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Oquenock Number Crunchers Design Terrific Tessellations

 Oquenock Number Crunchers Design Terrific Tessellations
Guided by teacher Nicole Cagno-Angerame, members of the Number Crunchers math club at Oquenock recently designed their own tessellations. Tessellations are a collection of shapes that fit together like puzzle pieces. The tiling of the shape covers an infinite mathematical plane without any gaps. Inspired by the work of M.C. Escher as well as tessellations in nature such as pinecones, pineapples and sunflowers, the students learned to use one or more of three basic operations: translation, rotation and reflection.  

Oquenock Fourth Graders Work to Wire Up Lighthouses

Oquenock Fourth Graders Work to Wire Up Lighthouses
Fourth graders at Oquenock recently constructed working lighthouses to culminate their unit on electricity. Each student began by plastering and painting a tube to look like a lighthouse. Using their knowledge of circuits, the students were able to wire their lighthouses with batteries, switches and bulbs. They finalized the projects by decorating them with shells, small houses and sand.  

West Islip Named a Best Community for Music Education

West Islip Named a Best Community for Music Education
The district has earned a 2019 Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for its exceptional achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

“Our district is proud that our commitment to providing top-notch music education has been recognized,” said Eric Albinder, director of art and music education.

West Islip Sends Over 85 Student-Musicians to SCMEA Festivals


More than 85 West Islip outstanding student-musicians from grades 5-10 were selected to perform in the Suffolk County Music Educators Association All-County festivals in March.

High school freshmen and sophomores chosen were Christopher Acosta, Dylan Bruno, Matthew Cammarano, Drake Castonguay, Eve Castonguay, Aidan Ciesluk, Taylor Davies, Jonathan Delanoy, Jack Denning, Amanda Ditaranto, Daniel Himbele, Bruce Konopa, Antonia LaFemina, Marina Lankford, Sophia Lopez, Elizabeth Lundquist, Alexandra Mahany, Grace Mineo, Emma Musial, Andrew Palmer, Lindsey Pritchard, Sophia Randazzo, Luke Schuffenhauer, Dorian Scourtos, Jake Siffert, Kyle Tran and Karina Vartanian.

Udall sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders chosen were Warren Auty, Marissa Beyhl, Carlie Brunengraber, Mia Cuozzo, Jordan Fileti, Michael Harbord, Thomas Kerrigan, Maria Lettieri, James Mattel, Kayla McEvoy, Daniel Pipitone, Mason Ploufee, Andrew Rao, Alexandra Scourtos, Lucas Scourtos, Nicholas Soulos, Aaron Tomasello and Nicholas Vallejo.

Beach Street sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders chosen were Sophia Bahm, James Delanoy, Andrew DiStefano, Jack Dyer, Emma Fallon, Vivian G, Julianna Gargiulo, Abigail Huners, Isabella LaBarca, Avery Lanzarotta, Alexander Lee, Nicholas Locurto, Sophia Marker, Shane Marshall, Alexandra Martorella, Lauren McCann, Grace Mileski, Teagan McGuire, Kevin Pilewski, Kevin Ryan, Mason Solomon, Sophia Stehlik, Skylar Zimmerly and Carter Zito.

Bayview fifth-graders chosen were Leah Gallagher, Caitlin McNamee, Cara Thaxter, Francesca Tofano and Angelina Tummel.

Bellew fifth-graders chosen were Anthony DeMaio, James Kennedy, Gianna Owens and Gavin Pollock.

Manetuck fifth-graders chosen were Bruno Basile, Jovan Brewster, Christopher Gee, Kaitlyn Kelly and Noah Pipitone.

Oquenock fifth-graders chosen were Brienna Baione, Elizabeth Mastroddi, Vanessa Rogler and Caitlyn Vail.

Sizing Sails for Science at Oquenock

Sizing Sails for Science at Oquenock
Kindergartners in Mary Berger and Pamela Hergerton’s class at Oquenock recently designed sails for cars as part of a science unit on movement.

Each student’s goal was to design a sail to put on a car to make it move the farthest and fastest. The students had to consider what size sail to make and how tall the straw that held it should be to get the best results. In the subsequent experiment, the students raced two cars at a time – moved by breath and a blow dryer – and recorded the results, concluding that shorter straws with larger sails moved the farthest and the fastest.   

McCray Appointed as School Safety Director


This school year, the district appointed Byron McCray as director of school safety. McCray is responsible for overseeing peace officers, investigators, school security and training, working in close collaboration with district and school administrators to further develop appropriate procedures and protocols to provide a safe and secure school environment.

He joined West Islip after many years in public service and law enforcement, including serving as a supervisor at Brentwood School District, a New York State Department of Criminal Justice and Homeland Security instructor, a sergeant and officer in charge of training as well as an academy instructor for the New York Racing Association, and regional director of operations and community relations for criminal justice agency NYC TASC.

A native of Brooklyn now residing in Bay Shore, McCray was educated at John Jay College, FEMA Emergency Management Institute and Pace Law School, and also attended the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Rockland County Police Academy and SUNY Delhi Police Academy for law enforcement training and professional development.

“I have a strong interest in school safety, community relations, transparency in law enforcement and the development of programs that focus on community engagement and interaction,” said McCray. “I believe that this coupled with my extensive experience and proven leadership abilities will serve as a vital resource to the West Islip School District for years to come.”

Oquenock Third-Graders Learn About Local Water Issues

Oquenock Third-Graders Learn About Local Water Issues
Visiting Suffolk County Water Authority representatives recently spoke to third-graders at Oquenock about the water cycle and water conservation. The students learned that all of Long Island’s fresh groundwater comes from deep aquifers, and that pollution has long-term effects on the area’s water.