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Two Elwood students win ASSET Scholarship Awards

Member district students of the Association of Suffolk Supervisors for Educational Technologies (ASSET) competed for 13 scholarship awards of $2000 each, two of which were won by our Elwood seniors. Congratulations to Peter Giovi and Daniel Corazzata! Click below to see their scholarship video submissions
Peter Giovi
Daniel Corazzata

Maker Faire 2018

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Enrichment and Exploration

Enrichment and Exploration photo

Students at Harley Avenue Primary School have been exploring different enrichment programs through the school’s launch of the 2nd GEAR program. At the beginning of April, students selected four of their top-choices from a long list of activities to participate in every Tuesday afternoon through the end of May, and were assigned to one for the duration of the program. Enrichment activities included “So You Think You Can Dance,” American Sign Language, Movie Magic, Fitness Fanatics, and many more.

“The main idea of this program is to focus on providing a time where students can express themselves and their interests,” said Harley Principal Elissa Milan. “We’re constantly exploring new ways to continue educating the whole child.”

The end of the six-week program will culminate with a 2nd GEAR Fair, where students will be able to demonstrate what they’ve learned. Students are enjoying learning more in depth about areas that interest them.

“I like 2nd GEAR,” said second grader Angelina. “We have fun and learn a lot of cool things, like how muscles can grow when you exercise them, and they make you stronger!”

Elwood’s Budget Passes!

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The district would like to thank all community members who participated in the 2018-19 budget vote and Board Member election.
The budget passed by a vote of ­­­­896 to 327. Proposition 2, the establishment of a capital reserve fund, passed by a vote of 854 to 345. In addition, congratulations to Heather Mammolito (918) and James Tomeo (983) who were both reelected as members to the Board of Education!

Again, thank you to all who voted and for supporting our schools!

Spring 2018 Education Highlights

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The Book Whisperer Visits Elwood

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On May 9, author and staff development leader Donalyn Miller visited educators within the district. Mrs. Miller, also known as the “Book Whisperer,” is passionate about the importance of “free-choice reading,” and travels all over the country sharing guidance and resources with educators to help foster the love of reading in children.

During her presentation, Mrs. Miller traveled through different genres such as short non-fiction, young adult and graphic novels, recommending new books from each wheelhouse. She emphasized the importance of teaching stories that promote inclusivity, and exposing students to stories from diverse people groups that they may not have heard otherwise — stories about important historical figures like Harriet Tubman, Harvey Milk and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Mrs. Miller recommended different approaches to teaching these books in the classroom, helping students to develop their own reading identities. One such approach was an unconventional way of study — focusing on the text itself, then the historical context, and finally, the illustrations; each as a separate entity.

“As lovers of literature, we know the books we read can truly change and shape us,” Mrs. Miller said, “and we should do everything in our power to help our students recognize that same truth for themselves.”

Scholar-Athletes Honored by Town of Huntington

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The district is proud to congratulate John H. Glenn High School seniors, Emma Koster and Patrick Giambruno, for earning the Scholar-Athlete Award in recognition of their exceptional academic and athletics success presented by the Town of Huntington. This award is issued to the top male and female student athletes who have achieved high academic averages in their class. The twenty high school seniors honored by the Huntington Town Board represent the ten high schools in the Town.

Emma will be attending the University of Notre Dame next year to study Psychology, and Patrick will be attending the United States Naval Academy to study Aerospace Engineering. Once again, we are proud of their hard work and dedication and wish them much continued success.

District’s Credit Rating Deemed ‘Very Healthy’

Moody’s Investors Service has assigned an Aa3 bond rating to the Elwood Union Free School District, deeming the district’s credit position to be “very healthy.” An Aa3 rating is the second highest rating that can be assigned to a public organization and is based on a very strong wealth and income profile, a solid tax base and a healthy financial position.

A bond rating is essentially a grade given to bonds that indicates their credit quality. Private independent rating services such as Moody’s and Standard & Poor's provide these evaluations of a bond issuer's financial strength, or its ability to pay a bond's principal and interest in a timely fashion.

Regarding the district’s finances, the Moody’s report indicates the district maintains a strong financial position and that the district’s debt burden is “exceptionally light and quite favorable.”

“Our district has sound fiscal controls in place and continues to act responsibly with the taxpayer dollars provided,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert. “The Board and administration are working together to ensure long-term financial stability while continuing to provide a quality education for our students.”

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Every Effort Makes a Difference

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The high school World Language Honor Society spent their Saturday morning giving back to the community and cleaning up the Huntington Beach Community Association (HBCA) on April 28. Junior and senior members, along with advisor Nicole Gendjoian, spent three hours collecting trash and cleaning the beach. In addition, they helped distribute mulch on the landscaped portions of the grounds. The HBCA is the largest privately-owned beach on the North Shore of the island, and serves the members of the community in many ways—and keeping it clean is important.

“These students are always so happy to help, and truly enjoy seeing the difference their efforts make in the community,” said Ms. Gendjoian.

Exemplary Teacher Recognized by New York State

Exemplary Teacher Recognized by New York State photo

Elizabeth Held, a third-grade teacher at James H. Boyd Intermediate School, was awarded a New York State Excellence in Teaching Award at a surprise assembly on May 10. Mrs. Held was one of 60 teachers granted this award throughout New York State.

Third-grade classes were called to the auditorium under the guise of an educational assembly. Visitor Dr. Guillermo Linares, the Acting President of New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, attended on behalf of Governor Cuomo to present the award to Mrs. Held. When her name was announced, the entire third-grade class, and teachers and administration in attendance, went wild. In addition to an engraved plaque, Mrs. Held also received a $5,000 check.

To be chosen for this award, teachers must exemplify passion for education, mission, expertise, and possess outstanding teaching skills—making learning exciting, and leveling the playing field for all students to succeed.

“First-rate education begins and ends with first-rate teaching,” said Dr. Linares. “The goal of this award is to put a spotlight on the very best teachers to make them examples for their colleagues to follow.”

“I wouldn’t be here without all of you, because you’re the reason I do what I do,” Mrs. Held told her students from the podium. “Your love of learning pushes me to want to learn more and do more… and I hope that one day when you pick a career, you pick something that you love as much as I love teaching you all.”

L.I. Geese Control

Starting on Wed., May 16th Long Island Geese Control will begin patrolling our schools grounds in order to address the school district's geese problem.

Long Island Geese Control has been hired to humanely control the Canada goose problem that has plagued Elwood Schools. This company has been in business for 20 years and currently services some 30 districts across the Island, as well as many gated communities, state parks, municipalities and office buildings.

Their trained dogs will simply chase off any geese that are on the fields during their patrols. They will patrol multiple times per week, including weekends. Their staff are highly trained, as well as their team of over 12 border collies. The dogs are all well-tempered and focused on their jobs,
however they will not run the dogs at all when children are at recess. They will chase geese on a leash if students are practicing sports after school, and will use the dogs off-leash only in situations where no people are present on the fields. That is their company policy with respect to all school districts.

The reason for keeping the geese off of the fields is simple. The droppings left by Canada geese pose a health concern, and our goal is to have far less of them on our fields. No geese will be harmed at any time utilizing this service. Geese are harmlessly chased away. This type of service remains the only humane, effective way to keep the large numbers of Canada geese that we have become accustomed to, off of our fields.

If you happen to notice uniformed personnel accompanied by border collies they are at work to help the school district resolve its geese problem. Thank you.

Creative Contest Promotes Inclusivity

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The Elwood-John H. Glenn High School Student Council recently held an anti-bullying t-shirt designing contest, and during the district’s May 3 Board of Education Meeting, the winner from each school was recognized. Winning students included Emily Gerbe from Harley Avenue Primary School, Dawud Malhi from James H. Boyd Intermediate School, Chloe Keil from Elwood Middle School, and Peter Stavros from Elwood-John H. Glenn High School.

Designs includes phrases such as “Make Bullying Extinct” and “Be a Knight, Do What’s Right!” With an overwhelming amount of submissions, students’ creations conveyed the heartbeat of the school district, portraying inclusivity, kindness and acceptance.

Spring 2018 Maker Faire

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Students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 are invited to take part in an afternoon of discovery, creativity, and fun! Along with a parent, students will be able to travel to grade level workshops and engage in hands-on activities to learn basic physics and engineering principles. This year students will register to attend the event, however, they will not be registered for individual sessions. Families can visit sessions at their own pace throughout the afternoon where they can explore, discover, and tinker.

Please click the link for more information and to register you child.
https://sites.google.com/elwood.k12.ny.us/spring-2018-maker-faire/home

Guest Reader at Boyd

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Superintendent Dr. Bossert visited Ms. Viola’s class at James H. Boyd on April 30 to read the “The Sweetest Fig” by Chris Van Allsburg. Students enjoyed having this special guest read them a book, and were engaged throughout the fantastical story.

Pennies for Patients

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Elwood Middle School recently wrapped up their Pennies for Patients fundraiser, raising nearly $300 worth of pennies! Community service club students made this fundraiser possible, placing collection boxes in each of the school’s “home-base” classrooms, hanging up informational flyers, and collecting and delivering the pennies. The funds were donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to aid local patients, as well as to the organization’s cancer research fund.

Student Health Examination Update Notification and Form

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Elwood-John H. Glenn Assistant Principal Appointed

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Audit Committee applications for 2018-2019 now being accepted

*Please send a letter of interest and resume (as per Board policy 6690) no later than May 31 to:*

*District Clerk*
Elwood School District
100 Kenneth Avenue
Greenlawn, NY 11740

or via email to Mary Lou Janelli, District Clerk, at mjanelli@elwood.k12.ny.us

District Wide International Night

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John H. Glenn opened up their 10th annual International Night to the entire district on April 12. High school students set up stations to represent different countries, cooking and serving their country’s food at their tables all night. Chaperones judged each station. The winning table, Greece, was created by sophomores Kayla Alers, Rebecca Hardie, Kerri Rhatigan, and Jen Wood.

Elwood Middle School students ran a table for where guests could create a flag to represent their chosen country ountry. Harley was represented with a video put together by students and staff. After eating, guests were treated to a performance in the auditorium. James H. Boyd ‘s chorus performed, high school Italian students sang “Let it Go”, and two high school students, Emily Hovanec and Melissa Mandel, soloed. The finale was put on by a group of American Sign Language Students.

A great night celebrating heritage and different cultures was had by all!

SCMEA All-County Percussion Ensemble

SCMEA All-County Percussion Ensemble
Congratulations to senior band students Dean McCoy, Jason Mueller and Sean Wilkinson for being selected to the SCMEA All-County Percussion Ensemble. Students from all over Suffolk County audition and the top 10 are selected as part of the ensemble. In addition to preparing NYSSMA solos, Dean, Jason and Sean are members of the John Glenn symphonic band, honors wind ensemble, percussion ensemble and marching band. This is Jason and Sean's second year earning a spot in the ensemble. The students rehearsed with 7 other students from around Suffolk County the past two weeks which culminated with a concert at The Staller Center for the Arts on April 20th.

Vote for Us in the Spring Community Service Challenge!

Vote for Us in the Spring Community Service Challenge!
Elwood has been entered into Team Up 4 Community’s Spring Challenge, giving us the opportunity to win a $3,000, $1,500, or $500 grant for the school district! Help us win by casting a vote on our “Volleying for a Cause” event every day!

https://www.teamup4community.org/l-i-spring-sports-heroes-video-challenge-2018

Enchanted Challenges at James H. Boyd

Enchanted Challenges at James H. Boyd photo

Third grade students at James H. Boyd united their love of fairy tales with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) during the last week of April.

The Fairy Tale Ball, organized by Boyd teacher Liz Held, had three different “enchanted” challenges for students to complete using teamwork and problem-solving skills. The third-grade class at Boyd recently wrapped up a unit on fairy tales, so each challenge revolved around a story they had studied.

At the first station, students built a house for the Three Little Pigs out of toothpicks. The house had to be at least six centimeters high, hold a 20-gram weight, and withstand the blowing of the big bad wolf, which was a small desk fan with ears.

A group of students’ house just barely withstood the blowing of the fan, and one third-grade girl encouraged her team-mates, saying “Let’s try again—we can do better than that!”

At the second station, students had to build a raft for the three Billy Goats Gruff out of straws and pipe cleaners that could hold the miniature goats and 10 grams for at least 10 seconds.

The third station challenged students to create a pulley system that could carry a 25 gram Rapunzel safely down from her Pringle can-tower, using no more than 3 meters of string.

Students worked together to successfully complete each task. Having to start over didn’t discourage them, and Mrs. Held noted that this event continued to enforce the skills and resilience they’re being taught in the classroom.

“They’re getting more and more used to by going back and trying things again, even if they fail,” Mrs. Held said. “If they can’t accomplish it during school hours they often take things home and keep trying until they succeed, which is an incredible thing.”

In addition to the STEM stations, students wore crowns they had made, and took photos in front of a green-screen castle with their classmates. A magical time was had by all!

County and State-wide Awards of Merit

County and State-wide Awards of Merit photo
Three Elwood students were recognized by the Suffolk Region PTA at the Reflections Awards Showcase on April 20. Elwood Middle School (EMS) student Shayna Purow was recognized with a New York State level Award of Merit in photography, and Elwood-John H. Glenn High School student Layla Leunig and EMS student Nicollette Carluccio were recognized as Suffolk Region Award of Merit winners in visual arts.

Congratulations!

JGHS World Language Honor Society Induction

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38 John H. Glenn juniors were inducted into the World Language Honor Society on April 10. The ceremony, organized by advisors Nicole Gendjoian and Nicole Correia, was student centered and led by senior officers. After the induction a group of ASL students—Casey Feuerzeig, Katie Latawiec, Kyle Hoolahan, and Laura Taylor—interpreted a song for those in attendance. In addition, student Matthew Tallo played the Piano March, individual poetic performances by members Emily Amir, Ivan Andrade, Emily Hovanec, and Hannah Lochan. The artistic program cover was designed by Annie Song.

Team Thrives Through Mock Trial

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The JGHS Mock Trial team made it to the final Suffolk County round, for the second year in a row, at the end of March. After a heated competition, the team placed third in the county. Previously to this final round, the school’s team had made the final 16 competitors county-wide.

The New York State Mock Trial is an educational program that gives students the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge about civil and criminal law, courtroom procedures, and to improve proficiency in basic life skills like listening, speaking, and reasoning.

“The students on this team work and thrive together, learning how very capable they are of doing anything they put their minds to,” said club advisor Megan Gieser, “and I’m excited to see them continue to grow these important life-skills through mock trial.”

In addition, the team participated in the island-wide “Law Day” at Northport High School on April 19, and advanced to the semi-finals.

Recycling Pilot Program Comes to Elwood

Recycling Pilot Program Comes to Elwood photo
Elwood has recently been selected to pilot a new school recycling program as a part of the Suffolk Share Initiative, in partnership with the County Executive’s Office.

Each classroom throughout the district will receive two containers to aid in recycling efforts—one for paper, one for plastic. Receptacles will also be placed in cafeterias to assist in recycling food-related waste. Larger bins will be placed strategically throughout buildings so that smaller receptacles can be transferred. These receptacles will arrive to each school during the month of May.

In addition to providing the receptacles, Suffolk County will also share a voluntary curriculum, written by a panel of local educators, to support the program for teachers to consider. Other tools, such as a large commercial scale, will also be supplied by the county so that students can measure the impact their efforts will have.

This program comes to Elwood at no cost to the district, inclusive of the carting fees and all materials. The district is fortunate to have been selected to pilot a program that is intended to become county-wide when funding is expanded.

“I am pleased to be able to announce this initiative just prior to the celebration of Earth Day,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert. “We feel this program will help to develop lifelong habits in our students and staff to contribute positively to the community and environment.

Musicians Play in Prestigious Festival

Musicians Play in Prestigious Festival photo
On April 13, three Elwood-John H. Glenn High School band students performed in the 14th annual LIU Post Band Festival at the Tilles Center for Performing Arts.

Sophomore Hannah Kleinman and juniors Ivan Andrade and Abiola Familusi were nominated by their teachers as exceptional musicians, and once accepted into the program, rehearsed intensively for the upcoming performance in the Tilles Festival band, an ensemble composed of the LIU Post Wind Symphony and exceptional high school musicians from across the New York metropolitan area.

The Festival Band was directed and conducted by LIU Post Director of Wind Studies Dr. James McRoy, and 2018 Composer-in-Residence Mark Camphouse. The Festival Band performed four pieces, two of which were of Mr. Camphouse’s own composition.

Enriching Learning at Elwood

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Nine Elwood faculty members and administration were recognized by the Board of Education for the grants awarded to them by the Elwood Education Endowment (EEE) for the 2017-2018 school year on April 12. After an in-depth application and evaluation process, just over $47,000 in total was donated to benefit all four buildings throughout the district. Since the endowments inception, the organization has donated over a half of a million dollars to the school district.

“We have continued to work hard to support the educational programs and ideas of our educators,” said EEE President Deena Purow, “and we are repeatedly impressed by the efforts of the teachers and administrators of Elwood, and their mission to enrich the education of our students.”

Through the initiative of faculty and administration, the literacy, music, science, and STEM curriculums are being enhanced by grant funding. Additionally, the grants also will be helping expand the district’s flexible learning spaces.

Faculty members Krista Albrecht, Keri Barozie, Donna Fife, Meahan Geiser, Karen Gellert, Richard Greening, Liz Held, Vickie Henson, Jason Joiner, Dr. Arnold Kamhi, Jessica Kennedy, Rachel Nagel, Renee Spanos, Maria Trucios, and administration members Pamela Fine and Eileen Kelly-Gorman, were crucial in conceiving the ideas for these enhancements, and in completing the grant application process, and all were applauded and thanked by the board.

“This support provided to our students and faculty is priceless,” said Dr. Bossert. “The funds raised to support these programs and initiatives will truly bring exceptional opportunities to our students, and will continue to benefit students for years to come.”

High School Hall of Fame Nominations

High School Hall of Fame Nominations photo
At homecoming 2018, Elwood-John H. Glenn High School will unveil the school’s new Wall of Fame, which will honor the extraordinary achievements of former students and faculty members. Academics, school and community service, public service, fine arts, business and athletics are all criteria to be nominated for this honor. In order to be selected, individuals must be nominated by a school sub-committee or the community at large. Committees will be comprised of members of the administration, faculty, students, PTA and PTSA.

Selection criteria includes extraordinary achievement in one or more of the aforementioned categories while at the school or thereafter, affiliation with the school as a student or employee for a minimum of five years, and having left the school community for a minimum of five years.

Inductees will be presented at the high school assembly kicking off the 2018 homecoming weekend, and will be invited to participate in the homecoming parade.

The deadline for submitting nomination forms, which can be found on the district website under “District Forms”, is June 4.

2018 SCMEA Selectees

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Congratulations to all Elwood students who were selected for, and participated in, the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association (SCMEA) All-County Honors Ensembles, Divisions I-III!

 

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Continuing to Give Back to the Community

Continuing to Give Back to the Community photo
Students at John Glenn have been making efforts to build upon the foundation of being community service-minded this school year. The World Language Honor Society students in particular are focused on cooking and donating meals to local families in need. These students hold a monthly bake sale to gather funds for the food needed to make this possible.

On March 26, the group endeavored to cook for the Huntington Tri-Community Youth Agency (Tri-CYA). With the direction of honor society facilitators Nicole Gendjoian and Nicole Correiaea and teaching assistant Annie McClintock, students made macaroni and cheese from scratch along with cornbread, vegetables, and brownies to donate to the organization. The Tri-CYA serves dinner for up to 300 people a day, and are always in need of donations. In addition, students also put two meal baskets were together for two specific families in need.

"Projects like these give me motivation to do more good things for the community,” said junior Cassandra Vitale. “These types of projects are important to build up leadership skills, but they also influence others to make a difference."

Awards of Excellence

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Four members of the Elwood School District community were recognized for their contributions of excellence at the 2018 SCOPE Awards on March 19. These awards are given to promote excellence and development in organizations, to foster human resources development, and to encourage them to continue to strive to achieve higher goals of excellence.

Those recognized include: PTA Council President Kathleen Koster for community service, James H. Boyd fifth-grade teacher Joseph Pace for teacher service, Elwood-John H. Glenn Teaching Assistant Kris Kalinowski for support staff service, and Executive Director for Administrative & Instructional Technology Gene Tranchino for administrator service.

“Elwood is incredibly lucky to have such invested and future-focused individuals as a part of our school district,” said Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert.