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Shaw Avenue School 

99 Shaw Avenue., Valley Stream, NY 11580

(516) 434-3700

Alejandro Rivera, Principal 

Christopher Colarossi, Assistant Principal


New York State Testing Program Parent Guide

Common Core Assessment Video Series: What Should Parents Know About the New Common Core Assessments?

Shaw Avenue Elementary School was opened in 1950 as the second school of Valley Stream School District 30.  The school replaced the Rottkamp Potato Farm owned by the Rottkamp family.  For the celebration of Shaw Avenue School’s 50th anniversary in the year 2000, students, staff, parents and community members placed two time capsules in the Library Media Center.  These time capsules will be unveiled during Shaw Avenue’s 100th anniversary in the year 2050.   Shaw Avenue School now serves the northern part of this region and houses a culturally diverse student body from kindergarten to grade six.

At Shaw Avenue students receive a good educational foundation that propels them to excel academically, socially, and emotionally.  We honor our students’ learning styles by differentiating our instruction using different pedagogical strategies and modalities.

Overview of Core Instructional Program

We develop literate independent readers who are able to identify their literary genres of choice and understand that good readers read for different purposes including pleasure. To build a stronger foundation for our literacy instruction we use the Common Core Standards and the five components of a scientifically-based reading instruction in the early grades: phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. As students advance through the grades we expect them to engage with literary and informational texts on a deeper level by analyzing, explaining, comparing and contrasting, integrating, evaluating, and citing supportive evidence for their arguments.  

Our students consider themselves mathematicians who can relate theoretical concepts to the real world.  We implement the Common Core Standards by asking students to engage in a variety of activities, such as:
1.    Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
2.    Reason abstractly and quantitatively
3.    Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
4.    Apply mathematics to solve everyday problems
5.    Use appropriate tools strategically

Our students are social scientists who begin to apply the scientific method in the early grades while creating their hypotheses while proving and disproving them as they progress through the years.  They learn to analyze and question peoples of the world, cultures, and institutions that surround them.  We integrate literacy skills in our curriculum and encourage students to read and write a variety of informational and non-fiction texts

Shaw Avenue School also provides all students with a richly rewarding educational experience in the areas of art, music, and computer technology. Academic excellence is expected of all students as they forge ahead in their academic pursuits

In addition to our instructional core, we offer a variety of programs at Shaw Avenue School including:
•    Two fully equipped technology labs
•    Full Day Kindergarten Center
•    Implementation of Common Core Standards Across Grade Levels
•    Social and Emotional Learning through Responsive Classroom and PBIS
•    Quest for high achieving students
•    Afterschool Academic Intervention Services
•    Co-teaching classrooms
•    Innovative Literacy Pilots


Shaw Avenue News

Putting Pals

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During the course of two weeks, kindergarten and sixth-grade students at Shaw Avenue Elementary School gathered together during physical education class to learn the fundamentals of mini-golf while the older students mentored their younger peers. Facilitated by physical education teachers Nicholas Clark and Eric Van Keuren, at least two to three kindergarten students were paired with two sixth-graders who guided them in the game. 

The school gymnasium was transformed into a mini-golf course as students learned mini-golf terminology, how to hit the ball, the purpose of the game and how to keep score. Sixth-graders helped the younger students with their form and cheered them on as they tried to score a hole-in-one. This was the third physical education unit that combined mentoring with play. The students previously collaborated in capture the flag games and a gymnastics unit. 

“The peer mentoring that we do, especially in the mini-golf unit, builds such a good relationship between the older students and younger students,” said Clark. “The older students do a great job and the younger students really look forward to it, especially as they grow throughout their years at Shaw Avenue School because then they become the older students who become the teachers.” 

Peer mentoring encourages cooperation, teamwork and patience, all the traits that help build students’ character, which corresponds with Valley Stream District 30’s “Show Your Character” theme for the 2017-18 school year. The unit also helps students develop their math skills as they work together to tally up their scores. The teachers look forward to continuing the physical education peer mentoring experience for years to come.

District Honors Math Champs; Provides Enrichment Update

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The Shaw Avenue School library was packed with administrators, faculty, students and families during Valley Stream District 30’s regular Board of Education meeting on April 23. In an effort to continually update the community on the progress of the district’s strategic plan, an enrichment update was provided, while two Shaw Avenue students were honored and a beloved typist clerk from Clear Stream Avenue was recognized for her upcoming retirement. 

Clear Stream Avenue Principal John Singleton presented on the district’s enrichment goals which consisted of enhancing the core curriculum to help students develop 21st century skills to promote life-long learning. Through further detail, Singleton shared what the three elementary schools are doing to make the district’s goal a reality. This included implementing and expanding enrichment opportunities for all students through Makerspace challenges, world language exploration and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics Challenge Wednesdays. He also discussed the 21st century diploma, various after-school enrichment opportunities and the district’s Quest Program, which challenges third- through sixth-grade learners with a broad range of advanced-level enrichment experiences. 

Shaw Avenue School Principal Alejandro Rivera, along with math teacher Andrew Canle, shared two Math Hoops posters with the board to commemorate the school’s second consecutive first-place win in the New York City NBA Math Hoops Tournament. Sixth-graders Anjali Edmonds and Karina Ramnauth, the 2018 Math Hoops Champions, were present with their families during the meeting and were commended for their hard work. 

“They did a phenomenal job filling pretty big shoes from last year,” said Canle. “It was a great experience for them.” 

In addition, Clear Stream Avenue typist clerk Patricia Catalfomo’s upcoming retirement was approved by the board and she was thanked for her service. Singleton gifted her with flowers, reflecting on his years working with Catalfomo and her dedication to the children. 

“I could never repay you for all of the times that I needed you and relied on you,” he said. “We will miss you.”

Shaw Students Commended for Showing Their Character

Shaw Students Commended for Showing Their Character
Shaw Avenue Elementary School fifth-graders Briana Canas, Sergen Enosse, Hailey Feliciano, Madison Griffith, Kimberly Hernandez, Daniel Jawad, Alana McCoy, Edison Perez and Simran Shankar received a red carpet experience on April 26 as they were designated as March Students of Character. 

Fitting with Valley Stream District 30’s 2017-18 theme, “Show Your Character,” a select number of Shaw students from each grade level are nominated by their teachers on a monthly basis for displaying excellent character. During the fifth-grade ceremony, students lined the hallways as the honorees were announced. The nine students were awarded with a good character certificate and walked the red carpet as their peers cheered.

To conclude the ceremony, Principal Alejandro Rivera congratulated the distinguished students once again and reminded the classes to keep working hard as the school year draws to a close. 

“Be kind to each other, be respectful to each other and be caring to each other,” he said. “If you live by that, you will have a great life.”

Students Honored for Penning Exceptional Essays Inspired by Jackie Robinson

Photo of Students Honored for Penning Exceptional Essays Inspired by Jackie Robinson
Shaw Avenue Elementary School fifth-graders Nirmal Butt, Salva Dad and Muhammad Sufyan in Karin Savino and Maria Neckonoff’s class were recently recognized for their writing submissions in the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest, sponsored by Scholastic and Major League Baseball. The students received a Certificate of Merit and a letter from Sharon Robinson, daughter of famed baseball player Jackie Robinson who broke the color barrier when he became the first black athlete to play Major League baseball in the 20th century.

The essay contest gives students of all backgrounds in grades 4-9 the opportunity to share their personal stories about how they use Jackie Robinson’s nine values of citizenship, commitment, courage, determination, excellence, integrity, justice, persistence and teamwork to overcome their own barriers in life. The letter from Ms. Robinson indicated that out of 13,000 essays submitted from students throughout the United States, the three Shaw students’ essays reached the finals. 
“We are so proud of the students’ enthusiasm in writing these essays and feel honored that they entrusted us with their stories,” said Savino. “All of the students who participated should feel very proud of themselves for rendering such great pieces of writing.”

Student Artwork Showcased at Local Coffee Shop

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Thirty-seven talented students from throughout Valley Stream District 30 had their artwork displayed from March 26-31 at Sip This, a coffee shop in Valley Stream. Covering the walls of the shop were unique pieces of art created by students in kindergarten through sixth-grade. This was the second year that the district and the coffee shop partnered to celebrate the work of students. Art Specialists from each school picked a sampling of their best wall artwork which was mostly two dimensional, to represent their programs. Congratulations to all the student participants on a job well done! 

Back-to-Back Math Hoops Champions

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A total of 18 students from Valley Stream District 30 participated in the New York City NBA Math Hoops Tournament on March 24, where for the second consecutive year, a team from Shaw Avenue School were once again crowned first place winners. Students competed against those from schools across Nassau County and New York City but Shaw Avenue students Anjali Edmonds and Karina Ramnauth ultimately came out victorious, winning in the final round with a score of 30-29.  

Under the direction of their math coach Andrew Canle, the team of two trailed for most of overtime before pulling out the win with under a minute to play. Other Shaw Avenue participants included Innaya Ilyas, Aaimen Kashif, Memoona Mustafa and Duaa Zeeshan. 

“We are so proud of all of our students who competed in the tournament. Anjali and Karina are very deserving champions as they are excellent students who know how to work well with others no matter the situation or pressure,” said Shaw Avenue Principal Alejandro Rivera. “We are proud that our students get to participate in experiences like this and are especially grateful to the Learn Fresh Education Company for creating the NBA Math Hoops program. 

The fact that our students have received the opportunity to visit the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum last year and now the Barclays Center, allows our students to see more of the world around them. We will definitely be going for a three-peat next year!”

NBA Math Hoops is a fast-paced basketball board game that incorporates fundamental math skills through direct engagement from NBA and WNBA players with a curriculum tied to the Next Generation Learning Standards and 21st Century Learning Skills. Last year was the first year that students from Shaw Avenue School participated in the tournament where students Athena Pajotte and Priya Mangal were recognized as the 2017 New York City NBA Math Hoops Tournament winners.

Valley Stream District 30 was proudly represented this year as students from Clear Stream Avenue and Forest Road schools entered the tournament for the first time. Under the guidance of their math coach Timothy Rau, Clear Stream participants included Brian Abraham, Cameron Charles, Tolu Diyaolu, Saige Frisco, Sasha Jaikaran and Michael Sukhu. Math coach Christopher Onorato worked with Forest Road participants Jonathan Beltre-Rojas, Shaila Fretel, Justin James, Iman Khan, Emily Persaud and Arshbir Singh. The coaches and students worked diligently throughout the year to prepare for the tournament.  

According to Principal Rivera, the winning team could not have succeeded without the support of Mr. Canle, classroom teachers, fellow district administrators, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling and the board of education.

Valley Stream Students Unite to Prevent Cyberbullying

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Fourth-grade students throughout Valley Stream District 30 participated in engaging anti-cyberbullying workshops on March 23, facilitated by National Honor Society students from the Valley Stream Central High School District. The high schoolers visited Clear Stream Avenue, Forest Road and Shaw Avenue elementary schools throughout the day to teach the students about how to be respectful digital citizens and talk about the signs of cyberbullying.

The program was part of the Inter-District Wellness Committee made up of representatives from each Valley Stream school district. Under the guidance of National Honor Society adviser Alisha Varian, the honor society members presented on what cyberbullying is and how it can make one feel, as fourth-graders answered questions. The elementary students also learned about the numerous social media platforms that bullies utilize, as well as how to be an upstander and how to report a bully. 

“We’re here to teach kids how to be smart on social media before they become proactive in the online community,” said senior and National Honor Society secretary Alisha Victor. 

The students were divided into six groups and rotated as the high schoolers ran different activity stations to dive deeper into cyberbullying. Among the variety of activities, fourth-graders participated in role-playing scenarios on how to face a bully and created social media responses on Post-Its, on how they would react to a negative online situation. Through the lessons, fourth-graders learned how words can affect emotions. 

“I liked that they gave us a model in the first group of how you can feel if someone says something hurtful to you or something positive,” said Clear Stream fourth-grader Chris Brockington.

Shaw Students Connect Through Gymnastics

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Students throughout Shaw Avenue School recently participated in a peer mentoring gymnastics unit during their physical education classes where students in grades K-3 paired up with students in grades 4-6. The unit fostered team-building skills between the younger and older students.

The school’s large gymnasium was transformed into a gymnastics venue, allowing partner groups to move around and perform various gymnastic routines. Students performed activities such as the balance beam, vaulting box, rings, springboard and ropes. The younger students were eager to match up with their partners during physical education class and the unit allowed older students to become responsible individuals and caring citizens as they helped teach their younger partners how to perform the gymnastic routines safely and correctly.