Paterson Public School District HiLites

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District Strategic Plan in Action

Thursday, January 29, 2015

  • AHA embraces “the classics”

  • District photo-pro shares his expertise

  • Children’s opera resonates on JFK stage

Effective Academic Programs
AHA Greek mythology

Ancient tales/modern learning - Alexander Hamilton Academy (AHA) is wrapping up an exciting unit on Greek Mythology. Language Arts Literacy, Social Studies, Art, and Music teachers gathered, along with the author/illustrator Kevin C. Pyle, to teach students the stories of the Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, Monsters, and other mythical creatures. Students find the tales of Greek mythology to be absolutely thrilling! They are filled with action, romance, fantasy, and tragedy, as well as a lot of memorable characters. Students created comic books, big books, and puppet shows and did a wonderful job of storytelling to the lower grades. Students will be presenting dance interpretations of the stories at AHA’s next PTO meeting.

Rosa Parks photo classBeyond the snapshot - Mr. George Garbeck, district Graphics Coordinator and official photographer working out of the Department of Communications recently visited Rosa Parks High School to talk to Ms. Courtney Goch’s Journalism I students about photography. Mr. Garbeck, an award-winning art photographer who has been published world-wide and exhibited in numerous galleries, engaged Ms. Goch’s students with many practical and insightful techniques for producing better photographs. Some of the topics covered at the session included: how to operate the many dials and buttons on a digital camera; styles of photography; and how to use various camera settings to enhance composition. The photo shown here, taken by student, Shannon O'Connor, is an excellent example of some of the principles of composition and story telling that Mr. Garbeck emphasized in his talk.

Rowan UniversityScholarly endeavor – Through a partnership with the Essex County Chapter of the NAACP has allowed teacher Toni Jackson of the School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) and sixteen of her students to participate in the NJ Act-So Scholarship Program at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J. The students were able to represent Passaic County as they dined and participated in several academic mini-workshops alongside students representing NAACP chapters from Newark, New Brunswick, Trenton and Camden. The afternoon concluded when students met with the Admissions Department and received a campus tour

Winning artworks - Fourth graders across Passaic County were invited to submit their artwork for the Passaic County Calendar Poster Contest. This year’s annual presentation was on Thursday, January 22nd at the Passaic County Police Academy in Wayne, New Jersey. This year, Mrs. Serber’s School 14 art students, Brianna Torres and Haroline Noesi were both honored for their submissions. Haroline’s artwork received an honorable mention and Brianna’s artwork was a winner. Their winning images of the Paterson Public Library will be on the calendar featured with the month of October.

School 14 County Calendar Contest

Nancy Horowitz and studentsThe music of success - Both School 24 and Band Director Nancy Horowitz are featured in the January 2015 issue of Teaching Music, the national publication of The National Association for Music Education (NAfM). The article,  Band and More at School 24  describes how, Nancy Horowitz created an acclaimed band program from the ground up in Paterson, New Jersey, thanks to plenty of networking, heaps of donations, and an incredible amount of dedication.”

The article features photos showing students playing in small groups and at a Concert Band performance. It tells how, despite a lack of instruments, music stands, music, and supplies, Mrs. Horowitz began by teaching in the hallway and built the program with the help of grants, donations, and the support of many friends and volunteers. Since then, Horowitz’ students have performed at dozens of concerts, and achieved such success that a group performed with world-renowned flutist Sir James Galway at Carnegie Hall last December.

Family and Community Engagement

5 year long range facility forumCommunity Forums - Schools 25, 26 and 27 were the venues for the first of six, city-ward based community forums held during the month of January, which addressed the new Five-Year Long Range Facility Plan. The first hour of each forum featured a one-hour “Town Hall Meeting” conducted by Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres. Following the mayor’s segment, the school district presented community stakeholders with a brief overview of the important factors to consider when assessing the physical condition and academic capabilities of our schools. This overview was designed to help parents and other stakeholders complete a comprehensive survey addressing these issues, armed with some insight on what to consider for improving our schools now; and perhaps more importantly, in the future. Following the presentation, attendees broke off into small focus groups facilitated by a district administrator. Each facilitator assisted their group in completing each survey question, as well as coordinating discussion on each topic. The Department of Family and Community engagement provided translation services in several languages.

The second series of these important forums will be held in the remaining three Paterson districts during the month of March. Schools 28, 21 and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will host forums for wards 1, 4 and 5 respectively. If you can’t attend one of these community forums, you can still participate by taking part in the survey found on the district’s Five-Year Long Range Facility Plan webpage.  

Every drop counts! - The Academy of Health Science (HARP), in collaboration with Community Blood Services will host a Blood Drive on Friday, January 30.  The event will be held in Room 351 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. HARP Patient Care Assistant students will serve as facilitators.

During the winter months, blood supplies are dangerously low. Community Blood Services is the sole provider of blood to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Please consider donating blood, and encourage your family, friends and community members to donate as well. Click here for a flyer detailing the Blood Drive.

Passaic County Champs Erica Brown

The JFK Boys 2015 Indoor Track and Field Passaic County Championship team pose proudly for a team portrait.

John F. Kennedy alumna Erica Brown helped to lead her Delaware University Blue Hens basketball squad to a 54-48 surprise comeback victory against Northeastern. Miss Brown led all scorers with 18 points to her credit.

Birds That Want to FlyOpera comes to the District - The Trilogy Opera Company recently premiered its first opera for children, Bird That Wants to Fly in the Louis Bisio Auditorium at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex (JFK). Trilogy commissioned critically acclaimed composer Michael Raphael to create this exceptionally beautiful, captivating and imaginative opera about the transformation of a sad little bird who has decided to walk instead of fly. The opera is based on the story book of the same title written by Diane Kaufman, M.D., a child psychiatrist with a passion for arts and healing. The entire performance of Bird That Wants to Fly is available to watch online by clicking here.

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Pre-K registration begins – Get your child a head-start by enrolling him or her for Pre-K education at one of the numerous early-childhood education locations throughout Paterson. If your child has reached the age of three before October 31st of 2015, they are eligible to receive free Pre-K education services. Call 973-321-2501 beginning on February 9th for an appointment and information about what you are required to provide. Registration begins February 17.

PD opportunity - The Montclair State University (MSU) Network for Educational Renewal (MSUNER) is a school-university partnership dedicated to the simultaneous renewal of schools and teacher education through collaboration among Montclair State University and its partner school districts.  In partner districts, teachers and administrators gain the opportunity to work with Montclair State University faculty at school sites and at the University.  It is a model of partnership that effectively links all aspects of teacher preparation and development resulting in a continuous cycle of school, university, and teacher renewal.

Teachers in partner districts can apply to MSU for appointment as Clinical Faculty members. Once appointed, Clinical Faculty members may serve as cooperating teachers, on-site education mentors, co-facilitators of mini-courses, co-teachers of student teaching seminars, and adjunct faculty for other courses at the University.  They also have campus privileges including general parking and a Montclair State University ID card that allows access to Sprague Library and the ADP Center for Teacher Preparation and Learning Technologies.

Paterson public Schools teachers can learn about these benefits and more during “An Evening with Montclair State University Network for Educational Renewal”on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 from 4-6 pm in the Cafeteria at 90 Delaware Avenue.  Interested participants must complete an online registration available by clicking here.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 30: HARP Academy Blood Drive

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

Feb 3: 2nd Marking Period Ends

Feb. 4: Board of Education Workshop

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

Feb. 10: Report Card Distribution Grades K-8

4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 12: Report Card Distribution Grades 9-12

4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 13: Snow Make-Up Day

Full day of instruction for students; Staff development cancelled

Feb. 14: 2015 Passaic County Basketball Tournament

Quarterfinals at Eastside: Boys at 3:30 p.m.; Girls at 5:15 p.m.

Feb. 16: President's Day

District Closed

Feb. 17: In-District Preschool Registration Begins

Feb. 18: Special Education & Bilingual Advisory Council Meeting

5:00 - 6:00 p.m. at Rosa L.Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts

Feb. 18: Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. ”
— author unknown