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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month 2014
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
PHOTO: Loving Kim is one of the adorable dogs available at the Monmouth County SPCA. Help Dogs go Home for the Holidays Eatontown, NJ - The Monmouth... Read More...
Experience Matters More than Age with Young-Adult Driver Safety
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
AAA Foundation Research Suggests States Could Reduce Crashes by Extending GDL Requirements Hamilton, NJ – Experience behind the wheel may... Read More...
Premier Theatre Company Holds Auditions for "Scrooge"
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
ASBURY PARK, NJ - Premier Theatre Company will hold auditions for "Scrooge" on the following dates: OCTOBER  Adults/Teens Fri 24th... Read More...
IMAGE Red Bank Police Report - October 20, 2014
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Red Bank, NJ - The following police report is provided by the Red Bank Police Department.  All subjects are presumed innocent; unless, and... Read More...
IMAGE Brookdale Visiting Artist Series Kicks Off Nov. 13
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
IMAGE: Tantrum And The Aftermath by Kimberly Cole Trowbridge LINCROFT, NJ  – Noted painter Kimberly Cole Trowbridge will give a free... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Review - The Skeleton Twins
by David Prown
Sunday, 19 October 2014
Recently a good friend shared that she was very amped up to see the new movie "The Skeleton Twins" playing at the Bow Tie in Red Bank. She is a big... Read More...
IMAGE Halloween Special Feature: Remembering Hans Holzer’s Paranormal Investigations in NJ (Part I)
by Dennis
Sunday, 19 October 2014
When it came to ghosts, ghouls, and stories from beyond the grave, few spoke as authoritatively as the late Dr. Hans Holzer. The Austrian-born... Read More...
IMAGE Who Put a Silver Bracelet on a Bird?
by Joe Reynolds
Saturday, 18 October 2014
As autumn progresses around New York Harbor (including the lower reaches of Sandy Hook Bay and Raritan Bay), royalty has returned to our sandy... Read More...
IMAGE Individualism and Group Activities Reconsidered
by George Hancock-Stefan
Friday, 17 October 2014
A short while ago, one of the high school students in my church told me that she hates group projects.  She finished her part already, but... Read More...
IMAGE Henry Hudson Tri-District Education Foundation to Support STEM and Athletic Programs
by Jack Archibald
Friday, 17 October 2014
In the competitive landscape of education, today’s students need every advantage to get ahead.  There are many things that factor into a... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Wed Oct 22 @ 9:30AM - 10:00AM
Baby Story Time Ages 10 – 24 months
Wed Oct 22 @10:30AM - 10:50AM
Toddler Story Time Ages 2 & 3
Thu Oct 23 @ 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Middletown Mayor Open Office Hours
Thu Oct 23 @ 3:15PM - 03:45PM
School Age Programs Grades K and up
Thu Oct 23 @ 4:00PM - 04:30PM
Preschool Story Time Ages 3 – 5
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PHOTO: RBR Superintendent Dr. Jim Stefankiewicz addresses his fellow educational leaders in the first workshop for the newly formed Central Jersey Consortium for Excellence and Equity, which he helped establish in conjunction with Monmouth University and the University of Pennsylvania. The goal of the organization is for Central Jersey school districts to share best practices to minimize the achievement gaps among their diverse student populations.

Little Silver, NJ -  For the past decade, Red Bank Regional (RBR) has made great strives in improving its student performance. A smaller learning community model was introduced building on its success of separate subject academies where students explore career options in a school within a school setting. A summer freshman transition program was established to better prepare students for their first year of high school. Ninth graders then enter a nurturing Freshman Academy where teachers collaborate to follow their students’ progress. Special tutoring programs were established along with the critically acclaimed A.V.I.D. program to help young people realize their potential by teaching study skills, building self-esteem and preparing them to take the most rigorous programs the high school offers.  Through these efforts, more students than ever were enrolled in a myriad of Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate courses.  The results have been impressive. RBR has consistently gained recognition as one of the best high schools in New Jersey by NJ Monthly and one of the best in the nation according to Newsweek. While over 90% of RBR students graduate and attend college, the performance gap among some groups still persists.
RBR’s superintendent, Dr. Jim Stefankiewicz, continued to investigate ways to narrow the achievement gap. He discovered a successful enterprise established in the suburbs of Philadelphia in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania’s education graduate program.   The Delaware Valley Minority Student Achievement Consortium (DVMSAC) is a partnership of 29 suburban schools whose superintendents, principals and board members share strategies and offer frameworks of programs that work to minimize the gaps defined by race, class, and gender.  
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RBR high school students recently attended a leadership workshop at the University of Pennsylvania sponsored by the Delaware Valley Minority Student Achievement Consortium created to help minimize the achievement gap between minority student groups in suburban school districts.  An affiliate organization was recently created in Central Jersey by RBR, The University of Pennsylvania and Monmouth University which sponsors periodic workshops toward the same goal.  A student leadership workshop is scheduled at Monmouth University on June 5, 2013.

DVMSAC director Dr. Robert L. Jarvis of the Penn Center for Educational Leadership commented on that undertaking, “While you might think this work is traditionally focused in the urban centers, the suburban districts have experienced shifting demographics and struggle with an achievement gap.  What resulted was a great synergy of bringing leaders together on a district and community level to solve this problem.”
In order to address performance gap issues, RBR worked in conjunction with Monmouth University and the DVMSAC to establish the Central New Jersey Consortium for Excellence and Equity (CJCEE) with Dr. Jarvis serving as the new entity’s director.  The CJCEE was designed to include the counties of Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Essex counties.  Thus far, it has registered 14 school districts including: Asbury Park School District, Bloomfield School District, Eatontown Public Schools, Hazlet Township Public Schools, Holmdel Township Public Schools, Jackson School District, Keansburg School District, Keyport School District, Long Branch Public Schools, Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District, Middletown Township Public Schools, Red Bank Charter School, Red Bank Regional High School, and Union Beach School District. 
The Consortium meets periodically at Monmouth University where Lynn Romeo, the Dean of Monmouth University’s School of Education, coordinates the program. Dr. Jarvis conducted the first workshop in November of 2012, which the consortium members welcomed with great enthusiasm.
Hazlet’s Superintendent Dr. Bernard F. Bragen Jr. commented, “When I heard about this consortium, I was the first to join. We experience achievement gaps with our English Language Learner (ELL) and economically disadvantaged groups. NCLB did help some, but we are not where we want to be. Everyone is dealing with this locally and I believe we can derive a great benefit from working with our colleagues.”
Similar to the Hazlet school district, Eatontown Superintendent Scott T. McCue attended to learn what his fellow districts are currently doing to meet the challenges of growing diversity and academic performance. He stated, “There are different ways that different subgroups can be successful. It is important to learn what best practices are out there and the particular experience that other districts have had in implementing them.”
Dr. Jarvis emphasized that an obstacle to minimizing the gap is educational equity which has not traditionally been imbedded in school district policy. This augurs for the importance of participation in the consortium by board of education members. 
One pertinent policy that Board’s of Education can address is “tracking” which Dr. Jarvis called, “the culprit to educational equality.”  He described the experiences of one school district in Long Island that achieved great success in reducing the gap particularly for its special education students. 
However, he cautioned that even this school district wages a constant battle to maintain these successful policies as parents complain year after year, “that such courses are just too difficult for their children.” The Rockville School District now has only two tracks which all students can follow, the New York State Regents track and the International Baccalaureate program, both rigorous. The long-time leader of that school district, Superintendent Dr. Bill Johnson, will be presenting a workshop in February.
Leadership is also key to minimizing the achievement gap. This is true from the top –the Superintendent-- and with the student body.  In separate endeavors, RBR and Red Bank Charter School students participated in leadership programs at the University of Pennsylvania conducted by the Penn Consortium. The last CJCEE workshop of the year will also be devoted to minority student leaders.
This is particularly important in addressing achievement discrepancies as sometimes a major impediment toward minority success is the student’s own expectations.
Long Branch’s Superintendent Mike Salvatore touched that nerve during the first workshop when he stated, “You will hear some kids say, ‘I don’t belong in this AP class.’ It is also about addressing the culture.”
Subsequent to the initial program, the CJCEE presented several workshops on cultural issues and expectations.  Upcoming workshops include:
•“Enhancing A College-Going School Culture That Supports High Expectations and Achievement for All Students;” Thursday, February 7, 2013; 8:30 am to 3 pm. presented by RBR’s Principal and ELL director Risa Clay and the RBR A.V.I.D. Site Team.
•“Effectively Addressing the Challenges of Leading an Equity-Focused School District;” Monday, February 11, 12 to 3 pm, presented by Dr. Bill Johnson, Superintendent of Rockville Centre School District, NY.
•“Diverse Learner Instructional Practices Workshop,” Monday, February 25, 8:30 am to 3 pm, presented by Delia Garrity, National Educational Consultant, Author and Former Assistant Superintendent Rockville Centre School District, NY
•“Superintendents’ Annual Planning Meeting;” Monday, April 15, 12 to 3 pm.
•“High School Student Leadership Forum;” Wednesday, June 5, 9 am to 1 pm, facilitated by Dr. Tina R. Paone, Department Chair of Educational Leadership, School Counseling & Special Education, Monmouth University.
In emphasizing the value of the new consortium, RBR’s Superintendent Dr. Stefankiewicz told his fellow educators, “We would not be here if there wasn’t something that prevents our students from being the best they can be. This is something we work on everyday. We try hard to minimize the gaps. We have gotten better over the years, but we still work on it. It is not enough to say that we are opening avenues to all. The best way to solve a problem is to work on it together.”  
School district leaders and board of education members are encouraged to join this consortium. For more information on the Central New Jersey Consortium for Excellence and Equity, contact Lynn Romeo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 732-571-7518.