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