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Ridgewood Public Schools - District News

The Ridgewood Public Schools, committed to a tradition of excellence and innovation, in partnership with the community, provide a rich and challenging learning environment, enabling students to maximize their unique potentials to become life-long learners and productive, responsible citizens.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: rps.eNews 11.18.14
The district's electronic newsletter, rps.eNews, contains highlights of the Board of Education meetings, news around the district, and upcoming events of interest to the RPS community.

Click here to read the November 18, 2014 edition.

Click here to subscribe to rps.eNews.


As per Executive Order from Governor Chris Christie, the flag of the United States of America and the flag of the State of New Jersey shall be flown at half-staff on Monday, November 24, 2014 in recognition and mourning of the passing of Congresswoman Margaret “Marge”  Roukema, who represented New Jersey for over two decades in the United States House of Representatives. ​Congresswoman Roukema began her career in public service as a teacher for the Ridgewood Public Schools, continuing her commitment to her community as a member of the Ridgewood Board of Education from 1970 to 1973. Congresswoman Roukema was elected to Congress in 1980, representing New Jersey in the House of Representatives for eleven terms, becoming the longest-serving woman in the House, as well as the senior member of the New Jersey Congressional delegation​.
Welcome to the Ridgewood Public Schools

11.18.14: Community Planning Report is Out
At the November 17 Board of Education meeting, Nancy Stern, of Sousa and Stern Educational Consultants, presented an update on the information compiled from the district strategic planning day held in September. The process resulted in five goal areas: student achievement, technology, communications, facilities and diversity. Click here for the full report.
11.03.14: Superintendent's October Column: Taking the Mask off Addiction
Click here to read Dr. Fishbein's monthly column for The Ridgewood News, which appeared in the paper on October 31, 2014.


11.20.14: A Capella Groups Chosen to Compete
Director Steven Bourque reports that the RHS AcaBellas and Maroon Men have both been selected to compete in the International Competition of High School A Cappella Northeast Semi-Finals. The groups will compete against nine other high school a cappella groups on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at Northern Highlands Regional High School.

11.20.14: RHS Latin Teams Excel
For the third consecutive year the RHS Advanced Latin Academic Team took first place in a test of Latin, Roman life, history and mythology with 13 New Jersey schools.  The team members are Poyani Bavishi, Ben Bechtold, Charlotte Kahan, Sophie Simpson, Peter Psathas and Anthony Tokarz.  
On November 8 all RHS teams spent the day at Yale University for a national competition.  The Advanced team made it to the semi-final rounds but was defeated by the country's top-ranked team, AMSA.   The Intermediate Team made a promising start in its first tournament.   The Intermediate players were Sophie Simpson, Matthew Zachem, Audrey Gao and Vanita Sharma.   The Advanced players were Henry Seifert, Elizabeth O'Keefe, James Psathas, Poyani Bavishi, Ben Bechtold, Charlotte Kahan, Sophie Simpson, Peter Psathas and Anthony Tokarz. 

11.20.14: RHS Girls Tennis Wins State Sectionals
The RHS Girls Tennis team won the North I Group IV state sectional title, beating Bergen Tech in the finals and Livingston High School in the semis. 

The squad also tied for second in the Big School County Tournament this season, and Sara Canilang and Liz O'Keefewon the doubles championship. Medha Kirtane is the coach.

This year girls RHS Tennis was ranked number 2 in The Record’s Top 15 Tennis rankings.

Other team members with media permission granted to be named are Monica Vitting, Kelly Rekucki, Kat Bonfiglion, Brianna Patek, Kolby Erskine, Swathi Raguian, Alex Absey and Julia Yoon.

11.11.14: RHS Marching Band Steps to Success

The RHS Marching Band just finished their competitive season in Allentown, PA at US Bands National Championships, where they came in second place out of 17 competing teams.

The RHS Marching Band earned a score of 96.050 in Group IVA competition and was also awarded ”The Cadets Award of Excellence” in recognition of the band’s achievement in Creativity, Performance and Overall Effect.

The band has had a very successful competitive season this year, placing first in September at Pequannock High School, winning the award for Best Music, and placing first at JP Stevens High School, sweeping the caption awards for Best Music, Best Visual and Best Overall effect.

They also placed first at Jackson Memorial’s “Showcase of Champions” in October. The band won the caption awards for Best Music and Best Overall Effect, as well as the Esprit de Corps award. Also in October, the band performed at Rutgers University for US Bands NJ State Championships, placing third out of 13 bands, and winning the caption award for Best Visual.

The RHS Marching Band also took third place out of 13 bands the US Bands Yamaha Cup, held at MetLife Stadium in November. The band scored a 91.413 and won the caption award for Best Color Guard with a score of 398/400.

The band, under the direction of John Luckenbill, still has a few performances left. Their remaining performance schedule is below:

Monday, November 24 - Legends Classic Band at the Barclay’s Center

Tuesday, Nov. 25 - Legends Classic Band at the Barclay’s Center

Friday, December 5 - Downtown for the Holidays Performance

11.03.14: RHS Senior Earns Bergen County Award
RHS senior Matt Mandeli was honored in October at the Bergen County Salute to Champions Breakfast, for his work over the years with disabled students and adults. Matt has run events such as the annual Club LOU, a night of dancing and fun for the disabled members of the community. He is also a co-president of Project Interact at RHS, a club dedicated to helping the less fortunate. Mandeli was nominated for the award by Ridgewood’s mayor, Paul Aronsohn.

Photo: RHS principal Dr. Thomas Gorman, teachers Nancy Reilly and Lynne Feeney, and Ridgewood Paul Aronsohn, congratulate Matt Mandeli at the Bergen County Salute to Champions Breakfast.

10.22.14: Jeff Haas Recognized by State Educators' Group

RHS Music Teacher Jeff Haas was recognized by the New Jersey Association for Jazz Education (NJAJE) as the 2014 recipient of their Jazz Education Achievement Award. The award is in recognition of his many years of outstanding contributions to New Jersey's students and teachers in the areas of jazz pedagogy and performance, while promoting the importance of appreciating and studying jazz as America's original art form. The award was presented on November 14 at the annual All-State Jazz concert at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.

10.22.14: Another Honor for Chuck Johnson
RHS Physical Education Teacher and Maroons Football coach Chuck Johnson will be honored with the Thomas L. Della Torre Special Achievement Award by the Greater Bergen County YMCA at its 49th Sports Award Banquet.The award is presented to someone who is dedicated to family, youth and sports, and embodies the values of spirit, mind and body for which the YMCA stands. The banquet will be held on November 25 at Sheraton Mahwah Hotel, starting at 6 p.m.For ticket information, contact Athletic Director Nick Scerbo, 201-670-2800, ext. 20510 or nscerbo@ridgewood.k12.nj.us.

Chuck recently celebrated his 200th career win as Maroons Football coach.


The next Regular Public Meeting of the Ridgewood Board of Education will be held on Monday, December 1, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. 
The public is invited to attend the meeting at the Ed Center, 49 Cottage Place, Floor 3. The meeting will be aired live on FiOS channel 33 and Optimum channel 77. Or it may be viewed live via the district website at www.ridgewood.k12.nj.us using the "Link in Live" tab.

Click here to view the agenda and addendum for the November 17, 2014 Regular Public Meeting.

Click here to view the webcast of the November 17, 2014 Regular Public Meeting.

RHS New Players Announce Season Schedule
Click here to view the 2014-2015 season program. 
Click here to go to the New Players website donation section.


Career Fair for the Health Professions is January 8

All Ridgewood High School students interested in a career in a health-related field are invited to attend a health career fair on Thursday, January 8, 2015 from 7-8:3p.m. in the RHS Campus Center. The fair is especially focused on freshmen who are interested in joining the Ridgewood Academy of Health Professions (RAHP) program.
A diverse list of professionals will be in attendance, ranging from physical therapists, to radiology technicians, to nurses, to veterinarian assistants, who will be available to talk directly to students about their professions and educational path.
Parents and guardians are also welcome to attend. 
The Career Fair is organized by RAHP in cooperation with The Valley Hospital. National Technical Honors Society students will help facilitate the evening.

For more information, please contact Sandy Kunzle at skunzle@ridgewood.k12.nj.us


The RHS Department of Fine & Applied Arts is looking for alumni to participate in the Tenth Annual Alumni Art Show.  Last year’s show was a great success and it is hoped to reach even more of our alumni this year.  The exhibition will be a showing of work created after graduating from RHS.  It will be held in the Carroll Art Gallery, Room 137, from December 15 through January 9, 2015.  There will be a reception for the artists on Thursday, January 8 at 7:30 p.m.  All students, alumni, friends, family and staff are invited to the reception as well as to view the exhibition during school hours.

Participating artists should drop off their ready-to-hang artwork by the week of December 8.  Question may be directed to the Department of Fine & Applied Arts at 201-670-2800, ext. 20542, or email the department in care of cmccullough@ridgewood.k12.nj.us.

Event information and other news is continually updated on the Arts at Ridgewood Public Schools’ Twitter profile: @Arts_at_RPS and Facebook account page, www.facebook.com/TheArtsatRPS.


11.24.14: RHS Alumni Association Sells Hats, T-Shirts
All proceeds benefit the RHS Alumni Association. Click here for the flyer and contact information.

11.15.14: Kelly's Coat Drive is November 29
The Somerville/Hawes Dad's Night and Kelly Creegan Memorial Fund are sponsoring the fourth annual coat drive on Saturday, November 29. Bring winter coats and accessories to the Graydon Parking Lot from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Donations may also be dropped at 136 Circle Avenue, Ridgewood. Contact Laura Grasso will questions at lgrasso@ridgewood.k12.nj.us.

Click here for the flyer.

10.27.14: Save the Date: RHS Bands, Choir, Orchestra Fundraiser
The New York Voices will be in concert with the Jazz Masters Big Band, on February 27, 2015 at Benjamin Franklin Middle School Audtiorium, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 (premium seating): $35 (adults); $25 (students and senior citizens).


11.17.14: Project Graduation 2015 Updates
The Innisbrook wrapping paper sale is on through Monday, December 8. Orders shipped directly to you. Project Graduation gets 40% profits Order through www.innisbrook.com:
  • Click on Friends and Supporters.
  • Enter RHS school code #103094
Class of 2015 Project Graduation Representatives
Chairpersons Tara Callaghan 201-803-7778 and Rosie McCooe 201-602-8097
Chairpersons email: rhs.project.graduation.2015@gmail.com
Treasurer Sharon Walker sharon_walker@spdji.com
Communications Jeff Coster jcoster@verizon.net

JAMBOREE 2015! "Under the Stars" will take the audience from Central Park to Times Square to Broadway and includes a variety of music that will be familiar to people of all ages. The show will be directed by Claudia O'Rourke and will be performed on February 4-7, 2015. For more information, or to donate, please visit http://www.rhsjamboree.org/concrete5/​.
Support The Foundation 
Visit www.ridgewoodedfoundation.org to learn more about the work of The Foundation and/or donate.

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