Chiquitucto Receives Technology Award

Alison Chiquitucto, a kindergarten teacher at South Bay Elementary and proponent of innovative instructional technology, is one of two recipients of the 2014 Fred Podolski Leadership and Innovation in Technology Award, presented at the Long Island Technology and Education Summit on Oct. 21 at the Huntington Hilton. This award designates Chiquitucto as a “technology trailblazer” in the classroom.

Chiquitucto is a member of the district’s Technology Committee, for which she brings her research-based expertise to the table. In the classroom, she uses tablets to help her students learn vocabulary, uses Xbox for a fitness break, and uses Chromebooks to increase reading and math skills through educational websites.

The district congratulates Chiquitucto on this prestigious honor and wishes her much success in her educational career.

Summer Math and Reading Stars

Forest Avenue Elementary School students in grades K-5 proudly hold their certificates of participation for completing all of the requirements of their Summer Math and Reading Program assignments. The district congratulates these students on this outstanding academic accomplishment.

Fire Prevention Essay Winners

Each year, South Bay Elementary School fifth-grade students enter the West Babylon Fire Department’s essay contest in observation of Fire Prevention Week.

This year’s winners are: Kaia DiVisconti, first place; Mia Kinayman, second place; and Richard Molinelli, third place.

The district congratulates these students on this outstanding accomplishment.

Fall Festival Slideshow

Off to School on Foot

West Babylon students and parents put on their sneakers and took to the local sidewalks in celebration of International Walk to School Day on Oct. 8.

As the students approached the front doors of their schools, they were greeted by their principals and congratulated for making the healthy choice to walk instead of being driven. When asked about their walk to school, many students expressed pleasure in sharing their commute with friends, parents and relatives. Many of the parents referenced the environmental benefits of having fewer cars on the road and the health benefits of walking as opposed to driving. Overall, the  majority of students declared that the event was fun and an excellent way to start the day.

Partnership for a Walkable America established Walk to School Day 16 years ago as a one-time event aimed at creating awareness about the need for more walkable communities. Today, the event involves more than 40 countries and has become part of a movement for safe routes to school and healthier lifestyles.

PTA Harvest Festival

Click here to view the Shutterfly Album


West Babylon Board of Education Adopts Bond Resolution: Vote Set for Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015

On Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, the West Babylon Board of Education unanimously adopted a resolution to present a capital projects bond referendum to the community for a public vote on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015.

The amount of the proposed bond is $29,953,754. The district anticipates receiving 64.6 percent in New York State Building Aid, thereby significantly reducing the cost to district taxpayers. It is anticipated that the cost to the average homeowner will be $96 per year, or approximately $8 per month. New homeowners moving into the community will also pay their fair share of the cost of the bond referendum.

If approved by voters, the proposed bond would cover the cost of major repairs and renovations throughout the district, including refurbishment of roofs; bathroom renovations; improvements to the electrical and heating systems; renovations to parking lots, curbs and sidewalks; installation of a synthetic turf field at West Babylon Junior High School and a synthetic turf field and baseball infield at West Babylon Senior High School; renovations to locker rooms; improvements to interior and exterior site lighting to enhance security; repairs to building masonry; and ceiling tile and floor replacement.

Due to the New York state-mandated property tax cap, major repairs and renovations covered under the proposed bond can no longer be included in the annual school budget without exceeding the tax levy cap or negatively impacting instruction and programs for students.

“The Board of Education recognizes that in order to preserve the community’s investment in our facilities and provide a safe, supportive environment for our students, major repairs and renovations are needed,” said Board of Education President Lucy Campasano. “After analyzing every option, we know this work needs to be done. Fortunately, the district is eligible to receive 64.6 percent in New York State Building Aid, so community residents will in fact be paying 35.4 percent of the total cost.”

Between now and the Jan. 13, 2015 bond referendum vote, community residents will receive information about the details of the scope of work and will be invited to attend one of several community forums, where the proposed plans will be discussed and the community will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Big Ideas for the New School Year

At a welcome-back-to-school assembly, Santapogue Elementary School students clapped their hands and sang along to the music of Patricia Shih. The program, called “Back to School – Learning is Cool,” entertained students with songs about learning math, social studies and reading. The students enjoyed the audience participation, especially when their teachers were called to the stage.

Kindergarten Student Completes Charitable 5K Walk

Tommy DeBiccari, a kindergarten student at South Bay Elementary School, is serious about ending bullying. On Oct. 5, he and his team, Open Hearts, completed the second annual CAPS Stand Up, Don’t Stand By 5K Walk on the boardwalk at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park. He raised more than $400 for Child Abuse Prevention Services, a child abuse prevention resource and provider of violence prevention and child safety education.

The district congratulates Tommy on this amazing accomplishment. He is pictured with a certificate from Principal Joann Scott for being committed to helping the school become a more friendly and caring community.

Bullying Makes Us Blue

Students at Tooker Avenue Elementary School joined the worldwide campaign to stop bullying by participating in Blue Shirt Day World Day of Bullying Prevention on Oct. 6. A majority of students and staff wore blue to indicate their personal efforts to end bullying.

Blue Shirt Day was created to signify the importance of October as National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. The program drives awareness of anti-bullying programs and encourages students to show solidarity for the cause.  

West Babylon District Blood Drive - November 13, 2014, West Babylon Senior High, 3:15 pm to 9:15 pm - Please see Virtual Backpacks for specifics.

Walk to School Day

Top IXL Math Performers Recognized

Tooker Elementary School students have been working hard to master math skills using the IXL computer-based math program. Every month, the top five students in each grade level will have their name and photo displayed on the school’s bulletin board and will be recognized during the morning announcements. In addition, the student who logs in the most minutes per grade level will have an opportunity to play a game with Principal Germano. The following images are the September winners:  

A Lesson on Personification

A magic wand and a bit of imagination were all second-grade students in Colleen Steffens’ class at John F. Kennedy Elementary School needed to make handmade clay figures come to life.

The students were learning about story elements by focusing on the flounder’s human characteristics in the Grimm fairy tale “The Fisherman and His Wife.” After discussing personification, the students were instructed to make their own creatures out of clay. The clay figures were then empowered with human characteristics by the tap of a magic wand. An enchanting musical chime from Ms. Steffens’ phone completed the imaginary effect and made the activity even more fun.

Blue to End Bullying

At Santapogue Elementary School, a majority of students wore blue clothing to symbolize their participation in the nationwide campaign “Stomp Out Bullying.” Many teachers incorporated English language arts lessons into the day by reading an array of books on the topic of bullying and how to be a “bucket filler.” The literature resulted in much classroom conversation about bullying. One student even made a special shirt and logo to celebrate the day.

One Bottle at a Time

John F. Kennedy students in grades 3-5 have been studying the positive effect of recycling on the environment. In an effort to reduce waste, student volunteers collect plastic water bottles around the school each day and place them in bins provided by the Town of Babylon. The students have been learning about taking responsibility for their environment and taking pride in bettering their community.   

A Pledge for Peace

The junior high school commemorated World Peace Day, an event established by the United Nations’ General Assembly on the third Tuesday of each September to promote the ideals of peace within and among all nations and peoples.

The art department created decorative banners for each grade and incorporated several peace quotes in the design. By signing the banners during lunch, the students pledged their commitment to promote peace throughout their school, community and the world.

District Lauds AP Scholars

The College Board has recognized 77 high school students and Class of 2014 graduates as Advanced Placement Scholars for exceptional achievement on the May 2014 national exams.

•    38 students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by receiving a 3 or higher on three or more exams.
•    10 students received the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average grade of 3.25 on all AP exams taken and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of those exams.
•    20 students qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and grades of 4 or higher on five or more of these exams.
•    In addition, Class of 2014 graduates Julie Barrett, Nicole Cutrone, Gregory Fleury, John Martin, Jason Meurlin, Anthony Morante, Victoria Lauren Sardelli, John Scheuring and Amber Volz received the highest designation of National AP Scholar by earning an average grade of 4 or higher on all AP exams taken and grades of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.
AP courses completed with a score of 3 or higher on the final exam afford students the opportunity to earn college credit.

The district congratulates the following AP Scholars who are currently enrolled in the district:

AP Scholar: Faiyaz Ahmad, Jessica Capobianco, Griffin DeGaetano, Justin Leeb, Anna Coll, Carly Donohue, Robert Gamba, Kyle Henshaw, Christiana Morante, Crystal Pascual, Idalys Torres.

AP Scholar With Honor:
Alexander Barrett, Allison Barbaro, Kyle Garcia, Erin Kenney, Cassidy Lilly, Liam O’Sullivan, Winnie Wong

AP Scholar With Distinction: Sage Chasen, Christina Kielczewska, Jason Meurlin, James Preudhomme

Whirled Peace

As part of Santapogue Elementary School’s Character Certainly Counts program, students joined a popular global peace initiative on Sept. 21 by planting pinwheels on the front lawn of the school in the shape of a peace symbol. Part of the annual International Day of Peace, the Pinwheels for Peace initiative is a visual public statement promoting peace worldwide.

Students in Kelly Myers’ art class each created a colorful and artistically decorated pinwheel and enjoyed watching their creations whirl in the wind. Students and staff also wore white to signify peace, and members of the student council assisted the younger students in planting their pinwheels.

Summer Learning Celebrated

Learning did not stop in June for many students in grades K-2 and 3-5, who continued their quest for knowledge by participating in the district’s voluntary summer reading and math activities. At the start of the 2014-2015 school year, students were recognized for having read 10 books or more, or for having practiced math for five hours or more on the IXL math website. Many of the students accomplished both.

Principal Ellie Levy congratulates these students on their motivation over the summer.

J.F.K. students in Mrs. Grace- Nizich's class get to interview and work out with the Knicks city dancers


J.F.K. students interview children's author and television host Jeff Probst


District Welcomes Michele Psarakis

The district welcomes Michele P. Psarakis as executive director for finance and operations, effective Sept. 15.

Ms. Psarakis comes to the district from the Bay Shore Union Free School District, where she previously served as chief accountant. She also served as a CPA at Michael A. Duca Co. in Garden City and as an accounting administrator, senior audit analysis and senior accountant at TIAA-CREF. In addition, she was a senior accountant at both Deloitte & Touche LLP and FOJP Service Corp. in New York City, as well as an accounts payable assistant at TDK Electronics Corp. in Port Washington.

Ms. Psarakis holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in banking and finance from Hofstra University and a Master of Business Administration in accounting from Baruch College. She also holds School District Business Leader certification from Dowling College. 

She is affiliated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Association of School Business Officials and the Suffolk County Association of School Business Officials.

New District Faces


In preparation for the 2014-15 school year, several new teachers were appointed. The district welcomes these individuals to the community and wishes them much success in their new positions.
Eric Forsythe, special education teacher – John F. Kennedy
Lauren Kuncman, part-time school psychologist – Santapogue
Christine Lawton, special education teacher – Junior High School
Autumn Matthews, special education regular substitute teacher – Forest Avenue
Daniel Powers, part-time special education teacher – Junior High School
Jenna Rosiello, part-time family and consumer science teacher – Junior High School
Nicole White, special education teacher – Junior High School

J.F.K. Principal meets the Kindergarteners by reading his new favorite book

JFK kindergarten teachers welcome the students