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Notice about renovation work at Centre Avenue

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Board Creates New Communications Sub-Committee: Volunteers Needed

At its June 12 meeting, the Board of Education created a Communications Sub-Committee that is tasked with improving the communications process districtwide. The committee is limited to approximately fifteen participants and the Board is seeking a diverse and balanced group of interested community members to join Board members and district representatives in an engaging and focused dialogue about communication methods and messaging strategies. The committee aims to meet quarterly, but may meet more frequently at the beginning.

If you are interested in possibly becoming a member, please fill out this brief questionnaire.  If you have questions about this committee, please email boe@eastrockawayschools.org. The deadline for volunteers to submit their interest form is Sept. 17, 2018. Those who complete the form can expect to be contacted via email by Oct. 1 with more information.

Rocks Softball Honored for Outstanding Season

Rocks Softball Honored for Outstanding Season photo
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Rocks Softball Honored for Outstanding Season photo 3
Members of East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School’s softball team were recognized for their great season at the Nassau County Softball awards dinner at Crest Hollow Country Club on June 11. Congratulations to Lia Gladstone, Skylar Gomes and Hunter Vertuccio for being named All-Conference, and Emily Chelius for her designation as an All-County player and playoff MVP. The team was named co-conference champions, Nassau County Small School champions and Long Island champions for the third consecutive year. Congratulations!

Eighth-Graders Move Up to High School

Eighth-Graders Move Up to High School photo
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East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School held its eighth-grade moving up ceremony on June 20. 

The evening began with a performance by the middle school chorus, under the direction of teacher Ms. Seanna Silver. Principal Mr. Neil Lederer then opened with a speech reflecting on his own middle school graduation and offered advice about the benefits of hard work. 

During the ceremony, students Madeleine Prucha and Sofia Valdebenito were honored for highest overall academic achievement, while students Emily McLaughlin and Jason Miller were recognized for demonstrating outstanding character and service to the school and community with the Senator Kaminsky Award for Junior Public Service and Leadership. Winners of the middle school poetry contest, Nolan Anarelli, Sophia Capone and Emily McLaughlin, shared their original pieces, then members of the middle school faculty presented moving up certificates to the rising ninth-grade students. 

Two high school seniors, who were carefully chosen to speak at the ceremony, delivered outstanding speeches, which included heartfelt words of wisdom for the soon-to-be high schoolers. Rachel O’Hagan challenged students to always consider how they want to be remembered and discussed the importance of demonstrating kindness, establishing positive relationships, getting involved and making the most of their academic experience. Andrew Machovec then shared how the experience in high school can be viewed as a flight. He told students to begin their journey with a good flight plan, select strong co-pilots and passengers and enjoy the great ride while preparing for and overcoming turbulence. 

The evening concluded with a slideshow consisting of images of eighth-grade memories created by teacher Mr. Don Poland, and a welcome to high school speech by Director of Guidance Mr. Andrew Rosenberg. 

‘Town Hall’ at Centre Avenue

‘Town Hall’ at Centre Avenue photo

Centre Avenue gathered for a “Town Hall” meeting on June 21. As a school, they acknowledged students with outstanding attendance. They also honored teachers Annette Dubiel and Roxanne Lamama for their years of services and wished them a happy retirement.

Finally, a few student representatives in sixth grade and kindergarten shared the Thinking Maps they completed together based on the book “Only One You.” Students discussed how they are each unique and have the power to make a positive impact in the world. The school also created a rock garden as a visual reminder that we are all special and have the ability to make the world a better place.




Centre Students Juice Up With a Good Book

Centre Avenue’s Reading Action Committee held the Juicin’ Up With A Good Book event on June 21. Teachers and students enjoyed a snack, a good book and the beautiful weather outside on the school’s field. Thanks to all who are always trying to spread a love of reading!

 

Living Museum at Rhame Avenue

Fifth-grade students in Ms. Lori DeVarso’s, Mrs. Ashley Donovan’s and Mrs. Erin Kennedy’s classes at Rhame Avenue recently researched entrepreneurs. They then presented their research at a living museum. Students dressed up as their entrepreneur and the entire school body went to see the student “statues” come alive!



Grads of East Rockaway Are on Their Way!

Grads of East Rockaway Are on Their Way photo

The Class of 2018 convened in the auditorium of East Rockaway High School on the evening of June 22 to celebrate its transition from students to graduates, right before the eyes of its proud families, Board of Education members, administrators and teachers.

The seniors proceeded down the aisles to “Pomp and “Circumstance” and took their places before the stage. Everyone present stood for the Pledge of Allegiance and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and the graduation chorus presented a moving performance of “I Lived.”

Superintendent of Schools Lisa Ruiz shared welcoming remarks, which were followed by greetings from Board of Education Trustee Kristin Ochtera. 

Ms. Ruiz encouraged the seniors to go out and make the world a better place. “I challenge you to not only take the academic lessons, skills and content that you have learned within this great American high school but take with you the more essential lessons of the heart that you have experienced here at East Rockaway High School as you move forward,” she said. “The lessons of compassion, kindness, caring, support, outreach, understanding, acceptance, respect, civility and empathy, which are critical and fundamental for the academic and career successes you will undoubtedly achieve.” 

“The steps that you took to get to this point tonight were difficult,” Ms. Ochtera said. “You were the ones who persisted.”  

Salutatorian Gabriella Walsh also addressed her peers. 

“I believe that working together as a community will ensure us a greater success in the future,” she said. “East Rockaway High School has taught us many things, not only about history and English but about building relationships as well.” 

Valedictorian Marissela Gomez shared a poem that translates to, “The wind is rising, we must try to live,” and discussed the need to work hard to survive problematic conditions and aim to thrive. “I can honestly say I have never met a group of people as admirable and determined, diligent, open-minded, innovative, humanitarian and inspirational as you all,” she told her peers.

Class advisers Hugh Howard and Suzanne Volpe reflected on the senior class and offered advice for the future, and Assistant Principal James DeTommasso noted the students’ many accomplishments. He and Principal Neil Lederer, along with members of the Board of Education, then distributed diplomas to the graduates in the moments that all had been eagerly awaiting.

Mr. Lederer led the graduates in the traditional turning of the tassels, symbolizing the positive change that they were all experiencing. 

“How you process these new adjustments in your personal and professional life will go a long way to determining your success,” he said. He shared the quote of a noted writer, “Don’t fear change – embrace it.” 

He officially congratulated them on the completion of their high school careers, and they responded by excitedly tossing their caps upward. 



Egg-citing Challenge at Rhame Avenue

Egg-citing Challenge at Rhame Avenue photo
Students in Ms. Lori DeVarso’s fifth-grade class recently participated in an “Egg Drop Challenge.” The students were tasked with creating a device that can keep a raw egg intact when dropped from a significant height. Students built their devices from a limited amount of materials. Nine students created devices that were “Egg-tastic!” Their devices protected the raw egg from a height of about 7 feet. 

Senior Walk for Class of 2018

Senior Walk for Class of 2018 photo

Dressed in their graduation caps and gowns, and with smiles on their faces, the Class of 2018 walked through both Centre and Rhame Avenue schools as part of East Rockaway’s second annual Senior Walk.

The high school seniors received an enthusiastic welcome from the district’s youngsters, who held congratulatory signs and applauded as they walked through each of the schools’ hallways. Centre Avenue Principal Sherry Ma, Rhame Avenue Principal Erik Walter, as well as teachers and staff, wished the students good luck in their future endeavors. The Class of 2018 enjoyed the celebratory occasion, as they reflected on school memories, shared hugs and took photos to commemorate the successful conclusion of their high school careers. 

Rhame Kindergartners Bid Farewell to Mrs. Lalama

Rhame Kindergartners Bid Farewell to Mrs. Lalama photo
Rhame Avenue Kindergartners celebrated their last day of music class with Mrs. Roxanne Lalama. The students wished her farewell and gifted her a book filled with ideas to do in her retirement. Congratulations to Mrs. Lalama and thank you for all the students have learned from you this year!

Centre Hosts Reading Partners Party

Centre Hosts Reading Partners Party photo

Centre Avenue School held its annual Reading Partners Party on June 14. The party recognized students, staff and community members for meeting each week to share a love of reading. It was a wonderful celebration and the school looks forward to creating more relationships with community members next year!

Scenes from Rhame Avenue’s Field Day

Robots and Fun at Rhame Avenue

Robots and Fun at Rhame Avenue photo
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Rhame Avenue third-graders learned to build and program robots with the help of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) teacher Mrs. Michelle Healy. Students built Lego kit robots and used a coding program to direct the robots to perform different tasks. Robots were programmed to say hello, danced to disco music and moved around the perimeter of boxes and other items.  

Rhame Students Study Nature in Oceanside

Rhame Students Study Nature in Oceanside photo
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Third-graders at Rhame Avenue in Mrs. Gail Beyrer’s class and Mrs. Heidi Kreit’s classes studied the marsh ecosystem at the Marine Nature Study Area in Oceanside. Students observed male and female blue crabs and fiddler crabs. They also watched the osprey feed her babies fish and learned about the food web in the marshlands. Students cast nets into the water to observe the creatures close to shore. This hands-on learning experience gave the students a deeper appreciation of the local waterways.

A Great Year for Centre Avenue’s Art Club

A Great Year for Centre Avenue’s Art Club photo

Members of Centre Avenue’s Art Club enjoyed a successful year of creating. The student-artists took part in a variety of artistic endeavors and had a wonderful time exploring the arts.

Click here to watch a video.

 

 

Flexible Seating Enhances Learning at Rhame Avenue

Flexible Seating Enhances Learning at Rhame Avenue photo

Fourth-graders at Rhame Avenue are enjoying new seating arrangements thanks to a “flexible seating” initiative started by their teacher Sarah Kane.

Mrs. Kane has given students the option to choose where they want to sit throughout the day based on the task they are engaging in. Some of the benefits include an increase in the number of calories burned, increased metabolism, increased motivation and engagement, and improved core strength and posture. Flexible seating is also linked to higher academic performance, better health and improved behavior.

“I have found that there is great power in student choice and that all students have different needs that need to be met,” Mrs. Kane said. “As adults we make choices every day about where we sit and where we work best – why not allow our children to do the same?” 

Mrs. Kane also provides traditional seating options for students, and says she found that the majority of her students have reaped benefits from the additional seating options. 

Centre Students Learn About Clean Water

Centre Students Learn About Clean Water photo
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On June 7, first-graders took part in a presentation called the Clean Water Act. Superintendent of Public Works Kevin Conklin and village engineer Juan Garcia talked to first-graders about ways to keep East Rockaway’s waterways clean. They also explained how stormwater runoff affects our community’s waterways. Students received a special care package from our guests, which included pencils, stickers and rubber ducks.

Top Students, Athletes and Retirees Honored at BOE Meeting

Top Students, Athletes and Retirees Honored at BOE Meeting photo

East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School’s Class of 2018 valedictorian Marissela Gomez and salutatorian Gabriella Walsh, as well as scholar-athletes and retirees, were celebrated at the June 12 Board of Education meeting.

The evening began with East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School Principal Neil Lederer congratulating Gomez and Walsh on their achievements. It continued with student-athletes from the girls lacrosse, badminton, track and field, and softball teams being celebrated as scholar-athletes, for achieving more than a 90 GPA. 

The Board also honored the district’s retirees. Each was lauded by their respective building administrator, who all shared warm memories and well wishes with those moving on. Congratulations to the following retirees: Spanish/Italian teacher Frances Cloud (27 years), special education teacher Annette Dubiel (28 years), elementary choral director/teacher Roxanne Lalama (16), library media specialist Nancy Minkoff (24 years) and teacher Carol Sanders (30 years). 

After the retirees were acknowledged, Superintendent of Schools Lisa Ruiz led a PTA installation ceremony for the new officers of each of the school’s PTA units.    



Zoo Visit for Centre Avenue Students

Zoo Visit for Centre Avenue Students photo
Zoo Visit for Centre Avenue Students

On June 7, first-graders at Centre Avenue Elementary School visited the Queens Zoo. The children enjoyed seeing animals such as the lynx, bison, bald eagle and sea lions. Students classified these animals based on attributes learned during their classes’ animal classification unit this year.  

Marching Bands Perform at Huckleberry Frolic

Marching Bands Perform at Huckleberry Frolic photo

The Rhame Avenue and Centre Avenue marching bands joined forces to perform at the local Huckleberry Frolic on June 9. Band teacher Nicole Mihalek did an excellent job leading the band, praising its efforts and encouraging the players during the march.

Rhame Student Is Principal for a Day

Rhame Student Is Principal for a Day photo
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Rhame Avenue student Justin Elliott was “Principal for a Day” on June 7 alongside Mr. Erik Walter. Justin’s mother won a special raffle prize at this year’s PTA fundraiser dinner and her son was awarded this opportunity to walk in the shoes of the principal for an entire day. Mr. Walter and Mr. Elliott began the day together on Newscasters, visited classrooms, and created a special video playing the trombone together to encourage more students to choose the instrument for band. They also visited the East Rockaway Public Library together and had Wendy’s for lunch in the principal’s office with a friend to end the afternoon. It was an awesome day!

Freshmen Work With Rhame Avenue Youngsters

Freshmen Work With Rhame Avenue Youngsters photo
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On June 11, Ms. Melinda Best and Mr. Robert Kennedy’s ninth-grade ELA class visited Ms. Rachele Banducci’s class at Rhame Avenue. 

The ninth-graders began the program by reading the children’s books they created for the younger students and discussed the process of developing a central idea that teaches a lesson to a reader. During this time, the younger students had opportunities to ask questions and give feedback on the books. 

The second part of the program focused on student-led workshops in which the younger students developed their own short stories that focused on the development of a central idea, with support from their ninth-grade counterparts. Overall, the day was a success that everyone enjoyed. The students demonstrated both knowledge and confidence. We would like to thank Mr. Lederer, Mr. Taylor, Ms. Terranova and Mr. Walter for their support in this project. We also want to thank Ms. Banducci, whose class was engaging, thoughtful and fun to work with!  

Students Earn Twilight Awards

Students Earn Twilight Awards photo

On June 7, East Rockaway’s Twilight Bridge Program held its annual awards ceremony to highlight student achievement. The following students received awards for the following categories:

Best Attendance Award (attended 85 percent or more of classes)
Navita Kissoon

Most Star Students Awards (received most Star Students Awards this school year)
Navita Kissoon
Osmin Mayorga

Most Improved Award
Natalie Alayo
Angel Ayala

Highest Average Award (highest overall average in Day School and Twilight Bridge combined)
Melissa Zarate

Leadership Award
Jeremiah Gonzalez
Shabue Mosley
Alison Reicherter
Jonathon Russin

Effort Roll (80-84)
Jesse Evelly (Geometry)
Osmin Mayorga (Geometry)

Honor Roll (85-89)
Shabue Mosley (U.S. History)
Alison Reicherter (Geometry)
Jonathon Russin (Economics and English 12)

High Honor Roll (90+)
Navita Kissoon (English 12)
Melissa Zarate (Geometry)

The Twilight Bridge coordinators, Ms. April Francis and Ms. Mary Ann Goetz, would like to thank this year’s staff members for their dedication and mentorship to our students. Thank you to Mr. Karina Blackstone, Mr. Chris Caputo, Ms. Betty Freeman, Mr. David Kravis, Ms. Nicole Levesque, Ms. Stephanie Medina, Ms. Ester Morreale, Ms. Denise Powell, Mr. Ralph Santiago, Ms. Liz Stack, Ms. Suzanne Volpe and Ms. Amy Weissman. A special thank-you to BOCES liaison Ms. Kellie McLaurin for all her support this year. Congratulations to the entire Twilight Bridge faculty and staff for a job well done!

Rocks Baseball Wraps Up a Great Season!

Rocks Baseball Wraps Up a Great Season photo

Congratulations to East Rockaway’s boys baseball team on a historic season, matching the school record for 13 league wins and winning the program’s first regional championship.

At the highest level of New York State high school sports, the team represented East Rockaway High School and the community with tremendous dignity and pride and were consistently commended on its kind and respectful manner. 

The team’s season unfortunately came to a close on June 8 in the New York State semi-finals with a 6-1 loss to Section VII’s Ticonderoga. Athletic Director David Barth and the administration at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High school congratulate Coach Hickey, the coaching staff and the boys on a great season. Go Rocks!

Rhame Sixth-Graders Learn About Density

Rhame Sixth-Graders Learn About Density photo

Sixth-grade students from Rhame Avenue learned about density during a recent classroom activity led by East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School AP Chemistry and AP Environmental Science students.

The academic collaboration took place at the high school, with the older students reviewing the formula for density before conducting experiments that demonstrated its real-life application. First, the younger students were given different items, which they dropped into a jug of water to see which had the greatest density. Next, a few brave students took part in a human experiment, which included getting weighed and then being placed in a 55-gallon drum filled with water. As the students submerged into the water, the high school students filled 5-gallon buckets with the water that became displaced. After determining how much water was displaced, the students worked together to figure out the volume of each subject. They then converted their weights to mass and found their density.  

Gearing Up for Summer Reading

Gearing Up for Summer Reading photo
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Rhame Avenue students in Mrs. Gail Beyrer’s and Mrs. Heidi Kreit’s classes recently visited Heather Massa at the East Rockaway Public Library. Mrs. Massa showed the classes where to find books and media in the children’s section. She made so many suggestions of books that would be great for summer reading. The children are looking forward to the summer reading program at the library.

Science Honors for Middle School Students

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East Rockaway middle school students presented their science projects at the Long Island Science Congress held at St. Anthony’s High School on April 17. The students were selected based upon their winning efforts in the Middle School Science fair held in January. 
Congratulations to the following students for receiving recognition at the Long Island Science Congress awards ceremony at St Anthony’s High School on May 22. 
 

Most Distinguished Behavioral Science Project Award and High Honors Ribbon
Clare Acuti

Honors Ribbon
Emily McLaughlin

Meritorious Ribbon
Patrick McLaughlin

Achievement Ribbon
Madeleine Prucha
Sofia Valdebenito

Honorable Mention Ribbon
Luke Arciere
Louis DeSano
Katy Howard
Matthew Lacey
Shane Lonergan
Felicia Oosterwijk
Mackenzie Sackaris
 

Rhame Students Visit Cooked to Perfection

Rhame Students Visit Cooked to Perfection photo

Students in Ms. Lori DeVarso’s and Mrs. Ashley Donovan’s classes went on a walking field trip to Cooked to Perfection on Main Street. The students used their math skills to convert, measure and bake chocolate chip cookies! They also enjoyed making egg creams. Everyone had a wonderful time!

Rhame Students Learn Flag Day Etiquette

Rhame Students Learn Flag Day Etiquette photo
Students in grades 4-6 at Rhame Avenue School were honored to have the presence of two veterans from the United Veteran Organization of Nassau County to conduct their American Flag Day Etiquette Program. The students listened with great interest to the veterans. They also participated in a color guard.

High School Peer Educators Inform Youngsters

High School Peer Educators Inform Youngsters photo
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Twenty-five East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School student Peer AIDS Educators visited Rhame Avenue and Centre Avenue Elementary Schools on May 23 and May 25 to present to the fifth- and 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 are selected to attend an intensive HIV/AIDS Education training program at North Shore University Hospital, preparing them with the knowledge and skills necessary to educate their peers on this topic. Upon completion of the training, students are involved in planning and implementing HIV/AIDS presentations and classroom activities as part of the district’s fifth- and sixth-grade health curriculum. The ERHS Peer AIDS Educators Program is facilitated by social worker Kristen Mednick, in collaboration with the district’s Health and Physical Education Department led by David Barth.  

Community Read Aloud at Rhame Avenue

Community Read Aloud at Rhame Avenue photo

Rhame Avenue hosted a Community Read Aloud on May 30. During the school’s final Pick a Reading Partner event, members of the community were invited into classrooms to read a book to the children. Our guests included building and district administrators, Board of Education members, a public librarian, local politicians and members of community groups. In keeping with the “Laughter Through Literacy” theme, books were selected to make the students laugh and smile. It meant so much to have so many community members share their love of literacy with the students. The Community Read Aloud was a special way to end a month of fun literacy events.





Awards Ceremony Celebrates Student Achievement

Awards Ceremony Celebrates Student Achievement photo

East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School held its Academic Awards on May 17. Students were recognized for their accomplishments during the 2017-18 school year. Some of the awards presented included the following:

Cassie Araujo won the award for the outstanding effort and energy she put into the school’s Key Club. Cassie became Key Club president in her junior year. She has made sure all school functions and events were successful. Senior Gold Key Winners were also celebrated. These academic scholars met all high honor roll requirements two out of three marking periods. Students who earned honor roll or high honor roll throughout the year, as well as Junior Honor Society participants, were recognized. Congratulations to Jason Miller and Elissa Velasquez, who were honored for their active participation and membership.   

Christopher Levins was celebrated for receiving New York State Sen. Todd Kaminsky’s Student Star Award. Chris has participated in numerous academic clubs and activities. He’s an outstanding school citizen and great to the community. Chris was also honored with an award from the University of Rochester, the George Eastman Young Leader Award. Chris is a leader in the classroom, on the field and outside of school.

Seventh-grader Clare Acuti was named Student of the Year. Each month teachers select a student to be the Student of the Month, who is a student who does well academically and behaves inside and outside the classroom. Clare was Student of the Month in the following classes: English, Social Studies, Math, Home and Careers, Physical Education, Spanish, Orchestra, Chorus and Health. In many of those classes, she earned the recognition multiple times. 

Congratulations to all of the honorees! 

Library Visit for District Families

Library Visit for District Families photo
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East Rockaway English as a New Language students in grades K-12 and their families met the district ENL teachers at the East Rockaway Public Library for a literacy celebration.

Those in attendance were introduced to the multitude of resources available at the public library to support student learning, language acquisition and family engagement. The East Rockaway librarian Heather Massa and her colleagues designed a program that included a tour of the library, book browsing, crafts, information on academic support and summer programs. They also issued more than 20 library cards to students and parents. The students were encouraged to take advantage of all the helpful resources and to participate in the Summer Reading Programs. 

It was a wonderful evening building bridges and making connections with our families.

A Successful Science Collaboration

A Successful Science Collaboration photo

Centre Avenue students in Ms. Diana Collins and Ms. Kelly Dowling’s science class participated in a Human Density experiment with Mr. Brian Crowley and Mr. Bryan Palermo’s AP Science classes at the high school. The AP Science classes led a lesson on density to provide background knowledge for students. When finished, a few sixth-grade students were immersed into a drum of water and worked together to find the density of a human based on the water displaced. The elementary students had a wonderful time learning from and getting to know the upperclassmen.

Basketball Victory for Centre Students

Basketball Victory for Centre Students photo
Centre Avenue recently completed another basketball tournament with the sixth-grade students during recess. Congratulations to Abby, Erin, Jordan, Josiah and Peter on the 76ers for their teamwork, perseverance and eventual victory in the finals. Thank you to coach Wayne Smyle for organizing and moderating the basketball games!

Fruits, Vegetables and Science at Rhame Avenue

Fruits, Vegetables and Science at Rhame Avenue photo
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Sixth-graders in Kassie Tillem-Spero’s class at Rhame Avenue School used a triple beam balance and the water displacement method to find the mass and volume of fruits and vegetables as a culminating activity to their science unit on density.

Equipped with avocados, bananas, yellow peppers, cucumbers and many more healthy treats, students worked together in pairs to find the volume and mass of their objects. They then calculated the density for each. Ms. Tillem-Spero orchestrated the activities to provide students with an opportunity to utilize the practical skills they learned. The students had a lot of fun as they engaged in the hands-on lessons.      

Seventh-graders Attend LICEE Leadership Summit

Seventh-graders Attend LICEE Leadership Summit photo
Ten East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School middle school students attended the third annual Long Island Consortium for Excellence and Equity Summit “I dream, I lead, I Rise on May 21. 

The students, along with Assistant Principal TJ Terranova, guidance counselor Jim O’Driscoll and seventh-grade social studies teacher Joyce Kenny, had an enlightened time attending various workshops about student empowerment, making sound choices, overcoming obstacles, respect and finding one’s passion. The skills and lessons learned will last a lifetime; and middle school staff will continue to focus on building strong positive character traits as they move forward with the students.

Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day photo

The district celebrated Red Nose Day on May 24. Red Nose Day is a global initiative to eradicate hunger and poverty for children in the United States and across the world.

The East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School Key Club and school social worker Ms. Amy Weissman held a fundraiser during lunch periods. For a donation of $1, students and staff had the opportunity to purchase red noses and took selfies with a selfie frame titled “NOSESON.” 

Students and staff around the district could be seen wearing red noses, symbolizing a life-changing difference for children here in America and around the world.

Students Receive Advice on Advanced Placement Classes

Students Receive Advice on Advanced Placement Classes photo
Students Receive Advice on Advanced Placement Classes photo 2
On May 25, East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School held its annual Advanced Placement assembly. Approximately 130 students who are registered for at least one AP class next year were invited to the assembly. General recommendations for success in an AP class were discussed, and the students heard from a panel of approximately a dozen 2017 East Rockaway graduates about how to be successful in a high school AP class and in college. The students then broke out to meet with their individual AP teachers for next year, so they could hear the specifics for their classes and get their summer assignments.

This Is Your Brain on Drugs: Dr. Stephen Dewey Visits East Rockaway

This Is Your Brain on Drugs: Dr. Stephen Dewey Visits East Rockaway photo
More than 200 students, parents and faculty members crowded into the auditorium at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School on May 1 to hear Dr. Stephen Dewey, a neuroscientist and research professor from New York University School of Medicine, give a talk titled, “The Effects of Addictive Drugs on the Human Brain.” The East Rockaway School District Prevention Task Force made the presentation possible and attendance was mandatory for all students planning to attend this year’s prom, along with a parent/guardian.  
  
In a very sobering presentation on the effects of a number of addictive drugs, Dr. Dewey used PET scan images to show the effects of drugs on the brain. He indicated that every drug of abuse works the same way – by increasing dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which increases feelings of happiness. While a cup of coffee might increase dopamine by 8 percent, he said, alcohol, depending on the dose, could increase dopamine by 1,000 to 2,000 percent, and marijuana, by 2,000 to 5,000 percent. Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, can increase dopamine 900,000 percent. That makes it the most addictive drug, Dewey continued.

He also explained what makes some people more likely to use drugs. Some people naturally have brain dopamine that’s 5 or 6 percent higher than average. Those people, according to Dewey, are more likely to try something different.  

Dr. Dewey said addiction is something that starts in adolescence, while the brain is still developing. Marijuana, in particular, has a profound effect on the front part of the brain, called the frontal lobe. This region of the brain controls impulses and decision-making, Dewey said, so when you start smoking pot in adolescence, you arrest the ability to make adult decisions. Marijuana today, he said, is also laced with other drugs. In Dewey’s studies, he has found that almost three-quarters of the marijuana that people have shown him has been laced with methamphetamine, making it much more potent and addictive. 

“The majority of pot today has meth in it,” he said.

Dr. Dewey went on to discuss heroin and opiates. He said that opiates are “safe in the presence of pain,” but addictive otherwise.  Prolonged heroin and opiate abuse, he explained, could damage the brain much like advanced multiple sclerosis, and is irreversible.

Though the facts can be scary, Dewey said the best way to deal with preventing your child from using drugs is to engage in a simple conversation with them to find out what is going on with them and their thoughts on drugs. 

“The scariest thing is, they don’t know what they are doing and I think the best thing you can do is talk to your kids,” he said. “We know they don’t want to be lectured or told what to do.”

AAA Awards for High School Drivers

AAA Awards for High School Drivers photo
East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School students Kayla Diaz and Zane Zeilberger have been awarded the American Automobile Associations’ driver education award as outstanding students in the East Rockaway High School Driver Education Program. 

The pair was selected on the basis of demonstrated driving skills, knowledge of the rules of the road and mature attitude and approach to driving. AAA instituted this award in 1936. Its purpose is not only to recognize outstanding high school driver education students but also to encourage all young drivers to develop the skills and attitudes that will contribute toward their being safe drivers. Teachers and instructors Mr. Nick Cimorelli and Dr. Christian Soto selected them for the award. 

Centre Students Make Connections With the Environment

Centre Students Make Connections With the Environment photo

Centre Avenue sixth-grade students recently enjoyed a field trip to Smith Pond in Rockville Centre. Students worked alongside Seatuck Environmental Society and were exposed to the diversity, beauty and wonder of Long Island’s natural world. This authentic outdoor experience allowed students to make a connection to the environment and fosters concern for its conservation.

Tenure and Honors at Board of Education Meeting

Tenure and Honors at Board of Education Meeting photo

The Board of Education, members of the administration and community members gathered for the Board of Education meeting at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School on May 22.

The event began with a celebratory tone as two district teachers were presented for tenure. East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School English teacher Briar Falvo and elementary special education teacher Diana Collins were revered by their building administrators for their hard work and diligence. They also received flowers from their respective school’s PTAs. 

In addition, Board of Education vice president Keith Gamache received New York State School Boards Association Board Mastery recognition for his completion of training completed through the School Board U. NYSSBA Area Director Robert “B.A.” Schoen was on hand to present the award to Mr. Gamache and shared why he likes to personally deliver the honors board members achieve. 

“I like to tell the citizens of the districts that I belong to that you have a school board that works hard to represent you and as much as we talk about everything is for the kids, it’s for everybody,” Mr. Schoen said. 

Scripps Spelling Bee winners from Centre Avenue and Rhame Avenue were also recognized. Congratulations to Michael Mahoney and Xavier Jaramillo, respectively. 

The recognition concluded with more than 250 district students being honored for their participation and accomplishments in a multitude of music and art shows and competitions that took place during the 2017-18 school year. The students were acknowledged for their outstanding efforts and contributions to the arts.



NYSSMA Gold Rating for East Rockaway Chorus

NYSSMA Gold Rating for East Rockaway Chorus photo
The East Rockaway Junior High Chorus performed at the New York State School Music Association Majors for the first time in school history at Hofstra University on May 21. The students received a Gold Rating with Distinction, the highest attainable award. Congratulations to Mrs. Seanna Silver and the 52 chorus members.

Author Visit at Centre Avenue

Author Visit at Centre Avenue photo

Centre Avenue students were treated to a visit by Alan Katz on May 17. Mr. Katz is a famous author, songwriter and Emmy-nominated writer for several television shows. He loves to publish books that teach children important life lessons through humor. He spent the morning with the school and even hosted a lunch session with some students. Thank you to the East Rockaway Education Foundation for making this opportunity possible for the students!

VIDEO: East Rockaway Welcomes Incoming Kindergartners

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East Rockaway Junior Earns Star Status

East Rockaway Junior Earns Star Status photo
East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School junior Christopher Levins was one of 28 students recognized during New York State Sen. Todd Kaminsky’s second annual Student Stars Awards event. 

Sen. Kaminsky, along with a bipartisan gathering of elected officials from across the Ninth District, honored high school leaders who have succeeded academically and given back to their communities. Each recipient was presented with the New York State Senate Student Stars Award.  

Christopher has distinguished himself as one of East Rockaway’s most outstanding students. He is enrolled in one of the most challenging academic programs, consisting of honors, accelerated and AP courses, which he approaches with grit and determination. Chris also finds the time to contribute to his community as a member of the National Honor Society, varsity soccer team, marching band, jazz band and recreational basketball.

Screen Free Week Winners Celebrated at Rhame Avenue

Screen Free Week Winners Celebrated at Rhame Avenue photo
Rhame Avenue students Ella Pizzo, Julianna Thorgersen and Matthew Travia were named winners of Screen Free Week. These students were selected for completing their Screen Free Week Activity Log. They spent time off their devices doing other activities, such as cooking, playing softball, riding bikes and spending time with family. Congratulations! 

Throwback Thursday at Rhame Avenue

Throwback Thursday at Rhame Avenue photo

Rhame Avenue students and staff participated in Throwback Thursday on May 17. Students had the opportunity to visit their teachers from the previous school year for a read-aloud and fun activity. Kindergarten students had the opportunity to be read to by the sixth-grade teachers. There was even a special surprise when retired teacher Mrs. Mary McLeod came to visit her former students. Everyone was encouraged to wear a fun fashion from a past decade. It was amazing to see all the creative outfits!

Centre Names Screen Free Week Challenge Winners

Centre Names Screen Free Week Challenge Winners photo
Centre Avenue students participated in the National Screen Free Week Challenge during the week of April 30-May 6. Three students were selected to win a prize for completing and returning the Screen Free Activity Log. Second-graders Harlow Tyrell and Mia Vetere, and kindergartner Thomas O’Hagan were among the students chosen to win a prize. These students dedicated the week to spending time off of their electronic devices and completing activities such as reading, coloring, riding bikes, dancing and spending time with family. 

Introducing the East Rockaway Schools mobile app

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