Tiger Tracks mUfsd's monthly e-news

September, 2016

District Highlights:

  • 2016-2017 School Year is in full swing with a smooth September start
  • WATCH VIDEO: Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Shaps talks about 2016-2017 District Goals
  • Get to Know your Board of Education! Full BOE meeting schedule this year; topics of interest to All
  • Twenty-Two Staff Members Eligible for Tenure this School Year
  • Middle School Coding Curriculum Provides Important Link on Gr 2-12 Computer Science Continuum; all school levels' computer science curricula now on website
  • MHS Student Team Invited to Showcase App at Conference for World-Class Health Leaders, Plus Other Recent Computer Science Happenings
  • Chatsworth Ave. School Opens New Outdoor Learning Classroom
  • MHS Students Say So Long for Now to Shanghai Experimental School Students
  • Future Business Leaders of America Presence Remains Strong
  • Sports Spotlight: Cross Country Successes, Plus This Month's Daily Voice Standout Student-Athletes
  • In Next Month's Tiger Tracks: The Electronic Music Lab Opening at Hommocks

Students and Staff are Back in Full Swing

It is wonderful to have our hallways full of students again...5,446 of them to be exact! (Our district continues to experience steady annual growth in total enrollment.) The year is off to a smooth start, and our teachers and students are fulling engaged at this point.

WATCH VIDEO: Superintendent Dr. Robert Shaps talks about 2016-2017 District "Stretch" Goals

At the September 20th Board of Education study session, district administration and Board members discussed three primary stretch goals for the 2016-2017 school year. They are as follows:

1) All students will read capably and voluminously across genres for a variety of meaningful purposes (e.g., for pleasure, to learn about the world).

2) Empower each and every family to support their child's learning.

3) Foster community connectedness: ensure that students, families and district staff engage in meaningful, authentic interactions

Dr. Shaps introduces the concept of "Stretch Goals" during the September 20th Board of Education meeting.

Get to Know Your Board of Education!

Remember, the Board always appreciates hearing from parents and community members. If you would like to e-mail the Board of Education before, during or after a particular Board meeting, you can send the e-mail to board@mamkschools.org. All Board members see the e-mails when they are sent to that address.

2016-2017 Board of Education members, above. Left to right, bottom: Steve Warner (Vice President), Melany Gray (President), Paul Bulova (Secretary). Top: Trustees Ann LoBue, Sari Winter, Roger Martin and Rina Beder.

Twenty-Two Staff Members are Being Considered during the 2016-17 School Year for Tenure

SEPTA & The District "A Truly Special and Unique Partnership"

The strong turnout at the annual SEPTA Welcome Back breakfast is just one indicator of the truly unique and special collaboration that exists between our District and SEPTA (special education PTA). This year, new leadership teams on both the SEPTA side and the District side were welcomed. “Knowing children and creating a nurturing environment for all learners is our mission,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Shaps before introducing the new Director of Special Education Dr. Nora Mazzone. “This is an amazing, treasured and honored event,” said Dr. Mazzone, who spoke to the group, along with the new Interim Assistant Director of Special Education Dr. Michael Mercanti-Anthony (who just this school year has moved over to Student Support Services from his role as AP at the high school). Coming in October Tiger Tracks, Student Support Services at Work: Q&A with Dr. Mazzone and Dr. Mercanti-Anthony.

Student Support Services has been busy planning fo0r the 2016-17 school year, and the SEPTA Welcome Back Breakfast provided an ideal opportunity to pause to cherish the powerful collaboration that exists with SEPTA.

New Coding Curriculum at Hommocks Provides Important Link on Gr 2-12 Computer Science Continuum

Mamaroneck School District students are introduced to the fundamentals of computer programming beginning in 2nd grade. Our curriculum includes exploration of block-based coding, physical computing, robotics, Java programming, app design and web development. This year, we've launched a new middle school curriculum that consists of two weeks of coding as part of Technology class in 6th and 7th grades and a 10-week coding course for all 8th graders. The curriculum was carefully developed to offer a logical progression from the elementary foundation, yet with new challenges that had been previously introduced in high school. The new course will be offered to ALL students, providing an opportunity to engage a broader group of learners. The end goal is to have agile problem-solvers ready to tackle 21st century problems, inside and out of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) professions. The new Hommocks curriculum -- which was designed to align with the standards established by the Computer Science Teachers’ Association and the National Curriculum for Computing recently adopted in the United Kingdom -- also will introduce students to physical computing through digital sensors and programmable circuit boards.

Computer science curriculum information at all levels is now available on www.mamkschools.org under Teaching & Learning (at the top), Curriculum & Instruction.

Hommocks 8th graders (working above in Scratch) will be introduced to computer science concepts such as physical computing and circuit boards, which were previously not taught until high school.

MHS Computer Science Students Show Off Their Award-Winning App at Health Tech '16 Conference with World-Class Healthcare, Health Tech, Biotech Leaders

Yesterday, MHS Computer Science team members Max Bobby (Project Leader), Pablo Garza, Paul Pedrozo, and Sam Brause were the only high school students in the area invited to attend the "Health Tech '16: Fueling Innovation in Westchester" conference to showcase their award-winning smartphone app that they developed last spring for the aging population. The students spent the day listening to speakers examining emerging research and discoveries, and manning a table where they interacted with conference goers about their app. One of the day's highlights for our students was watching five-minute pitches (Shark Tank-like) from healthcare start-ups to a live panel of venture capitalists.

Mamaroneck High School students who won last spring's Westchester County Mobile App Bowl were invited to attend and be recognized at the Westchester County Association’s "Health Tech '16: Fueling Innovation in Westchester" conference. Above, the students were congratulated by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, along with other county and business executives.

Other Recent Computer Science Happenings:

MHS Senior Harrison Crandall develops schedule app to help fellow students stay organized & on time for class
Lucie le Blanc will be recognized with a special student award from Westchester County Association for her dedication and hard work as co-founder of the popular coding club, among other STEM accomplishments.

Chatsworth Ave. School School Opens Outdoor Learning Classroom Tied to Science Curriculum

Thanks to a Mamaroneck School District grant, Chatsworth Ave. School opened its outdoor classroom - which is aligned to the elementary science curriculum and designed to invite inquiry as students discover and explore through various “stations” (such as a Sensory Station, a Writing & Reflection Station, an Art & Expressions Station and Nature’s Engineering). Faculty came together to dedicate the outdoor classroom to their former colleague, Rita Peters, and community members joined in for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Students explored the space and were introduced to the types of hands-on, authentic outdoor learning experiences they will be fortunate enough to enjoy. A wonderful celebratory opening!

So Long for Now to Our New Friends from Shanghai Experimental School

This week wrapped up the visit by Shanghai Experimental School students to Mamaroneck High School, and on all accounts, it was a terrific one...From the valuable classroom interactions in not only Mandarin classes, but in culinary arts, physical education and art, to the students' immersion in American family life through their host families. As always, MHS students taking Chinese loved conversing in Mandarin with SES students, and the entire MHS student body enjoyed their presence. So long, SES student, until we meet again. (A group of our MHS students will travel to China this spring and have the chance to reacquaint with many of these same students.)

Future Business Leaders of America Presence Remains Strong

Twenty-seven Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) members from Mamaroneck High School attended the National Leadership Conference in Atlanta this past summer, and it was clear that we have a vibrant FBLA chapter. Our students shined in their respective individual and group competitions, with MHS senior Sophia Danziger running a national campaign and being elected to the position of Eastern Region Vice President. Sophia – who delivered remarks to more than 3,000 FBLA members of the Eastern Region (In all, there were about 12,000 delegates from every state and abroad at the conference) – developed a campaign slogan, “Light the Way for FBLA”, which became a tagline among members and spread on social media. Additionally, MHS students Andrew Katz (Junior), Yi Zhao (Senior) and Jack Phillips (Senior) placed 4th nationally for their mobile app project.

MHS's FBLA students, who attended the National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, are busy at work this year designing business plans, making presentations and further developing their leadership skills.

Sports Spotlight: Cross Country Highlights, Plus This Month's Daily Voice Student Athlete Standouts

The girls cross country team is undefeated so far this year. They captured 1st Place at the Gressler Invitational in White Plains last Saturday. Iliana Safer came in 1st in a crowded field. Jane Hollander took 3rd Place. The boys cross country team placed 2nd, and Sam Mullen and Will Young burned up the course with a 1st and 2nd Place finish respectively and two new course records.

Photo Credit: Journal News -- Eliana Safer in 1st Place finish at Fred Gressler Memorial Run

This month's Mamaroneck/Daily Voice Standout Student-Athletes:

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