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Poetry is in the Spotlight at Northwest

Poetry is in the Spotlight at Northwest photo

Poetry is in season at Northwest Elementary School. Throughout April, which is National Poetry Month, second graders wrote their own poems before sharing their original works in early May.

As a Mother’s Day treat, students in Nancy Davi-Ortiz’s class welcomed in parents for a poetry reading on May 9. Children wrote poems about their mothers, which they shared aloud when their special guests arrived. 

The Adams Family Poetry Café returned on May 10. The annual event in Franca Adams’ classroom highlights the hard work of her young poets as well as the confidence they have gained as writers throughout the school year. Students wrote dozens of poems and each selected his or her favorite piece to share. Parents were encouraged to snap, instead of clap, after each reader just like at a real poetry slam. 

Ms. Adams sent their pieces off to the Student Treasures Publishing Company to be turned into a book, which will be used in her classroom as a mentor text. Her future students will be able to use the book to see examples of good poetry.

“The students have grown so much as writers,” she said. “They’ve done an amazing job and now they actually are published authors.” 

Budget and Board of Education Results/Resultados del Presupuesto y Junta de Educacion

Budget Approved/Presupuesto Aprobado 
Yes (Si) 856
No 398

Board of Education Election/Elecciones de la Junta de Educacion:

Seat of Terry Fulton (Asiento de Terry Fulton):
*Terry Fulton 696
Faith Robinson 512

Seat of Laura Pawlewicz (Asiento de of Laura Pawlewicz)
*Laura Pawlewicz 656
Andrew Ayodeji 619

* Elected (fideicomisarios electos)

Tea Time Celebrates Moms at Northeast

Tea Time Celebrates Moms at Northeast photo

Brightly colored tablecloths and floral centerpieces helped transform the cafeteria into a café at Northeast Elementary School on May 10. Pre-K students welcomed mothers, grandmothers, aunts, siblings and even a few fathers for the annual Mother’s Day.

Teacher Yvette Carman said that the tea is a long-standing tradition at the school as a way to show appreciation for the parents who do so much to support their children’s educations.

During the morning and afternoon programs, each of the four classes sang a special song for their mothers before a group performance of “Skidamarink.” Children then joined their special guests at the tables for snacks, iced tea and juice. They made gifts including cards, picture frames and artwork. 

Middle School Drama Club to Stage ‘Fame Junior’

Middle School Drama Club to Stage ‘Fame Junior’ photo

The 1980s comes to Amityville this weekend as the Edmund W. Miles Middle School Drama Club will perform “Fame Junior.” The show is set at a performing arts high school in New York City and follows the journeys of student actors, dancers and musicians throughout their four years.

The cast and stage crew consists of approximately 30 students. Lead actors include Wilnori Bouzy as Carmen Diaz, Aniyah Law as Serena Katz, Javier Rodriguez as Nick Piazza and Ashley Diaz as Schlomo Metzenbaum.   

There are several musical numbers including “Hard Work,” “There She Goes/Fame” and “Bring on Tomorrow.” Director Shannon McCann and Assistant Director Carolyn Mejia say the show has a great message about the importance of the arts in education.

Show times for “Fame Junior” are Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the middle school gymnasium. Tickets are $5 at the door. 


UPDATED Message from Dr. Kelly, Superintendent of Schools, Regarding Environmental Testing at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School


VIDEO: Students Gain Broadcasting Experience


The Amityville Memorial High School Broadcast Club is bringing Warriors sports to the forefront.

National Junior Honor Society Welcomes 22

National Junior Honor Society Welcomes 22 photo

The National Junior Honor Society chapter at Edmund W. Miles Middle School in 22 members stronger as students were recognized for both academic achievement and good character at an induction ceremony on April 29.

Celebrating their accomplishment were fellow seventh graders, teachers and proud family members along with representatives from the Amityville Board of Education and administration. Principal Edward Plaia welcomed the inductees into the prestigious organization and commended their parents for instilling in them the values of education and character.

Amityville’s National Junior Honor Society chapter participates in several community service initiatives each year. Students do academic tutoring and volunteer their time at the elementary school family learning nights and the middle school’s veterans appreciation day, among other activities.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary T. Kelly also spoke with the inductees, focusing on the honor society’s five virtues – character, citizenship, leadership, scholarship and service. Eighth grade honor society members lit candles symbolizing each of those values.  

The inductees include Bryce Benymon, Sydni Blake, Christopher Blanchard, Jeiliz Cardenas, Ayden Catron, Margaret Catron, Kyndai Chandler, Jayson Chicas, Brayan Cisneros, Winifert Espinal, Lindsay Guevara, Donovan McRae, Kyra Lee, Danyella McAlpin, Osauyi Ojo, Kristen Preza, Katya Ramos Rojas, Ashlyn Rodriguez Orellana, Taylor Rollins, Madeline Shingleton, Amin Shah and Ramon Yanes. They were called up to the stage where they received their certificates and congratulated by Mr. Plaia, assistant principals Paul Duguay and Earl Mitchell, and adviser Carlee Brunson. At the end of the ceremony, each student presented a blue carnation to an influential person in his or her life.

School Libraries Becomes Spaces to Create

School Libraries Becomes Spaces to Create
School Libraries Becomes Spaces to Create 2
School Libraries Becomes Spaces to Create 3
School Libraries Becomes Spaces to Create 4
School Libraries Becomes Spaces to Create 5
Libraries are being reimagined in the district with the adoption of the Makerspace movement to provide students with new opportunities for hands-on discovery.

Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School library Timothy Quinn has introduced a variety of high-tech and low-tech resources that stimulate creativity and support the development of problem-solving abilities. Fiddlestix is a 104-piece building kit of wooden sticks and circular connectors. Little Bits allow students to explore circuitry by putting different elements together to produce light and sound.

Mr. Quinn said that one popular resource is Makey Makey, in which students connect wires between a computer and ordinary objects to make music. They played the piano from scallions and the bongo drums using bananas. 

Makerspace at Park Avenue is based on the UTEC model — using, tinkering, experimenting and creating. Mr. Quinn said his STREAM team, a group of fifth and sixth grade students, used the resources first to help him identify ways to best incorporate them into the library curriculum.

“This is just the beginning,” he said. “The Makerspace program is only going to get better because the possibilities are endless. We’re trying to build this space to so students can create something from nothing.”

Northeast Elementary School librarian Tina Smith recently debuted the Makerspace program for kindergartners. She has dedicated a corner of the library to the initiative and filled it with different building materials.

Ms. Smith’s approach to Makerspace is to have students participate in literacy-based, team-building challenges. Recently, kindergartners used recycled materials to build boats that could float in a tub of water. Before constructing, they explored scientific concepts including buoyancy and gravity. 

The idea came from a page that features a beach scene in the Debbie Clement book, “Red, White and Blue.” Although the book features illustrations representing locations all over America, Ms. Smith that page stood out to her because of Amityville’s proximity to the water. 

At Northeast, the Makerspace philosophy is “try and try again,” and Ms. Smith said that mistakes are just a normal part of the learning process. While she has facilitated the first few projects, students will have more independence in completing the challenges once they become familiar with the Makerspace expectations and materials.  

“I would like students to experience their learning, to ask questions, to try,” she said. “I want to encourage them to think, play and create and come up with a lot of different solutions to solve problems.”

The Tide, Spring 2019 Edition


High School Students to Receive Bridge Builder Awards

High School Students to Receive Bridge Builder Awards photo
Amityville Memorial High School students Scott Friske and Jeffrey Reyes-Espinal have been selected to receive the Students Building Bridges Award by Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island. They will be presented with their certificates at the Suffolk County’s Yom HaShoah program on May 9 to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The award, presented in partnership with the county’s State Senate and Assembly delegations, honors Suffolk County youth who work to create a more civil society. Student recipients are recognized for their efforts in bridging the community, teaching tolerance and completing services that aim to advocate change and improve lives of others. Scott and Jeffrey were nominated by social studies Chairwoman Dawn Mizrachi. 

Second Graders Capture the Small Moments in Pictures

Second Graders Capture the Small Moments in Pictures

The small and special moments were recalled fondly by second graders who recently presented their personal timeline projects at Northwest Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District.

The assignment connected English language arts and social studies, noted teacher Nancy Davi-Ortiz. Throughout the year, students have been writing non-fiction pieces about the small moments in their lives. Children learn the importance of using details and description in their writing to create pieces that engage readers.

In social studies, students learned about the evolution of communities. As a culminating activity, they made timeline posters capturing the evolution of themselves, including pictures from different milestones in their lives such as the first day of school, holidays, family vacations and the births of younger siblings. Ms. Davi-Ortiz said the goal was for children to capture those “small moments” that have made them who they are.

Saturday Regents Review Classes

Start Date: Saturday, April 6th

Time: 9am-12pm, A light breakfast will be served!!

Class                                       Room Assigned
U.S. History & Government        Room 119A
Global Studies                           Room 119B
Living Environment                    Room 113
English Language Arts                Room 114
Algebra                                     Room 116

Regents Review classes will take place on the following Saturdays: April 6th, April 13th, May 4th, May 11th, May 18th, June 1st, and June 8th.

Transportation will be provided to students that are eligible!

Old Stuff Gets New Life at Northeast

Old Stuff Gets New Life at Northeast photo
Old Stuff Gets New Life at Northeast photo 2
The motto “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” was the inspiration behind Earth Day projects at Northeast Elementary School. Students were charged with use old materials to create new products.

Children in pre-K and kindergarten classes expressed their creativity in many different ways, making artwork, games, household items and school supplies. Students made butterflies from use coffee filters and clothes pins, pencil cases from cereal boxes and a birdfeeder from a milk carton. 

A pre-K class created a bowling alley using flattened boxes for the lane, decorated water bottles for the pins and a ball of aluminum foil. Kindergartners made flower pots by cutting water bottles in half and filling them with soil and seeds.

Video: Kindergarten Writing Celebration


After completing their persuasive writing pieces, kindergartners proudly shared their work.

Park Avenue Displays Appeal to the Senses

Park Avenue Displays Appeal to the Senses photo
Park Avenue Displays Appeal to the Senses photo 2
Park Avenue Displays Appeal to the Senses photo 3
To mark Autism Awareness Month, students at Park Avenue Elementary School created sensory walls throughout the first floor.

Park Avenue houses the district’s TEACCH program, which serves about 25 students with autism from kindergarten through sixth grade. Principal Robyn Santiago said that the school fosters an inclusive environment for the children, who take part in all school activities and programs. Several students from fourth through sixth grade classes serves as buddies for the TEACCH students by reading with them or playing together during recess. 

The sensory walls were created by students in the afterschool art and gaming clubs. They decorated several bulletin boards with spring-themed displays and objects that students and staff were encouraged to touch. 

On one board, children made clouds from cups, foam balls, paper plates and string. Another featured butterflies with colorful textured paint designs. There were sunflowers with gems and cut-up tissue on paper plates underneath a paper chain rainbow. A paper-plate caterpillar stretched across one bulletin board with a different texture on each circle. 

Ms. Santiago noted that while the puzzle piece is the traditional symbol for autism, the school created a different display. Every child at Park Avenue traced his or her hand on construction paper. The cut-out hands were put together on a wall to form a pair of wings, with just the right sized gap in between so students could take photos in front of it.

“We’re all individual pieces, we’re all unique,” she said, “but put us together and we create these beautiful wings.”

Tide 2019 Budget Edition


Tide 2019 Boletín de Presupuesto


Going the Extra Mile for Scientific Discovery

Going the Extra Mile for Scientific Discovery photo

Science was all around the circular-shaped cafeteria on April 11 as Edmund W. Miles Middle School hosted its annual science fair.

Students shared information about their projects with teachers, administrators, board of education trustees, family members and other visitors. Each seventh grader completed an experiment following the scientific method, and had to create a poster board presentation outlining the process and results.

Science Chairwoman Natasha Lim said that the goal was to have students gain an understanding of the different steps of the scientific method through a hands-on project, as well as collect their own data and determine whether it proved or disproved their hypotheses. 

There were a wide variety of topics as students explored scientific concepts such as air flow, electricity, gravity and pressure. Several students completed experiments analyzing food and other household products, while others conducted surveys and performed statistical analysis. No science fair would be complete without a volcano, and there was also a slime-making station.

Students in the STEAM classes, an elective for seventh, eighth and ninth graders that focuses on science, technology, engineering, the arts and math, displayed projects they have been working on throughout the year including boats, bridges, catapults, hydrogen cars and paper rollercoasters. 

Science research students also presented their projects, including their creation of ecosystems for betta splendens and leopard geckos, research on the vaping epidemic is schools and its nanoscribe 3D printing of a scaffold for dentinogenesis. They also showcased their mag lev vehicles which helped them earn first place in Brookhaven National Laboratory’s MAGLEV competition. 

Northeast Students Spring Into Learning

Northeast Students Spring Into Learning photo

Spring was the theme at Northeast Elementary School, which hosted a family learning night. There were seasonal literacy, math and science activities. Pre-K and kindergarten students played rhyming games and learned about the different parts of flower, among other activities.

A photo station with spring-themed props was a popular spot. Each child was able to plant a seed in a cup of dirt to bring home and parents also received packets with additional learning resources.


A Community Reading Effort at Northwest

A Community Reading Effort at Northwest photo
A lot of reading is taking place in April by students at Northwest Elementary School. The school launched its annual Pick a Reading Partner program with an assembly on April 5 to get children excited about the literacy initiative.

The two weeks leading up to spring break features a reading competition. Students are asked to read at least 20 minutes a day at home with a parent, grandparent, older sibling or any partner of their choosing. Children are logging their minutes and reporting back to the their teachers. At the end of the program, the class on each grade level with the most combined minutes read earns a prize.

There will be many activities during the program at school. During Drop Everything and Read moments, an announcement will be made and every child and adult in the building will stop whatever they are doing and grab a book. There will be book buddy events with students from different grades partnering up to read together. Students will be encouraged to wear shirts with words and carry poems in their pockets.

PARP culminates with a read-in day, in which parents and other special guests will be invited to come to school and read with small groups of students. 

Chromebooks Engage Learners at Park Avenue

Chromebooks Engage Learners at Park Avenue photo
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The addition of hundreds of Chromebooks at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School is opening up new doors for digital learning. Every fourth- through sixth-grade classroom is equipped with a Chromebook cart with enough devices for every student.

Sixth-grade teacher Steve Gafarian uses the Chromebooks extensively to give students access to assignments on Google Classroom. He provides reading passages, and students can answer questions digitally, providing him with instant feedback on their understanding of the material. Recently, he had students compare two artists, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, by giving them articles and examples of their work.   

For students who are hesitant to answer a question out loud, Mr. Gafarian said that the Chromebooks provide them with an outlet to respond. When they aren’t in school, they can still use Google Classroom to access their assignments from a home computer or personal device. 

Teacher Howard Reiner likes to use the Chromebooks to review and reinforce material. Nearpod and Prodigy are an interactive tools that have become popular in his classroom. Nearpod includes review questions in any subject area along with tutorials that help students better understand a concept. Prodigy features math games which engages students because of the competition format. 

“Students love working on the Chromebooks,” Mr. Reiner said, “and it’s great for me to be able to assess them individually. These programs are a great tool to further my instruction.”

Repeat Recognition for Amityville Music Program

Repeat Recognition for Amityville Music Program photo
The district has again been recognized for its outstanding music education program by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. Amityville joined more than 600 other districts nationwide in earning the Best Communities for Music Education distinction in 2019. 

It was the eighth time in the last nine years that the district has received this honor. For the past two decades, the Best Communities for Music Education program has acknowledged schools and districts across the country for their commitment to and support of music education in schools. The survey measured a variety of factors, including budgetary commitment to music, opportunities to learn music, the presence of highly qualified music teachers, adherence to state and national standards, types of musical experiences offered and opportunities for performance and competition.

“We are very happy that we were once included in the list of Best Communities for Music Education,” said Dr. Frances Fernandez, director of fine arts. “Our students and staff have worked diligently over the years to attain this honor. Amityville’s music program is designed to meet the needs of our students while helping our young performers make the most of their musical abilities.” 

Author Shares His Story Quests at Northwest

Author Shares His Story Quests at Northwest
Author Shares His Story Quests at Northwest 2
Author Stephen R. Swinburne’s name can be found on many books in classroom libraries at Northwest Elementary School, so students were delighted when he recently visited.

Swinburne, who writes about science and nature, talked to students about the inspiration for his nonfiction books. He shared stories, photos and videos from the his excursions with scientists to gather information. Many of his books are about animals, a topic of particular interest to young readers. 

In his presentation to students, Swinburne talked to students about the writing process. He emphasized determination and perseverance, reminding children that they should never give up, even if a writing task seems difficult. 

“Our students love nonfiction books and reading about things that are real,” instructional coach Abbey Hunter said. “We hope that children learn that their ideas can grow into books and the good readers become good writers.”

High School Drama Club to Perform ‘Shrek’

High School Drama Club to Perform ‘Shrek’ photo

The animated tale of an ogre who finds love will be told on the Amityville Memorial High School stage with the Drama Club’s upcoming production of “Shrek the Musical.” There will be four performances by the cast of 40 student actors.

Junior Alexander Diaz stars as the title character. Additional lead roles include Colleen Compitello as Fiona, Johnatan Blanchard as Donkey, Shaakirah Nazim-Harris as Dragon, Alexa Victor as Lord Farquaad and Nathalie Larin as Pinocchio. While the story is based upon the 2001 movie, the musical adaptation also features several other well-known fairy tale characters.

Musical numbers include “Story of My Life,” “ Freak Flag” and “What’s Up Duloc.” There is also a surprise closing number. 

The show is directed by Megan Ashe. The assistant director is Bianca Ferrante and the technical director is Paul Cimmino. Several high school students are also serving on the tech crew.

Show times are Friday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 13, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 14, at 3 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Tickets are $10 per person at the door. 

Middle School Students Shine Spotlight on Remarkable Women

Middle School Students Shine Spotlight on Remarkable Women photo

Notable females from the past and present were celebrated at Edmund W. Miles Middle School on March 29. Students and teachers took part in the Women’s History Month celebration that included poems, songs and interviews.

Teacher Latessa Clairborne portrayed Oprah Winfrey and served as the host of the show. Throughout the program, she interviewed students taking on the roles of several famous females including Michelle Obama, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Maya Angelou, Madam C.J. Walker and Malala Yousafzai.

Jonathan Jacas sang and danced along to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” That served as a segue for an interview with female tennis legends Billie Jean King, Serena Williams and Venus Williams. 

Librarian Lynn Cesiro’s dance team accompanied Aaliyah Precil as she sang “That’s My Girl.” They also performed to medley of songs by female artists in a dance through the decades routine. The ninth-grade orchestra also performed under the direction of conductor Bianca Ferrante. 

The program concluded with a historical figures dance, as middle school teachers took on the roles of Pocahontas, Cleopatra, Rosie the Riveter and more. 

Amityville Celebrates Female Athletes and Coaches


There was a strong sense of Warrior pride as the district celebrated its female athletes and coaches during a special ceremony on March 22.

The inaugural Warriors Girls and Women in Sports Day was held in the Amityville Memorial High School cafeteria to coincide with Women’s History Month. All varsity and junior varsity athletes from the three sports seasons were invited to attend, along with their coaches. The program featured guest speakers, dinner and a photo station, and each athlete received an “I am a Warrior” T-shirt.

“This is just a wonderful way for us to honor all of the female athletes and coaches we have in our district and to show them our appreciation,” said Evan Farkas, director of athletics, physical education and health. 

Coach Margot Howard opened the program by speaking about Women’s History Month and noting ways that opportunities have expanded for Amityville’s female athletes, including the introduction of a competitive cheer team and girls lacrosse program. 

Board of Education Second Vice President Laura Pawlewicz and trustee Allie McDonough, who were both Amityville athletes, helped coordinate the event. Ms. Pawlewicz, a four-year varsity soccer player, said they wanted to show the present-day female athletes just how much support they have from their community. She noted that the Amityville Parent Teacher Council and several local businesses helped make the event possible with generous contributions. 

Ms. McDonough said playing soccer and softball were among the best memories of her life. She told all of the girls that there are numerous opportunities for them to continue their athletic pursuits after high school. 

Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly, a volleyball, basketball and softball player in high school, said that Amityville’s female athletes are wonderful competitors who have had great successes in their sports, in addition to demonstrating great sportsmanship, remaining committed to their academics and carrying themselves with pride. 

The keynote speaker was girls varsity basketball coach Cherese Hinckson. She graduated from Amityville Memorial High School in 1997, and played soccer and basketball. Ms. Hinckson shared stories from her playing days and explained how that gave her a sense of determination. If she had just given up when times got tough, she said she never would have made the second All-Long Island team in basketball, received a college scholarship of been inducted into Amityville’s Sports Hall of Fame. She reminded today’s athletes that they should never let temporary bad moments stand in the way of greatness. 

The athletes participated in an interactive game to get to know each other better by having to find 25 people who met certain descriptions, such as someone who plays multiple sports, is a team captain, plans to play in college or has won a national championship.

High School Students Explore Medical Careers

High School Students Explore Medical Careers photo
Six Amityville Memorial High School students, who participated in a summer medical program, were recently recognized at a white coat ceremony. The students attended the two-week Health Careers Academic and Readiness Excellence program through the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. 

The participants included Albiery Amaya-Gomez, Jeffrey Reyes Espinal, Jeffrey Garcia, Sukhleen Kaur Nathalie Larin and Z’Dhanne Williams. HCARE administrator, Erik Flynn, presented certificates and white coats to the participants at the March Board of Education meeting. He then led the students in the white coat oath.

Young Artists Featured in Children’s Exhibit

scala photo

Several young artists from the district had their work featured in the Children’s Art Show on March 16, sponsored by the Suffolk County Art Leaders Association.

The featured students included:

Northeast Elementary School: Amy Roca Cjumo, Marisela Bayona Coca, Daniel Magnani, Estefany Orellana Betancourt and Katelyn Sanchez Alfaro.

Northwest Elementary School: Gabriela Cabrera, Breanna Edwards, Jaiden Giron, Justin Hernandez, Deysi Martinez and Tiarra Ruddock.

Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School: Kesi Allen, Christian Brown, Leslie Carranza, Oscar Espinal, Kaitlyn Garrett, Melanie Mangru Narine, Marilyn Peroza, Alessandra Pons, Morgen Slinger and Saige Smith. 

Edmund W. Miles Middle School: Gloria Nolasco Ramos, Ignacio Sanchez, Aniya Rudolph, Jerry Jeanty and Kimberly Maltez.

The students completed their work under the direction of art teachers Jennifer Dibble, Nicole Pappas, Lydia Robinson, Nicole Scoca and Susan Zaratin. SCALA hosted an artist reception for students, their families and teachers on Saturday, March 16 at Old Town Hall in Babylon.

Park Avenue Students are Reading Champions

parp pic

March was a celebration of reading at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District. This year’s month-long Parents as Reading Partners program featured a variety of activities to encourage students to spend more time with books.

It kicked off with classroom read alouds as teachers shared their favorite books with their students. Each week there was a mystery reader over the school intercom, and students guessed who the reader was and what book he or she was reading. 

Volunteer readers visited classrooms throughout the school, including parents, teachers and administrators. On March 20, guests in sixth-grade classes included Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly, Assistant Superintendents Andrea Pekar and Dr. Thomas DeNicola, and Principal Robyn Santiago. 

Students kept track of their minutes read at home, with rewards for the top readers in each grade level, as well as the top class. Prizes included books, pencils and bookmarks that related to the PARP theme, “Reading Like a Champion.”

Spirit days encouraged students to wear jerseys, dress like their favorite athletes and come clad in school colors. A bulletin board featured pictures of teachers as youngsters along with their favorite childhood books. Art teacher Susan Zaratin hosted a bookmark design contest. The winning entry from each grade level would be reproduced for every student in that grade. 

PARP culminated with an evening celebration for students and parents on March 28. In addition to literacy activities, the school welcomed author Lysa Mullady to talk about two of her books, “Bye Bye Pesky Fly” and “Three Little Birds.”

Creating Skillful Musicians in Amityville

Creating Skillful Musicians in Amityville photo
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Creating Skillful Musicians in Amityville photo 3
Creating Skillful Musicians in Amityville photo 4

Before having the opportunity to join the band, chorus or orchestra in fourth-grade, students in the district are introduced to different musical concepts during their early elementary years.

March is annually designated as Music in Our Schools Month by the National Association for Music Educators. Amityville has a robust, year-round music program with numerous instrumental and vocal groups at the secondary level and a consistent selection of students to highly selective regional ensembles. It begins with a strong, progressive elementary program.

At Northeast Elementary School, kindergartners learn fast and slow, loud and soft, and high and low pitch. They listen to many songs to find the steady beat and use percussion instruments to play along. Students also learn music for winter and spring concerts and for different celebrations throughout the year including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month.

“I want them to leave here loving music,” said teacher Nicole Altamura, who engages students through “happy and upbeat” lessons that involve a lot of movement.

As students enter first grade at Northwest Elementary School, they continue their study of beat, speed and tempo, and learn about quarter notes, eighth notes and rests. Teacher Roxanne Tannenbaum uses the song “Carnival of the Animals” to reinforce these concepts. 

In second grade, they learn about the different instruments that comprise an orchestra. She plays them “Peter and the Wolf” to help with their instrument recognition. Third-graders learn to read music and are introduced to more intricate rhythmic patterns. Additionally, they play the recorder for the first time. 

There are grade-level music performances each winter and spring. Ms. Tannenbaum said the shows feature either a collection of songs or a short musical production. Past shows have included “Aladdin” and “Seussical,” and the second grade is preparing “Annie” as its upcoming performance.  

Ms. Tannenbaum said she wants to expose children to a wide array of music by the end of third grade so that each student can make his or her best decision on how to pursue music in the future. 

“I want them to enrich their lives through music and broaden their options,” she said. “Music brings a lot of happiness and joy.” 


Holocaust Survivor Preaches Acceptance and Kindness

Holocaust Survivor Preaches Acceptance and Kindness photo
Holocaust Survivor Preaches Acceptance and Kindness photo 2
Holocaust Survivor Preaches Acceptance and Kindness photo 3
Holocaust Survivor Preaches Acceptance and Kindness photo 4
Amityville Memorial High School sophomores received a first-hand account of one of the darkest periods in the human history as they gathered in the library to hear from Holocaust survivor Werner Reich.

Through personal stories and pictures, Mr. Reich vividly described the historical event that resulted in the death millions of people. He shared his own tales of persecution, capture and imprisonment before liberation by American military forces when he was 17. After returning to Yugoslavia for two years, he moved to England and then the United States, where he was finally able to complete his education.

Mr. Reich said that while the Holocaust occurred many decades ago, there are lessons that apply to modern society. He called on students to fight any and all forms of oppression, including bullying. Even if someone isn't the victim of bullying, they should not be a bystander if they see it happening.

“Be the first to act,” he said. “Help without being asked.”

He added that speaking up is not snitching. Before concluding his presentation, Mr. Reich asked students to reflect on the question, “What kind of person will you be when others are in need?” 

Northeast Transforms Into Women’s History Museum

Northeast Transforms Into Women’s History Museum photo
Northeast Transforms Into Women’s History Museum photo 2
In recognition of Women’s History Month in March, students at Northeast Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District learned about the important contributions women have made throughout history.

Each pre-K and kindergarten class picked a notable female to spotlight. Students did research and decided which important facts should be included on its poster. The school was turned into a women’s history museum as the projects were hung throughout the hallways, highlighting artists, athletes, entertainers, political figures and scientists. Northeast had a museum walk on March 18 as teachers led their students around the building to read the posters.

The selections ranged from historical figures such as pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart and notable chemist and physicist Marie Curie, to contemporary figures like Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. 
Friday, May 24, 2019