School news is brought to you by our student reporters in grades fourth through eighth. You can read our news in the East Hampton Star, The Independent, and right here on our website!
December 14, 2016
Angelina Modica’s chorus classes continued their annual tradition of singing holiday carols in the front school lobby. Visitors and passersby were treated to the delightful sounds of the season sung by students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
Lisa Dragone’s first grade and Joan Branche’s third grade classes sang holiday carols at the East Hampton Senior Citizen Center. The audience was treated to a medley of holiday favorites. When students returned back to school, they were treated with a surprise luncheon of pasta and holiday cookies for dessert. Students also caroled during Spirit Meet last Friday.
Students in Kristy Lamonda`s and LouAnn Ramsden’s classes were treated to a Swedish holiday celebration last week. Parent Virva Hennemo taught the class about “Santa Lucia.” She dressed like the Swedish saint with candles on her head. She also sang the “Santa Lucia” song. As part of the celebration, students enjoyed traditional Swedish saffron buns. After her performance, the students made gingerbread cookies according to a Swedish recipe.
Second graders in Mrs. McKee’s class raised money for the Heifer International Foundation by doing chores at home. Each student brought in $2.00, which will be donated to the Foundation and go towards buying a goat for a family in another country. Owning a goat helps the family make money to use for supplies, food, medicine, and school. Students wrote what chores they did and how much money they received for each chore. Raising money for the Foundation is an annual tradition for Mrs. McKee’s class.
Mrs. Frazier’s fifth grade class celebrated the completion of their non-fiction unit with a party including the sharing of stories, hot chocolate, cookies, all while wearing their pajamas. “I was so excited for this!” said Taylor Atwell, a student in Mrs. Frazier’s class. The kids in her class had been working hard on the unit and were happy for such a treat!
Ms. Modica’s fifth and sixth grade chorus class had a great time on Monday! They all had snacks and watched the movie “Polar Express.” The watched that movie because they sang songs from the movie at the concert last week.
The Visiting Artists Program has introduced a new art enrichment program for Springs School seventh and eighth graders who are not currently receiving any art education due to scheduling conflicts. These art workshops will run on Saturdays, and therefore enable students to attend who are otherwise busy with sports during after school hours. The first Saturday art workshop took place last week and featured artist Andy Piver.
School will be closed for winter recess from December 22nd through January 2nd.
December 7, 2016
The holidays are upon us, and fourth graders in Mrs. Knight and Mrs. Reiner's class kept up their annual tradition of visiting Maureen’s Haven to help set up the homeless shelter. Students decorated the dining hall, made beds, and set the tables. Students also collected and donated items such as gloves, hand warmers, Chapstick, hand lotion, and socks to put in bags for each person who is at the shelter. The students learned the importance of giving back to others this holiday season.
The winter concert was held last night. The chorus and band performed a medley of songs from the movie, “The Polar Express” and songs from the musical “Rent.” The chorus is under the direction of Angelina Modica and the band is led by Ben Jones.
Second graders learned about “Holidays Around the World.” Ms. Waleko’s and Mrs. Sullivan's classes started the unit with students taking a trip on a "plane" around the world. Students made suitcases, passports, traveling maps, and had a boarding pass. Students made brochures from each country they visited, as well!
Keeping to the holiday spirit, teachers are participating in a first-ever gingerbread house competition! Teachers are each decorating their own house, and students will be voting on their favorite this Friday. The winner will be donating all proceeds to the local charity of his or her choice.
The girls volleyball team started off the season with two wins! Their first was against Bridgehampton and the second against the Ross School! The games were quite exciting, with Springs winning the first two sets of the Bridgehampton game, losing the second two which tied the game, but then won the fifth set to win the match! "They naturally had first-game jitters, but used a lot of what we've been practicing," said Coach Ana Jacobs. Schedules can be found on the school website under “Athletics.”
Fourth, fifth and sixth grade A.E.P. (Academic Enrichment Program) students were invited to attend the "Hamptons Take Two Documentary Film Festival's Young Voices Program" at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor recently. While there, the students screened two documentaries and then participated in a workshop on how to put together a documentary with Megan Kiefer, founder of the Take Two Film Academy in New York. Several Springs students even participated onstage as videographers and actors! In other A.E.P. news, teacher Lisa Seff met up with some students at the South Fork Natural History Museum (SOFO) in Bridgehampton to work on some research for their animal projects. They were able to view, hold, and ask questions about the snapping turtle babies that are being held there. Frank Quevedo allowed the students to come by for free and take photos and video for their projects. Students also learned what to do if we see a snapping turtle crossing the road and how to pick them up safely if needed.
The Inclusion Club is off to a great start! Inclusion Club members made holiday ornaments last week. Every Friday, members join Mrs. LaMonda's Functional Academics class for lunch, games, and fun socialization.
Fifth graders in science class are studying the effects of erosion on earth materials such as sand and clay. In Sean Knight’s science class, students poured water through a water source over a “plateau” that was created to see how water is drained from an area. “As we continued this project, we noticed that a small canyon was created and the sand and clay was eroded down the stream table creating a delta from the sand, while the clay travelled father with the water down the stream table,” explained Mr. Knight. “We allowed our materials to harden and repoured water over the started canyon. The water continued down the canyon, making it deeper each time. We could see how the Grand Canyon was created by a river over the course of millions of years.”
The “Food for Thought” nutrition program from the Anna Lytton Foundation has been visiting fifth and sixth grade classes and teaching students about making healthy food choices. Students also get the chance to make their own snacks, all made with healthy ingredients!
The school has started a “Concert Clothing Drive” in order to collect white button-down shirts, black pants or black skirts, and black shoes so that every student has access to this outfit if they are performing in the chorus or band. Although this year’s winter concert has passed, they will continue to collect clothing for the spring concert. If your child has outgrown these clothes, please donate them to the bin outside of the music room. Thank you!
The next Board of Education meeting will be Monday, December 19th at 7:00 p.m. Agendas can be found on the school website under the “Board of Education” menu. School will be closed December 22nd through January 2nd for winter recess.
November 30, 2016
The actor Alec Baldwin and Scholastic donated 5,000 books to Springs School recently. The books have an approximate value of $60,000. Teachers were able to select books for their classrooms, including multiple copies of each title so they can be used for small group reading and book clubs. "Thank you to Scholastic and Mr. Baldwin for thinking about and supporting our school," said Principal Eric Casale. This is not the first time Mr. Baldwin has donated to our school. He has previously donated workout equipment to our physical education department, a TV for the Commons Room, and, most recently, a grand piano.
This year’s food drive was very successful, with 23 boxes of food being donated to families in need this Thanksgiving. Student Council members and Mrs. Lamonda's Functional Academics class organized and packed the donations. Every year, the Springs School Teachers Association Community Outreach Committee hosts a fundraiser to collect various canned and boxed food to add to the donated turkeys and giftcards they receive to create food baskets for members in need in our community. Thank you to everyone who donated : Students and their families, staff members, One Stop Market, Stop 'N Shop, King Kullen, IGA Amagansett, North Sea Farms, the Lions Club, and The Springs General Store for donating this year.
This year's Turkey Trot raised $8,600. The funds raised support the PTA's Swim Program for grades K-5, and an ice-skating event at Buckskill for grades 6-8. The winner of this year's Turkey Trophy is Mrs. Branche's class, who raised $650! Fifth grader Sophia Rodriguez was the winner of a Round Swamp gift certificate donated by Round Swamp Farm, and second grader Danny Pedro won a turkey donated by One Stop Market.
Fourth graders enjoyed a trip to the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey last week. Students were able to participate in hands-on science experiments and see exciting demonstrations.
The Springs School annual Coat Drive is still going on, now through Wednesday, December 21st. If you would like to donate a gently used coat, jacket, or other type of outerwear, please drop items off in the front lobby. We are also accepting donations of new hats, gloves, and scarves.
The PTA has a few events coming up this month: They will be hosting a “Meet & Greet” with wine and cheese on Thursday, December 8th from. 6pm-8pm. A $5 donation is appreciated. Adults only, please. They are also hosting the annual “Penguin Patch” holiday boutique which will be open this week during the school day for students to shop and pick out gifts for family members. Items range from twenty-five cents to $12.
Gingerbread Night will be Friday, December 9th 6:30-9:30 pm. Students will design their very own Gingerbread House, gingerbread train, or gingerbread family among the company of many Springs School families.
November 16, 2016
Three Springs School teachers have recently received National Board Certification! Junior high science teacher Lisa Seff, junior high Social Studies teacher Katie Farmer, and ESL and sixth grade E.L.A. teacher Kimberly Royal all received their certifications this year. Becoming Nationally Board Certified is one of the most highly respected certifications available in education today, with fewer than 8% of teachers in New York State and approximately 3% nationwide having obtained this certification. Superintendent Jay Finello shared his happiness of the news, exclaiming that, "for such a small school, having three nationally board-certified teachers is a huge accomplishment!" "This is a lengthy and painstaking process," said Principal Eric Casale. "It takes a tremendous amount of commitment, time and hard work! We are so proud of their efforts." Assistant Principal Christine Cleary commented that "out of 241,000 public school teachers in New York State, only 1,712 have achieved National Board Certification.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Mrs. Hamilton and Mrs. Dunham’s English classes have completed their “Gratitude Project.” The project is an annual tradition for their sixth grade students in which they choose one teacher to write a “gratitude letter” to, and hand-deliver it along with a package of muffins and tea. The touching letters are a sign of gratitude from students to a teacher who has made the most impact on them during their years at Springs School.
The First Presbyterian Church in East Hampton is held its annual free community Thanksgiving dinner and Mrs. Lamonda’s Functional Academics class made all the sweet potatoes! They prepared sweet potatoes for over 200 people. The students cooked and prepared the food in their classroom, and Mrs. Lamonda delivered them to the church.
October’s Citizens of the Month were announced at Spirit Meet. They were Luke Dimopolous, Grace Anne Best, Nicole Gaggi, and Isabella Tarbet. These students exemplify model student behavior and are recognized for their outstanding behavior and academic success. Congratulations!
Students are in the midst of P.A.R.P. (Parents as Reading Partners) and are enjoying reading each day at home in order to earn a prize each Friday. Fifth grader Ethan Mahler created this fall's theme, "It's Time to Tackle a Good Book." A rally was held for grades kindergarten through fifth which saw teachers dressed up as football players and competing in relay races. Students participated in a competition where they helped pick out Main Idea & supporting details of read-alouds.
The junior high Student Council held a bake sale in which they raised funds for some upcoming events they have planned. They plan on events such as Pizza Fridays, a holiday dance, and an ice-skating night at Buckskill in East Hampton. Baked goods were brought in by Student Council members and staff members.
The PTA has some great holiday events planned. Their annual, fun Gingerbread Night will be held Friday, December 9th. Students can come with their families to create a gingerbread house, train, or family. It’s always a popular event and a great start to the holiday season. In addition to Gingerbread Night, the PTA will also have a holiday bazaar December 5-9th. Students can shop and purchase affordable gifts for their family members. The bazaar will be held during school hours.
Fourth graders continue working on the 20th Opera, to be held in January. For the first time, 100% of students are participating in one way or another. In addition to performers, jobs include writing, costume design, makeup, and public relations. We’re all looking forward to the 20th annual Springs School opera!
Students recently attended an assembly called “5-A-Day” where “Brian the Magician” showed what you should eat each day and how you can make your body healthy by eating fruit and vegetables. Some students were called up to help Brian with his magic tricks. Students enjoyed the assembly and learned a lot from Brian the magician.
November 9, 2016
A few fifth grade students have recently discovered that there's an author right here in Springs School! Fifth graders Julian, Isaac, and Ares discovered through their older siblings that junior high English teacher Adam Osterweil is a published author! The boys took it upon themselves to read Mr. Osterweil's most recent book, Cooper and the Enchanted Metal Detector. After they read the book, which is about an imaginative boy and his beloved metal detector, the boys were treated to their very own "treasure hunt" with a mini metal detector, and "treasures" that Mr. Osterweil had hidden in his classroom. "Mr. O. has found so many coins and other things right here on Long Island!" said Julian. "It's really inspiring." Although the boys don't aspire to be writers themselves, their love of reading is encouraging them to start reading Mr. Osterweil's other books, and also meeting with Mr. O to give their suggestions on his next book.
The Springs School "Turkey Trot" has returned for a third exciting year! This year's Trot will be Monday, November 21st. Last year's event raised nearly $10,000 to support their PTA Swim Program at the YMCA and an ice-skating event at Buckskill for grades 6-8. The Turkey Trot is a fun walk/run that the whole school takes part in. School Street and a portion of Old Stone Highway will be closed with the help of the EHPD and Fire Department officials, as well as parent volunteers who assist us and cheer everyone on.
For the annual “Candy Buy-Back,” the school collected a total of 229 pounds of candy to be sent to share with our troops and children overseas. Mrs. Goncalves’ kindergarten collected the most in candy – 22 pounds – and will be receiving a pizza party! The Candy Buy-Back program was started by Chris Kammer, a dentist in Wisconsin, in 2005. Since then, more than 130 tons of candy has been collected and donated to U.S. troops abroad, and more than 2,500 dentists now participate in the program. East End Orthodontics organizes the collection here and donates $1 to the PTA for every pound collected, up to 250 pounds.
Adam Osterweil’s seventh grade English class held a “Lego Crash Competition.” The students are paired up and each team has to build a car made out of 27 Lego pieces. Students have to write a very precise instructional writing piece to accompany their car, which explains how to build it step-by-step. When the writing and the building was finished, students entered the “Derby” and got to smash their cars with others. Each car that help up without falling apart advanced to compete against the next car. This year’s first place winners are Aidan McCormac and Joseph Friscia. They will compete against last year’s winner, Logan Abdat, who is now in eighth grade.
Mrs LaMonda and her Functional Academics class are putting books in their Little Free Libraries around Springs. These book boxes are on Gardiners Avenue, Woodcock Lane, Bruce Lane, and Sandra Drive. The students have taken out Halloween books and added Thanksgiving books. All year long, the students visit the libraries and add new books. Anyone can borrow books from these Little Free Libraries. You can keep them or put them back. Maybe you can keep one and then put in a new book of your own. The Little Free Libraries are filled with appropriate books that children of all ages can read.
The Thanksgiving food drive is coming up. Every class helps to bring in different food items to help families in need, right here in Springs. The school also collects whole turkeys and giftcards. Last year, the school assembled and donated 20 baskets filled with all the essentials for a delicious Thanksgiving Day breakfast and dinner. The Thanksgiving food drive is organized by the teacher union’s Community Outreach Committee.
Parent-Teacher Conferences will be taking place on Thursday, November 17th and Friday, November 18th. Springs School will also conduct a “Go Home Early” Drill on November 18th. New York State requires all school districts hold a "Go Home Early" drill to ensure that students and staff know what to do in case of an emergency that requires school grounds to be cleared and students to be sent home or to another location. On November 18th, all students will be dismissed 15 minutes early, at 11:15 a.m. instead of 11:30 a.m.
November 2, 2016
Springs School celebrated Veterans Day in a very special way this week. During Spirit Meet, local veterans and active military service members were honored by a touching ceremony led by third grade teacher Joan Branche. The many servicemembers in attendance were treated to a song titled, "Thank You to Our Veterans" performed by the seventh and eighth grade band and chorus, and the fifth grade chorus. The Veterans Day celebration is an annual tradition and a way for the school to show our military how proud students are of them.
In science news, a “Mad Scientist” visited Mr. Knight's first grade science class and he taught the students how to make slime, just in time for Halloween! Mr. Knight (i.e. the Mad Scientist) returned at the end of the class to comment that the slime will last about one week after it's made. The slime recipe is posted on the Springs School website for anyone wishing to make it at home!
These very scientific first graders also learned how air can propel balloon across a fishing line. They created “balloon rockets” which they got to try out in Science Lab. Students were shocked to see how fast their balloons traveled across the floor!
Last week, all eighth graders were trained in CPR and AED instruction, thanks to a program coordinated by science teacher Lisa Seff, P.E. teacher John King, and Sag Harbor Pierson High School’s health teacher Sue Denis. Twenty CPR/AED-certified high school students from Pierson volunteered their time and taught Springs School eighth graders how to administer CPR as well as learn the latest techniques in using AEDs. This class will lead to certification in CPR and AED, in which the Springs School PTA will cover the cost of.
Eighth graders enjoyed their annual two-day “retreat” at Camp Quinipet in Shelter Island. The purpose of the retreat is to provide group and individual experiences that aim to increase self-esteem and confidence through a "Project Adventure"-type experience. The retreat encourages positive peer influences through team-building activities, allowing students to use effective communication techniques and problem solving strategies that can be used throughout life. "The retreat empowers each student to reach his/her true potential and master the skills to succeed in life," said guidance counselor Stacy McCally. Pictures can be found on the Springs School website.
Eighth graders are holding a Pancake Breakfast at the Springs Firehouse on Sunday, November 20th from 7:00-11:00 a.m. Students are selling tickets for $8 each. The breakfast will be buffet-style including eggs, pancakes or French toast, sausage or bacon, hash browns, juice, toast, and coffee or tea. Proceeds will go towards reducing students’ costs for the eighth grade overnight trip to Philadelphia in May. Please stop by and have a great breakfast, all for a great cause!
Seventh graders are also holding a fundraiser of their own. They are selling pies, cakes, and other gourmet goodies to help fund their trip to New York City in May. Items will be delivered just in time for Thanksgiving! If you would like to order, contact seventh grade advisor Judy Mullarkey at: email@example.com
The Junior High held an “Idiom Contest” on Halloween. Students dressed as their favorite idioms and prizes were given for the top three costumes in each grade level sixth through eighth. In sixth grade, the first prize winners were Amiya Bennett and Audrey Mansir who dressed as “Smarty Pants” with Smarties candies decorating their pants’ legs. The first prize winner in seventh grade was Trinity Hydeman who dressed as “Pretty Please, with a Cherry on Top.” The first prize winners in eighth grade were John-Henry Kernell, Hayden Edwards, and Mikko Negroponte who collaboratively dressed up as “caught between a rock and a hard place.” Junior high teachers even got into the spirit and dressed as their favorite idioms!
The after-school art club for junior high art students has begun with great success. The first week had a group of twenty students working under the direction of visiting artists Gene Samuelson and Frank Sofo. The students were introduced to acrylic landscape painting and still-life in watercolors. The art club is sponsored by the Springs Mystery Art Sale team and the Visiting Artist Program. Two-hour open studio art classes are organized by art teacher Colleen McGowan and are held on Thursdays from 3-5pm. All are welcomed!
The Red Ribbon Week poster winners were announced during Spirit Meet. First and second place went to Mrs. LaMonda and Mrs. Ramsden’s classes, and first place went to Mrs. Frazier’s class!
October 26, 2016
Springs School will hold their annual Halloween Parade on Halloween. Students in grades kindergarten through fifth will dress up in their costumes and parade around the front of the school. Join us in the front of the school at 2:00!
In other Halloween news, the results are in! The winners for the “Boo! Short and Scary Stories” contest held by the Independent newspaper have been announced. The grand prize winner was seventh grader Aiden McCormac. The first place winner for grades 4-6 was sixth grader Chloe Swickard. The contest was open to any student and entries were submitted through their teachers. Seventh grade teacher Adam Osterweil commented that this was the first time a Springs School student won the grand prize. Congratulations!
Students in the A.E.P. (Academic Enrichment Program) program are still working on the Pussy’s Pond project. If you are asking why there is a fence there, it`s to help prevent run-off from rainwater on the road which pollutes the pond. Students helped set up barriers so when the dirty water flows in, it goes into a blocked-off area. Students are also planting native plants for the ducks to eat, which is a more nutritious food than bread! All the plants are expected to be fully grown by next spring.
Art teacher Ms. McGowan announced the “Google Doodle” contest. This year’s theme is “What I See for the Future” and students are asked to draw something that they wish to see in the future. The winning entry will be featured on the Google homepage!
Recently, students attended an internet safety assembly with Mr. Hallman. Students learned about cyberbullying and about the “apps” that kids use. Mr. Hallman said that parents should supervise kids and reminded students that they have to be 13 or older to use most of these apps.
Fifth graders and seventh graders visited Louse Point, Landing Lane, and Lazy Point beaches to conduct water quality testing of the Peconic Estuary. 188 students in total, the most students Island-wide involved in this testing, were able to get their feet wet and contribute their findings with the Central Pine Barrens Commission. On the same day, other schools on Long Island studied the Connetquot River and the Nissequogue River. All of these students will share their scientific findings with the Commission and Brookhaven Lab. "We've been working with students over the past month to prepare them for the field test," said Mr. Knight. "Mr. Casale was very supportive in allowing our school to be part of this great day of testing. We're very thankful that our school takes great pride in our local environments."
Last week, McGruff and Officer Kim helped kick off Red Ribbon Week. The week featured different themes that bring attention to making healthy choices and staying drug-free. P.E. teacher John King planned the festivities this year.
For Fire Safety Month, the fire department visited students at Spirit Meet to talk about fire safety, including: what to do if there's smoke in their house, how to call 911, and what a firefighter looks like and sounds like when they have all their gear on. After Spirit Meet, kindergarten classes went outside and they were able to go in and explore a fire truck and ambulance! Students were given fire helmet hats and fire safety coloring books.
October 19, 2016
Some favorite fall field trips have taken place recently. First graders traveled to Harbes Farm in Mattituck to go pumpkin picking, take a tractor ride, learn about the different farm animals there, and watch a pig race! Also getting into the fall spirit were the kindergartners, who traveled to the Milk Pail in Water Mill to go apple picking, and who also took a tractor ride around the farm. Good times were had by all.
For those wondering what’s happening over at Pussy’s Pond, AEP students can tell you! Students in AEP have been working with the Town of East Hampton on the Pussy's Pond restoration project! The restoration project is addressing water quality issues through a revegetation and landscaping plan. The East Hampton Town Natural Resource department, with Kimberly Shaw and Melissa Winslow, has been working with Wendi Goldsmith, a pioneer in innovative ways to address ecological restoration, and Michele Carlson, who has recently worked on water quality issues related to Fort Pond and Lake Montauk.
"Students have been helping to plant indigenous plants along the runoff swales, the pond's banks and buffer zones during the week," said AEP teacher Lisa Seff. "Even a few adventurous parents and students joined in on the fun recently, donning boots so that they could help replant salt marsh grasses in the pond!"
In addition to helping with the plantings, students are learning how they can help with the water quality of the pond in the future! One of the main issues to the Pond's water quality is the constant presence of the ducks. Students have learned that they shouldn't feed the ducks because it's healthier for the ducks to eat the food that's naturally available in the environment. Additionally, the more that people feed the ducks, the more duck feces enter the pond. Duck feces = additional bacteria that's not good for any of the organisms in the pond, or in Accabonac Harbor that's linked to Pussy's Pond under the roadway. The fences around the pond will stay up throughout the winter and into the spring months to discourage ducks from landing there and human presence, in order to help protect all of the new plants and to let the new landscaping adjust with a minimum of human and animal disruption.
Art teacher Ms. McGowan is starting a junior high after-school art club this month. The club meets on Thursdays after school and is open to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. Last year, the club enjoyed lessons from Visiting Artists, and visited Pussy’s Pond to paint the landscape there.
Students are already preparing for the Springs School 20th opera performance this January! Students have just voted on a name for their theatre company – they will be known as the “75 Watch Us Live!” company. 75 fourth graders are taking part in the opera, each having jobs such as costume design, performer, public relations, and many more.
Red Ribbon Week kicked off this week. The week-long schedule features a different theme that teaches students about making healthy life choices. P.E. teacher John King organized the week’s events. Students were treated to a special appearance from McGruff and D.A.R.E. officer Kim Notel!
Citizens of the Month for September were named at Spirit Meet. They are first grader Cosmo Frank Weitzenman, third grader Luke Rossano, sixth grader Kayla Lester, and seventh grader Daniel Piver. All of these students are being recognized for their responsibility and being model students.
Lisa Seff’s eighth grade Earth Science class participated in a live video event with the Chicxulub Crater Expedition Team as they analyzed core samples from the Chicxulub Crater! The Chicxulub Crater is an impact crater buried beneath the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, near the town of Chicxulub, and is said to be the cause of the dinosaur extinction. Mrs. Seff’s class joined researchers “live” by video from a laboratory located in Germany where researchers are now beginning to analyze the core samples. A children’s author, Kevin Kurtz, who is working with the team, carried a camera around the facility so the students could see and hear the researchers in action while they explored samples from the crater. Researchers with the team sat down and answered individual student questions about their work. "The students had been assigned online readings about the expedition during previous classes and homework assignments so they were ready with great questions for the team!" said Mrs. Seff.
Speaking of science, students in Mr. Knight's fifth grade science classes are discovering how organisms affect the acidity of water. Students are learning how to use BTB as an indicator of carbon dioxide. First, students added BTB to water and noticed that the water turned blue, meaning no acidity. Then, they blew bubbles into the water and saw that the water turned from blue to green to yellow, meaning that the water was not very acidic. "We discovered that carbon dioxide makes the water more acidic," said Mr. Knight. "We tested water that housed our goldfish and our water that just had elodea, an aquatic plant. We found out that the goldfish water turned yellow because the goldfish gives off carbon dioxide into the water, while the elodea turned blue because plants take in carbon dioxide turn the day." Students also found out that during darkness, elodea was turning the water yellow, which meant that plant releases carbon dioxide at night when there is no sunlight. "At the end," said Mr. Knight, "We were able to use our Chromebooks to compare other testing that was found on the FOSS website and compare our findings."
The results are in! The Springs School Student Council election for president was held on Tuesday, October 11th. Candidates held their speeches during the Pep Rally and students in grades sixth, seventh and, eighth voted. The new Student Council president is eighth grader Kevin Chabla. The vice-president is eighth grader Hannah Hartsough. Congratulations!
The school continues to celebrate the following character traits: Responsibility, Caring, Respect, Perseverance, and Empathy. Each trait will be celebrated for approximately eight weeks and will be reinforced through Spirit Meet, guest speakers, presentations, and Pep Rallies. Spirit Meet takes place twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays at 8:20 in the gym. All are invited to attend! The school also has junior high Pep Rallies once a month for grades 6-8, which feature guest speakers and special events. By the close of the year, the students will have celebrated various character traits and will have learned about some of the characteristics that make a person of good moral fiber.
October 5, 2016
Art classes have been busy getting inspired and creating great artwork. Students in grades third through have begun the year in Colleen McGowan’s art classes making various mandalas that focus on symmetry and geometric shape . The "mandala project " is an art curriculum written by McGowan after taking mandala-making art classes at the Michu Art Center in Ubud , Bali this summer. The students are being led through a series of mandala-making techniques starting with the "seeds of life " mandala , moving on to "sacred geometry” mandala which incorporates math and the symbolism and history of mandalas .
Alex DeHavenon’s seventh and eighth grade Studio-in-Art classes have been making some beautiful Egyptian paintings on black backgrounds. Second graders are finishing their Pennsylvania Dutch Hexes. Inspiration was taken from the Amish and Mennonite Farmers who put these hexes on the side of their barns to keep bad luck (weather/diseases) away.
This year, “Students of the Week” are receiving water bottles in addition to their award certificate. The water bottles are green with the school’s mascot, an osprey, on them. Students are excited to report that if you work hard, you can earn a Student of the Week award and a free water bottle! Another change to Spirit Meet this year is that all fifth grade students will have a chance to be announcers, not just a set “Announcement Crew” as in previous years. This will give all fifth grade students a chance to read the announcements to grades kindergarten through fifth. Parents and community members are welcomed to join us for Spirit Meet each Monday and Friday morning at 8:20, in the gym!
Students in Mr. Kelly’s Spanish classes are participating in “Pretzelmania.” Students have to start and finish a small conversation with him, and if they are successful three times, they receive a pretzel rod! Mr. Kelly visits classrooms during lunch to converse with students, and handing out pretzels to the students who accomplish the task. Mr. Kelly reports that second grade is doing the best so far. “Students were so excited to win a pretzel!” he said.
The Yearbook club started recently. Eighth graders joined Yearbook advisors Stacy McCally and Jessica Datz on making a plan for this year’s yearbook, as well as fundraising ideas. The Committee meets several times to help with the layout and organization of the yearbook.
Springs School is once again hosting a Halloween costume exchange, now through October 27th. Students are encouraged to donate gently used costumes which will be available in the front hallway of the school for anyone to take and wear this Halloween! The school’s annual Halloween parade for grades kindergarten through fifth will take place Friday, October 28th at 2:00 p.m. at the front of the school. The PTA is also hosting a junior high dance and costume contest that night at 7:00 p.m. for students in grades sixth through eighth.
The eighth grade is hosting a pie sale to help raise funds for their annual trip to Philadelphia. Pies are from Holey Moses and cost $16 to $18 each. For each pie sold, students will receive $5 towards the cost of their trip. The trip and the fundraising is organized by eighth grade advisor and math teacher Laura Foti. Place your orders so you don’t arrive empty-handed to Thanksgiving dinner!
September 28, 2016
Springs School held their Open House last week. The evening included presentations in both English and Spanish. Parents learned how to use the school’s website, reviewed policies, and learned about the one-to-one Chromebook laptop program in grades fourth through sixth. The night culminated in visits to classrooms to meet teachers and staff members. “We are very excited about this school year!” said Principal Eric Casale. “The start of a school year provides new educational experiences for our children.”
Students in fourth grade are looking forward to another Opera this year. They have finished their applications and chose to be a writer, composer, performer, set designer, costume designer, makeup artist, public relations specialist, stagehand, or announcer. Auditions have begun to take place, and some students have already been assigned jobs. Mrs. Lydon commented that, “We plan to get the entire fourth grade involved in the opera production! We’re hoping for 100% participation.” Upon the retirement of Sue Ellen O’Connor, the new Opera staff members are fifth grade teacher Meghan Lydon as the coordinator, art teacher Alex DeHavenon as the Artistic Director, third grade teacher Ashley Dellapolla as the Stage Director and teacher Amanda Waleko as the Choreographer. Students are very excited to get started on a great production! The Opera will premiere in January 2017.
Mrs. Knight’s fourth Grade class visited the East Hampton Library recently and all students signed up for library cards. They also received a tour of the library and checked out books. This library visit is a yearly tradition for Mrs. Knight’s classes and encourages a love of reading.
Springs Seedlings’ third annual "Great Pumpkin Contest" is starting now! This year, there is not only one pumpkin growing in the garden, but TWO! One orange pumpkin and one white pumpkin. Both started from seeds that were planted last year during Project Most. The contest is spearheaded by Springs Seedlings/Project Most greenhouse advisor Hailey London. Each class will have a chance to guess the pumpkins' weights, and the winning class will win the pumpkins and a fun pumpkin lesson. Last year's winning class was Mrs. Ramsden's! The class guessed a weight of 18 pounds, which came closest to the actual weight of 19.2 pounds. Squash beetles destroyed most of last year's crop, so the pumpkin was a lot smaller than the previous year's, which weighed 28.8 pounds.
Teachers and staff members are gearing up for the Shelter Island 5K run/walk on Saturday October 15th. All participants help to raise funds for breast cancer research by donating a $30 registration fee. Twenty-two participants made up the “Springs School Team” last year and they hope for the same this year!
September 21, 2016
Seventh graders in Mr. Walker's and Ms. Belkin’s science class took on the "Marshmallow Challenge," which is an attempt to build the tallest structure using spaghetti, masking tape, string, and one marshmallow. The goal is to have the structure support the marshmallow without collapsing. The winning team's tower measured 17 inches! The Challenge is a great team-building activity, and requires students to collaborate, generate ideas, and be creative. It also gives students a chance to reflect on their experience, and see what they would do differently if building one the next time.
This summer, art teacher Ms. McGowan returned to Bali, Indonesia to the same orphanage she visited last year. Her two daughters joined her. They volunteered at the orphanage where they presented the children, aged four through eighteen, with pairs of sandals (150 in all) as well as 150 hand-painted hats created by sixth grade students last year. The hat project was part of the Visiting Artists Program where artists and designers Gayle and Adam B. worked with sixth grade art students to create "trucker style" hats imprinted with unique symbols and messages. "I had promised my students that we would deliver the hats and distribute their messages of love and hope for a brighter future," said Ms. McGowan. "The children were absolutely thrilled to receive the hand-painted hats and the new sandals." Ms. McGowan also reported back that the children asked her to express their gratitude to Springs School. "They really needed the hats and shoes desperately to avoid the hot sun and rocky streets.
Students are excited for the annual Back-to-School BBQ and movie on Friday, September 16th. The evening features games, food, and a movie, and rumor has it that there will be a dunk tank and certain teachers and staff may be taking the plunge! The BBQ is at 6:00 p.m. and more information can be found on the Springs School website: www.springsschool.org
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