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Thankful for Collaboration and Creativitiy

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NIKE Work Based Learning Center art students collaborated with a special education class at Lido Elementary School in creating a festive holiday window display for Ooh La La boutique on East Park Avenue in Long Beach. They revealed their project at the store on Nov. 21, when they proudly presented the fall-themed decorations and "Thankful" sign that they designed and constructed.

Long Beach kicks off a strong 2016-17 school year

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Long Beach Public Schools had an excellent opening day on Wednesday, Sept. 7, as students were welcomed into the 2016-17 school year with enthusiasm from staff members and new opportunities for achievement. 

This school year brings a number of new developments, including the addition of new Computer Networking and IB Computer Science courses at the high school, robotics at the middle school and continued rollout of the 1:1 Chromebook initiative at the secondary level. East School unveiled a renovated library that features new furniture and carpeting, a new wall, electrical improvements, re-painted shelving and a new layout to further support collaboration and learning. Facilities work that was previously completed at the middle school and high school further enhance the continued emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) experiences.

The administration building installation was completed and the new structure, which replaces that which was destroyed during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, now houses all members of the central administration under one roof. Several new administrators have joined the district and seamlessly transitioned into their roles in Long Beach. Jennifer Gallagher was appointed assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. High school students were introduced to their new Principal Jeffrey Myers and Coordinator of Guidance Services Kerry Fallon. West School began the year with new Principal Patrick McKinney.

“Our first day was excellent and filled with excitement for all the positive things ahead,” said Superintendent of Schools David Weiss. “We are pleased to be able to offer such a broad scope of opportunities in which our students continue to excel, and anticipate much success this year.”

NIKE Students Lend a Hand to SC Flood Victims

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Students at the Long Beach Public Schools’ NIKE Work Based Learning Center are in the process of collecting donations for a school in South Carolina that was impacted during the recent flooding in October. After experiencing for themselves the destruction that natural disasters can cause during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the students were inspired to give back and help others.   

A committee of students known as the NIKE Group Initiative coordinates community service efforts and spearheaded this outreach project. Teacher-in-charge Howard Fuchs also played a role in fostering the connection with River Bluff High School in Lexington, South Carolina.

“Because of our experience with Sandy, after seeing the flooding with Hurricane Joaquin, we felt like we needed to reach out and help,” said junior and NIKE GI Project Manager Reef Ossandon. “Recently, we were able to Facetime with students from River Bluff to share stories and give some hope for the future, as we know it is desperately needed during this difficult time.”

NIKE GI coordinated a fundraising drive and gathered store gift cards, cash gift cards and direct online donations. On Oct. 29, during the third anniversary ceremony for Superstorm Sandy held in Kennedy Plaza, student volunteers loaded a truck with relief supplies designated for River Bluff High School.

“Being a part of the Group Initiative makes you feel good about yourself,” said senior and NIKE GI Corresponding Secretary Pam Deras.

“It's empowering for the group to come together and be a positive force,” said teaching assistant and NIKE GI advisor Sadie Garone. “Being part of this group raises maturity levels and challenges the students to see beyond their immediate environment [and] to explore lifestyles and hardships of others and the impact positive action can have.”  

The NIKE Work Based Learning Center prepares students for postsecondary plans for the 21st century. Career awareness and exploration is an important aspect of all students’ educational experience and an integral part of college and career readiness. The center provides real-world experiences by extending the classroom to include the whole community, and gives students the opportunity to apply academic and technical skills to actual work. Students connect classroom instruction with learning in the workplace, and the experience becomes a meaningful and engaging educational opportunity.

Students Raise the Annual Field of Honor

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In continuing an initiative that has become a meaningful tradition, middle school seventh-graders built the fourth annual Field of Honor by planting American Flags throughout the school district. This venture was made possible through the collaboration of many students and adults who wished to commemorate veterans as well as those currently serving in the military.

While the patriotic tribute has been positioned on the lawn of what was formerly the administration building since the effort was introduced in 2011, this is only the second year that the flags are additionally displayed outside of all five schools. After assembling the flags on poles with ribbon, seventh-grade students placed them in the grounds at the six sites.

Each flag represents an individual who has served or is serving in branches of the military. Residents were invited to sponsor anyone they wanted to honor with one or more of the flags, which were available for a $30 donation. The program drew a large response, resulting in magnificent acknowledgments of the servicemen and servicewomen who have given bravery and courage in support of our country. The flags will fly for an entire month, until December 7. Proceeds will benefit veterans and active military families through scholarships and camp stipends.

Although the seventh-grade class spearheaded it, the 2014 Field of Honor was a team effort that was made successful through the contributions of many participants. Members of the Wood Club, National Junior Honor Society, Librarians, grounds crew and technology classes were all involved in organizing the flags, fields and directories. Students in the multimedia classes took on a special challenge, making use of the middle school’s new 3D printer to create a bald eagle finial for the Field of Honor plaque. This undertaking incorporated STEM components as students applied 3D modeling techniques to construct an object that complements the significant district- and community-wide endeavor.  

Special Olympians

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The Long Beach Special Olympics track and field team competed on April 21 at the Long Island Spring Games in Commack. The athletes spent the weeks prior to the event diligently practicing the running and standing long jump, softball throw and the 50-meter dash.

This year’s team, coached by Stacey Durnan and Stephanie Esposito, included students from the district’s elementary, middle and high schools. Returning athletes included Charles Butler, Robert Greengus, Sophie Hoffman, Keegan McCarthy, Jett McKevitt, Emanuel Muniz and Madelyn Sipperly. The team welcomed newcomers Michael Lang, Dante Lyons and Brianna Ward. With the help of teaching assistants Maureen Clark, Pat Cody and Aileen Monahan, the athletes experienced many victories as they received medals for competing in the various events.  

“The team would like to give special thanks to all of the volunteers who supported the efforts of the athletes this year,” said Esposito.