Head of School Blog

Reflecting on the Last Five Years

Jill Singleton
As we prepare for our five-year accreditation report for the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools, it has been a sincere pleasure to reflect on the tremendous growth we have experienced since our full review in 2007. In March of this year, representatives from NJAIS will spend an entire day here to review our progress and to meet with constituent groups to learn more about current plans and initiatives. Here is a snapshot of some of the data that will be integrated in my Head of School Report:
• First, enrollment has grown 46% percent since 2006, up to 191 students this year. This is during a time when many independent schools have suffered significant declines, largely due to the economy.
• Since the accreditation visit, we added a full middle school – Grades 5, 6, 7 & 8 – to meet the needs of families seeking quality education options here in Hoboken. In September we welcomed our largest Fifth Grade class so far – 13 students – and in June we look forward to celebrating our first-ever Eighth Grade graduation!
• In conjunction with this growth in enrollment and programming, we’ve also expanded our facilities. Partnering with the Parish, we’ve nearly doubled the number of classrooms and have added an art room and science lab as well as our library, filled with books funded by a gift from the Parents Association.
• Looking at our staff, our most important asset, we have 24 teachers and 7 administrators today, more than double the 11 teachers and 4 administrators from five years ago. This year we also celebrate the achievement of one of our middle school teachers, Ms. Libby Vino, for being named New Jersey Nonpublic Teacher of the Year.
• Expanding our financial aid program has also been a key initiative for us, and in the last five years we’ve grown our scholarships five-fold, to nearly $200k this year. This program provides 15 students with the opportunity to attend All Saints, creating a more diverse and rich environment for all.
• Finally, financially, we are stable and on solid footing. We have no debt, and despite being in a ramp-up phase on our middle school, our budget is about break-even this year. This is largely due to a very careful approach to spending and creatively using every resource we have, to the parish allowing us to grow into our facility expenses over time, and to the significant support from our families and community members in the form of the annual appeal. Like most schools, the annual fund bridges the difference between our tuition revenues and costs. Last year, we successfully raised almost $120,000, despite the challenging economic environment. This is our highest amount ever and is double what it was five years ago.

This quick snapshot should serve as a source of inspiration and hope for all of us. These successes are credited to the work of everyone in this community – board and vestry members, faculty, staff, parents, students, and parishioners. As we approach the Thanksgiving season, it’s important to take stock of our many blessings.
Click here to read our Annual Report for the 2010-2011 school year to learn more about our recent achievements. If you have already given to the Annual Appeal, thank you for your support. If you are thinking of giving and have not yet done so, please give generously. Our Development Director, Kathy Vergel, and I would be happy to meet with you to share a variety of ways you can support the continued growth and development of our school.

To make an appointment, email me – jsingleton@allsaintshoboken.com.