Island Trees Memorial Middle School
The Home-School Connection
February 26, 2018
I do hope you and your family had a wonderful Presidents Week. I know how hard you and your children worked in the weeks leading up to this vacation, so I trust that the time together was restful and fun.
With the tragedy of Parkland, Florida fresh in our minds, and the sadness we feel for these families in our hearts, please know that the safety of your children is at all times paramount. Always feel free to reach out to me with any questions or thoughts you may have in reference to school safety procedures and student connectedness. We will continue to seek your feedback through formal channels--Shared Decision Making, PTSA, School Safety Committee, but you are also asked to share with me your thoughts at any time. I look forward to continuing to work with you to best serve our school and community.
Please accept our special thanks to our PTSA for supporting our school's assembly on February 12th featuring Rohan Murphy. Rohan spread an important message of hope and resilience in the face of challenges. Rohan's charismatic and student-centered message was well-received by all attendees and holds the promise of deeply impacting our school.
Additionally, thank you to the many parents, students, and families who attended an amazing IT Learns event on February 12th. The great turnout illustrated our community's commitment to finding ways to best support our children in making healthy choices that promote safety and personal growth.
Our PTSA has also made it possible to arrange for an assembly program built around the documentary Screenagers. All students at ITMMS will view Screenagers on Tuesday, February 27th. Please see the film's website. Screenagers is an award-winning film that probes into the vulnerable corners of family life and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games and academics. The film offers solutions on how we can help our kids navigate the digital world.
Parents, please join us tonight (2/26) as we hold a community event which will include the film (Screenagers) and a discussion on the impact of digital media in our lives. This event will begin at 7:00 PM at ITHS.
Please take a look at the resources included below that promote more mindful screen time.
Screenagers - Community Event: 2/26 (7:00-9:00 @ ITHS)
Screenagers - Student Assembly: 2/27 (During School - ITHS Auditorium)
Shared Decision Making - 3/1 (2:45-3:30 @ ITMMS)
Girl Power in STEM: Press for Progress - 3/3 (8:30-4:30 @ Stony Brook University)
Chopped - Community Event - 3/15 (6:30 @ ITMMS)
Please take a look at the Girl Power in STEM resources outlined below. Stony Brook University is hosting a wonderful event on Saturday, March 3rd. This free event is designed to celebrate the accomplishments of women in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Registration is free but the deadline to register in Wednesday, February 28th.
As you peruse this newsletter, I would also ask that you carefully review the PTSA's Honorary Life Award nomination form as well as information related to our PTSA's Founder's Day. Your continued support of our PTSA is an integral part of the Home-School connection.
You may also be interested in one or more of the programs listed under Contests & Competitions. These competitions are beyond the curriculum but do hold the possibility of inspiring, motivating, and tapping into the areas that most interest our students.
Additionally, I would encourage you to review the Healthy Kids section of this newsletter. This section includes a number of resources that promote safe and healthy behaviors for our adolescent learners.
As always, thank you for all that you do to support our school and connect with us in so many meaningful ways.
Please enjoy this week's newsletter.
Are you unsure or uncertain when to allow your child to use a cell phone?
Do you ever grapple with your own use of digital technology?
Are you torn by the benefits of technology and the ways in which technology can distract?
Do you ever find that screens separate you from your child?
If these questions are important to you, please attend our community movie event - Screenagers. This one-hour movie will be followed by a conversation on the impact of technology in our lives.
We look forward to seeing you tonight!
Girl Power in STEM
International Women’s Day 2018 Symposium: “Girl Power in STEM: Press for Progress”
Saturday, March 3, 2018
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Simons Center for Geometry and Physics
Stony Brook University
The Girl Power in STEM: Press for Progress! symposium at Stony Brook University (SBU) on March 3, co-sponsored by Brookhaven Women in Science (BWIS), will celebrate the accomplishments of women in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Lecturers and panelists, including many from Brookhaven Lab, will discuss the impact of women in STEM careers on the work environment and on the economy and how to improve women’s participation in STEM fields. Bringing together women from academia, government, and the private sector, this event will also help up-and-coming young professionals learn about women's experiences in STEM fields.
The event marks International Women's Day, proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) as a day to champion women's rights. This year the UN celebrates taking action to promote equal opportunities at all levels and to help forge a more gender inclusive world.
Scheduled speakers and panelists from Brookhaven Lab include the Biology Department’s Crysten Blaby, Brookhaven National Lab (BNL) Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Science & Photon Sciences Jim Misewisch, and Aleida Perez of the BNL Office of Educational Programs.
Other speakers scheduled to attend include visual effects professional Carolina Jiménez Garcia, whose work can be seen in many blockbuster films including Star Trek: Beyond, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Justice League, as well as Vice President of Research Strategy at IBM Kathryn Guarini, Team Leader of Extreme Fluids team at Los Alamos National Laboratory Kathy Prestridge, Dean of the SBU College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Fotis Sotiropoulos, SBU Chief Diversity Officer Lee Bitsoi, SBU Associate Prof. of Mathematics Moira Chas, and Executive Director of Stanford University’s WISE Venture Carol Muller.
The symposium is sponsored by BWIS, SBU’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Honors Program, and SBU’s Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (GWISE) Student Society, along with the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics (SCGP), the SCGP and Stony Brook Math Department Research Training Groups grant, and the M&C Venture Group.
Registration is free and the deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 28. So don’t delay!
Chopped - Mystery Box Event
Congratulations! PTSA Food Drive Recognized by the Tribune
Levittown, NY – February 14, 2018 – Hempstead-based human service agency EAC Network was recently joined by Senator Kemp Hannon and AARP volunteers to pick up hundreds of bags of breakfast food collected from a week-long drive by students and families from the entire Island Trees School District.
Led by Island Trees PTSA Co-President and EAC Network RD/Health Educator Laura Zelenka-Dufresne, RDN, students from Island Trees High School, Island Trees Memorial Middle School, Michael F. Stokes Elementary, and J. Fred Sparke Elementary collected nutritious, non-perishable items for EAC Network’s Nutrition Education & Food Services food pantry. The food is being used to supplement breakfast meals for vulnerable Nassau County residents, people living with HIV/AIDS, and frail homebound seniors. It will help stock the pantry for months.
In Case You Missed It
PTSA Honorary Life Nomination
The Honorary Life Award is the highest recognition annually awarded by the Island Trees PTSA at the Island Trees District Dinner. This award is bestowed upon an individual who has been outstanding in his or her dedication and service to the children in our community.
Is there a person who has generously donated his/her time, talent or skill to improve or enrich the lives of the youth in our community? Do you believe this person deserves to be honored in a special way?
If you would like to nominate a member of our community who you feel is deserving of this award, please send us the name of the candidate, together with a brief summary of his or her contributions. Please be sure to sign your letter. Anonymous letters will not be considered.
Please submit your recommendations to ITPTSA Honorary Life Committee, Attention: Maureen Dieppa, firstname.lastname@example.org, by March 1, 2018.
The Honorary Life Committee will read all of the nominations and choose the candidate that has the most outstanding letter. If your letter is chosen, please make sure you are available on April 26th to read your letter at the District Dinner, where the winner will be announced.
If you have any questions, please call Maureen Dieppa at 796-6563.
PTSA Founder's Day
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Grades & the Growth Mindset for Parents
Our Hallways are Popping with Student Work
The Mission of Common Sense Media:
Common Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. We empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.
Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. We offer the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books, and music. Our Parent Concerns and Parent Blog help families understand and navigate the problems and possibilities of raising children in the digital age.
No Place for Hate
With public displays of hate on the rise, it is more important than ever for schools to commit to programs that clearly define expectations in behavior for all members of the community. Whether you are a student, educator, or family member, you have a role to play in combating bias and bullying as a means to stop the escalation of hate.
Island Trees Memorial Middle School is excited to announce our partnership with the ADL's No Place for Hate Movement. No Place for Hate is a self-directed program helping all of the stakeholders take the lead on improving and maintaining school climate so all students can thrive. To be designated No Place for Hate, a school must complete the following:
- needs assessment
- formation of a No Place for Hate committee
- signing of the Resolution of Respect
- one A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute anti-bias or bullying prevention training program (optional in some regions)
- design and implementation of three school-wide anti-bias or bullying prevention activities
We look forward to your support and ideas as we work with our students and school community to promote respect, understanding, and positive interpersonal behaviors.
Read Every Day Initiative
Read Every Day Initiative
Island Trees Memorial Middle School requires all students to have a book of their choice with them at all times. Teachers often set aside 5-10 minutes of class time to silent reading in order to promote reading stamina and skill development.
We also have students read whenever there is any downtime in class. Most importantly, teachers very often to read with their students. This has really had an impact on students reading because they see our love as well. We have had kids make quick review posters for other classmates who might need an idea of a book to read.
If You Are Looking For...
The Daily Bulletin
Did you know that our Daily Bulletin is also posted within the Parent Portal. Please take a look at this helpful resource.
Home-School Connection Newsletter
Let's Stay in Touch
Follow us @Islandtreesmms for updates on so many great events in our classrooms, playing fields and stages of Island Trees MMS.
Our middle-level students are increasingly drawn to this visual medium, and it is our goal to meet them where they are. Follow us on Instagram for a visual look at our school--from the classrooms to our concert halls.
It is our hope that this online newsletter provides important updates and serves as another strong link between home and school. Please reach out to Mr. Keegan if there are other resources that you believe would strengthen our communication.
Contests & Competitions
Please encourage your child to participate in competitions and contests that speak to his/her passions and interests.
The National Science Foundation and the National Nanotechnology Initiative are sending up the signal and asking for your help!
Students are asked to use their imagination and creativity to identify NASA Spinoff technology in their everyday world.
The contest is open to all New York State students in grades 4 – 12 who use historical records in their research projects. The deadline for entries is July 1, 2018. Three awards will be presented in the Fall of 2018.
“THE CONSTITUTION & YOU” Choose a provision of the U.S. Constitution and create a video illustrating why it's important to you.
Every Thursday at 6 PM EST, we'll announce the week's contest prompt. You have a week to submit your entry. The contest closes when we post a new prompt.