Rescheduled Regents Exams

Please be aware that late this morning, the New York State Education Department made the unprecedented decision to permit our school district and others on Long Island to reschedule and administer all Regents examinations which are cancelled this week because of the snowstorm.

Consequently, students who were scheduled to take the following Regents and were unable to do so, should plan to take them on the following dates and times:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015: *

10:00 AM:          US History

                         Geometry

 

12:00 PM:           Earth Science

                          Chemistry

 

 

Thursday, January 29, 2015:       

8:00 AM:           Integrated Algebra 1

                          Algebra 2 w/ Trigonometry

                          Global History & Geography

 

12:00 PM:         English--- (All Juniors)

                         Algebra 1 (Common Core)

                         Physics

 

 

Naviance Parent Workshop Registration

 

The Locust Valley High School Guidance Department is hosting a workshop for all middle school and high school parents on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. The workshop will focus on using Naviance/Family Connection and Method Test Prep. Parents must sign up by Jan. 30, 2015 to reserve a spot.

 

Please click here for the registration form and additional details.

First Place for Perspective

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The high school’s literary magazine, Perspective, has been awarded first place by the American Scholastic Press Association for the second year in a row. The magazine was judged on many criteria, including breadth of content, quality of work, layout and originality. The magazine earned perfect scores in several categories for a total score of 905 out of a possible 1,000 points.

“The editors and staff members of Perspective work hard all year promoting the arts within our school and community,” said David Coonan, Perspective’s advisor. “It’s wonderful that the writers and artists who contributed to this award-winning magazine have the opportunity to be recognized for their passions, and it speaks volumes about the level of talent that is here in Locust Valley.”

Coonan explained that the club gives high school students the opportunity to share their talents with the community, and the club’s officers are the ones who make that happen. “They should be very proud of this achievement,” he said.

In addition to the literary magazine, the club hosts Spotlight Night, a coffee house-style talent night where students can sing, play instruments, recite poetry and express their creativity in a supportive atmosphere.

Congratulations to the entire Perspective staff on their first-place award!


Alumni Offer Unique Perspective

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Members of the Class of 2014 were greeted with smiles and hugs as they returned to the high school to share tips on succeeding in college with seniors. Their advice was practical and included topics ranging from meeting deadlines to dealing with roommates. 

Assistant Principal Rebecca Gottesman organized the annual Alumni Day to help seniors navigate the difficult path they are currently traveling. “Receiving advice from their peers means so much more to them than hearing it from their parents or guidance counselors,” she said. “The alumni were in their classes and on their athletic teams just seven months ago, so there is a relationship there based on trust and admiration.” 

Many alumni said that taking classes in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program prepared them well for the college curriculum. One attendee said that IB English is helping him succeed in many classes since so many college courses require writing papers. The majority of the panel recommended that students learn to manage time well and not leave everything to the last minute. Additionally, it was suggested that as college freshman, they take advantage of all the school has to offer – get out of the dorm room! One student said she has her own radio show and loves this new activity and the people she meets. 

The seniors were encouraged not to become disappointed should they be denied from their first choice university, as it probably wasn’t the right place for them. Some shared that they are at their second or third choice schools and couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

Other important pieces of advice revolved around managing money and social activities.  The alumni explained that there are always students who go out every night of the week regardless of the school they attend, so it is important to learn how to have a healthy balance. The alumni made it clear that college professors do not give reminders, extra time or hold your hand. They do, however, offer extra help during office hours. 

Gottesman said that holding Alumni Day is an excellent opportunity for high school students to hear the real facts about choosing a college, and what to expect when they get there. “It also reminds them of what they need to continue to do in high school to be the most prepared once they take this next step in their lives.”    

In addition to the general panel session, break-out sessions were held and organized by majors. This allowed seniors to target their questions to the alumni who were best able to answer them.

 

 

 

Check Out MS Pajama Day on News12 and Fox!

 

The middle school's Wounded Warrior Wednesday fundraiser will be featured on News12 some time after 5 p.m on Wednesday, Jan. 21 and on the NY Minute segment of FOX 5 News at 5:30 p.m.

You can also see the live stream at myfox5ny.com at 5:30 p.m. or on News12.com.

The Board of Education will hold a meeting on Feb. 25, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. in the Middle School/High School Mini-Theater.

The Board of Education will hold a meeting on Feb. 25, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. in the Middle School/High School Mini-Theater.

Hands-on Learning

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Dressed in their best and armed with facts, high school seniors were persuasive and passionate as they presented bills during the school’s 26th annual Congress in Action. The simulation of the nation’s Congressional system was a hands-on lesson in how the U.S. government works. 

Students chose a bill topic to present that is current and relevant in Congress. Immigration, gun control and fracking were among this year’s bills. Each student presented a bill, while the opposition presented a case against passing such a bill. An audience of the students’ peers had the opportunity to debate in support of or against the bill before the voting took place. This year, eight bills passed and two failed.

Regents and Advanced Placement social studies classes participated with the support of their teachers and social studies department leader David Ethé. In addition to learning about the inner workings of the U.S. government, participants also honed their research and public speaking skills. 

“There is a tremendous amount of work required to prepare for this event,” Ethé said. “Students must be knowledgeable about current events, use advanced research skills and practice their oral skills in order for their presentations to be convincing.” He added that these skills will benefit students in many areas of their lives, including in college and careers. 

The Rules Committee consisted of students Annie Degnan, William Jensen, Cameron Moreano and Connor Torossian, who moderated the event. The committee ensured that speakers stayed within their time limits and followed the rules. They also collected and tallied the votes.

 

 

Varsity Football Featured in Athletics Magazine

The Varsity Football team has been featured in an edition of Ultimate Athlete Magazine.

Click the link below to read the article. Click on the middle of the page on "click to read" and use the right arrow to click through to page 8-9.

http://www.ultimateathletemagazine.com/magazine/CURRENT 

 

Pajamas for a Cause

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Flannel pants and bathrobes were the fashion trend at the middle school on Jan. 7 as students and staff raised money for Wounded Warriors. The student body is holding several fundraisers throughout the year to help provide iPads to soldiers. Pajama Day has raised more than $2,000 so far as students or staff members paid $1 for the privilege of dressing down.

Middle School Principal H. Thomas Hogan said the fundraiser not only contributes to an important cause, but also creates school spirit. “Students and staff had fun dressing in their silliest pajamas and knowing that they were doing something as a community to help others,” he said.

Hogan donned flannel pajama pants and a thick bathrobe, while some students wore pajamas with feet and hoods. In support of the fundraiser, the Board of Education wore their bathrobes prior to their Jan. 6 meeting, and the administrators and entire staff of central office donated money to wear pajamas to work as well. 

Superintendent Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund said when one school is participating in a worthy cause, the entire district is supportive. “Each of the schools has decided to hold a pajama day to support the middle school’s Wounded Warrior fundraisers,” she said.

With an incredible student body and staff, the middle school will be able to provide a number of iPads to soldiers in need. Planning is underway for additional fundraisers for this project. In the meantime, with the success of Pajama Day, this fundraiser will continue at the middle school each Wednesday in January.

Cross-Country Team Runs to Success

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The girls varsity cross-country team was recognized by the Board of Education on Jan. 6 for its outstanding achievement during the fall season. The team earned the titles of Division IVB Tri-Champions and Conference IV Co-Champions. The team also compiled a division record of 5-1 and a conference record of 12-1.  This was the most successful season in history for the girls cross-country team. 

The team was led to victory by its outstanding senior members Maddie Casalino, Paige Gugerty, Siobhan O’Neill and Maggie Reid. Team members also included Gianna Ferrara, Kristy Jahchan, Christine Lee, Roisin O’Neill, Kami Palagonia, Megan Prosser and Amanda Weiss. 

Congratulations to the entire team on this tremendous success and to coaches James Rogin and William Willson.

 

 

Happy New Year From the Board of Education

Here's hoping that 2015 is filled with good health and great happiness to all!

From the LVCSD Board of Education 

Annual Wrestling Invitational a Success

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Locust Valley High School hosted its annual wrestling invitational on Jan. 3, which included 12 teams from across Long Island. It was an exciting day for the Falcon grapplers as seven champions were crowned, accumulating more than 300 team points and earning a team title for the Falcons. There were several standout individual champions as well. They included Jack DeNatale (115 lbs.), Hunter Dusold (120 lbs.), Nick Casella (132 lbs.), Kevin Jackson (145 lbs.), Mike Dusold (152 lbs.), Bryce Dusold (182 lbs.) and Spencer Matthaei (220 lbs.).  In their weight class, Bryan Coll (115 lbs.) took second place, Andrew Cantatore (126 lbs.) earned second place, John Romano (106 lbs.) took third place, Jack Ward (126 lbs.) won third place, Alex Cassisi (195 lbs.) won third place and Patrick Briody (126 lbs.) earned fourth place. In addition, Kevin Jackson earned “Most Pins, Least Amount of Time,” with four pins totaling 5:21. 

The annual event was a success due to support of the high school’s Athletic Council, which prepared hot food throughout the day, and with additional support from the parents of the wrestlers who provided cold refreshments. The high school custodial staff was instrumental as they assisted with the setup and breakdown of the mats. The wrestling team’s coaching staff, led by Joe Enea and assistants Tim Bellisari and Cory Haldas, worked hard before and during the event to ensure that the day was a success. 

Congratulations to all of the student-athletes for a great team performance!

 

Bedtime in Bayville

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All cozy in their pajamas, Bayville Primary students snuggled in for a bedtime story and hot cocoa, but they weren’t at home in their beds – they were at school for the Winter Wonderland.

The event, sponsored by the Bayville Elementary PTA, was organized by Assistant Principal Dorothy McManus, who read “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” to kindergarten through second-graders. Students also made winter-related crafts, such as reindeer picture frames that they filled with a photo of themselves from the event.

“It’s a special night that helps us kick off the holiday season as a family,” said McManus. “Everyone wears their pajamas, and that helps create a very relaxed atmosphere.”

Families donated pajamas and a book for the One Million Good Nights pajama program, which strives to make children feel safe and comfortable at bedtime. According to McManus, the Bayville students learned that not all children have warm pajamas or a book to read at bedtime. “It made them feel good to help children their own age who are not as fortunate,” she said.

Cheering for Those Who Need It Most

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Cheerleaders are known for cheering on high school athletes, but Locust Valley cheerleaders like to spread cheer to those less fortunate as well. The junior varsity, varsity and middle school cheerleaders visited local rehabilitation facilities to perform their favorite cheers and sing some holiday songs. They also collected teddy bears for children in hospitals.

Varsity cheerleading coach Doreen Kobus said the team enjoys making others feel good. “The smiles on the faces of the patients at the rehab facility make it all worthwhile,” she said. The girls also brought the patients eyeglass holders as holiday gifts, which the sixth-grade home and careers students had made by hand. 

A teddy bear collection helped provide smiles for children in hospitals. The cheerleaders donated these bears to the Nassau County Courthouse, where the court officers held their 11th annual teddy bear collection. 

Old-Fashioned Fun

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Holiday spirit, family fun and artistic skills came together when primary school students created gingerbread houses from scratch. Sitting with their parents around tables covered with graham crackers, icing and a huge assortment of candy, the children used their imaginations to create their masterpieces.

Ann MacArthur and Bayville Primary Schools had a few classes that created these gingerbread houses with their own unique features. Some had shingles or fences, while others included doorknobs or snowmen on the lawn. The one thing they all had in common was that they were fun to create and will surely be fun to eat!

Sending Holiday Cheer

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Carolyn Sumcizk’s first-graders at Bayville Primary School created holiday cards for a young girl whom they haven’t met – 6-year-old Addie Fausett. Because of an illness, Addie cannot play with other children in the same way a healthy child can. Her family hoped that by getting cards from children all over the country, she would feel as if she were surrounded by friends.

For the children in Sumcizk’s class, the lesson came with many benefits. They learned that not everyone their age has the ability to do the same things they do. They also discovered that it is very easy to help others feel good, all while brushing up on their writing and drawing skills.

The beautiful handmade cards were sent to Addie’s home in Utah.

Gratitude for the Troops

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Putting their writing skills and caring nature into practice, the Locust Valley Intermediate School student council mailed holiday letters to soldiers to boost their spirits, which may be the best gift of all this holiday season. The students’ handwritten letters expressed their gratitude for the soldiers’ service to our nation.

“We can’t think of a better way to practice writing than to create letters that will show our thanks to soldiers,” said student government co-adviser Shari Zindman. “It’s the perfect blend of education and altruism.” Co-adviser Jane Benstock worked with Zindman to help the children think of things to say.

The letters are being sent to Operation Gratitude, an organization that provides care packages, letters and more to deployed soldiers to help lift their spirits.


Author Offers Inspiration

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There is much to be learned from meeting a professional author, including tips on writing, drawing and coming up with story ideas. The best advice elementary students may have received from author Megan McCarthy is to keep trying, even after a failure. 

McCarthy shared with students at Bayville and Locust Valley Elementary Schools that she has failed, but has always gotten right back up and kept on trying. “You can’t succeed if you don’t keep trying, “ she said. 

Sharing photos and anecdotes from her childhood, McCarthy read from stories she wrote in elementary school, including spelling errors and all. This helped the young writers to see that she didn’t start out writing professional-quality books, but that practice and education helped her reach her goals. McCarthy talked about her process, from brainstorming and writing rough drafts to drawing sketches and painting her pictures. 

The students at Locust Valley and Bayville have been reading McCarthy’s books, many of which are nonfiction and written to be informative and entertaining at the same time. With the help of the art teachers, students also created artwork based on her books – a mural at Bayville Primary School and individual pictures at the other schools. 

“It is a wonderful experience for children to meet an author that they already love,” said Bayville Intermediate School Librarian Paige Coppola. “They were able to ask her questions and learn about her process.” Coppola said meeting professional authors often inspires children to write more creatively and read more books.

Author visits take place each year and are sponsored by the Locust Valley Parents’ Council and the Bayville PTA, in cooperation with the librarians at each of the elementary schools. 

MS Musician Shines at International Competition

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Recently seventh grader Michelle Hsu won first place for her performance of  “Clari de Lune” by Claude Debussy on piano at the 2014-2015 Crescendo International Music Competition.

Although this was her first competition, Michelle has been playing piano since she was only six years old. The judges praised her playing, describing it as colorful, atmospheric, free form, harmonic, and an exceptionally beautiful style of playing.

The competition is held at venues across the world including New York, Germany, Korea, and Russia and has thousands of participants. Only the top one percent of performers are selected as first place winners. Michelle’s first place achievement has earned her the honor of performing at the Winner’s Concert at Carnegie Hall in January. 

Master Musicians Across the District

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Locust Valley students are making musical history. Recently, Kimberly Sabio, Joseph Tancredi and Andrew Wee were accepted to perform in the All-Eastern Festival this April in Rhode Island this spring. This honor completes a trifecta for Kimberly and Andrew as they are the first Locust Valley High School musicians ever to earn All-State, All-Eastern and All-National honors. 

Kimberly plays the trumpet, Joseph is a tenor and Andrew plays the violin. Each of these accomplished musicians has dedicated themselves to being the best they can be through hard work and plenty of practice. 

William Margiotta, subject matter coordinator for music, said he is extremely proud of the accomplishments of these students. “They take their music very seriously, yet have fun in the process,” he explained. “They work hard and their efforts are being recognized at very high levels.” 

Margiotta said the musical talent and willingness to work hard is a theme across the entire district. “We have incredible honors at all levels, from elementary school to high school.”

Many students have been accepted to the Long Island String Festival Association and to the All County Music Festival for their outstanding abilities.

Congratulations to all of these musicians!

Click here for a list of the LISFA participants.

Click here for a list of the All-County participants.