Paterson Public School District HiLites

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Friday, June 25, 2010

  • Get ready for the grand finale

  • A huge, once-a-year final issue of District HiLites

  • HiLites will see you in September (enjoy your summer!)

Reading has its rewards. The prolific readers of School 13 were rewarded for their efforts after consuming a great number of books throughout the school year. On June 3, The Paterson Education Fund (PEF) sponsored a fun-filled carnival at the Paterson Free Public Library.  Ms. Anna Villalongo of PEF was on-hand along with the librarians distributing goody-filled folders, free books and arts and crafts supplies. Refreshments were served and the children were each given a poster with their name prominently displayed on it. 

The School 13 library was also very busy this year lending books to the readers under a program that rewarded them with over 441 free tickets to the Six Flags’ Great Adventure amusement park. District HiLites salutes School 13 Librarian, Mrs. Bette Lydon who will be retiring this year after 40 years of service.


Marcel ShippRunning back scores with literacy. Native Patersonian and United Football League running back for the Las Vegas Locomotives, Marcel Shipp continues giving back to his hometown with the 3rd annual Marcel Shipp Essay Writing Contest. Along with the essay contest, Mr. Shipp also conducts a football camp in an effort to show that athletics can go hand-in-hand with academics. Eighth graders from the Dr. Frank Napier, Jr. School who participated this year were also rewarded with an all-day paid trip to Great Adventure! This year’s winners were: Mohammad Hoque; Ricardo Mejia, Jose Nunez, William Stowers; Nashaun Vailes; Qua'zhan Hayes; Aaliyah Robinson; Anthony Leskow; Deonte Tanner,  K'iara Byrd , Essey Wilson, Iyonna Bush, Janaya Gray,  Nefatte Quinn, Nyasia Steele, Zykirah Smith, Helen Benedek, Tamara Joseph, Shondaysia Mccoy, Keyonna Mills and Nicole Lopez.


International HS World Cup feverInternational High School has a fever… Soccer Fever! And what better way to feed that fever than to get together, teachers and students alike, and watch game One of the World Cup together. IHS soccer fans donned team colors, wore sombreros, blew noise makers and had a feverish good time as Mexico and South Africa met on the field for this year’s opener.

School 9 Solar powered car

Harnessing the Sun all the way to the Winner’s Circle - Eighth graders from Charles J. Riley School 9 took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at a local model solar car race called the Junior Solar Sprint. The race was held on June 4th and was hosted by the Teaneck Community Charter School. CJR 9 and other middle school teams from Bergen and Passaic Counties participated in this fun, educational, and exciting event. Teams worked together building solar cars with guidance from parents and teachers; with awards being given in the categories of performance and design.


MLK chickensDr. Martin Luther King Jr. School has something to chirp about.
Students in Mrs. Gibbs class were fascinated while learning about the lifecycle of chickens. Students participated in a month long unit that culminated with the hatching of baby chicks. The chicken eggs hatched into beautiful baby chicks on May 22, 2010. Students were involved in this extensive hands-on learning experience from beginning to end.
During the 21 day incubation process, students were able to assist with setting the eggs in the eggs turner, monitoring the temperature within the incubator, learning about the stages of development and witnessing the emergence of baby chicks from their eggs.

Students from other classes stopped by Mrs. Gibbs classroom daily to receive updates on the developmental process. During her visit, the principal, Mrs. Garcia, was fortunate enough to see a chick hatching from its egg!


Bravisimo! On Tuesday, June 15, the School 27 Concert Band presented its Spring Musicale to enthusiastic audiences filled with classmates, school friends, parents, teachers, administrators, and supervisors. Under the direction of Instrumental Teacher Mrs. Nancy Horowitz, the Band gave three performances in order to accommodate the entire school. The concert was dedicated to the memory of Annie Zusy, a great friend of music at PS 27 who was “instrumental” in the acquisition many of the ensemble’s instruments.

The Band performed these selections: Dramatico, Fire Dance, a Bach Minuet, Spring from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, La Bamba, and the pop-rock standard, Louie- Louie. Over 50 students in grades 5-8 participated. You can enjoy the group’s spirited rendition of Louie-Louie by watching this video.


School 15 Spanish ClubSpanish Club pays tribute to The Gloved One. The School 15 Spanish Club travels among the district schools to perform and act as good will ambassadors. Along with their numerous school performances, this very active club also mans the School 15 parade float at holiday times. Many of the club’s performances includes a tribute to Michael Jackson, and by way of the “Schooltube” website, you can enjoy a video capture of one of the performances by clicking here. 


Enumerating for dollars - School 26 has been participating in the St. Jude's “Mathathon” fundraiser since 1996. Students gather sponsors from among friends and family who pledge cash contributions for their sponsored student’s performance in math exercises. Originally, participation started with Ms. Tanis' 8th grade math classes, but for the past 3 years it has grown to become a school-wide effort. Since 1996, School 26 has contributed $5,500! This year’s the donation amounted to $546 which will be used to provide a young lady with much needed oxygen and medicine. A special thank-you goes to Mr. Resnick who has helped Ms.Tanis with coordination of the School 26 Mathathon effort.


TEN-HUT! On May 21st the Eastside High School JROTC Mighty Ghost Battalion hosted their 6th Annual Military Ball at LeNeve’s Restaurant in Haledon, NJ. Over 200 cadets, guests and friends attended, including the Honorable Bill Pascrell and State District Superintendent, Dr. Donnie Evans. Paterson’s Mayor-elect, Mr. Jeff Jones, also made an appearance. Peter D. Valenzano, a recent Law School graduate, served as guest speaker. The event included all the pomp and circumstance associated with the tradition of a military ball followed by dinner and dancing. This photo gallery chronicles the evening’s festivities. At-ease, soldiers!


Rosa Parks High School PianoRosa Parks pianists give recital at the Public Library – On June 17, RPHS piano teacher Mr. Vladimir Zaitsev brought a cadre of his most talented students to the Paterson Public Library for an inspirational Spring Recital. The recital, given in tribute to the composer Frederic Chopin, featured performances by each of Zaitsev’s prodigies and concluded with a powerful interpretation of a Claude DeBussy piece by graduating senior, Brian Bonilla. A tireless and accomplished performer himself, Mr. Zaitsev describes the group that he brought to the library as, “…the most musically natural I have ever had."


The talent at RPHS may lean towards the “classical,” but includes the contemporary as well.  Another item comes to us from Rosa Parks, one which involves the New Jersey Nets basketball team. It seems that RPHS students got an opportunity to craft a theme song for the Nets to feature on their website. Not only did the Rosa Parks composers craft a pair of worthy entries, but they finished in first and second place!  Featured prominently on their website, the first place entry by Alexander Parchment and Roger Thomas is available here for you to listen to. The runners-up were Janais Roberts, Amanda Dixon and Priscilla Farrah.


School 13 Career DayBe what you want to be. School 13 held a Career Day for students in grades 5-8 on June 16. Professionals representing various disciplines included an architect, a police officer, a fire fighter, a doctor, a mortician, a US Postal Service employee, a beautician, a Red Cross worker, a professional boxer, a McDonalds proprietor, an entertainer and even the district’s very own supervisor of bi-lingual/ESL programs! Students had an opportunity to visit with each professional and learn more about what they do. Career Day ended with a special presentation from Paterson Mayor Jose Torres. The mayor encouraged each student to set goals and follow his or her dreams.


AHA and SeniorsBenvenuti in Italia! The Alexander Hamilton Academy’s mission is to provide learning opportunities for students that go beyond the classroom walls.  Mrs. Paletta’s third grade class invited residents from the Hawthorne Assisted Living Center to a special program. Students presented information about their Passport Around the World country, Italy, to their guests.  Following a presentation, lunch was served. Third grade students helped the senior citizens color festive masks.  The interaction between the children and senior citizens was beneficial for both.  Many of the children may not have had the opportunity to know their own grandparents, so this experience was very special. 

The program concluded with Mrs. Abbood’s kindergarten students’ presenting flowers to the seniors. The students raised the flowers from seeds and learned about different types of flowers as part of a service learning project. The special guests left the school feeling like someone really cared about them!


AHA hosts STARS for a day in the sun. For the past 10 years, Alexander Hamilton Academy holds a Field Day at Bauerle Field.  Planned and organized by physical education teachers, Ms. Kathleen Schimpf and Mr. Eric Magrini, the AHA field Day is happily anticipated by students and staff all year. This year, as a special feature, students and staff from STARS Academy were invited to join in the festivities coordinated by physical education teacher Ralph Galizia. AHA 8th grade students led the sporting events from football toss to the 50 yard dash.  Music accompanied the events, provided by DJ Cilente, the school’s science teacher. Everybody found themselves dancing and singing, especially the guests from STARS Academy! Enjoy this video submission of the grand event. 


Build snakes

Ms. Kerwein’s 4th and 5th grade science students at BUILD Academy get up close and personal with live snakes,
lizards, alligators, turtles, frogs and insects from Dominic Rizzo’s Reptile Discovery.

Eastside technology mavens immersed at AT&T. Technology-minded students from the Eastside Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) program were recently treated to an exciting day at the AT&T Shannon Laboratory in Florham Park. Hacemos Technology Day features exposure to Hispanic role models in technology along with hands-on activities, lectures and presentations. Students heard from Mr. Gonzalo Perez from Farleigh Dickinson University on the importance of Science, Technology, Education & Math (STEM) and via video, Mr. Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T’s Mobility and Consumer Markets spoke on his rise from humble beginnings as a Cuban immigrant.

Taking technology out into the fresh air, the students participated in a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology based hide-and-seek game called iTESS. Such “GeoGames” utilize GPS enabled wireless devices such as the iPhone.  Female students received copies of “The Princess at the Keyboard” by Amanda Stent, about women in the computer industry.

Chevon Mitchell

Following the March 25th field trip to AT&T, students submitted essays
for a contest about their experiences there. Shown here is winner Chevon Mitchell,
holding his award certificate and $50 Visa gift card.

School 9 Hispanic Celebration Slideshow¡SI SE PUEDE CUANDO UNO QUIERE! -- Loosely translated means; “If you really want to, you can!” Students and staff, particularly those involved in the World Languages program at School 9 wanted to make their multi-cultural assembly something special to remember and they did! As a teacher of Spanish at School 9, Mrs. Ludena thought that her well deserved pride and excitement following that celebration might best be described by one of her students, Feruza Mamdaliyeva Grade 5:

As a student in Mrs. Ludena's Spanish class, the Multi Cultural Hispanic Celebration was amazingly wonderful.  Our parents and community watched as our diverse student population participated in a Multi-Cultural Hispanic Celebration. The most exciting part was seeing the teachers sing. Mrs. Ludena, Mrs. Carnero, Mrs. Velazquez, Mrs. Oliva, Mrs. Bernal, Mrs. Campo, Mrs. Balboa, Mrs. Shawa Mrs. Karcich Mrs. Wiersma, Mrs. Dziekan, Mrs. Coldiron, Mrs. Toscano and Mrs. De Angelo performed a beautiful song for us. I appreciated all of the effort our teachers made for us.  I am a Turkish student and I am proud of myself because I am learning Spanish very well.  I am now going to speak three languages English, Spanish and Turkish and I know for sure I am going to have more opportunities in the future.

Now, put some visual reference to the report from that very articulate fifth-grader by viewing a slideshow by district Graphics Coordinator, Mr. George Garbeck.


Sewing the SEEDS of a bright future - The NJ SEEDS program distributes scholarship dollars to deserving 8th grade students who qualify beginning in 7th grade. The money is intended to finance their enrollment in prestigious high schools throughout the United States. This year, six School 9 students will receive scholarships amounting to just under one million dollars for four years of high school! Click here to view a full accounting of the students and their awards.


NJHS adds 30 School 9 students to their rolls. On June 8th, 30 seventh and eighth grade National Junior Honor Society inductees from Charles J. Riley School 9 became official members of this esteemed organization. The inductees were honored at a special dinner for their outstanding achievements in the areas of scholarship, leadership, stewardship, character and service. Throughout the year these inductees did a wonderful job maintaining the essence of these five tenets which are the symbolic essence of the National Junior Honor Society.


School 5 LibraryLibrarian uses Puppet Theater to deliver lesson. School 5’s Media Specialist, Mrs. Carol Natoli, used hand puppets for storytelling with a theme of careers in mind.  Mrs. Natoli and Miss J. Smith worked together with Miss Zelma Jackson, a hydro geologist working for the Dept. of Energy in Washington, who grew up in the Paterson projects and attended Kennedy High School. This career-oriented woman's story delivered a lesson to express that while having a goal may be important, having a plan is essential! The puppet production received valuable assistance with the help of a student "stage crew" from Ms. Romano's class.

Students “make” success. Pearson school publishers, as part of their “SuccessMaker Enterprise” program,  rewards schools with complimentary “Flip” video cameras. SuccessMaker provides supplemental enhancement in mathematics, language arts, science and social studies. Schools receive the free cameras with a stipulation that participating classes make and upload a video showing how the program was implemented along with statements from students and teachers. Two Paterson Public Schools, New Roberto Clemente and School 18 recently participated in the program and each received Flip cameras. Click on the schools’ names above to view each video submission.


Strategic Plan in Action

Paterson School 5 hosted a town-hall meeting on June 5, 2010.  The community gathered in the auditorium to discuss the process of transforming PS # 5 into a Full Service Community School.  The stakeholders signed-up to participate in smaller focus groups as part of the needs assessment that will reflect the desires and wants of the parents, neighbors, and business-owners from the neighborhood. The needs assessment for the School 5 community was completed between June 1st and June 10th, 2010, and represented student, staff and community input. Each student and staff member completed an on-line survey, and a selection of students and staff members from each grade level (K-8) participated in focus groups.

On June 7th, 2010 a group of delegates representing the Full Service Community Schools initiative for Paterson Public Schools had the opportunity to travel to the Vito Marcantonio School PS/IS50 in New York City for a Study Visit.  This was a great opportunity to forge relationships with like-minded educational leaders that are currently operating a Children’s Aid Society Full Service Community School.  The delegates toured the school’s medical clinic which had the capacity to service vision, dental, physical and emotional needs; the delegation also had the chance to visit several after-school programs, each designed in response to the students’ and parents’ needs and wants.

The Full Service Community Schools Committee met on June 9th, 2010. During the meeting conversation focused on evaluating the needs assessment and prioritizing the results to create a timeline for the implementation process.  The lead agency for School 5 is under consideration and will be officially announced shortly.  With this in mind, planning for summer training is underway and is tentatively planned for July 13-15, 2010 at William Paterson University.

During the June 9th, 2010 Board Workshop Meeting, Tobi Knehr, Supervisor of Full Service Community Schools for Paterson Public Schools, and Sarah Jonas, Director of Regional Initiatives for the National Center for Community Schools, presented an overview of the Full Service Community Schools nation-wide initiative.  They addressed the needs of the Paterson community and the role Full Service Community Schools will play in re-shaping the avenues of success for our children and their families.

Currently the Purchasing Department is drafting an RFP to secure a third-party evaluator for the purpose of monitoring the initiatives’ progress at School 5 toward specific project objectives and also outcome measures to assess the impact on teaching and learning or other important outcomes for project participants. More specifically, the evaluative  plan will address the following: (1) What types of data will be collected; (2) when various types of data will be collected; (3) what methods will be used; (4) what instruments will be developed and when; (5) how the data will be analyzed; (6) when reports of results and outcomes will be available; and (7) how the applicant will use the information collected through the evaluation to monitor progress of the School 5 Full Service Community School and will provide accountability information both about success at the initial site and about effective strategies for replication in other settings.


“Education in our times must try to find whatever there is in students that might yearn for completion, and to reconstruct the learning that would enable them autonomously to seek that completion. ”
— Allan Bloom – American Philosopher 1930 - 1992