The Herald

Hoboken Public School District

Superintendent's Daily Message (Day 4) - March 19, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Happy Spring to all of my Hoboken School District Families. I hope that you and your children are doing well under these circumstances. Using appropriate social distancing guidelines, I hope that you have been able to exercise a bit and get some fresh air.

As we completed day four of "remote learning" our Office of Curriculum and Instruction, along with our teaching staff members are still working on ironing out a few wrinkles in our plans. Please be patient with us as we are embarking on the new journey along with all of you. We are all working diligently to add new features and to create as much consistency as possible for you and your children.

Today, we continued to distribute "grab and go" meals out of Hoboken High School's Cafeteria from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. We also distributed Chromebooks to those families do not have a laptop or desktop in their homes.

In today's edition of the Herald, I have included some new resources about the Coronavirus. I have also included today's daily messages from our Supervisor of Early Childhood and our Principals. There are also a few special videos by Ms. Miller (Theater), Mrs. Ellis (School Social Worker), Mrs. Bevacqua (Physical Education Teacher), and Dr. Allgaier (School Psychologist). Please take a moment to view Mr. Panfile's special rendition of Green Eggs and Ham.

Thanks to so many of you that sent photos of your children working hard. I will include a few each day. I have included a some new resources that may be of assistance to all families. A few parents have asked about the 2020-2021 District Calendar. I have linked it down at the bottom of this edition of The Herald.

I have been fielding a few parental questions and thought it would be great to list them below and include answers for everyone's benefit:

  1. Why is there so much work that the students are required to do? In order to operate in the manner in which we are, school work must be provided to all children in grades PK through 12. We cannot eliminate school work, as these days are counted toward the state's required 180 days of school. Please understand that every child is different and every household's situation is different. Therefore, we tried to strike a balance with the work that has been created for our remote learning plans. Some parents are letting us know that their children are finishing quickly. Others are indicating that their children cannot finish by 3:00 p.m. Remote learning is not on a required schedule. We would absolutely encourage children to begin working sometime between 8:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. But, if they need one brain break, or even a number of brain breaks, it's okay. The goal is that the work gets completed. There are no bells designating periods while the kids are at home. However, we are finding that those families that have created a schedule for their children are finding it much easier to manage and keep them on track.
  2. How will this work be graded? Our PK staff will continue to monitor children's work. Our K-2 staff will grade children's work using the levels of performance indicated on the report card (Outstanding, Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory). In grades 3 through 12, traditional grading and feedback will be applied. Remember, the teachers are available to answer any questions that you may have. Principals will be having remote faculty meetings on Monday to clarify questions that staff may have around this topic.
  3. Why can't there be live teaching throughout the day? Live teaching throughout the entire day is not completely possible right now, as we are ensuring equitable access for all students and staff. However, I do want you to know that we are sending out guidelines to all teachers in regard to Zoom and Google Hangouts. Tutorials will be provided for all those that need assistance. We plan to send these tutorials to all families as well, so that we can establish a morning meeting each day. Once again, please be patient with us.
  4. I don't feel that my child's related services (OT, PT, Speech, Counseling) are truly being met. If so, will the district do anything to address this moving forward? I know that this is a huge concern. It is a concern across the country. The Director of Special Services is in the process of putting a plan together to submit to me regarding compensatory services and additional learning time in the summer.
  5. Will regular education students also have the ability to work on ELA, Math and Science over the summer? I have been wracking my brain around the possibility of summer resources or programs for our regular education students as well. I have some ideas that I am vetting with our staff and will share them with you soon.
  6. Will there be standardized testing this year? The Diagnostic Reading Assessment (DRA) must be administered in school. I am hoping that when we return, we will administer the last set of these so that we can identify those students who are still not reading on grade level or those that have slid backward while being home. We are looking to push the LinkIt Benchmarks (Elementary, Middle and High School) and the Accuplacer (High School) into the next phase of remote learning plans. There has been no guidance yet on state tests such as NJSLA. As soon as I find out, I will let you know.
  7. What do I do if my child has any technology issues or questions? You may contact your child's teacher or principal via email. However, you may also email a dedicated account that we set up Email:

As more questions arise, I will attempt to address them a few at a time.

I encourage you to take time to review The Herald. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook too. I will be checking in with my Hoboken School District Families each day via the Herald. I hope that you will also check in with me.

Last week, I had to submit our remote learning plan to the County Office. As a result of new guidance that has been put out by the NJ DOE, I have updated the plan and resubmitted it. I have included it below for your reference.

Stay well. I assure you that I will keep you updated every step of the way. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.


Superintendent Johnson

Big picture

Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus

As many of you know, I am a mom too. Although my daughter is 24 years old, she continues to ask me questions about the Coronavirus. I provide her with a number of resources daily to read. I fully understand that talking to younger children about the Coronavirus can be difficult and confusing based on the number of messages that are coming your way from news media. I have attached a link that was sent to me by Carrie Ellis that may help make your conversations a bit easier. Click on the link below:

Resource from the Child Mind Institute entitled How to Make a Home Feel Safe

Directions to Access Our District's YouTube Channel: HPS Video Highlights

If you are interested in accessing our YouTube Channel, please follow these instructions:

  1. Google YouTube
  2. Click on Videos
  3. Type in the Search Box: HPS Video Highlights
  4. Click the red box to subscribe

Our PK Supervisor and Principals' Daily Videos

Each day, your child's principal will create and post a video to our YouTube Channel. In order to keep all families abreast of what is going on in all of our schools, I have decided to include them in my daily edition of The Herald. Remember, each and every administrator and staff member is hear to help if you have a question or would simply like to talk. Do not hesitate to reach out.
HPS: A Thursday Message from Ms. Eakin from Calabro School
HPS: A Thursday Morning Message from Principal Bartlett
HPS: A Thursday Morning Message from Principal Addi
HPS: A Thursday Morning Message from Principal Shannon
HPS: A Thursday Morning Message from Principal Marra
HPS: A Thursday Morning Message from Principal Piccapietra

Ms. Miller's Daily Drama Activities for Families

HPS: Ms. Miller Daily Theatre Activity (Tongue Twisters)

A Special Rendition of Green Eggs and Ham by Mr. Panfile, Music Teacher

HPS Performs: Mr. Panfile sings "Green Eggs & Ham" from Seussical The Musical
HPS: Ms. Vayda and Ms. Neumann read "Safari, So Good!" by Bonnie Worth
HPS: Ms. Sara reads “Parker Looks Up” by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry
HPS: Ms. Laura reads “The Feelings Book” by Todd Parr
HPS: Ms. Krauss reads “Count on the Subway” by Paul DuBois Jacobs

Daily Mindfulness Exercises

A huge thank you goes out to Mrs. Carrie Ellis for providing breathing and mindfulness exercises each day. Just as academic work is important, so is placing focus on the mind and body.
HPS: Guided Medication with Mrs. Ellis

Check Out This Mindfulness Choice Board

Yoga With Hoboken School District's School Psychologist, Mrs. Kristen Beriloff

HPS: Yoga with Ms. Beriloff (Part II)

Namaste with Dr. Allgaier, School Psychologist at Hoboken High School

HPS: Namastae with Dr. A (Session 1)

Dr. Allgaier's Summary of the Supporting Student Stress, Anxiety, & Mental Health During COVID19 Webinar

Parents/Guardians of Adolescents should practice:

  • Patience
  • Tolerance
  • Reinforcement

It is crucial for parents/guardians to continue to practice:

  • Self care
  • Adequate Sleep
  • Connection to others (calling, Facetime)
  • Breaking from news and social media
  • Routine
  • Capping "purposeless" screen time to 2 hours; purposeless equates to social media/non educational/youtube; it does *not* include Facetime for social connection and remote learning
  • Repeating to self and family: “I can only control what I can control; this is our plan today."
  • Taking time day by day; avoid talking about chunks of time ahead. We worry about today, not the future. We are planning for today.
  • Connect w outside resources like therapists, Dr's and spiritual leaders

Parents ask our kids

1) Are you okay (w pause)? If you’re unsure if your child is suicidal/at risk for harm reach out to local hospitals, hotlines and school guidance/CST/counselors

2) How can I help? (Don’t give solutions encourage their problem solving 1st)


  • Reference a calendar of webinars available for us and parents coming out this week
  • Use zoom, phone while following state guidance.
  • Maintaining your family/student relationships
  • Encourage to share this webinar's PowerPoint w parents once PowerPoint received.

Trusted Resources: Only Use

  • World health organization
  • CDC

Health Tip of the Day from Hoboken High School PE Teacher, Mrs. Bevacqua

HPS: Mrs. Bevacqua’s Healthy Tips

Johns Hopkins CTY

The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth online courses will remain active throughout the entirety of the district’s remote learning plan for grades 2 - 8. Therefore, there will still be 3 - 5 hours of required coursework to complete per week in order to meet the course ending deadlines for both the three-month and six-month course options.

You will continue to receive email communications on assignment completion, feedback and grades from your child’s Johns Hopkins CTY online course instructor. If you have any questions at all, he or she will remain the first point of contact in regards to CTY curriculum and coursework completion.

Ms. Tara Donnelly will continue to monitor all Johns Hopkins CTY emails at the Middle School level. If students or parents have questions, please reach out to her at For all Grades 2 through 5 questions, please contact your building principal or Assistant Superintendent, Ms. Rodriguez-Gomez at

Hoboken Public School Students Are Hard At Work

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Mental Health Support

The NJ Department of Human Services operates a toll-free “warm line” which is a resource for people seeking mental health service. The warm line is activated during events that impact the mental health of New Jersey residents. The warm line is available 24 hours and has language access; (877) 294-HELP (4357). NOTE: The “warm line” does not replace 911 and is not used to report emergencies.

Emotional Health Activities

There are a number of great resources for social and emotional health during a high stress time like the one we are in right now. Check out these "Things You Can Do For Your Emotional Health" and share with your family.

2020-2021 Approved School District Calendar

You've Asked and We've Responded

A number of parents have asked for updated school directories. Each of our schools have prepared new directories including names, positions, emails, and phone numbers. If you have any questions for the Superintendent of Schools, please email

For the Assistant Superintendent, you may email

Below, you will find each school's directory:

Hoboken Public Schools - A District Dedicated to Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships

Our Vision

The Hoboken Public School District will be recognized as a premier educational choice and widely known as a best-practice model for academic growth, high quality instruction, innovative and equitable programs, engagement, facilities and personalized pathways that are essential for college, career and life-preparedness in our ever-changing, interconnected global society.

Our Mission

The Hoboken Public School District will prepare confident and resilient graduates who value academic achievement, embrace challenge, honor diversity, appreciate collaboration, and respectfully contribute to their local and wider communities.

Our District Goals

The Hoboken Public School District will implement a rigorous, relevant and responsive curriculum that meets the needs of all students, fosters personalized pathways for learning, and ensures continuous academic growth.

The Hoboken Public School District will support its diverse staff in professional growth, encourage them to serve as role models, and empower them to provide the highest quality of instruction for our students.

The Hoboken Public School District will develop and implement unique and innovative programs that promote global learning, ensure equitable access, and foster the social, emotional and academic growth of each student.

The Hoboken Public School District will engage and communicate with families and the wider community to bridge understanding and advance partnerships.

The Hoboken Public School District will operate well-maintained and safe facilities that respond to our growing student enrollment, support our academic and co-curricular programs, and promote pride across the city.