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

March 7, 2016         Vol. 11  Issue 25
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  
Helping Your Child Make Healthy and Safe Choices
This week’s column was written by Kristen Jordan, a parent of an 8th grader and a former Board of Trustees member.  The column is based upon a presentation that was jointly hosted by Elysian’s PTSO, Stevens’ Cooperative and Hoboken Charter.

Last Tuesday, March 1, several Elysian staff and parents joined community members from other schools in town to hear a presentation by some people from Hallways, which is part of the Freedom Institute in New York City.  The program works in schools in New York City and as the website states “Hallways offers a comprehensive approach to prevention and social-emotional wellness tailored to the specific challenges faced by independent school students today.”  
The topic of Tuesday’s discussion was “Helping Your Child Make Healthy and Safe Choices.”  The speakers focused on using social and emotional wellness to prevent high risk behaviors, with a particular focus on substance abuse.  They discussed how important is it to delay use of substances because the earlier kids use substances, the more likely they are to develop problems or addictions.  They talked specifically about how vulnerable youth are because of the development of the prefrontal cortex of the brain.  
They cited the biggest risk factors for kids who use alcohol, tobacco and marijuana are STRESS  (primarily from academic pressure and the need to achieve) and THE MEDIA (almost half of kids with access to social network sites have seen someone abusing).  They cited academic pressures and high expectations a primary source of risk because kids may put all of their energy into succeeding academically at the expense of relational, emotional, and social development.  They talked about helping kids develop healthy social relationships as a very important part of preventing use.  We need to offer our kids support to deal with stress in productive ways and help them to develop intrinsic self-worth as well as traits like kindness and generosity.  They also discussed helping kids to know that it is okay to be vulnerable; that we need to help kids feel like it is okay to talk about things that bother them and that this is one of the best ways to protect against use.  
While the focus was on prevention of early substance abuse, I thought that the information they shared was helpful in thinking more broadly about helping children navigate potential risks and situations and how to prepare them to deal with those situations.  
Below is much of what was given as advice for Effective Prevention:
—Let your child know “I want you to be an independent, healthy decision maker”; come at it from a perspective of making healthy choices.  Have conversations often about making healthy decisions.
Be a good role model: send clear and consistent messages.  Discuss how you deal with stress.  Be thoughtful about what you say and do.  What are healthy ways to cope with stress?  Model that it is okay to work hard and still be disappointed with the outcome.  You can work through not achieving the outcome you may have hoped for.  Emphasize the importance of learning rather than the grade one receives; the grade someone gets does not effect their value as a person.  
Give your child feedback about integrity, kindness, self worth and qualities that you you value.
—Pause and be an observer of your child; see what is going on in your child’s social, emotional and academic life.  Find out what might be causing stress for your child and initiate discussions early and often about healthy friendships, decision making, what is stressful. Say to them “I notice that you seem stressed about…”  
Teach kids about drug facts.  Not scare tactics, but “This is how drugs effect the brain and body, particularly in a young developing brain.” Emphasize that adult’s brains are no longer developing and process drugs and alcohol in different ways.  Drug and alcohol abuse are directly related to brain science. (Find articles).
Set appropriate boundaries and expectations, whatever those are for your family. Decide what those boundaries are and tell your child over and over in many different ways.  They emphasized that if we don’t talk about it, children will perceive it as permissiveness.  
—Have conversations about healthy relationships and what they look like.  “What does it feel like to be in a healthy friendship? In healthy relationships?”  
Find opportunities to talk about issues: When you are watching a show and there are images of sex, alcohol use, or toxic relationships maybe take the time during a commercial to open a conversation like “What do you think about that?”  “Why do you think people do that?”
Have conversations about what they are seeing in social media.  We need to help them make sense of it.
Know where your kids are and what they are doing
—Talk about how they should respond when there is internal or external pressure; when they are in challenging situations, what should they do?  
Have conversations ahead of time about what to do it they find themselves in a situation where there is risk (e.g. someone is making a choice to go into their parents liquor cabinet).  Ahead of time, think about situations they may encounter, and come up with what they might do in those situations.  
We want our kids to reach out to us.  Make an agreement with them: Emphasize to them what they should do if they find themselves in a situation where there is risk or they feel uncomfortable.  “I want you to call me and I will always come get you.”  Have a plan for a nonsense text that they should send you that will be the code to get them out of any situation.  Give them a safe way out of any situation.  If you know that you will be upset and have a hard time not getting upset if your kid calls you, have a trusted relative or friend be the person who gets the call or text to take the kid out of the situation.  Let your child know that the most important thing is that everyone is safe.  Then, if consequences need to happen, save them for the next day and give them in a calm way.  
—Tell your child they can throw you under the bus (“my mom says I have to go…”)
Lastly, one of the big takeaways was to not worry about getting the conversation “right” but to make sure you try to have the conversations.  
Here are some helpful conversation starters: 
“You will have lots of decisions to make…”
“”Know that you can talk to me, even if you feel like you’ve handled something poorly.”
“I want to help you and support you.”
“I may not not be good at this conversation and it may be awkward…” 
“Just because I talk about this doesn’t mean I expect you to experiment.”  I wasn't you to have the best information to make healthily choices now and in the future.”  
“You have all this freedom and I’m not there.  Here’s my concern…”
“I want you to make good decisions because I care for and value you.”    

The 5th Grade is having a grilled cheese fundraiser on Thursday, March 17th and Friday, March 18th to raise money for our Mystic, CT trip.  These tasty treats, prepared and grilled up by our very own 5th grade students, will be available for the low, low cost of $2 per sandwich.  We’re selling these tasty treats at lunchtime for grades K-3 on Thursday, March 17th and then at lunchtime for grades 4-8 on Friday, March 18th.  Sandwiches will also be available for purchase on BOTH days at dismissal. Please help us out and buy some grilled cheese awesomeness!  

Thanks, John & Cristina
Elysian Chess Club  After their 3rd Place Tournament Win!
Basketball Updates
Small Fry:

3rd grade basketball: The team we were scheduled to play against this Saturday, March 12,  had to forfeit.  Coach Jason and Brian Blake (Lukas' dad) will be holding a scrimmage during the time that we were scheduled to play, 1:50 PM, the Wallace gym. 

Snow day makeup: Saturday, March 19th at the Wallace gym:
12:20 PM - 3rd grade
1:10 PM   - 4th grade 

Middle division 5th grade:

Our Snow day makeup game for the 5th grade (originally scheduled for Monday, March 14 at 7:00 PM) has been rescheduled for this Friday, March 11 at 7:00 PM in the Wallace gym. 

Our first 5th grade playoff game is Monday, March 14 at 6:00 PM in the Wallace gym. 

If we win our first playoff game we will play in the finals on Wednesday, March 16 at 6:00 PM in the Wallace gym. 

Middle division 6th grade:

The 6th grade's first playoff game is Tuesday, March 15 at 7:00 PM in the Wallace gym. 
If we win the first playoff game, we will play in the finals on Wednesday, March 16 at 7:00 PM

Grammar Basektball, 7th and 8th Grade Boys:
If we win tonight, Monday, March 7th, the Grammar Finals (originally scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, March 8) will be held on Thursday, March 10, 7:00 PM in the Multi gym.

Grammar Basketball, Girl's Team, 6th, 7th & 8th
Final game is Thursday, March 10 at 6:00 PM in the Multi Gym
PTSO Corner 
It's Almost Time for Square One Art

IT'S COMING..... IT'S ALMOST TIME FOR SQUARE ONE ART (everyone's favorite fundraiser)!!!

Please make sure to look in your child's backpack later this week for their one-of-a-kind art creation. Some new items have been added this year on which you can display their unique artwork.  Help your child feel like an accomplished artist while raising funds for Elysian Charter School!  More details to follow......   
Reminder: Check Out the Lost and Found in the Main Office  
Elysian Collects Box Tops and LABELS for Education:  Look for the container near Deb's desk in the office!  Thank you!

MARCH Calendar
Monday, March 7
  • If necessary,  our second 7th and 8th grade boys playoff game is today, 7:15 PM at the Multi gym. 

Tuesday March 8

  • CANCELLED -  7th and 8th grade boys playoff game .  Rescheduled (if we win on  March 7) for March 10 - see below.
  • ANNUAL MEETING, 6:00 PM, in the gym.
  • 5th grade basketball game, 6:00 PM, Wallace School
  • 6th grade basketball game, 8:00 PM, Wallace School
Thursday, March 10
  • Girl's Basketball Final Game, 6:00 PM, Multi gym.
  • 7th and 8th grade boys playoff game (if we win on march 7th, 7:00 PM, Multi gym
Friday, March 11
  • 8:30 AM Community Meeting, in the gym.
  • Rescheduled snow day makeup game for 5th grade, 7:00 PM, Wallace gym

Saturday, March 12
  • 3rd grade basketball team scrimmage, 1:50 PM, Wallace gym
Monday, March 14
  • The snow day make-up game fior 5th grade IS CANCELLED  (rescheduled for March 11) 
  • First 5th grade playoff game, 6:00 PM, in Wallace gym

Tuesday, March 15

  • 7th grade trip
  • First 6th grade Basketball playoff game, 7:00 PM, Wallace gym
  • After School Art Salon - Zentangles with Willa and Lilly  (more info to follow)

Wednesday, March 16
  • Half day of school for staff development; 12:30 PM dismissal.  After school program as usual
  • If the the 5th grade wins their playoff game, there will be Finals today, 6:00 PM, Wallace gym.
  • If the 6th grade wins their playoff game, there will be Finals, 7:00 PM
Friday, March 18
  • 8th grade trip
Saturday, March 19   
  • There is a snow day make-up game today, 12:20 PM at the Wallace gym for the 3rd grade team. 
  • There is a snow day make-up game on Saturda, 1:10 PM at the Wallace gym for the 4th grade team. 
Monday, March 21
  • Board of Trustees Meeting, 7:00 PM
Tuesday, March 22
  • 6th grade trip
  • After School Art Salon with Becky Klein Cohen
Friday, March 25 - Friday, April 1
  • Elysian closed for Spring Break

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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