Monday, November 26, 2007



Students on Ice – International Polar YearAntarctica Expedition 2007

Launch Event at The Explorers Club

New York, NY – This December, five NYC high school students will be going to the bottom of the world on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to Antarctica. New York philanthropist Mr. Harold Snyder is sponsoring the students to participate on the “Students on Ice” expedition in order to gain a better understanding and respect for the natural world, and witness first hand the impacts climate change is having on the Polar Regions.

Kasey Fausak (College of Staten Island High School of International Studies), Iraida Cabrera Marmolejos (Brooklyn), Felicia Vanacore (Queens), Victor Pagan (Bronx) and Yvette Alfaro (Manhattan) were selected for their excellent contribution to school and community involvement. These deserving students have been selected with the help of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Congressman José Serrano and Senator Chuck Schumer.

An official launch event will take place at The Explorers Club on November 29, 2007. Home to the world’s most celebrated explorers, the club is the perfect venue to host and welcome New York City’s “newest Polar explorers.” The five NYC students will be introduced and celebrated, and several presentations will be made about the expedition and its goals by Expedition Leader Geoff Green, Mr. Snyder and NYC dignitaries.

The Antarctic expedition is organized by adventurer Geoff Green, veteran of 66 Antarctic expeditions, and founder of the award-winning organization Students on Ice “2007 marked the start of The International Polar Year, an exciting scientific campaign focusing on the polar regions. The world’s attention is focused on the many dramatic changes happening globally as a result of climate change. There is no better time to lead an international group of students to the Poles,” says Geoff Green.

The New York participants will join 70 students, 24 scientists and educators from around the world. They will board the specially designed ice breaker M/V Ushuaia in Ushuaia, Argentina, and sail south to the Antarctic. The students will use inflatable zodiacs to visit extraordinary wildlife settings and international research stations. Hands-on research activities and seminars will include such subjects as marine biology, oceanography, history, and climate change.

The November 29, 2007 launch event will take place from 6:00pm to 8:30pm, and will be attended by Mr. Harold Snyder, Mr. Geoff Green, dignitaries and members of the prestigious Explorers Club.

About The Explorers Club:

The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. Since its inception in 1904, the Club has served as a meeting point and unifying force for explorers and scientists worldwide. Additional information can be obtained through the Explorers Club Web site at

About Students on Ice and Geoff Green:

Students on Ice is an award-winning educational organization offering unique educational expeditions to Antarctic and the Arctic. Its mandate is to provide students from around the world with inspiring educational opportunities at the ends of the earth, and in doing so, help them foster a new understanding for the planet. The organization was recently awarded the Citation of Merit for outstanding feats of exploration and service by the prestigious Explorers Club in New York City. Students on Ice was the recipient of the Michael J. Smith Award for Science Promotion, and its founder, Mr. Geoff Green, was awarded a special Congressional Commendation for his work with Youth and the Environment. In 2005, he was selected as one of Canada’s “Top 40 Leaders Under 40.” Additional information can be obtained through the Students on Ice Web site at

Please join me in congratulating Kasey. We look forward to hearing more about her trip as she will be communicating with us during her exciting voyage!


After being nominated by Ms. Horowitz last year, on November 15, 2007 our very own Nancy Kaplan, a member of our inaugural team of teachers, was honored as an Educator of Excellence by the New York State English Council (NYSEC). Every year NYSEC holds an event at its Annual Conference to honor the work and professionalism of English Language Arts educators. Award winners show a commitment to excellence, innovation, and creativity in teaching, mentoring, and learning.

Attending the awards ceremony with Ms. Kaplan , was our junior student, International Insider reporter Marco Muniz, who covered the story for our paper. Marco was also fortunate to hear the keynote speaker, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi. Following her address, Ms. Nafisi granted Marco an interview which will be featured in the next issue of The International Insider.

As the creator of our award winning newspaper, The International Insider, our 11th grade journalism class, our literary magazine Black and White Reflections, as well as being a champion of establishing educational opportunities for global collaboration for all of our students such as our International Teen Scrapbook and the Pearl World Youth News Project (an international online newspaper for students), Nancy Kaplan has inspired excellence and creativity in her students. She works tirelessly and with passion every day to help students improve their writing, to inculcate in them a love for literature and learning, and to help them to become open minded, ethical global citizens. Please join me in congratulating Ms. Nancy Kaplan on this honor.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sharing our Student's Work

Just want to share with you a poem written about our school by one of our sophomores, who was nice enough to share with me today as she was accompanying a student who is new to our school to his next class. Rosa writes,
Too many kids for these tiny halls,
Graffiti in the bathroom stalls,
Cultural projects on the walls,
The different cultures all around,
Softball girls were the champions with an awesome pitcher on the mound,
Everyone buzzing about the latest fashion,
Students caring for their community with a passion,
And a staff full of excitement and compassion,
Bake sales with cookies and brownies,
Fun filled days with international festivities,
Class trips with follow-up activities,
Creative ideas to give money to charities,
Encouragement comes from the supporting and caring faculty.
The principal that runs this school
makes it excellent and she's really cool.
She helps students in danger and gets them to pass,
Don't let her see you in the hall or she will yell, "GET TO CLASS!"
We yell it out loud,
There's no shame in our game so we loudly proclaim

Friday, November 9, 2007

Attention Junior Parents!

Learn about what your child will be expected to do on their upcoming Regents Examination in English by sitting in on your child's Regents Presentations!

WHEN: Friday, November 30, 2007

WHERE: CSIHSIS (Room 215 B with Ms. Prevosti)


On Tuesday, January 22, 2008 and Wednesday, January 23, 2008 your child will take the Regents Examination in English. This is a two day exam which s/he must pass in order to graduate. As part of a two month integrated review for the exam, students are researching and creating projects that explore the four parts of this two day test. This opportunity to spend time in with your child in his/her class will be informative and fun for all. Should you have any questions, please email Heather Prevosti at We hope to see you all there to share in our students' learning.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

"RALLY" & "Rock-N-Roll Jam" for St. Jude's Children's Hospital


Ms. Garcia's advisory is sponsoring a school wide letter writing campaign called RALLY to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Students from Ms. Garcia's advisory will be going into all advisories to educate their peers about the mission of St. Jude's. Then, the letter writing event will take place in all advisories on Thursday, December 20, 2007. We would also love to have parents involved in this campaign.

St. Jude's is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility anywhere. Discoveries made here have completely changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. At St. Jude's no one pays for treatment beyond what is covered by insurance, and those without insurance are never asked to pay.

Mark your calendars! The Garcia Advisory is also proud to sponsor a concert, "Rock-n-Roll Jam" that will take place on Friday, February 1, 2008 at 8:00 PM in the Concert Hall in Building 1P on the campus of College of Staten Island. Proceeds from this event will be donated to St. Judes and to our school's scholarship funds. Tickets are just $10 and will be on sale shortly. Bring your friends and family to a great performance and help the Garcia's raise money for St. Jude's.

If you are interested in learning how you can help, post here and we will respond or contact Ms. Garcia and one of her students will get back to you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


It is hard to believe that last night, in this small building, close to five hundred people attended our Open House for prospective students and that everything went smoothly. In fact, parents were so impressed by the way our students ran the evening from directing traffic, to their ability to articulately respond to questions and talk about the work we do, and to express how they feel about our school and why attending a small school has been beneficial to them that they were compelled to email me their feedback. They were equally impressed by our wonderful and involved parent partners who participated on the parent panels to offer the parents' perspective on the school. As I walked from room to room last night to meet prospective parents and students, I was extremely proud of each of you who participated. I heard phrases like,
"We are like a family here." "When my second child was accepted I felt like I had won the lottery a second time." "Advisory helped me adjust to high school and it is a place where I can share my feelings." "I can trust my advisor." "Our graduate profile talks about who we will be when we graduate and our yearly portfolio projects help us reflect on that and on our learning." "Through the International Insider we blog with students in other countries so that we can learn about their perspectives on different issues." "We respect one another." "We have a lot of freedom and our teachers trust us."

As I listened to our freshman, sophomore and junior students as well as to our parents and teachers I could not help but think about how much I value this community that we have all helped to build with hard work, and tender love and care. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping to build and perpetuate our school community.

Many thanks to Ms. Jennifer Zinn, our wonderful Assistant Principal, and to Ms. Annette Lentini, our energetic Parent Coordinator, for empowering our students to plan this event. I would also like to thank Chris Liviccari and Chris Chieh, two teachers who every day go above and beyond the call of duty, for volunteering to be part of Open House. Your volunteerism is a great example for our students. Of course, we could not have had a successful Open House without our parents, Lisa McSherry (parent of Michael and Katie), Kelly Cevallos (parent of Rob Palumbo), Esther Mallozzi (parent of Jackie), Mrs. Yatco (parent of Haynes), Vivian Borzi (parent of Lisa), and Carlotta Levine (parent of Adam). You too are wonderful examples for your children and for all of our students. And of course our articulate, energetic, and enthusiastic student volunteers: Danielle Ianizzi, Katie McSherry, Breanna Pizzolo, Steven Cecere, Elizabeth Cecere, Paulina Plata, Martin Sanchez, Alyssa Ditre, Dylan Luke, Alessandra Asperti, Emma Starace, Priscilla Torres, Marisch Perera, Vincent Arcello, Haynes Yatco, Adam Levine, Marissa Mule, Dana Pistilli, Brianne Hannafey, Lisa Borzi, Aisha Musi, Carolina Jiminez, Isaiah Jenkins, Sarai Wanyoni, Michelle Naidoo, Rosa Carucci, Brianna Kohm, Samantha Goodman, Josephine Barone, Conor McGinn, Emily Marks, Samantha Furman, and Vanessa Kreytak, Daelina Lockhart, and Kasey Fausak. Thank you all for contributing to making our Open House a success. Stay tuned for Thursday, November 15 at 6:30!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Dia de los Muertos

The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico and the Mexican community living in the United States and Canada,

with variations of it also observed in other Latin American countries and other parts of the world. The Mexican celebration occurs on November 1 and November 2. At CSIHSIS,thanks to Ms. Garcia and the students in her Spanish classes, we celebrated Day of the Dead on November 2nd.

Though the subject matter may be considered morbid from the perspective of some other cultures, celebrants typically approach the Day of the Dead joyfully. Day of the Dead emphasizes celebrating and honoring the lives of the deceased. Revelers of the Day of the Dead celebrate the continuation of life — believing not that death is the end, but rather the beginning of a new stage in life. Joined by faculty, staff, and their parents, CSIHSIS students celebrated Day of the Dead complete with an ofrendo they made honoring the lives of those who perished during the 9/11 attacks as well as their own ancestors. Each participant in the celebration also buried a bad habit! The fiesta was complete with a room that was beautifully decorated with traditional Day of the Dead decorations made by our students and traditional Mexican food including Day of the Dead bread, quesadillas, spicy chicken, guacamole and chips, Mexican guava and raspberry filled pastries, rice and beans, fried bananas, and more!!!! Students, teachers and parents enjoyed food, traditional Mexican music and dancing.
We would like to thank all of the parents who helped make this fiesta complete by bringing in food and by coming in to participate with their children in this celebration. Your participation illustrates the strong partnership that exists between parents, staff and students who are members of our CSIHSIS community.

I would also like to thank Elissa Garcia (and her mom) for immersing our students in this cultural experience while making it relevant to their own lives! I know that through this experience our students not only learned Spanish language, but learned about and experienced Mexican culture while being able to express their feelings about loved ones they have lost! Thanks again Ms. Garcia for a meaningful learning experience and a great celebration!!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


For those of you who have been reading our blog, there has been some previous discussion by parents and students regarding ranking of students in their senior year. Ranking lets students and colleges know how they are performing in relation to the rest of their class. This is done by giving each student a number based on the grades they achieved during their high school career. This number can then be converted into a percentage so that colleges can be informed of how each student did in relation to the rest of the students in their grade. We are in the process of deciding whether or not to rank seniors. So ranking seniors - that is the question! What do you think? Tell us why or why not!