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December 19, 2016 Board of Education Meeting Minutes



December 19, 2016




The regular meeting of the Board of Education of the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District was called to order at 7:31 P.M. by President W. Remington in the conference room on the above date.





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


Absent: B. Remington.


Others: V. Doll, S. Hartson, J. Kardash, D. Pcolar, B. Reid, M. Robinson, G. Snell, D. Witherell, and L. Witherell.




Quorum of five established.




G. Snell revisited Avangrid’s request for PILOT for the North Ridge Wind Project. He again urged the Board to not negotiate a Payment in Lieu of Taxes with the company. He stated that he felt the Parishville Assessor, J. McGill, should assess the property and charge taxes accordingly. G. Snell added he felt if the Wind Project moves forward, the District and towns should receive a fair share of the tax revenue generated by the company’s presence. He said the only way to ensure a fair share is to have the entity be part of the tax base.


Mr. Snell asked Mr. Saiff if he had a recent meeting with the Wind Project group. Mr. Saiff responded that there had been one meeting to discuss a possible PILOT several weeks ago, and that there would be another meeting in the near future. Mr. Saiff stated the timeline he is aware of is very similar to that which was presented publicly at the Hopkinton meetings.


G. Snell provided an updated map to Board members depicting the scope of the proposed Wind Project. He said many properties in Hopkinton had already been leased, but that the company had not yet even submitted an Article 10 application to New York State. Mr. Snell asked Board members to think of the impact the Wind Project would have on the communities, towns, and District. G. Snell said there will be immense property devaluation when the forty wind towers are near houses that residents are trying to sell. He added that the company would surely be in for Phase II, and that would bring forty more towers to the area. Mr. Snell said the company does not have to come to this area. He said companies like Avangrid do not like to pay taxes, and denying them PILOT could prevent them from moving forward with the North Ridge Wind Project. G. Snell concluded by sharing an article with the Board.


L. Witherell shared a letter with the Board written by Michael McCann. She explained that Michael McCann was an expert in the real estate field. L. Witherell stated that if residents’ property values decrease, there is nothing to be gained. She said the proposed towers are too close to residential properties. Mrs. Witherell said in addition to the aesthetic impact, the wind towers would most likely create health concerns, a decrease in wildlife, and other nuisances. She said the 400-500 foot turbines should be at least two miles from residences, and the proposed project would put them between one and one-and-a-half miles from residences. L. Witherell implored the Board to not rush in its decision to grant PILOT.


W. Remington thanked G. Snell and L. Witherell.




Mr. Saiff introduced Mr. Joseph Kardash, Superintendent of Colton-Pierrepont Central School. Mr. Saiff reminded the Board that the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District is transitioning to one-to-one computing with Google-based Chromebooks. He said Colton-Pierrepoint has been the leader in the region for one-to-one student computing. Mr. Saiff explained there are a number of benefits to following Colton-Pierrepont’s platform. He added that Chromebooks were purchased with Community Schools funds, and that the first one hundred Acer Chromebooks had arrived. Mr. Saiff noted the protective cases for the devices would be available soon. Future purchases will be made under Smart Schools funding.


J. Kardash presented Colton-Pierrepont Central School’s one-to-one student computing program, and answered questions from the Board. He noted Colton-Pierrepont is in its sixth year of this teaching and learning platform. Mr. Kardash said all students now have access to a Chromebook, from September through June. He said the use of Chromebooks in education has allowed students in Colton-Pierrepont’s small district a more open view window to the entire globe. Mr. Kardash stated we are all living in an increasingly digital world, whereby students need to be able to keep up. J. Kardash said technology will not replace teachers, but will give them the logistical ability to individualize education in a way they have never been able to do before.

Mr. Saiff and the Board thanked J. Kardash.





V. Doll said Grade 10 student Gabrielle Finen donated a number of her stuffed animals to children in Haiti. Miss Doll added that Gabby’s mother assisted her in also sending money, which provided a number of Haitian children with a warm meal. Gabby received a letter back from the community and a photograph of the children with the stuffed animals. V. Doll said Gabby conducted this act of consideration on her own volition. Miss Doll also said the Boys’ Basketball team beat Brushton-Moira Central School, 53-47.



No. 2017-098



Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve the Minutes of the November 22, 2016, regular meeting, as typed and delivered to Board Members. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-099


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve the Treasurer’s Reports showing an available balance on hand as of November 30, 2016, as follows:

General Fund $248,887.56

General MMA $2,060,717.18.02

Unemployment Reserve $743,305.52

Future Retirement Reserve $345,254.76

Compensated Absences Reserve $557,439.99

Tax Certiorari Reserve $250,088.96

Capital Reserve $500,070.33

Insurance Reserve $83,727.74

Risk Retention (Property Loss Reserve) $45,021.00

School Lunch Fund $13,929.09

School Lunch Savings $24,173.26

Special Aid (Federal Fund) $-0-

Capital Fund $0.03

Trust & Agency Fund $-0-

Payroll Fund $-0-

Scholarship Fund $-0-

Scholarship Savings $30,178.48

Debt Service $156,365.79

Extra-Class Activities Fund $95,954.89

8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.





Mr. Saiff stated Siemen’s responded to the District’s Request for Proposal with an Energy Performance Contract Proposal. He indicated Siemen’s was the only company to respond to the RPF. Mr. Saiff explained that without having completed a full energy audit, the EPC was a “best guess” for energy savings on Siemen’s behalf. He said he would ask the Board again in January to consider the Energy Performance Contract to determine if Board members feel the District should move forward with the project. Mr. Saiff said if the Board agrees, Siemen’s can conduct the energy audit and obtain proof that they can complete the contract at a negative cost. Mr. Saiff added that if the Board does wish to move forward with Siemen’s proposal, the District would be obligated to collaborate with the company within a certain period of time or pay $12,000 for their energy audit services. Mr. Saiff shared with Board members the EPCP, noting the proposed work shows a “positive cost” over the eighteen years of the contract.


Mr. Saiff reviewed specifics of the Energy Performance Contract Proposal. The intended scope of work, estimated at $921,000, would include LED upgrades to the lighting systems, building automation improvements, boiler plant replacements including a partial conversion from fuel oil to propane, and the possibility of a ground solar mount. Mr. Saiff stated the goal of the Facility Improvement Measures is to save energy throughout the District as a whole. He outlined the eleven projected FIMs. The improvements will take place in the Main Building as well as the Bus Garage.




G. Snell left the meeting at 8:27 P.M.




Mr. Saiff continued with the proposed schedule of work and total implementation costs. Because this would be a cost negative project, the District could move forward without approval from the community. However, Mr. Saiff said he would like to involve the District’s residents and that an affirmative vote from the taxpayers would result in an additional 10% in State Aid for the project.



No. 2017-100


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

Capital Fund……………………………………………………..………………..…..$0

Federal Fund ……………………………………………………..…………..$32,270.02

General Fund …………$532,980.34

School Lunch Fund $7,421.31

Trust & Agency $128,572.26

8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-101


Motion made by W. Witherell and seconded by T. Zellweger to accept the Budget Reports for the Month of November, 2016, covering the period from July 1 through November 30, 2016. M. Robinson noted there were no Budget Transfers for the Month of November, 2016. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-102




Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by W. Witherell to approve one revised Board Policy and its accompanying Regulation. Mr. Saiff stated that the revised policy, Title I Parent and Family Engagement (#8620), has been updated in regard to the new Every Student Succeeds Act requirements. The ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind legislation. Mr. Saiff said the Policy encourages increased engagement of family members and guardians. He stated that in the past these policies have generally spoken specifically to parents of students. Mr. Saiff said the language is now more inclusive of other family members and legal guardians, as the dynamics of many families now are less traditional. Mr. Saiff indicated the tracked versions of the Policy and Regulation were available in Board members’ packets. Mr. Saiff added that the amended language expands who can be involved in students’ Title I processes. These are the first readings as required for Policy adoption. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-103



Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to accept Mr. Darin Saiff’s letter of resignation from his position as Superintendent of Schools, effective February 12, 2017. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried, with regret.




Motion made by T. Zellweger to Table this item for Executive Session.



No. 2017-104



Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to accept Spanish Teacher Marijke Lee’s letter of retirement, effective June 30, 2017. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried with the Board’s best wishes.



No. 2017-105


Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent and Cafeteria Manager, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to appoint Victoria Taillon as the 3-hour per day Dishwasher in the Cafeteria, effective December 20, 2016. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-106


Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by W. Witherell and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve the additional master 2016-2017 substitute list en masse. Mr. Saiff indicated two new candidates expressed interest in substitute teaching in the District since the previous Board meeting, and that both gentlemen underwent reference checks by the principals. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-107


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by W. Witherell and seconded by J. Young to approve the recommendation of the CPSE for one pre-school child and the recommendations of the CSE for five students as attached. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




































B. Reid utilized Chromecast to share New York State Assessments results. She shared with the Board the website of public school report cards, graduation rates, Regents scores, and student enrollment numbers. Ms. Reid said she and Miss Doll ran reports for the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District. B. Reid said there was a dip in Grade 3 English Language Arts scores. She said the Grade 3 ELA scores ranked 11th in the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES. Ms. Reid added that in Grade 4 ELA, 41% of students were proficient, which matched the state-wide proficiency score. She noted that Parishville-Hopkinton ranked 1st in the BOCES region for Grade 4 ELA scores. B. Reid also reviewed the scores for Grades 5 and 6 ELA and Grades 3 through 6 Mathematics: Grade 5 ELA – students were 46% proficient, with a state-wide proficiency score of 33% and rank of 2nd in the BOCES. Grade 6 ELA – students were 44% proficient, with a state-wide proficiency score of 34% and a rank of 4th in the BOCES. Students in Grade 3 Math scored 52% proficiency, with a state-wide score of 44% and a rank of 5th in the BOCES. Grade 4 students scored 52% in Mathematics, with a state-wide score of 45% and a rank of 4th in the BOCES. In Grade 5 Math, students scored 56% proficiency, with a state-wide proficiency score of 40% and a rank of 2nd in the BOCES. Grade 6 students scored 56% on the Math assessment, with a state-wide proficiency score of 40% and a rank of 6th in the BOCES. Ms. Reid stated all Grade 4 students scored a 3 or 4 (100% proficiency) on the Science assessments.


V. Doll provided the scored for Grades 7 and 8 English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science: Grade 7 ELA – students scored 53% proficiency and a rank of 1st in the BOCES. Grade 8 ELA – students scored 55% proficiency compared with 41% proficiency achieved at the state level, and a rank of 4th in the BOCES. Grade 7 Mathematics – students ranked 4th in the BOCES and scored 30% proficiency, six points lower than the state average. Grade 8 Mathematics – students scored 33% proficiency, with a statewide proficiency score of 44%, and ranked 5th in the BOCES. Miss Doll stated Grade 7 and 8 Science scores were above the state average.


Miss Doll announced the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team earned the Scholar Athlete Team award. She added that Grade 10 students attended Seaway Area Technical Center in Norwood to explore the programs available at that BOCES. V. Doll said the District held a course selection fair on December 9th. She said Adirondack History was added as an elective for three credits. Miss Doll shared with Board members printouts of the new, revised graduation requirements. She noted more authority has been given to school districts. V. Doll noted New York state has some of the most difficult diploma requirements in the country. She mentioned the “Regents diploma” credential is no longer holding a great deal of weight as an indicator of successful completion of a rigorous program. Instead, Honors courses and courses for college credit are being used as measures of notable achievement.


B. Reid noted the first set of Chromebooks will be distributed to the Grade 3 classroom, as they will be the first grade level to take computer-based New York State Exams.


Ms. Reid shared with the Board pictures from the School Musical, Seven Brides for Seven Bothers. She thanked and congratulated PHCS Follies for the production and performance. B. Reid noted that the month of December focused on Enrichment during 10th period. She said students have been enriching their education through yoga, building Egyptian dioramas, playing intermural basketball, or making crafts. Ms. Reid also added that Accelerated Reader has been enriching students’ reading skills. She said the District invested in the program this past year, and that it links with the platforms teachers and students are already used to. B. Reid said students set their goals for reading and the program tracks their reading comprehension. Once a student reaches his or her goals, Ms. Reid delivers a necklace to the student. She stated teachers looked at student data during this time to create interim assessments.


B. Reid also showed pictures from Story Time with Santa and the Kindergarten Winter concert. She said that because of the inclement weather, the Elementary Winter Concert will precede the High School Winter Concert this Wednesday.


W. Remington thanked the principals for their updates.




The Board received “Thank you” correspondence from the District to Mr. Richard Countryman for the donation of an electronic drum set, the December 2016 issue of Panther Press, correspondence from the Division of Local Government and School Accountability of the Office of the State Comptroller Audit, two letters from community members regarding the North Ridge Wind Project, and a list of upcoming events of interest.



No. 2017-108


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to go into Executive Session at 9:11 P.M. to discuss the employment and financial histories of two particular employees. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




D. Pcolar, M. Robinson, D. Witherell, and L. Witherell left the meeting at 9:12 P.M.



No. 2017-109


Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to approve the Non-Unit Salary Sheet as presented. Mr. Saiff stated the salary sheet reflects employees that will be affected by the scheduled minimum wage increase effective December 31, 2016. Mr. Saiff also proposed a 2.5% salary increase for the Administrators; himself, the Elementary Principal/CSE Chair, and the Junior-Senior High School Principal/Athletic Director. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




At 9:37 P.M. the Board President announced that the meeting would reconvene.



No. 2017-110


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to adjourn at 9:38 P.M. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.








School District Clerk



12 County Route 47
Parishville, NY 13672
Phone: 315-265-4642
Fax: 315-268-1309

Mission Statement:
The PHCS community strives to instill in all students the knowledge and skills necessary to become caring, conscientious, and creative citizens.

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