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Nyack Schools Report

Nyack’s New STREAM Program Aims to Build Problem Solvers

In our Nyack Schools Report, we do our best to highlight the most important ideas, decisions and debates coming out of each monthly meeting of the Nyack School Board.

The November meeting, which mostly focused on the district’s new science and technology program, began with a moment of silence for the victims of the gun violence on the University of Virginia campus, where several Nyack alumni and family members attend.

But the primary focus of the meeting was on the STREAM (Science Technology, Research Engineering Art Math) program that began last year with a summer program.

The school year STREAM programs are delivered in the Global learning commons spaces at each elementary school — formerly the library spaces. It is project-based learning where students think deeply while engaged in solving problems.

To demonstrate the nature of the program, Keva blocks and blue foam were distributed to small groups on the Board and they were asked to build a bridge in 60 seconds after a short lesson in ecology in Brazil.

[Click here to the STREAM program in action!]

Board members declared it the most fun they’d had at a meeting.

Nyack’s STREAM program now consists of two specialists, both long time teachers (one full time and one part time), Frankie White and Dean Gianakouros, who deliver 45-minute lessons for K-5 classes in all three elementary schools.

It will run once per week for grades K-2 from October through January and for grades 3-5 from February through June.

The team is working on incorporating special education students.

Officials say the program will address state standards in data fluency and next generation science. It will be integrated with content already being driven in the classroom. They say teacher participation is critical in that process and that feedback from students and teachers has been very positive.

The team hopes to expand next year to be able to serve all K-5 students weekly all year and possibly into after school enrichment.

What’s next? How can I learn more?

The Nyack school board generally meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at the administration building (13A Dickinson Avenue, Nyack, NY), although times and locations are subject to change (find upcoming dates here).

The next meeting is on December 13th and will focus on Project Xcel – the middle school program in collaboration with Texas A&M researcher Dr. Jamilia Blake to provide culturally responsive classroom management. The January 15th meeting will focus on recommendations for the Family Resource Centers.

Click here to find out when and where you can attend upcoming meetings. To listen to a podcast of recent meetings, click here.

The next meeting is on December 13th and will focus on Project Xcel – the middle school program in collaboration with Texas A&M researcher Dr. Jamilia Blake to provide culturally responsive classroom management.

The January 15th meeting will focus on recommendations for the Family Resource Centers.


Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.


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