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Englewood’s Dwight Morrow High School to lose state ‘focus’ status

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A look at issues facing the City of Englewood. Michael W. Curley, Jr./NorthJersey.com (Photo: Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com file photo) ENGLEWOOD — After six years as a state-designated “focus” school with achievement gaps between groups of its students, Dwight Morrow High School will shed the status on June 30. The state intervened in the school due to wide proficiency differences between Asian- American and African-American students and is now exiting after the school showed sustainable improvement, according to a letter sent to the district from the acting commissioner of education. “We’re very proud of the fact that we’re moving in the right direction and can show some tangible results,” Superintendent Robert Kravitz said. The results include lowering the proficiency gap between the students and raising the graduation rate for the school from 86.4 percent to 87.3 percent. Kravitz said proficiency data from 2012-13, the year the school was designated a focus…

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Bergenfield fireman passing the torch after three decades

Capt. James Kirsch has spent more than 30 years as a career firefighter and will retire as the first paid officer to hold rank in the Bergenfield Fire Department. Tariq Zehawi/NorthJersey.com (Photo: Tariq Zehawi/NorthJersey.com) BERGENFIELD — For Capt. James Kirsch, firefighting was always about helping others. There was that time he came to the aid of a boy who got stuck in a pair of toy handcuffs, and, on another day, when he rescued a cat owner’s feline out of a basement sump pump. Remember when that deer jumped in the pool? He was there for that, too. “I always liked the challenge of solving that problem and leaving people better off,” Kirsch said in an interview at Alert Fire Co. 1. After more than 30 years on the job, Kirsch, 53, retired Wednesday as the first career firefighter in Bergenfield’s history to hold rank. While he fondly recalls the…

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A Poor Neighborhood In Chicago Looks To Cuba To Fight Infant Mortality

Over the past few months, medical professionals on Chicago’s South Side have been trying a new tactic to bring down the area’s infant mortality rate: find women of childbearing age and ask them about everything. Really, everything. “In the last 12 months, have you had any problems with any bug infestations, rodents or mold?” Dr. Kathy Tossas-Milligan, an epidemiologist, asked Yolanda Flowers during a recent visit to her home, in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. “Have you ever had teeth removed or crowned because of a cavity?” Though they seem to have little to do with motherhood, these questions are borrowed from the playbook of the Chicagoans’ new mentors — doctors from the Cuban Ministry of Public Health. As Tossas-Milligan administered her survey, two Cuban doctors sat nearby, observing. Cuba, a poor country where many of the cars on the road are half a century old, may seem an unlikely role model…