The Merrick Union Free School District will provide students with the opportunity to maximize their potential and to become lifelong learners, independent problem solvers, and responsible citizens by working with all members of the Merrick community to create learning environments that support students social, emotional, and academic needs.
The Merrick Union Free School District is recognized for its educational leadership and excellence and its responsiveness to the individual needs and interests of all its students. The first public school in Merrick, founded in 1901, was a one-room building, which housed thirty-eight students and one teacher. The district currently enrolls approximately 1,500 students in kindergarten through the sixth grade in three schools: the Birch School, the Roland A. Chatterton School, and the Norman J. Levy Lakeside School. The district currently employees 180 classroom and special area teachers.
Our children attend the Merrick Schools through sixth grade, and then receive their junior and senior high school education in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, which serves the communities of Merrick, North Merrick, Bellmore and North Bellmore. The Merrick Board of Education elects two of its members to serve on the Central High School District Board. Each of the two boards prepares and submits separate budgets for voter approval. Ours is a district with high expectations of staff and students and strong commitment to excellence in education. Over the years, residents have consistently approved budgets proposed by the Board of Education by substantial margins, and they have endorsed our efforts to enhance educational opportunities for students.
Situated on the south shore of Long Island in Nassau County, about 30 miles from the heart of New York City, the Merrick School District is approximately 2.5 square miles in size with a population of 22,000 residents. The school district and the village of Merrick provide a wide variety of educational, civic, social and recreational activities for the residents.
A Firm Foundation for Learning
Merrick's public schools offer a diversified educational program with exciting learning opportunities at all grade levels. By offering the most current educational technologies and strategies, while emphasizing our commitment to basic skills, we provide students with a firm foundation upon which all higher-level learning can take place.
Teachers and administrators work together on district wide committees to review and develop curriculum in each discipline to meet state and district goals. From science to art, technology education to language arts, mathematics to music—Merrick's rich and varied curricula reflect this thoughtful planning process, which helps provide our children with a complete, well-rounded educational experience.
Experiential learning is at the core of Merrick's instructional program, with hands-on learning opportunities for students at all grade levels in all subject areas. The curriculum includes four major components; language arts (reading, writing, listening and speaking skills), mathematics, science and social studies. Instruction in the basic skills provides a foundation for learning now and in the future, while enrichment opportunities help to broaden students' horizons and extend learning boundaries. This is accomplished through the guidance and leadership of a talented, caring faculty, administration and staff—committed to the best for our children. A strong emphasis on Character Education is integrated throughout the school day.
Children in grades 3-6 are selected to participate in APEX, the district's program for academically gifted students. They attend the program weekly for specified blocks of time, participating in specially designed activities.
Environment Conductive to Learning
The philosophy of the Merrick Public Schools is to help all children develop their fullest potential to the greatest extent possible, so they can take their place in society as productive, well-adjusted, responsible citizens. Discipline can be viewed essentially as a matter of self-control. Those who know how to follow the rules and consider the feelings and needs of others most likely will not be disruptive in school.
In accordance with the requirements of the State Education Department, the Merrick School District established a Code of Conduct designed to promote responsible student behavior. The code includes student rights and responsibilities, a dress code, along with a range of disciplinary procedures, consequences, and procedures for the resolution of discipline problems. The code is explained to all students on an annual basis. Copies of the Code of Conduct are available in each school office for review and on the district website. An emphasis on Character Education is evident throughout the district.
We have a strong commitment to ensuring that Merrick Schools are Drug-Free Schools. Drug and alcohol possession or use is not permitted at our schools or school events.
Diversity Mission Statement
It is important to the Merrick Union Free School District that all students develop an understanding and respect for the similarities and differences that exist within our community and in the world around us. In order to prepare our students for a diverse and global world, we must promote a culture of inclusion in which everyone feels valued, respected, and supported. We value that our school community reflects differences in race, ethnicity, religion, culture, family structure, socio- economic status, age, gender, language, sexual orientation, appearance, and physical, social-emotional and cognitive skills. We believe that school materials and conversations should reflect the diversity of our children and their families so they are able to learn in a safe and welcoming environment.
(Developed April 2010, District Diversity Committee)