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Parent Presentation - K-8th Grade - The Real Facts on Vaping and E-Cigarettes - March 7


K-8 Districtwide Parent Only Event Wednesday, March 7, 2018: The Real Facts On Vaping and E-Cigarettes


Parent Presentation - 9th-12th Grade - E-Cigarettes and Vapors - March 15


9th - 12th Grade Districtwide Parent Only Event Thursday, March 15, 2018: The Real Facts On Vaping and E-Cigarettes


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. 

Community Notice: Universal Pre-Kindergarten Application


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. 

Sachem Students Are All Business With Virtual Enterprise

Sachem Students Are All Business With Virtual Enterprise photo

High school students in the Sachem Central School District are receiving real-world business experience as part of the Virtual Enterprise class. In its third year at Sachem, the Virtual Enterprise class teaches upperclassman valuable business skills as they navigate each aspect of a complete business plan.

Guided by teacher Keith McCaffery, Sachem High School East has two student-run business firms and High School North has one firm, led by Business Chairperson Thomas Sullivan. Students at both schools have the opportunity to earn college credits as they continue through the program. 

At the beginning of the full-year class, each student submits a résumé and interviews for their desired position within the firm. The virtual business mirrors a traditional organizational environment and is broken up into different departments, including human resources, marketing, sales, finance and information technology, which are all overseen by a management team. 

Students collaborate to develop a business name, logo, website and various promotional materials such as brochures, business cards, product catalogs and a commercial. High School North’s virtual business, Mobuilt, is a technology company focused on selling cutting-edge devices whose products include televisions, cell phone cases and drones. The firm’s flagship product is a pair of shoes that generates energy with each step that is used to charge your cell phone.  

2-Pure International, one of the Sachem High School East-based firms, is a culturally driven meal delivery service. The business provides traditional meals from countless cultures around the world, such as Latin American empanadas and bratwurst from Germany. The business offers a subscription service ranging from one to 12 months aimed to expand their customers’ cultural palate. 

In addition, High School East students created a second firm called U-Create. This company is a monthly box subscription service that provides products to customers at a lower price by bundling items. Customers can choose from four categories including beauty, pets, fitness and technology. The monthly subscriptions are broken up into three options, bronze, silver and platinum, which represent the number of items per box. 

“Virtual Enterprise allows us to take our business where we want it to go,” said senior and Mobuilt CEO Jeanine Cerqueira. “Whether it is technology, clothing or both, we can use our ideas to expand the market.” 

As part of the Virtual Enterprise class, the student businesses competed in a business plan competition and trade show at Farmingdale State College. The student firm competed against 35 other student-run firms for a chance to attend the Virtual Enterprises International Business Plan Competition taking place in New York City Apr. 16, at the Microsoft Technology Center. 


30 Years of Lifesaving Skills in Sachem

30 Years of Lifesaving Skills in Sachem photo

Sachem Middle School students are ready to react when it comes to emergency situations, thanks to a districtwide CPR initiative, which started in 1988.

For 30 years, seventh-grade students throughout the Sachem Central School District middle schools have been learning a wide variety of lifesaving skills. Within their health education classes, students learn the proper CPR procedure, the Heimlich Maneuver for choking situations and how to use an automated external defibrillator in the case of a cardiac arrest. 

They begin by surveying the situation, designating a bystander to call for help and then beginning emergency care once they assess the patient’s condition. Using lifelike CPR manikins, the students also practice effective chest compression depth, cadence and how to deliver rescue breaths. 

“This class creates the next generation of lifesavers,” said Chairperson for Secondary Health Education Lori Hewlett. “This initiative prepares our students for emergency situations and empowers them with lifesaving skills.” 

After the completion of a written and practical certification exam, each student receives an official CPR certification card from the American Heart Association.

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Student Breakfast Encourages Creating Connections

Student Breakfast Encourages Creating Connections photo

Collective conversations fostered connections as Samoset Middle School students interacted with teachers and building administration outside of the traditional classroom structure during a recent program.

As part of the Making Connections initiative proposed by Principal James Horan, the building leadership team organized the event as a chance for teachers and students to converse in a different setting. After enjoying breakfast, attendees divided into groups and participated in an activity that involved passing around a numbered beach ball with six corresponding questions. Members of the group passed the ball among themselves and depending on what number was facing them answered a question from the prepared list. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham was also in attendance during the event and eagerly joined in with a group to participate in the activity. 

The focus of the program was to enhance communication within each group and facilitate relationships between building administrators, teachers and students. 

Superintendent's Letter on Vaping & E-Cigs


Grundy Avenue Students Race the Clock

Grundy Avenue Students Race the Clock photo

Problem-solving, collaboration and teamwork were at the center of a recent challenge Grundy Avenue Elementary School third-grade students worked to solve as they participated in a Breakout EDU activity.

As part of the event, each class raced the clock as it attempted to solve puzzles to determine the combination to open each lock within a secure box to reach a prize. In the allotted 45-minute time period, student teams worked together as they solved reading puzzles that gave them clues to the next portion of the challenge.

Breakout EDU is an activity that encourages students to work collaboratively while incorporating creativity, communication and critical thinking skills. Each activity can be adapted to the current curriculum and includes a wide variety of subjects such as ELA, math, science and history.

At the conclusion of the activity, each student group reflected on its Breakout EDU experience. Students explored what they learned during the activity, what problem-solving methods worked well and what they can do to improve next time. 


Sachem Students Seek the Lost Treasure of Newton

Sachem Students Seek the Lost Treasure of Newton photo
Intense focus guided students at Sachem High School East as they worked through math equations during a Breakout EDU activity to find the lost treasure of Newton.  

Calculus students in Scott Kennedy’s math class were separated into two teams and challenged to solve a series of calculus equations to get clues, tools, keys and combinations to unlock five different locks. Within the collection of locked boxes held the clue to the location of Newton’s lost treasure. 

With both teams successfully completing the task and finding the final clue, the students claimed their treasure, which was a tasty snack securely locked away in Dr. Kennedy’s file cabinet. 

Sachem Student-Athletes Honored With Fall Recognition

athletes image

Congratulations to our Sachem student-athletes listed below for receiving postseason honors in their respective fall sport. These student-athletes are recognized for their accomplishments and exceptional performances.  

These recognitions are awarded by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Section XI, Suffolk County coaches associations, Newsday and other sports-related foundations.

Sachem East Fall Postseason Award Winners

Boys Varsity Cross-Country

Scholar-Athlete Team
Justin Allore: All-League, All-Division, All-County
Christian Berberich: All-League, All-County
Joe Berberich: All-League, All-County
Kevin Engel: All-County
Ryan Famiglietti: All-League, All-County

Girls Varsity Cross-Country
Scholar-Athlete Team
League 1 Champions
Division 1 Champions
County Champions
Bridget Abraldes: All-League
Shayna Arrigo: All-League, All-Division, All-County
Margaret Atwood: All-Academic
Lindsey Dodenhoff: All-League, All-Division, All-County
Kaitlyn Famiglietti: All-Academic, All-League, All-Division, All-County
Melissa Merone: All-League, All-Division, All-County
Rachel Ruggiero: All-Academic, All-League, All-Division, All-County

Varsity Field Hockey
Scholar-Athlete Team
Katie Allen: All-County
Emily Allingham: All-Tournament
Marissa Cuevas: All-County
Katie D’Amico: All-County
Kyra D’Amico: All-Tournament
Lauren Lucas: All-Tournament
Kaylee Maier: All-County
Kayla Miranda: All-Academic
Michelle Parker: All-County
Kate Piazza: Unsung Hero Award
Emily Rodriguez: All-County
Kristen Shanahan: All-State, First Team All-Long Island
Morgan Zimmerman: All-Tournament

Varsity Football
Tyler Butkevich: All-Division
Thomas Cappello: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Dan Carroll: All-Division, All-County, Individual Scholar-Athlete, First Team All-Long Island
Anthony Ciraolo: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Ryan Coope: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Anthony D’Amico: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Justin Dobies: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Kyle Farrell: All-Division, Individual Scholar-Athlete
Andrew Kiernan: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Marcus Lopez: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Cameron Lynch: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Thomas Marks: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Nicholas Marracello: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Ryan Micheli: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Chris Park: All-Division
Daniel Pearo: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Jon Shaw: All-Division, All-County

Boys Varsity Soccer
Scholar-Athlete Team
William Ade: All-League
Lucas Beer: All-League
Sunny Gu: All-Conference
James Perrone: All-Conference, All-County

Girls Varsity Soccer
Scholar-Athlete Team
Morgan Debenedictis: All-County
Jules Matyas: All-League
Brooke Papele: All-County
Skylar Papele: All-County

Boys Varsity Volleyball
Scholar-Athlete Team
Richard Baumann: All-Division Honorable Mention
Robert Chalk: All-Academic, All-Division
Andrew Oakland: All-Academic
Devin Perez: All-Division Honorable Mention, All-Tournament
Gavin Qiuery: All-County
Liam Sheehy: All-Division, All-Tournament
Deniz Soysal: All-Academic, All-County
Dylan Stalzer: All-Division Honorable Mention

Girls Varsity Volleyball
Scholar-Athlete Team
Casey Biggers: All-League
Cierra Dolan: All-Classification, All-County Tournament
Molly Jandris: All-County, All-County Tournament, Second Team All-Long Island
Sarah Mangan: All-County, All-County Academic, All-County Tournament, League 1 Player of the Year
Shannon O’Keefe: All-League
Samantha Szatkowski: All-League

Girls Varsity Swimming
Scholar-Athlete Team
Jennifer Atkins: All-League
Shannon Byrne: All-League
Jessica Freund: All-League, All-County
Alyssa Mei: All-League
Erin Mullery: All-League
Kaitlyn Poli: All-League

Sachem North Fall Postseason Award Winners

Boys Varsity Cross-Country
Scholar-Athlete Team
Vidit Parikhr: All-League, All-Division, All-County
Vincent Tripi: All-League, All-Division, All-County

Girls Varsity Cross-Country
Scholar-Athlete Team
Allaura Dashnaw: All-League
Jordyn McDonnell: All-League, All-Division, All-County
Molly Ramirez: All-League, All-Division, All-County

Varsity Field Hockey
Scholar-Athlete Team
Abigail Bandl: All-County Honorable Mention
Michaela Califano: Unsung Hero
Paeton Hartmann: All-State
Molly Kearns: All-Division
Grace LaRocco: All-County Honorable Mention
Grace Lipponer: All-County, Second Team All-Long Island
Isabella Lorenzo: All-Tournament
Carolyn O’Brien: All-County, Second Team All-Long Island
Emily Stallone: All-Division
Vicky Taylor: All-Tournament

Varsity Football
Matthew Chirichella: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Nicholas Davide: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Shane Donovan: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Matthew Finder: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Joseph Gagliardi: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Nicholas Gambino: Individual Scholar-Athlete
William Leuck: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Nicholas Lofaro: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Anthony Marasak: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Alexander Martin: Individual Scholar-Athlete
David Martinez: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Michael Reid: Individual Scholar-Athlete
Michael Scicolone: Individual Scholar-Athlete

Boys Varsity Soccer
Scholar-Athlete Team
League 1 Sportsmanship Award
Dominic Altrui: All-Academic
Ryan Plate: All-League, Participated in the Suffolk-Nassau Senior All-Star Game
Steven Rojas: All-Conference
Eddie Sanchez: All-League

Girls Varsity Soccer
Scholar-Athlete Team
Erin Avanzato: All-Conference
Jenna Blank: All-County
Caitlyn Humann: All-Conference
Stephanie Radakovic: All-County

Boys Varsity Volleyball
Scholar-Athlete Team
League Champions
Jack Driscoll: All-County, Second Team All-Long Island
A.J. Fitzgerald: All-County, Rookie of the Year
Dan LaRosa: All-County, First Team All-Long Island
Alec Lehnert: All-County
Connor Pallmann: All-County, First Team All-Long Island
Matt Russo: All-Division

Girls Varsity Volleyball
Scholar-Athlete Team
Alexis Cavalieri: All-League
Jessica Comito: All-League
Kellianne Dempsey: All-Division
Lauren Hadzigeorgiou: All-League
Annie Keenan: All-Academic
Giana Tufano: All-Academic, All-League, All-Conference

Girls Varsity Swimming
Scholar-Athlete Team
Teressa LaFrancesca: All-League

Sachem Combined Team Postseason Award Winners

Boys Varsity Golf

Scholar-Athlete Team
Nick Campo: All-League
Brian Leckie: All-League

Girls Gymnastics
Scholar-Athlete Team
Summer Matlat: All-County
Grace McGowan: All-League
Kaylyn Spotton: All-County
Ariana Tehranchipour: All-League
Samantha Woodburn: All-County
Anna Wright: All-League

Girls Varsity Tennis
Scholar-Athlete Team
Kyra Bello: All-Conference
Krystle Chukwuanu: All-League
Mili Das: All-League
Jackie Lindsay: All-League
Vanessa Loutran: All-Conference

Drawn Lines Lead to Vibrant Math Creations

Drawn Lines Lead to Vibrant Math Creations photo
Drawn Lines Lead to Vibrant Math Creations photo 2
Drawn Lines Lead to Vibrant Math Creations photo 3
Samoset Middle School math students explored the unique capabilities of graphing straight lines as they participated in a holiday-themed activity introducing students to quadratics.

Eighth-grade honors students in Alicia Kroczynski’s math class learned how plotting straight lines can lead to creating curves. Utilizing, students observed how quadratics were applied in the environmental modeling of grass in the Disney Pixar film “Brave.” After watching videos on how the graphic designers incorporated straight lines to create realistic curves, the students began to work on their own creations. 

Using straight lines to connect a combination of dots, the students created various holiday objects such as a Christmas tree star, a snowman and a poinsettia. During the activity students also became familiar with popular quadratics vocabulary like axis, rays, angles and parabolic arches.

Sachem Students Explore Artists’ Creations

Sachem Students Explore Artists’ Creations photo

As a complement to the classroom curriculum, Sachem High School North art students had the chance to take an up-close look at several famous pieces of artwork during a recent field trip to the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington. The exhibit included Andy Warhol, who conceptualized the Pop Art movement, and Romare Bearden, who was a pioneer of African-American art in the 20th century.

Students viewed pieces from each famous artist as they came together in groups to discuss the works of art and share their thoughts. This opportunity provided students an authentic experience with the process of analyzing and responding to works of art. 

Attending this program will qualify them to enter the Long Island’s Best: Young Artists at the Heckscher Museum competition. Their submitted artwork must be inspired by a piece of art currently on exhibit at the museum and must be accompanied by an artist’s statement. The artist’s statement should reflect the connection between the work on exhibit and their own creation. If selected, their work will hang in the Heckscher Museum of Art from March 17 to April 15, 2018.

The evaluators for the contest are interested in the art students’ thought process and what inspired each student to create their own piece. They want to see how the participating art students think outside the box. During the trip, museum educators provided examples of how other previous students made such connections, which showed the Sachem High School North students that the boundaries for creativity, interpretation and exploration are endless.

Long Island’s Best: Young Artists at the Heckscher Museum is the only juried art competition on Long Island that offers high school students the opportunity to show their artwork in a museum setting. More than 40 schools will submit over 400 works of art, and from those submissions, only about 85 pieces will actually make it into the show.

Important Information About the Spring 2018 Driver Education Program


Hiawatha Students Talk Pencil Drawing

Hiawatha Students Talk Pencil Drawing photo
Hiawatha Students Talk Pencil Drawing photo 2
A special gift presented to Hiawatha Elementary School Principal Kathleen O’Farrell and art teacher Nicole Healey recently sparked a special conversation about the intricacies of pencil drawing with students in art class. 

Yvonne Pineiro, a grandmother of two Hiawatha students and a local artist, presented the school with a detailed pencil drawing of the school’s mascot, the Hiawatha Husky. Pineiro was inspired to draw the husky because of her grandchildren’s love for their school.

Ms. Healey has put the drawing on display in the art room and has used the work to educate each grade level on the art of pencil drawing and the level of difficulty associated with the medium. 

Sachem Students Visit Atria Hertlin Place

Sachem Students Visit Atria Hertlin Place photo

Waverly Avenue Elementary School’s fifth-grade select chorus spread the holiday spirit in the Sachem community recently as they visited Atria Hertlin Place, an independent living facility in Lake Ronkonkoma. Lead by music teacher Bonnie Businksi, the students sang holiday songs to the facility’s residents. Following the chorus performance, the students enjoyed conversation with those in attendance.

Sachem Schools Explore with Google Expedition

Sachem Schools Explore with Google Expedition photo
Students and staff in the Sachem Central School District’s middle schools recently traveled the world as they participated in activities utilizing Google Expedition’s virtual reality technology.

Without even exiting their classrooms, middle school students and staff were amazed by the 360-degree view provided by the Google Expedition goggles as they visited historic cultural landmarks such as Machu Picchu of Peru and other various Aztec and Inca civilizations. Earth science students were also able to take a virtual trip to the Grand Canyon as part of a geology lesson. 

As the schools continue to integrate this technology into classroom instruction, teachers and staff attend professional development workshops to fully harness the capabilities of this innovative technology. 

World Language Class Shares Helpful Tips

World Language Class Shares Helpful Tips photo
Sachem High School North tenth-grade world language students put their skills to the test as they presented how-to speeches to their classmates demonstrating assorted activities. 

Students in Christy Zummo’s Spanish class incorporated the commands learned in class into their how-to demonstrations. Each speech included an introduction, a list of supplies needed, the steps necessary to complete the project or task and a conclusion. The student-presenters also included a vocabulary list with English translations to help classmates follow along. Speeches ranged from how to play a sport to the construction of a craft to how to follow a specific cooking recipe. 

Along with working on their Spanish commands, the speeches provided students with an opportunity to advance their presentation and public-speaking skills.  

Sachem Students Create Connections

Sachem Students Create Connections photo

A sense of community radiated throughout the halls of Hiawatha Elementary School as the Peer Education class from Sachem High School North visited to share a special lesson with fourth- and fifth-grade students.

During the event, High School North seniors in Jonathan Chiaramonte’s Peer Education class delivered an important message about acceptance – noting that everyone has more in common than one may sometimes think. With the assistance of the high school mediators, students participated in a collection of classroom activities that made them more familiar with their fellow classmates. 

One game incorporated a numbered beach ball and each number correlated with different questions for the students to answer. Students shared things that they were afraid of, their initial feelings on moving up to the next grade level and people who inspire them. Another activity, named Cross the Line, called for students to listen to a series of questions and take a step forward when they identified with the question.

“Activities like Cross the Line give students the chance to get to know their peers on a different level,” said senior Nick Cariello. “Through their participation, they learn that we share similar qualities, feelings and experiences.” 

Concluding the day’s activities, students returned to their classrooms where they reflected upon their experiences from a day of recognizing the commonalities that exist among their peers. 

Goldilocks Goes on Trial

Goldilocks Goes on Trial photo

The multipurpose room at Hiawatha Elementary School transformed into a courtroom as fourth- and fifth-grade students participated in mock trial proceedings, where the famous storybook character Goldilocks was tried for her suspected crimes against the Three Bears.

To prepare for the event, the students worked with lawyer Glen Vogel to learn about fundamentals of the American legal system and take part in various activities to reinforce the concepts. The students then put their newfound knowledge to the test by acting out a fictitious case based on a series of famous children’s books. Each student assumed different roles in the mock courtroom as they brought the scripted trial to life. 

A jury composed of third-grade students listened to testimony from the cast, which included the Three Bears, Chicken Little, the Big Bad Wolf and Goldilocks herself. The activity provided students an opportunity to strengthen public speaking skills and the ability to identify characters’ points of view through analyzing questions and answers. 

Each separate class trial was overseen by a special guest judge, including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham who oversaw one class’ proceedings as the students continued their theatrical legal lesson.   

Sagamore Critter Club Educates on Animal Rescue and Awareness

Sagamore Critter Club Educates on Animal Rescue and Awareness photo
Sagamore Middle School has a “critter club,” with involvement from more than 100 students from grades six through eight. 

Adviser Michelle Esp said the club educates students on animal rescues, shelter work and local organizations, gathers food and animal supplies to help local shelters, sponsors fundraisers from which all proceeds donated go to local shelters, educates students on responsible pet ownership and develops student awareness of career choices in animal care.

So far this year, the club has had members from Long Island Rabbit Rescue and Jungle Bob as guest speakers, and has had experiences with Almost Home Rescue, Avalon Park and Preserve, Bideawee, S.T.A.R. Foundation, Sweetbriar Nature Center and Suffolk County SPCA. 

The club also raised money for hurricane relief for dogs and cats with a Swedish fish raffle, and in December it will be baking dog biscuits for another fundraiser.

“Jungle Bob visited Critter Club and brought in some fascinating reptiles to observe,” wrote Giavonna Perkins in an article for the school paper.

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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

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