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

February 8, 2016         Vol. 11  Issue 21
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
Elysian’s Charter Renewal Visit
Last Thursday a team of four from the New Jersey Department of Education came to Elysian to evaluate whether we should have our charter renewed.  Part of New Jersey’s Charter School Law requires each school to be evaluated every five years.  Because we are a Tier I school—each school in New Jersey is rated Tier I (the highest level), Tier 2 or Tier 3—our visit was what the NJDOE calls a “streamlined” visit.  Prior to this visit we provided the State team a thirty page report that included an in-depth financial analysis, a detailed review of our educational goals, planning and program, and a study of our governance procedures.  The purpose of the visit was to understand the data and details we had provided in that report and other information about the school’s performance.  Shortly we will receive a written report on the visit and then by the end of February or early March we will receive the final renewal decision.  However, before leaving for the day, the team sat down with Eduardo Gonzalez, our Board of Trustees president and with me to review their findings.  Here is a summary of what the points they made:
  • High level of questioning on the part of the teachers
  • High level of engagement on the part of the students
  • Students working in groups, sometimes on the same task, sometimes on differentiated tasks
  • Small class size fosters discussion
  • Safe and nurturing environment
  • Focus on academics and arts
  • Sense of community amongst students
  • Strong sense of community amongst teachers as well
  • Teachers feel that there is shared decision making
  • Elysian has a 96% retention rate of students
  • Elysian makes efforts at diversity
  • Students in need of support get a personalized program rather than choices off of a menu
  • The fiscal side of the school is “as strong as the academic”
  • We have a positive fund balance
  • We spend more than 60% of our budget on instruction (this is good!)
  • We have had stable financial growth over the years
  • Audit findings are minor and all have been addressed
  • All reports are submitted in a timely manner
  • Enrollment is consistent and there are long wait lists
  • School is in good financial shape
  • Challenge is the increasing costs with flat revenue
  • Friends is an important support
  • Revenue stream has been flat since 2008, while costs have gone up and there has been minimal growth in the salaries of staff—far below the cost of living.
I personally would like to give a big thank you to all of our staff members, who have created and continue to maintain an atmosphere that encourages children to perform at their best while gaining a love of learning.  Included in this thank you are not only the teachers, who do a magnificent job, but also the special education staff, other support staff members, the lunch and recess staffs who help us to create a tone that makes Elysian a welcoming school to all of our children.
I also want to thank Diane Macon, our Business Manager.  The financial side of the renewal visit went without a hitch.  We were complimented on our fund balance!  We have been able to grow our program and move—all with no additional funding.  Of course Friends contributed so much to our move, and PTSO and Friends has helped dramatically with our growth in technology.
I want to single out Melissa for doing an amazing job of pulling together all of the components required to prepare for the renewal, which includes a complex written report and all of the preparations for the site visit, including prepping teachers, organizing schedules and creating a folder designed to give a real sense of what Elysian’s values are.
I also want to thank the Board and the Board President, Eduardo for the constant gift of time to help Elysian preserve its values and grow as an institution.
Elysian Basketball UPDATES
6th Grade Team:  The Tuesday, February 9th game against Hoboken Catholic is cancelled.
7th/8th Grade Boy's Basketball Team:  Please note:  There will be 'practice, as scheduled, on February 10, before our game.
Important Information About Thursday's Half Day  (February 11)
  • School will be dismissed at 12:30 PM
  • Lunch will be served
  • Report cards narratives will be distributed at dismissal
  • Aftercare available from 12:30 PM to 6:00 PM
  • The following clubs will have their first session, 12:45 PM to 1:45 PM, on Thursday, February 11th:
    --Make Mystery Magic
    --Feed Yourself!
    --Fashion Lab by M Avery Designs 
  • Modern Creative Dance will not meet on February 11th.  It will begin on Thursday, February 18th at 3:00 p.m.
  • After school Homework Club is cancelled
Parent Workshop - Helping Your MS Child Navigate Tough Choices
Tuesday, March 1, 6:30 - 7:30
Stevens Cooperative School in collaboration with Hoboken Charter School and the Elysian Charter School (sponsored by our PTSO) invites families to a parent education workshop titled "Helping Your MS Child Navigate Tough Choices." Hallways (http://www.hallways.org/) provides parents/caregivers with the latest research, information and tools to effectively communicate with teens around challenging issues, such as navigating social media, responding to peer pressure and coping with stress and anxiety. The workshop will discuss how to initiate these challenging conversations and equip children with the skills to manage increasingly complex social dynamics and situations.
Hosted by:
Hoboken Charter School – Demarest Building
158 4th Street, 4th floor, Room 407
Hoboken, NJ 07030
*Entrance on 4th Street between Bloomfield and Garden

A REMINDER OF THE AUCTION’S TRUE GOAL: In the midst of all this “event stuff,” it’s important to remember that funds raised by the auction are vital to Elysian. A considerable sum of it will go toward utilities and services that Elysian previously didn’t need to cover in its annual budget since they were part of the rent at the Rue and Demarest buildings (our previous locations), including electricity, heating, air-conditioning, HVAC maintenance and the fire alarm system. It will also cover ongoing telecommunication services and janitorial services (which are estimated to be roughly double the cost from previous years). We have a fantastic new building, but it comes along with different financial responsibilities. We appreciate your support very much.

> TICKETS: $125/guest or $135/guest at the door
• Paying By Check: Please give your check—payable to “Friends of Elysian Charter School”—to Deb or Susan in the office. IMPORTANT: Put the check in an envelope labeled “Friends Auction.” Inside, include a note with the name of each guest and your email address. Thank you!
AUCTION ITEM OF THE WEEK: “Weekend at Townhouse in Dover, Vermont, minutes away from the Mt. Snow mountain resort and ski area.” Less than 4 hours from Hoboken. (More details at event.) Yes, if you love skiing, this is an amazing opportunity!
We are ideally seeking new items or unique experiences, valued at $200 or more. Our goal is to have a variety of items that can help raise significant funds for the school. While we hope to be able to include all donations, please understand that we may not be able to accommodate all items, or may have to group items together. We want to make sure to avoid duplicate items, so before securing a possible auction lot, please first email us at friends@ecsnj.org. Thank you very much for your consideration of this request and for your support!
If anyone works with a business that has 20-50 of the same item—for example, sample products or fun promotion merchandise—to donate for the mystery bags, please reach at to Harriet Fitzpatrick at msfitz1126@gmail.com or Shana Lee at shanalee@gmail.com.
* Thank you to everyone who has already turned in your payments and raffle ticket stubs! For those who haven’t, IT’S NOW TIME TO START GETTING THOSE RAFFLE TICKETS IN TO YOUR CLASS PARENT!
* IMPORTANT: Please coordinate with your class parent if at all possible and do not leave cash in the Friends of Elysian mailbox. Either write a check, payable to “Friends of Elysian Charter School,” or coordinate with your class parent to pool all cash in a larger check. Thank you.
* All students should have received a book of 10 tickets in their backpacks. If not—or if you have any questions—please contact your class parent, or Cynthia Ng-Villaluz at cynthia.ng.villaluz@gmail.com.
* If you’ve already sold your book, and would like another one—and that’s actually really awesome, by the way—you can either see Deb or Susan in the office, or contact Cynthia Ng-Villaluz at cynthia.ng.villaluz@gmail.com. (If you’re picking up books from the office, make sure to fill in the log-in sheet with the ticket numbers so your class gets credit toward the prizes.)
* If you need to return unsold ticket books, please turn them into Deb or Susan in the office. Please do not just leave them in the office without either of them personally taking them from you. (And this way, if others needs the books, we can avoid further printing costs.)
PRIZES: Remember, there are prizes for the top three classes that sell the most tickets. First prize is a pizza party, second prize is an ice cream party and third prize is a collection of games for the classroom. We wish everyone luck!
Are you ready for the 9th Annual
Elysian Chili Cook-off!!
Get your taste buds ready, your cowboy boots shined and mosey on over to the Hoboken Elks Club on Saturday, February 20th at 5pm. (The party ends at 9pm.)
Come to compete or just to relax and enjoy great chili.  Amenities include a supervised kid's room, a cash bar with wine and ice cold beer for adults, and of course all the chili you can eat.
We are looking forward to celebrating with you and your family! Please sign up at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0848a4af2ca6f94-9thannual to volunteer at the event or to enter your chili creation!
Elysian Collects Box Tops and LABELS for Education:  Look for the container near Deb's desk in the office!  Thank you!

Monday, February 8th
  • Clubs begin today.
  • Rescheduled  Board of Trustees Meeting
Tuesday, February 9
  • Middle Division Basketball Game (5th Grade), All Saints vs. Elysian Charter 5, 7:00 PM, Wallace School
  • CANCELLED - 6th Grade Basketball Game, Elysian Charter 6 vs. Hoboken Catholic, 8:00 PM, Wallace School
Wednesday, February 10
  • Grammar Basketball practice (7th/8th), 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM - 9as scheduled)
  • Grammar Basketball Game (7th/8th), Elysian Charter vs. Hoboken Charter, 7:00 PM, Wallace School
Thursday, February 11
  • Half day of school, 12:30 dismissal. After School Program available as usual.  Report Card Distribution. 
Friday, February 12 - Monday, February 15
  • Elysian closed for President's Day Weekend
Friday, February 19
  • 5th grade trip
  • Grammar Basketball Game (7th/8th), Elysian Charter vs. Stevens Co-op, 7:00 PM Wallace School 

Saturday, February 20
  • Girls Basketball Game, Elysian Charter vs. Hudson, 2:00 PM, Multi
  • Small Fry Basketball Game (3rd grade) , Connors/Calabro 3 vs. Elysian Charter 3, 5:00 PM, Wallace School
  • Small Fry Basketball Game (4th grade), Elysian Charter 4 vs. H.C.A. 4, 5:50 PM, Wallace Schoo
  • Chili Cook Off, 5:00 - 9:00 PM
Tuesday, February 23
  • Middle Division Basketball Game (5th Grade), Elysian Charter 5 vs. Hola 5, 6:00 PM, Wallace School
  • Sixth Grade Basketball Game, Elysian Charter 6 vs. HOLA 6, 7:00 PM, Wallace School
Friday, February 26
  • Friends' Auction/Fundraiser (see above for information).
Saturday, February 27
  • Girls Basketball Game, Elysian Charter vs. Stevens Co-op, 1:00 PM, Multi
  • Small Fry Basketball Game (3rd grade) , Elysian Charter 3 vs. Stevens White 3, 5:00 PM, Wallace School
  • Small Fry Basketball Game (4th grade), Elysian Charter 4 vs. HOLA 4, 7:30 PM, Wallace School
Monday, February 29
  • 5th Grade Basketball Game, Connors/Calabro 5 vs. Elysian Charter 5, 8:00 PM, Wallace School
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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