Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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Previous issues of District HiLites can be found here.

April 6, 2017

In this issue:

  • Another STEM senior heading to the Ivy League
  • HARP students heading to Florida competition
  • NSW Tigers are Taub-Doby Champs (again)
  • Napier educators embrace a novel PD approach

Effective Academic Programs

Dartmouth Bound!

Jeferson MendozaSchool of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at JFK student, Jeferson Mendoza, has been accepted to attend Dartmouth University for the class of 2021! Jeferson, who is part of the JFK Robotics Team and the Ramapo Upward Bound program, will go off to the “Ivy” to study biology. He hopes to one day find cures for diseases and work for various genetic research projects. Dartmouth University saw such promise in Jeferson that they offered him a full scholarship package that will cover his tuition and housing at the university. Jeferson is keen to thank his parents, and all the staff of Paterson Public Schools who supported him on his path to success!

Healthy Performance

HARP studentsFive Academy of Health Science (HARP) students have advanced to compete on the international level at the HOSA-Future Health Professionals Competitive Event/Conference which will be held in Orlando, Florida, June 21- 25. The HARP Academy students, under the leadership of Mrs. Lecia Williamson, placed 1st in two categories. Medical Innovation Team, comprised of students Chaniah Crawford, Anthony Garces, and Franchesca Ortiz, developed an app that can be utilized to improve Health Literacy. Two other students, Shana Blathers and Ryan Palmer won both 1st and 2nd place in the Interviewing Skills event. HARP also placed 4th and 5th in Parliamentary Procedure and Public Service Announcement categories.

Finding Pollution Solutions

Pollution solutionLed by Green Club advisor Marianne McCoshen and teacher Joseph Fusco, School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at JFK’s Environmental Field Studies students attended the NJ Clean Communities Environmental Student Exchange in Toms River.  The two day workshop included students from all over New Jersey who are committed to researching and solving environmental problems. 

STEM's research projects for the conference were: "The Effects of Litter Buildup on Dissolved Oxygen Levels in the Passaic River" and "The Problems with Plastic Water Bottles: Pollution, Energy Use, and The Great Pacific Garbage Patch".  STEM Students participated in roundtable discussions in which environmental problems were discussed and plans of action were devised.

There’s that Literate Cat Again!

Recently, School 27 held a culminating event for Read Across America entitled:  "Dr. Seuss Family Reading & Fun Night."  Special guests included The Cat in the Hat (Glenn Houthyusen), Thing 1 (Syriah Watkins), and Thing 2 (Shania Belton), who posed for pictures during the festivities.  Over 60 students in grades Pre-K through 3, along with their families, spent an enjoyable evening listening to teachers read their favorite Dr. Seuss books.  With the help of 6th  grade volunteers, each guest created a smiley Cat in the Hat, browsed the Book Fair run by school librarian, Diana Lockner, and enjoyed a snack of cookies and juice.  Many happy and sleepy children went home that night.

Cat in the Hat  at 27
future teachers School 29

School of Education and Training at JFK/ William Paterson University (WPU) dual-enrollment students, along with Ms. Melissa Margaritas, spent a day with the WPU College of Education. The future teachers attended "The Monster that Ate My Peas" at Shea Auditorium in the morning. They then returned to meet with university faculty, followed by a working session on their student-directed project, a picture walk of Paterson. 

School 29 kindergarten teacher, Ms. Almaita has been working closely with Principal Ventura to hone her Google Classroom skills. She recently taught her students how to log into their accounts and complete and submit assignments. The children astonished Ms. Almaita and her assistant Mrs. Scott, with the speed and ease by which they mastered the process.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

The Voices of JFK

JFK VoicesA project intended to boost morale and feelings of connectedness at the JFK Educational Complex has been undertaken by Ms. Laurel Olson, the school’s Student Assistance Coordinator. Ms. Olsen has created an interactive bulletin board, based on the, “I wish my teacher knew..” question originally posed by a third-grade teacher working in Denver, Colorado. The JFK board takes the notion further, by not only involving the students with that question, but also by encouraging staff to participate. This “Voices of JFK” board allows both students and staff to share their thoughts and feelings anonymously. Responses have poured in from both groups, and the level of participation is incredible; in fact, there were more responses than what could fit on the board! It is hoped by sharing this project with all staff and schools across the district, they will also participate in this wonderful opportunity to practice honesty and build communication skills.

Seventy-Two Join the Ranks

NHS at JFKThe John F. Kennedy Educational Complex (JFK) National Honor Society (NHS) Induction Ceremony was held on March 7th. A total of 72 juniors and seniors were inducted into the ranks of the NHS. The inductees are from each of the four academies at JFK.  Membership in is based on the four tenets of the organization that include: Scholarship, Leadership, Character, and Service.  Lead by chapter President, Shakil Hannan, membership has been involved in many community service projects such as food drives and the "Pennies for Patients" program.  Chapter advisers are: Niechette Charles, Riwa Dandan, Basimi Itani, and Blair Seidler.

NHS Inductions at GoPA


This past March, School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) at Eastside also inducted 17 students into the school’s National Honor Society (NHS) chapter. These cardinal tenets of acceptance into this elite society began at Eastside High School in 1942. Since that time, thousands of Eastside High School students have been inducted, having met the four fundamental qualities of NHS. Congratulations to those juniors and seniors who are now lifetime members!

School 15 School 9

Full Service Community School 15 students and staff came together to collect funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  The school has a child who survived the disease. The “Little Warrior” is Misael Rivera and he is in the 2nd grade class with Ms. Hemingway. Misael was chosen to be part of a national campaign with www.TackleKidsCancer.org

Students at School 9 participated in a "March Madness" free-throw and 3-point contest. Participants ranged from grades 4-8. The event raised money for supplies and materials for the school greenhouse which is located in Dr. Miranda's 8th Grade Science Lab.

STARS AcademySTARS AcademySTARS Academy

STARS Academy held its "round robin" basketball tournament at the Paterson YMCA. The annual event bolsters school spirit for both students and staff.

Family and Community Engagement


The district-wide “6117 by 6/1/17” Facebook drive continues. After a late winter season punctuated with emergency announcements, weather-related closings and delayed openings, it should be obvious why we say that our Facebook page is “value-added!” Not only can you soak-up some sunshine in the form of good news about our district family, you can also get timely announcements wherever you might be.
Here are some important facts you might like to know about our social media presence on Facebook:

  • Our district Facebook page is managed and monitored by the Department of Communications; 
  • Our primary purpose is to  post the GOOD NEWS about our students, staff and district!
  • Also, Facebook is often the first place important information and notifications appear;
  • The page is set to automatically filter profanity;
  •  We do not have access to anyone’s personal Facebook page unless they leave a comment on the District page OR unless your profile is already Public” (which means that ANYONE can view your page at any time).
  • If you do not choose to “like” our page, you can become a “follower” and still receive all of our posts in your newsfeed. This is completely anonymous; and most of all -

If you have any concerns or questions about joining the Paterson Public Schools social media family, contact Supervisor of Special Projects, Alan Knight at aknight@paterson.k12.nj.us or by calling (973) 809-1763. Keep the ball rolling… we’re over 5000 “likes” right now and racing toward our goal of 6117.

These Tigers Have Teeth!

The Norman S. Weir School basketball Tigers handily defeated the Don Bosco Tech Rams by a score of 52-47 for the 2017 Taub-Doby League crown. The game took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in front of a raucous crowd. The Tigers were led by game MVPs, A’Koury Lyde and Samir Myers. This latest victory is Coaches Darryl Washington and Jon Watson’s third Taub-Doby Championship in five years! Special thanks to Paterson Recreation Director Benjie Wimberly for organizing the annual Taub-Doby League event.

NSW champs

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Using a New and Dynamic Approach

NapaierThe Rev. Dr. Frank Napier, Junior Academy of Technology is actively engaged in increasing student achievement by providing clear goals and flexible learning opportunities for all students utilizing a Universal Design for Learning Framework (UDL) approach. Teachers, building administrators and content supervisors with support from Regional Accountability Center (RAC) staff have picked up the mantel as volunteers and delved into a book study entitled: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the Classroom - Practical Application by Tracy Hall, Anne Meyer and David Rose. The group has been meeting since September, 2016, discussing content-related topics using UDL principles. Administrators and teachers provide the professional development on each chapter followed by a working session to create curricular materials in the computer lab. 

UDL is a set of principles for curriculum development that gives all individuals an equal opportunity to learn. UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials and assessments that work for everyone—not a single one-size-fits-all solution, but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.

Upcoming Events

Apr. 6: 3rd Marking Period Ends

Apr. 6: Special Education Teacher Job Fair

4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at 90 Delaware Avenue

Apr. 8: A Night of 60's Soul

6:30 p.m. at Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts

Apr. 12: Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

Apr. 14-21: Spring Break

Schools closed

Apr. 14 & 17: Good Friday

District closed

Apr. 24: Report Card Distribution

School 7, Don Bosco, and New Roberto Clemente
5:30-7:30 p.m.

Apr. 25: Report Card Distribution

Grades 9-12
5:30-7:30 p.m.

Apr. 26: Special Education Teacher Job Fair

4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at 90 Delaware Avenue

Apr. 27: Report Card Distribution

All other K-8
5:30-7:30 p.m.

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?”
— - Benjamin Franklin, U.S. “Founding Father”