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Birch Musicians Are Concert Ready

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Birch musicians are warming up for their annual winter concert. Students are putting the finishing touches on their performances and will take the stage on Dec. 21.


Date Added: 12/6/2023


Senators Observe SEL in Action at Merrick Schools

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Students, staff and administrators met with New York State Senator and Education Committee Chair Shelley B. Mayer, as well as Sen. John Liu, the chairman of New York City Education Committee, and Sen. Steve Rhoads on Dec. 1.

Guests observed four lessons/activities relating to mental health and social-emotional learning at Chatterton.

From whole class instruction that teaches explicit SEL skills to small groups run by social workers that allows students to practice those skills before generalizing them, Merrick has created its own blended program that fits various pupil needs while creating an inclusive environment that encourages a sense of belonging in every classroom.

“Every employee in this school district has an impact on how we function,” noted Dr. Dominick Palma, superintendent of schools.

Regular classroom lessons and activities also foster these skills, and guests were able to view the district’s continuum of SEL work in action.

“Throughout their visit, they were thoroughly impressed by the skill set and expertise of the educators, the positive interactions of the students and the high levels of direct SEL instruction that was being implemented,” noted Principal Dana Bermas.

Visitors sat in on a morning meeting – the way each class in the district from pre-K through sixth starts their day, as well as an optimistic closure – the way classrooms close the day.

“It’s a way that our students and teachers are able to reflect on their school day and set up their learning for the next day,” said Dr. Salvatore Dossena, the assistant superintendent for student services and technology. “No matter what happens on that school day we find a way to put it to an end that way we can a fresh, new start and can look forward to something else.”

Second grade teacher Lindsay Struss said this has been a new addition to her classroom routine during the last few years.

“It has proven to be quite effective,” she added.

During a push in with school social worker Marisa Taddeo, students worked on the executive functioning ability and flexible thinking. Given a paper bag containing everyday items, students were tasked to think of other uses for each item.

“You are able to look at something one way,” Taddeo addressed the class of fourth graders. “But you could also look at it in another way. These are some of the tools we need to be successful during the day.”

A decade in the making, Merrick pulled together a team of 40 school community members to develop the best practices to support students and their families.

“You have small enough classes that you can really feel the difference,” noted Sen. Mayer at the end of the visit. “You are doing fascinating work and I’m sure it will show longitudinally.”

“The foundation you’re laying here can really relate to the middle and high school level,” added Rhoads.

Date Added: 12/6/2023

Chatterton Birthday Celebration Continues

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Friday, Dec. 1was Chatterton's School Spirit Day.

As another tribute to Chatterton’s birthday students and staff wore 2023 necklaces and had a Disney Dance Party for the 100thanniversary of Disney.

Date Added: 12/1/2023

Birch Beavers Help Stock Local Food Pantry

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Birch School students and staff are always looking for ways to give back to the community. Members of the S.A.D.D. Club ran a school-wide food drive during Red Ribbon Week. Most recently, Birch teachers and students collected and donated Thanksgiving baskets to the Community Cupboard, the Central High School District's food pantry housed at Brookside.

Special thanks to the school social worker, Jarrod Alexander, and fifth grade teacher, Brian Aplustille, for helping organize these donations.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 11/22/2023

Lakeside Students Share Messages of Kindness

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On World Kindness Day, Mrs. Arm's fourth graders at Lakeside crafted impactful messages. The work was inspired by Mrs. Fox's late husband's book Doodles, Volume One.

Mr. Fox's empowering and positive doodles were the platform for creating the messages hanging outside the fourth grader's classroom.

Mrs. Arm's students invited Mrs. Fox's second grade class to see what important work they did and had a share time outside their classroom.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 11/21/2023