The halls of Todd Elementary School are beginning to fill up with dazzling artwork featuring spiders, bats and other Halloween-themed decorations as the students are getting ready to celebrate Halloween next week. In Paul Villanueva’s art class, first graders were excited to create artwork featuring pumpkins while learning about various art elements along the way.
On Tuesday, ninth and tenth graders in Michele Bendlin’s Regents Geometry class were doing a review in preparation for the next day’s test. They did not know, however, that the review was created by a fellow teacher in another part of the country.
Last week, first graders at Lee Lee Wong’s ENL (English as a New Language) class had a special guest on Zoom: Ms. Wong’s daughter, Tiffany, who lives in Ubud, Indonesia, chatted with the students and the next morning followed up her chat with a video of her house and the rice fields surrounding it.
It started as an experiment: a collaborative effort among parents, Briarcliff School District Superintendent Dr. James Kaishian, Athletics Director Chris Drosopolous and the Board of Education. It resulted in an additional sport in the district: squash. Now, after over three years, three Briarcliff squash athletes have received the U.S. Scholar Athlete Award.
Music teacher Jenna Stufkosky takes her ukulele and Tubano drum with her when she visits the classrooms at Todd. The K-2 teacher, who also teaches at Briarcliff Middle School this year, has been visiting the classrooms instead of staying in the music room due to COVID safety guidelines. Although students typically use musical instrument in class, this year, in lieu of instruments, Ms. Stufkosky found ways to enrich the students’ learning of music through movement, creating art and studying literature.
Downward Dog, Cobra Pose and Tree Pose are standard yoga poses you might find in any yoga class. For Todd elementary School students, they are the go-to moves when it’s raining outdoors. In addition, they are in line with COVID safety guidelines: students can do them at a distance and with their masks on.