Science Fair Fun

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Putting their science curriculum to practical use, participants in the annual Locust Valley Intermediate School Science Fair made discoveries about animals, plants and people.

Although they worked on the projects at home, students in grades three through five relied on the knowledge of science acquired in school to develop a hypothesis and then prove that theory. They did this through research, conducting experiments and making conclusions based on their results.

Students discovered why we yawn, if dogs are colorblind, if a potato can act as a battery and whether a plant will grow better with tap water or sugar water. 

LVI science lab instructor Caroline McBride said the science fair provides enrichment for the students as well as fun. “They have the opportunity to use the skills they’ve learned in school, and they enjoy the process of discovery,” she said. 

Students in the high school’s science research program served as judges for the fifth consecutive year, along with their teachers Chris Hoppner and Alan Stella. “This collaboration allows the high school students to serve as role models, giving the younger students something to aspire to as they move up to the middle school and high school science programs,” said Hoppner.

Congratulations to all of the participants and the following winners:

Third Grade: 

First Place: Gianna Palleschi, “Sugar Water vs. Tap Water on Plant Growth”

Second Place: Jenna Linden, “Electrical Magnetism”

Third Place: Claire Sellars, “A Trip to Space”

Honorable Mention: Orlando Watson, “Refraction in Action”

Fourth Grade:  

First Place: Daniel Glavan, “The Matter of Sound”

Second Place: Aidan Moran and Kieran Moran, “The Nutrients Keeper”

Third Place: Danielle Jauregui, “The Effect of an iPod on Completing Task”

Honorable Mention: Max Cohen and Mikey Cervoni, “Force Ninja”

 

Fifth Grade:  

First Place: Michael McGlone, Kyle Kalendarian and Ethan Vitale, “Sound Waves and Acoustic Levitation”

Second Place: Hope Kim and Olivia O’Connell, “Shapes and their Strengths”

Third Place: Adil Khwaja, “What’s Slowing You Down”

Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Gresalfi & Amber Linden, “Wonders of a Generator”

 

 

 

 

 

Bald for a Benefit

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Ten-year-old Richie Watson has done more fundraising than many adults. The Bayville Intermediate School fourth-grader has been fundraising for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for four years. This year, he raised $2,225 for the charity that supports childhood cancer research. During the past four years, he has raised a cumulative $5,844.

Richie participated in the St. Baldrick’s head-shaving challenge, shaving his hair and proudly displaying his almost-bald head to the crowd at the annual event at the Downtown Café in Glen Cove. Richie was among the top five fundraisers out of more than 100 participants. Friends and family sponsored him with donations. More than 1,300 head-shaving events take place across the country. 

Richie said a child he saw at the first St. Baldrick’s event he attended was an inspiration for his fundraising efforts. “He had cancer, and he died two years later,” he said. “I wanted to do something to help him.”

Through bake sales, requests to family members and the sale of rubber bracelets, this year’s totals were significantly more than the $1,395 Richie raised last year. “It makes me feel so good,” he said. “You just feel right when you donate all of that money.”

Letter From LVCSD Board of Education to Governor Cuomo

The following letter was sent by the LVCSD Board of Education to Governor Cuomo regarding opposition to State over-reliance on standardized testing and the current teacher/principal accountability system:

Click here for the letter.

Artists Honored by Prestigious Association

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Locust Valley student artwork was on display at the Art Supervisors Association’s 11th annual Nassau County All-County Art Exhibition at Adelphi University. The exhibit showcased student artwork that demonstrates excellence in a wide variety of two-dimensional visual art forms, from painting and drawing to printmaking and photography. The creative works of 17 district students were recognized. 

High school senior Siobhan O’Neill earned the ASA’s Senior Scholarship Award. Her artwork was designated for this honor with a gold seal, and she received a plaque in addition to the $200 scholarship check.

“We are extremely proud of our young artists for being chosen for this exhibit,” said H. Thomas Hogan, the district’s art supervisor. “The creativity and talent these students demonstrate is worthy of display in the any prestigious exhibit.” Hogan added that the art teachers throughout the district have been instrumental in helping their students fine-tune their skills.

Congratulations to the following honorees:

Bayville Elementary School:

Teacher: Erin Keys

Olivia Maher, Grade 4

Singe Sienna, Grade 2

Angela Zabala, Grade 5

Locust Valley Elementary School:

Teacher: Dana Ettinger

Michael Graziose, Grade 4

Kyle Kalenderian, Grade 5

Clare Simon, Grade 4

Locust Valley High School:

Teacher: Donna Chaplin

Carolann D’Elia, Grade 12

Sarah Lubow, Grade 8

Sophia Villella, Grade 7

Teacher: Linda DeFeo

Kristina Lollo, Grade 10

Siobhan O’Neill, Grade 12

Nicole Wolert, Grade 10

Teacher: Melanie Mooney

Arthur Babcock, Grade 11

Aynsley Leonardis, Grade 11

Victoria Rufrano, Grade 11

Locust Valley Middle School:

Teacher: Thomas Camilleri

Victoria Chisari, Grade 7

Nitha Paulus, Grade 7

 

 

Repeal the GEA – We Need Your Help!

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Please visit the link below to show your support for the elimination of the GEA (Gap Elimination Adjustment), which has cut state aid to LVCSD in the amount of more than $3 million dollars during the last five years. This is taxpayer money that is being taken away from our LVCSD schools and from other Long Island school districts which have been among the hardest hit by the imposition of the GEA.  By clicking on the link below, you can sign a petition showing your support for the repeal of the GEA. Signing the petition will only take a few moments of your time, but it could make a financial difference for our taxpayers!

Click here to sign the petition.

First Place at Science Fair

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Seventh-grader Nils Coffey was one of the first-place winners in the 2015 Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, held at the Crest Hollow Country Club, where he competed against more than 150 middle school students. Nils is enrolled in eighth-grade science and math courses, including Science Research Core Extension 8, for which he conducted an experiment titled “Does magnetism affect the directional path of muon particles in a cloud chamber?” For his project, Nils built a cloud chamber and took video of the streaming particles in it. 

Science teacher Alyssa Anderson said Nils is an exceptional student who is deserving of the first-place award. “His hard work and dedication to science is extraordinary,” she said. “I am extremely proud of him.”

Nils will now apply to enter his project in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, Broadcom MASTERS. He must write a paper about his experiment as part of the application process, and if chosen, he will compete in October 2015. He will also enter the Long Island Science Congress in April.

Eighth-grader Kathania Fredes also participated in LISEF with her experiment, “How does music affect mood?” She will join Nils to compete in the LISC with her project.

The district congratulates both of these young scientists and wishes them luck in the upcoming competitions.

Athlete/Author Focuses on Education

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Author Tim Green was always reading. He was reading on the bus to school, in the locker room before his high school athletic games, and in the locker room before his games as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.  “I never went into an athletic contest where I had not been sitting there beforehand reading a book,” Green told the middle school students.

Green described reading as a way to escape from his nerves before a wrestling match or a football game and encouraged students to pick up a book. “You're one book away from becoming a reader,” he said. He told them to keep reading until they found the book they couldn't put down. “I call books weightlifting for the brain.”

Green’s books are realistic fiction and center on sports, but he says they are not about sports. He describes his books as being about relationships, friendships, dilemmas – and they just happen to take place in the sports world. He writes many of them based on his own experiences and hopes his readers relate to the stories.

Much of Green’s talk focused on the importance of education. He was an A student in high school, played football at Syracuse University and went on to play for the NFL. During the off-season, Green attended law school. “Education is power. Education is freedom,” he said. He explained that athletes, as competitors, are competitive through and through, not just on the field. “Take that competitiveness into the classroom and be the best you can be – you’re there to learn.”

Middle school librarian Romy Bennett said Green’s visit had a big impact on the students, many of whom love to read his books and were excited to meet him. “Mr. Green’s message about reading and its profound effect on his life spoke to the values we want to instill in our students,” she said. “Learning to work hard, commit to a task, respect others and love are lessons that lead to success.”

 

 

 

The Board of Education will hold Public Budget Forum III on April 15th at 8 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater.

The Board of Education will hold Public Budget Forum III on April 15th at 8 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater.

Clay for a Cause

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Using their fine motor skills and creative minds, students at Ann MacArthur Primary School rolled chunks of fresh clay into shapes such as balls, coils and the shape of their own hands. The artists-in-training in kindergarten through second grade learned from a Long Island University art professor how to work with the clay and how to create various shapes. The final masterpieces will be used to create artistic bowls to auction off at a Parent Council fundraiser to benefit the schools.

AMP art teacher Dana Ettinger invited her own high school art teacher, Dan Christoffel to her classes for the special lesson. An art professor at Long Island University, Christoffel taught the students the beginnings of ceramics, a class he teaches at the university. Ettinger said the children gain self-esteem from learning art and this project taught them that their individual efforts can make a difference.

Joe Gallo, an AMP parent who also works at Long Island University volunteered to help with the project by taking the students’ creations and forming them into the bowls.

The bowls will be auctioned off at the LVEPC Annual Benefit on April 17th.

 

Odyssey of the Mind Advances to States

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Thinking outside of the box helped Locust Valley’s two Odyssey of the Mind teams advance to the state tournament. The middle school and high school teams gave extraordinary performances during the regional tournament, with the high school team taking first place and the middle school team taking second.

Odyssey of the Mind is a high school club that teaches students creative problem-solving methods in a fun manner. Students must think creatively as they work on solving problems that do not have simple solutions. By tapping into their creativity and taking imaginative paths to problem-solving, they learn skills that enable them to not only solve these problems, but also those in real life. 

The problem chosen by the high school team was called “Silent Movie.” The task was to create and present an original performance of a silent movie with a trailer, director and film critic. The team also constructed a musical instrument to be played during the movie. 

The middle school team, which is the first in district history to advance to the state finals, chose a classic problem called “Pandora’s Box” in which they were challenged to put a video game spin on the mythological story. 

Odyssey of the Mind advisor Alan Stella said both groups’ performances were exceptional, eliciting praise from their audiences. “The students are talented, hardworking and very independent,” said Stella. “Despite all of their other obligations, they have managed to produce great performances.” 

Both teams will compete in the Odyssey of the Mind State Tournament at Binghamton University on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Congratulations to all of these creative students and good luck in the state competition!

 

 

 

Music Man Comes to Life

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The Locust Valley High School auditorium was transformed into River City, Iowa in the early 1900s when the Jesters brought the musical, The Music Man to life for three performances. 

From the incredible cast of Locust Valley students to the sets designed by the Jesters' crew, this musical comedy entertained audiences of all ages. The acting, singing and choreography were well above what one would expect for a high school performance. 

The show featured high school and middle school students and included sets and costumes that brought the audience right into the scenes. Younger audience members were introduced to the fun, memorable music, while their parents could sign along to the familiar tunes of this popular story.

Congratulations to the cast, crew and directors on an outstanding performance!

College Planning Made Easier

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Getting through the college application process can seem like a daunting task. However, the high school’s guidance department is making the process easier, both for students and their parents. The past few years have seen improvements in the timeline and the tools used to prepare students for applying to college. Starting in middle school, students are now introduced to Naviance, the in-depth college planning software.

“We introduce students to this software in middle school to assist with their transition to high school,” said LVHS Assistant Principal Rebecca Gottesman. “We have seen the benefits that come with exposure to viewing the college requirements. There is also great value in recording activities and awards throughout the years and most importantly, students see the value of participating in extracurricular activities and emerging as student leaders. By the time they are juniors, they have a record of all of their activities, community service, jobs and more.” Gottesman said beginning the process in middle school alleviates a portion of the stress that comes from trying to create a comprehensive resume in their senior year.  

Recently, the guidance department provided training sessions for parents on how to use the Naviance software. Bringing the whole family into the process makes it easier for everyone, Gottesman said. Parents were taught how to search for colleges based on their child’s grade point average, desired location, desired school size and more. “It is important for parents to be part of the process for many reasons, including the possibility that their children often don’t know the details on the finances or how far away a parent wants them to travel,” she said.

Additionally, the workshops highlighted Method Test Prep, the free online SAT and ACT preparation program that the school utilizes through Castle Learning. The weekly lessons take users through practice questions and provide tips and tricks. Parents were given temporary accounts for Naviance and Method Test Prep to create a hands-on experience. Going through the motions exposed them to many features of these programs that they can use with their children throughout middle school and high school.

Snow Make-Up Days: May 26th and April 7th

As you are aware, this winter, the District has been forced to close on four school days.
 
The District’s 2014-15 School Calendar includes two days for unanticipated school cancellations.  It states that if due to inclement weather more than two additional instructional days were needed, then the vacation days of May 26th and April 7th will be designated, in that order, as instructional days.
 
As a result of our third school closure this year, which took place on February 9, 2015, May 26, 2015, will not be a vacation day. Instead, May 26, 2015  will be a day when school will be in session. Please plan accordingly.
 
Due to the school closure on March 5, 2015 April 7th will now become another day when school will be in session.
 
Hopefully, an additional school closure will not be necessary!

Fishing for Knowledge

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Colorful fish masks were created by first graders at Bayville Primary School as part of their studies on ocean life. Students combined their research skills and artistic skills to create their own papier mache masks to represent all they have learned about oceanography.

“This project helped reinforce the information learned during our unit on ocean life and allowed the students to have fun at the same time,” said first grade teacher Carolyn Sumcizk.

School Spirit Soars

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High school students have been showing their school spirit through friendly competitions that bring ninth through twelfth graders together. 

Recently, green and white day split the entire student body into two teams (green and white) to compete in fun events such as volleyball and basketball.  Leading up to the event, theme days were held including pajama day to help school spirit build. Soon after, the annual Battle of the Grades brought each grade out to compete against each other. These events promote school spirit and camaraderie and are an important part of creating a feeling of community within the school.


One Hundred Ways to Celebrate

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Primary school students recently celebrated being 100 days smarter! They sang songs, counted to 100, read stories about numbers and proudly wore the number 100 on handmade hats and neckties.

Perhaps the 100th day of school is not an official holiday, but it offers an enriching opportunity to reinforce math skills such as estimating, counting by tens and deciphering between even and odd numbers. At Ann MacArthur Primary School and Bayville Primary School, collaborative projects between art, math, music and classroom teachers provided hands-on activities that brought the 100th day to life.  

Students were recognized for being the 100th child to enter school on the 100th day, for guessing how many items were in a jar and for having 100 days of perfect attendance. 

Everyone is looking forward to learning at least 100 more things before the school year ends!

Wrestlers Take Top Honors at States

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The Falcon wrestlers had a great performance at the NY State Championships this weekend. The team place second overall in Division II with two wrestlers crowned state champions. Senior Captain Nick Casella and Jon Gomez took the championship titles.

Senior Captain Sam Ward earned second place, with senior Kevin Jackson placing fourth and sophomore Hunter Dusold placing fifth.

Congratulations to all of the wrestlers and their coaches on this success!


New After School Snack Program

We are happy to inform you that beginning on March 2, 2015, a new afterschool snack program will be available for all Locust Valley Middle School and High School students. The After School Snack Program will be available in our High School Cafeteria from 2:40 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. every school day. 

Students, who qualify for “free” meals or meals at a reduced cost, and also participate in an after school educational program, will also qualify to receive “free” snacks and snacks at a reduced cost after school. The same procedures which are followed during lunch periods, will be followed after school.

After school, students who qualify for free meals can avail themselves to the snack of the day and will enter the appropriate pin numbers before they “check out” at the register. Nothing else will be required. 

Students who qualify for meals at a reduced cost will be charged $.15. The amount can be paid in cash or the $.15 can be debited from the student’s account, funds permitting.

Each day a different snack with milk or juice will be offered as follows:

Mondays: assortment of cold cereal, cereal bar or Pop-Tart. 

Tuesdays: assortment of muffins or cinnamon bun. 

Wednesdays: choice of carrot sticks with hummus or ranch dressing, or an oatmeal bar. 

Thursdays:  graham crackers, string cheese 

Fridays: Chobani yogurt with granola topping or a Pop-Tart. 

There are no substitutions to the menu. In addition to the snack of the day there will be other snacks and beverages that students can buy at an additional cost. Please see the After School Snack Menu for the additional a la carte snacks and beverages offered.

For students who pay full price, the cost of their snacks can be paid with cash or it can be debited from their accounts, funds permitting.

For additional information, please call the Middle School/High School Lunch Office at 277-5530.

Socks for Love and Warmth

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Fifth-graders at Locust Valley Intermediate School embraced the sentiment of Valentine’s Day and got together to make the day special for people who need a little extra love.

The students and their teachers created Socks for Love for the homeless and underprivileged population in neighboring communities. Each student brought in a pair of socks and personal items such as toothpaste, deodorant and shower gel, and filled the socks with the items. Handmade valentines with personalized sentiments were attached to the socks with ribbons and donated to the North Shore Inn in Glen Cove.

The entire fifth grade gathered at tables decorated in red and pink and filled their socks. Tom Jarvis, a Locust Valley resident and volunteer for the North Shore Inn, joined the party and shared with the group how much their donation means. “Some families have a home but don’t have enough money to buy the things they need,” he said. “These items will really make them happy.”

Students shared with Jarvis that giving these items away made them feel grateful for what they have and that they felt good doing something kind for others.

Assistant Principal Amy Watson said she is extremely proud of the students and teachers for their acts of kindness. “The students are learning about being principled and caring, and this activity shows them just how to exhibit those characteristics.”

Jarvis left the event with boxes of colorful socks filled with a variety of items. “This will mean so much to the people who receive them,” he said. He added that a pair of warm socks may seem simple to some, but to others it can be the difference between staying warm or being cold. “It is really beautiful that these students did this for people they don't even know,” he said.

 

 

Valentines for Veterans

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Valentine’s Day is not just for those you love, but also the perfect time to show appreciation for those who have gone above and beyond. Locust Valley students recently took this opportunity to thank local veterans for their service to our country by making them Valentine’s Day cards. 

The handmade cards were not only colorful and festive, but also contained personal thank-you letters from each student. The project was part of the Nassau County Valentines for Veterans program.

Skylar Goodman said she thinks it is very important to thank the veterans who protect our country. “I hope it makes them happy,” said the LVI student, a fifth-grader in Katherine Smith’s class. Other classes at LVI and those at Ann MacArthur Primary School, including Barbara Fahlbusch’s kindergartners, created cards for veterans. At Bayville Intermediate School, the student council took on the task and made individual cards for donation to the Valentines for Veterans program.

Smith said the project fits in perfectly with the curriculum. The fifth-graders spent time this year discussing the characteristics of a lifelong learner, such as being principled, caring, balanced, reflective, open-minded, a risk-taker, knowledgeable, a thinker and a communicator. 

“This lent itself well to the themes in our reading program, which focused on what kinds of challenges people face and how they meet those challenges,” Smith explained. She described another unit that focused on what makes people want to do the right thing and explained that the stories within both units became the vehicles used to discuss broader topics. Those topics included the community and its members, such as police officers, firemen, teachers and veterans, as well as social issues such as discrimination, immigration, bullying and homelessness. 

“The Valentines for Veterans project was the perfect way to put what we learned into action,” said Smith, who worked with fellow fifth-grade teacher Margaret Costello to guide the students in preparing the cards. 


 

Induction into Honor Society a Source of Pride

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For almost 100 middle school students, being inducted into the National Junior Honor Society was one of the proudest moments of their lives. Being accepted into this prestigious society is certainly something to be proud of, as only the top students are invited to join. Accepting their certificates and signing the honor society’s book on stage in front of family and friends was a highlight of the evening.

The inductees were addressed by school district dignitaries, including Board of Education President Suzanne Sgueglia, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund and Middle School Principal H. Thomas Hogan, who each offered compliments and words of wisdom. Hogan told the students that there were many others who work hard and were not accepted this year, and that this was proof of just how exceptional this group is.

As the students approached the stage to accept their certificates, their individual points of pride and future goals were announced. Many were proudest of their acceptance into the NJHS, making honor roll, athletic accomplishments or personal achievements. Goals included remaining on honor roll through high school, attending competitive colleges and attaining specific career goals, such as becoming a physicist, doctor or lawyer.

The district congratulates these accomplished young men and women.