Tiger Tracks mUfsd's monthly e-news

April, 2016

District Highlights:

  • Authentic, Outdoor Learning for Our Elementary Students (Above: Third graders at Dog Beach as part of Sheldrake field trip)
  • MHS Percussionists Kick Off United Nations General Assembly
  • Hommocks Middle School Principal Dr. Seth Weitzman Named Administrator of the Year by BOCES School Library Systems
  • April Showcases Mamaroneck's "Multiple Pockets of Excellence"
  • MHS Students Launch 2nd Edition of "Impressions", an Award-Winning Photography & Design Magazine
  • STEM-tastic Saturday is Right Around the Corner: May 14th!
  • Board of Education Adopts 2016-2017 School District Budget: Community Budget Vote is May 17th

Nature provides the ideal classroom for authentic learning!

Outdoor learning comes in different shapes and sizes, but each of our elementary schools is taking advantage of the nice weather to provide outdoor, authentic learning opportunities for Mamaroneck students.

For example, what began as simply a nice place to read outside in Central School's courtyard is evolving into a true outdoor classroom space. The area includes a garden -- planted and cared for by students of all grade levels -- with benches, tables and soon to be added (thanks to a Mamaroneck Schools Foundation grant) outdoor blackboards and easels. On a given day, students may be found outside reading, writing, sketching, painting, gardening, or observing nature. Additionally, the Central Woodlands Project is well underway with grounds cleared, native plants going in, and plans for the area that will eventually create a "mini Sheldrake" outdoor experience.

Chatsworth Ave. School welcomed Spring with a combined Walk-to-School and Earth Day week filled with activities including a nature scavenger hunt. In the garden, 3rd graders have observed how sun and weather impact the growth-speed of the tulip bulbs; they planted around the gazebo. First graders have been in the garden beds turning over their fall cover-crops of rye and crimson clover, readying the soil for the 2nd and 4th grade classes to plant their spring lettuce and colonial herb crops starting next week.

At Murray Ave. School, gardeners have been busy bringing Murray Farms to life after winter hibernation. Students started by turning under the “green manure” they planted in the fall and spreading homemade compost made from lunchroom scraps. Next, students planted heirloom lettuce seeds for their spring salad garden, as well as peas, kale, cabbages and other nutritious greens. Third grade students are going to keep an observation log to track changes in the Salad Garden throughout the growing season — from seed to harvest and back to seed — as part of their life cycle study. The garden recess club celebrated Earth Day with a special treat — planting native shrub saplings to benefit Murray's schoolyard birds and butterflies.

Mamaroneck Ave. School's Garden Club has been busy planting lettuce, radish, carrots, herbs and tomatoes. The 2nd grade celebrated St Patrick's Day by planting peas in the MAS Community Garden for Good Luck! They also read First Peas to the Table, a book by Susan Grigsby about how Thomas Jefferson inspired a school garden. Kinder-gardeners also started planting peas on St Patrick's day and read Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. The entire MAS school community celebrated Earth Day and Walk to School Week by cleaning up the schoolyard and planting scarlet runner beans, sunflowers and zinnias to beautify the grounds.

MHS Students Perform at UN

MHS percussionists from the high school's drum corps, "The Force," performed for the United Nations General Assembly opening ceremonies last week. Check this out...

Hommocks Principal Dr. Seth Weitzman Named Administrator of the Year By BOCES School Library Systems

Hommocks Middle School Principal Dr. Seth Weitzman was named Administrator of the Year and honored at the Association of Southern Westchester and Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES School Library Systems’ annual conference. Congratulations Dr. Weitzman on this recognition of your longstanding advocacy for the Hommocks library!

April Showcases Mamaroneck High School's Multiple "Pockets of Excellence"

From top awards in computer science and business (Future Business Leaders of America) to competing in the Fed Challenge Semifinals and our talented musicians participating in master classes/performances throughout Boston at places like the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Children's Choir, Faneuil Hall Marketplace and the historic Church of the Covenant, our Mamaroneck School District students excel in so many different areas. In the sports world, keep an eye out for the new regular Mamaroneck Daily Voice Feature highlighting a Standout Student-Athlete each week -- a student who excels both on and off the playing field.

Top row: MHS students bring home Grand Prize from Westchester Smart Mobile App Competition. Second row: Record number of students participate in/win awards at Future Business Leaders of America's spring leadership conference. Third row, left: Team of MHS students named Semifinalist in Federal Reserve Bank of NY's Fed Challenge. Additional Photos: Music Department trip to Boston.

MHS Launches Second Edition of “Impressions”, an Award-Winning Photography & Design Magazine

The second edition of MHS's Impressions -- an innovative, student-directed photography magazine serving as a creative platform for students to share their work with the school and the Larchmont-Mamaroneck community -- recently received three awards from the American Scholastic Press Association: 1st Place for Publication Design, Best Design/Photography Magazine, and Outstanding Design Portfolio. Impressions is created by student photography submissions selected by a group of MHS Impressions editors. "The magazine is a unique, high-end publication meticulously crafted by a small group of photography/design students, making it a sophisticated platform for students to showcase their creative endeavors," says MHS Photography and Design Teacher Gwynne Bettencourt. "As a professional experience, this enables students to develop their problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration skills within a real world setting. This exciting initiative is essential to creating a well-rounded and inspired community, filled with individuals who push themselves to see the world through a more innovative lens." A special thank you to the PTSA grant committee for their support of this endeavor. For information on ordering a hard copy of this issue, email info@mhsimpressions.com.

STEM-tastic Saturday is May 14th!

The Third Annual STEM-tastic Saturday is May 14th, 2016 11 am – 5 pm at Hommocks. This day-long festival extravaganza celebrates Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and even Art with a full range of irresistible “touch, do, test, build and create” activities for all ages. Look for a 10,000 piece Keva Plank building zone, soldering stations, shark dissection, bubble workshops, beverage science with PepsiCo, flight science, team challenges at the Science Showdown, animal science, littleBits, STEM vendors and much, much more. Keynote – “Rules of Invention” -- at noon by Bob Partington: Artist, Engineer & Creative Genius. Open to the public. Tickets on sale now. Sign up to volunteer and receive great perks! “Our students and faculty look forward to this year’s festival, which complements classroom learning with endless hands-on activities and opportunities to interact with leaders in STEM fields,” Superintendent Dr. Robert Shaps said.

Board of Education Adopts 2016-2017 Budget: Community Budget Vote is May 17th

Learn the facts about the 2016-2017 Proposed Mamaroneck School District Budget. Read about the educational plan in the budget newsletter, hot off the press.

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