Hello Pearl River School District Families and Staff,
I hope that each of you enjoyed a happy and healthy winter recess with your families.
This issue of our monthly e-newsletter spotlights a variety of activities and lessons ranging from the development of STEM and computer science skills, to reading and writing practice, to giving back through community outreach. The month of December truly showcased the spirit of community that exists within our District. I am proud of our Pearl River students and their dedication to lead and inspire us all through their learning and achievements in academics, the arts, and athletics.
As we delve into a new year, we are so excited to continue to share the great ongoing work within each of our school's buildings. I look forward to sharing the accomplishments of our students and staff throughout 2022.
Marco F. Pochintesta, Ed.D.
Front of the Class: School Spotlights
The Pearl River School District congratulates Pearl River High School ninth-grader Emma Lawson -- whose original artwork was selected to grace the front of the District’s 2021 holiday greeting card. Each year, a PRHS student’s artwork is chosen as the cover of the annual holiday card sent to local school districts in Rockland County, the District’s vendors/professional services partners and District administrators. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
Members of Pearl River High School’s National Honor Society (NHS) spent the month of December collecting non-perishable food items and dry goods to donate to those in need during the holiday season. Marking the conclusion of their food drive, NHS members loaded up their vehicles with over 1,400 collected and packaged goods delivered to People to People and St. Aedan’s Food Pantry -- local organizations that feed over 5,000 dependent Rockland-based residents. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
Fifth-grade students at Pearl River Middle School celebrated December’s school-wide advisory theme of gratitude by decorating thank you cards and gifting holiday treats to the Pearl River Volunteer Fire Department to reflect their appreciation for Pearl River High School student volunteer firefighters and their selfless service to the community as part of Project Gratitude. Thirteen Pearl River High School student volunteer firefighters each contributed to the extensive efforts to combat the local Pearl River Shopping Center fire on November 28. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
First-graders at Lincoln Avenue Elementary School and Franklin Avenue Elementary School spent the days leading up to Christmas Eve combining curriculum with festive fun as they participated in Polar Express Days that integrated a variety of academic skills! Students worked on their sequencing, retelling, writing and critical thinking skills -- as they donned conductors hats and pajamas in the spirit of the holiday film. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
As one of their final activities before the kick-off of winter recess, sixth-graders at Pearl River Middle School engaged in a day of festive STEM activities. Students were assigned a mission to work with a partner to design a durable package that can hold two candy canes to be mailed to a friend without breaking. Working together, students determined how much it would cost to ship the candy canes via USPS and FedEx. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
The District's final Winter Concert concluded on December 17 -- following a week of outdoor holiday concerts hosted at each of our elementary schools! Led by music teachers Scott Louis and Glyn Nixon, elementary students across grades K-4 shared their festive performances with District faculty, staff, administration and parent attendees. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
On December 16, Pearl River High School band, orchestra and choral students performed an array of holiday tunes as part of their Winter Concert! Leading up to the night's event, students actively prepared for their performance -- under the direction of band instructor Brian Evans, orchestra instructor Darcie Pickering and vocal instructor Shereen Way. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
Pearl River Middle School sixth- and seventh-graders spent the weeks leading up to their Winter Concert diligently preparing for their performances! On December 15, band, orchestra and choral students showcased a variety of festive, seasonal music under the direction of band instructor Brianna Benitez, orchestra instructor Danice-Claud Desir and general music/chorus instructor Rene Dalandan. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
Second-graders in Monica Price’s class at Evans Park Elementary School worked on engineering their own playground from a variety of materials ranging from straws, to pipe cleaners, to tin foil! As a culminating piece to their science unit, students spent the earlier part of the year investigating properties of materials and brainstorming the best way to build their own playground equipment to showcase their STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
Pearl River Middle School psychologists James Calisi and Miguel Arias work to develop, produce, record and share their very own monthly podcast: the PRMS Podcast! Each monthly episode discusses topics centered on social-emotional learning, well-being, and the development of skills and strategies. With each month’s episode comes a different topic and focus -- and their newest episode is out now! Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
Pearl River High School juniors Lizeth Ortega and Jhoanna Meneses were accepted into the Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute (PR/HYLI) as student delegates! These two students will train in regional delegations, participate in an institute program among students located state-wide, and both extend and refine their leadership skills. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
During Computer Science Education Week (December 6-12), students at Franklin Avenue Elementary School learned the fundamentals of coding as part of Hour of Code! In Laurie Lewis' class, fourth-graders explored algorithms, nested loops and conditionals using code.org. Hour of Code serves as a global learning event introducing K-12 students worldwide to computer science. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science students in mathematics and computer science teacher Stephen Parisi's class at Pearl River High School implemented loops into their program using code.org software -- as part of Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week. Students began to create and design their own lock screen, programming a variety of colors and shapes. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
Students enrolled in technology teacher Andrew Tully's Robotics I course at Pearl River High School built and programmed their own robots using Vex V5 equipment including a control system, smart motors, cables, sensors, motion parts, structure components, and tools and accessories. Once built and programmed, the robots will be put to the test to accomplish a series of activities within a robotics arena. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
Kindergarteners in Devorah Berman's class at Evans Park Elementary School discussed the importance of being kind to one another as part of a social-emotional learning lesson led by school psychologist Krystina Kane! Students shared ways they can be kind to their peers -- brainstorming how they can promote kindness inside and outside of the classroom, and described how they feel when they give and receive kindness. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
Students in Annmarie Lentini and Allison McCrory's fifth grade English Language Arts classes at Pearl River Middle School learned about archetype characters as part of their fantasy fiction genre study! Fifth-graders participated in an in-class book club -- working together to analyze various archetypes found in their books' storylines. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
Members of Pearl River High School's Model United Nations Club took home five awards following their participation in a virtual inter-county conference hosted by Suffern High School on December 2! Students researched and prepared to delegate on five committees focused on international, historical and fictional issues. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.
Fourth-graders in Cornelia Quinn's class at Franklin Avenue Elementary School learned new chords and songs on their ukuleles under the direction of music teacher Scott Louis! The ukulele serves as a new alternative to the recorder -- the instrument typically introduced to rising fourth-graders -- allowing student-musicians to express and discover themselves through music and exploration. Read more on Facebook and Instagram.