The Lynbrook Public Schools Board of Education met in the Lynbrook High School auditorium for its monthly meeting on Dec. 9. To kick off the meeting, a video presentation of December’s exhibit in the Bern Seiderman Gallery was shared with the community. Entitled “2020 Gets Coal,” the online exhibit featured charcoal drawings from Lynbrook students, community members, alumni and staff.
Board President William Belmont welcomed two new long-time substitute teachers into the district: Alyssa Roher and Robert Gariglio. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak followed with some special student recognitions. She praised 11 Lynbrook High School science research students for submitting their applications into the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search. In addition, Dr. Burak commended Lynbrook North Middle School students Dominick Fasano, Jack LaBarbera and James Gillis for their holiday kindness. The students assisted a neighbor in need by helping put up holiday decorations.
During the superintendent report, Dr. Burak spoke about the high school’s community service requirements. Due to health and safety concerns during this pandemic, the district will be waiving the community service obligation for students. For those students who are volunteering and working towards their silver cord for graduation, the district will honor their hours of service. Dr. Burak also thanked the community for their cooperation during this pandemic. People are doing the right thing and quarantining when necessary to keep others safe. Community members can continue to watch the dashboard to keep up with the cases as they arise. Instead of daily phone calls about cases, Dr. Burak shared that she will now be sending emails instead if there is no large impact on a school. For example, a school closure due to COVID-19.
She also provided a task force update. The extra desks that have been ordered for the elementary schools are expected to be delivered on Dec. 15. The goal is to have the remote elementary students who have decided to switch to in-person learning, return before the December break as soon as the new desks arrive. This will allow students to get acclimated to their new classroom. The district was recently able to accommodate all the remote secondary students, including those with special needs and at risk, who wanted to return to in-person (hybrid) learning. Phase Four of the task force met and continued to discuss the plan to return all students to in-person learning, every day. Lunch periods were an issue that was discussed. The task force will continue to discuss what lunch periods and classrooms will look like so the district can prepare for a full reopening.
As we enter the colder months, Dr. Burak announced that the first two snow days that occur will be non-instructional days and just real snow days. If more than two snow days are necessary, the district will revisit the plan. Lastly, Dr. Burak shared a COVID-19 testing update. The Board approved a contract with Around the Clock (ATC) testing company. If the district lands in the yellow zone, the company will supply the district with staff to administer testing. The yellow zone mandates that a district is required to test 20% of its students and staff during a two-week period. Next week, a letter will be sent out to families with more information about the testing. It will also give the district an idea in advance of whom is willing to participate. It will not be a rapid test but a PCR test (nasal swab). A family can also visit their own doctor within the two-week testing period to participate and submit results to the district.
Dr. Gerard Beleckas, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, provided a curriculum update. He presented on the district’s reading and math results from the start of the pandemic to now. Students took the FastBridge assessments which measure how they perform in relation to national norms. To view the results, please visit www.lynbrookschools.org/boe/virtual_meetings
. Some grade levels showed favorable improvement from the winter to the fall. With this data, plans are developed to help all students move forward.
Dr. Paul Lynch, assistant superintendent for finance, operations, and information systems, shared a capital projects update with the community. All of the bond projects, except for the Lynbrook High School addition, are reaching completion. The Lynbrook High School addition is progressing well and is expected to be completed in September 2021. To view photos of the high school’s progress, please visit www.lynbrookschools.org/district/bond_follow_up