Promoting Kindness and Compassion

The notion that every action can have a positive reaction was the basis of a recent character education program – Rachel’s Challenge – at Arrowhead Elementary School.

For the past several years, the school has been integrating this national program with its character education program PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports). Both programs reward and praise students for exhibiting positive behaviors as a means of encouraging similar actions in the future.

The assembly introduced students to the inspiration behind the program – Rachel Scott, a victim of the tragedy at Columbine High School in 1999 – and discussed how they can work to promote a culture of inclusion, acceptance and kindness. As a symbol of their commitment, students and staff members were invited to sign a banner in the days following the program.

Throughout the year, students who are “caught” demonstrating acts of kindness are given a paper chain of kindness link, which bears their name and the behavior displayed. Teachers connect these links in a display throughout the building, and at the end of the year the links are all connected for a schoolwide celebration. A kindness and compassion calendar is also distributed each month for families to follow.

Bully No More

The fall foliage was not the only thing turning orange this October, as R.C. Murphy Junior High School students and staff members joined together in the autumnal color to celebrate Unity Day.

The event, hosted by the school’s PBIS committee in conjunction with National Bullying Prevention Month, symbolized the school’s commitment to increase awareness of bullying and connect the community with the school.

During Murphy’s Bullying Prevention Week, students memorialized how they would end bullying and stand up for kindness on pieces of orange paper, listened to daily announcements on the topic and attended a workshop with renowned speaker Lee Cutler. The slips of paper were joined together to form a chain that was displayed outside the school’s library. Students and staff members also received orange bracelets, which were worn to promote kindness and tolerance.

During his address, Mr. Cutler shared several personal stories and how these life events inspired him to think about the individual he wanted to be. He challenged students to think about how they would address similar situations, particularly ones dealing with civil and human rights as well as moments of peer pressure and personal ethics.

Mr. Cutler conducted a similar program at P.J. Gelinas Junior High School.

High Praise for Student-Musicians

Ward Melville High School student-musicians regularly impress audiences with their talents, and many were selected this fall to showcase their abilities as part of the 2014 All-County and All-State music festivals.

As a result of their outstanding scores at the 2014 NYSSMA solo and ensemble festivals, 48 juniors and seniors were selected for the All-County Music Festival, and 29 were chosen as All-State participants or alternates at this year’s NYSSMA Winter Conference in Rochester.

In addition to the individual students selected, the school’s award-winning chamber orchestra has been invited to perform at the NYSSMA Winter Conference. Last year the ensemble, directed by Philip Gelfer, submitted several audition pieces as well as a list of competitions attended in the last two years. A panel of judges selected the group as the only string orchestra to be represented at the conference.

Congratulations to the following students:

All-State Musicians
Thomas Avella, Symphonic Band
Sage Beasley, Mixed Chorus
Haebin Chang, alternate
Mary Conley, Women’s Chorus
Devin Cowan, Symphony Orchestra
Emily Gates, Mixed Chorus
Kristen Gonzalez, alternate
Nick Greene, alternate
Sophie Hintze, alternate
Matthew Hoffman, Mixed Chorus and alternate
Haarika Korlipara, String Orchestra
Ariel Leong, alternate
Thomas Li, String Orchestra
Edward Liu, alternate
Elizabeth Merrifield, Women’s Chorus and Symphony Orchestra
Nima Mohammadi, Symphony Orchestra
Rajiv Moturu, Symphony Orchestra
Justin Pinard, alternate
Jordan Reuter, alternate
Heidi Scarth, alternate
Swathi Sekar, Mixed Chorus
Jack Tanzi, Mixed Chorus and alternate
Erin Tiedemann, alternate
Martin Vaillancourt, alternate
Jake Vincel, String Orchestra
Allison Wallace, Mixed Chorus
John Welde III, alternate
Emily Winston, Wind Ensemble
Eric Wortzman, Instrumental Jazz

All-County Band
Thomas Avella
Jordan Pollack
Alexander Smith
Eric Wortzman

All-County Orchestra Winds
Constance Mulford
Jordan Reuter
Emily Winston

All-County Orchestra
Haebin Chang
Devin Cowan
Micaela Cunningham
Nick Greene
Haarika Korlipara
Ariel Leong
Karen Li
Thomas Li
Edward Liu
Amanda Lu
Elizabeth Merrifield
Nima Mohammadi
Rajiv Moturu
Rebekah Rosenberg
Dylan Webb
Jeremy Wong
Jake Vincel
Elizabeth Zhao

All-County Mixed Choir
Sage Beasley
Donald Della Pietra
Alexandra Droual
Kaitlyn Gillen
Kristen Gonzalez
Joseph Hines
Matthew Hoffman
Meaghan Kruse
Elizabeth Merrifield
Jack Tanzi
Shawn Tellekamp
Martin Vaillancourt
Allison Wallace
Sarah Whelan

All-County Women’s Choir
Mary Conley
Jessica Fowler
Emily Gates
Isabella Kyle
Olivia Passanante
Heidi Scarth
Swathi Sekar
Jenna Stimmel
Erin Tiedemann

Dig Pink

A sea of pink blanketed the gymnasium at Ward Melville High School as the girls varsity and junior varsity teams hosted Dig Pink, a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Dig Pink, a Suffolk County volleyball initiative started by Ward Melville coach Charles Fernandes approximately six years ago, calls for teams to wear pink during a predetermined home game and raise dollars and awareness.

Ward Melville dedicated their Oct. 14 games against Commack High School to the initiative. In addition to sporting unique white and pink T-shirts created by the Side Out Foundation, the teams coordinated a bake sale and sold pink bracelets for the cause.

“As part of the athletic program, we speak with the students about the importance of giving back to their community and working to help others,” said Coach Fernandes. “Since breast cancer affects so many lives on Long Island, we felt this was an important initiative to participate in annually.”

The teams raised more than $500 during the event and are continuing their fundraising efforts throughout the month. While the junior varsity team suffered a loss, the varsity team improved their record to 9-2.

The Ward Melville boys volleyball teams will host a similar event during their Oct. 27 game. To date, the county has raised well over $250,000 for the initiative.

Celebrating Culture at Ward Melville

Watch the video below:

Trick or Treat Street Flyer


Ward Melville HS Homecoming & Bonfire - Oct. 24 & 25

There will be a bonfire at Ward Melville on Friday, October 24 at 8:00 pm.

On Saturday, the annual carnival will begin at 2:00 and go through 3:45.  The Homecoming football game will begin at 4:00 pm on Saturday.

Math Experiments

Practical applications for a variety of complex math theories were at the center of an in-school field trip for third- through sixth-graders at Setauket Elementary School and the district’s secondary students when the Math Midway 2 Go travel exhibit visited the buildings.

Created by the Museum of Mathematics in NYC, the exhibit included six interactive stations that captivated and engaged students in concepts ranging from geometry and algebra to probability, statistics and number systems. At each of the exhibits, the students conducted a hands-on experiment and learned about the mathematics behind the lesson. For example, at the “roller graphicoaster” station, students experimented with the slope of a roller coaster. At the “ring of fire” location, they explored cross-sections of 3-D shapes by using a laser light and solid objects.
“This exhibit allowed the students to learn about mathematics beyond the lessons explored in the classroom and understand how they are applied to the world around them,” said Rocco Vetro, mathematics chairperson at R.C. Murphy Junior High School.

Fire Prevention Month

Elementary students throughout the district learned important fire safety tips from local firefighters. Click on the video below to learn about the Setauket Fire Department's visit to Minnesauke Elementary School.

Cooking Up a Valuable Lesson

Ninth-graders at R.C. Murphy Junior High School learn firsthand about culinary professions when Chef Steven Blair from Johnson and Wales University – Providence visited the International Foods class.

Chef Blair spoke about the university and demonstrated how to make spaetzle with mushrooms and kale. He also discussed the various majors offered at the university, as well as how a student’s extracurricular involvement can help with college acceptances and scholarships offerings.

"Having Johnson and Wales visit my class illustrates for [students] how much knowledge they already have and what opportunities there are for them in the future," said teacher Emma Domino.

Trick or Treat Street at WMHS - Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 4:30 - 7:30 pm

Please see attached flyer with details about the Annual Trick or Treat Street held at Ward Melville.

Three Village boasts 23 Commended Students

Twenty-three of Ward Melville High School’s brightest students have been named National Merit Scholarship Commended Students.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation have been recognized for their exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the qualifying test used for program entry.

Although they will not continue in the 2015 competition, these students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2015 competition by taking the 2013 PSAT.

“You should be very proud of yourselves for this achievement,” Principal Dr. Alan Baum said to those honored. “I know that I am very proud of you.”

The district congratulates the following students.

•    Mitchell R. Berger
•    Niyati K. Desai
•    Gabriel N. Downs
•    Kyra A. Durko
•    Tess E. Duryea
•    Ashley L. Earl
•    Ryan Fan
•    Alexander Frenkel
•    Jessica Ju
•    Marvin Lee
•    Daria E. Purdy
•    Cyrus T. Rastegar
•    Jared A. Rifkin
•    Erika J. Riley
•    Angad Singh
•    Luke J. Sugrue
•    Nicholas J. Thornton
•    Runda Tian
•    Benjamin M. Winston
•    Jeremy Wong
•    Hannah C. Yen
•    Rui Zhang
•    Evan Zou

Ward Melville’s Invictus honored for excellence

Congratulations to Mrs. Weisman and the entire 2013-2014 Invictus Yearbook staff!!!! Our opening spread from last year's book was nominated for a NSPA Design of the Year award. Only 10 designs were selected from books around the country! We will find out our placement in the contest at the JEA/NSPA Journalism Conference in DC.

Our yearbook was also critiqued by well-known journalism professionals and NSPA and received an ALL-AMERICAN HONOR RATING with 4 marks of distinction (concept/essentials, coverage, design, & writing/editing).

This is the highest rating we could receive and if we receive this rating for 10 years in a row we get inducted into the NSPA All American Hall of Fame. This is now the third year of receiving this ranking!!

Congratulations to the entire yearbook staff. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this year!

October 29, 2014 - Annual Performance of Pickin at Gelinas

The 12th Annual Adolescent Issue play Pickin, will be performed on October 29, 2014 at 7:00 pm in the Gelinas Auditorium.  This performance is free.

Three Village School District lauds AP Scholars

The College Board has recognized 291 Ward Melville High School students as Advanced Placement Scholars due to their outstanding achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement exams.

• 91 students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by receiving a 3 or higher on three or more exams.

• 51 students received the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average grade of 3.25 on all AP exams taken and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of those exams.

• 122 students qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and grades of 3 or higher on eight or more of these exams.

• 26 students received the highest designation of National AP Scholar by earning an average grade of 4 or higher on all AP exams taken and grades of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.

AP courses completed with a score of 3 or higher on the final exam afford students the opportunity to earn college credit.

“I am thrilled that our students continue to raise the bar with their performance on these exams,” Principal Dr. Alan Baum said. “They set great examples for their classmates to follow.”

Three Village elementary schools take ALS challenge

Students, teachers and staff at Arrowhead, Nassakeag and Setauket elementary schools were recently challenged by neighborhood schools to raise money and awareness in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS.

At Arrowhead, students poured money over their teachers’ heads as the crowd of kids roared in support. At Nassakeag, more than $1,500 was raised from students vying to get the chance to dump ice water on a specific teacher. The staff agreed to match the funding up to $500, so more than $2,000 was generated from the school.

At Setauket, ice water was dumped over everyone’s heads, including Principal Nathalie Lilavois, who cheered while she was being drenched.

“As you know, Minnesauke nominated us for the Ice Bucket Challenge and we accepted,” Lilavois said. “We have been collecting [through] Change for the Challenge, which we will donate on behalf of the Setauket school community to the ALS Association.”

Seventh-graders welcomed to Murphy Junior High

New seventh-graders at Three Village’s R.C. Murphy Junior High School were welcomed to the building with open arms at a new student breakfast on Sept. 22.

Student government members sat with the new students and answered questions about the building and the experiences it provides. Students shared stories of where they came from while enjoying bagels and juice.

“We are always so happy to welcome our new students to our Murphy family,” Principal Vincent Vizzo said. “We want them to feel welcome from day one and know that we are all here for them.”

Alumni Spotlight: Ward Melville’s Matz honored by Mets

Ward Melville High School graduate Steven Matz was recently presented with the Sterling Pitcher of the Year award at Citi Field as the Mets’ top minor league pitcher.

Matz, 23, had a 2.25 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 12 starts for Single-A St. Lucie before being promoted to Double-A Binghamton. In 12 starts there, he had a 2.27 ERA 1.12 WHIP. He also helped lead Binghamton to an Eastern League Championship.

Matz was also named to Baseball America’s list of minor league all-stars. He was born in Stony Brook, and he brought a no-hitter into the eighth inning of Binghamton’s championship-clinching game against Richmond.

“It really means a lot,” Matz said. “After two or three years of not really playing [due to injury], I was able to come back and show them that, what they invested in me, they still have.”

Holiday Inn Art Show

K-9 art students and staff will be celebrating the exhibition of student work at the Holiday Inn Express on Rte 347 in Stony Brook. The show is open to the public October 5th - October 16th with the opening on October 6th beginning at 5:30pm.


Emergency Contact Information Update

 **If you have not already done so, please check the information we have listed in your immediate household by using the "Family Contacts" link on the left hand side of the screen.  Please make sure we have updated information on adults and guardians in your household.  We are not collecting any individual student cell phone or e-mail addresses. Any changes can be requested through the Campus system. You will see those requests updated within a day or two. 

As you are aware, the District has attempted to implement the collection of Emergency Contact Information electronically this fall. Despite our best efforts, this process has been delayed as a result of errors in the delivery of the electronic survey. In the interest of safety and time, we are reinstating the use of the paper version of the Emergency Contact Card. This card will be sent home with elementary students on Wednesday, September 24 and the week of September 29 for secondary students. We appreciate your cooperation and support as we work this new initiative.