Hoboken High School – Vote YES

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Dear Editor:

While the author of this letter, Joyce Simons, is a member of the Hoboken Board of Education, the letter expresses only Ms. Simons’ personal opinions and has not been authorized by or written on behalf of the Board of Education.

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My name is Joyce Simons and I have lived in Hoboken for the past 14 years. My husband and I liked the Hoboken vibe and moved here from New York City. We started our family and very quickly had three children within three years. The playground chatter was that the schools were weak and it was so commonly spread that I, like many others, thought it to be true. Nonetheless, we enrolled our oldest in the district run preschool and that was the best decision we have made. It was the Hoboken schools that made us commit to this amazing town. This was a valuable lesson for us in learning the gap between perceptions and actual facts.

My children are surrounded in school by peers that represent the diverse community we live in. Their teachers have been exceptional and they are taught to work hard, be kind, be inclusive and that they can do better everyday. Regardless of socio-economic status, everyone deserves the same high quality public education.

The proposed new High School allows the school district to grow and keep up with our 21st century needs. It is time to invest in the infrastructure of the district’s public schools. It is time to invest in the future of our children – the future of the world. The need is now and the community needs to come together and not get distracted by the chatter that our children do not deserve the best. It is time to put away emotions and stand up for our students.

The proposed new High School is not just a high school. The long range facilities plan is well thought out and has the interest of the students at hand. First and foremost, the building is designed to support the innovative academic programming of the Hoboken Public School District’s curriculum. In addition to academics, the amenities of the building allow for opportunities in vocational and athletic development.

Some of the additional opportunities include:
– Eight Science Labs
– Culinary Arts Kitchen, Classroom, & Café
– Collaborative Learning Activities Center (Library Media Center)
– Life and Transition Skills Room
– Six Special Education Classrooms
– Weight Room, ice rink, auxiliary gymnasium, regulation-size pool

The proposed new High School will provide an opportunity for the district to add a much needed fourth elementary school for our youngest learners. The beloved preschool program will have enough room within the district’s buildings and not have to be constantly moved around town for extra classroom space. The Hoboken Middle School will be able to move to a space truly fit for middle schoolers where they can have access to a regulation-sized gym, science labs, music rooms, and even a library.

There isn’t much detail that I can add to the information that hasn’t been provided through the many conversations, meetings and information sessions. The facts are clear and can be found HERE.

I urge you to support the Hoboken Public School District’s proposed school referendum and encourage voters to come to the polls on Tuesday, January 25, and join me in voting YES.

Joyce Simons