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Student Board Reps Kick Off School Year

Students from Calhoun, Kennedy, Mepham High Schools and the Meadowbrook Alternative Learning Program/PREP Academy. thumbnail255341

Students from Calhoun, Kennedy, Mepham High Schools and the Meadowbrook Alternative Learning Program/PREP Academy represented their respective buildings at the Nov. 1 board of education meeting.

Students boasted about school news and student achievements, while offering personal anecdotes and quips in each round up.

“Getting these insights from students about what's happening in school buildings provides valuable perspectives and further enhances the quality of our meetings,” said Superintendent Michael Harrington.

They will continue to serve as board liaisons at board meetings throughout the school year.

Reporting from the dais each month will be Kyle Haglich from MAP, Sydney Brewer from Kennedy, Ava Kamlet from Calhoun and Matthew Keegan from Mepham.

Date Added: 2/20/2024

Students Take COORE FEE Biz to Go

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COORE FEE, the Central High School District’s coffee shop run by students in the special education program housed at Calhoun High School, took their business on the road on Feb. 16.

A team of more than a dozen students and staff members traveled to another school in district school, Mepham High School, and set up a shop outside of the cafeteria, peddling coffee, hot chocolate and sweet treats. The trip was organized by COORE teacher/COORE FEE faculty adviser Anthony Rizzo and Calhoun Special Education Chairperson Melissa Rohr.

“While the goal is to always promote functional, life-skills experiences for students, this also is an opportunity to promote socialization, integration and inclusivity,” said Rohr.

The COORE Fee coffee business started in 2019 and was designed to be an opportunity for students to gain vocational experience while in school.

The store is open at Calhoun on Tuesdays and Thursdays during first and second period. However, Rohr said they hope to eventually bring COORE FEE to every building in the district at some point.

“We do incredible work in all of our buildings in Bellmore-Merrick and it is exciting to find ways to integrate with peers and staff in each of the schools,” she added.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 2/16/2024

GAMS Teacher Uses Immersive Approach to Black History

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Eighth grade students in Kristin Fusaro’s Past, Present and Future class at Grand Avenue Middle School are taking a unique approach to learning about Black History Month.

Students researched notable figures and craft biographies, followed with a collaborative poster project.Once the unit was nearly completed, students attempted an escape room planned that highlights the Harlem Renaissance and the Great Migration, which was part of the students’ eighth grade social studies curriculum.

Utilizing Breakout EDU kits, Fusaro generated an escape room using reading passages, photos and poems as content for clues. Students worked in teams to decode and decipher information to unlock a series of padlocks.

Fusaro noted that students would not only be graded on the quickest time completed, but also “by your work ethic, by your teamwork and by your effort.”

The kits can be utilized for any subject matter and teachers can work with school library media specialists to create engaging games.

“The Breakout EDU kits are a great way to facilitate group work and collaboration as well as revisiting content learned,” explained Principal Carlo Conte, who sat in on the activity and monitored finish times for teams.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 2/26/2024



Seven CHSD Students Named National Merit Finalists

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Seven students in the Central High School District have been named National Merit Finalists in the 2024 competition. 

Joseph Darcourt and Fiona Wong of Calhoun High School, Sara Maltempi, Avidan Moont and Cole Wasserman of Kennedy High School and Matthew Keegan and Matt Yang of Mepham High School were among those who earned this distinction.  

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. The semifinalists represent the highest scoring 1% of the students nationwide who took the PSAT. 

NMSC will later notify the students if they are among the approximately 7,500 finalists that they have been selected to receive a Merit Scholarship, corporate, or college-sponsored monetary award. 

P.S. I Love You Day Spreads Kindness Across Bellmore-Merrick

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P.S. I Love You Day was celebrated throughout Bellmore-Merrick aimed at spreading positivity and kindness, particularly in schools on Feb. 9.

P.S. I Love You Day is a non-profit born in West Islip dedicated to eradicating the stigma around mental health. “Our mission is to instill hope for those affected by mental illness, fostering a supportive environment and a community where everyone feels welcomed, loved, and supported,” their website states. The effort is carried out on the second Friday of February each year.

English and Science classes incorporated mental health lessons as part of their lesson of the day to help spread the message and the pupil personnel services and counseling staff hosted a range of events aimed at promoting mental health awareness and fostering a positive environment.

At Calhoun, students and staff decorated doors and hallways with purple hearts and I Love You hands reminding peers they are not alone and if someone is struggling there is someone who can help.

“There should be no stigma surrounding mental health and we need to foster a supportive environment and community where everyone feels welcomed, loved and supported,” explained Principal Nicole Hollings.
Students also offered a calming room, sensory friendly tables and activities, free cotton candy and more. Local açai shop, The Purple Flamingo donated nearly 500 smoothies and toppings to the school. Plus, the Buzz’d Coffee mobile truck was on hand to keep the Calhoun community fueled up.

The Key Club at Kennedy High School created a Take What You Need Wall, penning positive messages on Post-It notes for students and staff to read and/or keep.

At Merrick Avenue, Natural Helpers and Advisory teamed up this year to raise awareness by spreading positive messages throughout the school. Purple hearts that the students created were displayed for everyone to see when they entered the doors of Merrick Avenue.
At Grand Avenue, the SADD Club decked out the school with purple hearts decorated with positive messages, while representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) engaged students in discussions and shared coping resources during lunch. Staff hosted a self-love yoga class as well.

Students in all seventh-grade health classes participated in an anti-bullying lesson this week.

“Students reflected on the emotional toll of negativity & name-calling and discovered the power of kindness,” explained Grand Avenue Principal Carlo Conte. “Through stories and discussions, the lesson inspired a commitment to creating a supportive environment."

At MAP, students fished for compliments in a kiddie pool to foster positive self-talk and boost self-esteem. Students in the PREP Academy offered sweet treats to students and staff. School Counselor Catrina Christensen wove purple tinsel into willing students’ hair to brighten days.

PREP Academy and MAP students collected and spray-painted bottle caps to make an upcycled art project palate that practice mindfulness.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 2/15/2024

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