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Using Art to Thank Health Care Workers

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Art students throughout the East Meadow School District participated in a community tile mural at Mercy Medical Center to thank the staff for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The students designed a paper tile using drawings, pictures, collages and words to express their appreciation to the health care workers.

The messages were then transferred onto ceramic tiles and mounted with others made by the community to make two tile murals. The mural is currently hanging at Mercy Medical Center, serving as a lasting tribute to the team who helped during the health care crisis.

VIDEO: America, The Beautiful

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The East Meadow Music Department wishes everyone in the East Meadow Community a happy and healthy summer and a happy Fourth of July.

We all look forward to making music together in September. Until then, please enjoy “America, The Beautiful” performed by members of our talented music department faculty.

East Meadow Moving Up Ceremonies

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Despite schools being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the five elementary schools of the East Meadow School District found a way to celebrate their fifth grade graduates. Throughout the month of June, the schools held drive-up graduation ceremonies for the students and their families.

At Barnum Woods Elementary School, music teacher Meegan Coleman delivered a stirring rendition of the national anthem, followed by an inspirational address from Assistant Principal Harriet Alfano. Also taking the podium were Principal Gregory Bottari and Matthew Melnick, the district’s board of education president and a Barnum Woods parent. Dr. Patrick Pizzo, the district’s assistant superintendent for business and finance, sent a special prerecorded message to students on behalf of Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr. and the entire East Meadow School District cabinet.

Each student was then announced and stepped out of their cars to be applauded by all in attendance. Culminating the unique ceremony, the students drove with their families through the parking lot to receive their yearbooks from their beloved fifth grade teachers.

Parkway Elementary School held a separate ceremony for each of its fifth grade classes on June 12. The fifth grade committee decorated the parking lot with balloons and hired a DJ to provide the music. Bob Callan, the school’s head custodian, designed a stage that was easily seen and from which, could be heard from any spot in the parking lot, ensuring all attendees could enjoy the event.
Principal Jamie Mack, Assistant Principal Janine Farinella and each fifth grade teacher delivered meaningful speeches to the young graduates. Parkway PTA President Deanna Walsh announced the PTA awards, and an audio message from Dr. David Casamento, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and Instruction, was shared.

Each graduate was called by name as they stepped out of their cars to the cheers of their fellow graduates. Attendees sang the fifth grade graduation song, "I'm on My Way" by Phil Collins, which was dedicated to Mr. Andre, a beloved school security guard who recently passed away. Parents and students concluded the ceremony with a fanfare of horn honks, cheers and waves.

Also, on June 12, Bowling Green Elementary School held an intimate graduation car parade ceremony in its front circle, which was decorated with personalized lawn signs for each student. As graduates arrived for the event, they were handed diplomas and a special gift from the school’s PTA. Principal Maria Ciarametaro delivered a welcoming speech, followed by an address from each class’s teacher. The graduates were then announced, exiting their vehicles one at a time to be celebrated. A video message from Dr. Card was shared at this ceremony as well. Finally, Assistant Principal Amelia Garcia shared a few words before introducing the fifth grade graduation song, “Have It All” by Jason Mraz.

Meadowbrook Elementary School worked up to its ceremony with two smaller events. On June 9, fifth grade teachers delivered caps and gowns to their students, and two days later, Principal Kelly Di Scalfani and Assistant Principal Meredith Broxmeyer visited students to deliver them boxes of goods and special letters. On June 15, the school hosted moving up ceremonies for each fifth grade class in the parking lot, which had been festively decorated by parents, teachers and administrators the day prior. Meadowbrook’s mascot, Meadow the Moose, greeted each graduate as they arrived.

Students were safely seated throughout the parking lot following social distancing guidelines. Ms. Di Scalfani, Mrs. Broxmeyer and each fifth grade teacher welcomed the students and presented awards. School staff members were also in attendance, bearing signs they had made to congratulate the fifth graders. A recorded message from Mr. Anthony Russo, assistant superintendent for personnel and administration, was played for the attendees. After the students had been announced and collected their diplomas, their graduation song was played over the loudspeaker as they exited the parking lot.

To round out the drive-up ceremonies, McVey Elementary School held moving up events for each of its five fifth grade classes on June 16. Although the format was unconventional, the students, parents and faculty relished the opportunity to have a proper closure to the school year. The event was highlighted by a performance of McVey’s new school song, which was written by the school’s talented music teacher Samantha Schick and the fifth graders. Also, a recorded message by Ms. Jennifer Frisenda, the district’s Assistant Business Administrator was played. The décor was accented with innovative balloon designs provided by Paola’s Balloon Creations.

Message to Staff from the Superintendent

Dear East Meadow Staff:

As the school year wraps up, I just wanted to let each of you know how much I appreciate all that you have done for the children and families of the East Meadow School Community.  This year was like no other in my 24-years as an educator and administrator.  We started the school year focused on building upon our accomplishments from the previous year.  None of us could have imagined that by March 2020, we would all be directed by an Executive Order from the New York State Governor to at stay home because of a pandemic!

In a matter of days, as a school community, we had to figure out the intricacies of distance learning, while at the same time addressing our individual and family needs in the midst of a pandemic.  I applaud each of you for making a difficult time bearable for our students and their families, as well as each other.  We worked together to address our students learning needs and provide support to parents for whom homeschooling was a first.  Families at risk due to food insecurity were cared for by our school community, ensuring that no child and their family would suffer from the loss of wages as a result of a full economic shut down.  Our district ensured that first responders, health care and other essential workers had a safe location where child care was provided so that they could continue in service to our community.

I know many of you have questions about our return in the fall.  It is my greatest hope that the summer months will bring good news as New York continues to rebound from this pandemic.  The East Meadow staff is planning for students and staff return in September, as well as planning for the use of remote learning should the need arise again.  We will continue to monitor the status of the State and wait for additional guidance from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the Governor.  As always, you will be provided information and updates as soon as we receive any new information.

As I reflect upon the last three months, I am once again humbled and grateful for each of you.  Together we worked as a community to keep everyone safe and finish the 2019/2020 school year in the typical East Meadow fashion, always remembering that Great Happens Here!  I am sure that the entire school community appreciates your efforts as well during the COVID-19 era.  This school year will be remembered for generations to come.  I remain encouraged by your flexibility and thank you for your service and commitment to our school community.  We are All in this Together!

I wish you and your family a healthy, safe and well-deserved summer.  Take good care!


Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr
Superintendent of Schools
East Meadow School District
718 The Plain Road
Westbury, New York 11590
(516) 478-5776
Follow on Twitter @drkacjr_EMSupt


Letter from the Superintendent of Schools