Lots of Cool Cars on Display at Annual Car Show
There were cars, cars and more cars at the annual car show May 21. Read more about the fun event here.
How is (a + b)(a + b) similar to 12 x 12? This session will focus on the models used for multiplication and division, with a special emphasis on the Distributive Property. These models help students make sense of the standard algorithms.
Please register in MLP: https://www.mylearningplan.com/WebReg/ActivityProfile.asp?I=2393080&D=12439
Ideas for promoting summer reading
Collection development for next year
There were cars, cars and more cars at the annual car show May 21. Read more about the fun event here.
Students in the Southern Westchester BOCES Program at Pocantico Hills enthusiastically participated in the Student Council Government’s Spring Food Drive.
The children collected many different kinds of food and toiletry items over several weeks and donated them to local families in need. The school as a whole collected more than 1,500 items.
“It was amazing to see the generosity of the students and parents and the pride students took in being able to help others,” said Jessica Walker, principal of the SWBOCES program at Pocantico Hills School.
As a surprise, the Pocantico Hills PTA rewarded students for their efforts with a special ice cream party in the cafeteria. Children said this made the experience even sweeter.
Tappan Hill teacher Erroll Rivera was in the Christmas Tree Shops one day when he noticed the artificial flowers and had an idea. He would buy some and create the Tappan Hill Flower Shop in his classroom.
One afternoon in May, students spent a few minutes at their Flower Shop, choosing from forsythia, morning glory, daffodils, tulips and other artificial flowers to make their arrangements. They had a Flowergram order for teacher Adriane Lomupo, who was celebrating a birthday. Jesus, a student, gathered some pink and purple lilies, daffodils and pink wildflowers, and arranged them in a miniature watering can vase with a frog painted on it. He and classmate Steven delivered it to Ms. Lomupo’s class.
“Are you guys kidding me? Aww!” she said when they presented her with flowers. “You guys are great.”
Everybody sang happy birthday to Ms. Lomupo and ate cookie cake and ice cream in celebration.
“So everybody has heard of Instagram?” Mr. Rivera said. “This is Flowergram.”
In class, Mr. Rivera has been teaching students the anatomy of a flower and does research on every flower that they use.
In addition to the Flowergrams, Mr. Rivera’s students design arrangements that are featured on a small table in the lobby for a week at a time. Some students are able to do the work on their own, while others need assistance.
Christopher, another student in the class, chose White Lion daffodils, white lilacs, red tulips and pink roses to display in the school lobby for the week. He sat it on the table in the lobby, and Mr. Rivera put out a sign that credited Christopher with the floral design.
“We get lots of compliments on our arrangements in the lobby,” Mr. Rivera said.
Tappan Hill Principal Phyllis Rizzi gave the students some bud vases so she and others could keep flowers in their offices. “We’re very proud of all our students’ flower projects,” she said.
The class will be working with some real flowers too. Students are growing sunflowers in a tank by the window, which they will plant outside when they are bigger.
The BOCES Teachers Association raised $800 to benefit Career & Technical Education students attending the SkillsUSA competition. A ceremonial check was presented Wednesday night by BTA President Melissa Barreto to Board of Education President Catherine Draper.
"Most important, we wanted to demonstrate our dedication to our students by giving back," Barreto said of the fundraising effort.
Teacher Ray Sulla said the money was needed to help buy equipment and to pay to send kids to SkillsUSA who otherwise could not afford to attend. "This money really came in handy for us," Sulla said.
Pictured, from left, are CTE students Robert DiFeo, Gabriel Hernandez, Draper, Barreto, Sulla and Social Worker Eileen Yip.
Joshua Munoz, a second-grader in Erin Despoelberch's class in the BOCES Therapeutic program at Pocantico Hills, has been recognized 13 times for 100 percent perfect behavior in accordance with the school's Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports program. May 12 marked the 14th consecutive week that he earned all of his stars! His perfect streak began on Jan. 23.
Josh has consistently followed all the rules in his classroom and school community. He has shown a huge improvement in his ability to manage his emotions and to effectively use coping skills when needed to deal with stressors.
As a result of earning all of his stars each week, he has earned a certificate from the Principal Jessica Walker and tangible weekly rewards such as homework passes, extra free time, special lunches, prizes and even participation in a special field trip to the planetarium at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers.
Josh's teacher, Ms. Despoelberch, said she is amazed at his progress. "Joshua Munoz is one of our great success stories here at SWBOCES. Throughout his journey at Pocantico Hills, he has achieved great success, both academically and behaviorally,” she said. “Josh is an exemplary student who leads by our school mission: be respectable, be responsible, be safe.
“As his teacher, I am so proud to be a part of Joshua's amazing accomplishment. Keep It up Josh!” she added.
Michael Espinoza, a fifth-grader in the SWBOCES program at Pocantico Hills, took part in the Student Directed IEP (Individualized Education Program) process coordinated by Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES.
Karen Walker, Michael’s teacher, and Yolette Levy, his counselor, attended training to help guide him through the process. Michael developed a PowerPoint presentation to describe the progress he has made and express his goals for next year. He was able to share his presentation at his recent annual review meeting and take an active part in planning his educational program for next year.
Ms. Levy said it was wonderful to see Michael empowered to express his needs and to have his voice be heard as part of the decision-making process.
Michael shared his project at the Student Directed IEP celebration at PNW BOCES on May 12. “I felt nervous about speaking in front of people, but I was proud to show that I am capable of planning for myself,” he said.
Several representatives from regional information centers across the state came together May 4th at the LHRIC's offices in Harrison to discuss project results and plan for the upcoming school year.
Stephen Tibbetts, Southern Westchester BOCES’ assistant superintendent for business and administrative services, loves to see BOCES programs in action.
He recently visited Nathaniel Ayewah’s Bridge class at Farragut Middle School in Hastings after the student emailed Mr. Tibbetts to advocate for supplies he needed.
You see, Nathaniel has a passion for constructing 3D models of classic automobiles. He uses a host of materials, including cardboard, tape and photocopies of images. He regularly asks his teachers at Farragut Middle School for these supplies.
One of his teachers suggested that Nathaniel reach out to Mr. Tibbetts to ask for help. To his delight, not only did he get a response, but Mr. Tibbetts visited the school in person to find out from Nathaniel exactly what supplies he needed.
A few weeks later, Mr. Tibbetts hand-delivered photocopies Nathaniel uses for his projects. The photocopies are printouts from a website he told the assistant superintendent about. It has car exteriors that he cuts out and tapes to the models.
In return, Nathaniel presented Mr. Tibbetts with a one-of-a-kind model car as a thank you. The assistant superintendent has the car on display in his SWBOCES office.
“I like the detail of the car, especially the seats,” Mr. Tibbetts said. “It is similar to a prototype that car manufacturers might use.”
St. Matthew’s was a hive of activity in the lead-up to Cinco de Mayo as students planned how they would celebrate the holiday and shopped for a feast.
All of the classes were involved in planning activities to commemorate the Mexican army’s victory over France in 1862. The students decided that they wanted to eat nachos. As a group, they made a list of the ingredients they needed. In one class, they reviewed a supermarket circular to see if any of the ingredients were on sale.
The students went shopping to purchase their items. All the students in the four morning classes prepared the food for Cinco de Mayo. They cut the lettuce and tomatoes and grated the cheese. They cooked the meat and seasoned it with taco spices.
During lunch periods on Cinco de Mayo, students chose from chips, salsa, sour cream, lettuce, meat, cheese and prepared their own plates.
Each student emptied the meal and declared that the home-made nachos were the best they had ever eaten.
Stephanie Marquesano’s son, Harris, was a good kid with “a twinkle in his eye and a smile that would light up the room.” But he struggled with anxiety from a very young age and was diagnosed with ADHD in eighth grade.
He smoked marijuana for the first time that year and his behavior became out of control, but everything improved when he switched mental-health providers the following year and went on medication for ADHD. However, the stress and pressure that 11th grade brought with it, including SATs and college planning, increased his anxiety.
“He went to a party and took pills for the first time. That is pretty much where we can say ‘Game over,’” his mother recently told students at Southern Westchester BOCES’ Rye Lake Campus.
Harris went to multiple inpatient and outpatient drug rehabilitation programs, but they didn’t treat his underlying mental-health issues. He was 19 when he died of a drug overdose in 2013.
Since then, the Ardsley mom has campaigned to raise awareness of co-occurring disorders – substance-use and mental-health disorders. She tells her family’s story not to scare people or make them feel sorry for her, but to effect change in how CODs are treated. Most of all, she seeks to educate young people about what has become a pervasive problem in their generation, and to inspire them to take action.
“I could spend my time talking to parents and community leaders, and that’s all well and good,” said Ms. Marquesano, who created the Harris Project in her son’s name. “But my mission is to talk to young people about this so that this can be your movement and you can keep yourselves, your friends, your family members from dying.”
The nonprofit partnered with Student Assistance Services in Westchester to pilot a school campaign called CODA, which stands for Co-Occurring Disorders Awareness. About 15 schools in the region have started CODA clubs, including chapters in New Rochelle, Hendrick Hudson, John Jay High School and Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Fox Meadow High School. The Harris Project has worked with Southern Westchester BOCES and Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES in introducing CODA to schools.
Ms. Marquesano, who also gave the presentation to SWBOCES students at Irvington High School, said it is important that students know how to get involved. “Young people are making a commitment because they want to understand this better and they want it to not just be a club of kids who are at risk who cling together. They want everybody to get the message,” she said.
CODs are “shrouded in shame and secrecy,” Ms. Marquesano said. If children are using substances, families more than likely will tell people that they are good kids who just started hanging out with the wrong people. If you start talking about mental health, parents may think the community is judging them and wondering who in the family is crazy.
“It won’t be until we start changing that conversation that change is going to happen and it’s going to start with you,” she said. “Talking about this ends the cycle of being ashamed and denying the problem. Everybody’s got something.”
Leslie, a Rye Lake Middle School eighth-grader, said she thinks organizing a CODA club at Rye Lake would be helpful for students. “A lot of kids here are going through their own stuff,” she said.
Angelina, a sophomore at Rye Lake High School, said she can relate to what Ms. Marquesano talked about. “I went down the same kind of down-the-hill thing as her son,” she said.
More than nine million Americans meet the clinical diagnosis for co-occurring disorders, and 70 percent of people who misuse substances have a co-occurring mental-health challenge or disorder, according to Ms. Marquesano. Twenty-two percent of youth between 13 and 18 have a diagnosable mental addictive disorder with severe impact in any given year.
Few drug-rehabilitation programs in the country also treat CODs, she said. Those that do provide this kind of care develop a treatment plan depending on what their patients’ struggles are. “Kids are going to rehab four, five, six times and they’re like, ‘Why aren’t they getting it right?’ Because this isn’t happening,” she said of the programs that treat both drug-abuse and mental-health disorders.
Responding to a question during her presentation, Ms. Marquesano said she finds that some students don’t want to take medication they are prescribed, but they “have no problem dabbling in substances.
“It’s kind of hypocritical to play around with stuff where you don’t know what’s going to happen versus doing something that may give you a better quality of life,” she said, adding that it’s important to build a relationship with professionals and trust that the people around you have your best interests at heart.
CODA – Co-Occurring Disorders Awareness – Campaign Goals:
Dr. Stephen Bicchieri, Principal
Will Guterman, Principal
Eileen Yip, Social Worker
James Matera, Principal
Orande Daring, Principal
Audrey Mangan, Principal
Alberta Grant-Johnson, Principal
Leslie Handler, Principal
Scott Kaufman, Principal
Phyllis Rizzi, Principal
Jessica Walker, Principal
Rachelle Kritzer-Filipek, School Psychologist
Cristina Tompkins, Guidance Counselor
Monica Johnson, Guidance Counselor
Allison Emig, Principal
Katheryn Lockwood, School Social Worker