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Creative Concoctions

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Seven students from Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School recently competed against 10 other middle school teams at the Long Island Junior Iron Chef competition held at Whole Foods Market in Lake Grove. 

The team was required to create an original recipe that used local ingredients, could be prepared in a school cafeteria and was, ultimately, healthy. The young chefs used their creative talents to devise the “Good Morning Breakfast Taco.”

The students —Ava Catania, Stephanie Cortez, Nick Esteves, Gianna Infantolino, Christina Li, Dakota Ramos and Erich Reineking — are all currently part of the Chef Master's Club at OBMS. 

During the competition, the students were judged based on taste, presentation, creativity, use of local and USDA ingredients, healthy choices and cafeteria readiness. The district congratulates the team for their participation and successful execution of their recipe.

Wear Purple Day

In celebration of the upcoming American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life event taking place at Connetquot High School on Friday, June 8, the district will be taking part in Wear Purple Day on Wednesday, March 28 to raise awareness of the important event. 

Students, faculty, staff members, administrators, and community members throughout the district are encouraged to wear purple clothing in honor of the special day. As a fun added component to the initiative, Connetquot High School Principal Kenneth Costa has volunteered to be taped to a wall in the hallway near the school’s gymnasium on Wear Purple Day. As part of the “Duct Tape the Principal” fundraising event, students who donate $1 or more will be given a piece of tape which will be used to secure Mr. Costa safely to the wall. 
All proceeds collected during this event will go directly to the American Cancer Society to support its efforts to provide education and patient services to those diagnosed with cancer and their families, in addition to funding life-saving research.

So far this year, the district has raised close to $7,000 toward its goal of exceeding last year’s total amount of $63,000. To date, 27 teams have registered for the June 8 event. Anyone interested in joining the cause is encouraged to register at


Bye Bye Birdie

Bye Bye Birdie photo

Let the Pies Fly!

Amazing Athletes

Amazing Athletes photo
Congratulations to Duffield Elementary School fifth-grader Dylan Wilkinson and John Pearl Elementary School fifth-grade student Michael Leo for finishing in second and third place, respectively, from among 800 competitors in the finals of the annual Islip Town Sharpshooter “Just Say No to Drugs” basketball contest. 

Fifth Grade Opera Trip

Weekly Sports Update - March 12-16, 2018

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Connetquot High School Cheerleaders Honored by Suffolk County/ Section XI
The Connetquot High School varsity cheerleading team recently attended the Suffolk County/Section XI Awards Dinner at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook, as several Connetquot High School student-athletes and teams were recognized for both local and regional honors.

Congratulations to the following members of the cheerleading team for outstanding effort this season – Joey Apisa (All-County), Alexa Dowling (Academic All-County), Lindsey Krebs (All-County) and Tori Peterson (All-Division). The team was also recognized for its ongoing community service efforts called Cheer for Charity.

Coaches Kelly Unterweiser and Elizabeth Schlitt were very pleased with this year’s team and very proud to attend the Suffolk County/Section XI Awards Dinner and celebrate the program’s success.

Connetquot’s co-ed cheerleading team finished fifth at the National High School Cheerleading championships in Orlando, Florida, and followed that achievement by finishing fourth overall in Suffolk County this season.

Breaking Out as A Team

Breaking Out as A Team photo
Second-grade students at Bosti Elementary School recently used their intuitive talents in order to “break out” of the classroom during a highly engaging Breakout EDU activity with the theme of addition and subtraction with regrouping.

Working together as a class, the students broke off into small groups to complete the various tasks scattered throughout the room which would ultimately grant them access to unlocking the final briefcase, thus “freeing” them from the room. 

Breakout EDU, which is based upon the popular “escape the room” interactive games, grants students the opportunity to communicate, collaborate, team build, and develop problem solving and critical thinking skills. 

Surfing the Web Safely

Surfing the Web Safely photo
In an effort to gain valuable advice concerning safety while using the internet and social media, students at Ronkonkoma Middle School were recently visited by Crime Victims Unit representative Kimberly Malone for a highly informative presentation. 

Ms. Malone spoke to the students about how their choices made while using their cellphones and the internet could have lasting impacts on both themselves, their family and friends. She advised them to think twice before sending messages, which could result in negative consequences affecting their personal lives.

The students were also given valuable advice on how to protect themselves online and were reminded to never give out personal information to strangers, share passwords with others and to maintain a private profile while using social media apps.

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart photo

Over the course of the past 13 years, students and staff at Cherokee Street Elementary School have raised close to $150,000 for the American Heart Association through the efforts of the Jump Rope for Heart initiative.

“Cherokee students have been very excited, and our community has done so much to support the work of the American Heart Association,” said Cherokee Street Elementary School Physical Education Teacher Joseph Nelson. “The students have fully embraced the concept of helping others and saving lives.”  

As part of the 2018 Jump Rope for Heart program, students jumped rope and climbed the rock wall as they took part in a variety of fun and athletic activities while family and friends pledged their financial support for the AHA. The school raised more than $20,000 this year.

The district congratulates Cherokee Street Elementary School kindergarten student Annabella Wohlrab for being recognized as the top fundraiser for this year's Jump Rope for Heart program.


Practicing Penmanship with Pen Pals

Practicing Penmanship with Pen Pals photo

Connetquot High School English Teacher Ross Castaldo and his ninth-grade students recently traveled to Bosti Elementary School to visit their fourth-grade pen-pals.

“The students have written back and forth with Michelle Eskin’s class since the beginning of the school year, and today they had the opportunity to meet one another,” said Mr. Castaldo.

While there, the students read books about likes and dislikes, created a Venn diagram comparing their similarities, and wrote an informational piece on a topic the pen-pals had in common. In May, the elementary students will be visit Connetquot High School to meet with their pen-pals again.

A Lesson in Tranquility

A Lesson in Tranquility photo

Bosti Elementary School recently welcomed Little Flower Yoga instructor Margot Harris to the school for a series of classes geared toward promoting relaxation and healthy lifestyle choices.

Students learned to incorporate activities from five key elements — connect, breathe, move, focus and relax. Through the use of these elements, and within a framework of respect for all students, compassionate communication and joyful exploration, students are encouraged to better connect with themselves and their inner experience. 

This Mindfulness & Yoga program was made available through a financial grant provided by the Connetquot Foundation for the Advancement of Children.

Celebrating Literacy

Honoring Dr. Seuss

Honoring Dr. Seuss photo

In celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Duffield Elementary School recently welcomed 108 Connetquot High School students as part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America program.

The high schoolers visited each classroom, entertaining students ranging in grade level from kindergarten to fifth by reading them Dr. Seuss’ popular works, such as “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Duffield’s faculty and staff members joined in the day’s fun activities by dressing up for this very special birthday celebration. Principal Lisa Farrell was very pleased with the day’s festivities and remarked that when high school students began celebrating with Duffield students several years ago, there were only 30 that took part. With each passing year, more and more high School students look forward to celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday with their new Duffield friends.

The NEA launched the Read Across America program in 1998 to promote the importance of reading to school children.

A Musical Introduction

A Musical Introduction photo

Fifth-grade students from Duffield, Cherokee Street and Slocum Elementary Schools recently traveled to Ronkonkoma Middle School to get a glimpse of the multiple musical initiatives they will be able to take part in come next school year.

During the program, the students were introduced to the school’s music department faculty and staff and heard several performances from the RMS Jazz Band and Show Choir, to name a few. 

Before being dismissed, the students were shown a highly informative PowerPoint presentation highlighting all of the wonderful opportunities they will be able to look forward to within the RMS music program. These included performing at concerts and the Bohemia Memorial Day parade, as well as membership to the Tri-M Music Honor Society. The students were particularly excited to learn that if they pursue music into the high school setting, they will be invited to travel to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida alongside the entire music department to showcase their musical skills and build camaraderie with their classmates.

The Circus is in Town

The world famous ‘Cirque du Jour’ travelling circus troupe recently introduced the fifth-grade students of Slocum Elementary School to some of the special circus skills necessary to entertain their fans, classmates, friends and parents during culminating performances at the end of the week.

Throughout the course of their workshop sessions, Slocum’s talented fifth-graders worked as escape artists, jugglers, plate spinners and stilt walkers. During the performances, the high-energy music motivated the performers and audience members alike as the students dazzled the crowd with their newly acquired skills. 

The Cirque du Jour program is designed to motivate students to participate more fully in physical education and cultural arts activities. 

Sharpshooting Basketball Stars

Sharpshooting Basketball Stars photo
Cherokee Street Elementary School recently announced four school winners representing fourth through fifth grades in this year’s Just Say No to Drugs Sharpshooter Basketball contest. 

The district congratulates fourth-grade students Maddie Beisel and Ryan Feinglass along with fifth graders Thalia Guidice and Jameson Wu for representing their grade levels in the fun and fast-paced competition. 

“Each year, the Town of Islip, in conjunction with the Islip Elks Club, hosts the Just Say No to Drugs Sharpshooters competition,” explained Cherokee Street physical education teacher Joseph Nelson. “After winning the school competition, a boy and girl from both fourth and fifth grade are invited to compete against athletes from all over the Town of Islip.” 

A Patriotic Visit

A Patriotic Visit photo

John Pearl Elementary School recently welcomed U.S. Marine Corps Private first-class Shaun Muller to the school as he visited with the first-grade students and celebrated the birthday of his younger sisters.

His twin sisters, Emily Muller and Payton Muller, enrolled in Kim Okula’s and Sarah Mannino’s classes, were excited to spend time with their older brother on their special day. The first-graders took the time to sing “Happy Birthday” to the sisters as well. 

Pfc. Muller was introduced by John Pearl Elementary School Principal Susan White before speaking about his experiences in boot camp, as well as his next posting. Both the students and teachers alike were impressed to hear that he could be stationed in Virginia, or even within the Hawaiian Islands. 

After reading from the book “The Impossible Patriotism Project,” the students applauded the session and thanked Pfc. Muller for visiting.  

“All of the students were proud to meet Shaun,” said Ms. White. “He is a real American hero.”

Following the reading presentation, Pfc. Muller was serenaded by the students to a rendition of “This Land is Your Land.”

Promoting a Culture of Kindness


As a means of spreading kindness throughout the district, staff and students of the district recently participated in DASA/Dignity Week.

The initiative, which was coordinated by Director of Pupil Personnel Services Gail Santo and the district’s youth and family service coordinators, included a number of engaging and interactive activities designated to promote acceptance, kindness and unity for all. 

Cherokee Street Elementary School recently welcomed Girl Scout Cadet Troop 1241, who are current Ronkonkoma Middle School students and Cherokee Street alumnae, for a very special presentation. Joined by Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi, the girls donated two “buddy benches” to the school for the school’s playground and performed innovative skits to demonstrate the value of the new benches. Additionally, the school’s Youth and Family Services Coordinator Nicole Coogan recently hosted yoga and mindfulness sessions during DASA week in order to create a stress-free environment for the students to enjoy. During their sessions, the students cleared their minds as they were introduced to poses such as “tree,” “mountain” and “downward dog.”

John Pearl Elementary School’s fifth-grade peer mediators and volunteers developed an idea for showing dignity in the community by including their “Grandfriends” at the Arbors Assisted Living Facility of Bohemia. The students created a “Post-It Positivity Board,” filled with inspirational messages for residents in an effort to spread kindness on a daily basis. The students also created a personal poster for “Grandfriends” to remind them how special they are to the John Pearl community.

Multitalented singer-songwriter Jared Campbell visited Bosti Elementary School during DASA week to spread his important message of reinforcing positive character building messages. Mr. Campbell had the students singing along to his catchy songs such as “Change the World,” which told the tales of perseverance and successes from important individuals such as Rosa Parks and Michael Jordan. Additionally, Mr. Campbell wrote a song specifically geared toward the “Leader In Me” initiative, and had the entire school engaged toward the powerful message it contained. 

Ronkonkoma Middle School staff members rewarded students throughout the school with “hearts for dignity” after witnessing them acting kindly toward their peers. Throughout the course of the day, the recognized students’ names were taped to the wall of the guidance office for all to see. Additionally, a “Positive Affirmation Wall” was featured outside the school cafeteria, and students were invited to share uplifting messages. 

Idle Hour Elementary School kicked off DASA week with a schoolwide assembly. The students were joined by their friends from the Arbors Assisted Living Facility of Bohemia as they took part in singalongs, a PowerPoint presentation featuring photos of the students with their “Grandfriends” and an introduction to the Kindness Rock Project with the reading of the book "Ishi.” Additionally, the fifth-grade girls were recently visited by Counseling and Psychological Services representative Vickie Moskowitz for a brainstorming session about the importance of maintaining healthy friendships, entitled “Friendship Matters.” 

Staff and students at Duffield Elementary School created a large poster filled with music notes representing each Duffield family in coordination with their theme of “Music Connects Us All.” The poster visually demonstrated how each individual is like a single note, but when strung together a musical masterpiece is created. 

Additionally, elementary schools throughout the district were recently visited by Serge, Amanda and DJ Danny of ‘KerboomKidz,’ as they provided a fun and energetic dance program especially designed for students in grades K - 12. Faculty and staff joined the students as they danced their way through the exciting dance routines, gleefully moving to the rhythm of the music and exercises while DJ Danny pumped up the music for all involved.

Researching and Reflecting

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Fifth-grade students enrolled in Joanna Zalewski’s and Colleen Malone’s fifth-grade classes at Bosti Elementary School recently completed research projects surrounding topics such as civil rights and important historical events in American history.

“The fifth graders took some time to contemplate the people and activities that are most important to them before applying their ideas to their projects,” said Mrs. Zalewski.  

Throughout the course of the 2017-18 school year, Mrs. Zalewski’s and Mrs. Malone’s students also completed research projects related to a variety of historical projects including the Great Depression, slavery and world conflicts, and proudly shared their findings with their classmates. 

An Evening of Appreciation

An Evening of Appreciation photo
At the Feb. 27 Board of Education meeting, the Connetquot High School Civic Club showed their appreciation for district and community members who have provided opportunities to help the club prosper. 

“Both myself and my co-adviser Gina Senft pride ourselves in developing contributing members of society,” said Connetquot High School Civic Club co-adviser Michelle Goodwin. “It is my firm belief that this type of development can only be fostered through service projects as well as character education programs.”

Representatives of the club presented the board with tokens of appreciation, including their very own Connetquot Civic T-shirts.

Bosti Book Fair 2018

Healthy Dental Habits

Healthy Dental Habits photo

Important dental hygiene practices and tips were shared with students grades pre-K through second at Bosti Elementary School when dental hygienists Theresa and Belinda from the East Islip Dental Care group recently visited the school.

The visitors spoke with the students about how important it is to take care of their teeth, the proper methods of brushing and flossing as well as the importance of eating healthy. Along the way, volunteers were called from the audience to help answer questions about how to go about making the best dental care choices. 

East Islip Dental Care also provided little gift bags that included toothbrushes and toothpaste for the students in an effort to assist them in maintaining their healthy smiles. 

Student of the Month

Student of the Month photo
Connetquot High School 11th grade student Amanda Reynolds was named February’s ‘Student of the Month’ by the Rotary Club of Sayville. 

Rotary Club Director Chestene Coverdale announced the selection and presented the ‘Service Before Self’ certificate to Amanda at Connetquot High School, as she was joined by Superintendent Dr. Lynda Adams and Connetquot High School Principal Kenneth Costa.

Amanda was selected based on her academic achievements, along with community involvement in school organizations such as the civic club, student government, Habitat for Humanity and the committee for the enhancement of education club, alongside being an officer of the graduating Class of 2019.

Scientific Successes

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John Pearl Elementary School students in grades K-5 recently took part in the school’s annual science fair competition, spending weeks researching an important scientific topic and recording their findings to share with the school community. 

Examples of projects submitted by the students included testing if variances in temperature affect the conductibility of magnets, acid rain and the effect on the environment, and the effect that different liquids have on the decomposition rates of the human tooth. Additionally, student representatives from Connetquot High School, along with Science, Technology and FACS Chairperson Mary Loesing were on hand to judge the projects and determine who would be declared winners for each grade level. 

The Connetquot Central School District congratulates the following students from each grade level, for being named both winners and honorable mention recipients: Kindergarten: Alison Allen, winner; Emelia D’Antonio and Hassanatou Diallo, honorable mentions; First grade: Justin Beigay, winner; Logan Staulcup, honorable mention; Second grade: Lila Shapiro, winner; Rishi Kannan, Nilay Patel and Caeden Shackles, honorable mentions; Third grade: Nathan Caruana, winner; Anthony Calvosa, Olivia Campagnola, Krish Kannan, Cherlon Milden and Kaitlyn Young, honorable mentions; Fourth grade: Meghan Miller, winner; Ethan Lonie, Alex Molter, Kai Shapiro and Dean Smith, honorable mentions; Fifth grade: Hudson Esposito, winner; Kasey Alvino, Jesse Bartick, Sophie Campagnola, Christie Clark, Sarah Dailey, Julianna Daina, Nicolas Lorefice, Deanna Marciano and Olivia Medina, honorable mentions. 

Bosti Students Gear Up for Literacy

Bosti Students Gear Up for Literacy photo

Students at Bosti Elementary School continue to build upon their literacy skills in the classroom setting, as they explore new and innovative ways to further develop a lifelong love for reading and writing.

In Melissa Lewis’s first grade class, students are currently taking part in a collaborative reading activity, in which they team up with a partner to read and discuss non-fiction stories. Using a method of “shopping” for books with their red bags, the students are able to experience new and exciting stories once they finish exploring their most current selection. 

Students in Jessica King’s class recently incorporated the scientific method into a literary lesson, as they followed careful instructions to build a structure which would successfully guide their toy car from point A to point B. In order to write like a scientist and successfully transport their miniature vehicle, the students asked questions about how the world works, formulated a hypothesis, and recorded the results of their tests via trial and error methodology.

VIDEO: The Great Kindness Challenge


Fun at the Circus

Fun at the Circus photo
John Pearl Elementary School recently welcomed students, teachers, friends and family to the school’s annual ‘Cirque du Jour’ school assembly as fifth-grade students displayed their recently acquired circus skills for all to see. 

During their physical education classes throughout the week leading up to the performance, the students spent time mastering special ‘circus’ skills necessary to entertain their fans, including clown work, juggling, stilt walking and mastering the Diablo Stick.

The ‘Cirque Du Jour’ circus program is designed to motivate students to participate more fully in physical education and cultural arts activities.

Taking the Next Step Toward Success

Taking the Next Step Toward Success photo

As a result of their hard work on and off the athletic field, four Connetquot High School student-athletes were selected to continue their athletic journeys this fall at some of the nation’s top colleges and sealed that commitment during a recent signing ceremony at the school.

Mark Dellecave, Connetquot Central School District director of health, physical education, athletics and recreation, introduced each of the four students and talked about their accomplishments both in the classroom and on the athletic fields. He also took the time to remind the recognized student-athletes that their parents are in so many ways the motivating force that have helped them achieve success.  

The district congratulates Trevor Cahill (Buffalo University/football), Dayna Marshall (Wingate University/soccer), Dylan McDermott (Franklin Pierce University/football and basketball) and Taylor Stepanek (Stonehill College/football and basketball). 

“On behalf of our district, I extend my deepest congratulations to these students and thank them for their unwavering energy and commitment to our community,” Dellecave said. “They will be missed, but we are confident in their success as they move on to the next level.”

Celebrating the 100th Day of School

Celebrating the 100th Day of School

Celebrating the 100th Day of School photo

A Lifelong Love for Music

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Ronkonkoma Middle School seventh-grade student Katlyn Smith has utilized her musical talent as an outlet for creativity, and that passion has earned her several impressive honors in the past several years, including most recently being declared winner of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra’s Concerto Competition based on her incredible violin skills. 

At just 6 years old, Katlyn was the youngest musician to join the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York, in addition to starting The Smith Sisters Ensemble at the age of 7 with her sister, Ashley Smith. Playing classical instruments with such talent far exceeding expectations for their age, they attracted other young prodigies to join them. The ensemble, now consisting of 15 musicians, has played at many fundraisers, talent shows and gigs including being booked by LiveNation to play at Westbury Music Fair. 

The group enjoys recording at Sound City Cove Studios where they have played with Richie Cannata, Billy Joel’s saxophone player, and pop star Domini Monroe. Video clips of “The Smith Sisters Ensemble” are currently available to view on YouTube.
 In honor of her exceptional talents, Katlyn was awarded with a $1,500 scholarship toward the Concert Festival International Summer Tour 2018. This was awarded based on her beautiful performance on the piano at Carnegie Hall in the program “Celebrating Ninth Season Opening” Concert this past November. 

Katlyn’s passion for music extends beyond her study of the violin, as she also plays the piano. “Violin is much harder than the piano because I’m playing at NYSSMA Level 6 in violin and NYSSMA Level 4 in piano, but I still highly enjoy both,” said Katlyn. 
 Additionally, Katlyn recently performed at the Steinway Piano Gallery and played concertos on both her violin and a Steinway grand piano. This spring, Katlyn will have the honor of playing with the Nassau County’s North Shore Symphony Orchestra and will be performing with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra at the Tilles Center and Carnegie Hall.
Katlyn would like to thank her parents, along with instructors and arrangers; Ronkonkoma Middle School Orchestra Director Michael Murphy, Anton Polezhayev, Yelena Polezhayev, Vladimir Polezhayev, Steven Cordella, Ronald Dehart, arranger Michael McGough and the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra for all of her successes thus far. 


Juggling with Jester Jim

Juggling with Jester Jim photo

In celebration of completing their Pick a Reading Partner program, all students at Slocum Elementary School were recently treated to a special visit from multitalented entertainer Jester Jim.

During his visit, Jester Jim showcased his stunning juggling skills for the students, along with his catchy songwriting abilities. With his handy “loop pedal” by his side, he had the students call out literary characters from their readings, and turned the subject matter into multilayered songs.

Exploring the American Revolution

Exploring the American Revolution photo
Taking learning beyond the walls of the classroom, Karen Pitka’s fourth-grade class at Duffield Elementary School recently embarked on a “virtual field trip” hosted by Lauren Tarshis, author of the “I Survived” historical fiction series.

The virtual field trip, “Beyond the Battlefield,” features a highly engaging video segment in which Tarshis takes both students and teachers alike behind the scenes of the new American Revolution Museum in Philadelphia. Students were able to see historical treasures such as canteens and muskets, meet historians and hear stories of the young people who were a part of America’s fight for independence.

“The goal of this virtual field trip was to help bring this highly important time in history to life for students and open new doors of curiosity,” said Mrs. Pitka. “My fourth-grade historians highly enjoyed seeing one of their favorite authors and are eager to learn more about the American Revolution during social studies and English language arts.”

To view more information surrounding the virtual field trip, please click the following link:

ALL IN “The Story of the Warm Fuzzy”

Studying with the FTA Club

Studying with the FTA Club photo

Connetquot High School’s Future Teachers of America Club, along with adviser Lynn Parks, recently hosted the district’s first FTA Study Night in an effort to tutor younger students within the district. Throughout the course of the night, students in grades kindergarten through eight brought in their homework and worksheets from their classrooms and received assistance from the upperclassmen.

RMS Students Travel to A Mysterious Island

RMS Students Travel to A Mysterious Island photo

The Ronkonkoma Middle School drama club recently put on a dazzling performance of “Once On This Island Jr.,” for three consecutive evenings beginning on Feb. 8. Adapted from the popular Broadway show, the play tells the tale of a peasant girl on a tropical island who uses the power of love to bring together people of different social classes. The production was brought to life with assistance from Director Jared Glazer, Music Director Dr. Frank Saladino and Choreographer/Assistant Director Taneisha Corbin.

Connetquot High School Hosts Model United Nations Conference

Connetquot High School Hosts Model United Nations Conference photo

The Connetquot High School Model United Nations Club recently hosted 14 schools from across Long Island and Queens to take part in the 2018 Model United Nations Regional Conference.

Throughout the course of the day, participants simulated the structure and function of the United Nations. Each student-delegate was assigned to represent a sovereign nation, placed on a committee to discuss important current world topics and concerns, and asked to make recommendations. In a mock setting, the student-delegates tackled current world issues, created world peace, and solved problems that are meant to protect and improve the lives of individuals around the world.  

“This was one of the largest Model U.N. conferences to date,” said Connetquot High School Model United Nations Club adviser Jennifer Bay. “We had almost 300 people attended, which included delegates, conference staff, chaperones, volunteers and school advisers.”

Dr. King Mural

Dr. King Mural
Mrs. Mabanta and her talented students Ava Boldi, Mia Flores, Isabella Baaske, and Caitlin Hall recently designed and painted this beautiful mural of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Building Up Teamwork with the Islanders

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Staff and students from Duffield Elementary School were recently visited by representatives of the New York Islanders hockey team, along with team mascot Sparky the Dragon, for an informative presentation on the importance of team work. The students were shown a highlight reel of the professional athletes taking part in altruistic activities, and were given the opportunity to dress up in goalie gear in a fun and friendly competition which showcased the students helping out one another. 


All-American Athletes

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Connetquot High School varsity volleyball team members and athletic superstars Nicole Migliozzi and Mackenzie Cole have been selected as one of 150 players from 41 states as 2017 All-American athletes. 

To qualify as a high school All-American, student-athletes must make a large positive impact on their high school team, are required to be amongst the best players on the team and one of the top three to five players in the state. 

The district congratulates Mackenzie and Nicole on this wonderful accomplishment.


Memo Regarding State Assessments


Cracking Codes in ‘Australia’

Cracking Codes in ‘Australia’ photo
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Third-grade classes at Cherokee Street Elementary School recently worked collaboratively to complete a series of Breakout EDU activities, which aligned with their current social studies unit focused on Australia. 

Breakout EDU, which is based upon the popular “escape the room” interactive games, grants students the opportunity to communicate, collaborate, team build, and develop problem solving and critical thinking skills. 

All third-grade participants were able to "crack the codes" in less than the forty minute time frame provided. 

Studying the Work of Authors

Studying the Work of Authors photo

Fourth-grade students from Bosti Elementary School recently worked on a fun and interactive research project with assistance from Annamarie Tongue, the school’s library media specialist.

In the library, Liz Whitson’s fourth-graders worked on an author study project alongside Mrs. Tongue to research one popular children’s author, including the likes of Mo Willems, Jan Brett, Cynthia Rylant, Steven Kellogg, Kevin Henkes and Tomie dePaola. As part of the project, the students visited the authors’ websites, read their books and made posters about their chosen individual over a period of several weeks of research in the library. 

As a culminating activity, each fourth-grader read a book by their chosen author to a second-grade student in Dana Keyes’ class. Afterward, the new “reading friends” shared interesting facts they discovered about their author.

Science Olympiad Team Secures Medals

Science Olympiad Team Secures Medals photo
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Connetquot High School’s Science Olympiad team recently competed against 47 other school districts during the Eastern Long Island Science Olympiad Tournament held at Ward Melville High School. 

Due to their outstanding efforts, Connetquot team members won medals in two events — Hovercraft and Parasitology. Students Giavana Prucha and Zachary Vero contributed to the win for the Hovercraft category, whereas Bipro Das and Atif Khan brought home the medals for Parasitology. 

Shrek the Musical Jr.

Bringing ‘Shrek’ to Life

Bringing ‘Shrek’ to Life photo

The Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School auditorium was transformed into a real-life fairytale world as the drama club members performed scenes from “Shrek The Musical Jr.,” which premiered for the community on Feb. 2. The students rehearsed for months under the direction of band director David Bentley-Garfinkel, perfecting their lines and choreography in order to provide a memorable performance for the attendees.

VIDEO: Breakout EDU


Holocaust Survivor Visits

The sixth-grade class was recently visited by Holocaust survivor, author and lecturer Marion Blumenthal Lazan.

Ronkonkoma Middle School shows support for ALS research

Ronkonkoma Middle School shows support for ALS research photo
The Board of Education recently honored members of the Ronkonkoma Middle School staff for their efforts in raising $3,000 toward the ALS Ride for Life Organization and earning a Gold Participant status for doing so. 

Ronkonkoma Middle School hosted several fundraisers including a RampShot tournament, a car wash organized by the school’s National Junior Honor Society and other initiatives spearheaded by Student Council. The community participated in many activities and the school received donations from a local 7-Eleven. 

ALS Ride for Life was founded 21 years ago in hopes of combatting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, along with providing funding toward those diagnosed with the disease. 

To date, the organization has raised more than $7 million toward funding ALS research and treatments. 

Coding the Night Away

Coding the Night Away photo

The district recently hosted its first Coding Night, inviting district students grades 3-12 along with their family members to explore the ever-expanding field of computer coding. This event was hosted by Code Long Island, a Long Island-based organization with a mission to bring coding education to every student on Long Island. For anyone interested in attending the second night of coding fun, the event will take place again on Feb. 6, from 6-8 p.m., in the Connetquot High School library. Currently registration is closed and a waitlist is going.

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian Safety photo
Suffolk County Department of Health representative Robin Spencer recently spoke to Bosti Elementary School’s second-grade classes about the importance of pedestrian safety, and the best measures to take when crossing the street. 

During the workshop, the students were reminded to look both ways before crossing the street, to remain safe when crossing in front of a school bus and to wear reflective devices on their clothes when walking at night.

Floating to Conclusions


Ronkonkoma Middle School eighth-grade students enrolled in Anthony Carbonaro and Alma Campanelli’s math, science and technology courses tested their creativity and engineering skills during a recent regatta boat race on Jan. 25 at Connetquot High School.

As part of a lesson on buoyancy, the young engineers spent weeks using scientific calculations to design and construct boats out of cardboard and duct tape in hopes of crossing the high school pool.  Although some students chose to commandeer their boats in an individual fashion, they all worked in teams when creating their boats in class. 

Despite the fact that not every boat was able to stay afloat during the race,  the students enjoyed cheering one another to see which boat would make it across. 

Outstanding Citizenship

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An advocate for community safety, Sycamore Avenue Elementary School third-grader Braden Zuccaro recently worked to improve traffic safety in his neighborhood by contacting Peter Kletchka, project supervisor for the Islip Town Department of Public Works. 

As a result of this outreach, Mr. Kletchka visited the school in the Connetquot Central School District on Jan. 22 and spoke to Braden and his classmates about the process he takes into addressing citizens’ safety concerns. He also thanked Braden for his thoughtful letter, and assured him that additional representatives of the Town of Islip will visit the area of concern to see what remedies can be introduced to satisfy Braden’s safety concerns.

“You are never too young to have your concerns heard, and to make a difference,” said Sycamore School Youth and Family Services Coordinator Robyn Hoffmann. 

Café Duffield

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Duffield Elementary School’s library was recently transformed into Café Duffield for the first “Book Tasting” event held on Jan. 26, as Karen Pitka’s fourth-graders were invited to “taste” six genres, including science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy and mystery.

Each table offered a three-minute “taste,” or sampling, of a book of the student's choice. After reading their selected work, the students logged a brief menu summary including what the author did to hook the reader and if the student would recommend this particular piece of literature to others. Students then discussed their selection with the rest of the “customers” at their genre table. Before returning to their classroom, the readers picked up a bookmark, making note of their top three favorite choices throughout selection of books.

8th Grade Student Council Trip to Dave & Buster’s

A ‘Wonder’-ful Guest

A ‘Wonder’-ful Guest photo

Fifth-grade students in Colleen Malone’s and Joanna Zalewski’s classes at Bosti Elementary School recently welcomed Jeremy Dale, an impressive and inspirational young man, to talk to the students and staff members about the best-selling novel, “Wonder,” and his own life living with a craniofacial deformity.

“Wonder,” which was recently adapted into a movie, tells the story of a boy with a severe facial deformity, who faces challenges as he begins to attend regular school as a fifth-grader. 

“Like the main character in the book, Jeremy was born with facial differences,” said Mrs. Malone. “He and his mom shared his experiences about his many surgeries along with other details about his life. The students were particularly excited to hear that Jeremy had been invited to be on the set during the filming of ‘Wonder,’ and that he had the opportunity to meet many of the actors at the premier screening in Los Angeles.”

Before concluding his visit, Jeremy also spent time answering students’ questions about his life, the book “Wonder,” and his thoughts on the movie. At the end of the visit, Jeremy presented the students with Wonder-themed bookmarks. The students came away from this experience impressed by Jeremy’s resilience, enthusiasm and positive attitude. 

Developing Strong Writing Skills

Developing Strong Writing Skills photo

Eighth-graders enrolled in Erica Piacentini’s English Language Arts Skills class at Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School engaged in the structuring of a proper literary analysis essay, based on their reading of the classic novel “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. The students first wrote their own thesis statements based on the reading, and then shared their ideas with the class in a peer editing and revision activity.

Following a similar approach to writing, students from Jennifer Ripp and Shannon Valenti’s fourth-grade class at Cherokee Street Elementary School recently spent time creating their own personal and persuasive essays. After discussing the proper format of an essay utilizing the “Boxes and Bullets” method, the students were able to formulate their own thesis statements, along with the evidence required to support their information in a concise manner.

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Running from the Zombies

Running from the Zombies photo

Colorfully dressed zombies joined parents, students, teachers and staff members at Connetquot High School on Jan. 20 for the fifth annual 5K Zombie Walk, in benefit of the Connetquot Foundation for the Advancement of Children.

More than 100 attendees were ready to walk the halls of Connetquot High school 10 times to complete the 5k goal, as they did their best to evade the zombies and keep three flags attached to their belts along the way. As they walked the halls, the goal was to avoid zombies who would try to remove the participants’ flags one at a time. When all three flags were “surrendered,” the participants would be declared a zombie for 2018.

The CFAC provides financial grants to teachers and district schools to purchase equipment and supplies, and supports special assemblies and training that directly benefit the students of the district. The foundation has awarded well over $140,000 in support of school district efforts to enhance the educational opportunities for Connetquot’s children.  

January Student of the Month

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Connetquot High School sophomore Hunter Reineking was named the January ‘Student of the Month’ by the Rotary Club of Sayville.  

Rotary Club Director Chestene Coverdale announced the selection and presented the ‘Service Before Self’ certificate to Hunter at Connetquot High School in honor of his recognition. 

Congratulations to Hunter, along with and his proud family and friends, on this exciting recognition by the Rotary Club of Sayville, NY.