Schools: SH Teachers Honored; Huntington Wins Large Grant

South Huntington school district recognized its teachers of the year this week, with friends, family and fellow staff members on hand to help them celebrate.

The district winner of the year was Dolores Rufrano, a dual language teacher for fourth and fifth grades at Birchwood.

Other winners:

Walt Whitman High School
Ralph Milazzo

Jenny Hernandez

Silas Wood
Virginia Stair

Linda Muratore

Beth Ann Fierro

Sabrina Cariello

Stronger Connections Grant

Huntington UFSD has been awarded a New York State Education Department Stronger Connections grant in the amount of $202,515.

The grant supports an expansion of safe, health and supportive learning
opportunities and environments and to prevent and respond to acts of bullying, violence and hate.

“We are looking forward to utilizing the Strong Connections grant to further enhance our PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) programs in each building, expand our restorative practice work in grades 4-12 and implement advisory periods at Huntington High School,” said Beth
McCoy, Huntington UFSD’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “These initiatives will further support our students’ connections to school, which will in turn improve academic and social emotional outcomes for all.”

The  program is funded by the US Department of Education, but is administered through the state Education Department. The grant program is authorized under the federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of 2022.

“Our students’ futures depend on a strong educational foundation, but that foundation is only as strong as the mental, physical, and emotional supports we can offer our students,” State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said. “This much-needed funding will be allocated to schools with high poverty rates and
schools in rural areas that may lack critical resources due to their isolated locations. These grants will help ensure every student in New York State feels safe and supported in the classroom.”

Huntington UFSD is among just 44 schools or districts in the state and one of four on Long Island to win the grant. “When students feel secure, valued and respected, they are more likely to actively engage in the learning process,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said. “These grants will aid in our commitment to provide high- quality education to all students, regardless of race, disability status, or economic background, by creatingsafe and supportive learning environments, especially in our schools with the most need.”

Civic Readiness Seal

Eighth graders Evelyn Bavaro, Millie Fox, Cailyn Lawn and Ava Spatafora of Oldfield Middle School inHarborfields have attained the State Seal of Civic Readiness.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Danielle DeLorenzo asked middle school social studies teachers Michelle Da Silva-Burke and Christine Miller to write curriculum for a project for students to earn credit toward the State Seal of Civic
Readiness for graduation.

The eighth graders were assigned national and local problems such as food
insecurity, homelessness and environmental conservation. They were asked to research
their assigned issue on both levels, and then identify a local organization that was actively working to solve the problem. The students’ final task was to create a public service announcement about how Oldfield could help to address the problem in the Harbofields community.

Evelyn Bavaro earned first place for her PSA addressing local water pollution and her idea of a “Trashion Show.” The team of Millie Fox, Cailyn Lawn and Ava Spatafora took second with their news report on food insecurity. The students’ videos were shown on the school’s morning announcements, and they won a gift lunch from Chipotle.

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