Welcome Back to School Assembly

Students were entertained by Patricia Shih at a Welcome Back to School assembly as part of the cultural arts enrichment programs provided
by the school's PTA on Sept. 30.

Third-, fourth- and fifth-graders entertained the audience by participating on stage. Members of the Santapogue staff participated in the performance as well.


A Peaceful Celebration

To celebrate International Peace Day, Forest Avenue students participated in a Pinwheels for Peace assembly on Sept. 21.

During the program, Principal Patricia Acocella spoke about the meaning of peace and encouraged students to be active participants in promoting peace.  Students held up pinwheels to symbolize their personal commitment to making the world a more peaceful place while reciting the “Kid’s Peace Song.” The students each designed and crafted their own pinwheels, the recognized symbol of the day.

Ms. Acocella explained the importance of individual actions in promoting and keeping peace. “Look around and you can easily see our differences,” Ms. Acocella said. “That’s what makes the world so special and beautiful! It’s up to us to do our part by promoting school peace. We can do this by simply being kind to each other and accepting our differences.”

Imagine ‘Whirled’ Peace

West Babylon Junior High School Community Service Club, with assistance from a few sixth grade art classes, took part in the International Day of Peace Project and the Pinwheels for Peace Project by planting pinwheels – the recognized symbol of the day   in the front entrance of the school on Sept. 21.

Pinwheels for Peace is an art project started in 2005 by two art teachers in Florida as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives.

Pinwheels for Peace at Santapogue

Santapogue Elementary School celebrated International Peace Day on Sept. 21 by planting pinwheels – the recognized symbol of the day – in the school’s inner courtyard.

Santapogue art teacher Kelly Myers supervised the students while they assembled and decorated their pinwheels in art class.

 Children created their own pinwheels, before placing them on the outline of a giant peace symbol outside the school.

“Pinwheels for Peace enables the children to participate in a real world way in promoting peace at our school,” said Santapogue Elementary School Principal Eleanor Levy. “The children were so proud of their artwork and how the pinwheels looked on display.” The activity was sponsored by Santapogue’s Character Certainly Counts committee.

BOE Meeting Time Change - October 27, 2015


AP Scholar Recognition

The College Board has recognized 75 West Babylon High School current students and members of the Class of 2015 as Advanced Placement Scholars. These honors were bestowed upon the students in accordance with their exceptional achievement on the national AP exams.

AP Scholar honors are awarded based on the number of exams taken and the students’ scores on those exams. Senior high school students were honored as follows:

•    49 students earned the AP Scholar Award by receiving a score of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.

•    15 students earned the AP Scholar with Honor Award by receiving an average score of 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of those exams.

•    Nine students earned the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by receiving an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on five or more of those exams.

•    Two students — senior Alexander Barrett and Class of 2015 graduate Jason Meurlin — received the highest designation of National AP Scholar by receiving an average score of 4 or higher on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of those exams.

AP courses completed with a score of 3 or higher on the final exam afford students the opportunity to earn college credit.

Click here for the complete listing of AP Scholars.

Fall Letter Formation

Taking advantage of the beautiful fall weather, kindergarten students in Alison Chiquitucto's class practiced their letter and number formation by writing on the cement pathways with chalk.

Celebrating Peace at South Bay Elementary


Practicing Bus Safety

During the first week of school, students in kindergarten through fifth grade at JFK Elementary School learned about the proper safety behaviors to exhibit while in and outside of a school bus during interactive bus drills.

On a rotating basis, classes entered a staged bus on the school’s campus and listened as teachers shared bus stop safety tips to remember. Students were reminded to keep their hands and head inside of the bus at all times and to keep their feet out of the aisle. Additionally, they learned what to do in case of an emergency and the location of safety doors and safety windows, first aid kits and fire extinguishers.

“These drills help to reinforce to students the importance of being aware of their surrounds at the bus stop and being mindful when on the bus,” said JFK Principal Gregg Cunningham, who noted the drills are conducted three times annually.     

Mr. Cunningham reads Pete the Cat: Rocking in my school Shoes to kindergarten students.

Learning Made Fun

South Bay Elementary third-grade students in Debbie LoSardo’s class kicked off the school year by learning math facts and polishing their writing skills in a fun and unique way.

After reading the book “First Year Letters,” the students worked on their letter writing skills by crafting friendly notes to teachers throughout the building. In the coming weeks, the class will extend their practice beyond the school environment when they begin drafting letters for their pen pals in California.

Additionally, the students learned how to divide by using hula-hoops.

Pinwheels for Peace

In honor of International Day of Peace, Forest Avenue School participated in a very special Pinwheels for Peace assembly. During this assembly, Principal Acocella shared some insightful words about what peace means. This was followed by students holding up pinwheels to symbolize their personal commitment in making our world a more peaceful place.  We also recited the words to the “Kid’s Peace Song.”


J.F.K students honoring the victims of 9/11


Students Selected for Prestigious Music Festival

Several West Babylon High School student-musicians will represent their school at the 2015 NYSCAME/SCMEA All-County Music Festival and the NYSSMA All-State Festival.

 Selection to a NYSCAME/SCMEA All-County music organization is one of the most prestigious honors in Suffolk County for a student-musician. Students will perform in the NYSCAME/SCMEA All-County Concert in November.

Each year, All-State musicians are selected from an array of more than 7,000 of the finest high school musicians in New York State. This selection is extremely competitive and is based upon a student's superior score at the NYSSMA solo festival and teacher recommendation. All-State student ensembles will perform at the NYSSMA 2015 Winter Conference in Rochester, New York, from Dec. 3-6.
Congratulations to the following students on receiving these prestigious honors:

NYSCAME/SCMEA All-County Musicians
Alex Barrett — Concert Band
Trevor Barrett — Concert Band
Matt Desrosiers — Concert Band
Samantha Lobasso — Women's Choir
Angie Meller — Women's Choir
Nikki Rinaudo Concessi — Women's Choir
Callie Seward — Women's Choir

NYSSMA All-State Musicians
Alex Barrett — Concert Band
Matt Desrosiers — Concert Band
Nikki Rinaudo Concessi — Concert Choir
Callie Seward — Concert Choir

Honoring Nation’s Heroes

Donning red, white and blue attire, students and staff members paid tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice on Sept. 11, 2001. On the 14th anniversary of the day, now known as Patriot Day, the district coordinated several initiatives geared toward honoring the first responders, police, EMT and other local heroes and families who were affected by the events of 9/11.

“At South Bay Elementary School, students and staff were asked to wear red, white and blue,” said South Bay Elementary School Principal JoAnn Scott. “The focus of the day was on honor, respect and gratitude for our nation’s heroes.”

New Froggy Friend

Students in Debora Mahler’s second-grade classroom at South Bay Elementary School will have the chance to explore science in a hands-on way this year with the help of a new class pet – a tree frog.

The frog, which the class named Spiderfrog because of its ability to stick to and climb up a wall, will be integrated into the class’s lessons about predators, prey, life cycle, camouflage and classification of animals. To date, they have learned about the frog’s diet – in particular, that it likes to eat crickets.

Witnesses to History

Members of the West Babylon boys and girls cross-country teams were inspired for their upcoming season as they watched top athletes compete at the HOKA Long Island Mile at St. Anthony’s High School on Sept. 9.

The event, organized by Sayville Running Company, featured some of the world’s elite distance athletes. Throughout the day, the teams bore witness to several remarking feats of running, including watching seven male runners complete the mile race in less than four minutes.

Smooth Start to New Year

District students and staff experienced a smooth start to the 2015-2016 school year when classes officially resumed under sunny skies on Sept. 2.
“We are very excited to have welcomed back our students and staff for a new school year,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly. “The weeks and months ahead are sure to be very productive. On behalf of the Board of Education, extend my best wishes to all for a successful year.”

With backpacks filled with new school supplies and planners in hand, students were eager to learn as they arrived at each building. As the first week came to a close, students were settling in nicely to their new routines.

A continued focus of this school year will be the district’s ongoing work with the elementary New York State Math Modules as well as its efforts to bolster elementary literacy initiatives with the assistance of newly hired curriculum special Jennifer Hoffman. 

“Mrs. Hoffman will be sharing her knowledge of literacy with the elementary teachers as we infuse elements of Teachers College Reading and Writing Project into our elementary literacy instruction,” said Christine Tona, executive director for curriculum and instruction. “We are excited to enhance our instruction and training practices through these well-respected programs.  We hope that an increased focus on strategies for reading and writing will help our students become more prepared for the secondary level and ultimately, college and career.”

Throughout the summer, buildings and grounds renovations were completed thanks to a community-approved bond referendum. JFK Elementary School’s parking lot was refurbished and painting and tile work was completed on the interior of the building. West Babylon Junior High School’s Cafeteria A and several hallways were outfitted with new floor tiles. Additionally, the turf field at the Senior High School received a new drainage system to help prevent flooding and water damage.

The first phase of a new security system, which has been in development for more than a year, will begin being used in October. This update will include a visitor management scanning system in the district’s elementary, middle and high school buildings, whereas visitors’ licenses will be scanned and printed on a photo badge as well as cross checked against local databases.

Tree of Friendship

Third-graders in Debbie LoSardo’s class at South Bay Elementary School learned important lessons about teamwork and cooperation when they completed a community building activity on the first day of school.

The students began the activity by examining a picture of a bare tree and discussing different ways to enhance the tree. After the class decided that leaves were the missing element from the image, they each inked their thumbs to create unique leaf prints on the tree. “This act helped to represent how when we come together as friends we can create something beautiful,” said Mrs. LoSardo.

The class concluded the project by discussing how their new classroom was a home away from home, and together they made a special type of family. “The children really enjoyed putting their fingers into the ink and loved the completed, colorful product,” said Mrs. LoSardo. “Several have referenced it when we have talked about being kind and respectful to others.”