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.





    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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    Kindergarten students in Lynn Adams’ class at Forest Lake decided that Duck, the main character in Doreen Cronin’s “Duck for President” has qualities that would make him a great U.S. leader. He won a proverbial election against Pete the Cat, a character in the popular Harper Collins series written by Eric Litwin.

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    Touchdown Terror, Graveyard Golf and Spider Bowl are just three of the 15 physical education stations that comprise the Halloween Fitness Funhouse at Forest Lake and Wantagh elementary schools. Wantagh Elementary School physical education teacher Christine Moran and current Forest Lake Principal Anthony Ciuffo developed this thrilling and spooky physical education unit a decade ago, and each year the students look forward to playing games like Candy Corn and Ghostbusters Bowling or traveling through the Tunnel of Terror.

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    With the approach of the fall season, first-grade students at Forest Lake and Wantagh elementary schools have been studying the properties of apples and utilizing math, English language arts and science skills in their examination of this versatile and popular fruit.

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    The sunflowers in the courtyard garden at Forest Lake Elementary stood as tall as the students this fall, the result of much tending by Chris Torrellas’s class. With assistance from a SEPTA and NEFCU grant, the second- and third-grade students have re-energized the courtyard through a beautification project that included the planting of perennials, annuals and vegetables. Weeding and the colorful painting of a bench completed the project, but Torrellas said there is more work to do in the coming year.

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    In honor of Arbor Day, Wantagh students in Lori Gottlieb’s class at Forest Lake Elementary School learned how to make paper from recycled newspaper. Arbor Day in New York State is the last Friday of April and is celebrated by tree plantings and various recycling projects...

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    Throughout Forest Lake Elementary School in Wantagh, students were busy decorating valentines and writing letters to send to veterans as part of the Town of Hempstead’s Valentines for Veterans Program...

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Book Of The Month


December, 2014

Dear Forest Lake Community,
The book that I have chosen as this month’s book of the month is a book called The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires.  This month’s book was purchased with funds raised by our PTA through the “Target: Take Charge of Education” fundraiser.  Thank you once again to the PTA for their support of this important program!  The main character in this book exemplifies the important attributes of the learning process.  It is a sweet story about perseverance, patience, and perspective. 


“One day, a little girl has a wonderful idea.  With the help of her canine assistant, she is going to make THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING!   She knows just how it will look.  She knows just how it will work.  Easy-peasy!  But making the most magnificent thing turns out to be harder than she thinks.  She measures, hammers, fastens and adjusts again and again, but the thing just keeps turning out wrong.  If only the thing WOULD JUST WORK!”


The thing I admire most about the little girl in this story is how persistent she was in her journey to create something amazing.  Through trial and error, some sweat and tears, she works with her canine assistant to bring her vision to life as they supported each other through the struggles and frustrations that often accompany the learning process.  She tries many things, thinking each new attempt will find success.  When she has worked nearly to exhaustion, she explodes with her frustration.  She is so mad, in fact, that she quits.  After a little break, she comes back with a new perspective and can see what she created wasn't so bad after all.  She takes all of the things she liked best about her failures and puts them together to make her magnificent thing.


This is a sweet book that almost anyone will be able to relate to.  It offers a perfect example of the rewards of perspective and creativity.  The girl’s frustration and anger are vividly depicted in the detailed art, and the story offers good options for dealing honestly with these feelings, while at the same time reassuring children that it is okay to make mistakes.  It's a great message to children that they shouldn't give up if they aren't immediately successful.  I like that it gives us an opportunity to talk about frustration, failure and success with our children, but it does it in a fun way.  I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did!


Happy Reading!

Anthony F. Ciuffo Jr.


Forest Lake Elementary School