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‘The Addict’s Diary’ Founder Speaks to Students


Junior-Senior High School students from ninth-12th grade heard from recovery speaker Kevin Alter during a student assembly program. Alter shared his story with students about his struggle with addiction. Now in recovery, Alter is the founder of “The Addict’s Diary” and works to help others who are struggling with addiction.

The purpose of the assembly was to give students insight on the negatives of drug use and provide them with an outlet to seek help if they or if they know of someone being faced with the same struggles.

Board/Budget Work Session Notice - February 26, 2019


The Teen Formula – March 6

The Teen Formula

Click here for more information on this important upcoming workshop.

To receive a copy of the book, click here to complete this form by February 6, 2019.

Showcasing Knowledge in Hands-on Activity


Second-grade students of Ms. Maryann Raffaniello’s, Ms. Erin Kennedy’s and Ms. Marissa Diamond’s classes at Rhame Avenue wrapped up their social studies/geography unit of study by taking on the world. Through an exciting hands-on activity, they named and colored each continent and then glued them onto a blue paper plate that signified the globe.

The project allowed students to showcase their knowledge of identifying continents and oceans by name and then arranged them as they are seen on the world map. Students also worked together in assisting one another throughout the project. 

Ms. Raffaniello said that technology was incorporated into teaching the unit to students, which included student friendly YouTube videos, BrainPOP, PNW BOCES websites and more.

VIDEO: Facilities Meeting Jan. 29, 2019

Click here to watch the meeting video

We Rock Awards

We Rock Awards photo
The Middle School team at East Rockaway Junior/Senior High School introduced the school’s first-ever recipients of the We Rock Awards. Students are selected for this award based on their demonstration of the characteristics of wisdom, empathy, respect, optimism, compassion and kindness. At a recent assembly with their grade-level peers, Ms. Terranova described the award criteria, announced the student winners and distributed certificates.

Successful Clothing Drive

drive pic
The East Rockaway High School Key Club partnered with the East Rockaway Kiwanis Club during the month of January 2019 to collect winter clothing for people in need. The drive was very successful, students and Kiwanians successfully collected fourteen large bags of clothing. Pictured from left to right are Key Club officers Matt Miller, Jesse Daderian and Carmela Pollizzi. The donations were gratefully accepted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island.

Kindness Kick-Off

As part of “Kindness Week” at Rhame Avenue, Omega-Man visited students and taught them how to “Be a Dream-Maker” and not a “Dream Breaker.” As part of this engaging, superhero themed assembly, Omega-Man taught the children many different ways to stand up for what they believe in while making sure to always remain positive and show respect for others. A special thanks to the East Rockaway Education Foundation for their generous grant that brought this amazing program to our school.

Chinese New Year

Kindergartners at Centre Avenue celebrated the Chinese New Year with a dragon parade, lion masks and paper lanterns. This Lunar New Year, which officially began on Feb. 5, is the year of the pig.

Concert Conductors

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Members of the Rhame Concert Band used tutorials from the San Francisco Symphony Kids website to harness their conducting skills. Students explored conducting gestures in various tempos, styles, and time signatures. Using this knowledge, band members continue to conduct in morning rehearsals, and have been improving the musicality behind their performances.

Investigating Nature of Roots

Investigating Nature of Roots
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Investigating Nature of Roots3
Investigating Nature of Roots4
Students in Mrs. Deanna Mignella's Algebra 2 class investigated the nature of the roots of quadratic equations through a group activity. Students worked together to explore quadratic functions graphically and algebraically. They examined the discriminant of the quadratic formula and how it helps to determine the nature of the roots. Then, they analyzed and discussed the connections within their groups.

Facilities Forum Presentation

The district’s Facilities Committee presented to the Board of Education and community last night its recommendations for potential projects to include in a future bond referendum. The forum gave attendees a chance to give feedback on the projects presented. If you missed last night’s Facilities Forum, you can review the entire presentation through the “Facilities Updates and Feedback” button below. Please note: We are in the process of establishing a feedback form and plan to have it available through that same link in the coming days. Feedback from the entire community is welcomed and encouraged on these projects that will affect the future of East Rockaway schools.

Flight Night at Rhame

Flight Night at Rhame photo
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Paper airplanes were flying in the Rhame Avenue gymnasium, as third- and fourth-grade students manufactured paper airplanes for the school’s flight night event. Each student added their own unique style to their design before testing them out. After that, they selected the best one to use in the competition. Students shot their airplanes through hoops and saw which planes flew the straightest. Winners received medals for different races and each student left with a new model plane.

Program Builds Self-Esteem for Girls

Program Builds Self-Esteem for Girls photo

Seventh- and eighth-grade students at the Junior-Senior High School participated in “Beautiful Me,” a program that provides a safe space for females to explore, share and improve their self-esteem through intricate and expertly taught activities.

Facilitated by school social worker Ms. Amy Weissman, this self-esteem program was developed by the Hance Family Foundation and honors the lives of three beautiful sisters: Emma, Allyson and Katie Hance. The program teaches students to understand who they are, appreciate their own skills and qualities, and understand the significance in helping others. 

The students discussed alternate views of beauty, distorted views of beauty from the media and learned how to respect themselves and develop healthy relationships. They also engaged in activities that focused on self-esteem, values, problem-solving and positive motivation. 

In addition, students formed groups and were provided with a compliment box, construction paper and markers and were encouraged to identify and write a meaningful, genuine and honest compliment for each group member. The girls shared their compliments with each other and, at the end of the session, they received a three heart-shaped necklace from Jackie Hance of the Hance Family Foundation.  

K Kids Clean up the School

K Kids Clean up the School photo

Rhame Avenue K Kids club members banded together to help clean the cafeteria during their lunch time. Students wore rubber gloves to throw garbage away, wipe down tables and sweep the floor. K kids is a community service club that effectively uses their time to volunteer and give back to the school.


Building Snowmen with Google Slides

Students in Mrs. Patane’s third-grade class at Centre Avenue School were introduced to a fun and educational activity using Chromebooks. Under the guidance of Mr. Araoz, Director of Technology, students created digital "snow people" through Google Slides, which is one of the most versatile applications in Google G Suite for Education. 

This was an excellent way for students to become familiar with the keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste. Crafting these skills are beneficial to students since they can be used across multiple subject areas and applications. The activity provided students with an opportunity to create digital content while working on their writing skills.

Student Graduates Early to Serve Country

The district Board of Education kicked off its January board meeting with high school senior Tariq Chavis leading the room in the Pledge of Allegiance. To his surprise, after the pledge, district administrators and board members honored Chavis, as he has completed all of his high school level requirements a semester early and will be graduating this month to enlist in the U.S. Army.

During his time at the Junior-Senior High School, he attended Nassau BOCES Joseph M. Barry Career & Technical Education Center to study criminal justice, served as co-captain of the football team, played lacrosse, participated on the cheer competition in 12th grade as a back spot, participated in Rock Rivalry and participated in the Mock Trial Club. Chavis was also a member of the Nassau County Police Explorers for two years and through the program participated in a number of community service activities. 

Based on his ASVAB score, Chavis had a plethora of jobs to choose from and has selected military police. While serving, Chavis plans on pursuing a college degree in criminal justice.

The district presented Chavis with his diploma, along with a graduation cap and tassel.

Superintendent of Schools Lisa Ruiz congratulated Chavis on behalf of the district and board members. “We are very proud of you. We wish you much success and our gratitude as you enlist in the U.S. Army to serve our country.”

State Mentoring Program

Junior-Senior High School students joined community mentors to participate in an after school one-to-one mentoring experience for the re-launch of the New York State Mentoring Program. Originally founded by Matilda Cuomo, the experience included several community volunteer mentors, such as a mechanical engineer for the MTA, a finance representative for a local hospital, a lawyer/probation officer, as well as multiple retired school staff including our very own former high school administrator, Mr. Jerry Honig!

GeoBee Winners

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Fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students at Rhame Avenue and Centre Avenue schools recently participated in the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee. 

For the second year in a row, Rhame fifth-grader Xavier Jaramillo was named champion, and Rhame sixth-grader Saffana Aibani was named runner-up. 

At Centre, fifth-grader Daniel Stebner won first place, with fourth-grader Victoria Vargas winning second place and sixth-grader Gabriella Schaefer finishing at third.

The school-level competition is the first round in the annual National Geographic GeoBee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world. Questions cover not only geography, but also cultures, physical features, history and earth science.

Jaramillo and Stebner will now take an online qualifying test; up to 100 of the top test scorers in each state then become eligible to compete in their state GeoBee. The winners of the state GeoBees will receive an all-expense-paid trip in May to the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the GeoBee national championship. They will be competing for cash prizes, a $50,000 college scholarship and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad Expedition trip to the Galapagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavor II.   

The district wishes both students the best of luck in the competition.

Board Honors Memorial Essay Winners

Board Honors Memorial Essay Winners photo
The Board of Education honored the winners of this year’s Andrew Stern Memorial Essay Contest at its January board meeting. 

East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School freshman Madeleine Prucha (high school category), seventh-grader Frank Passanisi (middle school category) and Centre Avenue School sixth-grade student Kylie Curtis (elementary school category) were chosen from a pool of 800 student responses.

This annual contest honors East Rockaway graduate Andrew Stern, who was killed during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The contest is run by members of the Stern family, and this year’s essay topic encouraged students to think about how people on Sept. 11, 2001 had to face their fears, and then talk about a time in their life when they had to face a fear and how they overcame that fear.

“Some of them were really tough to read and some were also really heartwarming, like our three essay winners this year,” Andrew Stern’s sister Lisa Burch said. “We selected the three essay winners this year because each one clearly wrote about what they were afraid of, whether it was the water or a failure or an injury, and they told us how they tackled that fear and how they persevered afterwards.”

Before presenting the winners with a certificate and a check, the Stern family invited each student to share their winning essays with those in attendance. 

Superintendent of Schools Lisa Ruiz thanked the Stern family for offering this experience to the students. “This year’s topic was very moving and gave all of our students an opportunity to explore their fears and the depths of themselves so thank you again.”

Tarsia Jigsaw Puzzle Activity

Tenth- and eleventh-grade students in Mrs. Mignella's Algebra 2 classes worked in groups to complete tarsia jigsaw puzzles. This activity promotes group work and discussion and give students the opportunity to work together with rational expressions. The students practiced simplifying, multiplying, and dividing rational expressions. Mrs. Mignella created the puzzles so that the rational expressions provided different levels of difficulty. The students worked as a team to help each other perform the mathematical operations and find the solutions.  

Students Set Academic Goals

Students Set Academic Goals photo
Seventh- and eighth-grade students at the Junior-Senior High School spent time during their advisory period working with Guidance Counselor Mr. O’Driscoll on setting goals. Students logged into their Infinite Campus portal accounts and reviewed their current grades in each of their classes. With that, they set academic goals for the latter part of the quarter and developed steps they planned to take to achieve these goals. Some of the strategy’s students developed included regular attendance at extra help, increased participation in class, or committing to studying for a specific amount of time each day.

VIDEO: Students Flourish in Eureka Math


Students Work Together in Physics

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Junior-Senior High School students are getting hands-on and teaming up to solve challenges in physics classes. In Regents Physics class, students used a simple pendulum apparatus to come to the conclusion that the mass of a pendulum bob does not influence the period. Meanwhile, students in AP Physics 1 were assigned a part II problem to complete on a piece of poster paper. After the problems were completed, they participated in a gallery walk to check their work with the ‘experts’ on the problem.

Properties of Matter Hands-on Experiment

matter image

Ms. Raffaniello's second-grade class at Rhame Avenue School have been learning about properties of matter by engaging in a hands-on science experiment, as part of the district's new Science 21 program. For the experiment, students constructed a bridge that would be able to support 21 plastic bears for sixty seconds. The students used their knowledge on properties of matter to decide what would be the best materials to use when constructing their bridge. They enjoyed working collaboratively in their lab groups and supported each other through trial and error.

Gaining Insight in Field of Architecture

Gaining Insight in Field of Architecture  photo
Centre Avenue students in Ms. Dowling's math class had an opportunity to meet with Emily Nunez, a parent and architect. Mrs. Nunez shared interesting ideas about the field of architecture and revealed her day-to-day role and responsibilities. Students also demonstrated their architectural skills by creating a blue print design of their dream dorm room, while practicing plotting rational numbers on a coordinate plane. 

Students to Continue Athletics at Collegiate Level

Students to Continue Athletics at Collegiate Level photo
The district is proud to announce that two Junior-Senior High School athletes signed their national letters of intent to continue their athletic career next fall at the college of their choice. Kailey Hyland will be attending Wilmington University to play soccer and Emily Chelius will be attending SUNY Fredonia to play softball. The district congratulates both students and wishes them a successful journey at the collegiate level.

“As a result of their hard work in the classroom and on the athletic field, both Kailey and Emily will continue their academic and athletic careers for the next four years,” said David Barth, director of athletics. “We commend them for their energy and commitment they have consistently demonstrated and the dedication they have to our school community.”

Spreading Joy to Local Nursing Center

Spreading Joy to Local Nursing Center photo
Centre school’s Student Council representatives recently took a trip to visit the residents at Lynbrook Restorative Therapy and Nursing Center. 

With faculty advisers Danielle Schaetzle and Ashley Tener, and social worker Dawn McCabe leading the way, students enjoyed reading books, playing bingo games and a trivia game with the patients. They also crafted cards and handed them out to the residents to bring smiles to their faces. 

Students Turned Paleontologists

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Centre school’s fifth-grade students in Mrs. Ranieri’s class acted as paleontologists, while finishing their science unit on fossils. For this unit, students learned how fossils help interpret the Earth’s history and how they are like today’s living things. 

Students worked together throughout the investigation, observing different fossils and developing interesting theories about how each fossil formed and where they came from. They also compared fossils to living things and noted ways that the organisms changed over time.

Students Move to the Top in Science Fair

Students Move to the Top in Science Fair photo
Twelve students were the reigning winners of the Junior-Senior High School’s middle school science fair, after conducting an intensive research project and then showcasing their findings. These 12 winners earned a spot to represent the school by participating in the Long Island Science Congress in April.

For the competition, all seventh- and eighth-grade students worked in their science class to identify a topic of interest to research. They completed background research in class, developed a research question and then designed an experiment to be completed on their own. They collect their data and synthesized a brief report using tri-boards to share their projects and highlight the different components of their scientific research. 

After their in-class presentations, students were selected by the classroom teacher to move onto the second round of judging, which took place in school the day of the fair. Students that advanced to the second round presented their project to a series of judges from the science department, who scored their work against a standard rubric.

The top three winners were awarded first, second, and third place in the four different categories: seventh-grade Life Science, seventh-grade Physical Science, eighth-grade Physical Science, and eighth-grade Living Environment Accelerated. 

Analyzing Mexican-American War

Analyzing Mexican-American War photo
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Students in Mr. Tesoriero's 11th grade US History classes spent several days researching the causes of the Mexican-American War. With that, they analyzed speeches by President Polk, Representative Giddings, Sam Houston, and many others. Students questioned the annexation of Texas and explored significant events, including the Alamo. In addition, students looked at various perspectives to determine whether the United States should have gone to war with Mexico, and if it was a "just" war or fought for ulterior motives. Students then split up into teams and fiercely debated this topic in front of the class.

Attention All ERHS Families

Focus on Careers Week is scheduled for Feb. 11th – Feb. 15th

If you are interested or know someone that would be interested in speaking with our students in small, in-class presentations about how you discovered your career and the steps you took to get there, please reach out to Ms. Terranova ( or Mr. Rosenberg ( by Friday, Jan. 25th.

We are looking to include a diverse set of career paths/presenters this year to expose our students to as many opportunities as possible.

Tobacco and E-Cigarettes Infographic


Hour of Code

Hour of Code photo

Centre Avenue School's fifth-grade students in Mrs. Donald's class participated in The Hour of Code, under the guidance of Director of Technology Mr. Araoz. The students were first introduced to through the district’s STEAM program. The students enjoyed learning about new activities on, with "Dance Party" as the class favorite.

Students Dissect Sheep Brains

Students Dissect Sheep Brains photo
Mrs. Pietrantonio’s ninth-and tenth-grade Living Environment class were hands-on during their lesson about the nervous system, as they dissected sheep brains.

Spreading Holiday Cheer

The Rhame Avenue Student Council spread holiday cheer while visiting the Atria Tanglewood. The students sang holiday songs for the residents and talked with some of them as well. Both students and residents had a wonderful time. 

Sharpening Skills with Quizlet

Junior-Senior High School students of Mr. Cracolici's classes are sharpening their skills using quizlet. Through the web-based study application, students create dialogues in Italian and sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes” in Spanish.

Skills & Achievement Weekly Update

Click here for more information

Volunteering for Foster Children

Volunteering for Foster Children
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Members of the Junior-Senior High School’s National Honor Society volunteered their talent and time at the Nassau County Department of Social Services’ 41st annual Holiday Party for Children in Foster Care. 

The juniors and seniors ran a craft table for the children and represented East Rockaway proudly. The event took place at the Long Island Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. 

Gingerbread Man STEAM Challenge

Gingerbread Man STEAM Challenge

Ms. Gerbert's kindergarten, first and second grade class at Rhame read many different versions of the Gingerbread Man throughout December 2018, which led to a STEAM challenge.

Students brainstormed solutions to get the Gingerbread Man across the river safely to protect him from the fox. These solutions included having the Gingerbread Man take a different route, hop on a boat or build a bridge. For the STEAM challenge, students worked together to build a bridge for the Gingerbread Man to avoid the fox.

In addition, Mrs. Rosenkrantz helped students enrich their language, where students were encouraged to communicate what they were doing using positional and directional words. Pragmatic language skills were incorporated by encouraging students to work together when discussing their ideas and team responsibilities. After students successfully created a bridge out of interlocking cubes, they were once again challenged to build one with pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks. A fun learning experience and great time was had by all!

Guarding Gingerbread Man Using STEM

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Third-grade students at Rhame designed a hiding place for the gingerbread man during a STEM activity. Students were given a task to prevent the fox from getting to the gingerbread man by using marshmallows and toothpicks as their building materials. 

The activity was a culmination of a month-long integrative unit, where students read different versions of the classic fairytale and wrote their own creative narratives based on the original. In addition, they also learned about the history of gingerbread cookies. 

The groups had fun and learned that working as a team would help them become successful.

Grinch Day introduces fun learning

Grinch Day introduces fun learning
First-graders at Centre school were all smiles during their Grinch Day celebration, as students engaged in Grinch inspired assignments that initiated teamwork and hands-on activities.

This included solving problems in their Grinch math book, practicing subtraction facts while playing a Grinch board game, learning about cause and effect through a science experiment, and using hand lenses to search for adjectives. Students completed the fun day of learning with a writing craft activity.

VEX IQ Tournament

VEX IQ Tournament photo

The competition was fierce at the Junior-Senior High School, as the school hosted the VEX IQ Challenge Next Level Middle School Qualifying Tournament on Dec. 8.

The competition consisted of 42 teams from across the Southern New York Region, including four teams from East Rockaway Junior High School, Centre Avenue and Rhame Avenue elementary schools. A total of 26 East Rockaway students participated in the tournament. The district’s top team, which included students Nicholas Alter, Andrew Calise, Jordan Lu, John O'Hanlon, Louis Perri and Jorge Wayar, placed seventh in qualifications and seventh in the Robot Skills Challenge.

Congratulations to all the teams that competed and to Robotics Club Advisors Nick Cimorelli, Michelle Healy and Hugh Howard for hosting one of the largest qualifying events in the region.  

Experiencing 19th Century Writing

Experiencing 19th Century Writing photo

Ms. Gail Beyrer’s and Ms. Heidi Kreit’s third-grade student classes at Rhame Avenue traded keyboards for quill pens during a visit from a member at the Long Island Museum.

Jessica Pastore, museum educator, took students back to the 19th century through visual and hands-on learning experiences. Students analyzed photographs of a 19th-century schoolhouse setting and compared it to what is current today.

With that, third-graders tried their hand at 19th-century writing techniques by jotting down arithmetic problems on a slate board with chalk. After that, students rolled up their sleeves and wrote in cursive using ink and quill pens, while attempting not to smudge.

Spreading Holiday Cheer to Hospital

Spreading Holiday Cheer to Hospital photo
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Spreading Holiday Cheer to Hospital photo 4
Kiwanis Kids and Student Council clubs at both Rhame Avenue and Centre Avenue elementary schools brought holiday cheer to Nassau University Medical Center. 

After hosting a monthlong toy drive, club members visited the center to donate toys to its patients. Students were assisted by their parents, faculty advisers and teachers, including Danielle Schaetzle, Dawn McCabe, Julia Garvey, Sherina Lugo and Rayana Angelillo.

They finished the trip with a holiday singalong in the lobby of the hospital. Toys were purchased through a generous donation from the East Rockaway Kiwanis Club.

Drawing Conclusions

Drawing Conclusions photo

Centre Avenue second-grade students in Mrs. Rottkamp’s class learned about drawing conclusions. They used the clues and staff interviews to determine who had their class pet, Fluffy. It turns out Fluffy was at school with Mrs. Rottkamp the whole time!

Inclement Weather Delayed Opening, Cancellation of Afterschool/Evening Events and School Closing Procedures

This serves to clarify the East Rockaway School District’s procedures for inclement weather.  On inclement weather days, the district will make every effort to make a decision on whether to delay opening or close school by 6:00 A.M.  The District will implement a delayed school opening schedule on days of inclement weather. A delayed opening schedule offers the district additional time to clear and sand all district walkways, driveways and parking lots for the safe entry of our students and staff.  The delayed opening will also provide adequate time for students and staff to arrive safely to their buildings. When school must be closed or delayed due to weather conditions, announcements will be made to that effect via our Blackboard Connect communications system.  Please make sure that the parent portal has your most up to date contact information.  Notifications will also be posted on our website, district app and over the following websites, television and radio stations:

News 12 Long Island
WALK 97.5 FM

When weather conditions warrant that afterschool and evening activities be cancelled, the District’s SCOPE Child Care program will remain open in both elementary schools, Centre Avenue School and Rhame Avenue School.  

However, depending on the severity of the weather, SCOPE may send a message to all parents requesting that their child/children be picked up as early as possible but will assure them that they will remain open and students will be supervised until they are picked up.

In the event of a delayed opening, the following schedule will be in effect:

Jr./Sr. High School classes begin at 10:00 AM.    Students should not arrive prior to 9:40
Rhame Avenue and Centre Avenue Elementary School classes begin at 10:15 AM.    Students should not arrive prior to 9:55.

If you have any questions regarding the delayed opening process, please call your building principal. 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Private and Parochial School Transportation Notice - 2019-2020 School Year


Students Selected for Prestigious Award

Students Selected for Prestigious Award
The district extends its congratulations to Junior-Senior High School seniors Laura Millar and Edward McCann IV on their outstanding Physical Education Awards from the Nassau Zone of New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. 

Nassau Zone selects one male and one female who demonstrate New York State learning standards for Health and Physical Education. These NYS standards include living a physically active lifestyle, high level of fitness during testing, and exceptional achievement within physical education class. These two students have also shown tremendous leadership, sportsmanship, character and lifelong learning throughout their careers at East Rockaway.

Facilities Committee

Click here to access the Facilities Committee page