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Committed to Excellence

Welcome to Maud S. Sherwood Elementary School

301 Smith Avenue
Islip, NY 11751

School Hours: 8:50 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.

Parents/Students Click here for Tech Support

Telephone Directory   
Main Office: (631) 650-8650
Fax: (631) 650-8658
Principal’s Office: (631) 650-8655
Health Office: (631) 650-8675
Attendance: (631) 650-8660



Sherwood Elementary Principal Briana James

Briana James, Principal

Principal's Message

Dear Sherwood Families,

It is with great anticipation and excitement that I write this letter welcoming you and your child(ren) to a new school year!

I hope your summer has been refreshing, and that you have been able to spend some time relaxing and making memories with your loved ones. When the James children (Ainsley, 4, and Greyson, 7) weren't at camp, we enjoyed our first trip to Disney World! Of course, we also feel very blessed to have been able to, once again, enjoy all that beautiful Long Island has to offer. By now, you might know that we truly love having bagel breakfasts at the beach and making s'mores on our late nights. This summer, Greyson turned 7 and is now going into second grade; it's great to be a parent and an educator of children this age!

As we have shared, all of us here at Sherwood strongly believe in open communication and greatly value parental involvement. To be successful in school, our children need support from both home and school; a strong partnership with you will make a great difference in your child's education. It is my goal to continue to establish and maintain strong parental partnerships, for we know that all of us working together, in the best interest of our children, is the greatest precursor to student success. Throughout the year, please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or to learn more about the place where your child spends the majority of his or her time each day! We use Parent Square regularly to communicate, but I always encourage a personal phone call or email, as well. I'm still enjoying getting to know everyone!

As I had shared for the past couple of years, I'm keenly aware of the faith you place in us each and every day as you send your children off to school. I promise to cherish, nurture, and safeguard each and every one of your children and to treat each with dignity and care. Please enjoy the remaining days of summer. I'm very much looking forward to seeing you and your children on the first day of school, and every day thereafter!

Very truly yours,

Briana D. James, Principal

photo of Principal Briana James (top right) with her husband (top left) and two children, posing with Olaf the snowman during their recent visit to Disney World

The James Family - Summer 2023


KidOYO Offers Islip Students a K-12 Journey Through the World of Coding

KidOYO Offers Islip Students a K-12 Journey Through the World of Coding  thumbnail255647

For the last two years, Islip’s schools have been implementing kidOYO, an exciting, robust, Manorville-based platform for coding and computer science that focuses on building students’ real-world skills through projects and games.

“KidOYO is definitely in alignment with our superintendent Dr. Dennis O’Hara’s vision for giving our students the best opportunities to shape their future,” said Dr. Chad Walerstein, Islip’s director of technology, innovation and information systems. “It really provides kids with tremendous opportunities in the areas of coding, computer science, logic and critical thinking. This will undoubtedly have a profound effect on their life trajectories, because regardless of what profession they seek out after high school and college, coding is everywhere. It’s in business, finance, computer science and engineering, and it’s becoming more and more normal for graduates to need to have this kind of knowledge. Even beyond direct knowledge of coding, the tenets that kidOYO promotes really function to enhance systematic thought and problem-solving skills, as well as social skills like communication and collaboration.”

At the earliest levels at Wing Elementary School, students begin with the Color by Code program, an app within kidOYO that teaches them the principles of coding. From basic coding such as directional and multi-step algorithms, they move up to another coding language called Hatch, which is essentially a derivative of the Scratch coding language. A form of block coding, Hatch allows students to literally drag and drop blocks to produce an outcome. The Maze Code game within the platform, which most students go through at the earlier levels, gets progressively more difficult and forces the students to utilize repetition and conditional code such as “If this, then that.” Wing students work with kidOYO for a minimum of once a week for the entire year.

Slightly older students are guided through kidOYO by Islip’s STEAM teachers and technology teacher assistants, Beth Fazio and Robert Going at Commack Road Elementary School and Kenneth Bailey and Fred Stroh at Maud S. Sherwood Elementary School. In the middle school, kidOYO is taught by librarian Kathy Ryder as well as implemented in technology classes. At the high school, kidOYO is utilized in a different, course-specific way. High school classes using the platform include AP computer science, video game design, coding and computer programming with Java.

“The nice thing about the platform is that it takes kids from the most basic thing, like Color by Code, all the way through to all of the coding languages that are used in business today such as Python, which some of the high school students are using,” Dr. Walerstein said. “It’s kind of a one-stop shop, if you will.”

Another important aspect of the kidOYO program is providing a challenge for students with a competitive streak, who can participate in Hackathon coding competitions against other Long Island schools in four divisions: high school, seventh and eighth grades, sixth grade and upper elementary school. Each team can have no more than eight members, and at each level, students are required to meet different specific coding benchmarks.

“The Hackathons get progressively more difficult to the point where, when the students are in high school, they have to know a little bit of everything,” Dr. Walerstein said.

Students receive badges for achieving different levels of competency, which serve as micro-credentials as they advance through the program, and kidOYO teachers are able to accurately assess student progress in coding, assisted by the company itself. Teachers can also pursue professional development through kidOYO, obtaining badges of their own and becoming certified as kidOYO certified educators.  

“A teacher doesn’t necessarily have to be a master of coding to utilize it,” Dr. Walerstein said. “Mentors at kidOYO look at every single project. Once a student submits an assignment or project, mentors at kidOYO will offer suggestions, praise their work or even ask them questions. For example, there was a student who submitted something recently in the high school, and one of the mentors at kidOYO actually contacted the teacher and asked it the student used original code, because the mentor was stunned at the level of what the student accomplished.”

The program’s flexibility is one of its greatest strengths.

“So much of this can be self-driven,” Dr. Walerstein said. “Students have access to all of these different apps. If they want to go onto Hatch, all they have to do is open it up and they can go ahead and create and submit projects on their own.”

"I love trying to figure things out when I’m doing the challenges in Hatch,” sixth grader Caden Tarello said.

“Coding definitely reorients the students’ thinking processes,” Ryder said. “They learn how important precision is in their input. Our students love working through the challenges to earn badges and exploring the work of their fellow coders, and I can literally see that students relax and their shoulders come to rest when they know we are going to work in Hatch and kidOYO.”

Date Added: 3/1/2024

Monster Doll Field Trip Proves a Demonstration of Student Mentorship

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A heartwarming collaboration between Islip High School and Maud S. Sherwood Elementary School recently unfolded during a special monster doll field trip. The Sherwood students and their teacher, Melissa Trocchio-Cohen, had previously unleashed their creativity by sketching imagined monster dolls on paper. These whimsical drawings served as the foundation for the collaboration between the two schools.

Ali Catalano’s fashion class students at the high school, equipped with expert hand-sewing skills, were entrusted with the task of bringing these imaginative creatures to life. With great care and attention to detail, the fashion students meticulously transformed the two-dimensional sketches into three-dimensional dolls. They carefully selected fabrics, matched colors and skillfully sewed each doll’s components together. The result was a collection of vibrant and unique monster dolls that far exceeded the expectations of the elementary students.

The day of the field trip was filled with excitement and anticipation as the high schoolers traveled to Sherwood to deliver the finished products. As they arrived, they were greeted with enthusiastic cheers and smiles from the younger students. The Sherwood students eagerly received their completed monster dolls, marveling at the attention to detail and the transformation from paper to fabric.

“This collaborative effort went beyond the mere act of sewing,” Catalano said. “It was a powerful demonstration of mentorship and inspiration. The high school students served as role models, sharing their knowledge and expertise with the younger students. They provided guidance, encouragement and a valuable lesson in teamwork.”

Islip Honors Academic, Athletic and Musical Achievements at Night of Champions

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The Islip School District recognized numerous exceptional student achievements from fall and winter on Jan. 19 at the Night of Champions event, held during the Board of Education meeting. Elementary and secondary students who demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, music and leadership received certificates honoring their accomplishments while their proud families looked on.

Director of Fine and Performing Arts Michael Hershkowitz and music teachers honored students who were selected for the SCMEA PEAK Festival from Commack Road Elementary School (Haleigh Casimir, Owen Chandler, Kathleen Doyle, Erin Lella, Emma Myles-McAnally and Korra Saliba) and Maud S. Sherwood Elementary School (Lexi Fernandez, Hunter Grando, Lilah Hirschmann and Joseph Zarchy); a student chosen for SCMEA Day of Tuba (Makenzy Covelli); students participating in the Long Island String Festival from Commack Road (Chelsea Cooper), Sherwood (Christopher Liang), Islip Middle School (Titley Das and Malcolm Friedman) and Islip High School (Lucas Bohr and Alexandra Fitch); and students chosen for  SCMEA All-County Jazz (Lucas Bohr and Daniel Rubinson), NYSCAME All-County Band (Jessica Cruz), NYSCAME All-County Mixed Chorus (Lucas Bohr, Isabella Dragos, Rebecca Leo, Alexandra Noles, Michelle Quinteros, Daniel Rubinson, Aaron Thorn and Daniel Turk); and NYSCAME All-State Mixed Chorus (Daniel Rubinson).

Islip High School Principal Lara Gonzalez and Assistant Principals Charlie Rizzuto, Meghan Stern and Lisa Ward presented the high school’s academic awards. The NSCD Award for Academic Growth and Student Leadership in Learning was presented to high school seniors Emma Cirulnick and Emily Lewis for pursuing a high level of academic effort and serving as positive role models for the student body, while Eagan Biscari and Jaci Narducci were recognized as Presidential Scholars Program Nominees.

Advanced Placement awards were then recognized, for students earning the AP Seminar and Research Certificate (Brandon Garces and Daniel Rubinson), AP Scholar designation (Katherine Cottral, Louise Kane, Lawrence Lena, Emily Lewis, Raquel Luna, Melody Madrigal, Caitlyn McDonald, Luna Mendoza, Andrew Owen, Saul Pavlin, Hunter Pellicane and Michael Sanko), AP Scholar and AP Seminar and Research Certificate (Jeremy Carroll and Eric Maniscalco), AP Scholar with Honor designation (Brenna Weber), AP Scholar with Honor and AP Seminar and Research Certificate (Emma Cirulnick), AP Scholar with Honor and AP Capstone Diploma (Connor Mullins), AP Scholar with Distinction designation (Parker Barry, Erica De Lapi, Maxwell Haynes, Lia Pesiri and Charlie Zimmerman), AP Scholar with Distinction and AP Seminar and Research Certificate (Jaci Narducci), and AP Scholar with Distinction and AP Capstone Diploma (Eagan Biscari and Ryder Hansen).

Athletic Director John Sparacio and several of his coaches presented sports recognitions for the fall season, noting that all of Islip’s fall varsity teams achieved New York State Scholar Athlete Team status.

Honored high school student-athletes included girls cross-country athlete Elizabeth Hamm (All-Division); field hockey player Sabrina Frazer (All-County Honorable Mention, Suffolk County All-Star Team); football players Michael Sanko (All-Academic First Team), Jake DeGennaro (Second Team All-Division), Talan Mede (Second Team All-Division), Michael Vitale (Second Team All-Division), Dominick Albertelli (First Team All-Division), Collin Haug (First Team All-Division and Single Game Yards Receiving Record), Brady Nash (First Team All-Division, Single Game Passing Record) and Jack McLoughlin (All-County, National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete); gymnastics athletes Nicolette Ferraro (All-County), Brianna Lanza (All-County) and Isabella Field (All-County, New York State Qualifier for Beam and Floor); boys soccer players Jamie Atlas (All-Conference), Maxwell Haynes (Academic All-County) and Ronan Montana (All-Conference, All-County, All-State); girls soccer players Gianna Capolongo (All-Division), Abby Dieumegard (All-Division), Mackenna Eastwood (All-Division), Carley Mullins (All-Division), Dakota Dieumegard (All-County), Nicole Matute (All-County, All-State), Peighton McKenna (All-County, All-State, Class A Goalkeeper of the Year); girls tennis players Ava Andria (All-County), Annika Cripe (All- County), Erica De Lapi (All- County), Riley Halpin (All-County) and Reese Wallace (All- County); and league champions boys golf team members Jacob Gordon-Lopez, Ryan Kelly (also All-Academic), Carlo Napolitano, Dylan Nieves, Andrew Owen, Jacob Petelin, Dylan Rhodes, Jacob Schifter (also All-Academic), Brandon Simonetti, Tyler Simonetti (also All-County), Blake Unverzagt and Jake Urban.
In his Night of Champions address, Superintendent Dr. Dennis P. O’Hara highlighted the generosity and support of the Islip community.

“Over the last two years, we’ve added $70,000 worth of instruments to our music program, we’ve added AP courses and we’ve added athletic opportunities such as track and field for our middle schoolers, competitive cheer and field hockey,” Dr. O’Hara said. “Without the support of the community, and without the foresight of our Board of Education, we might not have recognized the 100 students that we recognize this evening for their athletic, musical and academic achievement. So, thank you to the community, and congratulations of course, to our students, who work so hard to earn those achievements.”

Date Added: 2/27/2024

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