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Learning Will go Virtual in Amityville

Learning Will go Virtual in Amityville photo

Appealing to a generation of tech-savvy students, the district will be introducing the virtual reality experience zSpace to support the curriculum.

The district will add a laptop cart of zSpace systems, becoming the first on Long Island to have this resource. It will be available for use at Amityville Memorial High School, Edmund W. Miles Middle School and Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, along with desktop units for each of those schools. 

By using the software, students will have the opportunity to interact through augmented and virtual reality with a variety of content that supports all subjects areas. They will be able to learn about the life cycle of a butterfly, the anatomy of a human heart and the history of flight, and explore famous artwork.

“Students are drawn to technology, and zSpace provides an engaging way to support our curriculum,” said Dr. Carole Polney, the assistant superintendent for technology and administrative services. “We always look to add new and innovative resources that provide meaningful learning experiences.”

Park Avenue students had a chance to experience the technology when the zSpace mobile classroom stopped by for a few hours on Nov. 9. The children were able to put on the virtual reality glasses and explore the interactive educational content. The purchase of the hardware and software will come from the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant that the district received in the summer. Amityville was one of 38 school districts selected by the New York State Education Department to receive federal funds for technology enhancement through the Every Student Succeeds Act. 

VIDEO: Career Day at Park Avenue


Students learned the keys to success from speakers representing dozens of professions.

Experts Dole Out Career Advice in Amityville

Experts Dole Out Career Advice in Amityville photo

Nearly three dozen professionals visited Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School on Nov. 2 to share their words of wisdom. The guest speakers visited fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade classes for Career Day to inspire children to do well in school so they can achieve their dreams.

Among the guests were a Broadway producer, state assemblywoman, karate instructor, radio DJ and Amityville police officers and firefighters. Others represented the financial industry, the medical field and the United States military. Several speakers discussed their journeys in starting their own businesses.

There were numerous interactive presentations. Risa Stein, director of the science and technology program at Farmingdale State College, led students in a STEAM-activity. Sixth-graders worked in groups to build wind-powered cars using a piece of paper, two straws, four Life Savers, paper clips and tape. Local entrepreneur Denise Totter of Mama T’s Herbaceous Teas led students in a beverage tasting. 

The school partnered with the Amityville Chamber of Commerce and Amityville Parent-Teacher Council to bring in presenters, who spoke about their job responsibilities and the necessary qualifications.

Guidance counselor Kimberly Balducci said that this is the culminating event in College and Career Week. The purpose is to inspire students to start thinking about their futures so they can take the necessary steps in elementary, middle and high schools to achieve success and attain their career goals. 

History-Making Coach Inspires Park Avenue Students

History-Making Coach Inspires Park Avenue Students photo

The first female coach in the history of the New York Jets provided words of encouragement to students at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School on Oct. 29. Collette Smith, a coaching intern who worked with the defensive backs during the 2017 training camp, was the keynote speaker to kick off the school’s annual College and Career Week.

Ms. Smith was a professional football player with the New York Sharks in the Women’s Alliance, beginning her three-year career at 42 before coaching. She became only the third female coach in NFL history and the first African-American woman to coach. After her stint with the Jets, she founded Believe N You and serves as a motivational speaker.

During assemblies for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, Ms. Smith encouraged students to believe in themselves and understand that they can accomplish anything they want. She told students her motto, “Making tomorrow better today,” to remind them that the steps they take now can lead them to future success. Working hard in school, treating others respectfully and making healthy choices are among those steps, she said. 

Ms. Smith said that football players, just like students, have homework. They have to study their playbooks to be effective on the field. 

“Her message is so important, that our students can do anything they put their minds to,” said guidance counselor Kimberly Balducci. She added that many students have a passion for sports, and this shows them that there are many career opportunities in athletics.

In addition to Ms. Smith’s speech, each assembly included a slideshow featuring graduation photos of Park Avenue teachers and administrators, to remind students of the end goal. Principal Robyn Santiago said the goal of the program was to boost self-esteem and inspire each child to be his or her own personal cheerleader.


A Peek at Music for Park Avenue Students

A Peek at Music for Park Avenue Students photo
Five students from Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, along with their parents, participated in the Suffolk County Music Educators Association PEAK Music Festival. The event was held on Oct. 27 at Northport High School.

Fourth-graders Liana Diaz, Grace Lewis, Sarai Mullings, Morgen Slinger and Kimberly Torres joined their peers from across Suffolk County for a day of musical experiences. Workshops included chorus, folk dancing, musical theater, recorder, ukulele and world drumming. 

The students were chosen to participate in the festival based upon the recommendation of Roxanne Tannenbaum, their third-grade music teacher at Northwest Elementary School.

Conference Inspires a Strong Stand Against Bullying

Conference Inspires a Strong Stand Against Bullying photo

More than 30 sixth-graders from Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School attended the Take A Stand anti-bullying program at Hofstra University on Oct. 12. Students from schools across Long Island took part in the conference, sponsored by Hofstra’s WRHU radio station and Northwell Health’s Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center.

A few students from each sixth-grade class were selected for the program, in which they attended various workshops. Teacher Deborah Ross said the Take A Stand facilitators addressed a serious topic in fun and engaging ways with skits, games and personal discussions. In one exercise, students sat in circles and learned about the “masks” other children often hide behind.

The Park Avenue students will now serve as ambassadors in school and educate their peers about the perils of bullying. The have vowed to not be bystanders if they see bullying taking place, and will stand up for each other. Sixth-grader Tiffany Asbell said she learned how to look out for a bully, as well as how to spot someone who is being bullied, so she and her classmates can help.

Added Nathalia Moreno, “It gives us more confidence to step up our game to stop bullying.”'

Monday, December 10, 2018