SJE Pic 1580 Lake Avenue, Saint James, NY 11780

 

Main Office: (631) 382-4455
School Fax:  (631) 382-4456
Principal - Ms. Lynch: (631) 382-4455
Health Office: (631) 382-4460
Psychologist: (631) 382-4464
Social Worker: (631) 382-4471
Custodian: (631) 382-4465

 

 

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Parent University Workshops Offer Solutions, Strategies During Pandemic

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More than 250 parents, students and staff members participated in Smithtown Central School District’s virtual Parent University on March 8. Parent University is hosted by the district’s Wellness Committee. The evening, themed “Responding to this Moment,” featured more than a dozen workshops for participants in two different sessions.

Workshops were facilitated by both community members, professionals and staff. Mental health counselor Ron Villano addressed how to manage concerns for students during this time such as anxiety, stress, feeling trapped and mental health, and school performance. Dietitian/nutritionist Colleen McDermott talked about different nutrition components to lead a healthy lifestyle, while registered sleep technologist Brendan Duffy spoke about how to protect and improve sleep.

Smithtown’s administrator for guidance and related student services Kevin Colon provided strategies for effective communication between parents and teenagers. Nesaquake Middle School reading teacher Julianne DeSilva spoke about how to encourage reading at home with ideas for how parents can engage with reading with their children and model good reading habits.

Dr. Beth Forhman’s workshop offered evidence-based suggestions to foster family and children’s resiliency during this challenging time. Dr. Marissa Abram also spoke about the impact of mental health during the pandemic and how to create self-care plan. Psychologist and therapist Craig O’Brien addressed biological stress reactions and strategies for managing anxieties.

Smithtown Receives Portion of Smart Start Grant

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Smithtown is one of nine schools districts to be included in the recent Smart Start grant received by Western Suffolk BOCES. The purpose of the Smart Start grant is to develop, implement and share innovative programs that provide professional development and support to increase expertise in computer science, engineering and/or educational technology among teachers in grades K-8.

Smithtown was one of the component districts that expressed interest in participating in the grant. Western Suffolk BOCES was awarded $500,000 a year for each of the next five school years (2021-2022 through 2025-2026). The money allocated to each district will be based on the student population. Smithtown’s portion of the funds will support 115 teachers in computer science professional development. Beginning this summer, the district will be able to open up the training to 23 teachers per year.

Teachers will be involved in four days of professional development during the summer months and two-and-a-half days during the school year. Teachers will be trained in computer science by the company Mouse. “Our goal is to further enhance our computer science offerings here in Smithtown as well as support teachers in the delivery of our Project Lead the Way program,” said Paul Strader, assistant superintendent for curriculum and assessment.

This summer, the district will offer the training to interested K-5 STEM specialists, K-8 library media specialists, middle school math teachers and K-5 elementary classroom teachers. They will continue to expand the pool of teachers offered the professional development each school year. Teachers will receive a stipend from grant for their participation. Following the training, the teachers will be delivering at least 15-20 computer science-based lessons.

Working Together to Learn About Extreme Weather

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Ms. Baker’s fourth grade class at St. James Elementary School is learning about extreme weather conditions. Working together in small groups, the students are researching different extreme weather – such as blizzards, tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes – during a two-week period. They are reading books and gathering notes during the research period. At the end of their research, the groups will create their own hard-cover book about their chosen weather condition and share it with the class.

St. James Students Keep their Stuffed Animals Safe

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Kindergartners at St. James Elementary School recently participated in a virtual teddy bear clinic sponsored by Stony Brook University Trauma Center Students pretended to be doctors and nurses and helped care for their stuffed animals.

The clinic teaches the kindergartners about safety and how to do their part to stay injury free. It also helps ease the process of doctor and hospital visits by showing students how to be caregivers. The students learned about buckling up their seatbelts to stay safe in vehicles and to always wear their helmet when riding a bike to keep safe.

Students cared for their injured stuffed animals, tended to and bandaged them and gave them instructions on how long to rest. They also wrote down how they could be safer next time to prevent injuries.

St. James Students Share the Love

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Fourth graders in Mrs. Dennis’ class at St. James Elementary School are sharing their love this Valentine’s Day. As part of their community service, the students created Valentine’s Day cards filled with messages of kindness and love. The entire building also contributed to the creation of cards. Mrs. Dennis collected the cards to be delivered to the approximately 180 residents of the Amber Court Assisted Living Facility in Nesconset.