Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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Previous issues of District HiLites can be found here.

May 12, 2017

In this issue:

  • Get Ready for the NHD Nationals
  • Eastside Students Venture to Europe
  • Becoming Healthy/Well-Rounded Girls at School 27
  • The District is all A-Twitter!

Effective Academic Programs

Advancing to the Nationals

NHD qualifierSenior Khristian Aviles of the School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside placed first in the Senior Division Individual Exhibit category in the State National History Day competition at William Paterson University (WPU). His exhibit entitled: "Prosperity to Despair: The Annihilation of Black Wall Street" took first place and awarded Khristian the opportunity to advance to the Nationals to be held in Washington in June.

Along with Khristian, two other district teams and one alternate have been chosen to participate at the National level in National History Day competition. Click here for a chart of all participating teams and individual students along with their projects. Additionally, these students will be recognized at  a special recognition event prior to the May 17th Board of Education Meeting.

Annual Scholarships Event Returns

Along with National History Day qualifiers mentioned above, the district will once again recognize the accomplishments of all students who are attending four-year universities and are receiving scholarships valued at $10,000 or more. On Wednesday, May 17th, come to the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex at 6:00 p.m. to honor and celebrate our graduating seniors who have worked so hard to succeed on their path toward college! This one-hour event precedes the May Regular Meeting of the Board of Education.

Dartmouth Connection at STEM!

MendozaIn the April 6th publishing of District HiLites you learned about School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at JFK senior, Jeferson Mendoza, and his full academic scholarship and acceptance to Dartmouth University.  Recently, this outstanding STEM student met Dartmouth Alum, Dr. John Clark, who saw the article about Jeferson’s acceptance to Dartmouth in the newspaper. Dr. Clark was inspired to reach out to the school and meet Jeferson.  The two shared an afternoon discussing Dartmouth College and the Robotics Club here at JFK. Dr. Clark, who taught at Garret Morgan from 2000-2006, is also very interested in supporting the academic program at STEM moving forward.

School 12 School 20

Students in Ms. Prevosti's School 12 seventh grade math class are studying geometry by creating polyhedrons from nets and then calculating the surface area of the faces. When completed the students have an opportunity to showcase their design talents. 

Ms. Goldstein, of School 20 is pictured with Spelling Bee winners, Paloma Rodriguez, Ayden Wallace, and Brianna Paez, along with Miss Sciarrin.


Global Partnership Continues

Syrian RefugeeSeveral recent articles published in District HiLites have been telling you about the School of Education and Training (SET) at JFK’s participation in The Memory Project. The Memory Project involves interaction between SET students and displaced Syrian children through the creation of art and the publishing of books that were delivered to children in refugee camps. In the latest chapter of SET’s interactions with the children of Syria, they have participated in facets of a curriculum proposed in a New York Times article: Examining How the Syrian Crisis Has Shaped the Lives of Young Refugees: A Guest Lesson Plan.  Part of their participation included participation in a live video conference hosted at William Paterson University (WPU).

SET teacher, Mr. Ralph Gioia and a WPU graduate student teacher, Christian Palomba, helped to facilitate the project. The group comprised a total of 11 “US Ambassadors” that included 7 of Mr. Gioia's students, and one student from the School of Architecture, and Construction Trades (ACT) at JFK.

SET Teacher Lories Nye-Stockblower said of the students involved, “I'm so proud of our students and how SET is bringing opportunities for them to interact with the world, through collaborative efforts with WPU. This is the good news we need to keep spreading!”

Approved by Congress!

AvilesSchool of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) at Eastside student Khristian Aviles, was awarded 1st place in the annual Congressional District Art Competition. High School artists from around the 8th Congressional District were invited to submit their work for exhibition at Montclair State University’s George Segal Gallery. The students’ works were on display until April 28th. After much deliberation, a judge made the selection and the winner was announced at the closing celebration. Khristian's work was honored with a first place blue ribbon and the announcement was made by Congressman Bill Pascrell. In the words of the BTMF art studentscongressman, "And now, never before in the history of this contest, we have a winner from The School of Government at Eastside High School in Paterson, Khristian Aviles!" The award includes a family trip to the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC, where the winner's work will be on display. To the delight of his art teacher, Mr. Darryl Jones, Khristian’s painting will hang in our nation's Capital for an entire year!

Ms. Lym’s art students at the School of Business, Technology, Marketing and Finance (BTMF) also participated in the competition. BTMF students, Melissa Ramirez and Daniela Arias, both 10th graders, and Enyeli Galvez, a 9th grader, were chosen to participate in this prestigious exhibition.

A Presidential Project

As part of their National History Day project, International High School (HIS) students, Emily Cruz, Maria Chowdhury, Nishat Hossain, Fabeha Chowdhury, and Rezyona Uddin investigated the Love Canal Disaster. Love Canal is a neighborhood near Niagara Falls, NY. This neighborhood has been plagued with environmental pollution issues due to dumping perpetrated by the Hooker Chemical Company. The company’s actions have led to many residents developing health problems such as leukemia and other diseases.

In order to understand the full magnitude of the Love Canal Disaster, the students reached out to former President Jimmy Carter, who was tin office during this period. In the letter, President Carter responded to many of the questions the students asked. You can view President Carter’s letter by clicking here.

College on the Horizon…

MSU tripThe Eastside Campus Counseling Department took a group of Juniors from each of the school’s three academies to a college fair at Montclair State University (MSU). The trip was hosted by The Career Council & National Hispanic College Fairs.  There were representatives from 50 different colleges on hand to speak to the students and provide information about their various programs.  The Eastside students came back excited about the prospects of attending college. Interestingly, a few students even showed interest in the United States Coast Guard Academy and their College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) program.

School 18 School 18

The School 18 Poetry Reading and Contest featuring the school’s “Cougar Poets” poetry club with original compositions by 25 students, teachers, administrators and staff.

A Culturally Rich Field Trip

School 24Forty-five 7th and 8th graders from School 24 enjoyed a sunny day in New York with a nature walk on the “Highline” followed by a visit to the Joyce Theatre for Dance. At the Joyce, the students experienced a performance by the José Limón Dance Company. The trip was planned during Hispanic Heritage Month as an example of the artistic contribution made by this highly respected Mexican-American dancer and choreographer. Limón's work, which began in the 1940's, has had a major influence on the development of modern dance in this country. The performance that School 24 students saw, included works from 1950, 1964, 2016, and was choreographed by Limón and current artistic director Colin Connor. Music utilized in the performance included composers Philip Glass, Arnold Schoenberg, and Johann Sebastian Bach. As a special treat, Mr. Connor was on hand to introduce his work and answer questions.

Passport to Adventure!

Eastside in EuropeStudents from Eastside’s School of Information Technology (SOIT), the School of Culinary Arts Hospitality and Tourism (CAHTS) and Rosa Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts, recently returned from a spring tour of London, Paris and Barcelona. While in London the students and chaperones saw the play, “Wicked,” visited Buckingham palace, Big Ben, Stonehenge and even rode on the “London Eye” ferris wheel.  While in Paris the group took a river cruise around Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. While in Barcelona, the tourists visited La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and toured the Barcelona Stadium, which included walking the field and visiting the locker room. While visiting the historic sites, students also expanded their culinary tastes by eating local fare from each country – including escargot (snails) while in Paris! The European tour provided experiences that taught critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and global competence.

Chaucer Chaucer

“Geoffrey Chaucer's Pilgrims” paid a visit to Mrs. Priscilla Schwartz's English IV Honors classes at The School of Government and Public Administration recently. These honor students were required to research their characters based upon The Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

Accomplished Writers

Denzel OtienoPrincipal Michael McGinley of Garrett Morgan Academy (GMA), and English teacher, Ashley Grayson, are extremely proud of a young freshmen writer, Denzel Otieno.  Denzel recently won the 9th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Black History Month Essay Contest, sponsored by the Paterson Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Not only will Denzel receive recognition as the 1st place winner, but also a brand new laptop computer! Otieno enjoys basketball, writing, and learning; he aspires to be a lawyer, engineer, and perhaps an NBA Anaxagore Delcyplayer. He is an active student who is involved with the New Jersey Community Development Corporation’s Teen Center and has thoroughly enjoyed his freshman year at GMA, making new friends and pursuing his goals.  PHOTO

School of Information Technology (SOIT) at Eastside freshman, Anaxagore Delcy, also distinguished himself by placing 3rd in the essay contest. Anaxagore’s essay on “The Validity of the Electoral College in the 21st Century” earned him a certificate and a gift card. His essay was read aloud at the contest’s presentation ceremony and breakfast.

Gardens of Knowledge

Longwood GardensRecently, 31 students from Eastside Campus (EHS), the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex (JFK), and the School of Earth Science (PANTHER), who are members of the Ramapo College Upward Bound Math Science Program, went on a field trip to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. 

Learning activities included mapping and adaptation exercises in the great meadow, as well as exploration of Longwood’s on-site tree houses. The students had the opportunity to explore many beautiful gardens and greenhouses as well.  It was a long day, and the students thoroughly enjoyed their learning-filled field trip. 

The Upward Bound Math Science (UBMS) students will begin their summer residential program on the Ramapo campus on June 2.  This year the program will welcome 25 new student participants. UBMS students are all recruited from EHS, JFK, and PANTHER.

Paterson Ambassadors for Success in Science (PASS)

PASSThroughout the school year, 4th grade students at School 12 have been experiencing real-world science activities that address the Next Generation Science Standards and the Model Curriculum.  “Oobleck” and “Bubble-ology” are among the topics that have been investigated, explored and enjoyed. The students’ science teacher, Mrs. Krisak, recently had the opportunity to attend the Ramapo College PASS program at the Meadowlands Environment Center, which enabled her to bring these activities back to her school.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

It’s an Honor

The School of Information Technology (SOIT) at Eastside recently inducted eighteen new members into the Eastside Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS). The ceremony was attended by administrators, teachers, family and friends. These new inductees into the NHS are some of the most accomplished students at SOIT; to qualify they must maintain a 3.2 grade point average and complete a minimum of fifty hours or more of community service.

The ceremony was attended by approximately 200 family members. An SOIT teacher said that “After graduation, this is my favorite event of the school year. It’s a celebration of our best and brightest.” The ceremony included the reciting of the NHS pledge and distribution of certificates to the new members.

On Becoming Healthy, Well-Rounded Girls

School 27 recently held its annual, Mother/Daughter/Father Health Night.  This year, twenty-one 4th & 5th grade girls spent an informative evening with Dr. Blaustein, the head of Pediatric Residents at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson. Dr Blaustein and some of her female residents delivered information about the wonders of growing up and how to be healthy, well rounded girls. Students were able to anonymously write down questions for the doctors to answer at the end of their presentation. It was an eye opening experience for everyone! 

Learning Some New Moves at School 29

School 29Students at School 29 recently had the opportunity to learn some hip hop dance moves, thanks to a visit from experts Mark Wong and Steve Lunger, founders of the educational company Hip Hop Fundamentals.  The school's William Paterson University Professor in Residence, Dr. Golden, coordinated with Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania to arrange the experience, which was met with great enthusiasm on the part of both students and teachers. The professional dancers not only helped the K-4 students hone their large motor skills; they demonstrated ways to express emotions through this art form.

Cong. Pascrell Capers and Pascrell Liliana Solano
Congressman Bill Pascrell came to the Eastside Campus at the invitation of BOE Commissioner Emanuel Capers to address the School of Government and Public Administration student body. The congressman related many inspiring anecdotes about his road from the streets of Paterson to the US Congress, along with uplifting advice for their future.

A student from Madison Early Learning Center won the grand prize for finding the most eggs during the school’s Easter Egg Hunt. Pictured here is Liliana Solano, the grand prize winner, with her trophy and new bike.

Family and Community Engagement

The District is All A-Twitter!

With our social media presence growing daily on the popular Facebook platform, it is now time for Paterson Public Schools to join the “Twittersphere!” Yes, we are happy to announce that there is now an official district Twitter page. Follow us and retweet via PPS_Comm and our user name, @Paterson_Public. Twitter is all about following, sharing, and “retweeting.” We can all be part of the important (and fun) job of sharing the good news, emergency announcements and general communications activities that will keep you well informed as an active partner within the Paterson Public Schools family!

While you’re at it, be sure to keep spreading the word about our “6117 by 6/1/17” Facebook drive. We are presently at 5184 ‘Likes” on our Facebook page and need a lot more to reach our goal by June 1st.


In the April 27 issue of District HiLites (“Helping the Most Vulnerable”) we told you about how the Academy of Health Science (HARP) was raising money for the March of Dimes organization. HARP reports that they have raised $1627.00 at their March of Dimes Walkathon.

Mill Mile 2.0 is here!

Mill Mile

Mill Mile, a popular app-based walking tour of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park has received an upgrade… and parts of that upgrade were created by students of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at JFK. The new app will launch at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 12 with a debut hosted by students from STEM, the Hamilton Partnership for Paterson and the Great Falls National Historical Park at the Great Falls. Bring your smartphone and search “Mill Mile” at your app provider to download the new app!

Dare to Dream

The Student Leadership Conference, Dare to Dream, to be held William Paterson University on Monday, May 22 will feature motivational speakers, student keynote presentations, breakout sessions and much more! Among featured presentations will be - The Juggernaut Student: How to be Unstoppable in Your Academic Career, presented by students of the School of Architecture and Construction Trades (ACT) and The School of Business, Technology, Marketing and Finance (BTMF) at JFK.  Click here for a detailed flyer with full agenda on this resource rich event.

The Nathan Webb Trio -- a First Class Act

Nathan WebbNot every school district can boast a professional jazz musician among its faculty members, but Paterson’s New Roberto Clemente School boasts music teacher, Mr. Webb, who holds that title. On a recent evening, he and his jazz trio performed at Madison’s Shanghai Jazz Club, noted as “one of the top 100 jazz clubs in the world.”  Those who packed the house, including family, friends, NRC staff members, and William Paterson University faculty members, were not disappointed.  The rich tunes kept audience members swaying and tapping and completely enthralled throughout the performance, and the cheers following each number rocked the rafters.

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Mr. Vancheri went South

Mr. VancheriSchool of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Principal, Nicholas Vancheri and six of his colleagues in the Montclair State University (MSU) Teacher Education and Teacher Development (TETD) doctoral programs presented at the 2017 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas. AERA, a nonprofit serving the education research field, strives to advance knowledge about education and promote the use of research to improve education and the public good.

Mr. Vancheri and his colleagues presented a paper entitled: Research Reviews of Teachers’ Beliefs: The Heart of the Matter.  The researchers conducted a thematic analysis of 10 reviews of research on teachers’ beliefs from 1986 to 2015. The reviews revealed five major themes: issues of terminology, types of beliefs examined the complexity of teachers’ beliefs, methodological challenges, and recommendations forwarded.

Free Webinar Presented by JFK Teacher

Ms. Melissa Soto, a teacher at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex will be presenting at a free webinar entitled: Cultivating Sociocultural Consciousness in Students, for the Northeastern Educational Research Association. The webinar will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, May 22. Click here to register and to view additional information on Ms. Soto’s stimulating presentation.

Upcoming Events

May 11: Young Men's Leadership Academy Open House

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

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  

May 20: Epitome of Soul Arts Symposium

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

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
— Judy Garland, Legendary singer and actress