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BOARD OF EDUCATION PLANNING SESSION - APRIL 1ST AT 6:30 P.M.

The Board of Education of the Rye Neck Union Free School District will meet on april 1, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. via videoconference.  Members of the public will be able to attend the public portion of the Planning Session via live-stream on YouTube using the following link:  

 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxdjzkYugu6rrBmGR5ZSOgQ/

However, due to current public health concerns, the public will not be able to physically attend the public Planning Session.

MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD OF EDUCATION

The Board of Education announced today that the school closure will be extended through Spring Break.  It is anticipated that Rye Neck schools will reopen on Monday, April 13th.

Love of Science Brings Together F.E. Bellows Students

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Third through fifth grade students shared their affinity for all things science when they presented their projects, experiments, collections and demonstrations during the annual F.E. Bellows Elementary School Science Expo on March 11-12. 

“The Science Expo is a unique opportunity for students to showcase their passion and interest in science,” Principal Michael Scarantino said. “It is one of the most anticipated events at Bellows because it gives students a chance to shine in a different area of study aside from math, reading and writing, which are also on display as well, but more in defense of science.” 

As part of the learning experience, the students worked with partners or individually and conducted their own experiments at home. They were challenged to come up with a research question on a topic of interest, construct a hypothesis, test their hypothesis through an experiment, analyze the data and make a conclusion before presenting their projects at school. 

“The purpose of the Science Expo is to get students excited about scientific inquiry and investigation, to use data to support their thinking around unanswered questions and to collaborate with other students,” Scarantino said. “I hope students take away that scientific inquiry is interesting work that takes focus, determination and perseverance.” 

On the first day of the Science Expo, teachers and students viewed the posterboards that were displayed in the school’s gymnasium. On the second day, a panel of judges critiqued the students’ work. While only fourth and fifth graders were judged on their projects, all students were challenged to successfully demonstrate use of the scientific method in a rigorous manner. 

The top students from a variety of categories advanced to compete at the Tri County Science and Technology Fair, to be held on April 18 at White Plains Senior High School. The regional science fair brings together student-scientists from Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties who showcase their exhibits before a team of judges in their respective categories. 

Rye Neck Celebrates Groundbreaking for STEM Wing and Middle School Gymnasium

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Rye Neck Schools broke ground for the two-story Collaborative Science Center and middle school gymnasium during a ceremony on March 10. The celebration was attended by administrators, teachers, students, Board of Education members and community members. 

“The groundbreaking symbolizes the community’s commitment to excellence in education, giving our students the opportunity for learning to take place in a beautiful campus setting,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Ferraro said. “The anticipated state-of-the-art facilities will expand, enhance and enrich the learning environment for our students, benefiting generations of Rye Neck students. A special thank-you must be given to the Rye Neck community for its ongoing support of its schools.” 

The Collaborative Science Center will feature eight classrooms/labs, designed and equipped for science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The open, flexible spaces will encourage collaborative teaching and learning. Building the new middle school gymnasium – which will feature lockers and bleachers and host modified sports and other special events – will eliminate chronic scheduling bottlenecks across campus. In addition, building the middle school gymnasium is key to ensuring that high school students gain full access to the Collaborative Science Center to strengthen their credentials for college admission and eventual career opportunities.  

During the ceremony, Board of Education President Pietro Fasolino addressed the audience and thanked the community for its continued support of the schools.

“Thank you to our facilities committee and to previous Board of Education members for their time and dedication over several years to get us to this point,” Fasolino said. “To our dedicated administrative team led by Dr. Ferraro and [Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance] Dr. Kim Bucci, thank you for your unyielding efforts in support of our district.” 

Student Senate President Juliana Silva provided the closing remarks to the ceremony, thanking members of the community and administration for making education a priority. 

“As the project builds, both figuratively and literally, we are excited to continue working as partners with the administration and the rest of the student body in ensuring this project comes to fruition to benefit all students in the Rye Neck Schools,” Silva said. 

The projects are part of Phase 2 of the district’s approved capital project and will greatly enhance the quality of education that children and the future generations of Rye Neck students will experience. In 2018 voters passed two spending propositions – to replace and repair school roofs and to build a Collaborative Science Center and middle school gymnasium. The first phase of the capital project – the roof work – was completed in 2019 and came in under budget by about $1.2 million. In 2020, voters authorized the district to apply the $1.2 million in savings from the roof work to the second phase of construction and authorized an additional $2.9 million in borrowing capacity to ensure that sufficient funds will be available, if needed, to complete the science center and gymnasium.

 

Fourth Graders Design Three-Dimensional Houses

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F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth graders tinkered with a new program to learn how to create 3D objects using Tinkercad, a free computer-aided drafting website. After learning the basics, they designed houses that were complete with roofs, chimneys, doors, windows, garages and pools. 

Under the direction of William McKeon, the library media specialist at the school, along with STEM instructors from MacInspires, the students gained a deeper understanding of spatial orientation and reflected on new vocabulary, such as width, depth, height, diameter, millimeter, centimeter, x, y and z planes, workplane, perspective and more. As part of the learning experience, they also further enhanced their teamwork and critical thinking skills.

The Rye Neck PTSA generously supported the students’ work with the MacInspires instructors. The fourth graders’ next challenge is to delve deeper into the process, create and print their own unique designs. 

“The Rye Neck PTSA is a wonderful group of parents who are always looking for ways to enhance student experiences,” McKeon said. “The fourth grade teachers and students want to thank them for all their hard work.”