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H. Thomas Hogan, Principal
Phone: 277-5200
Fax: 277-5208



thursday, november 7, 2019

"b" Day



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Red Ribbon Week Reinforces Good Habits

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Schools in the Locust Valley Central School District held activities focused on making smart decisions, from staying drug free to being inclusive.

The Locust Valley High School SADD Club organized many events for Red Ribbon Week centered around this year’s theme, Send a Message, Stay Drug Free. Students and staff dressed in red clothes adorned with red ribbons and participated in activities focused on promoting healthy choices. High school psychologists Adriana Marin and Kristen Sylvan, the high school SADD advisers, assisted club members with the coordination of the week’s events. 

Representatives from the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence spoke to high school students about the dangers of vaping, shared information on how to get help and encouraged the audience to watch for signs of dependence in their friends.

“The SADD Club celebrates Red Ribbon Week to help engage students and staff in conversations regarding healthy decision-making and positive coping strategies,” Dr. Marin said. “The goal of the week is to help empower our students if they are ever faced with difficult decisions.”

Ms. Sylvan said that having outside presentations helps provide important information to students. “We are happy to have speakers from LICADD here to share professional insight on important topics,” she said.

Locust Valley Middle School’s SADD Club shared a short video for students to watch that reinforced the Red Ribbon Week theme. The SADD Club members hung banners in the school with post-it notes that had positive messages written on them.  Throughout the week, students were invited to take one of the notes for themselves or to pass along to other students who may need support. Students were also encouraged to take pictures of any notes received and share them with the hashtag #sendamessage.  

Middle school SADD advisors Amanda Noren and Liz DeGennaro helped organize the events. “The goal was to spread positivity throughout the building,” Ms. Noren said.

Building Relationships Through Bilingual Nights

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The community came together as more than 125 parents attended the district’s bilingual event, held over two nights for Spanish-speaking families from all of the LVCSD schools.

Organized and facilitated by Cyndy Ergen, a teaching assistant at Locust Valley Intermediate School, the event provided parents with helpful information to ensure that their children succeed in school. Ms. Ergen, who translates many district documents into Spanish for non-English-speaking families, shared the district calendar, important phone numbers and many helpful tips that would not only benefit students, but help parents and guardians feel more comfortable being part of the LVCSD community.  

Several district administrators and building faculty members were introduced, shared information about their departments and made the attendees feel comfortable by speaking in their native language and reminding them that the district will assist them in any way possible.

Ms. Ergen has been running this event for five years and said the Spanish-speaking community is appreciative that the information shared allows them to become more involved in the education of their children.

“Many of these families want to be more involved but don’t know how,” Ms. Ergen said. “By showing them where to find information, how to view the website in their own language and who to contact for various topics, they now feel more comfortable.”

Interim Superintendent of Schools, Thomas P. Dolan, Ed.D., said bilingual nights are important events that helps build bridges to connect all facets of the community. “When we work to make the entire community feel welcome, it benefits all of our students,” he said.

Ms. Ergen wishes to thank the school staff members and representatives from outside organizations that assisted in making the bilingual nights a success.

School Spirit Soars

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Check out photos from Spirt Week and the Pep Rallies in the slide show below and come cheer on the Falcons at Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 26. parade begins at 11 a.m. and Kickoff is at 2 p.m.

Visit the district Instagram page @locustvalleyschools for videos from the pep rallies! 

Go Falcons!

Full STEAM Ahead for Seventh Graders

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Seventh graders are diving into the STEAM curriculum with hands-on projects that incorporate many skills, including cooperation, building, experimentation, data collection and data analysis. 

One activity in which students master these skills required them to build a catapult using 12 pencils, rubber bands, a plastic cup and a ping pong ball. Following a set of instructions, another valuable skill taught in this lesson, the students worked in groups to determine the best designs to achieve the greatest results when catapulting the ping pong ball towards a target.

“The project incorporates many different skills and allows the students to have fun while learning,” middle school science teacher Jean Rogers said. 

Ms. Rogers said students test the catapults using variables to determine how far the ball will go. She said these variables include adjusting the number of rubber bands placed under a pencil or determining how far to pull the lever back before releasing. 

Middle school science teacher Jeffrey Maier said that while students have to work hard to build the catapults, the real challenge comes when they must calibrate them and understand how they fire. “Through testing, measuring and data table completion, students gain knowledge of their individual catapult. On competition day, students are asked to use their data tables to help calibrate their catapults so they can be the group whose projectile is closest to the target,” he said.

Locust Valley Will Never Forget

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Throughout the Locust Valley Central School District, students and staff remembered the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, including a moment of silence at each of the schools.

Locust Valley Middle School/High School held a ceremony to pay tribute to those lost on Sept. 11 and honor the heroes that emerged to help. Organized by Bryan Sarandrea, coordinator for social studies and business, K-12, the ceremony began in the high school office, where senior Hans Kiessling, student government president, read an announcement prior to a moment of silence. 

“As this day brings us sorrow over the loss of our loved ones, it also provides a true testament to the power of the American spirit,” he said. “No other day in modern American history has brought us together as much as 9-11 has. We must never forget this infamous day, as it proves that we, as one American people, are unbreakable.”

Following the schoolwide moment of silence, a wreath ceremony was held in front of the school at the flagpole. Mr. Sarandrea spoke of the thousands lives that were lost during the terrorist attacks on that infamous day. “We think of the selflessness, the successes, the families and the potential for greatness that was lost among many individuals,” he said.

Senior Lauren Spampinato, president of the Back the Blue Club, addressed the crowd on behalf of the club to honor those that served as first responders on 9-11. “We would like to express our gratitude to those that gave up their lives for us on that tragic day,” she said. “Their courageous actions have touched our lives and will live on in our hearts.”

Hans and eighth grader Kieran Moran placed a wreath in front of the flagpole and shared words of remembrance. “We remember survivors whose experiences we cannot being to comprehend,” Kieran said. “We remember all the lives lost in the most devastating attack on American soil.”

The ceremony closed with senior Jeremy Mastrodomenico playing taps, bringing appropriate military tradition and emotion to the event.

A video of the entire ceremony can be viewed on the district's Facebook page and Instagram account.