555 7th St., Hoboken, NJ 07030
Tel: (201) 963-9535
Fax: (201) 963-1256
Email: info@hobokencatholic.org 

8th Annual 5K Run
Link: Register here

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Webmaster: Jane Cordova


April 27, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

With our Easter recess complete and school up and running, I’d like to share some of the things that have been done at the school during the break and what is in store in the weeks ahead.

The new security gate has been installed at the courtyard entrance. Now, the gate will remain locked from the outside at all times while allowing for emergency exit from the courtyard, if needed. The old roll-down security gates above the entrances on 7th Street have been removed and the exit doors from the gym have been repaired. They now open and close freely. Funding for all of these projects came from the State of Jersey through a security grant under the No Child Left Behind program. Unfortunately, the governor did not include security funding in next year’s state budget so I am pleased that we were able to complete these enhancements while the funds were available.

New lighting has been installed in each of the first and second floor boys’ and girls’ lavatories and each has received a fresh coat of paint. Finally, several lights in the gym have been replaced with new energy efficient bulbs that do not require ballasts. Eventually, we will replace all of the gym lights, which will dramatically reduce energy costs while improving the lighting in the gym.

Lighting will be one of the topics discussed at our first Facilities Ad hoc Committee meeting. We will meet on Wednesday, May 3rd, at 8:00PM, following the Home and School Association meeting, which is slated for 7:00PM. At that time we will discuss long and short-term facility goals and begin to develop a plan and a timeline to address those facilities issues.

Our students are zeroing in on the One Million Minutes of reading goal. Through March, the school total is 791,294 minutes! Congratulations to Ms. Girovasi’s sixth grade homeroom. Her students had the highest minute total as well as the highest per pupil average per day- 38 minutes for the month of March. Congratulations to all of our students who have been reading at home and thanks to all of you for emphasizing the importance of reading. The complete listing of the minute totals through March is posted in the Virtual Backpack.

As indicated in my last letter, there will be much happening at HCA over the final eight weeks of school. This Friday, April 28th, our school will host the annual Hoboken Rotary Fourth Grade Spelling Bee, which is named in honor of Christopher Widjaja. Good luck to Juliette Vergara, Aneel Ward, Aiden Fernicola and Julian Harris, who will represent Hoboken Catholic Academy on Friday evening. The spring Book Fair will begin on Sunday, April 30th, and will run through Wednesday, May 3rd. Our choir, under the direction of Ms. Campana, will participate in the annual I-Sing competition at the Archdiocesan Retreat Center in Kearny on Thursday, May 4th. On Friday, the 5th, students will attend First Friday Mass and there will now be a half day of school that day to allow our teachers to continue our school’s Middle States Accreditation self-study in the afternoon. The Book Character $2 Dress Day will now be Friday, May 12th.

Students in grades PK-2 will participate in Field Day on Monday, May 8th at JFK Stadium at 9th and Jefferson Streets. New this year, students will return to school to eat their lunch. Parents should have their children bring a re-fillable water bottle, which they will carry to each station, as well as a snack. There will be coolers of water available for students throughout the day should they need a refill.

Later that evening we will be blessed to host a visit from our new Archbishop, The Most Reverend, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, for a reception in our gym, following 7:30 Mass at St. Ann Church. Our award-winning choir will sing at Mass and perform a song in our gym to welcome Cardinal Tobin to our school. His Eminence, who will be joined by all of our pastors, will speak and welcome questions from those in attendance. Please join us that evening for this very special Mass at St. Ann’s as well as the reception immediately following in our gym.

On Tuesday, May 9th, our students in grades 3-8 will participate in their Field Day, also at JFK Stadium. Like our younger students, the upper grades will also return to school following the morning Field Day events to have lunch. They too should bring reusable water bottles and a snack. All students on both days should wear sunscreen.

The rain date for both Field days will be Wednesday, May 10th.

There will be no school for students on Thursday, May 11th. Teachers will participate in an Archdiocesan Professional In-service Day program at the Youth Retreat Center in Kearny.

On Tuesday, May 16th, grades 1, 2 and 3 will travel down the Parkway to Jenkinsons Aquarium for their field trip and our Pre-K students will head over to the Central Park Zoo on Friday, May 19th.

Our eighth graders will begin their three- day class trip to Washington, DC on Wednesday, May 17th. Students will visit all of our national monuments, Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, several Smithsonian museums, the National Archives, the Vietnam, Korean, World War II and Martin Luther King Memorials and enjoy a dinner/dance party cruise on the Potomac River. The highlight of the trip will be a meeting with Senator Corey Booker in his office the day we tour the Capitol! The meeting was just confirmed and came about through the efforts of Mr. Bert Ammerman, our Assistant Principal. Mr. Ammerman was Senator Booker’s high school football coach at Northern Valley High School at Demarest. Senator Booker was a member of Mr. Ammerman’s 1985 State Championship team and went on to Stanford University on a football scholarship. Thank you Mr. Ammerman!

While our eighth graders are in Washington, Mrs. Foley, Mrs. Fitzgibbons, Ms. Girovasi and Mrs. Peterson will be scooping ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s on Washington Street! The annual Hoboken Family Alliance event will raise money for their Summer Bike Camp for Disabled Citizens. The annual event will feature teachers and friends from all of Hoboken’s schools working the counter at the popular ice cream store from 3:00 to 9:00PM on Thursday, May 18th. The Hoboken Catholic Academy time slot will be from 7:00 to 7:30PM that day. Please stop by with your children so they can buy a special treat from four very special teachers to support a great cause. Additional information about the big day is included on the link below, including ways our students can win an ice cream party for HCA!
Link:Ben and Jerry's School Spirit Event

Our choir will perform at the Basilica Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Newark at an evening concert on Saturday, May 20th. The cathedral is a breath taking structure and when our students’ voices fill the majestic space it is truly something special to behold. More details will be forthcoming, but, in the meantime, please save the date and try to join us if you are able.

On Monday, May 22nd, our Campus Ministry students in grades 5-8 will host our annual Senior Prom. This year’s dinner dance for the Campus Ministry students’ grand parents will feature flowers and corsages, courtesy of our friends at Engel and Volkers Real Estate, and delicious food from Leo’s Grandevous and Schnackenberg’s Restaurants. Alumni parent Grace Sciancalepore from Leos and HCA Advisory Board member Joyce Flinn and her husband Eugene, owners of Schnackenberg’s, as well as Denise Pascucci from Engel and Volkers, have helped make this event special in the past and we thank them for their continued generosity and support! The students can’t wait to serve the food, pose for pictures and dance with their beautiful grandparents at this year’s “Spring Fling.” Invitations will be sent home this week. Pictures will follow!

On Tuesday, May 23rd, our courtyard will become a petting farm! The same folks who supplied our chicken eggs in March will bring baby farm animals of all types to our school for the day. To cover the cost of the event, parents of students in grades PK to grade 4 will be asked to send in a check for $10, made payable to Hoboken Catholic Academy. Students in grades PK to 4 will spend time learning about the animals, and I’m sure, falling in love. Don’t worry; we won’t let anyone bring home a chicken or a duck!

The May Crowning Ceremony has been rescheduled for Mass on Ascension Thursday, May 25th, at 10:00 in St. Ann Church. The second graders will say all of the readings and present the gifts during Mass. This will be an opportunity for all of our second graders who received their first Holy Communion in their respective parish churches to all receive communion for the first time together as a class! The crowning of the statue of the Blessed Mother is indeed a special event and one our students will remember for the rest of their lives. Parents, please bring your cameras and maybe a tissue or two.

We will catch our collective breath during our four-day Memorial Day weekend beginning on Friday, May 26th. Classes will resume on Tuesday, May 30th.

Students in grades 6-8 will take their final exams from Tuesday, May 30th through Friday, June 2nd.

Our eighth grade students will participate in their graduation retreat, at the Archdiocesan Youth Retreat Center in Kearny on Monday, June 5th. They will take part in spiritual; leadership and physical challenge activities during this daylong experience and take one step closer to graduation from HCA.

The last Home and School Association meeting for the year will be a social event so there will be no babysitting that night. That meeting will take place in the gym on Wednesday, May 28th.

Our final major fundraiser for the year will take place on Saturday, June 3rd. The Run into Summer 5K Race will begin at Pier A and bring runners along the river walk and back to the park. Monica De Falco and her committee have planned this wonderful event and have already secured a number of great sponsors. If past history is a predictor of future events, we will have well over 500 runners for the main race, with hundreds more taking part in the mile fun run and kids’ dash. With two artificial hips and my running days a distant memory, this year, I will don a runners bib and walk the 5K course. In fact I invite any of my kids and their families who aren’t planning to run the 5K, to join Team McGrath and walk with me along the river and back. More details about how to join my team will become available in the weeks ahead. Remember, I need all the help I can get!

The Art Show, originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 23rd will now take place on Monday, June 12th.

Finally, the preliminary calendar for the 2017-2018 school year is nearing completion and will be posted shortly.

The rest of the June calendar will be referenced in my next letter. I’m going to go take a nap and rest up for the 5K!

God bless you all and happy spring!

Matthew McGrath

Hoboken Catholic Academy awarded accreditation by the Middle States Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools.
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