Header Image

State of the School



Dear Merryhill Families,

It just a few weeks we will be saying, “Where did the school year go”?  And here are just a few of the many activities and improvements that have occurred.

Over the past year we have implemented new technologies to support our mission.  These new technologies included:

  • One to one iPads in our fourth grade
  • First in Math for grades 1st-5th
  • Coding/Keyboarding Internet programs
  • Digital assessments

These technologies were introduced as part of a three year plan supported by faculty professional development in the use of the SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Re-Definition) model. The SAMR model is designed to help teachers develop and infuse digital learning into their instruction by creating tasks that promote deep thinking and design thinking to maximize student learning.  Children today can do things far beyond what students their age could do in the past largely due to the technological advances that have occurred in recent years.  They communicate instantaneously and have the ability to live social lives across the globe via the Internet.  Our students learn differently and therefore require teachers who teach differently.  At Merryhill Elementary, our teachers strategically use the new technology tools to guide their students to research, think, and change the world.

In the upcoming school year, we will continue to expand the use of technology such as introducing:

  • Arduino Technology (open-source software and micro-controller based kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control physical devices)
  • Increase the number of iPads
  • Pilot Jupiter, a parent communication system

We are also re-evaluating our Science Fair and looking towards a STEAM Fair with class projects. We will continue our Character Counts program as the development of strong character is essential along with our assembly recognition, but more importantly, a deeper understanding of what these traits look like in daily decisions and actions. Service learning is an important piece of our character building program so we will continue projects such our Pennies for the Rainforest, Giving Animals a Voice, and donations supporting the Make a Wish Foundation and the Shade Tree Organization along with other local charities.

Our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) whose mission is to build a strong sense of community amongst students, staff, and families to enhance cultural, academic and social experiences at our school continues to grow and develop the many ways that they serve our campus and families.  From tremendously successful family events such as movie night and trunk or treat, to recognition of teachers though Teacher Appreciation Week and books for their class libraries, to planning a field day of fun for our students with Box Top Pizza Lunch and the annual Valentines Ice Cream Social. I extend a special thanks to our PTO Board:  Amy Sobers, Stephanie Harvey, Dana Caldwell, PJ Phungphiphadhana-Carr and Kelly Orton for their investment of their time which helps to make us such a tight-knit community.

Parents continue to rank our caring community as a main reason for choosing our school and many commented on the culture of our school.  In our 2015-16 Parent Annual Survey in regards to what parents liked best about our school:

“That’s difficult to answer because I love everything from the teachers to the education to the atmosphere to the principal, etc., etc., etc.”

“Sense of community . . . you are never “just a number”.  Open-door policy . . . teachers and principal are very approachable and are available for you whenever you have questions or concerns.”

“I like knowing that when my child walks into the school that not only is she getting a good education but that she’s cared for by the staff and teachers . . .”

Small class sizes, challenging curriculum, and an innovative 21st century skills-based program are also important to our parents.  Differentiating instruction and meeting the individual needs of our students will always be a priority.

Together we continue to build a dynamic school, and our accomplishments are outstanding.  We look forward to our ongoing collaboration we have established with each of you as we set new goals, implement new ideas and continue to work as a community to provide the best for our children.


Thank you for your continual support!

Theresa Gotay, Principal



This entry was posted in Summerlin Elementary. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.