Beginning a New Journey

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Bayport-Blue Point High School’s freshman class officially began their high school journey and learned about the countless opportunities that await them during a summer orientation program held in late August.

During the program, members of the administration and guidance office discussed key matters such as graduation requirements, how students can prepare for college, and electives offered. With the help of several upperclassmen, they also shared ways to get involved in the school community.
“Our school has a lot to offer,” said Principal Dr. Gaurav Passi. “I encourage each of you to find a club or elective that speaks to you and take advantage of the opportunities before you.”

Throughout the remainder of the program, volunteer upperclassmen led small group tours and assisted the incoming ninth-graders with opening their lockers before the freshmen met with friends for a complimentary pizza lunch.

Also opening its doors to new students was the district’s middle school, James Wilson Young, which held a summer locker tryout event for the incoming sixth-grade class. The program allowed students to tour the building and try their hand at opening their lockers for the first time.

 



HS in the National Spotlight

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Bayport-Blue Point High School was named one of America’s top high schools in Newsweek’s 2015 Top 500 Public High Schools rankings. This honor was only received by 21 high schools on Long Island.

The annual rankings assess schools based on a broad range of data to identify those that excel at preparing students for college and to overcome socioeconomic obstacles. BBP earned the distinction of being ranked No. 443 in the nation, with a college readiness score of 77 and a 97.2 percent graduation rate.

“We are very proud of this recognition, which is a true demonstration of our staff’s pledge to provide students with a challenging and enriched learning experience,” said Principal Dr. Gaurav Passi.

“Our district has a strong commitment to providing students with a well-rounded and robust educational program that is designed to meet a myriad of learning abilities and interests,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera. “From our accelerated math program with built-in supports at the middle school level to our numerous Advanced Placement courses at the high school, BBP scholars are afforded opportunities to excel and meet high expectations. I commend all of our faculty, administrators and students on earning this much-deserved recognition.”

A Winning Experience

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Approximately 50 Bayport-Blue Point students devoted five weeks of their summer vacation to helping 27 children from the community and surrounding area advance their fine motor and athletic skills. They accomplished this through a sports clinic run by the organization Inclusive Sports and Fitness, held at Academy Street Elementary School.

The students served as mentors to the clinic’s participants, who worked to improve their skills in soccer, golf, basketball, baseball and volleyball. Additionally, smaller groups met to learn how to paddleboard along the Great South Bay. Those students began each meeting with an introduction to the day’s activities before working in small groups to fine-tune their skills. Social time was included in the program, and each session ended with gentle meditation yoga.

Alexander Lopez, ISF founder and executive director, explained that the program brings tremendous benefits to all participants, as it builds not only their skill sets, but also their confidence. His team has studied the benefits such structured programs have on youth and has shared its research at the American Physical Therapy Association Conference.

Smile Train Welcomes Sylvan Avenue Elementary School Representatives

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The Smile Train Organization welcomed representatives of Sylvan Avenue Elementary School, speech pathologists Laurie Katz and Christine Monahan, to their World Headquarters in NYC. The Smile Train rolled out the red carpet to welcome one of the most generous and consistent fundraising schools in the nation. Mrs. Katz and Mrs. Monahan were thrilled to meet Smile Train's CEO, Susannah Schaefer, a former Bayport resident, as well as many other integral members of the Smile Train staff. In the past seven years, the Sylvan Avenue learning community has raised enough money to provide 200 cleft lip and palate surgeries during May's "Better Speech and Hearing" month fundraiser.

Summer Newsletter Now Available!

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Building Memories

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Sylvan Avenue Elementary School kindergarten classes built memories and birdhouses in honor of Father’s Day this June.

The birdhouses, paint for decorating and child-sized Brinkmann aprons were all donated by Brinkmann Hardware, who also sent some helping hands to assist in the construction of the houses.

June 23, 2015 - Bond Presentation Video

Graduates Leave Their Mark

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Blue and gold blanketed the tree-lined front lawn of the high school as the members of the Bayport-Blue Point High School Class of 2015 gathered to celebrate graduation and commemorate their myriad of academic, athletic and co-curricular accomplishments.

During the event, several students and administrators addressed the soon-to-be graduates to share their collective wishes for the future and reflections on the class’s time in BBP.

An underlying message of challenging oneself in the future by stepping out of one’s comfort zone was the foundation for the speeches delivered by salutatorian Alexie Lessing and Board of Education President Rebecca Campbell. Principal Dr. Gaurav Passi encouraged the students to “choose a career that will fill your life with purpose, one that leaves you content and gratified.” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera provided examples of how members of the class were embodying eight powerful words he encouraged all to live by: “Do or do not; there is no try.”

Valedictorian Patrick Liu encouraged the students to be authentic in the future. “While we can adopt the principles of others, we should never seek to imitate them,” he advised. “Being creative, original and going your own way are very important things in life that we should never forget.”
Student speakers Elizabeth Geoghan and Class President Dylan Mittendorf also shared their collective wishes for the class’s future, and Elizabeth assisted in presenting an honorary diploma to retiring staff member Carol Pitkewicz.

Members of the administration presented students with a GPA of at least 90 percent with honor medallions before each of the 185 graduates crossed the stage to receive their diplomas.

 



Marking Milestones

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Family, friends and educators joined together this June as the district’s fifth- and eighth-grade students marked an educational milestone and moved up to middle and high school, respectively.

During commemorative moving-up ceremonies, the students’ years of hard work, dedication and service to their school communities were applauded and praised by administrators and several local elected officials. Additionally, several musical groups showcased their talents by performing an array of familiar selections, including an “Irish Friendship Wish.”

At the Academy Street Elementary School moving-up ceremony, students’ were applauded for receiving presidential awards, an honor from the Blue Point-Bayport Lions Club and several community service-sponsored awards.

As the soon-to-be graduates prepared to bid farewell to their respective buildings, school administrators concluded the ceremonies by sharing their reflections on the classes and presenting the students with their moving-up diplomas.

 



Recognition of Excellence

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Shortly before the seniors became the latest alumni of the Bayport-Blue Point School District, the Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera honored six outstanding members of the Class of 2015 for their achievements at the annual In Recognition of Excellence event.

These students were selected by a committee of teachers and administrators at the high school from a list of nominees summited by the entire faculty. Criteria for selection included: service to the school and community; respect for fellow students; strong moral character; academic achievement; commitment and appreciation of school ideals; participation in school activities; and one’s ability to express him/herself. The honorees in turn each selected three staff members – one representing each level of their schooling – who had a positive influence on their education.

The following students and staff members were honored at the ceremony.

Sarah Barsch        
Honored Staff Members:
Elementary: Ms. Tammy Santora
High School: Mr. John Limperatos
High School: Mr. Dan Harrington

Elizabeth Geoghan        
Honored Staff Members:
Elementary: Ms. Virginia Metzendorf
High School: Dr. Gaurav Passi
High School: Ms. Nikki Restivo

Kyle McCrosson        
Honored Staff Members:
Elementary: Ms. Joan Heiser    
Middle School: Mr. Roger Kauffman
High School: Mr. Michael Sarling

Arianna Roussis        
Honored Staff Members:
Elementary: Ms. Virginia Metzendorf
High School: Mr. James Cottone
High School: Mr. Carol Pitkewicz

Brooke Schultz        
Honored Staff Members:
Elementary: Ms. Linda Rubacka        
High School: Mr. Gilles Desrochers
High School: Mr. Sean Meade

Scott Schultz            
Honored Staff Members:
Elementary: Ms. Tammy Santora
Middle School: Ms. Rochelle Petre
High School: Mr. Steven Roach
 



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Recognized Music Educator

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Bayport-Blue Point High School chorus teacher James Cottone was named one of 213 quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and Grammy Foundation.

Mr. Cottone has been a teacher in BBP for the past five years. He currently teaches the high school chamber choir, mixed chorus and jazz choir. He has also taught eighth-grade chorus for four years. Under his leadership, the high school choral program has more than doubled in size.

This award was established to recognize current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists, and recognized for his/her remarkable impact on students' lives. The winner will be flown to the host city of the Grammy Awards to accept the award, attend the Grammy Awards ceremony and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine other finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants.

A total of 4,500 nominations from across all 50 states were received for this year’s contest.


Historic Conversations

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As a culmination of their study on the 20th century, James Wilson Young Middle School eighth-grade social studies students had the chance to speak with several local veterans during an interactive panel discussion in the school’s library.

Leading up to the event, the students worked with teacher Peggy Vallely and library media specialist Kelly Noeldechen to research the different wars that transpired during this timeframe and learn proper interviewing techniques. In small groups, they interviewed the veterans in attendance, discussing what their pre- and post-war experience was like, how they came to serve and how their experiences helped to shape their life.

To preserve the moment and heroes’ stories, the students recorded their interviews on iPads and other electronic devices. They also compared the responses they received and the veterans’ varied experiences in follow-up class conversations.


BOE Remind Me Text Message Services

In an effort to enhance communication between the Board of Education and community members, the BOE is now utilizing Remind Me Text Message Services. This free, safe, and simple messaging tool enables the Board to share important updates and reminders with students and parents. All personal information is kept private and your phone number will not be shared with the BOE.

If you’d like to receive text message reminders for BOE meetings, please opt-in by simply texting "@BBPBOE" to 81010. You can opt-out at any time by replying, "unsubscribe @BBPBOE". Detailed directions have been attached. As a reminder, in subscribing to this service, you will only receive information regarding the Board of Education.

Standard text message rates apply.

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Help for Furry Friends

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Elizabeth Kaufer, a fourth-grader at Academy Street Elementary School, inspired her fellow classmates to lend a helping hand to the furrier members of the community during a recent schoolwide drive for the Islip Town Animal Shelter.

“I was inspired to do something to help after a recent visit to the shelter,” said Elizabeth. “I wanted to give the many pets up for adoption some toys to play with and a comfortable bed to sleep in while they wait for their forever home.”

Elizabeth, a self-proclaimed pet lover, collected hundreds of pet toys, food items, bedding and supplies during the three-week drive. With the support of the school, she presented the donations to a representative from the shelter in early June. She received a proclamation from the Town in recognition of her efforts.

“It felt really good to help out, and I am so appreciative of the school’s support,” said Elizabeth. “So many people shared their pet adoption stories throughout the drive. It became a really nice school bonding project.”
 


History for Hire

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Academy Street Elementary School fifth-graders brought a wide variety of historical figures to life as they participated in the building’s “History for Hire” wax museum.

Leading up to the event, the students read biographies and gathered research on individuals who had historical importance in the Western Hemisphere. They synthesized their research and employed their writing skills by creating a resume for that person, highlighting their particular skill sets and qualifications. On the day of the event, the students dressed as the individual and remained still until “activated” by a visitor to their station. Acting in their character’s role, they petitioned for jobs tailored to the areas that made them famous.

In addition to the important historical and literary lessons involved, the event served as a fundraiser, as visitors made monetary donations at each student’s station to benefit Inclusive Sports and Fitness Inc. ISF provides skilled therapeutic services to maximize a child’s ability to engage in sports and recreational activities.


Teacher of the Year

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Rochelle Petre, a sixth-grade science teacher at James Wilson Young Middle School, has been named the 2015 Middle School Science Teacher of the Year by the Suffolk Section of the Science Teachers Association of New York State.

Ms. Petre provides mentoring and assistance within the district to fifth-grade science teachers and new teachers at the middle school. She assisted in writing the current sixth-grade curriculum and will be integral in revising the district’s science curriculum for grades five through seven. She has also taken part in many in-district professional development opportunities, which have included topics such as incorporating student voice in the classroom and Depth of Knowledge training. Outside the district, Ms. Petre is an active member and co-chair of NYSUT’s statewide math, science and technology subject area committee and a member of the American Federation of Teachers Next Generation Science Standards National Teacher Review Team Committee.

 “Ms. Petre joins an elite group of science educators who have not only demonstrated that they are outstanding classroom teachers, but have also been involved in endeavors that have provided students and teachers with programs and strategies for the advancement of science in and out of the classroom,” said Brian Vorwald, co-chairperson of the STANYS awards committee.


Friday,
August 28, 2015