Early Childhood Connection

April 16, 2021

Hello Preschool Families and Guardians,

What a beautiful spring break week. Lovely spring weather and a chance to disconnect and slow down for a bit. I hope you and your family had an opportunity to recharge and reconnect.

A gentle reminder that on site learning will resume on Monday, April 19th. Monday also marks the start of our final declaration phrase. We are in the home stretch of this school year.

The Hoboken Public Schools Early Childhood Education Programs’ Preschool Intervention & Referral Team (PIRT) and Assistant Superintendent Sandra Rodriguez-Gomez, are happy to announce the topic for their upcoming webinar, the ABC's of Behavior. In this webinar the PIRT will share practical strategies to help determine the origin of challenging behavior. After the webinar presentation PIRT will engage in a live Q&A from 10-11am. Registration for this virtual event is required. Please see the full flyer and registration link below.

This week we celebrated the National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC) Week of the Young Child. This annual celebration showcases young children, their teachers, and families. Since this week was a remote week, we'll also be celebrating next week with more fun theme and spirit days. Stay tuned to next week's ECE Connection for a fun montage highlighting two weeks of fun.

The ECE newsletter is always full of important and relevant information. While lengthy, this is a one stop shop for preschool resources. To help guide you through each edition of the newsletter I want to highlight each section of the newsletter:

  • Current Events will be shared at the top of each weekly newsletter;
  • Highlights from our Early Childhood staff;
  • Nurse's Corner will provide you with updates from our ECE nurse, Deb Meier. There you will also find a link to the Universal Child Health Record form should you need it;
  • Our attendance policy and overview;
  • Framework that contains additional resources for at home student learning, complete with links and suggestions for brain breaks, gross motor activities, and more;
  • Crisis counseling services and resources as provided and supported by local NJ agencies;
  • ECE website another wonderful resource filled with websites, activities, and links to even more resources to support the academic and social emotional needs of our youngest learners;
  • Preschool Organizational Charts with contact information for the various people at each site, by organization, to help you get your concerns and questions heard and answered;
  • and finally our PK Reopening Plan where you can find specific information pertaining to our reopening/ COVID policies and practices.


Lauren Eakin, Supervisor of Early Childhood

To those who celebrate Ramadan have a blessed and generous month.

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April is Autism Awareness Month

Don't forgot to wear blue every Monday in April.

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Educators hold a special place in our hearts, especially now more than ever. These days, educators are working double-time to teach in new ways while balancing their own new normal. We’re all missing the personal connections, and educators are no exception, finding new and creative ways to keep close from a distance. From supporting students on site to creating ways to engage students at home, here are some of the educators that are inspiring us this week.

Ms. Tamara Arrocho

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Ms. Joanna Ip-Mejia

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Ms. Maria Nissirios

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Nurse's Corner

Nutrition Considerations for Preschoolers

Preschool-age children are still developing their eating habits and need encouragement to eat healthy meals and snacks. These children are eager to learn, especially from other people and will often imitate eating behaviors of adults. They need supervision at mealtime as they are still working on chewing and swallowing skills.

The following are some helpful mealtime hints for preschool-age children:

  • Prepare meals, provide regularly scheduled snacks, and limit unplanned eating.

  • Poor behavior at mealtime should not be allowed. Focus on eating, not playing with food, or playing at the dinner table.

  • Running or playing while eating can cause a child to choke. Have your child sit when eating.

  • Keep offering a variety of foods. Have the attitude that, sooner or later, your child will learn to eat most all foods.

  • Make mealtime as pleasant as possible. Do not put pressure on your child to eat, or force your child to "clean" his or her plate. This may lead to overeating which can cause your child to gain too much weight. Children will be hungry at mealtime if snacks have been limited during the day.

  • Provide examples of healthy eating habits. Preschoolers mimic what they see their parents doing. If you have unhealthy eating habits, your child will not learn to eat healthy.

Healthy food choices

The Choose My Plate icon is a guideline to help you and your child eat a healthy diet. My Plate can help you and your child eat a variety of foods while encouraging the right amount of calories and fat.

The USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have prepared food plate to guide parents in selecting foods for children age 2 and older.

The My Plate icon is divided into five food group categories, emphasizing the nutritional intake of the following:

  • Grains. Foods that are made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain are grain products. Examples include whole wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal.

  • Vegetables. Vary your vegetables. Choose a variety of colorful vegetables, including dark green, red, and orange vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), and starchy vegetables.

  • Fruits. Any fruit or 100 percent fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut up, or pureed.

  • Dairy. Milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Focus on fat-free or low-fat products, as well as those that are high in calcium.

  • Protein. Go lean on protein. Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry. Vary your protein routine; choose more fish, nuts, seeds, peas, and beans.

Oils are not a food group, yet some, such as nut oils, contain essential nutrients and can be included in the diet. Animal fats, which are solid fats, should be avoided.

Exercise and everyday physical activity should also be included with a healthy dietary plan.

To find more information about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 and to determine the appropriate dietary recommendations visit ChooseMyPlate.gov. Please note that the MyPlate plan is designed for people older than age 2 who do not have chronic health conditions. Always consult your child's health care provider regarding his or her healthy diet and exercise requirements.

Nurse Deb Meier, Hoboken Early Childhood Program

Information courtesy of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia https://www.chop.edu

Attendance Counts and Matters!

We kindly ask that you submit attendance via the Google Form that has been shared by the providers via the Office Manager/ Family Advocates by 9am. During last year's closure we took attendance all day and attendance was monitored by the classroom teachers. As we embark on a new school year tighter guidance has been provided by the NJDOE and we are to monitor and report attendance daily. Your help and cooperation will greatly help us.

If your child will be on site attendance will be recorded in class.

Students are expected to attend school daily, unless they are ill.

Please be cognizant of school calendar when planning vacations. These will be logged as an unexcused absence.

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April 2021 Framework

This framework is a supplemental parent resource. It contains links to various Tools of the Minds PDFs and has a variety of the brain break songs, gross motor activities, and links to various other sites that offer fun, educational activities. This framework should not the take the place of the teacher's lessons.

ECE Website

In March 2020 our PIRT and Master Teachers worked alongside me to create a webpage full of resources to help our families and staff while on remote instruction. During the course of the closure this webpage became a hub for all things preschool- staff read alouds, the HPS virtual district wide talent show, the weekly framework, resources from Ms. Ellen and much more.

This year, we'll be providing a facelift to the ECE Available Resource webpage starting with a name change. Since this website is so much more than available resources, this site will simply be referred to as the ECE website.

This webpage will be a work in progress and will be updated frequently. Be sure to visit often!

Hoboken Public Schools Department of ECE Welcome 20-21


Not sure who to contact to get your thoughts, questions, or suggestions heard? Click on the link below to be redirected to the preschool organizational charts to follow the chain of communication.

Reopening Plan

If you have any questions as it pertains to the reopening plan, please be sure to check out the district's website.

Department of Early Childhood

Lauren Eakin, Supervisor of Early Childhood

leakin@hoboken.k12.nj.us | 201-356-3695

Diana Milne, Community Parent Involvement Specialist

dmilne@hoboken.k12.nj.us | 201-356-3698

Denise Valetin- Brookes, Early Childhood Clerk

dbrookes@hoboken.k12.nj.us | 201-356-3695

Deb Meier, Early Childhood Nurse

dmeier@hoboken.k12.nj.us | 201-356-3756