North Merrick Everyday Health
A Message from the Superintendent
Dear Parents, Students, Faculty and Staff,
At the October meeting of the North Merrick Mental Health and Wellness Coalition, I outlined the many accomplishments of the coalition in benefiting our staff, students and families over the last couple of years, and how we will further build upon that foundation this year.
The coalition met again yesterday, and I was so glad to report on the restoration of many of our traditional events, such as Trunk or Treat, the fall festivals, Halloween parades, book fairs and, most recently, holiday boutiques. Our students are overjoyed to be participating again!
I am also very happy to inform you that our district has received a $200,000 grant from Nassau County Legislator Thomas McKevitt to upgrade our school playgrounds, and I'm hopeful about another grant from the state. There is nothing better than for young children to be moving and playing outdoors with their peers. More to follow on that progress!
A Whirlwind of A Week with Red Ribbon, Unity Day and Digital Citizenship Activities
Also during this week, North Merrick teachers shared a variety of instructional technology resources with students for Digital Citizenship Week, such as online games, interactive read-alouds, BrainPOP videos, and Nearpod lessons. Students learned about the ripple effect of their decisions and how to make good choices.
Red Ribbon Week at Camp Avenue School
Students enjoy an outdoor snack on Pajama Day during Red Ribbon Week
Unity Day at H.D. Fayette School
Students wear orange to unite against bullying and cyberbullying
Digital Citizenship Week at Old Mill Road School
Students learn about being respectful online citizens
Red Ribbon Week at Camp Avenue School
Fall Parent University Emphasizes Teamwork!
The fall Parent University on October 26 was set within a new, virtual game show format hosted by SO Fun City. And it was SO Much Fun! Special thanks to North Merrick teachers Amanda Hocevar and Maria Castle for organizing this special event.
North Merrick students and families collaborated to answer various types of trivia questions. When the majority voted for the correct answer, the team won points. There were double points when all the participants voted for the correct answer as well as extra points for completing various tricky challenges.
It was a close game, but, in the end, North Merrick scored 52 points edging out students from Syosset and a group in California! As Ms. Hocevar noted, "The night was all about working together as a team toward a common goal. As Hellen Keller said, 'Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.'"
NEW! Mindfulness Clubs
Mental Health and Wellness Coalition Clinical Subcommittee
NEW Partnership! Meet Parent Guidance
As a result, North Merrick has engaged with the Cook Center for Human Connection, a non-profit foundation created by philanthropists Greg and Julie Cook. The foundation provides free access to a vast library of parenting e-courses on the parentguidance.org website led by licensed clinical therapists. For example, one foundational course is titled "Connecting with Children by Parenting with Purpose," moderated by clinical director Dr. Kevin Skinner on a variety of unique topics such as "Tone of Voice."
Additionally, there is a free catalogue of questions answered on video by leading mental health experts called "Ask a Therapist" as well as a monthly online "Family Mental Health Night" packed with actionable information for parents. The next one is scheduled for December 8 at 8 p.m.
"Our schools have become even stronger partners with our parents due to the pandemic, something good that came out of this stressful time," explains Dr. Seniuk, "We keep moving forward by filling our tool box with resources for our families. Situations do not always happen during the school day, and this partnership offers a solution-based approach that will further support our families at home."
Guidance Advisory Council
Dr. Edward Murphy, Assistant to the Superintendent for Pupil Personnel & Special Education, and district guidance counselor Jacqueline Sekunda, co-chaired the first meeting of the Guidance Advisory Council. According to New York State regulations, every district must develop a "comprehensive developmental school counseling/guidance program” for all K-12 students. The district's Guidance Advisory Council is comprised of community stakeholders including parents, Board of Education members, teachers, school counselors, social workers, and psychologists. The committee has reviewed the district’s current guidance plan and made recommendations and suggestions for modifications. They will meet again in the winter to monitor the progress of the plan and provide additional modifications, if needed. A big thank you to Board President Megan Ryan, Esq., and Board Trustee Kathy Moran for representing the Board of Education on this committee.