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Students Dare to Dream During Red Ribbon Week

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As part of Red Ribbon Week, students throughout West End Elementary School participated in an engaging “Drugs Won’t Ruin Our Dreams” project in their classes on Oct. 26. Red Ribbon Week is celebrated annually across the nation as a drug prevention awareness program. Students are encouraged to live a drug free life by participating in different activities and lessons during the week. 

West End students and staff members were invited to wear their best pajamas to school and make their mark on Red Ribbon Week by discussing their dreams. Students learned that dreams are unattainable when bad decisions and drugs come into play. Each student received a dream bubble and let their dreams run wild, writing their biggest dream and coloring their creation. First-graders in Johanne Gaddy’s class spoke about dreams before the activity and read the children’s book “Violet the Pilot” by Steve Breen to reinforce the importance of following your dreams. 

The students then brainstormed their own dreams and wrote their ideas in their dream bubbles. After adding some color to their creations, the students gathered back on the carpet and went around in the circle, sharing their dreams to the delight of their peers. 
 

Waverly Tackles Health and Wellness with NFL Legend

Waverly Tackles Health and Wellness with NFL Legend photo

Waverly Park Elementary School capped off their Health and Wellness week in a big way with a visit from former New York Jets fullback Tony Richardson on Oct. 26. Administrators including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak, board of education members, students and staff gathered in the school gymnasium for the anticipated event to hear Mr. Richardson speak.

Showing pride for their favorite sports teams, students and staff members were encouraged to wear sport shirts and jerseys. Many represented the Jets proudly for their guest of honor. Principal Allison Banhazl introduced Mr. Richardson who appeared with a roar of applause.  

Mr. Richardson, who played for the Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs and most recently, the New York Jets, spoke with students about making healthy choices for the mind and body. This included discussing the National Football League’s program, Play 60. The program encourages young people to be active 60 minutes a day. Mr. Richardson also spoke about his career and personal life. He told students about what it was like to grow up in a military family and how he constantly changed schools. He stressed to students that they should always be an upstander, to tell an adult when faced with a bully and to always be a friend.

Toward the end of the presentation, Ms. Banhazl facilitated a trivia game with the students. Questions were asked about health and wellness topics that were covered throughout the week. During the week, the students participated in lessons that captured what it means to keep your mind and body healthy. This included yoga, martial arts, healthy eating, jump roping and anti-bullying lessons. Students were eager to answer the questions and those who correctly answered, received a handshake and a signed football from Mr. Richardson to be displayed in their classrooms. The important week was made possible by Waverly Park’s Health and Wellness Committee, teachers and the school PTA who showed their support. 

 

Champion Shout-Out!

Champion Shout Out Photo
Yesterday, Luke was engaged in reading first thing in the morning. We are so proud of him. Great job, Luke! 

LHS National Art Honor Society Hosts Night of the Pumpkins

LHS National Art Honor Society Hosts Night of the Pumpkins photo

Members of Lynbrook High School’s National Art Honor Society did not let the stormy weather deter them from giving back as they hosted their annual Night of Pumpkins event on Oct. 27. Watch the video to learn more about this year’s charity event and the incredible talents of the National Art Honor Society members!

Lynbrook Takes a Stand Against Bullying

Lynbrook Takes a Stand Against Bullying photo

Administrators, students and staff throughout the district donned orange clothing and accessories to celebrate Unity Day on Oct. 24. Unity Day is recognized across the country as a stance against bullying and a day to gather together in support of kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

Each building in the district did something special to commemorate the day and the strong message it pertained. From a variety of in-class activities, to creating a school-wide peace sign at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center and Waverly Park Elementary School, each student and staff member showcased their support of the day. At Waverly Park Elementary School, students also enjoyed a Unity Day puppet show performed by fifth-graders and tied an orange ribbon to the school fence to signify their pledge for unity. Marion Street Elementary School students celebrated unity throughout the week as they participated in a Unity Walk around the school track with their crafted mustaches symbolizing, “we mustache you to be kind.” 

At West End Elementary School, students performed Unity Day skits and marched with staff members to represent that “every step you take matters.” Each student held up an orange cutout of a shoe which they decorated with signs of peace and words of how they will promote kindness. At the middle school level, Lynbrook South Middle School students decorated doorways with positive messages while Lynbrook North Middle School students created orange pinwheels as part of Pinwheels for Peace. In addition, Lynbrook High School building administrators, faculty and students created a sea of orange as they gathered for a schoolwide Unity Day photo. 

 

Marion Street Showcases Their Pink Pride

Marion Street Showcases Their Pink Pride Photo
On Friday, Oct. 19, the students and staff at Marion Street Elementary School dressed in their finest pink attire to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer crusade. Donations were collected and votes were tallied for the staff member who was the “pinkest” and therefore crowned “Most Pinkalicious.” Marion Street once again showed their kindness and raised over $500 in donations for this cause. Way to Go, Marion Street!

Fall 2018 Newsletter Available

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LHS Key Club Earns Heroglobin Award

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Carolyn Cestaro from Long Island Blood Services recently presented the Lynbrook High School Key Club with the 2017-2018 Heroglobin Award for donating 234 pints this past school year. With the help of advisor Dr. Benedict Tieniber, this is the first time that Lynbrook has received this award. The club is looking to break their record this year.  

“Our goal is 300 pints this year,” said Key Club Treasurer Jesse Candel.
 
The Key Club will be hosting three blood drives this year:

November 21, 2018
February 1, 2019
April 12, 2019

They encourage people to donate at the upcoming blood drive on Wednesday, Nov. 21 between 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Lynbrook High School. Congratulations, Key Club!  
 

Embracing Entrepreneurship at Lynbrook High School

Embracing Entrepreneurship at Lynbrook High School Photo
Mr. Jonathan Spector and Dr. Benedict Tieniber set up a networking opportunity with Babson College on Oct. 23. Babson College is the number one entrepreneurship college in the country. Assistant Director Ryan Stanley spoke with Dr. Tieniber’s virtual enterprise class about the importance of networking, entrepreneurship, start-ups and internships starting sophomore year at Babson. 

A Very Happy West End Halloween

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Outstanding LHS Orchestra Students Selected for Festival

Outstanding LHS Orchestra Students Selected for Festival Photo
Six Lynbrook High School orchestra students were recently selected to perform at the Long Island String Festival Association’s Nassau Secondary Festival at Wisdom Lane Middle School from Nov. 16-18. 

Participants include sophomores Camilla Bahri (cello) and Emily Bergin (bass) who will showcase their talents in the LISFA ninth/tenth grade orchestra. Juniors Sara Bahri (violin), Arpie Bakhshian (violin) and Kaylin Tephly (violin), along with senior Leo Glassman (bass), will perform in the LISFA eleventh/twelfth grade orchestra. 
  
Students were nominated by their music teacher Alyssa White and were recognized by the association as representing the highest quality string musicians at their grade levels. They will join other exceptional orchestra students from throughout Nassau County during the annual festival. The district congratulates all six student-musicians on this great achievement!

VE Students Take On Elevator Pitch Competition

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Lynbrook High School students enrolled in Dr. Benedict Tieniber’s virtual enterprise course participated in the elevator pitch competition at the Long Island Virtual Enterprise Business and Entrepreneurship Leadership Conference on Oct. 19 at LIU Post. The students pitched their company “Fit Pet” and heard from key speaker Marie Moody, the founder and president of Stella & Chewy. 
 
More than 1,500 students from across Long Island attended the event which focused on career-readiness and entrepreneurial enterprise. The conference was open to all VE high school students on Long island and gave them the opportunity to hear from successful entrepreneurs and industry experts. In addition, the students were able to practice networking and attend engaging breakout sessions.

Although Lynbrook High School did not make it to the final round of the competition, the group did well. Eric Levine, CEO, led the elevator pitch and did a phenomenal job. After the elevator pitches, all the students attended breakout sessions. Breakout sessions included leadership and personal banking, financing your business, marketing your business, and social impact of your business. 

West End Wrap Up! Oct. 26th

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It has been an exciting week at West End Elementary School as students and staff participated in Red Ribbon Week, dressed in pink to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month and celebrated Unity Day on Oct. 24 along with the rest of the district (full story coming soon). Seventeen fifth-graders presented a short skit called “Bullying Stops Here,” which focused on how to make friends and help stop bullying. They presented the skit with 5 songs which were also learned by the entire student body. Together, the entire school sang songs about friendship, compassion, and doing the good they know to do.

In addition, West End students involved in the Math Olympiad Club showcased their problem solving skills during their second session with club advisor Ms. Chelsea Jaret. The school also raised $283.35 for the Owl Coin Project. This project allows the community to donate spare change that will go towards outstanding food service bills for Lynbrook families with children who have a demonstrated need. Last year, the schools were able to help over 50 families just by collecting donated nickels, dimes, quarters and pennies. All funds collected will go directly towards purchasing meals for Lynbrook students.

Leading the Way to Healthy Habits

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Reinforcing the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, kindergarten students at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center learned about the benefits of exercise, eating right, dental hygiene and more with the help of 28 Molloy College nursing students on Oct. 18. Senior nursing students enrolled in the Community Health course, visit the Kindergarten Center each year to educate on health and wellness. 

Kindergarten classes visited the school gymnasium throughout the day in which they rotated stations and heard from the nursing students. With colorful display boards and different items to reinforce health concepts, the kindergartners learned how to properly brush their teeth, what healthy foods are, how to cross the street safely, a variety of exercise moves and more. They also answered questions and received worksheets and stickers for their participation in the stations.

Molloy College nursing faculty members Elaine Burger, Lynnelle Glenn, Elizabeth Perez, Irene Rush and Joy Scharfman were on hand to support their students, along with Kindergarten Center Principal Ellen Postman and the kindergarten teachers who walked around with their classes. 

“The nursing students are presenting health education topics such as hand washing, care of the teeth, bullying, street safety and healthy eating to teach the kindergarten children and get them off to a good start,” said Molloy nursing professor Elaine Burger. “Healthcare is now really in the community.” 

Promoting a Positive School Culture

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Fourteen Lynbrook North Middle School eighth-graders recently participated in a full-day peer leadership conference hosted by Sayville Middle School. The day included a variety of workshops intended to empower students and help them transform school culture by being positive influences on their peers. Lynbrook was one of 17 schools to attend from across Long Island. 

The 14 students were selected by teachers and staff. Social worker Sandra Gettenberg and guidance counselor Ali Etra also attended the leadership conference with the students. 

The middle schoolers heard from speakers such as Tom Coverly from The Youth Alliance and collaborated with other school districts on a variety of topics including diversity, bullying, social media, drug prevention and leadership. It was a great experience for all! 
 

Research Students Further Studies During Summer Months

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Science research students at Lynbrook High School embraced the summer break with new educational opportunities to further their knowledge and research abilities through a variety of different programs and outlets. Eight juniors and 16 seniors from Lynbrook High School pursued research projects spanning different science topics. 

Below is a list of these outstanding students and their projects from the summer months. Many continued their work in the lab of Lynbrook High School this year. Students worked with science research teachers Peter Dennis, David Shanker and Charles Vessalico, and professors in the field who provided them with support in their studies. 

Juniors 

Emily Awad – Worked at New York University Winthrop in the Research and Academic Center. She studied to see the effect of trophoblasts on the offspring of pregnant women.

Arpie Bakhshian – Worked at Weill Cornell and used genetic engineering to study irritable bowel syndrome. 

Natalie Cardoso – Worked at Fordham University in the Youth Development in Diverse Contexts Lab under Dr. Tiffany Yip. Natalie cleaned data through Biopac software to advance studies in ethnic racial identities.

Elena Grajales – Worked at the New York University Langone Medical Center at the Skirball Institute of Molecular Neurobiology studying the sestrin -1 gene and its role in the brain.

Julie Lampert – Studied Cellulose Nanocrystals at the University of Colorado.

Mikayla O’Hagan and Andie Glanzer – Worked at Hofstra University studying the effect of tree canopy loss on Long Island.

Maria Russotti – Worked at Columbia University in the Banta Lab conducting various experiments associated with substrate channeling.

Seniors 

Kai Beattie – Worked at Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Institute to evaluate the relationship between prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and the metalloprotease meprin in genetically engineered mice and mouse prostate cancer cell lines. Kai concludes its relevance to tumor progression and growth.

Alyssa Burton – Worked in-house on a project set out to answer the question, “how can we stop school shootings?” Using publicly available student-to-counselor ratio’s and student violence data, along with socioeconomic status, Alyssa aimed to draw correlations related to school violence.

Juliana Condoleo – Worked at SUNY Farmingdale and investigated the novel role of ACK1, a protein kinase, in the learning and memory of drosophila melanogaster through an olfactory appetitive association.

Jason Holquist – Worked in-house to test the effect of alcohol exposure to adult Drosophila melanogaster on the expression of DILP peptides in future generations as a model for fetal alcohol syndrome.

Brandon Pekale – Worked in-house to construct a survey on the effect of HIV/AIDS on the Quality of Oral Health in Adults Residing on Long Island with a professor from Hofstra.

Kyle Schneider – Worked in-house to determine whether the cryopreservation of fruit fly larvae for long term storage could be enhanced using warm breaks and increasing time between cold and warm periods.

Pooja Shah – Worked at Yale to analyze the loss of TSP2 through varying extracellular matrix production deposits on prevention of diabetic nephropathy.

Jason Shao – Worked in-house to test the effect of e-cigarette vapor on the bacteria of the lungs to assess lung infection risk.

Jason Sitt – Worked at Columbia University on his project on modulation of microRNA-219 on synapse quantification in neuromuscular junctions within aging drosophila melanogaster.

Kirstin Slattery – Worked in-house to determine if the equestrian sport is moral by using salivary cortisol levels to assess stress in horses during riding lessons.

Matthew Venezia – Worked at the City College of New York to study how the color of tropical beetles relates to the elevation at which they live and how this data relates to how well these beetles can thermoregulate (control their temperature).

Richard Wiater – Worked in-house on his project which looks at the effect of the molecule PDMP hydrochloride on the longevity of Niemann-Pick Disease Type-C model Drosophila.

Christina Woodard – Worked in-house on a project that looks at the effect of Asian clams on algae blooms.

Kaylie Hausknecht – Worked at Harvard where she used artificial intelligence to extract local correlations in the cuprates. This is a new application of machine learning in condensed matter physics, which may help explain the properties of high temperature superconductors.

Danny Neri – Worked in-house on his project which assesses the state of a recent crab invasion by quantifying aggressive interactions between the invader, the Asian shore crab (Hemigrapsus sanguinues) and two species of native fiddler crab (Uca pugilator and Uca pugnax) in a Long Island salt marsh.

Odin Francis – Worked in-house on the production of a prototype assisted-back support system to help those with spinal cord injuries, workers and soldiers involved with heavy lifting.

Math Olympiad Students Soar

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Students involved in the Math Olympiad Club at West End Elementary School recently participated in their second session with club advisor Ms. Chelsea Jaret. The students did an amazing job showcasing their problem solving skills! 

Going Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

Going Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness
West End Elementary School staff dressed in their best pink outfits in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Safety Week Stunt Show

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Students and staff had the opportunity to watch an engaging stunt show outside during Safety Week! 

West End Raises Over $250 for the Owl Coin Project

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West End Elementary School recently raised $283.35 for the Owl Coin Project. This project allows the community to donate spare change that will go towards outstanding food services bills for Lynbrook families with children who have a demonstrated need. Last year, the schools were able to help over 50 families just by collecting donated nickels, dimes, quarters and pennies. All funds collected will go directly towards purchasing meals for Lynbrook students. Great job, West End!  
 

Lynbrook BOE Earns Praises; District Spotlights Safety

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Members of the Lynbrook community attended the district’s board of education meeting on Oct. 10. To kick off the meeting, a special video of the Lynbrook kindergarten students reciting the Pledge of Allegiance was presented, followed by the students singing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” 

In honor of Board Appreciation Month, the district recognized the Lynbrook Board of Education for their support and dedication to the students. Elementary Principals Ellen Postman (Kindergarten Center), Theresa Macchia (Marion Street), Allison Banhazl (Waverly Park) and Dr. Cindy Lee (West End) presented a video to the board which featured their students learning in action and thanking the board for the technology tools the help them learn. They also received giant cards from each building as a sign of appreciation. 

Seven students from Lynbrook High School were also honored during the meeting for being selected as performers or alternates in the New York State School Music Association All-State Conference in Rochester from Nov. 29-Dec. 2. The students, Sara Bahri, Arpie Bakhshian, Juliana Condoleo, Leo Glassman, Danny Neri, Kaylin Tephly and Kara Vito, were congratulated by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak and received a T-shirt for their achievement. 

It was a bittersweet meeting for Nikolaos Kardasis, a dedicated cleaner in the district who will retire after 20 years of service on Dec. 28. He was praised by the board for his hard work at Lynbrook High School as his fellow staff members and wife were there to show their support. Kardasis received a plaque for his service. 

During the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Burak discussed the district’s recent reunification drill which took place on Oct. 5. She thanked parents, students and staff for their support during the drill which was to test the internal safety procedures. Continuing the discussion of safety, Dr. Burak spoke about attending the Nassau County Police Department School Safety Forum with others from the district on Sept. 25. She spoke about the organizations that were present and the topics discussed. 

Dr. Burak announced that the district will be celebrating Unity Day on Oct. 24 and encouraged everyone to wear orange. Each school will be participating in a different activity in honor of the occasion. She also updated the community about the financial component of Every Student Succeeds Act, which is a transparency requirement. The district must now report district funding per building. This means that building budgets will look much different than in the past. Where some expenditures are currently shown in central office budgets, these will now be represented in building budgets. This will be presented fully during the February budget work session.

Dr. Burak also spoke about her meeting with fellow superintendents and  Congresswoman Kathleen Rice about safety related matters such as the federal government’s talk of arming school employees. The group spoke about how the federal government can help by giving district’s money to help combat mental health related issues. Dr. Burak mentioned that there is a Title Four grant that is used for the purpose of safety. This year is the first year that the district received funding in the Title Four area in a long time but with federal grants, restrictions are set. The superintendents spoke with Congresswoman Rice about giving the district’s money without the restrictions since not every district is the same. 

Lastly, Dr. Burak provided an updated on Big Brothers/Big Sisters. The district explored the mentoring program last year and has now partnered with them. Two meetings were held with a representative from the organization to go through the process of how a student might be recognized as needing a Big Brother or Big Sister. An informational packet on how to apply to become a Big Brother or Big Sister can be found on the district’s website, lynbrookschools.org under the community tab.

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment, provided the community with a curriculum update on the Every Student Succeeds Act and Next Generation Standards. He reported that the New York State Education Department released modifications of the ESSA. There will be no financial impact if the district does not meet a 95 percent exam participation rate and 95 percent participation may or may not affect the school district depending on the number of students that score at level 1 or level 2. 

“It shows that the education department is listening to feedback,” said Dr. Beleckas.

In addition, Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, shared a capital projects and Smart Bond Investment Plan update. The Smart Bond process is at the first stage and on Oct. 15, the bid will go out to the public for various construction companies to pick up the document. On Nov. 1, the district will be opening the bid documents and awarding it at the board meeting that month. The Smart Bond will fund security vestibules for each building in the district. Lynbrook High School currently has a security vestibule in place and the vestibules for the remaining buildings is expected to be built during the school year. 

Dr. Lynch also reported some movement on the large bond projects. The plans for the air conditioning are going through the New York State Education Department Office of Facilities Planning and the district is hoping to have them out before next year so that a bid can go out in the spring to possibly get them installed in the summer. The Lynbrook High School preliminary plans are at the New York State Education Department where they are making evaluations and suggestions for the purpose of state aide. The architect will then submit the detailed engineering plan. If the preliminary plan is released in time, the district hopes to have the big plan back up to them before the holiday break.

Focusing on Fire Safety

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First graders in Mrs. Gaddy’s class learned about fire safety with the Lynbrook Fire Department! 

Students Build Business Skills

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Lynbrook High School students in Dr. Benedict Tieniber’s virtual enterprise class recently put their interpersonal and professional skills to the test as they were interviewed by Principal Joseph Rainis and assistant principals Matthew Sarosy and Salvatore Brescia about their new product, “Fit Pet.” The interviews allowed the executive board to be determined for their product which monitors a pets health, location through GPS and keeps them safe.

With the help of Dr. Tieniber, the students prepared for the interview process by refining their soft skills, interview skills, cover letter and resumes. They also had to create cover letters for the positions they wanted to run for with their resumes. Before the big day, Lynbrook High School guidance counselor Susan Moller and teachers Eric Finder and Stephen LoCicero, volunteered their free time to assist the students with mock interviews and provided tips.  

The virtual enterprise course is an elective that is offered to Lynbrook High School students in grades 10-12. Corresponding with the district’s 2018-19 theme “Imagine, Innovate, Inspire,” the international program enables students to experience a simulated business environment by collaborating and solving problems in business situations. Those who successfully complete the course are eligible to receive up to nine undergraduate credits from Farmingdale State College through their University in the High School program. 

Congratulations to the following virtual enterprise students on their new “Fit Pet” positions: Eric Levine, chief executive officer; Ben Tatelman, chief financial officer; Lance Ezratty and Matthew Calabro, co-chief operating officer; Ben Cohen and Miranda Zaransky, vice president of human relations; Allison Shifflett and Connor Reichert, co-vice president of sales and marketing; William Miata and Joshua Polanky, vice president of informational technology/graphics; Kerin Bartels and Jonathan Mottola, vice president editorial. 

The students will participate in their first elevator pitch competition on Oct. 19 at LIU with “Fit Pet.” 
 

Fostering a Connected School Community

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Students at Lynbrook South Middle School and West End Elementary School recently participated in Start with Hello Week, a national event organized by Sandy Hook Promise to teach students to be more socially inclusive and connected to each other and the community.

During the week, middle school students participated in an array of different activities to promote inclusion. To kick off the week, students lined the hallways to greet their peers as they entered the building for the day and each received a sticker with their name on it to wear all day. The week continued with activities such as Human Bingo in physical education class to help students get acquainted with one another, a photo booth to enjoy with new friends and peers, a game called All My Friends to learn about others’ interests and a three legged race. 

“The goal of Start With Hello Week is to teach kids how to approach and engage someone they don’t know well or just met,” said Principal Joseph Wiener. “Through games, challenges and conversations throughout the week, we are giving children tools to strengthen our community by being more inclusive. We watched students throughout the week talking, playing, and laughing with kids they may not have otherwise engaged with. We will continue this effort through our Social and Emotional Literacy initiative throughout the year.” 

Students at West End Elementary School also embraced the week with their own activities. Students learned how to make a difference with their peers in simple, fun and impactful ways. 

“A goal of this week is to empower students to create a culture of inclusiveness and connectedness,” said West End social worker Sandra Gettenberg. “We want to make sure that all students feel seen, accepted and safe.”

Teachers focused on how to recognize and reduce social isolation by having their classes participate in ice-breaker activities. Others read books filled with learning opportunities to help foster inclusivity in school and some students learned how to say hello in languages other than English. 

Student-Led Math Seminars

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West End students recently presented their math skills as their peers followed along. 

Going Gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

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In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month during September, students at West End Elementary School participated in the Solving Kids’ Cancer campaign “Lace Up For Kids.” To help raise awareness, Solving Kids’ Cancer, an organization that according to their website, “finds, funds and advocates for breakthrough treatment options to cure children with the most fatal pediatric cancers,” asked supporters to swap out their shoelaces with gold laces and share their photos on social media. With the color gold representing the month, the laces help raise awareness to support children battling cancer.

West End students and their families have made it their mission to raise awareness and donate to Solving Kids’ Cancer. With their support, the school recently received 500 pairs of gold shoelaces, generously donated by the organization. Students wore their laces at school and together, continued to raise money during the month toward this important cause.
 

Traveling Through History

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Lynbrook North Middle School eighth-graders in Neil Farina and Christopher Balas’ American History class journeyed back in time to the Reconstruction Era during class on Sept. 25. The class participated in a carousel lesson where students collaborated as a group and traveled to four stations, writing facts about the time period for their upcoming exam. Stations included “Early Reconstruction,” “Radicals Take Over,” “The South Reigns Control” and “Life in the New South.” 

The interactive lesson allowed each group to conduct research using their tablets and then use a different color dry erase marker to display their answers at each station. The class then gathered back together as a class to review the facts. Mr. Farina and Mr. Balas helped the students by reinforcing the concepts as the eighth-graders used their tablets to take notes. 

Creating a “Whirled” of Peace

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The sun shined down on Marion Street Elementary School as students, faculty, members of central administration and families gathered to celebrate International Day of Peace with a Pinwheels for Peace ceremony on Sept. 21. Coordinated by music teacher Kara Boulay and art teacher Patricia Wierzbicki, each student in the school colored a pinwheel, 450 total, which were then assembled by teachers and staff members. 

The students carried their pinwheels outside for the special ceremony and stood around the school’s Peace Pole. Principal Theresa Macchia opened the event by thanking everyone for joining in celebration and spoke about the significance of the day which is recognized around the world to acknowledge the power of peace. 

On the front steps of the school, Mrs. Macchia read the book “Imagine” by John Lennon, sharing words of world peace. Following the reading, Ms. Boulay led the students in song as they performed “A Million Dreams” from the film, “The Greatest Showman.” The students then placed their colorful pinwheels in the ground together. 
 
“They will blow in the wind to remind all of us that we are dreamers and that we do want the world to be a better place,” said Mrs. Macchia. 

LHS Musicians Heading to All-State

LHS Musicians Heading to All-State Photo
Seven Lynbrook High School student-musicians have earned All-State music honors from the New York State School Music Association. Seniors Juliana Condoleo, Leo Glassman and Danny Neri were selected to perform at the annual NYSSMA All-State Conference in Rochester from Nov. 29-Dec. 2. Juniors Arpie Bakhshian, Sara Bahri, Kaylin Tephly and Kara Vito were selected as alternates. 

Juliana will play flute in the Symphonic Band, while Leo, who also participated in the NYSSMA All-State Conference last year, will play double bass in the Symphony Orchestra. Danny was selected for both the trombone in the Symphonic Band and Instrumental Jazz. Arpie, Sara and Kaylin were chosen as alternates in violin and Kara was chosen as an alternate singer in soprano II.  

To be selected for this prestigious conference, thousands of students throughout New York State auditioned last year at NYSSMA Solo Evaluation Festivals. Students must perform the most difficult music at a Level 6 and receive the highest of scores to be considered and ultimately accepted into All-State. In Rochester, the students will participate in three days of rehearsals with prominent conductors which will conclude with all groups performing at the renowned Eastman Theater. 

The district congratulates these students as they join the proud and growing ranks of Lynbrook High School’s All-State musicians chosen throughout the years.
 

A Happy Homecoming for the Lynbrook Owls

A Happy Homecoming for the Lynbrook Owls photo

Community members proudly dressed in their best green and gold as they anxiously lined the streets from Lynbrook High School to Marion Street Elementary School, waiting for the district’s homecoming festivities to start on Sept. 22.

The annual parade, led by the Lynbrook High School marching band, central administrators, building principals and board of education members, showcased true Lynbrook spirit as students and faculty marched through the town, waving to residents and onlookers. Lynbrook High School’s kickline and varsity cheerleaders raised their pom-poms in the air as members of the homecoming court rode in the back of cars. Prior to the exciting day, the high school hosted their pep rally on Sept. 21 where senior Angelica Almonte was crowned homecoming queen and senior Griffin Kirby was crowned homecoming king. The freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior class also participated in the parade, cheering and marching with their creative banners. 

The parade concluded at Marion Street Elementary School where the Lynbrook High School Owls prepared to play the Valley Stream South Falcons during the high school’s annual PTA Scholarship Football Game. Community members were encouraged to donate money at the entrance to help fund scholarships for the Class of 2019 as Lynbrook apparel, snacks and refreshments were sold to support the senior class and the scholarship initiative. 

Before kickoff, cheerleaders, kickline members and football players from Lynbrook High School’s Class of 2019 were recognized on the field. They each walked arm and arm with their loved ones as their peers and community members cheered. This followed with a big entrance onto the football field from the Owls. The high school marching band, under the direction of Brian White, performed the National Anthem to a crowd full of supporters. 

The varsity cheerleaders showed their spirit on the field while cheering and chanting for the Owls throughout the game. During the halftime show, the cheerleaders and kickline proudly presented their spirited routines and the marching band and color guard performed. The day ended with a sweet victory for the Owls, as they won the game 35-0. 



West End Wrap Up: The Fun Doesn't Stop at West End School!

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Even though it’s only the beginning of the school year, students at West End Elementary School had a week of excitement as they celebrated Spirit Week! On Friday evening, Sept. 14, West End staff, students and their families got a head start to the week as they enjoyed the school’s annual family picnic outside. They mingled with members of the school community, listened to music and enjoyed the various activities. During the week, students showcased their American spirit as they dressed in red, white and blue for Constitution Day. They also embraced Pajama Day in style as many younger students brought their favorite stuffed animals to school with them to celebrate. 

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

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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!

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

Photo of National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists
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.

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.