Paterson gets $2.5 million grant to turn Kennedy, School 2 into full-service community schools | Paterson Times

Paterson gets $2.5 million grant to turn Kennedy, School 2 into full-service community schools


The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $2.5 million grant via its full-service community schools program to the city, school district officials said on Friday afternoon.

Funds will support converting John F. Kennedy High School and School 2 into full-service community schools. Some of the services that will follow conversion include in-school health clinic with medical, dental, and mental health services; in-school academic assistance, afterschool and summer programs focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and performing and visual arts.

“This funding goes directly to empowering Paterson families by bringing many of the services they need to the schools their children attend,” superintendent Eileen Shafer. “When families can get the services they need more conveniently, that has a direct effect on our students’ abilities to succeed in school.”

Funds will also support programs to provide transition to elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education; internship opportunities for high school students; career pathways exploration program; chronic absenteeism mentorship; anti-bullying/violence prevention; restorative justice; family nights; parent workshops; adult education programs such as ESL and workforce development; and access to social services.

“As a former teacher, I understand the critical importance of ensuring children have direct access to the services they need to help them succeed in school,” said congressman Bill Pascrell, a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

Pascrell wrote to the U.S. Department of Education to urge the federal government to award the grant to Paterson schools. “This funding will help Paterson add two more schools to make a roster of seven that can address the needs of students in a holistic way and set them on a path of lifelong learning. Providing students and families with health care, counseling, afterschool programs, and many other services will greatly improve the safety and well-being of our Paterson community – most of all, our children,” he said.

The conversion of John F. Kennedy High School and School 2 brings the total number of full-service schools to seven. School officials used previous full-service grants to convert School 5, School 6, School 15, the New Roberto Clemente School, and Frank Napier Academy.

Each school has nonprofit partners. For example, the New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) has partnered with the district to operate full-service School 5.

Paterson Education Fund, the New Jersey Community Development Corporation, Oasis – A Haven for Women and Children, El Mundo de Colores Child Care Center, Health N Wellness Services, Inc., and Felician University will partner with the district to convert Kennedy and School 2 into full-service schools.

The district will receive the $2.5 million in installments of $500,000 over the next five years. First payment covers Oct. 1, 2018 through Sept. 30, 2019.

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  • MarquinhoGaucho

    Thank you Mr Pascrell and Ms Shafer the kids of Paterson have needed this for so long! Donnie Evans never cared about the kids only destroying public education for the charters benefit.

    • Dominick Perez

      I think you mean thank you President Trump and Secretary DeVos, it's ok though… Now sit back and watch, let's see how long it takes these incompetent fools to either steal and/or waste the money. You could pour 100 billion into Paterson, it will still be a shithole, just with much wealthier thieving politicians.

      • MarquinhoGaucho

        we had DeVos's failed charter plans in Paterson for years all it has done is create a separate and unequal system that smacks of illegality under Brown V Board of Ed. Trump cant even find Paterson on a map and trump and devos do not care about kids in the hood.

        • Dominick Perez

          Charter school students consistently test higher than the students trapped in failing public schools. But yeah let's keep throwing money at the problem right?

          • MarquinhoGaucho

            Charters are a scam. They cherry pick the students, the ones who enter via lottery get dropped from roll after October when the budgets are set so they keep the $$ and pass further cost to the taxpayer. If politicians didnt create a failing system and went back to no BS zero tolerance, there would be no need for charters. The Gulen schools hire foreign teachers from Turkey charge them tuzuks(kickbacks) of 16K and then use proceeds to fund terrorism in Turkey. Also charters hire teachers with no background checks according to nj. com hiring sex offenders…its all to maximize profit.

          • Dominick Perez

            Those are NJEA talking points. The unions have ruined NJ schools, social promotion to protect the functionally illiterate student is the order of the day. Brand new Mercedes in the parking lots, and the kids can't even read.

          • MarquinhoGaucho

            NJEA is going to unionize charter schools ….they dont say crap about charters…who ended tiering? started social promotion? ended zero tolerance? It wasnt the unions! It was the politicians who wanted to create a failing a system in order to justify Charters expansion and get fat bribes and no show BOD jobs in exchange…

  • John Brown

    Good luck with that! let's hope the money goes where it's suppose to.
    and not go in someone else's pockets