Paterson Public School District HiLites

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District Strategic Plan in Action

Thursday, June 18, 2015

  • SET cultivates future educators

  • District’s top teachers honored

  • School 7 students save a child

Effective Academic Programs

Future TeachersFuture teachers - Thanks to a class at The School of Education and Training at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex (SET), seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in education are getting hands-on experience before they even head to college. Next year, students taking this Applications of Education class will also have the opportunity to earn college credit thanks to a new articulation agreement created between theFuture Teachers school and William Paterson University. The goal of the program is to encourage academically able students to consider teaching and become civic advocates of education. Each registered student, called a “Teacher Cadet,” has spent classroom time focusing on the professional study of education, its history, learning development and best practices in lesson development and presentation. There is also a field work/internship experience where SET students work closely with St. Mary’s Early Learning Center, shadowing classroom teachers and facilitating small group lessons. The field experience is an immersion in the teaching profession that is one of the cornerstones of the Teacher Cadet curriculum. As a culminating activity, the students present a final lesson, as well as their teaching portfolio.

They love a good debate – The debate team of the School of Education and Training at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex (SET) won a final debate against the Rosa Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts in a recent competition.  Chaired by SET Social Studies teacher Ralph Goia, the team worked all year researching and creating arguments for this year’s topic: “Are leaders born or made?” The team was comprised of juniors: Natasha Torres (School of Science, Technology, Education and Marketing), Jahnaton Grant, Lisbeth Ortega, Nattali Nunez, Christina Chan, (all of SET). The team has finished in the top three every year since the debate’s inception.

Rosa Sanchez awardRosa Sanchez awardRosa Sanchez award

The New Jersey Association of School Officials awarded Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts student Rosa Sanchez with a $100 gift card and certificate for her winning painting on canvas, “Nirvana.” The organization sponsored the art contest and winners traveled to Atlantic City to receive their awards.

A Pair of scholarships - Two deserving Paterson Students, Nyshayla Kellam of International High School, and Stephanie Byrd of YES Academy are the recipients of $1000 scholarships bestowed by the Educational Council of Passaic County. The Council is a non-profit organization comprised of the county superintendent and numerous presidents and vice-presidents of educational organizations. Nyshayla will be attending Passaic County Community College majoring in Criminal Justice, while Stephanie intends to study education at William Paterson University.

“Bowling” for knowledge - International High School was once again the site of the district’s “Quiz Bowl” which tests the history knowledge of students in school-based teams. This year, the game show-styled event pitted elementary school teams against one-another on the subject of early American history during the Revolutionary War era. When the large pool of participating teams had finally been whittled-down, three schools remained in final competition. Finally, it was School 7 that stood victorious with Alexander Hamilton Academy a close second and School 21 taking third.

Quiz BowlQuiz BowlQuiz Bowl

Science fair

A scientific affair – The annual District Science fair took place at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex, bringing together science and technology minded students from all over the district. The competition was fierce but friendly as erupting volcanos, electrical studies, chemistry analytics and any number of other scientifically-based student projects was presented before roaming teams of judges. Click here for a chart of all winners by place including school, grade and project.

Alumna writer returns - Author Rumki Chowdhury, a 2004 JFK graduate, returned to her alma mater to present her second novel, So Complicated, and to encourage students to become writers. In the book, she acknowledges her former English teachers, Mr. Les Mossler and Mrs. Lories Slockbower, for their role in encouraging her to write. Miss Chowdhury told students how she attended William Paterson University on a full scholarship and went on to earn her master’s degree at the University of St. Mary in London, England. While at JFK, Chowdhury was editor of the awarding winning student newspaper, member of the tennis team and placed first in a National History Day competition. She now resides in Sweden with her husband and two daughters. In addition to being an author, Chowdhury is a high school English teacher in Stockholm.

Rumk iChowddhury

Peace & Justice Writing Contest

The School of Information Technology and the School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality, and Tourism at Eastside High School swept all six awards in the Peace and Justice Writing Contest for Paterson High School Students. The contest was sponsored by the William Paterson University Gandhian Forum for Peace and Justice. Back row, left to right:  Jose Colon, Sandra Zea, Jordan Matos. Front row, left to right: Jose Zelaya, Akilah Thomas, Orlando Rojas. 

Roberto Clemente at State CapitolDestination Trenton - Mr. Sotelo’s fourth graders at the Roberto Clemente School visited the State Capital and toured the State House as part of their curriculum on New Jersey government. The trip proved to be a safe, meaningful, and educational experience for the students. According to their teacher Mr. Sotelo, “Our fourth graders have studied the branches of government and the purpose of each. They also learn how bills are written and the path they take through the legislative branch on their way to possibly being signed into law by the governor.” They inspected the rotunda and its portraits, viewed the Senate chambers, the Governor's office and both legislative houses. The children also invited three third graders to share their learning experience as a welcoming gesture to the next school year.  Third graders, Ana Leary, Sofia Correa, and Jeremy Burgos were thrilled to be at the State Capitol along with their older peers.

Ms. Rothenberg

Fully funded - Amy Rothenberg, art teacher at the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts attained $1,737 via a donorschoose.org initiative. This amount represents full funding for purchase of a new computer for her classroom. Ms. Rothenberg’s classes will use the new technology to advance their knowledge of art; from researching artists and significant historic eras in art, as well as using the computer to create original artwork.

Top educators honored - The 2015 Governor’s Educator of the Year Program for Paterson Public Schools took place at the Bethwood banquet facility in Totowa. This year’s gala featured musical performances by the School 24 Concert Band led by Mrs. Nancy Horowitz and the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and performing Arts Jazz Band directed by Mr. Ken Davis. Mr. Dennis Mitchell, School 18 teacher acted as emcee. Following the musical performances attendees listened to talks from Board commissioners, Mr. Christopher Irving and Manuel Martinez and State District Superintendent, Dr. Donnie Evans. Everyone dined on a buffet of The Bethwood’s best fare prior to the distribution of awards. Interim Director of Information Management Systems, Mrs. Anita West then called upon each of 41 recipients from around the district to come forward and receive a handsome trophy, certificate and gift bag.

Teacher of the Year Recognition

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

Dining with the Boss - School 9 held its third annual Principal’s Dinner for students in grades 2-7. The event was organized by the school's Action Team in recognition of students who made the honor roll list for all 4 marking periods. There were 178 students along with their parents who attended the event to celebrate their success. Dinner was catered by the Brownstone House and the entire night was a great success!

School 9 Principal's Dinner

Stedman Graham

Bringing positivity - Stedman Graham’s (of Oprah Winfrey fame) live “Sonima Tour” made its way to the Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts. Mr. Graham, along with musical guest Caroline Jones, brought an inspiring message to the students and staff that focused on self-awareness and success. An event that combined both music and discussion, Mr. Graham conducted an “identity workshop” that focused on character development with the entire school-body.  After the workshop, both Mr. Graham and Ms. Jones took pictures and answered questions. Later in the afternoon, Mr. Graham met with staff to deliver his nine-point plan on leadership. The following day, Mr. Graham visited Eastside Campus where he addressed the staff and community. Both events presented a positive vibe.

Quick actions save a child - Recently, School 7 physical education teacher Aaron Goldstein was leaving for home after school and saw an unattended baby in the middle of a busy road!  Before he could even react, sixth grade student Clara Pena grabbed the baby out of the street while other sixth graders, Arianne Sanchez and Alondra Baez, seventh grader Devin Lopez, and eighth grader Atiana Lopez canvassed the area to find the child’s home. Even before the police were notified, the child was reunited with a very thankful relative. School 7 is very proud of the caring and quick actions of these great students! (Editor’s note: As are we all, Mr. Vancheri!)

K-9 Unit at ELC School 29 at NJPAC

The 14th Avenue Early Learning Center really went to the dogs when the Paterson Police Department’s K-9 unit came for a demonstration. The wonderful dogs were proud to show off their policing skills for the children!

School 29 students who completed the Elite Eagle Challenge, which is a series of 29 plus10 things a student can do to improve their school community, along with School 29’s Junior Patrol were rewarded with a trip to the NJPAC for a day of performing arts.

Disney in Paterson - The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School (MLK) auditorium was transformed into Disneyland for a fantastic Spring Concert featuring the sights and music of Disney. MLK has come to be known for these wonderful stage revues and this performance proved bittersweet as they bid farewell to Mrs. Barbara Walter. The beloved school librarian is leaving for retirement at the conclusion of this school year. Mrs. Walter has acted as the preeminent producer/director for most of the shows and the students put their heart and soul into this, her final production.

MLK Spring ConcertMLK Spring ConcertMLK Spring Concert

A healthier place - For the second year running, the School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside (GoPA) has attained bronze status in the national Let’s Move! Active Schools challenge. This nationwide award program, instituted by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation organization, has a goal of reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity and to empower kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits.  The alliance was founded by the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation.

Presenting the colors - The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Claverack Chapter of Clifton New Jersey, voted to donate flags and flag holders to each and every classroom at School 3 in celebration of Flag Day!  Ms. Krill, the school’s vice principal, is a member of the DAR chapter, and petitioned the group to donate the flags. Currently some classrooms do not have flags and those that do, have flags that need to be replaced.  The existing flags will be surrendered to the local VFW for proper retirement, and the new flags will be installed this summer.

Family and Community Engagement

A year in photos and words - School 7 students were published in a handsome anthology of photos and poetry through a collaborative project with the Passaic County Cultural and Heritage Council, the National Park Service, Passaic County community College and the Paterson Youth Photography Project. In preparing images and words related to the Great Falls National Historical Park, the seventh grade students were given a number of field trips and overviews from the park rangers over the course of the year. The resulting large-format, full-color anthology, Paterson Great falls National historical Park: A journey Through the Seasons  is filled with original, insightful, and original works of visual art and poetry.

school 7 great falls eventschool 7 great falls eventschool 7 great falls event

American Promise - State District Superintendent Dr. Donnie Evans was among the discussion panel when The College of Education at William Paterson University brought together university, school, and community members for a film screening. This event centered on the award-winning documentary American Promise, which follows two African American boys through 13 years of schooling in a unique coming-of-age film. Around the country, internationally, and through the PBS network, this amazing film has provoked new conversations and raised difficult questions about what the promise of education means in America, particularly for children of color.

Optimum GrantA small seed grows big - Representatives from Optimum Cable presented a check to Eva’s Village for $6000 in honor of the School of Government and Public Administration’s (GoPA) Student Government and National Honor Society. The two organizations were grand prize winners in the company’s 2015 competition that involved 11 North Jersey schools raising money for charities of their choosing. The year-long effort found the GoPA organizations holding raffles, fund-raisers, toy drives, and various other events utilizing $500 in “seed money” provided by the company. Eva’s village was the charity of choice for the students who also produced a video highlighting their enthusiasm for the program. In the end, they raised over $1000 dollars for the cause using the seed money.

Paterson students highlighted – Students from the Rosa Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts are featured in a video promoting local non-profit arts advocacy organization, “Epitome of Soul.” Watch the video promotion by clicking here.

Raymond MaranpotA belated honor - Eastside High School formally and with great school pride recently inducted a graduate from the Class of 1943 into the National Honor Society (NHS). Dr. Raymond Maranpot was inducted during the annual ceremony with his family and many of the NHS community present. His 6 year old great granddaughter, accompanied by her family accepted his induction by proxy.  Dr. Maranpot is currently retired and living in Florida.

As a high school student from 1939-1943, Raymond responded to the call of duty and entered the armed forces to fight in World War II. In March of his senior year, he was eligible to enter the NHS, however he left for the military before the inductions that year. Dr. Maranpot was overjoyed to hear of the significant educational advances of  his alma mater in recent years, stating, “The youth of today are no different than the youth of my time -  place the challenges in front of them, provide guidance and motivation and they will respond as best as they can.” 

A family affair - Maria Anderson, who teaches French, Italian and Spanish at School 7, received her Doctorate in Education from Kean University recently. What made this a particularly special day for Dr. Anderson, however, is that her graduation took place while her daughter Victoria was graduating with a BA in Environmental Science from Montclair State University! Because commencements were offset by several hours, both ladies were able to attend each.

School 7 story

Crunching numbers to crush cancer - School 27 participated in a fundraiser for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Through this fundraiser they were able to raise money to help children with cancer in addition to practicing math concepts. During Math-A-Thon, students asked family and friends to sponsor them while they completed math booklets which were provided by St. Jude. These booklets included 5 Common Core worksheets according to grade. The students and staff members raised $5,397.00 over the course of the event!

Efficient and Responsive Operations
Annual report

Award-winning publication – Acting on an invitation to participate in the New Jersey School Public Relations Association’s (NJSPRA) School Communication Awards, the Department of Communications team submitted the latest district Annual Report, Bright Futures, Transforming Paterson Public Schools, for inclusion. Notice was received that our in-house produced booklet which describes the entire school district’s initiatives, accomplishments and academic data is among the winning submissions in the category of “Special interest Publications”.

A night in tribute – Two hours were set aside prior to the June Regular Meeting of the Board of Education to pay tribute to some of the district’s finest. Between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., retiring staff members were gathered in the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex cafeteria for a reception featuring cake, cookies and refreshments. While there, they heard heartfelt words of gratitude from State District Superintendent Dr. Donnie Evans. The retirees then made their way to the auditorium where they were joined by numerous other teachers and students for the 6 to 7 p.m. hour. This time was dedicated to recognizing the retirees; two nationally recognized Norman S. Weir math teachers, the JFK Robotics and College Prep team, the student winner of the Alexander Hamilton Award, County First Team track athletes and all the district’s Valedictorians and Salutatorians. Honorees were called to the stage to be greeted by Dr. Evans, administrators, and Board commissioners, where they received certificates of recognition.

Board of Education Recognition EventBoard of Education Recognition EventBoard of Education Recognition Event

“Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
— St. Francis of Assisi