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Work by 75 Student-Artists Exhibited at Annual Show

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The district recognized 75 talented student-artists at its annual Districtwide Art Show, held on Feb. 12 at the high school’s auditorium lobby. Selected for exhibition were Brianna Altman, Leo Bacelli, Samantha Christiansen, Lilianna Colon, Megan Colwell, Nina Del Re, Madison Gremli, Tatum Hardekopf, Janae Lindsay, Madelyn Marinelli, Sara Mecozzi, Matt Miller, Gabrielle Nicolae, Anna Rahner, Micah Ruiz, Amanda Sayles, Trixie Sherry, Jade Valentin, Riley Wallace and Emily Wirth of the high school; Tiana Arroyo, Matthew Breslin, Gavin Connell, Addison DeFalco, Erica DeLapi, Tansley Desrosiers, Abby Dieumegard, Aidan Files, Sabrina Frazer, Alexis Hand, Carly Herrington, Keira Jantz, Shylah Kerry, Samantha Krut, Amanda Mardones-Miranda, Lauren McSweeney, Luna Mendoza, Jaci Narducci, Joette Olds, Andrew Owens, Jakeline Romero, Cole Rudner, Juliana Sclafani, Gianna Trojcak and Katalina Villalba of the middle school; Kayla Baker, Abigail Butler-Lentini, Emirson Canales, Daniela Capolongo, James Infante, Elise Lettieri, Julianna Pepitone, Griffin Roche, Laytin Veith and Alyssa Williams of Commack Road; Tillie Ancipink, Max Carminio, Emily Gowen, Brooke Lemanczyk, Aimee Rich, Keela Salerno, Charlee Semple, Amelia Touhey, Oscar Villatoro and Murphy Wallace of Sherwood; and Makenzy Covelli, Jason Farrell, Bruce Hart, Maisie Howe, Frankie Kaatsiz, Kendall Loud, Aliyah Pazmino, Katrina Petersen, Julia Sanchez and Anthony Wade of Wing.

After the artists’ proud families had a chance to view the displayed artworks, they moved to the auditorium for a performance by the high school’s chamber orchestra, directed by Zachary Butterfield, and an introductory address by Dr. Jeff S. Dailey, Islip’s interim director of fine and performing arts.

“Every artist gets to experience the miracle of creation,” Dailey said. “A straight line can become a giraffe or a dinosaur or the most beautiful flower ever created. A lump of clay, dug from the ground, can – in the right hands – become a vase, a sculpture or a cookie jar. The goal of art education is to prepare students for a lifetime of creativity. By learning to be creative and resourceful at a young age, the students here in Islip can go forth into the future with the ability to solve problems, to adhere to deadlines and to bring beauty into a world that desperately needs it. These students have generated – out of nothing but their own imaginations – aesthetically pleasing art which helps the viewer leave the cares of life behind and invites us to enter into a world of fantasy and beauty. We thank them for this invitation and congratulate them on their achievements.”

Fifth Graders Learn About Business at Commerce Plaza

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Over the course of four days, all fifth-grade classes at Commack Road and Sherwood recently participated in a Commerce Plaza field trip. A simulated business community, Commerce Plaza allows students to experience true-to-life transactions, management activities and business operations as well as a sense of success. Economic lessons were taught prior to the trip, with students learning how to write a check and keep a ledger.

“The goal of Commerce Plaza was to provide our students with an immersive business experience to prepare them for the real-world workforce,” said teacher Lori Knudsen.  

Elementary Students Learn with Flipgrid

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Young students across the district are using video discussion platform Flipgrid to enhance skills and projects. At Wing, kindergarters learned how to use Flipgrid  to practice speaking skills; the district’s technology integration specialist, Timothy Brush, worked with fifth graders at Sherwood to teach them how Flipgrid works; while at Commack Road, students reflected on their past reading goals in order to come up with new ones, using Flipgrid to record these plans.

Over 200 Islip Student-Musicians Perform at Annual String Fest

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The district’s annual String Festival was held on Feb. 5, featuring over 200 students in grades 4 through 12 playing the violin, viola, cello and double bass. Each district string ensemble performed individually, and then they all combined for the grand finale of Jacques Offenbach’s “Danse Infernal,” performed in celebration of the composer’s 200th birthday.  

“It takes a lot of dedication to play a string instrument,” said Dr. Jeff S. Dailey, Islip’s interim director of fine and performing arts. “The students highlighted in this concert have made the decision to walk a path that requires significant effort. The district is happy to showcase the incredible work these students have accomplished.”

Internet Safety Reinforced at Annual Pizza Party

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Officer Sabrina Pitch of the Suffolk County Police Department Community Relations Bureau paid another educational visit to the district on Jan. 16, talking to students and parents about the safe use of electronics and the internet during the third annual “Being Police SMART: A Pizza Party with the Principals and Police.” The event, part of a partnership between the police department and Commack Road and Sherwood elementary schools, took place in the middle school auditorium.

Following a family pizza dinner, Commack Road Principal James Cameron and Sherwood Principal Chad Walerstein welcomed attendees before turning over the microphone to Officer Pitch, who was accompanied by 3rd Precinct Community Liaison Officer Eiffel Ramirez. The valuable information she provided included tips on age-appropriate apps and games, the use of time limits, password creation and security, software and security updates, avoiding phishing and malware, dealing with cyberbullying, and the dangers of oversharing and talking to strangers online.

“Eighty percent of every disciplinary action we have in the high school involves social media or cellphones,” said Dr. Christopher Smalley, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “Boys and girls, everything that you write using your phones or social media lasts forever. It never ever goes away. As a school district, we want to do what we can to help you be more responsible. We and your parents are living this with you and learning ourselves how to be more responsible with our own phones, and I know you’re going to make good decisions from now on.”

To end the night, the administrators raffled off a pair of Amazon Kindle Fires to two students, courtesy of the two elementary schools’ PTAs.

“We had an amazing turnout for this great collaborative effort of the Sherwood and Commack Road school communities,” said Walerstein. “We thank everyone for their support, and we hope everyone learned from Officer Pitch.”

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