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All-County Musicians to Perform at Tilles

All-County Musicians to Perform at Tilles photo

Twenty-one Merrick School District students have been chosen to participate in the Nassau Music Educators Association All-County Music Festival concerts to be held Jan. 13-19 at LIU Post’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts.

These fine musicians distinguished themselves by being selected by various All-County committees throughout Nassa County.  Additionally, Levy Lakeside student Emma Lasky recently performed at the NMEA’s P.E.A.K. (Parents, Educators And Kids) Festival held on Nov. 17 at Freeport High School. The festival is open to deserving fourth-grade musicians through nominations from NMEA members, similarly to All-County participants. Emma was selected for her vocal prowess.

“Every year Merrick sends an impressive number of students to the various festivals that showcase talented youngsters throughout Nassau County,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dominick Palma said. “Congratulations to the students, parents, music teachers and music coordinator Dr. Richard Nasto for their dedication to the performing arts. These kids continue to make us proud. They are true Merrick Stars.”

Congratulations to the following students:
Nathaniel Botta (Birch School, trumpet) 
Luca Copas (Levy Lakeside School, violin)
Kailey Faughnan  (Birch School, violin)
Sadie Freifeld (Birch School, chorus)
Adrianna Horshinski (Chatterton School, chorus)
Elena Hyzak (Birch School, chorus)
Emerson Kalman (Chatteron School, chorus)
Ryan Kenny (Birch School, percussion) 
Ian Klimov (Chatterton School, violin)
Justin Lapidus (Levy Lakeside School, chorus)
Emma Lasky (Levy Lakeside School, voice-PEAK)
Evan Leicht (Levy Lakeside School, baritone)
Ryan Levinter  (Chatterton School, viola)
Jason Lin (Birch School, viola)
Jack Peppel (Levy Lakeside School, trumpet)
Katherine Pucella (Chatterton School, clarinet)
Zara Selvin (Levy Lakeside School, chorus)
Halston Solomon (Levy Lakeside School, alto sax)
Delaney Yam (Levy Lakeside School, bass clarinet)
Emily Yam (Levy Lakeside School, bass clarinet)
Tiffany Yam (Chatterton School, flute)
Jocelyn Yeung (Levy Lakeside School, cello)

Recreating a Historical Broadcast

Recreating a Historical Broadcast

Fifth-graders at Chatterton School recently recreated history with their annual radio show rebroadcast of the H.G. Wells novel “The War of the Worlds.” Under the direction of the school’s music teacher Dr. Richard Nasto, students learned about the story, the Oct. 30, 1938, broadcast delivered by Orson Welles over the CBS radio network and the news debacle that followed.

Students took an edited script of the original Mercury Theatre broadcast and have been recording it in step with the original broadcast. They also have been adding musical performances as interludes and creating sound effects where appropriate through the [Patrick] Foley technique of using inanimate objects and other resources at their disposal. 

Holiday Attire at its Best

Holiday Attire at its Best photo
To close out the 2018 calendar year, some Merrick school administrators dressed in their holiday best, donning festive suits that captured the attention and hearts of students and staff alike. Pictured here are Director of Student Services Dr. Salvatore Dossena, Birch School Assistant Principal Chris Hoisik, Levy Lakeside School Assistant Principal Justin Gabrus and Chatterton School Assistant Principal Michael DeLuca dressed to the nines. Happy Holidays to all!

Coats for Kids

Coats for Kids is an annual drive that the Levy Lakeside School participates in each year. Every year in October we partner with Assemblyman Dave McDonough to collect gently used coats in time for winter. The coats we collect are cleaned and distributed to kids and adults right here in Nassau County who would otherwise go without a coat this winter. We collect coats in all sizes, infant to adult. This year we broke our past record and collected nine huge bags of coats. When the coats were delivered, they took up the Assemblyman’s entire office! Assemblyman McDonough told us that Lakeside donated the most coats of any group that participated in the drive. He plans on visiting us in the New Year at one of our meetings. We are looking forward to his visit. We are very grateful for the opportunity to help others. 

Remember, the greatest gift that you can give yourself is to do something kind for someone else. 

Submitted by Shelby W.  
 

Coats for Kids

coats
Coats for Kids is an annual drive that the Levy Lakeside School participates in each year. Every year in October we partner with Assemblyman Dave McDonough to collect gently used coats in time for winter. The coats we collect are cleaned and distributed to kids and adults right here in Nassau County who would otherwise go without a coat this winter. We collect coats in all sizes, infant to adult. This year we broke our past record and collected nine huge bags of coats. When the coats were delivered, they took up the Assemblyman’s entire office! Assemblyman McDonough told us that Lakeside donated the most coats of any group that participated in the drive. He plans on visiting us in the New Year at one of our meetings. We are looking forward to his visit. We are very grateful for the opportunity to help others. 

Remember, the greatest gift that you can give yourself is to do something kind for someone else. 

Submitted by Shelby W.  
 

Decking the Halls

Decking the Halls photo

Birch School students and staff recently took some time to brighten their hallways for the holiday season, decorating them in a wintery theme. Students created many of the decorative backdrops, which included a collage of scenes from New York City during the holiday season and a variety of gingerbread houses and snowmen to name a few. Team Eggnog pasted their faces onto their mural of the famous Rockefeller Center ice rink, while teacher Julie Gilliam can be seen vending hot dogs to students in a chilly Central Park.

Principal Kerri Galante and Assistant Principal Chris Hoisik did their parts as well, with an invite to “come chill with the principals” near the main office where students could stop by and view a series of funny animated wintery video shorts incorporating their images. 

Lakeside Students Collect Toys For Tots

Lakeside Students Collect Toys For Tots photo
Every year the Lakeside Lions hold a Toys for Tots drive in December. The Lions work with Merrick’s Kiwanis Club to ensure that every local child receives some holiday gifts. Each year we try and collect more toys than the year before. This is important because we realize that we have so much to be grateful for and there are many kids in our own community who don’t have much. We want to do our part to ensure that every Merrick child has a happy holiday. It looks like we were able to do that again this year. During our drive, we collected nine humongous garbage bags filled with toys. 

When the representative from Kiwanis came to pick them up, he took one look at our pile of bags and said, “I’m going to need to come back with a van!” We are so proud that we could lend a helping hand and help so many kids. It truly is better to give than to receive! 

Submitted by Shelby W. 

Letter Re: Summer Recreation Program

Dear Parents and Guardians:

During the summer of 2019, we will begin a great deal of construction at all three elementary schools. The goal is to have all schools ready for the heating season and bring air conditioning online for the cooling season the following spring. Contractors will be removing our aging heating systems and replacing them with units capable of providing both heat and air conditioning. Additionally, classrooms with an existing bathroom will have the bathroom refurbished. This allows only nine weeks of summer to do all in-classroom construction and return the buildings to working order by the start of school.

As a result of the construction, during Summer 2019 the Merrick School District will not operate a summer recreation program in our district. We attempted to secure alternative space from local community-based organizations and schools, but none was available. However, both the North Merrick and North Bellmore School Districts have agreed to allow our students to enroll in their programs this summer. Registration information will be forwarded to all families when it becomes available.

This notice is being provided now to afford you the best opportunity to make alternative summer arrangements. Thank you for your understanding as we attempt to make all three schools ready for the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

Sincerely,

Dominick Palma
Superintendent

November/December Facilities Update

November-December Facilities Update photo

Chatterton Field and Sitework
At Chatterton School, major sitework projects have been completed and minor punch list items are currently being addressed to close out this portion of the work there. 

The Chatterton field has been regraded. The masonry contractor has installed parapet metal coping which the architect called to be replaced. Replacement of the roof hatch has also been completed. The contractor has restored the eagle above the main entrance and necessary repairs to the entrance are being made, including installation of new stone. The safety bridge will remain at the Chatterton front entrance until all masonry restoration is completed.

Chatterton Addition
The bid opening for the Chatterton addition was held on Nov. 1, 2018. Bids have been accepted and vendors are in place for all four major components of the addition (general contractor, HVAC, plumbing and electrical contractors). Initially, the district’s attorney notified the low bidders for plumbing and electrical that their bids were not complete and therefore they were disqualified.

Metal exterior panels for the all-purpose room are scheduled for delivery within days and the contractor has begun prep work for their installation.

Temporary construction fencing is being erected over the next few weeks in the area of the new addition and in the rear of the property to accommodate construction vehicles.  Excavation is expected to begin shortly. 

The district retained the services of environmental consultants JC Broderick & Associates to perform soil analysis in the area where the new addition will be constructed and where drainage pools will be installed. The analysis ensured that there were no hazardous contaminants in accordance with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation criteria for permissible levels of contaminants. Schools have the same criteria as residential use. None of the results pertaining to Chatterton exceed permissible residential use levels, and in fact are well below. 

According to DEC standards, any excess soil from the project that must be removed from the site must be classified as unrestricted use  (by raising of livestock) or otherwise subject to a disposal fee. One pesticide was found to be slightly above the unrestricted level but well below the permissible residential use level. The architect had included an allowance for any disposal cost incurred in the bid documents. Soil tested where the drainage pools will be located has been categorized as unrestricted, and will not require an extra expense.

Once the addition project commences, JC Broderick will be onsite performing air monitoring during the foundation excavation to ensure that students and staff are not affected by any dust developing from the construction. Once the district is satisfied that the excavation will not cause a concern, mason block work will commence. Air monitoring will continue during foundation construction. A filter will be placed on the exterior to the air intake for the unit ventilator units to address any potential concerns.

The general contractor and plumber are also working together to relocate existing underground sanitary lines identified in the area of the addition.

Telephone System (districtwide)
New telephone cabling has been installed in most district locations. Additional cables will be installed in several locations at Birch and Chatterton (areas have been identified). The contractor will be providing a schedule shortly. Data collection is complete and training is underway in anticipation of the new phone system rollout. New phones are being inventoried in preparation for installation.

Sounds of the Season

Sounds of the Season photo

Birch School hosted its annual winter concert, as members of the band, chorus and orchestra, including select ensembles, performed holiday and seasonal hits for parents, teachers and friends. Special thanks to band teacher Paul Graham, orchestra teacher Marcia Miller and chorus teacher Robert Normandeau for their hard work and preparation and congratulations to the talented students on their wonderful day and evening performances.

Congratulations to Lakeside students on their recent performance and best wishes to Chatterton students, who will perform next week.

District Models Personalized Blended Learning App

District Models Personalized Blended Learning App

Merrick UFSD officials recently invited technology educators from local school districts on Long Island to observe how Merrick teachers are shaping the technology students use in the classroom on a daily basis through a personalized learning platform called eSpark. Merrick, which began using eSpark six years ago, is considered a model district for using the application.

Guests had the opportunity to visit several K-3 classrooms at Birch School  and see how eSpark allows students to utilize different online materials and resources for blended learning aligned to leveled reading standards while meeting the different needs of individual students. eSpark, which is currently being used on iPads in the district, also enables teachers to deliver targeted small group instruction while saving valuable time in lesson planning.

Merrick teachers participated in a Q&A session with the visiting educators to share their insights on the benefits of the program, including how eSpark interphases with student schedules and work and allows them to create specific assignments for certain students or for grade-level curriculum, including for Fundations (reading, writing, phonetic awareness).

Feeding Families

Feeding Families photo

The fifth- and sixth-grade Chatterton School student council recently assembled several boxes of food donations for Chatterton families in need. Through donations provided by Chatterton families and staff, the school collected and packaged numerous cans of food, cereal, pasta, stuffing, rice and beverages as well as assorted paper goods. Each box was carefully packed, decorated and wrapped with a special card. The children were ecstatic to know that they were able to help struggling families during the holiday season.

Chatterton’s student council takes pride in helping others, and knowing that students are making a positive difference in the community. Thanks to all of the special volunteers and teachers Angela Kremberg and Dr. Richard Nasto for helping students to help others.

Chatterton Coders

Students are enjoying plugged and unplugged coding activities, including one in which they are paired to code one another, taking turns as programmer and robot.

Adventures in Coding

code image

Scenes from around our schools as the district participates in the nationwide Hour of Code and other coding-related activities.

Birch Photos

Chatterton Photos


 

Levy Lakeside Photos

Lakeside Participates in Hour of Code

All of the students at Lakeside School are thrilled to be participating in the Hour of Code, celebrating Computer Science week!

Students have been using their accounts on code.org to program 2D characters in Angry Birds, Minecraft, Star Wars, Dance parties and more! They are also coding robots this week!

Kindergarten and first grade students are learning computer programming with Code Mouse, a robot that uses arrows for directional commands. Each arrow command that is programmed by students moves the mouse through a maze get to the cheese. The students are using computer programming principals for sequencing commands (ordering directions), to complete a task (algorithm). If the directions are in the wrong order they have to debug (fix) their program and be persistent and try again until they succeed. Our students are showing amazing enthusiasm and persistence!

Students in upper grades are using these same computer science concepts and building on them when they use the Blockly app to program the robot Dash to look, move, make sounds, flash lights and react to its environment. Teams work collaboratively, taking turns as the lead programmer, robot wrangler, and documentarian. 

We love kicking off our Computer Science coding unit with the Hour of Code, which is celebrated around the world!!

Celebrating Hour of Code at Birch School!

Students are putting their coding skills to work on Code.org and with Dash robots. #hourofcode

Paying Tribute to Veterans

Paying Tribute to Veterans
Paying Tribute to Veterans 2
Paying Tribute to Veterans 3
Paying Tribute to Veterans 4
Paying Tribute to Veterans 5
Paying Tribute to Veterans 6
Students, staff, district officials and visitors celebrated visiting veterans at Levy Lakeside School on Nov. 8 as part of the Merrick School District’s annual Veterans Day celebration. 

Thirteen local veterans, along with Assemblyman David McDonough, a veteran in his own right, were welcomed into the gymnasium for some celebratory festivities. After the color guard was presented by the fifth-grade student council, all in attendance recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” in unison. 
Students heard remarks from Principal Elizabeth Trencheny, McDonough and fifth-grader Aaditya. Mr. Al Belbol presented the veterans to the students, who cheered them on veraciously.  

“I want you to look at all of these gentlemen sitting up here with me,” McDonough said to Lakeside students. “They are veterans who have served in our military, and because of them, you are able to have what you have today.”

“Veterans often travel far distances to unknown lands,” Additya said. “They give up their lives to protect others. That’s what I call a hero.”

Author Discusses His Craft With Lakeside Kids

Author Discusses Pic
Author Discusses Pic 2
Author Discusses Pic 3
Renowned children’s book author Dan Gutman recently visited Levy Lakeside School, where he conducted multiple assemblies, read to kindergarten classes and ate lunch with a group of fifth-graders. Mr. Gutman has written over 100 books, including the “My Weird School,” “The Baseball Card Adventures,” “The Genius Files” and “The Flashback Four” series.

“Lakeside students loved his humor and the excitement in the building was incredible all day,” said Lakeside library media specialist Melissa Levine. “[Mr. Gutman] shared his stories of perseverance and discussed himself openly as an author, engaging students with his stories.”


Islanders visit Chatterton School

Islanders visit
Islanders visit 2
Islanders visit 3
Islanders visit 4
Islanders visit 5
Chatterton School welcomed Islanders players Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle and Nick Leddy for a special discussion about teamwork on Monday, Nov. 19.

 To secure the Islanders visit to their school, sixth-grade students Isabella Rohr, Emerson Kalman and Katie Salvatore wrote an essay to the team, detailing all of the ways in which Chatterton students help the greater community throughout the year. “We do this through student council activities, our participation in Red Ribbon week and our Green Team,” said the students in their essay. “We are always happy to help those who need us and are overjoyed to work together year-round.”

While at Chatterton, the Islanders players graciously answered questions and signed autographs for the students, many of whom proclaimed their team spirit by wearing Islanders attire. 

Published Authors Give Reason to Smile

Published Authors Give Reason to Smile
Chatterton School sixth-grade reporters recently collaborated on an article for Newsday’s Kidsday student journalism section. Allison Hill, Ian Klimov and Devin Zimmerman reviewed the book “Neema’s Reason to Smile” by Patricia Newman, about a young girl growing up in Kenya and pursues a better education for herself. 

The book is based on a boy named Reagan who attends Jambo Jipya school in Kenya, thanks in part to Chatterton’s sixth-grade class’ fundraising efforts the last few years. The school intends to continue raising funds for Reagan this year.
Chatterton teacher Deborah Cain organized the students’ interview.

You can read Allison, Ian and Devins’ review here: 

https://www.newsday.com/lifestyle/family/kidsday/lightswitch-learning-neema-patricia-newman-1.22564283



Facilities Update

Science 1

January Facilities Report

Chatterton Masonry Work
All major sitework at Chatterton School, including masonry work in the front of the building, has been completed. The masonry contractor recently installed the roof hatch and gravel stop, and the safety bridge at the front entrance has been removed. The mason will apply a third coat of finish on the cast stones once temperatures rise to the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.  

Chatterton Addition
Excavation for the construction of a major classroom addition at Chatterton began in late December. The general contractor has installed the required walls to provide emergency egress for nearby classroom (19) and a wall prohibiting access to the construction area located to the north exit doors in the 40s corridor. 

Sewer connections and roof drain connections were completed over the holiday break. A new line was connected to a previously broken line. In total, 20 drain pools have been installed (as required by Nassau County based on the new and existing space). Five drain pools that were either filled. abandoned or were serving as roof drains were removed.

Exterior filters for classroom unit ventilators have been ordered and are expected to arrive by mid-January, at which time installation will begin.
Further major construction at Chatterton will be limited until the forecasted temperatures are well above freezing.

New Telephone System
Classroom telephone installation is underway and all three schools will be completed by mid-January. Once classroom phone systems are complete, various school offices will be addressed.

Restrooms and HVAC Systems
Contract documents for air conditioning systems and classroom restroom renovations at all three school buildings have been posted for contractors. Bids are due Jan. 25. 

 


November/December Facilities Update

Chatterton Field and Sitework
At Chatterton School, major sitework projects have been completed and minor punch list items are currently being addressed to close out this portion of the work there. 

The Chatterton field has been regraded. The masonry contractor has installed parapet metal coping which the architect called to be replaced. Replacement of the roof hatch has also been completed. The contractor has restored the eagle above the main entrance and necessary repairs to the entrance are being made, including installation of new stone. The safety bridge will remain at the Chatterton front entrance until all masonry restoration is completed.

Chatterton Addition
The bid opening for the Chatterton addition was held on Nov. 1, 2018. Bids have been accepted and vendors are in place for all four major components of the addition (general contractor, HVAC, plumbing and electrical contractors). Initially, the district’s attorney notified the low bidders for plumbing and electrical that their bids were not complete and therefore they were disqualified.

Metal exterior panels for the all-purpose room are scheduled for delivery within days and the contractor has begun prep work for their installation.

Temporary construction fencing is being erected over the next few weeks in the area of the new addition and in the rear of the property to accommodate construction vehicles.  Excavation is expected to begin shortly. 

The district retained the services of environmental consultants JC Broderick & Associates to perform soil analysis in the area where the new addition will be constructed and where drainage pools will be installed. The analysis ensured that there were no hazardous contaminants in accordance with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation criteria for permissible levels of contaminants. Schools have the same criteria as residential use. None of the results pertaining to Chatterton exceed permissible residential use levels, and in fact are well below. 

According to DEC standards, any excess soil from the project that must be removed from the site must be classified as unrestricted use  (by raising of livestock) or otherwise subject to a disposal fee. One pesticide was found to be slightly above the unrestricted level but well below the permissible residential use level. The architect had included an allowance for any disposal cost incurred in the bid documents. Soil tested where the drainage pools will be located has been categorized as unrestricted, and will not require an extra expense.

Once the addition project commences, JC Broderick will be onsite performing air monitoring during the foundation excavation to ensure that students and staff are not affected by any dust developing from the construction. Once the district is satisfied that the excavation will not cause a concern, mason block work will commence. Air monitoring will continue during foundation construction. A filter will be placed on the exterior to the air intake for the unit ventilator units to address any potential concerns.

The general contractor and plumber are also working together to relocate existing underground sanitary lines identified in the area of the addition.

Telephone System (districtwide)
New telephone cabling has been installed in most district locations. Additional cables will be installed in several locations at Birch and Chatterton (areas have been identified). The contractor will be providing a schedule shortly. Data collection is complete and training is underway in anticipation of the new phone system rollout. New phones are being inventoried in preparation for installation.

 


October Facilities Update

Chatterton School:
Chatterton School’s new playground and basketball court have officially opened to students! Playground equipment and the rubber surface installation were recently completed and cleared for use following inspection. The color coating for the blacktop area around the playground as well as the basketball court surface were also recently completed. 

Final installation of equipment was delayed due to some parts that were not delivered in the original shipment of equipment. Once this was realized, the manufacturer’s representative sent the missing parts via overnight delivery. Three new benches were also installed at the playground. 

A safety bridge remains at Chatterton’s front entrance until stone finishes are completed. This will provide a uniform appearance for the cast stone surrounding the school entranceway. A masonry company is also scheduled to inspect the north and east side of the school’s gymnasium to repair and fortify the area to stop and prevent the infiltration of water. 

Bids have been advertised for the Chatterton building addition project, with the official opening of bids scheduled for Nov. 1, 2018.

Districtwide (Phone Systems):
New cabling will also be  installed throughout the district buildings for greater telephone access. Levy Lakeside has already been inspected and locations for new lines have been identified to ensure all areas of the building have telephone access. Merrick maintenance staff members have installed telephone mounting boxes and have confirmed all areas of Lakeside are covered. An internal inspection is also being conducted at Chatterton and Birch to arrive at solutions for uncovered areas in those buildings. Much of the equipment for these upgrades have been received by the district.



 

KIDS CORNER

sweet

Students provide a “sweet treat” to troops 

After Halloween, the student council crew started a drive called, Operation Sweet Tooth. The purpose of the drive was to collect extra Halloween candy and treats. The items would then be donated to servicemen and women who could not be home for the holidays. We hope that this would allow our troops to have a sweet holiday! The crew has worked with the Merrick Avenue Middle School on this project for the last few years. It is great to join forces with the older kids and realize the service we do at Lakeside continues on past elementary school. 

Once the candy is collected, the first stop for it is, MAMS. It is combined with their collection and then everything is dropped off to a local Merrick dentist who will pay to ship ALL the treats overseas. Last year, the Lakeside Lions collected twenty-one boxes of sweet treats. This year we set a goal to collect twenty-five boxes. Well, in true Lakeside fashion, the Lions were able to collect 41 boxes of candy for the troops! We are so proud of the generosity they displayed! It feels so good to give back to our troops who have sacrificed so much for us! 

- By Shelby W., Lakeside Student Council

Birch Family Brings Community Together for a Great Cause

Great job by the Freifeld family for organizing a recent fundraiser at Kennedy High School to benefit NYU’s Cancer Center for Kids.

Click here to read the article.