SEPTA September Meeting Flyer

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September SEPTA Program Flyers

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Staff Participates in Superintendent’s Conference Day

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Teachers both old and new in the Central High School District were welcomed at the annual Superintendent’s Conference Day held at Calhoun High School on Aug. 31.

Twenty-seven new teachers sat amongst hundreds in the auditorium as Superintendent John DeTommaso addressed the district’s vision of One Voice, One Message and this year’s goals.

“This district is closer than ever to being thought of as this one, tight unit in the way that schools and colleagues are working with each other,” DeTommaso said. “We are all part of one group.”

DeTommaso also emphasized the new opportunities available for students this coming year, including a broadcast journalism program at Mepham and a culinary arts & hospitality program at Kennedy .

“Talk about bringing the district together and having choices,” DeTommaso said. “This is expanding educational opportunities for kids.”

DeTommaso also unveiled the district’s new mobile application to the group.

“Two years ago I promised you we’d become a technological powerhouse,” he added.

In addition to the development of the app, the district has opened iMac labs in the high schools this school year, every computer in the district will be less than one year old by mid-fall and 150 new flat panel screens will be incorporated.

“Technology is not the tool, it’s just another tool,” he said. “And we back it up with the professional development to help you [do your jobs].”

Other key items coming to the district include new science labs, new bathrooms in the high schools and central air conditioning, all components of the capital improvement bond approved by the community two years ago.

District Launches Mobile Application

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In a continued effort to increase communication with staff, parents and the community, the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District has created a mobile application.

"The smartphone app is designed to provide easy access to school contacts and up-to-date information," Superintendent John DeTommaso said.

The app is free to download via iPhone and Android devices and allows users to quickly access district contacts, the parent portal and school calendars, as well as receive push notifications. Once the app is launched, users can touch the menu icon or swipe anywhere to access various tools and features. From the home screen, users can also access the district website or call the district with one button.

To download, visit the App Store or Google Play and search Bellmore-Merrick Central HSD.

Incoming Students Attend Orientations

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Calhoun, Kennedy and Mepham hosted orientations for ninth graders on Aug. 25 to familiarize incoming families with each school’s day-to-day routine.

At Calhoun, students rotated between five stations that discussed school policies, athletics, student responsibilities, clubs and technology. Principal Nicole Hollings welcomed students in the auditorium and explained general expectations, including opportunities for community service such as their successful Relay for Life event.

At Kennedy, incoming freshmen were treated to a barbecue. Orientation leaders helped assist with the introduction sessions, as well as offering a friendly face and guided tours.

Administrators at Mepham reviewed a Top Ten list created by current and former students on how to be successful in the high school. Mepham’s Peer Leaders lead student tours and held a student-run Club Fair, while the PTA and Sports Boosters assisted parents throughout the day.

Seventh Graders Learn New Routines at Orientation

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The district’s middle schools hosted student orientations for incoming seventh graders on Aug. 25 to familiarize families with policies, practices and procedures.
    
At Merrick Avenue Middle School, Principal Taryn Johnson welcomed parents, while students proceeded to classrooms for a PowerPoint presentation on various rules and regulations in the school.
    
“There are many opportunities for children to succeed here,” Johnson said. “We look forward to working with parents towards that end.”
    
At Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue alike, teachers were also on hand to offer a warm welcome and field questions. The seventh-graders then toured the school and learned locker protocol while receiving helpful tips from eighth-grade student-guide volunteers.

BarryTech Transportation Provision for September 1 - 8, 2015

* AM BOCES students will be picked up at 10:30 am at their assigned stops and will be brought to their respective high schools.

* PM BOCES students will be taken to their assigned stops from their respective high schools.

Adult Continuing Ed to Offer SAT Review Course

Bellmore-Merrick CHSD will be offering an eight session SAT Review on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. This course is geared for students taking the November SAT exam. Critical Reading and Writing Review begins Thursday, September 3, 2015, and Math Review begins Wednesday, September 9, 2015. Times for both English and Math Review are 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and classes will be held at the Brookside Administration Building, 1260 Meadowbrook Road. N. Merrick. Please call the Adult Continuing Education Office 516 992-1062 for registration fees and information.

Adult Continuing Education to Offer Fall Programs

September is back to school time for kids, but adults in the community can also take advantage of the 90 opportunities offered through Bellmore-Merrick’s Adult Continuing Education Program, one of the largest programs in Nassau County. Please visit our website at www.bmchsd.k12.ny.us to review this year’s course offerings which will be available online August 21, 2015.  You can view the wide variety of courses that are offered for adults, whether your interests are to improve your career, to enrich your leisure time or to learn a new craft or skill.  This fall, new courses have been added to the program including, Vinyasa Yoga, Kettlebell & Cardio, Pickleball, Cardio Dance & Tone, Guided Visual Meditation, Skincare 101, How to Get Organized, Microsoft SharePoint, Find a New Job, Medicaid Assisted Living, Finances After Divorce, Social Security Planning and others.

Fees for Bellmore-Merrick’s programs vary in accordance to the specific course.  Registrations can be mailed to the Adult Education Office at 1260 Meadowbrook Road in Merrick. Walk-in registrations will be accepted August 24 through September 18, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will be accepted on the first night each course meets in the Adult Education Office between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. depending on availability. For more information, call the Adult Education Office at (516) 992-1062. A medical examination is recommended for courses involving physical activity. The Board of Education reserves the right to cancel sessions for special circumstances, adjust class hours, or change the venue if necessary.

Registration & Eligibility Information for Driver Education Program

The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District will offer the Driver Education Program to all students who meet the following qualifications for enrollment:
 
     1.  A student must be a resident of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District.
     2.  A student must be at least 16 years of age on or before the first date of class.
     3.  A student must present a valid learner's permit from the New York State Department of Motor
          Vehicles on the first day of class.
     4.  A student must be in good academic standing in the school he or she attends.

Classes may be offered after school, before school hours, and on weekends, depending on student enrollment.  Tentatively, classes will be scheduled for each of the high schools within the District.   These classes will only be offered if there is sufficient enrollment to warrant a class being given within a building.   If there are insufficient numbers within one building, students will be given the opportunity to attend a class in another building or a district class at a central location.

Registration forms will be available the second week of school in the main office of each CHSD high school building, as well as on the District website.

Registration will take place in September.  A representative from the District Driver Education office will be available at each high school at specific times and dates to be announced.  The cost of the course will be $560.  

As this is not a tuition-based program and not part of the regular school day, this course carries no graduation credit.

Please Note:  The Driver Education Program will also be given in the second semester, with registration beginning in January and classes tentatively starting the first week in February.

For more information regarding Driver Education, please call 992-1077 or the East Meadow Driving School at 794-3900.

Email to Phone Userguides - iPhone and Android

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BOE Kicks Off New School Year

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On July 14, the Board of Education kicked off the 2015-16 school year by electing Skip Haile as president and Janet Goller as vice president, respectively. Haile and Goller took the oath of office and were sworn in by District Clerk Claire Neufeld.

Last year’s president, JoAnn DeLauter, will assume the role of trustee, as will new Board member Gina Piskin, who has spent eight years on the Merrick School Board and will replace the retired Susan Schwartz.

The Board welcomed Piskin to the team before commencing with the remainder of the meeting agenda.

Kennedy Holds Class of 2015 Commencement

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More than 300 graduating seniors from Kennedy High School received their diplomas during the school’s 48th annual commencement ceremony on June 28 at the NYCB Theatre in Westbury.

During the spirited ceremony, graduating members of the high school chorus entertained family, friends and faculty members with “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “A Little Pretty Bonnie Lass.” The audience also heard from graduating senior vocal performer Mara Friedman, who delivered a stunning rendition of “God Bless America.” In addition, the class was treated to a visit from Sen. Chuck Schumer, who delivered an amusing and inspiring speech about life choices.

In the salutatory address, Nicholas Field compared the graduates’ journey to the way directions on a roadmap don’t always dictate the outcome. He also recalled the morning announcements from his middle school years, when he often heard the principal say, “Make it a great day or not…the choice is yours.”

“In college, we’ll get pushed toward a major, but the rest is up to us,” Field said. “We get to make our own decisions. Make it a great life or not…the choice is yours.”

Valedictorian Beatrice Brown echoed those sentiments in her address, reflecting on the class’s years of effort and how their education at Kennedy prepared them for the future.

“Today we are here as a testament to all our hard work,” she said. “Our journey is just beginning, but we must keep in mind that tomorrow is not determined by destiny or fate. During the next leg of our journey, we will have the resources to improve the world.”

The graduating class also heard from Class President Anna Lawrence, who wished her fellow classmates well in the future. Principal Lorraine Poppe spoke fondly of the Class of 2015.

“As I look out, I cannot help but recall the remarkable things you’ve accomplished,” Ms. Poppe said. “As a class, you will be hard to top.”

“Your story is yet to be written, and you are just at the beginning,” said Board of Education trustee Dr. Nancy Kaplan. “Involve yourself with new things. Get to know your faculty and allow them the pleasure of getting to know you.”

The ceremony culminated with each student approaching the stage to receive his or her diploma, followed by the traditional cap toss.

Pomp and Circumstance at MAP

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Twenty-two students graduated from the Meadowbrook Alternative Program on June 22.

The program, which celebrated its eighth year, is run by Principal Susan Ellinghaus and promotes honor, excellence, respect and optimism in its students, who have had difficulties succeeding in traditional high school settings.

The ceremony featured a presentation of awards and scholarships for students, as well as a special recognition for MAP’s Key Club members, who began their own chapter of the organization this year.

This year’s Valedictorian Michael Nussenblatt and Salutatorian Breanna Tardo were full of appreciation for the program in their speeches, and diplomas were dispersed by Dr. Joseph Netto, the school psychologist.

Senior Wins Cristin Bambino Award

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Gillian Cohen, a senior at Calhoun High School, was the recipient of the prestigious, New York School Insurance Reciprocal/Cristin Bambino Memorial Scholarship totaling $5,000. The scholarship is granted to a college-bound special education student to award him or her for overcoming special challenges while completing high school and obtaining entrance to a college.
    
During her high school career, Cohen has played with Calhoun’s junior varsity girls tennis team and is currently the team manager for the varsity team. Additionally, she is an active member of the school’s World of Difference and Key clubs.  

As a liver transplant recipient, Cohen also works closely with the Transplant Recipients International Organization and the New York State Organ Donor Network. She has spoken at various events reflecting on her experience as a transplant recipient and is also very active with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, recently securing an internship.  

On May 2, Cohen threw out the first pitch at the New York Mets game as a representative for Make-A-Wish. She threw a perfect strike. Cohen plans on attending LIU Post in the fall.

Cohen was recognized by the Board of Education at its June 3 meeting.

District Hosts Second Drug Take-Back Day

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District leaders and the Community Parent Center held its second Drug Take-Back Day outside of Mepham High School in an effort to curb the availability of over-the-counter and prescription drugs found inside the average household medicine cabinet. On Take-Back days, residents are encouraged to drop off their unwanted or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications where they can be disposed of safely.

At the May 30 event, residents dropped off approximately 700 pounds of medication, which were collected in 33 large plastic bags in a few hours. The Nassau County Police Department picked up the bags for proper disposal.

The joint community-school effort followed a similarly successful Drug Take-Back event on September 27 in front of the central administration building. At that event, more than 200 pounds of drugs were collected in 10 large bags.

Organizers also distributed more than 200 resource packets replete with information about safe storage and disposal of medication, as well as where families can seek drug counseling should it be needed.

Eighth-Graders Celebrate Moving Up

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Eighth-grade students at Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools officially capped their middle school careers and their transition to high school during moving up ceremonies on June 12.

Divided into four ceremonies based on academic teams, the students filed into the auditoriums to the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” in front of parents, family and peers.

The transitioning eighth-graders heard from graduating seniors from Calhoun, Kennedy and Mepham, who provided words of advice and encouragement to the students as they prepare to break for the summer before entering as freshman.     

The audience also heard from student speakers from each academic team, who reflected on their years at middle school and shared their hopes and dreams for high school. Faculty members also took the stage to provide a reflection on the year.

Each student made their way across the stages, receiving handshakes from administrators and teachers.  

The milestone event was punctuated by performances by Word of Mouth at Merrick Avenue and the Select Chorus from Grand Avenue, under the direction of Dana Brandwein and Amanda Cantwell, respectively.

Prep for the Future Thanks Local Community

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Staff members in the Prep for the Future program, faculty and administrators at Calhoun High School held an end-of-year appreciation barbeque on June 9 to thank members of the community for their continued support.
    
The Prep for the Future program aims to connect students with disabilities to real-world experiences through volunteer and work programs with companies from the Bellmore-Merrick community. Calhoun faculty members, along with staff from the South Oaks Comprehensive Behavior Health Continuum, run the program.
    
The neighboring community of businesses and organizations welcome Prep for the Future students and help them build necessary skills to succeed once they graduate from high school.
    
At the barbeque, students and local business leaders alike gathered under a tent to enjoy hamburgers, hotdogs, refreshments and some socializing. Members of Calhoun High School administrative team, as well as central administration staff, were also on hand.

BYOD - New Connectivity Procedures For Personal Devices

Dear Parents/Guardians, Staff, & Students,

Our district has recently installed a new web content filter Cisco SourceFire along with a new Cisco firewall and link balancer designed to increase Internet bandwidth and optimize our network.  In addition, we have implemented new procedures for connecting personal devices to our BMCHSD-GUEST wireless network throughout our high school buildings.

 

The following document includes the new procedures to connect personal devices (iPhone, Android, Chromebook, and Windows) to the BMCHSD-GUEST wireless network.  

http://www.bellmore-merrick.k12.ny.us/Assets/Adult_Education/How_to_Join_BMCHSD-GUEST.pdf?t=635693586563430000

 

The document may also be found on our district website within the following two areas: 

  1. Technology & Instructional Services
  2. Staff – Staff Resources

Thank you,

Joe Innaco

Director of Technology & Instructional Services

 

District Celebrates the Arts

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Bellmore-Merrick recently held its biannual Celebration of the Arts at the Brookside School with a stunning collection of work and showcases from student-artists across the district.

Attended by community members, students, art teachers, art supervisors, building principals, the Board of Education and Superintendent John DeTommaso, the arts celebration included a magnificent gallery of hundreds of pieces of student artwork and an array of extraordinary musical presentations.  

Browse the photo gallery to view some of the stunning artwork.



Calhoun Student Goes National

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Calhoun High School junior Irene Kowalski has been elected president of the New York State chapter of the Distributive Education Clubs of America.

A three-year member of the school’s DECA, Irene currently serves as its social media correspondent. As a result of her success at both state and national DECA competitions, she has been elected to the position of president of the state chapter and will be responsible for overseeing more than 120 high school chapters across New York.

Irene was honored for this prestigious position at the May 6 Board of Education meeting.

In the News

 

Updates Inside

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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.

8/25/15 - 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