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Weekly Bulletin - September 25, 2020

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More Than 100 LHS Students Earn AP Scholar Award

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One hundred and twelve students from Lynbrook High School’s Class of 2020 and 2021 were honored as Advanced Placement Scholars by the College Board for their outstanding scores on the college-level Advanced Placement exams.

The College Board recognizes different levels of achievement based on a student’s performance on these exams. Fifty-nine students were recognized as AP Scholars, receiving scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams. Twenty-five students were named AP Scholars with Honor, earning 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. Twenty-five students were also named AP Scholars with Distinction. To earn this award, 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.

The highest award, the National AP Scholar Award, was presented to three exceptional members of the Class of 2020 – Arpie Bakhshian, Arianna Paxinos and Anna Rath. This honor 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.

Congratulations to all those who earned this outstanding achievement!

Class is Back in Session Again

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Wearing big smiles behind their masks, students from the Lynbrook Public Schools returned to school on Sept. 8. The long-awaited day was an exciting one as building administrators, staff and teachers were ready to welcome students back, both in-person and virtually. Sept. 8 and 9 served as half days for the students to get accustomed to their new routines, with Sept. 10 serving as the first full day of school.
 
Due to the pandemic, the district is following different instructional models this year. At the elementary level, students selected either a gold (in-person instruction) or green (remote instruction) model to commit to for the first marking period. At the secondary level, students selected a green (remote instruction) or blue (rotation between in-person and remote instruction) model.
 
Since the spring, the district has prepared for the reopening of school through its Reopening Schools Task Force. After many in-depth discussions and research, the reopening plans were officially put in place on the first day. Prior to arriving at school, staff and students took their temperatures. In each building, the district took many precautions for the health and safety of all. This included making changes such as adding desk shields, signs, hand washing stations, social distancing markers and spacing desks six feet apart in classrooms. Although the schools looked different, it did not hinder the positive back-to-school energy. Students were excited to see their peers again and meet their new teachers.
 
“It was so wonderful to see our students back in the building,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak. “You could tell by looking in their bright and gleaming eyes how happy they were to be with their friends and teachers.” 

District Reports Smooth Reopening; Shares Updates with Community

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The Lynbrook Board of Education gathered for its regular board of education meeting in the Lynbrook High School auditorium on Sept. 9. Due to the pandemic, only a limited number of community members were able to attend the meeting in-person, however, everyone was invited to watch the meeting through a livestream.

The Lynbrook Board of Education accepted the retirement of family and consumer science teacher Judith Rivlin. Board President William Belmont thanked Mrs. Rivlin for her long-time service to the district and wished her the best of luck. He also welcomed all the new administrators and teachers to the district.

Prior to school opening on Sept. 8, board members participated in building inspections. During the meeting, they discussed their experiences and praised the administrators, teachers, custodians and the district’s buildings and grounds staff. Mr. Belmont expressed how impressed he was with the way the buildings looked, while board trustee Ellen Marcus commended the teachers for making the classrooms still look warm and inviting even with the changes that had to be made.

The board also spoke about the recent update from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association regarding sports. Football, volleyball and competitive cheer will be known as “Fall Sports Season II” and will begin practices on March 1, 2021. As a result, practice for spring sports will begin April 19, 2021.

During her superintendent’s report, Dr. Melissa Burak thanked families for their cooperation and patience as the district reopened this week. She also announced that the New York State Department of Education is beginning a one-year pilot program, allowing school districts to change snow days into remote learning days for students.

In an important update about COVID-19 communication, Dr. Burak spoke about the new COVID-19 Report Card. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is requiring all school districts and schools in the state to track COVID-19 infections and testing operations on a daily basis through a report card system. The report card will be in the form of an online dashboard that anyone can access. Each day, the district must report information to the Department of Health such as the number of students enrolled in remote and in-person learning, the number of staff reporting to schools and working remotely, and the number of COVID-19 cases.

Although the dashboard is not live yet, families will be able to visit it through the Reopening Plan page on www.lynbrookschools.org. Dr. Burak stated that if a positive case appears on the dashboard and families do not receive communication, it is because no other action was needed by the district. If the Department of Health requires the district to take action, such as closing the schools, families will be notified.

In addition, Dr. Burak shared the board of education goals for this year. This included continuing to oversee the bond work, overseeing the reopening plan and promoting a diverse, inclusive environment for all. In the upcoming days and weeks, Dr. Burak shared that schools will be remembering Sept. 11, 2001 on Friday with a moment of silence, along with other activities, and the district’s evacuation drill will be held on Oct. 2.

Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, provided a curriculum update and highlighted how the first two days of school went. He thanked families for their patience and flexibility as the staff continues to learn each day in this new normal. Any technology issues that have arisen have been addressed or are being addressed. Dr. Beleckas encouraged any students or families who are having difficulties with technology to contact the district. Remote learners in kindergarten can forward questions to Principal Ellen Postman, students in grades 1-5 can forward questions to Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Allison Curran and secondary students can contact their building principals for support.

Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, shared a capital projects update with the community. The work at Lynbrook High School continues to be progressing well. Alucobond has been added to the front of the building and the slabs and foundation have been poured. The next step is to install the steel which can happen as early as next week. This should take approximately a month to complete. At Waverly Park School, the new elevator is being added and work is progressing well. The project should be completed around November. At Marion Street and West End, new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems were installed in the gymnasiums. They should be up and running as soon as next week. Smaller projects such as a new bathroom at Lynbrook North Middle School and at Lynbrook High School are also on track. 

Lynbrook Teacher and Family Get Creative to Give Back

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Art teacher Jennifer Turner, along with her family, strived to give back to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with her husband Marc Turner and daughters Lily and Sophie Turner, the family raised more than $1,000 for the non-profit hunger relief program, Community Solidarity. Community Solidarity’s mission is to distribute boxes of nutritious fresh food and vegetables daily to those in need on Long Island and in Brooklyn. Mr. Turner volunteered his time with the program by sorting boxes to long lines of cars at the Hempstead train station.

Since Mrs. Turner and her 11-year-old daughters could not haul heavy boxes, they wanted to help in a different way. They worked together to create and sell custom mask chains that attach to medical masks for students and teachers to use when they head back to school.

“We saw all over Instagram and Facebook that people were making and selling mask chains,” said Mrs. Turner. “We figured we could do this but give all of the funds raised to help fund the cause. Beading is fun for us too, it’s something we can do anywhere and counting and sorting beads is very relaxing. You have to be in the moment, not worrying or stressing about anything because if you lose track, your beads will be everywhere!”

They created approximately 60 mask chains in both adult and kid sizes. Mrs. Turner and her daughters used small, glass plastic seed beads with gold plated and silver clasps to attach to any size mask. The Turner family recently presented a check to President and CEO of Community Solidarity, Jon Stepanian, to support the program and help fight hunger.

Great job, Mrs. Turner!