What's Right with Spackenkill! January 4, 2019


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What's Right with Spackenkill!

January 4, 2019


blue ribbon logo

blue ribbon logo

Dear Spackenkill Community,

We hope that all of you enjoyed the holiday break and additional family time. As you read this newsletter, you will notice students applying their learning to “real-life” activities. Hands-on projects help students answer the question “Why do I need to learn this ?” Whether it's investigating a question such as "How can I design a safer school bus seat beltand persuade law makers to create new governmental policies?" or "What geometric shapes are part of a gingerbread house construction?",  students discover that academic learning is not just for the school house, but also transfers to the real world.

Next Tuesday’s Board meeting features both secondary principals reviewing student performance data from last school year and describing their plans to advance instructional initiatives. The meeting starts at 7 pm in the Orville A. Todd Middle School Library.

My best,

Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


Beginning with applications for 2019, senior citizens must apply separately for the Enhanced STAR (School Tax Relief) exemption by March 1. 

Senator Visits Todd Science Classes

Senator Serino shaking hands with science students at Todd Middle School


Senator Sue Serino (shown shaking hands with students, above) visited the eighth grade physical science classes of Mrs. Rogers and Mrs. Walsh just before the winter break.  Science students have been working on a project about school bus safety—in particular, the use of seat belts on buses.  The students were excited to show the Senator the safety suggestions and design models they devised.
“We've been working hard to integrate the new science and engineering practices into our Core Ideas along with the cross-cutting concepts to create a truly three-dimensional unit,” explained Mrs. Rogers.  “The students have tested crash-test clay ‘people,’ tested seat belts on the ‘people,’  explored how Newton's Laws apply to auto crashes, researched seat belt use
specifically federal and state laws applying to seat belt use on school busesand argued for changes to laws based on the safer school bus designs they have engineered in class. This has truly been a highly engaging and real-world unit of study for the students!”Transportation Director Doreen Wright (left) with Board Trustee Mary Sawyer
Students presented poster boards and a PowerPoint to the Senator, citing statistics about bus safety nationwide. They also wrote a letter urging her to support Senator David Carlucci’s bill to mandate shoulder seat belts on all school buses.  Senator Serino commended students for their research and talked about follow-up scenarios. School Board Trustee Mary Sawyer (far right) and Director of Transportation Doreen Wright (near right) also attended the event.


Senator Serino visits Todd Middle School to hear student presentations on school bus safety
Above, top row: Senator Serino (second from left) poses with Mrs. Walsh (far left), Mrs. Rogers (far right), and science students who presented their research and findings on bus safety.

Sleigh Engineers

Second grade students in Mrs. Zanca’s and Mrs. Wilcox’s classes worked on a new STEM challenge before the holiday break. They were asked to create a sleigh that could travel as far as possible down a ramp using only the following materials:  three to six Lifesaver candies, four to six straws,  one to two index cards, two to four Popsicle sticks, and two feet of tape. Students planned designs individually, then divided into groups to share ideas and construct their sleighs. There was a lively discussion of different designs. One group took each member’s best idea and combined it in one design.  As a student said, “It’s all about learning how to work with other people.”

On the first trial, seven of nine sleighs went successfully down the ramp and even moved beyond by as much as 18 inches!  Afterward, students modified their designs in an attempt to make the sleighs travel farther. On the second trial, one sleigh that did not move down the ramp before at all traveled eight inches. Afterward, the students discussed what made the sleigh designs successful and how they might change their construction in the future.


2nd graders engineer "sleighs" in STEM activity

Seniors Enjoy City Trip

On December 14, 86 seniors and eight teachers traveled to Manhattan for Seniors in the City. The class had a wonderful time at Rockefeller Center, having lunch with friends and making memories that will last a lifetime. A great day was had by all!

Seniors in the city with teachers on holiday visit

Alumnae vs. Girls Soccer 

Coach Lanza and the Girls Soccer program held an alumnae game on December 16th at Golds Gym in LaGrange. Many past players and current players participated and had a great time!

soccer club plays alumnae

Gingerbread Geometrics

Mrs. Byrne helped students in Mrs. Burlingame and Mrs. Diaz-Batista's fourth grade use Google Slides on their Chromebooks to build geo-houses. Students had to design, label, and create houses that looked like gingerbread houses but were made from geometric shapes they learned about in class. This lesson helped the students interact with geometry as they used various geometric shapes and different kinds of lines and angles to build their beautiful creations. 

digital gingerbread creations and class at work

Happy New Year!

Mrs. Strapec's class wishes everyone a Happy New Year!
Mrs. Strapec's second grade class wishes everyone a Happy New Year!

15 Croft Road, Poughkeepsie,  NY

(845) 463-7800

Mission: Inspired by a tradition of excellence and a spirit of continuous improvement, the Spackenkill School District will provide all of our students with the academic and social skills necessary to pursue their goals and become responsible citizens in an interdependent global community.

Vision: All Spackenkill graduates will be lifelong learners who are inspired to pursue their dreams and contribute to the global society.

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