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News Inside Our Schools

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Freeport Public Schools Board of Education appoints new district administrator

On July 6 during the annual reorganization meeting, the Freeport Board of Education unanimously appointed James Pappas as assistant superintendent for business effective July 20.

“I am pleased to welcome Mr. Pappas to the Freeport School District,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham said. “He possess the financial knowledge and experience needed to ensure that we continue to be fiscally responsible while still providing our students will a high quality and competitive education.”

Mr. Pappas joins the district with more than 30 years of experience in the business field as a Certified Public Accountant. Prior to joining Freeport Pubic Schools, he served as the Chief Financial Officer for the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County. From 1990 to 2019, he served as a partner in his family firm of Pappas & Company CPAs. During that time, he worked with more than 20 Long Island school districts providing auditing, accounting and consultation services. In addition to being a certified CPA, Mr. Pappas holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from LIU Post, a master’s degree in business administration from Hofstra University and a New York State School District Business Leader Certificate from LIU Post.

J Pappas Photo


Freeport Public Schools offers COVID-19 Vaxmobile

On July 15, Freeport Public Schools offered COVID-19 vaccinations to students ages 12+, staff members and community residents by hosting the Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital COVID-19 Vaxmobile. 

“Throughout this pandemic, our highest priority has always been the health and safety of our students, staff and community,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham said. “By bringing the Vaxmobile to Freeport High School, within walking distance for many families in our community, it provided easy access to this vitally important vaccine to all those eligible to receive it. This was made possible through our long-standing partnership with Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital and we thank them for working with us throughout this pandemic.”

Freeport students ages 12+, staff and community residents had the opportunity to receive either first or second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost during the event held in Freeport High School from 3-6 p.m.

“This is a wonderful partnership between Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital and the Freeport Public Schools that brings the best in medical care to the Freeport community,” said Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital Chairman of Medicine and Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. Aaron Glatt. “Our goal is to keep everyone out of the hospital. Our partnership with Freeport Public Schools makes access to excellent medical care including the COVID-19 vaccination easy and convenient for all students ages 12+, staff, and community residents.”    

Throughout the event, families arrived at Freeport High School to receive their free vaccinations. The process was simple and easy. Upon arrival, everyone was greeted by  representatives of Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital who assisted them with completing  the necessary paperwork and screening questionnaire. Those who were vaccinated received their vaccination card as proof of vaccination and were monitored for several minutes before leaving. 


Former Freeport Board of Education president honored
with street named in his memory

On July 8 former Board of Education President and former Freeport High School Principal Ernest J. Kight Jr. was memorialized with the unique distinction of having So. Brookside Avenue named Ernest J. Kight Jr. Way.

The selection of this particular avenue was especially significant as it is located at the intersection of Pine Street and directly faces Freeport High School, where Mr. Kight served as high school principal before retiring and becoming a board of education trustee and president.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham along with members of the board of education, administrators and staff joined local elected officials and members of Mr. Kight’s family and friends to witness the moving unveiling ceremony honoring his life and dedication to the students of Freeport and the Freeport community.

"Mr. Kight truly cared about people and gave everything to his students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “He made them better. He made a positive impact on generations of students and their families along with all those who had the pleasure of working with him. He was certainly an inspiration to all. I would also like to extend a special thank you to Nassau County Legislator Debra Mulé, Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran for making this event possible.”


Freeport Public Schools appoints new principal at Leo F. Giblyn Elementary School

Freeport Public Schools’ Board of Education approved the appointment of Amy Lederer as the new principal for the Leo F. Giblyn Elementary School effective July 1, 2021. Ms. Lederer has served the district as an assistant principal and as a teacher. 

“Ms. Lederer is a dedicated and passionate instructional leader who is dedicated to the district and the students and staff at Leo F. Giblyn. Under her leadership Giblyn will continue to thrive and reach the highest levels of excellence ensuring that every child fulfills their greatest potential,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kishore Kuncham. 

Prior to the appointment to Principal at Giblyn, Amy Lederer was the assistant principal since 2016.  Ms. Lederer is a distinguished educator of Freeport Public Schools, having begun her Freeport career in 2000 as a kindergarten teacher at Columbus Avenue School and eventually moving to the Leo F. Giblyn School where she taught first, third and fourth grade. 

Ms. Lederer received her B.A. in Psychology/Education from Lehigh University, her M.A. Elementary Education from Columbia University, M.S. in Literacy from Hunter College and has advanced certifications in TESOL and Educational Leadership. 

Giblyn Principal Amy Lederer


Giblyn Graduates Fourth Graders at Moving Up Ceremony

With a beautifully sunny sky over Leo F. Giblyn Elementary School, the fourth grade class of 2021 proudly gathered in front of Freeport administrators, staff, family and friends to celebrate their annual moving up ceremony.

Principal Amanda Muldowney, in her last moving up ceremony prior to retirement, welcomed all guests to the school’s outdoor ceremony and expressed her gratitude and pride for her students, “To my wonderful students, you are truly extraordinary children. Whether you were learning in school or remotely, you worked hard and have made great strides this year, and for every year you’ve been at Giblyn. I hope that you had fun and lasting memories of your Giblyn School years.”

Prior to announcing the names of the fourth graders moving up to fifth grade, Assistant Principal Amy Lederer presented several students with awards including the Triple C Awards and the Principal’s Award which was given to Oliver Pupa.

Following, Ms. Lederer on behalf of the staff and students at Giblyn expressed her thanks to Mrs. Muldowney for her years of service to the school and for being such a wonderful principal and mentor.


Columbus Kindergarteners Advance to First Grade

Freeport Public Schools’ Columbus Ave. school celebrated the kindergarten students moving up from kindergarten to first grade on June 22.

Principal Dr. Alma Rocha opened the celebration by welcoming family and friends and recognizing the kindergarteners for their hard work and dedication through a strange school year stating, “You have completed your very first, and unusual kindergarten school experience. I know that this was a different year, but you taught all adults that you know how to deal with the pandemic. You showed us how to be brave during COVID times. You are superheroes and change makers.”
Throughout the ceremony, students performed “It’s Our Time,” Columbus Avenue School Anthem,” and “Hasta la Vista.”

With district administrators, teachers and families gathered outside of the school building each kindergartner was recognized and received a Certificate of Completion to close out their first year of school in the Freeport School District.


Dodd Moving Up Ceremony

On June 21, Dodd Middle School celebrated their annual Moving Up Ceremony on the field of Caroline G. Atkinson School. Neither the cloudy day nor last-minute change of plans took away from the radiance and excitement of the students, or the pride of the family members and friends in attendance.

Lourdes Saunders-Blake opened the ceremony with a warm welcome and then led the all in Pledge of Allegiance. Following, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham congratulated the students, followed by Principal Johane Ligondé, who sincerely praised our students for succeeding through the most difficult of years. Farewell addresses were presented by one student from each eighth grade team: Team MIT – Ashley Benitez DelCid, Team Columbia – Paul Almonte, Life Skills - Dante Williams Jr., Team Columbia – Brandon J. Velasquez; Team Cornell – Brithany Collado Rosario, Team Harvard – Joseline Quintanilla Vasquez, and Team Brown – Elysette Paz.

One by one, the eighth grade teachers read the names of their students, while also imparting words of praise and advice. At the prompting of Principal Ligondé, the John W. Dodd Middle School Moving Up Class of 2021 was presented, and thunderous clapping and cheering followed.

Best wishes and continued success from the district’s Board of Education, administration and staff to all of Dodd’s students moving up to the Freeport High School!


Virtual presentations teach students about Juneteenth

The sixth-grade students at Atkinson Intermediate School and eighth grade students at Dodd Middle School recently participated in two interactive virtual presentations incorporating the topics of civil rights, emancipation, learning about family history and Juneteenth.

Atkinson sixth-graders met with award-winning television personality and author, Cheryl Wills who presented her children’s book titled The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills, which tells of the dream she had when she was able to interview her great, great, great grandfather – a man who was born a slave and fought in the Civil War.

“The words, illustrations and presentation of Ms. Wills’ book immediately activated curiosity from teachers and students to discuss and understand the meaning of emancipation,” Director of Arts and Community Relations Ruth Breidenbach said.

The students were thoroughly engaged in this interactive virtual meeting and found the experience to be incredibly powerful as Ms. Wills beautifully connected the celebration of Juneteenth with her own family history of emancipation and the importance of recognizing and celebrating the significance of the Juneteenth holiday.

“I felt empowered by the story of Sandy Wills. Learning about his emancipation helped me realize that he worked to change Black history and that I work to change the future,” said sixth grader Bryan Thomas, Jr.

Eighth-graders from J.W. Dodd Middle School were amazed to virtually meet Mr. David Greenberg, author of the novel The Tugging String and the son of Jack Greenberg, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s lawyer.

During his powerful presentation, Mr. Greenberg shared his family story of growing up on Long Island in the 1960’s and how his father played a role in the history of civil rights. He also shared the story of meeting Dr. King. Mr. Greenberg connected his stories with the social studies curriculum the students had previous learned, which helped them to understand the historical significance of the civil rights movement and bring a deeper understanding of the impact of injustice on Black Americans.

Mr. Greenberg also read several of his poems which were full of rhythm and meter, followed by a meaningful question and answer session with the students.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Glori Engel said “Ms. Wills and Mr. Greenberg shared their knowledge and awareness of civil rights, emancipation and Juneteenth with our students and through sharing this education and understanding, our students can recognize and celebrate the courage of Black Americans, how far they have come and how far we all still need to go to become true advocates for change.”

At the end of the presentations, the students felt Ms. Wills and Mr. Greenberg both made a strong impact and instilled in them the importance of education, lifting others and learning about family history. The students are looking forward to learning more about emancipation, civil rights and the experiences of Black Americans as well as the historical events surrounding Juneteenth that make it a day of celebration and a time to reflect on culture, activism and empowering diversity.

Photo of students reading book


Congratulations to Freeport High School Class of 2021

Freeport Public Schools’ Board of Education, administrators, staff, family and friends gathered at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium for the 128th Freeport High School Commencement Ceremony on June 18. After more than a year of virtual, hybrid and in-person learning, the more than 500 seniors excitedly gathered for the first, full class assembly in more than a year to receive their diplomas and leave as graduates.

The NJROTC opened the ceremony with the presentation of colors at the milestone event, followed by a live performance by Freeport High School’s Select Chorale singing the national anthem – another first since the closing of schools in March 2020.

Class of 2021 president Victor Sanchez Castillo kicked off several speakers for the evening, followed by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, Principal Joseph Mille, valedictorian Shyanne Gardner, salutatorian Mia Sorrentino, and Assistant Principal Gleni Pena each imparting advice, sharing special memories and encouraging the members of the graduating class to continue to be changemakers for peace and equality.

Dr. Kuncham enthusiastically welcomed the graduates and congratulated them for their perseverance and dedication, “I know that many of you have been waiting for this special day, a day to rejoice. You have triumphed over obstacles with determination and dedication. You have done something never done by anyone before - an entire year of remote or hybrid learning, quarantine, wearing masks, social distancing, contact tracing, google meets, zoom meet-s and reopening plans changing weekly and sometimes daily. Despite all these challenges and uncertainties, you persevered with your studies and have reached your end goal. You truly are champions and changemakers.”

He went on to say, “You are primed to become the leaders of our generation and to be the change our world needs. Continue to give of yourself to those in need, spread messages of peace and equality, be the change and lead the way for others to follow.”

Principal Joseph Mille spoke to the seniors stating, “You have the chance to pave your own path and I am extremely confident you have the tools to do so. I look forward to seeing you channel your passions to become positive, active and productive members of society.”

Mia Sorrentino, salutatorian, addressed the class saying “It is through our determination and steadfastness that we are gathered here today. Our situation was so unique and despite everything hurled our way, we have managed to make it through with our heads held high. We have been molded by our experiences and our newfound strengths and adaptability will ensure any change and progress that happens around us is for the better.”

Following, class of 2021 Valedictorian Shyanne Gardner reminded the students about the importance of finding joy in each day, being playful and having fun, “Today is the first day of the rest of our lives and there is already so much pressure to grow up and accomplish this or achieve that. But as we go off into the ‘real world’ don’t forget to play and take some time to be a kid again. Make time to do things that make you laugh and smile. If we’ve learned anything over the past year, it is that life is short and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to anyone. Live your life in a way that brings you joy every day and remember it is okay to just play.”

Following the distribution of diplomas, the high school’s Class of 2021 turned the tassels on their caps from right to left and proudly recessed from the stadium as high school graduates.

The district’s Board of Education, administration and staff wish the Freeport High School Class of 2021 continued success in their future endeavors.


Spring Festival of the Arts Virtual Gallery

Freeport Public Schools is proud to showcase the beautiful artwork from students representing all eight school buildings in the virtual Freeport Spring Festival of the Arts. The Spring Festival of the Arts is the second collective art gallery for the 2020-2021 school year featuring student artwork from all grades and representing all levels of creativity and skillset. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the Freeport Department of the Arts would host the annual Spring Festival of the Arts to exhibit the artistic talents of students in each school for the community to enjoy.

The district would like to thank the Freeport Department of the Arts for this beautiful display of student artwork. View the Spring Arts Festival here.


 

Class of 2021 Honored by Freeport Schools and Community

The members of Freeport High School’s Class of 2021 were filled with anticipation and happiness as they joined members of the board of education, administration and community members for the Freeport School District’s 53rd annual Scholarship and Honors Program on June 7. The annual ceremony is one of the district’s several socially distanced, indoor assemblies to close out the 2020-2021 school year and bring back a sense of normalcy since the pandemic halted most school activities and celebrations over the past year and a half.

Community organizations and various school groups generously donated more than $93,000 in scholarships which were awarded to deserving members of the Class of 2021 who met or exceeded the criteria in the areas of academics, leadership, athletics, the arts, the ability to succeed while overcoming obstacles, and outstanding community service.

Freeport High School Principal Joseph Mille began the program by congratulating the students and thanking those who so generously donated to make this evening a success. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham expressed appreciation to all those who provided scholarships and congratulated the students on achieving their goals.

“We are always proud of our students’ accomplishment, but these students have navigated the COVD-19 pandemic and continued to excel despite the challenges,” said Dr. Kuncham. “You have learned lessons in flexibility, how to navigate alternate paths to achieve your goals and most importantly, perseverance. These skills will serve you well as you leave Freeport Schools and set your own course.”

Board of Education President Vilma L. Lancaster addressed the students and the scholarship donors. “This is an occasion of pride for all of us as we come together to celebrate and share our students’ academic achievements,” said President Lancaster. “This past school year has been truly challenging. Despite the obstacles, these students being honored have persisted and stayed focused on their goals to achieve academic excellence.”

The Class of 2021 valedictorian Shyanne Gardner and salutatorian Mia Sorrentino were warmly introduced, and both were awarded medals for their outstanding achievements, in addition to the several scholarships and awards they received for their commitment to academics, community service and more.

While social-distancing and capacity limitations meant students could not bring guests, the event was live-streamed for families, friends and donors to view and share the surprise of learning which scholarships and honors they would receive – an ongoing tradition of the district’s program.

The district congratulates all the scholarship recipients from the Class of 2021 and thanks the numerous donors who make the event possible.


Recently Elected Board of Education Trustee Sunday F. Coward Taking The Oath of Office on May 26.

BOE May 26 Swearing In


Freeport High School Spring Instrumental Concert

Freeport High School is proud to present the virtual instrumental spring concert demonstrating the dedication, talent and resilience of the student musicians of Freeport during the 2020-2021 school year. This beautifully arranged virtual concert features the Symphonic Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble with remote students and students who attended school and practices in-person.

The virtual concert is a clear demonstration of the level commitment Freeport Schools has for its music programs and the passion the students have for creating beautiful music no matter the circumstances.

View the full concert here

To view the individual concerts of Freeport’s musical ensembles please visit the links below:

Symphonic Orchestra
Wind Ensemble
Concert Band
Jazz Ensemble


Family Night at The Cradle of Aviation Museum

Freeport Public School families recently attended a Family Community Night at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City. The after-hours event, which was open only to Freeport families, allowed them to explore the museum’s galleries, participate in a family scavenger hunt and visit the planetarium along with several other activities. In addition to the several hundreds of students and their family members, Freeport administrators also joined in the fun! After exploring the museum and participating in the interactive activities, families were given take-and-make projects to complete at home to continue learning about all the exciting things discovered at the museum.


National Honor Society Brings Students Together for Special Joint Ceremony 

Freeport juniors and seniors excitedly gathered at the high school’s Performing Arts Center for a combined National Honor Society (NHS) Induction and Senior Recognition Ceremony on June 3rd. Both ceremonies were postponed due to the pandemic, but the district was able to safely gather students in person, while families and friends joined the event virtually via livestream.

The ceremony inducted students from the class of 2021 and 2022 and included a warm and enthusiastic welcome from NHS advisor Eileen Shultis, the traditional candle lighting ceremony, introduction of officers and explanations of the four pillars of the NHS: scholarship, character, leadership and service.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kishore Kuncham lead the new inductees in the oath to upstand the pillars of the National Honor Society and following spoke proudly to the students.

“Congratulations Freeport National Honor Society members, you have worked hard to be here, but your work has just begun. I know you realize the effort and courage it takes to be a leader and make a difference,” said Dr. Kuncham, “You have the opportunity to make our world a better place. You have the determination, wisdom, commitment and empathy to transform lives and be the change we all need.”

Freeport High School Principal Joseph Mille, with the assistance of NHS president Shyanne Gardner, presented the junior class inductees with a medal to represent their accomplishments as newly inducted members of the National Honor Society.

Following, Eileen Shultis, Freeport High School teacher and National Honor Society advisor, proudly recognized seniors from the Class of 2021 and Principal Joe Mille, along with incoming NHS president Brenna Igneri, presented each senior with their honors cords, which the seniors will proudly wear during the Freeport High School graduation ceremony on June 18th.

To close the joint ceremony former Freeport High School teacher and treasurer of the local non-profit Dollars for Scholars, Ms. Linda Hendrickson, then presented 21 Freeport High School students with a scholarship from Dollars for Scholars, which has awarded over $300,000 to students in Freeport Public Schools since 1989.

Freeport Public Schools congratulates the new National Honor Society inductees, graduating seniors and Dollars for Scholars scholarship recipients.


Planting Trees for the Future

Freeport’s Archer Street, Bayview Avenue, Leo F. Giblyn and New Visions elementary schools recently helped to make the planet a greener place by participating in a tree planting activity in cooperation with New York Benefits for Educators and Students Trust (NYBEST) and the Nassau Cornell Cooperative Extension.

The tree planting ceremony was an educational experience for the students involved. Students learned about a variety of different types of trees that thrive on Long Island and the best locations to plant each of them. Students participated in planting the tree outside their school by taking turns shoveling dirt to fill the hole and watering the tree.

NYBEST donated Paperbark Maple trees to each school which were planted on school property in the optimal sun/shade area for successful growth in the years to come.

Freeport Public Schools elementary schools were selected by NYBEST as part of the organization’s mission to make a positive impact on school communities throughout New York State.


Freeport Recognizes 47 Employees for 20 Years of Service

Freeport Public Schools employees were honored by the Board of Education and administrators for 20 years of service and dedication to the district’s students. The 47 employees representing every school building were presented with a commemorative plaque and flowers, while the building principals spoke to each individual’s achievements and milestones throughout their 20-year careers. Together, the honorees represent over 1,000 years of service to the district.

“Congratulations on your amazing 20 years of service! I am so glad we are able to be here, in-person, to honor you,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “You are the changemakers of Freeport. Your commitment to our students is extraordinary, especially over the past year and a half which has been so challenging for all of us, yet you made it happen.”

While honorees were only allowed an allotted number of guests, the event was livestreamed for a broader audience of family and friends to celebrate virtually as the district publicly thanked each honoree for their commitment to the students and district.

Freeport Public Schools Board of Education and administrators congratulate all 47 honorees on this career milestone.


Freeport Schools staff participate in Equity Challenge

Freeport Schools staff members recently participated in the voluntary 21-Day Equity Challenge to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and systemic racism play a role in society, as well as its devastating and far-reaching implications.

The challenge, which has now concluded, consisted of 21 daily emails highlighting a range of diversity topics including understanding racism, Black lives matter, workplace culture, allyship, understanding bias, early childhood education and many more. Each topic was accompanied by a call to action such as watching a video or listening to a podcast, to help launch a lifelong commitment to improving equity and inclusion.
“The 21-day Equity Challenge is an eye-opening program that gives all participants the opportunity to learn together and heighten their understanding of and acknowledge biases,” said Dr. Kishore Kuncham, Superintendent of Schools. “Freeport is dedicated to learning and taking action to create an equitable community for all, and the Equity Challenge was another way for those involved to “Be the Change” and transform their thoughts and actions.”

The daily challenge emails were distributed to 220 participants within the district including Freeport Board of Education members, administrators, teachers, clerical, nurses, teaching assistants, custodians, and security.

“The 21-Day equity challenge raised awareness and inspired conversations about difficult topics,” said Director of Arts and Community Relations, Ruth Breidenbach. “We worked hard to make the challenge happen in order to help transform the way we live our lives and continue on the quest for racial equity.”

“This amazing challenge has made me and my family more considerate of others. We are now even more committed to advancing equity, love, and peace in our community,” said one participant after completing the challenge.

The 21-Day Equity Challenge was created by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. (#BlackMind) and co-developed with Debby Irving, and Dr. Marguerite Penick (#DiverseSolutions). The plan has been adopted by organizations, associations and corporations across the nation/world.

FPS Equity Challenge Logo


Ladies of Dodd become members of the National Association of Parliamentarians

The Ladies of Dodd (LOD), an organization that promotes sisterhood, self-esteem and community service, are proud to announce they are now members of the National Association of Parliamentarians, via the Parliamentarians of Nassau Suffolk Counties.

LOD members took the membership exam, a test consisting of 40 rigorous questions on deliberative assemblies, motions, amendments, and governing bodies, and all passed to become among some of the youngest members in the nation, with two members - Lordia Bossman and Kelin Romero Hernandez - now the youngest Parliamentarians in District 1 of National Association of Parliamentarians which stretches from Nova Scotia, Canada to Delaware.

The Parliamentarians of Nassau Suffolk Counties sponsored LOD throughout the process of becoming members by purchasing study guides, working with members and their parents, paying for the exam fee and the annual dues of the members.

For the Ladies of Dodd, the benefits of becoming a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians teaches them fairness, how debate with integrity and teaches students that even the minority opinion has rights. Most important, parliamentary procedure teaches the language of local and civic organizations, board rooms, courtrooms, and our local, state and federal governments.

The Ladies of Dodd are already planning for their next certification to become Registered Parliamentarians. Congratulations to Lordia Bossman, Keila Ordonez, Kelin Romero Hernandez and Lourdes Saunders-Blake.

Photographed from L to R: Anthony Thompson Vice President National Association of Parliamentarians Nassau-Suffolk, Lourdes Saunders Blake, Vashti Burke, Ladies of Dodd Advisor; Keila Ordonez, Lordia Bossman, and Johane Ligonde, Prinicpal Dodd Middle School
Photo 2: Kelin Romero Hernandez with Ladies of Dodd Advisor, Vashti Burke.

LOD photo

LOD photo 2


Freeport Public Schools Welcomes Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

On Friday, May 21, Freeport Public Schools organized and hosted a press conference for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s promoting the Universal School Meals Act of 2021. During the press conference, held at Caroline G. Atkinson School, Sen. Gillibrand spoke about the necessity and importance of the bill that would enable all school aged children, regardless of income, to receive free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. Those attending the press conference included Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, members of the Board of Education, administrators, the Mayor of the Village of Freeport and President/CEO of Island Harvest Randi Shubin Dresner

Dr. Kuncham opened the press conference and introduced Senator Gillibrand. “Our schools have always been central to the lives of our families and community. We strive to provide equal academic opportunities for all children and nutritional support is essential to academic success and wellness,” said Dr. Kishore Kuncham, Superintendent of Schools. “The Universal School Meal Program Act will improve the lives of our children and enable them to be better prepared to succeed! We thank Senator Gillibrand for her leadership and advocacy to provide a seamless and permanent solution for all children to this significant issue.”

Since 2018, Freeport Public Schools has provided all students a healthy breakfast and lunch at school at no charge each day of the school year through the Community Eligibility Program. With the Universal School Meals Act of 2021, Freeport is supporting a permanent, federal meal program providing nutritious meals to ensure all students nationwide can benefit from healthy meals year-round.

The bill introduced by Senator Gillibrand and Senator Bernie Sanders has been endorsed by several legislatures and over 360 organizations. Along with Island Harvest, a key fresh food provider for Freeport Schools, the senator spoke to the importance of the bill and providing meals for students in order to combat hunger.

“More than 12 million children in the United States lived in food insecure homes at the height of the pandemic. Through a combination of federal waivers, many schools for the first time were able to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students regardless of their income, but this is only a temporary program.” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “The Universal School Meals Act of 2021 is a permanent solution to providing free meals nationwide to all students.”

Closing the press conference, students from the Caroline G. Atkinson School thanked Senator Gillibrand for coming and presented her with a Freeport Public Schools baseball hat and t-shirt, which she proudly accepted. Following, she expressed to the students the importance of enjoying school and studying to find their passions.


SCOPE Recognizes Freeport Staff

Freeport Public Schools administration and staff were recognized by SCOPE Education Services for their outstanding contributions to education during the 2019-2020 School Year.

While the awards are normally presented during an awards dinner, due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year’s awards were cancelled and were presented to Freeport’s award recipients at a recent Board of Education Meeting. Board of Education President Vilma Lancaster and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham presented the commemorative plaques and thanked each of them for their outstanding service.

Congratulations to the following award recipients: Joan Classi and Joanne Koutsogiannis, Support Staff Service Award; Russell Cellan and Mary LaMotta, Teacher Service Award; and Amanda Muldowney, Adminitrative Service Award.


Archer Street “ACES” Exercise

Archer Street Elementary students and staff participated in Project ACES (All Children Exercise Simultaneously) to promote the importance of physical activity while also raising funds for the Freeport Educational Foundation (FEF).

The program, which is held annually nationwide, began with all grades and teachers participating in a warm-up stretches and yoga in their classrooms led by PE teachers Ms. Brooke McKenna and Ms. Allison McKeon. Following, each grade then walked three laps around the school building holding signs they created for the event promoting the importance of exercise.

Funds were collected leading up to the day and Archer Street students, staff and administrators raise $750 for the FEF.

Project ACES is the signature program of the Youth Fitness Coalition (YFC) in partnership with American College of Sports Medicine's Exercise is Medicine initiative. It promotes physical activity to children.


Giblyn Raises More Than $2,000 for ALS

Leo F. Giblyn Elementary continued their annual tradition of raising money for ALS Ride for Life. While the bike ride could not physically happen this year, Giblyn students, families, and staff raised more than $2,100 to support the cause.

Students brought in coins, many of which they saved on their own, and deposited their contributions into a large jar in the school’s main office.

Because of the generous contributions of Giblyn’s students and staff, the school reached their goal of $2,000 so all classes will receive an extra period of recess.

Students putting their collected coins into a large jar


Peace Marches On In Freeport

Freeport Public Schools Board of Education, administration, students and staff were joined by the Village of Freeport for the 12th Annual Freeport Cares Peace March.

While limited in capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, community members also joined the Peace March virtually to celebrate the messages of peace and nonviolence in the Freeport schools, community, and worldwide.

Prior to joining together to walk through the Village of Freeport, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kishore Kuncham addressed those in attendance stating “I take this opportunity to salute and thank everyone for their amazing role in these times. Not only fighting the pandemic, but also fighting the endemic racism and biases in our world.” He went on to say, “We are at a very pivotal time and there is a great amount of work ahead of us, but I know each one of you as present, and future leaders, are contributing to bigger societal harmony by being here today and practicing peace and spreading hope.”

Several elected officials including Village of Freeport Deputy Mayor and Freeport School District Board of Education Trustee Ronald J. Ellerbe spoke to the Peace March participants thanking them for helping to promote peace in the Freeport community and beyond.

Under beautiful blue skies school officials and dignitaries then took the first steps of the march, followed by all participants who wore yellow, the universal color of peace. The march concluded at Freeport High School after the 1.2-mile walk.

The annual Freeport Cares Peace March is a combined school district and community event honoring the commitment to fostering unity within the Freeport community and globally.


Students Get Outdoors

New Visons and Giblyn students recently spend some time outdoors enjoying nature while on a trip to the Brookville Education Outdoor Center. Students were exposed to a variety of games and activities including making corn husk dolls. Following the students took a nature walk and explored other aspects of the 20-acre center learning about the different plants and animals that live in the area.

 


Bayview Avenue PeaceJam Juniors presents Global Stories Project

Bayview Avenue students in the PeaceJam Juniors enrichment program recently virtually presented their final projects of the school year in honor of World Book Day. The final project, called Global Stories, had the 10 students in the program share the stories of family members and friends who have immigrated to the United States with the entire fourth grade class, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kishore Kuncham, principal Mary Gargiulo, and several other administrators in the district.

For the project, students were asked to interview an immigrant to learn about their lives before moving to the United States and share their stories. Students spoke with aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors and one student interviewed Freeport Public School’s Columbus Avenue Principal Ms. Alma Rocha, an immigrant from Mexico City, Mexico.

Each immigrant interview was presented as a book written by their interviewee with photos, quotes and event maps highlighting the countries and cities where their special guests were born.

Closing the program, Ms. Gargiulo thanked the students for their hard work and dedication to sharing the immigrant stories of their family members and friends, and expressed the importance of learning about being proud of their cultures and backgrounds.


Freeport Public Schools CubeSat takes off

As one of five finalists in the nation for the U.S. Department of Education’s CTE Mission: CubeSat Challenge, Freeport Public School’s CubeSat Challenge team successfully launched a 10 cubic centimeter nanosatellite into the sky as part of the challenge’s flight week.

The CubeSat was launched via drone and was able to successfully carry out its intended mission of gathering data on environmental observations and to simultaneously transmit that data back to the Freeport students monitoring the launch. The data will be used in the district’s study measuring the differences in heat absorption and retention between urban and rural areas. If selected as the winner of the U.S. DOE competition Freeport’s CubeSat nanosatellite may be launched into space, and simultaneously feed research gathered in space to Freeport students for their own analysis and use.

“The test flight of the CubeSat prototype built by Freeport students is a thrilling, momentous event for our district,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “The District has been fully involved in supporting our students through this U.S. Department of Education challenge. We are excited at this amazing opportunity and the dedicated, innovative work that has gone into this project. The success of the CubeSat team’s launch is a testament to our commitment to ensuring our students are provided with world-class learning opportunities and a robust STEM education.”

Comprised of 15 students from Freeport High School and Dodd Middle School, the team was chosen as a finalist in the national challenge in February and have worked in groups to build the prototype and develop their mission for the launch. Working closely with Freeport teachers, as well as industry experts including those from Brookhaven National Labs, the launch of the student-designed CubeSat, provided the team with valuable lessons and insight on engineering, computer science, aerospace technology and research.

“With the test flight, the CubeSat team was able to see the outcome of their dedication and commitment to the CubeSat Challenge,” said Director of Science Dr. Vincent Pereira. “The challenge was multi-phased and required creativity, collaboration and innovation which can potentially influence future space technology. We are truly on a path towards bringing space missions out of the clouds and into the classroom.”
Following the successful test flight, the CubeSat team virtually presented their project at the CubeSat Developers Workshop at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. Their data findings were also presented to the U.S. Department of Education at the event by Freeport CubeSat team leader, Victor Villatoro on a live, virtual panel discussion with the other four CTE Mission: CubeSat finalists.

As a finalist, Freeport received a cash prize, development kits, and expert mentorship donated to the U.S. Department of Education by Arduino, Blue Origin, Chevron, EnduroSat, LEGO Education, Magnitude.io, MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative, and XinaBox to help design the CubeSat nanosatellite.


Board of Education recognizes top 10 seniors

The Class of 2021’s top ten seniors were honored by the Freeport Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham during the April 20th board of education meeting. The ten students have earned the distinction of being the highest academic achievers in their graduating class.

Board of education members and district administrators recognized each student as they read their name and their numerous accomplishments from throughout their high school careers.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham expressed his appreciation to the students for being leaders and examples of academic excellence to their fellow students.

“We are grateful to be here, in person, to celebrate the top 10. You are so extraordinary, so humble with your accomplishments and we are so proud of what you have done through all your years at Freeport High School,” said Dr. Kuncham. “It has not been easy for you, as you have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through your junior and senior years, but you have been amazing. You are superheroes, you are changemakers and you are the leaders of Freeport High School and beyond.”

The district congratulates the Freeport High School Class of 2021 top 10: Valedictorian Shyanne Gardner, Salutatorian Mia Sorrentino, No. 3 Nicole Bailey, No. 4 Oghenenyerovwo Omokeni, No. 5 Jayda Pollard, No. 6 Sabrina Johnson, No. 7 Hameedah Lawal, No. 8 Tatiana Lugo Aquino, No. 9 Genevieve Himmelberg, and No. 10 Alexa Rivera.

top 10 photo


New “Wellness on Wheels” Program rolls into Freeport Public Schools

Freeport Public Schools, in collaboration with Northwell Health-Cohen Children’s Medical Center kicked off the Wellness on Wheel innovative mobile nutrition education and wellness program at the Leo F. Giblyn Elementary School.

The new program, which is being piloted within Freeport Public Schools’ five elementary schools over the next two months, is structured to provide students with an interactive learning experience about healthy food and lifestyle choices.

“Educating our elementary students about how to establish and maintain good nutrition and healthy eating habits is part of a wellness journey that can benefit them for a lifetime,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “Freeport is committed to educating the whole child and advancing children’s nutritional education is an effective tool to lead a healthy, fulfilling life.”

During the 30-minute, interactive outdoor lesson students learned about the MyPlate model, the different food groups, and the importance of eating a well-balanced meal. Students were also given a virtual food demonstration with a recipe for seasonal asparagus salad from a Northwell Health chef and received a bundle of asparagus to take home with them to try the new recipe.

“It is so exciting to be piloting the Wellness on Wheels program with Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center,” said Dr. Helen Kanellopolous, Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services and Special Education. “Our district has a long-standing partnership with the medical center and bringing this program to our elementary schools is another way for us meet the physical and mental health needs of our students.”

Students were given multiple resources to put their new nutritional knowledge into practice at home with a MyPlate placemat to build healthy meals, a recipe book with nutritious and easy-to-prepare foods and a resource guide for accessing subsidized or free food in the communities around them.

Wellness on Wheels (W.O.W.) is a mobile nutrition education program created by Cohen Children’s Medical Center and is structured to provide students with interactive learning experiences about healthy lifestyle choices.


Freeport Named Best Community for Music Education

Once again, Freeport Public Schools has been recognized with the Best Communities for Music Education Award from the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. This recognition honors the music educators, administrators, students and parents who demonstrate outstanding achievement and commitment to providing access to music education and to instilling an appreciation of music as part of the district’s philosophy of offering a well-rounded education.

“Freeport Public Schools is honored to be named as one of the Best Communities for Music Education once again,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “In the time of a global pandemic, this recognition is a testament of our District’s commitment to music education and our dedicated music educators who have continued to inspire our amazing and talented students to continue learning and sharing music within our district.”

Music education is a critical educational element for the students within Freeport Public Schools. The fine arts education department aims to provide the most impactful educational opportunities possible for students in order to enable them to harness their musical talents and also increase their development through creative problem-solving and critical thinking both known benefits, among many others, of a music education.

“The music program at Freeport has always worked to spread happiness and joy to our entire community, especially during the past year when we had to adapt to meet health and safety guidelines,” said Ruth Breidenbach, Director of Arts and Community Relations. “We are proud of this recognition and to have maintained our music education program for our students."

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants. It advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs.

bcme logo image


March highlights the Fine Arts District celebrates Music in our Schools and Youth Art Month

Freeport Public Schools celebrated the fine arts in all eight school buildings during Music in Our Schools Month and Youth Art Month. With hallways and classrooms lined with student artwork on a regular basis and music lessons being given virtually and in-person, the arts education program within Freeport Public Schools is alive and providing students an opportunity to realize their artistic and musical talents.

“Throughout the past year there have been many challenges, but one thing that kept our students and fine arts educators moving forward was that music and the arts continue in our schools and we still have the opportunity to share them with our community,” said Dr. Kishore Kuncham, Superintendent of Schools. “Music in our Schools and Youth Art Month offers a look into our music and arts programs which, while adapted to meet health and safety guidelines, allowed students to remain engaged and involved.”

Districtwide students and teachers celebrated music in the schools after the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way music classes and lessons are taught. Students in the elementary general music classes are continuing to learn the foundations of music, which bring enjoyment to the classroom and can help enrich and benefits students’ lives and education through emotional development, creative thinking, language development, team building and many more.

At Atkinson Intermediate School, music teacher Stephanie Arnell, utilized a digital platform called TeachRock to educate remote and in-person students on a variety of musical topics, most recently teaching a lesson about the electric guitar, which focused on identifying different shapes, colors and sounds. Fifth graders even had a special guest during their electric guitar lesson, E-Street Band guitarist and TeachRock founder, Steven Van Zandt, who expressed his love for music and the arts and its importance to education.

Students from Bayview participated in the Quaver Music Program’s Music Madness, a play on March Madness, in which students signed onto the platform daily to listen to a variety of different types of music choosing their favorites for the day, ultimately choosing a winner. The month-long music listening event promoted musical analysis, thinking and responding skills and the social-emotional component of listening to music.

The elementary, intermediate and middle school orchestra and band ensembles are practicing with small group instruction and social distancing protocols are in place to ensure students and staff are safe, but still enjoying their music lessons.

The high school after-school music program kicked-off and is bringing music back into the Performing Arts Center with the Jazz Band, ninth grade Select Chorale, Chamber Orchestra and the Freeport High School Select Chorale able to practice safely.

“Music in Our Schools and Youth Art Month is a time for us to highlight the work that has been done and to show our community that our students and educators have adapted and shifted their abilities in order to continue to learn and make beautiful music and visual art,” said Ruth Breidenbach, Director of Arts and Community Relations. “We are proud of the work we have done since the onset of COVID-19 and want our community to be aware of the opportunities our students have had to experience music and the arts on every grade level in a variety of mediums.”

For Youth Art Month, students worked on a variety of visual art projects in and outside the classroom. Eight advanced art students from Freeport High School are virtually attending pre-college art courses on the weekends with the Academy of Art University, Adelphi University, and NYU Visionary Studios providing students with expanded opportunities to participate in creative art learning.

On the elementary level, students from New Visions studied artist Andy Warhol and created their very own product design artwork based on the ideas of the Pop Art movement. Archer Street kindergarten students completed a lesson based on the book “The Rainbow Fish” and each created their own rainbow fish teaching the elements of design and reinforcing color identification.

The Art Supervisor’s Association 2021 Virtual Gallery, which will be publicly showcased for viewing through April and May, will feature the artwork of 45 Freeport Public Schools students ranging from grades K-12. Each year, thousands of students who participate in classroom art projects across Nassau County are nominated to be featured in this All-County Art Exhibit.

Music in our Schools and Youth Art Month is celebrated every March and helps to raise awareness of the importance of music and arts education for children within Freeport Public Schools. The fine arts education department aims to provide the most impactful educational opportunities possible for students within the district in order to help them harness their creative talents, but also to help increase their development through creative problem-solving and critical thinking both known benefits, among many others, of a music and arts education.


Senior Melissa Bell Rings NYSE Opening Bell

Senior Melissa Bell recently represented the district’s Junior Achievement program by helping to virtually ring the NYSE Opening Bell in honor of Financial Literacy month.

Bell is a student advocate for the district’s Junior Achievement of New York Program which helps prepare students to pursue careers they care about and teach them how to make smart financial decisions.

To view Melissa virtually ring the NYSE Opening Bell please visit: https://vimeo.com/showcase/7909438?video=537440524

Melissa Bell Junior Achievement advocate


Dodd Hosts Annual Women’s History Tea

The Ladies of Dodd members held their annual Women’s History Tea earlier this month. Members were treated to a traditional, socially distanced, afternoon tea complete with finger sandwiches, buttery scones and delectable French pastries.

The theme for this year’s tea was “Who Runs the World” and the honorees were all members of the Dodd Middle School staff who impacted each of the members.

Congratulations to the Ladies of Dodd 2021 Women’s History Tea Honorees:
Ms. Erika Argueta, Ms. Yvonne Brown, Ms. Vashti Burke, Ms. Carol Byrne, Ms. Johane Ligondé, Ms. Candice Mordhorst, and Dr. Sherill Spruill.
The Ladies of Dodd is an organization for girls that promotes sisterhood, self-esteem and community service. It was founded in 2005 by Ms. Vashti Burke and Mrs. Gisselle Campbell-Ham.


Student Artwork on Display at Long Island Children’s Museum

A select group of 20 kindergarten through fourth grade students from Archer Street and Giblyn Elementary schools were chosen to have their artwork featured in the Long Island Children’s Museum Community Gallery for the month of April.

The gallery was established by the museum to encourage children to participate in the visual arts and share the creativity of students with museum visitors. Archer Street art teacher Lisa Scarola and Leo F. Giblyn art teacher Susan Warren submitted the students’ artwork for consideration and due to their excellent craftsmanship, use of materials and originality their pieces were chosen for display.

“The pieces of artwork that were hung in this gallery are a small representation of the creativity that is shown by the kindergarten through fourth grade students at the Giblyn and Archer Street schools,” said Ms. Susan Warren, art teacher. “The art students are exposed to various art elements and principles throughout their elementary years, so they are able to gain a deeper understanding of what makes an art composition successful.”

During the past year art instruction has changed due to the pandemic, but the students and teachers have worked diligently to ensure art education continues and creativity levels rise.

The district wishes to congratulate the following students from Archer Street and Leo F. Giblyn Elementary schools: Archer Street School: kindergarten: Darianny Rodriguez Rosario and Julian Torres; first grade: Yasiry Orellana and Jhoanny Perez Pena; second grade: Aiden Escobar and Dayana Guerra Benitez; third grade: Pedro DeRosa Recen and Yaslyn Franco Urena and fourth grade: Iris Hernandez Vigil and Kilian Medina Ponce Leo F. Giblyn School: kindergarten: Joann Abualya and Shirley Hernandez; first grade: Carter Golding and Sebastian Pena; second grade: Sophia Flores and Axel Ortez; third grade: Sugey Cano and Sara Vasquez Moldanado and fourth grade: James Battaglia and Amare Gomez.


45 Students Honored by Art Supervisors Association

45 Freeport Public School students from kindergarten to 12th grade have been chosen to represent the district in the 2021 Art Supervisors Association All-County Virtual Exhibit. In addition, Freeport High School senior, Raymonii Cowan was chosen as one of 42 students from Nassau County to receive the Senior Scholarship award.

The online exhibit, which would normally be held at Farmingdale State College, features the artwork of each of the students in an impressive gallery that allows visitors to virtually walk through and view each piece.
The district congratulates Raymonii Cowan for receiving the senior scholar award and the remaining 44 Freeport students who were selected to participate in the prestigious exhibition.

The Art Supervisors Association (ASA) is a non-profit advocacy group for education in the Visual Arts representing the Nassau County area. ASA is active in the promotion of quality art instruction at all educational levels and provides a forum for ideas relating to art.

To view the Art Supervisors Association 2021 All-County Virtual Exhibit, visit:
https://www.artsupervisorsassociation.org/asa-virtual-exhibit.html

To view senior Raymonii Cowan’s senior scholar award piece, visit:
https://art.kunstmatrix.com/taxonomy/term/274776

 

Career Day at Archer

Archer Street School hosted their annual Career Day with a number of virtual guest speakers. A cake decorator, google computer programmer, supreme court judge, safety liaison, veterinarian, graphic designer, and many more were invited into the classrooms to talk about their jobs, and the education and the training necessary to have a fulfilling and successful career.

The various professionals also encouraged the students to continue to work hard towards their goals and reminded them to find a career that makes them happy.


It’s More Than Just Rock And Roll

Steven Van Zandt joins Freeport’s Atkinson School music lesson; talks about the importance of music and more

Mr. Steven Van Zandt, rock and roll guitarist, music education advocate and founder of the TeachRock Foundation, joined a virtual music lesson with the fifth-grade students in Ms. Lauren Chmiri’s class at Freeport’s Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School.

Led by Ms. Stephanie Arnell, the culminating virtual music lesson was based on the book “Grace’s Rock and Roll Adventure.” Prior to joining in a candid question and answer session with the famous rock and roll star, students participated in a virtual escape room to find Little Steven’s missing guitar components and identify electric guitar shapes and features. Once all the components were found, the students described what it would feel like to perform on stage with their own guitar and a famous rock star. Then, they shared electric guitar designs they created and what inspired their designs with Mr. Van Zandt. Students explained that their guitars were inspired by musical genres, their favorite colors and musical artists; some of which included Van Zandt.

Opening up the classroom, students asked Mr. Van Zandt questions which engaged the students and provided insight into the famous musician’s career, life as a civil rights activist and music education advocate.

The first student, Jadyn-Chanel Smith asked, “What inspired you to become a musician and play the guitar?” Mr. Van Zandt explained how The Beatles inspired him, “I saw the Beatles on television and was attracted to the idea of a group of people coming together to make music. At the time there were a lot of individual musicians, but the idea of a group of people and a friendship, just like a soccer team or a baseball team, coming together is what really inspired me.”

With a successful career as a musician, Steven Van Zandt utilized his notoriety for change. Student Sean Webster thoughtfully asked about his work in South Africa during Apartheid, after a recent English language arts module on human rights. “What did you see wrong in your eyes that you had to protest on South Africa?” Mr. Van Zandt attentively responded, “At the time, in South Africa, it was a bad system where…the Black people were not allowed to vote. We joined together with other artists to bring attention to the world, and we were able to change it. Nelson Mandela, a famous world leader, we helped get him out of jail and he became president of South Africa and because of that, Black people can vote there. It was very important work. And it is important to always work for and fight for what is right in the world.”

Addressing Mr. Van Zandt, superintendent of schools, Mr. Kishore Kuncham said

“Thank you for the work you are doing and have done across the globe. We are truly honored to have you here with us. More than ever, the world today really needs tremendous people in terms of addressing culturally responsive education and promoting social justice. You have been a pioneer in doing and promoting that through partnering with schools and using such a very powerful weapon and instrument to do so, which is music.”

Additional questions from students ranged in complexity and topics.

Khalani Dixon asked, “During hard times what motivates you to keep working?” Mr. Van Zandt responded that the importance of working hard at one’s craft, and how doing something one loves will create a positive experience and in turn positive energy to move forward. He reinforced to students that a craft, is not just playing a guitar it can be anything “being a painter, or a writer, a musician, something that fulfills you and satisfies you when things are difficult. And working on that craft will reward you in many different ways.”

Closing the lesson, Mr. Van Zandt thanked the students for their insightful questions and commended them on their musical knowledge. He took the time to remind them of the importance of artistic thinking, “You are very lucky students. Your school system and your teachers are very encouraging of artistic thinking, which is one of the most important kinds of thinking in the world. Artistic thinking is your emotions and feelings. It helps you learn math and science and so many other things that are imperative to your growth as a student and a human being.”

 


It's Pizza Time!

It’s always a good time to eat pizza and the students from Ms. Yvonne Brown’s Consumer Science Class at Freeport’s Dodd Middle School had the opportunity to make their own individual pizza pies in a recent class focusing on following multi-step recipes and reinforcing kitchen safety practices.

The students were divided into two groups; those in-class and remote learning students. While the students at home were given the opportunity to create their own individual pizzas, with parental permission, they were tasked with reinforcing the rules of a safe, clean kitchen.

For the students in-school, they were provided a baking sheet with their names on it, an English muffin, cheese, tomato sauce, and spices. The students followed the multiple-step recipe and after making their pizzas, put them into the oven to bake. Within minutes, the results were perfect delicious pizzas to devour!


Freeport’s Enyero Omokeni is a News 12 Scholar-Athlete


Foreign Language Week

Freeport High School’s Foreign Language Club celebrated Foreign Language Week from March 7 to March 13. This year's theme was "Open your mind to Language.”

Due to the pandemic, the usual tradition of decorating the classroom doors in the high school’s foreign language wing was not possible. To keep the enthusiasm and tradition alive, Foreign Language Club President Issiz Herrera Manchame and Vice President Alessandro Benitex Pineda put in their time and talents to create a display highlighting the week’s theme to share with students and teachers passing through the hallways.

The purpose of Foreign Language Week is to raise awareness of the need for and importance of foreign language study.


Two Students Perform for Senator John Brooks Celebration

Two students from Freeport Public Schools virtually performed at the Senator John Brooks Virtual Black History Month/Women’s History Month celebration.

Freeport High School senior, Sameerah Lawal’s performance of “Life Every Voice and Sing” and New Visions third-grader Alyssa Marcel’s recital of the poem ‘The Miracle of Morning” by Amanda Gorman were aired for hundreds of virtual event participants.

Following the airing of Alyssa reciting the poem, moderator Lucia Martinez asked the third grader what Women’s History Month and Black History Month means to her. She responded “Both women’s history and black history have helped me learn about myself, my friends and my family. It also helps me learn about my culture, the culture of others and about new things.”

The virtual Black History Month and Women’s History Month celebration was hosted by Senator John Brooks to recognize and celebrate the representatives from the towns and communities across District 8 that contribute their time and resources and deserve to be recognized for their success stories.


Paying Tribute to a Leader and a Legend

On Wednesday, March 10, Freeport Public Schools paid tribute to the late Mr. Ernest J. Kight, Board of Education President, educator, coach, and beloved member of the Freeport Community who passed away of Feb. 27.

The tribute was livestreamed virtually for the community from the Performing Arts Center at Freeport High School with some of Mr. Kight’s close family members and friends, past colleagues, former students, Freeport Public Schools faculty and administrators in attendance. Mr. Kight’s legacy as a steadfast supporter of Freeport Public Schools was reflected upon and honored by speakers throughout the ceremony.

Dr. Kishore Kuncham, Superintendent of Schools shared his memories of working with Mr. Kight. “Ernie’s dedication, caring and commitment was evident throughout his years as an educator, coach, mentor and Board of Education President. There is no one I have spoken to that does not have warm, wonderful memories of the man who embodied Freeport Pride,” said Dr. Kuncham. “Everyone – students, alumni, parents, staff and faculty, administrators, board members, community members – has an ‘Ernie story.’ Those stories are inspirational, emotional, and funny and show how Ernie has touched and changed so many lives in our Freeport community and the community at large. Ernie had one mission, which was hardwired within him, to transform the life chances of children.”

Following, Mr. Kight’s wife, and past Freeport Public Schools educator and guidance counselor, Dr. Diane Mary Caruso remembered her husband and shared insight into his love of Freeport Public Schools and the Freeport community.

“I think for Ernie, there is a simple and yet so powerful way to honor him that would make him extremely proud: continue his legacy and his work with our Freeport children,” said Dr. Caruso. She urged Freeport’s teachers and staff to “Be a teacher like Ernie… and forge strong teacher-student bonds in as many ways as you can.”

As she spoke, she reflected on Mr. Kight’s time as a Freeport student who relied on the relationships he built with his teachers that let him know they cared about him, and ultimately translated into his own career as an educator while he worked tirelessly to build strong bonds with his students in the classroom, as Freeport High School principal and as the Lady Devils basketball coach.

Vilma L. Lancaster, speaking on behalf of the Freeport Public Schools Board of Education was full of emotion and admiration for her friend and fellow board member as she told of her “wonderful colleague who always wanted the very best for his students, his school and for his community.”

Linda Hendrickson, former Lady Devils basketball coach, Jimmy Jones, Freeport physical education teacher, Meredith Jones, Freeport’s Lady Devils head basketball coach and former Lady Devils basketball team member Carmen Piñeyro all offered their memories of Mr. Kight and honored his life and the impact he had on theirs and so many others.

The tribute ceremony included short video reflections, memories and stories from former colleagues, community members, past students and basketball team members celebrating the life of the man many called “Mr. Freeport.”


Virtual Parent University Focuses on Science and Art

Freeport Public Schools hosted a districtwide, virtual Parent University of bilingual workshops focusing on science, art and mental health during COVID.

Workshops included learning about the brightness of stars which provided parents with the same teaching methods and critical thinking skills students experience in the classroom and a bilingual music and movement workshop teaching a rap song to help learn the names of the planets.

The workshop also highlighted the Freeport Public School’s participation in the U.S. Department of Education’s Mission: CTE CubeSat Challenge Competition. Freeport’s Director of Science, Dr. Vincent Pereira and Freeport High School teacher Carmen Bernier-Rodriguez presented in English and Spanish, respectively, to highlight the details of the work students and educators are doing to complete this exciting project.
In the continued effort to educate students and their families on the importance of mental health and wellness, the Parent University also featured a parent-only bilingual workshop providing tips for children’s mental health. The workshop, titled Strategies for Coping with COVID, was presented by Dr. Zoya Popivker, Northwell Health Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and offered strategies for parents as students continue to face challenges at home and in school during the pandemic.


Virtual Early College Awareness Day at Dodd

Dodd Middle School students received valuable insight from representatives from college and universities along the east coast during the school’s Early College Awareness Day.

While the Dodd Early College Awareness Day would normally be an in-person event with representatives from colleges and universities from New York State attending, the virtual event allowed students access to a broader reach with post-secondary education institutions as far away as California joining the program.

“This year presented us with a unique opportunity to expand our reach and give our students access to learn about colleges outside of New York state,” said Anthony Dalli, Dodd Middle School social studies teacher and Early College Awareness Day coordinator. “Our planning committee worked diligently to ensure this event provided our students with a much broader range of college opportunities to consider.”

Speakers from the Howard University, Molloy College, Nova Southeastern University, Stony Brook University, University of Southern California, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Virginia State University and many more virtually presented to students throughout the day to discuss early college preparations, the benefits of gaining a college education, and the social aspects of college life.

In addition to the virtual presentations, students also had in-school lessons where their teachers taught them about the financial aspects of going to college including planning for the cost of books, supplies, what it takes to outfit a college dorm room and more.


Book Pickup Promotes Literacy At Home

Freeport Schools hosted a book pickup event for all Pre-K through 12th grade students in the district. The book pickup, which was part of the district’s #freeportreads initiative, provided students with their choice of books for reading, along with a prepackaged bag of writing resources to support remote learning.

“We are excited to give books and resources to all of our students to support at home learning and help build their love of literacy,” Mary LaMotta, Director of English Language Arts said.

The event took place outside each school building within the district, which allowed parents and students to choose a book and pick up a resource package safely. Books of all genres and categories were available and arranged by reading level to help in the selection process. The district collected gently used books from multiple sources including teachers and the Book Fairies, a not-for-profit organization that collects reading materials for school districts and organizations across New York.

#FreeportReads was established to build engagement and excitement for reading across the Freeport School District and community. Its goal is to promote an active life of literacy among students and families.


District Appoints New Administrator

The Freeport Public Schools Board of Education has appointed Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Dr. Helen Kanellopolous, to the position of Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services and Special Education.

Dr. Kanellopoulos has served as the Director of Pupil Personnel Services within the Freeport Schools since July 2017 and has been an educator and administrator for 15 years.

Prior to her appointment, in her role as Director of Pupil Personnel Services, she was responsible for developing strategies, techniques and programs that strengthen student progress for academic and personal success. This included overseeing all special education programs, services and home instruction, maintaining collaborative relationships with private and charter schools, and developing wellness and social-emotional learning standards.

Prior to working for the Freeport Schools, Dr. Kanellopoulos served as an Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel Services in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District (2015-2017) and previously as a Special Education teacher within the Baldwin Schools (2006-2015).

Dr. Kanellopoulos earned her Doctor of Educational Administration Degree from St. John’s University (2017), a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Administration from Long Island University (2011) and both a Master of Education (2006) and Bachelor of Arts Degrees in English (2004), from Molloy College. Dr. Kanellopoulos also serves as an adjunct professor at Adelphi University, teaching coursework within their Education Department to aspiring educators, a position that she began in August of 2020.


Giblyn Students Write Research Books for Black History Month

The second graders in Ms. Danielle Barry’s class at Leo F. Giblyn Elementary School researched influential African American individuals who have had an impact on the world for Black History Month.

Using the Pebble Go website, Ms. Barry worked with students to help teach the importance of research and how to properly conduct research. Students choose from a variety of influential African Americans from many different fields including authors, politicians, athletes and inventors.
The students then compiled their research and created their own books to share the stories of the amazing individuals from our past and present.


Dodd Graphic Design Project Focuses on Black History

Freeport Public School’s Dodd Middle School seventh and eighth graders in Ms. Amy Bendell’s art classes were presented with the challenge of creating a piece of artwork about a significant Black figure to recognize Black History Month.

Students were able to choose any Black figure from the past or present and were asked to visually depict why this person's role and contributions are important to Black history.

Students utilized layout, design skills, graphics, photography, and typography in the form of direct quotations to communicate about their Black figure’s important life. The artwork also had to communicate respect and honor for the individual they had chosen.

In their research, students observed many critical moments in Black history by reviewing archival photography and art. They were exposed to written communications from their figures and were encouraged to design with typography as an integral part of the design.

The final projects included visual depictions of Martin Luther King, Jr. Coretta Scott King, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Neil Degrasse Tyson and Chadwick Boseman.


ABC’s of Black History presented at Dodd

J. W. Dodd Middle School students were taught the “ABC’s of Black History” via an energetic and engaging virtual assembly sponsored by the Dodd Cultural Celebration Committee.

The assembly featured teacher and student vocal performances and student monologues including performances of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by Dr. Sherill Spruill and renditions of Andra Day’s “Rise Up,” Beyoncé’s “Listen” and Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.”

In a segment entitled “Who Am I?,” members of the Dodd Drama Company, under the direction of Ms. Vashti Burke and Mr. Renson Delos Santos, presented recorded performances which were written as biographical monologues based on research projects of historical Black figures. The virtual assembly prompted the audience to answer the question “Who Am I?” at the end of each unique performance which brought Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, millionaire Madam C.J. Walker, athlete and civil rights activist Muhammad Ali and Vice President Kamala D. Harris to life.

Throughout the remainder of the school day, Dodd teachers focused all of their lessons on notable Black figures in each of their fields of study. Other activities included a beautiful Black History Month display and a virtual Black History trivia tournament.

 


Hooray for the 100th Day of School

Students in Columbus Avenue and Bayview Avenue celebrated the district’s 100th day of school with different activities and lessons focusing on the number 100.

At Columbus Ave. students built cup towers in groups of ten to reach 100 cups, created special banners and t-shirts and even dressed up as Dalmatians with 100 spots. Both in-person and remote learning students participated, with on remote learner making a cake decorated to celebrate the occasion.

Students from Bayview Avenue created their own t-shirt designs which included a 100 googley eyes shirt, a shirt showcasing 100 things students like, a millipede and more. Additionally, students also made crowns to celebrate being 100 days smarter.
Celebrating the 100th Day of school is a chance for students to commemorate an occasion not linked to a specific holiday or season and offers the chance to teach and reinforce lessons on counting in a variety of ways.


K-4 students log 440,767 minutes of reading for Winter Reading Challenge 

Freeport School District’s four elementary schools, Archer Street, Bayview Avenue, Leo F. Giblyn and New Visions recently completed a Winter Reading Challenge hosted by #freeportreads.

The competition encouraged students to read in fun ways with winter-themed ideas and activities and track their minutes using the digital reading platform Raz-Kids.

The students of Leo F. Giblyn Elementary School were the competition winners reading 139,075 minutes with 99% of students participating. The top readers from Giblyn were Natalia Collado, April Cruz Quintanilla, Christian Nurse, Aiden O’Brien, Leann Paraison, , Sydney Rembert, Ariela Rodriguez and Kayla Rodriguez.

As a district, the four elementary schools achieved a 93% participation rate among students and logged a total of 440,767 minutes reading their favorite fiction and non-fiction books.

To celebrate the conclusion of the Winter Reading Challenge, the schools celebrated with a Fun Friday in which both in-person and remote students dressed in their PJs and read their favorite book to one of their own stuffed animals.

#freeportreads was established to build engagement and excitement for reading across the Freeport School District and community. Its goal is to promote an active life of literacy among students and families.


Freeport Select Chorale’s virtual performance featured live on Boston Celtics game

The Freeport High School Select Chorale’s first virtual performance of the national anthem was recently aired live at the NBA Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards game.

The Select Chorale, under the direction of Ms. Monique Retzlaff, each recorded and uploaded their own part of “The Star Spangled Banner” with specific guidelines. The individual videos were then synchronized and combined into a single performance to create the Select Chorale’s first virtual performance.

“Since we are unable to gather as a full ensemble due to the pandemic, it was my goal to give this fine ensemble an opportunity to experience what a virtual performance entails, as well as continuing to share their talents with our audiences,” said Ms. Monique Retzlaff, director. “In addition, we are so proud to share this first virtual performance on a national level and look forward to live performances in the future.”
The Freeport High School Select Chorale has performed on the national level at Madison Square Garden, MetLife Stadium, CitiField, and the Barkclays Center for the NFL, MLB, and the NBA multiple times under Ms. Retzlaff’s 13 years as director.

To view the Freeport High School Select Chorale’s virtual performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” visit https://youtu.be/a2GvpsCrbqI


Senior named Coco-Cola Scholars Program semifinalist

Freeport High School senior and class of 2021 Valedictorian Shyanne Gardner has been named a nationwide semifinalist in the Coco-Cola Scholars Program for her outstanding academic achievements and her dedication to community service.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Program is one of the nation’s most well-known corporate scholarship programs. Since its creation, the Coca-Cola Scholars Program has provided more than 6,150 graduating high school seniors with more than $69 million in scholarships from the program.

Shyanne has a weighted GPA 107.631 and will graduate with a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation with honors in math and science. She is recognized as a National AP Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction. She is a member of the Student Government, the Key Club, the Future Problem Solvers Club, the Mathletes Club, the Peer Leaders Club, DECA, and the Varsity Badminton Team. Shyanne is also a member of the National Honor Society, the National Science Honor Society, and the Tri-M Music Honor Society. She hopes to attend Yale University or Duke University where she plans to double major in Computer Science and Global Affairs with a future goal of working for the United Nations or a nonprofit international organization.

Shyanne is one of 1,609 semifinalists with 150 becoming Coca-Cola Scholars and receiving a $20,000 college scholarship. Coca-Cola Scholars are chosen based upon their capability to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making positive change in their communities and around the world.

The district congratulates Shyanne on this achievement!

student


Valentines for Veterans

The students of Bayview Avenue, Leo F. Giblyn and New Visions Elementary Schools in Freeport Public Schools recently created handmade Valentine’s Day cards for veterans across Nassau County. 

Classroom teachers, art teachers and school group advisors guided students to design cards with colorful illustrations and heartfelt messages of appreciation for the veterans’ service to their country.  

Hundreds of valentines from the Freeport elementary students will be delivered to local veterans as part of Freeport Assemblywoman Judy Griffin’s and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s annual effort to deliver messages of hope in celebration of Feb. 14.


Giblyn’s SOUPer students donate 700+ food items

For the 5th consecutive year, Leo F. Giblyn Elementary took part in the SOUPer Bowl food drive as the culminating event to their Great Kindness Challenge.

Facilitated by the Giblyn Spirit Committee, the Great Kindness Challenge took place during the first week of February and tasked students with completing acts of kindness at home and in-school, ending with the SOUPer Bowl as their final act of caring for others.

Students were asked to bring in non-perishable food items and place them under the logo for the team they hoped would win the big game. The school collected 723 total food items in a single day for Freeport Outreach and predicted the Kansas City Chiefs would be the winner. While their predicted team did not win, the Giblyn SOUPer Bowl food drive took another step to defeating hunger during a critical time when charities are in great need of community support and donations.


Bayview PeaceJam Juniors Collect Food for Island Harvest

Bayview Avenue students, faculty and staff recently hosted a food drive for Island Harvest. Organized by the PeaceJam Juniors group, the school collected 790 food items, or 700 pounds, for those in need.

Members of PeaceJam Juniors learned about the Dalai Lama and his mission toward peace and compassion, which inspired the group to organize the food drive. To help encourage participation, any student, faculty or staff member who brought in one or more food items received a star with their name on it which was then displayed on a bulletin board in the school’s main hallway.
As a result, the hallway was filled with stars and the food items collected will feed approximately 584 families in need this winter.


Students Learn About MLK, Jr.’s Legacy and Share Dreams For a Better World

Ms. Laurie Trujillo’s second grade dual-language remote learning class at New Visions completed a lesson on Martin Luther King, Jr. in observance of the leader’s birthday. The lesson taught the students about Dr. King’s life and work. Each student then created a presentation utilizing Google Slides sharing their own dreams for a better world.

In addition, as an act of service honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.’s contributions and efforts to the world, students in the class and students in Ms. Denise Rodriguez’s in-school dual-language class together collected toys and other gifts for a needy family in the Freeport community.

“The students were able to connect the lessons of community service in a meaningful way that brought joy to all involved,” said Ms. Trujillo. The teachers delivered the gifts to the family before the MLK, Jr. Day on Jan. 18.

Students learn about MLK, Jr.’s legacy and share dreams for a better world 1


Atkinson and J.W. Dodd receive Chromebooks donation

Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School and J.W. Dodd Middle School were the recipients of 39 Chromebooks donated by nonprofit organizations PinkTie Charities and Givngo Fuel as well as the Freeport Chamber of Commerce.

On Jan. 14, Freeport Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Glori Engel, and Director of Mathematics and Computer Technology, Dr. Anthony Murray, along with representatives from all three organizations, and Nassau County Legislature Debra Mulé, Assemblywoman Judy Griffin, and Mayor of Freeport Robert T. Kennedy were on hand to see the Chromebooks distributed to students in the Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School.

Dr. Murray expressed his thanks to the community organizations for their generous donation and to the local officials who support the district.
“With the donation of 39 Chromebooks and through your support and dedication to education, we are able to ensure that our students have the best technology available to aid in their educational journey,” said Dr. Murray.

The Chromebooks donated by PinkTie, Givngo Fuel and the Freeport Chamber of Commerce are being distributed to students who currently have devices that need to be updated. With students working on a fully-remote schedule and others utilizing their Chromebooks for in-classroom lessons, the donation will allow for the continuation of seamless instruction.

“Our school is so grateful for the donation of the Chromebooks,” said Gisselle Campbell-Ham, Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School principal. “Providing the proper technology to our students makes a huge impact in their education whether they are learning remotely or while they are in school.”


JW Dodd Concert Band Virtual Performance

The JW Dodd Middle School concert band, under the direction of Mr. Adam Rubin, created a holiday performance video to share with the Freeport community. The JW Dodd Concert Band wishes everyone a very happy holiday season!

https://youtu.be/dOmDQymbC2o


Atkinson student reaches worldwide status on Achieve 3000 Scoreboard

Atkinson fifth-grader Andrelis Gutierrez Castro was recently named a top scorer on Achieve 3000 for New York State and worldwide. This is the first time a student from the Atkinson school has made the worldwide scoreboard.

“We are so proud of Andrelis for achieving worldwide status on Achieve 3000,” said Gisselle Campbell-Ham, Principal. “Her hard work and love of reading has led her to this wonderful recognition.”

Achieve 3000 is a differentiated reading program that Freeport Public Schools implemented to accelerate literacy growth and deepen learning across several content areas. It is a collection of nonfiction articles that match with every students' reading level.

To earn this award, Andrelis read nonfiction articles and answered multiple choice and poll questions about each article. Following the questions, she was also required to complete a writing assignment for each article. Andrelis chose articles on current events, history, science, and biographical figures and went well beyond the encouraged amount of two articles in English and Spanish per week to achieve worldwide recognition.

Congratulations to Andrelis on this wonderful achievement.

Atkinson student reaches worldwide status on Achieve 3000 Scoreboard


Nassau County Police Department donates hundreds of toys to Freeport students

The spirit of the holiday season reached the students of Freeport on Dec. 4 as the Nassau County Police Department and the Freeport Village Police visited Columbus Avenue School in celebration of the annual Toys of Hope Parade.
“With the COVID pandemic, so many events are either not able to happen or become virtual. The Parade of Toys is a wonderful event that brings joy to our families,” said Dr. Kishore Kuncham, superintendent of schools. “We are appreciative that the Nassau County Police Department and Toys of Hope were able to adapt the parade and still bring toys and happiness to our students.”
As holiday music played, officers arrived at the school and dropped off hundreds of toys, books and even candy canes for the students, bringing big smiles to their faces.
By dropping off the gifts, the event, which would normally be a parade that comes to Freeport High School to distribute the toys, allowed for safe, socially distanced delivery. This is the third year the partnership between the NCPD and Toys of Hope has delivered toys to the children of Freeport.


Hour of Code at New Visions

The fourth grade students in Ms. Mimi Bino's library classes at New Visions celebrated Computer Science Education Week by participating in the worldwide Hour of Code.

The students used Tynker, an education programming platform, in collaboration with NASA to teach students coding concepts as they programmed a rover to travel to a location of their choice. They also learned why robots are crucial for space exploration.
Following the hour of code, the students programmed BeeBots to visit different spots within their classrooms.

The Hour of Code is a worldwide movement designed to engage students in their first hour of coding and computer science. Students in more than 180 countries have participated in the event.


Virtual Art Gallery

Hundreds of works of art from all eight schools in Freeport Public Schools are on display virtually for the Freeport community. This collaborative project features student artwork from all grade levels which demonstrates how creativity is courageous from the youngest to the oldest within the school district.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the Freeport Department of the Arts would host the annual Winter Festival of the Arts to exhibit the creative skills of students in each school.

“While we wish to gather together at this time of year, we are grateful to share our gifts in a virtual gallery,” said Director of Arts and Community Relations, Ruth Breidenbach. “We are so proud of the artistic accomplishments of our students and hope you enjoy seeing the progression of art skills from the youngest to the oldest artists in our district.”

The district would like to thank the Freeport Department of the Arts for this tribute commemorating the annual Winter Festivals.

View the Freeport Public Schools Virtual Art Gallery.


Happy holidays from the Freeport High School Select Chorale

The Freeport High School Select Chorale under the direction of Monique Campbell Retzlaff has created a compilation video of holiday songs and photos to bring joy to the Freeport community this holiday season. The video showcases various performances by the chorale through the years along with photos from past performances.
“We were not able to physically perform this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, therefore this is our gift to the district and community we love being a part of,” said Chorale Director Monique Campbell Retzlaff.
The Chorale wishes the Freeport community, Freeport’s board of education, administration, staff and fellow students a safe and happy holiday season.
View the Freeport High School Select Chorale’s video.

 

 


Musician and Scientist Jason Achilles Meets Bayview Avenue Students

Last month the students at Freeport Public School’s Bayview Avenue School of Arts and Sciences learned how an education in the arts and a passion for science can merge into a successful, exciting and rewarding career. Jason Achilles a professional musician and the principal investigator for the NASA grant-awarded Lunar ExoCam project, virtually visited fourth grade students and spoke to them about his career as a musician, and his lifelong passion for science and space.

“I can remember from the time I was young always being fascinated by space and science,” said Achilles to the students signed into the event. “While I developed a career as a musician, I never lost that fascination.”

During his presentation, Achilles explained how he, as an established, professional musician, was able to utilize his creativity to start his own company, Zandef Deksit, Inc. and develop and launch a microphone into space inside NASA’s Perseverance rover to capture the sounds of Mars.

“I went to college and studied music, and only started working as a scientist in the last five years,” Achilles told the students. “This is a bit strange because you would think science is something you would have to work on all your life, but as it turns out you can change your mind and try new things and be successful.”

Prior to the webinar, the students viewed the videos of the Lunar ExoCam testing which took place earlier this year and Achilles, who continues to make music, explained how his company went through the process of developing their camera and microphones for space. Beginning with the drawing stage through to prototypes and testing.

Closing the webinar, Principal Mary Gargiulo thanked Achilles for sharing his experiences and engaging with the Bayview students and inspiring them to pursue their goals in the arts and sciences.

Musician and Scientist Jason Achilles Meets Bayview Avenue Students


Atkinson Chorus: Just hear those Sleigh Bells Jingling!

The 5th and 6th grade chorus members under the direction of Ms. Arnell and Ms. Valonzo virtually perform Sleigh Ride. The chorus is excited to be able to safely share this virtual performance that will surely make you feel comfy cozy!


Happy Holidays from the Music Staff

Mr. Friedman and Mr. LaSorsa along with talented members of the music staff wish everyone a happy holiday season! Dance and sing along with this fun favorite and have a safe, happy and healthy new year.


Students Show Senator Brooks What They are Thankful for

Freeport students in the New Visions School and Atkinson Intermediate School participated in the Sen. John E. Brooks Thanksgiving Day Creative Celebration.

New Visions students Jazlyn Acevedo Baez and Kailey Lalloo submitted artwork under the direction of their art teacher, Nancy Williams depicting their families.

Representing the Caroline G. Atkinson School, fifth grade students submitted a variety of essays and poems highlighting their thankfulness for their school and teachers, their pets and their families.

The 2020 celebration called for students in New York State to submit what they are thankful for in an artform that exemplified the creativity of New York State’s youth.

To read the essays please visit: https://www.nysenate.gov/senators/john-e-brooks/thankful


Giblyn Shows their Spirit and the Spirit of Giving

<hr<> From Nov. 16-20, students, staff and administrators at Giblyn Elementary participated in the school’s annual spirit week. Each day featured a different theme including Team Tuesday, Whacky Wednesday and Farmer Friday with students showing their spirit by wearing team T-shirts and face masks, mismatched socks, brightly colored hair, and handcrafted hats and headbands. For at least five years, Giblyn’s annual spirit week has included a food drive benefitting Freeport Outreach. This year, Giblyn students and staff collected and donated an impressive 3,057 food items to the organization. Principal Amanda Muldowney thanked the students and staff for their generosity and thanked them for keeping school spirit and the spirit of giving alive this holiday season. </hr<>


Archer Street's Annual Turkey Trot Proves Great Fun for a Good Cause

Freeport Public Schools’ Archer Street Elementary School kicked off the Thanksgiving holiday with the school’s annual Turkey Trot. The event had students from first through fourth grade walk two laps around the school building wearing festive crowns, hats, and displaying Thanksgiving themed-signs.

During the school’s Turkey Trot, Island Harvest was presented with a check for $2,020. Principal Paula Lein thanked the students for their hard work and thanked Island Harvest for all they do for the Freeport community and across Long Island to help families in need.


Freeport Schools Chosen in National Space Challenge

Freeport Public Schools is the only school district in New York State selected by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) in the national CTE Mission: CubeSat challenge. A CubeSat is a cube-shaped nanosatellite measuring 10 centimeters on each side. It carries a scientific experiment and the necessary electronics to send data collected in space back to Earth. The goal of the DOE is to bring space missions out of the clouds into the classroom.

As one of five finalists nationwide, the district will have access to professional experts who will serve as mentors to students as they enter Phase 2 of the challenge, which includes building and testing a CubeSat prototype. The district will also receive funding and in-kind prizes. At the conclusion of Phase 2 in Spring 2021, a judging panel will review the flight reports as well as other criteria from the CubeSat project and determine a winner.

“The selection of Freeport Public Schools as one of fivefinalists in the nation is an extraordinary opportunity for our students and a testament to the science, technology, engineeringand mathematics programs we offer, ” said Dr. Kishore Kuncham, Superintendent of Schools. “I am very proud of our outstanding students and faculty, who are involved in this unique STEM program. Their talents are unlimited.”

The Freeport CubeSat team will involve students from grades K-12 in the scientific part of the project and the analysis of results. The construction of the CubeSat prototype will be done by approximately 20 high school students from the technology department.

Following the construction of the prototype, the scientificgoal of the CubeSat is to collect data that will measure the Earth’s surface temperature and study the differences in heat absorption and retention between urban and rural areas. Another scientific goal is to measure the drag coefficient or friction as the CubeSat revolves around the Earth.

“Construction of the CubeSat will introduce our students to aerospace engineering, and if successful, our students could potentially influence future space technology,” said Dr. Vincent Pereira, Director of Science. “In addition, since our students are a part of the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program, we will be sharing our data with students from all the 120 countries that participate in the GLOBE program” said Pereira.


Bulletin Board Displays an Attitude of Gratitude at New Visions School

Students, staff and administrators at New Visions have created an “I’m thankful for…” bulletin board to share the things they are thankful for this Thanksgiving season.

The bulletin board highlights students’ sentiments like “I am thankful for my little brother,” “I am thankful for my school and teachers” and “ I am thankful for my cat and dog.”

During these uncertain times, the school felt it was important for everyone to share their gratitude as a reminder that there is always something to be thankful for in life.


NASA Astronaut Scott Tingle Virtually Visits with Freeport Students

On Nov. 23, students in the Freeport Public Schools met virtually with NASA astronaut Scott Tingle to learn about his background, his time in space, and his work and research while aboard the International Space Station. This is the second time Freeport students have met with the astronaut, the first in 2018 while Tingle was on board the ISS.

During the meeting, Tingle shared details of his career as an engineer, his time in the U.S. Navy, his interests and his determination to become an astronaut.

With hundreds of students watching districtwide, Tingle armed them with valuable information on what they would need to become an astronaut saying, “In order to be an astronaut you need a strong educational background…and to never give up.”

Following Tingle’s presentation, Freeport students from all grade levels submitted questions which included, “Your specialty in your master’s program at Purdue University was in fluid mechanics and propulsion systems. Did you have an opportunity to perform experiments in these areas in the ISS?”; “Did you take part in any CubeSat experiments while you were in space?”; and “After you graduated you worked at The Aerospace Corporation. Did that include any CubeSat work?”

As part of the prestigious NASA/New York Space grant awarded to Freeport Public Schools last year, Freeport High School and J.W. Dodd Middle School students shared a presentation on their proposal to NASA to launch a CubeSat Prototype into space. In response to the presentation, Tingle said, “Kudos to your team for putting together an incredible presentation and project. You are starting from a good foundation in science, practicing systems engineering and working to get the data you need to get your intended results. Keep doing what you’re doing!”

Closing the virtual meeting, Director of Science, Dr. Vincent Pereira thanked Tingle for giving Freeport students the opportunity to speak with him once again and for being a role model for all those interested in science and space.


Students Create Sun Shelter in Fall-themed STEAM Lesson

Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, kindergarten students in Ms. Eileen Moloney’s class at Giblyn Elementary School experienced a hands-on STEAM lesson creating sun shelters for Play-Doh pumpkins.

The purpose of the interactive lesson was to demonstrate why pumpkins’ leaves protect them from the sun creating their orange color. This was part of a larger discovery lesson about the lifecycle of a pumpkin.

Using construction paper, Play-Doh, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, paper plates and more the students built their sun shelters and then tested them by shining a flashlight on the top of the structure to see if the light entered the shelter or if their pumpkin was shaded. If the pumpkins were exposed to the light students made improvements to their shelters and retested to ensure their pumpkins would be fully sheltered from the light.


Adopt-a-Cop Returns to Bayview for 25th Year

For the past 25 years, students in the Bayview School have participated in the annual Adopt-a-Cop program bringing fourth graders and the Village of Freeport police officers together to build relationships with local law enforcement. This year, the program kicked off virtually with officers introducing themselves to the students via a Google meet and then speaking about their work in local law enforcement. They explained how keeping the students, their families and others in the Freeport community safe is their top priority.
Several students were able to ask the officers questions about their role in law enforcement which included “What was your favorite case?” and “Do you ever get scared?”

Following the questions and answers session, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kishore Kuncham, addressed the students explaining to them the important commitment police officers make by taking an oath to protect and serve the community, and thanked the officers for taking time out of their day to spend with the students.

Ending the virtual event, students committed to write emails during school hours to their adopted officers to learn more about their roles, ask questions, express their appreciation and tell them about events and lessons happening in school. The Adopt-a-Cop program is organized with the Village of Freeport Police Department and Freeport Public Schools each year to foster communication between students and law enforcement.

 

Freeport’s Pre-Season Workout Program Provides Students with Safe, Socially-distanced Sports Workouts 

Freeport High School and Dodd Middle School students with an interest in fall and winter sports were provided a safe and state-approved way to practice pre-season sports from Oct. 19 to Nov. 12 through the district’s Pre-Season Workout program.

Open to all students in grades 7-12, the pre-season training program offered socially-distanced practice for girls and boys soccer, basketball, wrestling, girls tennis, cross-country, track and field, girls swim, golf, boys and girls volleyball, cheerleading and football.

“We believe that secondary athletics are more than just an extracurricular activity for our students; they become part of the fabric of our school culture, the foundation for the mental health and wellness of our students and can have a profound impact on a child’s future,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “To this end, the Pre-Season Workout Program was developed to allow any student in grades 7-12 the opportunity to participate in an athletic program.”

Program participants were required to register prior to the program’s start date and all students, faculty and staff followed the safety protocols which included temperature checks, maintaining 12-feet distance from individuals at all times, unless safety or the core activity required a shorter distance, limited use of equipment and heightened cleaning and sanitizing. In addition, face masks were required for all coaches, staff and students.

The Freeport middle and high school pre-season training program complied with all New York State Education Department and New York state Department of Health Reopening Plan guidelines, as well as the current NYSPHSAA regulations. The district will work to schedule future sessions for spring sports if necessary.


Atkinson’s Collaborative Chorus Project Celebrates Peace and Hispanic Heritage Month

Atkinson School Choral teachers, Ms. Arnell and Ms. Valonzo created a collaborative choral video to celebrate peace and Hispanic Heritage month. Fifth and sixth grade chorus members performed a special arrangement of “I’d like to Teach the World to Sing.” To create the video the chorus students participated in remote instruction and then submitted individual recordings of themselves singing lyrics in English and Spanish. The chorus members also submitted photos demonstrating messages of peace for all. To view the virtual project click the link below.
 

https://youtu.be/xbfV9jVZQeY


Coats Donated to Atkinson from Nassau County Detectives Association, Inc.

With winter just around the corner, the Nassau County Detectives Association, Inc. has donated 12 large boxes of new winter coats in various colors and sizes for students and families in need at Atkinson Intermediate School.

Mariella Ryan-Echegaray, the school’s social worker helped organize the donation with Joseph Hill recording secretary for the organization. The coat donation is part of the

Nassau County Detectives Association’s annual Coats for Kids drive.

“We are so thankful for the generous donation,” said Principal Gisselle Campbell-Ham. “These coats will greatly benefit our students during the cold winter months.”

Joseph Hill and John Wighaus, Nassau County Detectives Association president, personally delivered the boxes to the school.

 


Columbus Students Pay Tribute to Veterans

In honor of Veterans Day, Columbus Ave. kindergarten students in Kim Gartmayer, Samantha Tasso and Heather Tollin’s classes created thank-you cards and crafts to pay tribute to our nation’s veterans.

Kimberly Gartmayer’s students learned about the different branches of the military and the importance of Veterans Day through reading different books and listening to music. They each made a thank-you card and a sign that will be mailed to veterans in Nassau County.

The students in Samantha Tasso and Heather Tollin’s classes created Veterans Day crowns that showcased the different branches of the military. Because the students worked so hard and had fun learning about Veterans Day in their classrooms, they were able to enjoy part of the school day outside proudly wearing their Veterans Day crowns.
 


Freeport Hosts Districtwide Virtual Parent University

<hr<> The Freeport School District hosted a districtwide Parent University virtual webinar on Oct. 27. Focusing on student learning and technology, the event aimed to provide parents with knowledge and understanding of how to support their children’s use of technology, how to increase their own knowledge and use of technology, and the impact technology can have on their children’s education.
The virtual event featured a presentation by Northwell Health’s Dr. Vera Feuer, director of pediatric psychiatry at Cohen Children’s Hospital, on internet behaviors and how technology impacts child development. The live presentation helped parents gain a better understanding of the technology available to their children and how it impacts their development.

Other workshop topics included digital citizenship, help with using Google translate and classroom, and appropriate learning environments and expectations of students. Each workshop lasted for 30 minutes and provided parents with educational materials and information. The Parent University workshops are also available to parents on Freeport’s Pre-K through 12th grade online learning resource center.

To access the Parent University virtual workshops visit: https://sites.google.com/freeportschools.com/home-learning-resource-center/technology-support-tips. </hr<>

 


Pumpkin Painting at New Visions

New Visions kindergarten classes and the first grade self-contained class recently learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin. They read stories and had meaningful discussions. The students also studied the inside of the pumpkin, identified and labeled the parts, and described it. After they learned all about the pumpkins, the students painted their pumpkin to take home. New Visions school would like thank A&M Seasonal Corner for donating pumpkins for the students.


Class of 2021 Top 10

Freeport Public Schools is proud to announce the outstanding academic achievements of the top 10 students of the Class of 2021. During a breakfast honoring the top ten students on Oct. 30, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kishore Kuncham congratulated the students for their dedication and hard work throughout their academic careers.

“Everything you have done from pre-K to your senior year has brought you to this moment,” said Dr. Kuncham. “Your discipline, commitment and dedication each and every day has put you in the top ten. On behalf of Freeport, I extend my congratulations. You make us proud.”

The top ten students of the class of 2021 are Valedictorian Shyanne Gardner, Salutatorian Mia Sorrentio, #3 Nicole Bailey, #4 Oghenenyerovwo Omokeni, #5 Jayda Pollard, #6 Sabrina Johnson, #7 Hameedah Lawal, #8 Tatiana Lugo Aquino, #9 Genevieve Himmelberg, and #10 Alexa Rivera.

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Board of Education Recognized for Service and Dedication

On Oct. 21 in celebration of School Board Recognition Week, sponsored by the New York State School Board Association, the Freeport Public Schools Board of Education was recognized for their service and commitment to the students, staff and Freeport community.

“Thank you to the board of education who do an amazing job for the students of Freeport and the entire Nassau County,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “Our students benefit every day from the board’s countless hours of dedication and advocacy on behalf of our children and the education they receive.”

As a sign of appreciation for their work, Dr. Kuncham presented each board member with a proclamation from Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. In addition, several organizations within the school district made charitable donations on behalf of the board of education including FESOA (clerical staff) to Island Harvest Food Bank; FTAA (teaching assistants and teacher aides) to the Freeport Education Foundation; FTA (teachers) to the Freeport High School Class of 2021 and the Black Educators Scholarship Fund; FSAA (administrators) to the Freeport Education Foundation; and CSEA (food service workers and security staff) to the Freeport Education Foundation. In addition, the students at Columbus Avenue School showed their appreciation by creating and presenting a video thanking the board members for their work.

The Freeport Public Schools Board of Education include Board of Education President Ernest J. Kight Jr, Vice President Vilma Lancaster and trustees Ronald J. Ellerbe, Maria Jordan-Awalom and Gabriela Castillo. Board members are elected to serve three-year terms and are not paid for their services.


Freeport Public Schools Appoints New Administrators

The Freeport School District Board of Education unanimously appointed Director of English Language Arts, K-12 Glori Engel to the position of assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction and Mary LaMotta to the position of director of English language arts, K-12 effective Sept. 24, 2020.

Ms. Engel joined the Freeport Schools in 2014 as a literacy consultant to provide her expertise in the areas of literacy instruction and the implementation of new literacy programs within the district. For the past four years, she has successfully served the district as the director of English language arts. In her current role as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Engel has fully and successfully embraced providing outstanding leadership and guidance in the recent reopening of Freeport Public Schools. In addition to her work in the district as a consultant and administrator, she previously served for 18 years as a kindergarten teacher and reading specialist predominantly within the Half Hollow Hills School District. Ms. Engel earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Towson University, a master’s degree in literacy studies from Hofstra University and her administrative certificate from Long Island University. Ms. Engel’s professionalism, expertise and commitment to all students and staff is an asset to Freeport Public Schools.

Mary LaMotta began her teaching career in the Freeport Public Schools in 2004 as a special education teacher at New Visions Elementary School as an integrated co-teacher in grades 1-4. In 2015, she was selected to serve as a reading specialist and served as a reading teacher at both New Visions School and Columbus Avenue Early Childhood Center. In 2017, she began serving the district as a districtwide literacy coach providing instructional support, coaching and guidance to teachers across the district. Ms. LaMotta earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Molly College, a Master of Science degree from Hofstra University, and an administrative certificate from Stony Brook University. She also holds New York State teaching certifications for students with disabilities in grades 1-6, literacy birth-6, 7-12 English language arts, grades 1-6 early childhood education and her administrative certificate as a school building and district leader. Ms. LaMotta’s knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for literacy and instruction is evident in her work with staff and students.


Giblyn and Columbus Avenue students get hands-on STEM lessons

The kindergarten and first grade students from Columbus Avenue and Leo F. Giblyn Elementary School had hands-on, seasonally focused STEM lessons using apples.

Columbus Avenue kindergarten teacher, Kimberly Gartmayer led her students in a lesson which began with reading about apples. Following, the students used apples chunks or slices and toothpicks to make boats. After constructing their boats, the class submerged them in water to see which types of apple boats floated and which sank.

For students in Therese Casoria’s first grade class at Giblyn Elementary School, a science and math unit was implemented which included activities such as dissecting an apple and labeling the parts; sequencing the life cycle of an apple, as well as tasting various types of apples to collect data. The data collected by each student was then used to create a graph of the apples each student liked most.


J.W. Dodd Middle School Recognized with Silver Status

Freeport Public School’s J. W. Dodd Middle School was recently recognized by Junior Achievement (JA) New York with Silver Partnership Status for the 2020-2021 school year.

The recognition is based on the school’s continued high level of engagement with JA New York and their commitment to empowering students to achieve economic success.

Through this recognition, J.W. Dodd students participating in Junior Achievement will have access to signature curriculum and experiential programs and opportunities focusing on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness.


Tour of Northwell Health’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center

Last month, John W. Dodd Principal Johane Ligondé, psychologist Magaly Raeihle, social worker Cindy Perez, guidance counselor Diane Durdaller, and Dodd’s psychology interns, Alexandra Krala and Angela DeJesus, visited Northwell Health’s Cohen Children's Medical Center in Rockville Centre. The visit was part of the ongoing partnership between the school district and medical center, which provides mental health support to children and adolescents from the ages of 5 to 17 who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

The partnership program between Cohen Children’s Medical Center and Freeport Public Schools is designed as an alternative treatment for those who need urgent care, such as same day intervention, without having to visit the emergency room.

J.W. Dodd administrators met with members of the mental health team including mental health clinician, Ariana Metalia, and child/adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Vera Feuer. They also received a tour of the facility which offers a welcoming and calming setting to provide urgently needed mental health care without judgement or stigma.

“This facility is the first step in obtaining the appropriate mental help treatment,” Ligondé said. “It is a guiding tool to acquiring the proper care without judgement for students struggling with behavioral health issues.”

The facility conducts assessments, coordinates care, provides resources and support to individuals in the community. The center employs bilingual staff, accepts all major insurance plans, and does not refuse treatment to anyone due to financial or immigration status. Walk-in visits and virtual visits are available.

Freeport Public Schools is looking forward to the continued collaboration with Northwell Health’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center.


Freeport Public Schools Transforms Annual Peace Concert

For the past 12 years, Freeport Public Schools has spread a message of peace and hope to the community through their annual Peace Concert honoring International Day of Non-Violence, International Day of Peace and the 151st birthday of Mahatma Ghandi.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the district has embraced their 2020 theme “Be The Change Transform” by transforming the concert highlighting the talented students from all eight school buildings into a compilation of songs from previous concerts.

The video, titled “Choral Hits for Peace,” is being shared online for members of the district’s board of education, administration, staff and community to view on the district’s website www.freeportschools.org. Showcasing the most vibrant musical numbers and inspiring messages of peace and love, the video conveys the enthusiasm, hope, and optimism the district works tirelessly to help the students, staff, administration and community embrace.

“Our district’s journey to demonstrate peace and hope is ongoing. This year, with so many unsettling feelings due to the Coronavirus, social and racial injustice and general unrest, our district has shown how we can come together and persevere through unknown territory and overcome difficult challenges,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “While this year’s Peace Concert looks different, the message is still the same to promote peace and unity both in the Freeport community and throughout the world.”

The Freeport Public Schools annual Peace Concert and other celebrations of peace held throughout the school year are well-supported and recognized throughout the community.

 View the Freeport Public Schools Choral Peace for Hits video.


Freeport Public Schools’ Virtual Peace Walk Draws Community Together

With the global pandemic limiting in-person gatherings, Freeport Public Schools continued the tradition of their annual Peace Walk with a virtual event on Sept. 26.

The theme for this year’s walk was “Count Our Steps Towards Peace” and the district put out a call to all students, parents, staff and community members to help achieve a combined goal of 2,020 miles for peace.

More than 700 Freeport students, parents, staff and community members virtually participated by planning their own walks inside or outdoors, walking or running through their neighborhoods or on a track and logging their steps. Together the community achieved 5,102,387 steps for peace or 2,551 miles -500 miles more than the desired goal.

“This year’s Peace Walk was more important than ever before as 2020 has challenged our peace on many levels; from inner peace to peace within our community and beyond,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “I am filled with pride as our community came together, while staying safely apart, to participate and display how peace-promoting activities can unite and bring joy within and to those around us.”

Freeport Public Schools has hosted a Peace Walk for six years. Prior to 2020, participants walked a 5K beginning at a different school within the district each year and walked throughout the community wearing yellow shirts and holding signs with messages of peace, hope and unity.

To view the video of photos from the Freeport Peace Walk visit
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wV5WCI152XNeBaF3OiOF3KnzTYydS11s/view


Freeport Select Chorale Members Selected for NYSSMA All-State Chorus

Two Freeport High School Select Chorale members were chosen to participate in the 2020 New York State School Music Association Conference All-State Chorus. Participation in the event, which will take place virtually, is the highest level in the state a student musician can achieve.

Seniors Karla Martinez and Jasmine Quezada-Tejada, under the guidance of chorale director Monique Campbell Retzlaff, were selected for the 2020 All-State Chorus based on the scores they received when they were sophomores. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the selection process for 2020 included the results of the 2019 NYSSMA adjudications due to the canceled spring NYSSMA festivals.

The All-State experience will be different than previous years with Karla and Jasmine virtually rehearsing with the other members of the All-State chorus in early December 2020. At the conclusion of scheduled rehearsals, the All-State Chorus will record a virtual concert.

The District would like to congratulate both students on their outstanding accomplishments.


International Day of Non-Violence and The 151st Anniversary of the Birth of Mahatma Gandhi

Click here to view the video


Teachers Federal Credit Union and Staples Donate Supplies and Backpacks

Earlier this month, Freeport Public Schools gratefully accepted two generous donations of school supplies for students in the district. Teachers Federal Credit Union donated 250 backpacks filled with face masks, notebooks pencils, crayons and more.

The second donation came from Staples in Freeport and was the result of a fundraising program in which customers donated an additional $5 on their total purchase to provide supplies to students in need. The supplies donated at the completion of the store’s program were valued at $1,800.

“We are very grateful to both Staples in Freeport and the Teachers Federal Credit Union.,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham said. “Their generous donations benefit our students throughout the year and we appreciate their efforts on our behalf.”

The students of Freeport Public Schools will use the school supplies throughout the year to support their learning and the district thanks both Teachers Federal Credit Union and Staples in Freeport for gathering these donations during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Atkinson School Distributes Books and Supplies

The Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School hosted a book distribution event on Sept. 18. The event was for those students who elected to participate in a fully remote education for the 2020-2021 school year. Students were scheduled to arrive at the school during specific timeframes in order to ensure social distancing guidelines were adhered to.

In addition to receiving their text books, students also received school supplies donated to Atkinson by Staples in Freeport which included folders, pencils, pens and assorted art supplies.


Freeport Public Schools Recipient of Rotary Club

The Freeport Public Schools gratefully acknowledges the generous donation of 200 backpacks and schools supplies, valued at approximately $4,000, by the Rotary Club of Hicksville South. These donations will be used by students as they start the new school year.

“We are so grateful to the members of the Rotary Club of Hicksville South for their timely and generous donation and for always thinking of ways to help our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “In this challenging time during the COVID-19 pandemic these school supplies will greatly support our students and assist our families.”

Thanks to the long standing relationship between the Freeport Public Schools and the Rotary Club of Hicksville South, the school district has been the beneficiary of numerous donations each year including winter coats and school supplies.


Freeport Welcomes Back Teachers Remotely

On Sept. 1, the Freeport School District Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, administrators, teachers and staff joined together for the annual Superintendent’s Conference Day held remotely due to the pandemic.

Dr. Kuncham began by acknowledging the work everyone had done during the end of the school year when schools were closed and the district needed to transition to remote learning for all students. “It has been a long journey since we closed our schools in March due to the pandemic,” said Dr. Kuncham. “Through it all we remained Freeport Strong. Thank you for the amazing work you did during this unprecedented time. As always, our resiliency and commitment to our students and families and to each other have moved us forward.”

Board of Education President Ernest J. Kight also welcomed everyone back to the new school year. “As our students return, we will socially, emotionally and educationally carry out our mission,” said Mr. Kight. “There is nothing we can’t overcome to support and educate our students. On behalf of the parents, students, staff, administration and Board of Education, I am pleased to welcome you back to the 2020-21 school year.”

With the new school year about to begin, Dr. Kuncham acknowledged that the 2020-21 school year will look different, but the district’s goals remain the same. “As we move into the new school year, our goals and purpose remain the same – equity, excellence and the best possible education for all our students. Our journey continues with optimism, devotion, hope and enthusiasm.”

Dr. Kuncham noted that the district continues to make significant gains in all areas including a new record for the highest graduation rate achieved by the Class of 2020. “We have accomplished a great deal and as our students return to school, we will continue to stay on course, because our reopening plan is strong,” said Dr. Kuncham. He went on to stress the importance of leading by example and how everyone can embrace the district’s theme Be The Change Transform in their personal lives and the lives of students. “Let this be an opportunity to push our limits, explore our potential and the potential of our students. We can bring transformation and change to ourselves and inspire our students and others to do the same. In a time when racial injustice has exposed the deep rooted inequities in our society, let us empower our students with the tools to bring change and become transformation leaders. Let us enable our students to understand the world around them, and the talents within them so they can become fulfilled individuals and compassionate global citizens.”  


Students Return to School Safely and Ready to Learn

The reopening of schools on Sept. 8 and 9 for in-person learning found students, teachers and staff excited to embrace the many educational challenges and adventures for the 2020-2021 school year. Students were optimistic as they arrived to each of the district’s eight school buildings, diligently maintaining safety and health protocols, and eager to share memories of their summer vacation and begin this unique school year.

“After many months of working collaboratively with administrators, teachers and parents on developing an approved reopening plan that meets the health, safety and wellness needs of our students in these challenging times, it was rewarding and inspiring to see our goals become a reality,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “It was wonderful to see our schools come to life, and to see the enthusiasm of our staff and students. Thanks to our students, staff and parents for making the first day of school a success and to our Board of Education for their ongoing support.”

The district has implemented numerous safety protocols to ensure a safe return for students and staff including wrist scanner thermometers, thoroughly sanitized classrooms equipped with socially distanced desks and individual desk partitions, and highly visible signage reminding everyone to maintain social distance and hygiene protocols. Throughout the district, students learned about their new schedules, routines and their teachers’ expectations to successfully prepare them for the upcoming school year. At Atkinson Intermediate School, students were warmly welcomed by Principal Gisselle Campbell-Ham who was on hand to guide students to their classrooms, while teachers helped students get settled for a day of engaging educational activities. High School students arrived to school safely and smoothly as Principal Joseph Mille greeted and reminded students to stay safe and enjoy their first day back. The Archer Street School students from kindergarten to fourth grade happily navigated the hallways to find their classrooms excitedly wearing their new backpacks filled with their school supplies for the year.

While in-person learning is just getting underway, remote learning for all students began on Sept. 4 with a variety of virtual learning activities including reading lessons, math lessons and even virtual tours of their school buildings to ensure students were familiarized with their new surroundings.

All schools in the district are operating on a hybrid back-to-school model. Students have been divided into two cohorts and alternate attending in-person learning Mondays through Thursdays, with Fridays acting as a synchronous and asynchronous remote learning day.

The district is thrilled to welcome students back to a new school year. Although the schools look different than ever before, the district’s goals remain the same to educate all students to achieve their fullest potential in a safe and nurturing environment.


Freeport Welcomes New Teachers

<hr<> The Freeport School District kicked off its preparations for the 2020-2021 school year with a focus on health, safety, and wellness as district administrators and Board of Education members welcomed its new staff during the annual First Year Teachers’ Orientation on Aug. 24.

All those in attendance wore masks and kept their distance while following COVID-19 safety guidelines. New teachers were distributed Chromebooks to start the multi-day orientation.

Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Special Projects Mr. Benjamin Roberts introduced Board Members and administration to the new staff.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham welcomed new teachers to the Freeport family. He also expressed the significance of staying safe throughout the reopening during this unprecedented time.

“Please continue to bring your passion every single day and don’t let any adversity or negativity define us,” Dr. Kuncham said. “Our students need you. You are the superheroes for them and the ones they look up to. We have an extraordinary group of administrators to assist you, to help you, to support you, to make you grow, and to become everything that you want to be in your life. Be a part of our journey and go beyond being the change makers, let’s transform the lives of our children, our community and most importantly let’s transform ourselves from within.”

Board President Mr. Ernest J. Kight, Jr. congratulated the new teachers and informed them that they are in good hands at Freeport Schools. Acting Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Ms. Glori Engel also welcomed new staff to the district.

For the remainder of the day and in the three days that followed, first-year and second-year teachers were informed on the reopening plan, COVID-19 health and safety policy and participated in the targeted professional development program.
The district is excited to welcome its new staff into the Freeport family as school begins on Sept. 4.
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