Paterson Public School District HiLites

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District Strategic Plan in Action

Thursday, April 2, 2015

  • School 7 principal/staff present at WPU

  • Annual history wars are heating up

  • Introducing the High School Swim Team

Effective Academic Programs

Let the SPARKS fly! - Thanks to a generous grant from Ametek Foundation to The SPARKS Foundation, students at School 27 will be treated to another week of hands-on science presented by Science Explorers, Inc. The exciting days include the programs “Magnetic Madness” and “Jiffy Juice”.  Kindergartners through third grade will learn and participate in 50-minute programs of science hypotheses and experiments. 

In “Magnetic Madness” students in kindergarten and 1st grade become scientists experimenting with magnets. In “Jiffy Juice” the 2nd and 3rd Science Explorers will be testing some mysterious liquid solutions to see they are acidic, basic, or neutral.   These hands-on programs will have them hypothesizing, experimenting and learning!

These fun, innovative, hands-on programs excite students, bring the world of science alive and get them thinking about careers in S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math).  Boosting interest and knowledge in the area of science is critical in today’s world, and there is no more fun way to do it than to directly engage students in hands-on activities.

STEAM heats up - School 7 staff recently attended the New Jersey Association for Middle Level Education (NJAMLE) annual conference at William Paterson University.  Presenter, Principal Nicholas Vancheri led co-presenters, Rosa Kopic, Marla Arrington, Jake Pantos, Vernon Nealy, Myra Winter, and Dina Scacchetti who also participated in the conference. The presentation was entitled: STEAM and the Common Core: A Transdisciplinary Approach.  The common core standards have established guidelines that emphasize critical-thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills. Through Science, Technology, Engineering Art and Mathematics (STEAM) initiatives that infuse the creative influence of the arts upon STEM disciplines, students can acquire the knowledge and skills needed to meet the challenges of the Common Core. Supported by a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation grant, Paterson School 7’s STEAM program began in 2012, in grades five and seven.  Three years later in 2014, the effort has been extended to all grades (five through eight) and all subjects.

SOIT gets it write again! - Two School of Information Technology (SOIT) students were recent winners in the Paterson chapter of the NAACP‘s 7th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Black History Essay Contest. Placing first was 10th grader, Akilah Thomas. Akilah won a laptop computer for her efforts. Coming in third was another 10th grader, Victor Objio. For his effort, Victor received a $75.00 gift card. The awards were announced at the Paterson NAACP’s annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s breakfast which was held at the Jacksonville Café.

RPHS poets

Rosa Parks student poets have placed very well in the Passaic County Community College annual Paterson Student Poetry Contest! 1st Place went to Rose McNeill (grade 10), 2nd Place to Daiana Ortiz (grade 11), an Honorable Mentions were taken by Travia Ballard (grade 9), Ashley Diaz (grade 9), and Kiara Suero (grade 9). These students will be recognized during a ceremony at Passaic County Community College in June.

GoPa National History DayHistorically speaking - The Northern Regional National History Day Competition took place at Kean University on March 7th.  Twenty-four anxious School of Government and Public Administration (GoPA) students proudly presented and defended their hard work among hundreds of contestants. Teachers Orlando Pagan, Michelle Hamlett, Richard Callaway and Joseph Marino were on the edge of their seats awaiting the awards ceremony.  GoPA did very well with three group victories, including seven students who will now continue on to the Sate Competition on May 3rd at William Paterson University.
National History Day is a comprehensive year-long research project.  Students are expected to select a topic on any aspect of local, regional, national or world history and relate it to the annual theme. Although prizes are awarded at the regional, state and national levels, the most rewarding prizes include the skills and knowledge acquired throughout the research and development process. GoPA Junior Gisela Espinal states, “The National History Day experience has been very helpful for me because I learned how to thoroughly research different sources of information and choose the more reliable resources for my work.” 

Winning GoPa entries included: Orlando Pagan - Eva Peron: The Legacy Behind Peronismo byDesirae Hazel, Yessenis Martinez and Debra Pacheco; Dan Daly: An Unknown Legacy of Honor by Jessie Cheramy and Marleene Rodriguez; and Richard Callaway:Branch Ricky-True Guts by Leudy Valdez and Gisela Espinal.

Meanwhile, students from the Dr. Frank Napier, Jr. School of Science & Technology also got to showcase their knowledge of World and American History. Sixteen students from grades 7 and 8, led by their advisors and coaches, Ms. Eason, Ms. Capers and Ms. Perry, traveled to Kean University in Union for the National History Day (NHD) Regional Competition held there.

After the judges examined the students’ projects and quizzed them for understanding of their topic, they decided on the best presentations. Although there were large numbers of participants representing various schools, two regional qualifying groups from Napier Academy were recognized and are advancing to the NHD State competition!

Sliced Pi - Recently, the School 7 eighth grade students in Ms. Kopic’s math class recognized the annual “Pi Day” by creating “Mono-Pi-Ly” board games. Students created their board game using their knowledge of the mathematical constant Pi and how to apply it to particular formulas such as circumference, perimeter and area of circles.  Upon completion of the assignment, students tested out their board game and were able to self regulate the number of questions answered correctly by themselves and their opponents.

School 7 Pi project

DECA  and NJ DevilsA devilishly good field trip -  Edwin Hernandez, marketing teacher and JFK Educational Complex DECA Club advisor, with the assistance of Business Technology Mathematics and Finance (BTMF) teachers, Mr. Drakeford, Ms. Bici, and Ms. McClure, chaperoned 36 DECA members and BTMF students to a special event for New Jersey DECA Chapters. At this event, entitled: "DECA Night with the NJ Devils", the students had the opportunity to meet with executives and business associates who work for both the Prudential Center and the hockey team. 

In this industry, athletes and celebrities are the ones who usually attain the public's attention; however, there are many more people who work behind-the-scenes in order to make sporting events happen. BTMF students did not hesitate to ask many relevant questions. The group sought advice about school, careers, and even about the challenges they have had to overcome to attain their current positions. After the Q&A, everyone toured the arena, and then remained to watch what was for all but one student, their first ever hockey game.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

School 5 NetherlandsFar-flung visitors - As a result of a partnership with William Paterson University, a group of educators from the Netherlands came all the way to Paterson to visit Full Service Community School 5.  After hearing about the achievements of the community school model and the roll-out of the Positive Behavior Systems in Schools (PBSIS) initiative, the visitors were delighted to have the opportunity to see the school firsthand. The visitors seemed most impressed by the nurturing environment and positive school culture at School 5. While touring the school, Principal Sandra Diodonet explained the school vision of being a leader in changing the mindset of its children and their families. The idea of posting student data throughout the school to give parents and staff an indication of student progress is something that they plan to emulate after returning home. 

Before departing, the visitors presented the school’s administrative staff with a series of educational gifts as a way of expressing their appreciation for School 5’s gracious hospitality. The group left with a wealth of knowledge and better insight about meaningful steps that they can take to ensure that their children have the best chance to become future leaders.

School 24 Spanish ClubTeatro de las Artes - The Spanish Club at School 24 recently attended a performance at El Repertorio Español, an art theater in New York City. The students experienced a live theater performance entitled La Gringa. Students learned about Puerto Rican culture; sites such as El Morro and El Yunque; and Puerto Rico’s most beloved amphibian, the coquí! The students were also invited to participate in a talent contest for the best poster and best Spanish composition about La Gringa, for which there will be awards and prizes.  School 24 is very confident they will do well!

The Spanish Club is a first at School 24. It encompasses middle school students from grades 6-8, and is sponsored by Principal Florita Cotto and World Language Teacher Mrs. Tamayo.

In the swim of things – Paterson Public Schools has a brand new High School Swim Team… and they are rising quickly! The team practices and competes in the Olympic pool at the Boys and Girls club. Click here for a slideshow highlighting their activities. Keep an eye on our waterborne athletes in the future!

School 24 Military VisitAye-aye! - With their ongoing pen-pal program, School 24 has been bringing Smiles across the Miles since the beginning of the school year. Students got a great surprise when one of their very own pen-pals from the Navy ship, USS Comstock visited their classrooms.  Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) Brittany Davis visited some of the classrooms at School 24 bringing with her a great bag of surprises!
During the visit, the children and teachers learned about musical instruments from Malaysia which were all handmade using natural resources from the area. One of the instruments, the “sompoton”, is used symbolically to express ones love for another when played. LTJJ Davis also brought currency from Bahrain, Malaysia and Singapore, dresses from Malaysia, chopsticks, jewelry and fans. 

Davis let the students know that while on deployment, the packages, letters, cards, and decorations they sent was like Christmas every time they arrived. For many sailors this is the only mail they receive, so the students at School 24 definitely helped our troops during their long deployment away from family and friends.

Family and Community Engagement

School 15 Dig InDig it! - Full Service Community School 15 received the Dig In! Spring 2015 Grant. This grant is awarded by City Green and the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders. St. Paul’s Community Development Corporation (SPCDC) applied for the grant in order to sustain the existing garden at the Madison K Center and create a new garden at School 15. The gardens will allow students and community members to get involved in community service. The gardens will also serve as a teaching tool to educate youth on nutrition, healthy food choices, cultivating sustainable foods. Perhaps most importantly the gardens will be shared with families in the community with limited access to healthy food.  “I am very excited for our kids” said Principal Madeline Roman, who is always looking for innovative ways to service her students and families.

School 12 Taub ChampsFlex time - Frederick Simpson, Jr., better known at School 12 as “Coach Flex”, has been doing remarkable things through his very popular afterschool basketball program. On the smallest basketball court in Paterson, half the size of a standard court, he has large numbers of kids showing up five days a week to do fitness training and basketball drills.  No one complains about the size of the court or lack of resources because Coach Flex believes you have to work with what you have.  
Coach Flex started volunteering as coach at school 12 seven years ago when his son D.J. was a student there. Coach Flex believes in the importance of providing good role models for his team. His focus is always on the kids, making sure they have a positive outlet after school. The mutual respect between the coach and his team are evident to anyone watching a practice session. Coach Flex often says “Where would these kids be if not here playing basketball?” While teaching basketball skills and strategies, he also teaches valuable life lessons. He is a surrogate parent, encouraging principles such as honesty and respect. This year, under Coach Flex’s leadership, the School 12 basketball team was undefeated and won the annual Taub/Doby Basketball Tournament while maintaining a remarkable 14 – 0 record.

Eastside Lady GhostsEastside Mighty Ghosts
Eastside's boy's and girl's basketball teams were honored at their annual breakfast at the Brownstone House

Efficient and Responsive Operations

People to People – Seeking to bring back a wealth of turnkey knowledge to her Paterson classroom, Academy of Health Science (HARP) teacher Mindy Prosperi will be traveling to both New Orleans and California this summer as part of the People to People Student Ambassador program. As a Teacher/Leader for People to People, Ms. Prosperi will be working with students studying the lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina, and then, with robotics students at Stanford University. Ms. Prosperi finds great satisfaction in putting her summers to good use; last year she served as a People to People Teacher/Leader by working with Health and Related Professions students seeking a better understanding of possible careers as medical professionals. Students involved in the program receive 3 college credits.

Rosemarie Perreira

New Roberto Clemente School's sixth grade math teacher, Rosemarie Perreira, recently accompanied William Paterson University Professor in Residence Betsy Golden to hear Dr. Yvette Jackson speak on the pedagogy of confidence. Dr. Jackson serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education.

Prolific educator - On Thursday, March 26, 2015 Shindana Montague was honored by the Eastern Region, NJ Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated as their Educator of The Year. Mr. Montague is an English Teacher at YES Academy and has been with the district for 5 years. During his time at YES, he has proven not only to be an exemplary teacher, but has also  had a huge impact outside the classroom. Mr. Montague has introduced the "Future Fridays" initiative designed to teach students about professional attire. He has partnered with local businesses as well as using his own resources to help students with everything from obtaining custom-tailored professional suits to Barnes & Noble Nook tablets. This amazing gentleman has also worked with the school’s mentorship program by taking young men on trips as far-flung as the New York Auto Show, to museums, or even to brunch at country clubs.

Here are some of the many initiatives/accomplishments Mr. Montague is responsible for this year alone: He designed the “Response to Intervention Program” to help address the test scores at YES; teaches in the district credit recovery program and evening GED class at school 24; serves as an adjunct in the EOF Department of Rutgers, New Brunswick and also at Essex County College; served as campaign manager for Rashawn Davis, a City Council candidate in his hometown of Newark (the youngest person ever to obtain municipal office in the history of New Jersey). In his free time, he is also the senior director for the Inspirational Choir of St. Matthew A.M.E. Church.

Upcoming Events

Apr. 3 & 6: Spring Break

District closed

Apr. 7 - 10: Spring Break

Schools closed

Apr. 15: Special Education & Bilingual Advisory Council Meeting

5:00 - 6:00 p.m. at School 18

Apr. 15: School 7 Theatrical Presentation: Annie

6:00 p.m. at School 7, 106 Ramsey St., Paterson

Apr. 15: Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

Apr. 16: 3rd Marking Period Ends

Apr. 16: Eastside Class of 2015 Beefsteak Dinner & Tricky Tray

Apr. 21: Report Card Distribution Grades 9-12

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Apr. 23: Report Card Distribution Grades K-8

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Apr. 24: District Spelling Bee (Grades 3 & 4)

8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at School 24

Apr. 28: Harlem Wizards vs. Eastside Mighty Ghosts Staff Fundraiser

7:15 p.m. at Eastside Campus Gym   

May 29: District Spelling Bee (Grades 1 & 2)

8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at School 24

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

— Edward Everett Hale,
American Author