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April 18, 2016 Board of Education Meeting Minutes



April 18, 2016




The regular meeting of the Board of Education of the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District was called to order at 7:30 P.M. by President W. Remington in the conference room on the above date.





Present: J. McGill, B. Remington, W. Remington, D. Taylor, R. White, J. Young, T. Zellweger, and Mr. Saiff.


Absent: H. Simmons, W. Witherell.


Others: F. Barney, V. Doll, S. Hartson, S. Heaslip, B. Reid, A. Rider-Mitchell, and M. Tremper




Quorum of five established.








B. Reid announced Alissa Zeallor from Mrs. Knowles’ Kindergarten classroom as the Paw Ticket winner for the Month of March.


V. Doll shared that five works of art from four Parishville-Hopkinton students – Brian Knowles, Olivia Dickinson, Ivy Donovan, and Hannah Hannon – were on their way to the Congressional Art Show, where they will be displayed in Elise Stefanik’s office. Miss Doll added that artwork chosen from Ms. Stefanik’s District would join other winning works of art from other congressional districts and be displayed for one year in the United States Capitol. The winning artist of the combined works of art will have his or her piece displayed on the Congressional Art Competition page and the winner will also receive airfare for two to attend the formal Congressional Art Competition ceremony in June.



No. 2016-170



Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by D. Taylor to approve the Minutes of the March 14, 2016, special budget meeting; March 14, 2016, regular meeting; and April 4, 2016, special budget meeting, as typed and delivered to Board Members. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-171



Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by B. Remington to approve the Treasurer’s Reports showing an available balance on hand as of March 31, 2016, as follows:

General Fund $32,631.03

Capital Reserve 500,003.66

Risk Retention (Property Loss Reserve – CLASS) 45,015.00

School Lunch Fund…………… 6,555.28

School Lunch Savings 72,830.49

Federal Fund -0-

Trust & Agency Fund -0-

Payroll Fund -0-

Extra-Class Activities Fund 91,415.02

7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




Mr. Saiff reminded the Board that at last month’s meeting John Warnek spoke about the Tri-County Solar Consortium. Mr. Saiff stated that an agreement of initial interest was sent to Mr. Warneck, and that the Board would need to decide by May 20th whether or not they would like the school district to be a part of the consortium. A decision will be made at the Board of Education Meeting to be held May 16, 2016.



NO. 2016-172



Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by B. Remington to approve the following schedules for audit and payment:

General Fund $419,073..48

School Lunch Fund 10,846.52

Federal Fund 223.64

Trust & Agency 125,043.07

Capital Fund -0-

7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-173


Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. McGill to authorize the Business Manager to make the necessary budgetary transfers as attached for the Month of March, 2016. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-174


Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. McGill to accept the Budget Reports for the Month of March, 2016, covering the period from July 1, 2015, through March, 2016, as presented. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




Mr. Saiff introduced Steven Heaslip of Siemens, who was involved in the most recent energy performance contract. Mr. Heaslip stated that he was asked to prepare a proposal to reduce energy consumption in the District and present it to the Board. S. Heaslip gave an overview of his connection to the District dating back to 1998. He said his objective this time was to investigate an alternative means of funding facility improvements without any impact to local taxpayers, as the project would be funded through building aid paid out of existing budget funds.


S. Heaslip noted the District spends approximately $120,000 per year on utilities. He explained that the money saved through energy upgrades would assist in paying for the project. A bond code is not required for this type of project, thus no money will be borrowed. The cost of the fifteen year capital lease is paid by the District’s savings. Mr. Heaslip also stated these projects qualify for grants. In particular, National Grid has programs that Siemens would apply to on behalf of the District. S. Heaslip went on to explain that the project is guaranteed to provide savings to the District. If the conversions prove not to reduce energy consumption, Siemens writes a check to cover the difference between the anticipated savings and the actual cost. Mr. Heaslip stated that he was confident in Siemens’ ability to identify work that would generate savings. S. Heaslip said he collaborated with F. Barney, and recognized about $700,000 worth of improvements. With the conversions in place, the District would save approximately $40,000 off the annual $120,000 utility costs.


Mr. Heaslip continued that Siemens would have full, single-point, turn-key responsibility for the project. This means the District would not have to hire a Clerk of the Works and there would be no change orders. S. Heaslip said it is not often that Siemens underestimates their performance contract. He added that with the Building Conditions Survey completed, Siemens would coordinate with the work listed on that as best they could. Mr. Heaslip said the State Education Department defined very well what work can and cannot be included in such a project.


S. Heaslip explained that replacing the fluorescent lighting system with LED lights would yield a substantial savings and improve the quality of lighting. He added that the fan system could be controlled to conserve energy and provide the correct temperature flows. He also said that once Siemens puts the lighting and heating systems in place, they are commissioned to ensure the systems are running properly. Mr. Heaslip said plug load controls could also be put in place. There is a wireless device that connects into the control system and reduces “ghost power loads”. Ghost power loads are created when devices are left plugged in while nobody is around to use them – essentially standby power. The wireless device would shut everything that it is connected to off a particular time, such as 5:00 P.M., and turn the electronics back on at another time, perhaps 6:00 A.M. S. Heaslip said any building automation could provide the District savings through energy conservation. He noted that the District already has a Siemens’ control system in the building for the current heating/cooling system.


Mr. Heaslip said that the District could benefit from building envelope improvements, including caulking, insulation, unit ventilators, and exhaust fans. He also proposed changing out one of the oil fired boilers to propane and putting in one propane storage tank. He noted that propane is operationally more efficient that fuel and costs less. S. Heaslip said the propane tank would be buried, and propane delivery would be very structured. He said there are advantages to the flexibility of dual fuel. R. White asked if the District could be heated with pellets in a wood-fired boiler, contracting with Curran Renewable Energy. Mr. Heaslip replied that it was an economically sound idea, but that the State Education Department would not allow a wood-fired system under an energy performance contract, as wood heating systems rate only between 50 and 60% efficient. S. Heaslip added that with a propane heating system, an Advantage Navigator lets the District manage its utilities. He also said day-to-day reports can be printed and indexed.


S. Heaslip explained that Siemens is looking at renewable energies and the straight-out purchase of related equipment. Mr. Heaslip briefly mentioned his association with John Warneck and his respect for his program. S. Heaslip added that he felt installing a small solar panel array on the District’s roof would be more economical than joining the solar consortium, as the District would qualify for aid for that. He added there would be an eighteen-year contract if the District chose to purchase its own solar panels.


Mr. Heaslip discussed the project financial summary. He said the project would be approximately $707,000 with fifteen-year capital lease. S. Heaslip explained the data; noting the District would save about $60,000 in energy costs per year, with an annual cost of $29,000 for maintenance and verification of equipment. This would create a net savings of about $505,000 over eighteen years.


S. Heaslip imparted again that a performance contract is an alternative means of funding. He said the State Education Department required it to be carried out as a capital lease legislated as professional services. Mr. Heaslip stated the fiscal advisor at Siemens sends a Request for Proposal for financing and the District would pick with whom it is the most comfortable from the responses, not necessarily based upon cost. Once the District selects the company it would like to work with, and they would sign a letter of intent and also present a proposal. A fairly traditional project timeline will then ensue. Mr. Heaslip stated the amortization clearly matches our budget year and what the budget is. The interest rate is estimated at 4%.


T. Zellweger asked if the District is borrowing money, why does the proposal not have to be presented as a vote. S. Heaslip responded that the $60,000 payment is being offset by $40,000 in building aid and $40,000 in efficiency savings, therefore not negatively impacting taxpayers. He said this scenario falls under Article 9 of the Energy Law as long as that positive situation exists where the project will save more than it costs in that budget year. M. Tremper asked what would happen if the District is six or seven years into the commitment and does not yield the anticipated savings. Mr. Heaslip replied that Siemens would write a check for the difference. He explained that Siemens is a large corporation and that they stand behind their work. He also stated that they would conduct energy and performance audits to fix what is going wrong so that they can avoid having to write a check. The project will provide Siemens and the District with real, measurable savings, he said.


J. Young inquired how much storage would be needed if the District utilized propane. S. Heaslip said one large tank and a vaporizer would be needed. He added that at another district, four smaller tanks were used to get vaporization.


Mr. Heaslip concluded his presentation by stating that he is passionate about education. He proposed that students could be tied into this project to learn about renewable energy and environmental conservation. He exclaimed that Grade 4 students in another District were participating in age-appropriate activities, such as lighting audits whereby students “police the lights”, alerting teachers and classmates when lights are on unnecessarily. S. Heaslip said that Siemens would cooperate with the District’s teachers to plan overlaps in curriculum and provide professional development opportunities at no additional cost. He noted that Siemens is running its third annual collaborative education summit and that they are part of the National STEM Learning System.


Ward thanked Mr. Heaslip for attending.




F. Barney, S. Heaslip, and M. Tremper left the meeting at 8:13 p.m.



No. 2016-175


Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. McGill to approve the Property Tax Report Card as attached. Mr. Saiff noted that each year following the approval of the school budget, the District’s Business Manager, M. Robinson, prepares a Property Tax Report Card to submit to the State Education Department. Mr. Saiff added that a copy of the Property Tax Report Card would be transmitted by fax or email to the Courier-Observer, the School’s Official Newspaper, and that information would also be made available in an informational packet that is provided for the public. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




J. Young drew names to determine the order in which Board Candidates appear on the ballot. S. Hartson recorded the names as follows: Timothy Zellweger, Ashley Sweeney.



No. 2016-176


Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by TZ and seconded by BR to cast one vote each for Roger Bennet, Michael Davis, and Shellie Prespare-Weston for the annual election of members to the St. Lawrence-Lewis Counties Board of Cooperative Educational Services and to approve the adoption of the 2016-2017 Administrative Budget for the St. Lawrence-Lewis Counties Board of Cooperative Educational Services in the amount of $5,996,735. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-177


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by B. Remington to appoint Furgison & Co. CPA, as the District’s External Auditor for the years ending 2016 through 2020, and for Mr. Saiff to forward correspondence confirming this to S. Furgison. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried. Mr. Saiff added that Sherry would give questionnaires at the May 16, 2016 Audit meeting.



No. 2016-178


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to accept the Annual Fire Inspection Reports for the Main Building and Bus Garage as prepared by John Warneck and for Mr. Saiff to electronically submit said reports to the State Education Department for review and approval. Mr. Saiff reviewed the annual Fire Inspection Reports and noted that four minor items of nonconformance were identified in the Main Building when the inspection was conducted on March 30, 2016. The non-conformances involved a blocked exit window, a bad cord end on a power tool in the Technology Room, two instances of improper extension cord use, and exposed wire in a classroom. Mr. Saiff stated that these items were rectified on either the same day or the following day. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-179



Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by B. Remington to accept Glenn Clark’s letter of retirement, effective June 30, 2016. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried, with regret.



No. 2016-180



Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to accept Junior High School Social Studies Teacher Mary Keenan’s letter of retirement, effective June 30, 2016. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried, with regret.



No. 2016-181


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to approve the two additional substitutes on the 2015-2016 Substitute List, as attached. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-182



Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. McGill to appoint Mary Keenan as High School Graduation Speaker. Mr. Saiff stated Miss Doll worked with the senior class and the advisors to select Mrs. Keenan for this honor. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-183




Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by B. Remington to retain the course offering and appoint Mark Leuthauser as the 2016 Summer Driver Education instructor at a salary of $7,066 based on a maximum class size of twenty students, should the proposed budget pass on May 17th.  This will be M. Leuthauser’s seventh year as the District’s Summer Driver Education Instructor.  (Certification:  NYS A-9275 Drivers Education and NYS Pre-Licensing Course Instructor.)  Mr. Saiff anticipates that between 15 and 20 students will enroll in the course this summer.  Mr. Saiff noted out-of-district students would be permitted to attend for a fee once the District’s students have been accounted for. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried. 



No. 2016-184



Mr. Saiff explained the 2015-2016 school calendar indicated 186 working days. He said that the Teaching Employee’s Association contract states teachers are only required to work 183 days. Mr. Saiff noted the District had three snow days remaining, as three had been used during the year. Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. McGill to apply one of two unused weather/emergency days as one full day of no school on Friday, May 27th, 2016 and to also to have two early release days for elementary students on June 21st and 22nd, 2016. J. McGill, B. Remington, W. Remington, D. Taylor, R. White, and T. Zellweger in favor, J. Young opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-185

2016-2017 MEAL PRICES

Based upon the recommendation of the Cafeteria Manager and the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to increase the District’s breakfast and lunch prices, a mandatory directive from the State, by 10¢, thereby bringing the PreK-Grades 8 lunches to $2.15 and the Grades 9-12 High School lunch price up to $2.25. The price for breakfast will be $1.35 and the price for milk will remain at 50¢. Mr. Saiff stated that the increase in standard lunch prices would not affect the price of free and reduced lunches. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-186


Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by D. Taylor to approve the following sports merger requests en masse: Football with Brasher Falls Central School; Boys’ Ice Hockey with Brasher Falls Central School; Boys’ and Girls’ Cross-Country Running with Norwood-Norfolk Central School; Boys’ and Girls’ Indoor Track with Norwood-Norfolk Central School; Boys’ and Girls’ Spring Track with Norwood-Norfolk Central School; Girls’ Ice Hockey with Potsdam Central School; Girls’ Lacrosse with Potsdam Central School; Golf with Potsdam Central School; Volleyball with Potsdam Central School; Boys’ Lacrosse with Colton-Pierrepont Central School; and the anticipated merger request from Colton-Pierrepont Central School in Boys’ Modified and Varsity Baseball. Miss Doll noted this action is for the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District to request mergers with other schools, with the exception of the potential request from Colton-Pierrepont Central School in Baseball, contingent upon passage of the proposed school budget. Miss Doll added that there is a fee for student athletes participating in mergers with Brasher Falls and Potsdam Central School Districts. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-187


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve the recommendation of the CSE for fifty students as attached. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




V. Doll said it is the time of year when students are more interested in being anywhere other than class. Miss Doll said she and the High School teachers are doing their best to ensure students are focused during instructional time. She stated Grades 7 and 8 have been very busy with New York State Assessments. V. Doll shared opt-out information, stating that between the two grades, 16 students total opted out of the exams. Only two of those students were Grade 7 students. Miss Doll gave the percentages of opt outs for each of the two grades for each assessment (English Language Arts and Mathematics). V. Doll said after the Grade 8 state test in New York State Science, the High School grades will be preparing for New York State Regents Exams. Mr. Saiff added more data for testing opt-outs, and indicated it was significantly lower than last year’s statistics. He credited the staff, the “Rock the Test” extravaganza, and the notion that students were very well prepared for the assessments. Mr. Saiff said he is very proud of the testing results, and that Parishville-Hopkinton Central’s students do very well comparative to other districts in the BOCES. V. Doll also stated that in the middle school, opting out of the tests was not discussed. She said it was made clear to students that if they opted out of the exams, they would be working academically on something else. B. Reid added that last year there was a particular cross-section of students that opted out. This year, she said, one grade level in particular saw more students with special needs opt out. She noted there was one medical opt-out. Ms. Reid said she is pleased to be a Data Driven school, but that data is pulled out from under educators and administrators when students opt-out of the New York State Assessments.


Miss Doll said sports teams are now practicing outside. She stated that all baseball games are double-headers as away games while the maintenance crew is working on the soccer field. V. Doll said music and science field trips are coming up, and that she would be chaperoning the Senior trip.


B. Reid discussed New York State Assessments at the Elementary level. She said that even within families some students would take the tests and others would not. She said she feels that parents left it up to their children. Ms. Reid stated some students said “I want to take the ELA [assessment], but not the Math”. She explained that it was challenging in terms of supervision of students that opted out of the exams during testing time. B. Reid said she is very proud of the students. She noted students were working on their exams past their lunch periods because they wanted to do well. Ms. Reid added that every elementary student that took the test completed the exams, and felt good about themselves for finishing the assessments.


Ms. Reid stated that since last board meeting, she and T. Baxter are attempting to get a Lowe’s grant for a Math and Movement program. The grant would assist with the purchase of mats and help with ideas for family nights. The mats, B. Reid noted, were expensive pieces of equipment but were very durable for walking on and playing games. Ms. Reid shared that Associates of Lowe’s came to the District and walked around and took pictures. She said they were very excited to advocate for local school districts to obtain money. Lowe’s is not only interested in assisting with money, but will also pay their staff to attend Math and Movement events. B. Reid said she expects to know more about the grant progress in the next few months.


B. Reid also said she attended the CSE Chairs’ Technical Assistance meeting in Lake Placid. The conference focused on executive functioning skills, a topic she said she found very pertinent. Ms. Reid noted M. Murray and K. Wallace attended with her. B. Reid added that the third cycle of interventions had concluded. She said students had very positive reactions to the “Rock the Test” extravaganza. Ms. Reid gave much credit to the elementary teachers. She said the last of the English Language Arts exams had been scored, and teachers were moving on to score Math assessments. B. Reid added that there would be a 40-minnute New York State assessment field test in Grade 5 for English Language Arts. Students will be using computer-based testing, and Ms. Reid said the field test will give them a better view at what that process will look like.

B. Reid highlighted events that were coming up. She mentioned Universal Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Information Night will be April 26th. She also said enrollment week for incoming Kindergarteners had been scheduled. Ms. Reid explained that the Parent/Teacher Conference early dismissal day had been moved to Wednesday, April 27th so that teachers could attend both days of the Google Summit. She noted the New York State assessment in Grade 4 Science would be held at the end of May and continue into June. B. Reid also said that Grandparents’ Day will be held on Saturday, May 14th and that she looks forward to the event.


W. Remington thanked both principals for their updates.




The Board received correspondence to the District’s Legislators, “Thank you” correspondence to Senator Betty Little, a copy of two On Board articles, the April issue of Panther Press, and a list of upcoming events of interest.



No. 2016-188


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to go into Executive Session at 8:58 P.M. to discuss a parent concern and the Superintendent’s annual evaluation. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




Amy Rider-Mitchell left the meeting at 8:58 P.M.




At 9:52 P.M. the Board President announced that the meeting would reconvene.



No. 2016-189


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by R. White to adjourn at 9:53 P.M. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.








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