Back to School Round Up 2014 – 2015

BY  |  Friday, Aug 29, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Back to School

It’s just about that time. Your kids will be going back to school soon and summer’s lazy days will come to an end.

To help a mother (and father) out, we’ve decided to put all of our “Back to School” resources in one place to make your life easier:

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Back to School Organizing Tips

BY  |  Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Back to School Organizing

School will be back in session in one week. A key to smoother mornings and afternoons is organization. Professional Organizer Bonnielee Barrios gives parents some helpful back to school organizing tips to make life easier:

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Tips For a Less Stressful Start to a New School Year

BY  |  Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Schools District-Wide Family Dinner NightWith the summer coming to an end, there is a lot of anxious excitement over the beginning of the school year. Whether you are a parent of a child entering school, a child going into elementary, middle, or high school, or even to college, this time of year can cause stress.

Here are some helpful stress reducing ideas to consider before school starts:

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A Local Family With Games on the Brain

BY  |  Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)


There are Marbles: The Brain Store locations all over the country, and there’s one family in Newark that is always up for the gaming challenges to be found there. So when Marbles announced its “Who’s Got Game?” contest this summer, David Dodson, Maria Luna and their 3 kids (a boy, age 7, and two girls, ages 2 and 10) went all in to design their own game. Their entry was a code-breaking game called Ciphexr, and it ended up being selected as one of four finalists in the nationwide competition.

They didn’t end up winning (Marbles announced on August 26 that PEAK was the winning entry), but as David tells it, the story of their game and how their family came together to create it is blue-ribbon stuff.

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Pediatricians Urge Schools to Have Later Start Times For Tweens and Teens

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

teen stressIn a new policy statement published in Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics says delaying the start of middle and high school and classes to 8:30 am or later is “an effective countermeasure to chronic sleep loss” and the “epidemic” of delayed, insufficient, and erratic sleep patterns among the nation’s teens. Hear that Montclair School district?

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Montclair Board Meeting: Better Communication and Parent Engagement to Come

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014 8:01am  |  COMMENTS (11)

superintendent MacCormackThe summer doldrums were evident at Monday night’s Montclair Board of Education meeting, which was attended by less than two dozen residents and four out of seven board members and lasted just an hour. The majority of that hour consisted of Montclair Public Schools Superintendent Penny MacCormack’s first progress report on the district’s two-year Strategic Plan. Board members David Cummings, Leslie Larson and Anne Mernin were absent.

Communications and Parent Engagement

Superintendent MacCormack’s first progress report focused on the fourth goal of the Strategic Plan: effective internal and external communications and parent engagement.

The presentation focused on what was achieved in this area during the 2013-14 school year, and what to expect for the upcoming school year.

The district conducted surveys and held focus groups to discover what parents wanted communicated and set out to develop and implement the best ways to share information, as well as a system to evaluate the communication plan, MacCormack explained. As a result, a Montclair High School specific website will be launched at the start of the school year and interviews will soon begin for the position of Communication Lead. Live board meetings will also be available online for streaming beginning with the September 22 meeting, MacCormack said.

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Montclair Public Schools Board Meetings to be Televised Live and Streamed Online

BY  |  Monday, Aug 25, 2014 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Montclair Public Schools Board Meetings

Montclair parents who have difficulty making the Montclair Public Schools Board meetings, or staying for the entire meetings which often go on for hours, will be happy to learn that beginning on Monday, September 22, you will be able to watch the meetings live on FIOS Channel 33 and Comcast Channel 34.  In addition, live streaming will also be available at

It will happen due to a partnership between the  Montclair BOE, the District and the Montclair Municipal Access Channel.

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New Law Requires NJ High School Students to Learn CPR Before Graduating

BY  |  Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)


Beginning with this school year, all graduating high school seniors will be required to pass a CPR course as part of their high school curriculum. New Jersey is one of three states in the country to implement such a law. The others are Illinois and Oklahoma.

On August 20, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno signed the bill, also known as Janet’s Law, which was sponsored by Senators Diane Allen and Joseph Vitale and Assemblymen Angel Fuentes and Patrick Diegnan Jr., and  passed with broad bipartisan support. The law was enacted to commemorate Janet Zilinski, an 11-year-old cheerleader from Warren, N.J. who died in 2006 after suffering sudden cardiac arrest at her school.

Janet’s Law seeks to better prepare schools in case of a sudden cardiac emergency and requires all school districts (public and private) have:

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Share Your “First Day of School” Photos

BY  |  Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

First Day of School

In a little over a week, kids will be back in school. We want to see your cute kids all dressed up for their first day. It doesn’t matter if it’s their first day of nursery school or senior year at high school, we want them!

We’ll be making a Barista Kids slideshow with all the pictures to go up after everyone is back in school. Just email your photos  to us here. And check out our cute kids in our card slideshow soon.


Whether in English or Chinese, Children will Enjoy The Mystery of Dragon Bridge

BY  |  Friday, Aug 22, 2014 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Mystery of Dragon Bridge

Whether your child is interested in dragons, bridges, mysteries, or all three, The Mystery of Dragon Bridge, a new children’s book from author and illustrator Ann Howard, will make sure to enchant with its story of a missing bridge and a community working together to solve a big problem. Written in English and Simplified Chinese, and illustrated with beautiful and fantastical watercolors, the story teaches about responsibility, cooperation, and perseverance.

When a village leader investigates how the only bridge leading to his village could have disappeared, he discovers a dragon who shares forgotten history and broken promises. Inspired by the dragon’s stories, the villagers are spurred to earn back the lost trust of the dragon — and they all work together to create a new bridge for the village.

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