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May 10, 2011 Annual Meeting

May 10, 2011

The Annual Meeting of the qualified voters of the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District was held in the school house in Parishville on the above date. The meeting was called to order at 7:38 P.M. Eastern Daylight Savings Time by Lori Witherell, Acting School District Clerk, who read the call of the meeting.

The Acting Clerk appointed Ward Remington as Permanent Chairperson of the meeting.

The Permanent Chairperson appointed Elizabeth Beha as Chief Election Inspector and Margaret Zahler, Josephine Eakins, and Etta Phelix as Election Inspectors for the 2011-2012 Budget Vote and Election of Board Members. Further, the Permanent Chairperson appointed Bonnie Helfter and Lucetta Wilcox as Alternate Election Inspectors should one of the aforementioned individuals be unable to serve on May 17th.

The Permanent Chairperson appointed Darin Saiff and/or Lori Witherell to serve as Acting Chairpersons during his absence on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, for voting on the budget and school bus financing propositions as well as school board member. It was noted that there is one (1) vacancy on the Board of Education for the five-year term of Timothy Zellweger. Petition for Member of the Board of Education has been completed by Timothy Zellweger. It was noted that voting is at large with the candidate receiving the most votes to be elected. W. Remington stated that Tim Zellweger was unable to attend this evening’s meeting because he was working out of town.

Mr. Saiff began by stating what a difficult year this had been for schools given the present economic climate and thanked the Board for their dedication to the District. The Board met on a weekly basis for a month and a half in an effort to close a rather significant gap. Mr. Saiff also introduced Carol LaSala, our Business Manager, and thanked her for her commitment to the school district, her long-range planning, and her knowledge of school finance. Our students continue to perform well on state-mandated tests and Regents exams, meeting and exceeding expectations. Approximately 82% of our graduates have gone on to college in recent years while others have joined the military or have found employment thanks to the skills they have acquired through their studies here in the district as well as those offered through Seaway Area Tech.

Mr. Saiff noted that the Board is pursuing shared services through BOCES for a health/physical education teacher for the 2011-12 school year as well as a cafeteria manager for the second half of the year as Fran Hazelton has made tentative plans to retire at the end of January, 2012. Salaries and benefits for shared staff such as our Business Office personnel, school psychologist, speech therapist, et cetera, are BOCES aidable, thereby allowing us to maintain programs while keeping costs down. Student enrollment is currently at 489 which is down slightly, having been at 500 for the last several years.

The Board reviewed all aspects of the districts educational and athletic offerings during the 2011-12 budget development process. Mr. Saiff reviewed the following staffing, program, and transportation cuts for 2011-12 as follows: elimination of junior varsity sports; elimination of 2:30 P.M. bus run (the school day will end at 3:10 P.M. for all students); elimination of English teacher (through retirement) elimination of .5 FTE Business teacher; elimination of Elementary Computer teacher; elimination of .5 FTE Spanish teacher; elimination of .5 FTE Health/P.E. teacher (this position will be filled through BOCES shared services); elimination of one section of Physics (through retirement); elimination of .5 FTE Teacher Assistant; and elimination of field trips.

Mr. Saiff addressed concerns from the community regarding the small number of teachers who actually reside within the district, the need for employees to contribute to the cost of their health insurance and/or the possibility of a wage freeze, would one Spanish teacher be able to handle the increased class load, and the need for students to receive computer instruction at the Elementary level. In addition, Mr. Saiff was asked to explain the need to purchase two new buses next year and he explained that while our student population has decreased by 20 students, we still have the same number of bus runs. Further, the Department of Transportation inspector determines how long a bus can be left on line. Mr. Saiff added that the District was participating in a yearly undercoating program in an effort to keep buses on line for a longer period of time.

Increased operating costs coupled with decreased state and federal aid made it necessary to also apply $119,000 in fund balance and an additional $180,000 in reserves to lessen the amount of the increase to the tax levy which the Board settled on 4.9%.

With the state’s economy not likely to improve in the foreseeable future, the Board discussed the need to try to sustain many of our current program offerings while exploring more opportunities for sharing educational opportunities with other districts in an effort to maintain as much unappropriated fund balance and reserves as possible to offset future state aid shortfalls.

Chairperson W. Remington asked if anyone had any additional questions regarding the proposed budget or other items of concern. Since additional questions were not indicated, W. Remington thanked everyone for attending the public meeting and stated that voting on the budget, school bus financing, and board member vacancy would take place the following Tuesday, May 17, 2011, between the hours of 1:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. It was noted that there was only one vacancy on the Board of Education.

Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Jacot to adjourn the meeting until 1:00 P.M. on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, when the polls would be opened for voting until 8:00 P.M.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:43 P.M.

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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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