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February 11, 2013 Board of Education Meeting Minutes


February 11, 2013



The regular meeting of the Board of Education of the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District was called to order at 7:34 P.M. by President W. Remington in the conference room on the above date.



Present: B. Remington, W. Remington, H. Simmons, D. Taylor, R. White, F. Wilhelm, W. Witherell-7:37 P.M., J. Young, T. Zellweger, and Mr. Saiff.


Absent: None.


Others: G. Clark, B. Fairchild, R. Ferguson, J. James, H. Liebfred, D. MacNeill, B. Newtown, B. Reid, M. Robinson, R. Stewart, B. Taylor, and L. Witherell.




Quorum of five established.





B. Reid announced that 1st grader Taner Peterson was the Elementary Paw Ticket Winner for January. As January’s winner, Taner received a T-shirt donated by the PTSA and a pizza donated by Kunoco.


B. Reid recognized Students of the Month of January for exhibiting the Character Trait Determination: Addison Snell - Miss Hicken’s Universal Pre-K; Peyton Orologio - Mrs. Knowles’ Kindergarten; Parker Crump - Mrs. Wilkes’ Kindergarten; Alexys Bond - Mrs. Mitchell’s First Grade; Anthony Brundage - Mrs. White’s Multi-Age 1/2; Gabby Parker - Mrs. Mason’s Second Grade; Jacob Martin - Mrs. Shannon’s Multi-Age 1/2; Samantha Eurto - Mrs. Clark-Vallance’s Third Grade; Melody Hannon - Ms. Steenberge’s Third Grade; Emma Bloom - Ms. Pcolar’s Fourth Grade; Tyler Compo - Ms. Pahler’s Fourth Grade; Michael Reed - Miss Corcoran’s Fifth Grade; Layton Colbert - Ms. Rose’s Fifth Grade; Sarah Kearney - Mrs. Todd’s Sixth Grade; and Mattie Tremper - Mr. VanLeuven’s Sixth Grade.


W. Witherell arrived at 7:37 P.M.


Mr. Saiff stated that he had asked Glenn Clark to attend the meeting to speak about an exciting opportunity he has received to participate in the 2013-2014 PolarTREC Project sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Mr. Clark will take part in a cruise to conduct a reconnaissance survey of the region of the Totten Glacier System, including the Moscow University Ice Shelf (Sabrina Coast, East Antarctica) in February, 2014. This is an opportunity of a lifetime, and Mr. Clark will be able to share this educational experience with fellow educators as well as his Life Science and Wilderness Studies students. All replacement teacher costs will be covered by ARCUS (Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S.). Mr. Clark will be participating in a 6-day orientation event, plus two days of travel, from March 23 through March 30, 2013, and the approximate dates of the PolarTREC are January 25-March 12, 2014.


Mr. Clark gave a brief overview of the project and added that the National Science Foundation would be presenting an assembly for the entire school sometime in June and he will be in daily contact with our students during the PolarTREC which will provide our students with a much more in-depth understanding of the research that is being undertaken in the Arctic.


The Board congratulated Mr. Clark for receiving this prestigious honor and thanked him for presenting an overview of the PolarTREC project. They are looking forward to learning more through periodic updates.


No. 2013-151



Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve the Minutes of the January 15, 2013, regular meeting as typed and mailed to Board Members. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.


No. 2013-152


Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to approve the Treasurer’s Reports showing an available balance on hand as of January 31, 2013, as follows:

General Fund 27,384.38

School Lunch Fund 6,745.05

School Lunch Savings 26.58

Federal Fund -0-

Trust & Agency Fund 7,638.86

Payroll Fund -0-

Risk Retention (Property Loss Reserve – CLASS) 44,971.56

Extra-Class Activities Fund 56,679.69

9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



G. Clark left at 7:48 P.M.




Mr. Saiff informed the Board that the District was still awaiting approval from the State Education Department for the plans submitted for electrical work in the Main Building. Once approval is received, we will go out for bids with an anticipated start date of late spring or early summer. As we get closer, we will need to discuss a Clerk of the Works.


No. 2013-153


Mr. Saiff reviewed Change Order R-02 which involved a deduction of $4,000 which will close out the roofing portion of the project and will allow the unused funds to be applied to the electrical portion of the project. Motion made by F. Wilhelm and seconded by B. Remington to approve Change Order R-02 for a deduction of $4,000 as presented. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



The Board reviewed a letter from the Office of Tim McGill, our Bond Counsel, regarding the recent 2004 Bond Refunding. Mr. Saiff noted that the refunding was recommended by Bernie Donegan’s Office in an effort to offset the negative impact of the State’s recalculation of building aid based on current interest rates. If the District had not gone through this process, we were projected to lose $212,133 in building aid over the next seven years (including the current year). Due to the fact that we were able to refund the 2004 bond, we were able to save $155,662; thereby reducing our loss in building aid to $56,471.




Mr. Saiff discussed progress that has been made to-date on each of the four goals adopted by the Board of Education this year.


Goal 1: Provide appropriate training for staff on the District’s new Student Data Management System, “SchoolTool,” with a goal of 100% of the teaching and support staff utilizing the program consistently and competently to take period attendance, record grades, and better communicate with parents as well as to provide the State Education Department with accurate data uploads by the District CIO.

Mr. Saiff informed the Board that the attendance and grade book proficiency was addressed in September, 2012, and the parent portal was implemented in January. Currently the Guidance Office is in the process of opening the student portal so that students will also be able to access their grades.


Goal 2: Continue to advance the “Regents’ Reform Agenda:”

  • Continue the collaborative effort to revise the APPR for teachers utilizing the Marzano Art and Science of Teaching framework, implement the steps necessary to train staff, develop Student Learning Objectives, and implement the observation digital evaluation and record-keeping tool to provide teachers and teaching assistants with a comprehensive evaluation based on the 4 Domains of the Marzano Rubric, while complying with Education Law 3012-c.

  • Begin training teaching staff on the Common Core Standards that have been approved by the NYS Regents. Provide necessary resources and materials aligned with the new standards with a goal of preparing students to be college and/or career ready.

Mr. Saiff noted that members of the teaching staff have received appropriate training, Student Learning Objectives (SLO’s) were developed in October, and the Principals have been evaluating the staff using the Marzano rubric for all teacher and teacher assistant evaluations and iObservations. Mr. Saiff announced that teachers have received initial training on the Common Core Standards and they will continue to receive training over the next few years.


Goal 3: Heighten staff, student, and community awareness of the DASA regulation. Implement the appropriate policy updates related to the regulations. Enforce DASA appropriately with a goal of creating a culture of civility and dignity within the school community.

Mr. Saiff stated that B. Reid and R. Stewart gave a presentation and supplied handouts to the entire staff during our Opening Staff Development Days and also held class assemblies to explain the DASA regulation to all students at the beginning of the school year. Additional updates will be provided as additional regulations are implemented.


Goal 4: Continue the ongoing effort to maintain the capital assets of the school district through:

  • Upgrading the computer labs and wireless infrastructure in preparation for computer-based state tests beginning in the 2013-2014 school year.

  • Completing the EXCEL Phase II building project approved by the voters in February, 2012.

  • Focusing on “green technologies and materials” where possible to reduce energy usage and pollutants.

  • Investigating alternative heat sources, i.e. Biomass heat systems.

Mr. Saiff noted that several of our labs received computer equipment upgrades over the summer through BOCES excised computer equipment from other school districts and the wireless infrastructure will be upgraded during the second phase of our EXCEL project. Mr. Saiff stated that we have been reviewing green technologies and have been investigating alternative heat sources including wood boilers; however, our boilers need to be a minimum of ten years old before the District would be eligible to receive state aid funding for the purchase and installation of an alternate heat source.




Mr. Saiff informed the Board that the St. Lawrence-Lewis Counties School Boards Association has cancelled the Legislative Breakfast that was tentatively scheduled or Saturday, March 16, 2013, at SUNY Canton due to the fact that Addie Russell was the only legislator who responded to their invitation to attend.



Mr. Saiff updated the Board in regard to the availability of any qualified coaches with experience to run the Gymnastics Program. After the Board Meeting in December, Mr. Saiff stated that he had spoken with Nikki Perkins and Darcie MacNeill to discuss the status of their coaching certification. They both stated that they had either started coursework, but had not completed it, or had not started the coursework at all, based on the fact that he had indicated there would probably not be a program this year. Mr. Saiff added that he had strong reservations with regard to continuing this program due to the implicit dangers and that he could not recommend a program for this Spring.


Darcie MacNeill announced that she recently completed a Fundamentals of Gymnastics and Safety and Risk Management on-line course through U.S.A. gymnastics but had not completed any of the basic coaching requirements through Section X. D. MacNeill added that she had some experience teaching fundamental gymnastics skills to young children through a program offered at Potsdam State.


Jane James added that she and other parents had volunteered to help with the program by serving as spotters when children were using various gymnastics apparatus.


Heather Liebfred stated that the gymnastics program also provided an alternative fitness activity for children who may have medical conditions which preclude them from participating in contact sports.


D. MacNeill added that, if the Board approved the continuation of the Gymnastics Program, she would be willing to pursue the remaining coursework required for coaching certification. Due to work constraints, D. MacNeill noted that she would be interested in working with high school students only for the first year because she would need to hold later practices.



R. Ferguson, J. James, H. Liebfred, D. MacNeill, B. Newtown, and B. Taylor left at 8:09 P.M.


No. 2013-154


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

General Fund $399,010.31

School Lunch Fund 5,913.70

Federal Fund 6,388.89

Trust & Agency 106,699.33

Capital Fund 79,895.00

9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.


No. 2013-155


Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by H. Simmons to authorize the Business Manager to make the necessary budgetary transfers as attached for the Month of January, 2013. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.


No. 2013-156


Motion made by H. Simmons and seconded by T. Zellweger to accept the Revised Budget Reports for the Month of December, 2012, covering the period from July 1 through December 31, 2012, and the Budget Reports for the Month of January, 2013, covering the period from July 1, 2012, through January, 2013, as presented. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.


No. 2013-157


Based upon the recommendation of the Real Property Tax Office, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to approve a refund in the amount of $164.61 payable to the Town of Parishville for property that originally belonged to the George Parish Estate due to the fact that this parcel of land had been approved for use as part of the County Trails System pursuant to a request from the St. Lawrence County Trails & Recreation Advisory Board. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




Mr. Saiff informed the Board that 60 inquiries had been received for this position. All of the applications have been reviewed by the interview committee and interviews have been scheduled for six candidates on February 19th. Mr. Saiff added that he hoped to have a recommendation for the Board at the March 11th Special Budget Meeting. L. Witherell will work with her replacement for two full weeks and then will come in as needed to assist with the transition of duties.


No. 2013-158



Mr. Saiff discussed the possibility of offering the Summer Driver Education Program again this year. Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by B. Remington to retain the course offering and appoint Mark Leuthauser as the 2013 Summer Driver Education instructor at a salary of $7,066 based on a class size of twenty students. This will be M. Leuthauser’s fourth year as our Summer Driver Education Instructor. (Certification: NYS A-9275 Drivers Education and NYS Pre-Licensing Course Instructor.) Mr. Saiff anticipates that we will have approximately 16 students in the course this summer. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried. W. Witherell raised the question of whether or not it would be possible to accept students from other districts if we have less than twenty students. Mr. Saiff responded that he did not think that would be possible due to our policy of not accepting non-resident students; however, he said that he would contact the school attorney to seek his advice in this matter.


R. Stewart reported that Regents week went very smoothly and that STAR reading and math exams were also administered at the middle school in an effort to monitor student progress in these content areas. R. Stewart also explained that students with disabilities may pass Regents exams with a score of 55 and that general education students need to receive a score of 65 in order to receive Regents credit. R. Stewart also reminded the Board that Integrated Algebra is set up as a 2-year course. We have students take the Regents in January, but they can take the exam again in June, if necessary. Mr. Stewart added that Global Studies is probably the most difficult of all the mandatory Regents due to the amount of information tested which is why the course spans two years. The Regents are reviewing current procedures in an effort to find a solution that would avoid testing students based on two years of instructional material. R. Stewart noted that in July he will present a comprehensive review of testing for the 2012-13 school year.


Ten students took the Integrated Algebra exam. All received Regents credit with one student at mastery level. Seventeen students took the English 11 exam, with 100% passing and 41% at mastery level. Nine students took the Global History exam for a second time and 66.6% received a passing score. Fifteen students took the U.S. History exam, with 100% receiving a passing grade and 60% at mastery.


No. 2013-159


The Board reviewed revisions to the District’s policy regarding Education of Homeless Youth as recommended by Roberta Stillin-Dowman, BOCES Supervisor of Instructional Resources and Title I Services, to reflect the most recent language referencing the 50 mile transportation limit. Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to approve the revised policy on Education of Homeless Youth as presented. This is the first of two readings required for policy adoption. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.


No. 2013-160


Mr. Saiff informed the Board that we have one student who is interested in participating in a Golf Merger with Potsdam Central School again this year. Motion made by J. Young and seconded by H. Simmons to approve a Golf Merger with Potsdam Central School for the 2013 Spring season with the understanding that transportation would be the responsibility of the parents of the student athlete and authorized Mr. Saiff to contact Potsdam Central School to request their consideration and approval of this merger. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried. (It is anticipated that there will be a participation fee of $100 for our student to participate on the Potsdam Central Golf Team).


No. 2013-161


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 nine students as attached. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



B. Reid announced that it has been very busy at the Elementary. The annual PTSA Niagara Chocolate sale ended today and a new box-top competition is underway. The Playground Committee has come up with some creative fundraisers and has also taken over the Box top Program. Last month the PTSA generously donated approximately $600 from their Box top proceeds to the Playground Fund. The Committee has also established an open bottle return account at CJ’s and they hope to also set up an open bottle return account at Lamphere’s.


Elementary Teachers have been working on their requisitions for next year. B. Reid recently placed an order for ten iPads to be purchased with 611 grant funds to be placed in the Resource Room for special education students to use. She is also researching the possibility of setting up a Volume Voucher Program to purchase Apps for the iPads on a school-wide basis at a reduced rate.


Second quarter report cards have been sent home and the 3rd cycle of interventions has been scheduled during tenth period. B. Reid added that STAR testing results are assisting staff in tracking the success of the tenth period extra help program. Since initiating the program this year, five students have been able to transition out of Academic Intervention Services.


B. Reid noted that she would be attending APPR Module 10 this week, Session 1 of Data Driven Instruction, and a CSE Chairs Meeting. Annual reviews will begin shortly.


Story Time for Tots will be held tomorrow night as well as the Dessert Cabaret which is being sponsored by the PHCS Follies. The Reading Challenge is off and running and students and staff are looking forward to mid-winter break next week.



R. Stewart noted that the second semester is off to good start. Students received their new schedules at a brief assembly held on January 28th.


Basketball playoffs begin tomorrow with the girls playing at Hermon-DeKalb at 6:00 P.M. and the boys playing on Wednesday at Harrisville at 6:00 P.M. The sports banquet for the winter season is scheduled for January 27th.


The Safety Committee Meeting has been rescheduled for March 1st.


As the second semester gets underway, the junior and senior high school teachers have been busy implementing Common Core State Standards into their lessons. R. Stewart added that he has scheduled meetings with the ELA and Math teachers at the junior high to review information released by The State Education Department regarding new state tests and added that Semestering allows for more in-depth teaching opportunities.



The Board received information regarding the St. Lawrence-Lewis Counties BOCES Annual Meeting, Annual Election of BOCES Board Members, and voting on the BOCES Administrative Budget. Mr. Saiff also noted that there are three vacancies on the BOCES Board this year. The Annual Dinner Meeting is scheduled for April 11, 2013, at the Seaway Career & Technical Center in Norwood. Board Members interested in attending should let L. Witherell know on or before March 22nd.



Mr. Saiff announced that it would be necessary to cancel the March 4, 2013, Special Budget Meeting due to a conflict with the annual NYSCOSS Conference scheduled for March 3-5, 2013. The first budget meeting will be held on March 11, 2013.


The Board received copies of a press release from the Statewide School Finance Consortium in response to Governor Cuomo’s 2013-14 Executive Budget Proposal, the Elementary News and Notes for February, correspondence from Cazenovia College announcing that former PHCS student Benjamin Wood was named to the Dean’s List for the Fall 2012 semester, miscellaneous correspondence regarding student discipline matters, and a list of upcoming events of interest.


No. 2013-162


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to go into Executive Session at 8:47 P.M. to update the Board on negotiations with the PHCS Non-Teaching Employees’ Association. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



B. Fairchild and M. Robinson left meeting at 8:47 P.M.



At 9:28 P.M. the Board President announced that the meeting would reconvene.


No. 2013-163


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by F. Wilhelm to adjourn at 9:28 P.M. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.







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Fax: 315-268-1309

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