District Update: Responding to the Present and Planning for the Future
Dear Students and Families,
I want to extend my appreciation again to the entire RBR family for their support, determination, and community spirit as we all deal with a challenging and unprecedented situation. We will continue to learn and grow as we move forward together and soon we will be increasing in-person instructional time in our hybrid schedule.
I am also relieved to report that funding for the Source has been restored. Thanks to everyone who fought to preserve this vital program, including the Red Bank Regional Board of Education. Now more than ever, the Source is essential to the well being and success of our students.
The efforts of our administrative team and staff have been essential in ensuring our opening weeks have gone well. I also again want to commend our students for their maturity, cooperation, and positive attitude.
Another key element in our success in meeting the crisis has been the exceptional leadership provided by our Board of Education. Working as a full board and in committee assignments, their dedication sets an outstanding example of civic engagement and service. The BOE Policy Committee, led by Randy Mendelson (Shrewsbury), Eileen Mahoney (Little Silver), Patrick Noble (Red Bank), and Irwin Katz (Red Bank) assisted greatly in developing our pandemic response plan.
I also want to commend the RBREA leadership, the BOE, and school administration for their responsiveness in meeting the needs of our staff to ensure continuity in our instructional program.
While I am proud of all we’ve done to respond to the public health emergency, I am also excited about what’s been accomplished to ensure that RBR will continue to set the standard for educational excellence right now and after the current crisis has passed.
The most apparent sign of progress are the facility upgrades made possible by the referendum passed in December 2018. While construction will continue throughout the school-year, our students are already benefiting from these improvements. Fall athletic teams have already utilized the new turf field. We anticipate that the new media center will open later this fall. In December, state-of-the art classrooms and learning facilities will be available for use.
From its inception, a major reason for the success of this project has been the ongoing efforts of the BOE Building and Grounds Committee. Chairperson Frank Neary (Shrewsbury) has worked tirelessly with John Garofalo (Red Bank), Diane Davis (Red Bank), and Gene Koster (Little Silver) to ensure this vital initiative remains on-budget and on-time. Stay tuned for more updates as our new facilities come on-line.
Expanding Opportunities and Ensuring College and Career Readiness for Everyone
We are implementing a number of new programs this year that will ensure RBR remains one of New Jersey’s top performing high schools. Digital writing portfolios are now in place for all students in English and History and the highly regarded Rutgers Writing program is now an option for juniors and seniors. This month we collaborated with the College Board to administer the “In-School SAT” to our seniors. RBR is one of the few schools in New Jersey to “offer both IB and AP programs to our students and we are implementing a new pathway to support students pursuing the IB Diploma option. Red Bank Regional also boasts five CTE Academies, including Monmouth County’s only dedicated arts program. With the support of the BOE Curriculum and Assessment Committee, Red Bank Regional has continued to make remarkable strides. The district is indebted to Chairperson Emily Doherty (Red Bank) Patrick Noble (Red Bank), Irwin Katz (Red Bank), and Randy Mendelson (Shrewsbury) for their efforts
RBR is an Academic Powerhouse!
- RBR ranked 14th best in NJ for AP and IB enrollment. This year, nearly 1,000 AP and IB exams will be administered.
- Dual Credit Courses in 16 areas and growing, including new partnerships with Rutgers and Syracuse.
- New Jersey Monthly commended RBR for “making big moves” and ranked the school 39th in NJ, up 50 spots!
- 90% of the students who took the AP Spanish test earned a 3 or better.
- RBR awarded 41 Seal of Biliteracy Certificates to our seniors in 2020.
- We administered 540 AP exams last year virtually and the average score overall was a 3.
The district has continued to innovate and excel in other areas as well. Inspire Academy has been established to keep students in-district and support them in completion of their academic program. The 1:1 Chromebook Initiative has fostered innovation, promoted equity, and has been critical in helping us to effectively respond to COVID-19 emergency. The support of a forward-thinking BOE and the leadership and talent of our school’s superb administration and staff have made these achievements possible.
All the best to everyone as we continue to move forward together. In future updates, I will be sharing news about the remarkable achievements of our staff and students.