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Community Drug Awareness and Opioid Overdose Prevention Program

Please join us on March 1 at 7 p.m. for a Community Drug Awareness and Opioid Overdose Prevention Program, including a NARCAN training class. The event will be held at the West Babylon HS Performing Arts Center. Register by Feb. 27 at this link.

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Celebrating Kindness Day

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100 Days of Learning

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Students in Thomas Valletta¹s class at South Bay Elementary School were excited to celebrate 100 days of learning on Feb. 15.

Santapogue Kindness

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Santapogue Elementary recently participated in a a week full of kind activities. Watch the video to find out more about their acts of kindness.

Forest Avenue Jump Rope for Heart

Forest Avenue students enjoyed participating in Jump Rope for Heart!

Forest Avenue Kindergarten students celebrate the 100th Day of School!

Forest Avenue kindergarten students celebrated the 100th day of school by dressing up as what they would look like if they were 100 years old!

 

A Message from Dr. Farrelly re: School Safety

February 15, 2018

Dear West Babylon Parents, Staff and Faculty Members:

In light of the tragedy that unfolded in Florida yesterday, the West Babylon School District would like to remind parents and families of our commitment to ensuring a safe and secure educational environment for all students, faculty, and staff. Please do not hesitate to reach out to an administrator, social worker, psychologist or guidance counselor if you feel that your child is in need of special assistance and/or if you feel that you need guidance with how to best approach this situation with your child. For resources on helping your child deal with this tragedy, please visit the National Association of School Psychologists website.

As you know, throughout the last few years we have increased security presence in our school buildings.  Raptor, a visitor monitoring system, has also been installed in all district school buildings. Our District Emergency Response Team meets several times throughout the school year to review and enhance safety and security procedures. Along with emergency response drills, we continue to provide security related training sessions to all of our staff and faculty members. This year, in partnership with SCPD's Division of Homeland Security, all West Babylon Schools were presented with an active shooter awareness presentation at faculty meetings. We also modified our emergency response drills to include extended fire drills and lock down drills at times when students are not in classrooms (i.e. in hallways or during a lunch period). Although these drills cause some confusion, the purpose is to learn, practice and enhance procedures under various situations.

Despite these enhancements, we must always remain vigilant. As part of the District's initiative to “see something say something”, we encourage all parents and guardians to speak to your child(ren) to review steps that should be taken if they have any safety concerns. If a safety concern is noted on social media, please notify the police immediately.

As always, if you have any concerns or suggestions, please feel free to contact any one of our school administrators.

Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly
Superintendent of Schools

 

See Something Say Something
Anonymous Tip Line: 631-376-7731
Contact Building Administration
Email: wbsecurity@wbschools.org
Contact Edwin Salas, Director of School Safety 631-376-7732
Call Security Line: 631-376-7731
http://www.wbschools.org/District/director_of_security

Student-Artist Recognized

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Senior High School student-artist Alexandra Gaudioso recently received an honorable mention award at LIU Post’s Advanced Visions competition. Alexandra won for her oil pastel painting “Oh Koi.” 

More than 35 schools from Nassau, Suffolk and New York City participated in the event and 70 student works were accepted into this highly competitive show, where only seven awards are distributed. 

Valentine’s Messages

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Second-graders at South Bay recently made Valentine's cards for nursing home residents to help brighten their holiday.

Olympics Come to Forest Avenue

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Olympics Come to Forest Avenue
Olympics Come to Forest Avenue
Olympics Come to Forest Avenue
The Winter Olympics have made there way to Kristen Wilken's class at Forest Avenue. This morning, the fifth-graders competed in the fastest skier competition. Up next, bobsled! 

Science Olympiad Team Heads to States

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West Babylon Senior High School’s Science Olympiad team took fourth place at the annual Suffolk County Science Olympiad Tournament on Jan. 27.

West Babylon competed against 47 teams from more than 25 schools in Suffolk County. Each team competed in up to 25 events. 
For the eighth consecutive year, the team will have the opportunity to represent Suffolk County at the annual state tournament.

The district congratulates the following students who placed in the top 10 in their respective events:
Anatomy & Physiology: Eric Donohue, Olivia Nawara, Juliana Pham and Vera Rodic
Duct Tape Challenge: Ben Galinson and Billy Marvin
Dynamic Planet: Ryan O’Sullivan and Erin Thompson
Forensics: Rachel Le and Jade Ung
Game On: Ben Galison and Joe Ronzetti
Helicopters: Daria DelMonico and Olivia Nawara
Hovercraft: Mark Giles and Billy Marvin
Materials Science: Kyra Duke and Megan Le
Mousetrap Vehicle: Robert Aguanno and Evan Restivo
Mousetrap Vehicle: Urszula Bednarski and Patrick O’Halloran 
Optics: Jake Adams, Aidan O’Sullivan, Ryan O’Sullivan and Juliana Pham 
Parasitology: Brianna Collora and Amanda Scarlata
Science Quiz Bowl: Natalia Niebrzydowski, Aidan O’Sullivan and Joe Ronzetti
Towers: Eric Donohue, Natalia Niebrzydowski, Kalleynah Olsen and Olivia Younger 

Grade 5 Hockey Tournament

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Grade 5 participated in a round robin tournament with Islander hockey equipment - these photos are of the gold medal winners Team Islander and the next photo is the team captains for each team.

Butterflies

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Steve Fratello shares his adventures in the rain forest and his collection of butterflies with fifth grade students.

P.S. I Love You Day

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Second-graders in Mrs. Febbraro’s class at South Bay Elementary School completed an activity for P.S. I Love Your Day. The students wrote kind words to their friends and shared different way they are all special.

Cold and Flu Information

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2018 Spring NYSSMA Festivals

The New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) sponsors solo and ensemble festivals each year for interested music students.  See the attached letter for more information.  Be sure to consult with your child's music teacher before registering for any NYSSMA festival.
 

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Student-Artists Inspired by Famous Work

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First-grade student-artists in Erin Castelli’s class at South Bay Elementary School recently created Matisse-inspired “Beasts of the Sea” projects in Janice Dougherty’s art class.



A Wrinkle in Time Book Club

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Former Basketball Coaches Honored with Gym Dedication

Former Basketball Coaches Honored with Gym Dedication photo

On Jan. 30, West Babylon Senior High School dedicated one of its gymnasiums to Jim Lynch and the late Frank Taplin – two longtime basketball coaches and faculty members – who had a lasting impact on the school district and its basketball program.

In addition to their many years of coaching the boys basketball team, Lynch was a teacher in the district and also served as an assistant principal at the Senior High School, while Taplin served as a guidance counselor. 

“To the administration and faculty of West Babylon, thank you for your friendship and support over 40 years,” Lynch said. “You all made West Babylon a wonderful place to work.”

The West Babylon Board of Education voted to dedicate the gymnasium to the two individuals and presented Lynch and Taplin’s family with plaques. Lynch spent 48 years teaching in West Babylon, and both Lynch and Taplin spent 26 years coaching the basketball team. During that time, the team went to the playoffs 19 times, was named league champs four times, and received numerous other honors in their section and state. 



West Babylon Robotics Takes on Tech Challenge

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The Senior High School’s Robotics Club participated in its second qualifying tournament of the 2018 FIRST Tech Challenge on Jan. 13 at Center Moriches High School. Following the first tournament, the students made significant modification to their robots and game play.  

Team Pandemonium 1 seeded sixth overall and was selected as a member of the second seeded team’s alliance. The alliance team made it to the semifinals but was defeated by the third seeded alliance.
 
Team Pandemonium 2 seeded seventh overall and was selected as a member of the third seeded team's alliance. Their alliance team finished in second place overall.
 

March Performance

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The JHS cast of "Mary Poppins" is rehearsing and ready to perform March 22 and March 23 at 6 p.m.

Science Olympiad Team Ready for Feb. 3 Comp

Groundhog Day

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Students in Mrs.Goodwin’s class at Tooker Avenue voted to predict whether or not the groundhog would see its shadow on Feb. 1. If the groundhog sees a shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter but if it doesn’t, the spring season should arrive sooner.

That’s a Matter of Opinion

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First-graders at Tooker Avenue Elementary School are using their literacy skills to share their own opinion writing pieces. The students are sharing everything including what they think about vegetables to whether or not a pigeon should drive a bus. 

Kindness Week Activities

First-grade students in Kristen Ragusa’s class at Santapogue Elementary recently completed a project for Kindness Week at the school. After reading "Spaghetti In A Hot Dog Bun,” the class learned how to do the right thing, make good choices and be proud of themselves.

Navigating Nonfiction

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Mrs. Granieri's reading classes at the Junior High school are busy studying strategies to navigate through nonfiction genre. Their reading of nonfiction texts will be enhanced by understanding structure, layout, and the text features of several types of nonfiction writing.

Students Share Their Love of Arts

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The district’s art and music programs have positively affected thousands of students who have participated in them both as part of the school curriculum and after school as clubs and activities. The art and music programs offer students an opportunity to explore their true passions and unleash their creativity. Here are what West Babylon student-artists and student-musicians have to say about their experiences in these programs: 

How would you describe your musical experience in West Babylon?
“The music program has taught me how to be creative and express myself without using words.” ¬– Cara Cirasole, eighth-grader

“I would say it’s supportive, yet challenging. The teachers always are helping and trying to make you better, and it’s challenging, but working hard helps you get better.” – R.J. Woodward, eighth-grader

How would you describe your experience in the art program at West Babylon?
“I’m very thankful for my experience. I really learned a lot. I grew as an artist and as a person. My teachers taught me about style and history techniques. I really grew confident in myself as an artist, and all the classes have been beneficial to me.” – Alexandra Gaudioso, 12th-grader
 
“My teachers are always pushing me to work harder, so I have enjoyed it, even though it can be challenging. It’s worth the hard work.” – Alanna Tennant, seventh-grader

Aside from learning to play an instrument, what have you learned from the program?
“It’s good to play in a group. I’ve learned collaboration and how to work with others. I’ve also learned a good work ethic.” – Eamon Murray, seventh-grader

“I’ve learned teamwork, and I’ve learned how to get up on a stage and play. I’ve learned how to have confidence in what I am doing.” – R.J. Woodward, eighth-grader

“I’ve learned time management, because being in multiple groups you need time to practice all the music and the rehearsals are very long. On top of the responsibility, it also teaches you how to work with people.” ¬ ¬¬¬– Erin Wade, 12th-grader

Aside from learning art techniques, what have you gained from the program?
“I can express myself through art and music, and it has become my stress relief.” ¬– Lauren Russell, eighth-grader

“Art really expanded my horizons. All of my teachers helped me become stronger. Art has helped me grow as a person and has definitely changed me over the years. I used to be afraid to try new things, and it has pushed me out of my comfort zone.” ¬– Amelia Cullen, 12th-grader

“I have learned that everyone is unique, and everyone is creative in their own way.” – Cara Cirasole, eighth-grader

“Coming into high school, I didn’t have any art experience. I took the required classes but I never really excelled in them. But coming into art history, I came out of the class enlightened and completely changed.” – Robert Aquanno, 12th-grader

Why would you encourage others to join the art or music program?
“It’s fun to get out from behind the desk and express yourself.” – Eamon Murray, seventh-grader

“For some people, it’s an escape. It makes difficult situations easier, and I have been able to express feelings in music in ways that I haven’t been able to do before.” – Kayla Muhammad, eighth-grader

“The teachers are always supportive and even if you don’t think you can do it, if you keep trying you will eventually get better.” ¬– R.J. Woodward, eighth-grader

“It was completely by chance that I got involved in the music program. I had so much positive feedback from my teachers and my peers. I would listen to my old recordings and see how far I have grown. I couldn’t imagine my life without music. When I have a break or a free period, the first place I go is to the music wing.” – David Grant, 12th-grader

What knowledge do you think you have gained that will help you in college and beyond?
“Confidence, definitely. It’s helped me connect with people who are also musically talented.” ¬– Kayla Muhammad, eighth-grader

“I’ve learned how to be creative, and I feel like if you have a passion for it, you should just keep doing it because everyone is different.” – Cara Cirasole, eighth-grader

“When people say that music is the universal language, it’s definitely true. You can relate to all the musicians you meet. No matter if you can’t speak their written language, you can speak with them through music.” ¬ – Eric Donohue, 12th-grader

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Rockin’ and Rollin’ at South Bay

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South Bay Elementary School was transformed into a School of Rock thanks to an artist-in-residence program set up by the school’s Parent-Teacher Association.

During the week of Jan. 22-26, musicians from the School of Rock in Farmingdale pushed into all the K-5 general music classes to teach the students about the history of rock and roll, music, instruments and the lyrics to the choruses of several popular rock songs. On Jan. 26, South Bay students showed off their skills to family and friends when each grade performed a different rock song with the School of Rock band at the West Babylon Junior High School Performing Arts Center.

Tech Educator Named Bright Lights Winner

Tech Educator Named Bright Lights Winner
For his use of technology in the classroom, Senior High School technology teacher Gerard DeSimone received a Bright Lights Award from the Association of Suffolk Supervisors for Educational Technologies. DeSimone was presented with the award at a luncheon in Great River on Jan. 18. He is pictured, from left, with Senior High School Principal Dr. Ellice Vassallo, technology education chairperson Katie Reilly-Johnson and Stephanie Nocerino, student data and instructional technology coordinator.
 

January 2nd-5th Paraprofessionals Recognition Week

The students & staff thank all of our Paraprofessionals for all their hard work & dedication. You all help make our days brighter!!

January 16th-19th School Nurse/OT/PT/COTA Recognition Week

The students & staff thank the following individuals for all their hard work & dedication:
Jenn Autera, Cara Baron, Fran Bridgwood and Debbie Christiansen.

January 22-26th Buildings & Grounds and Security Personnel

The students & staff thank all of you for your hard work & dedication. You all help make and keep our days safer!!

Superintendent’s January Points of Pride

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Literacy Celebration

Mrs. Kozak's 3rd Grade class ended Unit 2- informational writing with a small classroom Literacy celebration.

During the Expert Share: Students paired with their Reading Buddy and took turns reading their own book to their partner. Meanwhile, the buddy listening was instructed to construct a graphic organizer we learned about in reading (pros/cons, sim/diff, boxes& bullets, compare& contrast, or write 2-3 things he/she learned) on post-it notes based on their buddy's expert topic. The Expert Share took about 20 minutes.

After, 3 students were chosen to play the Expert Author. During this time, each chosen student was allowed time to read their self written book to the whole class. Time was allowed for questions, comments, and conversation between the Expert Author and peers about his/her topic. Students also shared what they learned from each Expert Author's topic.

"I was very proud and excited to have this for the children today. I felt this activity unified and brought an exciting closure to both the Reading & Writing Units of Study! It also brought excitement to our classroom learning and instilled students with pride in their work!" (Diana Gorman, Substitute Teacher for Mrs. Kozak)

Newsday Visits South Bay

Newsday Visits South Bay

The School of Rock in Farmingdale visited our students at South Bay on Jan. 22. Newsday joined in on the fun and created this video! Please note: a subscription to Newsday may be needed to view the video. 

https://www.newsday.com/lifestyle/family/school-of-rock-farmingdale-1.16298972#autoplay=true

Colorful Creation Delivers Powerful Message

Colorful Creation Delivers Powerful Message photo
First-graders in Lisa DeGennaro’s class at John F. Kennedy Elementary School worked together to celebrate the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In honor of Dr. King, the class read “The Crayon Box.” The students learned they are all unique like the colors in a crayon box, but when they work together they can do beautiful things. Students each created their own unique crayon with a message of peace, love and kindness.

The NED Show Assembly

Forest Avenue students had the chance to enjoy the PTA sponsored character education assembly "The NED Show." Students learned through the adventures of NED, a character kids (and adults) can relate to using humor, storytelling, audience participation, and amazing object lessons including yo-yo and magic tricks. NED is an acronym for: Never Give Up, Encourage Others, and Do Your Best!

DECA Students Score Big

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Sixty-three students from the Senior High School participated in the annual DECA regional competition at Suffolk County Community College on Jan. 3. A record 19 West Babylon students qualified for the New York State competition by placing in the top 10 in their respective events. 

Eric Donohue took first place in his event, Restaurant & Food Service Management. The district congratulates the following students who will be participating in New York State competition:

Benjamin Furnari – Principles of Finance
Jocelyn Hyner and Natalia Niebrzdowski – Principles of Hospitality & Tourism
Ivan Cabrera and Christopher Price – Principles of Marketing
Georgia DiVisconti and Marisa Moran – Entrepreneurship Team Event
Robert Auganno and Joseph Ronzetti – Financial Services Team Event
Miranda Billeri and Rachel Le – Hospitality Services Team Event
Olivia Golebiewski and Megan Le – Travel & Tourism Team Event
Andrew Blloshmi – Accounting Applications
Emerson Schaefer – Business Services Marketing
Jake Adams – Restaurant & Food Service Management
Irwin Chugh and Kalleynah Olsen – Job Interview

Blades for Grades

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The New York Islanders hockey team visited Santapogue Elementary School in January as part of its Blades for Grades program. Students can earn free tickets to Islanders games for their good grades when they join the program. The Santapogue students also completed a floor ball unit in their physical education classes.

Family Reflection Night

Please read the attached flyer regarding our districtwide, K-12, Family Reflection Night. Please enjoy some wonderful family time, with all of your children in grades K-12, on the first Friday of every month.

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Authors Share During Literacy Celebration

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Students in Lisa DeGennaro’s first-grade class at John F. Kennedy Elementary School shared their newly published books with second-graders from Colleen Steffens and Melissa Dewhirst’s class. The first-grade finished projects contained many aspects of a nonfiction text, including a table of contents, glossary and all about the author page.

Martin Luther King Jr. Slideshow

Check out this Google slides presentation created by some of our very own Forest Avenue Fifth Graders with Mrs. Francisco

Click here to view the Presentation

Bowling for Dollars in P.E. at Forest Avenue!

Each January the students at Forest Avenue participate in our bowling unit during PE classes. Along with learning the skills and rules necessary to be successful in the sport, they also work on their math skills by using fake money. For each pin knocked down they get a certain amount of money for their team. Students learn how to handle the “fun currency” by exchanging smaller bills for bigger ones. Its one of our most exciting units of the year that all our wonderful students look forward to.

No Name-Calling Week at Forest Avenue

To celebrate No-Name Calling Week at Forest Avenue, all students read and signed the pledge to "Celebrate Kindness."!  Students in Mrs. Weisbecker's health classes will be watching the short video, "Color the World with Kindness" tomorrow.  

Please enjoy this video from the event

Cultivating Kindness

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Forest Avenue Elementary School held an assembly about cultivating kindness on Dec. 19. Sponsored by the school’s PTA, author and speaker Richard Specht spoke to the students about spreading kindness and paying it forward. 

Mr. Specht donated a personalized copy of his book “A Little Rees Specht Cultivates Kindness” to the Forest Avenue school library. The Rees Specht Life Foundation was created in memory of Mr. Specht’s son Rees. Since Mr. Specht presented to the school on Rees’ birthday, Forest Avenue created and donated birthday boxes to Birthday Wishes of Long Island in the spirit of paying it forward.

2018 Transportation Request

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SEL Initiatives Grow

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Social-emotional learning is the way a student develops the ability to experience, regulate and express emotions; form close, secure relationships; explore the environment and learn. To ensure student success, the district implements new social-emotional learning initiatives annually to educate the whole child.

The K-12 districtwide Social-Emotional Academic Learning committee is committed to a shared vision of social and emotional development that is critical for student achievement. The first Friday of every month is designated Family Friday. To assist families in connecting at home, a monthly flyer is sent home with a reflection/theme question that all K-12 students can discuss with their families in place of any other homework. These questions help generate conversations with families and help students with their social-emotional growth.

Social-emotional connections also involve giving back to the community, in particular during November and December, when students participate in mitten trees and fundraisers for the Toys for Tots, and Make-A-Wish charities. This year, many schools collected food and toiletries for hurricane victims. During the morning and afternoon announcements in December, two students at South Bay Elementary School share advice on kindness. 

Senior high school students are being recognized with the Eagle Award for demonstrating one of the 13 social-emotional learning competencies. To be recognized, a student is nominated by a faculty member for going above and beyond in one of the competencies, including showcasing integrity, respect, responsibility, compassion, kindness, and teamwork. To date for the 2017-18 school year, 30 students have been nominated for the Eagle Award. 

In addition to the Eagle Award at the senior high school, ninth-grade English teachers are using “Top 20 Teens: Discovering the Best-Kept Thinking, Learning & Communicating Secrets of Successful Teenagers” to facilitate lesson plans on social-emotional learning. 

“We recognize the many outside factors that may impact the learning of our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly. “Through our various SEL initiatives, it is our goal to provide students with the appropriate tools to successfully navigate any obstacles that may arise in their lives.” 
 

Soldier Surprise Shocks Seventh-Grader

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West Babylon Junior High School seventh-grader Grace Bonamico was overwhelmed with emotion when her military sister surprised her at school during her English class on Dec. 15.

Grace hasn’t seen her sister Colleen Bonamico since she left for technical training school in Biloxi, Mississippi, in August. Colleen, who is a 2017 West Babylon graduate, is an airman first class in the U.S. Air Force stationed in San Antonio, Texas, for her basic training. Colleen graduated from technical training school on Dec. 5 and made a surprise visit home to see her family before she leaves on her new assignment in Arizona. 

“She is my best friend,” Grace said. “It will be a special holiday this year because she is here.”

Technology Enhances Kindergarten Learning Experience

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South Bay Elementary School has a tech-savvy kindergarten class working on touch-screen Chromebooks this year. Kindergartners in Alison Chiquitucto’s class are using them daily to support and enhance their learning. 

Students are engaged and enthusiastic to use the technology and show off their accomplishments. They are exploring and problem-solving with the technology — from figuring out how to navigate the screens, to changing colors of text and backgrounds, to adding more and more letters to their words. 

“The types of rudimentary skill acquisition, creative thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and pride of accomplishment that these students experience today will serve as the basis for their success in college classrooms or corporate think tanks,” said South Bay Elementary School Principal JoAnn Scott.  

The 1:1 Chromebook imitative also allows the students to progress at their own pace. Students in Mrs. Chiquitucto’s class have begun to collaborate with one another and assist each other using the technology.
 

‘Polar Express’ Day

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Forest Avenue students were greeted with music from “The Polar Express” as they entered the school building for the first “Polar Express Day” on Dec. 20. The Forest Avenue staff decorated the building with “Polar Express” themed decorations and both students and staff wore pajamas to school. Principal Patricia Acocella read “The Polar Express” and students watched the movie in their classrooms and enjoyed hot cocoa and cookies.

Buddy Club’s Holiday Party

Kindergarten Performance

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Tooker Avenue kindergarteners in Ms. Mele’s and Mrs. Ward’s class performed songs for friends and family on Dec. 20. The student practiced for weeks, both at home and in school. The songs included “Rudolph," "Jingle Bells," "Deck the Halls," “Hanukkah" and "O’ Christmas Tree."

Holiday Helping Hands

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The JHS held its annual “ugly holiday sweater” holiday breakfast. Baskets and items were donated and the JHS staff purchased raffle tickets. More than $2,000 was raised to be donated toward food cards and clothes for local families in need this holiday season.

Forest Avenue PTA Holiday Gathering

Forest Avenue students and their families had a wonderful time at the Forest Avenue Holiday Gathering sponsored by the PTA. Thank you, Forest Avenue PTA!

 

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