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VIDEO: Getting a Handle On Bike Safety

Getting a Handle On Bike Safety photo

Harborfields Community Comes Together to Grant Wishes

Harborfields Community Comes Together to Grant Wishes photo

Hundreds of people congregated on the Harborfields High School track on April 21 to walk for a special cause, as they worked together to help grant two special boys’ wishes during the third annual Walk for a Wish, which was a joint venture with Make-A-Wish of Suffolk County.

The event, which was sponsored by Washington Drive, Thomas J. Lahey, and both schools’ PTAs, was a rousing success, as participants helped raise more than $6,000 according to the event website, which can be found at These funds go toward granting the dreams of two Make-A-Wish children, including 7-year-old Landen, a Port Jefferson resident who’s battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, who’s wish is to go to Ocean City, Maryland; and 15-year-old Joe from East Northport, who battles bronchiectasis, an incurable respiratory disease. Joe wishes to go to Walt Disney World, where he hopes to meet his favorite character, Buzz Lightyear. Non-perishable food items were also collected to be donated to the Harborfields Food Pantry.

“I continue to be amazed by the tremendous character that’s shown by our students, staff and the residents of this tight-knit community,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Francesco Ianni said. “Coming together to support such a worthy cause really shows you what Harborfields is all about.”

Planting Pines to Preserve the Planet

Planting Pines to Preserve the Planet photo
Planting Pines to Preserve the Planet photo 2
Planting Pines to Preserve the Planet photo 3
Planting Pines to Preserve the Planet photo 4
In honor of Earth Day, two fifth-grade classes at Thomas J. Lahey in the Harborfields Central School District have been devoting their efforts towards reforestation. Teachers Karen Kunkle and Augustino Rettino purchased baby white-pine trees for their students. The money used to purchase the trees was a result of the students’ personal donations that have been accumulating since September. Students were able to take them home on April 19.

Students were excited to give back to the environment, and to have a very personal role in helping with reforestation.

“It’s really important to take care of the earth,” said Olivia, a student in Mr. Rettino’s class. “And because of all the pollution, planting trees to make oxygen will help our world!”

In addition to addressing reforestation, students have been regularly recycling since the beginning of the year.

Trashy Fashion at OMS

Trashy Fashion at OMS photo
Nigella Trinidad, an eighth grader at Oldfield Middle School in the Harborfields Central School District, was named a first-place winner in the Long Island Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Challenge. The category she won, Trashy Fashion, required students to create an outfit using at least two pieces of inorganic or electronic waste. Nigella used both candy foil and newspapers to create a dress that was designed in alignment with current trends. Along with physical aspects of the garment, like quality creativity of design, students were judged on essay questions submitted along with the garment, such as inspiration, challenges faced, and more.

Nigella won a $100 check from the Long Island FACS Professionals, and had her work displayed in the OMS library. Nigella aspires to be a fashion designer, and would like to attend FIT after graduating high school.

“I’ve loved fashion design for as long as I can remember,” said Nigella, “and it was so exciting to not only get to actually create one of my designs but to actually win an award for my design.”

Letter from the Superintendent regarding 2018-2019 Budget Adoption


Budget Adoption Presentation - April 18 2018


Security Forum - April 18, 2018


Smart Schools Investment Plan


Senior Receives Two Medals in National Scholastic Contest

Senior Receives Two Medals in National Scholastic Contest photo
Harborfields High School senior Julia Spande recently received two national awards in Scholastic’s 2018 Art & Writing Awards Contest.

This nationwide contest only recognizes one percent of the works of art and writing that are submitted at a national level, selecting the best of nearly 350,000 pieces from students across the country. Spande received medals in two separate categories– a gold medal for her poem “Magpie,” and a silver medal for her critical essay entitled “What ‘Finsta’ Culture says about Modern Teenagers.”

Spande, who has been writing since she was ten years old and started taking writing courses through Johns Hopkins University in the sixth grade, was thrilled and honored to receive awards for two of her three submitted pieces. She plans to study both creative writing and environmental science at the University of Chicago in the fall.

Superintendent's Message - April 2018

TJL student places nationally in WordMasters Challenge

TJL student places nationally in WordMasters Challenge photo

Liam Wingert, a fourth-grader at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School in the Harborfields Central School District, received a perfect score in the national WordMasters Challenge. Nationally, only 24 fourth-graders, from a pool of over 17,000 students, achieved this result. The WordMasters Challenge, a national critical thinking and vocabulary competition, involves nearly 150,000 students each year.

In addition, the fourth-grade team scored an impressive 183 points out of a possible 200 in the second of three meets this year, placing fourth in the nation among 293 schools. The fifth-grade team scored 180 points, finishing eighth in the nation among 316 schools.

The WordMasters Challenge is built into the school’s ELA LEAP program, and students work hard daily to build their vocabularies and to learn to understand complex analogies and metaphors.

Other students from Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School who achieved outstanding results in the meet include third graders Aidan Greco and Piper Greenberg, fourth graders Anna Clayton, Porter Coleman, Olive Olson-Effman, Christopher Palermo, Brendan Schmitt, Elijah Asaro, Connor Capobianco, Jackson Dunham, Tara Greco, Julian Tchinnis and Rhys Walter, and fifth graders Amelia Freiberger, Hartley Semmes, Fiona Calderon, Francis DeGregorio, Delilah Shapiro, Noah Tognon, Samantha Urmaza, Leah Vapynar, Quinn Johnson-Weymss and Emily Xie. Grade three students were coached in preparation for the WordMasters Challenge by Patricia Bacchi and Donna Robson. Fourth and fifth graders were coached by Christine Mayr.

“I am always proud of the effort the students put into preparing for WordMasters,” said Christine Mayr, the fourth and fifth grade WordMasters coach, “but it’s incredible to their hard work paying off and propelling them forward to finish so well nationally.”

VIDEO: OMS Students Seek to Give Back

OMS Students Seek to Give Back photo

Harborfields’ Salute to Veterans

Harborfields’ Salute to Veterans photo

Students from the high school leadership class, vocal ensemble, and jazz band put together a jazz cabaret night for local veterans on March 28. Students within the leadership class, previously nominated by faculty and staff, organize and run select school and community-focused activities, and this was one such event.

The evening began with a welcoming dessert reception for veterans and their families, and leadership students intermingled with the attendees. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Francesco Ianni and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rory Manning, who were in attendance as well, greeted the guests.

The vocal ensemble, directed by music teacher Clare Jackson, treated the audience to beautiful arrangement of songs such as “Here Comes the Sun,” and “In the Still of the Night,” and many were toe-tapping and moving in their seats to the music. When the ensemble fished, the audience gave a thunderous round of applause, pleading for more, but it was the jazz band’s queue–and they did not disappoint.

The jazz band, directed by Music Department Coordinator Dan Bilawsky, covered an array of songs, including the complex, original compositions of Duke Ellington, and the audience was once again moved to jiving along to the rhythms in their seats until the music ended for the very last note was played.

“It is a privilege to give back to the community in any way possible,” said Greg Taylor, the leadership class advisor.

It’s Okay to be Different at Washington Drive

It’s Okay to be Different at Washington Drive photo

Schools within our district hold fast to the nation-wide “No Place for Hate” initiative, and regularly implement in-school events and activities to remind students of this important idea. On March 27, Washington Drive Primary School held a “Character Counts” assembly, and virtually brought in students from Oldfield Middle School to speak about being different.

Sixth-graders from Mrs. Horowitz’s class prepared to speak to students in grades kindergarten through second about accepting differences and “being yourself” by telling stories, sharing original poems, and explaining how they differed from everyone else. Middle schoolers shared differences like being a vegetarian, having ADHD, or struggling with anxiety. In addition, they shared how they coped with having these differences.

Sixth-graders stressed to the younger students that no matter what, one should never be quick to judge others, and to always be kind–no matter how someone differs from the crowd. Assistant Principal Ms. Kathy McNally facilitated the event, and encouraged younger students to ask questions regarding the sixth grader’s personal experiences.

At the end of the assembly, Ms. McNally asked the middle schoolers for a piece of advice for the Washington Drive students.

“Try your hardest to always be kind, and to remember it’s okay to be different,” said one sixth grader.

Security Update Presentation - March 27, 2018

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Enhancement of Support Services Presentation - March 27, 2018

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Third Budget Presentation - March 27, 2018

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Washington Drive helps Make a Wish

Washington Drive helps Make a Wish photo
Washington Drive helps Make a Wish photo 2
Washington Drive helps Make a Wish photo 3
Students from Washington Drive Primary raised funds to helped grant a child’s wish through the Make A Wish Foundation last spring. Alexa, a girl from Port Jeff who is challenged with a neuromuscular disorder, wished to go to Greece, and the Harborfields community made that possible for her. On March 14, students received a special visit from Alexa. She came to thank the school for raising funds to make her wish come true. Alexa shared slides, stories, and more from her trip to Greece. The students loved hearing from Alexa, and had many questions for her.

In addition to Alexa’s visit, students learned about the child that Washington Drive is supporting this year. Landen, who is from Port Jeff and is battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, wishes to go to Ocean City, Maryland. Students were encouraged to help by doing things like donating their allowance, organizing a car wash, and more. As a school, Washington Drive will be walking for Make a Wish on April 21 at 9 am.

TJL Mix-It Up Week

TJL Mix-It Up Week photo
TJL Mix-It Up Week photo 2
TJL Mix-It Up Week photo 3
TJL Mix-It Up Week photo 4
During the week of Mar. 5-9, students at Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School celebrated Mix-It Up Week. Each day of the week sought to celebrate and respect the differences in others. Activities throughout the week included reading Marisol McDonald’s book “Doesn’t Match”, decorating jig-saw puzzle pieces to represent that differences unite a community, wearing mix-matched clothes, mixing it up in the cafeteria by sitting with a new friend, and TJL staff mixing it up through experiencing a day in the life of a colleague. The week proved to be a useful life-lesson for students to practice celebrating differences, and that schools are no place for hate.

Masquerading for Mardi Gras

Masquerading for Mardi Gras photo
Masquerading for Mardi Gras photo 2
Recently OMS students in Ms. Sinatra’s and Dr. Butler’s 7th and 8th grade Italian classes learned about “Carnevale” and “Martedì Grasso.” Students enjoyed learning the history of the holiday, making masks in the traditional Venetian style and celebrating the days leading up to “martedì grasso”, or “Fat Tuesday.”

Helping Both Ends of the Leash

Helping Both Ends of the Leash photo
Helping Both Ends of the Leash photo 2
Seventh graders at OMS were recently visited by Paws of War, a special organization that trains rescue dogs and places them with U.S. military veterans that suffer from the emotional effects of war, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Representatives from Paws of War shared the organization’s goal of “helping both ends of the leash,” the differences between a therapy dog and a service dog, and more. Students asked questions, interacted with the dogs, and witnessed the unique relationships between vets and their service dogs. This event was tied into the seventh-grade class’s recent study of author Gary Paulsen’s novel “A Soldier’s Heart,” which traced the life of a fictional soldier during the Civil War.

Day of Jazz

Day of Jazz photo
The Harborfields High School Jazz Band travelled to Centereach to take part in SCMEA’s Day of Jazz on Feb. 3. The band performed for and received feedback from renowned trumpeter Tony Kadleck, took part in a play-a-long workshop with a professional big band, and participated in an improvisation clinic. It was a positive educational experience for all, and each performance aspect of the band’s day was met with good advice and high praise from the adjudicator and clinicians.

“When it comes to learning about jazz, there are great benefits in having an opportunity to work directly with real-deal practitioners of the art form,” noted Jazz Band Director Dan Bilawsky. “That was made perfectly clear through our experiences at SCMEA’s Day of Jazz.”

Hydrofluoric Robotics Heads to Regionals

Hydrofluoric Robotics Heads to Regionals photo
The high school robotics club competed in the Long Island Championship Finals on Feb. 11. Hydrofluoric Robotics, one of the club’s three teams comprised of experienced upperclassman, advanced to the FIRST Eastern Regional Finals.

This year’s challenge required students to create a robot that was able to build a tower of foam cubes, and could stretch out an arm to place objects on the other side of a wall. The competition was fierce, but each member was a critical part of the team’s success. This is the first time the team has been this successful since the robotics club began four years ago.

“I’m proud of their dedication,” said club advisor Michael Pinto, “and the quality of their design will help them stand up to the competition.”

The team will compete against 72 other teams for the Robotics Eastern Regional Finals on March 16-18 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.