Thursday, December 24, 2009


Follow senior students Aleksandra Makowska and Simit Christian as they journey to Argentina to prepare for their voyage to the Antarctic. Aleksandra and Simit were selected to represent Staten Island along with scholarship students selected from the other boroughs as well as students from other countries. Accompanying them will be scientists from the Students on Ice Expedition they explore and learn about this region of the world,learn how environmental change is adversely affecting it, and gain a new respect for our precious environment. We are most grateful to Senator Charles Schumer,, a long time supporter of public education, for recognizing how the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies mission aligns with the mission of Students on Ice and for selecting students from our school to take part in this incredible, once in a lifetime learning experience as they represent Staten Island.

Simit and Aleksandra will be departing on December 26th and will be sharing their experiences with us via this blog and the Students on Ice tracking site! The entire CSIHSIS community wishes them an exciting voyage and cannot wait to share in their learning as they experience the Antarctic.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Today our entire freshman class joined in the giving by participating in what is now a CSI High School of International Studies tradition established by our inaugural class; they completed The Giving Project. After weeks of working together with other students from their advisory groups, our freshman students visited elementary schools across Staten Island to read multi-cultural stories to first, second, and third grade students and to teach them a lesson they collaborated to create based on their chosen story. The Giving Project has become a special part of our school's culture and is is the first service learning project our freshman students complete. Upon returning to school students reflected on their roles as group members, their experience at the elementary school, and their learning as well as celebrated their completion of the project.

Read what our students have to say as they reflect on their experiences with the project. Learn about their accomplishments during this service learning activity, what they liked about The Giving Porject, what they learned about themselves as they completed the project and more!!

Congratulations to all our freshman on this reaching this freshman milestone!!!!


On Thursday, December 10, 2009, thanks to Charlie LaGanga, a new friend to CSIHSIS, senior Susan Yacca, juniors Teddy Thompson and Talon Turner, Global Finance teacher Lilliana Vendra, and I had an incredible learning experience visiting the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. There we spoke with the governors of the Exchange, spoke with traders and specialists, learned about their jobs and their training, and were able to ask questions about the Stock Market and careers associated with it.

We also learned the Charlie LaGanga is an extraordinary person who brings people together and believes strongly in giving back to the community, especially when the community is the young people who are our future. Mr. LaGanga spoke one on one with our students explaining that he came from modest beginnings and was fortunate in his life. He built a 38-year career at Drexel Burnham Lambert before becoming one of five partners to start Direct Access Partners, a Manhattan trading firm. To express his thanks for his good fortune, Charlie helps others and encourages young people to do the same.

For his endeavors, in business and in charity, Charlie LaGanga has been recognized as an Ellis Island Medal of Honor winner and was also nominated for the New York Post's Lifetime Achievement Liberty Award.

We are thankful to Mr. LaGanga for providing us with this opportunity and look forward to continuing to develop our relationship and to having him as a guest at our school. Thanks for giving of yourself to our students and our school! We all had a wonderful day, were inspired by you, and learned a lot!


Visit the Jerome Parker Campus Library website:

Find links that can help you with class projects, homework, and studying. Check our online catalogue.
If you are intersted in helping or donating to our library, please contact our school. You can hlep by donating a book, a magazine subscription, a newspaper subscription, printer paper, or by sending a check to the school so that we can purchase much needed supplies including a book truck, a paperback book rack, a label maker, etc. We appreciate any and all donations!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


After four months of solid, hard work I am proud to say that our award winning school newspaper, The International Insider, has its own website with all the stories you read in the paper plus more! Visit to get the latest in news and weather as well as to listen to pod casts, participate in polls, and to read more on stories featured in the paper! This is an interactive site that asks for your feedback! Please let us know what you think about the site as well as providing feedback on the articles and other stories.

Many thanks to the all The Insider staff and their faculty adviser, Nancy Kaplan, for making this happen! Special thanks to junior, Sean Fisher who worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality! We know this is yet another step forward in the evolution of our paper and another first for our school!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Freshman Class Participates in "Addiction and Pride"

Thanks to the generosity of Rick Mueller and Pride Not Prejudice, today our freshman class learned about alcohol and drug use and addiction, domestic violence, teen suicide, and parental abuse. Using the art of theatre to address these issues that affect teenagers, our students were able to learn and engage in frank conversations.

Addiction and Pride

Part One: The Alcoholic
A one man, one act play: how alcohol destroys a life. The presenter chronicles his life with many characters, including himself, at different ages, using different voices and costumes. It clearly shows the insidious effects of alcohol and drugs in high school. Our students were captured by the humor and intensity of this saga, while seeing truly the effects of alcohol.

Part Two: A Wild Night

Through drama students learned how alcohol and drugs create monsters that show their fangs at will. With prom approaching, the effects of drug abuse and alcoholism impact the lives of eight students, each in a different way. An unemployed father brutalizes his valedictorian son, who protects him to the bitter end. A drug dealer abuses his spaced out girlfriend and victimizes another student. Two alcohol related suicide attempts relay the “true power of drugs and alcohol.” In an attempt to humiliate the school gossip, Lorelei, four students head to the prom but . . . (you have to ask someone who saw the show what happens!!!!)

Part Three: Questions and Answers

After the presenter briefly discussed his sober life, during a guided workshop, students asked questions of the characters as well as specific questions about the topics broached, which included drugs and alcohol, teen suicide, domestic violence, parental abuse and just curiosity about the subject matter.

Please share your feedback, somethings you learned, and some advice you would like to give to your peers!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

CSIHSIS Heads to Memphis!

Today, thanks to the IMPACT BROADWAY ( grant that we are fortunate to be a part of, 36 students experienced the musical Memphis, met with the cast for a question and answer session, and dined at Planet Hollywood along with students from other high schools representing their boroughs.

Memphis is musical about the birth of rock & roll in the turbulent 1950s. The show features music and lyrics by David Bryan, a founding member of the rock band Bon Jovi,. Featuring an original score that mixes gospel, rhythm & blues, and early rock ‘n’ roll stylings with a contemporary sensibility, Memphis follows the fictionalized life story of Huey Calhoon, a young, white radio disc jockey growing up in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1950’s. Fueled by the music he hears in the black bars on Beale Street, Huey’s on-air antics and unstoppable enthusiasm for “race records” creates a new white audience for African-American music. Then he falls in love with a beautiful black singer, and his personal life transcends the race line, too, with grave consequences.

Memphis received rave reviews from our students and the teacher and parent chaperons, who totally enjoyed the fabulous singing, the lyrics and music, the dancing, and the great story line as they learned a little about the history of music in our country as well as about race relations, the dangers of prejudice and racism, and, more importantly about acceptance! Read on to hear what we have to share about our experience, to see what we learned about this time in history, and to learn about how experiencing Broadway has impacted us!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

2009-10 Preview of the CSI/McCown Boys' Basketball Team

2009-10 CSI/McCown boys' basketball preview
Daniel O'Leary, November 24, 2009 8:19 p.m.

Amir Archer, a junior, returns as CSI-M's top offensive player. - (Photo by user yankeepacker)HEAD COACH: Ray Palma, second season ASSISTANT COACHES: Eliot Wilson, Brian Linner, Frank Allende LAST SEASON: Overall: 4-16. PSAL: 1-13
PROBABLE STARTERS G Haywoode Yatco (5-3, So.) G Joseph Ojo (5-8, Fr.) G Christopher Frank (6-1, So.) F Amir Archer (6-4, Jr.) F Quamaine Tomlin (6-5, So.)
KEY RETURNEES Archer, now a junior, averaged 12 points per game and is back bigger and stronger according to Palma. "He has really developed," said Palma. "He led us in scoring last year and we're looking for him to be able to move away from the basket a little this year and rebound and initiate our fast break." Frank moves off the ball after handling the point last season. "He had to play point guard out of necessity last year, but this year, he'll be unleashed," said the coach. "He has free reign and we need him to be aggressive." Talon Turner, a junior guard with experience, will likely come off the bench.
TOP NEWCOMERS Palma is excited about a quartet of new arrivals. Tomlin is a transfer from Moore Catholic, Yatco takes over at point guard and freshmen Ojo and Brandon O'Keefe will contribute. "To have two big guys like Quamaine and Amir playing alongside one another can be a big advantage," said Palma. "But they have to complement each other and they can't crowd each other. If they do that, we can be a special team." Yatco opted not to play last year but is a "pure point guard" and will run the show. "I'll put him up against anybody," said Palma, who expects both freshmen to make an immediate impact as well as soph guard Schwartzen Jarmon.
2010 OUTLOOK "I think we are going to be competitive this year and that's why I'm excited about this team," said Palma. "Obviously every year the goal is to make the PSAL playoffs. Whether that is a reachable goal remains to be seen. I'd guess we're probably going to lose some games we should win and win some games we should lose."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Surowiec's Advisory Interviews Volunteer Organization in Argentina

Our Advisory (Ms. Surowiec’s Advisory) is organizing a Movie Night to raise money for an organization in Argentina that helps kids that live in the poorest areas of Buenos Aires. As a result, we interviewed the organization through Skype. We wanted to share with you some of the information we learned about the organization.

LIFE is an organization located in Argentina. It was officially established eight and a half years ago to help the most disadvantaged children in Buenos Aires. However, the founder has been helping the children of Buenos Aires for about twenty years already. There are many people volunteering for the organization.

LIFE has many goals. Two goals mentioned during the interview were: to work in the poorest areas of Buenos Aires and to form a school support program.
Life runs an after school program. There the kids do homework and must complete worksheets before going to play. During the work and fun activities they have snacks. They play board games and a variety of sports.

LIFE also tries to run different events for the children, such as Kids Day and a Christmas party. Their Christmas party is a major upcoming event run by LIFE. The organization takes 300 to 400 to a park for a day of planned activities. As you know, it is summer in Argentina. LIFE provides lunch and presents if they can afford to.

LIFE does not receive any support from a government. Nonetheless, there are many fundraisers held. Many of them are held here in the United States.
LIFE hopes to expand in five years. They would like a few steady and paid employees, a larger office, and a steady funding. They hope to establish a school support program by then.

Our help would go to help organize the Christmas Party for the kids and hopefully to presents that would include school supplies. We hope the students of CSI and their families can support us in our efforts. The organization and we appreciate all the help.

It is also a great opportunity for students of CSI to volunteer for the organization in Argentina one day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Today, thanks to our Principal for a Day, WMG Chief Financial Officer Matt Signore, twenty three CSIHSIS freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors visited Warner Music Group for a round table and lunch with executives from the music business. Students were able to learn first hand about a variety of careers, what employers look for when they are hiring new employees, how school can impact your career, and how WMG is making efforts to go green and sharing their knowledge with others.

Many thanks to Melissa Leitman and PENCIL for helping to arrange this partnership for our school and for the new opportunities it is creating for our students. A special thank you to David Sassano for all his work behind the scenes in organizing today and to Matt Signore for being passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people, and to the WMG team we met today for sharing their passion for what they do and their experiences with us. We look forward to our continued partnership.

Read our students' reflections on a wonderful day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Senior Reflects on Her College Experience

It's simply amazing how one's life can change in a matter of minutes. Coming out of middle school, I cannot deny, I wasn't the brightest crayon in the crayon box. I wasn't like the color gray, dull and boring, yet I wasn't macaroni and cheese orange, outgoing and different. As I opened the manila colored envelope I received in my previous school, St. Ann's school in Dongan Hills, my heart thumped louder than the tin man's could in the Wizard Of Oz. Notice the irony. Being a laid-back student with no aspiration to try my best, opening this letter would have been nothing out of the ordinary; probably a rejection letter with a million, “I'm sorry, you have not been accepted” lines in the first paragraph. Fortunately, for me, this time was different. “Congratulations, you have been accepted into CSI High School for International Studies.” With mouth wide open, I knew my life was about to change in a majority of ways. Not only was I going to ditch the snobby girls that flocked the hallways of terror, I knew that somehow my karma had been reversed, and that I was about to ride the biggest roller coaster I ever could.
I remember walking into the doors at the old CSIHSIS campus and seeing Mrs. Horowitz's heels and saying to myself, “Who is this fashionista persona working at my school? Maybe she wants to be a fashion designer too!” Well hey Marissa, that's your principal. And no, I don't think she's standing outside your school to be a fashion designer.
However, this reminiscence of my first year is not why I am writing this right now. In fact, I'm posting here to describe two of the many opportunities in which my school has helped me to achieve.
Linked with the College of Staten Island, our school is able to provide grants to their students, helping them to receive college credit for their chosen path. My chosen paths are fine arts, and fashion design, and in my junior year, I was able to take an Intro to Painting course at the College of Staten Island. Here, I was able to broaden my painting talents, and open my eyes to a new form of painting- oil. Feeling the smooth lining of a new brush, then smelling the oils being sucked into the coarse bristles never felt so real. This is one of the many opportunities I will never forget doing, and I know that if I am the next Van Gogh, that our school is definitely going in the credits.
Secondly, I was able to take an Intro to Sculpture class. This class, much different then the painting course, has helped me to redefine the meaning of sculpture. Never had I used plaster before, and carving was something eye- opening. Moreover, my ending piece could have passed for a Isamu Noguchi. Hey- it's okay to dream! However, my sculpture did come out very well, and now sits in the College of Staten Island Gallery. In total, for both of these courses, I have received four college credits. Starting January 2010, I will be taking the Intermediate Painting course, for which I will receive three credits.
Our school provides their kids with so many opportunities. So take full advantage of them. If you love something, don't let anyone stop you. It doesn't hurt to take a class that will benefit your future- remember that.
by Marissa Mule, Class of 2010

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blended Poetry Based on One Survivor Remembers

Junior students in Ms. Emerson's advisory created blended poems by responding to several excerpts on imagination from the film One Survivor Remembers and from Gerda Weissman Kleins's memoir All But My Life. Gerda Weissmann Klein is a Holocaust survivor who has dedicated her life to fighting the problem of hunger. Klein "shows every day of her life that not even the worst of tragedy can beat the best of the human spirit."
To create their blended poems students highlighted passages from the excerpts that spoke to them. The poems consist of one line by Gerda Weissman Klein, then one line by the student, back and forth. It was incredibly moving to hear the students and their teacher share their poems so I posted a few here to share with our entire community.
Growing Up
by Devan LaBarbera and Gerda Weissman Klein
I remember it was fort of the most incredible thing that reality
of being at grandma's with the whole family for sauce.
It became very important and this is how you passes the hours and forgot the hunger.
Father and mother daughter dances brought me close to them.
I started looking through a photo album
and remembered the surprise trip to Disney.
Comfortingly the past was unwinding before me; my wonderful childhood
the times I'd play video games with by brother and my boy cousins,
remembering the past using these fragments to weave dreams for the future.
I plan to graduate college and become successful.
I lay down on my bed and looked up at the blue ceiling,
these thoughts were a wonderful escape from the present.
In My Life
by Clarisse Concepcion and Gerda Weissman Klein
Weave dreams for the future.
Live a successful life.
Across pictures that have been taken during the summer,
travel to places I've dreamed of.
No present existed.
Be accepted into the college of my choice.
The reality which I had always taken for granted.
Spending time with friends during winter break
now became a distant memory.
Attending my cousin's wedding and eating Belgian waffles with whipped cream and fruit.
You could occupy your mind and hang your thoughts on trivia of that nature;
That is how you pass the hours.
I dreamed of the future
by Raven Fakoya and Gerda Weissman Klein
I dreamed of the future
to become a sports agent.
Playing with the fragments of my dreams
being able to donate fifty thousand dollars a year to a charity.
Using these fragments to weave dreams of the future
of going to Harvard Law
But full of lovely memories from which to draw strength
Like the day I was no longer an only child
I remember it was sort of the most incredible thing that the reality which I had always taken for granted now became the most remote family,
like the very first time I went to Nigeria.
But full of lovely memories from which to draw strength
I dream of the future.
Memories from the Past, Dreams of the Future
by Breanna Pizzolo and Gerda Weissman Klein
I remember it was sort of the most incredible thing
going skiing with my family.
These thoughts were a wonderful escape from the present,
thinking about going on vacations; crusises and Disney.
Idly, I started looking through a photograph album,
seeing the photographs from Italy and Costa Rica,
playing with the fragments of my dreams;
I dream to become successful in life and in my career.
At night I dreamed of the future.
And for the future, I deramed of becoming a speech pathologist.
Using the fragments to weave dreams for the future,
I hope it is as successful and as happy as my past.
Before and After
by Meghan Emerson and Gerda Weissman Klein
I pretended just for a little bit
to live a long, happy, and healthy life with them.
The most remote fantasy,
When Allen proposed marriage in the sky
The past was unwinding before me
All the wonderful birthday parties my mom planned for me.
But full of lovely memories from which to draw strength
like playing board games with my family six months before my mom died.
I spun dreams of our reunion at home
om my wedding day.
It was a wonderful escape
to occupy my mind.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

November CSI High School Happenings!

Two senior students, Aleksandra Makowska and Simit Christian, win full scholarship to participate in Students on Ice expedition to the Antarctic! They will begin their trip in Argentina, where they will board the boat to the Antarctic. We can't wait for them to be able to share their learning with the rest of our community!!!

In preparation for a service learning project in which students in Ms. Surowiec's sophomore advisory will work to educate others about a group of children in Buenos Aires, Argentina so that they can raise money to help them, students had a Skype interview and conversation with leaders of the organization in Buenos Aires.

Students in our International Journalism program recently participated in the JEA Convention held in Washington, DC. At the convention students met and interviewed Bob Woodward, had breakfast with a professional journalist, and visited the Newseum. They also learned new strategies to raise funds for our paper as well as how to improve layout. They recently shared these strategies with their fellow journalists at a press conference.

Thanks to our Principal for a Day, Matt Signore, the Chief Financial Officer of Warner Music Group, we have a newly established partnership with WMG. As part of this partnership, Matt spent a day at our school in October. He spoke with students in Economics, Journalism, Global Technology, and our College Now Communications classes about the entertainment industry and the music business as well as with a group of student representatives to learn how WMG could help our school. As a result of this conversation, twenty-five students will visit WMG to participate in a career seminar and lunch with WMG executives.

Student members of Impact Broadway will shortly be seeing their second in a series of shows. The group of about forty students has already seen In the Heights and will be seeing Memphis and participating in a post-show workshop with actors from the play.

Sophomore students in Ms. Kerwin's Living Environment class are taking a trip to Central Park to meet and work with an environmentalist.

A host of representatives from colleges throughout the country have been visiting our school to speak with interested seniors. Additionally, Ms. Pastena hosted a College Information Night for junior and senior parents and their students. The college search and application process were discussed, a financial aid expert explained the FAFSA form and how to fill out, and an expert on college admissions testing explained the differences between SATs and ACTs as well as SAT subject tests, how to prepare for these tests, when it is advisable to take them, and more.

World renowned Singaporean international lawyer and environmentalist Simon Tay will hold a press conference with CSI High School for International Studies journalism students as well as a round table with interested faculty and students.
Juniors in Ms. Mangiero's United States History and Advanced Placement US Hisotry worked with Fullbright Scholars from Global Classrooms to understand diverse perspectives on human rights issues in South Africa and during the revolution in Egypt.

Our November PTA Meeting featured a presentation by our SPARK counselor, Hattie Slaughter along with a speaker on high school students and sexuality, how to talk to your children about sex, how to help them to protect themselves, and the rampant spread of sexually transmitted diseases on Staten Island.

Congratulations!!! You Go To An "A" School!!!

On its first report card released by the Department of Education earlier this week, College of Staten Island High School for International Studies earned a grade of "A". In fact, thanks to the hard work of our faculty and staff, the strong home-school connection we have established, and the hard work, creativity, and persistence of our students, we earned one of the top "A" grades in the city. This is something for all members of our community to celebrate and to continue to strive for. We are hopeful that the "A" grade will become a longstanding CSI High School tradition!

In explaining how the "A" grade was earned, Ms. Horowitz told The Staten Island Advance,

"The teachers in this building are really concerned about the kids and make every effort to have good relationships with kids and their parents to make sure they are doing well, and, when they're not, they intervene quickly," she said. "We also engage kids in reflecting on their own learning and what they've learned about themselves as a learner and setting goals."

To read the article in its enirety:

To read the follow up article:

Faculty, staff, students, and parents are very proud of this wonderful accomplishment and are already working hard towards earning another "A" for the 2009-2010 school year.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kaplan & Miano World Literature Goes Socratic!

D Block World Literature class participated in a Socratic Seminar based on their reading of The Story of A Shipwrecked Sailor, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, A Socratic Seminar is a class discussion that is generated by student created analysis questions. The discussion is led by students with the teachers serving as a mere facilitator. Check out our video!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


NOVEMBER 16, 2009 - NOVEMBER 20, 2009
We invite parents/guardians to join us in celebrating open school week. This is the time to reinforce the family-school relationship that facilitates the dynamic partnership that is necessary to ensure the educational success of each student. You will have the opportunity to obtain a realistic picture of your child’s school day while experiencing the day to day activities that occur here at CSI High School for International Studies. You will have the unique opportunity of sharing in your child's learning and learning about the content and skills s/he is learning while here at school. We look forward to welcoming you and having you participate in our school according to the schedule below.

To help with the number of visitors on any given day we are assigning each grade two days to choose from during the week of November 16, 2009-November 20, 2009.

Monday, November 16 – 10th and 11th grade visitors
Tuesday, November 17 – 9th and 12th grade visitors
Wednesday, November 18 – 10th grade visitors
Thursday, November 19 – 9th and 11th grade visitors
Friday, November 20 – 11th and12th grade visitors

Please come prepared with your child's program card filled out along with the room numbers to ensure that your visit goes smoothly. Your child can help you with this. Please try to arrive for the beginning of a class so that you are not interrupting instruction. We welcome you to spend all or part of the day at school in your child's classes.

Please also have a picture ID available upon entering the school building.

Monday, November 2, 2009

CSIHSIS Student Testimony at the Secretary General's High Summit on Climate Change


You might have heard about global warming, melting ice and polar bears reaching extinction. However, climate change is so much more! It is about the floods that wreck homes and lives, the droughts that force farmers to abandon their heritage, the rising sea levels that make entire nations UNINHABITABLE. From personal experiences I can assure you that climate change impacts families. Mine in India has become a victim to malaria, lack of agricultural resources, and usable water.

Think about the youths around the world and your own children.
Do not consider taking action against Climate Change a sacrifice. Think of the cultures and creatures you will PRESERVE, the jobs you will CREATE, the innovations you will PROMOTE and most importantly the lives and planet you will SECURE, all by enforcing policies that reduce our footprint on the environment.
You have gathered here to talk, and you will again in Copenhagen, but WHAT HAPPENS AFTER?
Do you intend to wait for calamity or battle climate change?
Contact me and let me know of your actions to PRESERVE THE EARTH and THE PEOPLE ON IT.

Simit Christian - 17 - India

Saturday, October 24, 2009

You Can Help the UN Solve Global Problems!

Did you know that everyday the United Nations works to solve global challenges?

The United Nations:

1. Provides food to 108 million people in 74 countries

2. Vaccinates over 40% of the world's children, saving 2 million lives a year

3. Assists over 34 million refugees and others fleeing war, famine, or persecution

4. Fights climate change and leads a campaign to plant 1 billion trees a year

5. Keeps the peace with 116,000 peacekeepers in 17 operations on 4 continents

6. Fights poverty and helped 300 million rural poor achieve better lives in the last 30 years

7. Monitors, promotes, protects and develops human rights worldwide

8. Mobilizes $7 billion in humanitarian aid to help people affected by emergencies

9. Leads international efforts in clearing landmines in over 30 countries

10. Promotes universal primary education reaching 88% enrolment coverage in developing

To help, during the upcoming week, participate in our Trick or Treat for UNICEF by donating your spare change. Simply place it in the box in your advisory, in the main office, or in one of your classrooms.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

CSI High School Bids Swiss Exchange Students Adieu!

Tonight CSI High School students, their parents, and our faculty hosted a potluck farewell dinner for our Swiss exchange students. "It's hard to believe a week has gone by already." "He is my new son!" "It was a wonderful experience." "I can't wait until we go to Switzerland." As I walked around our school cafeteria these were the comments I heard from students and their parents about the exchange experience. It was also great to hear about the the bonding experiences that took place over the weekend as students spent time with their host families visiting Washington DC, being there on one of two days when people are permitted on the grounds of the White House, visiting the Holocaust Museum, seeing the memorials at night, visiting the Alice Austen House and Wagner College, Times Square, King of Prussia Mall, meeting friends and family, and more!

As a group, they walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (where they saw Spike Lee), went to Battery Park and even had an interview with Bill Thompson, saw Ground Zero, Trinity Church, and the African Burial Ground as part of a walking tour of Manhattan. Phantom of the Opera was an experience all enjoyed but it appeared, as usual, that what the kids enjoyed most was hanging out with their new friends, talking, getting to know and learning about one another and hopefully forming bonds that will last long beyond the exchange experience.

It is with hope for a lasting school relationship and for lasting friendships that we bid our Swiss guests farewell! It has been a pleasure to have you and to share in this cultural exchange with you! (By the end of the day tomorrow I should have a hat as a souvenier of this visit!)

Monday, October 19, 2009


In addition to being the CSIHSIS mascot, in China, the dragon is a sacred and powerful mythical creature. Many Chinese proverbs reference the dragon. For example, “Through acts of dedication and valor, a Dragon is born.” If one were to call you a “dragon” it means you’re as powerful as an emperor, who holds imperial authority. Dragons are believed to bring good luck to people, which are reflected in their qualities that include great power, dignity, fertility, and wisdom.

During festive celebrations in China, the Dragon Dance is performed by a skilled team who bring the dragon’s body to life. The College of Staten Island High School for International Studies Dragon Dance Team has learned to perform this sacred cultural dance.

To view a segment of this exciting performance click here

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


On Wednesday, October 21st we are fortunate to have Mr. Kevin Cassidy from the International Labor Organization coming to address our entire student body.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is the the UN specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labor rights. dealing with issues such as child labor, forced labor, sustainiable development, etc. To learn more about the ILO click here:

The International Labor Organization is devoted to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. Its main aims are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue in handling work-related issues.
In promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, the organization continues to pursue its founding mission that labour peace is essential to prosperity. Today, the ILO helps advance the creation of decent jobs and the kinds of economic and working conditions that give working people and business people a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress.


The deadline is rapidly approaching. If you are interested please see Ms. Horowitz or Ms. Lanceter after you have reviewed the application. Click here to download application!


We are proud to announce that our school library is now open. To accommodate our students' schedules and enable them to use the library before and after school for research, study groups, to access computers necessary for them to complete assignments and projects, and to enjoy our expanding collections the library will be open according to the following schedule:


Monday: 9:00 - 3:50
Tuesday: 7:30 - 2:20
Wednesday: 8:30 - 3:20
Thursday: 7:30 - 2:20
Friday: 8:00 - 2:50

We encourage all of our students to visit the library and welcome our new librarian,
Patricia Sarles!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Graduate Portfolio

Profile of CSI High School for International Studies School Graduate


The goal of CSI High School for International Studies is to graduate students who posses the knowledge, skills and habits of mind necessary to work and live in the 21st century global environment.


CSIHSIS graduates are Academically Prepared. Upon leaving school, each CSIHSIS student:

  • Is intellectually curious, has a desire for life-long learning, thinks critically and effectively organizes his or her own efforts to learn.
  • Has earned a high school diploma with course credits required for entry into any institution of higher learning.
  • Is prepared to successfully engage in college-level coursework and complete a college degree or other post-secondary certification.


CSIHSIS graduates are Proficient Thinkers and Problem Solvers. They:

  • Demonstrate a capacity for mathematical analysis, scientific processing, and logical reasoning.
  • Hold themselves accountable for moral reasoning and ethical decision-making
  • Transfer their learning and problem-solving skills across domains, and articulate the interconnectedness of their learning.
  • Understand and use the arts and literature as lenses through which to view society and culture, as well as to express ideas and emotions.
  • Understand and engage complex problems, collect, analyze and synthesize information from a range of sources, tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty, and produce potentially viable solutions.


CSIHSIS graduates are Culturally Aware. They:

  • Know world geography, including the locations of major world regions and cultures, as well as human and environmental interaction, and how geography influences cultural development.
  • Understand the contributions of different world cultures to the ways of life in the United States.
  • Have in-depth knowledge and understanding of at least one culture very different from their own and recognize the role that language plays in shaping culture.
  • Understand the historical development and contemporary beliefs, values, and characteristics of major world cultures.


CSIHSIS graduates are Aware of World Events and Global Dynamics. They:

  • Understand the multiple perspectives of current world events, international issues, and global debates.
  • Integrate a thorough knowledge of their own culture and country to become a fully enfranchised and participatory global citizen.
  • Understand global dynamics – how world economic, political, technological, environmental and social systems work and are interdependent across nations and regions.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of at least one pressing international issue or problem.


CSIHSIS graduates are Literate for the 21st Century. They:

  • Demonstrate mastery of the skills essential to communication and learning (reading, writing, analyzing, listening, and speaking) both in English and one or more languages other than English.
  • Develop and present information in an articulate, persuasive, and appropriate manner – orally, visually, in writing, and through digital communication tools.
  • Critically evaluate the presentation of information through various formats and technologies (media literacy).


CSIHSIS graduates are Collaborative Team Members. They:

  • Understand how individuals work together in a team and work as collaborative team members to achieve a goal and to learn from people from other cultures.
  • Are aware of and able to reflect upon their role and contributions as a member of a team and demonstrate an understanding of the value of doing so.
  • Appreciate and are respectful of the diversity of contributions, learning styles, and strengths of individual team members.
  • Welcome of differences in interpretation and judgment, are receptive to other’s views, and revise and expand their own views.


CSIHSIS graduates are Effective Users of Technology. They:

  • Evaluate sources of information for bias, validity, and scholarly integrity
  • Proficiently use essential computer and communications technologies and demonstrate an understanding of the appropriate applications thereof.
  • Proficiently use a multitude of technological tools for communication, presentation and data analysis.
  • Use technologies to communicate and work across national and regional boundaries.


CSIHSIS graduates are Socially Prepared and Culturally Sensitive. They:

  • Comfortably culture jump by choosing appropriate language, behaviors, and strategies of interaction.
  • Demonstrate respect in their communication, decision-making, and actions.
  • Actively listen to and carefully consider the perspectives and opinions of others.
  • Demonstrate ethical decision-making skills, self-control, and the ability to make responsible choices that contribute to continuous self development. **
  • Have emotional intelligence including self-knowledge and the ability to manage emotions. **
  • Make healthy lifestyle decisions including personal wellness, fitness, and relationships; they will pursue physical, mental, and emotional health.
  • Resolve conflicts peacefully and fairly.






* Adapted from Houston School for a New Society Graduate Profile

** from Smart & Good High Schools, Lickona and Davidson, 2005, pg 23

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The International Insider surveyed freshman parents at Simulated School Night to find out how they feel about CSIHSIS for their child, whether they approve of our school environment, and how they feel our school will help their child succeed in the future. Read on for some of their comments:

"By attending a smaller school, my child get individual attention."
"I feel that this school is a great learning place. From the first time we went to the Open House, I just loved it. You could feel a warm, family friendly environment."
"He seems happy so far because he gets Japanese, which he really wanted."
"The environment is very good. I feel it is safe for my child."
"I feel that they will prepare my child with a diversified education in worldly events an different cultures. She will have knowledge of everything that is happening in the world today and that will giver her a great start in college."
"I am hopeful that you will give my child the tools he will need to succeed and grow into a young, intelligent adult. My child is part of the future."
"I feel that it is a safe place. The principal and assistant principal are always watching our for the children's safety. They can be seen in the a.m. in front of the school."

Monday, September 21, 2009


Attention Seniors and Juniors

The following colleges will be visiting our school in the near future! If you are interested in speaking with representatives from these school please come to Room 242 during B Block. Make sure to get permission from your advisor or your teacher prior to coming to the meeting!

Wednesday, September 23rd - Fordham University - B block Room 242
Tuesday, September 29th - Macaulay Honors - B block - Room 242
Thursday, October 1st - St. Francis College - B block - Room 242
Tuesday, October 27th - St. John's University - B block - Room 242

Coming soon: Senior Day at College of Staten Island!

Seniors will have the opportunity to learn about all CUNY schools and programs and to actually experience college classes.

Learn About SUNY (State University of New York) Schools

When: Thursday, September 24 at 4:30 pm
Where: The Jacob Javits Center

High school seniors and their families are invited to join SUNY representatives for a program designed to provide information and answer your questions about the college search process and all that is available to undergraduates at The State University of New York.
For more info on this event visit

Thursday, September 17, 2009

CSIHSIS Welcomes Parents to Simulated School Night

On Tuesday, September 15th CSIHSIS hosted its Simulated School Night. Simulated School Night provides parents an opportunity to experience their child's school day as they go through an abbreviated school day following their child's program. It is a way for parents to meet teachers, to become informed about the content and skills their children will be learning in each of their classes, the goals the teachers and students have established, and how they can support their children's learning and achievement. We are proud to say that more than 200 families participated in this event.

In addition to meeting their child's teachers, parents also met with Ms. Horowitz and Mr. Canale. During that meeting Ms. Horowitz proudly shared our school's, our students', and our staffs' accomplishments. Our inaugural class had 92 seniors. 90 students graduated in 2009. Of the 90, 61 graduated with Regents Endorsed Diplomas and 18 graduated with Advanced Regents Endorsed Diplomas. Our students were accepted to a wide range of prestigious colleges and universities including Brown, Penn State, Howard, MacCauley Honors College, University of Chicago, Hunter, Fordham, Indiana University, SUNY Stonybrook, NYU, RPI, and Northeastern.

Over the summer our students continued their learning through a variety of internships including internships with the Mayor's Office and with The Hungerford School, by attending Business Camp, by participating in the Start Talk Chinese Language Program, by taking college courses at College of Staten Island, by participating in our first ever Freshman Summer Academy, and most recently, 3 of our students were among the 12 selected as delegates to the United Nations Secretary General's High Level Summit on Climate Change.

Additionally, our teachers and administration continued their learning throughout the summer attending Alan November's Conference on Building Learning Communities, a conference on digital storytelling, travelling to China and learning new ways of teaching mathematics, participating in an intensive journalistic writing institute at The Washington Post, and experiencing the culture and doing community service in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We look forward to continuing our learning throughout this year as we build and strengthen our learning community. In October we will be hosting exchange students from Switzerland, having our NHS induction ceremony, taking the PSATs, having an overnight college trip that is generously subsidized by our PTA, having a senior college day at College of Staten Island, participating in The Giving Project, having our first Student Led Conferences, and more. Thanks to our wonderful staff and students our school year is already off to a great start. We are excited about the great achievements our students will make this year and can't wait to tell you all about them!

Spanish Teacher Experiences Buenos Aires

Hola! I wanted to wish a great year for all the students of CSI HS and especially my Advisory and Spanish classes!
I also wanted to share with you one link of an organization in Buenos Aires I was volunteering for this summer.
It has been one of the most amazing experiences in my life and I encourage every one of you to volunteer and make a difference in someone's life.
My advisory will be working on educating other students about this particular organization so soon you should be reading some of their posts!

Hasta pronto!
Senorita Surowiec

Saturday, September 12, 2009

CSIHSIS Commemorates 9/!1

Once again CSIHSIS students remembered those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks as well as those who performed heroic acts engaging in the resuce. CSIHSIS students today recognized 9/11 as a National Day of Service. To honor those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks and in the aftermath students collected funds to donate to the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in the name of fallen firefighter and Staten Island resident Daniel Libretti. Students pledged to do service for at least one member of our school community on 9/11 in addition to the service learning projects they do throughout the year.

In the spirit of 9/11 as a National Day of Service and to foster tolerance and global awareness, in their advisories students brainstormed how they can be of service to our school community, the Staten Island community, and to our global community as the first step towards designing their service learning projects. As always, we are proud of our students' generosity and their willingness to give of themselves in service to others.

Further, a segment of our junior students' summer project involved learning about different perspectives on 9/11 as well designing and creating a memorial to those who lost their lives as a result of the attacks. To view our students work, visit our school where it is displayed in the showcases in our main lobby.

To support the Memorial and Museum and to learn more about 9/11 as a National Day of Service visit their site at

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Great First Day!!!

Yesterday was a great first day.  Wishing all of you a wonderful school year!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Of the twelve students selected as delegates to the United Nations Secretary General's High Level Summit on Climate Change, three are from College of Staten Island High School for International Studies. Congratulations to seniors Simit and Adefola and to junior Abetola on their selection by UNICEF to participate in this Summit to collaborate with world leaders on the issue of climate change and what should be done about it. (You can read about how climate change has affected Simit and his family in the comments to our earlier posting announcing the Summit!)

Student delegates are currently spending three days collaborating with one another and UNICEF leaders to prepare for the summit, which is taking place at the United Nations on September 22, 2009. Delegates will participate in the Opening Session of the SG High Level Summit on Climate Change and the First Spouses Luncheon on climate change and children. Student delegates will greet the leaders outside the Secretariat and hand over a personal narrative or "ask" on climate change. Thereafter, student delegates will narrate a five minute film on climate change solutions during the 8 minute long opening session of the Summit. Students will produce this film during their preparatory sessions. They will also participate in the Summit Closing Session. We are confident that our student delegates participation in the Summit and the preparatory program will benefit them educationally and will be an invaluable opportunity.

Monday, September 7, 2009


It is with great pleasure that the faculty and staff of College of Staten Island High School for International Studies welcome back the classes of 2010, 2011, and 2012 and warmly welcome the class of 2013! We are looking forward to an exciting year filled with wonderful learning experiences both in and out of the classroom including welcoming exchange students from Switzerland, a sophomore, junior, and senior college trip, a Freshman Unity Day, more amazing editions of The International Insider, a 10th grade Model United Nations Simulation, Junior Rite of Passage, Senior Capstone Fair, a senior film festival, our second graduation, and more!

All freshman should report to school on Wednesday, September 9th by 8:30 am and proceed to their advisory class. All sophomores, juniors and seniors should report by 9:15 am and should proceed directly to the auditorium where we will have our traditional Opening Ceremony.

All students are reminded that your summer project, which counts in all of your classes as well as towards your Advisory grade, is due on September 9th. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, September 8th for program pickup and for the start of a fabulous school year filled with great accomplishments on Wednesday, September 9th.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Attention CSIHSIS Students:

Your voices have been heard! Thanks to our Student Parliament, who met at the end of last year with the nutritionist from our school cafeteria, we will have a lunch deli bar this year beginning the first day of school.

There will be two registers in the cafeteria; one for the purchase of hot foods and the other for the deli bar, where you will be able to select meats, cheeses, salad toppings, and contidiments to create your own heroes.

School food will be piloting this program in our cafeteria. Its success will be determined based on student use of the deli bar--so Dragons, you asked for it, it is here, now it is up to you to keep it!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

UNICEF & United Nations Provide Students with Opportuntiy to Participate in Secretary General High Level Summit on Climate Change

The Secretary General High Level Summit on Climate Change will take place on September 22, 2009. It is anticipated that over 100 world leaders will be in attendance for the Summit. Selected delegates will participate in the Secretary General’s Opening Session by presenting their ideas in a document to world leaders and creating a video on climate change solutions, which they will present during the Session. The delegates will also participate in the Closing Session of the Summit, as well as the First Ladies' luncheon on children and climate change on September 23. Students will engage in a preparatory programme during which time they will review many facets of climate change with UNICEF technical staff and outside experts.

We are thrilled to have been asked to have our students apply to this program as only 12-15 students will be selected. Eight of our recommended students have alpplied to participate in this wonderful learning experience where they will engage in collaborating with others, public speaking, problem solving, and learning more about climate change and what they can do to help solve this global problem.
In the meantime, you can help: Turn Down, Recycle, Walk,

Journey Into Journalism

Once again we need your help to enhance our students' learning experiences in Journalism.
As our journalism class is made up of students in three grades, the curriculum and reading selections must be differentiated to meet the needs of the students in those grades. Seniors, who have been in the journalism class for a year or more, need new literature that will challenge and engage them, while expanding their knowledge of the field of journalism.

The Elements of Journalism is a classic nonfiction piece about the responsibility reporters have to their audience. In addition, this book will provide insight into all aspects of the journalism profession. Since it is written by journalists, it is a valuable source for our students who are eager to learn and improve as high school reporters and who may be interested in careers in journalism.

Your help will ensure that our senior students continue to be challenged and engaged in this course. As the mentors in the class, this book will help them move closer to becoming effective mentors who practice professional high school reporting.

Any donation that you can afford, as well as your passing this proposal on to others who may be interested in helping enhance our Journalism Program is appreciated. Click here to donate to this worthwhile project:

Friday, August 21, 2009

NYC Marathon 2009

When I got home after surviving the rip tides this morning during a training swim in the pre-hurricane ocean waters of the Jersey Shore, I went online to read all about how the Yankees will sweep the Red Sox to find my confirmation email for entry into this years NYC Marathon. The marathon takes place the first Sunday in November.

I have spent a lot of the summer traveling, and training & racing triathlons - in downtown from reading novels & planning technology curriculum of course! I have been getting ready for an October 4th Half-Ironman. Its a 70.3 mile race that covers 1.2 miles of swimming, 56 miles on a bike, and a 13.1 mile run. Fun, fun, fun! I am doing that race for the I-Will Foundation. I have raised money without the help of my hardworking advisory because of the summer months so I am eager to return to Advisory and hear all the wonderful ideas they will have for their next service learning project - as I am sure my advisory has been thinking and writing down their ideas all summer, right?

I am running the 2009 NYC Marathon for the Boomer Esiason Foundation Team. This is a charity that raises money for Cystic Fibrosis. Like we did for the Wellness Community, I am sure that the Miano Advisory and our school community will do all we can to help a great cause! Since the marathon is the first weekend in November we'll be working hard from the start of the year.

Can't believe it is August already!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Share Your Summer Experiences With the CSIHSIS Community!

This summer CSI students , staff , and their families have traveled to England, China, to a variety of countries in Africa, to Canada, to Puerto Rico and other areas of the Caribbean, as well as throughout the United States. Additionally, students have completed internships, have had work experiences, and have participated in a variety of summer programs including film making programs, athletic programs, and arts and academic programs. It would greatly enrich our community if you could share your reflections, your photos and your learning from your summer experiences with us.

I was fortunate to participate in Alan November's Building Learning Communities Conference in Boston this summer. The conference focused on using technology in classes to enage students in active learning and to build student and professional learning communities. Hopefully we will be trying screencasting and digital story telling in addition to having students collaborate through the use of google docs. We are also considering having students develop digital portfolios through the use of blogs. As I participated in the conference, I had the opportunity to practice using some of the tools we hope to incorporate into learning this year. We twittered and tweeted to share our learning, we took notes simultaneously sharing our product using google docs, and had opportunties to experience new ways to engage learners using technology. Tlo read a little about what I learned, and to learn more about why it is imperative to engage students using technology read Alan November's article "Students as Contributors: The Digital Learning Farm"
Now I am off to Puerto Rico to learn how to relax and to enjoy some time with my family.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Help Us Build a Multi-Media Component for The International Insider

Click here to see how you can help our school make our award winning newspaper, The International Insider, a full multi-media news source:

Our newspaper, which we publish 6-8 times a year, is international in that our articles have a global focus, students collaborate with students in other countries to write articles together, and we have a network of schools from around the globe with students who report for our newspaper.
Our newspaper has grown from a 4 page to 16 to 20 page layout with a staff of 50 students from all grades. As we are an international studies school with reporters in schools around the globe, we need to move forward technologically to become a multimedia online newspaper. A multimedia newsroom will allow for differentiation in that students who are technologically savvy will play an integral role in publishing a live online newspaper complete with podcasts and video segments.
In order to move forward technologically, our news room needs the proper software. Creative Suite 4 Design Premium, Student Edition is a program that combines Indesign, Photoshop CS4 Extended, Illustrator CS4, Flash CS4, Dreamweaver CS4, and more. Such a program will allow all students to benefit both in the newsroom, school and international community, as everyone will have access to our newspaper.
Your help will ensure that my students are able to move our school publications, our newspaper and literary magazine to a new level by adding 21st Century technology, while also providing them with additional opportunities to grow in achieving 21st century learning skills as this software will afford them the opportunities to work as news reporters with cutting edge technology.
To read back issues of The International Insider click here: