Forest Lake Elementary School

Forest Lake Elementary School

Our Mission:


Forest Lake Elementary School is dedicated to the achievement of academic excellence and the lifelong love of learning, the enhancement of self-esteem, the building of character, respect, and responsibility through the cooperation of home, school, and community.




    Teddy bears and stuffed animals accompanied kindergarten students, who attended a Teddy Bear Clinic hosted by Stony Brook Children’s Hospital to prevent trauma and promote safety. According to SBCH, trauma (or injury) is the leading cause of death among children under 17 years of age and can be preventable in most cases. SBU Trauma Center Injury Prevention and Outreach Coordinator Kristi Ladowski said the program’s goal is to provide the tools for students to keep themselves safe in the car and on bicycles.

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    Forest Lake fourth-graders took advantage of the warm weather to plant a pumpkin patch in the school courtyard that will hopefully reap bright orange gourds this fall. The students measured the appropriate distances that will allow the seeds enough room to grow, calculated how many seeds would fit in each square based on growth projection, and determined how deep in the ground each seed needed to be planted. They also counted how many bricks will be needed to create the perimeter of each planting area.

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    A trip to the Nassau County Police Department’s open house in Mineola proved fascinating for Christine Torrellas’s Forest Lake students, who watched officers rappel off of a three-story building and climb into an ambulance. The students pet a police horse and met the officers’ canine partners, and then attended a Jaws of Life and biking demonstration. Although all of the demonstrations and experiences were exciting, the favorite activity of the day was a visit to the jail cells.

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    Forest Lake students celebrated the birthday of popular author Dr. Seuss by reading his books and participating in a myriad of interdisciplinary activities on March 2. In Christine Torrellas’s class, the students read “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” and “The Lorax.” After discussing the characters and the methods Dr. Seuss used in his literature, they made Lorax mustaches and Lorax planters with grass seed that will grow to appear like hair. The students also made Lorax cookies.

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    New York State Assemblyman Dave McDonough and New York State Sen. Michael Venditto spoke to Forest Lake fifth-grade students during an assembly about government. The presentation reinforced information from the students’ comprehensive fifth-grade government unit. Both New York State representatives described their jobs and explained how government works on the state level. They also took time to answer questions and sign autographs.

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    At Forest Lake, students predicted how many beanbags they could throw in 100 seconds into the hole of a beanbag throw game. Classes read poems and books, including Karen Fenstermaker’s “100 Animals” and Margery Cuyler’s “100th Day Worries.” Using a scale, they also predicted which 100 objects (nickels, paper clips, candy, etc.) weighed more and recorded their results.

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    Warming Hearts with a Coat Donation Forest Lake student council members collected coats for Assemblyman Dave McDonough’s 2014 Coats for Kids Campaign, under the direction of advisers Susan Burdick and Colleen Nicolosi. The students were delighted at the opportunity to give back to the community and were pleased with its overwhelming success. Mr. McDonough visited the students and thanked them for participation in this valuable campaign for adults and children in need.

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    Forest Lake kindergarten students were the recipients of wonderful books donated by members of the high school senior class. Wantagh High School students John Casella, Alexis Conway, Melissa Ehl, Emily Fenter and Kaitlyn von Runnen wanted to stock the kindergarten classrooms with some of their favorite books and took requests from teachers. As a surprise, John, Melissa and Kaitlyn read their donated picture books to excited and attentive students.

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    This Thanksgiving, while many are busy cooking their feasts or watching football, Forest Lake Elementary School special education teacher Christine Torrellas will don a Mother Goose costume and marches in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The annual trek through the streets of Manhattan has been a family tradition for the past 14 years.

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    In celebration of Veterans Day, Forest Lake Elementary School third-graders attended an assembly that featured discussions with community veterans. Many of the veterans were grandparents and parents of the students. The active and retired veterans discussed their experiences during active duty and shared their dog tags, a Purple Heart and a Marine Corps flag, as well as photos of the countries where they were stationed.

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Book Of The Month



June, 2015

Dear Forest Lake Community,

 The book that I have chosen as the final book of the month for the 2014-2015 school year is called Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, written by Maria Dismondy and illustrated by Kim Shaw. This book was generously donated to Forest Lake by our PTA.  This story deals with having the courage to just be you, accepting others for who they are and most importantly, being kind even when others are not. 

 This book tells the tale of Lucy, a young girl who dares to be different. She has very big curly hair and eats things that most people don’t- like ketchup on toast and spaghetti in a hot dog bun. Her parental figure in the book is her grandfather who teaches her that not everyone likes the same thing and that being different is okay.   Lucy knows that even if we are different from others on the outside, we all have a heart with feelings on the inside. Lucy gets bullied at school by a boy named Ralph who makes fun of her because she is different. One day, when Ralph was faced with a problem, Lucy stormed over to him to give him a piece of her mind.  Once she got there she realized the opportunity that she was now faced with…….a chance for revenge or a chance to teach Ralph the importance of kindness.  I think you will see that she made the right choice.

 “This charming story empowers children to always do the right thing and be proud of themselves, even when they are faced with someone as challenging as Ralph.”   I look forward to the conversations that we will have with your child about Lucy and the choice that she made at the end of this story. 

 Happy Reading!

Anthony F. Ciuffo Jr.


Forest Lake Elementary School