Hoboken Public School District
Superintendent's Message - September 10, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians:
Teachers are hard at work in our school buildings getting classrooms ready for onsite students and are preparing for online learning. Administrators are hosting meetings to review new processes and protocols, and our nursing, custodial and security teams continue to prepare our schools with a focus on health, wellness and safety.
I have provided a friendly reminder for this week and the upcoming weeks' activities below:
- Week of September 8th - Teachers report to work to prepare for the upcoming school year and get their classrooms ready
- Week of September 14th - Remote learning for all students coupled with small group orientations at each school
- Week of September 21st - Students begin onsite or remote learning as determined by the submitted Declarations of Intent
This edition of The Herald includes information about the opening of our schools, parent communication, after care, meal service, parent resources, curriculum, and our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. You will also see a major shout out to the Hoboken Public Education Foundation.
In closing, I want to thank all of you for your cooperation, patience and partnership. All three ingredients make for an incredible school district. I could not ask for a more committed collection of guardians and parents. You are truly amazing and I am honored to serve the Hoboken Public School District.
School Building Readiness Update
To date, all of our schools and playgrounds have been sanitized and disinfected. Each of our schools have received ultra violet wands and electrostatic sprayers that our custodians have been trained to use. All of our schools are already using hand-held thermometers and stand up scan thermometers, as well as entryway hand sanitizing units. In addition, all classrooms have desk shields and hand sanitizing dispensers. Stickers are in and have been placed on floors and in hallways reminding everyone that social distancing and face coverings are required. Shoe sanitizing mats have been laid down at the entryways of our schools. On Tuesday, our staff received PPE packages.
At last night's Board of Education Meeting, members approved my request to purchase 250 HEPA filter units for our classrooms. I anticipate the arrival of these units during the week of September 21st. In the meantime, our Heating and Cooling service providers have already been to each of our schools to ensure that all vents, fresh air systems, unit ventilators and air handlers are working and have new filters.
Shout Out to the HPEF
I can't thank the Hoboken Public Education Foundation enough for all of their support. As you know, the HPEF sponsored our 1:1, Grades 3-12 Chromebook initiative. At this time, all high school, middle school, 5th and 4th grade students have already received Chromebooks. Today, our 3rd grade students are set to receive them. We are well on our way to becoming a Google District fully operational Google District.
A few weeks back, I spoke to HPEF leaders and explained that our art teachers want to eliminate the sharing of supplies. Our art teachers shared a list of items that they feel our student should have. The Hoboken Public Education Foundation graciously agreed to sponsor the purchase of art caddies filled with supplies for every Kindergarten through 5th grade student, as well as sketch pads and drawing utensils for students at the 6th through 12th grade levels. These supplies are being ordered and we can't wait to distribute them to our students.
For those K-5 families that indicated a need for after care on the Declaration of Intent, Mr. Christopher DellaFave sent out messages outlining pricing and schedules. We will only be servicing those families that indicated they are in need of assistance for after school on their original Declaration of Intent. We will certainly include this service on the October 9th Declaration of Intent. This after care offering is not our popular Passport to Learning Program. Instead, it is a supervised homework help program to ensure that your child is safe until you are able to pick him or her up no later than 6:00 p.m.
Meal Service & Federal Lunch Application
The Hoboken Public School District has been approved for the Federal Seamless Meal Program from the start of the school year through December. This means that regardless of a child's or family's free or reduced lunch status, the breakfast and lunch program meals will be served at no cost from the opening of school through December.
During the week of September 14th, the Hoboken Public School District will distribute grab and go breakfast and lunch meals to all students enrolled in the district at no cost from 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. from Connors Elementary School.
Beginning the week of September 21st, the Hoboken Public School District will provide grab and go breakfast and lunch meals to all students enrolled in the district at no cost from 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. from Calabro Elementary School.
Each school year, our schools distribute Free and Reduced Lunch Applications to all families. In years past, these applications were paper-based. While we can provide paper applications for those that prefer hard copies, we have digitized the application this year to make it easier for record keeping. Also, even though we have been approved for the Seamless Meal Program, all children must have a federal lunch application on file.
These applications are so important because the amount of federal funding a district receives is directed related to the percentage of students that qualify for free and reduced lunch. That means that our ESSA Grant funds for Title I, Title II A, Title III and Title IV are tied to our percentage of free and reduced lunch students. These grant funds cover things like teacher professional development, English as a Second Language Programs, Safe and Drug Free Schools' initiatives, and supplement our Passport to Learning Program. When an application is not completed for every child in the district, is lowers our changes of receiving the full funding we actually qualify to receive.
I ask that all families complete this application for each school-aged child in the home so that our district is fully funded by the federal government. Please access the updated link below to complete and submit your application(s) for your child(ren):
Partnership with Riverside Medical Group
This school year, we have retained the Riverside Medical Group for required "school physician" services. This medical group has been extremely helpful during the summer months and as we prepare for the opening of school As you know, Riverside has facilitated the vast majority of testing in the City of Hoboken. As a result of our new partnership, they have offered to make testing for Hoboken Public School District students as easy and seamless as possible. They have created a dedicated email for parents and guardians of students in our district who would like to make an appointment for COVID-19 testing. If you would like to have your child tested, please send an email to email@example.com. Let them know that you would like to have your child, who attends the Hoboken Public School District, tested and leave a phone number so they can reach back out to you. They will expedite your request and schedule an appointment for your child.
Parent & Guardian Communication
All families should have received letters and/or emails from our school principal regarding class placements and the schedule for the remote learning week of September 14th through September 18th. If you have not received any communication from your child's principal, please reach out via email. Their addresses are as follows:
- High School Principal (Robin Piccapietra) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Middle School Principal (Anna Marra) email@example.com
- Wallace School Principal (Martin Shannon) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Connors School Principal (Juliana Addi) email@example.com
- Brandt School Principal (Charles Bartlett) firstname.lastname@example.org
This school year, we are asking all parents and guardians at all school levels to regularly use our student information system (Genesis). If you do not have a Genesis Parent Portal Account for your child or each child in your home, you may complete the Genesis Parent Account Request Survey by clicking below:
What will you be using Genesis for during the school year?
As parents and guardians, you will be asked to complete a Daily COVID-19 Questionnaire Form for each child in your home if they will be participating in our full-day, onsite traditional learning model. This questionnaire follows N.J. Department of Education guidelines for health and safety. It will ask questions related to symptoms that your child may be experiencing, as well as possible contact and potential exposure to COVID-19.
Each morning, a new Daily COVID-19 Questionnaire will be available between 5 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. This Questionnaire is very important and is part of our commitment to keep everyone safe and healthy. Below, you will find a Screencastify tutorial to help you with this process:
For those students who are participating in the full-day remote learning program, parents and guardians will need to submit the Remote Learning Attendance Form each day between 8:15 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. certifying that your child or children will be present for remote learning all day.
Remember, you must complete this form for each child in your home. We have included a Screencastify tutorial below that will assist you with this process as well:
To recap, the completion of the Daily COVID-19 Questionnaire Form will be completed for all children who are coming onsite for our full-day traditional learning model.
The completion of the Remote Learning Attendance Form will be completed for all children who will be staying home and participating in our remote learning model.
We will be sending friendly reminder emails at the start of the year on a daily basis. And, to facilitate practicing both forms, I am respectfully asking all K-12 families in the district to complete both the Daily COVID-19 Questionnaire Form and the Remote Learning Attendance Form during the week of September 14th through the 18th. By doing so, you will help us troubleshoot any issues that families may have or emails that may not be operational.
Parent & Guardian Resources
Our Assistant Superintendent's Office has developed an interactive site to assist families with remote learning and beyond. This site was created in response to feedback from parents and guardians over the past few months. We are cognizant that the partnership between home and school is critical both in the traditional and remote learning models. You will find student links, as well as parent and guardian resources. There is also valuable information about Chromebooks, the Google Classroom, various platforms and online safety. Take a look by clicking the link below.
Over the summer months, our Assistant Superintendent and teachers worked to make some positive changes to our curriculum. Middle School Science, Elementary English Language Arts, and Elementary Social Studies documents have all been updated. The work that was completed over the summer is comprehensive and best-in-class.
Units in the Middle School Science curriculum were shifted in order to push Project Lead the Way learning to the end of the year. We want to be sure that all students will experience those particular units of study onsite.
At the elementary level, staff members worked to integrate explicit instruction in the Writers Workshop Model with concrete guidance and recommendations, detailed unit pacing guides, and writing units. It was our goal to present robust instruction in the art of writing. In the social studies content area, you will see that we dug deep into the themes of Social Justice and made powerful literature connections that will highlighted authentic writing opportunities. We are proud to present our partnership with Teaching Tolerance and the ways in which those standards are horizontally and vertically spiraled across each grade level and cumulatively from Kindergarten through Grade 5.
At the high school level, curriculum was developed for newly required courses for graduation at Hoboken High School. Before students leave Hoboken High School, they will take African American History and Culture in America, Latino History and Culture in America, People Who Have Shaped the World, and Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
I would like to thank Sandra Rodriguez-Gomez, Christopher Munoz, Paul Huggins, Karen Koerner, Dr. Robin Baskinger, Christy Gaudio, Savannah Januse, Corrine Yorlano-Doughtery, Elizabeth Lawrence, Kimberly Mara, and Milana Ayers for their work on these curriculum documents. Their dedication ensures that Hoboken Public Schools will continue to thrive and continuously strive for excellence.
To view all curriculum documents, please visit http://www.hoboken.k12.nj.us/curriculum.
Our District's Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
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.