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East Meadow Board Honors Students At February Communication Meeting

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Recognitions and accolades abounded in the East Meadow School District on February 15 as the district’s Board of Education acknowledged W.T. Clarke High School for being recognized as a Reward School by the New York State Education Department, and students from W.T. Clarke and Woodland Middle Schools as Terrific Kids for the months of December, January and February during its communication meeting.

Throughout the evening, East Meadow students performed for the Board members, administrators, faculty and community residents in attendance. The district’s first All Acapella group – consisting of East Meadow and W.T. Clarke High School students – serenaded the audience with performances of “Imagine” by John Lennon and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. Additionally, the East Meadow High School Brass Ensemble paid tribute to our armed services with a musical performance.  

Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward photo

The members of Woodland Middle School’s Peer Helpers club inspired sixth-graders to make a positive impact on others during their “Pay It Forward” assembly.

Two W.T. Clarke High School Seniors Named National Merit Finalists

Two W.T. Clarke High School Seniors Named National Merit Finalists photo
Congratulations to W.T. Clarke High School seniors Aashini Shah and Pantho Sayed for being recognized as finalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. 

To become one of the nation’s 15,000 finalists, Aashini and Pantho had to submit a detailed scholarship application including their academic record, participation in extracurricular activities and community engagement, leadership ability, employment, and record of honors and awards. They also had to achieve an SAT score equivalent to their PSAT score, maintain their prestigious academic performance and receive a recommendation from a high school official.

The district commends Aashini and Pantho on becoming finalists in this prestigious program.    

Ringing In The Chinese New Year

Ringing In The Chinese New Year photo

English Language Learners (ELL) and third-grade students at Meadowbrook Elementary School celebrated the Chinese New Year on February 12, by immersing themselves in traditions associated with the holiday and leading a schoolwide Lunar New Year parade through the hallways. 

To put context to the celebration, students learned some of the history behind the Chinese New Year by reading stories, taking part in musical and dance ensembles, and learning phrases like “gung hay fat choy” (“may you become prosperous”). 

ELL students prepared for the festivities by creating Chinese noisemakers in the traditional colors of red and gold, fashioning dragon puppets to ward off evil spirits, and constructing an origami dog, in honor of this year’s animal on the Chinese zodiac. They also embellished their classrooms with customary decorations and listened to traditional Chinese music to create an authentic atmosphere.   

The festive props were used to lead the entire third-grade class in a parade through the building. The procession was made complete with a dragon that the third-graders had designed using cardboard boxes, streamers, pipe cleaners and paint. 

SEPTA Career Day 2018 Information


Woodland Middle School Earns IAIE Fidelity Award

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As a school committed to the development of a positive learning environment, Woodland Middle School has received the Silver Fidelity Award from the International Alliance for Invitational Education (IAIE).

In 2016, Woodland earned the Inviting School award from the IAIE for its extraordinary teachers, administrators and faculty who create a sense of family and respect within the school community. Through character education initiatives, team building events, and collaboration among staff, students and parents throughout the school year, the school creates an environment that encourages both staff and students to realize their valued potential. 

The Fidelity Award recognizes Woodland’s continued efforts to build upon and sustain the Inviting School principles two years after earning the designation. The IAIE offers five types of Fidelity Awards, with the top Gold Fidelity Award bestowed upon schools that dedicate more than 10 years to Invitational Education practices.   
In late January, IAIE’s then-Executive Director Joan Fretz presented the school’s administrators and staff with a commemorative plaque and banner for the honor.
“Congratulations to you for being a lighthouse district in this work,” said Fretz. “As an Inviting School, you are giving your students and colleagues everything they want and need so they can figure out who they are and where they’re going in this world.”  

The middle school will also be featured in a book co-authored by Fretz, Dr. William Watson Purkey and Dr. John Michael Novak. Drs. Purkey and Novak have authored several books on Invitational Theory, including “Inviting School Success” and “Fundamentals of Invitational Education.” 

Bond Update


W.T. Clarke High School Recognized As A Reward School

W.T. Clarke High School Recognized As A Reward School By NYSED photo
For the second consecutive year, W.T. Clarke High School has been named a Reward School by the New York State Education Department for its continued high academic performance. The high school is one of 155 schools statewide and one of only 24 on Long Island to receive this noteworthy honor by Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia.

Each year, NYSED grants Reward School designation to those schools in the state that rank among the top 20 percent in English language arts and mathematics assessment performance, have a graduation rate above 80 percent, and obtain the most progress and/or highest achievement in the state without significant gaps in student achievement. This year’s honor was given based on a schools’ performance during the 2016-17 school year.

“On behalf of the district, I would like to commend W.T. Clarke High School on this prestigious recognition,” said East Meadow Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr. “This remarkable distinction is a testament to the hard work of the school’s administration, teachers, students and community.”

W.T. Clarke High School will receive a certificate of recognition from Elia to commemorate this achievement.

Teaming Up For Success

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Developing their teamwork skills, Woodland Middle School students recently participated in Mix It Up Day and team building activities.

The Social Emotional Learning Committee held a decades-themed Mix It Up Day for sixth- and seventh-graders during their lunch periods to meet new people, develop their social skills and work in teams. During their homeroom period, the students received different colored bracelets that grouped them with new peers. Together, they took part in activities identifying toys, characters and songs from the 1950s to the 2000s.

Additionally, throughout the day, eighth-graders practiced their team building skills with exercises and gaming applications. Working collaboratively to accomplish a common goal, they participated in activities such as human rock, paper, scissors and land mine travel, where teams had to direct their classmates across a field of “land mines” without stepping on a mine or bumping into another competitor. The students also participated in icebreaker speed chatting and activities related to science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.   

Donating More Than Pennies

Donating More Than Pennies
Congratulations to Parkway Elementary Schools for raising $3,500 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through their Pennies for Patients fundraisers. 

East Meadow Hosts Annual Braille Challenge

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The East Meadow School District hosted the 11th annual Long Island Regional Braille Challenge for students of Braille on Feb. 3 at W.T. Clarke High School. 

The Braille Challenge is an academic competition developed by the Braille Institute to motivate school-aged visually impaired or blind children to continue their study of Braille. 

During the event’s opening ceremony, members of the W.T. Clarke High School band performed as the participants gathered in the cafeteria to the cheers and applause of Board of Education members, central administrators, parents and community members. 

Several key administrators at East Meadow welcomed the students, their families and the event’s volunteers, offering words of encouragement and gratitude.

 “I want to congratulate the students who are participating in the challenge this morning and encourage them to give it their all,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card Jr.  

Clarke High School Principal Timothy Voels acknowledged the commitment and generosity of parents and volunteers, noting, “Clarke High School has been a host of the Braille Challenge for 11 years, and it’s a thrill every year to see students come in eager to participate.” He also thanked the parents and volunteers for their ongoing and selfless support.  

Patrice Dobies, the district’s director of special education and pupil personnel services, expressed her gratitude to all who helped coordinate the annual event, including Braille Challenge Coordinator Petra Tarrant, and commended the participants for their determination. “It takes very special people to get up on a Saturday morning to challenge themselves,” she said. “I hope that you always continue to challenge yourselves and are never afraid to do so.” 

The ceremony led into three interactive workshops for participants. In the first, they demonstrated their proficiency in reading, writing and comprehending Braille. Participants also played dominoes and created valentines using cookie cutters, metallic paper and stickers. In the second workshop, they played Goalball with representatives from Camp Abilities Long Island, who taught them techniques for diving to block the ball and how to roll the ball properly to score. Participants also received a hockey demonstration from New York Metro Blind Hockey. During the third activity, students met and played with members of the Long Island Bombers beep baseball team. These players demonstrated their version of the sport that uses beeping baseballs and bases. The young students ran the bases and located the baseball from the sound of its buzzing. 

Along with these workshops, parents and students were able to visit tables with representatives from Camp Abilities, New York Metro Blind Hockey, the New York State Commission for the Blind, and Helen Keller Services for the Blind to learn more about services and opportunities for the visually impaired.  

At the closing ceremony, the participants received Braille Institute medallions, certificates of recognition and goody bags. They also attended a lunch with their families, provided courtesy of the East Meadow Special Education PTA. 

Among the challenge participants were Bowling Green Elementary School third-grader Kayla Ochtera and fourth-grader Matthew Palmeri, and Woodland Middle School eighth-grader Robbie Stahl. 

The regional event is the first step toward the national competition, which will be held in June at the Braille Institute’s headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Students from across the nation are in the process of completing preliminary testing in the hopes of qualifying among the top-scoring 60 contestants. Those top scorers will advance to nationals to represent their state as they compete against the best Braille students from across the United States and Canada.



W.T. Clarke Artists Create Coloring Books For NUMC

W.T. Clarke Artists Create Coloring Books For NUMC photo

Members of the W.T. Clarke High School National Art Honor Society (NAHS) illustrated coloring books for patients in the Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) Pediatric Unit.

NAHS members collaborated after school to draw, organize and assemble images for 200 coloring books. This year’s theme for the project, which is undertaken annually by the NAHS, was seasons and nature, inspiring contour-lined drawings of landscapes, marine life and other animals. 

Each coloring book will be accompanied by a new box of crayons, donated through the NAHS’s crayon drive that is running in February. After the drive is complete, NAHS members will visit NUMC in March to distribute the coloring books and crayons to pediatric patients and their young family members.   

“Our members were very excited to create the drawings for this year’s coloring book,” explained art teacher and NAHS advisor Jane Pawlowski. “We hope our coloring books will ease the hospital experience for the children in the hospital.” 



East Meadow Bus Drivers Honored

East Meadow Bus Drivers Honored photo
The district held a special Bus Driver Appreciation Breakfast in December to thank school bus drivers for all they do to transport students to and from school safely. Drivers also received encouraging written comments from parents and students expressing their appreciation for the drivers’ service, professionalism and cheerful spirit.

W.T. Clarke REACH Students Take Center Stage

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Following months of preparation and practice, W.T. Clarke REACH students recently performed “Kids Rock: School House Rock Live Jr.” with members of the Family Residences and Essential Enterprises Inc., through a Creative Communities grant from the Huntington Arts Council. 

Families, teachers, central administrators and Board of Education members gathered in Clarke High School’s Little Theatre as REACH students and the FREE Players performed skits and songs about history, government and literacy. Audience members gave the cast a standing ovation as they performed musical numbers including “A Noun Is a Person, Place or Thing,” “Preamble,” “I’m Just a Bill,” “Conjunction Junction” and “Unpack Your Adjectives.”

Closing out the show, the full cast came together to perform “Frosty the Snowman.”
The W.T. Clarke REACH program extends a special thank-you to the Huntington Arts Council, FREE, REACH teachers and mentors, the East Meadow School District and the Special Education Parent Teacher Association for their support and contributions to the program.    

Bowling Green Students Use Their Noggins On ‘The Brain Show’

Bowling Green Students Use Their Noggins On ‘The Brain Show’ photo

Students at Bowling Green Elementary School had a chance to show off their brainpower by answering questions during “The Brain Show.”

According to its website, the Brain Show is an educational trivia contest with the authentic look and feel of a live television game show equipped with podiums, buzzers and microphones.

Divided into three teams, students in grades 2-5 went head-to-head answering questions related to classroom curriculum such as math, biology, geography and more. After three questions, new teams were created to allow as many students as possible to participate in the fun. 

Encouraged by a cheering audience, teams also racked up points between rounds by successfully completing dance challenges they had learned prior to the start of each new game.

Bowling Green extends a special thank-you to its PTA for organizing this interactive program. 

Helping Others Through The Love Of Sports

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Members of the girls volleyball and boys basketball teams at Woodland Middle School put their love for sports into practice as they raised $325 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The seventh- and eighth-grade student-athletes participated in a round-robin volleyball tournament on Jan. 11, where teams played each other for five minutes in elimination rounds until two final teams were set to play.

A special thank-you to girls volleyball coaches Patty Burnside and Alexa Borresen and boys basketball coach Michael Magee for organizing this charitable effort.   


Parkway Students Submerge Into Story

Parkway Students Submerge Into Story photo

Fourth-graders at Parkway Elementary School became immersed in a mystery story experience lead by Submerge Storytelling.

According to its website, Submerge Storytelling is an educational program that transforms a classroom into the setting of a story, motivating students to draw conclusions about the characters, plot and themes. 

Using a twin-sized bed, desks, Legos, wall decorations and sports memorabilia, Parkway’s Literacy Center was transformed into the bedroom of 12-year-old named Trevor Cool, who breaks codes for the CIA. The students examined evidence and applied their literacy and critical thinking skills to become detectives in search of Trevor, who is being chased by the notorious CIA double agent, Cobra.

Over the course of a week, the fourth-graders learned how to make connections and avoid jumping to conclusions. They also discussed the importance of detailed evidence, took part in an activity that focused on the sequence of events, created a timeline out of the story’s illustrations, and worked together to figure out the correct plot line.

Parkway extends a special thank you to its PTA for providing its students with this amazing opportunity in which students developed their problem-solving, critical thinking and teamwork abilities.

W.T. Clarke Rams Defeat Division Avenue Dragons

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The W.T. Clarke High School Rams boys varsity basketball team defeated the Division Avenue High School Dragons, 49-40, at Nassau Coliseum on Dec. 23. 

Steps to Learning Winter Edition Now Available


Terrific Season For Woodland Middle School Cheerleaders

Terrific Season For Woodland Middle School Cheerleaders photo
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The district congratulates Woodland Middle School’s cheerleading team, the Jets, on a successful season under the guidance of coach Stephanie Annunziata. 

Along with cheering on the crowd and performing during halftime at seventh- and eighth-grade baseketball games, the Jets have earned top rankings at recent cheer competitions. They secured first place at the W.T. Clarke High School Cheer Invitational and fourth place at the Freeport High School Invitational.

In addition, squad members Gina Giambald, Mia Scali, Rebecca Silverman, Lauren Stea, Isabella Stein and Kelly Stump demonstrated their musical talents by singing the national anthem prior to the Freeport competition. 

The district’s athletic department commends the Jets and Coach Annunziata on a phenomenal season.     

East Meadow Seniors Receive Zone Awards

East Meadow Seniors Receive Zone Awards photo
East Meadow High School seniors Nickola Pavon and Sara Polansky and W.T. Clarke High School seniors Carlo Ritaccio and Elizabeth Silverman received the Nassau Zone Award for demonstrating superior leadership and physical education skills. 

Sponsored by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, the award recognizes one male and one female high school senior from each school district in Nassau County who exemplifies outstanding scholastic ability, physical education performance and leadership qualities. 

The district congratulates these four seniors on receiving this prestigious honor.  

VIDEO: W.T. Clarke High School Hosts Career Day

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Students in grades 10-12 at W.T. Clarke High School recently explored a vast range of careers during the school’s first Career Day.

The event, coordinated in part by Beth Bucheister, executive director of Career Day Inc., provided students with a venue to meet and learn from 58 professionals representing a variety of fields, including carpentry, real estate, medicine, fashion, marketing, computer science and engineering. Among the professionals were Clarke High School alumni, who explained how their high school experiences had impacted their future.

“Career Day connects students with business leaders to give them an inside look at major industries and better understand what it takes to get to where these professionals are,” said Clarke business teacher Joe Pavia. “It’s an excellent opportunity for students to explore different career pathways.”

Kicking off the day, students attended the “Empowering 21st Century Students: Where Am I Going?” assembly led by Randy Shain, founder of One on One Mentors; Michelle Kyriakides, executive director of the Hofstra University Career Center; and Bucheister, who inspired students to identify their “VIPS” – values, interests, personality and skills – when determining which career path to take. 

Following the assembly, students attended two breakout sessions with presenters based on their career interests. During these sessions, industry leaders discussed their everyday tasks and experiences, shared their educational backgrounds and answered students’ questions. 

“What I would like students to gain from this experience is an understanding of how much opportunity there is to find and work toward a career that is meaningful to them,” said Bucheister.

W.T. Clarke High School would like to thank the Board of Education, central administration, the school’s Career Day Committee, the PTSA, the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce and the participating local businesses for making its first Career Day a huge success. 



East Meadow HS Sophomore Named HOBY Ambassador

East Meadow HS Sophomore Named HOBY Ambassador photo
East Meadow High School sophomore Leilani Blakeman has been recognized as a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership ambassador for the 2017-2018 academic year.
According to its website, HOBY, founded in 1958, is an organization that inspires and develops youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. 

As an ambassador, Leilani will participate with other teenagers in the HOBY Leadership Conference in June, where she will collaborate with recognized leaders in business, government, education and other professions to discuss current world issues. 

Leilani was selected through a rigorous process that included an interview by faculty, administration and a former HOBY ambassador. She unanimously impressed the panel with her poise, confidence and genuine concern for others.

Leilani is a very conscientious student who is enrolled in Advanced Placement and honors classes, and is involved in numerous extracurricular activities. She is a member of the school’s Model Congress, World Hunger Action and Key clubs, and is also an active member of the English, Social Studies and Tri-M Music honor societies.
With a passion for the arts, Leilani participates in the school’s Theatre Guild and serves as treasurer of the school’s choir. Outside of school, she takes private dance lessons and is active in the regional and local theater community. Her proudest moment in theater was making it to the final callback for the part of Young Cosette in “Les Miserables,” on Broadway.
“We are very proud to be represented by Leilani,” said guidance counselor Mona Allen. “She is mature, intelligent, sincere, and a natural leader.”

Joining Hands For World Kindness Day

Joining Hands For World Kindness Day photo
In honor of World Kindness Day, students and staff at Meadowbrook Elementary School raised more than $900 to help those affected by the recent hurricanes.

According to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s website, World Kindness Day is a global, 24-hour celebration dedicated to paying it forward, focusing on positivity and spreading kindness. 

Meadowbrook acknowledged this special day by collecting monetary donations to help victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Students, teachers and administrators who donated to the cause wrote their names on paper hands, which are currently being displayed on a World Kindness Day poster in the school lobby, to show how people can make a difference when they work together. 

All donations will be sent to All Hands Volunteer, a nonprofit disaster relief organization dedicated to rebuilding hope for people impacted by natural disasters.   

Sounds Of The Season

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Students in the district gave riveting performances for the Board of Education and community members during the Board’s communication meeting, on Dec. 21, at East Meadow High School.

As a tradition, the Board’s December communication meeting is devoted to featuring holiday-inspired musical performances by the district’s exceptionally talented student-musicians. The evening included performances by members of the Bowling Green and Barnum Woods elementary schools holiday ensemble; the McVey Elementary School chamber winds; the district’s REACH musical ensemble; the Woodland Middle School vocal jazz ensemble; the East Meadow High School jazz ensemble, handbell choir and chamber choir; the W.T. Clarke High School percussion ensemble, vocal jazz ensemble and full orchestra; and both high schools’ 2017 Tuba Christmas ensemble. 

The district commends these students for their outstanding performances.

Hope For The Holidays

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The fifth-graders in Jennifer Abshire’s class at Bowling Green Elementary School in the district came together in the spirit of the season when they wrapped toys for 26 families as part of the school’s “Hope for the Holidays” toy drive.
Over the course of three weeks, students, staff and adminstrators raised more than $1,800 for the toy drive through two schoolwide fundraisers. On “Cozy Day,” students and faculty were encouraged to wear pajamas and donate $1 to decorate a heart for display in the school’s lobby. Continuing the comfortable dress theme, the second fundraiser, “Jeans for Joy,” asked faculty to wear jeans on a designated Friday to make their contribution. In addition, teachers and staff could sponsor a student to donate to the holiday drive. 

After all donations were collected, Ms. Abshire’s class visited Toys R Us in Carle Place to purchase gifts for local families.

Listening to holiday music and wearing festive clothes, the fifth-graders gathered in groups to wrap the presents, which included Play Doh sets, Legos, coloring books, racecars and a princess dress chest.