skip to main content

Linking the Food Chain

Linking the Food Chain photo

During the week of Feb. 25, fourth-graders at Accompsett Elementary School participated in a hands-on learning experience. The food web program, sponsored by the Parent-Teacher Association’s Cultural Arts program, taught students all about the food chain using real life pond samples. Using digital microscopes and tablets, students viewed the microscopic ecosystem of a water droplet. Seeing the microscopic organisms opened up a world as the fourth-graders learned about the food chain using plankton. The students recorded their observations and worked together to identify the different organisms found in the ocean water.

VIDEO: Tackan Gets Bubbly

Tackan Gets Bubbly photo

West Artists Work on Watercolors

West Artists Work on Watercolors photo

Students in Steve Halem’s painting I class at High School West are learning how to use watercolors. The students are working on creating basic forms, cubes, spheres and cylinders. The artists are using different washes to control the watercolors as they practice the different forms. In this introductory course, students learn to apply elements of design in developing original paintings on various surfaces and stretched canvas in the areas of still life, abstract works, portraits, and landscapes. Students will learn color theory as applied to paint and work with acrylics, watercolors and various other media.

Gr 5 - The Lion King Jr Performance

Teaching from a Different Perspective

Teaching from a Different Perspective photo

It was the opportunity to see their school from a different perspective as more than 20 students from throughout Accompsett Middle School became “Teachers for a Day” on Feb 28.

The initiative, which is part of a Parent-Teacher Association event, allows students to pair up with their favorite teacher or administrator and walk in their shoes for the day. The students are chosen at random and have the opportunity to choose the teacher they would like to shadow for the day.

This “day in the life” program has students creating lesson plans, delivering lessons and getting a real feel for being a teacher or administrator. Sixth-grader Dan Ryan served as Principal for the Day alongside Principal Paul McNeil, and said he loved how he toured the school with him, fielded questions from his fellow students and learned about the different aspects of being a principal. Jillian Ragan worked with social studies teacher Ms. Ortiz and said the hardest part of teaching the lesson was getting class participation.

Pancake Breakfast

Congratulations to the Mt. Pleasant classes that brought in the most Box Tops: Mrs. Chester, Mr. Jackowski and Mrs. Waitz. Students had a great morning celebrating their win by enjoying a delicious pancake breakfast, with all the fixings, compliments of Mr. Ierano.

Reading Brings a Rainbow of Colors

Reading Brings a Rainbow of Colors photo

Mills Pond Elementary School celebrated students exceeding their Parents as Reading Partners goal by reading 55,750 minutes. Diane Lanze’s fifth-grade class read the most minutes (10,625 minutes) and had the opportunity to choose the Principal's Challenge. Mills Pond Principal Ireen Westrack had a team of highly trained hairstylists (classroom teachers) dye her hair rainbow colors in front of the whole school on March 1.

East Whisperettes Continue Winning Streak

East Whisperettes Continue Winning Streak photo
High School East’s varsity kickline team – the Whisperettes – participated in the Contest of Champions Nationals from March 1-3 in Orlando, Florida. The East team was named the small high kick national champions, capturing their 21st consecutive title. The team also earned second place in the large high kick category and were one of six teams selected by the judging panel to perform an encore of their large high kick routine during the awards presentation. The team is coached by Sarahbeth Cook and led by captain Julie Anderson, co-captains Leila Moghadasi, Liz Orlandi, junior captain Kelsey Finn and junior co-captain Karissa Duffy. 

St. James Students Keep their Cool

St. James Students Keep their Cool photo

Students in Kelly Collett’s second-grade class at St. James Elementary School recently completed their study of different forms of matter. As a culminating activity, the students participated in a Project Lead the Way lesson and designed their own coolers.

Catching the Leprechaun

Kindergartners at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School had visit from a mischievous little leprechaun. He made a mess in their classroom, leaving clues for students to try to catch him. They searched and searched, but couldn’t catch him. Better luck next year!

No Bones About It for SEL Kindergartners

No Bones About It for SEL Kindergartners photo

Kindergarten students in Cris Cusati’s class at Smithtown Elementary School participated in a Project Lead the Way lesson on bones and the human body. The students learned that their hands  are an important part of their body. They learned that hands have a special structure. The students found out how many bones make up the structure of their fingers. Students sorted finger bones and created a bone puzzle of their hand to learn about the structure and functions of bones.

VIDEO: Robotics Regionals


Smithtown’s robotics team is heading to regionals. Watch some of the highlights of their build here.

St. Patrick’s Ready

St. Patrick’s Ready photo
Students in Mrs. Kohilakis’s fifth-grade class at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School are ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

Mt. Pleasant Goes Red for Women

Mt. Pleasant Goes Red for Women photo
This February, Mt. Pleasant Elementary participated in the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. On Valentine’s Day, teacher and staff wore red in support of woman’s heart health and raised more than $200. The AHA’s Go Red for Women Campaign helps raise awareness about heart disease, the number one killer of women, causing one in three deaths each year.

Pledging to Stay Drug Free

Pledging to Stay Drug Free photo

During a lesson on peer pressure, drug abuse and smart decision-making, sixth-graders at Nesaquake Middle School pledged to stay drug-free and make positive decisions during their family and consumer science class. Students recited a pledge and signed oaths before hanging their signed statements outside their classroom.

Fall in Love with Nesaquake’s Book Club

Fall in Love with Nesaquake’s Book Club photo

In an effort to inspire passion for reading, Nesaquake Middle School has launched the Nesaquake Love Book Club this year. Spearheaded by English teacher Marissa LoSardo, the club and its members work to engage new readers who fall in love with books.

The club features a reader of the week, which could be a teacher or administrator, who records a video clip of themselves reading the first chapter of a book. The “reader of the week” chooses and shares a book in the hopes that others are inspired to read it. 

“We also update a bulletin board in the cafeteria each month sharing titles that focus of certain genres,” LoSardo said. “And, we’re very excited that Nesaquake may soon have a book vending machine.”

Club members also will canvas the school and interview classmates and teachers about different topics of the week. The club broadcasts their weekly focus questions. 

The club meets twice a month on Monday mornings. Check out all their happenings on Instagram at @nesaquake_book_love. On their page, the club posts reading and book loving memes and reposts novels from authors or publishing companies to share titles of interesting books.

Important Letter to Community from the Smithtown Board of Education


SEL Grade 2 - Earth Presentation

A Learning Marathon

A Learning Marathon photo

Sixth-grade students in Michelle Labuski’s class at Great Hollow Middle School recently completed a lesson on the Persian War. They learned about the famous Battle of Marathon, which is how the 26-mile race was created and named. Students watched videos on the Persian War in race corrals to wait their turn to start the marathon. At each mile, students lifted the race bib to take notes on a different event of the Persian War on their marathon course map. At the water stops, students answered questions based on their notes. At the end of the marathon, students received a medal for their hard work.

SEL 1st graders attended an "Insects Galore!" assembly

Kindergarten & Grade 1 - Singing Bus Driver

Taking a Bite out of Food Science

Taking a Bite out of Food Science photo
Taking a Bite out of Food Science photo 2
Taking a Bite out of Food Science photo 3
Taking a Bite out of Food Science photo 4
New for the 2018-2019 school year, the district is offering a food science course for 11th- and 12th-grade students. This course is designed to reinforce and enhance students’ knowledge of scientific principles and processes as it applies to the study of food and nutrition and is used as a science credit.

Food science connects aspects of food chemistry, biology, earth science and psychology to real-life examples through class discussions, experiments, projects and cooking labs. High School West students recently learned about macronutrients during a hands-on lab. They studied complex carbohydrates and made bagels and butter by altering the physical state of a liquid. 

Board of Education Honors Accomplishments

Board of Education Honors Accomplishments photo

Smithtown showed off the talent of its student body and recognized the accomplishments of students and staff during its Feb. 26 board of education meeting.

The meeting was held at Smithtown Elementary School, as the board of education is moving its meetings to different locations this school year in an effort to connect with the community. Smithtown Elementary fifth-graders showed off their performing skills with a sneak peek of a few songs from their upcoming presentation of “The Lion King” to start the meeting.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane honored and recognized several teachers and a student. High School West senior Matthew Bizzaro was recognized for receiving first place in the Long Island round of the National Automotive Technology Competition. Four Smithtown teachers – David Junz, Kelly Bigliani, Glenn Rogers and Brian Cusati – were honored for being chosen as Project Lead the Way Master Teachers. Lastly, High School East math teacher Marianne Schoepflin was honored for achieving National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification. 

Tinker Tuesday Sparks Creativity

Tinker Tuesday Sparks Creativity photo

Once a month, library media specialist Keely Schuppert hosts a Tinker Tuesday for the fifth-graders at St. James Elementary School.

The fifth-graders have a chance to participate in a variety of different hands-on, STEM-based activities that challenge them to think outside the box and use their creative minds to problem solve. The students sign up for Tinker Tuesdays, which take place during their lunch period.

So far this year, the students have done origami, and worked with pearler beads. In January, the students were tasked with making marshmallow towers using mini-marshmallows and toothpicks. 

The structures taught the students about different engineering principles and ways to craft the designs to have the most stability. After the designs were complete, the students shook their structures to mimic a natural disaster to see if they could withstand the destruction. Those whose structures tumbled went back to the building stage for a redesign. 

Students Simulate ‘TRU’ Business Experience

Students Simulate ‘TRU’ Business Experience photo
High School West’s virtual enterprise class, TRUBLU Technologies, has evolved to be the one of the top 40 virtual enterprises for 2018. Created in 2016, TRUBLU Technologies sells a variety of practical Bluetooth, app-based products that meet the needs of the tech community. Teacher Phil Como leads the students as they journey into creating a fictitious company from top to bottom.

Last month, TRUBLU Technologies took their business on the road and competed in the Long Island virtual reality tradeshow at LIU Post. More than 100 virtual companies from Long Island participated with trade booths that sold their products to customers and other virtual enterprise students.  

TRUBLU Technologies chief officers presented their 30-page business plan presentation to a panel of judges. TRUBLU Technologies received the gold award for its e-commerce website and the silver award for its sales/marketing campaign. 

Students have the opportunity to earn six college credits through SUNY Farmingdale during this simulated business experience. Students are interviewed and hired into their respective executive positions by members of the Smithtown IAB. TRUBLU CEO Juliana Buonaiuto said the class has taught her how to manage all the different departments as well as the people within the organization. “This class is helping me to prepare for the real world,” she said. “It gives us a realistic look at how to run a businesses without any of the risks.”

Sand Dams Offer a Lesson in Adaptation

Sand Dams Offer a Lesson in Adaptation photo
Third-grade students in Laura McCoy’s class at Accompsett Elementary School are studying Kenya. As part of the unit, they were given the question: “Can human beings change their environment to meet their needs?” The students watched a video about how building sand dams in Kenya has changed the lives of the community for the better. The students built their own sand dams as an extension activity. They will modify based on the results, retest and reflect on their findings.

Smithtown Students Take the Stage

Smithtown Students Take the Stage photo

The district’s theatre art elective is unique in that it fulfills an art, music or English elective for students. During the full-year class, students learn the basics of acting and public speaking. Through improvisation and other theatrical activities, students learn how to manipulate their voices, create different characters, effectively stage/block their movements, articulate, react quickly and appropriately to a variety of situations, and learn how to become more natural and relaxed on stage. Shown here are High School West students doing improvisation.

Celebrating Dr. Seuss

Mrs. Phillip’s fourth graders and Mrs. William’s first graders celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 1 during their buddy time. They enjoyed reading and sharing many of his amazing books.

Nesaquake Names Geo Bee Winner

Nesaquake Names Geo Bee Winner photo
Nesaquake Middle School held its annual Geography Bee in the school’s library. Seven students in grades six through eight competed in the final round of the contest, which is sponsored by National Geographic. After many rounds, seventh-grader Dylan Shen was crowned the winner. The next step is an online contest to see if he will qualify to be invited to the state competition on March 29. Dylan is pictured here with Nesaquake Middle School Principal Dan McCabe. 

Tackan’s Interactive Gamers

Tackan’s Interactive Gamers photo

During their physical education classes throughout the week of Feb. 11, students at Tackan Elementary School got interactive with video games courtesy of iGame4.

iGame4 fitness program uses active video games to improve endurance, flexibility, balance and overall health. The program, designed by education and fitness professionals, creates excitement using innovative and fun technology that is proven to be effective at burning calories. 

Students rotated through three different gaming stations featuring National Geographic, where they were transformed into different animals; River Rush, where they have to work with a partner to get their raft down a river; and Just Dance, a dance video where they had to match the moves of the dancer on the screen. “Students are getting interactive and having fun at the same time,” said physical education teacher Jason Lambert. 

Math Mentors Make Fair a Success

Math Mentors Make Fair a Success photo

Fifth-graders at St. James Elementary School were thrilled to partner with Math Honor Society students from High School East to work on their math fair projects. During the last five weeks, the Honor Society students visited the elementary students to mentor them on their math fair projects. After the fifth-graders decided on their project ideas, the high school mentors – nearly 60 of them – helped them talk through the process, build their trifold displays and work on their presentation skills. The students had a practice run showing off and explaining their work during the mentors final visit on Feb. 13. On Feb. 14, the students showed off their hard work to friends and family. The students also displayed their projects during STEAM Night at High School East in April.

Snow Fun

Kindergartners in Mrs. Hausch’s and Ms. O'Connor’s class are excited about the flurries outside. Their creative classwork shows that they are hoping to build a snowman!

Medical Examiner Visit Offers Inside Look

Medical Examiner Visit Offers Inside Look photo
High School West students in the Project Lead the Way Principles of Biomedical Engineering recently listened to a guest lecture from the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office. Michael Kaplan, chief medical examiner, discussed his field of work and how the office operates. He brought many photos of past cases, offering information on how Anna's fictitious death would be solved. Shown here, (from left): High School West science teacher Renee Chalmers, director of science Laura Snell, Suffolk Medical Examiner Michael Kaplan, High School West science teacher Sara Albanese and Ellen Paulik and Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane. 

Twenty-Three Student-Athletes Sign

Twenty-Three Student-Athletes Sign photo
Twenty-Three Student-Athletes Sign photo 2
The district’s senior student-athletes put pen to paper as they signed national letters of intent to continue to play their sports at the collegiate level next year. 

From High School East, nine student-athletes signed their letters. They are: Alexander Blatt, lacrosse, Colorado Mesa University; Sophia DeNicola, lacrosse, University of Michigan; Catherine Farrell, track and field, Manhattan College; Douglas Goodwin, baseball, Binghamton University; William Kennedy, baseball, Hofstra University; Isabella Romano, soccer, SUNY Albany; Gabrielle Schneider, lacrosse, Lehigh University; Gabriella Whitehouse, lacrosse, Stony Brook University; and Grace Young, track and field, Binghamton University. 

At High School West, the following student-athletes committed to their college sports: Matt Caddigan, lacrosse, University of Massachusetts; Conor Calderone; lacrosse, University of Maryland; Erin Cascone, lacrosse, Hartford University; Lauren Coletti, lacrosse, Hofstra University; Marc Cottage, lacrosse, Wingate University; Nick DeFelice, track, Binghamton University; Paige Diecidue, golf, Monmouth University; Kevin Ehli, lacrosse, University of Utah; Spencer Frank, lacrosse, Hartford University; John Hoffman, lacrosse, Providence College; Regan Kielmeyer, lacrosse, Loyola University; Lindsey McCarthy, girls soccer, Molloy College; Taylor Menella, lacrosse, Hofstra University; and Janine Suris, lacrosse, University of Florida. 

Celebrating Global Play Day

Celebrating Global Play Day photo

Kindergartners in Michael Hart’s class at Mills Pond Elementary School celebrated Global Play Day on Feb. 6 with some in-class fun. After playing a game of rock, paper, scissors using hula-hoops, the students rotated to different “Minute to Win It”-type games. Some of the hands-on activity centers included making a cup tower stack, a popsicle stick house, separating beds into different cups and racing each other with a cotton ball and straw.

Mentoring the Mechanical Bulls

robot pic

The district’s robotics team, the Mechanical Bulls, has partnered with Altice for the 2018-2019 competition season. Altice sponsors more than 40 robotics teams across the country and is also a sponsor of the FIRST Robotics competition. Along with the sponsorship, Altice also connects employees who work as mentors with the team. This year, Smithtown residents and Altice employees Scott Morgan and Joe Godas have been working with the team on the technical and business side of the competition. The mentors come in a few times throughout the season to help guide the team.

Celebrating 100 Days of School

Rating the Super Bowl: It’s All About the Commercials

owl photo

Students in Cindy Wood’s marketing and advertising class at High School West recently completed an analysis of the Super Bowl commercials. Students picked out the different marketing components of the commercials, spoke about their ratings and why certain commercials were rated higher than others. They also completed blind taste tests of different football game snacks.

East Student-Artist Takes Home Two Awards

East Student-Artist Takes Home Two Awards photo

High School East student Chris Jarosak has been named a winner in the Scholastic Art Awards. Chris, who is an AP art student in teacher Tim Needles’ class, won two awards: a silver key in digital art for his piece “Pulled Down” and an honorable mention in drawing and illustration for his piece “Mountain.” Chris is pictured here with Mr. Needles and his “Pulled Piece” art.


Getting Adventurous at Accompsett

Getting Adventurous at Accompsett photo

Accompsett Elementary School completed its Parents as Reading Partners from Jan. 28-Feb. 1. Themed “Adventures in Reading,” the school was transformed into an adventure island where students became pirates, exploring new ways to read in order to reach the buried treasure. By using their reading adventure map, they completed new adventures in reading various genres and in different forms and mediums.

Smithtown Celebrates 100 Days of Learning

Smithtown Celebrates 100 Days of Learning photo

Sporting their canes, walkers, shawls and glasses, elementary students throughout the district dressed as if they were 100 years old to celebrate the 100th day of school on Feb. 14.

Kindergarten and first-grade classes throughout the district centered their day’s activities around the number 100. At Dogwood Elementary School, students created hats and drew pictures of what they would look like at 100 years old. At Accompsett Elementary, reading and writing lessons focused on the number 100. Students colored in the number 100 and reflected on all they had learned during their first 100 days. Mt. Pleasant students also dressed the part on the 100 day and rotated through different centers focused on the number 100. 

West’s Eng Named News12 Scholar Athlete

West’s Eng Named News12 Scholar Athlete photo
Based on her academic and athletic achievements, High School West senior Emily Eng has been chosen as a News12 Long Island Scholar Athlete Award recipient. She was recently presented with a $1,000 check.

Emily maintains a 4.38 unweighted grade point average and participates in track and field and gymnastics. She holds the school record in the pole vault and is also an All-County performer. Emily is a five-time All-County gymnast and captain of the team. She was a contributing member of the 2017 gymnastics team that won the county championship. 

Kindergarten Celebrates Valentine’s Day

Mrs. Edelman's kindergarten class exchanged Valentine’s cards and celebrated the day together

SEL Kindergarten - Great Guy Day

SEL Grade 1-Special Person Day

Students interviewed their special person and enjoyed making a craft, reading a book and having a snack together

SEL Teddy Bear Clinic

Smithtown Elementary School’s Kindergarten classes had a special visit from Stony Brook Hospital’s nursing students. The students learned about helmet safety and the importance of hand washing. The children enjoyed an interactive Teddy Bear Clinic to care for stuffed animals

Inspiring Incredible Readers at Mills Pond

Inspiring Incredible Readers at Mills Pond photo
As a kickoff to Mills Pond’s Parents as Reading Partners program, High School East Drama Club students visited the school for a superhero performance on Feb. 1. Theater students Meleni Sarantos, Dylan McCormick and Calvin Dean performed an original play written by Sarantos. They convinced hundreds of K-5 students that “Reading Is Incredible!”

Dr. Munk visits Kindergarten classes at Tackan

Dr. Munk teaches dental care to the children to help them learn the healthy habits that bring a bright smile and a bright future with simple dental hygiene.

Penguin Day Packed with Learning Fun

Penguin Day Packed with Learning Fun photo

As a culminating activity to their unit on arctic animals and penguins, kindergartners at Mills Pond Elementary School held a Penguin Day on Jan. 25. Dressed in black and white – and wearing their custom-made penguin hats – the students rotated through different stations in the classrooms to help reinforce their lessons on the unit.  They made maps to see where penguins lived and challenged their knowledge in penguin trivia. They also got involved in hands-on activities during the penguin Olympics, competing in different relay races.

Winter Concert

Annual Dance Festival Honors Alumna’s Memory

Annual Dance Festival Honors Alumna’s Memory photo
On Jan. 26, the fourth annual Stephanie Belli Dance Team Festival was held at High School West. Stephanie was one of four Smithtown alumnae who were tragically killed in an accident in 2015. Stephanie was also a former Smithtown West Whisperette. As a way to keep her memory alive, the Whisperettes, along with her family, have set up two scholarships, which are funded through the annual festival. This year, more than 700 dancers participated from across the tri-state area from middle schools, high schools, and colleges.

Lessons Delve into Native American Culture

Lessons Delve into Native American Culture photo

As a culmination to their lessons on the Iroquois and tribes native to the New York area, fourth-graders at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School participated in a day filled with hands-on activities by Journeys Into American Indian Territory on Feb. 4. The students began the day with a brief video presentation. The classes gathered to listen to presenters tell Native American stories, examined artifacts at a museum station and experienced life in a longhouse. They also participated in traditional Native American games, were taught how to throw spears and worked with clay.

Epic Club Fundraiser

Members of the Epic Club at St. James Elementary School are making bead kits to raise money for Caitlin’s Smiles, a program to help children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses by giving them hope, laughs and smiles.

Young Scientists Set Their Studies on the Stomach

Young Scientists Set Their Studies on the Stomach photo
Young Scientists Set Their Studies on the Stomach photo 2
Young Scientists Set Their Studies on the Stomach photo 3
Young Scientists Set Their Studies on the Stomach photo 4
Young Scientists Set Their Studies on the Stomach photo 5
As part of a Project Lead the Way lesson on the parts and functions of the human body, kindergartners at Dogwood Elementary School learned about the stomach. During a lesson with Project Lead the Way coach Brian Cusati, the budding scientists studied the stomach and learned how it works with the rest of the parts of the body. During the hands-on portion, the students used pom-poms to fill up a balloon-like stomach so they could better understand its function.

Computer Engineers

Computer Engineers photo

During a recent Project Lead the Way lesson, fifth-graders at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School learned about computer engineering. During the module on building computer models, Mrs. Waitz's class created their own computer dodgeball tilt game.

St. James Students Get Schooled in 24

St. James Students Get Schooled in 24 photo

Fifth-graders at St. James Elementary School went head to head in a math competition on Jan. 24. The students participated in the 24 Math Challenge. The object of the competition is to be the first person to make the number 24 using all four numbers on the playing card. Competing first in small groups within their classrooms, the students participated in three 12-minute rounds. The top two players from each class then headed to the final round to proclaim a 24 Math Challenge winner.

SEL- Gr 5 Winter Concert

Toy Drive Benefits Local Guide Dogs

Toy Drive Benefits Local Guide Dogs photo
High School West’s girl track and field team recently held a toy drive fundraiser to benefit the Guide Dog Foundation of Smithtown and America’s VetDogs. The team collected chew toys which were donated to the center in mid-January. 

Kindergarten Arctic Centers at Tackan

St. James Authors Share their Narrative Writing

St. James Authors Share their Narrative Writing photo

Young authors in Robin Baker’s fourth-grade class at St. James Elementary School shared their narrative writing creations with invited guests during a literacy celebration on Jan. 24. Gathered in small groups, the students spoke about the writing process and how they developed their story ideas.

The students spoke about the different steps in the writing process, showed off their rough drafts and peer-edited work. They spoke about how they had to keep revising each draft, building the characters and their conflicts and developing the story. Each student then presented their completed narrative piece to the group, and members of the group wrote comments about what they enjoyed most about the book. 

Great Hollow Students Make Top Chefs

Great Hollow Students Make Top Chefs photo

As part of their family and consumer science classes at Great Hollow Middle School, students are learning the basics of cooking. In January, the classes worked on making dinners, measuring ingredients and following directions for a chicken stir fry recipe. Students in Ms. Hall’s class were also busy practicing their cutting in and creaming techniques by making a crumb cake. The students taste tested all of their delicious creations at the end of the lesson.

Animal Adaptations in PLTW

As part of a Project Lead the Way lesson on animal adaptations, first graders at Mt. Pleasant learned why animals have different outer covering or coats, which help them to live safely in their natural environment.

Science-Researchers Honored by BOE

Science-Researchers Honored by BOE 1
At the Jan. 22 board of education meeting, the district recognized the two seniors who were named 2019 Regeneron Scholars. High School West’s Alexander Rodriguez (left) was honored for his research on “A Genomic and Pharmacological Analysis of Adenosine Receptors in the Sea Anemone Nematostella vectensis,” while High School East senior Anthony D’Amore was recognized for his research, “Habitat Preference Drives Brain Shape in Crocodylomorphs.” The two science researchers are among the 53 Long Island students who have been named semifinalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search. They are pictured with Board of Education President Jeremy Thode (left) and Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Grossane.

Hip Pickles Drum Band Performance at Tackan

Designing Structures for Different Settings

Designing Structures for Different Settings photo

Second-graders in Kelly Collett’s class at St. James Elementary School used both their social studies and science skills to create structures as part of a Project Lead the Way lesson.

After learning about urban and rural settings, the students were tasked with building a rural and urban structure using 75 notched popsicle sticks. Project Lead the Way coach Brian Cusati led the lesson on understanding the differences between how urban and rural structures are built. Students also learned how matter can be made into different objects. 

Working in small groups, the students created a vertical design that could work in an urban environment. The students then deconstructed their design and used the same material to create a rural building. 

Multicultural Creations by Great Hollow Artists

Multicultural Creations by Great Hollow Artists photo

Seventh-graders in Mrs. Stebbins’s art class at Great Hollow Middle School are completing their mask relief multicultural projects. Using plaster and paint, the students researched different cultures to create masks featuring protruding objects. The masks are on display outside the school’s library.

Readers Gather for PARP

Readers Gather for PARP
Readers Gather for PARP2
Mt. Pleasant hosted a book fair at Barnes & Noble in celebration of its PARP program. Families listened to guest readers sharing some wonderful stories. Pictured are Mrs. Trovato and Mrs. Smerechniak sharing their love of reading.

Small Treats Create Big Smiles


Doing their part in and around their school community to spread kindness, members of the Character Education and Citizenship Club at Tackan Elementary School braved the cold weather to share treats with their bus drivers and crossing guards upon their arrival on Jan. 23. With notes of thanks for their hard work in keeping Tackan students safe, the club members delivered hot chocolate and donuts to these unsung heroes. The club is advised by Tackan teachers Ms. Anderson and Ms. Mrose.

Tackan Students Test Their Magnetic Strength

magnet photo

First-grade students at Tackan Elementary School participated in hands-on lessons on the forces of attraction during a magnet program presented by the Long Island Center for Arts and Sciences on Jan. 16.

During the workshop, students learned about the properties of magnets, the different polarizations and why objects have magnetic attraction and their different strengths. They theorized about whether or not certain objects would be attracted to the magnet and why. 

After the demonstration, the first-graders conducted their own experiments. Each student was given a bag full of objects and then had to guess which objects would be attracted to their magnet. They tested their theories by choosing which objects would stick to their magnets. They concluded the workshop by making their own whale magnets to hang on their refrigerators at home. 

Designing Computer-Controlled Machines

Designing Computer-Controlled Machines photo
Designing Computer-Controlled Machines photo 2
Eighth-graders from Great Hollow Middle School are designing and engineering their own robotic machines as part of a 10-weeklong project in Connor Kelly’s Automation and Robotics Project Lead the Way class. Using Vex robotics parts and Robotec, the students were tasked with coding, building and testing their designs from scratch. The machines had to perform one of eight different tasks and include multiple sensors. 

A Day in the Life of a Book - Author Steven Petruccio

LISFA String Festival

Lyndsay Payne, Smithtown music teacher and LISFA festival vice president, coordinated the LISFA string festival and four fifth-graders were selected to participate.

Second-Graders Learn the Art of Storytelling

Second-Graders Learn the Art of Storytelling photo
Second-Graders Learn the Art of Storytelling photo 2
Second-Graders Learn the Art of Storytelling photo 3
Second-Graders Learn the Art of Storytelling photo 4
Second-graders at Smithtown Elementary School learned all about the art of writing stories thanks to a visit from guest author Brian Heinz on Jan. 16. Mr. Heinz, who authored books such as “The Monsters’ Test” and “Butternut Hollow Pond,” worked with the second-grade students in small groups to examine all the different elements needed to create a story. After creating a short story with each class, he did a read aloud of one of his books. 

Aboriginal Art Inspires Great Hollow Students

Aboriginal Art Inspires Great Hollow Students photo

Eighth-graders in Kristen Dean’s art class at Great Hollow Middle School are creating three-dimensional sculptures. The abstract pieces feature designs that are inspired by aboriginal artwork.

Spelling Bee Champ

Spelling Bee Champ photo
Spelling Bee Champ photo 2
Spelling Bee Champ photo 3
Congratulations to fourth grader Hallie Bell in Mr. Jackowski's class. Hallie is the Spelling Bee Champion at Mt. Pleasant Elementary.

Harlem Wizards Visit Tackan

Second Grade Surgeons

With their gloves and masks, second-graders in Barbara Haining's class at Mills Pond are doing place value surgery.

AMS Artists Show Off Their Zen

AMS Artists Show Off Their Zen photo
Seventh-grade student-artists in Jennifer Kapps-Flemings’s class at Accompsett Middle School recently created animals using the Zentangle art method. A Zentangle drawing is an abstract drawing created using repetitive patterns called tangles. Artists create tangles with combinations of dots, lines, simple curves, S-curves and orbs. The works are done in  in black ink on white paper with grey pencil shading. 

AMS Students Get Descriptive During Writer’s Workshops

AMS Students Get Descriptive During Writer’s Workshops photo
AMS Students Get Descriptive During Writer’s Workshops photo 2
AMS Students Get Descriptive During Writer’s Workshops photo 3
Sensory writing and how to use descriptive words were the topics of discussion at the writer’s workshops held at Accompsett Middle School on Jan. 15 by author Todd Strasser. The visit was part of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association’s cultural arts program.

Sixth-grade students met in the auditorium for a presentation by Mr. Strasser, who discussed his experiences as a children’s author. Following the group assembly, Mr. Strasser worked with the students in writer’s workshops in the library. During the workshops, the students learned how to use words in their writing to “show rather than tell” the story.

Tackan Students Journey Back in Time

Tackan Students Journey Back in Time photo

Fourth-graders at Tackan Elementary School stepped back in time as they experienced the ways of the Native Americans during an in-house field trip offered by Journeys Into American Indian Territory on Jan. 9.

The fourth-graders recently completed their social studies curriculum on Eastern Woodlands. Presenters demonstrated how Native Americans hunted and the students were able to touch a few of the hunting instruments they used. They also learned about the different roles of members of the tribe.

Each class learned about the Native American culture, examined artifacts, and went inside a longhouse. The fourth-graders sat on animal skins and listened to Native American stories and tried their hands at a few different Native American games.


Sky Lab Program

Brainstorming at Work

Brainstorming at Work photo
Brainstorming at Work photo 2
Mrs. Metz’s fifth graders were spotted brainstorming math problems inside and outside the classroom. Brainstorming in small groups is an excellent teaching strategy to generate ideas and help promote thinking skills.

Nesaquake’s Chorus Carols at Radio City

Nesaquake’s Chorus Carols at Radio City
The select chorus from Nesaquake Middle School performed at Radio City Music Hall on Dec. 7. Under the direction of Rachel Greenblatt, the chorus performed three Christmas carols before the “Christmas Spectacular” show featuring the Rockettes. The students stayed to enjoy the show after their performance.