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Tidings From Taylor

A monthly newsletter brought to you by PFTSTA Publications.

Upcoming Dates: October 10 WWII Museum fieldtrip: Class of 2013 October 11 East Bank College Fair: Grace King HS 6—8pm October 17 PSAT October 19 End of 1st 9 Weeks October 22—26 PFTSTA SPIRIT WEEK October 26 Report Cards issued October 29 Young Democrats / Young Republicans Debate

Contact Us: 2012 Jefferson Highway Jefferson, LA 70121 504 838 2249 – phone 504 838 7029 – fax Principal – Jaime Zapico Questions – Barbara Harney

October 2012

From the Principal’s Pen…Jaime Zapico: Believe it or not, we are almost through the first nine weeks. On September 21, students received their first interim report that indicated how they are performing in their four classes this semester. The end of the nine weeks is quickly approaching, so please make sure you aware of their situation in each of the classes they are taking this semester. As always, you can check the status of your child’s progress at Taylor anytime of the day by logging onto ECHO at If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email any of our dynamic Taylor teachers. The end of the first nine weeks will be Friday, October 19; report cards will be distributed on Friday, October 26. We hope to have standing room only at our upcoming honor roll breakfasts. The middle school breakfast will take place on Friday, November 2 and the high school breakfast will be on Monday, November 5. Both ceremonies will start at 7:30 am in the cafeteria. Invitations will be sent to all of our honor roll students after report cards are sent home. PSAT testing is right around the corner. Please stress the importance of getting a good night’s rest and eating a good breakfast before coming to school on Wednesday, October 17. PSAT is one criteria that is used to determine your child’s success on future standardized tests and is used to determine national semi-finalists their junior year. Please read further in this newsletter about some excellent resources to assist students in preparing for this major assessment. Please remind your child that the laptops they are using are not for games or music. These are to be used as instructional resources. The spyware attached to the games and music sites will cause damage to the computers. Last but not least, I would like to congratulate all of our freshmen, eighth graders, and seventh graders who were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society on Thursday, October 4. It was a beautiful evening and a BIG THANK YOU goes out to Ms. Valence and Ms. Bordelon who implemented this prestigious club for our Taylor students.

Taylor Tigers School-Wide Expectations:

------PFTSTA Web-site Jefferson Parish Public School System Web-site

Be Respectful Be Responsible Be Safe

Thoughtfulness of others Independence Global thinking Engagement in learning Responsibility Seriousness in using technology

Lines from the Librarian…Elizabeth Kahn: This is the busy time for the library with research for the social studies fair paper, author visits, and the annual Teen Read Week celebration. You can read all about it here or visit the library website 24/7: The middle school students have already begun learning about library resources for the annual social studies fair research paper. The high school will be selecting their topics in the coming weeks. There is a library resource which you and your child may use to help navigate the social studies fair paper. We call it the social studies fair wiki, and you can find it here: This resource will be updated as needed if changes are made to the packet or with due dates.

On September 17th, the sophomores and juniors had a chance to hear author, Myra McEntire (featured at right), talk about her writing process and what motivates her. She visited PFTSTA with her editor, and both women were quite impressed with the level of questions that the students at PFTSTA asked. She stayed around for awhile after the event signing books, chatting with the students and filming a student conducted interview. You can see all the pictures of the day here: Also, you can watch the interview conducted by Courtney Beamer and former PFTSTA student, Enjoli Gilbert, here: This video is titled, Get Reading Vol 2 No 1. One of the big events of the year for the library is fast approaching. Teen Read Week will be held from October 15—19. This is a national event sponsored yearly by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of ALA. Bookmarked, the high school book group, always helps with the planning of Teen Read Week. Like always, the students and I have created several contests and fun lunch time activities in which all students can participate. Watch the Paw Prints as the date approaches to read all about it. This year “It Came from the PFTSTA Library” for TRW. Find the events listed here: After Teen Read Week, you can visit the same URL to see the winners of the bookmark contest and pictures of each event held in the library.

Counselor’s Corner…Wendy Durant: The first quarter was an amazing experience with the Taylor Family! It’s really refreshing to be in the presence of such enthusiastic learners and supportive parents!

Counselor’s Corner, continued… High school students, hopefully you have gotten a good start applying for colleges, the priority deadline for most universities is rapidly approaching. If there is anything the counseling office staff can do to assist you with completing your college applications, please let us know. Please don’t forget to give at least a 2 weeks advance notice for any recommendation letters or requests for records. Also, don’t forget to submit copies of all acceptance letters from colleges and scholarship awards to the counselor’s office. High school parents and seniors, it’s really important that when applying for college and taking your ACT and SAT that you link your score reports to TOPS and your school. The TOPS Code for the ACT is 1595 and for the SAT 9019. If you have failed to do, you can still send your scores to other schools or agencies for a small fee. Visit www. the page Send Your Scores to Others for more information. This month on October 17th, Taylor students in grades 9-11 will take the PSAT test. The PSAT exam assesses critical reading, writing and mathematics skills in students. Juniors that score high on the exam are entered into the National Merit Semi Finalist Competition, and have an opportunity to compete for amazing scholarships. This year, Mr. Alex Gershank is working with all PFTSTA 11 th grade students to assist them in preparing for the PSAT exam every Tuesday and Thursday during Study Hall. Students have also been provided with a PSAT practice test booklet to work on skills in preparation for the test. Additionally, also has free test preparation resources available to assist students. Please encourage students to visit Preparing for the PSAT/NMSQT for free online tutorials and excellent test preparation tips.

Attendance Winners: Congratulations to the August and September attendance winners! Middle School: Sixth Grade for BOTH August and September! High School: Seniors for August – Freshmen for September!

Music Musings…John J. McCloskey: Dear Parents and Guardians: Welcome to October and the beginning of the holiday season. What a great start this year! A lot has been going on lately, so here is the scoop: OPEN HOUSE Thank you to those of you who stopped by our display at open house. It was truly a lot of fun. I took a different approach this year, and decided to have an interactive display that I call the “Instrument Petting Zoo.” (at right: Mr. AC teaches a prospective student about the physics of sound at open house. Isabelle Ordonez staffs the music games computer). All instruments were on display for our guests to explore and students were on hand to answer questions about the instruments and band in general. It was truly great watching our students talking to the prospective students, and getting to know them.

Our guests seemed to really enjoy handling and playing some of the instruments. (At left: A side view of the instrument petting zoo and student volunteers). We also had a technology station set up where students could click on any instrument they were interested in and play a game based on the music notation of that instrument. We also had a rhythm game and music theory games that they could play to test their music skills. All in all, it was a great time. Thanks to Ms. Higgins for organizing open house and to all the faculty, parents, and students who helped with the band display. TULANE MARCHING BAND DAY On Saturday September 29th the band participated in the fourth annual marching band day sponsored by Tulane University. There were nine area schools that participated. Rayne High School traveled the furthest. The purpose of the event is to give schools the opportunity to work with and learn from university musicians, and to expose students to performing in an exciting venue. The day started early with sectional rehearsals on the Superdome field with Tulane University section leaders giving performance directions to the guest performers. The students then moved into position for a combined band and chorus rehearsal. The purpose was to run through the half time show, which was celebrated the Louisiana Bicentennial. There were over 300 performers on the field. When it was time for Tulane to perform at half time, the marching band day students were line up on the sideline. When they received their cue from the drum major, the student guests marched onto the field, took their positions, and performed the 1812 Overture with the Tulane and University of Louisiana Monroe bands. The performance was complete with vocals and fire works. I am extremely proud of all of our band students who participated. Everyone had a good time and the experience of performing with a large group in a large venue benefits the student musician. REMINDERS First, I want to remind everyone that the deadline for Elementary (6th grade), MS and HS honor band audition registration is November 1 st. Auditions are in December. If interested, let me know. Secondly, I would like to remind sixth grade parents that beginner band will start second semester. I will be sending out information late second quarter to sixth graders with all the details.

Finally, band practices will be held every Wednesday beginning October 10, 2012, to prepare for the holiday concert. Rehearsals will be in the cafeteria from 3:15 – 4:30 pm. Thanks in advance for all your hard work. DATES TO REMEMBER October: 10 Band Practice 13 All State Jazz Auditions Pineville, LA (Saturday) 17 Band Practice 24 Band Practice 31 Band Practice LAGNIAPPE FYI, "Students with coursework/experience in music performance scored 52 points higher on the verbal portion of the SAT and 37 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework or experience in the arts. And a difference in scores increased with the number of years involved. Those who studied music four or more years scored a combined 101 points higher on the SAT than students with no coursework or experience in the arts." Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board (1997) …I’m just saying! Sincerely, John J. McCloskey Band Director

Second Annual PFTSTA Open House a Success: On September 27, 2012, Patrick F. Taylor and Science Technology Academy hosted its second “Open House” for prospective middle and high school students. Over 100 families attended to learn about the academic rigor maintained at Taylor, along with the many extracurricular activities. Student tour guides took small groups into classrooms where teachers and students demonstrated learning activities using technology. Students from Jefferson, Orleans, St. Tammany, St. Charles and Plaquemines Parish are eligible to attend if they meet the Academic Studies criteria. At left: Juniors Paris Evan and Ashley Moise were onhand in the ELA room – they demonstrated how teachers use technology in their English classrooms. Below: Sixth grader Dominic Mesa, Courtney Cooper and Erionne Taylor.

and Sophomores Walker represent

Seniors Kashif Mustashan, Emmalynn Buquoi and Ben Gothard, as well as cheerleaders and Freshmen Rayne Torry and Madison Pierce greet potential Taylor students with informative brochures and smiling faces.

Science Field Trip: Ms. Bourgeois’ Human Anatomy and Physiology class will attend a wonderful field trip to LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans in November or December. Students will have an opportunity to tour the facility as well as gain hands-on experience in the human simulation lab in which “smart” dummies capable of breathing, blinking, and bleeding will undergo a variety of medical issues and complaints. Alongside medical students and doctors, PFTSTA students will have the chance to hold and learn about healthy and diseased organs as well as practice their skills in robotic surgery.


Bourgeois is in need of one parent volunteer for the trip – date/time information forthcoming. If you are willing and able to chaperone, please contact Ms. Bourgeois at

Back to School Week sponsored by High School SGA: Ms. Higgins and the High School Student Government Association were very excited to finally host the first ever “Back to School Week.” The week’s activities were centered on our Harry Potter theme for the year: “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided." -Albus Dumbledore.” On Tuesday, students walked around campus dressed as Harry Potter. On Wednesday, students searched the school high and low for hidden snitches. We ended the week with a club fair, pep rally, dance and a special “back to school” treat – Plum Street Snowballs. It was great to see the students’ enthusiasm and school spirit! We look forward to our upcoming October events: “Support our Sports” pep rally, “Jam the Gym,” and Spirit Week.

News for Juniors and Seniors: Juniors October 12: Josten's – Senior Ring Presentation(many rings to choose from) during study hall

Seniors October 19: Graduation supplies presentation (cap & gown, announcements, etc) during study hall

October 19: Payments for Senior Ring during lunch

October 26: Payments for grad supplies

APES Field Trip: AP Environmental Science students participated in World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC) by testing the water quality of the Mississippi River. Students measured salinity, water clarity, pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen and atmospheric UVA and UVB at our registered testing site. Students posted data to the WWMC website as well as the Bayouside Classroom website. Melina Liriano, Jeffrey Sturcke and Imani Bell are shown testing the salinity of the river water with a refractometer. Thank you to parent Leslie Melara who accompanied the classes on the field trip.

Key Club Clippings: You may have seen or heard about Key Club, but many people outside the organization do not know what Key Club is. First off, we do not make keys! Key is an acronym for Kiwanis Educate Youth or Key. Kiwanis is an international service organization that sponsors Key Clubs all over the world. So what do we do? Our mission statement as published on is, “Key Club is an international student-led organization which provides its members with opportunities to provide service, build character and develop leadership.” When you couple our mission with the core values of Key Club International: leadership, character building, caring and inclusiveness; you get a very special group of students. We invite everyone in grades nine through twelve to come join our club. The club president is AJ McGee and the faculty advisor is Mr. McCloskey. If you want to come see what we do, there is a District Rally on Saturday October 6, 2012 at Mt. Carmel Academy. Join us in representing Patrick F. Taylor and get to know students from other schools. District Rally is a great funfilled day. The only thing that will make it better is you! Come join us, Mr. McCloskey Charter Faculty Advisor UPCOMING EVENTS 10/06/12 10/20/12 10/19/12 10/20/12 10/26/12 10/27/12

District Rally Mt. Carmel Academy (Saturday) Susan G. Komen fundraiser (Saturday) Boo at the Zoo (TBA)* Boo at the Zoo (TBA)* Boo at the Zoo (TBA)* Boo at the Zoo (TBA)*

Tech Bytes…from Kelly Maher: I am always looking for new and innovative educational technology resources. Below are ten free online comic generators that students can use to demonstrate their knowledge of any subject area, develop their written communication skills, and express their creativity. 1. Witty Comics: is a user-friendly tool that allows student to create two character dialogues. 2. Artisan Cam: offers a super action comic creator as well as a wide variety of other online art activities. 3. Pixton: invites kids to tell their story their way. It’s fun, quick, and easy to use. 4. Strip Generator: allows anyone to create an attractive black and white comic strip. 5. Write Comics: offers a simple platform for creating comic strips. 6. Make Beliefs: provides students with a variety of templates, characters, and prompts for building their own comic strips. 7. Be Funky: allows anyone to turn digital photographs into digital comics.

8. Chogger: users to draw their own characters, import photos or take webcam pictures and then turn them into comics. 9. Read Write Think Comic Creator: ml invites children and teens to design their own comic strips. 10. Comic Master: by “Reading for Life” allows students to create a graphic novel style comic.

Social Studies Department News: Middle School students are busy researching their selected Social Studies fair topics. Make sure your student shares their “Guiding Question” with you. This question will aid in the process of searching for, reading through, and synthesizing information about a topic that interests them. In collaboration with their English teachers, MS students will begin composing their SS fair papers. The Social Studies department also had a successful show at Open House. Mr. Johnson’s room served as the Social Studies stop along the tour. Senior






Messina (pictured at left) shared a video they made for Mr. Vincent’s AP US History class about the Pacific Theatre. Senior Jeffrey Sturcke was also on hand to field any questions potential Taylor students posed.

Sixth graders, Madison Grey, Virginia Steinkamp, and Ben Tran (pictured at right) searched the Internet for current event news stories, and turned their findings into a “GIST” – a 10-word-orless summary. This is how all of Mr. Johnson’s SS classes begin – it not only hones students’ ability to comprehend non-fiction, but also keeps them aware of the world around them.

MathCounts!: Mathcounts is a national mathematics enrichment club and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement. With the leadership of the National Society of Professional Engineers, Mathcounts strives to provide students with the foundation for success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. The website has more information about the program.

The PFTSTA Mathcounts Club meets once a month on the third Friday at lunch and has practices on Tuesday and/or Thursday during middle school study hall. Students are required to attend four practices a month in order to be considered for the competition team. In the spring we will compete with other schools in this region at UNO. Last year our team qualified to go on to the state competition where we had a great time. We are excited to have 12 new members this year and welcome more interested students. Interested students should see Mrs. McEwen in room 503 for more information. Pictured: Holly Wilkinson and Laura Smith represented MathCounts at the PFTSTA Open House. They fielded questions about the club, but also shared their experiences and accomplishments in MathCounts with potential Taylor students.

News from National Honor Society: The National Honor Society enlisted a number of their classmates to walk on September 23 in the annual NO AIDS Walk in uptown New Orleans. Even though the date was later in the month, the day turned into a hot one, but the blocks under the old oak trees made it bearable. Below, left to right, are juniors and NHS members: Kathleen McShane, Kaylynn Tran and Darla Nguyen.

NHS is collecting canned goods to help stock the shelves of Second Harvest Food Bank. The students know that much of the food was depleted from the food bank after Hurricane Isaac. Also, many of you may have canned goods at home that you purchased to use during power outages. Students may bring non-perishable food items to their Study Hall. The Study Hall with the most cans will be allowed to wear jeans with their school shirt one day to school. The food drive will end on October 5th. NHS members will be running or walking in the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. A Taylor Tigers team was created for this event. The race is Saturday, October 20th. If you would like to be a member of our team, please join us here: There is a one mile fun run that begins at 8:45, and the race begins at 9:30.

PFTSTA is available on the Web 24/7:   

The school website is: Follow Patrick Taylor on Twitter here:!/PFTSTA Also, every Friday, you can view the weekly Taylor Tube video that highlights upcoming events and activities. You can find the link here: There is a PFTSTA Google Calendar where all school events are posted. Please find this calendar here:

HS English Students to attend Class with Author Ernest Gaines: On November 28, Patrick Taylor students in Mrs. Johnson’s English III class next semester and Mrs. Srygley’s class this semester will have the opportunity to attend a master class conducted by author Ernest Gaines. Gaines, a fiction writer, is the author of such memorable works as A Gathering of Old Men, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and A Lesson Before Dying. This master class is the result of the Big Read project, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Locally, the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, the Jefferson Parish Public Library, the State Library of Louisiana, Louisiana State Museum, and the New Orleans Jazz Institute cosponsor the project. Along with the master class, Taylor is the recipient of 40 copies of A Lesson Before Dying and related sources for use in the English classroom.

News from the School Cafeteria:       

The nutritional content of each food item listed on school menus have been compiled from data provided by the food manufacturer and a USDA database. This information is then calculated through the use of Horizon International Software. Students with specific medical related dietary requirements should consult with their physicians prior to relying strictly on these calculations. Doughnuts may be served on a different day than shown on the menu due to delivery schedules. Snacks are only offered in schools participating in after-school programs. Satellite schools whose meals are transported from other sites may have menus adjusted from what is published. Parents can check with the individual school to confirm what is being served School menus can be downloaded from the school system website and PFTSTA’s website. Please note: SCHOOL MENUS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME!

Sports Shorts…Ms. Vicki Foster & Coach Elmo Steinert: Basketball and Soccer tryouts will be in the next few weeks. A student will need a current physical on file with me before trying out for any sport. The LHSAA medical form must be completed by a parent and the child’s doctor! At the recent “Taylor Think Pink” volleyball tournament, senior Emmalyn Buquoi made the All-Tournament team!

2012—2013 PFTSTA Cheerleaders Announced: The Patrick Taylor cheerleaders are happy to cheer on the Taylor Tigers at basketball games and pep rallies. They also enjoy representing our school in Mardi Gras parades. Congratulations Girls! Allie Baldassaro- Captain Micquel Downs Isa Gale Megan Harold Taijha Marshall Claire Pantell Madison Pierce Zoey Prado

Valerie Ruiz Kristen Stamp Kala Thomas Rayne Torry Kaylynn Tran Alex Walsh Jada Woodard

Talented in the Visual Arts: Students have been learning about the work of artist Walter Anderson, native of New Orleans who produced unique and astonishing artwork centered on the natural habitat near Oceans Springs, Mississippi, where there is now a wonderful museum dedicated to his work. His inventive use of pattern along with natural forms has inspired their artworks. One of our students, junior Madison Rolig, has also produced a sculpture for a tabletop centerpiece to benefit the Dollars for Scholars organization at its annual gala. The theme was Van Gogh’s painting, “Starry Night.” An exhibit of “Fantasy Faces” was on exhibit at the School Board for the month of September. It will be displayed at school in October.

SCHOOL COLORS, HEAD TO TOES…SHIRTS TUCKED IN, SPIRIT SHOWS! PFTSTA pull-overs may be purchased from Mrs. Kathy Hill for $30 each.

Tidings From Taylor October  

Tidings From Taylor October school newsletter

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