Academic success celebrated at Lynbrook Board of Education meeting

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The academic success of both students and longtime employees of Lynbrook Public Schools was celebrated at the regular Board of Education meeting on Feb. 8.

The Bern Seiderman Art Gallery presented its current exhibit, which features the latest works from the newest members of the National Art Honor Society, who were inducted the night before. The exhibit, titled “The Gold Touch,” incorporates a touch of gold in each piece.

The meeting continued with a spotlight on the first graduate of the Owls Success Academy, the alternative program available to students at Lynbrook High School. Matthew LaVerda shook each board member’s hand as he received his diploma marking him an official graduate of the high school. The momentous occasion did not end there, however, as the high school principal notified Matthew that SUNY Empire State College extended an acceptance to their online collegiate program. Matthew is the first student in New York State to be accepted through this special pilot program. Representatives from Nassau BOCES, Lynbrook’s partner in the Owl Success Academy, were also on hand to offer congratulations. Addressing the board, Matthew thanked them and hoped the program will live on to create more graduates like him.

Next, Lynbrook High School’s Regeneron Science Talent Search Semifinalist Sean Krivitsky was given a shoutout for his hard work. He is one of 300 students in the nation to be selected for this achievement.

Michael Fagan was also recognized for making it onto the All-State Football Team. This prestigious opportunity considers students’ athletic and academic success.
A video created by student Max Cordes highlighting a successful year for football and Coach David Yaker, a Lynbrook graduate, joining the team as a leader. The video is available to view online.

Several retirements were acknowledged and celebrated. Combined, the retirees total more than 150 years of service to Lynbrook schools. They include Doreen Combs, a physical education teacher and coach who served for 39 years; Maria Stella Kruh, West End Elementary School’s music teacher who served for 29 years; Stephen LoCicero, a social studies teacher and coach who served for 32 years; Margaret O’Brien, a reading interventionist who served for 25 years; and Bonnie Shapiro, a Kindergarten Center teacher who served for 33 years.

Trustee Tara Aragona reminded residents of PTA Founder’s Day, which will take place on Monday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations and Information Systems, Dr. Paul Lynch, presented the Bond Financial Update, which summarized the final costs for all projects associated with the Oct. 3, 2017, referendum. The projects came in approximately $2.5 million under budget. These unspent funds will remain in the Renovation and Improvement of Facilities Capital Reserve Fund waiting voter approval for future projects. The full presentation is available on the district website.
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Melissa Burak, shared that the Art Patch contest in Lynbrook’s Project L.I.F.T.O.F.F. is underway, with 288 student contributions between the elementary and secondary levels. The two winning patches will join the winning project on its flight to the International Space Station.

The board adopted the 2023-24 school year calendar, which is now available on the district website.

Due to a potential increase to allowable allotments by the state, there may be more spots available for Universal Pre-Kindergarten. The district will open a lottery for the guaranteed spots available and may open another program that could house the additional students. A request for proposal is being sought out for a potential additional vendor. Stay tuned for more information.

A survey on the Lynbrook Summer Playground program will be sent out to families who participated last summer. This survey will gauge interest in an extended program.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Dr. Gerard Beleckas, shared that all schools participated in lessons related to Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was on Jan. 27. The Assessment, Weighting and Grading Commission met and broke up into groups based on individual courses and took a scrutinous look at grading policies. High school students in participation shared their well-received feedback.

Dr. Lynch updated the community on current capital projects, including the Waverly Park tennis and pickleball courts and the high school library, which should begin in the spring. Projects for new turf fields at North Middle School and Marion Street and a West End roof renovation are being reviewed by the state.

The board accepted a donation of $3,250 from the Lynbrook SEPTA for an Augmentative Communication Board at Marion Street.

Date Added: 2/13/2023