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Peaceful Participation in Pinwheels Project at Wing

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In recognition of the International Day of Peace, kindergarten and first grade students at Wing recently participated in the annual Pinwheels for Peace project, imagining “whirled” peace by decorating their own pinwheels.

“With each colorful and unique pinwheel created by our students, we talked about being peaceful, kind and respectful to others in school and in the community,” said school social worker Allison Siegel. “We practice problem solving in peaceful ways.”

  

Islip Welcomes Students Back Safely and Successfully

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Islip’s schools reopened on Sept. 9 and 10, safely welcoming students from each building – high school, middle school, and Commack Road, Maud S. Sherwood and Wing elementary schools – back for a new year of learning in a challenging new environment of masks and social distancing.

“The first day of school was an amazing success for all of us,” said Commack Road Elementary School Principal James Cameron. “It was the culmination of many weeks of hard work and collaboration between the community, parents, students, teachers, staff and administration. Even with all teachers, staff and students wearing masks, we could see their huge smiles and excitement in seeing each other again.”

"This year is so much different than every other year, for the better," said Islip Middle School Principal Timothy Martin. "We get to have two first days of school, and that is wonderful. At Islip Middle School, we know how to make lemonade out of lemons, and we believe that when you look good and feel good, you will ultimately do good."

“Although this year is not the start we had hoped for, I am elated to have students and staff back in the building,” said Jason Cohen, the middle school’s assistant principal. “Life will always challenge us, and it is those challenges that allow us to truly appreciate the good times. There is power in our own positivity, so let’s have great days, then great weeks, to make it a great year.”

  

Meeting Student Needs with Extended Program at Wing

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During July and August, the district ran a six-week Reach Extended School Year program at Wing, using a hybrid instructional model that enabled both in-person and virtual learning opportunities to meet students’ needs. For the in-person morning classroom sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, social distancing and physical setting cleanliness followed Department of Health guidelines for staff and students. Virtual instruction included synchronous real-time interaction with a live teacher via scheduled videoconferencing, as well as asynchronous instruction in which self-pacing students learned from videos, readings and other media.

“Losing connection with students over the last few months of the school year was extremely difficult for district faculty and staff,” said Wing Principal Michael Giacchetto. “This ESY program brought our children back to school and put smiles on the faces of everyone involved. School may have looked a little different with our new safety parameters, but one thing that did not change was the joy of working with our children. The energy and enthusiasm of teaching and learning returned to the classrooms at Wing once again.”


Brian Kroll Named New Director of Fine and Performing Arts

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The district has named Brian Kroll as the new director of fine and performing arts. Kroll replaces interim director Dr. Jeff Dailey.

Kroll comes to Islip from the Babylon School District, where he had worked since 2000 as Babylon Junior-Senior High School’s director of the junior and senior choir, extracurricular women’s choir, vocal jazz ensemble and chorale, as well as musical director of the all-school musical production and coach of the varsity golf team. During his time in Babylon, he was named an ASSET Bright Light educator in 2010. He served as SCMEA Division III East chorus co-chairperson in 2004 and 2005 and as SCMEA Division II East assistant vice president in 2006, and was chosen to direct the SCMEA Division III East honor choir in 2007.

He previously worked from 1998 to 2000 at the West Islip School District’s Beach Street Middle School, serving as chorus director, general music teacher and Drama Club musical director; and in 1998 at the Comsewogue School District’s John F. Kennedy Middle School as a chorus director and general music teacher.

A Manorville resident, Kroll earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Hofstra University, his master’s degree in music from Five Towns College and his advanced certificate in educational leadership from Stony Brook University.

“Arts education promotes critical thinking and collaboration in order to solve complex problems and to create and appreciate aesthetic works,” Kroll said. “Our goal is to foster art and music education because research shows they are linked to academic achievement, social and emotional development, and community engagement.”

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