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Full STEAM Ahead for Smithtown Students

Full STEAM Ahead for Smithtown Students photo

On Oct. 26, 175 students from High School East and High School West attended a Lunch and Learn about the STEAM Careers program, organized by the district’s Industry Advisory Board STEAM Committee. The event was sponsored by LIU Post, Microsoft and the Robotics Booster Club.

Twenty-five companies and 12 colleges/post-secondary schools participated in the event. Students traveled around the library of Smithtown High School West, learning about the vast variety of careers in the science, technology, engineering, art/design and mathematics field.  

Microsoft, Disney Live Streaming, IBM, FAA, BAE Systems, D’Addario and many other companies demonstrated their goods and services and spoke to the Smithtown students about future career opportunities. Hofstra University, Adelphi University, St. Joseph’s College, Suffolk County Community College, LIU Post, the Aviation Academy, Hunter Business School and several other post-secondary institutions spoke to students about different majors and programs related to STEAM occupations.

Swim Team Dives in for Cure

Swim Team Dives in for Cure photo
Smithtown’s varsity girls swim and dive team participated in the fourth annual Breaststroke for Breast Cancer meet on Oct. 19. Joining together with other Suffolk County swim teams, the event raised $1,338.30 for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for breast cancer research and treatment.

Lessons Are Taking Flight at Accompsett Middle

Lessons Are Taking Flight at Accompsett Middle photo
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Seventh-graders at Accompsett Middle School participated in a hands-on lesson as part of their Flight and Space Project Lead the Way class. After learning about the Wright brothers and the first inventions to get man off the ground, the students constructed hot air balloons with tissue paper, construction paper and glue. The culmination of the project involved testing their designs both inside and outside. The flight times ranged from a few seconds to nearly half a minute. 

Inspiring Artwork

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Art teacher Mrs. Potter worked with Dogwood students to combine creativity and literature to create a beautiful piece of art that will encourage students for years to come to be true to themselves.

5th Grade Recess PSA

The SEL Faculty Council is focusing on helping all children feel connected socially. This "PSA" was created by 5th grade students who seek to help younger children understand how to reach out to one another, so that everyone has someone to play with during recess.

Click here to view the PSA

Thank You Veterans

First-graders art Mt. Pleasant Elementary School learned all about our veterans and the important work they do.

Smithtown Schools Join Forces in Fight Against Hunger

Smithtown Schools Join Forces in Fight Against Hunger photo

On Oct. 27, 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 for distribution at various locations on Long Island and in New York City, and also helped serve a hot lunch to soup kitchen guests. In addition, the students distributed Halloween costumes that were collected at drives held in both buildings.



Cross-Country Team Takes Championship

Cross-Country Team Takes Championship photo

The Smithtown boys cross-country team won the overall Suffolk county team championship at Sunken Meadow on Oct. 23. The team average of 16:48.10 is the fastest Smithtown team ever to run at Sunken Meadow. Nick DeFelice led the charge with a fast 16:20.75. His time is the Smithtown High School West record and the second fastest time ever for a Smithtown athlete. Kevin Cawley followed closely behind for fourth overall in 16:34. Mike Danzi (16:50), David Cabello (16:58) and John Cuff (17:16) were the scoring five. Nick Muellers (17:40) and Brayden Vassilas (17:41) rounded out the team points.

Peace Doves

Peace Doves photo
St. James students recently crafted paper peace doves to be mailed to Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh.

The Magic of Character

The Magic of Character photo
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To kick off Red Ribbon Week, Accompsett Elementary School held a character education magic show for students on Oct. 19. Magician James Vagias visited the school to present his program on “The Magic of Character” to all students. This event focused on respect, responsibility and caring for one another.

HSW Student-Researcher Named Rising Scientist

HSW Student-Researcher Named Rising Scientist photo
High School West senior James Rogers has been recognized as a Rising Scientist by the Child Mind Institute. He was also awarded a $2,000 scholarship. 

The award recognizes his research in the fields of neuroscience and adolescent and child mental health. This recognition was based on James’ work during the past three years in science research at High School West. His studies focus on understanding the role of the neurotransmitter, glutamate, in excitotoxicity. Excitotoxicity is believed to be involved in the pathologies of a number of neurodegenerative diseases including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
  
James is using biochemical, behavioral and genomic methods to uncover the role that glutamate plays in both normal and abnormal neuronal functioning and learning how the glutamatergic neurotransmitter system evolved.

LISFA Honors

LISFA Honors photo
The Long Island String Festival Association selects the top string players from all across Suffolk County to participate in a weekend Orchestra festival. Congratulations to Dogwood students Brian Cullari (viola), Nicholas Puccio (cello) and Carinne Maher (violin) for being nominated. Ms. Maher was accepted into this prestigious ensemble on the violin. She will work with other top string players from Melville to Montauk. Students will get together for a weekend in January filled with intensive rehearsals culminating in a concert Sunday afternoon featuring works by Robert W. Smith, Caponegro, Susan Day and Carl Strommen.

Pumpkin Science

It's all about pumpkin science in Mr. Costigliola and Mrs. Crespo's fifth-grade class at Mt. Pleasant Elementary.

East Drama Club Presents ‘The Dining Room’

East Drama Club Presents ‘The Dining Room’ photo
The High School East Drama Club will present “The Dining Room” from Nov. 8-10 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of High School East. The play is set in a titular dining room, where families have assembled for generations to celebrate special occasions and mark the rituals of everyday life. Twenty-seven actors play more than 55 characters, embodying grandfathers, children and teenagers, wealthy women and housemaids. The stories build a portrait of a particular class of people in America in the last century. The play is directed by Kim Sundberg and co-produced by Sundberg and Matthew Hennings. Tickets will be available at the door for $10. 

East and West Teams Join Together for Memorial Game

East and West Teams Join Together for Memorial Game photo
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On Oct. 5, High School West field hockey took on High School East field hockey for the Diane Corey Memorial game. Corey was a three-sport athlete and enjoyed all sports during her time in the Smithtown Central School District. She was a true competitor who loved field hockey. Diane’s family established a scholarship in her memory, which is awarded annually to seniors on the East and West girls field hockey teams based on their talents on the field, contributions to the community and to their team.

Dogwood Students Get Schooled on Safety

Dogwood Students Get Schooled on Safety photo
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Dogwood Stude5nts Get Schooled on Safety photo
In an effort to educate kindergartners on seatbelt and helmet safety and ease their fears of doctors and hospitals, Dogwood Elementary School held a teddy bear clinic hosted by Stony Brook University Children’s Hospital. The students, who brought in their own stuffed animals from home, had the opportunity to perform first aid techniques and play the role of doctor/caregiver. 

Four HSW Seniors Named National Hispanic Scholars

Four HSW Seniors Named National Hispanic Scholars photo
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Four High School West students – David Cabello, Alex Rodriguez, James Rogers and Jillian Unkenholz ¬– have been recognized as 2018-2019 National Hispanic Scholars. 

Each year, the National Hispanic Recognition Program honors more than 7,000 academically outstanding Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the PSAT/NMSQT, maintain a cumulative 3.5 grade-point average or higher through junior year and are at least one-quarter Hispanic/Latino.

The National Hispanic Recognition Program was initiated in 1983 by the College Board to identify outstanding Hispanic high school students and to share information about these academically well-prepared students with subscribing colleges and universities.

Math in Action

HSW Girls Soccer Champions

HSW Girls Soccer Champions photo
The West girls soccer team is Suffolk County Champions! They will play for the Long Island Championship on Nov. 3 @ 7:30 at Islip High School against Syosset. Congratulations!

Halloween Fun

Joining Together in the Fight

Joining Together in the Fight photo
Smithtown Elementary School has come together to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research. Every Friday during October, the staff dressed in pink, and bought shirts to wear that contributed to research funding. The school has a display in the hallway honoring those who have been personally affected by this disease. The goal is to raise $500 in donations. 

Halloween Parade

Smithtown Elementary's Ragamuffin Parade

HSE Student Honored in Scholar Program

Crunch Time at Accompsett Elementary photo
High School East student Skylar Baez has been recognized as a 2018-2019 Scholar for the National Hispanic Recognition Program. This honor is given to students who score in the top 2.5 percent among Hispanic and Latino PSAT/NMSQT test takers in the region. Baez is pictured with High School East Principal Dr. Kevin Simmons. 

Crunch Time at Accompsett Elementary

Crunch Time at Accompsett Elementary photo

Accompsett Elementary School took a bite out of healthy eating by celebrating Big Apple Crunch on Oct. 18. Businesses, schools, organizations and individuals all over the globe take part in the “crunch heard around the world” by celebrating good eating habits. The event was also a kickoff to the school’s Red Ribbon Week.



Fall Time Fun

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Students in Ms. Gabriel’s class are getting creative with fall time fun reading and writing activities.

The Circus Comes to Town

Families Connect at Parent University

Families Connect at Parent University photo

It was a family connect night at this fall’s Parent University hosted by the district at High School East on Oct. 17.

Parents, along with their children, had the option to attend one of three different workshops in the evening: Mindfulness for Families, Drug/Vaping Awareness and Prevention or School Safety and Security. 

In the lobby entrance, health-based clubs and organizations, such as Students Against Vaping and E-Cigarettes and the Future Community and Career Leaders of America clubs, handed out literature and healthy snacks to attendees.

The School Safety and Security workshop addressed safety and procedures within the district’s buildings as well policies of the local police department. Accompsett Middle School Principal Paul McNeil presented information to parents in attendance as did the district’s head of security and local law enforcement officials. 

The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence spoke to both parents and students on the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes, drug and alcohol awareness and addiction as well as consequences for using on school grounds. The presentation also offered advice for parents on keeping their children safe and resources offered by the council.

The mindfulness workshop, presented by Kim Embry, gave families the opportunity to learn techniques together, such as breathing, movement and meditation. 



Smithtown Boasts 17 Commended Students

Smithtown Boasts 17 Commended Students photo
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Seventeen students from High School East and High School West have been recognized as Commended Students in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program.

From High School East, the following students were honored:  
Jordyn Christophides, Sandeepna Eranki, Brianna Foster, Ryland Douglas, Alexa Hickey, Thomas Fanning and Alexis McCauley-Pearl. From High School West, the following students were recognized: Michael Alessio, Gretchen Burmeister, David Cabello, Anthony De Mayo, Rebecca Farrell, Nicholas Muellers, Jaden O’Brien, James Rogers, Dante Sasso and Matthew Schuchman.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2019 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2019 competition by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.


Fall Poems

It's time for fall poems in Mrs. Trovato's first grade class. Students are getting creative!

‘Fall’-ing in Love with Apples

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Kindergartners at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School welcomed fall during apple centers on Oct. 16. The students tasted different types of apples, graphed their favorites, and learned about the parts of the apple and how they grow. 

Honoring St. James ES Teacher’s Memory

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High School West held the ninth annual Play 4 the Cure field hockey game honoring the memory of St. James Elementary School teacher Sara Long Harte on Sept. 28. Each year, Smithtown High School West girls field hockey team dedicate a game to Ms. Harte, who passed away from breast cancer nine years ago. Ms. Harte taught at St. James Elementary School, the same school she attended as a child. Her impact throughout the community lives on today through a scholarship fund, a memorial garden and a handcrafted picket fence in front of St. James Elementary, which was built in her honor by a former student. 

Visiting Author

Visiting Author Brian Heinz helps inspire third grade future authors.

Red Ribbon Week

Reader’s Workshop

Students in Ms. Brunet's class enjoy reading and writing about their favorite books.

Celebrating Homecoming and Victory at HSW

Celebrating Homecoming and Victory at HSW photo

It was a day of fun, food, festivities and football at High School West on Oct. 20 as the local community celebrated with the annual homecoming carnival and football game. Not only did kids get to enjoy some inflatables, games and activities, but the crowd left happy, as the Bulls were victorious against visiting Riverhead, 25-13.

Before the game kicked off, senior cheerleaders and football players were recognized for their years of commitment to High School West. They individually welcomed their loved ones onto the football field to take part in the special celebration. Once the football game started, it was back to business. The first half was full of back-and-forth action, but after an exceptional halftime show provided by the cheerleaders and Whisperettes kick line, West controlled the second half, leading to their victory. 

Matt Caddigan led the way with 145 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and on defense, the Bulls held up strong. Jharius Bernard picked off a pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown, and Spencer Frank had an interception of his own, which led to a Chris Bruce-Tagoe 29-yard touchdown score. Ethan Vanderbrink led the defense with 12 tackles and four sacks in what was a true team win.

As is the annual homecoming tradition, the homecoming king and queen were recognized at halftime. The crowd erupted as Patrick Kinane and Chloe Mango were named king and queen, respectively. 

Mechanical Bulls Start Season Off Right

Mechanical Bulls Start Season Off Right photo
During the weekend of Sept. 29, the robotics team – the Mechanical Bulls – competed in the seventh annual Half Hollow Hills Invitational. This was their first competition since March, and it provided a great opportunity to introduce new members to competition and test out new drivers. 

Together with Team 871, the West Islip Robotechs, Team 2875, the Cold Spring Harbor Cyberhawks, and Team 6423, the Ward Melville Iron Patriots, they were able to make the finals and win the invitational. 

The team is now beginning their global build and competition season where they receive a game challenge and six weeks to design, fabricate, wire, program and test a new robot from scratch to compete in regional events.
 

Fall Book Reports

Book Reports
Students in Mrs. Chester's second grade class at Mt. Pleasant Elementary are creating their fall book reports and TBRs (to be read).

East Researchers Collaborate in River Study

East Researchers Collaborate in River Study photo

High School East research students recently worked on a hands-on, collaborative research study at Short Beach in Nissequogue, led by High School East research coordinator Maria Zeitlin. Short Beach was selected for its relevance to High School East students as citizen science is inspired when students look into their own backyards.

“This collaborative ecosystem monitoring project is designed to celebrate the river and estuary ecosystems and educate participants on the uniqueness of Long Island’s wild and scenic rivers,” said Ms. Zeitlin. “On a single day, environmental education partners and students all along the Nissequogue river simultaneously collected scientific information, analyzed it and shared it to portray the status of the river and estuary ecosystem.”

Students use hands-on field techniques to perform scientific data collection to assess the health of this part of the river. 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, data was uploaded to a central website for comparison and analysis with the nine other districts that collaborated on the study.



Student-Musicians Selected for Ensembles

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Twenty-eight 11th and 12th grade students from the district have been selected to represent their schools in the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education All-County Festival. In addition, 10 of those students have also been chosen for the New York State School Music Association’s All-State Ensembles.

Anthony D’Amore (alto saxophone) from High School East was selected by the National Association for Music Education for the All-National Ensembles from Nov. 25-28 in Orlando, Florida.

As a result of high solo scores at the NYSSMA All-State solo festival last year, these musicians will be performing with the best musicians in all of Suffolk County Nov. 16 at Hauppauge High School. All-State student-musicians will perform in Rochester during Nov. 29-Dec. 2. 

SEL Big Apple Crunch

BOE Commends Scholars

BOE Commends Scholars photo
The eight seniors who were among 16,000 students across the county who were named semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program were recognized at the board of education meeting on Oct. 9. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane and Board of Education President Jeremy Thode presented certificates to the following students: Rileigh Dowling, Catherine Eng, Emily Eng, Michael Fischetti, Justin McArdle, Matthew Mullahy, Dylan Ross and Ian Winkeler. These winners have the opportunity to compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million, which will be announced in the spring.

Newsday Marching Band Festival

AMS Science Teacher Heads to Master Program

AMS Science Teacher Heads to Master Program photo
Accompsett Middle School sixth-grade science teacher Amy Olander was recently accepted into the New York State Master Teacher Program. 

To be eligible for admission, Olander must have displayed knowledge of STEM content, pedagogy and involvement in the community. She also completed an entrance exam, interview and demo lesson. Olander will complete her program at SUNY Stony Brook during the course of the next four years, beginning in November. 

Only 275 teachers in New York State are chosen for the Master Teacher Program. “I look forward to taking what I learn in the program and sharing it with my students and colleagues,” Olander said.  

Olander has been a teacher for the past 23 years, 17 of which she has been with the Smithtown Central School District. She also currently serves as the science instructional specialist at Accompsett Middle. “The whole science department will benefit from the information she gleans from this program” said Principal Paul McNeil. “Because of her efforts, all of the students and teachers here will be rewarded with knowledge.”

Thank You Notes

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Students in Wendy Herman’s class at Smithtown Elementary recently wrote letters to local librarians. In the letters, the students introduced themselves as readers and shared favorite genres and authors. After students viewed the library website in class, they added which collections and programs they’d like to see and explore on their next visit.

Honor Society Lends Helping Hand to Animals

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National Junior Honor Society students from Accompsett Middle School recently held a pet drive for animals affected during and after Hurricane Florence. North Shore Animal League in Port Washington took in more than 100 animals displaced by the storm. The members of the honor society collected donations, food and other supplies, valued at more than $400. 

Putting Newton’s Law to the Test

Putting Newton’s Law to the Test photo

Eighth-graders in Katerina Skandalakis’ science class at Great Hollow Middle School tested Newton’s First Law of Motion – an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force – during a hands-on station demonstration lab on Oct. 4.

With more than a dozen different stations, students rotated around the room and recorded their findings about how the different laws of motion worked. Some of the many hands-on activities included trying to catch a penny off their elbows, stacking bowls and getting them to drop together, spinning an egg, simulating a car accident using toy cars, pulling a tablecloth out from under a stack of dishes and trying to get a Lego figure to drop into a beaker. 

Great Hollow Helps to Kick Cancer

Great Hollow Helps to Kick Cancer photo

Both on and off the athletic fields, Great Hollow Middle School’s students, faculty, coaches and spectators joined together in the fight against cancer. The school held its seventh annual Coaches vs. Cancer event on Oct. 3.

Throughout the day, students and faculty dressed in yellow to show their awareness of childhood cancer. As part of the fundraising event, students purchased a wristband for an entrance on one of several games taking place that afternoon. The field hockey, football, and boys and girls soccer took to the field to support the cause. Great Hollow’s kickline and cheerleaders performed during halftime. The school and community raised about $3,000 and donated the money raised to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 



Promoting Peace at Mills Pond

Promoting Peace at Mills Pond photo

Throughout the week of Oct. 1, Mills Pond Elementary School held a Peace Week celebration, spearheaded by the school’s Shanti Fund Committee to recognize the work of Mahatma Gandhi.

Themed “Peace Is Cool,” the activities kicked off with different mindfulness activities such as yoga, breathing, stretching and relaxation techniques. In the lobby, a peace graffiti bulletin board was created so students could write what peace means to them. Each morning announcement throughout the week featured a different peace quote read by the fourth-graders.

On Oct. 4, the school joined together for a peace walk, dressed in white shirts and blue jeans. To conclude the week’s activities, the students created a chalk mural on the school’s sidewalk featuring different peace quotes.  



Tackan Hits the Track to Raise Money for PTA

Tackan Hits the Track to Raise Money for PTA photo

Having fun, keeping active and helping to raise funds for its Parent-Teacher Association, students at Tackan Elementary School participated in a Boosterthon Fun Run on Oct. 3.

Dressed in their school spirit wear, the students went outside to run the race course. Students garnered pledges from family and friends for each lap they ran. The money raised, more than $15,000 in total, will be used to benefit the PTA’s Cultural Arts programs. 

As the students ran the course, teachers marked off each lap completed on the back of their shirt. Since the school exceed their fundraising goal, the students had the chance to duct tape Tackan Principal Dr. Allyn Leeds to the wall. 

Experimenting with Egg Osmosis

Experimenting with Egg Osmosis photo

Seventh-grade student-scientists in Jessica D’Angelo’s class at Great Hollow Middle School are learning about diffusion and osmosis by experimenting on eggs.

During the course of three days, the students performed procedures to see how water molecules diffuse across an egg’s membrane in different solutions. The students started by placing an egg in a beaker and covering it in vinegar for 24 hours. After recording how the shell of the egg dissolved, the students put the eggs in either a mixture of Karo syrup and water or colored water for another 24 hours. Lastly, the students swapped their eggs with another lab group for the final 24 hours. The students observed and recorded their findings about the process of osmosis. 



Nesaquake Joins the Battle Against Childhood Cancer

Nesaquake Joins the Battle Against Childhood Cancer photo
Nesaquake Middle School is doing its part to help fight the battle against childhood cancer. In recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness month in September, the school participated in a number of fundraising and awareness efforts.

To kick off the fundraising efforts, the middle school’s sports teams “laced up” to fight cancer, sporting gold laces during their athletic functions as part of the Lace Up for Cancer campaign. On Sept. 28, students, faculty and staff were encouraged to “Go Gold,” dressing in the color and decorating gold hearts that were hung throughout the building. Later that evening, the fundraising continued at the school’s street fair. 

Nesaquake seventh-grader Sarah Schrier spearheaded the school’s effort as part of her Girl Scout project. Sarah also has some fellow classmates who were affected by the disease and wanted to raise awareness to support the cause. All of the school’s efforts tie into the district’s goals of social-emotional learning, empathy and citizenship. 

The school’s Parent-Teacher Association also participated in a districtwide effort to “whip pediatric cancer.” In total, the school raised approximately $400 for the cause.

T-Shirt Designers

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The fifth grade classes at Mt. Pleasant are finishing their t-shirt design for their class shirt. After showing off their creativity, the designs will be put to a vote.

Mt. Pleasant Mets Fan Finds His ‘Calling’

Mt. Pleasant Mets Fan Finds His ‘Calling’ photo
Wearing his headphones, calling the plays and hanging out with New York Mets announcers Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and Gary Cohen may have been the highlight of the year for Aidan Eddelson, a fourth-grader from Mt. Pleasant Elementary School.

Aidan was chosen as a Kidcaster, winning the privilege of sitting in the broadcast booth and calling the Mets game for a half-inning alongside the Mets broadcasters on Sept. 25. Aidan won the contest by submitting a video of himself announcing a Mets highlight reel. He found out he was selected as a winner in mid-September. 

Aidan brought along his mother, father and brother Jack, a first-grader at Mt. Pleasant, to the Mets game. “I talked to the other broadcasters about school, my teachers and hobbies,” he said. “I was able to make my own notecards and use them to talk about some of the players.” Even though he no longer plays baseball, Aidan still enjoys watching his favorite team and player, Yoenis Cespedes. If he doesn’t become a professional hockey player when he grows up, being a sportscaster is second on his list. 

FCCLA Club Goes Gold to Support Childhood Cancer

FCCLA Club Goes Gold to Support Childhood Cancer photo
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Members of High School East’s Future Community and Career Leaders of America Club participated in a “Go Gold” campaign for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The club sold gold laces to students and staff as well as gold hearts, which were displayed in the commons area. They also had a “Go Gold” day where staff and students wore gold. The club raised $813, which will be donated to two charities – Lace It Up for Cancer and Whip Pediatric Cancer.  

West Students Work to Build Tolerance

West Students Work to Build Tolerance photo
In an effort to combat bullying and build a school culture of tolerance, students at High School West attended a presentation by Teen Truth on Sept. 26.

Organized by the school’s leadership class, the assembly focused on dealing with bullying, teen suicide and different social emotional issues that students may be facing. Presenter and co-founder JC Pohl helped to deliver the messages to empower students by using real-world examples and audience participation.
 

‘Egg’-cellent Learning Opportunities

‘Egg’-cellent Learning Opportunities photo

Students at St. James Elementary School are engaged in an outdoor, hands-on learning experience thanks to a new chicken coop and three chickens purchased by the school’s Parent Teacher Association. The coop is housed in an enclosed courtyard area that has floor to ceiling glass walls, so the chickens can be observed at all times.

The outdoor learning space will be used for the study and care of the chickens. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade will participate in observing, learning about and caring for our chickens. They will also collect eggs daily, which parents can pick up and bring home. 

“We hope this outdoor learning experience will help serve as a concrete example of the life cycle, a closer connection to our food (eggs) and the important role students will have in caring for animals,” said St. James Elementary Principal MaryGrace Lynch. 

The chickens have been named for the three character traits the school will highlight throughout the year – Aretha (for respect), Teresa (after Mother Teresa for compassion) and Mickey (after John McCain for courage). 

East Celebrates Homecoming with a Win

HSE Celebrates a Win at Homecoming 2018 photo

High School East celebrated its homecoming on Sept. 29 with a day full of activities. Kicking off the celebration was a parade that began at St. James Elementary School and ended on the track of High School East.

Led by the marching band and High School East Principal Dr. Kevin Simmons, the homecoming parade featured class floats in addition to members of the HSE, Great Hollow Middle School and Nesaquake Middle School sports teams and clubs.

East’s offense came in ready to play, picking up 17 points in the first half. Newfield countered with 3 points, leaving the score at 17-3 going into the half. The offense for Smithtown East continued to do well in the second half, scoring another 21 points to put the game away. The beat the Wolverines by a score of 38-24. 

The East cheerleaders, joined on the track by Great Hollow and Nesaquake’s squads, entertained the crowd throughout the game. The halftime show featured performances by the varsity cheerleaders, award-winning Whisperettes and the Dynamic baton twirlers. Following the show, members of the homecoming court were called onto the field to name this year’s king and queen. Jimmy Burns and Elizabeth Lebci were crowned king and queen. 

Swimmers Support Cancer Research

Swimmers Support Cancer Research photo
The High School East/West combined girls swimming team recently raised approximately $9,000 for cancer research by participating in Swim Across America. Joined by the girls swimming team from Harborfields High School, the athletes raised money for the Nassau/Suffolk chapter of the organization. Proceeds from the swim will support immunotherapy research at the Swim Across America Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, lung cancer clinical trials at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, pediatric brain cancer research at Feinstein Institute of North Shore and pediatric oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital.

Board Adopts 2018/19 Goals

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During the Sept. 25 Board of Education meeting, the Board adopted the district goals for the 2018/19 school year. To see the complete goals, please click here.

Upholding the Classroom Constitution at Mills Pond

Upholding the Classroom Constitution at Mills Pond photo
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Mills Pond Elementary School recognized Constitution Day on Sept. 17. During morning announcements, students learned facts about the U.S. Constitution. Throughout the day, students spoke about the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Clad in red, white and blue, students worked with their classroom teachers to set up a list of their class rules. After penning their rules for the year, each member of the class signed their names to uphold their constitution throughout the school year. The school’s computer lab was decorated and used as a meeting place for the constitution signing. The rules and signatures will be prominently displayed in each classroom.  

Cosmic Yoga

Students in Allison Cortes’s class at Smithtown Elementary are practicing cosmic yoga. The students watch a video and listen to a story while doing different yoga poses. Last week’s story was “The Wizard of Oz.”

Making Social and Mathematical Connections

Making Social and Mathematical Connections photo

Fifth-graders in Janis Frankel’s class at Smithtown Elementary School started off the new school year playing engaging games during math class that focused on place value. The objective of the game was to identify place values to create larger numbers. The game was a fun way to review math skills, make new friends and work cooperatively with their classmates.



Accompsett Remembers 9/11

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

First-Grade Learners

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

Easing the Middle School Transition

Easing the Middle School Transition photo

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

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

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

Think Marks

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