Students Put Their Best Masks Forward
Instead of dressing in costumes this year, students throughout Valley Stream District 30 got into the Halloween spirit by designing their own custom masks. The district held its first “Put Your Best Mask Forward” competition and encouraged all students, both remote and hybrid, from Clear Stream Avenue, Forest Road and Shaw Avenue schools to participate and express their creativity.
Each student received a plain white mask as a template and one winner from each grade level was selected by district level departments. Hybrid students wore their creations proudly on Oct. 29 or Oct. 30, depending on their school schedule, while remote students wore their masks on Oct. 30. The district congratulates the following students on their winning mask designs:
• Mia Revelo, kindergarten, Shaw Avenue School
• Ryan Lee, first grade, Clear Stream Avenue School
• Mia Pierre-Louis, second grade, Shaw Avenue School
• Jowell Melgar, third grade, Shaw Avenue School
• Annabelle Mota, fourth grade, Shaw Avenue School
• Bharrat Singh, fifth grade, Forest Road School
• Kayla Babb, sixth grade, Shaw Avenue School
An Evening of Appreciation
The Valley Stream District 30 Board of Education gathered virtually for its regular meeting on Oct. 19. In honor of School Board Recognition Week, Forest Road Elementary School held a special presentation for the members of the Board of Education. Forest Road Principal Erin Malone, Assistant Principal Michael DeBlasio, music teacher Sarah Fernandez and teacher Christopher Onorato kicked off the presentation by thanking the Board for their hard work and commitment to the children of Valley Stream District 30.
“All of our successes can be traced back to a Board of Education that works with us, that puts their trust in us and allows us the flexibility necessary to let us do our jobs well in even the most challenging of circumstances,” said Principal Malone. “Please know that your support and perspective are well appreciated by our students, faculty, staff and families. When we picture excellence, we picture you.”
Following her remarks, Mrs. Fernandez presented a video that she created along with Mr. Onorato to show the district’s appreciation for each of the board members. Fitting the district’s 2020-21 theme, “Picture This!,” footage and photos from Clear Stream Avenue, Forest Road and Shaw Avenue elementary school were featured along with the beautiful voices of Forest Road chorus members. The students creatively transformed the Sesame Street theme song, “Sunny Days” to fit Valley Stream District 30. The board members were touched by the thank you video.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling also praised the Board of Education and presented a slideshow which featured each board member. This gave the community the opportunity to get to know each member better. Dr. Stirling expressed how grateful he was to have worked with the Board of Education for the past nine years.
“I look forward to more years together and I thank each one of you for your time, commitment and your foresight in the things we do in Valley Stream 30,” he said.
The meeting continued with several more recognitions from Dr. Stirling. He commended each school principal – John Singleton at Clear Stream Avenue School, Erin Malone at Forest Road School and Christopher Colarossi at Shaw Avenue School, for their leadership and hard work, while noting that October is National Principals Month. Dr. Stirling also recognized the district’s custodial workers and technology staff for their service, especially during this unprecedented time. Without the dedication and professionalism of these important individuals, the district would not be where it is today.
Clear Stream Students Celebrate an Evening of Spanish Culture
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Clear Stream Avenue students, staff and families from Valley Stream District 30 held their annual Hispanic Heritage Night on Oct. 29. This was the first year that the celebration was held virtually on the video conferencing platform, Zoom. Clear Stream Avenue Principal John Singleton hosted the event and presented a video featuring student work inspired by Hispanic culture and Hispanic Heritage Month.
Following District 30’s 2020-2021 theme of the year, “Picture This!,” students submitted artwork showcasing Spanish countries, flags and culture. Others submitted presentation slides with information about historic Hispanic figures, and a handful of students shared videos of them dancing to Spanish music, wearing traditional clothing or speaking about their own Hispanic heritages.
The special event was made possible through the support of the Clear Stream Avenue PTA, Assistant Principal Yannie Chon, teachers and the stars of the show – the students. Mr. Singleton was proud that the presentations were well-rounded, not only highlighting music, dance and art, but also culture, science and engineering.
“In a school that celebrates and honors diversity, it was very important for us to have a Hispanic Heritage Night that included both our hybrid students and our remote students,” said Mr. Singleton. “Our PTA, under the direction of Celenia Reynoso, has developed a board that mirrors the diversity of the school. As such we were dedicated to showcasing student work that embodied the theme ‘Picture This!’ We also wanted to honor the language that our students speak at home. It was important to introduce the evening in both English and Spanish so that our students could understand that we respect them and their culture.”
District 30 Brings Hispanic Heritage Month to Life
As part of Valley Stream District 30’s diverse curriculum, students from Clear Stream Avenue, Forest Road and Shaw Avenue schools recently participated in lessons, activities and projects in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Throughout the month, students learned about Hispanic culture and influential historical figures through books and interactive lessons. They also celebrated through art and music. Kristen Princiotta’s class at Shaw Avenue School created Guatemalan Worry Dolls. According to legend, Guatemalan children tell their worries to the Worry Dolls, placing them under a pillow when they go to bed at night. By morning the dolls gift them with the wisdom and knowledge to eliminate their worries. Some students in the district also created Mexican sun designs in art class and learned more about Hispanic artists. Music teachers incorporated Hispanic culture and traditions into their lessons as well. This included having students create recycled maracas using cardboard tubes filled with rice, singing various Hispanic songs and learning different dances such as the salsa, the Mexican rondo dance, “La Raspa” and three-part folk dance, “Los Machetes.”
To conclude Hispanic Heritage Month, Clear Stream Avenue School hosted its annual Hispanic Heritage Night event to celebrate Hispanic culture, customs and traditions. The event was held virtually at the end of October and featured work from students throughout the school. Clear Stream Avenue students were encouraged to create an original piece of artwork that represents Latin culture or a Latin country, create a Google slide about a Latin country or famous Latin American person, or make a short video showcasing a talent or interviewing a person of Latin descent.