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Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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March 31, 2016

In this issue:

  • Dr. Evans delivers 2016 PARCC message
  • IHS and GMA hold successful Amistad event
  • Famed poet and School 18 alumna comes home
  • New basketball program for girls

Effective Academic Programs

2016 PARCC update

Dr. Evans has prepared a video message  regarding the upcoming administration of the PARCC Assessments which begin on April 4th in elementary schools and April 11th in high schools. The 6 minute video describes important changes, new features, and important facts regarding the State’s newly implemented assessment tool, now in its second year. Please help us by sharing the video with parents, students, teachers and other relevant parties.

Delving into an Amistad Curriculum

Grand DiasporaThe Amistad Act as expressed in a comprehensive school curriculum seeks to implement materials and texts which integrate the history and contributions of African-Americans and the descendants of the African Diaspora.

The students of International High School (IHS) and Garrett Morgan Academy (GMA) stepped away from their instructional classrooms to take part in a groundbreaking event; the “Grand Diaspora” assembly event was a hugely popular success. The assembly gave all attending just a glimpse of what a full-blown Amistad curriculum could be. Specifically, this instructional round-table conversation was designed to enlighten students about advertising commercials geared toward a black audience. 

Panelists who offered their expertise included Jason Cortes, Professor at the` Rutgers University Department of Classical and Modern Literature; Gene Moore, social justice advocate/entrepreneur; School of Information Technology Assistant Principal, Jeannine Paz.

The presentations and panel conversations struck such a chord with students that incited them to articulate their cultural awareness as well as the expectations they have for their instructional leaders. With the motivation gained from the successful panelists through conversation, dance and drum it was truly an event worth remembering.

To the land of Northern Lights

Iceland tripStudents from International High School, Garrett Morgan Academy, Eastside Campus, and the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex traveled with Ms. Lozada from International High School to Iceland over the spring break. Over the course of those 5 days the “Globetrotters” as they like to call themselves visited a greenhouse, several waterfalls, and a blue lagoon. They also visited a farm and learned about the impact that the volcanic eruption of a few years back had on the Icelandic farming industry. They sampled authentic Icelandic cuisine which is rich in seafood.  The Globetrotters also got to experience the different weather changes that can occur in the course of one day. The group documented their adventures on Instagram at: PatersontoIceland2016.

Alumni promote careers in The Arts for RPHS

Recently, the Rosa Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts (RPHS) held their first Careers in the Arts and Beyond/Alumni Day.RPHS Career Day Throughout the day, alumni professionals took part in panel discussions, presentations and student workshops related to the arts. Students received expert advice and were able to interact with art professional across various industries

The Careers in the Arts and Beyond series is made possible in part by a grant administered by the Passaic County Cultural and Heritage Council from funds granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. According to RPHS principal Jaylin Lyde, “Arts education promotes personal discipline, communication skills and collaboration, all transferrable skills that are required in today’s job market. This grant is making it possible for our students to interact and network with professionals in a wide range of arts and related fields.”

RPHS Career DayCareers in the Arts and Beyond/Alumni Day is also part of RPHS’ year-long celebration of its 30th Anniversary. The gathering featured alumni from the classes of 1994 through recent graduates. Beginning at 8:30 am and throughout the morning, RPHS Alumni representing careers in the arts, public policy, education and business conducted multiple panel discussions and break-out sessions. The alumni include Nacema Blake, Jymal Dawson, Leticia Diaz, Rahsona Elder, Christopher Irving, Mark Travis Rivera, Coran Smith, George Stevenson and Jeremy Watson. The theme for the Alumni Panel discussions was: “The Rosa Parks Legacy – How can it take me this far and further.” Principal Lyde added, “As an RPHS graduate, I am keenly aware of the rich accomplishments of our alumni, and of their desire to give back to our students.”

Poet returns to her roots

Famed American poet and former School 18 student Maria Gillan visited the school on March 16, to speak to aspiring poets there. Ms. Gillan has published 20 poetry books and she is founder and executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College.

During her visit, Gillan shared her childhood memories, stories, and the challenges she faced as a poor immigrant child. She shared remembrances of her wonderful teachers who supported and encouraged her along her journey to become a poet.  Ms. Gillian read several of her published works including one entitled: “Public School No.18 Paterson, New Jersey.” In this poem she wrote about one teacher in particular who told her never to be ashamed of her lack of the English language. 

Students were then given time to write and share their own poems. They were thrilled to write about their loved ones and their personal childhood experiences. While sharing tears rolled down some students’ cheeks from the sadness they felt in their loss of a special person some of them wrote about.

Cougar PoetsCougar PoetsCougar Poets

She has winning ways

Alyssa Davis

Alyssa Davis, a New Jersey Youth Corps student and graduate of the Paterson Adult and Continuing Education program, has won a 1st Place Award for poetry in the 2016 New Jersey Association for Life Long Learning (NJALL) Writing Contest. She will be attending the NJALL Conference to present her poem and receive her award on April 8th along with some of her teachers and fellow students. Alyssa plans to attend Passaic County Community College in the summer. Read Alyssa’s winning entry by clicking here.

15 join NHS ranks at Eastside

Seventeen students from the School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside were inducted in to the prestigious ranks of the National Honor Society (NHS) on March 15. These students exhibited the four NHS cardinal tenets of character, scholarship, service and leadership in order to qualify for membership into the charter. They have all maintained a minimum GPA of 3.2 over the course of their high school careers while distinguishing themselves from their peers.

GOPA National Honor Society

Dreams can come true

Aaron MillerYES Academy student, Aaron Miller has been selected as a 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy participant. Aaron was one of 100 students from around the country selected from thousands of applicants to take part in the 4 day, all expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort. At Disney, Aaron was engaged in immersive experiences that included world renowned entrepreneurs and business leaders. The weekend was hosted by noted comedian, radio and talk show host, Steve Harvey.

While there, Aaron was one of five participants selected to participate in the 2016 Tied To Greatness Image Remix Contest. Thanks to the support of his family, school family, friends and supporters, Aaron amassed more than 1000 votes and won the contest by an outstanding 800 vote margin!

Prior to his departure for this extraordinary experience Aaron was interviewed by FIOS1 News and credited his grandmother not only for her support, but for encouraging him to enter.  His grandmother joined him in Orlando for the experienced and credited his "push forward" attitude for his success.

According to language arts teacher, Shindana Montague, “Aaron is a shining example of what it means to be a YES Academy student.  His success at the 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy is a credit not only to himself, his family, his teachers and his friends; but a testament that setbacks are no match for that moment when hard work meets opportunity.”

Explorations in their future

GOPA visits Rutgers

Approximately fifty Eastside Campus freshmen from Ms. Borrayo’s Careers Exploration class visited the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick. Rutgers’ Athletic Director of Training, David McCune, hosted the visit and gave the students a tour of the university’s athletic training facility including the Scarlet Knight football field for students considering a career in sports management.   “Students were excited to learn and experience first-hand the criteria to becoming an athletic trainer at Rutgers and beyond” explained Ms. Borrayo.

Birdhouse builders School 24 visitsNYC GOPA at MSU

Ms. America Sotelo’s fourth grade bilingual students at the Roberto Clemente School built birdhouses as part of their Mathematics Unit 4 in measurements. The group sold the houses to school staff. Her students donated profits from the project to the Children's Cancer Center at St. Joseph's Hospital.

School 24 students and their teachers Nancy Horowitz, Jaimelyn Fullam, Connie Conway, and Kathryn Vizcaino had a wonderful NYC day of new experiences, including a walk on the High Line and a performance of the Hong Kong Ballet at the Joyce Theater.

Aspira Club students from the School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside participated in a tour of Montclair State University. The Aspira Club encourages students to explore higher education options while inspiring them to strive to be the first in their family to graduate from a college or university.

Literacy = success

School 15 REad across AmericaMs. Herrera´s School 15 fourth and fifth grade bilingual classes had the privilege of celebrating Read Across America Day with Paterson community leaders, illustrating that success stems directly from literacy. Special guest readers included: Paterson Mayor, Joey Torres, candidate for City Council, Luis Velez, and Univsion news anchor and School 15 alumnus, Merijoel Duran. The students had the honor of appearing on Latin America´s largest television network, Univision, as Ms. Duran broadcast this event on her morning show. The entire event was an unforgettable experience for the students.

One man’s home was truly his castle

SET tours Lambert CastleThe Passaic County Historical Society awarded a grant to the School of Education and Training at JFK (SET) for students to tour Lambert’s Castle and help develop an understanding of Paterson’s rich history. SET’s Professor in Residence from William Paterson University, Ms. Carol Bruzzano, and SET English teacher, Mrs. Lories Nye-Slockbower applied for the grant that covered the cost of admission and transportation. Students from Mrs. Nye-Slockbower’s Literature in the Classroom and Mr. Ralph Goia’s Advanced Placement History classes studied the history of Catholina Lambert, famous silk manufacturer and architect of Lambert’s Castle. The students plan to make info-graphics that explain the story behind the historic landmark.

Winning poets

The awards Ceremony for the 2016 Paterson Student Poetry contest will take place at the Paterson Museum on Wednesday, June 8th at 6:30 p.m. Click here for a complete list of all of this year’s winners.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

Picture this

SET students art booksOrphans in the African country of Madagascar received portraits and children’s books created by School of Education and Training and Science at JFK (SET), and Technology Engineering and Mathematics at JFK (STEM) students. Ms. Christine Keppel’s art students and Mrs. Nye-Slockbower’s Literature in the Classroom students participated in this global awareness effort through Memory Project. The nonprofit organization invites art teachers and their students to create portraits of youth around the world who have faced serious challenges. SET teachers were given photos of 20 children in a Madagascar orphanage. Students created 20 portraits of the children and 27 picture books that were delivered to the orphanage. In addition to creating the artwork and books, students held a raffle to raise money to cover the cost of printing and mailing the books, as well as sending a $200 donation to the orphanage.

More than a modest intervention

With the implementation of a new male mentoring program initiated at Silk City Academy, adult men are recruited to provide positive role models for students. The “Boys to Men” program operates under the idea that one intervention can have a tremendous impact on the school’s culture. The young men receive positive exposure, peer mediation, individual guidance and support throughout the school year. It is their goal that the young men enrolled in the program become leaders as well, influencing their peers in a more positive and effective way. Parents receive a permission slip that indicates their son can be assigned to a male staff member who will serve as that child’s volunteer mentor in the “Boys to Men” mentoring program.

Let’s have coffee sometime

Coffee with the Counselor

Recently, School 18’s guidance counselors held their third, "Coffee with the Counselor" event. The counselors created these sessions in order to promote parent involvement at the school.  Parents are notified on report card night or receive letters inviting them to take part in the sessions with topics that are conducive to their child's learning. The first Coffee with the Counselor session covered topics such as: "How to Help My Child Study" and" Test Anxiety". Topics at the second session covered: "Internet Safety" & "How to Encourage Your Child to Read", while the third session dealt with "Importance of Nutrition” and "Positive Approaches for Challenging Behaviors.”

Dominican pride

GOPA celebrates Dominican independenceThe School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) at Eastside recently celebrated Dominican Independence Day with an assembly program of Dominican music and culture. The show began with a history lesson about the island nation and described how Paterson has become a home-away-from-home for many thousands of Dominicans. Students took their peers through a virtual tour of the island while speaking in their native language. A Latin musician demonstrated how to use congas and bongo instruments. Students formed a conga line in the aisles and celebrated the culture with the traditional dance. Deputy Mayor Pedro Rodriguez addressed the students with words of encouragement and hopes for future success.

Broadcasters choose two from Eastside

CAHTS  empowermentCAHTS empowerment tour“The Hot97 Empowerment Tour” recently visited the Eastside Campus to recognize an outstanding teacher and student from the School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism. Mrs. Deanna Amorelli, a language arts teacher for over 23 years, who was named Teacher of the Year for the 2012-2013 school year by her colleagues, got the radio station’s recognition; while student Gisell Del Cid was chosen for her good works and academics. Gisell is a student leader who volunteers for school events during and after school. Currently Ms. Del Cid has a GPA of 3.5 and serves as the Sous Chef at the school.

Former Harlem Globetrotter visits School 10

School Ten welcomed former Harlem Globetrotter, “Corey the Dribbler” recently. Corey used basketball tricks to get his message across to students — while dribbling, spinning and shooting multiple balls, he reminded the students to always respect themselves and others, and that bullying is not cool. Corey encouraged students to excel in school while bringing a positive attitude with them each and every day.  Cory encouraged audience participation, so staff and students had an opportunity to play some games with the amazing basketball showman.

Corey the DribblerCorey the DribblerCorey the Dribbler

Good work acknowledged

GOPA honor roll

Administration of the School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) at Eastside celebrated 149 scholarly students and their parents with an Honor Roll breakfast on Saturday, February 27th. A hot breakfast preceded the presentation of honor roll certificates and t-shirts. GOPA Students who attain honor roll status during all four marking periods have the opportunity to join a trip to Washington in late May.

Nearly 4 gallons

On March 18, the Academy of Health Science (HARP) received 30 pints of life-giving blood that can potentially help save up to 90 people. Since the average person contains 10 pints, that’s enough for three entire people! The successful effort will also provide a deserving HARP senior with a $500 book award scholarship. The school will hold another blood drive in June. Their goal is to reach the next tier of $750.00 for another scholarship. Please continue to support HARP in this life-saving endeavor. Remember… every drop counts!

Keep it up!

School 21 hosted a delicious breakfast provided by Rev. Barry Graham to honor students on the Principal's List, Honor Roll and Perfect Attendance Roster. Parent Liaison, Evelyn Demarest, along with school administration and staff submitted the 75 names to Caanan Baptist Church, Mayor Joey Torres, Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly, Assemblywomen Shavonda Sumter, State Senator Nellie Pou, and Councilwoman Ruby Cotton. The honored guests distributed certificates, citations and other nice gifts to the students.

Family and Community Engagement

HARP student recognized

Allessia SingletaryAcademy of Health Sciences (HARP) Senior, Alessia Singletary was honored as the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Daisy P. Bates Youth of Year. Alessia received the award on February 20th at The Paterson Alumnae Chapter’s African American Heritage Event. She was presented the prestigious award by HARP Principal Kelli A. White who is a member of the community-based public service organization. Principal White compared the courageous spirit of civil rights activist Daisy P. Bates with the qualities that Alessia often exhibits. Alessia thanked her mom, invited guests and guidance counselor, Shantee M. Brown. The honor student plans to attend Georgia State University, and major in Biology. Congratulations Alessia!

Anna Adams PTO Easter Rafle Winners School 27 Hidden in Plain Signt

Ms. Anna Adams, district Director of Physical Education, Athletics & Health Services, was celebrated with the Passaic County Coaches Association Athletic Service Award at the group’s 42nd Annual Awards Dinner.

The PTO at School 13 held their Annual Easter Basket Raffle from March 10th to 17th. Three winners were selected. The Easter baskets were hand delivered to winning families. Congratulations to the winners!

The PTA at School 27 held a very important meeting for parents --  a drug awareness program entitled, "Hidden in Plain Sight".  The presentation was sponsored by the Paterson Municipal Alliance Prevention Program (MAPP) and arranged by  Ms. Jamielee Smith, the Student Assistance Coordinator.

Nothing ordinary about this everyday hero

Luis DominguezEveryday HeroThe Youth Service America organization has chosen School of Architecture and Construction Trades (ACT) at JFK senior, Luis Dominguez as a recipient of their Everyday Young Hero award. The award recognizes young people who are actively engaged in serving their communities and acting as a role model to other potential change makers. Luis’ community service activities, particularly his involvement with the School 5 Community Garden, made him particularly viable for such an award. Read all about Luis (who also happens to be ACT Academy valedictorian) and his award by clicking here.

Feature presentation

The PTO at School 13 held their final family movie night for the winter 2016 season. Prior to the showing of the movie “Rise of the Guardians: The Story of Jack Frost,” PTO President Hillary Tann discussed budget shortfalls for the upcoming school year, and encouraged parents to join the trip to speak at the State Assembly budget meeting. Refreshments were provided courtesy of parent Hillary Tann, and School 13 Action Team supporters: Christ Church United Methodist, Resurrection Kingdom Ministries, and NJ Foster Care.

2016 Taub Doby champs

Taub-Doby champs

This year’s Taub Doby basketball champions are the School 10 Titans! School 10 faced-off against the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. School with a final score of 49-46. You can watch the entire exciting game which will be available beginning Saturday on PETV76.

New basketball program for Paterson girls

Girl's Basket ball LeagueA formal middle school girls’ basketball program has been a dream for many of the young women here in Paterson. Through the efforts of Jen Pelusio from the Paterson Charter School, Kirsten Myron from School 5, and Courtney Burns and Azaria Cunningham from New Roberto Clemente Middle School, they made it happen. The three new teams played a total of five games each between their two opponents. In the end, New Roberto Clemente School came up top with an undefeated season of 5-0.  Next year, the three teams plan to grow the program across the district. If there are any inquiries about starting a team next year, please email Courtney Burns.

Efficient and Responsive Operations

A positively positive teacher

School of Education and Training at JFK teacher Blair Seidler was honored as a fellow in the 2016 Sarah D. Barder Fellowship Program administered by The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY). Mr. Seidler was nominated for this award for demonstrating the positive effect that he has had on a CTY student’s education. The fellowship was endowed in 1988 by Sarah D. Barder, an educator, philanthropist, parent, and fan of CTY who wanted to recognize talented teachers who successfully challenged and engaged academically advanced students.

Upcoming Events

Mar 31: Prepare for College:
6 p.m. at Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts

Apr. 2: PARCC Preparation Programs

Apr. 4 - May 13: PARCC Testing (Grades 3-8)

Apr. 5: Special Meeting of the Board of Education
6:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex  

Apr. 6: District Budget Public Hearing
6:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex   

Apr. 7: Board of Education Workshop
6:30 p.m. at Administrative Offices, 90 Delaware Ave.

Apr. 9: PARCC Preparation Programs

Apr. 11 - May 20: PARCC Testing (High School)

Apr 16: PARCC Preparation Programs

Apr. 20: Board of Education Regular Meeting
7:00 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”
— Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist