Tiger Tracks mUfsd's monthly e-news

November, 2016

District Highlights:

  • Elementary Literacy: Building Community of Engaged Readers - WATCH Presentation
  • STEM Alliance Presents Co-Op Camp Proposal
  • WATCH VIDEO: Hommocks Electronic Music Lab in Action
  • District's Longstanding Relationship with Facing History & Ourselves Proved Particularly Fruitful this Election Year
  • Makes You Want to Dance: 42nd Annual Kinesthesia Opens Tomorrow!
  • MHS Student-Athletes Sign On to Play at DI/DII Colleges
  • Students & Faculty Honor Local Veterans at Veterans Day Ceremony
  • Transition Academy Students Help Prepare Thanksgiving Meal at Soup Kitchen
  • Newly Formed MHS Debate Team Off to a Solid Start, Winning Awards Already
  • Technology Away for Just One Day
  • Celebrating Hour of Code Week Dec. 5th-11th in all of Our Schools

WATCH: LMC-TV Broadcast from Board Study Session on the District's Collaborative All-Hands-On-Deck Approach to Build a Community of Engaged Readers

Administrators and staff members at the November Board of Education study session presented an overview of the District's literacy initiatives, with an emphasis on helping individual students in the youngest grades (K-2) progress along their personalized reading continua and pointed to students’ unprecedented “energy and excitement around books.” They talked about classroom library renovations/bookmatching, the Summer Slide prevention initiative and efforts around providing young learners with an important "early literacy lift”.

Photo Credits Liam Robb O’Hagan.

STEM Alliance Proposal for Co-Op Camp Unveiled

At the November 15 Board of Education meeting, next steps around Co-Op were discussed. Larchmont-Mamaroneck STEM Alliance President Meg Kaufer provided the Board with a report from the Co-Op Camp Steering Committee, which after exploring the importance of Co-Op Summer Enrichment for the Mamaroneck School District, recommended that the District make an ongoing commitment to a school-based summer program. "Co-Op Summer Enrichment program should have a strong focus on hands-on, project-based learning that promotes learning through 'serious play' in the spirit of summer," the Committee suggested. The Committee also recommended that MUFSD hire an outside community based organization to implement the Co-Op Summer Enrichment Program and to focus on continuous quality improvement. The STEM Alliance is looking to be the organization that leads this initiative. In addition to offering a year-round schedule of services and implementation, the STEM Alliance has proposed the following summer services:

• Programming that involves student choice, tiered learning experiences and exciting, innovative curriculum

• Staff development and support for creative program development

• Project-based programs that integrate summer experiences with embedded learning

• Co-Op program pride, enthusiasm and joy-filled learning

• Continuous Quality Improvement of the program with an annual presentation of goal achievement & next step target goals

Co-Op Steering Committee looked at the importance of a summer enrichment program and presented findings at 11/15 BOE meeting.

Electronic Music Lab Opens New Doors for Teaching & Learning Music in Middle School

The Hommocks orchestra provided the ideal kick-off for the eMusic Lab ribbon-cutting ceremony, which also included a "lab in action" video shot and edited by MHS Film Production teacher Emily Dombroff. The new eMusic lab at Hommocks Middle School, thanks to a generous Mamaroneck Schools Foundation grant, will revolutionize the way students explore and learn about music. Students have been designing and coding drum kits in Scratch and composing their own rhythms. Municipal leaders and community members came out to share in the excitement of this new program enhancement and learn more about it.

District's Work with Facing History & Ourselves Proved Timely on Superintendent's Conference Day (Election Day)

MUFSD's longstanding relationship with Facing History & Ourselves (FHAO) has had a profound influence on our curriculum, with FHAO providing professional development to more than 50 Mamaroneck High School teachers over the last 15 years. On Superintendent's Conference Day, the entire MHS faculty had the opportunity to benefit from FHAO's work, spending the day in workshops examining how and why individuals make morally responsible choices. This work with FHAO was particularly timely this year, with the focus on "having difficult conversations with children." We are grateful for the conversations that took place on Superintendent's Conference Day/Election Day (which was planned several months in advance) around building empathy and awareness in our classrooms and school Community. On a related note, if you didn't have a chance to read MHS Principal Elizabeth Clain's post-election letter to students, please do so.

"...In the aftermath of our election we must double down on our commitment to ensure that students continue to feel supported, respected and heard at MHS. While you may not have backed the same presidential candidate as some of your classmates, please do not draw conclusions about why someone did or did not support your choice for president. Please do not engage in hateful speech and do not denigrate each other because by doing so you are degrading yourself and our country. We, at MHS, are better than this and it is our duty and obligation in our beautiful microcosm of American Society to be an example for others." - MHS Principal Elizabeth Clain
Mamaroneck High School faculty devoted the entire Superintendent's Conference Day to discussing and working on curriculum aligned with Facing History & Ourselves philosophy.

This Week: 42nd Annual Kinesthesia Dance Concert at Mamaroneck High School -- An Event for the Whole Family!

The PACE (Performing Arts Curriculum Experience) program at Mamaroneck High School presents the 42nd Annual Kinesthesia beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, November 30 through Saturday, December 3 at 7 pm each night in the PACE Theater. Kinesthesia is a dance concert choreographed by PACE juniors and seniors and features a cast and crew of more than 100 PACE students. It also features the PACE senior dance class in a piece choreographed by PACE dance teacher, Allison Parsley. Tickets are available through www.ShowTix4U.com (search Kinesthesia) or at the door, pending availability: $10/adults; $5/students and seniors.

MHS Student-Athletes Sign On to Play DI/DII College Sports

Five MHS student-athletes have committed to playing sports in college at the Division I or II level and have signed letter of intent/”likely” letters. DI Athletes include Samuel Morton - Dartmouth, Cross Country; Lindsay Devore - University of Texas, Rowing; Nina Smoor - University of North Carolina, Rowing; and Alexa Cestaro - University of Virginia, Rowing; Andrew Francella will go on to play DII Baseball at College of Saint Rose. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments again in February, along with other students who have yet to commit. Over the past three years, about 50 Mamaroneck High School athletes have gone on to play sports in college.

Local Veterans Honored at Special Ceremony Each Year

Each year around Veterans Day, we look forward to our annual ceremony honoring our Larchmont-Mamaroneck area veterans who come to the high school so our community can pause to remember and recognize the sacrifices that each of these individuals made for our country. Members from both the VFW and American Legion were present for this year's ceremony led by MHS Social Studies Teacher Peter Greene in the high school overpass in front of our Vietnam War Commemorative Display. It's always nice to see so many community members attend in support our local veterans.

Transition Academy Students Help Prepare Thanksgiving Meal at Area Soup Kitchen

Transition Academy students volunteered at Don Bosco Soup Kitchen in Port Chester – helping to prepare a Thanksgiving meal that was served to more than 800 people. Students worked in the kitchen, sorted food donations and wrapped up cutlery. In about an hour, they rolled 515 sets of knives, forks and spoons! The students were so proud of their hard work, and the staff at the soup kitchen couldn’t thank them enough. We are proud of them too!!!

About Transition Academy: Transition Academy is a high school program that teaches students functional academics, daily living skills and vocational skills. Within the Transition Academy program students are given the opportunity to take classes in Math, English, Science, Technology and Vocational, all while incorporating how to access their community and utilize the skills they are learning for their lives after high school. The program participates in monthly community service opportunities allowing the students the chance to give back to their local community.

MHS Debate Team: Strong Results Right Out of the Gate

A strong performance by our newly formed Mamaroneck Debate team competing in its 2nd tournament of the year -- the “Little Lexington” tournament...With 33 students attending (one of the largest contingents in attendance) the team did well across the board. Seniors Maddie Sach and Max Templer finished 7th overall, and junior Isabel Alvarado and freshman Nate Karas won the tournament overall, without losing a single round. The future is bright for the MHS Debate team!

Robotics, Computer Science Gear Up for Competition

MHS Robotics presenting at Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees meeting...The team is getting ready for this year's competitions!
Good luck to all of our MHS Students in the Intro to Java classes who have been working hard to complete their ideas for the annual Verizon App Competition. Similarly to past years, students have developed and submitted app ideas that address needs in the community. This year, ten MHS groups have entered the competition, and they’ve begun presenting videos of their ideas in class.

'Digital Detox' Raises MHS Students' Awareness of the Impact of Technology in Their Lives

In a school-side experiment that had Mamaroneck High School students powering down for 24 hours -- with many students giving up texting and social media for the day (and others being at least conscious of attempting to reduce their reliance on technology) -- students shared some interesting observations:

"I slept better because I read at bedtime instead of getting on my phone."
"I played solitaire and went to bed early."
"I helped my mom cook dinner."
"I was more focused on my homework (not rushing through to watch Netflix)."
"I had time to practice the violin, but needed technology for my metronome."
"My whole family watched Pulp Fiction....the first movie night we had in a long time."
"I wrote a letter to a camp friend who I miss a lot."
Poster design, featured above, by MHS student Meagan Matt

Gearing Up: Hour of Code Week is Here Dec. 5-11

All of our schools are gearing up for Hour of Code Week Dec. 5th-11th, supported by the Larchmont-Mamaroneck STEM Alliance. In addition to activities in all Mamaroneck schools, nearly 20 events are planned free of charge throughout the community. Stay tuned for info on Mamaroneck Schools' participation throughout the week.

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