Tiger Tracks mUfsd's monthly e-news

November, 2017

District Highlights:

  • Students Enjoying Classwork at Harbor Island's New Marine Education Center
  • Winter Concert Season Fast Approaching, with Rehearsals in Full Swing at All Six Schools; MHS Jazz Band Participates in City Latin Fest
  • Large Contingency of Mamk Staff Members Represented at National Council of English Teachers (NCTE) 2017 Conference
  • Watch Video: Hommocks Reading Dashboard Generates Valuable Student Data
  • NY Times Best-Selling Author Visit Provides Shared Literacy Experience
  • District and STEM Alliance Launch Competitive Elementary Robotics Team
  • MHS Robotics Students Also Gearing Up for Competition
  • Hommocks Guest Speaker Shares Anti-Bullying, Victim-Free Strategies with Students and Parents
  • Video: Explore the Parent Portal
  • PACE Kinesthesia Runs Dec. 6-9 at MHS
  • November's "Mamaroneck Minute": In Case You Missed It
  • Reminder: Tell Neighbors/Friends to Sign Up for Emails; Follow MUFSD on Social Media

Students Enjoying New Marine Ed Center at Harbor Island

Classes have been visiting the new interactive Marine Education Center at Harbor Island in Mamaroneck. MHS Biology students have been walking there from the high school and learning about native species of animals as they begin their studies on Taxonomy. The Center's naturalist Kyle Troy says nearly 300 students have had the chance to study some 100 species of animals that she herself has retrieved from the Long Island Sound. She plans to make school visits in the coming months to work with students at both MHS and Hommocks. Terrific opportunities for hands-on, authentic learning right in our backyard!

All Schools Getting Ready for Winter Concert Season; Jazz Band Performs at Pacheco Latin Jazz Fest

The Mamaroneck High School Jazz Band was invited to participate in the Johnny Pacheco Latin Jazz festival held last week at Lehman College in the Bronx. The festival celebrated music of many different cultures with bands from all over the NYC area and clinicians from around the country.

“I always believe it is important for students to perform in public venues for different audiences. There is nothing more authentic for the students’ growth than preparing and performing in front of their peers and professionals in the music scene,” said MHS Band Director Tim Hooker.

A Dozen Mamaroneck Staff Members Represented at National Council of English Teachers (NCTE) Conference

Mamaroneck was represented in full force at this year's National Council of English Teachers Conference, with more than a dozen MUFSD English teachers and administrators traveling to St. Louis this past weekend to participate as attendees and/or selected presenters. Hommocks teachers Emily Craig, Laura Murphy, Katie Nagrotsky (HMX staff alum), and Deb Sampayo, along with Literacy Coach Lisa Ramos-Hillegers and Assistant Principal Rob Andrews, presented on the significant shifts in their practice over recent years in conjunction with staff developer Donna Santman. MUFSD Literacy Ambassador Maggie Hoddinott and 4th grade teacher Chris Alden delivered an engaging, interactive session on "The Power and Potential of Graphic Novels", designed for graphic novel novices and veterans alike to explore the myriad of benefits of the format. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Annie Ward; Maggie Hoddinott, and Elementary Literacy Coach Laurie Pastore shared their latest work in overcoming barriers to reading volume so that all students might have access, choice and time to read. All of our district's presentations were linked to decades of research showing that reading progress is directly linked to voluminous, high-success, high-interest reading. And yet, even with this knowledge, some students are still not thriving as readers. In order to close this knowing/doing gap and promote reading growth for all students, the right conditions must be met. Students must have access to high interest books, choice in what they read, and time to read their books.

Watch Video: Hommocks Reading Dashboard Provides Valuable Info on Student Reading Patterns in Real Time

Hommocks students have read more than 7,000 books so far this school year. The new Hommocks electronic reading log (i.e., the "Dashboard") replaces conventional paper and pencil logs used in previous years to help students track their independent reading and supports the District's literacy goal to promote voluminous, engaged reading for all students across all grades. Take five minutes to watch this video!

NY Times Best-Selling Author Visit Provides Shared Literacy Experience for 5th & 6th Graders

Chris Grabenstein, Author of NYT best seller Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, paid a visit to 5th graders at the elementary schools and Hommocks Middle School 6h graders. This shared literacy experience across the district was made possible thanks to the PTAs and our librarians. In his humoristic style, Grabenstein shared the many books he has written, discussed the writing process and provided an interactive demonstration on how he generates ideas for his stories, as well as how he overcomes writer's block.

"Chris was one of the best author visits Hommocks has ever had! He used his background in stand-up comedy to engage the students and deliver a powerful message—your ideas matter! He modeled how to craft a story and overcome writer’s block. Students have been buzzing about his books ever since. Home Sweet Motel and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library are two of the top 25 books checked out from the Hommocks Library this month. His visit did exactly what we had hoped—motivated students to pick up a book to read and inspired many to pick up a pencil to write their own stories." - Kelsey Cohen, Hommocks Librarian.
NYT best-selling author Chris Grabenstein visits with Hommocks Middle School 6th grade students and 5th graders at the elementary schools across the district.

District Partners with STEM Alliance to Launch Competitive Elementary Robotics Team

Gearing up for competition this January, the Mamaroneck Cyber Tigers team consists of 4th and 5th graders from all four elementary schools, coached by MAS technology teacher David Targa. Students are strategizing and coding their robots while researching and designing an innovative solution for this year’s project challenge: improving how humans use water.

Photos: Contributed by STEM Alliance of Larchmont-Mamaroneck

High School Robotics Also Getting Ready to Compete

At the high school level, the competition is fierce, and MHS students are getting prepared. Students have been busy developing the gripper prototype and preparing the chassis for the linear slide. In the meantime, next week the team will attend a robotics surgery program at White Plains hospital, where they will be meeting with physicians and getting hands-on time with the robots these physicians use. Stay tuned for more on this.

Mamaroneck High School Robotics students prepare for competition. Students will participate next week in a robotics surgery program at White Plains Hospital.

Hommocks Guest Speaker Shares Anti-Bullying, Victim-Free Strategies with Students and Parents

Hommocks students felt empowered by the dynamic presentations of guest speaker Tom Thalen, who offered strategies for remaining victim free. Assemblies were held for middle school students during the day, and an evening for parents provided tips for carrying on the "break free from bullying" message at home.

New Video Reminds Mamaroneck Families How to Access Student Info through the eSchool Parent Portal

PACE Kinesthesia Runs Dec. 6-9 at MHS

Don't miss the annual Kinesthesia, Mamaroneck High School's student-choreographed dance production presented by PACE (MHS's Performing Arts Curriculum Experience)! Featuring 19 dances, this year's family-friendly production also includes the PACE 4 dance class performing to live music and a variety of dance styles from modern dance to hip hop and tap. Show runs each night at 7 pm from Wed., Dec. 6th - Sat., Dec. 9th in the PACE Theatre.

"Mamaroneck Minute": In Case You Missed It

From the classroom to climbing: District Assistive Technology Coach Andrew Hess shares how he helps students -- both in and outside Mamaroneck Schools -- unlock their potential.

Tell Neighbors & Friends to Sign Up for District Emails and Follow MUFSD on Social Media

Did you know that about 70% of residents in Larchmont and Mamaroneck do not have children in our District's schools? Help us spread the word that community members can sign up to receive District news by visiting www.mamkschools.org and selecting "District" at the top and then "News" to access a very short online form that can be submitted electronically. Additionally, all community members can learn about what is going on in the schools by following MUFSD on social media:

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