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Girls Volleyball Wins State Championship

Congratulations to the Girls Volleyball Team for winning the 2017 NYS Championship! 

Collaborations in Literacy at Duffield

Collaborations in Literacy at Duffield photo

Kindergarten students enrolled in Teresa Hewitt’s class at Duffield Elementary School recently met with fifth-grade students from Stephanie Russo and Elisa Prisco’s class to share their literary work with each other. Doing so allowed them to acquire new writing skills regarding style, dialogue and the strengthening of content.

During their visit, the students were involved in conversations regarding what it means to be a writer, the role of a writer and when to know when your written work is completed. 

Additionally, the kindergarteners were excited as they took part in a writing workshop with a focus on story structure and dialogue, in which they learned how to incorporate speech bubbles into their stories.

Collaborations in Literacy at RMS

Collaborations in Literacy at RMS photo

Students from Hallie Weil’s Honors English class at Ronkonkoma Middle School are studying the work of Edgar Allan Poe, most recently “The Raven.” They worked collaboratively to decipher the meaning of his poems by paraphrasing each stanza to further understand his message.

As a means of sharpening their paraphrasing skills, the students first worked on an exercise which asked them to decipher lyrics from popular songs such as Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” and One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” before applying their new skill set to the work of Edgar Allen Poe.

Weekly Sports Update - November 13-17, 2017

Weekly Sports Update - November 13-17, 2017

Girls Volleyball Team Wins Third Consecutive Long Island Volleyball Championship
Connetquot High School girls volleyball coach Justin Hertz and his team are headed for their third consecutive trip to the Glens Falls Civic Center for the Nov. 18-19 State Championship Tournament! 

Prior to this accomplishment, the T-Birds won the Suffolk County championship on Nov. 9 against Commack High School, and defeated Nassau champion Long Beach High School on Nov. 11 to secure the Long Island championship.  

In front of a sold-out crowd at Suffolk Community College, Brentwood campus, Connetquot defeated Long Beach High School in straight sets, by final scores of 25-14, 25-16, 25-20.  Nicole Migliozzi had 27 assists and 12 digs, while Under Armour All-American Athlete Mackenzie Cole had 10 kills. Student-athlete Cassandra Patsos added seven kills of her own, while Mackenzie Taylor contributed five. Additionally, Taylor had 21 digs while Patsos added seven blocks. Multitalented student-athlete Daniella Balsano started the festivities by singing the National Anthem for the crowd, and also contributed 17 digs of her own during the match. The team maintains its undefeated record at 18-0.

On the morning of Friday, Nov. 17, students, staff and administration lined the halls of the entrance to Connetquot High School to wish the volleyball team success as they prepared to board the bus headed for Glens Falls, New York.

Three Connetquot High School Gymnasts Selected for NYS Competition
Three Connetquot High School gymnasts competed well enough during the Suffolk County Individual championship competition on Nov. 9 to be selected for the New York State team, which will compete at the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association championships scheduled for March 3 at Cold Spring Harbor High School.

Alexis Smith made the New York State team by scoring 9.3 on the vault, while Amanda Pisano secured her own spot with a score of 9.25. Sarah Moussa, who scored 35.3 in the All-Around competition, also received an 8.8 from the judges in the balance beam competition, securing her spot in on the New York State team. 

“We had six Connetquot student-athletes compete for individual honors, and three were selected for the New York State team,” said Coach Renee Guerrieri. “I am so happy for the girls, the team and our community.”

Connetquot finished the regular season undefeated at 11-0 and was one of only six schools to compete for the Suffolk County championships. The T-Birds finished a more than respectable third in the County championships. The Connetquot community has praised the talented members of the district’s gymnastics team and their coaches for the poise, grace and execution they exhibited throughout the season.

Congratulations, and thank you, to the gymnasts, coaches and family members that supported the 2017 Connetquot gymnastics program.

Connetquot Football Season Comes to an End After a Fantastic Run
During the semifinal game against #1 seeded Lindenhurst High School on Saturday, Nov. 11, the Connetquot High School football team showed great promise, but ultimately lost the game, as the Bulldogs took an early lead and coasted to a 35-14 win on their home field. 

George Wichelns scored on a 10-yard run for the T-Birds, while tight end Taylor Stepanek scored on a 6-yard pass from Dylan McDermott. Cole Bunicci scored both point after tries. Connetquot finished the season at 5-5 while the Bulldogs remain undefeated at 10-0.

The T-Birds had shown great spirit and cohesiveness in long stretches this season, especially in their first-round win at Ward Melville High School, where they took home a 36-20 win. Congratulations to Coach Mike Hansen, his staff and his dedicated football team!  Thank you all for your effort, energy, excitement and enthusiasm this season. Best wishes for continued success to our graduating seniors!


Bridges to Higher Learning

Bridges to Higher Learning photo

Third-grade students at Idle Hour Elementary School recently took part in the STEM-oriented “Bridging the Gap” activity, working alongside one another to become architects and engineers for the afternoon as they built their own bridges and support structures.

Prior to their building session, the students were introduced to the history of bridges during a presentation by a representative of the Maritime Explorium in Port Jefferson. During this information session, the students were made aware of the different building materials which go into the creation of a bridge, including steel, stone and concrete. Additionally, they were able to compare differences in structure between bridges, noticing the inclusion of cables on some and the size of the guard rails on others. 

The young engineers then put their newly acquired knowledge to the test in an activity which asked them to use index cards to support the weight of 25 small toy bears. They worked collaboratively to construct creative support systems, ultimately arriving at unique designs which were successful in holding the weight of the bears.

Additionally, the students constructed “bridges,” with the goal in mind of allowing toy cars to cross successfully, keeping in mind the width of their bridge, the weight of the vehicle and the number of index cards necessary toward building the perfect bridge.

Veterans Day Celebration


Lessons Brought to Life

Lessons Brought to Life photo
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As a practical application of classroom lessons, students enrolled in Lynn Parks’ College Child Growth and Development course are learning about the care of infants through the use of RealCare Computerized Infant Simulators.

According to Ms. Parks, the simulators are equipped with a set of sensors which are capable of detecting if the students are paying careful attention to such key factors as proper head support, temperature and gentle handling.   

Additionally, the simulators make prominent noises to alert users if the infant needs to be fed, changed or is feeling under the weather. 

Due to a grant from the Long Island Family and Consumer Sciences Professionals, the students were supplied with additional references and plastic tamper proof wristbands to be used in coordination with the simulators. These wristbands will be able to provide Ms. Parks with an accurate reading as to how the students are taking care of their designated simulator. 

After a three-day period with their infant, the students will be assessed on how well they performed based on the sensor’s readings.  

Next Level Athletics

Next Level Athletics photo

Due to their accomplishments both in the classroom and on the athletic field, 11 Connetquot High School seniors recently committed to furthering their academic and athletic careers during a signing ceremony held at Connetquot High School.

“We commend these students for their energy and commitment they have consistently demonstrated and the dedication they have to our school community,” said Director of Health, Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation Mark Dellecave. “They will be missed, but we are confident in their continued success as they move on to the next level.”

Amongst the committed students were Daniella Balsano (Quinnipiac University/volleyball), Mackenzie Cole (Duke University/volleyball), GQ Grippo (Drexel University/lacrosse), Megan McLoughlin (Limestone College/lacrosse), Nicole Migliozzi (Quinnipiac University/volleyball), Cassandra Patsos (Iona College/volleyball), Andrew Pinto (Pace University/lacrosse), Steven Pinto (Stony Brook University/lacrosse), Marina Skelly (University of New Haven/lacrosse), Mackenzie Taylor (Providence College/volleyball) and George Wilchelns (University of Maryland/lacrosse).

NYS Department Of Transportation Oakdale Merge Information


RMS Salutes Veterans

RMS Salutes Veterans photo

Faculty, staff and students at Ronkonkoma Middle School recently welcomed close to 50 military veterans, along with their proud families, to the school’s annual breakfast celebration in honor of their service to the country.

Students, teachers and the visiting guests gathered in the school’s cafeteria for a delicious breakfast, and engaged in conversations surrounding the pride they share with members of the community, in honoring the service and sacrifice of all veterans. Additionally, veterans from every branch of the service were called upon to stand as the RMS Jazz Band played the official themes for their particular branch of service. 

Afterward, the veterans visited classrooms throughout the school to meet with students, who respectfully asked questions about their service. 

Election Day

Treats for the Troops

Treats for the Troops photo

Due to overwhelming student contributions, Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School has collected more than 325 pounds of candy to be donated to the United States troops deployed overseas through Operation Gratitude.

Members of the Community Service Club gave up their lunch periods to go around the school and collect the candy, and then assisted one another to box it up so that it can be shipped to the troops. 

“We couldn't be prouder of our club members, along with the rest of the students and staff members at OBMS for donating so generously and helping us to collect much more than we ever expected,” said Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School special education teacher Erica Piacentini.

Scientific Successes

Scientific Successes photo
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The district’s science program provides students with countless opportunities to further research and understand the world around them, as well as be stewards of the planet through acts of altruism. 

Recently, Connetquot High School students Casey Appell, Victoria Appell, Kayla Naldrett and Isabella Santillo were nominated to become Junior Commissioners in the Keep Islip Clean Program, based on their desire to give back to their community. These students, who also participate in the Animal Conservation Club, will represent their school community well as they help to perform civic and beautification projects throughout the district area. 

Additionally, students enrolled in the Environmental Science and Science Research courses made connections to their curriculum when they participated in the “Day in the Life of the Connetquot River” at Connetquot River State Park. The event, which was run in accordance with the Department of Environmental Conservation, called for the students to collect water samples from the area. These samples will be used as part of a larger effort organized by the DEC to monitor factors of the water’s chemical makeup, which could be further analyzed and lead to discussions on how to reduce pollution levels. 


Fun with Math

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First- through fifth-grade students at Bosti Elementary School recently took part in the fun and informative Sumdog Math contest. The mathematics-based games allow students to compete against other schools throughout eastern Suffolk County while sitting in their respective classes. 

Sumdog is aligned with the NYS Common Core and Next Generation Learning Standards, as the games keep students motivated and eager to learn. They are asked to solve simple mathematical equations, which would in turn further their progress and enhance their overall class scores. 

As the students successfully answer questions, their ranking on the live leader board would increase which gets them closer to the ultimate goal — reaching the number one spot. Liz Whitson’s fourth-graders came in fourth place due to their combined mathematical efforts and quick-thinking skills.

OBMS Halloween Costume Dance 2017

Picking Pumpkins with Grandfriends

Picking Pumpkins with Grandfriends photo

Fifth-grade students from Idle Hour Elementary School recently paid their “Grandfriends” at The Arbors Assisted Living at Bohemia a visit in full costume for some Halloween-themed fun and games.

Upon arriving, the students joined the residents around the recreation room for a few rounds of Bingo, in which the winners were rewarded with candy and a round of applause from those in attendance. Additionally, they were able to join one another in the courtyard to pick their very own pumpkin to take home and decorate, courtesy of staff at the Arbors. 

Before leaving, the fifth-graders visited the facility’s memory wall, as they reminisced on all of the good times they had with their “Grandfriends” since beginning their trips to The Arbors when they were in the first grade. The memory wall consists of photographs chronicling the many visits that district students made to The Arbors Assisted Living Facility at Bohemia throughout the years.

All-American Athlete

All-American Athlete

Foschino Brothers Keep the Music Alive

Foschino Brothers Keep the Music Alive photo

The exceptional musical talents of not one but two Connetquot High School student-musicians was front and center during this year’s Long Island’s Got Talent Competition as students, and brothers, Paul Foschino and Thomas Foschino recently took the stage.

During the competition, both students performed extremely well and Paul’s talents captured him first place, which included a $1,000 cash prize, and both were rewarded with scholarships toward Five Towns College in Dix Hills, New York.

The Foschino brothers come from a highly musical family, and credit their current musical talents to their hard work, determination and beginning their studies at a young age. Additionally, both boys are currently active in extracurricular music programs offered at Connetquot High School. 

During the finals of the competition, which were held at the Educational and Cultural Center in Stony Brook Village, Thomas utilized his mesmerizing guitar skills to create “loops” of his vocals and instrumentation to cover Ed Sheeran’s popular hit, “Shape of You.” Paul performed Elton John’s classic “Your Song” and the Ben Folds Five hit “Philosophy,” enchanting the audience with his smooth vocals and impressive piano skills. 

This year’s panel of judges consisted of Gerry Saulter of the Five Towns College Music Department, Ed Decorsia of New York’s Most Dangerous Big Band and accomplished actor Leer Leary.


Pumpkin Roll Fun

With the excitement of the Halloween festivities still in the air, Sycamore Avenue Elementary School students had the opportunity to select their own personal pumpkins at the rain-postponed Pumpkin Roll Day, as sponsored by the Sycamore Parent-Teacher Association.

After taking a class photo outside, the students selected a pumpkin, and the PTA members provided each student with a plastic bag so that they could take their pumpkins back home. 

Supporting Runners

On Sunday, October 29, the Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School community service club volunteered to give out water to runners at the Suffolk County Marathon. With assistance from advisers Erica Piancentini and Amanda Staib, the students set up a hydration station at the 7-mile mark and got to cheer on the runners, many of whom were veterans. Although it was a rainy day, all in attendance wore ponchos and made the best of the situation, and ended up having a great time while helping others.

Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is Power Pic
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Sixth-grade students at Ronkonkoma Middle School recently attended a highly important assembly hosted by music teacher Dr. Frank Saladino. Throughout his presentation, he spoke about his decision to not let his difficult upbringing influence his commitment to make the right choices at a young age, which ultimately led him to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle. With assistance from his brother, Dr. Saladino designed a “Knowledge is Power” crest, with the notion in mind of guiding students toward the right decisions in life. 


Pledging to Stay Drug-Free

Pledging to Stay Drug-Free photo

In celebration of the districtwide United We Stand for A Drug-Free Community week, schools throughout the district recently took part in activities and attended presentations which promoted happy and healthy lifestyle choices. Below are just a few examples of the activities that took place districtwide.

Fourth- and fifth-grade students from John Pearl Elementary School were recently visited by Suffolk County Department of Health representative Bonnie Anderson for an informative presentation on the dangers of tobacco usage. Students were taught that excessive tobacco use can lead to detrimental effects on the lungs, heart and especially the teeth and gums. 

Students from Idle Hour Elementary School recently vowed to stay drug-free, and helped to create a “We Have S.W.A.G. (Students Who Achieve Goals) Drug-Free” poster, featuring the names of all students throughout the building who made the pledge. 

Suffolk County Police Officer Wendy Verlotte visited Sycamore Avenue Elementary School as part of the Suffolk County Police Department “Police Smart” Health and Safety program. Officer Verlotte utilized a multimedia presentation to share age-appropriate information with the students on topics such as the dangers of smoking, and alcohol, as well as the use of illegal drugs. Throughout the week, students were also treated to an informative Anti-Bullying program, learned about the dangers to their health from tobacco usage, and taught how to properly handle a situation involving strangers.  

Cherokee Street Elementary School students from Ilene Albrecht’s second-grade class took part in a yoga and mindfulness activity hosted by Youth and Family Services Coordinator Nicole Coogan. Students discussed the best times of day to be mindful, as they used new techniques to relax their minds and relieve themselves of stress.
In celebration of United We Stand Against a Drug-Free Community Week, staff and students from Slocum Elementary School formed a giant key for an aerial photo in keeping with their slogan of “Your Future is Key, So Stay Drug-Free.” Additionally, students in grades three through five were visited by Kershel Anthony from KerboomKidz, as he engaged the students in fun, athletic, activities set to music in the school’s gymnasium. 

Duffield Elementary students decorated red bags which served as “emotional buckets,” to be filled with inspirational messages from their peers promoting positive self-esteem. The school celebrated United We Stand Against a Drug Free Community week with their own devised slogan of “I Believe in Me, Happy, Healthy and Drug-Free.”

Fifth-grade students at Bosti Elementary School were recently visited by representatives from Child Abuse Prevention Services to discuss internet safety. Throughout the course of their visit, students learned how to keep themselves safe online and the proper measures to take if they feel unsafe while using the internet. 




Idle Hour

John Pearl



Community Wellness Day

Community Wellness Day photo

Due to the vast efforts of Director of Pupil Personnel Services Gail Santo and the Community Wellness Day Committee, the district recently participated in the first Community Wellness Day in an effort to promote mindfulness practices and healthy lifestyle choices.

Throughout the hallways of Connetquot High School, classrooms were transformed into yoga and meditation studios, and multiple vendors were set up spanning the gymnasium as well, including representatives from HeartBeet Farms, LA Fitness and the Tobacco Action Center. All participating vendors were in attendance with the goal in mind of promoting services to benefit the health of the Connetquot community. 

Additionally, detailed presentations were offered by Dr. Hillel Trope, MD, Dana Debono, PA, and Michael Sredniawski, DC, in an effort to offer attendees vital information regarding the maintenance of a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle and best practices to remove toxins from the body.


Stepping Up to Bullies

Stepping Up to Bullies photo
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Seventh-grade students at Ronkonkoma Middle School were recently visited by Kym Laube, executive director of Hugs, Inc., for a highly informative presentation about reciprocating kindness and the importance of being a leader.

Ms. Laube began her presentation by speaking of her son, who was bullied extensively while going through school. However, as he grew older and realized that he had multiple aspects that he liked about himself, his confidence expanded, and he turned out to be a highly successful student and Division I college football player. 

Students were asked by Ms. Laube to take part in an activity in which they wrote down a total of 12 items — three things, three names, three activities they like to do and three things that they like about themselves. During the activity, Ms. Laube put the students into scenarios in which they would have to remove one of their written items one by one based on poor decisions, in an effort to see the effect that making bad choices had on the things they held most dear to them. 

“Always be sure to do the right thing; make it your goal to be a leader, not a follower,” she said. “Don’t ever let anybody tell you that you cannot do something.”


Halloween Fun at Duffield

Picking Pumpkins Out West

Picking Pumpkins Out West photo

Kindergarten students from John Pearl Elementary School adorned their cowboy hats, flannels and boots during their recent trip to the Arbors Assisted Living at Bohemia for a western-themed celebration with their “Grandfriends.”

Prior to entering the building, the two classes were greeted by a horse named Shadow, a special treat for their excellent behavior in the classroom, as he welcomed the students and even let them pose for photos. 

In the lobby, which was decorated to mimic the Wild West, the students were welcomed by the staff members and residents, who joined along in the western-themed celebration. The students then faced the crowd of staff members, teachers, and corporate members of the Arbors Assisted Living Facility to join together in a medley of Halloween songs.  

Before concluding their trip, all in attendance were given the opportunity to take home a pumpkin from the courtyard’s pumpkin patch, courtesy of the Arbors Assisted Living Facility staff. 

Fire Safety

Fire Safety photo
In recognition of Fire Prevention month, first grade students from Duffield Elementary School recently visited the Lakeland Fire Department to learn about the best ways to prevent fires, and the importance of formulating a safe escape route in case a fire happens to break out in their home. 

During their visit, the students participated in an assembly regarding general fire safety as presented by the Lakeland Firefighters. Additionally, they were able to learn about the functions of the firetrucks, travel through the smokehouse simulator and take a tour of the 9/11 Memorial Garden. 

Achievements in Music

Achievements in Music photo

Ronkonkoma Middle School recently welcomed family, friends and invited guests to the fifth annual Tri-M Music Honor Society Induction ceremony in an effort to celebrate the students’ academic and musical achievements.

The Tri-M Music Honor Society highlights student-musicians of outstanding academic accomplishment, with a focus on community and school service. The candidates are selected based on robust music participation, at least a B grade point average or equivalent in music classes and a strong sense of character. Tri-M Honor Society adviser Stacy Stollberger was proud to name the 49 new members, and congratulated them for their accomplishments.

One World, One Dream Mural

One World, One Dream Mural photo
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Students from John Pearl Elementary School are currently working alongside members of Imagine That! Art Education to complete a beautiful mural depicting this year’s schoolwide them of “One World, One Dream.” Check back soon to see the completed mural!

Marching with the Music

Marching with the Music photo

The Connetquot High School Marching Band once again showcased their triumphant talents at the 2017 Newsday Marching Band Festival amongst some of Long Island’s most talented student-musicians from both Nassau and Suffolk counties.

In celebration of the Connetquot High School Music Department’s upcoming trip to Walt Disney World this February, the band performed pieces in keeping with the theme of Disney Hollywood studio’s “Fantasmic.” 

“The Thunderbird Marching Band had a wonderful performance at the 55th Newsday Marching Band Festival at Mitchel Field,” said Connetquot High School Marching Band Director Gregory Johnson. “Great job by all of the students of the marching band, kick line and color guard, and a special thanks to the administration, faculty and staff, and parents of the Connetquot community for your continued support of these amazing students!”

Newsday Article

Suffolk Zone Athletes

Suffolk Zone Athletes photo
Connetquot High School seniors Victoria O’Toole and Brandon McCormick have been named 2017-2018 Suffolk Zone Physical Education Award recipients by the New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance based on their effort, leadership, athleticism and outstanding character. These annual awards are presented to one male and one female student from each school district who best represent the criteria.

Safe Halloween

Safe Halloween photo

More than 450 costumed students and smiling parents walked the halls of Connetquot High School during the annual Safe Halloween Spectacular, an event sponsored by the CHS Student Government in an effort to ensure a fun and safe environment for the children of the community this Halloween season.

More than 140 high school students and teachers volunteered to take part in this year’s Safe Halloween. Forty classrooms were designated for “trick-or-treating,” as the cafeteria provided music, fun and games for the younger students. Each group of students selected their own theme and together decorated their assigned area of the first floor of Connetquot High School. 

For admission to the program, attendees submitted a $5 donation, which by the end of the night totaled $1,000. The funds will go toward the supplementation of future activities for student government as well as support students in need. Additionally, the community members donated nonperishable canned food items which were in turn distributed to the Bohemia Historical Society, Long Island Cares and the Connetquot High School Food Drive.

“We collected over 15 boxes of food, which is an awesome kick starter to our annual food drive,” said Connetquot High School Student Government adviser Jennifer Piscitelli. “Last year, we collected over 3,000 pounds of food throughout the food drive that supplemented 2,295 meals for local families in need. This event is such a success because of the wonderful student volunteers who love to work with the children of the community.”

Homecoming 2017

Homecoming 2017 photo

Hydration Helpers

To promote community service efforts, members of the Idle Hour Elementary School Student Government Club, along with advisors Lara McNally, Lori Gehrke and Principal Sandy Rubin, recently volunteered at the mile 13 water stop during the Suffolk County Marathon. The students met Idle Hour Elementary School first-grade teacher Kristyn Lineman as she arrived at the halfway point of her marathon and wished her the best for the duration of the race.

Community Letter Response to News 12 Report


Classroom Space Travel

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As part of the STEM-oriented Science 21 curriculum, first-grade students at Bosti Elementary School recently studied astronomical entities such as the sun, moon and stars. 

Throughout the course of their studies, the students engaged in multiple experiments such as noticing the changes and differences in light and shadows as cast by the celestial bodies. Additionally, the young astronomers observed and charted shadows made by a fixed object at various points throughout the day, and even made their own sundials. 

Sunshine and STEM

Sunshine and STEM photo
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Students from Lanie Goodman’s kindergarten class at Idle Hour Elementary School recently enhanced their science, technology, engineering and mathematics knowledge by taking part in a lesson focused on the physical properties of ice. 

The students conducted an outdoor experiment, which entailed changing one factor of their supplied ice trays one variable at a time, such as the inclusion of different colored paper, while keeping all other conditions the same. They witnessed the transformative effects of solar energy, as they were introduced to the concept that matter can be solid or liquid depending on temperature and its accompanying conditions.

RMS Inducts Members to the National Junior Honor Society

RMS Inducts Members to the National Junior Honor Society photo

In recognition of their achievements, Ronkonkoma Middle School recently inducted 53 new members into the building’s chapter of the National Junior Honor Society.

The ceremony, which was coordinated by adviser Aimee Padavan, began with members lighting candles representing scholarship, character, leadership, citizenship and service. In order to be considered for a National Junior Honor Society membership, students must maintain an 85 average or above, make voluntary contributions to the school or community and showcase superior leadership skills. 

“We are very proud to recognize these outstanding members of the Ronkonkoma Middle School student body,” said Ms. Padavan. 

A reception honoring the inductees and their proud families was held in the cafeteria following the ceremony.  

Brave Day

Brave Day photo

The entire seventh-grade class at Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School recently took part in their annual Brave Day event alongside faculty and staff in an effort to promote togetherness, anti-bullying and self-appreciation.

Throughout the course of the day, students took part in programs consisting of team-building activities and thoughtful discussions around the topics of breaking boundaries and prejudices, and being brave enough to share authentic feelings while making peer connections.

According to the staff, their mission is to create a safe learning environment that brings forth a culture of compassion, connection and curiosity, all in an effort to eliminate bullying at the roots. 

The district would like to thank OBMS staff members Diana Burke, Meghan Cunningham, Lauren Drinkwater, Shannon Lehnert and Mairead McInnis for their help in coordinating this wonderful event.

Mr. Black’s 7th grade Social Studies class

​7th Graders at RMS in Mr. Black's Social Studies class recently wrote speeches to U.S. citizens as if they were the President. The speeches included the moral codes they expected the citizens to uphold, how they will use their power to improve the lives of others, how their actions will impact the environment, and the kinds of scientific and technological programs they will support. After going through the writing process, the students gained experience in public speaking by sharing their speeches with the class in the auditorium. This was a culminating activity on a unit that explored the essential question: What are the key themes in U.S. history?

Literary Lessons

Literary Lessons photo

As part of the district’s K-5 Writing Initiative using Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study instructional method, Idle Hour Elementary School third-grade students in Kathy Bankoff’s class recently added dialogue to the stories they had written after drawing inspiration from the popular children’s book ‘Jabari Jumps’ by Gaia Cornwall. The students used green ink pens in order to make revisions to their stories, as they added dialogue and enhanced the overall depth of their written work.

Additionally, students within Stephanie Zelinski’s third-grade class crafted true, non-fiction stories by brainstorming five of their favorite memories and places in order to formulate one robust story. Some of the students’ favorite places included their grandmother’s house, their favorite retail store and even their own backyard. 

Districtwide Achievements

Districtwide Achievements photo

The Board of Education celebrated a vast number of student accomplishments at its meeting held on Oct. 17.

To begin the night’s celebrations, students ranging in all grade levels were rewarded with tokens of appreciation for taking part in this past summer’s “Catch-A-Reader/Writer” initiative. These students were caught enjoying their love for reading and writing in locations throughout summer vacation and had their pictures taken while engaged in the activity. The initiative was one that showcased reading and writing as universal activities that extend well beyond the school day or school year. 

A number of Connetquot High School students were in attendance to receive awards for scoring a 100 on their respective Regents exams, thus joining Dr. Adams “Superintendent’s 100 Club.” Some of the subjects the students mastered were English language arts, U.S. History and Living Environment.

Sophomore Adam Moussa was honored for earning the Award of Excellence as presented by the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists after attending the Congress of Future Science Technology Leaders held this past June in Boston, Massachusetts. In order to be accepted into the program, students must possess a minimum GPA of 3.5 or equivalent, and be recommended by their teacher or guidance counselor for leadership ability, academic achievement and dedication to science and technology. 

District students in grades sixth through ninth, who took part in the Suffolk County Battle of the Books competition held at the Student Activities Center at Stony Brook University, were presented with tokens of appreciation for their hard work and determination. These students were expected to read eight pre-chosen books and attend meetings throughout the summer as part of the program.

Connetquot High School student Jacob DeRosa was celebrated for being named a Commended Student by in the National Merit Scholarship Program. This award is in recognition of a students’ exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the qualifying test used for National Merit Scholarship Program entry. 

Lastly, in celebration of Board of Education Appreciation Week, Connetquot High School’s Long Island Voices performed a stunning rendition of “True Colors,” with accompaniment of teacher Jim Nagle on guitar. The Long Island Voices are comprised of a talented group of student-musicians who continuously captivate their audiences with beautiful harmonies and soaring melodies. Prior to their performance, the Board was presented with beautiful bouquets of flowers and intricate pieces of ceramics courtesy of Dave Pascarella’s sculpting and ceramics class.

New Director of Business and Social Studies

New Director of Business and Social Studies photo
The district is pleased to announce Margaret Ronai as the new district director of business and social studies. 

Mrs. Ronai started her professional career in the classroom, serving as a social studies teacher for more than nine years before taking her first administrative role as a supervisor of social studies grades K-12 for two years in West Orange, New Jersey. Most recently, she has been working as a professor at the College of Saint Rose in Albany and has more than 14 years of administrative experience, having worked as both a principal and vice principal at two Long Island schools.

Throughout her administrative work, Mrs. Ronai established and supported sixth-grade teaming to enhance interdisciplinary learning and ease the transition of elementary students to middle school. She also initiated a sixth-grade advisory program that implemented a tablet program for sixth-graders to enhance career and college readiness skills.

In addition to her administrative positions, Mrs. Ronai has both garnished and contributed toward a number of prestigious awards, including, but not limited to the Lynbrook Village Youth Character Award, Lynbrook South Middle School being named a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award and the New Jersey State Department of Education Best Practices Star Schools Program Award. 

Mrs. Ronai has also contributed greatly toward furthering collaborative community efforts, as she fostered school-community relations by visiting elementary schools, creating a “buddy program,” and creating professional learning opportunities for staff.

Mrs. Ronai holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Stonehill College, and a Master of Science in social studies education from Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus. She is also a member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, along with the School Administrators Association of New York State. 

Weekly Sports Update - October 16-20, 2017

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Boys Soccer Team Celebrates Victory on Senior Night

The Connetquot High School boys soccer team pulled together for a win on the evening of Oct. 12 in honor of their Senior Night celebration. 

Junior Emmanuel Kwansah led the Connetquot point count with two goals and added two additional assists. Senior Chris Gordon scored a goal for the T-Birds, while fellow seniors Justin Crowe and Justin Pellegrino were each credited with an assist in the team’s 5-3 win over Miller Place High School. Kyle Monahan and Thomas Foschino combined for 13 saves for Connetquot. 

Prior to the game, family and friends joined the players on the field to honor the graduating seniors who have dedicated themselves to the continued success of the Connetquot boys soccer team. Head coach Nick Sturtz and assistant coach John Zambriski congratulated the seniors and parents for their support over the years. Coach Sturtz also wished the players continued success as they move on to college and the next level of competition.

Thanks again to the seniors and their families, and congratulations to everyone involved in the 2017 boys soccer team!

Girls Volleyball Team Maintains Unblemished Record

The Connetquot High School girls volleyball team continues to outplay the competition, as their superior athleticism continues to show after each matchup.

 The team recently won their 11th straight match this season by defeating Walt Whitman High School at home in three straight sets (25-14, 25-13 and 25-12) on Oct. 16, to improve their overall record to 11-0. 

Connetquot’s Mackenzie Taylor recorded nine ‘kills,’ while Diana Migliozzi had 10 assists and Alex Parillo contributed with six digs. The T-Birds hope to improve on last year’s season record of 20-0, which included a Long Island championship and a second-place finish in the New York State championships.

Additionally, the Connetquot community enjoyed the team’s match on Oct. 19 against Smithtown High School West as they celebrated their 12th consecutive win, and honored the team’s graduating seniors during a Senior Night celebration.

The team came through with a win in three straight sets (25-16, 25-21 and 25-14), improving their record to 12-0, while the visitors dropped to 11-4.

Taylor Konzen had eight ‘kills’ for Connetquot, which greatly contributed to the win in straight sets.

Prior to the game, Coach Justin Hertz called the graduating seniors to the center of the court to be recognized by their fans. Several teammates took the time to read anecdotes about their graduating friends, and shared a few tears and laughs with the crowd.  Connetquot High School Principal Kenneth Costa, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lynda Adams and Board of Education Trustee Rob Grable were on hand to celebrate the win and thank the seniors.

Congratulations to the team, and special thanks to the graduating seniors who, with their families, have dedicated themselves to the successful development of the Connetquot girls volleyball team. The following graduates will be sorely missed next season: Daniella Balsano, Mackenzie Cole, Taylor Konzen, Nicole Migliozzi, Cassandra Patsos, Skyla Schoppmeyer and Mackenzie Taylor. Good luck on the next level of competition!

Gymnastics Team Keeps Up Winning Streak

The Connetquot High School gymnastics team recently welcomed the combined Bay Shore/Islip high schools team on Oct. 17 for an important Suffolk County League I match, only to emerge victorious by a final score of 164.325 v. 161.2.

With this win under their belt, the team remains undefeated with a record of 7-0.
This was most certainly a team effort, as each student-athlete did her best in each of the activities and supported one another throughout the competition. A supportive crowd of family and friends were on hand to enjoy the latest win and congratulate the gymnasts.
Congratulations to the team and Coach Renee Guerrieri, and good luck the rest of the season! 

Boys Volleyball Team Celebrates Senior Night

The Connetquot High School boys volleyball team celebrated Senior Night and took on Lindenhurst High School on the evening of Oct. 18. The celebration was fun and exciting, as seniors Haris Ali, Nick Mazzaro, Steve Puckett and Patrick Watters were recognized for their dedication to the team. Several of their teammates, along with Coach Jenn Perry, took the time to thank the seniors and provide a few funny anecdotes about their time wearing the school colors.

While Lindenhurst won the game in three straight sets and improved their record to 10-1, Connetquot did not let this loss get the best of them. With their current 7-5 record, they stand in the middle of the pack with a shot at the playoffs, depending on a few more wins.

Congratulations, and thank you, to Connetquot’s graduating student-athletes, and thanks again for your contributions to the team!

Girls Swim Team Congratulates Senior Athletes

Connetquot High School’s girls swimming and diving team celebrated their annual Senior Night by thanking their seniors for their contribution to the team, and defeated Smithtown High School by a score of 97-84.

  Coaches Alex Scichilone and Jeff Shiebler were proud of their swimmers and divers who improved this season’s overall record to 7-0, and gave them sole possession of first place in Suffolk League I.  

Every seat in the Connetquot High School natatorium was filled as proud family and friends turned out to thank the student-athletes and coaches for their dedication to the historically successful swimming program. 

Madison Case won the 200m freestyle with a time of 2:03.11, and Michelle Wooton won the 50m freestyle with a time of 24.9 seconds. Connetquot qualified for the New York State championships in the 400m freestyle relay with a time of 3:42.41.

Congratulations to the girls swimming and diving team on their win against Smithtown, and a sincere thank-you to our graduating seniors Sarah Colefield, Brittney DeRitis, Alexandria Kalish, Samantha Letteiri, Milaela McGee, Kayla Nadrett, Leah Russell and Michelle Wooton.

OBMS musicians inducted into Tri-M Music Honor Society

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Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School recently celebrated the musical talents of multiple students during the seventh annual Tri-M Music Honor Society Induction ceremony.

The Tri-M Music Honor Society highlights student-musicians of outstanding academic accomplishment, with a focus on community and school service. The candidates are selected based on robust music participation, at least a B average grade or equivalent in music classes and a strong sense of character. Tri-M Honor Society adviser Melissa Johnson was proud to name the 21 new members, as well as recognize the 17 continuing members of the OBMS Tri-M Honor Society. 

A reception was held in the cafeteria following the ceremony for the inductees, their families, staff and friends.   

A Trip to the Circus

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Bosti Elementary School’s fifth-grade students recently took audiences “under the big top” as they showcased their newly acquired circus skills during their “Cirque du Jour” circus performance.

Prior to the big performance, the fifth-graders worked for two weeks in physical education classes to learn the special circus skills required to entertain their fans, including clown humor, juggling and stilt walking. 

The “Cirque Du Jour” program is designed to motivate students to participate in physical education and cultural arts activities. 

Video: CHS Long Island Voices Perform for BOE


Superintendent's Challenge

Dear Connetquot Families, 

One highly sought-after quality that defines our district is its strong sense of community involvement. Whether it is in the classrooms — which transform into family-like environments — or the events and activities that take place beyond the walls of our buildings, there is a feeling of support and passion throughout our school district.

Having begun my educational career in the classroom, I know firsthand how important this quality is and the integral part it plays in the success of our students, especially during those transitional years. This is why, this year, I have created a challenge for our fifth-graders, who started their last year of elementary school this September. 

My “Superintendent’s Challenge” is simple: Become involved and make your presence known. As I do each year, I plan to attend a wide variety of school district events as I endeavor to get to know our students and their families better. 

For the challenge, I encourage our fifth-graders to do the same. From fine and performing events to sporting games and everything in between, these activities provide the chance for our students to meet their Connetquot peers and perhaps make a friend they will go to school with in the future. Additionally, it is my hope that their attendance during these events will inspire our fifth-graders to become involved with a new activity, club or sport when they begin their middle school careers.

But what would a challenge be without a fun reward? When at these events, any fifth-grader who introduces him or herself to me and tells me which elementary school they attend will earn a point for that building. At the end of the year, the elementary school with the most points will win a special, fun-filled and memorable surprise! 

Please visit our district website and calendar for dates/times for upcoming events. 

Have a great year, and I look forward to seeing all of you! 


Dr. Lynda Adams 
Superintendent of Schools 

Sparking Energy Conservation

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In an effort to share best practices of conserving the energy utilized on a daily basis, students at Slocum and Idle Hour elementary schools were recently treated to a production of “The Energized Guyz” by PSEG Long Island and the National Theatre for Children.

Carley and J.P., professional actors with the NTC, put on a spectacular performance for the students as they transformed into colorful characters such as “Nikki Neutron” and “Bert the Dirt Expert,” each with their own important message about the best ways to conserve energy and reduce pollution. Additionally, students were taught the scientific composition of energy, its multiple uses and how to avoid the most common wastes of energy.

“The program provides an opportunity to see education brought to life,” said George Coburn, customer experience manager/community outreach for PSEG Long Island. “It’s really important that we educate and help children and their families understand the importance of our natural resources and using energy wisely.”

Hurricane Victim Assistance

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In the weeks following the disastrous effects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico, students and advisers of the Connetquot High School Foreign Language Honor Society, along with community members and district staff, dedicated their time to provide essential items to those in need.

Working with the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Day Parade, Inc. and Ana Caraballo Gonzalez, the program director of La Fiesta (WBON) Radio Station in Ronkonkoma, the honor society coordinated efforts to provide material assistance to those severely affected by this natural disaster. To date, their efforts have included collecting such items as water, first aid supplies, and diapers as well as organizing fundraisers in an effort to provide humanitarian assistance. 

“Through the guidance of the organizations, we will be delivering supplies to their designated donation site in Central Islip with the aid of our Connetquot Grounds staff,” said FLHS adviser Adriana DeFelice. “Collections will, in turn, be securely flown to Puerto Rico and distributed to churches and nonprofit organizations throughout the island.”

While every single donation to this relief effort is appreciated, special thanks are extended to SUNation CEO Scott Maskin for his group’s donation of more than $1,000 worth of supplies, and Connetquot Teachers Association who donated another $500 worth of relief supplies.

Ongoing Parent Workshop

Every month, the district hosts a parent workshop for those in the community to gather together and discuss topics relevant to child development, including social and emotional learning, parenting, after-school activities and child behaviors. Any member of the community is invited to attend these meetings, which are organized by the district’s Department of Special Education and run by Dr. Howie Schneider, who works for the district as a behavior consultant. Dr. Schneider is also a licensed psychologist.

Please consider joining the conversation and talking about matters such as homework, developing a daily routine for your child, fostering friendships, identifying after-school activities or any other topic of importance to your family.

For more information about this initiative, please see the attached flyer. Babysitting services are available when attendees provide advanced notice.


Kicking Cancer Away

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The Connetquot High School girls soccer team, along with coach Ryan Cavanagh, recently welcomed close to 100 district elementary- and middle school-aged students to the second annual Kicks for Cancer clinic which raised more than $1,400 to help support cancer research.

During the event, attendees enhanced their soccer skills and learned from the high school players new techniques, all while helping others in need. 

Kicks for Cancer is a program that began in Hauppauge, New York in 2008 in an effort to support Courtney Tomkin, a student who had been diagnosed with brain cancer. The event has grown exponentially in Suffolk County as soccer teams across the county have signed on to raise money for various cancer organizations on the local and national level.

Important Bicycle Safety Letter


Enhancing Scientific Studies

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To support the implementation of the new Next Generation Science Standards, kindergarten and first-grade elementary school teachers throughout the district recently took part in a hands-on training program with the assistance of Glen Cochrane, a representative of Eastern Suffolk BOCES. 

During the professional development workshop, the teachers explored the new standards and learned instructional techniques for implementing each of the three units of study within their classroom.

Fire Safety Fun

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Students at John Pearl Elementary School were recently visited by members of the Bohemia Fire Department for a day filled with fun, informative activities surrounding the topic of fire safety and prevention measures.

In honor of October being designated as fire prevention awareness month, Assistant Chief Tom Iwanejko and firefighter Lenny Turso were on hand to teach the students about the best ways to prevent fires and save lives, including turning off electronic appliances after use and changing the batteries in smoke detectors frequently. These messages were also reinforced during an informative “Bill Nye the Science Guy” video, which included additional information about the scientific composition of fire, and best ways to extinguish it if a fire happens to break out. 

The students were also able to take part in a virtual fire extinguisher activity with assistance from Lieutenant Brian Salva, including learning how to properly utilize a fire extinguisher to put out a mock digital fire.

Before concluding their visit with the Bohemia Fire Department, the fourth- and fifth-grade students took part in the “Smokehouse,” a hands-on simulator that safely recreates the environment of a smoke-filled room. With the guidance of the volunteers, students used their best judgment to come up with the smartest and safest ways to exit the simulator as if it were a real-life emergency.

Additionally, Sycamore Avenue Elementary and Slocum Elementary Schools participated in fire prevention awareness month by inviting local firefighters into their buildings to share fire safety practices amongst the students. 


6th Grade ALL IN Induction

Green Thumb Gardening

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Members of the after-school gardening club at Ronkonkoma Middle School are currently enhancing their connection to nature by learning about the benefits of growing fresh fruits and vegetables together and sampling the harvest they have cultivated.

Under the advisory of English teacher Heidi Edmonds, dozens of students from all grade levels are collaborating amongst one another and cultivating real-world gardening skills. Additionally, throughout the course of their meetings, the students are becoming accustomed to the growing patterns of local soil, and which produce is easiest to grow in their native garden. Prior to the beginning of the school year, the students met throughout the summer to plant seeds in hopes of seeing what their efforts would yield.

“Throughout their gardening efforts, the students have come to find that broccoli and Brussels sprouts are easy to grow and are highly adaptable to the soil,” Mrs. Edmonds explained.

Throughout the course, students have grown several fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, kale, butternut squash and broccoli.  

Strengthening Literacy Skills

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Scientific Excellence

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Connetquot High School sophomore Adam Moussa was recently presented with the Award of Excellence by the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists after attending the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders held this past June in Boston, Massachusetts.

While in attendance, he was personally taught by top professionals in the areas of science and technology, including Nobel Prize winners David J. Wineland, Ph.D., and Sheldon Glashow, Ph.D., as well as young geniuses Jack Andraka (Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2012 grand prize winner) and Shree Bose (2011 Google Science Fair grand prize winner).

The theme of each Congress is “Greatness Awaits,” and it offers America’s finest students the opportunity to be mentored by top leaders in the field. In order to be accepted into the program, students must possess a minimum GPA of 3.5 or equivalent, and are recommended by their teacher or guidance counselor for leadership ability, academic achievement and dedication to science and technology. According to their website, the event is considered an annual gathering of America’s high-achieving high school students aspiring to be the next generation of science and technology leaders. 

Game Show Extravaganza

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Staff and students of Slocum Elementary School recently tested their knowledge during the Hollyrock Brain Challenge game show. Held in the school gymnasium, the show’s enthusiastic emcee and his “referee” divided the students into teams and assigned their teachers as team captains to join in on the fun.

The game show emcee used a timer to challenge the students to recognize numbers, letters, and answer grade-level history, math and spelling questions.  Additionally, students were challenged to demonstrate their ability to dance, use a hula hoop and test their strength in a friendly “tug of war” competition.

Bouncing Back Respect

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In keeping with this year’s theme of “One World, One Dream,” students at John Pearl Elementary School were recently treated to a highly engaging and equally informative presentation from former Harlem Globetrotter’s athlete Corey the Dribbler about perseverance and the importance of respect.

Corey’s presentation began with a demonstration of impressive basketball dribbling skills, as he started with one ball and slowly worked his way up to showcasing his current world record of dribbling six balls simultaneously. 

He encouraged the students to never give up on their goals, to continue to practice in order to improve upon their skills and to always remember to show respect toward others.  

Additionally, 10 brave volunteers were invited up to the front of the gymnasium to join him in a game of “You’ve Been Tricked,” which had everyone in attendance highly entertained. Throughout the game, Corey would attempt to trick the contestants into dropping the basketball after he had passed it to them in a dazzling fashion. John Pearl Elementary School physical education teacher Nick Sturtz joined the students as well, and was able to demonstrate his quick reflexes and impressive ball spinning skills. 

As an added reminder of his messages, Corey the Dribbler left behind autographed posters to be handed out to those students who showed respect toward one another in the classroom.

Scientific Fun

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Students in Bosti Elementary School were recently treated to a presentation from school assembly ventriloquist Steve Petra. His science-themed “It’s Alive” program is a fun and informative show which highlighted the functions of the human body’s most important organs.

Mr. Petra’s show consisted of introducing friendly puppets mimicking essential organs such as the brain, lungs, human heart and digestive system, each providing their own explanation of how they assist in the body’s daily functions. Throughout the presentation, students were invited to join Mr. Petra on the stage to demonstrate how each of the organs functioned. For example, a group of volunteers were asked by “The Guts” to display the plush-version of the small intestine, which was meant to mimic its human counterpart at more than 20 feet long!  

Mr. Petra’s exuberant personality ensured that all staff and students in attendance were not only enjoying themselves, but also learning important scientific facts along the way. 

Helping Butterflies Spread Their Wings

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Fifth-grade students in Cathy Mongiello’s class alongside Sandra Fantauzzi’s fourth-graders at Cherokee Street Elementary School are helping to repopulate the butterfly population. They are using the school’s native plant community garden, which has been named an official monarch butterfly waystation by the Monarch Watch organization.

The school’s garden, which lies directly in front of the main entrance to the building, is home to a large number of dormant milkweed plants, an important source of nutritional value to monarch caterpillars. With these milkweed plants present, large numbers of monarch butterflies were attracted to the location, and soon began to colonize and make the garden their new home. 

With the assistance of their teachers, the students used their scientific knowledge to classify these caterpillars, and sketched their progress in nature journals as they transformed from larvae to caterpillar, chrysalis and ultimately a beautiful butterfly. They also collected facts on the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. According to Mrs. Fantauzzi, the class is hoping to create a photo journal of this experience to share with the community after the adult monarch butterflies take flight.

“Seeing the children come out and experience what’s happening in their environment in a real time, real world setting and be able to connect to it on such a personal level is more meaningful than anything I could have done within the classroom,” said Mrs. Fantauzzi. “Being able to see the excitement within them each day in anticipation of what’s happening next has been so rewarding, both for them and myself.”

Sending Warm Wishes

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Students in Colleen Malone’s and Joanna Zalewski’s fifth-grade classes at Bosti Elementary School recently created birthday cards in hopes of putting a smile on the face of autistic savant, Beth Catlin

Ms. Catlin possesses an incredible mind, and is able to recall the names, addresses and birth dates of thousands of people she has met throughout the years. In doing such, she creates a handmade piece of paper with the words “Happy Birthday” written on it to be sent to all the friends she has made. 

The fifth-graders decided that Ms. Catlin was an individual who deserved recognition, and used their creative talents to design cards to be sent out her in time for her own birthday on Sept. 22.