Paterson Public School District HiLites

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District Strategic Plan in Action

Thursday, June 4, 2015

  • Bright STARS on School Bus Safety

  • SOIT explores network security at airport

  • NSW Teacher receives Renaissance National Honor Roll

Effective Academic Programs

Science stars - Students from the Paterson Academy for the Gifted and Talented competed in the New Jersey Arts and Science Charter Schools (NJASCS) Elementary Science Olympiad held at the Paterson Arts and Science Charter School. There were 15 students who competed for medals in fourteen events. They worked on challenging hands-on tasks that required teamwork, group planning and cooperation with other students on their team. The competition tested content such as anatomy and extinction and others that required engineering practices with builds such as a tennis ball catapult. The team’s hard work paid off when they were awarded the 1st place team trophy!

Music ExpoTI:ME was on their side - The New Jersey chapter of Technology in Music Education (TI:ME) hosted the 5th Annual Student Music Technology Expo and Competition at Rutgers University.  Music teachers and students in grades 3-12 were invited to this live event that features hands-on workshops and performances. This science fair-styled event showcased student audio compositions, remixes, multi-media, and applied technology projects. Projects submitted in advance for adjudication were evaluated using a festival rating scale (gold, silver, bronze).Two students from YES Academy placed with Sherman Henry receiving a gold rating for his project and Aaron Miller taking silver for his work. (Click on their names to listen to each student’s composition.)

GoPA Spanish ExamBuen Trabajo! - For a third consecutive year, the School of Government and Public Administration (GoPA) at Eastside High School has proven that hard work pays off. Students from Mrs. Ashe’s and Mrs. Chica’s Spanish classes participated in the National Spanish Examination. This test assesses mastery of the Spanish language. Of those who participated, 37 students attained national recognition for excellence and mastery. An awards ceremony was held to honor these students and their parents.

GoPA students earned a total of 7 gold medals, 10 silver, and 8 bronze along with 12 students earning honorable mention. The school has a long history of high achievement on these exams. The National Spanish Examinations are administered each year in grades 6 through 12, and are sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

Writers all - Two students from The School of Information Technology (SOIT) at Eastside won 1st and 3rd place honors at the recent, Teen Health Fair Writing Contest. 1st place went to Angeline Francois, a 12th grade student in Mr. Avino’s English Honors class. Her poem, “Dear Almost Baby,” focused on the importance of delaying parenthood.  Third place was won by Wilfredo DeVora, a 9th grade student in Mr. Holland’s Strategic Reading class. His essay, “The Harmful Effects of Substance Abuse”, deals with the negative effects of drug use on the health and family of the abuser.

Meanwhile, two more SOIT students, Orlando Rojas and Nasia Shabazz, were winners in the Paterson Municipal Youth Guidance’s annual Flag Day/Memorial Day Writing Contest.  Orlando won for his poem written about Memorial Day, while Nasia won for a poem written about the American flag.

Rosa Parks at Comicon First Annual Public Speaking Spelling Bee School 8 Achieve 3000

Communication arts students from the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts visited the famed comic store, The Joker's Child. The students (who have a unit in who have a unit on graphic novel writing) were given a tour of the store and received an education on the history of graphic novels.

Students at International High School participated in their First Annual Public Speaking Spelling Bee. The winners were - Karen Garcia: 1st place, Gerald Guido: 2nd place, and Da'Yauna Ware-Thompson: 3rd place.

Dedicated students at School 8 used the Achieve 3000 literacy program to improve their reading and comprehension skills this past school year. Eleven students saw their reading “lexile” levels (a metrics scale established to indicate student reading levels) increase from 150 to 225 points.

Local influence - Students from the School of Architecture and Construction Trades, (ACT) at the John F Kennedy Educational Complex, recently attended a field trip to the Paterson Museum. Social studies teacher Vincent T. Marchese brought his students to the museum on a fact-finding mission highlighting the significant role that the City of Paterson has played in American history. Students examined the various exhibits on display at the museum including that of Paterson native, John P Holland, who developed the first practical submarine. Another highlight for the ACT group was examining a prototype engine made at Paterson's Wright Aeronautical Works which was used in Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic airplane, The Spirit of St. Louis.

Paterson Museum visitPaterson Museum visitPaterson Museum visit

When I grow up - School 10 held its 8th Annual Career Day for grades 3-8. With approximately 60 guests in attendance, students were exposed to an amazing array of professionals. Each guest presented their occupations with anecdotes, facts, figures and other insights as they stood before groups of engaged students. Professions represented included pilots, chefs, lawyers, police officers, medical doctors, therapists, financial planners, and everything in between.

School 10 Career Day

airport securityAn insider's look - Recently, students in the career pathway of network security from the School of Information Technology (SOIT) at the Eastside Campus participated in a field trip to Newark International Airport. While there, they attended a special presentation about network security from Stuart Lieberman, Senior Security and Technology Analyst for the Port Authority of NY and NJ. Mr. Lieberman provided the students with a history of data storage devices and how network security is involved at the Newark Airport. Effective network security is an absolute must to protect the airport’s computers from outside threats. He also spoke about cameras and the importance of surveillance to protect everyone coming through the airport. At any given time, cameras can identify vehicles arriving and departing the airport. To illustrate this, he provided an image of the very bus that delivered the students to the airport.

Students were also exposed to other airport facility areas including the Fire Department and Surveillance Room. The group toured a building that houses an extensive history of the airport with many displays. The students especially enjoyed stories about the times that Air Force One landed at the airport and the special protocols involved for its arrival and departure.

Robotics team science workshopHands-on, minds engaged - Thanks to the Passaic County Community College Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Department, members of the JFK Robotics/College Prep team were able to participate in a two week science workshop. The workshop focused on "hands on" projects and taught the students about different fields they might pursue in the future. Students tried their hand at diverse activities that ranged from building a working camera to dissecting regurgitated owl “pellets.” Each workshop gave the students insight into the tools that are needed to do a job well; from having a strong mathematical background to learning manual and mechanical skills. The students came out of the program with a better general understanding of the fundamentals of the STEM disciplines. Student Shah Rahman offered these words on completion of the workshop, "I never really thought about environmental sciences as a possibility. Now I'm thinking about it as one of the fields I might want to pursue."

Spelling bee

Bee happy! - Part 2 of the annual District Spelling Bee took place at School 24 for grades 1 and 2. After 5 rounds of competition, 6 children earned top ranking against 46 challengers. The event was great success. Congratulations to the 6 winners and all of the participants! Click here for a list of the winners.

NSW teacher receives national recognition - Ms. Angela Larkin, Norman S. Weir math teacher has been named to the Renaissance National Honor Roll for optimizing students' growth in math. The Wisconsin-based assessment and learning-analytics company recognizes teachers who have successfully led students to meet or exceed desired outcomes. Ms. Larkin is the only teacher in Northern New Jersey to receive this honor. Principal Grace Giglio, who is understandably proud of her teacher remarked, “She is a teacher who has a vision and then puts a plan into action to achieve it. She does phenomenal work with our students and this accomplishment is something of which everyone in the community can be proud.”

STARS sweeps contest - The School Transportation Supervisors of New Jersey (STS) organization held a School Bus Safety Poster Contest and students from STARS Academy have taken 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in their division! This year's theme was “Bully Free Zone.”  The winning entries include - 1st place: Abdel Hamad, 2nd place: Anyelica Ortiz, and 3rd place: Iliana Ortiz. Winners receive cash gift cards valued up to $100. STARS Academy, as a school with a 1st place winner, is slated to get a $100 gift card. The 1st place poster will be entered into the organization’s National Poster Contest. All winners are invited to attend the STS meeting at the Middlesex County Regional Educational Services Commission. For more information on the organization and the contest, you can visit -

Abdel HamadAnyelica OrtizIliana Ortiz

Bucks for books - School 10 has been selected as a recipient of a Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries grant. The Laura Bush foundation was established by the former First Lady to aid libraries and schools in need of improving, expanding or rebuilding their book collections. School 10’s grant of $7,000, which reflects the maximum amount given, will be used to purchase library books and media of all kinds.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

For art’s sake - Students from the Don Bosco Technology Academy (DBTA) showcased their artwork at the April Report Card Night. Principal Dr. Natalie Hackett welcomed nearly 700 parents and family members that evening. Students worked alongside DBTA art teacher, Miss Guerra, to organize and display some of their recent creations.  Parents, students, and teachers alike appreciated the opportunity to recognize the talent within their school community.  Much of the work will be displayed at the upcoming 7th Annual Paterson Art Walk hosted by the Art Factory in partnership with the New Jersey Community Development Corporation.

On the fast track - Kennedy's track superstar Qwashon Powell has continued his fantastic run of accomplishments this year. Read all about this amazing young man's recent (and historic) performance on the track in a pair of recent articles: click here (Article 1), and here (Article 2).

School 1 recycling project Red nose day

For Earth Day, Renaissance School One students made some very creative items using only recycled materials.

Ms. Marchfeld’s kindergarten class at Dale Avenue participated in Red Nose Day to help children in poverty. They wore red noses, made silly faces and wrote jokes.

School 7 Tricky TrayWell on their way - School 7 held its second annual tricky tray fundraiser at the Brownstone House. 125 parents, staff members, community leaders, and friends and family came out for this event to help raise money for the remodeling of the school’s auditorium. The evening was a huge success with over 130 prizes, including 11 grand prizes, and 3 silent auction items. Since its inception in 2013, the school’s Beautification Committee has brought together members of the Paterson community, as well as surrounding towns. Through the generosity of many local donors, School 7 will now be able to remodel and reconfigure their school auditorium to make it a welcoming and comfortable area for their students to congregate, perform, and meet.

Family and Community Engagement

Nicholas VanchieriThe true meaning - In honor of the Memorial Day holiday, military veteran, Mr. Anthony Vancheri (who proudly became a U.S. citizen during his active military service) visited the New Roberto Clemente School (NRC) to share a presentation about his work as a medic during the Vietnam War. The 6th and 8th graders and their teachers were totally captivated by his narration and incredible photos that accompanied his talk. Mr. Vancheri reminded his audience that the Memorial Day holiday is a time not just for celebration, but rather a time to honor and remember those who lost their lives in service of our country. Ms. Vancheri’s daughter is an 8th grade math teacher at NRC.

School 5 rainwatersystemLet it rain! - Through a partnership between Rutgers University, The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, Full Service Community School 5 and the Department of Family & Community Engagement, a high-capacity rainwater collection system has been installed for the “Elysian Fields” community garden at School 5! The 2500 gallon rainwater tank will be used to pump rainwater into the garden for irrigation.

This initiative was part of a joint effort to build more “green” infrastructure in the State of New Jersey. Newark and Paterson were the only cities selected for this green build. Now, the rain collection and distribution system will serve as an example to other cities on how they can be more sustainable and green minded. School 5 has become the first in Passaic County with such a large rainwater system!

Great Falls Cleanup

School 8 Class of 2015 students participated in a volunteer cleanup of the Great Falls.

Bringing the green inside - The Department of Family & Community Engagement has been awarded a $4,000 dollar grant on behalf of Full Service Community School 5. This money will be used to help build a greenhouse within the school's community garden. The greenhouse will be used for environmental programs for the after-school program, while also providing additional food for community families. The garden, which currently helps to feed over 30 families, will have its output increased with this facility.  Family & Community Engagement interns Anjali Alumkal, Christopher Guico, Brianna Bethea applied for, and ultimately obtained the grant for this project.

Efficient and Responsive Operations
Facilities Rutgers Graduation

Custodian Chief Manaf Stas from School 28 poses with his wife and Executive Director of Facilities Steve Morlino at the 22nd Annual Certified Educational Facility Management graduation ceremony held at Rutgers University. Chief Stas is the first Chief from Paterson to complete the program amongst the 81 graduates. Mr. Morlino has arranged for Rutgers to bring the program to Paterson in September and he will be the instructor for 3 of the 7 required courses.  Kudos to Chief Stas!

WPU PDS conferenceTeachers teaching teachers - School 12 teachers, Mrs. Conyers and Ms. Albritton, recently joined William Paterson University (WPU) professor Julie Rosenthal to present a workshop at the WPU Professional Development Schools Conference. They shared insights about creating a School/Community Garden and the lessons that are taught in that space. Other attendees at the Conference included School 12 teachers, Mrs. Roman and Ms. Feimster, as well as New Roberto Clemente Teachers, Ms. Pizarro, Ms. Flores, and Ms. Willemsen. Dr. Golden, WPU Professor in Residence at both schools, joined the teachers and enjoyed the daylong program of events and activities.

District Calendar - The 2015-2016 District Calendar is now available. You can view and or download directly from the website homepage (“Calendar” button at bottom), or click here.

Upcoming Events

June 4: 50 Book Club Celebration

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Paterson Free Public Library, 250 Broadway

June 5: Annual District High School Debate Tournament

9:00 a.m. - 2:40 p.m.

June 5: Academy of Health Science Blood Drive

8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

June 5: Quiz Bowl 2015

9:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. at International High School

June 16: Teacher of the Year Dinner

5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. at The Bethwood, 38 Lackawanna Ave.,Totowa   

June 17: Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

June 17: Special Education & Bilingual Advisory Council Meeting

5:00 - 6:00 p.m. at Renaissance School 1

June 18: 4th Marking Period Ends

June 19: Graduation Day

Last day for students (except JFK)

June 22: Graduation Day for JFK

June 24: Last Day for Staff (Except JFK)

June 25: Last Day for JFK Staff

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
— Alexander Graham Bell - Inventor of the telephone