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Important Message from Dr. Kishore Kuncham – May 21, 2017

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the unexpected and untimely passing of one of our Freeport High School seniors, Kevin Bonnen Canola. Kevin was well liked and known as a kind person with a warm heart. He will be remembered for his helpfulness to others, adventurous spirit, and smiling face. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult and emotional time.

Freeport High School has prepared and our staff will be available to provide counseling to our students as needed. If you feel your child is having difficulty and may benefit from additional support, please contact the school so that we can be aware of your child’s needs.

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Freeport Public Schools has launched its mobile app!

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The app has information, events and access to the Parent Portal and the website. Allow for notifications to keep in touch with announcements.
Just go to the app store, download Freeport Public Schools, and go to My Alerts to enable push notifications.
Sign up today to stay in touch with important district information.

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Dodd Strives to Keep ‘Every Kid Healthy’

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Students at Dodd participated in Every Kid Healthy Week and learned about the link and importance of nutrition and physical activity. The week also highlighted the remarkable efforts of Dodd staff to teach healthy habits to all students.

Senator Visits New Visions

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Senator John Brooks visited New Visions and presented Lourdes-Saunders Blake with a certificate for winning the Earth Day contest in Nassau County. Stephanie Sorto and Cynthia Reyes Carbajal also received certificates for their participation.

Teacher Honored

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Matthew Yatsyla, science facilitator at Atkinson, has been named Nassau Outstanding Intermediate Teacher of 2017 by the Science Teachers Association of New York State.

This is the second consecutive year that an educator from the district has been honored with the remarkable distinction; last year, Debbie Bergen and Thomas Doyle were named Outstanding Elementary Teacher and Outstanding Intermediate Teacher, respectively.

Yatsyla was nominated for the award by District Director of Science Dr. Vincent Pereira for a wide array of accomplishments and initiatives, including: currently redesigning a density lab to conform to New York State Science Learning Standards’ three dimensions of learning; writing assessments on density; developing an astronomy curriculum for the Summer Science Enrichment program that he teaches each year; participating in the NASA Jove Radio Telescope Project and building a radio telescope, which facilitated the introduction of radio communications — wireless technology — to students; helping to initiate the district’s Astro Night program, training his students and high school students how to use telescopes to explain the night sky to their families; obtaining a Freeport Educational Foundation grant and introduced his students to engineering design and computer programming; and serving as adviser for the Robotics Club.

The honor earned by Yatsyla is not only a testament to his remarkable commitment to innovative education, but also an example of the extraordinary level of science instruction provided in the district.

Columbus Lights it Up Blue

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Students and staff at Columbus celebrated Light It Up Blue Spirit Day, and raised $230 to donate to the Nassau Suffolk Chapter of the Autism Society of America. The money was raised by students creating customized blue ribbons to sell to the Columbus community.

Notice: Special BOE Audit Committee Meeting - May 24, 2017

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YES at Archer

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During their physical education classes, students at Archer received a visit from Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES) program instructors and learned about the importance and benefits of mindfulness, yoga and stretching.

Litterbug Lessons

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As part of their celebration of Earth Day, students at Atkinson created litterbugs out of ecofriendly and reusable materials. With plastic juice or soda containers as foundations, the students used materials such as bottlecaps, snack wrappers, and plastic utensils and bags to develop their litterbugs. The multifaceted activity not only encouraged the students to continue using their imaginations in creative ways, but also promoted the importance of recycling and taking care of the planet in honor of Earth Day.

Reflection Winners

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Atkinson extends its congratulations to PTA Reflections contest winners Lebron Linshue, Thor Cepeda, Sejla Omeragic, Donovan Lingonde, Brianna Bras and Yadira Cruz, who created stunning visual arts, photography and literature aligned with the theme, “What is Your Story?” under the leadership of Mrs. Barry and Ms. Hertzberg.

Freeport School District Voting Results

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The Freeport School District Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham would like to thank all community residents who participated in the 2017-18 school budget vote and board trustee election. Below are the voting results:

Proposition One: 2017-18 School Budget: YES 812  NO 180 TOTAL 992 - Approved

Proposition Two: Freeport Memorial Library Budget: YES 800 NO 176 TOTAL 976 - Approved

Proposition Three: Establishment of a Capital Reserve Fund Known as the Facilities Improvement Program 2017: YES 783 NO 164 TOTAL 947 - Approved

Board of Education Trustee Election:
Ronald J. Ellerbe     810
Vilma I. Lancaster    801  
Both board trustees were reelected to three-year terms beginning July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2020.

New and familiar faces

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During the district’s Board of Education meeting on May 16, the board unanimously approved the following appointments: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Mary Anne DeVivio; Director of Pupil Personnel Services Dr. Helen M. Kanellopoulos; Freeport High School Principal Joseph G. Mille; and Bayview Elementary School Principal Mary Garguilo. All appointments are effective July 1, 2017.

Dr. DeVivio is currently serving the Bergenfield, New Jersey Public School District as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. She earned a Doctorate from Russell Sage College, a Master’s degree from Pace University and a Bachelor of Science from St. John’s University.

Dr. Kanellopoulos is currently the Assistant Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services for the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. She received a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from St. John’s University, a Certificate of Advanced Studies, Educational Administration from Long Island University, a Master of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Molloy College.

A familiar face in the district, Mille is currently the assistant principal at Freeport High School. He has earned a Professional Diploma in Administration Education, a Master of Science in Special Education from Dowling College and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Molloy College.

Currently the assistant principal at Archer Street Elementary School, Garguilo earned her School District Administration Certification and School Administration and Supervision Certification from Long Island University, a Master of Science in Elementary Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Hofstra University.

“After a diligent and thorough search to fill these critical leadership roles, we are pleased to welcome these highly competent administrators to their new positions,” said Board of Education President Michael Pomerico. “We are confident they possess the leadership skills and vision to continue to provide our students with the education and services they need to be successful.”

BOE Action Meeting at Columbus Avenue School - May 24, 2017

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STEAMing for Success

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As part of an annual tradition, New Visions School in the Freeport Public School District hosted Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) Night for students and their families. The program was comprised of a variety of workshops designed to give the New Visions community an opportunity to work together on a wide assortment of STEAM-related projects and tasks that included computer coding; LEGO communication; 3-dimensional computer art; Doodlebots; LED design; and a fusion of yoga and art. The evening was a fun and educational supplement to the daily STEAM lessons students are engaged in at New Visions.

Class of 2017 Senior Talent Show

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Super talent graced the stage as the Class of 2017 coordinated an amazing talent show this year!
 
Planning and coordinating were orchestrated by class officers Victoria Wright, Katiana Thompson, Maya Thompson, and Aliyah Mc Laurin. Participants ranged in talents from dance, piano, and voice!  With the crowd on its feet, Freeport High School showcased their creative talents, and the show was a huge success! Special thanks to Mr. Doug Martinez.

The Voice of Potential Ripple of Hope Project for Global Youth Initiatives

The Voice of Potential Ripple of Hope Project for Global Youth Initiatives Photo
For the past five years through grassroots efforts, students at Freeport High School have been raising awareness of important issues in our global community. This year, students raised $600 dollars. Through an ongoing global youth advocacy initiative created by FHS teacher Pamela Mary Schmidt, students in the United States are connected to children in Nepal and Haiti to facilitate human potential and promote dignity through self-sustainability and art.  Students have been generating support for disabled orphans in Haiti (2012-17) and children recently removed from exploitative labor in the rug industry by GoodWeave, USA in Nepal (2013-14) through The Voice of Potential Ripple of Hope Project.

In exchange for the bracelet made with the artwork of the children in Haiti done with Ms. Schmidt, each person’s name (students and faculty) is placed on a paper “drop of water” (1 drop for each dollar) on the wall that states, "I am a ripple of hope.” As the drops come together in the hallway, they create a wave that visually interprets the following quote by Robert F. Kennedy:

“Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others... he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current  that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” – Robert F. Kennedy

Through the concept that teaches one person can make a difference, Freeport High School students are changing their global community through research, advocacy, and collaborative art. All proceeds go directly towards the education of the children at the locations.
This summer, Ms. Schmidt will travel to India to stay with Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi. She will return with the artwork completed by children rescued from the carpet industry and rock quarries, and facilitate collaboration between the children at Bal Ashram with the students at Freeport High School 2017-18.

Astounding Artists

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Students from Dodd and the high school had the honor of displaying their remarkable artwork at the Freeport Memorial Library’s Secondary Art Exhibit in May.

At a special ceremony attended by members of the board of education, district staff members and parents, featured students received certificates commemorating their work and were encouraged to continue developing their impressive talents. In addition, Freeport High School Principal Linda Carter was presented with a framed still-life artwork by senior Abigail Aguilar and the district’s art department as a token of appreciation for all of her years of dedicated service.

The ceremony was designed to celebrate the artistic skills of students at the middle and high schools, and to honor one of its beloved administrators.

Leading the Pathway to Peace

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As part of the Freeport Cares tradition, hundreds of students and staff members of the district were joined by members of the Board of Education, local elected officials and community residents in a celebration of peace and nonviolence at the eighth annual Peace March and Health and Wellness Fair.

“Let’s all join together to celebrate the beautiful power of peace as a unifying and healing force,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “Let’s all believe in the harmony we can achieve with everyone around us, and let’s strive for peace both within ourselves and across the world.”

Attendees gathered in the high school gymnasium prior to the march through the Village of Freeport for inspiring speeches and a joint kindergarten-through-sixth-grade choral performance by students of various schools in the district. Participants in the walk wore glowing smiles, proudly held up peace signs and banners, and were dressed in yellow — the color for peace. They were then invited to take part in wellness-related activities, including a fair featuring several health organizations and institutions, as well as a variety of group exercises designed to promote the importance of an active lifestyle. The fair provided attendees with the opportunity to speak to representatives and learn more about their respective organizations’ purposes and roles.

The annual Freeport Cares Peace March was an extension of the combined district and community commitment to fostering unity as far as possible.

Tremendous Talent

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Students at the high school took center stage to showcase a variety of their skills before their peers and teachers during the annual Talent Show. The program, which included performances in music and drama, was designed to offer students with the opportunity to continue developing their creative voices and confidence to astound in the performing arts.

One for the Record Books

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The Freeport High School varsity softball team finished in first place in their conference and will be moving forward to compete in the playoffs for the first time in 16 years.
    
The Lady Devils finished their season with a record of 13-2 and were led by the skills, determination, and passion of the seven graduating seniors: Carla Estrella, Alba Fernandez, Jennifer Jimenez, Wildelina Peralta, Elizabeth Sekreta, Kimberly Serna and Darielys Veras. Daelyn Ross, Zoie Gold, Naggalie Cruceta, Gianny Reynoso, and Yulianna Frometa also contributed to the team’s outstanding season.     

The team has also been honored as a Scholar-Athlete Team, which means that 75 percent of the roster achieved a combined GPA of 90 percent or greater. Congratulations on a great season.

Realtors See District's Excellence

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Real Estate agents in the Village of Freeport had an opportunity to learn about the school district's various achievements, programs, and activities, and to engage in a dialog with district officials at a Realtors Luncheon held at New Visions School on April 28.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham welcomed the special guests to the luncheon. Also present were Freeport Board of Education trustees Ronald Ellerbe, who is also a Freeport realtor, and Ernest Kight, Jr. as well as district administrators. Dr. Kuncham spoke about the unique benefits offered by Freeport’s Magnet Schools system and notable district highlights, including college credit programs at the high school, research partnerships with many universities and renowned institutions, and the historically high graduation rates. He also discussed the Gold Level music program, numerous sports accolades and the solid financial status of the district including its consistently stellar bond rating of AA by Standard and Poor’s. Members of the district’s central administration also discussed the dedication of the more than 1,000 staff members committed to ensuring the success of more than 7,000 students districtwide, and the holistic “whole child” approach in place across all eight schools.

“All of us at the Freeport Public Schools are a team, and we would be thrilled to show you what a wonderful district this is,” Dr. Kuncham said. “I encourage you to share our successes with us by visiting any of our schools so you can see firsthand our student-teacher interactions, the beautiful maintenance of our buildings and classrooms, and the opportunities students are afforded each day from pre-kindergarten through high school.”

The Realtors were impressed by the level of opportunities available to students and families from Freeport Public Schools. They left with an excellent understanding of the district’s accomplishments that they can share with prospective residents.

Spring 2017 Art Festivals

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Students Showcase Scientific Prowess

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High school students presented their exceptional research-driven science projects in the school’s 13th annual Science and Engineering Fair.

The exhibit featured students presenting their research, experiments and conclusions under the leadership of science research teacher Edward Irwin to a team of judges that was comprised of district staff members, college professors, and science-related industries. Subject areas of research projects included biochemistry, botany, medicine and health, microbiology, physics, space science and zoology. The projects were evaluated on a point system based on students’ research displayed, methods used, validity of conclusions and presentation of results.

The science and engineering fair was designed not only a forum for students to present their remarkable research skills to experts in those fields, but also a glimpse of the extraordinary instruction and support at the high school.

13 Reasons Why - Safety Message

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FHS Wrestlers Recognized

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Students on the high school wrestling team were honored at the Nassau County Awards dinner at Crest Hollow Country Club for having achieved All-County distinction.

The honored students were senior Dashaun Thomas, juniors Frankie Paulino, Chad Elder and Ikce Quiles, and freshman Lee Mauras. In addition, Mauras placed first in the 2017 War at the Shore Folkstyle Nationals Tournament held at the Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood, New Jersey, which earned him a national title and All-American status in the 128-pound weight class.

Cheerleaders Celebrated

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Two varsity cheerleaders at the high school were honored for their remarkable accolades and commitment to excellence at the Board of Education’s April meeting. Deanna Carroll, two-year captain and five-year team member, was recognized for being named 2016-2017 All-Long Island First Team, the Nassau County Cheerleader of the Year, and the overall Long Island Cheerleader of the Year, while three-year team member Saadiya Toliver was recognized for being named 2016-2017 All-Long Island First Team.

The administration and Board of Education extend their congratulations to Carroll and Toliver for their accomplishments and dedication.

Chorale Enthralls at Westminster

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The high school Select Chorale, under the leadership of director Monique Retzlaff, continued to captivate audiences’ hearts with remarkable performances at the Westminster Choir College Invitational. The group performed renditions of “Lacrimosa,” and “Elijah Rock” to standing ovations, and received an invitation to perform with the Westminster Chapel Choir, featuring last year’s Select Chorale president, Christopher Fludd. The two groups came together and performed “Even When He is Silent.”

The group will also perform at the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center on May 18, and has for the eighth consecutive year been invited to perform at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall in New York City on Memorial Day Weekend. There, they will perform “Sunrise Mass,” a nearly 40-minute piece by Ola Gjeilo.

“I cannot say enough about the talents and dedication of my students,” said Retzlaff. “It is their commitment to success that has earned them the honor of performing at such prestigious venues, and it is my privilege to lead such a humble and hardworking group.”

Books Come Alive at Bayview

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Students and their families at Bayview were treated to a book fair and an entertaining lesson in character education at the annual Bayview Family Book Club event.

As part of program, the school’s faculty members pantomimed two books on stage that were read aloud in both English and Spanish. The books were about the growth mindset and were designed to develop high self-esteem.

The event encouraged students to continue reading outside the classroom and was a fun way to promote self worth as part of Bayview’s ongoing character education.

Tax Tutorials and Financial Fun

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Students in the high school's 21st Century High School Heroes club, under the direction of adviser Eileen Shultis, visited New Visions to conduct age-appropriate financial and economics lessons to second-grade students.

The high school students planned for the day by preparing material provided by nonprofit youth organization Junior Achievement. The second-graders participated in interactive activities, such as career tic-tac-toe and a money match-up game, that were designed to teach them about a variety of topics, including work readiness, voting on spending, careers in a community and specific skills required for each job. They also learned about the basic role of taxes, and how taxes support government services. The day culminated with an activity that demonstrated how money flows in an economy.

Lessons presented correlated to standards in social studies, English, math and 21st Century Skills, and gave students from both schools the opportunity to form a bond and learn from each other.

 

FHS Expands Innovative Learning Opportunities

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The high school unveiled its new Mac Lab during a grand re-opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by students, faculty members and administrators. The lab, which features 30 new Apple iMac computers and a high-tech oversized Hewlett Packard DesignJet printer, was funded by the Title 2 Grant and will be used for digital art, digital music and technology classes. Located next to the school’s library, the lab will provide students with additional ways to supplement their academics with the latest technologically-advanced resources.

“This new state of the art lab is providing our students with cutting-edge experiences in career fields such as the digital arts and multimedia production,” said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Gerard Poole.

VIDEO: BNL Visits Archer

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Students Discuss Nanotechnology on 103.9 FM

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Hooray for ‘Hairspray’

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Students and staff at the high school presented a remarkable rendition of the Broadway musical ‘Hairspray’ to members of the school district and Freeport community.

The play, based on the book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, and on the New Lince Cinema film written and directed by John Waters, starred several outstanding students who showcased their talents while cast in leading roles: senior Makayla Willocks as Velma von Tussle; junior Michael Desir as Link Larkin; junior Myles Carter as Seaweed J. Stubbs; junior Jessica Moreo as Tracy Turnblad; senior Isaiah Cole Louder as Edna Turnblad; junior Joseph LaRocca as Wilbur Turnblad/Mr. Spritzer; and sophomore Gabriel Alvarado as Corny Collins. The production staff included director Geraldine LaPenne, producer Mike LaSorsa, musical director Monique Retzlaff and choreographer Mahendra Guerrier.

‘Hairpray’ captivated the audiences with inspiring themes, including racial integration, human rights and the beauty in realizing that everyone is created equal. Students performed two well-attended shows, and demonstrated their talents as testaments to their dedication and the level of arts instruction at FHS.

Art Excellence Exhibited

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Giblyn was selected to showcase the artwork of its students at the Long Island Children’s Museum throughout the month of March. The beautiful work was exhibited in the Community Gallery, and represented the creativity of students in grades K-4 in Susan Warren’s art room from September through March.
 

Spring Newsletter Now Available

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Cheerleaders Amaze

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Two members of the high school varsity cheerleading team have been honored with remarkable distinctions by Newsday. Two-year captain and five-year team member Deanna Carroll was named 2016-2017 All-Long Island First Team, the Nassau County Cheerleader of the Year, and the overall Long Island Cheerleader of the Year. In addition, three-year team member Saadiya Toliver was named 2016-2017 All-Long Island First Team.

The district extends its congratulations to Carroll and Toliver for their tremendous accomplishments and commends them both for their commitment to success.

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Learning the Write Way

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As part of a two-day writer’s workshop, students at Dodd received a visit from Long Island author Jennifer Wolf Kam. Thirty students who have an interest in writing creative fiction had the opportunity to learn about characterization and dialogue, and shared their own creative pieces with Kam. Kam also discussed her first novel, “Devin Rhodes is Dead,” a mystery that received the Children’s Book of the Year Award from the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Hardcover copies of the novel were purchased by the district and provided to students. The workshop, along with Kam’s visit, helped to support students’ passion for creative writing and promoted the importance of literacy.

Students Capitol-ize

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Thirty students from the the high school’s Student Government and Smart Scholars Program visited the State Capitol in Albany and met with Sen. John Brooks and Assemblyman Brian Curran to discuss funding for education in their community and state. Both representatives also provided students with the opportunity to visit the Assembly and Senate Chambers. The trip was an invaluable learning experience for students, who supplemented their classroom lessons about the government.