Many Long Island schools offered opportunities for summer learning after a spring semester that was interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.
The educational efforts, which ranged from virtual book readings to career readiness presentations, were intended to keep kids thinking critically during the months of July and August.
In Massapequa Park, East Lake Elementary School launched a digital library featuring teachers and administrators reading their favorite children’s books. The library, which offered a choice of nearly 50 books, allowed children to open each teacher’s prerecorded video with a simple click.
“Our idea for students to have access to a digital library over the summer was a hope that was made possible with the help of … more than 40 faculty members, who all understand the importance of continuous reading,” said East Lake Principal Thomas McKillop, who specifically credited the efforts of school psychologist Laura Hess and technology learning coach Alison Morgan.
In Bethpage, the high school’s ACE Life Skills Program launched a fictional pizzeria to help pupils practice skills they would typically use on field trips or at job sites, while third- and fourth-graders from Central Boulevard Elementary School engaged in virtual challenges — such as creating marble runs and paper helicopters — as part of a remote summer program through Nassau BOCES.
In Riverhead, the high school hosted a Health Careers Academic Readiness and Excellence program in partnership with Stony Brook University. The two-week program aimed to assist teens in preparing for health-related college courses and careers through presentations with researchers, scientists and other health care professionals.
In Greenlawn, dozens of students across the Harborfields School District participated in a two-week Summer Enrichment Virtual Learning Experience that included Google Classroom courses in subjects such as math, science and global studies.
Joseph Castoro has been named principal of Sayville Middle School. He replaced the retiring Thomas Murray.
Castoro served the past five years as assistant principal of Oldfield Middle School in Greenlawn and before that was a social studies teacher and administrator in West Hempstead.
“I am looking forward to building bridges and making connections with our students, staff, parents and community members to build upon the tradition of excellence for which Sayville School District is known,” Castoro said.
Anthony Mauro has been appointed superintendent of the Southold School District. He replaced David Gamberg, who retired.
Mauro previously was the assistant superintendent for student support and administration for the Sachem Central School District, and before that served 10 years as an elementary principal in the district.
“I am super excited to be serving the Southold school community and look forward to making meaningful relationships in the community that allow us to provide the best possible education for our students,” Mauro said.
Merit scholarship winners
Six recent high school graduates from Long Island were among 650 students nationwide named additional winners of college-sponsored scholarships, while three recent graduates were named additional winners of corporate-sponsored scholarships, through the National Merit Scholarship Corp.
The college-sponsored scholarships provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship, while the corporate-sponsored scholarships are financed by about 160 companies, foundations and other business organizations.
College-sponsored scholarship winners and their high schools were: James Lynch, Garden City; Christopher Moore, Ward Melville; Steven Nyman, Babylon; Miranda Pietraski, Jericho; and Nikhil Vohra and Alex Zhuo, Syosset. Corporate-sponsored scholarship winners and their high schools were: Giuseppina Than, Earl L. Vandermeulen; Keene Lu, Ward Melville; and Kay Horak, Westhampton Beach.
— MICHAEL R. EBERT