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Calhoun’s Joy Ma Named National Merit Semifinalist

Calhoun’s Joy Ma Named National Merit Semifinalist photo
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

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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. 

Kennedy HS Principal - Please Read


Data Presentation 2016-2017


Bellmore-Merrick Begins New School Year

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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


Troupe’s Tremendous Twist

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As part of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District’s Extended Year Summer Program, students performed “Oliver With A Twist” under the direction of Kathleen Brickmeier. The rendition, which also featured iconic 1960’s character Mary Poppins, was the culmination of weeks of rehearsals and preparation by the program’s theater troupe.
Students performers were Melanie Iovane, Emely Salgado, Jacqueline Murray, Aidan Osorio, Gavin Bluni, Alex Thompson, Johnathan DeCicco, Matthew Freeman, Luciano Centanni, Andrew Rossi, Jeremy Camille and Daxia Crimmins.

Civil Air Patrol Cadet Receives Amelia Earhart Award

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John F. Kennedy High School incoming senior, Ricardo Gomez-Nieto of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District was awarded the prestigious Amelia Earhart Award Tuesday night as a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol, United States Air Force Auxiliary.

In attendance were multiple local and state politicians as Gomez-Nieto received his award in front of a room full of fellow cadets. This high honor is the third milestone in the cadet program and marks the completion of phase three, the command phase. Gomez-Nieto endured a series of rigorous promotional eligibility requirements, completing many challenging courses and meeting high leadership expectations to obtain this award.

Gomez-Nieto joins the only five percent of cadets that will receive this elite achievement. The Amelia Earhart Award grants Gomez-Nieto eligibility to participate in the International Air Cadet Exchange program and also upon entering into the Civil Air Patrol’s Senior member program, is eligible for immediate promotion to CAP First Lieutenant at age 21 and credited with the technician rating in the Cadet Programs Officer Specialty Track.

Summer Bridge Program Celebrates Mindfulness Day with “Goat Yoga”

Summer Bridge Program Pic

Incoming ninth-grade students in the inaugural Bellmore-Merrick Summer Bridge Program enjoyed Mindfulness Day, a day devoted to helping students build self-advocacy skills, cope with stress and tension, improve social relationships with peers and adults, and set goals for high school.  The district’s newly adopted Bridge Program and promotion policy is designed to help students strengthen necessary academic and organizational skills before moving on to high school.  “The focus is to help reengage students while preparing them for what they will encounter academically as they start the ninth grade,” said Cheryl Fontana, district director of fine & performing arts and the Bridge Program coordinator.

A highlight of the day featured a unique yoga practice led by John F. Kennedy High School teacher Dawn Sullivan featuring special guests from Long Island-based Steppin’ Out Ponies and Petting Zoo, a rescue organization run by Bellmore-Merrick alumna Karen Bayha. As students entered an enclosed area at Grand Avenue Middle School to set up sun salutations on their beach towels, they were joined by a dozen of Bayha’s rescue goats, some as young as just a few weeks old. 

“Goat Yoga,” which is growing in popularity across the nation, was recently featured  in Sunday’s Newsday. Bayha’s rescue is involved with Goat Yoga events offered weekly by the Smithtown Historical Society. 

Bayha, who graduated from Mepham High School, was interested in partnering with the Bridge Program to “give back to the community.” As Sullivan led students through the meditative poses typical in a Vinyasa-style yoga class, the goats moved about the crowd and interacted with the participants. While some were more interested in grazing on nearby ivy, others, especially the babies, enjoyed interrupting the practice for playtime. 

“Goats are inherently gentle, social animals,” said Bridge Program Director & teacher, Mary Donnelly. “While yoga teaches us how to be calm and present ‘in the moment,’ the simple presence of the goats reminds us that we sometimes need to relinquish control, smile, and embrace the chaos.”

Once the yoga practice ended, students had the opportunity to play with the goats and even take a few ‘selfies’ before returning to class.


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