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Repair Café, Don’t Ditch It, Fix It: Electronics Repair, Jewelry Repair & More

By Laura Bentley, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Owner of Newburyport.Com, Laura manages Business Development, Fundraising, the VIP Program, Blogging and the Events Calendar.
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Grab that old toaster that’s lacking the heat or wristwatch that has you constantly running late and pay a visit to the experts at Repair Café on Saturday, January 25th from 10 am to 2 pm at the Newburyport Community/Senior Center. This pop-up event performs a wide variety of services including electronics repair, jewelry repair, and so much more.

Repair Café is a completely free service, matching up volunteer repairers with those in need of a service to troubleshoot the problem together. Along with electronics repairs and jewelry repairs, other common items include clothing, computers, ceramics, bicycles, and toys. Here is a full list of repair stations being offered at the upcoming event.

Organized by The Time Trade Network of Newburyport and Toward Zero Waste Newburyport, this will be the fourth Repair Café held in Newburyport. Over 250 Visitors with more than 350 items visited the Cafés last year.

With the slogan “Don’t ditch it, fix it,” organizers and participants donate their time in an effort to reduce the volume of materials waste, contributing to Newburyport’s zero waste goal. Repairers encourage visitors to watch and ask questions so they can not only take home a working end product but also take home some knowledge of how to fix something similar on their own.

It’s important to note that Repair Café does not offer any guarantees that they can fix your item nor are they held responsible if an item has any additional damage or stops working at home. Whether you come in for jewelry repairs or electronics repairs, if the problem turns out to be more complicated then a short session with a volunteer, Repair Café can also refer you out to a specialist.

Think you have a skill to share? Whether you’re a tinker, bike expert, computer pro, or master seamstress—Repair Café can use your help! Email RepairCafeNBPT@gmail.com or call 978-225-3440 to sign up and donate your time.

If you’re in need of repairs but can’t make this Repair Café, follow their official facebook page to stay up to date on the next event.

 

Guide to Newburyport Preschool Registration & Kindergarten Registration

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.

Entering into the public school system can feel exciting and daunting at the same time, which is why we’ve compiled all the information you’ll need for your family to tackle preschool registration, pre-k, and kindergarten registration—all in one convenient place. With our guide, you can spend less time searching for answers and more time preparing your children for their next big adventure.

For families entering the Newburyport Public School system for the first time, make sure to put the Parent Information Session on January 29th at 6 pm at the Bresnahan School on your calendar. Here teachers and principals will explain the process for both preschool registration and kindergarten registration, answer questions, and get you started on the overall process.

Preschool Registration 

How it Works: 

Preschool and pre-K are all part of the same program, The Integrated Preschool Program. Families with students returning to the program (ie. in their second year of preschool or entering pre-K) and new students that have had siblings attend the preschool program previously (this includes the former Brown Schools) are given priority registration from January 6th to the 16th. These students will be given spots before any lottery drawings.

From February 3rd through the 28th registration opens for all new preschool families, along with kindergarten registration. Preschool registrations can be dropped off in person at the Bresnahan School office during school days between 10 am and 2 pm, scanned and emailed tolmorasse@newburyport.k12.ma.us or gphillips@newburyport.k12.ma.us, or mailed to the school at 333 High Street. When the school system receives your completed application your family will be given a lottery number.

Preschool registration forms can all be found online and will also be handed out during the parent information session, January 29th at the Bresnahan School. In order to complete the process, you must fill out all forms which include:  Enrollment Form, Confidential Student Health Form, MA Health Record Form, Home Language Survey, and Certification of Address Form. Along with the forms, applicants must also include a check or money order for $300, a copy of your child’s birth certificate, your child’s most recent health records, and proof of residency (utility bill or mortgage/lease agreement). You will not be given your lottery number until the school receives your application in its entirety.

A lottery will be drawn on March 4th at 10:00 AM at the Superintendent’s Office-70 Low St, if there are more applicants than spots. Programs range in demand, with the full day programs tending to be the most popular and the half day options generally having enough spots to meet demand. When filling out the application you will be able to give your top three preferences. If you aren’t selected for your first choice you will automatically be entered into the lottery for your second and third choices. Families may attend the drawing to see if your child is selected or wait for the school to post results online, this will be done no later than March 6th. Those that do not secure a spot will be put on a waitlist.

Kindergarten Registration 

Kindergarten registration is a somewhat easier and less stressful process than preschool registration, as all students are guaranteed a spot. Because all applicants will be accepted, there is no priority registration or lottery process to explain.

How it Works: 

From February 3rd through the 28th families may submit their applications. kindergarten registrations can be dropped off in person at the Bresnahan School office during school days between 10 am and 2 pm, scanned and emailed to lmorasse@newburyport.k12.ma.us or gphillips@newburyport.k12.ma.us, or mailed to the school at 333 High Street. 

All kindergarten programs are five days a week, but families can choose between half and full day options. While half day kindergarten is free, families must pay for the full day option. Visit here for tuition information. There are tuition assistance programs for families that qualify and families with multiple children entering kindergarten will also receive a discount.

As is with preschool registration, 0nly completed applications will be accepted. In order to be considered complete, you must submit all forms (these can be found online and will be handed out at the Parent Information session January 29th), which include: either the Full or Half Day Application, Newburyport Public School Enrollment Form, Confidential Student Health Form, Certificate of Address, Home Language Survey, Kindergarten Parent Questionnaire, Preschool Visitation Permission. Along with the forms, applicants must also include a check or money order for $380 if applying for full day kindergarten, a copy of your child’s birth certificate, your child’s most recent health records, and proof of residency (utility bill or mortgage/lease agreement).

Important Dates to Remember 

  • January 6th-16th: Priority registration for preschool registration is open for returning preschool students and siblings of students that previously attended the preschool program (including former Brown Schools).
  • January 29th: Information session for all prospective families—preschool, pre-K, and kindergarten.
  • February 3rd-28th: Non-priority registration is open for preschool registration and kindergarten registration is open for all families. 
  • March 4th: Preschool registration lottery will be held. If there are more students than slots, a waitlist will be formed.
  • Mid-March: Acceptance letters to all families in all programs are sent out.

River Valley Charter School

Along with the Bresnahan School, Newburyport is also home to River Valley Charter School. River Valley does not offer preschool, but you may apply for kindergarten.

How it Works:

Any family in Massachusetts may apply to this charter school—however, residents of Amesbury, Newburyport, Pentucket, and Triton are given enrollment preference. Siblings to currently enrolled students will also receive preference. General enrollment for River Valley is done by a lottery system.

Applications for kindergarten registration, as well as other grades, must be submitted by February 25th at 4 pm to be considered for the upcoming school year. You may apply online, in person at River Valley Charter School located at 2 Perry Way, or by mail.

Your registration checklist should include—the enrollment application, proof of residency, and a copy of your child’s birth certificate. Once completed, you will receive a unique application number and entered into the lottery.

The lottery drawing will be held on February 27th at 4 pm at the school. Families are welcome to attend the lottery drawing but it is not mandatory. Those not in attendance will receive a phone call and/or email to let them know the status of their application. Once a spot is offered, you have five days school days (five business days over the summer months) to accept the offer. Applicants that do not receive a spot will be placed on a waitlist in the order their number was drawn.

Merrimack River Eagle Festival Flies High in Newburyport and Amesbury

By Laura Bentley, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Owner of Newburyport.Com, Laura manages Business Development, Fundraising, the VIP Program, Blogging and the Events Calendar.
Eagle Festival, Newburyport MA

Wings will be spread and thousands of curious eyes will be wide open during the 2020 Merrimack River Eagle Festival held Saturday, February, 15 from 9 am – 4 pm, in Newburyport and Amesbury. The annual Eagle Festival, which welcomes back bald eagles to the region, is co-sponsored by the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center and features many great events. Image taken by Jim and titled (Mr. LifeLoomsLarge).

For those hoping to spot a bald eagle, there will be multiple opportunities throughout the day. Print out a map, they will be available online and at sponsored locations the day of the event, and drive yourself to Eagle Hot Spots in the area. Naturalist Guides will be stationed at the designated places on the map from 9 am to 4 pm to answer questions and help spot the eagles.

If you would prefer a more guided experience, tours will leave from the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and Industry located at 38R Merrimac St., Newburyport. Tours will depart every half hour from 9 am to 2:30 pm. Registration is required to participate in these tours and there is a small fee. Those interested in taking a tour can register online beginning January 6th.

While the highlight of the Merrimack River Eagle Festival is obviously spotting the bald eagles, there will be many other events and activities also available throughout the day.

Stop by Newburyport City Hall from 10 am to 11 am and see a live raptor show. Mary-Beth Kaeser of Horizon Wings will put on two free educational programs featuring raptors great and small. And be sure to stick around after for a chance to have your photo taken with a raptor for a small donation.

Over at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge there will be family fun from 10 am to 3 pm. Visitors can enjoy kids activities, arts and crafts (including fish printing, drawing bird pictures, creating pine cone feeders), and even meet live Owls from Drumlin Farm. All activities are first come, first serve and free.  Seal watchers will also be positioned at the north end of Plum Island and bird observers at the refuge near North Poll Overlook.

At Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center, from 11 am to 3 pm, visitors will be able to learn about bald eagles, snowy owls, and other raptors indigenous to the area. There will be hands-on activities for kids and live hawks to meet, courtesy of Drumlin Farm.

For a complete guide to the Eagle Festival Events and Activities happening at Joppa Flats and the Parker River Visitor Center visit the Newburyport.com Events Calendar.

The Merrimack River Eagle Festival is a favorite of both locals and tourists. For those visiting the area for the event, Newburyport is also a destination filled with amazing restaurants, one of a kind shops, and unique experiences. Make a weekend of your visit, there are wonderful places to stay, and continue to explore the area. If you are going to eat, shop, and play in town, consider purchasing a VIP Card to receive local discounts.

Exceptional Food, Wine & Spirits – North Shore Magazine’s Grand Tasting

Grand Tasting, Salisbury MA

Reserve your tickets now for the 2020 North Shore Magazine Grand Tasting, Thursday, March 5th from 6:30-10 PM at Blue Ocean Event Center. Doors open at 6:00 for VIP ticket holders. What is the Grand Tasting? Celebrity chefs, exquisite wines and tantalizing tastes from the region’s top restaurants and gourmet food and wine shops, come together for the North Shore’s premier 6th annual “foodie” event. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience a past Grand Tasting, enjoy video footage from prior years. 

Indulge in scrumptious savory and sweet nibbles from local food artisans, making everything from farmhouse cheese to hard cider to award-winning handmade chocolate treats. Enjoy creative dishes, foods and drinks from some of your favorite highly regarded spots, and discover exceptional new places to eat and shop as well.  

Grand Tasting Vendors 

The Grand Tasting features a broad selection of exceptional North Shore food and drink vendors from restaurants, wine and cheese shops, breweries, wineries, catering companies, and bakeries. 

Purchase your tickets now. Don’t miss the North Shore’s most exciting ‘foodie” event of the year! Secure General Admission tickets to the Grand Tasting for $125 per ticket or VIP tickets for $150 per ticket. Gather some friends and treat yourself to a well deserved night of exceptional food, drinks, music, dancing and socializing.

Pettengill House Fundraiser – Have a Blast Supporting Local!

Mark your calendar for the annual Pettengill House Fundraiser, Friday March 6th from 6-10 pm at Blue Ocean Music Hall.  Enjoy dinner, live music, dancing, speed painting, live and silent auctions, all for a great cause! Enjoy a special performance from Bob Surette, top-tier master fine artist for: Disney, Star Wars, DC Comics, Dreamworks, Muppets and he is also know as the fastest portrait artist in the world. Check back soon for more details about this event.

Founded in 1994 by area residents and agencies, The Pettengill House has been helping Greater Newburyport families and individuals for more than 20 years. The Pettengill House supports at-risk families and individuals by providing wrap-around services and core basics such as food, shelter, clothing and health and safety. As of today, the Pettengill House helps an estimated 3,030 clients. many of them children. Among the communities served by the Pettengill House are: Amesbury, Newburyport, Groveland, Byfield, West Newbury and Salisbury.

“Together with our generous friends and supporters, it’s time to celebrate all that our agency does for the nine local towns that we serve. Our work continues as we remain steadfast in our mission to ensure that the basic needs of every individual, child and family in our service area are met,” Pettengill House Executive Director Deb Smith said.

“Thank you for your continued support and rest assured that every donation stays local and has an immediate impact on individuals, families and children of the Pettengill House community,” Smith said.

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