The New Jersey Charter School Association hosted their annual conference in Newark, NJ with a special focus on celebrating the 20 year anniversary of charter schools in New Jersey. Ridge and Valley Charter School was highlighted throughout the conference through inclusion in their slideshow as well as an invitation to participate on a panel of schools with sustainability as their focus (description below).

NJCSA Conference 2017

In addition, Dillon Uzar, a 2007 graduate of Ridge and Valley Charter School, was asked to give a speech as the “Alumni Representative” at the evening banquet of festivities. He proudly described how his education at Ridge and Valley Charter School shaped him as a person and helped him thrive academically. Dillon graduated as the valedictorian of his high school class, went on to graduate from Stevens Institute of Technology with high honors and most recently launched his own technology “startup” business.  Watch Dillon’s speech here.

As one of the original charter schools in New Jersey, RVCS prides itself on innovation in education and fulfilling its mission of educating children for a hopeful sustainable future. The school’s curriculum honors children as individuals and emphasizes personal excellence, hands-on experiential education, self-directed and outdoor learning, project-based learning, earth literacy and bioregional studies.

Educators from RVCS at New Jersey Charter Schools Conference

Education for Sustainability Panel Description

New Jersey Charter School Association Conference, October 17, 2017

As educators—and the greater society—recognizing the environmental, economic, and social challenges that will be facing future generations, preparing children to address these issues in a well informed, skillful way becomes critical. Some schools have taken up this challenge by actively focusing their programs on diverse aspects of sustainability.

Steve King, founder and former leader of the Barack Obama Green Charter High School in Plainfield, will moderate a panel of school leaders from schools that have defined their missions in terms of a range of sustainability issues.

How does economic sustainability impact our efforts to achieve a sustainable environment? How do decisions about community development and social justice affect the long-term quality of life for urban, suburban, and rural families? What is happening in science, government, and the global economy that will impact the ability of future generations to thrive?

Join us for a lively, wide-ranging discussion of sustainability in the 21st century, and learn about what some charter schools are doing to prepare students to be engaged. Panelists include:

  • Steven King, Founder, The Barack Obama Green Charter High School, Plainfield, NJ
  • Frank Mentesana, Director, EcoSpaces Education, Newark, NJ
  • Lisa Masi, Integration Guide, Ridge & Valley Charter School, Blairstown, NJ
  • Traci Pannullo, Administrator, Ridge & Valley Charter School, Blairstown, NJ
  • Connie Sanchez, Executive Director, Unity Charter School, Morristown, NJ