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Hour of Code Promotes Problem-Solving Skills

Hour of Code Promotes Problem-Solving Skills photo

Grades K–5 throughout the district participated in individual sessions of the Hour of Code, activities created to “demystify” coding, during the first two weeks of December. Both James H. Boyd Intermediate and Harley Avenue Primary School are equipped with functioning Makerspaces and made those available to groups of students at hour-long blocks to experiment with learning the basics, or building upon prior knowledge, of coding. Instructional Technology Specialist Krista Albrecht planned activities for students based on their grade level, which allowed all students to experiment freely.

“I really like learning more about coding,” said Ryan, a fourth-grader at James H. Boyd. “It’s like learning to build your own world, and I want to keep practicing to get better.”

At Harley Avenue Primary, students came to the Makerspace to learn how to program Bee-Bots to solve spelling challenges. At James H. Boyd students learned to create code for Ozobots. These tiny robots are built to follow drawn commands in the forms of lines, colors, and codes that are drawn out.

“When we give our students freedom to explore new areas and challenges, they never cease to impress us,” said Mrs. Albrecht. “And it’s so rewarding to watch them become such resilient problem solvers.”

Vote for our JGHS Holiday Heroes

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TeamUp4Community challenged L.I. athletes to be a sports hero for a good cause, or someone in need, this holiday season. All those who completed this challenge were entered for a chance to receive a scholarship or grant!

Please visit https://www.teamup4community.org/l-i-holiday-sports-heroes-video-challenge-2018 and enter Elwood John Glenn in the search field to place your vote for JGHS soccer team who selflessly gathered financial support to fund a memorial in honor Master Sergeant Christopher J. Raguso. Voting ends December 18th at 8 PM!

Shining Lights Recognized

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The district’s Board of Education recognized outstanding members of the school and greater community at their monthly meeting on Dec. 6.

Recently, Suffolk County Assemblyman Steven Stern focused special efforts towards targeting the district for additional educational aid. Assemblyman Stern secured $50,000 and awarded the sum to the district last month. This funding, designated for district-wide security enhancements, will be used for such during the current school year. The Board and district administration presented Assemblyman Stern with a certificate of appreciation to convey their gratitude.

“We are extremely grateful to be so fortunate to receive this funding to continue making security enhancements,” said Dr. Bossert. “We have a number of initiatives that still require funding, and this donation will go a very long way to help us accomplish those goals.“

Additionally, two members of James H. Boyd were honored by the Board, and were introduced and praised highly by principal Dr. Denise Toscano.

First called to the podium was student Colin Moshos, who was recognized for being a shining light within James H. Boyd.

“Colin, with his radiant smile and engaging personality, has touched each and every member of James. H Boyd,” said Dr. Toscano. “He knows his schoolmates all by name, is always ready with a positive comment, and has shown deep and moving empathy for those who need it.”

When Dr. Toscano thanked him for being a shining example for his peers, Colin responded precociously with, “You’re MOST welcome!”

Additionally, Assemblyman Stern presented Colin with a New York State certificate in recognition of his Shining Star status.

Dr. Toscano also sang the praises of Mrs. Lisa Magrino, an exceptional Teachers College Lead Teacher at James H. Boyd, who goes above and beyond to complete professional development opportunities and then share and teach her fellow educators. Mrs. Magrino has presented at Superintendents Conference days, has demoed lessons for teachers in their classrooms, and so much more. Along with a plaque from the board, Assemblyman Stern presented Mrs. Magrino with a New York State recognition of her leadership as well.

“You are the epitome of teacher leadership, and we wanted to extend our deepest thanks you for all you do,” said Dr. Toscano.

JGHS Alumni Pride

JGHS Alumni Pride photo
JGHS class of 2017 West Point Prep Cadet Nathaniel Larkins and Mid-Shipmen Cadet Patrick Giambruno came together to exchange pleasantries during the Army/Navy football game that took place in Philadelphia on December 8th. Great to see our alumni doing so well, and connecting with former classmates!

Read It, Dream it, STEAM It! - January 17, 2019

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Dive into the world of storybook fantasy as you experience a night of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics! Come to STEAM Night 2019 at Elwood Middle School on January 17, 2019 from 4:30-7pm. Click here to register your child.

 

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Suffolk Zone Award Winners

Suffolk Zone Award Winners photo
JGHS seniors Caroline Miller and Rocco Fratarcangeli were recently selected as the two recipients of the New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NYS AHPERD) Suffolk Zone Award.

Each year, two students from every high school in Suffolk County are recognized as the top male and female physical education students based on NYS AHPERD’s criteria. Students nominated must exemplify a supreme level of physical education achievement, demonstrate leadership ability in school-wide activities and serve as outstanding role models for their peers and within their community.

During the last week in November, Caroline and Rocco received their awards, along with the other top students in Suffolk County at the Suffolk Zone Chapter of the New York State Association dinner. Congratulations students!

VIDEO: Conducting Cranberry Experiments at James H. Boyd

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Gymnastic Success

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Recently, two of John H. Glenn’s individually-competing gymnasts performed impressively at their corresponding meets. Gymnast Katy Kuroda, who has participated in gymnastics since the age of five, made it to All-League, and placed well in her events. Gymnast Katie Goetz, who began practicing gymnastics at the age of seven, made it to the Suffolk County Individual championship meet finished well in her events—including placing 9th out of 31 on the floor. Way to go, girls!

EMS National Junior Honor Society Food Drive

EMS National Junior Honor Society Food Drive photo
EMS held its annual Thanksgiving Food Drive during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Schoolwide, 2200 nonperishables were collected and donated to the Community Food Council in Huntington Station. Additionally, over $1,000 was collected to give families of the Elwood community gift cards for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Way to be generous and community-minded, Elwood!

Elwood Student Competes in HMMT

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Elwood-John H. Glenn sophomore Rithika Narayan competed at the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament (HMTMT) held at Harvard University on Nov. 10. Rithika, who is a current member of the Institute of Creative Problem Solving, was the only representative from JGHS who had been selected to compete by the institute.

The tournament draws approximately 1000 of the most gifted and talent high school mathematicians from across the world. The problems, created by Harvard and MIT students, are exceptionally difficult. Winners often going on to win the International Math Olympiad or becoming future Field Medal Recipients.

Rithika and her team competed fiercely, and plan on attending the tournament again for the following two years. Great job!

Elwood Seniors Commit to Collegiate Sports

Elwood Seniors Commit to Collegiate Sports photo

At a special ceremony held on Nov. 14, seven Elwood-John H. Glenn seniors committed to play the sport of their choice at a collegiate level. Coaches, family members and administrators were present to honor of the students’ hard work and dedication throughout their athletic careers.

“Although most people only see your performance on the field, all of us here today know how much hard work and dedication it takes to achieve an athletic scholarship,” said Athletic Director David Shanahan. “You all truly are exemplary role models for future generations to come, and we wish you the best of luck in your future!”

The recognized students are as follows:
Alyssa Adomaites, basketball, Adelphi; Mia Cergol, volleyball, Bryant University; Cassidy Evans, lacrosse, Binghamton; Jesse-Jade Lindeman, soccer, Bloomsburg University; Mia Sansanelli, soccer, Sacred Heart; Justin Tiernan, lacrosse, Lehigh; and Peter Vrankovic, lacrosse, Manhattan College.

National Blue Ribbon Flag Raised

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The John H. Glenn High School community held a special ceremony to celebrate the school’s National Blue Ribbon title on Nov. 15. A flag, announcing the title awarded by the United States Department of Education, was raised in front of the school.

Those in attendance included Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert, principal Mrs. Carisa Burzynski, district administration, Board of Education members, and many high school students.

“We are so proud of the progress we’ve made in closing the achievement gap at our school,” said Mrs. Burzyski, “but we couldn’t have done it without you all—your hard work and dedication to your education is what made this recognition a reality.”

Dr. Bossert also took a moment to commend the school community for this prestigious achievement. “The flag that now waves overhead is a trademark of excellence— and you should take pride in the fact that you attend a school that now holds a title that such a small percentage of schools hold across the nation!”

Super “Sensory City”

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Students at Harley Avenue Primary School now have a super space to visit if they need to release distracting classroom-wiggles—the school’s newly finished “Sensory City.”

Thanks to the dreaming and collaboration of school psychologist Mrs. Michelle Kretz, art teacher Mrs. Ali Harris, and principal Mrs. Elissa Millan, a hallway in the back of the building was transformed into a city full of super heroes, including the school’s mascot, the Harley Knight. An array of super hero emblems, pictures, numbers, and letters were also added on the walls and floor for students to interact with. Specific spots call for certain movements—such as pairs of green Hulk hands to smash—but students can perform the movement however they would like.

“Each time a student visits Sensory City, it’s different,” said Mrs. Kretz. “It’s unique to whatever their needs are at the moment.”

This resource not only meets the sensory processing needs of the children, but also adds educational insight with incorporated letters and numbers—which falls in line with the district’s mission to help students succeed academically, socially and emotionally. This project was made possible through booster club and district funding, and building maintenance workers were imperative to installing all of the materials. The community at Harley is excited to continue to be able to offer new and innovative avenues for students to succeed.

“The goal of this resource is to decrease sensory seeking behaviors and improving their cognitive functioning,” said Principal Millan, “making students more available and ready to learn.”

To view a video created by Mr. Chris Haack of Sensory City in action, visit this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LT_Oo-MMhfk&feature=youtu.be

Scholastic Contest Winner and Holiday Gratitude

Scholastic Contest Winner and Holiday Gratitude photo
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At the district’s recent Board of Education meeting, EMS student Erin Kenny was recognized for being selected as one of the winners of Harry Potter’s 20th Anniversary Scholastic Writing Contest. Erin is enrolled in one of the school’s English core extension classes and was spurred on to enter this contest by English Teacher Ms. Trucios. Her piece, written on her favorite Harry Potter book and why, was chosen out of many students across the nation and awarded an autographed print of the new 20th anniversary cover of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

Additionally, during the public comment portion of the meeting, Elwood community members who celebrate the holiday of Diwali thanked the Board of education and district administration for recognizing the holiday on the district calendar and enabling them to celebrate at home with their families. They expressed their gratitude by giving the Board members and administrators gifts of sweets, which is part of their custom.

James H. Boyd Hosts 4th Annual nErDCampLI

James H. Boyd Hosts 4th Annual nErDCampLI photo
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James H. Boyd hosted the fourth annual nErDCampLI on Nov. 3. Created to celebrate all things literacy, nErDCampLI had over 60 authors and illustrators in attendance to share their passion for reading and writing with educators from all over Long Island.

nErDCamp draws its name from the term “Ed Camp”, or an “Unconference” — a non-traditional conference that is planned and organized in advance with very little content as to the day’s activities. The planning instead is decided by the participants the morning of the conference, based on what they want to learn, share or experience. It is a model designed specifically to meet the needs of the educators involved. Additionally, it provides a place where students and families are able to meet and chat with some of their favorite authors.

“It’s really a day of free-flowing ideas with the single goal of figuring out how we as teachers, librarians, authors, and illustrators can inspire kids to become lifelong readers,” said author Robin Newman.

This year’s camp had many sessions for educators to attend, such as “Inspiration is Everywhere”, “I Wish My Teacher Knew…”, “#KidsNeedMentors”, and many more. Educators left feeling inspired, refreshed, and excited for next year’s nErdCampLI.

Halloween Spirit

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Halloween spirit throughout the district! Great costumes, everyone!

The World of Harry Potter Comes to Life at EMS

The World of Harry Potter Comes to Life at EMS photo

The Library at Elwood Middle was transformed into a miniature Hogwarts during the week of Oct. 22. The entrance, covered in brick-wall paper and dubbed “Platform 9 ¾”, welcomed students during their lunch periods to come in and take part in activities that are found in the ever-popular Harry Potter series.

On Monday, students were sorted into one the four different “houses” of Hogwarts—Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slythern. Throughout the week, students had the opportunity to create their own wands, chanting spells such as the famous Hermione Granger’s “Wingardium Leviosa”, play a Muggle-version of Quidditch, and challenge each other’s literature knowledge in competitive trivia.

Librarian Mrs. Donna Fife organized this week in honor of the book series’ 20th anniversary, but also in an effort to continually keep creating activities and experiences to engage students in new ways.

“The more the library is viewed as a socially engaging place,” Mrs. Fife said, “the more likely students will come and engage with the materials and resources within it.”

Harley Avenue Celebrates Opening of Makerspace on Global Maker Day!

Harley Avenue Celebrates Opening of Makerspace on Global Maker Day photo
Harley Avenue celebrated the completion of their brand-new Makerspace with a special ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 23, which was also Global Maker Day. Thanks to the generous donations of the Elwood Education Endowment (EEE) and the Harley PTA, the school’s vision to have an environment where students can learn through hands-on activities and building became a reality. All grade levels, wiggling with excitement, were in attendance for the special ceremony—as well as Dr. Bossert, district administration, Board of Education members, and representatives from both the EEE and the school PTA.

Instructional Technology Specialist Mrs. Krista Albrecht took the stage to help the students understand what the Makerspace was all about.
“The Makerspace is place where you can let your imagination run wild,” Mrs. Albrecht said to the sea of students. “You can explore science, engineering, art and so much more all in one room! Does that sound like something you’d like to do?”
Along with a resounding yes, the children applauded and cheered emphatically.

After a short video showcasing the exciting features of the Makerspace, the Harley Knight appeared to cut the ribbon to the room himself, and the room was officially open for educational exploration.

“Through maker education, the space encourages students’ curiosity, tinkering, and iterative learning,” said Mrs. Albrecht. “Students are inspired to continually question how processes happen, inventions can be improved, and look to take ownership of their learning.”

Within the school’s Makerspace, students will have access to a wide variety of items. From low-tech items like LEGOs and art materials to high-tech tools such as Snap Circuits and Code and Go sets, students will have the opportunity to build knowledge through creating, problem solving, and hands-on experience in a whole new way.

District Sings Praises for Board of Education

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The school community gathered for an evening of recognitions during district’s Board of Education meeting on Oct. 18.

In honor of Board Recognition Week, Elwood board members were treated with surprise gifts from both students and staff. As a form of gratitude John Glenn’s a capella group, Acapelwood, performed for the board at the start of the meeting. Under the direction of music teacher Joanna Durante, the group harmonized to the song, “True Colors,” which received a standing ovation from central administrators and the board.

Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert proudly spoke about the high school’s 2018 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence title. He acknowledged the hard-working staff and the board for their leadership in obtaining this honor.

“Leadership starts at the top,” said Dr. Bossert. “The board of education has given the administration, the faculty and staff the resources, the support and the guidance for the initiatives that help us to achieve such a designation in our country.”

On behalf of the high school’s technology department, each board member received a wooden plaque inscribed with the National Blue Ribbon logo and the high school logo. The plaques were created with a laser cutter and reclaimed wood from the old high school bleachers as a sign of appreciation for the board’s commitment to the district.

Dr. Bossert also presented gifts to the high school building administration and the board members in honor of achieving the National Blue Ribbon status. Each received a National Blue Ribbon shirt to wear with pride. JGHS Principal Carisa Burzynski was also presented with a proclamation from Assemblyman Steve Stern’s office, highlighting the milestone.

In addition, 10 outstanding faculty members from the high school were honored during the meeting as 2017-18 Noble Knights of Elwood-John H. Glenn High School. Recipients included Dom Abbate, Garrett Chesnoff, Kevin Harrington, Vickie Henson, Laureen Kennedy, Michael Marino, Allison Peiliker, Therese Regan, Nancy Sherwood and Patricia Vaccaro-Scisci. Each were nominated by a fellow colleague for their valuable contribution to the school community. They were congratulated and received a certificate from Principal Burzynski.

 

Acquiring a “Taste” for Literature

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Third graders at James H. Boyd worked up an appetite during a “Book Tasting” held on Oct. 18. Clad in chefs hats and equipped with a menu in which to write their reviews, students spent the morning in the cafeteria-gone-restaurant, sampling different types of literature. At each table, books were laid out like delicious meals. Student committed eight minutes to each book they chose to get a satisfactory “taste” of the story and its genre, and then gave it score of 1-3.

Exposure to different types of literature will encourage children to read books that they may not otherwise have developed an interest in,” said third grade teacher Mrs. Liz Held, who coordinated this event in partnership with teacher Beth Noon.

There were six different types of literature for children to sample, and students enjoyed titles such as “The Gingerbread Boy”, “Our Strange New Land,” and more.

“I really like reading,” said Brendan, a third-grader at James H. Boyd. “I like to see how authors hook you in the beginning, and then all of a sudden you don’t want to put the story down.”

EMS Sunken Meadow Modified Meet

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The EMS boys and girls cross country team participated in the annual Sunken Meadow Modified meet on Oct. 19, along with teams from 50 other middle schools. Student athletes, despite the cold temperatures and windy conditions, gave the competition’s tough course their all, and ran with true Elwood Spirit. EMS student Emily LaMena placed 5th overall out of 531 female runners, completing the 1.5-mile course with a time of 9:24.24. Way to go!

ASL Students Give Back

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ASL students from JGHS volunteered their time at the Mill Neck Family’s annual Apple Festival on Oct. 6. This festival, established in 1961, offers fall family fun with all proceeds going to the Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf.

After working in the packing and delivering station at the festival, alongside a few other students from Eastport South Manor, the students raised $104 in tips. These funds were then donated back to the Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf. ASL students from Elwood-John H. Glenn have performed this annual labor of love for the past ten years, and will continue to do so in the years to come.

“I’m so thankful my students want to give back to the deaf community on Long Island,” said ASL teacher and club advisor Nicole Correia.