The Clarkstown Connection
A Message from the Superintendent
Dear Clarkstown Central School District Families and Staff,
It's hard to believe that we’re halfway through the 2022-23 academic year. Since returning to school following the long holiday recess, our classrooms, labs and learning spaces have come alive with the sights and sounds of meaningful lessons, accolades and exciting opportunities for our students.
Just this week, students in Dave Weintraub's Health classes at Clarkstown High School South were visited by First Assistant District Attorney Charles Apotheker and other senior members of the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office to discuss how poor choices can lead to serious consequences. I'd like to thank Rockland County District Attorney Tom Walsh and his team for providing our students with the information and tools to make better choices.
Meanwhile, Felix Festa Middle School hosted the final concert of the winter season on Tuesday night, with outstanding performances by the seventh and eighth grade orchestra and band that wowed the audience. Lastly, I'd like to congratulate Marren McDonald, a Clarkstown High School North student, who was awarded an Honorable Mention in Drexel University's High School Photo Contest! Marren's photo was one of six chosen for the honor from over 1500 entries. What an accomplishment!
Classrooms across the district are buzzing with energy, enthusiasm and engaging lessons, from our youngest kindergartners to our graduating seniors. Please read on to learn more about our Clarkstown Central School District students' experiences over the last month.
Marc P. Baiocco, Ed. D.
CCSD classrooms explored Lunar New Year traditions and celebrations from around the world! The Lunar New Year, which started on January 22, marks the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit, and will last through February 5. Bardonia Elementary celebrated with traditional Lunar New Year foods for lunch — dumplings and oranges — which are both thought to bring wealth and prosperity.
Second graders at Little Tor Elementary decorated their classrooms with handmade paper lanterns, origami fortune cookies and paper rabbit puppets to symbolize this Lunar New Year’s calendar animal. And, Woodglen Elementary second graders decorated traditional gift envelopes and banners with Chinese characters to hang in class.
Spanish classes at Clarkstown High School South celebrated by reading books and watching videos that explored different Lunar New Year traditions. Meanwhile, New City Elementary wrapped up the week of celebrations by creating their own dragons — a symbol of power, strength and good luck — in art class. Read more about the celebrations on Facebook and Instagram.
Third grade students throughout the district began Enrichment classes this week, and students wowed us with their creativity! At Strawtown Elementary and Link IB World school, students acted like scientists as they studied their "Surviving the Amazon" unit. The third graders worked through a design thinking challenge and contemplated issues they might face if they were traveling to the Amazon Basin to explore. Their solution to traveling in the dense rainforest? Designing, creating and testing parachutes!
32 students from Clarkstown High Schools North and South performed in the Senior All-County Musical Festival earlier this month! Students packed up their instruments to take part in the county-wide celebration of music, which provides the teens with the opportunity to rehearse and perform with guest conductors and their fellow student musicians from other districts. Read more about our students' participation in the festival on Facebook and Instagram.
Lakewood Elementary welcomed the Community Awareness Network For A Drug-Free Life And Environment (CANDLE) iMatter program into second grade classrooms! Students learned about identifying feelings in themselves and others and how to communicate those feelings with the help of "emoji" sticks. The program shared calming strategies — including breathing activities and conflict resolution practices — with the ultimate goal to improve the health and climate of our schools by providing prevention education to some of our youngest students. Read more about the social-emotional learning on Facebook and Instagram.
A Look Ahead
As a school community, we are excited to welcome our youngest learners to the district as they begin their educational journeys. As such, we have a few reminders about Kindergarten registration and Universal Pre-K (UPK) applications.
Kindergarten registration for the 2023-2024 academic year is open to district residents whose children will turn 5 years old on or before December 1, 2023. For additional information, including requirements and an enrollment packet available for download, please visit our Registration page.
Universal Pre-K (UPK) Applications:
The 2023-2024 Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Program application process is open to district residents whose children will turn 4 years old on or before December 1, 2023. As program spaces are limited, a lottery will be used to determine student placement in the program. Children considered for the lottery must have a complete application on file by February 17, 2023. For more information, please visit our UPK page or call our UPK information lines at 845-639-6453 or 845-639-5607.