Letter from the Principal


Welcome to SchoolNova at Stony Brook! We are delighted to welcome back our returning students and extend a warm greeting to all new students and their families. We encourage you to explore our school website, where you will find a wide range of educational activities that make our program truly exceptional.

Our enrichment program was established in September 2004 with a modest beginning of 60 students and 12 teachers. Since then, our school has experienced significant growth, and we now proudly serve approximately 500 students ranging from pre-kindergarten to tenth grade. Our dedicated team consists of over 40 teachers and 20 teaching assistants who are fully committed to providing an outstanding learning experience.

Our educational approach is centered around equipping children with the skills and knowledge that foster a genuine interest in academics and pave the way for a smooth transition to college. To create an optimal learning environment, we believe in the importance of the following key elements:

  • Highly qualified instructors who specialize in their respective subjects
  • Motivated students
  • Small class sizes
  • A diverse range of subjects to promote a well-rounded education
  • Innovative and engaging curricula across all subjects
  • Responsiveness to the needs of our students and their families

Many of our instructors possess advanced degrees in their fields and bring extensive teaching and research experience from universities and national laboratories. Our small class sizes allow us to provide individualized attention to each student, and we are fortunate to have attracted talented and motivated students who serve as exemplary role models for their peers.

As our school has grown and evolved, we have expanded our offerings to meet the needs and demands of our community. We now offer a specialized math program tailored for children aged 3-6. Additionally, we provide instruction in Advanced English, French, Spanish, and Russian for students at all levels. Our science curriculum has also undergone expansion, with the addition of Computer Science and Chemistry courses alongside our existing physics, Earth Science, and General Science offerings.

Our mission is to ignite a passion for mathematics and science, nurture linguistic skills, foster an appreciation for art, and cultivate a stimulating learning environment. It is an honor for us to work with your children, and we are fully committed to providing a challenging, nurturing, and enjoyable educational experience.

With warm regards,

Dr. Marina Polonskaia,

Principal, SchoolNova at Stony Brook

About me:

I have a background in physics and teaching, having obtained an M.Sc. degree in physics and teaching from Krasnoyarsk State University in Russia. Following that, I pursued a Ph.D. in theoretical biophysics at the Institute of Biophysics in Krasnoyarsk. After completing my doctoral defense, my husband and I relocated to the United States.

In the US, I gained valuable research experience by working as a postdoctoral research associate and research scientist at various institutions, including UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago), HMS (Harvard Medical School), and Stony Brook University.

During my high school years, I had the privilege of participating in two transformative programs. One was an enrichment program in mathematics and natural sciences, taught by university faculty and graduate students. The other was a Summer School for gifted high school students. Both experiences had a profound impact on my life. I had the opportunity to learn fascinating new subjects and meet exceptional individuals, many of whom have remained my lifelong friends. It was even at the Summer School where I met my husband. These programs introduced me to world-renowned scientists and exposed me to a community that valued education, culture, and art. I still maintain a strong connection with the Summer School, having served as a counselor and teaching assistant during my undergraduate and graduate years, and later as a lecturer while doing research in the USA. Despite living on the other side of the world, I make an effort to return and teach there as frequently as possible.

In Stony Brook, I had the pleasure of encountering several individuals who had similar formative experiences in their youth and shared a deep appreciation for providing children with a quality education. This inspired us to establish a weekend enrichment program on the campus of Stony Brook University in 2004, with me taking on the role of the school's director.

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