Charlotte Sidway Elementary School News Web Page - 2007

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Denise Dunbar

Mrs. McNulty's Class Party At Sidway - Dec. 2007

(left) Anna DiBello and Mrs. McNulty - (right) Ellie and Anna DiBello making their lanterns

(left) Laura Schultz, Colby Muggli, Samantha Bailey and Katelyn Baish
Click photos for larger view

   Mrs. Krista McNulty's class at Charlotte Sidway School celebrated the season with a party on Thursday, December 20, 2007 where they enjoyed making Phillipene lanterns.

Sidway Kinderkids Holiday Performance - Dec. 2007

Kindergarten classes.
Left: Santa, Right: 1st grade Notables
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click photos for larger view

   The kindergarten classes at Sidway School performed in a dress rehearsal for a holiday show entitled "The Winter Parade" on Wednesday, December 19th for the 1st grade students. The morning performance included the classes of Mrs. Lani Black, Mrs. Molly Ehlenfield, Mrs. Kim MacDonell, Mr. Patrick Lester, Miss Maureen Littlefield, Mrs. Melissa Taylor and Mrs. Marisa Valentine. The students sang many lively songs and ended the performance with everyone singing Jingle Bells. Santa made a surprise visit and stayed to enjoy the show. The first grade Notables sang "Up On A House Top." Music teacher Mrs. Christine Clendening arranged and directed the production and was accompanied by her mom, Mrs. Mary Telatnik on the piano. An announcement was made that the Sidway "Giving Tree" fundraiser raised $410.00 for the Neighbors Foundation through student donations.

Sidway Students Send Holiday Greetings to U.S. Troops - Dec. 2007

Back Row: Sergeant First Class Fredrick Smith, Sergeant First Class Adam Dombrowski, Staff Sergeant Juan Mateo; and students Forrest Carr, Kayla Caldwell, Simone Smith, William Person, Kaitlyn Hollederer, Liam Hart, Gabriella Sciortino, and Eric Scalise
Click photo for larger view

   Students at Sidway Elementary School created holiday greeting cards for our troops overseas. United States Army recruiters Sergeant First Class Fredrick Smith, Sergeant First Class Adam Dombrowski and Staff Sergeant Juan Mateo visited Sidway School on November 30th to collect over 400 cards to be sent to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The soldiers spoke to the students about how thankful the soldiers overseas are to receive messages from students, especially at this time of year. The students expressed their appreciation for everything the troops do for us through their written messages and drawings.

Sidway Students Enjoy Making Pumpkins - 2007

Click photos for larger view
   Mrs. Krista McNulty's class at Sidway enjoyed making pumpkins at their Halloween party. Shown (right photo) are Colby Muggli, Anna DiBello, Allison Dragonette and Trevor Samplinski. The left photo is of the class dressed up for Halloween.

Sidway Students Ride To School On Fire Truck - Oct. 2007

Adults From left are Firefighter Tom Dewey, Sidway Principal Denise Dunbar, Firefighter Peter McMahon, Schools Superintendent Robert Christmann, Firefighter Peter Coppola and Firefighter Eric Secord.
Jodi Robinson Photo - Click for larger view

   The Grand Island Fire Company holds a contest every year for the students in the elementary schools. If the students bring a fire safety checklist to the Fire Company Open House that was given to them the previous week at school, they have a chance of winning a ride to school on one of the Grand Island Fire Company fire trucks. This years Sidway winners are:

Sidway School
Lauren Merletti 
Natalie Turck 
Olivia Ruiz 
Justin Gorrell
Caitlin Kleinschmidt
Madeline Mesmer

Fire Prevention Walk - Oct. 2007

Left: Miss Maureen Littlefield's Kindergarten Class - Sondra DeFranks Photo - click for larger view.
Right: Brand New Aerial Truck - Jodi Robinson photo - click for larger view.

Left: Firefighter Equipment Station; Right: Rescue Vehicle Station.

Jodi Robinson Photos - Click for larger view

   Friday, October 12 . . .Kindergarten and first grade students from Sidway Elementary School walked to the Grand Island Fire Company Headquarters on a cool but very sunny day to learn first hand about fire prevention and the Fire Company. The NYS Police, Erie County Sheriff's Dept. and the Grand Island Fire Company's Fire Police ensured the safety of the classes as they were crossing Grand Island Blvd. The classes were divided into five groups to learn about fire prevention, emergency first aid, firefighters' equipment and clothing, stop-drop-and roll demonstration and the 9-1-1 call center. The groups rotated from section to section at 15-minute intervals. A state of the art aerial fire truck was delivered during the morning program. The truck has a 103' ladder and carries 300 gallons of water to feed a water pipe attached to the ladder.

Readers in Sidway Summer Reading Program Recognized - 2007

Students of teachers: Szaflarski, Ivancie/Luzi, Taylor, Valentine, Shoemaker, Goldman, Benevento, Cowan and Black.

Students of teachers: Stott, Petersen, Stevenson, McNulty, Hartz, Fuchs, Littlefield, Ehlenfield/MacDonell/Burchfield and Suszczynski.
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click for larger view
   The Grand Island Memorial Library's Summer Reading Program, held this past summer, titled "Get a Clue @ the Grand Island Memorial Library," was well attended. After returning their reading record to Sidway Librarian Mrs. Karen Beacher, each of the students was given a certificate and a reading-related prize. The following children participated in the program

Lucas Duck, Jack Hughes, Grace Thorpe, Hannah Ullrich, Bethany Wolcott, Sarah Zherebilov
William Soos
Taylor: Taylor Augustine
Jose Neyra, Mary Szumla 
Hayden Backlund, Adam Burns, Nicholas Hess
Erika Krueger
Alexa Chiarenza, Elizabeth Koyn, Allison McDonald, Lydia Pratt, Camryn Santa Lucia, Anthony Serra, Natalie Turck. 
William Hoover, Jacob Konopski, Kyle Schreider, Benjamin Szabo 
Hayley Falter, Nicholas Kawecki
Camryn Fisher, Christopher O’Connor, Jordan Pachla, Olivia Wright
Jason Sorri
Anna DiBello
Nicholas Keller, Caitlin Kleinschmidt, Anna Thompson
Lindsey Diehl, Bridget Neeson, Jacob Nelson, Nicole Paolini, Miranda Proctor, Bradley VeRost, Christian Whetham
Jonathan Dingey, Jenna Foglia, Brooke VeRost, Morgan-Lyn Wieberg
Lauren Merletti
Cameron Heiser, Kira Hutton, Joshua Kam

Sidway Students Sing Along - 2007

Ms. Barb Goldman and kindergarten vocalists.
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click for larger view
   Sidway kindergarten teacher Ms. Barbara Goldman has quite a gift at playing string instruments. On Friday, October 5th, Ms. Goldman and her class entertained Mrs. Cyndi Booker's second grade class at Kaegebein Elementary School through their in-classroom computers, playing and singing to the ukulele. The second grade students had been studying Hawaii all week and listening to Hawaiian music. The kindergarten students sang "The Chocolate Chip Cookie Song" while Ms. Goldman played the ukulele.

Sidway Student Receives Honorable Mention In NEA Art Contest - 2007

(left) Music Teacher Mrs. Christine Clendening, Natalie Turck and Art Teacher Mrs. Theresa Barnack
Click photos for larger view.

   Natalie Turck a first grade student from Mrs. Barnack’s art class at Charlotte Sidway Elementary School, received Honorable Mention for her artwork submitted to the National Education Association (NEA) 2006-2007 Art Contest. She created the artwork during the last school year when she was in Kindergarten, and it was submitted in May 2007. The publication with the winners just came out in NEA’s September 2007 online issue. To commemorate NEA’s 150th birthday, students around the country were asked to submit artwork that celebrates their teachers and schools. The topics were My Favorite Teacher, What’s Cool About School, and School of the Future. Natalie created a portrait of her favorite teacher, Mrs. Clendening, using liquid watercolor, tissue paper and black glue. When judging artwork for the K-3 category, judges looked for innocence in the work, an emotional connection with it, as well as color, line, and basic composition. They also ask, "Does it make you smile?"
   "It sure made us smile at Sidway!"
   See and click on the link to visit the gallery of winners. Check out image #10 created by GICSD’s own “Picasso”. Great job Natalie!

Sidway Students Win Coloring Contest - 2007

(left) 2nd place winner Megan Shickluna and third place winner Breonah L. Brown.
Click photos for larger view.

   The Old Glory Flag and Banner Company of Niagara Falls sponsored a coloring contest in conjunction with the Thunder of Niagara Air Show held Saturday and Sunday, August 11-12, 2007. According to John Cooper of Old Glory Flag and Banner, there were more than 550 entries from all over the area including one winner from the Painted Post, N.Y. Entries were in three levels, kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades. At the first grade level the second and third place winners were from Charlotte Sidway School, Grand Island, NY. Second place winner, Megan Shickluna, received a $50.00 U.S. Savings Bond and third place winner Breonah Brown received a $25.00 U.S. Savings Bond. The girls also received a certificate of accomplishment and Air Show memorabilia. Entries were submitted by their Sidway School first grade teacher, Melissa Taylor. Megan Shickluna is the daughter of Tracey and Bill Shickluna. Julie Celano and Silton Brown are Breonah's parents.

Sidway Students Make Their Own Pizza - 2007

(left) Jason, Jose, Chef Keith, Vincent with sister Alyssa and Mary Claire.
Click for larger view.

   The Sidway first grade and kindergarten class of Mrs. Marisa Valentine got a special treat at the end of the school year. One of their fellow students is Vincent Quarentello whose mother, grandmother and grandfather own the Town Cafe on Grand Island Blvd. The class made a trip to the restaurant on Tuesday, June 19th and made their own pizzas for lunch.

Sidway Celebrates Flag Day - June 2007
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click for larger view

   Sidway School students celebrated Flag Day on Thursday, June 14th. The school has so many first graders that half the classes performed in the morning and half in the afternoon. Music teacher Mrs. Christine Clendening arranged and directed the show. The students sang many songs including "It's Flag Day," "Give Three Cheers," "Our Flag," "The Best I Can Be" and "Your A Grand Old Flag." At the end of the concert everyone joined in for "God Bless America." Displayed on the walls of the gym were flags made by the students with their thoughts on what the flag means to them.

P.R.I.D.E. Of The Island Winner Vincent Quarantello
Thrives In Charlotte Sidway Elementary School's New Special Education Program - 2007

   Each year, the teachers of the Grand Island Central School District are given the opportunity to select a student for the "P.R.I.D.E. Of The Island" award. This award is given to a student who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. What exactly is "outstanding academic achievement?" For some, at the elementary level, it may be defined through accomplishments such as reading, writing or adding. However, academic achievement is not the same for every student. What comes easily to one student may not for another. This particularly holds true for the students in Mrs. Valentine's self-contained, 8:1:1, special education classroom. Each of Mrs. Valentine's students has made tremendous academic growth in his/her own way.
   Therefore, when Mrs. Valentine was considering the best recipient for the P.R.I.D.E. Of The Island award, she measured the success of her students based on overall growth and how this growth has affected the people around him/her. The recipient for this year's award was given to Vincent Quarantello.
   Vincent, diagnosed with Down syndrome, attended Heritage Centers in Tonawanda since he was 2 1/2 years old. Once he was no longer eligible for the pre-school program, he was required to attend a school age program in the District. Unfortunately, his first year at Charlotte Sidway Elementary School was a difficult one. Vincent and his family struggled with the program and had considered seeking other educational programs. It wasn't until they met Mrs. Dunbar that they decided to attend another year within his home school.
   In April 2006, Mrs. Denise Dunbar joined Charlotte Sidway Elementary School as the new principal. Once aware of the difficulties the special education program had experienced, Mrs. Dunbar knew hard work and changes would be required to build a solid foundation for the students enrolled in this classroom. In an effort to build a stronger special education program, she hired Marisa Valentine, an experienced teacher who had spent over five years working with special needs children.
   Mrs. Valentine began working with Vincent in September 2006. At that time he had a difficult time maintaining eye contact, follwoing simple directions, and integrating with his peers. Vincent was taken from place to place with hand-held assistance and a light touch cue to his face helped remind him to look at someone when being spoken to. Large crowds were very intimidating for Vincent and he began vocalizing loudly in order to communicate that it was too much. Now, Vincent is independently greeting teachers at their doors with eye contact, and a handshake. Vincent walks down the hallways at school without hand-held assistance. He simply walks as the other students do, with an occasional tap on the shoulder to remind him to keep walking. Vincent is integrated for music and library and participates in a lunch bunch with his peers. He really enjoys the other students and they enjoy seeing Vincent, too. Just recently, Vincent participated in the Kindergarten Concert with half of the kindergarteners who attend Sidway Elementary. He stood on that stage with the other students and was not intimidated by the large crowd at all.
   Mrs. Valentine says, "It is rewarding to hear people throughout Sidway, day after day, applaud Vincent for all he has accomplished this school year. Not only are they proud of Vincent, but of themselves as well, for what Vincent has taught them. Vincent has taught others patience, perseverance, but most importantly, to enjoy every moment of life."

Charlotte Sidway School Orientation - May 2007

(left) Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Patricia Hitcho and orientation students working on pictures of shapes.
(right) First grade teacher Mrs. Cheryl Stott reads to orientation students.
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click for larger view

   An orientation program for kindergarten children registered for 2007/2008 in the Grand Island Central School District was held at Charlotte Sidway School at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, 2007.
   All registered children and their parents were invited to attend. A special program for the new Kinder-kids included classroom activities and a ride on the big yellow bus. While the boys and girls were engaged in classrooms, parents participated in an informative workshop.
   See also "GIHS Class of 2020"

Charlotte Sidway School Orientation - May 2007

   An orientation program for kindergarten children registered for 2007/2008 in the Grand Island Central School District will be held at Charlotte Sidway School at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, 2007.
   All registered children and their parents are invited to attend. A special program for the new Kinder-kids will include classroom activities and a ride on the big yellow bus. While the boys and girls are actively engaged in classrooms, parents will participate in an informative workshop.
   At the conclusion of the program, there will be an Open House. This program is designed for new kindergartners and their parents only. No siblings please.

Sidway Students
Gotta Love Those Little Sabres Fans - 2007

Jodi Robinson Photo - - Click for larger view.

   School district bus driver Lorie Digati, a very fun and enthusiastic driver of a group of Sidway School kindergarten and first graders, decorated her "Bear Bus" Sabres style on Thursday, May 26, 2007 and led the children in singing their own Sabres song to the tune of "Five Little Monkeys."

Exploring Pioneer Life at Sidway - 2007
(left) Mrs. Ethel Yuhas, Mrs. Karen Beacher and students.
(right) Marissa Hovey models a hair comb with Mrs. Ethel Yuhas.
(left) Mrs. Ethel Yuhas displays a starioptican, (middle) Alyssa Butcher, Mrs. Margaret Hoover and Savanna Stoddard
(right) Mrs. Karen Beacher, Mrs. Margaret Hoover display a bathing costume.
Jodi Robinson Photos
Click photos for larger view.

   Mrs. Ethel Yuhas, a retired Grand Island teacher, visited the school on Monday and Tuesday, April 23-24, 2007, and gave a presentation in the library for students and teachers. The subject was "Let's Go Back in Time-Exploring Pioneer Life." Mrs. Yuhas demonstrated spinning on an old spinning wheel, and talked about the process of getting raw wool ready for spinning. In addition, Mrs. Yuhas spoke much about pioneer life in America, and she had many household implements to show the students such as leather button baby shoes and a button hook, a real working oil lamp and a stereopticon to view pictures. Also displayed was a wooden potato masher that was used by Mrs. Yuhas' mother and a shaving mug and brush used by her father. Mrs. Yuhas mentioned that baby boys wore dresses and bonnets and that got quite a laugh out of the students.
   Mrs. Yuhas was assisted by her sister, Mrs. Margaret Hoover. While Mrs. Yuhas showed the students Christmas ornaments over 100 years old, Mrs. Hoover was making butter in a canning jar. The students took crackers and fresh made butter back to their rooms for a treat. Librarian Mrs. Karen Beacher and Mrs. Hoover displayed three of Mrs. Yuhas' beautiful handmade quilts during the presentation. Each class was presented with a copy of "Pioneer Dictionary" by Bobbie Kalman and Jane Lewis for their classrooms. Students pictured above are from the classes of Mrs. Melissa Taylor and Mrs. Patricia Kwarciak. The presentation and books were provided by a mini-grant procured by Librarian Karen Beacher.

Sidway Artists Honored - 2007
(Left) Art teacher Mrs. Theresa Barnack with Trevor Samplinkski and featured art.
Jodi Robinson Photos
Click photos for larger view.

   Art teacher Mrs. Theresa Barnack chose six of her students to represent Sidway School at the New York State Art Teachers Association (NYSATAs) Region One Teacher and Student Art Exhibition entitled "Artitude!" The Exhibition is being held at the Amherst Museum from March 11-22nd. The students, first graders, Steven Bachman, Thomas Cecere, Tess LaRiviere, and Thomas Thompson, were also recognized at the March 26th school board meeting. Kindergarten students chosen are Anna DiBello and Trevor Samplinski.

Author/Illustrator Tedd Arnold Visits Sidway Students - 2007
Click photos for larger view.

   The famous children's author and illustrator, Tedd Arnold, made a special visit to the students and faculty at Charlotte Sidway Elementary School on Monday March 26th.
   The day began with a “Meet the Author” breakfast held in the Teachers Dining Room with the Faculty and Staff of Charlotte Sidway Elementary. Breakfast was followed by a series of assemblies throughout the school day for the kindergarten and first grade students. The children have been reading his books for weeks and have done many projects in preparation for his visit. They were very excited to finally meet Mr. Arnold. Students had the opportunity to pre-order his books and Mr. Arnold took the time to autograph them throughout the day.
   Mr. Arnold’s day did not end once the bell rang. While in the area, he sampled the flavors of the Island while eating dinner with the author committee at The Village Inn.
   Mr. Arnold’s picture books are full of lively humor, and colorful pictures. He has a terrific talent for capturing the attention of his young audiences, and enlivens his presentations with on-the-spot illustrations. More information on Tedd Arnold can also be found on his website "www.teddarnold"

Sidway/Kaegebein School News

"Read Across America Day" - 2007
(Left) Natalie Baldassarre; (right) Mrs. Pam Shoemaker's first graders.
Jodi Robinson Photos
Click photos for larger view.

   Sidway School celebrated "Read Across America Day" and Dr. Seuss' birthday on Friday, March 2, 2007. Readers from Kaegebein Elementary arrived early in the morning and in pairs were escorted by Sidway students to their classroom. Each read a book of their choosing in the classroom to the kindergarten and first grade students. After reading, the Kaegebein students were treated to cookies in the dining room before they went back to school.

Sidway School News

100 Days Of School Celebrated - 2007
(Left) Principal Denise Dunbar's collection of 100 pins; (right) 100 Barbie Shoes
(Left) 100 Pictures; (right) Collection of 100 Collections.
Jodi Robinson Photos
Click photos for larger view.

   This year's Sidway 100 Day Celebration was rescheduled a couple of times due to snow and cold days. But finally, it just happened to land on Valentine's Day, February 14, which is also a very special day at Sidway. Many posters can be seen displayed in the hallways throughout the school. Even Principal Dunbar has a collection of 100 pins displayed on a sweater on her office door. She is quite the collector, as she mentioned she has many more!

Sidway's Winter Play - 2007

The first grade and kindergarten cast.

Santa played by Christopher O'Connor, Mama Bird soloist, Savanna Stoddard.
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click for larger view

   An original play was performed on Thursday, February 1, 2007 by the kindergarten class of Miss Susan Andrews and the first grade class of Mrs. Patti Kwarciak. "Share A Winter Smile" is a story of a little girl who lives in Buffalo, NY and doesn't like the winter. Through many songs, including Let It Snow, Sleigh Ride and Must Be Santa among others, the children convince the little girl it is not so bad. The set, music and costumes along with the actors were first rate. Music teacher Mrs. Christine Clendening accompanied on the piano.

Sidway Art - 2007

"The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another..." Mrs. Patricia Hitcho's class

"And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!" Mrs. Lani Black's class (left), Mr. Patrick Lester's class (right).
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click for larger view

   The kindergartners have gone wild at Sidway with their "Wild Things!" After listening to the story, "Where the Wild Things Are," by Maurice Sendak, each kindergarten class voted on which scene they wanted to illustrate; the jungle, the forest, the lake, or the night scene. They created their own wild things after learning about texture and how to draw their creature. Then they had to create the parts to the environment in a large collage banner. After the banner was completed the children placed their wild thing to complete their piece. All the banners are hung throughout the school. This project was done in collaboration with student teacher Miss Neidlinger and Sidway School art teacher, Mrs. Theresa Barnack.

Sidway Art - 2007

Ceramic tiles displayed in foyer of Sidway School.
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click for larger view

   Sidway School first graders learned about the painter, Georgia O’Keefe in their art class. Miss Neidlinger, a student teacher at Sidway, read the story, “My Name is Georgia,” by Jeanette Winter. The children also observed Georgia’s style of painting and created their painting on a ceramic bisque-fired tile. First they glazed a clear glaze on the tile, then they painted a close-up view of the flower. If they were in Monday or Tuesday’s art classes they learned about the parts of the flower. Wednesday and Thursday’s art classes painted landscapes of the desert and mountains inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings. First graders also learned about foreground, middle ground and background in the landscape. This project was done in collaboration with Mrs. Theresa Barnack, the art teacher at Sidway School and Miss Neidlinger.
“Sun-bleached bones were most wonderful against the blue… that blue that will always be there as it is now after all man's destruction is finished.” ~Georgia O'Keeffe 
 “I said to myself … I'll paint what I see … what the flower is to me but I'll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it … I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.” 
                        ~Georgia O’Keeffe 

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