District Honors Student Successes; Provides Facilities Plan

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The Lynbrook community gathered for the Lynbrook Public Schools’ regular Board of Education meeting on April 17 to recognize recent student accomplishments and learn about the district’s five-year facilities plan. 

Lynbrook High School students Kyle Bergin, Tim Marski and Dan Dalrymple from the South Brook swim team were commended for setting numerous county records, while Lynbrook High School senior Allison Kunstler was recognized for being a “Youth Leader in Our Community” by Assemblyman Brian Curran for her commitment to local volunteer work. In addition, Lynbrook South Middle School students Emilia Berkowitz, Jaiden Moreno and David Padilla were honored for earning top spots in the Nassau Community College Honors Program Monologue Competition. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak presented each student with a certificate during the meeting, courtesy of the competition. 

During the trustee report, board secretary Robert Paskoff and trustee Alicemarie Bresnihan discussed their positive experiences attending the National School Boards Convention. Following their report, the board approved the upcoming retirement of Carmel Wright, a teacher aide for the past 10 years at Lynbrook South Middle School. Board members thanked Wright for her dedication to the district over the years. 

Director of Facilities James Saitta kicked off the superintendent’s report by presenting on the Lynbrook facilities five-year capital improvement plan. Saitta shared the facilities committee’s objectives and the plans for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years, including the anticipated large scale projects forecasted for the next three to five years. To learn more about these projects, please visit the district’s website, lynbrookschools.org under the facilities tab. 

Following the presentation, Dr. Burak reminded the community about the Don’t Press Send campaign that the elementary school PTA’s will host on April 24 at Marion Street School for all family members. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. and will highlight important topics such as anti-bullying and internet safety. 

Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations, and Information Systems Dr. Paul Lynch shared an update from the district’s food committee.

“Last year the food committee spent a lot of time revising the wellness policy, especially in regards to how it will affect the most recent legislative changes,” he said. “Part of those legislative changes is that we need to do a self-assessment of the policy every year. The food committee will meet next week to go through a rubric looking at that policy.” 

Dr. Lynch also reported a positive update on the Smart Bond which previously was showing no movement from the New York State Education Department’s Office of Facilities Planning. The Smart Bond will fund security upgrades to each of the school buildings. During spring break, Dr. Burak received an email from the State stating that the district’s Smart Bond plan was “unsubmitted.” 

“This is a good thing,” said Dr. Lynch. “That means we’re getting to the expenditure review.” 

Dr. Lynch and Dr. Burak thanked members of the PTA’s for contacting the assemblymen and the senator with their concerns to help move the process along. Dr. Burak spoke with New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia about the delay which also helped with the Smart Bond movement. She noted that the State does not know when the budget review team is going to meet to review the plan but that the district will continue to insure that they move swiftly. 

Lastly, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Gerard Beleckas provided a curriculum update which consisted of an increase to the number of graduation opportunities for high school students across New York State. Beleckas explained that the State added a 4+1 pathway for Languages Other Than English (LOTE), meaning students can pass a regents exam in the four major subject areas and then pass an additional exam in foreign language to graduate with a Regents Diploma. The State is also adding a local diploma option for special education students who have demonstrated competency in subject areas but cannot necessarily pass the regents exams.