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F. E. Bellows Elementary School

200 Carroll Avenue,
Mamaroneck, NY 10543


Michael Scarantino
Principal
(914) 777-4602
mscarantino@ryeneck.org

Announcements


 

BALANCED LITERACY INFORMATION FOR PARENTS

Click here for information on the Balanced Literacy Initiative in the Elementary Schools.

2017-2018 PTSA SCHOOL SUPPLY ORDER FORM


School Breakfast Program

Click here for information regarding the School Breakfast Program.

 

Bellows Times

Click HERE to view the latest edition of the Bellows Times.


MySchoolBucks Information:

​Please click on the attached link for information on the MySchoolBucks system:

MySchoolBucks Parent Information

 

Parents:  The 2017-2018 Bellows Parent-Student Handbook is located in the documents section.

  

 *****Please visit our  Nurse Services page for health requirements and forms.

 

News


F.E. Bellows Elementary School Fourth-Graders Perform Circus Tricks 

F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-graders – who had been working with performers from Cirque du Jour for a week to master a variety of circus tricks –demonstrated their newly acquired skills during a special circus performance for classmates, teachers and parents on Nov. 17.

The students were given the opportunity to select which skills they’d like to present at the performance, which included plate spinning, juggling, devil sticks, Chinese yo-yo, clowning and stilt walking. The activities were designed to support the students’ physical fitness and strengthen their gross and fine motor skills. In addition, the learning experience helped build their confidence and enhance their ability to collaborate with peers. 

The interactive workshops were made possible thanks to the generous support of the PTSA. 

 


Fifth-Graders Take on the Marshmallow-Topped Tower Challenge

Fifth-grade students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School tested their design and engineering skills on Oct. 30 as they built the tallest marshmallow-topped towers they could out of spaghetti, tape and a string.

The challenge – which was part of the school’s Seekers and Solvers STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) workshops – was designed to foster creativity and collaboration among the students. Each group of students was given 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, five marshmallows and 18 minutes to complete the challenge. 

“The students used math skills to measure and convert yards to inches, and used logical thinking to decide how to best complete the activity,” said Susan Combs, a fifth-grade teacher and team leader. “The students were very surprised that there were no questions allowed and they could interpret the directions any way they chose.”

Combs said the students began to share ideas with each other and became very engaged and excited about their structures. Each student demonstrated different skills as leaders, builders, inventors and mathematicians while they were completing the challenge. Once completed, they reflected on the experience and the lessons they learned. 

“We put one marshmallow as a base and put two spaghetti sticks sticking out,” fifth-grader Fiona Fox said. “This was a great way to start. Each member had a specific job. We learned about teamwork and that it doesn't matter if there is a bad idea, we can learn from each others’ mistakes.”

 


Fifth-Graders Create Sugar Skull Projects as Part of Study on Latin America

F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-grade students, who had been studying about Latin America, recently completed an art project to further enhance their understanding of the content.

Art teacher Dara Goodman said she and her students studied about the traditional Mexican holiday Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) in their classes and discussed its influence on pop culture and the media. As part of the three-week-long project, the students were challenged to sculpt proportional sugar skulls out of clay, create drawings of a skeleton in motion and complete their artworks with traditional and ornamental decorations. 

“We focused on the need for proportion and motion,” Goodman said. “This project will lead into a large-scale sculpture project, which is based on pop artist Claes Oldenburg. The students will be choosing foods, candies or other objects that are popular with them to sculpt them on a grand scale.”

 


F.E. Bellows Students Create Topographical Maps of New York State

F.E. Bellows Elementary School students, who had been studying about the history and geography of New York State, recently created salt dough topographical maps of the state to further enhance their understanding of the content.

With assistance from their teachers and William McKeon, the library media specialist at the school, the students applied a number of mathematical and scientific concepts to design their maps and worked collaboratively with their peers. They shared ideas and strategies as they mixed and shaped the state’s mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, plateaus and plains.

The hands-on learning experience was part of the Makerspace program, which encourages open-ended exploration through tinkering, creativity and inquiry. 


Daniel Warren, F.E. Bellows Students Celebrate Spirit Week

Students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School and Daniel Warren Elementary School celebrated homecoming week in Rye Neck with various activities in their classrooms.

Students created posters, answered trivia questions and heard from student-athletes throughout the week, culminating with Spirit Day on Sept. 15 when they wore black and blue for Rye Neck pride. They also welcomed their Panther mascot, who encouraged students to lead healthy and active lifestyles. 


Photos: First Day of School Brings Excitement, Energy to Rye Neck Schools

Rye Neck Union Free School District students joyfully entered their classrooms on the first day of school on Sept. 5. With new books and school supplies in hand, they were eager to see their friends, organize their lockers, compare schedules and meet new teachers who greeted them with smiles.

Kindergartners at Daniel Warren Elementary School had an exciting day of firsts as they attended orientation sessions with their parents and introduced themselves to their new teachers. Meanwhile, F.E. Bellows Elementary School students spent a half-day of classes organizing their school supplies, learning the rules of their new classrooms and getting to know new friends. 

Throughout the day, Rye Neck Middle School students attended a variety of presentations and moved around the building to find their new classrooms and meet their teachers. The halls at Rye Neck High School were buzzing with chatter as seniors teamed up with ninth-graders for various first-day-of-school activities that were designed to help the younger students make a smooth transition into high school.

“The start of a new school year is filled with anticipation and excitement,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Ferraro said. “My best wishes for an engaging, productive and joyful school year. Rye Neck is a special place where students learn, achieve and lead.”

 

 


Rye Neck Welcomes New Staff for 2017-18

Rye Neck Union Free School District welcomed new staff and faculty members during a two-day orientation, held Aug. 28-29. The group, which brings an array of experience to the district, met with administrators; worked with their teams and departments; discussed technology initiatives, policies and procedures; and received a tour of the district and village.

“Rye Neck is such a special place to live in and learn at, and understanding its culture and values was at the center of the staff orientation,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Ferraro said. 

Ferraro described the faculty members as knowledgeable, creative and caring individuals who possess the ability to personalize the learning environment for students.

“As our newest staff members launch their careers within our district, I am confident that each one of them will become an integral part of our learning community.”   

The new staff members at Rye Neck are: 
Tara Goldberg, principal at Daniel Warren Elementary School 
Tina Wilson, principal at Rye Neck High School 
Karen Reynolds, Languages Other Than English (LOTE) teacher at Rye Neck High School 
Kristin Bonnici, science teacher at Rye Neck High School 
Vincent Scozzari, eighth-grade social studies teacher at Rye Neck Middle School 
Leanne Cipolla, reading teacher at Daniel Warren Elementary School
Darnell Davis, cleaner at Rye Neck High School
Carolyn Mahar, treasurer at Rye Neck Union Free School District
Bozena Sidorowicz, world languages teacher at Rye Neck High School, leave replacement
Allen Grant, sixth-grade teacher at Rye Neck Middle School, leave replacement
Diana Carvalho, special education teacher at F.E. Bellows Elementary School, leave replacement
Nicole Crispinelli, psychologist at Rye Neck High School, leave replacement
Brian Iacovelli, physical education/health teacher at Rye Neck High School 
Ashley Synowiez, English teacher at Daniel Warren Elementary School 
Amy Bushnell, physical education teacher at Rye Neck Middle School and Rye Neck High School 
Nadia Whiting, world language teacher at Rye Neck High School
Theresa Gray, special education teacher at Daniel Warren Elementary School, F.E. Bellows Elementary School and Rye Neck Middle School 
Kristian Wasdick, teaching assistant at Rye Neck Middle School 
Erin Unis, teaching assistant at F.E. Bellows Elementary School
Kelly Addorisio, English teacher at Rye Neck Middle School 
Ashley Worley, teaching assistant at F.E. Bellows Elementary School 

rye neck staff image



Wiggle Bots Help Fifth-Graders Celebrate Final STEM Project

Fifth-grade students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School celebrated their final STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) project with a Wiggle Bot Fair. Each student, who received a motor and instructions on how to construct his or her own Wiggle Bot, programmed the motorized contraptions to scribble, make circles or wiggle on a large piece of paper.

“The students were excited to share their Wiggle Bots and were also able to view the innovations of other students,” fifth-grade teacher Susan Combs said. “Engineering skills and creativity were displayed amongst all students. It was a wonderful way to end the school year.”




 


Fifth-Graders Ready to Move Up to Rye Neck Middle School

F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-graders celebrated one of many milestones in their academic careers during a moving up ceremony on June 16. The students will embark on the next phase of their educational journey as sixth-graders at Rye Neck Middle School in the fall.

Principal Michael Scarantino welcomed the guests and honorees before sharing a few words of wisdom with the students. He encouraged them to continue to show respect, kindness and gratitude toward others, to believe in themselves and not let anything get in the way of achieving their goals.

“Kindness and respect can change the world if we all give it to all people, all the time, no matter the situation,” Scarantino told the students. “Never give up; demonstrate persistence in everything you do. Things will get difficult; just don’t quit. Keep dreaming, keep hoping and keep working hard. You can do anything if you put your mind to it. We expect great things for each and every one of you.”

Before the students were called one by one to receive their certificates, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Ferraro acknowledged that all 133 students are ready for the challenges and opportunities that await them at middle school.

“Your teachers have prepared you well for the journey,” she told the students. “You are good readers, writers, mathematicians, artists and musicians. You are special students who enjoy learning and exploring. You approach each and every day with a curiosity that leads you to new and exciting opportunities.”

At the end of the ceremony, which was a celebration of the students’ achievements and successes throughout their time in the elementary school, the graduates sang a song that was written by the students themselves and music teacher Tom Galgano.



 


Rye Neck Students Achieve High Scores at NYSSMA Festivals

Forty-seven Rye Neck Union Free School District students participated in this year’s New York State School Music Association spring festivals.

All of the 16 students in the Level 5-6 category achieved scores in the “A” range. Two of those students, Rye Neck High School sophomores Enora Lauvau (cello) and Elena Tisnovsky (violin) earned their scores at the All-State level. Rye Neck Middle School sixth-grader Ena Kitoh and F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-grader Tomoka Kawasaki scored a 98.

In the Level 1-4 group, Daniel Warren Elementary School second-grader Aya Nishimura scored a 28 (out of 28) on the piano; while F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-grader Alexander Kahn scored a 28 on the classical guitar. Three Rye Neck Middle School students – Brady Chamberlain on the jazz guitar, Erin Gjyrezi on the piano and Asha O’Reilly for voice – scored a 27. Rye Neck High School freshman Kayla Hollmann scored a 25 on the piano.

“Rye Neck students once again represented the district well, demonstrating the strength and diversity of the music program, as well as the dedication and hard work of the student musicians,” said John Mattera, middle school and high school music teacher and band director.


Field Day Celebrates School Spirit, Teamwork and a Healthy Lifestyle

Students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School worked together in a number of team-building activities and physical challenges as a culmination to the school year during their annual Field Days on June 9 for fourth-graders and June 13 for third-graders.

They participated in a variety of stations, including bucket brigade where they threw water balloons, as well as a Frisbee-making station, a dunk tank station and a number of obstacle courses and relay races.

“The goal for the day was to let the students have fun,” said Joan Spedafino, a fourth-grade teacher and team leader. “[Field Day] is a culmination of the year and it brings together the whole grade.”

In addition to providing students with a fun afternoon, Field Day also allowed them to participate in events and activities that celebrated physical fitness and well-being.

Field Days were made possible thanks to PTSA members, who helped organize the events.



 


Third-Graders Bring Japanese Culture to Life at F.E. Bellows

Third-graders at F.E. Bellows Elementary School – who had been studying about the culture, geography, food, history and sports of Japan as part of their curriculum –participated in the annual Japan Day on May 26. 

Throughout the day, the students immersed themselves into the Japanese culture by participating in a number of hands-on activities and workshops, including traditional food, origami, calligraphy, martial arts and more. They learned about the significance of kimonos, understood what people say before and after a meal and discussed what school is like for students in Japan. They also practiced calligraphy and wrote a Japanese word with a brush and ink and made their own “Kabuto” helmets. 

“[Japan Day] is meant as a cultural understanding of the Japanese culture and to provide the students with an appreciation and a greater comprehension,” said Ann Cullagh, a third-grade teacher and team leader. “We can appreciate our differences but celebrate the things that bind us.”

The celebration, which is deeply connected to the third-grade curriculum, was made possible thanks to parent volunteers and members of the Japanese community, who provided insight into numerous Japanese traditions. 

“The day is meaningful and it really has an impact [on students],” Cullagh said. “It’s meant to give them exposure and appreciation [of the Japanese culture].” 

 



F.E. Bellows Students Participate in Annual Dance Parade

Sixteen students from F.E. Bellows Elementary School, their parents and teacher Fiona Lyons joined the Mazarte Dance Company in the 11th annual Dance Parade and Festival event on May 20. Dance Parade New York is the world’s largest multi-cultural arts event, drawing dancers and spectators from the five boroughs of New York, as well as Westchester County and communities across the country.

Rye Neck’s participation was made possible through a collaboration between Co-Director of Counseling and Guidance Dr. Valerie Feit, F.E. Bellows Elementary School Principal Michael Scarantino and the generous support of the PTSA.

FE Bellows Image

 


Third-Graders Continue Garden Revival Work

F.E. Bellows Elementary School third-graders, teachers and PTSA Garden Club representatives continued their work on the school’s “Life Garden” by planting annuals, perennials and other flowers on May 16.

They had been working together to revive the garden since April when they pulled weeds, spread mulch and prepared flower beds. Over the next several weeks, the students will plant seeds, while fourth-graders will plant additional flowers along the perimeter of the flower beds. As part of their “legacy project” before they transition from F.E. Bellows Elementary School to Rye Neck Middle School, fifth-graders will each paint one rock from the rock bed with a quote or saying.

 


Daniel Warren, F.E. Bellows Students Showcase Their Best Artworks

Approximately 750 students in grades K-5 showcased their best artwork during the annual art show, held at F.E. Bellows Elementary School from May 9-11. Under the direction of art teachers Trisha Appel and Dara Goodman, the art show featured one project from each student.

“Since all children have varied physiological and conceptual stages of development and grasp art skills and concepts at different times, we used this knowledge and differentiated instruction to choose a project of each child’s area of strength,” Appel said. “The projects were created so every student can succeed and be challenged to their potential. As a result, the show focused on quality over quantity.”

The art show featured self-portraits, abstract portraits, still life, as well as art inspired by Andy Warhol, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and more. Through their projects, the students were able to express their creativity and worked on developing an artist vocabulary and techniques while creating works based on master artists and art movements.

“As part of the art programs at Daniel Warren and F.E. Bellows elementary schools, students are exposed to a variety of media and techniques and are encouraged to take risks and make creative decisions – which, in turn, develop higher level thinking skills,” Goodman said. “Since we have the privilege of teaching students for consecutive years, we have the opportunity to build on previously taught concepts and skills, to understand our students and to watch them grow.”




 

 


Fifth-Graders Become Ice Hockey Coaches Through STEM

Fifth-graders at F.E. Bellows Elementary School recently put their science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills to the test when they became coaches of an ice hockey team during an online learning experience.

In coalition with the National Hockey League, the students made predictions about the passing angles and collected data on the angles that were formed during an animated hockey drill, called a bank pass. They also concentrated on taking into factor the kinetic and potential energy, as well as magnitude and friction.

“They controlled the players actions’ while manipulating the hockey stick and puck on a simulated ice rink,” Principal Michael Scarantino said. “The students received an online trophy for completing each task and their teachers monitored their progress. Once all tasks and games were completed, all students were awarded the ‘Stanley Cup’ trophy.”




 

 


Rye Neck Students Take Top Honors at Tri-County Science and Technology Fair

Rye Neck Union Free School District students had outstanding performances at the Tri-County Science and Technology Fair, held on April 22 at White Plains High School. The science fair showcased exhibits from students in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties.

The students presented before a team of three judges in their respective categories. Congratulations to the following students who received awards for their projects in the following categories:

High School Health and Medicine
•    Matthew Ponticiello, third place, “Preparing and Testing Immunomagnetic Beads for Cancer Hyperthermia,” Rye Neck High School senior

Middle School Biology
•    Peter Nicholas, second place, “The Bioremediation of Plastic,” Rye Neck Middle School seventh-grader
•    Anne “Julie” Van Roijen, third place, “Do People’s Heart Rates Change When They See Different Colors?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-grader

Middle School Chemistry
•    Derek Ryan, first place, “Which Type of Carbohydrates is Best Metabolized by Yeast and How Does the Concentration Affect the Rate of Fermentation?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-grader

Middle School Engineering and Technology
•    Dayana Bubb and Anna Maulucci, third place, “Will the Type of Fin Affect How a Bottle Rocket Will Fly?” Rye Neck Middle School eighth-graders

Middle School Environment
•    Kyle Ryan, second place, “How Do Nutrients in Fertilizers Affect the pH and O2 Levels of Aquatic Systems?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-grader

Middle School Health and Medicine
•    Constancja Litwak and Isabel Palacios, third place, “Whose Skin Becomes Wrinkly the Fastest?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-graders

Middle School Math and Computers
•    Amadea Toutoungis, second place, “How Does Air Resistance Affect an Active Cannonball?” Rye Neck Middle School seventh-grader
•    Linus Ringstad, third-place, “The Effects of Frequency on Visible Light,” Rye Neck Middle School seventh-grader

Middle School Psychology
•    Naomi Young, second place, “The Relationship Between Mindset, Praise and a Student’s Decision to Challenge Themselves,” Rye Neck Middle School eighth-grader
•    Julia Flood, “Does Gender Affect Mathematical Ability?” Rye Neck Middle School seventh-grader

Elementary School Biology
•    Thehara Ubayawardena, Excellent award, “How Best to Make Plants Grow” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-grader

Elementary School Chemistry
•    Samina Quil, Outstanding award, “How Does Soda Affect Your Teeth?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-grader

Elementary School Earth/Space Sciences
•    Ella Grann, Excellent award, “How Does Warmer Climate Impact Sea Levels?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-grader

Elementary School Engineering and Technology
•    Carys McGrory, Outstanding award, “What is the effect of the Temperature of Butter on Baked Cookies?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-grader

Elementary School Environment
•    Natasha Gozlan, Outstanding award, “How Do Greenhouses Help Plants Grow Taller?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-grader

Elementary School Health and Medicine
•    Marco Griffo and Boden Sivere, Excellent award, “How Much Methane Do Different Foods Produce?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-graders

Elementary School Physics
•    Michael Messina and Mark Di Maggio, Outstanding award, “Do Ferrofluids Work Differently from Water?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-graders



 

 


F.E. Bellows Students Revive ‘Life Garden’

F.E. Bellows Elementary School students and parent volunteers worked together to revive the school’s “Life Garden” on April 19, just days before Earth Day. They spent the afternoon pulling weeds, spreading mulch and preparing flower beds.

Over the next several weeks, the students will plant seeds and grow a few vegetables, which they can harvest in the summer. The collaboration to bring the garden back to life was made possible thanks to Principal Michael Scarantino, his staff and members of the PTSA.

“We are all excited about this joint endeavor and cannot thank our parents and PTSA representatives enough for their time and donations,” Scarantino said. “They generously donated items, such as gardening tools and seeds for planting, while Magnoli Landscaping donated the mulch. We’ve already begun discussions for the garden’s use in the fall.”

 

 


A Colorful Celebration for Student Creativity

Fifth-graders from F.E. Bellows Elementary School created their own masterpieces when they visited Rye Neck Middle School’s art room for “Paint Night” on March 30. The students were provided with a white canvas, acrylic paint and brushes as they followed step-by-step instructions from art teacher Dara Goodman to paint a “wish flower” with dandelions blowing in the wind.

“This opportunity gave the fifth-graders a feel for what it will be like next year in the middle school art room,” Rye Neck Middle School Principal Eric Lutinski said. “It is a very creative night, filled with fun, friends and food.”

The art department’s “Paint Night” raised money for the high school freshman class. The fundraiser is held twice a year to benefit students as they raise money for their perspective classes.

 

 

 


VIDEO: Makerspace Encourages Exploration

Students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School had the opportunity to explore STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) education in the school’s Makerspace, which encourages open-ended exploration through tinkering, creativity and inquiry.

The students recently worked with MakeyMakey, Dash Robot, Keva Planks and iMovie to collaborate and solve problems. During their visits to the Makerspace, they became engineers, mathematicians and scientists. The Makerspace was piloted by a few classrooms at each grade level this school year, and it will be a flexible learning opportunity for all students during the 2017-18 school year.

For more information about the students’ experience, check out the video by students in Jessica Finney’s fourth-grade class.

 

 


Four Rye Neck UFSD Students Selected as Finalists in National Academic Competition

Four Rye Neck Union Free School District students have been chosen as finalists in the prestigious academic competition MathCON, which will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago on April 22.

F.E Bellows Elementary School fifth-graders Nicolas Ajram and Shuya Watanabe, Rye Neck Middle School eighth-grader Ruby Liebmann and Rye Neck High School sophomore Julian Allison are among the 576 finalists. The daylong event will bring together elementary, middle and high school students who will compete for various prizes, such as mini iPads, gift cards and national prestige, through various math questions and activities.

The competition began with 49,685 applicants from 43 states who took the initial exam to qualify for MathCON. The students who finished in the 99th percentile for their respective grade levels qualified for the finals.

Of the four Rye Neck students, Ajram and Liebmann will travel to Chicago to test their math skills against other students from across the country.

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A Day at the Science Museum

The entire fourth-grade class at F.E. Bellows Elementary School went on a field trip to the New York Hall of Science on April 4. The trip provided students with an opportunity to explore exhibits related to many of the concepts they learn about in their classrooms.

They toured the Mars exhibit, Mathematica exhibit, the Athletics exhibit and the Science Fiction, Science Future exhibit among others.

“One of their favorite experiences was the 3-D informational video on chipmunks,” Principal Michael Scarantino said. “They loved all of the interesting facts they didn't know about these little critters.”

Scarantino said the learning opportunity was made possible thanks to the teachers who arranged the visit and the parents who continue to support the school’s field trips.




 


F.E. Bellows Students Perform with Mazarte Dance Company

Students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School welcomed the Mazarte Dance Company to their school on March 22. As part of the enrichment program, they were invited to dance with the performers.

Renowned for performing and teaching audiences about traditional Mexican dance forms, Mazarte Dance Company members taught students about the rich and artistic traditions of dance and music. They will also provide them with free lessons on April 19 and 26 and May 3, 10 and 17 in the auditorium from 12 – 1 p.m. Parents are welcome to attend the classes. Sign up folders for the dance classes can be found in each classroom.

This program is made possible through the collaborative efforts of the PTSA and the district’s Schoolwide Enrichment Model.  

In addition, students and parents are invited to participate with the Mazarte Dance Company in the 11th annual Dance Parade and Festival event on May 20. Dance Parade New York, which takes place annually in New York City, features more than 10,000 dancers who perform more than 80 styles of traditional and contemporary dance genres.

Participation in the Dance Parade is entirely at the discretion of individual families, and parents would need to register on the Dance Parade website at www.danceparade.org. The Rye Neck Union Free School District is not responsible for transporting or supervising participants.  



 


Dance Parade at F.E. Bellows and Rye Neck Middle School

Students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School and Rye Neck Middle School will participate in a multicultural appreciation and enrichment program when they welcome the Mazarte Dance Company to their schools in March, April and May.

Renowned for performing and teaching audiences about traditional Mexican dance forms, Mazarte Dance Company dancers will teach students about the rich and artistic traditions of dance and music. They will perform a traditional dance at F.E. Bellows Elementary School on March 22 and then provide students with free lessons on April 19 and 26 and May 3, 10 and 17. The group will perform at Rye Neck Middle School on March 30 and teach students how to dance on April 18 and 25 and May 2, 9 and 16. Parents are welcome to attend the performances and classes.

“The purpose of bringing Dance Parade to Rye Neck is to expose students to global cultures through the art of dance,” said Co-Director of Counseling and Guidance Dr. Dr. Valerie Feit, who coordinated the visit. “Around the world, dance is an activity that brings communities together to share and pass on cultural traditions from one generation to the next. When students see dance, hear from those who actively preserve a tradition and then, try the movement themselves, multiple levels of connection and understanding are experienced.”

This program is presented collaboratively between the PTSA Cultural Arts programs and the district’s Schoolwide Enrichment Model.  

In addition, students and parents are invited to participate with the Mazarte Dance Company in the 11th annual Dance Parade and Festival event on May 20. Dance Parade New York, which takes place annually in New York City, features thousands of dancers who perform more than 80 styles of traditional and contemporary dance genres.

For more information, contact Dr. Valerie Feit at vfeit@ryeneck.org.

dance



F.E. Bellows Students ‘Wonder’ About the Power of Kindness

F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth- and fifth-graders had a meaningful discussion with author R.J. Palacio when they welcomed her to their school during a Skype session on March 6.

The event, which was generously sponsored by the PTSA, was made possible with assistance from the school’s library media team. The students prepared for the event by reading Palacio’s book “Wonder” in their classes or independently and created posters and display boards to commemorate the visit. They interacted with the author on a big screen in the multipurpose room as she discussed her inspirations behind her book, the writing and editing process, and the power of kindness and its impact on people.

Principal Michael Scarantino will share some of his favorite precepts from the book throughout the week during morning announcements.




 


F.E. Bellows Elementary School Students Study Marine Life

Third- through fifth-grade students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School took on the roles of scientists as they examined marine wildlife and performed a variety of experiments during a visit from Marine Education Center naturalist Kyle Troy on Feb. 14.

Troy brought in living creatures from the Long Island Sound to educate the students about the different habitat and introduce them to basic environmental science concepts.

“The students learned about the hardiness of sea stars, horseshoe crabs, spider crabs, sea urchins, whelks and hermit crabs,” fifth-grade math and science teacher Nicole Pelosi said. “They talked about the impact from factories and industries upstream and how it affects the fish population.”

The naturalist’s visit coincided with the students’ study of water and the environmental impacts from humans. They’ve been examining the concepts during their Earth Action Team co-curricular enrichment program, which is part of the district’s Schoolwide Enrichment Model and F.E. Bellows’ Seekers and Solvers STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) workshops.

Throughout the Earth Action Team program, the students engaged in a variety of hands-on activities. They collected and tested rainwater and samples from the school’s water fountains and sinks. They also performed experiments to demonstrate how surface tension affects the water’s ability to “stick” to itself and surfaces. In addition, they made models of boats and proposed ways to make them more environmentally friendly.

 

 


F.E. Bellows Students Craft Authentic Fictional Stories

F.E. Bellows Elementary School students, who are learning how to craft fictional stories and develop characters as part of their English language arts classes, were treated to a special visit from Jenna Gavigan, a writer and an accomplished Broadway and television actress.

During the interactive workshops, Gavigan assisted the students in creating an authentic story by developing a list of character traits, settings and plots, which required their characters to resolve a conflict or accomplish a goal. Using examples from books they’ve read on their own and in class, the students learned about the important elements of storytelling and character development as they worked together toward a common goal.

"Understanding how stories are constructed and why characters act the way they do in a story is important for students to understand as they learn to write these stories themselves,” said William McKeon, the library media specialist at the school. “Jenna used her life experiences and career accomplishments as a tool to help our students understand the importance of character development in creating a story.”

As a conclusion to the lesson, Gavigan, who graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing, will provide the students with a book that contains the story they created together and ask them to illustrate it, which will further enhance their creativity and critical thinking skills.

Gavigan’s visit was generously sponsored by the PTSA.





 

 


Rye Neck Teachers, Harlem Wizards to Face Off in
Fundraising Basketball Game

F.E. Bellows Elementary School students were treated to a special visit from Arnold “A-Train” Bernard, an accomplished trickster and member of the Harlem Wizards, who showed off a few dribbling skills and tricks on Jan. 10. His visit generated excitement about an upcoming basketball game between the world-famous Harlem Wizards and a team of Rye Neck teachers and administrators.

Principal Michael Scarantino announced that he and six other F.E. Bellows staff members are among the 22-member team who will take to the basketball court during the major Booster Club fundraising event on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at the middle school/high school gymnasium. Scarantino said the game will be less about the score and more about the experience and money raised for the district.

During the show, the Harlem Wizards will generate laughs, deliver a choreographed trick and slam routine, and show off their slick dribbling skills while entertaining the audience. The students will also have a chance for a meet-and-greet with all of the Harlem Wizards basketball players.

For more information, visit www.ryeneck.k12.ny.us/community/booster_club

 


Robot Teaches F.E. Bellows Students How to Code

F.E. Bellows Elementary School students have been learning how to program a Sphero robot, which is an app-controlled ball, as part of a robotics and coding workshop. During a recent session, the students put their computer science knowledge to the test by programming the robot to move in a triangle.

“This was challenging on many levels because they had to determine the appropriate angles to program the Sphero to turn,” Principal Michael Scarantino said. “During their next session, the students will work in groups to design a maze and program their robots to follow it.”

The program is part of the district’s Schoolwide Enrichment Model and F.E. Bellows’ Seekers and Solvers STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) workshops.

 

  

 


Students Use Imagination During Hour of Code

 

F.E. Bellows Elementary School students practiced coding in their math and science classes during the Hour of Code, an international event that is a popular feature of Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 5-11.

This introduction to coding and computer programming encouraged the students to choose from a variety of coding activities that helped nurture their creativity and problem-solving skills. Some of the exercises involved a “Star Wars”-based module called “Building a Galaxy with Code,” as well as “Wayfinding with Code” based on the animated Walt Disney movie “Moana.”

“It is important for students to become interested in computer science at an early age,” Principal Michael Scarantino said. “Through our participation in the Hour of Code, we help students understand and appreciate the need for critical thinkers, problem-solvers and engineers who will help shape the future, especially in the area of computer programming.”

Jedd, a fourth-grader in Ellie Speros’ class, said he enjoyed the coding exercises because it felt like he was playing games while learning new skills.

“Students have a great time exploring the various coding tutorials based on their favorite games, shows and movies, which only enhances their engagement and excitement,” Scarantino added.

For more information on the Hour of Code, visit www.hourofcode.com.




 

 


‘Do-It-Yourself’: Student Inventors Assemble Bicycle

Third- through fifth-grade students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School took on the roles of engineers and architects when they disassembled and reassembled a bicycle as part of a ‘Do-It-Yourself’ Inventors and Makers workshop.

The students worked on the bicycle during lunch and recess and learned how the gears and other assembly parts function to make it move. The program, which is part of the district’s Schoolwide Enrichment Model and F.E. Bellows’ Seekers and Solvers STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) workshops, is designed to develop the students’ architectural and technical skills and their ability to think critically and creatively.

“They used Allen keys, a mechanics tool kit, some screws, stickers and wrenches to take apart the bicycle,” Principal Michael Scarantino said. “In their next session, they will clean the parts and put it all back together again.”

As part of the Inventors and Makers workshop, the students are learning the necessary skills to design and build objects and develop basic knowledge of how to safely work with tools. Some of the skills acquired include the use and creation of blueprints, building to scale, measurement drawing and making projects from wood and other materials.

 


Circus Tricks Take Over F.E. Bellows School

Fourth-grade students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School worked with performers from Cirque du Jour for a week to master a variety of circus tricks. They showed off their newly acquired skills during a special circus performance for classmates, teachers and parents on Nov. 18.

During the interactive workshops, which were generously supported by the PTSA, the students learned juggling, tumbling, balancing and diabolo manipulation, and were given the opportunity to select which skill they’d like to present at the circus performance.

“Students really enjoy Circus Week at Bellows,” Principal Michael Scarantino said. “It’s a nice break from their traditional physical education lessons, but it’s still connected to the curriculum that continuously engages students in activities that are designed to enhance and strengthen their gross and fine motor skills.”

The learning experience also helped build the students’ confidence and enhance their ability to collaborate with peers. In addition, it supported their physical fitness and hand-eye coordination.

The fourth-grade circus performance was held at the middle school/high school campus gym on Nov. 18. All Daniel Warren and F.E. Bellows elementary school families were invited to attend.