• The SCHSD partnered with the Neag Center for the Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Connecticut to develop and implement the School-wide Enrichment Model (SEM) at the middle school level in all five schools. A District Leadership Team was established and trained in the foundations of the SEM model. These representatives work with building administration and faculty to develop the structure and practices of SEM that are custom tailored to capitalize on the unique talents of both faculty and students within each school. Initial SEM activities are being focused on supporting 7th grade students in Integrated Advanced classes, and through after school Talented and Gifted opportunities, open to all interested and motivated students. According to the Neag website,
     "The major goal of the SEM is the application of gifted education pedagogy to total school improvement. The SEM provides enriched learning experiences and higher learning standards for all children through three goals; developing talents in all children, providing a broad range of advanced-level enrichment experiences for all students, and providing advanced follow-up opportunities for young people based on their strengths and interests. The SEM focuses on enrichment for all students through high levels of engagement and the use of enjoyable and challenging learning experiences that are constructed around students' interests, learning styles, and preferred modes of expression."
     To learn more about SEM, please click on the link below:
    SEM Highlights:
    New Hyde Park Memorial High School, 2017-2018
    SEM opportunities are provided for students at NHP in all grades 7 through 12 where they can design, create, collaborate, experiment, invent and explore such things as technology, art, hobbies, STEM and craft activities and projects. Students, under the direction of the NHP librarians Mrs. Brusca and Ms. Resnick, are encouraged to collaborate with others or follow individual pursuits with the goal of sharing their creations with the school community. The new library Makerspace is a place where discovery and exploration are recognized and encouraged! Some highlights from the year so far are:  
         ~Global Cardboard Challenge: students created arcade games out of cardboard and then played the games with the CDP and ADL   
         ~LEGO Challenge: students had one lunch period to create something out of Legos for a prize;
         ~Valentine’s Day Cards: students and staff explored various stamping techniques and created cards for the holiday; 
         ~Makerspace Classes: various classes booked time in the library makerspace to explore technology such as 3D printing and circuitry, building, and crafts; and
         ~Google Expeditions: 7th grade science classes explored human body systems using AR (augmented reality).
    Here are some fun photos from these events:
    NHP SEM 1      Cardboard 2     Lego      Group     Ravenclaw      Google 1      Google 2      Google 3


    Floral Park Memorial High School, Winter 2018

    SEM is going strong at Floral Park Memorial High School.  The Floral Park Memorial FUSE Lab encourages innovation and enrichment.  Students in grades 7-9 are learning to design and build.  Students meet in the FUSE lab three times weekly after school, under the guidance of facilitator and school librarian Larissa Simonovski, and have the opportunity to work independently or collaboratively to complete one of the program’s 25 challenges.  The challenges include creating 3-D model of themselves, building roller coasters, creating light displays, designing and printing their own sunglasses.  The students are afforded the flexibility of time and depth of exploration depending on their level of interest and inquiry in each of the challenges. 

    FPM SEM    FPM SEM      FPM SEM      FPM SEM



    H. Frank Carey High School, Winter 2018

    Seventh grade students at Carey participated in an interdisciplinary project focusing on kindness for all.  Click here for a video about this project.  

    Additional details and photos coming soon!

    Sewanhaka High School, Fall 2017

    Students in 7th and 8th Grade were exposed to certain experiences or to the opinions of others on certain subjects throughout the course of the year, thus far, thereby creating an authentic experience for all students.

    For example, the 8th grade students went on a field trip to the Bronx Zoo earlier this year, which exposed students to a plethora of animals and wildlife.  Students were taken on tours of certain parts of the zoo and were given information about animals and wildlife that were brought back to the science and social studies classrooms to explore a bit further, and, if students wanted, were given the opportunity to research a particular animal further and come up with a possible problem or issue that they feel exists with that animal, be it extinction issues, environmental issues, health issues, etc…and what possibly could be done to solve the issue students reflected upon based on their research and the information obtained from the zoo. This trip lent itself for teachers to offer an optional assignment to students that they could eventually take further and form clusters of students interested in the same issue or problem and explore that issue as a group even further where they would eventually come up with a product.

     Another example would be having a Holocaust survivor come in to talk to the 8th grade on his experiences during the Holocaust.  The 8th graders were given the opportunity to listen to a gentleman who survived the Holocaust tell his story.  Both Social Studies and English combined forces with this event since Social Studies was studying the Holocaust and English was reading Anne Frank.  It gave all students an authentic experience and the opportunity to bring the information learned in both Social Studies and English to the real experiences of a survivor of that period in history.  As with the Bronx Zoo field trip, students were given the opportunity to explore this time period further focusing on possible issues that existed during this period in history and to present that issue to the class and why they think that issue existed.  The next step, if teachers are so inclined, would be to take those individual student presentations and cluster them with those who have issues in common so they may be able to research the issue further and come up with some type of product based upon their research.


    Photos Coming Soon!





    by Munahil Sultana and Nneka Emeagwali

    Although the final bell had rung for Elmont Memorial’s 2015-2016 school year, students in one English teacher’s classroom were eager to continue a yearlong project that kept them so engaged that they volunteered to continue during their summer vacations.  On Tuesday, July 12th, sixteen of Maria Harley’s 7th and 8th grade students accompanied her to the University of Connecticut to share the impact of this project with hundreds of educators who attended the annual Confratute workshop.

                “The Empowerment Project gives students an opportunity to voice their concerns about local and global issues and gives them a platform to explore solutions,” Ms. Harley describes.  “Through poetry, art, music, speeches, websites and other community outreach, students raised awareness about topics ranging from the wage gap to nuclear proliferation, from Black Lives Matter to educating girls around the world.”

                While some students used social media to shed light on their topics, others made public service announcement videos and interactive displays which reinforced unity and respect within the school.

    “Students were truly empowered as they researched, analyzed and contributed to the ongoing dialogue about these social conditions. They became enthusiastic writers and confident speakers who were passionate about the subject matter.”

                The excitement was still evident on July 12th when these committed middle school students met their teacher in front of Elmont Memorial High School at 5:45 a.m. and bonded during the three-hour trip to the University of Connecticut. There, they were greeted by their co-presenter, Nicole Waicunas, and Sewanhaka Central High School’s Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Cheryl Champ. 

                For the next hour and a half, Adetorera Adebiyi, Fisola Aruleba, Sky Arthur, Jahnia Cunningham, Nneka Emeagwali, Olisa Emeagwali, Imani Favard, Hannah Meikle, Laiba Mian, Melina Persaud, Lina Pinzon, Marvia Pressoir, Kai Reale, Karina Sandoval, Munahil Sultana and Aliyaah Toussaint mesmerized the audience of teachers and administrators, many saying that they will be implementing elements learned from this presentation into their schools next year.  From the autobiographical poems to the soul-stirring song written and performed by Olisa, these students delivered an unforgettable presentation.

                When asked to describe this year and this experience, Munahil Sultana had this to say:

    “In Ms. Harley’s class, students find themselves in a unique situation— as they step into the doors of room 226, they are treated as adults and taught that their voices matter. While many of us have been told to speak up, we have grown accustomed to being ignored and many young people feel that we can’t make a difference –at least not in the way we want to.

    “After many years of sitting in classrooms where students feel limited, you can imagine the surprise on my face when Mrs. Harley allowed us to discuss a range of topics such as animal cruelty and discrimination. She encouraged us to bring up issues that are important to us and debate them in class. What's even more astounding was that she actually cared about what we had to say.”

    Along with fellow 8th grader Fisola Aruleba, Munahil met with Elmont Memorial’s principal, Kevin Dougherty, in hopes of introducing the project schoolwide.  They wanted to share what they had learned with the 7th-12th grade students in their social studies classes.  Mr. Dougherty supported the students and the Empowerment Project continued to flourish.

    Hannah Meikle, who represented the Talented and Gifted program in Connecticut, was ecstatic about the event. “Confratute was an amazing experience. We were able to speak to educators who truly valued our time and thoughts. This experience helped me to see how much of an impact children can make and how much we matter to this world and the future. It was truly incredible and inspiring!”

    Ending the presentation, the students performed a touching tribute to Ms. Harley for guiding them in this project.  They all agreed that this is a moment that they will always remember.

    Nneka Emeawali said, “The trip was eye-opening.  I didn’t realize how much my words can influence our audience until I saw the looks on their faces.  They were in awe and it only motivated me to do better and to push myself.  I know that my fellow classmates can say the same.  One audience member came up to me after the presentation and said how proud she is of us and how hopeful she is of the future because we will be leading it. We left Connecticut knowing that this is not the end of a project but in fact a new beginning.  I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish going forward!”

    H. Frank Carey's SEM Night 
    In April, 7th graders at H. Frank Carey participated in a student enrichment project through the Social Studies department.  They researched several charities, and decided to raise money for America’s VetDogs.  Students designed their own presentations, which were then shared in classes throughout the school as a fundraising effort.  Ultimately, nearly $800 was raised for this charity, thanks to the hard work of this dedicated group of students. All SEM students presented their work to friends and family at the H. Frank Carey SEM night held on June 9, 2016.



    District SEM Training
     A team of District faculty attended the annual Confratute held at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT from July 10-15, 2016. This annual event provides intensive training in the theory and practice of the School-wide Enrichment Model. The District plans to implement elements of the model with 8th grade as well as 7th grade in the 2016-2017 school year.
    SEM team