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For Parents



Fun activities for you and your elementary school child

  1. Read to your child!
  2. Make tonight a 'No TV' night with your family. Ask your child to help select games or stories, and spend some quality time with them.
  3. Help boost your child's self-esteem. Take pride in their achievements and accomplishments today and every day.
  4. Put on a history play with your child today. Help them learn about important events in world history or even your own family history.
  5. Make learning to write letters and numbers fun for your child. Roll playdough or clay into long thin worms and ask them to create letters and numbers.
  6. Ask your child to help make lunch today. They can pick a spot in the park so that you can share lunch together.
  7. Take the family out to a water park today. Help your child put on sunscreen and explain the importance of protecting their skin.
  8. Go to the park and take a nature hike with your child today. Ask them to point out different animals and what they need to survive (i.e. food, shelter etc.)
  9. School's on the way! Help your child make a 'countdown to school' calendar. Ask them to cross off each day at bedtime.
  10. Encourage your child to make a 'to do' list today. Help them make a list of things that they would like to accomplish tomorrow, then check the items once completed.
  11. Visit a community pool with your child today. Go for a dip to cool off on a hot day.
  12. Take your child shopping for school supplies. Ask them to brainstorm a list of things that they will need for school.
  13. Help your child make a kite today. They can decorate it and fly it at the park.
  14. Teach your child about recycling. Show them how to recycle items such as paper, glass and aluminum.
  15. Take your child to a petting zoo today. Ask them to draw pictures of the animals that they saw today.
  16. Visit the library with your child today. Encourage them to borrow books about a different country, and learn about the people, cultures, and customs of that country.
  17. On a rainy day, set up a tent with your child in the living room. They can pretend to be a forest ranger.
  18. Help your child practice their math skills. Ask them to add up all the change in your pocket or purse today.
  19. Teach your child about the importance of preserving nature. Help them plant a tree in the yard and explain how littering harms the environment.
  20. On a large piece of construction paper, help your child write their name vertically. Using each letter, help them write words that describe their personality.
  21. Make car trips fun for your child. Play a game and ask them to point out license plates billboards and interesting road signs.
  22. Tell your child that you love them today and every day.
  23. Help your child create and design their own phone book . Make a list of their friends names and phone numbers.
  24. How much does your child know about their family history? On a map trace where your family is from and help them create a family tree.
  25. Help your child write a letter to a grandparent or friend today. Explain the importance of keeping in touch with loved ones.
  26. Get your child back in 'school mode'. Ask them to research a famous painter on the Internet. Get out the paint and let them express themselves through art.
  27. Teach your child about textures today. Ask them to find objects outdoors that are smooth, shiny, slimy or round.
  28. Suggest that your child write a poem for a friend today. They can mail it to them for a back to school present.
  29. Encourage your child to make journal entries and keep track of their experiences in a new grade this coming school season.
  30. Have a back to school party for some of your child's friends.
  31. Help your child prepare for school. Talk to them about setting personal goals this year.

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Birthday Celebrations

Dear Parents/Guardians:

At South Bay, we believe it is important for your child to receive special acknowledgement at school on his/her birthday.  However, to comply with the West Babylon School District wellness and allergy policies, we are strongly recommending that students’ birthdays are recognized at school without any food treats.  Foods that are homemade or prepared at home may not be served to children at school during the school day.  It is important for you to know that if homemade or home-prepared foods are sent into school, your child’s teacher will not be able to serve them to the children.

Also, all foods provided for children during the school day must meet the NY School Nutrition Association’s “Choose Sensibly” guidelines (your child’s teacher can give you a copy of these), which regulate portion size, and fat, sodium, and sugar content; or the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Food and Beverage Guidelines, which are available at  Therefore, if you feel it is absolutely necessary to send food items to school to acknowledge your child’s birthday, the food must be commercially prepared and packaged and must meet the “Choose Sensibly” or “Alliance” guidelines.  Another option would be to purchase one of the snacks offered in our cafeteria for each child in the class – since all of our snacks are compliant with the guidelines.

I ask all parents and guardians to work with your child’s teacher to plan a “Fun, not Food” means of recognizing your child’s birthday at school, such as (but not limited to):  being a guest reader in your child’s class; sending in your child’s favorite book for the teacher to read; having a sibling at South Bay visit the birthday child’s class to read a book; or sending in a special photo poster of your child that he/she can share with the class.  Your child’s teacher may have ideas, as well; such as, having your child hold a special classroom job for the day or having each child in the class draw a picture or write a message to create a special birthday book for your child.

The goal of acknowledging your child’s birthday at school is to provide him/her with a day of feeling special on a special day.  This goal can certainly be accomplished in many fun and creative ways that do not require food.  Our whole staff is very proud of the fact that the efforts of the entire South Bay community in the areas of wellness and fitness have recently resulted in our school receiving the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Silver Award.  I hope you will further support our wellness and fitness efforts and work with your child’s teacher to choose a “Fun, not Food” activity to recognize your child’s birthday at school.  

Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Christina Cotter
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Common Core Learning Standards Links


Learning standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each grade. Over the next few years, New York and more than 40 other states across the country will transition to a new set of learning standards called the Common Core.

These new standards provide a clear picture of what students need to learn each year in order to graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers. The Common Core standards were developed by educators and other experts based on research and lessons learned from top-performing countries. The standards describe the skills and knowledge our students need to succeed in a rapidly changing world, including the ability to think creatively, solve real-world problems, make effective arguments, and engage in debates.

In New York State, the Common Core includes standards for students in pre-kindergarten through grade twelve in English language arts and math. The English standards include a focus on literacy in history, science, and technical subjects—emphasizing that teachers in all subjects implement these new standards, students will be asked to do significantly more writing and to read increasingly complex texts, with an emphasis on nonfiction. In math, students will take more time to understand concepts deeply, make connections between topics, and master complex ideas through hands-on learning.

To learn more about the Common Core standards, visit the links on the left side of this page or visit

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New York State Testing Information


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School Bus Safety

Although drivers of all vehicles are required to stop for a school bus when it is stopped to load or discharge passengers, children should not rely on them to do so. The National Safety Council encourages parents to teach their youngsters these rules for getting on and off the school bus:

  • When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness. Do not stray onto streets, alleys or private property.
  • Line up away from the street or road as the school bus approaches. Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before stepping onto the roadway.
  • Use the hand rail when stepping onto the bus.
  • When on the bus, find a seat and sit down. Loud talking or other noise can distract the bus driver and is not allowed. Never put head, arms or hands out of the window.
  • Keep aisles clear -- books or bags are tripping hazards and can block the way in an emergency.
  • Before you reach your stop, get ready to leave by getting your books and belongings together.
  • At your stop, wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat. Then, walk to the front door and exit, using the hand rail.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk at least ten feet ahead of the bus along the side of the road, until you can turn around and see the driver. Make sure that the driver can see you. Wait for a signal from the driver before beginning to cross. When the driver signals, walk across the road, keeping an eye out for sudden traffic changes.
  • Do not cross the center line of the road until the driver has signaled that it is safe for you to begin walking.
  • Stay away from the bus' rear wheels at all times.

The Council also suggests that parents review with their children the correct way to cross the street.

  • Youngsters should always stop at the curb or the edge of the road and look left, then right, and then left again before crossing.
  • They should continue looking in this manner until they are safely across.

If students' vision is blocked by a parked car or other obstacle, they should move out to where drivers can see them and they can see other vehicles -- then stop, and look left-right-left again. 

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Be generous with praise!
Observe your child carefully and comment on the things that are done well. When you see an area that needs improvement, find a positive way to talk about it with your child.
Encourage your child's personal best.
Help your child by encouraging him or her to do their best in school and at home. Remember, "personal best" does not mean "perfect", and learning is not the same as high grades. Children, like adults, need the freedom to make mistakes and to learn from them.
Make learning a priority!
Your attitude toward school attendance, education and involvement in the school makes a strong and lasting impression on your child. Show your child, by example, that learning is a priority.
Show interest in school work each day.

  • Talk about school each day.
  • Ask to see classwork.
  • Have your child read aloud to you.
  • Read to and with your child from a variety of material in your first language.
  • Encourage your child to discuss new ideas and opinions.
  • Show appreciation for good efforts.


Offer these suggestions for success:

  • Read the assignment when it is given.
  • Keep a list of new vocabulary.
  • Proofread assignments to catch errors before writing a final draft.
  • Review notes before a test.

Schedule study time!
Set up an area for homework away from noise and distractions. Post a family calendar that schedules school project deadlines, after-school activities, mid-term dates, exam periods and report card dates.

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True Flix Parent Letter


Dear Parent,

Good news –  South Bay Elementary School has subscribed to a fun, new online resource that you and your child can access from home!  TrueFlix™ is an online resource that focuses on engaging subject-area content in science and social studies for students spanning grades 3-6. Each of the TrueFlix subject areas will help your child hone literacy skills, bolster their understanding of crucial subjects relating to science and social studies, and help enhance their ability to be able to organize and assemble information—for class reports, exams, and assignments. Each TrueFlix subject area is supported with a deep and dynamic reservoir of related content and primary sources featuring videos, audio, images, and text.

Your children can access TrueFlix anywhere there is an Internet connection, including your home! This interactive resource will help students get excited about science and social studies and extends learning beyond school hours.  Here’s what TrueFlix includes:

An engaging collection of introductory videos and other types of media, content especially designed for their reading level, voice-over reading features, and a variety of questions in a fun, quiz format to ensure they understand what they are reading and viewing.

"Clickable books” that allow students to feed their curiosity by jumping to the part of the book in which they are most interested with more challenging words high-lighted and defined when you click on them

A comprehensive package of materials in eight exciting subject areas guaranteed to be a focus of any classroom spanning grades 3-6: Disasters, Ecosystems, Extreme Nature, The Human Body, Space, American Indians, Ancient Civilizations, Continents, U.S. Government, Westward Expansion.

To log-in to TrueFlix, please use the following log-in information at the link below:

TrueFlix Log-In Information

UN: southbay


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