Liberty Lines The Newsletter of the Jersey City Public Schools December 18, 2017--Issue #1

Jersey City Public Schools spread joy and cheer this Holiday Season!

PS 38 wins tree decorating contest at Liberty House

Under the art direction of Giulia Pirelli, Mrs. Fudali’s Grade 4 HOPE class won first place in the Liberty House Snowflake Award Contest for their "Helping Hands" themed tree. The tree was dressed with hand-made ornaments, tree topper and garland inspired by the artist Frida Kahlo. The project was a true labor of love that addressed the devastation and issues the world faced this past year. It was part of an interdisciplinary exploration integrating Social Studies, Visual Arts and Art History.

Ugly Sweater Day at PS 33--Yugashwar, Lildhar, Chomita, and Hansini Perumal embraced the special occasion . Their mother said she stayed up very late to help her children look so festive. Room 8's Mr. Snowman was very pleased with their holiday spirit.

Deck the PATH Trains with JCPS student artwork!

Top left, artwork by Skyla-Jean Woomer Grade K, P.S. 28; top right, artwork by Cora Kerr Grade 3, P.S. 16, bottom, Grand Prize winning poster by Renfrew Maristela Grade 8, P.S. 23


A poster depicting a snowman waiting for a PATH train with the New York City skyline in the background, created by Jersey City eighth-grader Renfrew Maristela, was named the grand prize winner of PATH’s annual Holiday Poster Contest. Renfrew's poster will be displayed in PATH stations and on rail cars throughout the holiday season and was unveiled during a ceremony at the Journal Square Transportation Center in Jersey City. In addition to Renfrew, who attends P.S. 23, Cora Kerr of P.S. 16 was named the winner in the grade 3-5 category and Skyla-Jean Woomer of P.S. 28 was chosen in the category for students in grades K-2. Cora and Skyla-Jean’s posters will also be displayed in PATH stations. The winning posters were selected from over 350 submissions by students in 30 of the district's elementary and middle schools.

Each of the winners received four tickets to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and complimentary 10-trip PATH SmartLink cards, provided by the Port Authority, to get the winners and their families to and from the show. The Port Authority also gave the winners $50 American Express gift cards, and they received art supplies from the Jersey City Visual and Performing Arts Department and Jersey City Board of Education.

JCPS Cares!

Students raise money for Hurricane Relief!

In response to the devastating impact of Hurrican Maria on Puerto Rico, the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) of Martin Luther King, Jr. School, PS #11 raised $600 by selling cupcakes. Pictured above, Christian Visto, Joshua Bulaclac, Althea Valencia, Reanna Cruz, Jennifer Nacipucha, Isabella Espinoza, Michelle Nacipucha, Jacob Melendez, Alisha Hammad and their advisor, Mrs. Chung present their donation to UNICEF for Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief funds. The eighth grade NJHS members worked hard at making a difference.

Walk for Parth: Students at PS 27 raise funds for TOMORROWS CHILDREN'S FUND in memory of fellow student PARTH PATEL

Students at Alfred E. Zampella School, PS #27, lead by their National Junior Honor Society officers took to the streets in a school wide walk-a-thon. The proceeds from this year’s walk were donated to Tomorrows Children’s Fund, an organization that provides a warm, healthy and loving environment for children in treatment and a full scope of services to relieve families’ emotional and financial stress. They walked to honor the memory of Parth Patel, an amazing 9 year old boy who was a loyal friend and a dedicated student at PS #27. Sadly, Parth lost his two year battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma on October 22, 2016, however, his legacy will live on forever at Alfred E. Zampella School!

Susan Garbe, the Administrative Director of Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund came to receive the donation. In addition to a walk-a-thon to raise money, students also participated in a canned food drive for the pantry at Tomorrows Children’s Fund.

PS #25 continues its tradition of giving with its annual food drive

Nicolaus Copernicus School - P.S. #25, with the assistance of the National Elementary Honor Society, held its annual food drive on November 1st through November 17th to benefit the Old Bergen Church of Jersey City Food Pantry. As the holidays approach, students wanted to help the food pantry serve 150 families in the community. The students collected non-perishable food for neighbors in need.

Academic Accomplishments:

Academy 1 Named 2017 National Blue Ribbon School!

Every year, the U.S. Department of Education recognizes outstanding public and non-public schools through its National Blue Ribbon program. The program celebrates school excellence and is one of the highest honors a school can earn. Our own Academy 1 has been named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School.

Though Blue Ribbon schools are selected from Public and Non-Public Schools and from all over the country serving very different populations, they share core elements of effective schools. Their leaders not only articulate a vision of excellence and hold everyone to high standards, they stay close to the real action of teaching and learning. Mutual respect and trust run deep in their cultures. Using standards of excellence evidenced by student achievement measures the Department honors high-performing schools and schools that are making great strides in closing any achievement gaps among student groups.

National Blue Ribbon Schools are honored at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC, where each receives a plaque and flag to signify its exemplary status. These schools serve as examples for other schools throughout the nation. To learn more about why Academy 1 was selected check out their profile on the Department of Education's website: https://nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov/awardwinners/winning/17nj122pu_academy_i_middle_school.html

Hundreds of McNair Students Named AP Scholars

Congratulations to the students of McNair Academic High School on their performance on this year’s AP exams! Almost 200 students were recognized by the College Board (the organization that administers the AP Program) for excelling on at least five Advanced Placement exams. Ten students earned the highest distinction as National AP Scholars for scoring at least a 4 (out of a possible 5) on 8 different exams. Each exam represents the work of a college level course. Scores of 3 or higher on these exams earn students college credit, a perfect score of 5 is considered outstanding.

In addition to the National AP scholars, 103 students students were named AP Scholars for scoring at least a 3 on at least 3 different exams, 36 were named AP Scholars with Honor for averaging at least 3.25 across 4 exams, 46 were named AP Scholars with Distinction averaging 3.5 on at least 5 exams. The strong showing of McNair's students on these tests given nationally demonstrates the high quality coursework the students receive as well as their commitment and hard work.

Math fills the halls of Watters School, PS #24

The students and teachers of Watters School 24 participated in the Math Hallway Efficacy Challenge. Each cohort, collaboratively designed displays that promoted the concept that Mathematics is fun, everywhere, opportunity providing, challenging, and rewarding.

JCPS 10th graders perform at HAMILTON on Broadway

As part of their study of US History, 10th graders across the district participated in the Hamilton Education Program. Their teachers developed a unit which culminated in the creation of a unique performance piece by each student based on what they had learned about the Founding Era through printed materials, the Hamilton Education Program website, and classroom instruction.

Each participating school selected the strongest piece and submit a video of the performance. Out of these videos, the Hamilton Education Program Committee selected winners to perform their piece on stage at the Richard Rodgers Theatre prior to that evening's performance of Hamilton. Students from Infinity, McNair and Snyder were selected to perform their piece in front of the student audience on the Hamilton stage December 6. The performances included 2 songs and a poem. Each performance, like the play itself, was a hit!

We wish all the members of our community the happiest of winter holidays and a wonderful New Year!

Watch for our next issue which will focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) in our schools!

Upcoming dates:

  • December 21--Board of Education Meeting @ PS 11, 6 PM
  • December 22--Half-day session
  • December 25-January 1--Schools closed (Central Office is open December 27 and 28)
  • January 2--Schools Reopen
Created By
Maryann Dickar


Created with images by Ray Hennessy - "Touch of Red"

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