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Middle School Students Provide Smooth Start to the School Year

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The beginning of the 2018-19 school year has been an exciting and busy one for 77 of Lynbrook South Middle School’s eighth-graders who volunteered to participate in the school’s L.I.N.K. program. L.I.N.K., which stands for Lynbrook Students Independently Networking Kids, was created in an effort to decrease school anxiety, promote a positive hallway environment and provide a friendly face for the sixth-graders.

The students met last June to prepare for the arrival of the sixth-graders this year and 50 L.I.N.K. volunteers assisted with sixth-grade orientation at the end of August. The eighth-graders were an integral part of helping the sixth-graders get familiarized with the building as they assisted with their new lockers and helped them find their new classes by providing tours.

Continuing to build relationships among the students, every sixth-grade student was paired with an eighth grade L.I.N.K. student at the beginning of September. They broke off into small groups where they participated in ice breaker games. This provided the sixth-graders with an opportunity to ask questions about middle school. It also allowed the eighth-graders to speak about their experiences at Lynbrook South Middle School.

District Honors Semifinalists; Presents Important Updates

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Lynbrook residents, administrators, students and faculty members packed the Lynbrook High School cafeteria during the Lynbrook Public Schools board of education meeting on Sept. 12. 

At the start of the meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak congratulated three Lynbrook High School seniors who were recently selected as semifinalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. Sam Cohen, Juliana Condoleo and Kaylie Hausknecht were honored by the board with T-shirts. Following the student recognitions, Board President William Belmont announced the new teachers who joined the district this year, along with where they are teaching. The teachers proudly stood as their names were called. 

The board also recognized Mary Jackson on her recent retirement. Jackson was a teacher aide at Lynbrook High School for the past 10 years. They thanked her for her service and wished her a happy and healthy retirement. During the report from the board trustees, Board Vice President Lesli Deninno reported the board’s goals for the 2018-2019 school year and trustee Alicemarie Bresnihan provided an update on building inspections where she stated that the “buildings look wonderful.” 

Director of Special Services Arlene Mishanie presented research on what her social emotional learning committee has worked on in the past year. The committee was established to help meet the board’s goal of “developing practices of social-emotional learning to support students experiencing social and emotional stress preventing them from meeting their fullest potential.” Mishanie reported on the current SEL programs at the different grade levels and that the committee has decided to focus on grit, social awareness and emotional regulation to get a better understanding of student needs. An SEL survey will be distributed in mid-October for students to anonymously answer questions which will give the committee more insight and help realign district activities and initiatives. Ultimately, the committee seeks to produce a SEL guide for the district. 

During the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Burak reported on a successful Superintendent’s Conference Day and thanked Senator Todd Kaminsky and the Lynbrook Kiwanis for generously donating backpacks and school supplies to the district for students in need. Dr. Burak also reminded the community that homecoming and the PTA scholarship drive will be on Sept. 22 and that the early evacuation dismissal reunification drill will take place on Oct. 5. This will be a test of the district’s internal protocol. Families are asked to update and return their emergency contact forms for reunification purposes as soon as possible. 

To conclude her Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Burak discussed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Department of Justice reached out to Nassau and Suffolk County schools, requiring voting information in the predominant languages for each jurisdiction. Last year, the Federal Government deemed Nassau and Suffolk with predominant languages of English and Spanish. Therefore, moving forward, the district will be providing all voting information in English and Spanish. 

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, provided his curriculum report which was an update of the Every Student Succeeds Act. In addition to measuring English, math and science, the new high achieving measures that the district will be looking at are other categories such as student progressing in learning English and chronic absenteeism. The latter means that students must have an attendance rate of 90 percent or better. Dr. Beleckas also reported that at the high school level, social studies will now be added to the English, math and science, the graduation rate will be considered and there will be an index looking at college, career and civic readiness. A big point that Dr. Beleckas raised is that ESSA is also looking for improvements in the opt-out rate of state assessments and the New York State Education Department will start to enforce the 95 percent rule in participation of the assessments. To improve the testing experience, NYSED has also reduced the testing from three days to two days. 

Lynbrook High School Principal Joseph Rainis and guidance chairperson Laurie Mitchell presented on the weighting of Regents exams. They discussed the research that was conducted during the summer on this topic. While highlighting Lynbrook High School’s crowning achievements throughout recent years, Rainis spoke about the previous formula for calculating student GPA with Regents exams making up 20 percent of each final course grade. The district switched to a Do No Harm practice last year, meaning that if a student does not do well on a Regents exam, it would not count in the final average of a student’s grade. Through research, speaking with different college admission offices, and a great detail of discussion, it was decided to implement a new lower percent of 10 to weight the Regents exams and final exams in a student’s course grade. This practice considers the value of the exam while still taking into account anomalies in Regents scales utilized for scoring. To further the point, Rainis provided examples of how the formula would work, stating that a Regents exam’s impact is minimal for a student’s GPA at 10 percent.

To conclude the meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations, and Information Systems Dr. Paul Lynch provided a capital projects update. The brick pointing at West End Elementary School has been completed, the Waverly Park boiler is in place and set up, and the electrical update will be taking place soon. He also acknowledged the hard work and dedication of the contractors, buildings and grounds crew and the custodians who worked tirelessly during the summer months. Ceiling and lighting projects at Lynbrook High School were completed, along with room 306. The computer room and room 20 at Marion Street Elementary School were also all redone. Smaller projects included fencing and netting at the Kindergarten Center and an extension of the netting at Marion Street. 

Lynbrook’s AP Scholars Hit a Record High

Lynbrook’s AP Scholars Hit a Record High Photo
A record total of 108 students from Lynbrook High School’s class of 2018 and 2019 recently earned the designation of Advanced Placement Scholar, showcasing their college readiness. This includes 43 members of the Class of 2019. The College Board awards this distinction to students with exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement exams. 

The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on a student’s performance on AP exams. A total of 33 students were named AP Scholars with Distinction, 22 were named AP Scholars with Honor, 53 were recognized as AP Scholars and five were designated with the highest honor as National AP Scholars. National AP Scholars include current senior Kaylie Hausknecht and members of the Class of 2018, Leah Hetrick, John Hunter, Zachary Leder and Dustin Mandell. 

To earn the status of an AP Scholar with Distinction, a student must receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. Those recognized as AP Scholars with Honor must earn an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. The AP Scholar Award is earned by students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams and the National AP Scholar recognition is given to students who receive an average score of at least a 4 on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.

The district congratulates these students for this outstanding achievement and for all their hard work and dedication!
 

Back to School Picnic

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Students and their families at West End Elementary School celebrated the start of the 2018-2019 school year with a Back to School Picnic where music and fun activities were on display. 

Pajama Day

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West End Elementary School students embraced their first pajama day during the school’s spirit week!

Lynbrook Adult Ed Classes Begin Sept. 27

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Open the door to new learning adventures through the Lynbrook Public Schools Adult Continuing Education Program. Brush up on or learn new computer skills, learn defensive driving skills or become a notary public. Pursue your interest in art, mah jongg, or stay fit with yoga, Zumba, volleyball and basketball. 

A brochure listing fall course offerings will be mailed to all households in the Lynbrook School District and is available here. Classes begin on Thursday, Sept. 27. In-person registration will take place on Monday, Sept. 24, from 6:30-8 p.m., at Lynbrook South Middle School, located at 333 Union Ave., Lynbrook, NY 11563. 

Completed registration forms may also be mailed to the Adult Continuing Education Office, at the same address (Lynbrook South Middle School, 333 Union Ave., Lynbrook, NY 11563). 

Courses are open to all district residents. Non-residents may also register for courses, but are charged a minimal additional fee. All registrants must be 18 years of age or older to register for classes, with the exception of driver's education and SAT review. If you have any questions or concerns please call 516-887-0264. Your call will be returned after 4 p.m.
 

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The American Spirit

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Students at West End Elementary School recently showcased their patriotism during Constitution Day and Red, White and Blue Spirit Day. 

Three Lynbrook Seniors Earn National Merit Semifinalist Title

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Three seniors from Lynbrook High School were recently selected as semifinalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Competition. Sam Cohen, Juliana Condoleo and Kaylie Hausknecht are among 16,000 semifinalists out of 1.6 million students nationwide, less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, who were chosen based on their high scores on the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. As semifinalists in the program, the students will compete for one of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships. 

Along with their strong academic skills and various Advanced Placement courses, all three students play a large role in their school and community. Sam is the president of the Student Government Association, the editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper, Horizon, on the board of the school’s newly founded marine club, a member of the National Honor Society and varsity Tennis team. As a talented musician, Sam plays violin in the school’s chamber orchestra, is a pianist in the school’s jazz band, the president of Lynbrook High School’s Tri-M Honor Society and volunteers at North Shore LIJ, playing the violin for patients. 

Juliana is another passionate musician who plays the flute and was recently selected for the 2018 New York State School Music Association All-State Conference. She is a member of the school’s pit orchestra where she is currently preparing for the school’s musical. In addition, Juliana is treasurer of the Tri-M Honor Society, a member of the varsity badminton team, Mathletes, Science Olympiad and the National Honor Society. She is involved in the Science Research program and over the summer, conducted science research at SUNY Farmingdale. She also took a class during the summer at Columbia University on behavior neuroscience. 

Another leader in the school, Kaylie is the president of the high school’s National Honor Society and is involved in Mathletes, Science Olympiad and the Science Research Program. She is also a member of the Nassau County All Star Mathletes team and conducted research in a physics lab over the summer at Harvard University. To add to her productive summer, Kaylie was a finalist in the Genes in Space contest for her DNA experiment proposal which allowed her to travel to San Francisco to present her research at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference. On the weekends, she takes classes at Columbia University and volunteers with SIBSPlace, Survivorship in Brothers and Sisters, an organization that works with those whose loved ones are impacted by cancer and terminal illnesses. 

The students are excited to continue in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. About 15,000 semifinalists are expected to advance to the finalist level which will be determined in February. 

SOEC Garden at Marion Street

Summer is about being with family and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Marion Street Schools outdoor classroom gave families a chance to do that . Thanks to a strong school/family partnership the Sympson Outdoor Environmental Classroom was ready for a summer planting and harvest. This past Spring two fathers: Mr. Grenier and Mr. Demarco volunteered their time and talent to fix up the deteriorating wood. Mrs. Perna donated soil, fertilizer, and the garden necessities while the PTA donated their efforts on providing the garden with seeds, plants and hay. The district pitched in as well by helping to provide that ample water was available. many former students of Marion Street also donated their tie to help to weed and mulch. This strong school community effort created a garden that families could enjoy together while harvesting organic and fresh produce all summer.

Students and Staff Stand As One For Patriot Day

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Dressed in patriotic colors, Waverly Park Elementary School students and staff honored and remembered the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001 by partaking in patriotic activities and lessons and shining a light on unity and kindness on Sept. 7. Principal Allison Banhazl began the day with a special morning announcement which spotlighted Patriot Day, a day of remembrance, and recognized those who continue to serve to keep the nation safe each day. 

“We come together today as a community to strengthen and show our commitment to the American spirit,” said Banhazl.  

The school recited the Pledge of Allegiance which followed by a moment of silence to honor and remember the heroes lost. Students and staff then assembled in the hallway to form a human chain and sing “God Bless the USA,” a proud tradition at Waverly Park, which symbolizes unity and standing together. Throughout the day, classes visited the school lobby to help fill the school’s glass twin towers. Students were encouraged to drop a dime and a penny into the towers to commemorate the 9-11 date in history and make a wish for the world.

“I ask that you think about what you can do to make this world a better place,” Banhazl told students. “What small act of kindness can you contribute to our goal of having a world that is filled with peace, respect and tolerance for all? By treating others the way we want to be treated, you can make your mark on the world.” 

In the classroom, students wrote on slips of red, white and blue paper their words of kindness. The slips of paper were later assembled together by the school’s student council to form an American flag, dedicated to America’s heroes. 

A Bright New Year Ahead in Lynbrook

A Bright New Year Ahead in Lynbrook photo

Anticipation and excitement filled the Lynbrook Public Schools as students in grades K-12 walked into their respective school buildings on Sept. 5, ready to begin the 2018-2019 school year. Administrators, including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak, and faculty members warmly greeted students as they reunited with old friends and made new ones along the way.

Students eagerly walked off their buses to their new teachers and classrooms. Throughout the day, students learned their new routines, how to master their schedules and even received a visit from the Lynbrook Police Department where officers helped assist students with their lockers and ensure a safe first day. Icebreaker games and activities were also conducted in many classrooms to create a comfortable learning environment for students. 

The 2018-2019 school year will be an exciting time for Lynbrook students with new changes taking place. At the elementary level, a new Math Olympiads Club will be offered at each school and there will be an expansion of the integrated co-teach program for grades 1-4. Students will receive instruction in their home-zoned schools. For the first time at the middle school level, eighth-graders will have the option of selecting either Earth Science or Living Environment as their science course. Both courses conclude with a Regents exam, allowing students to begin high school with at least one Regents credit satisfied. In addition, the district will introduce a new after-school program using Right At School for families who cannot pick up their children immediately after the middle school day concludes.

At Lynbrook High School, the district’s One-to-World tablet program will expand again to include all students. With the program, students will utilize personal devices as tools for learning. Teachers have been trained and are eager to implement digital learning in their instruction. Students not only collaborate with each other but create content rather than simply absorb material.  

 

Incoming Kindergartners Welcomed to Lynbrook

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Buses filled with incoming Lynbrook Kindergarten Center students and their loved ones filed into the parking lot on Aug. 29, as the district’s newest pupils walked off of their respective buses and into kindergarten orientation. 

After they arrived to the kindergarten center, students and their loved ones proceeded to their respective classrooms to unpack their school supplies and become acquainted with their new learning environment. They then were treated to a book reading by volunteers from Right Club. Students also had an opportunity to tour the building while their loved ones heard from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak, Principal Ellen Postman and members of the board of education.

“We’re honored to be a part of the educational journey with your children,” Dr. Burak said. “Every day, the wonderful educators throughout the Lynbrook School District go above and beyond to provide the best possible educational experience for your children, and in Lynbrook, that process begins here.”

New teachers welcomed to Lynbrook

New teachers welcomed to Lynbrook photo

The newest educators for the Lynbrook School District were welcomed officially during a comprehensive two-day new teacher orientation at Lynbrook High School on Aug. 28 and 29. Organized by Assistant Superintendent for Personnel, Transportation & Student Support Services Maureen Berman, the newest staff members became familiar with the district’s curriculum, learned the district’s common policies and practices and met their mentors. They were also introduced to the Lynbrook community through a special bus tour. 

 

The Sound of Music

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Lynbrook High School and the Department of Fine & Performing Arts is proud to present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical “The Sound of Music” Nov. 2-4 at the John F. Branciforte Theater at Lynbrook High School. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 and 3 and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 4. Ticket sales will be announced at a later date. For further information and student forms, visit the Fine & Performing Arts page at this link.  

Attention All Middle School Families: Middle School After School Care Program

The Lynbrook School District is excited to announce the opening of a Middle School After School Care Program sponsored by Right At School. This program is intended for those families in need of after school care for children in grades 6-8 during the 2018-2019 school year. This is a reminder to visit the District's website or contact Right At School directly at www.rightatschool.com for registration information. Registration is extremely low at this time. If you are interested in utilizing this program, you must register by September 4th.

Lynbrook Graduate Earns All-State Spot

Lynbrook Graduate Earns All State Spot Photo
Lynbrook High School Class of 2018 graduate Thomas Urena was recently selected to join the New York State Sportswriters Association All-State team for boys lacrosse. As part of the lacrosse team at LHS, the senior defenseman was an excellent team captain who inspired his teammates and coaches with his work ethic and toughness.  

“He was a true iron man who was involved in the vast majority of our face-offs in the wing and covered opponent’s top offensive players in each game,” said coach Bill Leighley.  

Thomas will bring his lacrosse talents to the New York Institute of Technology this fall. 

District Announces New Alumni Webpage; Provides Important Updates

Photo August 2018 Board of Education Meeting Recap
Community members gathered in the Atlantic Avenue Board Room on Aug. 8 for Lynbrook Public Schools’ regular Board of Education meeting. Here, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Dr. Gerard Beleckas and Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations, and Information Systems Dr. Paul Lynch updated the public on important information surrounding the district. 

In her superintendent’s report, Dr. Burak proudly announced that Lynbrook High School was recently recognized as a Scholar-Athlete School of Excellence by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. At least 75 percent of the teams received scholar-athlete team awards which certified them for the title. She also announced the launch of the district’s new alumni webpage, which can be found on the district’s website, lynbrookschools.org, under the community tab and alumni. The webpage is a new outlet to connect the district with former students. All Lynbrook graduates are welcomed to fill out a quick form on the site to be added to the district’s mailing list. 

Dr. Beleckas reported the curriculum update during the meeting which focused on the district’s title grant applications. Titles one through four are different grants that support a variety of areas in the district such as Academic Intervention Services, professional development, the English as a New Language program and wellness or technology services. Dr. Beleckas stated that grant money slightly decreased in title one, slightly increased in title two and three and for the first time the district received title four, which is a $10,000 grant that can be used toward wellness services or technology. 

Dr. Lynch provided a Smart Bond and summer projects update where he stated that “the buildings are in really good shape” for the new school year. Summer projects including the brick pointing at West End and new boiler at Waverly Park are progressing at a good pace. Completed summer projects include new fencing at the Kindergarten Center, new nets by the softball field and all redone gymnasium floors. He also reported that the districtwide walkie-talkie system has been established and that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission license has been obtained. Marion Street projects included classroom renovations and floor work. At Lynbrook High School, room 306 was renovated into a general education classroom and ceiling and lighting projects were completed in the second-floor hallway. Dr. Lynch also discussed the progress of the security vestibules. They are in the final drawings phase and will be bid out in late September/early October. The district anticipates the security vestibules to be done by the end of the year. 
 

LHS Earns Scholar-Athlete School of Excellence Honor

LHS Earns Scholar Athlete School of Excellence Honor Photo
For the second consecutive year, Lynbrook High School was recognized by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association as a Scholar-Athlete School of Excellence. 

To earn this distinction, 75 percent of the school’s varsity teams had to maintain an average GPA greater than or equal to 90 and receive the Scholar-Athlete team award. Lynbrook High School had 25 sports teams reach this achievement during the school year. As a result, the school is among nine Nassau County high schools and 111 high schools from throughout the state to earn the School of Excellence title for the 2017-2018 school year. 
 

Summer Learning Prepares Students for New Year

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Students throughout the district who participate in summer school classes are preparing for the new school year by enhancing their skills in the classroom. With the help of supportive teachers and small class sizes, the instruction allows students to master specific areas of coursework.

The district offers high school courses in English Language Arts, algebra 1, algebra 2, geometry, global studies, social studies, chemistry, earth science and living environment. Students may also attend review courses for all Regents exams. The high school program also attracts many students from neighboring districts, generating revenue for the district.

At the middle school level, summer school helps students hone their skills in the areas of reading, writing, math, science and social studies. The program allows for individualized instruction to support each student’s needs. 

District Launches New Alumni Webpage

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Are you a Lynbrook High School graduate? During the Board of Education Meeting on Wednesday, August 8th, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak announced the launch of the district’s new Alumni webpage! 

We welcome all Lynbrook graduates to stay connected with us through the page which can be found here. On this page, you can fill out a quick form which will add you to the district’s mailing list, informing you of important events happening in Lynbrook. 

LHS Female Wrestler Receives National Recognition

LHS Female Wrestler Receives National Recognition Photo
Incoming Lynbrook High School sophomore Ally Fitzgerald recently earned first place in her weight division in the Cadet Women’s National Wrestling Tournament at the Fargodome at North Dakota State University, officially qualifying her for a spot on the Team USA National Cadet team. 

Ally is the first girl on Long Island to win a National Cadet title. During the tournament, she competed in the Cadet Division against 25 girls in her bracket from across the country and was honored as one of eight All American wrestlers.

The Cadet Women’s National Wrestling Tournament is considered the largest and most prestigious USA National Freestyle tournament for Cadets and Juniors. To be eligible to compete, Ally wrestled in the New York State Freestyle Tournament in May 2018. This competition was the New York National Team qualifier where she won first place in her weight bracket and as a result, earned a spot as a member of Team New York.

“It’s amazing to see how successful Ally has been in wrestling,” said Richard Renz, her coach during the school year. “And winning a National wrestling tournament has to be one of the greatest accomplishments for anyone at any age. It’s an honor to be her high school coach.” 

Lynbrook’s Summer Playground Brings Sun-sational Fun

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Starting at the beginning of July, children from the Lynbrook Public Schools along with those residing in the Village of Lynbrook, entering kindergarten through eighth-grade, gathered at Marion Street Elementary School and West End Elementary School for the district’s annual Summer Playground. The half-day program, filled with engaging activities for the various grade levels, runs through Aug. 10. 

Campers participate in recreational activities with sports such as softball, kickball and soccer, along with arts and crafts, playground games, computers and sprinklers. They also have the option of going on trips throughout the summer which include bowling, Fun Station USA, Hot Skates and more. Each week, children participate in special events such as the summer talent show, carnival and Field Day. The week ends every Friday with a tasty frozen treat for all children.  
 

Carnival Day Fun

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Campers at Lynbrook’s Summer Playground took part in Carnival Day on July 27 where campers at both Marion Street Elementary School and West End Elementary School participated in fun carnival games and activities both indoors and outdoors. From a water balloon toss to beat the summer heat, to colorful temporary tattoos, campers enjoyed rotating to different stations and experiencing all that their carnival had to offer! 
 

A STEAM-Filled Summer

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Students in the Lynbrook Public Schools are honing their science, technology, engineering, art and mathematic skills this summer during the district’s three-week Summer STEAM Academy at Lynbrook High School. Thirty-nine students entering grades 6-9 enrolled in the program, which is in its fifth year this summer. 

Upon registration in the spring, students select STEAM Academy classes that fit their interests. These range from 3-D Art Design, Robotics, Science in the Real World and Structures: Bridge Building. During the program, students engage in two of these hour and a half classes each day, Monday through Thursday. With the help of Lynbrook’s Instructional Technology Coordinator Neil MacDermott and teachers from throughout the district, all courses allow the students to problem solve, explore their creativity, strengthen their teamwork abilities and become innovative individuals with hands-on projects and activities. 
 

ALL VISITORS MUST HAVE AN APPOINTMENT TO MEET WITH STAFF IN ANY SCHOOL BUILDING

All visitors must have an appointment to meet with staff in any school building. Please DO call ahead. Thank you!