School news


Wainscott School

The Mother’s Day luncheon was a huge success. The children made lunch and served it to their moms. The children also presented specially handmade gifts to their moms. In preparation for a visit by author Stephanie Calmenson, the students brainstormed questions they’d like to ask her. She visited the school on Monday, May 12 and brought her dog Harry.

Wainscott’s career day will be held on Wednesday, May 14. Local community members will be speaking about their careers and education.

Mark your calendar for the budget vote on May 20. Polls are open from 5 to 8 p.m. at Wainscott Chapel. School is closed May 23 and 26 in observance of Memorial Day.

Project MOST

(Making the MOST of


Project MOST first-grade students at both John M. Marshall Elementary School and Springs Elementary School enjoyed field trips to the South Fork Natural History Museum last week. Most of the students had never been there and were very excited to go exploring. The topics discussed with the three tour guides and the students were characteristics and natural habitats of reptiles (the box turtle) and amphibians (the endangered spadefoot toad and salamanders). After having a short discussion with the guides, the students were able to interact with the displays on the second level. Downstairs they saw live animals and were able to explore a tidal pool touch-tank.

John M. Marshall

Students and faculty from JMMES are putting together care packages for our soldiers serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The collection began on Monday, May 12 and it will continue through May 22. The care packages will be bundled the following week with the goal of getting everything in the mail by May 30.

Items being collected include: energy foods, breakfast and granola bars, crackers, beef summer sausage, non-melting candy, cookies, sunflower seeds, beef jerky, pre-packaged tuna/or chicken salad with crackers, pop-top cans of fruit.

Also, trail mix, nuts, dried fruit, pre-packaged snacks, gum, pretzels, waterless soap, unscented baby wipes, antibacterial soap and Purell, deodorant, boot powder, toilet paper, hand lotion, lip balm, sunscreen, eye glass wipes, dental floss, toothpaste, aloe vera burn gel, Vaseline, books, pens, paper, puzzle books, decks of cards, dominoes, small flashlights, water bottles, blank post cards, powdered sugar drinks, plus boxes to ship in.

The East Hampton community can help save lives by sponsoring students in the St. Jude Math-A-Thon to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event is sponsored by JMMES and will be held May 19 through June 2. By sponsoring participants of the event, you will help raise funds for the world’s premier pediatric cancer research center. If you are interested in making a donation, please call Michelle Kennedy at 329-4160. For more information, please visit

East Hampton Middle School

Ms. Rudolph’s fifth-grade ELA class studied picture books, then wrote and illustrated their own A-Z books. Topics ranged from candy to World War II. The fifth graders brought their books over to John Marshall Elementary School, where they read to small groups and whole classes. The books will be on display in the middle school library this week for all to peruse. Congratulations, authors.

Ross School

The Ross School will host the Buddhist monk, Venerable Tenzin Yignyen, for the week of May 19 through 23.

Venerable Tenzin Yignyen will create a sand mandala, a colorful and complex sand sculpture in the lobby of the Senior Thesis Building at the Ross Upper School campus. “Mandala” is Sanskrit for “circle,” “center” or “circumference” and it is a graphic symbol of the universe and it is often used as a focal point for meditation. The construction process takes several days and the mandala is dismantled shortly after its completion, in the Buddhist tradition. Like life, the mandala is not permanent.

Students will have the opportunity to witness the creation of the mandala and to talk with Venerable Tenzin Yignyen each day. They will learn about the ancient art of creating sand mandalas as a form of meditation, non-attachment and offering. They will also experience the dismantling of the mandala. The closing ceremony will take place on Friday, May 23 at a time and place to be determined.

At this ceremony, the entire mandala is swept up into an urn and returned back to the sea. Tenzin explains, “It’s intended to remind us of the impermanent nature of life so we may practice non-attachment. It is also a lesson in recycling. The sand comes from life and returns to life.”

Lama Tenzin will conduct a parent meeting in the lobby of the Senior Thesis Building on Thursday, May 22 at 7 p.m. and will be visiting the Ross Lower School campus on Tuesday, May 20.

The Starlight ball is coming up this Saturday, May 17.

Springs School

It’s a play about a treasure hunt. It’s a play about wild, mean pirates. It’s a play about a brave boy. It’s a play about adventure on the high seas with spirits, mermaids and one-legged captains. It’s a play not to be missed. Andi Pisacano is the drama coach and has been working diligently with students in the seventh and eighth grades. “This play will appeal to all ages,” she says. On May 29, the play will be performed for the classes. An evening performance for parents and the public is Friday, May 30, at 7:30.

Teacher Ryan Scala reports about the Springs Worlds Fair: “The food, musical entertainment and dancing rivaled Epcot’s World Showcase. We tried to visit each pavilion and so at the end of the night our passport was nearly full. The kids loved the activities from the mask-making to the body art.” The gym was packed with parents, community members and performers. This event has become a major must-do, thanks to teachers Christine Cleary, Nancy McMullan, Pat Bradford and their dedicated committee.

At the fair, there were tables representing different countries filled with food, artifacts, stories and legends about the countries. There were Irish-step dancers, bag-pipe players, Mexican dancers with incredible costumes and bands. Kindergarten through fifth-grade classes made colorful country posters for the World’s Fair. Principal Eric Casale judged the posters and selected the contest winners, which will be treated to an ice cream party. The winning classes are: Ann Marie Schuppe’s third-grade class, Karen McKee’s second-grade class, Nancy McMullan’s fourth-grade class and Christine Cleary’s fifth-grade.

Sue Ellen O’Connor and the courtyard crew went to clean up around Pussy’s Pond. The students were amazed to find so much trash around such a beautiful spot. Students have decided that they will maintain the area around the school every Wednesday by cleaning up the trash. The students will ask the Town of East Hampton for big plastic bags, and to collect the trash that they do collect. The school is also looking for any donations of cracked corn to properly feed the ducks at the pond, and the one who has decided to next on the school grounds.

Occupational therapist Whitney Reidlinger again led Springs School to victory in the Special Olympics track and field events. Along with Springs School coaches Patty Philipbar, Paige Morehead, Larissa Gload, and Jill Sulahian, the contestants from Springs, East Hampton High School, Shelter Island, Sag Harbor and Montauk showed the county that small schools make big winners. A big thank you goes out to the to the Springs student volunteers Lily Goldman, Melanie Mackin, Chris Rivera, and Lauren English. Congratulations go out to former Springs School students Anthony Palacios, Joe Hodgens, LeMy Hoang, and Danny Stettinger and East Hampton students Derrick Miler and Edison Gomez. Haley Sulahian (Shelter Island) and Kendall Vorpahl from Montauk rounded out the team. Haley was positively inspiring in the power wheelchair race.

Teacher Ann Marie Schuppe’s third grade started DARE and learned what DARE means. East Hampton Town Police Officer Kim Notel taught the children that it means Drug Abuse Resistance Education. They also learned that if someone is offering a cigarette or alcohol to refuse it and walk away. Officer Kim Notel told them a story about a child in a store with a mother that left to go into a different aisle and the child was almost kidnapped.

The fourth grade took a field trip to Old Bethpage Park on May 8 to learn about colonial life. The students also got to have a root beer, a pretzel and some rock candy, because that’s what colonial children got as treats. The students saw farms and log cabins. They also saw how the colonial children did their chores and what they learned in school. The fourth graders learned about the different jobs that were girls’ jobs and boys’ jobs, and participated in various tasks including farming, wood totting, and sewing. It also showed the girls’ dresses and the boys’ work outfits.

Last week, May 7, was the last film festival of the year. The films ”Trains” by Travis Santiago and Joey McDonald, “Drawing Dragons” by Ace Albertini and Alex Swickard, “Chores” by Alana Ellis and Abby Roden, and “Tooth Fairy” by Danielle Futerman and Diana Winthrop were shown at Spirit Meet. There were 12 films by second and third graders this year, which is a new record for the school. The films will be on LTV’s “Springs School in Action” all summer. The student filmmakers are anxiously awaiting the “Osprey Awards” ceremony, which will take place in early June.

There are some amazing scrapbooks on display in the library. They were created by the eighth graders for their Roaring Twenties projects. The books had 3D additions and reported on important people from that era. “The books were phenomenal,” said fifth-graders Katie Fragola and Kirsten Clarke.

The third-grade class of Nicole Lesta, Nicole Finer and Jessica Vickers has been studying Ireland. They just sent their second set of letters (with a total of 19 letters) to pen pals in Tullamore, Country Offaly in Ireland, a third-grade class in an all-girls school called Scoil Mhure. They studied how little towns in Ireland are not so different from Springs.

Christine Cleary’s fifth-grade class filmed the closing scene for the DARE project “Smoking is No Joke”. Puppets were made for the film and the students came up with their own jokes and lines. The film will be presented at the DARE graduation for the fifth grade. The film will be shown all around the country for different DARE programs. Other AEP students helped with the making of the film.

In health, the sixth graders are required to make an identity book all about themselves. This identity book will include pictures, funny and sad times, the people they care about in the world, their heritage, their family, and illustrations about their lives so far. The project will take approximately three weeks, including working on it at home and in health class. John Foster, the health teacher will have the students share the books at the end of the year with their classmates, if they would like to.

This news summary marks the last one the Journalism Club will do this year, culminating with next weeks’ celebration and awards. This is the 12th year that students have been reporting the news in this small, but very active, school. Staff members Sue Ellen O’Connor and Mary Jane Arceri would like to thank the newspapers for helping to teach students that their observations and words matter, for the parents who picked up their children after the sessions and for the school for supporting this worthwhile program.

Amagansett School

Fourth graders just finished reading a story that was set in Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons National Park. The students are making preparations to take a virtual camping trip to a national park of their choice. The class has been researching different parks, things to see and do there, and what to take along on the trip. These selections are based on location and the time of year. The students will then develop itineraries based on their research. Stay tuned to results of their great adventures.

The benefits of technology were most evident at Kathy Solomon’s annual Mother’s Day tea last Friday when third-grader Sam Anderson, whose mother lives and works in England, was able to read his poem and present her with a rose via Skype, a video internet hook up. Tears flowed on both sides of the Atlantic during this touching moment.

Congratulations to the pre-K and kindergarten for having the highest amount of class participation during the TV Turn Off Challenge. The second grade class exhibited the highest amount of class enthusiasm. All the classes were rewarded with smoothies made by Mrs. Bennett, the school nurse, during snack time.

On Monday, May 5, Dr. Judith Wooster hosted Coffee and Conversation. VTS, or Visual Thinking Strategies, was discussed. Amagansett teachers have been working with VTS to develop students’ aesthetic awareness. The teachers’ are finding that this strategy results in the development of skills children apply across the curriculum. Combating addiction to computer games was also a topic of discussion. An informal conversation was held to discuss how parents can address the issue of addictive game playing with their children.

On Wednesday, April 16, sixth graders performed Greek plays for the students, staff, and parents of the Amagansett School. The performance was a culmination of their social studies unit on ancient Greece. The students worked in pairs to write short plays based on Greek myths. Once the scripts were completed, sixth graders assigned roles to their classmates and began practicing their lines.

A great deal of time was also spent designing and creating scenery and props. On the day of the performance, sixth graders dressed in togas and crowns made of olive leaves. Each student worked very hard to make the performance the best it could be. In the end, their hard work paid off. The plays were outstanding and very entertaining to watch. After the show, sixth graders took a few minutes to answer questions from the audience. All in all it was an excellent learning experience for everyone involved.

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