At the March 13 meeting of the Lynbrook Board of Education, the board heard presentations about the Common Core ELA (English language arts) in grades 9 to 12, as well as a report about guidance/social work programs.
The first presentation of the evening, made by South Middle School Principal Margaret Ronai, Guidance Chairperson Laurie Mitchell, West End Principal Alison Puliatte and Director of Special Services Maxine Bogen, summarized the work that the Strategic Planning Committee has done to meet the goal of providing effective guidance and social work programs.
The committee has explored the creation of an alternative high school for students in grades 10-12 and has worked to expand communication to ensure that students, parents and community members gain a better understanding of the role of guidance programs.
The guidance department has also worked to design activities to inform at-risk student about the importance of education after high school, with programs at both the middle school and high school levels. In addition, the committee has worked to monitor one-on-one student counseling, define how and why students are identified for counseling, and determine how staff go about providing that counseling.
The committee also completed a study of similar school districts to determine whether there is a need to obtain further social work services. The study revealed that Lynbrook’s per pupil personnel services staffing rates are better than the Nassau County average at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. In the second presentation of the evening.
Department Chairperson Carla Gentile explained what the English Department is doing to meet the requirements of the Common Core Learning Standards that go into effect at the high-school level next year.
The statewide standards are aimed at increasing expectations for students in order to ensure that they are “college and career ready” for the modern world. These “modern” expectations include the ability to synthesize information from our media-rich environment, the development of critical thinking skills, and the development of oral, written and digital communication skills.
The English Department’s role in this school-wide initiative is to improve students’ skills in all of these areas, while fostering academic independence. With regard to reading and thinking skills,students are exposed to intellectually accessible literature, which is paired with complementary and complex nonfiction and fiction material.
With regard to writing, students will be exposed to“Language Progressive Skills” (also known as grammar) in a spiraled, grade-level by grade-level (6 through 12) approach so that they develop proofreading and editing skills aimed at ensuring accurate and effective written communication. Students will also work on developing their research skills, with each teacher in each grade level focusing on a particular set of skills.
A research paper is covered in each class from grades 9 to 11, with two or more papers complete din grade 12. The district’s ultimate goal is to foster effective communication, which enables students to synthesize, organize, and present their thoughts, all while being aware of the nuance of language.
Teachers have received training and professional development to guide them in adjusting their methodology to help foster independence on the part of their students.
The board also recognized several students for their achievements.
Members of the two Lynbrook High School robotics teams were honored for their successful participation in the FIRST Robotics Competition held at the Jacob Javits Center on March 7-8.
Competing against more than 80 teams from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, one team made it to the division finals while the second team achieved the second-highest score in their division.
This was an especially notable achievement, since this is only the second year Lynbrook High School has entered this competition, going head-to-head with many more experienced teams. Three other Lynbrook High School students – Noah Blond on, Franklin Canela and Maive Lamond – were recognized for their volunteer participation as team managers of the Lynbrook Challenger Basketball team.