One World Week 2019

By: Clover, Yatee, Kate, Sofia, Mia and Keira 

The week of October 21st through 27th was One World Week at Pocantico Hills School. One World Week is a week of using and learning about the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. Children and adults all around the world are involved in One World Week bringing attention to the development goals. These goals are some actions that need to be fixed all around the world. 

Our school wide kick off started with a presentation of climate change by Mrs. DePoala and Mrs. Seewald. The next day a student from PACE University came to tell some grades about how bees are being affected by climate change. Many teachers helped, such as Mrs. McNamara who made a slide show about oceans, pollution and much more. Mrs. Hongell also worked with the fifth and sixth grade classes to make video projects on SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals.)                    

Global warming is caused by carbon dioxide, known as CO2 in the air because of cars, planes and even factories. In our school community, students have been learning how to conserve energy and reduce waste. Every day of the Pocantico Global Week we have been continuing to recycle paper and turn out lights in the classrooms. This is not only a problem you can do at school, but also at home or anywhere. Some additional ways we can help protect our environment is by riding bikes, walking or taking public transportation. This is good because it makes the air have less CO2 in itAlso, it creates a better oxygen for people like us to breath. Another good idea to save the planet is to not throw away your clothes in the trash.  It is better to pass them down to a sister or brother or donate them to a charity or the homeless.  

Water pollution is not just affecting people and the water that they drink; but it affects all the sea creatures and sea life in the oceans. One way of helping the ocean is by using metal water bottles instead of plastic water bottles.  Plastic water bottles take centuries to decompose and they can end up choking and harming sea life. You might have seen a story about a whale died because it ate tons of plastic thinking it was food. If you find a piece of plastic on the floor your first thing you should do is go find a recycling bin. ReduceReuse and then Recycle!  

Noah Brennan, a Pace University Environmental student came to talk about how climate change is affecting bees. He passed around bee's wax and explained about how if some of the seasons get longer and some get shorter, the bees will die because they take a long time to adapt to changes. Students also played a game where there are “bees,” performed by students, going around the auditorium trying to pollenate the three flowers portrayed by other students. Each time the bees went around, Noah decreased the amount of time the bees had to pollenate the flowers. The bees did not have enough time to pollinate all the flowers and got no nectar, Noah was trying to show us that if our climate changes too quickly the bees will die because they won't have enough time to adapt. If you see a bee and your first instinct is to kill it, think about how bees help the environment and, what did the bee do to you? 

Alyson Morilla came to the tell first grade, third grade and some of the upper middle school students how the fashion industry effects a lot of the pollution in the world. A bunch of the water used to dye fabric is wasted. So, fashion designers are trying to create a recycled fabric that they can use for clothing. Recycled plastic water bottles are being used to make fabric, then used to make clothing. A scientist made a shirt of seaweed, and after the shirt got too small or ripped you could plant it in your yard. Another way to use natural fabric is a fabric called Pina cloth which is made from pineapple fibers that is made in the Philippines. Silk is spun and made from a silkworm that is also made from a natural fabric. Cotton and linen are another example of naturel fabric that is made of plants. If you can buy fabrics made with natural fibers are the best for the planet!     

 On Friday the 25th of October, Pocantico Alumni, Dana Desousa, came to tell the first through fourth graders about her research in Saint Croix involving protecting and breeding female leatherback turtles. She is doing her masters in PACE University. She told the students about how she worked on the beach at night putting tags on the female leatherback turtles and waited for them to lay their eggs. She would use a red light to make sure not to scare the turtles away. Next, she would add a tag to see how well they are breeding. 

Climate change, global development and sustainability are school wide themes students are investigating over the past few years.  Global citizenship and responsibility have taken off into various grades in a variety of forms whether it be in the garden program, or river studies in fourth grade.  

In Makerspace, one fifth grade classhad chosen a sustainable development goal and created a landscape of a town of a polluted town and replaced it with un-polluted houses and shops. They have created a realistic town with a lot a realistic feature. Additionally, students have created a script and recorded their work into a movie. Also, in fifth grade another class, has chosen a sustainable development goal and create an ocean with trash and plastic in it and take the trash out and make the ocean cleaner. They created an ocean with realistic features such as sea creatures and sea life. Also like the other sustainable development goal they have created an additional script with video to record their work in action. The sixth graders are also making videos with different SDG’S. 

 Some members of the Newspaper Club went around the school to interview some teachers and a superintendent. They asked them 2 questions. One was ‘What do you think about one world week?’ The other was ‘What do you think about Global warming and Climate change?’ They asked different teachers one of these questions. This is what they said: 

 Mrs. Sonne said “One of the most special things about Pocantico is its diversity. One World Week is an amazing opportunity for students and staff to take the time to learn about and appreciate, so many of the various cultures that make up Pocantico. 

 Mrs. McNamara said tha“Kids learn about climate change because they are the next generation to help the world.” 

 Mr. Calkins said “It's so vital and so important and its very necessary. Many people take it for granted. We are working on lunch materials that will be better for the environment. The electric cars should be less money for people to buy. The school is looking for better energy consumption. They want to put in solar energy into the school. We should try a going green challenge at our houses, and we should bring this up to our Student Government.       

 Mrs. Lombardo said “I think one world week is a fantastic time for our school to come together and to dedicate some time to global issues that affect us all. It was really exciting for the 3rd graders to connect with a man from Pakistan, to learn about how they have planted a million trees there to fight for climate change.” 


On March 1st, plastic bags will not be handed out in stores such as Stop and shop, Shoppe right and so on. To get a plastic bag, you must pay 50 cents. Or you can buy reusable bags or paper ones.  

Charlotte's Final Bow

Mrs. Rollman and Ms. Baer are gearing up for their grand finale, Charlotte's Web on Friday, June 7th at 9AM.  The second grade play rivals Broadway productions with their special effects and costumes.  This year's production as it will be the teachers final bow here at Pocantico.  Mrs. Rollman will retire from her teaching career and Ms. Baer has resigned to relocate south.  We wish them well and look forward to reviewing the production which is sure to be a hit!

Where in the World?

Submitted by Mrs. Morotti

As part of the Global Dimensions Initiative the eighth graders selected "Scenes from Around the World" for their eighth grade paintings.  During this semester students have researched and created outstanding pieces of artwork that interested them.  Check out the world map outside of the faculty room to see what hot spots the paintings will feature.  Artwork will be hung for the Tuesday, June 11th Art Show and stay up through graduation.        

Middle School Chorus Heads to Albany!


he sixth, seventh and eighth grade chorus of 62 traveled to our state capital building in Albany, NY as part of the Music in Our Schools Month celebration on Friday, March 15th..  Pocantico Hills was one of fifty school groups selected from the entire state to perform in the South Concourse of the State Capital.  Over the past few months students worked on new music for their spring concert but also brainstormed on their favorite pieces from their repertoire to perform for the 45 minute concert.  The sixth graders started the performance with a folk song from Japan entitled "Hitori" as well as a Swahili piece with body percussion entitled "Thula Klizeo."  The seventh and eighth grade group performed selections including "Everybody Rejoice" from the Wiz and the three grades combined to perform a poem piece by Emily Dickinson set to music by Craig Hella Johnson, "Will There Really Be a Morning?" and the finale was "Circle of Life" from the upcoming production of The Lion King. 


Opinion Piece: Why should we have to do homework? Why does homework even exist?


by DinaMarie

Picture this:  It’s a Friday afternoon and you have sports practice and then want to ice skate with your friends but by 2:57PM on Friday afternoon your assignment pad is swamped with “to do” notes that are “due” on Monday morning.  What is your typical response?  Either you skip the social date with your friends or start practicing the facial expression for your teacher when you say, “My dog ate my homework.”   

Let’s think about this, why do we get homework?  There is the idea that teachers don’t want to teach us everything, instead they want to put it on us to go home and figure it out.  It’s an annoying task. Then there’s the whole “practice makes perfect” mentality where if we don’t exercise what we know or learn that day we will lose it from our brains.  Have you ever lost the code for your smart phone?  No, neither have I but I guess we practice that a bit more often than our math skills.            

In school we do enough work.  Why do we have to do homework? Life should be about doing fun things and not stressing out about doing homework.  It’s all about experiences and life should be fun instead of worrying about getting homework done.  

Students learn a lot in school and do a lot of work so why do we have to do more at home?  Netflix can also be an informative and entertaining way to spend your time outside of the school environment.  In many work places you leave work at work.  I would like to leave school at school and enjoy my time away from the work place.   

So what are the good things about homework?  Well yes, if you actually complete the work and practice your skills you will do fairly well on your tests and quizzes.  If you’re one of those kids who never does homework and still gets good grades I would like to unlock your secret to success.   

“Piling on the homework doesn’t help kids do better in school, in fact it lowers their test scores,” states Richard Walker, an Australian researcher in a LiveScience article entitled, Too Much Homework is Bad for Kids.  

“An hour or two of homework per week usually does not impact student test scores,” according to Walker’s research.  Now we need teachers to work together and give us 1-2 hours a day.  

 What do you think?  Is homework necessary?  We want to hear from you!  Click this link to help up us understand how much time you are spending on homework and what type of assignments you think are worthwhile.  


Students Embrace Emotions in Color

by Zach

What's up with the color panels around the building?  Once again students are exploring the mood meter and making a conscious effort to be aware of their feelings and when/if they are ready to learn.  Each week students are responsible for logging their mood with one of their teachers.  To some kids this can be an annoying task but overall it does not take a long time.  

Over the first few weeks of January students also took part in a lesson regarding "Being your Best Self."  Teachers discussed how students can put their best foot forward, applying strategies to avoid frustration and how to calm yourself in high stress situations.  Many of the younger students are enjoying creating their strategies and reflecting on situations where they have felt jeopardized emotionally.  Older students however are still working to positively identify their appropriate behaviors.  Lessons will continue and students will be partaking in projects surrounding a visual projection of their best self.  

All of this work also ties into our continued character education and the concepts of perseverance, respect and kindness as visible around the school building.  

19 Ways to Be A Teacher’s Pet

 by Zach 

1. Always hand in your homework 

2.  Never talk in class 

3. Around holidays give them special gifts 

4. Talk about how much you study 

5. Get good grades 

6. Always raise your hand  

7. Do not get into drama

8. Have friends that are good just like you 

9. Sit in the front of the room 

10. Complain about not enough homework 

11. Wear nice clothes 

12. Go to school programs 

13. Ask good questions 

14. Always be in classroom discussions 

15. Always be nice to your classmates 

16. Do classroom chores for the teacher 

17. Talk to the teacher in your free time 

18. Always use your manners in class 

19. Do extra work on assignments

The Circle of Life


School Newspaper Club

Welcome to The Hawk Website!

Join us! Students in grades 5-8 are welcome to contribute to the newspaper.  Just start writing!!  Write your article and submit it to Mrs. DePaola at