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 23, 2018                  Vol. 13  Issue 30
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 from Childmind.org  Feb. 20, 2018
Supporting vs Enabling
How to tell what's helping and what's not when a child has emotional or learning challenges

Julia Johnson Attaway

Why do parents spoon-feed babies, but expect healthy fourth graders to feed themselves? Because babies aren’t able to do the task alone, but older kids can. One of the basic ways we distinguish support from coddling is by assessing what children are capable of doing. The normal progression moves from complete support to coaching or teaching to self-reliance.

Yet what is relatively clear with a typical kid becomes murkier when a child struggles with learning disabilities or mental health issues. It’s not always easy to figure out what counts as supportive and what is enabling when a child’s mood, anxiety, distractability, and behavior vary from day to day. How do you know if you are being considerate of your child’s difficulties… or limiting his growth by taking on tasks he can do himself?

What is support?

“Life will throw all kinds of challenges at kids,” says Dr. David Anderson, a psychologist and director of the Behavior Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute, “And the goal of support is to build up resilience and develop coping strategies.”

So let’s start with a rule of thumb: support should always empower your child to move forward toward greater stability and more independence. Support will acknowledge difficulties yet not eliminate them. It’s about working with your child as he learns to overcome obstacles, manage his fears, and build confidence for the future.
Thus it is always supportive to:
  • Learn about your child’s disorder and treatment, so you are clear about what is helpful for healing and what is not
  • Acknowledge your child’s feelings, validating how hard it is to be scared, sad, uncomfortable, embarrassed, or struggling
  • Provide simple human comforts – snuggles, hot chocolate, a shoulder rub, sensory tools, anything that brings the stress down — and practical assistance that helps her push through strong emotions
  • Model healthy coping skills for handling frustration, disappointment, anger and anxiety (or model perseverance if you are still learning how to do this)
  • Provide structure at home in the form of appropriate rules, schedules, and positive consequences so your child can experience success with his behavior
  • Notice and comment upon small steps forward, praising effort and perseverance in addition to results
  • Discuss house rules and consequences in calm times, so you don’t find yourself inventing them on the fly
  • Coach your child through problems she cannot handle without assistance
  • Set clear boundaries for the personal health and safety of all members of the family (including yourself!)
  • Advocate for your child at his school, so he has accommodations for his disability that level the playing field
  • Seek professional help for any member of your family who is struggling
If your child is already working with a therapist, you can support the work done in session by asking for “homework” that reinforces skills being worked on. The therapist may also provide guidance on strategies you can use in handling specific problems.
How enabling is different
To enable is to inadvertently reinforce an undesired behavior. All parents do this to some degree, because it’s only natural to want to shield our children from pain, fear, failure, difficulty and embarrassment.
Research suggests it’s best to delay exposure to the big risks like drugs, sex, and alcohol as long as possible, but as Dr. Anderson notes, children shouldn’t be protected from all risk-taking. Smaller risks are where kids build coping skills and confidence. As parents we have to learn to tolerate our own discomfort at seeing kids struggle if we are going to help them grow.
Enabling undesirable behavior also occurs when we give in to complaints or demands because we desperately want to avoid conflict. This avoidance is generally a short-term fix that’s at odds with helping the child make long-term progress.
It is usually enabling to:
  • Allow your child to avoid all uncomfortable situations
  • Cover up for things your child did, forgot to do, or did poorly
  • Speak up on her behalf instead of letting her learn to express her own thoughts and feelings
  • Enforce house rules inconsistently because you feel bad about your child’s struggles or are afraid he won’t like you
  • Overly react to non-violent tantrums by engaging in long lectures or emotional fireworks of your own
  • Intervene with other adults to prevent your child from experiencing disappointment, rather than helping her work through her feelings
  • Protect him from the natural consequences of his actions
When matters are not clear-cut
Unfortunately, mental health symptoms vary from day to day, so what’s possible for a kid to do one day may be impossible the next. A depressed teen may, for example, muster the energy to do homework on Tuesday, then climb into bed overwhelmed by sadness on Wednesday. An anxious kid might make it through the school day but then explode in the safety of home. This shifting ground between ability and disability can make it difficult for parents to know what constitutes support and what enables mental health challenges to retain their grip.
Gauging what your child can and can’t do will always be a matter of observation, parental judgment, and trial and error. However, your accuracy in predicting success will improve if you keep track of the circumstances surrounding when success occurs. Often the good days are a function of basics, such as:
  • Did your child have a solid night’s sleep?
  • Did he eat enough food and drink enough fluid?
  • What else happened this week? (bullying at school, change of routine, family strife, etc.)
  • What’s on the horizon? (upcoming exams, unpleasant anniversaries, stressful situations)
  • Has medication has been taken regularly, or has there been a recent change in medication?
  • How calmly have you been able to respond to your child’s anger or distress?
  • How consistent have you (and your partner) been in sticking to house rules?
  • Is there any physical issue going on? (hormonal cycle, headache, incipient stomach bug, or other)
As you build your database of insight, you will get better at assessing whether your expectations are impossible, difficult-but-possible-with-help, difficult-but-possible-with-time, or not a problem.
Drama vs. reality
Kids with emotional challenges are refreshingly like every other kid on the planet when it comes to trying to get what they want… and avoid doing what they dislike. Sometimes the strategies they use involve capitalizing on a nugget of truth, like exaggerating a legitimate emotion. This is normal. Like most of us, kids tend to plead being overwhelmed when they simply fear being overwhelmed, and think “I can’t!” when they really mean “I don’t want to!”
Any parent who has logged hours of worry over their kid is likely to find this incredibly provoking. The prospect of heading into (yet another) downward spiral is anxiety inducing. This can make determining how much of your child’s protest is due to inability and how much is an overlay of drama extra tricky.
Try to avoid falling into the either/or, can-she-or-can’t-she trap. Almost all situations fall somewhere between can and can’t, and the way to find the sweet spot is to validate your child’s feeling and move things forward from there. For example, you might say:
  • “I know you don’t feel up to it, but I’d like you to come anyway. If you’re still too exhausted once we get there, we don’t have to go in.”
  • “Yes, this will be challenging, and yet I’m pretty sure we can find ways to help you manage it.”
  • “Aww, I can see you’re tired! That often happens when you haven’t had enough fluids. Let me get you a cup of juice and see if that helps perk you up.”
  • “It’s normal to be nervous about something like this. What’s one thing you can do to pull your anxiety down to a more manageable level?”
  • “Hmmm. I can see it seems intimidating, yet I’m pretty sure it’s not entirely What could we do to make it merely very difficult?”
What you’re looking for is the middle ground, the wiggle room, the tiny step of progress. If you succeed – great! If you don’t, the information you gather in the process will equip you for the next round. Talk to your child’s therapist, collaborate on strategies, report back on progress… and move forward. With patience and insight, time and wisdom, professional help and at-home parental support, your child will make progress.

PARCC Test Schedule

Week 1 - April 23 thru April 27 - Grades 4 & 6
Week 2 - April 30 thru May 4 - Grades 3 & 5
Week 3 - May 7 thru May 11 - Grades 7 & 8
Last Sessions' Movie Making Enrichment Club.

Please click on the links below to view the movies that were made by the students of the Movie Making Enrichment Club with Jeff Belton. 



Passwords: MovieElysian

This Week's Homework Help and Enrichment Clubs


     Homework Help -  3rd Grade, 5th Grade, 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 - Starts May 1
     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
     Karate Intermediate Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
     Lego Club - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM 
     Homework Help - 3rd Grade, 5th Grade, 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

Will You Be Returning to Elysian in the Fall??
April 23, 2018                                    
Dear Elysian Families,
We are in the midst of planning for the next school year and need to know your plans.  
All Elysian students are guaranteed a spot next year, as are siblings (space permitting).  
If you tell us there’s a chance you might not return, we’ll hold your child’s place until you make a final decision.  This information enables us to encourage wait-listed families to “hang on” since there's a chance a space might open up.  In this way, you help us achieve full enrollment for the next school year. 
We appreciate your answering in an honest and timely fashion.
  • Complete the form, below, and return it to your child’s teacher or e-mail susan.gilbertson@ecsnj.org
  • If you have more than one child, please fill out one form only but include information about both children..  
  • Please include any in-coming siblings on the form as well. It is helpful to let us know now if you will have an incoming kindergartner for the 2019-2020 school year. 
My child/children (please print name/names clearly):
__________________________________  Sibling for 2019-2020?: ________________
name                            current teacher            _____________________________________
name                            current teacher
name                            current teacher            
_____     Will be attending Elysian for the 2018 - 19 school year.
_____     Will not be returning to Elysian for the 2018 - 19 school year.
_____     I am not sure of my plans for the 2018 - 19 school year.  Save my
            place… I'll be sure to let you know as soon as we decide!
Parent Signature   _____________________________________Date_____________________
Elysian Bracelet Fundraiser
The 5th graders are selling Elysian themed silicone bracelet wrist bands to help raise money for their annual trip to Mystic, CT. 
These bracelets (which come in 2 different spring colors) are fitted perfectly for kids of all ages. 
These fun, colorful, Elysian themed bracelets can be purchased on Thursday, April 26th and Friday, April 27th at dismissal for the low, low price of $3 each.

Please consider helping out the 5th graders and at the same time showing off some Elysian pride!

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 are urgently looking for someone who loves the Annual Picnic and is eager to plan it for this year. 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.

Square 1 Art - Keep your eyes peeled for Square 1 Art order forms coming home in backpacks in the near future! 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. 
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.
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. There will also be some special guest stars including current and former Elysian staff! The date is still to-be-determined, but we are targeting a Friday or Saturday in May. 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 by John Rutledge (referee supreme!)

Elysian Summer Camp is quickly filling up! 
Week 1 is almost full and Week 2 isn't far behind! 
Hurry and secure your spot.

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.
      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 regul
    Monday, April 23
    • Board Meeting, 7:00 PM
    Monday, April 23 - Friday, April 27
    • 4th and 6th Grades PARCC testing
    Tuesday, April 24
    • Rugby practice, 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM, 1600 Park
    Monday, April 30 - Friday, May 4
    • 3rd and 5th Grades PARCC testing
    Tuesday, May 1
    • Rugby Practice, 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM. 1600 Park
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Wednesday, May 30
    • 5th and 8th Grade Science Exam
    Upcoming Events
              Friday, June 8, 3rd, 4th, 5th Grade Spring Concert, GYM at 9:00 AM
    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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