Each 5th grader at CHB painted part of this mural!
Every single student at Charles H. Bullock — that’s 463 children from Kindergarten through Grade 5 — took part in the planning, drawing, and painting of the latest Artist-in-Residence project at the elementary school. This art project is truly a community project, and it adorns the halls of the Charles H. Bullock stairways in creativity and color. Six joyful and expressive murals illustrate the school song as well as the Bullock students’ amazing amount of creativity and optimism.
Bryn Heathman, a Bullock mom and graphic designer, oversaw the project from start to finish. The mural came to life thanks to artist Andy Witten’s vision, another Bullock parent, which allowed the students’ creativity to remain authentic while maintaining a consistent aesthetic. Witten, also a Bullock parent, was brought on board thanks to the popular Bullock PTA sponsored Artist-in-Residence program.
Mayor Robert Jackson today announced his appointments to the Montclair Board of Education.
Norman Rosenblum has stepped down after serving three years as a board member, leaving a vacant spot and the term left by former member Tanya Coke and filled by Anne Mernin, was up for appointment.
Jackson has appointed former township councilor and NJ Department of Legislative Services Director Jessica de Koninck to serve on the Board. Ms. de Koninck, a long-time Montclair resident, was also counsel for the Maplewood South Orange schools.
Warmer weather brings flowers, sunny days, and less clothing. And less clothing often causes schools to deal with dress code violations. Typically, it’s girls who get the violations because the rules are against length of shorts and skirts. Other than boys wearing saggy shorts and jeans revealing their underwear, the violations sway towards girls. Sexist? Some parents think so. Recently a school in Illinois banned leggings for being “too distracting to boys” to be fit for the classroom.”
This week, I followed several Facebook discussions of Montclair Glenfield Middle School parents complaining that their daughters were made to change for what teachers/administrators felt were too short shorts, while the parents thought they were “modest” and appropriate. Some parents said that their daughters were told they couldn’t wear leggings or knee socks as well.
We reached out to Dr. Joseph Putrino, principal of Glenfield School for clarification:
The Montclair Civil Rights Commission sent a letter this week to Montclair School Superintendent Penny MacCormack, the Board of Education and Town Council indicating “apparently increasing allegations of racial mistreatment and the rising level of frustration that members of the African American population are communicating” regarding students’ experiences in Montclair Schools.
The letter was a follow up to a Civil Rights Commission meeting in March in which about 30 residents, mostly parents, complained about numerous incidents that they believed were racially charged, including broken noses at the hands of white students, charges pressed by a teacher against an African American eleventh grader for what she alleges was a pencil thrown at her, and a teacher who had been reprimanded for unnecessarily placing African American boys in special education classes, but who was promoted and still remains in the district today.
Montclair Kimberley Academy juniors Joe Amato and Ben Rapsas have teamed up with the Partners for Health Foundation to fight hunger.
The young men enlisted more than a dozen peers to join them in a Food Run that was held on Sunday, April 6. Each runner/walker raised funds and traversed a 5K route outlined by an MKA Cross Country coach. The course began in Brookdale Park, then went through Montclair and ended at the Salvation Army, which is the recipient of all funds raised.
Thanks to a new matching grants program for the Fight Hunger the Healthy Way Campaign, Partners for Health is matching every dollar raised by this Food Run. The teens raised $2,200, which means the Salvation Army will receive a check for $4,400.
The following is an Op-Ed by Eloiza Jorge, an educator and Montclair mother.
The Montclair Public Schools is one of the biggest reasons I returned here to raise my children. I‘m thrilled to be part of this thriving, diverse community. Overall, I’m pleased with the quality and caliber of education my children receive– as a teacher educator and supervisor of student-teachers I can say that with confidence.
Yet, there are trends happening and decisions being made on our children’s behalf that we must critique. Here are five “fat” questions that may help you formulate a more informed opinion about our local BOE’s priorities and decision making when it comes to testing in our schools.
Updated: With calculators in hand, fourth grade students from the Brookdale School in Bloomfield, completed the final stage of Brookdale ShopRite’s Young Consumer Program yesterday at the supermarket.
In-school lessons about good nutrition and healthy eating behind them, the students teams were given a hypothetical budget of $100 and asked to shop for four days of meals for a family of four. Points were assigned based on food groups and extra credit was earned for choosing whole grains and brown rice. Discretionary calories from chips, soda, cookies were also allowed.
The Montclair Board of Education had another interminable meeting on April 7, lasting beyond midnight, but this was partly due to a suspension of the meeting in deference to the Board of School Estimate, which met to vote on a budget for the 2014-15 school year. The Board of School Estimate (BoSE) voted 5-0 to approve the budget mostly as proposed by the Board of Education, albeit at a 4.08 percent tax levy rather than a 4.41 percent one.
Board of Education President Robin Kulwin explained that the only changes made in the budget were savings in transportation operating costs and teachers filing for retirements, which she felt could allow for further cuts.
“It doesn’t mean they’re retiring today or tomorrow, they’ve just given formal notice that they are and filing papers,” she explained. Nine teachers have put in for retirement, allowing the savings from their salaries to be passed on to the taxpayers in terms of a slightly smaller tax increase. The school tax levy for 2014-15 totals $101,492,086.
Third Ward Councilor Sean Spiller won applause from the audience in the Montclair High School auditorium for proposing a resolution that “implored” the New Jersey Department of Education to adequately fund technology improvements and other unfunded mandates. Montclair Board of Education Chief Operating Officer Brian Fleischer drafted the resolution on the spot, and it passed unanimously.
Kulwin was pleased with the outcome of the budget, and she expected the district to continue moving forward. “We have a good team,” she told reporters. “I believe in them. They’ll do fine.”
Mayor Jackson tells Barista Kids he is, “pleased that the Kindergarten class-size and World Language initiatives will move forward and that the property tax increase was moderated.”
Talented students of Lacordaire Academy in Montclair will present their spring musical SHOUT! on Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12.
SHOUT! follows five fab gals on a high-energy, hip-shaking, non-stop vibrant trip through the Swingin’ 60s that gave birth to such hits as Downtown, To Sir With Love, Son of a Preacher Man, and Georgy Girl — songs that express the changing attitudes and dawning liberation of women. This fun-filled musical is an irresistible blend of foot-stomping songs, eye-popping fashions and psychedelic dancing that will make you want to throw your head back and SHOUT!