March 3, 2015 Board of Education meeting rescheduled


J.F.K. 5th graders played the part of munchkins in the High School performance of the Wizard of Oz.


Developing and Maintaining Healthy Hearts

Development and maintenance of a healthy heart was the focus and mindset for students and staff throughout the month of February.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined, and one in three women will die of a heart attack or stroke. On Feb. 6, to bring attention to the cause of women’s heart health, staff celebrated Go Red for Women Day by wearing red clothing and taking action to protect their hearts through diet and exercise. Donations were also collected for the American Heart Association.

Continuing the cause of heart health, students took part in the AHA’s Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart programs during their physical education classes. In the weeks leading up to the events, physical education teachers held a jump rope unit and talked about heart-healthy activities such as diet and exercise. In addition to jumping rope, the students played basketball, jumped on mini trampolines and used hula-hoops to raise their heart rates. Through their participation in both events, students collected donations for the American Heart Association. 

At South Bay, district school lunch manager Jeannette Frabizio provided workshops on healthy food choices. The students learned what types of foods are packed with nutrition and had the opportunity to sample fresh foods regularly provided in the school cafeteria. Students were also encouraged to speak with their parents about diet and exercise as a lifelong means to remaining healthy and strong.

In addition to remaining physically heart healthy, students also focused on emotional heart health. Throughout the district, students and staff celebrated P.S. I Love You Day and Kindness Is Contagious Day. By wearing purple, students and staff demonstrated their commitment to be kind to one another, creating a positive atmosphere in which all members of the school community feel accepted. 
With participation in February’s heart-healthy activities, students and staff will surely be more mindful of their health throughout the year.

Goldilocks on Trial

Goldilocks was on trial at Tooker Avenue, and after testimony from a motley crew of witnesses and review of evidence by a fourth-grade jury, was found guilty of trespassing. This dramatic exercise was the culmination of a six-day unit called “Junior JDs,” taught to fifth-grade students by Hofstra law professor Glen Vogel as part of a learning unit on the judicial system that took place in eight sessions over the course of two months.

At the beginning of the trial, Goldilocks was accused of trespassing at the Three Bears’ home, eating Papa Bear’s porridge and leftover chicken, stealing money (petty larceny), trying on Mama Bear’s dresses and breaking a rocking chair (criminal mischief). After testimony from storybook characters Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf, Three Blind Mice and Chicken Little, Goldilocks was eventually found guilty of trespassing, but not guilty on all other counts.

Judge and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly sentenced Goldilocks to one month of bringing chicken cutlet sandwiches to Principal Charles Germano, making and serving breakfast for the teachers, and serving chocolate ice cream to the judge for three months.   

“I believe we may have some future attorneys in this school,” Mr. Vogel said.

An Epidemic of Kindness

Kind actions and words were the mindset for Santapogue students as they celebrated Kindness Is Contagious Day on Feb. 13. Throughout the schools, students wore purple and white, and the Social Emotional Academic Learning Committee sold “Kindness Is Contagious” T-shirts to the staff.

First-grade teacher Kristen Ragusa and second-grade teacher Theresa Parrish coordinated the schoolwide event. In their classrooms, the students wrote their kind words and intentions on paper hearts and placed them on the Kindness Tree in the school’s main entryway.

Principal Eleanor Levy said that the school will host a monthly Kindness Day to continually remind students that positive words and actions create a positive school atmosphere.  

An Author Visit

During Santapogue’s celebration of Parents as Reading Partners, students received a visit from poet and author Darren Sardelli. Mr. Sardelli shared his love of poetry, which has been featured in 13 books in the U.S. and England and 15 textbooks worldwide.

During two assemblies, Mr. Sardelli read fun, school-themed poems from his book “Galaxy Pizza and Meteor Pie,” explained how he creates poems and described the process behind writing a book. After the assemblies, students had the opportunity to buy autographed copies of Mr. Sardelli’s book.      

The Board of Education meeting on February 24, 2015 has been rescheduled to March 3, 2015

The Board meeting scheduled for this Tuesday, February 24, 2015 has been rescheduled to Tuesday, March 3, 2015 due to the bursting of a pipe in the administration wing.

The meeting will be held in the PAC on March 3, 2015 - following the 7:30 p.m. Budget Presentation.


Top String Musicians

Eight string players, grades 5-12, represented the district and their respective schools as participants in the 2014 Long Island String Festival Association String Ensembles.

These talented musicians were selected from among the very best student string players in Suffolk County. Selection to a LISFA ensemble is a highly competitive process, based on superior scores at the annual New York State School Music Association solo festivals and school music instructor recommendations. The LISFA concerts were held in January and February.

Suffolk Elementary Festival Participants (grades 5-7):
Sofia Aguilar, Viola – JFK
Gabriel Greengold, Viola – Forest Avenue
Gianna Haines, Violin – Santapogue
Emma Blloshmi, Violin - South Bay
Lucas Greengold, Viola – Junior High School
Kaitlyn Russell, Violin – Junior High School

Suffolk Secondary Festival (grades 8-12):
Eric Froehlich, Bass – Senior High School
Brian Thompson, Violin – Senior High School

Team Pandemonium Advances to Championship Tournament

For the second consecutive year, the senior high school’s robotics club was a winner at the FIRST Tech Challenge qualifying tournament at Syosset High School on Jan. 30. The team, named “Team Pandemonium,” will advance to the New York City/Long Island FTC Championship Tournament, to be held at the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering in Brooklyn on March 1.  

At the qualifying tournament, Team Pandemonium competed against 30 teams from Long Island and New York City, and after five rounds placed second. The top four teams each picked two other robots with which to form an alliance. The four alliances then completed two rounds of elimination playoffs, with the winning alliance earning the right to advance to the championship. Team Pandemonium was a member of the winning alliance.

“We are extremely proud of what our students have achieved,” advisor Gerard De Simone said. “The students worked extremely hard and dedicated a lot of time brainstorming, designing, prototyping, programming and building their robot.”   

Junior HS Appreciates New Technology

Junior high school students and staff are excited about the functionality of the library’s new red Lumens document camera, recently purchased by Principal Scott Payne and Assistant Principal Jennifer Carere with Title I funds.

This technology magnifies objects and any pages of a book when placed under the camera lens. The camera is connected to a Smart Board, so an entire class can view the illustrations or educational materials at the same time.

A Valentine Tribute to Veterans

South Bay students gave tribute to veterans both abroad and at home by participating in the Valentines for Veterans Program. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, students crafted hearts and wrote letters to the veterans, thanking them for their commitment to preserving the country’s freedoms.

Third-grade teacher Christina Delaney said, “We hope the veterans who receive our cards can feel our heartfelt appreciation.”

Tooker Ave. Celebrates the Souper Bowl

The staff and students at Tooker Ave celebrated the Super Bowl by wearing their favorite team jerseys and donating a can soup. In the spirit of teamwork, we were able to collect several full boxes of soup to donate to a local food pantry.


Recently the Student council of the Santapogue school conducted a SOUPER BOWL. Students were invited to bring in a can of soup to support the team of their choice. The vote with cans of food was a tie: 36 for Seahawks and 36 for Patriots. Amazing how our vote so closely mirrored the game itself.

Thank you to Sue Soldano and the Student council for collecting the soup cans and providing nourishment to the hungry in our neighborhood.

A Study of Martin Luther King Jr.

Second-grade students in Debra Thuma’s class at Tooker Avenue celebrated the accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr. by creating a class biography on his life and achievements. By working together, the students learned the elements of writing a biography and used their newly acquired knowledge to research and write a biography on their own person of interest. Ms. Thuma was impressed not only by their hard work, but also by their commitment to completing the assignment.  

The West Babylon Senior High School Music Department proudly presents “The Wizard of Oz”

The West Babylon Senior High School Music Department is proud to present “The Wizard of Oz” on Friday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. There is reserved seating, so please purchase your tickets early. For advanced ticket sales, call 631-376-7168. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and students and are also available at the door.

IXL- January Winners


South Bay Hosts Healthy Food Workshop

On Wednesday, February 11th, the first grade students in Ms. Ann Lauicella's class at South Bay School were visited by the West Babylon School District School Lunch Manager, Mrs. Jeannette Frabizio for a workshop on healthy food choices. The children learned why some foods are more healthful than others for their bodies, and had an opportunity to sample some fresh foods that are served in the school cafeteria. Pictured are Mrs. Frabizio with some of the first graders.

South Bay Hosts Healthy Food Workshop

On Wednesday, February 11th, the first grade students in Ms. Ann Lauicella's class at South Bay School were visited by the West Babylon School District School Lunch Manager, Mrs. Jeannette Frabizio for a workshop on healthy food choices. The children learned why some foods are more healthful than others for their bodies, and had an opportunity to sample some fresh foods that are served in the school cafeteria. Pictured are Mrs. Frabizio with some of the first graders.

Spaghetti Dinner


Visit from "The Dirt Meister"

Celebrating Kindness through No Name-Calling Week

Throughout the district, elementary school students focused on character building while promoting an atmosphere free from bias and name-calling and celebrating kindness. Sponsored nationally by 60 partnership organizations, No Name Calling Week sets a platform to end name-calling and criticism and to foster an environment in which bullying is not tolerated in schools.

At Forest Avenue, students participated in classroom discussions about being an upstander based on Carol McCloud’s “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids.” Students wore mismatched socks to celebrate individual differences and shared kind words by writing compliment cards. Each class read Dr. Lisa Roth’s “Stand Up” and created a schoolwide unity chain to symbolize student connections and the ability to ignite a reaction of kindness.   

A Garden of Kindness, planted with decorated flowers of kind words and thoughts, cropped up on classroom doors at John F. Kennedy Elementary. In addition, each student colored a picture of a bee to symbolize “being” an upstander and a person who will assist in making the campus a bully-free zone.

Each student at Santapogue was given a No Name-Calling Week pledge to sign and take home. Like Forest Avenue, classroom teachers read “Stand Up” to their students, followed by Upstander Day, in which students wore blue and gold to signify that bucket filler behavior is integral to the school culture. The school also hosted the popular character education performance group, Power of One. Using multicolored boxes and student involvement, the actors drove home the message that bullying cannot be tolerated.   

At South Bay Elementary School, students took the opportunity to write messages of kindness on the graffiti wall outside of the main office. Students and staff added messages daily, as did visitors to the school.

Each day, students at Tooker Elementary read a pledge to stop name-calling and promote kindness. The students participated in theme-based days, such as wearing caps to symbolize placing a “cap on name-calling” and mismatched clothes to celebrate each other’s differences. Sports apparel day also symbolized everyone’s being on the same team.   

The week was a success as district students came together in support of the anti-bullying campaign. This sense of unity helped to create an environment in which all students can comfortably be themselves.

2015-16 Budget Preparations Underway

The administration has presented its first draft of the proposed 2015-16 school budget and has discussed anticipated revenues, state aid estimates and the proposed tax levy during recent Board of Education meetings. Michele Psarakis, executive director for finance and operations, said the district’s goal is to remain under the allowable tax levy cap while maintaining current educational programs, clubs and sports.

“We are still waiting to hear about state aid, but our intention is to present a budget that remains within the allowable cap while reinstating sports and clubs not included in the current budget, but funded through a separate grant secured by Senator Boyle." Psarakis said.

The Board of Education encourages residents to become informed about the district’s proposed 2015-16 spending plan by attending the scheduled budget workshops and public hearings. Community members are encouraged to cast their vote on May 19 to help determine the future of the district.

Tuesday, Feb. 24            Board of Education meeting; Board review/ discussion of Budget Draft #2 and the Property Tax Levy Limit, 8 p.m.     

Tuesday, March 3            Budget Presentation – Board Room (Large Group Instruction room, if necessary), 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 10            Board of Education meeting; further review and discussion of Budget Draft #2, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, March 24            Board of Education Meeting; Board discussion/review of Budget Draft #3, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, March 31            Budget Presentation – Board Room (Performing Arts Center, if necessary); 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 14            Board of Education meeting; final review and adoption of the 2015-16 Proposed Budget, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, May 12             Board of Education meeting; Public Hearing of 2015-16 Proposed School Budget, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, May 19            School Budget Vote and Trustee Election 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

February PARP Update

Students from John F. Kennedy in West Babylon have been busy this February reading books for PARP. Fifth grade students from Mrs. Prendergast and Mr. Forsythe’s class buddied up to read with the younger students from Mrs. Steffens and Mrs. Dewhirst’s second grade class. As part of our culminating event to end the first week of our "parents as reading partners" (PARP) program, the students cozied up together with read alouds, while dressed in their PJ’s, and shared their love for reading.

Brittany Korsah Advances to State Competition

Sophomore Brittany Korsah will represent the district at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York to compete in the 300-meter dash during the NYS Public High School Athletic Association/New York State Federation Combined Winter Track and Field Championships on       March 7. She is the first female from West Babylon School District to qualify for the state finals.

Brittany finished third at the Section XI State Qualifier meet at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood on Sunday, Feb. 8, running a qualifying time of 41.51 seconds. She was the only sophomore to reach the finals in this event, as the rest of the competitors were upperclassmen. Brittany is the school record holder for the 300-meter dash, and is also a triple jumper and the anchor of the winter team’s 4x200 meter relay.

“During the next few weeks leading up to the State Championship on March 7, I am sure Brittany will continue to appreciate your support and well wishes,” coach Phil Armato said. “Brittany continuously strives for excellence, which is the trademark of a special athlete.”

Valentine's for Veterans

Mrs. Delaney's third graders were just one class from all of South Bay Elementary School that participated in Valentine's for Veterans. Students were so excited to create a craft and write a letter to a veteran as a way to tribute them. We hope the Veterans who receive our cards can feel our appreciation. Happy Valentine's Day!


Senior Kali Moss has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer at Kutztown University this coming fall. Signing a National Letter of Intent is the highest honor for a high school athlete.

Kali currently plays forward on the high school’s varsity girls soccer team and for nationally ranked Farmingdale United. She plans on pursuing a major in criminal justice.

The district congratulates Kali on this athletic achievement and wishes her the best in her college academic and athletic career.

Virtual Aquarium Field Trip

All second grade students at South Bay School recently took a virtual field trip to an aquarium and then conducted research on a sea creature of their choosing to add to a 'Classroom Aquarium'. The students then used the information they researched to create a book using Microsoft Publisher. They worked hard to learn how to use the program, as well as how to save and insert pictures from the Internet. This extensive project was facilitated by South Bay Library/Media Specialist, Mrs. Kara Levy, who is very proud of the students' results. Attached is a photo of Mrs. Febbraro's second grade class showing off their completed books.

2015 NYSSMA Solo & Ensemble Festival Information

The 2015 NYSSMA Solo & Ensemble Festival will be held in Amityville on May 8-9, 2015.  Any student who is interested in participating in this festival should speak to one of our music teachers for registration information.  The registration deadline is March 2, 2015.

Graffiti Wall Displays Messages of Kindness

Students at South Bay are taking advantage of being able to write on the school wall outside of the main office. The “graffiti wall” holds messages of kindness by students and staff members in celebration of No Name Calling Week, an annual character education program that focuses on acceptance of others’ differences and voicing only kind words to one another.

Principal JoAnn Scott said she is proud of the students who took time to write a message. “The messages are extremely insightful, and we ask everyone who comes to South Bay to write something.” she said.