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Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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Previous issues of District HiLites can be found here.

March 9, 2017

In this issue:

  • BTMF DECA Club in State Competition
  • Read across America rolls across the District
  • NSW Musicians do their WPU Mentors Proud
  • RPHS Teacher “Testifies” in Court

Effective Academic Programs

BTMF Makes DECA State Competition

BTMF Makes DECA State CompetitionIn late February, twelve students from the School of Business, Technology, Marketing and Finance (BTMF) at JFK, were selected to participate in the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) state competition in Atlantic City.  The students prepared extensively by composing detailed business plans or practicing a ‘role-play’ exercise for the event they would be competing in. Activities included Supermarket Careers and Fashion Merchandising. Every student successfully completed the rigorous requirements of their event, but one in particular, Roberto Collado, received an award for the Business Services Event. All of the students look forward to competing again next year, and are optimistic about their chances to reach international competition in 2018.

Mentors make a Musical Collage

Mentors make a Musical CollageThe William Paterson University (WPU) “Collage Concert” won the hearts of all listeners!  Norman S. Weir School (NSW) musicians played beautifully at this collaborative performance thanks to the quality music instruction from their WPU mentors and NSW music teacher, Mr. Visto. The unparalleled mentoring and coaching helped the NSW aspiring young artists reach new levels of excellence that will equip them for future success. The students gave a very impressive performance!  Thanks to this unique program, students get to have personal experiences with the WPU orchestra which helps them to discover a lifelong passion for music.

Picture This

Picture This

Friday afternoons at Madison Early Learning Center mean visits from Read to Know volunteer Frances Harrison, who has been presenting outstanding children's picture books for the past few months.  Teachers take turns offering their classrooms as the setting for the school-wide reading activity, and the three and four-year-olds have responded with great enthusiasm (as have the teachers!). Read To Know is a volunteer driven, non-profit, corporation; volunteers read to, and distribute books to young children, predominantly preschoolers, in Paterson and other urban areas.

Career Day(s)

Career Day(s)The Henry Charles Cornish Career Partners Program sponsored by the Lambda Upsilon Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. exposes students from the Young Men’s Leadership Academy (YMLA) to careers, working professionals, and worksites, while familiarizing them with the pathways that must be traveled in pursuit of a prospective career. The program involves a monthly, “featured career;” each utilizing six major components intended to educate students and their families about those careers. The six components include: the school’s Book Club, career presentations, lunch with the career presenters, writing assignments and awards opportunities, site visits, and career presenters with the PTO.

The first career presentation featured the Paterson Police Community Police Department discussing career opportunities in law enforcement.

Of Rockets and Rights

One hundred thirty seven students and staff members from the School of Information Technology (SOIT) at Eastside celebrated Black History Month with a field trip to see the Academy Award nominated film, “Hidden Figures.” The film illustrates the struggles of “real life computer,” Katherine Johnson, an early African American mathematician employed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Katherine and her fellow female mathematicians supported the early Mercury spaceflights. Set in the early 1960’s, the film also brought to life the discrimination faced by African Americans, as well as that of females in the “workplace of men.”   The experience was a moving one for the students. Jose Zelaya, a senior, stated, “My thoughts were that history is deep. There is always something hidden, something we don’t generally know, and I am glad I learned about one of them.” Adonis Taverns shared, “My experience was amazing because I learned things that I didn’t know about the role of African Americans, especially women in NASA during that time.”

InnerFaith, Outer Beauty

InnerFaith, Outer Beauty

The annual InnerFaith Performing Arts Center’s Black History Art & Essay Contest celebrated their 2017 winners with a reception and awards ceremony at the Paterson Museum. The city-wide contest included 9 Paterson Public Schools students who placed first or second with their creations. Click here for a list of all district students who took trophies at this year’s event. Winners received cash prizes for their efforts.

Read Across America Events around the District

Something was Fishy at 15

Something was Fishy at 15At School 15, Read across America Week culminated with a visit from Fifth Ward Councilman Luis Velez, who charmed both children and adults with his presentation of Dr. Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. After the reading, he invited students to ask questions about the book, and the children soon switched from discussing the book to sharing their career aspirations and even news about special goings-on at home.  Councilman Velez, quick to give helpful advice, responded to one student (who indicated his family had purchased a new car) by reminding the class to be sure to buckle their seat belts whenever they are traveling.  Throughout his visit, the councilman encouraged the children to read every day!

“Oh, the Places you’ll go!”

“Oh, the Places you’ll go!”School 10 students went on a virtual journey as they celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd. The journey was filled with school spirit, expressed by the entire student body.  Students had lots of fun guessing the “Book of the Day” as expressed by each school spirit activity of the day. Members of the National Jr. Honor Society had a wonderful time reading Dr. Seuss’s classic books to students in grades Pre K through 2; then, all Kindergarten and 1st Grade classes made “Green Eggs and Ham”.  Retired teacher, Ms. Beverly Hill, made a surprise visit and read to students. Finally, students and staff in the lower grades were dressed in Dr. Seuss attire as they watched “The Cat in the Hat,” which closed out the day’s activities.

Cats, Hats and all “Things” Seuss

You “would not, could not, and should not” miss, a Read Across America event such as this – 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade students enjoyed a  Dr. Seuss themed fun-filled afternoon that included a visit from the Cat in the Hat! Parent volunteers decorated the gym, while staff members led activities for the event. The School’s “Jag Ambassadors” served as ushers for visitors. The guest reader was Action Team partner, Ms. Joyce McKnight-Young of the Christ Church United Methodist Church. The entire event was arranged and coordinated by Parent Coordinator Ms. Yolanda Simmons and Reading Specialist Ms. Sheila Ruth. 

School 21’s celebration of the whimsical writings and illustrations of Dr. Seuss were also captured in a wonderful news article. Click here to read all about the “Seussical” goings-on at School 21. 

Cats, Hats and all “Things” SeussCats, Hats and all “Things” SeussCats, Hats and all “Things” Seuss

Dr. Hani Awadallah SchoolDr. Hani Awadallah SchoolDr. Hani Awadallah School

Read Across America at the Dr. Hani Awadallah School featured two officers from the county Sheriff’s Department as guest readers.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

1 Day = 1 Year at School 12

1 Day = 1 Year at School 12Students in Mrs. Marren’s 2nd grade classes celebrated their 100th day at School 12 by dressing up as if they were 100 years old, sporting canes, suspenders, glasses, curlers, hats, and gray hair.  In addition, they shared spectacular 100th  Day projects with Assistant Superintendent Sandra Diodonet, Principal Andre McCollum, and Assistant Principal, Ms. Hilbert.  Projects included both posters and three-dimensional creations, ranging in theme from a 100th Day birthday cake, to a house festooned with 100 orange pompoms and a caterpillar with 100 pipe cleaner legs! A rubric gave students the opportunity to analyze their creations during the preparation period to ensure that they could creatively shine – and shine they did! 

They had a Healthy, Toothy Time

They had a Healthy, Toothy TimeThe Academy of Health Science (HARP) Dental Assisting I students participated in the Give Kids a Smile event at The Paterson Dental Clinic. This was an opportunity for HARP students to demonstrate the importance of good dental hygiene to elementary students.

The event included demonstrations, how to videos, and interactive activities. During the videos, children were exposed to the various steps leading up to losing their “baby teeth” and caring for their adult teeth. Demonstrations included proper flossing techniques through the use of lifelike teeth models.

Nurturing Friendships, Old and New

Nurturing Friendships, Old and NewThomas Aquinas once wrote, “There is nothing on this Earth more to be prized than true friendship.” School 29 students had plenty of opportunities to celebrate friendship, thanks to the after-school “Friendship Festival Dance” arranged by their Principal, Mr. Ventura, teachers and parents.  The dance featured face-painting, bead-stringing, friendship-bracelet weaving, and dancing. These were all great opportunities to cement old friendships and launch new ones. Event-related activities extended into the next week, thanks to a team of 4th grade girls (led by Mrs. Grieco) who met during their lunch hours to complete younger students' unfinished bracelets.

And all that (NRC) Jazz

And all that (NRC) JazzBlack History Month projects and celebrations culminated at the New Roberto Clemente School (NRC) with a live performance of music by Mr. Webb’s NRC music group, comprised of gifted vocalists, instrumentalists, actors and dancers from 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.  Opening with a tribute to the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, the entertainers provided three separate performances, one for each grade level. The variety of selections performed reflected a wide variety of music genres.  One of the “show-stoppers” was an appearance by Mr. Webb’s own ensemble, The JT Project, which dazzled the audience with their jazz talents. The group includes bass guitarist Jacob Webb, saxophonist Todd Schefflin, and drummer (NRC music teacher) Mr. Webb.  Mr. Idio, a William Paterson University teacher candidate working with Mr. Webb this term, shared his trumpet skills during one of the songs and helped with the logistics.

Family and Community Engagement

Frederick Jordan Memorial Scholarship Fund Heritage Awards Dinner

The annual Frederick Jordan Memorial Scholarship Fund Heritage Awards Dinner recognized a host of community movers and shakers, along with several district teachers and administrators for their good works. This year’s honoree’s included our very own Executive Director of Information Services, Terry Corallo who was named “Administrator of the Year.” Event proceeds are distributed as scholarships to worthy students.

You may Approach the Bench…

You may Approach the Bench…Mr. Wrathel Gause, resource English teacher from the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts (RPHS), spent a morning at the Bergen County Courthouse, where he appeared as the keynote speaker for the New Jersey Judiciary Bergen Vicinage Black History Month Celebration. This year’s theme was “The Crisis in Black Education.” His audience consisted of judges, attorneys, parole and probation officers, and a host of courthouse support staff.  Mr. Gause, along with The Honorable Judge Magali Francois (the first female African-American judge in Bergen County), presented some of the findings from his doctoral research on the overrepresentation of African American boys in special education programs. His keynote address was well received and he has been invited to speak for an upcoming courthouse event.

Calendar Girls

Calendar Girls4th Grade students from Mrs. Serber’s School 14 art classes, Xanya Tavarez and Rossany Monegro, created winning art work for the annual Passaic County Calendar Contest.  This is a particularly special achievement because they competed with other fourth graders across the entire county. The calendar will be distributed throughout the County Municipal buildings, Legislative Offices, Libraries, Schools and businesses. Each month of the calendar will be represented by a different student’s artwork. An awards ceremony took place on January 31st at the Passaic County Police Academy in Wayne.

Upcoming Events

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

No students / full PD day for staff / district offices open

Mar. 15: Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

Mar. 17: PEA and Student Early Dismissal

1:00 p.m. dismissal for students and PEA staff

Mar. 25th FREE Medical Services Fair

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m at School 13, 690 East 23rd St.

Apr. 3: 3rd Marking Period Ends

Apr. 5: Board of Education Workshop

6:30 p.m. at the administrative offices, 90 Delaware Ave.

Apr. 14-21: Spring Break

Schools closed

Apr 14 & 17 Good Friday

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
— Dr. Seuss