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H. Thomas Hogan, Principal
Phone: 277-5200
Fax: 277-5208

                           

                                                             

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

"A" Day

 

 

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Community of Writers

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The middle school/high school hallways are often filled with student artwork, and recently those same walls highlighted a different form of art – the written word. The English Department used the National Day on Writing as an opportunity to celebrate writing by students and staff members. The high school English corridor and a hallway in the middle school are covered with creative writing samples and responses to the prompt, “Why I Write.”

The National Day of Writing is an initiative of the National Council of Teachers of English and, according to the organization’s website, is built on the premise that writing is critical to literacy, but in need of greater attention and celebration. They say that writing is thought of in terms of pencil-and-paper assignments, but that writing is present in all parts of life. 

“It’s part of how you work, how you learn, how you remember and how you communicate. It gives voice to who you are and enables you to give voice to the things that matter to you,” according to the organization.

Students were given the opportunity in their English classes and in the library to share and celebrate “Why I Write” by developing a response and including it on a “Twitter” template crafted by middle school English teacher Emily Storck. If they preferred, personal writing samples could be shared rather than the response to the prompt. Students shared the digital or hard copy with their teachers, and all of the writing was posted in celebration. 

English curriculum coordinator Lisa Czerniecki said the initiative was a success. “I am impressed by the responses students gave, and I am inspired by their creativity. It has been great to share and to continue to build a community of writers.”
 

Reinforcing the Importance of Responsible Decision Making

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Programs and presentations that emphasized making healthy choices filled the days at the middle school and high school during Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 22-26. Events were organized and sponsored by the schools’ Students Against Destructive Decisions clubs, using the theme of the 2018 national Red Ribbon Campaign, “Life is Your Journey, TravelDrug Free.”

From the dangers of drugs to the consequences of inappropriate use of social media, students at both schools were reminded of the importance of making decisions that are healthy, both emotionally and physically. 

Among many activities, high school juniors heard a presentation from two social workers from the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Amanda Cioffi and Lauren Navarra, who is an LVHS alumna, shared facts and anecdotes about the use of marijuana, alcohol, opiates and vaping. They discussed healthy ways in which students can reduce stress and anxiety, such as exercise, meditation and spending time with friends.

Middle school students attended a presentation by Katie Duffy Schumacher, the founder of Don’t Press Send, an organization that promotes a mindful approach to using social media. Schumacher stressed the importance of thinking before posting to social media, the ramifications that negative posts can have and the ways in which social media can be used appropriately. Schumacher presented her program to parents on the evening of Oct. 24.

High school SADD Club members visited middle school classes to help facilitate discussions on topics related to drinking, decision-making and peer pressure. Middle school SADD Club members asked students to write down how they make good decisions and then hung hundreds of answers in one of the school corridors.

High school psychologists Adriana Marin and Kristen Sylvan, the high school SADD advisers, helped club members coordinate the week’s events. Middle school SADD Club advisers Liz DeGennaro and Amanda Noren helped coordinate the middle school events. Cooperation and assistance from psychologists, guidance counselors and administrators were appreciated.

“The SADD clubs celebrate Red Ribbon Week to help engage students and staff in conversations regarding healthy decision-making and positive coping strategies,” Dr. Marin said. “The goal of the week is to help empower our students if they are ever faced with difficult decisions.”





 

Bringing Community Together for Halloween

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Elementary students dressed in their Halloween costumes went from door to door, trick-or-treating on Sunday, Oct. 28. They didn’t confuse the date for the real Halloween – they went to classrooms at Locust Valley High School, where the student government sponsored Safe Halloween, providing the community’s children with a safe and fun trick-or-treating experience.

Each classroom had a theme, designed and run by members of various high school clubs. The Robotics Club, for example, held a trivia competition complete with electronic buzzers. There was also mummy wrapping, face painting, bowling, arts and crafts and more. In each room, children were given Halloween candy, leaving them with full buckets by the end of the day.

From school families to staff members, the community came together, bringing their children to celebrate, play and show off their costumes. Patrick DiClemente, who attended his first Safe Halloween as the new high school principal, said the event was a great success. 

“Sunday was a proud day as our youngest and oldest students, our staff members and residents joined together for an event filled with many smiles, outstanding costumes and a positive community atmosphere,” he said.





Bilingual Night Builds School/Community Relationships

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A two-night event brought 85 Spanish-speaking parents together in an effort to improve the community/school relationship and facilitate an increase in parental involvement. Bilingual Night was held at Bayville Primary School and Ann MacArthur Primary School on Oct. 16-17. Parents from the elementary, middle and high schools were invited to attend.
 
Facilitated by Cyndy Ergen, a teaching assistant at Locust Valley Intermediate School, the program covered topics including ways in which parents can obtain support for their children in academics and where they can find information and homework assignments. They were offered assistance in filling out forms and told who to call at the schools for various topics. Attendees were shown that the district website, at www.lvcsd.k12.ny.us, has an option to translate pages into a variety of languages, an option that helps non-English-speaking parents stay informed.
 
Ms. Ergen assists in translating for the district, by speaking with Spanish-speaking families and translating documents that are sent home. She said the attendees of the bilingual nights were thankful for the information shared. “They were very happy with all the information we gave them because they want to stay involved in their children's academic lives,” she said.
 
District employees and representatives from outside organizations provided information about services available to families, as Ms. Ergen translated what they were saying.

In its fourth year, the event has proven successful and helpful to district families. Many thanks to Ms. Ergen for her efforts.