The IMS Connection

Volume 14, Issue 5: January 2018
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Dear Parents/Guardians,

Happy New Year! Welcome to our all digital Newsletter. As we begin the New Year, we will no longer be mailing paper copies of our Newsletter. Instead, we will send out notices via numerous social media platforms to inform the community our newsletter is available.

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 once a week is a great way to be informed on your child’s progress.

Whether it is getting involved with the school or community, there are many activities available to help children get involved. Don’t let winter be an excuse for them to be inactive. Take a look at our website and see if there is a club for your child.

It is important to note that most interscholastic games begin at 4:00 P.M. Students should return home after the 2:24 P.M. bell and then come back at 4:00 P.M. to spectate at any sporting events. Students can not remain in the school unsupervised from 2:30-4:00 P.M. Children can take the 3:15 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. late bus only when participating in a supervised club or activity.

Each January we begin the budget and scheduling processes for next year. Parents should be on the lookout for important literature in regard to Middle School courses. The High School will be sending information to parents about 9th grade classes.

As in the past, we will not be accepting teacher or team requests. Such correspondence places students, parents, and teachers in precarious situations. 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, January 26, 2018.

We look forward to the year ahead and wish our Islip Middle School learning community all the best in the new year.

Renaissance Rave

We are gearing up to celebrate the students’ academic accomplishments for the 1st marking period.

Please be sure to have your renaissance card available for validation January 3rd – 5th. On Friday, January 12, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade validated card holders will have the opportunity to attend the first Renaissance Rally of the school year. It is sure to be an outstanding celebration including games and prizes.

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As we enter the new year, the air is filled with talk of “new year’s resolutions.” Some of us vow to start a new workout routine, others will look to begin a new hobby, while others will try to buckle down and improve their performance in school or at work. At this time, I’d like to challenge all students to adopt a new year’s resolution of their own.

Students: is there anything you’ve wanted to try but never took the plunge? Perhaps it’s playing a sport, joining a club, or taking up an instrument. Is there a problem or issue in your life that’s been bugging you but you haven’t felt ready to tackle? This could be the time to address it. Or maybe you know you could be giving that extra effort in school, but just keep putting it off? There’s no time like the present to give it a shot!

Whatever you choose, know that if you do adopt a “resolution,” you shouldn’t expect yourself to be perfect. Everyone who tries new things stumbles, makes mistakes, or encounters obstacles along the way. In my own life, I’ve adopted a number of new hobbies simply because I thought they would be fun or cool, like playing the drums or learning how to build websites. I wasn’t an expert right away, and I’m still far from a professional. But sometimes when we try something new, it’s the challenge itself that makes it fun and exciting.

If you’re not sure what your resolution should be, seek out a teacher, advisor, or guidance counselor who can help you find your course, and remember: it’s not about being perfect, it’s about getting better.

Advisory Theme of the Month:

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)

Upcoming Dates

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1 Winter Recess - School Closed

9 BOE Meeting 7:30 PM* - MS Library

15 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - School Closed

17 SEPTA Meeting 6:00 PM - HS

22 MS Sports Tryouts - Girls Basketball and Wrestling

23 BOE Meeting 7:30 PM* - WING

25 2nd Marking Period Ends

29 PTA Meeting 7:00 PM - MS Library

31 District Art Show, 6:30 PM HS

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1 Report Cards Posted to Portal

2 SEPTA Sweetheart Dance 6:30-8:30 PM

3 IDEA Task Force Coalition 7:00 PM – HS

4 Booster Club Mtg. 7:00 PM - HS

5 BOE Meeting 7:30 PM* - CRES

6 Happy Valentine’s Day

7 (Snow Date) SEPTA Sweetheart Dance

19 - 23 School Closed—Mid Winter Recess

27 Budget Workshop/BOE Mtg. 7:30 PM*- MS

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.

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NJHS and Schwäbisch Hall, Germany

Have you ever heard of Schwäbisch Hall, Germany? NJHS members have! They have begun corresponding with students from Gymnasium (their name for a school) bei St. Michael. Students were excited to receive their pen pals and read the letters and literature sent to them. Inspired by brochures sent from our overseas friends, some students are now constructing a brochure on Islip and Long Island! Plans are in the works for a Skype session!

From the Library

Our library continues to be of hub for student-centered activities. ELA and Science classes have been steady visitors for purposes of book borrowing and the completion of interactive labs, research, and multimedia project assignments.

Library Research students have started the research process, brainstorming various research topics to identify keywords and build word banks. Mrs. Ryder’s students just practiced the creation of their own search strings to ensure relevant search results for their individual research topics.

Our book collection has seen the addition of hundreds of new book titles. Our students’ favorite books include the Amulet series by Kazu Kibushi and any/all books by Raina Telgemeier, while Wonder and Dan Poblicki’s horror titles follow in popularity.

We are also pleased to offer our students and staff new magazine titles as follows:

  • Beanz explores computer science and software programming and is written for kids and adults who want to learn about and have fun with technology. This month’s issue looks at coding your Legos, the history of game controllers, etc.
  • Brainspace is written for student’s ages of 8-14. Each month Brainspace offers articles on Math, Coding, Space, History, Biology, Science, Zoology, Medicine, and Climate.
  • Brightside is a magazine written by girls for girls, ages 8-15. Each month the editors accept submissions from girls all over the world including photos, interviews, articles, recipes, crafts, journals, music, and advice curated just for girls.
  • Catster and Dogster are kid-friendly magazines devoted to helping cat and dog owners look after the health and well-being of their furry friends. Both magazines are brimming with images and articles for the reader to enjoy.
  • Strong magazine articles are written to cater to the diverse lives and interests of today’s middle school-aged girls. Strong encourages girls to pursue their dreams and to take responsibility for looking after the health of their bodies and minds.
  • Zoobooks feature a different animal with pictures, different species of that animal, educational diagrams, and facts each month. Zoobooks are wonderful for students that want to know everything possible on a particular animal.

Physical Education

The Physical Education Department was thrilled to start the year off with our Adventure Education Unit.

Our 8th Graders had the opportunity to challenge themselves through a series of activities that focused on team cooperation, trust, communication skills, and problem solving skills. Teamwork was developed by working, playing, and accomplishing goals together. Students were encouraged to participate in adventure-based learning experiences, potentially leading to group and personal growth. Opportunities for reflective processing throughout the experiences were offered to provide insightful learning that could be applied to everyday life far beyond the activities themselves.

An approach known as “Challenge by Choice” was upheld whereby students chose to what extent and to what capacity they participated in the activities offered. The culminating activities revolved around the Islip students climbing all the high and low elements in the Middle School gymnasium. It was amazing to witness so many students climb the cargo net, rock walls, and the pamper pole. Hopefully, this experience created lasting memories that will encourage our student body to explore other outdoor adventure based experiences.

In addition to our Adventure Education Unit, our students recently completed an adventure in the world of basketball. Throughout the month of December, there was a buzz of excitement emanating from the Middle School gymnasium as each Physical Education class participated in our annual Knockout Tournament. Knockout is a fun basketball game that a team or a group of friends can play as a way to increase common basketball skills such as free throw shooting, rebounding and lay-up development. The game must be played with a minimum of two players but there is no maximum amount of participants. The only equipment that is needed is a basketball hoop and two basketballs. The objective of the game is to make free throws in order to survive, while at the same time, eliminating the other players. In addition to being one of our students’ favorite activities, it is a tremendous cardiovascular workout as well.

Prior to the tournament, students developed and honed their skills by attending mini clinics focusing on the dribbling and passing as well as the skill of shooting. Following skill development, the students were divided into competitive groups to begin the tournament. Each class period, students participated in continuous knockout games in order to accumulate wins to make it to the finals. Eventually, each class crowned a champion who moved on to the final rounds played during Advisory.

The winners from each grade level were: 6th Grade - Riley Zusi & Alex Baaden; 7th Grade - Lauren Kolovich & Shawn Ryan; and 8th Grade - Ava Kurka & Michael Welton. Each winner participated in one more round to become the school knockout champion. Michael Welton fought hard and moved on to win the title. The finals will be featured in an upcoming edition of ITV. The PE staff was very impressed by the effort put forth throughout the tournament, but more importantly, completely blown away by the sportsmanship exhibited on the court.

Lastly, the Middle School Physical Education department would like to remind all students, parents, and community members that the Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart fundraiser will be held throughout the month of January. Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart is a fun and effective way to teach heart healthy living. It exposes the students to the importance of regular physical activity, good health, nutrition and volunteerism.

Each student received a sponsor sheet during the week of December 18th. Students will collect funds strictly on a volunteer basis.

If your child chose to participate, please remind your child not to go door to door for fundraising. A safer, more effective alternative would be to utilize The American Heart Association technological tools that help students raise money using email and individual student webpages. All monies will be due back to your child's Physical Education teacher no later than January 26th. All checks should be made payable to the American Heart Association.

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Team 6 Orange

The second quarter is in full swing! The 6 Orange ELA students are engrossed in the 1st book of the Deborah Ellis trilogy, The Breadwinner. The students are enjoying reading about the book’s protagonist, Parvana. Eleven-year-old Parvana is forced by circumstances to be the breadwinner for her family in a war-torn Taliban-era in Afghanistan. This realistic fiction novel blends nicely will all of the nonfiction reading going on, too.

The children have started their journey in creating a feature article. The students are excited to apply their knowledge of ancient civilizations as well as highlight what they have learned about the culture and climate of Afghanistan.

This month in Social Studies, we will be finishing our studies of the ancient civilization of Egypt. Our next journey in history will take us to Ancient China. We will be exploring the geography of the Huang He River and the achievements that have influenced our lives today.

In Science, students are finishing the Biology component and heading their way into Earth Science for the second half of the year. Students will be becoming mini meteorologists as they learn to read weather maps and identify different storm fronts heading their way.

In Math, we are going to be exploring both positive and negative numbers. We will examine how these integers are used in real world situations such as determining elevation and distance. Please remember, no matter what numbers we are working with, math is always done in pencil.

Team 8 Purple

Just a little recap of an event that happened in November. Team 8 Purple’s science classes ventured out on a “Fall Into Nature” field trip where the students enjoyed hands-on experiences dealing with our local environment.

As we move forward in 2018, in English, we will continue to focus on the idea that, “It’s All About the Thinking” and pursue that train of thought through our investigation of society as depicted through all forms of prose and poetry. The Social Studies curriculum is under construction as its focus shifts to document-based learning. The emphasis is history via different points of view and a deeper understanding of the times and reasons for events in history. You might think that reading and writing takes a little hiatus in math, but nothing can be further from the truth! In math, word problems have math embedded in them. It is not enough to know basic math and memorize formulas anymore. Reading in math is more important than ever. A revamping of the World Languages curriculum is underway to enhance further the students’ understanding of language and culture.

The sixth grade advisories spent time with the 7th and 8th grade World Language teachers as an introduction to the languages offered in Islip.

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President Denise Nash Vice President Renee Ferrara

Secretary Tina Hardekopf Treasurer Diane Bennett

Happy New Year! This school year is going by so quickly. PTA has some great assemblies planned for the students and we are looking forward to the warmer weather and the grade level barbeques that the PTA funds for the staff and students in June.

IMS PTA is doing a membership push this new year so if you have not joined, please fill out the form below and return it to school in an envelope marked “IMS PTA.” There is no volunteer commitment when joining. Your donation will directly support activities for our students.

We have a great PTA meeting planned for January 29th. Dr. Martin, Mr. Miltenberg as well as Mr. Mosca, Islip High School Principal, will be in attendance to talk about the transition from Middle School to High School. They will discuss graduation requirements, various pathways that are available to the students, and high school programs in general.

Also at the meeting, Dr. Martin and Mr. Miltenberg will continue to talk about the results from the recent Middle School survey on communication. Although this meeting is a must for 8th grade parents, all middle school parents will benefit as we will all be getting ready for high school at some point!

We hope to see you at our next meeting on January 29th at 7:00 PM in the MS library!

Please email us at with any questions.


CHECK ONE: ___________ $10 INDIVIDUAL ___________ $15 FAMILY (2 CARDS)





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

97.5 FM

WALK – 1370 AM

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.

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NJHS - Advisors Mrs. Greco and Ms. Pirkl

The “Spirit of Giving” continues with IMS’s National Junior Honor Society! On Thursday, December 14th, the members of NJHS met at Toys-R-Us to do what they call, their “Toy Run”. The members were split into four teams, allotted a budget, and given a half an hour to shop till they drop and enrich the holidays of children on Long Island. The funds to purchase these toys were raised last June at their car wash.

The donation was made to the John Theissen Children’s Foundation. This is a Long Island based organization which supports sick and under privileged children, as well as their families to defray medical expenses. In keeping with their goal of “community service”, the students were proud of their accomplishments of giving to local children, learning the value of shopping economically, and how their hard work has brought happiness not only to others, but pride and happiness to themselves.

KIC Club - Advisor Mrs. Ryder

Last month, KIC Club members planted perennial seagrasses in our front lobby garden and courtyards to improve the look of the gardens for years to come. Now our KIC students have retreated to the indoors to start up a unique fundraising project. Under the direction of Mrs. Ryder, KIC members are crafting plastic bag holders to help solve the problem of excess plastic grocery bags in and around our homes. Fabric has been measured, elastic strips have been cut, and casings have been sewn. Look for the sale of the above bags after the holiday season.

KIC will continue to collect plastic bottles for recycling for the building now that Mrs. Flynn’s students’ fundraising project is done. Students should continue to dispose of plastic bottles in bins which can be found in the library, gym, and cafeterias. The library also collects empty toner cartridges should you wish to dispose of them there.

As a reminder, KIC does not collect or recycle household batteries. Household batteries are safe for the regular garbage.

Student Government - Advisors Ms. Rooney and Ms. Sheridan

In an effort to spread good will and holiday cheer this season, the IMS Student Government created “Busy Books” for young patients at Cohen Children’s Medical Center. Additional books were donated to Amara’s Butterflies Foundation, an organization that is in partnership with Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

According to club advisor Ms. Rooney, “We hope these books will brighten a child’s stay in the hospital by keeping him or her engaged with something fun to do.” Eager to show their support, Student Government members donated unused coloring books and crayons to the cause and managed to compile hundreds of “Busy Books." Co-advisor Ms. Sheridan noted, “I was so pleased with our students’ level of enthusiasm and investment in this cause. They truly wanted to make a difference and support the children.”

On December 19th, Ms. Rooney and Ms. Sheridan delivered the “Busy Books” to Cohen Children’s Medical Center along with Islip Middle School’s principal, Dr. Martin, and assistant principal, Mr. Miltenberg.

Box Tops for Education

The IMS C.A.R.E. Club is collecting Box Tops for Education coupons. Hundreds of products have Box Top coupons, so keep us in mind when you do your shopping. Coupons can be left in the Main Office, Library, or brought to the Health Office.

Sports Physicals

The school doctor will be doing sports physicals on Friday, January 19th, by appointment only. Students must stop by the Health Office in advance to schedule an appointment. All sports paperwork is due by Wednesday, January 17th. If you have any questions, please call the Health Office at 631-650-8525.