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 9, 2015         Vol. 11  Issue 9
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
Creating A School Climate, Building a Community
Every morning as I stand in front of the building, children cheerfully gather excited about another day of school!  The younger children are hanging with their parents or playing in small groups.   The pre-teens and teens tend to cluster together talking intently.  When the doors open at 8:20 everyone streams in and up the stairs.  At the end of the day, as the children leave school, the younger children are discussing the day’s events with their friends and then reporting them to whomever picks them up.  Many of the older children are talking about projects, assignments and classroom activities.
A characteristic of Elysian, indeed a founding principle of the school, is the building of a sense of community—the idea that school is a place that is exciting, where children and adults share ideas, where thinking is stimulated and a key component of learning, where children are provided with a variety of experiences that support the development of lifelong interests, and where learning and ideas are shared and celebrated. 
Last week Hillary wrote about the amazing team building activities on the Princeton Blairstown triptaken by the middle school.  These were not just fun, but also taught the students how to problem solve and work as a team.  Similarly the 6th grade Camp Mason trip and the 4th Grade PEEC trip provide developmentally appropriate versions of the same type of activities. 
Each year every class goes to the New Victory Theater in New York, providing the children with a real Broadway theater experience.  The plays are developmentally appropriate and tremendously interesting for the children.  Last week Lynne Shapiro and Nikki Berger hosted an after school art salon.  One of our 6th graders, Andrew Castlen, had created a series of pictures in his sketch book over the summer.  Fifteen of our students came out to discuss this work.  This stimulated another student to show some of her work to Nikki and there will be a second art salon to discuss that work.  Here are two of Andrew’s pictures and a picture of the event:
7th and 8th graders participate in seminars, where students can choose from a variety of topics based upon interest.  Seminars include such topics as poetry, studying the presidential campaign, Broadway musicals, developing videos and using technology in art and music.  Middle schoolers, under Aram’s leadership, also participate in a C-SPAN video making project in which they do research on a current event, find experts in their field of study whom they interview.  They then develop a short video (including editing and appropriate backgrounds) where they explore the topic.  Every year some of our students win an award from C-SPAN. Here are two from last year; the first was the award winner:
Ocean Obsolescence: Marine Animal and Habitat Conservation,  Teadora, Asha and Aubry
Minimum Wage: Jaylon, Javenuz and CJ
  We also focus a great deal of attention on the social/emotional growth of children.  Diane Sasso, our social worker, works with several classes each year using techniques such as “open circle” where the children discuss appropriate social issues in the class, while learning to take turns, to listen to and respect each other, and to learn how to express their opinions in a meaningful way.  Diane also works with teachers to create comfortable and safe classroom environments.  She also chairs our school climate team, which has two components—a group of middle schoolers who meet weekly after school and discuss and carry out projects that support a positive climate in the school and the teacher/parent component that looks at school based issues from an adult point of view.
I was walking down the hall the other day and saw a 7th grader sitting with a kindergartner reading together.  The little one was completely engrossed by the older boy's reading.  All of our children participate in reading buddies.  On the one hand this sets up role models for the younger children as they grow older.  It also provides a sense of responsibility on the part of the older children and it creates bonds between the children who are partners.  A new kindergarten parent stopped me at the beginning of last year and described how, as she and her son were walking down Washington Street, a “huge teenager” approached her son and high-fived him.  It turns out they were reading buddies.
Of course our Community Meetings are key to developing a whole school positive climate.  Besides being a great deal of fun so much is going on at these meetings.  First it is a celebration, in front of the entire school, of children’s efforts.  It is a place where a great deal of bonding occurs between different age children—usually as part of the buddies programs between the grades.  At the last meeting some of our 7th and 8th graders stood up and read poems they had written.  Not only did we celebrate their work, but these older children were role models for the younger ones, setting the stage for them to anticipate the type of work they will be able to accomplish when they reach the middle school years.
Drop Off/Pick Up 
A few people are parking in front of the building during morning drop off and afternoon pick up.  This is creating a dangerous situation, with cars being backed up onto 15th Street and children being dropped off and walking through cars to reach the sidewalk.  The area in front of the building is for drop off or pick up only.  Do not park or wait in a parked car.  Just pull up, drop your child off and leave.  If you must come upstairs or must wait, please find a space on one of the neighboring streets.  
Basketball Season at Elysian

Hello Elysian community, 

I hope everyone's excited for a fun basketball season. I will be the head coach this year for Elysian. The other coaches are Mike Purvis, Jason Morales and Shaquana Ferguson. Today I sent home a basketball pamphlet regarding information about the season and how to register your child online. The deadline for online registration is November 30th. Please stay tuned for more information regarding tryouts, practices and games.  We all look forward to an enjoyable and successful basketball season. As of now we have:

Small Fry Division: One 3rd grade team and one 4th grade team. 

Middle Division: One 5th grade team and one 6th grade team. 

Grammar Division: One 7th/8th grade team. 

Girls Basketball: One 6/7/8 grade team. 

Thank you,
Adam Froimowitz
Friends of Elysian – Meeting & Open House
The new board members of the Friends of Elysian, the school’s fundraising group, will be holding a meeting and open house next week, on Thursday, November 19 at 5:30 PM. in the school building, and we really hope you’ll be there!  
We’ll be discussing plans for this year as well as listening to your ideas and feedback. (And there will be lots of ways to get involved beyond just the “asking for money” part.) So, even if you may not be looking to volunteer right away, but you’re still curious as to what’s going on, please come on by for a general update. Everyone is welcome!    
Plus, thanks to our friends at Kings Food Markets, we will have some delicious refreshments: If you like cheese, cookies and supporting Elysian, this meeting is for you!
NOT TOO LATE  to get 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. 
KUUMBA Day Time Capsule 
We plan on filling a Time Capsule at KUUMBA Day, Saturday, January 9, to be opened 2036!
Please email ideas to lynne.shapiro@ecsnj.org.

Good News!
Emily (5th Grade teacher) and her husband Gil
welcomed baby Jesse into the world on November 3rd!  
Alumni News
David Zaks, Elysian alum, wrote us lately about what he's up to:

Ever wanted to learn piano? How about being able to play your favorite song? Or better yet... improvise? 
You can study with accomplished pianist and educator David Zaks right here in Hoboken!  In addition to his vast performing experience, David had taught a number of students of all ages and levels. He can come to your home, offers a great price, and loves opening people to the joy of music!  cell. (201) 725-1707   email. davidzaks@yahoo.com
Hoboken Rotary Club to Kickoff a New Senior Program: Golden Rotarians
Many of the Senior community in Hoboken do not receive visitors on a regular basis.  We are looking to connect families and individuals that would be paired with a Senior to visit them once a month for 2 -3 hours.  Visits would be to talk, play games, go to the park, etc.  We hope to pair people with similar interests in common to make it easier to find activities to do each month.
Please join us on November 18th, from 5 - 7 PM at the Hoboken Multi Service Center, 124 Grand Street
Food and refreshments will be served.  For more information contact Joe Mindak at  joe@hmag.com.
Global Kids Book
In 2007, my friend and former Elysian parent Roya Movafegh, an artist and the author of The People with No Camel suggested we collaborate on a children’s book. She asked if I could illustrate a story about a princess named Gallantra who stops during an important race (that she is winning) to help a prince. I told Roya to count me in, but that my drawing abilities were limited to characters standing and talking to each other. She thought I was joking. The project was tabled, and seven years somehow slipped by. Roya was diagnosed with peripheral T-cell lymphoma, and we never got to work on the book together. She passed away in May, 2015, and during the summer of 2015 I decided to “illustrate" this version of the story -- Princess Gallantra and the Great Race -- in Roya’s honor with the help of John Newcomer. All profits from the book will go to Global Kids (www.globalkids.com)  an organization whose work is a perfect fit to honor Roya's memory. The book is available in ebook, paperback, and hardcover at Lulu.com (http://www.lulu.com - just search for it via my name). Even if you don’t want to buy the book, but would like to to make a donation to Global Kids, please mark on the check that it's in memory of Roya Movafegh. This book is dedicated to her invincible, generous, and inspiring spirit. 

Lyle Hysen

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 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
  • Friends of Elysian Meeting and Open House, 5:30 PM.  Refreshments served.
Friday, November 20
  • Photo retake day
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
Wednesday, November 25
  • Half Day of School for Thanksgiving holiday, 12:30 dismissal, After School Program available until 4:00 PM ONLY.
Thursday, November 26  and Friday, November 27
  • School closed for Thanksgiving
Monday, November 30
  • Deadline for Basketball registration

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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