BY Justin Mannato | Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 8:00am |
So, you want to send your child to a Montclair public elementary school? You’re touring the schools this week. Perhaps you’re just like me and my wife and you moved here for the public schools. Yet, choosing one is more difficult than choosing which frozen yogurt shop in town to patronize. (And there are as nearly just as many of each.) Funny thing is we asked for this whole school tour song and dance by choosing Montclair to begin with. So I, veteran of my one and only school tour of duty just last year, am here to help you.
First, prepare for five months of unmitigated angst. It’s unavoidable. Why we get ourselves so worked up over something we can’t control is a question I am not trained to answer. But you’ll sweat the Montclair School tours. You’ll find something to love and not to love about each school. You’ll sweat over your top three, and where to place them. You’ll then stop sweating for a month or so, until you run into a parent from daycare over the summer and inevitably and involuntarily you both start sweating again together. But at least you’ll have each other. The angst will most definitely come… and stay. All the way up to when the Board of Ed letters get sent out. Then you’ll get mail angst because half the town will get their letters the day before the other half.
I know it’s difficult, but try to relax. Take a deep breath, and keep a few things in mind…
BY Kristen Kemp | Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 1:00pm |
Here’s what the kids and I are doing Saturday: We’re going to the awesome new LEGO Discovery Center called Snapology to have fun and raise money for the American Cancer Society.
I’m going to write more about Snapology next week because it’s so cool it deserves a blog post of its own. But I wanted to get the word out about their fundraiser today.
Cedar Grove mom Melissa Skabich (see left) will be running the New York City Half Marathon for the ACS in a few weeks, and she and her husband are running the full in November. Her husband Paul (also left) lost his mother to cancer in December, and they’re passionate about the cause and determined to help any way they can. Her goal is in 2013 is to run 13 marathons, all to get donations for what she and Paul call ‘Team Determination.’
So they partnered with Snapology owners Donna and Steve Meccia who donated their space for the party. This Saturday, for $10 per person, families can head to Snapology to play, have LEGO building contests, do arts and crafts, eat snacks and win door prizes. Melissa’s three boys Paul, 9, Christopher, 7, and Evan, 3, will be helping with all of the activities. “They lost their grandmother so recently, so they’re eager to contribute to the cause,” Melissa says.
BY Kristen Kemp | Friday, Feb 22, 2013 10:00am |
I might own a gun shop one day. So I’ve felt like an outsider when my friends and peers from our ultra-liberal town have advocated for strict gun control. Their pleas, bleeding with fret and emotion, populate my Facebook feed. They often post pictures of the innocent children who were murdered in Newtown. When the subject comes up–and it always does–at my neighborhood book club or at various get togethers, I try to keep my opinions to myself. If I get into how I really feel, I’m afraid I’ll be asked to leave.
When Newtown happened, I cried just as much as everyone else. I hold sadness in my heart for the victims. I keep picturing the brave principal who tried to stop the crazed shooter. I see her pretty face in my dreams and wonder why she and so many others had to die.
But the vast majority of people who own weapons legally are not crazed. I do not believe guns are bad. I grew up with guns, and when I was 7, my dad taught me to shoot with a Bearcat revolver one day after school. He currently owns a gun shop in my hometown of Jeffersonville, Indiana, a small river community on the Kentucky border. (See left.) He would be the first to say that he is not a young man. So I hope he doesn’t get mad when he finds out that I’ve already pondered what will happen if he dies. Along with my brother, I will inherit his busy, popular gun shop and gunsmith business.
BY Kristin Wald | Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 7:00am |
By 9pm, the line still extended out the door to see Dame Julie Andrews.
We were told we’d be glowing after meeting Julie Andrews, who signed 200 books at Watchung Booksellers last night. And it was true. As fans of the multi-talented star, some of whom had traveled from different states—and even other countries to see the author—left through the backdoor of the bookstore with their signed books, they really did seem happier and lighter and more joyful.
Ms. Andrews was in Montclair to promote the new children’s book The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart, which she wrote together with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. Unfortunately, Ms. Hamilton was unable to attend the signing last night, so Julie Andrews had to go it alone. She did so with grace and kind words for everyone who passed by. The cap was set at 200 books, but many more people streamed through, hoping to have a brief moment with a woman clearly idolized by those who waited in the cold.
BY Kristen Kemp | Monday, Dec 10, 2012 1:00pm |
How do you take your girls for manicures and pedicures without spoiling them? I love to drag them to the nail salon with me, but I don’t want their heads to get full of nonsense like pampering, privilege and social inequality. I can take a pure feminist anti-pedicure stand, or I can just accept that I really love getting my feet massaged and my toenails painted perfectly without smudges. I tip well to justify my behavior.
This is an inner struggle I’m passing down to my girls, age 7. It was bound to happen–there are more than 10 nail salons in Montclair alone, and they’re all popular with females ages 4 to 74. My kids started out by tagging along with me and my iPad to keep them entertained. Of course, they started asking to get their own nails done with sparkly flowers and dotted ladybugs. One thing led to another, and now their getting manis and pedis is a regular reward when they accomplish special goals.
This week, all of my kids’ teachers gave them accolades at the parent conferences. They’re rocking the first grade and kindergarten, and we intend to celebrate a smooth and excellent year. My husband will take my son to play football at the park, and I will take the girls to the nail salon. I’ll take them all ice skating, too. Everyone will bond and have fun. We’ll still be feminists, just well-groomed.
So where should you go for kids’ salon services, and how much should you pay? I found a wide range of prices—girls’ manis and pedis run anywhere from $19 to $30. And even a kids pedicure includes a soak, scrub, cut, file and polish–often with designs. You need an appointment at the packed places (i.e. Pinky and Jeeyune). But you can easily walk in to other spots. Here’s all the info on your favorite local salons below: Continue Reading
BY Kristin Wald | Monday, Nov 26, 2012 10:00am |
December’s Image in the DLC Calendar
For many, this last weekend the shopping spirit moved them to get out and support local businesses and get ready for the holidays with purchases of decorations and gifts. But if you still need a thoughtful gift idea that also helps raise money for a worthy cause this season, you’re in luck. And it’s something that will be useful the whole year through. The Montclair Developmental Learning Center’s Parent Organization is holding a 2013 calendar sale to benefit this wonderful school as well as the artist, Justin Canha, nationally recognized autistic artist and alumnus of Montclair Public Schools.
The Montclair Developmental Learning Center, the Special Education Public School Program for children ages 3 through 5 years, is fundraising with a fun and colorful 2013 Children’s Wall Calendar – illustrated by Justin Canha, who was featured last year in The New York Times.
BY Kristen Kemp | Friday, Nov 16, 2012 8:00am |
How is it that Black Friday is almost already here? I haven’t had time to save money! Oh but I’m sure I’ll still find the resources to spend dough this holiday season.
I might just start at Uptowne Girl Salon. My 7-year-old twins love the manicures and pedicures, facials and up-dos there. See one of them during her Uptowne Girl birthday party last month at left. (I swear these children are not spoiled.)
If your girl would like some pampering, Uptowne Girl is offering a Drop and Shop day for Black Friday. All ages are welcome from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 23. The idea is that the kids will be supervised and have fun while their moms get two free hours to go shopping (or get their nails done). The cost is $30 per girl.
The children will get up-dos, make up applications, manicures, nail art, snacks and craft time. Space is limited, and Uptowne Girl asks that you RSVP by Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the latest:
BY Announcement | Thursday, Nov 01, 2012 4:00pm |
Montclair Schools have a new superintendent as of November 1, 2012 – today! Students and families received their first missive from Superintendent Penny MacCormack this afternoon, and of course it was about Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the schools.
Ms. MacCormack writes:
BY Georgette Gilmore | Sunday, Sep 09, 2012 9:00am |
Montclair SEPAC is the Montclair Special Education Parent Advisory Council, which is a volunteer group of parents and guardians that provides support and information to parents and caregivers of children with special needs. Each district board of education is charged under the New Jersey Special Education Code to ensure that a special education parent advisory group is in place to provide input to the district on issues concerning students with disabilities.
Montclair SEPAC meets monthly to share information and ideas, raise and resolve concerns, and ensure that issues affecting children with special needs are given the attention they deserve. The first meeting of the 2012-13 school year will be on Tuesday, September 11, from 7-9 pm in The Bradford School library at 87 Mt. Hebron Avenue, Montclair, NJ, 07043. Principal Naomi Kirkman will discuss how NJ’s anti-bullying laws pertain to children with special needs. Complimentary child care from MSU grad students and refreshments from Flatbread will be provided. All are welcome