OBEN Students Head Back to School Ready to Learn
Under sunny skies and pleasant temperatures, nearly 1,600 K-12 students, carrying backpacks and school supplies, returned to school in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District, August 31.
Reunited with friends, students shared hugs and received warm greetings from school administrators and teachers before settling into their classrooms. At Vernon Elementary School, the excitement was kicked up a notch as staff members shook pom-poms and cheered on students as they entered the building.
Students returned to a nearly completed library renovation at Oyster Bay High School, a new playground and a refurbished gymnasium at Vernon Elementary School, and an enhanced playground and freshly updated bathrooms at Roosevelt Elementary School.
New course offerings at the high school level include an expanded repertoire of Advanced Placement classes and courses for college credit. Among them are a new Social Studies research class called National History Day Contest and a new Science Research program that offers students the opportunity to develop higher-level research projects, enabling them to potentially compete in science competitions. To hone their business skills, students can get involved in Virtual Enterprise, which allows them to set up and run a simulated business online.
Excitement is already building for the debut of "Romeo and Juliet," the high school's first fall drama production, which takes the stage on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at Oyster Bay High School. The new fall production is yet another way the district is expanding performing arts opportunities for students. Last year, the addition of a play at Vernon Elementary School was a hit and will continue to delight audiences this year.
On the elementary school level, new standards in Science and Social Studies are being implemented and new initiatives for computer coding are planned. Vernon Elementary School’s library makerspace will continue to grow, providing a unique area for students to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills as they collaborate on STEAM-related projects — projects that promote skills in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.
Starting their first day in teaching positions at Oyster Bay High School were French teacher Mr. Patrick Heusner, math teacher Ms. Karina Reyes, English/language arts teacher Dr. Deirdre Faughey, Spanish teacher Ms. Jenny Alvarado, and physical education and health teacher Ms. Victoria Wink. Vernon welcomed special education teacher Ms. Kim Romeo and social worker Ms. Nicole Silva, and Roosevelt welcomed kindergarten teacher Ms. Hayley Byron and music teacher Ms. Brenda Murphy. Mr. Chris Elsesser will begin later this month as an assistant principal at Oyster Bay High School, replacing Mr. Tim McCarthy who has joined another district.
“We are delighted to welcome back our students and staff, and thank our administrative team, our support staff and our custodial staff who worked diligently to ensure that our schools were ready for the new year,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Laura Seinfeld. “We wish our students and staff, with the support from our parents and community, a productive and memorable school year filled with meaningful learning and growth.”
Oyster Bay High School students reunite with friends as they begin their first day of school.
Vernon Elementary School staff members shake pom-poms and cheer on students as they arrive at school.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Laura Seinfeld, left, and Roosevelt Elementary School Principal Ms. Tami McElwee, center, share a moment with students and teachers before they head to their classrooms.
See slideshows from each school below.