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BOE Special Meeting Notice - Sep. 26, 2018


Atkinson’s Parents Take the Next Giant Leap

giant leap photo

It was a packed house at Atkinson on Sept. 13, as parents took their next giant leap for their children’s intermediate level journey at the school’s Back to School Night. The evening began with the Atkinson PTA and Grupo de Padres Meeting in the cafeteria, while the Dollars for Scholars spent the night in friendly conversation with parents and sold t-shirts.

Everyone gathered in the auditorium to hear an overview of courses and expectations, which was led by the building principal, Mrs. Connie Velez. We were elated to have been joined by members of the Board of Education, including President Michael Pomerico and Vice President Anthony J. Miller, as well as our Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. Teams of teachers were introduced and applauded before heading to their classrooms to host the parents. This night set the tone for success and a year that will be out of this world.

Honoring the Heroes of 9/11 by Giving 100 Percent

Honoring the Heroes of 9/11 by Giving 100 Percent photo
Honoring the Heroes of 9/11 by Giving 100 Percent photo 2
Honoring the Heroes of 9/11 by Giving 100 Percent photo 3
Students at the Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School commemorated the heroes involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on Sept. 7. Social studies teacher Mrs. Ferrarelli shared and implemented a lesson that stressed the effects of giving 100 percent.

The class worked in groups to present tableaus that modeled what giving 100 percent looks like and were provided with various interpretations. One group worked together to form the number 100, where one student said to another group member, “I am trying my best.”  

With this activity, students analyzed the concept of how a person’s actions can affect others, paralleling the connections that were made between those who gave their all in the midst of the horrors experienced on 9/11. 

Freeport HS Featured on Spotlight on LI Schools Radio Show

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New Visions Honors 9/11 Heroes

New Visions Honors 9/11 Heroes photo

New Visions Elementary School’s K-4 grade classes gathered around the school’s peace pole on Sept. 7 for the its annual “Heroes Day,” which commemorates those who lost their lives 17 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001.

Attending the ceremony were New Visions staff, members of the Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham, and members of the Freeport police and fire departments.

New Visions Principal Connie Malcolm-Grant began the ceremony by thanking members of the police and fire departments for their extraordinary bravery that day. 

“We stand here in unity wearing red, white and blue, the colors of our flag, to celebrate our country, where we can promote peace by respecting each other regardless of the color of our skin, gender and regardless of our beliefs,” Malcolm-Grant said. “We can never repay you for the sacrifices that you make every day, but we surely can honor you by being good citizens, who love ourselves, who love others and love our country.”

Fourth-grade dual-language student Jennah Newton took to the podium to read her “A Heroes” poem to her fellow classmates and community members.  

Miguel Bermudez, chief of police for the Freeport Police Department, and Julius Ellison, chief of the Freeport Fire Department, also addressed the crowd of young faces, urging students to never forget those who passed away on that day, and stressed the importance to listen to their parents and teachers.   

Dr. Kuncham also took a moment to thank members of the Freeport police and fire departments. “Many of them were there 17 years ago when it happened. They were involved directly in rescue operations, saving lives and they continue to do that, so we thank our heroes for what they do every day.”

In addition to his speech, Dr. Kuncham told students to always keep love and kindness at the forefront. 

“Treat everyone the way you want to be treated, make sure you don’t tolerate anything that’s not right happening around you, be friends with everyone, understand each other and spread that within you and among the rest of all of us,” Dr. Kuncham said. “May peace be in our schools, in our community, in our country, in the world, and in the universe.”


Stuff-A-Bus equips students for new year

Stuff-A-Bus equips students for new year photo
It was an exciting afternoon in the district on Sept. 6, as students from Bayview Avenue School and Leo F. Giblyn Elementary School lined up to carry boxes filled with donated school supplies into their respective buildings.

The packed boxes are part of United Way of Long Island’s Stuff-A-Bus campaign, which helps supply local students with new backpacks and other school essentials, donated by members of the community. The Long Island Nets also partnered with the organization this year and had its mascot “Dale the Eagle” greet students and help them unload boxes from the bus. 

Bayview’s Priscilla Varela and Celine Levine’s fourth-grade classes, and Giblyn’s Kelly Nicholson and Samantha Schnitzer’s fourth-grade classes participated in unloading the bus, carrying 100 boxes of supplies. Both schools received 50 boxes that contained a variety of school supplies, including notebooks, pens, pencils, markers, crayons, scissors, erasers and backpacks. 

“Every student deserves the opportunity to be successful in school. By being part of the Stuff-A-Bus program, we are able to ensure that our students start their school year with a full desk ready to learn,” Dr. Kishore Kuncham, Superintendent of Schools, said. “It’s clear that United Way of Long Island and the Long Island Nets understand the importance of education, and our students and staff are extremely grateful for their ongoing support.”

Theresa A. Regnante, president and CEO of United Way of Long Island, said “This is the 10th year the Stuff-A-Bus program has provided students with the tools they need to feel confident in their studies. Now when the students in the Freeport School District sit down for class, they can feel secure knowing that their desks are full and they are prepared to learn.”

Staff encouraged to take the next giant leap

Staff encouraged to take the next giant leap photo

The Performing Arts Center at the high school was filled with enthusiasm on Aug. 29, as district staff took their seats for the annual superintendent’s conference day to prepare for the 2018-2019 school year.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham welcomed staff from each building and introduced members of the Board of Education, administration and staff. 

In his speech, Board of Education President Michael Pomerico commemorated staff on their efforts in previous school years.

“The Board of Education thanks you for your tireless efforts, your dedication and your commitment,” Pomerico said. “The Board of Education knows that everyone is doing whatever it takes for our students to succeed and we know you will continue to do that. On behalf of the board, have a very successful year and thank you for all you do.”

Dr. Kuncham spoke of the district’s achievements and accomplishments and highlighted the goals for the upcoming school year. These include health and wellness, safety, rigorous academic initiatives, technology initiatives and advocating for students. He added that the mission is to educate and inspire students, and to continue with optimism, faith, trust, direction and enthusiasm. 

Dr. Kuncham stated that the district was set to take another giant leap. “We have the capacity, the potential, we have the resources, we have the hearts, we just need to dare to blast off!” During his speech, he referred to teachers as “explorers” and students as “rockets.”

“Our students are rockets who have the potential to achieve great heights and each needs the fuel to fly. It is up to you to fuel them with education, care and compassion so that they can fly as high as they want. Take them to the next level of their lives. Obstacles are always changing, but so are we. You all have been prepped for this year’s giant leap into the known and unknown. Let’s see what’s out there and what’s inside each one of us,” Dr. Kuncham continued. “I’m completely confident in your abilities to achieve the mission. I’m incredibly proud of you and I would not want to go on this mission with anyone else.”

Students and members of the Summer Academy of the Arts dazzled the teachers and staff with an exciting and inspirational musical and dance performance, which reflected the next giant leap theme of the school year to honor the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.  

Following the conference and energetic student performances, teachers reported to their respective schools to continue preparation for the upcoming school year.


Fourth Annual Peace Walk


Welcome Back To A New School Year!

Welcome Back To A New School Year photo

The district was bustling on Sept. 4, as staff, administration, and students entered their respective schools to kick off the 2018-2019 school year. 

Freeport High School students started the morning bright and early and were greeted by Principal Joseph Mille as they entered the building. Students also reconnected with teachers and friends before heading to their homerooms to start the big day.

Mille said the mission is to prepare Freeport students to be college and career ready. He add, “Our goal is to continue to improve student performance in all areas, address students’ social and emotional needs on a more comprehensive level and continue to increase rigor inside the classroom using the latest technology.”

At Columbus Avenue School and Archer Street School parents lined up with their children to see them off on their first day. Meanwhile, staff members were greeted with smiling faces and hugs as they helped escort students off the buses. All students were equipped with backpacks, bags of school supplies and stuffed lunch boxes.

Students at Archer were also given special bookmarks as they entered the building. Each bookmark, which reflected the district’s space theme for the 2018-2019 school year, displayed pictures of rocket ships and the words “Shoot for the Stars!” or “Blast off Into the World of Reading!” Archer Street School Principal Paula Lein said the mission is to motivate students to become “Archer Rocket Readers.” 

District welcomes freshmen to Freeport High School family

District welcomes freshmen to Freeport High School family photo

The district was pleased to welcome the incoming freshman class and their parents to Freeport High School on Aug. 23 for the district’s annual freshman orientation.

The Class of 2022 and their parents were invited to enjoy breakfast in the school cafeteria before heading to the performing arts center for the forum. Freeport High School Principal Joseph Mille introduced members of the Board of Education, administration and staff during the event, and formally welcomed the fresh new faces to the high school family.

“As a high school community, we have experiences, bonds and relationships that last a lifetime. For our incoming freshmen, that’s what is in store for you,” Mille continued. “This place is a home. You are my family and I will take care of you for the four years that you are here and every year after. You have wonderful opportunities here and I couldn’t be happier that you are now with us at the high school.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham asked the new students if they are ready for the exciting challenge as Freeport High Schoolers.

“If you don’t know already, you have stepped into a world of opportunities. This place is your place, our place, a magical place, where anything and everything that you want to be can happen. We have so many clubs, sports activities and science research opportunities. Please take advantage of it,” Dr. Kuncham continued. “If there’s anything holding you back at this point in time, unleash it. You have tremendous potential to become a leader and be everything that you can be. We are here to prepare you for life, college and career. Everyone in the high school and in this district, cares for you and is here for you. If you need help, don’t hesitate to come to us…and let’s take the next giant leap as we begin the 2018-2019 year.”

Following the introductions, students were grouped and taken on a tour of the building, while administration spoke with parents about the many innovative and rewarding programs the school and the district offers.

After the student tour, led by members of the Peer Leadership Program, the ninth-grade students then assembled into classrooms for group discussions. Peer Leadership Program members also shared their experiences at the high school and informed freshmen on the extracurricular activities the school offers.

Their journey as high schoolers will begin on Sept. 4. 

Atkinson’s community gardens

Students, teachers and staff members of the Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School were enthusiastic in their volunteer efforts this past spring, as they joined together in planting fruits and vegetables on school grounds. An initiative led by the Garden Committee, classes also grew a sunflower and planted it in the smaller court yard to create a happy sunflower garden.

During the summer months, school community members helped maintain certain aspects of the gardens, by watering, weeding, picking and donating the freshly grown produce. A huge thank you to all who participated. A special thank you to Reina, Ernie, Frank and the Grounds Crew for supporting the beauty and benefits of this ongoing project.

District welcomes new teachers

District welcomes new teachers photo

The Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School cafeteria was filled with new faces on Aug. 20, as the district hosted its annual First Year Teachers’ Orientation. Prior to the start of the multi-day orientation, teachers were distributed Chromebooks for the school year.

The program opened with Dr. Mary Bediako, Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Special Projects, introducing each new staff member to the board of education and administration. 

Board of Education President Michael Pomerico emphasized the significance of being a Freeporter. 

“This is a career for you. We want you to succeed, and we want our kids to succeed,” Pomerico said. “Freeport is a wonderful school district and a lot of tremendous things happen here whether it’s in education, music and art, or sports.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham encouraged teachers to think about their next giant leap.

“You’ll improve on your craft, and you’ll all become master teachers. How you differentiate and how you reach out to each and every student, that’s going to be the key to your success, the success of the children and the success of the school district,” Dr. Kuncham said. “We want you to be here to inspire our students every single day. We want our students to be the problem solvers and the innovators, and all of that can happen through you. You are the leaders, and you are the superheroes. Bring your passion every single day, make a difference, be real, be genuine. We are here for all of you to succeed and we are here to take you on this exciting journey with all of us. Let’s take the next giant leap.”

Following the inspiring program, Dr. Bediako led the teachers in a pledge, where they vowed to develop a safe and positive classroom environment for all students.  The teachers went on a bus tour of the district’s eight buildings and historical sites. For the remainder of the day and in the days that followed, first-year and second-year teachers participated in the district’s targeted professional development program.

The district kicks off its first day of school on Sept. 4. 

Emergency Planning Guide

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Students Participate in Summer P-Tech Program

Students Participate in Summer P-Tech Program photo
Students Participate in Summer P-Tech Program photo 2
Students Participate in Summer P-Tech Program photo 3
Students in the P-Tech program at FHS participated in a variety of educational activities throughout the month of July. The group of students included members of the high school’s Class of 2018 who will be attending Farmingdale State College in the fall.

As part of the program, students visited BOCES Brookville Outdoor and Environmental Education Center and developed their problem-solving, communication, teamwork and leadership skills by engaging in a series of hands-on activities. In addition, students visited Farmingdale State College and attended lectures about renewable energy, as well as built a vehicle powered by a photo cell, a windmill to generate power, and a water wheel. Sessions also included visits to Operation Splash, Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve, Adventureland and tours of the Bay Park Water Reclamation Facility.

The P-Tech summer program was designed to provide students with the opportunity to make connections between academic concepts and “real world” applications.

Secondary Schools Host Summer Reading Programs

Secondary Schools Host Summer Reading Programs photo
Secondary Schools Host Summer Reading Programs photo 2
Secondary Schools Host Summer Reading Programs photo 3
Secondary Schools Host Summer Reading Programs photo 4
On Aug. 1, Dodd hosted a movie screening of “The Outsiders,” which correlated directly to an ongoing assignment that has tasked all Dodd students with reading the classic novel by S.E. Hinton during the summer and completing a project by Sept. 12.

The movie screening was held in Dodd’s library and hosted by librarian Christine Meloni and seventh-grade English teacher Lauren Artuso. Students engaged in discussions about the differences and similarities between the novel and film, enjoyed popcorn, participated in a raffle for a chance to win prizes including a “The Outsiders” shirt, and select a free copy of the books “Flipped,” “One Crazy Summer” or “Al Capone Does My Shirts” with a bookmark.

All Dodd students received a free copy of “The Outsiders” to add to their personal library at the beginning of summer, and were encouraged to connect via Google Classroom to share their reactions, answer survey questions, gain access to free eBooks and post selfies of themselves with the book.

A similar program was hosted at the high school, where students were tasked with reading “The Hunger Games” and invited to participate in a movie screening and discussion group.

The ongoing reading assignments in the district’s secondary schools are part of it’s commitment to promoting literacy and encouraging students to continue reading during the summer months.

Summer Arts Academy Dazzles

Summer Arts Academy Dazzles photo

Students showcased their incredible talents in the district’s 10th annual Summer Academy of the Arts, a culmination of 15 days of arts-related instruction during July.

With instruction provided by faculty members throughout the district and assistance from 60 intern volunteers in grades 9-12 at Freeport High School, 280 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.

“Freeport is designated a Best Community in Music Education, and this program is but one of the many reasons why,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “Our staff and students are dedicated and committed to honing their musical talents and crafts. Our schools believe in developing the whole child, and our superior music and arts program is vital to our philosophy.”

In honor of a decade of summer arts instruction in the district, the theme of this year’s program was “Best of the Decades,” highlighting famous hits from the 1920s to present day. The culminating program, hosted by Summer Arts Academy Program Coordinator Geraldine LaPenne and Director of Arts and Community Relations Ruth Breidenbach, was attended by families, district staff members, administrators, elected officials and board of education trustee Ernest J. Kight Jr. New York State Sen. John Brooks presented the district with a Proclamation for its Summer Arts Academy program and continued dedication to its students.

The show was presented in two acts. Act I featured chorus students singing “Dancing in the Street” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The orchestra students performed “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” “And So It Goes” and “Piano Man,” while beginner band students performed “Tuxedo Junction,” the advanced band performed “Africa” and “Best of Journey.” The mariachi students performed “Cariño” and “Tu y Las Nubes.” Act II featured Feel the Beat class students performing “September,” “Turn the Beat Around,” and “Feel the Beat,” while the theater students performed multimedia skits from movies spanning the 60s-90s along with a demonstration of many dances from different decades as the program’s finale.

The program was a platform for students to showcase what they learned during the 15-day instructional period and a riveting testament to the district’s commitment to inspire students to enjoy and appreciate the arts.

District Supplements STEM Lessons with Summer Program

District Supplements STEM Lessons with Summer Program photo
District Supplements STEM Lessons with Summer Program photo 2
District Supplements STEM Lessons with Summer Program photo 3
Throughout the month of July, the district has been hosting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Camp for students in grades 5-12. Students participated in a variety of educational activities, such as creating windmills, while working both individually and in groups. A testament to the district’s emphasis on enriching its students in crucial STEM-related fields year-round, the summer program was designed to provide students with the opportunity to supplement their classroom lessons during the school year.


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