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Elysian Charter School of Hoboken - A positively different public school.
School website: | To donate: Harry Laub, Ph.D., Director
Elysian Charter School
Weekly Newsletter

A Positively Different Public School

September 20, 2015         Vol. 11  Issue 2
Please note that the school newsletter is sent out on Mondays.  When there is a holiday, the newsletter is sent the following day.  Please send news to by 1:00 PM on Mondays.

The weekly newsletter is archived on Elysian's website,, so that you can always access both the most recent newsletter as well as all previous ones.
Harry's Corner 
Reflections on the First Week of School
I stepped out of my office the other afternoon because I heard noise in the hallway.  It wasn’t a bad noise, it was more like children laughing and having a good time.  I looked in the direction of the sound and saw a group of sixth graders building balloon structures in our third floor lobby.  As they worked they were laughing at the odd configurations that seemed to work and at the occasional popped balloon.  They were learning how to make structures that fit together and hold up with these odd shapes. 
Earlier that morning one of the kindergarten classes was searching the school looking for the missing gingerbread man (based upon a book they were reading).  The whole class came into my office.  As they sat on the floor they asked me questions about my job.  Later, when I went out to recess many of these children came over to me to talk.  At drop off the next morning, several parents reported that their children had discussed the trip to my office.
Throughout the building children have been re-engaging with school.  There is real excitement about our new space and the absolutely comfortable, bright and inviting facility that we now inhabit.  The pride in the new building is exceptional.  Children are instinctively picking up papers off the floor and cleaning up even the smallest of spills.  As I walk around the building I see children listening intently in the meeting areas of the room and working at their tables on really meaningful work.  After all the excitement of the opening of the building, we are now settling into the day to day routines and work that really make school meaningful.
I just want to take a moment to thank everyone for the cooperation during drop off and pick up.  In the morning people are now pulling all the way up, no one is parking in front of the building and there is no confusion.  In the afternoon the classes are spread out so that the teachers can easily turn over each child to the appropriate pick up person.  I also want to give a quick shout out to the crossing guards on 14th Street.  They have been wonderful!  Just a reminder, please be sure to cross on the Dino and Harry’s side of Garden; that is easier and safer than crossing 14th on the other side, where the cars are turning.
Volunteers Needed for Open House Event
Thursday, October 8, 5:00 - 8:00 PM, Hoboken High School
We need volunteers to help out at Elysian's information table at the 11th Annual Hoboken Family Alliance School Fair.  This is an opportunity for Elysian to tell potential applicants about our open house dates and lottery and answer questions.  We need several volunteers because this is a very busy event that launches Elysian's Enrollment season.   Please contact Susan Gilbertson,
Notes From the Music Room
Dear parents,
I hope all of you had a lovely summer. I am looking forward to a wonderful year of music making with your children.  I want to let you know about several important events that what will be happening in the few weeks:
Rock Band auditions will be held on Thursday, October 29th from 3:00-4:30 (7th & 8th Graders only). This year Rock Band rehearsals will be held on Mondays from 3:00-4:00 PM.
Glockenspiels go home with 4th, 5th and 6th Graders starting the week of September 21st. I will be sending home (as I do each year) glockenspiels on loan for the school year.  By now you will have received a letter from me through your child’s classroom teacher with instructions for the care of these instruments.  One will also be included inside the glockenspiel case.
Please be on the look out for newsletters from me about the music program throughout the year.   I look forward to meeting with many of you on Back to School Night in October.
Best wishes,
Mary Guthrie

P.S.  I would like to thank Ashley's 3rd grade parents for donating tissues and hand sanitizer to the music room.  
PARENT WORKSHOP:  Suicide Prevention Awareness
Presented by the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide

Hosted by Stevens Cooperative School in collaboration with The Hudson School, Hoboken Charter School and Elysian Charter School.

Tuesday, October 13th
301 Garden Street*
Hoboken, NJ 07030

*Please enter the building through the black gates on Garden Street, between 3rd & 4th Street

Please RSVP to Elysian Main Office by Friday, October 2nd

KidStuff Coupon Book Fundraiser has begun!  Please look for the yellow bag in your child’s backpack.  The coupon book sent home can be yours for $25 – if you do not want it, please simply return the book to your classroom teacher.  If you would like to sell some to your friends and family, you can receive one FREE book for EVERY 5 you sell!  There will be a prize for the classroom that sells the most books (one winner for each of K-2nd, 3rd-5th and 6th-8th)

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped stuff the yellow bags this morning – Jenn N., Jen W., Jen O., Mona, Katrina, Cecilia, Sheetal and Natasha!  You all were great and your help was MUCH appreciated!!

Halloween Party - Mark your Calendars for Saturday, Oct. 24th 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. - to be held in our new gym!
PTSO Kick Off Meeting - Calling all volunteers.  Please meet in the art room on the 3rd floor right after drop off this Friday, September 25th.  Come find out what we are all about, how you can help and get answers to any questions you may have.
News from the Friends of Elysian
Welcome back!  For those of you who are new to Elysian, The Friends of Elysian Charter School is a 501(c)3 fundraising organization dedicated to raising funds for the Elysian Charter School of Hoboken.  We operate independently of the Elysian board —with our own members and officers —but do so in support of the financial needs of Elysian.   Since our creation in 1997,  monies raised by the Friends have supported our facilities, technology improvements, scholarships, arts programs and of course, the acquisition and build out of our new home at 1460 Garden Street.   
We often work in partnership with the PTSO and the Elysian board on specific campaigns, most notably in the last year on the Campaign for Elysian, a three-year fundraising effort dedicated to our new building.  In year one, the Campaign for Elysian campaign raised just over $250,000, and now in year two, we hope to raise another $125,000 and the same in 2017.  We thank you for your support!
Our annual fundraising activities include, but are not limited to, a 50-50 lottery, an early Spring cocktail party/auction and sponsorship of a late spring golf tournament, in partnership with other area charter and private schools.   Stayed tuned for more details on all of these events.  We accept donations from individuals, businesses, foundations, non-profits and corporations who provide matching gifts.  All donations to the Friends of Elysian are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. 
For more information on the Friends of Elysian or to donate, please visit our website at or contact us by e-mail at
Annual Meeting Announcement
The Friends of Elysian will host its 2015 Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 15th, 2015 at 6:30PM at our building at 1460 Garden Street.   We will be discussing/planning our fundraising initiatives for the 2015-2016 school year and also will be accepting nominations for Friends of Elysian's 2015-2016 board of trustees.  Please consider joining the Friends of Elysian and showing your support for Elysian through fundraising!   
All Elysian community members (e.g. parents, teachers, staff, relatives, Hoboken residents) are welcome to join the Friends by attending the annual meeting or by contacting Friends of Elysian co-chairs: Kim Demopoulos ( or Eileen O’Brien (  Individuals who currently hold positions on the ECS board or any other elected position within Hoboken or Hudson county are not eligible for voting member or board of trustee or officer positions. 
We hope to see you on the 15th!  
THE BIG NEWS: We reached our goal of more than $250,000 for Year One! ($255,521, to be exact) Yes! Hoo-ray! Yippee! This is literally more than double the amount of any past annual appeal!
And for those who could not make it to the ribbon-cutting ceremony last week, we also wanted to share with you our message from the program:
“Even though Elysian is only about a mile from its previous location, it has been a long journey to get to our new home. And there have been so many who have helped along the way.
Fundraising for this project began almost nine years ago when Larry Bijou, after taking a tour of Elysian, made the generous pledge to build a new home for the school. The Friends of Elysian then stepped up its fundraising efforts, hosting annual appeals, dinners, auctions, art sales, raffles and an annual golf tournament. We are grateful to the founding members of the Friends of Elysian and the community of past and present Elysian families, teachers/staff, alumni, businesses and all the friends of Elysian who participated in these efforts and donated the funds to make this move-in day possible.
When we were informed in 2015 that our dream to have our own facility would soon be complete, the Friends of Elysian, PTSO and Board of Trustees joined forces to lead the Campaign for Elysian – a three-year capital campaign benefiting the school’s facilities fund. It has been our biggest and most successful fundraising campaign ever and we thank everyone who came together and has given time, effort and expertise at this most vital moment. And we extend our sincere appreciation to… 
* Elysian families who opened their homes and hosted events that not only resulted in donations, but raised our Elysian spirit as well.
* Extended family members, friends, co-workers and employers who also rallied around our cause showing their support and contributing matching donations.
* Staff members and teachers who held individual fundraisers in their classrooms and shared news of the campaign with their families.
* Parents who held fitness fundraisers as well as our little Eagles who donated their change via birthday parties, lemonade stands and mini-fundraisers.
* Everyone, both individuals and businesses, who made the auction a great success.
* Class parents who helped support the annual fundraising dinner by selling lottery tickets.
* Generous businesses who have given us new meaning for what a “good neighbor” is.
When we all look back at this time years from now, when all our children have graduated and moved on, we will still remember being on the ground floor (or the second and third) of this new beginning for Elysian Charter School. And while, back in the present, we are not at the end of our journey, thanks to so many, the wind is definitely at our backs.”
Postscript: It was brought to our attention that unfortunately there were several typos and omissions in the printed program handed out at the ribbon-cutting ceremony and for that we sincerely apologize. The point of the program was to make everyone who contributed feel appreciated and special and we feel awful that anyone might have felt slighted instead. And so, in the spirit of the problem solving and teamwork that is taught at Elysian, we will be implementing several new procedures to make sure that something like this does not happen again. We are also correcting any errors and then reprinting a limited run, with the cost donated, of the program as soon as possible. We will be meticulous about this, but just to be certain, if you donated and did not see your name in the program, or if it was misspelled or not formatted correctly, please email us at: (And please let us know if there were any inaccuracies related to extended family or friends who donated as well.) Lastly, so that we can best estimate the needed print run, please also email us if you would like a new program. Thank you.
Separately, due to the summer break, we didn’t have the opportunity to also thank some all-new donors. Your generosity is very much appreciated!  
Lauren and Mike Blumenfeld
Catherine Cruz-Levine
Brian Engelhart
Michael Gazaleh
Nike Ishmael
Melissa Landera (in honor of Madge Dargan)
Michele and Craig Linder
Maureen Melnick and Brian Neville
Shareza Mohammed
Cynthia Ng-Villaluz and Jason Villaluz  
Robert Noskiewicz
Jennifer and LaSalle Orion
Bruce and Kathy Prussack
Mark and Svetlana Zoltak  
Business Donors
Karson Food Service
Pilsener Haus & Biergarten
Right Angle Framing
Stan’s Sports Center
This Week: Safe Bicycling Workshop, Thurs., September 24, 3:00 - 3:45 PM
For those families interested in potentially riding bikes to school we are hosting a Safe Bicycling Workshop on Thursday September 24 from 3:00 - 3:45 PM for students in grades 4-8.
This educational workshop is led by the Hudson County Transportation Management Agency, and is designed to help young people learn how to cycle safely in an urban environment, including understanding safe routes and crossings to school.
This inaugural workshop will actually not include bike riding, but is meant as more of an introductory session using educational videos. It will be held in a classroom. Based on the interest from this initial workshop, the TMA has offered to come back with a whole range of similar programs they can offer including Safe Walking to School, Learning to Ride, a Bicycle Loaner program, and others.  All these programs are free.
If your family is interested to participate in the Workshop on the 24th please RSVP to Susan Gilbertson,   If you cannot make that date but are interested in future programs it will help to let us know that too.  More info on the Hudson County TMA and available programs can be found here:
Elysian Collects Box Tops and LABELS for Education:  Look for the container near Deb's desk in the office!  Thank you! 
As per state law, we no longer publish the exact location of trips for security reasons.
Please read the calendar weekly, as changes are updated regularly.

September Calendar

Tuesday, September 22
  • Countdown to KUUMBA Day begins (more info to come) with Ya Ya Kamate visiting the 3rd grade to begin our 18th annual African Dance residency.
Wednesday, September 23
  • Elysian Closed for Yom Kippur.
Thursday, September 24
  • Bicycle Safety Workshop at Elysian, 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM for students grades 4 - 8.  See above to RSVP.
Friday, September 25
  • PTSO kick off meeting, 3rd floor,  At room, right after morning drop off
Monday, September 28
  • Board of Trustees Meeting, 7:00 PM
Wednesday, September 30
  • Please note, NO PTSO Meeting today
Upcoming October Events - Mark Your Calendar:
  • Friday, October 2 - deadline to rsvp (to Elysian's main office) for Parent Workshop: Suicide Prevention Awareness (see above)
  • Thursday, October 8 - New Victory Theater visits the 4th grade
  • Tuesday, October 6-Friday, October 9 - Book Fair, 3rd floor lobby
  • Wednesday, October 7 -  6:00 PM, Back to School Night
  • Wednesday, October 7, 4th Grade Trip
  • Thursday, October 8 - New Victory Theater  returns to visit the 4th grade
  • Monday, October 12 -  Elysian Closed for Columbus Day
  • Tuesday, October 13, 6:30 - 7:30 PM, Stevens Coop, Parent Workshop: Suicide Prevention Awareness  (See above)
  • Thursday, October 15 - 2nd grade trip 
  • Friday, October 16 - Photo Day
  • Wednesday, October 21 - 12:30 dismissal for Staff Development, After School Program available
  • Wednesday, October 21 - PTSO Meeting, 6:30 PM, Pizza and childcare available
  • Wednesday, October 21-Friday, October 29 - 7th and 8th grade trip
  • Thursday, October 22 - 2nd grade trip
  • Saturday, October 24 - Halloween Party,   1:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Monday, October 26 - High School Night 5:30 p.m.
  • Monday, October 26 - Board of Trustees Meeting, 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, October 29 - 8th grade trip
  • Thursday, October 29 - Rock Band auditions, 3:00 - 4:30 PM  - 7th and 8th grade only

301 Garden Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Harry Laub, Ph.D., Director | | Phone:201.876.0102 | Fax:201.876.9576

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