Hoboken Charter School is managed by a Board of Trustees made up of parents, educators, and community members.  The Board of Trustees meeting dates can be found on our school calendar.  Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. with exceptions noted on the school calendar. The meeting location is 713 Washington Street location. The 4th Wednesday of the month is reserved for committees which may meet at an alternate time and location.  Changes are communicated via announcements in local papers, City Hall, the school website, and weekly school community communications.
The Hoboken Charter School Board of Trustees meeting scheduled on March 26 has changed from an in-person to a virtual meeting.  Please see the Zoom information below. 
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Meeting ID: 833 0583 4791
Passcode: 932727

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Meeting Highlights

March 20

The meeting was devoted primarily to a discussion of the FY2025 Budget, presented by Kelly Pansy and Steve Literati.  One key piece of information related to the budget is still being developed, and that is related to a possible cost overrun associated with the HVAC project.  Once that estimate is determined, a revised budget will be distributed in time for a meeting and final approval on March 26, 2024.

February 27

The Board discussed what Treasurer, Steve Literati identified as the big issues that will affect the 2025 budget: and end of ESSER funding and the challenge of designing compensation and benefits programs which will attract and retain teachers.  A compensation survey of employees, expected to be completed on February 29th should shed light on the issue.

January 16

Treasurer Steve Literati presented a revised procurement policy, which the board voted to adopt.  He also updated the board on the effort to create a plan to invest the school’s cash.  The hiring of two replacement staff members was approved by the board.  Board member Lauren Calmas updated the board on efforts to create a social media and communications plan for the school.

December 19

The Board elected Matt Lipsky to a 3-year term as trustee.

November 21

The Board voted unanimously to accept the School’s audited Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for the year ended June 30, 2023, and to submit that report to the State Department of Education.  The hiring of two replacement teachers was approved.

October 17

Math teacher Chris Kunkel provided an update and analysis of the results of the 2023 NJSLA test.

September 19

The Board voted Lauren Calmas to a three-year term as Trustee.  The Board also approved the hiring of two teachers and an instructional aide.  An Academic Integrity Policy was approved.

August 22

School Administration presented graduation data to the Board. 24 students graduated in 2023. As graduation testing requirements were waived for the class of 2023, no students were denied graduation and none were denied due to failure to meet the graduation assessment requirement.

The administration also presented data resulting from the 2023 administration of the NJGPA (New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment) and enrollment numbers for 2023-24.
The Board approved policies and procedures for School Food Authorities.

July 25

The Board voted to renew terms of three board members (John Berger, Christine Sheedy, and Kelly Pansy).  The board acknowledged the resignation of trustee Dana Wissing, and thanked her for her dedicated service.  The board elected Joy Wheeler as President/Chair, John Berger as Vice-Chair, and Steve Literati as Secretary.  A number of committee members were also elected.

The School’s annual report was approved for submission to the state Board of Education.  A number of policies and procedures related to board and school operations were approved, as was a code of ethics.  The Board approved the hiring of four new teachers pending completion of certification and background checks.

June 20

Jeff Tennenbaum, President of the Friends of Hoboken Charter School provided an overview of that organization’s accomplishments over the past year.  The school recognized the achievements of outgoing Friends’ officers – Jeff Tennenbaum, Yaphet Smallwood, and Cindy Wiegand with a resolution of appreciation that was read aloud at the meeting.

Contracts of new staff members were approved, and principals Lizzie Palma and Joanna Weintraub provided updates on activities and accomplishments at the lower and upper schools, respectively.

May 9

Teachers Matt Messenger and Dari Lyons gave a presentation on the restorative practices program in the high school.  Teacher contracts and major service vendor contracts were also approved by the board.

May 3

The HCS Board of Trustees Virtual Meeting took place at 7:00 p.m.  The meeting went immediately into a closed session.  The topic of discussion was the Executive Director’s Annual Performance Review.

April 18

Board Certified Behavior Analyst Batia Zumwalt gave a presentation about the challenges of engaging students following the covid pandemic at a time when connection is of critical importance.  Executive Director Deirdra Grode provided an update on progress on the School’s strategic plan and mission goals with particular focus on mission, curriculum, culture, school identity, communications, and integration.

March 28

The board voted to accept and approve the school’s 2024 budget, presented by Business Administrator Steve Literati.

March 21

Friends of HCS president Jeff Tennenbaum and vice president Yaphet Smallwood provided updates on fundraising efforts on behalf of the school and an overview of a website that sells school-branded apparel.

February 28

The board voted to hire an architect and engineering firm to help complete plans for a new HVAC system.  The board also voted to accept and submit the school’s annual report and Form 990 tax return for the year ended June 30, 2022.  Reports from the Executive Director and Principals of the K-8 school and High School were provided.

January 17

The Board welcomed a new member, Grace Guandique, at this meeting.  Teacher Chris Kunkel presented a summary of the results of the state assessment called Start Strong.

December 20

Meeting Overview

The board approved hiring three new teachers and the submission of audited financial information to the state for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2022.  Executive Director Deirdra Grode and K-8 Principal Lizzie Palma reported on various initiatives underway at the school.

November 15

Jeff Tennenbaum, President of the Friends of Hoboken Charter School, gave an overview of that group’s fundraising initiatives for the 2022-23 school year.

Sidney Sanchez, Art Teacher, and Emma Rooney, 11th grade student, gave a presentation on the mural that was recently completed in the stairwell of the high school through the mural and public art elective.  Ms. Sanchez also presented on the K-12 art program.

October 18

Principals Joanna Weintraub and Elizabeth Palma provided a summary overview of the results New Jersey Student Learning Standards Assessment (NJSLA) and Graduation Proficiency Assessment (GPA) assessments taken by students in Spring 2022.  Results of these assessments were generally in line with past performances of students at the school; however, there were some variations due to the small size of the school’s grade cohorts.  Generally, HCS students performed at a higher level than state averages.

Executive Director Grode and Business Administrator Literati provided an update on the new healthcare plans that will be offered to school employees in November.

September 20

The board went into closed session at which two representatives from the New Jersey School Board Association gave an overview of effective board practices.

Separately, the board approved the updated School Health-Related Closure Preparedness Plan and the LEA Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Service Pursuant to the Federal American Rescue Plan Act.  Executive Director Grode presented strategic plan for the school.

 August 10

The board discussed and voted to provide an employee benefit that will allow faculty, staff, and administrators to send their children to Hoboken Charter School as overenrolled students.  This effort to support retention and recruitment will be limited to no more than 2 students per grade. Board secretary Steve Literati informed the Board that the school would be required to replace its existing health insurance plan and that recommendations would be presented to the Board to consider.  Several new faculty hires were discussed by Deirdra Grode and Joanna Weintraub.

July 14

The Board reviewed and approved the Annual Report to be submitted to the NJ Department of Education as well as the following school policies:

  • Evaluation systems for Tenured and Non-Tenured teaching staff
  • Evaluation system for School Leader/Principals
  • Promotion, Retention, and Grade Level Placement
  • Upper School Graduation Requirements

The board also approved the hiring of four new teachers.

June 10

This was a joint meeting with the Board and Members of the Friends of Hoboken Charter School.  President Jeff Tennenbaum presented an overview of that organization’s accomplishments and future plans.  The Board of HCS acknowledged the contributions of outgoing Friends President Patty Fernandez and Vice President Liran Mignone.

HCS Board of Trustees President Lauren Calmas was recognized and Thanked for her 9 years of service as Board President.  Lauren is stepping down as President but will remain on the Board.  Assuming the role of HCS Board of Trustees President is Joy Wheeler.

May 3

The Board of Trustees met with Executive Director Deirdra Grode to discuss strategic planning for the 2022-2023 school year and discuss her annual review.

April 26, 2022

Deirdra Grode reported on work toward 5 strategic goals: K12 Curriculum Review; Upper School Identity Work; K12 Integration; Communication of School Identity; and Support for and Accountability of Faculty/Staff in creating a Culture of High Expectations and Rigor.

March 22, 2022

The school’s board of trustees voted to accept FY2022 budget as presented by Business Administrator Steve Literati.

March 1, 2022

The school’s board of trustees met to accept the audited 2021 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and the school’s 2021 form 990 tax return.

February 15, 2022

The School’s independent outside auditors, Darren Fusaro and Chuck DeMeola, reviewed the school’s annual financial statements and form 990 tax return, respectively.  There were no audit findings, and the school was found to be in a strong financial condition with good controls.  Results of the school’s lottery held on January 20 were discussed.

January 18, 2022

This meeting was a joint meeting between the boards of trustees of Hoboken Charter School and the Friends of Hoboken Charter School.  The Friends Board provided an update on activities to promote the school and raise funds to support the operation of the school.  Math teacher Chris Kunkel gave an overview of the results of the school’s Fall Start Strong assessment.  Business administrator Steve Literati reviewed the revised 2022 budget submission to the state department of education.


December  21, 2021

The meeting focused on school operations and recent academic achievements, with reports by Executive Director Deirdra Grode, K-8 Principal Lizzie Palma, 9-12 Principal Joanna Weintraub, and Special Education Coordinator Melissa Fisher.

November 16, 2021

The board approved the hiring of two new teachers and several agreements with service providers.  Business Administrator Steve Literati provided an update on the school’s upcoming application for the ESSER III grant offered by the federal government.  Executive Director Deirdra Grode and Lauren Calmas provided an update on the visit by NJ Department of Education officials as part of the school’s charter renewal.

October 19, 2021

The meeting started at 5:45 and went into closed session to discuss a matter involving student discipline.  Following the conclusion of this matter, the board discussed newly hired teachers, and approved two new agreements.  Updates were provided on strategic initiatives, activities and plans of Friends of HCS, and city’s PILOT program, and the upcoming school charter renewal.

September 21, 2021

This was a joint meeting between the boards of Hoboken Charter School and the Friends of Hoboken Charter School.  Introductions of new board members were made, and the Friends organization highlighted upcoming initiatives centered around parent engagement and fundraising.

The board accepted a first read of the school’s proposed Employee Vaccination Policy.  Executive Director Deirdra Grode updated the board on efforts to prepare for the school’s 5-year charter renewal.

August 17, 2021

Executive Director Deirdra Grode reviewed proposed revisions to the School’s Health-Related Closure Preparedness Plan and the School’s Student Attendance Policy.  Renewal of contracts with several service providers were reviewed and approved by the Board.  Several mission-aligned professional development opportunities for staff were reviewed by Deirdra and approved by the Board, including one made possible by the grant from Provident Bank.  The board discussed whether the school should approach Provident Bank for another grant to fund professional development. The Board also approved extending the School’s adoption of the FFCRA through the month of September.

Dana Wissing provided an update on the Friends of HCS organization, including the resignation of Daria Vogel from the position of Co-Vice President.  Liran Mignone will now be the sole Vice President of Friends.  The September board meeting will be a joint meeting between HCS and the Friends organization.

July 20, 2021

Executive Director Deirdra Grode provided information on several new candidates being offered positions by the school, all of which were approved by the board.

Chief Financial Officer Steve Literati reviewed preliminary financial statements for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2021.  The board approved the appointment of McIntee Fusaro Del Corral, LLC as external auditors for the fiscal year 2021.

Upper School Principal Joanna Weintraub reported on students who graduated from the school in 2021.

Dana Wissing reported on several changes in officer positions at the Friends of Hoboken Charter School organization.


2020-2021 Board Meeting Highlights

2019-2020 Board Meeting Highlights

2018-2019 Board Meeting Highlights





Board Meeting Agendas & Minutes

Board Agenda March 26, 2024 Remote Meeting

Board Minutes February 27, 2024

Board Agenda March 20, 2024

Board Minutes January 16, 2024

Board Agenda February 27, 2024

Board Minutes December 19, 2023

Board Agenda January 16, 2024 Remote Meeting

Board Minutes November 21, 2023

Board Agenda December 19, 2023

Board Minutes October 17, 2023

Board Minutes September 19, 2023

Board Agenda November 21, 2023

Board Agenda October 17, 2023

Board Minutes August 22, 2023

Board Agenda September 19, 2023

Board Minutes July 25, 2023



Board Minutes August 22, 2023