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College Campus Tour Inspires Park Avenue Fifth Graders

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Park Avenue Elementary School fifth graders participated in a field trip to visit Manhattanville College in Purchase on Nov. 27. They toured the campus academic buildings, chapel and gymnasium. They concluded their visit with a tour of the iconic Reid Castle and a pizza lunch.

“Manhattanville College is our professional development school partner and as a result of this partnership the class visit to the campus allows the students to experience campus life and inspire them if they choose to attend college,” Principal Rosa Taylor said.

Date Added: 11/28/2023

Park Avenue Fourth Graders Study Electric Circuits

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Fourth graders at Park Avenue Elementary School have been investigating energy and learning how it is transferred. During an interactive lesson in Maria O’Brien’s science classes, they discovered how to make a complete circuit, using a D-cell, wires, a lightbulb, and a switch to control the flow of energy.

“They learned that an electric circuit is a system that includes a complete pathway through which electric currents flow from an energy source to its components,” O’Brien said. “During the lesson, which was building on that concept, the students were challenged to devise a circuit that would operate two bulbs.”

Throughout the next few weeks, the students will continue to build on their knowledge of systems and dive deeper into lessons about series and parallel circuits.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 11/22/2023

Fourth Grade Clarinets Achieve Harmony in Musical Journey

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Park Avenue Elementary School fourth graders embarked on a delightful musical journey under the guidance of their teacher Michael Johnson. Equipped with their clarinets, the young musicians delved into a session focused on honing and expanding their musical skills by playing familiar melodies.

During the lesson, the students skillfully used the first three notes of their instrument to perform “Hot Cross Buns,” which allowed them to build on the foundations of learning a musical instrument with a repetitive set of notes, fingerings and rhythms.

“’Hot Cross Buns’ shares identical fingerings on the clarinet and recorder,” Johnson said. “The students focused on their music literacy skills by reviewing the letter names on the lines and spaces of the music staff while performing the song.”

In addition, the fourth graders played “Merrily We Roll Along” and “Jingle Bells,” which not only reinforced the notes covered in their band method book, but also served as motivational tools, inspiring students to become more independent as they practiced familiar tunes to which they held a personal connection.

“Since the students know how the songs are supposed to sound, they can begin to hold themselves accountable and fix any mistakes with the strategies they have been practicing in their band lesson,” Johnson said. “This is an exciting point for the fourth grade clarinets as they are now able to make the essential musical connections that provide them with the immediate gratification they’ve been progressing towards after many weeks of hard work.”

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 11/20/2023

Port Chester Educator Earns Administrator of the Year Award

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Port Chester Schools Director of ELL and Bilingual Programs Valerie Lakestream has received the Administrator of the Year award from the New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the school district.

“I am honored to receive this award,” Lakestream said. “It is incredible to be recognized by such a prestigious organization for the meaningful work taking place in Port Chester. I am proud of the progress we have made in our district, and I am excited to continue to create opportunities for English language learners and multilingual learners in Port Chester.”

As an influential district leader, Lakestream has orchestrated an array of invaluable opportunities for professional growth among all educators, and spearheaded programs that empower students to attain the Seal of Biliteracy while actively engaging in myriad initiatives designed to meet the unique needs of multilingual learners. Her leadership approach has been characterized by her dedication to providing access and opportunity to all students through innovative programming, fostering partnerships and leading with a passionate vision for change.

Lakestream boasts over a decade of experience in language acquisition education, having taught Italian and Spanish before assuming her current district leadership role. During her tenure at Port Chester, she has introduced new bilingual programs throughout the district, expanded dual language training and enriched professional development opportunities for teachers. She has also established vital community partnerships to support newcomers, expanded the Seal of Biliteracy program and developed university collaborations that have allowed faculty to earn ENL certification.

She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Pace University, a certificate in educational leadership from Long Island University, and a certificate of advanced study in TESOL from Clarkson University.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Aurelia L. Henriquez said she was thrilled about Lakestream’s award.

“This recognition is a testament to her exceptional leadership and unwavering commitment to removing barriers for students, paving the way for increased opportunities and success.” Henriquez said. “Ms. Lakestream's data-informed approach has empowered our district to gain a deeper understanding of our strengths while identifying areas for continuous improvement. Her dedication to setting high expectations for all, while increasing bilingualism and biliteracy, are to be applauded. We are most fortunate to have a leader of her caliber serving the Port Chester community. “

Lakestream’s achievements was recognized during the 53rd annual conference in Albany, New York, from Nov. 3-4.

Date Added: 11/6/2023

Park Avenue School Students Celebrate Kindness, Inclusion and Acceptance

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Park Avenue Elementary School held a Unity Day on Oct. 18 in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. The students participated in two assembly programs, which were designed to share kindness, encourage inclusion and promote acceptance.

Date Added: 10/23/2023