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Accompsett Remembers 9/11

Accompsett Remembers 9/11 photo
Students at Accompsett Middle School honored and remembered the 17th anniversary of Sept. 11 during the morning of Sept. 12. Members of Ms. Collins’ chorus performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” during morning announcements. Students also placed 17 flags outside of the building in memory of the attacks. Throughout the day, lessons about Sept. 11 were weaved into the social studies curriculum in the different grade levels. 

Parent-Student University: Family Connect Night Scheduled for Oct. 17

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On Wednesday, Oct. 17, Smithtown Central School District will host its fall Parent-Student University: Family Connect Night. All Smithtown CSD school families are invited to participate in the event, which will feature three workshops. The workshops are mindfulness for families (open to all ages), drug/vaping awareness and prevention (recommended for ages 12+) and school safety and security (recommended for ages 14+). The forum begins at 7 p.m. and will be held at Smithtown High School East, 10 School St., Saint James. 

First-Grade Learners

First-graders in Kelly Collett’s class at St. James Elementary School are hard at work doing math and sharing their “just right” books.

Easing the Middle School Transition

Easing the Middle School Transition photo

Prior to the start of the 2018-2019 school year, Smithtown Central School District’s three middle schools – Accompsett, Great Hollow and Nesaquake – held orientations for their incoming sixth-grade class.

During the last week of August, all of the schools welcomed students to the buildings for orientation to meet with their teachers and explore their new surroundings. Administrators and faculty members were on hand to answer questions and help ease the transition to their new school. After a brief presentation, students were given their schedules and locker information. 

Following the orientations, students were able to walk through their schedule, find their lockers, meet their new classmates and reconnect with friends.  

Young Neuroscientists in Smithtown

Young Neuroscientists in Smithtown photo

Fourth-graders in Wendy Herman’s at Smithtown Elementary School are learning about neuroscience and the important functions of the brain. The students sculpted and created their own model brains using Play-Doh. During the next few weeks, the class will focus on the science to set intentions that can improve their own executive functioning/organizational, as well as emotional regulation skills.

Think Marks

Third graders in Marcie Krause’s class at Smithtown Elementary are using think marks as they read to keep their brain focused on the text.

Working in Teams

Third graders are doing a carousel activity on the first day of school. The students are working in teams to brainstorm ideas on how they can make this a successful school year.

Smithtown Team Lends Helping Hand with Harvest

Smithtown Team Lends Helping Hand with Harvest photo
Smithtown Team Lends Helping Hand with Harvest photo 2
Members of the boys cross-country team recently volunteered their time at Island Harvest’s farm in Brentwood. Joined by coaches Peter Schieck and Mark Jackett, the boys learned about Island Harvest from staff member Hillary Hess. The team helped pull weeds in between the rows of vegetables and harvested some zucchini and eggplant. Island Harvest is the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island, serving more than 300,000 Long Islanders annually, including adults, children, families, seniors, and veterans, through their network of approximately 570 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other emergency programs. 

Smithtown Starts 2018-19 School Year

Smithtown Starts 2018-19 School Year photo

Sept. 5 was the official kickoff to the 2018-2019 school year in Smithtown. Check out some of our first-day photos by clicking on the slideshow. More photos will be added throughout the day so be sure to check back later.


Online Calendar Reminder

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Welcome back to school, Smithtown! As a reminder, be sure to check “Main Calendar” under the Calendar link above for all of the individual building events. Have a great year!

Smithtown Welcomes New Teachers

Smithtown Welcomes New Teachers photo
The district welcomed new teachers to the buildings for three days of orientation from Aug. 28-30. There were more than 20 new hires for the district present for the orientation, however, in total, the district has filled 77 certified positions including leave replacements, tutors, part-time teachers and administrators. 

To kick off the first-day activities, new teachers were welcomed by central administration staff and board of education members. Later in the day, departmental administrators were introduced, along with technology and payroll staff. Day two included DASA training and visits to their respective schools to meet with principals and assistant principals. The final day of orientation focused on building relationships, lesson planning, professional development and social emotional learning. 

Smithtown Artists Paint Inspiration Wall

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Smithtown Artists Paint Inspiration Wall2
Smithtown Artists Paint Inspiration Wall3
Smithtown Artists Paint Inspiration Wall 4
High School East art teacher Dianne Shanian, along with High School West student Alexandria Santoro (center) and High School East student Brianna Foster (right), worked together to paint a vibrant design on the wall outside of St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center’s new rock garden. Inspired by the song lyrics from “Lean on Me,” the trio painted the wall before the garden was officially unveiled on July 26. Nursing staff painted positive messages on rocks that were donated to the hospital and placed in the bed of the garden.

Healthy Restaurant Open for Business

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Incoming second-graders in the district had the chance to run their own restaurant this summer. As part of the district’s Extended Year Program, the students in Richard Hurley’s class run their own mock restaurant to tie into their lessons and theme of Healthy Body, Healthy Minds. 

Prior to the restaurant’s “opening,” students learned about how the business works, the various jobs and healthy food choices. They also developed healthy, colorful menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner options, and priced out their menus. 

Each student in the class had his/her own job in the business. Some students assisted with table setup and food prep, while others served as cashiers and hosts. Wearing their aprons, students took orders, served food and prepared the bill for the guests. The lessons help teach sequence, job specialization and teamwork for running a successful restaurant.  

Summer Prep Sets Students Up for Success in September

Summer Prep Sets Students Up for Success in September photo

Academic goals and social-emotional learning in a small group setting are emphasized in Smithtown Central School District’s six-week Extended School Year Program. This summer, 95 students in grades 1-8 are enrolled in the program housed at Smithtown Elementary for six weeks.

The theme for this year’s program is “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” and students have been engaged in academic activities that reinforce the theme. Students participated in a friendship picnic and friendship games for Field Day. Throughout the program, students have physical education and computer lab periods in their weekly schedules. There’s also a musical presentation and a visit from librarians at the Smithtown Public Library. 

Also housed at Smithtown Elementary is the district’s summer reading program for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, which ran from July 9 through Aug. 2. With more than 100 students enrolled, the program focuses on reading, writing and comprehension. The overall goal is to help students maintain their reading skills throughout the summer months in preparation of the new school year. 

C.A.M.P. Students Make Mind-Body Connection

C.A.M.P. Students Make Mind-Body Connection photo

The C.A.M.P. (Character, Education, Mindset, Preparedness) program gives middle school students the opportunity to work on academics as well as their own social-emotional needs during the summer months.

Housed at Accompsett Middle School in July, students in grades 7-9 focus on positive actions including self-care and the science behind it, self-regulation and nutrition. Students learn about how their actions and reactions effect their academic performance. 

Working in small groups, students rotate to different workshops throughout the day which vary by week. Students work on their creativity during Genius Hour, a project-based learning initiative that allows students to explore their passions. To help make a mind-body connection, students participate in yoga, meditation and other mindfulness activities. 

Accompsett Middle School Principal Paul McNeil shared a passion and his personal “why” on being a firefighter and EMT. During the demonstrations, the students saw how a patient is treated after a traumatic injury. Afterwards, Mr. McNeil shared why he is chose to become a firefighter and EMT with the students.

High School East Earns School of Distinction

High School East Earns School of Distinction
High School East has been named a School of Distinction by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. 

The purpose of the School of Distinction and School of Excellence awards are to unite varsity coaches in challenging their teams to achieve a statewide honor. Schools can earn School of Distinction status by having 100 percent of its varsity teams qualify for and receive the Scholar-Athlete team award during their respective sports seasons. This year, 30 schools throughout the state earned the School of Distinction Award.

Language Skills Stay on Track Over Summer

Language Skills Stay on Track Over Summer photo
The district offers an English as a Language program for its students who are new language learners or just looking to strengthen their fluency during the summer. Students engage in hands-on academic activities and conversation to hone their skills during the summer months.

Young Musicians Fine-Tune Skills in Summer

Young Musicians Fine-Tune Skills in Summer photo

Throughout July, young musicians from the district looking to enhance their skills have the opportunity to participate in the district’s music program, sponsored by the Smithtown Friends of Music and housed at Accompsett Middle School. Whether they are looking to learn a new instrument or just fine-tune their skills, the program allows for small group or individual lessons for elementary-age student-musicians. Shown here is program director Anthony Dazzo and Friends of Music president Gina Barnett with students.

Focus on Job Skills, Academics

Focus on Job Skills, Academics photo

Twenty students enrolled in the summer life skills program at High School West are spending the school break working on their job skills, academics and even learning how to garden. Outside in the courtyard of the school, students planted and cared for a garden and then enjoyed their bounty of vegetables. They spend the first half of the school day concentrating on academic work and also attend a weekly music therapy session. In the afternoon, older students head to job sites while the younger students have the opportunity to work on their pre-vocational skills.

HSW Appoints New AP

HSW Appoints New AP photo
Smithtown Central School District has appointed Christopher Elsesser as the new assistant principal at High School West, effective Aug. 1.

Mr. Elsesser served as assistant principal in Oyster Bay High School for the 2017-2018 school year. Previously, he worked in the Smithtown Central School District since 2008 as a business teacher in both High School East and High School West and a leave replacement secondary assistant principal at Smithtown High School West in the 2016-2017 school year.  

Mr. Elsesser has a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing/management from Siena College and a master’s degree in management from Fairfield University. He also holds certifications in both school building leadership and school district leadership from Dowling College. 

Mt. Pleasant Student Council Helps Local Pets

Mt. Pleasant Student Council Helps Local Pets photo
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Prior to the end of the school year, student council members at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School conducted a pet food/supply drive. The student council collected dog and cat food, dog biscuits, cat treats, animal toys, blankets and towels. All items collected were donated to Almost Home Animal Rescue and Adoption in Patchogue.

Board of Education Holds Annual Reorganization Meeting

Board of Education Holds Annual Reorganization Meeting photo

Smithtown’s Board of Education held its annual reorganization meeting on July 12. Jeremy Thode was unanimously re-elected and sworn in to serve as president of the board of education. Michael Saidens was unanimously re-elected and sworn in to serve as vice president. District Clerk Maureen O’Connor swore in the board officials.

Mandi Kowalik and Mr. Thode were each elected to three-year seats on the board of education in May. 

Engaged in Summer Learning with SCOPE

Engaged in Summer Learning with SCOPE photo

The district is once again hosting the SCOPE Summer Explorations program during July at Accompsett Middle School. Open to students entering kindergarten to sixth grade, the program offers an enriching learning experience combined with hands-on activities.

In the edible science course, students in grade 1-3 have a chance to participate in different science-based experiments, such as constructing the different layers of the earth using pudding and cookies and creating their own gummy bears. In the spotlight on theater class, students can create and act out their own commercials, act out different books and perform for their peers. 

Those enrolled in the young engineers class create projects that involve designing, building and testing, such as airplanes, rockets and simple machines. For students who are entering kindergarten in the fall, there is a STEAM program, designed to bridge the gap between pre-kindergarten and kindergarten and a summer reading program.

Colon Named New Guidance Administrator

Colon Named New Guidance Administrator photo
The district has named Kevin Colon as the new administrator for guidance and related student services, effective July 1. He replaced Ingrid Hrvatin who retired at the end of the school year.

Prior to joining Smithtown, Mr. Colon worked as an assistant principal for East Side Middle School in New York City since 2014. He has also held high school, middle school and elementary guidance counselor positions in several other districts.  

Mr. Colon has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Queens College and a master’s degree in school counseling from LIU Post. He also holds an advanced certificate in educational leadership from the College of Saint Rose.