here for the current South Country School District Calendar.
Please note, the Calendar is subject to change, so please check the South Country School District's website for updates during the school year.
Courtesy of the South Country School District
Kindergartner Wins 1st Place at Brookhaven National Lab Science Fair
Staff and students at Verne Critz Elementary have good reason to be very
proud. Charlotte Keyes, a kindergartener in Mrs. Montick’s class was
recently named a first-place winner at the Brookhaven National Laboratory
Charlotte’s science project titled, "Fast Foods," was inspired by her mother’s love of running. “My mom runs a lot and is running a really big race in May,” said Charlotte. For her project, Charlotte analyzed what type of food would “make her fast." She ate four different types of food for dinner and then ran around the whole school field, timing each trial to see which meal would give her the fuel needed to run her fastest time. She tried pizza, pasta, chicken with potatoes and broccoli with rice. Based on her analysis, Charlotte exclaimed, “It was PASTA! PASTA made me run the fastest! She then sighed, “Pizza—not so good. I love pizza, so it’s too bad.” Yes, Charlotte, that is too bad.
Asked how she felt to receive such accolades for her hard work, Charlotte replied, “I felt like singing “Everything is Awesome” but I couldn’t in front of everyone." We know how you feel, Charlotte. We all think YOU are pretty awesome. Congratulations, Charlotte Keyes!
Grand Opening of Family Engagement Center
On Friday, April 8th, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani, was joined
by the South Country Board of Education and other elected officials to cut
the ribbon for the grand opening of the new South Country Family Engagement
Center. On hand for the event were New York State Assemblyman Dean Murray,
Suffolk County Legislators Kate Browning and Rob Calarco, Brookhaven Town
Councilman Neil Foley, along with South Country Administrators and
representatives from State Senator Thomas Croci’s office and South Country
With the belief that raising the 21st century child is a shared responsibility, the Family Engagement Center was established around the principle that when families, communities and schools work together, students are more successful and the entire community benefits. Following an introductory presentation by Family Engagement Coordinators Rosa Kalomiris and Leck Nhotsoubanh, guests were given a tour of the newly renovated building, equipped with Wi-Fi, white boards, new computers, new ceilings, rugs and lighting. The center is furnished with modular tables on wheels to allow for multi-purpose usage, such as a lecture hall, smaller group learning or a circle for a community forum. The center also contains space for professional development during the school day.
"Our Family Engagement Center is full of potential," stated Mrs. Kalomiris. The center is now open three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3-4:30 p.m. and will offer a variety of resources for students and families, such as homework help and parent workshops, in a continuing effort to build partnerships to increase student achievement.
Frank P. Long Science and Art Fair
Congratulations to the Frank P. Long Science Fair winners! The students individually demonstrated various experiments using the scientific method on display boards. Many attendees enjoyed learning from the experiments and appreciated the student art that donned the hallways of the school. The four Science Fair contest winners are pictured below with their projects. They are clockwise from top left: Emily Verticchio, Frankie Felice, Max Yablon and Kaitlyn Foley.
Read Around the World
Brookhaven Elementary School’s Emergent Bilingual Leadership Team (E.B.L.T.)
in partnership with Brookhaven Free Library and CUNY-NYSIEB held its first
annual Read around the World event on Thursday, March 11th.
The event was inspired from information collected from a parent survey where it was reported that Brookhaven families represented more than 29 countries around the world!
To celebrate this unique diversity, Brookhaven Elementary, along with various members of our local and district community came in and read a story from their culture and shared something about their family’s heritage.
Brookhaven Elementary was one of ten schools selected statewide and the only school on Long Island to receive a professional development grant to partner with CUNY-NYSIEB (New York State Initiative on Emergent Bilinguals).
Bellport High School Stays Awake for HELP Suffolk
High School students being encouraged to stay up all night? That’s exactly
what happened at Bellport High School on March 5th, 2016 – except this time
it wasn’t for homework.
As part of their entry into Optimum’s Community Charity Champions Challenge, the High School Student Council organized a “Stay Awake a-Thon” where students tirelessly raised money for HELP Suffolk, a temporary housing facility located in the South Country School District. Students were asked to raise at least $100 to participate in the event; 40 students accomplished the goal, many raising much more than was required. Altogether, over $3,000 was raised for the organization. “It was a success due to everyone’s willingness to stay up for a good cause,” said Senior Marisa Rupolo, an executive officer of StuCo.
Not only did the students take part in a charitable act, but they had fun doing it! “I was so excited the whole time,” Senior Linnzi Hossein-Sarro said. “We played volleyball for many hours – like eight straight hours.” Other activities included Dance, Dance Revolution, basketball, Twister, playing with a parachute and karaoke.
“We had a squirt bottle that we went around with squirting people who were falling asleep,” Senior Joshuah Cohen, the Vice President of Student Council, added. Senior Jaye Bookhart said, “If you spend the night with anyone – straight hours – you create a bond like no other. I made a lot of new friends with people I’ve never spoken to before.”
Bellport High School is one of only eight schools selected to be a part of the Optimum Community Challenge. Brookhaven Town Councilman Loguercio and a representative of Optimum came to the event and awarded HELP Suffolk with a $1,000 check on behalf of the Bellport High School Student Council to benefit the organization as a start to Bellport’s fundraising campaign. StuCo is now planning a 5k to further raise money for HELP Suffolk. The 5k will be held on May 15th, 2016 in Brookhaven. Registration will be available online or on the day of the race.
Bringing History to Life
grade students in Mrs. Kwiatkoski and Mrs. Negri’s class at Frank P. Long
School completed a unit of study called “Bringing History to Life.” Each
student created their own book about the Revolutionary War. Students
researched their topic and included a variety of writing genres in their
books. Upon completion, parents and invited guests came to the classroom to
celebrate these wonderful authors. Students and guests participated in a
gallery walk, leaving compliments for each author. Blank books were donated
through a grant, by Donor’s Choose.
The Doggie Reading Club
The “Doggie Reading Club,” a specialized program designed to help children develop their reading skills, opened to an exciting kick-off at Frank P Long Intermediate School. Every other week, students in Miss Deery’s and Miss Powell’s classes at Frank P. Long Intermediate School are visited by their “class dog”, Malibu, who is treated to some reading time by the students. Part of the Patchogue Rotary Animal Assisted Therapy, the program helps each child gain confidence in his/her spoken voice and encourages a good feeling about reading. The students love reading to their new friend and Malibu seems to enjoy it too!
24® Challenge Math Tournament Champions
at Frank P. Long Intermediate School brought their math skills to the table
at the 10th Annual 24® Game Night Tournament held on January 28th. The
intense tournament, organized around the 24® Game mathematics teaching tool,
involves parents and families in the goal to raise mathematics achievement
among students. With fast-moving calculations and pattern recognition, these
outstanding math champs displayed their sharp abilities and revealed that
hard work and practice is fun and rewarding. Congratulations to the 24®
Tournament 2016 Champions, Sara Cornacchiulo and Austin Sullivan. Kudos to
all for a spectacular competition!
Pictured above: Participants in the Game Night Tournament
Pictured right, left to right: Tournament Champion Sara Cornacchiulo, Teacher Mrs. Nabi, Asst Principal Mrs. Ulberg and tournament champion Austin Sullivan.
Brookhaven and Verne W Critz Students Participate in “Hour of Code”
in Verne W. Critz and Brookhaven Elementary Schools celebrated Computer
Science Week by participating in an "Hour of Code" in their computer classes
this past month.
The "Hour of Code" is a global movement that reaches out to millions of students across 180+ countries. The program features a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to explain code and show that anybody can learn the basics. Code.org provides teacher training and student lessons in one hour tutorials in over 40 languages enabling anyone from ages 4 to 104 to learn code.
The course features video lectures by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg as well as familiar characters from popular games such as Angry Birds. Using a blended learning model children learn basic computer programming. Students practice skills related to logic and problem solving through computer based learning and puzzles as well as "unplugged" activities.
The "Hour of Code" gave our students an opportunity to create games, apps and programs while providing foundational skills in computer science and technology.
Eight Bellport High School Musicians Selected For 2015 All-County Performing Ensembles
Eight Bellport High School musicians were chosen to participate in the 2015
High School All-County Music Festival. The Suffolk Chapter of the New York
State Council of Administrators of Music Education (NYSCAME) and the Suffolk
Music Educators’ Association (SCMEA) sponsor this event jointly.
Bellport has representatives in four performing groups, the All-County Mixed Chorus, Women’s Chorus, Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra. Over 14 hours of rehearsals will culminate in a concert performance at Huntington High School on Friday, November 20, 2015.
Selections were made based upon each student’s NYSSMA Solo Festival rating and nominations submitted by school music teachers last June. This festival recognizes Suffolk’s most accomplished high school music students in grades 11 and 12. Representing Bellport High School are:
Edward Adler, Clarinet - Symphonic Band
Ashley Berrell, Trombone - Symphonic Band
Deanna DiMartino, Alto II - Women’s Chorus
Shannon Gibbons, Alto II - Women’s Chorus
Natalie Maida, Alto II - Mixed Chorus
Rachel Milia, French Horn - Symphony Orchestra
Lili Salcedo-Watson, Cello - Symphony Orchestra
Laurel Zimlinghaus, Clarinet - Symphony Orchestra
The music department is very proud to have Edward, Ashley, Deanna, Shannon, Natalie, Rachel, Lili and Laurel represent Bellport High School and the South Country Central School District at this highly celebrated event!
Brookhaven Elementary School Celebrates “Soctober”
by YouTube star, Kid President, the third grade classes at Brookhaven
Elementary School sponsored a “Soctober” sock drive to help others in the
community. During the month of October, students and staff worked together
and collected over 542 pairs of new socks, which will be donated to the
Light House Mission in Bellport. A special thank you to all staff, students
and their families for helping us to help others in our community! Together
we can make a difference!
Senator Croci Secures Funding for South Country School District
York State Senator, Thomas Croci, joined with South Country School District
Board of Education President Chris Picini and Superintendent of Schools Dr.
Joseph Giani, in announcing an additional $35,000 in unrestricted state aid
funding for the District. The additional funding secured by Senator Croci,
will be used for the addition of Teacher Leaders to the district’s
instructional program. Student resources, supplies and the STEM and
Humanities programs will also benefit from the funding. “The District is
grateful for this much needed funding and extends their sincere thanks to
Senator Croci for his tireless efforts in support of education” said Dr.
Pictured left to right: Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani, State Senator Thomas Croci and Board of Education President, Chris Picini
Bellport High School Culinary Arts Program Caters Event
from the Bellport High School Culinary Arts Program recently catered the
Fall 2015 College Fair at Bellport High School. The event provided a
wonderful opportunity for our culinary students to showcase their skills and
was a big hit, especially with the College Admission Counselors, who are
looking forward to returning again for an encore presentation!
Pictured left to right: Ms. Glasshagel, Caitlin Linbrunner, Brandon Garzon, Jennifer Masache, Mrs. Masem, Kelsey Nogueras, Crystal Fernandez, Yicel Moreon, Eyvi Guillen, Aryana Henriques and Steven Laney
Emergent Bilingual Leadership Team Sponsors Staff Development Day
The Emergent Bilingual Leadership Team sponsored Staff Development Day at Brookhaven Elementary School. The Brookhaven team is a recipient of a professional grant from the CUNY-NYSIEB network. The overall goal of the grant is to improve program and practices for emergent bilinguals in schools as well as understand that bilingualism is a resource in education and to promote school wide ecology of multilingualism. Members of the Brookhaven Faculty along with staff from the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan presented information to faculty on how to support the learning needs of emergent bilingual students.
Three Bellport High School Musicians Selected for 2015 All-State Performing Ensembles at NYSSMA All-State Festival
The selection committees for the 2015 New York State School Music Association Winter Conference have chosen three Bellport High School musicians to perform at this year’s NYSSMA All-State Music Festival. The festival, which is part of the NYSSMA Winter Conference, will take place in Rochester, NY, beginning Thursday, December 3 and ending Sunday, December 6. Two days of concert performances will be held at the renowned Eastman Theater of the Eastman School of Music.
Each of these students received a perfect score (A+, 100) from state adjudicators on their solo performances at last spring’s NYSSMA Solo Festival held at William Floyd High School, on April 17 and 18.
Bellport High School’s All-State musicians include:
Deanna DeMartino, Alto II - Mixed Chorus
Natalie Maida, Alto II - Mixed Chorus
Natalie Maida, Jazz Alto Voice - Vocal Jazz
Lili Salcedo-Watson, Cello - Orchestra (alt.)
Each student was notified of their acceptance to the All-State Music
Conference by mail in late August. They are one of 900 NYS student musicians
selected to perform in one of the eight prestigious All-State performing
ensembles. This represents a remarkable achievement, as there were over
6,500 students that auditioned statewide for a position in the All-State
Music Festival. Performing ensembles include the All-State Band, Wind
Ensemble, Mixed Chorus, Women’s Chorus, Symphony Orchestra, String
Orchestra, Instrumental and Vocal Jazz Ensemble. South Country had 10 high
school students audition for All-State last spring.
The music department is very proud to have Deanna, Natalie and Lili represent Bellport High School and the South Country Central School District at this highly celebrated event!
South Country Central School District Summer Learning Collaborative Teachers, Authors, Parents and Children
For three weeks this past July, elementary students were invited to attend
the Summer Reading Intervention program as part of the “First Summer Learning
Collaborative: Teachers, Parent and Authors”. This institute brought
Country Central School District teachers and Long Island University graduate
students who, as certified teachers, were completing their Literacy field
their specialized study in literacy at the Master’s level. Teachers worked
together in their classrooms collaborating, reflecting and learning together
they supported students in improving their reading and writing skills in a
group environment. Teachers facilitated students in their literacy learning
further refined their own practice of teaching literacy.
As part of the collaborative, teachers studied and practiced a peer coaching model with the Long Island University graduate students and with their South Country Central School District colleagues. Teachers examined and refined their practice around teaching elements of the reading/writing workshop and also created toolkits for literacy instruction that will be incorporated into classroom instruction. Teachers focused their time on assessing students’ reading and writing skills, while targeting their individualized needs with the benefit of a peer, to help reflect on students’ progress and accelerate learning for all learners involved in our Summer Learning Collaborative.
Authors and presenters Barb Golub and Stacey Shubitz, leaders in the field of literacy, engaged in valuable conversations and modeled literacy strategies for our teacher participants. Barb Golub presented work around Jennifer Serravallo’s book, The Reading Strategies Book, a book all K-6 teachers will use as a reference in their literacy instruction this school year. Ms. Golub conducted a lab-site where teachers watched her demonstrate a lesson with a class and then modeled small group instruction based on students’ strengths and needs. Teachers had time to practice the strategies that were modeled throughout the week in small group and then received feedback from other teachers in the peer coaching model.
Teachers developed three different presentations or workshops for parents on ways to support their children’s literacy development at home and engaged parents in practicing these strategies with their child. The first parent workshop was created by teachers to share with parents different aspects of balanced literacy, which is the approach to literacy instruction their children engage in at school. The second parent workshop consisted of “make and take” stations where parents could learn about literacy strategies and then make “tools” to use with their child at home. The final parent workshop was even more interactive where parents were invited to attend with their child to participate in different literacy stations created by the teachers. Teachers demonstrated strategies and then provided time for parents to practice with their children as teachers supported them in the practices. A fun, enlightening, and valuable learning experience was had by all.
Children were at the center of the minds and hearts of each and every teacher during the Summer Learning Collaborative. While their parents were learning about literacy during the first two workshops, the children were having lunch and engaging in literacy activities with the teachers from LIU. Children spent two and a half hours each day, four days a week for the three weeks learning how to improve their writing, by writing a narrative from beginning, middle to end. Children proudly celebrated their published work in a white hard cover book on the final day. In addition to writing, students worked in small groups on reading strategies and improved their reading skills by thinking like a writer, connecting their own writing with the many “mentor” authors they read from during the reading instruction. On the final day of the Summer Reading Intervention program, students were able to choose from books to read for the remainder of the summer. The books were donated by the book fairies and provided a resource to all children who participated to use the goals that they set for their own summer reading.
Street Elementary School
W. Critz Elementary School
P. Long Intermediate School
Country School District Administrative Offices
The above internet links direct to websites of the South Country Central School District. Photos courtesy of South Country Schools.