Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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May 12, 2016

In this issue:

  • Publishing on the “Dark Side”
  • Building bridges at School 12
  • Chess Club STRIVE(s) for excellence
  • As a matter of fact, she is a rocket scientist!

Effective Academic Programs

Sleep Tight…

Boogeyman bookAcademy of Health Science (HARP) and Academy of Earth and Space Science (PANTHER) Visual Arts teacher Nicholas Livigne tasked his students with an interesting project; the project was to create an illustrated novel in the form of a children's book. However, this book would be quite a bit “darker” than a typical nursery rhyme. The students researched "boogiemen" along with other scary stories frequently told to children and used to get them to behave.  Students did research, wrote the text for each page, and also used Adobe Photoshop to digitally apply effects to enhance the pictures, hand-drawn on paper.  Copies are available for purchase, and all proceeds go to the schools’ student activities funds. Books are $5 each or 2 for $6. Email Mr. Livigne to order a copy.

Nijana Cooper Vania PriceTasnim Sultana

NiJana Cooper from School 10 was accepted into the Tech Trek summer program at Stockton University. This wonderful one week STEM Program is known for empowering and encouraging girls to think about themselves as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and computer specialists. 

School of Business Trades Marketing and Finance (BTMF) at JFK students, Vania Prince (9th Grade) has won First Place and Tasnim Sultana (12th Grade) won Second Place in the Annual Teen Health Fair Poster Contest. Both students are Art foundations students of Ms. Lym at BTMF.

Putting Physics to the Test

PANTHER academy students used specialized calculations to determine the height of the Great Falls. You can watch a video of the experiment in action by clicking here. Once you’ve learned how to find the height of something using kinematic equations and potential energy, move on to watch calculus being performed on a muffin cake by clicking here!

Poets Who Know It

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Poetry Club at the School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) at Eastside, led by advisors Ms. Crater and Mrs. Rogich, hosted a Poetry Cafe. The school’s media center was transformed into a French bistro where classes were invited to partake in French pastries, while enjoying the poetic performances of fellow students and staff. Over 20 students performed original and well-known poetry in English, Spanish, and French. The floor was then opened to other students and teachers who joined in and recited poetry as well. The Poetry Club is comprised of 25 students who enjoy sharing their original work.

A Bridge to Creativity

At School 12, Mr. Zulauf’s sixth graders recently completed reading the book, Bridge to Terabithia. As a follow-up activity, students created their own original bridges – pathways to enter the magical forest kingdom of Terabithia. The experience culminated with presentations of each three-dimensional project, showcasing the students' creativity and understanding of the text.

Bridge to Creativity

On the Fast-Track!

Noemi Castillo-HerrandNoemi Castillo-Herrand, a student at the School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) at Eastside, is the recipient of the New Jersey Association of Federal Program Administrators (NJAFPA) Scholarship Award for 2015-2016. Along with her guidance counselor Ms. Ramona Guzman, Noemi attended an awards luncheon at the Sheraton Conference Center in Eatontown New Jersey. This award is bestowed upon a student who has excelled in a bilingual program as well as demonstrating positive citizenship. Noemi was chosen from among thousands of New Jersey student. Entering this country from the Dominican Republic just two years ago, she was placed into a bilingual program. Quickly, Noemi soared beyond expectation and her English acquisition was stellar. She is a member of the National Honor Society and will attend Kean University in the fall.

More Than Just a Game

STRIVE Chess ClubThe Alternative Middle School (STRIVE Academy) Chess Club currently has 12 active members.  Students play two to five games a day during breakfast and lunch periods, as well as, during specials.  Prior to the club’s formation in January none of the students knew very much about the game of chess, or as the club now refers to this activity, “The Game of Life.” 

As part of the academy’s group and individualized counseling program, the school’s student body has come to appreciate the necessity, need, and benefit for higher level thinking and learning.  Not only are the students mastering the “game” but through its lessons, they are addressing social and developmental voids. Thus, the students are preparing themselves to navigate the unique challenges of an urban life, and the demands of an ever changing 21st century society. 

As a result of the activity, students have directly improved their communication skills; reasoning abilities; learned respect, learned to take responsibility, evoke empathy, mediate through conflicts, and various ways to strategize. It is hoped that the psychosocial skills developed, as well as, the friendships that have been formed through the club, will leave students with lasting impressions that will benefit them throughout their entire lives.


Academy of Health Science (HARP) Spanish 1 students attained national recognition for their outstanding performance on the 2016 National Spanish Examination. Four students from Ms. Clements’ class participated in the exam. The National Spanish Examination consists of two parts: an achievement test based on vocabulary and grammar, and a proficiency test based on listening and reading comprehension. Participating students compete nationally against other students studying Spanish as a second language. Students Arawil Barrera and Lari Hernandez each earned a Perfect Score medal in each section along with Luisaura Hernandez Oro (Gold) medals, while Kryzya Teran earned a Bronce (Bronze) medal.

“Attaining a medal or honorable mention for any student on the National Spanish Examination is very prestigious”, said Kevin Cessna-Buscemi, National Director of the Exams, “because the exams are the largest of their kind in the United States with over 160,000 students participating in 2016.”

Quite a Tour

Museo del BarrioSchool of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism (CAHTS) at Eastside students in Mr. Rodriguez’s Travel and Tourism class and Ms. Vu’s Customer Service class had the privilege to visit 3 different landmarks in New York City. The High Line is an elevated greenspace that used to be an old train line. The city of New York converted the old train line and bridge into a beautiful park that now attracts millions of visitors. Following the High Line, the group ventured north and stopped at the world famous Tom’s Diner, which is famous for being featured in the hit show “Seinfeld” and the subject of Suzanne Vega’s hit song “Tom’s Diner”.

The highlight of the trip was a stop at the Museo Del Barrio. There, students were privy to art from Latin American artists and a special exhibit entitled: The Illusive Eye. This exhibit surveys international Kinetic and Op-Art styles. Lastly, the students participated in a workshop in which each student was able to create his/her own masterpiece.

Google ExpeditionsGoogle ExpeditionsGoogle Expeditions

Google Pioneer Expeditions Program at School 28 and the Paterson Academy for the Gifted & Talented

Tasnim Sulltana  Jose Sanchez

Tasnim Sultana,  School of Business Technology Marketing and Finance at JFK senior, Jose Sanchez School of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics at JFK senior, received Certificates of Participation from U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. at the prestigious Annual Congressional High School Art Exhibition and Competition held at Montclair State University. Tasnim and Jose are both students of the Arts Foundation class at JFK with Ms. Lym.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

Rewarding a Successful Program

Mr. Steven Rodriguez, Principal of School 3, proudly honored 34 students enrolled in the Attendance Success Mentor Program at a festive luncheon in the school gymnasium on Friday, May 6.  The lunches were generously donated by Paterson McDonald’s owner, Alisa Harrison.  Mr. Harrison was happy to support the school’s effort to recognize students for school attendance. Pat Rizzo, Mentor of Culture and Climate was successful at getting all the lunches donated.

School 3 has successfully addressed chronic student absenteeism through their Attendance Success Mentor Program. Eleven teachers have been dedicated all year to monitor students with excessive absences and offer support and encouragement to improve the child’s attendance patterns. The mentors meet monthly with School 3’s administration to review the progress of the interventions.  The results of the program have been very positive and in many cases the student’s attendance has improved dramatically. Students who show improvement are rotated out of the program and replaced with other students needing intervention.  The success of the program is tied to the personal, one-on-one contact and motivation the mentors offer the students on a regular basis.

School 6 Hall of Fame Muffins with Mom

Rapidly growing in reputation and ability, The School 6 Stallions Drumline was a feature at the annual School 6 Hall of Fame Dinner.

Dale Avenue hosted a special “Muffins with Mommy” event in celebration of Mothers’ Day. Children greeted mom individually with a flower and a book. The little ones walked them into the classroom where they sang a song and ate breakfast together.

They’re on a Roll!

CAHTS honor rollThe School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism at Eastside (CAHTS) recognized all students that made the Principal’s List Honor Roll for three consecutive marking periods. Families gathered to celebrate this outstanding accomplishment of their children.

Students who successfully made Principals List (4.0 GPA) for three marking periods in a row include:  Quaniyia McCallum, Kathy Garcia-Vega, Maribel Hernandez, Alejandra Morante, Angel Espinal, Ariyana Fludd, Jennipher Gomez, Natalie Perlaza, Anny Perez, Tyler Zurita, Marie Hassell-Espiritu, Melissa Rojas and Altagracia Yrizarry.

A Night to Shine

Ms. Kirby's ClosetDon Bosco’s 8th grade dance at the Brownstone is quickly approaching.  Many girls will go shopping for stylish dresses and shoes and there are others who will not have that opportunity because of limited financial means.  Ms. Kirby, Paterson Special Education Teacher for 15 years, is keenly aware of this sensitive issue and has established a long standing relationship with Barbara Ann’s Consignment Boutique in Ramsey to address the need.  The consignment shop has, for the past eight years, graciously donated party dresses and shoes to Ms. Kirby. The consignment shop saves dresses and shoes all year long that haven’t sold and puts them aside for the young women of Paterson. Ms. Kirby has created a very popular “boutique” at Don Bosco complete with a dressing room, full length mirror, shelves and clothing racks. She organized the beautiful dresses and shoes by size and carefully displayed the plentiful stock. This project has relieved the anxiety some girls may feel about what to wear to the upcoming dance. During lunch, free periods and after school, Ms. Kirby’s Closet is filled with excited, young women looking for the perfect dress.

For the Most Vulnerable of All

March of DimesThroughout March and April, the students of the School of Business, Technology, Marketing and Finance (BTMF) at JFK, Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) programs collected donations for the March of Dimes. The focus of this organization is to reduce premature births, reduce birth defects and generally improve the health of babies. Students collected over $700 for the “March for Babies,” which was donated to the Passaic chapter of the organization.  On May 1st, fourteen students and four teachers completed the “March for Babies Walk” at Farleigh Dickinson University.

Eleven at Seven

School 7 was proud to present their 5th Annual Induction Ceremony of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS). Eleven new inductees joined ranks with the thirteen existing members. The ceremony included the introduction of the Five Principles of the NJHS and the presentation of the new inductees. The new members received official NJHS certificates before an audience of family and friends.

School 7 National Honor Society

Appreciation Station

Appreciation Station

In recognition of National Teacher Day, students from The School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) at Eastside acknowledged their teachers by stopping by an "Appreciation Station" to sign a greeting card displaying their gratitude. The cards included personalized, heartfelt messages to their teachers. These cards were then placed into the mailboxes of staff where surprised teachers found and anxiously opened the greeting cards from their students. The Climate and Culture Coordinator, Mrs. Ilma Monto, organized this event enabling the students to show their gratitude and appreciation toward staff.

Digging In

To celebrate Earth Day, members of the School 13 Green Team, led by Mr. Braico, Ms. Mearizo, Ms. Williams, and Ms. McCollum, cleaned the front of the school and planted flowers in the school’s new planters. The students worked in two teams to pick up garbage, rake the dirt, and plant flowers and seeds. All of the students involved are very proud of their hard work and are looking forward to seeing everything bloom in the months ahead.

School 13 Green Team

Family and Community Engagement

Making a Difference in Paterson

The Paterson Municipal Youth Guidance Council has announced the winners of their annual Students that have Made a Difference Contest. Each year, the Paterson-based organization celebrates students who have truly made a difference by improving life in their city. There will be an awards presentation ceremony held at the Paterson City Council Chambers on Monday, May 16th at 6:00 p.m. You can review a list of all award recipients by clicking here.

As a Matter of Fact, She is a Rocket Scientist!

When she was a student at East Side High School, she worked late nights at the Easy Pickins clothing store on Main Street, walking a mile back home in the dark after each shift. Now, Jackelynne Silva-Martinez is working at NASA, simulating the environment of Mars in a Utah desert and performing tests for the space agency’s Curiosity rover that has been roaming the red planet for the past four years!

Smile! For a Unique Fundraiser

School 19 is inviting all comers to a special “Family Picture Night” on the evening of Wednesday, May 25th. Capture your family in a handsome portrait created by a professional photographer!

Efficient and Responsive Operations

STEM Teacher Receives her Doctorate

Mrs. AbdelhafezMrs. Abdelhafez, mathematics teacher at the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at JFK, will have obtained her M.Ed. in Curriculum & Learning High School Math on May 18th from William Paterson University. Her thesis was, "The Effects of Game-Based Technology on High School Students’ Algebraic Learning in an Urban School Classroom." She will also receive a 2016 M.Ed. in Curriculum and Learning Award for Excellence in Scholarship. Her research’s hypotheses were the effect of game-based technology on students’ motivation, conceptual knowledge, and reasoning skills. The results indicated improvement in students’ achievement.

Upcoming Events

May 14: Free Medical Service Fair

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

May 16: Community Forum: Water Quality Testing

6:30-7:30 p.m. at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School

May 17: Community Forum: Water Quality Testing

6:30-7:30 p.m. at School 25

May 18: Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

May 19: 2015-16 Math Olympiad

9 a.m.- 2 p.m. at New Roberto Clemente School

May 20: Progress Reports

Grades K-12

May 24: High School Debate Tournament

9 a.m.-2:40 p.m. at Eastside Campus Auditorium

May 27: Early Dismissal

1:00 p.m. Dismissal for Students and PEA Staff

May 30: Memorial Day

District Closed

“As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.”
— Toni Morrison, writer and professor