Skip to main content

You are here

November 2, 2017

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Halloween has come and gone and to say there was some excitement here on Tuesday would be an understatement! Our younger students, clad in costumes of all types, proudly paraded around the gym to the delight of their parents and grand parents as well as our older students. A special thank you goes out to our class parents for making the Halloween parties that followed so special. Everyone seemed to be a little groggy the next day from a combination of excitement overload, disrupted routines and probably a little too much candy. But it was all worth it and the kids can’t wait to do it again next year. As always, thanks for keeping them safe.

As you know, the teachers and I attended a special mass last Friday afternoon at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. We joined teachers and principals from the ninety other Newark Archdiocesan schools to celebrate the new school year and to recognize retirees and teachers who achieved career milestones. It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge and thank three of our teachers who were recognized that day. Please join me in congratulating Mrs. Peterson for thirty-four years of service, Ms. Gravina for thirty-eight years and Ms. Wilms for forty years of teaching in the Archdiocese of Newark. Their collective love of teaching is only overshadowed by their love for the children whose lives they have touched over the years and continue to touch today. We are indeed blessed that these dedicated teachers call Hoboken Catholic Academy home.

The teachers and I are working on the Middle States Accreditation self study begun last year. The process is quite detailed and requires an examination of every aspect of the school’s operation. Teachers work in teams on the various sections of the report, compiling longitudinal data, using the information gleaned from the student, teacher and parent surveys, identifying areas of strength and areas in need of improvement. The eventual goal is to provide the visiting Middle States team with a comprehensive assessment of our school’s current state of being with supporting documentation, detailing strengths and areas to grow, as well as a plan to address those growth areas and move the school forward. That visit will take place next fall, but our report must be completed before we leave in June. As I indicated previously, adding additional half days was necessary for the teacher teams to meet to complete their tasks and for our entire staff to review each team’s work. These work sessions are in addition to Middle States work done during Monday faculty meetings throughout the year. There will be half days for work sessions on these Fridays:

11/3/17, 12/1/17, 1/5/18, 2/2/18, 3/2/18 and 4/13/18

On Monday and Tuesday next week, JoAnn Serrano, the Chair of the HCA Advisory Board, and I will travel to Washington DC for the Blue Ribbon Schools Award Ceremony. It will be my pleasure to accept the award on behalf of our incredible school family. We are indeed blessed with outstanding, dedicated teachers, supportive and hard working parents and the most wonderful children anywhere! In the weeks ahead we will roll out our new website and hang our Blue Ribbon Banner for all the world to see. In December, Mrs. Serrano, HSA Co-president, Alanna Kauffmann, and I will attend a special ceremony at the New Jersey Board of Education offices in Trenton for their acknowledgement of New Jersey’s seventeen Blue Ribbon Schools. Again, we will accept the award on behalf of our amazing school family.

As we begin the month that ends with the most American of all of our holidays, please let us all take time to remember just how much we have to be thankful for.

Here is what lies ahead:

Sunday 11/5/17 Book Fair  
Monday 11/6/17 Book Fair  
Wednesday 11/7/17 Book Fair  
Thursday 11/9/17 Picture re-take day  
    Coaches' Meeting 7:00PM
Friday 11/10/17 Veterans' Day Prayer Service 8:15AM
    Parents are welcome  
    Grade 8 Co-op Exam  
Friday 11/17/17 PK & K Thanksgiving Program 9:00AM
    Student Council Dance (GR. 5-8) 6:30PM
Monday 11/20/17 HCA Advisory Bd. Mtg. 7:00PM
Tuesday 11/21/17 PK Thanksgiving Feast 10:00AM?
    Thanksgiving $2 Dress Down Day  
    Re-registration ends  
Wednesday 11/22/17 Thanksgiving Prayer Service 8:15AM
    Parents are welcome  
    Half day-No afterschool activities or aftercare  
Thursday 11/23/17 Happy Thanksgiving! No school  
Friday 11/24/17 Thanksgiving recess No school  
Tuesday 11/28/17 M. McGrath to visit Our Lady of Hope  
to Friday 12/1/17 in Blackwood, NJ as part of a Middle Stares Visitation Team  
Friday 12/1/17 Trimester I Progress Reports  
    Half day/Middle States PM for teachers  

Lets have a great November! On behalf of the faculty and staff of Hoboken Catholic Academy, please accept our warmest best wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving! Thank you as always, and God bless you all.

Matthew McGrath