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BirchBirch School

2400 Central Parkway, Merrick, NY 11566 

Phone: 516 992-7250

Current News

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)

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!

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. 

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).

Celebrating Hour of Code at Birch School!

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

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.


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.