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BirchBirch School

2400 Central Parkway, Merrick, NY 11566 

Phone: 516 992-7250

Current News

Continuing to Enhance STEAM Education

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For the 2019-20 school year, the district is enhancing its emphasis on STEAM education with additional classes and activities.

The district has added two new STEAM classes at each of its three schools beginning this fall. Technology teachers and library media specialists at Birch, Chatterton and Levy Lakeside schools will teach these programs, rotating between each school’s STEAM lab, technology room and library on a project/lesson basis.

“These new student experiences were designed to encourage students to become increasingly independent as they create digital products that engage them in critical thinking, collaboration and authentic, real-world problem-solving,” said Merrick UFSD Director of Student Services Dr. Salvatore Dossena. Digital books, storyboards and videos are among some of the projects that students will create.
Grade K-2 students at all schools will engage in additional project-based technology learning in robotics, engineering, digital storytelling and multimodal literacy. Much of this will entail students using both iPads and Windows-based applications to program robots to perform more intricate tasks. Students will program a Code & Go Robot Mouse, Ozobots, and Dash and Dot robots based on their grade level/task.
Grade 3-6 students will further develop their skills in robotics and advance their coding skills, moving from drag and drop coding to Python. These grades will also learn how to design mobile apps. Fifth and sixth graders will also learn to code drones. While learning becomes more complex in the higher grade levels, students are engaged in meaningful problem-solving and coding activities very early on.

Additionally, all students will engage in digital citizenship lessons throughout the school year, at a developmentally appropriate level, to teach them how to have a positive impact on their digital footprint.

“While learning becomes more complex in the higher grade levels, students are engaged in significant problem-solving and coding activities early on,” Dossena added. “Every student is learning how to effectively and responsibly use technology in order to achieve or create something meaningful.”

Birch Moves Up

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Congratulations to this year’s sixth grade class at Birch School. Best of luck in middle school!

A Red Carpet Affair

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During the months of April and May, kindergarten students at Birch School learned how to write opinions about their favorite books, characters and authors. The results of their efforts were revealed at the annual Kvintessandro Awards, hosted by teachers Denise Kvint and Traci D’Alessandro.

The event, held on June 13, combined the spirit of the Caldecott Medal (held every year to recognize the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children) with the style and fanfare of the Oscars. Students were joined by their families and school administrators, who gathered in the school’s mini-gym to walk the red carpet, stop for pictures on the step and ultimately unseal envelopes to announce the winning books. Each kindergartener received a golden trophy for all of their hard work!

A Celebration of Writing

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Second-grade students in Kimberly DePalma and Elizabeth Doheny’s classes at Birch School recently shared the beautiful writing pieces they have created this year during a special Writer’s Celebration. Students explained what they learned in each of the writing units and how they used these writing tools to create unique writing pieces. They invited special guests to sit in on their presentations and read their writing pieces. These authors made Birch School very proud!

Honoring Exemplary Citizenship

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At their June meeting, the Merrick Board of Education honored one student from each of the district’s three elementary schools with the Board of Education Citizenship Award.

With input from the principal, faculty and staff of each school, this award recognizes students who demonstrate exemplary leadership characteristics, good judgement and an overall appreciation and respect for others, as well as themselves.

The Merrick Board and administration congratulate Elena Hyzak (Birch School), Leah Pollack (Levy Lakeside School) and Katherine Salvatore (Chatterton School), each of whom embody pride in school, self and community.  Pictured are Board of Education members congratulating Leah and Katherine. Missing from the photo is Elena.