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Red Ribbon and Dignity for All Students at Elwood Middle School

Red Ribbon and Dignity for All Students at Elwood Middle School photo
Red Ribbon and Dignity for All Students at Elwood Middle School photo 2
Red Ribbon and Dignity for All Students at Elwood Middle School photo 3
Recently, Elwood Middle School held its annual Red Ribbon/Dignity for All Students (DASA) week. From Monday to Friday, different events were scattered throughout the day, helping students explore what it means to love yourself, to treat others with kindness, and to always think positively.

At the end of the week, the Huntington Drug and Alcohol Project visited the middle school to remind students of the slogan, "Your Future is Key, So Stay Drug Free." A photo booth with career-oriented props was set up, and students were able to take pictures looking like a policeman, a doctor, and other professions. Students also created drug-awareness posters and hung them throughout the school.

The middle school’s Knights for Good club, along with the Huntington Youth Bureau, PTA, and teaching staff all contributed to the success of this week, and the district looks forward to many successful annual iterations of this event.

Collegiate commitments at Elwood-John H. Glenn

Collegiate commitments at Elwood-John H. Glenn photo
Collegiate commitments at Elwood-John H. Glenn photo 2
Collegiate commitments at Elwood-John H. Glenn photo 3
Collegiate commitments at Elwood-John H. Glenn photo 4

Elwood-John H. Glenn High School held a signing ceremony for senior student athletes Joe Franzese and Brett Ryan on Nov. 15. Mr. Franzese will be attending and wrestling at Columbia University, while Mr. Ryan will be attending Stony Brook University and playing lacrosse.

Family members, coaches, and district administrators attended the ceremony in support of the students’ commitment to play the sport of their choice at the college of their choice.

Director of Athletics and Physical Education David Shanahan thanked those in attendance for coming out to honor Franzese and Ryan, and took a moment to recognize the students’ excellence.

“Our student athletes are incredible, but what you see on the field is maybe 15% of their hard work,” said Mr. Shanahan. “The other 85% is work they put in behind the scenes to get them where they need to go.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert and Principal Carisa Burzynski also congratulated both students for their achievements, and both expressed pride in their accomplishments.

“You represent our school well, and we’re all very proud to see you continue to excel at a collegiate level,” said Dr. Bossert.

 

World language comes to James H. Boyd Intermediate School

World language comes to James H. Boyd Intermediate School photo
World language comes to James H. Boyd Intermediate School photo 2
World language comes to James H. Boyd Intermediate School photo 3
Recently, members of the high school World Language Honor Society visited the students at James H. Boyd. Juniors and seniors in this society had the opportunity to share their knowledge of the languages they are studying.

This event was organized by Ms. Nicole Correia and Ms. Nicole Gendjoian, the advisors of the World Language Honor Society. Students participated for the first time last spring and enjoyed it so much that it was organized for a second time this fall.

Lessons in Italian, Spanish, and American Sign Language were taught that afternoon. All three languages grabbed the young students’ attention, and many of them engaged by asking questions. Specific topics were taught throughout the day, including sports, school, weather, and even a bit of grammar. The high school students enjoyed the experience as well, and liked being teachers for the afternoon.

“It was great to teach the kids something new that they were interested in,” said senior Sam Katz. “It’s important to give insight into the other cultures that are present in today's society.”

Elwood Students Gather Treats for Troops

 Elwood Students Gather Treats for Troops photo
 Elwood Students Gather Treats for Troops photo 2
Community service club and student council members at Elwood Middle School recently ran a Treats for Troops drive—gathering leftover Halloween candy to send to local and overseas service members. On Nov. 14, students spent time after school sorting the candy into categories and preparing them to be sent out to the troops. Students also wrote letters to include in each box, thanking the troops for their service.

“Thank you for all you sacrifice to keep our country safe,” one eighth-grader wrote, “we are so fortunate to have such brave people fighting for our country.”

A few boxes were sent out to troops earlier in the month, and altogether collected close to 300 pounds of candy.

“These students are always so willing to give back to the community,” said Student Council advisor Martine Pirolo, “it’s so inspiring.”

Diverse Learning Experiences for Teachers in Elwood

Diverse Learning Experiences for Teachers in Elwood photo
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Diverse Learning Experiences for Teachers in Elwood photo 3
Diverse Learning Experiences for Teachers in Elwood photo 4

On Nov. 7, Elwood continued its dedication to growth and professional development by holding a Superintendent’s Conference Day. Teachers and staff members throughout the district met for different sessions that covered a wide range of topics, such as mindfulness for educators, Chromebook 101, Robot C and I-Design training, and more. Teachers had the opportunity to participate in collegial circles and collaborate throughout the day as well.

“We are so pleased that so many teachers and administrators volunteered to facilitate sessions for their colleagues,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert. “It was an amazing day filled with a diverse set of experiences for all, continuing our focus on teaching the whole child.”

 

Special Edition Bond Newsletter

Attachments:

District proudly hosts nErD Camp Long Island

District proudly hosts nErD Camp Long Island photo

Over 300 educators from across Long Island and beyond gathered to celebrate their love of reading while networking and participating in professional development sessions at James H. Boyd Intermediate School as the Elwood Union Free School District hosted the third nErD Camp Long Island on Nov. 4.

The special event, which included over 60 authors and illustrators, gave educators the opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills and techniques that they can bring into their own classrooms. The event came to fruition with the idea of combining the Nerdy Book Club, a blog site with literacy lovers and the Ed Camp model, an “unconference” educational camp that focuses on participant driven learning.

Attendees had the opportunity to choose what they wanted to discuss in the sessions, which were fully based on preferences and interests. Topics included “Growing a STEAM Mindset with Picture Books,” “Books to Promote Mindfulness,” “Tough Topics in the Classroom,” “Ideas and Inspiration to Get Students Writing” and more. Educators also had the unique opportunity to speak with authors and illustrators about their stories and writing process. 

“nErD Camp Long Island is run by three educational leaders, literacy consultant JoEllen McCarthy, Kristen Picone and Alison McDermott,” said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Maureen Hull. “These people have really changed the landscape of literacy for Long Island by including us in this nationwide initiative and Elwood is so thrilled that we were selected to host this event.” 

Representatives from Barnes and Noble set up a shop in the school where attendees could purchase books from any of the authors and illustrators at the event. Members from Elwood Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society also volunteered their time to help give out books in the school’s lobby during the event. At the conclusion of all the sessions, attendees gathered in the auditorium for a raffle where winners were awarded with prizes courtesy of nErD Camp sponsors. 

In the afternoon, children from across Long Island were invited to meet the authors and illustrators in a meet and greet setting. Tables were set up in the school’s gymnasium where children could get their books signed. The room was filled with educators and families who took photos and mingled with their favorite authors and illustrators. 

“Today has been the most amazing day of my career,” said James H. Boyd Intermediate School Principal Dr. Denise Toscano. “I am so thankful for the authors and educators who were able to participate in this event.” 

 

Harley Avenue Halloween harvest festival

Harley Avenue Halloween harvest festival photo

On Oct. 31, Harley Avenue Primary School held its annual harvest festival. The festival, sponsored and coordinated by the PTA, included many Halloween and harvest themed stations, including bobbing for apples, a scarecrow stuffing competition, pumpkin decorating and other fun-filled activities.

Bringing Science to Life at Elwood-John H. Glenn

Bringing Science to Life at Elwood-John H. Glenn photo
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On Oct. 31, science classes at Elwood-John H. Glenn High School experimented with Google’s new Expeditions Augmented Reality. After submitting an application to Google, the high school was selected to pilot this new program. Google’s AR technology can map out classrooms and place 3D objects throughout the room. While holding devices attached to selfie sticks, students could get up close to see the details of the objects, like a meteor belt or a strand of DNA, or step back to look at the whole picture.

“It brings these textbook lessons to life,” said Krista Albrecht, Elwood’s instructional technology specialist, “and students respond positively to lessons that are more interactive.”

In Jennifer Champouillon’s Earth Science class, students were excited to use the software. Milling around the classroom, the ninth and tenth-graders explored the insides of a tornado, watch the blood flow through a heart, and even witnessed a volcano eruption. 

 

 

A Magical Halloween at James H. Boyd

A Magical Halloween at James H. Boyd photo

On Oct. 31, James H. Boyd Intermediate School held its annual Halloween parade, a yearly tradition for the school’s students. This year’s event was especially exciting, however, as Magic Wheelchair, a nonprofit organization that builds unique Halloween costumes for children in wheelchairs, selected fifth-grade student Cooper Knorr to make his dream costume become a reality—a DeLorean from the classic film Back to the Future.

Knorr lead the parade in his sweet ride. The band and his fellow classmates, clad in their unique and creative costumes, followed behind. The parade circled the field behind the building as parents and loved ones looked on.

After the parade’s conclusion, many students came up to Knorr and complimented his DeLorean.

“Sweet costume, Cooper!” a classmate exclaimed, high-fiving him.

Also in attendance was Mr. Met, who came in honor of Boyd teacher Joseph Pace. Mr. Met’s presence delighted many of the children, and parents, as well. 




Board of Education appreciation in Elwood

Board of Education appreciation in Elwood photo
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In honor of School Board Recognition Month, the Board of Education was recognized at their recent meeting on Oct. 26. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert commended the Board trustees for their tireless efforts.

“Sometimes hard work behind the scenes goes unnoticed,” said Dr. Bossert, “but not yours. We see and appreciate all you do for this district.”

Members of the board were presented with a proclamation of outstanding dedication from New York State Senator Carl Marcellino, a certificate of appreciation from Western Suffolk BOCES and, from the administration, an Elwood jersey with their names on the back. 

James H. Boyd Intermediate School Principal Dr. Denise Toscano also addressed the board. Dr. Toscano expressed her thanks for their willingness to host nErDCampLI—an exciting literary learning and networking event happening on Nov. 4. At this event, the district will host over 50 authors, and over 400 participants from all over Long Island. 

Additionally, Nancy Barkocy was recognized for her retirement. Ms. Barkocy served Elwood as the superintendent’s secretary for 20 years. Dr. Bossert and the Board all expressed their best wishes for her. 

“You were the backbone of the central office for many years,” said Vice President James Tomeo. “You will be greatly missed.”

 

 

Elwood ASL Students Spread the “Love”

Elwood ASL Students Spread the “Love” photo
Recently, American Sign Language students from Elwood-John H. Glenn High School in the Elwood Union Free School District volunteered their time at the Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf's annual Fall Festival. After working in the packing and delivering station at the festival, the students raised $220 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 nine years, and will continue to do so in the years to come.

Superintendent's letter re: Multiple Pathways

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School spirit paired with kindness

School spirit paired with kindness photo
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This fall, Spirit Week at Elwood Middle School was coupled with daily kindness challenges. To encourage true spirit amongst students, the daily themes, such as pajama day, hero day or Elwood day, were paired with acts of kindness, including lending a helping hand or telling someone why they’re important.

Students enjoyed the combination of these two ideas, feeling a renewed sense of unity with the friends they’ve been attending school with since kindergarten. 

“All week, people have been complimenting each other, and it’s really nice to hear,” said eighth grader Grace Porter. “Everyone’s been saying ‘I like your spirit,’ and it’s just a nice reminder that going to Elwood is like being a part of a family.” 

In the halls, students passed each other, waving and complimenting others on their attire of the day. In the cafeteria, students stuck positive post-it comments onto posters and hung them on the walls. 

“Solidifying the idea that we should treat everyone with kindness is definitely an important life lesson,” said Principal Christina Sapienza.
 

Elwood Knights unite for homecoming

Elwood Knights unite for homecoming photo

After kicking off the weekend with a spirited pep rally, Elwood-John H. Glenn High School students and the greater Elwood community came together on Saturday morning, Oct. 21, for homecoming festivities. This year, parade floats were video game themed, and each class designed their own floats. The freshmen class showcased Angry Birds, the sophomores chose Yoshi, the juniors were Poké-masters, and the senior class depicted an old-school Pac-Man machine, complete with suspended ghosts.

Homecoming king and queen Brandon Schindlar and Jazmine Bush led the parade in a convertible, waving regally to the people lining the streets. Organizations from the community, including the Girl and Boy Scouts, participated with the high school cheerleaders and marching band, as well as the middle school band and kickline. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert, along with Board of Education members, administrators and district staff, also participated in the spirited parade.

At the football game against Amityville, the team burst onto the field to thunderous applause from the packed stands, while the cheerleaders provided added spirit for the players and crowd. During halftime, the marching band and the kickline performed popular songs that had the crowd dancing in their seats.

The exciting game ended with the Knights defeating Amityville with a score of 41-13. 



Elwood students make strides against breast cancer

Elwood students make strides against breast cancer photo
Despite the wet morning weather, National Honor Society students and the girls varsity soccer team from Elwood-John H. Glenn High School came together to participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Jones Beach on Oct. 14. Cumulatively, they collected more than $2,500.

Notice of Special District Meeting

Attachments:

Bond Building Tours and Forum

In an effort to inform the community about the upcoming bond referendum, the Elwood Board of Education invites all interested residents to attend building tours on Wednesday, Nov. 8. The tours will be held at Harley Avenue Primary School, James H. Boyd Intermediate School, Elwood Middle School and Elwood-John H. Glenn High School beginning at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in each building. An administrator will guide residents through the school, identify current facility challenges and highlight the projects to be addressed through the proposed bond.

In addition, community members are also invited to attend a Superintendent’s Community Forum on Monday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at Elwood Middle School. At that time, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert will provide an overview of the bond proposal and answer any questions residents may have.

All information related to the bond can be found on the district’s website, www.elwood.k12.ny.us. The vote is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. at District Office.

Commended students at Elwood-John H. Glenn High School

Commended students at Elwood-John H. Glenn High School photo
Recently, Elwood-John H. Glenn High School seniors Joseph Franzese and Brendan Harrigan were named Commended Students in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship program. Each received a letter of commendation from the school and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for their outstanding academics.

Although not continuing in the National Merit Scholarship competition, Joseph and Brendan placed among the top 3% of students across the country who took the 2016 PSAT, and have demonstrated strong potential for academic success.

“We are extremely proud of our Commended Students and recognize the magnitude of this achievement,” said Principal Carisa Burzynski. 
 

Readers and reporters at James H. Boyd

Readers and reporters at James H. Boyd photo
On Oct. 11, four students from James H. Boyd Intermediate School in the Elwood Union Free School District will be traveling into New York City to interview author Anthony Horowitz for Kidsday—the kid-written section of Newsday. 

Students from room 412 were submitted as potential reporters by their teacher. After being selected, the class was narrowed down to four students to perform the assigned task—reading and critiquing pre-released copies of Horowitz’s new book in the Alex Rider series, Never Say Die. Students also prepared interview questions to ask the author in person.

Students Gabrielle Crockett, Keyth Jeudy, Yeonjae Lee, and Ethan Levy were excited for the opportunity, and up for the challenge. 

“Our teacher said we had to be able to read 350 pages in a week, but I knew I could do it,” Gabrielle explained.  

The students all gave rave reviews about the book, and were excited to speak with Mr. Horowitz. When asked what they liked most about the book, and reading in general, the students had similar answers.

“My favorite thing about reading is the problem in the story,” Yeonjae said. “Without the problem, there’s no story to read about.”

“And finding the resolution,” Ethan added, “to see how the character solves the problem they face.”  

“Especially when the book takes place in a world that’s different from ours,” Keyth concluded.

Board of Ed Recognizes Outstanding Staff Members

Board of Ed Recognizes Outstanding Staff Members Photo 1
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At its business meeting on Sept. 28, the Elwood Union Free School District Board of Education recognized several outstanding staff members for their dedication to the students of the district. Bari Shapiro was commended for being awarded a Books for Children Shelf from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Program. Out of 2,000 applications, only 45 educators throughout the country were honored with a Books for Children Shelf. By receiving this honor, Ms. Shapiro’s classroom will be the beneficiary of new leveled reading books in a variety of different genres. “Our district has realized tremendous gains in literacy,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert. “These results are evidence of Ms. Shapiro’s hard work, as well as the dedication of the entire Harley Avenue staff!”

Also at the meeting, Eileen Kelly-Gorman, Director of Math, Science and Technology, and Krista Albrecht, instructional technology specialist, were honored by the Board of Education for receiving a Certificate of Recognition from the New York State School Boards Association’s “Be the Change for Kids Innovation Program.” Ms. Kelly-Gorman and Ms. Albrecht have been instrumental in introducting Elwood’s Family STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) nights to the district. Last year, more than 200 students throughout the district attended the Family STEAM Night, during which they participated in hands-on experiments and showcased their innovation.

“The Elwood staff continues to go above and beyond for district students,” said Board of Education President Julia Fried. “The amount of hard work they continue to show has brought positive changes to our district. Your dedication is appreciated!”

Elwood musicians selected for All-National, All-State and All-County

Elwood musicians selected for All-National, All-State and All-County photo
This year, students at Elwood-John H. Glenn High School have been selected for numerous musical honors, highlighting their talent and dedication to the arts.

Student Alexandra Vallejos has been selected for NAFME All-National Chorus and will be attending the All-National Music Festival in Orlando, Florida from Nov. 26-29. There, Alexandra will participate in rigorous rehearsals and perform with students from around the country at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

The district is also pleased to announce that Elizabeth Choi has been selected for NAFME All-State Orchestra, and will be attending and performing at the All-State Winter Conference and Music Festival in Rochester from Nov. 30 to Dec 3.

In addition, seven Elwood students were selected for NYSCAME All-County, including Alexandra and Elizabeth. NYSCAME is extremely selective, only choosing those with the highest NYSSMA scores across Suffolk County from the previous spring. These musicians will take part in three intensive rehearsals that will culminate in a concert on Nov. 17 at Hauppauge High School.

NAFME All-National Chorus
Alexandra Vallejos, Alto

NAFME All-State Orchestra
Elizabeth Choi, Violin

NYSCAME All-County
Elizabeth Choi - Orchestra, Violin
Makenzy Chaikin - Women's Choir, Alto 
Abiola Familusi - Band, Trumpet
Samuel LaGrego - Mixed Chorus, Tenor 
Jason Mueller - Mixed Chorus, Bass 
Alexandra Vallejos - Mixed Chorus-Alto
Kira Williams - Mixed Chorus, Soprano

Cultural competency at James H. Boyd

Cultural competency at James H. Boyd photo
On Monday, Oct. 2, Newbery Award winning author Matt de la Peña visited James H. Boyd Intermediate School in the Elwood Union Free School District to read his book Last Stop on Market Street. This story not only finds beauty in the ordinary, but acknowledges issues of inequality—fitting in with the district’s goal of building cultural competency within their students.

Before reading his book, de la Peña told the students, “When you write a picture book, you don’t have a lot of room for words—so you have to make every one count.”

Students listened and engaged with the author as he read his book and asked the children questions. De la Peña touched upon some deep truths that caused many children to ask questions.

 “Even if you don’t have a lot, you always have something to give,” de la Peña told students. “Even if it’s just your time.” 

Video on Proposed Bond

Bond Vote Set for Tuesday, Nov. 28

The Board of Education unanimously adopted a resolution at its Sept. 28 business meeting to present a bond proposal to the greater community for vote on Tuesday, Nov. 28. The proposal addresses a number of major renovations and repairs at all schools throughout the district to address aging infrastructure, as well as several academic enhancements.

The proposal consists of two propositions. The first proposition includes health and safety improvements at each of the district’s four buildings. These include total roof replacements at each school, repairs to crumbling sidewalks and curbing, abatement of contained asbestos and renovations to the cafeterias and middle and high school auditoriums. The first proposition also addresses academic enhancements, including renovations to the high school science labs, middle and high school art rooms, and family and consumer science classrooms. A Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics lab would also be created at the high school to provide students with additional hands-on learning experiences.

The bus loop at Elwood Middle School would be reconfigured through the first proposition, eliminating current congestion and safety concerns that exist during building drop-off and pick-up times. Additional parking would be added at James H. Boyd Intermediate School which would allow the building to host schoolwide events after hours. The first proposition also includes the addition of air conditioning to each building cafeteria, providing a cool, safe place for students to gather on days of oppressive heat, as well as the renovation of the high school tennis courts that are in extreme disrepair.

A second proposition will also appear on the Nov. 28 ballot. The second proposition includes the addition of a synthetic turf field at the high school, as well as a new concession stand, press box and outdoor restroom facilities at the main field. It is important to note that the second proposition can only pass if the first proposition is also approved by residents.

The total cost of Proposition 1 is approximately $34.5 million. If approved, the annual tax impact to the average community resident (with an assessed value of $3,800) would be approximately $221 a year or $18.42 a month. The total cost of Proposition 2 is $3.65 million. If Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 are both approved, the annual tax impact to the average community resident (with an assessed value of $3,800) would be approximately $333 a year or $27.75 a month.

Residents are encouraged to visit the district’s website, www.elwood.k12.ny.us, for detailed information on the proposal, as well as a tax calculator to help them determine what their estimated tax impact would be.

In an effort to inform the community about the upcoming bond referendum, the Elwood Board of Education invites all interested residents to attend building tours on Wednesday, Nov. 8. The tours will be held at Harley Avenue Primary School, James H. Boyd Intermediate School, Elwood Middle School and Elwood-John H. Glenn High School beginning at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in each building. An administrator will guide residents through the school, identify current facility challenges and highlight the projects to be addressed through the proposed bond.

In addition, community members are also invited to attend a Superintendent's Community Forum on Monday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at Elwood Middle School. At that time, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert will provide an overview of the bond proposal and answer any questions residents may have.

Social Media Danger

Attachments:

New Phone Extensions for District Effective 9/25/17

Please be advised that with the addition of a new phone system throughout the district, new phone extensions will take effect on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. The main number for each building will remain the same. Please check the district’s website for the updated listing of extensions. We appreciate your cooperation and patience during this time of transition.