From the Principal's desk

Please navigate through these pages in order to access pertinent information during our distance learning program.

WEEK OF November 1, 2021

Dear Merdinian Families,

While we work to stay true to our heritage we also need to look forward to the future, and ensure that we not only focus on the Merdinian culture, but also ensure that we have a foundation that promotes an exceptional learning environment that engages our students, allows for deep reflection, and gives students and teachers alike the tools necessary to excel. We will not allow the status quo to be good enough for our students and we know we must always strive for more.


This year Merdinian is launching a new STEAM program. STEAM focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics. It is a teaching philosophy that uses real world instruction and requires students to use cross-disciplinary knowledge to solve problems. STEAM forces students to think differently and approach education in an active and exploratory way. It has grown to represent a unique approach to teaching and learning, one that centers around individual students' learning styles and interests. This means STEAM education has something to offer every student.


As part of the STEAM program, we will be adding a Makerspace Lab. This Makerspace Lab includes computers, 3D printers, collaborative white board tables, a green screen/production area, smartboard, and a creative space for robotics and circuitry. In the near future, we plan to add a second Makerspace. This makerspace will focus on the arts and will include sewing machines, a craft area, laser cutter, and woodshop area. This will expand our offering so that we can reach all interest levels and open all avenues of thought. We look forward to providing you with more information in the near future.


Our Makerspace Lab is almost ready, and we are so excited for our students to use it! Thank you for your continued support!



Warmly,

Betty Nazarian


WEEK OF AUGUST 23, 2021

Dear Merdinian Families,

WELCOME BACK!!! We're so thrilled to start the new year! There is so much new in store, and we look forward to sharing the excitement with our students and families. We hope you all had an amazing, restful summer and are ready for another school year.

This year, the Merdinian Faculty will be working hard to to make our STEAM program come to life. We are excited to reveal our new Makerspace Lab in September! In addition, we have added tables, umbrellas, couches, and chairs upstairs for our Middle School students so that they have somewhere "cool" and different to spend time during their breaks. We want to make sure that their Middle School years at Merdinian are the best ones yet!

We are a family here, and those who are new to our community will soon feel how tight knit we are. We are blessed to have such a wonderful school and welcome all of our new students with open arms.

Warmly,

Mrs. Betty Nazarian


WEEK OF MAY 17 and 24, 2021

Our 4th quarter ends on June 4. We are working on completing our curriculum and activities as well as graduation programs. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and cooperation.

WEEK OF MAY 10, 2021

Happy Mothers' Day to all our moms!

It is hard to believe that only four weeks are left to complete the 2020-2021 academic year. We overcame many challenges and stay confident that we will end the year with success.

Currently, we are working on our graduation plans. Graduation dates are:

June 5: Kindergarten

June 12: 5th grade

June 13: 8th grade

Our summer camp starts on June 21 and will continue till July 30. You may sign up your children for any or all of the weeks. Deadline is May 13.

Registration for the 2021-2022 academic year is ongoing. Deadline is May 31. Please register your child(ren) to reserve their places for the upcoming year. We have exciting new programs we are working on currently and plan to launch in August 2021.

WEEK OF MAY 3, 2021

As we continue navigating through the challenges of COVID-19, we would like to assure you that we are committed to the safety and well-being of all of our students, faculty, and staff.

We wish everyone good health.

WEEK OF APRIL 26, 2021

As April 24 is a Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide, we pay tribute to the 1.5 million Armenians who were annihilated by the Ottoman Empire in 1915. Merdinian School celebrated the 106th anniversary of the Genocide by special programs on Wednesday, April 21 and Thursday, April 22. The students also had the opportunity to place flowers in front of the Tzitzernagapert replica made especially for our school by the Petrosyan Family յայտարարելով "Կա՛նք, պիտի լինենք ու դեռ շատանանք".

It is our duty, as one large family with shared goals and aspirations, to stay committed and work together in the pursuit of our efforts to keep Merdinian School as well as all other Armenian schools in the diaspora alive and thriving. As a result, we will be able to realize the progress of our school, celebrate greater triumphs in the future, and remain at the forefront of providing not only the finest education available, but engage students in the teaching of Christian values as well as the Armenian language, literature, history, and culture.

Here are a few of the qualities that make Merdinian School unique:

1) Shared Focus: We are committed and dedicated to the pursuit of excellence through curricular enrichment that enables students to acquire a thorough knowledge and full appreciation of the rich American and Armenian heritages. A successful school is involved in an ongoing self-study process to examine its strengths and build upon them. Simultaneously, as a dynamic community of learners, we continue to look for ways to improve our educational program. A few curricular enhancements are in progress. Details soon!

2) Christian Education: Our morning chapel time, our focus on the monthly character traits, and our Religion classes reinforce students' Christian faith and promote good moral values.

3) Family Environment: Merdinian is a learning environment where each student feels safe, welcomed, and loved and forms lifelong friendships; where the faculty/staff work diligently to meet the needs of every child, and where parents actively participate in school events, serve on committees, and are involved in the education of their children.

4) Open Door Policy: One of the most crucial leadership skills is the importance of listening and learning. We listen with care, focus, and thoughtful attention. We learn by asking questions to broaden our perspective and expand our awareness.

We thank you for choosing Merdinian School and look forward to welcoming new students as well.

WEEK OF APRIL 19, 2021

We are super excited to welcome our middle school students on Monday.

We thank our parents for taking advantage of the April 16 deadline and registering their children early for the 2021-2022 academic year. Regular registration will continue till May 31. Registration forms are on our website under "Admissions".

Summer Camp registration is open as well. Please register early for any or all six weeks June 21-July 30. Registration forms are on our website under "Admissions". Stay tuned for more details coming next week.

Այս Հինգշաբթի, մեր առաւօտեան պաշտամունքի ժամանակ, պիտի նշենք Հայոց Ցեղասմանութեան զոհերու անմահ յիշատակը: Մերտինեան Վարժարանի իւրաքանչիւր աշակերտ կը խօստանայ հաւատարիմ մնալ իր հաւատքին եւ իր ազգին:

WEEK OF APRIL 12, 2021

We thank you for attending our parent-teacher conferences on April 9. Please contact the teachers if you were not able to join us.

We are looking forward to welcoming our middle school students on April 19.

Please take advantage of our early registration fee and register your child (ren) by April 16. Summer camp registration is open as well. Details are on our website. Please check your emails for reminders.

As always, we appreciate your cooperation and encouraging words.

WEEK OF APRIL 5, 2021

The safety of our students and faculty/staff is our top priority. Please follow our protocols and guidelines. You may find them under the COVID-19 related tab of this site.

We are looking forward to re-opening our middle school to in-person instruction after mid-April. Based on the number of students returning to campus, we have selected the locations of the classrooms, have all plans ready, and will install the classroom cameras right after the break to be able to accommodate the students who will be continuing with distance learning. Details very soon!

We are in the process of planning exciting new learning opportunities for our students during the upcoming academic year. Details soon!

Important dates to note:

  • April 16: Last day for early registration (2021-2022 academic year)

  • June 21-July 30: Summer Camp (Preschool-Entering 6th grade)

Happy Easter to all of our families!

WEEK OF MARCH 22, 2021

We thank God for a smooth transition as we started in-person learning for many of our students. To continue ensuring the safety and well-being of all, we would like to remind you to follow all protocols. We are looking forward to welcoming our 5th graders on Monday and our middle school students very soon. As I mentioned last week, we are ready to assist all of our students in catching up and returning to normalcy. We will provide them the support they need to make their learning experiences better.

During this hopeful time of year, I wish you and your family the best.

As always, we thank you for your cooperation and encouraging words.

WEEK OF MARCH 15, 2021

Looking Back on the Last Year!

What a year it has been - the toughest of years in the education world for students, teachers, principals, administrators, counselors, and parents alike! Schools were abruptly closed. Learning was completely transformed overnight. Principals, administrators, and teachers stepped up in creative and innovative ways to change the school format and continue supporting our students both academically and emotionally.

We are thrilled that our students are gradually returning to learn on campus. We are ready to assist them in catching up and returning to normalcy. We will provide them the support they need to make their learning experiences better.

Our preschool, Kindergarten, as well as 1st and 2nd grades, are doing great! We are looking forward to welcoming our 3rd and 4th graders on campus on Monday morning.

The safety of our students continues to be our top priority. Last week a representative from the Department of Health visited our school. According to her report, our school is safe and follows guidelines and protocols set forth by the County. The representative had a few recommendations for change and emphasized the importance of wearing masks and social distancing.

As always, we thank you for your patience and cooperation.

WEEK OF MARCH 8, 2021

Our Preschool is thriving. We have increased enrollment by 88% with 22 new students added to the 25 students who started school in August.

Our Kindergarten and 1st Grade students have returned to in-person learning and doing great! We are looking forward to our 2nd graders joining us on Monday, March 8th.

We thank our parents for their patience and cooperation as well as their encouraging words of appreciation.

Please visit the COVID-19 Related tab on the parent information page of our website to review the COVID-19 questions for morning screening, our COVID-19 waiver, the Merdinian Guidelines and Protocols, The Merdinian COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP), the COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist for Merdinian, and the Reopening Protocols for K-12 Schools: Appendix T1 for Merdinian.

WEEK OF MARCH 1, 2021

Our kindergarteners are super excited about being on campus. They had a fun week learning and playing. We will have a follow-up meeting with their parents on Monday, March 1st.

We are looking forward to welcoming our 1st graders on Monday, March 1st. The classroom and the faculty/staff are ready and excited about having our precious students on campus.

On Monday, February 22nd, I met with the homeroom parents. We had a general session of questions and answers regarding the reopening procedures.

On Tuesday, February 23rd, we met with the parents of our 1st and 2nd graders who had the chance to ask their specific questions.

On Wednesday, February 24th, we met with the parents of our 3rd and 4th graders who had the chance to ask their specific questions.

On Thursday, February 25th, we met with the parents of our 5th and 6th graders who had the chance to ask their specific questions.

The parents were very thankful for the information provided during the hour-long sessions.

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 22, 2021

We are excited to announce the following in-person reopening dates for Kindergarten - 6th Grades:


Kindergarten: February 22nd

1st Grade: March 1st

2nd Grade: March 8th

3rd Grade: March 15th

4th Grade: March 15th

5th Grade: March 22nd

6th Grade: March 22nd. Please note, 6th grade will be a learning pod with all classes taught remotely (with their teachers, under full-time supervision by a faculty member).


As you know, we have finalized the classes for K-2nd and are currently conducting a survey for 3rd-6th to see who is willing to come on campus. Many of you have already responded. Some students have decided to come on campus and others have decided to continue with distance learning, which will be made possible by 360-degree cameras installed in each classroom.


I will be meeting with all homeroom parents on Monday at 9:30 a.m. and plan to have a one-on-one meeting with each grade level to explain details and answer questions. More details to follow.


WEEK OF FEBRUARY 15, 2021

Please note below, the updates for the week of February 8. We are anxiously looking forward to welcoming our kindergarteners on campus on February 22. All protocols and guidelines are in place, the classroom is ready, and the teachers, as well as the staff, are excited. We are working hard and are hopeful that the reopening of the other grade levels will follow as planned.

As our Music teacher, Mrs. Alice described in her article, https://asbarez.com/200518/how-merdinian-schools-music-department-survived-the-pandemic/, despite the challenges created by the pandemic, we have become stronger than ever to teach our students and meet their academic as well as social/emotional needs to the best of our capabilities. We are immensely grateful for everyone's hard work to make whatever situation work. We thank you all for your patience and cooperation.

Week of February 8, 2021

On Monday, February 1st, despite the fact that LA County is still in the Purple Tier, after being given permission to move forward with the K-2nd reopening by the LA County Department of Public Health, and under the guidance of our approved K-2 waiver, we announced the reopening dates for in-person instruction for Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade:

Kindergarten In-Person Reopening Date: Monday, February 22nd.

1st Grade In-Person Reopening Date: Monday, March 1st.

2nd Grade In-Person Reopening Date: Monday, March 8th.

On Friday, February 5th, we submitted our K-2nd safety plan's final two documents (the COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist as well as the COVID-19 Prevention Program) to the Department of Public Health and LA County Office of Education. Unexpectedly, additional guidance from the State was released and we were informed through an automatic reply to wait until the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health T-1 protocols are updated should there be a need to resubmit based on new and finalized forms. As you may already know, our COVID-19 Guidelines and Protocols are in place and can be found here for your reference.

Our current students are given priority to fill the maximum number of 12 students in each cohort. A survey was sent to our current and past students to determine the cohorts on campus. In the case that we have enough students for more than one cohort for in-person instruction per grade level, and space is available, past parents who are interested to enroll their children will be notified.

We pray that no unforeseen situations arise and that we can welcome our precious students on campus soon.

week of February 1, 2021

During the past week we welcomed thirteen new students in our preschool. We anticipate two more to join us in March. Their transition has been calm, seamless, and fun thanks to our warm and experienced preschool teachers. Thank you, parents for entrusting your precious children to our care!

We agree that schools need to open to in-person learning as soon as possible, and we are working towards achieving it. As far as reopening K-2nd grades to in-person learning, we will do what's right for our students, staff, and faculty to return safely to campus. Stay tuned to updates very soon!

Week of January 25, 2021

This week, we welcome our preschoolers back to in-person instruction after a two week closure due to COVID exposure for the first time on our campus. We are also excited about the increase in enrollment. We have five new students in Preschool II and four new students in Preschool I. We anticipate a few more students to join us in February and March. We thank you for your patience and cooperation throughout the closure.

We are continuously assessing the situation in LA County and will update you regarding the start day for the K-2nd in-person instruction, tentatively in February.

Meanwhile, we witness the dedication, love, cooperation, and flexibility that are being mutually provided by our families and the school. I am immensely grateful for everyone's hard work to make whatever situation work. Sometimes things do not work as we wish or mistakes are made. We need to center on the fact that we are all doing the best we can to provide the best education to all our students during these challenging times.

We pray for everyone's health and safety!

WEEK OF JANUARY 18, 2021

To our preschool families:

We thank you for your patience and cooperation throughout the past week and next week as our teachers work to provide online communication with your children. In addition to the two cases identified, we were notified of a third case in our preschool department. After close monitoring and several meetings, we made the decision to extend the preschool in-person closure until Monday, January 25th. The situation will be reassessed and updates will be communicated to you in a timely manner. We encourage all students to participate in the virtual sessions. We understand the challenges involved. If the session times are not convenient for you, please let your child's teacher know, and accommodations will be made accordingly.

To the parents of our K-8th students:

Currently, COVID-19 remains at dangerously high levels in the Los Angeles area. We will continue to follow the “Safer at Home” order, which encourages Los Angeles residents to limit activities outside their home, until further notice. Merdinian continues to plan for a safe reopening of the school as soon as possible. Our goal is to provide the best possible education for students while protecting the health and safety of all in the school community. In the meantime, please make sure your children are logging in and staying in class throughout all meets. Please check each grade's Google site for information regarding assignments and other updates from teachers. As always, we appreciate your help and support! Everyone is working harder right now. As a result, we will accomplish things previously thought impossible.


We pray for everyone's safety.

WEEK OF JANUARY 11, 2021

As this unusual year came to a close, I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude and sincere appreciation for all you have done to further the mission of education at Merdinian School. Despite the unimaginable challenges this year, we were ready to face them staying connected, strong, creative, and resilient.

As we begin to have hopes for a better year, I am reminded of how important it is to pause and give thanks to our Board of Directors, faculty, staff, parents, students, and the community at large for working together to get through this pandemic sooner than later.

As previously communicated, we have decided to tentatively move the K-2 reopening to February. This decision was made based on the current situation, high positivity rate, and Los Angeles County being in the “red zone”. We will closely monitor the situation and will provide regular updates as they become available.

Reminders:

  • Please make sure your child logs in on time during meets with their cameras on and does not log out early. We need our students to work with us to make this learning platform the best it can be right now, and to finish the year strong. The students also need to complete their assignments on time. Please visit our Google sites for each grade level, chapel, and character trait. The links are on this website under student portal's distance learning link.

  • Preschool children have already returned to school. We are looking forward to 8 new students to join us soon. When your children are not feeling well, please keep them home as a precaution. It really helps protect the school when everyone does their part in those small ways. It is our goal to keep our campus as healthy and safe as possible.

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences for K-8th are scheduled for Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Please check your emails for sign-up and log-in procedures.

WEEK OF JANUARY 4, 2021

We wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe 2021!!

Updates on the K-2nd Reopening that we have been working on:

  • As Dr. Fauci said this week, “If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not really very big at all, not like one would have suspected.” With that said, our school is a part of society, and the number of cases in Merdinian is going to reflect that. Our realistic goal is not to be case free, but to minimize any opportunity for community spread. As such, we have decided to tentatively move the K-2 reopening to February. This decision was made based on the current situation, high positivity rate, and Los Angeles County being in the “red zone”. We will closely monitor the situation and will provide regular updates as they become available.

  • The Board of Directors is planning a town hall meeting with parents in January to discuss further developments. More information to follow.

WEEK OF DECEMBER 21, 2020

  • Merdinian School is happy to announce that In accordance with the applicable provisions of the Health and Safety Code of California and its rules and regulations, the Department of Social Services has approved our request to expand the preschool capacity. Currently, the School is licensed to increase enrollment from 74 to 104 students and to provide services to children up to entry into first grade. Previously, our preschool capacity was increased from 36 to 57 and then to 74 in 2014 and 2019, respectively. Prior to the current permit, our preschool was licensed to enroll only 3- and 4- year old children.

  • We are happy to welcome new preschool students in mid January.

  • We are monitoring the current COVID situation to finalize the reopening of Kindergarten through 2nd grades. We anticipate welcoming students after January 15 starting with Kindergarten and following with First and Second Grades. Next week, parents will receive an email regarding the announcement of the actual reopening dates.

  • As always, we thank you for your cooperation and patience during these challenging times.

  • I would like to take this opportunity to wish every member of the Merdinian Family a very merry, healthy, and safe Christmas and a happy new year. May God bless you with health, peace, joy, and happiness in 2021 and beyond!

WEEK OF DECEMBER 14, 2020

After many months of prayers and longing, we are grateful for the opportunity to be able to host in-person instruction once again for Kindergarten through 2nd-grade students under the newly approved K-2nd waiver. As the administration works hard to plan the safe reopening, we ask that you take a moment to read carefully the protocols, guidelines, and expectations emailed to you on December 11 and complete the survey (link provided in the email). We look forward to this new start, planned for January. Meanwhile, we will monitor the situation carefully as the health and safety of our students and faculty remain our top priority. Stay tuned for more updates soon.

We are proud of our distance learning program. The students will be taking their middle-of-the-year DIBELS and IXL assessments in Language Arts and Math, respectively! Middle School students will be taking their mid-term exams on December 18, 21, and 22.

Meanwhile, our preschool program continues successfully. Following the Christmas break, we are anticipating more students to join us.

As always, we thank you for your cooperation and patience during these challenging times.

WEEK OF DECEMBER 7, 2020

We continue to follow all COVID-19 guidelines in our Preschool and on campus. We continue to work hard to keep our school, students, teachers, and staff safe. To date, we have not had on-campus outbreaks. We thank our staff, teachers, parents, and our students for their cooperation. Every week, we re-evaluate our plans and will communicate with you as new developments take place with regards to the Kindergarten reopening plan as well as the K-2nd waiver that we have applied for since the end of October. Unfortunately, due to very low enrollment numbers, we were not able to begin our after-school sports conditioning program despite all preparations and plans that were in place.

As we continue our in-person preschool and K-8 distance learning programs, we would like you to understand that many things are not within our control. Safety is our priority. We will continue to make responsible decisions following the most recent health guidelines.

Reminders:

  • Please continue to check your emails, the Merdinian website, the Merdinian Facebook page, and the PTO Instagram page for the latest news from the school.

  • Please review your children's grade-level Google Sites for their weekly assignments as well as chapel, character trait, and parent information sites. All links to the sites can be accessed through the Student Portal tab on our website.

  • Class attendance is very important. Make sure your child attends every meet session.

  • All students are expected to wear their polo shirts unless it is a free dress or spirit day.

  • Please call the office to set up an appointment should you need to make payments or pick-up the yearbook and any missing book your child needs.

As always, we thank you for your patience and cooperation as we navigate together through this pandemic.


WEEK OF NOVEMBER 30, 2020

It is hard to believe that we have about three more weeks left for the completion of our second quarter and first semester. Besides a few technical challenges, thus far, we have had a successful distance learning program for our Kindergarten through 8th grade students. In addition to an organized schedule of 5 periods a day, our students are engaged in daily chapel services, talent shows, presentations, assemblies, and spirit days. Moreover, the students have the opportunity to meet with their teachers, after classes end, during the teachers' office hours for one-on-one, small group, or whole class meets. Very soon, we will even host our first online Student Council elections.

As we move forward, we cannot stress enough the importance of student engagement and daily attendance in classes. Children can't be successful if they miss classes. It is important for students to keep up with their school work. Parents, please make sure to check your (child)ren's progress on our grading system, TeacherEase.

Our 31 preschool students have beautifully adapted to their normal and are doing great following all safety guidelines. We are looking forward to welcoming a few more students in January. We thank our preschool parents for their on-going cooperation. Meanwhile, we are still waiting for approvals regarding the Kindergarten and K-2 in-person instruction programs. We plan to begin our after-school conditioning exercises (no team sports are permitted yet) as long as we have enough participants in the program and following all the latest orders from the LA County Department of Health.

In closing, we would like to thank all our parents for their continued support and patience as we navigate these challenging times. We continue to pray for everyone's health and safety.

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 23, 2020

As we give thanks to God for all of His blessings, we embrace the true meaning of Thanksgiving by recognizing everything we are grateful for and appreciate. We are thankful for our motivated and enthusiastic students who are thriving during these challenging times. We are thankful for the support of the parents in creating an outstanding learning environment within our community. We are thankful for the teachers, staff, and Board of Directors who really care about student achievement and have the best interests of our students at heart.

Our priority during the rapidly evolving current situation has always been focused on the health and safety of the students, staff, and families. We have and are taking extra measures to maintain that.

We are also working hard to receive the waivers and to have our students back in school. During this process, it is imperative to take into consideration the students' mental health and well-being. With numbers going up, we want to avoid a situation where we bring students in and then send them back for full remote learning.

Below are our updates regarding a few re-entry options we have in progress:

Kindergarten Under Preschool License

1. Safety Protocols in place

2. Application completed and fee paid on Aug. 11

3. Fire Dept. approval submitted to the Dept. of Social Services

4. Dept. of Social Services visited our campus on Nov. 6

5. Waiver letter for playground use submitted on

Nov. 9

6. Waiting for final approval from the Dept. of Social Services

After-School Sports Conditioning

1. Safety Protocols in place

2. Survey completed

3. Start date: Dec. 1

4. 3:00-4:00 pm, once/week

5. Basketball or Soccer

6. Registration deadline Nov. 27

K-2nd Waiver

1. Application process completed on Oct. 28 with letters of support from the following:

  • Principal

  • Teachers

  • PTO

  • Community Organizations: Board, Women's Auxiliary, Pastor

2. Reopening Protocol Checklist completed and

posted

3. Safety Protocols in place

4. Waiting for feedback from the Dept. of Public Health

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 16, 2020

Ten Benefits of Reading

(Check out our "Reading Suggestions" page on this site)

  • Provides knowledge

  • Expands our vocabulary

  • Enhances our writing skills

  • Improves our memory

  • Improves our focus and concentration

  • Enhances our critical thinking skills

  • Stirs our creativity

  • Inspires and motivates us

  • Reduces our stress

  • Provides fun and entertainment

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 9, 2020

Help Your Child Learn From Mistakes

Mistakes are parts of life. It is OK when your child makes a mistake on a homework assignment or a test. What matters is how children and parents respond to those mistakes. Instead of glossing over your child’s errors, help him learn from them and thus, do better in school.

Fixing mistakes shows kids their can improve. Moreover, when students understand their errors and don’t repeat them, they become more optimistic about their brainpower.

When reviewing your child’s work, first point put what he did well. Then, help him learn from his mistakes.

  • Point Out: Rather than saying, “Don’t worry. You’ll do better on the next test,” ask if he understands why his answers were wrong. If so, have him correct them. If he’s not sure, offer suggestions or encourage him to ask his teacher for help.

  • Praise Progress: Did he miss only 2 problems on his latest math test? After reviewing his mistakes, remind him that he’s improving. Talk about how paying attention to past mistakes and correcting them made a difference.

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 2, 2020

Principal's Update #1

Dear Merdinian Parents,

I would like to take a closer look at the first quarter that ended on October 21. Additionally, I will provide updates on our Donation Drive for Artsakh as well as a few plans for the future.

The Merdinian Preschool, which opened its doors to in-person instruction since August 24 following all the necessary protocols and guidelines, has been functioning successfully. The kids are doing great! We regularly post their progress on our Facebook page.

Our physical doors may not have opened yet at the school facilities for our Kindergarten through 8th grade students. However, we were able to provide opportunities to learn for all students to the best of our capabilities. We remain true to our school motto, Pursue Excellence, as well as our mission to provide

  • a solid educational program that exceeds the curricular standards set by the State of California,

  • religious instruction and guidance that reinforce students’ Christian faith and promote good moral values, and

  • curricular enrichment that enables students to acquire a thorough knowledge and full appreciation of the rich American and Armenian heritages.

There are still some challenges we face every day. Online instruction is not a substitute for in-person instruction. But, despite those challenges, we believe we have made great progress. We are confident that the first quarter was completed successfully because of the tireless efforts of our administration, faculty, staff, students, and parents. We have been applying what we learned since March. At the start of this year, we created a better schedule; We have incorporated amazing lesson plans with new programs and Apps to engage students as well as facilitate student discussions and presentations; Students meet with their teachers 25 times a week with breaks in between meets; Teachers dedicate office hours after meets for one-on-one or small group sessions; We have morning chapels, assemblies, presentations where students showcase their talents. Our gifted Curriculum/Technology Coordinator, Mrs. Betty Nazarian is involved in daily instruction, co-teaching with teachers and introducing students and teachers to the best programs available. I check-in the daily 45 virtual classroom sessions to be able to reach students and teachers, respond to challenges, and take successes to scale.

I would like to acknowledge our teachers who plan lessons, teach online, provide support to students, and help navigate technical issues patiently. Additionally, our administrative staff and teachers engage in professional development on a regular basis. Their commitment, dedication, determination, and hard work are commendable.

I would like to acknowledge our parents for their patience, support, cooperation, sacrifices, and involvement in the education of their children.

I would like to acknowledge our students as well. The students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they are learning. Tools like Nearpod, Padlet, Flipgrid, Edpuzzle, and many others provide a view of student progress and talents. We are immensely proud of them. Regular attendance is important to provide the best chance to learn. Our team has placed this importance at the top of its priority list and ensures that students attend their classes regularly.

We have tried to provide as much stability in the classroom as we can and avoid disruptions/distractions where and when possible. Challenges students, teachers, and families are facing, especially in the lower grades, reinforce the need for students to be back in school and engage in in-person instruction and learning. We understand these challenges that range from technical issues to internet outages, to providing accurate assessments in addition to social/emotional challenges that students are living. We are aware of the stress/anxiety that so many of our students and parents are feeling. Students miss their school, friends, and teachers. We miss all of you! We all want students back to class. However, we must move with caution and follow local and state guidelines. Students will be back as soon as it is safe and health conditions make it possible.

The following plans are some of the current projects that we are working on.

  1. We have applied for a Kindergarten extension under the expansion of our preschool license, to allow for us to host Kindergarten instruction in-person on our campus. We are in the final phases of the application process. We pray for our school and that, if it’s God’s will, we will be granted permission and it will be safe to bring our Kindergarteners back to campus in the coming weeks.

  2. We have applied to seek a waiver to bring Kindergarten through 2nd Grade students back to campus and allow on-site instruction. We are committed to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all of our students, teachers, staff, and parents to the best of our capabilities. We have put forth best practices that comply with the California Department of Health, Center for Disease Control, and local guidelines in order to maintain a safe school environment.

  3. We are planning for an after-school sports program. Of course, measures will be taken to ensure player and coach safety.

  4. We also are exploring other possibilities of having our students on campus, in small groups, per grade level, and on designated days.

We continue to pray for Artsakh as the tragic situation continues. We thank you for your heartfelt donations towards our funds to help our brothers and sisters. A total of $20,000 was transferred to Armenia Assembly of America, which is matching dollar for dollar and channeling the funds to Armenia Fund. The acknowledgement of the donations was posted on our Facebook page. We will continue accepting donations and will arrange for the transfer of funds to Armenia Fund.

I plan to send frequent updates. Additionally, please visit the parent information tab under Student Portal on our website, where you can find tutorials, FAQ, memos, and weekly messages from the Principal’s Desk. You can also view our newsletter by clicking on the monthly links under the Newsletter tab of the website.

Thank you for your support always!

Lina Arslanian

WEEK OF OCTOBER 26, 2020

Parent-Teacher Conferences

October 30, 2020

Remember the 3 "P"s:

(from The Parent Institute)

  1. Preparation: Just before Report Cards are due, talk to your child, ask her or him if she or he expects any problem. Getting ready and talking to your child at this point is helpful.

  2. Perspective: A Report Card is just one small measure of your child. A child who gets all "A"s still has plenty to learn, and a child with poor grades still has plenty of strengths.

  3. Positive action: Think of the Report Card as a chance to take positive action. Find something to praise, then focus on areas that can lead to improvement.

Make the most of the time you will have with the teacher by following these strategies:

(from Sesame Street Parents)

  1. Before the meeting, jot down questions you would like to ask about how your child is doing and what you can do to help.

  2. Start the session by describing a positive classroom experience your child has had. This tells the teacher what she or he is doing right and sets a positive tone for the meeting.

  3. Share any information from home that may be affecting your child's performance in school.

  4. Instead of telling the teacher what she or he is doing wrong, try describing specific ways you've found to meet your child's needs.

Week of october 19, 2020

Homework Help

WEEK OF OCTOBER 12, 2020

MERDINIAN STANDS WITH ARTSAKH AND OUR SOLDierS

On behalf of our brothers and sisters in Armenia, we reach out to you for your help. Your financial support is vital, like never before, as we confront the most anti-humanitarian, demonic acts by the enemy. The one hundred years have taught us a great deal about our identity. We are here, by God's grace, stronger and more united than ever. We cling boldly to Christ, as we have trusted and persevered under His immense grace. We know He delivered us from evil then, and we trust with our entire beings, that He will deliver us from evil today.

Living miles away, we need to support and preach loudly about the happenings and not only spread awareness but set an example. We need to support one another and our motherland as we are faced with the same evil that tried to obliterate our nation before. Our young generation is heroically facing the front lines, essentially risking their lives for our country. As an Armenian Christian community, we need your support now! This is not only about our lives but about our identity.

Merdinian is committed to raising a minimum of $5,000 for Artsakh. We ask that you make donations through Merdinian by October 30th; checks may be payable to Merdinian School or donations may be made by credit card by calling the school office during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Should you wish to make a donation after hours, please call either Sossie at (818)339-4649 or Mariam at (818)720-4479. Hundred percent of the proceeds will be directed to Artsakh through the Armenian Missionary Association of America.

Thank you for your support.

Click here for a special presentation put together by our students and edited by Mr. Fred Sayadian.

Week of October 5, 2020

Attendance

The first rule for doing well in school for your children is to attend classes. Poor attendance can lead to many problems including poor grades, not understanding concepts, having to make-up work, fewer friends, and other problems.

Parents can play a big role in making sure children’s attendance is on track by:

  • Telling children that school is their most important job at this time in their lives.

  • Letting children know parents expect them to be in every class every day.

  • Explaining to children that being tired or unprepared are not valid excuses to skip classes.

  • Scheduling vacations and medical appointments outside of school hours.

  • Working with your children's teachers or principal if necessary.

Following Rules

A child who is expected to follow rules at home has an easier time following rules in school. Parents should

  • Make a few basic rules

  • Follow routines

  • Explain rules simply and clearly

  • Always enforce rules

  • Adjust rules when child is ready

Making Choices

Children should be given as many opportunities as possible to make choices. For instance:

  • Which healthy items to pack for lunch/snacks

  • Which shirt to wear

  • Which subject to study for first

  • Other choices

However, parents must still set boundaries (for instance, not to watch TV before homework, sleep on time, etc.).

Parents must help children think about the potential consequences of their decisions. If they make a poor decision, parents must sit down and talk about why it didn’t work and what could be done differently next time.

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 28, 2020

Supporting your children’s education at home is very important. Here are conversation starters that will help you stay involved (from Home & School Connection):

Ø “Let’s see what you brought home.”

Look at completed work to find out what your children are learning and how well they are doing. You could comment on a math work or social studies project.

Ø “Show me what you have for homework.”

It’s your children’s jobs to do their homework, but you play a role, too. Help your children find a distraction-free spot to do homework. Have them come up with a study routine. For instance, they could reserve time each evening to review their textbook and notes in the days leading up to a test. Also, many students find it helpful to jot down a purpose each time they study. For instance: “I will learn the definitions of all the boldfaced words in chapter 7.1. Make sure they know what they are supposed to do by having them explain the assignment to you. After they finish homework, glance over the work to see that it is complete.

Ø Describe a book you enjoyed today.”

This gives you an idea of what your children prefer to read. Then, build a daily reading habit by asking what they would like to read tonight. Read to your children every day to spend time with your children, build reading skills, and have them learn to love books.

Ø “Tell me what you learned that you’d like to know more about.”

Use their interests as jumping-off points for activities to share such as doing more research about the topic.

Ø Asking “How was school today?” might not get you far. Instead, ask questions like the following for a better picture of your child’s day: “What’s the coolest thing that happened? What wasn’t so cool?” “Pretend you are the teacher, how would you describe the day?” “What made you laugh?” “What was the most creative thing you did?” “How were you kind or helpful today?” “How was someone kind or helpful to you?”

Week of September 21, 2020

EXPECTED SCHOOLWIDE LEARNING RESULTS

C. & E. Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School will prepare its graduates to be:

1. Christians who

understand and practice the principles of the Christian faith; live a Christ-centered life.

2. Armenian Americans who

know, appreciate, and take pride in Armenian History and culture; know about the Armenian Genocide as a crime against humanity and the need for it to be recognized by the world.

3. Communicators in English and Armenian who

can read fluently, write effectively, listen attentively as well as express themselves articulately and coherently using academic vocabulary.

4. Critical Thinkers who

can compute and calculate with accuracy and clearly, can draw conclusions by reasoning, comparing, and contrasting; can collaborate with others to achieve realistic goals.

5. Citizens who

are fair, responsible, and tolerant of other people and cultures; appreciate natural resources; follow good health habits; and contribute to their communities.


Week of September 14, 2020

Children need to take initiative in their own learning and become independent self-learners. It has been shown that independent self-learners improve their academic performance as well as increase their motivation, confidence, and creativity levels.

To help your children become independent self-learners:

  • Set high expectations and then step back.

  • Let them know you have faith in their abilities.

  • Set a routine. Make sure they have their own learning space and needed materials/supplies.

  • Teach them to be independent (making their beds, setting the table, completing their assignments).

  • Allow them to work through their challenges rather than doing the work for them. Let them make decisions.

  • Encourage their effort/progress without placing emphasis on results such as getting an “A”; let them learn from their mistakes.

  • Teach them to ask for help from their teacher.

All parents want their children to succeed and they want to help them. But sometimes, the best way to be helpful is to allow them to work independently and figure things out on their own so that they become confident adults later.


WEEK OF September 7, 2020


To our K-8th parents:

We understand the challenges the current situation has placed on parents, students as well as teachers and administrators. We express our sincerest appreciation for your patience, support, cooperation, flexibility, resilience, and sacrifices as we begin our third week of distance learning. We commend the determination shown by the staff, faculty, students, and families to make distance learning a success. We thank you for your positive feedback and kind words.

To our Preschool parents:

We truly appreciate your cooperation as we begin our third week of in-person learning with our beautiful 3 and 4-year old students. We commend the determination of our students, teachers, staff, and parents to follow our guidelines. The students are having fun and most importantly learning. Please visit our Facebook page and enjoy their pictures.

Welcome back to the 2020-2021 academic year!!


We anticipate an amazing year ahead, ready and equipped with new approaches and techniques, greater improvements, and a structured schedule.

A few tips for parents to nurture great feelings about school in their children:

  • Communicate a positive attitude about school and learning.

  • Express consistent interest in what children are learning and experiencing in school.

  • Help children see that what they are learning is important in life now and in the future.

  • Show by example that learning is important.

  • Encourage children to read and write.

  • Encourage children to do their best.