The IMS Connection

Volume 16, Issue 4: December 2019

December 2019 Newsletter
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Dear Parents/Guardians:

Seems like just yesterday we were searching for back to school sales. Now, here we are getting ready to welcome in the new year. We want to celebrate with you, so come on down to the middle school and join in on the festivities. The children are excited to perform for our community, so stop on in. If you are available, we welcome you to attend one or both of our evening holiday performances free of charge.

This season has the middle school bustling with generosity as the community came together to help those in need. The C.A.R.E. Club collected boxes of food for our local food pantry. Thank you to all who donated to the cause.

As we enter the second marking period, we encourage all of the students to reflect on the many accomplishments of the first quarter, what has worked well, and what can be done differently.

From all of us at IMS, we hope this holiday season is filled with joy and laughter with your family and friends.

As always, feel free to contact me at

Kind regards,

Timothy P. Martin

Renaissance Rave

We want to wish everyone a Happy Holiday!

Remember to keep studying and character always counts! It’s beginning to look a lot like a Renaissance Rally, everywhere you go!!! The gifts have been purchased, the planning is well underway! We will be celebrating our 1st quarter Renaissance card holders in January. Keep up your commitment and dedication, hard work pays off!

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It’s hard to believe that the month of November is already over. The advisory theme for the month of November was empathy and gratitude and signs of this could be seen all throughout our building. The students of the Care Club did an amazing job organizing the food drive, with students in all advisories bringing in donations to help support those in need right here in our community. The members of Student Government made cards for Veterans Day. The Student Government selected local community restaurants that offered veterans free meals and dropped the cards off to them so the restaurant staff could give a card to each veteran that came in to eat. If those don’t shout empathy and gratitude I’m not sure what would.

As we now enter December and the holiday season I am sure it will seem to fly by just as quickly as November. The advisory theme for this month will be The Gift of Giving (pay it forward). There are some really wonderful advisory activities planned for the month and I believe the students of Islip Middle School will rise to the challenge and continue to display the caring, kind, and empathetic characteristics they possess, and begin to think of the ways in which they can pay it forward this holiday season.

We are now in year five of our IMS Climate and Culture Initiative. In previous years, we focused on staff culture, family/community culture and student culture; this year, we are putting the spotlight back on the IMS family/community culture and students. We have met with the PTA and our climate and culture committee looking for feedback and suggestions to enhance survey questions. We have made a few small changes and you should expect to see them in the New Year. The first time we surveyed the IMS family/community members there was an astonishing response rate of over 50%. As amazing as that was, it would be fantastic to see that number skyrocket to help us strengthen our IMS and family/community relationship.


December: Pay it Forward

During the month of December, our Advisory focus will be on paying it forward. Parents can enrich our theme by discussing topics such as, “It is important to do good deeds for people.” Repay acts of kindness by being kind to someone else rather than the person who was kind to you. This helps to spread acts of kindness to a greater range of people.

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

most up-to-date information.

5 Winter Concert Grade 6, 7:00 PM, Auditorium

10 BOE Meeting 7:30 PM* - High School Auditorium

13 2nd Qtr. Progress Period Ends

19 Winter Concert, Grades 7 & 8, 7:00 PM, Auditorium

20 MS Progress Reports Posted to Portal

23 Winter Recess - School Closed through January 3, 2020

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

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

most up-to-date information

1-3 Winter Recess

6 Students return from Winter Recess

13 MS PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m., MS Library

14 BOE Meeting 7:30 p.m., MS Auditorium & Library

20 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, District Closed

23 MS Musical "Frozen Jr." 7:00 p.m., MS Auditorium

24 MS Musical "Frozen Jr." 7:00 p.m., MS Auditorium

25 MS Musical "Frozen Jr." 2:00 p.m., MS Auditorium

28 BOE Meeting 7:30 p.m., CRES

29 2nd Marking Period Ends

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

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The 7 Red team is full STEAM ahead for the 2019-20 school year!

In Mr. DeBatt’s science class, the students are exploring the properties of matter with a focus on density and buoyancy. Mr. DeBatt is excited to begin a chemical reactions unit in the near future, which will include many exciting hands-on labs and activities.

In Mr. Ackermann’s and Ms. Sinkusky’s Pre-Algebra classes, the students just began their polynomial unit, which will prepare them for solving equations for the month of December. Every month brings the students one-step closer to the eighth grade Algebra Regents.

In Social Studies with Mr. Pedersen, students are exploring origins of the thirteen colonies and subsequent events that led to the birth of our great Nation, while focusing on source documents related to our core values of freedom and democracy.

In Spanish, Mrs. LaBella’s and Mrs. Ford’s students are learning how to make cultural comparisons. During the month of October, students compared the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead with the American holiday Halloween.

In English with Mr. Cox and Mr. Taff, the students have been reading various genres closely and actively. This is a skill that is hoped to carry across the curricula and throughout the students’ academic careers. Also, the students have and will continue to analyze authors’ use of elements in literature, their interactions, as well as their relevance to non-fiction and the real world.

Certainly, Team 7 Red is optimistic about having a fantastic experience.

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Our mathematicians have conquered ratios and rates in our first unit. The brainpower utilized during this unit was outstanding! Currently, our students are exploring the understanding of the four operations as they study division of whole numbers, dividing by a fraction and operations in multi digit decimals. This expanded understanding will help tackle our third unit of rational numbers. Keep up the great work with classwork, homework, and spirals!

In Science, our students have finished up learning about plant and animal cells and are now taking a tour of the systems of the human body. Learning about the human body is a great way to discuss ways to keep themselves healthy. This unit will continue through the New Year. Students will be taking a mid-term at the end of January.

In Social Studies we are finishing our unit on Mesopotamia. The students became scribes and created examples of cuneiform. In Ancient Egypt students will be learning how the civilization was the gift of the Nile River!

Our young publishers will be working on a feature article in ELA class. These feature articles will be based upon a unit of study from their Social Studies class.

Please check and sign your child’s planner every night and replenish supplies!

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Art is off to a whirlwind start this year! It’s hard to believe that we are already in the 2nd quarter of the school year! Your Art teachers this year are Meghan Shelton and Marie LaBella. We have enjoyed getting to work with your students this year and are excited for what’s to come! We are working to have students learn different art styles, techniques, participate in partner and group discussion, and just enjoy the art-making process. All students taking Art this year have sketch books along with their projects which allows them to work and process what they’re doing.

6th Grade Art

It has been so much fun meeting our newest students to IMS and creating with them! Students are wrapping up their Folk-Art cut paper project where they gathered background information on Molas to inspire their design. A Mola is a traditional textile craft made from layers of colored fabric that are stitched and cut to create a final piece. Students used their new knowledge of traditional Mola designs with vibrant colors, concepts, and patterns.

Students are learning how to capture a moment and tell a story through artwork. Students are working hard to try new things and learn new skills. They are heading into Still life drawing before wrapping up their quarter with painting! As a reminder, 6th grade has Art for 2 quarters so as this quarter ends, 6th graders will be changing their specials. We can’t wait to meet our new artists at the end of January!

8th Grade

Our 8th grade artists have been working hard since day one! They began with Sketch books and designing their portfolios. Now students are wrapping up their Sugar skull project and heading into learning new drawing techniques. For their Sugar skull project, students learned about the different aspects of the holiday, Dia de Los Muertos along with the origins of the sugar skull and the new concepts of sugar skulls throughout different cultures. Students used this new knowledge to draw inspiration from and create a sugar skull design that was unique to them, bringing together their ideas and style with traditional elements. 8th grade Art is all year, and students will start to dive into three dimensional art and painting.

Art Club

Art Club is growing and thriving! We have started Art club by getting to know each other and coming up with our goals for the year. Students are currently learning about paper maché! Fun fact, paper maché actually means chewed paper in French! Don’t worry though, no one is chewing paper here. The concept of paper maché is using strips of paper or paper pulp with an adhesive like glue or wheat paste to be layered together to create a three dimensional sculpture. Students are in the design phase of this process and will start creating their sculptures in the weeks to come. After our paper maché sculptures we have a long list of exciting projects we’d like to try!

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During the month of November, the School Counseling Department went into the 7th grade English classes to participate in a career activity. Although there are many years before your child has to make a career choice, it is never too early to start looking for clues that will lead him/her to a possible future career!

To that end, each student was given their own personal account through the Naviance Career computer program. By using Naviance, students completed a career interest inventory called Strength Explorer to determine their unique strengths and interests. At the conclusion of the inventory, each student discovered their top three personality themes based on their responses. These themes can help students make connections between their interests and the world of work.

Naviance will be a valuable resource for your child as they continue their college and career exploration. Throughout their year at Islip, students will continue to take interest inventories to determine their likes and dislikes and make connections between their interests and the world of work. This information will build an electronic portfolio that will display their strengths and interests as they plan post-secondary options.

Click on the PDF below to learn more information on Naviance.


President—Jennifer Sanders Vice President—Colleen Kurka

Secretary—Jean De Lucca Treasurer—Denise Nash

The Middle School PTA would like to thank everyone that participated in our Yankee Candle fundraiser!!

Join us December 11th at Blaze Pizza, right outside the mall 5:00-9:30pm. Just present your flyer to Blaze Pizza and they will donate 20% back to the MS PTA!! Flyers will be sent home the week of the event. Grab a quick bite to eat while you are out holiday shopping..

Our next PTA Meeting will be January 13th, 7:00 p.m. in the library. If you have any questions or would like to be an IMS PTA volunteer, please feel free to contact us at

IMS PTA wishes you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season.


Jennifer Sanders, IMS PTA President
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Readers beware, there is a lot of construction going on in the library!

Students are building ferris wheels, lunar modules, trucks and buildings using Keva and plastic gears, magnets and tiles to make their individual visions come alive. In their free time, lunch students from KIC are also recycling magazines to create baskets and bowls as gifts while still other students continue to work on the community puzzle or play games on and offline after schoolwork gets done.

In Library Research students are presently composing personal social media profiles. Students have learned that creative emails and passwords are their first line of defense to protect their online identities.

KIC students should be very proud of themselves; Mrs. Kaywood and Ms. Ryder certainly are. The students winterized the Middle School building front native garden by laying down over hundred and twenty feet of mulch so the plants will keep warm over the winter. The students then hauled over three hundred feet of mulch and soil and rocks, with the help of Mrs. Mills' Science & Nature Club children, to prepare for a new native garden in the courtyard: a garden that will feature plants that attract imperiled monarchs and bees, providing them with a safe haven for the future here in IMS.

View a few of our pictures below!


The Historical Society of Islip Hamlet will be hosting its 26th annual Holiday House Tour on Sunday, December 8, 2019 (rain, shine, snow), from 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Several historically and/or architecturally interesting homes will be decorated for the holidays as tour guides in Victorian dress greet you at each home.

The reception, which is held at one of Islip’s historic churches, includes live entertainment, refreshments, a Chinese auction and a 50/50 raffle.

They will, again, be collecting toys for the USMC ‘Toys-for-Tots’ campaign. If you choose to donate please donate a new, unwrapped toy.

Tickets are on sale, at Nook & Cranny, 469 Main St., Islip, (631) 277-7600 {cash or check only}; Ticket donations are $25/ adult (16 yrs. of age or older) and are non-refundable.