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Nutley police arrest suspicious man who had warrants

During the past week, the Nutley Police Department responded to 120 calls for service, including 14 motor vehicle crashes and 38 medical calls. Among those responses were these incidents: Aug. 23 Officers on patrol came across a man walking north […]

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Kearny man collared in Lyndhurst home invasion

LYNDHURST – A suspect in a home invasion incident in Lyndhurst has been placed under arrest, according to the Lyndhurst Police Department. Evanalain Sieberkrob-Hershman, 24, of Kearny, has been charged in connection with the incident, which happened Friday, Aug. 29, […]

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UPDATE: Missing Nutley woman found safely in Newark

Nutley Police have located Juilia Dellaguzzo, the 85-year-old missing woman who wandered off  yesterday. Police say it appears she walked several miles south into Newark, and was found sitting inside a parked vehicle near her childhood home. She appears to […]

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Koppers developer picked

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  Hopes by Kearny to secure a developer for the old Koppers Coke Peninsula Redevelopment site have taken one step forward and two steps back. Kearny and Tierra Solutions, the owners of two of the three parcels in the South Kearny meadows area targeted […]

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School getting facelift

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  EAST NEWARK –  As summer’s clock winds down to the start of classes for the fall term, East Newark Public School is making all kinds of preparations to welcome students and staff back in style. Newly installed Superintendent/ Principal Patrick Martin recently ticked […]

 
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Veteran pitcher Zdanek also threat at plate

 

Lyndhurst junior pitcher Casey Zdanek.

By Jim Hague

Now that she’s a junior and a three-year member of the Lyndhurst High School softball team, Casey Zdanek just knew that she would be vastly improved this season.

Not like there was anything wrong with what Zdanek posted over her first two years as the Golden Bears’ top pitcher and slugger. She was making her mark just fine.

But a little bit of a growth spurt and an added dose of confidence could do wonders for someone who was already established as a big-time softball player.

“I definitely feel like I’m a better player, because I have so much more confidence in myself,” Zdanek said. “I’ve been working a lot on my pitches. My changeup has become a lot better. I have a lot more movement on my fastball. I feel like I’ve grown a little and that definitely helps in terms of being bigger and stronger and taller on the mound.”

Lyndhurst head coach Elaine Catanese can see the difference in Zdanek.

“She’s grown a few inches from last year, so that gives her more of a presence on the mound,” Catanese said. “She’s definitely developed that changeup significantly, to the point where she now throws it often. She has good velocity and movement on her pitches.”

Catanese also sees the development in Zdanek as a hitter as well.

“To be honest with you, she’s our main hitter,” Catanese said. “If we want someone to come through in a tight situation, it’s Casey. I don’t mind see her coming to the plate when we need a big hit. She’s developed that experience both as a hitter and as a pitcher. She started every game for us as a freshman and started every game as a sophomore, so it’s bound to have a positive effect on her as a junior.”

Last Friday, Zdanek showed why she’s one of the top all-around players in Bergen County with an overall complete game in a big win over neighboring rival North Arlington.

Zdanek fired a one-hitter, striking out nine, but she also delivered at the plate with a double, home run and four RBI, leading the Golden Bears (16-6) to a 10-0 win over the Vikings.

For her efforts, Zdanek has been selected as The Observer Athlete of the Week for the past week.

It was a tough week for the Golden Bears, facing tougher competition like New Milford and Pascack Hills in independent games, then finally facing a Group IV school like Bergen Tech in the opening round of the Bergen County Tournament, falling 3-0.

That’s why the performance against North Arlington was important.

“I think it was huge, because we did have a bit of a tough week,” Catanese said. “But Casey pitched well all week.

She had a one-hitter into the sixth against Pascack Hills and pitched a four-hitter against New Milford. She allowed only five hits to Bergen Tech. I think the North Arlington game really boosted her confidence and proved to her that she could do it. It’s huge for her to have a good all-around game like that.”

Zdanek does not participate in any other sport at Lyndhurst. She’s softball, through and through. And she’s softball all year round, playing with the Lyndhurst Pride travel team in the summer months and another team in the fall.

She also receives regular lessons from respected Immaculate Conception coach Jeff Hrononcich, who was once the head coach at St. Peter’s College.

“I think my hitting is still the same,” said Zdanek, who is batting better than .400 with five homers and 25 RBI this season. “I’m pretty happy with that. But I think I’m definitely a pitcher who hits. I know how important my pitching is. I do take more pride in my pitching. I know what my role is.”

Catanese said that she has a good relationship with Zdanek.

“I don’t have to critique her often,” Catanese said. “She can do it herself. At times, she’s her best and worst critic. We’re always talking about what’s effective and we chart all of her pitches, so she knows what to throw against certain batters. She’s looking all the time to get better and I think the experience has helped her significantly. She has a lot of poise and composure on the mound. She knows what to do and handles herself very well. She is our success. We depend a lot on her.”

Zdanek said that the Golden Bears can now focus on nailing down the NJIC Meadowlands A Division title. They have two games remaining against Becton Regional and Secaucus. Two wins will seal the deal.

“We want to win the league title,” Zdanek said. “Then, we can move on to the states. We’re always going to do well in the states. We just want to go as far as we can.”

While Zdanek is only a junior, it’s never too early to consider colleges.

“I have thought about it a little,” Zdanek said. “Actually, it scares me a little. I do want to play softball in college, because it’s the only sport I play.”

Catanese thinks that Zdanek is college material.

“Without a doubt,” Catanese said. “It might not come now, but it will come.”

Zdanek is pleased with the way she’s performed this season.

“It honestly makes me feel really awesome,” Zdanek said. “I try not to get too down on myself, but having a game like this one really helps. It helps me get ready for the next game. After the game, we all went out to dinner and went to play mini-golf together. That really has helped our momentum. We have a really close team and that helps.”

As long as the girl in the circle keeps throwing and hitting the way she has, the Golden Bears can ride that camaraderie all the way to a league and possible state title.

Message for the Soul: Living a healthy life

The most precious possession a man can ever hold on to is his health. You lose good health, and the world loses all its charm. Being free of sickness is a blessing that many of us take for granted. We probably only realize the true worth of our good health when we fall sick or injure ourselves;. Health not only refers to the wellbeing of the physical body; it also encompasses the mind and the soul. It is important to eat nutritious food and to exercise regularly. It is only then that you will be able to enjoy all the pleasures of life. Age changes a person dramatically. Little do we realize when we are young that there will come a day when our knees won’t be strong enough to hold our weight, or the heart won’t be healthy enough to pump fresh blood into our system; Yet time passes and your body changes. Your digestion may slow down and your eyesight may weaken. It is important to look after ourselves from a very young age to remain healthy in our winter years. A sense of positivity surrounds those who live a balanced life, and it is our responsibility to protect our bodies from our own temptations. It is important to have a system that you can commit to. In India, Yoga is believed to hold answers to all problems. Right from the age of 5, yoga is taught and instilled in children as a way of life. It is taught as a medium to bring your body, mind and soul in tandem with each other. I encourage you to find yours. Find an activity that you wish to do and commit to it. Do it not because someone tells you that it is the right thing to do, but do it for yourself, because you want to make your life better. Even if it means a two-minute ritual of meditation in a quiet room in the middle of the day, if that is your calling then commit yourself to it. You need to compose yourself and clean out the rubbish at all levels. Your body needs to feel physically fit, in order for your mind to feel positive and healthy which in-turn will elevate your soul from petty matters and irrelevant conversations. Deep breathing also has magical powers that one can benefit from. It is not important to spend a fortune on things in order to be healthy. But good health and a balanced life is definitely a fortune that you cant afford to miss out on. Live Healthy!

 

Visit Shweta Punjabi at her website solutionsbyshweta.com for more information or email her at magictaara@yahoo.com

Investment basics – Stocks

 

By Randy Neumann

When you buy company stock, you’re actually purchasing a share of ownership in that business. The greater the number of shares you own, the higher the percentage of ownership you have in that company. Investors who purchase stock are known as the company’s stockholders or shareholders.

Your percentage of ownership in a company also represents your share of the risks taken and profits generated by the company. If the company does well, your share of the total earnings will be proportionate to how much of the company’s stock you own. The flip side, of course, is that your share of any loss will be similarly proportionate to your percentage of ownership, though you are not personally financially responsible for any share of the liabilities of the company in which you hold an equity interest.

Beyond that, depending on the company and the types of shares you have, stock ownership may carry other benefits. Specifically, you may be entitled to dividend payments (which you can generally receive either in cash or additional shares), capital gains payouts, voting rights, and other corporate privileges. For example, common stockholders have the right to vote for candidates for the board of directors and on other important issues.

If you purchase stock, you can make money in one of two ways. First, corporate earnings may be distributed in the form of dividends, usually paid quarterly. Secondly, you can sell your shares. If the value of the company’s stock has increased since you purchased it, you will make a profit. Of course, if the value of the stock has declined, you’ll lose money.

Stock is commonly categorized by the market value of the company that issues the stock. For example, large-cap stocks describe shares issued by the largest corporations. Other general categories include small-cap, mid-cap, and micro-cap.

Stock is also commonly classified according to the characteristics of the company and/or the expectations of investors. For example: Growth stocks, aka “glamour” stocks, are usually characterized by earnings that are increasing at a faster rate than their industry average or the overall market. These are often in new or fast-growing industries and frequently have the potential to give shareholders returns greater than those offered by the stocks of companies in older, more established industries. However, growth stocks are among the most volatile classes of stock and have significant risk for losses.

Value stocks are typically characterized by selling at a low multiple of a company’s sales, earnings, or book value. An example would be: Occidential Petroleum OXY.

Income stocks generally offer higher dividend yields than market averages and typically fall into the utility and financial sectors, as well as other stable and well-established industries.

Blue chip stocks are the stocks of large, well-known companies with good reputations and strong records of profit and growth. They also generally pay dividends.

Also worth mentioning are American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) that are negotiable instruments created to represent shares of stock (and sometimes bonds) in non-U.S. companies.

The advantages and disadvantages of investing in stocks depend largely upon the stock or type of stocks that you choose.

In general, stocks offer a greater potential for returns than do bonds or cash equivalents. Historically, this has been particularly true over the long-term periods. With stock, you actually own a share of the company and therefore have ownership rights, which may include voting rights. You can invest in stock that has a history of paying regular dividends; you can also invest in stock that has the potential to appreciate significantly in value. And, stock is easy to buy and sell.

Of course, if the company you invest in performs poorly; it may not pay dividends, even if it had regularly paid dividends in the past. More importantly, though, poor performance may result in your shares losing value. In fact, your shares can lose value simply because they’re subject to the general volatility of the stock market, which has experienced sharp declines in the past. This volatility means that your risk of losing principal is greater with stock than it is with bonds and cash equivalents. It also means that stocks may not be appropriate for shortterm investment timelines.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for the individual. Randy Neumann, CFP® is a registered representative with and securities and insurance offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/ SIPC. He can be reached at 600 East Crescent Avenue, Suite 104, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458, 201-291-9000.

Obituaries

Mary A. Capozzi

Mary A. Capozzi, formerly of 437 John Street, East Newark, will be laid to rest on May 19. The funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. at St. Cecilia’s Church, 120 Kearny Ave., Kearny, followed by a graveside service at Holy Cross Cemetery, 340 Ridge Road, North Arlington.

Ann S. Walsh

Ann S. Walsh, (nee: Smith) 79, of Kearny, passed away suddenly on Sunday, May 6, after being hit by a car.

A prayer service was held on Friday, May 11 at the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave, Harrison. Interment was in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover. For information to send condolences to the family please visit: www.mulliganfuneralhome.org

Ann was born in Scranton, Pa., the daughter of the late Frederick and Mary and wife of the late William. She is survived by her sister Eileen Szostek and her brothers Joseph and James Smith. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

She is predeceased by her sisters Mary Delores Helms, Donna Jean Palma and Margaret Lynch.

Walter Warivonchik

Walter Warivonchik, 90, died on May 5 at the Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville.

Born in New York City, he lived in Newark before moving to North Arlington 58 years ago.

He worked as the plant supervisor for the Westinghouse Corporation in Newark, for 42 years before retiring in 1984.

He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, where he served in the Persian Gulf Command in Iran. He was a member of the AARP of North Arlington and Lyndhurst, the Westinghouse Retirees of Newark, American Legion Post No. 37, and Veterans of Foreign War Post No. 4697, both of North Arlington.

He was the beloved husband of Martha (nee Zadworny); the cherished father of Michael and his wife, Helen, of Pennsylvania, Patricia of California, and Victoria of New York City; the adored grandfather of Andrew and his wife, Anna, of Denville, and the brother of Olga Latushko and her children of Rutherford.

A funeral service was held on Tuesday, May 8, at the Parow Funeral Home, 185 Ridge Rd., North Arlington, followed by private cremation. Donations in his memory may be made to the American Heart Association , 1 Union St., Suite 301, Robbinsville, N.J. 08691.

Nutley child needs surgery for baseball eye injury

Photos courtesy Belinda Aquine-Calvo/ Armani G. Calvo before his accident (l.) performing in a school talent show and after (r.) being hit by a line drive.

 

Eight-year-old Armani G. Calvo had a tough break last week.

Armani was playing second base for the Nutley FMBA Farm League team in the early evening of May 8 at Flora Lauden Park off Hancox Ave. when he was struck in the face with a line drive from an opposing batter.

An ambulance rushed the boy to Hackensack Hospital where he was examined by emergency room doctors. “On the way, he kept telling me to call his teacher because he was supposed to take the NJ ASK math exam the next day,” his mother, Belinda Aquine-Calvo, recalled.

It wasn’t until two days later that Armani, sporting a shiner, was able to open the damaged eye and was later determined to have an “orbital floor fracture,” which will require surgery, according to Aquine- Calvo.

Last Friday, Township Public Safety Commissioner Al Petracco visited the boy’s home and treated him to ice cream. And, Aquine-Calvo said, “His entire third-grade class (at Yantacaw School) made him ‘get well soon’ cards. Nutley has showed they care and has made the healing process painless. … I can’t get over all the attention.”

Although Armani – who played T-ball two years ago and football last year – will be on the DL for the rest of the season, Armani is hoping the coach will let him sit on the bench and cheer on his teammates.

“He plans to play baseball next year,” Armani’s mom said.

Other incidents logged in the Nutley Police blotter during the past week include these:

May 10

Mathew Poole, 20, of Nutley, has been linked to the theft of cigarettes and other proceeds from two late night gas stations several months ago. Police charged him with burglarizing the Delta station, Centre and Prospect Sts., twice – in July and September 2011 – and with burglarizing the US Gas station, Kingsland St. and Passaic Ave., in fall 2011. He was released after posting 10% of the $50,000 bail, pending a court hearing.

Police arrested Jose Santiago, 29, of Bloomfield, in connection with the burglary of the Riverside Church office on Union Ave. on April 20 in which two Apple MacBook laptops valued at more than $1,000 apiece were reported taken. After obtaining search warrants for computer thumbprints, detectives were able to identify a Bloomfield location where someone attempted to log on to one of the stolen laptops. Santiago was charged with receiving stolen property. The other laptop hasn’t been found, police said.

An Edison Ave. resident told police that $1,600 in unauthorized charges to her account had been made. Those charges originated in the United Kingdom, the resident said.

May 9

A traffic stop at 4:49 p.m. at Harrison St. and Ravine Ave. resulted in the arrest of Augusto Martinez, 38, of Belleville, after police learned Martinez had an outstanding warrant for $500 out of Clark. He was ticketed for driving while suspended and released after posting bail.

After being away from his home for about an hour, a Passaic Ave. resident called police at 1:21 p.m. to report that someone locked the resident’s dog in a room and burglarized the apartment.

May 7

Gary Clark, 32, of Newark, was pulled over at 11:29 p.m. on Rt. 21 and charged with speeding and driving while suspended, police said. He also had multiple warrants outstanding. After posting bail he was released pending a court appearance.

Police responded to a Washington Ave. home at 8:11 p.m. after the owner reported it had been burglarized. Police said an intruder gained access through a rear door and ransacked the house, removing an undetermined amount of proceeds.

May 6

A Hillside Ave. resident called police at 8:21 p.m. to report that someone threw an empty Corona beer bottle through her window.

-Ron Leir

The Observer Podcast #1: Test

Testing new technology MySong

Cinco de Mazur’s

 

 

Mazur’s Bakery located on 323 Ridge Rd. in Lyndhurst gets into the Cinco de Mayo celebration a few days early. Photo taken on May 3.

N.A. COP ARRESTED IN ALLEGED THEFT

PHOTO COURTESY NORTH ARLINGTON P.D./ PAUL CASALE

 

By Anthony J. Machcinski

NORTH ARLINGTON –

When Police Officer Paul Casale reported for his normal work shift on May 1, he was greeted by fellow cops who promptly put him under arrest.

Casale, 24, was charged with one count of theft and one count of criminal trespass when he walked in for work at 2 p.m. on May 1.

Casale, who dad is a lieutenant with the Newark P.D., was suspended without pay pending the resolution of criminal and administrative charges.

“Obviously, it’s not a good thing for anyone at all – the victims, community, or the police department,” North Arlington Police Capt. John Hearn, operations commander, said last week.

Police said the two crimes occurred at the same 2-family Biltmore St. residence on April 22 and 28.

In the first incident, on April 22, Casale was investigating a heating complaint by the resident. Later, the reported that seven rings valued at $4,500 were missing from her residence after Casale’s departure from the residence.

On April 28, the homeowner told police that Casale – whom she observed in her living room – had allegedly entered her residence without authorization.

Police Chief Louis Ghione said that after the incidents were reported, North Arlington P.D.’s Internal Affairs unit immediately started an investigation and contacted the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Offi ce, which provided assistance and oversight. The investigation led to Casale’s arrest.

Originally a member of the Newark Police Department, Casale was hired by North Arlington with an annual salary of $52,000 in January 2011 after being laid off by Newark, as permitted under the so-called Rice bill.

“It’s very disappointing,” said North Arlington Borough Council President Richard Hughes. “He was here a little over a year and always acted as a gentleman. He always went out of his way.”

According to Hearn, Casale had no prior criminal record, with Newark or with North Arlington. When he was hired, Casale’s background was screened by North Arlington P.D.

“We didn’t want to just go off of Newark’s word,” Hughes said, “so we gave him a second background check.”

Asked whether Casale had been linked to any other North Arlington thefts or burglaries, Hearn said: “At this point, it’s just this case, but there is an ongoing investigation.”

Hearn said that Casale has retained counsel.

Trustees split on tenure vote

By Ron Leir 

KEARNY –

Two Kearny public school administrators and one supervisor face the loss of their jobs now that the Board of Education has failed to renew their contracts.

They are: Cynthia Baumgartner, high school principal; Martin Hoff, vice principal of Franklin Elementary School; and Robert Elsmore, supervisor of plant operations.

All three – appointees of former Schools Supt. Frank Digesere who departed in June 2011 – were recommended for renewal by the current superintendent Ronald Bolandi.

The board’s refusal to grant job extensions to Baumgartner and Elsmore, in particular, could be problematic since it comes at a time when the district is in the process of undertaking the nearly $40 million reconfi guration of Kearny High School which will, ultimately, involve the rotation of students through outdoor classroom trailers.

By state law, school employees must serve three years and a day to gain tenure in their job. Board records show that Baumgartner, who was named principal Aug. 1, 2010, was on track to achieve tenure by Aug. 2, 2013. Hoff and Elsmore would each be tenured by Aug. 20, 2012, according to the records.

Resolutions proposing the reappointment of Baumgartner, Hoff and Elsmore for the 2012-2013 school year – along with a host of other employees up for rehiring – were presented to the board at a special meeting held April 30. By state law, non-tenured staff must be notified by May 15 whether they can expect to have a job for the fall.

Altogether, the board deliberated on a total of 110 proposed reappointments of employees district-wide, including administrators, supervisors, directors, guidance counselors, plus clerical, custodial and maintenance workers.

Board member Sebastian Viscuso was absent from that meeting.

Minutes of the meeting show that on the Baumgartner resolution, the tally was 3-2, with three not voting. James Doran Jr., Bernadette McDonald and Lisa Anne Schalago voted “yes”; board vice president Paul Castelli and John Plaugic voted “no”; and John Leadbeater, Robert O’Malley and board president George King abstained.

Since a five-vote majority was needed for approval, the resolution was defeated.

In Hoff ’s case, McDonald and Schalago voted for the resolution, Castelli opposed it and five members – Doran, Leadbeater, O’Malley, Plaugic and King abstained. Doran said he didn’t vote because of a conflict of interest situation.

Elsmore got “yes” votes from McDonald and Schalago but Plaugic and Castelli voted “no” and Doran, Leadbeater, O’Malley and King abstained. Leadbeater said he didn’t vote because of a conflict of interest situation.

The board also declined to rehire two teachers and one custodian.

Board members offered no public explanations for their decisions.

Neither King nor Supt. Bolandi would comment on the board’s actions on advice of board counsel David Rubin who said in a phone interview that because the resolutions voted on involved school employees, state school law dictated confidentiality.

Neither Baumgartner nor Hoff would discuss the board’s actions and Elsmore couldn’t be reached last week. Nor would Jon Zimmerman, head of the Kearny School Administrators Association, which represents Baumgartner and Hoff. Elsmore is a nonrepresented management employee.

One school source familiar with the situation said that because of their continuous service credits, Hoff and Elsmore would have the opportunity to exercise so-called “bumping” rights to lower level jobs in the district, if they decided to go that route.

However, another option open to Baumgartner, Hoff and Elsmore under state school law is to request, in legal parlance, a “Donaldson hearing,” as outlined by an “EdLaw Alert,” prepared by the EdLaw Group at the Lindabury law firm in New Jersey.

Any non-tenured school employee who receives notice that his or her contract isn’t being renewed has 15 days from the notice time to request from the board a written statement providing reasons for his/her non-renewal. That statement must be provided within 30 days.

Then, 10 days from the time such a statement is issued, the employee can ask for an informal hearing before the school board, which must be scheduled within 30 days of the request. This procedure is known as the Donaldson hearing, named for a 1974 case, “Donaldson v. Board of Education of North Wildwood.”

At this hearing, the employee – who may choose to be represented by an attorney – can try to convince the board to reconsider its decision not to reappoint. The board then has three days to decide the merits of the employee’s case.

Redistricting plans now in full swing

Photo by Ron Leir/ Supt. Tracey Marinelli displays school redistricting map. The district hopes to balance class size starting this fall.

 

By Ron Leir

LYNDHURST –

Fifteen months after taxpayers voted down a $37 million referendum built around a proposed new middle school, Lyndhurst public school leaders are now scrambling to balance class size, deliver more effective instruction to grades 6 to 8 in particular, and import new technology, starting this fall.

And it’s all being done with less financial impact on property owners.

Although the district figures to spend about $300,000 more than last fiscal year — $32.9 million for 2012-2013, versus $32.6 million for 2011- 2012 – the average school tax bill will drop by $135, from $3,844 to $3,709, thanks to a combination of “zero-based school budgeting,” increased state aid and a township property reassessment, according to district Business Administrator David DiPisa.

DiPisa said that new budget will fund:

• New math textbooks for kindergarten through grade 5 and a new reading series for K to grade 2.

• A new roof on Lincoln School, replacement of rear and basement windows at Columbus School and new windows and bathrooms at Franklin School.

• Leasing of iPads for grades 6 to 12 and 400 computers district-wide from Apple at a cost of $1.4 million over four years. (As of May 1, all classrooms will be equipped with Smart Boards and MacBook Air laptops which allow for interactive board work.)

All of these moves will be happening against a backdrop of redistricting or “reconfiguration,” as characterized by Schools Supt. Tracey Marinelli.

Starting with the new school term in September, elementary school assignments are being restructured this way:

One group of students will start at Washington School for kindergarten to grade 3, then move to Lincoln School for grades 4 to 8.

Another group will start at the Prevost Building at Lyndhurst Recreation Center for kindergarten before moving to Franklin School for grades 1 to 3, then shift to Roosevelt School for grades 4 to 8.

A third reconfiguration has kids attending kindergarten at Jefferson Community Annex, then moving to Columbus School for grades 1 to 3, and Jefferson School for grades 4 to 8.

It is hoped that the restructuring will eliminate overcrowding in certain grades and balance out any numerical inequities among schools. “Right now, we have class sizes that range from some as low as 15 to one grade 5 class that has 39,” Marinelli said.

With the reshuffling, the district should realize an “average class size of 26,” with the probable exception of this fall’s incoming first grade sections which, Marinelli figures, could go as high as “29 to 30.”

As of last month, Marinelli said that of the approximately 2,500 parents and/or guardians who’ve been asked to “re-register” their children for the fall term, as per the new school assignments, 48 have yet to respond. Sixty parents and/or guardians have asked for reconsideration of the assignments and a committee is reviewing those appeals, she said.

Part of the re-registration process requires parents and/or guardians to verify they are bona fide residents of Kearny. They were reminded that they will be liable for tuition fees if it’s proven they aren’t living in town.

During the past school year, Marinelli said the district uncovered 15 non-resident students – “at least one in every (grammar school) building” – and all are now “gone.”

Another facet of the district reconfiguration that Marinelli and her staff are shepherding through is the re-assignment of “more than 50” administrators, teachers and clerks. Some of those transfers are prompted by 15 employee retirements taking effect June 30, the superintendent said.

The Kearny Education Association, which has the right to challenge any involuntary employee transfers, has filed “no grievances,” according to Marinelli. “Before we did the transfers, we had employees tell us their three top choices of schools they’d prefer to go to,” she noted.

School time schedules are also being tinkered with, Marinelli said, “so that each grade level cluster (K, 1-3, 4-12) will have varying start and end times which allow for easier drop-off and pickup for parents and guardians.”

There is also some physical reconfiguration that will happen. For example, kids in grades 6 to 8 will occupy classrooms currently containing kindergarteners for science instruction and those classrooms will be adjusted to provide lab tables and running water for experiments and, additionally, each grammar school building will be equipped with a computer room and at least one classroom devoted to an elective such as art and music, Marinelli explained.

“We’re looking to reinstate some teacher stipends to accommodate certain student clubs like Junior National Honor Society, newspaper, Future Business Leaders of America and technology,” Marinelli said.

Plus, for grades 4 to 8, Marinelli said the district wants to create “tiered academics” aimed at targeting instruction to children operating “at, below or above” grade level “so that students can receive daily remediation or enrichment as needed and a greater concentration on academic excellence.”

Marinelli said the district web site will be updated periodically to keep the school community aware of new developments as they occur.

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