Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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Previous issues of District HiLItes can be found here.

November 9, 2016

In this issue:

  • District Facebook and Smart App is for Everyone
  • High School Academy Choice Fair Preps Eighth Graders
  • Third Graders from School 12 Experience Voting
  • School 6 Renamed as Senator Frank R. Lautenberg School

FacebookYou Don’t know what You’re Missing!

You say you haven’t “Liked” Paterson Public Schools on Facebook yet? Many of the stories featured in District HiLites are tied to postings on our official Facebook page. Additional photos and videos are there for your enjoyment along with important district and school-related information, dates and links.

And while we’re on the topic…

District AppYou say you haven’t downloaded the Paterson Public Schools smart-device application (app) yet? The district “app” is an invaluable tool for communicating with your school and the district. The app gives you instant notification of happenings, emergencies, special directives and so much more. This is a must-have utility for everyone with a stake in the school district. Students, parents, staff, community leaders, EVERYONE needs to have the app. Recent upgrades have included translation in four languages – English, Spanish, Arabic and Bengali! The app is FREE and available to both Android and Apple devices. Using Play Store, App Store, or iTunes, search “Paterson Public Schools” and begin the download. Once you have downloaded, go to the setup, and select your own school or schools along with the district. That’s it -- give it a try. By the way, clicking on any picture in the app slideshow will bring you to the district Facebook page! Click here for a flyer.

Effective Academic Programs

Twelve Academies, Twelve Choices…

The 2016 High School Academy Choice Fair drew 434, 8th grade students to the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex on November 1st. These students were accompanied by parents, guardians, friends and siblings, making the true attendance close to 1000! While there, these soon-to-be high school students had the opportunity to learn all about their options for choosing the academy that would best suit their future higher education and career needs. On hand were high school principals, teachers, counselors and even students currently in attendance at each individual academy. There were practical demonstrations, such as cooking with the School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism at Eastside, Blood Pressure readings by the Academy of Health Science/HARP; fantastic displays of scale construction models by the School of Architecture and Construction Trades at JFK, along videos, “take-away” materials and graphics showing activities at all other facilities. Each student received a brochure featuring career destinations, prerequisites and course outlines. Timelines and instructions on the application process were also provided to keep them on course with important deadlines. Now armed with all the knowledge imparted to them at the fair, these 8th graders and their parents are better equipped to make an informed decision about the best high school choice.

High School Choice FairHigh School Choice FairHigh School Choice Fair

CAHTS Attends Symposium at Rutgers

CAHTS Attends Symposium at RutgersStudents from the School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism (CAHTS) at Eastside attended the 34th Annual Leadership Conference of the New Jersey Black Issues Convention held at the Paul Robeson Campus Center of Rutgers University in Newark.  The opening session began with a welcome from Sherri-Ann P. Butterfield, Senior Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences followed by remarks from conference sponsors – New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Comcast NBC Universal.  A youth representative from NJ Parents Caucus delivered a talk entitled “Stay Woke.”  The presentation encouraged students to stay focused on their purpose and career goals. The CAHTS students attend workshops on Getting the Lead Out, Youth for Change, Social Media 2.0:  Career and Business Growth, Building Community Resilience, The School Every Student Deserves, The Law of Connection and Police brutality and People with Disability.

The event concluded with a catered luncheon featuring keynote speaker, Tara Dowdell, President of Tara Dowdell Group and MSNBC Political Analyst. Her speech on “Be in Formation” encouraged students to: thirst for knowledge, surround themselves with supportive people, prepare for classes, jobs, and the future, and travel outside of the country to learn new things.

Young Voters

Scores of School 12 graders visited William Paterson University (WPU) to learn about the importance of voting. This exercise was particularly poignant in light of the recent US General Election held on November 8th. Click here for a FIOS1 news report highlighting this fun and experiential learning opportunity facilitated by WPU teaching students.

Read for the Record Read for the Record at Dale Lincoln Tech Trip

Unit II Assistant Superintendent Sandra Diodonet reads to a group of enraptured students for the district’s annual participation in this month’s Read for the Record event.

Dale Avenue Principal, Richele Neal did her part for the annual Read for the Record activities by reading to parents and students alike; followed by a kindergarten performance of “Gingerbread Halloween.”

Students from the Schools of Government and Public Administration and Culinary Arts Hospitality and Tourism at Eastside attended a presentation from Lincoln Tech. The representatives illustrated different career paths available at the school and highlighted the fact that because of technology and automation, more and more females are entering the industrial fields.

Equipping the Career Toolbox

2016 Junior Achievement of NJ Jersey Career Success WorkshopStudents of the Travel and Tourism pathway of the School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality & Tourism at eastside attended the 2016 Junior Achievement of NJ Jersey Career Success Workshop Series at Fairleigh Dickinson University.  While attending the workshop, students participated in a highly interactive workshop that included developing critical thinking and problem solving skills, business communication and conflict management, collaboration and creativity in the workplace and mock job interviews. The workshop helped to develop the tools and skills required to earn and keep a job in high-growth career industries. Presenters, business mentors, and FDU professional provided expert advice to students on career success.

Teachers Turnkey Asian Studies

SOIT at U PennSchool of Information Technology (SOIT) at Eastside special education teachers Sue Carletta, Sharol Smith and social studies teacher Diana Scimeca recently completed the National Consortium of Teaching Asia (NCTA) program. This seven month program, held at Princeton University was a valuable learning experience for all. As alumni of NCTA they were also eligible to participate in the two-day mini conference on Contemporary China which was held at the University of Pennsylvania. Discussions with Dr. Juefei Wang, Program Director of the Freeman Foundation and Professor of Education Emeritus of the University of Vermont and Brenda Jordan, Director, NCTA Pittsburg National Coordinating Site were centered around these topics: Chinese Education in a Changing Society, China in the World, China and her Neighbors and Contemporary China in the Curriculum. The teachers used this experience to expand their global knowledge and bring meaningful insights back to their students.

Rhyme and Reason

30th Anniversary Dodge Poetry FestivalOn a gray and rainy Friday, 12 juniors and seniors and 3 English teachers from the School of Education and Training (SET) at the JFK Educational Complex boarded a bus to Newark to attend the 30th Anniversary Dodge Poetry Festival. As one of four-hundred school groups, they made their way from one crowded venue to another to watch and listened as world-famous poets gave talks or recited poetry. Throughout the day the message resounded about how poetry and music relate to each other, like two beats of an “iamb” (a fundamental structure of rhyme). In the session, “From Homer to Hip Hop: Poetry and the Oral Tradition,” Gary Snyder, Martin Espada, Marilyn Chin and Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, among others, recited, sang, or discussed their work. Student Mohammed Kabir said, “Being part of this showed me that there is diversity to poetry-- some of what we saw I wouldn’t even have counted as poetry before. I wish it were a two-day trip because it was that good.” In the glamorous hall of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the culminating performance, “Poetry and Song”  included a discussion about poetry with Billy Collins and Tim Seibles punctuated by music by the Parkington Sisters.  Senior David Jimenez proclaimed, “It was a spectacular educational experience.”

Looking More Like a WPU Annex…

Celebration of LearningMore Paterson elementary school students will work with William Paterson University (WPU) teacher candidates this fall, thanks to an expanding number of college courses being taught on site in our district schools.  Professor Julie Rosenthal has spent several semesters co-teaching a Literacy and Learning class with School 12 third grade literacy teacher Mrs. Conyers, and now School 15 has been invited to participate in this learning opportunity.   Professor Liz Brown is co-teaching the literacy course with School 15 first grade literacy teacher Mrs. Adams (who earned her Master’s in Educational Leadership at WPU last spring as part of the Leaders as Learners cohort), and Professor Kathleen Rodger Sachs is co-teaching with third grade literacy teacher (and WPU alum) Ms. Bianca Rouse.  The teacher candidates both support the student learning and benefit by observing veteran teachers in action.  The Paterson children appreciate the student/teacher ratio, which has ensured more time developing skills – and a passion for reading!   Both School 12 and School 15 are members of the William Paterson University Professional Development Schools Network.

It was Debatable

Students from the Student Government Association of The School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside conducted a mock debate between the two presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The school created a media team to moderate the debate as the candidates battled on the issues. Signs were made declaring the students' choice of candidates as they cheered on their chosen nominee. At the conclusion of the presentation, students were given the opportunity to cast their ballot and vote for their candidate. The result: a win for Mrs. Clinton!

GoPA Debate

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

Hispanic Heritage MonthHispanic Heritage MonthHispanic Heritage Month

School 28 and Paterson Academy of the Gifted and Talented celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month

What’s in a Name? Everything!

School 6, known universally as one of the school district’s most storied and historic facilities, has officially been renamed in honor of one very accomplished alumnus. United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, who attended the school in the 1930’s, was not only a US legislator for over 30 years, but was a founding partner in the incredibly successful corporation, Automatic Data Processing (ADP). What better role model to adorn the façade and impart inspiration and hope for the children attending there? On hand for the renaming ceremony were VIP’s including Dr. Donnie Evans, Principal Boblyn Ranger-Dobbs, Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr., the late senator’s daughter Ellen Lautenberg, state and local government officials, and representatives of ADP.  Current ADP CEO, Carlos Rodriguez and Chief Diversity & Corporate Responsibility Officer, Rita Mitjans announced a $25,000 donation to the school in memory of Senator Lautenberg! Following the hour-long program of reminiscences and facts about the senator, everyone moved outside for the official unveiling of the raised, golden letters demarking the school as the: Senator Frank R. Lautenberg School. Click here for a short video biography of the senator that was shown at the event. Click here for a short video prepared by students in honor of the renaming.

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg School.Senator Frank R. Lautenberg School.Senator Frank R. Lautenberg School.

Got Milk?

The National Football League and The National Dairy Association Northeast’s “Fuel Up to Play 60” program has partnered with the Paterson Public Schools “Breakfast after the Bell” initiative in a very visual, practical way. To highlight the district’s initiative, former Jets player Tony Richardson and local dairy farmer Jen Banker served breakfast to students and participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the newly restyled cafeteria. The upgrades, funded by a $17,000 grant from the American Dairy Association Northeast and New York Jets’ school wellness program, highlight the changes including an overall new color scheme and signage in the dining facility.

Following breakfast, Mr. Richardson led the attendees in an entertaining round of calisthenics, based on repetitions of 9 (representing the 9 essential nutrients found in dairy products). Finally, Dr. Evans, with district and school staff, joined Dairy Association representatives and Tony Richardson for a traditional “ribbon-cutting,” officially opening the revamped cafeteria for business.

The National Dairy Association Northeast’s “Fuel Up to Play 60”The National Dairy Association Northeast’s “Fuel Up to Play 60”The National Dairy Association Northeast’s “Fuel Up to Play 60”

police ROsa Parks Halloween

Students from the School of Business, Technology, Marketing and Finance (BTMF) at JFK had an enlightening session interfacing with Paterson police officers. Topics included: Bullying Prevention, Crime Awareness and What to do when a Police Officer Stops You.

This past Halloween, the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts Administrative staff put their creative costume skills to work, arriving at school dressed as some of Marvel Comics’ most famous heroes and heroines. Every Halloween, the school administration selects a unique costume theme for the day. What will they be next year? Wait and see!

NSW takes it to the Streets!

Norman S Weir School (NSW) While chanting, “Lions, and Tigers and Bears oh my…Drinking and Smoking and Drugs? Goodbye!” students from the Norman S Weir School (NSW) took to the streets during their annual culminating Red Ribbon Week activity. This year’s powerful anti-drug message was: “Wasted? So is your life.” Red Ribbon Week serves as a vehicle for communities and individuals to take a stand for the hopes and dreams of their children through a commitment to drug prevention and education. Participants give a personal commitment to live drug free lives with the ultimate goal being the creation of a drug free America.

The Tough Get Going

freshmen cadets to Fort Dix, NJAligning with the vision of creating 21st century leaders, the Mighty Ghost Battalion of The School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside, sent twenty-four distinguished freshmen cadets to Fort Dix, NJ for a weekend of team-building and leadership activities. These twenty-four JROTC cadets followed a strict regimen throughout the weekend that tested their fortitude and discipline. As the weekend ensued, cadets assumed leadership positions as they instructed and encouraged their peers to persevere through obstacles of ever increasing complexity. By the conclusion of this arduous weekend, they relaxed with other cadets in the base’s indoor swimming pool. This mini-camp serves as the foundation to the Cadet Summer Camp which will be held in June of 2017.

It’s the Great Pumpkin Patch, Charlie Brown!

The Full Service Community Schools Department at the Senator Frank R. Lautenberg School hosted their 3rd Annual Pumpkin Patch for grades K-5. Instead of going to the farm, the grown-ups brought the farm to the school! Hay was spread on the ground while corn stalks were hung on the fences. Pumpkins were then laid on top of the hay and each student was able to pick a pumpkin and take it home with them. Event staff included 12 parent volunteers; Ms. Maribel Agosto, Ms. Malaysia Lee, Ms. Latifah Simmons, Mrs. Margaret Wilson, Ms. Charlina Buckingham, Mr. Anthony Roseburgh, Mrs. Kerra Roseburgh, Ms. Odalys Rivera, Ms. Gladys Santiago, Ms. Barbara Bermudez, and Ms. Maria Cruz.

School 24 Honors Hispanic Heritage

School 24 Honors Hispanic HeritageWhile a large contingent of city, district and community dignitaries looked on, School 24 celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a spectacular festival of music and dance, starring students from every grade throughout the school. Students presented dances from Latin America and Spain, and the School 24 Band performed "La Bamba." Speeches by Principal Florita Cotto, Mayor Joey Torres, and Councilman-at-Large Alex Mendez added to the festivities. The Hispanic Heritage Festival was coordinated by 3rd grade Bilingual Teacher Magdeline Ortiz, with choreography by teachers Tanya Cruz, Mariu Comer,

Family and Community Engagement

School of Government and Public Administration

When tragedy struck the south Paterson community recently, it was students and staff from the School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside who rushed into action. Nearly six hundred dollars was raised and donated to the family of student Mariah Hemad as their home was destroyed by the tremendous gas explosion that took place on Goshen Street.

Many schools around the district embraced a safe and fun Halloween for their students by holding “Trunk or Treat” events at their facilities.

School 1 Trunk or TreatSchool 1 Trunk or TreatSchool 1 Trunk or Treat

School 1 Trunk or Treat

School 21 Trunk or TreatSchool 21 Trunk or TreatSchool 21 Trunk or Treat

School 21 Trunk or Treat

Dr. Frank Napier School Trunk or TreatDr. Frank Napier School Trunk or TreatDr. Frank Napier School Trunk or Treat

Dr. Frank Napier School Trunk or Treat

Upcoming Events

Nov. 10: NJEA Convention

Schools closed

Nov. 11: Veterans' Day and NJEA Convention

District closed

Nov. 14: High School CHOICE Open House

5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. for Academy of Earth & Space Science (PANTHER) at 201 Memorial Dr.

Nov. 15: High School CHOICE Open House

4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. for International HS and Garrett Morgan Academy (GMA) at 200 Grand St.

Nov. 15: 1st Marking Period Ends

Nov. 16: High School CHOICE Open House

4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. for Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts at 413 12th Ave.

Nov. 16: Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

Nov. 17: High School CHOICE Open House

4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. for all Eastside Campus Academies (CAHTS, GoPA & SOIT) at 150 Park Ave.

Nov. 21: High School CHOICE Open House

4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. for Academy of Health Science (HARP) at 5 Colt St.

Nov. 23: Early Dismissal

Nov. 24-25 Thanksgiving Recess

District closed

Nov. 27: Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts 30th Anniversary Gala

7:00 p.m. at The Brownstone   

Nov. 28: Report Card Distribution

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

Nov. 29: Report Card Distribution

all other K-8 schools
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

“To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.”
— Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 18th Century composer