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Ridgewood School District is Looking For a Superintendent of Schools

rhs 2020

One of New Jersey’s Premier Public School Districts

Superintendent of Schools
A start date on or before 5/1/2021 is anticipated

The largest district in Bergen County and known throughout the state and nation for its academic excellence and high student achievement, we serve approximately 5,800 students in 10 schools supported by an $115M+ budget, and an outstanding staff and facilities.

Continue reading Ridgewood School District is Looking For a Superintendent of Schools

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Helicopter Parents and the Loss of Childhood Autonomy


December 5,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to Lenore Skanazy in , “The Helicopter Parents Have Good Intentions But Have Stolen Their Children’s Freedom And Created A Snowflake Generation.” Skanazy goes on to describe the loss of autonomy of our children and the negative impact .

The “helicopter parents” is a new term but the concept dates back over 45 years , and there has been a massive shift and the numbers are startling .

In 1971: 80% of kids age 7 and 8 walked to school or arrived independent of parents. In 1990 only 9%.
In 1971, approximately half of children’s journeys were made on foot. 80% of 7- and 8-year-old children got to school unaccompanied by an adult. This included buses, bicycles and mass transit.
In 1990: 30% of children under ten years old are allowed to travel alone to places (other than school) within walking distance. 9% of 7- and 8-year-old children got to school unaccompanied by an adult, whilst levels of car ownership and use were fairly similar.
13 percent of American elementary schoolchildren walked to school in 2009.

Skanazy asks , “Why don’t we see this for what it is? A heist! We have stolen children’s freedom. They are transported from locked space to locked space like prisoners. And we are expected to be their jailers.
Why is it so important for kids to walk around and play outside, independently?”

The loss of these mean:

• Considerable loss of autonomy.

• Decline in physical condition potentially leading to obesity and other health problems.

• Gaining insufficient practical and social skills owing to inexperience in acting independently.

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Reader says We’ve had a decade or more of helicopter parents, participation trophies and general coddling of anyone who needs to be considered “special”


We’ve had a decade or more of helicopter parents, participation trophies and general coddling of anyone who needs to be considered “special”. As a society we have failed these kids by not teaching them how to both win and lose with dignity or to be accountable for their behavior. Once the kid grows beyond his parents’ ability to fix everything for him, the kid is faced with the harsh reality of natural consequences to his actions. The real world is not a kind place and we have raised a generation of kids that are wholly unprepared to face it.

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Ridgewood Community Outreach Series Focuses on Well-being: Next is Leadership Talk on November 10

BF middle school 11
Community Outreach Series Focuses on Well-being: Next is Leadership Talk on November 10
November 6,2015
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Next up is “Raising Responsible Leaders” by author John Jay Bonstingl. This program will take place on Tuesday, November 10 from 7-9 p.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Middle School Auditorium.

The 2015-2016 parent/peers series consists of eight engaging presentations throughout the school year. Co-sponsored by The Valley Hospital, with support from The Foundation, adults are invited to attend these programs on creating balance in children’s lives.

Click here for the November 10 program flyer.
Click here for details on the series.
Click here for the series flyer.

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Parents struggle to decide when to set their kids free


file photo by Boyd Loving

JULY 5, 2015    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, JULY 5, 2015, 4:48 PM

Go outside and play.

Those four words sent generations of elementary school kids out the door on their own each summer. The instruction was typically followed by another four-word directive: Be home before dinner.

These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find neighborhoods full of 6- and 7-year-olds in yards or streets, parks or playgrounds without adult supervision.

One of the most difficult and debated parental decisions is when to let kids be on their own — walk to school or the park with friends, go into town or even stay at the house without an adult. Some adamantly believe there’s only one choice: Never allow children out of sight until middle school and beyond or send an 8-year-old off on a solo bike ride around the neighborhood without a second thought. Most of us, though, sit somewhere in the middle.

We want to instill independence and a sense of adventure, but can’t quite bring ourselves to do it most of the time. The what-ifs overwhelm. Accidents can happen, but it’s the abductions that haunt us, the high-profile missing children cases whose names echo in our minds: Joan D’Alessandro, Etan Patz, Adam Walsh, Polly Klaas, Megan Kanka.

Sure, the abduction of a child by a stranger is statistically rare, but if it’s my daughter does it matter how rare it is? If it’s my kid that disappears on that first day I let her ride her bike around the block to her friend’s house then does it matter how many other kids do it without incident every single day? But why can’t I put those fears aside and give my daughter the same freedom I enjoyed?

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I drank out of the hose but didn’t die


Posted by Scott St Clair On May 04, 2015 0 Comment

By Scott St. Clair | The Save Jersey Blog

When I was a kid, I drank out of the garden hose but didn’t die. I did it because I was hot and thirsty after having roamed all by myself on my bike throughout the neighborhood and a goodly portion of Phoenix, where I spent my pre-teen years. We all did – kids drank out of hoses and roamed, and they still do because it’s in their nature to explore and take risks.

But God forbid they do so these days or some nosy busybody will call the cops on them and they’ll be forced to sit in the back of a squad car for three hours while their parents are subjected to an inquisition-style interrogation without regard for their rights or common sense, which isexactly what happened to the Meitiv family in Maryland recently.

As if it was the crime of the century, the police apprehended a dangerous 10-year-old boy and his 6-year-old partner-in-crime sister as they walked a few blocks from a local park to their home.

Now, because they let their kids play outside without a leash or surrounded by a barbed wire fence, their parents have been tagged by the state as guilty of “unsubstantiated” child neglect, whatever that is.

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How to Free-Range Your Kids (And Not Get Arrested)



How to Free-Range Your Kids (And Not Get Arrested)

Flood the streets with kids.

Lenore Skenazy|Mar. 9, 2015 3:47 pm

How do we fight back against cops and child protection workers who think parents that let their kids walk outside are negligent?

By flooding the streets with kids.

Busybodies who dial 911 the instant they see an unsupervised child are not going to do that when they pass a park filled with 15 kids. (Well, most aren’t.)  And when masses of moppets take to the sidewalks after school, no one is going to call the cops to report, “Tons of children are walking home!”

But how do we get to that point? Today, only about 13 percent of children walk to school. One report I read found that only 6 percent of kids 9-13 play outside on their own. Part of the problem is that parents are scared of predators. But compounding that problem is the fear of the police. The Meitiv family in Maryland faced that fear firsthand when they were investigated for letting their kids, 10 and 6, walk a mile home alone.

But you know what Danielle Meitiv wrote to me, just after CPS declared her and her husband “responsible for unsubstantiated neglect”?

“Allowing kids to be Free-Range is critical for their development. We will continue to let our kids roam. Thankfully, CPS harassment like this is NOT common. The best way to make sure it doesn’t happen is to make Free-Ranging as common as it was when we were kids.”

If you’re ready to give it a try would like a little push, watch this video. Then, do what I do help this nervous family do: Give your kids one little errand that they feel they are ready for that you haven’t let them do yet.

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‘World‘s worst mom’ urges parents to loosen up



‘World‘s worst mom’ urges parents to loosen up
By Jane Ridley
January 13, 2015 | 9:14pm

Stepping off the school bus just two blocks from home, Manhattan sixth-grader Amedeo White follows the exact same drill every afternoon — the 11-year-old pulls out his cellphone, dials his mom and delivers a running commentary while walking back to their apartment.

“Passing the deli now,” he reports. “Waiting for the walk signal.”

Literally giving a step-by-step account of your movements is par for the course when your mother is as overprotective as Amedeo’s. The ultimate “helicopter mom,” who hovers above her three kids 24/7, Cayle White would prefer that they’d never left the womb.

Amedeo’s closely monitored after-school routine is among a number of cringe-worthy moments featured on Discovery Life Channel’s new reality TV series “World’s Worst Mom,” which premieres Jan. 22 and reveals how paranoid today’s parents have become about their children’s safety.

In the show, a bunch of obsessive Type As are subjected to an intervention from Queens author and public speaker Lenore Skenazy. The 55-year-old famously earned the title “World’s Worst Mom” in 2008 after she let her then-9-year-old son ride the New York City subway alone, and then wrote about it in her newspaper column.

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The Parent Trap


The Parent Trap
JULY 19, 2014
Ross Douthat

The way we live now: Be a helicopter parent or else you might get a knock on your door from Child Protective Services.

This is really getting crazy…

WHEN I was about 9 years old, I graduated to a Little League whose diamonds were a few miles from our house, in a neighborhood that got rougher after dark. After one practice finished early, I ended up as the last kid left with the coach, waiting in the gloaming while he grumbled, looked at his watch and finally left me — to wait or walk home, I’m not sure which.

I started walking. Halfway there, along a busy road, my father picked me up. He called my coach, as furious as you would expect a protective parent to be; the coach, who probably grew up having fistfights in that neighborhood, gave as good as he got; I finished the season in a different league.

Here are two things that didn’t happen. My (lawyer) father did not call the police and have the coach arrested for reckless endangerment of a minor. And nobody who saw me picking my way home alone thought to call the police on my parents, or to charge them with neglect for letting their child slip free of perfect safety for an hour.

Today they might not have been so lucky. For instance, they might have ended up like the Connecticut mother who earned a misdemeanor for letting her 11-year-old stay in the car while she ran into a store. Or the mother charged with “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” after a bystander snapped a photo of her leaving her 4-year-old in a locked, windows-cracked car for five minutes on a 50 degree day. Or the Ohio father arrested in front of his family for “child endangerment” because — unbeknown to him — his 8-year-old had slipped away from a church service and ended up in a nearby Family Dollar.