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Shore Road Students Determine if Anna Anderson was Anastasia

Shore Road Students Determine if Anna Anderson was Anastasia photo
Shore Road sixth-graders joined thousands of former forensic scientists in their quest to determine whether Anna Anderson’s claim that she was Anastasia Romanov, the daughter of the last Russian Tsar, was valid. Through a workshop with Cold Spring Harbor DNA Learning Center, the students studied various physical and DNA analysis to determine the truth of her statement made in 1922.

Anna Anderson was best known as one of several imposters who said to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia and the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II. After the remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family were found, DNA analysis was used to determine whether she was the princess. A private investigation using physical and DNA analysis later determined that Anna Anderson was Franziska Schanzkowska, a Polish factory worker with mental illness. 
“The goal here today is to use DNA for analysis to understand how to identify an individual in any criminal or civil investigation,” explained Cold Spring Harbor DNA Learning Center teacher Pauline McGlone.  
The students utilized the process of DNA sequencing patterns, the family tree, and the study of mitochondrial DNA to determine the truth behind Anna Anderson’s claim. Using computer programming and the process of elimination, the students determined who was missing at the tsar’s burial ground through the study of key bone characteristics, including whether wisdom teeth were missing, if the rings on vertebrae were present and if the pelvis was that of a male or female.

Bellmore Named a Top Music Education Community

Bellmore Named a Top Music Education Community photo
The NAMM Foundation has designated the District one of the nation’s 2018 Best Communities for Music Education for its demonstration of exceptionally high commitment to music education and access to music instruction for all of the district’s students. 

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants to advance active participation in music. The district’s music program was analyzed for funding, staffing of qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction.

The District is extremely proud of its Bellmore Star Music Program, which offers instruction in string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments and provides opportunities for students to participate in band, orchestra and chorus. Unique and beneficial to the Bellmore Stars, every second-grade student receives instruction in violin. In addition, each class performs their new skills for their parents. Students in third grade are offered the opportunity to receive lessons in a string instrument and participate in orchestra. Beginning in fourth grade, students can participate in band and receive lessons in their chosen instrument. Students also perform in various school concerts, choral groups and musical theater productions.

Another unique opportunity for students is the Star Ukulele Program. Students at Winthrop Avenue are introduced to the ukulele and play songs during their general music classes. Students at both Winthrop Avenue and Shore Road schools can also join the Ukulele Club and play during recess.

This year, 16 Shore Road student-musicians were selected to participate in the Nassau Music Educators Association All-County Music Festival, and six student-musicians participated in the Long Island String Festival.

“Bellmore’s music offerings, as well as support from the Board of Education, administration, faculty and the community have helped the district to achieve the status as one of the nation’s premier education programs,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Famularo said. “Bellmore is a great community with outstanding schools.  We are proud to be nationally recognized as a Lighthouse District, a Common Sense School District and now designated as one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education.”  

Character on Stage

Character on Stage photo
Winthrop Avenue’s CharACTer Drama Club held two flawless performances of Andy Beck’s, Brian Fisher’s and Michael Souders’ “Character Street,” which sent the message about the importance of being a good person, making good choices, respecting others and acceptance. Adapted by choreographer Mallory Cogen, director Marjorie Falabella and musical director Maria Pisciotta, the students have been perfecting their roles and singing skills during recess time since October.

“These students should be complemented on their dedication and hard work and for showing our district’s leadership principles and core values,” Principal Sally Curto said. “You should take the important messages you hear on stage with you every day.” 

Kindergarten Students Celebrate Mom

Kindergarten Students Celebrate Mom photo

It was a festive afternoon as Reinhard kindergarten students in Christine Wuchte’s and Kerri Sanpietro’s classroom hosted an afternoon tea on May 11 in celebration of Mother’s Day.

In addition to dressing their best, the Bellmore kindergartners sang songs, recited lines from the poem “I love my mom” and presented their mothers with a hand-crafted pin to show their appreciation for her love and dedication. Even Ms. Wuchte’s and Ms. Sanpietro’s mothers, Maryanne Meyer and Rose Dowd, respectively attended the gathering, where guests received handmade cards and sweet treats to commemorate the special occasion. 

Bellmore’s Budget Passes!

vote passed image
Thank you to all residents who participated in the 2018-19 budget vote.

The budget passed 416(Yes) to 227 (No).

Proposition 2 (Establishment of new capital reserve fund) passed by a vote of
432 (Yes) to 200 (No).

Marion Blane received 407 votes, and Brian Desmond received 418 votes.

Immersed in Mexican Culture

Immersed in Mexican Culture photo

Reinhard students immersed themselves in Mexican culture during the festive holiday of Cinco de Mayo. Foreign language teacher Lisa Goldberg explained that this festive celebration was an opportune time for students to strengthen their knowledge of the Spanish language and culture.

During the festivities, the students painted and constructed serapes, a Latin American shawl, out of paper bags. Rotating through stations, the students sang Spanish songs, played Bingo in Spanish, created Mexican flags and read about a boy’s typical day in a Mexican school. The celebration commenced with a snack of chips and salsa.

Bellmore Schools a leader in digital citizenship

Bellmore Schools a leader in digital citizenship photo
The Bellmore School District, as well as all three of its individual schools, has been recognized as a Common Sense Certified School District for digital citizenship by Common Sense Education, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting schools and families to thrive in the world of digital media and technology. 

This recognition acknowledges the Bellmore School District’s commitment to preparing students at the Charles A. Reinhard Early Childhood Center, Winthrop Avenue School, and Shore Road School to utilize digital media to explore, create, connect and learn in a safe manner while preventing, loss of privacy and cyberbullying. 

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Joanne Dacek explained that Common Sense Education’s innovative and research-based digital citizenship resources and lessons have been aligned with the District’s teaching of leadership principles and core values. Dr. Dacek also noted that the schools’ librarians regularly teach safe and responsible online behavior. Throughout the school year, students also attend assemblies on cyberbullying and internet safety.    

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Famularo said, “All of our schools emphasize the importance of being good digital citizens while working online.  We are honored to be recognized as a Common Sense District. By preparing our students to use technology safely and responsibly, we are providing them with unlimited opportunities and tools to compete and succeed in school and in the 21st-century workplace.”

Everyone’s a Super Hero Leader

Everyone’s a Super Hero Leader photo

Reinhard students celebrated the District’s core values and leadership principles as they pertain to “leadership” during the school’s annual Super Hero Leader Day.

 Students and faculty dressed up as their favorite super heroes or wore a graphic hero t-shirt to commemorate the day. During classroom instruction, the students wrote about the super hero leaders at Reinhard, and pronouncements were read over the loud speaker and posted on the Super Hero Leader bulletin board outside of the main office for all to see.

Principal Patricia Castine explained that this fun-filled day exhibits how the students have learned to internalize the district’s core values and leadership principles. “The day is also a great opportunity for the students to recognize the leadership powers each one of them possess,” she said.

Once upon a time

Once Upon a Time photo
Once Upon a Time photo 2
Once Upon a Time photo 3
Reinhard second-graders dressed as fairy princesses, princes, farmers, kings and queens as they performed short plays based on the fairytales “The 12 Dancing Princesses,“ “Many Moons” and “One Gift Deserves Another” (“The Turnip”) for parents and peers. The plays were a culmination of workshops led by artist-in-residence Lorraine Zeller-Agostino. 

For the past several weeks, Ms. Zeller-Agostino worked with students on their nonverbal improvisational acting techniques through the study of fairytales. In addition to reading and studying fairytales, the students learned to depict expression, emotion and choral techniques. The goals of the program were to provide students with the opportunity to explore their creativity, learn cooperation skills, feel successful and explore the art of drama.  

Ms. Zeller-Agostino explained, “We are bringing these stories to life and have learned that there are many versions to a story by the way we transport ourselves into the characters.”

Recreating the ‘Three Little Pigs’

Recreating the ‘Three Little Pigs' photo
Recreating the ‘Three Little Pigs' photo 2
Recreating the ‘Three Little Pigs' photo 3
During a study of folktales and fairytales, third-grade students in Karen Reilly’s and Lauren Bianco’s class at Winthrop Avenue collaborated on scripts, which adapted the popular tale of the “Three Little Pigs” to incorporate leadership principles and core values. 

The students were split into small groups to write their own version of the tale and to create new characters, settings, tag lines, lessons learned and emphasis on a main core value or leadership principle. The students utilized their Chromebooks to write the scripts and memorized their lines over a two-month period. Technology teacher Lauren Pedone then recorded the students’ performances.

Bellmore Students are Environmental Leaders

Bellmore Students are Environmental Leaders photo

Nurturing the planet was a collective effort as Reinhard students and faculty participated in the annual Earth Day celebration on April 20. Throughout the day, the students were constantly reminded that they are stewards of the planet.

Kindergarten students kicked off the activities with a hat parade. They recited an Earth Day pledge during a gathering in the auditorium where they sang “This Land is Your Land,” “Sing a Song of Flowers,” and “We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands,” changing the words to reflect the importance of recycling.  

Principal Patricia Castine congratulated the students on being environmental leaders. To the parents, she said, “We feel like we are surrounded by budding flowers, which are your children.”

First- and second-grade students later collected in the auditorium to recite the Earth Day pledge and to sing the “Reinhard School Song,” “America the Beautiful,” “This Land is Your Land,” and a special performance of “I Am the Earth,” written in 2008 for the International Year of Planet Earth and imagining a dialogue between Earth and the world’s children. 

Students then assisted head custodian Robbie Lynch in planting a tree in the courtyard. Pre-K students planted flowers with Coordinator for Student Services Elise Cahill, went on a nature walk to look for signs of spring and made dirt cups using pudding, graham crackers, Oreos and gummy worms. As a special treat, the students received a gift of popsicles from Nassau County Legislator Steven Rhoads, who was on hand for the festivities.

Bellmore Star Arts Gallery Unveils Newest Artworks

Bellmore Star Arts Gallery Unveils Newest Artworks photo

The exemplary artwork of K-6 students was unveiled during the opening of the 2018 Bellmore Stars Art Gallery at the Winthrop Avenue administrative offices. On April 18, 40 pieces of artwork were exhibited in matching gold frames, donated by alumnus James Perna, and admired by faculty, families and peers. Under the guidance of teachers Michelle Block and Stephen Gorey, the students expressed themselves through the mediums of watercolor, marker, collage, tempera paint and more.

Mrs. Block said the purpose of the art show is “to infuse a love of the arts while showcasing students’ best works.” Exhibitors were selected based on effort, dedication and leadership in the arts.

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Joanne Dacek said the Bellmore Star Arts Gallery Exhibit is always an exciting event. “It is a celebration of leadership in the arts and the students’ hard work and artistic talents,” she said.

District Receives Prestigious Lighthouse Status

District Receives Prestigious Lighthouse Status photo
Bellmore Public Schools has been recognized as a Lighthouse School District by FranklinCovey’s Leader in Me – one of only two school districts nationwide to receive the distinction. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Famularo noted the prestigious recognition is a result of the District’s development, training and consistent practice of its leadership principles and core values, which are incorporated into its now nationally recognized Bellmore Stars Character Development Program. 

Bellmore is the first school district in Nassau County, on Long Island and in New York State to receive this districtwide honor. Globally, there are 360 individual Lighthouse schools (313 schools in the United States and 47 schools worldwide). However, only two districts have the distinction of having all of their schools achieve Lighthouse status, with the other located in California. 

“Our entire community of learners, which includes our Board of Education, administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students, are immersed in and have modeled the principles embedded in our Bellmore Stars leadership initiative with the goal that every student ‘Leads and Learns,’” Dr. Famularo said.
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Joanne Dacek noted the District believes that a truly comprehensive education involves character formation and the development of good citizenship, as well as academic learning. She further explained that the Bellmore Stars Character Development Program is centered on universal leadership principles and shared core values, which represent the ideal traits the district considers essential in developing knowledge and life skills for responsible behavior. They are integrated into every aspect of the school community and its culture. 

“By integrating leadership principles and language in our schools, we have built a collaborative culture which empowers students to take on meaningful leadership roles and responsibilities on a daily basis,” Dr. Dacek stated.  

“This is a great honor for the district and a wonderful recognition for the entire Bellmore community, especially our Bellmore Stars students,” Dr. Famularo added. “Thank you for your continued support as we celebrate this accomplishment.”

Sixth-Grade Students Buzz with Spelling Talent

Sixth-Grade Students Buzz with Spelling Talent photo
Sixth-Grade Students Buzz with Spelling Talent photo 2
Kyle Kirshenbaum was the first-place winner in Shore Road School’s annual sixth-grade spelling bee, with Ariana Khan finishing second in the nail-biting competition.

Fourteen student spellers battled it out on the auditorium stage for the title of top speller, with teachers Carolyn Acevedo and Kelly Popielaski as moderators and teacher Laurie DiMaina, Regina Harten and Michelle Stein as judges. The competition was challenging when after 10 rounds and the misspelling of the word “acrylic” and “physician,” Kyle gave the correct spelling of the championship word “copyright.” 
Prior to the spelling bee, contests were held in individual classrooms, and the top two spellers from each class were invited to participate in the spelling bee on March 28. The district also congratulates participants Alex Ader, Andrea Bardhan, Max Broder, Dylan Kratenstein, Danny Molloy, Olivia Ragusa, Liliana Rogina, Jack Sarosy, James Smith, Elania Sylvester, Sophia Venero and Nick Yao. 

Shore Road Presents ‘Madagascar Jr.’

Shore Road Presents ‘Madagascar Jr.’ photo

Under the direction of Randi Andersen, Mallory Cogen and Laura Laude, the Shore Road Musical Theatre Production Club’s talented cast and crew drew a packed house during performances of the musical drama “Madagascar Jr.” After a preview matinee for Winthrop Avenue fourth-grade students, the club entertained audiences with their rendition of Kevin Del Aguila’s adventure about residents of the Central Park Zoo, who while escaping from their comfy surroundings, took a trip of a lifetime to Madagascar and learned valuable life lessons about appreciating home and the friendships they have come to value.

On stage, Chloe Boyle played the lead role of Marty (zebra) with Jack Messinger as Alex (lion), Hannah Levine as Gloria (hippo), Noelle McIntosh as Melman (giraffe) and Giovanni Scimeca as Mason (monkey). Comedic lines and actions were portrayed by a group of penguins and lemurs, as well as a cast of other talented actors as they sang popular music from the DreamWorks Animation motion picture including “I Like to Move It,” “Relax, Be Cool, Chill Out” and “Steak.”

The show’s success was also due to the artistic talents of set committee chairperson Liz Brillantino, costume committee chairpersons Alison Prainito and Lisa Warren and lighting director Glen Davis. 

Bellmore Celebrates Music in Our Schools Month

Bellmore Celebrates Music in Our Schools Month photo
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Bellmore Celebrates Music in Our Schools Month photo 3
Bellmore Celebrates Music in Our Schools Month photo 4
In recognition of the National Association for Music Education’s 33rd observance of Music in Our Schools Month, Winthrop Avenue fourth-graders  entertained audiences with two daytime choral concert performances on March 16 under the baton of music teacher Maria Pisciotta and with choreography by Mallory Cogen. 

Principal Sally Curto thanked the community for their support of the district’s music program. “This concert is an opportunity to show the community how important music is to us at Winthrop Avenue,” she said. 

Student-musicians Brendan Chiu, Daniel Lin and Isabel Mazur warmed up the audiences with solo performances on piano. In addition to the presentation of interesting facts about Broadway’s most memorable musicals, students sang the Lion King’s “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” Anastasia’s “At the Beginning With You,” Aladdin’s “A Whole New World,” Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins. The concert concluded with the singing of the “Winthrop Winning Stars Song.”
Friday, May 25, 2018