District Focuses on New School Year; Celebrates Student Artists

District Focuses on New School Year; Celebrates Student Artists  thumbnail135563
The community gathered for the first Lynbrook Public Schools Board of Education meeting since the start of the 2019-2020 school year on Sept. 18. Positive news, including recent student achievements, was shared, along with important district updates.
To kick off the meeting, Board President William Belmont introduced several new staff members to the community. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak followed by recognizing two Lynbrook High School seniors who were recently designated as Long Island Scholar Artists from the Long Island Arts Alliance. Arpie Bakhshian was recognized for music and Julianne Lampert was recognized for visual arts. Dr. Burak praised the students who were two out of only 20 Scholar Artists from across Long Island.
During the report from trustees, board trustee Alicemarie Bresnihan shared her positive building inspections report. The board also heard a follow-up presentation from Gina-Marie Bounds and Dr. Vera Feuer from Northwell Health. Bounds attended the district’s regular board of education meeting last month to discuss a possible partnership between Northwell Health and the district. They shared their Urgent Care Model, statistics on patient care and what they can provide to Lynbrook students and staff. Their mission is to partner with four school districts this year to make mental health services more accessible to students. This second visit allowed the board to ask more questions and get a better idea of whether or not they wanted to pursue a partnership.
Following the informative presentation, Dr. Burak shared her superintendent’s report. She announced and congratulated Board Vice President Lesli Deninno for being recognized during the summer as a Woman of Distinction by New York State Assemblywoman Judy Griffin. Deninno was honored for being a leader in her community. In addition, Dr. Burak shared the new proposed Nassau County legislation on increased bicycle safety. The first mandates that children under the age of 18 wear helmets while riding a bicycle, scooter, motorized scooter or motorized bicycle. The second addresses children recklessly riding bicycles and scooters in and out of traffic. There will be a $100 fine for those who are caught. 

Dr. Burak also shared the board of education goals for the 2019-2020 school year. This included continuing to implement projects from the Oct. 3, 2017 bond referendum and continuing to explore the opportunity for students to increase their reading proficiency in grades K-8 through a differentiated instruction in a multi-tier format. The third goal is to promote student success by drafting a formal action plan and establish teams who offer professional expertise to support the whole child. Her report also consisted of a reminder about the district’s reunification drill which will be held on Oct. 4. Dr. Burak reminded families that it will be an early dismissal day and encouraged everyone to update their emergency contacts.

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment provided a curriculum update. He welcomed Charles Vessalico and Drew Bidart as grade 6-12 science and math department facilitators, respectively. In addition, Dr. Beleckas presented Madelyn Torres as the district’s new English as a New Language department chairperson for grades K-12.
Dr. Burak also shared a capital projects update with the community. It was a busy summer as construction took place throughout the district. This included bathroom work at Marion Street and West End, floor installations, classroom renovations, the replacement of doors and carpets, concrete work, sidewalk repair and the creation of a pitching tunnel and dugouts. Also, the locker room projects were completed, and air conditioning is in the process of being installed in the gymnasiums of Waverly Park, North Middle School and South Middle School. The security vestibules were also installed in all the buildings.
Toward the end of the meeting, Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, provided a bond update for the new year. He reported that the district is about to bid out the air conditioning projects for Marion Street and West End, as well as the big high school project and the elevator at Waverly Park. The district expects all these projects to go out to bid before the holiday break. In addition, the district is in the infancy stages of the design process for the Marion Street elevator.
The meeting ended on a high note as Dr. Burak encouraged the community to come out for the district’s homecoming parade and PTA Scholarship Football Game on Sept. 21.