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Santapogue Says Thank You to its Teachers

Santapogue Says Thank You to its Teachers photo

There are messages of gratitude written in chalk on the sidewalk in front of Santapogue Elementary School as the student council celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week from May 7-11. The student council wrote messages to all the teachers prior to their morning arrival, and each teacher received a bucket filled with quotes and sayings.

4th Grade Field Trip to Connetquot State Park

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Mrs. Manzi's Poetry Walk

Mrs. Lynch's celebrating earth day with biodegrable pots!

Curricular Updates and Enhancements

Curricular Updates and Enhancements photo
Curricular Updates and Enhancements photo 2
In January, the New York State Education Department received approval for a new education plan that was required as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act. As part of this approval process, NYSED has been making changes to the entire K-12 curriculum. These changes – NYS Next Generation Learning Standards – are focused on revising math and English language arts education. 

Educators are being asked to help all students become lifelong readers and writers and NYSED has revised many of the reading and writing standards for classroom teachers. In addition, literacy-based instructional practices have been incorporated into all of the science and social studies classrooms. In math, standards were revised or moved to different grade levels with a focus on increasing student fluency. Last year, NYSED also made changes to the K-12 science standards, mirroring the practices of scientists and engineers through the implementation of hands-on activities in class. 

“Here in West Babylon, we are making certain that all of our students are getting the very best education in every subject area,” said Scott Payne, executive director of curriculum and instruction. “In response to all of these changes, this month we are pleased to share some of the exciting curricular work that is taking place in all our schools.”

Computer-based instructional tools

Parents may have noticed their children coming home and signing on to many of the online educational programs offered both in and out of the classroom. One literacy-based program is comprised of two separate programs called Raz-Kids and Reading A-Z. These programs allow students to read books online based on their interest as well their reading level. It also allows them to answers questions about what they have read and builds vocabulary and acquisition skills through guided quizzes.  

In math, students have access to an online program called Math IXL.  This web-based program allows students to practice specific math problems that are either assigned by their teacher or picked specifically based on their ability.

I-Ready.com is another online resource used by elementary and junior high school students. This program uses educational lessons and games to build student skills in math and ELA. Students earn points and reach milestones as they complete lessons that are either assigned by their teacher or are simply completed for extra credit. Not only are these games fun, but they help teachers get balanced data to help build upon needed skills for students.

Many JHS and SHS courses offer online supplements to enhance the textbooks used in class. Seventh-grade health, courses in science and math and much of the social studies curriculum are featured online. 

“If you see your child watching videos as part of the Discovery Ed website, they may actually be doing homework or getting extra credit, as much of our district’s social studies content is presented in multimedia form,” Payne said.

STEM Skills

“Here in West Babylon, we are very excited for our students to explore the many STEM skill sets,” Payne said. “In our K-8 schools, we have begun creating makerspaces. These spaces are collaborative work areas in part of our libraries that allow students to create projects or designs using their imagination and creativity. One key aspect is allowing students to work together. This creative and collaborative practice is at the core of helping to prepare our students for 21st-century skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.” 

In K-6 library media classes, students are learning to code using Ozobot or Dash-and Dot robot kits. These kits guide students through the basic concepts of coding and allow students to program robots to perform different tasks and complete challenges. 

In grades 8-12, a new set of science research courses has been added.  Currently offered in eighth grade, this course will be offered to all students next year at the high school and is designed to teach students how to design and create scientific experiments while enhancing their problem-solving skills. Students will learn to publish their discoveries and will make formal presentations on what they have learned. The goal of these courses is to connect students to real-world scientists and engineers, which will allow them to work in the field to conduct their own research as part of an extended internship. 

“We are also offering two opportunities for STEM enrichment,” Payne said. “Our after-school STEM SCOPE program will be starting soon at each of our elementary schools. This summer, we will be offering a weeklong science camp for all students that will be housed in-district at one of our elementary schools.”

In addition, Payne said, the district will be looking at adopting a new K-5 math curriculum and next year, will be looking at changes in the K-8 science program. In both cases, this selection process will involve building principals from every elementary building forming a team of teachers, administrators and parents. 
 
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