New Hyde Park Road School Principal Talks Character Education with Board

Principal Peggy Marenghi gives rundown of activities currently going on at school.

The 2012-13 school year is an “extremely exciting year in education” New Hyde Park Road School Principal Peggy Marenghi said in her welcoming address to the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Board of Education on March 11.

“A great deal of in-house staff development was conducted at the Road School and it continues to be an ongoing process,” Marenghi said of the implementation of new common core standards and research-based best practices.

The school is also prepping the new teacher evaluation system comprised of core values planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction and professional responsibilities.

“This system has caused us to look more closely at the factors that affect student learning,” Marenghi said, singling out text complexity, academic vocabulary and higher-order thinking skills.

It is also the first year for the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), which promotes anti-discrimination and tolerance and caused the character education program to be revamped.

“This includes bringing social and emotional learning into the classroom through didactic lessons and reinforcing these behaviors through a school-wide initiative,” she said, including a “core virtue of the month,” March’s being courage, school-wide videos on core virtues and weekly nomination program by students for peers who demonstrate such virtues and recognized over loudspeaker on Fridays.

Sixth graders create and model behaviors through skits and presentations for the younger grades and character education is being included in ELA through essay writing and books on bully prevention and good citizenship.

The school participates in several community activities, one of which took place after Sandy: adopting Lincoln-Owens Middle School in Island Park, raising money at each grade level in their own way.

“Kindergarten had a dance-a-thon, second grade collected, counted and sorted coins, grade five had a used book sale and grades one, three, four and six had a pajama day,” Marenghi said.

Students collected over $5,000 to used for music program and gift cards for community members. They also donated money to Guardian of Rescue animal shelter and American Red Cross and collected 630 lbs. of food in a school-wide food drive to Island Harvest.

“Our character education program is a prolific program due to the dedication of our students, faculty, staff and parents,” Marenghi said. “It’s success is due to the support of all members of the New Hyde Park Road School learning community.”

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