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Bayview Students Learn Fire Safety

Bayview Students Learn Fire Safety photo
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Third-graders at Bayview learned about fire safety during the 12th annual Hooked on Firefighters event.

As part of the program, local firefighters visited various classrooms to speak to students about ways to prevent a fire and proper procedures in the event of a fire. Students then participated in a simulated smokehouse and fire truck demonstration to complement their lessons.

Homecoming Brings Community Together

Homecoming Brings Community Together photo
A forecast for early rain did not deter the district community from coming together for an afternoon filled with school spirit, community pride and exciting football as everyone celebrated homecoming 2017 on Oct. 14. 

District administrators, staff, students, alumni and parents filled the bleachers to watch the Red Devils take the field against the Hempstead Tigers. Adjacent to the field, the district’s traditional family fair, complete with fun games and a delicious variety of foods served by members of the high school’s clubs, class representatives, and PTA, provided an abundance of entertainment. 

This year’s special guests were members of the Class of 1967, who were recognized throughout the program and arrived an hour prior to game time for a tour of the high school led by Assistant Principal Nelson Holland. The alumni were also involved in the game: members of the 1967 football team were invited onto the field for the coin toss prior to kickoff, and members of the 1967 cheerleading team were presented with gifts by the current cheerleaders.   
   
As a festive precursor to the varsity football team’s entrance, a parade featuring the Freeport High School marching band, cheerleaders, members of the Navy Junior ROTC and the homecoming court —  freshmen Jaiden Ramos and Giovana Robinson, sophomores Darron Roberts and Chrisoula Drakopoulos, juniors Jeffrey Estevez and Valentina Vinasio, and seniors Rashiem Briggs and Camryn Taylor — made its way onto the track surrounding the field.      

During halftime, the marching band and cheerleaders performed their synchronized routines to precision. The Red Devils returned to the field where they continued to dominate and secured their victory over the Tigers with a final score of 28-6.

Freeport’s homecoming festivities and victorious football team contributed to the celebration of community pride.
 

Archer’s Amazing Act of Altruism

Archer’s Amazing Act of Altruism photo
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As part of their ongoing commitment to altruism, students and staff at Archer Street raised $1,200 in relief funds that were used to purchase much-needed supplies for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The effort included Archer staff members shopping for the necessities at a Freeport supply store, where they were met by local firefighters who arranged to have them delivered to Puerto Rico.

“Hurricane Maria has left Puerto Rico without power, water and basic necessities for all of its residents,” said Archer teacher Josie Velez, who has family in Puerto Rico. “The island is in need of absolutely everything and it is important that we do our part to help in any way possible.”

The fundraiser and follow-up effort to help aid Puerto Rico’s recovery was also designed to teach students about the importance of compassion and helping others, especially in their times of need.

Coach Cellan Inducted Into Hall of Fame

Coach Cellan Inducted Into Hall of Fame photo
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As a testament to his impressive array of accomplishments and remarkably successful career as head coach of the high school varsity football team, Russ Cellan was inducted into the Nassau County High School Athletics Hall of Fame before several of his former players. The event, which was held at Crest Hollow Country Club, is designed to recognize, preserve and promote the heritage of interscholastic sports in Nassau County and honor the contributions and achievements of individuals who uphold these values.

Coach Cellan has coached football for 34 years, the last 31 at Freeport High School. Over the course of his career, he has won more than 200 games and five Long Island Championships, in addition to five Rutgers Cups, which is presented to Nassau County’s most outstanding team.

The district extends its congratulations to Coach Cellan and wishes him continued success as a dedicated coach, mentor and leader.

FHS Names 48 AP Scholars

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Forty-eight students in the high school’s Classes of 2017 and 2018 have earned the prestigious designation of Advanced Placement Scholar from the College Board due to their outstanding achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement exams.

The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on a student’s performance on AP exams. Two students were named National AP Scholars. Sixteen students were named AP Scholars with Distinction. Nine students were named AP Scholars with Honor and 21 were designated as AP Scholars.

At FHS, Advanced Placement courses are open to students who are recommended by their teachers; students must then maintain an average of 85 percent or better to remain at the AP level. Students can earn college credits while still in high school, advanced placement or both for successful performance on the AP exams. As college admissions become more competitive and tuitions more costly, participation in AP courses has become an increasingly important component for acceptance to the top colleges and universities. Successful completion of AP courses is also considered a good indicator of future success by most colleges.

National AP Scholars
Two students qualified for the National AP Scholar award by receiving an average of at least 4 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. These students are Melissa Alvarez and Abbey Ebesu.

AP Scholars with Distinction
Sixteen students received AP Scholar with Distinction awards by earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. These students are Melissa Alvarez, Nan Adom Appiah-Agyemang, Dylan Dominguez-Sulca, Abbey Ebesu, Joseph Frye,* Ismary Jiminez, Joseph LaRocca,* Javier Lechuga,* Gabriel Lemmie, Braydon Luna, Kenny Martinez,* Kaitlin McLaughlin, Johnny Palma, Franco Ramirez,* Zoe Stetson* and Victoria Wright.

AP Scholars with Honor
Nine students qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. Nina Banks,* Kira Brizill,* Hannah Cotter,* Michael Desir,* Sabrina Guerrero, Jennifer Herrera, Jocelyn Jovel,* Nyeem Maloney and Samuel Stetson all achieved this distinction.

AP Scholars
Twenty-one students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by receiving scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams. These students are Kaitlyn Almonte Hernand, Myles Carter,* Joel Castro, Rajiv Chanda, Karissa Collins, Tania Cuevas Moreno, Alexander Dasque,* Melanie Escobar, Michael Guerrero-Calderon, Jasmine Harrigan, James Hastings,* Daniella Herrera, Erik Jiminez Villeda, Isaiah Louder, Erica Matos De Los Santos, Eboni Porter, Erick Rivera,* Magnolia Robinson,* Kimberly Serna, Jordyn Smith* and Katiana Thompson.

*current senior

Dodd Students Experience Augmented Reality

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As a supplement to their lessons about DNA, students at Dodd participated in the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program during their science classes.

The program provided students with the opportunity to experience elements of augmented reality — the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in “real time” — using smartphones provided by a representative of Google for the lesson. Working in pairs, students were able to view and study images such as molecules that appeared all over the classroom through the smartphones.
 

Freeport Schools ‘Grow Peace’

Freeport Schools ‘Grow Peace’ photo

In celebration of International Day of Peace, the International Day of Nonviolence and the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the district hosted its eighth annual Peace Concert and Art Exhibit on Oct. 2 at the Performing Arts Center at the high school.

Hundreds of students, parents, board of education members, administrators, elected officials and community members attended the inspiring performance and viewed the spectacular artwork that were showcased by each of the district’s eight schools. The event, this year themed “Grow Peace,” was emceed by high school seniors Michael Desir and Kira Brizill, both of whom provided inspiring messages about harmony and peaceful coexistence as transitions from one performance to the next.

Following his speech about the importance of cultivating peace, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham presented the board of education and elected officials with framed prints comprised of student artwork titled, “We Are Peace.” This beautiful poster was displayed electronically to the audience.

“We are living in interesting times and it’s up to us to promote acceptance and harmony,” Dr. Kuncham said. “We must continue to embrace and value our diversity and work toward unity. Gandhi reminded us that ‘gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.’ Each of us can be an ambassador for peace and nonviolence. It is easy to speak of peace, but it is our actions that truly build the culture of peace that is needed in the world today.”

Following the presentation of the colors by members of the high school’s Navy JROTC and a rendition of the national anthem by Desir, Columbus Avenue kindergartners graced the stage to begin the slate of performances. They sang and danced to “Let There Be Peace On Earth” under the direction of Christina Prisco-Buxbaum; the New Visions Glee Club performed “Harvest for the World” under the leadership of Crystal Leotaud; Archer Street fourth-grade dual language classes sang “Celebrate the World” under the direction of Jennifer Skelly; the Dodd Select Chorale performed “Let There Be Peace” under the leadership of Dr. Sherill Spruill; Bayview fourth-grade dual language classes sang “The World is Ours” under the direction of Jennifer Leal; Giblyn fourth-grade chorus students performed “Just Be Happy” under the leadership of Shannon Abramovitz; Caroline G. Atkinson fifth-grade chorus students sang “One Day,” which featured a solo by Ashley Retzlaff, under the direction of Stephanie Arnell; high school student ensemble “Brass Bois” performed “Heartland” and “Imagine” under the leadership of student conductor Myles Carter; and all schools’ student performers came together for a remarkable rendition of “The Candle Song,” which was arranged by high school student Elijah Zelaya and featured high school student Mayralee Martinez as vocalist.

The Peace Concert and Art Exhibit was a symphonious and beautiful forum to spread the messages of peace and nonviolence from the district throughout the world.

District Partners with Hofstra University in STEM+C Grant

District Partners with Hofstra University in STEM+C Grant photo
Freeport is one of six school districts on Long Island that have been selected to take part in an interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering, Math + Computing Partnership (STEM+C) program through Hofstra University. As a result of a $1.6 million National Science Foundation grant awarded to Hofstra, Freeport will be introducing computer coding in ninth-grade Living Environment classes, which will ultimately deepen and enhance students’ understanding of the topics introduced in the classroom curriculum.

“We are excited to be partnering with Hofstra University on this innovative grant,” said Dr. Kishore Kuncham, superintendent of dchools. “Students throughout our district have been utilizing coding in math and other STEM activities. We will now be able to incorporate computer coding within the science curriculum which will further expand our students’ abilities with coding. It will be in keeping with meeting the Next Generation Science Standards idea of 3-D learning. ”

Beginning in summer 2018, five Hofstra professors from a variety of academic disciplines will be training high school teachers in coding to help them develop a computationally enhanced biology curriculum. Freeport High School teacher Michael Smith will be participating in the program, and will be able to introduce coding to students in science the 2018-2019 academic year. The program will also provide tablets to students and teachers associated with the grant at no cost.

“Involvement in this grant provides students with more in-depth exposure to computer programming in science, an essential 21st-Century skill,” said district Director of Science Dr. Vincent Pereira. “Computer programming also enhances mathematical reasoning, making our students better problem solvers.”

Freeport’s partnership with Hofstra is its latest accomplishment in the field of computer coding. The district has been teaching computer coding across all of its elementary schools, and students are also honing their coding skills in after-school clubs at J.W. Dodd Middle School. The math department at Freeport High School offers an Advanced Placement Computer Science Class, and coding is regularly used in its research courses. In addition, Freeport Public Schools library media specialists Debbie Bergen, Mimi Bino and Lisa Eisenberg led a presentation on coding last year at the annual conference of Science Teachers Association of New York.

Backpack Donations

Backpack Donations photo
As part of their ongoing support of the district and their commitment to students’ academic enrichment, the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) donated 200 backpacks and school supplies that will benefit community children in need. On behalf of the district, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham expressed his gratitude to TANA Executive Vice President and President Elect Jayasekhar Talluri, Regional Coordinator – Backpack Community Project Raja Kasukurthi and Regional Vice President Vidyadhar Garapati.
    
Following the start of the school year, members of TANA visited New Visions School to personally deliver their donations, and were thanked by staff members and students. In addition, Dr. Kuncham presented the members with peace-themed framed artwork as a token of appreciation.
    
The Rotary Club of Hicksville also donated 100 backpacks to the district and Dr. Kuncham thanked Rotary Club President Dr. Urmilesh Arya for their generosity.

Dodd Security Team Honored

Dodd Security Team Honored photo
As a testament to their dedication to maintaining a safe and secure learning environment for students and staff members, the security team at Dodd was presented with a community recognition award at the Freeport United Methodist Church.

The presentation, which featured board of education trustee Ronald Ellerbe as guest speaker and pastor Rev. Edward J. Norman, was attended by district Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, Dodd Principal Johane Ligonde and board of education trustee Ernest J. Kight Jr.

All-State Musicians

All-State Musicians photo
The district is proud to announce the selection of several student-musicians to perform as All-State participants in the New York State School Music Association All-State Festival being held Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in Rochester. The six students were selected for the honor based upon a rigorous audition process. The district congratulates the following students:

Gabriel Alvarado (Select Chorale)
Maya Brown (Select Chorale)
Asher Cook (Select Chorale)
Michael Desir (Select Chorale)
Leah Hochman (Select Chorale)
Joseph LaRocca (Wind Ensemble)

Freeport Schools to become first district in nation to establish audio and video contact with International Space Station

Freeport Schools to become first district in nation to establish audio and video contact with International Space Station photo
Freeport Public Schools has been chosen by NASA to be among 13 institutions across the country to make contact with astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Unlike the other 12 institutions making audio contact, Freeport is the only institution in the country that will make both audio and video contact with the astronauts. 

“This is a once-on-a-lifetime opportunity for our students and we are honored to have been selected by NASA for this distinction,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “As part of our STEAM initiatives, all aspects of the curriculum districtwide will incorporate lessons focusing on preparing for this unique educational experience and real-world lesson.”

The contact is scheduled to take place between January-May, 2018. NASA will provide the district with the exact date and time approximately two weeks before the contact is initiated. The contact will be for approximately 10 minutes, during which time it is expected to field 10 questions from students across all grade levels.

Currently there are six astronauts aboard the space station, two from Russia, three from the USA (including one woman) and one from Italy. The crew members are studying more efficient solar arrays, the physics of neutron stars, a new drug to fight osteoporosis and the effect of prolonged microgravity on the heart.

“We are excited to take on this incredible challenge and the unique opportunities it provides to expand our STEAM curriculum for our students,” said Director of Science Dr. Vincent Pereira. “I would like to thank the Freeport staff for working tirelessly with me to make this opportunity possible for our students.” 
 

Schools Roll Out Chromebook Initiative

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As part of Phase 2 of the Smart Schools Bond Act and aligned with its commitment to equipping students and staff with additional 21st-century technological resources, the district started the new school year by hosting a Chromebook rollout at the high school. More than 2,300 Chromebooks were distributed to high school students. Teachers and administrators had received Chromebooks last year in Phase 1 to become adept at becoming Google educators.

The incorporation of Chromebooks in each classroom and use of the Google platform is designed to enhance the teaching and learning process and to expand and strengthen collaborative learning environments. Students and staff members have learned how to optimize their Chromebooks, navigate Google Classroom and integrate resources such as G Suite for Education.

“I'm pleased and excited about our technology initiative,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “Freeport Public Schools offers our students excellent opportunities to learn and grow. The capabilities of 1:1 Chromebooks along with Google classroom and Khan Academy will be used to enhance academic instruction and learning. Staff and students have already embraced the amazing possibilities and opportunities the Chromebooks provide.”

Additionally, the district was also awarded a grant from Sprint Foundation’s 1Million Project to provide high-speed internet access for any high school student who may not have adequate internet access at home. This is a five-year grant worth more than $200,000 per year. This year, the first 300 students will receive internet access and a device. There will be another 300 students each subsequent year totaling 1,500 students in all.
“Some of the many benefits of the Chromebooks are that they save a lot of time and paper,” said high school junior Jocelyn Mora. “You can log on anywhere and work on Google Docs. It’s preparing us for college because everything is put online, all assignments can be accessed electronically and it’s very conducive to conducting research.”

In addition, Atkinson and Dodd have been equipped with carts of Chromebooks, iPads and laptops, and technology learning opportunities have expanded and have been put in place for all grade classrooms. This past summer, a 2-to-1 program of iPads for all kindergarten and first-grade classroom students was implemented, and all second-, third- and fourth-grade classrooms were equipped with a 2-to-1 model of Chromebooks.

Constitution Harmonies

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Third-graders in Jennifer Skelly’s music class at Archer Street celebrated Constitution Day by singing “We the People,” a song about the preamble.
As part of the harmonious activity, Skelly led the students on a line-by-line analysis of the song, defined key words and contextualized the lyrics to the Constitution. Students learned not only about why there is a day dedicated to the nation’s founding document, but also how it plays a role in protecting freedoms.

Promoting Peace Throughout Freeport

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As a supplement to the various peace-themed initiatives across its schools, the district hosted its annual Peace Walk on Sept. 16 to spread the message of harmony and nonviolence throughout the world, beginning in the Village of Freeport. The peace walk, led by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, was attended by nearly 500 walkers, including members of the board of education, central administration, students, staff members, community residents and elected officials Sen. John E. Brooks and Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino.

Dr. Kuncham expressed his gratitude to all attendees and spoke about the need for peace and tolerance throughout the world.

September 11th at Atkinson

September 11th at Atkinson photo
Our September 11th tribute began with patriotic songs played by Atkinson band musicians: Anigh Shell, Dylan Woodward and Marlon Teruel Flores, and led by Mr. Federici.  As students and teachers entered the building, they were uplifted and moved by the performance.  At 9:31, students and staff had a moment of silence that was followed by Ashley Retzlaff singing, “America the Beautiful” over the loud speaker.  She did an outstanding job! Throughout the day, the teachers taught a lesson created by our Social Studies Lead Teachers, Karen Heins and Jennifer Ferrarelli, that focused on acts of heroism and specifically, "The Man in the Red Bandana."  We couldn’t be more impressed with the teamwork and showcase of talent among the adults and the students. 

Back to School Night

On September 12th, Atkinson hosted a packed house for Back to School Night.  It began with an impressive turnout for the PTA meeting and Grupo de Padres that took place prior to meeting with the classroom teachers.  We are looking forward to working together with our parents to ensure that Atkinson students receive the finest education while enjoying the 5th and 6th grade experience as a whole.

Select Chorale Astounds for Jets

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As a dazzling precursor to the start of the 2017-2018 school year, the high school Select Chorale performed the national anthem at the National Football League’s New York Jets’ preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Under the leadership of Director Monique Retzlaff, the Chorale continues to earn invitations to prestigious venues at which to showcase its talents.

On Thanksgiving eve Nov. 22, the group will open for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular to kick off the holiday season in festive fashion.

Remembering 9/11

Remembering 9/11 photo

Schools across the the district held special ceremonies to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Principals Mary Garguilo, Paula Lein and Renée Crump-Dedmon led schoolwide assemblies at the flagpoles at Bayview Avenue School, Archer Street School and New Visions School, respectively. At all of the ceremonies, the themes of solidarity, pride and hope resonated as the principals spoke about the sacrifices so many Americans made that day. Patriotic songs, such as Lee Greenwood’s “Proud To Be An American,” were played as students and staff wearing red, white and blue gathered together. In addition, Board of Education Vice President Anthony Miller, members of central administration, local law enforcement officials and firefighters attended the ceremony at New Visions as part of its annual “Heroes Day” tradition.

The ceremonies were designed to teach students about the importance of honoring the lives lost on 9/11 and paying homage to the nation’s heroes.

Fantastic First Day

Fantastic First Day photo

Students throughout the district kicked off the 2017-2018 school year on Sept. 5 by participating in a variety of fun and educational activites. High schoolers reconnected with their peers prior to homeroom and excitedly found their way to their new classes, while the younger students arrived to their schools either holding a family member’s hand or on a school bus.

Dodd welcomed its seventh- and eighth-graders to join district staff members for a photo on the school’s brand new turf field prior to beginning their first day of the school year. The classes of 2018 and 2030 began their final years at the high school and Columbus, respectively, while at the elementary schools, family members were invited to join the students in their classrooms to usher in the new year.

On the district’s first day of the new school year, students at each grade level moved another step closer to realizing their dreams and accomplishing remarkable feats of success.

Welcome Back to the Superheroes of Our Schools

Superheroes of Our Schools Pic

With great enthusiasm and excitement, district staff members were welcomed back as Superheroes at Superintendent’s Conference Day prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year. As they return to school on Sept. 5 wearing their invisible capes, staff throughout the Freeport Public School District are primed to continue serving students and helping them achieve their dreams and become superstars.

Such was the overarching theme at the district’s inspiring and informative two-day Conference. Staff members from each of the district’s eight schools gathered at the Freeport High School Performing Arts Center, and were encouraged to continue using their superpowers as educators and role models to unlock students’ potential. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham asked the staff to unleash their superpowers. “You are the heart of this organization. You have my super support and deepest appreciation as our students, our superstars, come back next week.”

Dr. Kuncham discussed many of the district’s accomplishments over the course of the past year and spoke about priorities and goals for the year ahead.

“With your commitment and dedication to our children, to Freeport and to our families, you make any challenge less daunting,” Dr. Kuncham said. “I want to give a super, super thank you to everyone in every school. You have pushed, guided and counseled our children to winning awards and overcoming many personal obstacles. We are moving with direction, momentum, optimism, determination, equity and excellence for every child. That’s our focus: the whole child, the happy child, graduating on time and being college, career, and life ready. Always remember, you are superheroes, and superheroes have one thing in common. They are all in, all the time, as often as possible. They aim for excellence, so you do , and so you will!”

Dr. Kuncham reminded staff that with great powers comes great responsibility. “You have the superpower of encouragement and the ability to change lives and change futures. I ask you to see that everything is on the line, give it your all,making each triumph that much bigger, bolder and awe-inspring, as Superheroes do.”

Quoting Commissioner James Gordon from “Batman,” Board of Education President Michael Pomerico charged staff members with leaving a lasting impression on students.

“‘You’re going to make a difference,’” Pomerico said. “Thank you for your dedication, commitment to excellence and patience. I wish you a successful school year; be the one to make a difference.”
The first day’s program culminated with an energetic and empowering dance performance by students wearing capes, who inspired staff members to share in their enthusiasm for the start of the upcoming school year.

On the second day, staff members divided into smaller groups and participated in several professional development workshops including Google Classroom and Khan Academy, Google Apps for Google Classrooms, Writing Worshop, NYS Science Learning Standards, Social Studies Curriculum and Instructional Updates, Go Math, Digital Workshops and Positive Behavioral Supports.

Superintendent’s Conference Day was more than just an inspirational precursor to the school year; it was an assembly of superheroes set to embark on another year dedicated to the total development of superstars.

You Don’t Need a Cape to be a Superhero

Atkinson’s teachers are embracing the beginning of the school year and building their powers to inspire, motivate and teach our anxious 5th and 6th grade students!  It’s going to be a fantastic year!

 

Our Inspired Additions

Our Inspired Additions photo
We are enthused to welcome the newest additions to our faculty: MARIA BALL, CYNTHIA BRUDECKI LAUREN CHIMERI, KIMBERLY COSTANZO, RACHEL EILAM, GABRIELLA FARRUGGIO, RAQUEL GOMEZ, ENZA PASCARELLA, MARICEL PEON-FARRELL, GINA SPARACO, YERALDIN TINEO. You have the influence to positively impact each student’s life and we are confident that you will succeed.  Let’s make this year the best yet!
 

Welcoming Atkinson’s New Arrivals

On August 25th, we were happy to welcome the incoming 5th graders – it was a full house!  Atkinson’s superstar social workers, Ms. Ryan and Ms. Sasso, organized the event and led the introductory activities.  Student ambassadors were heading the building tours and they did a fantastic job modeling positive behavior.  They set a fine example for the new fifth grade students. We are looking forward to providing you with the tools you need in order to be academically and socially successful here at Atkinson.  We challenge you to be role models and to give 100% to all you do!

Atkinson Welcomes Incoming Class

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As part of an annual tradition, Atkinson hosted a fifth-grade orientation for incoming students and their families prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

The program, designed to welcome and introduce students to their school for the next two years, was hosted by administrators and faculty members. Sixth-grade peer leaders also took an active role at orientation, providing a tour of the school to their incoming counterparts and helping to answer any questions they had about the transition from elementary school. The school’s administrative team also assured students that staff are always available to offer assistance and to put them in positions to succeed.

The orientation was an informative precursor to another exciting year for Freeport’s Class of 2025 and their families.

Dodd Incoming Class Set for Success

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Incoming seventh-graders at Dodd were welcomed for an orientation prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

Students were separated into small groups and participated in a variety of activities, including workshops that were designed to promote the importance of daily mindfulness and peace. They also reviewed rules and regulations, received their locker numbers, went on a tour of the school and asked any questions that would set them up for success.

The annual tradition was a helpful and informative forerunner to the next chapter of the students’ academic careers.

Class of 2021 Ready to Roll

Class of 2021 Ready to Roll Photo

The high school hosted its annual freshman orientation for the incoming Class of 2021 and their families prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

With members of the district’s board of education, administrators, staff and faculty members in attendance, students and their families were welcomed and introduced to their new school. Administrators and department chairpersons spoke about the many programs available at the high school, while members of the Peer Leadership Program led the freshmen on a tour of the building and conducted small group discussions in various classrooms.

“Today, you have officially stepped into Freeport High School, and you have officially stepped into a world of opportunities,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham said to the incoming freshmen. “We have tried to make possible anything and everything you can think and dream of here. We want each of you to take advantage of all Freeport High School has to offer; challenge yourself and experience everything. The next four years are critical. Just make sure you take your liberties and freedoms with full responsibility.”

The program was an informative forum for the new students to ask questions and learn about all of the opportunities available to them as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

District Welcomes its Newest Educators

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The district welcomed aboard 34 new teachers with an orientation at Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School on Aug. 21.

Dr. Mary Bediako, assistant superintendent for personnel and special projects, formally introduced the newest members of the district’s teaching staff to the Board of Education and administrators.

In his welcoming remarks, Board of Education President Michael Pomerico recognized that being an educator is not an easy profession and stated Freeport is a great place to live and Freeport Public Schools is a wonderful district. He shared that both his daughters benefited from attending the schools in Freeport.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham also imparted sage advice to the newest cohort of educators. “Your work goes beyond the title of a teacher,” Dr. Kuncham said. “You are artists who inspire creativity in our children; you are healers who end ignorance by bringing knowledge to our students; you are the link between knowledge and education; and you are the astronauts and pilots giving the wings to our children’s dreams. You are our champions. While they may not remember everything, you could become that amazing, favorite teacher our students will talk about for the rest of their lives.”

The new teachers then took a pledge to create a welcoming and enriching classroom environment for all students. Before leaving on a bus tour of the district’s eight buildings and historical sites, each of them received a district-issued Chromebook. The new teachers will receive an additional three days of intensive professional development to prepare them for their positions in the district.
The district will open its doors to students on Sept. 5.

Summer Arts Academy Astounds

Art photo

Students throughout the district exhibited their remarkable talents in the annual Summer Academy of the Arts Showcase and Exhibit, a culmination of 15 days of arts-related instruction during July. With instruction provided by faculty members throughout the district and assistance from 50 intern volunteers in grades 9-12 at the high school, 250 students in grades 4-8 had the opportunity to supplement their learning of a wide array of fields, including orchestra, visual arts, band, chorus, mariachi, media arts and dance.

The theme of this year’s program was “All You Need is Love…,” the title of a Beatles’ 1967 hit song. In addition to several Beatles’ classics that were featured throughout the show, the program was also comprised of songs by other bands and musicians that were based on the importance of spreading love. The culminating program, hosted by Director of Arts and Community Relations Ruth Breidenbach and attended by families, district staff members, administrators and members of the Board of Education on July 28, followed a format of performances by students that were separated by segments of fictional game show “The What’s Poppin’ Show,” based on the Beatles.

The Summer Academy of the Arts culmination was a platform for students to demonstrate what they learned during the 15-day program and a dazzling example of staff members’ commitment to continue providing extraordinary instruction during the summer months.