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

November 2, 2015         Vol. 11  Issue 8
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
This week’s column was written by Hillary Quist, our middle school math teacher.  She reflected on the 3 day trip that the 7th and 8th graders just completed to the Princeton Blairstown Center.  In this article Hillary not only discusses the trip, but puts it into the context of strategies for all learning.

As teachers there is nothing better than finding ourselves in the middle of a messy problem in the classroom and watching the kids tackle it with aplomb - sharing different ideas, taking on the challenge brilliantly and shouting support to one another along the way.  They might be simply determining how to organize the tables in the room or searching for a better voting system than a simple majority. This hearty problem solving is at the heart of the curriculum at each grade level at Elysian and it is one big reason that our teachers teach here and stay here.   
So how do we get to the point where these amazing experiences can happen so regularly in our classrooms?  It starts in Kindergarten with the development of community and using democratic processes to determine school norms, best ways to care for one another, and finding strategies to solve problems. This classroom work continues through the grades and then we add in the magic - overnight adventure trips. Beginning in 4th grade our students spend two nights a year at a camp with their peers and teachers. During this time away from home and school kids take responsibility for themselves and others through new experiences. And they have fun!  The curriculum for each trip is designed to provide interaction with new elements in the world and to challenge kids to solve non routine problems that ask them to think outside the box. Most of these problems can be solved only with teamwork. Students work in groups, supported by camp facilitators and/or teachers and then debrief the challenge to find out what works and what they can do differently next time. 
The middle school just returned from spending three days at the Princeton Blairstown Center. This trip is the culmination of the overnight trips that start in 4th grade with PEEC, 5th grade Mystic and 6th grade Camp Mason. While there we were impressed with our kids on many levels. The years of working together shone through as kids fit themselves as a group on a small platform, swung on ropes across a wide abyss and were caught by their peers, and shouted encouragement to one another as they climbed rope ladders in the air on their way to cross steel cables 40 feet above the ground. There were big successes: the student who set a goal simply to climb the ladder and then upon reaching the top, decided to keep going and crossed a log high in the air; or the step up to leadership roles by students who prefer background roles in the classroom. The small notes of success were just as important: the student who figured out that by crouching down, someone could go over him vs. around him on a log; or the athletic student who gave a warm embrace to the student who made it just a little further than planned on the high ropes. Also amazing was the respect for differences among the kids. We have kids of every shape, size, and coordination level. While there was much laughter during the events, not once did we hear anyone being laughed at. Instead the groups took into consideration differences and accounted for these thoughtfully in their solution planning. 
Now we are back and the kids have set some intentions for the year based on their work at camp. Some have simply noted that they need to make more time for fun in their busy days. Others have said that they will make an even bigger effort to “keep things cool” with everyone and to support their peers, particularly those in other grades. As teachers, we pick up the language of the kids and facilitators asking kids to “circle up” in order to have equal standing in a discussion or to think back to what kind of language it took to lead someone who couldn’t see, as they think about how to support someone learning a new idea.  
These trips make a tremendous difference in the flow of our year and when kids write about their fondest memories at Elysian they inevitable mention at least one of these.  We look forward to many more.
Link to Harry's October 27 Letter to the Editor, New York Times
(written in response to "The White House moves to Limit School Testing")
Elysian's First Art Salon  Tuesday, November 3, 3:00 - 4:00 PM
For 6th, 7th and 8th Graders
Come Discuss Andrew Castlen's "Sci-Fi"

Let's talk about art -  make creative contributions, and gain knowledge on subjects you may never have explored before!  Our goal is to create an intimate setting for dynamic conversation. Light refreshments will be served!  Come hang out with friends and observe artwork made by your peers!  Come join the discussion!
Who can attend the art salon?
All students in grades 6 - 8 are invited to attend!  The salon will take place in the Elysian 3rd Floor Lobby. 
What do I need to Do to Become a Participating Artist? 
You must complete a body of work consisting of 6 to 10 pieces.  Complete a submission form with your information.  if you are a participating artist, all artwork must be mounted.  (See Nikki if you need tips on how to do this!) Speak with Nikki or Lynne Shapiro if you have 3-D pieces or sculpture or poetry that you would like to submit.
Form is on Elysian's art room website, www.ecs-art@weebly.com.  If you haven't checked out the website, please do so. 
New Vic Tickets to Cuba Vibra!
Thursday, November 19, 4:30 Performance

From Havana, Cuba, with superior synchronicity, 18 dancers fill the stage with flavorful finesse as they seamlessly dance in lockstep to the Afro-Cuban beats and vocal virtuosity of a big band on stage.   The New Vic has wanted this dance company to come for years, but this is the first time they have been able to travel due to cooperating governments.
  • If you wish to attend the performance with your child, or have your child go with a friend or family separate from the Elysian After School Program,  please email Lynne Shapiro for tickets ($5 adults/$2 children):  lynne.shapiro@ecsnj.org
  • If your child participates in the After School Program, and you wish your child to travel as part of the After School Program, please complete the permission slip below.  Please note that bus tickets are included in the price.
 I give my permission for my child,______________________________, to attend the 4:30 PM performance of  CUBA VIBRE!  at The New Victory Theater on Thursday, November 19.   I understand that he/she will be taking the public bus to and from New York with the After School Staff.
 _______________________________________  __________________________
parent/guardian name                                                  signature 
_______I’ve paid online via Orgsonline          ______I’ve enclosed $10 for tickets and transportation. 

Please note:  The performance is 1 hour and 45 minutes (including one intermission).   Please be waiting for your child/children at Elysian for pick up at 7:00 PM. 
Good News!
Darcy Minsky (Resource Room Teacher and H.S. Advisor) recently told us that her daughter, Sara, has had three photos selected for an exhibit at the Edward Hopper Gallery in Nyack: 

KUUMBA Day is Saturday, January 9
KUUMBA means "creativity" in Swahili.  KUUMBA Day is an Elysian invention.  It's the one day when EVERYONE is invited to come together, eat international foods, play games, create art, and watch the 3rd grade demonstrate what they learned during their African Dance residency with the extraordinary dancer and drummer, Yahaya Kamate. 
This will be the first KUUMBA Day in our new building.  We want to invite alumni and their families to come back to Elysian on January 9th, which will hopefully become an annual tradition.
We will have a cake walk - something like musical chairs - but the winner gets to go the cake table and pick out a cake.  Therefore - we need cakes!   If you would like to volunteer to bring a cake to KUUMBA DAy, please contact lynne.shapiro@ecsnj.org.
We plan on filling a Time Capsule at KUUMBA Day to be opened 2036! Email ideas to lynne.shapiro@ecsnj.org.

Each week - more info will follow - but for now...SAVE THE DATE.  Make sure you have the 18th Annual KUUMBA Day on your calendar!
PTSO Corner
KidStuff Coupon Books – the fundraiser has ended!  Please return the books or payment by Tuesday to the main office.  The tracking sticker on the back of the book will let us know that you returned it. 
Photo retake day is set for Friday, November 20th.  Details to follow.
PTSO dues – Thank you to all those who donated to the PTSO dues collection!  We had 58% participation this year.  Thank you also for those who donate their time – a very valuable and immeasurable resource!!  
No Brainer Moneymakers
Easy Ways To Raise Money for Our School At No Extra Cost To You. 
Shop through our storefront for Shutterfly and sign up for Amazon Smile, iGive and Target and just shop as usual!! It just takes two minutes!!  Pass along to your friends and family too!
  •  Shutterfly, TinyPrints and more -  Go to http://elysiancharter.shutterflystorefront.com.  Shop as usual.  No need to sign up, just use this link.  

  • Amazon Smile - http://smile.amazon.com/  Click on ‘change your charity’.  Select Elysian Charter.  Bookmark this address.   Shop as usual. 

  •  iGive -Go to www.iGive.com/ElysianCharter .  Fill out name, Password and email.  Click ‘Register Now’ button, install iGive button.  Shop!  You might have to click on a pop-up screen to verify at certain online stores.

  •  Target -  Go to www.target.com , click on REDcard and then ‘Learn about REDcard’.  Page down to ‘Take Charge of Education’ and click on ‘Learn More’.  Enter information under ‘Sign me up’ and click ‘Enroll’.  
Hoboken Homeless Shelter Paper Drive
Daniel Henson and Henry Plotka from the eighth grade are conducting a paper goods drive for the local homeless shelter. We are asking for paper goods such as paper cups, towels, plates, bowls, plastic forks, knives and spoons. In the downstairs lobby/entrance of the school, there is a box with a sign that says “middle school food drive". The shelter is in need of these items so we encourage you all to donate. Thanks!
Elysian Collects Box Tops and LABELS for Education:  Look for the container near Deb's desk in the office!  Thank you!
November Calendar

Tuesday, November 3
  • 1st grade class trip
  • "Sci-Fi" Art Salon with Community Artist, Andrew Castlen (6th Grade), for 6th - 8th graders, 3:00 - 4:00 PM.  Refreshments will be served.
Thursday, November 5
  • 4th Grade in-school Field Trip, Lenape Workshop
Friday, November 6
  • Amanda's first grade has a class trip.
Tuesday, November 10
  • Open House for prospective parents, 8:45 AM
Wednesday, November 11
  • 6th grade overnight trip
  • Joanna's 1st grade has a class trip
Thursday, November 12
  • Melissa's 2nd grade class trip.
Friday, November 13
  • 6th grade returns from overnight trip.
Saturday, November 14
  • Track Meet, Lincoln Park, JC, 10:150 AM - Blue Track
Monday, November 16
  • Parent Conferences 
Tuesday, November 17
  • Parent Conferences
Wednesday, November 18
  • Angela's kindergarten class has a trip.
  • Half Day of School for Parent Conferences, 12:30 dismissal.  After School Program available as ususal.
Thursday, November 19
  • Josie's kindergarten class has a trip
  • Parent Conferences continue
Friday, November 20
  • Photo retake day
Wednesday, November 25
  • Half Day of School for Thanksgiving holiday, 12:30 dismissal, After School Program available until 4:00 PM ONLY.
Thursday, November 15  and Friday, November 16
  • School closed for Thanksgiving
Monday, November 23
  • 4th/5th grade day long trip.  Evening ETA, 6:00 PM
  • Open House for prospective parents, 6:00 PM\
  • Board of Trustees Meeting, 7:00 PM
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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