Education

Two Struggling Schools Set For Overhaul

3c9cb1dfd2e8c91312db_aee44348453e18c73b23769c40926a78img-20110106-144816.jpg
Paterson Board of Education offices
3c9cb1dfd2e8c91312db_aee44348453e18c73b23769c40926a78img-20110106-144816.jpg

 

PATERSON, NJ - Two of Paterson's most troubled schools - No. 10 and No. 4 - were among nine in the state picked to get an infusion of federal funding to help them make dramatic changes in their students' performance.

 

Sign Up for E-News

School No. 6 was one of 19 struggling schools in New Jersey that applied for the funding but was not approved.

 

The federal School Improvement Grants (SIG), which were announced on Wednesday, will provide $55 million over three years for the nine schools. Exactly how much each school will receive will not be determined until August, officials said.

 

The SIG money comes with requirements. For example, School No 10 was among five put in the "Turnaround" category, which mandates that the school district replace the principal and remove at least 50 percent of the staff. Prior to receiving the grant, Paterson Public Schools already was in the process of appointing a new principal at School No. 10.

 

School No. 4, also called the Rev. Dr. Frank Napier Jr. School, was put in the "Transformation" category, which requires a new principal, but not an overhaul of the staff. The school district already satisfied that requirement by assigning a new principal to the school last year.

 

At School No. 10, which is on Mercer Street in the 4th Ward, just 37 percent of eighth grades met proficiency levels in languages arts and 34 percent in math on standardize statewide tests in the 2009-10 school year. Also, 32 percent of the students were suspended at some point during the year, according to the state-issued school report card.

 

At School No. 4, on Clinton Street in the 1st Ward, 39.6 percent of eighth graders were proficient in language arts and 16.3 percent in math and 27 percnt of students were suspended, according to the school report card. 

 

School No. 6, which didn't get the money, also had poor scores on its report card. Located on Carroll Street in the 4th Ward, the school had 38.6 percent of its eighth graders proficient in language arts and 24.6 in math, while 23 percent of its students were suspended.

 

Paterson Public Schools' application for the funding said it would separate School 10 into two clusters - a lower school for pre-K through 5th Grade and  a middle school for grades 6 through 8. In pre-K through grade 2, the district plans to stress literacy; at grades 3 through 5, the curriculum would be infused with a "civic engagement pathway model,'' and that will be infused into the school’s curriculum; and the middle school  "will institute a college readiness pathway model to prepare students for high secondary achievement.'' 

 

The application says the school year at School 10 will be increased by by 300 instructional hours using outside vendors. For example, 6th through 8th graders will have "extended learning hours" at a local college on Saturdays.
 

In addition, staff would get extra training, including the implementation of a flex time program that would allow teachers to participate in "professional development opportunities.''

 

“Intervening in our lowest performing schools is one of the most important things we can do to ensure that all students in New Jersey graduate from high school college- and career-ready,” said Acting New Jersey Education Commissioner Chris Cerf, in a press release. “We must be willing to take drastic steps to help our most vulnerable students, and these new funds and changes at the school level will give these students a real chance to succeed.”

 

In announcing the grants, officials noted that most of the schools that received funding through the program last year already showed  improvement.Two schools, one in Trenton and one in Newark, were dropped from the program for failing to meet its requirements. Last year, there were no Paterson schools among the recipients.
 
According to the education department's press release, districts getting funding through SIG this year will have to develop a plan to enact reforms in all schools across the district, tied to the four key pillars:
  • Academics – implementation of the Common Core State Standards by 2014
  • Performance – development or purchase of robust formative assessments that provide timely data to teachers and administrators
  • Talent – implementation of a performance evaluation system aligned to the state’s Teacher Evaluation Pilot, including at least 50 percent of evaluations using objective measures of student achievement (such measures need not consist exclusively of summative tests such as the NJ ASK or HSPA).
  • Innovation – development of a dropout identification and intervention system.

“We encouraged districts to think boldly about the type of radical change needed to improve their lowest performing schools, and we are glad to see that they responded,” said Acting Commissioner Cerf.  “However, the performance of an individual school is inherently connected to what is happening across the district, and we believe these district-wide changes will be vital to sustained improvement in these schools.” 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Memorial Hall, Paterson

Cost Free Courses

Education

Sat, March 3, 12:00 PM

The Bethwood, Totowa

Have-A-Heart Tricky Tray

Food & Drink Giving Back

City Council Candidate to Voters: Let Your Voice Be Heard

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

It is very important for the citizens of Paterson to participate in local city-wide elections because elected officials can help determine the economic, educational and social well-being of entire communities. For example, two very important tasks of city council members include making laws and allocating money.

Elected officials are the gatekeepers for millions of dollars in ...

Dreams for Service Dog for Autistic Montville Resident Become Reality

February 22, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - Faith Stanley, a Towaco resident and a single mother of four boys, sought help for her youngest son, Joey, who is almost three years old and diagnosed with autism. Amazingly enough, Faith found the help she needed!

Due to the generosity and help of so many people, Faith has managed to reach her goal of raising ...

Paterson Hosts Statewide Event as National El Sistema Leader

February 22, 2018

PATERSON—On March 10, nearly 300 students from seven New Jersey immersive ensemble music learning programs will converge in Paterson for the 4th annual Fiddlefest and Falala Festival. A day of music making and a celebration of culture and community for both the students and their families, the festival features the Paterson-based program Paterson Music Project (PMP), in addition to the New ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...