Paterson Public School District HiLites

HiLites is produced by the Department of Communications

submit news and photos

District Strategic Plan in Action

Monday, March 9, 2015

  • Paterson’s own, Rep. Bill Pascrell speaks at GoPA

  • GMA student meets Noam Chomsky

  • First-graders learn about charity

Effective Academic Programs

Legislator visits GoPA - Congressman William Pascrell paid a visit to the School of Government and Public Administration (GoPA) to speak to roughly 100 students on the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The esteemed Paterson native came to the Eastside Campus in recognition of Black History month. Pascrell told the students about the importance of the law that was enacted to prevent racial discrimination in voting regulations – something that had disenfranchised African-Americans in some southern states for decades. A highlight of the Congressman’s talk included recalling the time he brought Rep. John Lewis of Georgia to Paterson. Lewis was a leader of the civil rights movement in the 1960s who participated in the historic voting rights march in Selma, Alabama, where nonviolent protestors were attacked by state troopers. In gratitude for his visit to the school, students presented the Congressman with a wonderful framed collection of Eastside memorabilia.

Congressman Pascrell at GoPACongressman Pascrell at GoPACongressman Pascrell at GoPA

Paterson Music ProjectA symphonic strategy – In January, School 1 opened its doors to the Paterson Music Project (PMP), which offers intensive music lessons to students after school, three days per week. Through their partnership with Paterson Public Schools, PMP was able to open this new location, which now serves eighty students weekly from Schools 1 and 26.  PMP's mission is to inspire and empower young people through playing musical instruments. PMP is a program run by the Wharton Music Center/New Jersey Youth Symphony. They began in 2013 and have grown steadily over the past two years. They now serve almost 200 students at their locations. Students perform frequently for the community and have performed at venues such as NJPAC and the Union County Performing Arts Center. Current students will perform a spring concert on June 11, 2015 at the School 26 Auditorium. For more information, visit You can also "like" The Paterson Music Project on Facebook.

Face time with Dr. Chomsky - On Tuesday February 17th, Garrett Morgan Academy senior Bruno Rebaza and Department Chairperson, Kathy Esquiche had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with the world-famous linguist, philosopher and political analyst, Dr. Noam Chomsky. The meeting took place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was an enlightening afternoon of intellectual engagement and discussion on world affairs and politics. As a gift, and in anticipation of the forthcoming International Baccalaureate program at International High School, Dr. Chomsky signed a copy of his book for the collection at the school's library.

Bruno Rebaza  and Noam Chomsky

Rosa McNeill Manhattan Brass
Rosa Parks student, Rosa McNeill, received the 2015 Student Literacy Award from the Prakhin International Literary Foundation. This writing contest is sponsored by the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Studies and the Prakhin Foundation.  Rose was on recognized at the 2015 YGAR Student Awards and Gala Concert, held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.

The famed Manhattan Brass Quintet came to School 24 to deliver an educational sampling of their unusual all-brass instrumental music for the students.

 John Perez

Renderings of unity - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) student John Perez’ drawing of Dr. Martin Luther King was recognized by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Paterson Alumnae Chapter at their Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Commemorative Visual Arts Contest. John’s work, entitled “Unity,” was crafted with colored pencils. SET art teacher Christine Keppel is proud of her student’s accomplishment along with those of Brandon Trastoy and Yunior Grullon who also participated.

Young songsmiths - Mr. Gene Amato, the music teacher at School 5 gave his third grade classroom an assignment to compose a song/poem about their own original holiday. The writers could show how they feel about it, how it's celebrated, what is most important about it, and so-on. They were allowed to work individually or as a group. You can click here to read some of the results of that assignment.

Elementary Choice is Here - The District is now accepting Elementary School Choice applications for three new magnet programs – Dual Language (pre-k and kindergarten), Single Gender (boys grades 3-5) and Fine & Performing Arts (grade 4). Applications are available online at Applications are due to the Central Registration office (90 Delaware Avenue) by Friday, March 13th.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures
Rosa Parks Black History CelebrationRosa Parks Black History CelebrationRosa Parks Black History CelebrationRosa Parks Black History CelebrationRosa Parks Black History CelebrationRosa Parks Black History Celebration

The Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts put on a grand revue of various performance styles in their Black History Month celebration - Higher Ground. Traditional African rhythms shared the stage along with American Jazz; spoken word melded with dance, while modern pop and rock resounded in the underlying theme that featured the great Stevie Wonder.

Yours to keep! - The Rotary Clubs of Paterson provided more than 2,000 free dictionaries to 3rd grade students throughout our school district. A Rotarian visited each 3rd grade classroom and made a short presentation explaining to students about the organization which donated their books. He also explained that the dictionaries are now their own personal items to keep to be used throughout their schooling. The Rotarians noted that the students always get excited about having their own personal dictionary and how it can expand their vocabulary in school and at home. The Rotary Clubs are currently running a funding drive to continue this project during the 2015-2016 School Year.

rotariansdonate dictionaries

Paterson’s best - News 12 cast a video spotlight at scholar/athlete Nia Adams.

Family and Community Engagement

Jeans for TeensTeens for Jeans - While looking for scholarships online, School of Education and Training (SET) junior, Destiny Spinelli, found a project that would help local homeless teens. With the help of her journalism teacher, Mrs. Lories Nye-Slockbower, she coordinated SET’s effort to participate in Aeropostale and’s 8th annual “Teens for Jeans” campaign. She collected approximately 50 pairs of lightly-worn jeans for adults and children.  Her teacher dropped off the collected pants to the Aeropostale store in Willowbrook Mall. Aeropostale will distribute the jeans to teens and children in local homeless shelters. Next year, Destiny plans to start the drive in November. A greater effort just might help SET become eligible for a chance at a scholarship through the program.  Approximately one in three homeless people in the U.S. is under the age of 18 and one of the most requested items that young people in homeless shelters ask for is a pair of jeans.

Faith, hope, and charity - In honor of their 100th day of school, Ms. Camacho’s School 27 first grade class decided it would be a good exercise to raise $100 for a worthy cause. The students had been learning about citizenship in Social Studies and had listed ways one could be a good citizen. Ms. Camacho explained that sometimes people help those in need and they learned a new vocabulary word: charity. Although they fell quite short of their goal, they did manage to raise $10.30. The class didn't want to simply donate the money to a “faceless” charity - as it turned out, the face that they found belongs to a 10 year old girl in the greater Philadelphia area, Maya Rigler. She had battled kidney cancer at age 2 and beat it. Now, cancer has returned and she has a very large tumor encroaching on 12 of her organs. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy in an attempt to shrink it in preparation for surgery. This little warrior asked that any gifts for her be in the form of donations to the online charity, “Alex's Lemonade Stand” that she had created. So on Feb. 26, during breakfast, the class navigated to her website and donated the funds. They are also writing letters to Alex.

Upcoming Events

Mar. 9: 2015 NJSIAA Boys & Girls Basketball Tournament

Eastside “Mighty Ghosts” vs. East Orange “Jaguars” 7:00 p.m. @ East Orange Campus High School, 344 Prospect Street, East Orange

Mar. 10: 2015 NJSIAA Boys & Girls Basketball Tournament

Eastside “Lady Ghosts” vs. East Orange “Jaguars” 7:00 p.m. @ Eastside Campus

Mar. 11: Progress Reports

Grades K-12

Mar. 11: Special Joint Meeting Between Board of Education and Paterson Municipal Council

7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 155 Market St.  

Mar. 12: Special Meeting of the Board of Education

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

Mar. 13: PEA Early Dismissal

1:00 p.m. dismissal

Mar. 18: Board of Education Regular Meeting

6:00 p.m. Black History Month Celebration

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

Mar. 24-26: 5 Yr. Long-Range Facility Plan Community Forum

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
— Mohammed Ali