Buildings & Grounds Committee Meeting
There will be a Building & Grounds Committee Meeting at the Falls School, PD Room, on Thursday, February 22nd at 5:00 p.m.
Mahoapc Middle School recently held their Annual School STEAM Fair. The event showcased experiments, machines and displays focused around Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Hover boards, 3-D printers and chemical reactions were just a few of the things students explored at the fair, where creative innovation was in abundance.
“At Lakeview Elementary School we want all of our children to receive a solid education, but we also want them to grow up to be kind and caring citizens,” said first grade teacher Lisa Ettlinger, referring to the students’ recent field trip to St. John’s Food Pantry. Teachers and students collected upwards of 160 boxes of healthy breakfast foods to donate. “We wanted to show our first graders that it can be as rewarding to give as it is to receive.” The children also decorated hearts, which they attached to each cereal box. “Their theme was ‘A Smart Start Warms the Heart,’ said Ettlinger.
Lakeview Elementary School students and staff embraced the 2018 Great Kindness Challenge recently, when they joined thousands of schools across the country working to create a culture of kindness.
The week-long challenge was sponsored by Kids for Peace, a global nonprofit organization. The idea was introduced in 2011 in California and has since spread to schools across the nation and to more than 90 countries.
Whether it was a kind word, a kind act, or a helpful gesture, the acts of kindness and generosity were apparent to students and staff alike at Lakeview.
Lakeview’s Positive Behavioral Incentive (PBIS) committee worked together in the weeks leading up to the challenge to create unique events that would take place each day. Assistant Principal Elizabeth Blessing spearheaded the event at the school with an explanatory video on the first day of the challenge, January 22.
“Students were challenged to perform as many acts of kindness as they could throughout the week,” said Blessing. The challenge was in keeping with the school’s PBIS initiative “Lakeview ROCKS,” an acronym for Respectful, Organized, Cooperative, Kind and Safe.
Part of the week’s highlights included Wear Red Day, Crazy for Kindness Day and a Dream of Kindness Day, where the entire school wore their pajamas.
“Students embraced every aspect of this challenge and were eager to participate in the school-wide events and lessons throughout the week,” according to Blessing. At the end of the week Principal Jennifer Pontillo created a video thanking the students for their participation in what she said will be a yearly event for the school.
“Even though the Great Kindness Challenge week is over,” Pontillo said, “I know that you will continue to be kind every day because Lakeview ROCKS!”
“If something is considered trash, or unwanted, does that mean we can’t use it?” That was the question Catherine Leist, program assistant for the Center for Environmental Education at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES, asked Fulmar Road Elementary School students when she visited their classrooms recently.
The students’ response: “No, we can recycle it!”
Leist visited the students to talk about reducing or eliminating trash in their lunches, in their classrooms—and in their lives. “The great thing about human beings is that they are really smart,” Leist told students. “So, although people created the problem of trash in our environment, people are also coming up with the solutions!”
Among the solutions Leist discussed with students — reusing and recycling.
“Each person creates about four pounds of trash every day,” Leist said. “And each classroom creates about 100 pounds a day.”
Though the figures are daunting, “If you just make some simple changes, you can make a whole world of difference,” Leist said.
“Instead of buying individual-sized snacks packs, like potato chips, you can by them in a big bag and put them into reusable individual containers,” Leist told students. She added that using a reusable water bottle instead of bottled water can have an incredible impact, as can using reusable lunch containers and bags instead of plastic or paper products.
“If you are excited to recycle and reuse, you will get other people excited,” Leist told students. “And a change in attitude can make a change in habits — and that can change the whole world!”
The Mahopac Board of Education appointed Anthony DiCarlo as the next Superintendent of Schools during its recent board meeting.
DiCarlo, a Mahopac resident, will begin his superintendency on February 26, 2018. He has signed a five-year contract. He currently serves as principal of Trinity Elementary School in the New Rochelle School District and has a wealth of experience in the field of education.
“We are confident that Mr. DiCarlo’s leadership, career experience and his love of the community will take us to the next levels of education,” said Mahopac Board of Education President Leslie Mancuso.
DiCarlo was present at the meeting and took a moment to say a few words to the audience.
“This is a dream come true,” said DiCarlo. “I’m so honored to be here in front of you tonight, and I want to thank the Board of Education and the interview committee for giving me this honor to serve the community, which I love.”
DiCarlo and his wife moved to Mahopac 18 years ago, and his four children all went through the Mahopac school system.
“I’m very much looking forward to working with building administrators and central office administrators, parents, teachers and faculty,” he said. “During my first couple of months, I’m going to be listening, listening and doing some more listening. I’ll be in the schools, with kids, in the community and at events. Some of you know me, and you know I bleed blue and gold.”
How do animals survive in the winter? That’s what Fulmar Road students learned when Colin Remick, a naturalist from the Center for Environmental Education at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES visited their classrooms recently. Remick not only explained the different ways animals deal with cold temperatures—he also brought along some live examples.
“There are four ways animals deal with cold weather,” Remick told students. They can hibernate, or sleep for three months in the winter; they can migrate and go to a warmer location, as many bird species and butterflies do. Or, like humans, they can stay active in the winter, meaning they go on with their lives as normal, Remick explained. Wolves and deer are also examples of active animals.
Animals that belong to the fourth category, called torpor, “stay awake sometimes and sleep sometimes,” according to Remick. Racoons and skunks, for example, sleep for two weeks and are awake for two weeks when the temperatures drop.
The most interesting moment for students came when Remick displayed furs, a giant snakeskin and—best of all—some live animals. While the hissing cockroach made some students cringe, the tortoise and the hedgehog more than made up for it.