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Important Letter for High School Parents

Please click here to see the letter from Superintendent Susan Schnebel

NYSDOH Health Advisory

Please see the attached Measles Exposure Health Advisory from the New York Department of Health. While the potential exposures occurred in upstate New York, we wanted our community to be aware in case you or anyone you know may have traveled in the area recently.

Attachments:

Six Students from Islip Earn Achievement Awards

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Six outstanding high school students – Jeffrey Atlas, Samantha Guerra, Plabon Paul, Kyle Renwick, Tiffani Sabolchick and Angela Santaniello – were recently honored with Town of Islip Student Achievement Awards.

Teachers and administrators nominate students for this annual award in a number of categories, and write letters of recommendation for them. Atlas was nominated by Jason Franz in the athletics category, Guerra by Gina Seymour for service to people in need, Paul by Nicole Hall and Assistant Principal Lisa Ward for technology, Renwick by Lorraine Knoblauch for fine arts, Sabolchick by Robert Russell for social studies and Santaniello by Pina Prainito for secondary language (Italian).

The students received certificates at Islip Town Hall. Additionally, the Islip Retired Teachers Association awarded $25 to each winner, and the IRTA’s Diana Baranec and Marilyn Gutierrez visited the school to present the students with their checks.

Islip’s Family and Consumer Science Program Earns Recognition

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 Students at the high school and middle school recently participated in the 2017 Long Island Family and Consumer Sciences Challenge, in which they competed to create innovative and user-friendly projects that take new approaches to real-life challenges.
 
Each challenge required students to complete an application and follow the LIFACS four-point scale rubric. Guided by FACS teachers Natalie Hamilton and Heidi Stevens, the Islip students developed their projects to submit to the LIFACS competition.
 
Three Islip students took home first-place awards in three different categories for both middle school and high school divisions. Sixth-graders Kyle Widecki and Emily Wirth were named grand prize winners in the “Let Them Eat Cake” and “It’s Not Easy Being Green” challenges. Junior Nancy Pramanand was the grand prize “Snack Attack” winner. Each winning student received a $100 cash prize and certificate.
 
Additionally, Hamilton was awarded the Promising New Professional Award for Suffolk County, recognizing her excellence in the classroom and her profession.
 
Islip’s winners were subsequently honored at the LIFACS Spring Professional Development Conference, held on April 28 at Fox Hollow in Woodbury.

Class of 2017 Co-Valedictorians

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Islip’s Wayne Mennecke Honored as a Teacher of Excellence

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High school science teacher Wayne Mennecke was honored at the second annual Teacher of Excellence Awards ceremony, hosted by State Sen. Phil Boyle at the Bay Shore Fire Department on May 4. 

“We celebrated the achievements of 16 outstanding educators and school professionals who have dedicated their lives to teaching and helping their students learn, thrive, and reach their fullest potential,” said Boyle. “Our school communities are so very fortunate to have such passionate educators.”

In addition to inspiring his students in science classes at Islip High School, Mennecke is an ardent environmentalist, published poet and active member of the Islip community.

“Mr. Mennecke is held in high regard by his students, peers, administration and the community,” said Superintendent Susan Schnebel. “The work that he does, both in the classroom and in the community, exemplifies his commitment to the students and the environment. He is truly deserving of this recognition.”

As an educator, Mennecke has been at the forefront of utilizing technology in the classroom, and was one of the first teachers in the district to begin using an interactive white board for his lessons.  Over the course of a 20-year career, he has taught Regents living environment and chemistry, marine biology, AP biology, and anatomy and physiology. He has been the adviser of the high school’s Keep Islip Clean environmental club for many years, overseeing a large group of KIC junior commissioners each year and encouraging students to undertake environmental activism at the local level through community cleanups and beautification events. 

Mennecke spends every other summer in the badlands of North Dakota and Montana, hunting for dinosaur fossils with the Marmarth Research Foundation, a group of paleontologists that works closely with teachers and students in their educational field program. Mennecke is a published poet, and his work has appeared in “Hanging Loose,” “Avocet,” “Long Island Quarterly” and the environmental anthology “Fracture:  Essays, Poems and Stories on Fracking in America.” His first book of poetry, “Pencils Down,” was published in January 2017.

“It is an honor to receive this award from Sen. Boyle,” said Mennecke. “I am fortunate to work with so many amazing, dedicated teachers and faculty members at Islip High School. It is a pleasure to come to Islip every day, where I not only teach biology to my students but learn from them as well. Through KIC Club and community organizations like Seatuck, students become global citizens while acting locally on behalf of the environment. I thank everyone, especially my awesome wife Suzanne and my daughter Katerina.”

Board of Education Meeting, Tuesday, June 6th

The next meeting of the Islip Board of Education will be on Tuesday, June 6th beginning with an Executive Session at 6:45 p.m. The public business portion of the meeting is expected to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Islip Middle School Library and will include recognition of Islip's Special Olympics athletes. We hope you are able to join us!

Thank You Letter to the Community

Please see the attached letter from Superintendent Susan Schnebel.

A Dome Demonstration by EXCEL

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Demonstrating the power of teamwork, communication and perseverance, fifth-graders in Islip’s EXCEL program constructed a geodesic dome out of nothing more than newspaper, a bit of tape and lot of hard work.

Budget Passes!

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The Islip School District's 2017-2018 budget passed on May 16, with residents casting 988 yes votes to 372 no votes. The district thanks the community for voting.

For the Board of Education, incumbent trustee Philip Dineen, running unopposed, was reelected, winning 952 votes.

In the race for the trustee seat of incumbent David Twomey, challenger Kelly Vallette was the victor, earning 647 votes to Twomey's 565.

“Dumpster Doug” Pays Earth Day Visit to Wing

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In honor of this year’s Earth Day, Wing was visited on April 27 by actor/comedian “Dumpster Doug” Scheer, who presented a fast-paced educational program blending magic, comedy and audience participation with the purpose of teaching students about the earth, pollution and what they can do to help save the environment. Through illustrative tricks and captivating demonstrations, Dumpster Doug helped the students discover the important role they play in protecting natural resources.




Principal Mosca Named SSLMA Administrator of the Year

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The Suffolk School Library Media Association recently presented Islip High School Principal Michael Mosca with the 2017 SSLMA OPALS/MediaFlex Administrator of the Year Award.

“I was honored to receive this recognition from the Suffolk School Library Media Association,” said Mosca. “I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to work with someone as forward thinking and creative as our high school’s librarian, Gina Seymour. Her ingenuity and dedication to our community and our students is a breath of fresh air in an age where testing and scores get most of the press. This award is truly an extension of her hard work and I am proud to be a part of it.”

“The award is well deserved,” said Seymour. “Mr. Mosca’s dedication, hard work and support have made me a better librarian.”


Important Letter for Parents

Please read the attached letter from Islip Middle School Principal Dr. Timothy Martin.

Attachments:

New York State ESSA Plan Information

The New York State Education Department has been working over the past year on their preparation of the Draft ESSA Plan and transition to ESSA. Teachers, community members and administrators from Islip have attended meeting at ESBOCES to help draft the New York State Plan. The Commissioner of Education has reached out to all districts with information on how they can comment on the work that has been done.
New York State's Draft Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan Summary has been posted at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/documents/draft-ny-essa-plan-summary-may-2017.pdf.

In addition, New York State's Draft Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan has been posted at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/documents/draft-ny-essa-plan-may-2017.pdf.

The ESSA Draft Plan public comment period is open from Tuesday, May 9, 2017 and will end on Friday, June 16, 2017.
Comments may be made in the following manner:

* In person at an ESSA Public Hearing http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/documents/ESSA%20Public%20Hearings.docx
* Via E-mail to ESSAComments@nysed.gov
* Via US Postal Service to: New York State Education Department; ATTN: ESSA Comments; Office of Accountability, Rm 400; 55 Hanson Place; Brooklyn, NY 11217
There will be an ESSA Public Hearing on Thursday, May 11th beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Half Hollow Hills HS East, 50 Vanderbilt Parkway, Dix Hills, NY 11746.

Sixth-Graders Track Temperature’s Effect on Density

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During a science lab at the middle school, sixth-grade students examined how temperature affects the density of fluids, including liquids and gases. In order to conduct the experiment, students used water tanks separated with plastic dividers, pouring hot water that was dyed red on one side of the tank and cold water that was dyed blue on the other. When the dividers separating the hot and cold water were removed, students were surprised to see the cold blue water slide under the warm red water.

“Through this lab, students were able to apply this information to their weather unit,” said teacher Jamie Carlino. “This helped them understand how air masses of different temperatures react when they collide.”

Sardelli at Sherwood: A Visit from a Poet

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Long Island author and poet Darren Sardelli recently visited Sherwood, reading several of his poems and speaking to the students about how he became a writer.

Inspired by Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss, Sardelli’s humorous work includes the popular 2009 children’s poetry collection “Galaxy Pizza and Meteor Pie (And Other School Poems That Are Out of This World!)”.  


Delving into DNA Barcoding with EXCEL

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As part of their work in the Open Space Stewardship Program, seventh- and eighth-graders in Islip’s EXCEL program are delving into DNA barcoding. Broken into two student groups, self-titled the “Pond Squad” and “Molecular Masters,” the groups will present their final projects at Brookhaven National Laboratory in late May.

Islip Stages Powerful Production of "The Wiz"

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Close to 100 student actors from the high school staged five powerful performances of “The Wiz” this March. A modernized version of “The Wizard of Oz,” the musical was last presented in Islip in 2005. Approximately 1,500 people attended this year’s production, held at Islip High School’s state-of-the-art auditorium.

New this year was a daytime performance of excerpts from the show, performed for Wing students and staff, who stopped by for a preview and an invitation to come back and see the full show when it opened.

Photos by Katie Warnokowski.

Letter Regarding "13 Reasons Why"

Please see the attached letter from Dr. Ellen Semel regarding the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why."

Attachments:

Peer Ambassadors Bridge High School and Middle School

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The high school’s peer ambassadors, led by Assistant Principal Lisa Ward and school counselor Nicole Hall, visited the middle school on April 5 to talk to eighth-grade students about high school life.

Before the 20 peer ambassadors came to speak, the eighth-graders watched a video tour of the high school, narrated by senior Ryan Lange, to prepare them for the experience. Lange later introduced some of the high school staff at various points in the school day.  The eighth-graders used the prep time to brainstorm questions about the high school and ninth grade for them to ask the peer ambassadors, who also discussed high school myths, fears and opportunities.

“The ambassadors were so mature, organized, and prepared,” said middle school counselor Kelly Doheny. “What wonderful role models! I think the middle school students were really impressed and learned so much.”

Islip’s Music Program Earns Another NAMM Award

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The NAMM Foundation has again recognized the strength of the district’s rigorous music program, awarding it a Best Communities for Music Education designation for 2017. Islip was one of only 4 percent of districts nationwide to be honored with this annual award, now in its 18th year, recognizing an exemplary commitment to music education.

“The Islip School District and the community at large value the arts,” said Vincent Green, director of fine and performing arts. “Our students are not a test score or a GPA – they are unique individuals. As a community, we work hard to give each of them the opportunities and support to become a whole person and not a transcript. We strive to give our students the chance to explore the arts and become whomever they wish, whether an athlete, poet, scientist or artist.”

A Chance for Islip’s String Musicians to Shine

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Islip’s recent annual spring districtwide String Festival, held at the middle school’s auditorium, featured performers from around the district, including two orchestras each from Commack Road, Sherwood and the middle school, and the high school’s orchestra, chamber orchestra and electric string ensembles.

This year the event’s musical selections included Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” performed by guitar students and the combined middle and high school orchestras. Continuing a tradition, the event culminated in a performance of the combined ensembles, with nearly 300 students playing the “William Tell Overture.”

According to Vincent Green, director of fine and performing arts, the String Festival began three years in response to a lack of opportunity for student string players.

“Musicians other than string players have lots of chances to both perform and hear great local performances,” said Green. “Marching bands and choral concerts abound, but orchestral gigs are less common. We wanted our students to have the opportunity to stand side-by-side with players like them, whether it’s the senior recalling what his first sounds were like or the fourth-grader aspiring to play the electric cello in high school.”


EXCEL Takes Home Four Medals at State Science Olympiad

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The EXCEL Science Olympiad team proudly represented Islip at the New York State Science Olympiad Competition in Syracuse on April 7-8. The team of middle schoolers from the district’s academically gifted program earned four medals competing against 38 other teams from around the state.

This year’s Islip EXCEL Science Olympiad team consisted of Anjalee Appalsammy, Liam Biscari, James Cottral, Devin DePass, Elizabeth DeSimone, Aaliyah Esmurria, Mackenzie Howell, Emmie Jensen, Sheyla Lopez, Noah Margolin, Jaelyn McCracken, Victoria Pearsall, Vasu Persaud, Liam Rich and Steven Schadt.

Appalsammy and Margolin earned second place in the Mystery Design category, the team of Esmurria and Pearsall won sixth place in Bottle Rockets and seventh in Towers, and Howell and Jensen came in 10th for Mission Possible.

“I was not surprised to hear the state director tell us at the awards ceremony that New York is the most competitive state for this competition out of the entire nation,” said team adviser Julia Johnson. “To make it to this level was an honor, and to come home with awards is extraordinarily exciting. We prepared 25 events to participate at this level and the entire team worked very hard. 

Ten Terrific Athletes Sign Letters of Intent

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Ten terrific student-athletes from the high school signed National Letters of Intent on April 18, celebrating with family, friends, coaches and administrators at a ceremony in the school’s library.

This fall, Emma Baumbusch (soccer) will attend Kings College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Chad Fields (cross-country) will attend East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania; John Friend (football) will attend Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine; Greg Hodulick  (wrestling) will attend LIU Post; Loren Karabatzoglou (softball) will attend Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Delaney Kissane  (soccer) will attend SUNY Cortland; Kieran Kissane  (lacrosse) will attend the New York Institute of Technology; Michael Mirando (baseball) will attend Hofstra University; Matthew Peterkin (soccer) will attend SUNY Brockport and Lyndsey Sparks (soccer) will attend SUNY Farmingdale.

The Shoes Are on the Right Feet in EXCEL Class

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Fourth-graders in the EXCEL program created their own shoe print patterns and analyzed the difference in latent prints as part of a recent unit of study on mysteries.

Middle Schoolers Attend Verga's Civil Rights Lecture

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Five middle school students, accompanied by teacher Darien Logan, attended a March 30 talk hosted by the Historical Society of Islip Hamlet and featuring Christopher Verga, a writer and American history lecturer at Suffolk County Community College. The free event was held at the Islip Public Library.

Verga utilized images from local historical societies, private collections and the African American Museum of Nassau County to create the book “Civil Rights on Long Island,” published last October by Arcadia. His other works include a monthly column in Greater Bay Shore and the forthcoming book “Bay Shore.” His interactive lecture detailed historic race relations and struggles for equality across Long Island.


High School Scientists Compete at State Olympiad

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High School Scientists Compete at State Olympiad

Following its third-place finish overall in the county, Islip High School’s Science Olympiad A team competed at the New York State tournament, held from March 10-11 at Le Moyne College in Syracuse. Islip’s students earned four Top 10 medals in their events for an overall 31st-place finish in the state.

Top finishers for Islip included junior Julia Hormann and sophomore Matt Southard, earning first place in Forensics; Hormann and Morgiana McDevitt, who came in fifth in Write-It/Do-It; Kevin Lewis and McDevitt, finishing seventh in Towers; and Hormann and Lewis, finishing seventh in Electric Vehicle.





Sherwood Student’s "Story" Earns PTA Award of Excellence

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Daniel Rubinson, a fifth-grader at Sherwood, earned the New York State PTA Award of Excellence for his music composition “What Is Your Story?” Rubinson’s original piece of music was submitted for the annual PTA Reflections arts contest, and has now advanced to the National PTA Reflections competition, where his work will be judged against compositions by students nationwide.


Neuroscience at Lunchtime

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Students in Islip’s EXCEL program for the academically gifted are exploring the world of neuroscience during their lunch periods.

“The human-human interface allows one person’s brain to control another person’s body,” said EXCEL program coordinator Julia Johnson.



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, www.parentsformeganslaw.org.

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.

Attachments:

Eighth-Grade Gymnast Spadaro Sets a High Bar

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Middle school eighth-grader Kerin Spadaro, a standout on the combined Bay Shore/Islip gymnastics team, scored a 9.25 in the uneven bars at the gymnastics state championships held on March 4 at Cold Spring Harbor, earning third place in the competition.

Commack Road Celebrates Love of Science With Fair

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At Commack Road’s 25th annual science fair, held on March 9, smiling students demonstrated their love of science and knowledge of the scientific method while showing an interest in a variety of topics including agriculture, physics and hygiene. Skittles were dissolved, toothbrushes were used on eggshells, mnemonic devices were tested, contraptions were assembled – all in the name of science.

A winner was selected for each grade level, based on evaluations by CRES teachers. Second-grade winner Madison Giardella researched how the growth of organic green bean seeds was affected by different types of light sources. Third-grade winner Louis Tuorto created a gyrobot which used different energy sources to move on its own. Lucas Schneider, the fourth-grade winner, focused his efforts on identifying how different additives affect the taste of water. Prompting visitors to stand on one leg to find out the results, Dakota Dieumegard’s “Does Vision Affect Balance?” was the winning project for the fifth grade. 

These four young scientists will show off their expertise at the Brookhaven National Laboratory Elementary School Science Fair on May 6.  




Cube Class with EXCEL

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As part of a recent interdisciplinary unit on construction and creations, fifth-graders in the EXCEL program learned about 20th century Danish mathematician and game inventor Piet Hein. During the class, the students explored the soma cube, a solid dissection puzzle constructed from seven pieces made out of unit cubes, which was invented by Hein in 1936 during a quantum mechanics lecture. They then made their own soma cubes to take home.

Important Letter for High School Parents

Please see the letter from Superintendent Schnebel linked below.

Attachments:

Middle Schoolers Bring Irish Blessings to the Atria

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The middle school’s student government paid a memorable, festive visit to residents of the Atria Bay Shore assisted living community on St. Patrick’s Day. With the luck of the Irish upon them, students, faculty and the Atria’s seniors participated in Irish-themed games and a sing-along, guided by advisers Kaitlin Rooney and Christine Sheridan.

Seventh-graders Emily Aguilar, Stephanie Castro, Selina Chan, Keera Kittles and Emma Neri, and sixth-graders Olivia Piazzolla and Nicholas Wilbur performed various Irish tunes under the direction of orchestra teacher Laura Shaiman. Following the performance, student government members partnered with seniors and recited Irish blessings. 

“It was so nice to observe the interaction between the students and seniors,” said Rooney. “The students really brought a smile to everyone’s face at the facility.”

“Seeing the students read their Irish blessings was a very moving moment,” said Sheridan. “I could see such joy among the seniors as they received their poems.”