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Notice of Regular BOE Meeting - Oct. 26 - 7:00 pm


Parent University: ‘The NEW Science Learning Standards’

Join us on Monday, November 6th at 7pm in the WJB Café for an Elementary & Middle School Parent University entitled, ‘The NEW Science Learning Standards.’ 3D learning in science & engineering represents a significant shift in science education. This presentation will address how our school district will transition to and implement the three dimensional architecture of the Science Learning Standards recently adopted by New York State. Please see the attached flyer with additional details and read the appropriate grade level guide in preparation (links below). Thank you.

Parent University Flyer
Parent Guide Grades K-2
Parent Guide Grades 3-5
Parent Guide Grades 6-8

Siemens Semifinalist at Northport High School

Siemens Semifinalist at Northport High School photo
Thanks to hard work, research, and a passion for science, junior Katie Sierra was named a semifinalist in the 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology. Every year, students from around the country submit research projects to compete on a regional and national level for college scholarships. There were 491 semifinalists nationwide, and Sierra was one of the 56 students selected from Long Island. 

The project Sierra submitted sprang from her work in the ecology and evolution department at Stony Brook University this past summer—that program in particular standing out to her because of the ecology related topics she’s studied in school. Her lab research was part of a published study that she completed with research partner Brian Torres from Brentwood High School. 

The project’s aim was to examine the effect of plastic surfactants, the chemicals that coat most plastics, on marine environments and the creatures that inhabit them—specifically the Blue and Ribbed Mussels. Overall, their findings showed that plastic toxins negatively affected the filtration systems and capture efficiency of both types of mussels, which can upset entire ecosystems.

“It was amazing to be honored in such a prestigious competition,” said Sierra. “I put so much work into this submission, and it was incredible to see my summer at Stony Brook pay off.”

Tigers in the Playoffs

Tigers photo
On Oct. 17, Northport’s boys varsity soccer team won the Suffolk County League II championship against Riverhead in the last game of the regular season. 

Currently, the Tigers have an overall record of 13-2, with a League II record of 11-1.  The last time the Tigers won the league was in 2012.  A combination of teamwork, determination and hard work led to this incredible achievement.  The Tigers begin playoffs at home on Tuesday Oct. 24 at 2 pm.  Congratulations to these incredible student-athletes, and to coaches Don Strasser and Cary Gluck!

Notice of Special BOE Meeting - Oct. 23 - 7:30 pm


Northport alumn returns as new district director of health

Northport alumn returns as new district director of health photo
Recently Mark Dantuono, a 1994 Northport High School alumnus, was appointed new director of health, physical education and athletics. 

For the entirety of his career, Dantuono has served as an educator in a variety of capacities, with additional roles spanning from lacrosse coach to a building coordinator of health. After serving for ten years as the Director of Health, Physical Education & Athletics at Locust Valley Central School District, he was given the opportunity to return to his roots in Northport-East Northport.

“My love and passion for the Northport-East Northport Union Free School District is tremendous,” said Dantuono, “and I am so fortunate to return to the community that provided me with skills that helped me get to where I am today.”

Tons of Tiger Spirit at Homecoming

Tons of Tiger Spirit at Homecoming photo

The Northport-East Northport School District held a day of homecoming festivities full of district pride at the high school on Oct. 14. Students, faculty, and members of the community all came together at the football game against the Sachem North Flaming Arrows.

The Tiger Stadium stands were packed with over 2,000 students, families, and faculty—many clad in district colors, chanting along with the cheerleaders as they watched the team take the lead within the first few minutes. 2017 Hall of Fame inductees, who were inducted earlier that morning, got a perfect view of the game from their seats in a tent at the end of the field. 

The halftime show featured the Northport Tiger Marching Band, whose 60th anniversary is this year, as well as the Tigerettes and the Flagline. They performed a medley of songs, including “Happy Together” and “Play That Funky Music” for the crowd, where many were dancing in their seats.

The Northport Hall of Fame inductees were introduced to the community—one of which was Coach Richard Castellano, the first Northport coach to ever be inducted. Other Hall of Fame inductees included Frank Cavagnaro, Joseph Correia, Craig Dowd, Edward Ettinger, Beth Grecco-Gothers, Thomas Henske, Vincent Porciello, Karen Scheibe-Meneses, Kaylie Schiavetta, Thomas Thatford, Kevin Tschirhart, and the 2001 Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team. 

To conclude the halftime festivities, homecoming court nominees took a ride around the field waving to the crowd. Later that night, seniors Colin Trainor and Elyse Farabaugh were crowned homecoming king and queen at the homecoming dance.

The homecoming spirit of all in attendance helped propel the Tigers to a dominating win with a final score of 48-7. 

Northport-East Northport Board Recognizes English Student of the Month

Northport-East Northport Board Recognizes English Student of the Month photo
At the most recent Board of Education meeting, student Jaqueline Stevens was recognized as this year’s English Student of the Month. 

District Chairperson of English/Language Arts & Library Media Patricia Schmitt presented the award to Jaqueline, and recounted the process of selecting a student from those nominated. Stevens’ character, and high praise from past teachers as “astute and eloquent”, set her apart from the rest. Along with exemplifying rigor and dedication in all of her studies, Stevens also received the highest possible scores on her AP English Exam and in the Common Core, making her the most qualified candidate for the honor.

The Northport-East Northport School District congratulates her on this achievement, and wishes her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

Fishing Trip

Fishing Trip photo

Between Sept. 26 and 29, sixth grade students at Northport Middle School experienced The Great South Bay Investigation—an engaging day of fun and learning about the history and environments of Long Island.

Students explored the Great South Bay with hands on marine science activities, as well as experiencing fishing aboard the Yankee III. Students also visited the Fire Island Lighthouse and climbed to the top of the tower and learned about the history of shipwrecks, lighthouses and the barrier beaches of Long Island. 

Exploring Nature at Bellerose Elementary

Exploring Nature at Bellerose Elementary 2017

On Sept. 29, students from Bellerose Avenue Elementary in the Northport-East Northport School District participated in a nature hike in celebration of National Public Lands Day. Volunteers from the Town of Huntington guided individual classes through trails behind the school grounds. During the two weeks leading up to the hike, students were taught to use and create science field guides, which they utilized on their hikes.

Younger students trekked through the woods looking for signs of fall and sketched them in their notebooks. Fourth and fifth graders focused on spotting living and nonliving elements, and how they interacted with one another. During the hikes, students stopped to sketch leaves, moss, animal footprints, and glacial erratics. Throughout the hikes, students answered questions posed by the volunteer guides, and showcased their knowledge of nature.

“It’s really exciting to be integrating outdoor learning into our curriculum,” said Instructional Coordinator Dana Ward.

“Uke” can do it at Pulaski Road School

“Uke” can do it at Pulaski Road School photo

This week, students at Pulaski Road Elementary School had the opportunity to play the ukulele—many for the first time. Music teacher Cristen Salisbury kicked off the lesson by showing students in David Kaiser’s fifth-grade class the basics of holding the instrument, how to strum the ukulele, and the correct amount of pressure to apply to the strings.

Several years ago, the district purchased six classroom sets of ukuleles as a result of their high demand in the Summer Music Program. Teachers discovered that in a short amount of time, students were able to learn five to six chords, which comprise 50% of the American songbook of folk and popular music. 

“Learning these chords help students to unlock some of the mysteries of music composition by empowering them to write their own music,” said Dr. Izzet Mergen, Director of Fine and Performing Arts.

After learning the basics from Ms. Salisbury, students then praticed strumming the strings as if flicking water off of their hands and forming different chords to create beautiful tunes by the conclusion of class.

“It’s such a great opportunity to get kids interested in playing an instrument, especially if they’ve never played one before,” said Ms. Salisbury.

Northport student selected as a National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist

Northport student selected as a National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist photo
During the second week of September, Northport High School announced that student Julianne Starzee was named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship program. 

To qualify for this achievement, students must show dedication to excellence in academics, and take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test. This test serves as a screening process for the 1.6 million students who enter each year. Starzee, who took the test last October, scored among the top 16,000 students nationwide. Semifinalists will now compete for the final 7,500 National Merit Scholarships by continuing their academic excellence, and by scoring well on the SAT. 

“I feel really accomplished because I worked very hard,” Starzee commented. “It feels great to be recognized for that hard work!”

Taking Technological initiative at Northport High School

Taking Technological initiative at Northport High School photo
Over the summer, when school is far from the minds of most students, senior Matt Baron, along with a group of his peers, built and installed a new display case for the school’s tech projects. The main project to be showcased was Kujo—an impressive robot built last year by the school’s robotics club Team 5099. Kujo took third place at the annual robotics competition at Hofstra University in April 2016.

Baron, who has been a Boy Scout since first grade, was looking to find the right project to tackle to help him achieve Eagle Scout rank. He concluded that the ideal project would be something that would give back to the FIRST Robotics program, which he’s been a part of since freshman year.

“Doing something for my team felt like the right idea,” Baron commented. “I wanted to show a commitment to my community.”

Matt took leadership in all aspects of design, engineering, fundraising and construction. He and his peers worked tirelessly until the project was completed. This project leaves a legacy for future students, who will proudly be able to display their innovative projects at Northport High School for years to come. 

“We are proud of Matt’s efforts,” David Storch, district chairperson of science and technology said, “and we thoroughly appreciate his fine work and contribution to our learning community at Northport High School.”

Jumping into the school year for Northport-East Northport Students

Jumping into the school year for Northport-East Northport Students photo

On Sept. 6, students returned for the 2017-18 school year. Despite the drizzle, children attending the elementary schools were all smiles as they disembarked the busses, greeted by the faces of familiar friends and teachers. At Ocean Avenue Elemntary, Principal Sabina Larkin greeted students warmly as they hopped off busses or let go of parents’ hands, and headed into the school.

“We’re excited to get started right away,” Larkin said. “We waste no time jumping right into the school year!”

In the district’s elementary schools, daily “morning meetings” have been set into place, to help build community in classrooms. These meetings help teachers focus not only on educational learning, but on social and emotional learning. Students sat in circles and spent time getting to know their teachers, and one another. 

Northport and East Northport middle schoolers jumped right into their first day as well. New sixth graders studied their schedules and traversed the hallways to find the right classrooms, toting their new Chromebooks. 

“I’m excited to be using a laptop in school,” sixth grader Quinn Mclaughlin said. 

Northport High School students, who are more than accustomed to the first day of school, traveled the hallways in pods, with existing and new friends. Later on in the week, an ice cream social for the freshmen will be held, to help them further get to know one another—and to further spread Northport-East Northport School District’s mantra, “Kindness matters.” 

“Kindness matters is especially important at the high school level,” Assistant Principal Terrence Hinson said. “We want to teach them that this is no place for hate, and the things they say and do can seriously affect others.”   

Getting to know one another at Bellerose Avenue Elementary

Getting to know Pic
Getting to know Pic 2
Getting to know Pic 3
Getting to know Pic 4
Bellerose Avenue Elementary School opened its doors on Aug. 30 for the annual kindergarten playdate. Principal Lori Beekman welcomed new students as they approached the playground to meet their fellow classmates. Upon arrival, students were signed in at a colorful table covered in bottles of bubbles, pencils and school spirit memorabilia.

 Many youngsters clung to their parents at first, but soon were comfortable to run off with their new friends—playing wallball, blowing bubbles, and traversing the jungle gym. Parents had a chance to meet and mingle in an informal setting, and watch their children interact.

Out of the 45 new kindergarteners enrolled in the 2017-18 school year at Bellerose, most of them were in attendance. School Counselor Alan Tener, along with PTA representatives, hosted building tours to acquaint all new students to Bellerose.  
“It’s a nice way to get them acclimated to school before it actually starts,” Beekman commented, “so their first real day won’t seem so daunting.”

Summer Clinic Builds Singing Skills

Summer Clinic Builds Singing Skills Photo

For the first time in the district, a week-long Districtwide Summer Choral Clinic was established from Aug. 14-18 for students in grades 5-12. Over 200 students participated in the program which included a half day and full day choir camp for fifth and sixth-graders.

The district originally hosted a traditional four-week, one hour-every other day summer music program for elementary and middle school students but restructured the program this year to meet the needs of more students. As a result, the number of vocal music students in grades 5-8 increased by 355 percent. 

Led by Northport High School tour choir directors Ellen McCarthy and Nicholas Hart, Northport Middle School music teacher Erica Nottingham and guest clinician Ben Johns from Eastman Music Conservatory, the program allowed students how to learn to play world drums and explore proper vocal techniques and history. They also learned various musical theater techniques such as how to stage a choral number and overall stage presence. 

“I really love the dancing,” said incoming fifth-grade Bellerose Avenue student Jessica Proffe. “I got to be a little bird in the song ‘So Long, Farewell’ and I haven’t used my voice in this way in a while.” 

Members of the Northport High School Tour Choir also participated in the clinic to build their vocal skills as part of the upper level choir. They participated in various team building exercises and icebreakers throughout the program. 

“This was the first year that we included fifth and sixth-graders into the choir clinic,” said Hart. “We are hoping that the program continues to grow and are always looking for different ways to add to and improve the clinic.” 

At the conclusion of the week, the students showcased their talents during an evening concert in the Northport High School auditorium for family and friends. Students in grade five and six donned colorful wigs and performed “Get Back Up Again” from the film Trolls, a special choreographed performance of “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music and “We Know the Way” from Moana.

The upper level choir which included mostly students in grades 9-12 with a few seventh and eighth-graders, performed “Sicut Cervus” by Palestrina, “Fa Una Canzone” by Vecchi, “Wade in the Water,” “Summertime” arranged by Roderick Williams and “Somewhere” from West Side Story. The program ended with a powerful rendition of “The Gift to be Simple” which included all the singers in the clinic. 

Budding Entrepreneurs

Budding Entrepreneurs photo

Twenty-five students in grades 1-8 recently participated in the Northport Youth Business Academy, a new week-long summer program at Northport High School that focused on exploring business ideas and learning how businesses contribute to the community.

Under the guidance of Northport High School business teacher Kristen Cogan, students learned valuable skills such as writing a resume, tying a tie and executing a proper handshake. They also had the opportunity to start their own business by creating a name, logo and business plan. This included determining their target audience, resources and product price. Students designed their products during the week and learned how to promote their creations, track their finances and manage a team.

Five Northport High School students also took part in the program by helping the students with their businesses.

“It was wonderful to see young people start to think in an entrepreneurial way and gain a general understanding that the business world touches everyone, no matter what career path you're interested in pursuing,” said Cogan. “It was also wonderful to see my high school students teach and mentor the younger students. They were able to take what they've learned and do something amazing with that knowledge.” 

At the conclusion of the week, family and friends were invited to a tradeshow where students showcased their ideas. They presented their “companies” with business cards and a sales pitch and challenged their loved ones to a game of Kahoot!, an interactive game of business trivia that the high school students designed.