The Dec. 11 Lynbrook Board of Education meeting opened on a celebratory note, as the Board recognized 19 Lynbrook High School seniors who submitted papers to the Intel Science Talent Search. This marked a record number of participants for the school in this prestigious national competition. Semifinalists will be announced on Jan. 8.
In new business, the Board heard a Strategic Planning Committee update on academic achievement and staff development. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Gerard Beleckas noted that the high school has developed Regents courses that go beyond the scope of state requirements to provide all students with a more challenging curriculum.
In the 2015-16 school year, the district will introduce an enhanced math, science and technology program for grades five to seven. Ongoing work to enhance English language arts and literacy skills will include the introduction or expansion of proven programs such as Read 180, System 44, Reading A-Z and FAST.
A previous recommendation by the committee to introduce a foreign language program in the elementary schools has been tabled, due to the prohibitive cost of instituting a traditional FLES program. The district is currently exploring technology-aided options to support the introduction of a more cost-effective modified program.
Going hand in hand with academic achievement, the district continues to provide all staff with appropriate opportunities to improve their skills. Teachers recently attended reading workshops administered by reading gurus Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Making use of technology, the district has developed a plan for a virtual library to support the creation of staff-produced videos on performance-related topics.
Among the resolutions acted on by the Board was one regarding the district’s policy on state testing and the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards. The resolution identified the Board’s position to provide students with a quality public education and foster authentic and engaging learning experiences for students, while faced with the challenges of implementing Common Core Standards and new state assessment requirements. The resolution called upon students to comply with testing requirements, while the Board continues to petition the commissioner of education and state policymakers to reduce the use of and over-reliance on standardized testing.
In the resolution, the Board also called for reduced federal testing
mandates and supported the reliance on multiple measures of student learning
and school accountability, returning control of education to local school