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World-class musical experience for Port Jefferson students

World-class musical experience for Port Jefferson students photo
Students at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School and Port Jefferson Middle School have had a unique opportunity to experience world-class musicians close to home at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts.

Through a partnership between music teacher Vanessa Salzman and Paul Newland, outreach coordinator at Stony Brook University, Port Jefferson orchestra students and their families are invited to attend concerts each year at the university. Tickets are provided courtesy of Staller Center Outreach Endowment.

Recent musical treats included Colin Carr, virtuoso cellist and artist-in-residence at Stony Brook. He performed all six Bach cello suites and “Starry Night,” an evening of both classical and jazz selections during which students witnessed improvisation, spontaneity and invention.

“We are so grateful to the foundation and Mr. Newland for this unique opportunity to engage our students with professional musicians and first-rate performances in our neighboring community,” said Salzman.

Elementary School’s ‘Giving Tree’ lights up the Port Jefferson Village Center

Elementary School’s ‘Giving Tree’ lights up the Port Jefferson Village Center photo
Sharing in the spirit of the holiday season, the staff at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School sponsored a holiday tree in the annual Port Jefferson Village Festival of Trees.

Set up in the Port Jefferson Village Center, the tree’s empty green branches were soon filled with new hats, gloves, scarves and mittens, generously donated by students, staff and families in the school to create a colorful “Giving Tree.”

Kindergarten teacher Melissa Martin came up with the idea to help individuals in the community by making it a schoolwide effort that can be viewed in a public setting. Since the trees are on display throughout the holiday season, it was the perfect venue. The items, earmarked for donation to a local charity, will be distributed to children after the seasonal exhibit.

Compassion abounds at Port Jefferson Middle School

Compassion abounds Pic
The month of November was a busy one at Port Jefferson Middle School as student council members gathered and organized canned goods, nonperishable food items and monetary donations for Long Island Cares, an organization that provides humanitarian needs in local communities.

The entire school population took part in the collection efforts, amassing 1,460 items to donate and approximately $50 in cash. Dr. Tara Sladek-Maharg's social studies class accumulated the most goods with a total of 358 items and were honored with a pizza party for their efforts. 

“I am overwhelmed and sincerely touched that so many students and staff were willing to donate to this important cause,” said student council adviser Allison Giannusa. “Their generosity will definitely make a positive impact on many local families.”
 

Port Jefferson’s Vince Miceli named ‘Most Outstanding Wrestler’

Port Jefferson’s Vince Miceli named ‘Most Outstanding Wrestler’ photo
Earl L. Vandermeulen High School senior Vince Miceli was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler at the 47th annual Huntington holiday tournament. The honor came on the heels of his commitment to wrestle Division I at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

A returning county champion for the Port Jefferson team, Miceli is a four-time All-County wrestler, won the Suffolk County tournament in 2015 and is a three-time finalist. He is a member of the Port Jefferson Century Club with 106 wins to date.

“Vince is a leader for our wrestling team and we are lucky to have him,” said Port Jefferson’s varsity wrestling head coach Michael Maletta. “The coaching staff is excited to be in his corner this year and look forward to watching him compete at Bloomsburg.”

Miceli will be the second in his family to wrestle at the college level. His older brother Nick competed for Port Jefferson and while a student at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Thirteen additional Royal wrestlers placed in the tournament in their respective weight classes:
2nd place - Rick D’Elia and Joe Evangelista
3rd place - Jack Niederberger, Ryan Robertson and Brendan Rogers
4th place - Harry Cona, Chris Lepore and Joe Longo
5th place - Geoff Grove, James Laffey, Matt Murphy, Rob Williams and Will Williams

Public reading of poetry for Port Jefferson Middle School students

Public reading of poetry for Port Jefferson Middle School students photo
Two Port Jefferson Middle School students shared a unique opportunity when they read their poetry to hundreds of spectators during the opening ceremony of the 22nd annual Dickens Festival in Port Jefferson.

Eighth-grade student Heather Quiggle wrote “Winter in Port Jefferson,” which highlights the enjoyment of the festival’s crowds, music and cheer, while seventh-grader Sophie Blumenthal’s “A Magical Night” shares the happiness of a family celebrating its holiday traditions.

The students were inspired to create their literary pieces as a component of the middle school English curriculum and selected to read their poetry by a school committee. According to English teacher Kayleen Everitt, the public reading is an effective way for students to enhance their oral communication skills. Seventh-grade teacher Monica Consalvo arranged for the reading during the festive outdoor ceremony.

Bond Results

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The proposed bond was defeated. Vote totals are below:

No – 1,355
Yes – 374

Port Jefferson music students perform at Annual Charles Dickens Festival

Dickens Festival Pic

Members of the Port Jefferson School District music department entertained hundreds of spectators with seasonal music during various performances at the 22nd Annual Charles Dickens Festival in Port Jefferson Village on Dec. 2nd and 3rd.

Musical ensembles included the elementary fifth grade select choir, the elementary/middle school chamber orchestra, the middle and high school orchestras, and the high school chamber choir; performing holiday favorites throughout the weekend. Students from the middle and high school orchestras also performed chamber music at the Port Jefferson Public Library.

This special and unique opportunity highlights the District Music and Fine Arts Department’s mission to facilitate the exploration and discovery of arts education for students by fostering the tools of imaginative self-expression and meaningful social interaction. 

“We are so pleased to showcase our music at this exciting event,” said Director of Music and Fine Arts, Michael Caravello. “A special thank you to all of the student musicians for sharing their holiday music with the community as well as their teachers, Katherine Butera, Christian Neubert, Vanessa Salzman and Lisa Scrom.”

 

Village mayor visits second-graders at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School

Village mayor visits second-graders at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School photo
Second-graders at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School had a special visitor when Village of Port Jefferson Mayor Margo Garant came to their classes to share information on the local community.

As part of the second-grade curriculum, students learned about urban, suburban and rural regions and started to gain an understanding of civic involvement, economics, geography and history of their own neighborhood to be able to compare these aspects to people of long ago.

According to teacher Carleen Parmegiani, Port Jefferson students have the unique advantage to learn about these concepts firsthand living in an incorporated village that boasts many restaurants, a theater, locally-owned boutiques, parks and private beaches. Through their conversations with Mayor Garant, the students were also taught about the importance of government and how taxes and the parking meters help to pay for services.

Port Jefferson students take the plunge

Port Jefferson students take the plunge photo
Twenty-seven students from Earl L. Vandermeulen High School recently braved the cold waters of Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai to take part in the eighth annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics.

Accompanied by teachers Deirdre Filippi and Jesse Rosen, members of the high school’s varsity club participated in the event that is sponsored by the Town of Brookhaven. They were among the hundreds of people out to support the sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Their fundraising efforts helped secure nearly $1,500, which will sponsor four athletes for a year.

“We chose the Polar Plunge because as a community service-minded group, we thought that it would be a great way for our students to see how their combined efforts could have such a wonderful impact upon the greater community,” said Filippi. “Since our club is centered around student athletes, we couldn't have picked a better organization (Special Olympics) to help raise money for.”

Rotary’s ‘Student of the Month’ for sixth-grader Julia Perrotta

Rotary photo
Port Jefferson Middle School sixth-grader Julia Perrotta was named the Rotary Club of Port Jefferson’s “Student of the Month” for October.

A dedicated and exceptional scholar, Julia participates in school clubs, is a member of the student council and is often found to be helping others while upholding her own impressive work standard. She was nominated by her teachers, who touted her as the type of student who can be looked upon as a role model.

Principal Robert Neidig congratulated Julia and challenged her “to continue to take risks and step out of her comfort zone when it comes to her learning” and to continue excelling and accomplishing great things.

Winter Concerts Broadcast LIVE

Winter Concerts Broadcast LIVE
Port Jeff LiveStream Account

WEDNESDAY DEC 6 ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 7:00 P.M. ES GYM ** NOTE LOCATION CHANGE
THURSDAY DEC 7 MS GRADES 7 AND 8 7:00 P.M. HS AUDITORIUM
WEDNESDAY DEC 13 MS GRADE 6 7:00 P.M. HS AUDITORIUM
THURSDAY DEC 14 HIGH SCHOOL 7:00 P.M. HS AUDITORIUM

 

Experiential learning for sixth-graders

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The annual trip to Frost Valley for sixth-grade students was filled with science exploration, trust-building activities, teamwork, outdoor living skills and nature hikes.

According to Principal Robert Neidig, the two days of adventures included crossing cable bridges, visiting waterfalls and observing animals. Frost Valley educators introduced the students to a variety of birds — an owl, a falcon, a turkey vulture, a python, an alligator and a turtle — and helped them understand how these species spend their days both in captivity and in the wild.

Students also learned orienteering and how to use a compass and read a map. Rounding out the environmental education experience for them were a water ecology lesson and a low ropes course, where they worked on trust-building skills.

Empowering students to help their peers at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School

Empowering students to help their peers at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School photo
Students at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School recently took part in Sources of Strength, a peer leadership program designed to engage teens through the power of connection, hope, help and strength. In its second year at the high school, the program is designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy habits and relationships.

The students learned that relying on many sources of strength is more powerful than relying on just one. They broke up into groups, discussing eight key categories: mental health, medical access, spirituality, generosity, healthy activities, mentors, positive friends and family support. They then shared stories and learned skills to strengthen these sources of protection so that when times get hard they can rely on them.

The daylong program was facilitated by two energetic trainers, a representative from Response Crisis Center and social worker Kristin Britt, who advises the program throughout the year and works along with the high school’s two guidance counselors, Kerri Neligon and Kathi Galvin, and school psychologist, Kristen Wendel, who serve as mentors to the students.

According to Janell Anema, a national trainer for the organization, during times of strife students will generally listen more to their friends than to their parents, teachers or other adults and the skills the attendees acquired during the training will aid them in becoming change agents for promoting positive peer relationships.

The students will work on projects throughout the year that will include powerful messages for poster campaigns, cafeteria activities and videos for social media.

Fundations training for teachers at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School

Fundations training for teachers at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School photo
In an effort to share best practices and enrich teachers’ understanding of new educational strategies, Port Jefferson’s Edna Louise Spear Elementary School’s pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade teachers recently took part in a Fundations training workshop with Kerry Leo from Da Vinci Education and Research Center.

Fundations helps to lay the groundwork for lifelong literacy as students learn to gain enjoyment from reading. The program emphasizes phonemic awareness, reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension among other strategies. Pre-K through second-graders at the school are engaged in Fundations activities and lessons within their classrooms daily. During the workshop, the teachers shared their ideas on the diagnostic-prescriptive instructional approach, which focuses directly on the student and helps to establish a teaching method for each child.

‘Antigone’ Astounds Audiences in Port Jefferson

‘Antigone’ Astounds Audiences in Port Jefferson  pic

After weeks of rehearsal, Earl L. Vandermeulen High School’s drama club members took to the stage this November to perform a flawless rendition of Jean Anouilh’s “Antigone” before fascinated audiences.

Dozens of students took part in the fall production as actors, chorus members and as part of the lighting, audio, stage construction, painting and refreshments crews. Collaborating together, the students worked under the direction of Tony Butera to bring the story to life. 

The show, adapted by Lewis Galantiere and inspired by Sophocles’ work of the same name, provided a unique experience for the cast, crew and the audience, as it was presented in a small black box theater setting. The cast performed the entire show within a 16 foot by 16 foot area, while the audience sat right in front of them and to their sides. 

"We wanted to introduce the students to this type of stage setting because they will most certainly experience it in college,” said Butera. “It's a different style of acting. The students get to see what it feels like to be that close to the audience and the audience gains a whole new perspective of what it feels like to be part of the play."

After two of the performances, the cast held question and answer periods with the audience, where topics such as music selections, character choices, acting styles and the unique feelings of being situated so close to each other were discussed.

 

Annual food drive a success at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School

food drive pic
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The students, staff and families helped to make the annual food drive at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School another triumphant endeavor. Under the leadership of elementary guidance counselor Jessica Peterson, the school community once again showed its generosity in aiding others with 27 boxes of food collected that will benefit eight local families.

Giving thanks at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School

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In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, the second-grade classrooms of Carleen Parmegiani and Darlene Wells at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School were filled with gratitude as students participated in a festive autumn-inspired event with family and friends.

Through a PowerPoint presentation and songs, the children shared what being grateful means to them. Family members then helped them to create a unique holiday craft in which they wrote on strips of orange paper what they are thankful for, attached them together to form a pumpkin shape, added leaves and vines in green paper for a finished product of a table centerpiece for their home’s celebration of Thanksgiving.

Fellowship and food at Port Jefferson MS senior citizen luncheon

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More than two dozen local seniors received a warm welcome from students and staff as they took part in the annual Port Jefferson Middle School senior citizen luncheon, a spirited afternoon of festive surroundings, friends and seasonal music.

Organized by members of the student council under the leadership of adviser Allison Giannusa, students volunteered throughout the event as servers and greeters and visited with the attendees socially. Students enthusiastically asked questions about the seniors’ families and interests and share their own stories in the hopes of creating new friendships.

The senior guests were also treated to two preview scenes from “Antigone,” the high school’s fall drama, and several musical selections.
 

FITNESS CENTER IS NOW OPEN

The fitness center, located at the HS/MS (350 Old Post Road, Port Jefferson) is open from 5 – 7 p.m., Monday – Thursday (school days only). It is available for all residents from November 20, 2017 until May 3, 2018.
 

Port Jefferson music student participates in 37th Annual Howard Hovey Tuba Day

Port Jefferson music student participates in 37th Annual Howard Hovey Tuba Day photo
Earl L. Vandermeulen High School sophomore Sinan Ates joined the top high school tuba players from across Suffolk County to showcase his talents during this year’s Howard Hovey Tuba Day at Northport High School on Nov. 3.

During this remarkable event sponsored by the Suffolk County Music Educators Association, Sinan joined over 200 tuba students on one stage to perform alongside professional musicians including the renowned tuba ensemble, FivE Euphonium Quartet. Music teacher Christine Creighton and Director of Music and Fine Arts Michael Caravello accompanied him to the event.

The power of reading at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School

The power of reading at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School photo

Independent reading, shared reading and interactive writing are part of the literacy approach at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School and students were excited to participate in several activities surrounding these topics during the annual PARP event and Scholastic Book Fair in November.

Family members of students in Maureen Zajac’s second-grade class lined the hallways with books and blankets and met with students in small groups to share favorite books. The class enjoyed hearing the wide range of stories, including the entertaining poems of Shel Siverstein and the fairy tale story, “The Gingerbread Man,” among others.

Fourth-grade students in Dana St. Pierre’s and Michele Smith’s class were immersed in a reading and writing assignment, encouraging them to look for clues and cues by answering questions, searching for story titles and writing about themes of chapter and picture books. First-graders visited the library to share stories and identify books they are looking to read while readying for the PTA-sponsored Book Fair.

‘Service Above Self’ for High School Interact Club

‘Service Above Self’ for High School Interact Club photo
Cold weekend weather didn’t deter the High School’s Interact Club from taking part in cleanup efforts at Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck in Center Moriches.

The students, rakes in hands, worked collaboratively to help ready the facilities and grounds for next year’s participants. The camp’s mission is to enable children and young adults with physical or developmental disabilities to enjoy a safe and quality program of summertime camping, recreation and education.

The Interact Club students were accompanied by adviser Deidre Filippi and members of the Rotary Club of Port Jefferson and Rocky Point Rotarians in their annual efforts to assist the greater community through service projects.

“This community service activity offers students the opportunity to see how combining their effort with their peers and members of the community can result in very positive outcomes,” said Filippi. “Interact Club members are learning at an early age that they can positively influence people around them and that is truly rewarding to see.”

Celebrating Blue Ribbon status in Washington, D.C.

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Earl L. Vandermeulen High School educators attend national ceremony

Earlier this year, Earl L. Vandermeulen High School was named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education and district staff members traveled to Washington D.C. this November to officially receive the coveted award.

Present for the ceremony was Principal Christine Austen as well as teachers Jesse Rosen and Eva Grasso. The event served as an opportunity for Blue Ribbon school educators to network, share best practices within and among schools and encourage dialogue about excellence in education.

Port Jefferson School District honors veterans on Dress Down Day

Port Jefferson School District honors veterans on Dress Down Day photo
Students, faculty and staff members of the Port Jefferson School District helped to honor veterans during their GI GO Fund Nationwide Dress Down Day on Nov. 8.

Coordinated by the middle school’s student council, the entire school community was encouraged to remember those who have served our country by wearing jeans and donating $5 to GI GO Fund’s Jeans for Troops program. The program provides assistance to military veterans by helping them find employment and training, access housing, and secure their educational and health benefits.

Students were also asked to donate $1 to their homeroom teachers at the middle school, with funds designated for the GI GO Fund.

Port Jefferson girls tennis team named League VI Champions

 Port Jefferson girls tennis team named League VI Champions photo
The Port Jefferson School District is proud to congratulate the girls tennis team for being named League VI Champions. They were recognized at the 2017 Suffolk County Girls Varsity Girls Tennis Awards Dinner at Villa Lombardi with more than 500 high school tennis players, coaches and families in attendance.

In addition to the team honor, students Ibuki Iwasaki, Devin Rotunno, Jillian Lawler and Nicolina Giannola were named All League and Aamna Ali received the Team Sportsmanship Award.

After an exciting season for the team, the evening served to praise and award the student-athletes for their efforts both on and off the court.

Royal Educational Foundation Provides for New School Initiatives

Royal Educational Foundation Provides for New School Initiatives photo
Royal Educational Foundation Provides for New School Initiatives photo 2
With the support of the Royal Educational Foundation of Port Jefferson, students and staff throughout the district have access to a number of new educational resources.

Helping to build connections between the science curriculum and the outside world, the district has created a raised garden bed for students in grades 3-5 with the funds provided by the Foundation. This space, which is being used by life skills classes and the Edna Louise Spear Elementary School’s Garden Club, is allowing students to experience firsthand the lessons learned in the classroom – particular those on the life cycles of plants – and the opportunity to sample an array of locally grown produce.

One activity that is promoting teamwork, encouraging new friendships and has been met with enthusiasm during recess at the elementary school is the GaGa Ball Pit, which was constructed thanks to the support of the Foundation. Similar to dodgeball, the fast-paced game provides students with a safe and supportive environment.

“I have seen how inclusive and fun this game is for all students,” said Amy McClelland, speech and language teacher at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School. “It gives the non-traditional athlete an equal chance of winning, does wonders for students’ self-esteem and many children who were at first reluctant to try it have become the most eager players.”

In addition to these donations, the Foundation has historically supported a number of programs designed to enrich the educational experience of all students. These included helping to facilitate “food for thought” lessons which foster a sense of security by sharing meals and helping sixth- through eighth-grade students develop into healthy adults; a Google Expeditions grant which is used in Spanish and Foreign Language sixth-grade classes where students can take virtual field trips using Google cardboard viewers; and making fifth grade curriculum instructional videos available 24 hours per day, especially important when a student is absent from school. As part of their goal to encourage excellence through creative learning, grants were also awarded for a Chess Club grant to purchase chess sets and a chess clock for students in the middle school.

The Foundation has awarded more than $10,000 in grants since the 2016-17 school year.

Earl L. Vandermuelen High School senior honored with Thomas Cutinella Foundation Service Award

Earl L. Vandermuelen High School senior honored with Thomas Cutinella Foundation Service Award photo
Helping to make a positive impact in his community is something Earl L. Vandermeulen High School senior Max Okst does on a regular basis and being nominated and recognized with the Thomas Cutinella Foundation Service Award for his natural gifts is a significant achievement.

Okst was honored during a varsity football game halftime ceremony by the Long Island Radio Broadcasting’s Tour For 54, which honors local high school students with the award to help raise awareness for the Thomas Cutinella Foundation, named in memory of the athlete and working to inspire and share the fundamental beliefs and values that defined his life.

A well-rounded young man – a member of the varsity track team, the student representative to the Board of Education, involved in the drama club and the district’s Sources of Strength program, among other interests – Okst has a genuine concern for helping others and is pleased to help promote a lasting legacy for Cutinella.

Port Jefferson boys cross-country team named Suffolk County champions

Port Jefferson boys cross-country team named Suffolk County champions photo
After winding their way through the wooded course at Sunken Meadow State Park, the Earl L. Vandermuelen High School’s boys cross-country team crossed the finish line as Suffolk County Class C Champions.

The team ran an average of 18:48.21 in the Class C 5,000-meter run. The seven members – Sam Walker, Grant Samara, Cooper Schoch, Michael Ruggiero, Brian Veit, Alex Rebic and Owen Okst ­– are now qualified and gearing up for the 2017 New York State Public High School Athletic Association Cross Country Championships on Nov. 11.

“This is another wonderful achievement for this team,” said Danielle Turner, Port Jefferson School District’s athletic director. “We wish them great luck at the state level.”

A swimming success for Port Jefferson sophomore Kyra Sommerstad

A swimming success for Port Jefferson sophomore Kyra Sommerstad photo
Earl L. Vandermuelen High School sophomore Kyra Sommerstad placed first in the 200-meter Individual Medley and the 100-meter backstroke at the Section XI Swimming Championships held at Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood campus.

Sommerstad, who swims with the Three Village Swim Club, came away with times of 2:04.73 in the medley and 56.61 in the backstroke to earn her a spot at the New York State swimming championships to be held later this month at Ithaca College.

“We are so proud of this accomplishment for Kyra,” said Danielle Turner, Port Jefferson School District’s athletic director. “We all wish her great luck at the state level.”

A season of giving in full force at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School

A season of giving in full force at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School photo
As part of their commitment to community service, Edna Louise Spear Elementary School students have created several initiatives this November to give back to their local community and aid those in need this holiday season.

Students are working together to collect and organize food for donation to 10 Port Jefferson families in time for Thanksgiving.

Organized since 2002 by school counselor Jessica Peterson, the goal is to bring students, teachers and administrators together to make a difference for local families. Donated items as well as food cards to local supermarkets will be accepted until Nov. 15 and delivered to the recipients in time for a festive and healthy holiday meal.

“It’s a great school project and the students and their families look forward to sharing their generosity with others,” said Ms. Peterson.

Port Jefferson students celebrate music at annual PEAK Festival

Port Jefferson students celebrate music at annual PEAK Festival photo
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Four students from Edna Louise Spear Elementary School attended the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association PEAK Festival, a unique celebration of elementary classroom music where children perform music alongside their parents and music teachers.

Fourth-graders Sophia Bonura, Marco Puopolo, Sadie Salzman and Sadie Tafuro along with teacher Dr. Vanessa Salzman, spent the day at PEAK – Parents, Educators and Kids – learning, experiencing and performing music. They had the opportunity to attend workshops that featured various musical instruments and general music practices.

 

Star students shine at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School

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READ: a simple but powerful word is all the encouragement students at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School need to hear to inspire them to become lifelong learners.

Five students from the school were named “Star Students” by librarian Selinda Stout to promote the importance of literacy and independent reading. The school’s campaign, created by Stout, takes place several times per year and is a takeoff of the American Library Association Celebrity READ Campaign.

The students were chosen for their excellent attitude, behavior and work ethic in the library. As a reward, they have their photos displayed on the bulletin board outside of the library along with a summary of their favorite book. Stout also sends home a printed version of the poster for families to enjoy.

“It’s a pleasure to recognize these students for their motivation for the program and to embrace reading books,” said Stout.

Star students are Kieran Browne – grade 1, Katherine Snaden – grade 2, Violet Carmon – grade 3, Kristina Shterengas – grade 4 and Savannah Florio – grade 5.

Earl L. Vandermuelen High School students attend Long Island Dreamers’ Conference

Earl L. Vandermuelen High School students attend Long Island Dreamers’ Conference photo

Nine students from Earl L. Vandermuelen High School attended the Long Island Dreamers’ Conference, an annual event for high school and college immigrant students recently held at Nassau Community College.

Along with ENL teacher Jennifer Walling, the students listened to keynote speaker Tereza Lee, known as the “Original DREAMer.” She was an undocumented immigrant who inspired the DREAM Act, which works to give undocumented students an opportunity to become permanent residents. The event also offered the students the chance to interact with current college students and other DREAMers who achieved their higher education goals and are now leaders in their work and communities.

The goal of the event is to motivate and equip the teenagers with the skills needed to reach and succeed in college as well as help educators better understand how to guide their students in next steps after completing high school.

 

Unity is strength at Port Jefferson Middle School

Unity is strength at Port Jefferson Middle School photo
When students, peers and adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior a strong message is sent that it is not acceptable. To share in that missive, Port Jefferson Middle School students wore orange to signify their stance on Unity Day on Oct. 25.

Uniting against bullying was the theme of the day as all social studies classes viewed a Powerpoint and video presentation, detailing the nationally recognized event that promotes kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

According to seventh-grade teacher Monica Consalvo, one of the coordinators of the schoolwide campaign, a key factor to encouraging anti-bullying programs in schools is that it is effectively reduced by 50 percent.

Bond Video 2017

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Please view the below video to learn more about the projects being proposed through the bond referendum slated for Dec. 5. Additional information is available by clicking on the Quick Links/2017 Bond Information link at www.portjeffschools.org

A colorful display of seasonal artwork

A colorful display of seasonal artwork photo

Students and teachers throughout the Port Jefferson School District put their creative thoughts into action when they took part in Port Jefferson Village’s first Harvest Fest Window Painting Contest.

To participate, student teams worked through the planning, designing and painting processes under the guidance of their teachers and were assigned a storefront to paint in a Halloween or autumn theme where they recreated their designs on the windows. Organized by the Port Jefferson Conservancy, the displays are a festive addition to the village.

Based on their artistry and creativity, the following students took the top prizes at the event:

Caitlin Dickhuth (grade 5) -1st place
Aoife Hogan (grade 5) -1st place
Hannah Skula (grade 9) - 1st place
Farrah Ghaleb (grade 9) - 2nd place
Victoria Snaden (grade 4) - 2nd place
Eve McCabe (grade 3) - 3rd place
Ava Sexton (grade 3) - 3rd place
Ella Barrett (grade 8) - honorable mention
Grace Chambers (grade 7) - honorable mention
Sara Freitas (grade 5) - honorable mention

Thanks to all of our creative students for making this project such a success!

A Royal Homecoming

A Royal Homecoming Pic

Blue skies and a sea of purple were the background for the festive weekend of homecoming activities at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School.

Capping off a week of school-spirited events, the traditional pre-game bonfire on Friday night, and a parade complete with floats from each grade level, was a win for the Port Jeff Royals against Southampton 42-13.

A half-time ceremony took place to celebrate the newest inductees into the school’s Wall of Fame. Margo Garant, Class of 1982; Michael Lee, Class of 1962 and Susan Kretschmer-Leining, Class of 1975, were all recognized for extraordinary achievement. 

Garant, recognized for public service, school/community service and career accomplishments, was nominated by Port Jefferson Middle School teacher Monica Consalvo. A center on the 1963 Port Jefferson High School football team was honoree Michael Lee, nominated by Edna Louise Spear Elementary School principal Thomas Meehan. His selected categories of recognition were business, public service, school/community service and military service. Kretschmer-Leining, now a resident of Texas, was nominated in the school/community service category for her numerous altruistic endeavors by board of education trustee Ellen Boehm.

 

Safety first and always at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School

Safety first and always at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School photo
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Students at Port Jefferson School District’s Edna Louise Spear Elementary School learned about fire safety and prevention tips during National Fire Prevention week Oct. 8-14.

They were excited to see the red fire truck at the school and to welcome members of the Port Jefferson Fire Department. Throughout the program, the students learned about life-saving tools used by firefighters and checked out fire gear and air masks during this important safety lesson.

Lessons on the recorder at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School

Lessons on the recorder at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School photo
Ms. Lisa Scrom's third-grade music classes at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School had a special visitor when retired music teacher Donna Basile presented a workshop on the recorder to them.

All third-graders perform on the recorder and this was an opportunity to be introduced to the various sized musical instruments.

A longtime educator and an executive board member of the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association, Ms. Basile shared both the musical and historical significance of this early woodwind instrument, dating back to the Middle Ages.

National Merit Semifinalist Honored at BOE Meeting

 National Merit Semifinalist Honored at BOE Meeting photo
Earl L. Vandermeulen High School senior Luigia Than was honored by the Board of Education at their Oct. 10 meeting. She, along with student Ibuki Iwasaki, were recognized for qualifying as semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

These academically talented students represent the top 1 percent of students from across the country with the highest scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test along with approximately 1.6 million other juniors from across the country. They are now in the running for scholarships worth more than $32 million.

Here, Luigia is congratulated by Board of Education trustee Adam DeWitt, High School Principal Christine Austen and Superintendent of Schools Paul Casciano.

Port Jefferson Middle School Goes Pink!

Port Jefferson Middle School Goes Pink photo
Port Jefferson Middle School Goes Pink photo 2
Port Jefferson Middle School Goes Pink photo 3
Students in the Port Jefferson School District’s Middle School are working in conjunction with Port Jefferson Village in the Paint Port Pink initiative for the Fortunato Breast Health Center at Mather Hospital.

As part of the October community outreach of raising awareness about breast cancer, Monica Consalvo, a teacher at the school and seventh-grade students Ellery Tafuro and Tamara Scully created a poster that hangs in the hallway to showcase ways that others can become involved in the community activities. Some of the local businesses involved in the campaign have special offers for the month and students, families and school staff members are encouraged to visit the shops to help with the awareness efforts.

As concerned community partners, the students and staff will each write their name on a pink ribbon sticker and all the stickers will be colorfully displayed within a larger ribbon outline showing that they are all engaged in the endeavor.

High School students selected for NYSCAME All-County Festival

NYSCAME All-County Festival Pic
Earl L. Vandermeulen High School students Ibuki Iwasaki, Jillian Lawler, Cezanne Lojeski and David Rotunno were selected to participate in the New York State Council of Administrators for Music Education All-County Music Festival, a three-day event with a culminating concert to be held at Hauppauge High School on Nov. 17.

The musically-talented teens were chosen to perform with other students from across Suffolk County on a competitive basis with their New York State School Music Association scores as the primary criteria along with teacher recommendations.

NYSCAME works to promote high standards of administrative leadership and improve music education programs in Suffolk County among other endeavors.
Thursday, December 14, 2017