Elysian Charter School of Hoboken
Elysian Charter School of Hoboken
www.ecsnj.org friendsofelysian.org
Harry Laub, Ph.D., Director
Elysian Charter School
Weekly Newsletter

A Positively Different Public School

December 7, 2015         Vol. 11  Issue 13
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 lynne.shapiro@ecsnj.org by 1:00 PM on Mondays.

The weekly newsletter is archived on Elysian's website, www.ecsnj.org, so that you can always access both the most recent newsletter as well as all previous ones.
Harry's Corner
This article originally appeared in the Sunday Review Section of The New York Times on November 15, 2015. It discusses the importance of teaching Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills to all age children, and includes a study of children with strong SEL skills as children have more successful outcomes in adulthood. 

Teaching Peace in Elementary School
FOR years, there has been a steady stream of headlines about the soaring mental health needs of college students and their struggles with anxiety and lack of resilience.
Now, a growing number of educators are trying to bolster emotional competency not on college campuses, but where they believe it will have the greatest impact: in elementary schools.
In many communities, elementary teachers, guidance counselors and administrators are embracing what is known as social and emotional learning, or S.E.L., a process through which people become more aware of their feelings and learn to relate more peacefully to others.
Feeling left out? Angry at your mom? Embarrassed to speak out loud during class? Proponents of S.E.L. say these feelings aren’t insignificant issues to be ignored in favor of the three R’s. Unless emotions are properly dealt with, they believe, children won’t be able to reach their full academic potential.
“It’s not just about how you feel, but how are you going to solve a problem, whether it’s an academic problem or a peer problem or a relationship problem with a parent,” said Mark T. Greenberg, a professor of human development and psychology at Pennsylvania State University.
Echoing the concept of “emotional intelligence,” popularized in the 1990s by Daniel Goleman’s best-selling book of the same name, he added, “The ability to get along with others is really the glue of healthy human development.”
Today’s schoolchildren confront not only the inherent difficulty of growing up, but also an increasingly fraught testing environment, a lower tolerance for physical acting out and the pervasive threat of violence. (President Obama last year characterized school shootings as “becoming the norm.”) Poverty and income inequality, too, create onerous emotional conditions for many children.
“The neural pathways in the brain that deal with stress are the same ones that are used for learning,” said Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, a research and teaching center. “Schools are realizing that they have to help kids understand their feelings and manage them effectively.” He added, “We, as a country, want our kids to achieve more academically, but we can’t do this if our kids aren’t emotionally healthy.”
S.E.L., sometimes called character education, embraces not just the golden rule but the idea that everyone experiences a range of positive and negative feelings. It also gives children tools to slow down and think when facing conflicts, and teaches them to foster empathy and show kindness, introducing the concept of shared responsibility for a group’s well-being.
Studies have found that promoting emotional and social skills correlates with improved outcomes in students’ lives. A 2011 analysis of 213 S.E.L. programs involving 270,034 kindergarten through high school students published in the journal Child Development found that the participants demonstrated significantly improved social and emotional skills, attitudes and behavior compared with a control group, as well as an 11-point gain in academic achievement percentiles.
In a recent study, researchers from Penn State and Duke looked at 753 adults who had been evaluated for social competency nearly 20 years earlier while in kindergarten: Scores for sharing, cooperating and helping other children nearly always predicted whether a person graduated from high school on time, earned a college degree, had full-time employment, lived in public housing, received public assistance or had been arrested or held in juvenile detention.
Dr. Greenberg, a co-author of the study, saidhe was surprised by how much social competence outweighed other variables like social class, early academic achievement and family circumstances when it came to predicting outcomes. “That tells us that the skills underlying what we’re testing — getting along with others, making friendships — really are master skills that affect all aspects of life.”
Moreover, positive relationships, emotional competency and resilience have also been widely identified as helping to prevent mental illness.
At P.S. 130 in Brooklyn, where most students qualify for free lunch, a class of third graders recently sat in a circle and brainstormed, for the second day in a row, about steps they could take to prevent an aggressive boy in another class from causing problems during lunch and recess: A 9-year-old girl said she “felt scared” when the boy chased and grabbed her; Leo, an 8-year-old with neon orange sneakers, described, with agitation, how the boy sat down, uninvited, at his table and caused so much commotion that it drew sanctions from a cafeteria aide.
“How does he really bother you?” a girl in a pink sweatshirt asked, seeking clarification, as she’d been taught.
“Because,” Leo responded, his voice swelling with indignation, “it took 10 minutes from recess!”
To advance the science and practice of S.E.L., researchers at Yale established the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning in 1994; under the leadership of Roger P. Weissberg, it moved to the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1996.
Drawing on decades of research, the group set forth what it described as the five goals of S.E.L. for students:
•Self-awareness: The ability to reflect on one’s own feelings and thoughts.
•Self-management (or self-control): The ability to control one’s own thoughts and behavior.
•Social awareness: The ability to empathize with others, recognize social cues and adapt to various situations.
•Relationship skills: The ability to communicate, make friends, manage disagreements, recognize peer pressure and cooperate.
•Responsible decision making: The ability to make healthy choices about one’s own behavior while weighing consequences for others.
Despite the growing demand for S.E.L., some worry that asking teachers to address feelings takes valuable time from academics. Vital subjects like science, history, art and music “are already starved for oxygen,” Robert Pondiscio, a senior fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning education policy group in Washington, wrote in an email. “It’s easy to recognize the importance of S.E.L. skills. It’s much harder to identify and implement curricular interventions that have a measurable effect on them. Thus ‘what works’ tends to be defined as ‘what I like’ or ‘what I believe works.’”
Skeptics of using school time to tend to emotions might consider visiting P.S. 130, where the hallway outside a third-grade classroom is decorated with drawings made by students showing their aspirations for the current school year.
One child hopes “to make new friends.” Another wants to “be nice and help.”
And as for Leo, who is frustrated about losing 10 minutes of recess?
Underneath a watercolor self-portrait, in which his body is painted orange, he wrote: “My hope for myself this year is to get better at math.”
If S.E.L. strategies work, he will be better equipped to reach that goal.
Julie Scelfo is a former staff writer for The New York Times who writes often about human behavior. 
Reminder: sibling applications are due
If you have a child at Elysian already, and you are planning to enroll a sibling in the 2016-17 school year, please complete an application form and return it to Susan Gilbertson in the office.  You can find the form on Elysian's website or stop by the office to pick it up.  We must have an application on file before the January 13th Lottery in order for you to receive sibling preference.

Elysian Charter School has a long standing tradition of helping families in need. During this holiday season the ECS staff requests that you consider making a donation towards the purchase of gift cards to help families who could use a helping hand to purchase gifts for their children.

If you know of a family in need, or are  one yourself this year, please call me (201 876-0102), email diane.sasso@ecsnj.org or leave a note in my mailbox in the main office.  All referrals can be anonymous and  are confidential.

Please give your contribution to your child’s classroom teacher by 3:00 PM Friday, December 18th.

Thank you in advance for your generosity . It is very much appreciated.

Diane F. Sasso, LCSW
Basketball Practice

Hello Elysian,

Here is the basketball practice schedule for the rest of December. January's schedule might be different due to gym space availability. All practices will be held in our gymnasium. The first day of practice starts on Monday, December 14th.  

Please note that on Wednesday, December 23, it is a half day of school and we will not have practices. Thanks again. 


5th Grade: 4:00 - 5:00 PM 
6th grade:  5:00 - 6:00 PM


3rd grade: 3:00 - 4:00 PM
4th grade 4:00 - 5:00 PM


6,7&8th All girls team: 3:00 - 4:00 PM
7&8th boys team: 4:00 - 5:00 PM

PTSO Corner
FREE MONEY FOR ELYSIAN!! It is too easy! For all of you shopping for the holidays, please remember to sign up for Target, AmazonSmile and iGive as an easy way to help earn money for your school while you shop.  It only takes a few moments to sign up!  And if shopping at TinyPrints, use TPPHX3Z437 for 40% off through 12/31/15.  Please email elysianptso@gmail.com for a 40% code for use on Shutterfly products.  Just be sure to go through our storefront!  Please refer to No Brainer Moneymaker section of this newsletter for all the details and links.  Happy shopping!
A reminder that Middle School Night is this Wednesday, December 9th at 6:30 PM(for parents of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders)
There will be a powerpoint presentation and discussion on everything you need to know about Elysian's Middle School. 
• Meet teachers from 6th, 7th and 8th grade
• Hear about the curriculum
• Ask your questions!
Please RSVP to elysianptso@gmail.com by noon on 12/9 if you need babysitting services for this event to help with headcount for pizza. 

Chess - last class on 2/8/16
Dance w/ Derrick-last class on 12/21  - performance on Friday, Dec. 11 at Community Meeting.
Piano - last class on 12/14


Mad Science - last class on 12/15
Tinkercad - last class on 12/15

Tinkercad - last class on 12/16
Knitting - last class this week on 12/9
Cass #1 continues on  12/16 & 12/18 (last class  - to make up for 1/2 day on the 23rd        Magic Class #2 continues on 12/16 & 12/18 - make up class on Tuesday, 12/22 to make up for instructor's absence last week.

GAPS - last class 12/17
Fashion Lab - last class 12/17 - 2 hour class the last day from 3:00 - 5:00 to make up for Thanksgiving
Construction - last class 12/10
Basketball - last class on 12/17 - 2 hour class from 3:00 - 5:00 to make up for Thanksgiving.
 Elysian's own intermediate chess players, Mateo Gonzalez and Ryan Chen, have played in tournaments in New York City over the weekend.  Both played in competitive quads.  They did not play as a team, but both won first place!  Congratulations Mateo and Ryan!  These kids and others our team are an inspiration to others to become strong players.
Way to go Elysian Chess Club! 
Tickets to Pedal Punk at The New Victory Theater, Wednesday, December 16, 4:30 PM
Contact Lynne Shapiro, lynne.shapiro@ecsnj.org if you wish to aquire seats for you and your child/ren.
The After School Program students will be given permission slips tomorrow. 
Slips are required for children going with the After School Program. 
Students going to the theater with their parents do not need permission slips; the only need is to contact Lynne Shapiro to reserve seats.
Here is a program description:
In this steampunk-styled circus, the quirky cast of characters amaze with heart-pounding pole drop, awesome aerial acts, trapeze tricks (on a trampoline!) and more in this adrenaline-fueled circus from Cirque Mechanics from Las Vegas, nevada.  60 minutes.
No Brainer Moneymakers
Easy Ways To Raise Money for Our School At No Extra Cost To You. 
Shop through our storefront for Shutterfly and sign up for Amazon Smile, iGive and Target and just shop as usual!! It just takes two minutes!!  Pass along to your friends and family too!
  •  Shutterfly, TinyPrints and more -  Go to http://elysiancharter.shutterflystorefront.com.  Shop as usual.  No need to sign up, just use this link.  

  • Amazon Smile - http://smile.amazon.com/  Click on ‘change your charity’.  Select Elysian Charter.  Bookmark this address.   Shop as usual. 

  •  iGive -Go to www.iGive.com/ElysianCharter .  Fill out name, Password and email.  Click ‘Register Now’ button, install iGive button.  Shop!  You might have to click on a pop-up screen to verify at certain online stores.

  •  Target -  Go to www.target.com , click on REDcard and then ‘Learn about REDcard’.  Page down to ‘Take Charge of Education’ and click on ‘Learn More’.  Enter information under ‘Sign me up’ and click ‘Enroll’.  
Hoboken Homeless Shelter Paper Drive
Daniel Henson and Henry Plotka from the eighth grade are conducting a paper goods drive for the local homeless shelter. We are asking for paper goods such as paper cups, towels, plates, bowls, plastic forks, knives and spoons. In the downstairs lobby/entrance of the school, there is a box with a sign that says “middle school food drive". The shelter is in need of these items so we encourage you all to donate. Thanks!
Elysian Collects Box Tops and LABELS for Education:  Look for the container near Deb's desk in the office!  Thank you!
November Calendar

Monday, December 7
  • Basketball tryouts, 5th grade team. 4:00 - 5:00, in the gym
Tuesday, December 8
  • 3rd grade parents' "Meet and Greet" with Yahaya Kamate, African Dance teacher
  • Arts to Grow After School Theater Program, 3:00 - 4:30 (for Middle School students who are registered)
  • Basketball tryouts, 4th grade team. 3:00 - 4:00, in the gym
Wednesday, December 9
  • Basketball tryouts, 3rd grade team. 3:00 - 4:00, in the gym
  • 6:30 PM, Middle School Night (PTSO)
Thursday, December 10
  • Basketball tryouts, All girls team/ 6th, 7th and 8th grades, 4:00 - 5:00, in the gym
Friday, December 11
  • 8:30 AM, Community Meeting in gym.  All are welcome.
Tuesday, December 15
  • Arts to Grow After School Theater Program, 3:00 - 4:30 (for Middle School students who are registered)
Wednesday, December 16
  • Half day of school for staff development; students will be dismissed at 12:30 PM.  The Afterschool Program is available as usual
  • After School Trip to New Victory (see above).
Friday, December 18
  • 6th grade trip
Monday, December 21
  • 7:00 PM Board of Trustees Meeting
Tuesday, December 22
  • 5th grade trip
  • 8th grade trip
  • Arts to Grow After School Theater Program, 3:00 - 4:30 (for Middle School students who are registered)
Wednesday, December 23
  • Half Day of School for Winter Break.  Afterschool Program is available until 4:00 PM
Thursday, December 24 - Friday, January 1 
  • Winter Break
January 2016 Calendar
Monday, January 4
  • Return to school 

KUUMBA Day is Saturday, January 9 - mark your calendars! A Y...... is Saturday, January 9!

1460 Garden Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Harry Laub, Ph.D., Director | harry.laub@ecsnj.org | Phone:201.876.0102 | Fax:201.876.9576
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