skip to main content

DuffHelen B. Duffield Elementary School

600 First Street
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779-6304
Principal: Lisa Farrell

SCHOOL HOURS – 9:05 am – 3:35 pm

Important Duffield Numbers
Main Office
Dial 1
Attendance/Ms. Endlekofer Dial 2
Nurse Walters Dial 3
Psychologist/Dr. Ramonetti
Dial 4
YFS/Ms. Gugliuzzo
Dial 5
Dial 6
Principal’s Secretary/Ms. Muuss
Dial 7

Current News

Helen B. Duffield Trapped the Leprechaun

Students looking at  Principal Lisa Farrell tapped to the wall thumbnail243892
Students standing under a paper rainbow thumbnail243893
Students smiling while standing in the hallway thumbnail243894
As Helen B. Duffield Elementary School students entered the building on St. Patrick’s Day, they were astounded to see Principal Lisa Farrell dressed like a leprechaun and duct taped to the wall at the school’s entrance. Ms. Farrell was following through with a promise to the school community that the pesky leprechaun spreading mischief throughout the week would be caught if the students, faculty and staff could reach a reading goal of 15,000 minutes for the week.

The leprechaun stunt was the culmination of a weeklong Pick a Reading Partner event, sponsored by the PTA, which challenged the school community to read independently each evening to increase a love and stamina of independent reading. The theme was “Reading is Magically Delicious.” Each night a leprechaun visited several classrooms and caused a messy disaster with the students arriving each morning to leprechaun mischief. Students had to follow the clues and reach their reading goal in order to set a trap Thursday night in hopes to catch the leprechaun and end all his mischief.

Each day, students returned to school with a gold coin that was added into a pot.At the end of the week the gold coins were used as raffles to earn real gold coins. The real gold coins were used in the book vending machine to further promote literacy.Additionally, each gold coin was traded for a grade level, colored, chain linkto build a rainbow. The links were tallied each day by the math students.

The school exceeded the goal with a total of 16,800 minutes read. Fourth grade read the most minutes for the week, and second graders had the most participating gold coins.

Faculty and staff also reporting reading for 6,340 minutes.

Date Added: 3/20/2023

All Things Seuss

People standing together and smiling while dressed in Dr. Suess garb thumbnail243130
People standing together and smiling while dressed in Dr. Suess garb thumbnail243131
People standing together and smiling while dressed in Dr. Suess garb thumbnail243132
People standing together and smiling while dressed in Dr. Suess garb thumbnail243133
Helen B. Duffield Elementary School students dressed in red and white and Seuss attire to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2, followed by Read Across America on March 3. Sponsored by the National Education Foundation, Read Across America is a nationwide celebration of reading that encourages students to become excited about the written word and books.

Throughout the month of March, the students will participate in various activities, such as a “One Fish, two Fish, Guess How Many Fish” count, a Dr. Seuss scavenger hunt, read-alouds and video activities in the library’s Dr. Seuss Reading Room and interactive Seuss activities in the Reading Hallway.

In addition to wearing the iconic red and white hats, second grade students in Ms. Randazzo’s class participated in an interactive word search located in the hallway. The students searched for words included in Dr. Seuss’s books and taped a paper strip with the word onto the board.

Kindergarten students in Teresa Hewitt’s kindergarten class honed their phonics skills. Each student was given a card with a letter. As Ms. Hewitt called out a word, the students looked to see if they had the letter with the corresponding sounds to make up words like “wet” and “vet.” The exercise assisted with the students’ reading and site word skills.

Date Added: 3/8/2023

International Guests Visit Connetquot Schools

People standing in front of students playing instruments thumbnail242801
Educators in a computer room thumbnail242802
Educators standing while students use laptops thumbnail242803
People sitting and looking at a teacher thumbnail242804
People standing in a row and smiling thumbnail242805
People standing in a row and smiling thumbnail242806
People sitting at a table and talking thumbnail242807
Three people looking at a vending machine thumbnail242808
Ronkonkoma Middle School and Helen B. Duffield Elementary School showcased their buildings’ stellar educational programs and facilities during a visit by South African school administrators on Feb. 27.

Nicholas Pelser, principal of Swellendam High School, and Jaco Swart, principal of Swellendam Primary School, visited with Connetquot principals Joseph Licato and Lisa Farrell, who led the administrators through an itinerary of school activities so their guests could learn about best practices in first-world schools.

Mr. Pelser and Mr. Swart were in New York City for an education conference and thought it would be a great idea to witness education in the United States firsthand. Both administrators were interested in how schools and systems are managed abroad and were eager to learn about modern implementation of curriculum and other day-to-day administration.

Helen B. Duffield Elementary School kindergarten teaching assistant Rose Quaranta makes international connections to traveling and learning as part of her leadership role in the Ronkonkoma Rotary and invited the guests to tour the schools.

At Ronkonkoma Middle School, Mr. Licato and English teacher Justin Bradley led a tour of the guidance suite, auditorium, library and cafeteria. They also visited a communication, art, physical education and sixth grade science class. In addition to leading the guests on a tour of the building, Mrs. Farrell arranged a visit to a Fundations class, mindfulness class, a math lesson, a music lesson and science and technology class.

When asked about their impressions of the schools, both Mr. Pelser and Mr. Swart said they were most impressed by the buildings’ use and availability of technology, the students’ self-discipline, the cleanliness of the buildings, the creativity in teaching and attention to remediation and closing pandemic gaps.

“You can instantly feel that this district is a wonderful place in which to teach,” Mr. Swart said. “I will try to incorporate many of the ideas I learned today into my own school in South Africa.”

Date Added: 3/1/2023

Helen B. Duffield Elementary Holds Read Aloud Day

People sitting at a table and reading a book thumbnail242668
People sitting at a table and reading a book thumbnail242676
People sitting at a table and reading a book thumbnail242670
Students sitting on the floor while a person reads a book thumbnail242671
People sitting at a table and reading a book thumbnail242672
Three people sitting on the floor and reading a book thumbnail242673
Three people talking while sitting in chairs thumbnail242674
Four people sitting at a table and smiling thumbnail242677
Helen B. Duffield Elementary School celebrated Read Aloud Day by inviting parents, district administrators and faculty to join school classrooms to read to their child or a group of students prior to the winter break.

“The idea behind Read Aloud Day was to invite the parents back into the building after the sterile conditions of the pandemic,” Principal Lisa Farrell explained.

During a designated time, each grade dropped their normal academic schedules to just read with a guest and with other peers. By expanding World Read Aloud Day, Helen B. Duffield Elementary School classrooms not only celebrated the power of reading and sharing stories with one another, the school helped to build fluency, stamina and vocabulary.

Date Added: 2/28/2023

A Day of Play

Students sitting on the floor and playing a game thumbnail241596
Students sitting on the floor and playing a game thumbnail241597
Helen B. Duffield students put aside their Chromebooks and notebooks to celebrate Global Play Day, held on Feb. 1. Students were invited to bring in a favorite toy or game to share with peers for a day of unstructured play and interaction with classmates. Started in 2015 by a group of six educators, Global Play Day is observed annually the first Wednesday in February and promotes the importance of unstructured, regular play for children.

Principal Lisa Farrell, in a letter to parents, explained that we are still learning about the negative effects of the pandemic. Unstructured playtime allows for positive peer interaction, sorely lacking during previous school years. Playtime also relieves stress, improves brain function, stimulates the mind, boosts creativity, teaches cooperation and positively impacts social skills.

Date Added: 2/8/2023