Merrick Schools Superintendent Welcomes Students Back

I hope everyone enjoyed this beautiful summer. In the Merrick schools, summer cleaning, maintenance and building improvements are in full gear. Our schools will be in top condition for opening day on Tuesday, September 1.

We expect 2015-2016 to be another great year for Merrick students. The staff of the Merrick schools will continue to provide a safe, academically rich and nurturing school climate. Before the start of school all staff will be briefed on safety procedures.

A focus on student engagement in learning will continue to be promoted throughout all instruction. Students will be challenged to be active and creative thinkers. Reading, writing and mathematics instruction remain the bedrock of our elementary education programs. Our expectations for growth are high and reflect the rigor of the Common Core Learning Standards. Last year, teachers began to reorganize their social studies instruction to be in alignment with the newly released New York State Social Studies Framework. This work will continue to strengthen student learning.

This year, we will see further expansion of student opportunities in science and technology. The extra-curricular Science Enrichment Program will be opened to fourth-graders as well as fifth- and sixth- graders. Over the summer, new laptop computers were purchased. This completes the cycle of replacing older computers so that third- through sixth-grade students will have one-to-one access to up to date computers in their classrooms.

Our technology teachers and classroom teachers will continue to work with students to promote technology literacy. We were notified that New York State Senator Michael Venditto was able to secure $87,000 of additional funding from the NYS Senate for the Merrick School District. This funding will be used to enhance the science and technology programs. We will also be exploring areas such as robotics, 3D printing and video production and developing a science resource room at each school.

The Merrick School District prides itself on addressing the whole child. We will continue to promote social emotional learning throughout the school day. Strong programs in art and music are hallmarks of our schools. Indeed, the Merrick School District was named among the 2015 Best Communities for Music Education.

The Physical Education department promises active and exciting physical education classes. Numerous clubs and activities are available to students before, during and after school. Our PTAs are also preparing for a fantastic year of PTA sponsored cultural arts programs and field trips during the school day, as well as, fun community activities after school.

On behalf of the Merrick staff and Board of Education, I thank you for your continued support of your children and the schools. The community’s dedication to education has allowed Merrick to be among the best school districts in the country. Our students thrive because of the combined efforts of our parents, community, faculty, administration and staff. We are looking forward to another year to watch your children grow and flourish in the Merrick Schools.

I wish all students a safe and happy return to  school.

Dominick Palma
Superintendent of Schools

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