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Mission Statement

Our mission is to inspire all students to be confident, passionate learners with the courage and skills to lead their lives with integrity, while contributing to our global community with creativity and compassion.

pa1599 Park Avenue.
North Merrick, NY 11566
Tel: (516) 992-3117
Fax: (516) 992-3274
Principal: Mr. Michael DeBlasio





Dear Park Avenue Families,

It is with the greatest of pleasure and excitement that I welcome you to Park Avenue School. As principal, I have the honor of leading our fantastic teachers, students, and school community through an amazing educational journey. We are dedicated to providing your children with a safe and nurturing environment where they feel valued and confident to expand their horizons. By fostering the development of the whole child, our students acquire the skill set to become productive, compassionate, and educated leaders of tomorrow. Our focus is to guide your children as they navigate through a rigorous curriculum, develop strong character, and surpass our high expectations.

The partnership between teachers, parents, and staff provides our young scholars with educational experiences that last a lifetime. By adhering to a growth mindset, we here at Park Avenue strive to be our best selves by working through challenges, helping others, and exuding the willingness to learn new and exciting things. It is through our teachers’ powerful instructional practices that Park Avenue students receive an education that focuses on academic, social, and emotional growth. This whole-child approach ensures that your children develop strong foundational skills that they build their successes upon.

Our district’s mission is to inspire all students to be confident, passionate learners with the courage and skills to lead their lives with integrity, while contributing to our global community with creativity and compassion. Together, we will carry out this mission and reach even higher levels of success.

The love and passion for learning is what makes Park Avenue School an incredibly special place. I am looking forward to a fantastic year! Please feel free to contact me as I am readily available to work with you and answer any questions that you may have.


Michael DeBlasio


Diplomas in Hand, Grads are Ready for What’s Next

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With great fanfare and plenty of words of encouragement, 311 sixth graders from the North Bellmore School District closed out the first part of their educational journeys during graduation ceremonies on June 22.

The five elementary schools hosted their programs throughout the evening in various Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District buildings, the system that the graduates will be moving to for their secondary years. The ceremonies included musical performances, reflections from student speakers and, most importantly, the presentation of diplomas in blue North Bellmore folders.

Martin Avenue Elementary School Principal Jim O’Brien beamed with pride over his first graduating class. The former teacher and assistant principal at Saw Mill Road Elementary School said this year’s class met every challenge with grace and determination, and he encouraged them to embrace future challenges with confidence.

“Remember your Martin Avenue crew as you make new friends in your new school,” he told them, noting that they will soon head to middle school with students from multiple elementary buildings.

It was also the first graduation for principals Amanda Licci at Newbridge Road Elementary School and Michael DeBlasio at Park Avenue Elementary School.

In writing her speech, Ms. Licci said she thought about what she wanted to know when she went from elementary to middle school. She encouraged her graduates to embrace their unique qualities.

“Don’t worry about what others think of you,” she said. “Be the ‘you’ that you want to be. Be the ‘you’ that you are proud to be. Make yourself proud each and every day.”

Mr. DeBlasio said he was amazed how the sixth graders not only came to school with smiles every day, but smiles that said to the world, “You can throw anything at me, and I will always keep moving forward.”

Saw Mill Principal Jeff Rosof told students to use their strong foundation from elementary school, as well as support from their families, to continue to grow intellectually and socially while creating their own futures.

Danica Brugge recalls becoming principal of John G. Dinkelmeyer Elementary School when this year’s graduates were in third grade. She remembers their energy, warmth, love, acceptance and “some of the biggest 8-year-old personalities that I had ever seen.” Their perseverance and determination got them through challenging years in fourth and fifth grade because of the pandemic, she noted, and those traits will serve them well in middle school and beyond.

Musical selections included “Best Day of My Life” at the Martin Avenue and Newbridge Road graduations, “What a Wonderful World” by Dinkelmeyer sixth graders and the Park Avenue school songs. Several schools featured photo slideshows full of sixth grade memories.

Students also reflected on their elementary years. Martin Avenue graduate Colleen Flanagan recounted hatching quail eggs in kindergarten, writing biographies on famous people in second grade and a trip to Safety Town in third grade. Olivia Lettieri, a Dinkelmeyer student, pointed to those everyday memories like snack time and recess where they had opportunities to bond and form friendships.

“Although we are sad to leave,” Olivia said, “I know we are really excited to see what the future holds for all of us and what new memories we can make with each other and with new friends.”

Date Added: 6/24/2022

A Quarter-Millennium of Service Honored

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With a collective 266 years of service to the North Bellmore School District, 13 retiring teachers and staff members were honored at the Board of Education meeting on June 9 and thanked for their commitment to the community’s children and families.

Superintendent Marie Testa said they are “part of the fabric of North Bellmore” and probably had a greater impact on students than they ever realized.

“When you work in a school and you do it well, it’s as much about your intellect as it is about your heart,” Ms. Testa said, before she introduced the retirees, who included teachers, specialists, office staff and cooks from all five elementary schools as well as the district office.

The retirees were celebrated by a large crowd that included their colleagues and family members, as well as North Bellmore students and parents. Administrators spoke about each retiring staff member and presented them with gifts.

This year’s retirees are:
Tom Steinmuller, physical education teacher at Saw Mill Road School, 31 years.
Lois Peck Elhilow, speech teacher at John G. Dinkelmeyer School, 28 years.
Laura Russo, fourth grade teacher at John G. Dinkelmeyer School, 27 years.
Linda Mann, reading teacher at Saw Mill Road School, 25 years.
Chris Kropp, secretary at Newbridge Road School, 23 years.
Roseann Moskowitz, secretary at Martin Avenue School, 22 years.
Kathleen Fiocco, cook at Newbridge Road School, 20 years.
Marjorie Hoffman, cook at Park Avenue School, 19 years.
Robin Obey, first grade teacher at Park Avenue School, 19 years.
Kathleen Rut, reading teacher at Saw Mill Road School, 17 years.
Susan Quinn, nurse at Martin Avenue School, 15 years.
Mary Meyers, prevention specialist, 13 years.
Vicki Scalici, secretary in the curriculum office, 7 years.

Date Added: 6/22/2022

Video: North Bellmore Artists Shine

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Enriching and engaging art classes are part of the well-rounded education that students receive in the North Bellmore School District. Children in grades K-6 attend art classes once per six-day cycle as part of their rotation of special area classes.

The district’s art labs and art studios are filled with materials foster creativity and individual expression. Teachers Jill Emmer, Amy Lopez and Jill Skelly have revamped the art curriculum in recent years to teach students essential artistic techniques while providing more choice.

Watch a video about North Bellmore’s art program here:

Date Added: 6/7/2022

Health and Wellness Staff Address Physical and Mental Well-Being

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The North Bellmore School District celebrates its professionals who are dedicated to the physical and emotional well-being of more than 2,000 students.

The district’s six registered nurses run the health offices at each school, providing a great level of care to children. Nurses provide first aid and comfort to students who are ill or injured, and determine if a child should remain in the health office, return to class or go home. They also administer medication and provide various health screenings. The nurses office at each school is designated as a safety station for students, faculty and staff.

North Bellmore’s nurses include Kathleen Pekoff at John G. Dinkelmeyer Elementary School, Susan Quinn at Martin Avenue Elementary School, Eileen Turner at Newbridge Road Elementary School, Teresa Losquadro at Park Avenue Elementary School and Elizabeth Ferreri and Annemarie Jankowski at Saw Mill Road Elementary School.

“We are so grateful for all that our school nurses do to support our students each and every day,” said Executive Director for Pupil Personnel Services Leyna Malone. “Whether providing a bandage, an ice pack, or taking care of something more serious, our nurses are always there for our students. We are especially appreciative of all that our nurses have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Their professionalism and care have been essential as we navigate these times.”

National School Nurse Day was celebrated on May 11. May also marks National Mental Health Awareness Month. North Bellmore’s Prevention Department includes health and wellness teachers at all five schools that focus on the social and emotional needs of students while empowering them to make positive choices in their lives.

The district’s health and wellness professionals implement several programs, including Bullying Prevention, Second Step, Too Good for Drugs and Too Good for Violence. Students also are taught about cybersafety, growth mindset, mindfulness-based practices and stranger danger.

Social and emotional learning is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work and life success. North Bellmore’s team that delivers these important messages includes JoAnn Signorelli, Victoria DiOrio, Faith Gaul, Olivia Gentilucci, Keara McNamara, Mary Meyers, Jillian Sears, Tina Smart and Laurie Weintraub. They represent multiple disciplines including certified prevention specialist, nurse, school counselor and social worker.

“For more than 30 years, North Bellmore’s Prevention program has been a model program with New York State,” said Ms. Signorelli, the district’s Prevention coordinator. “Over the past few years, our program changed and became our Health and Wellness program. This would not be as successful as it is if it was not for the dedication, passion and compassion of our staff. They are the heart and soul of the program and they share in common their love for helping children. North Bellmore is truly lucky to have these special professionals teaching our students.”

Date Added: 5/26/2022

Ancient Greece is Revived in Park Avenue Classroom

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After weeks of immersion in Ancient Greece, students at Park Avenue Elementary School in the North Bellmore School District demonstrated their knowledge through hands-on, collaborative projects.

Sixth graders in Nicole Giusto and Krista Zucker’s class learned about all facets of the ancient civilization, such as architecture, geography, mythology and the differences between Athens and Sparta. They could pick any one of these areas and create a physical representation.

“Choice leads to motivation,” Ms. Zucker said, noting how excited the students were to share their knowledge this way.

Students used recycled materials from the classroom as well as items brought from home. Among the projects that students created were an Athens landscape, a Spartan helmet, a display of Greek gods and goddesses, swords, soldier statues, the columns of the Parthenon and a bust of Medusa with snake hair. Ms. Giusto said that this was the perfect assignment for a class of very creative students.

The study of Ancient Greece was an interdisciplinary unit. Not only was it part of the sixth grade social studies curriculum on ancient civilizations, but it also led into the reading of the “Percy Jackson” books, a fantasy novel series based on the Greek gods.

Date Added: 5/24/2022

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