Getting Involved in the Schools
- Title I Parent and Family Engagement
- North Merrick PTAs
- Chaperone Guidelines
- Code of Conduct
- Facilities Use Applications
- Homework Guidelines
- New York Department of Education Parent Dashboard
The Board of Education believes that positive parental involvement is essential to student achievement, and thus encourages such involvement in school educational planning and operations. Parental involvement may take place either in the classroom or during scheduled after school activities. However, the Board also encourages parental involvement at home (e.g., planned home reading time and informal learning activities).
Title I Parental and Family Engagement- District Level Policy Reviewed 6/7/23
Consistent with the parent involvement goals of Title I, Part A of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), the Board of Education will develop and implement programs, activities and procedures that encourage and support the participation of parents of students eligible for Title I services in all aspects of their child’s education. The Board also will ensure that all of its schools receiving Title I, Part A funds develop and implement school level parental involvement policies, as further required by the NCLB.
For purposes of this policy, parental involvement refers to the participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities. At a minimum, parental involvement programs, activities and procedures at both the district and individual school level must ensure that parents:
- Play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning;
- Are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school; and
- Are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child.
District- and school-level Title I parental involvement programs, activities and procedures will provide full opportunities for the full participation of all parents.
As further required by the NCLB, parents of students eligible for Title I services will be provided an opportunity to participate in the development of the district’s Title I plan, and to submit comments regarding any aspect of the plan that is not satisfactory to them. Their comments will be forwarded with the plan to the State Education Department.
Parent Participation in the Development of a District-wide Parental Involvement Plan
The Board, along with the Superintendent of Schools and other appropriate district staff will undertake the following actions to ensure parent involvement in the development of the district wide parental involvement plan:
- Meetings will be flexibly scheduled during the morning, after school and during the evening.
- Email and telephone communication will be used to survey parents who may not be available to attend meetings in person.
- The district website and newsletter, superintendent's messages, mailings, and/or the Blackboard notification system will be used to communicate meeting times and alternative contact information.
Review of district wide parental involvement plan
The Board, along with the Superintendent of Schools and other appropriate staff will conduct, with the involvement of parents, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the parental involvement plan in improving the academic quality of Title I schools, including the identification of barriers to greater participation by parents in activities under this policy, and the revision of parent involvement policies necessary for more effective involvement. To facilitate this review, the district will conduct the following activities:
- Title I parents will be invited to attend an annual meeting facilitated by the Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Instruction.
- The annual meeting shall be convened within 60 days after the start of the new school year.
- The district website, mailings, and/or the Blackboard notification system will be used to communicate meeting times and alternative contact information.
- Included in the meeting notice will be an overview of Title I programs and schedules.
- Title I parents will be provided with the opportunity to complete and submit review/evaluation forms should they be unable to attend the annual meeting.
- Should a Title I parent require a translator, one will be present at the annual meeting.
Development of School-level Parental Involvement Plans
The Superintendent of Schools will ensure that all district schools receiving federal financial assistance under Title I, Part A are provided technical assistance and all other support necessary to assist them in planning and implementing effective parental involvement programs and activities that improve student achievement and school performance. As appropriate to meet individual local needs, the superintendent will:
- Ensure that meetings are flexibly scheduled during the morning, after school, and during the evening.
- Ensure that e-mail and telephone communication will be used to survey parents who may not be available to attend meetings in person.
- Ensure that the Superintendent’s quarterly newsletter, the district website, mailings, and/or the Blackboard notification system will be used to communicate meeting times and alternative contact information.
Building Capacity for Parental Involvement
To build parent capacity for strong parental involvement to improve their child’s academic achievement, the district and its Title I, Part A schools will, at a minimum:
- Assist parents in understanding such topics as the state’s academic content and student achievement standards, state and local academic assessments, Title I requirements, how to monitor their child’s progress and how to work with educators to improve the achievement of their child. To achieve this objective, the district and its Title I schools will:
- Schedule parent information sessions, (e.g. during PTA, SEPTA, and Board of Education meetings)
- Distribute, when appropriate, and post relevant information on the district website.
- Collaborate with the Pupil Personnel Services and SEPTA to coordinate speakers and programs.
- Provide materials and training to help parents work with their child’s academic achievement. To achieve this objective, the district and its Title I schools will:
- Work in collaboration with the PTA to implement programs such as Parents as Reading Partners (PARP), A Million Minutes of Reading, and Reflections.
- Distribute, when appropriate, the curriculum guides, assessment preparation information, and support in understanding student assessment reports.
- Offer onsite opportunities, such as PTA meetings, for parents to learn about the curriculum, assessments, and student assessment information.
- Communicate with the North Merrick Public Library regarding our literacy programs.
- Educate teachers, pupil services personnel, principals, and other staff in understanding the value and utility of a parent’s contributions and on how to:
- Reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners.
- Implement and coordinate parent programs.
- Build ties between parents and the schools.
- Ensure that information related to school and parent-related programs, meetings and other activities is sent to the parents of children participating in Title I programs in an understandable and uniform format, including alternative formats, upon request, and to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand.
Ref: §1118 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
8 NYCRR §§100.3(b)(3); 100.4(f); 100.5(d)(4); 149.3(16)
U.S. Department of Education, Parental Involvement, Title I, Part A, Non-Regulatory Guidance, April 23, 2004
Adoption date: 12-11-07
Countless programs, resources and opportunities for students are made possible through the support of the North Merrick parent community.
The members of the Camp Avenue PTA, Harold D. Fayette PTA, Old Mill Road PTA, and SEPTA work tirelessly to provide students with cultural programs, classroom materials, after-school activities, and curriculum enhancement, which could not otherwise be afforded. Individually and collectively, the four organizations work collaboratively with district administration and the community to sponsor programs and events.
Please see the school pages for the individual PTA units.
When you volunteer to serve as a chaperone on your child's field trip, you will be helping to extend the regular curriculum beyond the classroom and the school. Your role as a chaperone is an important one, and while enjoyable, requires that you accept certain responsibilities.
The purpose of the Chaperone Guidelines is to provide you with an overview of a chaperone's responsibilities, and to make recommendations for appropriate responses to various situations that may arise during the course of a field trip. Should you require any additional information, or have any other questions or concerns, you are invited to meet with your child's teacher or principal to discuss the matter.
- A chaperone must be a parent/ guardian of a child in the class taking the field trip.
- A chaperone must be willing and physically able to participate in all activities.
Chaperone Alert!!! Be sure to.....
- arrive on time and bring a watch. It is important that chaperone's be on time since trips are planned to depart and return to school at specified times. Performances, tours, or activities during the trip are scheduled and delays may disrupt the field trip for everyone.
- dress appropriately. Casual, comfortable dress is recommended. Listen to the weather report and anticipate weather changes. When is doubt bring rain gear or dress in layers.
- know the children in their group. Introduce yourself and be sure that you know the names of the children in your group. Name tags or a list of students' names will be supplied by the teacher. If a child refuses to follow your instructions, inform a teacher as soon as possible.
- talk to the teacher. Don't hesitate to ask questions if you have doubts as to what should be done in a given situation. The teacher is in charge, and her/his directions must be followed at all times. Please speak to the teacher privately if you have any concerns.
- watch carefully. Always think of the children's safety first. Be alert to potential dangers- stray animals, strangers, etc. Do not take chances. If necessary, move children to a safe place and inform the teacher.
- follow all safety rules. Children are required to wear seat belts when being transported by bus.
- Do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages during the field trip.
- Do not bring along siblings or other children. Your responsibility is to the children in your group. Insurance regulations do not permit parent chaperones to bring other family members on school field trips.
- Do not leave children alone or unescorted. It is your responsibility to keep the group together and when necessary, escort children to the lavatory.
- Do not purchase souvenirs or food without prior permission of the teacher.
- Do not physically restrain a child. Unless a child poses an imminent threat to the safety of him/herself or others, chaperones should never physically handle a youngster. Should a child refuse to follow your directions, inform the teacher immediately.
- Do not release students to anyone other than the teacher. Parents/guardians who want to take children home during a field trip must secure permission from the teacher.
- Do not administer ANY medications to a youngster. All medical situations must be referred to the classroom teacher.
In the Event of an Emergency:
- The supervising teacher, or a designed volunteer, will be responsible for the first aid kit.
- Use latex gloves (in the first aid kit) when handling all bodily fluid, including blood products.
- Report all illnesses and injuries to the teacher.
The North Merrick Union Free School District is dedicated to making sure that all of our students are in school and engaged in learning. We believe that all members of the student community need to respect each other in order for our schools to be a positive learning environment for children. The district has a long-standing set of expectations of conduct on school property and at school functions. These expectations are based on the principles of civility, mutual respect, citizenship, character, tolerance, honesty, and integrity.
The Code of Conduct applies to all students, school personnel, parents, and other visitors at all times on all days when on school property or attending a school event. Please take the time to read this document. Our students will be provided with a version of the Code of Conduct in age appropriate plain language. The Code of Conduct provides the following information:
Student Dress Code
Prohibited Student Conduct
Disciplinary Penalties, Procedures, and Referrals
Special Lunchroom Rules
Special Safety Rules for the Playground
The North Merrick Board of Education and staff are committed to providing a safe and orderly school environment. Please refer to the links below to view the Code of Conduct policy and regulations.
The North Merrick School Board believes that homework is an extremely valuable activity that extends classroom instruction. Homework provides excellent opportunities for developing good study habits, providing for individual differences and abilities while encouraging self-initiative on the part of the student.
Homework assignments, given at all grade levels, reflect the increased instructional demands students encounter as they proceed through elementary school. Our goals, consistent with New York State Curriculum Standards for Education, require students to assume increased responsibility for their assignments as they progress in school.
Homework shall be assigned according to these guidelines:
- Homework should be a properly planned part of the curriculum extending and reinforcing the learning experiences of the school.
- Homework should help children learn by providing practice in the mastery of skills, experience in data-gathering and integration of knowledge and an opportunity to remediate learning problems.
- Homework should help develop the student's sense of responsibility by providing an opportunity for the exercise of independent work, judgment, organization and time management.
- Homework should be based on students' abilities and needs.
- Homework should be clearly assigned and its product carefully and promptly evaluated.
***Homework, when assigned, is not an option but a requirement which is reflected in a student's progress report.
The purpose of homework is to:
- provide needed practice to strengthen skills introduced in the classroom.
- promote growth in responsibility, self-discipline, and organizational and time-management skills.
- enrich and/or extend learning experiences.
- develop and improve study skills.
- foster greater independence in completing assignments as students proceed through the grade levels.
The North Merrick Board of Education believes that parental involvement in students' homework is essential to making homework an integral part of the education program. Parents are expected to encourage and monitor assignments and provide conditions that are conducive to their successful completion. Homework is an integral part of a child's educational success. Parents are important in establishing positive attitudes, good study habits, and supporting students' success with homework.
Parents are encouraged to:
- show interest in the schoolwork their children bring home.
- provide a suitable place to study, free from disturbances.
- supply needed materials for completing homework.
- offer to clarify instructions and answer questions.
- check to see that work is complete.
- encourage their children to do their best work and praise them for a job well done.
- assist children with their management of time.
- monitor the amount and type of television programs their children watch.
- stay in close communication with teachers.
Review - Look at the assignment and know what is expected.
Clarify - Answer questions, explain concepts if necessary, and show examples.
Coach - Encourage risk-taking, prompt for responses and ask questions. Refrain from doing the work for the child.
Check - Check that the work is completed according to expectations.
Praise - Provide positive feedback and reinforcement.
Remember - Remember that the end product is the child's responsibility.
Range of time to be afforded to homework each week:
Kindergarten - 1 to 1&1/2 hours
Primary (Grades 1&2) - 2 to 3 hours
Intermediate (Grades 3&4) - 4 to 5 hours
Upper (Grades 5&6) - 5 to 6 hours
It is the student's responsibility to see that homework assignments are handed in or are ready to be checked on the due date assigned. When students are absent from school, it is their responsibility to make up assignments upon their return. Parents who anticipate an extended absence are expected to meet with their child's teacher.
November 24, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has developed a Parent Dashboard to increase transparency and make information about school performance and other school-level data easier for parents and the public to access. The Parent Dashboard is part of New York’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, which emphasizes equity in education for all students and expands measures of school accountability and student success. This new dashboard will provide parents with information about their child’s school. The Parent Dashboard is now available in addition to the New York State School Report Card on NYSED’s public data site. The Parent Dashboard offers information on all public schools including charter schools.
In 2019, NYSED gathered feedback from parents and stakeholders to guide the work of developing the Parent Dashboard. The data elements that parents ranked highest on the survey are available on the Parent Dashboard.
NYSED is now gathering additional feedback from parents and stakeholders to guide further enhancements to the Parent Dashboard. We invite parents and other stakeholders to explore the Parent Dashboard and then provide feedback via an online feedback survey available in 17 languages. NYSED will use this feedback to identify the data that is most useful to parents and the public and to make improvements to the website.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please visit the New York State Parent Dashboard, which includes frequently asked questions and contact information.
Dr. Cynthia Seniuk, Superintendent of Schools