Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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February 11, 2016

In this issue:

  • HARP Academy becomes first “High-Performing Rewards School” in the district
  • Major step toward local control announced
  • School 18 Literacy Fair a huge success
  • Paterson Academy for the Gifted and Talented at School 28 among top county PARCC scores

Effective Academic Programs

HARP does the district proud

HARP recogniyionIn contrast to the monikers, “Focus School” and “Priority School” the Academy of Health Science (HARP) has been designated by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) as the district’s very first High-Performing Rewards School! In recognition of HARP’s status as a “Title 1 school exemplar,” the NJDOE will present them with a one-time Title 1 School Rewards Grant in the amount of $50,000 to be used to sustain and enhance the school’s successful Title 1 program.

HARP will be among 17 other High- Performing and High-Progress Rewards schools across the state that will be recognized at the New Jersey Association of Federal Program Administrators’ (NJAFPA) Spring Conference this June in Atlantic City.

Did you know?

The Paterson Academy for the Gifted & Talented and School 28 were among the 18 top performing schools in Passaic County to take the PARCC exam! You can click here to view a list highlighting top county rankings.

Celebrating books and reading

school 18 literacy fairSchool 18 recently presented their Second Annual Literacy Fair. The competitive event was developed to provide students with an opportunity to present their favorite book in a “fair” atmosphere using multiple display methods. Two top students from each homeroom class were selected to participate which resulted in 87 impressive entries. Grades 1 to 8 family members gathered to share their support for the students, and the event lasted 6 hours. The Fair was created and coordinated by School 18 Teacher Jennifer Rey, assisted by Art teacher Mrs. Krainski, and guidance counselor Ms. Nunez. Diligent students from the National Jr. Honor Society helped to create a Hollywood theme for the fair. Bridge of Books Foundation donated over a 1,000 for students to take home. Sterling Party Rental donated tables to display students’ boards.

school 24 field trip school 8 liberty science center visit

School 24 fourth graders and their teachers, Ms Siddiqi, Mrs. Lipari, and Mrs. Horowitz, visited the New York Ballet at Lincoln Center. They toured the theater, viewed the art installations, learned about the history of the NYC Ballet, and attended a ballet rehearsal.

Liberty Science Center recently visited School 8 and conducted a lab for 7th graders that focused on vision and the dissection of a cow’s eye. For many it was their first hands-on experience with a scientific procedure in practice. At first many of the students were a bit squeamish but in the end, all conducted themselves like budding scientists.

Moving forward…

This January, seventeen Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) students from the School of Business, Technology, Marketing and Finance (BTMF) at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex competed with thousands of students in the DECA regional competition at Ramapo College. While all students successfully completed an online exam and a role play activity, three students received awards for their performances: Alayia Francis, Roberto Collado, Khalil Williams.

These BTMF students received medals for their outstanding efforts and will be competing again at the DECA state competition in late February. If they are successful, they will attend the International Career Development Conference Nashville, Tennessee in April.

A very potent poet

Congratulations to Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts senior Christina Gales-Brooks for her rousing performance at the 2016, region-level Poetry Out Loud competition. This competition was held at the Bergen Performing Arts Center. Under the guidance of her Theater teacher, Ms. Tiffany Wilson, and Language Arts teacher, Simone Welcome, Chistina prepared and recited three poems before a panel of judges and audience members at the event. Her performance was well received, earning her a top ten placement in the competition. The Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs has hosted this regional competition along with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for the past decade.  

Eastside schools rally ‘round college admissions

financial aid assistance nightAll the three schools at Eastside High School held a Financial Aid Assistance Night with 267 parents in attendance. Through the office of Guidance Services, students and their parents listened intently as the evening’s facilitator explained every detail to completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. Additionally, every parent and student had the opportunity to create a Personal Identification Number (PIN) in order to begin the arduous process of completing the application. With so many attending, there was a clear indication of a great number of Eastside students aspiring to college.

Because they’re THAT good!

The Kids in Concert Event Committee of the Education Law Center (ELC), has chosen New Roberto Clemente music students to perform at Kids in Concert 2016!  Mr. Nathan Webb’s musicians and vocalists will perform at Long Branch High School on Friday, March 11. Since 1997, ELC has partnered with the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) to present this concert to in celebration of the extraordinary talents of New Jersey's public school students. Outstanding school music programs such as Mr. Webb’s are chosen to perform original pieces based on a pre-selected theme.

Great Communicators

Rosa Parks winnersCommunication Arts Students from the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts have been recognized regionally in the Scholastic Arts & Writing Competition. Awards include: Gold Key Winners - Naiesha Smith and JaLeel Porcha; Silver Key Winner - Milagros Martinez; Honorable Mention - Natasha Bunay, Kiara Ochoa, and Taylor Yancey.

These students were acknowledged for their submissions in the Short Story category. The Gold Key winners will move on to be considered for the National Arts & Writing Competition, and will be eligible for publication.

Art for societies’ sake

Chris FaborArt teacher Christopher Fabor Muhammad charged the students from his after school program, Creative Force Alliance for Education Through Arts & Culture, with a special project promoting social change using graffiti stylings. The Schools 5 and 15 artists from grades 4 through 6 enthusiastically seized the opportunity to express themselves with positive messages of anti-violence and social consciousness. These works also encourage people to recycle and keep their city clean. Their art works are delivered in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Bengali, Arabic and more. The students’ fantastic artwork is currently on display at Paterson City Hall where you can get a close-up look and maybe change your own perspective on relevant social issues!

school 7 math night School 18 visit school 24 trombone event

Family Math Night was a great success at School 7. Held on January 20th, fifth and sixth graders and their parents were invited to share in math games and activities in the school library. Lead by Professor Kazoun and Principal Cecala, students, parents and staff members were actively challenged and engaged.

School 18 visited the Wyndham Worldwide corporate headquarters in Parsippany as part of their Student Success Business Tour Program. Students were excited to visit this extraordinary corporation and see the many job opportunities that can be provided by such a business.  Representatives spoke to the students about the importance of education and networking.

Professional trombone player Caleb Rumley, a graduate student at William Paterson University, recently visited Mrs. Horowitz's Band class at School 24 to perform on his favorite instrument. Mr. Rumley played a few tunes and gave everyone a chance to try the trombone. Next he coached students Abigail (trombonist), and Emmanuel (baritone horn player), on how to improve their technique.

Rosa Parks thespians making a mark

Rosa Parks ThespiansCongratulations to Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts (RPHS) Senior Drama Students, A’ja Desormeau and Joseph Diaz, for taking 1st place (Dramatic Pairs Category) at this year’s Speech and Theater Association of New Jersey (STANJ) Competition.  Other RPHS Thespian standouts included: Peter Echeverria: Finalist - Dramatic monologue; Trinna-Jera Delane-Smith & Javonna Jacobs: 5th place - Dramatic Pairs; Azaget Johnson & Cassidy Thom: Finalist - Comedic Pairs; Joseph Diaz & Christopher Pagan: 4th place – Improvisation; Azagat Johnson & Stasia Lopez: 5th place – Improvisation; and Rodriguez & Griffin: Finalist Improvisation.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

school 9 fun baskets

A little recognition goes a long way

Since the first day of school, School 9 administrators have been passing out ping pong balls to staff who demonstrated outstanding leadership for the first half of the school year. Ms. Battagliese and her Social Committee members have also prepared four "Teacher Fun Baskets" that include classroom supplies and gift cards from Dunkin Donuts and Lakeshore. The lucky winners of the drawing were Ms. Khaddash, Ms. McGuire, Ms. Rosu, and Ms. Piroino.

Closer to victory

The Academy of Earth and Space Science (PANTHER) recently received an “Award of Excellence” for their participation in the 2015 Making Strides against Breast Cancer initiative.  Team Leader for the effort, Zynide Banks, credits the generous contributions of school staff, “Panther Ambassadors” and the many friends of the school who donated a total of $845.00. The money will be forwarded to the American Cancer Society to help with their mission to “Finish the Fight against Breast Cancer.”

PANTHER breast cancer event

Family and Community Engagement

Art teacher honored by City of Paterson

School 16 Art Teacher, Christopher Fabor Muhammad was honored for his devotion to the children of Paterson when the Mayor and Council bestowed upon him the “Booker T. Washington Award” during their recent African History Celebration. Besides being a dedicated district educator, Mr. Muhammad is responsible for numerous grass-roots initiatives and after-school programs designed to improve and enhance the lives of children through the arts. You can view the City’s proclamation by clicking here.

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Big news for our district

BOE meetingThe New Jersey State Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a transition plan to return the functions of Fiscal Management and Personnel to local control in the district. This major step toward the reestablishment of full local control was officially announced to a packed house of district administrators, staff, community partners and stakeholders at Wednesday night’s Special Meeting of the Board of Education. This significant announcement was received with great excitement.

Along with this good news, Dr. Evans traveled to Trenton earlier in the day to the State Board of Education to present the district’s Annual Report for the 2014-15 school year. The Board was very complimentary of the work done in Paterson. During this meeting, Dr. Evans praised the district's principals and the teachers for their hard work and commitment to our students.

STEM at Newark

In an effort to provide 21st Century academic programs for students, STEM Academy staff recently visited Technology High School in Newark in early February. Pictured are school scheduler, Ann Forte, STEM Supervisor, Dr. Dante Petretti, and STEM Vice-Principal, Dr. Heather Frank-Goffe. The goal of these visits was to pinpoint strategies, programs, and academic offerings that have made this school of similar population and demographics in Newark so successful.


Upcoming Events

Feb. 11: Report Card Distribution (9-12)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 12: Staff In-Service

No students

Feb: 13: 2016 Passaic County Basketball Tournament Quarter-finals

at Eastside: Eastside “Lady Ghosts” vs. PCTI “Lady Bulldogs” at 12:00 p.m. - Eastside “Mighty Ghosts” vs. Manchester “Falcons” at 2:00 p.m.

at John F Kennedy: JFK  “Lady Knights” vs. De Paul  “Spartans” at 12:00 p.m. - JFK “Knights” vs. Passaic Valley “Hornets” Boys at 2:30 p.m.

Feb. 15-16: President's Day Weekend

District closed

Feb. 17: In-District Preschool Registration Begins


Feb 17: Black History Month Celebration

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

Feb. 17: Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them.”

— Henry David Thoreau, writer