Joining the Fight

The Senior High School joined the global community by recognizing and supporting World AIDS Day on Nov. 30. This year’s theme was “Access Equity Rights Now,” reminding students to continue to push forward and build a strong global movement in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Each year, a group of West Babylon High School students put together a performance to educate their peers and their community on HIV/AIDS, how to prevent it, and how to show compassion to those living with the virus. Students took to the auditorium stage for choreographed dance performances, informative skits, inspirational songs and poems and video presentations.

With more than 34 million people around the world affected by the disease, World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, support those living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.

South Bay School Visit by SCPD Officer Jeannie Osias to Kindergarten classes

As part of the "Adopt a Police Officer" program, SCPD Officer Osias has been making regular visits to South Bay School kindergarten classes.  The goal of the program is to develop a positive relationship between the children and police officers in the community.  The pictures show Officer Osias with the children, as well as some of the children's writing/illustrating about what they learned about Officer Osias.

A Living History Lesson


Fifth-graders at South Bay Elementary channeled historical figures from different eras during the school’s first Living History Museum Walk on Nov. 22.

After extensively researching their chosen person, the fifth-graders dressed as different figures in history as family and friends were invited to attend the walk. From Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin to Babe Ruth and Hillary Clinton, students presented a two-minute speech on their life when attendees stepped on their star and “brought them to life.”

Holiday Cards

The students from Mrs. Goodwin's class colored and wrote Christmas messages in cards for Recovering American Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington D.C.

Setting a Place for Thanksgiving

The Junior High School’s Community Service Club designed their own placements for the United Methodist Church in Babylon. The club produced more than 50 placemats which will be used for the church’s Thanksgiving dinner.

Peer Educators Get Smart about Suicide Prevention

Senior High School junior and senior peer educators were recently invited to a workshop offered by the Long Island Coalition Against Bullying and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. The students spent the day with peer educators from seven Long Island school districts learning about suicide prevention.

Social-emotional learning at all levels

Student-Musicians Show their Talent

Several student-musicians have been selected to perform in upcoming music festivals and celebrations.

Senior High School students Matthew Derosiers and Trevor Barrett performed in the New York State School Music Association and the National Association for Music Education/Suffolk County Music Educators Association’s All-County Band. All-County Chorus selections from West Babylon included: Jason Arthur, Trent Boock, David Grant, Mackenzie Grimes, Alexa Latronica-Vancott, Matthew Lightsey and Mary Grace Seward. The students performed on Nov. 18 at Northport High School.

Lucas Greengold and Brian Thompson were selected to perform in Long Island String Festival Association Orchestra, while Brian Thompson, Sara Halvorsen and Annarose Vallone were chosen to perform in the Carnegie Hall Honors Ensembles. The Carnegie Hall Honors Program will be held on Feb. 4 at Carnegie Hall, while the LIFSA concert will take place on Jan. 30 at Ward Melville High School.

Giving Thanks

Mrs. Ward's kindergarten class celebrated Thanksgiving by dressing up and eating lunch together in the classroom. They read books about the first Thanksgiving, made crafts, and talked about things for which they are thankful such as family, friends, pets, toys, food, school, learning, brothers, sisters, teachers, mom, dad, grandparents, and a clean room!

Wendy’s Heisman Recognizes Two Seniors

Senior High School seniors Francis Volz IV and Alexis Stentiford have been recognized for their hard work in the classroom, on the field and in the community with a Wendy’s High School Heisman award.

“These students are known by their teachers and friends for their commitment to excellence,” said Principal Dr. Ellice Vassallo. “We are excited and honored that a program like Wendy’s High School Heisman is also recognizing their hard work.”

Since 1994, Wendy’s and the Heisman Trophy Trust have honored more than 600,000 of the nation’s most esteemed students. As school winners, Volz IV and Stentiford will receive a School Winner certificate and a Wendy’s High School Heisman patch.

Showing Their Gratitude

Fourth-graders in Daniella Mauro’s class at Tooker Avenue donated their Halloween candy to Operation Gratitude. The students wrote letters to troops overseas, thanking them for their service.

Enriching Activities at South Bay


Improving and expanding students’ love of learning is one of the top priorities for the staff at South Bay Elementary School. Meaningful and substantial enrichment programs provide students an extra boost in their elementary school years.

Library/media specialist Kara Levy holds weekly enrichment classes during the school day with an open research period that is available to fifth-graders during their recreation time. Ms. Levy uses science, technology, engineering and math-based materials, such as Little Bits and Dash the Robot, to encourage students to create and learn with different materials. They have also produced book trailers using Movie Maker and stop motion animation programs. During her flex periods throughout the school day, Ms. Levy works with individual classes to provide enrichment opportunities. Working with the teacher, the students can conduct long-term research projects, working as a class or a select group, over the course of the year.

Ms. Levy is also the Enrichment Club advisor, a club for fourth- and fifth-grade students who are invited to attend based on assessment results and teacher recommendations. The club meets after school once a week, engaging in activities such as STEM experiments, coding using Scratch, Google Expeditions and more.

“We need to make sure we provide opportunities for all students to move forward on their individual paths to and beyond proficiency,” said Principal JoAnn Scott. “Enrichment is a way to accomplish this, as well as providing the 21st-century skills our students will need for college and career readiness. Enrichment activities also tap into different types of learning, from a brain perspective, and often mimic the types of skills students will need to master in future workplaces.”
Another way faculty members address enrichment activities is by using their “extra help” time to teach advanced skills and delve into projects that support those students looking to further their studies. Clubs such as Math Olympiads and the Computer Club offer an added challenge for some students as well.

Buildingwide, other South Bay teachers are thinking outside the box and addressing enrichment on various levels. Krista Granieri teaches her kindergarten and first-grade students to speak Italian. Kindergarten teacher and technology advisor Alison Chiquitucto uses a tremendous amount of technology in her classroom, including devices such as robots and tablets. She is integrating this technology into her teaching with these young learners, offering kindergarten students a path to technology from the start of their academic careers.

South Bay Spaghetti Dinner 2016

JFK First-Graders Exercise Right to Vote

First-graders in Lisa DeGennaro’s class at John F. Kennedy learned about the voting process and held their own election on Nov. 7. They learned about the candidates by reading the books “Duck for President,” “Grace for President” and “My Teacher for President.” The students designed campaign posters and completed voter registration cards. On “election day,” each student cast their vote for one of the three candidates, and Ms. DeGennaro announced that Duck won the presidential race.

We really challenged our brains when Brain Challenge came to J.F.K.

Tooker Students Recognized

The West Babylon Fire Department recently held its Fire Prevention Open House and presented awards to the winners of the poster and essay contest. The following Tooker Avenue students were chosen as winners:

Justin Jastrzebski (first place), Dahlia Lind (second place) and Jaclyn Morra (third place).

PEAK Performers

Tooker Avenue fourth-graders Anthony Gerbasio and Nicholas Bonfiglio were chosen to attend the SCMEA PEAK Festival on Oct. 29. The festival invites fourth-grade student-musicians talented to learn and experience music, followed by a performance.

October Students of the Month


Leaf Hunting Leads to Perfect Study

First-graders in Lisa DeGennaro’s class at John F. Kennedy are studying plants. As part of their unit, the students ventured outside for a leaf hunt. Back in the classroom, they sorted and categorized their leaves based on their properties.

Fifth Grade Reading & Writing Celebration at Forest Avenue

As they concluded their Reading & Writing Unit, our Fifth Graders invited teachers, staff and other Forest Avenue students to join them for their celebration. While the Fifth Grader students presented their writing projects, everyone was encouraged to share their thoughts, comments, and questions with post-its. This was a wonderful collaborative experience that is sure to be repeated based on its overwhelming success.

Delivering Messages of Thanks

In honor and recognition of Veterans Day, first-graders in Lisa DeGennaro’s class at John F. Kennedy Elementary School wrote letters to veterans to thank them for their service. Ms. DeGennaro delivered the letters to the local American Legion Hall.

Gymnastics Star

The district congratulates Grace Glennon, who competed at Suffolk County Girls gymnastics meet, qualified and won a place to compete at the NYS High School Gymnastics meet representing West Babylon. She is the first gymnast to go to the state meet for West Babylon varsity gymnastics.

Forest Avenue Kindergartners Learn About Fire Prevention

Our West Babylon Firefighters visited our Forest Avenue School to teach the Kindergartners about Fire Prevention. They were treated to some "hands-on" experience that they are sure to remember!

Santapogue Student Honored in Essay Contest

Amanda Klobestanz, a fourth-grader at Santapogue, has been selected as an honorable mention winner in the Town of Babylon Veterans Awareness Essay Contest.

As a kickoff to Veterans Awareness Week, Klobestanz was invited to an awards ceremony at Babylon Town Hall on Oct. 28, where she was presented with an award and an opportunity to read her essay, “When is the right time to honor our military heroes?”

Collaborative Art Exhibit

The Junior High School art department will have a second art exhibition for the 2016-2017 school year at the West Babylon Public Library. The artwork of the Art Workshop and Studio Art program has a collection of independent photography artwork currently on display.  Through collaboration with Azuree Agnello, head of the library’s young adult services department, the exhibition is part of a vision to promote arts in the community. The art department and the library invite family and community members to enjoy the exhibit from now through the end of November.

Tooker Student Takes Second in Essay Contest

Jaclyn Morra, a fifth-grader at Tooker Avenue, has been selected as a second-place winner in the Town of Babylon Veterans Awareness Essay Contest.

As a kickoff to Veterans Awareness Week, Morra was invited to an awards ceremony at Babylon Town Hall on Oct. 28, where she was presented with an award, a $75 gift card and an opportunity to read her essay.

5th graders sign up to vote!

Forest Avenue First Graders' Words Extravaganza

In Library, our fabulous Forest Avenue First Graders read "Max' Words" by Kate Banks. Students created their own sentences and questions using Mrs. Francisco's wonderful word collection. They learned how to use punctuation to change the meaning of what they are writing. They had lots of fun!

Mock Election

On Nov. 4, social studies students from Mr. Armato’s class visited classes throughout the Senior High School to explain the platforms of the presidential candidates. The students then had the opportunity to cast their vote online using their smartphones.

Fifth Graders celebrate their narrative writing with 4th-grade students and former teachers.

Firsthand Tips from Firefighters


To celebrate National Fire Prevention and Safety Month, students at Santapogue Elementary took a field trip to the firehouse on Oct. 20. Firefighters blocked the street and students walked to the firehouse where they climbed on trucks, held the fire hose and listened to important details about fire safety.

Exercising our Right to Vote at Forest Avenue Elementary

On Thursday, our fabulous Forest Avenue students had hands-on experience in the voting process as they cast their votes for the 2016-2017 Forest Avenue Student Council. While all candidates gave fantastic speeches, the election process allows for only one person per position. Congratulations to our newly-elected Student Council. For the 2016-2017 school year our Student Council members are Sianna Contreras as President, Lily Giambalvo as Vice President, Gabriella Valente as Chief of Staff, and Anthony Vittorio as Press Secretary.

Forest Avenue Kids on Parade

Forest Avenue hosted its annual "Kids on Parade." A fun time was had by all those in attendance. Our K-2 students paraded around the blacktop while our Grades 3-5 students along with our fabulous Forest Avenue friends and family admired all the wonderful, creative costumes.




Undefeated Finish


Congratulations to the girls varsity gymnastics team on their undefeated season. Click here for photos from throughout the season.

Senior Recognized for Academic Achievement

Senior High School student Conor Burbige has been named a Commended Student in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Approximately 34,000 students throughout the nation are recognized with this honor based on their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, this recognition denotes that the students placed amount the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Fall Fun Day

South Bay celebrated Fall Fun Day on Oct. 31. Students in grades K-2 participated in the annual Costume Walk, and students in grades 3-5 were invited to their class costume parties. Some teachers and staff members wore their costumes, making for an afternoon of fun for all. Thanks to our PTA class parents for their assistance at the class parties.

A Celebration of Old Favorite Storybook Reading

As part of our Forest Avenue Kindergarten's Reader Workshop, we spent several weeks reading and rereading old favorites as a way to become storybook readers. We invited 5th graders to come listen to us read and celebrate our achievements.

An Update on Security

In a districtwide effort to continue to boost safety and security measures, the district has implemented a number of security enhancements.
Entrance doors will remain locked at all times and in order to gain access to a building, visitors must provide a government-issued identification card which will be scanned through the district’s Raptor ID system. Additional access card readers, door ajar systems and double door vestibules will be installed districtwide.

At each school entrance a security guard will now be stationed, with two guards added to the high school. This brings the total number of security officers to 33. In addition, security officers have received CPR, first aid, automated external defibrillator, EpiPen and Narcan training with supplementary instruction scheduled throughout the year. Security officers now have email accounts and access to building camera views.
A security team of active and retired law enforcement officers has been established for athletic and major schoolwide events. Specific protocols have been developed for athletic events, such as the size of bags and backpacks allowed.
The district’s director of security meets with the Suffolk County Police Department and other local school district security teams regarding any concerns in the neighborhood. Building emergency teams have been established districtwide, and physical education teachers have been assigned radios for outdoor classes. Procedures for accounting of all students during drills have been reviewed, updated and implemented in all school buildings.
The district is currently evaluating its exterior camera and public announcements systems in all buildings to determine if replacement or updates are needed. A command center at the high school is also being established to allow for a security officer to have “eyes” on all buildings and contact emergency responders if necessary.

JHS Students Sweep BACCA Awards

Junior High School students recently took home the top three awards in grades 6-8 at the Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts 2016 Judged Photography and Sculpture Show at Old Town Hall in Babylon.

Seventh-grader Siya Wadhwa placed first in the photography category for her photo “A View of the World.” Eighth-grader Jordyn Hickey placed second for her photo “The Art of the World,” and seventh-grader Stephanie Curley took third place for her photo “Flowers.” Honorable mention went to seventh-grader Liam Mengler for his “Freedom” photo.

The artwork was on display from Sept. 20 to Oct. 5 with an awards ceremony on Sept. 29.

Poster & Essay Contest Winners

South Bay students were recently named winners in the 2016 West Babylon Fire Department essay and poster contest. Robert B., Gino P. and Richie B. from Mrs. DeCarlo's fifth-grade class were chosen as essay winners. The poster contest winners were Alexa G., Jolvi M. and Miriam C. from Mrs. Ross's fourth-grade class; Kaitlyn S. from Mrs. LoSardo's third-grade class; and Natalie T. and Amelia P. from Mrs. Delaney's/Mrs. DelPrete's third-grade class.

Veterans Essay Winners

South Bay had two winners this year in the Town of Babylon Veterans Awareness Week Essay Contest. The theme of this year's contest was "When is the right time to honor our military heroes?” Isabella Tramuto placed third and AmandaRose Vitkun received an honorable mention.

Getting Creative with Makerspace

From Sept. 26-28, students in Alice Robinson’s library and information literacy classes at the Junior High School used Makerspace Resources during and after school. The students were very creative in discovering how products worked and sharing their knowledge with each other. They read manuals, looked at YouTube videos and used their imaginations.

The Makerspace products were acquired from district funds, and a grant from Suffolk School Library Media Association. Product demonstrations will be available during and after school for teachers and students.

Forest Avenue Powers Up With National School Lunch Week

Forest Avenue Elementary School Celebrated National School Lunch Week, which was from October 10th – 14th. This year’s theme focused on how a healthy school lunch helps us power through the day! In recognition of this week, our fabulous Forest Avenue students were greeted by some special, guest lunch servers. They included Principal Acocella, some Forest Avenue teachers and staff. We are so very appreciative of the delicious meals that Miss Louise and Miss Lisa prepare for us.

Forest Avenue & Tooker Avenue Join Together for Red Ribbon Week

Forest Avenue School hosted it's annual Red Ribbon Week Ceremony in front of it's school garden. Dressed in red, we were joined by Tooker Avenue School. Together we pledged to live healthy, drug-free lives and to strive to be students of good character.

Bully Proof Walk

Eagle Eyes Club


Running for a Cure

The girls varsity cross-country team participated in the Fit for a Cure 5K at the Tanger Outlets in Deer Park on Oct. 2. Sponsored by the Babylon Breast Cancer Coalition, all proceeds of the race go to the fight against breast cancer. The team showed their support for West Babylon alumna Shannon Romanchuk Saturno – who lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this year – by wearing their “Striding for Shannon” and sporting handmade T-shirts.
Junior Tara Hauff placed first out of all the female runners with a time of 19:30. In addition, eighth-grader Josephine Critchley and senior Dana Beggins won their respective age divisions.
 The girls varsity cross-country team is currently 3-1, and will take part in the division championship meet on Oct. 25. The team has also qualified for the county championship meet on Nov. 4.

Click here to see all the highlights of Homecoming 2016 including pep rally, game day and the homecoming dance.

81 AP Scholars Recognized


Eighty-one Senior High School students and Class of 2016 graduates have been recognized by the College Board as Advanced Placement Scholars for exceptional achievement on the May 2016 national exams.

•    50 students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by receiving a 3 or higher on three or more exams.
•    14 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.
•    16 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 2016 graduate Alexander Barrett 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.


5th graders putting a CAP on drugs during Red Ribbon Week


New Principal Takes Helm at JHS

Daniel McKeon has been named principal of West Babylon Junior High School, effective Oct. 17.  Former principal Scott Payne is now the district’s executive director of curriculum and instruction.

McKeon joins the district after serving as the assistant principal of Northport High School since 2010. Prior to that position, he was the curriculum associate for social studies and family and consumer science at Deer Park High School as well as a summer school principal for Deer Park High School and Middle School in addition to various teaching positions at other districts.

McKeon holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from SUNY Albany, a master’s degree in education from Hofstra University and a post-master’s advanced graduate certificate in educational leadership from Stony Brook University.

Board Recognition Week

Two students were chosen by Mr. Doran to perform at the Board meeting in honor of Board Recognition Week on Oct. 25. Evan Dunford (sixth grader) performed "New Orleans Blues" on piano. Cara Cirasole (seventh grader) sang and accompanied herself on the Broadway song, "She Used to Be Mine."

Red Ribbon Week

JHS Principal Takes New Administrative Position

Scott Payne has been named executive director of curriculum and instruction, effective Oct. 6.  Most recently, Payne served as principal of the Junior High School, a position he has held since 2008. Daniel McKeon has been appointed the new Junior High School principal, effective Oct. 17.

Payne began his career in the district in 2001 as the assistant principal of the Junior High School. Prior to that, Payne held various teaching and administrative positions at North Shore High School, the Green Vale School, LIU Post and Columbia University.
Payne holds a bachelor of science in biology from Stony Brook University, a master’s degree in science education from Columbia University and a professional diploma in supervision and administration form Stony Brook University. He is currently pursuing a doctor of education degree in educational supervision and administration at St. John’s University.

Homecoming Festivities Shine


A rainy day didn’t dampen the spirit of the West Babylon community as the district celebrated its homecoming on Oct. 22.

 Starting with a pep rally the night before, students showed off their school spirit with dance and cheer performances. Even though the floats didn’t get to parade around the community due to the weather, all the hard work of the classes was still recognized as the floats parked in the Senior High School lot for all to see on Monday morning.    

For the big game, the Eagles took on the East Islip Redmen. Despite their best efforts and a fourth-quarter touchdown, the Eagles fell short and were defeated 26-6. A “Pirates of the Caribbean” themed halftime show was performed by the marching band.

Following the day’s festivities, the district joined together for a homecoming dance later in the evening, where the homecoming king and queen were announced.

Bilibo Chairs

The Kindergarten students in Mrs. Chiquitucto's class at South Bay School find all kinds of ways to use their fun and creatively stimulating Bilibo Chairs!

Award-Winning Poster Design

Last school year, Junior High School student Kyra Duke placed first in the Suffolk County chapter of the New York Association for Pupil Transportation’s poster contest.

Duke’s winning poster was entered into the New York State School Bus Safety Poster Contest in Albany this past June. Junior High School art teacher Jennifer Tomeo recently learned that Duke’s poster won third place in the state level competition.

The contest is open to all public school students in New York State and prizes are awarded in grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and special education. The transportation contest theme for 2016 was #STOPONRED.

Artists on Display

During October, the Junior High School Studio in Art students will be exhibited at the West Babylon Public Library. This month’s theme is fall harvest. Under the direction of art teacher Jennifer Tomeo, this project focused on observational drawing skills with a concentration on color, value, shape and texture. Congratulations to our talented young artists.

International Walk to School Day

On Wednesday, October 5, 2016 South Bay School participated in the annual International Walk To School Day. The even was facilitated by Mrs. Kara Levy, South Bay Library Media Specialist, who encouraged South Bay families to walk to school as a means of improving fitness, saving resources, and having fun! Each child who walked to school received a sticker and a reward. Thank you to Mrs. Levy and to all the South Bay families who came out for Walk To School Day!

School Lunch Recognition Week

October 10-14 was School Lunch Recognition Week and Tooker Avenue Student Council recognized the hard work of the cafeteria staff. Members of the fourth and fifth grade Student Council made thank you signs and presented certificates of appreciation to Traci Piazza, Tracy Salamone and Gail Coons for all they do to provide tasty lunches for the students.

Lots of Fun Had by All at the J.F.K. Annual Fall Festival

Eighth-Graders Use Science to Solve Crimes

During their science classes, eighth-graders from the Junior High School completed a crime scene measurement activity to end their unit on measurement and the scientific method. Students measured the items left behind at mock crime scenes and made inferences as to the type of crime that occurred.  

Enjoying Fruits of Their Labor


There are plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables coming right from the Junior High School. The school’s Garden Club grows and maintains an organic vegetable garden every year.

The club takes care of 16 raised beds where they grow tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, corn, eggplant, various beans, peppers, squash, blackberries, raspberries, onions, garlic, herbs and sunflowers. The Garden Club planted most of the vegetables in the spring and members came to school once a week over the summer to harvest the vegetables, weed and maintain the raised beds. Most of the produce from their garden is donated to the local food pantry and students also get to take fresh vegetables home.

September's Character Certainly Counts Students Recognized

Every month, Forest Avenue recognizes a star student from every classroom for exemplifying the character trait of the month. For the month of September, the character trait of the month was responsibility. Congratulations to our September's Character Certainly Counts students!