Aug
14

Memorial JHS Named a School to Watch

Aug
30

Please remember to join the Central-Memorial PTSA!

Jun
10

Memorial JHS earns several prestigious recognitions this year.

Memorial JHS has earned several recognitions this year that demonstrate Memorial’s high levels of inviting practices, social and emotional support and rich academic program:

2016 Rising Schools to Watch Award from The National Forum to Accelerate Middle- Grades Reform
2016 National School of Character by Character.org
2016 Inviting School Award from the International Alliance for Invitational Education
2016 Grammy Signature School Semi-finalist
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Jun
09

2016 Inviting School Award

2016 Inviting School Award

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May
18

2016 National School of Character

Character.org has recognized  Memorial Junior High School as 2016 National School of Character. Memorial  was found to be exemplary model of character development.

Character education is a focus throughout the Valley Stream Central High School District. All four schools embrace the BRAVE program, which inspires students to “Believe in the Rights and Values of Everyone.” Many lessons and activities held throughout the year in various subject areas incorporate this theme.

“I am excited that Memorial’s commitment to character education has been recognized,” said Principal Anthony Mignella. “It is a culmination of our programs, practice, polices and the things our students and staff do every day that is making our school shine. I am so proud of the all the hard work that our students, staff and parents do to makes Memorial such a fantastic school.”

An active BRAVE committee organizes various character education initiatives that support Memorial’s core values. For instance, every October, Anti-Bullying Month is recognized with activities that develop good hearts and minds, including annual C.A.R.E. Weeks twice a year. The Good Deed program recognizes students demonstrating good character and Positive Message on a Locker effort coordinated by BRAVE participants as well as the World of Difference Club provided thoughtful and encouraging messages on every student’s locker. Diversity Week, held each spring, emphasizes acceptance and unity as well as numerous school wide charity efforts and service learning lessons. Memorial would like to thank Dr. Phillip Fusco from the Academy for Character Education at the SAGE Colleges for all his support in the area of character education.

The Valley Stream Central High School District is one of only four districts to earn the national distinction, and South and Memorial are among 68 schools across the United States presented with this honor. They will be formally commended, along with other designated schools, at Character.org’s 23rd National Forum on Character Education in Washington, DC in October.

“We are extremely proud of this year’s designated schools and districts for their dedication to character development which has proven to increase the well-being of so many students’ lives across the United States and beyond,” said Becky Sipos, Character.org’s President & CEO. “These character initiatives create conditions for learning where students are thriving and growing into ethical members of our society. They are developing lifelong skillsets they will leverage well into their adult lives.”

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May
18

Charity softball game….Memorial vs. Central

This Friday, May 20th Memorial Junior High School will be hosting a staff softball game in which they will be competing against their sister school, Central High School . Memorial Junior High is the feeder school to Central High School where students go to finish out their last years in the district. All proceeds from the sale of food and drinks will go to benefit the Quinn Madeleine foundation. Eileen Linzer(O’Gara) is an alumni of Memorial and Central, she started the foundation in memory of her daughter. The Quinn Madeleine Foundation is a wish-granting organization serving children under age 3 diagnosed with a terminal or life-threatening disease.
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Apr
08

B.R.A.V.E. Minds and Hearts That C.A.R.E. Shine Brightly at MJHS

B.R.A.V.E. Minds and Hearts That C.A.R.E. Shine Brightly at MJHS

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In connection with October’s designation as National Anti-Bullying Month, Valley Stream’s Memorial Junior High School held a number of activities intended to promote kindness and respect in and outside of school. These efforts were all part of the B.R.A.V.E. program, which kicked off a yearlong campaign to combat bullying and emphasize positive behaviors.

The MJHS B.R.A.V.E. (Believe in the Rights and Values of Everyone) Committee, comprised of faculty members and administrators, coordinated several initiatives to support the school’s social-emotional goals for students by helping them develop a strong sense of character and realize their maximum learning potential.

“We tend to see an increase in academic achievement among students who are supported and thriving socially and emotionally,” said MJHS Principal Anthony Mignella. “We are committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for each and every one of our students. The B.R.A.V.E Committee, in addition to other programs and a caring and nurturing staff, is one outlet through which we plan activities to help create an atmosphere where the heart and mind are developed equally.”

On Oct. 5, the entire school was encouraged to wear blue in acknowledgment of World Anti-Bullying Day. As the day began, students and teachers read a pledge and signed pledge cards vowing to demonstrate the qualities that encompass caring, compassionate individuals who contribute goodness to the lives of others.

A survey was administered to all seventh-graders to assess how they feel at school and identify specific areas in need of address. Eighth- and ninth-graders participated in “quality circles” during their physical education classes, in which they discussed ways to improve the school environment and ensure that all students have a sense of comfort and acceptance. Additionally, every Monday in October, students and staff members are tuning in to view a special eTV News video focusing on character-building messages.

Also tied in with Anti-Bullying Month is MJHS’s C.A.R.E. (Caring, Acceptance, Respect and Empathy) Week. Beginning on Oct. 19, staff members will implement lessons and/or programs that focus on developing the essential character traits on which the initiative is based. In an effort to show students that they are cared about and are valuable members of the community, the staff will distribute C.A.R.E. packages containing several items and a poem describing the significance of each.

Apr
08

MJHS Recognized by GRAMMY Foundation for Ninth-Grade Music

UnknownMJHS Recognized by GRAMMY Foundation for Ninth-Grade Music

Memorial Junior High School is among 15 schools on Long Island and 119 nationwide that have earned acknowledgment as GRAMMY Signature Schools semifinalists for 2016. The GRAMMY Foundation created this program as a way to recognize top U.S. public high schools that are making an outstanding commitment to music education during an academic school year. MJHS was awarded for its initiatives at the ninth-grade level.

To be eligible for this honor, schools were required to submit applications describing their programs and student achievements. Music teacher Victoria Alaimo and other staff members from the music department completed this process and are now preparing to enter the next phase with the hopes of receiving finalist distinction in March.

MJHS offers band, chorus and orchestra as its major ensembles. A majority of the students also participate in the elective program, which includes electronic music and guitar instruction. The school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society organizes community service opportunities that incorporate music and the arts. Tri-M members must maintain a high level of academic achievement, perform in the community and volunteer at various school arts events. MJHS ninth-graders also participate in the honors ensembles (wind ensemble, jazz band, Memorial Strings, and men’s and women’s choirs) and continue to win regional Music in the Parks competitions every year.

Apr
08

MJHS Students Build Character at Leader Summit

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Twenty-four Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School students and five MJHS graduates who are current sophomores at Central High school attended the Academy of Character Education’s Youth Leader Summit at the Sage Colleges. The group consisted of seventh- through tenth-graders – some of whom were selected based on teacher recommendations, and others who participate in the “Breakfast Club” informational program.

The Summit provided students with the opportunity to attend workshops on a variety of topics including, “Finding Your Personal Strength,” “Suicide Prevention,” “Mindset – Change Your Attitude, Change the World,” “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – Sexual Orientation” and “Mindful Self-Management”.

Two guest speakers were the highlights of day. Presenter Kati Preston recounted her moving ordeal as a Holocaust survivor in the “Power of One” session, where she shared heartfelt inspiration with the audience. Dr. Stephen Birchak provided an entertaining and insightful look at celebrating individuality during his focus on “The 3 Keys to Character: Promote Peace and Reduce Bullying in Your School.” He encouraged students to embrace their choices and their ability to be independent of other’s judgments, noting that they can make a difference in other’s lives.

The Valley Stream participants have a very strong commitment to creating a positive environment at their schools. The MJHS students are involved in various character-building initiatives, such as Diversity Week, throughout the year.

Apr
08

Self-Esteem Program Reveals True Beauty at MJHS

Self-Esteem Program Reveals True Beauty at MJHS

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Seventh-grade female students at Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School had the opportunity to discover a new admiration for individuality and positive qualities, thanks to the Hance Family Foundation’s Beautiful Me program. The initiative has made a positive impact at North High School for many years, and for the first time, was recently brought to the classrooms of Memorial.

Representatives from Beautiful Me held sessions with the seventh-graders on three days in January. Each visit featured a different workshop and enabled participants to explore the true meaning of beauty in a variety of ways.

The second day of the program, which took place on Jan. 12, focused on interpreting body language and defining uniqueness. In small groups, students analyzed the many forms of body language and learned that something as simple as posture or arm positioning can lead to misinterpretations about a person’s mood. Together they reviewed examples of how assumptions based on body language can be false and problematic, and concluded that it is best to ask someone how they feel directly before bringing others in.

The students then considered the significance of uniqueness. They discussed the word and described it as meaning “different” and “special.” “It is what makes us who we are,” said Beautiful Me Consultant Karen Finn. “No two of us are the same.” The seventh-graders were encouraged to accept their unique characteristics. “We all have positive parts of us and then there are other parts that are not the most pleasant,” Finn said. “There might be room for improvements, but they are honest.”

According to the Hance Family Foundation, only 2 percent of women believe they are beautiful. The Beautiful Me program works to build self esteem in girls of all ages and help them to appreciate genuine qualities in themselves as well as others. Other components of the program at Memorial involved redefining beauty and accepting compliments.

Apr
08

Memorial Junior High Students ‘On a Roll’ with Success

Memorial Junior High Students ‘On a Roll’ with Success

On March 7, Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School launched a new program called On a Roll, aimed to recognize the successes of students in all areas, across all grades.

Students who improved their grade by five or more points received certificates to honor their achievements and efforts. The administration and teachers are hopeful that these acknowledgments of success will inspire students to continue working diligently in their academics and make positive changes both in and outside of school.

A day of celebration was created as more than 1,200 certificates were distributed, 398 of which were presented at the seventh-grade level, 457 at the eighth-grade level and 381 among ninth-graders.

Throughout the day, a sense of pride was felt throughout the building as students shared their certificates and enthusiasm with peers. The On a Roll concept was initially presented to the administration by teachers Laura Dunham and Kim Cazzetto. The program is designed to praise students for their efforts and help them to develop a growth mindset.

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Apr
08

Memorial Supports Teens for Jeans Drive

Memorial Supports Teens for Jeans Drive

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Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School’s Leadership Development Club held a successful Teens for Jeans Drive, through which 208 jeans were collected for the Salvation Army’s Housing and Homeless Services.

The student group realized that over a million young people experience homelessness in the United States every year, and pairs of jeans are among the most greatly appreciated donations. The Memorial school community participated in this initiative in order to directly provide essential clothing to youth in need.WorkingImage

Apr
08

Memorial JHS Students Explore Plant Growth

Memorial JHS Students Explore Plant Growth

As a final assignment to a chapter on agriculture, Angela Trager’s ninth-grade AP Human Geography class at Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School is conducting an experiment to determine whether plants grow better in a greenhouse.

The students created a mini-greenhouse, answered prediction questions and are using observation journals to record comparisons between a greenhouse plant and one that is in a classroom planter. The students also completed an article analysis assignment on the pros and cons of greenhouses. At the conclusion of the study, the class will review their findings through reflection questions.

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Apr
08

Memorial Junior HS Students Give Back with Baskets

Memorial Junior HS Students Give Back with Baskets

Eighth-grade students in Frances Howell’s class at Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School participated in a community service activity at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, located in Valley Stream. They filled Easter baskets that were distributed to local families just in time for the holiday.

This initiative supported the school’s service learning efforts. The students had a greater appreciation of their task once they understood they were helping put a smile on other children’s faces.

After the visit, they reflected on the experience. Among the lessons students learned were, “that helping people in need is the most important thing we can do,” “that it’s nice to give back to the community,” “That it is important to help other people and when you help, it will make other people feel very happy.”033016_VSCHSD_a.jpg

Mar
09

Memorial JHS a Rising School to Watch

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Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School was named a Rising School to Watch through the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform’s Schools to Watch program.

Educators from the Essential Elements: Schools to Watch leadership team spent two days visiting Memorial to evaluate the building as a potential “School to Watch.” The evaluation was based on four criteria: academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational structure.

According to the Forum’s website, it identifies and disseminates best practices, articulates and promotes effective policies, recognizes and develops enlightened leadership, and informs and engages the public in order to accomplish its goal of improved academic and developmental outcomes for all students in the middle grades.

“This prestigious recognition demonstrates that the academic programs and social and emotional programs offered at Memorial are of extremely high quality. I am so proud of all the success of our students, staff and parents,” said Principal Anthony Mignella. “We will continue to set extremely high academic expectations and develop both the hearts and minds of our students so they can be successful inside and outside of the classroom.”

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