Redwing Reader

Marking Period 1, 2019-2020

Principal's message

Greetings Redwing Family! It is hard to believe that we are at the end of the first marking period, but here we are. As you read through our newsletter, please take notice of what your child is doing in their classes. Whether in AP, Honors, or CP, our curriculum continues to challenge students. When out of the classroom, there is a host of activities for students to get involved in. Whether athletics or clubs, students have the opportunity to expand their horizons through our co-curricular offerings. All club news for September and October is in a linked slideshow at the end of this newsletter.

The end of the first marking period is an ideal time to reflect. As you review your child's report card, take note of what is going well, and areas that need focus. Utilize our tutoring labs during PGP or before/after school. Feel free to set up an appointment with our guidance team to further discuss any concerns.

It is very important that your child attends school regularly, and on time. Chronic absenteeism is a leading cause in academic struggles. Be sure that your child is eating well, and getting enough sleep.

Join us next week for our first community dinner. It is on November 20th at 5:00 pm in the high school cafeteria. Bring a dish and your family and join us for some conversation. Hope to see everyone there.


English Language Arts

From Ms. Stephens:

During the first quarter the English 10 classes have been reading Like Water for Chocolate, a novel in the magical realism genre. While discussing the literary elements, students have been focused on honing their analytical skills by practicing close reading, annotations, and writing about specific passages. Students began a study of how voice is created by an author, focusing on diction and detail. Additionally, students have been using the Vocabulary.Com and platforms to practice their vocabulary and reading comprehension.

English 11 students in Ms. Stephens’ class began the year with the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. This novel is unique in that the narrator is a teenage autistic boy who is trying to discover who murdered his neighbor’s dog. This mystery leads him to uncover many more incidents in his life and leave him confused and questioning. Students have been making connections to their own lives and interpreting themes regarding humanity as they start the initial phase of writing their own memoirs. Students have also been utilizing Vocabulary.Com and to prepare for SATs.

From Ms. Chakov:

The seniors concentrated on writing college essays. The students critiqued sample essays and watched videos of college admissions officers dispensing advice on "the do's and don'ts" of college essay writing. The students then worked tirelessly to revise their essays. The seniors have begun to read A Streetcar Named Desire, and they are already passionate about what they have read. Students are recognizing the play's conflict and have completed various characterization activities to grasp the distinct personalities of the characters and the tension between them.

The juniors have begun to read Beowulf. They have examined the text for examples of alliteration and kenning. They have also created their own examples of kenning for celebrities of their choice. The students are anxiously awaiting the coming of Beowulf and wondering if he can save Herot Hall from Grendel's wrath. They are now creating their own boasts, similar to that of Beowulf's in the epic poem.

From Mr. Huggins: In AP Language and Composition class, students are perfecting their ability to create and identify defensible thesis statements and develop strong evidence-based arguments. We are utilizing the AP Classroom platform as we practice and prepare throughout the year for the final assessment.

Students in AP capstone courses (AP Seminar and AP Research) are engaged in the research process. After finding and evaluating sources from library databases and the Internet they built background knowledge for topics of interest. They have formulated research questions and are in the process of revising them as they consider the feasibility and merit of their research.


US History I

In US History I, students began the year honoring our nation's history by reflecting on the events of September 11th, 2001. As students discussed how we try to honor the memory of those who lost their lives, they were introduced to America's goals and values in the form of the Preamble to the US Constitution (Constitution day was September 17th). At this early stage, students could see how America's recent past aligns with the goals laid out during its inception. Students discussed why it is important to strive for national unity and create a system of fair laws that promote peace. Additionally, America must be able to defend itself and safeguard its freedoms for present and future generations. By reading and analyzing documents written by the founding generation, students recognize that while the details might have changed, these issues that motivated the founders are the same goals that America is trying to achieve today.

US History II

In US History II, students reflected on the changing face of American citizens and workers. By recognizing the changes ushered in by the fourteenth, fifteenth and nineteenth amendments, the American electorate changed along with America's definition of citizenship. By focusing on immigration from Europe and Asia and internal migration of African Americans, students recognize how diverse America's workforce has become. While this has meant struggle for many communities, America's strength through diversity would also prove pivotal as it would soon be involved in two world wars.

World History

During the first marking period, the 9th Grade history students of Hoboken High School have been busy utilizing their critical thinking skills to perform a number of historical investigations. Students have considered the effectiveness of Athenian Democracy, explored the impact of the "Black Death", examined a Florentine Medici murder mystery crime scene, and weighed if history should remember Galileo Galilei as a hero or heretic. The primary and secondary evidence generates controversy, as students are taking informed action during historical debates in an effort to uncover the truth.

World Languages


Ms. De La Rosa's classes learned about El Dia de Los Muertos by participating in a variety of activities to enhance their knowledge of the holiday. We completed readings and comparison activities about the Day of the Dead to learn about the celebration to remember the dead. We explored the vibrant traditions of Mexico and how they celebrate the day. The students learned that the holiday is celebrated for three days. The 31st of October is the day of preparation. Families clean and decorate the tombs and altar of the family members that are dead. November 1 is “el Dia de Los innocents,” or the day of the children, and All Saints Day. On November 2nd they remember all the deceased relatives. We tried a variety of tasty pastries and brought this day to life for our students!

summer study abroad

Where will you go next summer? Did you know that three students at Hoboken High School were selected to study abroad this past summer 2019 with scholarships from CIEE (the Council on international Educational Exchange)? It was a life changing experience for Sheila Lam in Toulouse, France, Davion Delgado in Berlin, Germany, and Joel Quizhpi in Rome, Italy. They have shared in class how awesome it was to study abroad in France, Germany and Italy. They were able to learn more of the language, explore the cities and meet friends from around the world. They lived with host families and host siblings. In the morning, they went to the local university for language study. After morning language classes, they spent an hour per day practicing their skills out in the community – speaking and reading French, German and Italian in markets, cafes, and parks. Later in the afternoon, they enjoyed group gatherings and guided excursions to culturally and historically significant sites. This experience has positioned these Hoboken High School students as leaders who are prepared for an international future.


AP Biology

Students in Mr. Lebegue’s AP biology class conducted several scientific investigations throughout the first marking period. Students conducted an experiment evaluating nutrient preference in yeast, conducted an investigation into the behavior of fruit flies, evaluated ecosystem dynamics by doing an experiment on energy transfer from producers to consumers, performed demonstrations about the chemical nature of water, and conducted an experiment investigating factors influencing the rate of transpiration in plants. Students mastered the fundamentals of experimental design and all investigations were inquiry based. Quantitative data was collected and graphed, and students utilized newly acquired skills in statistical analysis to determine if their results were statistically significant or not. Posters were produced and presented. The class completed units on scientific inquiry, statistics, ecology and biochemistry.

CP Biology

During the first marking period, the students in the Biology CP classes have blossomed into young scientists. Through collaboration with their peers, the students were able to practice and reinforce their intercommunication and critical thinking skills. As novice biologists, the students practiced the process of scientific inquiry through participation in various experimental laboratory activities. Students observed and analyzed the behavior of pill bugs and the effect of exercise on heart rate while calculating the beats per minute (BPM) to practice their inquiry skills. Students learned about the process of photosynthesis and cellular respiration and how they are interrelated to each other through various laboratory activities. Students designed their own photosynthesis STEM lab where they chose a variable to test the effects of plant growth over the course of two weeks. Students investigated the processes of aerobic and anaerobic cellular respiration. Hands on explorations such as the cell respiration and exercise lab, and the yeast fermentation lab were conducted to reinforce the content learned during class lessons!


In Chemistry CP class, students embark on the study of matter. Students begin by learning about the building blocks of matter, atoms, and the periodic table. In this activity, students make a ball and stick model of alpha-D-glucose. This is an enrichment activity which helps students connect radioactive isotope labeling with everyday molecules like sugar anomers.


Algebra I

Ninth grade students enrolled in Algebra I began the school year reviewing the real number system. Following this students continued by solving linear equations similar to those covered in 8th grade Mathematics courses, but took it to the next level of solving more complex one-variable and literal equations. From this point, students methodically began solving inequalities and absolute value equations. Students subsequently advanced to creating and solving both equations and inequalities to solve real-world applications.

The next topic of study focuses on extending students’ understanding of linear equations. Students will analyze descriptions of lines and write their equations in different forms. Using given information, students will be able to select and apply the appropriate equation to model real-world applications.

Students are engaged in a variety of instructional strategies. Online resources are being utilized in these classes including, Pearson Realize (our online textbook), and Khan Academy to enhance class lessons.


In geometry classes right now, students are learning about the relationships of angles in diagrams using parallel lines and triangles. We are focused particularly on the Triangle Angle Sum Theorem which is used throughout geometry. A good example of the Triangular Sum Theorem would be when constructing a house. The roofs of houses are often formed as a triangle. To ensure all sides of the roof can connect properly and sturdily, you must know the measures of the angles. This concept will be used in many more ways throughout the school year as students explore many more geometrical relationships.

Algebra II

In Algebra II students are working on using the key features of quadratic functions to graph them. They are finding the vertex, axis of symmetry, minimum/maximum, domain and range and finding transformations from a parent function to a new graph. After finding the vertex of a function, students can use the table on the TI-84+ calculator to graph other points and draw the graph of a quadratic. Continuing with this concept, they are learning how to write the equation of a parabola given the vertex and the y-intercept. We will continue working with quadratic functions to solve them using factoring, the Quadratic Formula and Completing the Square. When using the Quadratic Formula we will first calculate the discriminant to determine whether the solutions are real or imaginary. Students enjoyed the beginning of the year's topics that covered the key features of quadratics and progressed to solving systems of equations by graphing, substitution and elimination. We conquered solving systems of equations in 3 variables as well as solving systems of linear inequalities. Graphing quadratics will lead us toward learning about imaginary numbers, a topic that students are excited to conquer.


This marking period, students in Mrs. Tank’s class learned about factoring, and building polynomial functions. Students also learned about domains, X-Y intercepts, holes, vertical and horizontal asymptotes of a given rational functions. Students also learned about analyzing and sketching graphs of rational functions. Students also learned how to use TI-89 calculators to find the zeros, classify scatter plots and use scatter plots to find the linear and quadratic models from the real life data.

PLTW Engineering

There are many ways to solve a problem. Sometimes it is as simple as applying a piece of duct tape. Other times it takes months or years for a product to progress from an idea into full-scale production. Often engineers and designers use a specific set of steps to find the best solution to a problem. Solving a problem is an amazingly creative process. Creativity can be messy. However, creativity can be channeled into a meaningful solution by using a structured design process. The students in the Introduction to Engineering Design classes are learning how to apply a structured design process to solve problems. They have worked on multiple problems with their design teams to develop, evaluate, and present solutions. All engineers are problem solvers and the students in the Introduction to Engineering Design classes are learning to think and solve problems like engineers.

PLTW Principles of Biomedical Science

Who killed Anna Garcia? Students in Mr. Thomas' and Mr. LeBegue's classes have been engaged in determining how a woman, Anna Garcia, died in her home in early September. Students investigated the scene, gathered evidence, and then moved to the lab to analyze their findings. Through their examination of key evidence, students were introduced to the structure of DNA and learned how basic molecular biology techniques can be used to connect suspects with a crime scene. Students also discussed the bioethics of scientific research, explored the bounds of HIPAA legislation, and spoke to Hoboken police officers!

PLTW Medical Interventions

Third year biomedical students (Medical Interventions) were exposed to interventions involved in detecting, fighting, and preventing an infectious disease as they investigated a potential outbreak at a fictitious college. Students performed a lab that demonstrated the mechanisms by which DNA from one bacterial cell is transferred to another bacterial cell, which leads to antibiotic resistance. Students also investigated the physics of sound, learned how sound is detected and processed by the body, and conducted a variety of hearing assessments. Finally, students are learning about the available types of genetic testing and screening and discussed ethical implications of these tests.

PLTW Biomedical Innovation

In the Biomedical Innovation course, students are asked to apply what they have learned in the previous three courses to solve unique problems in science, medicine, and healthcare as they complete five project-based missions. The first mission was to learn more about the research process in order to design, conduct, and analyze an experimental study. Students worked in teams to investigate a question that might potentially provide information to further advance the medical community. The class used students from the gym class for their experimental trials. The experiments included the effect of back cracking on flexibility, age vs hearing, and sleep vs memory recollection! Four of your PLTW ladies made it to the final of the STEAM Tank Competition this year as well! Congrats to the Glucose 'N Go Team.

Culinary Arts

Culinary students started the year off cooking. We prepared a variety of food for the Hispanic Heritage Celebration. Students made empanadas from scratch, making the dough for the discs and grinding all of the meat for the fillings. We worked on our knife skills by cutting onions, garlic, peppers and cilantro to flavor various dishes. Pernil, rice and beans, tres leches, and alfajores were some of the dishes made.

On Tuesday 10/15/2019, Chef Nelson and Ms. Meola took their students to Merlick's Town Farm in Oldwick. The students were able to pick a variety of apples which we brought back to Hoboken High School. The culinary students made various apple treats, including apple turnovers and French apple cake, just to name a few. The weather was fantastic and the staff showed us how to make apple cider, gave us a tractor ride and we were able to visit with their potbelly pig!

The culinary students carved pumpkins and created some treats for Hoboken High School’s Showcase of Excellence on October 23rd.

On October 25th, during PGP, the culinary arts classes helped Mrs. Patel, Mrs. Tank and Mrs. Amin celebrate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. Highlights were samosas, butter chicken, chana masala, roti, naan, tandoor chicken and sevaya.

Physical Education

As we start the new school year off, students were given a baseline assessment in cardiovascular and muscular strength and endurance. These tests included the mile run, the pacer, push ups, and sit ups. The goal of this baseline assessment is teach various fitness components, assess fitness and understand results, plan for improvement/maintenance of fitness levels throughout the school year, and engage students in an active lifestyle. Throughout the year students will work on various exercises and activities to improve day to day on these movements, and at the end of the year compare their results from September to see growth!

After our baseline Fitness Unit, we began the fall sport activities! This included football, soccer, field hockey, ultimate frisbee, and cardio-walking. For two weeks at a time, students are able to choose an activity and gain knowledge of the game, work on the necessary skills, and most importantly work together to achieve success. Each of these activities has lead up games and drills to gain confidence in the fundamentals, then we take it to small sided games, and finally transition into a full on game.

To see updates and get tips follow Hoboken High School Physical Education Departments Twitter! @HHSphysedNJ


Elements of Art

The art classes have been busy learning color theory with focus on mixing primary colors, secondary colors, and creating value scales through tints and shades during marking period one. They also been perfecting their painting skills as well as composition design. The students have been busy with art contest submissions as well as banner making.

The Art Club has been working on their personal styles and interests in art.

Photography and Photoshop

The photography classes have been diligent in learning what makes a good photograph. They have been learning rules of composition and applying it in their work. They are learning to understand balance, framing, point of view, and macro photography to name a few. Here are some landscapes the students took of Hoboken.


Ms. Miller’s Backstage Elements class is designed for students with an extreme interest in learning the behind the scenes aspects of technical theater and stage production. The class provides students with a basic understanding of design, construction and/or use of theatrical scenery properties. This hands-on course teaches students the skills necessary to implement both prop and set designs on paper to actual practical application by working on three school productions a year. Students are currently designing props and set pieces for Hoboken Middle School’s first ever production. Over the course of the marking period, students read the script Seussical Jr. and identified technical theatre elements needed for the show such as props, scenery, and costumes. Students are currently developing the physical, conceptual, and intellectual skills associated with this production by identifying how the history, place, time, and social structure of the scripted musical determines the production concept. Students researched their ideas in the library before they started construction on their props and set pieces. Some set pieces being built are the trees and “Who” houses. Some props being built are Horton’s egg, clover patches, and berry bushes. Some costumes being constructed are Mayzie and Gertrude's tails, monkey and kangaroo ears, and Bird Girl headpieces. Students from this class will bring their set pieces and props over to the middle school and display them on stage for the production.

Seussical Jr. is a musical based on the children’s stories of Dr. Seuss. The majority of the plot revolves around the story Horton Hears A Who. The show will be performed on November 22nd-24th, 2019 at Hoboken Middle School.

Big picture

Marching Band

This fall, the Rockin' Redwings have been on quite a roll, entering five festival contests. The band started off their competitive season with a second place trophy at the West Orange Marching Invitational. In the following weeks, they would earn a Silver Award at the State Ratings Festival in Wayne, NJ and an "Excellent" rating at the Bloomfield Marching Festival. Thanks to the band's phenomenal work ethic, the scores this season are the highest in Rockin' Redwings history!

Student Support Services

Nurse Notes

Nurse Turonis would like to share with our school family some words of wisdom regarding preventive care. Flu season is upon us! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against flu and its potentially serious complications. Millions of people have safely received flu vaccines for decades. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. CVS Minute Clinics administer free or low-cost flu vaccines. Here is some additional information from the Centers for Disease Control regarding the flu.


Our busy guidance counselors have been working intensely with our juniors and seniors on the college process. Over 30 Colleges/Univeristies visited HHS to meet with students so far this year. A few other notable events included:

  • 10/16 PSAT Administration for all 9th, 10th, 11th
  • 10/16 Senior Workshops (worked on their college essays, completing common applications, creating their FSA ID/Passwords, and refining their college lists)
  • 10/23- College Fair; over 50 colleges were in attendance
  • 10/25- NJACAC College Fair at St. Peter's University
  • 10/30 FAFSA Night

They are also proud to share that Jihad McCall & Faith Stephens were selected as two of the outstanding recipients of the 2019 NJ Rising Scholars Student Recognition Award. They will be recognized on Sunday, November 17th at an awards ceremony and luncheon. Quite a few representatives from HBCU's will be in attendance to help celebrate their accomplishments.

In addition, Sheila Lam was selected to participate in the Art Harper Academy at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Student Center

The first marking period of the 2019 - 2020 school year has been one of our most productive. The SBYSP staff jumped at the chance to provide the freshmen with some solid foundation building blocks. We covered topics such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, teen depression, suicide prevention, and healthy relationships. The picture at right shows us in the midst of a fun exercise to build cooperation and communication.

We have received a number of job openings in our community and have helped approximately ten students secure part time, after school jobs. Starting in December all our job leads will go to those who are in the True Mentors Teen Internship Program which will meet in HHS after school, on a weekly basis. Please be on the lookout for more information on this initiative in the upcoming weeks.

The Student Center reached all of our students in grades 9 and 10 with an assembly program called, “You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me” presented by Mykee Fowlin, who has received excellent reviews by our students in the past. The presentation helped raise awareness of the importance of kindness, compassion and understanding for one another, since we may not be aware of the pain that others carry around with them. Students were reminded to reach out for assistance when experiencing emotional troubles; they are not alone. One of the main points was to have respect for one another. Students were happy to meet Dr. Fowlin after the show.

Did you notice those stickers on the back of the student ID cards? That was us! We wanted to be sure each student knows how to access the “2nd Floor Helpline.” 2ND FLOOR is a confidential and anonymous helpline for New Jersey's youth and young adults. They help you find solutions to the problems that you face and are available 24/7, 365 days a year​.

In October, Laura Marcos returned to our school for a fantastic and unique parent presentation, “The Power of Storytelling for Intuitive Development” which was great fun. The Student Center will continue with Powerful Parents 3.0 as a way for parents of teenagers to come together for resource sharing, support and bonding through mindfulness activities and open discussion. Upcoming dates: December 3, January 7, February 4 at 6:00 PM in the meditation room.

Speaking of the meditation room, we have had a great following for our open zen space, guided meditation and nap time during PGP. We encourage all students to get themselves signed up with the Student Center to take advantage of our various services.


Fall Sports

The Redwings had another amazing Fall Sports Season here at Hoboken High School and have a lot to look forward to in 2019-20.

Our Girls Volleyball team, under the leadership of Coach Ponce, continues to learn and improve. The team was energetic and very competitive all year. Boys Soccer advanced into the quarterfinals vs top seeded Glen Ridge with a win over Secaucus and kept us on the edge of our seats all year under the direction of Coach Percontino. Girls Soccer, led by Coach Gennarelli, continues to be a force in Hudson County. Coach Walker has our football team improving their record for the third consecutive year and has guaranteed a winning record for the team as they approach the state tournament. Last but not least, as always, Coach Rozmester has our cheerleaders doing a terrific job of supporting our programs.

The athletic department wants to thank and congratulate our student-athletes, coaches, and the Redwing family for a fantastic fall sports season!

Winter Sports registration is now open -- if you're interested in Basketball, Bowling, Cheer, Swimming, Track, or Wrestling, please visit our website ( and register online.

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