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October 17, 2016 Board of Education Meeting Minutes



October 17, 2016




The regular meeting of the Board of Education of the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District was called to order at 730 P.M. by Board Vice-President T. Zellweger.





Present: B. Remington, R. White, W. Witherell, J. Young, T. Zellweger, and Mr. Saiff.


Absent: J. McGill. H. Simmons, D. Taylor, and W. Remington.


Others: A. Carvill, V. Doll, H. Gray, S. Hartson, K. Hurley, A. Mason, M. Robinson, L. Snell, G. Snell, R. Whalen, M. White, and L. Witherell.




Quorum of five established.




G. Snell distributed a packet of papers to the Board of Education containing articles relevant to the proposed wind project. Mr. Snell urged the preservation of the area’s rurality and to not allow Avangrid Renewables’ North Ridge Wind Project to receive PILOT.


L. Witherell noted R. White attended the wind project meeting held on Saturday. She said various experts had no doubt that property values would drop should the wind tower construction move forward. Mrs. Witherell stated her opinion that those wealthy enough to leave the area would do so, and that middle-class families would also move away. She said the Wind Project would hinder new-resident construction, as no one would want to move into an area where wind towers are established. L. Witherell urged the Board to support the community, as the communities of Parishville and Hopkinton have supported the District, and take action to prevent the for-profit corporation Avangrid Renewables from receiving PILOT.


T. Zellweger thanked G. Snell and L. Witherell.





V. Doll said on behalf of B. Reid, Marygrace Guiney was the Paw Ticket winner for the month of September. Miss Doll introduced Mr. Alex Carvill as the General Science and Teaching Assistant in Mathematics. She also announced Miss Katherine Denny as the District’s Middle School Social Studies Teacher. V. Doll presented Mr. Michael White as the Chemistry and Living Environment Teacher. Miss Doll stated that all three new teachers dove in to their assignments, as well as served for detention supervision and attended Technology Committee meetings. V. Doll praised their levels of energy and enthusiasm.




K. Hurley and R. Whalen introduced Lucas Snell and Hannah Gray, two student members of the Class of 2017 Senior Trip Committee. L. Snell and H. Gray presented to the Board a slideshow outlining the proposed trip to Virginia Beach, Busch Gardens, and Baltimore Harbor. L. Snell noted the trip would take place during Memorial Day weekend, so as not to interfere with attendance and testing. It was proposed that students would leave on Friday night and return Monday evening. The cost per student would be $400.00 at most, but members of the Committee are still comparing prices and discussing inclusive tours. L. Snell mentioned that the class will have effort-based fundraisers throughout the year, where students that sell more of a product earn more money for the trip. K. Hurley, R. Whalen, and some parents will serve as chaperones.


T. Zellweger asked Mr. Saiff what was required of the Board for this trip proposal. Mr. Saiff responded that because the trip would be overnight, it would need approval by the Board of Education. Mr. Saiff said he would let the Senior Class Advisors know they outcome via email.




A. Carvill, H. Gray, K. Hurley, A. Mason, L. Snell, R. Whalen, and M. White left the meeting at 7:41 P.M.



No. 2017-063



Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to approve the Minutes of the September 19, 2016, regular meeting as typed and delivered to Board Members. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-064


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

General Fund $33,678.91

General Fund Capital Reserve 500,053.66

Risk Retention (Property Loss Reserve) 45,019.50

School Lunch Fund 5,116.54

School Lunch Savings 24,172.46

Federal Fund (Special Aid Fund) -0-

Trust & Agency Fund -0-

Payroll Fund -0-

Capital Fund……………………..……………. -0-

Extra-Class Activities Fund 90,875.46

5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-065


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to approve the second reading of the General Fixed Asset Capitalization Regulation, as attached. J. Young asked if we could reduce/update the Policy Regulation books. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.






Mr. Saiff explained that the District currently has three ongoing projects that could affect capital, infrastructure, and technology. Mr. Saiff said the Smart Schools Bonds will provide the District with funds to improve technology and security, upgrades which normally would have been purchased through a capital project.


Mr. Saiff updated the Board on the Energy Performance Contract. He said some of the work outlined there could be removed from the 2015 Building Conditions Survey Project. Mr. Saiff said he sat down with representatives from each project to determine how the three could co-exist while maximizing the funds allotted for each. Mr. Saiff noted the Energy Performance Contract has to be cost negative. He explained the $700,000 in upgrades will pay for themselves of the 18 years of amortization. He said the Energy Performance Contract would be put the public so that they are aware the school is planning to undergo energy saving upgrades and what upgrades are proposed. The Contract will then be put to a public vote. Mr. Saiff said if the public approves the Energy Performance Contract at the vote, the District will receive additional money back in aid. He added that before the District can move forward, a Request for Proposal is necessary. He indicated the deadline for RFPs is December 6th, 2016. Mr. Saiff expounded that the Board and he will decide which company to collaborate with. Thereafter, Mr. Saiff will have a timeline to present. Mr. Saiff said at the November meeting, he will recommend putting the Energy Performance Project out to the public for a vote.


W. Witherell asked if the upgrades were to include LED lighting. Mr. Saiff responded that a majority of the energy savings would be gleaned from the conversion of lights and fuel sources. W. Witherell suggested the conversion could be NYSERDA fundable.




Mr. Saiff stated a meeting was held October 13th. He said three representatives from Avangrid proposing the North Wind Ridge Project were in attendance. Mr. Saiff said a schedule for public meetings was discussed. He also mentioned exemption from §487. Mr. Saiff explained that if Districts did not opt out of §487, the taxing jurisdiction would passively agree to allow Wind Tower projects to operate tax-free within that tax jurisdiction, namely counties, towns, and school districts. He continued that the companies typically attempt to settle into a PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) for 20 to 30 years, the general life expectancy of the wind turbines. Mr. Saiff said the erection of between thirty-two and thirty-eight wind towers is proposed, with a total production of 100 Megawatts for this particular project. Mr. Saiff reminded the Board that in the past, both towns of Parishville and Hopkinton had opted out of §487, but the District had not. Mr. Saiff discussed average PILOTS and their standard agreement amount per megawatt.


Mr. Saiff acknowledged a number of concerns expressed by taxpayers such as: the decline in property values, hard feelings among neighbors, health and safety matters, and the loss of nature, wildlife, ecology, and quality of life. It was noted that more than fifty land leases had been secured. Mr. Saiff said there would likely be a North Ridge Wind Project Update at each Board of Education meeting until the direction of the Project is decided.


L. Witherell said she sent information to Mr. Saiff on signing up for Party Status – an action she felt was crucial for the District. Party Status entitles the District to be notified as submissions are made in the Article 10 application process and to qualify for special funding streams to investigate the facets of a proposed wind farm. Mrs. Witherell noted the District has hired independent attorneys in other cases, and that the Project was, in her opinion, more concerning than anything the District has had to consider prior. L. Witherell said she was troubled that the Project will advance to additional Phases. Mr. Saiff added that Joseph Shields of the Ferrara Law Firm is the attorney the District will consult through the Article 10 process.


T. Zellweger thanked L. Witherell.

No. 2017-066


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

School Lunch Fund $6,269.09

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

Federal Fund $12,485.87

General Fund $436,786.97

Trust & Agency $119,242.17

5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-067


Motion made by W. Witherell and seconded by J. Young to authorize the Business Manager to make the necessary budgetary transfers as attached for the Months of June, July, August, and September, 2016. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-068


Motion made by W. Witherell and seconded by J. Young to accept the Budget Reports for the Month of June, 2016, covering the period from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 and for the Months of July, August, and September, 2016, covering the period from July 1, 2016, through September 30, 2016. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-069


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent and the Audit Committee, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to accept the Audit Report for the 2015-2016 school year as submitted by S. Furgison. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-070


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to approve the 2017-2018 Budget Calendar as presented and attached. Mr. Saiff stated this calendar helps the District Office, Administrators, and Business Office develop a budget according following specific dates set forth. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-071


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to approve the second round of Smart Schools Investment Funds purchases. Mr. Saiff shared that after meeting with members of King & King Architecture and BOCES technicians, establishing wireless access points in each instructional area of the school would be a wise, inexpensive use of Smart Bond money. Mr. Saiff noted the Layer 3 switches in the District were about ten years old, and that the devices have a ten-year life expectancy. He noted the wireless signal sometimes fails as more teachers and students in a specific area “sign on” to the WAPs. Mr. Saiff said acquiring additional ChromeBooks would finish out the allotment of funds for this round of purchases with Smart Bond money. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-072


Motion made by W. Witherell and seconded by J. Young to approve the Resolutions for the Certification of Lead Evaluator of Principals and the Certification of Lead Evaluators of Teachers, as attached. As part of law 3012-d, the State Education Department requires that an administrative team within each school district to be trained as Annual Professional Performance Review Evaluators, a process called Calibration. Members of the team must undergo a specified annual amount of training, which was completed in-house this year. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-073


Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by W. Witherell and seconded by J. Young to approve the updated list of coaches and advisors for the 2016-2017 school year. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-074


Mr. Saiff explained that as is common during the school year, the District receives a number of individuals from one Board meeting to the next that express interest in substitute work in the District. Mr. Saiff indicated new candidates since the previous Board meeting. Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by W. Witherell and seconded by J. Young to approve the additional master 2016-2017 substitute list. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-075


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by W. Witherell and seconded by B. Remington to appoint Cheryll Phippen as part-time Teacher Aide as needed for the 2016-2017 school year, effective October 18, 2016. Mr. Saiff explained that Cheryll is currently working with a student with special needs. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried. [C. Phippen will be paid at the hourly rate of $11.52?].



No. 2017-076


Miss Doll provided Board members with a handout for an overseas tour offered by a company and explained that Mr. Whalen had approached her to offer this opportunity to the District’s students. V. Doll stated students from Colton-Pierrepont Central School had utilized the tour group proposed. The handout gave an overview of what the group offered, how they operated, and its accreditations. Miss Doll added that the offer could be extended to other school districts. She said the proposed date was April 2018, and that she and Mr. Whalen would be trained tour leaders for the eight- day trip to Florence and Rome. V. Doll discussed the cost per student, and how that amount would look broken up over 18 months. She added that for every six students, a chaperone can attend for no cost. Miss Doll stated she would send mailings to students in Grades 9, 10, and 11 this year (those students will be in Grades 10, 11, and 12 next year). R. Whalen shared that when he attended with Colton-Pierrepont Central School three years ago, it was an amazing and fantastic experience. He said the guides were very knowledgeable. T. Zellweger asked if students could be refunded if the trip were to be cancelled for any reason. Miss Doll responded that refunds could be issued up to 45 days of the trip. She added that Florence and Rome have not been on the travel-ban site for years. J. Young stated he would like more Board members to be present in making a decision to approve the request.



No. 2017-077


After discussion of the Senior Class Trip presentation, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to approve the proposed Class of 2017 Senior Trip. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-078


Mr. Saiff noted the resolution included in Board Members’ packets to opt out of §487. Tax Law §487 allows wind energy projects to operate tax-free in any area unless the taxing jurisdiction opts out of the law. Based on the Recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to opt out of New York State Real Property Tax Law §487. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2017-079





Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to accept the Bus Fleet Status Report as presented. Mr. Saiff stated this chart allowed the Transportation unit to keep a schedule of the integrity of the buses. Mr. Saiff reviewed the Bus Fleet Status Report with the Board and discussed the overall condition of the bus fleet. Mr. Saiff noted that he had met with Frank Barney and Ira Miller and that their recommendations would be to trade Buses 90, 92, and 93, and to purchase three new buses in the 2016-2017 school year. Mr. Saiff added that the annual undercoating program is extending the life of the bus fleet overall by reducing the amount of oxidation that the frames are exposed to as the result of sand and salt that are applied to the roads in the winter, and will be sustained. It was also recommended to continue following a five-year depreciation schedule of the buses. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




T. Zellweger asked Board members to respond to the conference invitation as soon as they are able. So far, reservations will be made for Mr. Saiff.



No. 2017-080


Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to approve the recommendations of the CPSE for one student and of the CSE for twelve students as attached. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




V. Doll shared B. Reid’s update on her behalf. She said the first Story Time for Tots was a success. She noted that on September 29th, a regional Elementary Principals’ meeting was hosted at the District, and that Ms. Reid was very proud of the programs the District had to exemplify. Miss Doll added that the Math and Movement Night held on September 30th was fantastic, and that many teachers volunteered to assist. She said approximately 45 students attended. V. Doll said that on October 6th, educators attended Instructional Rounds and that on October 7th they attended the Google Summit at Massena Central School District. Both events, she said, were great experiences for all involved. Miss Doll shared the September 30th Elementary Pride Day assembly using Google ChromeCast.


Miss Doll related her own update. She said in Athletics, the Soccer season was rounding out with Girls finishing on Thursday and Boys on Friday. She noted the Fall Sports and Pizza Banquet would be held November 3rd at 6:00 P.M. V. Doll said each coach will be meeting with herself for a post-season evaluation.


V. Doll stated Grade 11 and 12 students in K. Wallace’s classes attended SUNY Canton, where sixty-four SUNY schools were represented, on October 20th. Students were able to learn what these colleges had to offer for students that require accommodations.


Miss Doll said the Google Summit was a great experience for her teachers, as well. The Summit demonstrated unique aspects of the Google forum that teachers could bring into their classroom. V. Doll noted the building-wide Open House went very well. Miss Doll said in the future, she would like to include a map of the school with students’ progress reports. She pointed out that some parents are unfamiliar with their child’s classrooms. V. Doll said parents told her that they liked having teachers in the classrooms – as opposed to all meeting in the Cafeteria. Teachers told Miss Doll they preferred this style, also. V. Doll said that same evening, M. Scudder and D. McGregor were conducting College Night in the Auditorium, addressing changes with the SAT and ACT and changes with FAFSA. Miss Doll concluded that PSATS would be held on Wednesday, and that six college representatives would be in the lobby within the next seven days.


Mr. Saiff shared with the Board that on October 6th, Chancellor Rosa and Regent Ouderkirk visited the District with Mr. Burns. He mentioned that the Chancellor and Regent could not say enough about how impressed they were with the District’s climate, teachers, students, and academic programs. When Mr. Saiff reconvened with the Chancellor at the Google Summit, Ms. Rosa, a former Superintendent in a Bronx school district, said more positive things about Parishville-Hopkinton. Mr. Saiff praised the teachers and students in the District.


T. Zellweger thanked V. Doll and Mr. Saiff for the updates.




The Board received a copy of a letter from V. Doll to parents and students regarding the District’s College Bridge program, a list of substitute rates from the component school districts, correspondence to John Warneck regarding withdrawal from the Tri-County Energy Consortium, the October edition of School Law Matters from the Ferrara Fiorenza Law Firm, the October issue of Panther Press, and a list of Upcoming Events.



No. 2017-081


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by R. White to go into Executive Session at 8:51 P.M. to discuss the employment history of a bus driver. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




M. Robinson left the meeting at 8:51 P.M.




At 8:59 P.M. the Board President announced that the meeting would reconvene.



No. 2017-082


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to adjourn at 9:00 P.M. 5 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.








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