Lynbrook Board of Education Holds First Meeting of the New Year

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Lynbrook High School seniors Emma and Sophie Ward presented a letter backed by 231 fellow students requesting that a virtual option be available for those absent due to quarantining. Students who are quarantining but feel they can still participate can now tune in on their classes virtually.
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Director of Facilities James Saitta presented capital improvement proposals for North Middle School and Marion Street Elementary School.
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The proposed improvements to Marion Street Elementary School’s field, including new turf and lighting.
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The proposed improvements to North Middle School’s field, including new turf, lighting and fencing.
The Lynbrook School District Board of Education held its regular meeting in the Lynbrook High School on Jan. 12.

To start off, the Bern Seiderman Gallery announced the January 2022 showcase, titled “Radial”, featuring radial design drawings by Vincent Lentini’s studio art classes. A radial design is a symmetrical composition in which the visual elements are arranged around a central point, making a roughly circular form. Mr. Lentini’s students learned about mandalas, which generally have an identifiable center point from which emanates in an array of symbols, shapes and forms.

Emma and Sophie Ward, seniors at Lynbrook High School who are co-presidents of the Key Club, co-founders and co-presidents of the SCOPE Club and vice president and secretary of their class, respectively, addressed the board. They shared a statement backed by the student leaders of the high school’s other classes as well as 231 fellow students. They requested that students who are unable to attend school in-person due to a Covid-19 diagnosis be able to sign-in virtually through WebEx.

“They would be able to log on to each class, tuning in so they would not fall behind,” their statement read. “Many students with Covid feel well enough to learn through some or all the time they have to quarantine.”

Board members commended Emma and Sophie for organizing the petition and sharing their statement.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak issued guidance that all teachers with students who are quarantining will turn on their cameras during class so all students can continue to learn.

Director of Facilities James Saitta and Robert Cascone of JAG Architects presented capital improvement proposals for North Middle School and Marion Street Elementary School. At North Middle, field upgrades include a replacement of the natural grass field with synthetic turf; game lines for football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey; new football uprights and soccer goals; 16 ft. high chain link fencing on the west side and four ft. chain link fence on the north side; a 300-seat, 3-row spectator bleacher; LED sports lighting; and an expansion to the parking lot along the east side. Room 208 would also get new floor tiling.

At Marion Street, upgrades to the field and parking lot include a replacement of the current synthetic turf with new turf; game lines for football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey; LED sports lighting; a complete renovation of the parking lot to increase spaces, flow and safety, along with new asphalt and sidewalks; a new playground structure on a new safety surface; a new basketball court; new trees in both the parking and play areas for shade; new picnic tables; and new fencing around the parking lot.

These projects will appear on the ballot in May as propositions for voters’ approval and will carry no additional cost to taxpayers, as the funding is allotted from the district’s capital reserves.

During her remarks, Dr. Burak recognized the staff of the Horizon newspaper, produced at Lynbrook High School, for winning several awards in the Empire State Scholastic Press Association Awards, including second place for best overall newspaper and first place for layout and design. She recognized the fall sports teams who all were named Scholar Athlete teams, including varsity football, girls soccer, boys soccer, girls swim, girls volleyball, girls tennis, cheer, girls cross-country, boys cross-country and kick line. She also recognized the High School Key Club, which recently won first place in the TeamUp4Community challenge for their efforts in their Powder Puff charity football game. They won $3,000 to help support SCOPE and the Global Giving Tree.

Dr. Burak also notified families of the New York State Youth Development Survey, which will be released in March. Students will take the anonymous survey in their English classes. It aims to ascertain the habits of our children, particularly on the topic of substance abuse.

Dr. Burak read an excerpt of a letter recently issued by Nassau County Police Department Commissioner Patrick Ryder — a Lynbrook High School graduate — about an alarming rise in opioid abuse. It shares a warning of counterfeit prescription pills laced with fentanyl, a deadly substance. The trend is contributing to the county’s historically high fatal overdose levels, according to Ryder. The Commissioner has been invited to speak at the High School on March 8 prior to the survey being distributed.

The board approved the calendar for the next school year, allowing families to start planning ahead.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Dr. Gerard Beleckas shared that Mark Love, founder of Engineers Teaching Algebra, will be visiting eighth grade mathematics classes starting at the end of this month. Mr. Love will provide students an opportunity to apply their mathematics problem-solving skills to create a safe flow of traffic through intersections in a hands-on lesson. Students will use algebraic reasoning and proportions to figure out the best time intervals for a green light directing multiple intersections of increasing size. Students will see that a wrong answer is better than no answer, and problems are solved with patience and imagination.

In his capital projects update, Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations, and Information Systems Dr. Paul Lynch shared that the auditorium remodeling in the high school is in its final stages. At Marion Street, the elevator is on schedule to be completed by March. Remodeling project plans for the Waverly Park tennis court will be submitted to the state this month and plans for the High School library will be sent to the state in the spring.

Following public comment, Board of Education President William Belmont announced the passing of Marilyn Hoffman, an employee at Marion Street for 17 years; Susan Kolker, a former foreign language teacher at Lynbrook High School for 18 years; Marcel Correa, former custodian for 17 years; and Walter Jackson, former custodian for 10 years.

Mr. Belmont announced Marianne Healy as North Middle School interim principal through March 25, 2022. Mrs. Healy had been serving as an English Language Arts teacher at North Middle.

Date Added: 1/18/2022