Annual Pick A Pumpkin Festivities

Each year students at Willow Road School look forward to the annual Pumpkin Patch event, which is sponsored by the PTA. This year was no exception. Students enthusiastically entered the school’s baseball field, which had been transformed by the PTA into their very own pumpkin patch filled with pumpkins of all sizes to choose from.

Laughter could be heard as the children closely examined the pumpkins before making their final selection. The students were able to bring their pumpkins home to share and decorate with their families.

Howell Road Walks for Hope

Howell Road School parents and staff decided to make a difference by walking and raising funds during the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Long Island event.

The team, who walked under the name Howell Walks for Hope, participated in the event on Sunday, Oct. 19 at Jones Beach State Park. So far, the team has raised $3,000.00 for breast cancer awareness.

Senior Friends Share Love of Reading

Students in Mrs. Robbins-Jean's first grade class were thrilled to welcome their senior friends from the Atria Assisted Living Home for the first of their monthly visitations. There was no better way to get acquainted and make new friends than to enjoy their common love of reading. The students were eager to share their books and demonstrate their reading skills. The classroom was filled with laughter and conversation as everyone enjoyed their time together. The students are already excited about seeing their new senior friends again next month.

Board of Education Notice - October 21, 2014


The Gift of Reading

The Willow Road School PTA generously donated books to students as part of the PTA’s Scholastic Literacy Partnership Program; B.E.A.R. (Be Excited About Reading). Each student had the opportunity to select a book, which they were then able to take home. Thanks to Melissa Clayton (B.E.A.R. Chairperson), Maria Crimi and Kristie Rivera for all their hard work.

A Reading Role Model

First grade students at Wheeler Avenue Elementary School were treated to a visit from Incorporated Village of Valley Stream Mayor Edwin Fare. The mayor read a book to the children and went beyond the content of each page by discussing the meaning of the story being told.

Mayor Fare read to first-grade classes during two different sessions. Both times he introduced himself to his young audience and explained that prior to his role he was a teacher, and has actually taught every grade from K-12. His educational background showed as he asked questions and prompted students to think about the book, “How to Heal a Broken Wing,” by Bob Graham. The storyline involves a boy who finds an injured pigeon in a large city and takes the bird in to care for it and help it heal. Eventually the pigeon is set free and able to fly again.

The mayor brought the students into the book and helped them relate to the characters’ experiences -- he asked if they have ever been to the city, if anyone had ever broken a bone and how that felt, and what they thought would happen next. At the end, he discussed the moral of the story and emphasized the point that there was an important message to take from it. “We learned that we need to help others who need it,” he stated. “With our help, maybe they can heal.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Adrienne Robb-Fund, who attended both reading presentations, also addressed the students on the importance of helping others. “The Mayor helps us here at Wheeler,” she explained. “He gave us a tree that makes our school more beautiful while helping the environment.” Dr. Robb-Fund also noted that the mayor provided a new traffic sign in front of the school to promote safety during arrival and dismissal times. “The Mayor does a lot of nice things, and we should thank him,” she stated. The children, who were all given water bottle gifts from their guest, said a happy and hearty “thank you” before the mayor left.  

Virtual backpack simplifies communication

The district has added another communication feature to its website in an effort to enhance communication with students, parents and the community, while at the same time being more cost efficient and aware of preserving the environment.

The Virtual Backpack is filled with important information about the school district and also contains important individual school building notices, fliers, forms, principals’ newsletters and other materials that are sent home with your child from the school's main office.

With the just the click of your mouse, you can be kept up-to-date on school activities and important announcements. The Virtual Backpack will also have information for the Valley Stream UFSD Thirteen community and the entire school district as well.

To use the Virtual Backpack, visit the district’s website at Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and click on Virtual Backpack. Be sure to visit the website often for the latest news and information.

P.B.I.S. Kickoff at Howell

The start of the new school year was the perfect time to kickoff the Howell Road School Positive Behavior in School (P.B.I.S.) program. P.B.I.S. has been part of the school’s culture for several years. Students learn about proper behavior when in school and the social behavior expectations for ten different location including the courtyard, bus lines, lunchroom and playgrounds.

Several of the presenters, who were all Howell Road School staff members, made the presentation more interesting and memorable by using signs, role play and small skits to demonstrate the four pillars of P.B.I.S. Safety, Responsibility, Respect and Caring.

A Trip to the Opera

Sixth grade students from Howell Road School ventured to Lincoln Center's Metropolitan Opera House in Manhattan with Howell music teacher, Mr. Rodgers, to enjoy the Metropolitan Opera's production of Puccini's "La Boheme." Supported and sponsored by the Howell Road PTA the sixth grade takes this yearly trip so they can have the opportunity to experience some of the finest opera productions in the world.     

The students were enthralled by the production originated by legendary Italian director Franco Zeffirelli. Damani Rose, a sixth-grader from Mrs. Schimmenti's class, described the experience as "Amazing." The trip supports not only the music curriculum, but also allows the students to study characters, plot lines of stories, vocabulary, and history. Surrounded by the sights and sounds of Manhattan, the students loved being thrust into the artistic community of Lincoln Center and walked away with a memory to last a lifetime.

Moment of Silence Commemorates September 11

Students at the Howell Road School commemorated this year's thirteenth anniversary of tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001 with a school-wide outdoor ceremony. Students and staff members, dressed in patriotic colors, shared poetry, sang patriotic songs and observed moments of silence. The students and staff honored the heroes of September 11th by uniting to demonstrate their patriotic spirit and pride.

Parents Head Back to School

On September 16, Howell Road School Parents went Back to School to take part in the school’s annual Open House. The parents had the opportunity to meet their children's teachers and learn about the many ways Valley Stream UFSD Thirteen is preparing students for the future implementing the Common Core Learning Standards curriculum.

The evening was separated into three venues. First, the teachers in grades kindergarten though third grade met their students’ parents and previewed the year ahead. This was followed by a welcome from principal, Mr. Huplosky who stressed that a strong school-parent partnership is essential to a child's success both in and out of the classroom. Mr. Huplosky also introduced the members of the special area staff to parents. Finally, it was time for the upper-grade teachers to meet their students’ parents and share their expectations for the 2014-2015 school year. Once again, this annual tradition of Open House was very successful and provided a great start to the school year.

Off to a Great Start


Enthusiasm was on full display at all four elementary schools, as the new school year got off to a great start. At James A. Dever Elementary School, Principal Darren Gruen was at the front entrance to greet new kindergartners and returning students. As students came off the school buses with backpacks filled with the new school supplies, many welcoming staff members also greeted them. The morning included the parents of the new kindergartners having the opportunity to hear reassurances that the district would assist each new student in growing both academically, as well as socially.

At Wheeler Avenue Elementary School, Principal Gayle Steele answered parents’ questions about the new school year and also greeted students arriving for their first day of the new school year. Howell Road Elementary School Principal Frank Huplosky made sure that all was running smoothly for all his students as he spread welcome back greetings throughout the building. Principal, Stephanie Capozzoli, greeted Willow Road Elementary School students and staff as she visited classrooms to welcome her new kindergartners and those students who were returning to Willow Road.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Adrienne Robb-Fund spent her morning visiting each of the four elementary schools. She shared her enthusiasm for the new school year ahead, as she greeted incoming staff and students alike. “I have complete confidence that all students in the District are in for a very rewarding and enjoyable year ahead. I assure everyone that all of our students will receive nothing but the highest quality education in all four of our elementary schools.”

Dever Elementary Slideshow

Howell Road Elementary Slideshow

Wheeler Ave Elementary Slideshow

Willow Road Elementary Slideshow


Patriot Day

On September 11, 2014, students, staff and guests at James A. Dever Elementary School participated in a Patriot Day remembrance ceremony. This memorial/remembrance ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the singing of the National Anthem. Several sixth grade students also read poems to mark the day. Principal Darren Gruen spoke about the importance of remembering those courageous people who lost their lives, and the first responders who worked so hard to save them. He also emphasized how this tragic event and the courageous acts that took place brought everyone together as a nation. The ceremony closed with a moment of silence by all those who attended.  This event united the students and staff with feelings of service and patriotism.
Monday, October 20, 2014