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Long Beach Middle School

English Language Arts Department

Core Values

We believe in cultivating a sense of community in our classrooms wherein students feel nurtured, safe to express themselves, and encouraged to take risks. These class communities will be challenged to work together to solve problems, and students will be required to be fair and respectful. We strive to help them to understand the inherent value of effort. We value students' individuality and talents, and we teach to diverse learning styles using multiple strategies. We believe students deserve multiple opportunities to be successful, but they must also be held accountable for their work and behavior. It is our goal to make clear connections between what is happening in the classroom and what is happening in the world at large. We work to help students develop an appreciation for literature and how it relates to their own lives. Ultimately, we want students to grow as individuals, readers, writers, and thinkers.


The LBMS Language Arts program uses an integrated language approach to teach reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Teachers provide activities which encourage students to:

  • read for content and enjoyment
  • write complete sentences and well organized paragraphs
  • employ correct usage in writing and speaking
  • speak well before a group
  • listen and follow directions
  • use library reference and research skills
  • use new and colorful words in writing creatively
  • build vocabulary
  • compile narrative, argument, research, explanatory, and expository samples of writing in a person writing portfolio.  See an example of the range of writing experiences our students will create this year: See MS Writing Portfolios

Whole-Class Novels List

Current News

Moving Up from Middle School

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Long Beach Middle School’s eighth grade graduates celebrated their advancement to high school with a Moving-Up Ceremony, held on June 24 on Veteran’s Field. The students have experienced an educational program based on philosophies that serve as guiding principles throughout life.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Senator Todd Kaminsky presented two awards. Interim Principal Keith Biesma facilitated the event and addressed the graduates.

“Each day and every day our students rose to the challenge and overcame the struggles presented to us in this pandemic,” Mr. Biesma said. “Our students were faced with the task of getting accustomed to wearing masks, socially distant classrooms and cafeteria and adjusting to new safety protocols while at the same time learning about history, writing essays, practicing math and preparing for science exams. The word that best describes our students, faculty and staff is resilient.”

Students performed the song “When I Grow Up,” which was followed by inspiring remarks from Board of Education President Tina Posterli, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jennifer Gallagher and Middle School Principal Lorie Beard.

Halfway through the presentation of diplomas and special awards, Student Organization President Mackenzie Brodsky-Torres shared reflections on behalf of her peers. As the evening concluded, Long Beach High School Principal Jeffrey Myers welcomed the incoming freshmen to the exciting chapter ahead.

Students Brighten LBMS With No Place for Hate Mural

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Long Beach Middle School students, under the guidance of art teacher Laura Swan, created a mural that illustrates the building’s No Place for Hate mission. The mosaic painting features various elements that together represent the school’s unity.

The piece is based on the Middle School’s mascot, the dolphin, which represents courage, self-confidence, virtue and strength. The ocean symbolizes connection and the notion that tumultuous waters can be endured when working together and supporting one another.

Ms. Swan spearheaded the initiative in partnership with the district’s No Place for Hate Committee, and her class members organized the project. In March, a two-day schoolwide assembly offered all students, including remote learners, an opportunity to paint index cards with specific colors designated by grade level. The completed cards were then intricately cut into mosaic pieces and fit within three dolphins signifying school-wide unity and collaboration.

The finished product, which took four months to create, also depicts ocean waves and a sunset-illuminated sky, and displays the text, “LBMS” and “No Place for Hate.” The mural is proudly on permanent display at Long Beach Middle School.

LBMS Topples Records and Helps Food Pantries

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Long Beach Middle School students and staff members set out together on a mission to break a world record while making a difference to those in need. Students and staff members spent weeks collecting thousands of new, unopened boxes of cereal, and on May 26, they put their plan in motion to set the Guinness World Record for Most Cereal Boxes Toppled in Domino Fashion. Following the highly anticipated and successful run, all cereal was donated to local food pantries.

The initiative’s coordinators, William Papetti, Walter Kramme, Patricia Van Loon and Michael Vasikauskas, walked students through multiple practice rounds earlier in the week and oversaw the entire cereal donation drive leading up to the day of the attempt. Students, many of whom represented National Honor Society and Student Government, sprang into action after school as they worked with faculty members to carefully assemble the boxes in neatly organized rows throughout the hallways. They were joined by members of the Board of Education, administration and staff to watch the new record take form.

The middle school raised more than $5,500 in donations for cereal, and more than 6,500 cereal boxes were donated from students, staff, and community members. Participants lined up 6,419 boxes and successfully toppled 6,394 of them – a number that is more than double what the Guinness World Record was at the onset of the Long Beach group’s endeavor.

“We had students that worked tirelessly these past three weeks, giving up lunch periods, day after day, to mark off every eight inches throughout the entire school, sort cereal by size, kind, and weight, transport cereal to different locations or test out different configurations that might or might not topple,” Mr. Papetti said. “Whatever needed to be done, the students were there for it.”

“This has truly been a mark of all stakeholders in the community,” Mr. Kramme said. “Students have been unbelievable in collecting boxes and really took such a headway in getting this going.”

Watch the unedited footage here!

LB Odyssey of the Mind Teams Win NYS State Competition, Advance to Worlds

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Three of the Long Beach Public Schools’ Odyssey of the Mind teams earned top results in the virtual State competition and have qualified for World finals. Two groups from Long Beach Middle School won first and second place in their division and an elementary team placed second as well.

Each group took on a different challenge. The first place winners, who worked on the “Super Socks” problem, included middle school students Sydney Bergstein, Aaron Blau, Shane Haglich, Jordan Soriano, Mia Rose Techera, Aaliyah Trichter and Sebastian Triola. The middle school’s second place team completed the “OMER and the Beanstalk” problem and is comprised of Isabelle DePalma, Catherine Maguire, Marin Meola, Lucinda Nash, Kate Ragona and Kasper Yanowitch.

The second place elementary group, which solved “Problem 2: A Virtual Odyssey,” included Nathan Bregman, Emilio Diaz, Patrick Maguire, Sofia Milito, Calie Spitz, Jackson Spitz and Maximo Vitolo. Two other elementary squads did an excellent job as well. Maven Aull, Maya Cohen, Bianca Leible, Max Mason,  Shayna Tozer,  Christopher Montoya, Katherine O' Brein took on “Problem 3: Classics…OMER and the Beanstalk” and placed fourth, while Charlotte DePalma, Arlo Fox, Victor Zolley, Jack Biancamano, Colby Donaldson and Brooklyn Quigley came in eighth place for “Problem 5: Super Hero Socks.”

Middle school teams were coached by Susan Kasper and Douglas MacConnell, and the elementary students were coached by Mr. McConnell and Justin Sulsky.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international competition that provides its participants the opportunity to solve defined problems using a predetermined set of rules for the team to follow. Participants were required to write skits, create costumes and scenery, and perform an 8-minute skit according to the guidelines. The World level will feature students from each state and more than 20 different countries.






LBMS Students Earn Flawless Scores in WordMasters Challenge™

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Two sixth grade Activities Promoting Thinking students representing Long Beach Middle School recently received perfect scores of 20 in the second of three meets in this year’s WordMasters Challenge™—a national vocabulary competition involving nearly 125,000 students annually.

Competing in the very difficult Gold Division of the WordMasters Challenge™, sixth graders Ronin Morita and Jordan Soriano are among only 24 sixth graders across the nation who achieved perfection. Long Beach Middle School sixth grader Sydney Bergstein also attained outstanding results in the meet.

The students were coached in preparation for the WordMasters Challenge™ by sixth grade APT teacher Walter Kramme. Students are now looking forward to taking the third and final challenge at the end of April.

The WordMasters Challenge™ is an exercise in critical thinking that first encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words (considerably harder than grade level), and then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies expressing various kinds of logical relationships. Working to solve the analogies helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically.