Lynbrook Board of Education holds December Meeting

Dr. Melissa Burak, Lesli Deninno, Nora Kane, and Caroline Larow in a group photo thumbnail208140
Lynbrook Public School Superintendent Dr. Melissa Burak, left, and Board of Education Vice President Lesli Deninno, right, gifted Lynbrook Pride t-shirts to students Nora Kane and Caroline Larow, two students who are working on a STEAM project.
The Lynbrook School District Board of Education held its regular meeting in the Lynbrook High School cafeteria on Dec. 1.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak announced that the Art Gallery will return prior to the winter concerts, the first of which will be on Dec. 7. It will feature artwork from students in grades 9 to 12 who are in a range of art classes, from introductory courses to the highest-level course.

Dr. Burak recognized Nora Kane and Caroline Larow, two students who are working on a STEAM project titled, “Using Microbiology to Clean Up Oceanic Oil Spills: How Bio-remediation Can Be Used to Combat Oil Spills,” which involves the study of using bacteria to clean oceanic oil spills. The project is up for a public vote on the 2021 ArcGIS StoryMaps Challenge for Restoring Our Ocean website. The competition is hosted by Esri and the National Geographic Society.

The board opened a public hearing on a tax exemption for Lynbrook Fire Department members who live within the school district. The exemption allows for volunteers of at least five years who live within the school district to receive a property tax reduction of up to 10 percent. Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations, and Information Systems Dr. Paul Lynch explained that it would affect 58 properties and four eligible cooperative units within the district, amounting to an average savings of $1,665 per property and $327.60 per cooperative unit. The average amount it would cost single-family homeowners is $19.76 and $9.64 to cooperative property owners, based on the current tax rate.

The board voted unanimously to adopt the tax exemption.

During her remarks, Dr. Burak reminded parents to make the $27 insurance payment to protect the tablets issued to all students by the district. Approximately 50 percent of the district has not made the payment; schools will be reaching out to parents and guardians.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Dr. Gerard Beleckas provided an update on the pursuit of high school students to participate in authentic science adventures and endeavors. Students in Anatomy and Physiology classes have had the opportunity to peer into operating rooms and interact with medical professionals as they conduct surgeries through the Liberty Science Center’s Live from Surgery program. Two new partners, Cornell University and NASA, were added to the Science Research program. The FishTracker program sponsored by Cornell is a student-oriented citizen science project that helps record and map fish both endangered and invasive in New York State. In November, teams of 10th graders collected samples from four local areas and will hear back on the results of an environmental DNA analysis performed by the Cornell scientists. NASA’s Growing Beyond Earth project is a classroom-based citizen science project designed to advance NASA’s research on growing plants in space. It includes a series of plant experiments designed by students in a plant habitat similar to a vegetable production system on the International Space Station. Up to two projects designed by students from across the United States will be chosen to be implemented on the International Space Station.

The board will show preliminary designs on roughly $3.9 million worth of projects during its January meeting. Renovation proposals that may be coming to the district include a new turf field and lights, improvements to the courtyard and the renovation of one classroom at North Middle School as well as the remodeling of the cafeteria and the restructuring of the parking lot at Marion Street to a design with safety in mind, along with new lights and the replacement of the carpet at the turf field.

Those projects would appear on the ballot in May and carry no additional cost to taxpayers, as the funding is allotted from the district’s capital reserves. The full plans will be shown at the Jan. 12 meeting for public view before it’s put to a vote at a later date.