Rocky Point Union Free School District Schools | Frank J. Carasiti Elementary

FRANK J. CARASITI ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (K-2)

90 Rocky Point-Yaphank Road | Rocky Point, NY 11778

Phone: (631) 744-1601 | Fax: (631) 744-1396

Principal: Jason Westerlund | Assistant Principal: Nicole Pletka

School Hours: 9:10 AM - 3:30 PM

 

Important Links

Report It Link (code rpfjc)

Invitational Education PPT

Kindergarten Orientation Presentation

 

The Masked Reader

 

 

Principal's Message

April 2024

Dear FJC Families,

Although it is hard to believe that April is already here, the signs of spring are all over here at FJC.  Stepping out into the yard, we can here the birds chirping, as the flowers begin to bloom, the grass gets greener, and the days get warmer.  It’s a beautiful time with a lot to look forward to.

April is Autism Awareness Month and April 2nd is World Autism Day. All students received an Autism Awareness bracelet thanks to Ms. Henry and SERC. Please encourage your child to wear their bracelet throughout the month of April.

On April 8th, we will have the unique opportunity to experience a solar eclipse.  Information has been sent to families about the activities we will be hosting at FJC.  These activities include a story walk with the book, Totality by Jeffrey Bennett organized by Ms. Sicurella and Ms. Stueber as well as an opportunity to view the eclipse through special Solar Eclipse glasses.

This month, we will also be hosting our Kindergarten screening.  This is a chance for us to meet and greet are newest set of learners.  We are excited to welcome all our upcoming Kindergartners to the FJC family!

Please see the list below for some important dates:

  • April 1st- Easter Monday- School Closed
  • April 4th- ENL Literacy Community Night- JAE Old Gym- 6pm
  • April 8th- Solar Eclipse
  • April 8th-PTA Meeting- Middle School Library- 7pm
  • April 9th- STEAM Celebration- High School- 6pm
  • April 10th- Shared Decision Making Meeting- Library- 2:45pm
  • April 16th- Board of Education Meeting- High School Auditorium- 7pm
  • April 17th- Strategic Plan Advisory Night- DO Large Conf. Room- 4pm
  • April 17th- SERC Virtual Speaker 7-8pm 
  •  April 22nd-26th- Spring Recess- SCHOOL CLOSED

As we begin to approach the end of another year together, we wanted to take a moment to thank you again for all your support.  It is our work together that continue to make FJC the place to be!

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

Gratefully yours,

Jason Westerlund, Principal

Nicole Pletka, Assistant Principal

 

Inclement Weather Closings

When school is closed due to inclement weather, bad road conditions, or other emergencies, please listen to one of the following radio/TV stations for the announcements regarding Rocky Point Schools: WALK Storm Center 97.5 FM; WBLI /WBAB Storm Center 106.1 FM; WRCN 103.9 FM; NEWS 12 LI

 

Connect-ED

The Rocky Point Union Free School District uses Connect-ED, a school-to-parent telephone notification system, as part of our efforts to communicate more effectively with parents or guardians. Connect-ED will enable the Rocky Point Union Free School District to notify families immediately in the event of a snow day or school-wide emergency. The system can deliver up to 3,000 messages within minutes—ensuring that you quickly know what's going on. To receive these messages, FJC must have your up-to-date contact information. If you move, change jobs, or obtain a new cell phone number, be sure to log onto the eSchool Parent Portal to update your information so you won't miss a single Connect-ED message.

 

Two-Hour Delayed Opening

When road conditions in the early morning are hazardous but are expected to improve rapidly as the morning progresses, the District may utilize a two-hour delayed opening for all schools. Students will report to their bus stops exactly two hours later than they normally would. Dismissal for all schools will be at their normal times. This delayed opening may also be used for other emergencies. Notice of the delayed opening will be made as early as possible and broadcast on the listed radio stations and TV-Cablevision News 12 and the District's Connect-ED Telephone Notification System will be activated. In the event that we cannot transport students to school as a result of a “two-hour delayed opening” based on forecast predictions for improved weather and conditions by 7 AM, school officials will announce that schools will be closed. It is important that you continue to listen carefully for just such announcements.

 

Inclement Bus Stops

Inclement weather bus stops are available on the eSchool Parent Portal. Due to the geographic nature of our area, “inclement” weather stops will be utilized when adverse road conditions exist. At various times during the winter season, inclement weather bus stops will be used to ensure the safety of our student population. The use of these stops may be necessary at any time during the school day, without prior announcement. Parents should listen to the radio stations or call First Student Transit at 744-2204 if they have any questions regarding whether or not the Inclement Weather Bus Stops will be used. The district's voice mail will also have the announcement. Please make arrangements for someone to meet children at these alternate stops.

Rocky Point Celebrates ‘Music in Our Schools Month’

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March was a wonderfully active month for the students and faculty of the Rocky Point Music Department, and what better time to highlight the amazing music talent than to recognize “Music in Our Schools Month!”

For close to 40 years, March has been officially designated by the National Association for Music Education for the observance of Music in Our Schools Month, the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation. The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children, and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music. MIOSM is an opportunity for music teachers to bring their music programs to the attention of the school and the community, and to display the benefits that school music brings to students of all ages. Music in Our Schools Month began as a single statewide Advocacy Day and celebration in New York on March 14, 1973, and grew over the decades to become a month-long celebration of school music beginning in 1985. This March, the students and music faculty of Rocky Point joined music educators and music students all across the nation to celebrate the music education theme “I See ME in Music Education.”

In addition to daily music classes and rehearsals, several activities and special performing opportunities took place throughout March. Some events that students participated in included:

March 1 and 2 – The production of the High School Musical “The Addams Family” was performed.

March, 2, 8, 9 and 10– Thirty-two students participated in Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association’s All-County Festivals.

March 4-6 – Twenty students ranging from grades 3-12 – Trent Birnstill, Julianna Byrnes, Sophia Byrnes, Olivia Carley, Jayna Cohn, Andrew DeTurris, Henry Fiore, Christos Giannakos, Chloe Gravinese, Lawrence Hall IV, Madelyn Ilardi, Alexander Lantigua-Mettrock, Lily Mayer, Antonio Morrow, Anna Norrby, Isabella St. Pierre, Paula Vergara, Aengus Walsh, Mallack Walsh and Nathan Watkis – participated in the New York State School Music Association Solo Evaluation Festival for Piano. These students include:

March 10 – Rocky Point High School Marching Band and Rocky Point Middle School 8th Grade Band performed and marched in the Miller Place-Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

March 15 – Joseph A. Edgar Intermediate School’s 5th Grade Select Chorus “High Notes” performed at the annual JAE Senior Citizen St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast.

March 18 – Middle School and High School Jazz Ensembles participated and performed in an educational clinic at The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook, NY.

March 20 – Joseph A. Edgar Intermediate School’s Family Folk Dance Night took place with over 150 students and their parents/guardians dancing and sharing music together.

March 21 – The Rocky Point Middle School and High School Orchestras combined to present the Night of Strings concert.

March 26 and 27 – The production of the Joseph A. Edgar Intermediate School’s 5th Grade Select Chorus “High Notes” Spring musical, “Johnny Appleseed: A Musical Play About a Great American Pioneer” was performed.

Throughout March, JAE and the Middle School incorporated various Music in Our Schools Month messages into their school’s daily morning announcements. Each day in March at JAE, Mr. Knapp, Miss Monastero, Mr. Ventura and various students read an “I See Me In Music Education” prompt along with a MIOSM message about a variety of music topics. During these morning announcements, all students were encouraged to visit Mr. Knapp’s Google Classroom to accomplish a daily task on a variety of special music topics. The Middle School celebrated by providing an “On This Date in Music” Fun Fact (with a song) each day on the morning and the afternoon announcements.

At FJC, music teacher Miss DeMelfi taught a variety of songs to each of her classes that connected to the Solar Eclipse theme. At JAE, all students in the building completed a brief writing assignment starting with the prompt, “We’re LUCKY to have music because…” All of the students’ work was posted on the walls in the music wing at JAE, creating a Music in Our Schools Month “Wall of Shamrocks.” At the Middle School, orchestra director Mrs. Walter created a bulletin board that displayed the musical backgrounds and/or tastes of teachers and staff in the building.

A message from Rocky Point Music Department Chairpersons Mr. Craig Knapp and Ms. Amy Schecher read, “Music is in schools because it has been an ageless passion of human beings for every culture in the world. There has never been a civilization on earth that has not found music to be intellectually and emotionally valuable. Children are innately responsive to music. Music allows children to express joy in the most natural way, both verbally and physically, through singing, movement and playing of instruments. Music completes the picture and helps reach the whole child, including the emotional component. We are very proud of our dedicated music faculty and incredibly thankful for the amazing children we teach every day. We continue to thank the Rocky Point Administration and Board of Education for supporting our music programs. Remember, “I See ME in Music Education!”

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 4/16/2024

All the Places You Can Go!

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Rocky Point’s annual STEAM Celebration was a fun-filled evening of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics that brought out those seeking to learn, peak their curiosity and just have fun. The event was held on April 9 at Rocky Point High School.

Students and their families signed in and received a passport book, which they used to collect stickers from the various activities for a prize. Students from Rocky Point Middle School and Rocky Point High School shared information on the Robotics Clubs at both schools, there were makerspace activities, math and movement mats throughout the gym, drones, a recipe scavenger hunt, music composition, hoop gliders, engineering challenges, virtual reality adventures, coding opportunities with Ozobots and Cubelets and more.

“It was a great turn-out and a very engaging evening for learners of all ages,” District Director of Math, Science and Technology Jachan Watkis said. “The Rocky Point school community certainly embraces the technical disciplines of STEAM.”

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 4/12/2024

Rocky Point Hosts ENL Family Literacy Night

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Smiles, pizza and some exciting and educational games were on the menu at Rocky Point’s annual ENL Family Literacy Night, held at Joseph A. Edgar Intermediate School on April 4. Hosted by the ENL Team and ENL/LOTE Department Chairperson K-12 James Williams, who is also a second grade ENL teacher, it was an opportunity for ENL teachers to share with family members the work the students are involved in during the school day.

Mr. Williams welcomed everyone while they worked together on a paper family portrait, with aspects of the family’s culture at the forefront. Mr. Williams and ENL teachers shared a brief presentation translated into Spanish by first grade ENL teacher Lindsey Estevez before students and their families broke out into grade level sessions to participate in some literacy and language games with their ENL teachers.

“It was a great night of fun that the families really enjoyed,” Mr. Williams said. “My colleagues and I are honored to host this event and work alongside our students and families.”

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 4/10/2024

Educational Eclipse

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Three dancers there are -

Earth, Moon and Sun

When they line up, the eclipse has begun!

So began the Great North American Solar Eclipse excitement and Rocky Point educators marked the historic event with some unique learning experience for students.

FJC students took part in a story walk under the guidance of library media specialist Ms. Sarina Sicurella. The book, “Totality” by Jeffrey Bennett, is a guide that helped the young students understand the science behind a solar eclipse. At the end of the story walk, students went outside with solar eclipse viewing glasses to view the eclipse. (A special thanks to STEAM teacher Ms. Carrie Stueber for obtaining glasses for the entire school).

With solar eclipse viewing squad T-shirts and, of course, the specially designed viewing glasses, Rocky Point students and staff were out and about for an afternoon that was educational and memorable for all!

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 4/9/2024

District Receives National Recognition for Music Education Support!

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The Rocky Point School District’s Music Department has been named a recipient of the prestigious Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 25th year, the designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement for providing music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the designation, Rocky Point Music Department chairpersons Craig Knapp and Amy Schecher, and Middle School orchestra director Meghan Walter, completed a rigorous application process and answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs.

“Music education is thriving in the Rocky Point School District,” said Mr. Knapp. “The impact that music experiences provide for our students and community are incalculable. The music faculty in Rocky Point are extremely hardworking and dedicated professionals. Students love participating in our music programs and our wonderful staff is to be commended for creating such joyful and memorable experiences for the children. We are honored to be the recipients of this designation and we hope it is met with great pride from the community and continues to help to raise awareness and support for our music program. Receiving this award is a distinguished accomplishment and this validates and supports how important and relevant the music program is in Rocky Point.”

Mrs. Walter, who contributed countless hours of research to help complete the NAMM application said, “What an absolute joy it is to be part of a community that truly values and supports music education! I am proud of our district for understanding the importance of how the performing arts helps shape the minds and hearts of our young ones. Here’s to more harmonious achievements and the sweet sound of our students’ success!”

Mr. Knapp and Ms. Schecher added, “We are very thankful for all of the time, effort and energy that Mrs. Walter contributed toward this application process. Her dedication to her students and to the overall vision of the music department is immeasurable. We would also like to acknowledge and thank all of the administrators and Board of Education in Rocky Point for their continued support of our music programs. Special thanks and appreciation to Dr. Factor and Mr. Van Cott for assisting us with some of the information required to finalize the application process. We are truly grateful to serve the students of this amazing community and to be part of such an incredible school district.”

ABOUT THE NAMM FOUNDATION

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 15,000 global member companies and individual professionals worldwide. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs.


WHY IS MUSIC EDUCATION IMPORTANT?

Research continues to demonstrate educational, cognitive and social benefits for children who are involved in music programs. Students involved in music programs display increased development of fine and gross motor skills, growth in language abilities, improvement of emotional progress, building of self-confidence, and contributes to success in collaborative settings. After two years of music education, studies found that participants showed substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading ability. Listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training.

Music classes/ensembles in the Rocky Point School District all have a natural and inherent connection to Social Emotional Learning. Classroom music and performing ensembles (band, chorus and orchestra) promote the building of community, discipline and respect. Neuroscience suggests that when people create music or move/dance together, pathways in their brain light up to mirror the emotions and behaviors that the other person is feeling. Creating, performing and moving to music offer Rocky Point students an opportunity to develop important skills that support positive social emotional health including the ability to name and identify their own feelings, think critically about the world around them, and practice self-regulation for positive behavior management. Students acquire important social skills through the various avenues of music offered in our schools. Our music education model requires the collective interaction of all students and the instructor. Our music teachers encourage students to establish their own musical goals, create an environment where students can formulate solutions for individual or group inaccuracies (as opposed to simply providing the answers) and nurture supportive pathways for students to navigate performance anxiety. Tolerance, helpfulness, patience and other cooperative attitudes are consciously cultivated. Other social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills and methods for offering and receiving constructive criticism. The ensemble setting requires sensitivity to the total group and awareness of the role of each individual within it.

Date Added: 4/5/2024