Community Update: December 1, 2021
Dear Red Bank Families,
As we approach the holiday season, we certainly have much to be grateful for here in the Red Bank Borough Public Schools including full days of school, in-person instruction, the expansion of extra-curricular and interscholastic activities, and the opportunity for our students to consistently interact in a supportive yet challenging learning environment. Over the years and amid challenges, our #RBBisBIA mindset guided us on an amazing journey and has created a special culture and experience for our students and families. Part of that culture includes a commitment to hiring expert educators who exemplify compassion and embrace the Dream BIG...We’ll Help You Get There! spirit. I would like to acknowledge two such educators today. Congratulations to Red Bank Middle School teachers Mrs. Erin Carty and Mrs. Diana Archila. Both were recently recognized as New Jersey Department of Education Exemplary Secondary Educators! This is a wonderful distinction for these two teachers and our District. To date, ten Red Bank staff members have received this honor. In the near future you can expect the announcement of our Governor’s Educators of the Year.
As we prepare for the final days of 2021 and the coming new year, please review the following items.
- Transportation continues to be a challenge for all school districts. Recently, we completely redesigned our transportation routes in order to minimize the numerous and lengthy delays caused by the nationwide bus driver shortage. Although this has markedly improved our daily operating procedures, we are still running into challenges when one or more Bus Drivers calls out sick. Although our contractors are fully staffed to serve our routes, they do not have substitute drivers available and any absence will likely result in a delayed bus route. We thank you for your continued cooperation and patience.
- We continue to offer COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics in the District in collaboration with the VNA and MCHD. No matter what type of vaccine you are looking for or if you need shot one, shot two or your booster, you can come to the Red Bank Primary School from 4:00-7:00 PM on Thursday, December 2 or Monday, December 13. All are welcome from ages 5 and up and no appointment is necessary.
- If your family anticipates traveling out of state, please notify your designated School Nurse in order to determine if quarantine is required.
- As the holidays approach, each site will be sending out specific information regarding events. Please continue to check your text messages sent via Remind. If you are not receiving messages or changed your phone number, contact the Main Office of your child’s school.
- Genesis Parent Portal will be open for Report Cards for all Kindergarten through Grade 8 students on Friday, December 17 at 4:00 PM. A message will be sent via Remind. Preschool Progress Reports will be sent home in student folders on Wednesday, December 22.
- All schools will follow a Minimum School Day schedule on Thursday, December 23, 2021. The District will be closed from December 24, 2021 and reopen on Monday, January 3, 2022.
- We are beginning to provide different enrichment and intervention opportunities for students as the year progresses. If your child is eligible, information will be provided by their individual school and/or teacher. This includes a winter basketball season at Red Bank Middle School.
- Continue to refer to our 2021-2022 District Calendar as you make any plans that could impact your child’s attendance. Preschool families at United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, Acelero Learning, Monmouth Day Care Center & YMCA of Greater Monmouth will see additional Minimum School Days for students.
- We are currently seeking Guest Staff (Substitutes) as well as full-time Custodians. If you are interested in any of these positions or know someone who is, please contact us at 732-758-1510.
Finally, as per protocol, the local charter school recently applied for their five-year renewal. Every five years, this application is submitted to the New Jersey Department of Education and its Commissioner for review and a determination. Our Board of Education is in favor of a single public school system and passed a resolution indicating such on August 31, 2021. Additionally, we recently sought and received the support of the Red Bank Borough Council. We support a single public school system for the students and families of Red Bank. This would provide a diverse and more robust educational experience for all children opting for public education in our community, and do so in a more fiscally responsible manner. At this point, we have presented our case to the Acting Commissioner of the NJDOE and expect a response at some point early in the new year. If you have any questions regarding this process or are interested in supporting this endeavor please contact me directly.
As always, I am honored and privileged to serve this community. I wish you all a healthy and joyous holiday season and the very best that the new year has to offer.
Jared J. Rumage, Ed.D.
Community Update: October 26, 2021
Dear Red Bank Families,
It is certainly great to be back in school full-time and we are off to a strong start. Yes, the first few weeks presented challenges in several areas, including transportation and COVID-19 related illness; however, in many ways we are not just back to normal but new and improved. Our Fall Athletics season drew high participation and both of our Soccer programs and Cross Country teams competed at a high level. We enjoyed two amazing family events - Harvestfest and Rocketfest - that drew over 2,500 people combined! Most importantly, as I visit classrooms throughout our school sites I see smiling faces and students happy to be back!
We are still dealing with a national bus driver shortage but thanks to some creativity and compromise, we have re-designed several bus routes in collaboration with our transportation contractors. The implementation of this plan will begin Monday, November 1 and includes the reduction of Primary School Bus #5. Former PS5 Bus students and some others will be reassigned to other bus routes and receive new bus passes this week. As a result of these changes, you may also see a change in your child’s bus aide. We anticipate some minor bumps in the road next week but looking ahead this change will provide safer and more timely travel for our students to and from school each day.
We are currently seeking additional Guest Staff (Substitutes) as well as full-time Custodians. If you are interested in any of these positions or know someone who is, please contact us at 732-758-1510.
Finally, we are excited at the prospect of vaccination eligibility for 5-11 year olds and we anticipate additional vaccination clinics will be held at Red Bank Primary School in November and December - more details to follow.
Below are just a few of the many upcoming events in our school community!
- We look forward to seeing our families virtually next week for Parent-Teacher Conferences. Please make every effort to connect with your child’s teacher(s) so that together we can work on supporting their BIG Dreams.
- Individual sites have sent out information regarding our Annual Halloween Parades. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in ensuring all participants remain safe.
- All schools will follow a Minimum School Day schedule on Friday, October 29 and November 1, 2 and 3. The District will be closed for the NJEA Convention on November 4 & 5. Continue to refer to our 2021-2022 District Calendar.
- The Governor’s Educator of the Year Program is now accepting nominations! Take a moment to nominate one of our outstanding staff members! Click HERE for more information. The deadline is November 12, 2021.
Some of you may have heard of a recent “challenge” on the social media app TikTok in which individuals are encouraging others to steal or damage school property. Our schools are not immune from such vandalism and theft. Our buildings are meant to be a safe, clean space for our students and staff and we are requesting your partnership in accomplishing this shared goal. It is disappointing that these videos are encouraging this behavior within our school communities. We recognize that our students are outstanding role models and productive members of our school community. We thank you for your continued support in ensuring that this school year is a positive one for all.
As you may be aware, Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 253 required that all school staff either be fully vaccinated or be tested weekly moving forward for this school year. The Governor’s office has provided funding for the required testing by way of Federal COVID-19 relief funds, which we have successfully applied for and have been granted, to receive on behalf of our school community. As a part of this grant, we will also offer COVID-19 screening tests to any families who wish to have their students tested. There is no requirement for students to be screened.
If you wish to sign up your child for regular testing please contact your child’s school nurse via email or phone. Additionally, you may contact the nurse at any time during the year if you simply would like your child tested once because you have a concern about exposure. We hope you find this to be yet another positive step as we work together to keep our school community safe, learning, and growing!
As we enter the holiday season, we are counting on our families, students and staff to help maintain a safe, healthy and engaging environment for all. Be well and stay healthy.
Jared J. Rumage, Ed.D.
Community Update: September 19, 2021
Dear Red Bank Families,
Thanks to our team effort we are off to a strong start to the 21-22 school year. It is exciting for everyone to be back in school for a full day of instruction, especially our students. We can see the joy in their eyes and we hear it in their voices as they are engaging in much more interaction with their peers. Of course, we are all grateful to be back to “normal”; however, it is not without its challenges.
Currently, we are facing a nationwide bus driver shortage that is impacting our ability to provide consistency for our families. Our students are also navigating the return to a more structured school day and the social elements that go along with school related activities. And of course, we are still managing the daily impact of the ongoing health concerns.
We expect our challenges with transportation to improve significantly over the next few weeks. If your child is a bus student please review this Transportation Update.
We know that resilience is one of the most prevalent character traits of our student body and expect they will respond successfully academically, artistically, athletically, and socially to enjoy a special school year.
What we cannot predict, is the impact of illness on our school community. But we can work together to ensure that we do everything in our power to minimize the risk for our students and staff.
- ATTENDANCE: Our schools are open because we want each child to experience the benefits of the #RBBisBIA mindset on a daily basis. We are here to inspire BIG Dreams for each child and then help them get there....but we also want to maximize the number of days all children attend school this year. In order to do that, it will require extra precaution when necessary. Keeping your child home temporarily due to illness will not negatively impact their school record or their educational journey. In fact, doing so will enable us to better maintain the viability of our full day, in-person instructional environment for your child and ALL of our students.
- It is imperative that all students are screened at home on a daily basis and those who exhibit symptoms of illness remain at home. Please reference our Daily Screening Checklist and the Please Keep Me Home If… sheet to assist you with the screening process.
- In the event your child is exhibiting any symptoms of illness, please keep them home and contact your designated School Nurse for guidance:
- Nurse Rochford (Preschool): 732-758-1500 (EXT 1536)
- Nurse Reardon (Primary): 732-758-1538
- Nurse Croken (Middle): 732-758-1532
Monmouth County continues to remain in the High-Risk category as indicated by the weekly COVID-19 Activity Level Report and we all know the challenges we faced last November. Let’s work together to ensure our students enjoy the best school year possible.
Transportation and the health climate aside, the return to school and the inundation of information can be overwhelming for families. Once again, please see these reminders and resources to help make the transition to the new school year smooth for all of us. And of course, if you have specific questions, always feel free to contact the relevant staff member using our Staff Directory.
- Please note Back to School Night events at all locations will be virtual. Details will follow shortly from your child’s school.
- For a full review of general reopening information, please thoroughly review the School Reopening Guide which gives an overview of healthy and safety protocols and other important information.
- Throughout the year, we must have your current address, email and phone number/emergency contact on file. Contact your child’s school Main Office with any updates.
- Our Virtual Backpacks are full of information related to district and school specific procedures.
As always, we are counting on our families, students and staff to help maintain a safe, healthy and engaging environment for all. Be well and stay healthy.
Jared J. Rumage, Ed.D.
Community Update: August 28, 2021
Dear Red Bank Families,
Our 2021-2022 school year is less than two weeks away. I am certain that mixed feelings exist amongst us all - students, staff and families. As a District, we are fully committed to resuming our normal operations to the greatest extent possible this year. Our first full-day for students is Thursday, September 9, 2021. Breakfast and lunch services will begin that day. Each family should thoroughly review the School Reopening Guide which gives an overview of face covering requirements, daily health screening procedures, meal service details and general reopening information.
If you have not picked up your September Packet from your child’s school/site, please do so immediately. Please read all the information that was included. If you have questions, reach out to your child’s school/site prior to the first day of school.
- Throughout the year, we must have your current address, email and phone number/emergency contact on file.
- Our Genesis Parent Portal houses all report cards, interim reports, lunch applications and important documents. If you have not logged in yet, visit the website. Included are some helpful how-to videos as well as an email address should you have any problems.
- Families will need to acknowledge several important policies, permissions and documents in Genesis Parent Portal prior to viewing teacher assignments and student schedules.
- Our Virtual Backpack is full of information related to school-specific schedules and procedures.
- Our Virtual Backpack is also full of information related to important health information.
Once again, we are counting on our families, students and staff to help maintain a safe, healthy and engaging environment for all. If anything, the past two years have taught us the importance of in-person instruction and the resilience of our students and staff. I am confident that by working together we will write many more chapters in the #RBBisBIA story! Be well and enjoy the remaining days of summer.
Jared J. Rumage, Ed.D.
Community Update: August 8, 2021
Dear Red Bank Families,
I hope this message finds you and your families safe, healthy, and enjoying the summer break. While it should be our priority to enjoy the summer and our families to the maximum, inevitably, questions about September 2021 will arise. Along with these questions will come speculation. Please use our Community Updates as your primary source of information. This mid-summer update is meant to share some important information as we approach the 21-22 school year.
On Friday, August 6, 2021 Governor Phil Murphy announced that all students, educators, staff, and visitors will be required to wear face coverings indoors for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. The Governor signed Executive Order (EO) 251, which will mandate masking in the indoor premises of all public, private, and parochial preschool, elementary, and secondary school buildings, with limited exceptions.
While masks will be broadly required in school buildings for the coming school year, the following Executive Order exceptions relevant to the Red Bank Borough Public Schools will remain unchanged from the 2020-2021 school year:
- When doing so would inhibit the individual’s health, such as when the individual is exposed to extreme heat indoors; (all sites are fully air-conditioned with the exception of the Middle School gymnasium)
- When a student’s documented medical condition or disability, as reflected in an IEP or 504 Plan, precludes use of a face covering;
- When an individual is engaged in an activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask, such as eating and drinking or playing an instrument that would be obstructed by the face covering;
- When a student is participating in high-intensity physical activities during a physical education class in a well-ventilated location and able to maintain a physical distance of six feet from all other individuals.
Please note, we will continue basic safety practices such as face coverings on all buses, temperature scanning, isolation rooms for potential COVID cases, high-accessibility to hand sanitizer, frequent hand-washing, and the use of barriers as needed during meals and small-group instruction, etc.
We look forward to opening our doors for students in the fall and we are counting on our continued partnership to keep our entire school community safe by monitoring your child daily for illness and keeping your child home if they or a family member is sick, being tested or awaiting COVID results. We are confident our collaborative efforts to manage the challenges of the 20-21 school year will lead to great success for all students in 21-22! In the meantime, continue to Dream BIG, stay safe and be well.
- District Calendar & Important Dates and Times
- Preschool Meet & Greet - September 2, 2021
- United Methodist Church (UMC) - 2:30 PM
- First Baptist Church (FBC) - 2:30 PM
- Acelero Learning - 4:00 PM (Virtual)
- The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County - 2:30 PM
- Monmouth Day Care Center (MDCC) - 5:30 PM
- Red Bank Primary School - See Below
- Kindergarten - September 2, 2021, 4:00 PM at Red Bank Primary School
- Grade 4 - August 23, 2021, 3:00 PM at Red Bank Middle School
- Preschool - October 6, 2021 - 6:00 PM (All Sites EXCLUDING Red Bank Primary School)
- Primary School
- September 29 (Preschool, Grades K & 1 and Vazquez/Rigby) - 6:00 PM
- September 30 (Grades 2 & 3 and Guzman/McGann) - 6:00 PM
- Middle School
- September 22, 2021 (Grades 4-8) - 6:00 PM
- Classes for ALL Preschool-Grade 8 students begin on Thursday, September 9, 2021. We anticipate operating on a full-day schedule. Full remote-learning will not be an option.
- Please refer to our 2021-2022 District Calendar, especially during times when the District is closed.
- Three (3) Emergency Days are included in the calendar in the event of snow and/or other emergencies requiring us to close. As of today, the remote learning option on inclement weather days is not possible. As a result we will conduct traditional snow days.
- September Packet Pickup will be held on Monday, August 23 and Tuesday, August 24. You will be able to pick up important materials (bus passes, teacher assignments and important Health and Safety information) for all your children, no matter their grade level, at one location. Look for a special postcard to arrive at your home on or around August 11.
- Orientations will be held on the following dates/times:
- Back to School Nights will be held on the following dates/times:
- School Times
- Preschool - 8:55 AM Arrival & 3:15 PM Dismissal
- Primary School - 8:55 AM Arrival & 3:15 PM Dismissal
- Middle School - 8:05 AM - 8:20 AM Arrival & 2:55 PM Dismissal
Residency & Registration
- If you plan to move in or out of Red Bank or change your phone number, please alert us immediately. This is important for communication, emergencies and transportation.
- We are in the process of re-certifying residency requirements for many of our families. You may receive a mailing requesting proof of residency, lease agreements and/or other required documents necessary as per Board of Education policy. If you have renewed a lease or moved within Red Bank since July 1, 2020 we ask that you contact Ms. Lemus at 732-758-1510 immediately to update your paperwork.
- If you know anyone that has a child eligible for Preschool or is interested in attending our schools in Kindergarten-Grade 8 in September, please share the link to our Central Registration.
Water Bottles & Supply Lists
- Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles. Bottles may be the refillable type but they MUST be clear, no exceptions. Glass bottles are not permitted.
- Most supplies needed by students will be provided by the District. On August 23 and 24 during September Packet Pickup, families will be provided a general list of supplies from your child's school.
- A uniform dress code will continue to be required for Preschool - Grade 8 (this does not apply to Acelero Learning or Monmouth Day Care Center). Students are to wear tan khaki colored bottoms (pants, shorts, skirt, skort or jumper) with a solid color red, black, or white collared shirt, blouse, short or long sleeved polo shirt, turtlenecks and/or sweaters. Clothing may be purchased at any store. If you need assistance please contact the Main Office of your child’s school.
Breakfast & Lunch
- Our current plans include offering breakfast and lunch to students in September 2021. This includes hot meals. We do not anticipate sending food home with students as we did this past year.
- All Preschool - Grade 8 students have a district-provided Chromebook. It is important that this device remains safe and is used in an appropriate manner at all times. Devices will need to be brought back and forth from home to school each day. The device should be charged nightly at home.
Before & After Care
- The Community YMCA will be providing before and after care services for students that attend Red Bank Primary School. Click HERE for more information. The program can only operate if enough families demonstrate interest in participating.
Extra Curricular Activities & Athletics
- We believe these experiences are critical, now more than ever to the social and emotional well-being of our children. Our desire is to reinstate a full array of extra curricular activities, before/after school programming and athletics in September 2021.
- In order to maximize our home-school communications, we are looking for 100% Parent Portal participation. The Portal will include report cards, handbooks, forms, grades and more for ALL students. If you have never logged into Parent Portal, please call your child’s school.
The Road Forward
- In June, the New Jersey Department of Education released The Road Forward. The document features a series of initiatives that paves the way forward for our education community by investing heavily in identifying and addressing the academic and mental health impacts of COVID-19 on our students and educators.
Counseling, Health and Educational Services
- In the event your child needs support in the area of counseling, mental health or health during this time, contact Mrs. Hurd at 732-758-1520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Questions? Call 732-758-1500 and leave a message. Here is other important Contact Information.
Continue enjoying your summer and we look forward to seeing you at September Packet Pickup on August 23 or 24.
Jared J. Rumage, Ed.D.