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Notice: March Board of Education Meeting RESCHEDULED


Elementary Students Perform 60th Annual Music Festival Concert

Elementary Students Perform 60th Annual Music Festival Concert photo
Elementary Students Perform 60th Annual Music Festival Concert photo 2
Elementary Students Perform 60th Annual Music Festival Concert photo 3
Musical mastery was on full display at the 60th annual Elementary Music Festival Concert held at Sachem High School North on March 6.

Nearly 300 students from all 10 elementary buildings came together to put on a spectacular performance. The performers were chosen by their respective music teachers based on a comprehensive audition process and each student committed to three out-of-school rehearsals to prepare for the concert. 

Students performing with the band, orchestra and chorus were directed by Ms. Krug, Ms. Montanye-McBride and Ms. Murphy, respectively. The chorus was accompanied by Mrs. Kelting and assisted by Ms. Schievelbein. Additionally, Ms. Schaefer assisted the orchestra, Ms. Degenhardt assisted the band and Chairperson for Secondary Music, Dr. Comito, provided assistance to each performing group.

“I could not be more proud of the students’ incredible performance,” said Chairperson for Elementary Music Ms. Wasdo. “Congratulations to all students and staff on a phenomenal concert.”

Merrimac Lighthouse Team Channels Leadership, Spirit

Merrimac Lighthouse Team Channels Leadership, Spirit photo
Merrimac’s Student Lighthouse Team is developing leadership skills while committing to serve their school. Throughout the year, students work on school improvement and community service projects, while planning leadership events. 

Past contributions to the school community include a leadership garden, support for service learning project implementation, bus driver recognition breakfasts, sharing classmates’ ideas with the team for school improvement planning and the creation of a video to teach leadership habits.

Merrimac Principal Veronica DeCicco said student empowerment is important because it inspires them to become leaders. Speaking with the students about leadership, she said, has helped them understand what it means to be a leader, because they see how their behavior reflects their actions. 

“Since the start of the program, we have seen a change in the students’ thinking, which is the result of students realizing they have the power to change the culture of their school,” DeCicco said.

So far, students have completed several projects in the school, and at an upcoming assembly, they will give a presentation on the different elements of the project.

The Student Lighthouse Team was the catalyst for schoolwide student-led leadership roles. Such roles include greeters, student ambassadors, tour guides, meteorologists and hallway monitors. The roles will change throughout the school year.

“Through the student-led projects, it is a chance to focus on each child’s strengths,” said Barbara Montalbano, a teaching assistant and Student Lighthouse Team coordinator at Merrimac. “They share and explain the culture of Merrimac.” 

Community Notice: Universal Pre-Kindergarten Application


Grundy Goes for Gold With Olympic STEAM

Grundy Goes for Gold With Olympic STEAM photo

Students were off to the races at Grundy Avenue Elementary School as third-graders throughout the building crafted their own miniature bobsleds, a STEAM project that was inspired by the recent winter Olympics.

To begin the activity, student groups collectively brainstormed ideas as they drafted their designs prior to construction. Supplied with toilet paper rolls, pipe cleaners, Popsicle sticks, straws, yarn and paper, the students began to construct their creations by incorporating design elements that would improve their race performance. Each student group was allotted a 10-minute build time before the tournament-style races began. As important elements of the activity, teachers emphasized cooperation, teamwork and problem-solving, and shared various fun facts about the Olympic games.   

As a timely connection to the classroom curriculum, the activity served as an introductory lesson to the physical science unit, which explores kinetic and potential energy.  


The Real Facts on Vaping and E-Cigarettes

A K-8 Districtwide Parent only Presentation
Tuesday, March 27 at Sagamore MS 7:00 PM


Nokomis Students Report on Summer Fun

Nokomis Students Report on Summer Fun photo

Nokomis Elementary School fifth-grade students in Jennifer DeCarlo and Robyn Griecos’ class strengthened their writing skills by crafting creative stories as student journalists for the Kidsday program at Newsday.

In its third year at Nokomis, the Kidsday program helps students take their writing to the next level as they apply their skills in a unique way. Students wrote reviews on movies, books and other various activities to be published in Kidsday, a section in Newsday written by kids for kids. As part of the program students participated in three workshops led by Kidsday Editor Pat Mullooly. During the workshops students practiced generating ideas for stories, answering advice letters from other students and creating illustrations to accompany their stories. In addition to the reviews, students conducted interviews and focused on writing articles about fun activities for the summer months that will be published in the summer edition of Kidsday this June.  

The Kidsday program creates a complementary connection to the fifth-grade English language arts curriculum, reinforcing skills such as narrative and opinion writing.  

Project Happiness Comes to Sachem High School East

Project Happiness Comes to Sachem High School East photo
Sachem High School East has been chosen by Project Happiness as one of 10 high schools from across the United States to receive a scholarship to establish a Happiness Club supported by the “Life’s Good: Experience Happiness” corporate social responsibility platform. High School East was named an Official Happiness School based on its enthusiasm, creativity and commitment. 

Project Happiness is a nonprofit organization based in Cupertino, California. Founded in 2009, Project Happiness aims to teach people how to develop happiness strategies for life. The goal of the program is to reach 5.5 million youth with learnable happiness skills over the next five years, and this is just a first step. As a pilot program, the club will lay the foundations for a positive environment for students who experience great amounts of stress during this time in their lives, as well as create a ripple in the school community. 

“We were thrilled to learn Sachem East was chosen to be one of 10 schools in the country to participate in this Project Happiness movement,” Principal Louis Antonetti said. “This program will allow us to adopt a mindfulness program that will help students cope with stress while developing skills for self-reflection.”  

The Happiness Club at High School East will use activities and strategies from the Project Happiness handbook and curriculum to support students’ efforts to build happiness habits for life. The material has been used in over 120 countries and is science-based, drawing on aspects of positive psychology, neuroscience, mindfulness and social-emotional learning. 

The purpose of being an official Happiness School is to create a culture that supports people, rather than tears them down, and fosters an environment where authenticity and individual strengths are celebrated. Students will be encouraged to listen to their inner friend, rather than their inner critic, and develop emotional resilience along with grit.

As part of the initiative, High School East was visited by a Discovery Channel television crew to film “Discover Your Happy,” a program that will air on March 20 on Discovery Education. 

K-8 Vaping Community Forum Reschedule


Curriculum Council and Wellness Committee: Sign Up for Remind


Letter Regarding School Calendar Changes


Board of Education Recognizes Continued Volunteerism

Board of Education Recognizes Continued Volunteerism photo

At its second meeting of February, the Sachem Board of Education recognized three schools within the district for their extraordinary volunteer efforts.

To begin the recognitions, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Erin Hynes commended all buildings throughout the district for their continued volunteerism. Sagamore Middle School was recognized for the organization of three student-driven initiatives, including a Christmas card drive that collected 700 cards for troops stationed overseas, a coat drive that collected eight bags of coats for Sachem families, and a hat, glove and sock drive that collected over 75 items for those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 

From Lynwood Elementary School, the Student Lighthouse team was recognized for the organization of its annual Thanksgiving food drive, which assisted 29 Lynwood families this year. In addition, the student group collected various holiday items that were donated to 30 Sachem families.  

Continuing the special recognitions, social worker Karen Grieco from Nokomis Elementary School was recognized for her ongoing efforts to organize charitable events for the benefit of the overall Sachem community. 

Concluding the special recognitions, the district fifth-grade spelling bee champion, Gavin Flynn from Grundy Avenue Elementary, and runner-up, Sara Vetter from Tamarac Elementary School, were recognized for their spelling prowess.


Lynwood Elementary Students Break Down Erosion

Lynwood Elementary Students Break Down Erosion photo

Proactive designs propelled Lynwood Elementary School first-grade students in Corinne Hinteman’s class as they used construction to stop destruction during a STEAM activity focused on coastal erosion.

The goal of the activity was for each student group to construct a wall capable of withstanding conditions that replicated erosion. To begin the activity students were supplied with clay, cloth, cotton balls, Popsicle sticks and tape. Utilizing the provided supplies students began design and construction of their walls that would need to withstand 20 simulated waves created by Hinteman. The walls separated sand from water and the success of each wall was determined by the amount of sand that floated from the shoreline into the water. Following the initial test students made improvements before the walls were tested again. 

Concluding the activity, each group engaged in a student-directed discussion about design improvements that could have positively affected the outcome of their experiments.

Sachem’s Margaret Atwood Wins Racewalk State Championship

Sachem’s Margaret Atwood Wins Racewalk State Championship photo
Another track season gone by, and another dominant racewalking performance for Sachem.

Sachem East’s Margaret Atwood captured a New York State championship in the 1,500-meter racewalk. She won with a time of six minutes, 49 seconds.

“At this meet, a lot of people have a lot of energy,” she told Newsday after the race. “So, when I first went out, a couple girls went out really hard. But, I didn’t have it to scare me, so I just stayed close and maintained my pace throughout the race.”

Atwood follows in the footsteps of Sachem racewalk greats Lauren Harris, who holds a number of national indoor and outdoor records and currently competes at Marist College, and Maria Michta-Coffey, a two-time Olympian and Sachem Hall of Famer, who has been a mentor and coach for Atwood, as Michta-Coffey still supports the program to this day.

Sachem East’s Chelsea Benedict placed sixth in the racewalk with a time of seven minutes, 19 seconds.

In the 600-meter race, Sachem East’s Jess Nischo finished at No. 16 with a time of one minute, 38 seconds.

Sachem North had a strong showing in the 1,500-meter run as Jordyn McDonnell (4:45.06) and Molly Ramirez (4:45.97) placed ninth and 10th, respectively. Longtime track and field Sachem coach Alex Young said he could not recall a time in the last 30 years when two Sachem runners finished in the top 10 in a state championship 1,500-meter run like this.

Sachem East’s 4x800 relay of Shayna Arrigo, Bridget Abraldes, Kaitlyn Famigletti and Rachel Ruggiero finished fifth in the state with a time of nine minutes and 17 seconds. 

Abraldes, Arrigo, Famigletti and Angela Consalazio also ran the 4x400 relay and finished at No. 8 with a time of four minutes and six seconds. 

Sachem North’s Molly Kearns threw 34-11.00 in the shot put, which was good enough for No. 17 in the state.

On the boys’ side, the single competitor at states was Sachem East’s Justin Allone, who finished at No. 16 in the 3,200-meter run in a time of nine minutes, 33 seconds.

Technology Equals Results for Tamarac Students

Technology Equals Results for Tamarac Students photo
Technology Equals Results for Tamarac Students photo 2
During a recent mathematics unit at Tamarac Elementary School third-grade students utilized technology to add a special spin to traditional topics. 

With the help of iPads, students in Kenneth Kuveke’s class participated in a fraction review activity using the educational Quizizz app. Quizizz allows educators to create review activities covering a myriad of topics from across the curriculum depending on the current area of study. The live leaderboard feature of the app helps teachers identify areas in which students are experiencing difficulty and then tailor follow-up conversations to review the material. 

The incorporation of iPads into the classroom curriculum creates an engaging environment for students to sharpen their skills in an interactive way.

Senecon Takes Seneca by Storm

Senecon Takes Seneca by Storm photo

Prior to midwinter recess Seneca Middle School transformed into a literacy pop culture convention center as established authors and illustrators came to share their specialties with students.

To begin the day, all seventh-grade students gathered in the auditorium for an assembly presentation by award-winning author Paul Volponi. During the assembly students gained expert insight into the creative process and answered various trivia questions highlighting different aspects of world cultures. 

As the students continued through the day, a number of classrooms were dedicated to additional presentations led by authors and illustrators from multiple disciplines. Origami artists Shrikant Iyer and Jacqueline Billig taught students precise folding sequences to form origami art creations. Graphic designer and illustrator David O. Miller shared beginner tips for drawing in three dimensions. He continued his tutorial on the fundamentals of sketching by guiding students through several Star Wars character drawings. 

An art workshop presented by Imagine That! introduced students to famous artists, such as Jackson Pollack. Following the brief art history lesson students went on to recreate artwork using Pollack’s unique drip painting style. Representing the Manga style of drawing prominent in Japan, comic artist Misako Rocks! demonstrated the unique techniques associated with the medium. Maintaining the focus on literature and art, Marvel artist Billy Tucci spoke to students about his approach to art and the hard work that lead to the position he holds today. 

In a captivating combination of art and storytelling, Christopher Agostino painted students’ faces to coincide with folktales he told from around the world. Complementing the presenters of art and literature were members from the Sachem Public Library that made books available for checkout and brought various studio robots for students to experiment with.   

Concluding the fun-filled pop culture event, students and teachers faced off in an exciting Star Wars-themed trivia game.

Stylist Workshop Shares Valuable Industry Insight

Stylist Workshop Shares Valuable Industry Insight photo
Tips and tricks were plentiful at a recent stylist workshop for cosmetology students in the career and technical education program at Sachem High School North. 

The student stylists gathered around as Nico Merritt and Joe Nati from Hattori Hanzo Shears demonstrated advanced haircutting techniques on Principal Patricia Trombetta. The professionals covered a plethora of salon topics, including approaches and techniques for achieving a variety of hairstyles and the importance of selecting the proper scissors for the desired cut. Students became better acquainted with popular tools of the trade, including shears, multipurpose shears and texturizers, and explored the benefits of different scissor materials. 

Throughout the hands-on workshop, Merritt emphasized the importance of not cutting hair on “autopilot” and actively advancing the application of their skills to become a better stylist. 

New Elementary Report Card Information

Please review the new elementary report card letter below.

For your convenience, we are offering two Parent Academy training sessions to answer any questions and to give further insight. Kindly RSVP using either the Google Form link below or by emailing the Office of Curriculum and Instruction. This helps us to prepare for the size of our audience.

•    Google Form Link:
•    Email:


P.S. I Love You Day Showcases Student Kindness

P.S. I Love You Day Showcases Student Kindness photo

Kindness and friendship radiated throughout the halls of Cayuga Elementary School earlier this February as students and staff participated in a collection of special activities as part of P.S. I Love You Day.

P.S. I Love You Day was organized as a nonprofit organization by sisters Brook and Jaimie Dipalma after the tragic loss of their father in 2010. Jaimie, a fifth-grade teacher at Cayuga Elementary School, organized a series of activities during the week to promote kindness and take a stand against bullying. The special day in its eighth year has transformed into a nationwide initiative with more than 100 schools participating across the country. 

“P.S. I Love You Day helps create a support system for students at school and beyond,” Dipalma said. “I hope that after this day students see how powerful a small act of kindness can be.” 

To kick off the week’s activities students on each grade level joined Sachem High School North teacher Jonathan Chiaramonte and his peer education class as they worked with students on games promoting self-esteem and the importance of being kind to others. 

The next day students went on to create kindnessgrams, writing supportive messages to classmates they don’t normally interact with. The kindnessgrams were distributed throughout the classroom and read aloud to fellow classmates on P.S. I Love You Day, at the end of the week. Drawing inspiration from this year’s theme to “go the extra mile,” students joined in a walkathon through the halls of the building to raise funds and awareness for the cause. Each year the proceeds collected from the day are donated to the Long Island Crisis Center. 

Blanketing the walls of Cayuga were countless reflective drawings and banners made by each grade level that showcased the impact kindness has had in the students’ lives. P.S. I Love You Day was the culminating event to a week of caring and kindness. The school became a sea of purple as students donned the color to represent unity as one collective support system.

Free Parenting Workshops


Dental Health Review Makes Students Shine

Dental Health Review Makes Students Shine photo

Wenonah Elementary School Life Skills students learned important dental hygiene practices as part of an informative presentation given by Kiddsmiles Pediatric Dentistry.

As part of the life skills class curriculum, a representative from Kiddsmiles taught students the importance of dental hygiene and what to expect during a visit to the dentist’s office. Students learned the most effective technique to use when brushing their teeth, foods that cause tooth decay and other foods that can improve their dental health. 

Throughout the presentation students were called upon to practice the skills covered during the activity.  

NYS Grades 3-8 State Assessment Letter

English Assessment Letter

Spanish Assessment Letter

High School East Takes the Stage in ‘Sweeney Todd’

High School East Takes the Stage in ‘Sweeney Todd’ photo
High School East Takes the Stage in ‘Sweeney Todd’ photo 2
High School East Takes the Stage in ‘Sweeney Todd’ photo 3
Sachem High School East drama students took to the stage this March to perform “Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler. The remaining performances are scheduled for Fri., March 2 and Sat., March 3 in the Sachem High School East auditorium. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door. 

The story tells the tale of a famed barber who returned to work above a struggling pie shop under an alias after being wrongly sentenced to life in prison. Working with the baker, Mrs. Lovett, the pair sought vengeance against the corrupt judge that sentenced Todd and end up traveling down a path with deadly consequences. 

The leading cast is composed of Colin Kwasnik as Sweeney Todd, Cecilia Antonelle as Mrs. Lovett, Ralf Jean-Francois as Judge Turpin, Jordan Dupre as Anthony Hope, Angelina Pagan as Johanna Barker, Cara Arbucci as Beggar Woman, Sam Krompinger as Adolfo Pirelli, Sophia Antonelle as Tobias Ragg and Nick Marrone as Beadle Bamford. The production includes multiple talented support staff and crew members that add to the seamless execution of the performance.  

“Before beginning this play, we all knew the high level of difficulty associated with achieving success during this production,” Drama Director Kenneth Dobbins said. “As always, with our vast array of talent, we have success. Congratulations to cast, crew, orchestra and all parents who helped us in reaching our dream.”

2018-2019 District Calendar Approved

At their meeting on Wednesday, February 28th, the Sachem Board of Education approved the District Calendar for the 2018-2019 school year (see below). This calendar was developed using information provided by the New York State Education Department regarding proposed changes to attendance regulations. These changes are reflected in this calendar in the form of a later end date to the school year. The New York State Board of Regents is scheduled to vote on these changes at their April meeting. Should these regulations be revised or not approved, the Board will amend the District calendar accordingly. This abbreviated version can serve as a reference in planning your personal calendars for next year.

Please note that the comprehensive district calendar with dates and events (including activities such as elementary conference days) will be developed over the next few months and will be published on the district website in July of 2018.


Merrimac Students Travel Through Time

Merrimac Students Travel Through Time photo
Merrimac Elementary School students traveled back in time to the height of the Revolutionary War as part of a Google Expeditions activity, exploring many significant points in 18th-century American history. 

As an enhancement to the classroom curriculum, every fifth-grade class at the school embarked on a guided tour through the 1700s, visiting historically important sites. Students encountered pivotal events of the war such as the Boston Massacre, the Battle of Lexington and Paul Revere’s midnight ride. 

In between the virtual visits, the fifth-graders answered questions related to the historical destinations they had witnessed. 

Creating Buzz at Long Island’s Brain Bee

Creating Buzz at Long Island’s Brain Bee photo
Two Science Research students from Sachem High School North recently showed off their neuroscience skills at the Long Island Brain Bee, held at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra University on Feb. 3.

The annual competition gives interested students a venue to explore multiple disciplines associated with the study of the brain and exposes them to career opportunities available in neurology, neurosurgery, psychology and neuroscience. Competing among 35 other high school students from Nassau and Suffolk counties, junior Amy DeLury placed second and freshman Nistha Boghra received a certificate of completion for her participation in the contest.   

The one-day competition is comprised of three components: a written test on brain facts, laboratory demonstrations on normal and pathological human brain and spinal cord specimens, and a test to identify the anatomical structures and functions of a real human brain. 

"I am impressed by the dedication displayed by Amy and Nistha,” Science Research teacher Gregg McGrath said. “Both students devoted significant time and energy to learning about the brain and nervous system prior to the competition. They were both great representatives of Sachem High School North."

The event concluded with a lunch, during which the students were able to converse with experts in brain biology on concepts and ideas covered in the competition.

Sachem Students Meet at Spelling Showdown

Sachem Students Meet at Spelling Showdown photo

Sachem’s super spellers showed off their skills at the annual fifth-grade districtwide spelling bee on Feb.7 at Chippewa Elementary School.

For more than 20 years the Sachem Central School District has showcased the top two spellers from each building at the districtwide spelling bee. As champions on the building level, the 20 students met for the chance to be named the top speller. Each year the bee is held at the school of the previous year’s winner. This year’s contest was judged by Merrimac Elementary Principal Veronica DeCicco, Lynwood Elementary Principal Danielle DeLorenzo and Waverly Elementary Principal John Ruggero, with Chippewa Principal Patricia Aubrey serving as the official pronouncer.

Following a rigorous flurry of words, Gavin Flynn from Grundy Avenue Elementary School was named the winner after successfully spelling the winning word, “impetuousness.”  


Sachem North Cheer Wins Suffolk County Championship

Sachem North Cheer Wins Suffolk County Championship photo
Sachem North is your Suffolk County Division I Large School champion for 2018. The Flaming Arrows competed in the championship tournament on Saturday, Feb. 24 at West Islip High School.

Both Sachem North and Sachem East competed at the national championships in early February as well. Both placed among the top programs in the country at Walt Disney World.

Sachem North placed fourth in the large school division of the UCA Nationals, and Sachem East, competing in the small school division, placed ninth.

The Suffolk cheerleading schedule is unique in that these teams get to compete at nationals before the county tournament.

2018 National Merit Scholarship Finalists Announced

2018 National Merit Scholarship Finalists Announced photo
Sachem High School East senior Tharini Prakash and High School North senior Paige Mennici have been named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. 

Tharini is president of the English Honor Society, treasurer of class government and a member of the Outdoors Club. She is enrolled in a plethora of Advanced Placement classes, including physics, economics, calculus, literature, environmental science and French. Tharini plans to pursue a degree in economics and politics at one of her top three school choices: Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania or Yale University. 

Paige has had perfect NYSSMA scores since eighth grade and was selected to the all-state chorus ensemble this year. She is the co-president of the Drama Club, vice president of the Music Honor Society and secretary of the National Honor Society. Paige plans to pursue a degree in music industry and song writing at The College of Saint Rose.

Approximately 15,000 students have been selected as finalists based on a number of rigorous academic requirements. The nationwide pool of finalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring from each state. 

Beginning in March and concluding in June, 7,500 finalists will be notified that they have been chosen to receive a Merit Scholarship.   

Valentines for Veterans Showcase Student Support

Valentines for Veterans Showcase Student Support photo

Students throughout the Sachem Central School District spread gratitude and support for U.S. military veterans by creating more than 1,000 Valentine’s Day cards for them.

As part of the community initiative sponsored by the Office of Suffolk County Legislator William Lindsay of the eighth district, students inscribed personalized messages on colorful heart-shaped cards, expressing their appreciation to the nation’s veterans. They dressed up their vibrant creations by applying paper doilies and stickers to them. 

In addition to the cards, several district schools assembled Valentine’s Day bags, which were donated to Veterans Affairs hospitals across Long Island. 

Sachem Student-Engineers Are No Strangers to Success

Sachem Student-Engineers Are No Strangers to Success photo
The Sachem Aftershock Robotics team is poised for another successful competition season following two consecutive first-place finishes, captured during the FIRST Robotics Regional Long Island Competition sponsored by the School Business Partnerships of Long Island.  

The team, composed of 117 male and female students from both Sachem High School East and North, worked countless hours honing its design, engineering and production skills in preparation for a grueling competition season, which began after the annual kickoff announcement Jan. 6. 

Each offseason the student-engineers submit proposals for side projects to continue their work exploring multiple aspects of the engineering field. With help from the club advisers, students design and build worm drive transmissions and write software for vision systems, among other challenging projects. New additions to the team compete in two offseason competitions utilizing last year’s robot to become familiar with all aspects of the competition environment. 

The robotics team provides an opportunity for students to explore the multifaceted engineering profession through the hands-on application of designs and ideas. Students engage in mechanical, electrical and software engineering with help from club advisers James Byrne, Andrew Cifuini and Robert Wentzel. Along the way students also receive key insights from Gary Dibicari, software advisor Jim Tripi, and new Sachem teacher and robotics team alumni Michael Lundstrom. 

“Aftershock Robotics helps students gain confidence communicating their ideas,” Wentzel said. “Students create worldwide connections while working on a common goal.”

The FIRST Robotics Competition announces a different game each year with varying objectives the students’ creation must complete efficiently. This year’s game is called “Power Up.” Once the game for the year is named, the students spring into action, brainstorming and identifying the problem before developing subsystems to effectively accomplish the tasks. 

This season the robotics team will be competing in two regional competitions. On Feb. 20 the students reach the end of the allotted build time for their robot. The robot is then crated and shipped off for the first competition of the season, the Palmetto Regional FIRST Robotics Competition on March 1 in South Carolina. Continuing the competition season, the team is aspiring to win its third consecutive Long Island Regional title on Apr. 12 at Hofstra University. 

Upon winning either of the two regional competitions, the team gains admission to the worldwide FIRST Championship held April 25-28, at the Cobo Center in Detroit. 

Virtual Enterprise Students Receive Stanford Scholarship

Virtual Enterprise Students Receive Stanford Scholarship photo
Sachem High School North senior Isabella Martinalbert and Sachem High School East senior Andrew Scavo have been chosen to receive the full-tuition Stanford scholarship from Long Island University Post for their outstanding academic achievements and participation in the Virtual Enterprise International class.

Isabella is an active participant in student government, a member of the yearbook committee and a member of the color guard for the Sachem Flaming Arrows Marching Band. In addition to her participation in extracurricular activities, Isabella is enrolled in multiple Advanced Placement classes, including economics, literature and calculus. Isabella plans to attend LIU Post where she will major in accounting before pursuing her master’s degree in business administration. 

Excelling throughout his time at Sachem, Andrew is a member of the varsity baseball team, a member of student government and the Buddies Club. Beginning his college education with a head start, Andrew has already received 30 college credits from enrollment and successful completion of many Advanced Placement classes such as calculus, physics, economics and English. Andrew remains undecided where he will attend college, but plans to pursue a degree in either finance or accounting. 

“Being involved in the finance department in our Virtual Enterprise class has helped solidify my choice to continue on with finance in college,” Andrew said. “Virtual Enterprise allowed me to break out of the traditional classroom experience and apply real-world ideas and creativity to our work.” 

Also recognized for his participation in the Virtual Enterprise program, Sachem High School East senior Nicholas Camoia has been offered a partial scholarship to LIU Post. Nicholas is undecided where he will attend college but is focused on obtaining a degree in a business-related field.   

To be considered for the Stanford scholarship, students must have participated in the Virtual Enterprise International class, have at least a 92 unweighted high school average and a SAT score of 1250. 

Board Recognizes Special Students at February Meeting

Board Recognizes Special Students at February Meeting photo

At their February meeting, the Sachem Board of Education recognized several talented student-musicians from across the district and three student groups for their volunteer efforts.

Beginning the special recognitions, Chairperson for Secondary Music Dr. Justin Comito announced the students who were selected to take part in this year’s All-County and All-State music festivals. Those chosen for the prestigious concerts ranged from grades six to 12 and included both instrumental and vocal performers. 

Sachem High School East Student Government members were honored as well. The students were commended for organizing the annual Thanksgiving food drive, which garnered enough food to feed 300 families in need throughout the Sachem community. 

Also recognized were Merrimac Elementary School students Gabriel Nagel and Sarah Nagel, who coordinated their school’s “Kicking for a Cause” fundraiser to benefit victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The siblings inspired their peers to donate hundreds of nonperishable food items. Additionally, the members of Merrimac’s Student Lighthouse Team were recognized for their coat drive that yielded more than 150 coats and 200 winter accessories for families in need. 

Concluding the special recognitions, Hiawatha Elementary School second-grade teachers and student class representatives were honored for their monthly volunteer projects that have benefited countless people throughout the Sachem community and beyond. The group collected more than 40 boxes of coats, made holiday cards for veterans and collected items to donate to pediatric cancer patients to make their hospital stays more comfortable. 

Waverly Student Organizes Special Fundraiser

Waverly Student Organizes Special Fundraiser photo
Waverly Avenue Elementary School fifth-grade student Casey Lynch took an idea to fruition as he organized a fundraiser to raise money for a cause that hits close to home. Casey’s father John Lynch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and after successful treatment beat the disease. 

After approaching Waverly Principal John Ruggero with a written proposal, Casey put a plan into action to benefit the Lustgarten Foundation’s research on pancreatic cancer. He contacted the Lustgarten Foundation, which provided purple bracelets for Casey to sell for one dollar each to raise donations. Casey vigorously promoted the fundraiser by making a morning announcement, creating flyers to display around the building and encouraged his peers to help spread the word of the cause. 

Concluding the fundraiser, Casey and his classmates were visited by the Lustgarten Foundation Vice President of Development Linda Gruskiewicz. Ms. Gruskiewicz spoke to the students about the significance of pancreatic cancer research and the difficulties associated with the diagnosis. Following the informational discussion, Casey presented the Lustgarten Foundation with a check for the funds he raised in the amount of $700. 

Sachem Has Strong Showing at Winter Track Championships

Sachem Has Strong Showing at Winter Track Championships Pic
All they do is win! In their latest show of dominance, the Sachem East girls track and field team won the Suffolk County championship meet last weekend at Suffolk County Community College-Western Campus in Brentwood. 

The win was the third consecutive winter title for Sachem East, a streak that is the third-longest in the history of Suffolk County, and also sets them up for the possibility of the coveted “Triple Crown,” a team title in cross country, winter track and spring track in the same academic year. 

Sachem East last completed the Triple Crown during the 2015-2016 academic year. If they can pull off the difficult feat again this spring, they would join Bay Shore as the only team in Suffolk history to record the Triple Crown more than once.

This year’s championship saw Sachem East score 83 total points over close competition from Longwood (45 points), Ward Melville (42 points), Sachem North (40 points), William Floyd (40 points) and Bay Shore (38 points). The meet featured all 21 of Suffolk’s large-school teams.

Sachem East’s only event winners were Margaret Atwood (racewalk) and the 4 x 800-meter relay of Bridget Abraldes, Shayna Arrigo, Rachel Ruggiero and Rachel Weber. Kaitlyn Famiglietti (600 meters), Shayna Arrigo (1,000 meters), Rachel Ruggiero (1,500 meters) and Lindsey Dodenhoff (3,000 meters) all took second place in their individual events, and the combination of Angela Consalazio, Kaitlyn Famiglietti, Brooke Papele and Lauren Trejo took second in the 4 x 400-meter relay. 

Adding to the point total for Sachem was Jeilyn Balbuena, Chelsea Benedict, Sabrina Mena and Melissa Merone.

Ramirez Wins Big: From Sachem North, Molly Ramirez was electric in the 1,500-meter race, finishing first with a time of 4:52.24. The 1,500-meter was expected to be one of the most exciting and competitive races of the day. Ramirez was keeping tabs on Singh from Bay Shore the entire race and it was a close finish right down the home stretch until she won. 

Next Up: The Section XI state qualifier meet is on Feb. 12, also at SCCC Brentwood. The meet will determine which athletes will represent Section XI at the state championships on March 3 in the 17 different individual and relay events. 


Waverly Students Show Off Animal Artwork

Waverly Students Show Off Animal Artwork photo
Colorful creations were plentiful at Waverly Avenue Elementary School as fifth-grade students created animal bobble heads as part of an art activity exploring ceramics.

Utilizing ceramic clay, students in Susan Kinsey’s art class used their hands to sculpt cats and dogs for their bobble heads. Students used toilet paper rolls as armatures to create the body of their animals and then shaped the animal’s heads from pinch pots, a molding technique achieved by pinching the thumb and forefinger to form a bowl-shaped mold. 

As part of the lesson in ceramics, students learned each step of the kiln firing process to produce finished ceramic sculptures. Students began with the initial firing, called the bisque fire, before applying a glaze to their sculptures and placing them in the kiln for the final firing, known as the glaze fire. 

Throughout the building, each grade level is participating in a ceramics activity to encourage manual dexterity and support the creative process. 

Sagamore Students Learn Tricks of the Trade

Sagamore Students Learn Tricks of the Trade photo

It was lights, camera, action for Sagamore Middle School sixth-grade social studies students as they were joined by two television news professionals as part of an ongoing newscast project.

Students in Jessica Frank’s World History class stepped into the spotlight as part of an ancient civilizations unit with a special spin. Each student transformed into a news anchor where they presented elements of the civilizations they studied. Students delivered news reports on numerous aspects of ancient cultures, such as cooking, fashion, dance, technology, weather and sports. 

As a key component to the newscast project, students received helpful insight from two prominent local news professionals. Students were visited by Jamie Stuart, Emmy-winning News 12 Long Island sports anchor and reporter, and Joe Cioffi, meteorologist on FiOS1 News and WPIX-TV Channel 11, for two separate assembly presentations. 

Beginning with an assembly for all the sixth-grade students, Stuart described his job as a sports anchor and reporter and how he reached the position he holds today. He encouraged students to always work hard and take the time to approach problems in a constructive way. Following the assembly, Stuart worked with small groups from Jessica Frank’s class, offering advice on how to effectively deliver their newscast and how to write and edit their scripts. 

During a separate assembly presentation, Cioffi spoke with students about the basics of meteorology and elements of forecast maps. Demonstrating his expertise in meteorology, Cioffi identified an area of incoming rain, announcing that it should begin any minute. Students were astonished when the rain began outside shortly after. Continuing the visit, Cioffi coached students in front of the green screen as they worked on delivering their ancient weather reports.   

In its first year at Sagamore, the addition of the news show project into the class curriculum engages students in a unique way. With help from librarian Sandy Bucher, students utilize library resources to research the topics they will be reporting on. While gaining knowledge on ancient civilizations, the students also explore many aspects of being part of a news production. Students write and edit scripts, conduct interviews and then deliver the prepared newscast in front of a green screen with the help of Technology Integration Specialist Carrie McGuire. The green screen was used to add realistic settings behind the student news anchors as their segments were recorded. 

“This project gives students a much greater experience than what they learn from the textbook alone,” Frank said. “Students take the information they obtain through research and bring it to life.” 

Merrimac Students Share Accomplishments

Merrimac Students Share Accomplishments photo
Merrimac Students Share Accomplishments photo 2
Merrimac Students Share Accomplishments photo 3
A special celebration of student accomplishment spread throughout the halls of Merrimac Elementary School, as students revisited their teachers and classmates from last school year and shared in each other’s collective accomplishments as part of a Leadership Notebook Reunion project.

The Leadership Notebook acts as a tool for students to track their progress as they continue through their education at Merrimac. Students utilize the notebook to graph test results, collect special recognitions, track leadership roles and set academic goals. 

At Merrimac, the Leadership Notebook also creates motivation for student participation in service-learning projects, such as the Pet Education Project organized by two students in October. 

Sketching Science Concepts for Review

Sketching Science Concepts for Review photo
Sachem High School East Advanced Placement Environmental Science students put their creativity to the test as they created detailed diagrams of complex science concepts in preparation for their upcoming midterm exam. 

Working in small groups, the students used water-soluble markers to draw illustrations of various topics they had been studying this year. With guidance from their teacher, John Crisci, the students created visual representations of such topics as carbon and nitrogen cycles, the greenhouse effect, ozone layer, soil profiles and the Earth’s wind belts. 

After the diagrams were complete, the students rotated between the group projects and listened as their peers discussed their charts. Students were also encouraged to replicate each group’s project in their notebooks for further review and future reference.

Lynwood Avenue Digs Deep to Study Aquifer Science

Lynwood Avenue Digs Deep to Study Aquifer Science photo
A special science topic intrigued students at Lynwood Avenue Elementary School as they attended an educational program on the Long Island aquifer system presented by the Suffolk County Water Authority. 

Each third-grade class at Lynwood listened to important facts about the aquifer system on Long Island – including the different components of the system – and how homes are supplied with clean water. A demonstration using red dye showed students how easy harmful chemicals can leach through the ground into the water supply and create unsafe drinking water.

Throughout the presentation students asked questions and discussed ways to limit pollution in their everyday lives.

Board Recognizes Extraordinary Student Volunteerism at January Meeting

Board Recognizes Extraordinary Student Volunteerism at January Meeting photo
Board Recognizes Extraordinary Student Volunteerism at January Meeting photo 2
Board Recognizes Extraordinary Student Volunteerism at January Meeting photo 3
During its January meeting, the Sachem Board of Education celebrated multiple students for their extraordinary volunteer efforts. 

Cayuga Elementary School second-grader Adrianna Esposito was recognized for organizing a toy drive, which collected 550 toys for families in need within the Sachem community. 

Also recognized was a group of students from Sachem High School North for their participation in a recent toy and food drive. The incredible effort by the students collected 1,364 boxes of food for Sachem’s annual Thanksgiving Food Drive and countless toys during the Festival of Trees and Lights, one of the community’s largest toy drives. 

Concluding the student recognitions, a large group of student leaders from Chippewa Elementary School were recognized for their continued volunteerism and community support organizing clothing and food drives. 

Grundy Students Talk Safety Tips

Grundy Students Talk Safety Tips photo

Kindergarten students talked safety at Grundy Avenue Elementary School during a recent injury prevention program provided by the Trauma Center at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

Through the workshop, each kindergarten class was visited by two Stony Brook nurses, Kristi Ladowski and Christine Pfundstein, who shared important tips to stay safe and avoid injury. Students learned about the importance of correctly wearing a seatbelt when riding in a car and a helmet when riding a bicycle. Using two eggs, one with a protective case around it representing a helmet and one without, the students saw how easily the unprotected egg cracked and the protected egg remained safe. 

Additionally, each class participated in a teddy bear clinic where students suited up as a doctor and performed patient care on one of their own stuffed animals. Dressed in protective hair nets, face masks and rubber gloves, students began by assessing the condition of their patient, identifying injuries and making recommendations on how to stay safe next time. Completing the teddy bear clinic, the student-caregivers applied bandages and splints to their injured fluffy friends. 

Mindful Meditation at Nokomis

Mindful Meditation at Nokomis photo
Mindful Meditation at Nokomis photo 2
Mindful Meditation at Nokomis photo 3
Third-grade Nokomis Elementary School students in Jennifer Swenning’s class worked on mindful meditation practices as they engaged in a yoga class led by class mom Lisa Zimmerman.

Each month, the class participated in yoga sessions and learned multiple poses, including warrior, child, cat, cow and tree. During each session, Ms. Zimmerman emphasized the practice of slow, controlled breathing and being cognizant of body position. As a part of each class, students worked to improve core strength, balance, flexibility and effective breathing techniques.

With the help of calming music, the students concluded each yoga class with meditation to promote calm and focus throughout the school day. 

Principal Panasci Talks Pizza

Principal Panasci Talks Pizza photo
Sagamore Middle School Family and Consumer Sciences students recently learned the steps to preparing a popular Italian food, as Principal Frank Panasci delivered a demonstration on how to make pizza.

As part of the food preparation unit, seventh-grade students in Michelle Esp’s, Kristin Barnes’ and Judy-Lyn Ciancarelli’s family and consumer sciences classes learned the various steps to create a delicious pizza. For his first job, Principal Panasci worked at Eddie’s Pizza located in Lake Ronkonkoma, where he picked up key insight into the pizza business, which he shared with the students. Principal Panasci discussed the importance of preparing each ingredient and how pizza places grind cheese and make dough. To the surprise of the students, Principal Panasci even demonstrated his expert dough-spinning skills for each class. 

Concluding the instructional lesson, students enjoyed a sample of the pizza they learned to create. 

Student Activity Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Student Activity Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. photo
Empathy was on the mind of students throughout Wenonah Elementary School recently as students participated in a two-week kindness challenge in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As part of the character education curriculum at Wenonah, students took part in the Kindness and Justice Challenge that included multiple activities aimed to foster an inclusive learning environment. During Mismatched Shoe Day, students wore two different shoes to school to generate conversation on seeing things from the perspective of someone else. 
Other special themed activities that occurred during the week included Backwards Day when students wore a shirt backwards to represent that once something hurtful is said it can’t be taken back. During an activity named Mix It Up, students were assigned to sit at a different table during their lunch period and make conversation with a student they didn’t know. The activity was a valuable opportunity for students to meet new people and make new friends.  

Faculty and staff also took part in the challenge by participating in the Mix It Up activity. Teachers sat with colleagues they don’t normally sit with at a recent staff breakfast. 

Sachem East Captures League I T&F Championships

Sachem East Captures League I T&F Championships photo
Can you say dynasty? The Sachem East girls’ varsity track and field team won the 2018 Suffolk County League I championship this past weekend at Suffolk County Community College Brentwood. The victory is the third consecutive league title for Sachem East, which has now also won seven of the last 11 league championships.

The league meet, the first team scoring meet of the entire winter season, pits each of the nine League I teams against each other with a scoring format of 10 points to first place, eight points to second place, six points to third, four points to fourth, two points to fifth, and one point to sixth in each of the individual and relay events. A score of 136 points (good for ninth all-time in league meet history) outdistanced Sachem East from the remainder of League I’s top teams: Longwood (81 points), Brentwood (58 points), Ward Melville (52 points) and Sachem North (50 points).

Taking home the title of individual event league champion were Margaret Atwood (racewalk), Bridget Abraldes (1,000 meters), Lindsey Dodenhoff (3,000 meters), Michaela Parker (shot put) and Rachel Ruggiero (1,500 meters). 

The combination of Bridget Abraldes, Shayna Arrigo, Brooke Papele and Lauren Trejo took home a league title (and meet record) in the 4x400 meter relay – not to be outdone by teammates Kaitlyn Famiglietti, Melissa Merone, Rachel Ruggiero and Rachel Weber, who brought home the league title in the 4x800 meter relay. 

Adding to the scoring total for Sachem East was Jasmine Ahmed, Jeilyn Balbuena, Chelsea Benedict, Angela Consalazio, Arya Deshpande, Sabrinna Mena, Anna Murphy and Sam Piezzo.

The league meet serves as a preview for the Large School Suffolk County championship, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 4 at Suffolk Brentwood. The meet will include the top teams from League I (Brentwood, Longwood, Sachem East, Sachem North and Ward Melville) but will also feature all of League II and a portion of League III, most notably Bay Shore, Connetquot, Huntington, North Babylon and Smithtown East. The meet is expected to be very tight at the top as Sachem East seeks to win its third consecutive winter county title.

Sachem Students Are a Step Ahead

Sachem Students Are a Step Ahead photo
Two times each week, a Lynwood Elementary School classroom transforms into a magnificent dance hall as fifth-grade students practice popular ballroom dances. 

In its ninth year, the program teaches students dance skills that improve nonverbal communication, problem-solving and teamwork. Student partners practice in unison as they first review the steps by counting aloud together, then add music to each dance. During the 10-week program designed by Dancing Classrooms Long Island, Teaching Artist Jessica Heins and Educational Liaison Alison Armbruster guide students through seven dances, including the merengue, foxtrot, rumba, waltz, tango, swing and polka. 

At the culmination of the program, the students put on a performance for their parents showcasing their new dancing skills. 

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As we embark on the 2017-2018 school year, we look to enhance the level of communication within the Sachem family.

In an effort to build upon our connections with our parents and community, we are excited to announce the creation of our e-newsletter. The newsletter will be sent monthly to those who sign up and will include district news, announcements and important dates. Our hope is to provide valuable information about the happenings inside our classrooms while strengthening our community bond as we move forward on the path to a successful academic year.

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2017-2018 District Calendar Summary

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Click here to see the 2017-2018 School Calendar Summary.