BOE Action Meeting at Bayview Avenue School - December 21, 2016

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Archer Street School Turkey Trot

 Freeport TV

New Visions Math Bee

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New Visions students participated in the annual schoolwide Math Bee, showcasing their skills in a competitive format. The students were selected to represent their respective classes in a test of math fluency and speed, and used “mental math” to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems.
    
Congratulations to winners Brian Cruz-Molina (first-grade), Nicholas Pereira (second-grade), Malaki Cadet (third-grade), and Kiran Manansingh (fouth-grade).

Giblyn’s Drive

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In November, Giblyn held its annual Thanksgiving Spirit Week and Food Drive, encouraging students to bring in donations for Freeport Outreach to help families throughout the community.

The presidents and vice presidents of the fourth-grade classes helped organize and pack up all of the donations, and each day had a different theme: students and staff displayed their spirit on Neon Monday, Twin Tuesday, Western Wednesday, Team Thursday and Superhero Friday.

The week ended with the theme of superheroes to reinforce that each and every one of Giblyn’s students is a superhero for their altruism and helpfulness. In total, Giblyn students brought in 3,438 items to be donated.




Shell Decorations

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Students in Dodd’s 21st Century Expressions Through Art program, led by school social worker Felice Niland, painted shells as part of an art project they selected. The shells, which were supplied by staff member Donna Riso from nearby Nautical Mile, were first scrubbed and then painted by the students.

Dazzler at the Empire State Building

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The high school’s Select Chorale had the honor of showcasing its remarkable talents at the Empire State Building during the holiday season. The group, led by Director Monique Retzlaff, performed on the 80th floor at the Dare to Dream exhibit, and was then treated to a tour on the 86th observatory floor.
    
“Our Select Chorale brought such joy to the tourists with their beautiful voices,” said Retzlaff. “The group cherishes the privilege to perform in such a majestic landmark, and I am so proud of the hard work and practice they have put in.”

NOTICE: Board of Education Change of Meeting Venue

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Class of 2017’s Top 10

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The high school has announced its top 10 students of the Class of 2017 — those with the highest cumulative grade point averages, including the valedictorian and salutatorian. The district extends its congratulations to these students, who have consistently demonstrated a dedication to learning and outstanding work ethic: valedictorian Kimberly Serna, salutatorian Karissa Collins, Victoria Wright (3), Melissa Alvarez (4), Rajiv Chanda (5), Ismary Jimenez (6), Kaitlin McLaughlin (7), Abbey Ebesu (8), Erica Matos-DeLosSantos (9), and Kristen Kumi (10).

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Giblyn’s Summer Readers

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Giblyn students were honored at the November PTA meeting for their participation in the Summer Reading Club at the Freeport Memorial Library. Their hard work and dedication to reading earned a trophy for Giblyn for the second consecutive year. The district extends its congratulations to Giblyn’s top readers, Arianna Persaud and Ethan Francois.

Archer’s Giving Tree

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In partnership with Our Holy Redeemer Parish Outreach in Freeport, Archer Street sponsored a holiday “Giving Tree” prior to Thanksgiving.

The Archer community collected donations of canned and packaged foods, paper goods, plastic ware, and other nonperishable items that Our Holy Redeemer Parish Outreach would then provide to children and adults throughout the community. Students who brought in donations had their names written on paper leaves that were placed on the “Giving Tree” in one of the school’s hallways. The activity served as a way for Archer Street to give back to its community, and also taught students the importance of charitable endeavors during the season of giving.

We Are the Long Island Champions!

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Following a fantastic season that ended with the Red Devils becoming the Class 1 Nassau County Champions, the team played on to win the Long Island Championship against William Floyd. On November 25th, the Red Devils defeated the Suffolk Champions 28-14 at Hofstra Stadium. The stands were filled with fans cheering their champion football team on to victory. Go Freeport!

Dodd’s Mentoring Program

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Eight years ago, Dodd social worker Felice Niland attended a conference featuring speaker John Hershey of the Mentoring Partnership of Long Island, now known as Mentor NY.
    
Hershey charged each participant with returning back to their school and starting a mentoring program, and Niland began the quest right away. During the first year of mentoring, Dodd had 12 teachers mentoring 12 students. Eight years later, Dodd has 53 mentors mentoring 103 students. In November, Dodd was invited to have one of their mentees speak about what mentoring has meant to her at the Mentor NY annual fundraiser at Neiman Marcus.
    
Jasmine Figueroa, now a high school freshman, gave a moving and eloquent speech about how mentoring helped her through middle school. She spoke highly and emotionally about her mentor, Michele Haimes, FACS teacher at Dodd. Haimes mentored Figueroa for two years — informally the first year and formally the second — and provided her with support.
    
Mentoring has been proven to reduce truancy, improve academics and help students feel more connected to school. Eighty percent of students who have had a mentor go on to become mentors themselves later in life.
    
The mentoring program has proven to be a worthwhile initiative, and one the school will continue for many years to come.

Liberty Partnership at Atkinson

The Liberty Partnership Program Family Dinner took place at Atkinson on Nov. 18, where parents were introduced to this unique after-school program. The program partners with Nassau Community College to promote students’ academic assistance, social and emotional learning, community service projects, enrichment/art projects, field trips, a summer program, and ensuring college and career readiness.

The director, Donntoya Bailey, introduced the program to parents and also had informational pamphlets available about college resources, career planning and financial aid opportunities. Parents were also introduced to the Liberty Partnership Program staff at Atkinson, comprised of Principal Consuelo Velez and teachers Bryan Fiore, Sharin Gross, Emily Hertzberg, Mauricio Riveros and Mariella Ryan.






Giblyn Ninjas

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Giblyn was transformed into an obstacle course of fun and friendly competition as it hosted family sports night for its staff members, students and their families.

This year’s theme was “American Ninja Warrior Challenge,” based on the television series, and featured a wide variety of physical activities such as rock-climbing, rope-swinging, and wiggling through hula hoops and tents. While most of the activities were set up in the gymnasium, there was fun to be had all around the school as the hallways also featured various challenges. Students prepared for the obstacle course by training in their gym classes.

Giblyn’s family sports night was a fun way to promote the benefits of an active lifestyle and the importance of teamwork.

Giblyn Celebrates Writing

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Second-graders at Giblyn culminated their unit in narrative writing with a shared class reading. Students in Ms. Corbo’s and Ms. Correnti’s classes paired up, as well as students in Ms. Moloney and Ms. DeFranco’s classes. Over the course of 10 weeks, the students worked through the writing process by adding craft moves, revising, and editing to their small moment stories. Each student also brought a published piece of writing to share in a group and enjoyed receiving feedback from their peers.

Ninety-Three Inducted to National Honor Society

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Ninety-three standout students at the high school were inducted to the prestigious National Honor Society in a special candlelighting ceremony attended by members of the board of education, district administrators, families and friends.

The new inductees, sitting among current members of the NHS, were sworn into an organization that recognizes the four tenets of scholarship, service, leadership and character. Adviser Eileen Shultis, who led the program, announced the six NHS officers: President Phalan Smith, Vice President Nyeem Mahoney, Secretary Kimberly Adames, Treasurer Karissa Collins, Student Liaison Elizabeth Sekreta and Director of Community Service Jamie Lopez-Lamar.

Individually, the officers spoke about what each pillar represents and means, and student class representatives lit candles to commemorate the new inductees’ exemplification of them. The names of the students who earned induction to the NHS were announced, and each received a medal from Principal Linda Carter. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, who administered the Honor Society Oath following the medal ceremony, commended students for being on the path to success and exhibiting well-rounded excellence.

“What you have all shown is that you have excelled in many aspects of life,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham said. “It is so important to excel in the four facets of scholarship, leadership, service and character. These are the pillars that will guide you, not only now, but throughout your life. The standards are so high, and you are not here by accident. Your hard work and dedication, and the virtues you have carried with you all your life, have earned you a place in this prestigious organization.”

All 93 new inductees were encouraged to proudly wear their medals to school the following day as part of a longstanding Freeport High School tradition.

Fall 2016 Newsletter Now Available!

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November 2016 Points of Pride

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We Won! Freeport Red Devils Win Nassau County Class I Championship

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On Nov. 17, the Red Devils capped off an amazing season and defeated the Farmingdale Dalers 53-28 to win the Nassau County Class I Championship. Freeport (10-1) will compete against the winner of the William Floyd vs. Ward Melville game for the Long Island Class I Championship on Friday, Nov. 25 at noon at Hofstra University. Tickets to the game will be sold at game time at Hofstra. Please plan to attend the game and support our team. Go Freeport!

Putting Safety First

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The district hosted an informational session about Megan’s Law that was designed to disseminate important details and tips about what parents can do to ensure the safety of their children and families.

With members of the board of education, administrators and elected officials also in attendance, representatives of the Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center were available to address any concerns and answer questions about Megan’s Law. Laura Ahearn, executive director of the CVC, conducted a presentation titled “What You Need to Know About Megan’s Law in New York,” and discussed at length current issues surrounding the law.

“Ensuring the safety and security of our children is a top priority,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham said. “It is crucial for all of us to protect our students, and to do everything in our power to shield them from any potential dangers. Thank you for taking the time to attend this important informational meeting about what you can do.”

Village of Freeport trustee Carmen Piñeyro and state Assemblyman Brian Curran expressed that they are not only dedicated to the cause, but also vigilant and proactive in their efforts to spur positive change.

The session allowed the district to provide information aligned with its goal of ensuring the safety and security of all students by keeping parents informed.

Notice of Public Hearing - Proposed Cold War Veterans Tax Exemption for Qualifying Residential Real Property

FREEPORT UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT
Caroline G. Atkinson School
December 7, 2016, 7:30 P.M.


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a public hearing will be held on December 7, 2016 at 7:30 P.M. prevailing time at Caroline G. Atkinson School located at 58 W Seaman Avenue, Freeport, NY, at which time and place the Board of Education of the Freeport Union Free School District will discuss and consider whether it should authorize a partial real property tax exemption to certain qualified cold war veterans residing within the District pursuant to Section 458-b of the Real Property Tax Law of the State of New York. The public hearing shall be held at the time and place stated herein.

Mariachi at Molloy

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During Superintendent’s Conference Day on Nov. 8, the Atkinson Mariachi Band, under the direction of music teacher Justin Friedman, performed at Molloy College. The students showcased their remarkable talents for music teachers from several Long Island school districts, and the performance was yet another testament to Friedman’s dedication and passion.


Idols Amaze

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Students at the high school participated in the fourth annual Freeport Idol singing competition before their peers, teachers and administrators. The popular event, which serves as a fundraiser for the ninth-grade select chorus, is based on the national reality series “American Idol.”

Freeport Idol featured various solo and duet songs performed by students who competed for first, second and third place, and were assessed by three guest judges. The winners were Sincere Williams (first place), Myles Carter (second place), and Michael Desir and Makayla Willocks (third place), who performed a duet. Williams, Carter, and Desir and Willocks won $150, $50 and $25, respectively. The guest judges were former Freeport Board of Education president and Freeport Village trustee Debra Mulé; Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir assistant director and administrator Brandon Camphor; and Brooklyn-based R&B and gospel recording artist Taneka Samone.

The ninth-grade select chorus raised $700 in ticket sales. The district congratulates all the students who participated in showcasing their remarkable talents and helped make the event a success.

Marching Band Amazes Again

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The district extends its congratulations to the high school marching band for participating in the 54th annual Newsday Marching Band Festival. Since the beginning of this historical tradition, Freeport Schools have proudly joined to celebrate marching band shows from all over Long Island.
Under the direction of Mike LaSorsa, Adam Rubin and Color Guard Coach Jahn Scott, the marching band brought its spirited performance of an ACDC medley to Mitchell Field. The audience was entertained by the precise movement of the band, drum line, flags and dancers, all of whom wowed the crowd with high energy and enthusiasm.

Pumpkin Predictions

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Second-graders at Giblyn learned that pumpkins can be used for more than decorating or carving.

As a supplement to their curriculum with Operation Splash, the students participated in a long-term science experiment. First, they carved the pumpkins and learned about their different parts, and then conducted additional STEM-related activities. Instead of throwing the hollowed-out pumpkin away, they created a mock landfill inside of it. Each class filled the pumpkin with various pieces of trash including plastic, food and aluminum, and made predictions about which items will decompose prior to burying them into the ground.

On Earth Day in April, the classes will dig up the pumpkins to verify their predictions.

Columbus Celebrates Autumn

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Columbus celebrated fall-themed elements such as the colors of autumn and seasonal fruits and vegetables with a variety of activities, including pumpkin carving, coloring and painting. In addition, Beth & Scott and Friends performed fun and informative symphonies for students in an interactive forum. The performances were aligned with the school’s ongoing character education and “The Golden Rule.”

Columbus Learns Fire Safety

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Students at Columbus learned the essentials of fire safety during a visit from the Freeport Fire Department. The students had an opportunity to climb onto the truck with the firefighters, and were taught how to execute the “stop, drop and roll” method of escaping fires.

Parent University Informational Meeting

Reunión informativa

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New Visions Hosts Parent University

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More than 70 parents attended the first New Visions Parent University of the school year. The program was designed to offer tips about supporting students academically and socially-emotionally.

The various workshops, which included Reading Comprehension Strategies for Parents, Vocabulary Strategies for Parents, Math Fluency, Bullying and Cyberbullying, were aligned with the district’s focus on questioning techniques and building vocabulary skills.
Each workshop was conducted for 45 minutes, and parents were provided with invaluable information and materials to take home.

Dedicated to Positive Change

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The district was one of just three in the state to be honored with the “Be the Change for Kids” Innovation Award by the New York State School Boards Association and SUNY Polytechnic Institute. The district received a $5,000 prize during an awards ceremony in Albany for “Introducing Nanotechnology into the K-12 Science Curriculum,” and was recognized for continuing to promote innovative approaches to programs related to science, technology, engineering and math. Along with district administrators and staff, students attended the ceremony and received a tour of the science research labs at SUNY Poly.

NYSSBA and SUNY Poly recognized Freeport as a leader in advanced science studies after it became the first school district on Long Island to have its proposal for the nanotechnology program approved by the Center of Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Among several benefits that will be realized as a result of this program are that students will be better prepared for the 21st-century workforce because they will have been introduced to nano-enabled lab activities. These activities will enable them to synthesize nanoparticles and observe their teacher and BNL scientists characterize them through internet-facilitated teleconferencing tools.

“Freeport Public Schools is proud to have earned the ‘Be the Change for Kids’ Innovation Award,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “The partnership with Brookhaven National Laboratory 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.”

Dodd Walks Against Breast Cancer

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In observance of October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, students and staff from Dodd participated in a five-mile walk at Jones Beach. The purpose of the walk was to raise awareness about breast cancer and to display solidarity in the fight against it. Dodd raised a remarkable $1,200 for the cause.

Author Visits Giblyn

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To help kick off the 2016 Pick a Reading Partner program sponsored by the school's PTA, children's author Daryl Cobb visited Giblyn and delivered an inspirational presentation about his journey from being a musician in Nashville to becoming a published author.
    
The author’s visit was designed to connect with students' life experiences to further engage them in reading and writing. Cobb captivated the students with his fun, literature-based songs, and students enjoyed clapping and singing along to his musical story presentations. Cobb explained how he was able to become published, and the students had the opportunity to see their teachers participate in an interactive reader’s theater.
     
Cobb also shared some useful tips on how to be a great author and explained how his story ideas stem from small moments in his life. The students were able to make the connection between this idea and what they are currently studying in the Lucy Calkins Writing Program at school. He also emphasized the importance of perseverance in writing by explaining all of the edits and revisions that he makes before his books are published. By creating an interactive shared story, Cobb got the fourth-graders to really think about using their senses to add details and realize the importance of creating conflicts and realistic solutions in their stories.
     
Additionally, a group of third-grade students who participated in the Freeport Memorial Library Summer Reading Program were selected for a special luncheon with Cobb prior to the assembly. They came prepared with questions for the author and were able to speak with him about his career.
    
Later that night, students and families were invited back to Giblyn for another special presentation by Cobb. The students sang songs, listened to his stories and then had the chance to meet with the author to have a book signed or a photo taken with him.  
    
The assemblies served to inspire and excite the students to get started on their PARP reading. They also gained a better understanding of the writing process and were more motivated and eager to use their creativity and experiences to write their own stories.

Pumpkin Education

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As part of an annual tradition, Archer Street hosted its pumpkin patch prior to Halloween. The day featured an opportunity for every student to pick a pumpkin from the school’s field and several pumpkin-related classroom activities, including measuring them and coloring in various drawings of them. This year, the school also introduced a scavenger hunt for students to take part in during their pumpkin-picking.

Archer’s pumpkin patch day served as a festive and educational precursor to Halloween.

Recognizing Peace Initiatives

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District students celebrated peace by showcasing their artistic talents in various ways at the Shanti Fund Peace Celebration.

The celebration featured submissions of students’ visual artwork, a vocal performance, and a Peace Perspective presentation titled “Peace and Wisdom in Freeport” by the J.W. Dodd Middle School Odyssey of the Mind team. The presentation, which earned first place in a competition featuring other school districts, focused on the several ways the district annually promotes peace through walks, concerts and marches, and how to find peace and live in harmony.

A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage

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Atkinson celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a spirited assembly for the school community on Oct. 21. Teacher Stephanie Arnell emceed the program, which featured the following events:

•    Weslie Capellan Peralta led the Pledge of Allegiance.
•    Dual Language program students Johnathan Mezza and Amanda Abreu Bueno led “La promesa de lealtad.”
•    Atkinson’s mariachi band performed “Arboles de la Barranca.”
•    Team University of Pennsylvania’s Class 301 group showcased a video presentation honoring the lives of Frida Kahlo, Cesar Chavez, Jose Fernandez, Juan Gabriel and Gato Barbieri.
•    Team Dartmouth presented “Focus on Famous Hispanics.”
•    Team University of Pennsylvania Classes 407/409 performed “Bailando con Estrellas.”
•    The school’s dance troupe performed “Bailar.”

Atkinson commends its students and staff for this remarkable program.

Sports Night

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Atkinson hosted its fifth-grade Sports Night on Oct. 20 and epitomized the phrase, “hard work achieves greatness.”
    
With the gymnasium filled with students, parents, administrators and faculty members, teachers Matthew Cellan and Anthony May led friendly competitions among all participants, while Barbara Shelley and Jason Hoover helped make the night a success by ensuring continued high energy throughout. The PTA offered healthy snacks and water,  welcomed new members, sold Atkinson apparel and promoted the New York Cosmos fundraiser. The most important part of the night was that each participant gave it their all and left a winner.

Board of Education recognized for service

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During the Board of Education meeting at New Visions School on Oct. 19, a special ceremony was held to recognize the board for their leadership, dedication and commitment to the students and Freeport community.  

“We are proud to celebrate and thank our board members for the amazing work they do,” said Dr. Kuncham. “As volunteer elected officials, they dedicate thousands of hours to serve our school district and community. They are highly visible at numerous events and are well known in Albany for their advocacy efforts to ensure our students receive a high-quality education. On behalf of myself and our administration, staff, students and community, we salute our Board of Education for their hard work, personal sacrifices and unwavering commitment to our children and our schools.”

New Visions School students Leah Awalom, Amara Marquez and Lucca Noboa thanked and invited the board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham to participate in their version of the popular game show “Hollywood Squares” called “Freeport Squares.”

Representatives from several organizations including the PTA, Freeport Teachers Association, Freeport Administrators Association and the Freeport Teacher Assistant Association also expressed their appreciation to the board by informing them that donations had been made in their honor to worthy organizations, including the Class of 2017 scholarship fund, Freeport Educational Foundation, American Cancer Society and Freeport PAL.

“Thank you for your kind recognitions. As your board of education we establish goals and set policies,” said Board of Education President Michael C. Pomerico. “With our community’s support, our staff does all the hard work and we commend you for your efforts to achieve our goals, raising our graduation rates and enabling our students to reach the next level.”

Bayview, the ‘No Bully Zone’

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As part of its ongoing slate of character education programs and in observance of October as National Bullying Prevention Month, Bayview hosted “No Bully Zone,” an assembly program led by guest speaker Cris Johnson. In an interactive and engaging forum, students learned about the importance of becoming anti-bullies, empathizing with their peers, being respectful of each other, and keeping in mind that teachers and adults are always available to help them efficiently solve conflicts.

Atkinson PTA Celebrates 50 Years

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A 50-year existence is a significant amount of time, and the Nassau Region PTA Executive Committee has made it a point to acknowledge that milestone — just as Atkinson has. On Oct. 18, the Nassau Region PTA surprised Atkinson with a cake and kind words to honor the school’s PTA members and leaders, including past Atkinson PTA president Sonia Dixon.  

Atkinson expresses its appreciation to the Nassau Region PTA for celebrating its anniversary, and especially the PTA Executive Board for their tireless efforts in advocating for Freeport students and the community: Marie Bras, Kenia De La Rosa, Nicole Finch, Maria Jordan Awalom, Loraine Marin, Jennifer Mertens, Mauricio Riveros-Villanueva and Vera Trenchfield.

Unsung Hero recognized

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During the Oct. 19 Board of Education meeting, the Unsung Hero award was presented to Roberto Delgado, owner of El Balcon Contractors, who was recognized for his dedication and commitment to the students and for his generosity to the school district. Delgado generously donated numerous hours and approximately $10,000 in labor to install fencing and build dugouts for the Cleveland Avenue field.

“Mr. Delgado’s commitment to our school district is commendable,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “We thank him for his generosity and all that he has done.”

In addition, Delgado has served as coach for the past four years. During that time, his players have achieved a 100 percent graduation rate, he was instrumental in securing nine college athletic scholarships for his players, and he led the team to its first playoff game in 13 years.

“It is a blessing to work with the Freeport baseball team and to inspire students to focus on school and their future goals,” said Delgado. “The students have done an amazing job and the baseball program brings pride to our community.”

Dodd Talks Water With Author

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As part of one of the English Language Arts modules that a seventh-grade Honors Research class at Dodd is focusing on, students had the opportunity to supplement their classroom lessons by participating in a videoconference call with a New York Times bestselling author.

Ninety-four students participated in the videoconference call with Charles Fishman, who wrote “The Big Thirst” — the primary book being used in the class’ module about water sustainability. The students have taken a particular interest in this three-unit module because they recognize the difference they can make by becoming “change agents” within their own communities. They prepared for the event by developing higher-order thinking questions and sending them to Fishman prior to the videoconference call, which he conducted in an engaging question-and-answer format. He called upon students one at a time to speak to them directly and answer their inquiries. He also spoke about various topics, including global and local water crises and the importance of becoming eco-friendly environmentalists.

The videoconference call was a fun and educational way to provide students with insight about water sustainability and the ways they can execute more positive water management practices within the community.

Walking for Peace

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Hundreds of members of the district and Village of Freeport community joined Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham in a three-phase 13.1 mile walk to promote global peace prior to International Non-Violence Day and International Day of Peace. At each phase of the walk, Dr. Kucham was joined by students, parents and community members eager to show their support. Walkers could participate in all or part of the walk, and there were many who walked the entire way.

The purpose of the one-day Smile for Peace – Mile for Peace journey, which also supported breast cancer research, was to demonstrate that everyone can make a difference by promoting peace, healthy lifestyles and quality education.

“By joining in this walk, our community demonstrated their commitment to actively promoting peace starting in Freeport, living a healthy lifestyle and to providing a quality education for all of our children,” said Dr. Kuncham. “It was very gratifying to see so many people give up their free time to join in this important walk for peace in our community.”



Celebrating Loved Ones

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Bayview Avenue hosted its annual Grandparents’ Day Celebration, which offered students the opportunity to thank their special guests for all that they do and serenade them with songs.
 
Students in all grade levels performed renditions of songs including “Grandparents’ Day Rap,” “Bright Happy Day,” “Funny Things About Grandparents,” and “A Song for Grandma & Grandpa.” Honorees Margaret M. Meyveci and Michele Steinmetz were then recognized individually for consistently showcasing the characteristics that make grandparents so special. The event served as a heartwarming way for students and their grandparents to celebrate each other.

Acts of Kindness

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As part of its celebration of Spirit Day, students at New Visions performed skits that demonstrated the school’s five rules for all students to abide by: be here and ready, be safe, be caring, be responsible and be respectful.

The event correlates directly to the ongoing lessons in character education at the school. It also served as a fun and creative way for students to not only showcase their creativity through performing their skits, but also to learn how the application of these rules help in real life.

Little League Honors Dr. Kuncham

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The Freeport Little League recently recognized Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham with the organization’s Humanitarian of the Year award. Dr. Kuncham was chosen for this award in recognition of his continued support of the Freeport Little League and his ongoing efforts to promote peace within the community and around the world.

“I am deeply honored and grateful to receive this award,” said Dr. Kuncham. “The Freeport Little League plays an invaluable role in the lives of our children and deserves to be commended for their dedication and commitment to serving our community.”
             

R.E.F.I.T. Elects Dr. Kuncham as New President

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Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham was recently elected to serve as president of Reform Educational Financing Inequities Today. R.E.F.I.T. is a consortium of school districts who have joined together to secure for their students the advantages enjoyed by their peers in other areas and for their communities a fair and equitable share of New York State aid to education.

“I am honored to serve as president of R.E.F.I.T.,” said Dr. Kuncham. “New York State must be held accountable to address the inequities in school funding especially for the high tax/low wealth school districts, who are struggling to provide all students with a quality education. We will continue to fight for full restoration of Foundation Aid and work to reform the state aid. The state owes $3.9 billion to school districts across the state.”
    
In 1974, 30 high tax/low wealth school districts challenged the constitutionality of New York State’s financing system in the Levittown vs. Nyquist case. In June 1978, Nassau County Supreme Court Justice L. Kingsly Smith ordered the New York State Legislature to reform the state aid formula to provide equity in funding for all needy school districts.
    
Following that decision, the high tax/low wealth school districts joined together and formed R.E.F.I.T. The organization’s mission was and still is to use all available means including continued or additional legal action to obtain the equal protection that is guaranteed by the New York State’s constitution for the students who reside in high tax/low wealth districts.

Football, Fun and Festivities

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The school district community joined together for an afternoon filled with school spirit and football fun on Oct. 8. Members of the board of education, administrators, staff, students, parents, and elected officials, filled the bleachers for homecoming 2016 as they watched the Red Devils score a huge win against the Plainview-Old Bethpage Hawks. The district’s traditional family fair, complete with games and food served by members of various school clubs and elementary PTA, provided entertainment adjacent to the field.

In a special ceremony prior to the game, members of the Freeport High School Class of 1966 presented a check for $535 to high school principal Linda Carter and members of the board of education. The funds will be used to purchase a new showcase inside the school. During halftime, the marching band and cheerleaders performed their synchronized routines to precision, and the Red Devils then secured their victory.

As a festive precursor to the varsity football team’s entrance, a parade featuring the Freeport High School marching band, cheerleaders, members of the Navy Junior ROTC and the homecoming court — prince Sebastian Pierre and princess Dillon Finch, and senior class king and queen Domingo Batista and Kaitlyn Adames — made its way onto the track surrounding the field.

Freeport’s homecoming festivities and victorious football team contributed to the celebration of community pride.



Beautiful Sights and Sounds of Peace

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In honor of International Peace Day, the International Day of Nonviolence and the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the district hosted its annual districtwide Peace Concert & Art Exhibit on Oct. 6 at the Performing Arts Center at the high school.

Hundreds of students, parents, board of education members, administrators, elected officials and community members attended the event, which featured harmonious peace-themed performances and artwork showcased by each of the district’s eight schools. The concert also served as the district’s first event to feature a brand new baby grand piano donated by the Freeport Educational Foundation.

“Freeport is such a diverse community, and this is our way of showing how our community and school district come together for peace,” said Board of Education President Michael Pomerico. “There’s violence and bad things that occur in other parts of the world, but this is just another example of what Freeport, as such a diversified community, can do.”

The concert was emceed by high school student and standout vocalist Michael Desir, who provided insightful messages about peace and love as transitions from one performance to the next. Following the Presentation of Colors by members of the high school’s Navy JROTC and a rendition of the national anthem by high school student Alyna Golde, students from each school took turns gracing the stage with various spirited performances.

Kindergartners from Columbus Avenue sang and danced to “Peace Today” under the direction of choreographer Amanda Rodriguez; fifth-graders from Atkinson sang “We All Bleed Red” under the direction of Stephanie Arnell; fourth-graders from New Visions sang and marched to “Love Train” under the direction of Crystal Leotaud; fourth-graders from Bayview sang “Ev’rybody’s Talkin’ ‘Bout Peace” under the direction of Jeannie Leal; the high school’s Sinfonietta performed “You’ll Never Walk Alone” under the direction of student conductor Christina Morris; second-graders from Archer Street sang “My Peace” under the direction of Jennifer Skelly; Giblyn fourth-graders sang “We Can Dream” under the direction of Shannon Abramovitz; and Dodd’s Select Chorale, under the direction of Sherill Spruill, sang “This is My Wish” and led a candlelight observance for peace encouraging all schools and audience members to shine their lights and sing along.

The Peace Concert and Art Exhibit served as a harmonious and beautiful forum to spread the messages of peace and nonviolence throughout the world, beginning in the Village of Freeport.

 

We All Bleed Red

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On Oct. 6, the Atkinson fifth-grade Select Chorus performed “We All Bleed Red” at the annual districtwide Peace Concert and Art Exhibit. Chorus teacher Stephanie Arnell conducted a heartfelt arrangement and included teachers and administrators in the piece to emphasize the meaning of the song. The performance served as a remarkable showcase of the talents and dedication of the school’s fifth-graders. In addition, the artwork of Emily Hertzberg’s and Eleanore Barry’s students displayed individual perspectives of harmony and peace. The school is proud of its students and relishes in the celebration of their successes.