Lead Testing Assessment


Mepham Leos Roar like Lions

In keeping with the Leo Club’s mission of altruism and philanthropy, students at Mepham High School kicked off their induction into the district’s first Leo Club by hosting a donation drive for the homeless.

Sponsored by the Bellmore Lions Club, the Leos live by the motto, “we serve,” and have planned several acts of community service including visiting the Bethany House, which assists homeless women and children.

“I love helping the community,” said Amna Minhas, senior and club president. “We get to make a lot of people happy.”

Club adviser Josephine Parlagreco, a Lion herself, has encouraged the members to participate in many projects such as food drives and community outreach.

“She gives her heart and soul to anything she’s involved with at our school,” said Principal Michael Harrington.

This will be the largest Leo Club in the district, explained said Nina Lanci, district governor 20-K2 and school board trustee. The Lions have long-assisted Mepham and the school district with projects such as Habitat for Humanity and holiday drives.
“It feels so good to give back to our community,” Lanci told the room of inductees.

Three HS Students named National Merit Semifinalists

Three students in the district have been named semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Alaina Anderson of Calhoun, Maximilian Bazil of Kennedy and Rachel Jozwick of Mepham all received this distinction.

“Having students earn this recognition is a symbol of their test preparedness and academic work ethic,” said Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction David Seinfeld.

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.

Kennedy Seniors Named Rising Scientists

Kennedy High School seniors Maximilian Bazil and Claire Kelly spent their summer completing graduate-level scientific research and experiments and their efforts were recognized by the 2016 Child Mind Institute as Rising Scientists.

Kelly relocated to Illinois during the summer months to work on her psychopharmacology project, The Impulsivity as a Predictor for Enhanced Attentional Bias Towards Novel Drug-Paired Cues at the University of Chicago.

A three-year Advanced Science Research student, Kelly is also working on a second project involving Parkinson’s treatments.
She said the ASR program has taught her to “think like a scientist.”

“I’ve learned how to work better with peers as well as professionals,” Kelly said. “These projects have also pushed me to work harder than I ever had before.”

Kelly is hoping to publish new data soon and has taken these finding to numerous scientific competitions already. She hopes to pursue an education in neuroscience in English, which is a narrative style of practice.

Bazil said his project, The Intra-Arterial Injection and Differentiation of Autologous, Genetically Modified Human Endothelial Progenitor Cells as a Targeted Drug Delivery Therapy for Stroke in a Human Umbilical Artery Model, has a “lot of ideas that are preliminarily supported” by his research.

“This could be a fast-acting therapy in the future [for stroke victims],” he added. “I’m already forward thinking to human trials.”

Bazil completed his research at Mount Sinai Hospital in the department of neurosurgery. An emergency medical captain of the junior squad of the Bellmore-Merrick EMS, Bazil said he’s always been interested in neurology, however, has become intrigued by the vascular aspect as well.

He has had an abstract published in the Annals of Neurology and would like to pursue a focus in neuroscience, specializing in a pediatric role. His other research project, completed in May, focused on the Development of a Cerebral Angiography Calibration Model Using Relative Arterial Diameters.

The pair was selected from more than 30 applicants. As a Child Mind Institute Rising Scientist, they will present their research on Oct. 25 at a ceremony. They will also receive a $1,000 scholarship for college expenses.

MAP Begins Day Honoring 9/11 Victims

With a bright blue sky as their backdrop, members of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District’s administration, along with the staff and student body of the Meadowbrook Alternative Program, paused Friday morning to remember the lives lost on Sept. 11.

“Those people woke up and go to work just like we are doing and that was it,” said Principal Susan Ellinghaus before reciting a poem. “The heroics of the rescuers involved – everyone was there to defend the freedom that we enjoy today.”

The twisted, rusted 1,600-pound girder that once helped support the Twin Towers was installed and dedicated in front of the Brookside building in 2010. This acquisition was achieved through the efforts of MAP students, under the guidance of faculty member, John Boyle.

In 2013, the Mepham High School Key Club and Bellmore Kiwanis Club dedicated a plaque that sits in front of the memorial. The teacher’s union donated two concrete benches facing the memorial.

District Begins Head Injury Prevention Program

In an effort to manage student-athlete injuries, the Central High School District will be implementing the ImPACT test and ImPACT Concussion Management Model.

ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is a computerized concussion management tool that utilizes a neurocognitive baseline and post-injury concussion testing to educate athletic directors, trainers, coaches, physical education instructors and school nurses on concussion management.

“Training will focus on concussion awareness, recognition and response,” explained Eric Caballero, director of physical education, athletics, driver education and health. “This will aid in addressing the need for an accurate, medically accepted assessment system as part of an overall concussion management protocol.”

This tool is being offered as a free program through the New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal to support the Head Injury Prevention Program.
“Baseline cognitive testing will be conducted every two years to evaluate student athletes who compete in 12 varsity and junior varsity contact sports,” said Superintendent of Schools John DeTommaso. “Post-concussion testing is also provided under this free program.”

It includes cognitive baseline and post-concussion testing of student athletes, educational seminars in head injury identification, educational seminars in controlling athletic risk management exposures and information gathering on the composition of athletic surfaces for further research.

ImPACT is the first and only concussion-specific solution to be granted medical device clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“Providing this type of training and testing helps protect our students and create a safer athletic environment,” added DeTommaso.

New Beginnings in Bellmore-Merrick

The new school year is off to a fresh start in the Central High School District as students entered into updated buildings courtesy of numerous capital improvements made throughout the summer.

“The kids are in, they’re healthy, happy, safe and most importantly – they’re learning,” said Jon Simpkins, director of School Facilities & Operations.

At Calhoun, the refurbishment of science labs includes a flat panel screen for interactive lessons.

“The new technology turns this unit into a college level lab,” said teacher Kim Lascarides.

At Grand Avenue, a new roof, new bathrooms and central heat/air were installed over the summer, as well as a makeover to the guidance suite.
“We worked tirelessly as a district to get things spiffed up for the start of the school year,” explained Principal Carlo Conte.

Students can also now elect Mandarin as a world language course, in addition to Spanish, French and Italian. Seventeen students are enrolled in Mandarian at Grand Avenue, while 19 have signed up for the language at Merrick Avenue.

“This year, the Mandarin students will begin to develop their communicative skills and learn about many aspects of Chinese culture,” said World Languages Chairperson Renee Fallon.

Merrick Avenue saw a parking lot refacing, additional 35 flat panel screens and music and library rooms renovations, which were completed by district maintenance staff. Bathroom and heating/cooling work is currently underway.

Additionally, the district added an ENL (English as a New Language) program at Grand Avenue, where students were previously transferred to Merrick Avenue.

At Kennedy, freshmen were off to a philanthropic start, as the class of 2020 adviser Lisa Scherer initiated the first community service project for the year; collecting school supplies for a school in Louisiana devastated by recent flooding. The districtwide C.H.A.M.P [culinary and hospitality applied management program], housed at Kennedy, has a newly installed commercial kitchen, as well as new science labs.

At Mepham, students enrolled in the districtwide broadcast communications program were able to get up close with state-of-the-art studio equipment.

“Throughout the year students will be utilizing field bags and then the Mac labs to edit and complete video projects,” explained Vice Principal Marie Netto.

Other completed projects include updated science labs and new bathrooms.

At the Meadowbrook Alternative Program, housed in the central administration building, students will be utilizing a newly added science lab and soon – a Mac lab, courtesy of district maintenance staff.

Mepham Seeking Field of Honor Flag Sponsors


Bellmore-Merrick Central welcomes incoming freshmen

Ninth-graders across Bellmore-Merrick Central were recently treated to educational and entertaining freshman orientations at their new buildings.
At Mepham High School, students enrolled in the district’s Broadcast Communication tested out equipment in the new state-of-the-art studio. Students within the district can apply for this four-year program, housed at Mepham.

In addition to building tours, students learned about the goals and expectations of the program for the upcoming year.

At Calhoun High School, senior student leaders hosted small group discussions with incoming freshmen about “Being a Calhoun Student.”
"Students were split into small groups and had the opportunity to hear from the seniors and ask them questions,” explained Vice Principal Dr. Neil Testa. "They were also tasked with exploring, ‘what would I want to tell the ninth grade me about the next four years at Calhoun?”

Upperclassmen at Kennedy High School were also on hand to assist, offering insight and advice to help with a successful first year in high school.

“Lisa Scherer, the class advisor, kicked off their first community service project for the year, collecting school supplies for a school in Louisiana devastated by recent flooding,” said Principal Lorraine Poppe. “The day ended with Michael DiGiovanni and his C.H.A.M.P. [Culinary and Hospitality Applied Management Program] and students hosting a barbecue for the freshmen.”

Girls Volleyball Teams Compete in Friendship Tourney

Kennedy High School recently hosted a Bellmore-Merrick girls volleyball friendship tournament with Mepham and Calhoun high schools.

“The teams had a great day playing,” said girls varsity volleyball coach Katie Sheehan. “This tournament used to be a yearly tradition and I decided to bring it back this year.”

Photo Caption: Members of the Kennedy, Mepham and Calhoun girls varsity volleyball teams.

District Welcomes 25 New Staff Members

The district recently welcomed 25 new staff members for the 2016-17 school year. The new members gathered on August 29 for a special orientation to familiarize themselves with the district’s administrators, buildings and policies. In his welcome address to the new staff, Superintendent of Schools John DeTommaso said, “By putting kids first and always, results will always follow.”

Throughout the day, the new staff members heard from a variety of district administrators on topics ranging from effective communication to leveraging the increased technological capabilities available for instruction such as the Bring Your Own Device initiative and SMART Boards. On August 30, staff continued their orientation at their respective buildings, during which they met with their principals, department supervisors and their mentors or “buddy teachers” to review instructional topics.

The district welcomes all staff members back for the start of the new year and wishes them a successful school year ahead!

Summer Studies at Harvard University

Hadi Aziz, a senior at Sanford H. Calhoun High School, had the unique opportunity to participate in a summer science research program while at the same time attending college-level physics classes at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Aziz was the first high school student admitted to work at one of the prestigious labs at the Dana Farber Cancer Research Center associated with the Harvard Medical School. There he studied Rb (retinoblastoma gene), a tumor suppressor gene that codes for the production of a specific protein, which inhibits excessive cell growth.

High Schools Are Best in the Nation

All three high schools in the district have been recognized by Newsweek as being among the best high schools in the country.

On the magazine’s 2016 list of America’s top 500 high schools, John F. Kennedy High School was listed at No. 160, Wellington C. Mepham High School came in at No. 266 and Sanford H. Calhoun High School was ranked at No. 300. The rankings are based on a college readiness score determined by average AP/IB, ACT and SAT scores, along with graduation rate and college-bound percentage. Counselor-to-student ratio and student retention rate over four years of enrollment also factor into the ranking.

“I am extremely proud that all three of our high schools have been recognized as being among the best in the country,” said Bellmore-Merrick Superintendent of Schools Dr. John DeTommaso. “Of course, these lists don’t completely measure the greatness of our schools. Anyone who spends an extended period of time in any of our three high schools or our middle schools can more effectively measure the incredible things our staff does for students. Add a very supportive parent group with a Board of Education dedicated to providing what’s best for our kids, and you have a recipe for success.”

Newsweek used data from the National Center for Education Statistics for its 2016 rankings.

Food Pantry Garners First Donation

District ambassadors have officially introduced a new food pantry for the district, housed at Brookside. Led by MAP teachers Karen McMahon and Tiffany Rzempoluch, the effort received its first donations from members of the Merrick Lions Club.

At the Lions’ July 26 meeting, Board of Education Trustee Nina Lanci was honored by the club and members offered their support to the new pantry by each bringing a food item to donate.

In the News


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.

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