District HiLites

In this issue:

  • Full ride to Vanderbilt University for GOPA senior
  • NSW students produce biology music video
  • CAHTS spreads HOPE
  • School 24 returns to NJPAC
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.

November 19, 2015

Effective Academic Programs

No “blessing in disguise” here

Blessing goes to VanderbiltBlessing Ejiofor is many things: she is s young lady with a radiant personality; she is a Nigerian immigrant; she is a 3.7 GPA senior at the School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) at Eastside; and she is a 6’5” basketball prodigy. Blessing is also a soon-to-be college student with a “full ride” to Vanderbilt University based on her prowess on the basketball court. Recently, Blessing took her place at a table beside Eastside Principal of Operations, Zatiti Moody, GOPA Principal, Dr. Karen Johnson, and Eastside Girls Basketball Coach, Ray Lyde. While chatting with members of the press and smiling for photos, the accomplished young lady put pen to paper and signed her contract with the prestigious Nashville institution. Click here for a more in-depth look at this remarkable young lady.

Future lawyers?

Law school admission dayThe Department of Family & Community Engagement recently enabled the members of the JFK Robotics/College Prep Team to attend the 33rd Annual Law School Admission Day hosted by Montclair State University (MSU). While none of the students are old enough enter law school, it was a great opportunity for a unique educational experience. With over 40 different law schools in attendance, the students got a chance to ask questions about entering the legal professions. They were also treated to workshops, panel discussions, and one-on-one conversations with lawyers with different specializations. School of Education and Training Senior, Noha Alzouabi, enjoyed the experience greatly and proclaimed, "I dream of one day becoming a human rights lawyer and helping to turn the world into a better place for everyone.”

Getting Booked!

Get bookedFrom October 5th to the 9th, a wide-ranging selection of books arrived at the Dr. Frank Napier, Jr. School of Science & Technology front lobby for their annual Book Fair. With publications ranging from risographs (digitally reproduced images) of skateboarding samurai, to near-death experiences as chronicled in, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife, the fair truly had something for everyone. The Fair kicked-off in September during Back-to-School Night. That night, two students were the winners of a $100 Book Fair shopping spree. An online version of the fair began on September 30th. During the weeks that led up to the fair, a “Monstrous Themed” door decorating contest also took place. The students and staff worked diligently on this special contest to win a book for each student in their classes.

Karl Herman School 24 field trip

Karl Herman, Principal Clarinetist of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, visited School 24 to coach Mrs. Nancy Horowitz's Concert Band students. One topic he stressed was sight-reading skills, which is so important for high school auditions.

140 students from School 24 piled into buses to travel to NJPAC to hear a performance by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. The program was about music depicting the four seasons, and included "Summertime," "Skaters Waltz," and "William Tell Overture." Principal Clarinet Karl Herman (who recently visited the school) came off stage and into the audience to greet the students.

Acting out

SEt and the giver

Students from the School of Education and Training (SET) at JFK, in partnership with William Paterson University, participated in an interactive event based on the book, The Giver. The performance-style presentation included a bare set and a professional actress who performed the book in a very unusual way; she played the parts of all of the characters in the book and did a retelling of the novel which is based on a dystopian society.

Most of the students attending this event had already read the book. Before and after the presentation students were asked to respond to a series of questions related to the text. Many students really enjoyed the performance while others found the stripped-down format too minimal. Ms. Johnson and Mrs. De Moor, both SET English teachers, enjoyed the experience at the college. The students had an opportunity to experience a real theatrical performance as well as a college tour.

This video grows on you

During a section on biology, Mrs. Norton's 8th grade special education class at Norman S. Weir spent time in science class learning about cell structure and function. Through collaborative learning and a powerful mashup of educational content, the class put together a fun music video called, “One Night in Cell City.” The 8th graders put the piece together for the lower grade students. Click here to view their video.

STEM engineering

With the semester half-way done, STEM Robotics students at JFK are gaining valuable experience that will give them the edge in college and career.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

Hands in defiance of drugs

Red Ribbon week at MLK

The Red Ribbon has become America’s Symbol of intolerance for drugs. The goal of Red Ribbon week is to create a greater awareness of the drug problem and to encourage everyone to live a healthy, drug free lifestyle. The 5th grade students at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School along with the direction of Student Assistance Coordinator, Mrs. Ani Silvani, created a wall mural of handprints. All of the 5th grade students took part in a presentation on the dangers of drugs and alcohol and then pledged to lead a drug and alcohol free lifestyle.

Fun, safe and productive

Recently, Dr. Frank Napier, Jr. School of Science & Technology teachers, Ms. Marcella Simadiris, Ms. Sonja Capers and their respective teams brought various community organizations together to celebrate the coming holiday season. The gathering proved an excellent way to cultivate relationships founded on working towards living a healthier lifestyle as a community. Festivities included “Trunk-or-Treating,” arts and crafts, and various games for everyone to enjoy. A Trunk-or-Treat event features a lineup of autos in the playground, with costumed adults distributing treats from festively decorated autos. This is a safe, controlled alternative to door-to-door trick-or-treating. Grades 2-5 were allowed to wear costumes during the activities, and classes took turns walking the Trunk-or-Treat line and participating in other events. At 10:45, a brief assembly was held and the keynote speaker was Mr. Alonzo Moody. Representatives from various community organizations shared words of encouragement to staff and students. According to enthusiastic 5th grade teacher, Ms. Silverstein, “Today's activities were fabulous.  My fifth grade students thoroughly enjoyed the morning!  They had a great time - Great job!”

So… what’s in the bag?

Whats in the bagSmiles and excitement were everywhere when the 5th grade students at School 3 opened up special goody bags prepared by 7th and 8th grade students from Holy Angels Church in Little Falls. The school 3 students were treated to these wonderful goody bags which were full of much needed school supplies and treats.  Holy Angels Church has been part of the Paterson school community for many years and continues to share their love and kindness with our students. The 5th graders created heartfelt thank you notes for the generous students at Holy Angels. The wonderful goody bag donation was a great way to prepare for “World Kindness Day!”

Making sure there is always hope

CAHTS race for home

For the fourth year in a row, staff and students from the School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism (CAHTS) at Eastside, participated Race for Hope on October 17. CAHTS students joined Mr. Nieves, Mr. Super, and Mrs. DeSimone; some walked, while others ran the full 5K. The school was able to raise over $500 for the cause.

Race for Hope supports HOPE Ministries, The Community FoodBank of NJ, and Family Promise of Passaic County.  These charities partner throughout the year to provide food, clothing, shelter, and other essential services for homeless families of Passaic County.

Family and Community Engagement

Bringing healthcare to the community

School 15 Medical Service FairFull Service Community School 15 hosted a Medical Service Fair for the community surrounding the school. The Department of Family & Community Engagement along with Full Service Health Clinic, NJ Family Care, St. Joseph Hospital, NJ State Women, Infants and Children (WIC), City Green, and Sheefa Pharmacy offered many free services to those who attended. With over 100 people served, families were able to sign up for health insurance, received flu shots, blood screenings, and much more. Parents were able to learn about the different support programs that are there at the Full Service Community School. By removing healthcare barriers for our families, we can help them achieve success not only for themselves, but for their children as well. Kudos to Parent Liaison Patrica Quispe, who along with her Parent-Teacher Organization, spread the word and maximized attendance at this highly successful event. 

Rotarians give the gift of vocabulary

School 12 dictionaries

“What does that word mean?”  School 12 teachers, Mrs. Conyers, Mrs. DeCroce, and Mrs. Kreitz may no longer hear that question very often in their classrooms, thanks to the Paterson AM Rotary Club. Club representative Dan Shiver recently visited the school and distributed brand new dictionaries to every third grader in the school. This visit was part of a larger effort through which the Club will provide dictionaries to every third grader in Paterson’s public schools. Mr. Shiver also delivered a dictionary to each of the teachers, as well.

Upcoming Events


Nov. 19: "The Strange Case of the Boy and the Dog"

7:00 p.m. at Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts  

Nov. 19: Report Card Distribution (K-8)

5:30 – 7:30 pm

Nov. 25: Early Dismissal

Nov 26-27: Thanksgiving

District Closed

Dec. 3: HARP Blood Drive

8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at 175 Main St.

Dec. 10: District Annual STEM Expo

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

“We are each given a block of marble when we begin a lifetime, and the tools to shape it into sculpture. We can drag it behind us untouched, we can pound it to gravel, or we can shape it into glory.”
— Richard Bach, Writer