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Principal's Page

Blog 11/17/16

Dear Merrimac Families,


I want to start by thanking our PTO for the amazing work that they do.  At this week’s meeting, our PTO distributed approximately $7,000 to benefit our teachers’ classrooms and your students instruction.  The work that they do, and the support that they provide, allow us to advance our student learning beyond what we can do with our district budget.  Beyond their financial support, they work very hard to create community activities that help to enrich our community.  From our harvest festival to pancakes with Santa, our students are provided with frequent opportuniry ties to enjoy our school in a different way from their classroom learning.


Thank you to the PTO Board, all of the volunteers, and the members of staff who are so commited to making the Merrimac Schools and amazing place for our students.


Units of Inquiry:

In past Newsletters, I have shared aspects of the learner profile.  For now, I’m going to shift gears and share with you the concept of the “Unit of Inquiry” which is at the heart of instruction within the PYP.


A unit of inquiry is a 5-7 week in-depth study of a concept or idea that integrates the Massachusetts Standards into a transdisciplinary theme of study.  Students inquiry into a central idea to develop their own understandings and apply their learning in a meaningful way.  This inquiry is guided by a series of “lines of inquiry” that help students follow a pathway of constructing their own understandings.


Today, each grade is engaged in a unit of inquiry.  The best way to reinforce their learning is to talk with them about it at home.  Here is a list of the units we are currently exploring in our school:


Pre-K:  Who we are.  

Central Idea:  The relationships we form with the people that are important to us help us to be who we are.


Kindergarten:  Where we are in time and place:  “Home is Where the Heart Is.”

Central Ideal:  The definition of home is not bound by the walls of a building.  One person’s concept of a home may be different from others.


Grade 1:  Who we are:  Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds.

Central Idea:  The choices we make have an impact on our body, emotions, and mind.


Grade 2:  Where we are in place and time.

Central Idea:  Where we live affects how we live.

Grade 3:  Where we are in place and time.

Central Idea:  Colonization causes change and conflict.


Grade 4:  Where we are in place and time.

Central Idea:  People move for many reasons and the movement of people brings change.


Grade 5:  How we organize ourselves.

Central Idea:   Citizens have a responsibility to participate in their local, state, federal, and global government.


Grade 6:  Who We are:

Central Idea:  People change and are change agents.


Please take some time over the next several weeks to ask your children about their units, what they’re learning, and what is exciting them most about their units.


Thank you and have an excellent weekend!


Russell Marino, Principal