The Sachem Central School District is the second largest suburban school district in New York State with an enrollment of approximately 13,500 students. There are 10 elementary schools, three middle schools, two 9-12 high schools, and a district office located in the administrative annex of Samoset Middle School.
The Sachem Central School District, located in central Long Island, is the epicenter of a school community with rich tradition, spirit and heart. Stretching south towards Sunrise Highway, west near Route 112, north to Middle Country Road and east on the beaches of Lake Ronkonkoma, the vastly sprawling community is home to a bustling and diverse population.
Located central to the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway, any point within the community is close to key transportation points, including the Ronkonkoma station of the Long Island Railroad. You are only a train ride away from New York City, or a 30-minute car ride to the Hamptons. To its residents, students and staff, Sachem truly feels like the center of the universe.
Our Proud Educational History
On April 21, 1955, citizens from Farmingville/Holtsville, Holbrook, and Lake Ronkonkoma school districts voted to form a central school district, later named Sachem. Residents from the various communities made the decision to unify in response to the rapid population growth in Brookhaven and Islip Towns. The educational history of the Sachem community, however, dates back long before 1955.
In the year 1800 students were attending a school in Lake Grove, over the course of the next 100 years schools opened up in Lake Ronkonkoma, Holbrook, Farmingville, and Holtsville. Holtsville formed its own school district on May 18, 1857, four years before the start of the Civil War. Eventually all students in both Holtsville and Farmingville attended the Waverly Avenue School, which was built in 1929, and throughout the 1920s children in the Holbrook community were attending the Union Avenue School.
In the fall of 1948 the Gatelot Avenue School, the first post-World War II school built on Long Island, opened its doors and Walter C. Dunham greeted incoming students as the first principal. Dunham, often referred to as the “Father of Sachem Schools.” Dunham later served as the longest tenured Superintendent in Sachem history and worked from 1940-1975 serving the educational community.
With centralization came a blank canvas of historical significance, and in 1955, a citizen’s committee was established to help the District move forward in harmony and to decide a new name. The final choices were “Tri-Town” or “Sachem,” which means Chief in Native American languages, and the latter was victorious. Sachem’s newly formed Board of Education in 1955 had nine elected members, three from each of the original school districts.
Following the centralization in 1955, population growth sky rocketed. In 1956 Grundy Avenue Elementary, Lynwood Avenue Elementary, and Sachem Jr./Sr. High School (now known as Samoset Middle School) were all opened. The district saw considerable growth for the next 25-plus years, adding buildings consistently from the late 1950s through the early 1970s. In order, Sachem grew as follows: Nokomis Elementary (1963), Hiawatha Elementary (1964), Chippewa Elementary (1967), Wenonah Elementary (1967), Cayuga Elementary (1969), Merrimac Elementary (1969), Tamarac Elementary (1970), Tecumseh Elementary (1970), Seneca Middle School (1970) and Sachem High School North (1970), and in 2004, Sachem expanded again with the creation of Sachem High School East and Sequoya Middle School.
The Sachem Central School District graduated its’ first class in 1959 and since then there have been over 60,000 graduates who now proudly call themselves Sachem alumni.
We invite you to learn more about the Sachem Central School District by exploring our website and through social media by following our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. #GoArrows!