School is in full swing for students, however this week it was parents' turn as they attended various Back-to-School Nights held by their child's respective schools in the North Bellmore district.
All six schools in the district opened their doors to parents for a chance to show-off what their children will be doing this school year.
Principal Marilyn Hirschfield made her rounds at Newbridge Road School Tuesday evening, greeting parents and teachers. This year the school will continue to hold spirit assemblies to promote "kind, caring, and compassionate students," she explained.
Patty Mitchell, fourth grade teacher, reminded parents that they are their child's first hero and teacher.
"Children draw from parents first and the school builds on it. We are a team together."
Upcoming events in fourth grade include field trips to Old Bethpage in October and an ancestor feat in November to celebrate the students' heritage.
Sixth grade teacher Karen Collins was optimistic about the school year.
"We are off to a great start, students came with all their supplies," she said. "The sixth graders are very excited to switch classes."
Dinkelmeyer's Principal Faith Skelos, was equally as hopeful at Back-to-School Night.
"Great school start," she said. "Children are happy, teachers are eagerly awaiting the year...it's been a great beginning."
Fifth grade teacher Kathleen Kee informed parents on a few district-wide changes.
"Students will take reading tests next week which will be used to figure out what reading level they are on," she explained.
Then appropriate books will be selected for students to write reports on.
"This level is used to give children books they are comfortable with…they will also be used to push students a little further," added Kee. "They will be used to challenge students so their reading levels increase."
Other changes include the elimination of the library special for fifth and sixth graders. These students will, instead, visit the library two days a week to work on a research project. Library will also be supplemented in the classroom by the teacher.
"I didn't know about the library program," said Chris Madden, a Dinkelmeyer parent. "I learned a lot about it tonight."
Dinkelmeyer teachers also placed a large emphasis on educating children about bullying. Fifth graders specifically are learning about building character and will team up with kindergarteners to teach them "the traits of character".
Principal Skelos also distributed a letter about cell phone use. She asks that "cell phones be left in the child's backpack in the off position throughout the school day."
If a child is found using a cell phone, it will be confiscated and returned to a parent at the end of the school day.
Parents also learned about programs at Martin Avenue. According to Principal Dr. Mark Weiner, teachers shared the district's initiatives with parents.
"Some of these included our Homework Guidelines, Code of Conduct and Anti-Bullying measures," he added. "Parents also had a chance to chat with our new school psychologist, Mr. Matthew Quiroz, who shared handouts and offered support for any children and families who need it."
The focus of the district-wide Parent's Guide to Homework is to "reach and challenge all learners."
Schools encourage parents to be a motivator, role model, mentor and monitor to their child, as they finish assignments throughout this school year. Parents are also encouraged to communicate with their child's teacher if homework regarding homework.
Mary, the parent of a Martin Avenue second grader, said she loves the I-Care Program in which "children learn to socialize and be nice to each other."
The parent of a third grader, Melissa said she learned that her son will "learn to work on his own" this year and "gain independence."