Students Raise Funds for AHA


It was a marathon of jump roping and basketball for elementary students as they participated in the school’s annual Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart fundraising event for the American Heart Association on March 19. Following an hour of working on their cardiovascular health, the second- through fifth-grade students raised more than $9,500 for the AHA.

In addition to raising funds for the AHA, the collaborative effort by the PTA and physical education department aimed to raise awareness about heart disease.


Students Top at Latin Certamen

High school Latin students displayed their skills as they competed in the fast-paced Latin Certamen contest held recently at Stony Brook University. The Port Jefferson students took home medals in all four levels of the competition.  

To earn the awards, the 40 students competed against 14 other schools in Nassau and Suffolk counties, showing off their knowledge of Latin grammar, vocabulary, translation, word derivations, Roman life, history, mythology and literature.

The Port Jefferson School District congratulates the following students:

Advanced Level, second place: Rachel Collins, Eric Kilgore, Anita Rescia and William Witrock

Level One, Team B, second place: Katherine Ambrozy, Gavin Barrett, David Rotunno and Ava Schully

Level One, Team A, third place: Hyun Jin Lee, Francine Leung, Mayu Takeuchi and Annalisa Welinder

Level Two Team, first place: Emma Gutmann, Leland Held, Ibuki Iwasaki and Cezanne Lojeski

Level Three Team, second place: Xinyi Hong, Chiara Rabeno, Arunima Roy and Luigia Than

Statement from the Board of Education - Issues Regarding Public Education


Science Olympiad Team Earns Medals

The high school Science Olympiad team took home four medals and placed 16th out of 50 teams at the New York State Science Olympiad Competition at Le Moyne College in Syracuse on March 13 and 14. The team secured a spot at states after placing fifth at the Suffolk County Regional Division C Science Olympiad competition.

The Port Jefferson School District congratulates the team and the following medal winners:

First Place
Compound Machines: Ryan Burke and Eric Kilgore
Mission Possible: Ryan Burgert and Brandon Hoffman

Fifth Place
It’s About Time: Ryan Burke and Julia Kharzeev

10th Place
Geologic Mapping: Noah Davis and Eric Kilgore

Science Fair Winners Named

More than 200 elementary students showed off their smarts at their school’s fourth annual Science Fair on March 25. The fair spotlighted numerous science projects, with topics focusing on paper planes, pop rocks and caffeine. It also featured a Kids’ Choice Award, where students voted on their favorite projects in each grade.  

Six students were also selected to compete in the Brookhaven National Lab Science Fair on May 2. Those who will move on and compete in the event are: Nicholas Rodriguez, kindergarten; Sadie Salzman, first grade; Julia Fite, second grade; Olivia Bianco, third grade; Sophie Blumenthal, fourth grade; and Kasumi Layne-Stasik, fifth grade.

Science Olympiad Team Heading to States

Following a fourth-place finish at the Suffolk County Regional Science Olympiad Competition, the middle school Science Olympiad team has secured a spot at the state competition, set for April 14 at East Syracuse-Minoa High School.

The Port Jefferson School District congratulates the team, as well as the following medal recipients:

Second Place
Fossils: Grant Samara, Joseph Samara
Green Generation: Cezanne Lojeski, Connor Kaminska
Wheeled Vehicle: Harry Cona, Eli Doyle

Third Place
Dynamic Planet: Gavin Barrett, David Rotunno
Crave the Wave: Aaron Held, Peggy Yin

Fourth Place
Crime Busters: Ju Eun Ha, Sarah Hull
Road Scholar: Eli Doyle, Leland Held
Wheeled Vehicle: Spencer Cona, Joseph Samara

Fifth Place
Elastic Glider: Max Okst, Gil Zaltsman

Discussion Explores Impacts of Technology

In keeping with the Port Jefferson School District’s Focus on Best Practice, Port Jefferson teachers and teaching assistants recently engaged in a collegial discussion centered on the book, “The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World,” written by Harvard professors Howard Gardener and Katie Davis.

The book grapples with the notion that today’s children are deeply, and maybe even totally, involved with digital media and that the use of technology and apps can either provide enormous potential in various academic areas or limit potential.

In their discussion, facilitated by middle school Principal Antonio Santana, the faculty members explored what they could do in their professional practice to limit the adverse effects of technology and heighten the positive effects of its appropriate use.  

Legal Notice - Budget Hearing/Vote/Election




Best Community for Music Education

For the ninth consecutive year, the district has been ranked among the NAMM Foundation’s “Best Communities for Music Education” in America, an honor which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment to and support of music education as part of the core curriculum.  

The award specifically recognizes the collaborative efforts between teachers, administrators, students, parents and the community, who all work together to keep comprehensive music education an integral part of the core curriculum in Port Jefferson.

The district boasts multiple musical performing groups for students, from orchestra to choral ensembles to its bands, with each group provided the opportunity to perform within the community and learn through partnerships and relationships with Stony Brook University and the Staller Center.

“This award should be shared by the entire Port Jefferson community, which has always fully supported our music program,” said Michael Caravello, director of Port Jefferson’s music and fine arts department.

Port Jeff Educators Earn SCOPE Awards

Several district administrators, teachers and support staff were recognized by the Suffolk County Organization for the Promotion of Education as recipients of the 2015 SCOPE Awards of Educational Excellence. They were among a group of educators, support staff and volunteers from Suffolk County who were honored at the SCOPE Educational Excellence Awards ceremony at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook on March 23.

Port Jefferson’s honorees were John and Nikki Poulianos for community service, Dennis Christofor for teacher service, Gene Holland for support staff service, and Michael Caravello for administrator service.  

Music Students Participate in SCMEA Festival

Following exceptional performances at New York State School Music Association Solo Evaluation Festivals, along with recommendations from their music teachers, 34 student-musicians in grades 5-10 performed at the Suffolk County Music Educators Association’s All-County Music Festival on March 14 and 15 at Comsewogue High School. Additionally, the music department hosted rehearsals for the festival on March 7, 13 and 14 at the high school.

“To host a festival is truly a community event,” said Michael Caravello, director of music and fine arts. “In every aspect of the rehearsals, you saw students, music teachers, custodial staff and parents working together to make this event a success.”

The Port Jefferson School District congratulates the following band, orchestra and chorus students: Division 1 (grades 5/6): Gani Ates, Emily Hearney, Owen Okst, Ella Parker, Benjamin Procaccini, Mattea Rabeno, Michela Rabeno, Stefano Rabeno, Jack Reilly, Grant Samara, Caelan Schretzmayer, Nicole Schully, Hannah Skula, Kate Sommerstad, Kasumi Layne Stasik, Noah Teaney, Lily Tener, Brennyn Veit, Jack Worrell and Peggy Yin; Division 2 (grades 7/8): Grace Crugnale, Cole Fortier, Phoenix Jampol, Hyun Jin Lee, Francine Leung, Ryan Robertson, Ava Schully, Mayu Takeuchi and Miles Kaming Thanassi; Division 3 (grades 9/10): Ibuki Iwasaki, Trey Pisano, Anita Rescia, Joseph Kaming Thanassi and Ryan Worrell.

High School Presents Urinetown


Take a peek inside the making of the high school production of Urinetown by watching the accompanying video.

Students Create New Holidays

Following a library lesson on holidays and cultures around the word, third-graders were inspired to create their own holidays.

The students drew inspiration from the book “Palapalooza” by Daphne Skinner, which tells the story of five friends who set out to create the perfect holiday, and from their library teacher Selinda Moore, who taught the students about family traditions using a PowerPoint presentation.

Among the holidays the students created were Italian Day, National Pasta Day, Harry Potter Day, Family Get Together Day and Puppy Day.

Candidates for Board of Education

Candidates for Board of Education

Residents of Port Jefferson School District interested in running for the Board of Education, please contact the District Clerk at (631)791-4221

Star Students Recognized

Six elementary students have been named Star Students in the American Library Association’s yearlong Read Campaign.

The students chosen as March Star Students are Michael Castro, kindergarten; Max Kronberg, first grade; Julie Fite, second grade; Ottilie Philbrick, third grade; Tabitha Schully, fourth grade; and Luke Filippi, fifth grade.  

As a reward for being named Star Students, the children have their photos displayed on the bulletin board outside the library along with a summary of their favorite books.

Students Learn About ALS

Elementary students spent the morning of March 20 learning about ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, as they welcomed Chris Pendergast of Miller Place, who has been battling the disease for more than 20 years.

During the assembly, Mr. Pendergast educated the students about ALS, discussed his Ride for Life campaign – a 12-day journey across Long Island that raises awareness and funds for the disease, and informed students on current research to find a cure.

“Students were very attentive during the presentation,” said Principal Thomas Meehan. “You could hear a pin drop.”

Students Try Out Instruments at ‘Petting Zoo’

Third-graders received a taste of musicality as they welcomed high school musicians on March 19 for the annual Instrument Petting Zoo.

During the event, the high school musicians introduced the third-graders to the many band and orchestral instruments they can select to play when they enter the fourth grade, including the violin, cello, saxophone and flute. Students were able to hear and touch each of the instruments represented.

Motivated Student Recognized

For her hard work as a diligent student, Port Jefferson Middle School seventh-grader Kyra Sommerstad was recognized by the Rotary Club of Port Jefferson as its Most Motivated Student for March.

During its March 10 meeting, the Rotary presented Kyra with a certificate as her father, Ray, Principal Antonio Santana and teacher Phil Giannusa stood by her side.   

“Kyra possesses an internal drive that persists in seeking to do things better,” said Giannusa. Santana added that teachers often speak positively about Kyra, who is a “fantastic student.”

“She strives to keep her grades up and to learn as much as she can,” said Santana.

Aside from her academic successes, Kyra plays basketball and is an avid swimmer with the Ward Melville team, breaking team records.

Students Learn Technique, Civic Virtues

With bamboo brushes in hand, Port Jefferson Middle School students recently learned an ancient ideogram brush stroke technique, as well as character education principles dating back to Confucius.

While drawing their pandas on rice paper with Sumi ink, the sixth- and eighth-grade art students were taught a number of civic virtues about endangered species, including the panda bear. They also gained an increased awareness of self.   

HS Junior Prom Rescheduled

Due to the weather, the HS Junior Prom has been rescheduled to Friday, April 17. Please note that the new time for the event will be from 6 to 10 p.m.
Saturday, April 18, 2015