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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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!
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.