Paterson Public School District HiLites

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District Strategic Plan in Action

Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

  • Breakfast and lunch for every student

  • Fall Conference to present Brighter Futures

  • JFK students beautify the National Park

Effective Academic Programs

Exploring science, hands-on - Thanks to a generous grant of $89,000, the Ametek Foundation, Science Explorers Inc., will be providing 10 weeks of inquiry based, hands-on science lessons for School 27 students in grades K-3. Programming will run weekly throughout the entire school year. “Solar Sarah” of the Science Explorers program, will present topics at an all-school assembly. Those topics are then rolled into the week of science lessons with the characters, “Galaxy Gracene” and “Helium Hackett”.
 For their first lesson, School 27’s Kindergarteners through grade 3 will become chemists, experimenting with the three main states of matter while learning about chemical and physical reactions and the scientific process. The students will be sporting lab coats and goggles while they conduct their experiments. The Ametek Foundation has been supporting inquiry-based science programs with The Science Projects Are Really Kid Stuff (SPARKS) Foundation and Science Explorers all around the country since 2003.

Breakfast after the BellHunger-free means enhanced learning - Paterson Public Schools is among 32 New Jersey school districts now offering free breakfast and lunch to children under the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The two daily meals will now be provided regardless of an individual family’s income. The former procedure required families to go through a complicated, intensive application process in which verification of the families’ low income was the main provision for providing meals. Now, under this new program, entire schools can qualify based upon their high percentages of low income students.

An extension of this program is the district’s “Breakfast after the Bell” initiative which provides early morning nutrition after school has started, ensuring that the children begin their studies on a full stomach. Prior to Breakfast After the Bell, morning meals were typically provided around 7:45 AM, precluding many children who could not arrive at that early hour. Early results are showing that the children who are receiving breakfast in the classroom are more attentive, and less inclined to focus on lunch hour, when they might have previously received their first meal of the day. Based upon demographics, our district’s entire student population qualifies for this new initiative.

Joshua Rockland

Integrating art and history - This past July, Mr. Joshua Rockland, Art Teacher at School 20, participated in the 2014 Teacher Institute on Impressionism and Post-Impressionism at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Mr. Rockland was one of 52 teachers of any discipline chosen nation-wide for this annual, week-long program, which includes gallery talks by museum art historians, art history lectures on modern life in 19th Century Paris, and teaching strategies to incorporate museum artwork into classroom discussion in multiple subjects. He plans to present on his experience to his School 20 colleagues and demonstrate ways to discuss art in language arts and history class. For those interested, information on applying for the program may be by clicking here.

Queen of SpainEducational diplomacy - Mrs. Susana Peron, Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services and Special Programs, and Mr. Rogelio Suarez, Director of Bilingual/English as a Second Language/World Languages, received an invitation from the Honorable Juan Ramon Martinez Salazar, Consul General of Spain to attend a signing ceremony recognizing the newest New York schools included in the International Spanish Academies (ISA) program. This event included the presence of Her Majesty, Queen Letizia of Spain! Both Mrs. Peron and Mr. Suarez, have been working diligently with the Spanish Consulate for more than a year with the goal of having actual Spanish bilingual teachers come to Paterson as visiting teachers. Plans are also in the works at creating the first ISA program in Paterson. The event took place at Dos Puentes School in New York.  The New York Schools Chancellor, Dr. Carmen Fariñas was also in attendance.

Safe, Caring and Orderly Schools 

One hour to better health - Fifth-graders at School 15 got an energetic visit from New York Giants cornerback, Prince Amukamara. Mr. Amukamara came to Paterson as part of the Giant’s “Fuel Up to Play 60” initiative aimed at getting kids moving and eating healthy. While at School 15, the rising football star spent time doing numerous exercises with the students and spoke about nutrition and health. The program’s name alludes to the notion that all it takes is 60 minutes a day for kids to have a healthier lifestyle. The program is funded by the NFL in association with the National Dairy Council.

Fuel up to play 60Fuel up to Play 60Fuel up to play 60

Family and Community Engagement

Brighter Futures –The 2014 Family and Community Engagement Fall Conference will take place at the Eastside High School Campus on Saturday, October 18. Besides the traditional format of parent workshops, guest speakers, student performances and other related activities, this year’s conference will be intimately aligned with the district’s new 5-year Strategic Plan, “Brighter Futures”. All parents, care-givers and stakeholders are encouraged to attend this day-long, highly engaging conference to gain first-hand knowledge on helping students perform at optimal levels. There will also be musical performances by PPS students, along with giveaways and raffles for parents. All these activities, combined with the roll-out of the new Strategic Plan make for one very informative and stand-out event! Registration will begin at 8:15 AM. Click here for an informative flyer in English or Spanish.

Eastside Back to School Night

Getting to know all about you - Back-to-School Night is a great opportunity for parents, teachers, staff and administrators, to meet and connect. Dr. Stephanie Roberts, Student Assistance Coordinator at the Eastside Campus, shared important materials during this year’s event with parents about the many services which are available through the Student Assistance Department. Some information that was shared that evening dealt with: coping skills; substance awareness; bullying, mental health issues; attendance; and more.

GOAL!  - The Kennedy Knights Boys Soccer team has won the first round of the Passaic County Coaches Association Soccer (PCCA) Tournament by defeating Eastern Christian High School, 5-3.  Goals were scored by Jean Paul Yachachin; Franklin Vigil; Larry Martinez; and Abdessamad Oubi. The Knights will be advancing to round two against Wayne Hills High School on Thursday, October 2nd at 4:15 at Wayne Hills. Go Knights!

Local pride/National pride - Members of the JFK Robotics/College Prep Team working with the Dept. of Family and Community Engagement volunteered at the Clean Communities Event held at the Great Falls National Park. This event was presented by the City of Paterson in order to engage more active participation by citizens within their community. The robotics students planted flowers and groomed the park’s rose-garden. They also cleaned up the trash that had accumulated in and around the garden. In recognition of their hard work, the robotics students received a 2nd place award for the amount of cleanup and planting they did. Junior Zyheir Williams remarked, "I'm happy we were able to do this for our community. The National Park is not only a gift for us Patersonians, but also for the whole world to view and enjoy!”

Great Falls Park cleanup

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Editor’s note: As the district implements the new Infinite Campus Student Information System, our Information Management Systems (MIS) Department will provide useful tips and reminders for teachers and staff via District HiLites.
Infinite Campus Tips of the Week:

  • Be sure to set up your Campus Community Account for instructional tutorials. Visit the Information Management Systems page for a PowerPoint tutorial.
  • Teachers can now use the Infinite Campus grade-book component. Click here and use your district log-in credentials to begin.
  • Remember to contact MIS for any Infinite Campus questions you may have at misdepartment@paterson.k12.nj.us or by dialing extension 10990.

Upcoming Events

Oct. 2: Paterson Parent University

Neighborhood Parent Conference: 6:00 p.m. at School 24   

Oct. 2: State Girls Tennis Tournament

4:00 p.m. Kennedy Knights at Bergen Tech

Oct. 2: PCAA Soccer Tournament

4:15 p.m. Kennedy Knights at Wayne Hills

Oct. 3: Eid-al-Adha

District Closed

Oct. 6-10: HIB Week of Respect

Oct. 7: Paterson Parent University

Neighborhood Parent Conference: 6:00 p.m. at School 21   

Oct. 8: Board of Education Workshop Meeting

6:30 p.m. at 90 Delaware Ave. Rescheduled from Oct. 1

Oct. 8: Progress Reports

Grades K-12

Oct. 9: Paterson Parent University

Neighborhood Parent Conference: 6:00 p.m. at School 28  

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. 20-24: School Violence Awareness Week

Oct. 27-31 Red Ribbon Week

Oct. 29: Staff-in-Service

1:00 p.m. Student dismissal

Oct. 29: Annual High School CHOICE Fair

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

“It's your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don't take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.”
— Betty White,
American actress