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SESY Students Celebrate Graduation

SESY Students Celebrate Graduation Pic

To the cheers of more than 300 peers, faculty and staff members, the Sachem Extended School Year program’s nine graduating students adorned ceremonial red caps and gowns and walked the halls of Wenonah Elementary School as they collectively marked a milestone in their educational lives – graduation from a program that many have attended since first grade.

The initiative, now in its 32nd year, provides special education students within the district enriching educational activities to strengthen their skills during the summer months.

Through creative STEAM classroom instruction, the talented SESY educators enforce students’ learning skills with unique and engaging curricula incorporating elements of technology, such as iPads and interactive computer software into their lessons.

The graduating students will continue to receive support from the district’s educators as they attend their final school year at either Sachem High School East or North starting in September.

August 23 BOE Location Change

The location of the Board of Education meeting for Wednesday, August 23rd has been changed to the Samoset Auditorium.

Ronkonkoma Heritage History Presentation


Updated: August 14, 2017 - Transportation Information


Update 8/14/17

Transportation Update for Tuesday, August 15

Due to the limited parking at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, the district will open up Sachem High School North for additional parking. There will be three buses that will make round trips from Sachem High School North to the church located in Lake Ronkonkoma. Busing will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will continue to run until the Mass concludes and all parties are successfully back at North. Security will be on-hand at the school to ensure there are no issues with parking.

We would like to thank the Towne Bus, LLC for their generous donation of these buses. Our continued thoughts and condolences are with the family and loved ones during this difficult time.


Update 8/11/17:

Dear Sachem Families,

Yesterday our community suffered a great loss, one that will forever stay in our hearts. Out of respect for the family and loved ones, all football related activities, at Sachem High School North and East, will be cancelled on Monday, August 14 as well as Tuesday, August 15.We will make an update on Tuesday regarding the football schedule for the rest of the week.

As a reminder, all school and community based activities will remain cancelled districtwide throughout the weekend.

As our community begins to heal from this tragedy, we will continue to offer support services for those in need. The district continues to extend its condolences to the family and loved ones during this difficult time.

We are Sachem.


Kenneth E. Graham
Superintendent of Schools

An Update from the Superintendent of Schools - 8/10/17

In light of today’s tragedy regarding the death of an 11th-grade High School East student, the district will be providing support services at both High School East and North tomorrow, Friday, August 11 beginning at 8 a.m. for those in need. In addition, all school and community based activities are cancelled districtwide throughout the weekend.

Please keep the student’s family and loved ones in your thoughts during this difficult time.


The Sachem Central School District Administration, Board of Education and entire school community are truly saddened to learn of the tragic loss of an 11th-grade Sachem High School East student. The student passed away from injuries suffered during an off-season football workout early this morning.

The district is devastated by this horrific accident and words cannot express the grief we feel as a school community. We extend our deepest condolences to the student’s family and friends during this terribly difficult time.

We have enacted our Crisis Intervention Team and support services will be made available to students and staff for as long as needed as we mourn and try to cope with this loss.

All athletic and school-related activities, as well as all community-based group activities, have been cancelled for today at all buildings districtwide.

Grundy Avenue Welcomes a Little Free Library

Grundy Avenue Welcomes a Little Free Library Pic
Fourth grade students from Grundy Avenue Elementary School worked together to set up a new addition to their school, the Little Free Library; an initiative that brings books to students and fosters a love for learning within the community.

Little Free Library is a non-profit organization that inspires a love for reading by bringing book shares to communities around the world. Through the efforts of Little Free Library, millions of books are exchanged each year, greatly increasing their availability to students of all ages. Grundy Avenue Principal and former reading teacher, Laura Amato supervised the project. Students took time away from their summer vacations to lend a hand painting the library, book cart and the post that the library will stand on. Principal Amato created labels for each book that students inserted to give them a sense of ownership, purpose and pride as they oversee their free library throughout the year.

“Literacy is very important to me as it is the foundation to all learning,” said Principal Amato. “I feel an obligation to put books in the hands of kids any way we can and get them to read both in school and out of school.”

The library will be installed in front of the school in the coming weeks for all students to enjoy. If you wish to donate, books in new or good condition may be dropped off at Grundy Avenue Elementary School.

Welcoming New Administrative Faces

Welcoming New Administrative Faces  Pic 1
After an expansive search, welcome to Carissa Hagan, William Holl, Brenda Almendarez-DeBello and Brian Kolar as the new assistant principals at Samoset Middle School, Seneca Middle School, East High School and North High School, respectively.

Ms. Hagan comes to Samoset Middle School from Sagamore Middle School, where she has worked as an English as a Second Language teacher since 2010. During her time at Sagamore, Ms. Hagan worked with students to increase comprehension and understanding of content areas and spearheaded other initiatives such as Sachem’s districtwide ESL community night. Additionally, she worked as an adult education teacher and has served as the Middle School Director of the Sachem Summer Enrichment Program since 2014. Ms. Hagan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics TESOL K-12 from Stony Brook University, a Master of Science degree in earth science from C.W. Post of Long Island University and an Advanced Certificate in school building leadership from College of Saint Rose.

Mr. Holl most recently worked as a physics teacher for the Sachem High School North, teaching both Regents and Advanced Placement courses, and serving as a mentor for two first-year physics teachers. Additionally, he worked collaboratively with colleagues to develop and enhance the physics curriculum. Since 2010, Mr. Holl has coached the Sachem High School North boys cross-country team to many impressive finishes. The 2014 Suffolk County Coach of the Year award winner led the team to a Suffolk County Class A Championship victory, a Division 1 Championship and two League 2 Championships. Mr. Holl holds a Bachelor of Arts in physics and a Master of Arts degree in liberal studies from Stony Brook University. He also attended the Educational Leadership program at Stony Brook University.

Dr. Almendarez-DeBello comes to the district from the Uniondale Union Free School District at the Lawrence Road Middle School as an administrative intern and a bilingual mathematics teacher. Within these roles, she aided in creating measures to facilitate testing procedures for administration, proctor schedules and student accommodations as well as developed and provided various professional development workshops for teachers. Prior to this, Dr. Almendarez-DeBello taught mathematics for eight years at Intermediate School 93 for the New York City Department of Education. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Albany, her Master of Science in education from St. John’s University, where she also completed an Advanced Certificate in school building leadership and her doctorate of education degree in educational administration and supervision.

Mr. Kolar joins North High School after serving as the acting building principal of Sleepy Hollow Middle School in Tarrytown, New York since 2015. For the past 18 years, Mr. Kolar has taught social studies to students grades 6-12 and acted as a seventh- and eighth-grade team leader, where he oversaw a five-teacher team, was a mentor to new staff members and was responsible for the design and implementation of lesson plans and curricula. Mr. Kolar received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Boston University, a Master of Professional Studies dual focus in secondary social studies and special education (K-12) from Manhattanville College, and his Master of Science in education administration and supervision from Fordham University.

In addition to the appointment of the four new assistant principals, John Cariddi and Dr. John Galligan, both current employees of the district, were named assistant principals at Sachem High School East and Sagamore Middle School, respectively.

Fall 2017 Tennis Lessons


New Administrator for Physical Education

Welcome to the New Administrator for Physical Education Photo
Effective July 5, 2017, Shannon McEntee has been appointed as the new Administrator for Physical Education.

Ms. McEntee comes to the district from the Rockville Centre Union Free School District, where she served as a health education and physical education teacher since 2006 and held the position of athletic administration intern since 2015. A co-writer of health curriculum for Rockville Centre, Ms. McEntee incorporated character education throughout the program to enhance social-responsibilities, self-responsibility, teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership.

During her time at Rockville Centre, Ms. McEntee also oversaw the student concussion screening and testing initiative while also serving on the Health and Safety and Wellness committees. She helped facilitate several programs including the District Wellness Fair and Substance Abuse Awareness Walk.

In addition to her work in the classroom, Ms. McEntee also boasts an impressive background as South Side High School’s head varsity soccer coach. The two-time New York State Coach of the Year Award winner guided the Cyclones to two state championships, three Long Island championships and four county championships in her time there since 2010.

Ms. McEntee received her Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and health education from Adelphi University where she then went on to complete her master’s degree in health education. She completed the educational administrative program through Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and the athletic administrative certification program through American Military University.

2016-2017 Spring Athletics Post-Season Honors

Spring Athletics Post-Season Honors Photo
Click here to view the Post-Season Honors List

Wenonah Giving Garden Sprouts Horticulture Curiosity

Wenonah Giving Garden Sprouts Horticulture Curiosity Photo
Wenonah Giving Garden Sprouts Horticulture Curiosity Photo 2
Wenonah Giving Garden Sprouts Horticulture Curiosity Photo 3
Wenonah Giving Garden Sprouts Horticulture Curiosity Photo 4
Wenonah Elementary School students are gaining collaborative learning skills and an appreciation of horticulture as they work to provide the less fortunate with fresh crops from their “Giving Garden”. A project developed by the Wenonah Leadership Council in 2015, the crops are gathered by students and donated to Island Harvest, a non-profit organization offering food services to those in need. 

As part of the initiative, students in grades K-5 hone their knowledge of horticulture by participating in all steps of the growing process. Seeds are planted in cut milk containers collected by leadership students to germinate seeds. Seedlings are then nurtured in the classroom until they have matured enough to be planted in the garden. The garden, which parents constructed from materials donated by the PTA, is composed of cedar boxes filled with organic soil to hold the many varieties of vegetables the students plant. To date, the students have planted and harvested such crops as tomatoes, squash, peppers, eggplant, beans, corn and fresh herbs.

Reflecting on the impact of the project, Principal Christine DiPaola said, “There has been incredible enthusiasm for this project across grade levels. Not only have students learned about horticulture and the farm to table experience, they have taken great satisfaction in helping others in our community.”

Extended School Year Program Enters its 32nd Summer

Extended School Year Program Enters its 32nd Summer Photo

The Sachem Extended School Year Program was established 32 years ago to support the diverse needs of special education students within the district. Initially, the program was designed to provide the academic and social/emotional foundation that enrolled students need to successfully transition into the next school year but has since grown into something much more.

The students who attend the program are matched with some of the district’s most dedicated professionals and caring staff. Teachers, staff, parents, and students often refer to the program as the quintessential example of what the Sachem family is all about.

This summer, instruction in academics and life skills development in the SESY program has centered around the theme of safety. Students are being instructed in all aspects of staying safe – everything from playing in or near pools, being protected from the sun, and proper hydration, to traveling, personal, and stranger safety – is being integrated into their classroom and community-based instruction.

The talented and creative SESY staff have also incorporated STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math) instruction into classroom lessons. Bree Bunse, a longtime SESY teacher, has brought the Next Generation Standards to the forefront this summer. For example, students have worked to advance their technology skills with iPads, 3-D printers and interactive computer software. They have also worked with K’nex, building three dimensional structures that combine engineering and creativity. The highlight of their STEAM work has been coding with colors and programing Ozobots to follow commands that they create using colored dashes.

Students in Jenny Lee Terzopoulos’ music classroom learned the importance of car passenger safety and the need to be prepared for an unexpected situation. The students also enjoyed listening to and singing along with such classical songs such as “Route 66,” “On the Road Again,” “Life is a Highway” and “Car Wash.”

ENL Summer School at Samoset

ENL Summer School at Samoset Photo
With the help of English as a New Language educators, Sachem’s kindergarten and secondary English as a New Language students are finding fun ways to build their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills this summer.

Primary students practiced kindergarten readiness skills by reading children’s literature.    Shadowing Sachem ENL educators, secondary students stared in their own weather reports and cooking demonstrations, as well as designed rockets with the help of Sachem High School East technology teacher, Keith Connelly. Students across the grade levels have also created reflection journals touching upon their personal journeys.

The ENL Summer School holds more benefit than just helping the students strengthen their understanding of English. For many students, this is the first opportunity to interact with the peers they will attend school with. Student Jassmin Guerra reflected upon the experience by saying, “ENL Summer School is helping us make new friends.” Senior Samira Rahman, who volunteered in the program added, “The program gives us a chance to communicate with peers and while building my resume for college by volunteering in the kindergarten room.”

Learning Continues through the Summer Months

Learning Continues through the Summer Months Photo

While the school year may be complete, learning has continued into the summer in Sachem. Camp Sachem, a student summer enrichment program, is underway and provides campers with a unique engaging educational experience.

Camp Sachem is held at Samoset Middle School from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily in two separate sessions spanning from pre-K through 8th grade. The program provides a stimulating educational experience spanning across multiple fields of study in an exciting way. Students will participate in activities such as Legoland, where they will learn about the construction of various structures by creating their very own Lego town. They will also practice kitchen safety and learn to follow recipes in chef school, and use balloons to explore how rockets work. An appreciation for art will also be encouraged by studying renowned artists and drawing inspiration for their own artistic creations. In addition to these activities, students will participate in various other educational projects at Camp Sachem.

On Friday, July 14, the students will host a Parent Showcase, where they will perform a short musical presentation, followed by a display of the amazing work they completed during their time at camp. Following the showcase, students in the Rocketry program will shoot off rockets, and chef school participants will prepare treats for their visitors to enjoy.

Merrimac Student Inspired by Garden of Dreams

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June Guidance Memo


2017-2018 District Calendar Summary

Calendar Summary Pic 1
Click here to see the 2017-2018 School Calendar Summary.