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Shaw Avenue School 

99 Shaw Avenue., Valley Stream, NY 11580

(516) 434-3700

Alejandro Rivera, Principal 

Christopher Colarossi, Assistant Principal


New York State Testing Program Parent Guide

Common Core Assessment Video Series: What Should Parents Know About the New Common Core Assessments?

Shaw Avenue Elementary School was opened in 1950 as the second school of Valley Stream School District 30.  The school replaced the Rottkamp Potato Farm owned by the Rottkamp family.  For the celebration of Shaw Avenue School’s 50th anniversary in the year 2000, students, staff, parents and community members placed two time capsules in the Library Media Center.  These time capsules will be unveiled during Shaw Avenue’s 100th anniversary in the year 2050.   Shaw Avenue School now serves the northern part of this region and houses a culturally diverse student body from kindergarten to grade six.

At Shaw Avenue students receive a good educational foundation that propels them to excel academically, socially, and emotionally.  We honor our students’ learning styles by differentiating our instruction using different pedagogical strategies and modalities.

Overview of Core Instructional Program

We develop literate independent readers who are able to identify their literary genres of choice and understand that good readers read for different purposes including pleasure. To build a stronger foundation for our literacy instruction we use the Common Core Standards and the five components of a scientifically-based reading instruction in the early grades: phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. As students advance through the grades we expect them to engage with literary and informational texts on a deeper level by analyzing, explaining, comparing and contrasting, integrating, evaluating, and citing supportive evidence for their arguments.  

Our students consider themselves mathematicians who can relate theoretical concepts to the real world.  We implement the Common Core Standards by asking students to engage in a variety of activities, such as:
1.    Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
2.    Reason abstractly and quantitatively
3.    Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
4.    Apply mathematics to solve everyday problems
5.    Use appropriate tools strategically

Our students are social scientists who begin to apply the scientific method in the early grades while creating their hypotheses while proving and disproving them as they progress through the years.  They learn to analyze and question peoples of the world, cultures, and institutions that surround them.  We integrate literacy skills in our curriculum and encourage students to read and write a variety of informational and non-fiction texts

Shaw Avenue School also provides all students with a richly rewarding educational experience in the areas of art, music, and computer technology. Academic excellence is expected of all students as they forge ahead in their academic pursuits

In addition to our instructional core, we offer a variety of programs at Shaw Avenue School including:
•    Two fully equipped technology labs
•    Full Day Kindergarten Center
•    Implementation of Common Core Standards Across Grade Levels
•    Social and Emotional Learning through Responsive Classroom and PBIS
•    Quest for high achieving students
•    Afterschool Academic Intervention Services
•    Co-teaching classrooms
•    Innovative Literacy Pilots


Shaw Avenue News

Rewarded for Reading

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Students throughout Shaw Avenue Elementary School were challenged back in February during their Parents As Reading Partners program to collectively read more than 50,000 minutes over the course of the week. Surpassing this goal, the students had the opportunity to dunk building administrators including Principal Alejandro Rivera and Assistant Principal Christopher Colarossi along with faculty members on June 8. 

One by one students approached the dunk tank with their class and had three chances to hit the target. They cheered on their peers as the administrators and faculty members hit the water. 

Shaw Avenue Earns Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant

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Shaw Avenue Elementary School in Valley Stream District 30 recently received a spring 2018 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant in the amount of $2,500 to design a 21st century MakerSpace at the school. Library Media Specialist On Kyung Joo applied for the grant, which was also awarded to Forest Road School last year. 

The school received an award letter and grant check which according to Principal Alejandro Rivera, will help fund the school’s MakerSpace and provide students with additional hands-on experiences.
“Our students will continue to explore, collaborate and simply make something out of nothing while engaged in our MakerSpace work stations,” said Assistant Principal Christopher Colarossi. “Some of the skills that are learned in a MakerSpace pertain to electronics, 3D printing, 3D modeling, coding, robotics and even woodworking. With this in mind, a portion of the grant’s funds will be allocated towards consumable resources such as blocks, wires, switchboards, glue, and clay. A big thank you goes to Ms. Joo.” 

Rivera, Colarossi and Joo are excited about this new venture as Joo explained that the grant will allow students to now have high tech and low tech resources for 3D printing, robotics, game building, engineering, circuits, button making and more. 

Super Students Showcase Their Inner Hero

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Dressed in superhero masks, capes and costumes, second grade students at Shaw Avenue School presented their show "The Extraordinary League of the Super Value Friends” on May 23. Two performances took place in the school’s auditorium for family members, staff and students to enjoy. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. RG France were also in attendance to see the students shine. 

Assistant Principal Christopher Colarossi kicked off the event by welcoming the audience and highlighting how the production supports Valley Stream District 30’s theme, “Show Your Character,” along with social emotional learning initiatives. 

“This production celebrates some messages that we have been communicating all year long and that’s building character here at Shaw Avenue,” said Colarossi. “That means building kindness, respect, care and motivation. These are words that we have been living by throughout the whole year as we have developed our superhero.” 

With the help of second grade teachers Amanda Critelli, Jeanine Lichter, Susan Lipski and Victoria Umpornpun, along with music teachers Stephanie Cooke, Stephanie Fischer and Sarah Quiroz, the students showcased their acting and singing abilities with a superhero storyline about respecting oneself and finding your own character. Art teacher Paul Farinacci and parents support with set design and costumes also helped bring the production to life. 

The students played characters such as Captain Acceptance, The Caring Sisters, Kindness Kid, Respecto Man, Incredible Peace, Dr. Responsibility and main character Super Friend, who gets involved with the wrong crowd. Bullies included characters such as Rude Gal, Toxic Bully, The Dictator and Diversity Diva. Second-graders portrayed their positive messages through their acting skills, two creative videos and songs about responsibility, peace, respect and character and received a round of applause with their final bow.

Student Writers Honored for Noteworthy Narratives

Student Writers Honored for Noteworthy Narratives
Two students from Shaw Avenue School were recently selected as winners in the Nassau Reading Council Young Author’s Writing Contest. Second-grader Alexander Mazalkov from Victoria Umpornpun’s class and sixth-grader Hannah Mejia from Steven Navarra’s class were chosen based on their excellent personal narrative submissions and will be honored among approximately 40 winners at an awards ceremony on June 4 in the theatre at the Wilbur Arts Center at Molloy College. 

Approximately 90 schools from throughout Nassau County participated in the writing contest with almost 600 students from grades K-12. Mazalkov is one of only three winners at the second-grade level who was recognized for his narrative, “My Last Day on the Happy Island.” In his piece, Mazalkov wrote about a water motorcycle ride with his father during a trip to Aruba. Mejia was recognized as one of four winners at the sixth-grade level for her narrative, “Perspective.” In her writing, Mejia reflected on her trip to Honduras that her mother sent her on one summer after she was not behaving in the best way possible. Being in Honduras and seeing how people lived there, specifically how children her age lived, changed how she viewed her own life.

During the award ceremony, each winner will have the opportunity to read their personal narrative and receive an anthology which will include all of the winning entries.  

“I was very proud of the students who won,” said Navarra, a member of the Nassau Reading Council who introduced the contest to the school. “This was the first year that Shaw Avenue participated in the contest and I was excited to bring something I enjoy to the district and school. We had eight sixth-graders participate from my class and one second-grader that participated from Ms. Umpornpun’s class, so it was especially nice to see that some students not only participated, but also got recognized as winners!”

Students and Staff Commended for High Achievements

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Members of Valley Stream District 30’s Board of Education honored outstanding students and staff during the district’s regular meeting on May 14. The board granted tenure to Shaw Avenue School first-grade teacher Jeanee Gonzalez and honored Forest Road teacher Nancy Blankshine for her passage through Gate.

Gate is a unique district-wide process which examines a teacher as they move through their years in the district. It allows the administrators to take a closer look as to what is happening inside the classroom and reward those teachers with excellent progress the opportunity to move to the next salary range. Both teachers were praised by their respective building principals for their dedication to their students.

Band students from Shaw Avenue School also honored the teachers by performing the songs, “Take On Me” and “I’ll Be There.” Guided by music teacher Brian Kalinowski, the students played for a full house of board members, administrators, students, staff, families and community members.

Several students from Shaw Avenue School were recognized by the board for their recent achievements in the areas of reading, writing and the arts. Twelve fifth-graders, along with teachers Karin Savino and Lauren Rosenthal, were commended for their first place win in the Dancing Classrooms of Long Island “Spring Colors of the Rainbow Team Match and Festival.” A short clip of the students from the ballroom dance competition was shared for the community to enjoy. 

Fifth-graders Nirmal Butt, Salva Dad and Muhammad Sufyan in Karin Savino and Maria Neckonoff’s class were also honored for their outstanding writing submissions in the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest, sponsored by Scholastic and Major League Baseball. Additionally, second-grader Alexander Mazalkov in Victoria Umpornpun’s class and sixth-grader Hannah Mejia in Steven Navarra’s class were praised for their award winning personal narratives in the Nassau Reading Council’s Young Author’s Writing Contest. 

Dancing Into First Place

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Twelve fifth-graders from Shaw Avenue Elementary School proudly represented their school and Valley Stream District 30 by earning first place in the Dancing Classrooms of Long Island “Spring Colors of the Rainbow Team Match and Festival.” Shaw Avenue was among seven Nassau and Suffolk elementary schools and 84 fourth- and fifth-grade students who participated in the competition on May 1 at George W. Hewlett High School. The students received a large gold trophy and individual medallions for their achievement. 

Students who took part in the ten-week, 20 lesson residency program, “Dancing Classrooms: Creating Connections. Inspiring Confidence,” during the winter of the 2017-18 school year, were invited to put their dancing skills to test during the event which was a community celebration of the students’ accomplishments. Each school was represented with a color as students danced with partners and were judged on dances such as the Merengue, Tango, Foxtrot, Rumba and more. Shaw Avenue teachers Karin Savino and Lauren Rosenthal helped the students prepare for the event. 

“It is an amazing feeling as students worked so hard over these past four months to perfect each dance,” said Principal Alejandro Rivera. “Their excitement and dedication to becoming the best dancers they could be helped them as they competed against students from other schools. This is a well-deserved honor. A big thank you goes to the fifth-grade teachers, the families of each student, and obviously the students themselves! We are ready to put on our dancing shoes again next year!” 

Putting Pals

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During the course of two weeks, kindergarten and sixth-grade students at Shaw Avenue Elementary School gathered together during physical education class to learn the fundamentals of mini-golf while the older students mentored their younger peers. Facilitated by physical education teachers Nicholas Clark and Eric Van Keuren, at least two to three kindergarten students were paired with two sixth-graders who guided them in the game. 

The school gymnasium was transformed into a mini-golf course as students learned mini-golf terminology, how to hit the ball, the purpose of the game and how to keep score. Sixth-graders helped the younger students with their form and cheered them on as they tried to score a hole-in-one. This was the third physical education unit that combined mentoring with play. The students previously collaborated in capture the flag games and a gymnastics unit. 

“The peer mentoring that we do, especially in the mini-golf unit, builds such a good relationship between the older students and younger students,” said Clark. “The older students do a great job and the younger students really look forward to it, especially as they grow throughout their years at Shaw Avenue School because then they become the older students who become the teachers.” 

Peer mentoring encourages cooperation, teamwork and patience, all the traits that help build students’ character, which corresponds with Valley Stream District 30’s “Show Your Character” theme for the 2017-18 school year. The unit also helps students develop their math skills as they work together to tally up their scores. The teachers look forward to continuing the physical education peer mentoring experience for years to come.

District Honors Math Champs; Provides Enrichment Update

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The Shaw Avenue School library was packed with administrators, faculty, students and families during Valley Stream District 30’s regular Board of Education meeting on April 23. In an effort to continually update the community on the progress of the district’s strategic plan, an enrichment update was provided, while two Shaw Avenue students were honored and a beloved typist clerk from Clear Stream Avenue was recognized for her upcoming retirement. 

Clear Stream Avenue Principal John Singleton presented on the district’s enrichment goals which consisted of enhancing the core curriculum to help students develop 21st century skills to promote life-long learning. Through further detail, Singleton shared what the three elementary schools are doing to make the district’s goal a reality. This included implementing and expanding enrichment opportunities for all students through Makerspace challenges, world language exploration and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics Challenge Wednesdays. He also discussed the 21st century diploma, various after-school enrichment opportunities and the district’s Quest Program, which challenges third- through sixth-grade learners with a broad range of advanced-level enrichment experiences. 

Shaw Avenue School Principal Alejandro Rivera, along with math teacher Andrew Canle, shared two Math Hoops posters with the board to commemorate the school’s second consecutive first-place win in the New York City NBA Math Hoops Tournament. Sixth-graders Anjali Edmonds and Karina Ramnauth, the 2018 Math Hoops Champions, were present with their families during the meeting and were commended for their hard work. 

“They did a phenomenal job filling pretty big shoes from last year,” said Canle. “It was a great experience for them.” 

In addition, Clear Stream Avenue typist clerk Patricia Catalfomo’s upcoming retirement was approved by the board and she was thanked for her service. Singleton gifted her with flowers, reflecting on his years working with Catalfomo and her dedication to the children. 

“I could never repay you for all of the times that I needed you and relied on you,” he said. “We will miss you.”