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Notice of Board of Education Meeting - September 25, 2017


The September Board Briefs are now available. Please click here


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 This week, identified 36 Long Island elementary schools among the “100 Best Elementary Schools in New York State,” including all seven of Syosset’s elementary schools.’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, 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, 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. 


Welcome Back message from the Board of Education

The Board would like to welcome back all of our students, parents, faculty and staff at Syosset to a year full of incredible educational opportunities. As you return to the caring, warm and welcoming community that Syosset has always been, we remain fully committed to each and every one of you and cannot wait to see the wonderful things that will be coming out of our schools this year.

Warm regards,
Michael, Tracy, Carol, Chris, Andy, Rob, Joshua, Anna and Susan

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:


The August Board Briefs are now available, please click here

Board Briefs

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.

Syosset CSD Named No. 4 in NYS by  Pic 1
The Syosset Central School District has once again earned a top placement on’s annual list of best school districts in each state. The district ranked fourth in New York State for 2018, moving up one spot from last year.

Syosset received an overall Niche grade of A+ and achieved especially high marks in the categories of academics, teachers, clubs and activities, college prep and health and safety. The rankings were calculated 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.

In addition to the stellar Niche rating, Syosset schools have been recognized on other prominent lists. Earlier this year, Syosset High School came in at No. 24 in New York State and No. 173 nationally in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of the “Best High Schools in America” and was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon school.

“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 the dedication of our staff members in teaching and motivating students.”  

Letter to Commissioner Elia regarding Geometry Regents


Growth and Learning Continue with Syosset Summer Program

Growth and Learning Continue with Syosset Summer Program Photo

Approximately 750 students are enrolled in the 2017 Syosset School District Summer School program, which offers a wide variety of enrichment and remedial courses for students to remain active and mentally sharp while demonstrating their creativity, learning some new skills and reinforcing their knowledge in core subject areas.

Approximately 45 staff members have been involved in administering courses to Syosset students from grades K-12.  Housed at Syosset High School, summer enrichment courses cover areas such as advanced computing, art, dance, math, music, physical education, science and science research, social studies, Spanish and writing. There’s even a “Kids in the Kitchen” cooking/baking class and the unique Summer Stock program, which offers students in grades 6-12 an opportunity to hone their theatrical talents and learn all phases of play production. Summer Stock culminates with a performance in August that is open to the community. This year, the group will present "Willy Wonka Jr.” for the community on August 10 and 11 at the high school, beginning at 7:30 pm. Band and orchestral classes, as well as the dance class will also culminate with concerts for parents.

Remedial offerings cover basic skills and multi-sensory reading for elementary students; language and math for middle school students; and English, math, physical education, science and social studies courses for high school students. Driver’s education is also available.

“Syosset Summer School provides students an experience for enrichment and remediation in a setting that all children can grow from,” said Summer School Principal Chris Meyers. “The courses require students to engage in many aspects of learning while experiencing an enjoyable summer.”

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.

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!

Syosset Has 41 NYSSMA All-State Selections

Syosset Has 41 NYSSMA All-State Selections picture
South Woods MS Student Selected for Piano Showcase

Syosset School District Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts, K-12, Michael Salzman is proud to announce that 36 Syosset High School student-musicians have received 41 All-State acceptances or have been named as 2017 All-State Alternates.  The students selected to perform will do so at this year’s New York State School Music Association Winter Conference.  Syosset’s selections include three students who were accepted on two different instruments and one who was chosen for three instruments. 

“As the NYSSMA scores came in last spring, I knew that the All State numbers would be high this year,” said Salzman. “But I never expected [it to be] higher than 40. This is an incredible number of students to be recognized for their outstanding musical achievement!” Syosset High School regularly receives a high number of NYSSMA Winter Conference selections, often finishing with the most in the state. 

Additionally, Salzman announced that Christopher Zandieh, an eighth grader at South Woods Middle School, has been selected to perform in the 12th Annual NYSSMA Piano showcase to be held in conjunction with the winter conference, which will be held from Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at the Rochester Convention Center. Christopher was one of 12 winners selected from the 98 applicants. Each of the applicants earned a perfect score of 100 on a Level VI solo at last spring’s solo festivals. They then had to perform their solo piece from memory and submit a recording, which was evaluated by a committee this summer.
“Kudos to Christopher and his outstanding music teachers on this wonderful accomplishment,” added Salzman.
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, Victoria Morin, Aileen Park, Jake Quadrino, Harrison Rubin, Madison Schatz, Albert Shabaev, Brandon Sung, Callista Tse, Michael Wang, Derek Warshauer, Emily Wong and Charles, Zandieh.

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!
Thursday, September 21, 2017