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Board of Education Public Notice - December 19, 2017


Celebrating Accomplishments

Celebrating Accomplishments photo
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The district recognized both students and staff for their accomplishments during its Dec. 5 Board of Education meeting. 

Student representatives of Bayport-Blue Point High School’s Leo’s Club were commended for their efforts in the Blue Point-Bayport Lions/Leo's Clubs' annual food drive. These students volunteered on a recent Sunday afternoon to stand in front of King Kullen of Blue Point and encouraged the shoppers to donate nonperishable food items to those in need of assistance in their own community. Due to the initiative, the group collected enough food to fill up the back of a pick-up truck.  

Additionally, three teachers throughout the district were recognized as Teachers of the Month based not only on their excellent teaching methods, but for their ability to seamlessly connect with the students and ensure that their education comes first. Congratulations to Sylvan Avenue Elementary School second-grade teacher Sara Desmond, Blue Point Elementary School third-grade teacher Christine Brand and Academy Street Elementary School kindergarten teacher Melissa Zaleski for being named Teachers of the Month for September, October and November, respectively. 

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All That Jazz

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James Wilson Young Middle School eighth-grade musicians Thomas Bott (trombone) and Anthony Russo (trumpet) have been selected to perform in this year’s Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association All-County Middle School Jazz Band.

Although many students across Suffolk County auditioned for a spot, only 20 of the best performers were selected to take part in this elite musical ensemble.

“We are extremely proud of Thomas and Anthony for their hard work and dedication toward music,” said James Wilson Young Middle School Band Director Matthew Hurst.

The All-County Jazz Concert will take place on April 12 at Miller Place High School. 

National Junior Honor Society Inductions

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As a result of their outstanding academic achievements and dedication, 64 eighth-grade students at James Wilson Young Middle School were recently inducted into the school’s chapter of the National Junior Honor Society.  

All applicants maintained an unrounded, unweighted raw average of at least 92 throughout the last two marking quarters of sixth grade and all four marking quarters of seventh grade, provided 10 or more hours of community service, showed involvement in their school through sports or clubs, and wrote an essay describing why they believe they should be a member of this organization. All members met, if not exceeded, the requirements set forth by the National Junior Honor Society. 
During the ceremony, a variety of speakers addressed the inductees. The National Junior Honor Society co-advisers, Andrew Peshkur and Kimberly Benedict, defined the qualities all candidates must possess —  knowledge, scholarship, citizenship, service, leadership and character. Principal Robert Haas also expanded on the quality of character and conveyed the importance of being grateful and noted that these members have a vast amount of potential to tap into for their future endeavors. Throughout the evening, NJHS members of the band, chorus and orchestra also performed several musical pieces.
All 64 inductees exhibited their first act of service by donating one or more food items to a local food pantry. 

Blue Ribbon Celebration

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The Nov. 21 Board of Education meeting celebrated the Bayport-Blue Point High School’s distinct honor of being named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Throughout the course of the evening, the attending community members were treated to congratulatory speeches by distinguished guests, dazzling musical performances by high school student-musicians and were able to witness firsthand the unveiling of the large Blue Ribbon banner, which will proudly hang in the high school auditorium.

Firefighters for the Day

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Blue Point Elementary School students recently showcased important fire safety tips with their school community as they took part in the Blue Point Fire Department’s annual fire safety poster contest. 

The students worked alongside art teachers Carly Gayer and Ron Brandt to create posters artistically showing an important tip for remaining safe during a fire or how to prevent a fire in their homes. The winners of the contest received a special prize — a ride home from school on a fire truck.

A Step Toward the Future

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Blue Point Elementary School students celebrated Career Day by dressing up to emulate the professions they aspired to pursue one day. Throughout the course of the day, parents visited the classrooms to explain the role of their jobs, and how important a quality education is in order to achieve one’s dreams. 

Growing Toward Success

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As an addition to their STEM-based education, third-grade students from 3RS at Blue Point Elementary School have been working on their flourishing Tower Garden, a gift received last school year from the SEED Foundation.
While spending time interacting and learning how to utilize the tall structure, students have been actively growing lettuce, basil, tomatoes, and more, all of which the students and staff are able to sample.

A Real Life Wonder

A Real Life Wonder photo
After reading the critically acclaimed novel “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio and in an effort to acquire a common experience surrounding the importance of fostering kindness, community building, tolerance and acceptance, the fifth-grade students at Blue Point Elementary School were granted the opportunity to see the motion picture version of the novel on opening day.

The trip, which occurred at Sayville movie theater, was provided by the SEED Foundation, which supports educational initiatives and programs throughout the school district. 

Holiday Help

Holiday Help photo
Staff and students at James Wilson Young Middle School recently showcased their holiday spirit by collecting more than 3,000 food items for those less fortunate this Thanksgiving season. With assistance from student council members, the thousands of collected items were donated locally to the Our Lady of the Snow Church and Patchogue Soup Kitchen. 

Student-Athletes Take the Next Step

Student-Athletes Take the Next Step photo

Due to their robust commitment, both in the classroom and on the athletic fields, seven Bayport-Blue Point High School seniors recently committed to furthering their athletic and academic careers at prestigious colleges and universities located throughout the nation.

The district would like to congratulate Katelyn Eames (High Point University/lacrosse), Brooke Sparacio (Quinnipiac University/lacrosse), Jenn Smith (Belmont Abbey College/lacrosse), Ashley Walsh (St. John’s University/track & field), Lauren Wilke (Stonehill College/volleyball) and sisters Cassidy Weeks (Boston College/lacrosse) and Courtney Weeks (Boston College/lacrosse). 

Battle of the Books

Welcoming New BPE Principal

Welcoming New BPE Principal photo
The district is pleased to announce Tara Falasco as the new principal of Blue Point Elementary School, effective Nov. 27. 
Ms. Falasco comes to the district from the Harborfields School District, where she has served as an assistant principal at two schools — Washington Drive Primary School and Oldfield Middle School — since 2015. During her work in Harborfields, Ms. Falasco created and implemented a schoolwide Character Counts program, which included grade-level assemblies, student nominations, letters of recognitions to parents and a display in the atrium. Additionally, she updated the AIS program, bringing in the STAR reading/math program for progress monitoring, creating letters to communicate data with parents and managing a monitor list with parents. Furthermore, she supervised the LOTE department and helped to create an interactive LOTE week at the school. 

Ms. Falasco began her educational career in the Comsewogue School District, serving as a special education inclusion teacher and classroom teacher for more than 10 years. Throughout her work in the classroom, she became well-versed in the New York State standards, developed collaborative working relationship with colleagues and was involved in developing units of study using Understanding by Design. She had also served as a literary consultant for the Distinctive Educator’s Institute, presenting to and sharing best practices with reading specialists throughout the county and state.
In addition to her educational work, Ms. Falasco belongs to multiple professional organizations, including, but not limited to, the Special Education Parent Teacher Association, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum and the New York State Elementary Classroom Teachers Association. 

She is also certified across multiple platforms, currently holding such certificates as the NYS School Building Leader – Advanced Certificate, Students with Disabilities, 1-6, and Literacy Education, Birth – 6 certificates.

Ms. Falasco holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marist College, and a Master of Science degree in literacy education, along with a NYS SBL/SDL professional diploma, both from Dowling College.

Wonder of Reading

Taking the Big Stage

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As a result of their incredible musical talents, Bayport-Blue Point High School student-musicians Andrey Dagayev and Jacob Lurie were recently selected to perform with the famous Glenn Miller Orchestra at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts. 

“This is the second consecutive year that Andrey and Jacob were asked to perform with this famous touring group,” said Bayport-Blue Point Jazz Band Director Michael Sarling. “It is a surreal moment to see your students perform with some of the top musicians in the world; a proud moment that as an educator I will cherish forever with their families.”

Andrey, a member of David Johnson’s symphony orchestra, and Jacob, a member of Mr. Sarling’s symphonic band, both participate in the Bayport-Blue Point High School jazz ensemble. 

The Glenn Miller Orchestra travels worldwide, 48 weeks out of the year, performing 5-6 shows a week in a new venue each night. The ensemble has been touring since 1946.

Patriotic Celebrations

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In honor of Veterans Day, staff and students from throughout the district took time to honor those who served and continue to serve the nation.

Thanks to the efforts of Academy Street Elementary School second-grade teacher Christina Schroeder, the entire school attended a Veterans Day celebration in the gymnasium. To begin the celebration, fifth-grade students presented the staff and students with facts surrounding Veterans Day, including why it’s celebrated nationally and how important the day is to those who served. 

The Academy Street students also met with America’s VetDogs representative Ruthann Collins who introduced Sully, a Black Labrador retriever who is currently still in training to become a service dog. Upon completion of her training, Sully will be able to successfully undertake at least 72 of 80 trained commands, including opening a refrigerator door and picking up dropped items.

In addition, four student volunteers assisted Mrs. Collins with a demonstration in which they mimicked an individual who no longer has eyesight, in an attempt to show how useful a service dog can be. 

At Sylvan Avenue Elementary School, students joined together to collect hundreds of pounds of candy throughout the course of a weeklong drive. Sylvan’s donations will be sent to servicemen and women overseas in association with the Operation Gratitude organization. According to their website, this organization aims to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the military and first responder communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for civilians anywhere in America to express their appreciation to all who serve the nation.

Collecting for a Good Cause

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Staff and students from the Bayport-Blue Point High School, along with the BBP Buildings and Grounds Department and the BBP Teachers’ Association, recently continued the annual Haunted House and Safe Halloween charity fundraiser events, collecting $2,407.25 to be donated to the Hydrocephalus Association.

The funds collected will be put toward research for improved technologies for brain shunts in honor of Tommy Wulff and his family. Tommy is the infant son of Bayport-Blue Point High School math teacher Thomas Wulff, and he copes bravely every day with this condition. We all hope for a cure to be found soon.   

“The leadership, dedication and work ethic of all involved was vital to the success of our events for the altruistic goal of improving the lives of others and connecting with the community,” said Bayport-Blue Point High School English teacher and events coordinator Stephanie Eberhard. “We look forward to Halloween next year!”

Contributions of decorations, money, candy, toys and water were helpful to support volunteers who worked tirelessly, some for over a collective of 24 hours to plan, create, run and clean up the events. We would also like to thank Amore Pizza, who provided dinner on Friday, and Bayport Flower House for their pumpkin donations.

Sharing ‘Small Moments’

Sharing ‘Small Moments’ photo

In coordination with the Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study initiative, all first-graders at Academy Street Elementary School recently shared personal pieces of narrative writing, titled “small moments.” After putting time and effort toward the creation of their stories, the students were able to share their written work with a special family visitor during their Celebration of Writing event.

BOE Recognizes Accomplished Student-Musicians

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The Nov. 7 Bayport-Blue Point School District Board of Education celebrated the accomplishments of multiple Bayport-Blue Point High School student-musicians who were recently named premier musicians and invited to take part in this year’s New York State School Music Association’s All-State and Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association All-County music festivals. Congratulations to all of those recognized! 

Fun with Pumpkins

Fun with Pumpkins photo

In celebration of the fall season, students from Carrie Almskog’s fourth-grade class at Academy Street Elementary School recently utilized their skills spanning multiple subjects as they worked collaboratively on a pumpkin-themed activity.

With assistance from parent volunteers, the students rotated through five pumpkin-themed stations and worked together to measure their pumpkins physical properties, create an artistic interpretation and brainstorm the multiple uses of the gourd.   

Additionally, the students drew inspiration from the novel “James and the Giant Peach” to write a creative essay explaining what it would be like to explore the inside of a pumpkin. 

Halloween Fun

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In an effort to get students into the Halloween spirit, The Sylvan Avenue Elementary School gymnasium was recently transformed into multiple ‘Creepy, Crawly Centers’ which consisted of spooky-themed twists on traditional physical education games and activities such as bowling, hockey, tunnels, ring toss and scooters.

Batty with Research

Batty with Research photo

After researching bats throughout the month of October, all second-grade students at Academy Street Elementary School used their artistic talents to create a sculpture of a bat based on their research. They also used their linguistic skills to create short features explaining the animals’ unique characteristics. The completed projects were placed on display during the grade-level’s “Bat Cave Museum,” and students were on hand to explain their projects and share their bat-related research with visiting guests.


Thanksgiving Feast

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Students enrolled in Sally Miller’s English As a New Language program at Academy Street Elementary School recently got a taste of American culture by partaking in a traditional Thanksgiving feast. The afternoon’s meal consisted of cornbread, sweet potatoes, cinnamon apples, turkey and a delicious pumpkin pie for dessert. 

“When one of my students told me that he’d never tried turkey or had a Thanksgiving dinner, I felt it was important to provide that experience for all of my students,” said Ms. Miller. 

Bringing Pumpkins to Life

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First-grade students from Sylvan Avenue Elementary School recently brought storybook characters to life by decorating pumpkins based on their chosen character’s likeness and writing a detailed report based on the reading. Some of the characters on display that the students chose to study included Minnie Mouse, Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax and Olivia the Pig. 

Board of Education Appreciation

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In celebration of Board of Education Appreciation Week, staff and students from the district recently presented the Board of Education with tokens of appreciation during a meeting on Oct. 17.

“We cannot thank the Board enough for their hard work and dedication,” said Bayport-Blue Point Superintendent Dr. Timothy Hearney to begin the night’s celebration. “The time and commitment they put into this position makes so many of the things we do here possible, and I want you to know we appreciate all that you do.”

The talented student-musicians of both the James Wilson Young Middle School and Bayport-Blue Point High School jazz band put on stunning renditions of jazz classics “Basically Blues” and “St. James Infirmary” for all in attendance. 

Additionally, student representatives from Academy Street, Blue Point and Sylvan Avenue elementary schools as well as James Wilson Young Middle School presented the Board of Education with handmade gifts in an effort to show that they appreciate all that they do for the district.

Justice for Goldilocks

Justice for Goldilocks photo

After studying the judicial system in their classrooms, fifth-grade students at Sylvan Avenue Elementary School recently connected fairy tales to a real-life courtroom scenario during their production of “The Goldilocks Trial.”

Prior to the scheduled performances, the gymnasium was transformed into a mock courtroom, and parents were welcomed to attend as their children took on important roles in order to come to a verdict regarding Goldilocks herself.

The participating students garnished valuable information pertaining to how a courtroom operates, along with its key components, as they took part in the defense, prosecution and jury. Additionally, they enhanced their public speaking skills as they presented their testimonies to all in attendance.

Some of the fairy-tale characters on hand to testify included the Blind Mice, the Gingerbread Boy, and, of course, the Big Bad Wolf.

The district would like to thank Glen Vogel, P.E., Esq. for his help in teaching students about the judicial system and for coordinating these wonderful performances throughout the day. 

Bayport-Blue Point Eagle