Chef training program, building improvements
What’s new in the Hoboken schools this fall
by Vanessa Velez
Reporter Correspondent
Aug 26, 2012 | 3277 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print

While several of the district’s schools are getting new leadership, a lot of other changes are coming to the Hoboken public schools this fall, said Superintendent Dr. Mark Toback last week.

Hoboken High School will introduce a new culinary arts program into its curriculum that will provide interested students with National Restaurant Association certification.

Fulfilling a goal that was set last year, the district has put together a plan to make all school facilities more energy efficient, according to Toback.

Toback shared more details in a recent interview about the changes coming to the schools.

New culinary arts program

Hoboken is traditionally known for its dining industry, and Hoboken High School students will have the opportunity this year to participate in the brand new Culinary Arts program, modeled by the National Restaurant Association (NRA). This new program will prepare students for entry-level positions within the food industry.
“Every dollar we save in energy efficiency goes to the classrooms.” – Schools superintendent Dr. Mark Toback
“It’s a very good learning experience,” Toback said. “In addition to giving students skills that will give them jobs and place them in colleges that have distinguished hospitality programs, it will also help the burgeoning hospitality industry in Hoboken, providing experienced workers for the ever-growing number of restaurants in our community.”


Schools will be evaluated for new lighting and fixtures, he said.

“Every dollar we save in energy efficiency goes to the classrooms,” says Toback. “Knowing we are doing everything that we can to make our buildings energy efficient will communicate a good model to the students, helping them to understand the impact we have on the environment.”

Among the schools that will witness these changes, Joseph F. Brandt Primary School, located between Ninth and 10th Streets on Park Avenue, a school that focuses primarily on early childhood education and home to roughly 466 students, will get new furnaces this year, alongside renovations being made to the gym/auditorium.

Better HHS gym planned

Hoboken High School, located on Clinton Street between Eighth and Ninth streets, will see renovations taking place within their gymnasium.

“The whole gym space will be brand new,” said Toback. From tile replacement on the walls and newly sanded floors, a new HHS logo painting, and new bleachers and dividers, the approximately 530 students who attend HHS should expect a more attractive space to partake in classes and sporting events this coming school year.

More classrooms on the way

Hoboken schools are also increasing the number of classrooms available throughout the district.

Schools that once served portions of Hoboken’s Early Childhood Education program will be witnessing major overhauls. Formerly the location of the Hoboken schools’ business and superintendent’s offices, Wallace Primary School, located on Willow between 11th and 12th, and home to over 788 students grades Pre-K through 8, will see former office spaces transformed into classrooms.

Likewise, a number of Wallace’s Pre-K classes have been moved to the first-floor of A.J. Demarest Alternative School, located on the corners of 4th and Bloomfield. Toback stated in a Feb. 23, 2012 letter that these changes are being made in an effort to avoid crowding and better utilize available classroom space in other school buildings. The superintendent’s office and the business office will also relocate to the second floor of Demarest School.

Toback has a recently mentioned that there are other pressing reasons why these spaces are being converted. Space is being freed in the Wallace school to make room for Hoboken’s growing Autism program. The added space will allow for more classrooms to become available for teachers and students in order to improve the quality of the program. The extra space within the Wallace building will also grant the opportunity for students who were once stationed in the outside modular classrooms, located in trailers, to now move into the school.

Thomas G. Connor’s Primary School, located on Monroe Street between 2nd and 3rd streets, will also see additions to their facilities. The school, which hosts classes from K through sixth grades, will be getting some new science labs, bringing the facilities up-to-date with other buildings in the district. Connor’s is the only school within the district without science labs in the past.

“So we are installing two science labs,” Toback states, “that will be a very good thing for the children there.”

Vanessa Velez may be reached at

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