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Committed to Excellence

Special Board of Education Meeting, October 28th

The Islip Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 in the Islip High School Community Room. The meeting will open at 5:00 p.m. and go immediately into Executive Session for the purpose of personnel. No public business will be discussed and no public action taken during this meeting.

Stories by 42 Islip Students Published in “Mission Contamination” Anthology

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It’s not often that middle schoolers can claim to be published authors, but for 42 Islip students, the assertion is valid.

Last year, while enrolled in Steven Taff’’s eighth grade Honors English class at the middle school, they wrote short pieces for the Survival Sagas fiction writing contest “Mission Contamination: It's Going Viral....Tales from New York.” Inspired by the theme of “contamination,” whether from a natural mutation, a chemical attack or a manmade experiment gone wrong, the students – all now freshmen at the high school – crafted original tales of fear and redemption, grim sacrifice and struggles of survival against the odds, in just 100 words. The resulting mini-sagas by these young writers were recently published in a “Mission Contamination” anthology paperback book, which can be read in the middle school’s library.

Six HS Students Chosen for All-State and All-County Ensembles

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Six students from the high school were recently recognized for their musical accomplishments. Two student-musicians were selected to perform with All-State Honor Ensembles and three students and two alternates were selected to perform with the All-County Vocal Jazz Ensemble. This year’s All-State Ensemble performances will be held virtually in December. The All-County Vocal Jazz Ensemble performance is scheduled for Nov. 7 at East Islip High School.

Shannon Brody was chosen for the All-State Symphony Orchestra and Tyler Cirulnick was chosen for the All-State Treble Chorus. They were selected based on their performances in the New York State School Music Association Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Cirulnik, Leah Cyran and Madelynn Lang were chosen for the All-County Vocal Jazz Ensemble, with Maggie Frazzer and Jordyn Zurbaran as alternates. Vocal Jazz participants were selected through a video audition process that took place last spring.  

Students prepare for the festivals with the assistance of their school music teachers and then participate in a series of rehearsals that conclude with a concert. The students will have the opportunity to work and perform under the leadership of highly skilled directors from the college music community and the professional music industry.

“We are extremely thrilled to have these remarkable student-musicians representing Islip in the All-State and All-County Jazz festivals,” said Brian Kroll, Islip’s director of fine and performing arts. “Their selection is a testament to their hard work and their teachers’ support.”


Statement from Board of Education President Philip Dineen

At their meeting held on Tuesday, October 13th, the Board of Education accepted the resignation of Superintendent Ellen Semel for the purpose of retirement, effective June 30, 2021.

Board of Education President Philip Dineen shared the following statement at the meeting:

On behalf of all of us on the Board and in the Islip school community, I want to thank Dr. Semel for the enormous contributions she has made over the past 15 years. Throughout her tenure, Dr. Semel has shown a true dedication and commitment to the success of our students, school district, and community.

Dr. Semel, with the support of our outstanding administration and staff, has raised the level of student success, created a stronger partnership with our parents and community, and put into place the plans to preserve our community's investment in our school district. We offer her our best wishes as she prepares to embark on this exciting next chapter in her life.

The Board of Education will be meeting in the coming weeks to discuss the next steps to search for a new superintendent of schools. We will of course provide more detail on that process as it unfolds. However, as I am sure Dr. Semel will agree, our focus now will remain on the task of the continued reopening of our schools and the health and safety of our students and staff.

Smart Schools Bond Committee Preliminary Plan

The preliminary plan developed by Smart Schools Bond Committee was presented at the October 13, 2020 Board of Education meeting. All stakeholders are invited to review this plan (linked below) and submit suggestions and comments via email to