Hoboken Public School District
Superintendent's Daily Message - April 28, 2020
I hope you and your family had the opportunity to get outside even for a little while today. In this edition of The Herald, I have included daily video messages from our school principals and supervisor of early childhood.
This edition of The Herald also includes:
- A video from Shari Simpson, a parent in our district who is an insanely talented author and screenwriter. She will be featuring a 5-part writing series. Take time to view it with your upper elementary, middle or high school child(ren);
- A brief description about our involvement in the international Best Buddies Program and highlights from the Class of 2020;
- A Wallace Wildcat Challenge by Vice Principal Dickerson;
- A Google Form from the PTO's. They have graciously come together to help provide district families and essential school employees with prepared meals from a restaurant or grocery store gift cards. As you know, the Hoboken Public School District is serving grab and go breakfast and lunch meals to all families in need. This wonderful initiative started by our PTO's will further help our families and add our essential school employees to the efforts. I cannot thank our PTO leaders and their members enough for this outpouring of generosity. If you know of any family or essential worker in need of assistance, please feel free to fill out the form and include as much information as you can.
- A message from the Hoboken Public Education Foundation regarding a bold initiative. In their letter below, you will see that the 5th Annual Gala had to be canceled. As you know, the Hoboken Public School District has provided jetpacks and Chromebooks to all families in need of technology in order to equitably access our remote learning plans. Over the past few years, the district has purchased numerous Chromebook carts. In order to provide every 3rd through 12th grade student in the district with a Chromebook, the district would need to purchase 411 additional Chromebooks in order to achieve a 1:1 ratio. Please take a moment and read their message below.
- A Google Form regarding our Virtual Talent Show. You will see how easy it is to complete and submit.
- Theater, Yoga & Mindfulness videos;
- A profile of the Class of 2020;
- And, a number of resources that can be used by your family.
I will continue to check in with my Hoboken School District Families 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 children 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 & Supervisor of Early Childhood Education
Special Writing Series with Author & Screenwriter, Shari Simpson: Why Stories Ignite Your Brain?
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
Wallace Wildcat Challenge by Vice Principal Dickerson
A Young Learner Hard at Work
Theater Activities with Ms. Miller
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.
Future Plans for the Class of 2020
Colorado State University
University of Connecticut
Culver Stockton College
Delaware Valley University
University of Delaware
Emory University (Scholars Program)
Florida Gulf Coast University
University of Hartford
Johnson & Wales University (Providence)
University of Maine
Michigan State University
Montclair State University
Morehead State University
Mount St. Mary's University - Maryland
New England College
New England Institute of Technology
University of New Haven
New Jersey City University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
The College of New Jersey
New York Institute of Technology
North Carolina State University
Ohio Wesleyan University
Pace University, New York City (Dyson College of Arts and Sciences)
Pennsylvania State University
Plymouth State University
Ramapo College of New Jersey
University of Rhode Island
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Sacred Heart University (University College)
Saint Anselm College
Saint Peter's University
Seton Hall University
St. Francis College
St. John's University
Stevens Institute of Technology
The University of Tampa
Virginia State University
West Virginia University
Western Connecticut State University
William Paterson University of New Jersey
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
We are still waiting for additional NCAA commitments. In addition to congratulating our students for being awarded academic and merit based scholarships, we should also congratulate our student athletes for their decision to continue their education and sport of choice at Delaware Valley University, Rutgers University (New Brunswick), Moorehead State University, Susquehanna University, and Keystone College.
In upcoming editions of The Herald, we will also be highlighting our music, theater and cheerleading commitments!
Two Sessions of Namaste with Dr. A ~
Meditation with Carrie Ellis, School Social Worker
Hello all and welcome back! We certainly missed you more than ever last week with the break. We hope you all took the time to relax and rest and catch up on some good old-fashioned family time.
Before we get into this week’s post, we have a quick trivia question:
What annual sporting event was cancelled as a result of the 1919 influenza pandemic?
A. The World Series
B.The Stanley Cup
C.The NBA Finals
Now, if we were in school and hypothetically sports were cancelled for some reason, we would be spending a lot of time talking you through this tough time. For many of you, having no sports to watch and especially participate in is a major loss and we are here to support you, even if it’s virtually.
Ways you can get in the game mentally is to organize virtual hangouts with your teammates. This way you can continue discussing and creating play formations, collaborate on individual workouts you are doing that are specific to enhancing your sports performance, and participate in team activities like watching a sports movie or old game and then discuss the lessons learned.
Physically, you have to keep moving. If you were in school and having team practice you would be moving every day so that shouldn’t change now. Websites such as https://www.sportsengine.com/at-home-family-health-and-fitness offer free at home sports specific drills that you can do to keep up your skills, even if you are alone. Practice these skills while logged in virtually with your teammates so you can feel like you are practicing together.
As David Feigley, the founder and director of the Rutgers Youth Sports Research Council, said, “One of the great things about sports is that there’s always next season. We would usually like to say there’s always another game, but right now it looks like we’re really talking about another season.” Even though your next game is not any time soon, you have to remember to keep your head in the game by taking this time to both virtually train with your teammates and physically do what you can to train at home.
We will check in with you next week,
Nurse DeMatteo and Nurse Beyer
Answer to the trivia question:
The correct answer is B. The final game in the 1919 Stanley Cup Finals was cancelled after the coach and multiple players of the Montreal Canadiens were hospitalized with influenza. After both the Canadiens and Seattle Metropolitans won two games and tied the fifth game, the sixth game was supposed to determine the champion. Because the coach of the Canadiens couldn’t put a full team on the ice for the last game, he forfeited; however, the coach of the Metropolitans refused to accept the forfeit. As a result, no winner was declared for the 1919 Stanley Cup Finals
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.
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.