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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

October 17, 2016         Vol. 12  Issue 6
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
    Areas with many attachments to other parts of the brain develop fast in teenagers

    Scans reveal how teenage brain develops
    By Pallab Ghosh Science correspondent, BBC News
    From BBC News 7/25/16

    A University of Cambridge team has identified the areas of the brain that change the most during the teenage years.
    Brain scans showed that they are the areas associated with complex thought processes.
    The scientists also discovered a link between teenage brain development and mental illness, such as schizophrenia.
    The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
    The team from Cambridge's department of psychiatry scanned the brains of 300 people between the ages of 14 and 24. 
    While the areas associated with the basic functioning of the body such as vision, hearing and movement are fully developed by adolescence, the areas associated with complex thought and decision making are still changing. 
    These areas are nerve centres with lots of connections to and from other key areas.
    You can think of the brain as a global airline network that's made up of small infrequently used airports and huge hubs like Heathrow where there is very high traffic.
    The brain uses a similar set up to co-ordinate our thoughts and actions.
    During adolescence, this network of big hubs is consolidated and strengthened. It's a bit like how Heathrow or JFK have become gradually busier over the years.
    The researchers then looked at the genes involved in the development of these brain "hubs" and found that they were similar to those associated with many mental illnesses, including schizophrenia.
    The discovery is in line with the observation that many mental disorders develop during adolescence, according to researcher Dr Kirstie Whitaker.
    "We have shown a pathway from the biology of cells in the area through to how people who are in their late teenage years might then have their first episode of psychosis," she told the BBC.
    Many studies have shown that, in addition to genetics, stress during childhood and the teenage years is linked to mental illness. 
    The new findings indicate that maltreatment, abuse and neglect may well continue to disrupt the development of the higher brain functions during the crucial teenage years and so contribute to the emergence of mental illness.
    Lead researcher Prof Ed Bullmore, whose work was funded by the Wellcome Trust, believes the discovery of a biological link between teenage brain development and the onset of mental illness might help researchers identify those most at risk of becoming ill.
    "As we understand more about what puts people at risk for schizophrenia, that gives us an opportunity to try to identify individuals that are at risk of becoming schizophrenic in the forseeable future, the next two to three years, and perhaps to offer some treatment then that could be helpful in preventing the onset of clinical symptoms. "
    The study also sheds light on the mood and behavioural changes experienced by teenagers during normal brain development.
    "The regions that are changing most are those associated with complex behaviour and decision making," says Dr Whitaker.
    "It shows that teenagers are on a journey of becoming an adult and becoming someone who is able to pull together all these bits of information.
    "This is a really important stage to go through. You wouldn't want to be a child all your life.
    "This is a powerful and important stage that you have to go through to be the best and the most capable adult that you can be."
    Talking to Your Children About the Election 
    Harriet Fitzpatrick, a parent in John’s 5th grade, shared this link from the PBS Newshour.  It is an excellent article that discusses how to talk to your children about this election.

    REMINDER: Friends of Elysian Meeting & Open House
    TONIGHT! @ 5:30 pm
    Elysian Charter School, Rm. 232
    Childcare and pizza provided! 
    The Friends of Elysian, the school’s parent-led fundraising group, would like to invite you to a meeting and open house. (If you can’t make it exactly at 5:30 PM, please still feel free to stop by a little later!) Childcare and pizza for the kids will be provided. 
    The meeting will include:
    • Quick recap of last year’s fundraising results.
    • Discussing plans for this year.
    • Listening to your ideas and feedback. 
    Getting involved: There are lots of different ways to get involved (beyond just the “asking for money” part). And if last year was any indication, the biggest part of Friends activities was all the brainstorming, event planning, organizing and everyone-chipping-in-on stuff. 
    At this annual meeting, we'll also be confirming and adding new members as well as voting on our board and slate of officers. We'll review these opportunities at the meeting, but if you think you might be interested in getting more involved and want to understand these roles before the meeting, feel free to also email us at 
    It’s important that the Friends represent the interests of the entire Elysian community, so we hope you can join us. EVERYONE IS WELCOME! 
    Two High School Night Events For Students and Families

    Tuesday, October 18, 6:00 - 7:00 PM, Hillary's Room
    Hoboken High School Question & Answer Panel 
    Current Hoboken HS students and their parents will be available to answer questions about their experience at Hoboken HS. 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Elysian parents and students are welcome.

    Monday, October 24, 5:30 - 7:00 PM, 3rd Floor
    Elysian's High School Fair
    Representatives from various high schools will be available to answer questions about academics and programs. County Prep, High Tech, and McNair High Schools do not send representatives so Elysian graduates, currently attending these three schools, will be available to answer questions from their point of view.

    The following schools will be represented on 10/24/16:
    County Prep
    Dominican Academy
    High Tech
    Hoboken HS
    Hoboken Charter School
    Hudson Catholic
    Hudson School
    Notre Dame School
    St. Anthony High School
    St. Dominic Academy
    St. Peter’s Prep
    Weehawken HS
    From The Music Room


    Dear Parents,

    It  was lovely to see so many of  you at Back to School Night!  For those of you not there or who didn’t  pick up  information or would just like a review of what the  ECS music program is about, I would like to begin to tell you about the music program at ECS.  I will be writing a series of articles that will be published though out the year.  Each article will cover one or more aspects of my program.  I hope that each of these articles will be interesting, informative and will give you a sense about what your children do in the music room on a daily basis.  In addtion, I will send home class-specific news letters to you through your child’s teacher.


    At the Elysian School, students study music not only for the joy of making music, but also to gain an understanding of music as a powerful and highly expressive language. Students study a piece of music, whether vocal or instrumental, in order to gain experience and understanding of emotional content (the emotional reason for and meaning behind the music which will determine the interpretation of the music), musical concepts  (beat, rhythm pattern, meter, scale, melody, harmony, form, etc.) and physical mastery (technique). Students study improvisation and composition in order to learn to express their emotions and ideas through the language of music.  The self-discipline, creativity, and development of skills required in music can be transferred directly in to other areas of life, and support our students’ other academic endeavors.

    In order to speak and understand the language of music, there are some fundamental questions which we, as listeners, students, and performers, need to ask, and over time answer, in order to speak and understand the language of music. Here are some of the questions:

    Where does music come from?
    How does music express emotion?
    Why do composers do what they do?
    How do Composers know what to do?
    How can we know what composers and other professional musicians know about what makes music expressive?
    How do performers study and prepare for performances?
    Why do we study movement in order to understand music?   
    Why study vocal music?
    Why study instrumental music?

    In order to help the children explore these questions, I teach music through an approach called Dalcroze Eurhythmy.


    I bring a program of Dalcroze Eurhythmy because it is the most comprehensive approach to the study of the language of music and because it provides a rigorous framework for learning by using playful, challenging games and improvisation to teach musical concepts. In addition, Dalcroze Eurhythmy places a child not only in the role of student, but also in the roles of peer and teacher.

    In future articles, I will explain much more about Dalcroze Eurhythmy and the various components of the music program.  I look forward to any questions or comments you may have.  I hope that these articles can answer your questions and open and interesting dialogue about arts and education.

    Mary Guthrie, 
    Music Teacher
    SCHOOL PICTURES will be available for online order in the coming weeks. Please look out for fliers coming home and/or school e-mail with the details. Picture Retake Day is Tuesday, November 15!
    CITY RUNNING TOURS is proud to partner with Elysian Charter School to provide an opportunity to sweat, sightsee and drink for a good cause on the 1st Annual Elysian Charter City Running Tour! Join us for a 3.5 mile guided running tour on Sunday, October 23 meeting at 10:45 am at Pilsener Haus & Biergarten (1422 Grand St. in Hoboken). Experience Hoboken in a unique way to learn about the history, culture and urban myths of this great city. At the end of the running tour, City Running Tours will treat you to one of the Pilsener Haus' finest refreshments! Cost is $50 per participant. Please go to to sign up and for more information.

    ELYSIAN HALLOWEEN PARTY this year will be held on Friday, October 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the school gym. We need your help for another great party! Please go to to volunteer and/or donate supplies.

    NO BRAINER MONEYMAKERS How to make money for Elysian Charter at no extra cost to you!

    -       iGive Button-

    -       Smile Amazon -

    -       Shutterfly/TinyPrints -

    -       Shoprite -

    -       Boxtops for Education – Clip and collect and turn into the main office AND download the app for even more boxtops rewards!

    CLUB SCHEDULE FOR WEDNESDAY, OCT. 19 - Half Day of School

    Fashion Lab - 12:45 - 1:45
    Dance with Derrick - 12:45 - 1:45
    Chess - 12:45 - 2:15

    Quality of Life Coalition’s Board of Education Candidates Forum Set for Thursday, Oct. 20, 6:30 p.m. at the Hoboken Elks Lodge
    Hoboken, NJ – October 13, 2016 – The Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition is pleased to invite all Hoboken residents to its 2016 Board of Education candidates’ forum, continuing a tradition the Coalition has maintained for over a decade. These forums give Hoboken voters an opportunity to hear directly from the candidates running for the three open seats on the Board of Education in the November 8, 2016, election. This year’s forum will take place on Thursday, October 20, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 1005 Washington Street.  
    These events are arranged by the Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition, Inc., and moderated by Bob Bowdon, a professional interviewer and longtime resident of Hoboken, who has expertly conducted QLC-sponsored forums over the last eight years. These events have consistently presented a lively exchange of policy ideas, opinions and comments on issues that the voters themselves consider the most important. 
    Written questions will be solicited from the audience and submitted to a panel, who will select the clearest and most concise questions on a wide range of topics. Candidates will have a minute and a half to respond to each question, and a one-minute rebuttal will be allowed with permission from the moderator. Each candidate will have an opportunity to make one-minute opening introductory and closing remarks, and a timekeeper will ensure that time limits are respected in answering questions.
    About the QLC
    Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition is a non-profit, non-partisan citizen organization that has been active in Hoboken over the last decade. The QLC led the successful efforts to prevent construction of the Devils hockey arena in southern Hoboken, was instrumental in forging the western alignment of the Light Rail route in Hoboken, and with several other groups fought the early battles to secure 1600 Park Avenue as designated parkland.  It participates with other civic organizations to advocate for ordinances for good government practices and to protect the historic structures that lend the city its character.  In 2008, QLC formed the Committee for a Green Hoboken, which worked with the city on an agreement to control carbon dioxide emissions and sustainable development ordinances, and helped secure funding for an energy audit of municipal buildings.
    For Parents of Basketball Players
    Basketball season is just around the corner.  We have many students who are excited to play this year and we are hoping that the city will allow us to have more than one team at some grade levels.  
    Please make certain that you send in school form and that you sign up online with the city as soon as possible so that the city knows how many players we will have this year.
    Halloween Costume & Coat Drive at Elysian
    The York Street Project is a facility in Jersey City that houes, educates, and nurtures homeless women and children in Hudson County.  Hoboken's Girl Scout Troop 12001 is collecting gently used children's costumes and winter coats for adult women, children, and teens October 6 - 21.  Please find the drop off box in our school.  The Hudson School, Hola and Hoboken Catholic Academy are also participating in this drive.
    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, October 17
    • The Friends of Elysian Meeting and Open House, 5:30 PM, Melissa's 2nd grade classroom, Room 232.  (See above.)
    Tuesday, October 18,

    • 6:00 - 7:00 PM, Hillary's Room, Hoboken High School Question & Answer Panel 
    Wednesday, October 19
    • Half Day of School for Staff Development, 12:30 PM dismissal.  Afterschool program available.
    • Club Schedule: Fashion Lab - 12:45 - 1:45 PM, Dance with Derrick - 12:45 - 1:45 PM, Chess - 12:45 - 2:15 PM
    • 7th and 8th grade overnight trip
    Thursday, October 20
    • Joanna's class trip
    • New Victory visits the 2nd grade classes
    • 3:00 - 3:45 Rugby Practice

    Friday, October 21
    • 7th and 8th grade return from overnight trip
    • Last day of Girl Scout Troop 12001 Halloween Costume & Coat Drive.
    Sunday, October 23
    Monday, October 24
    • 5:30 - 7:00 PM, 3rd Floor, Elysian's High School Fair

    • 7:00 PM Board of Trustees Meeting
    Wednesday, October 26
    • 5th, 7th and 8th grades on a trip
    • 2nd grade trip
    • Amanda's first grade trip
    • Middle School Night, 6:00 PM
    Thursday, October 27
    • 4th grade trip
    • 3:00 - 3:45 Rugby Practice
    Friday, October 28
    • Community Meeting'
    • 2nd grade trip
    • Halloween Party. 6:30 - 8:30 PM

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

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