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Performing Artists Recognized

Performing Artists Recognized photo
Five Senior High School actors and actresses will be competing in the 2018 Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance, the New York Chapter of the Jimmy Awards, also known as the National High School Musical Theatre Awards. They will be competing based on their performances in the school’s musical, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” The district congratulates the following students (from left): David Grant (Chairman); Mackenzie Grimes (Princess Puffer); Danielle Del Orfano (Rosa Bud); Colin Murray (John Jasper); and Amanda Riche (Edwin Drood). 

Career Fair

On May 18, West Babylon High School held its fourth annual career fair in the small gym. More than 20 careers were represented, ranging from law enforcement, government and politics, sports broadcasting, nursing and sales. Approximately 350 students, mostly 11th and 12th graders, attended the career fair where they had the opportunity to learn about these careers through small group sessions. The career fair was organized and coordinated by business education teacher and work co-op coordinator Colleen Kilgus.

Two Seniors Shine at DECA

Two Seniors Shine at DECA photo
Two Seniors Shine at DECA photo 2
Two Seniors Shine at DECA photo 3
Senior High School seniors Eric Donohue and Emerson Schaefer competed at the annual DECA International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, from April 21-24. Both qualified for the event after placing as finalists at last month’s New York State DECA Conference.

Donohue was a medalist in his competition, restaurant and food service management, and was honored for his achievements.  
 

Blue and Gold Shines Bright

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An annual tradition in West Babylon for more than 60 years, the 2018 Blue and Gold Competition did not disappoint this April. For highlights of the event, and interviews from blue and gold team members, please enjoy this video.

Two Seniors Named Zone Winners

Two Seniors Named Zone Winners photo
West Babylon Senior High School seniors Eric Donohue and Erin Reahl were presented with the Suffolk Zone Outstanding Student Award for Citizenship, Scholarship and Physical Performance. The award was presented by the New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Suffolk Zone Award. At the awards ceremony in late March, the two students were presented with certificates and gold medals recognizing their outstanding achievement as physical education students, scholars and citizens. 

Student-Athletes Commit to Next Level

Student-Athletes Commit to Next Level photo

Twelve student-athletes from West Babylon Senior High School committed to playing their sports in college next fall during a national letter of intent signing on April 11 in the West Babylon Board of Education room.

Joined by administrators, coaches and family members, the students put pen to paper as they move to the collegiate level in September. The district congratulates the following students: Krista Agostinello, soccer, Hofstra University; Joseph Ballone, lacrosse, Palm Beach Atlantic University; Brittany Claud, basketball, SUNY Oneonta; Jason Fucci, Hartwick College; Hailey Griffin, cheerleading, West Virginia University; Grace Guglielmo, soccer/lacrosse, New York Institute of Technology; Tara Hauff, track, SUNY Stony Brook; Britney Jahrmarkt, cheerleading, Sacred Heart University; Rocco Longo, football, Catholic University of America; Natalie McIntosh, softball, Fairleigh Dickinson University; Spencer Milito, track and field, College of Staten Island; and Amanda Ruppel, cheerleading, University of Scranton. 



Paint Night Raises Awareness

West Babylon’s SEPTA held an autism awareness paint night fundraiser at the junior high school on April 19. Students from the Eagle Eyes Club and the National Honor Society volunteered their time during the evening to ensure it was a success.

Top Student-Photographers

Top Student-Photographers photo

Three Senior High School student-artists have been named winners in the Photographic Federation of Long Island Youth Showcase. More than 14 high schools from Nassau and Suffolk participated in this competition.
Congratulations to the following students: 
First Place Architecture: Dean Fedoryk – “Views from the Six”
First Place Scape: Dean Fedoryk – “Hope for Tomorrow”
Second Place Creative: Ryan McDevitt – “Looking Through”
Third Place Monochrome: Jason Carseni – “The Eerie Secret”



Best in Show for West Babylon Student-Artist

Best in Show for West Babylon Student-Artist photo
Best in Show for West Babylon Student-Artist photo 2
Senior High School student-artist Paulina Tronzkoska was awarded the best in show for her artwork at the opening reception of Long Island's Best Young Artist competition at the Heckscher Museum of Art on March 24. In addition, Senior High School art teacher Heather Ingald received the Outstanding Teacher Award. This year’s show featured 62 public and private schools from Nassau and Suffolk counties. More than 385 entries were received and only 80 selected for display in the galleries.

Curricular Updates and Enhancements

Curricular Updates and Enhancements photo
Curricular Updates and Enhancements photo 2
In January, the New York State Education Department received approval for a new education plan that was required as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act. As part of this approval process, NYSED has been making changes to the entire K-12 curriculum. These changes – NYS Next Generation Learning Standards – are focused on revising math and English language arts education. 

Educators are being asked to help all students become lifelong readers and writers and NYSED has revised many of the reading and writing standards for classroom teachers. In addition, literacy-based instructional practices have been incorporated into all of the science and social studies classrooms. In math, standards were revised or moved to different grade levels with a focus on increasing student fluency. Last year, NYSED also made changes to the K-12 science standards, mirroring the practices of scientists and engineers through the implementation of hands-on activities in class. 

“Here in West Babylon, we are making certain that all of our students are getting the very best education in every subject area,” said Scott Payne, executive director of curriculum and instruction. “In response to all of these changes, this month we are pleased to share some of the exciting curricular work that is taking place in all our schools.”

Computer-based instructional tools

Parents may have noticed their children coming home and signing on to many of the online educational programs offered both in and out of the classroom. One literacy-based program is comprised of two separate programs called Raz-Kids and Reading A-Z. These programs allow students to read books online based on their interest as well their reading level. It also allows them to answers questions about what they have read and builds vocabulary and acquisition skills through guided quizzes.  

In math, students have access to an online program called Math IXL.  This web-based program allows students to practice specific math problems that are either assigned by their teacher or picked specifically based on their ability.

I-Ready.com is another online resource used by elementary and junior high school students. This program uses educational lessons and games to build student skills in math and ELA. Students earn points and reach milestones as they complete lessons that are either assigned by their teacher or are simply completed for extra credit. Not only are these games fun, but they help teachers get balanced data to help build upon needed skills for students.

Many JHS and SHS courses offer online supplements to enhance the textbooks used in class. Seventh-grade health, courses in science and math and much of the social studies curriculum are featured online. 

“If you see your child watching videos as part of the Discovery Ed website, they may actually be doing homework or getting extra credit, as much of our district’s social studies content is presented in multimedia form,” Payne said.

STEM Skills

“Here in West Babylon, we are very excited for our students to explore the many STEM skill sets,” Payne said. “In our K-8 schools, we have begun creating makerspaces. These spaces are collaborative work areas in part of our libraries that allow students to create projects or designs using their imagination and creativity. One key aspect is allowing students to work together. This creative and collaborative practice is at the core of helping to prepare our students for 21st-century skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.” 

In K-6 library media classes, students are learning to code using Ozobot or Dash-and Dot robot kits. These kits guide students through the basic concepts of coding and allow students to program robots to perform different tasks and complete challenges. 

In grades 8-12, a new set of science research courses has been added.  Currently offered in eighth grade, this course will be offered to all students next year at the high school and is designed to teach students how to design and create scientific experiments while enhancing their problem-solving skills. Students will learn to publish their discoveries and will make formal presentations on what they have learned. The goal of these courses is to connect students to real-world scientists and engineers, which will allow them to work in the field to conduct their own research as part of an extended internship. 

“We are also offering two opportunities for STEM enrichment,” Payne said. “Our after-school STEM SCOPE program will be starting soon at each of our elementary schools. This summer, we will be offering a weeklong science camp for all students that will be housed in-district at one of our elementary schools.”

In addition, Payne said, the district will be looking at adopting a new K-5 math curriculum and next year, will be looking at changes in the K-8 science program. In both cases, this selection process will involve building principals from every elementary building forming a team of teachers, administrators and parents. 
 
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