“And now let us welcome the new year,
Full of things that have never been.”
--Rainer Maria Rilke
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I have always liked the poet’s take on the turning of a new year; no nostalgia for the past, rather an openness to all that is yet to be. Within this simple couplet is the kernel of mystery, hope and the celebration of the new. At Center Street, in 2017, we are welcoming some things “that have never been”: It is my pleasure to welcome Ms. Danielle Sullivan to the Center Street Staff. Ms. Sullivan is our new ENL teacher; she has taken over for Mrs. Visintin, who retired in early January. Ms. Sullivan has international experience, teaching English in Thailand and in South Korea, and she has already made a great beginning with her students and with the staff. We have a new Social/Emotional program that we are piloting in our 1st and 2nd grade classrooms. Last year we were one of the first school districts in Long Island to pilot this program (Sanford Harmony) in our kindergarten classrooms. The Kindergarten teachers liked it so much, we wanted to extend it through the primary grades. Through our Site-Based Committee, we are also in the process of ordering new sound system for our school with a portion of the PTA Grant money. This equipment is long overdue, and this generous gift should significantly enhance our performing arts and programs. Districtwide there are some exciting new things to be unveiled in 2017. The new website is nearly ready to go. We had a preview of it in early January and expect to make the switch from the former platform sometime around the President’s Week recess. The District will also be offering a new STEM based mini-camp this summer during the last week of June. “Camp Invention” is scheduled to take place between June 26th-30th; it will be open to district students in grades K-5 and will be held at the Searingtown School. More to follow on this exciting opportunity.
As I write to you in late January, permit me to recognize a couple of great efforts made by the PTA already this month: On January 20th, our wonderful PTA prepared an amazing “Staff Appreciation Luncheon” for us. Rarely do we have the opportunity to have such a fancy feast with all of us together. The food was delicious and the decorations were beautiful. Many thanks for this special gift! I would also recognize the PTA for another very successful “Family Fun Night” on January 26th. There was a great turn out for this community event, and the children had a grand time dancing and playing games. I would also like to thank you for the generous donations that you have sent in for our community service efforts here. Our Student Council is wrapping up its book drive for the Book Fairies, an organization that donates books to children and schools in need. Our Service Club has also been running a “Souper Bowl” soup drive during the past month. This donated soup/canned goods will be given to the Mary Brennan INN to help feed the hungry. Thank you.
Looking ahead to February, we have our Drama Club’s performances of “A Kid’s Life” coming soon. This year our Drama club will be performing several shows at different venues: We will have our school performances, an evening show for the parents/school community (Feb. 8th), a performance at the Community Center for the senior citizens, and will wrap up their tour at the Henry Viscardi school performing for, and this year with, the Viscardi students! Later in the month (2/15) we have our Beginner’s Concert for Band and Orchestra. I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017!