Elysian Charter School of Hoboken
Elysian Charter School of Hoboken
Harry Laub, Ph.D., Director
Elysian Charter School
Weekly Newsletter

A Positively Different Public School

April 30, 2018                  Vol. 13  Issue 31
The school newsletter is sent out on Mondays. When there is a holiday, the newsletter is sent the following day. 
Please note:  Send news to deb.rosner@ecsnj.org by 9:00 AM on Mondays.
Harry's Corner
Originally published in the Well Family Blog of the NY Times, January 12, 2017
To Encourage Creativity in Kids, Ask Them: ‘What if’?
Matt Richtel teaches children the “what if” exercise he used to write his book “Runaway Booger.” Credit HarperCollins Publishers; illustration by Lee Wildish
I was in a second-grade classroom recently reading from my new children’s book, “Runaway Booger.” After I finished, and the giggling subsided, several students asked a version of the same question: Why did you write about a humongous ball of mucus?
It was the question I’d hoped for.
I was using the reading session, at the teacher’s request, to get the children to think about creativity. Where does creativity come from? Are there tricks they can use to be more creative, or, for that matter, that parents and educators can instill?
It’s a subject I think about a lot, as a writer of newspaper articles, mysteries and nonfiction books, a syndicated comic strip and music. (It is sad but true: To accompany the booger book, I wrote a rock anthem called “Don’t Pick Your Nose.”) Scholars who study creativity say that stoking it involves helping children strike a balance between two dichotomous tools: the whimsy and freedom of a wandering mind, with the rigidity of a prepared one.
We need to help them be both “sensitive and assertive,” in the words of John Dacey, professor emeritus of education at Boston College. “Sensitivity means being open to new ideas, and very laid back,” he explained. Assertiveness doesn’t just mean being bold enough to express the idea but having enough experience and judgment to feel true authority about its value.
It means understanding a genre’s structure and form. That can take hard work, and years, but to Dr. Dacey, merely having a good idea doesn’t qualify as genuine creativity until it is matched with execution and follow-through.
“People think creativity is inspiration,” Dr. Dacey said, “but it’s mainly perspiration.”
To help the second graders inspire and perspire, I pulled out a red marker, and on a whiteboard I wrote two words: What if.
I explained to them that these two words are a kind of secret tunnel into the world of new ideas. In fact, I told them, I only came up with the booger story after asking myself: What if a family picked their noses so much that they create a monstrous booger? And what if the snot rocket rolled out the window and gained so much steam it threatened to roll over the town? And what if the whole story rhymed?
“Your turn,” I said to the class. “Who wants to give me their own version of ‘what if?’”
Before I relate some “what if” responses I’ve gotten from various classes, I’ll note that Dr. Dacey thinks the “what if” exercise is a great way to encourage a laid-back, nonjudgmental approach to open-ended thinking. Plus, this exercise helps children generate lots of potential ideas, and research shows that truly creative people tend to be idea factories. (Lest I take too much credit — or any — I recall coming across a related idea in a book about fiction writing called no less than “What If?”.)
A few days after I visited second grade, I tried the “what if” exercise with a kindergarten class.
“What if you sat on a toilet and it took you to Egypt?” said a curly-haired boy sitting in the middle of the rug. Giggles ensued until I said, “Fantastic! Who can use ‘what if’ to say what happened next in the toilet story?”
“And then you sat on the toilet and it flushed you to outer space?” said another boy.
More hands shot up from eager contributors. I called on a girl sitting near the back of the rug.
“And what if you took a giraffe elevator from outer space, and it brought you back?” she offered.
This, it dawned on me, was a significant moment (even though I’m not sure what a giraffe elevator is). The importance of the suggestion was that it hinted at the other key aspect of creativity, namely, having experience and judgment to turn an idea into a creation.
What the girl was suggesting was that she wanted to create some resolution — to get the toilet-traveler back home. In some sense, she was rounding the idea into a story, a structure. Was she lucky, or brilliant, preternatural? Most likely, according to the scholars I spoke to, she had picked up the logic of life and form by being in the world and interacting with books, movies and other story forms. In fact, some scholars think that merely being engaged with the world is enough to learn structure, and that formal training is overrated. But not all agree with this.
KH Kim, a professor of innovation and creativity at the College of William & Mary and the author of “The Creativity Challenge: How We Can Recapture American Innovation,” for instance, believes that people can be truly creative only after they’ve had 10 years of real experience studying and playing with a given genre, say music, books or art. Along the way, though, she says students should practice creative flights so they can develop inspiration and perspiration in lock-step.
Ultimately, Dr. Dacey offered a nifty measure for how to know whether we’ve helped our child come up with something truly creative. When we see or hear or read the end product of true creativity, he said, we will experience four emotions: surprise, stimulation, satisfaction and savoring.
To my chagrin, there was not a word in his definition about being grossed out by the prospect of a massive town-threatening mucus balloon. Well, that’s O.K. I’ve got more weird ideas where that came from. Hopefully, your children will, too.
From The Nurse Regarding Energy Drinks
Dear Parents,

Recently a number of our students have been consuming energy drinks during the school day.  These drinks are not intended for daily consumption and are not recommended for students ages seventeen or below.  Energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster and Powder Packets, which are available online and in stores, contain excessive amounts of caffeine and sugar which research has shown to have a detrimental effect on children and teenagers.  For example, a 500 ml can of Red Bull contains the same amount of caffeine as 2 cups of coffee and 13 teaspoons of sugar.  In addition, these drinks are unregulated by the FDA and there has been no long term research into the effects they may have on the adolescent brain.

Consumption of these drinks can lead to poor concentration, lack of energy (when the inevitable crash occurs), poor behavior, insomnia, increased anxiety, headaches, increased blood pressure and heart rate.  In extreme cases of consumption, energy drinks can lead to heart attacks and even death.  Frequent reliance on this type of beverages can cause caffeine withdrawal when the user stops them.  Withdrawal can lead to symptoms including, headache, fatigue, irritability and depression.

In line with the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics and of the CDC and based upon a concern for the well-being of our student's, energy drinks and powders will not be allowed in school.  I would also recommend that you follow the same guidelines at home. 

Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation in this matter.

Diane DeSombre, RN

PARCC Test Schedule

Week 2 - April 30 thru May 4 - Grades 3 & 5
Week 3 - May 7 thru May 11 - Grades 7 & 8

This Week's Homework Help and Enrichment Clubs


     Homework Help -  7th Grade, 8th Grades Only
     Debate Club III - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    "No Bake" Baking Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
     Broadway Boound Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Drawing Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
     Create It and Make It Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
     Calligraphy Club - 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM (1 1/2 Hour)
     Anime Club - 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM (1 1/2 Hour)
     Chess Club - 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM - (1 1/2 Hour) End date June 6  (14 week club)
Basic Baking Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
     Clay Creations Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM 
     Lego Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM 
     Homework Help - 7th Grade, 8th Grades Only
     Yoga Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
     Dance with Derrick Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
     Game Show Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
     Hola Amigos! Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
     Jewelry Making & Craft Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
     Rock Climbing Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

We’re celebrating 20 years of Elysian!!!
It’s all happening this May…

- Purchase a copy of the Elysian20 Memory Book
A Journey to Home- a “yearbook” with pictures, memories, poetry, songs and more from the first day of Elysian to the 20th year.
You need a copy of this book!! $25 for hardcover or $15 for a softcover version.
ONLY available May 1-20 so get your copy at http://elysian20.picaboo.com/memorybook

                                        - Come to Homecoming!
Sunday, May 20, 12:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Block party, food trucks, the premiere of The Elysian Movie, poetry readings, Honor Ceremony at 3pm and MORE!!
5th Grade Fundraiser
The 5th graders are still selling Elysian themed silicone bracelet wrist bands for $3 each.
These fun, colorful, Elysian themed bracelets can still be purchased by stopping by John’s classroom (Room 321) or by contacting John via e-mail at john.rutledge@ecsnj.org
Please consider helping out the 5th graders raise money for their Mystic, CT overnight trip and at the same time showing off some Elysian pride!
Square 1 Art Due THIS Friday! - Your children's art and order forms should have come home last week.  Celebrate your child's artistic accomplishments while raising funds for our school!  Make your child feel like an accomplished artist by purchasing keepsakes, (magnets, keychains, ornaments and more!) containing their masterpiece.  Elysian earns profit from each and every order.  Payment can be by check, online, or by phone.  If you choose to pay by check, please return the order form and check made out to SQUARE 1 ART to your child's teacher.  All paper order forms and checks MUST BE TURNED IN BY FRIDAY, May 4th.  SORRY, BUT NO LATE ORDERS BY CHECK WILL BE ACCEPTED!  If you pay online, simply log on to www.square1art.com/shop and place your order using your child's specific code from the back of their catalog.  Any questions, please contact elysianptso@gmail.com.

Field Day is Coming Up! - Field Day will be held Wednesday, May 16! We are looking for volunteers to help out that morning. Please email elysianptso@gmail.com if you'd like to volunteer. 

Elysian Picnic Chair Wanted - We found a chair, but are still looking for some help with the planning and execution of the Annual Picnic!  If you are interested, please email elysianptso@gmail.com. 

PTSO Officers Wanted - We are looking for some interesting and interested parents to join the PTSO board for next year! If that sounds like you, please email elysianptso@gmail.com. 
For the eighth year in a row, Elysian Charter School will be participating in the "Swing Fore the Schools Golf Outing.” This is Hudson County's largest golf outing benefiting multiple local schools serving more than 1,500 students. Last year our school earned over $7,000 by identifying sponsors and registering enthusiastic golfers.  

This year's tournament will be held on Thursday, June 7, at the Crystal Springs Resort in Northwest New Jersey. Bus transportation to and from Hoboken will be available. Registration and the driving range open at 11 AM. Lunch begins at 12 Noon. Tee-off is at 1:30 PM.

Please consider being one of the 300 golfers who will play 36 holes, participate in fun contests, win prizes, and enjoy a delicious lunch and dinner while raising money for our schools! In order to take advantage of early bird special pricing, make sure to register before May 17!

And finally, please don’t miss out on the opportunity to promote your business through this well-attended event. There are several sponsorship packages (starting at $250) that provide for great visibility for companies interested in reaching families in Hudson County. Please contact Jeff Joss (jeff.joss@gmail.com), chairperson for the tournament, for additional details.Design best-practices suggest a large font size for easy readability both on desktop and mobile devices.

Who:  All 6th, 7th and 8th graders
When: May 18 from 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Where: Willie McBride's Back Room, 616 Grand Street, Hoboken
A permission slip is below.  ALL PARENTS will need to sign the permission slip and return it to your child's teacher.  Permission slips are due no later than Friday, May 18th at 11:00am.  Cost is $10.  Please hand the slip and the money to your homeroom teacher. 
You will not be allowed entry into the dance if your name is not on the guest list!!               
We need chaperones!!!  Any non middle school parent is welcome to help....  Any questions please contact Shana Lee at shanalee@gmail.com or Hillary Quist at hillary.quist@ecsnj.org to sign up. 
We are looking for at least 8 parents to chaperone.


The Middle School Spring Dance is being held Friday, May 18th from 6:30pm - 9:30pm at Willie McBrides, 616 Grand Street, Hoboken. If your child is attending please complete the Permission Slip below and return to your child’s Homeroom teacher. The cost is $10.00 per student.
**Please check here if in need of a scholarship. ________.

No one will be granted access without a permission slip.

Once you hand in your slip, your name will be placed on the guest list. No money will be accepted at the dance. Once students enter the dance they will not be allowed to leave until pick up. No re-entry. Elysian students agree to abide to school rules on behavior.  



Student _____________________ Grade_____    Teacher_____________________



My child will be picked up at 9:30pm by __________________________________


Emergency Contact

Name___________________________________  Phone___________________________________


Medical Alerts________________________________________________________________


I give my child permission to attend the dance on May 18th, 2018. 


PARENT SIGNATURE_____________________________________________________

Please pay by cash or check payable to ECS PTSO

Spectacular Sign-ups! 

There are still spots available for the family kickball and basketball events. These are wonderful opportunities to spend time with family and friends, gather with the Elysian community, and support the school all at once!

To register for either (or both), please go to: http://www.ecsnj.org/post-auction-opportunities. 

Join other Elysian Charter School families for a basketball shoot-out and charity basketball tournament on Thursday evening, May 24, at 6:30 PM. There will also be some special guest stars including current and former Elysian staff! Includes pizza and beverages, to keep that energy up!
  • Donated by Brian Blake
Grab the kids and join Elysian Charter School families for a night of games on Friday June 1, at 7:00 p.m. It’s parents vs. kids! Includes pizza and drinks, and a lot of laughs!
  • Donated byJohn Rutledge (referee supreme!)
First Week Sold Out!!  
Very Limited Spots Remaining in Week 2
Reminder: Elysian has a nut-free policy
Any lunches, snacks, classroom treats, etc. must be a nut-free product. 
Please call Diane DeSombre, RN with any questions.  Thank you.
News from the Office
If your child has an appointment during school hours, an adult must come to office to sign him/her out. No student may leave on his/her own. This is a Department of Education regulation.
      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, April 30 - Friday, May 4
  • 3rd and 5th Grades PARCC testing
Monday. April 30
  • Homework Help -  7th Grade, 8th Grades Only
Tuesday, May 1
  • Rugby Practice, 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM. 1600 Park      
Thursday, May 3
  • Homework Help - 7th Grade, 8th Grades Only
  • 1st Grade Trip  
Friday, May 4
  • 6th Grade Trip
Sunday, May 6
  • Game -Rugby Elementary, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM, Chelsea Waterside Park, NYC
Monday, May 7 - Friday, May 11
  • 7th and 8th Grades PARCC tesiting
Tuesday, May 8
  • Rugby practice, 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM, 1600 Park
Wednesday, May 9
  • 4th Grade Trip
Tuesday, May 15
  • Rugby practice, 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM. 1600 Park
Wednesday, May 16
  • Field Day
  • 1/2 Day, 12:30 PM dismissal, Aftercare until 6:00 PM
Thursday, May 17
  • Kindergarten Orientation, 8:45 AM
Friday, May 18
  • Community Meeting. 8:45 AM - Gym
  • Middle School Spring Fling, 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM, Willie McBrides
Sunday, May 20
  • Elysian 20year Homecoming, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Game - Rugby Elementary, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM, Chelsea Waterside Park, NYC
Monday, May 21
  • Dress Rehearsal for Mary Poppins
  • Board Meeting, 7:00 PM 
Tuesday, May 22
  • Performance of Mary Poppins 
  • Rugby practice, 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM, 1600 Park
Wednesday, May 23
  • Performance of Mary Poppins
Thursday, May 24
  • Auction Charity Basketball Game, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Gym
Friday, May 25
  • 1/2 Day, 12:30 PM dismissal
Monday, May 28
  • Memorial Day, School Closed
Tuesday, May 29
  • Rugby practice, 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM, 1600 Park
  • 6th and 7th Grade Trip 
Wednesday, May 30
  • 5th and 8th Grade Science Exam
Friday. June 1
  • 4th Grade Trip
Wednesday, June 6
  • School Picnic
Thursday, June 7
  • Picnic Raindate
Friday, June 8
  • 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade Spring Concert - 9:00 AM - Gym
Saturday, June 9
  • Rugby Cup - Grades 4 & 5, 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM, Randalls Island, NYC
  • Rugby Cup - Grades 6 - 8, 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM, Randalls Island, NYC
Friday June 15
  • Community Meeting, 8:45 AM - GYM
Thursday June 21
  • 8th Grade Graduation
Friday, June 22
  • 8th Grade Trip
Monday June 25 
  • 1/2 Day 12:30 PM Dismissal
Tuesday, June 26
  • 1/2 Day, 12:30 PM Dismissal
Wednesday, June 27
  • 1/2 Day 12:30 PM Dismissal
  • Last Day of School, Report Cards Distributed
Calendar Update 
  • Because we have exceeded the number of built in snow days, we are required to extend the school year.  The last day of school, as of now (i.e. if we have no more snow days), will be Wednesday, June 27th.  The regulation is that we must have completed 180 school days prior to June 30th of the school year.
  • June 25, 26 and 27 will have 12:30 dismissals
  • 8th grade graduation has been moved to Thursday, June 21st.
Every year we build two or three days into the calendar to account for possible snow days.  We also designate a number of days after the scheduled end of the school year as “snow day makeups.”  This is designed to let everyone know, up front, of the possibilities. 
A note about attendance:  The New Jersey State Law is very specific about school attendance.  By law, children are expected to be in school every day unless they are ill.  There is no room in the law or regulations to excuse any children who have prior plans. We must mark all children absent who are not in attendance.
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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