Abilities Club Lends a Helping Hand

The Senior High School’s Abilities Club spent Nov. 9 volunteering at the Town of Babylon’s Department of Human Services Food Pantry in Amityville.

Students from both the half-day high school program and the Abilities 18-21-year-old program, made up of West Babylon graduates, took part in the program. In addition to bringing food and paper good donations to the pantry, the club members organized the pantry stock room and wrapped gift boxes that will be filled with goods for delivery to local families in need.

Writing Celebration


Fifth-graders at Santapogue gathered in the playroom on Nov. 25 to celebrate their first writing unit of the year, crafting personal narratives. Teachers Ms. Schapira, Mrs. Sagginario and Mr. Cunningham converted the playroom into a gallery of posters, Post-It's and individual writing pieces, authored by the fifth-graders. Students spent the morning sharing their writing and giving compliments and critiques to one another. The morning concluded with a presentation of the mentor text, “Eleven," written by Sandra Cisneros and acted out by students. This culminating celebration was attended by Principal Eleanor Levy, Santapogue faculty and Ms. Jennie Hoffman, West Babylon's Teacher's College Writing Project facilitator.

Thankfulness Day

Fourth graders in Ms. Winchester's class celebrated Thankfulness Day on 11/25 by inviting the principal, Mrs. Scott, to their classroom to share their writing and posters about the people and things they are grateful for in their lives.

Kids Helping Kids

Over the course of the school year, two fifth-grade students will be selected from each class to work with students in Ms. Wilken’s class before or after school as the schedule determines. They will be selected by the special area teacher for special projects to work on team building and social skills. Students will be chosen based on their ability to role model and exhibit the six pillars of Character Education; responsibility, respect, trustworthiness, caring, kindness and fairness.

PEAK Festival


Fifth Graders Celebrate Publishers' Day

As a culminating activity for their writing unit on Small Moments, Forest Avenue's fifth-graders celebrated their hard work with a Publishers' Day. Principal Acocella, along with other Forest Avenue reading teachers, librarian and support staff, were invited to join in this wonderful sharing of student writing. Visitors were able to read the before and after products of the small-moment writing process. Students and teachers shared their comments to the authoris via post-its. It was a journey worth taking!

A Visit from the Fire Department

South Bay students recently participated in assembly programs by the West Babylon Fire Department. The students learned about fire safety at home, participated in demonstrations of stop, drop and roll, interacted with firefighters dressed in full gear, and were able to view the fire trucks and equipment firsthand. In addition, each student received a bag from the fire department containing fire safety items and information.

Studying Communities Around the World

As part of their study of communities around the world, Mrs. Ayerle's second graders from Tooker Avenue Elementary constructed Native American dwellings such as hogan's and tips as well as totem poles. The students learned about the basic needs needed to survive and live off of the land.

J.F.K. Celebrates Thanksgiving by sharing food and narrative stories

Creating Handmade Dolls

The students in Mrs. Brett's 3rd grade class are creating handmade dolls from their ancestry country to honor their families who came to America for freedom and a better way of life.

Stacks of Fun


More than 600 district students joined hundreds of schools around the world as they participated in the 10th annual World Sport Stacking Association Stack Up Day on Nov. 12.

Organized by members of the physical education departments in each of the buildings, students signed up to take part in the event, which included 30 minutes of stacking in an attempt to set the new Guinness World Record for speed stacking cups.

Students stacked cups of all sizes in various assigned pyramids, went head to head against the clock to beat their fastest time, competed in relays and participated in a variety of fitness-related activities.

National Letters of Intent

Three senior athletes signed National Letters of Intent to participate on collegiate sports teams and receive athletic scholarships. Administrators, coaches and parents gathered to support and celebrate the honored athletes on Nov. 17.
Samantha Geirsbach (University of Richmond), John McMahon (Mercy College) and Jake Sutterley (Quinnipiac University) will be playing lacrosse at their respective colleges and universities.

Honoring West Babylon's Veterans


Wall of Honor

Pictured in the photo with Tooker Avenue students are Navy veteran and Tooker Avenue paraprofessional Nicole Grahofke (left) and teacher Debbie Goodwin.
During November, Tooker Avenue students honored veterans in the local community by interviewing those in their families who have served in the military and writing a brief biography with details regarding their service. Deceased veterans were also included through family history interviews.
The biographies were hung in the school lobby to create a wall of honor. The school also collected items for the Long Island Blue Star Moms NY6 organization, which will be boxed and sent overseas to active duty military personnel.  

Fifth Grade in the Fifties

Tooker Avenue’s fifth grade classes celebrated the 50th Day of school. Students and staff dressed in attire from the 1950s while they participated activities that involved the number 50 throughout the day. They compared life in the 1950s to today. The fifth graders had a sock hop, a bubble gum blowing and a hula hoop contest. Fun was had by all.

A Look at Elementary Writing Initiatives for 2015-16

This academic year, the district has focused on implementing new writing initiatives at the elementary level, and results are already visible on many levels. The new approach to writing utilizes Lucy Calkins’ “The Units of Writing” which is part of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.

Students learn to use writing as a way of offering and supporting opinions, demonstrating understanding of the subjects they are studying, and conveying read and imagined experiences and events. “The Teachers College Units of Study use a workshop approach to writing instruction in ways that accelerate students’ progress toward meeting ambitious new global standards,” said Jennifer Hoffman, curriculum specialist.

The TC Units of Study in Writing align to these standards by providing explicit instruction for the three text classifications listed in the CCLS: narrative, informational and opinion. “The series contains research-based units that are embedded in the content areas as well as in the writing workshop,” Ms. Hoffman said. “Students will devote a significant amount of time and effort to writing, producing numerous pieces over short and extended time frames throughout the year.”

Objectives and experiences are unique to the individual grade levels. Each grade will complete four units of study, including how-to books in kindergarten, small-moment narratives in first grade, science lab reports in second grade, fairy tales adaptations in third grade, historical research in fourth grade and research-based arguments in fifth grade.

Teachers are already seeing progress and powerful writing examples. One fifth-grade teacher said, “I really spent some time looking back at past writing entries with the students and reflecting on progress. There’s a huge improvement from when they began to now.”

Ms. Hoffman agreed that the progress from September until now is already tangible. For example, kindergartners are able to work on narrative pieces for 20 minutes, which shows their enthusiasm and stamina. Fourth-graders created complex fictional characters and are now mapping out the plotline using a story arc. Students see writing as an ongoing process that involves collecting ideas, choosing a topic, planning, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. They are excited to celebrate their published pieces with their peers, students in other grade levels and their families.

Teachers have been working with the TC Units of Study for a few years, but this is the first year formal training has occurred. Ms. Hoffman provides training before each unit of study and support in the individual schools during the unit. Eleven teachers attended a conference taught by Lucy Calkins at Teachers College in September, and other teachers attended the Teachers College Reunion Day, which offered more than 100 sessions on reading and writing.

“The commitment to these trainings shows how West Babylon educators engage in and value their own professional learning and support the learning of colleagues,” Ms. Hoffman said. “The teachers work as a team to take collective responsibility for the high achievement of our widely diverse student population.”

October Character Education Award Recipients:

Shea Sackman
James Davolio
Jahavi Reyes
Claire Devane
Aislinn Lampasso
Kaden LaVecchia
Jalen Campbell
Camilia Palacio
Michael Crevoiserat
Kyra Walter
Alma Gaxiola
Kelly Bianco
Jennifer Hyde
Kaitlyn Wright
Aniyah Lowndes
Liam Rollens
Daniel Alvarado
Brady Vilardi

Veterans Day at Tooker Avenue

Pictured in the photo with Tooker Avenue students are Navy veteran and Tooker Avenue paraprofessional
Nicole Grahofke (left) and teacher Debbie Goodwin.

Library Exhibit

The artwork of Junior High School students will be on display in the West Babylon Public Library during November. The school and the library teamed up to exhibit the work of Studio in Art students, whose creations focus on the elements of art. Under the direction of Studio in Art teacher Jennifer Tomeo and with the collaboration and support of Azuree Agnello, director of teen programs for the library, these talented students have the opportunity to exhibit in a public forum.

Sharing Stories

As part of the kindergarten curriculum, students work in pairs to build literacy skills. Recently, JFK Elementary School students shared their written story with a partner through a verbal retelling.

J.F.K. Celebrates School Psychology Awareness Week by appreciating our school psychologist Mrs. Saumell


Learning Fire Safety

First-graders in Ann Lauricella’s class at South Bay recognized October as Fire Safety Month with a lesson on fire prevention from Lt. Steve Scott, a New York City firefighter who is also the father of a student in their class. The class learned about fire safety and how to react in the event of an emergency. They saw a fireman dressed in his gear and learned not to be afraid or hide. Students also received special coloring books with safety tips and information.

Junior Achievement Visits Grades 3-5

Newsday visits our Student Council

Practicing Fire Safety

JFK second-graders participated in a fire prevention program on Oct. 16 when members of the West Babylon Fire Department’s Prevention Committee visited the school to speak to them about fire safety. Students learned what to do if a fire alarm goes off in their house and practiced how to stop, drop and roll. The committee members stressed the importance of having working fire alarms in every bedroom and conducting fire drills at home, just like at school.  
Students were able to see the firemen dressed in their gear, touch their helmets and step aboard an operational fire truck.

New Student Council Officers

Thirty-one fourth- and fifth-grade students had their hats in the ring for four Student Council Officer positions. In support of the school's month-long focus on citizenship, the election process included an opportunity for each candidate to deliver a campaign speech to the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classes on Nov. 4, and each candidate displayed one homemade campaign poster in the school cafeteria during the previous week.

The election was held in all third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classes on Nov. 5 by paper ballot, and the votes were tallied by Student Council advisor Stacey Ging. Principal JoAnn Scott is looking forward to working with the new officers and the entire Student Council to implement their planned projects during the school year.

Shown are the newly elected 2015-2016 South Bay School student council officers (from left):
Chris Critchley (president), Christopher Graham (vice president), Billy Colloca (secretary) and Gabrielle Martorella (public relations director).

Santapogue Kids on Parade

American Legion Recognition

Senior High School students Alexander Barrett, Tiffany Claud, Kendra Lynn Dunn and Michael Grosso were recently recognized by the Sgt. John Sardiello Post 1634 of the American Legion in West Babylon and the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary for their participation in the Empire Boys and Girls State program.

The Boys and Girls State program is a hands-on, weeklong educational workshop. Its goal is to help students develop leadership and public speaking skills while learning more about our government and the democratic process.

Alexander, who was eligible for a scholarship because his great-grandfather fought in World War II, won $1,000 from Samsung and is now a finalist for a $20,000 scholarship from Samsung/American Legion.

South Bay Enrichment Club Photos

September Character Education Award Recipients:

Mrs. Ward - Kaylee Harder
Ms. Kalinowski - Jaelynn Burgess
Ms. Pino - Leah Kutchens
Mrs. Fitzgerald - Othaniel Gaxiola
Mrs. DeSa - Alysha Acosta
Mrs. Ayerle - Samantha Goodman
Mrs. Thuma - Leslie Martinez
Mrs. Gottlieb - Lindsey Kutchens
Mrs. Kozak - Daniel D'Albora
Mr. Kozak - Anna Kalinowski
Mrs. Mauro - Jade Dockery
Mr. DeBiccari - Steven Pereira
Mrs. Gendron - Christina Massoni
Mrs. McMahon - Julia Jakubisiak
Mrs. Mele-Bova - Etan Zheng
Ms. Carbonaro - Christina Carson
Ms. McMullen - Dominick Gagnon
Mrs. Paganica - Jimmy Petrillo
Mrs. Goodwin - N'Riyah Price

Mrs. Chiquitucto's kindergarten class building their new class ROBOT

Celebrating Halloween

Top Honors at Photography Show

Four JHS art students were recognized for their photography at this year’s Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts judged photography show, which BACCA hosts every fall. The student-photographers competed in the grades 5-8 category.

Jolie Greco was awarded first place, Catalina Alzate took second, Olivia Golebiewski came in third and Daria Lipinska received honorable mention. The students were recognized at an awards ceremony and reception on Oct. 9.

J.F.K. Halloween Celebration

Santapogue Remembers On Patriot Day 2015

Pinwheels for Peace

Santapogue Celebrates Red Ribbon Week