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

May 1, 2017         Vol. 12  Issue 32
The school newsletter is sent out on Mondays.  When there is a holiday, the newsletter is sent the following day. 

Please note:  send news to lynne.shapiro@ecsnj.org by 1:00 PM on Mondays.
Harry's Corner

The use of social media by our students is moving down to lower and lower grades—just last  week a group of 4th graders were involved in a “group chat” in which inappropriate emoji’s were exchanged.  Although most websites have a 13 or 16 year old limit, these are not monitored by the companies.  Here is a listing of websites commonly used by children, including important parent information.  
The following article was published on the Common Sense Media website and can be found here.  
16 Apps and Websites Kids Are Heading to After Facebook
Social media apps that let teens do it all -- text, chat, meet people, and share their pics and videos -- often fly under parents' radars. By Christine Elgersma  
Gone are the days of Facebook as a one-stop shop for all social-networking needs. While it may seem more complicated to post photos on Instagram, share casual moments on Snapchat, text on WhatsApp, and check your Twitter feed throughout the day, tweens and teens love the variety.
You don't need to know the ins and outs of all the apps, sites, and terms that are "hot" right now (and frankly, if you did, they wouldn't be trendy anymore). But knowing the basics -- what they are, why they're popular, and what problems can crop up when they're not used responsibly -- can make the difference between a positive and a negative experience for your kid.
Below, we've laid out some of the most popular types of apps and websites for teens: texting, micro-blogging, self-destructing/secret, and chatting/meeting/dating. The more you know about each, the better you'll be able to communicate with your teen about safe choices.
GroupMe is another app that doesn't charge fees or have limits for direct and group messages. Users also can send photos, videos, and calendar links.
What parents need to know:
  • It's for older teens. The embedded GIFs and emojis have some adult themes, like drinking and sexy images.
  • Teens are always connected. Without fees or limits, teens can share and text to their heart's content, which may mean they rarely put the phone down.
Kik Messenger is an app that lets kids text for free. It's fast and has no message limits, character limits, or fees if you only use the basic features. Because it's an app, the texts won't show up on your kid's phone's messaging service, and you're not charged for them (beyond standard data rates).
What parents need to know:
  • Stranger danger is an issue. Kik allows communication with strangers who share their Kik usernames to find people to chat with. The app allegedly has been used in high-profile crimes, including the murder of a 13-year-old girl and a child-pornography case. There's also a Kik community blog where users can submit photos of themselves and screenshots of messages (sometimes displaying users' full names) to contests.
  • It's loaded with ads and in-app-purchases. Kik specializes in "promoted chats" -- basically, conversations between brands and users. It also offers specially designed apps (accessible only through the main app), many of which offer products for sale.
WhatsApp lets users send text messages, audio messages, videos, and photos to one or many people with no message limits or fees.
What parents need to know:
  • It's for users 16 and over. Lots of younger teens seem to be using the app, but this age minimum has been set by WhatsApp.
  • It can be pushy. After you sign up, it automatically connects you to all the people in your address book who also are using WhatsApp. It also encourages you to add friends who haven't signed up yet.
Instagram lets users snap, edit, and share photos and 15-second videos, either publicly or with a private network of followers. It unites the most popular features of social media sites: sharing, seeing, and commenting on photos. It also lets you apply fun filters and effects to your photos, making them look high-quality and artistic.
What parents need to know:
  • Teens are on the lookout for "likes." Similar to the way they use Facebook, teens may measure the "success" of their photos -- even their self-worth -- by the number of likes or comments they receive. Posting a photo or video can be problematic if teens are posting to validate their popularity.
  • Public photos are the default. Photos and videos shared on Instagram are public unless privacy settings are adjusted. Hashtags and location information can make photos even more visible to communities beyond a teen's followers if his or her account is public.
  • Private messaging is now an option. Instagram Direct allows users to send "private messages" to up to 15 mutual friends. These pictures don't show up on their public feeds. Although there's nothing wrong with group chats, kids may be more likely to share inappropriate stuff with their inner circles.
Musical.ly – Your Video Social Network is a performance and video sharing social network that mostly features teens lip syncing and to famous songs but also includes some original songwriting and singing. Musers, as devoted users are called, can build up a following among friends or share posts publicly.
What parents need to know:
  • Songs and videos contain lots of iffy content. Because it features popular music and a mix of teens and adult users, swearing and sexual content are commonplace.
  • Gaining followers and fans feels important.  Teens want a public profile to get exposure and approval, and many are highly motivated by getting more followers and likes for their videos.
Tumblr is like a cross between a blog and Twitter: It's a streaming scrapbook of text, photos, and/or videos and audio clips. Users create and follow short blogs, or "tumblogs," that can be seen by anyone online (if made public). Many teens have tumblogs for personal use: sharing photos, videos, musings, and things they find funny with their friends.
What parents need to know:
  • Porn is easy to find. This online hangout is hip and creative but sometimes raunchy. Pornographic images and videos and depictions of violence, self-harm, drug use, and offensive language are easily searchable.
  • Privacy can be guarded but only through an awkward workaround. The first profile a member creates is public and viewable by anyone on the Internet. Members who desire full privacy have to create a second profile, which they're able to password-protect.
  • Posts are often copied and shared. Reblogging on Tumblr is similar to re-tweeting: A post is reblogged from one tumblog to another. Many teens like -- and, in fact, want -- their posts reblogged. But do you really want your kids' words and photos on someone else's page?
Twitter is a microblogging tool that allows users to post brief, 140-character messages -- called "tweets" -- and follow other users' activities. It's not only for adults; teens like using it to share tidbits and keep up with news and celebrities.
What parents need to know
Houseparty - Group Video Chat is a way for groups of teens to connect via live video. Two to eight people can be in a chat together at the same time. If someone who's not a direct friend joins a chat, teens get an alert in case they want to leave the chat. You can also "lock" a chat so no one else can join.
What parents need to know:
  • Users can take screenshots during a chat. Teens like to think that what happens in a chat stays in a chat, but that's not necessarily the case. It's easy for someone to take a screenshot while in a chat and share it with whomever they want.
  • There's no moderator. Part of the fun of live video is that anything can happen, but that can also be a problem. Unlike static posts that developers may review, live video chats are spontaneous, so it's impossible to predict what kids will see, especially if they're in chats with people they don't know well.
Live.ly – Live Video Streaming poses all of the same risks that all live streaming services do, so poor choices, oversharing, and chatting with strangers are all a part of the package.
What parents need to know:
  • It's associated with musical.ly – your music video community. Because of the parent app's popularity, this streamer is all the rage and Musers have a built-in account.
  • Privacy, safety, and creepiness are concerns. Because teens are often broadcasting from their bedrooms to people they don't know, sometimes sharing phone numbers, and often performing for approval, there's the potential for trouble.
YouNow: Broadcast, Chat, and Watch Live Video is an app that lets kids stream and watch live broadcasts. As they watch, they can comment or buy gold bars to give to other users. Ultimately, the goal is to get lots of viewers, start trending, and grow your fan base. Note that there are other apps like this that are less popular with teens such as Periscope, but Facebook has just included live-streaming as a feature, so expect to see more and more personal broadcasting.
What parents need to know:
  • Kids might make poor decisions to gain popularity. Because it's live video, kids can do or say anything and can respond to requests from viewers -- in real time. Though there seems to be moderation around iffy content (kids complain about having accounts suspended "for nothing"), there's plenty of swearing and occasional sharing of personal information with anonymous viewers. In general, it mimics the real-life potential for kids to do things they normally wouldn't do in pursuit of approval but in a much more public way.
  • Teens can share personal information, sometimes by accident. Teens often broadcast from their bedrooms, which often have personal information visible, and they sometimes will share a phone number or an email address with viewers, not knowing who's really watching.
  • It's creepy. Teens even broadcast themselves sleeping, which illustrates the urge to share all aspects of life publicly and share even intimate moments with strangers.
Snapchat is a messaging app that lets users put a time limit on the pictures and videos they send before they disappear. Most teens use the app to share goofy or embarrassing photos without the risk of them going public. However, there are lots of opportunities to use it in other ways.
What parents need to know:
  • It's a myth that Snapchats go away forever. Data is data: Whenever an image is sent, it never truly goes away. (For example, the person on the receiving end can take a screenshot of the image before it disappears.) Snapchats can even be recovered. After a major hack in December 2013 and a settlement with the FTC, Snapchat has clarified its privacy policy, but teens should stay wary.
  • It can make sexting seem OK. The seemingly risk-free messaging might encourage users to share pictures containing sexy images.
Whisper is a social "confessional" app that allows users to post whatever's on their minds, paired with an image. With all the emotions running through teens, anonymous outlets give them the freedom to share their feelings without fear of judgment.
What parents need to know:
  • Whispers are often sexual in nature. Some users use the app to try to hook up with people nearby, while others post "confessions" of desire. Lots of eye-catching, nearly nude pics accompany these shared secrets.
  • Content can be dark. People normally don't confess sunshine and rainbows; common Whisper topics include insecurity, depression, substance abuse, and various lies told to employers and teachers.
  • Although it's anonymous to start, it may not stay that way. The app encourages users to exchange personal information in the "Meet Up" section.
Yik Yak is a free social-networking app that lets users post brief, Twitter-like comments to the 500 geographically nearest Yik Yak users. Kids can find out opinions, secrets, rumors, and more. Plus, they'll get the bonus thrill of knowing all these have come from a 1.5-mile radius (maybe even from the kids at the desks in front of them!).  
What parents need to know:
  • It reveals your location. By default, your exact location is shown unless you toggle location-sharing off. Each time you open the app, GPS updates your location.
  • It's a mixed bag of trouble. This app has it all: cyberbullying, explicit sexual content, unintended location-sharing, and exposure to explicit information about drugs and alcohol.
  • Some schools have banned access. Some teens have used the app to threaten others, causing school lockdowns and more. Its gossipy and sometimes cruel nature can be toxic to a high school environment, so administrators are cracking down.
MeetMe: Chat and Meet New People -- the name says it all. Although not marketed as a dating app, MeetMe does have a "Match" feature whereby users can "secretly admire" others, and its large user base means fast-paced communication and guaranteed attention.
What parents need to know:
  • It's an open network. Users can chat with whomever's online, as well as search locally, opening the door to potential trouble.
  • Lots of details are required. First and last name, age, and ZIP code are requested at registration, or you can log in using a Facebook account. The app also asks permission to use location services on your teens' mobile devices, meaning they can find the closest matches wherever they go.
Omegle is a chat site that puts two strangers together in their choice of a text chat or a video chat room. Being anonymous can be very attractive to teens, and Omegle provides a no-fuss opportunity to make connections. Its "interest boxes" also let users filter potential chat partners by shared interests.
What parents need to know:
  • Users get paired up with strangers. That's the whole premise of the app. And there's no registration required.
  • This is not an app for kids and teens. Omegle is filled with people searching for sexual chat. Some prefer to do so live. Others offer links to porn sites.
  • Language is a big issue. Since the chats are anonymous, they're often much more explicit than those with an identifiable user might be.
Tinder is a photo and messaging dating app for browsing pictures of potential matches within a certain-mile radius of the user's location. It's very popular with 20-somethings as a way to meet new people for casual or long-term relationships.
What parents need to know
  • It's all about swipes. You swipe right to "like" a photo or left to "pass." If a person whose photo you "liked" swipes "like" on your photo, too, the app allows you to message each other. Meeting up (and possibly hooking up) is pretty much the goal.
  • It's location-based. Geolocation means it's possible for teens to meet up with nearby people, which can be very dangerous.
The bottom line for most of these tools? If teens are using them respectfully, appropriately, and with a little parental guidance, they should be fine. Take inventory of your kids' apps and review the best practices.
TV senior editor Polly Conway and former Common Sense Education writer Kelly Schryver contributed to this article.
See Screenagers, The Movie! 
We will be screening it on Thursday, May 25th at 7:00 p.m. at Miles Square Theater (a big thank you to Chris O'Connor and the entire Miles Square team for making the theater available to us).  We are encouraging parents and children to attend together.  Cost = $10 per family--stay tuned for ticketing information.  While the directors recommend the movie for children from 5th grade on up, we are extending this to the 4th grade as well. 

Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why
Last week I sent out an email cautioning children and teens NOT to watch the Netflix series  13 Reasons Why.  This weekend there were several news stories on this topic.  Here is the link to one of these stories from CBS Newsradio 88.
May Is Better Speech and Hearing Month 
Dear Families: 
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) recognizes May as “Better Speech and Hearing Month.”   While we encourage good communication every day at Elysian, ASHA uses this annual “campaign” as an opportunity to raise awareness about communication,  speech, language, and hearing development, and the role of Speech-Language Specialists/Pathologists in schools and other settings.
During this month, I will share some information each week about topics related to speech, language, and hearing in children. The first one focuses on speech and language development in young children.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns regarding the speech and language development of your child.    
 - Gail
Gail Prusslin -  M.S., M.Ed., CCC,  Elysian Speech-Language Specialist
Activities to Encourage Speech and Language Development (4-6 years):
From www.asha.org 
  • When your child starts a conversation, give your full attention whenever possible.
  • Acknowledge, encourage, and praise all attempts to speak. Show that you understand the word or phrase by fulfilling the request, if appropriate. Pay greatest attention to the content (what your child is saying), rather than how s/he is is saying it.
  • Pause after speaking. This gives your child a chance to continue the conversation.
  • Continue to build vocabulary. Introduce a new word and offer its definition, or use it in a context that is easily understood. "I think I will drive the vehicle to the store. I am too tired to walk."
  • Talk about spatial relationships (first, middle, and last; right and left) and opposites (up and down; on and off).
  • Offer a description or clues, and have your child identify what you are describing: "We use it to sweep the floor" (a broom). "It is cold, sweet, and good for dessert. I like strawberry" (ice cream).
  • Work on forming and explaining categories. Identify the thing that does not belong in a group of similar objects: "A shoe does not belong with an apple and an orange because you can't eat it; it is not round; it is not a fruit."
  • Help your child follow two- and three-step directions: "Go to your room, and bring me your book."
  • Encourage your child to give directions. Follow his or her directions as he or she explains how to build a tower of blocks.
  • Take advantage of daily activities. For example, while in the kitchen, encourage your child to name the utensils needed. Discuss the foods on the menu, their color, texture, and taste. Where does the food come from? Which foods do you like? Which do you dislike? Who will clean up? Emphasize the use of prepositions by asking him or her to put the napkin on the table, in your lap, or under the spoon. Identify who the napkin belongs to: "It is my napkin." "It is Daddy's." "It is John's."
  • While shopping for groceries, discuss what you will buy, how many you need, and what you will make. Discuss the size (large or small), shape (long, round, square), and weight (heavy or light) of the packages.
  • Read, read, read to your child! This builds your child’s on-going development of vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and love of language and literature.   ** This one I added!  
Elysian Track Meets
Saturday Races:    May  6,  May 13,  June 3   Participants should Arrive by  9:30 / 9:45 AM 

Sunday Races:       May  7,  May 21,  June 4   Participants should Arrive by  9:30 / 9:45 AM

The first race is expected to begin at 10:00 AM.   Races should end no later than noon.  We do not Run in the Rain.  

Blue Running Track, Lincoln Park, Jersey City

Entrance - Duncan Avenue near Route 440. Parking is Available.

Elysian’s Awesome Superstore is Open Until Midnight May 7! 

The Elysian Awesome Superstore is open, in time for the warmer ather! All orders ship (for free!) to school for distribution.  Shop for a variety of newly designed Elysian items for the entire family.  Cothing,owels, hats, bags, lunch boxes and much more! Proceeds go towards reducing the cost of school trips and other school related activities. Contact John Rutledge at john.rutledge@ecsnj.org with questions.

 Click on image below to go to Store Link:
Help Local Families - Clothing Drive Through the End of the Month

All Saints Church and the Jubilee center are working together to collect gently used children's clothes for local families in need. The clothes will be given away at an event at the Jubilee center in late May.  We are collecting clothes, shoes and coats in baby up to juniors/high school sizes.  There is a particular need for clothes in sizes 5T through 15. Collections will be ongoing through late May. Hola and Hoboken Charter are joining the clothing drive as well.  Look for the labeled box inside Elysian's front door.  Thanks to everyone who has aready contributed.  Thanks, Elysian - keep your clothing donations coming!
Returning To Elysian In the Fall?

Return your form if you haven't done so already!

  • If you have more than one child, please fill out one form only but include information about both children..  
  • Please include any in-coming siblings on the form as well. It is helpful to let us know now if you will have an incoming kindergartner for the 2018-2019 school year.  
My child/children (please print name/names clearly): 
name                            current teacher          
name                            current teacher
name                            current teacher         
_____     Will be attending Elysian for the 2017 - 18 school year.
_____     Will not be returning to Elysian for the 2017 - 18 school year.
 _____     I am not sure of my plans for the 2017 - 18 school year.  Save my
               place… I'll be sure to let you know as soon as we decide! 
Parent Signature   _____________________________________Date_____________________
PTSO Corner
SPRING FLING - Save the date for the middle school Spring Fling, Friday, May 19th at Local Barre,  The Monroe Center,  from 7-10 PM.  Specifics to follow soon. 
We have received positive response so far to our inaugural Elysian Charter Summer Camp taking place from July 31 - August 11; however, we still have a fair amount of spots open. In order to ensure we have enough campers, we have decided to open enrollment beyond the Elysian community. 
  • Daily activities include science, arts & crafts, sports, woodworking, field trips and much more.
  • The camp staff will be primarily Elysian teachers, coordinated and run by John Rutledge (5th grade teacher/rugby coach) and Pam Gorode (Business Office and Club Coordinator).
  • There will be 2 one week sessions - the weeks of July 31st and August 7th - you can sign up for one or both weeks.
  • Hours of air conditioned fun, familiar counselors....and no one-hour bus rides there and back!
  • You can find registration forms and more information about the camp at www.ecsnj.org/elysian-summer-camp/camp-registration-form/  
  • Questions can be directed to John and Pam at summercamp@ecsnj.org.
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.
    Monday, May 1
    • Monday, May 1 through Monday May 8--4th and 8th grade PARCC Testing
    Friday, May 5
    • Last day to order from Elysian's Awesome Superstore
    Saturday, May 6
    • Elysian Track Meet, participants should arrive by 9:30/9:45.  Meet begins at 10 AM, Lincoln Park, Jersey City
    Sunday, May 7
    • Order from Elysian's Awesome Superstore by midnight!
    • Elysian Track Meet, participants should arrive by 9:30/9:45.  Meet begins at 10 AM, Lincoln Park, Jersey City
    Monday, May 8

    • Monday, May 8 through Monday May 15--3rd and 6th grade PARCC Testing
    Tuesday, May 9
    • 7th grade trip
    Saturday, May 13
    • Elysian Track Meet, participants should arrive by 9:30/9:45.  Meet begins at 10 AM, Lincoln Park, Jersey City
    Wednesday, May 17
    • Field Day
    • Half Day of School for Staff Development.  12:30 dismissal.  After School Program available as usual.
    Thursday, May 18
    • Film seminar trip
    Friday, May 19
    • 9:00 AM Community Meeting, 6th Grade Concert
    • Spring Fling at Monroe Center, 7:00 - 10:00 PM, More info to follow.
    Sunday, May 21
    • Elysian Track Meet, participants should arrive by 9:30/9:45.  Meet begins at 10 AM, Lincoln Park, Jersey City
    Monday, May 22
    • Board of Trustees Meeting, 7:00 PM
    Wednesday, May 24
    • Elysian School Play
    Thursday, May 25
    • Orientation for in-coming Kindergarteners
    • Screening of Screenagers at Miles Square Theater, 7 PM, $10 per family, 4th grade and up.
    Friday, May 26
    • Half day of school, 12:30 dismissal.  After School Program available as usual.
    Monday, May 29
    • Elysian closed for memorial Day.
    Tuesday, May 30
    • 6th and 7th grade all day trip.
    • Exhibition, 3rd grade illuminated manuscripts, Morgan Library Book Project.  All are welcome!
    Wednesday, May 31
    • Grades 4 and 8 NJ ASK Science test
    Please make note of the following calendar changes:
    1.   The June 9th Community Meeting is changed to June 16th
    2.   On June 9th there will be the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade concert which will begin at 9:00 AM
    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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