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Decorations for Senior Friends

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Three Village prekindergarten classes helped to spread some cheer to seniors at Bristal Assisted Living by creating colorful decorations for the facility. The hand-crafted items were each unique and helped to bring bright wishes of happiness to the residents.

Musical Lessons From a Broadway Star

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As the cast prepares to debut their musical performance of the Broadway hit “Anastasia” later this year, Ward Melville High School student actors had a chance to learn the ins and outs of the show from Christy Altomare, who performed as the original Anastasia in the Broadway production. The cast met with the professional actor via a webinar streamed into the school’s auditorium.

Ms. Altomare enthusiastically and warmly answered a plethora of questions pertaining to characters, plot, music and her career in musical theater. Ward Melville has been working on “Anastasia” since September and is planning for an outdoor performance on June 4 and 5.

Junior High School Math Wizards Capture Top Honors

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Students at R.C. Murphy and P.J Gelinas Junior High School earned high honors this winter as they received top marks in the AMC 8 Math Contest.

Gelinas seventh graders Michael Retakh and Eric Zhong tied for first place at Gelinas and both students scored in the top 1% nationally. Anna Xing placed second for Gelinas and scored in the top 5% nationally.

Murphy eighth graders Shirley Xiong earned First Place Winner/Honor Roll of Distinction, scoring in the top 1% nationally; Oliver Wu earned Second Place/Honor Roll Certificate and scored in the top 5% nationally and Alexander Singer placed third.

The AMC 8 is a 25-question, 40-minute, multiple-choice examination in middle school mathematics designed to promote the development of problem-solving skills. The AMC 8 provides an opportunity for middle school students to develop positive attitudes towards analytical thinking and mathematics that can assist in future careers. Students apply classroom skills to unique problem-solving challenges in a low-stress and friendly environment.

The material covered on the AMC 8 includes topics from a traditional middle school mathematics curriculum. Possible topics include but are not limited to counting and probability, estimation, proportional reasoning, elementary geometry including the Pythagorean Theorem, spatial visualization, everyday applications, and reading and interpreting graphs and tables. In addition, some of the latter questions may involve linear or quadratic functions and equations, coordinate geometry and other topics traditionally covered in a beginning algebra course.

Studying the Earth’s Surface

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W.S. Mount Elementary School second graders are delving into a study to better understand the complexity of the Earth’s surface through a hands-on science lesson.

First, the students explored how the Earth’s surface can change through weathering and erosion. The students built on the understanding that wind and water can change the shape of the land. In this lab they used different materials to help avoid erosion on their sandy beach.

Ward Melville’s Regeneron Scholar

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Ward Melville High School InSTAR student research senior Animesh Ghose has been named a Scholar in the 2021 Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

For his project, “Prognosis and Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease Using Graph Convolutional Neural Networks,” Animesh analyzed the performance of relatively new kinds of neural network algorithms called Graph Convolutional Neural Networks (GCNNs). The GCNN models he made learned to detect the various stages of Alzheimer’s disease based on collected brain data.

The first model analyzed a network of patients to determine the resulting diagnosis. The second model analyzed a graph representation of each patient’s brain data to determine the diagnosis. In the end, each of the models showed promising results compared to other machine learning models.

As part of this project, Animesh worked virtually with two computational scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory: Dr. Shinjae Yoo and Dr. Ai Kagawa. He also collaborated with Professor Jiook Cha from Seoul National University for data acquisition.

As a Scholar, Animesh was awarded $2,000. He now has the chance to continue in the competition for the chance to become one of the competition’s 40 student finalists and compete in the final judging for the chance to win additional prizes, including the top award of $250,000.

Superintendent Nominated to the Wall of Amazing Humans

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Three Village Central School District Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Pedisich was nominated for inclusion in Drew Dudley’s Wall of Amazing Humans. Mr. Dudley is an acclaimed leadership speaker who hosted an assembly program at Ward Melville High School earlier this year. His Wall of Amazing Humans is a platform for individuals to recognize others who inspire, motivate and support them each day. To see the feature on Ms. Pedisich, please visit:

Pre-K applications available through February 23

Click here for program details & application link.

Technology Supports Evidence-Based Projects

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P.J. Gelinas Junior High School eighth graders in Kimberly Cameron’s classes have been enhancing their understanding of various technological, societal, scientific and business feats of progress beginning today and working backwards in time to the Industrial Revolution.

As part of a multidisciplinary project in the school’s library media center with the help of librarian Nicole Connelly and lead technology teacher Jason Hugues, the students have been using Jamboard – an interactive whiteboard software – to collect information, map out timelines and include supporting evidence to make their research look beautiful. They also wrote scripts using that evidence in preparation for their video production.

Each student or partnership is responsible for creating a video using WeVideo to convey their information. Using images, video footage and music, students will narrate their script and choreograph the video through their creative lens. Videos will then be uploaded to YouTube as a future resource for other students in the school community and beyond.

Creating Unique Pieces of Art

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Students enrolled in Brian Baker’s Creative Crafts class at R.C. Murphy Junior High School have been hard at work bringing their visions to life. Both in-person and remote students have been learning the basics of 3D design through the creation of coil rope baskets, seed bead jewelry and plastic bottle flower planters. Students are learning how to combine aesthetics and function to build some unique work. Each project has touched on different aspects of additive and subtractive sculpture.

Art After Dark 2020

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A Scientific Study on Marshmallows

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P.J. Gelinas Junior High School’s eighth grade science classes turned up the heat during a recent lab. Students analyzed heat transfer by roasting marshmallows using conduction, convection and radiation. Both in-person and remote students worked together to determine which method of heat transfer would roast the perfect marshmallow.

Reimagined Art at Arrowhead

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Arrowhead Elementary School students are learning how the use of technological resources can help bolster their artistic talents through a reinvented approach to instruction this year.

“During our drawing lessons in class, we have used our Chromebooks to look at visuals, videos and study facts that relate to the project and help students brainstorm new ideas,” teacher Rachel Inversa said. “I have used the smartboard to create a step-by-step teacher-facilitated drawing technique. This new way of teaching allows for all students on different levels to understand and learn as well as practice social distancing and continue to be creative in the art room.”

After conducting the research fifth grade students (pictured here) completed a step-by-step drawing of birch trees, finishing off their designs with colorful accents.

Murphy Students’ Writing Gets Published

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Six R.C. Murphy Junior High School students captured high praise during this year’s Avalon Writers Cabin, a youth program run by the Stony Brook-based Avalon Nature Preserve.

For the event, the students were asked to submit an original piece of writing that reflected on the “unique observations, reflections or memories of autumn.” They were asked to write about how autumn brings “its changing colors and moods.” As a result of their submissions, the following students were selected to be published in the Cabin’s online publication:

“An Old Friend” – Andrew DeSimone (grade 9)
“Leaves of Life” – Shane Fuchs (grade 9)
“Mother Nature’s Unaccepted Gift” – Annabelle Katsamakis (grade 9)
“Leaf Dissection” – Erinn Luo (grade 8)
“All Hallows’ Eve” – Sarina Brooks Policastro (grade 9)
“Leaves” – Rachel Rose (grade 9)

Patriots Prepare for 2021

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This January, “low risk” Ward Melville High School’s winter sports teams were able to officially commence the 2021 season. Here, we look back at the off season training that all student-athletes were able to participate in over the past several months to prepare for the 2021 sports seasons.

Ward Melville DECA Captures Honors

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Ward Melville High School’s DECA club participated in a global competition called DECA Power Trip this winter, a special virtual conference for thousands of DECA members around the world.

This conference had an additional competitive component in which students could participate other than the usual regional, state and international competitions. Three Ward Melville DECA members participated and placed in their events in the marketing cluster as follows:

• Sara Khan – top 10% in marketing cluster exam.
• Amy Liu – top 10% in marketing cluster exam – third place overall in marketing cluster exam and placed in the top two competitors from New York for the “Marketing Promotion” role-play event.
• Neil Mehta – top 10% in marketing cluster exam and placed in the top two competitors from New York for the “Marketing Communication” role-play event.

Gelinas Science Olympiad Competes in Invitational Tournament

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P.J. Gelinas Junior High School’s Science Olympiad team competed with 45 teams from across the country in its first virtual tournament of the season, during which team captains Serena Carpino, Alexandra Duan and Vivian Ye lead the three competition teams to a second-place, eighth-place and 29th-place finish overall.

During the Rickards Invitational Tournament members placed in the top four for the following events: fourth place in Reach for the Stars (K. Duong and S. Syritsyna), third place in Botany (A. Potekhin and Z. Xiao), fourth place in Botany (V. Ye and E. Li), third place in Density (D. Liang and A. Song), first place in Heredity (A. Duan and V. Ye), third place in Disease Detectives (V. Ye and J. Zhao), second place in Food Science (M. Zhang and E. Li), fourth place in Food Science (A. Potekhin and L. Nekrasov), first place in Fossils (J. Zhao and E. Li), second place in Machines (D. Liang and A. Song), first place in Ornithology (A. Duan and E. Li), second place in Road Scholar (V. Ye and E. Li) and fourth Place in Water Quality (K. Duong and M. Zhang).

Secondary Winter Concerts

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Click here to enjoy the Secondary Winter Concerts!

Message from the Superintendent

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Community Letter: Holiday Travel Requirements


Studying Animals at Setauket

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Setauket Elementary School third and fourth grade students have been learning about animal behaviors, adaptations, protections and movements and had the chance to take an up-close look at the subject matter during a recent science lab.

To their surprise and delight, the students were visited by Wally (a male eclectus parrot) and Natasha (a Russian tortoise) and had the chance to observe the animals’ behaviors and movements. The two animals belong to Setauket teacher Janet Morseman and visited the classes as an extension to the students’ studies.
Saturday, January 23, 2021   |  District Home