Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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Previous issues of District HiLItes can be found here.

October 13, 2016

In this issue:

  • HARP mathematicians ace AP exams
  • PANTHER student does research at Columbia
  • STEAM activities for students and teachers
  • Rosa Parks Celebrates 30 years

Effective Academic Programs

Attention all Eighth-Grade Parents and Students - Save the Date!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016 is the annual Paterson Public Schools High School Choice Fair! This is the best opportunity for you to learn all about your options as you move on to high school next year. Discover what programs each school offers and meet principals, administrators, teachers and current students. The 2016 High School Choice Fair takes place on Tuesday, November 1st at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex, 61-127 Preakness Avenue in Paterson from 6 to 8 p.m. Click here for an informational flyer. Remember, choosing the right high school is one of the most important decisions you will make as you move on to college and career. See you at the Fair!

HARP Students Ace Calculus Exam

HARP Academy's Valedictorian Nusrath Hussain and Salutatorian Robert Diaz Academy of Health Science (HARP) 2016 Valedictorian, Nusrath Hussain and Salutatorian Robert Diaz can add earning college advanced placement credits to their long list of scholarly accomplishments. Nusrath and Robert scored 4 on the spring administration of the AP Calculus AB examinations. In 2016, 300,287 students took the exam and the average score was a 2.85. On average, only 17% of US high school students taking the exam earn a 4! Both students attended Mrs. Kolb's AP Calculus AB class. Mrs. Kolb describes Robert's and Nusrath's mathematical abilities as “exceptional.” These high scores on the exam will satisfy their quantitative mathematical reasoning requirement. Nusrath is currently attending Stony Brook University, while Robert is a freshman at Ramapo College.

Secrets that are Hidden in Rocks

Academy of Earth and Space Science (PANTHER) junior Siddhartha Das, spent six weeks this past summer working as a researcher alongside world-renowned geologists and climatologists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Das was selected to participate in this prestigious internship along with other high-achieving students from science-focused high schools around the tristate area. During this experience, Das and his team of student researchers were engaged in a study entitled: “The Boulder Conundrum: Catastrophic Superstorm or Peculiar Erosion.”

During this study, the research team used the scientific method to study rock minerals from the Bahamas and figure out how high the sea level was during the last interglacial period, which was roughly 125,000 years ago. More specifically, they examined microscopic grains from those ancient rocks and tried to determine if they were from beaches, dunes, etc. Figuring out where the rock formations occurred helped them to determine the sea level at the time they were deposited. The results of the research the students conducted helped the scientists with whom they were working, to predict how global warming might affect sea levels by determining how they were during the past. Das and his team presented their findings to a panel at the conclusion of their research.

Building up the STEAM!

STEAM School 9School 9 Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) program teachers, Ms. Salti, Ms. Dailey, Ms. Enyart, and Ms. Pearson attended Professional Development (PD) activities last August at the Steven's Institute of Technology. This PD program sponsored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation allowed the teachers to take part in this wonderful opportunity thanks to a STEAM grant. The program taught new ways to plan and implement activities in which students work collaboratively to design and build technologies integrating science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.

Give Us More STEAM!

NRC Hispanic HeritageNew Roberto Clemente School (NRC) teachers, Ms. Radice and Ms. Martinez, developed a rich Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics (STEAM) project for their 6th through 8th  grade students in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Working in pairs, the students utilized classroom computers, laptops, and personal cell phones to research and report on various Latino/Latina authors of their choosing, thus incorporating 21st Century skills and featuring their artistic talents. A colorful class bulletin board showcases the students’ creativity and inspires all who pass it to consider (or more!) of the featured books.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

Back to School at NSW

Click here to enjoy an awesome video prepared by the Norman S. Weir School for their recent Back to School Night activities!

30 Years of Excellence: A Time of Reflection and Pride

It took Dr. Frank Napier, Jr., the first African American Superintendent of Schools in Paterson, and his good friend, Mr. Richard Sanseverino ten years to petition city officials to do it. It wasn’t until 1986 that their vision became a reality and the Rosa Parks High School of Fine and Performing Arts (RPHS) opened its doors to the city kids of Paterson. That day, Mrs. Rosa Parks herself was on hand to open the school—the first and only high school in the nation to bear her name.

2016 is the 30th  Anniversary of RPHS! It is a time to celebrate all of those who walked through its doors and contributed to the school’s long-standing success; including principals, administrators, teachers, students, parents, performers, activists, and the entire Paterson community who have supported the school since those early days. This year RPHS celebrates the school’s beginnings, embrace its mission, and toast its successes over the past three decades, while imagining what the years ahead will bring.

A 30th Anniversary Gala will take place at the Brownstone on November 27th. The event will feature special guests and performances by students, staff and alumni and is sponsored by the Home School Council, RPHS Alumni and the school. Tickets are available by visiting – RPHS.booktix.com or by calling (973) 321-0520.

30 Years Later… Did You Know?
• RPHS is the only high school in the nation that bears Ms. Parks’ name.
• RPHS is one of New Jersey’s 10 Star Schools, designated as the school that goes “above and beyond” by WABC-TV,  and has been recognized as one of the nation’s best high schools by US News and World Report.
• RPHS students have performed at Carnegie Hall, Disney World, the Rotunda in Virginia, West Point, and have been featured many times on television over the years.

Mykeyly SantanaNelly Padilla LechugaGeudy Santana Sanchez

Mrs. Kaminski's Don Bosco 6th grade artists have finished their 1st art project of the year. In correlation with Hispanic Heritage Month they created a unique, "Mexican Yarn Painting." The students created this project by drawing a traditional symbol and then applying glue and layers of colorful yarn.

Much Respect

A Week of Respect

School of Education and Training at JFK has participated in “A Week of Respect.” Teachers and students engaged in a variety of activities to exemplify their commitment to “doing the right thing”. Ms. Gettleman’s Applications of Education class, students created placards that were placed around the building, identifying ways to show respect, while Mrs. Jones’ class created an anti-bullying door cover. Mrs. De Moor encouraged all her English students to show evidence of random acts of kindness which were posted in the hallways.

Family and Community Engagement

New City Kids Program

Rosa Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts Principal, Ms. Jalyn E. Lyde, stands proudly with her students who are currently taking part in the New City Kids Program, working as volunteers to tutor and mentor elementary and middle school students in the district.

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Scott Durham

Mr. Scott Durham, our Supervisor of Athletics at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex proudly displays his award from the Passaic County Coaches Association as Athletic Director of the Year. He is joined by Ms. Joy Martinez who was named Track and Field Coach of the Year earlier in 2016.

Gone Paperless at RPHS

Last year, the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts introduced the Google Classroom application to staff and students. This move has served to inspire other schools in the district to follow along the same path in pursuit of efficiency. This year, Google Classroom continues to be the “go-to” paperless educational resource for the school, helping teachers build stronger and more immediate communication with their students, while creating a more productive learning process. “It’s opened up a lot of possibilities for us all,” said Arts Supervisor, Ms. Van Hoven. “Thanks to Google Classroom, we’re going paperless, working better and gathering more data on how students are performing.”

With the ability to oversee classroom progress, teachers can easily distribute and track assignments, and provide real-time feedback. Every year educational technology continues to advance, and teachers are hoping it can provide more opportunities for growth. “I hope that Google Classroom can help the students develop better communication skills, where they can think freely, as opposed to the limitedness there is when being singled out in the classroom,” said Mathematics teacher Mr. Murray.

Upcoming Events

Oct. 14: HARP Blood Drive

8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at 5 Colt St., Paterson, Room 606

Oct. 17-21: School Violence Awareness Week

Oct. 19: PSAT Administration Day

Oct 19: Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

Oct. 20: Real Talk: Why Voting Matters

Family & Community Engagement Lecture Series
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex

Oct. 28: Staff In-Service

1:00 Student dismissal

Nov. 1: Annual High School CHOICE Fair

6:00 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex


“Knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world.”
— Albert Einstein,, Theoretical Physicist