Happy New Year – good health and happiness in 2014!

To further ensure and practice school safety, in the week(s) ahead we plan to complete another lockdown drill. The date and time of the drill will be shared with students and faculty as we need to be prepared on all occasions to transition and be prepared for a building drill. As in the past, such drills have minimum impact on the day and should only last for 10-15 minutes of a period. All teachers and staff members have been informed of appropriate protocols and actions to take during such drills and in the event of an actual lockdown. Furthermore, teachers are currently reviewing in all classes safe sites and related protocols to follow in a lockdown. We plan to conduct additional fire drills as well as another off-campus drill in the spring.

By the time you receive and have read this newsletter, the second quarter (first semester) has come to a conclusion. Please expect second quarter report cards to be posted on the Parent Portal on/about February 7th. Please review report cards with your child where you can assess your child’s academic growth as well as commentary from your child’s teachers to best assist and guide you in working with your child at home. As always, we welcome you to schedule either cluster meetings with your child’s teachers through your child’s guidance counselor or feel free to either email or call your child’s subject specific teacher directly to schedule a meeting to review your child’s work, progress, achievement as well as seek direction and guidance to further support your child’s academic development. In the event you still need to develop an account to access the Parent Portal, please contact Mr. Ryan Case, The Director of Educational Technology by email rcase@southoldufsd.com

The second semester begins Monday, February 3rd. All students will receive NEW schedules on Friday, January 31st in preparation for the first day of the second semester (the same schedule will also be posted on the Parent Portal for your access). Please be assured that minimal changes will be reflected in most student schedules. In the event you have questions, please contact the guidance office.

Throughout the year we provide teachers with on-going professional development to enhance and support their instruction with instructional best practices. Most recently, teachers have been provided with on-going professional development in the use of Right Reason Technology (RRT). This is a tool that the district has purchased to provide students with baseline assessments in English Language Arts and mathematics as well as serve as a device to assist teachers in maintaining valuable student data from pre and post assessments. In addition, Dr. Nancy Doda will continue to work with our new teachers in providing them with continued guidance and support in developing lessons reflective to essential and best instructional practices supporting the Common Core Learning Standards and more. Scott McMullen will be returning to work with our science and technology teachers to address significant shifts as addressed in the NEW Next Generation Learning Standards in science and Larry Farrell will also return to work with teachers in mathematics to address the Common Core initiative and insight with regard to the NEW Common Core Algebra Regents examination all students in accelerated grade 8 and grade 9 will take on June 3rd.

Guidance counselors are currently pushing into classrooms to inform students about scheduling expectations for the 2014-2015 school year. We invite you to be part of the process by sitting with your child by reviewing with them course offerings and by following-up with your child’s respective guidance counselor. Programs of Study for middle level students (student’s currently in grades 6/7) and for high school students (student’s currently in grades 8-11) are posted on my webpage for your reference – hard copies have been given to all students in their first period class during the week of January 20th. If you wish to receive a hard copy, feel free to stop in the guidance office to receive a copy. As you will see as you review the respective Programs of Study, attempts have been made to include additional elective based courses; Please be informed that these courses will only be offered to students if such courses have sufficient student interest, can be supported by the respective instructional allocation within a department, complement the students schedule, as well as be supported through the 2014-2015 district budget. Some new courses to consider with your child on the elective level are Lights, Sound, Camera, Action (grades 9-12); Marine Science (grades 11 and 12); Introduction to Science Research (grade 7 and possibly grade 8); International Foods (grades 7 and 8); Robotics (grades 9-12); Sports, Exercise, and Health Science (grades 11 and 12); College Life/Life After High School (grades 11 and 12); and Introduction to the Law (grades 7 and 8). Furthermore, attempts will be made to share high school courses of study with Greenport High School. As of this date we will be offering our students the opportunity to take College Chemistry.

The Junior-Senior High School Shared Decision Making (SDM) Team meets monthly. This team comprised of students, parents, community members and teachers discuss building related concerns. If you wish to voice and share a concern with the building SDM team, kindly email my secretary (Mrs. Albertson) at salbertson@southoldufsd.com and we will gladly share your request with the team for review and potential resolution.

To further support us with our technological needs a group of students have stepped forward to assist us with the integration of technology in lessons and more. This new group is commonly referred to the Student Tech Squad – we welcome our students bringing forth continued support as we move forward with technology integration.

On a daily basis there are exceptional things taking place in our classrooms (during and after school). I invite you to review all classroom and extra curricula /sports accolades on my blog at https://principalgalati.wordpress.com/ there are days in which the blog is updated with news multiple times – many great things are happening!

In closing, we are here to support you and your child to best prepare them to meet and exceed graduation requirements and to prepare them for life-long learning beyond high school. Please email or call us if you have concerns or need any clarification pertaining to the overall development of your child. By forming a cohesive partnership our students (your children) will be best prepared to meet and exceed our global expectations to achieve.

Thank you in advance for your continued support and assistance – We wish our students the best of luck as they enter the second semester at Southold Junior-Senior High School.

Department News

Guidance Department:

The scheduling process for the 2014-2015 school year has begun. Mr. Crimi and Ms. Cavallaro are in the process of meeting with all students in their ELA classes to provide detailed information regarding course selection procedures as well as explain any possible new electives. Students have the opportunity to review the Program of Study, ask questions, and choose their elective requests for next year. Guidance counselors will follow up with each student individually to further discuss their course choices and ensure that students are on target to meet and exceed all New York State graduation requirements. Upon completion of all individual meetings, a list of courses requested will be mailed home to the parents/guardians. These choices are preliminary and can be altered after parental review. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your son/daughters course requests for the next school year, please do not hesitate to contact their guidance counselor.

As a reminder to Junior parents, please contact your child’s guidance counselor to set up an individual Junior Parent meeting. Discussions will take place pertaining to college, career, and job readiness.

Nurses Office:

February is Heart Health Awareness Month. Show your support for Heart Health and wear the color red on Friday, February 7th. The health office will be accepting donations for the American Heart Association. Everyone who donates will receive a red dress pin that can be worn on February 7th.
-Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer of women?
It is never too early to teach our children the importance of good health and nutrition.
-Eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains are vital.
-Getting 8 ½- 9 hours of sleep per night prevents tiredness, moodiness, inattentiveness and promotes growth.
-Exercise 30-60 minutes a day with an elevated heart rate.
-Have your child see their physician yearly for a physical and immunizations/flu shots and cholesterol blood levels.
-Limit stress as much as possible.

LOTE Department:

Several students took the initiative to participate in some foreign language contests. These contests are offered during National French Week which is observed every year in November by the American Association of French Teachers. Jheimy Uguna submitted an essay entitled “French, the language of 21st Century” She received a certificate of appreciation from the AATF and a commemorative poster. Dante Tramontana also entered the National French Week contest, he submitted a video and you can view it at : http//www.powtoon.com/p/bvWAGQ4NGh3/ Dante was also awarded a poster and certificate of commendation.
The Long Island Language Teachers Association is having a contest entitled: “Unmask Cultures, Be A Polyglot.” Ashley Hilary has developed an excellent concept and will submit her work by the end of the month.

Students in French received their first batch of letters from their pen pals at the Nelson Mandella School in Elbeuf, Normandy, in France. They are eagerly awaiting replies from the cards and letters that were posted on Friday the 20th of December.

Several students will participate in the “Grand Concours” a competitive exam in French that is given annually on a national level by the American Association of French Teachers. Students can compare their language skills with their peers from around the nation; bronze, silver and gold medals are awarded as well as certificates.

ELA Department:

Students in Introduction to Middle School with Mrs. Dakis are embarking on independent research projects. The class came up with a list of about twenty questions based on anything they were interested in learning more about. Each student then had to select one question to research further. All the projects require the development of a claim and a hypothesis, the performance of research (both online and in the field), and many will also include an experiment of some sort. Students will also consult with their science, mathematics, and technology teachers to gain insights into their queries. Some of the questions include:

– How many Lego blocks does it take to make a life-sized Empire State Building?
– Which soda goes flat the fastest?
– How do you make a computer game?
– Is global warming legitimate?
– Does salt make chocolate milk taste better?
– What is the point of war?

Physical Education:

The Southold Physical Education Department just completed their annual dance program. This year the students participated in several different types if dances, including; Latin, Russian, Greek, Polka, Hip Hop and Ballroom. The program has been supported through Arts in Education funding.

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