Talking Technology at Lynbrook BOE Meeting

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The Lynbrook community heard about recent student and staff accomplishments, a beloved retiree and received various important updates, including a district-wide technology plan at the Dec. 12 Board of Education meeting. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak announced that Lynbrook High School’s newspaper, Horizon, once again came out victorious at the 2018 Empire State Scholastic Press Association awards program, with the newspaper earning the Gold Award for both Best All-Around Publication and Best New Publication for Horizon Online. She praised Horizon advisor Jessica Sanders and the Horizon staff while also listing the various individual awards that students took home. Board President William Belmont followed the honors by recognizing Neil Giordano, a former teacher in the district and a coach on the varsity football team. Mr. Belmont spoke about how Mr. Giordano was his former teacher back when he was a student and what an honor it has been to coach alongside him. 

Surrounded by her loved ones, Lynbrook South Middle School special education teacher Elizabeth Famiglietti was also congratulated by the board for officially receiving tenure. The board continued with old business, which included accepting choice A in the two plan options that the Voyager committee presented at the previous regular board of education meeting. 

During the superintendent’s report, Dr. Burak announced that 10 science research students from Lynbrook High School submitted their projects to the 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search, known to be the most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. This followed with a presentation on the district’s technology plan from Instructional Technology Coordinator Neil MacDermott. 

Mr. MacDermott shared the district’s history of the 1:1 initiative, also known as one computer for one student. He shared the various members of the interdisciplinary team who have explored the New York State Education Department’s technology plan and the Future Ready Plan to determine a customized technology plan specifically for Lynbrook. Mr. MacDermott also spoke about the goals of the technology plan and the importance of the Future Ready Schools Leadership Committee. To view the technology plan, please click here.

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment, provided the community with a curriculum update on college readiness. Dr. Burak and Dr. Beleckas attended the Superintendent’s College President’s Partnership Presentation in November regarding college readiness and educational pathways for student success. Dr. Beleckas shared his experience at the conference which featured New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia. During the conference, the importance of obtaining a college degree was emphasized as statistics were presented on the growing need for college degrees in the job market. With this in mind, Dr. Beleckas stressed the importance of preparing students for college. He mentioned teaching students to be self-advocates. There was also a focus on curriculum at the conference and building a strong foundation for student skills and understanding. 

In addition, Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, shared a capital projects and Smart Bond Investment Plan update. The board approved the contract for the security vestibules to be installed in the buildings. The district anticipates to begin the installation right around the February break and hopes to have them completed by the end of the school year. Visitor management systems will also be added which the district plans to inform the public how to properly enter the buildings with the proper identification. He reported that the rest of the Smart Bond projects such as the wiring for an IP based security system at the doors are beginning to roll out.

On the side of the bond projects which were passed last year, the district received its first approval. The air conditioning at the Kindergarten Center and the wrestling room has passed through the New York State Education Department Office of Facilities Planning. The district anticipates starting work on these projects this summer and anticipates clearance on the air conditioning in the gymnasium locker rooms at North Middle School and South Middle School and air conditioning in the Waverly Park Elementary School gymnasium. The district hopes to see them approved around Feb. 1 with work starting in July 2019. Dr. Lynch also reported a delay in the State’s review of the plans for Marion Street Elementary School and West End Elementary School. The district is hoping to see them approved by May. Lastly, the plans for the restroom at West End, five restrooms at Marion Street and an elevator at Waverly Park are currently heading to the state. Dr. Lynch anticipates that the restrooms will be worked on this summer should they receive the State’s approval in the spring. Work on the elevator is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2020.