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Newsday Visits South Bay

Newsday Visits South Bay

The School of Rock in Farmingdale visited our students at South Bay on Jan. 22. Newsday joined in on the fun and created this video! Please note: a subscription to Newsday may be needed to view the video.



Colorful Creation Delivers Powerful Message

Colorful Creation Delivers Powerful Message photo
First-graders in Lisa DeGennaro’s class at John F. Kennedy Elementary School worked together to celebrate the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In honor of Dr. King, the class read “The Crayon Box.” The students learned they are all unique like the colors in a crayon box, but when they work together they can do beautiful things. Students each created their own unique crayon with a message of peace, love and kindness.

The January 23, 2018 BOE meeting agenda is now available on BoardDocs.

The NED Show Assembly

Forest Avenue students had the chance to enjoy the PTA sponsored character education assembly "The NED Show." Students learned through the adventures of NED, a character kids (and adults) can relate to using humor, storytelling, audience participation, and amazing object lessons including yo-yo and magic tricks. NED is an acronym for: Never Give Up, Encourage Others, and Do Your Best!

DECA Students Score Big

DECA Students Score Big photo
Sixty-three students from the Senior High School participated in the annual DECA regional competition at Suffolk County Community College on Jan. 3. A record 19 West Babylon students qualified for the New York State competition by placing in the top 10 in their respective events. 

Eric Donohue took first place in his event, Restaurant & Food Service Management. The district congratulates the following students who will be participating in New York State competition:

Benjamin Furnari – Principles of Finance
Jocelyn Hyner and Natalia Niebrzdowski – Principles of Hospitality & Tourism
Ivan Cabrera and Christopher Price – Principles of Marketing
Georgia DiVisconti and Marisa Moran – Entrepreneurship Team Event
Robert Auganno and Joseph Ronzetti – Financial Services Team Event
Miranda Billeri and Rachel Le – Hospitality Services Team Event
Olivia Golebiewski and Megan Le – Travel & Tourism Team Event
Andrew Blloshmi – Accounting Applications
Emerson Schaefer – Business Services Marketing
Jake Adams – Restaurant & Food Service Management
Irwin Chugh and Kalleynah Olsen – Job Interview

Blades for Grades

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The New York Islanders hockey team visited Santapogue Elementary School in January as part of its Blades for Grades program. Students can earn free tickets to Islanders games for their good grades when they join the program. The Santapogue students also completed a floor ball unit in their physical education classes.

December Superintendent’s Points of Pride Now Available


Family Reflection Night

Please read the attached flyer regarding our districtwide, K-12, Family Reflection Night. Please enjoy some wonderful family time, with all of your children in grades K-12, on the first Friday of every month.


Authors Share During Literacy Celebration

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Students in Lisa DeGennaro’s first-grade class at John F. Kennedy Elementary School shared their newly published books with second-graders from Colleen Steffens and Melissa Dewhirst’s class. The first-grade finished projects contained many aspects of a nonfiction text, including a table of contents, glossary and all about the author page.

Martin Luther King Jr. Slideshow

Check out this Google slides presentation created by some of our very own Forest Avenue Fifth Graders with Mrs. Francisco

Click here to view the Presentation

Bowling for Dollars in P.E. at Forest Avenue!

Each January the students at Forest Avenue participate in our bowling unit during PE classes. Along with learning the skills and rules necessary to be successful in the sport, they also work on their math skills by using fake money. For each pin knocked down they get a certain amount of money for their team. Students learn how to handle the “fun currency” by exchanging smaller bills for bigger ones. Its one of our most exciting units of the year that all our wonderful students look forward to.

No Name-Calling Week at Forest Avenue

To celebrate No-Name Calling Week at Forest Avenue, all students read and signed the pledge to "Celebrate Kindness."!  Students in Mrs. Weisbecker's health classes will be watching the short video, "Color the World with Kindness" tomorrow.  

Please enjoy this video from the event

Cultivating Kindness

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Forest Avenue Elementary School held an assembly about cultivating kindness on Dec. 19. Sponsored by the school’s PTA, author and speaker Richard Specht spoke to the students about spreading kindness and paying it forward. 

Mr. Specht donated a personalized copy of his book “A Little Rees Specht Cultivates Kindness” to the Forest Avenue school library. The Rees Specht Life Foundation was created in memory of Mr. Specht’s son Rees. Since Mr. Specht presented to the school on Rees’ birthday, Forest Avenue created and donated birthday boxes to Birthday Wishes of Long Island in the spirit of paying it forward.

FA Hour of Code

FA Hour of Code

Forest Avenue recently participated in the Hour of Code. Check out the video and see what some of the tech-savvy students are doing.

2018 Transportation Request


SEL Initiatives Grow

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Social-emotional learning is the way a student develops the ability to experience, regulate and express emotions; form close, secure relationships; explore the environment and learn. To ensure student success, the district implements new social-emotional learning initiatives annually to educate the whole child.

The K-12 districtwide Social-Emotional Academic Learning committee is committed to a shared vision of social and emotional development that is critical for student achievement. The first Friday of every month is designated Family Friday. To assist families in connecting at home, a monthly flyer is sent home with a reflection/theme question that all K-12 students can discuss with their families in place of any other homework. These questions help generate conversations with families and help students with their social-emotional growth.

Social-emotional connections also involve giving back to the community, in particular during November and December, when students participate in mitten trees and fundraisers for the Toys for Tots, and Make-A-Wish charities. This year, many schools collected food and toiletries for hurricane victims. During the morning and afternoon announcements in December, two students at South Bay Elementary School share advice on kindness. 

Senior high school students are being recognized with the Eagle Award for demonstrating one of the 13 social-emotional learning competencies. To be recognized, a student is nominated by a faculty member for going above and beyond in one of the competencies, including showcasing integrity, respect, responsibility, compassion, kindness, and teamwork. To date for the 2017-18 school year, 30 students have been nominated for the Eagle Award. 

In addition to the Eagle Award at the senior high school, ninth-grade English teachers are using “Top 20 Teens: Discovering the Best-Kept Thinking, Learning & Communicating Secrets of Successful Teenagers” to facilitate lesson plans on social-emotional learning. 

“We recognize the many outside factors that may impact the learning of our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly. “Through our various SEL initiatives, it is our goal to provide students with the appropriate tools to successfully navigate any obstacles that may arise in their lives.” 

Snow Removal Letter to the Community 1/9/18

Snow Removal Letter

Soldier Surprise Shocks Seventh-Grader

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West Babylon Junior High School seventh-grader Grace Bonamico was overwhelmed with emotion when her military sister surprised her at school during her English class on Dec. 15.

Grace hasn’t seen her sister Colleen Bonamico since she left for technical training school in Biloxi, Mississippi, in August. Colleen, who is a 2017 West Babylon graduate, is an airman first class in the U.S. Air Force stationed in San Antonio, Texas, for her basic training. Colleen graduated from technical training school on Dec. 5 and made a surprise visit home to see her family before she leaves on her new assignment in Arizona. 

“She is my best friend,” Grace said. “It will be a special holiday this year because she is here.”

Technology Enhances Kindergarten Learning Experience

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South Bay Elementary School has a tech-savvy kindergarten class working on touch-screen Chromebooks this year. Kindergartners in Alison Chiquitucto’s class are using them daily to support and enhance their learning. 

Students are engaged and enthusiastic to use the technology and show off their accomplishments. They are exploring and problem-solving with the technology — from figuring out how to navigate the screens, to changing colors of text and backgrounds, to adding more and more letters to their words. 

“The types of rudimentary skill acquisition, creative thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and pride of accomplishment that these students experience today will serve as the basis for their success in college classrooms or corporate think tanks,” said South Bay Elementary School Principal JoAnn Scott.  

The 1:1 Chromebook imitative also allows the students to progress at their own pace. Students in Mrs. Chiquitucto’s class have begun to collaborate with one another and assist each other using the technology.

‘Polar Express’ Day

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Forest Avenue students were greeted with music from “The Polar Express” as they entered the school building for the first “Polar Express Day” on Dec. 20. The Forest Avenue staff decorated the building with “Polar Express” themed decorations and both students and staff wore pajamas to school. Principal Patricia Acocella read “The Polar Express” and students watched the movie in their classrooms and enjoyed hot cocoa and cookies.

Buddy Club’s Holiday Party

Kindergarten Performance

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Tooker Avenue kindergarteners in Ms. Mele’s and Mrs. Ward’s class performed songs for friends and family on Dec. 20. The student practiced for weeks, both at home and in school. The songs included “Rudolph," "Jingle Bells," "Deck the Halls," “Hanukkah" and "O’ Christmas Tree."

Coding Conductors at Forest Avenue

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In recognition of Computer Science Week from Dec. 3-10, students at Forest Avenue Elementary School are participating in the Hour of Code during their library classes from Nov. 27 to Dec. 13. The Hour of Code is a global event that occurs yearly to honor the contributions of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper. 

Holiday Helping Hands

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The JHS held its annual “ugly holiday sweater” holiday breakfast. Baskets and items were donated and the JHS staff purchased raffle tickets. More than $2,000 was raised to be donated toward food cards and clothes for local families in need this holiday season.

Spreading Some Holiday Cheer

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The Tooker Ave 4th & 5th grade Student Council, led by adviser Debbie Christiansen, made Holiday cards for the residents of Little Neck Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, a local nursing home. The students were very excited about spreading some holiday cheer!

Pajama Drive

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The 4th grade Student Council led the rest of the school in their 5th Annual Pajama Drive. This year 34 sets of pajamas were collected and distributed to children on LI via the Family Service League.

Holiday Giving

Holiday Giving
The Senior High School collected toys and more than $1,200 to donate to the John Theissen Children’s Foundation.

Habitat Triaramas

After studying habitats, students in Mrs. Febbraro’s class at South Bay Elementary chose a habitat to make using plants and animals native to those areas. The triaramas included the rainforest, savannah, prairie, and woodland habitats.

Brain Challenge fun for kindergarten-fifth grade.

Letters Help Make a Connection

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Students in Kristen Wilken’s fifth-grade class at Forest Avenue Elementary School recently penned letters as part of a literacy lesson. Student Jhan Karlo wrote to James Dean, author of “Pete the Cat.” Mr. Dean not only took the time to read the letter, but also was kind enough to send Karlo an autographed copy of his book.

Holiday Kazoo Band

J.F.K. Holiday Kazoo Band greeting students as they enter the building for the last time before winter break.


Joining the Fight

Joining the Fight photo

In support of World AIDS Day, West Babylon Senior High School students, staff and faculty joined together against the fight on Nov. 30. The day is dedicated to the ongoing fight against AIDS and the struggles faced as both a community and a nation.

Wearing their red ribbons, the school was part of the global movement supporting this year’s theme of “Let’s End It,” referring to the isolation, stigma and transmission of the disease. West Babylon High School students put together two performances to educate their peers and their community on HIV/AIDS, how to prevent it, and how to show compassion to those living with the virus. Students took to the auditorium stage for choreographed dance performances, informative skits, inspirational songs and poems and video presentations. 

With more than 34 million people around the world affected by the disease, World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, support those living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.

Forest Avenue Student's Choosing Books

Forest Avenue students had the chance to choose a book at the Forest Avenue Book (FAB) Distribution, sponsored by the Forest Avenue PTA. The students enjoyed choosing a book of their choice. Thank you, Forest Avenue PTA!

Coat Drive Benefits Local Homeless Community

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The Junior High School staff members recently held a coat drive. The school collected 12 bags of coats, blankets and clothes. West Babylon Senior High School graduate Eileen Montegeaudo picked up the bags on Nov. 21 and delivered them to the homeless community in the Ridge area on Thanksgiving.

Cultivating Kindness Assembly

The Forest Avenue PTA sponsored the Cultivating Kindness Assembly. During the assembly, Mr. Richard Specht talked to all the students about spreading kindness and paying it forward. He donated a personalized copy of his book "A LITTLE REES SPECHT CULTIVATES KINDNESS" to the Forest Avenue School Library. The Rees Specht Life Foundation was created in memory of Mr. Richard Specht's son REES. In appreciation that Mr. Specht presented to the school on REES' birthday, December 19th, the Forest Avenue Family created and donated "Birthday Boxes" to Birthday in the spirit of paying it forward.

Polar Express Day

Forest Avenue students were greeted with music from "The Polar Express" as they entered the school building for the first annual "Polar Express Day." The Forest Avenue staff decorated the building with "Polar Express" themed decorations. Students and staff wore pajamas to school to celebrate the special occasion. The students and staff also enjoyed a reading of "The Polar Express," by Mrs. Acocella. After listening to the story, they watched the movie in their classrooms and enjoyed hot cocoa and cookies.

Earthquake Experiments

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Fourth-graders in Katie Saxer’s class at Forest Avenue Elementary School recently conducted an experiment to study what happens to the earth’s crust during an earthquake. The students used the scientific method – asking questions, constructing hypotheses, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions – to determine how the movement of tectonic plates impact fault lines, changing earth’s landforms.

Forest Avenue PTA Holiday Gathering

Forest Avenue students and their families had a wonderful time at the Forest Avenue Holiday Gathering sponsored by the PTA. Thank you, Forest Avenue PTA!


Two Seniors Make Scholarship Semifinals

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Seniors Eric Donohue and Daria DelMonico have been selected as semifinalists in the 2018 Coca-Cola Scholars Program.  

Based on their leadership skills, academic achievements and community service, the pair was chosen out of more than 150,000 applicants. 

The Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship is an achievement-based scholarship. Students are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities. One hundred and fifty Coca-Cola Scholars finalists are selected each year to receive this $20,000 scholarship.

Speech Snow Experiment

Forest Avenue fifth-grade students in Ms. Wilken’s class and fourth-grade students in Mr. Felice’s class made "speech snow in their classrooms with Ms. Bavolar, speech/language pathologist and their teachers. They learned about making a hypothesis, following the steps to a recipe, and using adjectives as they described the snow.

Fourth-Graders Hard at Work

Speech Snow Experiment

Forest Avenue fifth grade students in Ms. Wilken's class and fourth-grade students in Mr. Felice's class made "speech snow" in their classrooms with Ms. Bavolar (the school speech/language pathologist) and their teachers. They learned about making a hypothesis, following the steps to a recipe, and using adjectives as they described the "snow."

Kindness Really Rocks

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Sixth-graders from the Junior High School did their part in spreading kindness on Nov. 28. As a class, the students took a trip to see the movie “Wonder.” Upon their return, students created one-of-a-kind rocks with messages of inspiration and kindness. The students will bring their painted rocks home and spread their messages throughout the community.

Reading Goggles Rock

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First-graders at Tooker Avenue Elementary School have been busy reading Ezra Jack Keats books during their library classes. Tooker Avenue librarian Kathleen Murray read “Goggles” and discussed with the students some of the story themes, such as friendship and bullying. The students then created their own set of goggles. 

Student-Athlete Scores Top Honors

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Senior High School student-athlete and gymnast Grace Glennon was recently honored for her accomplishments at the Section XI Awards dinner on Nov. 15. Glennon received All-League Scholar-Athlete, All-County and All-State Qualifier awards. She was also the recipient of the Susan Bradley Memorial Scholarship, issued to a deserving athlete who emulates the characteristics of dedication, poise, self-discipline and enthusiasm in memory Susan Bradley, a former standout gymnast from Connetquot High School who excelled in the sport from 1973-1979.

Field Hockey Honors

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Eight varsity field hockey players were honored by the Suffolk County Field Hockey Coaches Association.
The district congratulates:
Erin Real – All Tournament
Jessica Smith – Unsung Hero
Juliana Radulski – All-Division
Irene Lactaoen, Danni Lozowsky, Emily Siefert – All-County Honorable Mention
Hannah Leddy – All-County Honorable Mention Goalkeeper
Lindsay Seifert – All-County

Holiday Crafts

Sixth-graders joined librarian Alice Robinson on Dec. 5 for some after-school holiday crafts.

Small Acts of Kindness Go a Long Way

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In recognition of World Kindness Day on Nov. 13, students in Eileen Moran’s English language arts class at the Junior High School worked together to help grant a wish. For his last Christmas wish, Jacob Thompson, a 9-year-old who has cancer, has been in the news asking for cards from all over the world. The students created cards and collected some penguin gear — his favorite animal — to ship to the hospital.   

VIDEO: Technology and FACS at the JHS


Check out all the hands-on happenings in technology and FACS classes at the JHS.

Filtered Bottle Fillers at the JHS

November Eagle Award Winners

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To receive an Eagle Award, students are nominated by a teacher for going above and beyond in one of the social emotional learning competencies. The district congratulates the November award winners (from left): Joseph Spina, Brianna Oliveri, Julia Gabrell, Emma Garcia, Kristina Agostinello, and Elvin Velasquez. Not pictured: Charles DeGennaro, Isaiah Meaner

Student-Athletes Set Sights on College Sports

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Five student-athletes were recently recognized for signing letters of intent to continue to play their sport in college next fall. 

The students recently gathered in the Board of Education boardroom, along with their families, coaches and administrators, to be formerly recognized. The district congratulates the following student-athletes: Emma Cantwell (lacrosse – LIU Post); Michael McMahon (lacrosse – Stony Brook University); Kayla Reese (lacrosse – Mercy College); Jessica Smith (lacrosse – Hofstra University); and Ashleigh Tortorice (lacrosse – Albright College). 

The Newly Renovated Eagle Hall

NHS Spearheads Hurricane Relief Efforts

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The National Honor Society has been raising money to help assist those affected by the hurricanes in the United States and Puerto Rico. Thanks to the support of students, faculty, clubs, sports teams, community members and organizations, the NHS raised $3,000. President Emerson Schaefer and secretary Alexandra Gaudioso spearheaded the hurricane relief fundraiser. NHS advisers Kathryn Mauro and Shannon Ofsharick facilitated the process with the student leaders.  

Hands-On Learning During STEM Family Night

Hands-On Learning During STEM Family Night photo

The Senior High School’s Math & Science Honor Society, National Technology Honor Society, Robotics Club and the Science Club presented the third-annual Family STEM Night on Nov. 8.

Students in grades K-8, along with their families, were invited to the STEM event to enjoy hands-on activities including games, experiments, mini-labs and robotics demonstrations. 

The Math & Science Honor Society ran science and math activities on the third floor of the high school. With close to 30 different stations, students had plenty from which to choose including activities like “Taste the Rainbow,” “Slime Time,” “Strawberry DNA” and “M&M Survival.” Brookhaven National Laboratory conducted a microscope activity and Mad Science performed dry ice experiments with small groups of students. “Be An Einstein” station let students decorate their own lab coats to wear for all their STEM activities. 

In the technology wing, the National Technology Honor Society and Robotics Club showed off their robots, 3-D printers and printing pens, and woodworking capabilities. In the lobby, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County had a small pool with marine creatures in touch tanks for the students. All of the proceeds from the evening are used toward student scholarships. 

Tooker Authors Share Veteran Stories

Tooker Authors Share Veteran Stories photo
Students in Cristina Carbonaro’s class at Tooker Avenue Elementary School have been reading and writing about veterans in November. They had a special visit from Valerie Pfundstein, author of “Veterans: Heroes In Our Neighborhood.” The students shared personal stories of veterans close to their own hearts with the author and chatted about her book. West Babylon students (from left) Dominick Gagnon, Gino Gargiulo, Sean Austin and Jaden Jusino with author Valerie Pfundstein.

Mrs. Holahan's students discussing books in their non-fiction reading groups.

Mrs. Amarando's math students recite math facts while practicing wall sits and jumping jacks

First-Graders Cutting Up Words

First-graders in Christina Delaney's class are exploring syllabication – learning and using multiple strategies to determine the number of syllables in 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 syllable words. In the beginning, the term “ syllable" was unknown to the students. By the end, the students were able to develop their own working definition of syllabication – they perceived it as "cutting up words" into pieces.

Forest Avenue's Fourth Grade Cartographers and Geologists

Fourth-grade students in Mrs. Saxer's class assumed the roles of cartographers and geologists as they used topographic maps to analyze and interpret data about landforms. They examined and discussed how to determine the elevation of various features of landforms based on contour lines. The students then used contour lines on the topographic maps to construct model landforms out of clay.

Forest Avenue's Hour of Code

Forest Avenue's Hour of Code takes place during Mrs. Francisco's Library Classes from November 27 - December 13 to ensure that ALL students have the opportunity to code for an hour. This global "Hour of Code" event occurs once a year to coincide with Computer Science Week (Dec. 4 -10). During this week, we recognize and honor the contributions of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).

First-Graders Head to the Polls

First-Graders Head to the Polls photo

First-graders in Lisa DeGennaro’s class at John. F. Kennedy Elementary School learned about the electoral process by holding their own election. The voters were informed about the candidates by reading “Duck for President,” “Grace for President” and “My Teacher for President.” Once the voters learned all about the candidates, they created campaign posters. They then stepped into the voting booth, presented their voter identification and cast their vote, electing Grace as the new president.

Students Pen Letters to Veterans

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Students in Lisa DeGennaro’s first-grade class at John F. Kennedy Elementary School wrote letters to veterans thanking them for their service and bravery. The letters are being delivered to the local American Legion Hall in West Babylon.

Animal Experts

Students in grades 2 and 3 in Kelly DeCarlo’s class at South Bay recently researched an animal of their choice. After learning all they could and becoming animal experts, the students are sharing their findings with their class.

Blue Star Status for SHS

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The Senior High School has been named a Blue Star School for its students’ performance on the 2016-2017 Working in Support of Education’s financial literacy certification test. West Babylon Senior High School is one of only 232 high schools in the nation to earn the distinction. 

To earn the Blue Star School distinction, a school must have achieved an 80 percent passing rate on the test and have either a majority of students on a given grade level take the test or have the students who took it achieve an average score of 85 percent or higher.

Blue Star Schools was honored at the National MoneyPOWER Financial Literacy Conference on Nov. 7 in New York City. 

Rotary Club’s Dictionary Project

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The third-graders at South Bay and John F. Kennedy elementary schools were recently gifted with dictionaries courtesy of the Babylon Rotary Club’s “Dictionary Project.” Students each received a dictionary/resource book to support their studies. They were also provided with a “tour” of their new books – one of the highlights of which was a look at the longest word in the English language that has 1,909 letters.  

Hands-On Learning with Google Expeditions

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Sixth-grade students at the Junior High School participated in a Google Expeditions AR pioneer program on Nov. 15. The Google technology allows objects to be projected into 3-D images and mapped out in the physical classroom. Students are able to walk around the classroom with phones attached to selfie sticks and explore the objects. They can get close up to an object to spot details, and step back to capture a full picture. 

Forest Avenue's Third Grade STEM Project

Third graders in Mrs. Massmann and Ms. Shaw's class participated in a STEM project this Halloween! Students were asked to create the tallest thing that they could by only using candy pumpkins and toothpicks. In groups of three, the students worked collaboratively, and persevered to accomplish the task. After all of their hard work, one group was able to create a tower that stood 22" tall! After completing the activity, the class held a discussion to see what methods worked best on the project, and how they were able to work together as a group. It was a fun learning experience for all.