Hoboken Board of Education




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Joseph F. Brandt Primary School and
Early Childhood Education


215 9th Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030 (201) 356-3695 or
(201) 356-3696  

Sandra Rodriguez


For more information on the district's early
childhood education department, click here.

Latest Brandt School News
Kindergarten Video
Meet Principal Rodriguez in this profile by a Hoboken High School student.
Is it really true that as a resident of Hoboken, I can register my three-or four-year-old child in full-day Pre-Kindergarten classes free of charge? I just moved to Hoboken. Can I still enroll my child in Pre-K 3 or Pre-K 4? If I missed the March registration, how does placement work and what are the chances of my child being placed? For the answers to these questions and many others, click on the title above for our FAQ.

Recent News
The 2015-2016 calendar was revised at the June 30 Hoboken Board of Education meeting. There was a change in the date for a professional development workshop for staff from October 28 to October 29. There will be no school for students on October 29.
Click the title above for a few photos from Hoboken High School Graduation 2015. We also have video available below.
Connors Elementary shares exciting news!!!!
In January 2015, the NJ Performance Report stated that Thomas G. Connors Elementary School met 100% of their performance targets in Student Achievement and Student Growth on NJASK 13-14. Connors Elementary School is the only school within our school district to have achieved this honor this past school year. In a more recent communication from the Department of Education, we learned that that as of July 1, 2015, Thomas G. Connors Elementary School will no longer be designated as a Focus School. Per the Department of Education, "Multiple factors informed the decision-making process, including students' standardized test outcomes, RAC team feedback, and the sustainability of any noted improvements." This is a great accomplishment, especially for the staff and students who worked so diligently to garner this achievement. Principal Gerald Fitzhugh, II, is already making plans to lead the learning community toward further improvement. "The next milestone for Thomas G. Connors Elementary School to accomplish is Reward School Status. We have a staff who are committed to teaching and learning as well as developing the whole child." Again, kudos to the Thomas G. Connors Elementary School stakeholders for accomplishing such an honor. As a district, we celebrate with you these fine accomplishments.
Gifted and Talented Students score in state competition
Students in the Hoboken Public Schools Gifted and Talented Program recently participated in two competitions sponsored by the EIRC (the Educational Information and Resource Center). The local component was held on May 23rd at HJSHS. One of the competitions, SITE (Student Inventions Through Education), required students to create inventions solo or in teams. The other competition, Green Challenge, required students to create projects involving technology, green industries and sustainability. The district winners went on to the state competition at Rutgers Eco-Center in Bordentown, NJ.

Mrs. Cohen would like to thank all the wonderful students who participated in the SITE and Green Challenge. All received certificate awards from EIRC for the following projects.

SITE: Kia Hulstrom-Glasses; Madison Gray & Zackery Rogers - Cook Bot; Mia Mendoza-clear air; Jayson Lombardo & Eashan Patel - Car helper 200; Gabrial Weaver - Virtual Wet Owner; Kayla Albuja - 3-D clip on Glasses; StevenSchmidt -Temperature Controlling Ice Cream Cup; Angel Lizardi - Techni.

Green Challenge: Seshan Ganesan & Tomek Botwick - Trash to Landfill; Jaden Reyes & Robert Auld- Turning off your Computer; Ava Guzman-Sustainable Rooftop Farming; Taylor Shaw-Why we should recycle Batteries.

We even had a few State winners:

1st. Place Platinum- Despina Hassiotis - Make the Change & Be the change. 2nd. Place Gold- Sanjna Samrai & Kiera Modder - How to save your pet bunnies' species. 3rd Place Bronze= Ariana Santiago - Green is the New Black.

Congratulations to all our participants.

The Hoboken Public Schools Science Fair incorporates inquiry-based learning that infuses science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students were required to participate in a school-level science fair this year. Teachers worked with students on ongoing investigation and application of the scientific process. The students’ knowledge and skills were put to a test at the school-level science fair. The winners in each grade of the school-level science fairs qualified to compete in the district-level science fair which was held on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at Wallace Elementary School from 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm. The winners of the 2014-2015 Hoboken Public Schools Science Fair are... (Click title above for more.)
Congratulations to Gianessa Serpa of Calabro School for being among the top ten winners nationwide for Scholastic's Ridiculous Invention. Gianessa invented the InstaSmile. She was rewarded with science books from Scholastic. JOB WELL DONE!!!
Prom 2015 was lovely at the Chart House in Weehawken. Click the title above for a few images. More are coming soon.
Please click on the title above to download the Hoboken Public Schools district calendar for 2015-2016, which was approved by the Hoboken Board of Education on March 10, 2015. This is a re-post acknowledging Dr. Christine Johnson, superintendent, in replacement of Dr. Richard Brockel, interim superintendent, effective with the 2015-2016 school year.
Hispanic Culture Club recognized for fundraising
The Hispanic Culture Club at Hoboken High School has been named Charity Champions. As Neighborhood Journal found out, the group received a check from Optimum Community to assist in their efforts to raise money for the American Heart Association.
Optimum's video about the Hispanic Culture Club's efforts
HJSHS wins big at Hudson County Teen Arts Competition
On May 28 and June 2nd, high school performers from around the county gathered at NJCU to compete in the annual Teen Arts awards. We are very proud of our students' accomplishments. Besides competing, they also received mini workshops from the professors of NJCU. It was two wonderful days filled with arts education. We brought home the following awards:

TOP HONORS - 1st place - Brittney Colon
JUDGES' AWARD - 2nd place - Jason Oliveras

JUDGES' AWARD - 3rd Place - Willie Allen

TOP HONORS - 1st place - FREDDY MY LOVE (From Grease)
Brittney Colon, Aishah Tapia, Hannah Mack, Ivelisse Lorenzo, Allison Feinstein

JUDGES AWARD' - 3rd place - FLUTE DUET - Jason Oliveras & Rebecca Mannillo

Mr. Lyons's seventh and eighth grade honors science classes have been working alongside devoted members of the Newark Conservancy to upgrade the entrance area outside of JFK Stadium. The process began in November with a ceremonial tree planting and planning continued through this spring. All of the students were involved in the process and learned about the importance of trees and a diversity of plants in urban areas; the impact of urban pressures (soil compaction, pollution, erosion, etc.) on plant viability; basic plant needs; photosynthesis, evaporation, transpiration; the water cycle and city storm-water issues; stewardship and community responsibility; planting design for pollinators; collaborative design and decision making. Please pass by and see the amazing work that is a result of a collaborative team of young men and women! Click on the title above for pictures of the trip and planting.
Ms. Pontius' physics students held a cardboard boat "regatta" on May 29th, with many thanks to Mr. Ciriello, lifeguard extraordinaire! Many vessels were repurposed SmartBoard boxes, and duct tape. Here's a quick explanation of the physics behind flotation thanks to Archimede's Buoyancy Principle: the upwards force is equal to the weight of the volume of water that is displaced by the boat. Before the regatta, students predicted the waterline of their boats based on the boat's dimensions and the total weight of the boat plus passengers. The goal was to go two lengths of the pool. Enjoy pictures by clicking on the title above.
Our music department invites students entering grades 4-12 in September 2015 to register for music camp this summer. Click on the title above to get the registration form and specific registration guidelines.
Support the music and theatre departments in a fundraiser
Come join the Theatre and Music Departments for their annual end of the year “Showcase Fundraiser." Students from the entire district, ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade, will be performing in the Hoboken Junior Senior High School Auditorium on Friday, June 12th at 7pm. The showcase is held to highlight the best musical, theatrical and dance performances of the year, as well as several new solo medleys. Selections include musical numbers from “Grease” & “Shrek,” scenes and monologues that won in state-wide theatre competitions, chorus selections, dance performances, the Rockin' Redwings band, and previews of songs from next year’s upcoming musical season. Tickets are $5 per person. Refreshments will also be sold in the school store during intermission.
WINNERS AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!! For five consecutive years students at T.G. Connors Elementary have had the honor of having their artwork published in the "Celebrating Art" anthology. This year Mrs. Musella will have 17 of her students get published. She also had a winner, Adriel Clark, for the Earth Day Poster Contest. As always we are so very proud of our students here at T.G. Connors Elementary. Click on the title above to see their gorgeous work.

Students entering grades three through six in Hoboken Public Schools are invited to register for an academic enrichment summer program. The program will take place at HJSHS from June 29 through July 30 on Mondays through Thursdays. Complete the registration form by clicking on the title above and submit to your homeroom teacher by June 12th. Join in the fun!
Under beautiful blue skies, Hoboken High School made its annual trip up to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Library, Museum and House in Hyde Park, New York. Each year history students make the trek up along the Hudson River to learn more about the the 32nd president and his role in the Great Depression and World War II. As a supplement to the social studies curriculum, students not only got to explore the new state-of-the-art museum, but got to work with copies of primary documents from the archives and wander the Roosevelt compound. And according to social studies teacher Rachel Grygiel, a student favorite is walking the halls of Roosevelt's home and hearing news of ghost stories from the national park guides.
HJSHS National Honor Society has made us very proud by joining a national Teens for Jeans drive to collect jeans for homeless teens. They collected over 500 pairs and have shared a report with us. Click on the title above to see what they shared.
“Buy low! Sell high!” Hoboken High School students learned the true meaning of these Wall Street cries at the Stevens Institute’s Trading Day Competition, held on April 24, 2015. With their $1 million dollars -- simulated dollars, that is – the student investors started trading right at the bell and had to make split second decisions based on all their research from their classes. Competing against 20 schools from the tri-state area, the groups used TD Ameritrade’s “ThinkorSwim” trading simulator. Hoboken’s group, led by their adviser Mrs. Triana-Lisa, had an impressive profit and loss statement throughout the trading session. It was an exciting and educational day.

During this school year, Ms. Mara's class and Mr. Hamlin's class adopted a penguin through Jenkinson's Aquarium. On April 30, Jenkinson's Aquarium came to Wallace to teach those two first grade classes about penguins in general and "their" penguin in particular. Click the title above for more pictures and information.
On April 29, Mark Mautone was recognized at the White House in a ceremony honoring the the Teachers of the Year from around the country. Hoboken is exceptionally proud of Mark's work. In the picture at left, Mark is standing behind and slightly to the left of President Obama. Click the title above for a larger picture.
How do you spell s-u-c-c-e-s-s?
Congratulations to Calabro's three top spellers: Mircea Florescu, Nile Rivera, and Kai Hultstrom from Ms. Salvetta's fourth grade class. The three were eligible to participate in the Rotary's annual spelling bee, held at Hoboken Catholic Academy on April 17.
We also acknowledge Earth Day poster contest winners: from Ms. Kontogiannis/2nd Grade- Samara Bruschi (overall winner of the entire contest) and Jean-Michel Ellameh
and from Ms. Leon/6th Grade- Jared Delarosa and Azaryia Ladson. Congratulations on your success!
Connors Elementary School students in kindergarten participated in a variety of activities aimed at celebrating them as young learners. This is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The goal is to recognize the early childhood programs and services offered to the families to meet the needs of the children and families at local, state, and federal levels. From the dance party to yoga sessions as well as constructing a large life sized drawing of themselves centered on the theme All About Me, these learners experienced a plethora of fun activities throughout the week. Kindergarten teachers, Mrs. Janice Sheridan and Ms. Sarah Beers; along with kindergarten paraprofessionals Ms. Carol Mussara and Ms. Symone Braxton created activities that were specific to the learning styles of their students. Special thank you to Mr. Francis Azzarto who served as DJ for the kindergarten dance party and Ms. Rosanna Lucignano who taught our youngest learners yoga; this was a grand experience for our students.
Sign up for theatre camp. It will run at HJSHS from June 29 to July 29, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Complete the application and submit it to your child's school or come to registration on April 23 from 3-4 pm in the high school lobby. The camp is open to students who completed grades Kindergarten through 8 during the 2014-2015 school year.
Johns Hopkins Program Applications Due April 26th
All applications for the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth entry test are due to Mrs. Cohen by April 26th, 2015. The test is offered to students in grades 3-12. For more information, please contact Mrs. Fran Cohen at (201) 356-3717.
Calabro School participated in the NJ Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s annual Pennies for Patients fundraiser and raised $2,027.50 for the charity. Pictured is Ms Kontogiannis’ second grade class, who raised $1,267.22 towards the school’s total. Also pictured is second grader Jaiden Holmes, who has been the top student fundraiser for the last 3 years.
In observance of Women's History Month, Mrs. Gwendolyn Rodriquez's fourth grade ELA classes celebrated phenomenal women in history through Power Point as well as oral presentations on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. The information that the students presented was rigorous while utilizing 21st century skills through a presentation forum. Mrs. Rodriquez invited each parent via email to view the presentations and many parents came to view the work of their children. It was certainly a great day enjoyed by all.
Theatre students from HJSHS spent the weekend learning and competing at the annual NJ Thespian Festival, New Jersey's largest annual theatre event. They took part in workshops, competed in group and individual events and auditioned for scholarships. They also had a chance to meet with college representatives and theater vendors. It also serves as a learning experience for theatre teachers, who network and share success stories and best practices. Thirty-five high schools with over 1,000 students were at this event. For all categories (except One Act Plays) students win an "accomplished" award if they receive a score from 95-100 on their piece. We are extremely proud to announce the students who won ratings of "accomplished" and their competition categories.

Brandon Lyons for Dramatic Monologue
Brittney Colon for Dramatic Monologue
Jason Oliveras for Dramatic Monologue
Allison Feinstein for Dramatic Monologue
Brittney Colon for Comedic Monologue
Gina Rotondi for Comedic Monologue
David Rivera & Ivelisse Lorenzo for Comedic Pair Scene
Brittney Colon for Musical Theatre Solo

In the category of One Act Plays, Ms. Miller's Theatre II class won second place out of twenty schools competing in this category. These plays are about 40 minutes long. The students performing the play were Gina Rotondi, Allison Feinstein, Aishah Tapia, Brittney Colon, and Jason Oliveras.

Four of our Juniors auditioned for 6 colleges this weekend at the festival for early registration opportunities and to bypass the first round of college auditions for theatre programs as a priority candidate. Junior Allison Feinstein received an opportunity to receive a 25,000 scholarship to Rowan University if she auditions for their theatre program next year.

To top this all off, senior Jason Oliveras won 1st place for Best Supporting Actor for the one act play out of hundreds of actors!! This makes him best in the state for NJ! Congratulations to all participants.
On February 27th, Hoboken Junior Senior High School held their first annual "Hudson County Theater Day". Memorial High School and County Prep High School were also involved in this event. Throughout the day, students went around the high school to attend different acting, singing and dancing workshops. Click title above to read more.
On Friday, February 20th, HJSHS Drama Club had the extraordinary honor to meet actress Janet Saia, who is a “swing” actress in The Phantom of the Opera. At our workshop she informed us about the profession of theatre and how a “swing” has to memorize multiple roles as you never know which one you will be playing daily. Click title above to read more.
Click the title above to read a letter from Interim Superintendent Dr. Brockel regarding changes to this year's school calendar based on use of snow days.
Please click on the title above to download the Hoboken Public Schools calendar for 2015-2016, which was approved by the Hoboken Board of Education on March 10, 2015. This is a re-post with a minor revision regarding the notation of a professional development day in October.
On Friday, February 27th, our early childhood students in grades K-2 were a part of Dr. Seuss' birthday celebration. Celebrity readers provided our students with the opportunity to hear the words of the late Dr. Seuss through read-alouds throughout the morning. Students were excited to have our celebrity readers in their classrooms and were able to ask questions about their careers and subsequent impact on the community of Hoboken. Special thank you to Ms. Maritza Ramos, school clerk for putting together this wonderful experience for our early childhood learners. Click title above for pictures.
Several parent information sessions have been scheduled for March. We invite parents of prospective Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth enrollees to attend. If your child is already in this program, you do not need to attend. This program is conducted after school and allows advanced students to enrich their skills in a number of academic areas via online connection to staff at JHU Center for Talented Youth. If you wish to read more about the CTY program, click here. For the dates of the information sessions, click the title above.
The Black History Month Assembly was held on Thursday, February 26, 2015. Two performances were planned for our school community; the 1st at 10:00 AM and the 2nd at 1:00 PM. Parents, staff, students, several board members, and the executive team were in attendance. Under the direction of Mrs. Gwendolyn White, inclusion specialist, the school community had the opportunity to view poetry, music, and literature of the Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights period, and beyond. The performance was phenomenal and allowed for all stakeholders to learn about the aforementioned periods. Click title above for pictures.
CIESE at Stevens Institute is at forefront of STEM education
The CIESE (Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education) program at Stevens Institute of Technology is described in this recent press release. Teachers in Hoboken Public Schools have been participating in CIESE programs for many years and we are proud to have such a great resource in our own town. Ruth Tyroler, president of the Hoboken Board of Education, is quoted in the press release recognizing the benefits we receive in our partnership with CIESE and Stevens.
Please join Hoboken Public Schools in congratulating our colleagues who have been recognized by their peers as Teachers of the Year and Educational Services Professionals of the Year for 2014-2015. Click the title above for school-by-school pictures and profiles of the honorees.
Student groups team up for good causes
The HJSHS Student Council, Hispanic Culture Club, and the African American Culture Club have joined forces in two fundraisers. They have been selling hearts and "Go Red" bracelets to benefit the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" initiative. District administration supported this program by running a staff fundraiser dress down day on February 6th.

The groups are now working on a Pennies for Patients campaign from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, to help fight blood cancers. Students have placed collection boxes throughout the HJSHS building to collect change. Even a small donation can make a big difference.
Click here to reivew past news articles.

Important Policies
Budget Information
Attendance Policy (pdf)
District Policy Manual
Anti-Bullying Information
HIB Self-Assessment Grade (pdf)

Upcoming Events
Wed Jul 29
Theatre camp showcase, 1 pm at HJSHS auditorium
Fri Aug 7
Registration deadline for Sept. 12 ACT

Click to view full calendar

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