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Copiague Takes Top Honors at Covanta Contest

Copiague Takes Top Honors at Covanta Contest Photo
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Ten students from the Copiague School District were recognized by the Town of Babylon for placing among the top students who entered the Babylon Covantage EcoTech Scholarship Contest during an awards presentation at Babylon Town Hall on May 6.

Under the advisement of High School Science Chairperson Renee Locker and Middle School Science Chairperson Dr. Daniel Leccese, students submitted an energy or environmental-based science project, through which they carried out an experiment and wrote a detailed scientific paper explaining their procedure and conclusion.

Brittany Faustin placed first among all entrants and earned a $1,000 scholarship for her project “The Effectiveness of the Antibacterial Activity Utilizing Silver Nanoparticles on the Growth of Aspergillus niger.” Other winners from Walter G O’Connell Copiague High School included: Brayan Pena and Osazuwa Eghafona, who received a $625 scholarship for their project “Doped Magnesium Aluminate as a Viable Basis for Production of Inorganic, Long Lasting, Non-Toxic, Pigments;” Sofie Wilson and Jade Dickenson, who won fourth place and a $250 scholarship for their project “A novel investigation surrounding Geukensia demissa as a probable control mechanism for the invasive species Phragmites australis;” Erhumwunse Eghafona received a $250 scholarship for his project “Falling Temperature on a Species of Tree;” and Claudia Motley took home a $125 scholarship for her study on “Cultural Orientation and its Effects on Secondary Education in Japanese and American Students.”

The three Copiague Middle School students each took home $125 scholarships for their projects. Dylan Bedell project was to show how drones can be used to monitor coastal erosion. He used his drone to fly over a shoreline of the Great South Bay and looked at evidence that showed decreasing levels of coast. Olivia Healy examined how different insulating materials help keeps a home warm in the winter. DaVeyah Williams studied nanosilver and how nanosilver affects pond life. Nanosilver is called colloidal silver and is found in many consumer products with the purpose of killing bacteria. Her project studied how greater amounts of nanosilver decreased the population of daphnia (microscopic pond organism).  

Open to students in grades eighth to 12th throughout the Town of Babylon, the Covantage EcoTech Scholarship Contest awards scholarships annually to students who create the top-ranking science projects with eco-tech themes. Through this program, students are encouraged to explore concepts related to sustainability and environmental solutions.

“Covanta and Babylon have been exceptional in not only encouraging STEM among our students, but offering an incentive for pursuing science discovery and excellence. Even more noteworthy and distinctive by Covanta is the endorsement of environmental science as an area of focus,” said Ms. Locker.

New Assistant Principal Appointed

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Jonathan Krawchuk has been named an assistant principal at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School, effective July 1.

Krawchuk began his teaching career in the Copiague School District in 2009 as a living environment and special education teacher. This past school year, he served as the district’s B.A.S.E. adviser. From 2010-2014, he was the assistant varsity football coach at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School.

Krawchuk earned his Bachelor of Science degree from St. Joseph’s College. He also received his master’s degree and educational leadership certification from Stony Brook University.

Copiague Track Event Honors Memory, Love of Sport

Copiague Track Event Honors Memory, Love of Sport Photo

Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School hosted the seventh annual Urban & Walsh Memorial Invitational on May 15. Organized by Copiague track coaches George Schroeder and John Sack, the annual event is held to honor Christopher Urban and Brittney Walsh.

Hosting 28 teams from across Long Island, the invitational featured 18 events including girls and boys shot put, boys and girls disc, long jump, high jump, triple jump, pole vault, the 2,000/3,000 steeplechase, 100/110 high hurdles, high jump and more. In addition to the standard track and field events, fifth-graders from the four elementary schools – Deauville Gardens East, Deauville Gardens West, Great Neck Road and Susan E. Wiley – participated in a special boys and girls 4x100 relay.

For the Copiague boys, David Lawrence placed second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 0:11.74, took third place in the long jump with 21 feet, 7.5 inches and placed second in the triple jump with 43 feet, 2.5 feet. Antoine Moore Jr. placed second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 0:50.82. Jackson Bright, Aryes Garrett and Brenton Bennett took fifth, sixth and seventh place, respectively, in the high jump.

For the Copiague girls, Halle Moore took first place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 60.66, while Akajia Atkins placed third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 0:13.25. The girls 4x400 meter relay team placed second with a time of 4:36.29, and high jumper Lyndsey Wilson secured third place with a jump of 4 feet, 10 inches. Akajia Atkins placed first in the long jump with a 17 foot, 3-inch jump, and Kyria Moore took fifth in the shot put with a toss of 32 feet, 6.75 inches.

Showing Off Shapes

Showing Off Shapes Photo
First-graders in Katianne Howe’s class at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School learned about three-dimensional shapes and were tasked with creating their own 3-D models. Students used everyday objects found around their homes to create models using all the different shapes they learned.

Great Neck Road Celebrates Mother’s Day (watch the video)

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Kindergartners at Great Neck Road Elementary School recognized the special ladies in their lives with a Mother’s Day celebration on May 11. Handcrafted bags decorated with messages of love were filled with photo albums showcasing their first year in school. Paper bouquets of flowers and messages about their special person were presented to each of the attendees.

Making of a Musical Video

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From the musical announcement to auditions, tryouts and opening day, here’s an inside look into Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students making “The Little Mermaid."


Scholastic Aptitude Test Information


Hip Hop Club Creates Positive Culture

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The Hip Hop Club at Walter G O’Connell Copiague High School, under the direction of Yvan Garcia, recently wrapped up its annual production. This year’s show – “Taking Back the Music” – was a student created work, centered on the themes of anti-bullying and cultural acceptance. In late April, the students performed two shows for the community and one private production for more than 400 middle school eighth-graders at Copiague Middle School as part of an orientation/character education initiative.

At the conclusion of the performance, the eighth-grade students asked questions of the Hip Hop Club and step team members about their involvement in the show as well as questions related to what it takes to be successful at the high school level.

Students Honored for Cultural Work

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The Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island recently honored three students from Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School during its annual Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration on May 4 at Suffolk County Community College in Selden.

Mikayla Angel, Rigaud Destime and Sophia Hall received proclamations from the JCRC-LI and elected officials from Suffolk County for their work in creating a more civil society.

Keynote speaker Hannah Robinson, a Holocaust survivor, explained how her family was destroyed by the actions of the Nazis and how neighbors and strangers helped her family survive before they were ultimately sent to Auschwitz. The students spoke with Robinson following her lecture.

Second-Grader Share Stories for Mother’s Day

Second-Grader Share Stories for Mother’s Day Photo

Second-grade students in Diana Daniels’ class at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School honored their mothers and special ladies in their life during a Mother’s Day Tea on May 11.

Invited guests shared the afternoon with the students in their classroom while listening to each student share a story about their special person. Mothers, grandparents, aunts and sisters gathered together for tea and cupcakes while spending some quality one-on-one time with their special second-grader.

Track Stars Shine at Penn Relays

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The Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School girls varsity track team, coached by Antoinette Spencer, competed in the 2017 Penn Relays from April 27-29. The 4x400 meter team – Halle Moore, Jasmine Jackson-Gomes, Akajia Atkins and Mikayla Angel – brought home the silver medal with a personal record of 4:08.77. The girls 4x100 meter team of Moore, Ajhani Carroll, Shanna Greer and Atkins placed fifth with 50.71 seconds, a personal best for the 2017 season.

Under the Magnifying Glass

Under the Magnifying Glass Photo

Using their magnifying glasses, third-graders in Mary Prisco’s class at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School have been observing the lifecycle of butterflies. They are carefully watching as the caterpillars housed in jars in their classroom are transforming into painted lady butterflies. Students also made diagrams depicting their observations of the butterfly lifecycle.

Love Notes for Mom

Love Notes for Mom Photo
Kindergartners in Kirstin Cerrone’s class at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School are showing their mothers how much they love and appreciate them on their special holiday. The students crafted mod podge mason jars for their moms and filled them with love notes to be presented on Mother’s Day.

Highlighting Copiague (video)

Enjoy this video put together by Board President Brian Sales for the 2017 Community Summit.

Confidence Shines in Character Education

Confidence Shines in Character Education Photo

Fifth-graders at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School showed off their confident spirits when they presented their monthly character education assembly to their peers on April 28.

In a game show-style format, the fifth-grade students played the game “Show Your Confidence” in an effort to illustrate this month’s character education trait: confidence. While some students portrayed a game show host, others acted as contestants to answer questions about positive vs. negative thinking in everyday situations.

The students concluded the assembly by reminding their peers to show their confidence, and keep positive thoughts first to show that they believe in themselves.

A Sea of Blue

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April was autism awareness month and the students and staff at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School worked together to join the fight. Throughout the month, faculty, students and their families could purchase a puzzle piece and donate any amount to the cause. On April 28, the school participated in “Light It Up Blue,” dressing in blue to show their support. With the pieces of the puzzle displayed together in the main lobby, the school raised $125 to benefit autism awareness.

Three Teams Selected as Finalists in STEM Competition

Three Teams Selected as Finalists in STEM Competition Photo

Three teams of Copiague Middle School students have been named national finalists in the second annual Bright Schools Competition. The competition is a collaborative effort of the National Sleep Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association that encourages students in grades 6-8 to explore the correlation between light and sleep and how it influences a student’s health and performance.

The winning students from Copiague Middle School are Qbar Velasquez, Roman Burrus and Adam Antonsiak, who investigated “How Do Different Color Lights Affect Sleep?”; Tyler Rosario, Semaya Robinson and Asiatul Hoque, who studied the “Impact of Blue Light on Sleep;” and Elizabeth Garrovillas, Olivia Healy and Lauren David, who submitted research on “How Does Asthma Affect Sleep?”

Under the mentorship of Middle School science chair Dr. Daniel Leccese, the team identified, investigated, and researched an issue related to light and sleep as it pertains to their community and/or young adolescents. Teams develop a prototype, create an awareness campaign or write a research proposal for the competition. Each team then submits a written report detailing their project along with a three-minute video showcasing their investigation. Projects are evaluated on the basis of several criteria, including scientific accuracy, innovativeness and potential impact.

The three Middle School teams were chosen among 50 national finalist teams of nearly 500 students from 53 schools. National winning teams will be announced in early May.

A Poetry Night in Paris

A Poetry Night in Paris Photo

The cafeteria at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School was transformed into a candlelit Parisian café and student-poets showed off their talents during the school’s poetry café on April 25.

Dressed in their colored berets, students in grades 3-5 celebrated literacy night by reading both original and published poems of their choice to their families and peers in an open mic format. Each student received a treat bag filled with a beret, sunglasses and an acrostic poetry book to take home. During the intermission, guests snacked on cookies and treats served by their teachers.

Storytime Conference with Spanish Students

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Kindergarten students in Maritza Benavides’ class at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School participated in a story time videoconference on April 21 with eighth-grade students in a Spanish 1 class at Berner Junior High School in Massapequa. The eighth-graders told stories in Spanish using different props. At the end of the videoconference, the kindergarten students shared a new song with their junior high school friends.

Change Collection Springs Into Action

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The Copiague Middle School’s Builders Club recently held a Pennies for Patients fundraiser. Via penny banks in each homeroom class, the club collected $1,425 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The Builders Club raffled off different spring-themed baskets for those who donated.

Environmental Game Is a Perfect Match

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In recognition of Earth Day, third-grade student council members at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School participated in an environmentally friendly game about saving the ocean. After reading “Pesky Plastic: An Environmental Story,” the students played a matching game they created on the computer. The students matched plastic items with a recycling bin. They then matched animals with the fish that they are supposed to eat instead of plastic in the oceans, which can be harmful.

Pops Concert Delivers Explosive Performance

Pops Concert Delivers Explosive Performance Photo

It was a night of memorable performances as students at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School showcased their vocal skills and dancing abilities at the annual Pops Concert on April 19 in the auditorium.

Kicking off the evening was a performance of “Calling All Hearts” by Stephanie Abreu, Cameren Jackson and the Pops Dancers. The trio of Jamilla Jackson, Halle More and Jelani Bond recreated Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” and the Spice Girls catchy chart-topper “Wannabe” was performed by Sarah St. Jean, Cameren Jackson, Katherine Abreu, Tiana Roe and Rose Spanato. “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas got the audience moving performed by Andrew Szabo, Lesly DeCastro, Kishaar Hodge, Kyree Scott, Jonah Ramdas and Nicholas Favichia.

Solo performers were also the highlight of the evening’s concert with performances by Kyree Scott of “Ride” by 21 Pilots; “Free Fallin’” by Nicholas Favichia; “Where the Streets Have No Name” by Jillian Payne; “Rise Up” by Elenys Diaz; “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Jonathan Angel; Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” by Kishaar Hodge; “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Nilsu Yildiz; “Invincible” by Kayla Dixon; “Stone Cold” by Crystal Betz; and “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Lesly DeCastro.

To open the second act, the Madrigal Choir performed a show-stopping version of “Hallelujah.” Powerful duet performances included Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” by Taylor Sharpe-Adams and Lesly DeCastro, and Meaghan Trainor and John Legend’s “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Kaitlyn Besse and Kyree Scott.

Along with the Pops Choir, the Madrigals closed out the evening with “We Are the World.”

Challenged to Make a Difference

Challenged to Make a Difference Photo

In recognition of Earth Day, first-graders in Terri Alzmann’s class at Deauville Gardens West participated in “The Lorax Challenge.”

The Dr. Seuss book, which each class read in celebration of his birthday, delivers the message that one person can make a difference. For the challenge, students were invited to make a difference at home, in their community or at school.  

Ms. Alzmann’s class decided to make a difference in their community and their school by planting flowers in the front of their school. The students will continue to observe and take care of their flowers throughout the school year.

Students Recognized for Safe Driving Skills

Students Recognized for Safe Driving Skills Photo
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students Rachel Korba and Juan Miguel Gubisch have been awarded AAA’s Driver Education Award as outstanding students in their school’s driver education course. They were selected on the basis of demonstrated driving skills, knowledge of the rules of the road, and a mature attitude and approach to driving.

The purpose of the award is to not only recognize outstanding high school driver education students, but to also encourage all young drivers to develop the skills and attitudes that will contribute to their being safe drivers.

Middle School Teachers Shine Bright

Middle School Teachers Shine Bright Photo
Two Copiague Middle School teachers have been named two of 16 Long Island educators who were honored as 2017 Bright Lights by the Association of Suffolk Supervisors for Educational Technologies.

Stephen Cooney, a social studies teacher, and Brian Washington, a special education teacher, both at Copiague Middle School, were chosen for the honor by ASSET for “inspiring and innovating digital curriculum and technology into the teaching and learning process.”

Recycling Initiative Helps Spark Change

Recycling Initiative Helps Spark Change Photo
The student council members at Deauville Gardens West are doing their share this Earth Day by launching a project to bring clean drinking water to villages in the Western Province of South Africa.

The student council presented their Carbon for Water initiative to their classmates in grades 3-5 during an assembly on April 17. Under the supervision of student council supervisor Christine Orlando, the group will be recycling plastic bottles in the cafeteria for the remainder of the school year. They will use the money they raise to purchase a large carbon filter from LifeStraw for a school in Africa.

The students spoke about the need for cleaning drinking water in Africa and how helping these villages will allow students to go to school instead of working to gather wood and water everyday. “Our goal is to help every child in the world receive an education, no matter where they are from,” the students told the audience.

Spring Into Fitness

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Deauville Gardens West invited students and their families for fun, games and exercise during Family Fitness Night on April 5. Gathered in the gymnasium, families participated in a variety of activities including jump rope, basketball, scooter races and more.

Fundraiser Is a Slam Dunk

Fundraiser Is a Slam Dunk Photo

Students at Copiague Middle School showed off their basketball skills when they participated in a Hoops for Heart fundraiser to benefit the American Heart Association on April 6 and 7 during their physical education classes.

Not only did students help raise money for a good cause, they learned about leading a heart-healthy lifestyle and making positive choices. Hoops for Heart is a national fundraising program sponsored jointly by the Society of Health and Physical Educators of America and the AHA. Through the program, students raise funds for the AHA while participating in activities that promote physical fitness.

Students showed off their sharpshooting skills as they completed a basketball-themed obstacle course. The goal of the event was to increase awareness about heart disease and related illnesses, as well as raise money for research, prevention, and education programs.

This year, the Copiague Middle School students have a goal to meet or surpass the $5,000 they raised during last year’s event.

All Eyes on Display

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Fourth-graders in Kristina Sudano’s class at Deauville Gardens East were recently assigned an “eye-opening” project. As part of their plant and animal structures unit, students made 3-D models of the eye. The models included all the major components of the eye along with an essay about its function. Some of the projects were chosen for display at the district’s annual Community Summit on March 18.

Honor a Teacher


Susan E. Wiley’s student council showed their appreciation by honoring teachers during a breakfast in March. View The video below.

Winter Sports All-Stars

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Congratulations to the student-athletes who were awarded for their play on the field and in the classroom during the winter 2016-2017 sports season. For a full list of winners, click here.

Firsthand Lesson in History

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Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School students had a firsthand lesson in history when guest speaker Spirit Trickey, daughter of Minnijean Brown-Trickey, a civil rights movement icon who was part of the Little Rock Nine, visited the school on March 31.

Students in the Facing History and Ourselves classes studied the civil rights movement in depth prior to her visit to the high school. Trickey told students that she started to think about the importance of history and activism during her last years in high school. “I was failing math at 17 and when my mother was that age she was changing the world,” she said.
She described the challenges growing up as a biracial child and shared her experiences as the chief of interpretation and public information officer at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.

Trickey is the playwright of One Ninth, an exploration of human dignity and racial conflict as seen through the eyes of her mother. She is one of 10 Americans who won the “Ticket to History” essay contest (with more than 250,000 submissions) to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and attend the Inaugural Ball. In 2010, she was named one of the “Top 100 History Makers in the Making” by the and featured on NBC Nightly.

UPK Lottery

We are pleased to state that a lottery call is not required for UPK registration seat.  All families who registered children for the Copiague Schools Universal Prekindergarten program during the week of April 4th will be granted a seat at their preferred school. Families requesting Stanford Preschool will be notified of their class placement by Stanford at a later date, as the site location within the Stanford school cannot be guaranteed.  Families will receive more information regarding the Copiague UPK program through upcoming mailings.


Math Student Goes for the Gold

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Copiague Middle School eighth-grader Adam Antosiak has been awarded gold distinction in the Long Island Math Fair at Suffolk County Community College on March 3. This is the first time a Copiague Middle School student has been awarded gold honors.

To enter the competition, Antosiak wrote a properly cited math research paper on a math topic of his choice. He started the process in October when he chose the topic “Fibonacci’s Numbers.” After his paper was selected to participate in the Long Island Math Fair, he had to deliver an oral presentation from his research paper and display board.

Spring for Kindness

Spring for Kindness Photo
During its March meeting, the Student Council at Copiague Middle School created St. Patrick’s Day-themed cards, which will be donated to local hospital patients. Additionally, encouraged to spring into kindness, the students wrote cards of appreciation to their teachers.

Business-Savvy Students Pose a Revival Plan

Business-Savvy Students Pose a Revival Plan Photo

On March 29, the Walter G. O’Connell Industry Advisory Board hosted its first Business Olympics in the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School auditorium.

Teams of business students were given the task to remediate and revitalize an abandoned building at 1305 S. South Strong Ave. in Copiague. Four teams of students – BizHub, Eagles on Wheels, Vovola and Revival – presented a variety of innovative ideas during their 10-minute presentations, followed by a five-minute question and answer session from judges.

Each team created a Google presentation, commercial for their business and promotional materials to present to the judges. Judges included Industry Advisory Board members from local community businesses, Copiague School District administrators and faculty and Copiague Board of Education members.

The winner was Team Revival for their gym/spa combination. This team included Kriyal Patel, Jeannie Guelee, Catherine Gonzales and Alexsandra Bugajczyk.

Lucky First-Graders Get Leprechaun Visit

Lucky First-Graders Get Leprechaun Visit Photo

First-graders in Katianne Howe’s class at Deauville Gardens West celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with hands-on art, math, reading and science activities.

The first-graders designed and created their own leprechaun traps. They displayed them the night before St. Patrick's Day, and when they came into school, they discovered small footprints and gold glitter around their traps. They received two letters from two leprechauns who visited the classroom and left gifts and gold for the students. 

Students read two St. Patrick’s Day poems and were visited by a mystery reader who read a St. Patrick’s Day story. They also made their own green slime. 

At the conclusion of the celebration, the students each received a bag of Lucky Charms cereal from a leprechaun and graphed the marshmallows in their cereal. 


Reading Madness Marches On


Third-graders in Colleen Garofola’s class at Deauville Gardens West are celebrating literacy with a “March Madness Tournament of Books.”
As a way to expose her students to different book genres, Ms. Garofola set up a March Madness-style bracket of different books for students to enjoy. Two books faced off  head-to-head to decide which one moves to the next round. The students created their own brackets based on the book title and cover.

In the first round (the Sweet 16), the class read the book jacket and voted on the book that advanced to the next bracket. In the Elite Eight and Final Four rounds, the students read excerpts of the book and chose a winner. In the championship round, students read “Wonder” and  “The One and Only Ivan” and will be choosing their champion by the end of the month.

A ‘Sea’ of Talent

A ‘Sea’ of Talent Photo

Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School presented its version of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” from March 16-18. Performances took place in the high school auditorium.

Leading the cast were Jade Dickenson (Ariel); Kishaar Hodge (Sebastian); Lesly DeCastro (Prince Eric); Crystal Betz (Ursula); Amy Rodriguez (Flounder); Nick Favichia (Scuttle); Kyree Scott (Grimsby); and Alec Soltau (King Triton). 

The musical was produced and directed by teachers Michelle Budion and Gina Occhiogrosso with the support of the district’s Fine Arts Coordinator Jennifer Pierre-Louis. 


Celebrating Pi

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In observance of Pi Day, students in Melody Cesare’s math classes at Copiague Middle School participated in a celebration of the mathematical constant.

The middle schoolers began the class period by measuring round items and dividing that measurement by its diameter before competing in the annual recitation of Pi by memory challenge. Breaking the school record of 164 digits set in 2013, student Sean Moore recited 165 digits by memory, earning him a second-place finish. Setting the new school record with 171 digits, Sebastian Ortiz came in first place. The top three finishers received gift certificates donated by Pizza Express in Copiague.

Read A Shirt Day

Students and staff at Susan E. Wiley celebrated literacy by making March 24 “Read A Shirt” Day. Students and staff came to school dressed in their favorite sayings to encourage a love of reading.

Third-Grade Weather Watchers Report Their Forecast

Third-Grade Weather Watchers Report Their Forecast

In conjunction with their lesson on weather, students in Kate Castellano and Megan Moore’s third-grade class at Deauville Gardens West took out their sunglasses, scarves, hats and umbrellas as they presented weather reports to their classmates on March 10. Each student acted as a weather forecaster, giving their five-day report on temperatures, what to wear, and how to prepare for the upcoming weather. Students also provided comment cards to their peers about what they liked most about their weather presentation.

Celebrating Community

Celebrating Community Photo

On March 18, the District hosted its annual Community Summit. The goal of the summit is to provide members of the community and elected officials an inside look into what is occurring within the District. This year’s theme, STEM In Our Schools, focused on the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.

“The summit gives us an opportunity to share some of the things the Board has been doing, discuss some of the issues we face in the upcoming budget and to celebrate the success that we have had,” said Board of Education President Brian J. Sales.

During her State of the District, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon highlighted the many accomplishments of the students and staff, provided an update on the District’s capital projects and discussed the District’s finances. “Over the last several years, we have stayed under the New York State tax cap and our tax increases have averaged less than 2.4 percent per year. We continue to contain our costs and we have been conservatively budgeting so that we can maintain the programs and services we currently have. If we were to receive an increase in state aid, we would add to and expand our offerings, which would positively benefit our students,” said noted.

The summit also featured student musical performances, spotlights on elementary, middle and high school STEM programs and clubs and an introduction of the Class of 2017 top 10 students.

Working Their Way to Wellness


Students and their families at Great Neck Road showed off their fitness skills during a Family Fitness Night on March 9.

Strength training, aerobic workouts, flexibility and boxing skills were just some of the exercises in which students and families participated in throughout the evening as they rotated through different stations every 15 minutes. Trainers from Big Al’s Family Fitness in Amityville led the fitness stations, engaging participants in exercises such as a strength and conditioning course, team workout challenges and high-energy cardiovascular training routines.

After working out, attendees sampled some nutritious snacks courtesy of Good Eats Cafe in Amityville.

A Night Under the Stars

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Dressed in their pajamas, equipped with their lanterns and ready to tell stories by the fire, students from Deauville Gardens West Elementary School participated in a literacy night “camp-in” on Feb. 28.

Along with their families, students came back to school in the evening to read and sing campfire songs, learn about constellations, and read the stars. They crafted binoculars and camping journals and ventured to the book fair in the cafeteria to conclude the event.

Lessons from a CEO

Business students at Walter G. O’Connell High School had a special guest speaker on March 2 when Mitchell Modell, CEO of Modell’s Sporting Goods, visited the school to present a business seminar.

Modell spoke to business students about the history of his company, how it has grown and changed over the years, how it has adapted and how its business model works in the marketplace.
Modell also spoke to students about the company’s mission statement and its motto to listen, respect and respond. He spoke about garnering some real insight into his own company by participating in “Undercover Boss.” After his lecture, Modell opened the floor for a question and answer session for the business students who are currently taking classes such as marketing, fashion, entrepreneurship, computer skills, web design, and college and career planning.

Homework Center

Homework Center is available Tuesday through Friday in the morning from 7:00-7:40 a.m. and Monday through Thursday after school from 2:50-3:30 p.m. Middle school teachers supervise the program and late bus transportation is available for all eligible students. Families of students not eligible for the late bus are responsible for providing their child’s own transportation home.
If any parents/guardians have questions, please contact Mr. Gaudioso at 631-842-4011.

Good Decisions Go a Long Way for SADD Club

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At Great Neck Road, students are becoming ambassadors of good decision-making in their school.

The Students Against Destructive Decisions Club is currently made up of 17 fifth-grade students. The club focuses on keeping safe and making positive, healthy choices, such as wearing your seatbelt and saying no to tobacco and alcohol.  Students sign a contract pledging to make the right choices and also to spread these messages throughout their school and community.

The club also focuses on helping those in need, both locally and nationally. They work together on different fundraising projects throughout the year during their meetings. They are currently designing posters and campaigning their school to get involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients program. Later this year, the club will work on creating dashboard critters for the seniors at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School to remind them to make safe choices each time they enter their vehicles.