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Elysian Charter School of Hoboken - A positively different public school.
School website: | To donate: Harry Laub, Ph.D., Director
Elysian Charter School
Weekly Newsletter

A Positively Different Public School

December 5, 2016         Vol. 12  Issue 14
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 by 1:00 PM on Mondays.

The weekly newsletter is archived on Elysian's website,, so that you can always access both the most recent newsletter as well as all previous ones.
Harry's Corner
There isn’t a better holiday gift than a book.  Below  please find a listing of recommended books from the  New York Time on November 23, 2016.
Notable Children’s Books of 2016
The best in picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, selected by the children’s books editor of The New York Times Book Review.
Picture Books
DU IZ TAK? Written and illustrated by Carson Ellis. (Candlewick, $16.99.) In this enchanting tale of bugs who build a fort in a plant, only to see it toppled by a spider, Ellis presents an imaginary land of stylish insects who speak their own made-up — but easily understood — language.
FREEDOM OVER ME. Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life. Written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan. (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum, $17.99.) Basing his work on an 1828 document he found, Bryan has created dignified, heart-rending portraits of 11 slaves who were put up for sale, imagining their individual voices and the details of their lives.
I AM PAN! Written and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein. (Roaring Brook, $18.99.) An exuberant look at the irrepressible yet often overlooked Greek god Pan that “seems to owe as much to Old Hollywood as to modern graphic novels,” our reviewer, Maria Russo, said.
THE JOURNEY. Written and illustrated by Francesca Sanna. (Flying Eye, $17.95.) This heart-stopping, visually sophisticated story of a happy family suddenly forced to flee their home because of war evokes the dark danger of fairy tales to present the stark realities and enduring hope of modern refugees.
LEAVE ME ALONE! Written and illustrated by Vera Brosgol. (Roaring Brook, $17.99.) This clever, witty tale of a beleaguered grandma who just wants to knit in peace “manages to feel both classic and ultracontemporary,” according to our reviewer, Michael Ian Black.
MY NAME IS JAMES MADISON HEMINGS. By Jonah Winter. Illustrated by Terry Widener. (Schwartz & Wade, $17.99.) This soulful book honestly explores the predicament of a sensitive, inquisitive boy — the son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings — who spent his life “owned” by his father, a founder of our democracy.
WE FOUND A HAT. Written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. (Candlewick, $17.99.) “A masterpiece of honest feelings, emotional tension and poetic restraint,” our reviewer, Sergio Ruzzier, called this third of Klassen’s hat-themed books, about two turtles who find a hat they both want to keep.
SCHOOL’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. By Adam Rex. Illustrated by Christian Robinson. (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, $17.99.) A funny, unexpectedly touching look at how awful the first day of school is for the school building itself, until, helped by a kind janitor, it starts to enjoy the exuberant children and their learning.
THE THANK YOU BOOK. Written and illustrated by Mo Willems. (Hyperion, $9.99.) Willems’s beloved Elephant & Piggie series comes to a fitting close with the two winningly mismatched friends finding a way to thank everyone who has helped them, including their loyal readers.
THEY ALL SAW A CAT. Written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel. (Chronicle, $16.99.) A cat walking through the world looks mighty different to various other creatures, such as a fox and a goldfish, as this delightful, ingenious book shows.
THIS IS NOT A PICTURE BOOK! Written and illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. (Chronicle, $16.99.) This clever and lovely celebration of reading — and of picture books themselves — features a picture-loving duckling who ends up transported by the power of words, too.
THUNDER BOY JR. By Sherman Alexie. Illustrated by Yuyi Morales. (Little, Brown, $17.99.) “Soaring,” our reviewer, Minh C. Le, called this playful story about a Native American boy who, tired of sharing a name with his father, seeks a suitable new one for himself. 
Middle Grade
THE BEST MAN. By Richard Peck. (Dial, $16.99.) An 11-year-old boy has to learn some new lessons about masculinity and family when his uncle marries another man in this touching and insightful novel from the beloved Peck. 
GHOST. By Jason Reynolds. (Atheneum, $16.99.) Trying to outrun his own painful memories and personal challenges, the budding track star who narrates this National Book Award finalist is “worthy of a place alongside Ramona and Joey Pigza on the bookshelves where our most beloved, imperfect characters live,” our reviewer, Kate Messner, said.
THE INQUISITOR’S TALE; Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog. By Adam Gidwitz. Illustrated by Hatem Aly. (Dutton, $17.99.) This delightfully twisty tale of traveling children — are they saints or heretics? — wanted by the King of France in 1242 is “dense with literary and earthy delights,” our reviewer, Soman Chainani, said.
MS. BIXBY’S LAST DAY. By John David Anderson. (Walden Pond, $16.99.) This story of three troubled boys’ devotion to an exceptional teacher who somehow gets through to each of them, but falls ill and has to leave the classroom, is tragic, funny and uplifting all at once.
PAX. By Sara Pennypacker. Illustrated by JonKlassen. (Balzer&Bray/HarperCollins, $16.99.) “Truly remarkable,” our reviewer, Katherine Rundell, called this resonant story, which alternates between the points of view of a boy and the pet fox he is forced to set free when his soldier father goes off to war.
RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE. By Kate DiCamillo. (Candlewick, $16.99.) A girl in 1970s Florida who is abandoned by her father tries to lure him back home by baton-twirling her way into the newspaper in this heartbreaking, utterly enchanting novel.
WHEN THE SEA TURNED TO SILVER. By Grace Lin. (Little, Brown, $18.99.) This National Book Award finalist about a girl’s search for her grandmother is the last of a trilogy that incorporates traditional Chinese tales, which our reviewer, Emily Jenkins praised for its “surpassing wonder and emotional weight.”
Young Adult
THE GREAT AMERICAN WHATEVER. By Tim Federle. (Simon & Schuster, $17.99.) A gay aspiring screenwriter coming to terms with his sister’s death and his own stalled romantic life is at the center of this “moving tale about grief that’s also laugh-out-loud funny,” our reviewer, Ali Benjamin, said.
THE PASSION OF DOLSSA. By Julie Berry. (Viking, $18.99.) “Magnificent,” our reviewer, Marjorie Ingall, called this absorbing, elegant novel about a young medieval gentlewoman on the run from an obsessed friar who wants to burn her at the stake for heresy. 
SALT TO THE SEA. By Ruta Sepetys. (Philomel, $18.99.) This devastating literary thriller about a group of young refugees fleeing Stalin’s troops at the end of World War II is set against the worst maritime disaster in history, the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, which cost over 9,000 lives.
THE SERPENT KING. By Jeff Zentner. (Crown, $17.99.) Zentner manages to blend humor, optimism and ominous Southern-style moodiness in this tale of three devoted teenage friends who help each other face violence, family shame and the difficulty of breaking out of the trap called home.
STILL LIFE WITH TORNADO. By A. S. King. (Dutton, $17.99.) Our reviewer, Jeff Giles, praised King’s “beautifully matter-of-fact use of the supernatural” in this hypnotic and insightful tale of a teenager who meets her future selves as she struggles to make her way through a dysfunctional present.
THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR. By Nicola Yoon. (Delacorte, $18.99.) Jazzy, romantic and philosophical, this novel’s main action takes place over the course of a single day in which a Jamaican girl about to be deported meets and falls for a Korean-American boy.                                                                                            
KUUMBA Day is Near! 
The 3rd Grade Dances at 1:30 in the gym!
Tickets Available!
Mother Africa: My Home
The New Victory Theater
Wednesday, December 7, 4:30 PM
This holiday season, experience the joyous spirit abundant in MOTHER AFRICA: MY HOME, a circus spectacular set in Cape Town. Daring acrobats, dancers and mind-bending contortionists fill the New Victory stage when the sensational Drama Desk-nominated Circus der Sinne (Mother Africa, New Vic 2013) returns to NYC with electrifying live music and feats of extraordinary strength and dazzling skill. With performers representing African nations from Tanzania, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, to South Africa and Ivory Coast, this radiantly rhythmic production exudes a palpable zest for life that will have the whole family on the edge of their seats—or, better yet, dancing in the aisles!
Permission slips have been/are being sent home with After School. 
All others interested in joining -  contact Lynne Shapiro for tickets:
PTSO Corner
PICTURE ORDERING DEADLINE EXTENDED! The deadline for ordering ALL school photos (original date and retake date) has been extended until THIS Friday, December 9! Please go to and enter the unique online access code that you received on the flyer sent home with your children in their backpacks to view photos and place orders! 
ELYSIAN COIN CHALLENGE! Starting next Monday, December 12, we will be having a week-long Coin Challenge to raise funds to provide families in need in our community with holiday dinners. Elysian has a long-standing tradition of helping families in need, and this holiday season is no exception. Every penny makes a difference! 
Containers will be in every classroom December 12 to 16. Prizes will be announced on Monday, December 19.
- Monday - Pennies
-Tuesday - Nickels
- Wednesday - Dimes
- Thursday - Quarters
- Friday - All Currency
PICTURE ORDERING DEADLINE is THIS Friday, December 2! Please go to and enter the unique online access code that you received on the flyer sent home with your children in their backpacks to view photos and place orders! PLEASE NOTE that children absent on the original Picture Day and retake photos will be available around December 7.   The deadline for ordering will be extgended  ONLY for those pictures.
Shop For Holiday Cards:
- Shop through our store at to earn 13% for Elysian at Tiny Prints and Shutterfly. Offers expire 12/31/16. No need to sign up, just use this link.  
- Also on Shutterfly: We have 50 unique coupon codes for $10 off a $50 purchase when you shop through our link above. Please email for your code.
- Tiny Prints: For 25% off and Free Shipping on Holiday Cards and Gifts.  Valid until 12/21.  offer CODE: AFF25FS
Shop for Holiday Gifts:
- Go to Register for the iGive button. It is free. Then go to your favorite online store and shop! Nothing else to do! 
- Go to Click on ‘change your charity’ and select Elysian Charter. Bookmark this address and shop as usual.

Please forward these links to friends and family!  So far 10 poeple have shopped through our Shutterfly storefront and earned $142 for Elysian!
Check out Elysian's Lost and Found.  For now it is in the main office.  Shortly it will be moved inside of our main entrance.
Fall Session After School Enrichment Clubs

Please note the remaining dates for this session of after school clubs:

Movement & Fitness:  Dec 5, Dec 12
Debate:  Dec 5 (1 1/2 hr final class)
Clay Club:   Dec. 5
Origami:   Dec 5, Dec. 12, Dec. 19
Chess:  Jan. 18 (this is a 14 week club)
Dance w/ Derrick:  , Dec. 7, Dec 14 (1/2 day)
Fencing:  Dec. 9
Sibling Applications for Kindergarten 2017-2018 are due for Elysian Family Sibling Preference
The Deadline for ALL Applications is January 9th at 5:00 PM. If you have a child at Elysian already, and you are planning to enroll a sibling in the 2017-18 school year, please complete an application form and return it to Susan Gilbertson in the office. You can find the form on Elysian's website,, or stop by the office to pick it up. We must have an application on file before the January 11th Lottery in order for you to receive sibling preference.  
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.

Tuesday, December 6
  • New Vic teaching artists visits Elysian
  • Wellness Policy Committee Meeting, 8:45 AM. If interested in joining the committee, please contact Susan Gilbertson at
Wednesday, December 7
  • After School Trip to see Mother Africa. 4:30 PM Performance  Interested in tickets, contact Lynne Shapiro,
Thursday, December 8
  • Ashley's 3rd grade class trip
Wednesday, December 14
  • Half Day of school for staff development, 12:30 dismissal, After School Program available as usual
Friday, December 16
  • Community Meeting, everyone invited!
Saturday, December 17
  • KUUMBA Day, 11:00 - 2:30!
Monday, December 19
  • Board of Trustees meeting, 7:00 PM
Tuesday, December 20
  • Middle School Dress Rehearsal
Wednesday, December 21
  • Middle School Musical
Thursday, December 22
  • 7th and 8th grade trip
  • 5th grade trip
Friday, December 23
  • Half Day of school, 12:30 dismisal .  After School Program available until 3:00 PM
Monday, December 26 - Monday, January 2
  • Winter Break.  No School.  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.
301 Garden Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Harry Laub, Ph.D., Director | | Phone:201.876.0102 | Fax:201.876.9576

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