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