Public Notice - February 8, 2016

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A Merry Time with Maritime

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Fourth-graders at New Visions learned about the maritime cultural traditions of Long Island as part of a program hosted by the Long Island Traditions organization.
    
Each class received a visit from a bayman and an ocean fisherman, both of whom spoke about their lives on the water and their experiences. Following the visits, students participated in hands-on maritime-related activities, including learning how to repair fishing nets, carve duck decoys, and observing and touching a variety of marine life, including crabs, eels and fish. Students also learned about the different types of traps that baymen and fishermen use.
    
The visit served as a fun and educational way for students to learn about sea life and the experiences of those who routinely work around it.

Teaching Teamwork at Archer

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Students at Archer Street participated in a variety of teambuilding activities designed to encourage camaraderie and collaboration to achieve goals.
    
The day was comprised of students being tasked with several objectives that required patience, planning and preparation with their peers. The various activities included students working together to build structures using straws and marshmallows; students in groups holding the ends of string to lift one cup at a time and ultimately creating a pyramid of cups; students interlocking their arms while sitting back-to-back and being tasked with standing up while remaining interlocked; and students communicating with each other to put balloons in a particular spot without letting them touch the ground.
    
The activities served as ways for students to put into practice the lessons about teamwork that they learn in class.

Roars of Applause for Dodd’s ‘Lion King Jr.’

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To the delight of district students, families, staff members and administrators, the Dodd Drama Club presented its remarkable rendition of “The Lion King Jr.” at the high school’s Performing Arts Center.

Under the leadership of producer and director Robyn Workman and music director Kathleen Alvarez, students played their roles to perfection and harmoniously sang classic tunes popularized by the Broadway production and film, including “Hakuna Matata” and “Circle of Life.” The play also featured the decorative artwork of students in Amy Bendel’s seventh-grade art class.

The cast presented an afternoon preview of the show to students of schools across the district — Atkinson, Archer, Bayview, Columbus, Giblyn and New Visions —  prior to a full evening performance. The cast was comprised of seventh- and eighth-graders, including Mia Sorrentnino as Rafiki; Raven Morgan as Mufasa; Kaori Mordan as Sarabi; Simone Louder as Zazu; Elijah Hollingsworth as Scar; Jarrell Pampan as Young Simba; Vielka Abreu as Young Nala; Anthony Peralta as Simba; and Alia Nunge as Nala.

Dodd’s performance of “The Lion King Jr.” highlighted the incredible musical, theatrical and artistic talents of students, in addition to the stellar level of arts instruction they are receiving.

Columbus Creates Valentines for Veterans

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Kindergartners at Columbus created special cards as part of a Valentines for Veterans art project. Using multi-colored scrap pieces, red-and-pink construction paper, crayons and their imaginations, the students completed their projects and learned about the value of showing compassion to the nation’s heroes. The colorful creations will be sent to veterans prior to Valentine’s Day.

2/9/16 - Planning/Action Mtg. Atkinson 7:30pm

January Points of Pride

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Popcorn Compassion

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As part of their ongoing altruistic efforts, students at Atkinson are raising funds by selling popcorn to support St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
    
The students are following up “Socktober,” during which they donated new socks to soldiers, and charitable efforts during the holidays that included delivering homemade cookies to a local police station and collecting nonperishable foods, with Popcorn Fridays. On this special day each week, students sell popcorn and cups of lemonade or iced tea for $1. The initiative represents the latest charitable endeavor made by the student government, one of the clubs that is part of the school’s 21st century after school program. Popcorn Fridays are held during fifth- and sixth-grade lunch periods on Fridays.
    
The initiative highlights Atkinson student government’s outstanding display of compassion, as well as the generosity of the entire student body who donate to support a worthy cause.

Team Columbia Rises at Atkinson

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As a culminating activity in their analysis of the book “Esperanza Rising,” Team Columbia — one of the teams at Atkinson named after Ivy League institutions this year — displayed their group projects and visited each other’s classrooms. The dual-language students showcased their work to teachers and administrators, and together they tasted authentic food motivated by the novel. Students discussed their projects using quotes, text-based details and their own creative interpretations of Esperanza’s journey.
    
Atkinson teachers are proud of the students for their hard work and demonstration of their understanding of the influential novel.

SAT Exam Rescheduled for Saturday, February 27th

The SAT Exam cancelled on Saturday, January 23rd due to the blizzard has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 27th at Freeport High School at 7:30 a.m. The College Board will be communicating additional details to all registrants.

New Visions Honors MLK’s Legacy

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Students and staff at New Visions dressed in black and white to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during a special ceremony prior to the national holiday.
    
The program featured several vocal performances by students in each grade, as well as the presentation of the school’s annual MLK Peace Award to one extraordinary fourth-grader. The award, which recognizes a student’s exceptional contributions of peace and leadership, was presented to Natasha Resias, who received a trophy, medallion, certificate and the honor of having her name displayed on a plaque inside the school. Resias was chosen from a pool of seven students nominated for the award by their teachers and classmates. Medallions and certificates were presented to the six runners-up to the award.
    
Dr. King’s dream was celebrated with a variety of performances, including “Lean On Me,” “Imagine,” and “Happiness,” as well as with a poem recited by students. Facts about Dr. King’s life were also presented by students throughout the program.
    
The ceremony served to not only celebrate the virtues of leadership and peace epitomized by Dr. King, but to also recognize New Visions students who continue to exhibit those ideals daily.

Stars Out at FEF Fundraiser Concert

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The Freeport Educational Foundation (FEF) hosted the first Freeport Stars of Today and Tomorrow Benefit Concert, designed to raise funds for the school district. The mission of the foundation is to change the lives of the children of Freeport. The FEF raises funds through alumni- and community-outreach, corporate sponsors and individual donors, and 100 percent of the proceeds are used to provide innovative programs to enhance learning for students and to provide scholarships for graduating seniors.

The evening featured district alumni, current students, staff members and parents of students performing beautiful melodies to the delight of the audience in Freeport High School’s Performing Arts Center. The Master of Ceremonies for the event, News 12 anchor Elizabeth Hashagen, who grew up in Freeport, was joined in the audience by the FEF Board of Directors, school district Board of Education, administrators, staff members, and Village of Freeport trustees. Hashagen said that she is proud to be a product of Freeport, and that the concert is a testament to the school district’s dedication to expanding programs and enriching opportunities for students. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham said that fundraising for the FEF would not be possible without the support of the community. He thanked the fundraising committee and expressed gratitude to FEF President Butch Yamali and the FEF Board of Directors.  

“Thank you all for your generosity and your support for the foundation, Freeport Public Schools and our students,” Dr. Kuncham said. “I want to thank everyone who made this evening possible. The power of giving is greater than the joy of receiving, and your contributions continue to demonstrate that. You deserve a round of applause.”

The concert included performances by Class of 2009 chorus standout Joseph Smith; Class of 2008 steel-band arranger and composer Andre White, who performed with four of his former music teachers in the Freeport Public School District; vocalist Carolyn Harding, the parent of a student in the Class of 2019; Class of 2013 musician/actor Nick Ashe, who plays Simba in “The Lion King” on Broadway; Serene Harmonics student singing group; and several other remarkable and talented performers hailing from Freeport.

Examples of projects made possible by FEF fundraising efforts have included work in which students learn coding skills to create, problem solve and develop mental rigor; the construction of a high-altitude balloon which will gather atmospheric data for student analysis and interpretation; Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) projects across the district; and new music and art software on Chromebooks at Columbus. Students at the secondary schools will synthesize and analyze gold nanoparticles using electron scanning microscopy and light scattering equipment at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The foundation has announced the funding of four scholarships for graduating seniors.

The Freeport Stars of Today and Tomorrow FEF benefit concert resulted in more than $20,000 in ticket sales, sponsorships and pledges. The concert served as a testament to the community’s support for the district’s ongoing efforts to maintain and enhance its slate of innovative programs.

FHS Hosts DECA Competition

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The high school welcomed hundreds of students from schools across Long Island for the annual Distributive Educational Clubs of America (DECA) 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: Melanie Escobar, Mealiendy Exantus, Jasmine Harrigan and Yumel Hernandez for Travel & Tourism; Santana Hernandez for Automotive Service; Javier Lechuga, Sadki Skeete, Katiana Thompson and Victoria Wright for Marketing Communication; Yasmin Marine and Wildelina Peralta for Sports and Entertainment; Jaidiver Morales and Abigail Peralta for Business Law & Ethics; Evelyn Rodriguez for Retail Merchandising; and Jewelle Trotman for Apparel & Accessories.
    
Regional competition winners will compete at the state level in Rochester from March 9-11.

Publishing Parties at New Visions

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As part of the district’s new writing initiative, third- and fourth-graders at New Visions celebrated the publishing of books they wrote with separate parties. The students, who wrote about “small moments,” presented their stories to an audience that included Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Gerard Poole, New Visions administrators, teachers and parents. The events served as a way to commemorate students’ creation of books featuring their own stories and artwork.

Plentiful Holiday Spirits at Atkinson

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At Atkinson, students’ talents are showcased and celebrated as often as possible. During the holiday season, teachers creatively organized an interactive assembly featuring the band, orchestra and chorus. The highlight of the assembly, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” was comprised of students and teachers in each homeroom standing up and performing their appointed rehearsed verses. Students and teachers set the stage — literally — for high expectations in all areas. Atkinson is proud of this collaboration, creativity, positive display of talent and lively spirit, and thanks all who made it possible.

Writers’ Evolution

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English as a New Language (ENL) students in Ms. Gross and Ms. Ferriso’s classes are honing their writing skills to become sensational authors and critics. They are learning and mastering Writer’s Workshop strategies, and evolving into well-rounded young men and women as a result. Recently, students presented personal narratives and followed up by applying sentence starters for practicing and modeling positive feedback. This is just one example of the authentic and student-centered approaches taken by Atkinson staff.

Standout Singers Represent District at All-State

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Eight high school chorus students represented the district at the annual New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Winter Conference in Rochester.
    
Under the leadership of Select Chorale Director Monique Retzlaff, standout singers Christopher Fludd, Joel Patterson, Kevin Jackson, Makayla Willocks, Victoria Wright, Tyler-Lenai Williams, Stefanie Workman, and Jasmine Euell performed remarkable renditions of songs to rousing ovations. An alternate chorus student, Christina Morris, attended the conference as part of the orchestra group. Freeport continues to have one of the highest representations of chorus students in New York at the All-State winter conference.
    
“These students continue to amaze me in countless ways,” said Retzlaff. “It’s not just their beautiful voices; it’s their tireless participation in practice sessions, their willingness to put in the work necessary on this stage, and their commitment to musical success.”

New Visions Students Showcase Math Skills

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Approximately 30 third- and fourth-graders at New Visions participated in a Math Bee in front of their peers, parents and teachers. Students demonstrated their fluency in mathematics by using “mental math” to add, subtract, multiply and divide. The three winners for each grade were awarded trophies, and each participant received a certificate.

District is First on L.I. with Program in Nanotechnology with Brookhaven National Lab

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Freeport Public Schools became the first school district on Long Island to have its “Introducing Nanotechnology into the High School Curriculum” proposal approved by the Center of Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
    
“This partnership with Brookhaven National Labs will provide our students with real-world experiences in the growing field of nanotechnology and enable them to explore college and career paths in areas of advanced science research beyond the typical high school classroom,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham.
    
As part of the approved curriculum, students in Edward Irwin’s science research class at Freeport High School will produce nanoparticles. Irwin will take the nanoparticles to Brookhaven and, together with the scientists at CFN, will conduct experiments using scanning electron microscopy, small angle x-ray scattering and dynamic light scattering equipment to determine the sizes of the nanoparticles. Students will observe Irwin perform the various experiments and interact with Brookhaven scientists via teleconferencing.
    
Nanotechnology is the science of particles that are about 10 billionths of a meter in size. Though the particles are very small, their properties are unique, which makes them useful in a wide range of applications encompassing healthcare, clean water and energy, cancer therapy, cosmetics and clothing. By the end of the year, the market for nanotechnology products will be worth more than $26 billion, requiring two million workers and approximately six million supporting positions, according to Dr. Vincent Pereira, district science coordinator.

To make science more relevant to district students and prepare them for the 21st century workforce, the district plans to introduce the main concepts and properties of noble metal nanoparticles into the 5-12 grade science curriculums.