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South Grove Cultivates Kindness!

Student Writing Kindness Message

South Grove students collaborated during National Bullying Prevention Month to foster a learning environment where all students feel included, appreciated and safe. Students participated in activities throughout the month aimed at reinforcing the message of kindness. Some of the many activities included class discussions about bullying behaviors and prevention; celebrating World Smile Day with a smile song; writing and/or drawing kind and positive messages in chalk around the school building; and providing students with printed “good morning” affirmations from Student Council reps. Special events were also planned to encourage inclusivity. Peer Mediators organized a “Mix It Up” lunch when students were encouraged to sit with someone new, and the elementary students enjoyed a visit from the high school Peer Leadership club, who visited the school during recess to chat and encourage inclusive interactions. The older students left a positive, lasting impression on the younger ones, and it was made clear by the smiles and laughs shared that the day was rewarding for all.

Though the month of October is designated as National Bullying Prevention Month, the focus on kindness and creating an inclusive environment at South Grove will be maintained all year long through direct instruction, guided conversations, student activities, clubs, and other programs.  


Reminder! Schools will be closed on November 22 & 23

All schools will be closed on Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23 in observance of Thanksgiving. The District wishes our community a happy, healthy and safe holiday!

Boys Cross Country wins County Championship!

Boys Cross County Team
Congratulations to the Boys Cross Country team on winning the County Championship! This is the team's 16th championship in the last 22 years!

SHS National Athlete Commitment Day

SHS Student Athletes

Syosset High School National Athlete Commitment Day was held on Thursday November 15, 2018, when it was announced that twelve Syosset student-athletes will play sports at the collegiate level.

The District would like to congratulate the following student-athletes:

Rachel Mahler - Girls Basketball - Washington University (St. Louis)
Malini Rudra - Girls Golf - Williams College
Rebecca Korn - Girls Lacrosse - Binghamton University
Melissa Esswein - Girls Lacrosse - University of Michigan
Jack Monfort - Boys Lacrosse - Yale University 
Christian Lyons - Boys Lacrosse - Manhattan College
Anthony Celauro - Boys Lacrosse - Stonybrook University
Ryan Lebson - Boys Lacrosse - Stonybrook University
Andrew Giovinco - Boys Lacrosse - USAA
Joe Cawley - Boys Lacrosse - Stevens Institute of Technology
Matt Majoy - Wrestling - Washington & Lee University
Cameron Mayer - Baseball - Tufts University

Remarked John Calabria, Syosset High School Varsity Lacrosse Coach, “There’s nothing like the experience of being a collegiate athlete. Each of these young men and women have been leaders in their respective sports, and now it’s time to take what they’ve learned to the collegiate level and make us proud here at Syosset High School.”


Girls Cross Country Wins County Championship!

Girls Cross Country Team
Congratulations to the Girls Cross Country team, who won their 7th County Championship in a row! This is the team's 9th victory in the last 11 years.

Unity Day Celebrated at SHS

Unity Day Photo Booth
Unity is Poster
Chalk Walk

Syosset High School’s Unity Coalition hosted its second annual Unity Day on October 24th to promote school spirit, empathy, and acceptance. Several activities planned for the day centered around building connections and combating bullying.

Students wore orange to school and donned orange bracelets to show their support of Unity Day and had fun posing at the photo booth set up in the cafeteria. Student clubs decorated a sidewalk square with chalk to form a “Chalk Walk” of inspiring messages, and students added their sentiments to a “Unity is…” poster hung in the main hallway. The inspiring day sparked discussion of hope and support and sent a powerful message to the student body. 


Operation Sweet Tooth a Sweet Success!

Students sorting candy for Operation Sweet Tooth
Principal at Operation Sweet Tooth
Teachers at Operation Sweet Tooth
Students sorting candy
Students sorting candy
Students sorting candy

Village School held their annual Operation Sweet Tooth the day after Halloween. Students brought Halloween candy into school for sorting and repacking to be sent to children who are less fortunate.

The entire student body and staff engaged in the activity focused on mindfulness and community service. Fifth grader Robert Engle declared, "It is better to give than to get." 

Students worked together to sort, graph and repack the candy which was sent to organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, AHRC, the INN and Angela's House. Over 35 boxes of candy were donated! 


HBT Students Accepted to Gifted & Talented Program

Griffin Hon, Katherine Li and Maggie Liu

H.B. Thompson Middle School students Griffin Hon, Katherine Li and Maggie Liu have been accepted by the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented Students at SUNY College at Old Westbury. These students are part of an elite group of 85 students chosen from approximately 500 of the top-ranking math students on Long Island. Selection by the Institute indicates that a student is among the top one-tenth of one percent in math of all students on Long Island in his or her grade.

Students accepted into the program will spend 50 hours in class over the course of 20 Saturday mornings studying mathematical and problem-solving topics. Previous Institute graduates have gone on to win prestigious awards, including national and international math, science and engineering contests. Congratulations to Griffin, Katherine and Maggie! 

Girl's Varsity Soccer Wins Nassau AA Girls Soccer Championship!

2018 Girls Varsity Soccer Team

Congratulations to the 2018 Girls Varsity Soccer Team, who won the first ever Nassau County title in SHS girl's soccer history!

Forensics Students Win International Global Tourism Summit

Forensics Hawaii Competition

Forensics, Syosset High School’s speech and debate team, continued its successful record in public speaking with the recent win of two seniors at an all-expenses-paid international competition in Hawaii.

Diya Chadha and Malini Rudra were selected by the Hawaii Tourism Authority to represent mainland USA at the 2018 International Global Tourism Summit in Honolulu Oct. 1-3. 

High school debaters from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Hawaii and one team from New Jersey debated the resolution that the use of Artificial Intelligence in the tourism industry will improve the visitor experience. Students had to prepare and defend cases that both affirmed and negated the resolution in debates before panels of judges. 

Many of the 2,000 members of the tourism industry from 32 countries who attended the Summit watched the final round featuring the two teams with the best records from preliminary rounds of competition as Team USA, Diya and Malini, negated the resolution and defeated Team Taiwan. 

The students summed up their experience this way: “Having debated at different tournaments across the east coast, debating in Hawaii was new and very exciting. We are so glad to have met so many fantastic high school debaters from around the world. And as public speakers, we got a special kick out of having the keynote speaker at the conference be Sophia, a robot.”

Forensics coach/advisor Lydia Esslinger nominated her debate captains Diya and Malini in a letter of recommendation accompanied by the girls’ record as partners in competitions closer to home. “I always say, join Forensics, see the world,“ she said. “Although the team travels widely throughout the USA, mainlanders never compete in Hawaii. I wanted the girls to have the opportunity to visit the state farthest from us New Yorkers, engage in conversation about the increasingly important issues surrounding AI, and meet their peers from other countries. It was a wonderful experience, thanks to the generosity of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.”


Simai Deng and Haona Wu win 2nd place at Teslamania Competition

Teslamania Competition

Simai Deng and Haona Wu, members of the Syosset High School Physics Group, took 2nd place at the Teslamania Competition held on October 20th at Stony Brook University.

Teslamania is a physics demonstration competition sponsored by the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe for teachers, students, scientists and enthusiasts. The day offers opportunities to share ideas, strengthen relationships, connect with the community and celebrate physics. Modeled after a similar competition held in Europe, Teslamania has grown annually on Long Island since 2007. Remarked Mr. Slesinski, a physics teacher at the high school and the Physics Group’s advisor, “Simai and Haona did a wonderful job preparing and presenting their climbing monkey demonstration,” which was one of the highlights of the day.

The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe is a not-for-profit organization named after Nikola Tesla, the famous inventor of alternating current electricity and neon lighting. The organization was established for the purpose of developing a regional science and technology center on eastern Long Island, and offers several science programs and exhibits. 


Guilia Barbella Wins IHCC-NY Essay Contest!

Guilia Barbella

Congratulations to Syosset High School student Guilia Barbella on winning The Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of New York’s Student Essay Contest 2018.

The IHCC-NY, Inc. is now in its 42nd year of promoting, presenting and preserving Italian and Italian American culture and heritage in the Tri-State area. The student essay contest is one of a number of events highlighting Italian American women who have been trailblazers in American history, creating equality and opening new possibilities for all women. 


Ice Cream With a Mission!

Ben & Jerry
Virtual Enterprise Group Shot
Virtual Enterprise students had the opportunity to hear Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben & Jerry and native Long Islanders, speak at Adelphi University about operating a socially conscious business and the importance of maintaining a clear social mission. Students learned how the company successfully integrated social values into its business plan and saw big success as a result. Students left the event not only inspired to be socially responsible, but with free ice cream too! 

SHS Cystic Fibrosis Phone-A-Thon

Phone a thon chairs

Syosset High School students called for a cure for Cystic Fibrosis on October 9th and 10th. Students made phone calls to community members to request donations for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Approximately 90 students volunteered their time over two nights.

After completing a brief training and hearing from a speaker living with Cystic Fibrosis, students enjoyed a buffet dinner generously donated by local merchants including Frank's Gourmet Pizza and Restaurant, Christina's Epicure, Woodbury Country Deli, Gabby's Gourmet Bagelatessen, Park's Happy Farm, Messina Market, Woodbury Pizza, Butera's, Ben's Deli, and Iavarone Bros. Student Government Chairs Jordan Rosenberg and Susanna Hur organized the event under the direction of Student Government Advisors Rich Cafiero and Dale Iovine and Syosset resident Ilene Zelniker. “Each time someone gave a contribution, we celebrated and congratulated one another. Everyone had an amazing time.” remarked Jordan and Susanna in a joint statement about the event.  

About 1,000 new cases of Cystic Fibrosis are diagnosed each year, a rare genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to find a cure for this devastating disease. The fundraiser is ongoing, and students are requesting community members visit to make a donation.


Unity Day

October is National Bullying Prevention Month! One of the ways that we acknowledge we are all working to prevent bullying in our school is by wearing ORANGE on Unity Day – Wednesday, October 24th.  On this day, everyone at Baylis comes together to send one large ORANGE message of support, hope, and unity. This will show that we are united against bullying and united for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.

Kindergarten Visits Schmitt’s Farm

The kindergarten classes visited Schmitt’s Farm where the children enjoyed a bumpy wagon ride to a vegetable and pumpkin patch.  They learned how crops grow and are harvested.  They were able to pick string beans, radishes and a pumpkin to take home.  Each class left with a string bean plant, some radishes, a corn stalk and a pumpkin.  We took these crops back to our classroom for a closer look.   We talked about the properties of pumpkins both inside and out.  Some brave children even touched the inside of the pumpkin.  Our trip to Schmitt’s farm really succ-seeded our expectations!

Baylis PARP Week

The PTA organized a special week to celebrate reading at Baylis.

Every day for 15 minutes,  all students and staff participated in D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read).  All around the school Baylis was hooked in a book reading wherever they were to show the importance of reading in our lives. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, students shopped at the Scholastic Book Fair.

On Thursday students watched a musical performance, Dragons Love Tacos and Other Stories, and were amazed as their favorite stories came to life.

On Friday, everyone wore a shirt that you could read because reading is all around us!

SHS Guidance Hosts 9th Grade Parent Workshop

Guidance Counselor Presentation
The High School Guidance Department hosted their annual NINTH GRADE PARENT WORKSHOP on Wednesday, October 3, at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium.
This workshop is part of a program of events that provide parents with information that will enable them to support and assist their child effectively throughout the transition to high school. Topics such as report cards, graduation requirements, transcripts, Naviance Student, and extracurricular activities were discussed. The evening concluded with small group meetings during which parents had the opportunity to meet their child's Guidance Counselor and ask questions about the high school.

SHS PE Teacher, Coach Michael Murtha Inducted into IC Athletics Hall of Fame

Michael Murtha
Ithaca College Athletics Hall of Fame Committee inducted Syosset High School Physical Education teacher and coach Mike Murtha into the 49th Hall of Fame class. 

A two-sport athlete from 1990-94 in football and wrestling, Mike Murtha is one of just 12 three-time All-Americans in program history as a grappler. Murtha also played an integral role on the 1994 national championship wrestling team and was a running back for the 1991 national championship football program. At the time of his graduation, Murtha was just one of six student-athletes at Ithaca College to play on two national championship teams.

On the mat, Murtha compiled an overall record of 52-25 and won three ECWC championships. During the 1992-93 season, he went 25-4 and posted a perfect 12-0 regular season record in dual matches en route to a third place finish at the NCAA Championships. In his final season, Murtha was 10-3 overall and placed fifth in the country despite battling through a significant injury in Ithaca's national championship run. That 1994 wrestling squad edged Wartburg by 2.75 points (77.75 to 75) for the program's third national title. His third All-American performance came during the 1991-92 year, where he went 15-8 and placed seventh.

On the gridiron, Murtha was a captain and finished his career with 732 yards rushing and six touchdowns on 154 carries in 22 games. He also scored one receiving touchdown in his career. In 1991, Murtha rushed for 157 yards on 33 attempts in nine games and then amassed 402 yards and four scores in 1992. He would score two more touchdowns with 173 yards in his final season. 

Congratulations to Coach Murtha! 

South Grove Celebrates Constitution Day

constitution day photo

South Grove’s annual celebration of Constitution Day took place on September 17th and included many enriching and engaging activities centered around understanding a constitution and how it impacts a community. 

In preparation for the celebration, second graders wrote personal constitutions that highlighted their own values, which they “aged” by rubbing with tea bags. Music teachers visited second-grade classrooms to teach students the Preamble to the Constitution in song. Students enjoyed the musical slant to their social studies curriculum. South Grove also hosted its eighth annual Preamble Challenge, in which students in grades two through five were invited to memorize the Preamble to the United States Constitution. Over 30 students were successful in reciting the Preamble from memory!

In the culminating event, the entire school came together for a special assembly. The South Grove character education program was kicked off and this year’s Student Council was formally installed with the help of the Color Guard, Student Council Advisors, Principal Mi Jung An and the Honorable Gina M. Lopez-Summa, a judge and proud South Grove parent. A short skit performed by students and faculty illustrated why the Constitution was first created, and included brief appearances by “George Washington,” “Ben Franklin,” and an extra special guest, Grover, the school’s mascot. 

After the Student Council representatives took their oath of office, the entire student body and faculty also took an oath to South Grove. Everyone will be signing over-sized constitutions as a visible reminder of their commitment, which reads as follows: We the people of South Grove School, in order to form a more perfect community, establish a respectful environment, ensure individual responsibility, and promote the general safety and well-being of ALL citizens, do enact and establish this Constitution for South Grove School: Be respectful and Be responsible.


Congratulations to SHS Student Thalia Feeney!

Thalia Feeney
Congratulations to SHS student Thalia Feeney, who earned a score in the top 2.5% among Hispanic and Latino PSAT/NSMQT test takers in our region, making her eligible to apply for the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP). Colleges and universities use this program to identify academically exceptional Hispanic/Latino students. Thalia is currently in the process of completing the application to highlight her outstanding educational achievements to top colleges and universities. Thalia is pictured with her Guidance Counselor, Ms. Patty Haddow. 

Board of Education Congratulates National Merit Semi Finalists

National Merit Semi finalists
At the September Board meeting, the Board of Education congratulated Syosset High School seniors Ariel K. Blumenberg, Sabrina Eager, Sean S. Han, Benjamin S. Huang, Jasmine Li, Rayyan Nabi, Michael F. Wang, Lynnie Yang and Tingan Yang on being named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Competition. They are among the highest scorers in the state and nation on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. This honor is achieved by only approximately 16,000 students of the 1.6 million entrants in the nation. The semi-finalists will compete for approximately 7,500 National Merit Scholarships awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Winners will be announced this spring. The Board awarded the students with certificates in recognition of this honor. 

SHS Guidance Counselor Named Outstanding Educator by UChicago

Jennifer Melis
Jennifer Melis
Congratulations to SHS Guidance Counselor Jennifer Melis on receiving the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award. Every year, the University of Chicago gives newly admitted students the opportunity to recognize the educators who have made a difference in their lives. Justin M. Smith, SHS Class of 2018, nominated Mrs. Melis for the award, which has existed for more than three decades and highlights the stories that show education’s power to transform. In his letter announcing Mrs. Melis as a recipient, Mr. James G. Nondorf, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at The University of Chicago, congratulated Mrs. Melis and Principal Dr. Durante, stating “As an institution that prides itself on being committed to the Life of the Mind, we at the University of Chicago are heartened to see that your school fosters and supports such outstanding individuals.”

SWMS Takes Part in Naturalization Ceremony

citizen photo

South Woods Middle School students were selected by the Federal Bar Association Eastern District of the New York Chapter to participate in the Constitution Day Naturalization Ceremony held on September 17, 2018. This is an honor that has been bestowed upon only a select number of schools and the student body and staff were grateful for the opportunity to take part in the final step of the long journey to citizenship for 50 people originating from 27 different countries.

The students actively participated throughout the ceremony that took place at the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay. The Chamber Orchestra, directed by Ms. Jeanne Chung, and select Vocal Jazz Choir musicians in grades 7 and 8, directed by Ms. Emily Klonowski, performed in front of court justices, local politicians, the media, and most importantly, new citizens and their families. Students Daniel Chan, Sabrina Guo and Natalie Obedian led the Pledge of Allegiance. Several 8th graders presented the new citizens with American flags after they were sworn in, and the entire eighth grade class was invited to be part of the audience to witness the administration of the Oath of Citizenship.

In the weeks prior to the ceremony, the middle school hosted an essay contest encouraging students to write a welcome letter to the newly inducted citizens and define what it means to be an American citizen. The two winning authors, Maya Kopacz and Anika Shah, presented their essays and congratulated the new citizens. As stated by Anika, “It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, what language you speak, or what your beliefs are. As long as you work hard, you can become successful in America.” 

Master of Ceremonies, Hon. A. Kathleen Tomlinson, U.S. Magistrate Judge, Eastern District of New York, thanked the South Woods students, Principal Michelle Burget, administration and faculty, as well as Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts Michael Salzman, Ms. Chung and Ms. Klonowski for their contributions to the ceremony. 

After the ceremony, eighth grade students and teachers were granted a private tour of the main floor of Sagamore Hill, the home of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, and had the opportunity to learn about its significance and history. The day provided the students with a greater understanding of the workings of the federal courts and the duties and privileges of U.S. citizenship, and is sure to have left a lasting impression of the significance and responsibilities of being an American citizen. 


Elementary Report Card Redesign

The Syosset Central School District is excited to announce that through a collaborative effort, the Elementary-level report card has been redesigned. The new report card is aligned with the daily work in the classroom, applies a standards-based approach that focuses on individual learning, and is specific to each grade level. You can find templates of the new report cards here.

The team has created Parent Guidance Documents that outline the new design, provide an explanation of the learning standards, and detail student performance. These documents also contain valuable information to support students in their learning at home. The Parent Guidance Documents for each grade level can be found here.

The Elementary Report Card will be presented at the Syosset Council of PTA Annual Parent Workshop on October 29th (Please click here to view the flyer). In addition, Parent Guidance Documents will be reviewed at the November PTA meetings, and teachers will be focusing conversations around the new report card during the November parent/teacher conferences.

The District takes pride in the results of this collaborative work, and we are confident this will allow us to better communicate student achievement to students and families, measure learning against a standard of performance, and refine our instructional practice to best meet student needs.

Syosset Park Development Updates

Park Study
Click here for more information

Facilities Planning Information

Phase II Logo
Click here for more information about the Facilities Planning
Tuesday, November 20, 2018