Middle school staff shares their expertise

Elaine Kanas

On Friday, October 23, 2015, Dr. Danielle Gately, Director of Secondary Curriculum and Social Studies, Stephen Kimmel, Willets Road Principal, and fifth grade teacher Lynn Marie Flynn presented at the NYS Middle School Association Annual Conference: Middle-Level Excellence in a Common Core World.  The title of their workshop was, “Creating a Classroom Literacy Community” and it was described as follows:

“Creating a classroom environment that fosters a love of literacy does not happen by accident.  In this age of faster, shorter, and right now – explore some best practices to engage students with the vast world of young adult literature and discover how changing their minds about reading can start one page at a time.” 

Our East Williston presenters focused on the shift in our literacy program and how the workshop model has allowed independent reading and book choices to help children develop a love of reading with the guidance of their teacher.  They also highlighted how being connected to literacy experts and social media helps support us in becoming even better sources of the “latest & greatest” books and authors.   In addition, Mr. Kimmel  highlighted Willets Road art teacher  Collette Hardy’s recent projects which incorporate literacy as an example of how Willets Road and all schools can support literacy school-wide.   Congratulations Dr. Gately, Mr. Kimmel and Ms. Flynn on the selection of your presentation and for your contributions to the broader educational field outside of our district walls! 

Almost, Maine – Wheatley Theatre Company’s Drama – November 19, 20 and 21

“One cold, clear Friday night in the middle of winter, while the northern lights hover in the sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in the strangest ways…. “ 

Come join the Wheatley Theatre Company present this special play by John Cariani on Thursday, November 19, Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21 at 7:00 PM.  Our students have been hard at work, under the direction of Wheatley English teacher Colin McKenna, and are looking forward to you joining them.

The cast members and crew are listed here: Justin Vega, Caroline Crimmins, Ariana Arralde,  Elan Mizhiritsky, Lianna Golden, Devyn Bennett, Morgan Misk, Max Hochstein, Jaclyn Stroud, Jason Manzaro, Alana Osroff, Noelle Molstad, Josh Dinetz, Sydney Behar, Kimberly Esquilin, Michael Koszalka,  Liz Nolan, John Wanamaker, Assistant Director: Madison Misk, Production Stage Manager: Talia Rosen and understudies Hallie ArbitalJacoby, Victoria Manfredi and Alex Kasparian (there will be an understudy performance for friends and families), Costumes: Danielle Smichok, Abigail Smichok and Props: Michelle Smichok.

Tickets are $10.00 with senior citizen tickets, free.  You can purchase your tickets on line by going to the district website at www.ewsdonline.org > scroll down to Wheatley Theater Company > Almost, Maine tickets. If you’d like to place a program ad in the Almost, Maine Program, follow the directions to the tickets noted above but choose program ads.

Thank you in advance for supporting our student thespians.

Upcoming Literacy “Camp”

On Saturday, November 7, 2015, the East Williston School District will be hosting the First Annual #nErDcampLI.  What is nErD Camp?  See the description from the Edcamp folks below:

“nErD Camp is an “unconference”/ Edcamp with a focus on literacy based on the original #nErDcampMI’s model.  An “unconference” is a free, participant driven learning and networking experience that is designed by you and includes the topics you want to discuss.  During the first 30 minutes the morning of the event, a session board is filled with different topics by the nErD Camp attendees.  During the event participants are encouraged to vote with their feet and it is acceptable to move on if the session doesn’t meet your needs, or more likely there are 2 totally AWESOME sessions at the same time that you would like to experience. If you love spreading book love and think authors and illustrators are rock stars… then you are already a #NerdyOnLI. If you love teaching, learning, and are passionate about both…join us.   Let’s spread a little #PdLove too!” 

Attendance at this event is free.  The website has the event already sold out, but if you are an educator, or other interested literacy learner, you can contact Dr. Danielle Gately at Gatelyd@ewsdonline.org, about attending.

There are many literary “rock star” young people’s authors attending and presenting at this event; names you will likely recognize as your children’s favorite authors. 

Special Opportunity for our East Williston students at nerDcamp!

On Saturday, November 7, 2015, at 2:30 PM at Willets Road, the authors attending nerDcampLI will be signing copies of their books.  Our students district-wide are invited to meet these authors first hand!  No need to attend the earlier events. Just bring your child/children at 2:30 PM.  

Special thanks to Dr. Danielle Gately, Director of Secondary Curriculum and Social Studies, Stephen Kimmel, Willets Road Principal, David Casamento, Director of Science and Technology, Diane Ilkiw, Willets Road librarian and Audra Beberman, Instructional Technology Specialist, for their work in organizing this special event.

SEPC Fall Event on Anxiety

Due to a scheduling conflict on Wednesday, I wasn’t able to attend the SEPC Fall Event which continued the conversation I found so interesting at last year’s Part I program. On Wednesday, Melissa Jennings, LCSW-R was a guest speaker who spoke to parents on “How to Quell Parental Anxiety to Raise More Healthy, Strong, Resilient Children.”  In next week’s newsletter, Director of Pupil Personnel Services Shari Senzer and Assistant Director Thomas Sposato will provide some of the strategies shared at Wednesday’s event.

New Faces in Our Neighborhood

As I’ve mentioned before, I’d like to introduce you to our new faculty members.  At our September 1 staff convocation, our administrators introduced our new staff members to all the District Staff. Jim Bloomgarden, Principal of the North Side School, shared the following comments regarding the following new staff members at North Side. 

Jacquelyn Heney, AIS Teacher

Mrs. Heney joins the North Side staff as the Academic Intervention Services (AIS) teacher. You probably recognize Mrs. Heney as a teaching assistant and part-time special education teacher here at North Side. She has also been a leave replacement teacher here as well.  Mrs. Heney received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Skidmore College. She also received her Masters of Science in Elementary Education from Hofstra University. Please join me in welcoming Mrs. Heney as our AIS teacher at North Side. 

Angeliki Kyrou, Art Teacher

Mrs. Kyrou is no stranger to the North Side School and the East Williston School District, as well. She has been a teaching assistant at North Side for the last 10 years as well as a leave replacement teacher and substitute teacher in the art room. She has also been the art director for North Side’s Books Alive for the last several years. She is joining the North Side staff as the art teacher, replacing the retiring art teacher Robin Isaacs. Mrs. Kyrou received her Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Hofstra University. She also received her Master of Science in Art Education and Childhood Education Certification from Long Island University/C.W. Post Campus. Join me in welcoming Mrs. Kyrou to North Side as the new art teacher!  

Wheatley Winter Sports Pre-Season Meetings

Below are the upcoming pre-season meetings for Wheatley Winter sports teams. (Please note that not all teams are listed here do to the fact that a pre-season meeting was already held.)

Monday, November 9, 2015

• 2:30 PM – Boys Varsity Basketball Pre-Season Meeting in Room 150 – Coach Curcio – Season begins Monday, November 16, 2015

• 2:30 PM – Boys JV Basketball Pre-Season Meeting in Room 152 – Coach Maffatore – Season begins Monday, November 16, 2015

• 2:40 PM – Boys JV9 Basketball (for 9th graders) Pre-Season Meeting in Room 151 – Coach Virgilio – Season begins Monday, November 16, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

• 2:30 PM – Girls Varsity & JV Basketball Pre-Season Meeting in Room 208 – Coach Rogala and Coach Donovan – Season begins Monday, November 16, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

• 2:30 PM – Girls Winter Track Pre-Season Meeting in Room 152 – Coach Gurick – Season begins Monday, November 16, 2015 – Season begins Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

• 2:30 PM – Boys Winter Track Pre-Season Meeting in the gym – Coach Walsh – 

For a student to be eligible for try-outs, each student-athlete must have a completed and updated Health Appraisal Form (be less than one year old) on file in the Health Office. The Parent-Student Consent Form must be completed for each new season and sport and submitted to the school nurse for her signature. All these forms must be completed prior to your student-athlete being permitted to participate in try-outs.  

Any questions, please contact Athletic Director Tom Fitzpatrick.  You can access the Health Forms and Consent Forms on the district website at www.ewsdonline.org > Athletics > Athletic Forms.

Virtual Backpack Flyer Update

Just a reminder: Please check the VB periodically for the latest postings. (On the district homepage, www.ewsdonline.org > scroll down left side vertical navigation bar to Virtual Backpack > click on VB.)

The following is a listing of the new flyers posted on the VB this week:

• North Side is “Wild About Reading” PARP Committee Author Event

• Wheatley Theatre Company “Almost, Maine” flyer

• Wheatley Theatre Company “Almost, Maine” Program Ad flyer

• Soccer for the Community (SFTC) Winter Youth Indoor Soccer Clinic flyer

• Wheatley Idol XI flyer

• STEAM Fair Program

Congratulations & Commendations

Wheatley Student Raises Most Money

Congratulations to Wheatley 8th grader Emily Blumberg who recently led a 45-person team of family and friends at the 2015 AHRC Walk held at Eisenhower Park.  Emily and her team raised more than $10,000, the most at the event.  Her team, Noah Smiles, was named for her brother Noah who has autism. Way to go Emily!

Fall Sports Playoffs

Varsity Boys Soccer

It was nice to see so many families and members of our staff cheering our boys on yesterday at SUNY Farmingdale for the Nassau County Class B championship game.   While our Wheatley Wildcats lost to Carle Place, I know everyone extends our team, head coach Steve Cadet and their assistant coaches Patrick Hurley, Zach Gould and Michael Taylor congratulations on a season well played.  

Coach Cadet wrote about this year’s team … “With a strong season, the boys were honored with several post season awards.  This is a unique team led by some fantastic seniors but also talented underclassmen.  Since my time at Wheatley this is the first year we have had a freshman honored with a post season award. If you see these young men in class please congratulate them on their individual and team accomplishments.”

All County

Jake Barroca (12)

Pedro Lamarre (12)

Joe Cucinella (12)

Honorable Mention All County

Julian Riezgo (12)

Nick Tagios (9)

All Conference

Zach Jacobs (10)

Coby Kamhi (10)

Joey Dinetz (11)

Josh Wolff (11)

Scholar Athlete

Nick Vazquez (12)

Conference Offensive Player of the Year

Jake Barroca (12)

About the author

Elaine Kanas

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