For many local students, the learning process didn't stop just because it was summer.
Thousands of Long Island youngsters spent the past few months gathering at schools for everything from science research to instructional sports clinics to arts academies. The programs were designed as a way for kids to continue learning between the school years.
"Our doors never really close," said Massapequa School District Superintendent Charles Sulc. "Our summer programs keep students sharp and productive, and allow them to develop skills in interests that are important to them."
In Massapequa, nearly 2,500 students participated in a wide array of summer programs -- including a series of fine arts classes offered through a partnership with Nassau BOCES. In addition, the district offered six-week summer recreation programs at each elementary school in which 1,400 kids were immersed in arts and crafts, sports camps and field trips.
In Freeport, the district offered a summer arts academy that provided more than 200 students with an opportunity to explore their artistic development. It culminated with a two-hour event, titled "A Palette of Creativity," that consisted of student art exhibits, original plays and band performances.
"In 16 days, students who had never touched an instrument learned how to play," said Anne-Marie Hudley Simmons, interim director of the arts for Freeport School District.
In Lynbrook, students in grades K-8 participated in a summer playground program held at Marion Street and West End elementary schools that offered everything from computer classes to a youth talent show. Field trips took kids to Greis Park, Hot Skates Rink and Fun Station -- all in Lynbrook.
In Locust Valley, kids participated in a recreation program of activities ranging from building hot-air balloons out of tissue paper to making mini roller coasters.
"The children get such a variety of activities that it keeps them stimulated and excited to return the next day," said Monica Cagney, the summer recreation program head.
Nelson Iocolano has been appointed principal of Robert M. Finley Middle School. He replaced Anael Alston, who is now the principal of Great Neck North Middle School.
Iocolano previously served as assistant principal of Northport High School since 2008. He also has worked as assistant principal at Newtown High School in Elmhurst and has taught and supervised programs for three schools in the New York City school system.
"I am both humbled and honored by the responsibility bestowed upon me by the Board of Education and the superintendent," Iocolano said in a statement. "I will work tirelessly in support of the faculty and staff at Finley as we strive for the betterment of all students."
Theresa Macchia has been appointed principal of Marion Street Elementary School. She replaced Barbara Moore, who retired.
Macchia served the past five years as assistant principal of Mandracchia-Sawmill Intermediate School in Commack and before that held the same position at Burr Intermediate School, also in Commack. She also has served as the district's lead elementary science teacher as well as a teacher for gifted and talented students at Burr.
"I look forward to contributing to the efforts that the teachers and parents at Marion Street have been making to create a safe and caring learning environment that meets the needs of each of our students," Macchia said in a statement.
Scott Andrews has been appointed principal of Roslyn School District. He replaced Kevin Scanlon, who is now assistant superintendent for educational services at Three Village Central School District in East Setauket.
Andrews has served the past eight years as principal of Amityville Memorial High School. He also has served as a school counselor at Jericho and Great Neck North high schools and as supervisor for guidance and information systems in Mineola Union Free School District.
"I believe that a high level of personalization, rigorous instruction and active engagement are the foundation of a quality 21st century education," Andrews said in a recent letter to the school community.
Lysol has launched a nationwide campaign to aid K-12 teachers in purchasing much-needed school supplies for the 2012-13 school year. The campaign, titled Healthy Classroom Sweepstakes, is intended to help alleviate the strain on teachers' wallets while providing disinfecting products that can kill germs in the classroom in an effort to encourage students to adopt healthy habits.
A $500 gift card will be issued to 100 teachers toward the purchase of school supplies. To participate, teachers can visit lysol.com/schools. Those who submit school supply lists including Lysol disinfecting wipes will receive 10 additional entries into the sweepstakes.
The sweepstakes' entry deadline is Friday, Sept. 14. The campaign is part of Lysol's Mission for Health Initiative.
Way to go!
Newsday will be continuing its weekly "Way to Go!" feature that invites K-12 teachers or parents to nominate outstanding youths to be profiled. Nominees can be highlighted based on: academic achievement and extracurricular activities; involvement in local charities or fundraisers; or for winning a local, state or national award, contest or competition, among other things.
To nominate a student, please email a brief description of the pupil's accomplishments as well as his or her name, school, grade and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.