Paterson Public School District HiLites

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District Strategic Plan in Action

Friday, November 14, 2014

  • “Perfect Scores” numbers reach new high

  • Something “fishy” at School 27

  • Beam signing at Hazel-Marshall Street School

Effective Academic Programs

Perfect ScoresPaterson Perfect - Paterson’s annual NJASK “Perfect Scores” celebration took place one hour prior to the November regular Board of Education meeting. The District began this Perfect Scoresannual event in 2011, and the latest celebration recognized a “record high” of 251 students who achieved perfect scores on specific sections of the 2014 NJASK – New Jersey’s state assessment of skills and knowledge for grades 3 - 8. The total number of students recognized is up 124% since the first celebration in 2011, and up 40% year over year. This year’s outstanding achievers included 84 “repeat performers”; and one young man, Darwin Romero who has aced the exam for six consecutive years! Additionally, the Paterson Academy for the Gifted & Talented was recognized for achieving 100% proficiency for specific grades for math and science.

Trout in the ClassroomSomething is fishy at School 27 - They did a count by analyzing a projected photograph and determined that they had some 225 tiny rainbow trout growing in a large tank in the back of their classroom. The students in Mr. Kelly’s School 27 Science Class take the raising of their tiny “fry” very seriously. About once a week, they do chemical analysis of the water to determine pH (acid/base levels), check mortality, look for the presence and level of nitrites and nitrates, ammonia levels, and check the temperature.

The class project, undertaken with help and guidance from the NJ Division Fish and Wildlife, combines the utilization of pure science and math, along with the responsibilities of raising and caring for living things. After teams of students gather data on the ecology of the tank, they report out and record all the parameters in a log. If adjustments are necessary, they take the needed steps to keep things in balance. In June, when the fish are big enough to be released, a special permit obtained by Mr. Kelly will allow them to stock the trout into the lake at Hershfield Park in Pompton Lakes, where they will be available for fishermen to enjoy. You can follow the progress of the rainbow trout by visiting the classes’ blog at, http://www.ps27trout.wordpress.com. For a slideshow from inside the “hatchery” click here. Let’s hope they haven’t named them all prior to release!

Needed skills - School of Information Technology (SOIT) students, under the supervision of Mr. Anthony Menzel, Ms. Shenita Davis, Ms. Nanci Rivera and Ms. Norah Stanojevic, recently visited the Mahwah campus of the Lincoln Technical Institute. There, the students learned about the various areas of study offered: Automotive, Electronics/Electrician, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), and Computer Numeric Control (CNC) manufacturing. While there, the students also had the opportunity to tour the campus and the auto shop.

Technology plays a major role in each of the four areas of study and students were surprised at how computer skills are needed to in the programming of virtually everything today: boilers, air conditioning and heating units, product manufacturing, and of course, automobiles. High level knowledge of technology is needed in virtually every aspect of modern life. Job opportunities exist in each of these fields for highly qualified persons with advanced technology skills -- perfect for SOIT students! Prior to leaving the campus, students were treated to pizza made in a computer-controlled industrial oven!

PPS ranks in Top 100 Award - Paterson Public Schools has been recognized as a netTekker Top 100 Digital Learning Awards Winner. This program recognizes school districts that effectively use digital resources in teaching and learning. netTrekker is an educational search tool used by millions of students and teachers. Click here to learn more about netTrekker and the top 100 Digital Learning Awards.

Checkmate! - The Paterson Public Schools fall chess tournament, held recently at International High School, was a great success. Students from a number of our schools and after school programs won trophies and medals for placing high in competition against peers from other schools. Amazingly, a first grader won a prize playing against third and fourth graders! This was a first time tournament experience for many of the students. Once the District becomes officially affiliated with the United States Chess Federation (in progress), our players will compete against other school districts in statewide and nationwide competition, after which they can become officially ranked.

Silok City celebrates diversityA cultural experience - A group of students from Silk City Academy recently toured The Big Apple, beginning at New York University and winding their way past some of the historic sites of Greenwich Village. From the stunning views of New York City from the Chelsea Piers, to the monument in Washington Square Park, students learned about the history of “The Village” and its famous writers, theaters and architecture. Students walked along Christopher Street from the Stonewall Inn to famous jazz clubs and cafes along West 3rd Street. Mr. Conforti and Mr. Fitzgerald guided the students through the old cobblestone streets, pointing out the places where Thomas Paine lived and the Bohemian lifestyle gained notoriety. They explored the connection between Paterson and The Village from poets such as Allan Ginsberg.

Pegasus Yearbook NIa Adams and Wendoly Mora Kids Express

2014 Rosa Parks High School Pegasus yearbook staff received 2nd place (silver medal) in the 2014 Garden State Scholastic Press Association annual yearbook contest.

Rosa Parks communication arts students, Nia Adams and Wendoly Mora, have been accepted into the Minorities in Journalism Workshop at the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications, sponsored by Syracuse University and The Record newspaper.

Gabrielle Edwards, Grade 6 AT Norman S. Weir has received a “Youth Award for Artistic Expression.”  Her work was recently published in Kids Express magazine.

Election at 27

A very tasty election - About 140 kindergarten and first grade students at School 27 learned about the electoral process by voting for their favorite snack food. The children received voter registration cards and were required to sign a log book before casting their ballots in a booth constructed by teachers. They also sampled both snacks and watched a persuasive PowerPoint, complete with a celebrity endorsement from Spongebob Squarepants. The first graders made a list of adjectives to describe each candidate, wrote explanatory pieces about their choice, counted ballots, graphed the results and analyzed the data. Cheetos easily defeated all opponents, hands-down!

Full Sail University visit - Two College Presentations were given to all six of Ms. Lym's Art Appreciation classes at the School of Business, Technology Marketing and Finance (BTMF). Mr. Bob Albrecht who represents Full Sail University based in Winter Park, Florida came on two separate days to talk about art courses offered at the University.  He introduced students to the possibilities of getting a degree in Art & Design, Film, Communications, Business, Game Design, Music and Entertainment Production as well as Web and Technology Design. A few students already informed Ms. Lym that Full Sail is where they want to apply for college. 

Youth in GovernmentYouth in Government Day - Marleene Rodriguez and Andrea Aguilar, students at the School of Government and Public Administration, had a wonderful learning experience with other county students participating in the Passaic County Youth in Government Day. The day started with a welcome from Louis E. Imhof, County Clerk, who introduced to them to the County Administrator, Anthony J. DeNova, and a host of other Passaic County department heads. The students then proceeded to Passaic County Community College where they were served lunch and met with the President of Passaic County Community College, Dr. Steven Rose.  

After lunch, the day’s itinerary took the large group of Passaic County high school students to the shooting range of the Passaic County Police and then on to the Preakness Healthcare Center. While there, the students spent a relaxing time playing bingo with senior residents at the facility. The highlight of the day came when students got a chance to run the Freeholders board meeting with the Freeholders themselves assisting the students in the protocol of how the meeting is properly operated.

College Experience - The Department of Family & Community Engagement organized the JFK Robotics/College Prep Team to participate in an open house event at Felician College. The staff at the open house made sure the students left with a good impression of what the college has to offer. They were treated to a special performance by the college’s Theater Arts program’s student actors. The actors did a short, funny skit that included a song. They were also shown the different housing facilities the college has to offer. They were then giving a lecture describing the various degree programs one could pursue at Felecian. With its castle-like buildings and academic atmosphere, the students found it to be a wonderful place. Ninth-grader Christopher Martinez proclaimed, "I love the fact that we get a taste of different colleges and universities in and around Paterson. It gives us a good understanding of what higher education has to offer."

Art GalleryGallery installation at Central Office - Be sure to visit the collection of School 29 artwork currently on display on the first floor of 90 Delaware Avenue. Students from grades 1, 2, 3, and 4 created their own imaginary creature made from 3 or more different animals. Each creature was placed in an environment and the students wrote a description of their creature. Every child created a drawing of spiral branches and learned how to blend warm and earth colors together to create different browns. The final part of the project consisted of a water color resist and a collage of leaves glued to the paper. Students learned how to trace, trim, cut and paste to create a cute dog. They also learned how the horizon line separates the ground from the sky and how to design a background along the horizon line for their dogs.

Mr. Joe Malinconico

Mr. Joe Malinconico reporter from The Paterson News discussing journalism and the world of newspapers and digital media with students at School 6.

Safe, Caring and Orderly Schools 

He was who he had been hanging out with - Highly regarded author and motivational speaker, Mr. Michael Franzese recently paid a visit to the Eastside High School Campus. His mission is to help people turn their lives around before it is too late. In his life, Mr. Franzese was able to beat the odds and turn his life around after being one of the top mob bosses in the United States. In his presentation to the students at Eastside, he was honest, truthful, and straight forward with the and conved his positive message of change, awareness, and redemption. According to Mr. Franzese, “You are who you hang out with.”

Michael Franzese at EHS

CAHTS Raises money for Breast Cancer

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Eastside Honor Society sold pink shirts to support the cause. Students will be allowed to wear their shirts every Friday in the month of October. In total, $1,500 was raised for the Sister Network INC of Passaic and Bergen.

Family and Community Engagement
eam Signing

For posterity - Dr. Evans, district administrators, teachers, students and city officials joined New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) CEO Charles McKenna for a “beam signing ceremony”. With construction of the new Marshall Street Elementary School buzzing in the background, the students, teachers and officials celebrated the progress at the new facility by signing one of the framework’s steel beams, forever leaving their mark on the new school. Immediately following the beam signing, everyone present watched as the steel beam was hoisted into place to become a permanent part of the new school.  As seen in these photos the school construction is really coming along!

Treats, no tricks - The students at School 24 have been “adopted” by the Confirmation students at Holy Angels Church in Little Falls, NJ.  The children at Holy Angels filled over 100 Halloween bags filled with of schools supplies, pretzels, chips, cookies, and candy that they donated to their School 24 friends. The Confirmation students have been bringing smiles to School 24 students for over 4 years! The entire School 24 family wishes to send a great, big thank-you to all their friends at Holy Angels Church. 

School 24 Halloween

School 7 canoe trip School 7 ribbon cutting Early Learning Center

As part of School 7’s relationship with the Paterson Great Falls National Park, students in Ms. Terwilliger’s and Ms. Assaf’s classes participated in a day of canoeing and environmental work on the Passaic River.

School 7 students were invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new grassy area of the Paterson Great Falls National Park. As the Great Falls “adopted class” of 2016, the students of School 7 were addressed and honored by Mayor Torres and Congressman Pascrell for their work during the summer Eco-Explorers Program at Montclair State University and The Falls.

Students from the 14th Avenue Early Learning Center had autumn fun, picking their very-own pumpkins!

GOPA volunteers

Meaningful volunteerism - Students from the School of Government and Public Administration (GOPA) volunteered to provide respite and recreation for the families of developmentally delayed adults. Ovea recent weekend, volunteer staff spent time participating in a variety of activities such as, sports, arts and crafts, shopping at local businesses and light exercise. The weekend climaxed with a Saturday night Halloween Dance Party. Pictured here with other staff and community members are GoPA students Gisella Espana and Marleene Rodriguez. One of the volunteers was heard to say, "Maybe I should consider recreational therapy as a career choice – it’s fun and meaningful and I hear the pay is great!"

Trailblazing at the Great Falls - Students from the Paterson Academy for the Gifted and Talented at School 28 and School 7 were recently recognized for contributing to the restoration of the Great Falls National Park. During the summer months twenty-three students participated in Montclair University’s Eco Explorer Program  where they traversed the first trail opened on the north side of the falls. Students were invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony along with Congressman Bill Pascrell, Major Torres, and national park Superintendent Darren Boch.

Meanwhile, Sixth grade students spent a day on the Passaic River learning about the ecology and canoeing. Students entered the river at Westside Park along with teachers , Wilderness Inquiry Staff and National Park Rangers. The Canoemobile is a roving fleet of six hand-made, 24′ Voyageur canoes that travel across America to bring environmental literacy and dynamic outdoor learning experiences to urban youth.

A harvest of fun - The School 10 Home School Council hosted their 4th Annual Harvest Festival at on October 30th. Students in grades Pre K-2 wore Halloween costumes and had a wonderful time picking pumpkins and painting faces on them. They also enjoyed a treat of muffins and apple cider afterwards. Students in grades 3-5 participated by making ice cream sundaes which they thoroughly enjoyed. 

School 10 pumpkin patch

Napier Halloween

Spooky fun - 25 students and five parents from the Dr. Frank Napier, Jr. School of Science & Technology were invited by the Boys & Girls Club of Paterson to attend the Victor Cruz Foundation “Halloween Land”, a spooky sports and science fair. During the fair, students had the opportunity to participate in hands-on design and crafty fun activities, visit a variety of science & technology learning stations and test their scoring skills at football, hockey and soccer stations. Click here for a series of photographs from Halloween Land.

Efficient and Responsive Operations

We’re getting greener every day –Paterson Public Schools has been chosen as a $20,000 School District Scholarship by the US Green Building Council. Six recipients across the nation have received this scholarship – but PPS is the only school district in New Jersey. The scholarship will be used to provide training for 100 teachers to become Green Classroom Professionals. Among the optional training that the district can select as part of this program is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED certification is designed to help save money and resources and have a positive impact on the health of building occupants, while promoting renewable, clean energy. The support offered through this scholarship dramatically increases our district’s ability to provide the best physical teaching and learning environment for our students and staff.

Ms. Brenda Zemo, Environmental, Occupational Health & Safety Officer, will be utilizing the scholarship when she attends the School Sustainable Leadership Summit next June, as well as aiding her efforts to expand the district Waste Management Program. The scholarship is also helping to support LEED Certification efforts at the new Hazel/Marshall Street School.

Upcoming Events

Nov. 14: First Marking Period Ends

Nov. 15: Mid-Year Job Fair

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at 90 Delaware Ave.

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. 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

5:30 - 7:30 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

Nov. 21: Little Ham: A Play by Langston Hughes

7:00 p.m. Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts.

Nov. 26: Early dismissal

1:00 p.m. for students; 1:10 p.m. for staff

Nov. 27-28 Thanksgiving

District Closed

“We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to conserve the environment so that we can bequeath our children a sustainable world that benefits all.”
— Wangari Maathai
1940 – 2011
Kenyan environmental and political activist