Saturday, March 27, 2010


On March 25, 2010 CSI High School Dragon Drummers facilitated a Community Drum Circle for members of our school and our local community. This gave our students an opportunity to put the leadership skills they have learned into practice while sharing the drum circle experience with the Staten Island community. Through the drum circle experience students also educated community members about the various types of drums and other instruments that our part of our percussion ensemble while raising money to enable us to purchase Japanese Taiko drums. Many thanks to our wonderful student facilitators and to their teacher, Ms. Melissa Packowski, for providing the community with this experience.

CSI High School Drum Circle

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


CSI Students with Carole Perry at our First Annual Career Day
March has been an amazingly busy month for teacher and student learning and for celebrations of achievement at CSIHSIS. Today we celebrated more than 100 students who had outstanding academic achievement at an Honors Breakfast. These students were each encouraged to "pay it forward" by adopting a buddy that they can help so that at our next honors breakfast, we can celebrate 200 students!

After breakfast, our entire junior class headed off to the Bodies Museum, where they are continuing their learning for their various science classes including Forensics and Chemistry. Tomorrow night students are hosting a Community Drum Circle. Come with family and friends to experience a drum circle, have fun, and help us raise funds to purchase Taiko drums for our Percussion Ensemble. Our students and teachers participating in our Swiss Exchange Program depart for Switzerland tomorrow evening.

Looking back, the month began with our sophomore students participating in the Jewish Heritage Museum Lipper Internship Program. Interns visited our school and engaged students in lessons about the roots of discrimination, prejudice, anti-semitism, and genocide. Students then visited the Jewish Heritage Museum to continue their learning. The experience concluded with museum interns returning to their classes to debrief the experience.

The weekend of March 12th marked our second annual Senior Trip. Forty five seniors went to Honors Haven in Ellenville, New York. The weekend included tennis, basketball, rollerskating with Mr. Canale, a scavenger hunt, an indoor winter carnival, Karaoke, dancing, and more. A great time was had by all!!!!

Students who are part of the Impact Broadway program saw Fela and participated in the Broadway League Seminar at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. At the Seminar students learned about the various career opportunities in the theatre and entertainment industry.

This month, thanks to the hard work of our School Leadership Team, we hosted our first Annual Career Day for juniors and seniors. The day began with an advisory workshop and continued with an inspirational message from Dr. Jerald Jones-Woolfolk, Vice President of Student Affairs at College of Staten Island. Each student then participated in a series of three workshops, based on careers of their choice. They day concluded with students creating career maps and writing thank-you notes to the person that most inspired them. Presenters included: John Ross of MetLife; Matt Signore, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Warner Music Group; Dan Ferraro, Analyst at Warner Music; Laura Margiotta, Special Events Coordinator at Warner Music Group; Chris Signore, Manager of Digital Sales and Marketing at Warner Music Group; Adam Wandy, Director at Warner Music Group; David Sassano, Executive Assistant at Warner Music Group; Thomas Wilson, Physical Therapist; Carole Perry Parker for careers in radio, Vienna Profeta, Senior Vice President of the Eger Foundation (fundraising, marketing, and public relations); Bill Reich, Principal Sales Consultant for Oracle Corportation -an information technology professional; Vincent Gagliardo, Emergency Medical Technician FDNY; Vincent Arcello, firefighter-FDNY; Sara Lupin, Paramedic-FDNY; Professor Diedre Armitage, Director of Fieldwork-CSI on careers in education; Dr. Anthony Barone, Neonatologist; Joseph Battista, President of J&B Plumbing Company on careers in the plumbing and heating trade; Diana Brobmann, Senior Executive, Rights Representation, Advertising & Merchandise Licensing; David Businelli, architecht, owner and founder of Visions of Space; Lisa Donovan, attorney, Corporation Counsel, NYC Law Department; Michelle O'Brien, Spa Owner of the Grotto Spa; Elaine O'Keeffe, Auditor/CPA, Price Waterhouse; Amy Padnani and Tevah Platt, journalists at the Staten Island Advance; Daniel Mammaro, air traffic controller; Lauren MacDuffie, occupational therapist; Charles LaGanga, Managing Director/Marketing for Direct Access Partners-Tading on the floor of the NYS stock exchange; Jisu Kim, interpreter/translator; David Giampola, Chef at the Waldorf Astoria; Paige Frothingham, Health Educator at Staten Island University Hospital; David Frey, Assistant District Attorney Richmond County; Tony Rho, Natural Resources Manager for the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation; Robin Dublin, Executive Direcotr of the Greenbelt Conservancy-Enivronmental Educator and Recreation Specialist; Leah Ferencz, Speech Pathologist; Denise Taylor, retired Police Officer; Lorraine Marin, Police Officer; Vinny Marino, Radio; A Lifestyle Not A Job; and Ron Mannaice, business owner Yearbook Innovation, Inc. on owning and operating a small business.

While juniors and seniors enjoyed Career Day, our freshman and sophomore classes continued their science learning as they experienced the Museum of Natural History and the Liberty Science Center. During this month we also had very successful and informative Student Led Conferences, during which students spoke with their parents about their learning, their goals, their strengths and weaknesses, and showed them work from each of their classes. The folowing day we had very productive parent-teacher conferences providing parents with the opportunity to conference with their childs' teachers.

While all this was taking place, teachers participated in Japanese Lesson Study; an ongoing process in which teachers work collaboratively to plan lessons, observe one another teach the lesson, provide fedback, and revise the lesson. This was part of our Inquiry Team work to help strengthen students' inferencing skills.

We are all looking forward to Spring break and coming back to school well rested and rejuvenated for our April Poetry Slam and for our PTA Chinese Auction on April 24th. We look forward to your participation in these events.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Each year the College Board recognizes exceptional teachers of grades 6 through 12 for the innovative methods they use to develop their students' writing skills. Grants of $3,000 each will be awarded to teachers who are doing an inspiring job of teaching their students to write and who will benefit most from a grant to enhance a successful project.

The award was named for Bob Costas, the Emmy Award-winning broadcaster and author, for his dedication to the craft of writing and his generous public service work on behalf of the National Commission on Writing.

Recipients of the 2010 Bob Costas Grants for the Teaching of Writing
Middle States Region Nancy Kaplan of the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies in Staten Island, N.Y., teaches journalism and English. Her students collaborate with student-writers from other nations to produce an international report on topics including the war in Iraq, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and teen life in various cultures.

Western Region
Eric Gutierrez, a history teacher at Whitney High School in Cerritos, Calif., uses blogging to encourage his seventh-grade history students to organize and articulate their ideas about historical and current events. Posting their work online gives added incentive, he said, for students to improve their critical thinking and writing skills.

Southwest Region
Lynne Dozier of Klein Forest High School in Houston sponsors the student art and literature anthology called the Aquilas Stilus, which means “the eagle’s pen” in Latin. The student publication is in its 17th year, and manuscripts are chosen in order to reflect the diverse voices and creative talents across the high school.

Midwest Region
Keri Grady of Saint Martin de Porres High School in Cleveland, Ohio, teaches multimedia journalism and assigns her students a variety of stories chronicling life at their school and in their community. Students write and produce stories to educate their audience and illustrate their perspective on contemporary issues.

New England Region
Patricia Pflaumer of Abington High School in Abington, Mass., leads an effort called Students Write to Be Heard, or SW2BH. The goal she sets for her students is for them to have written work published during the school year, whether in a literary magazine, school newspaper or writing conference or contest.

Southern Region
Gabriel Ortiz, education program director at Oasis Middle School in Bradenton, Fla., leads two major projects in the Writing Workshop at Oasis: a school book and a theatre production. The school book, Seen but Not Heard, allows students to share personal stories and serves as a mentor text for other children.


Nengajo is an important tradition in Japan. It refers to the New Year’s greeting cards that people write in December to relatives, co-workers and friends, and that are delivered altogether on January 1st in the entire country. They usually include the customary greeting, a well as a representation of the animal of the year according to the Chinese Zodiac.

Every year the National Council of Japanese Language Teachers organizes a Nengajo design contest in which hundreds of students studying Japanese participate. This year, thanks to our Japanese teacher Natalia Higashide and the talents of our students taking Japanese, our school had the pleasure of being among the schools that received an award from the NCJLT. Special congratulations to MELANY YUIN for this honorable recognition! We also congratualte all our students who participated in this Japanese tradition. See the beautiful cards they created displayed on the second floor in our school!