Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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April 27, 2017

In this issue:

  • Earth Day Activities at School 12
  • Rosa Parks Film Makers take Numerous Awards
  • BTMF DECA Club Achieves at Competitions
  • Third Graders at School 26 Perform Opera

Effective Academic Programs

STEAM for Earth’s Sake

STEAM for Earth’s SakeEarth Day preparations began early at School 12, with Mrs. Conyers and Mrs. DeCroce bringing their third graders to William Paterson University (WPU) to experience hands-on, conservation-inspired activities. Led by WPU education students in Professor Julie Rosenthal’s Science Methods course, students explored Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) related topics such as: deforestation, upcycling, water pollution, ecosystems, and natural disasters. The children created structures with clay and toothpicks that were tested with artificial earthquakes (shaking the tables). They also connected three straws and drank a small cup of water (to see how much work it is for the tall trees to absorb water at their highest levels), and used origami folds to form newspaper cups to plant seeds. They practiced engineering skills to clean up a model river polluted by run off and oil spills and helped to construct a poster of a tree by adding leaves of knowledge to branches. Children filled out exit slips after each activity to link literacy to science learning.

Following a pizza lunch, they had the opportunity to do a scavenger hunt outside, finding items in nature matching characteristics like smooth, curvy, straight, and pointy.  Mrs. Conyers and Professor Rosenthal co-teach a literacy course at School 12 each semester, and recently began involving the children and education students in science learning activities as well.

Rosa Parks Wins Big at Film Festival

Rosa Parks Wins Big at Film FestivalIt was an amazing day for several communications arts students from the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts (RPHS), as they took top honors and a number of special awards at this year's Passaic County Film Festival. Competing against some of the most creative film programs in Northern New Jersey, RPHS was a top contender and made its mark with a number of creative and emotional pieces. RPHS Senior Sahnyjah Powell's film "Seven Years Old" took 1st place to win Best Music Video, the first time an RPHS student has ever won in this category. Sahnyjah music video also won the grand prize, “Best in Show” category. Senior Madelin Grullon's Public Service Announcement (PSA), "Your Body" took 3rd place in a very competitive category with over 80 submissions. Madelin also won a separate cash prize of $200 from North Jersey Federal Bank for her creative efforts. Also honored were RPHS Seniors Ashley Martinez and Rose McNeill, whose PSA film "Steps" was screened and placed fourth overall.

Enmy Almanzar Loreidaly Perez

School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) at EHS student, Enmy Almanzar, was honored at the April Board of Education Meeting for attaining a place at the Harvard University summer program and grant.

School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at JFK student, Loreidaly Perez, was honored at the April Board of Education Meeting for her selection as a New Jersey Governor’s STEM Scholar.

DECA Competitors Distinguish Themselves

BTMF DECAA dozen students from the School of Business, Technology, Marketing and Finance (BTMF) at JFK, recently distinguished themselves by competing on the state-level at the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) competitions held recently in Atlantic City.
Of particular note, this group included three special needs students from the JFK “Westside Café” program, Jeffrey Domingue, Arianny Alvarez, and Sebastian Rojas, who won regionally in the categories of Customer Service Management and Salesmanship.

During these events, hundreds of DECA club students from around the state compete in a myriad of categories ranging from: Business Financial Services Management, Human Resources Management, to Hospitality and Tourism and many others.

Little Pig, Little Pig, Let Me In!

Third graders at School 26 participated in the Teaching through Opera Program. Mrs. Liguori, Ms. Brown, and Ms. Brooks, have attended professional development workshops with the Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York City, to prepare their students for a self-produced performance. Along with the Metropolitan Opera Guild's amazing staff, Stewart Holt, Stephanie Izzo and Karla Hendricks, the 3rd graders were prepared to eagerly show off their acting skills. Each class performed their own interpretation of The Three Little Pigs. Mrs. Liguori's Social Studies class stressed the importance of the 3 pigs collaborating and working cooperatively, much like the early settlers in the New World. Ms. Brown's ELA class portrayed the character development of the evil wolf and the innocence of the pigs. Ms. Brooks' class production included the building of the pigs’ houses as it relates to the math subjects of multiplication and area. The handiwork of the third graders' performance was creative and entertaining thanks to the hard work of all involved in keeping the Arts alive.

School 26 OperaSchool 26 OperaSchool 26 Opera

Lights, Camera… INSTRUCTION!

School 15School 15 second grade teachers, Ms. Ridgell, Ms. Hemingway, Ms. Lala, and Ms. Pergola, recently met with their William Paterson University Professor in Residence, Dr. Golden, to learn how to use the Google Chrome program Screencastify to film computer screen presentations and post them on Google Classroom.  The free resource allows anyone with a laptop (or desktop with a microphone) to create instructional videos focused on screen visuals. In the future, watch for School 15, student-created films!

Building a Better Body

New Roberto Clemente School's 7th and 8th grade science teacher, Ms. McGee, has inspired her students to develop a new perspective of the human circulatory system, brain, and body this year. Thanks to kits purchased with School Improvement Grant funds, the students have learned how to put together three-dimensional model anatomy kits. What a great foundation for that college biology class -- or that medical school anatomy class!

Students Celebrating Circuits

Mrs. Karcher’s School 29 fourth grade students learned all about electrical circuits in class during their March energy unit, and their passion for the topic has not waned.  During lunchtime recess, thanks to the circuit board in their teacher’s “Electronic Gadget Lab,” students are discovering how to set up circuits to power a music box and also to turn on a light bulb. Mrs. Karcher is delighted with the students’ persistence in and passion for science and physics!

School 29

Discovering Math Connections

School 29

School 29 first grade students in Ms. Guilliam’s class, recently discovered that when they put together a red trapezoid, a green triangle, and a blue rhombus, they created a hexagon that was the same size as the yellow one in their kit.  During the class discussion that followed, all of the students in the class had the opportunity to learn about the group’s discovery and then try to make one at their tables.

Jomil Labol

Jomil Labol, a 5th grade student in Ms. Norman’s art class at the Norman S. Weir School (NSW), has won $400 in art supplies ($200 for himself, and $200 for NSW) with his original artwork submitted to the Crayola Student Creative Leadership Art Expo.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

Tea Time

High TeaGreat Falls Academy (GFA) recently celebrated its first Ladies High Tea and Luncheon.  The event was organized by English teacher Mr. Chad Montague. Mr. Montague pulled together a variety of community and corporate partnerships to present a one of a kind, over the top experience for 8 young ladies, staff members and guests.  Working with Eric Ellen and his company, EAE Signature Events, a classroom was transformed into a high-end garden party.  Sponsors of the event included, EAE Signature Events, Systas 4 Systas, St. Matthew AME Church, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cole Hann, Mastercard, and American Airlines. This event continues a year-long initiative at GFA to create opportunities that expose students to events that will elevate their expectations and prepare them for life beyond the classroom.  This event followed on the heels of the very successful Gentleman’s Day and is the precursor to even larger schoolwide events set to follow.

Rosa Parks SoulRosa Parks soulRosa Parks Soul

You Gotta Have Soul - It was a night of classic hits at the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts as vocal students kicked-it old school—singing covers of some of the greatest soul music recordings of 1960s.

Family and Community Engagement

A Paterson Media Pioneer Honored

Mrs. EarleThe new School 16 opened last year to much fanfare and ceremony. There were dignitaries, students, parents, reporters and local residents on hand – even some former students from decades past; but what most were unaware of, was the historic connection of one prominent lady to the school, the old School 16. If you attended many of the recent Board of Education meetings, then you saw and heard from a lovely octogenarian, Mrs. Cesarina Earle. During public comment periods, Mrs. Earle passionately delivered remembrances and facts about her mother, Mrs. Mary Augusto. Eighty-five years ago Mrs. Augusto founded the Italian Voice newspaper, which is still published by her descendants and edited by Mrs. Earle. Among the facts related by Mrs. Earle about her mother, besides her pride and devotion to the greater Paterson community, was that she was a fierce supporter of the “Old School 16.” For instance: there were times in the 1940’s when the turn-of-the-century structure had no heat for the children and faced closure even back then. It was Mary Augusto who led the charge to raise money to fix the school, pay for fuel, and provide comfort to the students. Simply put, if not for Mary Augusto, there might not have been be an “Old School 16” at all.

On April 12, the Board of Education unanimously voted on a resolution naming the new School 16 library, “The Mary Augusto Media Center.” Early in the month of June (date to be announced), another ceremony will take place at the school, officially naming the library as, “The Mary Augusto Media Center.” In a fitting segue to the naming ceremony, the school will also be interring a “time capsule” near the flag pole, filled with significant School 16 artifacts for future generations to one day reveal.

Kid Power!

The 6th grade classes at School 24 are participating in the KidPower Initiative created by the UNICEF organization. This endeavor seeks to raise awareness about malnutrition while raising funds for food that will be sent to various countries around the World. Last year, just fewer than 400,000 nutrition kits were sent out through KidPower efforts... This year, there have already been over 1 million kits made available. Participants wear wristbands (like “FitBit” watches) that keep track of the necessary steps they are taking while participating.

Helping the Most Vulnerable

HARP WalkathonOne of the Academy of Health Science (HARP) final school-wide civic engagement events for this year will be participation in the March of Dimes Walkathon which to be held at Wayne Hills High School.

Thirty HARP Interact Club members, fifteen additional students, Interact Club advisers; Mr. Garrabrant and Mr. Camacho, staff members and Principal White are scheduled to participate. This important civic engagement event will raise money that will help to fight a terrible health issue that faces mothers and babies.

With premature birth affecting more than 380,000 infants each year, The March of Dimes works to improve the health of mothers and babies. The organization also raises money to fund research to prevent infant mortality and birth defects. HARP Academy wants to give every baby a fighting chance, one step at a time.”

Easter Baskets

Paterson Police Sgt. McDowell along with Officers Grayson & Munoz has delivered Easter Baskets to Norman S. Weir School kindergarten students!  Effective partnerships between law enforcement and school & community are essential to public safety and it is important that we all embrace public safety as a shared responsibility.

Efficient and Responsive Operations

She’s an All-In Artist!

Ms. LymThanks to support and encouragement from her Interim Principal, Mr. Jorge Osoria, Ms. Lym, an art educator at the School of Business, Technology, Marketing and Finance (BTMF) at JFK was able to attend the National Art Education Convention, which was held in New York City this past April. Ms. Lym was able to partake in more than 15 hours of professional development lectures, seminars, workshops and presentations. She was also able to meet one of the National Association of Art Educators (NAEA) keynote artists, Derrick Adams, who Tuareg Blue Vkindly stayed to meet and greet all the art educators in attendance.

Ms. Lym was honored to have been invited earlier this year to be a Bronx Council on the Arts, BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) Juror for their photography grant.  Last year, Ms. Lym was invited to be the BRIO Painting panel Juror.

Ms. Lym will also have her painting, “Tuareg Blue V,” which she created last year, presented on the cover of the Paterson Literary Review issue #45, which is to be released in May of 2017.

Mr. Montes

Mr. Hector Montes, Principal of the New Roberto Clemente School has been selected as the New Jersey Association for Mid-Level Educators as their “Mid-Level Administrator of the Year.”

Upcoming Events


May 3: Board of Education Workshop

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

May 6: Epitome of Soul Arts Symposium

Elements of Voiceover
8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts   

May 11: Young Men's Leadership Academy Open House

6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. hosted at 45 Smith Street.

May 13: Teacher Job Fair

9:00-1:00 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex   

May 13: Epitome of Soul Arts Symposium

Canvas Painting
8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts   

May 17: Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

May 20: FREE Medical Services Fair

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at School 5, 430 Totowa Ave  

“The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.”
— Tony Blair
Former British Prime Minister