Amazing Reptile Edventures

James Wilson Young Middle School’s ecology club had the chance to learn about a number of reptiles in a hands-on way this spring when Erik Callendar visited the club. During a presentation of Erik’s Reptile Edventures, the students learned about a number of animals, their adaptations and habitats. The students had the chance to take an up-close look at several creatures during the presentation. Erik spoke with the club about his current involvement building a nature center in Madagascar.

Student Artwork Showcased at LI Exhibit

Artwork created by Bayport-Blue Point High School senior Bob Mischo and junior Baylee Browning-Atkinson was selected for showcase in this year’s Long Island’s Best Art Exhibit at the Heckscher Museum. One of the most prestigious student shows on Long Island, the exhibit only accepts approximately 80 pieces of work each year. Besides the honor of being selected to exhibit in this juried student art show, several scholarships and awards are given.

Prior to making their submissions, the students were asked to look at artwork in the museum during the school year (in person or online) and use one of the museum’s works as inspiration for a piece. In addition to their art submission, each student wrote a brief essay about the inspirational work as it related to their work. The inspirational work and essay were mounted and placed next to the student work in the gallery.

Visiting with Congressman King

Bayport-Blue Point High School Advanced Placement Government students had the chance to learn about the inner workings of Congress when New York State Congressman Pete King visited. During the interactive program, the congressman spoke about his role on the Homeland Security Committee, matters of foreign policy and discussed domestic concerns around entitlement reform and the escalating cost of college. Students had the chance to ask insightful and well thought out questions and were enthusiastic about the visit.

Experiencing History

As the result of a generous donation from the SEED Foundation, Bayport-Blue Point elementary school fourth-graders had the chance to experience a part of their social studies curriculum in a hands-on way this spring. During a trip to the Old Bethpage Restoration Village, the students stepped back in time and learned about the Colonial period.

The students visited several houses that were original to Long Island but currently reside on the property, learned about the time period with the help of the town mayor, visited traditional sleeping quarters and made purchases in the general store. They also witnessed demonstrations by the town potter and hatter, visited the Powell Farm and toured a one-room schoolhouse.

The trip provided many relevant learning experiences that tied into the grade’s curriculum and enhanced the students’ understanding of the time period.

Lessons on Civic Engagement

Bayport-Blue Point High School students had the chance to meet and speak with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone as part of the building’s School-to-Business program. More than 100 students, teachers and members of the Bayport-Blue Point Chamber of Commerce spoke with the county executive about Suffolk’s water quality, improving transportation infrastructure, and downtown revitalization projects. Additionally, the group discussed efforts to reverse the trend of young adults leaving Long Island.
 

Best Community for Music Education

Bayport-Blue Point School District has been named a 2014 Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. This year, 376 school districts were chosen  out of more than 2,000 national applicants. This award recognizes that the district has set the bar high for music education by offering students access to a comprehensive music program that is part of the core curriculum.

Paul Weber, Chairperson for Art and Music states, “This distinction from the NAMM Foundation proves the support and dedication that the Community, Board of Education, and District Administration give to the Arts Program here in Bayport-Blue Point Schools.  This is an honor that we all share and should be proud of”.

The Bayport-Blue Point School District currently offers instrumental instruction in the areas of orchestra and band to students in grades 4 through 12.  Vocal instruction is offered to students in grades 3 through 12.   In addition to these performance groups, students are able to advance their knowledge of the discipline of music by enrolling in extra-curricular performing groups (Instrumental Jazz Ensembles, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and Chamber Orchestras), Music Department Electives (Music Theory, Comprehensive Foundations of Music), and Advanced Placement Music Theory.  Elementary Classroom Music Instruction is provided in Kindergarten through grade 5, and General Music instruction is also provided in grades 6 through 8.  Also to be mentioned are the All-District Band, Chorus, and Orchestra Performing Groups, and the award-winning High School Musical Production.

Now in its 15th year, the BCME program evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards, and access to music instruction. The NAMM Foundation, with the assistance of researchers at the Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas (an affiliate of the University of Kansas), evaluate participants on these factors. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and greater access to music education.

“These schools and districts make a strong commitment to music education in the core curriculum, supporting its essential value to a well-rounded education for every child,” said Mary Luehrsen, NAMM Foundation executive director. “Strong, engaging programs that offer students access to music cannot thrive in a vacuum. The Best Communities designation and the SupportMusic Merit Award bring hard-won visibility to music classes, programs and departments that are keeping music education alive in our schools.”

Honoring Student Achievements

The Bayport-Blue Point School District paid tribute to many student-musicians and several budding young business students for their recent participation in regional and state festivals, respectively.

Bayport-Blue Point High School students Emily Larsson, Patrick Liu and Victoria Mercouris were honored for their participation in the New York State DECA Career Development Conference. DECA is an interscholastic business organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. During regional and state competitions, students demonstrate their knowledge of these subjects through written or oral contests.

Additionally, the Board honored student-musicians from throughout the school district who participated in this year’s Long Island String Festival Association concerts and SCMEA festivals. The students were selected for these regional honors based on their NYSSMA scores and teacher recommendations. Honorees included: 

Long Island String Festival Association:
Elizabeth Auwaerter
Kevin Polanish
Nicholas Greco
Jennifer Cuji
Colin Somers    
Lindsay Pohl
Olivia Ingrassia
Allyson Koehler
Philip Tubiolo

SCMEA: elementary and middle school
Lindsay Lessing
Brenna Horan
Natalie McCarthy
Haley Jenner
Cecily Phua
Anne McAward
Adelaina Salaway
Cali Frabizio
Audrey Saroka
Andrew Shiebler   
Lauren Wilke
Ryan Ferrante
Vincent Grazidei
Ethan Myers
Matthew Stawecki
Hunter Szeli
Aislin Riccardelli
Emma Sauer
Elizabeth Auwaerter
Emily Polanish
Ethan Trotta
Michael Verdecanna
Sofia Cetina
Stephanie McDonough
Derek Strine
Kevin Polanish
Jacob Lurie

SCMEA ~ High School
Christopher Clifton
Kraig Klein
Alison Maxwell
Cassandra Nielsen
Molly Conklin
Sasha Ernst
Kaylee Spano
Jensen Whitfield
Olivia Ingrassia
Allyson Koehler
Michelle Lee
Jillian Lessing
Allyson Rocco
Philip Tubiolo

 

 

Post-Season Honors for Winter Sports

Many of Bayport-Blue Point School District’s student-athletes earned post-season honors for their outstanding performance in their athletic venues this winter season.  Congratulations to all recipients who have represented the student body in an exemplary fashion:
 
Girls Track
Suffolk County Champions, League Champions
New York State Scholar-Athlete Team

Meg Becker – All-League
Courtney Bofinger – All-League, All-County Academic
Kathleen Cibuls – All-County
Taylor Darby – All-League
Brianna Delzell – All-League
Dariya Dolan – All-League
Cassie Dooley – All-League, All-County Academic
Courtney Dooley – All-State, NY State and Federation Champion, All-County Academic
Annie Loretz – All-League
Stephanie Silver – All-League
Kerri Nickel – All-League
Brigitte Strobl – All-League
Jeami Van Weele – All-League
 
Boys Track
New York State Scholar-Athlete Team
Shawn Bofinger – All-League, 4x400m League Champions
Beau Kraft – League Champion, All-League
Ty Lilly – All-League, 4x400m League Champions
Erick Mello – All-League, 4x400m League Champions
Dan Percival – All-League
Eddie Somerville – 300m League Champion, All-League, 4x400m League Champions
Stefan Stelling – All-League
 
Boys Basketball
Section XI Outstanding Sportsmanship Team
New York State Scholar-Athlete Team

Tyler Grosse – All-League

Matt McKinnon – Academic All-County
Connor Panzner – All-League, All-Conference, All-County

Mike Walker – All-League

 
Boys Bowling
Section XI Outstanding Sportsmanship Team
Justin Karppi – Second team All-League
George Ringer – Second team All-League
Connor Villar – All-League

Girls Basketball
Section XI Outstanding Sportsmanship Team
New York State Scholar-Athlete Team
Paige Faherty – All-League
Emily Toy – All-League
 
Wrestling
New York State Scholar-Athlete Team
Mike Albanese – All-County: 3rd Place
Brandon Croteau – All-County: 3rd Place
Matt Doty – All-County : 2nd Place
Christian Engel – All-County: 3rd Place
Cam Mauro – All-County: 3rd Place
Dylan McGovern – All-County: 2nd Place
Liam Moloney – All-County: 4th Place
Joe Palma – All-County: 2nd Place (103 career wins)
Mike Sweeney  – All-County: 2nd Place

Boys Swimming
New York State Scholar-Athlete Team
Brian Cremer – All-League     
Liam Driscoll – All-League                
 

BOE Special District Meeting

The Board of Education will convene at 8:00 a.m. in open session in Room 127 of the Administration Center on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. This meeting is for one agenda item only: The Board will vote on the Eastern Suffolk BOCES Budget and the BOCES Board. ES BOCES mandates the vote to take place on April 23, 2014 for all districts.

Parent Notice Regarding the New District Twitter Account

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Animal Study

Academy Elementary School third-graders in Janis Thomson’s class completed an in-depth research project as a culmination of their study on animals. As part of the project, the students selected an animal and collected information on that species through both written and Internet sources. Each project focused on the animal’s habitat, physical characteristics, diet, lifestyle and interesting facts. The students compiled their research to create dioramas depicting the animal in its natural habitat. The class shared their research project with younger peers in a museum set up in the classroom.

Supporting Charity in Colorful Way

Academy Elementary School students and staff members donned colorful mismatched socks in honor of World Down Syndrome Awareness Day to show their support for those with Down syndrome. The mismatched footwear was a symbol that even though people are different, they should be accepted and their differenced celebrated because they are still people.

Additionally, the school collected more than $200 in donations for the Association for Children with Down Syndrome in Plainview. Those who donated were entered into a raffle drawing to win a basket full of colorful socks, which was won by teacher Nicole Greco.

Showcasing Science

Elementary students from throughout the district showcased their understanding of the scientific method as they completed a variety of complex research projects for this year’s school science fairs. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade selected a topic of interest to them and worked to prove a hypothesis. Projects submitted to this year’s fairs covered topics including “Which Bread Gets Moldy the Fastest” and “Does Caffeine Effect a Plant’s Growth.”

As a special component to the Science Quest fair held at Sylvan Avenue Elementary School, high school science students conducted hands-on demonstrations incorporating several science themes. Additionally, the class that had the highest participation rate – Sara Desmond’s first-grade class – was awarded a special in-class program by Mad Science, an educational group of scientists that conducts hands-on workshops for students.  

In addition to showcasing their work during day and evening school fairs, the buildings’ third- through fifth-graders were invited to showcase their projects during the Celebration of Science event hosted by the BBP SEED Foundation. The event, held at Bayport-Blue Point High School, also featured projects completed by the district’s middle and high school students as well as an interactive performance of “The Marvels of Motion, Physics and Forces” by Mad Science.

This year’s school winners will advance to compete in the annual Brookhaven National Lab Science Fair. The district congratulates the following first-place winners as well as the honorable mentions:

Academy Avenue Elementary School:
Hannah Munno – Kindergarten
Brenna Hassett – First Grade
Shannon Kroog/Julia Kroog – Second Grade
Sean Nolan – Third Grade
Grace Witt – Fourth Grade
Marianna Vlachos – Fifth Grade

Honorable Mentions:
Dominick Witt – Kindergarten
Sophia McInnes – First Grade
Alexandra Vlachos – Second Grade
Jesse Munno – Third Grade
Norah Fryer – Third Grade
Alysia Spencer – Fourth Grade
Katelyn Tirado – Fifth Grade

Blue Point Elementary School:
J.T. Swan – Kindergarten
Brendan Mattimore – First Grade
Matthew Tucci – Second Grade
Julia Powers – Third Grade
Anthony Russo – Fourth Grade
Cecily Phua – Fifth Grade

Honorable Mentions:
Connor Powers – Kindergarten
Cole Gibson – Second Grade
Lucas Becher – Third Grade
Jameson Smith – Fourth Grade
Frankie Russo – Fifth Grade

Sylvan Avenue Elementary School:
Michael Clare – Kindergarten
Alexa Damiano – First Grade
Jon luca Cortese – Second Grade
Erin McMahon – Third Grade
Jenna Vazquez – Fourth Grade
Connor Spencer – Fifth Grade

Honorable Mentions:
Alexander Reyes – Kindergarten
Gabriel Keeley – First Grade
Chris Van Dood – Second Grade
Madeline Jensen – Second Grade
William Casey – Third Grade
Emma Young – Fourth Grade
Tristan Reese – Fifth Grade

Advocating For Our Fair Share

Representing the entire Bayport-Blue Point school community, Board President Rebecca Campbell, trustee James March, BOE student representative Ryan Ball, and PTA Council President Andrea Sanseviro, traveled to Albany yesterday to advocate for the district’s fair share of state aid and to fight for the repeal of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (the “GEA”).

 

The group had 9 meetings over the course of the day, with local assemblymen Garbarino and Graf, with Senators Zeldin, Boyle, and Flanagan, with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office, with Senate Majority Co-Leader Dean Skelos’s office, and with Governor Cuomo’s Assistant Secretary of Education.  The purpose of these meetings was to let lawmakers in Albany know how insufficient state funding is affecting us in Bayport-Blue Point. 

 

Formerly known as the Deficit Reduction Assessment, the GEA’s original purpose was to reduce state support to public schools in order to close the state’s $10 billion budget deficit. Over the past five years, the GEA has reduced BBP’s state aid by $9.2 million, $1.8M in this year alone if nothing changes.  Over the past five years, BBP’s total state aid has increased by only $77,000, or 0.49%.  At the same time, expenditures over which the district has no control have increased exponentially.  For example, over the past 5 years, pension expenses and health insurance alone have increased by $5.1 million, or 36%.  BBP Board President, Rebecca Campbell, describes what is at stake: 

 

“We went to Albany yesterday because it is our responsibility as district leaders to protect BBP’s financial stability.  Education cannot happen at the highest level when our students, our staff, and our administration are distracted by the yearly threat of programs and jobs disappearing due to inadequate state aid. 

 

We told our lawmakers that the current approach to state aid would not allow us to sustain BBP operations over the long run.  BBP revenue is constricted because we are committed to the 2% tax cap and state aid (our only other source of revenue) has been flat for 5 years.  On the cost side, BBP is subject to a web of state laws that make cost control extremely difficult, although we strive to make headway.  In addition, BBP costs ballooned this year due to Albany initiatives like the Common Core and APPR, both of which have required new and unprecedented expenditures. 

 

We told our lawmakers that we support them, but that if they truly support education the way to make that clear at this point is with money -- money to do the very things Albany is asking us to do and that we are ready to do, namely to make sure that we have a guaranteed and viable K-12 curriculum, taught by trained and well-supported teachers, so that each of our students graduates college and career ready.  I am happy to report that each lawmaker we contacted made time for us and really listened.  Now, we’ll see what they are able to do. “  

 

Today and tomorrow are the last days that BBP residents can make a difference in the debate that is happening right now up in Albany over education spending.  As the district takes a proactive stance on this issue, residents are urged to join the cause by writing to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to help resolve these major issues and adopt a budget by the March 31 deadline. For information about how these issues are affecting BBP click here.

 

Contact information for these individuals is located below. Residents can also take a stand on this matter by completing the action form located on the New York State Council of School Superintendents website, http://capwiz.com/nyscoss/issues/alert/?alertid=63158461.

 

NYS Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
518-474-8390
Emails can be sent through:
http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php

 

Senator John J. Flanagan
Email address:
flanagan@nysenate.gov

 

District Office
Phone: 631-361-2154
Fax: 631-361-5367
Albany Office
Phone: 518-455-2071
Fax: 518-426-6904

 

Senator Dean G. Skelos

Email address: skelos@nysenate.gov

District Office

Phone: (516) 766-8383

Albany Office

Phone: (518) 455-3171

 

Senator Lee M. Zeldin

Email address: zeldin@nysenate.gov

 

District Office - Ronkonkoma

Phone: 631-585-0608

Fax: 631-585-0858

District Office – Hauppauge

Phone: 631-360-3356

Fax: 631-360-3269

Albany Office

Phone: 518-455-3570

Fax: 518-426-6741

 

Assemblymember Andrew R. Garbarino

Email address: GarbarinoA@assembly.state.ny.us

 

District Office
631-589-0348
Fax: 631-589-0487

Albany Office
518-455-4611

 

Jumping Rope & Setting Records

Blue Point Elementary students leaped to new heights and had a record-breaking performance during this year’s Jump Rope for Heart school fundraiser for the American Heart Association. With more than 100 students participating in the event, the building was able to raise an astonishing $6,330.
     
During the monthlong initiative, the students worked to not only raise personal fitness levels, but also awareness of the importance of maintaining one’s health. During their physical education classes, the students discovered new and fun ways to jump rope and how everyday decisions can affect their health. They were encouraged to share their newfound knowledge at home with friends and family.
      
The Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser is sponsored by the American Heart Association and has been around for 35 years.    

Going Bald for a Cure

With the help and support of the surrounding community, the National Junior Honor Society at James Wilson Young Middle School collected $8,667 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization set on finding cures for childhood cancer. For a video from the event, please click below.

Famous Individuals Set in Wax

Several famous historical individuals came to life during Sylvan Avenue Elementary School's fourth-grade living wax museum event. The program, which is an annual tradition at the school, is a culminating event for the grade level’s nonfiction unit of study and incorporates various aspects of history.

To prepare for the event, the students selected historical figures of interest to them, read their biographies, and collected information on their lives and worldly contributions. The students then documented their findings on a research poster, which was put on display at the museum. For the event, the students dressed in costume to represent their chosen person and remained still, as if made of wax. Once a visitor tapped the student’s “activation button,” they came to life as their researched individual and delivered a short autobiographical speech.

Summer Enrichment Brochure

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Friday,
April 18, 2014