Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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April 28, 2016

In this issue:

  • Students venture to Grenada
  • Eastside and JFK students experience Wall Street firsthand
  • Earth Day activities around the district
  • Inner City Ensemble has them dancing at Don Bosco!

Effective Academic Programs

Learning Abroad

Grendad visit

International Baccalaureate program freshman Sarah Huq, 8th graders Daisy Chavez (School 2) and Nicole Chumpitasi (Don Bosco Academy), Supervisor of Science, Sarah Sterling-Laldee, and Math and Science Teacher Nicole Slota (School 28), participated in a week-long service/learning expedition to Grenada, West Indies, where they learned about sustainable agriculture and worked on the Belmont Estate, a certified-organic 400 acre farm. The trip was sponsored by the Paterson Education Fund for their young women’s program, Girls United for the Earth.

Editors in Chief (for a day)

Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts Journalism students got to sit in the editors’ room of the Record/Herald News. During their visit, the students met with professional journalists, staff editors, designers and took part in a series of workshops that focused on news writing and design. The Rosa Parks Spotlight Newspaper has been lauded by Record staff as one of the top high school newspapers in North Jersey with former and current students attending some of the most prestigious independent journalism programs in the country, including those sponsored by both Princeton and Syracuse Universities.

Rosa Parks at the Record

A Day on Wall Street

SOIT at Wall StreetStudents from the Schools of: Information Technology (SOIT) at Eastside, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and Architecture and Construction Trades (ACT) at JFK, who are mentored by members of the Youth Self Development (YSD) program, celebrated a “Day on Wall Street” by visiting the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in New York. Their day started with a continental breakfast at which three financial analysts spoke to the students about a typical day at work.  These gentlemen spoke in great detail about their internships at the company while they were still in college. RBC offers paid summer internships for juniors in college that often leads to employment.

Other RBC employees presented information about their jobs, education and training as well as the overall RBC experience. The last speaker was Heather Swift from Rise Smart, a company whose services include career transition, coaching and placement services. Students also learned facts about interviewing and resume writing. The group was also treated to a tour of the trading floor and followed by lunch with all the presenters for an informal question and answer session.

MLK Poets ROsa Parks at PCCC School 9 measuring up

Three Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. students, Rosa Rijo, Mikalya Malcolm, and Iyana Williams were winners in a poetry contest and were published in a book for young poets. All three students wrote Haikus.

Students from the Dual-Enrollment Mass Media class at the Rosa Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts recently visited the Passaic County Community College communications broadcast studio. The students gained insights into the field of Mass Media and received hands-on experience learning the basics of taping, editing interviews, as well as reading from the tele-prompters.

Our skin insulates us, holds our internal organs, and is the body’s largest and fastest growing single organ. In this activity, 8th grade science students from School 9 approximated the surface area of their skin by utilizing newspaper to simulate the amount of skin they have. Additionally, the students were able to measure the amount of atmospheric pressure acting on their bodies.

Apple Picking

The Business Technology Marketing and Finance Academy (BTMF) at JFK Entrepreneurship classes recently attended a “Build an Idea On-line” learning seminar at the Apple Store, in the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne.  Business teacher, Ms. DelSole, and her students, discovered how building an “app” (computer application) could help them turn their ideas into professional business plans in just a matter of minutes. The Apple Team inspired the students with a corporate film describing the company’s origin, and profile of former CEO Steve Jobs.  Apple Store manager, Madonna Muldune, and her associates were enthusiastic and very helpful in motivating the classes to utilize internship opportunities, work part time, and follow career opportunities offered by Apple, Inc. Upon departure, the BTMF students were given Apple USB wrist bands and certificates of accomplishment.

Really Going International!

Chinese programTo round out a unit on foods, students in Ms. Jin’s International High School (IHS) Chinese classes held a food and fashion show celebration. Preparing their recipes at home, students brought in all of the food including spring rolls, rice, chicken and moon cakes. They created a mock menu for faculty and friends who stopped by. The foods unit culminated with individual projects, with the winning entry being determined by a faculty vote. More than 80 students at IHS are studying Chinese, a language that was introduced into the district last year.

The STEAM Team

School 9 has been selected to participate in the 2016 STEAM Professional Development Program sponsored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation at the Stevens Institute of Technology during the month of August. This program will assist in planning and implementing activities in which students work collaboratively to design and build technologies that integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM). Kudos to Ms. Dailey, School 9 Art Teacher for applying for and obtaining this rigorous grant!

School 9 STEM

And All That (Newark) Jazz

School 24 at NJPACStudents and parents from School 24 piled into buses for a Saturday trip to the NJ Performing Arts Center for a jazz concert. The concert celebrated jazz musicians from Newark including Sarah Vaughn, James Moody, Larry Young, Jr., and Jerome Kern, and featured an ensemble headed by saxophonist Don Braden. The concert was sponsored by WBGO Radio and coordinated by PS 24 Band Teacher Nancy Horowitz. Parents were excited to participate in the field trip with their children. Everyone enjoyed the music, and all kids received a prize on the way out -- their choice of a maraca or a harmonica! There was lots of music on the bus going back to school!

A Day of Ballet

School 24 students had a terrific visit to both Lincoln Center and the Koch Theater for a tour of the New York City Ballet. They learned all about the history of the ballet company, the sculpture in the lobby, the architecture of the building (built to resemble a jewel box), dancers' costumes and toe shoes. Finally, they were treated to a rehearsal with dancers and orchestra. It was a glorious day!

School 24 at Lincoln Center

School 18 at the Hamilton ClubSchool 18 at the Hamilton ClubSchool 18 at the Hamilton Club

The popular School 18 “Cougar Poets” poetry club enjoyed a field trip to the Passaic County Community College historic Hamilton Club building where they were treated to a tour of the facility and its extensive art collection. The trip concluded with a poetry workshop featuring noted Paterson poet, Maria Gillian.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

The Legacy of “42”

Sharon Robinson visits NSWThe Norman S. Weir School was thrilled to celebrate “Jackie Robinson Day” (aka “42 Day,” in which all of Major League Baseball wears his number) with a visit from author Sharon Robinson, the daughter of famous baseball player and civil rights leader! The students were so excited, that Ms. Robinson chose Norman S. Weir School to host the signing of her new book, The Hero Two Doors Down, based on a true story of a lifelong friendship between a boy and the baseball legend; as well as a friendship between two culturally diverse families. Ms. Robinson’s message served to teach the students to dig deeper into history and make connections with the past.

A signature event in the struggle for racial equality occurred when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947 to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The Paterson community did not hesitate to come out to express their appreciation of Jackie Robinson through the celebration of the writing of Sharon Robinson’s book.   From the stars of the hit movie “Lean On Me” (Michael Best, Steven Capers, Anthony Fuller and their former manager, Skip Van Rensalier) singing the National Anthem, to the Norman S. Weir school Chorus singing Did You See Jackie Robinson hit That Ball? Accompanied by the William Paterson Jazz Ensemble led by Dr. Demsey, the entire school paid tribute to “Number 42.”  Jackie was a vocal champion for African American athletes and civil rights. Sharon Robinson helps to instill a love of reading in children through the legacy of her famous father.

A Royal Visit to STARS

Miss NJ visits STARSStudents and staff at STARS Academy recently hosted an “Autism Awareness Kick-Off Celebration.”  Under the direction of Mrs. Carol Jonas, students participated in the Autism Pledge, several readings from students with autism, and an amazing group singing of “The Fight Song.”

The students were surprised with a guest speaker, Miss New Jersey, Jessielyn Palumbo. Miss Palumbo addressed the students and staff about the importance of reaching for your dreams and however hard that might be, to never give up. She explained that she participated many times in the Miss New Jersey Competition before being crowned last October. Jessielyn’s kind smile and loving heart was evident as she shook hands, gave hugs and mingled with the students. 

Miss Palumbo will compete in the Miss USA Competition this summer.  She is determined to do her best and be the first Miss New Jersey to be crowned as Miss USA. All of her new STARS friends will be watching her on TV when the competition takes place in Las Vegas in June.

Look Who Stopped By!

Victor Cruz at NapierNew York Giants Wide Receiver and Paterson native, Victor Cruz, stopped by the Dr. Frank Napier, Jr. School of Technology to participate in their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Night activities. Mr. Cruz is a sponsor of the after school program through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Paterson and Passaic. He was on hand to see the culminating presentation by the Napier students, share some words and to receive an award of thanks. On the following Monday, Sherri Shepherd of The View television program, stopped by along with members of the Bergen County Mocha Moms chapter to share with the students who are a part of the Napier Academy, “I AM Experience.” The visits by Mr. Cruz and Ms. Shepherd were both inspiring and motivating for the students and staff.

Dance, Dance, Dance!

DBTA dance photoThe Inner City Ensemble Theatre and Dance Company (ICE) in partnership with the Don Bosco Academy, has introduced an after school dance program. The program meets twice weekly until the end of the school year.  Nicholas Rodriguez, Artistic Director of ICE, teaches a blend of modern, jazz and hip hop to approximately 20 students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades.  Ms. Munoz, Principal of Don Bosco, is excited about this new partnership in offering free professional dance training.  “Don Bosco is fortunate to have Mr. Rodriguez offering this high level dance instruction.   An arts program like this will help our students develop excellent dance technique but also a better self-image and greater discipline.” The Inner City Ensemble, Inc. is committed to dance and theater training and initiating arts-education programs for the City of Paterson’s youth.

Family and Community Engagement

Dental Clinic Tiana Ortiz Panasonic Eco Project

The district Dental Clinic sends a very special thank you to Girl Scout troop 5024 from Rockaway, NJ along with Gloria Van Houten from The School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside. They visited the Dental Clinic and donated approximately 4,500 dental products such as tooth brushes, toothpaste and dental floss.

Tiana Ortiz, an 8th grader at the New Roberto Clemente School, has won First Place in the Annual Automobile Association of America (AAA) Poster Contest! Her design "Road Rules Keep the Whole Family Safe" was chosen from among 1700 entries!

Ms. Al-Houssein's School 9, 5th grade homeroom diligently planned eco-friendly projects in Ms. Enyart's Science class as part of the Panasonic Eco Picture Diary Contest. They researched and discussed ideas to create a vision of what needs to be changed in our current environment.

Good, Clean-up Fun

GOPA Earth DayStudents from the Student Government Association of the School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) at Eastside participated in the 4th Annual Earth Day activities conducted by the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. Before embarking on a clean-up of the park, the students heard a brief overview of the history of Paterson with regard to the Great Falls and the significance of Paterson as one of the first industrial cities in the United States. The event gave the students a chance to reflect upon the importance of keeping the environment clean and enhanced their knowledge of the environment with a Science Expo which included presentations by the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, The Great Swamp Watershed, Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, and a host of other schools and agencies.

Cleaning Up Our National Historical Park

Earth Day at the falls

Earth dayEarth dayEarth day

Earth Day Clean upEarth Day Clean upEarth Day Clean up

More than 300 students and volunteers from all around Paterson donned work gloves and participated in the overall cleanup of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park as part of Earth Day 2016. Park engineers actually diverted the entire flow of water and allowing access to
otherwise unreachable areas!

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Building the Better Teacher

The Science Department is proud to announce that 2 district science teachers, John Faherty of School 21, and Kathryn Healey Dormann of School 28, have been chosen to participate in the PISA2 Partnership to Improve Student Achievement in Physical Science: Integrating STEM Approaches. PISA2 is an $11.5M National Science Foundation-sponsored mathematics and science partnership program that engages grades 3-8 teachers from 14 New Jersey school districts to enhance their content and pedagogical content knowledge and practice in science and engineering. Professional development activities are led by Stevens Institute of Technology disciplinary faculty and Center for Innovation and Excellence in Education (CIESE) science and engineering teaching experts. In addition, all teachers participate in full-day workshops and are provided one-on-one, in-class support.

Google It!

School 29 workshop

Mr. Ventura, School 29 Principal, who presented a Google Classroom workshop at William Paterson University (WPU) earlier this spring, recently shared insights about the online resource during a hands-on kindergarten-level meeting. WPU teacher-candidate Kelly Hernandez, currently completing her student teaching placement at the school, appreciated participating in the training. It introduced her to new ways of thinking about how to engage and educate students. School 29 is a member of William Paterson University’s Professional Development Schools Network.

Next Gen Science Standards

Secondary school administrators participated in a Next Generation Science Standards hands-on workshop where they explored engineering and design concepts. The workshop was led by Tom Smith from the Stevens Institute of Technology Center for Innovation and Excellence in Education.

Upcoming Events

Apr. 28: Report Card Distribution (Grades K-8)

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Apr. 30: Parent Empowerment Conference

8:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at John. F. Kennedy Educational Complex  

May 2: Community Forum: Water Quality Testing

6:30-7:30 p.m. at School 28  

May 4: Board of Education Workshop

6:30 p.m. at Administrative Offices, 90 Delaware Ave.

May 5: Community Forum: Water Quality Testing

6:30-7:30 p.m. at School 27  

May 7: Teacher Job Fair

9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex 

May 10: Community Forum: Water Quality Testing

6:30-7:30 p.m. at School 26   

May 11: 25th Anniversary Teen Health Fair

8:15 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex  

May 11: Community Forum: Water Quality Testing

6:30-7:30 p.m. at School 21   

May 14: Free Medical Service Fair

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at School 28

“Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
— Benjamin Franklin,