Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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Previous issues of District HiLites can be found here.

March 23, 2017

In this issue:

  • IHS ‘IB’ program is first in Passaic… officially!
  • AT&T supports GOPA ASPIRA club
  • STARS Special Olympians bowl to win!
  • WPU Professors in Residence are busy making a difference around the district

Effective Academic Programs

It’s Official!

The International Baccalaureate Organization has notified International High School (IHS) that they have met all of the rigorous benchmarks required to participate in their prestigious program. As a result of this auspicious outcome, IHS has become the first high school in Passaic County recognized as an official International Baccalaureate World School! Click here to read the press release detailing this wonderful news.

Aspiring to Greatness

ASPIRAASPIRA Club students at the School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) at Eastside will receive additional assistance to prepare for a successful transition into the college world. A generous donation of $333,000 has been granted to the club from the AT&T Corporation through ASPIRA, Inc. This donation will be shared by two other high schools in New Jersey, and is aimed at providing students a broader perspective as they pursue higher education. ASPIRA is a school club where students can work on their college essays, research colleges and universities which fit their needs, visit various schools, complete FAFSA and college applications etc. ASPIRA has been in existence at Eastside High School since the 1990’s and now, as a result of this generous donation, will be able to service more “Aspirantes!”

Remember the Memory Project?

You may recall a story in the entitled January 26 District HiLites: Imaging Children of the World. Students of the School of Education and Training (SET) at JFK created and shared pictures of Syrian children as part of an initiative called, The Memory Project. The portraits were published in books delivered to Syrian children in Jordanian orphanages and refugee camps. The project’s financial contribution helped to purchase $5,187 in art supplies for various community centers serving the children in the refugee camp and $1,600 was donated to the orphanage. 

Project advisor, SET teacher, Lories Nye-Stockblower is now in touch with two more international children's organizations which will be partnered with in the future as a venue for the picture books. Click here to view a new video examining The Memory Project.

Don Bosco NJHS Daniel Pincus AT 24 Flutesw at 24

The Don Bosco Technical Academy National Junior Honor Society Induction Ceremony was held on March 1st.

Musician Daniel Pincus recently visited Mrs. Nancy Horowitz's percussion class to coach students with drumming rudiments. Students used sticks and pads, and then moved on to a variety of different drums to practice rhythmic patterns.

Flute students of School 24 Band Director, Mrs. Nancy Horowitz, are thrilled that their instruments are now in good working order. The Gemeinhardt Flute Company generously repaired all the broken flutes! The students all sent thank you cards to show their appreciation.


OperaStudents from School 24 and their teachers, Mrs. Nancy Horowitz and Mrs. Dana Brannan attended a performance of The Barber of Seville performed at the Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Center. It was a great day, as students enjoyed seeing Figaro's comic antics and singing his famous aria, Largo al Factotum, about his "jobs" as a barber and matchmaker.

Not to be outdone, a group of School 24 teachers decided to take a field trip to the Metropolitan Opera as well! They enjoyed a matinee of Carmen, the tragic love story about a lovesick army officer, a fiery gypsy, and a proud bullfighter (which also takes place in Seville).

HARP Students – Emissaries of Health!

HARP Students – Emissaries of Health!Recently, the Academy of Health Science (HARP) Patient Care II students in Mrs. Williamson's class, embarked on a ground-breaking initiative; ten seniors participated in the Healthcare Initiative Program at St. Joseph's Hospital. The purpose of this program is to challenge the traditional practice of health education delivery. The HARP students were trained to give basic general health education to the community. The training that was provided to the students enabled them to deliver vital information about breast cancer, obesity, along with diabetes and other metabolic disorders. Paterson residents were taught by students about how to prevent and manage such chronic illnesses. This initiative is an ongoing collaboration and partnership with St. Joseph's Hospital. This is also the first time that Paterson students have been asked to participate in such a program. Future physicians and nurses are getting a jump start on their careers! 

Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente School had a diverse group visitors who came to read students in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ Birthday. Readers included:  Councilman Alex Mendez, Assistant Superintendent Susana Peron, Dr. Jeron T. Campbell (pictured), Jose Correa, Eliza Zaki, the NJEA Cat and 25 parents!

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

University Visitors

University VisitorsTwenty-five students from William Paterson University (WPU), accompanied by Professor Villar, recently visited the School of Information Technology (SOIT) at Eastside. The students from the WPU Diversity and Equity in Schools class were greeted by SOIT Principal Vivian Gaines, treated to light refreshments, and provided with an overview of the school.  Several SOIT Student Ambassador Team members served as escorts during the tour of the building and answered questions from the visiting students. Following the tour, the class participated in a de-briefing session. The visitation, coordinated by SOIT’s Professor in Residence, Ms. Dina Scacchetti, helped showcase the positive role that teachers and school staff play in the lives of young people.

NIT champs

The School 12 Tigers Basketball Team prevailed and won the “NIT” Championship game against Paterson Charter School for Science & Technology Lions. The annual Recreation Department sponsored game was played at the Don Bosco Technology Academy gymnasium. It was a dramatic game with a wonderful display of basketball skills, with team spirit and sportsmanship exhibited by both teams and coaches.

Global Issues for Women

Global Issues for WomenAn unexpected and exciting opportunity recently came for School of Education and Training (SET) at JFK students; the William Paterson University (WPU) professor-in-residence, Carol Bruzzano, received an invitation from the Malala Fund’s girls’ advocacy leader and global education professional, Hannah Weitzer. The invitation offered female Syrian students the opportunity to attend a two day youth conference hosted by the Commission on the Status of Women. Two weeks later, a group of JFK staff and students headed to the United Nations in New York for a two day conference with Hannah and others from the Malala Fund. The group also included female visitors from Pakistan and England.

The conference opened with performances by young artists and an “interactive dialogue” with the UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. Next a panel discussion took place featuring Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, along with a number of other UN and global women’s rights activists and experts.  Discussion circles and breakout sessions filled day two of this empowering event. JFK students participated in discussions, met leaders and organization representatives from several countries.

Though this session was tailored for organizations beginning a nationwide or state program, the students continued a discussion afterward on creating UN-modeled program locally at the JFK Education Complex.


Don Bosco Technical Academy took 1st place in the Cheer Dance category and Best Overall Performance at the 2017 Cheer Competition.

Bowling Tigers

Bowling TigersThe STARS Academy Special Olympics bowling team, the Paterson Tigers, competed in the Special Olympics North Sectional Bowling Competition held at Hudson Lanes in Bayonne, N.J. The Tigers competed against other Special Olympians from as far away as Union, and others from Clifton and other New Jersey towns. There were well over 340 bowlers at the competition.

The Tigers did so well, that three students finished in 1st place! gold medals were awarded to Gwynne Ebanks, Adriana Warren and Nomar Pagan. The 2nd place silver medal was awarded to Everton Campbell, and the 3rd place bronze medal was awarded to Damarya Burt. Andrew Marc came in 4th place. The students did so well with the support of their coaches, Mr. Richard Basilicato and Mrs. Kathy Fouskey.

Dominican Pride

Dominican Pride

Newcomers School 11 students celebrated Dominican Independence Day in style. Students in grades 4-8 engaged in dances that represent Dominican Republic. Parent liaison, Mrs. Ana Garcia, and one of our teacher's Mrs. Rhina Taverez choreographed all the dances and put the program together. Students read literature about the history of the Dominican Republic and also sang the Dominican National Anthem

Family and Community Engagement

Hot Topics at 27

Parent Teacher OrganizationRecently, School 27 hosted a Parent meeting for grades 5 & 6, sponsored by the Parent Teacher Association. Lieutenant Sharon Easton from the Paterson Police Department spoke on the important topics of cyber bullying, sexting, and sexual harassment, along with the legal consequences involved. Parents found the night's discussion eye-opening and informative. Vice Principal, Mrs. Jeimy Perez, and Ms. School 27 Affirmative Action representative, Marianne Ferrandino, were also on hand to answer pertinent questions as they applied specifically to School 27.

The 6117 by 6/1/17 Challenge Continues!

Our Facebook, “6117 by 6/1/17” challenge is still under way, and has really picked up some steam in recent weeks (thank you, thank you, thank you). Our total has risen to 5270 “likes” since our efforts began in February which means we have picked up 332 new followers. This is good news, because Facebook is a place where you get the good news about our students and district!  But… help us make it great news by continuing to share the district Facebook page with everyone you know with a stake in our district. If you don’t already have the Facebook app on your computer or smart device, this is a great reason to sign-up; then, once you are on-board with Facebook, give us a “like” at the official Paterson Public Schools page and share with your friends, family and colleagues.

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Principals at the Capital

PDS conventionTwo Paterson Public Schools principals and a William Paterson University professor-in-residence recently presented at the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) conference held in Washington, D.C.
School of Education and Training at JFK (SET) Principal, Ms. MaryAnne Perrotta and School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics principal (STEM) at JFK principal, Mr. Nicholas Vancheri along with William Paterson University (WPU) professor-in-residence, Carole Bruzzano, led a table discussion entitled: “Creating Authentic Partnerships through Research, Innovation, & Collaboration.”  The discussion centered on the roles that WPU plays at the school district, particularly in the areas of professional development and teacher recruitment. The principals of SET and STEM also discussed how the partnership has been instrumental in their efforts to identify and nurture teacher leaders in their schools. Many connections were made that could benefit the district further, including one with the Deputy Minister of Education from the Bahamas!

Early Childhood ConferenceEarly Childhood ConferenceEarly Childhood Conference

The Third Annual Preschool Conference was held at Montclair State University on March 10th. In attendance were over 700 pre-school teachers, instructional aides, family workers, and program directors. The event, a collaboration with NJCDC, was made possible by support from the Nicholson Foundation and the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation.

Upcoming Events

Mar. 24: Student and PEA Early Dismissal

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

Mar. 25: FREE Medical Services Fair

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

Mar. 29: Public Hearing on Budget

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

Apr. 5: Board Workshop & Budget Adoption/Vote

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

Apr. 6: 3rd Marking Period Ends

Apr. 14-21: Spring Break

Schools closed

Apr 14 & 17 Good Friday

District closed

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them.”

— Henry David Thoreau
American author, essayist, philosopher