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February 9, 2015 Board of Education Meeting Minutes

 

 

February 9, 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: B. Remington, W. Remington, H. Simmons, W. Witherell, J. Young, T. Zellweger, and Mr. Saiff.

 

Absent: J. McGill, D. Taylor, and R. White

 

Others: D. Cannamela, B. Fairchild, S. Hartson, B. Reid, M. Robinson, and R. Stewart.

 

 

QUORUM

Quorum of five established.

 

 

QUESTIONS FROM PUBLIC AND PRESS

None.

 

 

MESSAGE FROM THE TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION/ GOVERNOR’S EDUCATION PROPOSAL

D. Cannamela thanked the administration and Board of Education on their commitment to minimize mandated testing. Mr. Cannamela noted he hopes the school associates will continue to work together to provide the highest quality education to the District’s students. D. Cannamela, on behalf of the Teacher’s Association, urged the board to publicly oppose Governor Andrew Cuomo’s education policy proposals that have and continue to hurt the District financially, undermine local control of public schools, and minimize the role that the dedicated community has in the direct educational experience of the District’s students. W. Remington thanked D. Cannamela for his message.

 

 

STUDENT/TEACHER

RECOGNITION

 

B. Reid recognized the January Paw Ticket Winner, Grade 4 student Kayleigh Sheldon. Ms. Reid also noted the Very Important Panthers for the month of January: Kameron Capone from Mrs. Mitchell’s Grade 1 Classroom; Owen Green from Mrs. Mitchell’s Grade 1 Classroom; Rebecca Collins from Mrs. Shannon’s Grade 2 Classroom; Morgan Farnsworth from Mrs. Mason’s Grade 2 Classroom; Cody Alexander from Mr. Brand’s Grade 3 Classroom; Nathan Phippen from Mrs. White’s Grade 3 Classroom; North Collins from Mrs. White’s Grade 3 Classroom; Kade Hayes from Ms. Pcolar’s Grade 5 Classroom; Rebecca Wheeler from Ms. Pcolar’s Grade 5 Classroom; Abigayle Frary from Mr. VanLeuven’s Grade 6 Classroom; Aleksys Baker from Mr. VanLeuven’s Grade 6 Classroom; and Kendra Wells from Mr. VanLeuven’s Grade 6 Classroom.

 

R. Stewart recognized the Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer Teams for being named New York State Scholar Teams once again this year. He stated seventeen girls and twelve boys maintained an average of 90 or higher during the soccer season.

 

 

No. 2015-135

MINUTES

 

Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve the Minutes of the January 20, 2015, regular meeting as typed and delivered to Board Members. 6 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2015-136

TREAS. REPORTS

 

 

Motion made by J. Young and seconded by H. Simmons to approve the Treasurer’s Reports showing an available balance on hand as of January 31, 2015, as follows:

General Fund $19.083.36

School Lunch Fund $12,308.18

School Lunch Savings $64,612.32

Federal Fund $0.04

Trust & Agency Fund $22,464.30

Payroll Fund $-0-

Risk Retention (Property Loss Reserve – CLASS) $45,005.68

Extra-Class Activities Fund $75,698.57

6 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

UPDATE ON EXCEL PHASE II PROJECT

Mr. Saiff stated that the generator is now operative. He noted that when power is lost, emergency lighting, exit lighting, and the fire alarm system are all automatically turned on via the generator. Mr. Saiff added that there is a manual switch in the basement that when flipped will power the remainder of the school. He stated that he is looking into putting the heating boilers on the automatic switch. Mr. Saiff explained the generator was tested at 3:30 P.M. last Wednesday and the emergency systems required only approximately one-third of the generator’s powering capacity. He also noted that in the event of an extended power outage, the generator could power the whole building with all systems functioning, including the kitchen. Mr. Saiff said that all that remains to do is finalize the installation of the safety fence.

REVIEW OF 2014-2015 BOARD OF EDUCATION GOALS

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

Goal 1: Data Driven Instruction – Continue to develop DDI (Bambrick-Santoyo Model) at Grades 1-6. Train Junior- and Senior-High School Staff on a skills-based DDI model based on the SIPFSA Model with the goal of individual and whole-class academic gains.

Mr. Saiff stated that in this area he felt the District has made great strides. He noted DDI was a final effort in the Regents Reform Agenda. He added that teachers in the Elementary have been driving instruction based on testing results. Ms. Reid noted healthy increases in Math scores, as that subject has already been the focus of DDI. She added that DDI has expanded to include English Language Arts this year, and that she is hoping to see growth there as well. At the high school, Mr. Saiff indicated that Mr. Stewart has been working with his teams in a more skills-based improvement approach based loosely on the Ottawa-Carleton SIPSA model with a focus on tiered vocabulary. Students will see these vocabulary terms in their assessments. Mr. Saiff noted good student progress has been made with this program. Mr. Stewart added that teachers had gotten together and create a lesson based on a skill, not content, and then observed the student learning that took place during the instruction of this lesson. This process, known as a Lesson Study, fits in with the vocabulary initiative.

 

Goal 2: Common Core State Standards – Provide necessary resources and materials aligned with the CCSS to teachers and students with the goal of preparing students to be college and career ready. To embed independent learning, close reading, and academic vocabulary instruction at the Junior and Senior-High School level, and to focus on curriculum mapping at the Elementary School level.

Mr. Saiff said that the initial adjustment to the change of teaching Common Core State Standards had been surmounted, and teachers were now refining instruction. He noted that academic vocabulary instruction in Junior and Senior High School and Curriculum Mapping in the Elementary were progressing well, as was the goal. Ms. Reid shared with the Board examples of Curriculum Mapping that had been planned by elementary teachers. This planning accounts for more individualized instruction for students that receive “1”s on their New York State assessments. Mr. Stewart stated that students who began learning the Common Core State Standards in Grade 1 will perform well on their assessments when they get to High School. Ms. Reid mentioned that students’ background knowledge will be so much deeper than it was before, and that she is excited to see how well these students will learn when they get to high school.

 

Goal 3: Special Education – To incorporate the suggestions from the SED Special Education Audit that was conducted in the Spring of 2014, with an overriding goal of teacher compliance with IEP accommodations and modifications, as well as a heightened awareness of individual student goals.

Mr. Saiff said Ms. Reid and the CSE team are working closely with Regional Associate Michelle Snell to determine areas that could be developed and improved upon. He also stated there are suggestions to streamline the IEP development process and to ensure the District is in compliance. B. Reid added that they have held several meetings as a CSE team to address areas that were of concern in the Special Education Review. She noted that she and the team have been more proactive with the General Education staff with regard to IEP compliance. Ms. Reid said they have been reviewing student IEPs and other items they have a heightened awareness of as a result of the review. She said the team had the opportunity to ask the Associate questions directly about what could be improved and ways to do so. B. Reid noted her satisfaction with the ongoing process.

 

Goal 4: Capital Improvements – To complete a five-year building conditions survey with a focus on long-term capital improvements.

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

  • Investigating alternative energy and heat sources, i.e. Solar Voltaic Energy and Biomass Heat Systems.

Mr. Saiff acknowledged that areas of the building are in need of repair and upgrading. He informed the Board that the kick-off meeting for the Five-Year Building Conditions Survey will be held February 25, 2015 at 9:00 A.M. King & King associates will be on site to survey the buildings and grounds and determine the life expectancy of various systems and equipment. The survey will serve as the basis of a long-term facilities planning document that will lead into next capital project.

 

Goal 5: Technology

  • Investigate the ability of the District’s students to access the internet at home.

  • Maintain updated technology that is compatible with current needs for the purpose of preparing students for college and career.

Mr. Saiff told the Board that the Smart Bonds Act provides significant monies to school districts in the area of technology. Mr. Saiff stated he would work closely with the Technology Committee and IT staff to ensure the money is spent wisely. He noted that he felt the wireless system has worked well this year. He also stated that with the amount of money the Smart Bonds Act provides each student in Grades K-12 could have individual access to a laptop. Mr. Saiff added that some of the grant money can be spent to provide wireless internet to the community by means of establishing “Hot Spots” throughout the area.

 

 

No. 2015-137

SCHEDULE APPROVAL

 

 

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

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

General Fund $384,442.95

Federal Fund $10,956.88

School Lunch Fund $7,782.76

Trust & Agency $113,068.28

6 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2015-138

BUDGET TRANSFERS

Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to authorize the Business Manager to make the necessary budgetary transfers as attached for the Month of January, 2015. 6 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2015-139

BUDGET REPORTS

Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to accept the Budget Reports for the Month of January, 2015, covering the period from July 1, 2015 through January 31, 2015. 6 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2015-140

CO-OP FUEL BIDS

 

Mr. Saiff noted that generally the fuel bids arrive at the end of February, before the next Board of Education meeting. He indicated there are only a few days for the District to make a pricing choice. Mr. Saiff stated that the District has traditionally “locked in” on fuel prices. He said that with the price of oil plunging to below $50.00 per barrel, those who had locked in prices took a bit of a hit. This particular year, those districts that opted for the fluctuating rate did well. Regardless, he stated, the District would have to let the Cooperative Purchasing Office which strategy the District will choose. Mr. Saiff stated that a positive of the lock in price is that it allows the District to budget anticipated fuel usage cost, thus facilitating the budget planning process in that regard. W. Witherell stated that he felt, in general, locking in the rate is better. Mr. Saiff asked if the Board would be comfortable with locking in the fuel rates when the rates are received. The Board of Education agreed. Mr. Saiff said he would confer with Mr. Remington and Mr. Robinson when he receives the fuel rates.

 

 

No. 2015-141

ANNUAL FIRE INSPECTION/

J. WARNECK

Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve John Warneck to complete the annual fire inspection and corresponding reports for the main building and bus garage for a fee of $550, the same fee as in years past. 6 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

WORKERS’ COMP. LAW

Mr. Saiff noted he received a letter from the General Council of New York Workers’ Compensation Board stating the St. Lawrence-Lewis Workers’ Compensation Consortium is not considered by the General Council’s interpretation to be a self-insured entity. Because of this determination, each district in the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES would be responsible for finding a third-party for administering workers’ compensation claims. Mr. Saiff mentioned that the District has had very few claims per year in any given year. As such, the District processed claims through the BOCES Consortium, taking advantage of the savings. However, according to the letter, a licensed administrator would need to be hired to process the claims. Mr. Saiff stated he has been working with the Consortium to educate the new General Council about the traditional method of administering workers’ compensation claims and the success that has been had in doing so. Mr. Saiff explained to the Board that the letter was not written due to inefficiencies in the Consortium used by the District. He noted that should an administrator need to be hired, the change would cost each of the participating St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES School Districts more money. Mr. Saiff stated he would keep the Board informed as information became available.

 

 

No. 2015-142

BOARD REGULATION AND POLICY/ ENTITLEMENT TO ATTEND-AGE AND RESIDENCY/RESIDENCY AND ENROLLMENT GUIDELINES

Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by W. Witherell to approve the policy and regulation concerning Entitlement to Attend-Age and Residency and Residency and Enrollment Guidelines, respectively, as presented. Mr. Saiff noted this was an updated policy requiring the District to enroll students in school first and ask questions later, with a specified number of days for parents/guardians to provide documentation to prove age and residency of the student. This revision was established in response to the significant influx of unaccompanied and undocumented children in this country. This is the first reading required for this policy and its accompanying regulation. 6 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2015-143

ADD’L SUBSTITUTES FOR 2014-2015

The additional proposed substitute list for a classroom teacher, a cleaner, and a tutor was reviewed by the Board. Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve the additional 2014-2015 substitute list as attached. 6 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2015-144

WILDERNESS STUDIES OVERNIGHT TRIP REQUESTS

Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve the attached proposed list of Wilderness Studies Overnight Trips for the 2014-2015 school year. Mr. Saiff reviewed a list of three proposed Wilderness Studies Overnight Trips. He explained that these trips allow students to take what they have learned in class and apply it to real life situations. Mr. Saiff added that Mr. Clark tries to plan these outings around other school activities in order to avoid scheduling conflicts. 6 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2015-145

ANTICIPATED SPORTS MERGER REQUEST/ MODIFIED AND VARSITY BASEBALL

B. Stewart stated he had spoken with Mr. Nee, the Athletic Director at Colton-Pierrepont Central School District, and anticipated their Board of Education would move the merger at their January meeting. Mr. Stewart said that he has not yet received the paperwork that typically signifies a formal request for the sports merger. Mr. Saiff indicated the Parishville-Hopkinton Board of Education would need to approve the merger at this meeting if all involved were to meet the procedural timeline. Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by H. Simmons and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve a sports merger in the event Colton-Pierrepont Central School requests a merger in Modified and Varsity Baseball for the 2015 season. 6 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2015-146

BOCES BOARD NOMINATION

 

Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by H. Simmons to nominate James Young for a seat on the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Board, and authorized Mr. Saiff to prepare the BOCES Nomination Form for submission to Susan Collins-Rickett on or before March 20, 2015. 6 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2015-147

CSE RECOMMENDATIONS

Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by W. Witherell to approve the recommendation of the CSE for three students as attached. 6 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

UPDATE ON FIRST SEMESTER EXAMS

Mr. Stewart passed out statistics of the Regents scores in January. He noted the passing rates and mastery rates of Common Core State Standards Regents Exams, as well as others. R. Stewart pointed out scores affected by individual retakes. He also stated that New York State is looking into changing Global Studies test from a two-year test to one year. Mr. Stewart stated that overall he was pleased with the gains and scores thus far, and would combine the scores with the exam results in June to see how the District did for the school year.

 

In particular, 13 students that took the English Language Arts Regents achieved a 93% passing rate and 77% of students were at mastery level. The other half of the Junior Class will take this Regents exam in June. In Integrated Algebra, 18 students took the Regents exam and 14 of those students passed. These same Grade 10 students took the Common Core State Standards Integrated Algebra Regents. Forty percent of these students passed, and 0% achieved mastery. Mr. Stewart noted two years ago, in Grade 8, these students were 22% proficient in Mathematics. He stated there has been gains and growth in this group. Students that took the U.S. History Regents achieved a mastery score of 64%, with 13 out of 14 students passing. Three students retook Chemistry this year. These students took the class last year, but did not pass the Chemistry Regents. With their second attempt, these students passed the Regents exam. In Global Studies, 36 students took the Regents exam and 33 of these students passed. Statistically, 92% of students passed, and 55% were at mastery level. R. Stewart stated this particular Regents addresses two years of content. In Earth Science, one student retook the Regents without retaking the class. That student did not pass the exam. This also occurred with the Algebra and Trigonometry Regents exams. Mr. Stewart said he and the high school faculty are emphasizing to students that retaking the class will increase the likelihood that they will pass the Regents exam. H. Simmons asked if tutoring could be offered to these students. R. Stewart responded that these students attend AIS once or twice per week. He noted some students take advantage of this additional assistance, some do not. Mr. Stewart reminded the Board that Mastery level is achieved at 85%, and passing at the High School level is 65%.

 

 

PRINCIPALS’ UPDATES

 

 

B. Reid noted that there had only been thirteen days of school since the last Board meeting. She spoke of Grandparents’ Day, which was held on January 31st. Ms. Reid stated there was a nice turn out. Students and grandparents played Bingo, purchased items at the Scholastic Book Fair, completed crafts, posed in a Photobooth, and enjoyed refreshments. B. Reid said it was a nice event hosted by the Elementary teachers. Ms. Reid said she had asked each grandparent if they preferred Grandparents’ Day being held on a Saturday. She noted that most had replied it was nice to be able to spend time with grandchildren on a weekend day. Several mentioned it was convenient in that they did not have to take time off from work to do something meaningful with their grandchildren. For some grandparents, this was the first time they could participate in the school event. Ms. Reid mentioned that a lot of grandparents go south for winter, so she is looking at moving the date to a warmer time of the year. B. Reid added that the building looked great, and the nice displays were still up when Mr. Burns toured the school.

 

 

 

R. Stewart distributed an action plan created by D. Cannamela and K. Hurley regarding the introduction of five new vocabulary terms. Mr. Stewart said teachers have been modeling the behaviors they would like their students to display. In the case of the action plan, Mr. Cannamela and Mrs. Hurley paired the vocabulary term with a picture to help students make an association. R. Stewart informed the Board that during 2nd period each day that week teachers would teach the new vocabulary words so that each student receives initial instruction on the words. Mr. Stewart noted these are the words that are found hundreds of times in the Common Core State Standards and are Tier 2 academic words.

 

 

 

Mr. Saiff stated that Mr. Burns, the District Superintendent, visited the District with four BOCES Administrators on February 3rd. Mr. Burns and his associates visited three elementary classrooms, as well as several classrooms at the Jr. and Sr. High School levels. Mr. Saiff said that during his visit, Mr. Burns had nice comments about the District’s climate, level of professionalism, and opportunity to see Common Core State Standards in action. Mr. Saiff said Mr. Burns suggested he request our legislators to visit the school so that they could see students interact with the new standards. Mr. Saiff noted his pride in the teaching staff, and felt that they did not do anything different than what they do on any other day.

 

 

BOCES ANNUAL MEETING

Mr. Saiff informed the Board that the BOCES Annual Meeting would be held April 9, 2015. He stated that at this meeting Mr. Burns presents the BOCES Administrative Budget. Mr. Saiff noted the District’s Board of Education would vote on the budget at the regular meeting on April 20, 2015. Mr. Saiff asked that Board members let him or Miss Hartson know if they would like to attend the meeting o April 9th.

 

 

MARCH 2, 2015,

SPECIAL BUDGET MEETING

Mr. Saiff noted the first special budget meeting would be held on March 2, 2015, the first Monday in March. He stated that on that day he would discuss budgetary numbers for the 2015-2016 school year according to numbers for the 2014-2015 school year, unless the state aid numbers in the executive budget run are released by the New York State Governor. Mr. Saiff added that the tax cap calculation will start at 1.62%. He also noted that significant increases in Special Education will impact the entire budget.

 

 

EXPIRING BOARD TERMS

Mr. Saiff reminded the Board that the seats of Board Members B. Resa Remington and W. Witherell are due to expire June 30, 2015. Mr. Saiff thanked both members for their service, and added that he hopes they will consider running for another term.

 

 

INFORMATION

The Board received correspondence to the New York Assemblymen and Assemblywoman and Senators, correspondence to the parents of two students, the February issue of Panther Press, and a list of upcoming events of interest.

 

 

No. 2015-148

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to go into Executive Session at 8:37 P.M. to discuss personnel matters. 6 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

 

D. Cannamela, B. Fairchild, and M. Robinson left the meeting at 8:37 P.M.

 

 

 

At 9:02 P.M. the Board President announced that the meeting would reconvene.

 

 

No. 2015-149

ADJOURNMENT

Motion made by W. Witherell and seconded by J. Young to adjourn at 9:02 P.M. 6 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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