result of their annual Thanksgiving “turkey trot.”

RHS graduated the Class of 2014. Finally, I hope you had an opportunity to see the Ridgewood High School graduation. It is a beautiful community celebration! The real accomplishments of the Class of 2014 happen in the classroom, on stage, on the field of competition or in a studio. Ninety-one percent of the Class of 2014 will attend a four-year college or university this fall. Five percent are headed to two-year colleges. The balance is headed to work, the armed forces or taking a “gap” year.

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2 thoughts on “Dr. Fishbein: Reflecting on the school year

  1. FYI Dan;

    R.E.D. stands for Ridgewood Early Development. You can check the RPS website it you are unsure.

    And NO, it is not more important that it is a career milestone for you, I guarantee you that it is more important to the staff that are there every day and to the parents who are raising these kids, every day for the rest of their lives.

    Yes, the kids are cute but they are not there for you or for your career.
    They would be there whether or not you were the superintendent.

    And “Friday Friends” – interaction with typical peers is a federal mandate – so please don’t imply that you should be credited for that program.

  2. Another nice speech….good job, Dan.

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