North Merrick School District - Spring 2020
DISTANCE LEARNING - Rising to Remote Education
Due to the school closure in response to the pandemic, all schools everywhere have had to quickly adjust and adapt to Distance Learning - and North Merrick has risen to meet the occasion. Teachers began using communication features on their web pages while they trained on using Google Classroom virtually, led primarily in-district by Christine Talbot, Technology Coordinator. Teachers shared resources and best practices and collaborated closely with one another. They then started presenting lessons through Flip Grid videos. At the same time, the principals created videos of their daily morning announcements posted on the school websites and incorporating family activities, like puzzles, games and meditations. While families became accustomed to this routine, teachers received more training, especially on Google Meet, a virtual live classroom experience. With Google Meet, classes are now able to expand their interaction via computer. Additionally, teachers are utilizing many of the technology applications introduced earlier in the school year, such as Padlet, Google Forms, Jamboard, Kahoot and Vook, to enhance their virtual instructional toolbox. Teaching and learning continue to flourish in North Merrick in partnership with parents. As Deputy Superintendent for Instruction Beth Friedman said, in borrowing from a familiar saying, "It takes a village to educate our children."
Celebrating Earth Day
The North Merrick schools enthusiastically celebrate Earth Day every year, and this year was no exception! Students brainstormed ways to help care for the Earth as well as solutions to environmental problems using technology apps to display their work. Other activities included scavenger hunts, STEM projects with recyclable materials, sensory poems, and original artwork.
Districtwide Enrichment Challenges
As an added and exciting element to Distance Learning, North Merrick has introduced district-wide enrichment challenges on a periodic basis. While the district provides a grade-appropriate framework for participating in these challenges, there is lots of flexibility for students to work across grades or with their families and to express themselves through Flipgrid videos using artwork, poetry, raps, or STEM activities. Enrichment Challenge Captains - Ms. Bellino, Mr. Edom, Ms. Gilmore, Ms. Hinners, Ms. Romero, Mr. Walpole and Mr. Winston - are reviewing every submission and cheering the students on! The first challenge centered on the story of The Three Little Pigs. The second challenge just launched with "Attitude of Gratitude: Watch Our Gratefulness Grow"!
Faculty Contributes to Bellmore-Merrick Community Cupboard
North Merrick faculty held a Google Cafe Auction on April 22 in which photos of items were incorporated into a slideshow for bidding under $10. Fayette Principal Howard Merims donned a black jacket and bow tie to facilitate the virtual auction, which raised over $1100 for the Bellmore-Merrick Community Cupboard to help stock the food pantry for our neighbors in need. A second auction is scheduled for May 7.
Virtual Parent University for K-2 Parents: First Aid for Feelings Workshop
Thursday, May 14th, 7pm
This is an online event.
This Parent University for K-2 parents is in collaboration with the North Merrick Mental Health and Wellness Coalition to help support families of our youngest students during this difficult time. Denise Daniels, author of First Aid for Feelings: A Workbook to Help Kids Cope During the Coronavirus Pandemic, will be the guest presenter. Ms. Daniels will walk K-2 parents through the activities in the workbook, which was developed with the Yale Child Study and Scholastic Partnership. The workbooks will be provided, and the link to the event will be emailed and posted on the district website.