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December 21, 2015 Board of Education Meeting Minutes

 

 

December 21, 2015

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

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.

 

 

ROLL CALL

 

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

 

Absent: H. Simmons.

 

Others: V. Doll, S. Hartson, B. Reid, M. Robinson, and R. Whalen.

 

 

QUORUM

Quorum of five established.

 

 

QUESTIONS FROM PUBLIC AND PRESS

None.

 

 

STUDENT/TEACHER

RECOGNITION

B. Reid announced that Karson Caringi-Deshaw in Kindergarten was the Paw Ticket winner for the month of November.

 

 

No. 2016-095

MINUTES

 

Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve the Minutes of the November 16, 2015, regular meeting, as typed and delivered to Board Members. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2016-096

TREAS. REPORTS

Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to approve the Treasurer’s Reports showing an available balance on hand as of November 30, 2015, as follows:

General Fund $12,957.96

General Fund Capital Reserve……………………...……………………..$499,970.30

Risk Retention (Property Loss Reserve – CLASS) $45,012.00

School Lunch Fund $25,995.08

School Lunch Savings $40,805.85

Federal Fund $0

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

Trust & Agency Fund $0

Payroll Fund $0

Extra-Class Activities Fund $82,439.11

8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

UPDATE ON PROPOSED 2016 BUILDING PROJECT

 

Mr. Saiff stated that there was little new information to report since the last Board meeting. He noted that the District could budget for a two million dollar project without a significant impact on taxpayers. Mr. Saiff added that during a contingent budget while trying to maintain programming, the District had three options – the first being to stick to the original time frame and putting forth a resolution on the same ballot as the Budget Vote in May, 2016. Mr. Saiff said that the building project resolution would be a fourth proposition for voters, as there are resolutions for the main budget vote, a Board member vacancy, and the purchase of two school buses. The second option would be to postpone the building project vote until Fall 2016. With the expectation that the budget would pass, the District would no longer be operating under a contingent budget. Should the building project vote pass at that time, construction would not begin until later that autumn, by which time some materials and other costs may increase. The third course of action would be to completely delay the building project. Mr. Saiff stated that it was difficult for him to recommend this option, as there are systems and parts of the District that desperately need fixing and updating. He shared that data regarding the District’s mean household income had just been made available, and the District placed the lowest out of thirty-three North Country school districts. Mr. Saiff said the community is pressed financially, and that the school is a reflection of that situation. After further discussion, W. Remington said on behalf of the Board, they would like to postpone the building project vote in anticipation of the 2016-2017 School Budget Vote. It was noted that the building project process should be continued so far as it is able, but that submissions to the State Education Department and cooperating architects should be held. B. Remington suggested holding the vote during the vote in August of 2016, and having the media, such as News Channel 7 and the Courier-Observer, provide notice to the public that the vote will be held. Mr. Saiff said he would report back his findings at the January meeting.

 

 

No. 2016-097

SCHEDULE APPROVAL

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

 

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

Federal Fund ……………………………………………………………...….…$126.99

General Fund …………$525,749.64

School Lunch Fund $5,476.56

Trust & Agency $126,958.92

8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2016-098

BUDGET TRANSFERS

Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to authorize the Business Manager to make the necessary budgetary transfers as attached for the Month of November, 2015. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2016-099

BUDGET REPORTS

Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to accept the Budget Reports for the Month of November, 2015, covering the period from July 1 through November 30, 2015. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

PREFERRED BALLOT METHOD FOR 2016-2017 SCHOOL BUDGET VOTE

Mr. Saiff reminded Board Members that at the last Board Meeting the options for the method of voting at the 2016-2017 Budget Vote were briefly discussed. Mr. Saiff said that he hoped to get direction from the Board to either utilize paper ballots or rent the Optical Scan Voting Machines from the County. Mr. Saiff added that it would be between $300 and $400 to rent a machine and purchase supplies for it. Mr. Saiff noted that the County is currently petitioning all schools in St. Lawrence County to determine how many machines will be needed. After conferring, the Board determined paper ballots would be the best option for the District’s School Budget vote in May.

 

 

No. 2016-100

REVISED AND NEW BOARD POLICIES/ Administration of Medication (#7513)/ Students with Life-Threatening Health Conditions (#7521)/

Student Grading Information Systems (#5675)

 

Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to approve three Board Policies en masse. Mr. Saiff stated that the first policy, Administration of Medication (#7513), pertained to dispensing particular medications to students. He mentioned the policy and regulation provide safe guards for those administering the medication, and also details new medications and equipment the nurse can have. Mr. Saiff noted that the District’s school nurse maintains and is trained to administer nebulizers and epinephrine pens. He added that though the nurse could administer Narcan, the District has not yet decided to train the school nurse to administer it and maintain it on premises. It was noted that doing so would likely be a consideration in the future. The second policy, Students with Life-Threatening Diseases (#7521), specifically addresses administering epinephrine pens safely under school policy. The final policy, Student Grading Information Systems, involves the types of information that can be accessed through the District’s student management system, Schooltool. Mr. Saiff explained that currently, the District’s Chief Information Officer, Melissa Scudder, has the most access and rights to student information. He added that several other pertinent employees have access, but it is more restricted than Mrs. Scudder’s. Mr. Saiff stated that M. Scudder looked closely at this policy, and that Jennifer Pierce reviewed the first two policies. These are the first readings as required for Policy adoption. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2016-101

BOARD Resolution/

Establish the Standard and Initial Periods as Required by the Affordable Care Act Shared Responsibility for Employers

Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to approve the Resolution to Establish the Standard and Initial Periods as Required by the Affordable Care Act Shared Responsibility for Employers. M. Robinson explained the background information included with the Resolution. This resolution, he said, directed us to look at every part-time, hourly employee, and coach within the past twelve months to determine if an employee worked an average of 30 hours per week. If so, the District would need to offer him or her Health Insurance. The lookback period would begin July 1, 2015. M. Robinson noted the Health Insurance plan administrators recommended the resolution to protect the District. The resolution establishes the dates and criteria in looking at hourly and part-time employees’ work histories. Mr. Robinson added that this component of the ACA will go into effect sometime in 2016. M. Robinson stated from that point, employers will have to offer health insurance to 95% of qualifying employees. He noted that the District is currently at 75% in terms of employees covered by the District’s Health Insurance plan. Mr. Saiff added that fines accompanying violations of the Affordable Care Act provisions are becoming steep. While the District does have to offer the insurance to a qualifying employee, the District will not have to pay for it if the employee declines. If an employee pursues Health Insurance through the Federal Marketplace, there will be a system of checks to ensure he or she was offered Insurance by the District if he or she qualified. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2016-102

SECRETARY I POSITION/ LETTER OF RESIGNATION/

G. WILSON

Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to accept Geri Lynn Wilson’s letter of resignation from her position as Guidance Office Secretary effective January 3, 2016, with regret. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2016-103

CHANGE FROM MEDICAID CLERK TO CPSE CLERK/

B. REMINGTON

Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by D. Taylor to approve the change in appointment for Barbara Remington from Medicaid Clerk to CPSE Coordinator Clerk retroactive to July 1, 2015. Mr. Saiff noted that the District was now responsible for pre-school special education (CPSE) coordination. Students that enter the public school system and need special education services had those services coordinated by BOCES in the past. However, because of the increasing number of pre-school students requiring special education services, it is no longer financially efficient to have BOCES coordinate those services. Mr. Saiff mentioned that a shortage of local area service providers has been significantly costly at the BOCES level. BOCES will end its participation in CPSE coordination, making this a responsibility of school districts. Mr. Saiff noted that we do not currently have the staffing on hand for the position of CPSE coordinator. He said that Barbara Remington previously served as Medicaid Clerk, a position which proved no longer necessary. Mr. Saiff suggested shifting B. Remington’s additional stipend from Medicaid Clerk to CPSE Coordinator Clerk, as the amount of the stipend is less than what BOCES was paid to coordinate pre-school special education services last year. The move would also keep the coordination of the District’s students in-house, namely in the CSE coordinator’s office. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2016-104

REQUEST FOR MATERNITY LEAVE/

E. BELT

Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by W. Witherell to approve Elizabeth Belt’s request for Maternity Leave under the Family/Medical Leave Act tentatively scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, and continue through June 23, 2015. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2016-105

DARK ROOM EQUIPMENT DONATION

Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by W. Witherell to accept the donation of various photography equipment and supplies by Helen Condon. Mr. Saiff stated that H. Condon donated the materials over the summer for use by students in R. Whalen’s Photography class. An approximate value of the equipment is $300.00. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

DELIVERY OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS

Mr. Saiff asked the Board to consider the handling of High School Diplomas at the 2016 Senior Graduation. He stated that traditionally, the Board President delivered a majority of the diplomas, with students whom had family members on the Board of Education receiving their diplomas from their relative. Mr. Saiff proposed several options: 1) To have the Board President only deliver the diplomas; 2) To have the Board President deliver diplomas, with exception of immediate family members or 3) To open a more expanded view where friends of Board Members’ children or grandchildren can be delivered by other Board Members. This item will be discussed again at the January 19, 2016 Board of Education Meeting.

 

 

No. 2016-106

CPSE/CSE RECOMMENDATIONS

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

 

 

APPR AND LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Mr. Saiff explained to the Board that he had compiled a PowerPoint presentation, but that it had become outdated before the Meeting. Therefore, the Annual Professional Performance Review and Legislative update will be postponed to January Board meeting. However, Mr. Saiff did inform the Board that within the past week legislative changes would require that any assessment that is aligned to the new Common Core State Standards to be disconnected from teacher evaluation. This means that Grades 3-8 New York State Assessments or Regents with Common Core State Standards will not be an influential factor in teacher evaluation for the next four years. With the decoupling of students’ grades to teacher assessments, Mr. Saiff said he hopes the opt-out movement will quell. Mr. Saiff added that the District is one of 83 schools across the state operating under an approved 3012-d APPR Plan. Currently, teachers’ Annual Professional Performance Reviews are based on 50% classroom evaluation and 50% state assessments aligned with the Common Core standards. With the new legislation, the portion of the Review linked to Common Core State Standards-based exams will be eliminated. Thus, Districts will need to find a state-approved alternate assessment to provide a measurable number for the second half of the Review. It is still unclear as to which assessments would be considered state-approved. Mr. Saiff also noted that No Child Left Behind will be replaced by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This act prevents the government from withholding funds based upon assessment results. It is Mr. Saiff’s opinion that these changes in legislation mark a shift away from a federal educational system back to state and localized operations.

 

 

PRINCIPALS’ UPDATES

B. Reid shared updates on specific initiatives at the Elementary level. She reminded the Board that Data Driven Instruction was a continued Board goal for the 2015-2016 school year. Ms. Reid stated that at this point, second interim assessments had been

administered and the second round of analysis meetings had taken place. B. Reid said teachers utilize the test results to identify students that may need additional help or re-teaching of particular content. She explained that she would have more information for the Board in February in terms of what the analysis meetings look like. Ms. Reid noted that many elementary teachers had been working with students four days per week during 10th period. B. Reid stated elementary faculty members are continuing to read “Leaders of Their Own Learning” as a staff, and that principals county-wide are now consulting the text. Ms. Reid stated she feels the District is ahead of the curve in that regard. She said that the text has been discussed during staff meetings.

 

Ms. Reid said the Smart Principals’ Recess Plan was going well and that there had been a significant decrease in the number of student referrals. She announced that thirteen positive character traits had been covered thus far with elementary students and that all elementary children were being acknowledged for exhibiting different traits.

 

B. Reid explained that she had met with elementary faculty for half of a day as a team to discuss the data collected through the Instructional Rounds process. She added that she had attended a regional meeting and shared what the Instructional Leadership Team team at the District has done. Following that meeting, Ms. Reid said that she had been invited to share the process and findings at other districts so that Instructional Rounds could be implemented in their buildings. B. Reid felt proud that the District’s staff was leading the way in Instructional Rounds and were often in front of other new methods and processes. Ms. Reid said that Colton-Pierrepont Central School would be the next district to host Instructional Rounds, and that the Parishville-Hopkinton team would be heading there in January.

 

Ms. Reid shared that most parents attended Parent-Teacher Conferences in person, but that some conferences were held over the telephone to accommodate some parents’ schedules. Ms. Reid thanked the staff that participated in Story Time with Santa and the Kindergarten Holiday Show. B. Reid added how appreciative she was of her staff that does extra for the students during the holidays. She remarked that it was a great time of the year to be in the school, and that the holiday events at school were truly the heart of the community where everyone comes together.

 

V. Doll noted that a great deal was happening in December. She added that she was doing her best to ensure that events and programs were established. Miss Doll distributed a file of information and stated it highlighted what she was working on at the High School level. V. Doll stated that she met with Maureen Sayles from North Country Community College last Friday and that Maureen had spoken with the High School staff. Ms. Sayles outlined the college-level credit programs, noting they were 60$ per class, a price teachers found palatable and felt parents would be agreeable to. The classes taught in the District will be student-centered with teachers setting criteria and prerequisites. North Country Community College will set the criteria on the teachers for the classes. Miss Doll and Ms. Sayles hope that students that are not necessarily college bound will be encouraged to take these college-level courses. Ms. Sayles listed the classes she saw being taught in most High Schools, and stated that the classes transfer very well as credits to most colleges. V. Doll noted areas of interest from the High School teachers were U.S. History, CPR Training, and English. Teachers were also wondering the level of additional work from them that would be required to teach a college-level course. Miss Doll said that Toby Zenger was interested in teaching Physics for college credit. She also said that Ms. Sayles spoke with teachers about Close Reading – a skill that High School teachers have been utilizing with students for the past several years. Ms. Sayles said that Close Reading was a college-level skill. Miss Doll shared articles and a PowerPoint presentation with the Board explaining what symbols used in Close Reading annotated. V. Doll said this particular reading skill would be beneficial for students when they are responding to Data-Based Questions. She said that teachers will share at the next faculty meeting articles they had annotated using Close Reading. V. Doll added that Harvard University has been mentioning Close Reading frequently, and how it makes students’ learning meaningful. A shift from teacher-centered classrooms to ones in which students are in control of their own learning is becoming evident.

 

W. Remington thanked the principals for their updates.

 

 

INFORMATION

The Board received recommendations by the Task Force to implement a new system of Common Core State Standards, correspondence to Amanda Mason regarding Musicality 2015, correspondence from members of the Hopkinton Food Pantry, the December issue of Panther Press, and a list of upcoming events of interest.

 

 

No. 2016-107

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to go into Executive Session at 8:24 P.M. to discuss matters concerning a community member and a coach parent in the District. 8 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

 

M. Robinson and R. Whalen left the meeting at 8:24 P.M.

 

 

 

At 8:50 P.M. the Board President announced that the meeting would reconvene.

 

 

No. 2016-108

ADJOURNMENT

Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to adjourn at 8:50 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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