Learning is Fun!

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Students at AMP used their imaginations to take a magical trip to Disney. Physical Education teacher Maribeth Miller transformed the gymnasium into a miniature replica of Disney, complete with movies, rides, and souvenirs. 

“Disney Days” incorporates the enchantment and fun of Disney characters with skills the students are learning in physical education class, and in their regular classrooms. Students in first and second grade look forward to the day each year, while kindergarteners look on in awe at their first sight of the transformed gymnasium before jumping in on the fun.

The children ride scooters around the various Disney stations, using physical skills such as balance and kicking. They use math skills as they count to ten while pumping gas into their scooters and they practice reading as they look at the names of the various stations they can visit. There was a Disney theater, library, day care (for stuffed animals), highway (for scooter riding), diner for making pretend snacks, and a souvenir shop for browsing tables full of memorabilia. 

AMP Principal Dr. Sophia Gary said that Ms. Miller spends hours of her own time creating “Disney Days” for the children. “She incorporates so many parts of the curriculum into the event,” she said. “She doesn’t just focus on physical education skills. She includes many academic skills that are part of the curriculum at this level.”  Gary added that the students don’t realize they are practicing important skills since they are too busy having fun.

Ms. Miller said that when she sees former students now in high school, they always ask about Disney Days.  “They always remember the event as one of their favorites,” she said. Although setting up the event is a tremendous amount of work, the smiles on the children’s faces and the fact that they never forget it, makes it all worthwhile for her.

 

Track Stars!

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Members of the varsity winter track team qualified to compete in the Nassau County Class B Championships.

  • The girls' 4 x 400-meter relay team consisting of eighth-grader Nina Cialone, ninth-grader Marlene Goldstein, junior Roisin O’Neil and senior Stephanie Reyes earned second place with a time of 4:26.8.

     

  • Senior Adam Cohen placed sixth in shot put with a throw of 40'1".

     

  • Roisin O’Neill placed eighth in the competitive 300-meter dash with a time of 45.51 sec.

      • Junior Megan Prosser placed 8th in the 55m Hurdles finishing in 9.97 seconds. 
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      • Junior Kristy Jahchan placed 11th in the triple jump reaching 28’ 2.25" 

       

      Stephanie Reyes advanced to compete in the 55-meter hurdles in the NY State Qualifier Meet to be held Feb. 9 at St. Anthony's High School.

      Congratulations to all of the student-athletes and their coaches!

      Learning by Doing

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      Students prepared for weeks, researching bills to present and then armed with facts, our high school seniors presented those bills during the school’s 27th annual Congress in Action. Their classmates then had the opportunity to argue for or against each bill before voting. 

      The bills and the arguments were persuasive and passionate during the simulation of the nation’s Congressional system, which served as a hands-on lesson in how the United States government works. 

      Students chose current topics to present including gun control and the elimination of physical education for students on athletic teams. Each student presented a bill, while the opposition presented a case against passing such a bill. 

      The Participation In Government 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 United States 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 presentation skills in order for their presentations to be convincing.” He added that these skills will be beneficial to students in many areas of their lives, including in college and careers. 

      A five-person student led Rules Committee kept order during the proceedings and collected and tallied the votes.

       

       

       

      Falcon Wrestlers Make it to Semifinals in County Tournament

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      The Locust Valley Falcon wrestlers are always achieving and this past weekend was no different. The team advanced to the semifinals in the Nassau County Dual Meet Championships for the first time since 1984.

      The Falcons entered the competition as the number 4 seed. Locust Valley High School was one of four sites that hosted the opening two rounds of this two-day event, which began Friday night. The Falcons drew a bye in the opening round and wrestled Garden City High School in round II who had defeated Roslyn earlier in the competition. The Falcons dominated the Trojans from start to finish, 63-15, with strong performances by seniors Bryce Dusold and Andrew Cantatore along with Jack DeNatale and Patrick Briody.

      The Falcons advanced to day two in the tournament that was held at Clarke High School and faced Farmingdale High School, a school that is three times the size of Locust Valley High School. However, that didn’t stop the Falcons on their mission as they once again defeated their opponents with little trouble with a score of 54-20. The match included great performances by eighth-grader Vito Rodriguez and Jack DeNatale, Jack Ward, Patrick Briody, Bailey O'Brien and upperclassmen Hunter Dusold and Jon Gomez, along with seniors, Spencer Matthaei, Andrew Cantatore and Bryce Dusold.  This victory placed the Falcons in the semi-finals against the number one ranked team in Nassau County, Long Beach High School.

      Congratulations to the team and their coaches on this incredible success!

       

       

       

       

      Snow Play

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      If life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. So, if life gives you snow … you make snowmen! Children at Bayville Primary School donned their boots, hats and mittens and put their fine motor skills to use as they built creative snowmen on the school’s field.

      “This may seem like child’s play, but it’s the best kind of child’s play,” said Assistant Principal Dorothy McManus. “Children used their fine motor skills, their imaginations and had to work together.”

      Green and White Night Brings Students Together

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      High school students joined together to show their school spirit during the “Locust Valley Cares” themed Green & White Night on Jan. 26. The focus was on fun and camaraderie, which was achieved through athletic competitions and trivia games.

      While students benefitted from the fun, the event’s fundraising efforts will benefit those in need. Participants brought canned foots to donate to the St. Gertrude’s Food Pantry. From rice, soup and pasta to coffee, condiments and vegetables, the donations were generous.

      With attendees representing grades 9-12, students were split into two teams. The green and white teams had friendly competitions in volleyball, dodge ball, free throw shooting and a hula-hoop contest. Since LVHS students excel in athletics and academics, the teams also competed in Kahoot, an academic-based game that was played using Google Chromebooks.

      Assistant Principal Lisa Czerniecki said the event was a great success. “Students exercised their physical and mental muscle as they competed against high school peers. Everyone enjoyed the camaraderie and friendly competition.” 

      High School Principal Dr. Kieran McGuire pointed out that the event’s success was due in part to the efforts of several staff members including Joseph Enea, Lisa Czerniecki, Jennifer Masa, Rachel McShane, Stephanie (Kalish) Scavelli, Ashley Cannone, and Roseann Grasso. These faculty members ordered the pizza, distributed green and white t-shirts and tallied scores. Bob Taylor set up the scoreboard and cleaned the gymnasium at the conclusion of the event.

      The Board of Education will hold a meeting on Feb. 10, 2016 at 8 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater

      The Board of Education will hold a meeting on Feb. 10, 2016 at 8 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater

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      Marking 10 Years of Monologues

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      Performances at the 10th annual Writers’ Workshop Monologues proved that the event has only improved with age. When advisors Lawrence Lynch and Adele Bolitho, both high school English teachers, started the club, they had no idea how successful it would become. The next show, this spring, will mark the 20th performance, and Lynch and Bolitho are thrilled that students are still excited about participating.

      “Every year, we have students join that are engaged and enthusiastic about writing and performing,” Lynch said. “This is an incredible opportunity for them to exercise their creativity in a nurturing and supportive environment.”

      Many of the students that join the group have never written their own monologues or performed. This format allows them to feel comfortable. There is no pressure, just the expectation that they will use their creativity and have fun. Students are given a theme for the winter monologue performances, which take place in January each year. The theme can be interpreted in any way they choose, allowing for diversity during the show. The winter theme this year was “Fear.” The spring workshop topic is open and includes both scenes and monologues.

      Once the script is written, Lynch and Bolitho work with each student performer to make it the best it can possibly be and to ensure that it represents what the student intended.

      Performers in the winter workshop held on Jan. 21st included Sergey Babcock, Mike Catalano, Charlie Compono, Brooke DiSpirito, Hannah Fitzgerald, Mary Kenny, Idrees Khwaja, Carly Knopf, Justin Manzi, Tori Rufrano and Luke San Antonio.  The stage manager was Aynsley Leonardis. Evan Lautato and Colin White were in charge of the lighting. Lynch and Bolitho served as the producers.

      The club’s 20th performance, the Play Scene Showcase, will take place on Monday, April 18 at 7 p.m. in the MS/HS Mini-Theater.

       

       

      National Honor Society Gains Newest Members

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      They have earned top grades, exhibited exceptional character and served as leaders in the school and community – traits that earned nearly 100 high school students membership into the National Honor Society.

      During an induction ceremony held in the high school auditorium on Jan. 20, the students were recognized for their achievements. NHS officers served as the hosts, and Board of Education President Philip Bellisari, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund and High School Principal Dr. Kieran McGuire were the guest speakers.

      NHS President Arthur Babcock and Vice President Pamela Guerra ran the evening with the poise of professional event hosts. Guerra spoke about the theme of the 2016 National Honor Society Leadership Week: "Right Here, Right Now." This theme, she explained, promotes the idea that if students use their time right now to act for their school and community, the reward later on will be even greater. 

      “You have already shown an aptitude for sacrificing immediate gratification, which has allowed you to succeed in your schoolwork, extracurricular activities and service to the community,” she told the inductees. “So far, you have gained the knowledge that you will often need to work hard toward a goal, and you have looked ahead for the reward instead of impatiently expecting it in that same moment.”

      A musical interlude impressed the inductees and guests, as student-musicians performed the first movement of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s challenging String Sextet in A major. The six-member ensemble included senior Marconi D'Auria-Gupta and junior Rebecca Lewis on viola, senior Carmine D'Auria-Gupta and sophomore Abigail Flicker on violin, and senior Francesco D'Auria-Gupta and sophomore Leonardo D'Auria-Gupta on cello. 

      The evening included the honor society’s traditional candle-lighting ceremony, in which the National Honor Society officers explained the traits represented by each candle before lighting them and then sharing that light with each inductee. Jessica Cameron, Michael Shearer, Kristin Scott and Alexandra Guido spoke about scholarship, service, leadership and character, respectively. The pledge of the National Honor Society was administered by Dr. McGuire.

      Congratulations to these exceptional students on this extraordinary honor!


       

       

       

       

       

      Parent Forum: How to Communicate About Tough Topics - RESCHEDULED

      The LVCSD Health and Wellness Committee is rescheduling its 2nd Annual Parent Forum (originally scheduled for Feb. 9) to Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 7-9 p.m. due to unsafe travel conditions expected due to a winter weather advisory.

      This event is open to parents from all schools in the district and students are also invited to attend.

      Please see the attached flyers (in English and Spanish) for more information.

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      Wrestlers are Conference Champs - Again!

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      The varsity wrestling team has captured the Conference IV B Title for the fourth consecutive year. This is the Falcon’s sixth conference title in the past seven years, during which time they earned a conference overall record of 34-1. 

      The Falcons continue their overall success in wrestling led by seniors Andrew Cantatore, Bryce Dusold and Spencer Matthaei, along with strong juniors and state champions Hunter Dusold and Jon Gomez. 

      Congratulations to all of the wrestlers and coaches Joe Enea, Tim Bellisari and Cory Haldas. Good luck the rest of the way! Go Falcons!

      Mastering Maps and More

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      Seventh-grader Shannon MacArthur knows her way around a map, and she proved it when she earned first place in Locust Valley Middle School’s 20th annual Geography Bee. Shannon is now qualified to move on to the state level of the bee, for which she will take a written exam online.

      Participants in the school-wide geography bee earned their spots by winning bees in their individual classrooms. Shannon had some tough competition, which proves that students are absorbing the lessons taught in social studies classes.

      Students knew that the Battle of Little Bighorn was fought in Montana and that if they have the desire to see maple sap being harvested and also go skiing in the Green Mountains, they would need to head north to Vermont. Their knowledge didn’t stop with national geographic facts, as they also knew that the Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast of Australia and that the Gulf of Mexico is located on the continent of North America.

      “The success of the students in this geography bee confirms that geographic skills are essential, useful and very important to master,” said Social Studies Coordinator David Ethé. “It also reminds them that learning can be fun.”

       

       

       

       

      Bringing Musical Talent to a New Level

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      Student-musicians from the high school had an extraordinary experience participating in the Long Island String Festival Association Chamber Festival on Jan. 9.

      The selected students included senior Marconi D'Auria-Gupta and junior Rebecca Lewis, both on the viola,  as well as senior Carmine D'Auria-Gupta  and sophomore Abigail Flicker playing the violin and senior Francesco D'Auria-Gupta and sophomore Leonardo D'Auria-Gupta playing the cello.

      The students were selected into the festival based on audition tapes submitted in December. They were coached for the festival by members of the Bryant Park Chamber Players and then performed their festival piece --Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Sextet in A Major I. Allegro Vivace” -- later that afternoon. The members of the chamber players are graduates of Juilliard Conservatory, as well as professors and professional musicians that provided the Locust Valley musicians with invaluable mentorship. 

      High school music teacher Annmarie Buonaspina helped prepare them for this festival and said she was impressed with how much they grew as musicians from this experience. “I was very proud of their mastery of the musical selection as it is rarely performed because of the instrumentation and difficulty of the piece,” she said. “This festival really pushed the students to a new level of playing and ensemble. “

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Delicious Lesson

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      Fifth-graders at Bayville Intermediate School constructed “bone burritos” as part of a unit of study on the human body. Various foods were used to replicate the long bone structure.

      The students used tortillas to represent the periosteum, or outer layer, which they covered with Vienna Fingers in place of the compact bone, Twinkies as the spongy bone and strawberry jam as the bone marrow. Each of the ingredients was rolled up into the tortilla like a burrito and wrapped with string licorice to signify the blood vessels, which run through the bones and wrap around them.

      “This was one delicious way to learn what is inside our bones,” explained Teaching Assistant Pat Valenza, who runs the school’s science lab. She added that the students are more likely to remember the facts about bone structure because they will equate it with a project they enjoyed.

      Honoring MLK Jr.

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      In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, students in the district participated in lessons that focused on the role Dr. King played in the history of our country.

      At the middle school, students read various books about Dr. King and listened to parts of his historical “I have a Dream” speech. Sixth-graders read picture books such as Martin’s Big Words and read a play describing his life.

      At the primary level, some classes used artwork to emphasize the importance of the three-day weekend and why Dr. King’s birthday is a holiday. Bayville Primary School kindergarten teachers Jennifer LeMieux and Stacey Eno decorated their classrooms with pictures their students created of Dr. King. Second-grade teacher Francine Alonge’s class wrote down Dr. King’s dreams and then added their own dreams, which included everyone being kind to each other and other altruistic ideas.

      While district students and staff join with others in taking a day off to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it is certain that they will understand the significance of this holiday.

      Junior is Cross Country Star

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      High school junior Roisin O'Neill was recognized by the Board of Education on Jan. 13 for earning the Nassau County Section VIII Cross-Country Coaches Association 2015 Sportsmanship Promotion Award.

      This award is given to only one student in each athletic class in the state. Roisin was one of 40 girls throughout the state selected for this distinguished honor. She holds the Locust Valley High School record in the 5K with a time of 19:20, represented Locust Valley in the New York State Cross-Country Championships, and has earned All-County honors.

      “Roisin is a talented student-athlete who makes us proud every time she competes,” said Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics Mark J. Dantuono. 

       

      Coach Enters Hall of Fame

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      High school field hockey coach Sandy Jozefowski has been inducted into the Nassau County Field Hockey Hall of Fame and named 2015 Nassau County Conference II Coach of the Year. She was recognized by the Board of Education for her accomplishments at its Jan. 13 meeting.

      Coach Jozefowski has been Locust Valley’s head field hockey coach for the past 15 years and has dedicated her coaching career to the district’s athletic department. She played a big part in starting the youth program through the Oak Neck Athletic Council and serves as President of the Nassau County Section VIII Field Hockey Coaches Association.

      “Coach Jozefowski epitomizes the meaning of educator and coach,” said Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics Mark J. Dantuono. 

      “Sandy is constantly giving back to a sport she loves – not just to her own athletes, but to all high school field hockey players in Section VIII,” Nassau County Field Hockey Association Coordinator Barb Sellers said during the induction ceremony.

      Congratulations, Coach Jozefowski, on being recognized for your success!

       

       

      Promoting Tolerance

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      Locust Valley Middle School students are working to promote tolerance. In an effort to learn about preventing bullying and other types of intolerant behavior, a group of students attended Middle School Tolerance Day, sponsored by the Nassau County Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center in Glen Cove. The seventh- and eighth- graders were chosen by their social studies teachers to be part of this important program.

      The LVMS students joined approximately two hundred other middle school students from across Long Island to participate in workshops designed to help them teach other students to be "upstanders." They shared what they learned with their classmates at one of the middle school’s monthly town meetings by presenting what they learned, particularly the idea that even one individual has the power to make a positive difference in the lives of others. 

      Middle school social studies teacher Evelyn Mason said, “the hope is that participating in the program will help our "Ambassadors of Tolerance" to continue spreading this message of standing up against bullying and intolerance throughout our middle school and our high school.”

       

      Yearbook Ads Due Feb. 15

      Parent ads for the high school yearbook are due no later than Feb. 15, 2016. Click the flyer below for details.

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