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May 16, 2016 Board of Education Meeting Minutes



May 16, 2016





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.





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


Absent: None.


Others: J. Coburn, V. Doll, P. Farrand, S. Hartson, B. Reid, and M. Robinson.




Quorum of five established.








B. Reid announced that Nathan White from Grade 4 was the Elementary Paw Ticket Winner for the Month of April. She added that Grade 3 student Kamryn Palmer entered the North Country Schools Peace Poetry Contest. Kamryn’s artwork was featured as the cover illustration of the poetry calendar.


V. Doll said that six of the District’s high school students will have artwork featured at SUNY Potsdam’s art exhibition on June 1st.



No. 2016-190



Motion made by J. Young and seconded by H. Simmons to approve the Minutes of the April 11, 2016, special budget meeting; April 18, 2016, regular meeting; and May 9, 2016, public budget hearing, as typed and delivered to Board Members. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-191


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by H. Simmons to approve the Treasurer’s Reports showing an available balance on hand as of April 30, 2016, as follows:

General Fund $19,547.98

School Lunch Fund 3,584.74

School Lunch Savings 72,831.69

Federal Fund -0-

Capital Fund -0-

Trust & Agency Fund 8,223.02

Payroll Fund -0-

Risk Retention (Property Loss Reserve – CLASS) 45,015.74

Extra-Class Activities Fund 97,917.02

9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




Mr. Saiff noted that the binding agreement for the Tri-County Energy Consortium was included in Board members’ packets. He reminded the Board that the District currently purchases its energy through SMEC at a competitive rate. Mr. Saiff said John Warneck’s projected prices through the Tri-County Energy Consortium project would be less than what the District is currently paying. Mr. Saiff said his concern with the Consortium was having to commit to a 20-year agreement, not knowing what could happen with solar and wind power during that time. Mr. Saiff added that he had asked the District’s attorney, Roger Linden, what his thoughts were. Mr. Linden proposed that federal rebates were starting to dry up as solar power takes more of a foothold. Mr. Saiff said the Board would have to make a decision this evening to let John Warneck know whether or not the District would like to join the Consortium by Friday, May 20th.


R. White said he was hesitant to sign a 20-year agreement, as well. He also said he felt the Siemen’s Energy Performance project would decrease the school’s energy costs. R. White added that he would prefer to have solar panels in the District, rather than off-site in an array. Mr. Saiff said he asked Steve Heaslip to remove the solar portion of the Siemen’s Energy Performance Contract. Doing so, Mr. Saiff explained, would result in a $35,000 decrease in savings over the eighteen years of the project. Mr. Saiff said enacting a “smart system” to shut down outlets and reduce the amount of “ghost power” drawn from outlets not in use would help reduce energy use. He also hopes that upgrades to the lighting system in the auditorium will yield a significant difference in electrical consumption.


J. Young said the Consortium was also discussed at St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, where the presentation had been a bit more detailed than when it was presented at the District. J. Young added that BOCES did agree to sign on to the Consortium agreement. W. Witherell asked what the financial obligation would be for the District if the Board decided to sign on to the Consortium. J. Young explained that the District would purchase a portion of its energy through the Consortium, and the cost would be prorated to what each participating district consumes over what is produced. W. Witherell inquired what the upfront cost would be for the District. J. Young responded that there is not a set figure yet, as it relies on how many districts sign on to the agreement. Mr. Saiff said he thought the Consortium works with a company to cover the upfront costs and the districts pay what is essentially a rental agreement over the twenty years of the contract, thus the company makes their money back over time. Board members discussed the ebb and flow of energy costs. H. Simmons asked if there was only one time districts could sign on to join the Consortium. Mr. Saiff replied that districts could join after May 20th, but they would not receive the current price. Mr. Saiff also said that almost all of the Districts in the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES had signed on.


Motion made by T. Zellweger to table this item until discussion of the Siemen’s Energy Efficiency Project.




Mr. Saiff provided a handout from Steve Heaslip to Board Members. Mr. Saiff directed the Board to the bottom line of the handout. He said that in removing the rooftop solar portion of the project, the cost of the project would decrease by about $50,000.00 and lose roughly $2,000.00 per year in projected energy savings, decreasing the net benefit of the project to $470,657.00 over the eighteen year span of the project as opposed to the projected $505,000.00 in savings with the rooftop solar component included. Mr. Saiff said that he would like the Board to discuss implementation of the Energy Efficiency Project so that a Motion could be made at the June 20, 2016 Board of Education Meeting, though there is not deadline to commit to the Siemen’s Project.


Mr. Saiff noted that he was concerned with the potential location of the propane tanks, and that he would like to investigate that process more. He added that he would recommend keeping one of the two boilers strictly fuel oil. J. Young said the District would still need fuel oil for the generator, and that the area’s water table is so high that burying the liquid propane tanks may be an issue. Using subterranean tanks and having proper permits for the liquid propane was discussed. Mr. Saiff stated that he could recommend other aspects of the project without hesitation. He also said that the project could be completed outside of a Capital Project because it is cost negative. Mr. Saiff said approximately $700,000.00 in electrical upgrades and window insulation could be omitted from work highlighted in the Five-Year Building Condition Survey. This meant other areas of work could possibly be included in the Capital Project.


T. Zellweger asked about converting the burner to dual fuel on the boilers. Mr. Saiff said he would investigate that, and that the District would keep oil as a backup. J. Young stated Canton Central School has operated with dual boilers for about thirty-five years. Mr. Saiff said he would speak to S. Heaslip to get details about where the liquid propane tanks should be stored.



No. 2016-192


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to join the Tri-County Energy Consortium. J. Young said he is unsure of the protocol for Districts that join the Consortium and then wish to withdraw. Mr. Saiff said Districts can terminate the contract within 90 days with written notice, but significant penalties will apply. J. Young said that at the current time, there are a great deal of incentives for solar energy. J. McGill, B. Remington, W. Remington, H. Simmons, T. Zellweger, J. Young in favor, D. Taylor, R. White, W. Witherell opposed, Carried. Mr. Saiff stated he had similar reservations as some Board Members, but that he will remain optimistic. Mr. Saiff added that he would execute the Agreement, and speak with M. Robinson and J. Warneck to determine the next step.



No. 2016-193


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

General Fund $387,436.17

School Lunch Fund 6,529.03

Federal Fund 208.68

Trust & Agency 123,949.74

Capital Fund -0-

9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-194


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to authorize the Business Manager to make the necessary budgetary transfers as attached for the Month of April, 2016. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-195


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to accept the Budget Reports for the Month of April, 2016, covering the period from July 1, 2015, through April, 2016, as presented. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




Mr. Saiff explained the copy of the Budget Vote Exit Poll included in Board Members’ packets. Mr. Saiff said he wanted Board Members to be aware of the questions that would be asked of voters at the Budget and Board Candidate vote, should residents choose to participate in the survey following their vote. He noted the poll asked voters for information such as how they voted, which town they lived in, if they had children in school, do the polling hours meet their needs, did the budget newsletter provide them with enough information, and so on. He said the questions on the exit poll were gleaned from other Districts’ polls. Mr. Saiff said he is hoping this will give himself and Board Members insight in regard to the budget vote. He added that Janet Learned and her Statistics class students asked if they could be involved in the exit poll process. Mr. Saiff said students signed up for time slots to cover the duration of the budget vote, and will ask voters if they would mind filling out the exit poll. J. Learned and the students will configure the data and present it to Mr. Saiff and the Board of Education.





Mr. Saiff said one teacher is due for tenure at this time. He explained that B. Reid has provided him with only positive evaluations of Christopher Brand, Grade 3 teacher. Mr. Saiff also said a great deal of positive input from parents with children in C. Brand’s class has reached him. Mr. Saiff stated he observed C. Brand last week and witnessed a number of Effective Teaching techniques. He said that at this point, he had no reservation to recommend tenure for C. Brand, effective September 1, 2016, at the June 20, 2016 Board of Education meeting.



No. 2016-196


The list for one additional substitute, Mr. Whalen’s current student teacher, was reviewed by the Board. Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to approve the additional 2015-2016 substitute list, as attached. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




The Board reviewed the Summary Report from the State of New York Department of Health per the inspection of the District’s school Cafeteria on April 18, 2016 by food service inspector Ms. Myrna Barney. The summary noted four separate violations. The first regarded dried-on food debris on the slicer. The second violation pertained to food debris that had fallen onto food storage container lids stored below the counter where the slicer is located. A third noted violation was dust accumulation on the fan housing on the condenser in the walk-in cooler. Finally, M. Barney pointed out a leak in the handwashing sink that sprays water when the faucet is in use. Mr. Saiff said all of these violations have been addressed by David Gravlin, the Cafeteria Manager, and rectified either through cleaning or repair.



No. 2016-197



Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve an annual request from the Town of Parishville for the use of two buses for the Summer Recreation Program to run from July 7 through July 29, 2016, with the understanding that two of the District’s regular certified bus drivers will be hired by the Town to operate the buses. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2016-198


Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to accept the generous donation, with gratitude to an anonymous benefactor, in the amount of $20,000 to be deferred to the General Fund in the 2016-2017 school year. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried with many thanks.



No. 2016-199


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve the recommendations of the CPSE for eight students and of the CSE for forty-one students, as attached. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.





Mr. Saiff updated Board Members on the status of the Soccer Field. He said the Boys athletic teams picked rocks from the field following it having been tilled. Mr. Saiff explained how the Towns of Parishville and Hopkinton hauled in topsoil, and Ricky and Dick Eakins used their personal equipment to level the field. Mr. Saiff stated he is hopeful that the field will be useable for play this fall; otherwise arrangements will be made for the soccer players to use other facilities.


Mr. Saiff also informed the Board that last week there was a leak in the Men’s bathroom near the Cafeteria. Mr. Saiff said he hopes that the leak will be fixed and the bathrooms will be operations for Graduation. He stated that the leak has been isolated, and the valve above the Ladies’ bathroom has been shut off. He said that it is likely the back wall in the Men’s room will need to be removed to access the piping, which dates back prior to 1950. H. Simmons asked if the leak had anything to do with the leak in the kitchen under the food prep sinks, which was indicated in the Food Inspection Report. W. Remington responded that it was not probable. Mr. Saiff noted that if the State Education Department declares the leak an emergency, the District will solicit three quotes, choose a contractor, repair the leak, and receive the aid back the following year. If the State Education Department decides that the leak is a local emergency, aid will be reimbursed over the next fifteen years. Mr. Saiff added that Phil Squadrito had worked with Debbie Johnson at the New York State Department of Education Office of Facilities Planning. Because of the concern for water damage and mold growth behind the wall due to the leak, the State Education Department is quite concerned and would most likely declare the repair an emergency, which will expedite the repair process. Mr. Saiff said this scenario is similar to the failing bus garage pillar that was repaired a year and a half ago. He noted that he will have estimates this coming week from three separate contractors.


Miss Doll stated she recently attended what she felt was a valuable safety training conference in Watertown. She said different speakers at the Utica National Insurance topics discussed transgender students, school violence, and various court cases pertinent to these topics. V. Doll also was present at SUNY Potsdam’s TESA conference on April 23rd. She said it was a great opportunity to give information to new teachers, and to also see what the prospects for upcoming teachers were.


V. Doll said the Senior Class Trip took place over the weekend, and that Irene Sinclair had gone in her place as a chaperone. Miss Doll said she had heard from all three chaperones and many students that they had a great time. She noted students were exposed to a lot of different behaviors from other demographics. V. Doll said the Parishville-Hopkinton’s students were commended by staff at the Ranch and the Tour Bus driver for their politeness.


Miss Doll said she and Melissa Scudder were in the final stages of formulating the master class schedule for the 2016-2017 school year. She noted sometimes scheduling is difficult in that students cannot be in two classes at once, so she and M. Scudder are considering which classes students need to take and are arranging them so as many students can get into them as possible. V. Doll also stated she is working to accommodate students that may transfer into the District. Miss Doll is working to minimize the scheduling conflicts that sometimes arise with transfer students.


V. Doll added that Junior and Senior High School National Honor Society inductions took place at the beginning of the month during the school day. She also noted that teachers attended the Google Summit on April 28th and 29th at Potsdam Central School. Miss Doll said she has seen teachers utilizing what they learned there in their classrooms. The feedback she received from faculty about the Summit was that they enjoyed what was presented to them, the workshops were user-friendly, and they were shown they can use programs quickly and effectively.


Field tests in Common Core English Language Arts, Geometry, and Global Studies will be held on Wednesday, Miss Doll stated. Other upcoming events include New York State Science Performance Tests for Grade 8 students on May 25th. V. Doll continued that the Algebra Regents would be administered June 1st, with other New York State exams to follow. Miss Doll noted the Springs Sports Banquet would be held on June 9th. Senior students attending BOCES will graduate at SUNY Potsdam on June 10th.


V. Doll concluded that Prom will be this Saturday at Sunset Acres in Canton, with the After Prom Party subsequently at the District.


B. Reid shared that she and Barb Gallagher had been busy with the process of registering incoming Kindergarten students. Ms. Reid said that now that the District has a strong Universal Pre-Kindergarten program, less parents have been showing up for Kindergarten registration, as they are more comfortable with the procedure by the time their children reach Kindergarten.


Ms. Reid added that the Family Life meeting was held and five student families were represented at the meeting. B. Reid said the parents were quite open to the curriculum and seemed very supportive of it.


B. Reid stated that the Google Summit was highly successful, and that elementary staff members have been implementing concepts they learned there. Ms. Reid said there is a quick turn around with this type of technology. B. Reid said Erin Casey, the Elementary Reading teacher, designed a Google survey sent Ms. Reid a link for the survey within 20 minutes. Compiling this type of data would have taken hours previously.


The UPK and HeadStart concert was held earlier in the month, Ms. Reid said. She said the three- and four-year olds sang and attended a reception after the performance. B. Reid added that the HeadStart teachers collaborated very well with the elementary staff.


Ms. Reid exclaimed that over 170 people – staff, students, grandparents, and other community members – attended Grandparents’ Day on Saturday, May 14th. B. Reid said the turnout was so astounding, that there was standing room only.


B. Reid shared with the Board that she will again have an Administrative Intern through St. Lawrence University. Angela Calkins is currently a Reading Specialist at Heuvelton Central School, and will be in the District for a few days before the school year ends. Ms. Reid said her placement in the District will officially begin in the summer.


Special Education surveys have been reported to the State Education Department, B. Reid explained. She noted that the District saw an indicator of 107% of the expected participation for parents that attended CSE meetings. While she has not received feedback from the surveys, Ms. Reid said she is pleased with the participation rate.


Ms. Reid encouraged Board Members to peruse the Panther Press, as many upcoming events were listed in there. B. Reid reiterated upcoming Graduation dates for Kindergarten and Grade 6 students, June 21st and 22nd at 9:00 A.M., respectively. She thanked J. McGill for volunteering to hand out diplomas at Grade 6 Graduation.


D. Saiff asked that if Board Members were interested in handing out High School diplomas to let either himself or S. Hartson know.




The Board received an invitation to the Seaway Career and Technical Center’s National Technical Honor Society Induction, a copy of the May issue of Panther Press, and a list of upcoming events of interest.



No. 2016-200


Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to go into Executive Session at 8:37 P.M. to discuss personnel, supt. evaluation, and tenure recommendation. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




J. Coburn, P. Farrand, and M. Robinson left the meeting at 8:37 P.M.




At 9:04 P.M. the Board President announced that the meeting would reconvene.



No. 2016-201


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to adjourn at 9:04 P.M. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.







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