Paterson Public School District HiLites

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District Strategic Plan in Action

Thursday, September 18, 2014

  • Acting Commissioner Hespe visits School 28

  • District gets funds for literacy programs

  • Coach Griles best in Passaic

Effective Academic Programs
Acting Commissioner Hespe

Commissioner visits School 28 - The Paterson Education Fund (PEF) arranged for Acting Commissioner of Education David Hespe to come visit School 28. During his visit, Mr. Hespe spent time reading to students as a part of the Paterson Reads celebration of International Literacy Day.  The Commissioner was a very engaging reader and kept 80 second grade students engaged for more than 40 minutes.  He asked questions to get them to relate the story to their own life experiences. He also reminded the kids how important reading is and told them to spend at least 15 minutes reading every day.

Grants for literacy initiatives - Thanks to a number of grants obtained for the express purpose of enhancing student achievement in literacy, a slate of professional development and student-centric opportunities will be taking place.
Among the grants totaling $225,000, a $30,000 sum is earmarked to fund the training of a “Reading Recovery Teacher Leader” at New York University. The chosen teacher will receive intensive training in Reading Recovery intervention for first grade students. After completion, the Reading Recovery Teacher Leader will turn-key their skills as the district moves toward becoming a Reading Recovery training site for the Northern New Jersey region, serving both in-district and out-of-district teachers. Click here for a chart indicating the distribution of the various grants obtained. The grantor of these funds has asked to remain anonymous.

Reading Intervention made fun! - School 19 CEIS (Coordinated Early Intervention Services) students were thrilled to use iPads for interactive reading and sight word recognition during the school’s extended school year program. These students began their day by writing a morning message and following up with the review and writing of sight/trick words. Students then completed diagraphs to blend letters and use their own choice of words, similar to those they had learned. The Level I group expressed that their favorite phonics-related iPad applications are: Teach Me and Crabby Writer.


Madelin Grullion

Rosa Parks student among finalists - The Association of Indians in America, South Jersey Chapter, has just announced the top 25 contestants that participated in the 2014 Mahatma Gandhi Art and Writing Contest. Among those chosen is Rosa Parks High School student Madelin Grullion. The purpose of the yearly contest is to raise awareness on the importance of Mahatma Gandhi's message on non-violence, racial harmony and peace. This year more than 2000 students from middle and high schools participated. The final ranking will be announced on October 12, from the list of finalists. The top three students from Middle and High schools will be recognized in front of a live audience at Princeton University!  Winners will receive a certificate of accomplishment along with cash awards ranging from $150 to $300

Summer fun and learning - Along with academics, STARS academy students spent their Extended School Year (ESY) time visiting various businesses in the community. The students also spent time with the City Green organization and learned about the importance of bats in the environment. They even spent some time building bat houses! There were several visits to the Paterson museum, featuring guest speakers from the Passaic Historic Commission and the Paterson Historic Commission. They learned about the restoration of sculptures by Gaetano Frederici, and the history of carnivals and the circus in Paterson. STARS ended the summer program of arts, technology, and community-based integrated academics with a Carnival Day of pizza, ice cream and prizes! Click here for a PowerPoint presentation showing their ESY activities.

Save the Date – The annual High School Choice Fair will take place on Wednesday, October 29th at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex. Attending the Fair is a must for of eighth grade students and their parents. Students moving on to high school 2015 can learn all about the options available to them in the Paterson Public Schools High School Academies!

Safe, Caring and Orderly Schools 

Remembering with honor - For the last thirteen years, The School of Government and Public Administration has held very solemn ceremonies honoring the more than 3000 people who lost their lives during the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. This year, Battalion Commander, Stephanie Alamo, presented the colors to the Color Guard that raised the flag and then lowered it to half-staff. Inspirational and fervent remarks were made by Second Lieutenant Marlene Rodriguez. Dr. Johnson then addressed the students, noting that most were just toddlers at the time of the attack and challenged every student to sustain the courage and resolve to live in a free society without the shadow of terrorism lurking over their heads.

GOPA9-11 RemembranceGOPA

peacepalsPeace-promoting educator retires - In the spring of 2005, Mrs. Laurie Tumin presented the first ever “Peace Pals” event at School 14. Each year, the elementary art teacher has gotten the entire school family together in the name of peace; World-wide, nation-wide, state-wide, city-wide, and perhaps most importantly, in-the-neighborhood peace. Her colorful and musical gathering of peace takes place in the School 14 playground and culminates with an enormous human peace symbol. Mrs. Tumin has also promoted and shared the School 14 Peace Pals events locally and around the World, most notably with school children in Osaka, Japan! After a long career as an educator, Mrs. Tumin has retired from Paterson Public Schools. Her retirement could mean that the 2014 event might have been the last, but Mrs. Tumin has vowed to continue her peaceful initiatives in retirement. It seems unlikely that Paterson Public Schools has seen the last of her and the Peace Pals! The entire 2014 Peace Pals celebration can be seen on the PPS Streaming Video channel.

YOU can still double their money! Last Spring we told you about an anonymous matching fund grant bestowed for Paterson teachers via the “Donors Choose” website. You can still donate to a number of Paterson schools with Donors Choose projects and help our teachers and students with much needed funds. Visit the Giving Page to see and donate to active Paterson Donors Choose projects, or go to to learn all about the organization.

Suicide PreventionA sensitive issue addressed – October is Suicide Prevention Month. When it comes to suicide prevention, every second is crucial! The Eastside High School Campus is a dedicated school-community that takes action every day. Stephanie Roberts, a Student Assistance Coordinator at Eastside, has displayed a corridor bulletin board with critical information aimed at assisting anyone who is confronted with this serious, yet sensitive issue. Ms. Roberts’ and the Student Assistance Department’s goals are to:

  • Raise awareness that suicide is preventable.
  • Improve education about suicide.
  • Spread information about suicide awareness.
  • Decrease stigmatization regarding suicide.

Family and Community Engagement

Illustrious PPS ladies honored – This year’s Harvest of Hope Achievement Luncheon held by the Pi Xi Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., will recognize a number of wonderful women from our district. PPS honorees this year include: Deputy Superintendent, Ms. Eileen Shafer; Chief of Staff, Mrs. Jacqueline Jones; Principal Grace Giglio and Special Education Teacher Ms. Ophelia Bethea, both of Norman S. Weir; Cheryl Ward, Parent Coordinator at School 6; and School 4 Language Arts Teacher, Ms. Kim Hunter. The theme of the luncheon is “Saluting Women in Education” and will take place at the Valley Regency banquet facility in Clifton on Sunday, November 2nd at 12 PM. To reserve tickets, please call 201-982-2201, or email

A first-class coach – Last school year, Eastside Ghosts' Coach Juan Griles was selected as Passaic County's Boy Basketball Coach of the Year. Now, the Passaic County Coaches Association has also selected Coach Griles as the top coach of the year for all sports! Coach Griles will be honored at the Passaic County Coaches Association Awards Ceremony on Wed., Oct. 1, 2014, 7:30 p.m., at The Brownstone House. Tickets are $40 and must be purchased prior to the dinner. Those interested can contact Ms. Conley at the Eastside High School Campus Athletics Department at 973-321-0515 to purchase tickets.

Don’t just sit there! –Four Paterson Public Schools have been named bronze award winners in the “Let’s Move Active Schools” program, as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s fitness initiative. The winners are Schools 5, 8, the School of Government and Public Administration, and the School of Information Technology. Throughout the country, only 698 schools won similar awards.
To earn a Let’s Move award, the schools had to meet benchmarks in five areas: physical education; physical activity before and after school; physical activity during school; staff involvement; and family and community engagement.

Kudos to the principals, teachers and school staff who serve as “School Wellness Leaders”. The teachers who lead their School Wellness Councils, representing their schools at Healthy Schools Program professional development workshops include: Lilian Dougherty and Dan Ring (School 5), Ashley D'Acunto (School 8), Susan Collum (GOPA), and Craig Lombardi (SOIT).

A shiny new floor and more for Eastside - PPS Alumna (Rosa parks High School), former Rutgers Scarlet Knight and now WMBA New York Liberty superstar Essence Carson was on hand to unveil the Eastside Campus’ gymnasium upgrades and new floor. The unveiling of the renovations, financed by the New York Liberty, New York Knicks and Chase bank, was followed by a girls’ basketball clinic led by Ms. Carson and former New York Knick, Larry Johnson.


Psychologist receives State appointment - School 2 Psychologist, Keisha Lynne Hill, has been appointed to the New Jersey Governor’s Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Committee. Ms. Hill, who has served on the Child Study Team in Paterson since 2005, has also worked as a School Psychologist in upstate New York and Virginia. Having also studied at Hampton University and the College of William and Mary, Ms. Hill became interested in juvenile justice issues while studying at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  The JJDP Committee’s mission is to prevent or reduce delinquency by improving systems, mobilizing resources, and engaging in advocacy to improve the lives of youth and families in the state.

Better parenting means better students - The Parent University program created by the Department of Family and Community Engagement continues for the 2014/2015 school year. Many opportunities are available for parents and care-givers to expand their knowledge and skills aimed at creating more effective and focused students. Registration is open now. Click here for a detailed flyer. Click here to view an informative slideshow PSA.

Save the date - Parents and caregivers: Join us for the Family and Community Engagement Fall Conference. Parent workshops, guest speakers, student performances and much, much, more! This event takes place on Saturday, October 18 at the Eastside High School Campus. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

Upcoming Events

Sept. 18: Back to School Night

Grades 9-12

Sept. 23: Back to School Night

Grades K-8

Sept. 25: Rosh Hashanah

District Closed

Oct. 3: Eid-al-Adha

District Closed

Oct. 6-10: HIB Week of Respect

Oct. 8: Board of Education Workshop Meeting

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

Oct. 8: Progress Reports

Grades K-12

Oct. 13: Columbus Day

District Closed

Oct. 15: Board of Education Regular Meeting

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

Oct. 18: Family & Community Engagement Conference

8:30 a.m. at Eastside Campus

Oct. 29: Annual High School CHOICE Fair

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

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