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Celebrating Diwali

Celebrating Diwali photo
Village Elementary School students recently learned about Diwali. The school lobby, hallways and cafeteria were colorfully decorated and students also learned about the cultural significance of Diwali, a religious celebration associated with Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.

Last year, the Syosset Board of Education recognized Diwali as an official school holiday, making Syosset the first school district on Long Island to close its doors in observance of the holiday. School will be closed on Thursday October 19 for Diwali.

Visit to Schmitt’s Farm

The kindergarten classes at Baylis Elementary school visited Schmitt’s Farm.  Everyone enjoyed a wagon drawn ride to a vegetable and pumpkin patch.  The classes learned how crops grow and are harvested.  They were able to pick string beans, radishes and a pumpkin to take home.  Each left with a string bean plant, corn stalk and pumpkin which we took back to our classrooms for a closer inspection. We talked about the properties of pumpkins both inside and out.  Some brave children even touched the inside of the pumpkin.  A good time was had by all!!!

Happy Homecoming

Happy Homecoming photo

Syosset High School celebrated homecoming/Spirit Week in grand fashion, as six days of school spirit, thoughtfulness and Syosset PRIDE – patience, respect, integrity, dignity and empathy – culminated with a weekend highlighted by a fun-filled family carnival and a victory on the football field.

The annual Student Government Carnival raised money and awareness for numerous student clubs. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds raised during the three-day weekend event was donated to hurricane relief efforts. The week kicked off with the annual student and staff walkathon at Syosset High School, which raised money for the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County.

Students also participated in and helped run the annual Health Fair held in the Syosset High School gymnasium. Numerous stations were set up to inform the entire student body and faculty about healthy eating, fitness, and smart decision-making, among other valuable lessons.

Later in the week, students were encouraged to don school colors and other Syosset wear to show their support for the school community and its athletic teams and student-based organizations. The school week ended with the annual pep rally to cheer the fall athletic teams. The event served as the appetizer for Saturday’s varsity football game vs. East Meadow.

On the gridiron, the hometown Braves built a 27-7 halftime lead on the strength of three Alex Berland touchdown passes and a fumble return by the defense. Alex finished the day with 229 yards passing and four touchdown passes overall. Thomas Dolciotta, who ran for 46 yards, scored two of the Syosset touchdowns, one on a pass from Alex and another on the ground. The Braves defense held off a second-half East Meadow scoring surge for a 39-28 victory. 

The Syosset High School band, cheerleaders and kick line dancers entertained the audience and provided support for the home team throughout the game, with the latter two groups providing special halftime performances. The Syosset PTSA ran the concession barn, with proceeds benefitting student programs districtwide.

Thanks to everyone who came out to support the Syosset teams, the student organizations and their efforts to help others.







Seniors Named 2017 Semifinalists in Siemens Foundation Competition

Congratulations to Syosset High School seniors Jarrad Li and Rahul Parthasarathy for being named 2017 semifinalists in the Siemens Foundation Competition for Math, Science and Technology, the nation’s premier science research contest for high school students. Jarrad conducted research on safe, alternative energy at Stony Brook University, teaming with two other students from nearby high schools. Rahul worked independently at Brookhaven National Laboratory on radiation detection.

Rahul is also one of only 11 Long Island students to advance to the finalist round in the competition and the only student from this group to have worked independently. The Syosset CSD wishes him the best of luck during the remainder of the competition.

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A Walk for Unity

A Walk for Unity photo

Syosset High School kicked off Spirit Week 2017 with its annual walkathon on the campus grounds. The entire student body, teachers and school staff walked in unison to raise money and awareness for tolerance education. Proceeds from the walk were donated to the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Glen Cove. Every year the center welcomes more than 38,000 visitors to its exhibits as well as participants of its educational programs.

Syosset High School students and staff have also been raising funds for hurricane relief efforts, including a bowlathon sponsored by the Interact Club. The school’s Awareness Club and GSA are also conducting fundraisers and different club booths at this weekend’s Student Government Carnival will also donate a portion of their proceeds to hurricane relief. 

In addition to the walkathon and carnival, other highlights of Spirit Week include a health fair, pep rally and the annual Homecoming game, scheduled for 1:30 pm this Saturday.

Baylis Student Council Pajama Day

All-State Musicians

All-State Musicians photo
Syosset School District Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts, K-12, Michael Salzman recently had the opportunity to meet with Syosset High School student-musicians, who have been selected to participate in this year’s New York State School Music Association Winter Conference. This year, 34 students will participate in the All-State festival, either as active members of ensembles or as alternates, including some who were selected for multiple instruments. 

Syosset High School regularly receives a high number of NYSSMA Winter Conference selections. This year’s particpants are seen here, being congratulated by Salzman and Syosset Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante (pictured at far left, middle and front row, respectively) and orchestra teacher Stephanie Merten and band teacher Larry Larry Ballereau. Missing from the photo is choral teacher Kristin Howell.

Congratulations to Syosset High School’s 2017 NYSSMA All-State Musicians: Sami Ahn, Matthew Ardizzone, Stephanie Benedictus, Gabrielle Bieder, Sydney Chen, Josephine Chuang, Sean Han, Allison Hsu, Susanna Hur, Maxwell Izakson, Brandon Ji, Jihoon Jun, Paige Kahn, Joseph Kim, Anthony LaBarca, Thomas Lam, Hannah Lee, Subin Lee, Justin Lee, Annie Lin, Kalena Liu, Nicholas Massimo, Gabriela Mataras, Ashkan Moghaddassi, Aileen Park, Jake Quadrino, Harrison Rubin, Madison Schatz, Albert Shabaev, Brandon Sung, Callista Tse, Derek Warshauer, Emily Wong and Charles, Zandieh.
 

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All Hands on Deck for Constitution Day

To jump-start the school year in an exciting way, South Grove School infused its annual celebration of Constitution Day with many enriching and engaging activities. While the focus was mainly on second grade as part of its civics social studies unit, the entire school played a role in this special exercise.

This year the project incorporated the talents of many special-area teachers, as part of Syosset School District’s cross-cutting initiative. This initiative seeks to integrate concepts or “big ideas” across the curriculum to make learning more meaningful and relevant for students. Here are the highlights of our two-week Constitution Day program:

Second-graders participated in a lesson by enrichment specialist Michele Webb about the United States Constitution and wrote their own personal “constitution” that highlighted their values. This personal reflection was a powerful way to begin the school year. 

Music teachers pushed into the second-grade classrooms during social studies to teach second-graders the preamble to the Constitution in song. Students loved this musical touch to their social studies curriculum and seeing their music teachers in this new light. In conjunction with this, South Grove hosted its eighth annual Preamble Challenge. Students in grades two through five were encouraged to memorize the preamble to the United States Constitution. Over 30 students were successful reciting the preamble from memory. 

Students also had an opportunity to participate in a Brown Bag session during recess to learn about the judicial system from Judge Gina Summa. Over 60 students elected to participate in this informative and interesting presentation in lieu of their usual recess activities. Students enjoyed meeting this acting judge (who is also a South Grove parent) and were fascinated by her presentation.

On Sept. 18 the entire South Grove School came together for a special assembly. The school kicked off its character education program, and the 2017-2018 Student Council class representatives and officers were formally installed with the help of the school color guard, student council advisers, Judge Summa and Principal Mi Jung An. The school also introduced another special guest to students, Mascot Grover, who reinforced the importance of every student’s commitment to good character and making South Grove the best place it can be.

For many second-graders, the grand finale of this two-week initiative was when they “aged” their personal “constitutions,” using tea leaves to give the scrolls a weathered look. Teachers from the music, art, world language and physical education department pitched in to ensure that all students were successful.

Everyone had a hand in making this an exciting program for students.

View a video from the South Grove Constitution Day celebration below:

 

Village String Players Perform for Seniors, Vets

Village String Players Perform for Seniors, Vets photo
Village String Players Perform for Seniors, Vets photo 2
As in prior years, the Village Elementary School string ensemble performed for residents of The Arbors Assisted Living in Jericho prior to the end of the school year.

Students opened with the national anthem and continued with a variety of patriotic songs, show tunes and classical arrangements. Many of the residents who are military veterans showed their appreciation for the patriotic selections.
    
“It’s miraculous, the way these youngsters play,” said one Arbors resident. Following the concert, students mingled, chatted and played games with the residents and visited the facility’s koi pond.

“It was a wonderful, multi-generational experience for everyone,” said Village string teacher Linda Carrella, who directed the performance and promised the students would return again next year to perform.

Together for Peace

Together for Peace photo

Baylis Elementary School recently celebrated International Day of Peace, a day established by the United Nations to promote global unity in conjunction with the U.N. General Assembly.

This year’s theme is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”  In recognition of the day, Barbara Conover’s third-graders were invited to write poems expressing their thoughts and create posters that demonstrate what peace means to them. 

Through their social studies curriculum, students explore “Communities Around the World,” embracing and gaining an understanding and respect for other cultures. As a result, Baylis students began the school year enjoying togetherness and a smile. 

 

All Hands On Deck: South Grove Celebrates Constitution Day In A Special Way

To jump start the school year in a exciting way, South Grove infused their annual celebration of Constitution Day with many enriching and engaging activities. While the focus was on second grade as part of their civics social studies unit, the entire school played a role. This year the project incorporated the talents of many special area teachers, as part of Syosset School District’s cross-cutting initiative. This initiative seeks to integrate concepts or “big ideas” across the curriculum in order to make learning more meaningful and relevant for students. Here are the highlights of our two-week Constitution Day program:

Second graders participated in a lesson by the enrichment specialist about the United States Constitution and wrote their own personal “constitution” that highlighted their values. This personal reflection was a powerful way to begin the school year. 

Music teachers pushed into the second grade classrooms during social studies to teach second graders the Preamble to the Constitution in song. Students loved this musical touch to their social studies curriculum and seeing their music teachers in this new light.

South Grove also hosted its eighth annual Preamble Challenge. Students in grades 2 - 5 were encouraged to memorize the Preamble to the United States Constitution. Over 30 students were successful reciting the Preamble from memory. 

All interested students in grades 2 through 5 had an opportunity to participate in a Brown Bag during recess to learn about the judicial system from Judge Gina Summa. Over 60 students elected to participate in this informative and interesting presentation in lieu of their usual recess activities. Students enjoyed meeting this acting judge (and parent of a fourth grader) and were fascinated by her artifacts (the gavel was their favorite!).

On September 18th the entire South Grove School came together for a special assembly. We kicked off our character education program and the 2017-2018 Student Council Class representatives and officers were formally installed with the help of the Color Guard, Student Council Advisors, Principal An, and Judge Summa. We also had an extra special guest: Grover! 

For many second graders the grand finale of this two-week initiative was when they “aged” their personal “constitutions” by rubbing them with wet tea bags. This was a fun (and messy) activity that involved many big hands to help the little hands. Teachers from the music, art, world language, and physical education department all pitched in to to ensure that all students were successful.

All hands in made for an exciting program for students. 








Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All

Dignity for All Pic
Dignity for All Pic 2
Dignity for All Pic 3
Dignity for All Pic 4
Dignity for All Pic 5
Dignity for All Pic 6
On September 21st, Baylis School celebrated Peace Day, which was created by the United Nations in 1982. This year’s theme honors the spirit of TOGETHERNESS, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone. In recognition of this day, Mrs. Conover’s third graders were invited to write poems expressing their thoughts and create posters that demonstrate what peace means to them. 

As part of their social studies curricula, students explore “Communities Around the World,” embracing and gaining an understanding and respect for other cultures. As a result, Baylis students began the school year enjoying togetherness and a smile. 

National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists Named

National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists Named photo
National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists Named photo 2
Eight Semifinalists, 44 Commended Students Recognized

Eight Syosset High School seniors have been named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Congratulations to Nishant Bhaumik, Melinda Blumenstock, Mathew Chvasta, Bradley Greenberg, Nikhil Jhaveri, Grace Kim, Simar Kohli and Wanlin Li. 

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation awarded this distinction to approximately 16,000 high school students nationwide. The semifinalists have qualified to compete for approximately 7,500 available National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million. Finalists will be announced in February 2018, with the winners to be named in the spring. 

Semifinalists qualified by scoring among the highest in the state on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test last year, including the top 1 percent nationally. 

Additionally, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation named 44 Syosset High School seniors Commended Students in the program. These students are among 34,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT based on a national selection index and will receive Letters of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante (far left) and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tom Rogers (far right) are pictured congratulating the high school’s semifinalists. The students were also honored at the September Board of Education meeting. (also pictured).

Welcome Back

Welcome Back

Welcome Back

Welcome Back

National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Congratulations to Syosset High School seniors Nishant Bhaumik, Melinda Blumenstock, Mathew Chvasta, Bradley Greenberg, Nikhil Jhaveri, Grace Kim, Simar Kohli and Wanlin Li for being named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Competition! They are among the highest scorers in the state and nation on the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation awards approximately 7,500 National Merit scholarships worth more than $32 million. Winners will be announced this spring.

Syosset Elementary Schools All Ranked in Top 100

Syosset Elementary Schools All Ranked in Top 100 photo
For the second time in less than a month, the Syosset Central School District is being recognized by the online rating service Niche.com. This week, Niche.com identified 36 Long Island elementary schools among the “100 Best Elementary Schools in New York State,” including all seven of Syosset’s elementary schools.

Niche.com’s 2018 Best Public Elementary Schools ranking is based on analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, student-teacher ratio, student diversity, teacher quality, grade-school ratings and the overall quality of the school district. 

In August, Niche.com ranked the Syosset CSD fourth overall in New York State for 2018, moving up one spot from last year. Syosset received an overall grade of A+ based on various analyses of data from the U.S. Department of Education as well as test scores, graduation rates, college readiness, SAT/ACT scores and more. 
Last spring, Niche.com also ranked both H.B. Thompson and South Woods middle schools in the Syosset CSD in the top 10 in New York State.  

Through the years, Syosset schools have been recognized in other prominent rankings, including those conducted by U.S. News & World Report and the Washington Post, and the high school being named a National Blue Ribbon School last year. 

“While we believe that Syosset is one of New York State’s best school districts, we try to not place too much emphasis on these types of rankings,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tom Rogers. “The acknowledgment is a welcome positive reflection on our programs and practices, and it’s particularly gratifying when all of your schools are recognized.”  

A Warm Welcome for Students

A Warm Welcome for Students photo

Scenes from the opening week in Syosset CSD elementary schools.

Freshman Class Welcomed at Syosset

Freshman Class Welcomed at Syosset photo

Members of the freshman class of Syosset High School, otherwise known as the Class of 2021, were welcomed with open arms by the school principal Dr. Giovanni Durante and his staff as they were given a tour of the school, presented with their lockers and calculators, and even treated to lunch during Freshman Orientation Day, held on Aug. 28.

“Welcome to what will be the best four years of your life,” said a proud Dr. Durante during his opening remarks, in which he also talked about the many academic and extracurricular opportunities available at Syosset High School. He was followed by 2017-18 Student Government President Andrew Goldman, who beamed about the diversity of the school, also going into some detail about the more than 100 clubs available to freshmen.

“It doesn’t matter what your interest is, Syosset High School probably has a club for you,” said Andrew. “If not, we’ll work to create one for you.” 

Andrew’s remarks were followed by a brief video, which captured the positive culture at Syosset High School. The video was created by students Taylor Pacis and Darren Tyn. Following the opening assembly, Student Government leaders led freshmen on small group tours of the building. Club members also set up stations in the auxiliary gymnasium, where freshmen stopped by to pick up information and speak with them about their interests and what clubs may fit them best. 

“Truly, there is something for everyone at Syosset High School,” added Dr. Durante. “And Syosset High School is a place for everyone.”







Sharing Ideas on Superintendent’s Conference Days

Syosset Teachers Cross Disciplines, Share Ideas and go to ‘Camp’ on Superintendent’s Conference Days photo

As part of its final preparation for the 2017-18 school year, the Syosset Central School District hosted a three-day Learning Institute designed to bring teachers together to share new and innovative ways to use technology in the classroom and “crosscut” subject areas to make learning experiences truly dynamic for students this year.

Following a day filled with on-site and departmental meetings at the various schools, the district’s entire instructional staff gathered at Syosset High School for an inspirational assembly led by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tom Rogers. In his address, Dr. Rogers stated that the “why” of educators’ work must begin and end with their students. Not merely to prepare them for the colleges that will be their next step, but rather at the futures they will inhabit after.

“Our obligation is to prepare students as best we can to live successfully in that future. So that they raise families and enjoy all of the privileges of living in this wonderful country and realize all of the joys of realizing their own full potential,” said Dr. Rogers. “That’s got to be the ‘why’ that drives us, and the future that we can imagine for those students has to be the future that we prepare them for.”

Several speakers delivered inspiring messages as well, including Board of Education President Dr. Michael Cohen, Syosset Teacher’s Association President Kim Pritchard, Harry B. Thompson Middle School Principal James Kassebaum and Deputy Superintendent Adele Bovard, who served as the mistress of ceremonies for the assembly portions of the conference days. 

The assembly was followed by workshops on technology and crosscutting for teachers of all grade levels held at the high school led by 77 trained teacher facilitators. The teacher to teacher conversation focused on building knowledge about technology and cross cutting in the classroom and beginning the work of customizing lessons to use with students in the fall.  The third day of the conference featured secondary-level workshops, also held at the high school, and conducted in an EdCamp format. EdCamp is a participant-driven experience that places the teachers in charge of their own learning by allowing them to submit ideas and lead workshops on a variety of instructional topics based on their familiarity with and expertise in a given area. More than 65 EdCamp workshops were held; a large board situated in the main cafeteria was created for teachers to post their workshops after conferring with conference coordinators. Elementary teachers conducted additional crosscutting workshops at their home buildings in concert with the EdCamp. Responses to Intervention workshops were also held at H.B. Thompson during the three-day conference.

At the end of each of the final two days, teachers of all grade levels reconvened in the high school auditorium for a “share-out” in which they shared their thoughts on the different skills they learned during the workshops in which they participated, including how this would help them to amplify instruction moving forward. Teachers shared their thoughts verbally, as well as through Padlet and Twitter posts, which were shown live on a large screen in the auditorium. 

The conference days culminated with an inspirational video capturing the cohesiveness and collaborative spirit of the Syosset staff that was demonstrated during the three days — a mere snapshot of what takes place throughout the year. 

 

Syosset Seniors Attend College Boot Camp

Boot Camp photo

The Syosset High School Guidance Department held its first College Boot Camp to guide incoming seniors and help them to get a head start in the college application process.

Approximately 175 Syosset seniors signed up to attend the College Boot Camp, which offered four sessions conducted over the course of two days in August.  Counselors aided them in filling out their online Common Application for college, writing their college essays and linking their Naviance profiles to their Common Application.

“The college application process is starting earlier and has become more complex than ever before,” said Syosset High School Assistant Principal Chris Ruffini, who oversees the Guidance Department. “There are so many areas that [students] need to pay close attention to when applying so we wanted to give them an opportunity to get an early start in a relaxed environment, building up to all of the other college prep programs we offer, starting in September.” The deadline for completion of the Common Application and college essays is Nov. 1.

Naviance is a career interest tool, which enables students to use data regarding their achievements and interests to develop postsecondary plans. The Guidance Department will begin meeting with all seniors in early September to aid with the application, essays and finalize their Naviance profiles. Naviance also allows the department to provide colleges with access to the school profile, student transcripts and letters of recommendations. 

According to guidance counselor Jill Goldberg, the feedback from families whose children participated in the College Boot Camp has been positive.

“Kids said they loved it and parents were very, very thankful,” said Goldberg, who approached Ruffini with the idea of offering the camp. “This has helped to relieve some of the anxiety of the application process. Students gave up their summer mornings and they got a lot out of this.”

The Syosset High School College Boot Camp was also featured in Newsday: 
http://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/ranking-u-s-colleges-more-lists-than-ever-with-eye-on-value-1.14075548

 

Syosset Summer Stock Presents “Willy Wonka Jr.”

Syosset Summer Stock Presents “Willy Wonka Jr.” Photo

The Syosset Central School District’s Summer Stock program presented two performances of “Willy Wonka Jr.” to the community in August. Cast members also had the opportunity to perform three songs from the musical for the community at the August Board of Education meeting, where they introduced themselves and briefly touched on their roles.

“Willy Wonka Jr.” is based on the adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory. 

Syosset’s Summer Stock provides interested district students of various grade levels with the hands-on experience of putting on a theater production. The cast and crew worked under the direction of Dr. Catherine da Silva and Dina Bloomfield.

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All-National Honors Musicians Named

All-National Honors Musicians Named Photo
Three outstanding Syosset High School student musicians have been named to NAfME All-National Honors ensembles. Grace Mittleman and Eric Schess have been invited to perform with the All-National Honors Chorus, while Hannah Son was selected to play the flute in the All-National Honors Symphony Orchestra. The festival will be held in Orlando, Florida this November. Congratulations to Eric, Grace and Hannah!

Video: All Hands on Deck for Constitution Day

constitution day photo

Syosset Artists Create a Lasting Memory

Syosset Artists Create a Lasting Memory photo
The Syosset High School chapter of the National Art Honor Society was recently rewarded for its efforts to celebrate the lives of children in the Eastern African country of Tanzania through an ongoing partnership with The Memory Project. A charitable nonprofit organization, The Memory Project invites art teachers and their students to create and donate portraits to youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, violence, and extreme poverty.

Syosset students created portraits of the children of Tanzania. In return, The Memory Project put together the following video, which shows the children of Tanzania receiving these portraits. Kudos to all of the contributing students and to NAHS adviser and art teacher Demi Protonentis!
https://memoryproject.app.box.com/v/demiprotonentis/file/215743706869
Friday, October 20, 2017