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Theme of the Year - 2018-2019 You and Media

Showing Spooktacular Pride

Administrators, students and staff throughout the district got into the Halloween spirit as they dressed in their best costumes on Oct. 31. Clear Stream Avenue School, Forest Road School and Shaw Avenue School conducted their own costume parades and sing-alongs during the school day to celebrate the fun holiday.

Family members were invited to watch as central administrators, including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling, attended each school to cheer on the students and staff. Fully embracing the district’s 2018-19 theme, You and MEdia, Dr. Stirling dressed as Media Man, complete with CD-ROM’s and a keyboard as an accessory. Building administrators and staff also joined the media bandwagon as many dressed as social media platforms, media trends and “social” butterflies.

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Catching the Beat at Shaw Avenue School

Students throughout Shaw Avenue Elementary School learned more about how music and technology go hand in hand during Arts Horizons’ engaging assembly, “Sonic Boom – The ReMix,” with professional musicians Yako Prodis and Sean Nowell. The interactive program connected to the district’s 2018-19 theme, “You and MEdia.”

With DJ equipment and instruments set on the auditorium stage, Prodis and Nowell taught the students how to beatbox, what a talk box is used for and a bit of music history. Student volunteers had the opportunity to join the musicians on stage to create their own beats. They learned the role of a music producer and beat maker and tried out a turntable. As the music took form, classes in the audience clapped and danced along. To close out the show, Prodis walked around the auditorium and had students make a sound which he then looped together to showcase the power of music and technology.

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Officers Inspire Students to Be Responsible Digital Citizens

Students and staff at Shaw Avenue School kicked off Digital Citizenship Week with a visit from the Nassau County 5th Precinct’s Problem Orientated Policing Unit on Oct. 15. Police officers Rita Bopp-Carroll, Jorge Diaz, Ed Eilenberger and Victoria Ojeda spoke to students in grades 4-6 about being responsible on the Internet, signs of cyberbullying and proper social media use.

With technology more intertwined in our daily lives today than ever before, keeping students aware of the dangers of technology is important. Principal Alejandro Rivera introduced the officers and explained to students why they should pay close attention to the officer’s presentation titled, “Social Media, Responsibility & You.”

“Each of you has the power and ability to do amazing things using the Internet and technology,” he said. “But you also have the ability to do some serious harm and what we are going to talk about today are the positives and also the potential consequences of making wrong choices while using the Internet and social media tools.”

During the presentations, the officers highlighted the various popular social media apps, defined what a digital footprint is and stressed the importance of not talking to strangers online, including while playing video games, and giving out personal information. Students were engaged in the presentations as they shared their own experiences and asked the officers questions. The officers also reiterated to the student that what gets posted on the Internet stays there forever and shared with the students what to do if you are being cyberbullied.

The special visit from the POP unit correlated with the district’s theme of the year, “You and MEdia,” and the district’s strategic plan to “enhance the core curriculum, enabling Valley Stream 30 students to develop 21st-century learning skills that promote life-long learning.” The POP unit will be visiting Forest Road School at a later date to relay these important messages to more students.

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Students Explore During Annual Lights On for Education Event

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.”

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Administrators and Faculty Prepare for New School Year

Excitement filled Shaw Avenue Elementary School as faculty members throughout the district reunited for the start of the 2018-2019 school year during Superintendent’s Conference Day on Sept. 4. Faculty members were welcomed back with breakfast and refreshments before heading into the auditorium to hear from Board Vice President Ingrid Wyllie-Dacon, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling and building principals.

The auditorium was fit for the district’s new theme of the year, “You and MEdia” with colored lights filling the room. Dr. Roxanne Garcia France, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, helped kick off the morning with a fun video featuring building principals, assistant principals and central administrators, spotlighting the new year. Wyllie-Dacon warmly welcomed back the staff and provided a source of encouragement.

“Just as you did an excellent job ‘showing your character’ last year, I am confident that your commitment to better each student and help them reach their utmost potential will shine brightly this year,” she said.

In fitting with the new theme and its tie to technology, Dr. Stirling provided his welcome back address through video which highlighted the district’s points of pride, strategic plan and hopes for the future. He then took to the podium to thank the custodial staff for their hard work over the summer months and introduced the new members of central administration.

Clear Stream Avenue Principal John Singleton, Forest Road School Principal Erin Malone and Shaw Avenue Principal Alejandro Rivera also proudly announced their new staff members before moving onto the agenda for the day. Faculty members participated in professional development sessions throughout the morning which focused on You and MEdia, 21st century innovation stations, virtual reality learning with Google Expeditions, video discussion platforms and STEAM challenges. To make the day even more engaging, faculty members were encouraged to find one of the “You and MEdia Digital Footprints” around the building. Those that found it, were awarded with an instructional resource for their classroom.

During the afternoon, faculty members reported to their respective school buildings to begin planning and preparing their classrooms for the first day of school.

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Students Transform into Animal Experts with Google Expeditions

Embracing Valley Stream District 30’s new theme “You and MEdia,” first-graders in Christopher Nazario’s class at Forest Road School participated in a lesson with Google Expeditions on Sept. 27. To give proper attention to each student and the new technology, library media specialist On Kyung Joo worked with a group of four students to explore the San Diego Zoo Safari Park through their iPad and the Google Expeditions program.

Google Expeditions allows teachers to take their students on virtual field trips or explorations with augmented reality or virtual reality. The district is embracing this new tool to give students a better understanding of the world around them and to create a bigger impact on specific lessons. Joo plans to gradually introduce Google Expeditions to classes as a push-in program.

With iPads in hand, the first-graders journeyed to the zoo where they were able to move their device to see the different areas and animals. Joo guided the students as they looked at giraffes, rhinos and elephants. They spoke about what each animal eats and then completed a worksheet about what they learned on their virtual journey. Students wrote down each animal’s diet and the amount of food that they consume. This allowed them to not only practice their 21st century learning skills but also their writing and number skills.

Joo reviewed the animals with the students again and asked them questions as if they were junior zookeepers.

“It was great,” said first-grader Amber Booker. “I saw elephants and I liked seeing the tall giraffes.”

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Singing Praises for the Board of Education

Members of Valley Stream District 30’s Board of Education were commended during the district’s annual Board Appreciation Night on Oct. 29. Hosted by Clear Stream Avenue School, the school’s building administration, students, staff and PTA shared a tribute to Digital Citizenship as part of their board appreciation presentation. The evening coincided with District 30’s theme of the year, You and MEdia.

Clear Stream Avenue Assistant Principal Yannie Chon welcomed the board, central administration, families and community members to the special event which followed with a TFS (The Friendly Schools) Talk, inspired by TED Talks. Fifth-graders Christopher Brockington, Alanna Bolden, Lillian Petrone and Dylan Robinson showcased their impressive public speaking skills as they shared their school experiences, the important concepts they have learned and thanked the board of education for their support. Principal John Singleton also thanked the board of education while asking audience members to reflect on what Valley Stream District 30 means to them. Using the digital program Poll Everywhere, audience members texted one word that they believed described the district. Words such as caring, encouraging, great, innovative, progressive and wonderful popped up on the projection screen in the front of the room.

“These words describe our staff members, our custodians, our secretaries, our teacher assistants, our administrators and most of all, they describe our board of education,” said Singleton.

Students throughout the district participated in a similar activity which was filmed into a video for the board describing what “The Friendly Schools” means to them. Clear Stream Avenue School also created a video which featured interviews with students talking about the board of education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling’s role in the district. They concluded the video with classes thanking the board for the educational resources used every day for learning.

Led by music teacher Stephanie Cooke, Clear Stream’s third-grade chorus showed their gratitude towards the board by performing, “Thank You,” while holding digital/social media icons. Singleton, Chon and PTA president Erica Petrone presented gifts to each board member before Dr. Stirling expressed his own appreciation for the exceptional work that the board does on a daily basis.

“We are the Friendly Schools because our board cares,” said Dr. Stirling.

Following the presentation, the board and community enjoyed a reception with refreshments and cake provided by the Clear Stream Avenue PTA.

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Talking Tech in Physical Education Class

Physical education teachers Kerry Brady and Peter Hansen at Forest Road School are embracing the district’s 2018-2019 theme of the year “You and MEdia” by incorporating technology into their lessons. This includes integrating fitness videos, apps and more into their lessons for students in grades K-6 to learn from and follow along with.

As a warm up, classes learn yoga forms through the YouTube channel Cosmic Kids Yoga. They also utilize iPads in the gymnasium and in small groups, exercise along with the app Sworkit Kids. The students copy the demonstrations on the app which tackle strength, agility and flexibility in a fun way. In the older grade levels, classes sometimes watch videos before starting a new unit to give them a better understanding of the sport or activity that they are about to learn. For example, older students watched a video about the Olympics before beginning their volleyball unit, allowing students to get a better idea of the sport before diving into the basics.

Like many classes in the district, the physical education teachers are also getting involved with FlipGrid. The video discussion platform allows the teachers to create and post videos of their classes doing different lessons and games. These short videos get uploaded to a private FlipGrid account for the students to access at home or anywhere they would like. Brady and Hansen are looking to expand on video and get the students more involved this year. They are hoping to have older students film their own videos and transform them into games for younger peers to follow. This year, Forest Road School will also host its annual student vs. teacher basketball game which Brady and Hansen said they plan to once again stream live for all the students in the building to enjoy from the comfort of their own classrooms.

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Forest Road Filmmakers Put Creativity on Display

Sixth-graders are turning into filmmakers at Forest Road Elementary School in preparation for the school’s first film festival this May. Students began working on their film projects in mid-January and are continuing to brainstorm, formulate a script, storyboard, film and edit their creations during the next few months in class.

The students had the option to pick a topic of interest for their film, with teacher approval. Using iPads, the sixth-graders are in the beginning stages of filming, acting and editing their projects using the program, iMovie.

“I like the freedom that this project gives us,” said sixth-grader Sanai Roberts. “You get to pick what you want to focus on.”

Groups produced films on a variety of different topics, from a social studies lesson, to the school’s social-emotional learning theme of the month. Some of the students expressed how they enjoyed working on their own films and hoped that their peers will be inspired by what they create.

“We hope that they learn something,” said sixth-grader Daniel Laurent. “And get a lot of laughs out of it,” added one of his film partners, Jovarly Rosemond.

Daniel and Jovarly are working with their classmate, Bryce Douglas, on a film inspired by Robby Novak, also known as Kid President on YouTube. Their video titled, “Top 10 Things We Should Say More Often,” focuses on daily acts of kindness. The idea was sparked due to Jovarly resembling the popular YouTube star.

The film project correlates with Valley Stream District 30’s theme of the year, You and MEdia, as students are strengthening their writing and organization skills while embracing the technical and creative aspects of filmmaking. Once the films are completed in May, the sixth grade teachers are planning on hosting the film festival for students, administrators, staff and loved ones to view the students’ hard work.

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