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Important Presentation for All Parents

We all know that smartphones have changed not only the way we communicate, but also how we live our lives. Did you know, however, that this same technology is having a profound effect on the mental wellness of today's teens and pre-teens?

On Tuesday, April 24th, the Islip PTAs will be hosting Teens & Tech, a special presentation on this issue, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Islip Middle School Auditorium. ALL Islip parents, regardless of the age of their children, are encouraged to attend, as this an issue that will surely affect all students - either now, or in the near future.

We hope to see you there!


Wing Walks for Autism Awareness

Wing Walks for Autism Awareness

Following a week’s worth of autism awareness activities, blue-clad students at Wing celebrated on April 13 by holding puzzle pieces as they strolled on a supportive schoolwide autism walk around the grounds.

“Autism is something close to our hearts here at Wing, and it is important for us to embrace the themes of acceptance and appreciation,” said Principal Christopher Smalley.

Business Students Show Compassion for Pets

Business Students Show Compassion for Pets
Business Students Show Compassion for Pets 2

High school business students recently collected pet food and animal care products for donation to Legislator Steven Flotteron’s Long Island Cares pet food drive.

“In addition to teaching students about business and careers, social responsibility is consistently taught throughout our business courses,” said teacher Renee Clock. “We take pride in knowing that our students give to others, whether it’s humans or animals. Teaching compassion and empathy, and leading by example, is incorporated into each of our classes. I’m very proud to teach students who help give back to our community.”

Gomez and Marconi Win Prestigious World Language Awards

Gomez and Marconi Win Prestigious World Language Awards

High school students Guadalupe Gomez and Madeline Marconi were recently honored with prestigious national world language awards by the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica, an honor society for high school students studying Spanish or Portuguese.

Recognized for their dedication to the study of Spanish and excellent skills in that language, the two students were presented with their awards by their Spanish teacher and World Language Honor Society adviser, Karen Maisano, along with Principal Michael Mosca, and Priscilla Zarate, the district’s ENL and world language coordinator. Islip has maintained an active chapter of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica for the last 22 years.

Gomez, a junior, won the 2018 Bertie Green Junior Travel Award for her dedication to the study of Spanish and her excellent skills in that language. Valued at over $3,000, the award is given to only 24 students from more than 2,400 SHH chapters across the United States. In July, Guadalupe will travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands with the other 23 winners.

“I would like to thank La Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica for this amazing opportunity to travel to Ecuador,” said Gomez. “I would also like to thank Mrs. Maisano for encouraging, motivating and helping me with the scholarship process. I am looking forward to experiencing the Ecuadorian culture and learning about the country.”

Marconi, a senior, won the 2018 Joseph Adams Senior Scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship awarded to only 60 students from more than 2,400 national SHH chapters.

“I am so incredibly proud to have received this award,” said Marconi. “I humbly thank La Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica for its generosity, as well as Karen Maisano for all her continuous support and guidance.”

Students become eligible for these two awards by being an inducted member of the SHH and then submitting samples of their written and oral work in Spanish to a selection committee appointed by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.


Sixth-Graders Learn at the Lighthouse

Sixth-Graders Learn at the Lighthouse

Over the course of four fun days in March, sixth-grade classes at Islip Middle School visited the historic Fire Island Lighthouse on a three-part field trip.

The students experienced the “Forces of Nature” through a brief nature walk, and attended a presentation in the lens building and the boathouses. During the “United States Life Saving Service” lecture and demonstration, they learned a bit of history regarding Fire Island and why the lighthouse, which began operation in 1858, was so useful in years past. Finally, the sixth-graders climbed 181 steps to the top of the lighthouse; on several clearer days, the students were able to see the Manhattan skyline.

“Some of our students have never experienced the climb, and were thrilled with themselves when they did reach the top,” said teacher Laura Rondinella. “Integrating the Fire Island Lighthouse into our science core curriculum was one of those lessons that the children really enjoyed as an experience with a real live outdoor classroom. It’s a great way to learn.”

Sherwood’s ‘Stars’ Shine at Talent Show

Sherwood’s ‘Stars’ Shine at Talent Show

The “stars” came out to shine at Sherwood’s March talent show. During the “Night of the Stars,” students from grades 2-5 participated as part of 34 different acts including singers, dancers and comedians.

“It was so great to see our students show their many talents,” said Principal Chad Walerstein. “Thanks to our amazing PTA for their hard work putting this together.”

Sewing Star Samantha O’Connell Creates Costumes for ‘Peter Pan’

Sewing Star Samantha O’Connell Creates Costumes for ‘Peter Pan’

For eighth-grader Samantha O’Connell, her love of sewing led to important role as the student costumer for the middle school’s recent play, “Peter Pan.”

“My dad told me that, since I sew, I should ask them if they needed help with costumes,” O’Connell explained. “So, I brought in my portfolio and showed it to them. They talked it over and came back to me in a few days and told me that I could help out.”

O’Connell created designs, purchased materials and sewed the costumes for six fairies, six mermaid tails, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell.

“I tried to do two costumes every weekend, and a bunch over winter break,” she said of her working method. “I’m really excited to see all of the costumes out on stage.

”The play’s success could be the beginning of a potential career for this young designer, who plans to pursue fashion studies in the future.

“The most impressive aspect of this production was that, aside from the three adults on the production team, the entire event was presented by middle school students,” said Vincent Green, the district’s director of fine and performing arts. “Many in the audience were certain that there had to be high school students in the background keeping things running, but it was all powered by 11-13-year-olds.”

Learning Through Improvisation

Learning Through Improvisation

Theater performer and director Tiana Christoforidis recently brought a fun but challenging improvisation workshop to middle school students in the district’s EXCEL program for the academically gifted, as part of EXCEL’s ongoing “Inventing Self” guest series.

Christoforidis has performed Off Broadway and at New York City nightclubs, as well as with the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, the New York Renaissance Faire, Lyric Theatre of New York and On Stage America, and regionally in California, Florida and Africa. She studied at Fordham University, the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and with acclaimed choreographers. In 1994, she created the Y ARTS and the Act Out Theatre School Program at the Great South Bay YMCA, providing acting instruction and production for students, and currently serves as the YMCA Boulton Center as cultural arts director, directing acting, voice, dance and music for performing arts camps and cultural events.“

Ms. Christoforidis’ workshop was fun, engaging and presented students with a unique platform to step outside of their comfort zone with improv games,” said said EXCEL coordinator Julia Johnson. “These exercises require divergent thinking and teamwork, and build students’ self-esteem, imagination and confidence. We are never too old to learn through play!”

Scoliosis Screening at IMS

Islip Middle School will be conducting NYS mandated scoliosis screenings Monday, April 9th through Monday, April 30th. If you do not want your child screened by our school nurse, please send a signed note stating this.

High Schoolers Learn Valuable Job Skills in Town Internship

High Schoolers Learn Valuable Job Skills in Town Internship

High school students in Renee Clock’s career skills and internship course have been learning transferable workplace skills within the Town of Islip’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. Mary Pat Klueber, who is the executive assistant to Commissioner Tom Owens, meets with Clock and the students several times a week to assist the high schoolers in learning skills needed to succeed in the workplace after high school.

Taking charge of the department’s warehouse, the Islip students organized, categorized and counted equipment used for the town’s youth after-school and summer programs. They are now in the process of creating a working inventory system for these items.

“The students have been applying decision-making, critical thinking, organizational and mathematical skills during this internship,” said Clock. “We are appreciative to the town for providing this real-life work experience for our students. Their participation in the education and work experience of our students is a perfect example of a school-to-business partnership. Ms. Klueber has been paramount in creating this workplace environment for our students.”

The students also intern within the town’s offices at Brookwood Hall in East Islip, which houses the Islip Art Museum and Islip Arts Council, and assist with special assignments.

“Ms. Klueber and I vary the work experiences for the students to give them exposure to the numerous job skills that are required to perform the many jobs within this department,” said Clock.  

Zarate Named to County’s Hispanic Advisory Board

Zarate Named to County’s Hispanic Advisory Board

Priscilla_Zarate, the district’s ENL and world language K-12 coordinator, was recently appointed to a three-year term on the Suffolk County Hispanic Advisory Board by Suffolk Legislator Tom Donnelly.

Established in 2005, the 15-member Hispanic Advisory Board works to improve cultural understanding and civic participation, confers on issues of importance to the Hispanic community and makes recommendations to the Suffolk County government.  

“As an uncompromisingly strong advocate for Hispanic residents throughout Suffolk County, Priscilla Zarate is uniquely qualified to serve on the Suffolk County Hispanic Advisory Board,” said Donnelly. 

Prior to joining Islip’s team, Zarate served as executive director of the New York City Department of Education’s Division of English Language Learners and Student Support; assistant coordinator for bilingual and ENL programs at the Brentwood School District; and bilingual, ENL and dual language programs coordinator for the Long Beach School District and the Christa McAuliffe School in Queens.

A resident of Deer Park, Zarate has been a committee member and program coordinator for the Town of Babylon Department of Human Services’ annual Hispanic Heritage Festival, and was recognized by the festival as a “Hispanic Leader Serving and Guiding Our Nation with Pride and Honor.”

“I’m humbled and honored to represent Legislator Donnelly and the Hispanic community,” said Zarate. “I’ve spent the last 22 years as an educator and leader building bridges and creating an environment that fosters a respect for and appreciation of all cultures from around the world. I eagerly look forward to continuing this mission.”

Letter for High School Parents

Please see the important letter from Superintendent Susan Schnebel that is linked below.


IHS Now Accepting Nominations for Hall of Fame

The Islip High School Hall of Fame honors distinguished members of the Islip High School community who have made notable contributions to our society through their profession, community, institution, etc. Nominees must be at least 10 years in separation from Islip High School or their full-time service to the Islip School District. Please click the link below for full guidelines and nomination form. All nominations must be received by April 30, 2018 for consideration.


High Schooler Daniel Brake Earns Eagle Scout Status

High Schooler Daniel Brake Earns Eagle Scout Status
High Schooler Daniel Brake Earns Eagle Scout Status 2
High Schooler Daniel Brake Earns Eagle Scout Status 3

Islip High School student Daniel Brake, a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 370 of Islip, was recognized at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor, held on Feb. 11 at Islip American Legion Rusy-Bohm Post 411, which sponsors the troop.

With his proud parents in attendance, Islip Superintendent of Schools Susan Schnebel presented Brake with his Eagle Scout certificate, an achievement he earned for his 2016 project to refurbish the Islip Breast Cancer Coalition’s Garden of Hope at Islip Town Hall. Brake also built a bench overlooking the garden so visitors can sit, relax and reflect.

HS Student-Actors Show Skills and Substance with ‘Legally Blonde’

HS Student-Actors Show Skills and Substance with ‘Legally Blonde’

Broadway returned to Islip High School this February with the school’s fast-paced production of “Legally Blonde,” a memorable musical based on the 2001 comedy film.

Starring in the lead role was Morgiana McDevitt. Dressed in pink and sporting a blonde wig, she transformed into Elle Woods and not only won the heart of Emmett, played by John DelGenio, but the entire audience, as well. Their talented fellow student-actors brought the story to life with lively songs, snappy dialogue and entertaining choreography. The cast also included Nick D’Auria and Jonathan Powell as Warner Huntington III, Matthew Mahr as Professor Callahan, Emma Regina and Faith Terrill as Paulette Bonafonte, Toni Castranova and Gia Sciara as Brooke Taylor-Wyndham, Brendan Larson and Jack Michael as Kyle, Sheila Kiernan and Olivia Schadt as Vivienne Kensington.

“From the moment the curtain opened, all of us in the audience knew we were in for a musical treat,” said Superintendent of Schools Susan Schnebel. “When that curtain closed on the last performance, it was clear to all that this event was more than just a musical production. In today’s world, where people are quick to judge and substance is often overlooked in favor of the superficial, our cast, crew and musicians came together with unity and understanding to positively create a marvelous experience for all.”

Fresh Direct VE Team Headed to Nationals

Fresh Direct VE Team Headed to Nationals
After finishing in the top 12 out of 92 firms at the annual Virtual Enterprise business plan competition at Farmingdale College in January, the high school’s Fresh Direct team kept their streak going in the Long Island semifinals on Feb. 28 at American Portfolios Financial Services in Holbrook. Islip was one of five teams to earn the chance to represent Long Island in the national competition against 23 other American VE firms, to be held on April 16 at Microsoft in New York City. 

Six Seniors Sign Letters of Intent

Six Seniors Sign Letters of Intent

Six seniors signed national letters of intent on Feb. 28 to continue their athletic careers in college this fall.

Aisha Brown will attend Post University in Waterbury, Connecticut as part of the school’s track and field team. She plans to major in biology.               

Soccer players Hannah Franco and Kayla Multer will both attend the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury. Franco will major in criminal justice, Multer in nursing.

Kris McDonald will join Stony Brook University’s football squad. He plans to major in sports medicine,

Volleyball player Danielle Schultz will attend Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire, where she plans to major in biology.

Rich Wittneben signed on to Farmingdale State College’s track and field team. He plans to major in aviation.

“We are very proud of these fine student-athletes and congratulate them on this outstanding accomplishment,” said Islip Athletic Director John Sparacio.

Police Smart Presentation Proves Informative for Commack Road and Sherwood

Police Smart Presentation Proves informative for Commack Road and Sherwood

Commack Road and Sherwood recently collaborated to provide local families with a Police Smart seminar on digital citizenship. Organized by Commack Road Principal James Cameron and Sherwood Principal Chad Walerstein, in cooperation with the Suffolk County Police Department, more than 120 students and parents participated in an informative evening about electronic usage as well as Internet and gaming safety.

The evening was supported by Parent Teacher Associations from both school, which donated Kindle Fire HD tablets that were raffled off to one lucky student from each building.

During the session, Community Relations Bureau officer Sabrina Pitch provided helpful tips and proactive strategies to keep students safe in the digital world. Pitch shared information on apps that allow predators to gain access to children.

“Every parent should attend a presentation like this one,” said Sherwood PTA member Christine Breslin. “It was so informative and truly eye-opening. It's such a scary world for our children and presentations like this help us stay in the know and keep our children safe.”

“This presentation helped reinforce to children that the rules we have in the house are not scare tactics or mean, they are only to keep them safe,” said Commack Road PTA member Hope Keeney-Bowe.  “Thank you to Mr. Cameron, Mr. Walerstein and Officer Pitch for opening the door for an honest conversation to take place with our children.”

Important Letter from the Superintendent