AP Students Visit SUNY Stony Brook
High school students in Greg Gorniok’s AP Biology class recently traveled to the Biotechnology Teaching Center at SUNY Stony Brook’s Center for Science and Math Education to conduct a hands-on learning experience in biotechnology.
“Students genetically engineered bacteria through transformation with plasmid DNA,” said Gorniok. “They learned techniques used to insert genes from jellyfish and sea anemones into bacteria. The transformed bacteria were then able to produce proteins, which made them glow.”
The lab activity emphasized experimental design and applications of biotechnology in various industries, such as medicine, agriculture and environmental cleanup. Recent scientific breakthroughs in molecular biology research and their social implications were also discussed.
Winter Athletics Update
The district would like to congratulate the following Port Jefferson student-athletes on their recent accomplishments:
James Burke – Silver Medalist in New York State for the 1600 meter
Matteo DeVincenzo – (106 pounds) NYSPHSAA State Champion
Tristin DeVincenzo – (126 pounds) NYSPHSAA 5th in the State
Kyle Fiske – (285 pounds) NYSPHSAA 4th in the State
Music Students Selected for SCMEA All-County Festival
Thirty district music students in grades five through 10 were selected to participate in the Suffolk County Music Educator’s Association All-County Festival. They include:
Division 1 (Grades 5/6)
Andrew Abbonizio, Kate Alter, Gani Ates, Sinan Ates, Elizabeth Chun, Saoirse Cohen, Samuel Florio, Erica Graci, Ella Parker, Jack Reilly, Nicole Schully, Hannah Skula, Lucas Welinder and Jack Worrell.
Division 2 (Grades 7/8)
Allison Abbonizio, Grace Crugnale, Hyun jin Lee, Cezanne Lojeski, Matt Luca, Trey Pisano, Brianna Scarda, Ava Schully, Phalina Sciara, Michael Smith, Mayu Takeuchi, Ryan Worrell and Zoe Zeniou.
Division 3 (Grades 9/10)
Parris Garant, Danielle Goldstein and Anita Rescia.
All three divisions will perform on March 8 and 9 at Southampton High School. Additionally, music teachers Christine Creighton and Christian Neubert served as chairpersons for the SCMEA Division 2 East Orchestra and SCMEA Division 3 West Band.
Student Stars Shine at Talent Show
On Feb. 28, 13 of the middle school’s shining stars performed at the annual talent show to benefit local organizations. Coordinated by teacher Allison Giannusa, the show’s 14 acts wowed attendees with incredible displays of singing, dancing and instrument playing.
"I am so proud of all the hard work that the performers and stage crew put into making this a successful show,” said Giannusa. “Not only was it a terrific show, but it was great to be able to help out local charities.”
The event raised $900 for Friends of Karen, a nonprofit organization that works to provide emotional, financial and advocacy support for children with a life-threatening illness and their families. Additionally, boxes of collected canned goods will be donated to a local food pantry.
“When I began organizing the talent show nine years ago, I never could have imagined that it would be what it is today,” said Giannusa. “I am excited to see what next year’s show will bring.”
On March 3, elementary school students in kindergarten through fifth grade joined with millions of their peers across the country to celebrate the 16th annual National Education Association’s Read Across America Day, which celebrates Dr. Seuss' birthday and the joys of reading.
The event, coordinated by elementary school librarian Selinda Moore, welcomed Port Jefferson Village Mayor Margot Garant, who read to students her favorite Dr. Seuss book, “Green Eggs and Ham.” In honor of Seuss, students sang “Happy Birthday,” dressed in stripes to represent the Cat in the Hat’s stovepipe hat, and were even treated to a special guest visit by the cat. Also in attendance was Joann Muscardin, head of children’s services at the Port Jefferson Free Library, who gave attendees themed bookmarks.
To see Newsday’s video coverage of the event, click here
A Visit to Paris
On Feb. 14, students in Heather Marshak's Introduction to French class at the middle school created a Parisian shopping center, including specialty shops typically found in France. Students first went to “la banque” where they traded American currency for euros, using current conversion rates. They then began shopping at a variety of shops including a boulangerie, chocolatier and even a creperie.
“All of the shops were run by students who, with the help of their parents, created the menu items,” said Marshak. “Using vocabulary learned on numbers and shopping, students engaged in sale-related conversations entirely in French.”
Eleventh-Grader Ranks High on AMC 12
The Mathematical Association of America has recognized junior and mathletes team captain Ryan Burke for his achievement in the American Math Competition 12. The exam, which was given to students nationwide in grades 11 and 12 on Feb. 4, consisted of 25 multiple-choice pre-calculus questions to be answered in 75 minutes. The main purpose of the AMC 12 is to spur interest in mathematics and develop talent through the excitement of solving challenging problems.
Ryan’s high score on the exam was in the top 5 percent of AMC 12 participants nationwide. It also qualifies him to take the American Invitational Mathematics Exam in March. The three-hour exam consists of 15 questions and is intended to provide further challenge and recognition to the highest performing mathematics students in North America.
Student-Athlete Highlighted in Interview
Earl L. Vandermeulen High School student-athlete James Burke, who participated in the 107th NYRR Millrose Games on Feb. 15, was recently highlighted on the New York Road Runner’s website. The 11th-grader placed fifth in the race with a time of 4:13.86 for the mile, setting a new school record. This time also ranks him ninth in the U.S.
To read more about James and his track career, click here
Athletes Advance to State Tournaments
Congratulations to the following student-athletes on qualifying for the state tournament in their respective sports:
Justin Bove – 55 meter dash
James Burke – 1600 meter
James and Justin will be competing in the NYSPHSAA tournament on March 1 at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
Paul Cavanaugh – 152 pounds
Matteo DeVincenzo – 106 pounds
Tristin DeVincenzo – 126 pounds
Kyle Fiske – 285 pounds
Ryan Woodward – 160 pounds
Kyle, Matteo, Paul, Ryan and Tristin will be competing on Feb. 28 and March 1 at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.
Recognizing Elementary Students for Advanced Achievements
The Port Jefferson Board of Education, along with Edna Louise Spear Elementary School Principal Thomas Meehan, recognized elementary students at the Feb. 11 community meeting for their outstanding achievements in geography, history and spelling.
Aaron Held, Andrew Patterson, Lucas Welinder and Peggy Yin received the highest scores in the intramural round of the National History Bee and advanced to the next level of competition, the online regional qualifying exam. This is the district’s second year participating in the academic competition, which tests knowledge in a wide range of historical topics
Studies Enriching Academic Learning students Hailey Hearney, Aaron Held, Jack Reiley, Lucas Welinder and Peggy Yin competed in the school’s preliminary round of the National Geographic Bee, which tested their knowledge in the areas of cultural, economic and physical geography, plants and animals, geographic comparisons and more. Lucas, who took third place in last year’s national championship, was named champion of the school-level competition.
Fifth-grader Peggy Yin, who won the annual schoolwide spelling bee, a part of the National Scripps Spelling Bee competition, represented the district at the local spelling bee at Hofstra University on Feb. 9. There, she contended against students islandwide and made it to the final rounds of competition.
Long Island String Festival
Port Jefferson string students Jack Reilly (grade five), Lily Tener (grade five), Kevin Tian (grade five), Lucas Welinder (grade five), Elizabeth Chun (grade six), Ju Eun Ha (grade seven), Hyun Jin Lee (grade seven), Mayu Takeuchi (grade seven), Annalisa Welinder (grade seven), Ibuki Iwasaki (grade eight), Trey Pisano (grade eight), Anita Rescia (grade nine), Dunia Karzai (grade 11) and Gabrielle Stark (grade 12) were selected to participate in the Long Island String Festival. The elementary/middle school festival performance was held on Jan. 19 and the junior/senior high school festival was held on Feb. 2. Students were selected with others from across Suffolk County on a competitive basis with NYSSMA scores as the main criteria along with teacher recommendations.
Mid-Island Band Festival Performance
On Feb. 2, high school band students Joseph Kaming-Thanassi, Calla Kelly-Renda, Troy Lov and David Moir, along with students from the Hauppauge, Miller Place, Patchogue-Medford, Sayville and West Islip school districts, participated in the 56th annual Mid-Island Band Festival. The event concluded with an evening performance conducted by David Soto at Hauppauge High School.
Seventh-Graders Ace AMC 8
Middle School seventh-grade students Mayu Takeuchi and Annalisa Welinder have scored in the top 5 percent on the Mathematical Association of America’s American Mathematics 8 Competition. The AMC 8, which is administered every November, is a 25-question, 40-minute multiple-choice examination in middle school mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem-solving skills. This year, 150,227 students from 2,422 schools nationwide participated in the competition.
Mayu and Annalisa, students in Matt Garofola’s Algebra I class, credit their success to their strong mathematics background and experiences with the school mathletes team.
Following the Digital Footprint
This February, seventh-graders at the middle school observed Digital Learning Day, a nationwide celebration of digital learning in the 21st century. Organized by teachers Monica Consalvo and Deirdre Filippi, Digital Learning Day aims to demonstrate how learning can be transformed when the Web and the effective use of technology are successfully incorporated into the classroom. This is the school’s third year participating.
“This year’s theme was ‘A Day in My Digital Life,’” said Consalvo. “Students took an online survey about how the digital world has impacted their lives. They also wrote reflections that discussed what technological tools they use most, how they have changed the way they study and complete homework and whether they feel those changes are positive or negative.”
The survey took a closer look at the most popular times of the day students access digital devices, academic integration with technology and more. Students also examined their digital footprints, studying their personal data trails created through the use of electronic devices.
“Technology helps me tremendously when I am doing research,” said one student. “I can find the information I need in a short period of time, easily make corrections to my writing with a word processor and my final documents are neat and easy to read.”
2013-14 Calendar Amendments
Adjusting to the Common Core
In December 2013, a work group of the Board of Regents P-12 Committee was charged with reviewing the feedback that the Board of Regents and New York State Education Department had received from various constituencies. They were asked to present additional ideas to the Board regarding the continued implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards at the state and district level for the Board’s consideration. Specifically, the work group was asked to review feedback received by the regents and the department during the first 3 1/2 years of the seven-year phase-in of the Common Core from educators, parents, community leaders and others.
At the Feb. 11 Port Jefferson Board of Education community meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert made a presentation summarizing the 19 identified adjustment options to the implementation of the Common Core Standards. To view the presentation as well as a copy of a letter sent by NYSED, click here.
Private School Transportation Requests
RESIDENT PUPILS OF THE PORT JEFFERSON UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT #6 SCHEDULED TO ATTEND OR CONTINUE TO ATTEND OR ANTICIPATE ATTENDING PRIVATE OR PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS ARE ENTITLED TO BUS TRANSPORTATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH DISTANCE LIMITATIONS PROVIDED FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS AND IF THE DISTANCE FROM THE HOME TO THE PRIVATE OR PAROCHIAL SCHOOL IS NOT GREATER THAN 15 MILES.
TO APPLY FOR TRANSPORTATION FOR THE 2014-2015 SCHOOL YEAR TO A PRIVATE OR PAROCHIAL SCHOOL A REQUEST FOR TRANSPORTATION FORM MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE DISTRICT’S TRANSPORTATION OFFICE NO LATER THAN APRIL 1, 2014. THIS TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FORM MUST, BY LAW, BE SUBMITTED EACH YEAR. A SEPARATE FORM MUST BE FILED FOR EACH CHILD. IF, AFTER APPLYING, YOU WISH TO CHANGE THE SCHOOL WHICH YOU HAD ORIGINALLY REQUESTED TRANSPORTATION YOU MUST CANCEL YOUR PREVIOUS REQUEST AND SUBMIT ANOTHER REQUEST FOR TRANSPORTATION BY THE APRIL 1 DEADLINE.
YOU MAY OBTAIN A COPY OF THE REQUEST FOR TRANSPORTATION FORM BY CALLING THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICE AT 791-4261 BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 7 A.M. AND 3 P.M.
Engineering the Collision Car - Watch the Video
On Jan. 28 and 29, fourth- and fifth-grade elementary school students welcomed All About Learning for an on-site field trip. During the 75-minute sessions, groups of student engineers used specialized LEGO kits to build various vehicles utilizing gears, wheels/axles and motors. The vehicles faced off in an arena-type battle, then students returned to discuss how opposing strategies affected the outcomes. They modified their vehicles based on these discussions for a second set of competitions. The skills and traits of the engineering profession were also discussed and incorporated.