Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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December 22, 2016

Season's Greetings


In this issue:

  • New interactive, global program for International High School
  • District STEM Fair rolls into William Paterson University
  • 2016 “Hour of Code” gets students programming
  • Holiday Season spreads charity and cheer around the district

Effective Academic Programs

International Embraces New Program

International High School (IHS) has been approved as the first district site for highschoolNGOconnect.org, a nonprofit academic enrichment program that introduces students via virtual means to global leaders in non-governmental humanitarian aid organizations (NGO’s). Up to eight students selected in their junior year focus on non-governmental organizations winning daily humanitarian battles against hunger, conflict, poverty and environmental decay on five continents. Each program comprises six classes over six weeks with three scheduled NGO interviews. IHS cultural liaison chairperson Kathy Esquiche will teach the pilot program.

Not your Father’s “Science Fair”

The 2016 District STEM Fair was a great success. For the first time, district student scientists were transported to William Paterson University (WPU) where they displayed their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects in the WPU Grand Ballroom. Projects ranged from purely research-oriented displays to organic/living undertakings, to highly kinetic mechanical and electronic devices. After teams of teacher and administrative judges canvassed the room scoring each and every project, awards were presented with a congratulatory handshake from State District Superintendent, Dr. Donnie Evans.  Click here for a chart listing all 2016 Stem Fair winners.


School 16 School 19
School 9 GoPA

The nationwide Hour of Code event is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide. Many of our district schools participate in this activity designed to hone students’ computer programming skills. These photos feature 2016 Hour of Code activities at schools 9, 16, 19 and the School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside.

A Bevy of University Partnership Activities

School 15Four teachers from School 15 had the opportunity to “turn-key” lessons learned at a William Paterson University (WPU) Theatre and Improv workshop.  Ms. DiPadova, Ms. Rouse, Ms. Mejia, and Ms. Luker attended the WPU workshop with their school's Professor in Residence, Dr. Golden. The five subsequently met to discuss plans for sharing what they had learned with staff members. The first presentation, held during a School 15 faculty meeting, modeled the “Zip Zap Zop” approach.  During WPU’s recent in-service activities, the four had the opportunity to teach their colleagues another technique (“Tableau”) and offer suggestions as to how to integrate this strategy in content-area teaching.  During the same In-Service, in another School 15 classroom, teachers Mrs. Adams, Ms. Green, and Ms. Paredes teamed up with Young Audiences of New Jersey (YANJ) teaching artist Laura Marchese to demonstrate how dance and movement can enhance literacy and math instruction.  On the same day, at School 29, YANJ teaching artist Kate Sclavi introduced movement and visual art ideas to inspire arts integration in lesson planning; one activity involved the teachers creating original sounds and movements as they imagined themselves part of a giant machine.

Meanwhile, at another venue on the WPU campus, Madison Early Learning Center teacher, Ms. Tatis, had the opportunity to present at a WPU STEAM Power workshop. She presented a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) building project she had implemented with her students last year. School 12 art teachers Mrs. Tejada, School 29 art teacher, Ms. Elson, and New Roberto Clemente Middle School computer science teacher, Mrs. Selino, also shared some of their projects.  WPU Professor in Residence, Dr. Golden and Dodge Foundation grant coordinator and PIR, Dina Scacchetti, co-presented the workshop, which incorporated time for teachers from Paterson partner schools to showcase their unique STEAM ideas.

Learning from the Pros

Rosa ParksUnder the guidance of guest artist, Brian Brodeur, Founder and Producer at ACIEM Studios, a talented group of Rosa Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts (RPHS)  Communication Arts students took part in a professional video production shoot, covering the school's National Honor Society Induction Ceremony. Students managed the entire production process, from planning to shooting the event and post production. Students were able to work with sophisticated broadcast equipment and learn from broadcast professionals. The project was part of the Careers In The Arts & Beyond Series, a collaboration of the RPHS Guidance and the Fine &a Performing Arts Departments. This endeavor was made possible in part by a grant administered by the Passaic County Cultural and Heritage Council with funds granted by the New Jersey State Council of the Arts.

Drama with an Important Message

School 7The staff and students at School 7 enjoyed a performance by the George Street Playhouse Educational Touring Theater. The show, a new musical called Gabi Goes Green,  explores how individual choices can have a global impact on climate and the environment.  It tells the story of Gabi, an eighth grade student who has transferred to a new school after her family’s home was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.  The fun, upbeat musical comedy inspired students to make positive environmental choices in regard to energy efficiency and sustainability. The play also stressed the importance of  Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics (STEM) themes in education.

Science, Science, Science!

Cyber CampTwo groups of district students have recently attended Felician University's Cyber/Science Camp. These students were from  International High School's International Baccalaureate program and the Department of Family & Community Engagement's College Ready Families Mentorship Program. Thanks to assistance from Assistant Superintendent Susana Peron and a grant from the AT&T Academic Foundation, the Paterson students had a chance to learn in a university environment. Each student learned how to code using HTML, how to build computer protection ciphers, and during a biology section, studied different cells using a microscope. Each students left the program with contacts and experiences that will enhance their future professional careers.

Rockettes, Santa and Adobe Spark… Oh, My!

NRC at Radio City

New Roberto Clemente Middle School (NRC) students, staff, and parents had the opportunity to travel to New York City to attend the renowned Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful holiday show, especially when meeting and taking photos of the famous Rockettes -- and Santa!  Post-show activities included visiting Rockefeller Center to see the nearly 100-foot tall tree, stopping by several of the well-known Times Square shops, and savoring hot dogs, pretzels, and chestnuts roasted on an open fire. Educational connections were made that will last a lifetime for the NRC students, who will create a story board about the trip using Adobe Spark software during their computer classes. They will later present their work to fellow students who did not have the opportunity to attend.  Adobe Spark was introduced during William Paterson University’s Summer Steam Workshop, and Mrs. Selino has since been implementing lessons in her computer classes.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

Priceless Advice

Dr. H. Goffe, Vice Principal of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the JFK Educational Complex arranged a meeting with her Mentoring Team teachers and their mentees with Mr. Gilman Choudhury from the Department of Family and Community Engagement. Mr. Choudhury offered advice and guidance to students selected by the team who have been struggling with attendance and maintaining a successful grade point average. Mr. Choudhury’s discussion included insight into overcoming real world challenges and how to set and maintain goals. He further stressed the importance of making good decisions and being accountable for your actions, and how it connects to the goal of graduating high school and subsequently accepted into college. The Mentoring Committee also had current STEM Senior, Nouhalia Akbour speak about her struggles as a student and how she is over coming them.

School 28School 28School 28

The School 28 Physical Education Department, including William Best, Jayson LaVorne and Blanca Godinez, teamed up with an organization called Shoes That Fit to donate sneakers to children. The selected students are sized and fitted for their own pair of sneakers weeks prior.

Weaving a “Webb” of Musical Talent

Once again, the New Roberto Clemente Middle School (NRC) stage came alive as Mr. Webb’s expert musicians took their places on the risers and launched into their annual holiday concert. The group opened with a rousing rendition of the school song (composed by Mr. Webb) and moved on to a series of seasonal favorites interspersed with presentations of poems, narratives, mini-plays and dances relating to Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, and Kwanzaa, including a second of Mr. Webb’s original compositions, “Holiday Season.”  The NRC Music group includes students from all three grades and features talented vocalists and instrumentalists.  Bilingual teacher Ms. Martinez spent hours after school preparing the festive decorations for the event, and technology teacher Mr. Baldwin, school videographer and Pirate TV director, captured the performance on film.

When the young musicians returned to their classroom, they found a special treat awaiting them:  the internationally acclaimed jazz group, The JT Project, led by saxophonist Todd Schefflin and bass guitarist Jacob Webb (Mr. Webb’s brother). Mr. Webb, who is also a member of the band, immediately took his place at the drum set, and for the next half hour, the professionals entertained their younger counterparts with original compositions.

NRC concertNRC concertNRC concert

New Threads

The cadets of the Mighty Ghosts battalion from the JROTC of The School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside recently sported a new look for their physical training (PT) activities. By using funds from a Perkins grant as a Career Technical Education (CTE) pathway, over 300 students each received shorts, sweatpants, t-shirt and a hoodie. These PT uniforms will replace the traditional workout uniform and will reflect a higher standard of excellence.

Tennis balls Safe Routes to School

Len Cheringal and the Fair Lawn Racquet Club recently donated hundreds of tennis balls to School 28. The balls are used in tennis lessons and are then given to students need to practice their skills but do not have a ball of their own.

Schools 28, 16 and Dale Avenue have received Safe Routes to School Recognition Awards. A recognition ceremony and breakfast was held in October 2016.  Representatives from School 28: Jayson LaVorne and William Best, Robert Butler from 16 and Jane Kustin from Dale Avenue received special certificates for their involvement in the NJ Safe Routes to School program.

Mighty Ghost Blood Might Save your Life

EHS Blood Drive

The Eastside Campus recently held its annual American Red Cross Blood Drive. Chaired by Physical Education & Health teachers, Ms. Bernarducci, Ms. Flores, Ms. Fabian, Mr. Carrera and Ms. Centeno, the staff and students managed a well-organized and successful event. Staff and students who chose to make a contribution will benefit accident victims, cancer patients, surgical candidates, children with blood disorders and many others. The Red Cross was able to collect a total of 76 pints of blood.  The donations could potentially help to save over 237 people in our community and throughout the state of New Jersey. Thanks to the committed effort of the blood drive chairs, Eastside Campus was able to secure a $500 scholarship for a senior student who will attend a 4 year college.

Festive Doors and More

School 13The Action Team at School 13 sponsored a Holiday Door Decoration Contest.  The theme was: "Deck the Halls..."  Students and teachers worked together to create visually appealing doors for the holiday season. As one walks the halls of the school, you can feel the excitement and holiday spirit! Judges included Action Team members: Ms. Carmen Bermudez, Ms. Cecele Hylton, Mrs. Joyce McKnight-Young and Min. Regina Moore. This year's winners were: 1st place - Ms. Balise's class, 2nd place - Ms. White's class, 3rd place - Ms. Anton's class. Prizes were donated by Ms. Carmen Bermudez, Resurrection Kingdom Ministries and Queen Yolanda Enterprises, LLC.

Family and Community Engagement

Spreading the Happy

HARP Academy

The Academy of Health Science (HARP) Interact Club continues to expand their community service projects. During this busy holiday season, twenty-five Interactors spent time writing thoughtful and inspirational messages to more than 300 war veterans. 349 holiday cards will be delivered to The Walter Reed Hospital and The Red Cross. Veterans whose years of service range from 1950-2014 will be the recipients of the holiday cards. Interact Club member Nathira Ahmed volunteered to purchase four additional boxes of beautifully designed cards. When asked why this service project was so important, Nathira summarized it best. "By writing these cards, we are spreading holiday cheer. They will put a smile on the veterans' faces, and let them know that they are appreciated."

Scholarship Dinner Announced

Slated to be held on March 1st, 2017, the 7th Annual Heritage Awards Dinner 2017 Frederick "Fred" Jordan Memorial Scholarship in memory of the late Frederick “Fred” Jordan is right around the corner! The 2017 event will honor Paterson Public Schools staff, and local Civil Servants. To date, the family has given over $15, 000.00 in scholarships to students from Eastside Campus. This event held at The Brownstone sells out every year, so be sure to make your reservations. Click here to see this year's award recipients.

Book Jam in their Jammies

School 27 held a Reading Pajama Party Night in which students and their families were invited to come to after school to preview the winter Book Fair. During the event there were 56 students in grades K-3 who returned to school with their families wearing pajamas, who were treated to hot chocolate and cookies. While there, the students read a winter-themed book and made a craft project. Sixteen members of School 27's staff volunteered to facilitate all of the activities.

School 27
dental grant coat drive Luncheon

The Office of Dental Services was recently awarded a grant of $35,000 by the Delta Dental Foundation of New Jersey to help in continuing dental care for Paterson's uninsured and under-insured student population. Grant funds will be used to purchase needed materials and supplies for the Paterson Public Schools Dental Clinic. 

Students in The School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside continue to fulfill the school's mission by accepting gently used coats for distribution to the less fortunate on Christmas Day.

The Passaic County Sheriff’s Department sponsored an afternoon luncheon on Saturday, Dec. 17 with many refreshments, toys, and prizes for 25 and School 9 families.

Accentuating the (Paterson) Positive

School of Information Technology (SOIT) at Eastside junior, Malachi Stinson, was honored as an outstanding youth for his leadership and involvement in the Paterson community. The Paterson Coalition for Substance Awareness (PCASA) recognized Malachi for being an integral part for positive change in Paterson at its annual breakfast. Nominated by Ms. Antoinette Brevard, Malachi received a trophy from PCASA for his contributions to the Paterson community and he received a certificate from the New Jersey Legislature. Malachi attended the event alongside his mother and SOIT Principal, Mrs. Vivian Gaines.

Warming Hearts on a Cold Day

HARP toy driveEight Academy of Health Science (HARP) students and their teacher, Edwin Camacho ,walked to the  Oasis - A Haven for Women and Children facility to participate in a holiday service project. The students endured the frigid weather and biting wind to fulfill their commitment of wrapping more than 200 toys and gifts for the children who reside there. The mission of Oasis (currently celebrating their 20th anniversary) is to change the lives of women and children by breaking the cycle of poverty through compassionate programs. The programs are designed to feed, clothe, educate, and empower women and children in need. Eleventh grader, Anthony Garces proclaimed, "I can just imagine the looks and smiles on the children's faces. There are some really great gifts here. It is great to know that people are so generous during the holidays."

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Best Practices Makes Perfect

English teacher and clinical educator, Jessica Katz, will be sharing best practices that work for educators in the tristate area on March 4, 2017, along with John F. Kennedy Educational Complex professor-in-residence, Carol Bruzzano. The 6th annual Tri-State Best Practices Conference is hosted by Bergen County Community College at the Meadowlands. This year’s theme is: "Issues of Equity in Higher Education." The presentation offers participants effective strategies for reaching all students in mixed ability classrooms.

A District Asset Retires

Ada and Orlando FernandezIt is with both joy and sadness that we in the Communications Department announce the retirement of our wonderful secretary, Mrs. Ada Fernandez. After 33 years of loyal service to the district and children of Paterson, Ada and her husband, JFK “Board” security guard Orlando, will be heading for the sunny skies of Florida. Ada has been the Confidential Secretary to Executive Director of Information Services, Terry Corallo since 2010. Prior to the Communications Department, Ada was Confidential Secretary for former Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Michael Rush as well as numerous other assignments during her tenure. Ada has also worked evening shifts as secretary for the Paterson Adult School. We are sure that everyone joins us in wishing Ada and Orlando the very best for the future and a retirement filled with health and happiness!

Staff photo
Happy holidays from the Central Office staff

Upcoming Events

Dec. 22: Marvelous Holiday Show

7:00 p.m. at Rosa Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts

Dec. 23: Early Dismissal

Dec. 26-31: Winter Recess

District Closed

Jan. 2: New Years Observed

District Closed

Jan. 5: Board of Education Organization Meeting

6:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex

“The most vital lesson I have ever learned is the importance of what we think. If I knew what you think,
I would know what you are. Our thoughts make us what we are.”

— Dale Carnegie, writer, lecturer and leadership consultant