As reported by the Journalism Club
The 52 True Blue Opera Company is fine-tuning the costumes and makeup designs. Ellen Watson photographed the performers in their costumes for the lobby at Guild Hall. The students celebrated with a full company meeting December 10 to preview the film, “The Making of the Opera.” The costume and makeup team guided by Randy Hendler are: Caren Barrera, Laura Calderon, Kailey DeMai, Maria Flores, Marifer Gallegos, Joselinne Gavilanes, Joseph Milnes, Ashley Palacios, Angel Almedillo, Jaye de Groof, Derek Guazhambo, Tifany Gomez, Nichole Lopez, Andy Merchan, Jenny Van Nguyen and John Quizhpe.
Sean Knight’s fifth grade class just completed an experiment to determine the salt tolerance and salt sensitivity of certain plants. They compared how radishes, peas, barley, corn and bush beans reacted to water containing different levels of salt. Their experiment revealed that barley is the most salt tolerant, with radishes being the most salt sensitive. The students are determining how this finding could have environmental impact.
The administration is hosting monthly “coffee talk” workshops to provide parents with information on the latest programs and educational initiatives. Some of these presentations will also be highlighted at upcoming board and PTA meetings. The latest topic was the Dignity For All Students Act.
Principal Eric Casale congratulated Ben Jones and the Springs School band for its participation in this year’s Santa Parade in East Hampton Village. Joan Branche assisted the effort and the students provided a musical preview of the upcoming winter concert in January.
“Jamestown, Jamestown. first colony to survive and then to thrive,” rapped Owen McCormack’s fifth grade class. At Spirit Meet on December 11, the students shared facts about Jamestown with a full-length rap, wearing headwear they made that was representative of the period.
Second grade mathematicians were invited to participate in an enrichment program called “Math Kids.” They are working on creative problem solving with practice in teamwork. The program developed by Sue Ellen O’Connor, in cooperation with the second grade teachers, challenges the students to apply their critical thinking to numbers.
The girls’ volleyball team won its first home game against East Hampton. The top servers were Maddie Schenck and Carolina Ortega, with Isabella Aguero as the top spiker. Coach Ana Jacobs cited Sophie Ledda, Ashley Rea, Brooke Santiago, Isabella Aguero, Erica Villa, Maddie Hughes and Marketa Grant for their great teamwork.
The students in the Academic Enrichment Program (AEP) have started a new challenge this year. Each week they perform famous lines from Shakespeare. By March all those who have qualified will prepare a longer piece from Macbeth or Hamlet. A professional actor will score these thespians and award medals for the best at each grade level from fourth to seventh
The third grade classes taught by Ryan Scala, Joan Branche, Ann Marie Schuppe and, Cristen Keyes read “Everybody Cooks Rice” by Norah Dooley. In the story the families from Barbados, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, India, China, Haiti and Italy all prepared rice differently. Each class chose one recipe from the book to prepare. The students donated ingredients, assisted in the cooking, and participated in a rice “taste test” December 12.
This year the Student Council is hosting a toy drive to collect toys in cooperation with the U.S. Marine Corps. The elementary classroom that donates the most toys, will win a pizza party courtesy of the Student Council, led by Ray Wojtusiak.
As part of the VFW’s “Cookies for the Troops,” students wrote personal messages on index cards. Joan Branche’s students have displayed their cards and collected cards from students throughout the school to be distributed for the holidays.
Four new members were added to the staff: two special education teachers, Crystal Reiner and Kimberly Belkin. Marion Flaherty is the new head bus driver in charge of the transportation department. Diana Zuchelli replaced retiring Lou Aiello as a special education chairperson. Principal Eric Casale noted, “All of our new staff are experienced in their respective fields and we are more than confident they will do an excellent job.”