District Shares Summer Project Updates and Talks Mental Health

August 2019 Meeting Graphic  thumbnail133144

Community members gathered in the Atlantic Avenue Board Room for the Lynbrook Public Schools Board of Education meeting on Aug. 14. The board welcomed new faculty members and heard a proposal from Cohen Children’s Medical Center representatives. The community also received important district updates from Lynbrook’s central administration, including an update on summer projects.

The board announced the retirement of Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services Arlene Mishanie. They thanked Mishanie for her dedication and service to the district. The board then appointed and welcomed David Feller, interim director of special services, and several new teachers who will be joining the district. 

Representatives from Northwell Health’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center presented a pilot program to the board, seeking to partner with the district to combat the mental health crisis in children and adolescents today. They shared their Urgent Care Model, statistics on patient care and what they can provide to Lynbrook students. Cohen’s mission is to partner with four school districts this year to make mental health services more accessible to students. The medical professionals would also be a resource to staff members in the district. Dr. Noreen Leahy, assistant superintendent for pupil personnel services from the Rockville Centre Union Free School District, showed her support during the presentation as she has worked closely with the Northwell Health representatives and believes in the program. The board asked questions and deliberated on the pilot program during the meeting. They plan to discuss the matter further in the near future. 

In addition, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak and Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations, and Information Systems Dr. Paul Lynch, shared a positive update on the bond projects and capital projects. The New York State Education Department of Facilities has approved the plans for the addition at Lynbrook High School. Dr. Burak stated that they hope to break ground in the spring. This summer, most of the first phase bond work has been completed. This included the air conditioning in most of the elementary schools. She noted that the air conditioning at Marion Street and West End had to be held off this summer until next year due to Summer Playground. Work on the middle school locker rooms are taking place, as well as the Atlantic Avenue wrestling room. 

Dr. Lynch shared more updates on the summer projects associated with this year’s Capital Improvement Program. Work is about 70% complete on the Marion Street bathrooms and locker room as well as the bathroom at West End. He also spoke about the SmartBond projects (the installation of the security vestibules), noting that it is about 85% complete so the district should be in good shape to launch the school year.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Dr. Gerard Beleckas closed out the meeting with a curriculum update. He reported several curriculum projects that are underway. The district is preparing for the new Voyager program which will have a new designated space at West End School. At the middle school level, staff members are working on a readers workshop in preparation for the district’s collaboration with Columbia University and the guidance and support staff is working on revising the guidance plan for the upcoming school year.