Student and staff recognitions abounded during Lynbrook Public School’s recent board of education meeting at Lynbrook High School. The community also received important district updates including the security upgrades from the SmartBond.
The board approved the upcoming retirement of Anastasios Skartsiaris, a cleaner at West End Elementary School who has served the district for 12 years. Mr. Skartsiaris was commended for his hard work and dedication and received a plaque as a thank you for his service. The Spector family also returned to the Lynbrook Public Schools to award the Charles and Marjorie Spector Grant for Professional Development in the Fields of Reading, Writing and Research, established to honor the memory of Charles and Marjorie Spector. This year’s award recipient was Lynbrook High School science teacher Charles Vessalico, who will use the grant to enhance workshops for students as they write and re-vise their research papers for science competitions.
Student recognitions included two regional PTA Reflections winners. Marion Street student Alexa Reilly and South Middle School student Kailey Dunne were commended for their winning entries fitting the Reflections theme, “Heroes Around Me.” Alexa was awarded for photography, while Kailey was awarded for musical composition. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak also recognized the Lynbrook High School varsity girls lacrosse team for their outstanding fundraising efforts for the HEADstrong Foundation, an organization that helps those impacted by cancer. The team was the top fundraising team against other high schools and colleges for the HEADstrong Foundation’s Game Hair Havoc. The online fundraising campaign encourages girls lacrosse teams to braid and style their game hair to raise awareness and money for families affected by cancer.
During the report from trustees, Board Vice-President Robert Paskoff and trustee Alicemarie Bresnihan spoke about their experience attending the National School Board Convention and Board President William Belmont discussed the meeting that the district had with Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblywoman Judy Griffin. He noted that a big discussion point during the meeting was unfunded mandates for school districts.
Dr. Burak shared an update of the district’s mission and vision statement and introduced Director of Facilities James Saitta for a security presentation. Mr. Saitta spoke about the upcoming security enhancements that will be made in the district to ensure safety. Through the SmartBond funding, the district will create safer school entryways with new entry procedures and also update the technology infrastructure.
During the superintendent’s report, Dr. Burak provided a recap of the productive Superintendent’s Conference Day which was held last month. Staff participated in workshops, presentations and activities to help them grow in the classroom. She also noted minor changes that were made to the district’s Code of Conduct as part of a mandated review and announced that school would not be in session on May 24 due to the unused snow days this year.
Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, provided a curriculum update for the community. He reported that the district’s participation rate for the New York State assessments in ELA increased by approximately 4% compared to last year. The increase is important and a move in the right direction. With more participation in the assessments, the less likely the district will have to get involved in participation rate improvement plans that are required under Every Student Succeeds Act. In addition, Dr. Beleckas reported that district administrators met with representatives from the instructional data warehouse at BOCES to discuss how the district can use the data derived from the state assessments to positively impact teaching and learning in the classrooms.
Following the curriculum update, Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for fi-nance, operation, and information systems, shared a capital projects update. The district opened bids on April 17 for seven projects associated with the bond. This included the air conditioning for the gymnasiums at Lynbrook North Middle School, Lynbrook South Middle School, Waverly Park Elementary School and the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center. In addition, bids will be open for the locker rooms at North Middle and South Middle and the wrestling room at the Kindergarten Center. The board plans to award the contracts at the May meeting and work on these projects should commence this summer.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Dr. Burak spoke about the budget vote polling locations. Since the district has moved to an electronic system for keeping track of voters, it was discovered that some residents have been voting in the wrong locations. The district is sending postcards to everyone in the community which will state their correct polling location.