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Amityville and Islip Enjoy Cultural Exchange

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In an effort to expose students to diversity among their peers, 40 students from Amityville Memorial High School visited Islip to participate in a cultural exchange program. Islip’s high schoolerss had previously visited Amityville for a similar event in December 2016.

To kick off the cultural exchange, the Amityville and Islip students enjoyed a breakfast and participated in various icebreaker activities. Students from the two schools were paired, and the Amityville students shadowed the Islip students and attended classes throughout the day. The event concluded with both sets of students sharing their experiences with the group.

Challenge Day Documents


Seven Islip Grads Earn NYS Scholarship for Academic Excellence

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Seven 2017 graduates – Kelly Conway, Brendan Mercado, Patrick Mugan, Kenneth Ortega, Mimita Rahman, Kyle Sapia and Robert Vonderahe – were recognized for the New York State Education Department’s Scholarship for Academic Excellence.

The annual award, which can only be used if a winning student  attends college in New York State, is based on students’ Regents exam scores. The number of students who receive it is calculated on the previous graduating class size. The student with the highest Regents exam average receives $1,500 – this year, Mercado earned this top spot – and the rest receive $500.

Five of the 2017 winners will attend college in New York: Mercado and Ortega at Cornell University, Rahman at City College of New York, and Conway and Mugan at Binghamton University.

Sex Offender Notification

In our continued effort to ensure that the safety of our students is never compromised, we wish to communicate information provided to our District. We have been notified by Suffolk County Police Department of a Risk Level 2 sex offender residing in the Islip School District. For additional information, you may wish to visit the Parents for Megan's Law website, You may also see the letter from SCPD which is linked below.

Residents without internet access may utilize computers at the Islip Public Library. In addition, information is available for pick-up in person at the administration building. Proof of residency is required. While the hamlet of Islip is a very safe community, when information such as this is made known to us, we must all take the opportunity to review safety rules with our children and remind them to be alert and careful so they will avoid situations that could place them in harm's way. More information on Suffolk County Police Department's notification procedure may be found below.


Letter to Parents Regarding Highly Qualified Teachers

Please see the attached letter from Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction, Dr. Ellen Semel, regarding highly qualified teachers.

Graduate Kyle Sapia Earns $2,000 ASSET Scholarship


High school graduate Kyle Sapia, a member of the school’s Class of 2017, was recently named a recipient of the 2017 Association of Suffolk Supervisors for Educational Technology scholarship. Sapia was one of only 12 winners of this $2,000 scholarship by in Suffolk County, and attended ASSET’s annual scholarship luncheon at Captain Bill’s in Bay Shore. He will attend Delaware University this fall.

ASSET exists to enhance teaching and learning in school districts through the use of educational technologies by encouraging the integration of technology into the K-12 curriculum. The organization provides the annual scholarship to students who appreciate technology and are pursuing a career in that field.

Health Advisory: Powassan Virus

Please see the attached Health Advisory from the New York State Department of Health regarding the Powassan Virus.

EXCEL Students Show a Solid Grasp of Math

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Fifth-grade students in Islip’s EXCEL program created 3D Platonic solids for use in playing math games. Platonic solids, named for the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, are the five convex polyhedrons – the tetrahedron, cube, dodecahedron, octahedron and icosahedron – with congruent regular polygonal faces with the same number of faces meeting at each vertex. 

IMPORTANT My School Bucks Information

Please be advised that the My School Bucks payment system will be off-line for maintenance. Do not make any payments to your child's account until August 23, 2017. Thank you for your cooperation.

Gina Seymour Honored by ‘Library Journal’

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High school library media specialist Gina Seymour was named a “Mover & Shaker” in the library industry by the national publication “Library Journal.” In a recent issue, “Library Journal” chose 52 outstanding professionals committed to providing excellent service and shaping the future of libraries. Seymour was selected because of her commitment to the profession and for her unique inclusive programming. Seymour’s MakerCare initiative, using the school library makerspace to teach teens about social action and civic engagement, has inspired students to make needed items to be donated to community and global agencies.

Seymour, who has served as Islip’s library media specialist for 12 years, was the recipient of the Suffolk School Library Media Association’s 2014 School Librarian of the Year award and is also an adjunct professor at the St. John’s University Department of Library and Information Science. Seymour is currently working on a book, “Makers with a Cause,” scheduled to be published in 2018.

“It was an honor and a humbling experience to be included among this distinguished list of librarians,” said Seymour. “With the rise of library makerspaces across the country , I am pleased to bring attention to our inclusive practices and inspiring service model as components of maker education.”

HS Video Students Take 10th Place in Film Challenge

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A trio of high school video production students – Selia Mercado, Nancy Pramanand and Lauryn Valdez – took 10th place in New York State for their superhero-themed short film “The Masked Monitor,” competing in the prestigious and grueling 10 Day School Film Challenge. The three young filmmakers were also co-awarded Best Use of Music in a Video, and received a certificate for their accomplishments.

The 10 Day Film Challenge, which evolved from the concept behind the 48 Hour Film Project, required participants to write, shoot, edit and score a movie in just 10 school days, as well as preparing a screenplay and movie poster, all while working only during video class. No work was allowed after school, at night, on weekends or at home. The state competition drew 70 film entries submitted by 29 high schools, with the top five films advancing to the national finals. Nationwide, approximately 1,800 films were submitted

“On day one, the groups picked a genre out of a hat,” said teacher Mike Reilly, explaining the process. “That morning, we were also emailed the main character’s name and backstory, line of dialogue, prop and cinematic technique that all needed to be incorporated into our stories.”

“This project was a difficult and grueling one, but enjoyable and challenging at the same time,” said Pramanand. “I want to study film and editing in college, so this type of project was great for my resume as well as challenging my skill sets so far.”

“This was a tremendous success, considering that it was Islip’s first year in the 10 Day School Film Challenge as well as our first full year offering the video production class,” said Reilly. “The course, and this competition in particular, encompass numerous areas of study including reading, writing and technology. We live in the mecca of social media, communication, advertising, and television and film production, so a class in video production was needed, warranted and requested by the students and community. It certainly prepares our interested students for college and career ready status. We are truly proud and excited about our current accomplishments as well as what the future will entail for us and Islip, as several of our video production students want to pursue careers in the video production, advertising and communications fields.”

Co-Valedictorians Reconnect with Their Teachers

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For the second consecutive year, the high school held a special reception to reunite Class of 2017 co-valedictorians Brendan Mercado and Kenneth Ortega with all of their former high school, middle school and elementary school teachers. At the June 21 reception, held the day prior to commencement, the educators helped the pair of seniors celebrate their achievement, culminating in a group photo on the high school’s athletic field.

“Success doesn’t come instantly, it is a reward of several years of hard work,” said Principal Michael Mosca, explaining the idea behind the reception. “In that time, these young men have had the tutelage of many wonderful professionals. These teachers and administrators were all major contributors to Brendan’s and Kenny’s success. This event gives our valedictorians the opportunity to reconnect and thank all of them. For our educators, it provides a full perspective of the educational journey that we only get to experience a small piece of. We wanted everyone who helped them on this journey to have the opportunity to be part of their big day.”

Generations Interact as Seniors Walk through Wing

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Continuing a new Islip tradition begun last year by Michael Mosca and Dr. Christopher Smalley, the respective principals of the high school and Wing, the graduating seniors of the Class of 2017 paid a visit to Wing on June 20. Dressed in their purple and white caps and gowns, the future alumni walked through the halls and around the playground, interacting with the younger students and reconnecting with their own educational past. To the delight of the children of Wing, the walkers this year included the high school’s Buccaneers mascot.

“We wanted to give our students the opportunity to visit the place where their educational journey began,” said Mosca. “This experience also gives our kindergarten and first-grade students a glimpse into the future and a goal to strive for.”

Class of 2017 Celebrates Goals Old and New

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As the 235 seniors in the high school’s Class of 2017 walked onto the athletic field on June 22, clad in purple and white, the first phase of their educational journey was about to conclude in a moving and memorable fashion.

“It amazes me how fast these four years have gone, but then again, it is only natural that time passes quickly when attending such a great school like Islip,” said co-valedictorian Kenneth Ortega. “The amazing friends, teachers and faculty have made my years at Islip High School unforgettable.”

He went on to urge his fellow graduates to seek out positive, supportive people.

“Islip has taught me that we need people who are going to push us to do our absolute best,” he said. “At times we will feel lost in the world, but if we surround ourselves with people who truly want to see us succeed, they will be able to help us reach our goals.”

Board of Education trustee Mary Ann Coughlin, whose son Quinn Coughlin was among the graduates, told them, “Success itself is universal, the journey is what is different.”

Senior Nicole Poliandro, who had kicked off the commencement with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” sang a soaring, sparkling rendition of Darren Criss’ “This Time.”

Principal Michael Mosca spoke of the value of perseverance, the perils of instant gratification and the long, hard road to true success in the real world.

“If this class were an Olympic team, we might not always win gold, but our work ethic, ability to take risks and compassion for each other would always make us successful,” he said. “I’ve found that each and every one of you has something to contribute to our team. Your successes and the ways you’ve overcome setbacks convince me that each of you has something to teach and a story worth telling.”

The penultimate speech – and most unconventional – was from co-valedictorian Brendan Mercado.

“I want to speak to everyone today in a language that I’ve understood longer and loved more than any other, and that’s music,” he said. “There’s a lot of good songs out there, but how many times have you stopped and thought about what their message really was? I searched through all my favorite songs and picked the ones that I felt had some wisdom to share with you.”

Mercado then strapped on a guitar, to the delight of the crowd, and performed excerpts from eight popular songs: Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” The Beatles’ “Yesterday,” Smash Mouth’s “All Star,” “Drake and Josh” theme song “I Found a Way,” Alphaville’s “Forever Young” and Green Day’s “Time of Your Life.”

Finally, Superintendent Susan Schnebel spoke from the heart, urging the young men and women to be unique to be successful.
She told them, “This is certainly a time in your life when you have reached a goal set for yourself years before. It’s an excellent point at which to begin fashioning new goals for the future.”

Diplomas were conferred, caps were tossed into the sky, and the high school’s wind ensemble and concert band began to play the recessional “Fairest of the Fair.” By the time the new alumni strode off the stadium track and on to celebrations with family and friends, the sun was starting to set, and a new era for all began.

A Day of Red, White and Blue at Commack Road

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Urged on by the patriotic tones of the CRES TrebleMakers vocal ensemble, performing the national anthem and “America the Beautiful,” Commack Road celebrated Flag Day with a sea of red, white and blue.  Special guests included Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi, Islip Town Councilman Steve Flotteron and Roby Johnson, the commander of American Legion Rusy Bohm Post 411.

Principal Brian McCarthy presented student contest awards – one for each grade – to third-grader Amanda Owen, fourth-grader Amy Marconi and fifth-grader Carly Herrington, as well as an academic award to Ryan Kelly and a music award to Rebecca Leo.