Music filled the Lynbrook High School cafeteria as high school orchestra students kicked off the Lynbrook Public Schools’ Board of Education meeting on May 2. Administrators, board members, faculty, students and community members gathered for the district’s budget hearing in preparation for the budget vote on May 15 and listened to important district updates.
Meghan Ceglie, Waverly Park School’s library media specialist, and Corinne Teichman, districtwide Voyager program instructor, were presented with the Charles and Marjorie Spector Grant for enhancing learning in the fields of reading, writing and research by members of the Spector family. The grant was originally writing based but shifted its focus this year to benefit students in different programs. The Spector family established the grant in 2004 to honor the memory of longtime board member Charles Spector. He was a member of the Lynbrook Board of Education for 15 years, serving as its president for 11 years. His wife Marjorie was an author and past PTA president in the district.
Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations, and Information Systems Dr. Paul Lynch presented an overview of the district’s 2018-19 budget which consisted of specific highlights, the expenditure budget, revenue, the four propositions which the public will vote on and a budget summary.
Following the budget hearing, a video was shown about the benefits of an Education Foundation, a non-profit organization formed by community members which holds events to raise grant money. Lynbrook community members formed the Lynbrook Excellence in Education Foundation years ago to help fund district programs and materials. Due to declining membership though, it was disassembled. Lynbrook resident Ivy Reilly has made it her mission to bring the foundation back to help benefit the schools. Reilly provided an update during the meeting and stated that the foundation is seeking more members.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak reminded the public about the budget vote on May 15 and that the last day to register is on May 9. On May 9, the Lynbrook Teachers Association, in conjunction with the district and the New York Life Insurance Company, will be offering its free annual Child ID Program. The program provides parents with an ID card of their child containing a picture and important information to keep them safe.
Dr. Burak also praised Joseph Palotta, director of fine and performing arts, and staff members for their guidance and commitment to the district’s music program. The Lynbrook Public Schools’ earned its sixth consecutive Best Community for Music Education award. Additionally, Dr. Burak addressed the new instructional time requirements to be adopted by the Board of Regents for the 2018-19 school year. For full-day kindergarten, a school is required to have a minimum of 900 hours of instructional time. This will impact the current kindergarten school hour. As a result, the district plans to eliminate the two session day to a one session. The district is planning on making the new kindergarten instructional day from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Dr. Burak noted that there still are discussions taking place about transportation. Administrator for Personnel and Student Support Services Maureen Berman is working with the bus company on routes and scheduling so that family members can pick up all their children from different schools in an efficient manner.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Gerard Beleckas provided a curriculum update for the community. He shared that his committee submitted the district’s technology initiatives to the Future Ready Schools group and received an overall digital learning readiness score of 8.8 out of 10. The committee is in the process of developing an action plan and will be splitting the committee into two sub committees in order to develop a fuller plan.
In addition, Dr. Lynch reported a capital projects update. He stated that the SMART Bond plan has now been resubmitted to New York State and was certified by Dr. Burak. The district is waiting for the state to respond with the next steps. Dr. Lynch also shared that the bond planning is going well. The early plans have cleared through architectural review and will be reviewed in other stages. Summer project meetings are also in place for the Waverly Park boiler and the West End brick-pointing. The high school plans are being prepared as the district has had meeting with the architect and have explored the rooms at the high school so that the design is properly executed. Dr. Lynch reported that they are on schedule.