The Herald

Hoboken Public School District

Superintendent's Spring Break Message

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Good evening and I hope that you and your families are physically healthy and mentally well. Today, Governor Murphy announced that all schools in New Jersey would be closed until at least May 15th. This means that our remote learning plans will begin again on Monday, April 20th and continue through May 15th. I am sure that we will receive further guidance pertaining to the remainder of the school year in the weeks to come.

In an effort to reacquaint you to our remote learning plans, I have provided an overview below:

  1. Every two weeks our remote learning plans evolved. We began by being completely ready with 2 weeks’ worth of remote learning plans and all posted on the website and in Google Classrooms/ClassDojo.
  2. During week one, we left it up to the teacher to ensure that they were available by all means (email, phone, Dojo, Google Classroom, etc.) throughout the day as office hours. We found that many teachers were using video conferencing already with kids, without even asking. During this first week we asked staff to begin recording stories or other wellness oriented videos to get them more comfortable with these new platforms.
  3. During week two, we asked all homeroom teachers to hold ten to fifteen-minute morning meetings, just to gather the kids and to create a sense of normalcy. In addition, we asked that they be available by all means (email, phone, Dojo, Google Classroom, etc.) throughout the day for office hours. Once again, we found that many teachers were using video conferencing for longer than the ten to fifteen minutes. The stories and wellness oriented videos continued. All remote plans for weeks three and four were completed and posted.
  4. During weeks three and four, we asked all homeroom teachers to hold forty-five to one-hour morning meetings, to gather the kids and create a sense of normalcy, as well as to go over the work and schedule for the day. In addition, we asked that they be available by all means (email, phone, Dojo, Google Classroom, etc.) throughout the day as what would be deemed as office hours. The stories and wellness oriented videos continued and new sessions were added by staff.
  5. During spring break, we prepared PK-5 staff for our return to remote learning after spring break. We also reaffirmed Grade 6-12 practices and validated staff approached.
  6. As we move into week five (after spring break) we will see an evolved approach to remote learning for students in grades PK-5. These plans will include a more standardized schedule for students with a mix of live instruction, recorded instruction and video instruction. Teachers will be asked to be available by all means (email, phone, Dojo, Google Classroom, etc.) throughout the day for office hours. These plans go beyond the required four content areas, and include related arts.

Remember, if you have any questions about the structure or content of the remote learning plans, you may reach out to me or to Ms. Rodriguez Gomez via email. If you have questions about the implementation of the remote learning plans, please reach out to your child's principal.

Prior to spring break, I had been putting out "Choice Board Check-Ins" which asked families and staff to respond to different prompts. The responses were truly heartwarming. On our last day of remote learning before going on spring break, I asked everyone to describe a personal or family tradition or routine that is special. Here are a small percentage of responses that I received:

  • Each Easter my kids and my nieces and nephews have a group scavenger hunt for their baskets, this year it will be virtual
  • Yesterday, we baked my Great Grandmother’s (Boys’ Great Great Grammy) banana cake and homemade frosting recipe! It brought back happy memories of sitting in her tiny kitchen, at her little yellow dinette set, and listening to her stories about playing the organ at church and reading books. Obviously, the boys never met her, but they asked lots of questions about her and it was wonderful to share memories of her with someone. Luckily, they still have THEIR Great Grammies and hopefully will get to see them again in person soon!
  • We like to play "rose, rose, thorn, bud" at bedtime (when we remember/when we have time, which means just infrequently enough to make it special). Each person takes turning sharing 2 "roses", which are good things that happened that day, a "thorn" -- the not so great think you need to lament/get off your chest, and a "bud" -- something you are looking forward to. Its a good way to share the ups, the downs, and the hope of life.
  • Every summer our niece and nephew from Germany visit for weeks of beach trips, boardwalk, water parks, rides and my kids get to spend time with their cousins. I hope we get to continue it this summer.
  • Sitting around the table during breakfast and laughing with my family.
  • Eating breakfast and dinner together !
  • I've been making our family tradition, Italian Ricotta Cookies, and I've been leaving at the doorstep of my siblings, I miss them so much!
  • My 4 year old wanting mommy to put him to bead each night because I have a “colder arm” than daddy. My son loves to hold my arm as he falls asleep.
  • For Greek Easter we will dye the eggs and play a game where we challenge each other and “crack” the eggs against the other. Whoever’s egg survives the crack, is the winner!
  • Sitting down with a guitar and all singing together
  • Each summer since my daughter was born 10 years ago, we take a family vacation to Long Beach Island together with my parents, my brother and his family! It's really special together time. Hoping that our tradition is able to continue this summer. If it does, it will be extra special to be all together!
  • We plant a tulip bulb every year at this time as a sign of renewal. We now have a whole patch of tulips that greet us every spring!
  • Celebrating Chinese New Year every year and getting red envelopes from Grandma. Actually getting red envelopes for birthdays and Christmas too.
  • We have started a Friday Family Movie Night. We make popcorn and have snacks. It is a nice down period after a week of non stop work.

A few days ago, I announced that the Hoboken School District was honored with the Best Communities for Music Education Award. This designation was issued by The NAMM Foundation for our outstanding commitment to music education.

Now in its 21st year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the Hoboken Public School District answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for music programs. Responses were verified and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

This award recognizes that the Hoboken Public School District is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides implementation in the states and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which was often criticized for an overemphasis on testing-while leaving behind subjects such as music. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.

Do you have a child or children who are interested in participating in our Virtual Talent Show? If so, take a look at the Google Form below, you will see how easy it is to complete and submit.

I will be checking in with my Hoboken School District Families over the break to make sure that you are okay and to ask if you need anything. 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. Remember, April is National Poetry Month. Find a poem that speaks to you in some way and make it your own by hanging it on your refrigerator, clipping it inside your journal, taping it to your mirror, or reading it to someone special.

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

Hoboken Public School District's Virtual Talent Show

In Honor of National Poetry Month: Superintendent's Favorite Poem About Spring Written By Emily Dickinson

‘A Light Exists in Spring‘

A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.

Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay —

A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.

Evidence that Spring has Sprung

Hoboken School District Twins Finished Up Their Remote Learning At The Start of Spring Break

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Hoboken Police Officers Also Read to Our Students

Story time with the Hoboken Police Department episode #1

Staff Members Read Stories for Families

HPS Reads: Mrs. Dunn reads "Unicorn Day" by Diana Murray & Luke Flowers

Artwork Created by 7 yr. Old Brandt School Student, Myra

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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

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:

COVID-19 Resources

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

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.