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District 30 Opens New 21st Century Learning Lab

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Valley Stream District 30 central and building administrators, along with members of the board of education, gathered at Washington Avenue School on May 13 for the anticipated unveiling of the district’s new 21st Century Learning Lab. 

Before cutting the red ribbon, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling shared his appreciation for all those who made the new space a reality for the children of the district. He thanked the board of education and the administrative staff for continually giving students more opportunities. Jennifer Lewner, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Susan Rodriguez, administrative director for 21st century learning and Brian Phillips, assistant superintendent for business were also praised for all of their hard work in making the new learning lab come to life. 

The 21st Century Learning Lab was created from the federal Student Support and Academic Enrichment Effective Use of Technology grant, which the district received last year. Inside the lab, students will find educational technology tools such as MERGE cubes, virtual reality headsets, a touch screen, giant dry-erase wall, dry-erase tables, different flexible seating options, Legos, a 3-D printer, a portable charging station and more. Clear Stream Avenue, Forest Road and Shaw Avenue students from grades K-6 will take full day trips to the 21st Century Learning Lab starting at the end of May to explore and do research. 

“The goal of the lab is to give students uninterrupted time to allow them to focus on a curriculum-based project that’s aligned to STEAM,” said Ms. Lewner. 

Budget Approved! Presupuesto Aprobado!

vote slide
Budget Approved:
YES – 363
NO – 158

Board Election:
Audra Hamlett – 128
Hendrick Colbert – 112
*Kelly Ureña – 247


Proposition 2: 
YES – 408
NO – 108

Presupuesto Aprobado:
Sí – 363 
No – 158

Elección de la Junta:
Audra Hamlett – 128
Hendrick Colbert – 112
*Kelly Ureña – 247

*fideicomisarios electos

Proposición 2:
Sí – 408
No – 108

Clear Stream Avenue Students Host Mother’s Day Tea

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Clear Stream Avenue first graders in Marisa Neri’s class and Maureen Carrano’s class celebrated Mother’s Day early with a special Mother’s Day Tea on May 10. Students in both classes invited their mothers into the classroom to show their appreciation and love before the Mother’s Day weekend. 

In Ms. Neri’s class, the special guests received a bagel breakfast with coffee and tea. Each mother brought in her own special mug and students created cards, fingerprint flowers and a handprint potholder craft to give to their mother to mark the occasion. After sharing something that they loved about their mother, the students showcased a music video where the class showed off their dancing skills to the song “Mom” by Meghan Trainor. The students ended the visit by singing Mother’s Day songs and poems.  

In Ms. Carrano’s class, the first graders served their mother’s brunch which included bagels, egg salad, tuna fish and muffins. The class sang two songs and presented a slideshow with music explaining why their mothers are special. Like Ms. Neri’s class, each student created a card and a pot holder with their handprint on it. They also wrote about why their mother deserved to be on the cover of People magazine. It was a memorable morning for both students and parents. 

Shaw Avenue Students Take Home Third Victory

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Twenty-four students from throughout the district put their math skills to the test by participating in the annual New York City NBA Math Hoops Tournament at the Barclays Center on May 4. For the third consecutive year, a team from Shaw Avenue School were crowned first place winners. Shaw Avenue sixth graders Christopher Duarte and Malik Waheed won in the final round against semi-finalists and their own Shaw Avenue peers Gabrielle Loadholt and Jose Pinto.

NBA Math Hoops is a fast-paced basketball board game that incorporates fundamental math skills through direct engagement from NBA and WNBA players with a curriculum tied to the Next Generation Learning Standards and 21st Century Learning Skills. The students were coached by their supportive teachers Timothy Rau from Clear Stream Avenue School, Christopher Onorato from Forest Road School and Andrew Canle from Shaw Avenue School. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling, along with building administrators, watched as the students displayed their talents and good sportsmanship. 

“This was both an amazing experience and accomplishment,” said Shaw Avenue Principal Dr. Alejandro Rivera. “I’m proud of all of the students as they worked hard to prepare for this tournament and represented their school and family with such a positive attitude. This is just another example of how the district and school exposes students to experiences that go far beyond the walls of the classroom. Next year we will go for four in a row!” 

Congratulations to Shaw Avenue School and to all the student participants from District 30! 

Clear Stream Avenue School:

Rafael Almonte
Ava Bolden
Allesta Castillo
Kayden Lambert
Victoria Linares 
Stephen LaTouche
Adaobi Okammelu
Emily Salazar

Forest Road School: 

Vania Bawla
Brady DelValle
Isabelle Dombrosky
Mania Ishtiaq
Mohammad Khan
Daniel Laurent
Malia Malik
Rayhan Ramnarine

Shaw Avenue School:

Sahana Benny 
Christopher Duarte
David Gonzalez 
Gabrielle Loadholt
Tameera Osmani 
Morgan Pajotte
Jose Pinto 
Malik Waheed 

BOE Celebrates National Essay Winners and Teachers

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During the district’s board of education meeting on April 29, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling, along with the board, honored two outstanding students and their teachers for recently earning national recognition in the Jackie Robinson Breaking Barriers Essay Contest. 

Among the 10,000 essays that were submitted, Shaw Avenue Elementary School fifth grader Asma Kaukab was selected as the grand prize winner for grades 4-6. Her classmate, Hafsa Asghar, was also recognized as one of eight MVP National winners. Sponsored by Scholastic and Major League Baseball, the contest encourages students from across the country to write about overcoming personal obstacles or barriers through the examples that Jackie Robinson set while breaking the color barrier for Major League Baseball. The students were asked to incorporate Robinson’s nine values into their entries – citizenship, commitment, courage, determination, excellence, integrity, justice, persistence and teamwork. 

Although Hafsa was unable to attend the meeting due to her recent move to Brooklyn, Dr. Stirling expressed how proud he was of both students, stating that it was not only an accomplishment for them, but also the district.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of what you have done and more importantly, of the person that you have become,” he told Asma, who proudly sat with her family during the meeting. 

Dr. Stirling also expressed his appreciation for the support of the students’ loved ones and teachers Karin Savino, Kerry O’Connor and Maria Neckonoff. He praised all three teachers for their commitment to the students of District 30. 

“The work that you do, not just this year but in all the years that you have been in the district, is most appreciated,” said Dr. Stirling. 

To congratulate Asma and her teachers, each received a bouquet of flowers from the board. 

Students Explore During Annual Lights On for Education Event

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Students, staff, families, board of education members and administrators from throughout District 30 attended the Valley Stream Council of PTAs’ 58th anniversary of the Lights On for Education program on April 11. The event which is held each year at the Memorial Junior High School, invites members of the Valley Stream District 30 community, along with those from the Valley Stream Central High School District, Valley Stream District 13 and Valley Stream District 24, to showcase student achievements in academics, the arts and more. 

During the opening ceremony, students performed and superintendents, administrators and students spoke and introduced the event’s theme, “Bright Ideas Come to Those Who Think.” Attendees were encouraged to walk around the school building during the evening to experience the array of programs that are offered in each district.
District 30’s Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Jennifer Lewner, Administrative Director for 21st Century Learning Susan Rodriguez, building administrators, STEAM aides, DLCs (Digital Literacy Coaches) and teachers helped spotlight the district’s theme of “You and Media” during the event. With this 2018-19 theme and as the recipient of the Title IV Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant, the district wanted to be able to highlight the work that District 30 students have done with STEAM and digital literacy.
Students from Clear Stream Avenue School displayed their early invention projections from their Black History Month celebration. These early inventions set the stage to walking into the main room of coding robots to show the future of engineering and design. In the main space, each of the grade specific coding robots were set up, along with challenges for students and families to experience.
In addition, library media specialist On Kyung Joo set up three tables with engineering based literature for families to look at. She also had activities for families that were aligned to the texts. In the second room, two of the district’s FIRST Lego League teams displayed their research projects and robotic challenge boards from this year’s competition. The district also had five screens set up with video footage that showcased how digital literacy was alive in art, music, physical education, enrichment and library this year.
“Lights On! is a wonderful showcasing opportunity for all of the Valley Stream districts,” said Ms. Lewner. “I am very proud of the experiences we have been able to provide to our students this year in the area of Digital Literacy. Families were able to walk away with a true sense of how our students engage in the engineer and design process and had the opportunity to learn like a 21st century student in Valley Stream 30 for the evening.”

Jackie Robinson’s Daughter Inspires and Honors Students for Breaking Barriers

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Shaw Avenue Elementary School students, staff, building and central administrators from district 30 were filled with excitement as Sharon Robinson, author and daughter of legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson, arrived at the school on April 18. In tow with Ms. Robinson were representatives from Scholastic and Major League Baseball, including Mr. Met himself, to honor fifth graders Asma Kaukab and Hafsa Asghar, winners in the Jackie Robinson Breaking Barriers Essay Contest.

Asma was selected as one of only two grand prize winners in the nation for her essay, while Hafsa was selected as one of eight MVP National winners. Hafsa recently moved to Brooklyn but returned to Shaw Avenue for the special day of recognition. The Shaw Avenue PTA provided a delicious breakfast for the school’s honored guest and New York State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, along with both of the students families were present for the celebration.  

Fourth, fifth and sixth grade students gathered in the school auditorium where Principal Dr. Alejandro Rivera kicked off the ceremony by thanking the teachers, central administrators and board of education for their support. He also congratulated Asma and Hafsa and encouraged the students in the audience to dream big and strive to break their own barriers. 

“No matter what you’re feeling, no matter how hard you think things are, you can always overcome,” he told them. 

Dr. Rivera introduced Ms. Robinson who spoke to students about overcoming obstacles and the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest. The contest was inspired by her father who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and lived by nine values – citizenship, commitment, courage, determination, excellence, integrity, justice, persistence and teamwork. Students throughout the country were encouraged to participate in the contest by writing about their own barriers and how they overcame them using Robinson’s values. 

Asma and Hafsa were invited to the podium where they read their winning essays. Both powerful and personal stories, Asma shared her experience with discrimination based on her religion, while Hafsa read her essay about losing her mother. Ms. Robinson embraced both students after their readings and thanked them for bravely sharing their stories. She then acknowledged Asma and Hafsa’s teachers Karin Savino, Kerry O’Connor and Maria Neckonoff for bringing the essay contest into their classroom. 

As a result of their winning essays, both students and two of their teachers each received a laptop. The students were awarded with a certificate and received a tote bag from Mr. Met filled with goodies from the New York Mets. The New York Mets also provided ticket vouchers for Shaw Avenue students to attend a Mets game and announced that Asma and Hafsa will be honored at a future game. Asma and Hafsa’s class received t-shirts and books which they later each had personally signed by Ms. Robinson. 

As a token of their appreciation, Dr. Rivera and Assistant Principal Christopher Colarossi presented Ms. Robinson with a custom glass trophy and unveiled a special plaque which is now displayed in the school’s lobby to commemorate her visit and Asma and Hafsa’s achievement. To conclude the assembly, Ms. Robinson answered questions and left students with an important lesson. 

“We all have to face obstacles in life,” she told students. “We have to dig deep inside ourselves to find the strength to get over them.” 

Both students and their teachers will be recognized again by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling and the board of education at Valley Stream District 30’s board of education meeting on April 29. As a grand prize winner, Asma will be honored again by the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest on the field at the 2019 MLB All-Star Game this July. 

Students Inspire Others to Pursue Robotics

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Forest Road Elementary School third and fourth graders learned all about the school’s FIRST Lego League club on April 10. With the help of club advisor Christopher Nazario and advisor Timothy Rau from Clear Stream Avenue School’s Lego League team, classes were invited into the school’s Quest room throughout the morning to hear from current club members in an effort to pique their interest to join in the future.  

Each school in District 30 has a FIRST Lego League club for fifth and sixth graders which allows them to grow their 21st century learning skills through building and coding robots. Students work on their Lego robots after school and compete against students from other schools during the year. Forest Road School planned the gathering for students to talk to current members about the club, learn more about competitions and see some of the Lego robots in action. 

“A benefit about this club is the interaction between people,” said Michael Peralta, fifth grade Lego Robotics club member. “For instance, this year I got to learn a lot from different children which is a really good thing.”

Teammate James van Dijk, a sixth grader at Forest Road School, added to the benefits of the club based on his own experience. 

“We got to speak with older and more mature teams and I overall think this is a good learning experience for each and every one of you,” he told students. 

Shaw Avenue Students Earn Top Spots in National Essay Contest

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Two fifth graders from Shaw Avenue Elementary School were recently recognized as national winners for their writing entries in the Jackie Robinson Breaking Barriers Essay Contest. Among the 10,000 essays that were submitted in the contest, Asma Kaukab was selected as the grand prize winner for grades 4-6 and her classmate, Hafsa Asghar was one of eight MVP National winners.

Sponsored by Scholastic and Major League Baseball, the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest allows students of all backgrounds in grades 4-9 to share their personal stories in 200 to 750 words. Students had to incorporate how they use Robinson’s nine values of citizenship, commitment, courage, determination, excellence, integrity, justice, persistence and teamwork, to face their own barriers. With the guidance of their teachers, Karin Savino, Kerry O’Connor and Maria Neckonoff, the students wrote about barriers in their own lives and how these nine values helped them to face and overcome them.   

As a result of their winnings, Asma and Hafsa’s class will receive a set of signed books and t-shirts, and both students and their teachers will receive a laptop. As the grand prize winner, Asma will also travel on an all-expenses-paid trip to Cleveland, Ohio in July with her mother to attend the 2019 MLB All-Star Game where she will be honored for her writing.  

“I’m excited,” she said. “I’m looking forward to being on the field.”  

To celebrate both students, Jackie Robinson’s daughter Sharon Robinson, will visit Shaw Avenue Elementary School on April 18 to award the students in person and speak to classes. 

Congratulations to both students on this tremendous achievement and for sharing their stories! 

Students Support the Arts with Fitness Fundraiser

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Shaw Avenue Elementary School students put on their running shoes for the school’s Boosterthon Fun Run to help raise money for Shaw Avenue’s performing arts program on April 9. Coordinated by the Shaw Avenue PTA, students from grades K-6 were encouraged to get friends and families to pledge with donations going towards new stage equipment.

With the support of Boosterthon team members, students walked and ran with their classes outside during the school day. Shaw Avenue PTA members and parent volunteers provided water to keep students hydrated as they ran an average of 30-35 laps around the Boosterthon Speedway. 

Throughout the two-week fundraising period, classes created their own flags to be displayed during the event and focused on important character traits. Among the many lessons that the fundraiser spotlighted, students learned about the power of teamwork, integrity and growth mindset. They also received fun incentives for completing fundraising missions. 

Students will continue raising money towards the cause until today, April 16. If the school hits their goal of $13,000, Principal Dr. Alejandro Rivera and Assistant Principal Christopher Colarossi plan on being slimed by students. 

Shaw Avenue Hosts “Dancing with the Stars of 5th Grade!”

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Each year, fifth-graders at Shaw Avenue Elementary School participate in the Dancing Classrooms Long Island residency. The program allows students to learn critical social-emotional and life skills such as confidence, focus, self-discipline, cooperation and teamwork. The fifth-graders worked with a talented team of dancers from the program who visited the school during the course of a ten week period. Students learned how to branch out of their comfort zones while learning a variety of diverse dances and the cultural history behind them. 

As a culmination of the dance residency, the fifth-graders showcased their dancing skills for loved ones in the school’s gymnasium on March 27. Fifth grade teachers Karin Savino and Lauren Rosenthal helped the students prepare for the event. The dance residency was a memorable experience for all as students, dressed to impress, performed beautifully for attendees. 

Great job to all the exceptional student dancers! 

District 30 Proudly Kicks Off Long Island Nets Basketball Game

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This past February, a select chorus of fourth-graders from across District 30, performed the National Anthem at Nassau Coliseum to open up the Long Island Nets basketball game. General music educators, Mrs. Fernandez, Mrs. Cooke and Mrs. Fischer thoroughly prepared the students during their music classes with music practice as well as the historical significance of the Nation’s iconic anthem.

The students represented the community with poise and pride as they opened up the Long Is-land Nets Game against the Delaware Blue Coats. Students felt incredibly supported, as the performance (and game to follow) was well-attended by teachers, administrators, families and friends. 

Congratulations to all the singers and a big thank you to everyone in the community who made the event possible, especially the combined PTAs! 

Shaw Avenue Student Scores Spot in NBA Math Hoops National Championship

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Shelby Osborne, a sixth-grader from Shaw Avenue Elementary School was recently selected as one of 16 students from throughout the country to participate in the 2019 NBA Math Hoops National Championship weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area from May 10-12. The Math Hoops program allows students to learn fundamental math skills through an engaging board game using the real statistics of NBA and WNBA players. 

Since 2017, the Golden State Warriors have partnered with Learn Fresh Education Co. to host the National Championship. National Math Hoops participants will sign a one day contract with the Warriors, meet other students from around the country and engage in outdoor activities. They will also learn from the Warrior’s statistics analyst about real plays and how math applies in a basketball game. In addition, all students will put their NBA Math Hoops skills to the test in a 2 vs. 2 Math Hoops National Championship tournament.

Shelby, a member of Shaw Avenue School’s Math Hoops team, applied for a spot in the National Championship. To enter, she submitted a video about what the experience would mean to her, bravely sharing her personal story of losing her mother just last year and overcoming the tragedy. Upon hearing that she was selected for the all expenses paid trip to participate in the NBA Math Hoops National Championship, Shelby was shocked. 

“I am very excited,” she said. “I didn’t think I would get it because they were only choosing 16 people.” 

With the guidance of NBA Math Hoops coach and teacher Andrew Canle, Shaw Avenue School has been successful in the annual New York City NBA Math Hoops tournament each year. The school has won the first place title two years in a row. Mr. Canle praised Shelby for taking the NBA Math Hoops title up to the next level. 

 “I think she had huge shoes to fill and she was able to make the shoe size even larger,” he said.  

Principal Dr. Alejandro Rivera also praised Shelby for the tremendous achievement and commended Mr. Canle for exposing students to the NBA Math Hoops program. He explained that being selected for the competition was not just about the game of Math Hoops but also focused on a student’s learning, connection to school and life. 

“For Shelby, she was able to bring a real life experience which was unfortunately a tragedy and work to make it a positive in her life,” said Dr. Rivera. “By doing so, she told a story about perseverance, commitment and dedication to her family which ultimately are the type of values that we want to instill in children.” 

Congratulations, Shelby! We are so proud of you! 

Students Share Their Art With The Community

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Thirty students from throughout the district were recently invited to showcase their artwork at the Sip This Café, a coffee shop in Valley Stream. District art specialists Paul Farinacci, Leslie Freiberg and Colette Giardella selected creations made by talented student-artists from Clear Stream Avenue, Forest Road and Shaw Avenue schools to display at the exhibit.  

The outstanding work demonstrated a diversity of ideas taught within District 30’s visual arts program. This included students using a variety of materials and media such as drawing, painting, pastels, mixed-media, sculpture and 3-D works. A dedication to the integration of the arts with other subjects like literacy, history, science and technology, provided inspiration for many of the pieces.  

The young artists’ received high praises from members of the community who visited the exhibition. The district congratulates all the students who participated and generously shared their designs for all to see.

Shaw Avenue Sixth-Graders Perform an Enchanting Disney Tale

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Administrators, staff, students and families gathered in the Shaw Avenue Elementary School auditorium for the Sixth Grade Shaw Avenue Musical Theatre Club’s production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” on March 14. Directed by music teacher Stephanie Fischer, first-grade teacher Ashley Munford and parent volunteer Sandra Proto, the students performed the beloved story based on the 1991 animated Disney film during the school day and the evening. 

Principal Dr. Alejandro Rivera opened the show along with Fischer, who expressed her appreciation for the outstanding individuals who helped make the show come to life. This included central and building administrators, staff, PTA members, Memorial Junior High School and Central High School students and more. She also commended the cast for their dedication in preparing for the show. 

“You have worked so hard during this process, bringing life and energy to the stage at Shaw Avenue,” she told them. “We are so proud of you.”

Sixth-grader Chris Vicuna played the role of the prince/Beast, while Sahana Benny and Emily Heeralal shared the role of Belle. Among the other outstanding cast was Cristian Diaz as Lumiere, Tameera Osmani as Cogsworth, Nicole Proto as Mrs. Potts, Sergen Enosse as Chip, Michael Sawyer as Scratch, Senora Johnson as Madame De La Grande Bouche, Sigfrid Ibanez as Gaston, Bunta Okita as Lefou and Yazdaan Sarwar as Maurice. 

Students proudly showcased their acting, singing and dancing skills as they performed classic songs such as “Be Our Guest,” “Gaston” and “Beauty and the Beast,” to the delight of audience members.   

Shaw Avenue Second Graders Celebrate Dr. Seuss

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Second-graders in Mrs. Lichter’s class at Shaw Avenue School recently celebrated Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Day. The students worked in groups and rotated stations where they read a Dr. Seuss book. This included One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, The Lorax, Green Eggs and Ham, and If I Ran the Zoo.

After reading each story, the students worked together to complete a fun activity. They experimented with oobleck and learned about solids and liquids, planted truffula seeds, graphed colorful fish, matched rhyming words, coins and the values, and used their inferencing skills to solve animal riddles. 

The students learned that, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!” – Dr. Seuss