Merrick Schools Superintendent’s Back-to-School Message

With summer over 2018-2019 is turning out to be another great year for Merrick students.  And, our schools were in top condition for opening day.

Chatterton School is the location of the first phase of our capital projects. This summer the parking lots, playground and basketball courts all had major renovations and the front of the school was re-landscaped. Unfortunately, the state delayed approval for the air conditioning, heating replacement and classroom bathroom renovations at all three schools and the Chatterton addition far too long for these projects to be undertaken this summer.

The staff of the Merrick schools continues to provide a safe and nurturing school climate. Before the start of school all staff were briefed on current safety procedures. Security guards and greeters  are present at each of our schools.  We continue to promote social emotional learning throughout the school day. This year, we will re-evaluate our social-emotional learning program’s curriculum and instruction to align it with the recently released state Framework for Mental Health Education Instruction. In addition to continuing Lions Quest, bucket filling and our other efforts in this area, we are developing new curriculum as needed to fulfill the goals of the new Framework.

Reading, writing and mathematics instruction remain the bedrock of our elementary education programs.  Our expectations for growth reflect the rigor of the New York State Learning Standards.  Social Studies and science continue as core instructional subjects.  A focus on student engagement in learning will be promoted.  Students will be challenged to be active and creative thinkers.

The Merrick School District prides itself on addressing the whole child. Strong programs in art, music and physical education are hallmarks of our schools. Our technology teachers and classroom teachers will continue to work with students to promote technology literacy. Numerous clubs and activities are available to students before, during and after school.  Our PTAs are also preparing for another fantastic year of PTA-sponsored cultural arts programs and field trips during the school day, as well as, fun community activities after school.

This year both Chatterton School and Levy Lakeside School have new assistant principals. Justin Gabrus has been appointed as the assistant principal at Levy Lakeside and Michael DeLuca will serve as the assistant principal at Chatterton. Chatterton also has a new nurse, Joi Kravitz.  Renee Boritz is our new Spanish teacher.  Daniela Vernice, Tatianna Flores and Denise Crowley are serving as special education teachers.  Please join me in welcoming them to the Merrick community.

On behalf of the Merrick staff and Board of Education, I thank you for your continued support of your children and your schools. The community’s dedication to education has allowed Merrick to be among the best school districts in the country and our students continue to thrive.  We are looking forward to another year to watch your children grow and excel in the Merrick Schools. I wish everyone a safe and happy remainder of the summer.


Dominick Palma, Ph. D.

Superintendent of Schools



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