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District Newsletter

 MARCH 2022

Harrison High School 

Senior Joanna Howson Earns Eleven Scholastic Writing Awards

Congratulations to Harrison High School Senior, Joanna Howson, who won 2 Gold Keys, 5 Silver Keys, and 4 Honorable Mention awards in the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for the Hudson-to-Housatonic Region which received nearly 1,900 submissions this year.  Joanna earned awards for eleven pieces of original writing in poetry, flash fiction, short story, humor and writing portfolio - an unprecedented achievement. The Scholastic Awards are the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. Work is judged based on three criteria: originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal vision or voice.

Senior Jack Kelly Selected to US Senate Youth Program

Senior Jack Kelly was selected to participate in the United States Senate Youth Program during its 60th annual Washington Week, held virtually March 6-9, 2022. This extremely competitive merit-based program provides two outstanding high school students from each state with an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. Selected from among the state’s top student leaders, Jack will join Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, among other government leaders in a comprehensive, interactive education and leadership forum. Student delegates attended online meetings and briefings with senators, the President, Supreme Court Justices, leaders of cabinet agencies, among others. 

Junior Ariella Blackman to Perform in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band

Junior Ariella Blackman was selected to perform this November in the 2022 NYC Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Great American Marching Band. This prestigious marching band is created for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and participants are selected through a rigorous and thorough audition process. Since its debut, the band has become a time-honored tradition that brings together the finest musicians from high schools across the nation. Ariella plays the flute and has been an actively involved member of the band program since elementary school. She also currently performs with the high school Concert Band, Marching Band, and Symphonic Winds advanced chamber music group. 

Seven  Students Advance to National Business Competition

Harrison High School was well represented at the 62nd New York State DECA Business Club competition.  This year the competition theme was “Magic Moments with NY DECA,” and HHS students earned several of them. Students succeeded both academically in their competitions and socially, meeting new people and participating in the various DECA functions, workshops, and meetings. The event took place in-person this year.  Many of the competitions require a written exam as well as a live-action role-play. Thirty-seven Harrison students competed, and many received awards in the various business categories. Seven students earned first place in their categories and will be competing at the National competition in Atlanta, Georgia in April.  Good luck to the seven students who placed first in their events and will compete at Nationals: Jake Sarlo, Johnny Karipides (Sports & Entertainment Marketing); Stella Perini, Cate Ansel (Financial Literacy Project); Max Johansson, Michael Sica (Innovation Plan); Shweta Nadagouda (Integrated Marketing Campaign).

HHS Debate Team Clinches 11 Wins, 13 Bids to Tournament of Champions 
Debaters Rank Among Top 10 in Nation, Top 3 in New York State

The HHS Debate Team continues to achieve at the highest levels, including co-championships at the varsity division of the University Pennsylvania (Jessie Pein and Annie Chen) and Columbia University (Reese Potash and Jack Borman) tournaments, as well as the JV division of the Harvard University (Jack Borman) tournament and the novice divisions of Lexington (Jack Gessner) and Colleyville Heritage (Charles Zenhausern). The team has eleven tournament wins to date, with more competitions on the horizon. The team has accumulated 13 qualifying bids to the Tournament of Champions (TOC), qualified the maximum two students to the National Speech & Debate Association's national championship, and one student to the National Catholic Forensic League's national championship.  Members of the Debate Team also placed 3rd & 5th place at Novice Nationals.  The National Speech & Debate Association ranks team members #9 (Jessie Pein), #10 (Annie Chen), and #16 (Mai Blaustein) nationally, and #1 (Jessie), #2 (Annie), #3 (Mai), #6 (Thomas Berg), and #7 (Elizabeth Murno) in the state in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Five students qualified for the National Debate Coaches Association (NDCA) national championship in April: Jessie Pein, Mai Blaustein, Annie Chen, Thomas Berg, and Elizabeth Munro. Qualifying for the NDCA National Championship means the students are among the strongest students in their debate event among high school students in the United States. The 2019 NDCA National Championship had approximately 350 students competing from 20 different states.   

Model Congress Team Members Receive "Best Delegate" Awards at Harvard Conference

Harrison Model Congress team competed with over 70 schools from across the country at the Harvard Model Congress Conference, the largest congressional simulation conference in the world. It was the first in-person conference since January 2020, and the first ever for many of students.  HHS student delegates faced tough competition and demonstrated an ability to engage in complex political discourse across party lines. Seniors Remy Rabin, Jack Kelly, and Jessica Topper competed in their last conference and earned best delegate awards. Sophomore Alec Udell also earned best delegate; Evie Rabin and Alexander Schwartz received Honorable Mentions.

HHS Students Recognized for Achievement in Visual Art

HHS Students Earn Scholastic Arts Awards: Juniors Algelea Nicaj and Gianna Allegretti were recognized by the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Angelea won a Gold Key Award for her work, “Hanging Portrait,” and Gianna earned Honorable Mention for her work, “a person unaware of where they are.” Work is judged based on originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal vision or voice. 

HHS Student Work Featured at Museums

Katonah Museum of Art Young Artists 2022 Exhibition: Harrison High School seniors exhibited their work at the Young Artists 2022 exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art.  In its 39th year, the exhibition presents  work of the most talented high school seniors in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Fairfield counties, and is designed to feature the “next generation of creative thinkers and artists.”  HHS featured artists: Eileen Dokery, Julia Bonaiuto, Marina Misic, Georgia Robb, Kotomi Inaba, Amelia Kraus, Danielle Duffy, Anna FitzPatrick.

Westport MoCA Museum of Contemporary Art 2022 Student Art Exhibition: The museum gathers student submission to showcase the “talent, creativity and voices of our youth today.”  This year, students submitted work that explored the theme “Identity,” as an expression of  “memories, experiences, relationships, and values that create one’s sense of self.”  HHS exhibitors: Ami Goble, Gianna Allegretti, Angelea Nicaj, Sasha Konigsberg, Annalena King, Gianna Salvo, Rion Yoshimura, Aaron Oro.

LMK Middle School 

Science Olympiad Students Advance to State Competition

Louis M. Klein Middle School Science Olympiad students placed 7th at the Lower Hudson Valley Science Olympiad Competition.  Eight students placed at the event and the team earned an invitation to the New York State Competition in April.  Members of the Science Olympiad Club at LMK prepare throughout the year to compete against other middle schools.  This year there were 28 teams from the Lower Hudson Valley. Students compete in 18 different events involving various science and engineering topics. The following LMK Science Olympiad students earned medals at the competition: Bio Process lab - Charles Iwanski & Katharine Wong; Crave the Wave - Mizuki Shimatani & Tharv Gandhi; Dynamic Planet - Sophie Wong & Ron Blaustein; Experimental Design - Andrew Gaffin, Charles Iwanski & Sophie Wong; Green Generation - Charles Iwanski & Michael Luiso;  Meteorology - Andrew Gaffin & King Kritikos; Ping Pong Parachute - Charles Iwanski & Matthew Basso; Road Scholar - Ron Blaustein & Isani Mitra

Move over Wordle…Mathler is Surging at LMK!

Sixth grade students sharpen their thinking and get into a mathematical mindset by solving a daily Mathler puzzle. During a recent professional development session, the mathematics department recognized the value of Mathler, a web-based math skills puzzle, in practicing skills and honing understanding of mathmatical concepts.  Mathler is an engaging platform that provides students an opportunity to apply mathematical operations to generate expressions that solve the daily answer. Mathler reinforces grade-level content and creates opportunities for students to engage in critical thinking and collaboration. Students work together to solve the Mathler puzzle by engaging in problem-solving discussions and using precise mathematical language to communicate their ideas aligned with the IB MYP learning goals.

8th Grade Band Plays with HHS Symphonic Winds

In early March, Symphonic Winds, the HHS advanced wind ensemble, visited LMK and performed with the 8th grade band students. This opportunity fostered connections between the middle and high school music programs and provided an opportunity for HHS students to share experiences and answer questions 8th grade students had about participating in music at Harrison High School. The students enjoyed playing together; and members of the Harrison High School Band are eager to welcome the soon-to-be 9th graders to the high school program next year.

Elementary Schools - Where Learning Comes to Life

Harrison Avenue: A Place Where Everyone Learns and Grows

Harrison Avenue School is celebrating “We Belong at HAS,” a school wide experience dedicated to celebrating a learning environment where unique qualities of each individual are recognized, cared about and valued. Students, faculty and staff gathered for a kick-off event, then brought the learning to classrooms and hallways of HAS each and every day to create a community of kindness and acceptance.

Students in K-2 read "A Little Spot of Belonging" by Diane Alber and 3rd-5th graders read "a kids book about belonging" by Kevin Carroll, followed by story walks, discussions and other classroom activities. Teachers collaborated in their approach to teaching and learning with a focus around belonging. The entire HAS community models empathy and acceptance of one another both inside and outside the classroom. During these common experiences, students thought about different places they belong, feelings they have associated with belonging; engaged in class discussions around the difference between fitting in and belonging; created artwork that visually represents what belonging means to them. Each student will create a quilt square to visually represent their initial ideas around what belonging means to them. The squares will be 'stitched' together and displayed in the building to represent “who we are at HAS and what we value:”  

Parsons Students Display Their Knowledge at Science Gallery Walk

How do organisms interact with each other and their environment/habitat? Parsons third grade students shared their knowledge about how organisms survive and thrive in their habitats at a Science Investigation and Gallery Walk. Each student researched, wrote and developed a unique presentation as the culminating activity for third grade science unit about Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems. The gallery walk presentations provided an opportunity for students to reflect a unique and deep understanding of what they have learned. Students visited and experienced each presentation and offer feedback. The students were excited to share their work with and offer feedback to each other. At each station students shared their knowledge and reflections by answering, “I learned…. I wonder….I noticed….” Third grade teacher, Ms. Santore reflected on the Gallery Walk, "This is an important learning experience for our 3rd graders because it allows them to showcase their learning in a manner they feel passionate and excited about. The Gallery Walk allowed for students to develop agency in the classroom and ownership over their work."

Purchase Students Develop Ownership and Confidence in Learning

Where did I use details in my writing? What am I most proud of?  Students ask questions as they reflect on their learning and build ownership of what they learn. In a recent kindergarten classroom at Purchase School, teachers introduced student to using reflective learning in writing. The classroom buzzed with excitement as the young learners confidently shared their new skills with their teacher and other emerging writers in the classroom. Reflective questions in kindergarten build the foundation for learning throughout elementary, middle and high school. By first grade, students  ask themselves a series of questions and utilize a checklist or rubric to reflect on their own writing progress. Fifth grade students self-select a focus/topic before conferencing with teachers to determine a specific area where they seek targeted feedback.  Classroom instruction begins with focused, collaborative professional development. At the most recent superintendent’s conference day, teachers collaborated to deepen their understanding of strategies that develop and support student agency and incorporate reflection in classrooms.  

Building Literacy Skills and Community at Preston 

Preston fifth-grade students tutor first-grade readers when they meet every Friday morning before school to read together, laugh together and enjoy books and literacy games together as part of the Green Key Service and Leadership club “Book Buddies” program. Fifth-grade students received training from our Instructional Specialist on how to help beginning readers with unknown words and reading with expression. Bringing fifth and first grade students together each week develops literacy skills and builds community at Preston. Book Buddies practice reading while building characteristics of an IB learner - listening with empathy and understanding, and persisting through challenges. Student feedback has been excited and positive, “I can’t wait to go next Friday it’s so much fun!” “I love practicing my reading with the big kids!” “We have so much fun at book buddies!” “I can show my buddy how I read my book all by myself.”

Fine and Performing Arts Spring Schedule