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Bellmore-Merrick greets students for 2020-21 school year

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After six months of being home due to the Covid-19 pandemic and summer break, the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District has welcomed back students into its six buildings.

“Although this school year will look different from any other year, we are planning on providing all students with a memorable and engaging learning experience,” said Wellington C. Mepham High School Principal Eric Gomez.

New protocols include mask wearing, social distancing, one-way hallways and stairwells, staggered release times from class and the completion of a daily health screening questionnaire.

“I held a Zoom meeting with approximately 100 members of the senior class where we discussed the importance of the safety and social distancing guidelines being implemented at our school,” explained John F. Kennedy Principal Gerard Owenburg. “I shared a similar message with the rest of the student body during a Cougar Crier Instagram Live interview as well.”

Students will operate in a hybrid mode, with half of the student population each attending in-person instruction two days per week. Full in-person learning is intended to begin on Sept. 21. Students who opted for the alternate learning virtual model will receive instruction via Google Classroom and follow the in-person bell schedule.

“The CHSD is committed to providing a safe and orderly online school environment where students will receive instruction and services without disruption,” explained Superintendent John DeTommaso.

This combined effort to safely reopen schools was a massive undertaking that required the cooperation of multiple departments and resources.

“We are so appreciative of our school and parent partnership in working to keep our kids and staff members safe,” said Merrick Avenue Principal Katelyn Dunn. “This year, I have no doubt that we will be staying strong together.”

— Courtesy Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District; compiled by Andrew Garcia