LETTER: New Hoboken High School will support equitable education for ALL students

In a letter to the editor, Hoboken parent and teacher Jessica Rodriguez says the proposed new high school, decided by a $241 million referendum, will support equitable education for ALL students.

Dear Editor,

Hello, I am a hardworking and dedicated single mother who is part of what they call the low income community. I never get involved in conversations like this, but I do share my thoughts on how amazing Hoboken schools are. Yes is important.

I have a younger son in year 1 at Connors and an older son in year 7 at HMS. I also work for the Wallace District. I have taught at a few daycare centers in Hoboken for years and these children, once my own students, also attend schools in our district.

I also went to Hoboken School in which I excelled and was among the many opportunities offered. The buildings are old now, it was ok when I went but that was 20 years ago.

My own son is in HMS and has had so many opportunities himself. I appreciate all that my 7th grade student has learned and is part of all the opportunities provided.

Regardless of our “low income” economic status, the district has made sure that all of our children have the same opportunities and feel included.

He is a High Honor student and takes AP classes. His teachers are amazing and encouraging all the time and my son has amazing grades from the academics at our schools.

He tried tennis, something he had wanted to try for so long and finally was able to thanks to the amazing program the district put together and it was free and is also enjoying high school swimming.

To be able to register it knowing that it is not private because we have a low income, do you know what that can do?

They have so many clubs and activities to make sure our kids thrive and make sure they succeed. He is part of the student council and yearbook.

And they made it so comfortable it came out of its shell. He is in the room and has even signed up for the upcoming competition. It has blossomed and opened up. Because his teachers care.

I made sure to tell her to get into all of this because sadly I can’t afford anything as a single mom.

A lot of people are ashamed, but no, it’s for my sons and our district has opened doors for low-income students to experience things they wouldn’t. I figured if his friends could, so could he.

These 2 years with the pandemic have changed everything, including our children’s learning. My grandson completed Pre-k 4 online then all K and is now behind in reading not because of the teachers but because the world has changed.

He has an IEP because the pandemic literally changed his whole little life. amazing sound
Connors teachers and staff have made sure he thrives by providing him with the resources and everything he needs to thrive because they care.

To think that people who know nothing but test results is ridiculous to me. Test results will never define the amount of work these children and the teachers and staff put in to ensure they thrive and succeed.

I wish there had been more of an effort to reach out to low income students who are thriving due to all the amazing opportunities Hoboken schools have provided. There are so many options to encourage children.

There is so much good, and I would love to help raise awareness in communities so that all children can get the most out of their education.

Ultimately, it’s for my children and all children. As long as my children are good, so am I! Because I care, the teachers care, and the whole district is amazing.

Thank you.

Jessica Rodriguez
Hoboken parent and teacher

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