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Skittles Experiment

Students in Kathleen Stein's CORE class at the Junior High School participated in Maker Space in the library on May 18. Students formed a hypothesis of how fast various colors of Skittles would dissolve in different types of liquids. Using a red Skittle, they experimented by dropping one into water, vinegar, and Coca-Cola.

Mrs. Delaney’s Class Dissecting Frogs

Students in Wendy Delaney’s class at the Junior High School dissected frogs during a recent science lab.

Paper Towel Experiment

Students in Nick Delapi's science class weighed paper towel absorption as an experiment to see which is most efficient with regards to price.

STEM Challenge for a Cause

STEM Challenge for a Cause photo
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The West Babylon Junior High School Science Olympiad team attended the Team Packard STEM Challenge at Northport High School on April 21. The team won an award for the most money raised, took third place in mystery solutions and third in puzzling math. All of the money raised goes to ALS research.

Student-Scientists at Work

Student-Scientists at Work photo
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Student-Scientists at Work photo 3
Student-Scientists at Work photo 4
Seventh-grade students dissected frogs during science class on April 16. Students examined the exterior features of the frog and then made cuts into the frog to observe internal organs.

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.

School Spirit Shines in West Babylon

School Spirit Shines in West Babylon photo

On March 28, staff and students at Junior High School wore their alma mater or West Babylon gear in support of Alma Mater Day. Staff shared colleges experiences with students at the start of each class throughout the day.




MakerSpace CORE

MakerSpace CORE photo
During CORE, students used MakerSpace in the Junior High School library. Students were engaged, creative and enjoyed the flexibility and creativity of the MakerSpace setting.

Eagles Go Bald for a Cause

Eagles Go Bald for a Cause photo

Students and staff members from throughout the district shaved their heads for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to raise money for childhood cancers. The Bald Eagles of West Babylon raised more than $10,000 on March 25 at Lily Flanagan’s Pub in Babylon Village.

This is the third year the Bald Eagles participated in the event and for the past two years, they have been the top fundraising team. In 2016, the team raised more than $10,000 and last year raised more than $13,000, thanks in part to the support of the Junior High School student council. Faculty members of the Bald Eagles of West Babylon team include: John Snyder (health/physical education teacher – Junior High School/Senior High School); James Fulton (art – Senior High School); Kelly Connolly (English – Senior High School); Bryan Heaton (music – Junior High School); and Dan McKeon (principal – Junior High School).




Curricular Updates and Enhancements

Curricular Updates and Enhancements photo
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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. 
 

Student Council Supports St. Baldrick’s with Shamrocks

Student Council Supports St. Baldrick’s with Shamrocks photo
The West Babylon Junior High School student council is selling memory shamrocks for $1 to support the team of staff and students raising money to fight childhood cancers for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Purchasers are invited to write a name in memory of a loved one, to support a person, or just help raise money for the team. Last year, the student council raised more than $600 to donate to the Bald Eagles of West Babylon’s team fundraising page. The Bald Eagles shaved their heads at the St. Baldrick’s event at Lily Flanagan’s Pub in Babylon Village on March 25.

Celebrating a Love of the Languages

Celebrating a Love of the Languages photo

West Babylon Junior High School celebrated Foreign Language Week from March 5-9. The goal is to raise awareness for the need and importance of foreign languages. Students learned new words in Spanish and Italian with signs hung throughout the building. Students who spoke a language other than English signed a poster outside of Señorita Antonella Poggi’s room. They also learned about the Guatemalan worry dolls and even received one of their own. Señor Cody Napolitano brought Colombian empanadas for his classes to enjoy.



Lesson Learned in Dr. Seuss Works

Lesson Learned in Dr. Seuss Works photo
To commemorate Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2, Junior High School in Dr. Patricia Neville’s library classes participated in this year’s Read Across America. Students researched Dr. Seuss’ career and learned that he had 27 manuscripts rejected before his first publication. This motivated students to always try their best and to learn from their mistakes.
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