Paterson Public School District HiLites

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District Strategic Plan in Action

Thursday, October 30, 2014

  • 2014 Family and Community Engagement Forum shines

  • Paterson “Reads for the Record”

  • “Virtualization” comes to the Technology Department

Effective Academic Programs

Lincoln Tech VisitPartnering for success - Creating an atmosphere of college and career readiness, the School of Business, Technology, Marketing and Finance (BTMF) Marketing Pathway paired up with the Lincoln Technical Institute to offer Marketing II/Job Training students an invaluable hands-on workshop experience. Lincoln Technical Institute’s Paramus Campus Career Services Team delivered an interactive opportunity for students to address and practice resume writing, interview skills and techniques, and the importance of “soft skills”. Students came prepared and professionally dressed to impress!  Ms. Dieshia Mazile, Director of Career Services, organized a progressive workshop format, dividing the class into 3 groups for 15 minute sessions on each topic. Ms. Jocelyn Matthews, Career Services Advisor, and Gina Cassese, High School Community Service Representative, assisted Ms. Mazile as moderators for each topic. Ms. Gina Cassese and Mr. Hernandez worked together to make this vision a reality.

Business trip - Officers of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) of the Eastside High School Campus recently attended the FBLA Fall Leadership Conference in Edison, New Jersey. At the conference, officers had the opportunity to review the program and choose from several workshops.  Students participated in “Reverse Engineering”, a program about challenging yourself and “High School into College” which discussed the transition of FBLA into FBLA-PBL which is the college level of the club.  Dashawn Smith stated, “This High School into College workshop inspired me. I had the chance to speak with an FBLA-PBL member who was chosen to be an intern at the White House.  This was very exciting.” Students also attended a general session which featured a motivational speaker and finished off with a luncheon and the opportunity to network with other schools. Mrs. Cindy Cooney, advisor to the FBLA, was accompanied by students: Trenice Brockington, Alexander Rodriguez, Brandon Valles and Dayshawn Smith.

WPU students visit SOITCollege students sample life at Eastside - William Paterson University (WPU) students from Dr. Maria Villar’s Diversity and Equity in Schools class recently visited the School of Information Technology (SOIT). The group was treated to a light breakfast before meeting with SOIT Principal, Mrs. Vivian Gaines, her Assistant Principals and Mr. Wallace Gaffney, teacher of Climate and Culture.  Mrs. Gaines provided and overview of the school and its history. After answering the numerous questions, the students were introduced to Mr. Gaffney who explained his role and the work he does, mainly coordinating efforts to reduce truancy and assist students build an attachment to their school. Two SOIT students, Becky Delgado Ramos and John Sisalima, also took questions from the WPU class and helped guide them on a tour of the facility. Prior to leaving, the guests received goody bags from their new SOIT friends. The WPU visitation was arranged by SOIT Professor in Residence, Dina Scacchetti.

Reading for a record -The English Language Arts department joined with the Pearson Educational Company for an event called: “Read for the Record”. Read for the Record encourages as many children as possible to read and instill in them a desire to become life-long learners and readers. This nation-wide event mobilizes millions of children and adults to celebrate literacy by participating in a large, shared experience. The comical children’s book Bunny Cakes was read to students all across the district. The Pearson Company donated 150 books to district schools to ensure that the event was successful. A great many volunteers joined this wonderful endeavor and had a great time reading to the children.

Read Across AmericaRead Across AmericaRead Across America

Enticing technology - School of Information Technology (SOIT) teachers, Mr. Bini and Mr. Garcia, along with the Tech Squad volunteer students, offered hands-on technology workshops to future Eastside students during the Oct 18th Fall Family and Community Engagement Forum. In one activity, the children designed and printed their own business cards with the help of the volunteer students. One child was overheard to say, “This is an awesome school!” At the conclusion of these workshops, participants received their own color business cards along with SOIT workshop completion certificates.

SOIT Workshop

Being prepared - Twenty-six students from the School of Information Technology (SOIT) traveled together by bus to Clifton High School to take their Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). Armed with #2 pencils and scientific calculators, the students were prepared and excited about tackling the important college readiness test.

Taking the SAT was the culminating activity for these students who had previously studied and prepared by participating in a “Test Anxiety” course offered by the Youth Consultation Services (YCS). The course was delivered by YCS staff, Marilyn Camacho, Zakeeyah Speight and assisted by two volunteers, Leigh Taylor and Carmen Valera. SOIT staff members, Mr. Anthony Menzel and Ms. Shenita Davis escorted the students to Clifton High School.

Robotics TeamA day in the life - The Dept of Family & Community Engagement organized the JFK Robotics/College Prep Team to participate in the recent William Paterson University (WPU) Open House. Large amounts of research have been done that say that the more that children can be exposed to college, the more likely they are to attend. The students had the opportunity to receive lectures, participate in workshops, and attend a full campus tour. Their tour guides showcased all the places students could go to get the most during a college career at WPU. They even held a mock college class to illustrate how a rigorous higher education can be. The Paterson students went home armed with a wealth of information that will serve them in the future. Junior Shadidur Rahman spoke about his experiences: "To see the WPU campus for the first time is an opportunity that I won't forget. I see myself being a college student. After going to events like this, I can't wait for it to happen!"

They will be on their toes… literally! - The Blossom Sisters Foundation, LLC (a charitable dance arts organization) will be partnering with School 6 to offer weekly professional ballet lessons to students on site in an after school program setting. The “Milestones” Ballet Outreach Program (MBOP) provides dance classes to K-8 children with an opportunity to attend a dance program for families that are unable to afford formal dance lessons. The ballet enrichment program is designed to create poise, grace, discipline and coordination while building self-esteem and self-confidence. Students that wish to pursue dance professionally will receive recommendations on scholarships and training that will prepare them for future auditions. Classes will be held at School 6 Mondays and Wednesdays.

Paterson District High Schools Achieve State Ranking Did you know that US News and World Report compiles data on all US high schools, and that three district schools were recognized as “Bronze” schools (among the top high schools) in New Jersey? The three schools are International High School, The Rosa Parks High School of Fine and Performing Arts, and HARP Academy. Test scores and proficiencies in math and language arts are considered along with overall student performance and demographics in order to rise to “medal” status. The magazine prepares a “College Readiness Index” which determines the type of medals (gold, silver or bronze) that are awarded to top-performing schools. Congratulations to these three district schools!

Safe, Caring and Orderly Schools 
Fire department visit to School 19Fire department visit to School 19Fire department visit to School 19

Students at School 19 learned some valuable lessons about fire safety during a visit from the Paterson Fire Department.

Otto the AutoTalking safety with Otto - “Otto the Auto” made a thrilling entrance into the School 13 auditorium. Otto teaches students in grades K to 3 potentially life-saving safety rules and the importance of being careful when they are around cars. Officers Eddy Pichardo and Krystle Diaz, along with Ryan Gabel, the Automobile Association of America (AAA) Public/Government Services Assistant were special guests for the presentation. After the main presentation, a few students from Ms. Davis' class were treated to an exclusive meet-and-greet session with Otto. Otto the Auto is funded entirely by AAA North Jersey members.

Family and Community Engagement

Dr. NewellBrighter Futures - The 2014 Fall Family and Community Engagement Forum was a great success. The annual event, hosted by the Department of Family and Community Engagement at the Eastside High School Campus drew approximately 250 attendees from around the district. After signing in and enjoying a light breakfast, parents and other caregivers received a preview of the new district five-year plan, “Brighter Futures”. An outgrowth of the original “Bright Futures” five-year plan, the new plan was introduced by State District Superintendent Dr. Donnie Evans andParent Conference explored in greater detail by Chief Reform and Innovation Officer, Dr. Laurie Newell. Following the presentation by Dr.’s Evans and Newell, the attendees divided into four groups and moved to breakout rooms for workshops where presenters spoke to them on specific topics with special emphasis on the four priorities of the new five-year plan. Children attended fun and educational activities while parents were in the workshops and everyone was treated to fantastic student dance performances at noon. Door prizes included numerous gift baskets, with two grand-prizes of flat-screen televisions! Dr. Evans’ and Dr. Newell’s entire presentation will be available on the district video on demand channel and PETV 76 and the broadcast schedule will be available shortly.

School 27 playground

Welcome to the “Superdome” - The New Jersey Community Development Corporation, Alexandra’s Playground, Patterson Kids and the KaBoom organizations joined with the district and School 27 to install a brand-new playground. Dozens of volunteers gathered at School 27 on Saturday, October 25th, and proceeded to pour concrete, moved earth and installed hardware for the new facility. The playground, designed with input from local children, will have a vast safe-surface play area (roughly the size of 9 basketball courts), a triple-racer slide, a four-seat see-saw and a “Superdome” climber for children to amble over.

BOE President honored – Paterson Public Schools’ Board of Education President, Mr. Christopher Irving, has been chosen as one of the first to receive a new award bestowed by the South Jersey African American Chamber of Commerce. The new award, The Urban School Boards, Board President Award, was created to recognize “…the value of the many volunteer hours that you give to insure that all of our children who attend our urban schools are represented and given the best education that can be afforded to them.” Mr. Irving will receive his award during the Annual Urban School Boards Reception to be held at Bally’s Atlantic City on October 29. Congratulations, Mr. President!

Commissioner Christopher Irving

HARP Breakfast Knights football

Radio personality Steve Harvey recently broadcast the WBLS 107.5 FM “Breakfast Hot Spot” from the Academy of Health Science (HARP). Norman S. Weir PTO president Mike Jackson, Big Poppie Pizza and the Jacksonville Restaurant provided breakfast.

On Friday, October 24, 2014 the John F. Kennedy Knights traveled to Thomas A. Edison High School in Philadelphia and won 40-6! GO KNIGHTS!

City Green

Home-grown - As winter sets in, the official planting season is over, however, the need for food doesn't end with the season. The Dept of Family & Community Engagement worked alongside City Green, Full Service Community School 5, The Paterson Adult School, New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC), and the New Jersey Help Center and created a home gardening workshop. The goal of the workshop was to teach families all about indoor gardening. By spending just $10 dollars in gardening seeds, an indoor garden can yield up to $100 dollars worth of food. The workshop taught parents proper techniques, handling, and care for indoor grown, edible plants. The parents left the workshop with a wealth of information and a better understanding that they can be in control of their food budget.

PANTHER AcademyThey wore holes in their shoes! - The PANTHER Academy of Earth and Space Science put on their pink shirts and their walking shoes for their First Annual Walkathon for Breast Cancer Awareness. PANTHER PE teachers, Mr. Bell and Ms. Hipkins, worked with students for more than a month to organize this event where 100% of students and even a few staff traversed four city blocks around the Passaic County Community College campus. Their effort went a long way by raising money and boosting awareness of this important cause. The walkers covered the equivalent of 5700 football fields, equivalent to the distance between Philadelphia and Boston, give or take a few miles!

Rewards to reap - Each school year a Walmart store in the local or nearby community selects a school to receive teacher and student rewards as part of their Teacher Rewards Program.  This year, School 10 has been chosen by the Walmart in Garfield, New Jersey for the 2014-2015 school year.

This is not a grant, nor are monetary donations given directly to the school; 20 randomly selected teachers will receive $50 reward cards to buy nutritious snacks or school supplies from Walmart. Also, ten students will be awarded gifts based on these criteria: student achievement, most improved student, and family need. The students' gifts will include a desktop computer, a laptop, an iPad, and an iPod. The awards will be given by company representatives during a school-wide assembly program.

Ms. LymTwo exhibitions for one teacher - Ms. Lym, Art Teacher at BTMF Academy at the John J.Kennedy Educational Complex will exhibit 2 monotype prints at the Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery at New Jersey City University called, "I live Here" Ms. Lym was also invited to participate in the Harlem Postcards Project at the Harlem Studio Museum. Four international artists were chosen for the fall exhibition series. The photographs taken in Harlem will be exhibited at the entrance of the Harlem Studio Museum.  The photographs will be reproduced as postcards for museum patrons to take as souvenirs.

Efficient and Responsive Operations
School 16 groundbreaking

Dr. Evans, Deputy Governor Kim Guadagno, district administrators, community partners and city and state officials were all on hand for the official School 16 ground-breaking ceremony. The new School 16 is set to be a model of “green” technology and energy efficiency, conforming to “LEED GOLD” certification guidelines.

NOCDon’t knock the “NOC” – Most have probably never ventured into the district’s “Network Operations Center” (NOC). The NOC (pronounced, “knock”) is the very epicenter of the district’s technology infrastructure, theNOC “nerve-center” if you will. The PPS NOC houses over 100 individual server computers that enable the entire district’s central computing and processing capability; our “network”. You would never be aware of the NOC; never that is, unless it experiences a failure of some kind. At present, our NOC is at the very limit of its physical capabilities – electrical power is maxed-out, along with much needed cooling which is maintained 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Now, with our NOC undergoing a much-needed upgrade and re-working, there is a better system on the horizon. For many weeks now, engineers have been installing equipment in a process known as “virtualization”. The 100-plus servers are being consolidated into a cluster of 12 highly efficient units that will utilize cloud-based operating system software and have full redundancy. Redundancy is a very key factor, and means that if any one of the 12 machines is down, the other 11 along with their “virtualized” cloud-based components will seamlessly absorb the lost unit’s function. This will greatly reduce the likelihood that our network will fail because of a loss of one or more servers. As an added benefit, power consumption will be greatly reduced while the cooling equipment will be able to work more efficiently. According to Interim Supervisor of Technology, Mr. Kenneth Sumter, “With more and more of our educational efforts focused on or utilizing computer technology in some way, virtualization is a logical step in advancing our district-wide network to a 21st century model.”

Upcoming Events

Nov. 5: Board of Education Workshop

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

Nov. 6: NJEA Convention

Schools closed

Nov. 7: NJEA convention

District closed

Nov. 10: High School CHOICE Open House

5:00 - 6:00 p.m. at the Academy of Earth & Space Science (PANTHER)

Nov. 11: Veteran's Day

District closed

Nov. 12: High School CHOICE Open House

4:00 - 6:00 p.m. at Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts

Nov. 13: High School CHOICE Open House

3:45 - 6:00 p.m. at the Academy of Health Science (HARP)

Nov. 13: High School CHOICE Open House

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality & Tourism (CAHTS),  School of Government & Public Administration (GOPA), and School of Information Technology (SOIT)

Nov. 14: First Marking Period Ends

Nov. 15 Board of Education Retreat

9:00 a.m. - 3 p.m. At Seton Hall University.

Nov. 18: Report Card Distribution: Grades K-8

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 19: Board of Education Regular Meeting

7:00 p.m. at JFK Educational Complex

Nov. 20: High School CHOICE Open House

3:00 - 5:00 p.m. at School of Education Training (SET)

Nov. 20: High School CHOICE Open House

3:30 - 6:00 p.m. at Academy of Architecture & Construction Trades

Nov. 20: High School CHOICE Open House

4:30 - 6:00 p.m. at Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)

Nov. 20: High School CHOICE Open House

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Academy of Business, Technology, Marketing & Finance (BTMF)

Nov. 20: Report Card Distribution: Grades 9-12

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 20: High School CHOICE Open House

5:30 -7:30 p.m. at the International High School and Garrett Morgan Academy for Transportation & Engineering

“The world doesn't care how many times you fall down, as long as it's one fewer than the number of times you get back up.”
— Aaron Sorkin, American screenwriter