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Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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Previous issues of District HiLItes can be found here.

February 10, 2017

In this issue:

  • Free Internet Service and Devices for 9th Grade Students
  • High School Mentors for School 24 Fourth Graders
  • 2017 District Black History Celebration
  • Teacher-Leaders Honored at Reception

Effective Academic Programs

Closing the Homework Gap Digital Divide

Following a successful grant application submitted by Interim Executive Director of Technology, Mr. Jose Correa, Paterson Public School 9th grade students will have a new way to keep up with their school work from home. As part of the Sprint 1Million Project, every 9th grade  student will receive a free mobile device and free wireless connectivity for the next four years. The pilot program for 500 students kicked off at Rosa L. Parks High School of Fine and Performing Arts and Garrett Morgan Academy on Wednesday, February 8th.  Local Sprint executives and school officials were on hand as participating students received their smartphone or tablet.

Paterson was chosen as one of 11  districts nationwide – and the only school district in the tri-state area to participate in this exceptional grant with an estimated total value of $40 million.. The pilot program which also includes Academy of Health Science (HARP), Academy of Earth & Space Science (PANTHER), School of Information Technology at Eastside, and the International Baccalaureate Program at International High School will run through the end of the 2017 school year. Feedback will be applied in preparation for the nationwide program rollout at the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

Sprint GrantSprint GrantSprint Grant

Inspiring Inspiring with Questionswith Questions

Who is it stopping by the classrooms at School 29 dressed as a scientist and reading aloud from the New York Times bestseller, Ada Twist, Scientist?  Why, Mr. Ventura, the school’s principal, of course!  Mr. Ventura has shared the book with every class, modeling how to read with expression and encouraging students to come up with questions about what they see and hear (as good scientists do).  After the read-aloud, Mr. Ventura invites the students to form a circle and hold hands, with the student next to him holding one end of an “Energy Stick” while he holds the other end.  When the circuit is closed, the energy stick lights-up and makes noises!

A Healthy Cache of Medals

Fourteen Academy of Health Science (HARP) students participated in the regional HOSA-Future Health Professionals Competition. The event was held at Passaic County Technical High School in Wayne. Hundreds of high school students competed in categories that included: Emergency Medical Technicians, Medical and Dental Terminology, Medical Math and Nursing Assisting. HARP won a total of eight medals in the following categories: eighth place in Medical Law and Prepared Speaking- Kadine Octable and Ayonna Perkins; seventh place in Medical Math and Dental Terminology - Joshua Calicho and Karen Violante; sixth place in Nursing Assisting - Hillary Nunez. Three students qualified to compete at the state competition which will be held on March 18th and 19th at Union County Vocational Technical School. These students are: Genesis Gonzalez - fourth place in Nursing Assisting, and Ryan Palmer and Shana Blathers First who took second place in Job Seeking Skills.

Facing Humanities Biggest Challenges

Facing Humanities Biggest ChallengesAs part of the World Organization of High School Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Connect, the student NGO cohort International High School (IHS) are on their way to becoming global citizens attuned to humanitarian challenges. They were virtually transported via Skype to the global humanitarian hot spot of Ecuador with dynamic NGO volunteers who inspire engagement, spur self-confidence, and impart skills that can advance education and careers. These students are on their way to becoming advocates and empowered leaders who can transform local and global communities.

A Sticky-Note Situation

A Sticky-Note SituationAt the New Roberto Clemente School (NRC), Ms. Willemsen’s sixth graders recently engaged in a gallery walk and “Post-It” note response activity in connection with the poem “Maggie, Milly, Molly, and May.”  The students first identified symbols that connected with the characters in the poem, recording these in grids on pieces of chart paper.  Next, they had the opportunity to view their classmates' posts, responding with Post-It note feedback.  The activity enhanced students' interest in and understanding of, the poem, as well as broadening their experience with figurative language.

All (Literate) Hands on Deck!

All (Literate) Hands on Deck!School 12, third-grade teacher, Mrs. Conyers, and her students have new regular afternoon guests helping out with some of their literacy activities: seventh and eighth graders have started volunteering during their lunch periods.  These School 12 “Tiger Tutors” share their energy and enthusiasm while helping to guide the younger children in read-aloud activities, text-feature projects, and writing assignments. Mrs. Conyers, a William Paterson University adjunct professor of education, is delighted to have some of her former students learning the importance of giving back to their school community, while taking on important leadership roles.

A DECA Destination

A DECA DestinationFive students from the School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism (CAHTS) at Eastside: Minaisa Williams, Yamere Edwards, Claudett Ormeno, Adriana Moya, and Jenin Dairi, went to Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey to compete for the New Jersey regional Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) competitions. There they competed against other high school students from around the region in situations related to marketing, hospitality and tourism. Students were presented with real-world scenarios that required some serious problem solving. The students proceeded to resolve the scenario-based problems using 21st century skills along with their learned knowledge about business and marketing.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

Mentorship Field Trip

Mentorship Field Trip Freshmen from the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts, and fourth graders from School 24 spent a January afternoon at the newly-opened National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAH&C) in Washington D.C. This trip represented the launch of a mentorship program between the two schools. Each fourth grader was paired with a high school freshman. The students explored the new museum’s many displays and installations dealing with early to contemporary African American History. “This group exemplified emerging leadership, integrity, character, and fortitude,” said Mrs. Cora Quince, Principal of Fine Arts, who organized the trip. “From this visit to the NMAAH&C, and this mentorship program, will evolve a keen sense of collaboration in and through the arts as well as the Paterson Citizenry.”

Tyana Wilson

John F. Kennedy athlete Tyanna Wilson is shown being honored at Seton Hall University during the New Jersey Celebration of Girls and Women in Sports by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).

Family and Community Engagement

The Challenge Continues

The district’s 6117 by 6/1/17 Facebook Challenge rolls on! Have you “Liked” the official Facebook Page for our district? Have you asked others to come on board with a Like? The trend is definitely upward – we’re nudging at 5000, but we need more! A lot more! We’ve told you the reasons: enhanced communications between stakeholders and district, events, student performances and interesting videos and images – often as the events are happening in “real time.” Spread the word! If you don’t have Facebook, this is a great opportunity to sign-on. We’ll be watching for your Like!

You’re Invited!

February is Black History Month, and the district’s annual celebration of Black History is back! The 2017 event will take place on Wednesday, February 15, at 6 p.m., prior to the Regular Meeting of the Board of Education in the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex auditorium. Presentations and performances include students from nine different schools, with ages ranging from pre-K to 12th grade. If you have never attended one of these celebrations before, you simply must make every effort to be at this one! The children have been rehearsing and are very excited to deliver their black history-infused performances to you on the big stage at Kennedy. Admission is free, bring the whole family! 

A Civil Rights Legacy

A Healthy Cache of MedalsThe Paterson Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. recently held its Mardi Gras Awards Luncheon at The Barnyard and Carriage House in Totowa. Paterson community members were recognized for outstanding service in the areas of education, community involvement and outstanding service to the sorority itself. Academy of Health Science (HARP) eleventh grade honor student, Chaniah Crawford received the Daisy P. Bates Youth Award. (Ms. Bates was a civil rights activist and a member of the “Little Rock Nine” who enrolled in the racially segregated Little Rock, AK High School in 1957). Chaniah is involved in numerous school and community activities which include the HARP Interact Club, The National Honor Society and Habitat for Humanity.

Paterson Letters of Intent

Vincent T. Marchese, teacher of Social Studies at the School of Architecture and Construction Trades (ACT) at JFK, poses with the producers of the hit movie "Paterson" during a cocktail reception at the Hamilton and Ward Restaurant.

Alajuwon Bell, a student from the Garrett Morgan Academy for Transportation Engineering, and Jameir Taylor of the School of Architecture and Construction Trades (ACT) each signed their National Letter of Intent. Both football players will attend the number 3 ranked Lackawanna College.

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Leaders as Learners

Teacher-leaders and future school leaders were honored during a Paterson Public Schools and William Paterson University (WPU) sponsored reception on January 25th.  With roughly 45 in attendance at the Board of Education offices, the event provided an opportunity for the Superintendent's Cabinet as well as various district administrators to receive an overview of the programs currently in place as a result of our partnership with WPU. Ms. Cicely Warren, Assistant Superintendent of Unit 1, introduced the participants as well as recipients of the Leaders as Learners Grant

ESL Teaching Enhancements

ESL Teaching EnhancementsMr. Anderson, 5th grade math teacher at School 12, recently completed his English as a Second Language (ESL) certification at William Paterson University (WPU), with funding provided by the New Jersey Department of Education, Preparing All Teachers to Better Serve English Learners (PATSEL) grant. The two-year program provided Mr. Anderson and his colleagues with strategies for incorporating ESL instruction in their various content areas. During the course of the program, Mr. Anderson learned to prepare lessons and projects that focus not only on content, but on the discipline's academic language as well. Through these lessons and projects, Mr. Anderson's 5th graders have benefited from experiences that allow them to listen, read, write, and speak using math language that builds their English language proficiency along with their mathematical practice skills.

Painting away the Stress

The School 13 Administration coordinated a stress-relieving professional development for the teachers and staff. The session was facilitated by Celeste Banks of The Painter's Palette of Newark, NJ. She explained the “Mindfulness Painting” concept and then led teachers and staff in creating their own “winter wonderland” masterpiece on canvas. Those in attendance stated the session was relaxing and fun!

Painting away the Stress

Upcoming Events

Feb. 15: Board of Education Regular Meeting

6:00 p.m. Black History Month Celebration    
7:00 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex

Feb. 16: Report Card Distribution (All K-8)

4:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.

Feb 20-21: Presidents' Day Weekend

District Closed

Feb. 23: Report Card Distribution (9-12)

4:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 28: Report Card Distribution (School 7, Don Bosco, NRC)

4:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 28: Board of Education Workshop

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

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”
—Booker T. Washington
Author, Orator, Presidential Advisor