District Honors Semifinalists; Presents Important Updates

District Honors Semifinalists; Presents Important Updates Photo 1
District Honors Semifinalists; Presents Important Updates Photo 2
District Honors Semifinalists; Presents Important Updates Photo 3
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!
 

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. 

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. 

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

Summer Learning Prepares Students for New Year Photo 1
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. 

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.”