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LI students learn over the summer

Bethpage High School's ACE Life Skills Program transformed

Bethpage High School's ACE Life Skills Program transformed classrooms into a pizzeria over the summer to give students a chance to practice skills they would typically use on field trips or at job sites. Credit: Bethpage School District

Many Long Island schools offered opportunities for summer learning after a spring semester that was interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The educational efforts, which ranged from virtual book readings to career readiness presentations, were intended to keep kids thinking critically during the months of July and August.

In Massapequa Park, East Lake Elementary School launched a digital library featuring teachers and administrators reading their favorite children's books. The library, which offered a choice of nearly 50 books, allowed children to open each teacher's prerecorded video with a simple click.

"Our idea for students to have access to a digital library over the summer was a hope that was made possible with the help of … more than 40 faculty members, who all understand the importance of continuous reading," said East Lake Principal Thomas McKillop, who specifically credited the efforts of school psychologist Laura Hess and technology learning coach Alison Morgan.

In Bethpage, the high school's ACE Life Skills Program launched a fictional pizzeria to help pupils practice skills they would typically use on field trips or at job sites, while third- and fourth-graders from Central Boulevard Elementary School engaged in virtual challenges — such as creating marble runs and paper helicopters — as part of a remote summer program through Nassau BOCES.

In Riverhead, the high school hosted a Health Careers Academic Readiness and Excellence program in partnership with Stony Brook University. The two-week program aimed to assist teens in preparing for health-related college courses and careers through presentations with researchers, scientists and other health care professionals.  

In Greenlawn, dozens of students across the Harborfields School District participated in a two-week Summer Enrichment Virtual Learning Experience that included Google Classroom courses in subjects such as math, science and global studies.


New superintendent

Mary O'Meara is the new superintendent of Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District. She replaced Lorna Lewis.

O'Meara previously was the district's assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Before that, she held the same position for the Amityville School District and other administrative positions in the Hewlett-Woodmere and Massapequa school districts.

"I am committed to continuing Plainview-Old Bethpage's tradition of excellence and community involvement," O'Meara said. With an unknown school year in front of us, it will be our commitment to the children that will keep us focused."


New principal

Mark McCaw is the new principal of Uniondale High School. He replaced Edward Thomas.

McCaw previously served five years as the school's assistant principal and has been a global history teacher and principal at the district's alternative high school. 

"I am excited to be working at the high school alongside an amazing team of educators, staff members, students and families in one of the greatest communities on Long Island," McCaw said.


Merit scholarship winners

Six recent high school graduates from Long Island were among 650 students nationwide named additional winners of college-sponsored scholarships, while three recent graduates were named additional winners of corporate-sponsored scholarships, through the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

The college-sponsored scholarships provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship, while the corporate-sponsored scholarships are financed by about 160 companies, foundations and other business organizations.

College-sponsored scholarship winners and their high schools were: James Lynch, Garden City; Christopher Moore, Ward Melville; Steven Nyman, Babylon; Miranda Pietraski, Jericho; and Nikhil Vohra and Alex Zhuo, Syosset. Corporate-sponsored scholarship winners and their high schools were: Giuseppina Than, Earl L. Vandermeulen; Keene Lu, Ward Melville; and Kay Horak, Westhampton Beach.


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