Paterson Public School District HiLites

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

  • Order in the court!

  • Student produced video entertains while delivering a timely message

  • Kennedy robots wreak mechanical mayhem

2010 Harmony Project Students spend a pair of harmonious and green field-days at Garret Mountain. The 3rd Annual Harmony Project, a partnership between Paterson Public Schools and City Green Inc., was held on May 21 & 24 at Garret Mountain. One hundred and forty students from Environmental Clubs at Schools 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, and 26 participated in this exciting and experiential learning opportunity.  Students engaged in various field expeditionary activities and evaluated the impact of personal activities on the local environment. As part of a broader view, students also identified the effect of human activities on various ecosystems.

Prior to attending the event, students received reading assignments on the history of the environmental movement such as the Clean Water Act of 1974, Earth Day 1970, Environmental Protection Agency, Endangered Species Act and The Wilderness Act.  At the field event students visited 6 stations which housed the environmental activities that reinforced these pre-reading topics. The field activities ranged from water sampling/dip netting, pollution run off model, nature hike, sculpting a window farm, creating green cleaning products and conducting a product energy consumer rating. The event closed with students summarizing what the learned and proposing ways to become more environmentally conscious. It is expected that students will then turn-key that knowledge back to their greater school community. Enjoy this slide-show of this year’s Harmony Project activities.

Middle School Institute makes their cinematic debut! The School 12 Middle School Institute (MSI) is an after school program that seeks to sharpen literacy and math skills through the integration of music, technology and drama. In a culminating activity, students created a music video featuring Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” with new, motivational lyrics encouraging both reading and delivering a message for children to shun bullying.

Students worked very hard along with their music teacher, Mr. Kornegay to craft the lyrics and then set to work as writers, directors, camera techs, editors, set builders and of course, on-screen talent.

The School 12 MSI program is made possible by a grant from the State of New Jersey and was designed to maximize learning opportunities by integrating “Academics and the Arts.” We are sure you will agree that “Read It” is proof positive that the MSI students hit the mark with this amazing and professional looking video that delivers a poignant and timely message. Well done, School 12 MSI!

School 12 Habitat GardenMoving from soundstage and bright lights to more “earthy” business. In further news from School 12, an invitation to visit the results of “cultivating” a bit of community involvement…

Come see the School 12 Habitat Garden! School 12 spent a week giving back to the community. On May 17, 8th grade students began restoring a vacant lot on North 2nd Street.  The students cleaned the lot, planted flowers and added benches. The entire school has pledged to continue working together to keep this area a great place for the whole neighborhood to enjoy. 

On May 21, the 6th grade cleaned up at the Temple Street Bridge along with the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission as part of the river restoration.  Thanks to the NAV101 Advisors, students and City Green, Paterson is looking a little bit better this week!

School 27 Mock TrialOrder!... Order in the (mock) courtroom! On May 27, Ms. Montalto's 8th grade civics classes from School #27 presented two mock trials: The State of California vs. O. J. Simpson and The State of Colorado vs. John and Patsy Ramsey. Each script was creatively written and presented after the students researched these infamous trials. Upon completing their research, the students were given a screening of "12 Angry Men,” the powerful courtroom drama.

The mock trials took place at the county courthouse where the Honorable Judge Selser presided while County Sheriff Jerry Speziale was in attendance. A number of parents were on hand to enjoy the tense action as well. 

Judge Selser was extremely impressed by the maturity level of the students as well as their self-confidence. He remarked that their testimonies were all presented in logical order to arrive at the ultimate conclusions. The judge also complimented the students by noting that their presentations were on par with high-school level mock trials. Judge Selser also related to the students that they will use the skills that they have acquired from this learning experience in all aspects of future endeavors, even if their future career paths don’t take them into the law. Case dismissed!

Read Across America“Bookish” and bright, these students are winners. On Wednesday, May 19, Paterson Public Schools in conjunction with the Paterson Education Association honored the winners of the Read Across America contest with a reception at John F. Kennedy High School.  After the brief reception held in the JFK cafeteria, the entire entourage then moved to the auditorium for a presentation of awards by Dr. Evans at the Board of Education meeting. Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of Theodor Geisel, also known as “Dr. Seuss.” You can meet all the winners by watching this video of the reception that preceded the Board of Education meeting.

Eastside Mongo Slade“Think outside da box” If anyone is a bit, “outside da box,” it’s Mongo Slade. On May 21, the colorful performer, rapper and author hit the Eastside High auditorium stage bedecked in a full length robe adorned with American flags. Slade, who has appeared in films and television, brought his message of hard work, self-worth and pride to the students of Eastside. Slade declared that his vision is “To help inspire people of all ages to live their dreams and strive for personal excellence. The movement is founded on three principles: education, economics & entertainment.” Along with his partner, D.J. Whah Bubbles, Slade performed raps, conducted a discussion, played their music video, “Think Outside da Box,” and generally whipped the student audience into a frenzy of positivity and motivation.

Also attending the show were Mayor-elect Jeffrey Jones and Councilman At Large-Elect Benjie Wimberley who seemed to agree with Slade when he declared, “Some of your friends will criticize you for your hard work and because you are smart. Never apologize for hard work. Never!” 

JFK Robotics TeamKennedy automatons prove their “metal” as well. You will recall that last week’s District HiLites featured an article about the successful showing by the Eastside High Robotics Club at the recent North Jersey Robotics Competition.  Well, as this submission from John F. Kennedy will attest, you will see that their performance at that event was not too shabby either!

The Robotics Team of John F. Kennedy High School took four trophies at the 9th Annual North Jersey Robotics Competition held May 11 and 13 at Passaic County Community College. JFK’s team was among the eight schools and 100 students who participated in designing and building robots that competed against each other in four events.

As the team with the best combined standing of all the events, John F. Kennedy earned the title of Competition Champion. Helios, Kennedy’s robot, placed first in the science and technology presentation, second in the sharpshooter challenger, trash collector challenge and third in the obstacle course.

Robotics Team members are: Jayda Chowdhury, Mohammad Jabed, Nasir Uddin, Kishwar Rafid, Hussain Razzak, Ivonne Juarez, Akram Hussain, Robhim Hasim, Alexander Valdiviezo, Amir Budhai, Thamanna Misbah, and Shofiqul Alom. Advisors are: Mr. Ivan Madjar, Mr. Erik Polo, Mr. Grilk, and Mr. Choudhury.

Save the Date

Annual Science and Math Fair is a showcase of lofty student talent. Students from all Paterson Public Schools, grades K-12 will gather at John F. Kennedy High School on Thursday, June 3, 2010 to present scientific research and experiment projects and demonstrations of applied principles of mathematics.

Projects are individually created or may be group-based with teams not exceeding 3 members. The students are selected locally and chosen from competitions held previously at each school. Local first-place winners are eligible to compete at the Fair where their presentations will be judged according to creativity, analytical skill and the application of scientific and or mathematical knowledge.

Sponsored by the Department of Science and Mathematics, this large annual event is well attended with fierce (fun) competition between schools. Opening ceremonies will take place in the JFK gymnasium beginning at 10 a.m. and the Fair will conclude at 2:30 p.m.

PPS and school nurses to be recognized. The Pediatric/Adult Asthma Coalition of New Jersey (PACNJ), sponsored by the American Lung Association in New Jersey (ALANJ) will honor Paterson Public Schools with the “Asthma Friendly School Award”.  This award is being given in recognition of the schools’ efforts to enhance the quality of education for students and staff that face the challenges of asthma.  As part of this commitment to excellence, each school in the district has completed the “Six Steps for Success toward establishing an asthma friendly school environment as mandated by the state. Join us on Wednesday, June 2 at 1:30 p.m. in the 90 Delaware cafeteria as each school nurse receives their award.

“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil. ”
— James Lane Allen 1849-1925 American novelist, essayist