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Fall 2011

A Message from the Superintendent of Schools

Achieving Excellence

Dr. Kishore Kuncham It gives me an overwhelming sense of pride to share with you all of the many outstanding recognitions our students and staff have achieved since the start of the school year. On the local, regional and national levels our students are excelling and our staff is being honored. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our administrators, faculty and staff, our students are demonstrating every day that they are preparing themselves for college upon graduation and will be ready to compete and be successful in the future. The Class of 2012 has already raised the bar on academic excellence for those students following in their footsteps. I am confident they will continue to bring pride to our school district and community. Not one, but two of our seniors were selected as National Merit Semifinalists in the prestigious Siemens Math, Science, Technology Competition for their advanced science research project. Additionally, some of our seniors were recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program and the National Achievement Scholarship Program for their academic excellence. Our students are also successfully engaged in college-level advanced science research projects partnering with NASA, Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Attendance at our recent College and Career Night was at an all time high and clearly showed that parents and students are planning for the future. We are planning for the future as well, and the implementation of the NYS Common Core Standards to be introduced into our daily curriculum starting with the 2012-2013 school year. For more information visit Continued on Page 2

Freeport Public Schools 235 N. Ocean Avenue Freeport, NY 11520

(from left to right) Freeport High School Principal Ernest J. Kight Jr., Siemens Semifinalist Justin Millan, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, District Coordinator for Science Dr. Vincent Pereira, and Siemens Semifinalist Emerick Martin.

TWO SIEMENS SEMIFINALISTS Freeport High School seniors Justin Millan and Emerick Martin have been named Semifinalists in the prestigious Siemens Math, Science, and Technology national competition. The Siemens Competition, an annual event administered by the College Board, is considered to be the country’s leading original research competition in math, science, and technology for high school students. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, on behalf of the Board of Education, administration and staff, stated, “Their outstanding academic achievement in the field of advanced science research is a source of pride. Congratulations are also extended to District Coordinator for Science Dr. Vincent Pereira and the Freeport High School Administration and Science Department.” Through their science research project, entitled “Identification, Calculation of Three Dimensional Orbit, and Flux of asteroid 2007 TD14,” both students participated in the International Astronomical Search Campaign to discover/confirm the presence of asteroids, and they successfully confirmed the identity of asteroid 2007 TD14. “A goal of high school science education is to increase student interest in scientific careers. As a result of the research program at Freeport High School, this goal is being met,” stated Dr. Pereira.


Freeport High School student Ryan Stortz has been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program as a Commended Student. Ryan is among 34,000 of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT to receive a Letter of Commendation. Shakira Walden and Samuel Harding have been recognized as Outstanding Participants in Nonprofit Org. this year’s National U.S. Postage Achievement Scholarship PAID Program, a scholastic Permit No. 349 competition that annually Freeport, NY 11520 recognizes Black American high school students with exceptional academic District promise.

Freeport School Postal Customer Freeport, New York 11520

(from left to right) Freeport High School students Ryan Stortz, Shakira Walden and Samuel Harding.

A MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS Continued from Page 1 We are also dedicated to promoting peace throughout our school district, community and the world. Every day our students are engaged in humanitarian service projects to help those less fortunate. The outpouring of support and participation during our annual Peace and Love Concert and Art Exhibition was both heart warming and inspiring. Our students are learning that peace begins with us. We embrace our diversity and celebrate both our differences and similarities. Lastly, we are already into the design phase of several of the projects overwhelmingly approved by voters on September 20th. Plans for the new high school synthetic turf field and cafeteria air conditioning have already been submitted to the New York State Education Department for approval. All of the design plans are expected to be submitted to the state for approval by the end of the year. Our goal is to complete all of the major projects by the fall of 2012. As the school year continues, please plan to be a part of our success by attending the events, concerts, plays, athletic competitions and academic awards ceremonies still to come. Our students are the beneficiaries of the quality education provided for all students and will rise to the top with your continued support. Their success is a source of pride for us all. Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.


for Their Service

In celebration of National School Boards Recognition Week, administrators, staff, students, parents and community residents gathered to show their appreciation for the Freeport School District Board of Education. During the Board of Education meeting, hosted by the Bayview Avenue Elementary School, students entertained the Board with their musical talents and representatives from numerous groups presented tokens of appreciation and announced charitable donations made in honor of the Board of Education. “Thank you all for your support,” stated Board of Education President Debra McQuillan. “The members of the Board work very hard because the success of every child is important to us.” As part of the festivities, Bayview Avenue Elementary School Principal Odette Wills introduced the Bayview Unsung Hero Honoree

Lorraine Martin and presented her with a certificate of appreciation. “Ms. Martin is a 50-year resident of the Freeport community,” stated Ms. Wills. “She unselfishly and passionately leads with her heart and soul as she generously gives of her time, expertise and resources for the benefit of others. She is the beloved mother of seven children - four daughters and three sons - proud grandmother of sixteen grandchildren and doting greatgrandmother of seven great-grandchildren. The Freeport community has been enriched by her love, kindness, and generosity.”

“The members of the Board work very hard because the success of every child is important to us.”

Collaborating with Freeport High School science teacher Tom Doyle has been chosen, as one of only ten teachers across the nation, to participate in a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Teacher Archive Research Program. Mr. Doyle has been invited to attend the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Houston, Texas, in January, to meet with NASA and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) scientists and professors to learn more about the various research projects. Collaborative research between Mr. Doyle, his students, and NASA scientists will be conducted via the Internet and through conference calls. The culmination of the program will be held during the summer of 2012 at Caltech, in Pasadena, California, where Mr. Doyle and two of •2•

his students will work directly with NASA scientists and also have the opportunity to explore the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). JPL is the largest contractor for NASA and has built all of the robots that have landed on the moon and Mars. “My opportunity to collaborate with NASA scientists at Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will enable even more opportunities for our students to conduct real advanced science research with students, teachers and professional scientists from across the United States, stated Mr. Doyle. “In exchange, I will share this experience by providing professional development for my Freeport colleagues. I would like to thank the Board of Education, Dr. Kuncham and Dr. Pereira for their ongoing support and the science research opportunities they have provided our students.”


FALL 2011

COMMON CORE STANDARDS The majority of states, including New York, have adopted unified Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy and Common Core Learning

Peace Begins with Me

Standards for Mathematics. These new standards must be introduced in the 2012-2013 school year. To prepare for the implementation of these standards, the District is providing ongoing professional development and developing and aligning curricula with the new standards. One of the major requirements of the Common Core Learning Standards for Reading is that all students must be able to comprehend texts of steadily increasing complexity as they progress through school. By the time they complete the core, students must be able to read and independently comprehend with proficiency the various types of complex texts commonly found in college and careers. The Common Core Learning Standards for Mathematics are organized by grade level in Grades K–8. At the high school level, the standards are organized by conceptual category (number and quantity, algebra, geometry, etc.), demonstrating the body of math knowledge students should learn in each category to be college and career ready, and to be prepared to study more advanced mathematics. “These Common Core Learning Standards establish consistency across the states,” stated Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Dr. Wafa Westervelt. “They also provide a shared vision for administrators and teachers and a vision of what students need to know.”

On the evening of Tuesday, October 4, more than 1,000 Freeport parents, residents and invited guests joined the Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, District administrators and staff to promote the importance of peace both in the community and throughout the world. Students district-wide demonstrated their own personal commitment to promoting peace by showcasing their outstanding musical and artistic talents. Countless hours of rehearsals and preparation went into making the District’s Third Annual Peace and Love Concert and Art Exhibition a moving and memorable event. Three years ago, Dr. Kuncham introduced the idea of presenting a districtwide concert dedicated to peace in conjunction with International NonViolence Day and Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, both of which were celebrated on October 2, and United Nations International Peace Day, celebrated on September 21. “It is a very moving and heart-warming experience to see so many children and adults embrace the goal of peace,” stated Dr. Kuncham. “I am very proud to be a part of this evening’s events, and I want to thank everyone for demonstrating their commitment to peace.” Throughout the evening, students performed songs reflecting the theme of

world peace, including some original compositions they had written specifically for the concert. It was obvious by the audience’s enthusiastic participation and applause that the evening was a huge success.

“The Common Core Learning Standards will provide the academic roadmap to help every student graduate high school college and career ready.” - Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham.



FALL 2011

Homecoming 2011 Fr

The campus of Freeport High School was aliv the time approached for the big game. The Na which included the high school’s marching ban The band played the national anthem as the JR As a special tribute, Legislator David W. Den Debra McQuillan, Superintendent of Schools D with a Nassau County Legislature Citation in re difference in Freeport on the occasion of the a Many of the Freeport PTAs populated the hi fundraisers. Some sold food and beverages, ap for Freeport merchandise and team-related ite The cheerleaders demonstrated all of their a talents as they rallied the crowd in support of finish this day undefeated! Both the Red Devil with a season record of 5 and 0. It was standing room only as the crowd fille from their loyal fans, the Red Devils ran onto t came to see - another win. The roar of the crow on their first possession. After recovering an Ea to move 63 yards for a quick 6-0, soon to be 7quarter. Determined not to disappoint, the Red Devi commitment to win. As the final seconds on th cheer even louder, the Red Devils protected th final score: Freeport Red Devils 44, East Meado the field, there was a renewed sense of Freepo Homecoming 2011 to remember!



FALL 2011

reeport Does It Right!

ve with school spirit and community pride as avy Junior ROTC led the homecoming parade, nd, the homecoming court and the cheerleaders. ROTC presented the flag at the 50-yard line. nenberg presented Board of Education President Dr. Kishore Kuncham and Freeport High School ecognition of their commitment to making a annual homecoming parade. igh school parking lot with activity booths for pparel and crafts. Others offered raffle tickets ems, including team-autographed footballs. athletic skills, teamwork and cheerleading the Red Devils. Only one team was going to s and the East Meadow Jets came to this game

d the bleachers. Welcomed by rousing applause the field focused on giving their fans what they wd grew even louder as the Red Devils scored ast Meadow Jets fumble, Freeport used 11 plays -0, lead with 7:31 on the clock in the first

ls continued to entertain the crowd with their he clock ticked down and the crowd began to eir home field and claimed another victory. The ow Jets 29. As a jubilant crowd began leaving ort Pride. It was a great day, a great win, and a

FALL 2011



Around Our Schools participated in the program by completing similar activities in their classrooms. Now in its sixth year, the school-wide program creates a fun pathway for learning about ethical characteristics and teaches students why these traits are so important to develop.

ATKINSON STUDENT NAMED MATH SCHOLAR Kira Brizill was selected as one of the seventy-two Long Island students named Young Scholars of Mathematics by the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented Students at SUNY Old Westbury. Kira was chosen from among 700 students who competed by submitting an essay and taking a “rigorous entrance exam” stated college officials.

GRANDPARENTS’ SPECIAL DAY Grandparents’ Day at Bayview Avenue School was a celebration of appreciation for grandparents. “This is my favorite day because grandparents are very special to me,” Principal Odette Wills stated in her opening remarks. Two special guests from the neighboring Meadowbrook Care Center, Franny Moglia and Tony Mercurio, were honored with front row seats for the performances in both English and Spanish, and were presented with certificates and floral arrangements by the students. A multi-media slideshow entitled “Why My Grandparent Is a Hero” featured multigenerational family photos presented with the voices of students explaining why their grandparents and greatgrandparents are special to them. A second presentation, this one with video of a recent Bayview School student’s visit to the Meadowbrook Care Center, also touched everyone’s hearts. After the assembly, grandparents were invited to visit classrooms and share in the learning experience for the rest of the morning.


Atkinson student Kira Brizill successfully competed against 700 students from Long Island demonstrating her outstanding math skills.

Country” the flag represented. A show of hands demonstrated that many of the students were up for the challenge. Transitional ESL teacher Emmy Nicholas’ class closed the assembly with their interpretation of the merengue, a traditional dance from the Dominican Republic. “We’re a multicultural community, and the way we celebrate our diversity and commonality is with music and dance,” stated Principal Peggy Miller.

Leo F. Giblyn fourth grade students are getting an early education in financial literacy and the practical applications of budgeting and saving.

Early Childhood Education Center students were challenged to match a country name to the image of a national flag during the “Guess the Country” game show.

Mrs. Goldstein’s class at Bayview School celebrated Grandparents’ Day by treating their special guests to a presentation of “GRANDPARENTS, WE LOVE YOU.”

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH The Early Childhood Education Center hosted a special assembly for parents, students and staff that showcased performances from five of its Dual Language program classes in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Opening the program, music teacher Stephanie Arnell, coordinator of the event, led the assembly in a lively performance of “Bate, Bate Chocolate,” a popular children’s song. Catherine Byrne’s and Raquel Lucas’s classes maintained high energy with their performance of “Manos Arriba, Manos Abajo,” a sing-along that encouraged audience participation. Teachers Ana Fruchtnis and Cindy Nicholas added a visual element with placards for their classes who sang “Los Siete Días de la Semana” (“The Seven Days of the Week”). Mrs. Arnell then projected a series of flags on a SmartBoard as part of a quiz show in which students were challenged to “Guess the


Leo F. Giblyn fourth-grade students are learning a valuable lesson in financial literacy. Hofstra University has partnered with Capital One Bank to present “Money & Me,” an instructional program that educates students with practical lessons in personal money management. In a series of 12 lessons, students learn about wants versus needs, savings accounts, sources of income and expenses, budgets, checking accounts, credit and debit cards, inflation, and investments. Teachers are provided with extension lessons that incorporate both math and English Language Arts activities. “It’s a wonderful program!” remarked fourthgrade teacher Ms. Casoria. “Students are learning that math goes beyond the classroom, and that it is something they can use every day outside of school.

Archer Street fourth graders work on their Respect Pennants.

CHARACTER COUNTS Archer Street School kicked off its annual character education program with a special fourth-grade Character Fair. Students collaborated on three different hands-on activities related to desirable character traits. “We celebrate all character traits, but highlight specific ones. They are Respectfulness, Responsibility, Trustworthiness, Citizenship, Fairness and Caring,” explained Elizabeth Biscotti, the school’s social worker and leader of the program. Group activities included craft projects such as Citizenship Puzzles, Respect Pennants, Trustworthy Visors and Caring Door Hangers. Ten workstations in all explored a variety of positive behaviors. Students in grades K-3 also


GIVING FROM THE HEART Students at New Visions School took to heart the need to raise funds for the American Heart Association and reached the school’s fundraising goal of $10,000. Students gathered pledges and jumped rope during their physical education classes to raise funds for this worthy cause. German Banegas, New Visions physical education teacher and event organizer, promised students that with donations of $50 or more, they could throw a pie at faculty members; for $75 or more, they could dunk a teacher. And that’s just what they did! A dunk tank was set up on the playground, where math specialist Allan Brimer and Mr. Banegas “took a dive” for the cause. A big “thank you” went out to two students who raised the most money this year: fourth grader Jaylen Jarrett, who raised $555, and third grader Molly Ebesu, who raised $780. Mr. Banegas also expressed appreciation to the New Visions faculty and staff who collected nearly $500 to help reach the school’s goal.

Physical education teacher German Banegas was all smiles as New Visions School students had an opportunity to dunk a teacher.

FALL 2011

Their Future Looks Bright NOW FEATURING National Jr. Honor Society Induction The John W. Dodd Middle School chapter of the National Junior Honor Society added 68 new members to its ranks in an evening ceremony where a standing-room-only crowd was on hand to celebrate this momentous occasion. The program opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Select Chorale, under the leadership of music teacher Sherill Spruill, singing “The Star Spangled Banner.” The ceremonial speeches that followed praised the inductees for their pursuit of excellence and their acceptance into this elite group. “Today we honor you and celebrate your hard work. You have achieved… you are our shining stars,” lauded J.W. Dodd Intermediate School Principal John O’Mard. “Making choices is the single most important thing you will do. Making good choices is what earned you a place here tonight,” added Board of Education Vice President Debra Mulé. “You are an inspiration to us and we are proud of you. You inspire us to continue to do the work to support you. Think about your potential, and stay connected with your inner feelings,” advised Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. Members of the Freeport High School National Honor Society and J.W. Dodd Middle School guidance counselors Diane Durdaller and Denise Lloyd also acknowledged the accomplishments of these newest inductees. After each had received a red rose, the students were instructed to give the rose to their parents as a sign of gratitude for their support. The candle lighting and pledge ceremony, conducted by National Junior Honor Society advisors Danielle Ballard and Annette Jones, brought the inductees to the stage where they recited the National Junior Honor Society Pledge. After concluding the program, all who had gathered for this celebration were invited to enjoy refreshments donated by the J.W. Dodd Middle School PTA.

tuition assistance. An “Introduction to the College Search Process” was presented by Otto Hennecke of The Princeton Review, while an athletic scholarship workshop was also conducted. As a result of attending this informative event, both students and parents gained valuable information regarding the college planning process.

Adelphi University’s Assistant Director of Admissions Kristin O’Brien-Quinlan explains Adelphi’s programs to seniors Brayan Gonzalez, Isabella Ramnarine and Ta-Naya Johnson.

COLLEGE REPRESENTATIVES VISIT FHS Hundreds of college-bound Freeport High School seniors and their families had the opportunity to speak with representatives from among 150 visiting colleges during the annual College and Career School Night held in the high school gymnasium. The buzz of excitement extended into a variety of workshops and seminars covering financial aid options and college search strategies. To better assist the Class of 2012 in their efforts to select their college of choice, the guidance department made it possible for students and their parents to meet with college representatives from across the country. Posters, brochures, magazines, and the opportunity for one-on-one conversations encouraged students to ask questions and speak about themselves and their future plans with the recruiters. Students were also able to gather information about the admissions criteria, course options, campus life and career placement programs. Nassau County was well represented by the presence of Adelphi University, Hofstra University and Molloy College, among others. In addition to fifteen SUNY schools hosting booths, Harvard College in Cambridge, MA and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA were two of the more notable out-of state schools. A financial aid workshop facilitated by Gordon Rowe of St. Joseph’s College focused on the best methods for applying for college scholarships and •7•

REMEMBERING SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 Students throughout the District commemorated the tragic events that occurred on September 11th, with moments of silence and activities designed to honor those who perished. Students from J.W. Dodd Middle School traveled to the World Trade Center Memorial Site in lower Manhattan to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11/01. Social studies teachers Mr. Noviello and Ms. Brown prepared the students for the trip with classroom lessons that helped them develop ways to honor the victims and heroes of the attack. One of the educational goals of the trip was to enable students to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of 9/11/01. The students were encouraged to reflect on their own experiences and memories of the event ten years ago while viewing the progress of construction of the Freedom Tower, which is now over 60 stories tall. “One of the greatest lessons for the students was that although 9/11/01 was one of the saddest moments in our country's history, Americans came together and displayed profound acts of humanity and generosity towards one another during a time of tragedy,” said Mr. Noviello. The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools, in lieu of


The J.W. Dodd Select Chorale performed under the leadership of music teacher Sherill Spruill.

Dodd Principal John O’Mard, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, and Board of Education Vice President Debra Mulé applauded the 68 newest members inducted into the National Junior Honor Society..

where the towers once stood, are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. The name of every known person who died in the 1993 and 2001 WTC attacks is inscribed in the bronze panels edging the Memorial’s pools.

HELPING THOSE IN NEED Forty FHS students cooked meals in the FHS kitchen for the Holy Redeemer Outreach Pantry, a local pantry that supports hundreds of people in Freeport. Under the direction of FHS faculty members Jeff Glass and Josh Levitt, the students cooked and packaged 130 meals, with each meal feeding two to four people. The menu included beans and rice, chicken with rice and vegetables, ziti and meatballs, pupusa, eggplant, macaroni and cheese, and brownies. FHS cook Maxie Marine and her mother Benita provided expert guidance and endless support. Head custodian Joel Destil, along with custodian Pedro Burgess, lent a willing and helping hand in the kitchen. Alfonso Martinez, director of the food pantry and outreach activities at Holy Redeemer Church, stated, “Freeport High School has become a wonderful partner for us in helping so many families in our community.” “It is very important to have our students involved in community service activities in Freeport,” noted Josh Levitt, who is a Student Government faculty advisor. Jeff Glass, the faculty advisor for the Gay-Straight Alliance and a sponsor of many community service activities at FHS, added, “This event gave our students a hands-on understanding of how helping others can be mutually rewarding and, frankly, lots of fun.”

FALL 2011

CAPITAL RESERVE FUND AND BOND PROJECTS UPDATE Before the start of the new school year, three major construction projects were completed: the high school track, air conditioning for the high school auditorium and the installation of a new boiler at Caroline G. Atkinson School. Thanks to the overwhelming voter support on September 20th, the District’s architects have submitted for review the recommended plans for the high school athletic field

including lighting, and HVAC for the high school cafeteria to the New York State Department of Education (NYSED). NYSED approval is expected within the next several weeks. Plans for the remaining projects are being developed and will also be submitted for NYSED review and approval. All work is proceeding on schedule and the completion of all projects is anticipated by the fall of 2012.




On Your Mark,

Get Set,


On September 10, 2011, before the start of the home football game of the season, community residents applauded as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kunham, Board of Education President Debra McQuillan, Board of Education Vice President Debra Mulé, Board Trustees Ronald Ellerbe and Vilma Lancaster, and administrators officially opened the new Freeport High School track with a ribboncutting ceremony.

Freeport residents have recently begun receiving their tax bills for the 2011-12 school year. In some cases, the annual increases may be more than was expected. As we have explained several times in the last few years and in the recent months, the Freeport School District is responsible for determining the amount of the tax levy, and not the tax rate. The tax levy is the portion of the school budget that comes in the form of school taxes. For the 2011-12 school year, the tax levy increased by 3.88%. The school district is responsible only for 3.88% of the increase in your tax bill. For the last six years, the average tax levy increase has been 1.93%. Other factors that affect the tax bill over which the District has no control are: • Changes in the market values and assessed values of real property. A decrease in the assessed value of real property would be offset by an increase in the tax rate to make up for this loss in value; • Shift in the Base Proportions, under which the percentage of the tax levy burden on our home owners has increased while the percentage paid by commercial properties has decreased. • State cap on the STAR subsidy of 2%, for both the Basic and Enhanced STAR. Changes in the above factors affect the individual tax bills received by the residents. If you have any questions about your taxes, please contact Dr. Kenneth W. Rodgers, Assistant Superintendent for Business at 516-867-5212.

B O A R D O F E D U C AT I O N Debra McQuillan, President Debra Mulé, Vice President Ronald Ellerbe Michael Pomerico Vilma Lancaster Kishore Kuncham, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools

Freeport Fall 2011 Newsletter  

Freeport Fall 2011 Newsletter

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