Hoboken Public School District
Superintendent's Daily Message - May 4, 2020
Today, Governor Murphy announced that all schools in New Jersey would be closed for the remainder of the academic year. He also indicated that guidelines for graduation ceremonies would be forthcoming and that a committee would be formed to contemplate extended school year programming, summer enrichment and camps, and what a September opening of schools might look like.
Right now, we are continuing to improve upon our remote learning plans for the remainder of the school year. Simultaneously, we are wrestling with strategies to address any curricular gaps that may exist in ways that make sense for each student, now and during the summer months. We also understand how difficult this time has been for every family and child, socially and emotionally. I am fully aware that when we do re-open, we will need to provide extended support services for children who need to talk through their feelings of fear, anxiety or grief.
This week, we will begin to plan special virtual activities that our students will enjoy over the next few months and create allowable, yet meaningful moving up ceremonies and graduation experiences for students who will soon be reaching educational milestones. If you are not following us on Twitter, please do so and you can see the future plans of Hoboken HIgh School's Class of 2020.
Over the next two weeks, more concrete plans will follow. As they are solidified, I will pass them along to all families.
I would like to thank everyone who stuck with us through some computer glitches to watch our inaugural virtual talent show last night. I am proud of each and every student that submitted a video. We certainly learned a lot this first time around and know that we will only get better with each event. I am proud to announce that we raised $3213.60 for the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corp.
This is staff appreciation week. I hope that you were able to view my special edition of The Herald this morning. Hopefully your family or child will consider selecting a special way to show your appreciation.
In this edition of The Herald, I have also shared the daily messages from each of our school principals and our supervisor of early childhood education. Of course, I have included our wellness videos. Enjoy reading the story about The Best Buddies Program that will be coming to the Hoboken School District and an interest piece on the Move This World Program that Is being piloted at Connors Elementary School. I certainly hope that you have had the opportunity to check out the HPEF's Bold Initiative announcement. A 1:1 Chromebook initiative would be absolutely incredible for our students.
As you know, all of our schools participate in Project Lead The Way's STEM Program. This past week, we were notified that every single school in our district have been named National Schools of Distinction for STEM Learning. This recognition came shortly after our district earned the 2020 Best Community for Music Education distinction.
Hoboken Public School District parent, author and screenwriter Shari Simpson is creating a series of writing videos for our families and students. Be sure to view her first two sessions. The first is about the power of stories and how they ignite the brain. The second is about the use of a writer's notebook. I can't thank Shari enough for contributing these videos to our library.
I will continue to check in with all of you daily to be sure that everyone is okay. I hope that you will also check in with me. If you would like to send me photos or videos of your students being creative or silly, or even showing off a talent, please do so. I will include them in future editions of The Herald.
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.
Daily Messages From Our School Principals, Guidance Counselors, and Supervisor of Early Childhood Education
A Note from Our PTO's
The Connors, Wallace, Hoboken Middle School, Hoboken High School, and Brandt PTO's are pleased to share that we raised $3,520 in support of district families and employees! Over 50 families donated towards this effort. All raised funds will be used to purchase grocery store gift cards or meals from local restaurants. We extend our thanks to all who participated. The generosity of our district family knows no bounds. We are here for each other! A very special shout out to Shop Rite for their donation of discounted gift cards. We would also like to acknowledge the generous contribution of a district family's company for donating boxed meals as part of this initiative.
Hoboken Public Schools Earn National Distinctions by Project Lead the Way for STEM Learning
Congratulations Hoboken High School
Congratulations Hoboken Middle School
Congratulations Wallace, Connors and Brandt Elementary Schools
HPS Writing Series with Shari Sampson: Why Do Stories Ignite Your Brain? (Session #1)
HPS Writing Series with Shari Simpson: The Writer's Notebook (Session #2)
A Bold New Initiative: 1:1 Chromebooks for Students
As we begin the second month of what has become our new normal, our hearts and thoughts are with all of you - our friends, supporters, and Hoboken community. We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters and the challenges that this pandemic has presented to us as individuals, a community, and the world at large.
We are reaching out today with news about HPEF’s 5th Annual Gala, and more importantly, to share our plans to launch a bold initiative to help support our schools and our students during these challenging times.
Status of HPEF’s 5th Annual Gala
Many of you have been asking if HPEF still plans to hold our 5th Annual Gala. We are deeply saddened to announce that we must cancel our May 14, 2020 event. Our team had been holding out hope that the evolving situation would improve, but it has become increasingly clear that social distancing guidelines will remain in place for longer than initially expected, and that our community will need more time to recover and resume in-person events.
The Gala is HPEF’s largest event and one that is essential to meeting our fundraising efforts and goals, however, the safety and health of our HPEF community is far more important at this time. Although the Gala is on hold, our mission to elevate and enhance the public education experience through private funding remains critically important.
Our Changing School Community
Over the past month, the HPEF team has been working closely with Hoboken Public School District Superintendent, Dr. Christine Johnson, to better understand the changing educational landscape, and to identify ways in which HPEF can help support our district school needs.
We must focus now, more than ever, on what has been our top priority from the beginning - equity in education.
With the challenges of COVID-19, we have seen firsthand how our students and staff need to be equipped with the technology and tools to adapt to virtual learning. Our schools must be resilient and ready to deliver online learning today and in the future.
How You Can Help Our Schools Now: Funding a 1:1 Chromebook Initiative
HPEF is launching a 1:1 Chromebook initiative for the Hoboken Public Schools in order to ensure that all of our district students have the same technology and tools they need to be successful in an online learning environment. This initiative will guarantee that all students in grades 3-12 have their own Chromebook, assigned by the Hoboken Public Schools. Whether our students are in a remote learning environment, or physically in school, our aim is for each student to have the technology, tools, and access needed to navigate the school curriculum together.
To meet this lofty goal, we will need to raise a minimum of $100,000. This will allow us to purchase the additional 411 Chromebooks the district needs to reach a 1:1 Chromebook ratio for students grades 3 through 12.
This initiative will begin with the funding of Chromebooks for 3rd-12th grade students who must complete annual, computer-based standardized testing and use Google Classroom and online learning tools as part of their curriculum. Any additional dollars raised will be used to purchase Chromebooks for K-2 students.
HPEF will be allocating all of our fundraising proceeds from the 2019-2020 school year (including our online giving campaign and Mom’s Night Out) to launch this campaign, and we will be reaching out to our committed Gala sponsors and supporters to ask for their support of this important effort.
A word from Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Christine Johnson –
“Educational technology is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. Equipping all students with a Chromebook is consistent with our district goals of promoting equity and fostering personalized learning and ensures that moving forward, learning at school and home is seamless.”
How Can You Help Support this Effort?
We recognize that these are challenging times - personally, professionally and financially - but we also have heard from many of you asking how you can continue to support our schools and our children.
We encourage you to support this effort in any way that works for you:
● Make a donation on our website (http://www.hobokenpef.org/) or on our Facebook online campaign coming soon
● Help us spread the word about this important initiative
● Like and follow us on Facebook or Instagram (@hobokenpef) and share our posts
HPEF remains committed to helping our students continue to reach even greater academic heights and to ensuring our schools can confront the educational challenges that lie ahead.
From our homes to yours, we wish you and your families continued safety and good health, and we thank you for your continued and unwavering support.
Hoboken Public Education Foundation Board
Hoboken Middle School and Hoboken High School Form a Chapter of Best Buddies
Hoboken Middle School and Hoboken High School, under the leadership of Dr. Tamika Pollins, have formed Chapters of the international Best Buddies program. The implementation of Best Buddies will support our students by promoting an inclusive culture within our schools. Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Best Buddies programs empower the special abilities of people with IDD by helping them form friendships with their peers, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society. Hoboken Middle and High Schools' chapters will assist students in breaking through social barriers and encourage meaningful connections to heighten their academic and social experiences. Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and general education students will be paired as buddies and will meet once a month to participate in social activities. Student leaders will participate in a virtual leadership conference this summer before implementation for the 2020-2021 school year.
Move This World Update from Connors Elementary School
Move This World is a Social and Emotional Learning curriculum that T.G Connors School has been using since January, 2020. Led by Dean Sorafine, the program is implemented during the daily morning meeting and during the afternoon daily closure in homeroom classes. The program helps students and educators in classrooms across the country understand, express and manage their emotions healthily in order to create safe and supportive environments where effective teaching and learning can occur.
During this unique time of distance learning, it has been a priority of ours to continue to focus on the importance of social and emotional learning. Move This World has compiled the most useful resources for these circumstances from their expansive digital library, and have made them available to our teachers and families in order to continue our social and emotional learning.
During monthly coaching meetings, Move this World and the Connors School Integrated service team have brainstormed ways to continue to focus on SEL during this time of distance learning. In an effort to strengthen our virtual community, Connors school has created virtual spirit weeks, virtual talent shows, and daily challenges where students regain that sense of belonging. With these initiatives in place along with daily Zoom meetings led by our amazing teachers, our students are still feeling a strong sense of community. In collaboration with Move this World, Connors school continues to utilize daily breathing exercises, mindfulness practice and transition activities to foster emotional health and wellness with all of our students. Although our students are learning remotely, our school community understands that emotional health is the core of becoming a successful student.
There are five core competencies that the Move this World curriculum is based on: These core competencies strengthen us as individuals and as communities, especially during uncertain times. When we practice and build our skills we are better equipped to navigate stressors, anxieties, and challenges. We can solve problems and work together to function at a higher level—in the classroom, at work and at home.
The Five Core Competencies:
Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.
Self-management: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.
Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.
Responsible decision-making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.
Daily Theater Activities by Ms. Miller
A Sessions of Namaste with Dr. Allgaier, School Psychologist
Hoboken Police Officers and Detectives Enjoy Reading Stories To Our Students
Connors Elementary School's 100,000 Minute Reading Challenge
Hoboken High School: 2020 National Honor Society Inductees
More Accolades for Hoboken High School's Theater Department
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:
Social Emotional Resources from the County Office
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.
Parent Stress Line - 1-800-843-5437
2020-2021 Approved School District Calendar
You've Asked and We've Responded
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Below, you will find each school's directory:
Hoboken Public Schools - A District Dedicated to Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships
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.
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.