North Merrick School District - February 2024
North Merrick Embraces the Responsive Classroom
NEW Literacy Program
Starting this school year, the district has adopted the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Program for K-2 classrooms, which is a comprehensive system of phonics instruction for young learners. During Superintendent's Conference Day, teachers received training on creating daily lesson plans that incorporate the various aspects of phonemic awareness, such as rhyming, oral blending, segmenting, and manipulating sounds. The system provides a strong foundation for reading and spelling success.
The Literacy Committee has also worked with a literacy specialist to expand on the concepts of literacy and communication skills through reading and writing within the classroom. K-2 teachers have reviewed samples of decodable readers, which will be added into literacy instruction next September.
Students Explore Immersive Science Experiences
In addition, students are completing New York State Science Investigations, such as "What's in a Bag," "Light It Up," and "All Mixed Up." Teachers have also participated in the Fifth Grade Science Articulation with the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District to prepare students for a statewide shift in instruction and the new Fifth Grade Science Assessment this spring.
Curriculum Advisory Committee Delves into Social Studies Skills
The Curriculum Advisory Committee has selected two Social Students programs - McGraw-Hill IMPACT Social Studies and Savvas myWorld - to pilot in the schools next year. These programs target students' critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, and communications skills. The committee is also creating a curriculum map of resources and activities aligned to the Social Studies New York State Standards to share with North Merrick teachers.
WINGS Students Successfully Navigate the Shark Tank
In the Second Annual Shark Tank Competition in January, fifth grade WINGS students created unique products, impressively pitched their original ideas to a room full of "sharks," and confidently requested financial backing in exchange for a share in their profits. The budding entrepreneurs displayed actual prototypes that solve real-world problems and conducted extensive research to explain why their product was worth investing in! "All our entrepreneurs exhibited exceptional dedication and ingenuity in creating groundbreaking inventions," says WINGS teacher Mara Karfinkel. "They not only learned the value of commitment but the satisfaction of demonstrating their innovative projects with the community."
First Place Winners for "Gel 27"
A high-tech cooling lacrosse helmet by Christian Rossol and Joseph Taglia from HDF received a $1.5 million investment
Second Place WInners for "The Quad Desk"
An innovative student desk with various helpful components by John McGuire, Andrew Lin and William Oetting from Camp received $1.4 million in funding
State Assessments Transition to Full Computer-Based Testing
Matilda Jr. Headlines the 26th Season of Theatre Arts in March
The North Merrick Theatre Arts program is in rehearsals for its 26th season with this year's production of Matilda, Jr. Over 90 sixth grade students are participating in the main cast, show choir, and stage crew, and three North Merrick alumni have returned to assist with the production. Director Joyce Kelley says it was quite exciting that the licensing became available for the show as many of the students have read the beloved book by Roald Dahl. Ms. Kelley notes that the storyline carries a positive and inspiring message. As Matilda says, "Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world!"
Student performances at the three schools will take place on March 12 and 13 with evening performances on March 15 and 16 for families, neighbors and friends. Ticket sales will begin soon. Look for the flyer on the district website and Parent Square.
Scenes from Rehearsals of Matilda, Jr.
Parent-Teacher Conference Sign Ups through Parent Square
For parents who have not yet signed up for the spring Parent-Teacher Conferences on March 14, there is now an option to sign up for the conferences using a feature in the Parent Square communications platform. A letter with detailed information was sent home from the school principals last week.