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New Technologies Complement Curriculum Concepts

New Technologies Complement Curriculum Concepts photo

Hands-on activities were plentiful at Seneca Middle School during a visit from Sachem Public Library members that introduced students to a number of new technology-based learning devices and low-tech building components.

During technology classes, members from the Sachem Public Library brought several devices for students to explore. Among the available technologies were iPad Pros equipped with software for those interested in digital art, Osmo tablets to assist students in drawing and tangrams, which challenged students’ hand-eye coordination and critical thinking skills. In addition, students navigated small programmable robots called mBots through a course using iPads.    

Complementing the high-tech learning tools, students applied design and engineering concepts to low-tech tactile learning materials while building figures and structures with Strawbees, Legos and magnetic shapes. 

Private or Parochial School registration for Transportation

Welcome to the Private or Parochial School registration for Transportation. We are now using electronic filing for transportation applications. Your application must be completed and submitted before April 1, 2019. No late applications will be accepted. It is our recommendation to apply for Transportation even if there is a chance you will not need it. You can cancel the request for transportation if needed at a later date.

If this is your child’s first time applying for transportation to a Private or Parochial School you have to fill out the forms on the link below and bring them to Central Registration Office at 51 School Street Lake Ronkonkoma. The office is in the Samoset Middle School in the “A” entrance.

P&P Registration Documents

If your child is currently receiving a Sachem CSD provided bus to school and your address has not changed please click on this link below and fill out the form. An e-mail generated receipt will be sent to you stating that your child is registered for Transportation. This is the only correspondence you will receive until the last week in August. That letter will have your student’s transportation information in it as in the past.

Continuing Transportation Form

Free Throw Competition


Student Roundtables Open Doors for Student-Directed Discussion

Student Roundtables Open Doors for Student-Directed Discussion photo
For the second consecutive year, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham and various members of the administration visited each school building throughout the Sachem Central School District to gain valuable insight on building culture and student concerns through student roundtable discussions. 

At each school building, principals selected a group of students from varying activity and grade levels to meet with Dr. Graham to discuss a wide range of topics. The roundtable discussions also provided students across the district with an opportunity to voice the ideas and opinions of their peers. 

Topics covered during each discussion included student engagement in class, safety and security, school culture, ways to combat bullying, the availability of extra- and co-curricular activities and ways to further support student success. 

VIDEO: Igniting an Interest in Engineering and Science

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Sachem Fall Student-Athletes Honored With Postseason Recognition

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Congratulations to the Sachem student-athletes listed below for receiving postseason honors in their respective fall sports.

These student-athletes are recognized for their accomplishments and exceptional performances as awarded by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Section XI, Suffolk County coaches associations, Newsday and other sports-related foundations.

Sachem East Fall Postseason Award Winners

Boys Varsity Cross-Country: Scholar-Athlete Team
Christian Berberich: All-League, All-Division, All-County
Joe Berberich: All-Division, All-County
Ryan Famiglietti: All-Division, All-County

Girls Varsity Cross-Country: Scholar-Athlete Team
Division Champions
County Champions
Lindsey Dodenhoff: All-League, All-Division, All-County, Honorable Mention All-State
Chiara Marziali: All-Academic, All-League, All-Division, All-County
Sabrinna Mena: All-League, All-Division, All-County
Melissa Merone: All-League, All-Division, All-County, All-Long Island, Fifth Team All-State
Anna Murphy: All-League, Honorable Mention
Alexis Violi: All-League

Varsity Field Hockey: Scholar-Athlete Team
Division Champions
County Champions
Long Island Champions
Bridget Abraldes: All-Academic, All-Division
Katie Allen: All-Academic, County All-Tournament, All-Long Island, All-State 
Emily Allingham: All-Academic, All-County Honorable Mention, State Sportsmanship
Marissa Cuevas: All-State, County All-Tournament
Lindsey Gelderman: All-Academic, All-Division
Brooke Hughes: All-Academic
Lauren Lucas: All-County Honorable Mention, All-Long Island
Kaylee Maier: All-Academic, All-County
Fran Manzella: County All-Tournament
Ashley Massaro: All-Academic, Unsung Hero 
Nicole Mostupanick: All-Academic, County All-Tournament
Kate Piazza: All-Academic
Danielle Pompa: All-Academic
Erin Schaefer: All-Academic
Kristen Shanahan: All-Academic, County All-Tournament, All-Long Island, All-State 
Joelle Vetter: All-Academic
Olivia Vetter: All-Academic    
Gabrielle Wells: All-Academic
Morgan Zimmerman: All-County

Varsity Football:
Jason Bruno: All-Division
Kyle Ellis: All-Division Second Team
Vito Giambanco: All-Division
AJ Kiernan: All-Division, All-County
Mark Kmiotek: All-Division
Ryan Micheli: All-Division Second Team
Ryan Paolella: All-Division, All County
Adriel Robinson: All-Division Second Team

Boys Varsity Soccer: Scholar-Athlete Team
Nick Addamo: All-League
Stephen Hollis: All-Conference
Nick Sanacore: All-Conference, Academic All-County

Girls Varsity Soccer: Scholar-Athlete Team
Division Champions
Lauren Blando: All-Division
Abby Carroll: All County
Billiegean Hennessey: All-Division
Brooke Papele: All-Division
Skylar Papele: All-County, All-State
Gabby Richetti: All-County

Boys Varsity Volleyball: Scholar-Athlete Team
Richard Baumann: All-Division Honorable Mention
Andrew Oakland: All-Academic, All-Division Honorable Mention
Quincy Rooi: All-Division Honorable Mention
Liam Sheehy: All-County
Selim Soysal: All-Division
Patrick Stevenson: All-County

Girls Varsity Volleyball: Scholar-Athlete Team
Casey Biggers: All-Classification
Molly Jandris: All-County Tournament, Suffolk Elite 8, All-Long Island, Third Team All-State
Angelina Scichilone: All-League
Meghan Smith: All-League
Samantha Szalkowski: All-Classification, All-County Tournament 

Girls Varsity Swimming: Scholar-Athlete Team
Sarah Chapnick: All-League
Emma Krolikiewicz: All-League
Paige Levine: All-League
Alyssa Mei: All-League
Valerie Mei: All-League
Alejhandra Przybylo: All-League
Gabriela Pucilowski: All-League
Kyra Russ: All-League

Sachem North Fall Postseason Award Winners

Boys Varsity Cross-Country:

Scholar-Athlete Team
League Champions
Matt Aliano: All-League, All-County
Nick Ambrosino: All-Academic, All-League, All-County
Tim Colgan: All-League, All-County
Matt Kruse: All-League, All-County
Vidit Parikh: All-League, All-County
Vinny Tripi: All-League, All-County

Girls Varsity Cross-Country: Scholar-Athlete Team
Jordyn McDonnell: All-League, All-Division, All-County, All-Long Island, All-State
Molly Ramirez: All-League, All-Division, All-County
Ashley Graetzer: All-League Honorable Mention
Deirdre McBreen: All-League Honorable Mention 

Varsity Field Hockey: Scholar-Athlete Team
Megan Biase: All-Division Goalie
Paeton Hartmann: All-State
Erika Sneider: All-Division
Jessica Sommers: All-Tournament
Kasey Volz: All-Tournament
Marina Zumbrunn: All-Division

Varsity Football: Scholar-Athlete Team
Nick Canales: All-Division Second Team
Nick Cruz: All-Division Second Team
Nick Davide: All-Division First Team
Nick Gambino: All-Division First Team, “Golden 11” Scholar Athlete 
Ryan Kinsley: All-County, All-Division First Team
Mike Scicolone: All-Division Second Team

Boys Varsity Soccer: Scholar-Athlete Team
Dom Altrui: All-Academic
Gabriel Cruz: All-League
Frank Letterese: All-League
Paolo Mejia: All-League
Liam Park: All-Conference
Steven Rojas: All-Conference, All-County, All-State, All-Region 

Girls Varsity Soccer: Scholar-Athlete Team
Corinne Amato: All-Division, All-Academic, All-County
Erin Avanzato: All-Division
Kaila Hinchman: All-Division
Lauren Makely: All-County

Boys Varsity Volleyball: Scholar-Athlete Team
Division 1 Champions
Suffolk County Champions
Long Island Champions
New York State Finalist
John Curaro: All-Division, Libero of the Year
Jack Driscoll: All-County, All-Long Island, Suffolk County and Long Island Player of the Year, All-State
A.J. Fitzgerald: All-County, All-Long Island, All-State
C.J. Johnson: All-County, Tournament MVP 
Chris Lehnert: All-Division, Rookie of the Year
Mark Williams: All-County
Tyler Ziems: All-County

Girls Varsity Volleyball: Scholar-Athlete Team
Lexi Cavalieri: All-Conference
Lauren Hadzigeorgiou: All-League
Lauren Harmer: All-County Tournament Team
Keira Mahoney: All-County Tournament Team
Veronica Meissner: All-League
Carsyn Rachuta: All-County Academic, All-League, League II Defensive Player of the Year

Girls Varsity Swimming: Scholar-Athlete Team
Alyssa Golden: All-League
Katherine Howard: All-League
Terressa La Francesca: All-League
Alexandra Martinez: All-League
Morgan Rietmann: All-League
Samantha Watson: All-League
Hailey Wetherbee: All-League

Sachem Combined Team Postseason Award Winners

Boys Varsity Golf: Scholar-Athlete Team
David Agresti: All-League
Danny Shay: All-League

Girls Gymnastics: Scholar-Athlete Team
Sarah Bompane: All-League
Rayna Ilario: All-League
Toni Manente: All-League
Summer Matlat: All-County
Isabella Matz: All-League
Grace McGowan: All-League
Lillian Noriega: All-League
Ariana Tehranchipour: All-League
Samantha Woodburn: All-County
Anna Wright: All-League

Girls Varsity Tennis: Scholar-Athlete Team
Kyra Bello: All-County
Mili Das: All-County
Miha Gainacopoulos: Team Sportsmanship
Nikita Karnik: All-League
Jackie Lindsey: All-County
Jordyn Ribaudo: All-League
Julie Rowan: All-League
Kristen Vito: All-League

Sachem East Student Earns Regeneron Scholar Honors

Sachem East Student Earns Regeneron Scholar Honors photo
Sachem High School East senior Vincent Zhang has been named a Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar by the Society for Science & the Public. Vincent was one of 300 esteemed young scientists selected from a group of 1,964 applicants spanning 601 high schools in 48 states, two U.S. territories and eligible students living in seven other countries. 

Vincent’s research, “MRI Texture Analysis for Detection of Axillary Lymph Node Metastasis in Breast Cancer Patients,” was among submission topics ranging from medicine and health to bioengineering, physics, genomics, mathematics, material science and behavioral science. Scholars were selected based on their extraordinary research abilities, commitment to academics and innovative thinking. 

“What is most impressive about this accomplishment is that Vincent has already gained recognition for the work he has done at the Garcia Polymer Lab, and now he has attained national recognition for his work with breast cancer at Stony Brook Medical School’s Radiology Lab,” Sachem High School East science research teacher Dr. Michael Vaccariello said. “In the 17 years that I have been a science research teacher, these combined accomplishments are truly unprecedented.”

Later this month, 40 student-scientists will be selected as Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists, who will compete this March in Washington, D.C., for more than $1.8 million in awards provided by Regeneron. 

Utilizing Math to Create Musical Connections

Utilizing Math to Create Musical Connections photo
Recently, students in the fifth-grade band at Hiawatha Elementary School have been expanding their musical knowledge by studying rhythmic values in music notation. As a part of the rhythm studies unit, students have discussed fractions and completed an assignment called “Rhythm Math,” in which they added note values to find the sum. Throughout the year, students will further explore rhythms through interactive lessons and activities. 

Samoset Technology Students Test Towers

Samoset Technology Students Test Towers photo
Samoset Technology Students Test Towers photo 2
Samoset Technology Students Test Towers photo 3
Samoset Technology Students Test Towers photo 4
Recent tests of student-constructed towers exemplified compression, tension and torsion as part of a lesson on load forces in Kim Latkovich’s Introduction to Technology classes at Samoset Middle School.

Before the activity students researched bridges and the complex truss systems that add to their overall structural integrity. Arch, cable-stayed, cantilever and truss bridges were among the types researched. Student teams carefully constructed towers utilizing Balsa wood, glue and cardboard gussets for added strength, with the goal of supporting the greatest vertical load possible. 

Following construction, each group’s tower was tested by gradually pouring sand into a hanging bucket until the structure failed. The load was then weighed and recorded to compare with the designs of their peers. 

Chippewa Students Climb to the Top With Study of Landforms

Chippewa Students Climb to the Top With Study of Landforms photo
Geography came to life for third-grade students at Chippewa Elementary School during a recent hands-on activity examining different landforms found around the world. 

Students in Amy DeJesus’ class engaged in a lesson in which they studied several landforms and their construction. As a culminating activity to the lesson, students used salt dough to carefully sculpt their chosen landform. Students crafted hills, mountains, plains, plateaus, valleys and volcanoes. 

To conclude the activity, students showcased their artistic abilities as they painted their landform creations. 

Grundy Brings Biographies to Life

Grundy Brings Biographies to Life photo
Grundy Brings Biographies to Life photo 2
Fifth-grade students at Grundy Avenue Elementary School recently took their computer skills to the next level with guidance from Library Media Specialist Melissa Lawler and Technology Integration Specialist Claudia Camassa during an engaging activity that coupled coding and research. 

To begin the activity, students selected a prominent figure in history which they then researched. After making their selection, students gathered books for their research, allowing them to practice notetaking and to gather facts to include in a computer presentation. Students selected notable figures such as Neil Armstrong, Simone Biles, Albert Einstein, LeBron James, Hellen Keller and Lionel Messi.  

Using the coding software Scratch, students will animate images of their prominent figures to move in ways that may correlate with their specific profession. At the conclusion of the coding process students will present their completed presentations to their class. 

Winter Concerts Wow Family and Friends

Winter Concerts Wow Family and Friends
The symphonic sounds of brass and string instruments radiated holiday cheer throughout the Sachem Central School District before the holiday recess, during numerous winter concerts performed by musical groups across grade levels. 

Following many hours of preparation, student-musicians in band, chorus and orchestra on the high school, middle school and elementary grade levels performed an entertaining assortment of holiday songs to audiences of family and friends. 

In an exciting surprise performance during the Wenonah Elementary School concert held at Samoset Middle School, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham, building principal Ms. DiPaola and teachers Mrs. Abreu, Ms. Ahrem, Ms. Stellato and Mrs. Varca accompanied the band for a song, making music with kitchen utensils.    


Samoset Students Explore World Cultures

Samoset Students Explore World Cultures
Students from Samoset Middle School gained valuable insight into the unique characteristics of different countries, cities and cultures from around the world during a recent assembly program led by photographer and world traveler Michael Harrold. 

As part of the captivating presentation, Harrold explained several weapons, tools and toys that he acquired from trips to more than 75 countries. He wowed the auditorium of sixth-grade students with photos from his travels to places including Burma, Dubai, Egypt, Greece, India and Thailand. Students learned about ceremonial clothing, different religions, animals and native foods in addition to how each culture utilizes the natural resources available to them.  

Harrold concluded his presentation with a motivational message to students. “Don’t stop learning when you leave the classroom,” he said. “Become citizens that continue to learn throughout your life. Become lifelong learners.” 

Performance Shares Songs and Holiday Cheer

Performance Shares Songs and Holiday Cheer photo
Prior to the holiday recces, students across grade levels at Merrimac Elementary School enjoyed a cheerful holiday performance by the Squeaky Clean Band that covered an assortment of seasonal favorites. 

As part of the musical performance, students sang along to popular holiday tunes such as the “Dreidel Song,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”  Throughout the show, the talented band interacted with the students during several holiday-themed trivia games that challenged the students’ knowledge of various holidays.    

Sachem Students Explore Computer Science

Sachem Students Explore Computer Science photo

Throughout the month of December, students across the Sachem Central School District have been exploring computer science through participation in a diverse collection of coding activities offered by the worldwide Hour of Code initiative.

For elementary school students, Hour of Code acts as an introductory experience to coding in which students become familiar with basic computer science terminology and explore the prevalence of code in everyday life. Students learned how algorithms act as a series of steps to complete a task by participating in an activity that outlined each exact step needed to brush their teeth. At Lynwood Avenue Elementary School, the concept of algorithms were reinforced for kindergarten students as they played code hopscotch, following the instructions of labeled floor squares to reach the end of the path. Students around the district also utilized laptops to access additional block-coding activities on the Scratch coding website and 

Students at Sachem high schools also used Scratch coding to program interactive stories with block coding on a more intricate level. Choosing from the numerous commands available, students creatively weaved together a custom animated story. As part of the coding activities, students learned about the countless computer science career opportunities available to them in a variety of industries. 

Holiday Greetings

The Authors and Artists Club at Sagamore Middle School wrote cheerful messages of gratitude on over 1,000 Christmas cards for recovering soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The Marchitto family gave the club a giant head start with over 200 cards completed at home.

An Interview with the Courtyard/Environmental Club

By Sana Zahid, 8th grade

The Courtyard/Environmental Club brings together people who want to help improve the environment. Helping clean the courtyard, decorating the courtyard, and running the recycling programs at Sagamore are just some of the things they take part in. Not only does the club provide a great opportunity to make a difference, it also brings people together and provides memorable experiences. I interviewed the club, and these were some of the responses by members:  

What made you start the club?

“I was very upset because our school building didn’t have a recycling program. Recycling is a really important part of the environment. When Sequoya joined Sagamore, they had an environmental club and when the director recycled I wanted to take over”.
 -Mrs. Grant Director of Environmental Club.  

Why did you join the club?

“I like helping the environment and hanging out with my friends.”
-Mateo Capraro

Why did you join the club?

“Mrs. Grant is fun to hang out with and I like helping the animals.”
-Dylan Conelli

What do you like to do in the club?

“I like to help the environment and hangout with my friends.”
-Samuel Cheng

How many years have you been in the club and what made you stay?

“I stayed in the club for three years because I like helping the environment, and the small group of people make it better.”
-Arrdah Zaman

Sachem Student Attends Informative Medical Conference

Sachem Student Attends Informative Medical Conference photo
This past June, Sachem High School East senior Julianna Mercado attended the National Leadership Academies’ prestigious Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Boston. 

Students selected to attend the conference are recommended by their teacher or guidance counselor for leadership ability, academic achievement and dedication to science and related fields while also holding a GPA of 3.25 or above. 

The three-day conference included numerous invigorating medical seminars, which spanned topics such as genetics, biomedical engineering and the advancement of modern medicine, led by world-renowned scientists and leaders in medicine. Speakers included winners of the Nobel Prize, award-winning young inventors and prominent medical school deans. Additionally, students viewed a livestreamed surgery and asked the surgeon questions in real time. 

“It was an incredible experience to watch a live surgery take place,” Julianna said. “As an aspiring medical professional, this was an invaluable opportunity.”  

Julianna is enrolled in several Advanced Placement classes and is a multisport athlete participating in both varsity track and the Arrowettes. She plans to pursue a degree in biology after graduation with aspirations of attending medical school.

Local ‘Eggspert’ Helps Students Crack the Case

Local ‘Eggspert’ Helps Students Crack the Case photo
A mysterious student discovery prompted a second-grade study of bird eggs at Lynwood Avenue Elementary School. 

After a second-grade student stumbled upon a bird egg during recess earlier this year, students were determined to identify what type of bird the egg came from. In class, students began researching numerous species of birds found on Long Island and compared their eggs to the one that was found. Students observed the egg and gathered information on the color, size and shape to make a prediction based on their research. Each class chose one type of bird it believed the egg came from and presented its reasoning to all second-grade classes.

Peter Walsh, the education director of the Seatuck Environmental Association, visited students and delivered a presentation on the different species of birds found throughout Long Island. Students learned the essential characteristics used in identifying birds, such as their beak length and thickness and feather coloration. In addition, students explored different eggs from birds around the world, such as the ostrich. 

With the help of Mr. Walsh, the egg discovered by the students was determined to be from a mourning dove.

Creating Connections With Samoset Students and Staff

Creating Connections With Samoset Students and Staff photo
Samoset Middle School hosted its sixth-grade Making Connections Breakfast that students enjoyed with a collection of staff members, including teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, the building principal and assistant principals.

Students are selected through teacher nominations to attend the breakfast, where they participate in icebreaker activities to foster connections with peers and staff members throughout the building. 


Lynwood Avenue Students Study Their Surroundings

Lynwood Avenue Students Study Their Surroundings photo

The grounds of the Lynwood Avenue Elementary School served as an invigorating outdoor classroom for first-grade students who recently completed a full day of outdoor learning on a sunny November day.

As part of the international Outdoor Classroom initiative, the Lynwood first-graders engaged in educational activities outside, including outdoor reading and nature walks where they observed their surrounding environment and collected samples to write about and discuss with their peers. On the nature walk students gathered acorns, leaves, sticks, rocks, feathers and removed litter along the way. 

Additionally, students in Gwendolyn Levesque’s class took part in a lesson examining decaying foods and the best way to create compost. After participating in a guided discussion about food waste, the class started the beginning stages of an experiment to discover what container pumpkin would decay in the fastest. Separate pieces of pumpkin were put into a paper bag, Ziploc bag, shoebox and Tupperware to observe. 

In the weeks to come, students will revisit the containers outside to record data on what container allowed the food waste to decompose the fastest.  

Seneca Students Explore College Campuses

Seneca Students Explore College Campuses photo

Seneca Middle School sixth-grade students got a glimpse into the college experience during a field trip to LIU Post and Adelphi University this October.

As part of the trip, students were introduced to the opportunities available in college and learned about programs in communications and business, in addition to numerous other areas of study. Students toured the grounds where they saw the collection of elements that creates a college campus. As the trips continued, students joined in a communications class at LIU Post where students engaged in classroom discussions. 

The visits to each college campus served as a valuable introductory experience to higher education as the students advance through each grade level.

Laying the Foundation for Healthy Habits

Laying the Foundation for Healthy Habits photo
Laying the Foundation for Healthy Habits photo 2
After several weeks of extensive training and preparation, students from Sachem High Schools North and East came together to educate sixth-grade students across Sagamore Middle School as part of the Teens as Teachers Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Program Club and course. 

During their recent visit to Sagamore Middle School, the trained peer educators facilitated interactive lessons on how to build self-confidence and resist the pressures to use alcohol and drugs. Utilizing the researched-based Too Good for Drugs curriculum, the trained student educators empower sixth-grade students with the skills to make healthy decisions that lead to a substance free life. 

“It is important for younger students to have positive role models,” said Elizabeth Reimer, president of the Teens as Teachers Club. “This course teaches students how to navigate middle and high school by making healthy decisions, managing emotions and setting positive goals to achieve.” 

The peer educators who participate in the program will travel to each Sachem middle school as part of a four-workshop series educating sixth-grade students on these healthy strategies. 

“The sixth-graders are not the only ones who benefit from this program,” said Chairperson for Secondary Health Education Lori Hewlett. “The peer educators build valuable leadership skills, improve communication skills, build confidence and contribute to the success of fellow students. Our program has expanded by acting as a model which other school districts seek to emulate.”

Sachem Students Honored With Suffolk Zone Awards

Sachem Students Honored With Suffolk Zone Awards photo
Four Sachem students were recently honored with Suffolk County Zone Awards presented by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Honored this year were Sachem North’s Bella Lorenzo and Nick Gambino, as well as Sachem East’s Lindsey Gelderman and Andrew Oakland.

To be considered for this honor, students must maintain an A average or 90 percent average in high school physical education classes, maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher at the completion of his or her junior year, contribute to the overall positive tone of the physical education class as well as the school, be a leader in class activities and demonstrate the ability to accept responsibility for regular class tasks.

Additionally, these students are leaders in schoolwide activities both on and off the field, and are role models in physical education classes by achieving a high level of physical fitness as determined by individual accomplishments recognized by the district.

VIDEO: #WeAreSachem


Technology Connects Literacy and Learning

Technology Connects Literacy and Learning photo
Fourth-grade students at Tamarac Elementary School connected literacy and learning during a recent library lesson that utilized laptops in a unique way. 

Led by library media specialist Lori Capozzi, students connected a recent reading assignment with elements of technology. Students began reading the fiction book “The One and Only Ivan” by K. A. Applegate and answered numerous questions about the story using Google HyperDocs. 

Students learned how authors incorporate descriptive language to appeal to all five senses of the reader. In addition, students examined how the choice of descriptive words can entertain, persuade, inform and educate those reading different forms of writing. Further creating a connection to technology, once the students identified the main character as a gorilla, they then researched the animal to better understand the author’s inspiration for writing the story.
As students’ progress through the activity they will be presented with additional questions to collaboratively answer with their peers using Google HyperDocs.

Science Research Teacher Attends National Conference

Science Research Teacher Attends National Conference
This September, Sachem High School East Science Research teacher Dr. Michael Vaccariello was selected to attend the Society for Science & the Public’s Research Teachers Conference in Washington, D.C., to share best practices for supporting students in conducting original scientific research. 

As one of the 200 esteemed science research educators chosen from 1,000 applicants nationwide, Dr. Vaccariello had the opportunity to attend several specialized breakout sessions led by fellow educators aimed at assisting students reach their research goals. Among the sessions available were tips on finding local mentors, helping students write scientific research papers, securing summer research opportunities for students and assisting students in the selection of research topics. 

“Research is a complicated process,” Dr. Vaccariello said. “It requires follow-through, perseverance, creativity and problem-solving, which leads students to cultivate patience, improve upon a positive attitude and engage in creative problem-solving skills in order to conclude their experiments in a successful manner.”

In addition to the informational presentations, educators gained further knowledge about world-class science research competitions such as the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search, which will feature the research of Sachem students this winter. 

“The Sachem Science Research program provides our high school students with invaluable experiences and skills for advanced professional degrees and careers,” Dr. Vaccariello said. “Throughout this process, students are introduced to more complex modes of thinking and analysis, and must stretch their intellectual talents. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to attend this conference.”

Local Author Empowers Students Through Inquiry

Local Author Empowers Students Through Inquiry photo
A longtime Sachem resident, author and retired educator Sal Nicosia recently visited fifth-grade students at Hiawatha Elementary School to share the importance of civic engagement. 

Author of the book “Empowering Our Children To Be More Effective in the Political Process,” Nicosia is a passionate advocate for educating and empowering students to ask questions and be engaged members of the community. Mirroring the advice in his book, Nicosia answered several student questions such as how he became so involved in the community, how he began his career and his motivation to continue his work.

This November, in honor of New York State History Month, students engaged in social studies activities exploring the voting process, local laws and various areas of government. 

A Study of Citizenship Showcases Care for Community

A Study of Citizenship Showcases Care for Community photo
A Study of Citizenship Showcases Care for Community photo 2
The fundamentals of good citizenship in community, classroom and family were at the forefront of a recent lesson in Donna Gianfortone’s first-grade class at Chippewa Elementary School. 

During the lesson, students learned the various attributes that make a good citizen, and the class then organized a recycling project as a way to display its good citizenship. As the ongoing project continues, the class will donate the funds it raises to a different organization every two months. 

This month, the donation will be made to Horstmann Heroes. George Horstmann, a student in the class, has diabetes and helped to educate his peers on the condition. 

Student-Scientists Aid in Restoration of Local Waterways

Student-Scientists Aid in Restoration of Local Waterways photo
Student-Scientists Aid in Restoration of Local Waterways photo 2
Student-Scientists Aid in Restoration of Local Waterways photo 3
Last October, Sachem High School North students in Monica Marlow’s Advanced Placement Environmental Science class attended a field trip at Sunken Meadow State Park to monitor and aid in an estuary restoration. 

Working with Long Island Sound Study, New York Sea Grant, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Parks and Save the Sound since 2010, students collected baseline data prior to and have been monitoring the progress since a dam was removed in 2012 to restore tidal flow to 132 acres of estuary habitat.

Alongside agency professionals, students tested water quality and samples for organisms and caught numerous fish, including baby flounder, sea robin and blackfish. The presence of these species serves as a great indicator of the success of the restoration project thus far. 

“I see tremendous value in involving our students in this long-term project,” Marlow said. “It provides a memorable opportunity to engage in hands-on learning and generate excitement for the AP curriculum, as well as help students take ownership and responsibility for our local waterways.”  

The students will be presenting their data at the Open Space Stewardship Program celebration at Brookhaven National Laboratory this spring. The conference provides students an excellent opportunity to interact with professional scientists and other motivated high school students in the environmental science field. 

Sachem Student-Athletes Grab Top Recognition on Long Island

Sachem Student-Athletes Grab Top Recognition on Long Island photo
It was a rewarding season for Sachem’s student-athletes. Aside from a number of championships, many students and coaches were honored as being some of the best in their sports across Long Island.

The following student-athletes were named Newsday First Team All-Long Island selections for fall 2018:
– Katie Allen, field hockey, Sachem East
– Jack Driscoll, volleyball, Sachem North
– A.J. Fitzgerald, volleyball, Sachem North 
– Molly Jandris, volleyball, Sachem East
– Jordyn McDonnell, cross-country, Sachem North
– Melissa Merone, cross-country, Sachem East
– Kristen Shanahan, field hockey, Sachem East

Shanahan was also named Newsday’s Suffolk County Field Hockey Player of the Year, while Driscoll was named Newsday’s Suffolk County Player of the Year in boys’ volleyball.

Special congratulations to Sachem North volleyball coach Matt Rivera and Sachem East cross-country coach Dan Schaub on being named Newsday Suffolk County Coach of the Year in their respective sports. 


Sachem Students, Staff and Community Combine to Feed Over 2,000 Families on Thanksgiving

Sachem Students, Staff and Community Combine to Feed Over 2,000 Families on Thanksgiving
The holiday giving spirit is stronger than ever in Sachem. Students and staff across the district combined efforts to donate more than 2,000 boxes for Thanksgiving food drives this year. Even more special, food donated from Sachem buildings helps to feed families within the Sachem community, thanks to various organizations who distribute the items.

Led by the Student Government at both Sachem North and Sachem East, food was collected in every building throughout the school district. Student groups from every school, including Sachem North’s “Robin Hood Kids” and the “Dirty Dozen,” were responsible for these districtwide efforts.  

For weeks, students were seen at local food stores drumming up support and donations, leading up to this miraculous and meaningful culmination. 

Thank you, Sachem!

Sachem Students’ Expand Repertoires at PEAK Music Festival

Sachem Students’ Expand Repertoires at PEAK Music Festival photo

The musical talents of 28 Sachem Central School District fourth-grade elementary school students shined during the Suffolk County Music Educators Association’s 10th annual Parents, Educators and Kids Music Festival at Northport High School on Oct.27.

Approximately 200 students from 32 Suffolk school districts were represented during the PEAK Festival where they participated in several musical workshops exploring areas such as world drumming, folk dance, ukulele and bucket drumming lead by Sachem music educator Dr. Dylan Benson. The gifted student-musicians shared these musical experiences with family members before the festival concluded, with a performance comprised of the top fourth-grade elementary musicians from Suffolk County.  

“The PEAK Music Festival is an excellent opportunity for students to perform music of all different genres and mediums on a grander scale than that of the general music classroom,” said Laura Wasdo, Sachem chairperson for elementary music. “These experiences engage students in performances with hundreds of other peer musicians.”

For the 10th consecutive year, Cayuga Elementary School music teacher Jennifer Fischer organized the festival. Music educators participating in the workshops are encouraged to draw inspiration from the activities they attend and incorporate elements into their own classroom lessons.  

Congratulations to the following students who were selected to take part in this event:

Camron Amallobieta 
Kaeylyn Califano
Nicholas Carusillo 
Samuel Chase
Sarina Chiello 
Emmaline Craner
Christine Darmanin 
Hannah Dente
Liam Dodge 
MaggieLyn Fernandes
Cora Gillespie 
Gabriella Guerra 
Brynn Halloran 
Cameron Holub 
Kylie Hughes
Ethan Klug
Ryan Lamm
Brett McKeon
Sadie Poach 
Chase Reynolds
Derek Roper 
Isabella Schwaner
Isabella Sinclair
Erik Spera 
Jacob Steffens 
Ava Storzinger
Alex Tavares 
Olivia Wherry 

Sachem Students Chosen for NYSSMA All-State

Sachem Students Chosen for NYSSMA All-State photo
Six distinguished student-musicians from Sachem High Schools North and East were selected to showcase their musical mastery during the 2018 New York State School Music Association’s All-State festival at the Rochester Convention Center in Rochester, New York, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2. 

From High School East, students Timothy Demott and Ralf Jean-Francois will perform with the mixed chorus, while Rachel Sauer will perform with the symphonic band. 

From High School North, students Morgan Tiller and Joseph Albano have been selected for the mixed chorus and Sofia Sangiorgio for the symphonic band. 

“Selection for the All-State performing groups is a rare honor earned by only the most talented, dedicated and hardworking students,” said David Jaklitsch, the chairperson for secondary music. “These amazing young musicians have worked at the highest possible level for many years and under many teachers, studying both in and out of school to attain this accomplishment. We are all very proud to have these exceptional students represent Sachem as some of the best in all of New York State.”

The selection process for an All-State musician is rigorous and includes teacher recommendations, audition scores at the NYSSMA solo evaluation festival during the prior spring and participation in other performing organizations. 

Grundy Avenue Students Bake Pumpkin Bread

Grundy Avenue Students Bake Pumpkin Bread photo
Grundy Avenue Students Bake Pumpkin Bread photo 2
Grundy Avenue Students Bake Pumpkin Bread photo 3
Grundy Avenue Students Bake Pumpkin Bread photo 4
Sweet smells permeated the air during a recent activity at Grundy Avenue Elementary School as fourth-grade students began to prepare the ingredients to bake a traditional fall-themed treat.

During the lesson in Dawn Chmela’s class, students reviewed a list of ingredients and measurements before they carefully combined each one into a mixing bowl. As the students worked together to get the precise measurements, Chmela reiterated the importance of teamwork to accomplish a goal. Using an electric mixer, students carefully combined the ingredients: canned pumpkin, cinnamon, eggs, flower, nutmeg, salt and vegetable oil.

As the activity concluded, students poured the mixture into individual miniature loaf trays before baking their homemade pumpkin bread.  

Nokomis Students Craft Character Pumpkins

Nokomis Students Craft Character Pumpkins photo

Creativity flourished for fourth-grade students during a fun-filled pumpkin project that created a unique combination of art and literacy at Nokomis Elementary School.

For the fall-themed project, each fourth-grade student selected and read a realistic fiction book which they then wrote a report and review on. In addition to the written report, students selected their favorite character from the story and transformed a pumpkin into that character. Throughout the project, teachers emphasized the importance of numerous writing elements, including spelling, punctuation, sentence and paragraph structure. 

At the conclusion of the project, the pumpkin characters lined the halls for students across the building to vote on to select a favorite pumpkin. As students explored the projects, cups were placed at each pumpkin to collect change to raise money for breast cancer research through the Sachem Central Teachers’ Association. 


Sachem Librarians Receive Awards for Professional Contributions

Sachem Librarians Receive Awards for Professional Contributions photo
Two librarians from the Sachem Central School District recently received awards for their remarkable contributions to literacy and learning at a meet and greet of the Suffolk School Library Media Association on Oct.19 at the Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site.  

Sachem High School North librarian Madelyn Haussner received the 2018 SSLMA Outstanding Contribution to the School Library Profession Award for her efforts in leading SSLMA at both the local and state level. Haussner served as the president of SSLMA for the past four years and previously held positions as the vice president and treasurer. In addition, she is on the executive board for the New York Library Association – Section of School Librarians, which represents approximately 600 Suffolk County and Nassau County school librarians. 

Her illustrious accomplishments include initiating the statewide conference with the Long Island School Media Association, the New York Library Association, the Section of School Librarians and SSLMA, held in 2018 on Long Island and attended by over 350 school librarians and administrators. Haussner also co-chaired the Knickerbocker Raffle, which raised over $3,400 in scholarships, and held an instrumental role in determining the need to establish a Subject Area Committee for School Librarians under New York State United Teachers. She participates in many professional organizations, including the American Association of School Librarians, the American Library Association, the ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development), NYSUT and SSLMA. She continually mentors school librarians and advocates for the school librarian profession. Through her professional affiliations, she brings new teaching ideas to enhance the school library program at Sachem High School North. 

“I would like to give a huge thank-you to the Sachem High School North administration for their continued support,” Haussner said. “I am humbled and thankful for the opportunity to serve the SSLMA organization in this leadership capacity.”
Librarian Sandy Bucher received the 2018 SSLMA Library Technology Grant for her library program at Sagamore Middle School. Her grant application, “Simple Circuits and Computer Coding with Makey Makeys and Scratch,” provided her with $500 to spend on acquiring 12 Makey Makey kits, an electronic invention tool that allows users to connect everyday objects to computer programs. Bucher demonstrated a Makey Makey activity at the meeting along with her colleague, Carrie McGuire, Eastern Suffolk BOCES Model Schools technology integration specialist, who helps integrate technology at Sagamore.

“The Makey Makey kits are used for real-world, hands-on applications that students are very excited about,” Bucher said. “Instead of using traditional paper worksheets, they are manipulating these tools and problem-solving in an exploratory way.” 

Annual Feast Reflects on First Thanksgiving

Annual Feast Reflects on First Thanksgiving photo
Annual Feast Reflects on First Thanksgiving photo 2
Fall festivities filled the halls of Waverly Avenue Elementary School as fifth-grade students enjoyed a feast of seasonal dishes prior to Thanksgiving as part of an ongoing building tradition. 

Before the feast began, fifth-graders read articles depicting key elements of the first Thanksgiving that occurred in 1621. The students learned that during the feast held by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians there was an abundance of venison, fish and corn and a variety of native fruits and berries. 

Across the district, students on each grade level participated in similar feasts where they reflected on the historic first Thanksgiving and enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving meal with their peers. 


Lynwood Avenue Elementary Celebrates World Kindness Day

Lynwood Avenue Elementary Celebrates World Kindness Day photo
As part of a schoolwide celebration of World Kindness Day on Nov. 13, students at Lynwood Avenue Elementary School gathered for a heartwarming assembly program which showcased numerous acts of kindness that the building had participated in this year. 

World Kindness Day is an initiative which highlights good deeds in the community and focuses on the positive power and ability of kind acts to connect people from all ethnic backgrounds, religions and regions of the world. Throughout the assembly the ideas of kindness, empathy and inclusion were reiterated as they were present in each of the student-led acts of kindness. 

It was announced at the assembly that each Tuesday, Lynwood students will participate in Kindness Tuesday, when they will continue their ongoing celebration of kindness. At the conclusion of the presentation, each student received a shirt sporting the slogan “Lynwood Runs on Kindness,” courtesy of the Lynwood Avenue Parent Teachers Association. 

Student-Scientists Examine Popular Fall Candy

Student-Scientists Examine Popular Fall Candy photo
During a recent science activity at Samoset Middle School, sixth-grade students examined the physical and chemical properties of the popular Halloween treat candy corn. Using a graduated cylinder and a triple beam balance, the student groups used equations to determine the volume and weight of a piece of candy corn. 

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