skip to main content

Students Enlist Community to Help Hurricane Victims

Students Enlist Community to Help Hurricane Victims photo
Students Enlist Community to Help Hurricane Victims photo 2
Students Enlist Community to Help Hurricane Victims photo 3
Students Enlist Community to Help Hurricane Victims photo 4
Members of the National Junior High Society and Community Service Club from Accompsett Middle School recently spent the day at their local supermarket collecting items for those in need.

The student-volunteers enlisted the help of their community to collect items for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico on Dec. 2 by spending the day outside their local Stop & Shop. The students collected more than 25 boxes full of toiletry items and food as well as paper goods. Some shoppers donated money, which allowed the student-volunteers to shop for different items needed to help fill the boxes. 

Kindergartners Use the Force

Kindergartners Use the Force pic
Kindergartners at Smithtown Elementary School have been testing their scientific theories during Project Lead the Way hands-on activities. The students explored and compared the force needed to push and pull a crate of blocks up an incline. Students used their Project Lead the Way manuals to record and illustrate their results.  

A Bistro Book Tasting

A Bistro Book Tasting Pic
A Bistro Book Tasting Pic 2
A Bistro Book Tasting Pic 3
A Bistro Book Tasting Pic 4
A Bistro Book Tasting Pic 5
In an effort to familiarize students with a variety of genres, fifth-graders at Accompsett Elementary School recently held a bistro book tasting event. 

Students enjoyed a three-course menu of book selections of various genres to taste or try out. They added descriptions to their menus and wrote reflections on their napkins in an ambiance enhanced with French music, checkered tablecloths, vases of flowers and soft candlelight. The activity provided an opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with new titles to add to their “To Be Read” lists.

Drama Club Shows Off Talent During Winter Production

Drama Club Shows Off Talent During Winter Production photo

High School East’s Drama Club presented three successful performances of “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 in the High School East auditorium. There was also a special matinee for senior citizens in the community on Nov. 29. The script was adapted from the famous movie screenplay, written and directed by Frank Capra. The play was directed by Kim Sundberg and co-produced by Matthew Hennings and Jean Marie Kliphuis.

RazKids Webinar

Parents, watch this recorded webinar to learn more about using RazKids at home!

Annual Dinner Unites Student-Musicians

Student-Musicians  Pic
The Tri-M Music Honor Society of Smithtown High School West hosted the seventh annual Tri-M dinner on Nov. 21. More than 100 Tri-M members from both High School East and High School West gathered in the library to enjoy dinner and a little friendly competition. Each attendee also brought nonperishable food items to be donated to the Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry.

Thanksgiving Snackin’ at Tackan

Thanksgiving Snackin’ at Tackan pic

Dressed in their feathered hats, the kindergarten classes at Tackan Elementary School celebrated Thanksgiving with a holiday feast on Nov. 21. The students decorated placements and enjoyed spending time together sharing snacks with their classmates.


Nature Nick Visits Smithtown Elementary

Mechanical Bulls Ride to the Finals

Mechanical Bulls Ride to the Finals Pic
The Smithtown Robotics team, the Mechanical Bulls, competed in the sixth annual Half Hollow Hills Invitational during the weekend of Nov. 18-19. This was their first competition since last March, and it provided an opportunity to introduce new members to competition and test out new drivers.

Together with pre-rookie Team 6706 from Mineola and Team 2872 from The Wheatley School in Old Westbury, Smithtown’s team went from the lowest ranking, ninth-seeded alliance to making the finals. 

The event was the kickoff to their global build and competition season, where the team receives a game challenge and six weeks to design, fabricate, wire, program and test a new robot from scratch to compete in two regional competitions. They will be competing against teams from China, Chinese Taipei, Brazil, Croatia, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Michigan.

Exploring Punctuation

First-graders in Katharine Smerechniak’s class recently explored different types of punctuation with ELA coach Mrs. Cronin.

November’s Caught Being Kind Winners

November’s Caught Being Kind Winners photo
This year, Great Hollow’s School Improvement Team implemented a student recognition program entitled “Caught Being Kind."The “Caught Being Kind” program is an initiative to promote and enhance student’s behavior and sense of community.

Any staff members who observes a student(s) helping someone else, submits their name to an administrator to formally recognize their act of kindness.

Students are awarded a formal certificate, a free popcorn coupon during monthly PTA "popcorn Friday," a "caught being kind" custom pencil, as well as a photo with the schools administration.

Mills Pond Students Travel Back in Time

Mills Pond Students Travel Back in Time pic

Second-graders in Barbara Haining’s class at Mills Pond Elementary School traveled back in time to celebrate Thanksgiving like communities from long ago on Nov. 21.

The students have been learning about communities from different centuries and comparing them to communities today. Via pictures and discussions, the students have been comparing schools, the cost of living, changes in transportation, and rural and urban communities.

To celebrate Thanksgiving, the second-graders started their day by making their own pancakes. Using the skills learned in their recent math-measuring unit, they mixed the ingredients to make pancakes. Next, they made their own butter to top their pancakes using heavy cream. 

After feasting on their homemade breakfast, the students each created their own slate board to practice spelling their words of the week using chalk like the children would have done hundreds of years ago. Toys from long ago were also very different and the students made a ball and cup toy. 

Learning Through Links

Learning Through Links pic
Every Friday, fifth-graders in Jennifer Baumeister’s class and third-graders in Annamarie Polito’s class at Mills Pond Elementary School team up for different hands-on STEM activities.

The students work together with their buddy to strategize, communicate and problem-solve the different activities presented each week. On Nov. 17, the students gathered together to determine the best way to construct the longest paper chain link. After getting two pieces of construction paper, a ruler, scissors and just 12 inches of tape, students were given 10 minutes to plan their design along with their buddy. They then had 15 minutes to construct the longest chain, being careful to make sure each link was secure before the teachers measured it. Some groups constructed chains of more than 70 inches long. 

The People vs. Goldilocks

The People vs. Goldilocks pic

Fifth-graders at Tackan Elementary School put Goldilocks on trial for her criminal acts in a court case with more than a dozen witnesses on Nov. 9.

Goldilocks was accused of trespassing at the Three Bears’ home, eating Papa Bear’s porridge and leftover chicken, stealing money (petty larceny), trying on Mama Bear’s dresses and breaking Baby Bear’s rocking chair (criminal mischief). Goldilocks went on trial against the plaintiffs, the Three Bears. 

As Goldilocks’ lawyers and the prosecution went toe to toe trying to prove their respective clients’ cases, other fairy tale characters were called to testify as witnesses including the Big Bad Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, the Gingerbread Man, the Three Blind Mice, Chicken Little and more. 

After hearing all the facts in the case, the jury of fourth-graders handed down a verdict and sentencing for Goldilocks.

Glow Run Garners Support for PTA

Glow Run Garners Support for PTA Pic
Glow Run Garners Support for PTA Pic 2
Glow Run Garners Support for PTA Pic 3
Glow Run Garners Support for PTA Pic 4
Glow Run Garners Support for PTA Pic 5
St. James Elementary School held a Glow Run to support its Parent-Teacher Association. On Nov. 16, the school hosted the Boosterthon fun run in the gymnasium to raise money for the school’s PTA while also keeping its students active. Prior to the run, students garnered pledges and sponsors from family members and friends for each lap they ran. In total, St. James Elementary raised more than $35,000 to benefit its PTA.

Students completed between 30-35 laps as volunteers marked off each lap completed on the grid featured on the back of each students’ shirt. To make it even more fun, students had different activities to do during the laps such as skipping, dancing and walking.

Seventh Annual Tri-M Dinner

Seventh Annual Tri-M Dinner photo
On Tuesday, November 21st, the Tri-M Music Honor Society of Smithtown High School West hosted the seventh annual Tri-M Dinner. Over one hundred Tri-M members from both Smithtown East and West gathered in the library to enjoy dinner and a little friendly competition. Each attendee also brought non-perishable food items that were donated to the Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry.

Annual Business Olympics Challenges Students for Charity

Students for Charity Pic

Each year, the School of Business in the Career & Technical Education Department, in cooperation with the Smithtown Industry Advisory Board, sponsors a Business Olympics competition.

This year’s theme was “Charity for a Cause,” which challenged the teams to choose a charity and plan a fundraising event to raise awareness and money for the charity. Students had to create a promotional and marketing campaign for their business as well as a PSA for their event and charity. Fifty-five teams of more than 230 students from HSE and HSW competed in the 23rd annual event on Nov. 8. 

Smithtown Industry Advisory Board members, district administrators and employees, local companies and organizations participated in the event and judged the students on their overall presentation. All student teams were required to have a Google Slide Presentation, a commercial for their charity, promotional materials and a marketing plan for their charity event. 

First place was awarded to the “Fitness is our Business – Driving out Diabetes” team of Mason Lambrix, Sunitha Palat, Madison Plourde and Kayla Rickles. In second place was “We Mean Business  - Winter Gala” consisting of Michael Caccavale, Michael Fischetti, James Rogers, Matthew Tockarshewsky and Calvin Wong. Third-place winners were Jenna Curcio, Anya Ording and Rachel Watson of “Team Red, White and Blue. ” 

The Circus Comes to Town

The Circus Comes to Town Pic

The National Circus Project came to Accompsett Elementary School during the week of Nov. 13 to work with the fourth-grade students.

Sponsored by the school’s PTA, the National Circus Project held weeklong workshops with the students to teach them the skills to perform in the circus. The program teaches patience, teamwork, confidence, self-discipline and good practice habits all while having fun. On Nov. 17, Accompsett’s fourth-graders were ready to showcase their skills for their families and invited guests.

Acrobats, stilt walkers, plate spinners, jugglers and more showed off their balancing skills with a variety of objects. Clowns kept the audience entertained throughout the circus, while other students showcased their talent using the diabolo and devil sticks. 

Friends of Music Gifts Great Hollow

Great Hollow pic
The Friends of Music of Smithtown recently presented Sandra Jurlando, music teacher at Great Hollow Middle School, with a $850 mini-grant to purchase concert drums. She is pictured with (from left) director of fine arts Michael Mastrangelo, Friends of Music of Smithtown President Gina Barnett (second from left) and Great Hollow Middle School Principal John Scomillio. 

Middle Schoolers Are Caught Being Kind

Middle Schoolers Are Caught Being Kind Pic
Middle Schoolers Are Caught Being Kind Pic 2
Great Hollow Middle School recently implemented a “Caught Being Kind” student recognition program. The school improvement team launched the program this year as a way to promote and enhance student’s behavior and sense of community.

Staff members who observe a kind act submit the student’s name for recognition. Students are awarded a certificate, a free popcorn coupon during the school’s monthly PTA popcorn Friday, a “Caught Being Kind” custom pencil and a photo with administrators that is shared online.

Second-Graders Pen Letters to Local Vets

Second-Graders Pen Letters to Local Vets photo
Second-Graders Pen Letters to Local Vets photo 2
Second-graders in Elizabeth Ozol’s and Barbara Haining’s classes at Mills Pond Elementary School in the Smithtown Central School District wrote letters thanking veterans for their service to the country. They also collected goods – such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, magazines and puzzle books – for local veterans. The letters and items were sent to the Northport VA Medical Center. 

Middle School Students Enjoy Snacks with Vets

Middle School Students Enjoy Snacks with Vets photo
Middle School Students Enjoy Snacks with Vets photo 2
Middle School Students Enjoy Snacks with Vets photo 3
Middle School Students Enjoy Snacks with Vets photo 4
Members of the National Junior Honor Society at Accompsett Middle School held a snack and game event for veterans and first-responders to show their appreciation for their service on Nov. 8. The students played cards, board games and spent time getting to know one another while enjoying snacks after school in the cafeteria. 

Joining the Fight Against Hunger

Joining the Fight Against Hunger Pic

On Oct. 28, students from Great Hollow Middle School and Dogwood Elementary School joined forces to help fight hunger. Members of the schools’ Peanut Butter Gang community service clubs visited Hospitality Too soup kitchen in Brentwood. They made peanut butter sandwiches that will be distributed at various locations on Long Island and in New York City, and also helped serve a hot lunch to soup kitchen guests. In addition, students distributed Halloween costumes collected at drives in both buildings.


A Motivational Bus Ride

A Motivational Bus Ride photo
A Motivational Bus Ride photo 2
A Motivational Bus Ride photo 3
After reading the motivational book “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon, students at Dogwood Elementary School had a special visit from the author on Nov. 6, thanks to the school’s PTA.
Gordon, who is a motivational speaker and also a Smithtown alumnus, spoke to students and staff about the five rules for his energy bus and how they can use them to create a positive attitude and experience every day. He talked to students about the bus rules of creating a positive vision; enjoying the ride; fueling the ride with positive energy; no bullies allowed; and loving your passengers.

His message to stay motivated by setting a positive vision for yourself resonated with students and staff alike. After talking about different ways of creating positive energy, the students had a brief question and answer session with Gordon.

First-Grade Celebrates Thanksgiving

Project Lead the Way


Project Lead the Way uses a hands-on approach to learning that actively engages students. Check out some of the lessons completed so far this year in our elementary and middle schools. Also check out our Fall Digest featuring more PLTW information.

A Race to Run the Forest

A Race to Run the Forest Pic

After learning about Election Day, first-graders at Mills Pond Elementary School learned about the electoral process during a forest election on Nov. 6.

Three candidates - Bartholomew Bear, Betsy Beaver and Fitzgerald Fox – were all vying for the position to be the head of the forest. The students listened to each candidate’s platform and learned why they would be the best one to run the forest. The first-graders then cast their vote for their favorite candidate. 

Tackan Gets Active for Its PTA

Tackan Gets Active for Its PTA

Tackan Elementary School came together to support its Parent-Teacher Association while having fun and staying healthy.

On Nov. 2, the school hosted a Boosterthon Fun Run to raise money for the school’s PTA while also keeping its students active. Prior to the run, students garnered pledges and sponsors from family members and friends for each lap they ran. In total, Tackan raised more than $18,000 to benefit its PTA. Pledges came from 25 different states and five different countries.

Dressed in their Tackan Fun Run T-shirts, the students marched out class by class with their banners and were introduced as they ran through the inflatable tunnel. The track was set up in the front of the school, and students completed between 30-35 laps as teachers marked off each lap on the lap of their shirts. To make it even more fun, students had different activities to do during the laps such as skipping, dancing and walking.

Unity Tree Joins School as Family

Unity Tree Joins School as Family Pic
Unity Tree Joins School as Family Pic 2
Unity Tree Joins School as Family Pic 3
Unity Tree Joins School as Family Pic 4
St. James Elementary School recognized Unity Day on Oct. 25 by dressing in orange and team gear. The color orange represented their unity, while the team gear showed they always work together as a team. The school completed a unity tree by making a pledge to use kind words and actions, make healthy choices, eat well and stay away from drugs.  

Exploring Light

First-graders in Kathy Smerechniak’s class at Mt. Pleasant recently explored light via a Project Lead the Way activity.

Resources, Workshops Provide Tools for Success

Resources, Workshops Provide Tools for Success

The district and its Parent-Teacher Associations, in partnership with the Smithtown Youth Bureau, Horizons Counseling and Education, Suffolk County Police Department and the Counter Drug Task Force, presented a Parent/Student University focusing on current drugs trends on Nov. 1 in the High School West auditorium.

Community members, parents and students came out to listen to the presentation on topics such as the dangers of alcohol abuse and vaping, social host laws, and what’s happening in the local community by Suffolk County Police Officer George Lynagh, Town of Smithtown youth services coordinator Kelly DeVito, Horizon Counseling and Education Center assistant director Patrice Levy and National Guard Counterdrug Task Force senior airman Gabriel Manzueta.  

Keynote speaker Jeffrey Reynolds, president and CEO of Family and Children’s Association, spoke to attendees about prevention, recovery and support resources. Before and after the presentation, community resources were available from local agents such as Project Presence, Inc., Families Anonymous, Tobacco Coalition of Long Island, LICADD, St. Patrick Youth, WellLife Network and YMCA Family Services. 

“It is an honor to work in a school district with such an invested community of parents, faculty and students,” said Siobhán Cassidy, Project Presence, Inc.’s director of professional development and practice. 

Throughout the evening, social-emotional workshops were conducted to offer parents tools to better connect. Parents learned about Smithtown Central School District’s social-emotional learning initiative and how they can partner with the schools at home. A parent/child yoga workshop gave participants the opportunity to increase body awareness and strengthen the parent/child connection. A mindfulness workshop taught parents how to be more present in their relationships with their child. The eating for energy workshop focused on how to reduce cravings, detoxify and find the top food categories for increasing energy.

Showing Humanitarian Spirit

Showing Humanitarian Spirit pic
Students at High School West recently came together to help those affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The students organized an “essential items” drive and collected baby formula, diapers, nonperishable foods, batteries, flashlights, first aid items and feminine hygiene products. Many of the school’s groups and clubs worked together to show a humanitarian spirit and help those in need. Some Spanish classes wrote messages of hope, empathy and encouragement. They also shared inspirational quotes and drawings to show their support.

Haunted Hallways and Halloween Fun

Halloween Fun Pic
Halloween Fun Pic 2
Halloween Fun Pic 3
Halloween Fun Pic 4
Halloween Fun Pic 5
High School West held its annual Safe Halloween event on the evening of Oct. 27. Organized by the Leadership Club, more than 30 of the school’s clubs participated with stations for the trick or treaters. Some stations featured arts and craft, games or a spooky haunted house. The High School West jazz band and brass ensemble entertained guests throughout the evening. Guests were asked to bring a nonperishable food items to the event and more than 500 items were collected to be donated to Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry. 

Pumpkins Provide Plenty of Hands-On Learning

Pumpkins Provide Plenty of Hands-On Learning Pic

Fourth-graders at Tackan Elementary spent Oct. 27 working on different pumpkin day activities.

Using their scientific and mathematic knowledge, students worked in groups to record how many lines were on each pumpkin. Students measured the height and circumference of their pumpkin. To get the weight of their pumpkins, they had to use math skills, first stepping on the scale alone and then with their pumpkins. They recorded the volume of the pumpkin by submerging it in a bucket of water.

The fourth-graders then carved their pumpkins, counting the number of seeds in groups of 10. After totaling the hundreds of seeds inside, they were tasked with finding the mass of the seeds by placing them on a balance scale. 


Scaring Away Drugs

Scaring Away Drugs Pic
In recognition of Red Ribbon Week from Oct. 23-27, students at St. James Elementary School made scarecrows to “Scare Away Drugs.” In addition to each class creating a scarecrow, students and staff added pledges to the scarecrows to say no to drugs and yes to healthy habits. Pictured here is Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane with Karen Dennis’ fourth-grade class. 

Dogwood Unites Against Bullying

Dogwood Unites Against Bullying
Dogwood Unites Against Bullying 2
Dogwood Unites Against Bullying3
Dogwood Unites Against Bullying 4
Dogwood Elementary School came together in a sea of orange to celebrate National Unity Day on Oct. 25. Approximately 400 students and staff wore orange to send the unified message of peace, friendship and to take a stand against bullying.  

During a school wide assembly, each grade level shared their class pledge to put an end to bullying and maintain a peaceful, friendly school. Students also sang a song about friendship and went outside for a peace walk.  

Throughout the school year, Dogwood students have been learning strategies for dealing with bullies, how to recognize what bullying is, how to stand up for others and how to join in groups to make friends. 

A Sampling of College Offerings

A Sampling of College Offerings Pic
High School West held a mini-college day fair for its juniors and seniors in the school’s gymnasium on Oct. 24. More than 50 colleges and universities both locally and throughout the U.S. had representatives available to offer advice and answer questions from the Smithtown students. Students asked about academic programs, campus life, admissions questions and financial aid and tuition information during the one-on-one meet and greet with the college representatives. 

Softball Scholars Named All-American

Softball Scholars Named All-American
Softball Scholars Named All-American 2
Eight students from High School West’s 2017 varsity softball team have been named scholar-athlete All-Americans by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. 

To qualify for this distinction, student-athletes must possess a 3.5 GPA or higher. The district congratulates junior Danielle Badillo, sophomore Sarah Chapman, junior Abigail Canelle, junior Kristin Horoszewski, junior Alicia Killeen, Class of 2017 graduate Kaitlyn Loffman, sophomore Jillian Meaney and Class of 2017 graduate Katelynn Meaney.

A Special Halloween Visit

A Special Halloween Visit photo

Fifth-graders from Mills Pond Elementary School paid a Halloween visit to the St. James Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Residents handed out candy as the fifth-graders trick-or-treated through the hallways.

Tackan Fun Run

The PTA sponsored BOOSTERTHON culminated with a FUNRUN on November2, 2017. Students were sponsored to complete the run.The theme of the program was called Castle Quest and connected to character education. The big event was a huge success and Mr. Lambertwas ceremoniously SLIMED at the end of the day!

Sports Teams Support the Cause

Sports Teams Support the Cause Pic

Great Hollow Middle School held its sixth annual Coaches vs. Cancer event on Oct. 13. The schools came together to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Thanks to donations from students, teachers, staff and parents, the event raised nearly $3,000.

With more than 240 student-athletes participating in a fall sport, and 278 student spectators, Great Hollow’s football, field hockey and boys soccer teams all competed while the cheerleading and kickline squads performed at halftime. Parents and students came out in full force to support the cause, while the members of the girls soccer and girls tennis teams walked around asking for donations. During the day, students wore yellow in honor of childhood cancer, and many of the students stayed after school to watch a game and support the cause.

HSW Educator Learns from Leading Scholars

HSW Educator Learns from Leading Scholars photo
High School West social studies teacher Christina Cone was selected to attend a professional development conference hosted by the Foreign Policy Research Institute and co-sponsored by the Department of Russian and East European Studies. Sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania and Carthage College for secondary school educators, the conference was held from Oct. 21-22 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The weekend conference focused on “What is Eurasia?” and connected 40 educators with leading scholars in the field of international relations. Nine experts presented topics including the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian revolution, post-Soviet democratization, the Baltic States and more. 

Skateboard Design Challenges Creativity

Skateboard Design Challenges Creativity  Pic
During a recent art class, eighth-graders at Accompsett Middle School created a theme skateboard design inspired by personal interests. The students created their compositions considering both positive and negative space and used their knowledge of color blending and color theory to complete their skateboard designs.

A Spook-Tacular Day

A Spook-Tacular Day photo

The spirit of Halloween was evident throughout the district, as the schools celebrated with a variety of activities including parades, pick your own pumpkins, classroom activities, pumpkin centers and even trick or treating at a local nursing home.

It’s Crunch Time at Dogwood

It’s Crunch Time at Dogwood photo

Dogwood Elementary School participated in the Big Apple Crunch on Oct. 19. Throughout the day, students learned different apple facts, graphed their favorite color apples, and learned about the healthy benefits of the apples. As a school, Dogwood Elementary crunched on 292 red apples, 74 green apples, seven yellow apples and 28 multicolored apples, for a total of 401 apples.

The Big Apple Crunch was created in 2012 by nonprofit GrowNYC in partnership with the New York Office of Food Policy to celebrate Food Day in New York City. Since then, the Big Apple Crunch has grown into a statewide event where participants take a bite out of a New York apple to raise awareness about the importance of supporting local New York farmers, creating better access to fresh fruits and vegetables and making it more affordable to eat fresh, local food.

SEL Ragamuffin Parade

Innovative Teachers

Innovative Teachers Pic
HSW’s Greg Sill and Christina Cone recently hosted a session at the Long Island Council for the Social Studies annual conference on using Nearpod in the classroom to engage students. More than 60 teachers attended their session and learned how to use the technology to support the teaching and learning of the skills, practices, and content needed to master the various social studies assessments.

Taking Strides for Epilepsy Awareness

Taking Strides for Epilepsy Awareness photo
In an effort to raise awareness about epilepsy, High School West senior Marie Carpenter recently participated in a walk to raise money to support the cause. The cause is personal to her, as Marie’s younger sister Sophia has battled epilepsy for the past five years. Marie participated in an Epilepsy Awareness Walk on Oct. 14 in honor of Sophia and raised more than $2,600 for the EPIC Long Island organization. EPIC supports epilepsy education and training and research for the cause.

Exploring Sound

First-graders in Kathy Smerechniak’s class at Mt. Pleasant Elementary explored sound via a Project Lead The Way lesson.


Saying Something Can Make All the Difference

Saying Something Can Make All the Difference photo

Sixth-graders at Accompsett Middle School had a lesson in making their school a safer and healthier place thanks to a presentation by Billy Flash of the Sandy Hook Promise Program.

“Say Something” is a youth violence prevention program that teaches students how to protect themselves, their classmates and their community. During the presentation, which was sponsored by the school’s PTA Cultural Arts, students learned how to look for warning signs, signals and threats. They were taught to act immediately and take any threats seriously. Lastly, students learned they should say something to a trusted adult. 

The overall goal is to teach students how they can do their part to reduce violence, threats and tragic consequences. At the end of the presentation, students were asked to take a pledge to say something when they see something. 

Citizen Science Promotes Collaboration for East Researchers

Citizen Science Promotes Collaboration for East Researchers photo

High School East science research students, under the direction of Smithtown East science research coordinator Maria Zeitlin, participated in a hands-on collaborative ecosystem-monitoring project at Short Beach on Oct. 6.

The “Day in the Life of the Nissequogue River” project is designed to celebrate the river and estuary ecosystems and educate participants on the uniqueness of Long Island’s NY State-designated Wild and Scenic rivers. More than a dozen different school districts participated in the annual study sponsored by the Central Pine Barrens Commission, Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Suffolk County Water Authority. 

On a single day, environmental education partners and students all along the river simultaneously collected scientific information, analyzed it and shared it to portray the status of the river and estuary ecosystem.

According to Ms. Zeitlin, Short Beach was selected for its particular relevance to East students as citizen science is inspired when students look into their own backyards. “Students use hands-on field techniques to perform scientific data collection to assess the health of this part of the Nissequogue River,” she said. “They sample fish populations using seine nets, perform chemical analysis of water samples including phosphate, nitrate and oxygen levels. They inventory site descriptions by drawing pictures and using photography. Students examine the physical attributes of the site with data collection relating to wind speed and direction, current flow, as well as sedimentation and turbidity of the water.” Upon return to school, all data is uploaded to a central website for comparison and analysis.

Young Builders Explore Simple Machines

Young Builders Explore Simple Machines photo

Third-graders at Accompsett Elementary School recently learned about making simple machines in a Project Lead the Way lesson, a hands-on STEM-based program.

The third-graders worked in groups of three where one student navigated with the iPad, one student organized the pieces and another assembled the product. The students used the apps to guide them to building and creating their own inclined planes. They also created a “load” to test their inclined planes. The students ended the activity by sharing their creations, explaining their build process and demonstrating how to use the inclined plane.  

Student-Musicians Selected for Festivals

Student-Musicians Selected for Festivals photo
Student-Musicians Selected for Festivals photo 2
Student-Musicians Selected for Festivals photo 3
Student-Musicians Selected for Festivals photo 4
Thirty-eight student-musicians from High School East and High School West have been selected to participate in All-State and All-County music festivals this fall and winter.

Thirteen students from the two high schools have been selected for All-State honors as a result of their superior scores at the New York State School Music Association’s solo festival and teacher recommendations. All-State student ensembles will perform at the 2017 NYSSMA Winter Conference in Rochester, New York, from Nov. 30-Dec. 3. 

The district congratulates the following Smithtown Central School District 11th- and 12th-grade student-musicians who have been selected to All-State: 

Blake Carey (HSW), Symphonic Band, Trombone
Anthony D’Amore (HSE), Alternate, Alto Saxophone and Mixed Chorus Bass I
Jack Furci (HSE), Alternate, Snare Drum and Jazz Drum Set
Emily Keleher (HSE), Women’s Chorus, Soprano 2
James Knapp (HSW), Alternate, Jazz Drum Set
James McDermott (HSE), Alternate, Cello
Aaron Min (HSE), Alternate, Alto Saxophone
Rachel Mitrani (HSW), Alternate, Jazz Soprano Voice
Lolita Nazarov (HSE), Wind Ensemble, Tenor Saxophone
Madeline Psarakis (HSW), Alternate, Cello
Gabe Romero (HSE), Alternate, Cello
Sophia Russo (HSW), Mixed Chorus, Alto II
Justin Wei (HSE), String Orchestra, Violin

Twenty-five students from High School East and High School West were named Suffolk County Music Educators Association All-County musicians. Selection to the All-County Festival is one of the most prestigious honors in Suffolk County for a student-musician. Students will perform in the NYSCAME/SCMEA All-County Concert in Nov. 17 at Hauppauge High School.  
The district congratulates the following musicians:

High School East: 
Jordan Christophides, Treble Chorus, Alto 2
Hannah Cozzolino, Treble Chorus, Alto 2
Alexandra Cuomo, Mixed Chorus, Alto 2
Anthony D’Amore, Band/Mixed Chorus, Alto Saxophone 1/Bass 1
Danielle Dwyer, Treble Chorus, Alto 2
Nicole Ellner, Treble Chorus, Alto 1
Jack Furci, Band, Snare Drum 1
Harry Jung, Mixed Chorus, Bass 2
Emily Keleher, Mixed Chorus, Soprano 2
Jack Kogan, Mixed Chorus, Tenor 1
Max Lippman, Mixed Chorus, Bass 2
Nicole Mangione, Band, Oboe 2
Caroline Massaro, Band, Bb Clarinet 3
James McDermott, Orchestra, Cello
Aaron Min, Band, Alto Saxophone 2
Lolita Nazarov, Band, Tenor Saxophone 1
Samantha Rini, Treble Chorus, Alto 2
Gabriel Romero, Orchestra, Cello
Justin Wei, Orchestra, Violin 1

High School West:
Kevin Burket, Band, Euphonium 1
Michael Caccavale, Band, Snare Drum 1
Blake Carey, Orchestra, Trombone 1
Rachel Mitrani, Mixed Chorus, Soprano 1
Madeline Psarakis, Orchestra, Cello
Sophia Russo, Treble Chorus, Alto 2

‘SITE’ Set High

‘SITE’ Set High photo

A group of High School East students visited with students in Missy Taylor’s fourth-grade class at Mills Pond Elementary School on Oct. 12 as part of a new mentoring program recently launched in conjunction with the Rotary Club.

Via the Spreading Inspiration Through Education program, spearheaded by High School East student Meleni Sarantos, the high schoolers visit with the younger students on a weekly basis and work on different project-based learning activities together. The High School East students also offer extra help to those younger students who maybe in need of tutoring.

Kindergartners Get Smart About Fire Safety

Kindergartners Get Smart About Fire Safety photo

In recognition of National Fire Prevention Month, kindergarten students from Smithtown Elementary School took a field trip to their local firehouse on Oct. 10.

Wearing their honorary fire helmets, the kindergartners learned about fire safety practices, what to do in the event of an emergency and how to stay safe and prevent fires. The students toured the station, met firefighters dressed in their gear and climbed aboard a fire truck and ambulance. 


Try A Sample

Fifth-graders at Mills Pond recently participated in a book tasting in the school’s library. Students read book jacket summaries of different books and wrote down on their “menus” the books that they would like to read.

Learning and Nature Join for Interactive Field Trip

Learning and Nature Join for Interactive Field Trip photo

More than 300 seventh-grade students from Great Hollow Middle School participated in a walking field trip on Oct. 3. Organized by science teachers Denise Cicione and Kristen Dicpinigaitis, the students trekked from their school to Charles P. Toner Park in Nesconset.

Throughout the day, students learned interdisciplinary concepts while integrating nature in their own community. Great Hollow teachers and librarian Sheila Cavooris created six different interactive stations. The stations included concepts such as mindfulness, social emotional learning, a nature hike throughout the nature trail, geocaching, poetry and senses in nature, calculating the outdoors, and an escape room using reference books and skills needed to research in the library. 

Lace Up for Cancer

Lace Up for Cancer photo
Nesaquake’s girls tennis team did their part to help the fight against childhood cancer and raise awareness for the cause by participating in “Lace Up for Cancer” this September. Since childhood cancer is represented by the color gold, teams throughout the U.S. swapped out their white shoelaces for gold ones to support children fighting cancer. The teams then snapped photos and spread the word on social media outlets. 

Celebrating Unity, Peace at Mills Pond

Celebrating Unity, Peace at Mills Pond photo

Mills Pond Elementary School recognized Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday by engaging and promoting a week full of peaceful activities from Oct. 2 organized by the school’s Shanti Fund committee.

To start the week, each classroom took a pledge of nonviolence. During morning announcements, fourth-grade students read a peace quote and also displayed quotes on the easel in the lobby. On Oct. 2, all students were asked to bring in a special small rock to decorate with a peaceful message to be placed in the school’s rock garden.

Each class crafted a colored lantern, labeled with different words about what peace means to them on Oct. 3. Lanterns were displayed in each of the classes throughout the building. Activities on Oct. 4 included reading, analyzing and commenting on thoughts of peace leaders from around the world.  

On Oct. 5, Mills Pond students dressed in blue and white and participated in an outdoor peace walk together. There was also a run for peace during respective physical education classes. To close out the week, students dressed in Mills Pond spirit wear or peace symbols/words to show their school unity in standing together for peace. 

Naughton Named Coach of the Year

Naughton Named Coach of the Year photo
Ann Naughton, High School East girls field hockey coach, was recently named a Section XI New York State Public High School Athletic Association Coach of the Year. Coaches are selected based on years of coaching, win-loss records, participation in league/sectional committees, and being a positive role model in their school and community. Naughton was recognized at the Oct. 10 meeting of the Board of Education. She is pictured (center) with Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane and Board of Education trustee Gladys Waldron. 

West Boasts Two Siemens Semifinalists

Siemens semifinalists Pic
Siemens semifinalists Pic2
Two High School West students – Lara Kolya Cain and Elizabeth Yaboni – are among more than 400 semifinalists named across the United States in this year’s prestigious Siemens Competition, the nation’s premier competition in math, science and technology for high school students. 

Cain and Yaboni worked alongside Central Islip High School student Anthonyne Metelus on their project, “The effects of organophosphate (glyphosate and diazinon) and a carbamate (aldicarb) on the Nematode, C. elegans.” The purpose of their work was to assess the impact that common insecticides have on the environment by testing their impacts on a worm exposed to such chemicals in its natural environment. 

“The team of students worked together at our Summer Legislative Institute at Brentwood High School, and they truly define the nature of the types of collaborative relationships our program is fostering,” said West Principal John Coady. 

 Launched by the Siemens Foundation in 1999, the Siemens Competition promotes excellence in math, science and technology and is recognized by colleges and universities as the premier math and science research competition in the United States. More than $600,000 in college scholarships is awarded to students annually through the Siemens Competition during regional and national events administered by Discovery Education. 

Individual and team winners from the regional competitions advance to the final phase of the contest which takes place in December in Washington, D.C., where they will compete for top prizes of up to $100,000 in scholarships.  

Commended Students Shine in Smithtown

Commended Students Shine in Smithtown photo
Commended Students Shine in Smithtown photo 2
Commended Students Shine in Smithtown photo 3
Fifteen students from High School East and High School West have been recognized as Commended Students in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program for their outstanding academic achievement on their PSAT exams. 

Two-thirds of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the exam receive Letters of Commendation. Commended Students are named on the basis of a nationally applied selection index score that may vary from year to year. 

Seven students from High School East were named Commended students. They are Stephanie Battaglia, Christopher Capuano, Jack Furci, Hana Ghobashy, Jonathan Golbert, Jacob Tehranian and Shrey Thaker. 

From High School West, the eight students recognized include: Kevin Camson, Timothy Corcoran, Ashley Dolan, Julia Gutierrez, Asli Kizilkaya, Edward Lorrain, Reed Passaretti and Steven Spreizer Jr. 

Raising Awareness

Raising Awareness photo
Throughout October, the staff at Smithtown Elementary School is showing their unity in the fight against breast cancer. In recognition of breast cancer awareness month, the staff is dressing in matching T-shirts each Friday in October and making donations to support breast cancer research.

Memorial Scholarship, Community Service Kick Off

Community Service Kick Off Pic
High School East student volunteers, district administrators and board of education members, representatives of the United Way of Long Island, representatives of the United Veterans Beacon House and members of the Martella family gathered at High School East on Sept. 26 to kick off the combined efforts to honor the memory of former Board of Education member Scott Martella.

High School East students will organize a yearlong community service project to directly benefit United States veterans. Five Smithtown High School East seniors – Brooke Berroyer, Caroline Loiodice, Sofia Palazzolo, Brianna Saggese and Isabelle Sicoli – will be working to benefit the United Veterans Beacon House as this year’s community service project to honor Scott’s memory. The students, who are all part of a leadership class, will work with Beacon House to help understand some of the housing issues facing veterans on Long Island. The students plan to start the grassroots effort and anticipate their activities will grow as the year progresses.

Working with the United Way of Long Island, the Scott Martella Scholarship Memorial Fund will provide scholarships to students who will be attending college whose studies may include international relations or public service. United Way of Long Island’s president and CEO Theresa Regnante spoke about the connection between the district and the United Way. “Scott was a young man who made such an impact in such a short time,” she said. “We really hope the district takes hold of this project and it becomes a great opportunity for years to come.”

East Educator Named Finalist

East Educator Named Finalist Pic
High School East math teacher Marianne Schoepflin was recently named a New York State finalist in math for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Last year, the 11-year educator was awarded the Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award. Schoepflin was recognized at the Board of Education meeting on Sept. 26. She is pictured here with Board of Education President Jeremy Thode (left) and Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane. 

Make It a Venti

Make It a Venti Pic
Make It a Venti Pic 2
Make It a Venti Pic 3
Sixth-graders in Michelle Labuski’s class at Great Hollow Middle School recently visited “Starbooks,” a library café where they could sample different books.

With the assistance of Great Hollow librarian Sheila Cavooris and library teaching assistant Linda McCann, students selected a book to read for their accountable independent reading. The theme for the first quarter is “overcoming obstacles.” Ms. Cavooris pulled titles in various reading levels to match the theme.  

Ms. Labuski made a worksheet that listed the books, ingredients (summary), caffeine level (grande, venti, etc. for approximate grade level), and craving (tea cup, mug, thermos) for students to select how interested they were in the book.

The coffee cups were numbered and students rotated from book to book to read the summary and determine if they liked it. When they were done, the sixth-graders received a coffee stirrer with their name on it to put in the cup of the book they wanted to read.