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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

November 14, 2016         Vol. 12  Issue 11
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
Teachers, Students Question Value of Homework
(Posted on FOX 13—Tampa, Florida, Nov. 10, 2016)
LUTZ (FOX 13) - School doesn't end for children once they get home.  For generations, students have been expected to do homework. But a new movement is changing that: Many schools across the country are adopting the "no homework" trend.
Texas second-grade teacher Brandy Young sent home a letter to parents letting them know she wouldn't be assigning homework for the entire school year. It quickly went viral. On her website, she encouraged other teachers to do the same, saying, "Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance.
Dr. Yvonne Franco, a professor of education at the University of Tampa, agrees. "The research just doesn't show that deeper learning occurs from more hours of homework."
Teachers, students question value of homework
Center Academy Lutz takes a different approach to homework, in order to help their students who are already struggling with learning challenges.
"Our goal for our students is to have no homework," the academy's Andrew Guido explained. "We'd like them to work hard while they are here."
Eighth-grade student Alexandria Piburn says this tactic has been a game-changer. "I like it better because then you could just go up to the teacher right then and there and just ask them and everything, and then you can bring the easier stuff home."
"Going home and having that free time and not feeling stressed out that you don't have to continue to do work is the best thing. Then there are no struggles at home," her mom Randi added.  "There is no crying at home, and she feels accomplished."
Alexandria's teacher says students like her struggled in the public school setting.
"Her grades have gone up because she has the help throughout the day with her work," Magalie Mitchell offered.  "One of the reasons was because of the homework policy and they could not get their work completed or completed correctly."
We checked the homework policies of some Bay Area counties. According to Hillsborough County's policy, homework should not exceed a total of 15 to 20 minutes per night for kindergarten, 30 minutes for grades one through three, and 45 minutes in grades four and five.
In Pinellas County schools, homework is a teacher-by-teacher decision in all subject areas.
Polk County policy states that the number, frequency, and degree of difficulty of homework assignments should be based on the ability and needs of the student.
Alexandria says her school's policy has given her more time with her family and made her a better student.
"It'll also help me be able to just study more and put more time into my studying for school instead of like having to sit there and do homework as well."
Elysian’s Awesome Superstore!

The site will be open through Wednesday, November 16th to ensure delivery by the holidays. All orders will ship (for free!) to school for distribution. Browse around and shop for a variety of clothing items for the entire family. Proceeds from the school store will go towards reducing the cost of school trips and other school related activities. As the store evolves, new items and designs will be added. Please contact John Rutledge at with any questions. 

Trivia Night Fundraiser 
It is time for us all to take a break and have some fun together, and the bonus is that we can do something helpful for Elysian at the same time! We hope you will join us for our Trivia Night Fundraiser on Wednesday, November 30 (described below).   
The volunteers for the Friends have designed this night in response to requests for a smaller more affordable fundraiser that allows our parents to participate, build community, and benefit Elysian. To create a successful evening, our volunteers need your response this week so that we can organize teams ahead of time. If you are planning to come, and we hope you are, please buy your tickets by Friday. And of course, if you can, we would appreciate you doing so even earlier (like today!).  
Please remember, you do not need to come with a full team of six. You can buy one, two, three [etc.] tickets. We will put teams together. (We hope that this is a great way to meet new people too!) 
(Also, we want to include as many Elysian parents as possible, but after Sunday, November 20, we will open it up to non-parents as well.) 

Tickets are for Elysian parents only until November 20, when, if any tickets are unsold, they will be open to non-Elysian friends, extended family and the public.
• Teams will ideally contain 6 people, but you can buy any number of tickets.
Discount: For a limited time, if you buy 6 tickets all at once, it will be $40/person. (Discount cannot be applied at a later time.) 
Click here to buy tickets & register:
• You can put together a full team of 6 yourself, either buying the tickets in one purchase or, if the tickets are bought separately, emailing us at to list your team’s players.
• You can also email us with less than 6 names, too, and we’ll add others to your team to round it out.
Deadline for emailing all team preferences is Monday, November 28.
• Teams will be created for everyone who buys a ticket. (In other words, you don’t need to come with your own 6-member team. We’ll put people together.)
• We will do our best to accommodate team requests, but it will be first come, first served. 
Sibling Applications for Kindergarten 2017-2018 are due for Elysian Family Sibling Preference
The Deadline for ALL Applications is January 9th at 5:00 PM.If you have a child at Elysian already, and you are planning to enroll a sibling in the 2017-18 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 11th Lottery in order for you to receive sibling preference.  

UUMBA Day is Saturday, December 17!

Second KUUMBA Planning Meeting is Monday, Nov. 21, 8:30 AM.  Please come!
Check the office in the AM for location of meeting.  
We need help planning KUUMBA Day.  
If you have any questions, please contact

PICTURE RETAKE DAY is Tuesday, November 15! Please email if you plan to have retakes. We will need your child's name and teacher. Please keep the flyer you received, as the unique online access code will remain the same. Both the original and retake photos will both be available using that one access code.
PICTURE ORDERING DEADLINE is Friday, December 2! Please go to and enter your unique online access code that you received on the flyer sent home with your children in their backpacks to view photos and place orders!

Breast Cancer Fundraiser
Nicole McCarthy, an Elysian parent, wants to raise $20,000 to be donated in full to Vinnie Meyers Team.  All proceeds will go towards helping women and men in need of financial assistance to cover the cost of the final stages of breast reconstruction.  Vinnie's team is known nationwide as the "go to" for 3D tattoos and have been featured in the New York Times and the Today Show.
Here is a link to check them out:
Please click on this link to check out the fundraiser and donate: https:;;
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, November 14
  • Parent-teacher conference week begins
Tuesday, November 15
  • Parent-teacher conferences continue
Wednesday, November 16
  • Half Day of School., 12:30 dismissal for parent-teacher conferences
Thursday, November 17
  • Parent teacher conferences continue
Friday, November 18
  • Last day of parent-teacher conferences.
Monday, November 21
  • 4th and 5th grade day-long trip
  • KUUMBA planning meeting, 8:30 AM.  See office for location.
Wednesday, November 23
  • Half day of school, 12:30 dismissal for Thanksgiving Holiday.  
  • After School Program ends early, 4:00 PM today
Thursday, November 24 and  Friday, November 25
  • Elysian closed for Thanksgiving Holiday.
Monday, November 28
  • Elysian Open House for prospective parents, 6:00 PM
  • Board of Trustees Meeting, 7:00 PM
Tuesday, November 29
  • Melissa's 2nd grade class trip
Wednesday, November 30
  • 6th Grade overnight trip
  • Trivia Fundraiser - see above.
Friday, December 2
  • 6th grade returns from overnight trip
301 Garden Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Harry Laub, Ph.D., Director | | Phone:201.876.0102 | Fax:201.876.9576

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