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Talented Poet to Present at Botanical Garden

Talented Poet to Present at Botanical Garden photo
A holiday poem written by Mubaraka Ezzi, a student at W.T. Clarke Middle School, has been selected as one of 12 winners in the Holiday Train Show® Poetry Contest presented by the New York Botanical Garden.

Selected by former U.S. Poet Laureate and beloved New York poet Billy Collins, Mubaraka is among 12 winners that will join Mr. Collins during the Holiday Train Show on December 16 at the New York Botanical Garden. The winners were chosen out of more than 120 submissions to the contest.

Mubaraka was one of the Supreme Team ELA students at W.T. Clarke Middle School to enter the contest under the guidance of Cindy Dale. Her poem, “Let It Snow,” describes school being closed for a snow day. 

“We had a feeling her poem would appeal to Mr. Collins,” said Ms. Dale. “It was a fun, clever and playful piece!”

The district congratulates Mubaraka on being selected a winner and hope she enjoys the upcoming Holiday Train Show!    


Holiday Tubas at Rockefeller Center

Holiday Tubas at Rockefeller Center photo
Holiday Tubas at Rockefeller Center photo 2
Holiday Tubas at Rockefeller Center photo 3
Holiday Tubas at Rockefeller Center photo 4
Holiday Tubas at Rockefeller Center photo 5
Student musicians from the East Meadow School District were among the hundreds of tuba players from across the country to perform in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree on December 9, for the 45th annual Tuba Christmas program.

The district held the largest representation of students and teachers at the program with a total of 52 participants from W.T. Clarke Middle and High schools and East Meadow High School.
The musicians were conducted by Chris Wilhjelm, conductor of the famous Goldman band. The first Tuba Christmas was presented in 1974 and was created by Harvey Phillips as a way to honor his teacher William J. Bell. The tradition has been established in more than 200 cities around the world.

“I’m incredibly blessed to work with the students and staff in East Meadow,” said District Director of Music and Art, Dr. Christopher Hale. “Due to the hard work and dedication of our music faculty, so many students were able to have this experience!”

Challenges for the Heart

Challenges for the Heart photo

Students in East Meadow School District’s Barnum Woods Elementary School celebrated their efforts in the Kids Heart Challenge with a day of games on December 7.

Formerly known as Hoops for Heart, the program is held in association with the American Heart Association and was spearheaded at Barnum Woods by physical education teacher Deborah Barbato. Students and staff members entered the challenge with a fundraising goal of $5,000, and collected donations through online and in-school programs.

On December 7, each grade came together during different periods to participate in games organized by Ms. Barbato and the physical education staff. The activities served as thank you to the students for their efforts, as well as an opportunity to bring in last minute donations.

For the second consecutive year, fourth-grader Molly Nadler was the top student fundraiser in the school with $1,200 collected as of December 10. The district congratulates Molly and all the students for helping support a great cause.  The district would also like to thank Ms. Barbato for her leadership in organizing this event!

Spreading Holiday Cheer

tree pic

The W.T. Clarke High School Chorale helped enhance the holiday mood during the Community Association of Stewart Avenue and East Meadow Chamber of Commerce Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 7. They presented a variety of holiday songs that brought the season’s joy to their audience.

Prior to the lighting of the tree, the ensemble took the stage to sing many holiday tunes for the community members in attendance. Some of the numbers included “Deck the Halls,” “Jingle Bells” and “Joy to the World.” 

The tree lighting served as the first of many public performances for the W.T. Clarke music department during the month of December. The Chorale is also scheduled to perform on December 19 at the RXR Plaza in Uniondale along with the W.T. Clarke Middle School Chamber Singers at noon.

Excellence in Physical Education

Excellence in Physical Education photo
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Four seniors in the East Meadow School District were honored for excellence in physical education by being named New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Nassau Zone Outstanding Senior Physical Education Students for 2018.

East Meadow High School seniors Charlie Cucchiara and Rebecca Homan, along with W.T. Clarke High School seniors Arton Dalipi and Emily Carman, were among the honorees recognized by NYSAHPERD on December 3 at the Crest Hollow Country Club.

The students were nominated by their respective high school physical education staff for exhibiting an active lifestyle, demonstrating character and civility, and for being leaders and a positive influence on their peers.

Getting Cozy for a Cause

Getting Cozy for a Cause photo

Each year Bowling Green Elementary School, the Hope for the Holidays Team sponsors Cozy Day to help pay it forward. On November 30, students and staff members at Bowling Green were invited to dress “cozy” to raise money.

Everyone that participated in Cozy Day was asked to contribute $1 to buy gifts for those less fortunate in the community. Proceeds were combined with donations from the Jeans for Joy Fridays held throughout the first few months of school. Mrs. Abshire’s fifth-grade students budgeted and estimated how much could be spent on each recipient. The students also shopped, sorted and wrapped the gifts and created gift tags and cards.

Bowling Green hopes these gifts help make an impact for those that receive them during the holiday season!

Athletic Accolades Applauded at Board Meeting

Board meeting
Board meeting2

Student-athletes from East Meadow High School gathered at the December 5 Board of Education meeting to be honored for their accomplishments this past fall.

Members of the boys’ varsity cross country team and the girls’ varsity soccer team were recognized with certificates of excellence and commended by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr. and Board President Matthew Melnick. The cross country team earned a conference championship, second place at the Nassau County Championship and placed ninth in the New York State Class ‘A’ race. The girls’ soccer team went 12-3-3 during the season and were crowned co-county champions.

District Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics Kristi Detor, along with East Meadow High School Director of Athletics Kevin Reegan, also acknowledged senior Meadow Perez for her qualification in the New York State Swimming Championship, as well as Katherine Marsh for representing the Jets in the girls’ cross country state championship.

“These students not only represent East Meadow with pride and class in competition, but also in the community and the classroom,” said Mr. Reegan. 

Food Drive to ‘Help a Vet’

Food Drive
Various clubs at East Meadow High School came together during the month of November to promote the “Help a Vet” food drive, which benefited a local veteran food pantry.

As a way to give back to American veterans, the World Hunger Action Club, SADD and the Social Studies Honor Society teamed up to host the effort and spread awareness. Students, teachers and staff at East Meadow High School donated a extraordinary amount of nonperishable items such as cereal, pasta, canned goods, peanut butter and jelly. 

All of the items were donated to the Nassau University Medical Center Veterans Clinic, which is located across the street from East Meadow High School.

“We are overwhelmed with the amount of donations collected during the “Help a Vet” food drive,” said World Hunger Action Club advisor, Margherita Diglio. “The food drive was a great way to give back to our veterans.”

District Celebrates Talents of All-County Selections

District Celebrates Talents of All-County Selections photo
The East Meadow School District was pleased to announce the selection of 182 students to the Nassau Music Educators Association’s All-County ensembles. A festival comprised of seven concerts is scheduled to take place on the campus of LIU Post at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts during the second and third weeks of January.

All-County choices were based on the NYSSMA scores earned by fifth-grade students through high school seniors last spring. The selected individuals represent the highest achievers and were also recommended by their teachers. 

“We are extremely proud of the students selected for the upcoming All-County Festivals,” said Director of Music and Art, Dr. Christopher Hale. “Their musical talents, as well as the great teaching and learning that happens in East Meadow, will be on full display.”

Awarding Fall Athletics

Awarding Fall Athletics photo

The fall athletic season was full of highlights for the District as various teams and students-athletes at East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School put forth admirable performances.

East Meadow High School Senior Meadow Perez was among the high achievers as a qualifier for the New York State Swimming Championships in the butterfly stroke. She was also one of 17 student-athletes to earn the All-County recognition.  Similarly, two East Meadow High School football players were named All-County Honorable Mention and 18 student-athletes earned All-Conference and All-Division accolades.

At the team level, the East Meadow High School boys’ varsity cross country team was crowned conference champion and advanced to runner up in the Nassau County Championships. The team also placed ninth in the New York State Championship Class ‘A’ race. The season ended with the program earning the top ranking in Nassau County and second on Long Island. The East Meadow High School girls’ varsity cross country team finished third at the county championship and Katherine Marsh represented the Jets at the State cross country championship.

The East Meadow High School varsity girls’ soccer team tied as co-county champions behind a 12-3-3 record before winning two games in the county playoffs. Meanwhile, the varsity field hockey team qualified for the semifinal round of the county playoffs and the varsity football, girls’ volleyball and boys’ volleyball teams all competed in their respective quarterfinal rounds.

A total of seven student-athletes at W.T. Clarke High School earned All-County awards with an additional three honorable mention selections. All-Conference selections included 15 individuals from football, boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, girls’ volleyball, cross country and field hockey while two more student-athletes were named All-League.

The W.T. Clarke High School varsity football team posted a 7-1 record for the season to help head coach Timothy O’Malley earn Coach of the Year honors from the league. The team’s season extended into the county playoffs.

The W.T. Clarke varsity boys’ volleyball team compiled an 11-8 overall record and earned a spot in the county playoffs after defeating Valley Stream South in a play-in match. Additionally, the cross country program competed at the county championships.'
“The 2018 fall season was a big success for the East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School athletic departments,” said district Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics Kristi Detor. “Congratulations to all of our teams and student-athletes for demonstrating the great of East Meadow!”

VIDEO: November In Review


W.T. Clarke Student Joins Great Americans

W.T. Clarke Student Joins Great Americans photo

A YouTube audition video helped East Meadow School District’s W.T. Clarke High School junior Matthew Michaelis earn a spot in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, which was featured in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 20.

The famous marching band has been spotlighted in the parade since 2006. The finest high school musicians from across the United States attempt acceptance to this ensemble, which is directed by Auburn University’s Dr. Richard Good.

W.T. Clarke music teacher Molly Ingoglia encouraged Matthew to submit an application and audition video with hopes of placement in the brass percussion section for the Euphonium. He is among 30 brass percussion members that were ultimately chosen for the 225-person band that included musicians, flag holders and dancers.

“Being one of only a few students from New York selected was a great honor,” said Matthew. He also said, “it was a great experience that I look forward to returning to next year.”
In addition to performing at the parade, the band also made an appearance on NBC’s Today Show on November 19.

The district was proud and excited to see Matthew represent W.T. Clarke High School, and looks forward to seeing him again next year!

Viscardi Ambassadors Shine Light on Disability Awareness

Viscardi Ambassadors Shine Light on Disability Awareness photo

Bowling Green Elementary School welcomed special guests on November 28 when the Viscardi Ambassadors discussed disability awareness. As members of the Henry Viscardi School, a state-supported special education school in Searingtown that serves disabled students from pre-K through high school, the speakers gave their East Meadow peers a glimpse at their daily lives. 

While visiting classrooms, the Viscardi Ambassadors shared information such as their interests, dreams, families and experiences as well as details about their disabilities. The interactive sessions encouraged students and teachers to ask questions about the presenters, the challenges they face and the programs and settings at Viscardi School. 

The Viscardi Ambassadors is a club that presents to elementary, middle and high schools, as well as colleges and businesses. The club is comprised of boys and girls of different ages, grade levels, hometowns and disabilities. The aim of the presentations is to aid in breaking down the barriers that exist between the able-bodied world and those that are physically challenged. 

Bowling Green thanks the Viscardi Ambassadors for visiting our school and showcasing the great happening at Viscardi. 

Bond Update

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Turkey trots promote family fitness

Turkey trots promote family fitness photo

Turkey trots at Meadowbrook and McVey elementary schools helped to promote family fitness while boosting excitement for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Due to inclement weather on November 20, the Meadowbrook Elementary School physical education department moved its second annual turkey trot indoors to the building’s gymnasium. Students accumulated a great number of laps around the basketball court to the sound of holiday music. The event demonstrated the community pride and generosity of students and parents as non-perishable food items were collected and donated to Island Harvest for the holiday season. 

McVey Elementary School was fortunate to have the cooperation of the weather on November 21, when students were able to welcome special guests to join them for laps on the school’s back lawn. The physical education department set up a quarter-mile lap that participants enthusiastically walked or ran around. Each grade participated at designated times during the day with the goal of completing at least two individual laps.

The district congratulates and thanks the students and special guests for their involvement in the turkey trots and for giving back to the community! 


Lessons of Ryan’s Story Come to Woodland

Lessons of Ryan’s Story Come to Woodland photo

Eighth-grade students at Woodland Middle School experienced an emotional presentation on November 20 when John Halligan presented the “Ryan’s Story” assembly.

Students gathered in the auditorium as Mr. Halligan shared valuable lessons about the effects of bullying and the impact it has on students and their families. Through a powerful slideshow and presentation, Mr. Halligan delivered an anti-bullying program that focused on the devastating suicide of his 13-year-old son Ryan in 2003.

Mr. Halligan shared details of the struggles and bullying Ryan faced that resulted in taking his own life. He also described the painful effect that Ryan’s death had on his family and the ultimate power of forgiveness. 

As a main message, Mr. Halligan encouraged each of the eighth-graders to stand up to those being unkind and demonstrated how treating others nicely can have positive effects throughout their school and community.

Woodland Students Build Team Skills

Woodland Students Build Team Skills photo

Eighth-grade students at Woodland Middle School came together to develop their team-building skills through various activities on November 15 and 16.

The eighth-grade students are split into a pair of “houses,” each of which participated in a full day of team-building activities that helped foster cohesion and collaboration. Through group efforts, students accomplished their goals in a variety of exercises – a “stepping stones” challenge forced groups of eight to ten students with the task of getting from one side of the room to the other by placing circular dots, which represented lava, across a floor. There were numerous requirements and one was keeping every dot occupied. Other tasks such as “switch sides” and “toxic waste” presented similar problems for the students to solve.

The day culminated with a marshmallow challenge and a reflection on the initiative through flipgrid. Flipgrid is an online resource that enables teachers to create a set of short, discussion-style questions that the students respond to through video recordings. 

This was the first of three events geared towards eighth-grade team-building at Woodland Middle School throughout the year. The objective is for students to develop and strengthen collaborative skills before moving on to high school. 

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ENL Students Buddy Up at Bowling Green

ENL Students Buddy Up at Bowling Green 2018

Students in the English as a New Language (ENL) program at Bowling Green Elementary School were introduced to their year-long buddies on November 14. Through the ENL Buddy Reading initiative, students work as partners and help each other to improve their English writing and literacy skills. 

Led by ENL teachers Jaclyn Goldstein, Michelle Brenner and Jennifer Roman, the introductory session brought students from various grades together in the school’s all-purpose room to connect with their buddies. They asked each other questions and to get to know one another and practiced writing and reading in English. Following the introductions, students wrote down something they enjoyed. The papers containing their responses were mixed together in a pile.  Each student chose one of the pieces of paper and attempted to guess which peer wrote it as a way to further facilitate conversation within the group.

In addition, the program encourages the buddies to connect outside of the scheduled time as the group only meets once a month. The ENL Buddy Reading program looks forward to future meetings and the progress of the ENL students as they move toward English literacy! 

East Meadow Board November Meeting Full of Excellence

East Meadow Board November Meeting Full of Excellence photo

Community members, staff and students gathered at the Leon J. Campo Center, for the East Meadow Board of Education meeting on November 14, where various accomplishments were celebrated and educational topics were presented.

Among the evening’s honors was the acknowledgement of Board Recognition Week, which is nationally recognized each October. The newest Board Trustee, Eileen Napolitano, was presented with a self-portrait that will be hung with those of her fellow Board members in the Campo Center. The portrait was created and presented by East Meadow High School senior Daniel Tellerman. Additionally, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr. invited all members of the Board to open gifts from the community as a thank you for their hard work and dedication.

The evening continued with presentations on school and community safety from Nassau County Police Department Commissioner Patrick Ryder and Sheriff Vera Fludd. Both speakers addressed the security measures that are being taken throughout the county, district and community.

The audience was treated to musical performances from the Woodland Middle School seventh-grade string quartet as well as the East Meadow High School chamber choir.  The meeting then segued into the Terrific Kids recognition. The Terrific Kids program is sponsored by the East Meadow Kiwanis and recognizes sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students who exhibit a positive attitude, good character and responsible citizenship and who are exemplary role models. 

W.T. Clarke Middle School Principal Stacy Breslin and Woodland Middle School Principal Jim Lethbridge presented the honorees for September, October and November. W.T. Clarke Middle School commended sixth-graders Giuliana Gedarovich, Demi Mah Lee, Andrew Cardona, Rosanna DeStefano and Frederick Urias; seventh-graders Ryan Tao, Alicia Velasquez, Ravleen Kaur, Andreas Von Maier, Rita Gjonbalaj and Isabella Pertaw; and eighth-graders Kaitlyn Vo, George Neofitidis, Monica Dell’Olio, JD Azcona, Adam Kayaci, Joseph Palumbo and Savannah Eduque. Honorees from Wooldand Middle School were Jasmin Elizabeth Mendoza, Nayib Yunis, Samantha Mogilski, Javier Sebastian Aquino, Marian Ahmed and Joseph Chicas Reyes for September; Katherine Chien, Maximus Kelly, Jessica Salvador, Sean Lorentzen, Angelina Sisson and Frank DeStefano for October; and Allison Twible, Jason Chen, Lina Masaoka-Guevara, Nicholas Longardino, Eva Saragossi and Christian Smith for November.

Presentations concluded with reports on academic initiatives. Director of Literacy and Funded Programs, Frank Lukasik, led a discussion about Google Chromebooks and how sixth-graders throughout the district have benefitted from the devices’ integration into the curriculum. Mr. Lukasik was joined in his presentation by middle school English Chairperson Rebecca Regan in addition to teachers W.T. Clarke Middle School teachers Elaine Kevlin and Patricia Hartman as well as Woodland Middle School teachers Tonianne Smith and Caterina Largarna. 

Also part of further additions to curriculum, Director of Music and Art, Dr. Christopher Hale, presented to the Board a proposal whereby high school art students can earn college credit in association with Farmingdale State College.

The district congratulates all of the honorees and thanks the presenters for educating the community and board on all of the great that is happening in the East Meadow School District!



Running and Donating at Parkway

Running and Donating at Parkway photo

The East Meadow School District’s Parkway Elementary School held its fourth annual Turkey Trot on November 8 and 9 for the purpose of providing families in need with food for Thanksgiving.

Since September, kindergarten through fifth-grade students in the building trained for the event by running laps during physical education classes in an effort to improve their times. They were encouraged to bring in canned goods and nonperishable items on their race days to help support the Kiwanis Thanksgiving Food Drive.

Throughout the Turkey Trot, each grade came together for a set amount of time to complete as many laps as possible. Students sported race bibs that they designed themselves, while being cheered on by PTA members who gathered around the school circle handing out water and encouragement.

The district congratulates all Parkway students on their wholehearted efforts and thanks them for their contributions.

Woodland Duo Present at LIAC Conference

Woodland Duo Present at LIAC Conference photo
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Woodland Duo Present at LIAC Conference photo 3
Woodland Duo Present at LIAC Conference photo 4
Woodland Duo Present at LIAC Conference photo 5
The East Meadow School District was represented at the Long Island Advocacy Center’s Annual Conference on November 8, when Woodland Middle School social worker Laura Papaleo and guidance counselor Kristen Sweeney presented on the benefits of integrating Social Emotional Learning into school curriculum and climate. 

This year’s conference was based on the theme, “Shifting Perspectives: Reshaping Challenges into Educational Opportunities,” and was held at the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center on the campus of Touro College in Central Islip. It was attended by educators and educational leaders, parents, students, attorneys, psychiatrists, social workers, mental health professionals/counselors and community based service providers. 

Ms. Papaleo and Ms. Sweeney joined Kristen Turnow, Director of Student Support Services in the Eastport-South Manor Central School District, to present on the importance of SEL and how it can increase the student’s capacity to learn. They shared various strategies on how to bring SEL into the classroom and gave examples of methods that are used at Woodland Middle School.

The district thanks Ms. Papaleo and Ms. Sweeney for demonstrating the advances in SEL at Woodland and how great happens in East Meadow.

Memorable D.C. Trip for Blue Ribbon W.T. Clarke

Memorable D.C. Trip for Blue Ribbon W.T. Clarke photo
Memorable D.C. Trip for Blue Ribbon W.T. Clarke photo 2
After being named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School in October, W.T. Clarke High School of the East Meadow School District received spotlight in Washington, D.C. during a congratulatory celebration November 7-8.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr. joined W.T. Clarke High School Principal Timothy Voels and teacher representative Joseph Pavia at the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program awards ceremony to accept the distinction.

“It was truly an honor to be present for such a celebration of teaching and learning,” said Dr. Card. “The award ceremony was wonderful and a great way to recognize the accomplishment of W.T. Clarke.”

Included among those on hand to honor the 349 National Blue Ribbon Schools was Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Of the 300 public schools nationwide that were honored with the award, W.T. Clarke is among only 20 percent that were honored from the high school level. Additionally, W.T. Clarke is one of only 20 schools in New York State to be named a National Blue Ribbon School this year. 

“I cannot be more honored and humbled to have been the teacher representative for our amazing school,” said Pavia. “Thank you to my fellow teachers, Dr. Card and Mr. Voels for allowing me to attend this once in a lifetime event. This award is for our entire school.”

The district once again congratulates W.T. Clarke High School for this honor and for demonstrating the greatness that happens in East Meadow.  

Barnum Woods Honors Veterans

Barnum Woods Honors Veterans photo

A time-honored tradition at Barnum Woods Elementary School continued on November 9, when Elena Maria Dicocco’s fourth-grade class hosted a meaningful Veteran’s Day ceremony. This marked the thirteenth year that Ms. Dicocco has organized this special tribute to those who have served our country. 

Approximately 27 veterans were in attendance and included Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr. and school psychologist Dr. LeeAnne Bonnet.  Dr. Card served as a personnel man second class in the United States Navy and Dr. Bonnet was a captain in the Army. They both emphasized the fact that individuals can serve in the military and also pursue professions such as theirs. Ms. Dicocco’s father and several of his friends were also among the honored guests, as were parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and family friends of students and staff members. 

The fourth-graders welcomed the veterans into the All-Purpose Room as Lee Greenwood’s, “God Bless the USA” played, and flags were waved. Student Council representatives led the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star-Spangled Banner, and Principal Gregory Bottari shared introductory remarks. Students took turns at the podium, where they explained the significance of Veteran’s Day, led a moment of silence while Taps was played, and described positive qualities that soldiers exemplify. For each of the seven Pillars of Character, Nicolas Rodriguez and Maxton Shafran folded an American flag to form a tri-cornered shape representative of hats worn by soldiers during the Revolutionary War. 

The students introduced their guests and paid homage to the veterans who are either deceased or were unable to attend the ceremony. Several of the veterans then spoke, noting the meanings behind this annual event that acknowledges their humbling, life-altering experiences in the military. 

Korean War Veteran Richard Begandy, who served as a Petty Officer Third Class in the United States Navy, shared ten inspiring lessons that focused on qualities such as responsibility, trustworthiness, determination and gratitude. 

“If you keep trying, your confidence grows tremendously,” Begandy said. “Eventually, you feel that nothing is beyond your reach.” He also expressed that in the military, people are relying on each other all the time and are able to count on one another. 

“Being a veteran is significant because it represents fealty and fidelity to one’s country,” said Dr. Card. “It was through my military service that I learned how to be honest, a good citizen and a leader.” 

The class came together to perform Mariah Carey’s “Hero,” guests viewed a slideshow of the veterans being honored and Mr. Bottari addressed attendees once more. Students concluded the ceremony with a “Greenlight a Veteran” gesture, in which they lit green glowsticks symbolizing hope as the veterans exited the stage. This act is intended to shine a light on the impact transitioning veterans make, in and out of uniform, in communities across the country. 

The class prepared for the ceremony through lessons leading up to it. They read about, researched and discussed Veterans’ Day and wrote reflective pieces about why veterans should be honored.  

“I want my students to have an appreciation and respect for those men and women who served our country and protected our freedoms,” Ms. Dicocco said. 

Special Salute for District Father

Special Salute for District Father photo

A special gathering took place at Meadowbrook Elementary School on November 8, when United States Air Force Sgt. Thomas Hartley returned home after four months of deployment surprising his two daughters.

Fourth-grade and kindergarten students assembled in the building’s All-Purpose Room to create thank you messages as part of a Veteran’s Day lesson. Hartley’s daughters fourth-grader Averie and kindergartener Alyssa, were among them.

While teachers were instructing the students on the next part of the activity, Hartley entered the APR to the shock of Averie and Alyssa. In the background, the school band played Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” 

After a tearful and excited greeting between Hartley and his daughters, school principal Kelly Di Scalfani-O’Brien presented the family with a certificate of commendation from the students at Meadowbrook and the entire district. This return home marks the sergeant’s retirement after 21 years of service.

The entire district thanks and salutes Sgt. Hartley and his family for his service to our country!

Emphasis of Lifelong Learning

Emphasis of Lifelong Learning photo
District administrators and staff members gathered on November 6 for Superintendent’s Conference Day. This event was comprised of meetings and workshops aimed to emphasize life-long learning.

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Dr. David M. Casamento celebrated the excellent work that takes place every day while emphasizing the need for educators and students alike to continue to be life-long learners in a memo sent out prior to the Conference Day. With that, the theme for the day was “Great Professional Learning Happens Here.” 

The day begin immediately with district attendees split into groups based on their grade level and subject area.  The professional staff attended workshops at the various district buildings with many of these sessions facilitated by district staff members.  The topics for the sessions were developed by district administrators in response to feedback from a survey sent to all district staff. 

District co-teachers, who are working in the new co-teaching initiative for sixth- and ninth-grade classes at W.T Clarke Middle School, W.T. Clarke High School and Woodland Middle School, attended a session on “differentiation” at the Leon J. Campo Center. They explored strategies and best practices that can be utilized in co-taught classes. District monitors also gathered at the Campo Center, where they reviewed proper safety and security measures and were trained in Stop the Bleed and AED procedures by East Meadow Fire Department paramedics.

Other aspects of the day included grade level collaborations, STEM challenges, Google classroom training and the Balanced Mind Conference for all district music and art teachers at Molloy College. 

The district thanks all of the presenters and attendees for making this year’s Superintendent’s Conference Day an example of how Great “Professional Learning” Happens Here! 

Yoga Centers Bowling Green

Yoga Centers Bowling Green photo
Yoga Centers Bowling Green photo 2
For two days during Red Ribbon Week, students and staff at Bowling Green Elementary School in the East Meadow School District welcomed yoga and mindfulness expert and trainer, Beth Hagedorn.

Ms. Hagedorn informed and instructed the students and teachers on the techniques and benefits of yoga and mindfulness. This program has many relevant applications to a school setting while also providing tactics for students to develop a more relaxed and receptive frame of mind that is more conducive to effective learing.

The teachers were the first to experience the yoga lesson on October 24, and then the students followed by exploring the benefits of yoga. 

Bowling Green thanks its PTA for inviting Beth Hagedorn to the school and helping to frame a more relaxed awareness for both students and teachers. 

VIDEO: October in Review

October in Review photo

Bowling Green Students Participate in Responsive Classroom Activity

Bowling Green Students Participate in Responsive Classroom Activity photo
Bowling Green Students Participate in Responsive Classroom Activity photo 2
Bowling Green Students Participate in Responsive Classroom Activity photo 3
Bowling Green Students Participate in Responsive Classroom Activity photo 4
Students in Meagan Keller’s third-grade class at Bowling Green Elementary School demonstrated their take on a pilot program called “responsive classroom.” During a morning meeting on October 29, the students gathered as a community while merging social, emotional and intellectual learning and creating a climate of trust and respectful interactions.

As the morning began, students came together on the carpet and Ms. Keller introduced the meeting’s theme. The class then split into two circles – one within the other – and students rotated to shake hands with their peers and say good morning.  Ms Keller then led a roll call featuring a special song that engaged students, as each said their name followed by nicknames and words they can be described as. 

Next, Ms. Keller read out numbers for each student and a group task asked them to find peers that had the same digit in the tens place value. The students identified which numbers formed the groups. 

As the discussion concluded, Ms. Keller reviewed the day’s lessons while students answered questions about the different text features included in the morning message.

Halloween Spirit Transforms East Meadow High School

Halloween Spirit Transforms East Meadow High School photo

The hallways of East Meadow High School took on a different look as Halloween themes and decorations welcomed community members and younger students for a Safe Halloween event on October 30.

The event, coordinated by the school's Planning Management Team, invited school organizations, clubs and varsity athletic teams to join them in transforming the hallways into festive and haunted scenes. Student volunteers dressed the part and handed out candy to young trick-or-treaters.  In addition, Halloween music was played on an organ in the main lobby by East Meadow High School senior Christian Cang cuesta.

Young attendees and their families entered in unique and creative costumes ready to collect candy and participate in games at various stations. The high school students grouped together in areas of the hallways with themes that included Disney characters, the tropics, emojis, decades, countries and many more. 

The district thanks the volunteers for creating a safe environment for our younger district students to trick-or-treat.


Meadowbrook Shape-O-Lanterns

Meadowbrook Shape-O-Lanterns photo

To celebrate Halloween on October 31, fifth-grade and kindergarten students at Meadowbrook Elementary School collaborated to create shape-o-lanterns.

Shape-o-lanterns are created through a hands-on way to educate students on different shapes and colors. Smaller pieces of paper helped construct the faces of the larger pumpkin piece without the mess of carving a real pumpkin.

In addition to the shape-o-lantern activity, Assistant Principal Gail Galucci was joined by students to form a group costume as the “Incredibles.”

Pumpkin Skills Showcased at W.T. Clarke Middle School

Pumpkin Skills Showcased at W.T. Clarke Middle School photo
Pumpkin Skills Showcased at W.T. Clarke Middle School photo 2
Pumpkin Skills Showcased at W.T. Clarke Middle School photo 3
Pumpkin Skills Showcased at W.T. Clarke Middle School photo 4
W.T. Clarke Middle School recently held its Second Annual Pumpkin Contest to get into the Halloween spirit.

Students were tasked with creating a unique carving and/or design for a pumpkin with the prospect of winning prizes. The entires were placed in the lunchroom for judging over a two-day period and were also displayed for the Halloween Recreation Night on October 26. Each student in the school had an opportunity to vote during the process.

Top winners each received a bushel of fun Halloween crafts, candy and snacks. Congratulations to first place winner Connor Jones for his “Popcorn Pumpkin” creation, second place Shay Genna for her “Minecraft Pumpkin” and third place Juliet Cimaglia for her “Oscar the Grouch Pumpkin.” Other awards were given for creativity and recognized such favorites as “Donut Pumpkins,” “Smurf Pumpkins,” “Stranger Things Pumpkin” and “Winnie the Pooh Pumpkin.”

All pumpkins can be viewed on the middle school Twitter account (@WTClarkeMS).

Meadowbrook Takes Red Ribbon Week Pledge

Meadowbrook Takes Red Ribbon Week Pledge photo

Students at Meadowbrook Elementary School participated in Red Ribbon Week from October 22-26, when they demonstrated promises to make positive and healthy decisions.

The week kicked off that Monday with an assembly centered on mindfulness. The PTA hosted “Try it Tuesday,” which provided samples of vegetables during lunch periods as a way to encourage healthy food choices. Finally, classes throughout the building took the Red Ribbon Week pledge to be drug-free by placing a signed sticker on a banner, titled “Life is Your Journey; Travel Drug Free.” 

Red Ribbon Week concluded with “Fitness Friday,” which featured a 10-minute obstacle course that promoted physical activity in a fun setting.

East Meadow Joins in Unity

East Meadow Joins in Unity photo

Students and staff in the East Meadow School District dressed in orange on October 17 and joined together in a stance against bullying as they celebrated Unity Day. 

At W.T. Clarke Middle School, there was an assembly for each of the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade classes throughout the day. Clarke Middle School is partnering with Sandy Hook Promise to take part in the “Start with Hello” initiative, which creates a culture of inclusion by teaching students skills for reaching out to and including those who may be dealing with social isolation.  

The culminating activity of Unity Day included every student, from all nine of the district’s buildings, signing their names on large paper flowers, signifying their pledge to say no to bullying and yes to kindness. The flowers were then sent to the Leon J. Campo Salisbury Center, where Art Honor Society students from East Meadow High School and W.T. Clarke High School came together with PTA Council members to create a “One East Meadow” mural. This “garden” mural will be proudly displayed in the conference room through the end of the year. 

The district thanks the PTA Council and PTA members at each school for their assistance as well as the students and teachers who created the spectacular mural.

Parkway Students Submerge into the Realm of Emmy and NASA

Parkway Students Submerge into the Realm of Emmy and NASA photo

Throughout the week of October 22, fourth-grade students at Parkway Elementary School in the East Meadow School District had the unique opportunity to be part of a program called Submerge Storytelling. This opportunity helps to inspire creativity in children by facilitating a physical and metaphysical environment where they can lose themselves in their imaginations.

Following the along with the fictional storyline of “Surfing on Saturn,” the school’s literacy center was transformed into the room of Emmy Sagan by Cory Levine of Submerge Storytelling. Emmy is a 12-year-old scientist and engineer who has invented the award-winning Emmy Engine to help her best friend Broman improve his surfing skills. 

As the story and week evolved, Emmy asked the students to take part in an Operation Battery simulation along with NASA. With the supply of batteries nearly gone in the world as part of the plot, NASA asked the assistance of Emmy and the students at Parkway to assist with a mission to Saturn to recover minerals that can help restore the supply of batteries.

Throughout the lesson, students used critical thinking and problem-solving strategies. Submerge Storytelling provides a pragmatic educational curriculum in addition to teaching important life skills and values through text-to-self literary connections. The interactive learning strategy is used to foster a sense of individuality, camaraderie and community. 

Parkway thanks Mr. Levine for coming to the school for this adventure as well as the PTA for providing students with the opportunity to enter the realm. 

East Meadow Beams with Blue and Gold pride


The sun shined down on administrators, board of education members, students, staff and the community as East Meadow High School celebrated its homecoming festivities and football game against Oceanside High School on October 20. 

Community members lined the streets to watch as dignitaries, the high school marching band, cheerleaders, the Rockettes kickline team, homecoming court and creative class floats made their way from Veterans Memorial Park to Carman Avenue. Fitting the 2018 theme, “Countries,” the freshmen class showcased their United Kingdom float, the sophomore class displayed their Egypt float, the junior class presented their China float and the senior class cheered as they waved on their USA float. Onlookers caught candy from the parade participants as they traveled to East Meadow High School. 

At the conclusion of the parade, community members enjoyed a carnival filled with activities and food from Arby’s, Mille Grazie Pizzeria, SoBol and Qdoba. Additionally, senior football players were recognized on the field with their parents.  The players gave flowers and a T-shirt to their parents for their support and encouragement. Captains of the Rockettes were also honored for their hard work and dedication to the kickline team. 

The crowd roared as the Jets ran onto the field for the start of the big game. The senior chorale performed the National Anthem and the game began shortly after this. The cheerleaders showed their spirit as they entertained the crowd and displayed their Jets pride. 

During the halftime show, the Rockettes, varsity cheerleaders and marching band performed on the field. This was followed by the anticipated announcement of the homecoming king and queen. The homecoming court, dressed in their best gowns and suits, were welcomed onto the field. Seniors Ryan DeRosa and Leila Sayan were crowned king and queen, respectively, to the delight of their peers. Other nominees included Victoria Cuttone, Analisa Giannone, Debbie Jaffe, Ryan Kochie, Dean Lanza, Katerina Liangus, Jeffrey Liu and Jake Wiscovitch. 

Although the game did not end in a victory for the Jets, they were successful in showcasing determination and sportsmanship on the field.

Meadowbrook Students Dig in to Fall Clean Up

Meadowbrook Students Dig in to Fall Clean Up photo

Throughout two weeks in October, third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at Meadowbrook Elementary School, in the East Meadow School District, have been helping to tidy up the garden in front of the school building. 

Led by Assistant Principal Gail Gallucci, students were tasked with digging out weeds and other materials in the garden areas at the front of the school building. The process helped to showcase the flowers and trees that have been planted in front of the building while also teaching students about the responsibility of grooming a garden. Each of the three grades came together during three different sessions to tackle different areas of cleaning up.

The cleanup lesson also was intended to help beautify the entrance of the building ahead of the school’s fall festival on October 20. 

W.T. Clarke Homecoming Exciting from Start to Finish

W.T. Clarke Homecoming Exciting from Start to Finish photo

Enthusiasm in the stands and on the field lasted from pregame festivities through an exciting finish at the W.T. Clarke High School varsity football game against Locust Valley during the school’s homecoming on October 13.

After overnight and morning rain cleared, parents and volunteers from the W.T. Clarke PTSA and the W.T. Clarke Parent Booster Club set up tents to sell food as well as maroon and gray items to support the Rams. Fans and community members began to fill the stands as the varsity football team ran through two banners held by the varsity cheerleading team to cheer the kickoff against the Locust Valley Falcons. 

The Rams went into the locker room with a 6-0 lead at the half and then the halftime festivities began. The cheerleading team opened the halftime ceremony with an enthusiastic cheer that lead into a strong performance from the marching band and color guard. Superintendent Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr., along with the East Meadow School District Board of Education and central administrators led the annual halftime procession. 

Following district officials’ greetings was the announcement of the homecoming royal court. This year’s court included this year’s king and queen, seniors Tom Talbot and Briana Iadevia. Due to wet conditions on the field, class floats were unable to be displayed in front of the crowd. However, class officers paraded onto the field while tossing candy into the stands while dressed as characters for this year’s theme of action movies.  The Avengers, Star Wars, Jurassic World and The Incredibles were all portrayed from the senior, junior, sophomore and freshmen classes respectively.

The parade concluded with dozens of representatives from the Class of 1968, who were invited back to serve as grand marshals while also celebrating their 50-year reunion. 

The action on the field led to overtime with a 6-6 tie after regulation. Trailing 9-6 after a Locust Valley field goal, the Rams came out victorious 12-9 as senior Anthony Caputo scored the winning touchdown.