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Lynbrook BOE Honors Students and Retirees; Provides Network Update

Lynbrook BOE Honors Students and Retirees Photo
The Lynbrook High School cafeteria was filled with administrators, staff, students and community members during the Lynbrook Public Schools’ Board of Education meeting on Feb. 13. The board commended the district’s two Regeneron Science Talent Search semifinalists and accepted the retirements of seven beloved staff members. The community also heard important updates about the district’s network, curriculum and capital projects. 

Lynbrook High School seniors Juliana Condoleo and Kaylie Hausknecht were honored for being two of the 300 top scholars in the high school science and math competition, the Regeneron Science Talent Search. Beth Murray, a representative from the competition, presented the two students with certificates. They will each receive $2,000 with an equal amount going toward Lynbrook High School to be applied to science, technology, engineering and math education. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak praised the students on their outstanding achievement and invited them to the podium to speak about their selected science projects. 

Seven staff members were also commended for their service and dedication throughout their years in the district. Joann Baumann, Susan DeSena, Camille Duran, Madeline Jabin, Carol Lindner, Christopher Pipia and Donald Seibert were each praised by a board member as they prepared to retire at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. After learning about each future retiree’s career, positive impact in the district and plans for the future, attendees gave them a standing ovation. Building administrators from each school were also present to show their support. 

In addition to the evening recognitions, Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, provided an update about the district’s network. At the end of January, a serious virus impacted the district due to people clicking fraudulent links. Dr. Lynch praised the district’s technology staff who worked diligently to restore the network.

“The very good news is that our network is incredibly stable so it was only limited to desktop computers,” he said. “We were able to continue instruction through our laptop program because of the way we segment our network. It did not carry over to the other end.”  

Since the virus was so prevalent, Dr. Lynch explained that a domain change was made to ensure the safety of both students and staff from cyber-terrorists who aim to steal banking information and data. The domain change was in the works prior to the virus but the district decided to implement it now due to the circumstances.

All district email addresses which previously ended in are no longer active and have been replaced with After February break, staff members will use this new domain with their first-dot-last name. Dr. Burak informed the community that if they need to contact the board, the new email address is 

Dr. Lynch also stressed to the community how cyber-terrorists can try to steal anyone’s information online and to be careful when opening emails. Other districts in the area have had similar issues with these cyber-terrorists. He said that the district is in the process of upgrading all the systems to become cloud-based and installing new firewall and network monitoring to combat any future attacks.  

Following the network update, Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment, provided a curriculum update. In his report, Dr. Beleckas spoke about how the district is fostering literacy. Middle school teachers in the English department have received Level Literacy Intervention training to include more targeted reading instruction in their classrooms. He also spoke about two new proposals which will be presented at the district’s budget work session. The first is for the elementary and middle schools to officially become Teachers College schools and the second is to hire additional reading staff for the middle schools to provide a three-tiered approach to reading, similar to the elementary schools.
Dr. Lynch also provided a capital projects update where he shared positive news about the progress of the bond. All projects, with the exception of those at Lynbrook High School, have been approved by the New York State Education Department. This clearance now gives the district the authority to borrow. Once all the details are discussed during the district’s budget work session, Dr. Lynch explained that a roll-out plan would be initiated. 

Waverly Park Students Celebrate PARP

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Waverly Park Elementary School students celebrated Pick A Reading Partner Week from Feb. 1-8. This year’s PARP theme, “It Makes Sense to Read,” connected the five senses to literacy and encouraged students to pick up a book and read in a variety of ways. 

To kick off the program, students gathered in the gymnasium for a literacy pep rally. The Lynbrook South Middle School select chorus made a special guest appearance and performed for the students. Waverly Park students also participated in a poetry assembly with author Darren Sardelli.

Among the many special activities during the week, students in grades 1-5 created bookmarks, participated in a book tasting and contributed to a PARP graffiti wall in the school lobby. Here, students wrote the book titles of what they were reading. 
The PARP program brought together the community in a big way as students received visits from Waverly Park alumni, staff members and community members who served as guest readers. Among the guest readers were board members and central administrators such as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Dr. Gerard Beleckas and Assistant Superintendent for Personnel, Transportation & Student Support Services Maureen Berman.
In addition, Waverly Park students from all grade levels visited the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center to share their love of reading with the kindergartners. To end the exciting week, the school community gathered for a PARP wRAP Up. Prior to the presentation, students were encouraged to perform an original rap or parody about reading which they posted on FlipGrid, a video discussion platform. The winners of the contest performed for the school on Feb. 8. 

Lynbrook Student-Athlete Earns All-State Spot

Lynbrook Senior Earns All State Spot Photo
Lynbrook High School student-athlete Dom Barbuto was selected to join the New York State Sportswriters Association Class A All-State team for football. Along with being an honor roll student and an Advanced Placement Scholar, Dom has had an impressive football career while at Lynbrook High School.
Among his many athletic achievements, he was second team All-Long Island, started at linebacker the last two seasons and was the leader of the defense this year at middle linebacker. He also made more than 150 tackles in the last two football seasons and was the projected captain for 2019. 

“He is one of the finest young men I have had the pleasure of coaching in my 30 years of coaching football,” said head football coach Stephen LoCicero. “He is kind, caring and a pleasure to be around everyday.” 

Dom is being recruited by schools such as Colgate University, Cornell University, Lafayette College, Penn State University, Sacred Heart University, Stony Brook University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh.

The district congratulates Dom on this outstanding achievement! 

Readers at South Middle School Make A Cultural Connection

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Lynbrook South Middle School students involved in Global Read Aloud, a reading group that allows students to read a common book out loud together, recently had the unique opportunity to speak with students from another part of the world. Facilitated by Library Media Specialist Jennifer Wasielesky, Global Read Aloud meets in three different sections, one for each grade level. 

The first book that the students read together was “Refugee,” by Alan Gratz. “Refugee” focuses on three children’s lives from three different time periods and parts of the world. By the end of the book, their worlds collide. The book is a work of historical fiction, however many of the characters are based on real people.  

After the groups finished the book, Wasielesky coordinated a Skype session (video conference) between the Global Read Aloud students at South and students of a similar age in Greece. The purpose was to learn about a different part of the world, including their culture, traditions and more about the students’ lives. Global Read Aloud students learned that students in Greece live similarly and share common interests.

Global Read Aloud encourages students to think and talk about the world around them, developing a compassion for it. 

A Whole New World

Marion Street 5th Graders showed us “A Whole New World” with their magical production of Aladdin KIDS!  Directed by Mrs. Kara Boulay and Mrs. Kerry Stewart, with sets and scenery by Mrs. Patti Wierzbicki.  Students wowed the audience with their singing, dancing and acting, inviting the audience into the magical mysteries of the Cave of Wonders.  Stage Crew made sure the show went off without a hitch, adding their personal flare and expertise.  Student art decorated the walls of the gym to add to the “Arabian Nights” feel.  The Marion Street staff are so proud of the 5th grade Drama Club.

Marion Street Students Spread Love to Those in Need

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, students at Marion Street Elementary School recently decorated paper bags for homeless individuals in New York City which held donated travel sized toiletries that the school collected. The bags were distributed to those in need at the YES! Solutions, Inc. Valentine’s Winter Picnic-on-the-Street event on Feb. 9. The service organization helps those going through a difficult time in their lives. 

Coordinated by special education teacher Rachel Tiran, the service project allowed all students at Marion Street School to give back and spread love to others in need. Students created cards and decorated the paper bags, which served as goodie bags for the event. They colored images of hearts and included words of positivity to put a smile on someone else’s face. 

“It’s amazing,” said Ms. Tiran. “The best part about community service is teaching our kids how important it is to help others and to give back. To see the kids so excited about helping others and giving back is really rewarding.” 

In addition to the goodie bags, members of the Marion Street School community donated hats, gloves and scarves which were distributed during the event as well. 

Lynbrook PTA’s Honor 17 Outstanding Individuals

Lynbrook PTA’s Honor 17 Outstanding Individuals photo

Administrators, students, staff and families from throughout the district filled the Lynbrook High School auditorium on Feb. 7 for the Lynbrook Council of PTAs Founders’ Day Celebration, “Inspire, Motivate and Create.” Seventeen individuals were honored during the evening for their service to the Lynbrook school community. This included respected administrators, community members, parents, teachers and staff.

The annual event recognizes the founding of the National Congress of Mothers, the precursor to the modern PTA. One by one, members of the Lynbrook Council of PTAs, Lynbrook SEPTA, Lynbrook North Middle School PTA, Lynbrook South Middle School PTA, Marion Street School PTA, Waverly Park School PTA, West End School PTA and Lynbrook High School PTA presented their honorees while praising each individual’s strengths, dedication and commitment to touching the lives of the Lynbrook school community. Each honoree received a standing ovation from the crowd as they were called up to be recognized.

The Marion Street PTA honored beloved teacher Steven Freifeld with the Distinguished Service Award for his years of inspiring children, supporting the PTA and being a leader in the district.

“Mr. Freifeld is a one of a kind educator who has had a huge part in making Marion Street the incredible school that it is today,” said Marion Street PTA Co-President Lauren Pignataro. “Thank you Mr. Freifeld for building bridges between the home and the school, between the past and the present and between our young children and their future.” 

Recipients that received the PTA Honorary Life Membership Award included Roseann Andrews, Dr. Gerard Beleckas, Marihelen Benedict, Kathryn Casey, George Constanti, Patrick Cussen, Kristin Gragnano, Courtney Jacobs, Nikolaos Kardasis, James O’Hara, Beth O’Keeffe, Ellen Postman, Stephanie Reel, Catherine Ryan, Kelly Stapleton and Dorota Zois. 

Following the ceremony, the honorees enjoyed a reception in the Lynbrook High School cafeteria with their loved ones. 


West End Performs “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr.”

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Students at West End Elementary School recently showcased their talents during their production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr.” Directed by Mrs. Kruh, the cast and the crew put on an incredible show for students, staff and their loved ones! 

Fourth-Graders Experience Native American Life

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Marion Street Elementary School fourth-graders furthered their knowledge on Native Americans with an in-house field trip, Journeys Into American Indian Territory on Jan. 29. Anthropologist and director Robert Vetter, along with presenter Patricia Shih spent the day with fourth grade classes educating students on Native Americans of New York and the Eastern Woodlands. 

Students participated in a moving museum in the school gymnasium where they looked at artifacts and walked through a longhouse model. They also played social and active games of the Algonquian and Iroquois people, listened to stories, created a Woodlands style clay pot and learned a traditional song and dance. The hand-on experience gave Marion Street students a better understanding of Native American culture and history. 

Winter 2019 Newsletter Available


West End Students Have a Ball with STEAM Project

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West End Elementary School second-graders in Sara Dinowitz’s class and fourth-graders in Kathlyn Passalacqua’s class participated in a collaborative science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics project together on Jan. 30. The classes try to meet every other week during the school year to work together on STEAM activities. For this project, the second- and fourth-graders teamed up to create their own ball games using just aluminum foil. 

Working in small groups, the students brainstormed game ideas, collectively determined the rules, built their game and then tested it. Once completed, students rotated around Ms. Dinowitz’s classroom to try their classmates games. Students showcased their creativity, making games that resembled baseball, basketball, bowling, hockey and more. The classes enjoyed playing the different games and offered suggestions on how some of the games could be improved. After the students tried all the games, they returned to their groups to complete a reflection worksheet on what went well with their game and what could be improved.  

The second and fourth grade class collaboration has been a successful and exciting new experience for the students. 

“It’s a different way for them to learn and they love it,” said Ms. Dinowitz. “The second-graders rise to the occasion and the fourth-graders are role models to them. They really push the second-graders to think outside of the box.”  

Email Update

Please take a moment to view this important letter regarding our new email domain so you can reconnect with staff in our schools.  Thank you!


Tri-M Members Host Annual Cabaret Night

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The stars were out at Lynbrook High School as members of the school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society hosted their annual Cabaret Night on Jan. 25. Administrators, board of education members, faculty, students, families and community members took their seats in the dimly lit Lynbrook High School cafeteria which was transformed into a cozy cabaret lounge in honor of the anticipated event. 

Prior to the start of the evening, the Lynbrook High School brass ensemble performed for attendees, as well as during the interludes. Tri-M President Sam Cohen and Vice-President Benjamin Gagliardo emceed the event as they introduced their talented peers before they hit the spotlight. Students showcased their musical abilities which ranged from vocal, instrumental and dance performances. Each act received roars of applause from the audience. 

Cabaret Night, which is organized by Tri-M members each year, gives students the opportunity to show off their musical talents, while raising money for local charities. This year’s event supported Daniel’s Music Foundation, a non-profit that provides free music programs for those with disabilities, and the Community Chest South Shore, an organization dedicated to supporting other local organizations to help neighbors in need. 

LHS Junior Shares the Story of Lynbrook

LHS Junior Shares the Story of Lynbrook photo

Kindergartners in Patricia Schroeder and Jessica Eitingon’s class at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center received a special visit from Girl Scout Ambassador Emma Lenz, a junior from Lynbrook High School on Jan. 25. Emma wrote, illustrated and published the children’s book “Memories of Lynbrook” and started sharing her book with kindergarten students at the school that she once attended.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts of the USA. As part of her Gold Award project to receive this prestigious honor, Emma created the book and was required 12-20 hours of in-person presentation time. “Memories of Lynbrook,” which was printed by IngramSpark, is now available online at and and took Emma about a year and a half to complete. The book focuses on a young girl, Georgie, who looks through her Grandma Pearsall’s scrapbook of Lynbrook memories. Georgie’s grandmother shares true facts about the town, including the history of Lynbrook schools, important figures, monuments and more. 

Emma conducted historical research online and at the Lynbrook Public Library to learn more about her town and incorporate her findings into her story. She also worked with the Historical Society of East Rockaway and Lynbrook.

“My strengths are art and history and with this book, I’m combining both of them together,” Emma said. “I wanted to do a project that would impact my community in a positive way.”  

The kindergartners listened intently as Emma read her children’s book. Claire Lenz, Emma’s grandmother and a former educator herself, beamed with pride as she watched her granddaughter read to the class. 

“I’m very proud of Emma,” she said. “She is a delight, very talented and she was so relaxed. I thought she did beautifully with the children.” 

After the reading, the students had the opportunity to ask Emma questions. She spoke about the writing process, when the book was finally completed and growing up in Lynbrook herself.

“I hope that the students learned more about the history of Lynbrook and learned that our community has so much to offer,” she said.

After the reading, each student received a worksheet and illustrated their own favorite memory of Lynbrook. Emma will visit each kindergarten class in the next few weeks to share her children’s book. She will also generously be giving a copy of the book to each class in the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center.

Great job, Emma!  

South Middle School Students Dance Around the World

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Seventh- and eighth-graders at Lynbrook South Middle School celebrated the beauty of dance and different cultures with a visit from the Phyllis Rose Dance Company on Jan. 18. The two assemblies, titled “Latin and Hispanic Heritage Celebration,” focused on traditional and contemporary dance, music and folklore from Spain and Latin America. 

The Arts-In-Education program allowed students to not only observe the different performances but also get involved. Students and staff were encouraged to dance along with the performers and even join them on the stage to showcase their newly found skills, such as the Tango. Students clapped along, learned the history of the different dances and cheered on the performers. 

A Momentous Season for Lynbrook’s Student-Athletes

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Lynbrook High School student-athletes showcased their determination and skills this past fall, winning notable team and individual awards. Eight fall teams earned the New York State Scholar Team Athlete Award. This included the girls cross country, soccer, swim, tennis and volleyball teams and the boys cross country, soccer and football teams. To receive this distinction from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, the team’s average GPA for 75 percent of the roster must be greater than or equal to 90. 

In addition, four student-athletes received the title of scholar athlete from the NYSPHSAA for maintaining a 90 or above GPA. Scholar-athletes included Katie Bamman (girls soccer), Sara Bahri (girls volleyball), Spencer Chrein (boys soccer) and Siobhan Stapleton (girls swimming). The girls tennis team had a successful season, ending as conference champions and several fall student-athletes were recognized in their respective sports. The district congratulates all the fall teams and individual award winners on their accolades:

All County/All Conference III – John Cabral-Martin
All Long Island – Dominic Barbuto 
All Academic All Conference III – John DiBenedetto and James Gillespie

Girls Tennis 
All Conference – Casey Kaplan, Allison Shifflett and Sydney Travis
All Division – Arpie Bakhshian, Alyssa Burton, Sami Feldman, Ambiya Hussain, Anna Morelli, Rosie Perlstein, Lexi Samelson and Jacey Stock

Girls Varsity Swimming 
All Conference – Emma Anderson, Kate Anderson, Samantha Caceres, Sophie Dzieciolowski and Erin Quinlan
All County – Sarah Gaudet 
Scholar Athlete – Siobhan Stapleton

Girls Cross Country 
All County – Caitlin Buchala and Liz Murphy
All Conference – Maggie Bodian

Boys Soccer
All County – Alex Schachinger 
All County Honorable Mention – Brandon Pekale
All Conference – Rylan Blondo, Peter Hristodoulou and Ben Krcic
Senior Scholar Athlete – Spencer Chrein
United Soccer Coaches Senior Excellence Award – Kevin Donaghue

Girls Soccer 
All County – Jessica Woll
All Class – Katie Bamman, Jade Fixon-Owoo, Kayla Schwizer
All Conference – Alyssa Campos
Scholar Athlete – Katie Bamman

Girls Volleyball
All County – Ami Carey 
All Class – Kate Foley 
All Conference – Christina Franco and Felicia Guglielmo
Scholar Athlete – Sara Bahri

Boys Cross Country 
All County – Shane Nembach

Student Entrepreneurs Find Success at Regional Conference

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Virtual Enterprise students from Lynbrook High School participated in the Virtual Enterprises Long Island Regional Conference and Exhibition with advisor Dr. Benedict Tieniber on Jan. 9 at LIU Post. The students presented their virtual enterprise company, “Fit Pet,” during the event, earning the silver award for company branding. 

Approximately 90 student-created firms were represented during the event, including more than 2,000 students, educators and business leaders who represented the virtual economy. The students competed on booth design, salesmanship, impact marketing and more. Lynbrook students presented their business plan which was led by Chief Executive Officer Eric Levine and valuable members of the “Fit Pet” team – Salvatore Cimato, Jonathan Mottola, Allison Shifflett, Aidan Tuosto and Miranda Zaransky. The company brought in more than $140,000 through Trade Show sales alone during the event. 

Further results are expected to be released in early February for the oral and written part of the business plan competition. “Fit Pet” was also selected as a top 50 Virtual Enterprise company in the program within the United States. To earn this distinction as a top firm, the program looks at a firm’s engagement and achievement of benchmarks during the year. 

Marion Street Students Donate More than 3,000 Meals to Those in Need

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Marion Street Elementary School students participated in a Grinch for Good initiative last month, successfully collecting 3,650 pounds of food for Island Harvest, a food bank that serves the hungry across Long Island. The abundance of food donations will provide 3,042 meals for families in need.
Students across the nation participated in the Grinch for Good initiative by doing acts of kindness and donating to Feeding America, which Island Harvest is a member of. The initiative focused on growing students’ hearts and fostering a growth in civic responsibility. 

Christine Castellano and Michelle Puglisi’s fourth-grade class led the initiative, which was supported by the Marion Street Student Council. Students set class goals to bring in food and were supported by their families, neighbors and places of business. The initiative ran through the month of December and ended with a “Tape Your Principal to the Wall” assembly to celebrate the successful food drive. 

Lynbrook High School Students Take on the Spark! Challenge

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Lynbrook High School students in Dr. Benedict Tieniber's virtual enterprise class participated in the Northwell Health’s Spark! Challenge last month, designed to ignite students’ interest in healthcare careers. Northwell teams, educators and students from across Long Island are coming together for the Spark! Challenge to inspire and introduce students to the many career areas which require science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills. 

Northwell professionals provided the students with an immersive experience as the class visited a new Northwell Health building in Syosset where they received a closer look at operating rooms, a sterilization room, storage rooms, inpatient room and more. They also visited a Northwell Health building in Great Neck where students learned about the 3-D printing involved to make prosthetics. Here, students observed prosthetic hearts, fins, skulls and more. 

Through these two visits, the students were able to see the businesses in action. The behind the scenes experience and chance to interact with members of the Northwell team was a special one for many of the students. 

“This opened my eyes to new job opportunities in life,” said senior Sal Cimato. 

The students involved will create a career advertisement for one of the careers or jobs that they observed during their visit to Northwell Health. Students will connect their career advertisement to Northwell Health’s Culture of C.A.R.E. (Connectedness, Awareness, Respect, and Empathy) patient promises. Following the career advertisement project, the students will conduct a two-minute presentation about the same career and Culture of C.A.R.E. promise spotlighted in each of the students advertisement during a Spark! Challenge Awards Celebration on April 11.

Lynbrook BOE Honors Students; Receives Guidance Update

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The community gathered for the first Lynbrook Public Schools Board of Education meeting of 2019 on Jan. 9. Students were praised for their recent achievements while important updates were shared, including a presentation on the elementary guidance requirements. 

During the evening, the board spoke about Corner of the Sky, an annual musical revue at Lynbrook High School which features student performers, cast, crew, lighting and set designers from Lynbrook High School’s career development program. The board commended Lynbrook High School seniors Benjamin Gagliardo and Kara Vito for continuing the program, which was started by a former Lynbrook student, and taking the initiative to make the show a success. The board also recognized Lynbrook South Middle School eighth-grader Scarlett Dellacona, whose writing piece titled, “Michael (Excerpt),” was published in The Ellipsis, one of Writopia Lab’s online literacy magazines.  

Following the recognitions, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak spoke about the district considering an early dismissal policy for snow days. This would not be in effect until the 2019-2020 school year but would be a solution to incorrect weather reports and wasted snow days. Dr. Burak stressed that calling an early dismissal would not be abrupt and that families would receive a phone call in the early morning announcing that an early dismissal could be placed.  

During the superintendent’s report, Dr. Burak spoke about the 2019-2020 school calendar which was officially adopted during the meeting. She then introduced Lynbrook High School guidance chairperson Laurie Mitchell, who presented the district’s K-12 school counseling and guidance plan. Ms. Mitchell explained that the New York State Education Department now requires a guidance program not only for students in grades 6-12 but for elementary students as well. She spoke about the social-emotional learning, career and academic-driven curriculum that the district already has implemented and how the new program will be more data-driven, focusing on accountability. The program will begin in Sept. 2019 as a way to look at how the curriculum is measured and what could be improved. 

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment, also shared a curriculum update with the community regarding the English as a New Language initiatives. He announced that an elementary and secondary class were established this past summer to help maintain and continue language development for students. Dr. Beleckas also spoke about the Wise Owl Program at West End Elementary School which gives students homework support and families the proper tools to support their children at home. The Wise Owl Program has been extended to Lynbrook North Middle School and Lynbrook High School this year. Dr. Beleckas also reported that the district is offering courses through the Lynbrook Teacher Center and offering conferences to help educators support English Language Learners in their classroom. 

Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, updated the public on the district’s capital projects. He reported that the air conditioning projects for the gymnasiums at Waverly Park Elementary School, Lynbrook North Middle School and Lynbrook South Middle School are due to come out of New York State around March. Additionally, he stated that the Marion Street Elementary School and West End Elementary School air conditioning projects that were expected to come out of the state in June are now undergoing an expedited third party review process based on the Board’s approval last month. The district has already received feedback which is a great sign that the project review is moving forward.

Waverly Park Students Support Dr. King’s Dream

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Fifth-graders at Waverly Park Elementary School celebrated the values of Martin Luther King Jr. in honor of his day of  remembrance this month and day of service. Students read about Dr. King in the most recent Scholastic News Magazine and completed service projects to help others, just as Dr. King did. 

Students in Amy Garfinkel’s class collected 25 blankets to donate to Urban Pathways to be distributed to those in need at the Ivan Shapiro House. Students in Shari Bowe’s class also decided to give back with their own project. The class donated 26 journals with pens and pencils to the Mary Brennan Inn, a volunteer-based organization that supports the hungry and homeless across Long Island. To give residents the chance to love writing, the students created a cover for the journals titled, “Martin Luther King Jr. had a Dream…What is Your Dream?” 

Lynbrook Key Club Serves Up Holiday Spirit

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Members of the Lynbrook High School Key Club hosted their annual holiday party for senior citizens at the Lynbrook Recreation Center last month. The special event brings students and community members together in the spirit of the holiday season.

The senior citizens shared stories from when they were in Lynbrook schools and their life experiences. Additionally, they offered advice to students about future endeavors such as joining the workforce and going to college. Key Club members shared stories with the community, served food, cleaned up dishes and gave away prizes from local community stores at the event. 

“I’ve been part of this event for the last four years, and each year is as rewarding as the last,” said senior Jesse Candel.
Key Club advisor Dr. Benedict Tieniber praised the students for their hard work in making the event a success. 

“Our members put in a lot of work for this event and it’s so rewarding for them,” he said. “It is important for our students and community members to work together. I am very proud of them.” 

Lynbrook Seniors Crowned Semifinalists in Regeneron Competition

Lynbrook Seniors Crowned Semifinalists in Regeneron Competition Photo
Juliana Condoleo and Kaylie Hausknecht, both seniors at Lynbrook High School are among 300 semifinalists in the 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search, one of the nation’s most prestigious science and math competitions for high school seniors. As two of the 300 top scholars in the competition, Juliana and Kaylie will each receive $2,000 with an equal amount going toward Lynbrook High School to be applied to science, technology, engineering and math education.

Both students are now in the running to become one of 40 finalists. These students will be determined later this month. If selected as a finalist, the students will receive an all-expense-paid trip in mid-March to Washington, D.C., where they will compete for more than $1.8 million in additional awards, including a grand prize of $250,000. 

Juliana was selected for her project titled, “Investigating the Novel Role of the Activated Cdc-42-Associated Tyrosine Kinase (ACK1) in Learning and Memory using a DAck Null Allele in Drosophila melanogaster,” while Kaylie was selected for her project, “Disentangling Spatial Correlations in Inhomogeneous Materials with Shift Invariant Artificial Neural Networks.” 

Congratulations to both students on this tremendous achievement! 

Students Dive into the World of 3D Design

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Lynbrook North Middle School sixth-graders in Peter McNally’s technology class recently practiced their creativity skills with a trip to the school’s computer lab where they worked with the 3D printing design program, Tinkercad. The program allows students to create and design 3D shapes and objects, program, stimulate and assemble electronics, as well as learn to code.  

The sixth-graders learned how to use the snipping tool while creating basic shapes and designs and practiced moving objects in the program. Library Media Specialist Kelly Napolitano facilitated the lesson with the help of McNally. Both walked around the computer lab to provide support as the students completed lessons.

“Tinkercad is really a way for them to learn how to manipulate different shapes to create something new,” said Napolitano. “It involves problem-solving and walks students through the trial and error process.” 

Although the sixth-graders are new to the program, Napolitano explained that they can download and print their designs with a 3D printing program in the school’s library.  

Student Council Collects Toys for Hospital-Bound Children

Student Council Collects Toys for Hospital Bound Children Photo
Student council members at Lynbrook South Middle School collected more than 400 toys for the Little Saint Nick Foundation during the holiday season. The foundation, which organizes programs across the country to help ease the fear, anxiety and isolation of sick kids both in and out of hospitals, was created by Ray Mohler, a former student at South Middle School. 

Ray visited the school to kickoff the toy drive in November. The student council hosts the toy drive each year to support the foundation and their mission, supplying toys for children in the hospitals during the holiday season and beyond.

“The students really did an amazing job and we are so proud of them,” said student council advisor Maureen McCartney.

Transportation Request Deadline: April 1

Transportation Request Deadline Photo
Requests for transportation to nonpublic schools for the 2019-2020 school year for residents of the Lynbrook Union Free School District must be submitted to the Lynbrook UFSD Transportation Office, 111 Atlantic Avenue, Lynbrook, NY 11563. The transportation request forms, residency affidavits and registration documentation must be postmarked no later than April 1, 2019. Documents should not be sent to the school where your child is enrolled.

A request form must be filled out every year, for every school your child is applying to, and for each child if there are siblings. In no instance can transportation be requested for a school more than 15 miles from the student’s residence. For an application, please click here or call 516-612-5490 with any questions.

2019-2020 Non-Public School Transportation Application


Talking Technology at Lynbrook BOE Meeting

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The Lynbrook community heard about recent student and staff accomplishments, a beloved retiree and received various important updates, including a district-wide technology plan at the Dec. 12 Board of Education meeting. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak announced that Lynbrook High School’s newspaper, Horizon, once again came out victorious at the 2018 Empire State Scholastic Press Association awards program, with the newspaper earning the Gold Award for both Best All-Around Publication and Best New Publication for Horizon Online. She praised Horizon advisor Jessica Sanders and the Horizon staff while also listing the various individual awards that students took home. Board President William Belmont followed the honors by recognizing Neil Giordano, a former teacher in the district and a coach on the varsity football team. Mr. Belmont spoke about how Mr. Giordano was his former teacher back when he was a student and what an honor it has been to coach alongside him. 

Surrounded by her loved ones, Lynbrook South Middle School special education teacher Elizabeth Famiglietti was also congratulated by the board for officially receiving tenure. The board continued with old business, which included accepting choice A in the two plan options that the Voyager committee presented at the previous regular board of education meeting. 

During the superintendent’s report, Dr. Burak announced that 10 science research students from Lynbrook High School submitted their projects to the 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search, known to be the most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. This followed with a presentation on the district’s technology plan from Instructional Technology Coordinator Neil MacDermott. 

Mr. MacDermott shared the district’s history of the 1:1 initiative, also known as one computer for one student. He shared the various members of the interdisciplinary team who have explored the New York State Education Department’s technology plan and the Future Ready Plan to determine a customized technology plan specifically for Lynbrook. Mr. MacDermott also spoke about the goals of the technology plan and the importance of the Future Ready Schools Leadership Committee. To view the technology plan, please click here.

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment, provided the community with a curriculum update on college readiness. Dr. Burak and Dr. Beleckas attended the Superintendent’s College President’s Partnership Presentation in November regarding college readiness and educational pathways for student success. Dr. Beleckas shared his experience at the conference which featured New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia. During the conference, the importance of obtaining a college degree was emphasized as statistics were presented on the growing need for college degrees in the job market. With this in mind, Dr. Beleckas stressed the importance of preparing students for college. He mentioned teaching students to be self-advocates. There was also a focus on curriculum at the conference and building a strong foundation for student skills and understanding. 

In addition, Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, shared a capital projects and Smart Bond Investment Plan update. The board approved the contract for the security vestibules to be installed in the buildings. The district anticipates to begin the installation right around the February break and hopes to have them completed by the end of the school year. Visitor management systems will also be added which the district plans to inform the public how to properly enter the buildings with the proper identification. He reported that the rest of the Smart Bond projects such as the wiring for an IP based security system at the doors are beginning to roll out.

On the side of the bond projects which were passed last year, the district received its first approval. The air conditioning at the Kindergarten Center and the wrestling room has passed through the New York State Education Department Office of Facilities Planning. The district anticipates starting work on these projects this summer and anticipates clearance on the air conditioning in the gymnasium locker rooms at North Middle School and South Middle School and air conditioning in the Waverly Park Elementary School gymnasium. The district hopes to see them approved around Feb. 1 with work starting in July 2019. Dr. Lynch also reported a delay in the State’s review of the plans for Marion Street Elementary School and West End Elementary School. The district is hoping to see them approved by May. Lastly, the plans for the restroom at West End, five restrooms at Marion Street and an elevator at Waverly Park are currently heading to the state. Dr. Lynch anticipates that the restrooms will be worked on this summer should they receive the State’s approval in the spring. Work on the elevator is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2020.