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Coffee and Conversation with the Board of Education and superintendent of Ridgewood Schools October 10th


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Mark your calendar for the first Coffee & Conversation of the school year on October 10. Invitation to meet informally with the Board of Education and superintendent to discuss school-related topics of interest. On Wednesday night, October 10, the coffee will be brewing at the Education Center, 49 Cottage Place, from 7-8:30 p.m. for the first of two Coffee and Conversation nights this school year. Residents are invited to drop by on October 10 with your questions, suggestions and concerns.

Continue reading Coffee and Conversation with the Board of Education and superintendent of Ridgewood Schools October 10th

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Ridgewood Board of Education Answers Questions on Full-Day Kindergarten Program


July 31,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Ridgewood Board of Education Answers Questions on Full-Day Kindergarten Program. Full-Day Kindergarten will run 8:30am -3pm, the average tax increase is $111 per home and there will be 22 students per class.


FAQ: Shifting to a Full-Day Kindergarten Program in Ridgewood 

● Why is the District considering a full-day program after years of a successful half-day program? ○ The definition of success has shifted with the times, and although Ridgewood has a high-quality Kindergarten program, it is rushed and lacks adequate time for structured socialization and free play. Students who encounter more structured play around learning will better internalize that learning because at this age, play is how children learn. Additionally, social skills such as executive functioning and self-regulation of behavior are learned through play, often which is unstructured. A half-day program does not allow time for these essential learning opportunities for our students.
● How will the curriculum of a full-day program differ from that of the half-day program? ○ A full-time program will include more time for learning centers, which are essentially structured play experiences designed to reinforce conceptual learning. Additionally, more time will be dedicated to free-play centers, in which students make up rules to self-created games and make-believe. This free-play socialization will be supervised by, not structured by, adults. Another change to the day is that students will remain in school for lunch and will have snack and extended time for key content such as shared reading and writing.
● What would be the daily schedule and hours of a full-day program? ○ Kindergarten will run on the same schedule as the other grades in the school (8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.). A daily schedule is currently under development with the goal of sharing it with the public at an upcoming Board of Education meeting.
● How many other districts still have half-day Kindergarten programs? ○ Ridgewood is the only half-day program left in Bergen County. There are very few districts left in the state with a half-day program. The most common Kindergarten programs offer five full-days of school.
■ Those districts which were half-day have mostly moved to full-day programs in the last five years.
● In 2014, 73% of programs statewide were full-day. The percentage was even higher in Bergen County, where 65 out of 72 districts (about 90%) offered full day programs. Since 2014, Glen Rock, Fairlawn, Rutherford, Mahwah, Waldwick and Midland Park have moved to full-day.
● Currently, Ramsey offers a kindergarten enrichment extended day program and both Allendale and Wyckoff offer a modified half/full day program with two half-days in combination with three full days, but this model is also not very popular. ● Would parents be required to enroll their children for the entire day if Ridgewood moved to full-day Kindergarten? ○ Yes, if the Ridgewood Public School district shifts to a full-day Kindergarten program, all enrolled students will be registered for 5 full days each week.
● Where will Kindergarten children eat lunch? ○ This will be a building-by-building decision, based on space and what the principal deems best for the program in their building.
● Will Kindergarten students have recess with all other students and how will their recess be supervised? ○ Kindergarten students would have more than one “recess” play time in their schedule. The schedule, location, and supervision of that recess would depend on individual building schedules. However, in all buildings the recess/lunch period of 45 minutes would be extended to one hour for Kindergarten students. Classroom teachers would supervise the additional 15 minutes at the end of recess to settle students down and prepare them for afternoon learning sessions.
● What are the anticipated class sizes for a full-day program? ○ The Ridgewood Board of Education guidelines for Kindergarten are 22 children per classroom.
● How will the decision be made to move to full-day Kindergarten in Ridgewood? ○ On Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, Ridgewood voters will be asked to approve full-day K in the District. This vote will be done in the form of a “second question” on the ballot. All residents who are registered voters may participate. Voter registration forms may be found at on the Bergen Count website at
● What is the purpose of a second question on a ballot? ○ A second question can only be placed on the ballot when a school district is asking for something new, such as full-day Kindergarten or a new program. Since the costs of these additional services and associated personnel can exceed the state-imposed 2% cap on budget increases, the public must vote on them.
● What would be the tax impact on a “yes” vote for the second question on full-day Kindergarten? ○ The average Village assessed home of $693,904 would have taxes increase by approximately $111 if FDK were passed.
● Is there any possibility that the State will require Districts to provide full-day Kindergarten? ○ This is not known at this time.
● Where can I go for more information on Full-Day K in Ridgewood? ○ Full-Day K information may be found on the Curriculum page of the District website at
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League of Women Voters Village of Ridgewood Candidates night format and questions have been sent to the candidates





April 12,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,the Ridgewood blog has procured information on the League of Women Voters Village of Ridgewood Candidates night on April 20th at the Village Hall.

Please take these events serious only a few votes in 2012 launched the Village into this disastrous mess.

2012 Ridgewood Election Results
Albert J. Pucciarelli – 2078

Keith Killion – 1711

Rissell R Forenza – 817

Paul Aronsohn – 2479

Mary Jane Shinozuka – 1484

Gwenn H Hauck – 1727

Final voting registration for the May 10th Municipal Election is April 19th.  To register to vote, individuals may register in the Village Clerk’s office from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM or in the Ridgewood Library Lobby on April 19th from 4:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

Please get informed and vote responsible as many have now learned the consequences can be dire to yourself and your family.

The Women Voters Village of Ridgewood Candidates night format for the evening will include welcome from the president, flag salute, and an introduction of our esteemed moderator and the candidates. The moderator will then take over.

Opening statements 11/2minutes each

Questions # 1 2 3 1 1/2 minutes each question

Cross talk on each question 5 minutes in total each question

Questions from the public 40 minutes

Closing statements 1/1/2 minutes each

1. During the recent budget proceedings, Ridgewood Water outlined a six year, approximately 40 million dollar capital plan to
update the facility which serves not only Ridgewood but also Glen Rock, Midland Park and Wyckoff. Should the town invest the money
to update the facility or should we consider selling the utility and why?

2. We are looking at potential new development in Ridgewood , in the downtown area and the Central Business District (garage and
multi family housing at several locations). What measures would you propose to minimize disruption to traffic flow, local businesses and home owners and to ensure pedestrian safety?

3. Regarding the Town Garage location on Franklin Avenue and the adjacent municipal lots, the Department of Environmental Protection has cited these properties for remediation due to underground fuel tanks that are leaking diesel and hydraulic fuel into
the surrounding ground water. There has been talk of charging the cleanup to a potential developer or acquiring the garage site by
eminent domain and doing it ourselves. How do we address this problem in the most expedient manner so that no further
contamination occurs and serves the best interest of the village?

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Questions the Ridgewood Village Council Candidates Need to Answer


April 12,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The League of Women Voters will sponsor a  Candidates’ Night for those running for Village Council . The Candidates’ Night will take place in the Village Hall Court Room, Wednesday, April 20th from 7:30PM to 9:30PM.  All are invited to attend to learn positions on local issues.

Reader says the election is less than a month away and I don’t know where any of the candidates stand on important issues.

Do they have websites? Is there any campaign material? If the Ridgewood News were truely an unbiased local paper they would send questions to the candidates for answers and publish all responses.

I know that the League of Women Voters will have a forum but I expected more. What if the forum does not adress my questions?

What do you think the village should do about parking in the CBD? Do you think that we even have a parking problem?

Do you think that the housing density should be 25 units per acre? Do you think that it should be higher or lower?

How many high density projects can the congested downtown absorb?

Will you challenge the latest Valley Hospital Plan and ask for more concessions?

What can be done to end the cycle of empty-nesters fleeing the town because of high taxes? Do you think that there is a benefit to offer a tax break to stabilize the demographics and prevent an overflow of students in our schools?

Will you ask that all council and committee members disclose all conflicts of interest – perhaps without being asked by an angry and skeptical public?

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The low down on PARCC tests ,the good ,the bad and the ugly


Frequently Asked Questions about the PARCC

1. Do parents have the right to opt their children out of the PARCC tests?

New Jersey does not have an “opt out” provision, but, as New Jersey State Board of Education President Mark Biedron pointed out at the January 7, 2015 State Board of Education meeting, “nobody can force a child” to take a test.(1)

On September 9, 2015, NJ Commissioner of Education David Hespe sent a memo to school districts on how to accommodate students whose families or guardians refuse PARCC. He said “school districts should be prepared in the event that students choose not to participate in the assessment program and adopt policies and procedures for the appropriate supervision and engagement of these students during administration of the assessment. The specific policies adopted by school districts regarding students not participating in the assessment program are entirely within the school district’s discretion, in consideration of each district’s school environment and available staffing and resources and recognizing that a statewide rule could not take into account these local circumstances. However, in developing these policies, districts should be mindful of ensuring appropriate student supervision and creating alternative options for student activity during the test period, so long as the testing environment is not disrupted and, in this regard, a sit and stare policy should be avoided.”(2)

Districts and charter schools may not require that students who refuse the PARCC tests miss school on the days that their classmates are taking PARCC.

Last spring, more than 230 districts allowed students whose families refused the tests to read or take part in an alternative activity. Please email to let us know how your district or charter schools is handling test refusals this spring.

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Moments of terror, lifetime of questions; ‘No idea’ why co-pilot would crash airplane



Moments of terror, lifetime of questions; ‘No idea’ why co-pilot would crash airplane

MARCH 26, 2015, 8:11 AM    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2015, 11:59 PM

Passengers with moments to live screamed in terror and the pilot frantically pounded on the locked cockpit door as a 27-year-old German co-pilot deliberately and wordlessly smashed an Airbus carrying 150 people into an Alpine mountainside.

The account Thursday of the final moments of Germanwings Flight 9525 prompted some airlines to immediately impose stricter cockpit rules — and raised haunting questions about the motive of the co-pilot, whose breathing never wavered as he destroyed the plane and the lives of those aboard.

“We have no idea of the reason,” Marseille Prosecutor Brice Robin said, revealing the chilling conclusions investigators reached after reconstructing the final minutes of the flight from the plane’s black box voice recorder. Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz’s intention was “to destroy this plane.”

French, German and U.S. officials said there was no indication of terrorism. The prosecutor did not elaborate on why investigators do not suspect a political motive; instead they’re focusing on the co-pilot’s “personal, family and professional environment” to try to determine why he did it.