On September 7, 2016, Stony Brook School will open its doors to welcome in the new school year 2016 - 2017.
With a brand new kitchen, a new heating system throughout the building and an air conditioned multi-purpose room, the students and staff will be fed well, warm in the winter and cool when the temperature starts to rise. Also busy with academic and behavioral renovations have been Stony Brook School’s School Based Planning Teams. Both teams have been working to incorporate the Common Core Standards, as well as a Whole Brain Approach to academics and behaviors. Also developed were initiatives designed to target instruction with new reading/writing/listening strategies and create a positive learning environment for all students.
The first School Based Team focused on the Testing Objective. The members included Michele Motichka, Kelly Feeney, Katie Fedele and Eram Tun who are working on literacy, writing and mathematics initiatives. The second team, whose members consist of Sharon Switek, Gretchen Jacot, Marina Heller and Leslie Castillo are developing character education initiatives to enhance learning and behavioral practices.
Whole Brain Teaching and Higher Order Thinking Skills developed by Chris Biffle will give Stony Brook Students the HOTS for learning. Whole Brain Classroom Management Techniques will be incorporated into class routines, such as the use of “Attention Getters”, the“Whole Brain Activator” the "Scoreboard"and the “Motivator.” These thinking tools will help create a learning environment of high student engagement and on task with learning.
During the Readers & Writers Workshops, the students will participate in developing successful literacy habits through a strategy based approach found in Jennifer Servallo's Book titled, The Reading Strategies Book and coaching tips from Barb Golub. Two different “All School Read Alouds” have been selected for this year as well as the Library Goal incentives designed to increase book circulation to a new all time high. The emphasis on Vocabulary Development will continue with classes participating in the Vocabulary and Idiom of the Week programs. It should be “a piece of cake”. Reading Fluency will be enhanced by continued work in Sight Word Vocabulary Development and additional programs such as “Words Their Way".
Mathematically, the committee has continued to focus on daily routines that will teach a deeper understanding of concept development of number sense. Grades K-2 last year and now Grades 3 & 4 will receive instruction in the newest edition of the Everyday Mathematics 4 program. Mathematics fluency and problem solving skills will be the focus of monthly activities, as well as the addition of two performance assessments.
Developing future leaders will be enhanced through our LEAD (Learning to Educate ourselves and Achieve our goals by Doing our Best) Initiative. The students will continue to learn about their own areas of strength and lesser abilities and strategies for how to set goals and then reach those goals.
The LEAP (Learning Equally and Peacefully)character education program at Stony Brook has been very successful and continued again this year with new and innovative ideas for creating our “peaceful” school environment. This year the committee members have added strategies from Chris Biffle’s Whole BrainTeaching to motivate and enhance learning. Five new school rules will allow for a shared vocabulary and calm the most challenging behaviors.
Extracurricular Activities such as Afterschool Art, the Computer Club, Afterschool Sports will continue again for the year. Favorite traditions of Stony Brook School will continue again this year, such as the Walk to School Wednesdays, School Spirit Days, Family Fun Nights, monthly Birthday Bash Celebrations, The Harvest Festival, Class Trips, the Talent Show, Family Fitness Day, the Winter and Spring Concerts, the Read Across America Celebration, our annual Family Fun Nights and the grade level awards ceremony in June.
Stony Brook’s renovations have been messy but very exciting. The improvements are so worth the wait. Renovating our school based plans and setting new goals for learning has been equally as exciting. Wishing us all well for the new and exciting school year 2016-2017.