To address the safety and security of students and staff throughout the district, the Smithtown Central School District invited parents and community members to its spring Parent University School Safety Forum on May 7 at Smithtown High School West.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane spoke about the safety and security practices in place including the visitor management system, security entrances and vestibules, security cameras and routine evacuation/fire/lockdown drills.
District, county and law enforcement representatives were on hand to discuss the district’s emergency planning and responses in the event of a threat to school safety. Jack Blaum, the district’s security consultant, and Joe Rizzo, chief of security, spoke about the district’s safety measures, practices and procedures. They addressed concerns about keeping buildings secure, preventative measures, fire evacuation procedures and ongoing security upgrades.
Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel Services Mona Tobin addressed the audience regarding communication with parents and community members and reunification plans in the event of an emergency.
Kindergarteners showered moms with love and adoration.
From March 14-16, more than 65 fifth-graders from Smithtown Elementary School performed "Shrek Jr., The Musical." Throughout the five-month rehearsal process, students learned to sing, dance and act. The students worked collaboratively alongside their teachers, Mrs. Payne and Mrs. Yoon, to not only put on a great performance, but embrace the show’s message of acceptance of oneself and others.
Fifth-graders at Dogwood Elementary School taught their classmates and audience members about the importance of always being kind to others and treating them the way they would like to be treated. The fifth-graders performed the musical “Bugz” on April 26 and 27 with the songs and storyline delivering messages of tolerance and understanding the differences of others. Dressed as different types of bugs – including lady bugs, ants, honeybees, fireflies, butterflies and more – the students learned how they were all being mean to the stink bug and what they could do to be more accepting.
Students in Dianne Shanian’s Digital Media Art class had a visit from
Paul Lipsky from MindYolk on May 11. Mr. Lipsky showed the class his 3D
Technical Illustrations and animations as it relates both to the
technical and creative fields. He spoke about how integral the arts are
to industry, and how they will be needed in career fields that merge
these skills. He said, "It is the way of the future." Before companies
invest in manufacturing products, they first need target markets to see
their proposed product. Therein lies the value in 3D rendering. People
can see the product in advance before even a penny is spent.
Smithtown Elementary School enjoyed a special visit from author and Illustrator Kathleen Bart. She shared her book A Tale of Two Teddies with the children, teaching them the origins of the first two teddy bears and how they came to be. The children enjoyed learning how to draw their own teddy bear.
Third-graders at Tackan Elementary School got sticky and slimy as part of a hands-on lesson presented by the Parent-Teacher Association’s Cultural Arts program on April 25.
A representative from the Long Island Science Museum visited the school for the slime, goo and ooze presentation. Students learned about the different states of matter – solids, liquids and gases – and their different properties. To make the slime, the students had to turn a liquid into a gel, a state of matter in between a liquid and a solid. Each student had the opportunity to make two different types of slime. The first slime used glue, Borax, food coloring and water to create a “gak” slime, which was stretchy and sticky. The “flubber” slime they created next had a different texture, and students observed its different properties. At the end of the program, the third-graders were able to take their creations home to enjoy.
Showing off the many interactive, hands-on learning experiences available throughout the district, the Maker Space Club from High School East invited students and their families to Bull STEAM Ahead evening on April 20.
Maker Space activities ¬– with topics covering science, technology, engineering, art and math – were offered for students to experience. They checked out 3-D printing technology, made their own math origami, worked with circuits, videoed themselves on a green screen and used virtual reality glasses.
Technologies of the past also made an appearance, and some students had fun learning to use a typewriter. STEM professionals from local businesses were on hand to answer questions, and the Mechanical Bulls robotics team set up outside the cafeteria to showcase their creations. Admission was free with a nonperishable food donation, which the Maker Space Club will collect for a local food pantry.
As part of a Project Lead the Way activity, eighth-grade students at Great Hollow Middle School used a sheep’s brain to compare and contrast its components to a human brain. Students used flags to identify and examine the different parts of the brain.
It was a royal gathering for second-graders at Tackan Elementary School when they celebrated their Fairy Tale Ball on April 20. The celebration was the culmination of their literacy unit on fairy tales.
Royal kings and queens, princes and princesses and many of the famous characters from the classic tales entered the gymnasium to an audience of family and friends.
Class by class, the students took to the stage to recite a few of the well-known fairy tales, some dressed the part of the different characters, including “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Pinocchio.”
Following the show, guests and fairy tale characters were all invited back to the cafeteria for a royal feast.
Students in Christina Cone's Holocaust and Genocide class at High
School West had the opportunity to hear from Holocaust survivor
Mordechai Miller. He shared his experiences and hardships of a tragic
time in history. His testimony helps to educate the new generation of
the atrocities of the past and inspires them to live a life free of
Pictured from left (back row): HSW social studies teacher Christina
Cone, High School West students David DeRosa, Taylor Fox, JonCarlo
Gargano, Chris Scotto DiMaso, Danielle Prisco, Dean Mattschull, Nick
Cipolla, Dominick Pilo, Luke Silva. Front row: Kenneth Hain, guest
speaker Mordechai Miller, Melissa DeGaetano, Emily Goldberg, Eve
Lindenmann, Kristina Keys and Jenn Stein.
Fourth- and fifth-graders in the Cares Club at Mills Pond Elementary School worked up quite a sweat for a charitable cause on April 12.
The students, along with club advisers and teacher volunteers, participated in a boot camp fundraiser to benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. In total, approximately 30 students were involved in the event, which required a donation of at least $5 to participate. In addition to raising awareness about the disease, the students garnered close to $700 in pledges.
The gymnasium was set up in different stations, and students rotated throughout, doing sit-ups, planks, push-ups, relay races and jumping jacks in small groups.
Storybook characters came to life at Accompsett Elementary School on April 10 when the second-grade classes participated in their annual Fairy Tale Ball.
As a culminating activity to their fairy unit, the students dressed as their favorite characters and performed songs and dances for the audience. The second-graders also showcased their literacy skills by reciting their own fairy tales for invited guests. Following the performance, the kings, queens, princes and princesses all headed back to the classrooms for a fairy tale feast.
The district’s robotic team, the Mechanical Bulls (Team #810), won the FIRST Robotics Long Island Regional competition at Hofstra University on April 14. The team has earned a spot to compete in the World Championships in Detroit, Michigan at the end of April.
The team also won the Chairman’s Award, which involved submitting a paper, doing a presentation, answering questions from the executives of FIRST while at competitions and doing community outreach.
Mechanical Bulls coach David Savage won the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award, which is based on the nomination he received from the students and the parents on the team for being a great coach and role model to the team. The award celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design. He is eligible for the Championship Woodie Flowers Award in Detroit.
The Mechanical Bulls are only the fifth team (out of more than 7,200 teams) in the 25-year history of FIRST to ever win three blue banners at one regional event.
High School West leadership students Brooke Vitulli and Marie Carpenter were named finalists in the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights “Speak Truth To Power” video contest sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers and the Tribeca Film Institute. The video, which they completed in leadership after researching important leaders who have been activists in civil or human rights movements, required that they address a certain human rights issue and explain how a chosen individual has worked to defend, promote, protect or advance human rights.
Brooke and Marie created a video about the #MeToo movement and the work of the movement’s leader Tarana Burke. Their video will join other top submissions across the nation and be recognized at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
Click here to view the video
Students in Laura McCoy and Brian Pelosi’s third-grade class at Accompsett Elementary School recently conducted nonfiction research projects and presented their research to the class using Google Slides. The students had the opportunity to ask questions and compliment their classmate’s work.
Fifth-graders from Accompsett Elementary School showed off their teamwork and athletic abilities in this year’s production of “Bring It On” on March 27. Led by physical education teacher Ed Shivokevich, acts included dance, hula-hoop, parachute, soccer, basketball, football and baseball. Students put on two performances for students, teachers and parents.
Fourth-graders at St. James Elementary School celebrated the opening day of baseball by engaging in activities centered on the sport on March 29.
In the day filled with baseball-themed lessons, students listened to the famous comedy act “Who’s On First” by Abbott and Costello and had to answer questions about who was at each position. They read and answered questions about the poem “Casey at the Bat.” The fourth-graders listened to the song “The Greatest” by Kenny Rogers and discussed its lessons as a mindfulness/take away activity.
The student-artists designed their own baseball pennants and budding musicians wrote their own versions of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to share with the class. For their hands-on science lesson, students predicted, tested and measured the bounce of a baseball, tennis ball, whiffle ball and golf ball.
Fourth-graders also honed their baseball skills during physical education classes and stretched their muscles in class during the seventh-inning stretch. Students read books about different baseball legends and practiced baseball-related math problems.
Seventh-graders in Connor Kelly’s technology class at Great Hollow Middle School were tasked with flying paper airplanes as part of a Project Lead the Way activity on designing technology solutions. After completing their unit on aerodynamics and flight, the students first had to adjust rudders, ailerons and elevators to have the plane perform specific maneuvers in flight. For the second part of the activity, the students attempted to fly their airplanes as far as possible, some reaching more than 50 feet.
Dozens of classic nursery rhyme characters came to life on stage at Dogwood and St. James elementary schools on March 27 and 28 as the kindergarten students presented “An Adventure in Mother Goose Land.” The kindergartners performed first for the school, with an encore show for family and friends.
When Mother Hubbard loses her dog’s bone, she enlists the help of different characters to help find it. Along with Mother Goose, Mother Hubbard asks for help as kindergartners, dressed as their storybook character, come to the stage. At the end of the play, the bone is finally recovered by the mouse in the grandfather clock from “Hickory, Dickory, Dock.”
Brittany Schiavone, who runs the local nonprofit Brittany’s Baskets of Hope, visited with National Junior Honor Society students at Accompsett Middle School on March 14. The organization assembles and donates baskets for newborns around the country with Down syndrome. Schiavone, who has Down syndrome, said she started the nonprofit to welcome babies and their families to the Down syndrome family.
Schiavone spoke to students about her mission to make a change in the world and not be attached to the stereotypes that come along with different disabilities. Her organization brings information, support and guidance to families who have given birth to a baby with Down syndrome. During the last 18 months, she has sent more than 600 baskets around the United States.
The baskets are filled with baby items such as onesies that read “downright perfect;” rattles, headbands, hand knitted blankets, sweaters, hats and booties; resources and information for the parents; and a message from Brittany’s parents about the journey of raising a child with Down syndrome.
Sheri Fallacaro, National Junior Honor Society adviser, was one of her former teachers and organized the presentation for the middle school students. The National Junior Honor Society members also donated items to help fill up more baskets.
To raise money for its Parent-Teacher Association, get active and show their school spirit, Mills Pond Elementary School held a Boosterthon Fun Run in the gymnasium on March 9.
Garnering pledges from friends and family for each lap they ran, the students completed between 30-35 laps around the gym. In total, Mills Pond Elementary School raised close to $15,000 to help benefit the programs and activities provided by its PTA.
Dressed in their fun run shirts, the students had teachers and staff members cheering them on as they completed each lap. After each time around the gym, they received a check mark on the back of their shirt to show their lap count.
Smithtown Elementary School’s Kindergarten classes had a special visit from Stony Brook Hospital’s nursing students. The children learned about rules before crossing the street, bike and helmet safety and the importance of hand washing. The children also enjoyed an interactive Teddy Bear Clinic to care for stuffed animals.