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Notice of Special BOE Audit Committee Meeting - September 27

Attachments:

Select Chorale Astounds for Jets

Select Chorale Astounds for Jets photo
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As a dazzling precursor to the start of the 2017-2018 school year, the high school Select Chorale performed the national anthem at the National Football League’s New York Jets’ preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Under the leadership of Director Monique Retzlaff, the Chorale continues to earn invitations to prestigious venues at which to showcase its talents.

On Thanksgiving eve Nov. 22, the group will open for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular to kick off the holiday season in festive fashion.

Remembering 9/11

Remembering 9/11 photo

Schools across the the district held special ceremonies to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Principals Mary Garguilo, Paula Lein and Renée Crump-Dedmon led schoolwide assemblies at the flagpoles at Bayview Avenue School, Archer Street School and New Visions School, respectively. At all of the ceremonies, the themes of solidarity, pride and hope resonated as the principals spoke about the sacrifices so many Americans made that day. Patriotic songs, such as Lee Greenwood’s “Proud To Be An American,” were played as students and staff wearing red, white and blue gathered together. In addition, Board of Education Vice President Anthony Miller, members of central administration, local law enforcement officials and firefighters attended the ceremony at New Visions as part of its annual “Heroes Day” tradition.

The ceremonies were designed to teach students about the importance of honoring the lives lost on 9/11 and paying homage to the nation’s heroes.

Fantastic First Day

Fantastic First Day photo

Students throughout the district kicked off the 2017-2018 school year on Sept. 5 by participating in a variety of fun and educational activites. High schoolers reconnected with their peers prior to homeroom and excitedly found their way to their new classes, while the younger students arrived to their schools either holding a family member’s hand or on a school bus.

Dodd welcomed its seventh- and eighth-graders to join district staff members for a photo on the school’s brand new turf field prior to beginning their first day of the school year. The classes of 2018 and 2030 began their final years at the high school and Columbus, respectively, while at the elementary schools, family members were invited to join the students in their classrooms to usher in the new year.

On the district’s first day of the new school year, students at each grade level moved another step closer to realizing their dreams and accomplishing remarkable feats of success.

Welcome Back to the Superheroes of Our Schools

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With great enthusiasm and excitement, district staff members were welcomed back as Superheroes at Superintendent’s Conference Day prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year. As they return to school on Sept. 5 wearing their invisible capes, staff throughout the Freeport Public School District are primed to continue serving students and helping them achieve their dreams and become superstars.

Such was the overarching theme at the district’s inspiring and informative two-day Conference. Staff members from each of the district’s eight schools gathered at the Freeport High School Performing Arts Center, and were encouraged to continue using their superpowers as educators and role models to unlock students’ potential. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham asked the staff to unleash their superpowers. “You are the heart of this organization. You have my super support and deepest appreciation as our students, our superstars, come back next week.”

Dr. Kuncham discussed many of the district’s accomplishments over the course of the past year and spoke about priorities and goals for the year ahead.

“With your commitment and dedication to our children, to Freeport and to our families, you make any challenge less daunting,” Dr. Kuncham said. “I want to give a super, super thank you to everyone in every school. You have pushed, guided and counseled our children to winning awards and overcoming many personal obstacles. We are moving with direction, momentum, optimism, determination, equity and excellence for every child. That’s our focus: the whole child, the happy child, graduating on time and being college, career, and life ready. Always remember, you are superheroes, and superheroes have one thing in common. They are all in, all the time, as often as possible. They aim for excellence, so you do , and so you will!”

Dr. Kuncham reminded staff that with great powers comes great responsibility. “You have the superpower of encouragement and the ability to change lives and change futures. I ask you to see that everything is on the line, give it your all,making each triumph that much bigger, bolder and awe-inspring, as Superheroes do.”

Quoting Commissioner James Gordon from “Batman,” Board of Education President Michael Pomerico charged staff members with leaving a lasting impression on students.

“‘You’re going to make a difference,’” Pomerico said. “Thank you for your dedication, commitment to excellence and patience. I wish you a successful school year; be the one to make a difference.”
The first day’s program culminated with an energetic and empowering dance performance by students wearing capes, who inspired staff members to share in their enthusiasm for the start of the upcoming school year.

On the second day, staff members divided into smaller groups and participated in several professional development workshops including Google Classroom and Khan Academy, Google Apps for Google Classrooms, Writing Worshop, NYS Science Learning Standards, Social Studies Curriculum and Instructional Updates, Go Math, Digital Workshops and Positive Behavioral Supports.

Superintendent’s Conference Day was more than just an inspirational precursor to the school year; it was an assembly of superheroes set to embark on another year dedicated to the total development of superstars.

You Don’t Need a Cape to be a Superhero

Atkinson’s teachers are embracing the beginning of the school year and building their powers to inspire, motivate and teach our anxious 5th and 6th grade students!  It’s going to be a fantastic year!

 

Our Inspired Additions

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We are enthused to welcome the newest additions to our faculty: MARIA BALL, CYNTHIA BRUDECKI LAUREN CHIMERI, KIMBERLY COSTANZO, RACHEL EILAM, GABRIELLA FARRUGGIO, RAQUEL GOMEZ, ENZA PASCARELLA, MARICEL PEON-FARRELL, GINA SPARACO, YERALDIN TINEO. You have the influence to positively impact each student’s life and we are confident that you will succeed.  Let’s make this year the best yet!
 

Welcoming Atkinson’s New Arrivals

On August 25th, we were happy to welcome the incoming 5th graders – it was a full house!  Atkinson’s superstar social workers, Ms. Ryan and Ms. Sasso, organized the event and led the introductory activities.  Student ambassadors were heading the building tours and they did a fantastic job modeling positive behavior.  They set a fine example for the new fifth grade students. We are looking forward to providing you with the tools you need in order to be academically and socially successful here at Atkinson.  We challenge you to be role models and to give 100% to all you do!

Atkinson Welcomes Incoming Class

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As part of an annual tradition, Atkinson hosted a fifth-grade orientation for incoming students and their families prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

The program, designed to welcome and introduce students to their school for the next two years, was hosted by administrators and faculty members. Sixth-grade peer leaders also took an active role at orientation, providing a tour of the school to their incoming counterparts and helping to answer any questions they had about the transition from elementary school. The school’s administrative team also assured students that staff are always available to offer assistance and to put them in positions to succeed.

The orientation was an informative precursor to another exciting year for Freeport’s Class of 2025 and their families.

Dodd Incoming Class Set for Success

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Incoming seventh-graders at Dodd were welcomed for an orientation prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

Students were separated into small groups and participated in a variety of activities, including workshops that were designed to promote the importance of daily mindfulness and peace. They also reviewed rules and regulations, received their locker numbers, went on a tour of the school and asked any questions that would set them up for success.

The annual tradition was a helpful and informative forerunner to the next chapter of the students’ academic careers.

Class of 2021 Ready to Roll

Class of 2021 Ready to Roll Photo

The high school hosted its annual freshman orientation for the incoming Class of 2021 and their families prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

With members of the district’s board of education, administrators, staff and faculty members in attendance, students and their families were welcomed and introduced to their new school. Administrators and department chairpersons spoke about the many programs available at the high school, while members of the Peer Leadership Program led the freshmen on a tour of the building and conducted small group discussions in various classrooms.

“Today, you have officially stepped into Freeport High School, and you have officially stepped into a world of opportunities,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham said to the incoming freshmen. “We have tried to make possible anything and everything you can think and dream of here. We want each of you to take advantage of all Freeport High School has to offer; challenge yourself and experience everything. The next four years are critical. Just make sure you take your liberties and freedoms with full responsibility.”

The program was an informative forum for the new students to ask questions and learn about all of the opportunities available to them as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

District Welcomes its Newest Educators

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The district welcomed aboard 34 new teachers with an orientation at Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School on Aug. 21.

Dr. Mary Bediako, assistant superintendent for personnel and special projects, formally introduced the newest members of the district’s teaching staff to the Board of Education and administrators.

In his welcoming remarks, Board of Education President Michael Pomerico recognized that being an educator is not an easy profession and stated Freeport is a great place to live and Freeport Public Schools is a wonderful district. He shared that both his daughters benefited from attending the schools in Freeport.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham also imparted sage advice to the newest cohort of educators. “Your work goes beyond the title of a teacher,” Dr. Kuncham said. “You are artists who inspire creativity in our children; you are healers who end ignorance by bringing knowledge to our students; you are the link between knowledge and education; and you are the astronauts and pilots giving the wings to our children’s dreams. You are our champions. While they may not remember everything, you could become that amazing, favorite teacher our students will talk about for the rest of their lives.”

The new teachers then took a pledge to create a welcoming and enriching classroom environment for all students. Before leaving on a bus tour of the district’s eight buildings and historical sites, each of them received a district-issued Chromebook. The new teachers will receive an additional three days of intensive professional development to prepare them for their positions in the district.
The district will open its doors to students on Sept. 5.

Seniors Interested in Applying to RPI

OCTOBER 19 - 21, 2017

APPLY BY SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

Dear Colleague:

Rensselaer invites academically talented seniors, who are underrepresented minorities or young women, to apply for the STAR (Science, Technology, Arts at Rensselaer) Program. The STAR Program allows high school seniors to experience life as a Rensselaer student. They will attend classes, tour campus, visit our laboratories, and connect with current Rensselaer students, faculty, and staff.

STAR begins the evening of Thursday, October 19, 2017, with a dinner reception and concludes Saturday, October 21, 2017, at the close of the Fall Open House.

The agenda will include:

  • Interactive leadership activity
  • Academic experience - attend classes
  • Undergraduate research overview and tour of laboratories
  • Campus tour
  • Student panels
  • Student organizations and clubs fair
  • Lodging and meals with current students

Please share this information with your top students. Students may apply online by September 20, 2017 to participate in the STAR Program. A copy of each student's high school transcript is required to complete the STAR application prior to the deadline date of September 20, 2017.

Students accepted to participate in the STAR Program will receive a confirmation email from Rensselaer.

At the end of the event, all participants will receive an official letter confirming their participation in the event. We always encourage the students to show the letter to you and/or an attendance clerk so their absence is recognized as an official college visit.

We have been fortunate in previous years to have a limited number of travel grants available. Considering we have had as many as 200 students participate in recent years, we cannot provide travel grant assistance to every student who applies. The travel grants are awarded based on need as well as merit. Requests for assistance MUST be made on the STAR Program application. With the increase in requests, we will not be able to consider requests after the application decision is made.

 

Ulysses deArmas: dearmu@rpi.edu, 518-276-6935 

Meghan R. Griggs: griggm2@rpi.edu, 518-276-6218 

Theresa M. Abbott: kellyt4@rpi.edu, 518-276-6150

District Hosts Summer Google Institute

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As a supplement to the wide variety of professional development opportunities throughout the district during the school year, staff members participated in a Summer Google Institute program in August. The three-day program, held at the high school, was comprised of a series of workshops that focused on ways for staff to optimize their Chromebooks, how to navigate and use Google Classroom, how to incorporate resources such as G Suite for Education with curricula, and several other topics regarding the Google platform.

Workshops included “Creating Collaborative Learning Environments,” “Innovation for Using Creative Apps for Chromebook,” “What’s APPening,” “Chromebooks and G Suite in the Classroom,” and “Manage Your Class Workflow with Google Classroom,” were conducted by Instructional Technology Coaches Daniel Kaufmann and Rick Lapi.

The Summer Google Institute was designed to engage staff members for the purposes of maximizing their Google resources, and provided them with useful training that they can continue developing as they prepare for the start of the new school year.

Summer Arts Academy Astounds

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Students throughout the district exhibited their remarkable talents in the annual Summer Academy of the Arts Showcase and Exhibit, a culmination of 15 days of arts-related instruction during July. With instruction provided by faculty members throughout the district and assistance from 50 intern volunteers in grades 9-12 at the high school, 250 students in grades 4-8 had the opportunity to supplement their learning of a wide array of fields, including orchestra, visual arts, band, chorus, mariachi, media arts and dance.

The theme of this year’s program was “All You Need is Love…,” the title of a Beatles’ 1967 hit song. In addition to several Beatles’ classics that were featured throughout the show, the program was also comprised of songs by other bands and musicians that were based on the importance of spreading love. The culminating program, hosted by Director of Arts and Community Relations Ruth Breidenbach and attended by families, district staff members, administrators and members of the Board of Education on July 28, followed a format of performances by students that were separated by segments of fictional game show “The What’s Poppin’ Show,” based on the Beatles.

The Summer Academy of the Arts culmination was a platform for students to demonstrate what they learned during the 15-day program and a dazzling example of staff members’ commitment to continue providing extraordinary instruction during the summer months.

Teachers Rock!

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Stephanie Arnell was one of 15 teachers nationwide to attend the Rock and Roll Forever Summer Institute at NYU on July 17-20.
    
The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation was established by Steven Van Zandt. TeachRock is the Foundation’s national middle and high school curriculum initiative, created to address the challenges of an environment in which schools face cuts to arts funding. The initiative includes interdisciplinary, arts-driven materials designed to keep students engaged.
    
Arnell worked with the foundation to share her experiences with the TeachRock curriculum and the students of Freeport Schools. She wrote new curriculum for the TeachRock website, and will pilot a new project entitled, “Sonic Highways: Freeport” with her students in the fall.