Thursday, July 21, 2022

Letter to the Editor: Board Members Shouldn't Bully Citizens, Should Set Example For Kids- Time for New Leadership

Hoboken BOE Members 
L-R: Kluepfel, Cademartori, McGuirk
The following is a letter to the editor of Hoboken Patch. Please click here for the original post. In the post, accusations are made that Hoboken Board of Education Vice President Malani Cademartori criticized a citizen before a recent Board meeting. Moreover, this criticism was evidently not cordial and exhibited what might be considered unprofessional. The dressing down of a citizen by a public official was apparently so severe, it prompted two other concerned citizens to write a letter to the editor. 

HBOE member Tom Kluepfel is no stranger to bulling like tactics, he once called the police because an African American mother went over her 5 minutes during the public portion of a Board meeting. Nothing like using the power of the Board presidency to keep the BOE meetings moving along smoothly. 

Dear Editor, 

We cannot have executive members of the Hoboken Board of Education bullying citizens who attend meetings or participate in public discourse. 

At the July 12, 2022, HBOE meeting Vice-President Malani Cademartori walked off the stage and into the audience and approached Kevin Davis, a resident sitting in the crowd, about his letter to the Editor. The meeting was minutes from starting, and this member still felt the need to come off the stage to criticize Mr. Davis. Then the President of the HBOE came off stage to remind this member that the meeting was about to start. 

The conversation was far from cordial. It was filled with demands and accusations. Mr. Davis was told he was spreading "misinformation." Ironically the alleged "misinformation" was a direct quote from a BoE member. The Vice-President stated that if he wanted to write a letter, he must go through her to get what they perceived as "the correct information." 

He was calm, listened, and stated facts that the member had zero interest in hearing. After a few minutes, I (Paul) stepped in and said, "You are attacking him, you have no right, and it's the wrong place for this. He is a citizen, and he is entitled to his opinion." This exchange was not professional from a person in a leadership position. 

No citizen should be dressed down at a public meeting by an elected official. This kind of behavior from elected officials is never warranted and represents the worst of what we have seen from elected officials over the past few years. 

While the HBOE will remind you that they are elected volunteers, they must adhere to what they preach. This interaction is just another in their long line of disregard for what residents think, as exemplified by their unanimous support of the 2-1 failed bond referendum. 

Every HBOE YouTube video begins with these ideals: Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Courtesy, Citizenship, and Integrity. Does the board believe in them? The Board of Education members set the tone at the top of our school district. 

Is this the kind of behavior we want our kids to learn and emulate? 

This culture of exclusion has no place in Hoboken and must end. It's time for a change. It's time for inclusion and unity. We need new leadership.

Paul Presinzano & Pavel Sokolov

Hoboken, NJ

Saturday, July 16, 2022

2021-22 Hoboken Public School District's Highest-Paid School Administrators

Patch has recently published the top salaries of school executives throughout New Jersey. School-executive pay has long been a controversial subject in both local school district budgeting and state budgeting. 

Here are Hoboken’s highest-paid (not including incentives, bonuses, and benefits) school administrators, along with their school, their district, their years of service and their salaries. To be clear, These are not the only people making 6 figures in the district, these are simply the highest paid school administrators according to the NJ Dept of Education and published by Patch.  

CHRISTINE JOHNSON, District Office, Hoboken Public School District, 6, $193,778

SANDRA RODRIGUEZ, District Office, Hoboken Public School District, 17, $185,674

JOYCE GOODE, District Office, Hoboken Public School District, 26, $179,336

ROBIN PICCAPIETRA, Hoboken High School, Hoboken Public School District, 18, $172,704

ANNA MARRA, Hoboken Middle School, Hoboken Public School District, 18, $158,485

CHARLES BARTLETT, Joseph F Brandt Elementary School, Hoboken Public School District, 17, $155,308

One would think for this type of top rated salary that the district would have top rated educational achievement. However, recent data shows that only 8% of 6th through 12th graders are proficient in mathematics and over half of the same students are not reading at grade level. 

Comparing the 2021 and 2022 US News and World Report analysis of Grades 6 to 12 in the Hoboken Public Schools. 

Click to Enlarge 


General Scorecard (0 to 100 scale): down 7.3 points; 

National Ranking: down 1289 places; 

State Ranking: down 35 places; 

NY Metro Area Schools: down 55 places; 

Less students taking at least one AP exam; 

Less students passing at least one AP exam; 

57% students reading below grade level; 

92% of students doing mathematics below grade level. 

99% of students doing science below grade level.

Friday, July 15, 2022

81% of HoLa 8th graders in Hoboken pass Spanish AP exam, 1st in the state to do so

81 percent of 8th graders at the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School passed the Spanish AP exam, making them the first class in the state to take the test while in middle school.

“I’m thrilled that our students have had the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in this way,” HoLA Executive Director Jen Sargent said in a statement.

“This is what’s possible when children enter an immersion environment in kindergarten, and are supported in developing literacy and content knowledge in both Spanish and English simultaneously.”

The AP Spanish Language and Culture exam measures students’ Spanish reading, writing, speaking and listening, at an advanced college level.

The College Board has approved the 7th & 8th grade internally-developed Spanish Language Arts curriculum as a college level AP course – providing HoLa Middle School students with exposure to a rigorous curriculum before high school.

Some of HoLa's AP Students

Additionally, HoLa’s newly approved AP Middle School curriculum was entirely developed by HoLa’s faculty and instructional leadership.

“Our 8th grade students are able to manipulate college-level content primarily because they have been exposed to rigorous academic instruction in Spanish since elementary school,” added HoLa Middle School Principal Adina Medina.

“Exposure to such rich academic language in all of their classes, including Social Studies, Science, Math and Language Arts, exposes our students to a wealth of background knowledge and vocabulary that has, in turn, prepared them for the rigor of High School and beyond.”

In addition to being the first class in the state to have this recognition, all HoLa 8th grade students will graduate with an AP designation on their transcript.

See more on this story by clicking HERE 


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

LETTER: Hoboken High School should expand community hours for their pool

Hoboken High School- Pool 
In a letter to the editor, Hoboken resident Kevin Davis explains why he feels the local high school should expand their community hours for their pool. -Hudson County View 

Dear Editor,

Did you know that the Hoboken High School pool is open this summer to the community?

If you didn’t know this, I can’t blame you as the pool is only open when most people are at work (Monday and Wednesday from 12PM to 4:30 PM & Tuesday and Thursday from 12PM to 1PM and 3PM to 4:30 PM).

The Hoboken School District tried to make waves with this announcement, but instead only made ripples. To best utilize the Hoboken High School pool, it should be open on weekends and evenings as well.

During the failed January 2022 school bond referendum campaign, the school board argued that the new community amenities in the proposed high school would be open to the public. They even enlisted their allies in Hoboken city government to argue these points.

Here are some of their quotes from the referendum campaign:

“A brand-new high school will be a transformative project for Hoboken, paving the way for an improved educational experience for our children and improving the quality of life of our residents with a much-needed pool and upgraded facilities,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

“In Hoboken, we bemoan the lack of a pool, the lack of recreation space, the lack of arts facilities – in one fell swoop many of those needs can be filled. While cynics may say we’ll never get access to the new pool, gym, theater, or rink – I for one take the Board of Ed at their word,” Councilman-at-Large Joe Quintero.

“The neighborhood will undoubtedly be able to benefit from the new public amenities associated with the project,” Councilman-at-Large Jim Doyle.

Knowing that community access to school facilities is important to our Hoboken City elected officials, I didn’t expect that the Hoboken city government was responsible for the lack of optimal school pool hours.

That was until I came across School Board Trustee Sheillah Dallara’s comments in the Hoboken Parents Facebook group.

Ms. Dallara stated:

“During the summer, we give full access to Hoboken High School’s indoor pool to the City of Hoboken’s Recreation Department to offer whatever programs or open swim times that they wish to provide to the residents. The City is responsible for providing life guards, tending to the pool, and notifying the public regarding their swim times,” she wrote.

“It is important to know that the Hoboken Public School District does not have any oversight of the City’s swim times during the summer or when it starts. This year, we received a letter from the Recreation Department requesting dates and times and we approved all.”

There is much that the city could have done to have more staffing at the high school pool.

They could increase lifeguard pay to attract more talent, advertise lifeguard job listings in the early spring to have more time to recruit and train lifeguards, and they could even poach lifeguards from the private sector with better salaries.

Instead, the city failed to make community access to the high school pool a priority.

Even though the city government is largely to blame for this, the School Board isn’t powerless in expanding community hours to the pool.

During the 2021 Hoboken Municipal Elections, Trustees Ailene McGuirk, Chatali Khanna, Malani Cademartori, and Tom Kluepfel publicly endorsed Team Bhalla.

Any of those members could contact our city elected officials to lobby them for expanded pool hours. If Ravi Bhalla and his allies want to continue to get political support from school board trustees, then they need to support more staffing for the pool in the summer.

School board members have a choice, they can use their political capital to push for expanded community access to school facilities in the summer, or they can be silent.

The city and the school district must do more to expand Hoboken High School’s pool hours during the summer.

Kevin Davis
Hoboken resident

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Hoboken Board of Education: Tuesday, June 14, 2022 AGENDA

The following is the full agenda for the June 14th 2022 Hoboken Board of Education. 

It is 95 pages long and contains a fair amount of information. 

Some highlights: 

 9. Action - Governance and Personnel (p.14) 
 Resignations of Allison Kane (teacher), Brittany Airey (teacher) and Derek Piccini (Vice Principal- HHS) 

 9.13 Action - Governance and Personnel (p.27) 
 Credt Recovery Program Appointments 

 9.25 Approval of Stipend for District Public Relations and Special Projects (p.40) 

 9.28 Approval of Business Administrator and Assistant Superintendent Contracts for a period of one year (p.43) 

 10.04 Approval of Payroll (p.54) 
 5/13/22: $1,720,347.75 
 5/27/22: $1.778,165.31 

 10.08 Approval of Transportation Contracts (p.58) 

 10.18 Approval of Appointment of Board Secretary (p.71) 

 10.31 Approval of Award Increase for Architect of Record (2021/2022 SY) (p.84) $124,879.51 

 10.32 Approval of Award Increase for General Legal Counsel (2021/2022 SY) (p.85) $121,091.74 

 12.02 Approval of Lease between the Hoboken Board of Education and the City of Hoboken (p.88) 
 601 Jackson Street, July 1, 2022 to July 1, 2027, $183,000 per year

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Petrosino Co-PI on a New $2.5 Million Grant from the National Science Foundation: Seeing the World through a Mathematical Lens: A Place-Based Mobile App for Creating Math Walks

A new NSF grant (Award Abstract # 2115393) with SMU colleague Candace Walkington (PI) and Koshi Dhingra (Co-PI) - here we are at the Flight Museum in Dallas working with representatives from our partner organizations.

This project draws on research on Informal math learning, problem-posing, and culturally-sustaining pedagogies to conduct cycles of participatory design-based research on technology-supported math walks. The research questions are: How does posing mathematical scenarios in community-imbedded math walks impact learners’ attitudes about mathematics? How can experiencing AR overlays on real world objects highlight mathematical principles and allow learners to see math in the world around them? How can learners and informal educators be engaged as disseminators of content they create and as reviewers of mathematical content created by others? To answer these questions, five studies will be conducted where learners create math walk stops: without technology (Study 1), with a prototype version of the app (Study 2), and with or without AR overlays (Study 3). Studies will also compare children's experiences receiving math walk stops vs. creating their own stops (Study 4) and explore learners reviewing math walk stops made by their peers (Study 5). Using a community ethnography approach with qualitative and quantitative process data of how youth engage with the app and with each other, the project will determine how the development of math interest can be facilitated, how learner-driven problem generation can be scaffolded, and under what circumstances app-based math walks are most effective. The results will contribute to research on the development of interest, problem-posing, informal mathematics learning, and digital supports for STEM learning such as AR. 

This project will promote innovation and have strategic impact through a digital infrastructure that could be scaled up to support STEM walks anywhere in the world, while also building a local STEM learning ecosystem among informal learning sites focused on informal mathematics. This project is a partnership between Southern Methodist University, a nonprofit, talkSTEM that facilitates the creation of community math walks, and 9 informal learning providers. The project will directly serve approximately 500 grades 4-8 learners and 30-60 informal educators. The project will build capacity at 9 informal learning sites, which serve hundreds of thousands of students per year in their programming.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Dr. Petrosino's presentations at the International Society of the Learning Sciences 2022

The International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) works to further scientific, humanistic, and critical theoretical understanding of learning and to engage in the design and implementation of learning innovations and the improvement of instructional methodologies. Learning Sciences (LS) research traditionally focuses on the cognitive-psychological, social-psychological, cultural-psychological and critical theoretical foundations of human learning as well as the practical design of learning environments. Major contributing fields include cognitive sciencecomputer scienceeducational psychologyanthropology, and applied linguistics. Over the past decade, LS researchers have expanded their focus to include the design of curricula, informal learning environments, instructional methods, and policy innovations.

A core feature of research in the learning sciences is attention to the detailed processes of learning and teaching for theory development. Accordingly, the Society calls for papers that address questions about learning processes, mechanisms, and outcomes. Papers may develop data-driven theories that elucidate processes of learning and teaching within various contexts and the ways in which technologies, instructional practices, and learning environments can be designed to support learning in different contexts.

Learning sciences research addresses how to connect research, practice, and policy with the aim to impact educational policy and practice and develop research-practice partnerships. Papers may examine issues such as how to intertwine, yet balance, research and practice and how to create equitable research-practice partnerships that acknowledge and draw from the various expertise and the multiple perspectives that practitioners, researchers, and policymakers bring to the table. Diverse methodologies can be employed for examining learning at scale for educational impact. Papers may also develop and examine innovative approaches to impact policy and practice more effectively while maintaining a productive dialogue between various stakeholders.

Petrosino, A. J., Hughes, K., Sager, M., and Sherard, M. (2022). UTeach/NYC: A Research Practice Partnership to Expand and Improve Computer Science Education For All. To appear in Proceedings of the 2022 Annual Meeting of the International Society of the Learning Sciences. Hiroshima, Japan.
Sager, M. T., Binford, L., Petrosino, A. J. (2022). Growing student-workers as informal learners [Poster presentation]. Annual International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Hiroshima, Japan. 
Sager, M. T., Binford, L., Petrosino, A. J. (2022). A growing problem: Student-worker retention at an urban farm [Poster presentation]. Annual International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Hiroshima, Japan. 
Walkington, C., Milton, S., Petrosino, A.J., Sager, M., & Dhingra, K. (2022). Student-created math walks in informal learning spaces. To appear in Proceedings of the 2022 Annual Meeting of the International Society of the Learning Sciences. Hiroshima, Japan.

Monday, June 6, 2022

US News and World Report: Hoboken Public Schools Grade 6 through 12 Continue to Slide Nationally, State Wide, and Locally

Comparing the 2021 and 2022 US News and World Report analysis of Grades 6 to 12 in the Hoboken Public Schools. 

General Scorecard: down 7.3 points; National Ranking: down 1289 places; State Ranking: down 35 places; NY Metro Area Schools: down 55 places; Less students taking at least one AP exam; less students passing at least one AP exam; 57% students reading below grade level; 92% of students doing mathematics below grade level. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

6th to 12th Graders in Hoboken Public Schools Score Low Again in Mathematics, Reading, Science, and College Readiness - US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT

It is helpful to look at independent, third party evaluation of the Hoboken Public Schools rather than public relations materials released by the district's PR efforts. For instance, latest test score data from the **2022** US News and World Report finds that over half the 6th to 12th graders in the Hoboken public schools are reading BELOW grade level, over 90% are BELOW grade level in mathematics, and 99% are BELOW grade level in Science. 

Moreover, on a score from 1-100, the school scores a 17 on college readiness (set of skills, behaviors, and knowledge a high school student should have before enrollment in their first year of college)

These results are from a district that is only 20% free or reduced lunch. A community that allocates the district leadership over $27,000 per student. A district with a very low student to teacher ratio (well under 15 students to 1 teacher). 

The kids in this district are victims of poor pedagogy, incompetent leadership that appears to not have a clue as to what to do to raise achievement levels of students,  and excuse makers unable to effectively educate students.

Results from improvement at all

Click to Enlarge 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

2021-22 Hoboken High School Resident Enrollment: 344 Students

How many students are enrolled in Hoboken High School? A relatively simple question that is often challenging to find a clear answer. 

Using the 2022-23 ASSA Hoboken Enrollment Report as well as the disaggregated count of "choice" enrollment in the the district supplied by the New Jersey Department of Education, we find that there are 344 Hoboken resident students in Hoboken High School. When one also adds in the number of students attending Hoboken High School based on the NJDOE choice program, the enrollment reaches 467 students. This is a school that was built to house 1500 students in the early 1960's. This in a district that claims "skyrocketing" enrollment yet continues to accept students from out of town. 

The district should honor the commitment it has made to all students who have been accepted into the choice program until graduation. But it is contradictory for the district to claim enrollment is skyrocketing while at the same time the district is actively recruiting and taking the maximum number of out of town students into the district (163 students). The choice program should either be terminated or the district leadership and administration should significantly curb discussion and claims around enrollment increases outside of normal year to year variation. 

ASSA Report

9 Grade: 146 students

10 Grade: 92 students 

11 Grade: 93 students 

12 Grade: 77 students 

SPED: 59 students 

TOTAL = 467 students 


9 Grade: 31 students 

10 Grade: 31 students 

11 Grade: 28 students 

12 Grade: 26 students 

SPED: 7 students 

TOTAL = 123 students

467 Students - 123 students = 344 students  

2022-23 ASSA REPORT:

2021-22 Choice Program by Grade:

Monday, May 16, 2022

CRB Meeting May 16, 2022 at 7PM


May 16, 2022

Dear friends and neighbors, 
I don’t know how I missed this!  There is a CRB meeting tonight at 7pm coincidentally scheduled two days before the City Council votes to add Hoboken residents to the CRB.  And it includes at least two applicants that violate our existing Cannabis Laws.  More on this below...
BUT FIRST: PLEASE NOTE: I am moving my pre-meeting for the County Planning Board meeting to 630pm tonight instead of 7!  If you want to join my meeting tonight – it will be quick! - please email me and I will send you the Zoom Link.  Also I am correcting the link to email Mayor Bhalla (and me) to ask that he push his representative on the Hudson County Planning Board – John Allen – to vote in favor of Hoboken neighbors and not in favor of the mayor of Jersey City.  
Contrary to their efforts to impose and support the commonsense cannabis legislation that was passed on April 6th and signed by Mayor Bhalla on April 8th, it seems like the Bhalla administration is rushing to approve as many dispensaries in Hoboken as possible.  With absolute discretion on how to move forward, what other explanation could there be?  
The three applicants being considered tonight are:
  • 86 River Street – this is to add a recreational cannabis license to a location that was already approved for a medical license a block away from the PATH train.  The key difference is that the recreational license currently will not require appointments, whereas I believe the medical license was granted partly because it would be by appointment only.  Interestingly, our laws technically prohibit this from being granted because the new recreational license is within 500 feet of another license – the Harmony medical license at 95 River Street.  The City Council has approved on first reading an amendment that would grandfather both dispensaries and would not require that they meet the location constraints and will be voting on second reading on Tuesday.
  • 1427 Grand Street.  5th Ward.  This location is a one-story location in the I-1 zone, directly east of the Biergarten on the corner of 15th and Grand and one block north of the viaduct.  The applicant has indicated they have secured 17 parking spaces at the Park and Garden parking garage at 15th and Park.   
  • 321 Washington St.  1st Ward (3rd location) Located less than 600 feet away from both Demarest and Stevens Cooperative and violates our current laws.  This property btw is 1.5 blocks away from 128 Washington which the CRB declined two weeks ago.    
The Bhalla administration and the current CRB Board are taking the position that if applicants submitted their 3 page applications to the CRB before April 28th, when our common sense cannabis laws went into effect, then these new laws don’t apply to their application.  This isn’t backed by any precedent or law, this is a policy they have made.  They are citing “Time of Application” which is a state law that specifically relates only to land use boards (planning and zoning) which the CRB is not.  As a matter of fact, Hoboken's Corporation Counsel Brian Aloia has said repeatedly that it is only an advisory board and not a land use board.  If this policy continues, then even the cap of 6 dispensaries may be in jeopardy.  
The planning board, however, is another story – the planning board IS a land use board and the Supreme Court of NJ has held that the “Time of Application” law applies when an applicant’s application to the land use board is substantially complete.  And it further states that just submitting an incomplete application doesn’t get you excluded from the “Time of Application” law.  So hopefully the Planning Board will apply the statute to any applicants to the Planning Board whose applications were not substantially complete on April 28th.  Including the proposed Blue Violet dispensary at 628 Washington St. who I understand may not yet be deemed complete.  For those opposing this location because of its proximity to two schools – now is your chance to speak up and raise this as an important issue.  #morevoices
The CRB has already endorsed 5 of the 6 locations allowed under our laws.  But right now, I don’t even know if the Bhalla administration plans to enforce this provision.  It seems like they don’t have any plans to which is incredibly frustrating to say the least.  He has the discretion to choose in favor of residents, and take the position that the recent laws we enacted – to restore what we had before CP Russo misled us – do apply, instead of a path and policy that favors the cannabis operators and their landlords over Hoboken residents and families.  
Whether you agree or not, write to Mayor Bhalla who sets to tone on this for our community and tell him your views.  I mentioned before that the feedback I have received so far is about 85% wanting restrictions, and 15% wanting less (or no) restrictions.  I will tell you if this changes.
Please forward to everyone you know who may be interested in this newsletter.  Feel free to email me at or call me at 201-208-1674 to discuss what you have read or anything else that is important to you.    
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”
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CITY OF HOBOKEN Hoboken Cannabis Review Board 94 Washington Street Hoboken, New Jersey 07030

Jason Freeman, Business Administrator Leo Pellegrini, Dir. Health & Human Services
Michael Russo, Council Member


The Hoboken MEDICAL CANNABIS REVIEW BOARD (the “Board”) will host a virtual meeting to discuss the business of the Board. The meeting will take place via the Zoom platform beginning at 7:00 PM on Monday May 16, 2022, and will be recorded.

Please be advised that due to the current State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and in accordance with guidelines issued by the State of New Jersey for public meetings during this time, the May 16, 2022 , Authority meeting will be held virtually and will be available to the public via Zoom (instructions below).

When: May 16, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Topic: Hoboken Cannabis Review Board Meeting

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Or One tap mobile :
US: +13017158592,,82253610084# or +13126266799,,82253610084# Or Telephone:

Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

US: +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 205 6099 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833

Webinar ID: 822 5361 0084
International numbers available:

Public portion will be held virtually at the end of the agenda. Comments from the public will be limited to 5 minutes per person. Those who wish to comment must be dialed in through Zoom.

page1image1087030288 page1image1087030576

Following is the link to the agenda and agenda packet:

Please email with any questions regarding this meeting.

  1. Call to Order

  2. Reading of Announcement regarding the open Public Meetings Act

  3. Reading and Approval of Minutes of the previous meeting

  4. Committee Reports

  5. Matters Scheduled for Review:


A. 86 River Street, CRB-22-6


Block/Lot: Zone: Applicant: Presenter(s): Description:

222, Lot 5
Terrapin Investment Funds II, LLC James Burke, Esq.
Retail Cannabis License

B. 1427 Grand Street, CRB-22-7


Block/Lot: Zone: Applicant: Presenter(s): Description:

122, Lot 14
The Jersey Joint Inc. Sean Mack, Esq.
Retail Cannabis License

C. 321 Washington Street, CRB-22-9


Block/Lot: Zone: Applicant: Presenter(s): Description:

214, Lot 9
Culture Hoboken Inc. Charles J. Harrington Esq. Retail Cannabis License

  1. Public Comment Section

  2. Adjournment