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BOE Recognizes Winter Teams, Athletes Coaches

BOE Recognizes Winter Teams, Athletes Coaches photo

The district’s Board of Education recognized Junior-Senior High School’s winter athletic teams, student athletes and coaches at their most recent meeting.

With a successful winter season, the district honored and congratulated the varsity cheerleading and girls varsity basketball teams for each earning the distinction as New York State Scholar-Athlete Team. The prestigious state award is presented to teams who cumulatively achieved a 90 percent grade point average or better during the competing season.

Individual athletes were also recognized for earning the distinction of being named New York State Scholar-Athlete, which is earned by student athletes who maintain a minimum of 90 percent GPA during the season. This includes Brooke DeGiulio and Juliet McCarthy for girls varsity basketball, Chris Levins for boys varsity basketball, Sharon Oosterwijk for girls varsity cheerleading, and Hunter Vertuccio for boys basketball. DeGiulio was also honored for scoring 1,085 points in her high school career. 

“These individual athletes were able to achieve excellence in both the classroom and on the court or on the mat,” David Barth, district director of athletics, physical education, health, family and consumer science, said. “Achieving one of these honors is an accomplishment all to itself. However, achieving both, truly represents the excellence that we as an athletic department and district continue to achieve.”

In addition, the board also highlighted the accomplishments and dedication of two coaches. Varsity boys basketball coach Joe Lores was honored for his recent induction into the Basketball Coaches Association of New York Hall of Fame, and girls basketball coach Karin Leary, who is retiring, was recognized for her 19 years of dedication to the program.



Tree Blossoms for Poetry Month

Tree Blossoms for Poetry Month photo
Rhame Avenue School’s poet-tree has fully blossomed since the beginning of Poetry Month on April 1. During the month, students discovered their creativity and skills in writing poetry in many forms.

Set up by Mrs. Diane Dorato, students were excited to fill the tree with leaves that included their original poems and reflected their unique creativity. Alexis Martinez, in Mrs. Beyer’s third grade class, is shown putting up one of her poems. 
 

Students Dive Into Literature

Students Dive Into Literature photo
Centre Avenue’s first graders dove into literature by reading Arnold Lobel’s “Frog and Toad Are Friends” and Thelma Lynne Godin’s “How to Dress a Dragon.” For the unit, students are practicing skills such as sequencing, character traits, and cause and effect.  

In relation to “How to Dress a Dragon,” Junior-Senior High School senior Giana Donald interned with the class to work with students on creating flow maps to sequence steps on how to dress a dragon.
 

District Named Best in Music Education

District Named Best in Music Education
The district has once again been named Best Community for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation for 2019. This is the fourth year in a row the district has received the designation. 

This prestigious distinction is earned by school districts across the nation that exhibit exceptional efforts and commitment toward maintaining music education, excel in their instruction of music and in their extensive array of music programs offered to students.
 

Becoming Engineers for STEAM

Becoming Engineers for STEAM photo

Rhame Avenue School students banded together and became engineers for an interactive STEAM activity, where they built, programed and raced cars.

Students from grades 4-6 taught kindergarten to third grade students how to create race cars by using Legos and robot parts. Afterward, students synced their robotic race cars to their computer and programmed them to move in preparation for the race. Each group clapped and cheered on their robots during the big race that completed the activity. 





Creating Commercials to Sell Products

Creating Commercials to Sell Products photo

Junior-Senior High School students in Ms. Perrone’s English class were tasked with creating a commercial for a product using their knowledge of the rhetorical triangle, modes of persuasion and logical fallacies.

Students worked in groups to plan out their scripts and employed devices learned to sell their product to their target audiences. After creating the scripts, groups performed their commercials while classmates watched and provided feedback on the effectiveness of their persuasive tactics.

 

Experiencing Enriched Programs

Experiencing Enriched Programs
Sixth grade students of Rhame Avenue and Centre Avenue elementary schools traveled to the Greenkill Outdoor Education & Retreat Center where they experienced enriched programs through a holistic approach. Students participated in guided discovery, communal living, hands-on exploration and social engagement with peers. These activities helped them build character and confidence, and expanded their understanding of the natural world.
 

Poetry Madness Competition

Poetry Madness Competition photo

Students at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School participated in the annual schoolwide Poetry Madness Competition, for which they wrote poems following this year's theme of "empowerment."

After several rounds, the top eight students were selected and invited to read their poems in front of the school during an assembly. The eight finalists were seniors Anjali Baloy, Jiggy Kelly, Osmin Mayorga and Emma Neary, juniors Farha Khan and Gabe Padiernos, sophomore Daniella Pedi and freshman Madeleine Prucha.

 

REMINDER: NOMINATING PETITIONS FOR SEAT ON BOARD OF EDUCATION

If you are interested in becoming a candidate for the Board of Education, you must file your petition with the District Clerk no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, April 22, 2019. The District Clerk will be available on April 22nd to accept petitions. School is closed for spring recess starting April 17, 2019. Nominating Petitions are available in the District Clerk’s Office through April 16, 2019. Please contact Ms. Fazi, District Clerk, at (516) 887-8300 Ext. 1-553 for more information regarding the Nominating Petition.

Volunteering For A Cause

Volunteering For A Cause photo
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Volunteering For A Cause photo 3
Volunteering For A Cause photo 4
Students from Rhame Avenue and the Junior-Senior High School volunteered their time to help with the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser. The East Rockaway Kiwanis Club host this pancake breakfast every year to help support the East Rockaway Kiwanis Scholarship Fund. Students from Rhame Avenue’s K-Kids, builders club and the key clubs helped in a variety of ways for the cause including setting up, serving break-fast to guests and then cleaning up.
 

Class of 2019 Top Two Seniors

Class of 2019 Top Two Seniors photo
East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School is proud to announce seniors Laura Millar as valedictorian and Scott Buzzolani as salutatorian for the Class of 2019.

Millar weighted GPA is 104.8, with an intended major English/Journalism. Along with her academic feats, she has also proven herself to be an extraordinary musician as a NYSSMA All-State finalist, a talented athlete and a dependable, motivating leader as president of her class.

Millar participates in a variety of extracurricular activities, including being president of the Student Council, the National Honor Society and NHS quiz bowl. She was also vice president for NJHS and contributor to The Gull Student Newspaper. In addition, she plays clarinet, bass clarinet and tenor saxophone, is vice president of jazz band, clarinet section leader for the marching band and is also a member of the Nassau Suffolk Honor Band. Her athletic abilities include being on the school’s varsity badminton, soccer and lacrosse teams, where she was named All-Conference in badminton, and All-Conference and All-Scholastic in soccer. She’s also a member of the CYO swimming and volleyball teams, and Lynbrook East Rockaway travel soccer team. 

With this, Millar has accomplished many other academic awards and achievements, such as earning AP Scholar with Honors, the Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award, Student of the Year for 2014 and 2017, Supermaster of Regents, All-County Band, and a candidate for a Special Scholarship through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. 

Millar’s community service efforts include participating in the Lupus Walk Fundraiser, Canstruction, Island Harvest Empty Bowls and American Cancer Society walk. Her work experience includes New York Times Summer Writer's Workshop. 

Buzzolani has a weighted GPA of 102.4 and intends to major in chemistry education. He has been an integral part of the school’s Science Research program and spent last summer researching at the “Living by the Bay” Summer Science Research at a local college.

Buzzolani has a tremendous influence on the music department, participating in jazz band, the musical, Nassau County Musical Festival, and Tri-M Music Honor Society. Other extracurricular activities Buzzolani participates in include being a member of the National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society, the chess club and regional quiz bowl participant.

For his academic efforts, Buzzolani earned several awards, including the Bausch + Lomb Honorary Science Award, the St. Michaels College book award for Academic Achievement and Social Conscience, and was also the winner of the East Rockaway’s first Research Symposium Science Research Program at Hofstra University.

He also dedicates his free time to community service work by tutoring younger students in music and chemistry and participating in several charity walks. 

The district congratulates Millar and Buzzolani for this achievement and wishes them the very best in their future endeavors. 

Presidential Leadership Symposium

Presidential Leadership Symposium 2
Presidential Leadership Symposium 3
East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School students in AP Government and AP U.S. History took a trip to Hofstra University to attend the eighth annual Evaluation of Presidential Leadership Symposium for High School Students. 

Junior Zackary Hirashima was presented with an Award of Excellence for an essay he wrote on topics related to presidents and politics. Students listened to a debate between former Vermont Governor Howard Dean and Republican campaign strategist Ed Rollins.
 

Guide Dog Visits Centre Avenue

Guide Dog Visits Centre Avenue photo

Second-grade students at Centre Avenue School received an exciting visit from Iggy, a Labrador retriever who is a working guide dog. During the event, students learned how dogs are trained to help visually impaired individuals and the mechanisms that are used while a dog is working.

Iggy’s owner Joan Lee, who is blind, represented the Guide Dog Foundation and educated students on how Iggy assists her in navigating various obstacles. Lee added that she also had to acquire certain skills in order to maintain a strong bond with a guide dog. This includes learning how to use the guide dog harness and learning various dog commands, which she demonstrated to students.

Students also enjoyed a reading of “Guide Dog, Guide Dog,” a book written by students of the Locust Valley Central School District.

 

Parent Brings Brazil to Rhame

Parent Brings Brazil to Rhame photo
Third graders at Rhame Avenue School are studying Brazil in social studies. For the lesson, students learned a lot about the culture of Brazil thanks to guest speaker Mrs. Patricia Cooney, Brennan Cooney’s mom. Growing up in Brazil with her family, Mrs. Cooney shared what it was like living in Brazil and showed the class the beautiful sights of the country. She also brought in tasty treats made within the culture for birthdays and other celebrations.
 

Rhame Raises Funds for St. Jude Math-A-Thon

Rhame Raises Funds for St. Jude Math-A-Thon photo

Rhame Avenue School students completed the St. Jude Math-A-Thon, where students competed to see which class could raise the most for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This year, Rhame students exceeded their goal by raising a total of $7,618 in funding.

The winning class was Mrs. Heidi Kreit’s third-grade class with a total of $3,535. A special thanks to Francesca Bocchetti who raised $3,025 by setting up a table at her grandma’s deli, Arata’s Deli, in Sea Cliff.

For more than 30 years, St. Jude Math-A-Thon has been America’s largest education-based fundraiser. It includes a free math curriculum supplement for kindergarten through eighth grades, which students complete after obtaining sponsorships from friends and family.

Rhame’s math action team held a kickoff assembly in February, where students were educated on Math-a-thon and how the donations help the children at the hospital. With last year’s fundraising coming to $3,693, the school has raised a total of $11,311 in the past two years for the hospital.

The students at Rhame look forward to participating again in future Math-A-Thons.




Students Awarded for Acts of Kindness

Students Awarded for Acts of Kindness photo
Students at Centre and Rhame Avenue Elementary schools were awarded for their participation in the Kindness Challenge. 

Rhame students were Molly Brown, who showed kindness by helping her mom with the dishes, playing with someone who had no one to play with, helping someone who was crying and cleaning up after herself; Ellia DeCrescenzo, who showed kindness by helping someone up when they fell down, having a smile on her face every day, being respectful, not littering, giving a seat on the bus to someone and helping her sisters with their homework; and Ethan Baiza, who showed kindness by giving chocolate to a crossing guard.

At Centre, George Espinoza was awarded for his kindness in helping his friend pack up, washing plates at home, listening to his teachers and saying thank-you to someone who held the door for him. Steven James Jr. was awarded for his kindness in sitting with a new group of kids at lunch and helping a younger student with homework.
 

Crafting Multiplication Books

Crafting Multiplication Books

Rhame Avenue third-grade students fused together their creative skills and knowledge in mathematics to create multiplication books and share them with the second-graders. Under the guidance of math specialist Jack Bixhorn, students explained the rules of multiplication and created a color copy book. With that, students read their book and took turns rolling dice and solved math facts.

 

Centre K-Kids Support Local Community

Centre K-Kids Support Local Community photo
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Centre K-Kids Support Local Community photo 3
The members of Centre Avenue School’s K-Kids of the East Rockaway School District volunteered their time to support community members at the Education Foundation 5k Run/ Walk. During the event, students set up a refreshment stand that was stocked with water, apples, bananas and more. Students passed out refreshments at the finish line, while cheering on local participants.

Students Stand up Against Bullying

Students Stand up Against Bullying photo

Members of the Junior-Senior High School’s dignity club, key club and other East Rockaway students met at Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream for "Superheroes Against Bullying.” The event was an indoor winter walk sponsored by New Horizons Counseling Center.

New Horizons counsels and provides services for victims of bullying, as well as those with anxiety and depression. The students represented East Rockaway while earning community service hours. The event was a great success and the district is proud of these "superhero" students.

 

Exciting Lesson Erupts from Centre

Exciting Lesson Erupts from Centre photo

Students of Ms. ToniAnn Donald’s and Ms. Kristina Ranieri’s fifth-grade classes at Centre Avenue School took their chapter on changes to earth’s landforms to a new level with a volcano experiment.

For the lesson, students incorporated technology by researching volcanos, conducting labs on Google Docs, and using learning-based platform, Kahoot.

During the experiment, students infused a variety of different substances together to create an imitation of what occurs when a volcano erupts. After that, students made observations, answered questions and typed up what they experienced. 



Participating in Bilingual Read Aloud

Participating in Bilingual Read Aloud photo
Eighth-grade ENL students in Ms. Isik's common core class participated in a read aloud of Sandra Cisneros’ bilingual version of "Hairs.” During the reading, the class was interactive and used role cards to make spontaneous responses. Students formed predictions, connections, summaries, and questions about the text, and enjoyed hearing the vignette in English and Spanish. With that, they used "Hairs" as a model to write their own vignettes.
 

Beautiful Me Comes to Centre

Beautiful Me Comes to Centre

Fifth-grade students at Centre Avenue School also got the chance to participate in Beautiful Me, a self-esteem program designed to educate and empower female students.

Facilitated by school social worker Ms. Amy Weissman, Beautiful Me was developed by the Hance Family Foundation and gives students the opportunity to honor the lives of three sisters, Emma, Allyson and Katie Hance. By participating in this self-esteem program, students learn to understand who they are, appreciate their own skills and qualities, and understand that there is gratification 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. Each student was provided with a paper hand and a paper doll where they wrote down the personality traits that make them beautiful on the inside. In addition, they were also provided with a compliment box and were encouraged to identify and write a meaningful, genuine and honest compliment for each member of the group. With that, they shared their compliments with each other. 

At the end of the session, students received a three heart-shaped necklace from Jackie Hance of the Hance Family Foundation. 





Sixth-Grade Music Orientation

Sixth-Grade Music Orientation photo
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The East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School music department kicked off Music in Our Schools Month with the 2019 sixth-grade music orientation. Forty-seven students from the sixth-grade band, chorus and orchestra worked with a select number of high school students to prepare a piece from their own upcoming concert. 

High school student-mentors assisted the young performers with the necessary skills and techniques required for their performances. All ensembles worked with their current music teacher and a high school music teacher. The event included icebreakers, rehearsals and performances from each of the three groups.
 

Seniors Conquer 83rd Annual Rock Rivalry

Seniors Conquer 83rd Annual Rock Rivalry photo

The senior class of the East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School were the reigning champions of the coveted silver cup for the district’s 83rd annual Rock Rivalry. The night was alive with singing, dancing and comedy, as each class battled for the best performance.

The freshman class took the audience to Nashville, Texas, with their “Winner Takes it Y’all” theme, which told a story about following one’s dreams. After that, the sophomore class performed balance of power between Greek gods in their “Zeus on the Loose” theme. For their “A Liege of Their Own” theme, the junior class battled for the greater good in the “United Realms.” The senior class wrapped up the night where they fought crime in France with their “Mastermimes” theme.  

Students earned points for various components, including their entrances and sportsmanship. Leading up to the big night, students also participated in quiz bowl, sports night, and boys and girls volleyball games. They also created murals and stands as part of the interdisciplinary competition. 

The district congratulates the seniors for conquering the cup!

Students Catch Leprechauns in STEM Activity

Students Catch Leprechauns in STEM Activity photo

Wearing their best green colored shirts and impressive St. Patrick’s Day attire, Rhame Avenue School students added to the festivities by engaging in a St. Patrick’s Day themed STEM activity.

After reading Adam Wallace’s “How to Catch a Leprechaun,” students learned simple machines and then worked together to build “traps.” The goal for the activity was for students to pull their resources together to craft a unique trap capable of capturing a leprechaun. 

While building their traps, students decided which materials to use, constructed circle maps and then made flow maps that explained how their machines or traps work. Once completed, students presented and tested their traps in front of classmates. 

Students worked on their interpersonal skills by teaming up in groups and also practiced their communication skills when presenting their final product.




Rhame Student Council Demonstrates Leadership

Rhame Student Council Demonstrates Leadership photo
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Rhame Student Council Demonstrates Leadership photo 3
Sixth-grade student council members at Rhame Avenue School discussed character traits of a good leader with younger grade levels. Working in groups, students created slideshows and skits about the qualities of being a good leader and then shared their presentations with kindergarten, first-, second- and third-grade classes. After that, sixth-graders engaged the classes with a question-and-answer session. This activity benefited members of the student council as well as the students in the younger grades.
 

District Hosts VEX Robotics State Championship

District Hosts VEX Robotics State Championship photo

East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School had the opportunity to host the VEX Robotics State Championships for the Southern New York State Region. Over 30 teams from Westchester, New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties competed in this massive event.

East Rockaway engineering students Joseph Amabile, Bryan Morgenthaler, Grace DelValle, Cole Keller, Nick Becker, Zane Zeilberger and William Sporre had the opportunity to compete in this event. The district would like to thank faculty members Hugh Howard, Nick Cimorelli, Michelle Healy and more for organizing and running the event.





DECA Hosts Inaugural Volleyball Tournament

DECA Hosts Inaugural Volleyball Tournament photo

The DECA club of the Junior-Senior High School hosted their first annual volleyball tournament as a fundraiser for their club. Over 15 teams of four students or staff members participated in the spirited battle to be named DECA volleyball champions. The reigning champions of the tournament included Ed McCann, Joe Reichelson, Franklin Infante and Aidan O'Connor.

The top-ranking faculty team included teachers Karin Leary, James Hickey, Danny Vito, and Ksenia Ferrand. The club was able to use the funds to help support their trip to the DECA State Career Conference in Rochester, New York.   

 

Student Participates in National Honor Choir

Student Participates in National Honor Choir photo
East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School eighth-grader Nicholas Stebner received the prestigious honor to participate in the American Choral Director’s Association National Middle School/Junior High Honor Choir. The Honor Choir was held in Kansas City, Missouri, and was a part of the ACDA’s 60th anniversary Jubilee National Conference. 

Stebner joined students from around the country to rehearse with the esteemed conductor, Dr. Derrick Fox. At the end of the conference, students gave a performance in the state-of-the-art Kauffman Performance Center.  

The National Honor Choir is an auditioned ensemble that performs every two years. This is the first time the district has had a student selected for the National Honor Choir. The music department is proud of this achievement and applauds the dedication and practice that Stebner demonstrated while preparing for this event.

Rhame Students Program Robots

Rhame Students Program Robots photo
Mrs. Beyrer and Mrs. Beufve's third-grade class at Rhame Avenue learned about engineering and programming robots from Mrs. Healy, district STEAM program advisor. Students applied what they learned to race cars and were given the opportunity to design a Mars rover with a motion sensor. Throughout the assignment, students were engaged and applied the coding they learned from the six-week session to their robots.
 

Girls Empowered With Beautiful Me

Girls Empowered With Beautiful Me photo

Seventh- and eighth-grade students at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School once again participated in Beautiful Me, a self-esteem program designed to educate and empower female students.

Facilitated by school social worker Ms. Amy Weissman, Beautiful Me was developed by the Hance Family Foundation and gives students the opportunity to honor the lives of three sisters, Emma, Allyson and Katie Hance. By participating in this self-esteem program, students learn to understand who they are, appreciate their own skills and qualities, and understand that there is gratification 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. Each student was provided with a paper hand and a paper doll to share the personality traits that make them beautiful on the inside. Each student was also provided with a compliment box and were encouraged to identify and write a meaningful, genuine and honest compliment for each member of the group. With that, they then shared their compliments with each other. 

At the end of the session, students received a three heart-shaped necklace from Jackie Hance of the Hance Family Foundation. 






Mock Trial Centers on Women’s Suffrage

Mock Trial Centers on Women’s Suffrage photo
Mr. Tesoriero’s U.S. History students took on the role of lawyers, judges and women’s rights activists, such as Susan B. Anthony, in a mock trial centered around the 14th and 15th Amendments and the women’s suffrage movement. Students had time to prepare their arguments and stance on Constitutional interpretation and then present their arguments to the class. With that, they were able to build on each other’s presentations and develop a claim surrounding the 14th Amendment and the idea of universal suffrage.
 

District Proactive in Preventing Substance Abuse

District Proactive in Preventing Substance Abuse photo

The East Rockaway School District hosted an innovative parent education forum on March 6 that focused on Dr. Dave Campbell’s “The Teen Formula: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Your Child Avoid Substance Abuse.”

The event took place at Rhame Avenue Elementary School and was well attended by district administrators, social workers and teachers, along with approximately 30 parents. 

In the book, Dr. Campbell provides insight on the different challenges that often lead adolescents to substance abuse and identifies 11 parenting strategies clinically proven to help youth avoid or overcome addictive behaviors. This easy-to-read guide was offered to all parents in the district at no cost, thanks to a grant from the East Rockaway Education Foundation. Upon registering, parents received their copy of the book and an invitation to the dinner and book discussion event.

During the event, participants were arranged into small groups to discuss the book and share parenting experiences and strategies. Discussions focused on how to build a positive parent-child relationship, how to talk to your children about substance use, how to set and maintain boundaries, rules and consequences, how to help your child make healthy decisions and develop positive coping strategies, and when/how to intervene with your child if they are already engaged in substance use or other risky behaviors.

The evening was a great success and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Parents indicated that the most valuable part of the event was “sharing experiences and hearing valuable lessons from other parents,” “finding common ground with other parents, despite having children of different ages” and “feeling connected to others and not alone in this difficult journey of parenting.” The Prevention Task Force hopes to host similar events in the future that provide parents with the opportunity to connect, learn and support one another.





Personal Narrative Writing Celebration

Personal Narrative Writing Celebration photo

Centre Avenue’s fifth-grade students in Mrs. Donald’s and Mrs. Ranieri’s classes swapped classrooms to share their personal narratives with one another. During this end-of-unit writing celebration, students read each other’s work and gave insightful feedback by using the rubric-based language. With that, students arrived back to their classrooms to review the “glows” and “grows” they received as final reflections.

Staff Honored with Achievement Award

Staff Honored with Achievement Award photo
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Five staff members from the East Rockaway School District were honored with the PTA Founders Day Lifetime Achievement Award. Rhame Avenue School PTA hosted the event at the East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School. Past recipients of this honor were acknowledged for their continued efforts in supporting the district’s PTA and for all that they do for the students and school community. 

The district would like to thank the Rhame Avenue School PTA for their efforts in orchestrating the night’s festivities.
 
This year’s recipients included Rhame Avenue School’s first-grade teacher Deborah Ferrato and Tara Elias, who is a school community member, parent and former PTA president. At Centre Avenue School, honorees included fourth-grade teacher Kirsten Miolan and Tina Lewald, who is a school community member, parent and Junior-Senior High School teacher aide. Pam Murano, an English teacher, at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School, also received the PTA Founders Day Lifetime Achievement Award.



Peer AIDS Educators

Peer AIDS Educators photo

Junior-Senior High School’s students certified as Peer AIDS Educators visited Rhame Avenue and Centre Avenue schools to present to the district’s sixth-grade students on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. The Peer AIDS Educators Program is a joint effort between the district, North Shore University Hospital’s Center for AIDS Research and Treatment, and the Department of Professional and Public Health Education.

High school students from participating districts across Long Island were selected to attend an intensive HIV/AIDS education training program at North Shore Hospital, which prepared them with the knowledge and skills necessary to educate youth on the topic. After completing the training, students were involved in planning and implementing HIV/AIDS presentations and classroom activities, as part of the district’s fifth- and sixth-grade health curriculum.  

The Junior-Senior High School Peer AIDS Educators program, which is facilitated by social worker Kristen Mednick and Director of Athletics David Barth, will return to Rhame and Centre in the spring to present the lesson to fifth-grade students.






News12 Scholar Athlete

News12 Scholar Athlete photo
The district is proud to announce that East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School senior Chris Levins has been named the recipient of the News12 Scholar Athlete Award, after being nominated by basketball coach Paul Collins.

Each week, News12 honors a senior athlete who has been successful in athletics, academics and other extracurricular activities inside and outside school. He is among 30 student-athletes from across Long Island being honored this year.

Chris is the captain of the soccer and basketball teams and has earned All-Conference honors in both sports. In addition to his athletic career, he is also the trumpet section leader for the high school band and a member of the school’s construction club. Outside school, Chris is a member of the Nassau County Athletic Leadership Committee and recently became an Eagle Scout for the Scouts BSA Troop 121 in East Rockaway.

As part of this recognition, Chris will receive a $1,000 scholarship and will attend a luncheon in June honoring all the 2018-2019 recipients.

The district congratulates Chris on this tremendous honor.






Arts Program Highlights Young East Rockaway Talent

Arts Program Highlights Young East Rockaway Talent photo
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Arts Program Highlights Young East Rockaway Talent photo 3
Students at Centre Avenue and Rhame Avenue elementary schools were presented with certificate awards during the Board of Education meeting for their participation in this year’s PTA Reflections Arts Program. 

Run by the National PTA, the acclaimed student recognition program is a volunteer arts program and contest that encourages artistic creativity in the classroom and at home. With this year’s theme “Heroes Around Me,” student participants created original works of art within several categories, such as dance, choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.

From the 47 students who participated in the program, 15 of them advanced to the Nassau County level. The Rhame Avenue students who advanced are Ayesha Aibani, Adriana DeMatteo, Isabella Gallina, Amy Gamache, Vanessa Hansraj, Joven Lancelot, Maya Motherway, Joseph Petraro and Christopher Sugrue. The Centre students who advanced are Edwin Espinoza, Atticus Gamache, Eileen Harvey, Mary Harvey, Kaitlyn Lewald and Julia Sidelman.

Rhame sixth-grader Maya Motherway advanced to the New York State level of the contest for her piece, “My Heroes.” 

“The creativity that was demonstrated by our students was amazing,” said Centre Principal Sherry Ma. 

Rhame Principal Erik Walter also added, “We are very proud of all of the students who participated on their own time and commend them on their hard work and dedication to this project. I want to also thank the parents and teachers involved for helping the students bring their artistic ideas to life.”

Superintendent of Schools Lisa Ruiz also congratulated students on their artwork. “Your work was truly amazing,” she said. “We can’t wait for you to advance to the high school level and take advantage of all our advanced art programs because a lot of you are ready.”

The district also recognized judges Michaeline Cooper, Town of Hempstead Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Heather Massa and Dr. Richard Meagher for their efforts. 

District Board Recognized Retirees

District Board Recognized Retirees photo
District board members and administration recognized retirees senior typist clerk Kathy Keating and Junior-Senior High School principal typist clerk Marilyn Brekke for their years of service at the Feb. 26 board meeting.

Marilyn began her career with the district in 1992, where she started as a lunch monitor at Rhame Avenue School. In addition to her 26 years serving the district, Marilyn was also one of the two monitors at the Junior-Senior High School, a senior clerk typist and a summer school secretary before retiring as principal typist clerk at the high school’s attendance office in December 2018. Speaking on behalf of Superintendent of School Lisa Ruiz and the board, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Mona Hecht described Marilyn as someone who took pride in her work and went the extra mile to complete every task. 

Kathy, a senior typist clerk in the district’s facilities department, began her career with the district in 1991 and held positions of monitor, substitute clerical, part-time typist clerk and full-time typist clerk. She started as senior typist clerk in 2004, where she supported the district’s facilities director until her retirement in December 2018. She was also in-district coordinator for nonpublic school text books from 1997 to 2016 and managed in-district transportation. Ms. Hecht said that Kathy’s clerical skills, professionalism and knowledge of the community helped the district function effectively throughout the years.

Superintendent Ruiz said that both retirees will be greatly missed, and wished them a long, happy and healthy retirement. 

Proactive in Mental Health and Substance Use

Proactive in Mental Health and Substance Use photo

The district’s Prevention Task Force hosted a Substance Use and Mental Health Community Information and Resource Event at the Junior-Senior High School on Feb. 11.

In collaboration with Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and the East Rockaway Village Foundation, the event included a panel discussion, resource fair and Narcan training. 

The goal was to provide East Rockaway residents and neighboring communities with mental health and substance use prevention strategies, treatment options, and information about warning signs and recovery.

The panel discussion included experts and speakers who shared important information and powerful personal experiences, in an effort to decrease the stigma around mental health and substance use disorders and increase awareness and access to available supports.  

During the resource fair, seven local mental health and chemical dependency organizations were on site, where representatives from each organization offered information and assistance to community members interested in learning more about the local services available. Organizations that participated in the fair included Families in Support of Treatment, Long Beach Reach, Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, Mental Health Association of Nassau County and more.

The Narcan training portion of the event included information on the signs of an opiate overdose and instructions on how to administer the potentially lifesaving opiate overdose medication naloxone (narcan). Those who participated in the training were provided a free Narcan Overdose Rescue Kit. The take home kit, and training, were provided by Town of Hempstead Councilman Anthony D'Esposito.




Robotics Succeed to State Competition

Robotics Succeed to State Competition photo
Two robotics teams from the district had the honor of competing in the Vex IQ Southern New York State Vex Robotics Championship in New York City. 

A combined seventh- and eighth-grade team comprised of Nicholas Alter, Andrew Calise, Everett Gamache, Peter Kaplan, Jordan Lu, John O’Hanlon and Louis Perri qualified for the event early in the school year by stunning the competition in the first meet of the season. 

The second team is comprised of sixth-grade Rhame Avenue Elementary School students Zachary Arnold, Alex Calise, Michael Cambridge and Jeremy Carman. This was the first time the East Rockaway Middle School Robotics Team had a rookie elementary school team qualify for a state championship. The team qualified for the competition by consistently improving their driving and programming skills throughout the season. Their perseverance certainly paid off, as they finished in 15th place overall out of the best teams in the region.  

Mr. Nick Cimorelli and Mrs. Michelle Healy, who coach the elementary team, are very proud of this accomplishment, and the perseverance of all students in the club who continued to work collaboratively and improve their robots throughout the competition season. They look forward to continued success next year.


Demonstrating Value, Respect and Acceptance

Demonstrating Value, Respect and Acceptance photo

Centre and Rhame Avenue’s kindergarten through sixth-grade students took action during National No One Eats Alone Day by ensuring that every student had a buddy during lunch time. 

This was part of the schools Great Kindness Challenge, where students and staff spent the week celebrating and participating in acts of kindness, compassion and empathy in their school, home and community. The spirit week included Motivational Monday, Take time Tuesday, Wow em Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday and Friend Friday, which wrapped up the week by honoring National No One Eats Alone Day.

Throughout the day, students were encouraged to sit with students they didn’t know, and spot others sitting alone and include them. With that, students made speeches about the significance of embracing others. Through their actions, they demonstrated an important message that everyone should feel included, valued, respected and accepted by their peers. Both schools also provided stickers and wristbands to students that said “Inspiring Youth to End Social Isolation.”  

Additionally, students demonstrated their dedication to the mission even further, with Centre students signing a banner that said, “I pledge to include someone every day,” and Rhame students writing down their own pledges on paper hearts.

Students were encouraged to continue to carry the message of the day so that all students are included during lunch every single day.

 

 

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
FIOS 1
www.News12.com
www.fios1news.com
WALK 97.5 FM
WCBS 880 AM

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.
 

Facilities Committee

Click here to access the Facilities Committee page