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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

Hakuna Matata

Hakuna Matata photo

The Duffield Elementary School Drama Club recently put on two stunning performances of Disney’s “The Lion King” for invited guests for two consecutive days of performances beginning on April 8. The students did an excellent job recreating the classic film through song and dance, as they told the tale of the young cub Simba and his many adventures. The district would like to thank Karen Pitka and Michael Innace for co-directing the production and assisting the students throughout the many weeks of rehearsals leading up to the performances.


Savvy Savers

Savvy Savers
Students at Duffield Elementary School are gaining important financial literacy advice with assistance from school math specialist Cathy Ebbecke. During an activity hosted by Mrs. Ebbecke, the students were asked to compare and contrast items in hopes of determining if they were worthy of short-term saving goals, or long-term saving goals. The students were able to conclude that expensive pieces of technology such as laptops and iPads required months of saving, whereas the purchase of toys and candy could be made once a small amount of money was saved up. 

Successes in Reading

Successes in Reading photo
Another successful Reading Fair was held at Helen B. Duffield earlier this month as part of the school’s annual Family Literacy Night.
The goal of the Reading Fair is to give students a chance to share one of their favorite books in a fun and creative way. Prior to the event, students created trifold display boards about their selected fiction or nonfiction books incorporating required elements, as they demonstrated their knowledge during presentations to a panel of judges.   

More than 80 students participated this year, and there were 27 first-, second- and third-place winners for fiction and nonfiction from Grades K-5, along with an additional 31 students who received the honorable mention title. 

Family Literacy Night is a joint effort between a Literacy Committee made up of 18 teachers, administrators and the school’s Parent-Teacher Association. The Reading Fair is coordinated by the building’s Reading Teachers, Pat Dow, April Oquendo and Jackie Sackoor.  

Dining on Good Books

Dining on Good Books photo

Duffield Elementary School’s library was recently transformed into Café Duffield for the annual “Book Tasting” event, as Karen Pitka’s fourth-grade students were invited to “taste” a number of popular genres, including science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy and mystery.

Throughout the library, each table 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 they thought of the cover and if the student would recommend this particular piece of literature to others. 

Students then discussed their selection with the rest of the “customers” at their genre table, which included a number of district staff members and administrators. 

Dr. Seuss Day

Dr. Seuss Day photo

Staff and students from Duffield Elementary School recently welcomed Connetquot High School students to celebrate the life and works of Dr. Seuss as part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America program.

Ninety-five high school students, along with their English teachers Carolyn Paul and Megan Faeger, visited with Duffield students to read from Dr. Seuss’ books. Additionally, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lynda G. Adams, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dean Mittleman and Board of Education President Milynn Augulis were on hand to enjoy the day’s activities. 

“Our students planned and prepared for almost two weeks for this visit,” said Mrs. Paul.  “We used a PowerPoint presentation of past visits to Duffield to get them excited for this special day. We then broke the classes into smaller groups who visited the individual classes depending upon the grade level. The students prepared lesson plans, and created writing and art projects developing thoughtful questions about the books they would read to their new friends. They also incorporated the theme of “7 Healthy Habits” that are used at Duffield all year long.”

One group of high school students created a “Cat in the Hat” photo booth, while another brought along helium balloons to display their friends’ writing for the book “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” for the fifth-graders.

“The experience has proven, year after year, to be extremely rewarding,” said Mrs. Paul. “Students have often written their college essays about their Duffield experiences, and some have even altered their future plans and decided to enter the field of education as a result of this experience.”

Duffield Elementary School Principal Lisa Farrell thanked the students, their teachers and guests for visiting and having so much fun with the students of Duffield Elementary.