Schools are communities first

Dear Editor:

I have sent this letter to the Hoboken Board of Education:

I am writing as a parent at Calabro school and as an educator. As a parent, the news regarding Calabro’s potential move to Brandt, has brought about a variety of emotions. After telling my son he potentially will not be in Calabro next school year he asked me, “What about my friends?” I explained his friends would be with him in a new building and he was satisfied. Calabro is a building, but also a community. Communities merge all the time. If we are not able to adapt as parents, how do we expect our children to become compassionate and understanding members of society?

After getting over the initial shock, I am in full support of this shift. Please, let my child stay with his friends. Let our children get acclimated to the building, meet new children and make new friends. Then, blend them together!!!

We have mostly all benefited from the pre-K system some feel are overtaking our mile square. The program is wonderful to help grow the city, and hopefully our public school system simultaneously. Calabro has benefited from a small environment with extremely small class sizes. I had never heard of a class with 12 children until I saw the population of the sixth grade class at Calabro. While it is beneficial to our students, it is at the expense of others.

After reviewing the numbers presented, the administrative cost per pupil at Calabro is outrageous. How can the cost of a student at one public school be almost $1,000 more than a student at another public school? If I was a parent at one of our other schools, I might be questioning this. The instructional time lost by the special teachers who travel to more than one school could be used to provide more instruction to our children. The jobs of seven teachers, who may be eliminated depending upon the vote, should matter. These are the people who educate our children.

I am advocating for the move of Calabro to Brandt! It is the most cost effective and logical recommendation. Our kids are so much more resilient than we are! They WILL bounce back! They will get a quality education! They will stay with their friends and make new! They will play on a rooftop playground! They will participate in programs saved! They will have a full time nurse for boo boos and belly aches! They will be offered a lunch program in a cafeteria with food made at the in-house kitchen. They will participate in a gym class held in a gymnasium, and attend assemblies in an auditorium. They will have two full time administrators catering to giving them the best education! They could get a better education then the quality one they were already receiving at the Calabro school.

I’m truly hoping other parents will realize how lucky we have been, applaud the efforts of Dr. Christine Johnson in keeping Calabro open as long as she could, and open their minds to giving our students the same quality education, in a different environment.

An Anonymous Parent, and Committed Educator