The IMS Connection

Volume 17, Issue 3: November 2020

IMS Halloween Fun
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Renaissance sponsored its first ever Islip Middle School “socially distanced” Trick or Treat. In these trying times, it is very easy to forget how to be a kid, unless you are in Islip Middle School. Our middle school students were encouraged to get dressed up in their favorite Halloween costume. Both cohorts had the opportunity to share in the experience. What a blast! A big thank you to our renaissance advisors, Ms. Nyman and Ms. Ford for coordinating the two days. Our Staff was just as pumped to share in the experience and be a kid again, check out the pictures on social media. Our PTA used up a ton of phone storage capturing the video and pictures of the two day event.

The first of four progress reports have been forwarded via the Parent Portal. I hope parents are finding the information regarding grades readily available via the planner, newsletters, ConnectEd, and websites.

Student attendance: Unfortunately, this has been one of our more problematic tasks during the hybrid model of instruction. While we have received several suggestions on making it more student friendly, regrettably many of the suggestions and quick fixes add to other challenges. Nonetheless, we do want to make certain that we can correct any oversights that occur. Below are some helpful reminders.

  1. Islip Middle School reports attendance each day, period by period, to the state.
  2. Students in attendance, here at Islip Middle School, will continue to be marked present or absent by each teacher he/she has throughout the day.
  3. Students at home also have attendance recorded period by period. However, students need to check in on the portal and the teachers will verify their presence at the beginning of each class. On occasion, students will mark themselves present in the portal and the teacher marks them not participating because they were not seen, or it is an oversight for one reason or another. Sometimes, students do not check in on the portal, and they are marked absent. There are numerous possibilities for attendance not being recorded accurately.
  4. The best way for a parent to inquire about attendance in particular class is to email the classroom teacher directly. Not through the “TEAMS CHAT” function.
  5. Parents will continue to be notified about absences from classes at Islip Middle School via an automated telephone call.
  6. Lastly, parents will get a notification via email noting there is a message on the parent portal indicating virtual absences.

Recording attendance is less than ideal at Islip Middle School. However, I can assure parents that students have increased their understanding of this process greatly as indicated by the vast improvement of virtual attendance recording and verification. The students are doing a wonderful job, and any questions that arise can certainly be addressed and corrected as applicable.

November finds our CARE Club working on our annual food drive. The donations will go directly to Islip’s Food Pantry. It is an opportunity for us to truly make a difference in our community by helping our neighbors in need.

For all of our veterans who serve and have served, we extend our gratitude. November is about gratefulness in IMS, and our learning community does not run short on this character trait. As we all reflect on what we have to be thankful for, we wish our entire Middle School learning community an enjoyable Thanksgiving.

As always, feel free to contact me at

Extending healthy thoughts from a friendly distance,

Kind Regards,

Timothy P. Martin

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It is hard to believe that October has come and gone. During the month, we recognized Red Ribbon Week with videos and activities in our advisories. Student Government was unable to host their Spooktacular event this year but the students of IMS had the opportunity to dress in costume and do a little trick or treating during their lunch period.

As we welcome in the month of November, our advisory theme is empathy and gratitude. Students will be viewing videos and participating in activities to express gratitude for healthcare workers and their tireless dedication during the current pandemic. Students will also be writing thank you cards, which will be sent to healthcare workers of the local hospitals.

In November, we will be holding two school photo make-up days. Make-ups for Purple Cohort students and fully remote students with a last name beginning with the letters A-L will be held during lunch periods on November 5th. Gold Cohort students and fully remote students with a last name beginning with the letters M-Z will be during lunch periods on November 10th. We use these photos for the yearbook and our Renaissance Cards, so if you have not had your photo taken please make every effort to attend.

To all our veterans we would like to extend our gratitude for your service.

Please check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to catch photos, videos, and news about amazing things going on at IMS. Our eBoard has up-to-date info on everything you need to navigate your time at IMS, but if any questions do arise, I invite you to reach out to me via e-mail at or call me directly at (631) 650-8515.


Jason P. Cohen

Renaissance Rave

We are thrilled to bring Renaissance Excitement & Celebration of Excellence to the building!

On behalf of Renaissance, every student in the building received a pair of ear buds. Thanks for LISTENING and trying your best!

We are proud to work with Dr. Martin and Mr. Cohen to bring Halloween to the Middle School! Our students participated in a Trick or Treat Experience in the hallway! Thank you to staff members that helped hand out goodies to our students! A special shout out to Mrs. Ryder and Mrs. Kaywood for the awesome Trick or Treat Bags and Student Government for the candy donation!

Keep up the excellent work and behavior! Continue to positively add to our learning community! Please review the Renaissance Guidelines in your planner.

We look forward to the year ahead as we continue to celebrate Islip Middle School



November: Empathy and Gratitude

Focusing on empathy, we will remind ourselves that our journey together is always better when we don’t simply tolerate others who are different from us, but accept them as they are, understand their experience, and empathize with them. With Thanksgiving approaching, we will also focus on gratitude for everyday helpers and especially for our healthcare workers.

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3 Election Day / Superintendent's Conference Day - No school for Students

5 BOE Meeting, 7:30 p.m. - HS Auditorium / also will be simulcast via Zoom click below

5 Picture Make-up Day - Purple Cohort

9-13 IMS Spirit Week

10 Picture Make-up Day - Gold Cohort

11 District Closed - Veteran's Day

12 1st Qtr. Marking Period Ends

17 BOE Meeting, 7:30 p.m. - HS Auditorium / also will be simulcast via Zoom click below

23 1st Qtr. Report Cards Posted to Portal

25-27 District Closed - Thanksgiving Recess

Please re-check the district calendar prior to an event to ensure you have

the most up-to-date information.

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7 PTA Meeting 7:00 PM - MS Auditorium

8 BOE Meeting 7:30 PM* - Location TBD

13 2nd Qtr. Progress Period Ends

23 Winter Recess - School Closed through January 1, 2021

Please re-check the district calendar prior to an event to ensure you have

the most up-to-date information.

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Please send in your donations of non-perishable foods.

Items that are especially needed: NO GLASS PLEASE

Instant Potatoes

Stuffing Mix

Cranberry Sauce

Canned Yams

Canned Fruits & Vegetables

Cake and Bread Mixes


Pudding Mixes





Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday advisors will send their donations to the Health Office where they will keep track of the numbers.

Please help make this year's Food Drive the best ever!

The last day for contributions will be during advisory on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.

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Stop, Don’t Throw That Away!

Did you know that Nutella was created during a cocoa shortage following World War II? A clever pastry chef in Italy came up with the idea to stretch the limited amount of chocolate by adding hazelnuts to create today’s popular spread.

The food shortages and other difficulties seen today by the coronavirus make this type of creativity important again. “It’s an ideal time to learn about reusing food in different ways,” says D. Nierenberg, the president of Food Tank. Getting the most out of the food in your kitchen reduces the number of trips to the grocery store, saves money and can be fun too. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Reuse: Stale bread. It is easy to turn stale bread into bread crumbs. Put the stale bread in a clean dish towel and hit it with a rolling pin. Then use the crumb in pasta dishes, in meatballs or as topping for macaroni and cheese. It’s also easy to turn stale bread into croutons. Take stale bread, ¼ c butter and 2 tablespoons garlic salt. Step 1: Preheat oven to 350◦F Step 2: Remove crust from stale bread slices. Brush bread with melted butter on both sides. Cut bread into small pieces. Season with garlic salt. Arrange cubes on ungreased cookie sheets. Step 3: Bake at 350◦ F for 15 minutes until browned. Let cool. Store croutons in dry container or plastic bag.

Reuse: Stale Pita Chips. Preheat oven to 375◦F. Cut pitas into 8 wedges. Pour 4 tbs. olive oil into a bowl and add 1 clove of minced garlic, salt and pepper. Brush pita chips with olive oil and garlic mixture. Arrange pita chips on baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Repurpose: Lemon and Orange peels. Now it’s time for something sweet. Transform lemon or orange peels into citrus snacks in a few steps. Cut the peels into thin strips with scissors. Add the strips to a pot of boiling water, leaving them to simmer for 25 minutes. Remove the strips and rinse with cold water in a colander. Now fill a pot with equal parts fresh water and sugar. Bring it to a boil and add the strips for about 20 minutes until the peels look clear. Remove the peels, then toss the peels in a bowl of sugar; let them dry out and enjoy. (Excerpted from NYT article by A. K. Matthias)

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Emotional Well-Being

School counselors at Islip Middle School have continued to be very involved in student activities during the month of October!

In addition to observing Red Ribbon Week, counselors also spent some time at recess with the new sixth grade students facilitating an ice breaker activity. This activity was a game in which the students were able to find commonalities amongst themselves and their fellow classmates. This was done by the counselors asking a series of questions such as “Take a step forward if you were born in August”, “Take a step forward if you love pizza”. One sixth grade student stated, “I really liked sharing things about myself”. These questions allowed students to bond over shared interests, as the goal of these activities were to help encourage friendships and team building.

The transition to middle school can be a challenging one to begin with, but this year has brought about new challenges, such as having to stay six feet apart from fellow classmates.

Just as in previous years, the school counselors at Islip Middle School have made the emotional well-being of their students a top priority, and will continue to find new ways to help the students build confidence and work toward success at the middle school, and beyond.

Guidance now has a QR code

The counselors at Islip Middle School are so excited to be back and see all of the students’ smiling faces once again (under masks of course)!

In September, to kick off the school year, the counselors at Islip Middle School conducted class presentations to students across all grade levels. Having not had a school counselor before, the counselors helped the incoming sixth graders to understand what counselors do, how a student can request to meet with a counselor, how their counselors can help them, and much more.

For seventh and eighth grade students, counselors reintroduced themselves and reviewed what their role at Islip Middle School is, and how they can help. Throughout all grade levels, counselors discussed how they can help navigate any issues the students are experiencing, as well as helpful tips on staying organized, and how to be successful in middle school.

Be sure to check out the Teams page for your child’s counselor for a ton of helpful information and resources throughout the year. Also be sure to sign up for IMS Guidance Remind! Text @imsguidanc to 81010 for updates and information.

There are many ways your child can reach out to their counselor if needed. They can stop in guidance during lunch, send us an email, or take advantage of our brand new QR code! These codes are located in the cafeteria and guidance office at school, and a digital copy as been posted on each Team's page. Scanning the code with their phone will direct your child to a short form where they will indicate their name, their counselor’s name, and the reason they need to see their counselor.

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