District HiLites

In this issue:

  • Big NHD win for student, school, and district
  • Introducing the new district app
  • Accelerated Cohort at International gets to work early
  • 9/11 Remembered throughout the district
District HiLites is a Department of Communications publication.
We welcome your submissions on school and district related events. Click here to submit stories and photos.

September 17, 2015

Effective Academic Programs

National honors for Paterson student

National History DayPaterson Public Schools student, Peter Echevarria, placed tenth in the nation with his win for a 2014/2015 National History Day individual performance entitled: "Heard it Through the Grapevine: The Leadership and Legacy of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union. Peter was a junior at Rosa L. Parks High School last year and his teachers were: Lisa Brown (Social Studies), Laura Campo (ESL) and Antonio Infante (Math). "This was a BIG win! We felt like celebrities in the New Jersey dominated dorm at the University of Maryland" stated Peter excitedly, "I'm already planning for next year and the theme will be Exploration and Expansion. I am determined to place in the top three next year!" Peter’s teachers are very proud of their outstanding researcher. His deep examination of his topic included an actual interview with Cesar Chavez' grandson! Peter was the only national winner representing the state of New Jersey last year. Paterson had 2 other winners in state-level competition last year, Juliana Braka with an individual performance on Grace Lee Boggs and Shakila Gaskins with an exhibit on Maya Angelou.

Hello, hello, hello!

ACT Hello sculptureMr. Joseph Ranieri’s Students from the School of Architecture and Construction Trades (ACT) recently designed and constructed a massive three-dimensional “hello” sculpture to greet visitors at Randall’s Island Park in New York. The students applied the Engineering Design Model to problem-solve, and design and construct the ten-foot-tall life-sized sculpture. Sharon Ma, the Randall’s Island official who conceived of the project noted that the students of ACT Academy “showed real charisma, professionalism, and teamwork.” This beautiful sculpture stands at the 103rd Street footbridge landing on Randall’s Island Park, New York, NY. On your visit to this park, you should take pride in knowing that the ACT “hello” greets you with our warm Paterson welcome!

Intensive summer studies for some

ACI orientationWith candidate status in place for a new International Baccalaureate (IB) program, preparations are well underway for the district to introduce this exciting new program at International High School (IHS). This past August, a two-week “Summer Bridge Program” was held for students of the very first Accelerated Cohort at International (ACI). The group of 37 ninth graders currently enrolled in the ACI includes the core population who can become the first official International Baccalaureate students when the program officially begins at IHS. The ACI program also includes those who will participate in AP and Dual Enrollment courses of study.

During the ACI Summer Bridge, students were introduced to Algebra, Geometry, Study Skills, Advanced Placement US History, and Mandarin Chinese. 34 of the ACI students were able to attend the program geared toward preparing them for the rigors and accelerated course schedule that awaited them in September.

MLK Statue

Vice Principal Nancy Tavarez-Correa of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School graciously accepts a full size sculpture of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, which was created by HARP Academy Art students. HARP art educator Kathy Benevento, stated that the sculpture was created by her students as part of their Black History Month presentation.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

School 8 mural School 8 mural School 8 mural School 8 mural

Members of Jersey Cares along with interns from Verizon paid a visit to School 8 and helped to complete wall murals, paint line games, and construct picnic tables and park benches for the school.

Remembering 9/11 through civic service

The Department of Family & Community Engagement joined forces with Montclair State University, Arts Reforming Communities (ARC), and the JFK Robotics/College Prep Team on Sept 12 for the 9/11 Service Day Project. This national event is done in honor of the lives lost during the terrible events of 9/11. The volunteers gave their time and energy to expand the Elysian Fields Community Garden. They helped to build a green house, paint garden beds, build picnic tables, touch up murals, and remove weeds that surrounded the garden. Student Jared Martindale, a 12th grader from the STEM Academy stated, "I’m proud and honored to give back to the community on this day. I believe that by helping each other we can build a stronger community where everyone feels loved."

9/11 Service Day9/11 Service Day9/11 Service Day

School 12 Zogsports

Daisy Fabian, lead Physical education teacher at School 12 played coed soccer for Zogsports in Lyndhurst. As the league’s winning club, Daisy’s team donated their prize money of $200 to School 12's Physical Education program. It will be used to purchase new equipment.

Family and Community Engagement

Fair Play

The Department of Family & Community Engagement together with the Freeholder T.J. Best, The Greater Paterson Chamber of Commerce President Jamie Dykes, The New Jersey Community Development Corporation, Paterson Recreation Department's Benjie E. Wimberly, and the Friends of Passaic County Parks organization, hosted the second annual County Chess Tournament at the Passaic County Fair. By holding the tournament at Passaic County Fair, the event offered many experiences beyond simply playing chess. The confidence, fair play mindset, and dignity experienced during the tournament presented a great opportunity for students to retain and model such behaviors back home. Altogether, 71 children took part in the tournament. With 98 different awards presented to students, no one left without a feeling of accomplishment.

Chess TournamentChess TournamentChess Tournament

Much more than just basketball

Lady KnightsJFK basketball Lady Knights who attended the Hoop Dreams Foundation event at School 28 on August 21 through 23, helped to give out over 200 book bags. Attending students also received school supplies, free food, participated in a health and fitness workshop and had a free basketball clinic hosted by former WNBA star Kym Hampton. More than 150 girls participated in the clinic, while there were more than 400 people in attendance altogether. The event’s basketball tournament concluded with the championship trophy presented to the Lady Knight’s team.


Taking the field with one of the greats

Rodney HamptonFootball great Rodney Hampton sponsored a football clinic at Paterson’s Bauerle Field earlier this summer. Dozens of youngsters, ages of 5 to 13, worked on fundamentals of the game such as getting in a 3-point stance, blocking, catching, and more. “It’s not every day you get a terrific professional athlete to donate his time,” said Scott Durham, Supervisor of Athletics at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex, “Mr. Hampton also donated the money for 70 youth T-shirts.”

Mr. Durham reports that this is the third year that the former Giants star has come to Paterson. He is also Super Bowl XXV victor. Mr. Hampton has been running youth football clinics for the past 25 years.

It’s an honor (to serve the community)

The John F. Kennedy Educational Complex's National Honor Society (NHS) led by President Luis Dominguez and advisers Nichette Charles, Blair Seidler and Jordon Goldson, is actively involved in a number of community service events. 

On September 12, for the National Day of Service, 50 students from Montclair State University joined with the Kennedy NHS students to help expand the local community garden. They removed weeds, built a greenhouse and cleaned up trash in and around the garden. 

On September 19, NHS members will assist at a Medical Service Fair. The fair offers medical services to the public at no cost. It is open to anyone living in Paterson, regardless of their legal status. Services range from HIV screening, to eye exams, skin screening, blood pressure screening and much more.

Kennedy NHS also plans to revive their tutoring program this year. They will be offering tutoring in various subjects at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex. They also plan to hold a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and donate the proceeds. Last year, they raised $372.00 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. They are also planning to host a "Pink Day at JFK" in recognition of this special month. 

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Staying connected

The Paterson Public Schools smart device application has been an extremely popular communications tool for everyone. Parents, students, staff and other stakeholders have been able to receive timely, important messages and news on their portable devices, anywhere they might be. Lots of people have noticed that the (old) app no longer works, and the reason for that is: we have a brand new, improved app available! To get and use the new app, you must first delete the old app from your phone or other device; then, visit your app store (Play Store on Android devices, App Store or iTunes on Apple), search “Paterson Public Schools” and download the new, free app. After opening the new app, set your preferences for your individual school or schools. That’s all there is to it. Of course, if you have never had the old district app on your device, there is no need to delete anything, just search for the new app and download.

The new district app will deliver emergency notifications, weather alerts and closings, along with all manner of other notifications directly to your phone or other device. There are useful links to district news, athletics schedules, menus, and much, much more. Stay connected with Paterson Public Schools!

Preparing classrooms and aspiring teachers

This past August, the Student Development office of William Paterson University (WPU) partnered with Paterson Public Schools to create a unique community service and civic engagement learning opportunity for first year college students.  Susana Peron, Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer, and Tyeshia Hilbert, School 12 Acting Vice Principal facilitated this initiative. 

The college students were transported to Schools 12, 28, 5, Dr. Frank Napier Academy, and Roberto Clemente, where they were greeted by the schools’ principals who offered guiding thoughts regarding the day of service. After the Principal’s greeting, the WPU students met with each school’s teaching faculty. This meeting served as a brief, group mentoring session. After the faculty mentoring, the students were assigned to assist teaching faculty in classroom preparation activities such as setting up bulletin boards, creating signage, setting up a registration, creating hall passes, classroom technology setup, etc.

Upcoming Events

Sept. 23: Eid al-Adha

District Closed

Sept. 28: Back-to-School Night ( 9-12)

6:00-8:00 p.m.

Sept. 29: Back-to-School Night (K-8)

6:00-8:00 p.m.

Oct. 7: Board of Education Workshop

6:30 p.m. at 90 Delaware Ave.

Oct. 12: Columbus Day

District Closed

Oct. 21: Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

Oct. 30: Staff In-Service

1:00 p.m.Student Dismissal

Dec. 10: District Annual STEM Expo

9:00 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
— Will Durant, historian and philosopher