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.
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.
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.