In honor of Veterans Day, Mandalay Elementary School’s student council members hosted a collection drive for a local chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America, a nonprofit organization that sends care packages to members of the Armed Forces with items requested by them. The students packaged all of the items with handmade cards.
To enhance the District’s STEAM initiative, students at Mandalay, Forest Lake and Wantagh elementary schools are provided with additional science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics workshops in the schools’ STEAM labs. Under the direction of STEAM teacher Kaitlin Dayton, students can work on various projects during recess time.
In addition to learning core academic skills, Mandalay students have been brushing up their manners with the Manners of the Month program. During this yearlong program, students focused on one key “manner” per month including choosing words carefully, saying thank you and sorry, watching their tone of voice, demonstrating patience, complementing peers, greeting others and saying excuse me.
Mandalay students were eager to try their hands in a number of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics workshops as they partnered with parents during the school’s inaugural STEAM Night. During the event, each student was enrolled in two creative and challenging activities, which emphasized the district’s instructional approach to guide students in dialogue, critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and inquiry.
A cold day in January could not stop the enthusiasm of Mandalay first grade students during Cheryl Schwartz and Hope Rubinstein’s lesson on making vanilla ice cream. This activity applied principles learned about measurements, as well as the differences between a liquid, solid and gas.
Students and staff at Mandalay and Forest Lake elementary schools dressed in hockey jerseys and donned blue and orange to welcome four members of the New York Islanders hockey team. On Islanders Day each year, schools are chosen to receive a visit from the players, who speak about teamwork, motivation, a healthy lifestyle and the key to academic success. The players also take the time to sign autographs.
Summertime seems to move faster than we would hope for, and before you know it I will be greeting all of the Mandalay children back to school on September 1st. The start of a school year marks new beginnings, and memories to be made. I am pleased to know each child’s name that is returning to Mandalay, and eager to learn about our incoming kindergartners and new students to the district. One of the greatest joys of my job is gaining a small glimpse of the children each day while they are at school.
This summer my family and I embarked upon our own new journey, as we moved to another town. Watching my children prepare to attend a new school (with an anxious feeling inside themselves) reminded me once again on just how important the role of a school factors into a child's social and emotional well-being.
I look forward to a successful school year.