Principal Named Administrator of the Year

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Principal Named Administrator of the Year Photo 3
Oldfield Middle School Principal Joanne Giordano was recognized on March 16 as a 2017 Administrator of the Year by the Council of Administrators and Supervisors (CAS). The CAS honors several members with this award each year based on nominations by peers.

Those recognized must exhibit high qualities of school administrative leadership, achievement, vision, innovation and collaboration with others. 

A Harborfields administrator for the past 20 years, Giordano was nominated by her colleagues based on her strong dedication to the school community and her consistent effort in getting to know her students, teachers, fellow administrators, staff and parents. 

“Being recognized is overwhelming and very unexpected,” said Giordano. “The support that I have received from my staff has been humbling and I am honored that my contemporaries see me in such a positive light; enough to take the time out of their already busy schedule to complete the application and write the nomination.” 

The CAS also recognized Harborfields High School as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence during the ceremony. 
 

Board Honors Shining Achievements

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During the district’s regular Board of Education meeting on March 22, the Board recognized a number of students and a faculty member for their recent achievements both inside and outside of the classroom. Assistant Superintendent for Administration and Human Resources Dr. Rory Manning spoke highly of the individuals while highlighting their accomplishments.  

Art students Caroline Butler, Nina Haskelson, and McKayla Lankau were congratulated for their participation in the Art League of Long Island’s 2017 Go APE Exhibition and Mariel Quadrino was recognized for receiving Honorable Mention. Art teacher Eileen Rottkamp was thanked for her dedication and support in guiding the students toward success. Both Haskelson and Rottkamp were present and received certificates. 

In addition, senior Julia Spande was honored for winning five writing awards in Scholastic’s 2017 Art and Writing Awards Contest. Although she was unable to attend the meeting, her certificate was presented to her at school. 

Dr. Manning also highlighted six Harborfields High School seniors for being named Finalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. Students Greta Browne and Casandra Moisanu were present and were handed certificates for their impressive achievement. 

Congratulations to all for representing Harborfields so wonderfully! 
 

Students Command the Classroom as “Teacher for a Day”

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Thirty-nine Oldfield Middle School students had the unique opportunity to serve as “Teacher for a Day” on March 22. Organized by student government advisors Chris Havranek and Kristin Presti, this was the sixth year that the school held the day for students and staff.

Students were paired with a teacher in the building and experienced how to teach a lesson and work with classes throughout the school day. Both the student and teacher were encouraged to dress alike for added fun. 

Seventh-grader Alana Tornese worked with English teacher MaryLynn Karpenske and enjoyed reversing roles and taking control of the classroom. “It’s fun,” she said. “I taught an English class a few periods ago and helped everybody with their organizers. Now I know what it’s like to be Mrs. Karpenske for a day.” 

The student and teacher pairs were also invited to enjoy a pizza party on their lunch periods courtesy of the Oldfield Middle School student government. 

Board of Education Meeting Update - March 22, 2017

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Jazzing Through New Orleans

Jazzing Through New Orleans Photo

The Harborfields High School Jazz Band under the direction of Music Department Coordinator Dan Bilawsky, traveled to New Orleans, LA for a four-day trip on March 9 to perform at Loyola University’s Jazz Festival and dockside at the Steamboat Natchez, while also exploring the Crescent City.

The trip allowed the students to discover New Orleans culture, history and music as the band traveled to sites such as Preservation Hall, the National WWII Museum, the Old U.S. Mint, Jackson Square and the French Quarter.

At Loyola University, the band performed two sets, receiving “Superior” rankings for both shows at the festival. This resulted in marking the group as one of the top performing bands.

Both performances were given “Outstanding Band” status and the trombone and trumpet sections were each awarded “Outstanding Section” awards, as two of only six sections acknowledged out of approximately 100 sections there.

Junior Jay Best and senior Hannah Bartfield were both offered scholarships to attend Loyola’s summer jazz camp, as two of only 11 students awarded out of more than 350 students at the festival. In addition, nearly a third of the band was recognized for outstanding soloing and musicianship.

“The students carried themselves with pride and performed with distinction during this trip,” said Bilawsky. “I couldn’t have asked for or imagined anything more.”              






Mathematically Delicious

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A Celebration of Languages

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Students throughout Oldfield Middle School celebrated Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Week from March 6-10 in an effort to learn more about other cultures.

Each day of the week had a specific theme and students dressed in corresponding colors. The school celebrated USA Day, Spanish Day, Heritage Day, Italian Day and French Day with different lessons and activities. 

During Spanish Day on March 7, Sol y Sombra Dance Company visited seventh and eighth-grade Spanish classes to educate students on Latin dances. Led by dancer Maria Loreta, the students learned the history of Spanish dance and had the opportunity to practice some moves with and without partners. 

On March 9, Italian classes experienced an abundance of culture during the school’s Italian Day. The Coro d’Italia visited featuring Marilou Romano and her performers to teach Italian language, culture and tradition to sixth, seventh and eighth-graders. During a hands on presentation, students had the opportunity to handle percussion instruments and perform traditional dancing. Romano also dressed students up in folk costumes from the 19th century.

In addition, Tenor singer, Vincent Ricciardi, serenaded students with renditions of “O sole mio” and other Italian classics. Students were able to hear songs played on the Italian bagpipe and the accordion.

During French Day on March 10, sixth-grade French students were visited by the Harborfields High School French Club where they played French games together in an engaging way to review topics such as foods, numbers and everyday phrases. Seventh and eighth-grade French classes also learned about French Impressionism and created their own artwork using oil pastels. 

 

Washington Drive Hosts Bus Driver Breakfast

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Students, faculty members and administrators at Washington Drive Primary School recently held their annual Bus Driver Breakfast to acknowledge the hard work that the school bus driver’s endure each and every day. Hosted by Principal Maureen Kelly, the school has had this event for many years in conjunction with the Washington Drive Acts of Kindness Committee. During the special breakfast, Mrs. Semo’s second grade class performed a song and students throughout the school created cards and poems that were distributed to each driver, whether they were able to attend or not.

Sharing the Music

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Fourth-grade band members and their families at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School had the unique opportunity to participate in the school’s annual Fourth Grade Parent Band Night on March 13. Family members learned about where their child started, how they have progressed and how far they will go with the right habits and mechanisms in place.

In preparation for the evening, students were encouraged to help teach their family members how to put their instrument together, hold it, make a basic sound and read notes and rhythms.

After practicing and rehearsing as a group, under the direction of Harborfields High School band students and music faculty, family members performed a concert for their children. They learned three book examples for the concert including “Rolling Along,” “Hot Cross Buns,” and “Go Tell Aunt Rhodie.”

“It gives families the opportunity to walk a mile in their child’s shoes by playing some melodies on their instrument in a brief performance made specifically for the band students and family,” said Music Department Coordinator Dan Bilawsky.



Students Participate in BOCES Science Journal Club

Students Participate in BOCES Science Journal Club

Harborfields High School Science Research students Emma Johnston and Catherine Andreadis participated in the BOCES Science Journal Club at Cold Spring Harbor over the last several months. The two students worked alongside scientists and librarians at the lab to analyze both old and new journal articles written by scientists. This included Dr. Watson from Cold Spring Harbor Labs’ famous 1953 article explaining the double helix shape of DNA.

Celebrating Dr. Seuss

Celebrating Dr. Seuss

Kindergarteners in Mrs. Moccaldi and Ms. Semertzides’ class at Washington Drive Primary School kicked off their Dr. Seuss Author Study on March 2nd, also known as Read Across America Day. The class read several Dr. Seuss stories and had fun projects and STEM activities to go along with them. They also dressed with the theme of each book.

The students wore colorful socks when reading the book “Fox in Socks,” mismatched and colorful clothes on Wacky Wednesday, and wore green while they created their own plates of “Green Eggs and Ham.”

The kindergarteners worked together to create Cat in the Hat towers, studied the stages of matter with “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” and brought in stuffed animals for “What Pet Should I Get?” day.  




Ciao Carnevale

Ciao Carnevale

Oldfield Middle School students in Rosalina Sinatra and Dr. Craig Butler’s sixth, seventh and eighth grade Italian classes celebrated Italian culture by creating masks in honor of “Carnevale.”

The students learned about the history of Italian “Carnevale,” "Martedì Grasso," also known as Fat Tuesday and the masks that go along with the week of celebration before "Mercoledì della Cenere" in Italy.

Students decorated their own colorful masks with their class, some of which will go on display on the second floor of the school in the showcase.

Greek Mythology Comes to Life

Greek Mythology Comes to Life

As part of their Greek Mythology unit, Oldfield Middle School students in Jennifer Klein’s sixth-grade social studies class presented their Greek God projects in a show-stopping fashion to their classmates on Feb. 28.

Each student was assigned a Greek God or Goddess to research and with the help of their peers, were asked to make up a dance move to represent their figure’s power.

Students dressed the part in togas, wigs, fake beards and flower crowns. The assignment also involved each student bringing in a prop and poster with their research findings, including a comic strip of a myth relating to their god or goddess.

The presentation, known as the “Mount Olympus Strut,” allowed the students to perform their dance moves with the help of their group members and educate their classmates on what they learned by showing off their posters.

“It was fun,” said sixth-grader Stephanie Ries. “It was funny to see everyone dressed up and dancing.”





Three-time Athlete Named Athletic Scholar

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Harborfields High School senior Falyn Dwyer was recently recognized as a News 12 Athletic Scholar based on her athletic achievement in soccer, basketball and lacrosse. This prestigious distinction is granted to only a select few student-athletes across Long Island.

Dwyer was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Bethpage Federal Credit Union for her achievement. She has played varsity soccer for four years and has made the playoffs every year. In basketball, she is one of the top 3 players in scoring, rebounding and blocks and was named an All-Division Player in lacrosse.

In addition to being a star athlete, Dwyer is a dedicated student with a 95 unweighted average.

“It is incredible to watch any student participate in all three seasons and achieve academically,” said Assistant Superintendent for Administration and Human Resources Dr. Rory Manning. “Falyn is a model of that excellence that we all strive for.”


Board of Education Candidate Packets Available

Have you thought about serving on the Board of Education?

Candidate Packets/Nominating Petitions are available in the District Clerk's office located at Oldfield Middle School, 2 Oldfield Road, Greenlawn, NY 11740. Seats on the Harborfields Board of Education are elected "at large." Nominating petitions must be submitted no later than Monday, April 17, 2017. For additional information please call (631) 754-5300, Ext. 300.

Students Recognized as Finalists

Students Recognized as Finalists
Congratulations to all six Semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program from Harborfields High School who have recently earned the title of Finalist, making them another step closer to winning one of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships that the program has to offer!

Seniors Greta Browne, Jacob Chalif, Ishaan Lohia, Casandra Moisanu, Mia Santomauro and 2015 early graduate Connor Stewart are now among 15,000 Finalists out of the 16,000 Semifinalists to advance.

The students entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Qualifying Test. Each student will be evaluated based on their abilities, skills and accomplishments to receive a National Merit Scholarship.

“I feel proud to be named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist along with some of my peers,” said Moisanu. “I know that we all worked hard and it's nice to be recognized for that.”

Beginning in March and continuing to mid-June, the Finalists will be notified on whether or not they are a scholarship recipient.



Senior Named 2017 Presidential Scholar Candidate

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District Pays Tribute to Black History Month

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Board of Education members, district administrators, staff and community members packed into the Oldfield Middle School auditorium on Feb. 16, as students throughout the district paid homage to Black History Month.

The theme of the event was “Rooted in the Past, Growing Toward the Future.” Students from Washington Drive Primary School, Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School, Oldfield Middle School and Harborfields High School hit the stage to relive the stories of the brave men and women who paved the way to progress for African Americans throughout history.

Topics covered included slavery, the Underground Railroad and other important topics related to the civil rights era.

Music was provided by the Harborfields High School Jazz Band, led by Musical Director Dan Bilawsky, and the Oldfield Middle School Chorus. Visitors were also graced with performances by the Oldfield Middle School Orchestra and other unique performances pertaining to the night’s theme. Suffolk County Legislator Dr. William Spencer delivered the night’s keynote address.

“Tonight is a true representation for me that this is what Harborfields is all about,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Francesco Ianni said. “Tonight is a real treat, and we are very proud of our talented students.”


Teacher Inducted into Hall of Fame

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Congratulations to physical education teacher Christine Collins for recently being inducted into the Long Island Metropolitan Lacrosse Hall of Fame! Collins was nominated by the Board of the LIMLF and voted on by the general membership of LIMLF.

Currently a teacher at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School, Collins has been a valued member of the Harborfields community since 2003 and has coached lacrosse in the district for 10 years. She is currently taking a break to enjoy motherhood and coach her three daughters.

As an avid lacrosse player, Collins has played since she was in fourth-grade. She was named an “All Everything” player for Dalers at Farmingdale High School and received the title of “All-American” in college while playing lacrosse for the Tar Heels in North Carolina.  

Being inducted into the Hall of Fame was an honor for Collins. “In my career I was fortunate to be coached by some incredible people and have played with some of the best around,” she said. “My induction is a reflection of my former teammates and coaches.”

Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics John Valente was exceptionally proud of Collins, who was once his former student.
    
“Christine is most deserving of this recent induction. It is truly gratifying for me to have witnessed Christine grow and mature into the person she is today after having had the privilege and distinct honor of teaching and coaching her while she was a student at Farmingdale High School,” he said. “Christine ‘wrote the book’ in being a three sport athlete and excelled in each!”

Branching Out on Acceptance

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Oldfield Middle School students participated in their first acceptance tree project during the school’s Anti-Violence Week from Feb. 13-17.

Facilitated by the OMS multicultural committee, students were asked to sign a colorful leaf and place it on one of the two trees in the main hallway to pledge their kindness to others. The pledge stated, “I, as a citizen of OMS, pledge to let acceptance into my heart and to promote love, peace and kindness to all.”

A number of students, including members of student government supported the project by helping hang the leaves to display in the school.


Student Musicians Attend Day of Horn

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Six French horn students recently represented the district in the twelfth Annual Suffolk Music Educators’ Association (SCMEA) “Day of Horn” at Northport High School.

Eli Antonison, Gavin Richardt and Aidan Smith from Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School, Danielle Barber and Ella Lau from Oldfield Middle School and Audrey Lenahan from Harborfields High School participated in the event.

The students were among French horn players from across Suffolk County that took part in the day. In addition to a massed horn band and an All Star student ensemble, students were treated to a workshop by esteemed New York City Broadway and freelance horn player Eric Davis.

Music faculty member Cathy Ferraro was on hand to work with the six students and take part in the musical festivities.

“It was wonderful to see Horn players at all levels come together to celebrate the instrument," she said.   


Letter from Dr. Ianni regarding Cold War Veterans Tax Exemption

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Shattering Stereotypes

Shattering Stereotypes

As part of Anti-Violence Week, Oldfield Middle School students discussed stereotyping with the help of members from the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County on Feb. 14. Speakers Tracy Garrison-Feinberg and Paula Jasser led three grade level assemblies which enabled students to think about others and examine acceptance throughout history.

Garrison-Feinberg spoke about the results of stereotyping and asked for volunteers to give their own example of a stereotype that society holds today. The assembly also focused on the meaning of certain symbols and how history can play a large part in what they represent.

The presentations were just one component of Anti-Violence week for the school. Classes also participated throughout the week in activities that focused on respecting, accepting and showing kindness towards others. Students were given the tools that they need to make the right choices.

“We look to promote a culture of acceptance,” said Assistant Principal Joseph Castoro. “We want students to know that our school is a safe place.”




Letter from the Superintendent - February 2017

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Initial 2017-2018 Budget Presentation

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Update on Teaching and Learning at Harborfields

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New Community Events and Activities

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A Look Back at History

A Look Back at History

To expand on their history curriculum, fourth-grade students at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School received a hands on lesson about Native American Indian culture on Feb. 8. With the help of Journeys Into American Indian Territory, an organization that has visited the school annually for about 20 years, students took part in a workshop that enabled them to walk through a model long house and interact with different artifacts.

Presenters Maddi Cheers and Marianne Chasen answered questions and showed students how to grind corn and play a handmade Indian drum. Classes also learned the roles that Native American men and women played and had the opportunity to try on their fashion for their classmates.

Superintendents Message - February

Students Give Back in a Soup-er Way

Students Give Back in a Soup-er Way
Washington Drive Primary School students recently held their third annual Soup-er Bowl Food Drive and collected a total of 331 cans to be donated to Harborfields Alliance for Community Outreach (HACO) and the school’s food pantry!

Students donated cans towards their favorite team in this year’s Superbowl. The Atlanta Falcons won the “Soup-er Bowl” with 194 cans, while the New England Patriots followed with 137 cans.

The fundraiser was run by the Acts of Kindness committee, an organization comprised of teachers who hold fundraisers throughout the school year. Committee co-chairs Alyson Elish and Jennifer Pennisi, as well as staff volunteers Michelle Kasin, Maria Semertzides and Millie Rivera worked together to make the drive a success.

Students Awarded at PTA Reflections Ceremony

Students Awarded at PTA Reflections Ceremony

A number of Washington Drive Primary School students took part in the 2016-17 PTA Reflections Award Ceremony on Feb. 2. The National PTA Reflections Program allows students of all grade levels and abilities to explore and become involved in the arts. This year’s theme, “What Is Your Story?” had many entries from students at the school. Each student was judged on artistic merit and creativity, mastery of the medium and interpretation of the theme. Congratulations to all of the winners for their fantastic entries!

Harborfields Read in Day

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Fifth-Graders Serve Up Support

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The Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School Physical Education department recently hosted their sixth annual fifth-grade Charity Volleyball Tournament to raise money for two families in the community. With over 190 fifth-grade participants, the school raised close to $6,500.

All proceeds from the event went to the Renz and Schmidt Families. The Renz family recently lost their beloved father and husband, while the Schmidt family is currently caring for their daughter, a Harborfields High School student battling cancer.

Students paid a registration fee to play in the tournament and a concession stand was run in the cafeteria to help raise money. A raffle drawing also took place which allowed the entire school to contribute to the cause. Tickets were sold either individually or in bundles of 10, 20 or 40 tickets and prizes included Sport Equipment packages, I-Tunes gift cards, Game Stop gift cards and free weeks at the Harborfields Alumni and Community Educational Foundation (HACEF), Booster Club and Mecurio summer camps. The big items from the evening were a GoPro Camera and Beats by Dre Headphones.  

“We would like to thank TJL PTA president Kimberly Arias and the PTA for all of their help and support leading up to the tournament and the day of the tournament,” said physical education teacher Michele Turchiano. “We would also like to thank the TJL faculty and staff for their donations and Assistant Principal Mary Williams and Principal Marguerite Greene for allowing us to continue to run our tournament year in and year out.”

“We truly appreciate the entire TJL family for coming together to help us make this year’s tournament a memorable one,” she added.

Stacey Renz visited the school at the end of January to meet some of the students who participated in the tournament and thanked them personally for a job well done.  


Washington Drive Kicks Off PARP

Washington Drive Kicks Off PARP

Washington Drive Primary School recently kicked off their PARP program with a Peter Pan themed PTA PARP play titled, “Books Are a Treasure.” PARP is a national, PTA sponsored program that encourages a love of reading in students and helps parents and caregivers become more active reading partners with their children on a daily basis. Students gathered in the Washington Drive Cafetorium to watch staff members and parent PTA members perform the exciting show.

Harborfields Among Top 30 Best Districts in New York

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In the 2017 New York State Niche.com Ranking, the district ranked #28 in the Best School Districts in New York. With an overall A+ Niche Grade, Harborfields listed among the top 30 districts and also ranked #21 in Niche’s 2017 Districts with Best Teachers in New York!

Niche.com provides rankings and reviews on the quality of education a school district provides for students. Among dozens of key statistics and opinions, the overall ranking is determined by a cumulative numerical grade in the following criteria: academics, health and safety, student culture and diversity, survey responses, teachers, resources and facilities, extracurricular activities and sports and fitness.

A high ranking indicates that the district contains great schools with exceptional teachers, sufficient resources, and a diverse set of high-achieving students who rate their experiences very highly.