skip to main content

Building Their Skills

Building Their Skills Photo

Students in grades 1-6 honed their building skills this summer as part of the SCOPE Summer Explorations Program in July at Accompsett Middle School. Those enrolled in the creative carpentry class worked with different tools and learned basic carpentry skills by building their own birdhouses, cars and toolboxes.

Summer Program Offers Extra Support

Summer Program Offers Extra Support Photo

This summer, more than 100 students from Smithtown Central School District are getting extra support during the summer months thanks to the Extended School Year Program, which is housed at Smithtown Elementary School.

The program, which runs from July 3 to Aug. 11, helps support students’ social-emotional and academic needs for those entering grades 1-9. This year’s theme is “Keep in Mind to Be Kind,” which ties into “Fun Friday” activities such as field day, carnival day and a picnic.

Eighty-one students are enrolled in the program and an additional 20 students are scheduled for related services offered. Two CAP classes for autistic students are offered in addition to an after-school program for autistic students to promote socialization and peer interaction. 

Presentations occur weekly from the Smithtown Library’s summer reading program in addition to a visit from a fireman from the Smithtown Fire Department to teach about fire, pool and bike safety. Each Tuesday, students participate in a spirit day by wearing their favorite sports team jerseys, Smithtown colors and mismatched outfits.

Student-Artists Get Creative This Summer

Student-Artists Get Creative This Summer Photo
Student-artists who participated in the Yay Clay program didn’t mind getting their hands dirty this summer. Students used clay and plaster to create 3-D artwork including bowls, masks, animals and other figures. The program, which ran in July for students entering grades 1-3, was part of the SCOPE Summer Explorations Program housed at Accompsett Middle School.

Students Make Summer Connections

Students Make Summer Connections Photo

In keeping with its social-emotional learning initiatives, the district is helping its middle school students stay focused and prepare for the upcoming school year during the summer months with its Middle School CAMP (Character Academics Mindset Preparedness) program housed at Accompsett Middle School in July.

Approximately 60 students in grades 7-9 participate in the three-day-a-week program, which aims to educate the whole student by connecting the mind and body. The groups do a quick mindfulness check in at the start and end of each day. Working in core groups, students rotate through different classes in an effort to build their academic, creative, social and emotional skill sets. 

In the movement class, students learn mindfulness, how to self-regulate by connecting their mind and body and how to link their attitudes to their academics. Students learn about real food vs. non-real food and how to connect what they are eating to how they are feeling during the nutrition class. 

They also use musical instruments as a way to express themselves. Academically, each group takes part in a daily Genius Hour, a project-based learning initiative that allows students to explore their passions and encourages creativity. The HeartMath class teaches students how to use their breathing to regulate their thinking and emotions and how they can apply those skills in everyday situations. 

Soccer Uniforms Make Trip Around the World

Soccer Uniforms Make Trip Around the World Photo
Soccer Uniforms Make Trip Around the World Photo 2
Thanks to a generous donation of used soccer uniforms by the district, student-athletes in Uganda are sporting new uniforms for their tournament this year. 

High School West marine science teacher Kimberly Williams and High School East varsity field hockey assistant coach/Nesaquake Middle School coach Carisa Eye connected with volunteers who work with H.E.L.P. International. In a coordinated effort, the pair worked with members of the Smithtown athletic department to gather and box the uniforms. H.E.L.P. International volunteers, who were making a trip to Uganda, knew of students in need of the uniforms at the Masese School and helped facilitate the delivery. 

East Artists on Display at College Campus

East Artists on Display at College Campus Photo
Six student-artists from High School East had their artwork selected for inclusion in the Suffolk Center on the Holocaust, Diversity and Human Understanding’s 2016 Embracing Our Differences Long Island art exhibit. 

High School East students Stephanie Berdon, Brooke Berroyer, Allison Cleary, Alexandra Granelle, Faith Leonard and Alexandra Thode submitted work from teacher Dianne Shanian’s photography class in the spring semester. Their artwork will be on display this summer at Suffolk County Community College, Ammerman Campus in Selden. The 12 by 8 foot murals will be unveiled at an opening reception on Aug. 24 and will remain on display through Sept. 5.

Students Stay Engaged This Summer

Students Stay Engaged This Summer Photo

Throughout July, Smithtown students have the option to participate in an array of programs for those entering grades 1-6 courtesy of the SCOPE Summer Explorations Program housed at Accompsett Middle School.

With four different sessions from which to choose, Smithtown students are staying actively engaged academically and socially during the summer months. Programs range from clowning around with magic to creative carpentry to cooking class for young chefs. Students can learn to code and explore different STEM concepts or they can choose to hone their engineering skills by building simple machines.

For those students looking to get creative, there’s a clay sculpting class, hair braiding and bracelet making class and a theater/acting program. SCOPE also offers an offsite class for young fisherman to explore at Short Beach. 

Board of Education Elects New Leaders

Board of Education Elects New Leaders Photo

Smithtown Central School District’s Board of Education held its annual reorganization meeting on July 13. Jeremy Thode was elected to serve as board president, and Michael Saidens was elected to the position of vice president of the board.

Newly elected trustees Gladys Waldron, Joanne McEnroy and Matthew Gribbin were sworn in to begin their terms by District Clerk Maureen O’Connor. 

Student-Musicians Hone Skills During Summer

Student-Musicians Hone Skills During Summer Photo
Student-Musicians Hone Skills During Summer Photo 2
Student-musicians in grades 4-8 are spending the summer months fine-tuning their musical skills thanks to a program offered by the Friends of Music of Smithtown at Accompsett Middle School. During the summer music program, students spend an hour per day working in small groups to refine their musical talents in preparation for the upcoming school year.

Animal Experts at Dogwood

Animal Experts at Dogwood Photo
Fourth-grade students in Danielle Neri’s class at Dogwood Elementary School recently participated in an animal research project. Each student created a book, slideshow and reported on their animal as part of a class video. Guests were invited to a class presentation to meet the animal experts, who were ready to answer questions regarding their animal.  

A Cultural Celebration

A Cultural Celebration Pic

With passports in hand, students at Tackan Elementary School held a multicultural day, traveling around the world in a celebration of diversity on June 19.

Celebrating dance, music, crafts and activities from all around the world, the students traveled around the school and into a new country to immerse in its culture. After learning a bit about life in each of the places, students participated in a cultural activity. In Mexico, students made and played their own maracas. In India, they crafted elephant masks. In Russia and Ireland, students learned dances specific to those regions. 

Each time the students moved to a different station, their passport was stamped. “It’s a Small World” played over the public announcement system when it was time to rotate to a new country.

Young Authors Tell Their Stories

Young Authors Tell Their Stories Photo

Third-grade authors in Diane Ciappa’s class at Mills Pond Elementary School held a literacy celebration on June 13.

Invited guests joined the students in the school’s courtyard to listen to the personal memoirs they have been working diligently on for the past four weeks.

The third-graders created their own memoirs using literacy tools they learned throughout the year, such as personification, similes, strong leads, character setting, sensory details and more. They even created the illustrations to go along with their autobiographies.
In the classroom, guests saw a special performance as students recreated the book “The Great Kapok Tree” dressed as all the different animals in the rainforest.

Third-Graders Trace Family Heritage

Family Heritage Pic 1

Third-grade students at St. James Elementary celebrated their heritage with Immigration Day on June 16.

For the Immigration Day project, students had to locate a document that was linked to their family history in some way. Each student then traced their family heritage back to that document to show their lineage.

Following a group musical performance highlighting different countries around the world in song – such as Australia, Brazil and Japan – the third-graders showed off their projects for parents and invited guests into the multi-purpose room.

Back in the classrooms, the celebration continued as students and guests sampled different ethnic food prepared by each family.

Lessons in Listening

Lessons in Listening Photo

Second-graders at Mills Pond Elementary School presented the play “Once Upon a Lily Pad” to family and friends on June 14. Dressed as alligators, egrets, snakes, frogs, turtles and lightning bugs, the students performed songs in between a lesson on why it’s always important to always listen to your parents. Since the production coincided with Flag Day, the second-graders ended their performance with a medley of patriotic songs including “I Love My Country,” “Grand Old Flag” and “Yankee Doodle.”

Honoring Everyday Heroes

Honoring Everyday Heroes Photo

Fourth-grade students at Accompsett Elementary School honored their real-life heroes during Hero Day. Throughout May, students compiled their writings about a special person in their life who they admire. In June, the everyday heroes were invited into the respective classrooms where students read aloud their essays.

HSE Teacher Receives Science Award

HSE Teacher Receives Science Award Photo
High School East research coordinator Maria Zeitlin was honored at the Science Teachers Association of New York State Long Island Science Congress with the Edith Stillwaggon Memorial Award. Presented by LISC coordinator Allison Chanin-Bermudez, the award recognizes one outstanding contributor to science education.

“Recognition by my peers is the highest honor I can receive,” Ms. Zeitlin said. “These educators are the best at what they do and contribute so much of their time to providing opportunities for students to investigate and conduct research.” Ms. Zeitlin has been the science research coordinator at Smithtown High School East for 12 years.

An Abundance of Animal Knowledge at Tackan

An Abundance of Animal Knowledge at Tackan Photo

Third-graders at Tackan Elementary School shared their knowledge of a variety of different animals during the annual animal exhibit on June 13.

For the project, each student was given a specific animal to research. They had to collect and present information on interesting facts about their animal as well as its habitat, appearance, diet, offspring and predators. Invited guests saw the completed projects on display and heard presentations from students about their animals.  

High School East Researchers Take First at L.I. Science Congress

High School East Researchers Take First at L.I. Science Congress Photo
High School East Researchers Take First at L.I. Science Congress Photo 2
High School East students in the science research program earned first place and top honors at the Long Island Science Congress, sponsored by the Science Teachers Association of New York State.

Fourteen High School East students entered the competition and 10 students received recognition at a special ceremony. The team of juniors Sydney Bracht, Sidney Davis and Lexington Zografakis placed first in the competition and advanced to the State Science Congress in Buffalo, New York, where they recently earned an honorable mention.

Their team project, “He Said…She Said: The Role of Gender on Persuadability,” was inspired by events in last year’s presidential election. Mentored by Maria Zeitlin, High School East science research coordinator, the students did an in-house project conducted at the high school.

St. James Singers Score Superior

St. James Singers Score Superior Photo
St. James Singers from St. James Elementary School participated in the Long Island Music Festival on June 10. The Long Island Music Festival brings students and adjudicators together in a positive learning environment. The choir received the highest ranking of superior for their performance of two selected songs. St. James Singers is a before-school club comprised of more than 100 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders directed by St. James Elementary music teachers Christa Braunreuther and Allison Irmscher.

More than 400 graduates celebrate at High School East

Smithtown Central School District celebrated the accomplishments of High School East’s Class of 2017 during its 102st annual commencement exercise on June 22.

The 427 graduates marched proudly onto the football field to “Pomp and Circumstance” and were welcomed by Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Jennifer Bradshaw, who spoke to the Class of 2017 about smart goals and dream-driven goals. “You don’t have to pick one or the other for your goals,” she said. “Today, your graduation day, is a noteworthy accomplishment. But it is only one day that represents the culmination of 13 years of studying. You should be proud of the work that got you here. But as you embark on the next stage of life, consider not just your next goal, consider your next journey and how you want to spend that journey.”

East Principal Dr. Kevin Simmons urged the graduates to dream big. “This is an unbelievably exciting time in your life,” he said. “All doors are open as you decide what your next chapter in life will be. Keep making informed choices and educated decisions. Continue to test yourself and stay committed to your beliefs because you know what’s best for you. We are so proud of your current accomplishments and we look forward to hearing all of your future successes as well.”

Student honor speaker Kyle DiPietrantonio, who is selected by the class instead of a valedictorian or salutatorian, took a moment to reflect on how far the class has come in the past four years at Smithtown High School East. “These past four years, we have been working to create our own identity,” he said. “You have the power to make a difference. You have the ability to impact and influence. Leave your legacy.”

Senior class president Juneve Porciello addressed her fellow classmates and spoke about how graduation wasn’t the end but a new beginning. “Today, we are not saying goodbye, we are saying hello to our future,” she said. “The days in front of us are what hold the greatest adventure. It’s time to take the next step in our journey.”

The 400-plus members of the Class of 2017 were then called to the stage one by one to receive their diplomas and pose for a picture before tossing their caps high into the air to celebrate the end of their time at High School East.

Graduating Class of 2017

Graduating Class of 2017 Photo
Smithtown High Schools East and West each celebrated the 102nd commencement exercises of the graduating Class of 2017. More than 800 students in total participated in the respective graduation ceremonies held on their school fields on June 22. Please visit the schools pages for East and West for a complete story and slideshow of photos.

Class of 2017

Smithtown High School East celebrated the graduating Class of 2017 on the evening of June 22. Check out the video of the ceremony featured on Newsday at

HSE Researcher Captures International Title

HSE Researcher Captures International Title Photo
HSE Researcher Captures International Title Photo 2
HSE Researcher Captures International Title Photo 3
High School East Science Research student Emily Peterson placed fourth in the cellular and molecular biology category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, California. Her project investigated “Lecithin-Retinol Acyl Transferase in Squamous Cell Carcinoma: The Relationship Between Oncology and Wound Repair.”
Intel ISEF gathers more than 1,700 students from 78 countries. In order to qualify to compete at ISEF, students must place first in regional fairs held around the world.

For Smithtown, qualification at the regional New York State Science and Engineering Fair requires not only a first-place finish, but also beating the other first-place winners in the lightning round. Held at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, students presented 7-9 minute talks to accompany poster boards. “Research is not just about how well you know your project, but also about the questions you ask moving forward,” said Maria Zeitlin, High School East science research coordinator.

First-place finishes at NYSSEF from High School East included junior Shrey Thaker and seniors Erika Nemeth, Jillian Pesce, Peterson and Ruisi Zhong. Cindy Li took home third place, Anjali Balamurugan won second place and Sanjana Eranki took home an honorable mention.

The first-place finishers at NYSSEF from High School East traveled to ISEF to compete against student researchers from around the world. East student projects each investigated a unique way to understand the mechanisms and clinical aspects of cancer.

Accompsett Celebrates 50 Years

Accompsett Celebrates 50 Years Photo
Accompsett Celebrates 50 Years Photo 2

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Accompsett Elementary School gathered all the students outside for a photo opportunity in the shape of the number 50. Thanks to the help of the Smithtown High School West Robotics team, a drone was flown overhead to snap the picture while students sang their school song in unison.

HS West graduates celebrate a milestone

It was an afternoon of pride and sentiment as 427 graduates from High School West’s Class of 2017 celebrated an important academic milestone during the 102nd annual commencement exercises on the football field on June 22.

After a salute to the flag, the jazz choir sang the national anthem, followed by Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane’s welcome to the students and their guests. In giving advice to the graduates, Dr. Grossane called on the lessons learned in the readings of “Winnie the Pooh” stories as they related to individuality, unselfishness, comfort, wealth and trust. “Trust in your abilities to deal with anything,” he said.  

Honor speaker Cory Zhou, who was elected by his peers in lieu of a valedictorian and salutatorian, encouraged classmates to find passion in their lives and to use their natural talents. “Do not subjugate your gifts out of fear,” he said. “Instead, flaunt them and be proud of them.” Class president Courtney Grafstein spoke about the importance of reaching out to others. “Everything we do, no matter how small, can make a difference in the lives of others,” she noted.

Prior to the presentation of the class, Principal John Coady thanked the students for their assistance in making Smithtown High School West a school of excellence. “You have left a mark on this school,” he said. “I thank you for what you have done and what you will do.”

After each graduate was called to the stage to receive his or her diploma from administration and faculty, concert choir seniors and the jazz choir paid tribute to the parents and graduates with a performance of “The Sweetest Days.”

HSW Named NYS Reward School

HSW Named NYS Reward School Photo
High School West has been named a New York State Reward School by the State Education Department for high academic achievement or the most progress with minimal gaps in student achievement based on its performance in the 2015-2016 school year.

Each year, SED identifies schools statewide that meet the criteria as high performing schools or schools that have made the most progress without significant gaps in student achievement. This year, Smithtown High School West was one of 185 schools that received this prestigious designation.
“We are extremely pleased to receive this recognition,” said High School West Principal John Coady. “It is a validation of the hard work of our outstanding teachers and staff, as well as the great efforts our students put into academics."

To be identified as a Reward School, a school must be among the top 20 percent of schools statewide for English language arts and math performance for both the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years or be among the top 10 percent of schools in terms of gains in ELA and math performance in the 2015-2016 school year. A school must also have made adequate yearly progress for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years on all measures for which the school is accountable, including the requirement that 95 percent of all groups participated in the ELA and math assessments. Finally, to be named a Reward School, a school must not have unacceptable gaps in student performance. 

Tackan Students Learn Hands-On Fire Safety Lessons

Tackan Students Learn Hands-On Fire Safety Lessons Photo

Volunteer members of the Nesconset Fire Department visited with students at Tackan Elementary School to demonstrate some hands-on fire safety lessons on June 8.

Fire department members brought a fire truck, ambulance and a smoke house to give students the opportunity to learn about fire safety first hand. Students were able to board the ambulance in small groups and learn about the different tools inside to help people and when to call an ambulance in an emergency situation.

Tackan students also learned about the different functions of the fire truck, what to do if there’s a fire in their home and how to get out safely while also allowing the firemen to do their jobs. They also got to use the fire hose and take turns being firemen. 

In the smokehouse, students had a hands-on lesson in fire safety, learning how to react in a real emergency situation and get out safely.

Branch Brook’s Final Chapter

Moving Up

Moving Up Photo

Congratulations to the fifth-graders who will be moving up to their respective middle schools in September. Please click here for a slideshow of all the elementary fifth-grade classes.

Two Juniors Honored for Excellence in Computing

Two Juniors Honored for Excellence in Computing Photo
High School West juniors Emily Hennessy and Sean Yang have been named the 2017 High School West recipients of the Rochester Institute of Technology Computing Medal and Scholarship.
The R.I.T. Computing Medal and Scholarship Program recognizes high school juniors who have distinguished themselves academically, are active and involved members of their school and community, and demonstrate interest and ability in computing.

Mentor Program at AMS Fosters Friendships

Mentor Program at AMS Fosters Friendships Photo
The mentor program at Accompsett Middle School brings together English Language Learners and English-speaking students to create and foster friendships and integration into the school and community, while helping the ENL students learn English as well.

As their year together is coming to a close, the seventh-graders in the program joined with their buddies for a game of charades on May 30 during their lunch periods.

This program meets formally once a month, but outside of the arranged meetings, students are encouraged to work cooperatively in their classes and spend time together in lunch. The mentors in the program learn about different cultures, and the program helps to increase their self-confidence and social skills. For the ENL students, the program is a perfect way to welcome them to the school community by fostering ongoing friendships with their mentor buddies.

Aspiring Artists at Branch Brook

Aspiring Artists at Branch Brook Photo
Students at Branch Brook Elementary School displayed their artwork during the school’s art show on May 24. Throughout the school year, students learned about various works from artists such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee and Piet Mondrian. Shown here is Allison Nucci’s fourth-grade class in front of their Matisse-inspired name designs.

Maker Space at the Smithtown Elementary Library

Smithtown Elementary students in grades 2-4 are getting a chance to be creative in the library with Keva Planks.


Board Honors Retirees, Merit Scholars

Board Honors Retirees Pic 1
Board Honors Retirees Pic 2
Board Honors Retirees Pic 3
The district honored its two National Merit Scholar winners and recognized the district’s retirees during its board of education meeting on May 23.
Prior to the start of the meeting, a celebration was held for approximately 50 faculty and staff members who will be retiring at the end of the school year. Each retiree was also recognized with a certificate from the board of education.

Board of Education President Christopher Alcure, Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane, High School West Principal John Coady and High School East Principal Dr. Kevin Simmons honored High School East student Sanjana Eranki and High School West student Samantha Catalano for being named National Merit Scholar winners.

Quarter 4 Scholar Athlete Team

Athlete Team Pic 1
On June 6, Accompsett Middle School recognized the Quarter 4 Scholar Athlete Team. The girls lacrosse team was honored for their excellent academic and athletic accomplishments. Each student received a Scholar Athlete T-shirt and certificate. Special thanks to the Smithtown Booster Club for sponsoring this valuable program and coach Danielle DeMola, Pat Smith, and Dave Miller for making this event possible.

SEL Kindergarten Circus

School's Back

Summer image


HSE image


HSW image