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Escape Room Style Learning

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Teamwork and collaboration were essential skills required by Home Language Arts students in Carol Garcia’s class at Bellport High School as they learned about internet safety through a digital-physical combination platform called BreakoutEDU.

BreakoutEDU is an escape room style immersive learning game that consists of physical and digital puzzle elements, usually with a theme, that must be solved in a set amount of time. Using critical thinking, collaboration and creativity, students are also challenged to open a locked Breakout EDU box that contains clues.

Ms. Garcia, in collaboration with library media specialist Colleen Oates-Robesch, hosted the activity which centered on internet safety and digital citizenship and was completed in a set 45-minute period. In addition to applying the required BreakoutEDU skills in solving the puzzles, the Home Language Arts students utilized their home language communication skills, while sharpening critical thinking and collaboration.

At the end of the exercise, the students received a “We Broke Out” certificate, signifying that they were successful in completing the assignment.

South Country Central School District Board of Education Notes April 7, 2021 Workshop Meeting Budget Presentation: Expense and Revenue Update

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The agenda was abbreviated for the April 7 workshop meeting, with the majority focusing on discussion about the 2021-2022 budget.

As part of his superintendent’s report, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani announced that as part of Women’s History Month in March, New York State Senator Alexis Weik recognized COMPASS Unity Coalition’s Project Coordinator Lynette Murphy for her endless efforts and dedication to COMPASS Unity and the South Country community.

Dr. Giani also announced that there have been, in total, 100 faculty and staff and 277 students who have tested positive for COVID-19 this school year. Additionally, there are no faculty and staff but there are five students who are currently in quarantine.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Management Services Christine Costa presented the sixth of a series of budget presentations, which provided an expense and revenue update based on additional state funding. During the report, Ms. Costa reviewed the fund balance, district reserves, state aid, funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund’s Coronavirus and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the current budget gap, multi-year funding options and the budget moving forward. With federal funding, additional state aid and a use of appropriated reserves and fund balance, the district was able to bridge a $14.9 million gap. Ms. Costa also outlined a comparison of a 5% and 10% override of the tax levy limit. At this time in the budget process, the projected budget totaling $145,451,282 carries a tax levy limit of $64,349,842 (a 0.81% increase over the 2020-2021 school year). The current program-driven budget also includes staff reductions based on declining enrollment, five contingent positions, preservation of elementary class sizes, no change in fine and performing arts or interscholastic athletic programs and continued K-12 intervention programs and expanded support for K-5 summer programming due to pandemic “loss of learning.”

A Budget Hearing is scheduled for May 5, 2021 and the Budget Vote and Trustee Election will be held on May 18, 2021.


Please Click Here to Take the Family Survey

Dear South Country Families,

The District's Social Emotional Learning committee has developed a Family Survey to gain insight into how we are doing with respect to communication and family engagement. Please take a moment to complete the survey. Your feedback is invaluable.

Here is a link to the survey:

Thank you for your time and support!

Estimadas familias de South Country,

El comité de Aprendizaje Socioemocional del Distrito ha desarrollado una Encuesta Familiar para conocer cómo nos está yendo con respecto a la comunicación y la participación familiar. Tómese un momento para completar la encuesta. Tus comentarios son invaluables.

Aquí hay un enlace a la encuesta:

¡Gracias por tu tiempo y apoyo!

Big Dreams for the Future

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It’s never too early to plan for the future. Frank P. Long Intermediate School students got a jumpstart on their careers during the school’s College and Career Week, held on March 23-26, which culminated in the school’s inaugural Career Day on March 26.

“We believe that showing our students different career options is a great experience and gets students to start thinking about their future,” school counselor Darlene Dowler said.

The week’s kickoff activity was a spirit week with students wearing pajamas on We Have Big Dreams Day (Tuesday) and sunglasses or neon colors for Your Future is Bright Day (Wednesday). Students also dressed in college, military or technical shirts on Thursday for “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” Day. Spirit Week concluded with a Dress to Impress or Dress as Your Future Career Day, which paralleled Career Day activities.

On Career Day, students watched videos of community professionals who pre-recorded information about their careers. The students also participated in an activity where they were asked questions about the year they will graduate and what they intend on doing after high school graduation. The activity also asked the students to write a note to themselves as high school seniors. In a separate career exploration activity, students listed things they were accomplished in and enjoyed doing. They also described what career they would like to choose and why.



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