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Upcoming Facilities Tour

Saturday, March 23, 2019 11:00 a.m. Please sign up for this event using the link:

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.

Board/Budget Work Session Notice - March 19, 2019


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.

Human Number Line

Human Number Line photo
Rhame Avenue third-graders in Mrs. Beyrer and Mrs. Beufve's class were a human number line under the tutelage of math specialist Mr. Bixhorn. For the lesson, students estimated where whole numbers would be placed on the number line and then were able to successfully transition to fractions. Volunteers were invited to jump by fraction intervals along the number line as the class counted along.  

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.

Upcoming BMCHSD-Parent Center Program - 4-2-19 - Are Our Teens Stressed or Depressed?

WHO:   The Community Parent Center, the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, The Bellmore-Merrick Community Coalition, Senator John Brooks, Assemblyman David McDonough, Legislator Tom McKevitt, Legislator Steve Rhoads, Bellmore UFSD, N. Bellmore UFSD, Merrick UFSD and N. Merrick UFSD
WHAT:  “Are Our Teens Stressed or Depressed – Mental Health Challenges of Adolescence” – a presentation for parents.  Guest speaker – Laura Campbell, Director of Education – Long Island Crisis Center – Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor
WHEN:  Tuesday, April 2, 2019 – 7:30 p.m.
WHERE:  Brookside School – Board Room # 13
               1260 Meadowbrook Road, North Merrick. 

WHY:  Adolescent depression is increasing at an alarming rate. Recent surveys indicate that as many as one in five teens suffers from clinical depression. This is a serious problem that calls for prompt, appropriate treatment.This workshop will discuss typical adolescence versus actual warning signs of depression and anxiety disorders. This is an opportunity to enhance your skills when interacting with tweens, teens and young adults in the ever changing, stressful world in which they live.

Pre-registration is suggested 
If you are planning to attend, please fill out an online registration form at
Google Docs Link:
RSVP via e-mail or phone MaryKate Galluccio, program manager, Community Parent Center at 516-992-1087 or email

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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Staff Honored with Achievement Award photo 3
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Staff Honored with Achievement Award photo 5
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.

Parent Workshop - Teaching Verbal Behavior - March 20


East Rockaway Safe Homes Parent Network

Click here for more information

Winter Newsletter – Now Available


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.

Stop the Bleed Training - April 11


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
Arts Program Highlights Young East Rockaway Talent photo 2
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.



Rhame Hot Cocoa Celebration

Rhame Hot Cocoa Celebration photo

Rhame Avenue hosted a sweet event on Valentine’s Day, where students from kindergarten through sixth grade participated in a hot cocoa celebration to honor the winners of the Winter Writing Contest. The event was sponsored by the Rhame Avenue School Writing Action Team.

For the contest, students applied their creative skills and wrote a narrative piece that focused on winter. Entries varied from poems, plays, science fiction pieces and recipes for the best hot cocoa. 

A winner was chosen from each class, and Principal Erik Walter enjoyed hearing the entries and presenting the winners with an award and special prize. 

Rhame Hosts ‘Craft and Story Night’

Rhame Hosts ‘Craft and Story Night’ photo
Rhame Hosts ‘Craft and Story Night’ photo 2
Students in grades K-2 at Rhame Avenue were engaged in storytelling and hands-on crafty activities during “Craft and Story Night,” hosted by the Rhame Avenue PTA. During the event, students relaxed in their pajamas and listened to Pat Zietlow Miller’s story "Be Kind," which was read by students Olivia Mastrogiacomo and Autumn Roth. After that, students were active in creating artistic works with family and friends.

Mock Trial to Advance in Competition

Mock Trial to Advance in Competition photo
The Junior-Senior High School Mock Trial club attended the first round of the New York State Mock Trial Tournament on Feb. 13 at the Nassau County Supreme Court. 

Students worked as a team of lawyers to question and cross examine witnesses during their 1.5-hour case. The county wide tournament includes teams from more than 50 different high schools. The East Rockaway team will return for the next stage of competition on Feb. 27.

Seventh-Grade LOTE Program

Seventh-Grade LOTE Program photo
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Junior-Senior High School seventh-grade students are working on their cultural research projects for the Language Other Than English (LOTE) program. The project requires students to explore an aspect of a culture that speaks Italian or Spanish and then write a paper that follows the MLA citations. Students have been working diligently in the school library, analyzing sources and finding data to support their initial claims. Once completed, seventh-graders will present their findings to their classes. 

Using Skills to Celebrate Presidents Day


Ms. Heather Loughran’s and Ms. Mary Arapas’ first-grade classes at Centre Avenue school celebrated Presidents Day by participating in festive activities that sharpened their literary and math skills, along with their knowledge on George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

For the assignment, students wore paper Abraham Lincoln hats and were split into groups. Each group rotated to five stations with either a George Washington or Abraham Lincoln theme. Students had to solve problems at each station through technology, writing, sorting, measuring or subtracting.

‘The Addict’s Diary’ Founder Speaks to Students


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

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

Showcasing Knowledge in Hands-on Activity


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

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

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

We Rock Awards

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

Successful Clothing Drive

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

Kindness Kick-Off

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

Chinese New Year

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

Concert Conductors

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

Investigating Nature of Roots

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

Facilities Forum Presentation

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

Flight Night at Rhame

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

Program Builds Self-Esteem for Girls

Program Builds Self-Esteem for Girls photo

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

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

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

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

K Kids Clean up the School

K Kids Clean up the School photo

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


Building Snowmen with Google Slides

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

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

Student Graduates Early to Serve Country

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

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

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

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

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

State Mentoring Program

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

GeoBee Winners

GeoBee Winners photo
GeoBee Winners photo 2
Fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students at Rhame Avenue and Centre Avenue schools recently participated in the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee. 

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

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

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

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

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

Board Honors Memorial Essay Winners

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tarsia Jigsaw Puzzle Activity

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

Students Set Academic Goals

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

VIDEO: Students Flourish in Eureka Math


Students Work Together in Physics

Students Work Together in Physics photo
Students Work Together in Physics photo 2
Junior-Senior High School students are getting hands-on and teaming up to solve challenges in physics classes. In Regents Physics class, students used a simple pendulum apparatus to come to the conclusion that the mass of a pendulum bob does not influence the period. Meanwhile, students in AP Physics 1 were assigned a part II problem to complete on a piece of poster paper. After the problems were completed, they participated in a gallery walk to check their work with the ‘experts’ on the problem.

Properties of Matter Hands-on Experiment

matter image

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

Gingerbread Man STEAM Challenge

Gingerbread Man STEAM Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

News 12 Long Island
WALK 97.5 FM

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

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


Facilities Committee

Click here to access the Facilities Committee page