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Chestnut Street Students Boogie Down With Butterflies

Chestnut Street Students Boogie Down With Butterflies Photo

Students at Chestnut Street School learned about the interdependence between plants and animals through the Wildlife Conservation Society’s “Butterfly Boogie” program, delivered by Wildlife Theater, on May 19.

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s website, Wildlife Theater is the WCS’s educational outreach program that uses theater to teach young people about wild animals and places, helping to build the next generation of conservationists.   

 During the theatrical performance, students learned about the physical characteristics common to all insects, which include a head, abdomen, thorax, six legs, antennae and an exoskeleton. They also learned that insects are an essential part of the food chain in that they eat rotten fruits and vegetables and pollinate plants.

The young students also “traveled” 3,000 miles with the butterfly-themed show “The Tale of Flutterby and Piggle.” In this adventure, they learned about monarch butterflies, their metamorphosis and their diet of milkweed plants. 

The district thanks the PTA for sponsoring this educational assembly that allowed students to further explore the world around them.       

West Hempstead MS Students Receive Visit From Senator Kaminsky

West Hempstead MS Students Receive Visit From Senator Kaminsky Photo

Sixth-graders at West Hempstead Middle School learned what it takes to pass a bill when Senator Todd Kaminsky visited them on May 18 to teach them about state government.

During his visit, Kaminsky described the duties of a New York State Senator and discussed his experiences as an Assemblyman and federal prosecutor. He also explained how laws are passed in the state of New York by having students try to pass a law to eliminate smoking on Long Island. He explained that in order to have a bill passed, a committee of Senators and Assemblymen must first approve the law and then send it to the Governor, who has the power to sign or veto the bill.

The engaging lesson was followed by a Q&A session with the Senator, during which students asked about his work, how he became involved in politics and what laws he has helped to enact.

The district is proud to offer students an opportunity to speak with their local Senator and further develop into enlightened citizens.   

2016-2017 Parent University Workshop Series Information



Scientists of George Washington

Scientists of George Washington Photo

Aligned with their Science unit about states of matter, second-graders at George Washington Elementary School created their own slime with the help of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The students participated in a videoconference with the museum’s Distance Learning Manager, Corrina Strecker, who discussed the different states of matter – solid, liquid and gas – and explained each state’s unique physical properties, including shape, smell and mass.

Following the presentation, the students investigated the states of matters by making their own slime. Working in pairs, they followed step-by-step instructions to create the gooey concoction, combining cornstarch, water, Elmer’s School Glue and a small amount of Borax powder. Using droppers, they took turns measuring the ingredients, stirring the mixture together and forming the slime with their hands. After it took shape, they applied their observation skills to examine the touch, smell and appearance of the slime.

The second-graders were all smiles as they conducted this one-of-a-kind experiment. The district thanks the students’ teachers and STELLAR teacher Dara Perlow for giving them the opportunity to further develop their interests in science.  

Thank You to the West Hempstead Community for Support in Passing the Budget!

Notice of Regular Board of Education Business Meeting - June 20, 2017


Donating More Than Pennies

Donating More Than Pennies Photo

Students, staff and administrators of Cornwell Avenue Elementary School raised more than $4,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through their Pennies for Patients fundraiser.

Leading a kickoff assembly at the school on March 3, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Campaign Specialist Alexa Landro explained to students that their donations will assist in finding cures and improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.

Over the course of two months, students were asked to donate spare change and create collection boxes so that friends, families and neighbors could give to the cause as well. During the last week of April, the classes sent their donations to the main office, where first-grade teacher Edna Messina, the fundraiser’s coordinator, tallied each class’s contribution.

Landro returned to Cornwell Avenue on April 28 for a closing ceremony that celebrated the school’s generous grand fundraising total of $4,001.76. Gathered in the gymnasium, Messina and fifth-grade student council representatives Ivana Jimenez and Gabriel Blanco expressed their sincere gratitude to the entire school for participating in this year’s drive.

Ivana and Gabriel awarded pennants to all 14 homeroom classes for their efforts; seven classes earned bronze for raising $100–$199, three earned silver for raising $200–$299, and four earned gold for collecting more than $300.

They also presented third-grader Lela Martin with a stuffed animal for pushing the school’s grand total over $4,000 with her contribution of $8.73. Additionally, Desiree Karroll’s class raised the most money with a total of $725.

Concluding the ceremony, teachers and staff performed a surprise flash mob dance to Justin Timberlake’s hit song “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Dancing around the gymnasium, students and faculty were clapping, laughing and singing along as the teachers performed.

The district extends a special thank-you to Ms. Messina and the student council for organizing this successful fundraiser and giving the student body an opportunity to come together and help others.

Bronze Pennant Winners:
    Jennifer Brickman
    Danielle Napolitano and Susan Barnett
    Melissa North
    Joseph Papas and Dianna Hawxhurst
    Yvette Rowe
    John Santoro
    Barbara Silkes and Andrea Denimarck

Silver Pennant Winners:
    Melissa Averaimo
    Jennifer Corrado and Teresa Moore’s
    Aileen Sheridan

Gold Pennant Winners:
    Desiree Karroll
    Edna Messina
    Paul Selhorn
    Gabriella Simone and Susan Barnett’s

West Hempstead Budget Passes

Residents in the West Hempstead School District voted to support the 2017-18 budget on May 16, by a vote of 801 to 404.
Additionally,  Vincent Trocchia and Joseph Magaraci were elected to the Board of Education. The vote totals were:

Vincent Trocchia (running unopposed): 804 Votes
Joseph Magaraci: 752 Votes
Nick Hoh: 353 Votes

Thank you to all residents who participated in this important vote and for your continued support of the West Hempstead School District!

West Hempstead MS Celebrates Poem in Your Pocket Day

West Hempstead MS Celebrates Poem in Your Pocket Day Photo
West Hempstead MS Celebrates Poem in Your Pocket Day Photo 2
In observance of National Poem in Your Pocket Day, sixth-graders in Karen Terwilliger’s class at West Hempstead Middle School held a poetry slam on April 27.

According to the Academy of American Poets website, New York City installed the observance in 2002 as part of its National Poetry Month celebration. The Academy took the initiative national in 2008. Individuals are encouraged to write their own poem or borrow one from a favorite poet and carry it in their pocket to share with friends, family, classmates and colleagues throughout the day.

Over the course of three weeks, the sixth-graders spent time in the school library researching a variety of poets and their works. After finding a poem they connected with, they used their school-issued Chromebooks to create presentations that highlighted the central idea of the work, as well as figurative language such as repetition, metaphor, alliteration and personification.

Taking the spotlight to recite their poems on April 27, the sixth-graders’ spoken performances were received with snapping, in authentic poetry slam style, from their peers and Superintendent of Schools Patricia Sullivan-Kriss, Assistant Principal Jonathan Trapani and Director of English, Reading and Library Kathleen O’Farrell.
The students will write their own poems for the class’s next poetry slam.

Going Beyond Google

Going Beyond Google Photo
West Hempstead High School Junior Deanna Gonzalez and Senior Julia Granatelli were recently named winners in their school’s “Going Beyond Google” library contest held in honor of National Library Week.

Observed from April 9-15 this year, National Library Week celebrates the contributions of libraries and librarians and promotes library use and support, according to the American Library Association.

Organized by High School Librarian Barbara Stern, the contest was designed to teach students about the importance of using library databases for research instead of Google. Students prepared for the contest by studying material relevant to the topic, including a video, an article and a blog post on the subject. They then applied their knowledge to answer a question on the high school’s library blog explaining the benefits of using library databases rather than Google to perform research and gather information.

Each winner received a gift basket containing a $25 Visa gift card as well as snacks and beverages.

The high school library staff expresses its gratitude to all students who participated in the contest.

Future Engineers of West Hempstead

Future Engineers of West Hempstead Photo

As part of a lesson in the STELLAR (Success in Technology, Library, Literacy, Artistry and Research) curriculum, fourth-graders at George Washington Elementary School designed multidimensional roller coaster carts using the school’s 3-D printer.

Prior to designing their carts, the students studied kinetic and potential energy and participated in a videoconference with the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center about the physics behind roller coasters. The lesson was guided by NCOESC Distance Learning Coordinator Andy Campbell, who demonstrated how energy can be transferred from one object to another.

Following the lesson, the students worked in groups to assemble roller coasters using household materials provided by STELLAR teacher Dara Perlow. Applying their physics knowledge, the groups constructed roller coaster towers using toilet paper rolls, Popsicle sticks, plastic cups and tape.

Collaborating on school-issued Chromebooks, the groups then designed carts for their amusement park ride using Tinkercad software, a 3-D design and modeling tool used to create multidimensional objects with geometric shapes. They adjusted the shapes’ dimensions and rotated the wheels to create carts that would hold passengers.  

The West Hempstead High School Achievement Dinner Photos Now Available

Click here to view the High School's photo gallery

West Hempstead Welcomes Class of 2030

West Hempstead Welcomes Class of 2030 Pic 1

Families of children who will attend kindergarten this fall at Chestnut Street School were invited to the school on April 26 for a kindergarten visitation.

Parents received a presentation from Principal Faith Tripp, who discussed the curriculum, how to prepare for kindergarten, and ways that they and their children can become familiar with the building.

While parents took notes in the gymnasium, West Hempstead’s future scholars were divided into classrooms with teachers to experience kindergarten firsthand. They spent the afternoon coloring, counting, reading and writing.

Along with the children getting a glimpse of kindergarten, parents walked away more prepared for the school year to come.  

West Hempstead Student-Athletes Honored by BOE

West Hempstead Student-Athletes Honored by BOE Photo
West Hempstead Student-Athletes Honored by BOE Photo 2
Congratulations were in order during the April 25 meeting of the West Hempstead Board of Education as several students were recognized for their athletic accomplishments.

The Board acknowledged the West Hempstead Middle School boys volleyball team for their undefeated winter II season, finishing 10-0 under the direction of Coach Andrew Wilson.

“I am proud of these young men not only for going undefeated, but also for learning a lot about commitment, sportsmanship and being a student-athlete,” said Wilson.

Also honored was West Hempstead High School senior and soccer player Lisette Palomo, who was named a News 12 Scholar Athlete. Nominated by her soccer Coach, Michael Scaturro, Lisette earned this prominent designation based on her academic achievements, involvement in her school community and athletic prowess on the field. She received a full scholarship to attend Iona College in the fall, where she will play soccer and major in biology.

“Lisette is an incredible soccer player, student and human being,” said Scaturro. “Over the past five years, she has done tremendous work for the soccer program. I couldn’t be more pleased to have coached such an outstanding and kindhearted student-athlete.”

The West Hempstead Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Patricia Sullivan-Kriss commend these outstanding student-athletes for their determination, athleticism and excellence throughout the year.     

2017 Budget Newsletter Now Available


West Hempstead HS Inducts 155 Into Honor Societies

West Hempstead HS Inducts 155 Into Honor Societies Photo

As a result of their dedication, commitment to excellence and elite academic standing, more than 150 West Hempstead High School students were inducted into the Tri-M Music, Italian, Spanish, Art and National Honor Societies on April 24.

Opening the ceremony, members of the high school Chamber Orchestra performed for the parents, faculty, Board of Education members and district administrators in attendance.

“To our accomplished students, we honor your achievements in four important areas – scholarship, leadership, community service and character,” said High School Principal Alvaro Escobar. “All of you are now leaders who will strive to live up to the expectations and responsibilities of your society, community, school and, most importantly, yourselves.”

Current members of each honor society spoke about the group’s significance, its requirements for induction and the responsibilities of its members. After lighting their society’s candle, the inductees recited their respective oaths, pledging their commitment to the chapter.

This year, the Tri-M Music Honor Society inducted 15 new members, while the Art Honor Society accepted 35 new creative students. The Italian and Spanish honor societies welcomed 14 and 39 new members, respectively. The National Honor Society inaugurated 52 Juniors and Seniors.

The district is very proud of its newest honor society members and extends its gratitude to the teachers and staff who advise these clubs.

VIDEO: 3D Printing


In the MAKER SPACE Lab, Cornwell Avenue fifth-graders made multidimensional objects using the school's 3D printers.

West Hempstead High School Spring Musical Another Great Success

Musical Photo 1
Musical Photo 2
Musical Photo 3
Musical Photo 4
The West Hempstead High School Drama Club presented the musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” for students, faculty and community members.

Based on the book by Rachel Sheinkin, the story brings together an eclectic group of sixth-graders, each eager to win the competition for very different reasons. These young students include sweet and timid Olive Ostrovsky, who traveled by bus with her only friend – the dictionary – to compete; the bold and hyper-allergic William Barfee, who plans to use his “magic foot” to propel him to greatness; returning champion Charlito “Chip” Tolentino, who struggles with his escalating puberty as he tries to win for the second time; the easily distracted Leaf Coneybear, who entered the bee as second runner-up and is unconvinced that he’s smart enough to be a competitor; overachiever Marcy Park, who is disappointed by her consistent success; and the politically aware Logainne “Schwartzy”  Schwartzandgrubenierre, who is only competing to impress her father. Through hilarious, touching and catchy songs, the spellers reveal their hopes, struggles and passions as they make their way through the competition.

Captivating the audience from the first act, the cast gave a riveting performance as they embraced their inner tween, spelling challenging words and exposing their ambitions and aspirations for life.

The drama club would like to express their sincere gratitude and appreciation to West Hempstead Director of Music and Fine Arts Jonathan Trapani, production directors Wayne Heckler, Joseph Kane and Nicole Morace, choreographer Melissa Benson and stage director Daniel D’Pasquale for their unconditional support and dedication to another successful spring musical.

To view all photos from the performance visit the photo album link on the high school webpage.    

Leading By Example

Leading By Example Photo
Carly Sills, a student at West Hempstead High School, was one of two high school seniors chosen to speak at the National Junior Honor Society induction ceremony for the Island Park School District’s Lincoln Orens Middle School.

As tradition, Lincoln Orens invites the two seniors who hold the highest grade point average from West Hempstead and Long Beach high schools to address the younger students and encourage their academic success in high school.     

Alongside Carly, Long Beach High School senior Joseph Aebly offered words of advice and inspiration to the 28 newly inducted members. NJHS members are selected based on their demonstration of the society’s five core values – scholarship, service, leadership, character and citizenship – as well as specific academic requirements.

The West Hempstead School District is proud of Carly for leading by example and inspiring her peers.

Lisette Palomo Named News 12 Scholar Athlete

Lisette Palomo Named News 12 Scholar Athlete Photo

West Hempstead High School senior, Lisette Palomo has been recognized as a News12 Scholar Athlete for her outstanding academic and athleticism. She also received a $1,000 scholarship from the Bethpage Federal Credit Union Hempstead branch.

Throughout her tenure at West Hempstead High School, Lisette has been enrolled in Advanced Placement, college-level and honors courses where she earned a 99.86 GPA. On her SATs, Lisette received a 1320. She also is in numerous clubs and organizations at the school as well as plays two musical instruments.

Outside of the classroom, Lisette is on multiple sports teams including lacrosse, basketball, badminton and soccer.

As a member of the girls varsity soccer team since the eighth-grader, Lisette has led the Rams to 43 wins, four playoff appearances and one conference championship.

With 72 points consisting of 49 goals and 23 assists, Lisette currently holds the second highest number of career points in West Hempstead history. Among her accomplishments, she has been named an All-County athlete for three consecutive years, was on the fourth team All-State as a senior, and was featured as one of Newsday’s Top 50 Girls Soccer Players to Watch. She also was voted the Nassau County Girls Varsity Soccer Player of the Year in Conference AB3. She will attend Iona College in the fall.

To see the full interview, watch News 12’s Scholar Athlete segment beginning on Tuesday, March 28 at 5 p.m. Congratulations, Lisette!

Video: Love Is Universal

Love Is Universal
Love and kindness filled the hallways of West Hempstead High School as students participated in the school’s Love Is Universal Week held Feb. 6-10.

Over the five days, students, teachers and administrators engaged in activities that promoted compassion, appreciation and love for one another. They received badges for completing random acts of kindness, contributed to a paper “kindness chain” by linking kind-hearted words together, and wrote notes of appreciation to classmates and teachers during lunch periods.

The week concluded with P.S. I Love You Day named after the nonprofit organization established by sisters Brooke and Jaimie DiPalma who lost their father to suicide in 2010. Observers of the day wore purple in a display of solidarity for the organization’s causes which are to take a stance against bullying and to help end depression and prevent suicide.    

In recognition of this day, the entire student body and staff at the high school were encouraged to wear purple and participate in the “Take One – Give One” Post-It–Note activity, for which the lobby was filled with colorful Post-Its bearing messages of hope, love, empathy and compassion. Throughout the day, students were asked to take a note and keep it for themselves or give it to someone else.

Schedule of Upcoming Special Board of Education Meetings


Scientists of Cornwell Avenue

Students at Cornwell Avenue Elementary School recently showcased their experiments during the school’s annual fifth-grade science fair.

Over the course of a month, all fifth-grade students employed the scientific method to conduct experiments on a topic of their choosing. During the experimental phase, they gathered materials needed, performed the experiment, compiled necessary data and drew conclusions based on their findings. Among their experiments, they studied water absorbency with different paper towel brands, tested an eggshell’s durability, and created film canister rockets, lava lamps and rock candy.

On Jan. 31, families, teachers, administrators and fellow students were invited to view the fifth-graders’ work at the fair. The cafeteria was transformed into an exhibition site where students displayed their findings on detailed posters and replicated their experiments for the attendees.

The district would like to thank all of the fifth-grade teachers for providing their students with an opportunity to conduct experiments and nurture their passion for science.

Small Change Makes A Big Difference

Small Change Makes A Big Difference
Small Change Makes A Big Difference 2
Small Change Makes A Big Difference 3
West Hempstead Middle School recently held a Pennies for Patients fundraiser, collecting more than $2,900 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The two-week fundraiser asked students in grades 6-8 to donate spare change during their homeroom periods. The students created their own collection boxes to accept donations from friends, families and neighbors, as well.

At the end of each day, the students sent their donations to the main office of the school, which ultimately sent a grand total of $2,906 to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to assist in finding cures and improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.

Inspired by the sizeable donation, the Pennies for Patients foundation rewarded the largest middle school donors with a bagel breakfast.

2016-2017 Superintendent's Goals

I. Provide all students with a comprehensive education which prepares them for their postgraduate future. a. Implement, support and evaluate the current writing and reading programs to ensure a cohesive focus, with common language and expectations for all students.

b. Utilize data, from multiple sources, to plan and implement appropriate, differentiated instruction that improves individual student achievement and will result in a 10% increase in scores for all NYS assessments and Regents/ AP exams administrated.

c. Design, implement and evaluate the co-teaching models for the special education and ENL programs to support student academic success.

d. Provide professional development for teachers and administrators to support the implementation of district and state initiatives.

e. To provide Social Emotional Learning (SEL) experiences for our students that develop cultural sensitivity, community service and personal attributes that instill in them humanity and citizenship.

II. Provide opportunities to involve the entire school community in the educational program for our children.

a. Engage community learning through parent/community workshops designed for the specific schools/departments.

b. Develop and implement Community/Parent University program that engages community members and parents by developing an understanding of current social, emotional and academic issues facing students.

c. Expand public relations initiatives to include greater utilization of the district website, Parent Portal, and social media.

III. To stabilize the District's financial position through long-term fiscal and
organizational planning.

a. Implement recommendations provided by the State Comptroller and the school district auditor to support the long term fiscal health of the district.

b. Support the implementation of facilities updates outlined in the bond through collaborative work with district architects and comprehensive fiscal planning.

c. Support the implementation of projects to be funded through the Smart Schools Bond Act.

Facilities Update

While teachers, staff members and students were enjoying the summer with friends and family, Director of Facilities Anthony Vecchione and members of the district’s custodial and buildings and grounds staff were hard at work preparing all five buildings for the return of educators and children in September.

Throughout the district, classrooms, hallways, offices and parking lots were repainted and lighting fixtures and ceiling tiles were replaced. Along with facility care, the staff attended to landscaping and masonry projects such as maintaining the quality of the turf fields and beautifying the grounds with trees, shrubs and flowers. Carpentry repairs were completed throughout the buildings as well, including the installation of shelving, handrails, new doors and hardware.

Among some of the larger projects, Chestnut Street received a new awning at the bus entrance to protect students and staff during inclement weather. Computers and phones were rewired at the middle school, while a new circuit breaker was installed in the basement of Cornwell Avenue. Whiteboards and projectors were installed at George Washington Elementary School and the high school, which also received renovations to its radiators.

Superintendent of Schools Patricia Sullivan-Kriss, administrators and faculty thanked Mr. Vecchione and all staff members involved for making the repairs in a timely and efficient manner and preparing all buildings for learning in the new academic year.

WHUFSD Photo Gallery

November 2016