skip to main content

DuffHelen B. Duffield Elementary School

600 First Street
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779-6304
Principal: Lisa Farrell


Joint letter from the Nassau and Suffolk County Superintendents Association regarding photo Sharing Site



Dear Duffield Families:


Are you among the majority of people who would love to receive reminders? If you are and would have loved to receive a text message that read: Don’t forget tomorrow is a half day. The buses will pull out of the circle at 11:35, then this is for you.  


In an effort to improve communication between the school and parents, I have designed a one-way text communication through REMIND 101 where I am able to send out a reminder text to an entire group of people. This reminder would be specific to Duffield only. The text message may include emergency information. but it is truly meant to be used for general reminders. The district will continue to use the School Messenger phone messaging system for emergencies. If you would like to start receiving a text message, please follow the directions below.


  1. Text the following message: @600firstst
  2. To:   631-419-7440


Additional information:

  • REMIND 101 is a one-way text messaging system. All personal information remains completely confidential. I will never see your phone number and you will never see mine.
  • You will not be able to reply to any of the text messages. It is a one-way system only. Unless…
    • You can opt-out of the system at any time by replying “unsubscribe” @600 firstst

I know how busy you are. To help strengthen the home-school connection this is an effort to increase communication in the most convenient way for you. Joining is optional! Visit to learn more.



Lisa M. Farrell


Nicklaus Children's Hospital Certificate of Appreciation

Current News

Thanking Those Who Served

Thanking Those Who Served photo

Schools throughout the district recently showcased their appreciation toward the nation’s veterans through various assemblies and musical performances.

At Idle Hour Elementary School, an annual schoolwide Veteran’s Day event was held in the school’s “cafetorium.” Organized by Idle Hour’s Youth and Family Services Coordinator Lara McNally, the event featured dozens of relatives from both students and faculty members who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

After a reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance by the school’s kindergartners, various musical performances filled the air with sweet sounds courtesy of Idle Hour’s student-musicians, including stunning renditions of “Thank A Vet” and “This Is My Country.” The attending veterans were then recognized by all in attendance and showered with applause, as their attending family member handed them a rose and thanked them for their service. Additionally, students were afforded the opportunity to showcase their writing skills as they read aloud essays thanking the servicemen and women for all they have done for America.

At Ronkonkoma Middle School, 20 military veterans, along with their proud families, attended the school’s annual breakfast and celebration. Among the veterans were members of the American Legion Post 155 of Ronkonkoma as well as those who are active duty. These veterans ranged in service, age and participation from World War II and the Cuban Missile Crisis, to the Korean and Vietnam wars. Veterans from every branch of the service were called upon to stand as the RMS Jazz Band played the official themes for each service.  

After the celebration, the veterans were invited into classrooms where students respectfully asked questions about their branch of service, time they spent in the military and where they may have served. Each attending veteran spoke proudly of his military service, recalling experiences and friends they would always remember. 

In honor of Veterans Day, Duffield Elementary School welcomed students, staff and family members to the building for an outdoor concert to honor the nation’s servicemen and women. During the event, the American flag was properly raised, students and staff members recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang a number of patriotic songs. Additionally, several students read poems honoring the veterans and local heroes such as policemen and firefighters.

Exploring the ‘Haunted Grammar Hallway’

Exploring the ‘Haunted Grammar Hallway’

In celebration of Halloween, students of all grade levels at Duffield Elementary School were recently able to explore the school’s “Haunted Grammar Hallway” for some grammatical and collaborative fun.

During the activity, 50 colored cards were dispersed throughout the darkened hallway consisting of over 75 grammatical errors, including spelling, capitalization, verb tense and punctuation. The determined students toured the hallway with finger flashlights and tried to find as many errors as possible, recording their findings on a sheet dedicated to the event.

For a more grade-level appropriate challenge, kindergarten teacher Teresa Hewitt had sight words posted throughout the hallway for her kindergarteners to find, as opposed to full sentences containing errors to be corrected.

The district would like to thank teachers Karen Pitka and Stephanie Russo for their efforts in bringing the “Haunted Grammar Hallway” to life.

Practicing Drug-Free Decisions

 Practicing Drug-Free Decisions photo

In recognition of United We Stand for A Drug-Free Community Week, students from all elementary level buildings in the district took part in a number of engaging activities and lessons with the goal in mind to stay away from drugs and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Along with their “Grandfriends” from the Arbors Assisted Living at Bohemia, students from Idle Hour Elementary School made a spiderweb craft after carefully listening to a story about Halloween. The project was an effort to showcase that the students have better things to do than drugs, as they will be able to form everlasting friendships with their “Grandfriends” during their time at Idle Hour Elementary.  

Sycamore Avenue Elementary School Youth and Family Services Coordinator Laura Michelsen directed her students in a program of skits and songs designed to emphasize self-esteem and making positive choices. A video showcasing students and teachers talking about people who have influenced their lives was an additional part of the day’s drug-prevention program.

Upperclassmen from Bosti Elementary School recently stepped into the shoes of their teachers as they presented informative health lessons about the dangers of tobacco to younger students, and also emphasized the necessity to make healthy choices.

Kindergarten students enrolled in both Linda Pennington and Elizabeth Jonas’s classes at Slocum Elementary School welcomed Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Trauma Center RN Kristi Ladowski back to the school for a Teddy Bear Clinic. The informative clinic taught the young students the importance of being safety conscious and how to prevent injuries.

Suffolk County Police Officer Wendy Verlotte visited the upperclassmen at Duffield Elementary School to warn them about the dangers of tobacco, smoking and vaping, and offer guidance on how to properly say “No” to these harmful activities. Additionally, the students were also treated to a Teddy Bear Clinic courtesy of Registered Nurse Kristi Ladowski.

Students at John Pearl Elementary School were visited by Mr. Pat and Mr. Matt of the Rose Brucia Foundation for a highly informative presentation which informed the students how to properly distinguish the difference between a stranger and someone you know. Both Pat and Matt engaged the students in a number of helpful activities which mimicked real-life scenarios in the rare case that a stranger approaches a student outside of school. The students also participated in a rock-painting activity based on the  popular children’s book “Only One You” by Linda Kranz.  

In recognition of United We Stand for A Drug-Free Community Week, students at Cherokee Street Elementary School eased their minds and took part in a relaxing yoga session taught by Youth and Family Services Coordinator Nicole Coogan. 


Touring the Lakeland Fire Department

Touring the Lakeland Fire Department photo

Students of all grade levels from Duffield Elementary School recently travelled to the Lakeland Fire Department to gain informative fire-prevention and safety measures, courtesy of the firefighters of the Lakeland Fire Department.

With assistance from Firefighters Juan and Brian, students gathered in the lobby of the firehouse to learn about the proper ways to prevent fires in the household. Firefighter Brian donned his full firefighter gear and crawled toward the students, letting them know that while they may look scary while in gear, they are only there to help the students and their families get out to a safe location in the rare case of a fire.

After the presentation, the students followed Firefighter Juan outside as he allowed the students to tour a fire-engine, and explained the many functions that come along with the important vehicles. Additionally, the students walked within the beautiful “Garden of Heroes,” which was built to commemorate those brave souls who lost their lives during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Duffield Students Dine on Good Books

Duffield Students Dine on Good Books photo

Students at Duffield Elementary School recently took part in a handful of “tasty” literary activities without having to leave their own classrooms.

Fifth-grade students in Stephanie Russo’s class embarked on a book tasting picnic to “taste” different fiction genres. During the event, the young restaurateurs were able to get a snapshot of various titles within the fiction genre in hopes of finding a few books to read in the near future. All students in the class are currently working on an exciting challenge to read 40 books this school year. 

Additionally, students enrolled in Karen Pitka’s fourth-grade class expanded their literary knowledge during a similar literary event. At “Café Duffield,” each student was offered a three-minute “taste,” or sampling, of a book of the student's choice. After reading their selected work, the students logged a brief menu summary including what the author did to hook the reader and if the student would recommend this particular piece of literature to others. These students had the pleasure of being joined by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lynda G. Adams along with Board of Education President Milynn Augulis during the delectable event.