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Colt Pride Shines Through Homecoming

Colt pride Shines Through Homecoming photo

Colt pride was soaring at the Oct. 13 homecoming festivities at Calhoun High School as the football team came out as victors against New Hyde Park High School.

During the weeklong festivities, the school’s hallways were decorated and students and staff alike donned the grey and blue school colors.

The community was treated to the annual ColtFest and pep rally before the big game, where each sport team was announced and took over the field for their entertaining choreography.

“The sports teams had great routines and I loved how each team supported the other,” said Principal Nicole Hollings. “ColtFest was filled with treats and activities leading up to an absolutely incredible performance. Ed Tumminelli and Eric Vivelo directed the instrumentalists in performing a rousing rendition of the ‘Game of Thrones’ theme and a Green Day song that was just incredible. The sound was thrilling and it set the stage for an outstanding pep rally.”

Gabe Wagner and Lauren Ameruoso, who according to Hollings, “epitomize the spirit of Calhoun,” were crowned homecoming king and queen, respectively.

Calhoun’s Courtney Lange Presents at Science symposium

Calhoun’s Courtney Lange Presents at Science symposium photo
Courtney Lange, a senior at Calhoun High School's Advanced Science Research program, was invited to present at the 2017 NYU Health Disparities Symposium, held on Oct. 12 at New York University.  

Lange was the only high school student invited. She assisted with the construction of the poster board and she presented her summer research titled “Designing an online intervention to promote awareness about obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among blacks: The Tailored Approach to Sleep Health Education (TASHE) study.”  

Lange’s presentation received the Top Student Paper Award and her research is currently being submitted for publication.

The symposium program included a series of short, engaging talks on current health disparities research and programs. 

Kennedy’s Andrew Brinton Accepted Into Gifted and Talented Program at SUNY Old Westbury

Kennedy’s Andrew Brinton Accepted Into Gifted and Talented Program at SUNY Old Westbury photo
Andrew Brinton, a student at Kennedy High School was recently accepted into the Institute of Creative Problem Solving for Gifted and Talented Students at SUNY College at Old Westbury. 
He is among the 87 students who will pursue the study of mathematics and its applications.

Brinton along with the other chosen students are selected for the institute’s three divisions by competing against approximately 600 of the top-ranking students nominated from school districts on Long Island. Selection by the institute implies that a student is among the top one-tenth of one percent in math of all students on Long Island in his or her grade.

Mepham Displays Pirate Pride at Homecoming

Mepham Displays Pirate Pride at Homecoming photo

The Mepham High School varsity football team advanced to 5-0 this season with a homecoming victory over New Hyde Park Memorial High School on Oct. 6.

Head coach Anthony Cracco led the team to a 35-7 win, and the crowd delivered tremendous energy during the homecoming game.
“We have a terrific group of young men working toward a common goal,” said Cracco. “They have made many sacrifices to improve as a team and achieve a common goal.”

Ahead of the game, the Mepham community enjoyed a festival and bonfire.

At halftime, the cheerleading squad and Pirette kickliners performed at the midfield line. Tight end James Hatcliffe and Pirette Jordana Bove were crowned homecoming king and queen, respectively. 

District administrators, Mepham teachers, alumni and Legislator Steve Rhoads were in attendance during the celebration and game.

“Pirate pride was at an all-time high at Mepham’s 80th anniversary,” said Principal Eric Gomez. “It’s always remarkable to see the community gather in a sea of maroon to cheer on our students and athletes. We appreciate all of the efforts that helped in making the evening a true victory.”

Mepham’s Skull & Bones Raises Money for Laughter Saves Lives

									 Mepham’s Skull & Bones Raises Money for Laughter Saves Lives photo
Mepham High School's Skull and Bones Drama Club hosted its annual “A Night on Broadway” charity fundraiser revue on Oct. 13 to benefit Laughter Saves Lives Foundation. The charity was created by Mepham parent and fireman John Larocchia after losing 19 of his firehouse brothers, including his best friend, during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Laughter Saves Lives Comedy Tour became Larocchia’s way of honoring the memories of those who selflessly gave their lives that day to protect and save others. It is his way to “never forget” while also recognizing the local fire, police, EMS and military personnel in the communities the tour group visits.
A small portion of the proceeds from each show goes to the foundation which endeavors to support a variety of firefighter- and police-based charities as well as select individuals and families who have are in serious need of assistance.
Since the start of the summer, students selected songs from popular Broadway productions, working together and in small groups to learn harmonies, create and teach choreography, and stage a full-scale production. Some of the evening's fare included "Opening Up" from “Waitress,” “Suddenly Seymour” from “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Chiquitita” from “Mamma Mia!” and “What I've Been Looking For” from “High School Musical.”  

Directed by senior co-presidents Olivia Larocchia and Michael Scalisi, the students managed to raise a total of $1,146.85 for LSL through ticket sales and donations.

“The most poignant moment of the evening came during the finale when the students offered a message of positivity and hope, singing ‘You Will Be Found’ from the 2017 Tony winner for best musical ‘Dear Evan Hansen,’” said Skull and Bones adviser Edward Grosskreuz. “The students stunned the audience when, at the close of the song, they reached down to the stage floor and picked up large posters that bore the names of recent tragic events at home and abroad. The students were inspired by the meaning behind the revue and by Mr. Larocchia's example.”

One Voice, One Message Ambassador Program


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Bellmore-Merrick Students Reach High Notes With NYSSMA All-State Selections

Bellmore-Merrick Students Reach High Notes With NYSSMA All-State Selections photo
Bellmore-Merrick Students Reach High Notes With NYSSMA All-State Selections photo 2
Several students in the CHSD were recently named All-State and All-State Alternates by the New York State School Music Association.

They will travel to Rochester, New York to participate in the four-day NYSSMA All-State Music Festival that begins on Nov. 30.

All-State designees include Mepham High School’s Adriana Guarascio (All-State Symphonic OrchestraCalhoun High School’s Julia Bremer (All-State Mixed Choir), Maria Fazio (All-State Mixed Choir), Doug Gallo (All-State Vocal Alternate) and Ben Shaposhniko (All-State Symphonic Orchestra and All-State Jazz Ensemble Alternate) and Kennedy High School’s Samantha Crichton (All-State Treble Choir), John Duroseau (All-State Mixed Choir) and Kristina Miller (All-State Treble Choir).

“In addition to making numerous musical and vocal contributions to their respective high school communities, many of these students also study and perform privately, chasing competitive personal goals and realizing prestigious performance opportunities,” said Cheryl Fontana, director of fine and performing arts and adult education.

Each year in late August, young musicians throughout the state receive the exciting notification that they have been selected to participate in the festival. The All-State selection process begins during the previous school year. To be considered for All-State, students must first be recommended by their music director and perform a Level 6 audition piece at the spring NYSSMA festival receiving a score of 98 or higher.

BMCHSD Drug Take-Back Day - 10/28


Student Reps Report Monthly School News To Board

Student reps report monthly school news to board photo
Student representatives from the four high schools in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District addressed the school board at its Oct. 4 meeting, updating the community on their respective schools’ accomplishments and activities.

Personal quips, achievements and upcoming events were included in each round up. They will continue to act as a board liaison throughout the school year at future board meetings.

Reporting from the dais each month will be Daniel O’Keefe from Sanford H. Calhoun, Rachel Katz from John F. Kennedy, Jordan Ladd from the Meadowbrook Alternative Program and Gina Connors from Wellington C. Mepham High School.

 “This is an opportunity for them to tell us what they’re proud of about their school and it’s a portion of our monthly board meetings that I look forward greatly,” said John DeTommaso, superintendent of schools.

Middle School Mandarin Students Celebrate Moon Festival

Middle School Mandarin Students Celebrate Moon Festival photo
Middle School Mandarin Students Celebrate Moon Festival photo 2
Students in Helen Han’s Mandarin classes at Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools learned about the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is the second most important festival in China after the Chinese New Year. The day, also known as the Moon Festival, falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar when the moon is at its fullest. 

To celebrate, the Chinese people eat a reunion dinner with their families, much like our Thanksgiving. Han’s classes read and acted out a traditional Autumn Festival poem and learned the words to a song about the holiday. Students also tried green tea, taro and pineapples moon cakes — a special food served during reunion dinners.

Grand Avenue Yorker Club Visits Historic LI Farm

Grand Avenue Yorker Club Visits Historic LI Farm photo
Grand Avenue Yorker Club Visits Historic LI Farm photo 2

Members of the Grand Avenue Middle School Yorker Club recently embarked on their annual field trip to Wickham’s Farm in Cutchogue.

Students picked apples and pumpkins after touring the apple cider press and green houses. They learned about the history of one of the oldest farms on the island. 

“The Wickham family farm has been part of the Long Island landscape since the 1600s,” said social studies teacher and club adviser Dominik Bargiel. “This Colonial-era farm provides the students a unique perspective of the culture, landscape and agriculture of the east end of Long Island.”


CHAMP Student Sauces Cooking Competition With Perfect Score

CHAMP Student Sauces Cooking Competition With Perfect Score photo
A few secret ingredients helped Sara Adcock, a student at Kennedy High School, and her team win first place in a cooking competition on Sept. 16.

The Junior Garlic Iron Chef Competition, hosted by Garden of Eve during their annual Long Island Garlic Festival, was open to contestants ages 10-18. Adcock, 14, said she developed the tomato sauce recipe from scratch two years ago when she first competed in the culinary competition. This time, the updated sauce earned the team a perfect score — the first one in the competition’s 14-year history. 

Techniques learned at Michael DiGiovanni’s class in the district’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program helped her perfect the sauce.
“I now know how to properly and professionally chop ingredients, particularly the garlic, onions and spices,” Adcock said.

Technique is key when starting out with the unique tomato-based sauce recipe. Adcock said she first sweats the garlic and onions to draw out the flavor, whereas most people sauté them, trapping in the oils inside the ingredients.

“The flavor from the inside of the garlic comes out, infusing the sauce even more,” she added.

She thinks the addition of two distinctive spices: Adobo seasoning and marjoram leaves are what elevate the recipe from traditional ones.

Adcock’s saucy win earned her a trophy, T-shirt and farm gift basket – and of course bragging rights. She shared the news — and a sample of her prize-winning sauce — with DiGiovanni.

“It is a well-rounded sauce with nice body and a little heat,” he explained.

WATCH: FiOS Video Report on the District’s Community Cupboard

Calhoun’s Joy Ma Named National Merit Semifinalist

Calhoun’s Joy Ma Named National Merit Semifinalist photo
Calhoun’s Joy Ma Named National Merit Semifinalist photo 2
Joy Ma, a senior at Calhoun High School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central School District, has been named a National Merit Semifinalist in the 2018 competition.

The Merrick resident is an accomplished musician playing the French horn, flute, piano – and even the piccolo at times. She also plays flute for the Nassau-Suffolk Wind Symphony.

Off stage, Ma competes in fencing year-round, representing the North Shore Fencers Club, plays on Calhoun’s badminton team and writes for the school newspaper, Pegasus.

“The teachers and students have such a positive attitude about school and learning that it makes the academic experience truly enjoyable on a day-to-day basis,” Ma said. 

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Approximately 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, qualified as semifinalists. Finalists will be notified in February.

Middle School Humanities Students Learn From 9/11 Displays

									 Middle School Humanities Students Learn From 9/11 Displays photo 1
									 Middle School Humanities Students Learn From 9/11 Displays photo 2
In remembrance of 9/11, all seventh-grade students at Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue Middle Schools in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District interacted in a humanities lesson delivered by English and social studies teachers. 

During their humanities block, students at Merrick Avenue participated in a gallery walk and discussion about ordinary, heroic citizens’ efforts to aid those affected by the tragedy, and later, the artwork that was created to memorialize the day.  

The students will analyze images of art and memorials using a technique from the National Constitution Center’s exhibit, “9/11: A Nation Remembers.”  The images displayed are from Duke University’s “Flesh & Metal, Bodies & Buildings: Works from Jonathan Hyman’s Archive of 9/11 Vernacular Memorials.”

Principal Dr. Taryn Johnson explained, “students learned about America’s social and cultural responses to the events of this day by analyzing the public memorials created across the American landscape in the days, months and years after the attacks. These displays continue to serve as a symbol of enduring hope.”

“One of the central themes of the lesson is reflective of the values we embody as members of the Bellmore-Merrick community and as Americans — in times of tragedy and difficulty, we seek to help each and to connect with kindness and caring,” said Kate Caporusso, social studies chairperson.

In one of the first co-taught Humanities lessons at Grand Avenue, Rebecca Levy (English teacher) and Daniel Rummenie (social studies teacher) explored the concepts of kindness and selflessness through two different events of 911.  

Rummenie presented a clip called "The Red Bandanna" about a young man who risked and lost his life while getting others out of the towers on 9/11. He was later identified because of the red bandanna that he always carried. Ms. Levy presented a song called Bedding and Blankets from the musical "Come From Away."  

“This explores the extraordinary selflessness of the residents of Gander, Newfoundland,” explained Principal Carlo Conte. “It was here and the residents only totaling about 10,000, took in approximately 7,000 passengers from diverted NY flights. It was a powerful lesson and it was masterfully presented. It was an excellent springboard into our newly redesigned seventh grade humanities program.”

English chairperson Adeline Atkins added, “this lesson demonstrates how we collectively respond to tragedy — on 9/11 and the days and months afterward, we banded together to help one another. These images and stories about those who came to the aid of others and the artwork that was later created is a beautiful example of who we are and how we express our shared humanity.”

Eighth-grade students also explored the theme of connecting with kindness and caring as they looked at ordinary heroes.  
“Students examined the story of the boat lifters and the town of Gander as case studies of these groups in their social studies classes,” added Caporusso.

Volleyball Teams Come Together Ahead of Season

Volleyball Teams Come Together Ahead of Season photo
Six high school volleyball teams recently participated in an intradistrict scrimmage to help ready the student athletes for the upcoming fall season.

“It was a great day for both the varsity and junior varsity teams to come together, show off new skills and help kick off the season,” said Eric Caballero, director of physical education, athletics, driver education and health. 

Bellmore-Merrick Begins New School Year

New School Year Pic
New School Year Pic 2
New School Year Pic 3
New School Year Pic 4
New School Year Pic 5
New School Year Pic 6
New School Year Pic 7
The CHSD opened yet another successful first school year on Sept. 5.

Administrators and teachers at both Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools welcomed eager seventh-graders; they guided the fresh faces through the halls, assisted with locker routines and helped read class schedules.

Prior to the first day, Grand Avenue Principal Carlo Conte said teachers were in the building for meetings and classroom preparation.

“Between the thought of a new year and all of the building updates – including a new library, there is a feeling of electricity that seems to be permeating the air,” he added.

At John F. Kennedy, Sanford H. Calhoun and Wellington C. Mepham high schools, teachers and staff welcomed back upperclassmen, as well as ensured a smooth transition for freshmen students.

“We had our ninth-grade orientation last week and it was great to see our Class of 2021,” said Calhoun Principal Nicole Hollings. Students rotated among five stations around the building, acclimating themselves to the building protocols.”

At Mepham, new Principal Eric Gomez said incoming freshmen “learned more about Mepham, our expectations and toured the building.”

Bellmore-Merrick CHSD Adult Ed Offers Sat / Act Review Course


Community Cupboard


Bellmore-Merrick’s One Voice, One Message Initiative Packages 20,000 Meals for the Hungry

Bellmore-Merrick’s One Voice, One Message Initiative Packages 20,000 Meals for the Hungry Photo

All hands were on deck at Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District on April 22 when 100 volunteers, including One Voice, One Message ambassadors, packaged 20,000 meals in coordination with Rise Against Hunger.

Teachers and chairpersons were hauling 50-pound bags of vegetables and grains. Students worked in an assembly line, funneling dehydrated meals and vitamins into bags. Principals acted as couriers from the assembly tables to packaging locations. Administrators were taping up boxes full of meals and stacking them for transport. The superintendent manned a push broom, cleaning up any food spillover.

“They [the ambassadors and the One Voice, One Message Committee] are the most incredible human beings with the largest hearts that serve as outstanding role models,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mara Bollettieri, who is also the co-One Voice, One Message adviser.

Money raised at the March One Voice, One Message Superhero 5K Run paid for the meals.

Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food to the world’s most vulnerable areas of the world.
“By sending the meals to schools abroad, the children will not only have a hot meal, but will receive an education as well,” added co-One Voice, One Message adviser and social studies chairperson Robyn Einbinder. “Students and staff alike were moved by the impact these meals will have, and thoroughly enjoyed working together throughout the morning.”


Community Cupboard


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Updates Inside


The district will be placing new information in this section regarding the Capital Projects. Be on the lookout for information as it becomes available. See the links below for our latest updates.

8/14/17 Full Construction Update

7/14/17 Bond Phase 3 Update

10/24/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

9/6/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

8/8/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

7/27/16 Bond Phase 2 & 3 Update

7/15/16 Bond Update

7/6/16 Bond Update

July 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

6/11/16 - Bond Phase 2 and 3 Update

April 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

4/11/16 - Bond Phase 2 Update

March 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

3/1/16 - Bond Phase 2 Update

February 2016 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

1/5/16 - Bond Phase 2 Update

12/15/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

December 2015 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

11/15/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

November 2015 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

10/20/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

8/25/15 - Bond Phase 2 Update

1/22/15 - Bond Phase 1 Update

12/10/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

10/29/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

9/29/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

8/11/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

7/14/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

6/30/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

July 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

August 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

September 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

October 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

November 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

December 2014 Capital Bond Project Slideshow

Construction Update 6/17/14

Neighbor Letter Re: Construction (Middle School)

Neighbor Letter Re: Construction

6/10/14 - Bond Phase 1 Update

SED Approval - Phase I  - May 6

02/10/14 - Bond Project Update

Capital Project Potential Phasing