Board of Education Annual Reorganization Meeting

During the Board of Education’s annual reorganization meeting on July 6, William P. Stris, Vinny Pandit and Frank Chiachiere, Ph.D. were elected to serve as president, vice president and alternate vice president respectively. Re-elected Trustee Antoinette “Toni” Pomerantz and newly elected Trustee Milagros Vicente join Trustees Sean Douglas, Ph.D. and Patricia Farrell.

Remember to Register Your Child for School


New residents living in Valley Stream UFSD Thirteen must register school-age children by obtaining a registration packet from their school, on the district’s website at, or by calling the Central Registration Office at 516-872-5674.
    Kindergarten students must be 5 years of age by Dec. 1, 2016 to be eligible for kindergarten in the 2016-2017 school year. Upon completion of the packet, an appointment must be made with the residency officer, located at 1 Kent Road, Valley Stream, NY 11580, by calling 516-872-5674, for review before the student is able to attend school. Students entering sixth grade must show proof of varicella vaccine or proof of disease signed and stamped by a doctor.

Summer registration hours are as follows:
July 5- Aug. 19 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9-11 a.m.
Aug. 22-Sept. 6, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Closed Sept. 5 for Labor Day
Sept. 7-9, from 4-9 p.m.

Best Day for Wheeler Avenue


Sixth-graders from Wheeler Avenue School participated in their closing exercises held at the Bert Keller Auditorium of Valley Stream Central High School. The audience was filled with mixed emotions as they eagerly awaited the students’ arrival. The ceremony featured reflections from one member of each classroom; performances from the jazz ensemble; a choral rendition of “The Best Day of My Life;” and celebratory speeches from Principal Dr. Gayle Steele, Board of Education Vice President Patricia Farrell, PTA Co-President Vita Fratarcangeli and Superintendent of Schools Constance D. Evelyn.

“The parents here should be proud of all that their children have accomplished, and students, you should be proud too. Your hard work has resulted in your readiness to move on and I am confident that you will be great in middle school and beyond,” said Principal Dr. Steele. “Excelling in education is not easy, it is not a spectator sport or activity, you have to reach out and take hold of opportunities that are presented to you. Don’t be afraid to be different; it is your differences that will help you succeed.”

Between the reflections shared by the students of their days at Wheeler Avenue School, Board of Education trustee Patricia Farrell spoke to the students on behalf of the board. “Whether you came to Wheeler in first grade or sixth grade, the memories you have and the friendships you have made will all hold a special place in the place where all of us keep our special memories - in our hearts.” She went on to share a moving story about making a difference in the lives of others and on behalf of the board congratulated the students. “We celebrate your accomplishments and look forward to your bright and successful future. It’s your time, go out and make a difference.”

Superintendent of Schools Constance D. Evelyn also congratulated the students. “Your achievement of this incredible milestone fills us with joy, pride and anticipation,” she said. “Change is happening all the time, even now. Goggle has become a verb in your lifetime. Remember, before you Google it, you are an original and your thinking is mindful, authentic and it can be courageous. Stand tall and strong in your beliefs and believe in yourself. We are all very proud of you for earning your graduation from sixth grade.”

Following the presentation of certificates, the students sang the Wheeler Avenue School song “Ode Triumphant” one last time before joining their families to celebrate their achievements.

Prior to the moving up ceremony, during a separate program held at the school, students Roy Longarzo and Sahannah Seemungal received the Junior Public Service Award and the Leadership Award from Senator Todd Kaminsky.

First of Many Milestones


Howell Road kindergarten students celebrated the end of the school year with a moving up exercise that signified their readiness to transition to first grade.

Family, friends, teachers and administrators, including Superintendent of Schools Constance D. Evelyn, gathered together to share in their first elementary school milestone.

After weeks of rehearsing and preparation, the students proudly made their processional entrance to the applause of an emotional audience. The students entertained the audience with several songs and then the kindergartners were individually called to walk across the stage and receive their certificates of accomplishment. Parents and invited guests added their enthusiastic applause to signify the importance of this first academic milestone.

Celebrating Success, Looking Toward the Future


The Elmont Public Library was filled with green and white as parents and invited guests watched the procession of sixth-grade students from Howell Road School enter the auditorium at the start of the school’s moving up ceremony. Board of Education President Antoinette “Toni” Pomerantz, Vice President Patricia Farrell and board trustees Frank Chiachiere, Ph.D., William P. Striss and Vinny Pandit along with Superintendent of Schools Constance D. Evelyn and Assistant Superintendent for Business and Human Resources Gerard Antoine were also in attendance.

Prior to the students’ arrival, the audience was treated to a special video containing the students’ baby photos and photos showing how they look today. Everyone enjoyed viewing the baby photos and trying to guess who they were.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the national anthem, lead by student Henna Zafar, students Jada Alleyne and Katelyn Persaud spoke on behalf of their classmates and shared fond memories including attending the opera, roller skating and building gingerbread houses together.  

“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and to change,” said Superintendent of School Constance D. Evelyn. “Your thinking is mindful, authentic and courageous. Always make your choices wisely. If you ask anyone who has achieved some measure of success, they will tell you to work hard, be thorough and be committed to excellence,” she added. She then shared a few words of wisdom including “Swing higher by pumping harder, each of you has a special gift, and remember doing what is right has never failed to strengthen our spirit. Congratulations for achieving your graduation.”

Board of Education trustee Frank Chiachiere, Ph.D. congratulated the students on behalf of the board of education. “You are the generation known as the Digital Natives and will contribute to making our world a better place,” he said. He also shared a few words of advice from “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Rev. Robert Fulghum including “Share everything, play fair and be aware of wonder.” She continued, “I wish you a world filled with wonder. God Bless you, your families and our country.”  

Several times during the program, the students showcased their musical talents by singing several songs. Sixth-grade student Miles Fortuno had the distinction of presenting the class gift to the school. This year, the class presented a beautifully framed replica of Pablo Picasso’s painting “Petite Fleurs.” He noted the symbolism of the hands holding the flowers and compared the hands to their parents and teachers and the flowers to the students as they grow and learn. “As we become the next generation of adults, we will be the hands holding the flowers,” he added. The artwork, painted by Picasso in 1958, will certainly be a beautiful addition to the Howell Road School.

Howell Road School Principal Frank Huplosky noted that it was an honor and privilege to be the school’s principal and that the students were ending a wonderful journey, but about to begin a new and exciting one. “There is no such thing as failure,” he said. “Failure is just life moving us in a different direction. You are very different from other generations before you. You are on track to become the most educated generation. The world is an amazing place, pursue your dreams and respect yourself and others. Best of luck and continue to make us proud.”

As the students’ names were announced, they walked across the stage and were recognized by board trustee Frank Chiachiere and Superintendent Constance D. Evelyn. Student Lindsey Jacob shared the appreciation and sentiments of the class. “Our teachers have prepared us for the future. We look forward to being an inspiration to others.” A special thank you was also extended to music teacher Michael Rodgers for his years of service.

The students concluded the program by proudly singing “We’ll Remember Howell Road” and then joined their families to celebrate this momentous event.

Let’s Have a Round of Applause

The sounds of students clapping filled the halls at Willow Road School as the students paid a final tribute to the sixth grade graduating class during the school’s Clap Out.

Students and teachers clapped loudly and extended their fond farewells and best wishes as the sixth-graders proudly marched around the school one last time. The students also recognized their principal Stephanie Capozzoli, who will be retiring at the end of the school year. It was a loud and memorable send off that will certainly be remembered.

Looking Toward a Bright Future


Parents and invited guests filled the Elmont Public Library auditorium in anticipation of the start of the Willow Road School sixth-grade moving up ceremony. Board of Education President Antoinette “Toni” Pomerantz, Vice President Patricia Farrell, board trustees Frank Chiachiere, Pd.D., William P. Stris and Vinny Pandit, Superintendent of Schools Constance D. Evelyn and Interim Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Assessment and Technology Shirley E. Martin, Ed.D. were also in attendance.

Before the students marched into the auditorium, the audience enjoyed a special video featuring photos of classmates and friends, their most memorable events along with students’ fondest recollections of the time spent in the Willow Road School.

Following the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the Star-Spangled Banner, Toni Pomerantz addressed the students. “Tonight marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another for both you and your principal Stephanie Capozzoli. As she retires, you will forever have the unique distinction of being her last graduating class.” Pomerantz also shared some humorous words of advice from the book “Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book” by Diane Muldrow. In conclusion she added, “Remember to stop and smell the strawberries; work hard, play hard, but not too hard; be proud of your country and don't let the parade pass you by. On behalf of the board of education, we wish you much happiness and success in the future.”

Constance Evelyn shared that she could not help but notice how kind and nurturing the students have been to their classmates and others. She advised the students that change will happen all the time and that it is happening right now. “Before you leave, remember you are an original,” she said. “Work hard, be thoughtful and make an enduring commitment to achieving excellence. If you are afraid of the thorns, you will miss the roses. Dream big. Having a dream worth following is the best way to find yourself.” She concluded by sharing how proud she was of all the students for achieving this milestone and graduating from sixth grade.

“We give you back your children, the same children you entrusted in our care,” began Willow Road Principal Stephanie Capozzoli in her final address to the sixth-grade class. It was our pleasure and privilege to watch their personalities unfold.” She added, “As you move on, build upon the Willow Road foundation, have the courage to follow your own path and your dreams. You are the carriers of the light, our nation’s children. Go forward with conviction and confidence.”

Student Council President Federico Ruperto, Vice President Melanie Gangi and Secretary Dominick DeLutri reminisced and shared their classmates’ fondest memories including field trips and participating in the Empire Games.

The time everyone was waiting for arrived as the students were announced and one by one received their certificates from Antoinette “Toni” Pomerantz, Constance D. Evelyn and Stephanie Capozzoli ready and prepared to succeed in the future.

A Time for Memories and Dreams


The James A. Dever sixth-grade moving up ceremony provided the perfect setting for students to reflect upon the past and to look toward the future with a sense of confidence and excitement.

James A. Dever Principal Darren Gruen welcomed everyone to an evening filled with emotions. Parents, some trying to hold back tears, watched a photo montage of their children as they looked in kindergarten and how they look today. Photos of school activities, sure to remain fond memories that will last a lifetime, were also shared.

In addition to the proud parents and family members, guests included Board of Education President Antoinette “Toni” Pomerantz, Vice President Patricia Farrell, Board Trustees Joseph DiSibio and Vinny Pandit, Superintendent of Schools Constance D. Evelyn and Assistant Superintendent for Business and Human Resources Gerard Antoine.

All eyes were focused on the students as they proceeded toward the stage at the start of the moving up ceremony held at the Elmont Public Library.

“Remember you are an original,” said Evelyn. “Be protective of your honesty, work hard, make a commitment to success, dream big and have a dream worth following.”

Board of Education Trustee Joseph DiSibio noted his amazement at how the students had transformed from the first day of kindergarten to where they are today. On behalf of the Board of Education he stated, “Your faces are filled with excitement, confidence, pride and a little apprehension about the future. You are a testament to your teachers, staff, parents and community who have created the foundation for your success. Congratulations on a job well done. You have already made us proud.”

Following several musical performances, one by one the students were announced and proudly walked across the stage to receive their certificates.

Principal Darren Gruen concluded the ceremony by sharing how honored he was to be the principal of the James A. Dever School. “Tonight, we recognize you and celebrate the end of a wonderful journey and new beginnings.” After sharing several words of wisdom and advice, he added, “I am extremely proud of all of you and hope you are proud of yourselves. Remember me, your teachers and all the fond memories we have made together to last a lifetime.”

Following the ceremony, the students and their guests gather together to enjoy a final celebration including a special cake and other tasty treats.

Notice to the Residents of the Willow Road School


Wheeler Concludes Successful PARP Program with Carnival


Students at Wheeler Avenue Elementary School were treated to fun and games, courtesy of PTA members who were involved with the school’s Parents as Reading Partners program. The outside of the school was transformed into a carnival that featured activities for all to enjoy.

Each spring as the last day of school approaches, Wheeler culminates the year’s successful PARP program with a special event. This year, it was decided that a carnival would provide an exciting way to celebrate the excellent emphasis on reading that helped students strengthen their literacy skills.

Students visited the carnival by grade level and all had the opportunity to tour the booths and participate in games of their choice. They received tickets to eventually exchange for prizes, just as a traditional carnival fair would offer. Activities such as hula-hoop competitions and the Limbo were among the day’s highlights, and a DJ provided musical entertainment. Parent volunteers assisted with the game stations, contests and prize distribution.   

Talent Galore


Willow's Got Talent was the sign prominently displayed above the doors as students entered the gym for Willow Road School's talent show. It quickly became evident that the sign was correct as the students showcased their many talents on stage to the delight of the audience.

Some of the entertainment included singing, dancing, juggling, a hula-hoop extraordinaire, a School of Rock band and even a math lesson. Every act, whatever the talent displayed, captivated and entertained the audience and confirmed that the students at Willow Road School are definitely talented in many ways.

Music Filled the Air

The many months of rehearsing were evident during the Spring Concert Part II held at the Willow Road School.

The concert known as the Beginners Concert included third-grade students who have been learning to play the recorder during this school year, the fifth and sixth-grade Glee Club and fourth-grade students who have been practicing with the orchestra and band for less than a year.

The concert also included a short demonstration of dances performed by fourth-grade students who participated in the school’s PTA sponsored program, Dancing Classrooms. Under the direction of hard working and devoted teachers, Ms. Cynthia Shannon and Mrs. Kristan Nordquist, Willow Road's talented students presented another impressive concert.

Fun for Everyone

Kindergarten students at the Willow Road School had an exciting time at their own annual kindergarten picnic.

The children were bursting with energy and could barely contain their enthusiasm as they waited their turn to compete in the day's races and activities. They entertained themselves in the playground, tested their skills with hula-hoops, and jumped rope. When it came time for lunch, everyone took a break from the activities to cool off and enjoy pizza and Italian ices. It was definitely a great way to celebrate the end of kindergarten.

Field Day Fun for Everyone


The colors green and gold took on a whole new meaning as students at the Willow Road School were placed into two teams before the start of the school’s annual field day events. The students enjoyed friendly competition including the potato sack race, tug of war, relay races, jumping rope, dancing and more. Each event was held in a different location in the Willow Road School.

In the gymnasium, students danced to the beat with DJ Ben from Signature Sounds, while both playgrounds and the ballfield were filled with students laughing and enjoying a picnic and other field day activities.

Field day would not have been possible without the hard work and detailed planning of Willow Road School physical education teacher Peter Gatto together with Principal Stephanie Capozzoli, PTA Co-Presidents Lisa Modica and Joanne Naumov, and representative Cheryl Cirri. Additional thanks to Applebees of Valley Stream and Rita's Ices for their very generous donations of lunch and ices for all the students to enjoy.  
At the end of the day, everyone was a winner. Another field day came to an end, but the memories will last a lifetime.   

Application for Summer Recreation 2016


Everyone Has a Friend on the Willow Road Playground

Students were smiling and the sun was shining on the playground at Willow Road School for a very special ceremony to celebrate the inauguration of the school’s new Buddy Bench.
The Buddy Bench project was supported through grants from both the Nassau Educators Federal Credit Union and the Valley Stream UFSD Thirteen PTA. The eye-catching bench was designed by Mr. Alan Goldenstein of Valley Signs and was installed alongside the playground at the Willow Road School.
The purpose of the Buddy Bench is to ensure that no one feels left out or alone during recess. Volunteer Buddy Ambassadors will monitor the bench during recess to make sure anyone who is looking for someone to play with spends no more than a few minutes on the bench before someone invites them to play.     
During the inauguration of the Buddy Bench, the Buddy Ambassadors gathered around the bench as Willow Road principal Stephanie Capozzoli cut the ribbon and declared the opening. The students recited the Buddy Bench Pledge promising to be kind to others, be a good friend and to never leave anyone alone on the bench.
Also in attendance at the ceremony was a member of the board and Director of the Nassau Educators Federal Credit Union Ms. Catherine T. Banigo, Interschool PTA board member Mrs. Christine Balsan, Willow Road School sixth-grade teacher Mrs. Mary Danna and school psychologists Ms. Mindy Berlin and Dr. Karen Jason.
The students look forward to enjoying their time on the Willow Road School playground where everyone has a friend.

Posting - Summer Custodial Helper


Looking into the Future

Students in the fifth and sixth grades at Willow Road School were thinking about their future when they participated in the school’s first Career Day. The program was designed to inspire students to explore possible future careers and to learn more about what is needed to be successful in the future.

Several guests participated in Career Day by sharing information about their career choices, the education qualifications needed, as well as experiences they have encountered during their careers. Special thanks to guest presenters Mr. Biju Alexander, registered nurse for psychiatric emergency room; Mrs. Tara DiPalma, account and director budget and expense management; Mr. Luigi LaRocca, restaurant owner/manager; Dr. Shirley Martin, interim assistant superintendent for curriculum, assessment and technology, Mr. Terrence Meaney, retired police officer at Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Mr. Jonathan Pollard, theater producer.

Thank you to the members of the Willow Road Shared Decision Making Team and the fifth- and sixth-grade teachers for making this event so successful.

Fun in the Springtime Sun at Dever’s Field Day


Celebrating the coming close of a successful school year and the onset of summer, students at James A. Dever Elementary enjoyed the spring sunshine and a cavalcade of competitive activities at the school’s May 20 field day. Events included a pole jump, a softball throw and three-legged races.

Sunday, July 24, 2016