Paterson Public School District HiLites

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Happy Holidays
District Strategic Plan in Action

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2014

  • Paterson student is Ivy League bound

  • “Choice Bus” delivers a hard message

  • Three beloved educators retire

Effective Academic Programs

Frankcarlos CastroIvy Leaguer in our midst - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academy (STEM) student Frankcarlos Castro has been accepted for early admission to The Columbia University School of Engineering! The university, known throughout the world as one of best for engineering, found Frankcarlos to be a very worthy student; his academic accomplishments are among the best at Paterson Public Schools! Frankcarlos has a high school GPA of 4.5, accomplished an SAT score of 2040, and he collected 23 college credits at Passaic County Community College. Frankcarlos has volunteered over 260 hours of his time for various programs, built and maintained a 130 yard community food garden that feeds 37 families, has won the “Rubber Chicken Award for “Excellence in Learning,” and serves as Captain of the JFK Robotics/College Prep Team.

Frankcarlos has accomplished this goal thanks to the support he's received from his teachers, mentors, guidance counselors, and of course his parents. Frankcarlos stands as a shining example of the best and brightest we have to offer. When asked about his admission to Columbia, Frankcarlos responded, "I can't thank enough my parents who sacrificed everything for me to be here today. They, along with my teachers and mentors, got me to where I am now. I hope to live up to their standards and make them proud." Incidentally, Frankcarlos was initially encouraged to pursue engineering at an Ivy League institution by Dr. Lauren Kazmark, Interim Associate Chief Academic Officer, who convinced him to be part of the Princeton Gifted and Talented program for high school students. It seems Columbia won out, in the end. Best wishes Frankcarlos, we are all very proud of you!

Lessons from Afghanistan - Students from the School of Education and Training (SET) Literature in the Classroom elective course are examining education issues in Afghanistan with a goal of better understanding how education can promote positive change in Paterson. As a result, SET was chosen as an “Ambassador School” for the “Pulse x Pulitzer Program, Witness to Education in Afghanistan”. Pulse Programs are virtual, “town hall” style meetings designed to give students a forum to deliberate challenging issues. During a live broadcast, students learn from guest speaker Mellissa Fung, a CBS journalist and former correspondent in Afghanistan. The SET program culminated with a live broadcast event using the Google Hangout on Air platform on Dec. 10. William Paterson University collaborated with SET English teacher, Mrs. Lories Nye-Slockbower, hosting the event. Their day finished with lunch and a campus tour given by the WPU Admissions Office.

Credits in the bank - Students from the JFK Robotics/College Prep team have collectively earned 36 actual college credits at Passaic County Community College. Working with the STEM department at PCCC, students took a variety of classes ranging from Intro to Engineering, Computer Concepts, to College Algebra. The classes were mainly filled by college-age students who at first wondered how high school students would fair at college classes; yet after performing on a higher level than many of their college peers and getting top marks in the classes besides, the answer proved obvious. Student Shah Rahman who enjoyed his experience proclaimed, "With me and my fellow high school students taking college classes, we learned skills that will prepare us for our success in college and in later life." The students who gained the credits are Frankcarlos Castro, Luis Camacho, Luis Dominguez, Shadidur Rahman, Zyheir Williams, Raqib Quyyum, Shah M. Rahman, Amran Alsaidi, and Muhammed Naeem.    

Careers in art - The Art Institutes came to give an all day presentation to Business Technology Marketing and Finance Academy (BTMF) Art Appreciation Ms. Lym’s art classes. Gareth Shihadeh, the new Representative of the Northeast Region Art Institutes brought an informative presentation on all the different art programs that the Art Institutes offer around the country. Such a personalized presentation is an opportunity for students to get in-depth information on the careers in the arts and to talk to representatives in a more intimate and informal setting. Mr. Shihadeh is also available to come to any high school in the Paterson Public Schools to deliver a similar program.

Reciting the Classics - Poetry came alive for School of Education and Training students as they competed in the Poetry Out Loud national poetry recitation program. Students in Mrs. DeMoor’s English II and English IV classes prepared a dramatic presentation of the poems they had chosen from a list provided by the program. The winners from the classes are: Jaileen Gonzalez and Xavier Poindexter for Honors English II; Sydonne Cole and Kurt Tabares for English IV; Maleka Levy -English II – Period 5; Ryoshie Robinson-English II -Period 7; Daniella Ruiz- English II-Period 8.These winners will all perform again in A Winter Showcase organized by Mr. Carlos Rios, Mrs. Amy Rios and Ms. Cheryl Krapohl. The top performers will participate later at a regional competition.

Keen on Kean - Students from the JFK Robotics/College Prep Team attended the Kean University “Student for a Day” program. The program takes students from around the State to attend actual college classes to get a real-world experience at the university. The day began at 9 a.m. sharp, with the students receiving an orientation along with a memorable welcome from the campus staff. The attending students learned a great deal about the rigors of higher education and the responsibilities that come along with it. Abid Miah, 9th grader, expressed his experience by saying, "This program opened my eyes to how college classes are conducted. I know now that I need to work even harder to reach my goal of entering college. This is where I want to be!"

Kean Student for a Day

Safe, Caring and Orderly Schools 

A very different school bus - The "Choice Bus" spent three days at three district high schools with its "Scared Straight" styled message about life choices, staying in school, income and above all, staying out of prison. This highly-modified retired school bus gives students a very real glimpse of the consequences of making poor life choices. They view a short film that describes the advantages, socially and economically associated with having a high school diploma or higher degree. Part of the film includes actual interviews with young prison inmates. Following the movie, students receive a live lecture on the importance of staying in school, the effects of dropping out on income, and the likelihood of going to jail. The back of the bus is an actual jail cell! The Choice Bus is sponsored by the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation ( and State Farm Insurance, at no cost to the district.

Choice BusChoice BusChoice Bus

CAHTS race for hope

Third year…running - For a third year in-a-row, the staff and students from the Culinary Arts Hospitality and Tourism School (CAHTS) participated in Race for Hope. Fifteen students joined Mr. Nieves, Mr. Super, and Mrs. DeSimone on the fundraiser course; some walked, while others ran the 5 kilometers. CAHTS successfully rose over $400 for the cause.

Race for Hope supports HOPE Ministries, The Community Food Bank of NJ, and Family Promise of Passaic County. These charities partner throughout the year to provide food, clothing, shelter, and other essential services for homeless families. HOPE Ministries also has outreach programs for the homeless and victims of human-trafficking.

Making the holidays bright (and tasty) - In collaboration with the Solid Rock Baptist Church, School 8 opened its doors to feed the less fortunate on Saturday, December 6th. Volunteers were able to bring some real holiday cheer to the over 100 persons from the community. School 8 looks forward to the holiday meal becoming an annual event and they anticipate drawing even larger attendees in the future. Students and staff volunteered to make this a successful event effort with a true holiday spirit of sharing and giving.

School8 feeds the less fortunate

Lee Rouson at School 10Lee Rouson at School 10Lee Rouson at School 10

Former NY Giants Running Back, Lee Rouson visited School Number Ten.  Students in grades 3-8 had an awesome time meeting the former football player and love his overall message: “You’re not born a winner, you’re not born a loser, you’re born a chooser!”

Family and Community Engagement

School 9 workshopParent Academy workshops – The School 9 Parent Academy hosted a workshop entitled: “Making Learning and Studying into Fun Family Time”. The presenters were two second grade teachers, Mrs. Jennifer Crocker and Ms. Melissa James. The 60 parents who attended were taught how to create homemade educational game boards for grades K-5. These games enable the parents to help their children improve academically in both reading and math. Each parent went home with a completed set of supplies needed to play academic games with their families. At the parents’ request, the workshop will take again the spring of 2015.

The School 9 Parent Academy also hosted a health workshop entitled: “Preventative Care for Children”. The guest speaker was, Dr. Mona Tantawi, a renowned pediatrician who has been in practice for some 30 years. Dr. Tantawi discussed the importance of vaccines and many of the myths surrounding them. The Doctor spoke about childhood diseases and gave parenting useful advice about prevention and care. The doctor also fielded questions about each topic presented. Each parent went home with a health and wellness “goody bag” provided by Dr. Tantawi and the Department of Family and Community Engagement.

New Roberto Clemente Holiday showNew Roberto Clemente Holiday showNew Roberto Clemente Holiday show

New Roberto Clemente School musicians and performers gave a spirited holiday recital entitled: “Time to Celebrate”. The show, coordinated by NRC music teacher Mr. Nathan Webb featured, band, vocal music, dancers, percussionists and more.

All-Passaic Athletes - As reported in The Record newspaper, the Passaic County Coaches Association has made their selections for the 2014 All-Passaic County football squad and it’s not surprising that the roster includes a number of Paterson Public Schools athletes! This year’s picks include: (First Team) From Eastside, Amid Addison, senior - offensive line; From John F. Kennedy, Xavier Harris, senior - running back; Dekyri Mims, senior – secondary; (Second Team) Naazier Lovely, junior – offensive line; Jazhaire Hickman, junior – receiver; Kabil Parkinson, junior – linebacker. Honorable Mentions go to: Shawn Seabrooks and Jacoby Blanford of Eastside and Homar Castillo and Jaciir Mack of John F. Kennedy.

Along with our football stars, The Passaic County Coaches Association has placed Eastside junior, Cristal Cabrera on the lineup for the All-Passaic Girls Volleyball team! Congratulations to all our rising-star athletes!

A fabulous show and two good-byes – The 2014 Winter Concert at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School was a grand affair as usual. The students sang and danced into the audience’s hearts. They were dressed in festive and whimsical costumes, and showed unbridled enthusiasm in their delivery. At the end of the show, it was recognized that the school was losing two very dedicated and influential educators this year to retirement; both principal, Ms. Muriel Garcia and librarian Mrs. Barbara Walter will be sadly missed at the school. It is widely recognized that Mrs. Walter has been the driving force behind the school’s fantastic stage revues over the years. Her tireless work preparing costumes and stage art, while collaborating with her peers on music and A/V production has left an indelible mark and high-standard of excellence. Ms. Garcia has been the beloved educational leader at the school since 1998! One that the Superintendent has noted will not be easy to replace! We thank both of you for your service to the children of Paterson and we wish you a truly enjoyable  retirement! The entire Winter Concert will be available on the district Video on Demand channel and PETV76.

MLK concertMLK concertMLK concert

Board of Education meetings rescheduled – The December 17 Regular Meeting of the Paterson Board of Education, along with a Special Meeting have been rescheduled. Both meetings will now take place on Tuesday, December 23rd, with the Special Meeting convening at 6 P.M., while the Regular Meeting will get underway at the usual time of 7 P.M. at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex auditorium, 61-127 Preakness Avenue, Paterson.

Efficient and Responsive Operations

A job very well done - Paterson Public Schools bids farewell to yet another accomplished and much loved educator. Christine Lewis, Principal of the Rosa L. Parks High School of Fine and Performing Arts will be retiring this month. Ms. Lewis began her stellar career in Paterson in 1984 as a teacher. She spent a number of years at John F. Kennedy High School, serving as teacher and later chairperson of the English Department. After leaving Kennedy, Ms. Lewis became a vice principal at Rosa parks, followed by her promotion to principal on the retirement of Ms. Sharon Smith five years ago. According to Ms. Lewis, “I am very grateful to have been, and have always loved being an educator. I am very thankful to have seen so many of my students go on to graduate from college and live happy, productive lives.”  Thank you for the great care and dedication you have shown to the children of Paterson over your years in the district, Ms. Lewis. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement!

Happy Holidays from 90 Delaware

Upcoming Events

Dec. 23: Early Dismissal

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

Dec. 23: Board of Education Meeting

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

Dec. 24-Jan. 2 Winter Recess

District closed

Jan. 7: Board of Education Organization Meeting

6:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex

Jan. 10-11 Audition - Open Call

11:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts

Jan. 16: Staff in Service

1:00 p.m. student dismissal

Jan. 19: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday

District closed

“"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." ”
— Aesop, Greek story teller