JFK Authors Complete Series

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After spending much of the school year working on their fictional writing, JFK students in Lisa DeGennaro’s class created their “cereal boxes” to house their fictional series. They covered their boxes with the title of the series, the sides listed characters or had pictures and the other side listed titles in their series. The students will also be sharing their completed writing with their first-grade peers.




J.F.K. Family picnic 2016

Fourth-Graders in Mrs. Paparella’s Class During Spirit Week

Mrs. Paparella’s Class Celebrates Literacy

Top Honors in Poster Contest

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Two Junior High School eighth-graders won top honors at this year’s New York Association for Pupil Transportation Suffolk County Chapter poster contest in the grade 6-8 division. The theme for this year was #STOPONRED.

Kyra Duke took first-place honors and Catalina Alzate was awarded second place. Suffolk Country Legislator Kevin McCaffrey presented proclamations to both students on June 1. Duke’s poster will be moved on to the state level contest for judging in July.

Kindergarten Literacy Ball

Throughout the year, our fabulous Forest Avenue Kindergartners have been reading a variety of picture books. As a culminating literacy activity, the Kindergartners attended the annual Literacy Ball. Each student created a handmade costume & poster of their favorite picture book character. Forest Avenue students, staff and families watched as these wonderfully, creative picture book characters paraded into their Literacy Ball, where they were treated to picture-book themed snacks, a READ-A-Coaster photo booth and so much more. It was a fantastic way to cap of their first year at Forest Avenue!

Laser Maze

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Earlier this year, the children in Mrs. Febbraro's second grade class petitioned the principal to find out whether they could earn a "laser maze" if every child in the class read 150 pages -- a class total of 2,700 pages. An agreement was struck and the children got busy reading. By June, Mrs. Febbraro and the children proudly reported that they had met their goal! With the assistance of PE teacher, Nicole Torres, a "laser maze" was created and set up in the gym. The children had a blast crawling through it forwards, backwards, and even with a blindfold on! Thanks to Mrs. Febbraro, Mrs. Torres and the children for creating, accomplishing and rewarding this fun reading challenge!

Fourth grade students from Mrs. Holahan's class share their Presidential biographies.

Mrs. Febbraro's and Mrs. Paparella's Literacy Celebration on 6/23/16

Therapy Dog Visits Santapogue

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Students at Santapogue had a special visit with a therapy dog from New York Therapy Animals on May 24. During the program, students learned about how to best care for a dog (including brushing its teeth daily) and about the dogs visiting senior centers, hospitals and libraries to bring cheer and companionship.

Ms. Lauicella's First Graders -- Literacy Show

Ms. Lauricella's first graders at South Bay School became amazing authors this year! On Wednesday, June 22nd, their parents and family members were invited to their Literacy Show where they shared their favorite piece of writing. Cheers and applause were abundant and well-deserved!

Award-Winning Performances

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Senior Paige Leddy and sophomore David Grant III received Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance at a ceremony on May 22 at the Beacon School. The students were nominated for their performance in “Footloose” this year.

CCC Ceremony

Our CCC ceremony took place on Monday June 21st. During the program each character trait was presented, Sergeant Hoffman from the Armed Forces gave an American Flag to our school, and the children and staff said good bye to Mrs. Levy

 

Grade 2 and 3 Field Day

Grade 2 and 3 students participated in field day activities on Wed June 15th. Here are pictures of them in action

 

The Golden Ticket

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Six sixth-grade JHS students won Six Flags Great Adventure tickets after participating in the Read for Success Program. They logged more than six hours of reading in a two-month period. Each participant also received a new fiction book from school librarian Alice Robinson. Shown here are (from left): Emily Villarreal, Jean Santos, librarian Alice Robinson and Cristian Espita. Not pictured: Elijah Attis, Berkant Kilincarslan and Briana Reyes.

JHS Librarian Recognized

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The Junior High School’s librarian and department chairperson Alice Robinson (center) was presented with an honorarium award by the Suffolk School Library Media Association for the creation/expansion of the school’s MakerSpace program on May 18. She is shown with Dr. Joette Stefl-Mabry (left), associate professor, School of Education, Department of Information Studies at SUNY Albany, and Mary Charters, vice president of SSLMA and awards chairperson.

Forest Avenue Field Days

Our fabulous Forest Avenue P.E. teachers, Mike Rayola and Eddie Hilbert, challenged our students with fun sports activities for our Field Days. Focusing on good sportsmanship, teamwork and school spirit, the students, staff and specials guests ALL had a great time!

 

Top Teachers

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Three West Babylon teachers were recognized at the Suffolk County Legislature Teacher Appreciation Awards Night on June 7 at North Babylon High School.

Tooker Avenue reading teacher Lisa Granieri was recognized as an outstanding teacher. Senior High School math teacher Christina Montalvo received the Teacher Appreciation Award, and music teacher Joe Barone received the Outstanding Teacher Award. All of the district’s librarians were recognized with honorable mention awards.
 
Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory presented the winners with a proclamation. Educators who receive these awards go the extra mile, working above and beyond what is required, are an inspiration to their peers, collaborate with colleagues to improve student achievement, inspire lifelong learning and are master teachers and educational leaders.

Third grade was visited by Steve Tomeck and the Star Lab to culminate their unit on the solar system.

 

Communities around the world

Third grade students at Tooker Avenue learned about communities around the world when they became pen pals with a class in Brittany, France. They learned about routines, different geographical locations and family life. They even exchanged favorite recipes. On June 13 and 14, Tooker students had the opportunity to Skype with their new friends across the globe. This program encouraged acceptance of others and an appreciation for different areas of the world.

Optional Summer Assignments

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Optional summer assignments are now available for all students. To access the assignments, please click here.

Skating through STEM Lessons

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Third-graders from South Bay took their science, technology, engineering and mathematics lessons outside the classroom and into a local roller skating rink.

The students took a field trip to United Skates of America in Seaford on May 18 to learn about the science of the roller skate. As part of their STEM activities, students observed different parts of the roller skate, like the wheel and axle, studied different textures to explore high and low friction and were even able to design their own roller skates. The third-graders even had some time to test their roller skating skills before heading back to school.  

Farewell to Retirees

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The West Babylon School District extends its best wishes to the 2015-2016 staff retirees. These individuals have dedicated themselves to the students and their education, and they will be greatly missed. With more than 550 years of combined dedication to West Babylon Schools, the district bids farewell to the following retirees:

Administration:
Toni Roller, senior clerk typist, 18 years

Business Office:
Linda Coyne, account clerk typist, 25 years
Susan Koehler, clerk typist, 15 years

Districtwide:
Alfred Frank Sr., security guard, 14 years
James Uhl, music teacher, 20 years

Forest Avenue:
Judith Hausler, paraprofessional, 21 years
Theresa Raimondi, registered nurse, 24 years

John F. Kennedy:
Deborah Morris, library media specialist, 22 years

Junior High School:
Janine Augustine, social studies teacher, 30 years
Patricia Boyce, senior clerk typist, 8 years
Lorraine Lehtila, paraprofessional, 27 years
Thomas Leonbruno, special education teacher/special education chair, 29 years
Donna Rienzo, paraprofessional, 10 years
Bonnie Snyder, teaching assistant, 15 years

Santapogue:

David Cunningham, elementary teacher, 26 years
Eleanor Levy, elementary principal, 18 years
Theresa Parrish, elementary teacher, 15 years

Senior High School:
Robert Cox, custodial worker, 27 years
Jacqueline Limone, special education teacher, 15 years
Theresa Munch, paraprofessional, 15 years
Edwin Scottaline, paraprofessional, 22 years
Sally Selvaggi, math teacher, 9 years

Tooker Avenue:
Angela Appell, senior clerk typist, 29 years
Sharon Wolkiewicz, teaching assistant/senior technologist, 20 years

Transportation:
Amelia Alini, school bus monitor, 8 years
Margaret Corbin, school bus monitor, 20 years
Janet Kuhner, school bus driver, 20 years
Miriam Rodriguez, school bus driver, 25 years

Play Ball

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Senior Matt Dalton was recently awarded a scholarship to play baseball at Daniel Webster College in New Hampshire.

Lacrosse Player Goes National

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Sophomore Joseph Ballone has been named as a 2016 Brine National High School All-American and has been selected to represent New York State at the 2016 Brine National Lacrosse Classic in Richmond, Virginia, from July 19-22.

The Brine National Lacrosse Classic brings the top high school lacrosse players in the country to one venue, where regional teams compete to become the 2016 National Champion.

Introducing West Babylon's Class of 2016 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

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The Class of 2016’s valedictorian and salutatorian offer insight, advice and reflection on their years in West Babylon.

 

Forest Avenue Third Grade Owl Pellet Dissection Discovery

Forest Avenue's third graders got hands-on science experience in their Owl Pellet Dissection Discover Unit. Focusing on an understanding an owl's food web, students dissected an owl pellet to discover what animal their owl had consumed. It was a fabulous learning experience for all our third graders and their specials guests.

Track Stars

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Congratulations to the girls 4x400 meter relay team of Brittany Korsah, Nadja Ashley, Dana Beggins and Paige Keefer, who were named state champions. Also earning All-State distinction in their respective races were Paige Keefer in the 800 meter run (third place All-State, sixth place All-Federation) and Brittany Korsah in the 200 meter dash (fourth place All-State and fourth place All-Federation).

Science Lesson Extends from Alaska to West Babylon

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Senior High School students participated in their second distance-learning lesson this school year with a national park ranger from Fairbanks, Alaska, on May 18.

During the session, students learned about two main biomes found in Alaska as well as how the changes in Alaska can impact Long Island residents.

Science teacher Andrea Montalvo facilitated the open question-and-answer session between students and the national park ranger, learning about life in the north as well as careers in the National Parks Service.  
    
Earlier this year, students in Ms. Montalvo’s class participated in a lesson with scientists and educators from Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.

Field Day Fun

Fourth and fifth grade Field Day took place on June 8 and the members of the blue and gold teams participated in several fun filled events, including relay races and Tug of War.

 

Owl Pellets

The 3rd graders at South Bay School, along with their family helpers, dissected owl pellets and charted their findings, which included bones and other natural artifacts that helped to tell the story of the owls' habitats and food choices.

Dolls Offer a Lesson in History

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Fifth-grade girls at South Bay learned about growing up in the 1700s during an American Girl doll-themed after-school special program on May 6.

Facilitated by South Bay school psychologist Laure Loughlin, the event began with a movie about a young girl, Felicity, growing up in the 1700s, when the movement toward breaking away from British rule was growing. The students learned about loyalty, independence and the taxes on tea.

They also enjoyed a tea party and spoke about the clothing styles during this time period, which Ms. Loughlin learned from a historian at an American Girl event in New York City. The fifth-graders were also able to see period carriages, beds, nightstands and accessories, as well as a dining table and different tea sets.

South Bay Teachers Recognized

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South Bay educators were recognized at the Suffolk County Legislature Teacher Appreciation Awards Night on June 7 at North Babylon High School. First-grade teacher Erin Castelli and speech/language pathologist Jill DeLuca were recognized as outstanding teachers. Kara Levy, South Bay library media specialist, was also recognized with an honorable mention, along with all the district’s librarians.

Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory presented Castelli and DeLuca with a proclamation. Nominated by South Bay Principal JoAnn Scott, educators who receive these awards go the extra mile, working above and beyond what is required, are an inspiration to their peers, collaborate with colleagues to improve student achievement, inspire lifelong learning and are master teachers and educational leaders.

Sharing, Learning with First-Grade Writers

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First-graders at John F. Kennedy shared in a writing celebration with their kindergarten peers on May 18. The kindergarten students visited the first-grade writers to celebrate their published opinion writing pieces. Each student shared their published book review and talked with the kindergartners about what writers learn in first grade.




Track Teams Honored

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West Babylon took home numerous awards at the Suffolk County All-Star Track Dinner on June 7. The 4x400 meter relay team won a special award, along with the Huntington boys 4x400 meter relay team for breaking the Suffolk County record at the state qualifier meet. Paige Keefer and Brittany Korsah were both named MVP of Suffolk County. Only five girls from the county receive this honor each season, and two of those went to West Babylon.

Girls varsity track coach Phil Armato was named the Division II Coach of the Year, as well as Suffolk County Outstanding Coach of the Year.

 

Fable Fair

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On June 7, third-graders in Mrs. Kerr's and Ms. Hartmann's, and Mrs. Lynch's classes performed for their peers and parents in The Fabulous Fable Fair. The students learned all about Aesop's Fables and then presented the story of each fable complete with the moral.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Read

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In the spirit of the West Babylon Public Library's 2016 Summer Reading Program, Forest Avenue librarian Andrea Francisco and WBPL Children & Teen librarians Carisse Bormann and Nicole Peters have teamed up to get students "pumped up" for summer reading. The WBPL librarians visited each classroom to personally invite them to participate in their "On Your Mark, Get Set...READ!" Summer Reading Program.

Tie Dye Fun

Third graders and their teachers are preparing for Field Day on June 15 by making their own blue or gold shirts.With the help of their teachers, each student made a tie dyed shirt for the upcoming day of fun and games.

 

Record Breakers

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The girls 4x400 meter relay team – Brittany Korsah, Nadja Ashley, Dana Beggins and Paige Keefer – broke the Suffolk County record on June 5 at the Section XI State Qualifier meet with a time of 3:48.73. The team currently ranks second in New York State, behind by one second. They are headed to the state championship meet in Syracuse to make a run at the state title.

Also qualifying for the state championship meet in their individual events were Brittany Korsah in the 200 meter dash (24.46 seconds) and Paige Keefer in the 800 meter run (2 minutes, 11.61 seconds).

Optional Summer Reading and Math Information

Attachments:

‘Egg-’citing New Arrivals at Tooker

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Heather Paganica’s third-grade classroom at Tooker Avenue is brimming with hands-on learning activities as students are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the duck eggs they have been incubating for the last month.

For the past five years, Ms. Paganica has been traveling to a farm on eastern Long Island and bringing back duck eggs that are almost ready to hatch for the classroom. Students have been learning about ducks, how they form in their eggs and have the opportunity to watch the ducklings emerge from their shells along with their first few days of life.

But after the farm closed last year, Ms. Paganica located a new farm that could get the eggs but under different circumstances. She borrowed an incubator from the farm owners and incubated the eggs for the full 28 days.

This year, for the second time, Ms. Paganica and her class are incubating their eggs for the full 28 days in her brand new incubator, complete with an egg turner, in her classroom.

Santapogue’s First Graders Hatched Chickens in the Classroom

J.F.K. Students enjoying the 5th grade cruise around the Great South Bay.

First-Grade Writers Share Reviews

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Students in Lisa DeGennaro’s first-grade class at JFK shared in a literacy celebration on May 24. Each student presented a review on a movie, restaurant or book to those in attendance. The first-graders also designed a brochure on the item they reviewed. They created a “read box” of recommended titles for others to read. Parents and guests were able to view all the students’ writing assignments in the published class books that were on display. 

Charlotte's Web

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On Wednesday June 1st, the 3rd grade from the Santapogue School attended a presentation of Charlotte's Web in Islip New York. The children had already been exposed to the book in a variety of ways, and enjoyed seeing it brought to life on the stage.

Mark Your Calendars!

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The 2016-17 Calendars Available Online

Please note, the district and building calendars are updated to include events for the 2016-2017 school year. To access the district calendar, please click here: http://wbschools.org/calendars/district_calendar.

Lunch and Learn Leads to Friendships

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Throughout the school year, Principal JoAnn Scott at South Bay conducts “lunch and learn” sessions with students. Over snacks and sandwiches, Ms. Scott chats with students about navigating friendships and relationships with others. On May 12, three third-graders shared a picnic lunch together with their principal to celebrate their friendship. They enjoyed the sunny weather along with some special treats.  

Promising to Protect the Earth

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In celebration of Arbor Day, the Babylon Rotary Club provided small trees to each first-grader in the district. Santapogue students received a special presentation of the trees and learned how to take care of their trees for “life.” Each student took a pledge to help protect the Earth.




Congratulations Girls Track and Field

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The girls varsity track and field team accomplished school history on May 26 by winning the Section XI Division II Championship. This is the first time the girls program has been able to achieve such a feat. West Babylon was led by a total team effort, with various athletes stepping up in unexpected places to make the girls season-long dream become a reality. The division-winning team consisted of Paige Keefer, Brittany Korsah, Dana Beggins, Nadine Keefer, Tara Hauff, Noela Franco, Natalie Haab, Haley Higginson, Myaysa Evans, Grace Glennon, Kylie Magee, Jenna D'Onofrio, Abby Navas, Erinrose Patruno, Lindsey Del Prete, and Cansel Cebeci.

Connecting at Annual Career Day

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After a successful event last school year, the Senior High School hosted its second annual Career Day on May 13.

Throughout the day, professionals in different fields visited the school. Students had the opportunity to meet professionals in their area of interest, engage in conversation and make connections for summer internships and/or jobs.  
    
Local professionals from fields including government, medical, real estate, financial, civil service, journalism and more were available to answer questions and provide guidance for those interested in following the same career path.



Suffolk Zone Winners

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Thirteen district students were recognized at the 11th annual Suffolk Zone of New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance elementary and middle school Physical Education Student Leadership Award ceremony at Longwood Middle School on May 4.   

Students from throughout Suffolk County were recognized based on their ability to demonstrate the necessary knowledge and skills to establish and maintain physical fitness, participate in activity, maintain personal health, create and maintain a safe and healthy environment and manage their personal and community resources.
     
The following students were recognized: Forest Avenue – Julianna Haab and Sean Ehrichs; JFK ¬– Lacey Downey and Ryan Bothe; Santapogue – Kaitlyn Bartley and Sean Kozodoy; South Bay – Shannon Hieber and Christopher Critchley; Tooker Avenue – Kelly Bianco and Drew McKittrick; and Junior High School ¬– Daniella Copeland, Eric Demaille and Warren Miller.

Grand-Prize Winning Poster

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Cenahi Smith, a fourth-grader at Forest Avenue, has been named the grand-prize winner for her poster in the Bully Prevention Poster Contest held by Child Abuse Prevention Services.

CAPS received more than 800 submissions of posters and poems for the upcoming 2016-2017 calendar. Smith’s winning poster will be featured in the April position, which represents National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The calendar will be available at the end of the summer and is distributed to all elementary schools and libraries on Long Island.

Wonder Activity

In the novel "Wonder" by RJ Palacio, a teacher named Mr. Browne begins each month with a lesson on precepts. Mr. Brown informs the kids that precepts are "words to live by." Mr. Browne’s Precept for the month of September is: “If you have the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” It’s a quote by Dr. Wayne Dyer.

Our class discussed this precept. The students then selected their own personal precepts. Each student displayed their precept on their desk with a dry-erase marker. We then did a gallery walk around the room to read each other's precepts. It was a worthwhile experience that allowed the students to share and reflect on how their precept fit in with the book we are reading and in their own personal lives.

 

Tooker’s Published Poet

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Fourth-grader Alma Gaxiola, a student at Tooker Avenue, recently became a published poet.

Gaxiola’s poem, “I’m Growing Up,” was published in “A Celebration of Poets, East, Fall 2015.” Gaxiola was inspired to write the poem after she came across a poem by a former Tooker Avenue student in the school library. With the help of her school librarian, Gaxiola learned about poem types and structures. Her teachers reviewed and provided feedback on her poem.
 
After submitting her work online for the Fall 2015 contest in December, Gaxiola finally received news that her poem was chosen to appear in print.

Ready, Set, Go...

More than just a race, the district’s annual Fun Run and Wellness Fair included a variety of activities and information about staying active and healthy. Watch all the excitement as hundreds of families came to enjoy the evening together.

 

PE Teacher Takes Top Honors

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Senior High School physical education teacher Gina Antonelli has been selected as the Suffolk County Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year. This award places her among the other zone winners in New York State and she is eligible and under review for consideration as New York State Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year 2016.

Antonelli was nominated by Joanne Hamilton, a former physical education teacher from a local district. “After meeting Gina, I knew in my heart she deserved this nomination,” Hamilton said. “I was so energized by her positive attitude and her amazing enthusiasm for our profession, I wanted to come back to teach with her. She showed such patience, understanding, caring and nurturing. It was my extreme pleasure to nominate her as our Teacher of the Year.”

NYSSMA Soloists

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More than 100 district students in grades 2-12 performed as soloists at this year's Area 1 New York State School Music Association’s Festival and/or the NYSSMA Suffolk Jazz and Guitar Festival. For the complete list of student participants, click here.

Attachments:

Third-Graders Wax Poetic

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In celebration of National Poetry Month in April, third-graders at JFK participated in a poetry contest through the America Library of Poetry.

Third-graders in Nicole Mercardante’s and Renee DeStefano/Maura Thompson’s classes wrote a variety of different genres of poetry and learned about the foundations of writing poetry. Each student submitted his or her favorite poem, and contest winners will be announced in September.

Aprils All-In group

Newsday Spotlight on Santapogue’s Mrs. Manzi

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Did you see the Newsday spotlight on Santapogue teacher Christine Manzi? If not, check out the below link. Please note, a subscription to Newsday may be required.

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/christine-manzi-is-teacher-coach-and-west-babylon-s-fire-chief-1.11800340

Third grade students show off their musical talent at the Spring Recorder Concert.

Earth Day Experiment

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In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, second-graders at Forest Avenue took part in an exciting science experiment, learning about items that are biodegradable, and those that get sent to local landfills.

The class collected a variety of items, and buried them in the ground outside of the school. Prior to burying the items in the ground, the second-grade classes discussed the difference between biodegradable items and items that are not biodegradable. The students then made their own hypotheses as to which items will decompose underground during the next two months. In June, the students will see if their hypotheses were correct when they will dig up the items and see which ones are still there.

Taking Time to Thank Teachers

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The district and its students celebrated the hard work and dedication of the teaching staff during Teacher Appreciation Week, held May 2-6. Since 1984, the National PTA has designated the first week in May as a special time to honor the men and women who lend their passion and skills to educating our children.

“We understand the hard work and dedication that these teachers bring every single day,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly. “This week serves to recognize the impact they have on each student, not only inside the classroom, but beyond the walls. ”
    
The PTAs at each of the district’s seven schools had plenty of surprises planned throughout the week. At the Senior High School, Junior High School and elementary schools, there were PTA-sponsored teacher appreciation breakfasts, brunches or luncheons. South Bay’s PTA even brought in a licensed massage therapist who offered 10-minute neck massages.
    
Across the district, building principals also treated their teachers to a breakfast or luncheon. Each morning, administrators showed their appreciation for their staff by reading special messages during announcements each day.
    
“As principal, I am grateful every day for my teachers because of their willingness to work collaboratively, with the shared mission of providing the best possible school experience for every child,” said South Bay Principal JoAnn Scott. “No challenge has ever been too great for my teachers, and I am proud to work with the kind of professionals who go to any length to find creative solutions. The synergy generated by our shared learning environment is powerful. It is a joy to work among such fine educators!”
    
Forest Avenue Principal Patricia Acocella also recognized the school’s teachers during the week’s morning announcements, researching and sharing poems about the impact that teachers have had, and will continue to have, on our lives. “I also put a quote a day on the dry erase board hanging in the main office for all teachers to see,” she said. “I’ve made our Forest community aware of this recognition by displaying it on our signboard in the building, and in my Weekly Forest Ranger, which is emailed to all parents, guardians and staff. It’s a wonderful week of recognizing the extreme dedication and professionalism of the teaching staff. ”
    
Elementary students also had a chance to show their appreciation for their teachers. Santapogue students were given paper buckets to color and cut out.

Each student wrote about a special teacher at the school and thanked them for their hard work. Once filled with appreciative messages, the buckets were placed on a bulletin board in the hallway, where they will remain for the rest of the school year.


Kindergarten Concert

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Forest Avenue's PTA-Sponsored Cultural Arts: KidPower

On Friday, May 13th, our Forest Avenue PTA-sponsored a cultural arts assembly presented by Kid Power. The Forest Avenue students were absolutely delighted with this musical, 3-D interactive nutrition and exercise focused program. A BIG Thank you to our Forest Avenue PTA!

Forest Avenue's May Caring Garden

Forest Avenue students created a Caring Garden to spread & share the "Caring" character trait for the month of May. Students wrote about how they show they "care" for their family, friends and teachers. Our Caring Garden blossomed across the hallway to fill our walls. What a beautiful garden we have sown with the seeds of LOVE!

Artists on Display

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Two Senior High School students have been selected into the Heckscher Museum of Arts’ annual juried exhibition, Long Island’s Best: Young Artists. Junior Courtney Foley and senior Austin Prendergast will have their work exhibited in the museum.

Foley’s ceramic piece and Prendergast’s photograph were selected from a record-setting number of entries, according to the museum. More than 350 works of art were submitted from 53 high schools in Suffolk and Nassau counties. The juried selection narrowed the field to works of art created by 83 students representing 44 schools.

An opening reception and awards ceremony was held on April 16, and the exhibit runs through May 15.

Literacy Celebration

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Third-graders from JFK Elementary held a literacy celebration on April 1. Students in Renee DeStefano’s and Maura Thompson’s classes celebrated their nonfiction books by sharing their creations with first-graders.

The first-graders, who also crafted nonfiction texts, were impressed by the work of the third-graders and compared the differences between the two. The third-grade students were excited to see what they could accomplish in a few years.  

J.F.K. students, parents and staff participating in Walk to School Day.

JFK Circus Acts

J.F.K. 5th graders perform circus acts for the entire school. Lots of hard work and practice went into learning the acts during gym class.

Ten Honors in Science Olympiad

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The Junior High School’s Science Olympiad team participated in the Eastern Suffolk County Regional competition in late March. The team placed 10th against 38 schools from across the county. Individual medals were awarded to team members Ryan O’Sullivan, Amanda Scarlata, Brianna Collara, Blake Ung, Erin Thompson, Olivia O’Hara and Nick Alexiadis.

J.F.K. kindergarten visits White Post Farms

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Kindergarten at JFK went to White Post Farms to learn about a plant's life cycle. The students were part of a demonstration and discussion on how soil is made and how a seed grows into a flowering plant. Each child had a hands on experience in which they planted a seedling and got to bring it home and watch it blossom into a flower. The children also hand fed many animals including goats, sheep, llamas, and camels. Fun was had by everyone!

Track Team Takes Third

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West Babylon’s girls track team finished third out of 74 participating girls teams from Nassau, Suffolk and New York City, narrowly missing second place by two points at the St. Anthony’s Invitational from May 6-7. This is the highest a West Babylon girls team has ever finished at this particular meet.

The team was fueled by solid performances from Paige Keefer, Brittany Korsah, and the near-record breaking 4x400m relay team.
Some highlights:

• Paige Keefer: First in the 800m (2:12.97), 5 seconds ahead of second place, and now ranks fourth in New York State; second in 400m and now ranks eighth in the state.

• Brittany Korsah: Second in the 200m, now ranking seventh in the state; fourth in the 100m, now ranking eighth in the state.

• 4x400m relay team: Brittany Korsah, Nadja Ashley, Dana Beggins and Paige Keefer finished in 3:52.97, shattering the previous school record and close to breaking the Suffolk County record set in 2010. They now rank second in the state.

The team will be competing in the Division Championships at Comsewogue High School on May 24 and May 26 at 3 p.m.

Elementary Students Bring Spring Smiles

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Keeping the school-community connection top of mind, student council members at Santapogue recently participated in a Spring Smiles project.

The students created and designed cards and pictures to send to local nursing homes. They discussed how some senior residents may have no families or sparsely decorated living spaces. With this in mind, the student council hoped their creations will bring a smile to the residents’ faces as spring begins.
 
The student council felt it was such a worthwhile project that it decided to invite the entire school to participate. They are collecting additional cards, letters and pictures from all the grades, which will be sent to local area nursing homes.

Mother's Day Mystery Reader

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Ann Lauricella's first-grade class was welcomed back from vacation with a week full of mystery readers in celebration of Mother's Day.

Award-Winning Photos

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The photographic work of three Senior High School students won two first-place awards and one second-place honor in the 2016 Photographic Federation of Long Island’s Youth Showcase.
    
Ralph Reyes won first place in the architecture category for his digital print “Fulton Street Station.” Jessica Capobianco took first place in the scape category for her digital print “New York City Rising.” Second place honors in the monochrome creative choice category went to Austin Prendergast for his digital print “Orbit.”
    
The student-artists were honored at an awards ceremony on April 3 at the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island in Garden City.

Elementary band, chorus and orchestra perform

Elementary band, chorus and orchestra perform for the fifth and third graders at the High School. Everyone enjoyed the fantastic performances.

Long-Distance Learning

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Senior High School students participated in a distance-learning lesson with scientists and educators from Monterey Bay Aquarium in California on March 24.

During the 45-minute session, the group of students in grades 9-12 interacted with scientists and educators from the aquarium via Skype and their cellphones, learning about the unique wildlife on the West Coast.

“Distance-learning programs are a unique new way of having students learn without having to travel, and our students were very excited to be able to ask and answer questions in real-time with Monterey Bay professionals,” said SHS science teacher Andrea Montalvo. “It was like having a guest speaker from 2,500 miles away.”

Solid Finishes at Penn Relays

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The boys and girls varsity track teams competed at the Penn Relays at Penn State University from April 28-30.

The 4x100m team – Grace Glennon, Nadja Ashley, Myaysa Evans and Brittany Korsah – finished third in their heat with a time of 50.87 and 57th out of 377 total teams (including teams from Jamaica and the Bahamas).

The 4x400m team – Brittany Korsah, Nadja Ashley, Dana Beggins, and Paige Keefer – won their heat with a time of 4:02.51 on an afternoon that presented less-than-favorable conditions. The 4x400 team were led by the outstanding anchor leg of 56.66 by junior Paige Keefer, who was also named to USA Track and Field's All-Long Island team this past winter season. The 4x400 finished 67th of out 637 total teams and was the second fastest team representing Long Island.

Check back for updates on the boys track teams.

JFK Poetry Contest 2016

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The students in Mrs. Mercardante's and Mrs. DeStefano's/ Ms. Thompson's Third Grade Classes participated in a poetry contest through the America Library of Poetry. Students wrote a variety of different genres of poetry and learned about the foundations of writing poetry in celebration of National Poetry Month. Each student was able to submit his/her favorite poem. Winners will be announced in September.

Students assembled with their college shirts for college acceptance day.