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Bellmore students demonstrate leadership in music

Bellmore students demonstrate leadership in music photo
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Winthrop Avenue School’s fourth grade orchestra, cadet band and fourth grade chorus synergized their musical talents and demonstrated their leadership in music during two concert performances held on May 14.

Principal Sally Curto, in her remarks to parents, faculty and students, explained that the musicians demonstrated leadership principles and core values of dedication in their everyday practices, teamwork in their work together as an ensemble and putting first things first by practicing before watching television or participating in sports. 

Music teacher Maria Martucci said, “The students have created an environment of a love for music.”

Under the baton of Erika Glikos, the fourth-grade orchestra played three pieces including Fred Hubbell’s “March of the Metro Gnome,” Susan H. Day’s “A Pirate’s Dream” and Rob Grice’s “Dragon Slayer.”

The cadet band (beginners’ band), under the baton of Jennifer MacVicar, stomped their feet and moved their bodies to James Swearingen’s “Heroes and Glory,” Rob Grice’s “Zombie Stomp,” Mike Hannickel’s “Popcorn Prelude” and Andrew Balent’s “Let’s Go Band.”

The fourth-grade chorus, under the direction of Ms. Martucci , applied teacher Mallory Aronoff’s expert choreography to musical selections including Leigh Harline’s “When You Wish Upon a Star,” Mack David, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston’s “A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes,” Alexander Mandel’s “Touch the Sky” and Benj Pasek’s and Justin Paul’s “A Million Dreams.”

There were also leadership opportunities provided for students to announce each ensemble’s selections and to showcase piano skills.

The Bellmore School District congratulates the fourth-grade musicians on a job well-done. 


Health and Safety is Key at Shore Road School

Health and Safety is Key at Shore Road School photo
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In addition to academics, health and safety are paramount to a student’s education. During the week of May 6-10, Shore Road students explored various options for remaining healthy and safe through attendance during several assemblies and guest speaker visits. The assemblies were also in line with the district’s leadership principle of continuous improvement, “mind, body, heart.” 

The week commenced with a visit from eighth grade positive student leaders from Grand Avenue Middle School who spoke to the sixth grade students at Shore Road about being proactive by doing well in middle school, keeping healthy and becoming involved. Shore Road School’s fifth grade peer buddies also visited Winthrop Avenue School students with advice on doing well in school and in their personal lives. This activity followed with a visit from AAA representatives who gave tips on bicycle safety. Nassau County police officer Yolanda Turner also presented tips for keeping safe in the community and online, while Christine Arnouse from the Long Island Crisis Center met with sixth graders to talk about anger management and handling strong emotions. The week concluded with a performance by Patricia Shih, Big ideas in Health and Safety, who engaged the school in ideas about healthy eating, getting enough sleep and exercising every day.     

Budget Approved/ Presupuesto Aprodado

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Bellmore School District

2019-2020 Budget
Budget Approved/Presupuesto Aprodado 
Yes -  520
No - 161

Board of Education Trustee Election: (Vote for Two)
Candidatos para miembros de la Junta de Educación: (Vote por dos)
Janet Goller – Vote Totals  - 514
Maryanne Kelly – Vote Totals  - 532


A Study of Butterflies

A Study of Butterflies photo

Winthrop Avenue third graders are delving into the study of butterflies. In addition to classroom observations of the life cycle stages of Painted Ladies, the students recently visited the Center for Puppetry Arts, located in Atlanta, during a videoconference field trip.

Bellmore School District is leading the way in technology with students in grades 3-6 taking advantage of ample videoconferences offered throughout the school year. During the 2018-19 school year, students will have participated in more than 30 video-conferencing opportunities, which provide students with the opportunity to explore the world outside of their immediate surroundings and supplement the educational concepts taught within the classroom, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Joanne Dacek explained.  

During the Center for Puppetry Arts videoconference with Ms. Amy, students studied the metamorphosis of butterflies like the Monarch Butterfly, spoke about adaptation and discussed camouflage techniques. They not only identified the parts of a butterfly but learned how to determine through identifying features whether a butterfly is a male or female. While discussing the program’s various components, they constructed a butterfly puppet out of construction paper, pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks and tried their hand at making their new craft imitate the flight of these fascinating insects.

In addition, the students are recording their observations about their caterpillars each day in a notebook. Teacher Stacy Reiner said that when a chrysalis forms, the future butterflies will be transported to a larger box until they hatch and then released into the wild.  




A Magical Review of Core Values

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Reinhard Rising Star students returned from spring break ready to learn and put into play the District’s core values and leadership principles. Sponsored by the PTA, students attended a fun-filled program called “Yes I Can,” which provided a magical review of the core values and leadership principles with entertainer Cris Johnson. In addition to various tricks of his trade, Mr. Johnson emphasized that to become a star, students need to follow his six pillars including caring, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, citizenship and fairness. He also emphasized that the students can all be leaders and rising stars because they are special, have talent, can do anything they put their mind to and always show respect. The students participated enthusiastically in this creative program.

Bellmore named a top music education community

Bellmore named a top music education community photo
The NAMM Foundation has designated the school district as one of the nation’s 2019 Best Communities for Music Education for its demonstration of exceptionally high commitment to music education and access to music instruction for all of the district’s students. 

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants to advance active participation in music. The district’s music program was analyzed for funding, staffing of qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction.

The District is extremely proud of its Bellmore Star Music Program, which offers instruction in string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments and provides opportunities for students to participate in band, orchestra and chorus. Unique and beneficial to the Bellmore Stars, every second-grade student receives instruction in violin. In addition, each class performs their new skills for their parents.

Students in third grade are offered the opportunity to receive lessons in a string instrument and participate in orchestra. Beginning in fourth grade, students can participate in band and receive lessons in their chosen instrument. Students also perform in various school concerts, choral groups and musical theater productions. A number of band and orchestra students also demonstrate their talents by playing at local nursing homes and select groups will participate in Music in the Parks this spring. 

Another unique opportunity for students is the Star Ukulele Program. Students at Winthrop Avenue School are introduced to the ukulele and play songs during their general music classes. Students at both Winthrop Avenue and Shore Road schools can also join the Ukulele Club and play during recess.

In addition to the District’s music opportunities, 14 Shore Road School student-musicians were selected to participate in the Nassau Music Educators Association’s All-County Music Festival, held at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post in January.

“Bellmore’s music offerings, as well as support from the board of education, administration, faculty and the community have helped the district to achieve the status as one of the nation’s premier education programs,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Famularo said. “We are proud to be nationally recognized as a Lighthouse District, a Common Sense School District and as one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education.”  

T-Shirt Book Reports

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A traditional book report with a cover and folder to keep pages together was not expected in Nicole Osterhoudt’s fifth grade classroom at Shore Road. Instead, students depicted their research and summary of a favorite piece of fiction on a white t-shirt, making book reports pieces of wearable art.

The front of each T-shirt included an illustration, book title and the author’s name. A small photo or drawing of the main characters was placed on the right sleeve, and a graphic of the main setting was placed on the left sleeve. The back of the T-shirts included scenes from the book, a description of an event, a favorite quote, a summary and an opinion. Some students utilized their technology skills to scan images onto the shirts, while others crafted the required information.

Books chosen for this creative project included E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web,” Lauren Tarshis’ “I Survived” series, “Poppy” by Avi, “Donut go breaking my heart” by Suzanne Nelson and more. 

After the reports were completed, students presented their projects to the class. Ms. Osterhoudt said the reports sparked ideas for summer reading. 


Sixth Graders are Leaders in Spelling

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Sophia Benno was the first-place winner in Shore Road’s annual sixth-grade spelling bee, with Tristan Montalbano finishing second in the nail-biting competition.  

Fourteen student spellers battled it out on the auditorium stage for the title of top speller, with teachers Carolyn Acevedo and Kelly Popielaski as moderators and teachers Laurie DiMaina, Michelle Stein and Heidi Weiner as judges. The competition was challenging when after eight rounds and the misspelling of the word “itemize,” Sophia gave the correct spelling of the championship word ”cautious.” 

Prior to the spelling bee, contests were held in individual classrooms, and the top two spelling leaders from each class were invited to participate in the spelling bee on April 17. The district also congratulates Brooke Barcos, Avery Levy, Jarrett Oken, Andrew Panza, Shelby Pugatch, Marl Prainito, Bridget Ross, Eliana Routsos, Matthew Sharp, Aashvi Soni, Rachel Tuckey, and Skylar White.    

A Celebration of Mexican Culture

A Celebration of Mexican Culture photo

The hallways at Reinhard resonated with the sounds of Mexican music as students celebrated Cinco de Mayo with various activities. Foreign language teacher Lisa Goldberg explained that this festive annual celebration is an opportunity for students to strengthen their knowledge of the Spanish language and culture.

Out of paper bags, the students painted and constructed serapes, a Latin American shawl. Rotating through sections, the students sang Spanish songs, played Bingo in Spanish, created Mexican flags and read about a boy’s typical day in a Mexican school and village. One English language arts activity included the making of a Venn diagram in which the students compared the boy’s school day to a day of school in Bellmore. The celebration was complete with a delicious snack of chips and salsa for all to enjoy.





Eight Bellmore teachers granted tenure

Eight Bellmore teachers granted tenure photo
The District is pleased to announce that eight stellar teachers from the Charles A. Reinhard Early Childhood Center, Winthrop Avenue School and Shore Road School have been granted tenure by the board of education and central administration. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Famularo explained that these individuals have gone through a rigorous four-year process of observations and interviews and have demonstrated exceptional talents in the classroom and as leaders in the school community. 

Board of Education trustee Jay L.T. Breakstone said their job as teachers is the most important job in the community, calling them “first responders.” He said, “All of you are on the front lines of change every day, and we commend you.” 

On behalf of the Bellmore Administrators Association, Reinhard Principal Patricia Castine added that their actions each day add so much to the Bellmore school community. “We thank you for all you do for us,” she said.

The district congratulates the following Star Polishers for receiving tenure:
Mallory Aranoff – Winthrop and Shore Road- physical education
Kelly Baccari – Winthrop – speech and language
Jessica Barrett – Reinhard – English as a Second Language
Meghan Benoit – Reinhard – elementary education
Ari Bisk – Reinhard – physical education
Kristen Dematteo – Reinhard – special education
Deirdre Golden – Winthrop – elementary education
Lauren Pedone – district technology education specialist

Student Leaders in the Arts Unveiled

Student Leaders in the Arts Unveiled photo

The exemplary artwork of more than 40 students in grades K-6 was unveiled during the 2019 Bellmore Star Art Gallery exhibit, held at the Winthrop Avenue School administrative offices on April 16. The art was exhibited in matching gold frames and admired by faculty, family and peers. Under the guidance of art teachers Michelle Block and Stephen Gorey, the student leaders in art expressed themselves in an array of mediums including water color, marker, collage and more.

Ms. Block said the purpose of the art show is to “infuse a love” of the arts and to showcase the students best works. Exhibitors were selected based on effort, dedication and leadership in the arts.



Once Upon a Time

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Second grade students at Reinhard dressed as fairytale characters to the delight of peers and parents as they performed short plays based on the fairytales “The 12 Dancing Princesses,” “Many Moons” and “One Gift Deserves Another.” The plays were a culmination of workshops led by artist-in-residence Lorraine Zeller-Agostino. 

For several weeks, Ms. Zeller-Agostino worked with the students on their improvisational acting techniques through the study of fairytales. In addition to classroom reading and studying of fairytales, the students learned to depict expression, emotion and choral techniques. The goal of the program was for students to have the ability to explore their creativity, learn cooperation and teamwork skills, and explore the art of drama. 

Ms. Zeller-Agostino explained that the students not only brought these popular tales to life but learned that there are many versions to a story by the way they transport themselves into the characters.

Bellmore Students are Environmental Leaders

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Reinhard students demonstrated environmental leadership during a daylong annual celebration of Earth Day on April 17. Throughout the day, the students were constantly reminded that they are stewards of the earth and that actions today will have consequences for the planet later. 

Kindergarten students kicked off the celebration with a hat parade. They recited an Earth Day pledge during a gathering in the auditorium where they sang various tunes related to the importance of recycling and environmental stewardship.

First and second grade students also collected in the auditorium to recite the Earth Day pledge and took their knowledge of living things and the balance of nature to weave their understanding of ecology into music. Under the direction of music teacher Randi Andersen, the students sang “America the Beautiful,” “This Land is Your Land,” “As We Walk Through This World,” and “I Am Earth,” written in 2008 for the International Year of Planet Earth as an imagined dialogue between Earth and the world’s children. 

Students and faculty then gathered in the playground to assist head custodian Robbie Lynch in planting a tree, donated by the Reinhard PTA. 

Celebrating Each Other’s Differences with Kindness

Celebrating Each Other’s Differences with Kindness photo

Students in Elise Cahill’s, Annie Craine’s and Bozenka Muccio’s classes at Reinhard celebrated each other’s differences in recognition of national Autism Awareness Month.

The students gathered in the school’s cafeteria, where they collectively sang the “Hello Song” and introduced themselves to one another. They also worked together as partners on a craft and while frosting cupcakes. The students also discussed that kindness is the most important element in communicating with others. In fact, teachers throughout the school wore T-shirts that promoted kindness.



Shore Road Collects Books for Book Fairies Charity

Shore Road Collects Books for Book Fairies Charity photo
Bellmore students have a true appreciation for the accessibility of books in their newly updated libraries. Therefore, Shore Road School’s Random Acts of Kindness club, under the direction of adviser Christine Davison, collected 13 boxes of gently used books during a recent collection for the Book Fairies organization.

The Book Fairies charity collects and then donates gently used and new books to high poverty schools and organizations across Long Island, as well as nursing homes and day care facilities. Through Shore Road School’s generosity, children across the metropolitan area and Long Island will be one step closer to increasing their literacy skills.

Winthrop Avenue Steps Up to the Plate for the Needy

Winthrop Avenue Steps Up to the Plate for the Needy photo
Socks happen to be one of the most desired items in homeless shelters, so Winthrop Avenue’s student advisory council recently stepped up their leadership skills to collect 191 pairs of socks to make a dent in this need at The INN, a nonprofit organization that serves the hungry and homeless on Long Island. 

Under the direction of MaryBeth Cammarata and Debra Ammendola, the student advisory council held a competition based on the 2019 World Series to encourage students and staff to donate socks. If students and staff thought the Mets would win, they donated black socks and white socks for those who are fans of the Yankees. More white socks than black were collected, so the school will have to wait to see if the Yankees will be this year’s winner, or even contestants.

Even if the Yankees and Mets don’t qualify for the World Series this year, the students had a goal in mind and stepped up to the plate through teamwork and synergy to make a difference in the lives of others. 

‘Peter Pan’ Food Drive

‘Peter Pan’ Food Drive photo
Each class at Winthrop Avenue was encouraged this year to find ways to help the community. In conjunction with their recent presentation of “Peter Pan,” Stacey Reiner’s and Annie Craine’s third-grade combined classes decided to sponsor a food drive in conjunction with family performances of the play in March. 

Instead of collecting an admission ticket, the students asked the audience to donate a canned good for the price of admission. Through teamwork and synergy, the class collected 100 cans of food to be donated to the Bellmore-Merrick Community Cupboard, which serves more than 40 community families who depend on its services to keep food on the table. 

Continuous Improvement in Health

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At Reinhard, the Rising Star Leaders are learning about continuous improvement in physical education.  

The students recently participated in the Healthy Plate Supermarket Challenge, where they learned that a balanced diet is important to overall health. After each physical education class reviewed the five food groups, students worked in groups to plan a healthy plate of food. However, the students had to run laps to earn funds to purchase the food at the supermarket. The students synergized and using teamwork decided what foods to select for their healthy plate and how much “Reinhard money” they needed and the number of laps required. 

Students also learned to breathe and stretch through the yoga club program, under the direction of instructor Arlene Mattos. During the four-week program, interested students participated during recess, building stamina and learning to relax and focus. 

Instructor Kristen Fonte also led the students in a fun-filled Zumba workout. Zumba is an exercise program created by Columbian dancer Alberto Perez in the 1990s, which involves dance and aerobic movements performed to energetic music. Ms. Fonte said the purpose of the class was to show the students that exercise can be fun, and many of the students took on leadership roles as they assisted in teaching Zumba dance moves.

Winthrop Avenue Students Present ‘Peter Pan’

Winthrop Avenue Students Present ‘Peter Pan’

Winthrop Avenue students demonstrated their leadership in fine arts with the presentation of “Peter Pan,” under the direction of teachers Stacey Reiner and Annie Craine. The combined cast of third-grade students delivered a flawless and entertaining production of the beloved story of a spirited and mischievous boy who never wants to grow up and the mythical island of Neverland, populated by mermaids, fairies, pirates and natives.

Ms. Reiner explained that the students started working on the play in November, focusing on the leadership principles and core values to develop life skills needed to be best versions of themselves. Many of the core values and leadership principles were incorporated into the dialogue of the script. The students were proactive in memorizing their lines and practicing their body movements, volume and intonation. The entire process taught them to synergize by working as a team, become more empathetic and how to continually improve themselves and their performances. 

“The students started off as two classes taking on their individual roles, and soon became fast friends who encouraged and looked out for each other,” Ms. Reiner said. “We are so proud of their efforts and everything they accomplished.”



Shore Road Gives African Students a Reason 2 Smile

Shore Road Gives African Students a Reason 2 Smile photo
Shore Road students helped defray tuition costs for an African child hoping to attend school in Mtwapa, Kenya. The generous students raised more than $155 for Reason 2 Smile, a nonprofit organization providing opportunities for children to attend the Jambo Jipya school and to live in the quarters of the accompanying children’s home. The students made and sold bracelets to peers and family members for their generous donation. 

Principal Patrice Matthews told the students that reaching out to the global community aligns with the important core values and leadership principles of the district’s Bellmore Stars Character Development program. “There are children around the world that don’t have our luxuries or schools in their communities,” Ms. Matthews told the students. “We want to make a lasting footprint in the world.”

During an assembly earlier in the year, executive director Donna Rosenblum gave a presentation to the student body about the school and life in Mtwapa, noting that annual tuition costs $250 per student for the 22 orphans that live there. She also showed the students photos of her trips to Jambo Jipya and of students who have graduated to become professionals due to the generosity of donors. Ms. Rosenblum also donated Patricia Newman’s “Neema’s Reason to Smile” to the school library. 

Sunday, May 26, 2019