School News

Hampton Bays School District
Westhampton Beach Middle School students participated in a global read-aloud with students in Canada, California, Virginia, and Massachusetts. Independent/Courtesy Westhampton Beach Union Free School District


Bridgehampton guidance counselor Ryan Barker visited elementary school students to talk about kindness and to build upon the pledge all students took in honor of Rachel’s Challenge. Each class wrote down acts of kindness on strips of paper that were linked together to form a chain. They also talked about how kindness can go outside of each classroom and linked all the chains of each class together to form a huge chain in the elementary hallway. The students will continue to add chains when they see acts of kindness to fill serve as a reminder that kindness can start a chain reaction.

Students in third through fifth grade had an opportunity to put scientific inquiry to work when they took a field trip to Brookhaven National Laboratory. The educational visit was filled with numerous hands-on learning activities geared toward motivating and exciting students to the wonders of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. “Our scientists observed, hypothesized, tested, and concluded, all while having a blast,” said principal Michael Miller. “We thank all the teachers for this great learning experience.”

When Bridgehampton student Jessica Rojas was in Danielle Corbett’s second grade class, she wrote a fan letter to James Dean, co-author and illustrator of the “Pete the Cat” fictional cartoon book series. To her surprise, Dean sent a letter back addressed to her at the school. “I’m sure that the excitement of receiving a letter in return will only encourage Jessica to continue to hone her own writing skills,” Miller said of the now third-grade student.

Taking time to encourage increased cooperation and connections in the classroom, Bridgehampton teachers and students took part in a recent Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports assembly. The program offered opportunities for engagement, teamwork, and building positive relationships to create a more focused environment.


Tuckahoe Common School District partnered with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office in presenting Sandy Hook’s “Start with Hello” program. Students were among thousands from across the country who participated in a weeklong event to raise awareness about social isolation and educate students on how to prevent it.

Hampton Bays

“Yes!” a group of Hampton Bays Middle School sixth graders shouted in unison September 26 when asked if they would like to see a shark heart. Dutifully, a Cornell Cooperative Extension educator reached inside a dead shark and displayed the heart, which brought on a collective “wow!”

The lesson in shark anatomy was part of Marine Science Exploration Day, held at Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays. During the program, students rotated to four hands-on stations where they engaged in scientific learning. Cornell educators provided students with information about marine meadow eelgrass restoration, oyster gardening and farming, the ecosystem of marshland, and sharks. Students also got to touch and hold several marine species.

When Hampton Bays Middle School teacher Kristin Webber taught her eighth graders about the effects of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, they were inspired to help. Assisted by Webber, the eighth graders researched organizations that were collecting donations and decided on Bahamastrong of Miami, FL. They began their drive for canned goods, first aid supplies, and other needed items by placing collection boxes throughout their school. So far, the students have collected 118 boxes.

Hola, salut, hallo, and ciao are just a few of the greetings that middle school students have been learning as part of a new character education program, “Start with Hello” week.

The violence-prevention program, instituted by school counselors Josephine Sinkler and Erin DaSilva and social worker Renee Negrin, aims to provide students with skills to promote social inclusion. “You never know how much a little kindness can mean to one person,” Negrin said. “To them, you could be considered a hero.”

Westhampton Beach

Do you know how headstones got their name? Or that Judge Harold Medina (1888-1990) paid Westhampton Beach students to capture tent caterpillars because the pests were killing the village’s trees? Westhampton Beach Elementary School fourth graders learned the answers to these questions and more during an annual trip to the Westhampton Cemetery September 27.

The students, who have been studying local history in class, were given a robust lesson on their community’s past from members of the Westhampton Beach Historical Society. Divided into groups, the fourth graders visited several gravestones, where historians discussed the prominent residents who were buried there and shared interesting facts about their lives.

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