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Committed to Excellence

High School Students Share Warmth Via Coat Drive

High School Students Share Warmth Via Coat Drive
High School Students Share Warmth Via Coat Drive 2
High School Students Share Warmth Via Coat Drive 3

The Islip High School Junior Chamber of Commerce Club recently collected gently worn and new winter coats to help the Town of Islip Youth Bureau provide coats to those in need.

Coats were collected by the Youth Bureau, the Junior Chamber and other local organizations and dropped off throughout the month of December. Students in Renee Clock’s work experience class assisted Youth Bureau Director Tim Mare in sorting and packaging the coats., which were then donated to outreach centers in Suffolk and Nassau counties, a local homeless shelter and others in the community.  

“We have been experiencing freezing temperatures, and those who need coats appreciate the generosity of our community,” said Mare.

Islip Town Councilman Jim O’Connor stopped in to donate coats and thanked the work experience students for their positive contributions to the community.

“It is great to be a part of any type of initiative that contributes to the wellbeing of our community, and participating – while teaching my students work skills and empathy – makes it that much more rewarding,” said Clock.   


Social Studies Students Attend Hofstra Political Discussion

Social Studies Students Attend Hofstra Political Discussion
High school social studies students recently attended a Hofstra University breakfast and keynote discussion with Senior Presidential Fellows Howard Dean and Ed Rollins. Dean, a former Vermont governor, Democratic presidential candidate and Democratic National Committee chairman, and Rollins, a former White House deputy chief of staff and current senior political analyst for Fox News, discussed the potential impact of the 2018 midterm elections on the 2020 presidential race, as well as taking questions from the audience.

Board of Education Meeting, 1/22/19

The next meeting of the Islip Board of Education will be held on Tuesday, January 22nd in the Sherwood Elementary School Library. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. with an Executive Session. The public portion of the meeting is expected to start at 7:30 p.m. and will feature a special presentation at "Fifth Grade: Changes and Progress" by the Sherwood team. We hope you are able to join us!

Empathy Through Bologna at Commack Road and Wing

Empathy Through Bologna at Wing
Empathy Through Bologna at Commack Road  2

Just prior to the winter break, students at Commack Road and Wing, aided by parent volunteers, decided to forgo winter crafts and concentrate on making and donating bologna sandwiches for people in need.

At Commack Road, class moms came up with the idea, and students and their families donated bread and bologna, then formed an assembly line to make more than 120 sandwiches and donate them to a nearby homeless shelter.

“The students learned empathy and loved helping a community in need,” said teacher Nicole Chirco. “The students will never forget this.”

Wing’s students, first-graders in Justin Lollo’s classroom, surpassed their initial goal of 100 and made 138 sandwiches destined for the Mercy Inn in Wyandanch. The students also decorated holiday-themed bags to put the sandwiches in. 

“This is just another sign of how Wing works together for positive youth development by giving back to the community,” said Principal Michael Giacchetto. “Engaging young children in community service helps students grow empathy and allows them to see where they fit in a society that cares for one another.”


Important Letter for All Parents

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District Art Show on Feb. 13

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Senior Tyler Nakken Demonstrates Woodworking Skills

Senior Tyler Nakken Demonstrates Woodworking Skills

High school senior Tyler Nakken, an independent study student working for the second consecutive year with technology teacher Jesse Eilbeck, recently completed several outstanding woodworking projects, including a segmented bowl made from black walnut and poplar wood that he buffed to a high shine using food-safe finish, and a traditional tea candle stand with a red oak base and tiers constructed from sapele mahogany and black walnut.

“Tyler is a focused youth in my shop classes, always striving to produce quality work,” said Eilbeck.

Nakken plans to join the military after graduation this June.




Commack Road’s Class Café Showcases Literacy

 Commack Road’s Class Café Showcases Literacy

To celebrate a focus on narrative writing, the young authors in Christine LeMaire’s fourth-grade at Commack Road opened “LeMaire’s Literacy Café,” with students rotating throughout the “café” to read and comment on the writing of their classmates.

“Sharing our small moments in time while celebrating our accomplishments helps build our class community,” said LeMaire.

Middle School Welcomes Record Number of New Students

Middle School Welcomes Record Number of New Students

This year, the middle school had a record-setting number of new student entrants – more than 50. At the same time, the school’s focus this year has been on enhancing student culture by improving both empathy and acceptance as well as student voices and leadership. In order to better welcome and acclimate the newcomers, the school planned a recent Welcome to Islip Breakfast featuring games, food and conversation, chaperoned by current student leaders.

The morning began in the gym with team building exercises, capped off with a poignant rendition of “Cross the Line,” in which students and staff were asked to step up if they met various criteria such as hailing from a different state or country or speaking a different language.

“It served as a powerful visual reminder that while we call come from different walks of life, we are all in this together and here for one another,” said Assistant Principal Bryan Miltenberg.

From there, students entered the dining room for a breakfast of bagels and juice. Each table had a student leader facilitator who had prepared questions and discussion topics. The students got to know one another, with many arriving as strangers but leaving as friends.

“I am proud to say that our student body has welcomed our newest residents with open arms,” said Principal Tim Martin. “It was a tremendous and eye-opening experience for all involved.”

“At Islip Middle School, we strive to build a culture of openness, inclusivity and acceptance,” said Miltenberg. “We treasure our growing diversity and the opportunities it brings to connect and find common ground with those who are different from us.”



High School Choir Gets in the Swing of the Holidays

High School Choir Gets in the Swing of the Holidays
High School Choir Gets in the Swing of the Holidays 2

Just before the break, the high school’s Swing choir traveled around the other district schools to serenade the younger students with favorite festive holiday songs.

“I love that Swing comes to get our kids in the holiday mood with caroling each year, and it’s so wonderful to see so many former students,” said Commack Road music teacher Michael Baur. 

Creative Choreography at Commack Road

Creative choreography at Commack Road
Eight exceptional fifth-graders at Commack Road created their own choreography for the holiday tune “Blitzen’s Boogie” and performed the dance in front of their peers at the school’s annual holiday sing-along on Dec. 21.

Wing’s Young Singers Kick Off the Season with Winter Show

Wing’s Young Singers Kick Off the Season with Winter Show

With an auditorium full of proud parents listening with joy, the smiling youngsters of Wing put on a lovely holiday-themed vocal performance at the annual Winter Show.

Guided by music teachers Deanna Cupolo and Keelan Muscara, the students began the concert with the amusing “Don’t Eat the Poinsettia,” followed by “I Have a Little Dreidel,” “Este es la Navidad” and “Gingerbread Cookies.” Wing’s singers closed out the show with a high-energy rendition of “North Pole Rock ’n’ Roll.”

“Our youngest of performers did an incredible job,” said Principal Michael Giacchetto. “What a great way to kick off our holiday season. A big thank you to Ms. Cupolo and Mr. Muscara for all of their hard work.”

 

Generosity on Display as WLHS Holds Successful Toy Drive

Generosity on Display as WLHS Holds Successful Toy Drive
Generosity on Display as WLHS Holds Successful Toy Drive 2
Generosity on Display as WLHS Holds Successful Toy Drive 3

Blessed with a generous community intent on helping the less fortunate during the holiday season, the World Language Honor Society at the high school collected numerous toys and gifts for needy Suffolk County children as well as items for homeless outreach.

The dedicated club members were joined on Dec. 18 by WLHS advisers Sarah Ito and Megan Schierhorst and World Language Department Coordinator Priscilla Zarate as they welcomed the Suffolk County Department of Social Services, who picked up the donations with the assistance of the students.

“The students and staff at Islip are incredibly generous,” said Schierhorst, “and this overwhelming outpouring of generosity will make the holidays great for a lot of kids.”


‘Little Mermaid’ a Triumph for Self-Reliant Student Performers

‘Little Mermaid’ a Triumph for Self-Reliant Student Performers

At the high school’s colorful musical production of the Disney classic “The Little Mermaid,” presented on Dec 6-8. the performers ran the show, impressing both audience and the educators involved.

“The students took on every element of mounting a full stage production, from lighting and sound to choreography and staging,” said Dr. Rich Harris Jr., the musical’s director. “They have yet again raised the bar not just as performers but as problem solvers, artists and storytellers.”

The cast of gifted and self-reliant students from the school’s performing arts class included Toni Castronova and Allie Morrissey as Ariel, Brandon Larson as Prince Eric, John Esposito and Joseph Leo as Grimsby, Mercedes Rocha and Rebecca Seara as Flounder, Zach Center and Ryan DelGenio as Scuttle, Matthew Mahr as King Triton, Nick D’Auria as Sebastian, Rachel Finz and Katy Zurbaran as Flotsam, Taylor Austin and Rachel Nettuno as Jetsam, Tyler Cirulnick and Noelle Richard as Ursula, Frank Neri as Chef Louis and Pilot, Emmanuel Argueta as Windward, Matthew Leo as Leeward, and Deja Boucher-Weiss and Grace Colwell as Carlotta.

“With ‘The Little Mermaid,’ Dr. Harris and his students made real a vision I voiced 10 years ago – a completely student-run production,” said Vincent Green, director of fine and performing arts. “From the moment the curtain opened until the last curtain call, not a single adult was involved.”

High Schoolers Meet Icons of Freedom at Touro Symposium

High Schoolers Meet Icons of Freedom at Touro Symposium
High Schoolers Meet Icons of Freedom at Touro Symposium 2

Students from Islip High School, accompanied by teacher Melissa LiPetri, recently participated in the “Icons of Freedom V: Student Speech and Press in American Democracy” symposium at the Touro Law Center in Central Islip. The program, presented by Touro in partnership with Project PATCH, the Northport-East Northport School District’s law and civic education program, featured guest speakers Cathy Kuhlmeir Frey and Mary Beth Tinker, both hailed as “icons of freedom.” Kuhlmeier Frey was the lead litigant in “Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier,” the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on student free press rights in a school setting, while Tinker was a lead litigant in another landmark Supreme Court case, “Tinker v. Des Moines,” which set the authoritative precedent on the free speech rights of students under the 1st Amendment.

Seventeen from Islip Recognized as AP Scholars

 Seventeen from Islip Recognized as AP Scholars

Seventeen diligent high school students were recently recognized as AP Scholars, by the College Board, honoring their outstanding college-level academic achievement on Advanced Placement courses and exams.

Victoria Arthus, Nicholas Nilsen, Meg Rumplick and Matthew Southard were named 2018 AP Scholars with Distinction, awarded to students who earn an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. 

Ralph Barbato and Shweta Karmakar were named 2018 AP Scholars with Honor, awarded to students who earn an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. 

Ryan Becvar, Lauren Cottral, Gillian Csoban, Ahkayla Davies, Hailey Franco, Jenna Gologorsky, Delaney Hardekopf, Meaghan Lawrence, Logan Powers, James Rindos and Masin Ryerson were named 2018 AP Scholars, awarded to students who earn an average score of at least 3 or higher on three or more AP exams. 

Commack Road Students Show Off Dribbling Skills in PE Class

Commack Road Students Show Off Dribbling Skills in PE Class
Commack Road Students Show Off Dribbling Skills in PE Class 2
Commack Road Students Show Off Dribbling Skills in PE Class 3
Students at Commack Road showed off some dribbling skills during a recent physical education class focused on basketball. Students were challenged to go as low as they could while keeping the ball bouncing. The class proved a fun way to enhance the young athletes’ skills and encourage social interaction.

Coleman and Giuliani Named Suffolk Zone Winners

Coleman and Giuliani Named Suffolk Zone Winners
Coleman and Giuliani Named Suffolk Zone Winners 2
Coleman and Giuliani Named Suffolk Zone Winners 3

High school seniors Riley Coleman and Chris Giuliani earned 2018-2019 Suffolk Zone Awards, bestowed at the Suffolk Zone Awards dinner at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook, held on Nov. 28.

The awards are presented each year by the Suffolk Zone Chapter of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance to the top male and female physical education students in each Suffolk County high school’s graduating class. Winners must earn an A average or above 90 in physical education and health classes as well as an overall grade point average of 3.0, must be a physical education role model, and must demonstrate outstanding character and leadership both in class activities and schoolwide.

MS Principals Discuss Self-Awareness at LIASCD Conference

MS Principals Discuss Self-Assessment at LIASCD Conference

Middle School Assistant Principal Bryan Miltenberg and Principal Timothy Martin recently gave a presentation to a packed room of more than 50 educators at the Long Island Association of Curriculum and Development’s annual fall conference.

The two administrators’ LIASCD presentation was titled “IN-Sight: How the Power of Self-Assessment Can Help Leaders Lead Better, Teachers Teach Better, and Students Learn Better.” It set out to explain how new research shows that not only is it possible to build these critical “in”-sights, it can be transformational for leading and learning. Based on the writings of The Tasha Eurich book “Insight: Why Were Not as Self-Aware as We Think, and How Seeing Ourselves Clearly Helps Us Succeed at Work and in Life” served as the anchor text used to debunk myths about self-awareness, identify and overcome blind spots, and explore how self-awareness can transform our work.

“Mindful, self-aware leadership helps prepare school leaders to better meet the needs of teachers, students and the community, and models an effective mindset that students can carry with them into any life situation,” said Miltenberg.

“My passion for the need of continuous personal and professional reflection on a daily basis is what keeps me in tuned to the daily wants and needs of our students,” said Martin. “Self-awareness is a critical component of my reflection.”


Six High School Students Earn AP Capstone Awards

Six High School Students Earn AP Capstone Awards
Six High School Students Earn AP Capstone Awards 2

Showcasing the success of the high school’s AP Capstone program and the hard work of the students enrolled in it, Matthew Southard recently was awarded an AP Capstone Diploma, and fellow students Ashley Danz, Kimberly Ferrufino, Delaney Hardekopf, Logan Powers and Meg Rumplick earned AP Seminar and Research Certificates.

AP Capstone, a College Board diploma program, is based on two yearlong AP courses, AP Seminar and AP Research. Students earning scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate, while students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research as well as four additional AP exams receive the AP Capstone Diploma.


Middle Schoolers Learn to Be Conservationists at Carlls River

Middle Schoolers Learn to Be Conservationists at Carlls River

Eighth-graders in AnnMarie Mills’ life science class at the middle school recently put on their waders and participated in a the annual “A Day in the Life of a River” field trip.  With the help of natural resource experts and several other middle school teachers, the students engaged in hands-on citizen science exploration at Carlls River in Babylon.

The students were captivated by the natural wonders of the forest with the guidance of renowned Seatuck Environmental Association naturalist and conservationist John Turner, who transformed a leisurely stroll through the woods into an interactive learning experience. Students identified birds, native plants and insects on their journey as well as experiencing firsthand the harmful effects of plastic pollution on Long Island’s freshwater ecosystems. 

“Every step these young naturalists took that day brought them closer to becoming future conservationists themselves,” said Mills.

“A Day in the Life,” coordinated by the Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Central Pine Barrens Commission, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Seatuck Environmental Association and the Suffolk County Water Authority, focuses on students exploring and collecting firsthand information to learn how their river fits into the larger ecosystem. At Carlls River, the students examined the physical and chemical aspects of each aquatic ecosystem, such as salinity, the amount of sediments, nitrates, phosphates, and oxygen levels in the water, as well as conducting biodiversity inventories of the flora and fauna in and around the rivers and estuary from the headwaters to the mouth of the river.  Their work will help to determine the health of the aquatic ecosystem and the river’s biodiversity.

This year the students enjoyed using a variety of nets purchased by the district – including a seining net, dip nets and a cast net – to capture freshwater critters.

“The students were thrilled to put the nets to good use,” said Mills. “The day was filled with discoveries including crayfish, bluegills, a largemouth bass and pumpkinseed fish.”

“A Day in the Life helps students develop an appreciation for and knowledge of Long Island’s river and estuary ecosystems and collect useful scientific data,” said program coordinator Melissa Griffiths Parrott. “It teaches students to become stewards of water quality and connected to Suffolk County’s spectacular natural resources.”








Plant Scientists Make Observations at Commack Road

Plant Scientists Make Observations at Commack Road

In the “Amplify Science” unit, students in Cheryl Yodis Brown’s class at Commack Road learned about different plant habitats such as the broadleaf forest, rainforest and wetlands. After reading the book “My Nature Notebook,” the students ventured outside to observe the school’s grounds. Acting as true plant scientists, they chose a small area and marked their spot with a string, then wrote weekly observations about what they noticed.




Sherwood Fifth-Graders Act the Part on Biography Day

Sherwood Fifth-Graders Act the Part on Biography Day

Fifth-graders at Sherwood got into the act of impersonating biographical characters at the recent Biography Day event in the school gymnasium. Each year, the students select and dress up as favorite past or current persons from fields such as sports, music, history, science, art and politics, displaying their depth of knowledge on these figures to the amazement of visiting family members.

Arthus and Southard Named National Merit Commended Students

Arthus and Southard Named National Merit Commended Students
Seniors Victoria Arthus and Matthew Southard were recently named Commended Students by the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program, in recognition of their outstanding results in the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Arthus and Southard both finished among the top 50,000 scorers out of more than 1.6 million students nationwide participating in the annual competition.