Montclair BoE: Final Budget

BY  |  Monday, Feb 28, 2011 11:00pm  |  COMMENTS (67)

The BoE keeps schools open but nixes aides.

Updated with clarification on the funding going to the Montclair Community Pre-K.

Thank goodness for that $4.6 million in state aid. That’s about $4.6 million more than the Montclair Board of Education had hoped for.

This money means that all of Montclair’s schools–i.e. Edgemont and Renaissance–will remain open for the 2011-2012 school year. The current busing system (1 mile away from the school) will stay the same. The Montclair Community Pre-K will receive funding [for the use of the classrooms that house the DLC and tuition for the DLC children that attend MCPK classes.] “With the additional funds, we’re excited about funding additional programs,” Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez said. “We’ll create a budget that’s sustainable for the upcoming year.” Read the backstory here.

But not everyone was happy at tonight’s BoE meeting. Even though the emergency Plan B was scrapped, the board still had to make cuts. The overall budget was down by 2.5 percent with just 4.6 percent of the money coming from the state. Long story short: Cuts had to come from somewhere.

Mainly, the BoE chose to outsource Montclair’s 200 or so paraprofessionals. As of June 30, they will be pink slipped. Continue Reading

Giveaway: Tickets to Pippi Longstocking at The Mayo Center for The Performing Arts

BY  |  Monday, Feb 28, 2011 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (11)

 WINNER: Congratulations to tkinnj!

Pippi Longstocking is a spunky red-headed nine-year-old who has wonderful adventures, and some mischief too. Now Astrid Lindren’s popular children’s story is an original musical and will play at The Mayo Center For the Performing Arts in Morristown on Sunday, March 6 at 4 pm.

Thanks to The Mayo Center’s generosity, Barista Kids has a family 4-pack of tickets to give to one lucky reader.

To enter keep reading…

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Outsourced? Saving Our Special Education Aides

Monday, Feb 28, 2011 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (2)



Danny and his aide, Cindy Soltau

This Op-Ed piece is written by Joann Pezzano, a Developmental Learning Center (DLC) parent.


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Rare Disease Day: Congenital Hyperinsulinism

BY  |  Monday, Feb 28, 2011 9:00am  |  Comments Off on Rare Disease Day: Congenital Hyperinsulinism

Hannah and Ben Raskin-Gross and Julie Raskin.

There’s a day for everything, from things like National Pancake DayNational Penguin Awareness Dayand even a National Play-doh Day, but there are “National” days that deserve more attention. Today is one of those days–Rare Disease Day.

This annual event aims to raise awareness of rare disorders which affect 1 in ten people. Individual disorders affect very few people and people with these conditions are at a disadvantage because few doctors are involved in finding better treatments and cures for these diseases. There is not a lot of money set aside for research into better treatment and cures. By banding together on this day, patient organizations are able to receive some media attention. 

Rare Disease Day is an international effort. People all over the world are holding events–even here in Baristaville. Today in Glen Ridge some of the high school students are taking part by raising awareness for a variety of rare diseases, including Congenital Hyperinsulinism

GRHS Biology AP students, including Hannah Raskin-Gross, are teaching the 9th grade biology classes about rare genetic diseases and about 30 students and teachers will be wearing a T-shirt designed for this day to raise awareness about Congenital Hyperinsulinism, the rare disorder that runs in the Raskin-Gross family.  

Ben Raskin-Gross, age 14, was diagnosed with the disease at 10-days-old. Ben’s mom, Julie Raskin, shared more about Ben’s diagnoses and Hyperinsulinism, HI for short:

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Oscar Picks: Children’s Films

BY  |  Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 5:08pm  |  Comments Off on Oscar Picks: Children’s Films

Which Animated Feature Film (children’s movie) do you think will take home an Oscar tonight? Take our poll below:

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Court Appointed Special Advocates Needed

BY  |  Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 1:08pm  |  Comments Off on Court Appointed Special Advocates Needed

In Essex County, New Jersey there are nearly 3,000 children who have been removed from their homes and placed in foster care because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is an independent, court-authorized nonprofit organization that works through specially trained and supervised volunteers to promote the welfare of children in Essex County, NJ who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or abandonment.

CASA serves as a foster child’s “voice in court” working to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available while helping to move the child towards a safe and permanent home.

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Montclair Girls Youth Lacrosse Spring Registration

Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 10:30am  |  Comments Off on Montclair Girls Youth Lacrosse Spring Registration

The Montclair Girls Youth Lacrosse program, for girls in grades K-8th, is registering girls for the spring season. The program teaches the basic skills ofthe game, and focus on the player as a positive competitor, supportive teammate and conditioned athlete. Classes start on March 12 and run until June 4.

Get all the details and download a registration packet here.

IHOP National Pancake Day = Free Pancakes!

BY  |  Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 3:45pm  |  Comments Off on IHOP National Pancake Day = Free Pancakes!

The day is arriving–free pancakes at IHOP to celebrate National Pancake Day. On Tuesday, March 1, everyone will get a FREE short-stack of buttermilk pancakes. All they ask in return is for you to make a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network. IHOP raised more than $2.1 million last year.

IHOP’s National Pancake Day usually takes place on Shrove Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras), but this year, the company decided to host the event one week earlier to build buzz and excitement prior to Shrove Tuesday.

I took my girls for dinner a couple of years ago and we had a blast. There was a long wait, but we didn’t mind, they were getting pancakes for dinner and I was getting a cheap dinner.

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Weekend Highlights

BY  |  Friday, Feb 25, 2011 1:00pm  |  Comments Off on Weekend Highlights

Another weekend filled with fun things to do!

Check our Upcoming Events to find out all the happenings and details. Also, if you haven’t already, sign up for our newsletter to get some great deals and find out about more great events. While you’re at it, “like” us on Facebook.

Here are this weekend’s highlights:

Get Fit With Your Kids

Mia Yoga in Montclair offers a unique yoga experience for families–Glow in the Dark Yoga. (February 26)

Take a Kickboxing With Kids class at Maplewood Karate this afternoon. (February 25)

Skate to the beats of DJ Lance and Yo Gabba Gabba at Branch Brook Park Roller Skating Rink in Newark. (February 26)

Do a little dance at Baby Loves Disco in NYC. (February 27)

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Weekend Getaway: Philadelphia International Flower Show

BY  |  Friday, Feb 25, 2011 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (2)

What better way to escape the end of winter than to surround yourself with flowers? Next weekend, The Pennsylvania Convention Center hosts the Philadelphia International Flower Show and transforms the convention center into Springtime in Paris.

I really want to convince my husband that we should go. A couple of years ago we took a weekend trip to Philly with the girls and had a great time. I think we’re due for another. The flower show offers something for the entire family. Fisher Price will set up a family lounge full of toys, puppet shows, activities and more. Older kids can have fun getting their “Kid’s Passport” stamped throughout the day and for adults, there will be food tastings, vendors and of course–flowers.

Here is a list of suggested accomodations. We stayed at The Embassy Suites, which was very family-friendly and nice.

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