A North Merrick Minute

An e-newsletter from the North Merrick Schools: Spring 2021

Update from the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Cynthia Seniuk

Together, we've accomplished so much during 2020-21, and now we are about to enter the busy spring season and end of the school year! Last March, we were starting remote learning and now we have nearly completed a full school year of in-person instruction.

Please take a minute to view the budget presentation video (below), which looks back at this momentous year. Then scroll through the rest of the e-newsletter to learn more about activities and events that have taken place since the fall, as well as registration links for upcoming spring and summer programs.

Field of Flags will also return, hosted this year by Old Mill Road Student Council, and the flyer and order form to sponsor a flag are linked as well. It will be especially beautiful to see the flags waving on the Fayette front lawn this May and June!

North Merrick's Hometown Hero

Congratulations to Deidre Boyle, Special Education teacher at Camp Avenue School, for being North Merrick's Hometown Hero!

Ms. Boyle was featured in The 2020 Hometown Heroes Yearbook, a special section of The Herald published in January. Ms. Boyle was among 400 people "who remind us that amidst uncertainty and tragedy, our neighbors rose to the occasion." Ms. Boyle was recognized for her unwavering support of North Merrick students and families, faculty and staff, at all times, but especially during this period of unprecedented crisis. "Deidre Boyle is so caring, and she has made a lasting impact on our community," says Dr. Seniuk.

Big picture

World Read-Aloud Day

North Merrick School District once again participated in World Read-Aloud Day in February with over a dozen authors, illustrators and poets from around the country visiting virtually with K-6 classes to talk about their careers and books. For instance, author Robin Yardi interacted with sixth grade students in Ms. Castle's class at Harold D. Fayette School from her sunny garden in California, as the students looked outside at 14 inches of snow! Ms. Yardi had an in-depth discussion with the students and answered their questions about her middle-level mystery novel, Owl's Outstanding Donuts. "It was an inspirational and eventful day of reading for our students," says Christine Talbot, the district's instructional technology coordinator, who arranges this event each year. The World Read-Aloud virtual format was one that North Merrick students were already familiar with, way before remote learning.

Big picture

High School Student Mentors

In response to New York State’s Culturally Responsive Sustaining Education Initiative, Christina Moser, ENL teacher at Old Mill Road School, has collaborated with Heather Glick, Calhoun High School teacher, and her students. The high school students have facilitated "Book Talks" to discuss a rich variety of literature and promote the message that we all have qualities that make us unique. This partnership also gives our students the opportunity to interact with high school students who serve as role models and mentors. The books selected for the project focus on character growth, social acceptance, friendship, self-esteem, and diversity. In addition, students learn how to use and communicate through various technology platforms such as Buncee, Canva for Education, and Seesaw. For example, the elementary students drew self-portraits they compiled into a Buncee presentation as well as created inspirational posters in Canva. "Our students really look up to the high school students," says Ms. Moser, who is sharing this project with colleagues throughout the district.

Big picture

Alumni Author Meet and Greets

In honor of Read-Aloud Month during March, North Merrick virtual teacher Lindsay Corrado has partnered with Erin Mormando and her ninth grade English Honors class at Calhoun High School. The high school students have written children's books and shared them as read-alouds using Flipgrid. They are meeting with classes at Camp, Fayette, and Old Mill Road in virtual "Alumni Author Meet and Greets" this month. The elementary students have been asking thoughtful questions in live Q&A sessions following each read-aloud. Ms. Corrado assembled photo collages of the Meet and Greets into a slide deck that will be posted on the district website after the program is completed. "This was a wonderful literary experience for students in both North Merrick and Calhoun, a tradition that both districts hope to continue!," says Ms. Corrado.

Spring Saturday Spanish Academy for Grade 6

Sixth grade students will delve into Spanish language and culture, this year in a virtual setting, with the return of the Saturday Foreign Language Academy, which runs from April through June in two time slots. Students will learn basic Spanish words, phrases, greetings and expressions by reading, writing and speaking the language. They will also play games, take virtual field trips, and enjoy music and art in order to become better acquainted with Spanish culture. Online registration has been extended after the spring recess to Tuesday, April 6, at 4 p.m., here.

Summer Learning Adventures Are Taking Off

It's time to register for North Merrick Summer Learning Adventures for 2021! Click on the names of the programs to link to online registrations.

Camp Invention: Spark the imagination with hands-on STEM activities for students entering kindergarten to grade 6. There are two sessions: 7/19-30 and 8/02-13, from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Students may enroll in one or both sessions. Location TBD.

SCOPE Recreation: Stay active with fun-filled activities including games, sports, yoga, science, music, and arts and crafts for students entering kindergarten to grade 6. The program runs 7/6-30, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, at Old Mill Road School.

Summer Spanish Academy: Learn about Spanish language and culture for students entering grades 5 and 6. The program runs 7/6-26 (Monday-Thursday) from either 9-10 a.m. or 10-11 a.m. at H.D. Fayette.

Summer Instrumental Music: Practice makes perfect when playing musical instruments for students entering grades 5 and 6. The program runs 7/6-26 (Monday-Thursday) with the ensemble meeting from 10-11 a.m. followed by lessons from 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. at H.D. Fayette.

Big picture

Field of Flags

Thursday, May 20th, 4pm

1075 Merrick Avenue

Merrick, NY

In honor of our veterans, past and present...In memory of those lost in the pandemic...in tribute to all hospital and essential workers...

Sponsor an American flag to fly on the front lawn of Fayette School from May 20-June 14, 2021, to commemorate Memorial Day and Flag Day.

The event will be hosted this year by Old Mill Road Student Council. Please see the attached flyer and order form.