Going Undercover at Calabro

I have walked past Salvatore R. Calabro Elementary School at 6th and Park many times in my rambles pushing a stroller around Hoboken, NJ. Each time, I was intrigued by how nice it looked. In all the recent discussions into the state of Hoboken public schools, Calabro has never come up.

What Do I Look For in a School?

With a child entering kindergarten and the specter looming of college tuition, I decided to check it out. I scheduled an appointment to view Calabro with the newly appointed principal, Ms. Laurinda Perreira.

After attending NYC public schools, I have come to expect all schools to look like prisons. Visiting Calabro was a shock. With a fully stocked nurse’s office, smartboards in every classroom, matching dark library furniture and complete computer and science labs, it was the nicest public school I have ever seen.

With an average class size of 20 students, Calabro reminds me very much of local charter schools. There tends to be little movement in the student body, although the third grade has only 13 students. Upper grades are housed on higher floors, with grades six and seven moving between classrooms in a middle school model.

Deconstructing Hoboken as the #1 Least Attractive US School District

Calabro has a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10, placing it in the Distinguished category. The website incorrectly states the school serves grades K-5; it actually goes up through grade seven. There are no special needs students in the school –  the small class size precludes staffing needed services. All students in grades K-2 receive gifted and talented instruction twice per week – beginning in grade three, gifted and talented students who test into the program are pulled out. There is also a Johns Hopkins gifted and talented program available after hours.

Calabro – as do all Hoboken public schools – offers music lessons during school hours, including instrument rental at no cost to students.

You can view a complete listing of Hoboken schools at GreatSchools.org, along with test scores for the public and charter options.



Kathy Zucker

Author: Kathy Zucker

Mom of 3. Accidental entrepreneur. Fencer. New York Life Shorty Award #KeepGoodGoing winner & judge. Helping parents & kids get to work since 2010 as Metro Moms Network CEO.

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  1. Regarding your article on the Calabro School…. Not to be under estimated for it’s size, the same programs and curriculum are offered at the Wallace School too. Although a much bigger school with a play yard (for recess), classes are not more than 19 kids per class. It’s clean and well organized. Also with Smartboards & computers in each class, computer labs, music/instrument band program, chorus, and gifted and talented programs, i.e. John Hopkins, etc. and clubs for the middle school age kids. Wallace also has an aftercare program. Both schools are part of the same public school system, offering the same curriculum. My daughter has attended Wallace since preschool and is now in the 5th grade. She learned PowerPoint in the 4th grade as well as Excell and Word programs in the 5th. She is well rounded, on the honor roll and is very happy there. Just some feedback on this school……thanks

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  2. As someone who is looking at raising a family in Hoboken in the future, I’ve started to wonder about the school systems, and this is great to know!

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  2. How to Get Into the Public School of Your Choice – Hoboken, NJ - Mom Condo Living | Kathy Zucker - [...] I toured Calabro back in March, a first grader was leaving – I took pictures of his classroom in…
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