February Newsletter

February 2017

Dear Families:

We have reached the midpoint of the school year! As Midterm week comes to a close it is important to refocus our attention on the second semester which begins on Monday (A-Day).  If you did not print your second semester schedule earlier in the year, please remember to do so on the parent portal.  Additionally, please expect to see your child’s Marking Period 2 report card to be available on the parent portal on the evening of Friday, February 3.  

In our continuing effort to educate the whole child, Detective Pamela Stark will be with us on Wednesday, February 8 to conduct an assembly for our students on the dangers of illegal drugs.   Additionally, our guidance department in conjunction with our eighth grade teachers have been infusing monthly lessons to instill positive Habits of Mind along with a growth mindset.  

A special note to families of seniors: Please remember to check your email or our website for important information regarding senior awards as well as cap and gown information.   Remember that the representative from Herff Jones will be here on February 15th from 10:30-1:00pm.

Our website (www.mineola.k12.ny.us) and Twitter account (@mineolahs) continue to keep you up to date with the latest news and “happenings” in and around the high school; including many of the exciting and new lessons, projects, and activities that your children are engaging in.  


  • The Student Service Center (SSC):Even while preparing for midterms and Regents exams, Mineola students found time to reach out to those aroun d us. New sessions of Nursing Home Visitors and Computeers are in full swing, with a record number of senior citizens from our community availing themselves of the free one-on-one  instruction provided by our tech savvy students. The need for outreach to the hungry increases after the holidays, therefore Lunch Bunch students and senior citizens made sandwiches to donate to the Mary Brennan INN.  Our 8 Ways to Serve volunteers also helped make sandwiches, so our total donation was over 400 delicious cheese sandwiches. We continued our outreach when  INN Youth Board members helped donate and sort warm clothes, coats and outerwear at our January meeting.  Food seemed to be our theme this month as SPARC traveled to Carle Place HS to bake homemade cookies which were delivered to Ronald McDonald House. The delicious aroma of  “Mineola Meatloaf” enticed families at our monthly visit to make dinner at Ronald McDonald House. And there was certainly plenty of “food for thought” as our Peer Tutors and Middle School Skills Helpers donated many hours to help prepare students for midterms and the end of the marking period. The SSC also helped coordinate district -wide participation in the NYS Assembly’s annual Valentine for Vets program. Hundreds of valentines were handmade by Mineola students  and generous donations of needed items were shared with the VA Hospital in Northport.

  • The Student Organization (SO) - SO is actively preparing for our the Battle of the Classes that will take place on Thursday March 2nd.  The classes are excited to compete against each other in friendly competitions and hallway decorations.  We are also going to have a Bake Sale on Valentine’s Day.  

  • It is time to purchase your 2017 Signet Yearbook. The cost of this year’s yearbook is $120 dollars plus tax.
    You can order your yearbooks at WWW.JOSTENSYEARBOOKS.COM  In addition to purchasing your 2017 Signet Yearbook, you may also purchase a custom yearbook Ad for your child at www.jostens.com/yearbookads
    Full Page  $170.00 ½ Page  $95.00 ¼ Page  $70.00 1/8 page  $40.00

Place your Yearbook Ad Order before January 31, 2017.  Please e-mail Mr. Block  rblock@mineola.k12.ny.us if you have any questions.

  • The Sophomore Ring Sale continues online at the Jostens website.  

  • The Question Mark, our school newspaper, is available on your child’s ipad in eBackpack as well as online on the high school webpage in the virtual backpack.  You can also follow the Question Mark on Twitter @QuestionMarkMHS

  • Mustang Media is a new branch of the Question Mark and is a weekly video news broadcast that features Jennifer Berkowitz and Isabella Polanco.  The show features stories from around the school during the week as well as a “Question of the Week” feature.  All episodes are available on the MHS Questionmark Youtube Channel.

In the Classroom:

  • In Science Research - Congratulations to Michael Valente and Elizabeth Ryan & Erica Sze-Tu on their selection to the Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Michael will present his project entitled “The Effects of Stretching on Muscle Soreness” and Liz will present her and Erica's project entitled “The Effect of Locomotive Emission on Plant Diversity” at the regional symposium on February 5th at York College.  Ten of the regional finalists projects will be selected to move onto the National Competition. In addition, nine of our research students will be competing on February 8th at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair Intel Division. Kayleigh DiPietrantonio, Elizabeth Ryan, Erica Sze-Tu, Erin Servinskas, Michael Valente, Michelle Van de Stouwe, Erin Talty, Nicole Chiu and Anmol Patel.    

  • In Ms. Maroney’s Classes, students are using LightSail as an "Indie Read" while they Blog to Each Other....
    Students are thoroughly engaged in their Independent Reading books on LightSail! They want to share their thoughts and interactions with the book, so they are now blogging back and forth to each other on Edmodo in a thread. The thread is growing as the students get deeper and deeper into their choice text which shows they are truly having fun while they are reading outside of the classroom.

  • This month, Earth Science students were learning about weather variables in a fun and investigative manner! Through this student centered, self-paced lesson, students were able to utilize and synthesize background knowledge of weather variables in order to create their own understanding and connection between temperature, pressure, humidity and dew point.  They rotated through five different stations while working hands on with weather instruments and using their iPads to record observations and access resources such as Pear Deck and iTunesU

  • English 11 classes took a creative approach to show their understanding of a central idea in a short story, which is a task on the Common Core English Regents. This task is traditionally a written response. However, each class was required to read the same short stories, and, in small groups of 2-4 students, create videos using iMovie and Adobe Spark to demonstrate their understanding of the central idea. All classes gathered in the cafeteria for a Film Festival during which students rotated and evaluated each other’s  projects. The event culminated  with an “Academy Award Ceremony”  honoring  the highest rated videos.

  • As the first semester of our Senior Project course comes to a close, many of our seniors gained an invaluable experience in their prospective chosen areas.  Some of our students that obtained a memorable experience include:  Annie Cripps; Keith Condon; Sonia Zia; Weronika Waszczuk; Liam Carr; Michael Cappeller; Brianna Lopes; Sonia Zia; Neal Ressa as well as many others.  Some of the areas in which these seniors were able to gain first-hand experience included:  shadowing financial planners; teachers; nurse practitioners; veterinarians; pharmacists; computer programming engineers; and last but certainly not least, shadowing our Mayor of the Mineola Village. Many of our students credited the Senior Project course with giving them the opportunity to experience fields that they would not otherwise have been able to experience.  

Department Highlights:

  • Guidance - This month we hosted our Alumni from the Class of 2016 on January 6th.  Over 60 former students came back to MHS to share their first semester experiences with juniors and seniors.  Students were able to ask questions about going away to school, having a roommate, food options, class sizes, availability of professors and and a variety of other topics they were curious about.  After their visit to the classrooms the alumni were joined by our teachers for a luncheon.  We also had our annual Junior Parent information night.  There was a great turnout of students and parents.  Our presentation can be found here. The course catalog for 2017-2018 is being finalized and will be posted on the website next month.  We look forward to continuing to offer a variety of programs that will engage and challenge our students.  Evening guidance is February 7th and 9th.  If you’d like to make an appointment you can call the guidance office at 237-2650.  

  • Athletics - The Winter season has been highlighted so far by the tremendous performance of our boys bowling team. The team is currently ranked first in Nassau County and third overall on Long Island. Led by the County’s leading bowler, senior Tony Macchietto the Mustangs will compete in the County team playoffs on February 4th for a chance to advance into the State team tournament. The Girls Basketball team is also enjoying a successful season so far with a 7-2 league record. The Challenger Basketball Team has begun their season with their first scheduled game on Monday, February 6 at 4:30pm against Levittown Division High School.  We are excited to announce that the work on the turf field at Hampton Stadium has started and we hope to be able to use it this coming spring season for lacrosse.

  • Fine & Performing Arts - The Department of FIne and Performing Arts is gearing up for a very busy spring semester. Drama: Suessical is in rehearsal mode and is looking great!  We hope to fill the house with as many families as possible, tell your friends to join us during the weekend of March 24th for this family friendly show.  The 8/9 production of James and The Giant Peach has recently been cast and we look forward to presenting that in May. Art: Our All-County Art exhibition is on March 12 at SUNY Farmingdale.  This year the Art Department recognizes Marie Holowat, Maimuna Islam, Rachel Leone, Daniel Park, Nicole Pereira, Hymn Yiu as All-County artists whose work will be featured at the Farmingdale exhibit.  Music: Please note the new date for String Night is February 13th.  String Night is a part of our “Specialty Concert Series:” Jazz Night on February 9th, String Night February 13th, and Choral Night on March 2nd all feature students from elementary, middle, and high school coming together to perform.  Jazz Night will feature a guest group of faculty and alumni members, String Night will feature a Valentine’s Day theme, and Choral night will pay tribute to our nation and those who serve.  A special congratulations to our All-County Musicians who performed this past January: Claire Collura, Jillian Parrino, Ana-Victoria Serna, Justin Sloan, Serena Koshy, Austin Velez, Isaiah Huang, Christopher Barnwell, Jason Beers, Josephine Jones, Nathan Bischoff, Roseleen Kaur, Jake Lenze, Jacqueline Letta, Christa Post, Samantha Kessler, Michael Valente, Sara McCarthy, Zachary Sloan

  • Library Media Center - It could be the new Virtual Reality systems or the winter weather - either way, the library has welcomed many new faces this month.  In December, students began to explore some of the experiences that VR offers – In January, students gathered throughout the library to watch history be made as the 45th President of the United States was sworn into office.  The library is also getting an organizational update to create special interest sections & to make room for all the new books we have ordered: “100 Ways to Cut the High Cost of Attending College”, “Hamilton”, “Test Taking Strategies”, “The Mark of Athena”, “The Human Genome” and “Stop Motion Animation” are just of the few new titles we have – something for every interest.   Make sure to stop in and check out our Valentine’s Day “Fall in Love with a Good Book” display.  Be on the lookout for “before they were movies” titles as well.  The library was also featured in the nationwide video our school promoted for the Follett Challenge as one of our school’s innovative learning environments. Tonight is the last night to vote so please help us!  https://follettchallenge.com/video.cfm?id=737  Encourage your child to read and explore their interests!

Upcoming Events:

  • 2/1 - PTSA Meeting (7:00pm)

  • 2/1 - Music Parents Meeting (7:30pm)

  • 2/3 -  Board of Education Meeting (7:00pm)

  • 2/3 - Spirit Day!  Where your school colors.

  • 2/6 - First Challenger Basketball Team (4:30pm)

  • 2/7 - Booster Club Meeting (7:00pm)

  • 2/9 - Jazz Night (7:00pm)

  • 2/11 - SEPTA Applebee's Fundraiser 8-10am

  • 2/13 - District String Night (7:00pm)

  • 2/15 - Senior Cap & Gown Measurements

  • 2/16 - Board of Education Meeting (7:00pm)

  • 2/20-2/24 - Winter Recess - No School

  • 3/8 -  Multicultural Night (6:00pm)

  • If you have any questions, please do not hesitate the call the main office at 237-2605.


    Whittney Smith, Ed.D. | Principal

    Dr. Smith is the Principal at Mineola High School in Garden City Park, NY.  Dr. Smith has been with the Mineola School District since 2002, beginning as the Assistant Principal in the Middle School. From 2011 -2015 he was Assistant Principal in the High School. Prior to joining the Mineola School District, Dr. Smith was a special education teacher and Athletic Trainer in the Locust Valley School District.  Dr. Smith received his Bachelor's degree from Rutgers University; a Master's degree in Special Education from Adelphi University; a Master's degree in School Administration from LIU CW Post University; and a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from St. John's University. Dr. Smith  is also an Adjunct Professor at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY.

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