BOE Celebrates Staff and Students as School Year Draws to a Close

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During the Lynbrook Public Schools Board of Education meeting on June 12, the community gathered to celebrate several tenure recipients, appointments, student and staff awards and a special retiree. Districtwide updates were also shared throughout the evening. 

The first award was presented to West End Elementary School second grader Lucas Pollin. He was selected as the winner of the district’s first Summer Reading Logo Contest. Pollin’s cheery sun logo will represent this summer’s program. The board also approved 11 tenure recipients comprised of teachers and teacher aides who have shown their drive and commitment to the students of Lynbrook. Board President William Belmont announced each recipient which resulted in cheers from fellow colleagues and community members. The district also appointed five new staff members and recognized an upcoming retiree. Marion Street Elementary School head custodian Robert Gersitz was praised for his 22 years of service to the district. He received a plaque from the board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak. 

In addition, Kevin Herbst from KLH Fire Safety presented the district’s fire inspection report. Herbst did the inspection on May 8 and stated that he found the schools to be in compliance with fire regulations. During the report from trustees, President Belmont thanked the community on re-electing him and trustee Heather Hanson, and for passing the budget. Board Vice President Lesli Deninno shared the audit committee’s report. She stated that the committee discussed the audit financial statements for June 30. This audit is required by New York State and the committee reviewed a draft of the 2019 internal audit. The auditors complimented Lynbrook on being top notch. 

During the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Burak shared with the community that in order to cut down the summer mailing, the district would be slowly rolling out an online demographic update. Dr. Maureen Berman, assistant superintendent for personnel, transportation and student support services, has been training families at the elementary school level since they have not utilized PowerSchool yet. Dr. Burak mentioned that the district will be moving toward an online portal districtwide next year where families can update their basic demographic information themselves which should in turn, improve accuracy.

She also shared that the district’s next Reunification Drill will be in October. A letter will be sent out as the date draws closer to remind families to update their emergency contact lists. Although the district will be moving toward the online portal, Dr. Burak noted that the schools still need paper copies of these contacts just in case technology is inaccessible during an emergency.   

Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, updated the community on the district safety plan. He explained to the community that there are two committees that determine the safety plan. Those on the district committee meet four times a year to look at safety from the big perspective of the district. The idea for the security vestibules was established from these members. Last week, the committee fully reviewed the district level safety plan which can be found here. Dr. Lynch explained that the plan examines how the district approaches emergency response. During the review process, the principals and committee members provided feedback. Once the data is pulled together, it will be published on the district website for a 30-day period of review. He encouraged the community to read next year’s plan once it is posted to the website and to send feedback to the district. If there are no issues, the board will adopt the plan at the August board of education meeting. Dr. Lynch also reminded the community that some of the safety plans, such as the school level plans, are highly confidential. 

Dr. Gerard Beleckas provided a curriculum update for the community. The curriculum guides are being updated at the elementary schools and staff have been preparing to work on the Voyager Flight School ‘enrichment for all’ curriculum during the summer. In addition, Dr. Beleckas spoke about the annual Title Grant meeting. He informed the community on the history of Title 1, currently known now as the Every Student Succeeds Act. In accordance with the act, the district and parent representatives have written and will annually be revising a written family engagement policy. The information will be made available to all students and their families in the Title 1 schools.  

“As we continue to work with them, we will continue to revise that plan to promote academic equality and assist with the needs of those children,” said Dr. Beleckas. 

Following Dr. Beleckas’ report, Dr. Lynch returned to update the community on districtwide projects. Installation of the security vestibules is currently taking place at Marion Street Elementary School, Lynbrook South Middle School and Lynbrook North Middle School. Work on the security vestibules at West End and the Kindergarten Center will start at the beginning of July. Dr. Lynch stated that all vestibules will be completed by the end of the summer. At the last board of education meeting, James Saitta, director of facilities, presented on the security protocols and how these vestibules will work. Dr. Lynch shared that the district reviewed a draft of these protocols with members of the PTA. A letter will be sent home informing families of the new system and the protocols will be included in the 2019-2020 district calendar.
Dr. Lynch also provided a bond update. Next week, the district will sell its first bond anticipation note, borrowing its first $7 million dollars which will fund the following projects: North Middle School locker room and air conditioning in the gymnasium, South Middle School locker room and air conditioning in the gymnasium, Atlantic Avenue wrestling room and air conditioning in the gymnasium and air conditioning in the gymnasium at Waverly Park. Capital projects that will be underway include five bathrooms and a locker room at Marion Street and a bathroom at West End. In-house projects which will not require contractors will consist of classroom construction at Marion Street and Waverly Park. There will also be another classroom added to the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center.