The IMS Connection

Volume 14, Issue 8: April 2018


Thursday, May 24th (Day 1)

Friday, May 25th (Day 2)

Big picture

Spring officially arrived on March 20th, regardless of temperature and the white fluffy stuff. We hope to be enjoying the great outdoors at recess soon. It is important for children to come to school dressed appropriately for morning arrival outside and for lunch recess.

As the weather gets nicer, it is common for students to enjoy the great outdoors after leaving school. We are asking parents to speak with children about visiting our local merchants after school and how to safely navigate Montauk Highway. Once students leave school grounds upon dismissal, they are not allowed to return and may not take late buses home.

Mr. Miltenberg has included information about NYS testing later in this newsletter. I trust this will answer most questions.

Enjoy the first days of Spring!

Renaissance Rave

Congratulations to all of our 2nd quarter Renaissance card holders. We had approximately 475 students that qualified for a Renaissance card. The last rally of the year was held March 23rd. We were able to give out over 100 prizes of various levels.

Although we held our last rally of the year, that does not mean we are done celebrating all of the hard work going on here in the Middle School. Keep up the hard work!

Big picture

If you’re reading this, that means we survived the long winter! The new weather is bringing a sense of rejuvenation as we prepare to enter the home stretch of the school year.

April’s advisory theme is Civics and Citizenship, and there’s never been a better time for our students to learn how to participate in the democratic process and how they can contribute positively to their community. Student activism seems to be at an all-time high, as student voices continue to be amplified nationally across both traditional and social media. As students come to be more aware of the power of their voices, we want them to consider how they can be a force for good.

April is also the beginning of state testing. ELA will take place on 4/12 and 4/13, and math will be 5/1 and 5/2. Please note that testing has been reduced from three days to two days this year.

If you are planning on opting your child out of state assessments, please inform us as soon as possible in writing. On state testing days, we will still have 0-period classes (band, orchestra, and chorus), but regular classes will operate according to a 2-hour delay schedule after the end of exams. (Click here to access our 2-hour delay schedule.)

During the math exam, 8th graders will work on algebra and foreign language tasks. Please follow up with your child’s teacher for more information on this.

I hope that the beginning of spring brings joy and renewal for you and your family. Please feel free to reach out via phone or e-mail with any questions or concerns. ​


Civics and Citizenship

Students will explore what it means to be a good citizen and how they can transform their community through civic engagement.

Big picture

2 - 6 School Closed - Spring Recess

10 Budget Workshop/BOE Meeting 7:30* PM, MS

11 Booster Club Meeting 7:00 PM, HS

12 Third Quarter Marking Period Ends

16 SEPTA Meeting, 6:00 PM, HS Community Room

16 IDEA Task Force Coalition 7:00 PM, HS Community Room

18 Budget Workshop/BOE Meeting 7:30* PM, MS

18 Report Cards Posted to Portal

19 Friends of the Arts/IAMP Meeting 7:30 PM, HS Community Room

26 Report Cards Posted to Portal

Big picture

1 Public Hearing on Budget 7:30 PM; followed by BOE Meeting, MS

7 Joint District PTA Meeting District Budget Presentation 7:00 PM

8 SEPTA Awards Night 7:00 PM, HS Auditorium

10 7th & 8th Grade Spring Concert 7:00 PM

10 Progress Period Ends

15 Budget Vote 6:00 AM—9:00 PM HS Gym, BOE Meeting 9:30 PM HS

15 Festival of the Arts 7:00 PM HS

16 Grade 5 to 6 Orientation 7:00 PM MS

16 Progress Reports Posted to Portal

21 National Junior Honor Society Induction 7:00 PM MS Auditorium

25 & 26 School Open

28 School Closed

29 IMS Awards Night, 7:00 PM MS Auditorium

30 Fine & Performing Arts Awards 7:00 PM MS

31 8th Grade BBQ

31 6th Grade Spring Concert 7:00 PM MS Auditorium

*Unless otherwise noted, all Board of Education meetings will begin with an Executive Session at 6:45 PM. The public business meeting portion will begin at approximately 7:30 PM.

Technology Department

Big picture

The second half of the year is in full swing in the Technology Education department. The 6th and 7th grade students are currently engaged in an array of exciting activities.

The students in Mr. Wenzel's and Mr. Smith’s 6th grade classes are currently working on Magnetic Levitation Vehicles, better known as MagLevs. The students engage in design, modeling, building, and testing of these floating, motor-propelled racers. Just a few of the things students learn about are: transportation systems, alternative energy, aerodynamics, and magnetism. Throughout the project, the students will have to manipulate certain materials in order to meet the design constraints and requirements that their project must conform with. Mr. Wenzel’s 7th graders are in the middle of a Transportation unit where they design and build Egg Crash Vehicles. Their goal is to protect the occupant (an egg) in a head-on collision.

The 7th graders in Mr. Reilly’s classes are working on a bridge-building project, which includes having the students research, design (using a program called “West Point Bridge Builder”), building, and finally, testing their design, which they make out of bass wood.


The 6th graders in Mr. Claps’s class are currently building Catapults. Each student designed, built. and tested a ping-pong ball throwing device. Students are graded by the distance and accuracy of their device. His 6th graders are also starting the MagLev project.


Since the start of the semester, Library Research students have considered issues inherent with the use of media and technology. Students have read articles on the need for pitch darkness to get a good night of sleep. They have learned that the night before any test, it is best to consume media (whether it be playing games, watching TV or YouTube) before any time is spent studying. Put another way, the last thing students should do before bed is to study and refrain from the use of any technology!

Finally, students were asked to consider how multitasking may possibly diminish their academic potential. Studies show that multitasking while completing academic work leads to spottier, more shallow work. Also, assignments take longer when learners split time between tasks and, most importantly, task-switching wears out the brain and makes learning more tiresome and less complete.

To help students realize their full academic potential, these are suggestions to avoid multitasking.

  • Keep phones, computers, and consoles out of reach. Keep a physical distance from your technology

  • Turn cell phones to silent and leave them face-down if they need to be close.

  • Take a break from technology. After homework, or once an assignment is complete, take fifteen minutes to check or respond to cell phone messages.

8th to 9th grade transition experience!

Big picture
Our new 8th to 9th Grade Transition Experience is giving our 8th graders a deeper look into what high school will be like and helping to address any questions or concerns they may have.

Students watched the introduction video created by the high school, then visited the high school to meet their assigned peer ambassador and sit in on classes. This month, peer ambassadors will visit the middle school to follow up and continue the conversation.



President – Denise Nash Vice President – Renee Ferrera

Secretary – Tina Hardekopf Treasurer – Diane Bennett


So much is going on and we need your help. We are looking forward to, and starting to plan for our end of the year BBQs. These require a lot of volunteers to help them run smoothly. BBQ's are really fun days for the kids. It is a great joy to see so many happy faces. A super fun event to be at. Parents from every grade are needed. Those interested in helping out please contact us by email.

We are also looking for a chairperson for staff appreciation in May. If you are interested please send an email! The more the merrier.

The president, vice president and treasurer positions are open next year on the MS PTA Board. This is a great opportunity to be a part of the connection with our community, parents, and our school. If you are interested or want any information please email.

Our next meeting is May 7, 2018

7 PM Middle School Library

Please join us!

Please like our Facebook page – Islip Middle School PTA

Jazz Band

Check out our IMS Jazz Band performing at our PTA meeting, led by the incomparable Mrs. Jeanes!

What Else Is Happening at IMS?

Student Government Visited Their Book Buddies at Wing

Big picture

6th Grade Climbed the Lighthouse

Big picture

"Peter Pan" Showed Us We Can Fly

Big picture