Letter from the Principal


A huge welcome to our returning and new students and their families from all of us at SchoolNova at Stony Brook. Please take the time to search our school web page to learn about the many educational activities that make our program such a special place.
SchoolNova was opened in September of 2004 with only 60 students and 12 teachers. Now it is home to approximately 500 students between pre-kindergarten and tenth grade. More than 40 teachers and 20 teaching assistants work at the school.

Our education approach focuses on helping children acquire skills and knowledge that would increase their interest in academics and eventually facilitate a comfortable transition to college. At our school, we believe that there are essential requirements for creating an optimal learning environment for children:
- Instructors who are highly qualified in the subject that they teach.
- Motivated students
- a small class size
- a wide variety of subjects for a well-rounded education
- an innovating and engaging curriculum in each subject
- and responsiveness to the needs of students and their families

Many of our instructors have advanced degrees, university-level teaching experience, and research experience. Our small class size allows us to give a lot of attention to individual students. We have been fortunate to attract talented and motivated students who set an excellent example for our program's new students.

As the school grew and evolved, we kept adding new subjects. Due to high demand, we have created a math and language program for children ages 3-6. We have added language instruction in English, French, Italian, and Spanish. We have expanded the areas of science that we offer, and we added new levels of mathematics instruction.

Our mission is to inspire children to study mathematics and science, to cultivate their linguistic skills and their appreciation of art and to foster a stimulating learning environment by attracting talented and motivated students.

We consider it a great privilege to work with your children and look forward to creating a challenging, nurturing, and fun learning environment.

Sincerely Yours,

Marina Polonskaia, Ph.D.
SchoolNova Principal

About me:

I graduated from Krasnoyarsk State University (Russia) with an M.Sc. degree in physics and teaching. After that, I received a Ph.D. in theoretical biophysics from the Institute of Biophysics in Krasnoyarsk. After my defense, our family moved to the US. I worked as a postdoctoral research associate and research scientist at UIC (the University of Illinois at Chicago), HMS (Harvard Medical School), and Stony Brook University.
I was fortunate to become a part of two different programs in high school: one was an enrichment program in mathematics and natural sciences taught by university faculty and graduate students, and another was a Summer School for gifted children. Both programs changed my life. I learned a lot of new and exciting things and met amazing people. Many have become my lifelong friends (I even met my husband at Summer School). We had lectures from world-renowned scientists and discovered a whole new world of people who treasure education, culture, and art. I am still connected to this summer school. I went there as a counselor and teaching assistant during my undergraduate years, and then as a lecturer during my graduate school years. Even though I live on the other side of the world, I try to go back there and teach as often as I can.

I was thrilled to meet several people in Stony Brook who went through a similar experience in their youth and valued the importance of a good education for children. So, in 2004, we opened a weekend enrichment program on the campus of Stony Brook University, and I became the school's director.

(C) SchoolNova 2005-2022