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140 Park Avenue, Amityville, NY 11701
Phone Number: 631-565-6300
Grades: 4-6
School Hours: 8:10 a.m. - 2:25 p.m.

Principal: Ms. Robyn Shockley-Santiago

Assistant Principal: Ms. Melissa Wiederhold


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Park Avenue Music Students are on Their Game

Park Avenue Music Students are on Their Game

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good Game was created by students at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, inspired by a book read in their music class, “The Really Awful Musicians.”

The activity supported the district’s Skin in the Game initiative and included a technology component as students used the school’s 3D printer to make the game pieces. Students made board games based upon the book, which is about the royal musicians during the Medieval time period.

Music teacher Megan Ashe said that creation of the games served as a culminating activity for the year, as it had to feature different musical concepts students learned such as rhythms, note values and the EGBDF and FACE note staffs. Each game had to be designed following the format of other popular board or card games, and represent all of the characters from the books and the instruments they used.

Fifth graders from Amy Stein’s class were selected to create moveable game pieces using the MakerBot 3D printer, located in the library. Students used the Tinkercad program to design the pieces. Ms. Ashe explained that every five game pieces took about 45 minutes to print.  

Student Cesia Guevara said it was exciting that she and her classmates were among the first in the school to use the 3D printer. As someone who avidly plays board games at home, she explained that it was also a great experience to learn about the work that goes into creating a game. Marvin Barnes added that it was fun to work together as a group, to help build their teamwork skills.


History Prompts a Digital Debate in Amityville

History Prompts a Digital Debate in Amityville photo
Diving deep into their study of the American Revolution, fourth graders at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School made videos to share their thoughts about the war that led to the independence of the United States.

After learning about patriots and loyalists, the young historians had a digital debate using Flipgrid. Each student had to decide if he or she would have supported independence of the 13 colonies or would have defended staying with Great Britain. They had to cite historical evidence to back up their arguments in the 90-second videos.

The videos were shared on teacher Leighann Ruggiero’s class page, and students had to create response videos to two of their classmates, giving reasons why they either agreed or disagreed. Students said they enjoyed the opportunity to use technology to share their opinions and have respectful debate with their peers.  

School Libraries Becomes Spaces to Create

School Libraries Becomes Spaces to Create
School Libraries Becomes Spaces to Create 2
School Libraries Becomes Spaces to Create 3
School Libraries Becomes Spaces to Create 4
School Libraries Becomes Spaces to Create 5
Libraries are being reimagined in the district with the adoption of the Makerspace movement to provide students with new opportunities for hands-on discovery.

Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School library Timothy Quinn has introduced a variety of high-tech and low-tech resources that stimulate creativity and support the development of problem-solving abilities. Fiddlestix is a 104-piece building kit of wooden sticks and circular connectors. Little Bits allow students to explore circuitry by putting different elements together to produce light and sound.

Mr. Quinn said that one popular resource is Makey Makey, in which students connect wires between a computer and ordinary objects to make music. They played the piano from scallions and the bongo drums using bananas. 

Makerspace at Park Avenue is based on the UTEC model — using, tinkering, experimenting and creating. Mr. Quinn said his STREAM team, a group of fifth and sixth grade students, used the resources first to help him identify ways to best incorporate them into the library curriculum.

“This is just the beginning,” he said. “The Makerspace program is only going to get better because the possibilities are endless. We’re trying to build this space to so students can create something from nothing.”

Northeast Elementary School librarian Tina Smith recently debuted the Makerspace program for kindergartners. She has dedicated a corner of the library to the initiative and filled it with different building materials.

Ms. Smith’s approach to Makerspace is to have students participate in literacy-based, team-building challenges. Recently, kindergartners used recycled materials to build boats that could float in a tub of water. Before constructing, they explored scientific concepts including buoyancy and gravity. 

The idea came from a page that features a beach scene in the Debbie Clement book, “Red, White and Blue.” Although the book features illustrations representing locations all over America, Ms. Smith that page stood out to her because of Amityville’s proximity to the water. 

At Northeast, the Makerspace philosophy is “try and try again,” and Ms. Smith said that mistakes are just a normal part of the learning process. While she has facilitated the first few projects, students will have more independence in completing the challenges once they become familiar with the Makerspace expectations and materials.  

“I would like students to experience their learning, to ask questions, to try,” she said. “I want to encourage them to think, play and create and come up with a lot of different solutions to solve problems.”

Park Avenue Displays Appeal to the Senses

Park Avenue Displays Appeal to the Senses photo
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To mark Autism Awareness Month, students at Park Avenue Elementary School created sensory walls throughout the first floor.

Park Avenue houses the district’s TEACCH program, which serves about 25 students with autism from kindergarten through sixth grade. Principal Robyn Santiago said that the school fosters an inclusive environment for the children, who take part in all school activities and programs. Several students from fourth through sixth grade classes serves as buddies for the TEACCH students by reading with them or playing together during recess. 

The sensory walls were created by students in the afterschool art and gaming clubs. They decorated several bulletin boards with spring-themed displays and objects that students and staff were encouraged to touch. 

On one board, children made clouds from cups, foam balls, paper plates and string. Another featured butterflies with colorful textured paint designs. There were sunflowers with gems and cut-up tissue on paper plates underneath a paper chain rainbow. A paper-plate caterpillar stretched across one bulletin board with a different texture on each circle. 

Ms. Santiago noted that while the puzzle piece is the traditional symbol for autism, the school created a different display. Every child at Park Avenue traced his or her hand on construction paper. The cut-out hands were put together on a wall to form a pair of wings, with just the right sized gap in between so students could take photos in front of it.

“We’re all individual pieces, we’re all unique,” she said, “but put us together and we create these beautiful wings.”
Tuesday, June 18, 2019