Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

We welcome your submissions on school and district related events. Click here to submit stories and photos.
Previous issues of District HiLItes can be found here.

January 12, 2017

In this issue:

  • NRC 6th graders teleconference with North Carolina Museum
  • Future doctors and nurses hear from NJIT expert
  • A Day at the Opera for School 24 musicians
  • New district homepage is live

Effective Academic Programs

From the Ancient to the Present… in 3D!

From the Ancient to the Present… in 3D!New Roberto Clemente School (NRC) 6th grade students learned about the art of Ancient Egypt when they teleconferenced live with the North Carolina Museum of Art. The activity, organized by Art Professor in Residence, Triada Samaras, was part of the Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics (STEAM) initiative funded by the William Paterson University, Geraldine R. Dodge STEAM grant. The STEAM Grant program is now in its fifth year.

Using a computer program called Zoom, students “toured” the museum with Camille Tewell, Art Educator, and Emily Kotecki, Distance Educator, who described two Egyptian amulets owned by the museum. The students simultaneously handled replicas of those amulets 3D-printed by Technology Teacher Baldwin from specifications previously emailed from the museum. Students returned to their art classes ready to design and create their own amulets, either using traditional media (e.g., paper, clay) or 3D printing technology.

NJIT Prof Speaks on Career Choices

NJIT Prof Speaks on Career ChoicesDr. Vincent DeCaprio, a biomedical engineer at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), came to speak with students at the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and the School of Education and Training (SET) at JFK. Their teacher, Ms. Sayad, invited the esteemed professor because of his concern that many of his students want to become doctors or nurses. Dr. DeCaprio has been a biomedical engineer working in the field for over 30 yrs. During his career he has developed an insulin pump for severe diabetic patients and worked on various other cutting-edge developments.
Dr. DeCaprio presented a 30 minute PowerPoint presentation on the biomedical engineering fields available to students interested in the STEM disciplines. He concluded the presentation with a question and answer session from both students and faculty members about the various programs available.

As a member of the NJIT Board of Directors, Dr. DeCaprio gave first-hand information and support to STEM and SET students with regard to college and career choices. He spoke of his personal journey into the biomedical engineering world and how it has been a lucrative and successful career.

A Very Significant Day for South Africa

A Very Significant Day for South AfricaLast December, students at International High School learned about, and celebrated a very significant date in the history of South Africa. On the 16th of December, South Africans enjoy a recently instituted, informal national holiday. Since 1994, in celebration of what Nelson Mandela entitled the Day of Reconciliation, South African’s have marked the day with a mass shut down of labor and activity; even in major cities, the roads are clear, the shopping malls are jammed, and the beaches are packed. By this time of the year, the South African sun is shining, schools have concluded the academic year and everybody except the retailers, manufacturers and miners enjoy a day of relaxation. 1994 is also very significant in South Africa’s history, because it was in this year that the government’s policy of apartheid was officially disbanded; the first democratic elections took place in April of that year, and Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black President.

Howard Visits RPHS

Howard Visits RPHSA group of Howard University students visited the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts (RPHS) to discuss college life at their prestigious institution. RPHS students received a first-hand account of what it is like to attend Howard, as the students spoke candidly about classes, majors, living on campus, and career choices. All of the Howard students are collegiate leaders who live in the state of New Jersey and who have received training by the Howard admissions office to speak with high school students about college life and expectations. 

“It was a pleasure to host this wonderful group of college students,” said RPHS Supervisor Ms. Pamela Gary-Maple. They represented Howard University as part of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) on Tour New Jersey Edition and their discussions and honest reflections about college life were both enlightening and informative for our students.”

A Day at the Opera

A Day at the Opera45 Concert Band and Chorus students from School 24 had the amazing opportunity to attend the final dress rehearsal of "The Barber of Seville" at Lincoln Center's Metropolitan Opera. Students were prepped in advance with the plot and background about the composer, Gioacchino Rossini. All were intrigued with the fantastic singing and the splendor of the opera house.

This was Rossini's ultimate achievement in opera, and is the most popular comic opera ever written. The story (in which Figaro the Barber has all sorts of zany antics up his sleeve to help Count Almaviva marry Rosina -- who has been kept locked in Don Bartolo's house) has captivated audiences for generations. The students from School 24 agreed. The opera is the best show around!

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

What is Your Intent?

What is Your Intent?Great Falls Academy continues to look for innovative and creative ways not only to impact school culture, but also to reach beyond the walls of the classroom.  A group of 20 students ended 2016 by working on the My Intent Project. This project invites students to answer 30 critical questions including: "What was your childhood dream?" "What are you working towards that you could use some help with?" and "What does this world need more of?"  After dealing with the questions and considering their answers, students chose one word that they want to be reminded of every day. The words they chose symbolize not only important aspects of their character, but things they want to aspire toward. Students then worked with the school’s Art Teacher, Ms. Clark, doing metal work to create bracelets adorned with words like, "Success," "Loyalty," "Unique," and "Blessed." You can find more information about the project by visiting http://www.myintent.org/.

Inspired and Admired

Inspired and AdmiredSchool 27 recently held a special awards ceremony upon the completion of a 10 week after-school painting project in conjunction with the non-profit organization, "Halls That Inspire." Under the direction of Halls that Inspire director, Mr. David Thompson and his staff, over 80 students in grades K-6 and family members worked in 3 hours sessions after school, Monday through Friday. The volunteers painted the halls of their school with inspirational slogans and messages. Through this activity, the students learned a lot about team work and responsibility. They now enjoy a special kind of ownership in their school, and enjoy their work each day as they pass the works they created, knowing that it is now a permanent fixture in their building.

Holiday Shopping Without the Crowds!

School 27 students in grades Pre-K through 4 enjoyed shopping for their families at the school’s annual Holiday Sale. "Treasures," generously donated by staff were beautifully displayed. Ms. Ferrandino's and Ms. Manzo's Resource students acted as “personal shoppers” for the young children. Everyone went home with lots of gifts and smiles on their faces!

Holiday Shopping Without the Crowds!

Sweet Music

Sweet Music

As a culminating activity of their Music Appreciation activities, the children of the Early Learning Center (ELC) had a visit from students of the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing arts.

Family and Community Engagement

A Holiday Tradition

A Holiday TraditionStudents from School 10 were accompanied by School Counselor, Mrs. Patterson, & Music Teacher, Ms. Tanner, as they spread holiday cheer to the residents of the Dr. Norman Cotton Senior Residence. The school’s National Jr. Honor Society members collected new teddy bears from staff to distribute. They also provided each senior with a small gift. In addition to gift giving, a number of the students entertained the seniors by putting on a holiday concert. It was all smiles as the students spread some joy to the seniors before the holidays. This activity has been a wonderful school tradition for over 12 years. Students visit on a monthly basis and provide a variety of services and entertainment as they receive community service hours.

School 18 donation

School 18 Pre-K students held their own clothing drive for families in need. The children learned that we shouldn't throw clothes away – we should either use them in a different way or donate them to families who are less fortunate. The drive was highly successful, and items were donated to the Food Bank of NJ and the Salvation Army.


Efficient and Responsive Operations

New Look for Homepage

homepageThe district website’s homepage, which is managed by the Department of Communications, has received a makeover. The previous iteration of our digital gateway has been in operation for almost 5 years, and the homepage was due for a “fresh look”. The latest version is a result of valuable user input and feedback gathered in recent months and strives to ensure that our new homepage is  user-friendly, easy to navigate, and visually attractive. We know that the homepage presents a first-impression glimpse of Paterson Public Schools and serves as a jumping-off platform for users to navigate to major segments of the overall website, including individual schools, athletics, curricula, and employment opportunities. That’s why we have added a “Quick Links” section as well as an updated navigation bar with drop-down options for our Parents/Students and Staff.  Special kudos to our Graphics Coordinator, Mr. George Garbeck, for his work on the new and improved design.  Please have a look at the new Homepage !

Teamwork at 21!

Teamwork at 21!School 21 is a school community on a mission; with roughly 90% new staff, the school’s instructional team is focused on collaboration as a means to maximize collective efficiency, instructional practices, and student achievement. Recently, staff received two days of impactful professional development (PD) activities entitled: “Collaboration & Co-Teaching,” which was presented by Supervisor of Special Education Kiai Jones, and Regional Accountability Center (RAC) Intervention Specialist, Dr. Pat Mitchell. Following the PD, the staff left feeling empowered, informed, and armed with an understanding that, “two can make a difference in a joint effort.” This PD was a hands-on, team-building experience, as the six models of co-teaching were covered. This experience allowed teachers to analyze data to drive effective instruction in order to maximize student success. Kiai Jones will also be developing a three-part on-going coaching support plan to work with novice or newly assigned teachers. The plan will assist them in understanding the models, implementation of the models, and deliver continued support throughout the year.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 16: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday

District Closed

Jan. 19: Financial Aid/Scholarship Night

5:30 p.m. at Eastside Campus  

Jan. 25: Special Meeting of the Board of Education

6:30 p.m. at the Administrative Offices, 90 Delaware Avenue  

Jan. 30: 2nd Marking Period Ends

Feb. 1: Board of Education Workshop

6:30 p.m. the Administrative Offices, 90 Delaware Avenue

Feb. 3: Staff In-service

1:00 p.m. Student Dismissal

Feb 3: HARP Blood Drive

8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at 5 Colt Street   

Feb. 4 Board of Education Retreat

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. the Administrative Offices, 90 Delaware Avenue  


“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above it.”
— Washington Irving: writer, historian and diplomat