Paterson Public School District HiLites

HiLites is produced by the Department of Communications

submit news and photos

District Strategic Plan in Action

Thursday, February 19, 2015

  • School 7 thinks “inside the box”

  • Fantastic new mural at School 20

  • Eastside Defensive End gets full scholarship

Effective Academic Programs

Planet of the ExponentsInside the box - An exciting new Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) project was created at School 7! This lesson required that students create a handbook or pamphlet. School 7 Art Professor in Residence Myra Winter and eighth grade math Teacher Rosa Kopic collaborated to add extra elements to the project. Students were presented with the following problem and task: "Imagine a strange planet where the rules that everyone must follow are the rules of mathematical exponents; but there is a problem: "space tourists" do not know the rules of the exponents and are not obeying them, upsetting the citizens."

Each student had to act as the "Director of Tourism", preparing a kit with a special box to be distributed to all visitors to the planet, explaining the math. Each box had to be created using geometric folding techniques that resulted in a rectangular prism. Ms. Kopic demonstrated the folding, and the students followed her instructions. Each kit contained a box with a series of enclosures that explained the rules and the consequences for not following them. The students then decorated the boxes in a way that would attract tourists and encourage them to follow the rules

Literacy Fair - This past January, School 18 presented their First Annual Literacy Fair. The competitive event was developed to provide students with an opportunity to present their favorite book in a “fair” atmosphere using multiple display methods. Two top students from each homeroom class were selected to participate which resulted in 83 dazzling entries. Grades 1 to 8 family members gathered to share their support for the students, and the event lasted 4 hours. The Fair was created and coordinated by School 18 Teacher of the Year Jennifer Rey, assisted by Art teacher Mrs. Krainski, and guidance counselor Ms. Nunez. Hardworking students from the National Jr. Honor Society worked tirelessly to create a medieval theme for the fair.

Wanda Kopic Supervisor of Language Arts, Donna Gilmore School-Based Language Arts Supervisor, Eric Crespo Interim Director of Humanities judged student entries. By participating in this fair, it is hoped that the students will an enjoyable reading experience and develop a love for reading. Click here for a list of student winners.

School 18 literacySchool 18 literacySchool 18 literacy

Clifford the Red Dog

The 14th Avenue Early Learning Center held a week-long Book Fair event featuring Clifford the Big Red Dog.

One for the books - Journalist and music writer, Brian Aberback, stopped by Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts. Mr Aberback spoke with a group of Communication Arts students about his writing career and what it takes to be a professional journalist. The writer not only talked about his background and career path, but also gave students a first-hand account of a journalist’s life. Students were all ears as he shared stories about breaking into the industry, interviewing Steven King and the process of writing a book. After the talk, he took questions and shared some of his articles with students. “Brian did a fantastic job telling our writers all they need to know about breaking into journalism, from writing to networking,” said Communication Arts teacher Mr. Lauricella. “The students were very responsive and really enjoyed the visit and many are even more motivated now thanks to Brian. We look forward to having him back.”

IFL rock and roll

A mirror on learning - Recently, School 7 eighth grade students in Ms. Kopic and Ms. Shaw’s inclusion classroom completed an Institute for Learning (IFL) task called, “Reflect on This.”  Students used transparencies to develop an intuitive understanding of what it means to reflect across a line. Upon completion of the assignment, students used a rubric to score themselves on their work and then the classroom teachers did the same; an average was then taken from the two grades to form a final grade. The class average grade for this project was 98%!

Starting Artists - Three Culinary Arts Hospitality and Tourism School (CAHTS) students recently presented their art work at ArtStart, William Paterson University's College of Art annual exhibition for high school students. Pictured is CAHTS art teacher Vivian Reyes with two of her CAHTS students, Jacqueline Romero and Katharine Aguilar, each with her artwork and certificate.  The third student, Coralys Tavarez, is not pictured.
Along with the CAHTS group, several seniors from the School of Information Technology (SOIT) also had their art work displayed at the ArtStart exhibition: Shamoi Brown; Angeline Francois; Dahiana Medina; Alan Rodriguez; Shaviann Thomas and Lizbeth Ulloa attended along with their proud art teacher, Mrs. Marilyn Simon.

This year’s event included works from over twenty-five public and private schools across New Jersey. More information can be found in the WPU STEAM blog by clicking here.

A slice of working life - Selected students from School 26 visited the Wyndham World Wide Corporation’s facility in Parsippany as part of a Career Day event. Four presenters spoke to the students about the hotel and resort conglomerate’s departments: Wyndham Communication, Finance, Graphic Design and Sustainability. Students were given employee background information that included college and outside interests along with their responsibilities within the company. Students were able to ask questions after each presentation and then given a tour of the Sustainability department.

School 26 goes to Wyndham

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures
Black Violin

The lesson of Black Violin - To celebrate Black History Month, students of the School of Government and Public Administration in Art Teacher Darryl Jones’ class spent a day at William Paterson University. The students were treated to an afternoon performance by the group Black Violin, comprised of two African-American classically trained string instrumentalists. Black Violin performed pieces in classical, hip-hop, R&B, pop, and rock genres. The performers spoke of the importance of thinking “outside the box” and “working harder than everyone around you” in order to succeed. The performance was a follow-up to a morning art activity at the Ben Shahn Galleries, where they created original artwork inspired by WPU Artist in Residence, Maria Lux.

NRC Minions PANTHER wears red

At New Roberto Clemente, Mrs. Mandal and Ms. Senopole’s students, inspired by the animated characters from Disney’s “Despicable Me” film, created paper-mache “minions” representing one each of their personality traits.

PANTHER Academy Staff and Students wore Red on National Wear Red for Women in support of saving women's lives. Everyone  made donations to the American Heart Association which will uses the funds for awareness and research.

Illustrating history - School 20 has created a fantastic mural entitled: “Historic Paterson - ‘Silk City”. The mural was painted by a group of middle school students along with their art teacher, Mr. Joshua Rockland. It showcases Paterson’s historic importance as the former industrial capital of the United States. It also aims to build hometown pride in students, promote positive school climate, and represent the important role of the fine arts within Paterson Public Schools. Students browsed the Paterson Museum’s photo archive to select images and traced and painted early stages of the mural from those photos using a slide projector. The mural has been installed as a permanent part of the school’s front entrance to be enjoyed by the School 20 community for many years to come.

School 20 mural

Healthy Hearts

Having heart - Fifth graders at the Paterson Academy for the Gifted and Talented celebrated Valentine’s Day by sharing the message, "Be Heart Wise" with their peers at School 28. The students explained that the cardiovascular system, the causes of heart disease and what we can do to be heart-healthy.  This all coincided with a school-wide “Hoops for Heart” program in which students wore red, collected donations for the American Heart Association and participated in heart-healthy activities. Good habits are the key to good health and good health is the key to good academics.

Making cents - Students at School 24 were delighted to find a brand new art room, and they had Abraham Lincoln to thank for it. Not just the penny his face resides on, but the students and staff from Lincoln Technical Institute in Paramus, as well! Students at Lincoln Technical Institute held a “Penny Wars” fundraiser to finance the new art room, and the coins really added up! They raised $1,050 to help the young artists at School 24 explore their artistic creativity. During a visit, the students were excited to show the staff and students from Lincoln Tech all that they’ve learned and made in their new art classroom.

School 24 new art room

Family and Community Engagement

NBA winnerSWISH! - Norman S. Weir School (NSW) 7th grader, Jasmine McDuffie, has placed third in the NBA FIT Dribble, Dish & Swish program in regional competition! Regional competition was held at the Nets’ practice facility in East Rutherford. Jasmine competed under the direction of the NSW Physical Education staff, Gina Desino, Stepen Trongone, Brian Vickers and Kyle McCourt.

The NBA FIT Dribble, Dish & Swish program is a competition that provides boys and girls, ages 7-12 with the opportunity to showcase their basketball skills against their peers in the tri-state area. Boys and girls compete in separate age and gender divisions and are timed on their ability to complete a basketball skills course which challenges the participants to dribble, pass, and shoot accurately, and as quickly as possible. The top 2 boys and girls in each age division from the regional event will advance to All-Star Finals, head-to-head competition.

Full ride - School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside High School senior Defensive End Tevaughn Grant, a 2 time All-Liberty division player, has accepted a full football scholarship to Division IAA, Wagner College. The 6'2, 220lb pound Ghost defender recorded 76 tackles, 8 Tackles for Loss, 14 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery during the 2014 season. Tevaughn is projected to play outside linebacker at Wagner College. Wagner is a member of the Northeast Conference and will play national powerhouses Brigham Young University and Georgia Tech in 2015. His scholarship is valued at $40,000 per year.

Tevaughn Grant

Parallel Lines

A different angle - Show us your vertical angles, your corresponding angles, your ever-enticing alternate interior angles! This has become quite easy in Ms.Vancheri’s New Roberto Clemente classroom, where she worked with William Paterson University Professor in Residence Dr. Golden to create a five-foot by seven-foot masking tape model of parallel lines and a transversal. In the photograph, Ms. Vancheri and Mrs. Cangro nimbly demonstrate for students one set of supplementary angles.

Come out and support the Eastside and JFK basketball teams for the County Tournaments (schedule below). Two student athletes have been identified by The Record on their “Player of the Year Watch” – JFK Knights’ Aphonso Gee and Eastside Lady Ghosts’, Taylor Brown. Also, Nia Adams from JFK’s Lady Knights has just been selected by News 12 as “New Jersey Scholar Athlete of the Week”.

Saturday, February 21 at Wayne Valley HS, 551 Valley Road., Wayne, NJ
4 game-Boys/Girls Semifinals
Lower Bracket Girls: (3) Passaic County Tech vs. (2) Kennedy, 12:00
Lower Bracket Boys (3) Wayne Valley vs. (2) Kennedy, 1:45
Upper Bracket Boys: (4) West Milford vs. (1) Eastside, 3:30
Upper Bracket Girls: (5) West Milford vs. (1) Eastside, 5:15

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Elementary Choice

Elementary School Choice is coming! – Beginning with the  2015-2016 school year, Paterson Public Schools will be introducing School Choice at the elementary school level. Following the successes realized with High School Choice, the district is adding three thematic programs for students in the elementary years: a Dual Language School, Single Gender School for boys, and a School of Fine and Performing Arts. Applications will be available beginning February 23rd, and will be due back by March 13th. To learn more about this exciting new development, come to the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex on Tuesday, February 24 at 6:00 p.m. for a Community Forum. For more information view this flyer in English or Spanish.


Aspire to lead - William Paterson University and Paterson Public Schools were awarded one of twenty nationwide School Leadership Program grants, Leaders as Learners (LAL).This is a five-year, 3.2 million dollar grant project funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement with the goal of improving the academic achievement of P-12 students in high-needs schools by identifying, selecting, preparing, retaining and supporting highly effective school leaders. Interested candidates can apply to attain their principal certification or a Master’s in Educational Leadership. Visit the district “Staff Page” for information and an application.

Collaborating for change - Seton Hall University and Paterson Public Schools have joined forces on an innovative education leadership training program funded by a $1.5 million Turnaround School Leaders Program federal grant.  The grant to the Paterson district, in conjunction with Seton Hall, is the only such federal grant awarded in New Jersey and one of only 12 such awards in the nation. 

Phase I of the program involves Seton Hall school leadership professors working directly with principals, assistant principals and teacher leaders, teaching them the techniques and tools they will use both in their schools. Phase II of the turnaround schools program involves the creation of the interactive video simulations for principals. These video simulations would then be used well beyond the grant period to train teacher leaders in turnaround techniques for years to come.

A trio of notable accomplishments - Dr. Burnie Bristow, one of the first PPS educators to attain National Board Certification has recently added some important accomplishments to his resume:  First, Dr. Bristo has completed the process of renewing his National Board Certification for teachers; making him the first educator in Passaic County to achieve renewal (required every 5 years). Since receiving his own National certification, Dr. Bristo has played an integral role in helping many other PPS teachers attain their own National Board certification.

In 2014, Dr Bristo became a graduate of SUPES Academy, a specialized training and leadership development program established to prepare individuals to serve as America's next generation of superintendents and school district leaders. Dr. Bristo was one of only 50 administrators selected to participate in the Chicago-based program. Lastly, Dr. Bristow also received his standard School Administrator’s certification during 2014.

Michelle Bushart

Adjunct professor - Ms. Michelle Bushart, teacher at the School of Information Technology (SOIT) has become an adjunct professor of Spanish at William Paterson University. After completing rigorous examinations and various qualifying accomplishments, the SOIT educator began teaching Spanish II in January. Ms. Bushart is the first SOIT Spanish teacher from the district to attain this high standing.

Upcoming Events

Feb. 21: Passaic County Basketball Tournament

Eastside vs. West Milford at JFK Educational Complex - 3:30 p.m. Boys; 5:15 p.m. Girls

Feb. 24: Elementary School Choice Forum

6:00 - 7:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex

Feb. 26: International Baccalaureate Information Meeting

6:30 p.m. at International High School

Mar. 4: Staff in-Service

1:00 student dismissal

Mar. 4: Board of Education Workshop

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

Mar. 11: Progress Reports

Grades K-12

Mar. 13: PEA Early Dismissal

1:00 p.m. dismissal

Mar. 18: Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.”
— Ralph Nader, Arab-American political activist