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Dot Day in Deer Park Highlights Important Message

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Numerous art classes in buildings across the district participated in International Dot Day activities and projects, based on the book “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds. The book’s strong message encourages students to always try their best.

At JFK, art teacher Briana Nussbaum and music teacher Kristen Lombardo collaborated to create a multifaceted piece. In art class, students worked on creating their own dots, while fourth-grade music classes learned a Dot Day song written by Reynolds and Emily Dale. The two teachers then used footage of the dots being made and a recording of the students singing the Dot Day song to develop a music video.

At Robert Frost, seventh graders who had grown up reading “The Dot” revisited the book during Samantha Racano’s art classes. The students rotated between four stations, with activities ranging from marble-paint rolling and painting tie-dye, to stamping dots of paint and finally chalk-dipping.

“We read ‘The Dot’ again together because the message is important for all ages,” Racano said. “The students and myself all had so much fun creating such a variety of dots.”

All of the participating schools prepared Dot Day banners for display.

“It’s a beautiful thing when our children can utilize both art and music to promote love, acceptance and kindness towards each other,” JFK Associate Principal Shaun McLeod said.  

Date Added: 9/28/2022

Deer Park’s Steven Mendell Travels to Puerto Rico on Junior Scholarship

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It was the trip of a lifetime for Deer Park High School student Steven Mendell, who was selected by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese last winter as one of only 24 high school juniors to be given the Spanish Honor Society Bertie Green Junior Travel Award. Mendell, now a senior, was given the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico in July with other students from around the country to study the island’s culture and be immersed in the language.

Mendell’s trip began in San Juan and Bayamon, where he befriended the other scholarship winners. The students explored the city and visited famous sites like Castillo San Cristobal, explored caves, and went ziplining in the forest. The group then ventured to Ponce, where they visited Castillo Serralles, learned salsa dancing, tried authentic food of the region and went to the beach. The last portion of the trip was in Fajardo, where Mendell and his fellow scholarship winners went snorkeling, encountered turtles and explored the bioluminescent bay at La Laguna Grande.

“My trip to Puerto Rico was one of the best experiences of my life,” Mendell said. “It was a trip of many firsts. I went to a lot of places and had experiences that will last a lifetime, but probably the most memorable was the friendships I made along the way.”

Date Added: 9/27/2022

May Moore Autism Program Wins TangerKids Grant

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Alannah Boccard, a special education teacher at May Moore Primary School, recently applied for and won a $750 TangerKids grant for sensory materials for her May Moore Autism Program classroom. These materials will directly support and enhance the curriculum that Boccard’s students receive and their special education needs.

The TangerKids Grant Program creates a space for teachers to request the tools needed to create more modern, inclusive and functional classrooms for their students. Representatives visited May Moore on Sept. 14 to present the grant check for MMAP.

“Locally, Tanger Outlets Deer Park awarded $3,000 in grants to local teachers for projects that enhance learning environments and support students’ success both in and out of the classroom,” Tanger Outlets Marketing Director Amaka Oweazim-Muir said. “Creating opportunity for all is a top priority at Tanger, and it’s humbling to see the impact of these grants.”

“We are so proud of Mrs. Boccard and thankful for the opportunity Tanger Outlets has provided for our school, Principal Tammy Alcalde said.

Date Added: 9/21/2022


Seven High Schoolers Earn National College Board Awards

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Seven outstanding Deer Park High School students were recently recognized by the College Board based on their academic achievements in school and performance on the PSAT or AP Exams.

Denise Offiah, Ezekiel Babarinde and Gabrielle Mayne earned the National African American Recognition Award; Gabriella Ortiz, Kaetlynne Quinones and Tiffany Bala earned the National Hispanic Recognition Award; and Yasmine Sanchez earned the National Hispanic Recognition Award as well as the National Indigenous Award.

“These students have accomplished these milestones during an immensely demanding period of their high school career,” Associate Principal Dina Pannone said. “We couldn’t be more delighted to congratulate them.”

Date Added: 9/20/2022


Crucial Discussions Highlight Superintendent’s Conference Day

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In his annual address to Deer Park School District staff for Superintendent’s Conference Day on Sept. 1, Superintendent James Cummings discussed numerous crucial topics, including the Dignity for All Students Act, communication with parents, supporting students’ mental health, sexual harassment policies, and school safety protocols and emergency planning.

Date Added: 9/20/2022