District Reports Smooth Reopening; Shares Updates with Community

Board of Education Sept 9 Meeting  thumbnail176460
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 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.