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Middle School Students Learn About Beauty

Middle School Students Learn About Beauty photo

Eighth-grade students at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School participated in the Beautiful Me project, developed by the Hance Family Foundation.

The students, under the guidance of school social worker Amy Weissman, had an opportunity to honor the lives of three beautiful sisters, Allyson, Emma and Katie Hance, by participating in this self-esteem program that teaches students to understand who they are, to appreciate their own skills and qualities, and to understand that there is gratification in helping others. The students discussed alternate views of beauty and 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. 




Circles of Trust at Rhame Avenue

Circles of Trust at Rhame Avenue photo
Rhame Avenue students in Ms. Diana Collins and Ms. Kassie Tillem-Spero’s sixth-grade math class participated in a classroom Proactive Circle. The purpose of this activity is to build classroom and peer relationships, create a greater sense of community, build trust, listen to one another and to make group decisions. The students enjoyed listening to each other and learning a little bit more about their friends. 

Workshop Focuses on Empowering Students

Workshop Focuses on Empowering Students photo

East Rockaway’s English as a New Language department hosted a workshop for the English language learners in grades 9-12 on Feb. 2.

Osman Canales, director of Long Island Immigrant Student Advocates, led a powerful, interactive workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to educate and engage the district’s ENL and immigrant students. This was the first of a series of workshops that aim to empower the students to take action to strengthen and continue their education, as well as to become leaders in their school and community. 

Mock Trial Team Competes at Supreme Court

Mock Trial Team Competes at Supreme Court photo

The East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School Mock Trial team competed in the annual New York State High School Mock Trial Tournament, the nation’s largest, at the Nassau County Supreme Court.

Juniors Najeri Felton and Jonathan Gonzalez, and sophomores Timothy Neckles, Sharon Oosterwijk, Natalia Rogala and Anthony Romano participated in the trial competing against other schools. The team offered insightful and articulate testimony to support its cases. Seniors Kristina McDougal and Daniel O’Moore offered excellent testimony and provided their experience to their underclassmen teammates as they participated in their final Mock Trial tournament of their high school career. 

Although East Rockaway did not advance to the next round of the competition, it carries a very positive outlook as the team prepares for next year’s Mock Trial competition. The Mock Trial team is very proud of its participation and is led by advisers April Francis and Thomas Canale. 

 

Rhame Students Create Artwork for Black History Month

Rhame Students Create Artwork for Black History Month photo
Rhame Avenue fourth-graders in Mrs. Sarah Kane and Ms. Allison Gerbert’s class created a beautiful piece of artwork to represent various African-American heroes that made a positive impact on our country during the celebration of Black History Month in school. The banner was a collaborative project, with each child having an opportunity to color a portion of the work. When taped together, it depicted eight famous people to celebrate and honor during Black History Month. Students also created Thinking Maps based on what they learned about the individuals. 
 
 

Students Analyze Text in English

Students Analyze Text in English photo
Students Analyze Text in English photo 2
Students Analyze Text in English photo 3
Students in all English language art classes at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School are analyzing works that reflect the spirit of Black History Month, to honor the creators of powerful literature, poetry and nonfiction.

Ms. Katherine Curcio’s ELA 10 Honors classes studied “What’s Your Name, Girl?” by Maya Angelou. The class considered the following question, “If Viola represents one subculture, and our narrator represents another subculture, what conclusions might we draw about what is happening within the American culture at large during this time period?”  

Life-Sized Number Line Fun at Rhame Avenue

Life-Sized Number Line Fun at Rhame Avenue photo
Life-Sized Number Line Fun at Rhame Avenue photo 2
Third-graders in Gail Beyrer and Allison Gerbert's integrated co-teaching class at Rhame Avenue created a life-sized number line on which to plot fractions. Each student received one or two sticky notes with fractions of different denominators. They were then invited to help their classmates place them in the correct spot on the number line. At the end, the students drew conclusions about what they observed, noting that there were many ways to say one whole!

Reflections Winners Recognized by BOE

Reflections Winners Recognized by BOE photo
Reflections Winners Recognized by BOE photo 2
Reflections Winners Recognized by BOE photo 3
Reflections Winners Recognized by BOE photo 4

District students who participated in the 2017-18 New York State PTA Reflections program were recognized by the Board of Education and members of the administration at the most recent BOE meeting.

PTA Reflections is a nationally acclaimed student recognition program that encourages artistic creativity in the classroom and at home. Students of all grades and abilities are invited to participate and explore the arts. This year’s theme was “Within Reach.”

Congratulations to Centre Avenue School winners: first-graders Payton Conklin and Christopher Devine; second-grader Mya Monteleone, third-graders Atticus Gamache, Eileen Harvey and Paul Lynch; fifth-graders Cassidy Conklin, Kaitlyn Lewald and Grace Sommer; and sixth-grader Everett Gamache. 

Second-graders Dylan Colacino and Ethan Grill; fourth-graders Megan Acuti (two entries), Valerie Sirchia and Emily Valdebenito; and sixth-graders Ava LaVolpe, Sadie Rodriguez and Olivia Yagnisis were named winners at Rhame Avenue. 

A special congratulations to Rhame Avenue’s Megan Acuti, who made school history, with both her musical composition and literature entry moving on to the New York State-level of the competition. 

Members of the community and the board who served as judges of the competition were also thanked, as were Centre Avenue PTA treasurer Michelle Gamache and Rhame Avenue Reflections Chairperson Tara Alias, who coordinated the program for their respective schools. 

 

 

Rhame Avenue K-Kids Spread Love on Valentine’s Day

Rhame Avenue K-Kids Spread Love on Valentine’s Day photo

The Rhame Avenue K-Kids held a fundraiser for Bethany House, a nonprofit organization that supports women and children caught in the crisis of homelessness.

The K-Kids sold paper hearts for $1 and donated all proceeds to Bethany House. In addition, the East Rockaway Kiwanis Club donated money to buy supplies for the families living in the facility. Faculty advisers Sherina Lugo and Dawn McCabe, parent volunteers and a few K-Kids members visited the shelter to deliver the boxes of donations. During their visit, the K-Kids made a Valentine’s Day craft and decorated cookies with the children currently living at Bethany. The advisers said it was “a fulfilling way to spread love this Valentine’s Day!’

Centre Students Find Equivalent Fractions

Centre Students Find Equivalent Fractions photo

Centre Avenue fourth-graders worked with AIS teacher Katie Kuck to find equivalent fractions using different tools, such as Legos and dice. The fourth-graders compared smaller Legos to larger Legos in order to create new fractions that represented the same amount. They also rolled dice to determine different fractions, then multiplied or divided the numerators and denominators by the same number in order to find as many equivalent fractions as they could for their peers' fractions.

 

Superintendent's Letter to Families - Florida Tragedy

Attachments:

Rhame Students Look Back to the 1850s

Rhame Students Look Back to the 1850s photo

Rhame Avenue third-graders learned what it was like to go to school in the 1850s when Long Island Museum educator Jessica Pastore visited their school on Feb. 9.

The visit began with students viewing pictures of a one-room schoolhouse from the era and making comparisons to their current building. They learned that there wasn’t any electricity in 1850 and that boys and girls had separate entrances into school. They also had an opportunity to use dip pens and paper to write Spencerian Script, and slate pencils and slate boards to do arithmetic, as students in the 1850s would have done. 

According to teacher Heidi Kreit, the visit was a culminating activity to the students’ recent reading of the books “Schools Then and Now” and “A Fine, Fine School” in English language arts. The third-graders have also been studying comparing and contrasting in reading, learning cursive writing, and participated in written debates over whether cursive writing should still be taught in schools.

 

No One Eats Alone Day

No One Eats Alone Day photo

Students at Centre Avenue and Rhame Avenue schools joined more than 2,000 schools nationwide to celebrate National No One Eats Alone Day on Feb. 9.

During this student-led lunchtime event, students spoke to their classmates about the importance of inclusion and how they can make a difference in their school. They also organized and facilitated activities, including a pledge to include others each and every day. In addition, they encouraged schoolmates to sit with someone new. The K Kids Club and student council members teamed up along with student council teacher leaders and school social workers to facilitate this event.

This initiative was sponsored by Beyond Differences, an organization dedicated to helping teens and schools make social inclusion the new reality.

 

A New Twist to Rhame’s Morning Newscasts

A New Twist to Rhame’s Morning Newscasts photo
At the start of each school day, two student newscasters from Rhame Avenue share the weather, lunch selection, upcoming and daily events, and school-related announcements with the student body. 

Recently, a “Weekly Wednesday Book Review” segment was added and kicked off with Principal Erik Walter reading “I Like Being Me" by Judy Lalli to complement the school theme of kindness and caring. Mr. Walter encouraged all students in grades K-6 to submit book reviews for their chance to be featured on Newscasters.

Eighth-Graders Construct Roller Coasters, Learn Physics

Eighth-Graders Construct Roller Coasters, Learn Physics photo
Eighth-grade students in Kristina Imandt's and Patricia Refino's physical science classes at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School demonstrated Newton's three laws of motion by creating roller coasters. 

Students were asked to design and create a roller coaster that demonstrated all three laws of motion while also including at least one loop. They worked in groups to develop a model that would produce the greatest speed. The groups also honed team building skills while engaged in this highly immersive science, technology, engineering and math activity. 
 

Flight Night at Rhame Avenue

Flight Night at Rhame Avenue photo
Flight Night at Rhame Avenue photo 2

Rhame Avenue third- and fourth-graders were all smiles at the school’s annual Flight Night on Jan. 31. The students got to test their skills at making and flying different types of paper airplanes. It was a night of aerodynamic fun for everyone!

 

 

Students Get Fit with Inline Skating and CrossFit

Students Get Fit with Inline Skating and CrossFit  photo

East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School students in grades 7-12 are participating in lessons on inline skating and CrossFit training as part of their physical education classes.

Athletic Director David Barth said these physical education units provide students with knowledge of healthy activities outside of team sports that they can do throughout their life.

“Our teachers Karin Leary and Dan Vito are always looking for ways to keep classes interesting,” Barth said. These activities can not only be done at school, but at different venues in the community.”   

Students are also learning about the importance of eating healthy, nutrition and how to take their heart rate in class, with teachers encouraging them to partake in a healthy lifestyle. 

Centre Avenue Fifth-Graders Take the Court for Tournament

Centre Avenue Fifth-Graders Take the Court for Tournament Pic
Centre Avenue Fifth-Graders Take the Court for Tournament Pic 2
Centre Avenue Fifth-Graders Take the Court for Tournament Pic 3
Fifth-grade Centre Avenue students recently participated in a basketball tournament held during recess. 

More than half the grade signed up to participate, creating eight different teams. On Jan. 25, the Pistons played against the Thunder in the finals. It was tied for most of the game and then the Pistons made the final shot to win, 3-2. The winning team received a basketball T-shirt donated by the PTA. Thank you to physical education teacher Mr. Wayne Smyle for helping to run these tournaments.

Rhame Students Make Predictions

Rhame Students Make Predictions photo
Rhame Students Make Predictions photo 2
Rhame Students Make Predictions photo 3
Rhame Avenue School fifth-grade buddies made predictions with kindergartners about Groundhog Day. The students discussed if Punxsutawney Phil would see his shadow or not. They then created a graph of their predictions, which showed that most students wished for early spring, but Phil told them different. Six more weeks of winter! The buddies helped kindergartners draw themselves in each season as part of a Groundhog Day craft.

Everyone Deserves Respect at Centre Avenue

Everyone Deserves Respect at Centre Avenue photo
The Centre Avenue School community takes pride in their school’s mantra – “Everyone at Centre Avenue deserves respect.” 

The lunch monitors brainstormed ideas for activities that students could work on during indoor recess days. A group of students came together and decided to create the poster to show that everyone deserves respect. The group collaborated on the poster for the month of January and are so proud of their final product. This student-created poster will hang in the lunchroom to remind everyone that we all deserve respect.
 

Geometry Students Create Holograms Using Smartphones

Geometry Students Create Holograms Using Smartphones photo
Geometry Students Create Holograms Using Smartphones photo 2
East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School students in Frank Altamore’s, Mary Beth Palazzolo’s and Donna Smith’s geometry classes recently began a unit on similarity and 3-D geometry by turning their smartphones into a 3-D hologram. 

They students used their knowledge of constructions to construct an isosceles trapezoid, cut four of them out of transparency film and taped them together to form a truncated pyramid. When this figure was placed on a smartphone with a special video playing, the “hologram” appeared above the phone. 

Students were then given the assignment to use their knowledge of dilations to make a larger-scaled pyramid that could be used with the larger screen on their school tablets.      
 

Art Honors for Junior-Senior High Students

Art Honors for Junior-Senior High Students photo

Thirteen East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School art students won a total of 26 awards across seven categories at the 2018 Northeast Regional Scholastic Art Awards. The Northeast regional competition is administered by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers’ national office in New York City. Last year they received about 18,000 submissions, viewed by more than 50 judges, and nationally there were more than 330,000 entries. Congratulations to the following students:

Gold Keys:
Tessa Lark – Art Portfolio and Digital Art (honored for three separate entries) 
Kristina McDougal – Photography
Zachary Olewnicki – Art Portfolio and Photography
Emily Ramos – Digital Art
Katelyn Reddy – Digital Art
Grace Riordan – Digital Art

Silver Keys:
Caleigh Goldman – Photography (honored for two separate entries) 
Melissa Loyer – Art Portfolio
Andrew Machovec – Sculpture
Taylor Rampulla – Painting
Katelyn Reddy – Drawing and Illustration

Honorable Mentions:
Joanna Acampora – Art Portfolio
Gianna Campanaro – Drawing and Illustration
Marissela Gomez – Art Portfolio
Andrew Machovec – Art Portfolio and Sculpture (honored for two separate entries) 
Kristina McDougal – Mixed Media and Photography 
Emily Ramos – Drawing and Illustration

The students receiving a Gold Key will go on to compete in the national competition. National award winners will be announced in mid-March.



Rhame Students Find Their Place in the World

Rhame Students Find Their Place in the World photo

Second-graders at Rhame Avenue School have been learning about where they are located in their town, state, country and world, using different types of maps and an assortment of texts, including the book “Me on the Map,” written by Joan Sweeney.

As part of the learning process, students engaged in innovative and interactive Smart Board activities in which they had to label continents and oceans on a world map. Teachers also utilized Google Earth to provide students with maps and images to reinforce the social studies unit material. The classes recently participated in a culminating activity, creating their very own “Me on the Map” flip books with their peers. Students created pages with drawn pictures of themselves and their homes. They also had to identify images that represented their town, state, country and continent and add them to the corresponding pages identified by their teachers.   

 

Centre Avenue Celebrates Geo Bee Winner

Centre Avenue Celebrates Geo Bee Winner photo
Centre Avenue Celebrates Geo Bee Winner photo 2
Centre Avenue School held its annual National Geographic Bee on Jan. 26. The top two students in grades 5 and 6 competed by answering challenging world geography questions. Congratulations to all the students on a job well done. 

A special congratulations to sixth-grade Michael Mahoney for becoming the school’s Geography Bee champion, and sixth-grader Everett Gamache for being named runner-up. Michael will advance to the next round and have the opportunity to compete for a $50,000 college scholarship.
 

Superintendent Ruiz Named Nassau BOCES Education Partner

Superintendent Ruiz Named Nassau BOCES Education Partner photo
Superintendent of Schools Lisa Ruiz has been selected to receive the Nassau BOCES Education Partner award at the Nassau BOCES 12th Annual Education Partner Awards Gala on April 11.

The award pays tribute to outstanding community and business leaders, civil servants, government officials, nonprofit executives and volunteers, organizations, school administrators and staff, students, teachers and Nassau BOCES employees. 

Mrs. Ruiz came to East Rockaway in 2013, leading the district in the creation and implementation of a five-year strategic plan, a parent engagement framework and actions plans, as well a mentoring program. In addition, she has increased opportunities for at-risk students and for those interested in attending vocational programs; enhanced academic intervention services at the elementary and secondary levels; and increased courses, programs and extracurricular activities districtwide.    

In 2017, Mrs. Ruiz received the Friends of Education award from Phi Delta Kappa International at Stony Brook University. This award honors members of the educational community who exemplify the attributes of leadership, service, and research in their daily professional lives.

The entire school community congratulates Mrs. Ruiz on this prestigious honor.
 

Students Test Geographic Knowledge at Rhame Bee

Students Test Geographic Knowledge at Rhame Bee photo
Students Test Geographic Knowledge at Rhame Bee photo 2
Rhame Avenue fourth, fifth and sixth grades participated in the 2018 National Geographic Bee. Fourth-grader Xavier Jaramillo was named champion, and fourth-grader Jack Gamache was named runner-up. Xavier is now in the running to go to the state level and could win a $50,000 college scholarship from National Geographic.

Retirees Celebrated at BOE Meeting

Retirees Celebrated at BOE Meeting photo
Retirees Celebrated at BOE Meeting photo 2
District administrators and members of the Board of Education recognized retirees secretary Linda Jarmel and East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School library assistant Pamela Castellano on Jan. 23. 

Linda, a secretary in the district’s technology department, began her tenure in East Rockaway working in Rhame Avenue School’s main office. She ultimately moved to the district’s technology department in 2002. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Mona Hecht paid tribute to Linda, describing her as “thoughtful, conscientious and a valuable colleague,” while Superintendent of Schools Lisa Ruiz acknowledged her as “one of the superstars of the district.”

Pamela leaves the district after more than 26 years of service. She began as a classroom aide at Rhame Avenue School and most recently worked as a library assistant at the junior-senior high school. East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School Assistant Principal James DeTommaso described Pamela as “always courteous and smiling.”  

Superintendent Ruiz and members of the Board of Education expressed their gratitude to Linda and Pamela for their years of service and wished them a well-deserved and happy retirement. 

Sixth-Graders Get a Taste of Italian

Sixth-Graders Get a Taste of Italian photo
Centre Avenue sixth-graders were recently visited by East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School Italian teacher Mr. Frank Cuttitta. The meeting provided students with an opportunity to explore another culture and language. In the short time that Mr. Cuttitta had with the students, they were able to learn how to ask and answer several questions in Italian. According to teacher Dr. Christian Soto, the ability of students to learn another language and culture helps them begin to evaluate their own ways of thinking and how they view the world.
 

Centre Students Exchange Letters With Queens Students

Centre Students Exchange Letters With Queens Students photo
Centre Students Exchange Letters With Queens Students photo 2
Centre Avenue students in Caitlin Castellano’s ENL class are thrilled to be exchanging mail with their new pen pals who live in Queens. The students are learning about Queens and what makes life living in the city different from living in a suburban community.

The letter exchange began after Ms. Castellano connected with an ENL teacher from PS 330Q in Corona, Queens, through an online teaching forum. The pair thought it would be a great way for students to work on their reading and writing skills. Centre Avenue students have begun a persuasive writing unit and the ENL students are now writing a letter persuading their pen pals to read their favorite book. Later on in the year, they plan on incorporating technology skills, such as corresponding through email and then through video.

BOE Honors Essay Contest Winners

BOE Honors Essay Contest Winners photo
Winners of the Andrew Stern Memorial Essay Contest were honored by the Board of Education at its most recent meeting. 

Congratulations to East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School sophomore Ezequiel Espinal (high school category), eighth-grader Madeleine Prucha (middle school category) and Centre Avenue School sixth-grade student William Lewald (elementary school category), who shared their winning essays with those in attendance. 

District students are encouraged to participate in the annual contest, which remembers Andrew Stern, an East Rockaway graduate, who was killed during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. This year’s essay topic was “In the days and weeks following 9/11 we saw America come together as one nation. Lately, it seems like there has been a lot of negativity, and we are divided as a nation. What suggestions do you have to help recreate the unity our country experienced post-9/11?” 

“If you could read some of what these students were saying about what’s happening in the world today, what they see, what they hear from their parents and others around them…they have some really interesting suggestions to get us back to that place. To me, the most striking was so simple: ‘Just be nicer to each other,’” Andrew Stern’s sister Lisa Burch said of the essays.   

To read the students essays, click on the links below:
Ezequiel Espinal
Madeleine Prucha
William Lewald

Students Show Off Scientific Expertise at Annual Science Fair

Students Show Off Scientific Expertise at Annual Science Fair photo
Students Show Off Scientific Expertise at Annual Science Fair photo 2
Seventh- and eighth-graders at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School participated in the school’s annual Science Fair on Jan. 11. 

Each middle school student was required to research a topic and use the scientific method to test a hypothesis. Students then presented their projects in class. Finalists were selected and given the chance to present to a panel of science teachers. First-, second- and third-place winners in four different categories were then chosen. Every project was on display at the fair for all community members to see.  

Seventh-grader Clare Acuti was named this year’s winner of the prestigious James Spelman Memorial Award for exemplary demonstration of the scientific method. Congratulations to the following winning students:

Seventh-Grade Life Science
Clare Acuti (first-place)
Patrick McLaughlin (second-place)
Louis DeSano (third-place)

Seventh-Grade Physical Science
Shane Lonergan (first-place)
Luke Arciere (second-place)
Mackenzie Sackaris (third-place)

Eighth-Grade Physical Science
Matthew Lacey (first-place)
Katy Howard (second-place)
Felicia Oosterwijk (third-place)

Eighth-Grade Living Environment Accelerated
Sofia Valdebenito (first-place)
Emily McLaughlin (second-place)
Maddy Prucha (third-place)


 
  

Centre Kindergartners Learn Author’s Craft

Centre Kindergartners Learn Author’s Craft photo

Centre Avenue kindergarten students have been learning about author’s craft. Author’s craft is the technique writers use to make their writing interesting, which focuses on the author’s intentional use of language, story elements, style and structures to create an effect on the reader.

As part of their study, students have been examining works by Mo Willems. The kindergartners worked with a partner to look for examples of author’s craft in many different Mo Willems books. Then, as a class, they created a tree map listing all the examples they could find. The class loved learning about Mo Willems!



Rhame Students Visit Cradle of Aviation

Rhame Students Visit Cradle of Aviation photo
Rhame Avenue third-graders visited the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Jan. 11. Each class took part in a workshop on Forces and Motion, which is part of the science curriculum. 

Centre’s Student Council Visits Local Nursing Center

Centre’s Student Council Visits Local Nursing Center photo

The Centre Avenue Student Council visited the Lynbrook Restorative Therapy and Nursing center on Jan. 18. The students played bingo, made dream catchers and read books to the patients. Centre Avenue school social worker Dawn McCabe and Student Council advisers Danielle Schaetzle and Ashley Tener led the trip.



Schwarzman Named Coca-Cola Scholars Program Semifinalist

Schwarzman Named Coca-Cola Scholars Program Semifinalist photo
East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School senior Andrew Schwarzman was selected as a semifinalist in the 2018 Coca-Cola Scholars Program. 

Andrew is among 1,936 students who were selected from more than 90,000 applicants from across the country. He will continue on through the selection process in the hopes of being one of 150 Coca-Cola scholars to receive a $20,000 scholarship.

Semifinalists were honored for their exceptional leadership skills, academic abilities and community service. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides scholarship programs and lifelong enrichment opportunities in support of individuals who seek to make a difference in the world. After the semifinalist applications are reviewed by the organization’s Program Reading Committee, 250 semifinalists will advance as regional finalists, with 150 becoming Coca-Cola Scholars.
 

Seventh-Graders Take Part in Beautiful Me Program

Seventh-Graders Take Part in Beautiful Me Program photo
Seventh-Graders Take Part in Beautiful Me Program photo 2
Seventh-Graders Take Part in Beautiful Me Program photo 3
Seventh-Graders Take Part in Beautiful Me Program photo 4
Seventh-grade students at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School participated in the Beautiful Me project developed by the Hance Family Foundation.

The students had an opportunity to honor the lives of three beautiful sisters, Allyson, Emma and Katie Hance, by participating in a self-esteem program that teaches students to understand who they are, to appreciate their own skills and qualities, and to understand that there is gratification in helping others. The students discussed alternate views of beauty and 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. The school’s Beautiful Me program is facilitated by school social worker Amy Weissman. Eighth-grade students will have an opportunity to take part in the program in February. 
 

Centre Students Learn About Hot and Cold

Centre Students Learn About Hot and Cold photo

Centre Avenue students participated in a Hot and Cold assembly presented by a representative from the Franklin Institute on Jan. 12. During the assembly, students learned about the three states of matter, and watched a solid metal ball shrink and a rubber ball shatter when dipped in liquid nitrogen. This engaging learning opportunity was made possible thanks to the support of the school’s PTA.

Rhame Art Club Creates Bandanas for Animal Shelter

Rhame Art Club Creates Bandanas for Animal Shelter photo

Students in the Rhame Avenue Art Club just finished designing and creating bandanas for the dogs at the local Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter. Club members hope that these bandanas will show just how lovable these puppies can be and help get them adopted a little quicker. Students included messages like “Adopt Me,” “Pick Me,” and “I need a loving home” to tug at the heartstrings of those who visit the shelter.

Sixth-Graders at Centre Read ‘Bud, Not Buddy’

Sixth-Graders at Centre Read ‘Bud, Not Buddy’ photo
Centre Avenue sixth-graders embarked on a literary journey as they learned about the character Bud, in “Bud, Not Buddy.” 

Students were engaged in various tasks, including thinking maps, journal writing, playing jazz music, creating interactive models of the setting and created interview questions and responses based on the main character. Students used higher-level thinking skills to examine different character perspectives. They demonstrated comprehension of the story by actively involving themselves in group and whole-class discussions.

NHS Volunteers at Social Services Holiday Party

NHS Volunteers at Social Services Holiday Party photo
NHS Volunteers at Social Services Holiday Party photo 2
Juniors and seniors from the East Rockaway National Honor Society volunteered their time and talents at the Nassau County Department of Social Services’ 40th Annual Holiday Party for Children in Foster Care on Dec. 27. At the event, which took place at the Long Island Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, students ran a craft table for the children and proudly represented East Rockaway. 

VEX IQ State Qualifying Tournament at East Rockaway

VEX IQ State Qualifying Tournament at East Rockaway photo

East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School hosted the VEX IQ State Qualifying tournament on Dec. 9, for the second consecutive year.

More than 30 teams from 10 different school districts participated, including five teams from East Rockaway. The day was filled with spirited competition and learning.

Presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, the VEX IQ Challenge is a new STEM program for elementary and middle school students between ages 8-14. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, build a robot using the VEX IQ robotics platform to solve an engineering challenge presented in the form of a game. The teams work together to score points in teamwork matches and display their robots’ skills individually in driver-controlled and autonomous skills challenges.

In addition to building robots, the VEX IQ Challenge encourages students to actively learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics with a STEM-themed research project that consists of a written or media presentation.

 

Gingerbread Fun at Rhame Avenue

Rhame Avenue kindergarteners learned and read about gingerbread men prior to the holiday break.

Using a brace thinking map, students learned what ingredients were needed to bake a gingerbread man. They then baked a gingerbread man in the school’s oven. Later they learned… it had escaped! Where could he be? Students put signs up around the school. The gingerbread man was eventually found, under the desk of Principal Erik Walter.

The children also enjoyed reading many versions of “The Gingerbread Man.” After their reading, the students were challenged to design a bridge to go over the river that would help the gingerbread man escape from the Big Bad Wolf. Students worked together to plan, design and test out their bridges. They used many different materials and discussed which worked out best. 

 

Top Honors for Terrific Twenty

Top Honors for Terrific Twenty photo
East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School recently honored the school’s Terrific Twenty, all of whom earned Honors by Achievement in their four core content areas: English language arts, social studies, mathematics and science. Students earn Honors by Achievement recognition when their final average in the course is 85 percent or above. Congratulations to the following students:

Isabelle Anderson
Nolan Annarelli
Grace DelValle
Anthony DeSano
Brianna Halstead
Aveena Khan
Cassandra Koufos
Kylie Matthews
Emily McLaughlin
Kathryn McMahon
Jason Miller
Jack Mistretta
Thomas Moore
Madeleine Prucha
Matthew Pollackov
Sarah Riordan
Sydney Rodriguez
Raquel Rosen
Isabella Schaefer
Sofia Valdebenito

Centre Student Council Collects Toys

Centre Student Council Collects Toys photo
Centre Student Council Collects Toys photo 2
Centre Avenue’s Student Council organized a toy drive for the Little Saint Nick Foundation in December. The group made posters and spread the word to help children in need enjoy their Christmas. 
 

Centre Students Snuggle Up With a Good Book

Centre Students Snuggle Up With a Good Book photo

Centre Avenue’s Reading Action Team members and teachers ToniAnn Donald and Jeannine Patane coordinated a schoolwide reading activity called “Snuggle Up With a Good Book” on Dec. 22.

The event paired students in upper grades with younger students to read together. Students wore pajamas, brought in stuffed animals and enjoyed reading a book selected by the younger student. According to Ms. Donald, the activity helped to create a partnership between the students and allowed the younger students to experience the fluency of the older readers. It also reminded the children that reading could be fun!   

 

Rhame Students Build STEAM Snowmen

Rhame Students Build STEAM Snowmen pic

Rhame Avenue first-graders in Deborah Ferrato’s and Eileen Hiller’s classes participated in a STEAM snowman-building contest before the holiday break.

Prior to the lesson, the students listened to several snowman stories. They then were challenged to build the tallest snowman they could make in 30 minutes using small and large marshmallows and toothpicks. Before they began building, students used paper and a pencil to create a snowman design, then worked in groups to plan a team design. 

After the allotted time elapsed, students reflected on what worked and what didn’t in their construction. They then wrote a creative piece about their snowman’s adventures. According to Ms. Ferrato, the activity helped students develop critical thinking and engineering skills. 



 

Who-Ville Comes to Centre Avenue

Who-Ville Comes to Centre Avenue

Centre Avenue first-graders celebrated author Dr. Seuss by participating in a Who-Ville Day on Dec. 20. Students dressed up as citizens of Who-Ville. They also took part in math games, sentence scrambles, persuasive writing and an adjective hunt, using one of Dr. Seuss’ most famous books, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Senior Chorus Performs at Radio City

Senior Chorus Performs at Radio City photo
East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School’s Senior Chorus performed as the opening act for the Christmas Spectacular Show starring the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall on Dec. 20. 

The group sang “Silent Night” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in front of an audience of more than 4,000 from around the world. The East Rockaway community came out in full support with over 120 family members in attendance. The student-singers were able to watch the full show after their performance and enjoyed seeing the world-class Rockettes perform.  

Rhame Third-Graders Protect Their Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men Pic
Gingerbread Men Pic 2
Gingerbread Men Pic
Third-graders in Mrs. Heidi Kreit and in Mrs. Gail Beyrer's class used STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) designs with a holiday twist. The students designed structures to protect their gingerbread man from the hungry fox. 

Each group had 30 marshmallows and 30 toothpicks. The goal was to design a structure that would prevent an adult hand from pulling out the gingerbread man.
 

Rhame Students Learn About Hanukkah

Rhame Students Learn About Hanukkah photo

Rhame Avenue kindergartners celebrated and learned about Hanukkah in December. The students practiced their addition and subtraction skills while playing the Dreidel game. They also read “Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat: A Chanukah Story” by Naomi Howland and worked together to make the delicious treats.



East Rockaway Honors Joe Lores

East Rockaway Honors Joe Lores

East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School teacher Joe Lores was honored for his 34 years of service as a basketball coach prior to a boys varsity basketball game  against Mineola on Dec. 16.

More than 50 former players returned for the event, with many sharing their memories of Mr. Lores. Town of Hempstead Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, as well as the Village of East Rockaway, presented Mr. Lores with citations to honor him for his service.  

The school hosted a holiday toy drive to benefit Gregg’s Wings during the event. The collected toys were distributed to children at NYU Winthrop Hospital’s Cancer Center for Kids, NYU Winthrop’s pediatric unit and more.  

East Rockaway Names New Athletic Director

Barth
David Barth, RAA was appointed as the new athletic director for East Rockaway School District during a special meeting of the Board of Education on June 20.
    
Barth, a Northport resident, comes to East Rockaway after serving at Friends Academy in Locust Valley for 12 years. While at Friends Academy, he taught physical education for students in grades K-12 and health to students in grades K-5. In addition to teaching, he served as an administrative intern since 2014, supervising the athletic facility and various athletic events. Other duties included conducting interviews for potential teacher candidates, assisting with budget preparation for soccer and lacrosse programs, and conducting formal and informal teacher observations.

Barth also has extensive coaching experience, serving as the boys varsity soccer coach at Freeport High School, boys eighth-grade basketball coach at Manhasset Middle School and boys lacrosse coach at Smithtown Middle School. His coaching tenure continued at Friends Academy, where he held assistant and head coach positions for multiple sports.
    
His educational background includes a Master of Science in educational leadership and administration from the College of St. Rose, a Master of Arts in liberal studies from Stony Brook University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in education/physical education from SUNY Cortland. He is a Registered Athletic Administrator and holds the following New York State certifications: School District Leader, School Building Leader, Health Education and Physical Education K-12. He also holds certifications in several other areas.  

“I am very excited to join the East Rockaway School District,” Barth said. “I have already met many great students, parents, teachers and community members, who have given me insight into this wonderful community. My goal is to continue to build on the strong foundation that has been established by former Athletic Director Dom Vulpis, and to uphold the tremendous reputation that East Rockaway has throughout the county. I also look forward to working with all stakeholders in delivering quality home and career, health education and physical education curriculums, while enhancing our athletic programs in an effort to positively impact our students’ lives.”


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