Saturday, February 27, 2021

Taken from Social Media: Leska Found and Returned to Family by Animal Advocate


Hoboken: An entire community of 55,000 came together this week in search of a collie named "Leska." The search even extended to social media where former ESPN broadcaster and well known dog lover Keith Obermann lent a hand with a tweet.

Leska, a nine-month-old brown and white collie, and her owner were near the Hudson Bergen Light Rail Station at 2nd Street and Jackson Street at approximately 7:00 p.m on Tuesday February 23rd. Leska, frightened by a train horn, escaped from her owner’s grip and ran up the tracks in a northbound direction.

The good news is that Leska was recently found and is safely back home. For the full details of how Leska was found and returned, please see the social media posts by the person who found Leska-- it is a heart warming story by an educator in the city and a well known advocate for animals and animal rights. I have removed the name for sake of privacy but the post is from Facebook.


My daily ride up Paterson Plank Rd was nothing but a typical stop to feed my feral cat colony. Over the wall I went to collect dirty food bowls from the week, holding on to the only standing flimsy branch to avoid sliding down the steep slope (which has happened a handful of times over the past 10 years 🙀). As I call Montauk’s name, I see what I thought was a dog running up the cliff, through the brush. I did a double take and I instantly knew it was “that lost dog I briefly saw a FB post on” desperately making her way to me. I dropped the cat food and aloud repeated OMG OMG OMG, I have to get her. As she untangled herself from the final leafless, branchy knot, I softly encouraged her to come to me. Timid, but with a wagging tail, her nose met my cat food filled palm. My mind raced in crafting a plan to get her into my car. I hopped back over the wall, luring her with kibble until she put her two front paws up on the wall. I leaned over, scruffed her with my left hand, wrapped my right arm around her body, and lifted her up into my chest. So much for thinking I would keep my brand new North Face coat bright white & dirty free (sorry
Tyrone Huggins
it’s still the best Christmas gift I ever received).

Now to cross the ever busy street where my car is parked in that hollowed out section in the cliff (yupp, that’s me always slowing down traffic when I pull in and back out each afternoon 🤷🏻‍♀️) Nah, I’m not gonna wait for someone to stop...this is an emergency!! So I do my usual one leg at a time maneuver over the railing, this time with no hands, and just go! It didn’t take but a second for horns to start screamin & hollerin but I so didn’t care. (Usually it’s my legs flailing & bum in the air that unintentionally solicit the hoopla and horns blowin lol). I opened my car door and placed Leska inside, gave her a smooch and safely closed her in. After running back to my girls to pick up their dirty bowls, I returned to my car, frantically searching FB for the post on this lost dog. By the time I returned to Hoboken to buy dog food, you all replied to my call for help with Will’s number. He was out of breath when he answered his phone. He explained he’d been running toward Paterson Plank to find me bc he got a call saying a woman was spotted crossing the road, holding a dog that looked like Leska. I asked where he was and told him I’d be right there. As I approached the corner of Palisades and Congress, I see a family of 4 excitedly jumping & waving their arms. There are 2 girls 💕 Before I could even get my mask on, Stephanie embraced me. She and her daughters were crying with joy and gratitude. I let them in the back seat of my car where they sat with Leska for good half hour. I tell ya, it was a whirlwind. And poor Will, good ole dad, exhausted after searching high and low, all hours of the day and night for his girls’ pup. Watching the 5 of them walk into their building after I dropped them back home was the absolute best end to what was a long, emotionally charged work day. No better reward!

Instagrams post by Leska's family upon returning home....

Friday, February 19, 2021

COVID Report for the Week Ending February 13, 2021

Here is the latest COVID-19 information for the entire State of New Jersey. CDC guidelines suggest schools and school districts look at the local community spread before making any decisions about in person - face to face- teaching. 

COVID 19 Report Week 2021 6 by Tony Petrosino on Scribd

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

2018-19 and 2019-20 NJDOE Salary Data Shows 30% Difference Between Pay for Hoboken District Teachers and Charter School Teachers

Sadie F. Leinkaulf (PS #8) Hoboken, NJ
The NJDOE and NJ.COM data indicates that the average pay for New Jersey teachers rose 2% last school year, but vast differences in median salary exist across the state’s districts.

The median teacher’s salary statewide was $70,815. The median is NOT the average.

A district’s median teacher salary can fluctuate, affected by a number of variables including faculty size, faculty experience, cost of living and the grade levels a district offers.

Below are the median teacher salaries for the three public Hoboken charter schools and the traditional Hoboken Public School District. As can be seen from the chart, there is about a 30% difference between the median salary of a charter school teacher and a public school teacher in Hoboken. 

Data Compiled by NJ.COM

The 30% difference is only for median salary and does not include other differences such as the value of individual or family healthcare, prescription plan, dental plan, eye plan, and/or pension benefits. 

In addition, Hoboken District teachers' median salary is about 6.8% above the NJ median teacher salary while Hoboken Charter School teachers median salary is about 21% lower than the NJ median teacher salary.

Check out your own district:

Monday, February 1, 2021

PATH Suspends Service as of 3PM Monday, February 1, 2021 Due to Blizzard


Photo: PATH Station Hoboken 2/2/2021
Photo credit: Barry Grossman
HUDSON COUNTY, NJ - Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has announced that the PATH Train will suspend operations at 3:00 p.m. on Monday.

"Starting at 3PM, all PATH service system wide will be suspended because of ongoing inclement weather," said a statement from the mass tranist provider. "We will issue alerts throughout the storm with updates. We apologize for this inconvenience."

Conditions across the region continue to deteriorate, as snow is falling at rates from 1-3 inches per hour, with some spots already reporting over a foot of snow. Winds will increase throughout the evening, with gusts up to 50 mph, making for blizzard conditions throughout the NYC Metro Area.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Hoboken BOE Reaches $25k Settlement for Autistic Student Who Was subjected to the "unlawful and improper use of physical restraints by several employees"

It is challenging to imagine anything that is more reprehensible, unprofessional, or harmful than improbably physically restraining an autistic child. According to the lawsuit, the unlawful and improper use of physical restraints on this austic child was actually done by SEVERAL employees of the Hoboken School District. 

Unfortunately, there will be no discussion of this at the Hoboken Board of Education monthly meetings. There will be no district "tweets" about this incident. There will be no district Facebook posts. No social media at all becasue this is information the school district does not want to circulate. Thankfully, the investigative work on Hudson County View and other local news organizations have brought this disgusting information to the pubic. 

Who were the employees who did these heinous acts? It would be nice to know so that parents could request their children not be subjected to such unlawful and damaging behavior. As for what occurred--- please read the lawsuit yourself....

According to the Dec. 23 complaint to approve the infant settlement agreement, the Hoboken Board of Education “failed to provide a free appropriate education and discriminated against the minor plaintiff based on her disability.”

A.J.-vs.-Hoboken-BOE by Tony Petrosino on Scribd

Friday, January 15, 2021

"unabated harm and abuse resulting in psychological and emotional injury"- Family of Special Needs Student Awarded Damages in Lawsuit Against Hoboken Board of Education

HOBOKEN, NJ - TAPinto reports that the Hoboken Board of Education appears to be settling a lawsuit filed by parents of a special needs student who was allegedly subjected to the unlawful and improper use of physical restraints by several employees of the district.

The family maintains that their daughter, who is autistic, faced a number of these incidents—specifically on December 10, 2019, January 2, 2020 and February 24, 2020. These episodes represent what the family says is a systemic, “failure to implement less restrictive alternatives; failure to provide a proper Behavioral Intervention Plan and/or Functional Behavior Analysis; failure to provide for properly trained staff and aides; and failure to take proper data and provide appropriate monitoring and supervision.”

According to the lawsuit, “The minor plaintiff was subjected to discrimination and chronic, unabated harm and abuse resulting in psychological and emotional injury and other residuals due to the defendant’s pattern and practice of physically restraining her.” 

Furthermore, the suit states that, “Due to the negligence, gross negligence, reckless conduct, and deliberate indifference to the psychological condition of the minor plaintiff, the defendant Hoboken Board of Education created an environment that was unstable and harmful to the minor plaintiff, causing the minor plaintiff increased agitation, behavioral regression, school avoidance and emotional and psychological trauma.”

Sources familiar with the case have indicated that the reported $25,000 settlement is the latest step in an ongoing effort to establish an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for the student. The settlement reflects the cost of supplemental services that the family has paid out as a result of these incidents.

TAPinto Hoboken has reached out to the Hoboken Board of Education for comment, and will update this story with any further information.

A.J.-vs.-Hoboken-BOE by Tony Petrosino on Scribd

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Top 10 Stories of 2020 Posted on the Hoboken Curriculum Project Blog

You would also probably not know that the Hoboken Middle School has fallen to the lowest 5% of all public schools in New Jersey as decided by the NJ Department of Education. Finally, the Hoboken Board of Education never would present or discuss the fact that a study by Stanford University shows that Hoboken District students completing Grades 3 to 8 are far below grade level comparison to similar school districts with similar demographics. 

The following are the ten most popular posts from the Hoboken Curriculum Project blog for 2020. I have posted the title, an active link to the post, and the day the article was first made available. This blog remains the only blog in Hoboken where information about the Hoboken Public Schools is documented, sourced, referenced, and made publicly available. Posts are also made on state, regional, and national issues. This blog is also used by some colleges and universities for course work. To date, there have been over 450,000 visits to this site. Thank you for your support.

Be safe and all the best for a healthy and prosperous 2021. -Dr. Petrosino 

First, we have two honorable mentions. These posts did not make the Top Ten but they were popular and generated much interest: 

Now for the Top Ten in reverse order...

10) What Is Going on At Wallace School? Chronic Low Scores and Serious Parental Concerns with Special Services (May 12, 2020) 

The school unfortunately operates within a school system that is self referential and not student centric. That becomes evident when problems arise with a student’s performance because of a learning disability. The school is unable and unwilling to provide student-centered solutions as is evidenced by the inability to simply and seemlessly build on previous years’ successes if they occur. Competence issues are never addressed properly and accountability is non existent especially among special education case managers. This has been a bad experience that has lead us to the decision to move outside the school district.

9) Hoboken Board of Education February 2020 Meeting- Change of Principal at Hoboken Middle School (February 16, 2020) 

The district quietly changed principals at Hoboken Middle School where it was pointed out that the school is *now* among the lowest 5% of all public school in New Jersey and lowest New Jersey Department of Education rated school in Hoboken

8) WALLACE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Drops - Now Among the Lowest Performing Public Schools in Hoboken, Hudson County, and New Jersey on NJDOE Educational Quality Metrics- "requiring targeted support" (October 26, 2019) 

Wallace scores were once again among the lowest scores in the State of New Jersey (last year the NJDOE ranked the school in the 37th percentile-- this year the NJDOE ranked the school below the 27th percentile). 73% of New Jersey Public Schools do better than Wallace Elementary School on the NJDOE 0-100 scale score.  

7) 2019 Hoboken Board of Education Results (November 9, 2019) 

There were five candidates competing for three seats on the Hoboken Board of Education in 2019. Each term last for three years.
With 98 percent of the districts reported, it appears that - pending official certification - Sheillah Dallara, Alex De La Torre and Joyce Simons have emerged victorious.

6) This is What 1.39 Inches of Rain Does in Hoboken, NJ (July 22, 2020)

What happens in Hoboken when an inch of rain falls? Here are a number of pictures and videos posted to social media. 

5) Frigid Classrooms, Inaccurate Body Temperature Checks, Sleepless Nights and Sick Kids Coming to School- Comments by the Hoboken Teachers Association on December 8, 2020 for Plea to Go Remote (December 18, 2020) 

The thoughtful and impassioned address that the leader of the Hoboken Teachers Association gave to the Board of Education. Video and Transcript. 

4) Hoboken Board of Education Approves a 10% Tax Increase for 2020-21 (May 31, 2020) 

In the middle of the pandemic and extensive financial problems for the City, the Hoboken Board of Education unanimously approved a tax levy of $53,114,030 for the 2020-21 school year. This represented a 9.95% increase over the 2019-20 local levy of $48,306,832. Three months later the Board would claim they were being defunded....

3) Hoboken Board of Education Letter to the HOBOKEN CITY Council - October 29, 2020 (November 4, 2020) 

 Letter from the Hoboken Board of Education to the Hoboken City Council discussing recent PILOT situation. 

2) Hoboken Middle School Falls to Lowest 5% of All Public Schools in New Jersey - Lowest NJ Department of Education Rated School in Hoboken (November 7, 2019)

Numerous administrative turnover, inept district leadership, and failed instructional strategies have led to the Hoboken Middle School not only scoring the lowest in Hoboken but scoring among the lowest NJDOE rated schools in the State of New Jersey

1) Stanford Study Indicates Hoboken District Students Completing Grades 3 to 8 Are FAR BELOW Grade Level Compared to All Hudson County Public School Districts from Similar Socio-Economic Background (November 6, 2019)

An 8th grader educated in the traditional Hoboken Pubic Schools has acquired the education of a student in roughly March of the 6th Grade, 1.27 grade levels below the 8th grade level of students from similar socioeconomic strata.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Unbelievable Claims at the Hoboken Board of Education: $33,056 per Student, a 10% School Tax Increase During a Pandemic, and the Hoboken Board of Education Claims the City Council is "Defunding" the Hoboken Public Schools

In October of 2020, on the heels of a 10% tax increase in the Public School Budget, the Hoboken Board of Education claimed that the Hoboken City Council was threatening to "defund" the Hoboken Public Schools by considering dispersing roughly $250,000 of PILOT payments to charter as well as traditional pubic schools in Hoboken. 

It is difficult to fully comprehend the absurdity of such a statement. Here is a national chart produced by NPR about school funding. 

At $33,056 per student, the Hoboken Public Schools are clearly an extreme outlier on a state and national level. 

To be clear, it was the members of the Hoboken Board of Education--- trustees of the State of New Jersey--- who made a claim of "defunding"-- a word popularized over the summer of 2020 during the very contentious "Defund the Police" protests. 

"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is." Winston Churchill.

National Public Radio Web Site  

Friday, December 18, 2020

Frigid Classrooms, Inaccurate Body Temperature Checks, Sleepless Nights and Sick Kids Coming to School- Comments by the Hoboken Teachers Association on December 8, 2020 for Plea to Go Remote

Hoboken Board of Education Meeting Dec 8, 2020

On December 8, 2020 the Hoboken Board of Education met for their regular monthly meeting. At this meeting, a number of representatives of the Hoboken Teacher's Association spoke during the public portion of the meeting to address the Board and voice their concerns about the current situation of instruction delivery. The following is a transcript of the thoughtful and impassioned address that the leader of the Association gave to the Board. The address is also available online at:

Notes on the transcript: Anything inside parentheses are additions to either convey the flow of the conversation or assist the reader in understanding the subtext. Italics are used to represent communications teachers or staff made to the President of the Association. Bold is used for emphasis and at the discretion of the transcriber. 

Current COVID-19 Activity Level for New Jersey for 12/12/20: CLICK HERE

President of the Hoboken Teachers Association: Good Evening, I am (name withheld) and I am a teacher and the Hoboken Education Association president.  Over the course of the past few months you've heard me speak on behalf of my membership. From the beginning we have advocated for remote learning for the safety of all students and all personnel in the district.  I have used my words to communicate the fears and concerns and feelings of the membership. Tonight, I want you to hear the words of our members in the letters, emails and texts that they have shared with me (in order) to give them a voice other than my (own).


(The Hoboken Education President reads the following):   


(Communication #1): Let me preface this by saying so much is out of our control.  By the time you read this letter schools may already be on a full remote schedule but with temperatures dropping and infection rates rising and many other districts on remote until mid-January we felt the need to speak up.  We strongly advocate for Hoboken to follow suit and go all remote for the second quarter.  Staff, students, and families would have a bit of certainty in highly uncertain times. We all could plan for our classes, child care, and better negotiate this highly stressful period. The unknowing is weighing heavily on the teachers and students with incredible levels of anxiety. So many of our students are apathetic and lethargic in class. Teachers are covering classes and others are going on and off quarantine and those who have been lucky enough to be healthy are wondering “will I be next”? We are always waiting for the next email or phone call as to what the next day will be like. This has had a huge psychological and physical toll on the staff and it doesn't need to be this way.  Finally students and staff are wearing winter jackets in classrooms. We also have teachers putting hand warmers in their pockets and scarves around their necks. It is now to the point that we question whether our administration even cares about us or our students. Why are they keeping us on in-person classes when so much is telling us not to.  


(The Hoboken Education President continues): So I’m reading basically reading snippets of all the communications I have received.


(Communication #2): I'm sure you're receiving many emails right now about the issue of how cold it is in the classrooms but I feel teaching like this is not sustainable. I brought in a room thermometer my classroom has been 67 degrees for the past few days. I wore long underwear when I had a shawl over my sweater. I just hope that these issues are taken into consideration as the weather gets colder.  


(Communication #3): Hey-- do you know if we are expected to go back now that we are officially in the red zone


(The Hoboken Education President continues): 


So there was a miscommunication that we were in the red zone That Hudson County was so this kind of was disseminated around.


(Communication #4): To be honest I wasn't comfortable coming back into the building in September really and we were in much better shape (then). As a state of things are (now they are) way worse and this is scary.  


(Communication #5): Good morning (name withheld). I'm a little concerned about the (body) temperature checking. When I arrived this morning with another (teacher) I tested at 92 degrees. We were told that the thermometer only goes up to 98 degrees. I don't know how that works but we're clearly not getting an accurate reading. Additionally, a student was found to have a fever this morning and was still admitted into the building. She vomited all over the place. Thus proving that sick kids are still coming to school. What kind of checks and balances are in place for these procedures?


(Communication #6): I hope you're doing well. After another sleepless night, I feelcompelled to email you. Many staff members were bombarded with emails about roster changes and last-minute schedule changes. I was emailed a brand-new schedule where I am now teaching remotely half the day. On top of that, in order to accommodate all the families that have now chosen to go remote, our class sizes have increased. At this point the faculty of Hoboken Public Schools have given up enough of their time, sanity, and overall well-being for this job. We have earned the right to quarantine before the holidays if we so choose. At the very least, we should be remote during the short week (so that) we have time to get tested and not risk re-exposure between the test and the winter break.


(The Hoboken Education President continues in addressing the Board of Education):  


And those are just some snippets. And so the I guess you may question why am I reading them? Each time I have come up here (to the podium) I have spoken about what I knew to be the situation and how I felt based on what people were telling meThis is a real situation for these teachers.


I think risk might be outweighing the reward.  When the decision was made to return to school full-time and be only one of two school districts (with in person instruction) we pledged our support to do what was best for the children and to work with all of you (Hoboken Board of Education) to make that happen.  We have worked tirelessly to create a safe and welcoming and caring environment for our studentsYou know this (is so) not just because I'm saying so (but) because many parents have reached out to communicate this to you. We have worked hard to make sure the periods of remote (instruction) offered the same rigor and fidelity to the curriculum that our in-person instruction has.  


We are now at a crossroads. When the number of positive cases in Hoboken, HudsonCounty (and) in New Jersey continue to soar, we are at a dark orange level or Highaccording to Dr. Anthony Fauci - who I know many of you respect and follow. We haven't even hit the peak of Thanksgiving numbers and it is only going to get worse with the Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year holidays (approaching).  He (Fauci) said the entire impact of the holiday season won’t be fully felt until mid-January… and I quote (Dr. Fauci) “the middle of January could be a really dark time for us.”


It is time for us to make the decision to return to remote learning for a period until we know it is safe for everyone to return.  On behalf of the staff and on behalf of everybody-- I'm not just talking about the teachers… I'm certainly talking about the students. I'm talking aboutall the personnel. I really truly believe that the right decision would be for us to be on remote and well into January until we know that we have gone past the critical point. We love our students. We love being in class with them. I was happy to see them on Monday after remote but it is a difficult situation and there is something to be said about being at home and being safe and there is a very different dynamic when you're dealing with the children and you're interacting with them and they don't have their masks on and you don't have your mask on and you can have this sort of connection remote as it is and not have this fear. 


The situation in the classroom is not as you would think it is. Yes, we do the best we can and they (the students) do the best they can but separating the kids constantly and making sure that they are socially distanced and keeping the masks on…it's (just) not regular school. It really isn't and I know that that people think that that it's a better way of teaching but you have to recognize when the teachers are saying things we are not just saying it because we want to be home.  That's not the case. We're saying it because we know what is right for our students. You as parents know what is right for your children but we also know as educators (what is right for our students) and I really wish that you would takewhat I'm saying to heart and really listen.


(What I have shared tonight) is just a part of what I hear (regularly and) on a daily basis. So please really think very hard about what is happening with the coronavirus crisis over the next few weeks and really consider what is going to be best for all of us. Thank you

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

There's Too Much Risk...We are at Dangerous Levels...We Have Saved You from a Lot of Public Scrutiny and Criticism...Comments by the Hoboken Teachers Association Vice President on December 8, 2020 for a Plea to Go Remote

Hoboken Board of Education Meeting Dec 8, 2020

On December 8, 2020 the Hoboken Board of Education met for their regular monthly meeting. At this meeting, a number of representatives of the Hoboken Teacher's Association spoke during the public portion of the meeting to address the Board and voice their concerns about the current situation of instruction delivery. The following is a transcript of the thoughtful and impassioned address that the First Vice President of Association gave to the Board. The address is also available online at:

Notes on the transcript: Anything inside parentheses are additions to either convey the flow of the conversation or assist the reader in understanding the subtext. Bold is used for emphasis and at the discretion of the transcriber. 

Current COVID-19 Activity Level for New Jersey: CLICK HERE

Good evening, my name is (name withheld). I'm the first vice president of the Hoboken Education Association. I always love coming to speak in front of this board and usually I’m here for a more positive reason and a happy reason.

I came here tonight because as a duly elected officer of the HEA, I wanted to bring the concerns of our members to you. I could have come up here with letters and emails and texts like my colleaguesdid but I just thought I would share with you a couple of things. Anything this (Hoboken) Board ofEducation has asked this association to do since the summer (2020) we have done. We have shown up. We have done our jobs with enthusiasm and vigor and (with) masks and sometimes a lot of handsanitizer….and we have done it smiling. We've done our job vigorously and happily.

But I want to point out we are one of the only two districts in the county that are doing this and it's not because they (districts that have gone fully remote) failed where you guys have succeeded. It is because they (other Boards that have gone fully remote in Hudson County) understand that there's too much to risk. Something that this Board of Education has obviously not grasped.

There's too much at stake with the kid’s safety with the staff safety. We are at dangerous levels and levels are only getting higher. I came here tonight to tell you we do not have to wait until a code red situation (develops) to shut down the district and to go on remote. We had remote during the Thanksgiving break and it was very successful. It was VERY successful. I got to see a lot of kids that I hadn't seen because they were on remote and I got to see them on remote because we were there so it was great.  I actually had my whole class and a contingent in a remote setting. 

What I'm suggesting is you do not have to wait to go into a red situation to go on full remote. Other districts have done it. We should be applauded. We already have more in-person instruction than any district in the county and that's great but now with the holiday season approaching, I think the prudent thing to do would be go on full remote until we get through this second wave because it's only going to get worse.

This association has saved you guys from a lot of emails, a lot of phone calls, and a lot of angry teachers showing up to meetings. This (person), our president (name withheld) has saved you guys from a lot of public scrutiny and criticism. (Our HEA president) gets it every night from our members. I get it every night from our members…. but we didn't want to come here and make a spectacle. We didn't want to do that because that's not what this association does. We want to teach but we want to do it safely so we are asking this (Hoboken) Board of Education to please do the right thing

On that note…Happy holidays to you and your families and I hope you consider what we're saying because right now we're waiting for a holiday miracle. Thank you.