Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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Previous issues of District HiLItes can be found here.

February 24, 2017

In this issue:

  • GOPA Student on Track to Harvard University
  • School 12 SGO meets WPU Counterparts
  • 2017 Celebration of Black History Month a Huge Success
  • Homeland Security Donates Computers to SOIT

Effective Academic Programs

Ivy League Warm-up

Enmy AlmanzarEnmy Almanzar, a junior at the School of Government and public Administration (GOPA) at Eastside, was recently accepted in to the Harvard Pre-College Program in Cambridge Massachusetts. This is a prestigious seven-week summer program that is and immersive, collaborative and a transformative opportunity for high school students from around the world. Enmy was selected from thousands of applicants. She received a $10,000 scholarship from Harvard University to attend the program as well. Enmy is planning to pursue biology and will receive eight college credits toward an eventual college degree. Enmy hopes to officially attend Harvard beginning in the fall of 2018.

Taking Your Teacher Home

School 15As part of their participation in the William Paterson Professional Development Schools Network, School 15 teachers have been teaming up with their Professor in Residence, Dr. Golden, to lead before- and after-school workshops. Mr. Romero, a 5th grade bilingual math teacher, recently co-presented a workshop on “Flipped Instruction,” an approach to teaching that involves teachers filming and posting lectures so that students may later review the information presented at home. Three school 15 administrators, Principal Mrs. Garcia and Assistant Principals, Ms. Guarente and Ms. Greene, attended the presentation, along with eight teachers, three of whom had co-presented workshops last fall. Mr. Romero has already created 27 original instructional films for his students, and he looks forward to creating more – and viewing his colleagues’ creations!

STEAM-ing up the “Blogosphere”

William Paterson University Professor in Residence, Simone Sandler, has been keeping a blog about Science, Technology, Engineering Art and Mathematics (STEAM) activities at Schools 2 and 12. Click here to view her blog and some of the fantastic STEAM goings-on at Schools 2 and 12!

“Value-Added” Posters at NRC!

Posters at NRC!New Roberto Clemente School (NRC) computer teacher Mrs. Selino, has discovered new ways for her students to enhance their Black History Month posters. Thanks to tips from her School 28 colleague, Teresa Mola she discovered how students could use the website “QR Stuff” to create a “QR” image (QR codes are the small, square scan codes seen on many packages, posters and documents). The students used the codes to link to videos of their favorite sports figures and then embed the code into their poster. Anyone viewing a poster, whether in digital or printed form, can use a cell phone to “read” the code and access the video. What a great way to celebrate Black History Month!

Leaders to Leaders

Leaders to LeadersSchool 12 Student Government Organization (SGO) President, Dennis Elguera, and Vice-President Eudrin Mojica, recently had the opportunity to learn what roles their counterparts play at William Paterson University (WPU). President Esaul Helena, and Vice-President Cindy Nazario of WPU paid a visit to School 12 to share insights and ideas – and to inspire the eighth graders to learn and hone their skills. The meeting, arranged and facilitated by Guidance Counselor Ms. Wilson and WPU Professor in Residence Dr. Golden, served as the occasion for a surprise reunion of sorts: when  Assistant Principal (and WPU alumna) Ms. Hilbert joined the group, she mentioned that she, too, had held positions in the University’s student government – as both Treasurer and President.  Mr. Helena and Ms. Nazario were very impressed with the fundraising and charitable giving described by the School 12 SGO officers, commending them for their civic engagement.

Better than a Hallmark!

Better than a Hallmark!Better than a Hallmark!Elementary schools across the district participated in the “I <3 my School Library Project,” sponsored by the New Jersey Library Association. Students wrote valentines to their librarian illustrating how much they mean to them. Messages in the cards were heartwarming and supportive – for example, students wrote loving and inspirational notes to their librarians such as: “My School Librarian is important to me because… she is at the heart of the library; when I need a type of book, she helps me; and she is like a parent to us, she loves us so much. ”This made February a memorable month for the library staff!

Sweet Treats

Sweet Treats

The School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality, and Tourism (CAHTS) at Eastside, held its annual sale of chocolate covered strawberries and cheesecakes to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The students of CAHTS worked hard to not only make these delicious creations, but went around marketing and selling each item. This year’s efforts resulted in the biggest sales since the school’s inception!

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

Bowling with the Tigers

STARSThe STARS Academy Paterson Tigers Special Olympics Team competed in the Passaic County Regional Bowling Tournament.  The bowling tournament was held at T-Bowl II, Wayne, NJ.  This year 9 athletes competed. The bowlers completed three games each and the scores were then averaged. 

Paterson Tigers bowlers receiving awards included:  Everton Campbell, 1st place; Andriana Warren, 1st place; Gwynne Ebanks, 1st place; Nomar Pagan; 2nd place;  Damarya Bur; 2nd place; Andrew Mar, 3rd place; Izhir Allen, 4th place; Bryan Torres Taverez, 4th place, and Justin Garci, 5th place.

The athletes that placed first, second, and third are eligible to compete in the North Sectional Competition to be held in Jersey City this March. This year the Paterson Tigers consists of approximately 11 athletes. Each year they participate in bowling, and track and field.

Big Hearts at HARP

HARPOn February 3, the School of Health Science (HARP) in collaboration with Community Blood Services hosted the second blood drive for the 2016-2017 school year. A record breaking forty-five donors were registered and thirty-eight pints were collected. Each pint has the potential to save three lives. Staff members and students lined up and willingly made the conscious choice to save a life. The Blood Drive was especially significant on February 3 because of National Wear Red Day. National Wear Red Day is a health initiative the goal of which is to bring awareness of heart health for women. An estimated forty-four million women are affected by cardiovascular disease. The HARP community donned red attire, wore red dress pins and raised over $200.00 that will be donated to The American Heart Association. 

Keeping the Dream Alive

GoPAThe School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) at Eastside celebrated Black History Month with a rousing presentation given by Dr. Larry Hamm. Dr. Hamm is an award winning human and civil rights activist. Dr. Hamm addressed the student body with his personal history  of obtaining social justice.  He described the protests and marches that would eventually lead toward the Civil Rights Act. A graduate of Princeton University, Dr. Hamm has spent a lifetime in advocating for those whose voices were previously drowned out by inequality and disenfranchisement. Dr. Hamm encouraged the students to organize, mobilize and strive for common goals.

Family and Community Engagement

Souper Bowl

PAGTSometimes community service involves individual projects or small groups working together, but service learning involves a whole class or school working on a project together.

6th grade students from the Paterson Academy for the Gifted and Talented (PAGT) at School 28 decided to donate to “Souper Bowl of Caring,” which empowers youth and unites communities around the time of the Super Bowl to help those in need.  With the guidance and support of their teacher, Ms. Mola, the entire 6th grade spearheaded a food drive throughout all of School 28 to benefit St. Luke’s Food Pantry right here in Paterson. The students collected 580 food items!

2017 Celebration of Black History Month

2017 Celebration of Black History MonthThe district’s 2017 Celebration of Black History Month held prior to the February Board of Education Meeting at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex, was by all estimations, the best attended to date. Now in its 7th year, the annual review of student performances infused with African-American history and content, included performers from 7 different schools.

For the first time, this year’s roster included one preschool provider (the B.J. Wilkerson Memorial Child Development Center). Following opening remarks from Superintendent, Dr. Donnie Evans, the stage curtain opened on 23 preschoolers who were dressed in costumes in the likeness of historically significant African-Americans. The diminutive performers each stated the name of their respective likeness, followed by a chorus of “Heads, Hearts and Hands.”

The preschoolers set the bar pretty high, but the momentum stayed just as high and each subsequent performance was as exciting and rousing as the next. The scores of parents, friends, family and teachers in attendance were treated to a solid hour of talent and history. If you weren’t there, no worries; the whole show will be available shortly on the district streaming video channel, as well as PETV76. Until then, you can also enjoy a slideshow of photos prepared by district photographer, George Garbeck.

Facebook 6117 by 6/1/17 Update

Facebook LikeHave you “Liked” the official Facebook Page for our district? Have you asked others to come on board with a Like? Our “6117 by 6/1/17” campaign continues, and at this writing, the total has reached 5,082 – an increase of 219 since the effort took off!  Why is it so important for you to engage with the school district on social media? You will enjoy enhanced communications between yourself and Paterson Public Schools, observe events, student performances and interesting videos and images – often as they are happening in “real time.” Spread the word! If you don’t have Facebook, this is a great opportunity to sign-on.

School 13 Napier

School 13 parents enjoyed a fun-filled morning of art and music on February 13th. Students’ parents designed tee shirts for their children. The tee shirts were worn on the school's Valentine's Red and Purple Day. In addition, there was a drawing for a Valentine’s Day goodie bag. The event was sponsored by the School 13 Action Team and PTO.

The “Bronze Heat” Paterson chapter of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters (IABPFF), The Newark Graduate Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, and the Grace of God Church are to thank for books donated to the Napier Academy Basketball team and the Students of the Month. 

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Reuse, Re-purpose, Recycle

During the recent Financial Aid Parent Workshop, Mr. Olivo, a parent with a son at the School of Information Technology (SOIT) at Eastside, observed one of the school’s technology classrooms. Mr. Olivo noticed that equipment that equipment his son and his classmates utilized in their Fundamentals of Networking class was old and obsolete. Mr. Olivo’s employers at Homeland Security just happened to be upgrading their equipment. As a result, he spoke with SOIT guidance counselor, Mrs. Hortencia Silfa, and offered to replace some of the schools aging computers with units from the Homeland Security offices.  At that point, SOIT, with the Board of Education’s approval, entered into an Asset Recycling Program with the Manhattan office of Homeland Security. Through this program, approximately 100 computers are being upgraded and prepared for delivery to SOIT.  During the summer many more computers are expected to arrive for freshmen entering Networking Classes for 2017-2018.

Upcoming Events

Feb. 25: Passaic County Basketball Tournament Finals

at Wayne Valley H.S., 551 Valley Road Wayne, NJ
12:00 p.m. Varsity Boys: JFK "Knights" vs. Eastside "Mighty Ghosts”
2:30 p.m. Varsity Girls: Lakeland "Lancers" vs. JFK "Lady Knights"

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

Mar. 1: Annual Frederick "Fred" Jordan Heritage Awards Dinner

6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. at The Brownstone  

Mar. 9: Real Talk Parenting Lecture Series

Education and Undocumented Students

5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. At JFK Educational Complex TV studio

Mar. 10: Staff In-Service

Full PD day for staff / no students

Mar. 15: Board of Education Regular Meeting

7:00 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex

“Action is eloquence.”
— William Shakespeare, English playwright and poet