The IMS Connection

Volume 16, Issue 5: JANUARY 2021

IMS January 2021 Newsletter
Big picture


With a New Year comes new beginnings. This past year created an environment none of us could have anticipated, we lived history. Somehow through it all, our children have demonstrated how resilient and mature they can be, often helping us put things in perspective. Nonetheless, they are children, and it’s important to give them every chance we can to act like a child. While the immediate future keeps us on our toes, I am confident better days are Ahead.

It is important to know that Mr. Cohen and I want our students and parents to have confidence in our school environment. Feel free to share any questions or suggestions you may have with us when they arise, no need to wait.

The second semester will begin in just a few days. Children should be aware of their current achievement and grades. Viewing the Parent Portal and Gradebook is a great way to be informed on your child’s progress.

Each January we begin the budget and scheduling processes for the next school year. Parents should be on the lookout for important literature in regard to Middle School and 9th grade High School courses.

As in the past, we will not be accepting teacher or team requests. Such correspondence places students, parents, and teachers in precarious situations; however, we welcome a discussion about your child’s educational needs and any information that can help your child be successful at Islip Middle School. Please send any written correspondence directly to me. Letters are not retained from year to year, so any pertinent information/requests must be sent each year. This year’s deadline is Friday, February 1, 2021.

As always, if you have a desire for a parent conference simply call our guidance office at 631-650-8550. We can meet via the internet or by phone.

We look forward to the year ahead and wish our Islip Middle School learning community all the best of health in the New Year.

Extending healthy thoughts from a friendly distance,

Timothy P. Martin

Renaissance Rave

We want to wish everyone a happy new year!

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 this month!

Keep up your commitment and dedication; hard work pays off!

Big picture

In many of our New Year traditions there is always talk of “new year’s resolutions”, and this year should be no different. 2020 has presented each of us with a variety of challenges that many of us would like to forget, but reflection is a necessary part of growth. As I reflect on 2020, I certainly cherished, and am grateful for, the time with my family while working from home under quarantine. Also, while all this technology has been available for some time, I have been pushed to use it to connect in ways I never have. There is no doubt that 2021 will continue to throw challenges our way; however, there does appear to be the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. I consider myself an optimist, always looking for the bright side of a situation, and I can see that light.

As we enter 2021, take some time to reflect on the past year. As you do, look for the positive and make that the highlight of your year and leave the negative behind. Then take a moment to think how you will take on the New Year and what “new year’s resolutions” you can make to improve upon yourself. Some of us will opt to work for a healthier version of ourselves, others will try a new hobby, while some will try to improve their performance at school or work. Whatever you choose, set attainable goals, look for the positive, and always take time to reflect so you can evaluate and improve.

Wishing you the Happy and Healthiest New Year!

Please check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to view 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 M. Cohen


Responsibility/Perseverance… With a new year here, what steps can we take to achieve our goals? Even when things are looking bleak, “You must keep at it, someday soon your perseverance will reap rewards.” (Domenico Mazza, How to Find Your Passion)

Big picture

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

most up-to-date information.

1 Winter Recess

4 2nd Qtr. Progress Reports Posted to Portal

4 Students return from Winter Recess

11 PTA Meeting 7:00 p.m. - Zoom

12 BOE Meeting 7:30 p.m. - Zoom

18 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, District Closed

26 BOE Meeting 7:30 p.m. - Zoom

29 2nd Qtr. Marking Period Ends

*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..

Big picture

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

the most up-to-date information.

9 2nd Qtr. Report Cards Posted to Portal

9 BOE Meeting 7:30 p.m. - Zoom

14 Happy Valentine’s Day

15 - 19 School Closed—Mid Winter Recess

23 Budget Workshop/BOE Meeting 7:30 p.m. - Zoom

*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..

Big picture
Wow! We have “zoomed” into 2021. What a ride it has been!

In Social Studies, we have virtually traveled through Ancient Mesopotamia. Hang on! We now head to Ancient Egypt.

Our Science Stars have been learning about the different systems of the human body. During our current unit, students are learning about the importance of staying active to keep their bodies healthy.

Our Sixth Grade Mathematicians have explored the topics of ratios and arithmetic operations. Stay tuned for activities about rational numbers.

In ELA, as readers, students mastered literary elements and as writers, students constructed paragraphs that incorporated figurative language and new vocabulary.

Our next unit will take us onto the Corsica River in a red kayak, where the protagonist saves a little boy’s life. Make sure you have your life jackets on, as we continue to navigate through the rest of 2021!

Big picture
COVID-19 has not slowed down the Middle School Physical Education Department. As a matter of fact, it has provided an amazing opportunity to truly focus on individual fitness emphasizing cardiovascular endurance and core strengthening.

During these unprecedented times, the rules governing the gymnasium changed immensely. In order to participate in Physical Education, students needed to be socially distanced at 12 feet apart and equipment was not permitted. Therefore, personal fitness became the sole focus and mission of each lesson.

If you had the opportunity to drive by the turf fields adjacent to Union Boulevard, one would have witnessed the children of Islip engaged in our own version of a mini-fitness boot camp. Using the lines on the turf, students were socially distanced every five yards as they traversed the field performing various fitness activities. Dynamic warm-ups, form running, static stretches, calisthenics, and speed training are some of the exercises utilized. When the weather cooperated, each class participated in a legit, 20-25 minute workout.

Hopefully, parents were able to enjoy viewing these workouts that were highlighted on our Meet the Teacher video posted on Microsoft Teams. On days when inclement weather changed the routine, Physical Education classes continued to target personal fitness by participating in Rock, Paper, Scissor and Human Tic-Tac-Toe tournaments. Losing participants had to perform various fitness activities before rejoining the games. It was amazing to watch the students have fun while improving fitness levels.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish our parents and students a safe and Happy Holiday.

Big picture

I think we can all agree, it has been wonderful being back in the classroom this year. Although we cannot see their smiles, the energy and enthusiasm of our students is evident. We have been working hard to reconnect in so many ways, and are happy to share some of the magic that has been re-created through virtual and in-person instruction.

In ELA Honors, students finished a genre study on horror. They read a horror novel of their choice, 2 classic short stories, multiple non-fiction articles, and reviewed a horror movie of choice. They finished the unit with a culminating essay. Additionally, each student wrote an original mini-saga using the theme of being trapped. The story had to have 100 words or less, and will be submitted in a contest. Presently, students have started a unit on Fahrenheit 451.

Team 8 Silver Algebra students will continue to solve equations and inequalities by using the strategies like "Don't Call Me After Midnight" that we practice in class (Distribute first, Combine like terms on the same side, Move variables to one side, Add or subtract, Multiply or Divide). Students will continue to analyze word problems and they will create equations that model real life problems to solve. We encourage students to use the calculator app as they work.

In ELA 8, we are reading Avi’s "Nothing but the Truth", a fast-paced and timely novel that sparks thought provoking discussion about freedom, patriotism, and respect. Written as a documentary, the novel offers opportunities for students to take on reading roles and act out dialogue from the text. Throughout this unit, we are engaging in thoughtful conversation about truth, perception, and bias. In addition, we are analyzing crucial factors that influence our biases. As we explore these important concepts, students will ultimately determine if the notion of truth itself is absolute in nature or based on our subjective personal experiences.

Our Life Science students spent the fall months unlocking the clues to the “Fish Kill Mystery” by performing macroinvertebrate surveys, water quality tests and live goldfish experiments. Nitrogen pollution solutions were explored as we uncovered the sources of the frequent harmful algal blooms that plague our beloved Great South Bay. Students will be exploring the causes and evidence of global warming this winter as we prepare for the development of our very own restorative native swamp forest this spring. We are looking forward to working with Seatuck Environmental on this project and are hoping to get our hands dirty as we “use the past to help the future. “

In Social Studies we are wrapping up our investigation into the Industrial Revolution, Urbanization, and The Growth of Immigration at the turn of the Century. Ford, Rockefeller, JP Morgan, and Carnegie are all recognizable names from the past because these industry leaders have had a long-lasting impact on US history. Students are encouraged to take a stand on the legacy of these giants and show the reasoning of their opinions. Discussions have often brought us to current event topics about who we see as the equivalent leaders during this modern era. We are also looking into the similarities and differences of the Immigrant Experience between 1900 and today. After we return from the long awaited break, class will focus on the Progressive Era, as we will take a deep dive into the Reform Movement spending time with a variety of primary and secondary sources as we hone our CRQ skills.

Big picture
Big picture

Attention 8th Grade Students

We are collecting (8th grade students) baby pictures & first day of Kindergarten pictures for this year’s Islip Middle School Yearbook!


Please submit pictures in one of the following ways.

  1. In an envelope to your child’s advisory teacher: include both pictures in the same envelope. Please put the student’s name, advisory teacher, and cohort on the front of the envelope.
  2. Via e-mail: Please email both pictures in the same email to Please include the student’s name, advisory teacher, and cohort in the email.

Click the link to Join

“It would be great to have every family in our school join PTA,

because we can do more together than apart."


President: Nicole Muschenick

VP: Denise Nash

Treasurer: Kathy Hofmann

Secretary: Lauren Jones

~If you have any questions or would like to be an IMS PTA volunteer, please feel free to contact us at

Big picture
This year has been a stressful year indeed, not to mention the added stress of navigating a new type of learning. Acknowledging this, the middle school counselors have been posting some helpful ways to decompress and combat stress both in school and on their Microsoft Teams Pages. Prior to Thanksgiving break, counselors posted a Gratitude coloring activity for students on their Microsoft Teams pages. Research has found coloring to be a helpful method of dealing with stress. This activity asked students to assign colors for different things in their lives that they are grateful for (for example, yellow is family, blue is friends, etc...) The purpose of this activity was not just to aid in stress management, but also to help students visualize all of the wonderful things they have to be grateful for despite how difficult 2020 has been.

In order to encourage holiday spirit in a year where it may be lacking, counselors facilitated a holiday-themed Kahoot game with students during their lunch periods – and what an amazing activity it turned out to be! Kahoot is a trivia game that is played using one’s cell phone. Students sat in the auditorium, 6 feet apart, and used their own devices to play. Students were so eager and were completely engaged in the game. There was an abundance of laughter and friendly competition as grade level teams came together. This gave students an opportunity to take a moment away from the stress of their academics and engage in play. Based on the outpouring of positive feedback, there will be more to come! Kudos to Kahoot and the counseling department!

To top it all off, counselors posted self-care tips on their Microsoft Teams pages to assist students. These pointers are helpful for children and adults alike! Take a look at these helpful tips below! Let’s bring in the New Year relaxed and rejuvenated!

  • Be active! Exercise is a great stress reducer and you’ll feel good about yourself afterwards.
  • Spend time outside. Limit the amount of time you spend on social media, playing video games, or online.
  • Stay connected with those who are important to you. If you’re feeling upset, talk with a trusted adult about how you’re feeling!
  • Listen to your favorite songs. Music is a wonderful way of expressing yourself and can help improve your mood!
  • Keep yourself organized at school and at home. This may mean having to clean your room.
  • Give yourself downtime. Allow yourself some time that’s not planned. Use it to just lay down, relax, or sit quietly and calm your mind.
  • Get involved! Find activities to get involved in that make you happy. It can be anything from playing sports to practicing piano.
  • Practice gratitude. Studies show that practicing acts of gratitude can actually change the brain to focus on the positive and help you feel more at ease in times of stress or uncertainty.
  • Be sure you are getting enough rest. 8-10 hours of sleep each night is recommended.
  • Eat well. Eating a healthy diet will help ensure you have the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Winter is Here...

Should the opening of school be delayed, school canceled, or students dismissed early, families may expect a timely announcement to that effect via automated telephone message and on the following television, radio stations, and websites:


FIOS 1 News

WALK 97.5 FM

WHLI – B103 FM

WBAB – 102.3 FM

WBLI – 106.1 FM

Reminder: If school is closed or dismissed early, all after-school activities are canceled.