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School Closed Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 21st

Due to the forecast of severe weather, the Glen Cove School District will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday, March 21st.

District STREAM Teachers Present at Tech Conference

District STREAM Teachers Present at Tech Conference photo
STREAM (science, technology, research, engineering, arts and math) teachers Cheryl Carmody and Jessica McKenna led a workshop, “Igniting the Citizen Scientist in Your Students,” at the Suffolk ASSET’s Technology Conference on March 12 at the Huntington Hilton.  

The pair’s presentation discussed children’s natural curiosity about nature and what is going on around them, including research that indicates children who have more nature experiences demonstrate more advanced cognitive and emotional development. It also revealed that more and more children are suffering from nature deficit disorder, where although they may go outside for play or sports, children lack a connection to nature and the outside world around them. 

Carmody and McKenna then asked the question: How could teachers provide more opportunities for students to practice their observational skills and build awareness of the world around them and to practice science in a real, tangible way, with meaning? They proposed introducing students to citizen science would achieve these objectives.
The presentation included an overview of five citizen science projects and lesson ideas within these programs. The teachers also demonstrated the apps and how students can submit their observations. Participants saw how these submissions actually help real scientists with their research. Information was offered on various citizen science websites and apps that teachers may use with a variety of age groups.

Citizen science blends the use of technology with the study of the great outdoors to benefit scientists everywhere. It also offers students a chance to not just learn science but to feel like a scientist using data to discover changes in the world around them.

Gribbin Students Tour Glen Cove

Gribbin Students Tour Glen Cove photo

Second-grade students at Gribbin School took a bus tour around Glen Cove to learn about the history of their community. During the tour, the students heard interesting facts about when Glen Cove was founded – known then as Musketa Cove. The tour included stops at Garvies Point Museum; Glen Cove Mansion, one of the first homes built in Glen Cove; Morgan Park and the library. The students met with City of Glen Cove Mayor Timothy Tenke at City Hall, learned about his job and how he helps the citizens of Glen Cove. They also visited the Glen Cove Police Department, where they were given a tour of the department and were educated on the different ways that the police help their community. This trip had a special meaning, as it coincided with the 350th anniversary of the founding of Glen Cove.

Glen Cove Senior Awarded Evans Scholarship

Glen Cove Senior Awarded Evans Scholarship photo
Glen Cove High School senior Ryan Telese has been awarded the Evans Scholarship, a full housing and tuition grant offered to golf caddies. 

Ryan and 16 other students from the East Coast were awarded the scholarships following a final selection interview held at The Union League Club in New York City on Feb. 13. Caddies applying for the scholarship had to meet the following criteria: a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character.

Ryan will attend Penn State University in the fall. Principal Antonio Santana and the entire administration at Glen Cove High School extended their congratulations to Ryan, wishing him much success in the future. 

Schools Open - May 24, 2018

Due to the school snow day on March 7, 2018, all schools will be open on May 24, 2018. 


Think Breakfast Nutrition Program at Landing

Think Breakfast Nutrition Program at Landing photo
Landing Elementary School participated in New York State Education Department’s “Think Breakfast !” Nutrition Program, which provides educators, children and families with resources to teach the importance of eating a healthy breakfast and getting daily physical activity. These practices develop lifelong healthy habits that contribute to future achievement and success. 

Students were taught about and discussed the importance of eating proteins with every meal and adding a variety of fruits and vegetables to one’s diet. The “Think Breakfast!” program not only emphasized the importance of eating a healthy breakfast, but it also provided a take-home booklet with various activities, delicious recipes and a “Think Breakfast!” pencil, to remind students to bring these lessons home and into their daily routines throughout their lives.

Gribbin Students Create Papier-Mâché Globes

Gribbin Students Create Papier-Mâché Globes photo
Second-graders in Coleen Brunhuber’s class at Gribbin constructed papier-mâché globes as a culminating activity in social studies. Each student began with a balloon, and glue and water for the paste. They then cut strips of newspaper and covered the entire balloon. After the balloons dried overnight, the students painted the balloon blue and let it again dry overnight. The students then cut and pasted the continents and oceans together, creating their beautiful projects, which are on display in the school’s hallway. 

Poster Created by Glen Cove Junior Selected for City Celebration

Poster Created by Glen Cove Junior Selected for City Celebration photo
Poster Created by Glen Cove Junior Selected for City Celebration photo 2
Glen Cove High School junior Anthony Condo had his poster selected to be the official poster for the City of Glen Cove’s 350th anniversary celebration. The school’s media arts class competed in the contest, which invited local students to tackle the event poster designed to promote the upcoming activities around the city, under the direction of teacher Stephen Lombardo.  

Principal Antonio Santana and assistant principals Allen Hudson III and Katie Prudente joined several members of the city’s 350 Committee as they celebrated Anthony and provided a pizza party for the entire class. Anthony received a certificate from the mayor and will be providing printing specs to the Glen Cove Printery, which is printing the poster, soon to be seen all around town.

Photos courtesy of Tab Hauser

Students Compete at Medical Marvels Competition

Students Compete at Medical Marvels Competition photo
For the first time, students from Glen Cove High School participated in the 6th annual Medical Marvels competition through Northwell Health.  

Along with their teacher, Ms. Jillian Romano, students Adam Rami Hassan, Andrew Palafox, Mikael Barajas, Emma Spoto and Carina Gigliotti from the Science Research Literacy class attended the competition on March 9, competing against teams from 22 high schools from across Long Island and Queens. 

In preparation for the competition, students worked on a 14-page paper, where they proposed their own original solution to the national opioid crisis. In addition, students were tasked with creating a scientific display board to showcase their proposal. Finally, students were responsible for a two-minute oral presentation, which was followed by a one-minute question-and-answer session. A highlight from the students’ presentation was the detailed scientific description of their clinical investigation that studied the effects of decreasing the dosage of opioids without a patient’s knowledge. The students predicted that the slow decrease in dosage would allow patients to recover from addiction at a faster rate. Students explained that they would administer a number of surveys, physical fitness tests and brain imaging techniques to validate the physiological effect of their experiment. 

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Dr. Michael Israel and District Coordinator of Science Ms. Alexa Doeschner attended the competition and stated how impressed they were with the incredible amount of work and energy that went into this endeavor.

A Focus on Inner Strength at Gribbin

A Focus on Inner Strength at Gribbin photo
A Focus on Inner Strength at Gribbin photo 2
A Focus on Inner Strength at Gribbin photo 3

This year, the Gribbin School Site Committee has been focusing on the theme of inner strength in conjunction with the book “We’re All Wonders,” by R.J. Palacio. Glen Cove High School principal Antonio Santana, along with several high school students, recently visited with Gribbin students to share their personal triumphs over obstacles. The youngsters and the guest speakers shared a rich exchange of experiences and advice on how to be resilient and embrace their inner wonders.


Connolly Students Start With Hello!

Connolly Students Start With Hello photo
Connolly students from Susan Gielbeda’s fourth-grade class paired with the fifth-graders in Susan Stanco’s class to participate in a national Start With Hello week.

Start With Hello week brings attention to the growing epidemic of social isolation in schools and communities. The goal is to empower young people to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their school. The students were paired up with a new friend to create posters on different ways they can say “hello.” They learned that a simple word like “hello” could make a huge impact. The posters will be displayed around Connolly School in an effort to promote a more welcoming environment.

Pizza Time at Gribbin

Pizza Time at Gribbin photo
Pizza Time at Gribbin photo 2
Second-graders in Coleen Brunhuber’s class at Gribbin School learned how to make pizza, thanks to Mr. Guastella from Forest Pizza in Glen Cove.

Mr. Guastella volunteered his time to make pizza with the students. In writing, they wrote about how to make pizza from scratch. They also wrote Mr. Guastella thank-you letters and stated their opinions about what they enjoyed about making the pizza. This fun activity aligned with the second-grade study of opinion, information and narrative writing.

The Roaring ’20s Come to Life for High School Juniors

The Roaring ’20s Come to Life for High School Juniors photo
Glen Cove High School juniors in Allison Butler’s 11H and 11 ENL classes embraced the Roaring ’20s on Feb. 28.
The day began with students viewing their classes’ completed research papers and display boards on the Roaring ’20s, which were exhibited in the school’s Gallery Walk held in the cafeteria during first period. Mrs. Butler extended a special thanks to student Andrew Wonska, who serenaded students with a violin solo, and Melissa Johnides’ photography class, who served as unyielding paparazzi.  

The day continued with the classes touring Oheka Castle in Huntington, where they learned about its history, took fabulous pictures and enjoyed a formal tea with their peers. The castle was the perfect, opulent setting to mark the students’ conclusion of reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”

Jr. NBA Skills Challenge Winners Celebrated at Landing

Jr. NBA Skills Challenge Winners Celebrated at Landing photo
Landing School students participated in the Jr. NBA Skills Challenge in January, where they competed in dribbling and shooting skills and tried to score their highest personal point total within one minute. Landing physical education teacher Karen Serani expressed her pride to all students who entered the contest. The following were winners in their age division:

Boys Under 11
1st place: Jadyn Johnson – 36 points
2nd place (tied): Devon Gonzalez and Dylan Piriyatamwong – 27 points
3rd place: Franco Fort – 25 points

Girls Under 11
1st place: Jaylin Neder – 27 points
2nd place: Sarah Ayiku – 10 points
3rd place: Olivia DeCurtis – 8 points

Boys Under 13
1st place: Xavier Lizarraga – 13 points
2nd place: Leybis Villatoro – 9 points
 3rd place: Chris Diggs – 4 points

Girls Under 13
1st place: Mirian Alfaro – 4 points

On March 25, the 11 finalists will compete in the regional competition at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York City. Good luck! 

Connolly Buddies Collaborate for Library Contest

Connolly Buddies Collaborate for Library Contest photo
Connolly School third- and fifth-grade buddies in Tara Pilewski’s and Susan Stanco’s classes paired up to write and illustrate a fairy tale to submit to the Glen Cove Public Library Book Contest. The children studied the literary genre prior to creating their entries.

2018 - 2019 School Calendar Now Available!


Landing Celebrates Positive Behavior With Dance Party

Students at Landing School who exhibited exemplary PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) behavior were recently rewarded with a dance party. Students in attendance earned a required number of Landing School Pride Tickets for admittance into the event. At Landing, they celebrate positive student behavior every month through different raffles and schoolwide celebrations such as the dance party.

The school is using a PBIS matrix chart to clearly communicate expectations for positive behavior throughout the building.   

Gribbin Kindergartners Study the Meaning of ‘Harmonious’

Gribbin Kindergartners Study the Meaning of ‘Harmonious’ photo
Gribbin students in Irene Kamola’s and Mr. John Segreti’s kindergarten classes chose “harmonious” as the word to display on the school vocabulary board located just outside the school’s main office.

Different classes take turns depicting new words on the vocabulary board, giving all of the school’s students the opportunity to expand their vocabulary. The kindergarten students filled up the bulletin board with illustrations, photographs and their own writings that reinforced their understanding that the word “harmonious” means people and things that get along well. Cookies and milk, stars and stripes, and paper and pencils were a few of the ideas shown.  

The students introduced the word to the school by singing an original song called “What’s More Harmonious Than You and Me?” during the morning announcements on Feb. 12. “Harmonious” will be the featured word for two weeks. 

Mr. Segreti said “harmonious” seemed like the perfect new word for all to learn because it was Valentine’s Day, and February is International Friendship Month.

New Learning Standards Highlighted at Connolly’s Science Fair

New Learning Standards Highlighted at Connolly’s Science Fair photo

Fourth- and fifth-grade students at Connolly participated this February in a science fair, which was aligned to the newly released New York State Science Learning Standards that stress beginning with science phenomena to engage students.

The science fair was a culminating project in a six-week scientific inquiry unit designed by the district’s science coordinator, Alexa Doeschner, in consultation with Connolly School Principal Julie Mullan. Science materials were purchased, and Ms. Doeschner prepared more than 100 science kits for teachers to use within their classrooms. Mrs. Mullan and Ms. Doeschner facilitated in-service meetings for teachers to get acquainted with the new approach. Teachers worked hard to implement the new curriculum, as they had to take a step back from direct teaching and take on a different role where they guided students through the inquiry process. 

Students had the opportunity to engage in scientific inquiry from beginning to end. They collaboratively developed their own questions and hypotheses, designed and conducted experiments, collected and interpreted data, and came to a conclusion. Students then presented their projects during the science fair, while district administrators rated their presentations using a rubric. 

Community members, including parents and Board of Education members Amy Franklin and Monica Alexandris-Miller, were in attendance showing their support for students’ hard work. The children were clearly proud of their projects and enthusiastic to share their accomplishments with everyone.


Finley Robotics Students Head to State Competition

Finley Robotics Students Head to State Competition photo
Finley Robotics Students Head to State Competition photo 2
Finley Robotics Students Head to State Competition photo 3
By virtue of a high-scoring performance at the VEX qualifying competition held in South Huntington on Feb. 10, the Finley robotics team C, The Exobots, has been chosen for this year’s New York State finals. This young team has worked hard to design its robot and to compete through this challenging season. The teams that have been chosen are a limited group and it is a great honor to be included. Congratulations to the following students: Sixth-graders James Lopez and Giancarlo Torres, seventh-graders Chris Cardera and Juan Yepes, and eighth-grader Zachary Gotterbarn.

Glen Cove Students Help Those in Need

Glen Cove Students Help Those in Need photo
Glen Cove Students Help Those in Need photo 2
The Glen Cove High School community recently came together to help those less fortunate by donating blessing bags filled with snacks and personal hygiene items. 

Thanks to the generosity of Honor Society and Key Club members, as well as teachers, secretaries, the guidance department and the main office staff, the school filled 80 blessing bags, which were distributed to Glen Cove’s North Shore Sheltering Program, MOMMAS House in Glen Cove and Wantagh, and other in-need community members.   

The school also received a donation of 25 string backpacks from Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, which were used to deliver the blessing bags to the Glen Cove’s North Shore Sheltering Program. Principal Antonio Santana expressed his gratitude to teacher and Key Club adviser MaryEllen Cuomo for coordinating the collection, and to all those who donated.   

New York Islanders Support Landing Floorball Unit

New York Islanders Support Landing Floorball Unit photo
Landing Elementary School participated in the floorball hockey program presented by the New York Islanders outreach program, in collaboration with Generation Floorball, who provided the equipment for the mini-floorball unit.

The New York Islanders delivered New York Islander-branded pinnies – both white and blue – elementary-sized New York Islander hockey sticks and floorballs for the monthlong unit. Students learned and practiced various ice hockey skills in their physical education classes.

The unit kicked off with a visit by New York Islanders’ Mascot Sparky, who stressed the importance of making smart decisions, eating healthy and staying active as well as treating others with respect. During this interactive assembly, the Islanders helped students realize why being committed to making good decisions is important in school and life.

In addition, the Islanders are rewarding students for working hard in school and earning good grades. Students applying for the free ticket program must show that they have received an “A” or moved up a letter grade in a subject, in order to earn two complimentary tickets to an Islanders game.

Landing School would like to thank the New York Islanders and Generation Floorball for this incredible outreach program.

Junior Researches Black History and Desegregation in Video

Junior Researches Black History and Desegregation in Video photo

Glen Cove High School junior Dajour Gibson presented his video, “All Colors Are Equal in Education,” to his peers and Finley Middle School students on Feb. 16, as part of the district’s Black History Month celebration.

Gibson researched Black History and the desegregation of schools, with a special focus on Glen Cove City Schools, for his video. As part of the project, he interviewed former Glen Cove High School Assistant Principal Sheryl Goodine. Goodine was the first black girl admitted to the new integrated schools in Glen Cove. Her father, James Davis, along with the Glen Cove NAACP, were instrumental in desegregating Glen Cove City Schools and the city’s fire department. 

During the visit at Finley Middle School, Assistant Principal Allen Hudson III introduced Gibson, who he described as a “tremendously insightful and wonderful young man.” Gibson shared some opening comments prior to the viewing.

“As a black student in the high school, it means a lot to me that nowadays we can all come to school together,” he said. 

Gibson also spoke of Goodine and her family’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.   

“Ms. Goodine changed the culture of Glen Cove for the better,” Gibson said.  

He also told students that there was still work to do.

“There’s still a lot of racism today around the world and it’s important that we open our eyes to it. It’s something we have to overcome slowly.”

In the video, Ms. Goodine shared her experience of going from a school where everyone looked like her, to going to classes where she was the minority, describing the experience as a culture shock. After the video presentation, Ms. Goodine spoke more of her experiences, including how she learned of Black History in college. She also took questions from the middle school students.

The assembly concluded with the middle school’s chorus delivering an outstanding rendition of “Precious Lord Take My Hand,” under the direction of teacher Joy Sullivan. Dajour will be submitting his video to the Hofstra University History Day project.


Elementary Students Explore 3D Printing

Elementary Students Explore 3D Printing photo

Connolly and Landing schools fifth-grade Academic Plus students received a firsthand look at 3D printing when representatives from the Finland-based company 3D Bear visited Connolly School on Feb. 15.

As part of the daylong visit, students learned about 3D design, 3D printing and augmented reality. They were highly engaged as they worked together in groups to create dream bedrooms on their tablets using the augmented reality app. After completing their bedroom assignments, students created backyards and other settings, much to their delight. Once the designs were complete, the fifth-graders voted on the best design to be printed in a Lulzbot 3D printer. 

The district was one of 20 in the United States selected to participate in the company’s 3D Bear/3D Bear augmented reality pilot program. Students from each school thoroughly enjoyed the visit, which provided them with an opportunity to show off their creativity and technological aptitude in a fun and exciting way.   


100 Days Smarter at Gribbin School

100 Days Smarter at Gribbin School photo

Students at Gribbin School celebrated the 100th day of school with a variety of fun academic activities that incorporated counting to 100.

In Michelle Mardiney’s bilingual kindergarten class, students did 100 exercises while watching a video of counting to 100 in Spanish. They also created necklaces using 100 beads and practiced writing their numbers. Meanwhile, kindergartners in Irene Kamola’s class participated in mathematics-themed centers that focused on counting to 100. First-graders enjoyed a 100-day snack comprised of pretzel rods and clementines. They also completed a writing activity that focused on what they’d like to have 100 of, and grouped items by fives, 10s and 25s to equal 100.         

Landing Families Participate in Free Thermometer Program

Landing Families Participate in Free Thermometer Program photo
Landing Families Participate in Free Thermometer Program photo 2
Landing School began taking part in Kinsa’s FLUency free thermometer program in October 2017, under the guidance of physical education teacher Karen Serani. 

Landing was one of 200 schools chosen from 4,000 elementary schools in the United States to participate. More than 120 families at Landing signed up using the Kinsa app and received a free Bluetooth thermometer. Those enrolled in the program are able to see aggregated, anonymous information on any symptoms and illnesses going around the school. Families can read up on school issues and record their child’s health history for a quicker, more accurate diagnosis. In addition, Kinsa guides that individual on the next steps if fever and symptoms are cause for concern. 

Landing School is thankful for the Bluetooth thermometers donated by Kinsa and the Lysol Company.

Souper Bowl at Gribbin Benefits Local Families

Souper Bowl at Gribbin Benefits Local Families photo
Students at Gribbin Elementary School recently participated in the Souper Bowl of Caring for the ninth consecutive year. 

The Souper Bowl is a nationwide food drive that calls on schools, churches and other organizations to collect nonperishable food items and donate them to a local charity of their choice. The event coincides with the NFL’s Super Bowl to bring awareness to the needs of food pantries across the country, which were depleted during the December holidays. 

Gribbin School families donated 126 pounds of food over the two-week collection period. The collected food was donated to the food pantry at Saint Rocco’s Church in Glen Cove. 

Spring Adult Education Guide


Glen Cove IAB Hosts Inaugural Session

Glen Cove IAB Hosts Inaugural Session photo
Glen Cove High School held its Industry Advisory Board’s inaugural session on Feb. 12 in the school’s library. 

Approximately 25 professionals, including a Nassau County legislator, representatives from nearly a dozen local public organizations, college representatives, medical professionals, educators, private business professionals, a Glen Cove High School alumnus and five current students, make up the IAB. The meeting focused on developing goals for the community and the student body at the high school. Current students presented first, citing their educational goals and post-graduation plans. They also shared events and happenings within the building, as well as information on a popular business class elective.  

Afterwards, Work-Based Learning Coordinator Jason Smiloff led a short presentation on his vision for the IAB and mediated a discussion among members, which lasted nearly two hours. The productive meeting left the IAB feeling more ambitious, dedicated and prepared to serve the needs of the students at Glen Cove High School now and into the future.

Longtime District Employee Honored at BOE Meeting

Longtime District Employee Honored at BOE Meeting photo
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maria Rianna and members of the Board of Education paid tribute to recent retiree Thomas Staab at the Feb. 7 Board of Education meeting at Landing School. 

Dr. Rianna said it was apropos to celebrate Mr. Staab at Landing School, where he attended kindergarten. During his tenure, Mr. Staab delivered mail within the district, but as Dr. Rianna shared, he was much more to the Glen Cove schools community.

“People in our office at Thayer House did not get to their desks without his help on icy mornings,” Dr. Rianna said. “He is someone who will run errands outside of the regular route. He did well above whatever job description may have been put in at personnel. I think we owe a moment of recognition to a man who gave a lifetime of commitment.” 

Mr. Staab was presented with a certificate of recognition from the Board of Education, who thanked him for his tireless dedication and service to the school community.  

Spelling Success for Landing’s Phoebe Pinder

Spelling Success for Landing’s Phoebe Pinder photo
Landing School Spelling Bee champion Phoebe Pinder qualified for the final round of the Long Island Regional Spelling Bee at Hofstra University on Sunday, Feb. 11. Landing School celebrated Phoebe’s achievements at an assembly on Feb. 9. 

Gribbin Students Celebrate Mentors

Gribbin Students Celebrate Mentors Pic
Gribbin Students Celebrate Mentors Pic 2
Gribbin Students Celebrate Mentors Pic 3
The Gribbin School Mentoring Program celebrated National Mentoring Month on Jan. 31 in the school library. Each Gribbin student made their mentor a thank-you gift. They also shared dessert and some quality time together at this fun celebration. The Mentoring Program at Gribbin has been in operation for 12 years and is coordinated by school social worker Kristin Brosnan and Principal Francine Santoro.

Students Study the Heart Through Dissection

Students Study the Heart Through Dissection photo
Students Study the Heart Through Dissection photo 2
Glen Cove High School Living Environment students dissected adult pig hearts as a culminating activity to their recent study of the human heart and circulatory system. 

While dissecting the adult pig hearts, students had to identify certain features. They also had the opportunity to cut into the heart and see the connections between the four chambers of the heart and the major blood vessels bringing blood into and out of these chambers. Students examined the two heart valves, and followed up the next day with an excellent dramatization of a heart attack, with computer-generated imagery that enhanced the students’ knowledge of what they experienced the day before. 
Teacher Victoria Graziosi said the lesson led to noteworthy observations by the students, including that the aorta’s diameter is huge in comparison to other vessels. In addition, when cutting into the wall of the right versus left ventricle, students were immediately struck by the thickness of the left ventricular wall. 

Emergency Pillowcase Preparedness at Landing

Emergency Pillowcase Preparedness at Landing photo

Landing School students participated in the American Red Cross’ Pillowcase Project when American Red Cross AmeriCorps representatives visited their school.

The Pillowcase Project teaches children coping skills to help them deal with an emergency situation and also offers tips and tools to help them prepare for emergencies. It’s made possible thanks to a grant from Disney and came to fruition after American Red Cross volunteers witnessed victims of Hurricane Katrina packing personal belongings in pillowcases when leaving their homes. 

Topics of discussion included the importance of having an escape plan in the event of a home fire, the need for smoke detectors in every room, tips on what to do if there’s a hurricane and more. The students were trained through the program’s three core principles, Learn, Practice and Share: Learn how emergencies happen and how to stay safe when they do; practice what you learn so you’ll be ready when an emergency happens; and share what you’ve learned so that everyone knows how to stay safe in an emergency.

After the discussion, students received and had an opportunity to decorate pillowcases they received from the organization. The students were encouraged to draw pictures of important items they wanted to bring with them in an emergency. Principal Benjamin Roberts expressed his gratitude to the organization and physical education teacher Karen Serani for organizing the event.


Buddy Reading Day at Gribbin

Buddy Reading Day at Gribbin photo

As part of Gribbin’s Pick A Reading Partner activities, classes paired up to share books during Buddy Reading Day. Teachers placed students together to take turns reading to each other. Children delighted in discussing their favorite stories with students from another grade level. This was one way to promote the importance and joy of reading.


Connolly Student Council Donates Toys for Children in Ecuador

Connolly Student Council Donates Toys for Children in Ecuador photo
Connolly Student Council Donates Toys for Children in Ecuador photo 2
Connolly Student Council Donates Toys for Children in Ecuador photo 3
Connolly’s Student Council raised money during the holidays by selling pencils and sending them to each other. With the money they raised, the group bought toys, coloring books, crayons and different types of puzzles for the local doctor’s office of Dr. Loriann Stuiso. Dr. Stuiso plans on bringing the donations to Ecuador when she performs free reconstructive surgeries on children that reside there.

The Circus Comes to Gribbin

The Circus Comes to Gribbin photo

Gribbin students are learning circus tricks in physical education class under the direction of teacher Mark Checola. According to Mr. Checola, the circus skills unit lasts approximately four weeks and teaches students balance, coordination, focus and safety, while performing circuslike activities. The students participated in a variety of activities, such as spinning a plate connected to a stick, balancing a long feather in the palm of their hand and walking on a balance beam.


Gribbin Second-Graders Celebrate Writing Accomplishments

Gribbin Second-Graders Celebrate Writing Accomplishments photo

Students in Coleen Brunhuber’s class presented their small-moment stories and nonfiction books to classmates and family members during a writing celebration on Jan. 18.

One by one, students went to a microphone at the front of the classroom and read their small-moment stories, which Mrs. Brunhuber projected onto the class smart board. The second-graders wrote about a variety of experiences, including skiing, bowling and apple picking. After reading their work, they returned to their desks and shared their nonfiction books and a snack with their invited guest. The students are honing their writing skills using Writing Workshop, a new program initiated by the district in partnership with Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. 

“The students are reading and writing every day as part of this program, and they’re really excited about it,” Mrs. Brunhuber said. 

According to Mrs. Brunhuber, the nonfiction book assignment required students to become an expert on something. Research was conducted using the PebbleGo app. The second-graders learned the importance of sensory details and that each story must have a beginning, middle and end. They also used authors, such as Jane Yolen, as mentors. 


Connolly Academic Plus Students Dissect Owl Pellets

Connolly Academic Plus Students Dissect Owl Pellets photo

Fourth-grade students in Connolly’s Academic Plus program dissected owl pellets as part of their study of raptors.

Prior to the dissection, the group researched different raptors and wrote realistic fiction pieces to convey what they had learned about their habitat, diet and neighborhood, and how humans affect their existence. According to science, technology, research, engineering and arts teacher Cheryl Carmody, the students were given creative license with regard to their project and created outstanding posters, dioramas and other projects to accompany their writing. 

Mrs. Carmody explained to students that farmers have owl pellets examined to determine what rodents are hurting their crops. She then equipped each team of students with an owl pellet, plastic gloves, magnifying glasses and tweezers to begin identifying the bones, skulls and other materials contained in their pellet.   

The Academic Plus Program is an accelerated educational program offered to students in grades 3-5 at both Connolly and Landing schools.  

Monthly Family Nights Begin

Family Nights Begin

To combat the busy schedules of families, the district has implemented a monthly Family Night. On Family Night, students will not be assigned any homework from their classroom teachers, allowing their families to preplan fun activities, without interruption.

Family Night will be held on the following dates:
Oct. 25        Jan. 31          April 18
Nov. 22        Feb. 14         May 23
Dec. 20        March 21       June 13

Wednesday, March 21, 2018