Elysian Charter School
A Positively Different Public School
January 2, 2018 Vol. 13 Issue 16
The school newsletter is sent out on Mondays. When there is a holiday, the newsletter is sent the following day.
Seven years ago I arrived at 301 Garden Street for an interview. I climbed to the fourth floor and was out of breath when I was ushered into a committee (maybe eight or ten people, who introduced themselves as either Board members or school staff). Several chuckled, understanding the stair climb. All were friendly but professional, with well planned questions. When I got home that evening, my wife asked me how it had gone. I reported a really strong connection with this committee.
That began some of the best years of my career. Although the initial offering was for an interim position, a year later—and after another set of interviews—I was offered the position permanently.
Soon after that we embarked on a strategic planning project. One of the interviewers in the second round, it turns out, was an expert in strategic planning having carried it out with businesses throughout the area, including several Fortune 500 companies. The Strategic Plan was developed through a series of town hall meetings and then the work of subcommittees exploring each of the areas that were identified as key to the growth of the school. Our entire school was involved in the planning—the Board set the direction, staff and faculty engaged in lively discussions with parents to hash out ideas and plans. Some of the results include:
- Reconfirmation of our mission statement, first outlined in our charter in 1996:
“To build an active community of lifelong learners, provide a safe and nurturing environment, and educate each and every child to his or her fullest potential. All students will explore, understand, and analyze the human and natural environments that are significant to students at different stages of development.”
- Development of nine core values to reinforce and articulate the philosophy that undergirds our goals and instruction:
-Community and Engagement
-Teacher Leadership in Learning
-Diversity and Inclusion
-Learning as a Process
-Social, Emotional and Physical Development
-Authentic and Interconnected Curriculum
-Social Awareness and Responsibility
- Secure a permanent home for Elysian. Previously we were divided between two buildings, with our lease at Demarest up for renewal on a yearly basis. This past year the Hoboken Board of Education has reassigned the use of that building as the district’s middle school. We would no longer have been able to rent that space. Several of our Board members, at the time, explored every site in Hoboken, empty lots, buildings for sale, etc. to find a permanent home for us. In late 2011 a project that we had been part of before the 2008 economic downturn sprang back into life and culminated in our move to our new space 2 ½ years ago
- Grow the fundraising for the school. Because we are a public school, we are legally not allowed to fundraise. This led to the development of the Friends of Elysian, a separate but independent organization. Since its inception there have been four leaders of this group that has contributed tremendously to the growth of the school.
- The contributions to our building and moving project have been tremendous. The move itself was paid for by Friends. On an annual basis they contribute substantial money to pay for our utility, HVAC and other bills, to offset costs that could seriously impact the school.
- They have raised money that has contributed to our growth in technology—when I first came we had a cart of seventeen laptops (anonymously donated) and a series of very old computers, also donated. Our network was a patched together series of wires that worked some of the time. We now have Chromebooks for every student in grade 3 to 8 and a reliable network.
- Friends has also purchased our new K to 5 math series and enhanced our security with the purchase of a state of the art lockdown system.
- It needs to be noted in this space that our funding does not come directly from the State, but rather from our feeding districts and is based on a formula from the State. Since before the time that I have been here, since 2008, the Elysian budget has not increased at all. This despite increases to district schools and significant increases in operating costs.
The Strategic Plan was a tool that we used to recommit ourselves to our values and set up a mechanism to set goals. Above is a summary of some of the accomplishments based upon the plan. Much of the rest of the plan dealt with the growth of our curriculum and the staff development to support the teachers in their efforts to provide the most up-to-date instructional goals and techniques.
A number of children have been using Google Hangouts (formerly known as Google Chat or g-chat) to communicate with other students. Because we do not use this educationally, and because some of the messaging has been inappropriate, we have turned this off. Students can no longer use Google Hangouts on the Elysian system for chatting or video.
It should be noted that our system is “closed.” Students can only communicate with other students and teachers on our system and not with outsiders. This is, of course, a safety feature. However, there are a plethora of opportunities to use home systems for outside communication. As always, we recommend that children’s use of social media be monitored at home.
Aftercare Tax Reports
End of year tax reports are now available by logging into your account on Orgsonline.com.
Please be advised that only payments made will be reflected. Any outstanding balances will not be reflected on the reports.
This Week's Basketball Practices
Grade 3: Tuesdays: 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Grade 4: Green Team: Wednesdays: 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Grade 4: White Team: Fridays: 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Grade 5: Fridays: 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Grade 6: Mondays: 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (Including Intramural Game)
Grade 7: Thursdays: 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Grade 8: Thursdays: 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Girls 6-8: Wednesdays: 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Children waiting for a practice to begin will be able to attend Aftercare at no cost. Any child attending Aftercare must start right at the end of the school day. Children may not leave the school building and then return.
***Games will be listed in the calendar below***
All Sibling Applications For Next Year's Kindergarteners Due Now
Please hand deliver application to the office. Please do NOT submit online.
Forms can be found in the office or at ecsnj.org. Look under enrollment.
Friends of Elysian - Annual Auction and Fundraising Party Planning Meeting Tomorrow — Wednesday, January 3
We are off to a great start with the planning of the 2018 Annual Auction and Fundraising Party, but would love your help. There are still plenty of ways to participate:
1. Attend our planning meeting. Join us TOMORROW, Wed. January 3, at 7:00 PM,
to share your ideas and get involved. We'll be meeting in the 1100 Maxwell LaneResidents’ Lounge. Entrance is on 11th Street between Hudson Street and Maxwell Lane. Please drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are planning to attend.
2. Join a committee. From procuring items for the silent auction, to handling the raffle and event tickets sales — or even getting involved with the logistics of the event itself — there are several options to choose from. Simply drop a line to email@example.com and we'll get you started!
3. Consider making a donation-in-kind to our silent auction. We are always on the lookout for fun and interesting experiences or services to add to our silent auction roster. If you think you might have an item that would fit the bill, please don't hesitate to reach out. Your support is always welcomed and appreciated!
Chili Cook-Off THIS SATURDAY - There is still time to sign up! We especially need chili chefs!
Get your taste buds ready and your chili pots shined, because the 11th Annual Elysian Chili Cook-Off is here! Come one, come all, and invite your friends to the Hoboken Elk’s Club at 5 pm on January 6th to compete or just to relax and enjoy great chili.
Amenities include a supervised kid's room, live musical entertainment, a wine and beer cash bar for adults, and of course all the chili you can eat.
We need YOU to sign up as:
1. A Chili Chef
2. A Baker of Sweet Treats
3. Volunteer at the event – set up crew, front table or bartender!
Please go to www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0c44a4a629a2f49-11th/35580744 to sign up today!
If you sign up for chili, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org by Thurs. January 4th to give us your chili description or if you have any questions!
Photo Retakes Are In!
School photo retakes will be sent home in backpacks in the next day or two. Please check your child’s backpack for pre-ordered photos and/or individual access codes.
To view photos and/or place a new or additional order, please go to www.mylifetouch.com and enter the NEW unique access code for your child.
Deadline for all orders is Friday, January 12th. If you have any questions please email email@example.com.
Elysian Collects Box Tops and LABELS for Education
Look for the container near Deb's desk in the office! Thank you!
Lost and Found
Please write your child's name or initials in their outerwear so if it ends up in the Lost and Found we can return it. We have many items (jackets and sweatshirts/hoodies) that need to find their way back home. Please come and take a look in the Main Office.
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.
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
- Play Practice, 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
- Game - Grade 7 Green vs. HOLA, 6:15 PM - Multi
- Game - Grade 8 White vs. Hudson, 7:15 PM - Multi
Thursday, January 4
- Game - All Saints vs. Grade 5, 6:45 PM - Wallace
- Game - All Saints vs. Grade 6, 7:45 PM - Wallace
Saturday, January 6
- Open House, 10:00 AM
- Game - Girls Team vs. Hoboken Charter, 1:00 PM - Multi
- Game - Grade 3 Green vs. Grade 3 White, 3:10 PM - Wallace
- Game - Grade 4 Green vs. Grade 4 White, 4:00 PM - Wallace
- Chili Dinner, Elks Club, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Monday, January 8
- Play Rehearsal
- Game - Grade 7 Green vs. All Saints, 6:15 PM - Multi
- Game - Grade 8 White vs. Hoboken Charter, 7:15 PM - Multi
Tuesday, January 9
- Middle School Play
- Game - Grade 5 vs. Wallace 5 Black, 6:45 PM - Wallace
- Game - Grade 6 vs. Hoboken 6 PAL, 7:45 PM - Wallace
Thursday, January 11
- 6th Grade Trip
- Game - Grade 7 Green vs. Grade 8 White, 6:15 PM - Multi
Friday, January 12
Monday, January 15
- Elysian Closed for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Wednesday, January 17
- 1/2 Day of School, 12:30 PM Dismissal - Staff Development
- Lottery, 1:30 PM
Thursday, January 18
- 8th Grade Trip
- Game - Grade 7 White vs. Hoboken Knicks, 6:15 PM - Multi
- Game - Grade 8 Green vs. Hoboken Charter, 7:15 PM - Multi
Friday, January 19
- Game -Connors Calabro vs. Grade 6, Wallace - 8:45 PM
Saturday, January 20
- Game - Grade 3 Green vs. Wallace 3 Grey, 4:00 PM - Wallace
- Game - Connors Calabro vs. Grade 4 Green, 4:50 PM - Wallace
- Game - Grade 3 White vs. HOLA, 5:40 PM - Wallace
- Game - Grade 4 White vs. HOLA, 6:30 PM - Wallace
Monday, January 22
- Game - Connors Calabro vs. Grade 5 , 6:45 PM - Wallace
- Board Meeting, 7:00 PM
Wednesday, January 24
1460 Garden Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Harry Laub, Ph.D., Director