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FLEX Learning at South Bay

Fourth- and fifth-grade FLEX students formed teams and were tasked with writing a script and recreating a fairy tale or fable by programming the Dot and Dash robots. Each group has set designers, costume designers, computer programmers and writers who are collaborating using Google Docs.

Curricular Updates and Enhancements

Curricular Updates and Enhancements photo
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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. 
 

A Slimy Concoction

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Third-graders in Melanie DeLapi’s class at South Bay Elementary School concocted their own oobleck after reading Dr. Seuss’ “Bartholomew and the Oobleck” as part of their Read Across America Day/Dr. Seuss’ birthday celebration on March 2.

A ‘Seussical’ Celebration

A ‘Seussical’ Celebration photo

Samantha Cardillo’s kindergarten class at South Bay Elementary School celebrated Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2. The students read several Dr. Seuss books and wrote about their favorite. They created their very own “Cat in the Hat” masks, evaluated whether they would eat green eggs and ham, and participated in rhyming activities.

South Bay Scientists

South Bay Scientists photo
Seventeen South Bay students in grades K-4 submitted science projects to be considered for entry into this year's Brookhaven National Laboratory Elementary Science Fair. All of the projects were evaluated anonymously by South Bay teachers, and five of them (one per grade level) will be moving on to Brookhaven:
K: Brody Eglin, Wing Shape – It's a Drag...
Gr. 1: Hailey Frampton, Germiest Surfaces
Gr. 2: Lucas Dispigno, Going Batty!
Gr. 3: Emma Frampton, Best Candy Crystal Growth
Gr. 4: Toussaint Joseph, Mentos Challenge

All 17 students attended a celebratory meeting with the principal and were presented with a certificate and a letter of congratulations.

South Bay SCOPE Flyer 2018

Attachments:

A Delicate Balancing Act

A Delicate Balancing Act photo

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, students in Krista Granieri’s class at South Bay Elementary School read “10 Apples Up on Top” by Dr. Seuss. The students then tried to create a tower out of Keva blocks that could balance an apple on top. The groups worked together and created some unique and interesting designs.

PARP Kicks Off at South Bay

PARP Kicks Off at South Bay photo

South Bay Elementary School kicked off its monthlong Pick A Reading Partner activities with an assembly on March 1. This year’s PARP sports-related theme is “Get Your Game On with Reading.”  The school had a special visit from writer, lyricist and musician Daryl Cobb, author of “Pirates: A Ring of Hope.”

Enriching Young Engineers with STEM Activity

Enriching Young Engineers with STEM Activity photo
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In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday/Read Across America Day on March 2, first-grade students in library media specialist Kara Levy’s enrichment class at South Bay Elementary School participated in a STEM-based activity. Students were tasked with creating a chair for Dr. Seuss’ stuffed animals. The first-graders worked in teams to engineer the chairs using K’Nex building sets.
 

A Chinese Cultural Celebration

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Students in Melanie De Lapi’s third-grade class at South Bay Elementary School celebrated Chinese New Year on Feb. 16. The class learned about the year of the dog and crafted hats and lanterns. The students each presented information they had learned about the culture in their recent unit of study. They also sampled some cuisine and green tea.  


South Bay Students Take Top Prizes in Poster Contest

South Bay Students Take Top Prizes in Poster Contest photo
Five students from South Bay Elementary School were recently named winners in the West Babylon Fire Department’s annual fire prevention poster and essay contest. From left: Third-grader Kayleigh Carlson, first-place winner in the poster contest; first-grader Tony Williams, first-place winner in the poster contest; fifth-grader Vincent Morini, second-place winner in the essay contest; first-grader Gabriella Saracena, third-place winner in the poster contest; and second-grader Saxton Camp, first-place winner in the poster contest. 
 

2018-19 Budget Preparations Underway

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The administration has presented its first draft of the proposed 2018-19 school budget and has discussed anticipated revenues, state aid estimates and the proposed tax levy during recent Board of Education meetings. 

According to Michele Psarakis, executive director for finance and operations, the district’s goals for the 2018-19 school year include maintaining all student programs while remaining within the state-mandated tax levy cap. 

The Board of Education encourages residents to become informed about the district’s proposed 2018-19 spending plan by attending the scheduled budget workshops and public hearings. Community members are encouraged to cast their vote on May 15 to help determine the future of the district.

Tuesday, March 13: Board of Education meeting; board review/discussion of budget draft No. 2 development, 7 p.m.     

Tuesday, March 27: Presentation of budget draft No. 2, 7 p.m. 
     
Tuesday, April 10: Board of Education meeting; final review and adoption of the 2018-19 proposed budget, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, May 1: Board of Education meeting; public hearing of 2018-19 proposed school budget, 7 p.m.
                       
Tuesday, May 15: School budget vote and trustee election, 7 a.m.–9 p.m.

100 Days of Learning

Students in Krista Granieri’s class at South Bay Elementary School celebrated the 100th day of school by dressing as if they were 100 years old. The students engaged in different 100-related activities such as blowing 100 bubbles, building with 100 Legos, doing 100 exercises and counting groups of 10.

P.S. I Love You Day

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Second-graders in Mrs. Febbraro’s class at South Bay Elementary School completed an activity for P.S. I Love Your Day. The students wrote kind words to their friends and shared different way they are all special.
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