AUGUST 18, 2014
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful summer and are guiding your children through their math packets and their selections from the reading lists. Remember, five book reports earn a free dress down day! So remind your children keep reading.
As you know we have been pretty busy at school throughout the summer and much has been accomplished.
The security camera installation is complete and the new system should be up and running by the end of this week. The wiring for the PA system is done and the volume is dramatically improved. The new game lines on the blacktop in the inner courtyard are in place and look great. All of the new computers and computer carts are in and are being configured for student use.
Teachers have participated in training, which will continue to move our school toward the implementation of a comprehensive integrated writing program, K-8. The summer sessions will be followed by imbedded training in which our staff developer, Dr. Kathleen Sleezer, will work directly with teachers in their classrooms throughout the upcoming school year. In addition, training in how to best infuse technology into all curricular areas for teachers in Pre-K through grade eight will take place next week. Finally, training in the use of the new Smart Tables in Pre-K and Kindergarten is slated for August 25th.
Please note that your child’s class assignment for September is included on the mailing label of the envelope containing your address.
Please also note that we have posted our school’s Terra Nova Scores and summary from last spring on our website. Overall we are pleased with the results, considering the new testing format, however, there is always room for growth. In fact, for the second year in a row we are just shy of the cut-off for National Blue Ribbon School eligibility. (1 percentage point in math at one grade level and 2 percentage points in reading in another) The teachers and I have reviewed the results and have developed plans to address several areas needing improvement. We will continue to work hard to move our school forward.
We have changed the Pre-K parent orientation date to Thursday, August 28th due to a scheduling conflict. The program will include an overview by the teachers in the gym starting at 9:30 AM, followed by an opportunity to visit the Pre-K classrooms and tour the school. We will have some older students on hand to color with and read to the little ones in the gym and representatives from the Home and School Association will be on hand to answer questions and lend their support.
The Ad hoc committee asked to examine fundraising /HSA fee options has been formed and will be meeting in early September and the all call to alumni of Hoboken’s Catholic Schools over the years has been on our website and will be included in the church bulletins in September. The alumni committee will be formed and activities planned once the school year begins.
We have hired four new teachers and ask you to join us in welcoming them to our HCA family.
Mrs. Katherine Better joins us as a part-time computer teacher. She will provide computer instruction one day per week for all classes in grades one to three. Ms. Cordova will do the same for grades four to eight. Mrs. Better holds a BS in Computer Science at NJCU with a minor in Mathematics. She holds an Elementary School Teaching Certificate and was the assistant Computer Lab Supervisor while at New Jersey City State University. She has served as a computer instructor and has had several long-term substitute assignments in the North Bergen Schools. She brings a strong computer background and elementary teaching experience to the position as well as a desire to make a difference for our students. Mrs. Better ran in our 5K Race last spring and is anxious to, please excuse the pun, “hit the ground running in September!”
Mrs. Candice Ramdath will teach fourth grade. Ms. Ramdath has a BS in Special Studies from St. Frances College and a Masters Degree in Childhood Education from Long Island University. She holds teaching certificates in both New York and New Jersey and has taught in public and Catholic Schools in both states. While teaching in New York, Ms. Ramdath served as a math and literacy coach, helping other teachers deliver effective instruction. Most recently, she served as a long-term substitute at Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Park Ridge, NJ where she taught mathematics in grades 6, 7 and 8.
Ms. Diana Gerges will be our new fifth grade homeroom teacher and will teach math to students in grades 5-8. Ms. Gerges holds New Jersey certification and taught at Primary Prep in Jersey City and most recently taught middle school math at the Greater Newark Charter School before it closed last spring. Ms. Gerges has a masters Degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis and is currently enrolled in a Doctoral Program at St. Peters University.
Mrs. Erin Esteves has come full circle. She will teach science in grades five to eight and will serve as our seventh grade homeroom teacher. Mrs. Esteves is not new to Hoboken Catholic, yet I’m sure no one knows who she is. In fact, she knows the school better than most. You see, Mrs. Esteves was the senior scientist from the environmental company that oversaw the clean up of HCA following Super Storm Sandy! She conducted soil and water tests during the clean up and spent several months at HCA making sure the school was safe to reopen. Following her ten years as an environmental scientist working in the field, Mrs. Esteves decided to change careers and has become certified to teach in New Jersey. She brings real world experience and a passion for science to our school and we welcome her to the family.
Following the very successful first year of our Prep Connection, we will expand the program beyond tutoring to include preparation for academic competitions through the Continental Math League. The students from St. Peters elite Ignatian Scholars Program will coach our academic teams after school in preparation for the written tests in several content areas. Some of our teachers will oversee the program and middle school teams will be created once the school year begins. More details will follow once we get back to work in September.
Last year we also developed an incredibly successful partnership with the St. Peters University Men’s and Women’s Basketball Programs. In the spring the players and coaches from both teams conducted a free clinic for our student athletes. It was an amazing night and the college players taught our kids a great deal. I am thrilled to announce that we will have another clinic this year, but will do so in late September, prior to the start of the basketball season. The date for the clinic is being worked out so more information will follow. In addition, once St. Peters’ teams begin their basketball season, they will host a special “Hoboken Catholic Academy Day,” when both the women’s and men’s teams are home. There is a possibility our players may play abbreviated games on the main court at halftime of the respective games! So stay tuned.
The classrooms have been scrubbed clean and teachers have begun to get them ready. Books and supplies are coming in and soon the bulletin boards and hallways will offer welcoming messages of thanksgiving for the blessing of a new school year.
I have attached some pertinent information regarding the opening of school and procedures moving forward.
Please stay safe and enjoy time with your families over the last few weeks of summer. We are thrilled to welcome you all to what I’m sure will be a great school year.
God bless you and thank you for entrusting your children to our care.
Important Information for the Opening of School
Opening of School
School begins on Thursday, September 4th for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8. Full day sessions (8:15 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.) begin on that day. Parents must provide a bag lunch both days, September 4th and 5th.
All children are expected to be in the proper school uniform on the first day of class. See school uniform policy below.
Summer Reading Lists and Math Skills
Please be sure that your child is reading the books on the Summer Reading List (for children entering grades 2-8). In addition, please be sure that your child is reviewing and practicing Math skills during the summer by using the Summer Math booklet and at your direction.
Morning Arrival Grades K-8
For morning arrival students may enter the building beginning at 8:00 a.m. through the courtyard entrance off Madison Street, or through the doors by the Gym on 7th Street. All students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 report directly to their class line in the Gym. Students arriving after that time must enter by way of the door by the Office and pick up a late slip. Parents are welcome to join us for the Morning Assembly on the first day of school, but thereafter, parents should leave after dropping off their child. Parents will be invited to attend Prayer Services throughout the year during AM assembly. The first such prayer service will be on Thursday, September 11th. All are welcome to attend.
Please note that it is expected that all students arrive on time for AM assembly. Only in extreme cases should any student in grades K-8 be late.
Dismissal takes place between 2:30 and 2:50 p.m. Students in Pre-Kindergarten 3 will be dismissed from the main entrance on 7th Street at 2:30. Students in Pre-Kindergarten 4 dismiss through the 7th Street doors near the Gym at 2:30 p.m. Students in grades Kindergarten through Grade 1 dismiss at the school yard on Madison Street at 2:45. Students in Grades 2 and 4 will be dismissed from the main entrance on 7th Street at 2:45. Students in Grades 3 dismiss through the 7th Street doors near the Gym at 2:45 p.m. Grades 5 through 8 dismiss through the 7th Street doors near the Gym at 2:50 p.m.
(Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 children who are only attending for a half day session will be dismissed at 11:20 a.m. through the 7th Street doors near the Office.)
***When dropping off or picking up your child please make sure you do not leave your car blocking traffic, driveway, or other parked cars.
Morning Care & After Care Program
The Morning Care and After Care programs begin on Monday, September 8th. Morning Care is available from 7:00-8:00 a.m. at $4.00 per day. After Care is available from dismissal until 6:00 p.m. at $5.00 per half hour or part of a half hour. Enrollment Forms and payment information for the Morning Care and After Care program will be sent home on the first day of school.
Hoboken Catholic Academy uses SMART Tuition Management for the collection of tuition. The first tuition payment is due in July. Your tuition payments must be up to date in order for your child to begin school in September.
Returned Check Policy
A fee of $100 will be assessed for a returned check.
All parent/guardian volunteers must submit the following to the school office:
1. Protecting God’s Children Workshop schedule:
• Wednesday, Sept. 24th, 6:00 p.m.
Please register at http://www.rcan.org/charter/index.htm
2. Volunteer Application Form
3. Acknowledgment of Compliance with the Policies on Professional and
UNIFORM: EVERY student must be in the proper uniform at ALL times. Parents are asked to cooperate with the school uniform rules. Detention will be given for violation of school uniform policy.
Uniforms must be purchased through Flynn & O’Hara at www.flynnohara.com, Lobel’s Uniform Outfitters located at 5819 Bergenline Ave. in West New York, NJ.
(PLEASE LABEL ALL PARTS OF THE UNIFORM WITH THE CHILD’S NAME.)
BOYS (Pre-K – Grade 5) Grey flannel pants, white or burgundy polo shirt or white oxford shirt with tie, grey socks and belt, burgundy cardigan. Also available: burgundy turtleneck, grey shorts.
GIRLS (Pre-K –Grade 3) Burgundy/grey plaid jumper or grey pants, white or burgundy polo shirt or white blouse, burgundy, white or grey socks or tights, burgundy cardigan. Also available: burgundy turtleneck, grey shorts.
GIRLS (GRADES 4 - 5) Burgundy/grey plaid skirt or grey pants, white or burgundy polo shirt or white blouse, burgundy, white or grey socks or tights, burgundy cardigan.
Also available: burgundy turtleneck, grey shorts.
BOYS (Grades 6-8) Grey flannel pants, white oxford shirt with tie, grey socks and belt, burgundy cardigan.
GIRLS (GRADES 6 - 8) Burgundy/grey plaid skirt, white oxford blouse with tie, burgundy, white or grey socks or tights, burgundy cardigan.
SCHOOL SHOES - (ALL GRADES) Students are required to wear dark colored low-heeled, rubber-soled shoes. Shoes must have closed backs. Sneaker type shoes and boots are not permitted. Shoes with laces must be tied at all times. For safety purposes no ballerina flats or smooth-soled shoes are allowed.
GYM UNIFORM - (ALL GRADES) Grey mesh gym shorts, a burgundy T-shirt with school logo, and clean sneakers are to be worn by students on their assigned Gym day from September until early November and from late April until the closing of school. (Consult monthly calendar for exact dates.) A burgundy sweat suit with school logo and clean sneakers are to be worn on the student’s assigned gym days for the remainder of the school year.
No jewelry should be worn on Gym days
Uniforms should be neat, clean and worn properly at all times. Shirts are to be tucked in at all times. Uniform shirts, pants and skirts should be the proper size and length.
GIRL’S SKIRTS AND JUMPERS SHOULD BE KNEE-LENGTH.
GENERAL GROOMING REQUIREMENTS
• Hairstyles, as well as hair adornments for girls, should be simple. Hair
coloring is not permitted. Hair dye, highlights, streaking not permitted.
• If a girl has long hair, we strongly suggest it be worn in a braid or pony tail.
• Boy’s hair length should not be below the shirt collar. Mohawks and logos
cut into the hair are not permitted.
• Boys and girls fingernails should be kept clean and well trimmed. No nail
polish, acrylic gels or tips.
• Make-up is not to be worn in school.
• Girls may wear small earrings to school. Large hoops and dangling earrings
are not permitted.
• Boys are not permitted to wear earrings.
DRESS CODE FOR NON-UNIFORM DAYS:
The following guidelines are to be followed in choosing proper attire for days on which students are excused from wearing the school uniform. Students should dress modestly. The following items are NOT permitted:
• Pants worn below the waistline
• Shirts that go above the waistline
• Low cut tops
• Bare shoulders (no tank tops)
• Shorts or skirts that are too short or too form fitting
• High-heeled or open-back shoes, flip flops
• Clothing with offensive or inappropriate words, symbols or graphics
Students who are inappropriately dressed will be required to call a parent/guardian and have them bring the school uniform to school for the child to change into.
Thursday, September 4
First day for Grades K-8.
Full day of school.
Friday, September 5
Full day of school for Grades K-8
Monday, September 8
First day for PK3 & PK4 (letters A-M)
Tuesday, September 9
First day for PK3 & PK4 (letters N-Z)
September 10 through 12
PK3 & PK4 11:20 a.m. dismissal