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2018-2019 Budget Presentation Schedule

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Exploring the Wonders of Wizardry

Exploring the Wonders of Wizardry photo

Magic and mystery filled Allison Poffenbarger’s classroom at Grundy Avenue Elementary School as her fifth-grade students participated in multiple engaging, Harry Potter-themed STEAM activities throughout the day.

As part of the English language arts curriculum, students recently completed the first book of the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Looking to make cross-curricular connections, Poffenbarger then developed collaborative thinking and problem-solving skill-building activities based on the story. 

Separated into four groups representing each house depicted in the book, the students began work on each activity in timed 30-minute increments. Students were challenged to create a contraption capable of launching the “Golden Snitch” the greatest distance possible. Equipped with rubber bands, tape, scissors, string and paper towel rolls, the students were free to design and construct the most efficient launcher. In a different activity students were asked to design a marble maze mirroring the one in Gringotts Bank. Each maze was required to have three turns and use 3 feet of paper towel rolls, among other objects, to transfer the marble. 

Continuing the fun-filled activities, students crafted their own wands out of various materials provided. Students wrapped their wands in pipe cleaners and string and covered them with colorful glitter to show off their wizardly crafts. As part of another activity, students were tasked with designing the longest dragon possible out of paper towel rolls.

As the culminating activity to the day’s events, each group raced to the finish in a Harry Potter-themed Breakout EDU activity, navigating clues from the popular novel. 






Sachem Students Get International Education at Model U.N. Conference

Sachem Students Get International Education at Model U.N. Conference photo
Sachem Students Get International Education at Model U.N. Conference photo 2
Sachem Students Get International Education at Model U.N. Conference photo 3
Sachem Students Get International Education at Model U.N. Conference photo 4
Students with the Sachem North Model United Nations Club participated in the National High School Model United Nations international conference in March.

Accompanied by adviser Dr. Afxendiou and chaperoned by Mrs. Marcazzo-Skarka, they joined thousands of other students at the New York Hilton Midtown for a weekend of debates and discussions.

Delegates from schools around the world come to New York City for a unique conference hosted by the International Model United Nations Association. 

This year, Sachem’s delegation represented the nation of Jordan. They met with Mrs. Samar Sukkar, one of six delegates representing the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in the United Nations, for a question and answer session.

Students also had the opportunity to visit the United Nations for the opening ceremony, which was held in the General Assembly Hall. 
 

Blood Drive and Health & Safety Expo - Waverly Ave.

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Towers Test Students’ Teamwork

Towers Test Students’ Teamwork photo

Critical thinking fueled student designs recently as all fifth-grade students at Merrimac Elementary School participated in a STEAM activity aimed at enhancing student collaboration.

The activity, led by Merrimac art teacher Jenna Motroni, challenged student groups to design and construct the tallest tower possible out of predetermined amounts of spaghetti, tape and string, which at the end of the build would have to hold a marshmallow at its peak. Students were given a 20-minute build time to carefully construct a functional tower out of the limited resources provided. 

“It is fun to teach students traditional concepts in a unique way,” Ms. Motroni said. “Students get to work on solving different problems through teamwork.” 

At the conclusion of the activity, students collectively discussed alternative construction approaches that could improve the design of their towers.

Sachem Resident Shares Music Knowledge

Sachem Resident Shares Music Knowledge photo
Soft notes and musical magic flowed through Nokomis Elementary School recently as Sachem resident Donna Basile held an informative assembly on the recorder for all third-grade students. 

A former music educator from the Harborfields Central School District, Basile holds a vast knowledge of the recorder and shared this insight with Nokomis students. Beginning in the third grade, all students across the district are introduced to the recorder and begin learning various scales and songs as part of the music curriculum. 

During the assembly Basile periodically integrated the history of the recorder dating back to the 15th century. Students learned about seven different sized recorders ranging from the Garklein to the great bass. After showing students each recorder, Basile demonstrated the unique pitch of the varying instruments by performing familiar melodic songs. 

The assembly provided students added knowledge about their instruments before taking the stage this May for the annual third-grade recorder concert. 

Sports Physicals Information

Click on the appropriate link below to access the necessary medical documents for try outs. These are the ONLY forms that will be accepted by the district for athletic try outs: 

 

Click on the appropriate link below for important sports physicals information including free physical exam dates/times & paperwork submission dates/times:

Merrimac Students Stand Out With Supplies Surprise

Merrimac Students Stand Out With Supplies Surprise photo
A collaborative effort at Merrimac Elementary School created connections between literacy and community service through a student-organized Pick a Reading Partner theme for the month of March. 

Two fifth-grade students, Brooke Storan and Meadow Murphy, teamed up with second-grade student Lorenzo Vargas to develop a PARP theme that encouraged reading throughout the building, while also collecting school supplies for less fortunate students at Merrimac and other schools in Sachem. The student trio coined the PARP theme, “Supplies Surprise,” and set a goal to collect a plethora of school supplies while logging reading time along the way. 

The students held two assembly programs informing students of the various incentives associated with the program they organized. For students in kindergarten, first- and second-grade, once they reach 200 minutes of reading they earn a sheet of quotes to decorate that will be given to the recipients of the school supplies. Fourth- and fifth-grade students that reach 150 minutes of reading earn raffle tickets that will be drawn to select the students who would help organize the collected supplies before they are distributed.

As part of the unique initiative, each grade has been assigned a different group of supplies to donate. The schoolwide goal for “Supplies Surprise” is to reach 150,000 minutes of reading by the end of March. 



Sachem Student Named Town of Brookhaven Student of the Month

Sachem Student Named Town of Brookhaven Student of the Month photo
Sachem High School North Senior Emma Hirt was named Town of Brookhaven Student of the Month for February by Councilman Kevin LaValle.

Emma excels in a number of Advanced Placement classes and is an integral participant in multiple extracurricular activities. She is the president of Student Government, a member of the Model United Nations and sits as a student representative on the Sachem Central School District Board of Education. 

Emma plans to pursue a medical degree at Drexel University after graduation. 
 

Sachem Robotics Qualifies for World Championships

Sachem Robotics Qualifies for World Championships photo
After a spirited competition at the FIRST Robotics Long Island Regionals this past weekend at Hofstra University, Sachem’s Aftershock 263 robotics team has qualified for the world championships.

These talented student-engineers will head to Detroit from April 25-28 and compete with the very best robotics teams in the country.

Coming out of the qualifying matches on Saturday morning at Hofstra, Sachem Aftershock earned a place as a seed team heading into alliance selection for the playoff matches. The team played as part of the third alliance, a group of teams/schools competing together, which made it as far as the semifinals.
 
Because of the team’s overall competitive performance at both the Long Island Regional, as well as previously at the Palmetto Regional, Aftershock 263 was invited to Detroit.

The team placed eighth overall at the Long Island Regional.
 

Student Volunteerism Recognized at April Board Meeting

Student Volunteerism Recognized at April Board Meeting photo
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Student Volunteerism Recognized at April Board Meeting photo 4
During its April meeting, the Sachem Board of Education recognized three schools within the district for their exemplary community service efforts. 

Grundy Avenue Elementary School was recognized for the extraordinary volunteer work of third-grade student Bret Auricchio. Bret organized the Grundy Avenue Breast Cancer Awareness Walk that raised $1,200 last October. 

From Samoset Middle School, eighth-grade student MaKenna Homayoon was recognized for her continued commitment to giving back to the community. MaKenna was the leading collector in the Long Island Cares food drive, which raised over 10,000 pounds of food for families in need. Additionally, MaKenna continues to raise awareness for epilepsy and participates in the Buddies Club helping special-needs students. 

Also recognized for their continued community support through volunteerism were the students of the Kids Care Club at Tamarac Elementary School. The students’ collective efforts created countless letters for soldiers, organized food drives and made blankets for children staying in the pediatric units of local hospitals. 

Concluding the special recognitions, the Sachem Central Teachers’ Association was honored for the organization of the Pink Night Out Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser that raised $20,000. 
 

Kindness Rocks at Hiawatha

Kindness Rocks at Hiawatha photo
Hiawatha Brownie Troop 92 painted and sprinkled kindness rocks by the 3rd & 4th grade areas.

Basketball, Fundraising, School Spirit Define March Madness

Basketball, Fundraising, School Spirit Define March Madness photo

Sachem’s annual March Madness tradition has been a staple for the student body for more than 20 years.

Students spend the days enjoying a spring spirit week where each day promotes a different fun theme – America, decades, school pride – and the week culminates with a basketball tournament featuring both staff and students.

This year saw the creation of a Sachem Showdown event where both Sachem East and Sachem North came together for activities one evening. From tug-of-war to balloon pops and other engaging activities, the students made the best of the cross-district event and wish to expand it in the future.

At Sachem East, the March Madness fundraiser was combined with an effort to raise funds for the ALS Ride for Life organization. Student Government officers handed a check in the amount of $1,500 to ALS patients Dr. Christopher Pendergast, Paul Weisman and Frank Wojcik. 

“People left that day speaking of actually getting chills listening to Dr. Pendergast speak to the students through his eye-gaze computer while the entire gymnasium was so quiet,” said Michael Jannace, a teacher and club adviser at Sachem East. “What a beautiful scene! The care and respect demonstrated at Sachem East helped to spread awareness of this deadly disease with no cure.”

 

Superintendent Gains Insight Through Student-Directed Discussion

Superintendent Gains Insight Through Student-Directed Discussion photo
To gain important insight on building culture and student concerns, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham and various other members of the administration continuously participate in a student-directed roundtable at each building throughout the district.

As part of the periodic visits, student representatives of varying school activity levels are selected by each building principal to meet with Dr. Graham to discuss the questions and concerns of their peers. The roundtable discussions provide students across all grade levels the opportunity to have their voice heard by administrative members.  

Among the numerous topics highlighted during each discussion were student engagement in class, safety and security, school culture, and extra- and cocurricular activities. 


Science Erupts at Waverly

Science Erupts at Waverly photo

Waverly Elementary School fifth-graders had a blast during a recent STEAM activity exploring the geographic and scientific elements of volcanoes.

As part of the students’ study, each group selected a volcano from around the world to research. After students collected information on their chosen volcano they created colorful informational posters displaying interesting facts and characteristics about the unique landforms.  

As part of the activity students utilized Play-Doh to sculpt miniature replicas of their volcanoes. To mirror a volcanic eruption, students were provided with a collection of ingredients that they used to conduct experiments to develop a combination that would produce the best eruption. Students determined a calculated mixture of baking soda and vinegar created the best eruption and added red food coloring to mimic the color of flowing lava. 

Throughout the activity each student group referred back to the key principals of the design and engineering process to assess areas that needed improvement and incorporated new design ideas to complete their goals. 



Tamarac Student Takes a Duck to Class

Tamarac Student Takes a Duck to Class photo
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Tamarac Student Takes a Duck to Class photo 3
In celebration of fifth-grade student Jacob Rubbo being named a TD Bank “Take a Duck to Class” essay contest, Tamarac Elementary School was visited by the Long Island Ducks for a special program. 

As part of the contest, students across Long Island were challenged to write an essay about a hero in their community. Jacob chose to write about a close family friend and President of the Spectrum of Dreams Foundation Tim Szlosek. After his son Shane was diagnosed with autism, Mr. Szlosek started the nonprofit organization to help children with special needs acquire the financial resources necessary to enhance their quality of life. Jacob’s essay earned the attention of the contest judges, as he chose to recognize an unconventional type of hometown hero. 

“Tim made the Spectrum of Dreams Foundation because he wants to help kids like Shane get the resources they need,” Jacob wrote in his essay. “He did something very nice and helpful for kids with autism. I am so happy to know such an amazing person.”

To begin the assembly, all Tamarac students filled the gymnasium to celebrate Jacob’s accomplishment. Following praise from Principal Michael Saidens, Jacob read his essay aloud to the audience of his peers before being presented with a Visa gift card by TD Bank Vice President of U.S. Field Marketing Strategy Eric Fishon and TD Bank Lake Ronkonkoma store manager Ed Pesapane. 

Concluding the visit, Jacob and his classmates enjoyed a game of Wiffle ball with Ducks mascot QuackerJack and the Ducks Street Team.

Lynwood Elementary Dances the Night Away

Lynwood Elementary Dances the Night Away photo

Elegance and grace filled the gymnasium at Sachem High School East recently as Lynwood Elementary School fifth-grade students took part in the Dancing with the Lynwood Stars culminating performance as part of the Dancing Classrooms program.

In its ninth year at Lynwood, the 10-week Dancing Classrooms program teaches students eight ballroom dances, a line dance and a folk dance. As students worked through numerous dance classes, teamwork, respect, self-confidence and nonverbal communication were continuously emphasized by teaching artist Jessica Heins.

As a culmination to their study, the students performed the merengue, foxtrot, rumba, waltz, tango, swing and polka for a packed crowd of family and friends. Each dance was prefaced with a student-led demonstration showcasing the cadences for each step the students learned. In between the performances, students read essays reflecting on their dance experiences. 

To conclude the fun-filled night, members of the audience were asked to join the students in a large group dance demonstration. 

 

William Gavin to Attend Washington Journalism and Media Conference

William Gavin to Attend Washington Journalism and Media Conference photo
Sachem High School East junior William Gavin has been selected as a national youth correspondent and invited to attend the prestigious Washington Journalism and Media Conference held at George Mason University this summer. 

As part of the conference curriculum, William will participate in hands-on learning led by industry-leading professionals from a number of media backgrounds. The participating youth correspondents will learn through decision-making simulations that prompt students to face similar creative, practical and ethical pressures they will encounter in media and journalism careers. In addition, the student-participants will enjoy expert insight from multiple guest speakers during the weeklong conference. 

William is enrolled in a number of Advanced Placement classes, including composition, biology and U.S. history. Complementing William’s enrollment in multiple challenging courses is a robust cocurricular résumé, as he is active in the Chess Club and the Diversity Club. He plans to pursue further journalism in college, with a focus on political journalism. 

“I look forward to meeting many well-known journalists during the conference,” William said. “I am excited for the experience to learn from the professionals.”

Security Summit Update

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Holocaust Survivor Visits Seneca

Holocaust Survivor Visits Seneca photo
Holocaust Survivor Visits Seneca photo 2
Eighth-grade students at Seneca Middle School recently attended a captivating assembly program presented by Holocaust survivor Irving Roth. 

As a young boy, Mr. Roth was separated from his family and taken to Auschwitz, where he was forced by Nazi soldiers to work long hours with very limited food. Mr. Roth survived his time at Auschwitz but was transported to Buchenwald, another concentration camp that was liberated in 1945. 

Mr. Roth spoke with students about the numerous social injustices he endured when German soldiers took over Czechoslovakia and how his family was forced into hiding in Hungary. His stories depicted the horrible living conditions he faced during his time at Auschwitz and how his ordinary way of living was taken from him by Nazi soldiers. 

Following the assembly Mr. Roth joined a small group of students for refreshments and answered student-prepared questions about his experiences. Students asked about his connection with other survivors, family and current world issues. 

The visit from Mr. Roth serves as an excellent introduction to upcoming lessons on social injustice as part of the humanities unit.
 

Delectable Dishes Secure Top Finishes for Seneca Chefs

Delectable Dishes Secure Top Finishes for Seneca Chefs photo
Four Seneca Middle School students turned up the heat as they used their superb cooking skills to secure a first-place finish at the eighth annual Junior Iron Chef competition held at Whole Foods Market in Lake Grove. 

For the third consecutive year, Seneca students finished first among countless junior chefs from across Long Island. All middle and high school-age students came to the competition with a prepared recipe and cooked their dish in the allotted one-hour cook time. 

The educational event encourages students to learn and execute the culinary skills necessary to prepare dishes essential for a healthy lifestyle. The competition promotes the use of local food to support farmers and the environment. Students are encouraged to create new healthy vegetarian or vegan-based options that can be easily implemented into the school cafeteria menu. Each recipe was judged on taste, presentation, creativity, use of local ingredients, use of USDA ingredients, healthy choices and cafeteria readiness. 

Each team worked closely with its family and consumer science teachers to develop recipes and practiced for many hours leading up to the contest. Team Golden Girls was named the first-place finisher after presenting its winning dish, the Jardin Burrito – “jardin” translates to “garden” in Spanish. It was filled with eggs, guacamole, Monterey jack cheese, peppers, onions, black beans and corn and was paired with a delicious mango salsa. 

In addition, Team Greek Goddesses placed third with a Greek omelet coined Demeter’s Dish that was filled with potatoes and paired with tzatziki sauce. Placing in fourth was the final Seneca team, the Slice and Dicers, which received a special award for its teamwork, order and professionalism. 

“Congratulations to all of our students for their hard work and dedication,” District Chairperson for Family and Consumer Science Mary Louise Faller said. “It was a great day for Sachem.” 
 

Cosgrove, Mellor Take Home Top Basketball Honors

Cosgrove, Mellor Take Home Top Basketball Honors photo
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Sachem may not have won a girls basketball championship during the year, but for many other reasons it was a banner season. Sachem East’s Danielle Cosgrove was named Suffolk County Player of the Year by Newsday and the Suffolk County Girls Basketball Coaches Association, and Sachem North’s James Mellor was named Suffolk County Coach of the Year, also by the coaches’ association.

Cosgrove, who was named League I Player of the Year, is the third player from Sachem East to win the honor, after Katie Doherty (13-14) and Meagan Doherty (11-12). The Notre Dame-bound Cosgrove finished her career with 1,573 points, the second most in Sachem East history, and 1,037 career rebounds, an overall Sachem record.

Mellor, a Sachem alumnus, is the first Sachem coach since 1987 to win the honor. Risa Zander, an inductee of the Sachem Athletic Hall of Fame and Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame, won it that season.

“It was definitely unexpected to have my name called when they gave this award, but very exciting as well,” Mellor said. “When you are sitting in a room with over 50 coaches, many of whom you have become good friends with over the years and respect, it is an honor to be recognized as a top coach. Much of the credit goes to the girls on the team for performing at high levels all year long.”

Sachem North was 14-8 this season and 8-6 in League I, a bounceback season after not qualifying for the playoffs for a few years. The Flaming Arrows, ranked No. 10, upset No. 7 West Babylon in the first round of the Suffolk County Class AA playoffs and lost to county finalist Hills East in the second round.

In other honors, Sachem East’s Kaitlyn Wolff was named All-League for the first time in her four-year varsity career. Alyssa Signor earned All-Academic honors and freshman Mackenzie Szlosek earned League I Co-Rookie of the Year. From Sachem North, Annie Keenan was named All-County, All-League and All-Academic, while Lisa Galante and Kennadie Hallum were also All-League.
 

2017-2018 Calendar Revisions

2017-2018 Calendar Revisions

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High School East Project Happiness

High School East Project Happiness photo
Sachem High School East was recently 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. 

On March, 20, High School East was featured on the Discovery Education channel’s Virtual Field Trip: Discover Your Happy. 

Click the link below to see the video. 

https://www.learnexperiencehappiness.com/curriculum

Sachem Student Delegates Inspire Diplomacy at Model UN Conference

Sachem Student Delegates Inspire Diplomacy at Model UN Conference photo

Imagine a scene where high school students were diplomatically solving the world’s problems. Now imagine all that taking place on the second floor at Sachem High School North.

In one engaging and fulfilling day of international relations, students from Sachem North ran a highly successful Model United Nations Conference on Saturday, March 17. This is the seventh time the school has hosted such an event.

Students debated real-life topics and important policy issues in the following areas: the European Union, the General Assembly, the Historical Security Council, the Humans Rights Council, UN Women and the World Health Organization.

Each student and school is assigned a country and research topic and then developed a working knowledge of that area prior to the conference. The event featured teams from five other high schools on Long Island – Connetquot, Eastport-South Manor, Patchogue-Medford, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK and Ward Melville. 

“Model UN allows students to learn about world issues and become global citizens,” said Caitlyn Humann, a Sachem North student who served as Secretary General of the Model UN. “It allows us to be passionate about positions of debate and yet listen to the positions of other delegates, as we are willing and able to compromise. It sharpens our public-speaking skills and prepares us best for our future.”

 

Car Show & Family Craft Fair

Sunday, May 6 at Sachem North

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Celebrating Literacy With Readers as Leaders

Celebrating Literacy With Readers as Leaders photo

As part of a special celebration commemorating the birth of Dr. Seuss, students across Grundy Avenue Elementary School listened to stories read by prominent members of the school and community as part of a Readers as Leaders event.

During the collaborative event, multiple guest readers shared stories with students promoting literacy. Those in attendance included, but were not limited to, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, New York State Sen. Phil Boyle and Suffolk County Police Officer Keith Murphy. 

After each guest concluded their chosen story students asked a series of questions related to their specific careers, gaining interesting insight from the distinguished visitors. 

Sachem Hosts Legislative Forum

Sachem Hosts Legislative Forum image
The Sachem Central School District recently hosted a legislative forum in an effort to strengthen the lines of communication between community members and representatives of state and local governments.

The legislative forum, held in the Board of Education room at the central office, provided Sachem students and community members a platform to voice their school-related questions and concerns. Those in attendance included New York Assemblymen Michael Fitzpatrick and Dean Murray as well as representatives from the offices of New York State Senators Phil Boyle, Thomas Croci and John Flanagan.  

“We are fortunate to have a district legislative committee that is actively involved in advocating for our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Graham. “We are thankful to the entire committee, especially the committee chair Dana Platin, for planning the forum. The evening highlighted the collaborative approach taken between the residents, the school district and our elected officials to address the issues that concern them most. We are thankful to all of our elected officials and their representatives who attended the forum and really listened to the concerns of our school district’s community members. It is through this type of collaboration that we will hopefully see the greatest changes for our district.”   

Important topics highlighted during the community discussion were finance, school safety and security and a range of proposals addressed in the state budget. 

Sagamore's St. Baldrick's Event 2018

St. Baldrick's 2018
St. Baldrick's 2018

By Emily Brodsky and Gina Sacco, 7th grade


Sagamore Middle School's St.Baldrick’s event on March 16th was a lively and fun event for the teachers and student body. The Sagamore Arrowettes and Cheer Team showed off their fantastic talents in the gym for all the students and teachers to see.  There were also many volunteers who had a chance to play Minute-to-Win-It games, as well as the chance to pie a teacher in the face, in honor of pie day, at the event.  Most importantly, many students and staff members volunteered to shave their heads, and several girls cut off inches of their very own hair to donate it to make wigs. For many of the shavees, it was not their first time participating in the event either. For those who shaved their heads for three years or more, students won awards for their continued donation to childhood cancer and were inducted into the League of Legendary Heroes. Sagamore raised over $12,000 this year with a 7th grade student, Joseph Sciara, donating the most. That money will be donated to childhood cancer research to help save the lives of child cancer patients. The amazing event could not have taken place without all of the brave students from Sagamore who raised money and gave up their hair. Many thanks to Mrs. Clark (Ms. Alexander), Mrs. Gustavsen, Mr. Berger, and the many others who volunteered to make this a great event.

 

Slideshow of Sagamore's St. Baldrick's Event 2018


First Place for Lynwood Avenue Destination Imagination Team

First Place for Lynwood Avenue Destination Imagination Team photo

Lynwood Avenue Elementary School has picked up where it left off last year with massive success in the Destination Imagination competition. The school’s fourth-grade team captured first place in the program’s Eastern Regional Tournament held this past week at Somers Middle School in upstate New York.

This team chose the Fine Arts Challenge in which students were tasked with creating a two-act musical. For this they had to design, create and integrate music and lyrics into both acts. They also created a spectacle that highlighted an unforgettable event in the story using two production techniques, as well as having had to integrate a set change that utilized technical methods. Finally, they had to create and present two “team choice elements” that showed off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength and talents.

The team consisted of Hannah Barkin, Ava Barrett, Dianna Burns, Jack Cordero, Kyle Fink, Keya Pai and Saiyum Sheth, and, of course, their team coach, Mrs. Dulovic.

The Destination Imagination program, a cocurricular activity at the school, encourages teams of learners to have fun, take risks, focus and frame challenges while incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the arts and service learning. 

Lynwood’s participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and the collaborative problem-solving process.

These talented fourth-graders will continue to progress to larger tournaments throughout the spring. We will keep you updated on their fun and impactful educational journey.

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.” 
 

Sachem Raises Major Support for St. Baldrick’s

Sachem Raises Major Support for St. Baldrick’s photo

St. Baldrick’s has long been a vibrant point of community service and spirit in Sachem. This year multiple schools combined to raise more than $70,000, a district record for this particular charity.

Waverly Avenue Elementary School led the charge, with more than $48,000 in donations, in support of 85 people who shaved their heads for cancer awareness.

“This is a great way for our Waverly students, parents and staff to make connections to the world around them and the importance of doing for others who are less fortunate,” said Waverly Principal John Ruggero.

Sagamore has raised more than $11,000 so far and will generate more donations this week through its “Sagamore Spikes Out Cancer” volleyball tournament. Sachem East raised $7,800 and Sachem North raised $6,500.

At the event at Waverly that featured hundreds of students and parents in attendance, there were also a number of students, teachers and principals from around the Sachem district who took part, showing an incredible amount of shared support from various buildings.

“St. Baldrick’s is a great way for kids to connect to the world and pay it forward,” said Kristina Fulcher, a teacher at Waverly who helped organize the event this year.

To see a full gallery of images from St. Baldrick’s events across the district, please visit Facebook.com/SachemSchools.

 

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

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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:  https://goo.gl/forms/Xfjx3MjB9ikWA5Qt1
•    Email: ehynes@sachem.edu


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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.




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.  



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.

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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.   

Sign up for our e-newsletter!

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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.

Click here to join our mailing list

2017-2018 District Calendar Summary

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