Saving Fred

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When Fred the gummy worm fell out of his boat and lost his life jacket, students at Bayville Intermediate School came to his rescue! As part of a problem-solving activity, Maureen Pederson’s fourth-grade class worked with partners to “save Fred.”

The class was presented with this problem: Fred the gummy worm was sailing along on a boat (plastic cup) when the wind capsized it. He landed on top of the boat, yet his life preserver (gummy Life Saver) was underneath the boat. Fred needed his life preserver placed around him tightly and needed to get back in the boat. 

The solution may seem simple; however, these young rescuers could touch Fred, the life jacket and the boat with only the four paper clips given to them by their teacher. They could not touch anything except the paper clips. The rules also stated that Fred could not be injured or fall into the “sea” (the table). 

As each child brainstormed with their partner various ways to accomplish this task without allowing Fred to drown, they were learning many skills, problem-solving being at the forefront. They were also learning to work cooperatively with one another and think outside the box. 

Many different strategies were employed. Paper clips were bent and used to stretch the gummy life jacket in order to make it fit around Fred, and students had to work together, as it took more than two hands to reshape the paper clips properly and save Fred without injuring (puncturing) him.

Ms. Pederson said the project was not only challenging and educational, but also fun for the students. “They enjoy creative challenges that allow them to think, and they gain a great sense of satisfaction from solving the problem,” she said.

Bayville Elementary School Principal Scott McElhiney said students learn more when they enjoy the lesson, and added that problem-solving skills are one of the most important to learn. “Learning to solve challenges will help these students throughout school and in their careers,” he said. “If they know the proper steps to take to solve a problem, they can accomplish anything.”

 

 

Remembering Those Lost and Those Left Behind

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Respecting the memory of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001, Locust Valley Middle School/High School students and staff reflected on the events of that day 13 years ago. David Ethe, Social Studies Curriculum Leader, read a touching message to the entire school during the morning announcements. Senior Joseph Tancredi sang “God Bless America” and junior Cameron Carella played taps during the solemn commemoration.

Mr. Ethe spoke of the tragic events and reminded the audience that it is important to remember, to grow and to unite. “Together, on this somber day, we think back 13 years with sadness as well as anger, but we draw strength from each other, and we look ahead with hope. Our memory fortifies our resolve as we go forward in pursuit of truth -- our high and common purpose.”

Throughout the day, teachers focused many of their social studies lessons on 9-11, discussing the historical impact, reading poetry about the day and watching educational movies on the topic.

 

Another Top Honor for LV High School

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Locust Valley High School has been named a New York State Reward School for the third year in a row. The designation is the highest honor that can be given to any school by the state.

To qualify for this honor, Locust Valley High School had to meet the most rigorous criteria, which the State has established to date.

In order to earn this honor, a school must:

  1. 1. Meet Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for all subgroups of students including, English Language Learners and Individual Needs students.
    2.   Rank among the top schools in the State based on unweighted scores on the ELA and math State assessments.
    3. Produce above average growth rate for:
    • - All students
    • - Lowest achieving (25% of all students)
    • -Have extremely high graduation rates for:
      • * All students
      • *The most at-risk students

When all of these criteria are met, a school will be named a “Reward School” and earn this very impressive honor.

“I am extremely proud that the State has recognized Locust Valley High School as a Reward School and as being among the best in the State,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund. “This is a testament to the hard work of the students, staff and administrators and the support of our Board of Education and community.” Dr. Hunderfund added that based on the rigorous process used to identify our high school as a Reward School, it is clear that despite economic challenges, Locust Valley is finding ways to continue to prepare all students for the academic challenges which they will face.
 
Locust Valley High School Principal Dr. Kieran McGuire was also very proud that the high school was honored with this recognition. "The Reward School recognition highlights the increasingly positive outcomes across our entire student body. We support students' growth and achievement at all levels and the State has recognized that for the third consecutive year."

 

The Board of Education will hold a meeting on September 23, 2014 at 8 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater.

The Board of Education will hold a meeting on September 23, 2014 at 8 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater.

Already Learning!

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With open books and open minds, students throughout the district are already soaking up the knowledge. Kindergarteners are jumping into books and numbers , while high school students are already working hard in many college-level courses. Everyone is making new friends, connecting with new teachers and starting the year off with enthusiasm.

Beautiful sounds spilled into the hallways from music classes on the first day of school. Young artists started creating their own masterpieces and everyone worked together to beat the unexpected heat.

“We are so excited for the 2014-2015 school year. Seeing the hallways filled with students and faculty is wonderful,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund.

 

 

 

Fundraising Through the Generations

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The Falcon Pride Athletic Booster Club and a generous group of alumni have hit one out of the park with their assistance in upgrading the high school softball field. Throughout the process, former and current Falcon softball players worked together for a good cause.

The project’s goal is to provide dugouts for the Falcon softball team and was spearheaded by a group of alumni with the support of Falcon Pride. Alumus Cindy Tobin, a retired LVCSD Physical Education Teacher and coach organized the fundraising efforts. With the cooperation of her former softball players Kim Plfaumer, Laura Tini and Katie Schlicht, almost 400 letters were mailed to community members asking for assistance. Current head coach Nadine Pacifico organized a car wash and a softball clinic for young players with assistance from one of her players, Jackie D’Elia. 

The first alumni softball game was held in May to assist with fundraising. More than 100 spectators attended that game and enjoyed a celebration that included a cake decorated as a dugout. 

Ms. Tobin said the event was a success and that everyone had a great time. “It was so nice seeing girls that I coached over 25 years ago.” The 2013-2014 varsity softball team assisted with setting up the alumni game, working in conjunction with Falcon Pride and the LVCSD alumni. Not only has this group raised more than $10,000 so far, but the experience has been beneficial to all involved. 

 

 

High School Among the Best in the Nation – Again!

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Locust Valley High School has been ranked No. 4 in Nassau County, No. 10 in the state, No. 22 in the Northeast and No. 71 in the nation by The Daily Beast.

According to the publication, six indicators culled from school surveys are used to compare public high schools in the U.S., with graduation and college acceptance rates weighed most heavily. Other criteria include college-level courses and exams, percentage of students with free or reduced lunch, and SAT and ACT scores.

“Locust Valley High School is certainly among the best in the nation, and being recognized as such is validation of the hard work of the students, faculty and community members who together make this a great place to learn,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund.

Locust Valley High School Principal Dr. Kieran McGuire said he is not surprised by the annual recognitions of the school. “This ranking recognizes the continual effort exhibited by our students and staff. We have a great school and we know it; now everyone else knows it also.”

For several years, Locust Valley High School has been named among the best in the nation by The Washington Post, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report.


Freshmen and Sixth Graders Welcomed

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The newest students at Locust Valley Middle School and High School were welcomed during separate orientations that included tours, a review of the rules and opportunities to ask questions.

Sixth graders learned where their classrooms are, as well as how to find the main office, gymnasium, cafeteria, nurse and other important locations. Additionally, they practiced using the locks on their lockers and some students decorated those lockers to match their personalities. These new middle school students also made new friends as Locust Valley Intermediate and Bayville Intermediate School students come together for middle school.

High School freshmen were introduced to administrators, curriculum leaders, guidance counselors and some teachers.  They learned about the rules of the school, the importance of academic honesty and were encouraged to participate in athletics and other extracurricular activities. Keeping creativity in learning, students participated in a scavenger hunt in order to learn their way around the school.  The game had them searching to figure out which high school teacher was recognized on the Wall of Fame, what classroom number contained the TV studio and when the SAT and ACT would be given this year.

“The scavenger hunt allows them to have fun while working cooperatively and naturally learning their way around the school,” said Assistant Principal Rebecca Gottesman. 

 

 

 

 

Welcoming New Teachers

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Standing (l-r): JoAnn DiFiore, Wendy Mendoza, David Coonan, Jaimie DiRossi, Nicole DelGreco, Stephanie Kalish, Roseann Grasso. Seated (l-r): Erica Caiati, Kari Golder, Valerie Russo, Rachel McShane

The district’s newest teachers were welcomed to school by Board of Education members and administrators during a full day orientation on August 25, 2014.  They also met with their building principals and learned specifics of their individual jobs. These faculty members were hired to replace retirees, teachers on leave and to fill other vacancies.

Tours of the schools, important human resource information and an overview of the district’s policies and culture were part of the day. Board of Education Vice President Erika Bruno told the new teachers that they were obviously among the best in their fields as the hiring process was extremely vigilant.

Students will meet the newest members of the faculty on the first day of school, September 2, 2014. We know you will make them feel at home!

Welcome to:

Locust Valley Intermediate School:

JoAnn Difiore – ESL leave replacement

Locust Valley Middle School/High School:

Erica Caiati –ESL

Roseann Grasso  - psychologist

Locust Valley Middle School:

Nicole DelGreco, guidance, leave replacement 

Kari Golder – part-time mathematics

Locust Valley High School:

David Coonan, part-time English

Jaimie DiRossi, part-time science

Stephanie Kalish, special education

Rachel McShane, special education

Wendy Mendoza, mathematics

Valerie Russo, special education leave replacement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middle School/High School Parking Lot Update

For many reasons, the volume of traffic, the need for parking spaces for student, faculty, and visitors and the need for access for the many parents, who routinely pick up and drop off students, have continued to increase in the Locust Valley Middle School/High School parking lot.  These factors together with the many school buses, which pull into and out of the parking lot every morning and every afternoon, pose ongoing and mounting challenges to student, faculty and visitor safety. In addition, the District’s notification of two easements (from the Water District and from Nassau County) which could have impacted the parking lot and restricted access this summer and next summer, further complicated and delayed the finding of feasible solutions.

In order to research options to the safety concerns associated with the congestion in the parking lot, information was shared and gathered from those in attendance at the Board of Education meeting on July 8th and throughout the month of July and the beginning of August.  On August  6th, Dr Hunderfund, the Superintendent of Schools, presented responses to more than 30 questions and suggestions which were received from community members at the Board of Education meeting. The information presented included responses from legal counsel regarding legal constraints as well as a review of proposals made by Renee Marcus, the district’s architect, regarding various construction options, estimated completion dates and cost/benefit analyses.

In order to alleviate some of the congestion in the main parking lot, increase safety and maximize the number of parking spots for students, the Board authorized the creation of a small, gravel lot, which will be adjacent to the main lot and what is known as “the shed.” Scheduled to be operational and accessible to administrators and custodians in time for the first day of classes, this lot will accommodate up to 15 cars. The relocation of these faculty members to the small lot will enable 15 more students to park in the main lot than would otherwise have been the case.

These additional spaces will also enable students who qualify for parking privileges to have access to the main parking lot on an alternating day basis. In order to qualify, Seniors who want to drive to school, must provide evidence of a senior (Class 5) license, have parental permission to drive, and submit a completed and signed permission form. (Click here for the form). This form is different than the form for permission to leave school.

Seniors may only park in the school lot during the school day after they have been issued a validated parking tag and only on the day, either “A” or “B,” to which they are assigned privileges.

Dr. McGuire will host an information sharing meeting regarding the parking lot for students and parents in the HS Cafeteria on Tuesday August 26th at 7:00 p.m. and on Tuesday September 2nd at 7:00 p.m.  Another review of progress and more updates regarding the parking lot will be made at the Board of Education meeting on September 10th in the Mini Theater and at subsequent Board meetings in September and October.

 In addition, the LVCSD Safety Committee, which is comprised of students, faculty, parents and Board of Education members, will monitor the implementation of the alternating day solution, and will research long-term solutions during September and October. At the Board of Education meeting in the Mini Theater on Tuesday, October 21st, Safety Committee Chairperson, Mrs. Gottesman, will present the committee’s conclusions and recommendations.

The high school and middle school administrators and the Safety Committee will continue to monitor implementation of changes regarding parking lot access and will make periodic reports at Board of Education meetings throughout the school year.

 

Falcons Prepare for the Fall Season

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The first day of school may not be until September 2nd, however Locust Valley High School athletes are already hard at work. Football practice for JV and Varsity teams is well underway. Dressed in their pads and jerseys, the teams are learning drills, techniques and safety measures. 

The Varsity Football team is the preseason No. 2 seed in Nassau County Conference IV. MSG Varsity attended a recent practice and asked the student athletes for their perspective on the upcoming season. Click here to view the video.

Cheer the Falcons on this season!

Click here for the Fall 2014 Varsity Football Schedule.

Click here for the Fall 2014 JV Football Schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Back Message from the Board of Education

Dear Students, Faculty and Community Members,

Welcome back from a summer which we hope was filled with good health and much happiness. We look forward to the 2014-2015 school year being a time which is filled with great success and significant growth for our students, not only in their academic endeavors, but also in their artistic, athletic and altruistic endeavors as well. In the past, we have been thrilled to applaud our students' accomplishments. We know that this year will be no exception!

Each new school year provides Locust Valley Central School District students, from kindergarten through grade 12, with many opportunities to participate in new and exciting activities. We strongly encourage all of our students to explore these, to make new friends and to cultivate new interests, talents and abilities which will last a lifetime. Joining student government helps to create important leadership skills. Playing sports is the best way to learn to cooperate as a member of a team and to develop important athletic skills. Performing in a drama, musical or comedy, playing in one of our orchestras, choruses or bands or creating and exhibiting artwork will instill a new appreciation for the beauty of the fine and performing arts and will enhance creativity in very special ways. Providing community service is a great way to give back to our district and to derive the unique satisfaction which comes from helping others. Even in our primary schools, students can participate in extracurricular activities, such as robotics, which will provide them with many hours of exploration, discovery and fun. We sincerely hope that students will take advantage of all that our Locust Valley Central School District has to offer!

We invite and encourage parents and community members to attend student performances, athletic contests and the many other school activities where you can join us in celebrating the many talents and accomplishments of our children. We know that these experiences will make you as proud of our children as we are.

We also invite you to join us at our Board of Education meetings. These meetings are very informative and provide residents with an important way to share information with us. The schedule of Board of Education meetings can be found in our school district calendar and by clicking this link.

We look forward to seeing you soon and to helping to make the new school year one of the best ones ever!

Sincerely,

The LVCSD Board of Education

Suzanne Sgueglia, President

Philip Bellisari, Co-Vice President

Erika Bruno, Co-Vice President

Kerian Carlstrom

Douglas S. Johnson

Susan Petersen Lubow

Maria Segura

High School Assistant Principal Appointed

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Lisa Czerniecki has been named the new Assistant Principal at Locust Valley High School. She replaces Robert Presland who retired on July 1, 2014. 

Czerniecki comes from the district’s own English department, where she taught grades 9- 12 for the past ten years, including International Baccalaureate courses. She received a Master of Education in Education Leadership and a Master of Arts in Teaching English from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Minor in Secondary Education from SUNY Geneseo.  She also received a New York State School Building Leader Initial Certificate and New York State Teacher Permanent Certification.

Czerniecki has served as a coordinator of the Mentor Teacher Program and the liaison and instructor for the St. John’s College Advantage Program. She has played a tremendous role in writing the International Baccalaureate curriculum. The leadership roles that she has taken during her tenure as a teacher in the high school are numerous. “Ms. Czerniecki has served on a vast array of committees, served as a mentor and has been a true role model to Locust Valley’s students and staff,” said Superintendent Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund. “Beyond being an excellent teacher, she has proven that she will be an asset to the LVCSD administrative team.”

“I could not be more excited for my new role as Assistant Principal,” Czerniecki said. “My focus and passion always has been and will continue to be ensuring the sound education of our students. I am committed to the success of Locust Valley High School’s students, staff and community, and look forward to contributing to the Locust Valley tradition of excellence in this new role.”

Tazim Merchant Receives Young Woman Leader Award

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As a result of her dedication to helping others, Locust Valley High School senior Tazim Merchant has received the Young Woman Leader Award from the Women’s Fund of Long Island. The award includes a grant of $1,000 to be used for a community service project.

Merchant plans to use the funds to coordinate a global outreach program through Locust Valley High School’s International Baccalaureate leadership group. Her efforts will promote communication between Locust Valley students and their counterparts in Kenya. 

The WFLI describes Merchant as a passionate young woman scientist who turns her ideas into realities. She is the co-author of two abstracts, one of which she presented at an international cardiology conference in New Orleans. 

Merchant will speak in front of nearly 700 influential Long Islanders at the annual WFLI breakfast in October, which honors Long Island women who are making a difference in their local communities and beyond.

 

Middle School Summer Assignments