You are here

May 20, 2013 Board of Education Meeting Minutes


May 20, 2013



The regular meeting of the Board of Education of the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District was called to order at 7:32 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, J. Young, T. Zellweger, and Mr. Saiff.


Absent: None.


Others: B. Fairchild, D. Gravlin, B. Reid, M. Robinson, R. Stewart, M. Taylor-7:31 P.M. and L. Witherell.



Quorum of five established.



M. Taylor arrived at 7:31 P.M.



B. Reid announced that 1st Grader Max Crosby was the Elementary Paw Ticket Winner for April. As the Paw Ticket winner, Max received a t-shirt and poster donated by the PTSA and a pizza donated by Kunoco.


B. Reid recognized Students of the Month of April for exhibiting the Character Trait Ambition: Alanna Monroe - Miss Hicken’s Universal Pre-K; Joseph Fisher - Mrs. Knowles’ Kindergarten; Emma Malette - Mrs. Wilkes’ Kindergarten; Max Crosby - Mrs. Mitchell’s First Grade; Erik Severtson - Mrs. White’s Multi-Age 1/2; Cassia Sago - Mrs. Mason’s Second Grade; Michael Orologio - Mrs. Shannon’s Multi-Age 1/2; Carmela Vitale - Mrs. Clark-Vallance’s Third Grade; Annika McIntosh - Ms. Steenberge’s Third Grade; Brynne Reid - Ms. Pcolar’s Fourth Grade; Wyatt Sullivan - Ms. Pahler’s Fourth Grade; Brendan Phippen - Miss Corcoran’s Fifth Grade; Caera Stone - Ms. Rose’s Fifth Grade; Anourine Pullano - Mrs. Todd’s Sixth Grade; and Hayley Gray - Mr. VanLeuven’s Sixth Grade.


B. Reid congratulated the following students who were chosen as winners in the recent Amvets’ Americanism poster and essay contest: Flag Coloring Contest: Kindergarten Winners: Taya Whitehill (1st Place), Joey Fisher (2nd Place), Faith Lashomb (3rd Place), and Haiven Morrill (Honorable Mention). Poster Contest: First Grade Winners: Nathan White (1st Place), Luke Phippen (2nd Place), Dahlia Liebfred (3rd Place), and McKena McCarthy (Honorable Mention). Second Grade Winners: John Snell (1st Place), MaryGrace Guiney (2nd Place), Natalie Snell (3rd Place), and Cassia Sago (Honorable Mention). Third Grade Winners: Carmela Vitale (1st Place), Audrey McGill (2nd Place), Cassidy Phippen (3rd Place), and Anika McIntosh (Honorable Mention). Fifth Grade Winners: Sam Clark-Vallance (1st Place), Brendon Phippen (2nd Place), Sariah Forth (3rd Place), and Sydnee Phippen (Honorable Mention). Essay Contest: Sixth Grade Winners: Lacee Voisine (1st Place), Brooke Hayes (2nd Place), Gabrielle Finan (3rd Place), and Hayley Gray (Honorable Mention). Eighth Grade Winner: Amanda Mason (1st Place). Ninth Grade Winner: Miranda Collins (1st Place).


R. Stewart announced the following PHCS students who have been invited to attend the annual Elks Club Luncheon in honor of their outstanding high school achievements: Dana Harper (Valedictorian and Accomplished Artist), Jenna Converse (Co-Salutatorian and Accomplished Musician), Shauna Wheeler (Co-Salutatorian), Caitlin McGregor (Honors Student and Youth Citizenship Nominee), Parker Meashaw (Honors Student), Emily Sloan (Accomplished Artist and Athlete), Allison Rouselle (Accomplished Artist), Kelsey Charleson (Accomplished Artist), Katherine Gilbo (Accomplished Artist), Ashley Taillon (Accomplished Musician), and Colin Myers (Accomplished Musician). These young adults were part of an elite group of students from local schools throughout the area who were selected to attend this very prestigious event and we are very proud of all of their accomplishments.

No. 2013-214



Motion made by J. Young and seconded by F. Wilhelm to approve the Minutes of the April 22, 2013, regular meeting, and May 14, 2013, public budget meeting, as typed and mailed to Board Members. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.


No. 2013-215


Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to approve the Treasurer’s Reports showing an available balance on hand as of April 30, 2013, as follows:

General Fund 8,667.22

School Lunch Fund 6,776.09

School Lunch Savings 26.58

Federal Fund 10,000.02

Trust & Agency Fund 7,564.46

Payroll Fund -0-

Risk Retention (Property Loss Reserve – CLASS) 44,976.76

Extra-Class Activities Fund 55,590.02

9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




Mr. Saiff announced that our project was 24th in line for review at the Office of Facilities Planning as of May 7th. While we are awaiting approval so that we can begin the process of receiving bids on the remaining work, Mr. Saiff stated that BOCES technicians Craig Lalonde and Abdo Bejjani have been working with Joe DelBiondo from Argus Engineering to ensure that the hardware that they spec for the project will be able to be maintained and serviced by our BOCES technician. Mr. Saiff added that it was likely that our project would be reviewed sometime next month. Due to the nature of the work involved, when it is put out for bids, it will be advertised as a single prime electrical contract.


Mr. Saiff added that reports of substantial completion have been filed regarding the bus garage roof replacement portion of the project and that we are in the process of compiling the final financial documents regarding the roof replacement for submission to the State Education Department.


Mr. Saiff reminded the Board that when they had initially reviewed the scope of work to be addressed, they had agreed to eliminate possible locker room and playground renovations (items A-8 and A-9) because these items were identified as being cost prohibitive considering the amount of EXCEL money still available to the District. As Mr. Saiff stated during last month’s meeting, due to the fact that we have experienced a significant delay in receiving State Education Department approval to move forward with the remainder of the project, price increases in materials and labor may preclude us from completing all of the items the Board had originally wanted to address from our original list. Mr. Saiff reviewed a copy of items A-1 through A-9 with the Board in an effort to prioritize the list and designate which items should be selected as possible alternates, should bids come in higher than originally anticipated. Upon review, the Board decided to select A-6 (new public address and clock systems) and A-7 (replacement of outdated light fixtures in the auditorium and gymnasium) as alternates. D. Saiff explained that the new auditorium lighting had been included on the original work list in hopes of installing more energy efficient units. B. Remington added that the current stage lighting was originally installed in 1954 except for one strand of lights that was purchased by the PHCS Follies.


NO. 2013-216


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

General Fund $369,790.30

School Lunch Fund 9,046.11

Federal Fund 5,086.63

Trust & Agency 104,721.38

Capital Fund 5,983.31

9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.


No. 2013-217


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by R. White to authorize the Business Manager to make the necessary budgetary transfers as attached for the Month of April, 2013. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

No. 2013-218


Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by D. Taylor to accept the Budget Reports for the Month of April, 2013, covering the period from July 1, 2012, through April, 2013, as presented. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.


No. 2013-219



Mr. Saiff reviewed application materials for S. Hartson and discussed starting salary and benefits with the Board of Education. Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by B. Remington to appoint Stefanie Hartson as Confidential Executive Secretary/Deputy Treasurer to the Superintendent at a starting salary of $32,000, said salary to be pro-rated for the remainder of the 2012-2013 school year based on the starting date that is yet to be determined. (The contract for this position was also approved by the Board and will be reviewed with S. Hartson before she begins employment with the District.) 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.


No. 2013-220




Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to approve Conrad Cook’s request for a leave of absence under the Family/Medical Leave Act retroactive to March 25, 2013, and continuing through June 28, 2013. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.


No. 2013-221






Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to hire Gwen Richards as Bus Driver of the Summer School run to Massena; Tony Eakins as Bus Driver of the Summer Special Education run to Potsdam and part-time cleaner for a total of 40 hours per week; Robin Remington as Monitor on the Summer Special Education run; Mike Murphy as a 40-hour painter; Claudia McIntosh, Andreas McIntosh, and John Burns as 40-hour cleaners, Elric Viau as a 40-hour bus cleaner, and Judy Witherell to work in records retention for a portion of the summer. (Note: bus driving will be paid at the rate of $15.11 per hour and the Bus Monitor will be paid at her regular rate of $8.25 per hour as specified in the one-year PHCS Non-Teaching Association’s Memorandum of Agreement covering the 2011-12 school year; however, both of these rates may be subject to adjustment once a contract settlement is reached. The summer positions will be paid at the following rates: Painting at $10.40 per hour, summer cleaners at $8.50 an hour, bus monitor at $8.25 per hour, and records retention at the substitute clerical rate of $8.74 per hour as specified in the non-unit salary schedule.) B. Remington abstained, W. Remington abstained, H. Simmons in favor, D. Taylor in favor, R. White in favor, F. Wilhelm in favor, W. Witherell abstained, J. Young in favor, T. Zellweger in favor, Carried.


No. 2013-222

2013-2014 COACHING/


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to approve the following for coaching/advisor appointments for the 2013-2014 school year pending proper certification: Tony Engstrom – Boys’ Varsity Soccer Coach and Boys’ Varsity Baseball Coach; Shawn Spriggs – Boys’ Modified Soccer Coach; Evan Harper, Jr. – Girls’ Varsity Soccer Coach; Rebecca Rose – Girls’ Modified Soccer Coach; Mike Walter – Boys’ Varsity Basketball Coach; Jason Felix – Boys’ Modified Baseball Coach; Jennifer Blevins – Stage Director; Kim Reed and Irene Sinclair – Student Council Co-Advisors; Janet Learned – David Parish National Honor Society Advisor and Roswell Hopkins Junior National Honor Society Advisor (unpaid); Tony Engstrom – Varsity Club Advisor (unpaid); Andrea Ellison – Follies Advisor (unpaid); Brooke Reid (Elementary Playground Fund Advisor (unpaid); Ray Whalen and Irene Sinclair – Yearbook Co-Advisors; Dan McCormick and Kim Reilly – Forensics Team Co-Advisors (unpaid); Mike Walter and Irene Sinclair – Geology Club Advisors (unpaid); Mary Keenan and Kim Reed – 7th and 8th Grade Class Advisors (unpaid); Krista Hurley and Ray Whalen – 9th Grade Class Advisors; Mary Keenan and Kim Reed – 10th Grade Class Advisors; Miranda Brosell and Denise Murray – 11th Grade Class Advisors; Shawn Spriggs and Tony Engstrom – 12th Grade Class Advisors. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



Motion made by T. Zellweger to Table the next three Agenda items concerning tentative decisions on tenure recommendations, a Juul Agreement, and a proposed Memorandum of Agreement to the current Non-Teaching Employees’ Contract for discussion in Executive Session.


No. 2013-223


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to approve Addendums of Agreement for Health Insurance Coverage to allow members of the Teachers’ Association and Non-Teaching Association to opt for an external health insurance buyout during the 2013-2014 school year. B. Remington in favor, W. Remington in favor, H. Simmons in favor, D. Taylor in favor, R. White in favor, F. Wilhelm in favor, W. Witherell in favor, J. Young in favor, T. Zellweger abstained, Carried.


No 2013-224



As a follow-up to Board discussions regarding the possibility of accepting out-of-District students in our Summer Driver Education Classes at a fee if we have less than twenty in-District students who are interested in taking the Summer Driver Education Course, Mr. Saiff consulted with Roger Linden, our School Attorney. Mr. Linden advised that if the Board wished to allow out-of-District students entry into the Summer Driver Education Course at set fee whenever slots were available, then the Board should adopt a Resolution to that effect. Students would be selected on a strict lottery basis. Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by H. Simmons to approve the proposed Resolution as attached. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.


NO. 2013-225



D. Gravlin was in attendance to provide the Board with information regarding the need to increase breakfast and lunch prices. Given the state of our economy, he added that he would not recommend an increase in prices unless it was required. The cost of serving a reimbursable breakfast will increase next year as a result of new breakfast regulations regarding whole grain and fruit requirements, and we are already close to losing money on every breakfast based on the current charge of $1.00 which is actually less than what most other schools are charging. As for the lunch price, as part of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, food service programs must gradually increase their price for a full paid reimbursable lunch to equal the free reimbursement rate minus the paid reimbursement rate, or $2.59 ($2.92 - $.33 = $2.59). This year the cost of each lunch increased approximately 50¢. If schools are currently charging less than $2.59 per lunch, then they are required to raise their prices a minimum of 5¢. Based on the USDA formula to calculate the required price increase, our lunch prices would need to be adjusted by 10¢. About 41% of our students take advantage of the Free and Reduced Lunch Program. Mr. Saiff would anticipate that there may be other families that would be eligible for the program, but they choose not to. D. Gravlin added that meal requirements regarding grain levels have increased slightly, although the calories allowed for various age groups have remained unchanged.


Based upon the recommendation of the Cafeteria Manager and the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to increase the breakfast price by 25¢ next year, from $1.00 to $1.25, and increase the lunch price by 10¢, thereby bringing the elementary lunch price up to $1.85, and the junior-senior high school lunch price up to $1.95. The milk price will remain at 50¢. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



The Board thanked D. Gravlin for attending the meeting to provide pricing information and he left the meeting at 8:14 P.M.


No. 2013-226



Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by H. Simmons to approve a request from the Town of Parishville for the use of two buses for the Summer Recreation Program to run from July 8 through August 2, 2013, contingent upon the understanding that two of our regular, certified bus drivers will be hired by the town to operate the buses. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



B. Reid, R. Stewart, and Mr. Saiff discussed the contents of the New York State Accountability Report and Report Card for the 2011-2012 school year and noted that our students continue to do well overall, crediting our teaching staff for their efforts to help students reach their full potential.


R. Stewart stated that our Middle Level English Language Arts and Math scores did drop slightly, although we were still above the state average and proposed that some of the drop may have been due to incorporation of the common core standards. Indications are that next year’s scores may be even lower due to all of the changes brought about with the common core and development of new state assessments. Hopefully we will have the results back by next September so we can determine where additional focus may be needed. R. Stewart announced that our Math and Science scores remain very high, although we did experience a drop in Global History. R. Stewart added that the only students who took the Global Regents this past January were those who had previously failed; therefore, this year’s results will look low as well. On a final note, R. Stewart stated that 91% of last year’s graduates received a Regents Diploma, and 97% graduated with their cohort. In general, our scores remain very good.


B. Reid announced that the elementary scores were also very positive. Nine elementary exams are required each year, which is a lot of testing. In seven of the nine exams given, our students scored significantly higher than the state average and in two exams our students performed slightly below the state average. B. Reid explained that in small schools such as ours, if even one child scores poorly on an exam, it could have a significant negative impact on the overall class average. For example, we scored 4% below the state average for last year’s Fourth Grade English Language Arts exam because of one student’s scores. B. Reid noted that students worked extremely hard and, even though some students do become frustrated by the testing, she feels the elementary school is moving in a good direction and couldn’t be more proud of the students and staff.


Mr. Saiff directed the Board’s attention to data contained on page 21 of the Accountability Report regarding the 2006 Graduation-Rate Total Cohort. According to the data, only seven students out of a possible forty-eight graduated that year, giving us a graduation rate of only 15%. Obviously that data is incorrect and Mr. Saiff added that he has been working with Melissa Scudder, our CIO, to try to track down the problem; however, as of the date of this meeting, they have been unable to determine why it happened and an appeal has been filed.


All groups made AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress), both at the elementary and at the junior-senior high school and are students and staff continue to do a terrific job.


No. 2013-227



Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young 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 as last year. If approved, he will be here on June 7th. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.


No. 2013-228


Mr. Saiff announced that the PTSA recently made a donation of $500 each to the Elementary and High School libraries to be utilized for the purchase of new books again this year. H. Simmons suggested that we should acknowledge this generous donation from the PTSA on our website.


In addition, we just received a $100 donation from Adon Farms for the Elementary Playground Fund. Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to accept the donations as outlined above and asked Mr. Saiff to send letters of acknowledgment. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.


No. 2013-229




Mr. Saiff announced that we had received a donation of nearly seven thousand dollars from two individuals who have established a charitable fund for the express purpose of bringing high quality performing arts programs into schools located within the poorer rural districts that comprise the Adirondack Park area. Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of these individuals, we were able to cross contract with the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES for the Associated Solo Artists Concert Series through Arts in Education. This extremely talented group of artists gave a series of performances and provided small group workshops to our students and students from Colton-Pierrepont Central School over a three-day period from May 8-10. This donation will qualify for BOCES aid in subsequent years; therefore, the donors have requested that we apply the BOCES aid we receive back for this concert series to help offset next year’s cost for the performing arts series and, in return, our benefactors will pay any remaining costs involved so that we can continue to provide our students with an opportunity to attend professional music performances and workshops. Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by H. Simmons to accept the donation as presented with the District’s gratitude.

No. 2013-230


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by H. Simmons to approve the recommendations of the CPSE for two pre-school students and the recommendations of the CSE for twenty-seven students as attached. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




R. Stewart stated that there have been several events that have transpired since the April Board Meeting including National Honor Society Inductions, overnight bike trip, and annual 5-day canoe trip, in addition to conducting review classes in an effort to help students prepare for finals.


R. Stewart announced several events that have been scheduled for the next few weeks including the 8th Grade New York State Science Proficiency Lab on Wednesday, Field Tests in Algebra 2/Trigonometry, Geometry, U.S. History, and Grade 8 Reading, Junior-Senior High School Prom on June 1st, Senior Trip on June 3rd, Academic Banquet on June 4th, High School Concert on June 5th, last day of regular classes on June 10th, and Regents/Final Exam testing period which begins on June 11th.


B. Reid announced that there have been many special events at the Elementary since the date of the last Board Meeting, including an excellent 6th grade musical performance last week. The Elementary Spring Concert for students in grades 3-6 will be held at 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday evening, May 22nd, and will feature a special guest appearance by members of the Senior High School Chorus who will be performing a musical number with the Elementary Chorus.


Our Reading Interns concluded their internship last Friday and we are now faced with the task of hiring their replacements for next year. Two promising candidates have already been interviewed and we hope to be able to recommend them at the June meeting.


Kindergarten Screening went very well and the New York State 4th Grade Science Field Test was administered last week. The regular (scored) New York State Science Exam will be administered next week.


B. Reid stated that Elementary students and staff were looking forward to celebrating Flag Day with a special ceremony to be held on June 14th on the front lawn, weather permitting. Members of the Parishville Amvets have agreed to assist with the program. In addition, we will be celebrating two major milestones at the Elementary: Kindergarten Graduation on June 18th at 9:00 A.M., and Sixth Grade Graduation on June 19th at 9:00 A.M. B. Reid also asked Board Members to let her know if they were interested in participating in the 6th Grade Graduation Ceremony by assisting her with the presentation of diplomas.


Other special upcoming events include the last Elementary Pride Day Assembly for the 2012-13 school year which is scheduled for May 31st during 5th period and a retirement party at the Cheel Center scheduled for June 7th.


B. Reid noted that extensive work will be done over the course of the next month regarding the School-Wide Title and Professional Development Plans, the development of class schedules complete with specials, and the creation of heterogeneous student lists for the upcoming year, as well as finalizing APPR scores for the current year.


B. Reid also congratulated the following students who were selected as this year’s 5th and 6th Grade winners of the Essay Contest, “What the National Anthem Means to Me,” sponsored by the Potsdam Elks Club. Grade 5 Winners: Kylie Wells (1st Place), Caera Stone (2nd Place), and Jacob Fisher (3rd Place). Grade 6 Winners: Mattie Tremper (1st Place), Brooke Hayes (2nd Place), and Sarah Kearney (3rd Place).



The Board received a copy of a notice from the St. Lawrence County Department of Highways informing the District that the bridge located in the Town of Stockholm on County Route 47 over Trout Brook will be closed beginning on Monday, May 13, 2013, and is not scheduled to reopen until September 30, 2013, due to bridge repairs and a list of upcoming events of interest.


No. 2013-231


Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by J. Young to go into Executive Session at 8:46 P.M. to discuss tenured teacher evaluations, tentative tenure recommendations, other personnel items, and draft Memorandum of Agreement to Non-Teaching Employees’ Contract. 9 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



B. Fairchild, M. Robinson and M. Taylor left meeting at 8:48 P.M.



At 10:14 P.M. the Board President announced that the meeting would reconvene.


No. 2013-232


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by F. Wilhelm and seconded by R. White to approve a Juul Agreement granting an extension of one year to Danny McCormick’s probationary appointment. B. Remington in favor, W. Remington in favor, H. Simmons in favor, D. Taylor in favor, R. White in favor, F. Wilhelm in favor, W. Witherell in favor, J. Young in favor, T. Zellweger opposed, Carried.






Mr. Saiff discussed the pending tenure appointments of Elementary Teachers Patricia Steenberge and Amy Rider-Mitchell, Secondary English Teacher Melissa VanLeuven, and Teacher Assistant Laura Zellweger. Based upon the recommendations of B. Reid and R. Stewart, as well as classroom observation reports and personal observations, D. Saiff indicated that he would be recommending that the Board grant tenure to these individuals in the appropriate tenure areas, at the June Board Meeting; said tenure date to be effective September 1, 2013.


No. 2013-233


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to adjourn at 10:16 P.M. 9 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.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer