Schools Celebrate Youth Art Month

Schools Celebrate Youth Art Month Photo 1
Schools Celebrate Youth Art Month Photo 2
The district celebrated art and art education across its schools as part of Youth Art Month, observed nationally throughout the month of March.
At the high school, a culminating ceremony featuring a slideshow of all students’ works created during the month was held in the library, and was attended by administrators, faculty members and students. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham spoke about the importance of art education, commended the students for their remarkable creations, and encouraged the school’s art educators to continue inspiring through art.

Learning the Write Way

Learning the Write Way Photo
As part of a two-day writer’s workshop, students at Dodd received a visit from Long Island author Jennifer Wolf Kam. Thirty students who have an interest in writing creative fiction had the opportunity to learn about characterization and dialogue, and shared their own creative pieces with Kam. Kam also discussed her first novel, “Devin Rhodes is Dead,” a mystery that received the Children’s Book of the Year Award from the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Hardcover copies of the novel were purchased by the district and provided to students. The workshop, along with Kam’s visit, helped to support students’ passion for creative writing and promoted the importance of literacy.

Amazing Artists at Freeport

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Students across the the district had the honor of having their artwork featured in an Elementary Art Exhibit at Freeport Memorial Library through the month of March.

The exhibit, which ran from March 2-30, included the beautiful work of students from Archer, Atkinson, Bayview, Columbus, Giblyn and New Visions. The gallery was a testament to not only the remarkable artistic talents of the students, but also to the district’s commitment to art education and the level of art instruction provided throughout the the district.

Dodd Science Olympiad Amazes

Dodd Science Olympiad Photo

The Dodd Science Olympiad team performed remarkably and secured 15 medals in its competition on March 18. Dodd placed 13th out of 39 teams across Long Island in the competition.

Future Problem Solvers

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The district earned the distinction of hosting the statewide Future Problem Solving competition at Freeport High School. With schools across New York competing, the high school earned first- and second-place in the middle and senior divisions, and Dodd placed third overall in its first competition.
The two top teams will be attending the national conference in Wisconsin in June.

Delving into ‘Dancing’ at Dodd

Dancing Photo
As part of its slate of after-school activities, the Bilingual Club at Dodd recently discussed the novel, “Dancing Home” by Alma Flor Ada.

Students were provided with free copies of the novel — in their choice of English or Spanish — and participated in spirited and analytical discussions about it following their completion of the book. They discussed family, immigration and a variety of other prominent themes in the novel. As a follow-up activity, they will be reading, “Becoming Naomi León” by Pam Muńoz Ryan.

Good Sportsmanship

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Ms. Cunnane’s ENL students at Atkinson have been researching significant athletes to complement their study of Jackie Robinson, who is the central focus in the beginning of Module 3A. As part of the project, students study the importance of sports in American culture over time and analyze other respected sports figures to develop their understanding of the cultural context in which these athletes competed and the barriers these athletes broke during the times in which they lived.

The students in Ms. Cunnane’s class researched, memorized and transformed into their favorite sports figure. They presented and taught their classmates the athletes’ challenges and achievements, displayed pride and respect for each other, and modeled scholarly ethics and attentiveness.

Dodd Inducts 102 into NJHS

Dodd Inducts 102 into NJHS Photo

Dodd inducted 102 eighth-grade students into the National Junior Honor Society during a special ceremony.

These exceptional students demonstrated the five tenets of scholarship, citizenship, leadership, character and service in order to be considered for the prestigious distinction. In addition, they were required to have held a grade-point-average of 85 or better for all four quarters of seventh grade and the first quarter of eighth grade, completed an application, obtained a letter of recommendation from a teacher and performed 10 hours of community service.

The National Junior Honor Society ceremony recognized high-achieving and well-rounded students who epitomize the values they cultivate daily at Dodd.

Remarkable Wrestlers

Remarkable Wrestlers
Several students on the high school’s varsity wrestling team performed outstandingly and placed at the Nassau County Wrestling Championships held at Hofstra University.

Chad Elder, Ikce Quiles and Dashaun Thomas all earned fourth place while teammates Frankie Paulino placed fifth and Lee Mauras came in at sixth place. The district extends its congratulations to these student-athletes for their continued commitment to success both in the classroom and on the mat.

NOTICE: BOE Change of Meeting Venue


BOE Action Meeting/Budget Meeting at Bayview Avenue School - March 29, 2017

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Archer Career Day

Archer Career Day

Students at Archer Street met a variety of guest speakers representing several different fields on Career Day. Individuals and groups working in careers such as law enforcement, medicine and animal care spoke about their experiences and respective career choices. They also encouraged students to continue working hard toward achieving their dreams.

Exposure to the Arts at Art Expo

Exposure to the Arts at Art Expo1

Students at the high school recently met individuals from a variety of art-related fields at Art Expo. The event, which is part of the national celebration of visual arts known as Youth Art Month, featured several professionals who spoke about their crafts and careers. College representatives were also on hand to discuss the possibilities for students to continue their art education. The Art Expo was an informative, interactive and educational forum that allowed students to gain exposure to the vast world of the arts and arts-related careers.

True Colors

True Colors
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Jennifer Ferrarelli and William Wall’s fifth-grade class at Atkinson performed at the Freeport Recreation Center in celebration of Black History Month. The students were invited to perform following their remarkable renditions at the school’s annual Multicultural Assembly. They were led by Stephanie Arnell, who accompanied on the guitar.

Legislative Priorities and Advocacy


Freeport High School Presents Hairspray March 31 and April 1

Hairspray Poster

Students Capitol-ize

Thirty students from the the high school’s Student Government and Smart Scholars Program visited the State Capitol in Albany and met with Sen. John Brooks and Assemblyman Brian Curran to discuss funding for education in their community and state. Both representatives also provided students with the opportunity to visit the Assembly and Senate Chambers. The trip was an invaluable learning experience for students, who supplemented their classroom lessons about the government.

Cooking for a Cause

Thirty students from the the high school Student Government and the Cooking Club prepared more than 150 meals comprised of meatballs, whole grain pasta and vegetables for Coloki Inc., the Freeport Trailer. Students from both clubs volunteered their time during the weekend in order to help those in need. Student government has been cooking for Coloki for five years, and this year welcomed the addition of the Cooking Club.

The effort was the latest display of altruism that is commonplace throughout the district.

Promoting Politeness Through Pages

As a precursor to the districtwide celebration of National Read Across America Day and iconic children’s author Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2, Superintendent Dr. Kishore Kuncham visited New Visions to read to students.

Dr. Kuncham read “Each Kindness” by Jacqueline Woodson, engaging students with thought-provoking questions and urging them to embrace each other’s differences and perform random acts of kindness whenever they can. The special visit not only promoted the importance of reading regularly, but also supported the district’s ongoing character education initiatives.

Parent Message


Enrichment to Excellence

Enrichment to Excellence

As part of the Enrichment to Excellence program at Atkinson, students have been engaging in specialized learning activities designed to educate and motivate students in nontraditional settings. Program participants regularly travel to various sites — Freeport Recreation Center, H.E.L.P. Services, Hofstra University Museum, Long Island Children’s Museum, Culture Play and Cradle of Aviation— and recently participated in several hands-on activities, including squid art, video game design, chocolate creation and virtual reality studies. The Atkinson community takes pride in being a part of such an innovative and dynamic grant program.

Multicultural Magnificence


Atkinson hosted its annual Multicultural Celebration as a follow-up to the districtwide Black History Month Celebration. The event featured a variety of performances by students and staff, and included singing, acting, dancing and poetry. The show was comprised of the Mariachi Band performing “El Ray,” Kerri Albarano’s class singing “Where is the Love?,” Donna Librizzi’s and Christina Schwarz’s students presenting “Music with Meaning,” the Atkinson Step Team dancing, Team Yale presenting “Tribute to Barak Obama: Rhythm of the Beat,” Jennifer Ferrarelli’s and William Wall’s students singing “True Colors,” the faculty singing their rendition of “RESPECT,” and a performance by the Atkinson Dance Troupe.

February 2017 Points of Pride


Dodd Hosts Parent University

Dodd Hosts Parent University

Dodd staff members hosted Parent University, an informative series of workshops for parents and guardians. The event was well-attended and featured several ways for families to learn about how they can make the most of students’ years at Dodd, maximize their potential, and ultimately set them up with a sound foundation as they prepare for their transitions to high school.

Archer Knows Kindness

Archer Knows Kindness

As an extension of annual Act of Kindness Day at Archer Street, students showcased their vocal talents and demonstrated what they have learned about the importance of benevolence at the Board of Education’s February meeting. Joined with children’s musician Scott Bierko, students sang a song about kindness, and then distributed the book, “Each Kindness” by Jacqueline Woodson.

Universidad para Padres

The district hosted its first Universidad para Padres, a Parent University presented entirely in Spanish. The event was held at Atkinson, and featured district administrators and teachers speaking to parents and guardians about a wide range of topics, including early literacy and preparing for college.

Bayview Honors Beloved Police


As part of an annual tradition, fourth-graders at Bayview honored Village of Freeport police officers with heartwarming cards and a choral performance at the Adopt-a-Cop Valentine’s Day Luncheon. Each class presented the special guests with colorful creations that served to thank them for their dedication to keeping them safe day in and day out. The officers were then treated to lunch in the cafeteria as another token of appreciation.

A Hundred Reasons to Celebrate

A Hundred Reasons to Celebrate

Kindergartners at Columbus Avenue School celebrated their 100th day of learning by using the number 100 to create and display classroom posters and danced during a variety of singalongs with teachers. The students also wore colorful paper hats to commemorate this academic milestone.

Celebrating Black History


Students across the district joined together in a spirited celebration of Black History Month on Feb. 16. The sixth annual celebration brought students from all eight schools together to perform songs, skits and dances at the Performing Arts Center of Freeport High School, which was filled with parents and community residents.

The evening opened with the Presentation of Colors by the FHS Navy JROTC, which was then followed by a welcome by Director of the Department of Arts and Community Relations Ruth Breidenbach. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham spoke about the importance of celebrating Black History.

“As we mark the 41st year of National African American History Month, let us reflect on the sacrifices and contributions made by generations of African Americans, and let us resolve to continue our journey toward a day when every person, regardless of race or religion knows the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our children are the future inventors, scientists, doctors, diplomats, educators, writers, artists, athletes, entertainers and entrepreneurs that will bring new and better living to the next generations. They will continue to be our ambassadors of peace and equality.”

Dr. Kuncham also welcomed the Board of Education, staff members, Village of Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy, Town of Hempstead Senior Councilwoman Dorothy L. Goosby and Lucia Martinez, a representative from New York State Senator John E. Brooks’ Office.

High school student Michael Desir began the slate of performances with a moving rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Follow-up performances included a theatrical presentation of “Thumbprint Thank You” by the Odyssey of the Mind Team from Dodd; an uplifting performance of “This Little Light of Mine” by the kindergarten Chorus from Columbus; a foot stomping routine called “Kindness Crew” by the Step Team from Giblyn; a rousing rendition of “Gonna Ride that Freedom Train” by the third- and fourth-grade Glee Club from New Visions; a colorful dance routine called “A Rhythmic Beat of Unity” by the Archer Dance Team; a graceful performance of “Glory” by the high school’s Competition Kickline; a spirited rendition of “I Sing Because I’m Happy” by the sixth-grade Select Chorus from Atkinson; a precise Dance Mix by second-graders at Bayview; a remarkable performance of “Elijah Rock” by the high school’s Select Chorale; and a program finale featuring all of the evening’s performers singing “Freedom Train” with accompanists Asher Cook (Drums), Tim Warner (Piano) and Sam Weatherspoon (Bass). The lobby featured a Gallery of Visual Arts that showcased paintings, dress designs, drawings and renderings by students across the district.

The program served not only as a beautiful and memorable way to celebrate Black History Month, but also as a forum for students to showcase their artistic talents.

Music Program a Gold Standard

Music Program a Gold Standard

As a testament to its remarkable ensembles, dedicated faculty, connection to K-12 Arts Standards, student-led groups, special events and strong support from the Board of Education and the community, the music program at the high school was recognized as a Gold Music Program of Excellence by the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

This year is the first year the LIMHF has honored high school music programs, and FHS is one of just seven high schools across Long Island to receive this distinction. Freeport will be recognized with a banner to commemorate the honor at a special ceremony at Northport High School, where the high school’s Select Chorale will also have the opportunity to showcase its talents in a 5-10 minute performance.

FHS achieved Gold for various reasons cited by the LIMHF, including the the school’s special integrated events for Peace and Black History Month, its unique Mariachi-based program, summer music program, and recent renovation of the Performing Arts Center at FHS.

The recognition ceremony will be held on April 3.

Dodd’s Incredible Science Olympiad

Dodd’s Incredible Science Olympiad
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On Feb. 11, the Dodd Science Olympiad team competed against 43 schools in New York City, Connecticut, Virginia and on Long Island, and earned four medals. The Dodd community thanks teachers Georgia Plakas, Rosette Jean-Baptiste, Steven Whelan, Bill Behrens, Vanessa Vidalon and all participating students for their efforts.

FHS Hosts DECA Competition

FHS Hosts DECA Competition
The high school welcomed more than 1,000 students from schools across Long Island for the annual Distributive Educational Clubs of America Regional Competition.

DECA is an international association of high school and college students and teachers of management and entrepreneurship, business, finance, hospitality, and marketing sales and service. At the competition, various contests are held that allow Freeport students and their competitors to showcase their knowledge and skills in several specialized areas of business study. DECA develops leaders for careers in these specialized areas.

Several Freeport High School students placed at the regional competition under the leadership of adviser Nela Hawthorne: Jocelin Aguilera, Jaidiver Morales, Jordyn Smith and Miranda Urena for Business Law and Ethics; Audrey Arias, Odalys Benavides and Yasmin Marine for Public Relations Project; Oscaria Bruce for Personal Financial Literacy; Krytel Chambo, Dillion Finch, Katiana Thompson and Victoria Wright for Marketing Management; Michael Desir for Human Resource Management; Melanie Escobar and Evelyn Rodriguez for Travel and Tourism; Kimberly Hernandez and Erick Rivera for Sports and Entertainment; Kenny Martinez for Business Services Marketing; Miguel Merino and Sadiki Skeete for Innovation Plan; and Jennifer Perez-Pimental and Chelsey Yotagri-Gutierrez for Job Interview.

Regional competition winners will compete at the state level in Rochester from March 8-10.

Dodd Robotics Impress

Dodd Robotics Impress
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Dodd Red Devils Robotics Team A earned eighth place out of 36 overall in the Regional Qualifier at the high school on Feb. 4. Team B qualified to compete on additional spots against other high school teams, and won three out of six events. Congratulations to the Dodd Robotics Team and Robert Fallot.

‘Water is Life’ at Dodd

Students in Maryclaire Dumas-Landisi’s seventh-grade honors research classes at Dodd completed their end-of-module project-based learning experience on the topic, “Water is Life.” The primary goal of the project was for students to work within groups to discover and present various ways to promote water conservation to their peers and teachers.

Ninety-nine students in 24 different groups worked on this project, with each group presenting their message in a unique way. “Water Week” was held from Jan. 30-Feb. 3, and featured vocabulary quizzes, a water wheel game, surveys, a water broadcast, raffles, prizes and a movie and documentary.

Students learned about why “Water is Life,” and about the issues surrounding water sustainability throughout the world. The module focused on water management problems — agriculturally, industrially and personally — and students learned how to make evidence-based decisions based on a list of diverse sources. They were tasked with clarifying why humans need to focus their attention on solutions to such water management problems.
As a result of “Water is Life,” students now understand the seriousness of world water crises, and learned how to effectively research, analyze and develop opinions while writing a persuasive research paper. They also learned how to become more caring and informed citizens.

Celebrating 20-Year Stars

Celebrating 20-Year Stars

The district Board of Education and Central Administration recently honored staff members who celebrated their 20th anniversary during a special ceremony. Each of the 16 honorees received a plaque as a token of appreciation for their incredible work day in and day out.
Staff members Thomas Alma, Ruth Breidenbach, Joni Caggiano, Patricia Carlino, Diane Durdaller, Debra Ferrugia, Lorrie Greene, Alicia Keper, Jeanne Malone, Julissa Ramos, Claretha Richardson, Lillian Salzer, Shelly Scully, Lisselote Vurture, Angela Wheat and Steven Whelan were recognized for their hard work, dedication and commitment.

The district congratulates these 16 outstanding individuals on their milestone and thanks them for their continued service to Freeport Public Schools.

Chess Nuts

Chess Nuts
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As part of a 10-week after school program funded by the 21st Century Grant, students at New Visions have been participating in Chess Nuts. Chess Nuts provides both beginner and intermediate players the opportunity to learn and sharpen their strategic and critical thinking skills.

At the conclusion of the first of four Chess Nuts sessions, students in grades K-4 received medals and trophies based on the number of matches they won. Fourth-grader Chase Holt won the top prize following victories in four matches.

Cornell Corporate Extensions at Dodd

Nutritionists from Cornell Corporate Extensions visited Dodd to host food lab lessons during the month of January. The experience provided students with the opportunity to not only cook innovative nutritional meals, but to also learn about macronutrients and food groups. The visit also served to reinforce the importance of raising awareness about nutritious meals, and how such meals correlate to students’ performance in school.

Budget Legislative Committee Public Notice - February 8, 2017


Classroom Camaraderie

As part of an annual tradition, Archer Street hosted Teambuilding Day to promote collaboration and camaraderie among students. Students were encouraged to wear shirts and jerseys representing their favorite sport teams, and were tasked with several activities throughout the school — including a LEGO Bridge Challenge and color-coded balloon toss — that required patience, planning and preparation with their peers. Teambuilding Day served as a forum for students to put into practice the lessons they’ve learned in class about teamwork.

January 2017 Points of Pride


Super Spellers

New Visions fourth-grader Kiran Manansingh won the school’s Spelling Bee by correctly spelling the word, “infuriating.” Second- and third-place winners were Bryana Quiros and Mustafa Asif, respectively.
Manansingh will be representing the school in the Scripps Spelling Bee at Hofstra on Feb. 5.

STEMming for Success

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Students in Archer’s Science Enrichment morning program are learning the fundamentals of engineering and their relationship to STEM. Recently, they were tasked with building a structure using plastic cups, and worked as teams to build the tallest structure possible. To accomplish this, they demonstrated their understanding of related concepts and what limitations were presented by the materials. Students were then tasked with creating a building that could hold weight using 20 marshmallows and 20 toothpicks; they worked in pairs and combined their materials.