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Principal's Bulletin (Principal's Corner)

February 2015


Dear Parents and Guardians,


We have reached the mid-point in the school year. The year is quickly progressing and it is very important to take time to talk with your child about grades and student progress. Our school counselors and teachers are available to address any concerns. The Parent Portal provides quick access to your child’s academic performance.


This time of the year we participate in the New Jersey Educator of the Year and Educational Services Professional selection process.  I want to share with you some of the kind words offered by parents, students and staff about our teachers. Each and every day our classrooms come alive here at Red Bank Regional as our dedicated staff performs their craft. Students described their nominees as “making them feel comfortable and safe,” “quickly learning their strengths and working endlessly to ensure their success,” and “making learning fun and having a style that was effective and engaging.” Many students described teachers and coaches who ultimately helped them become not just better students but better people and better prepared for the world they were about to enter. Our teachers recognized their peers as creative, compassionate, dynamic and caring individuals. While only one staff member can be named for Educator of the Year and one for Educational Services Professional, please join me in acknowledging our entire staff, a treasured and valued resource.


I would also like to take a moment to commend our students on the wonderful things they do each day. We hear so much about terrible events in schools, it is important that we do not dismiss the commonplace positive occurrences that we sometimes take for granted: the daily routines, how we work together in class, travel through the hallways and eat in two very large groups during lunch blocks. Often our students alert us when they have concerns about each other. Safety drills are now part of our school routine. What we cannot forget is the intrinsic value of helping each other. We are a community and our students have a vital role in our school and in making our school community a success.


The education field is vibrant and ever changing.  This year we have been busy preparing to administer a school wide assessment, PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers).  In this memo you can read more about the exam and our schedule for the coming months.


As always, feel free to contact me with any questions, suggestions or thoughts you may have regarding our school community. I may be reached by phone or email and welcome your comments and suggestions. Follow my Twitter account @PrincipalClay for daily tweets about our school community.






Risa Clay

Principal 732-842-8000 x 1-210



RBRHS will be closed February 13thand 16th in observance of President’s Day Weekend

Go Bucs!






PARCC and HSPA Administration

The new PARCC assessment will be administered during a testing window from March 2-March 27 for the Performance-Based Assessment (PBA) and April 20-May 15 for the End of Year assessment (EOY). All students in grades 9, 10 and 11 will be tested in their respective English and Algebra 1, Geometry or Algebra 2 classes. Every effort has been made to minimize the impact of the test on instructional time. As a result, students will continue with their regular schedule during testing with modifications to the bell schedule only.


These assessments represent a significant change in the manner in which students test, moving from a paper-based test to a computer-based format. In addition to the change in curriculum that has occurred over the last four years, this year students are also being prepared for the technological components and functionality of the test. Students also have access to sample items and practice tests using the technology at home. The RBR PARCC website,, provides resources for students and parents on the “Resources” page including not only practice opportunities but also important information regarding the bell schedule for the testing windows. While at this time PARCC is not the only testing measure being utilized by the state for its graduation requirement, it is one possible measure. “PARCC Matters”, a resource on the website, provides a complete listing of other possible measures.


In addition to PARCC, the HSPA will be administered for seniors only for the last time on March 3-5, with make-ups occurring March 10-12. Senior re-testers will take the examinations during blocks 1, 2 and mod 1.


High-stakes testing can be a stressful and challenging experience. You can help your child’s preparation by ensuring he or she sleeps properly and eats a healthy breakfast. You can also encourage your child to work hard during class and to complete preparation assignments.



Educator of The Year and Educational Services Professional

Please join me in congratulating Mrs. Claudia O’Connor, VPA Studio Art Teacher, Red Bank Regional’s Educator of the Year. This year we have a new recognition category, Educational Services Professional.  We are pleased to nominate Mrs. Kathy Smith, Media Specialist, for her service to our school.  Each year it is our honor to choose, by committee, one teacher who exemplifies excellence in education.  Mrs. O’Connor and Mrs. Smith follow in the tradition of RBR teachers who have demonstrated their expertise and caring both in and out of the classroom, as evidenced by student success and outstanding contributions to the RBR community.



RBR School Counseling Update

The school counselors met with all sophomores during their Physical Education classes in December to provide a hands-on opportunity with Naviance My College Quickstart and getting started with college planning.  This interactive program gave students information about opportunities and helped them to establish goals and to prepare a plan for achieving them utilizing many of the features of the Naviance program.  Log onto your parent account to review the results.


The Monmouth County Vocational School District presented its variety of programs, shared time and full time, to all sophomores on January 8.  This meeting not only provided information regarding the accessibility of programs but also an overview of the application process.  Students interested in a MCVSD course of study must complete an application and, in some cases, take an admissions test.


On January 22-23, the school counseling department provided students with insights into the college search during daytime presentations in small groups. A significant portion of the presentation centered on identifying key areas on which college admissions officers focus when making admissions decisions.  In addition, they assisted students with researching and adding colleges to their prospective colleges list on Naviance.  Don’t miss our program, “Naviance: Not Just for Juniors”, to be held on February 5, 2015.  We look forward to seeing you there!







Senior Health Classes and Educational Program

Domestic violence and sexual assault are two very serious topics that many people have a difficult time discussing.  In fact, one cannot turn on the television these days without seeing the celebrity, NFL and public service announcements to raise awareness about domestic violence.


To help educate the RBR students and raise their awareness to this subject, Mr. Alter and Ms. Karlo, with the help of 180 Turning Lives Around, once again spoke to the senior health classes on Wednesday, January 21 and Thursday, January 22.


180 Turning Lives Around is a private non-profit organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence in our community.  This organization caters to individuals and families that have been affected by domestic and sexual violence.  Their caring staff provides immediate and long-term support in assisting clients with the trauma they have experienced, while supporting them in obtaining service and making decisions that will turn lives around.


Black History Month Celebration

On the morning of February 18, we will recognize Black History Month with two assembly programs. This year’s featured speaker will be Mr. Julius Clark, Red Bank Borough Educator and Administrator. He will be joined by RBR’s Performing Arts students in an inspiring assembly program. Our Multicultural Club has worked diligently to plan this month’s program.


The Source Foundation

Fashion Show

      The Source will be hosting a Fashion Show to benefit the Andrew Kroon Memorial Scholarship Fund for Latino students.  This event will be held at Buona Sera in Red Bank, Sunday, February 8, 12pm-3pm.  To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact Suzanne Keller at


Casino Night Event

The Source is hosting its 5th Annual Casino Night Event, Saturday, March 21, at Salt Creek Grille in Rumson.  Tickets are $100 per person and includes dinner buffet, $50 casino chips, entertainment and raffle basket auction.  For more details, please contact Suzanne Keller at



Freshman Academy Update

In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Week scheduled April 27-May 4, all freshman academy students will be participating in cross content curricular activities involving collaboration and complicity.  Lesson plans will focus around the themes raised by this topic and will include other acts of genocide both past and present.


The Freshman Academy students will be treated to a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, April 15.  This play will be held at RBR in the auditorium from 9am-10:20am.  Students will have the opportunity to interact with the actors at the end of the performance.


We Welcome the Year of the Goat

Chinese New Year festivities start on the first day of January on the lunar calendar and continue for fifteen days with the lantern festival.  The traditional activities are the lion dance and dragon dance.  The lion dance is performed to chase away ghosts and evil spirits and the dragon dance is to bring good luck to people.  People wear new clothes, especially the color red, to bring good luck and say “gong xi fa cai” (wishing you a prosperous new year) to each other.


The Chinese Zodiac is based on a twelve year cycle; each year in the cycle is related to an animal sign.  Each animal represents the majority of a person’s personality or the influential events in his or her life.  2015 is the Year of the Goat.  The people born in the goat years (1031, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, and 2015) are often the most creative and artistic and they are charming and well organized.


On February 19, The Jersey Shore Chinese School students will be celebrating the Chinese New Year at RBR.  They are going to perform The Dragon Dance, Chinese Yoyo, and Chinese Folk Dance during the study hall blocks.





Winter Sports News


Boys’ Basketball

  • Won the Albert E. Martin BUC Classic Tournament
  • The BUCS are currently in first place in the B-North Division


Girls’ Basketball

  • Finished third in the Bayshore Holiday Tournament
  • Elizabeth Paterno named to the All-Tournament Team


Girls’/Boys’ Indoor Track

  • Boys 4x400 Relay placed third in the Monmouth County Championship


Boys’ Swimming

  • Current Record 6-1
  • Team finished 11th overall at Monmouth County Meet


Girls’ Swimming

  • Current Record 4-3



  • Current Record 2-2, defeated rivals RFH and RBC



VPA Events

Please join us for our outstanding Visual and Performing Arts Productions:


February 7                   All Shore Chorus Concert – 7:30pm, Auditorium

February 11                 Reverberations, Senior Music Recital – 7:00pm, Auditorium

February 27                 National Art Honor Society Art Auction – 6pm, Cafeteria

April 16                        Vocal Majors Songwriting Concert – 7pm, Auditorium

April 22                        Inter-District Strings Festival – 9am, Auditorium

April 21-28                   Senior Art Show, The Guild in Shrewsbury, April 24 – Reception 6pm-8pm

April 23                        Voices Performance – 7pm Auditorium

April 30                        String Band/Instrumental Major Concert – 7pm, Auditorium



The Red Bank Regional Theatre Company Presents

Anything Goes

March 26, 27, 28, 7:00 pm

March 29, 3:00 pm

(For ticket information & reservations please call 732-842-8000, press 1 then ext. 227 or visit our website for the PayPal option)