Guilderland Central School District

Minutes for Regular Meeting of the Board of Education

February 15, 2017

High School - LGI Room

7:00 PM

 

 

Call to Order

Attendee Name

Title

Status

Arrived

Linda Livingston

Board Clerk

Present

 

Teresa Gitto

Board Member

Present

 

Catherine Barber

Board Member

Present

 

Barbara Fraterrigo

Board Member

Remote

 

Christine Hayes

President

Present

 

Christopher McManus

Vice President

Present

 

Seema Rivera

Board Member

Present

 

Allan Simpson

Board Member

Present

 

Judy Slack

Board Member

Present

 

Gloria Towle-Hilt

Board Member

Remote

 

 

High School Student Representative

High School Student Representative Michel Abdelmalek updated the Board of Education on activities at the high school including:

·         33 students were nominated for the Deserving Dutchmen Awards,

·         The winter rally will be held on Friday March 10,

·         Spring sports sign ups have started,

·         The 9th annual dodgeball tournament will be held on Friday, March 3.

Public Comment #1

Persons wishing to speak under the “Public Comment” section of the meeting should either contact the District Clerk (456-6200 X 3125) before the meeting OR fill out one of the Public Comment Forms, available on tables at both entrances to the meeting room, and return to the District Clerk.

John Breedlove spoke to the Board regarding the recent change to the 8th grade visitation day to the high school.  He agrees having the tour of the high school in May is better for the students but feels the exposure to the Guilderland Players musical in March should be for all 8th grade students not just the students involved in MASK.  He stated students need to be exposed to the Arts not just STEM.

 

Stephen Buess said he is concerned that the decade long tradition of the 8th graders seeing the Guilderland Players musical is being changed.  Because of his visit to see the high school musical he joined the club.  He said kids need to be exposed to theater as well as sports. 

State Budget Update: Assemblymember Patricia Fahy

1.              State Budget Update: Assemblymember Patricia Fahy

Assemblywomen Patricia Fahy told the Board things have stabilized; school districts have seen record increases in education over the years.   She said education had been dealing with layoffs and attrition but because of multi- billion dollar increases, schools are now hiring.   She said she does know that there are serious shortages in English language learner (ELL) and special education teachers.  But, statistics show throughout the State that lots of progress has been made with graduation rates, with the major exception to ELL students.   

 

She said there is no support for the Governor’s proposal to change the Foundation Aid formula.    There is about 1 billion in increases for education.  The Governor and the Assembly propose continuing the millionaire tax, with the Assembly wanting to also increase it.   If this were to happen there is potential to raise another billion for education. 

 

There is support from the Governor, Assembly and the Senate for after school programs, pre-k services for upstate, teacher training centers and other related programs.  But there is no support in changing the property tax cap at this time. 

 

She said the state has stepped in, as it should in light of the tax cap, and has helped education funding.  She said there is healthy budget this year compared to the past.

RESULT:              DISCUSSED

Program Report

1.              College Readiness Program Report

Math and Science Supervisor Michael Piscitelli introduced student leaders involved in the Robotics program at the high school.    Students showed the robot (OTIS) that they created and won awards for.  They came in 11th out 50 states!   This year so far, their lowest rank is 3rd place overall.

 

High School Principal Thomas Lutsic gave a presentation on college and career readiness and the various college credit bearing programs available to high school students.

RESULT:              DISCUSSED

Consent Items

Gloria Towle-Hilt, Cathy Barber and Christine Hayes abstain from voting on the January 31, 2017 minutes.

 

Christopher McManus asked to remove Item #D Text Books from the Consent Agenda.

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Seema Rivera, Board Member

SECONDER:              Catherine Barber, Board Member

AYES:              Gitto, Barber, Fraterrigo, Hayes, McManus, Rivera, Simpson, Slack, Towle-Hilt

A.              Minutes

A.              Board of Education - Regular Meeting - Jan 31, 2017 7:00 PM

B.              CPSE & CSE Recommendations

C.              Personnel Action

A.              Personnel Action February 15, 2017

Resignations - Instructional

1.              Joanne Capone, a teaching assistant at Pine Bush Elementary School, is resigning for the purpose of retirement, effective June 30, 2017.  Ms. Capone has been employed by the District since September 10, 2001.

2.              Warren Huntley, a teaching assistant at Guilderland High School, is resigning for the purpose of retirement, effective June 30, 2017.  Mr. Huntley has been employed by the District since September 1, 2004.

3.              Delores Kelley, a social worker at Farnsworth Middle School, is resigning for the purpose of retirement, effective June 30, 2017.  Ms. Kelley has been employed by the District since September 1, 2000.

4.              Barbara Newton, a physical education teacher at Guilderland High School, is resigning for the purpose of retirement, effective June 30, 2017.  Ms. Newton has been employed by the District since January 6, 1985.

5.              Joanne Perrino, as a teaching assistant at Farnsworth Middle School, effective June 23, 2017.  Ms. Perrino has been employed by the District since September 1, 2008.

6.              Kathleen Ruecker, a social studies teacher at Farnsworth Middle School, is resigning for the purpose of retirement, effective June 30, 2017.  Ms. Ruecker has been employed by the District since September 1, 1990.

7.              Kelsey Watson, as a teaching assistant at Farnsworth Middle School, effective February 17, 2017.  Ms. Watson has been employed by the District since October 11, 2016.

 

B.              Appointments -  Instructional - Not Probationary

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the Guilderland Central School District hereby accepts the recommendation of the Superintendent to appoint the following instructional employees:

 

1.              Substitute Teachers, Substitute Nurses, Substitute Teaching Assistants

Erynn Barber                               Social Studies 7-12

Allison Bleau                               non-cert

Robin Boone                               PreK-6

Laura Collins (Doak)              non-cert

Jaime Covington                            Special Education, School Administrator

Bethany Geating                            non-cert

Kathleen Goldberg              Teaching Assistant

ZaQuan Irby                                non-cert

Rachel Kessler                            non-cert

Emily Labate                               Childhood Education 1-6

Dylan Larkin                                non-cert

Christina McFarlane              non-cert

Jennifer Mills                               non-cert

Brooke Mistretta                            Students with Disabilities, Early Childhood,

                                            B-2, Childhood Education1-6

Shannon O’Brien                            Spanish 7-12

Pamela Silvano                            K-6, Reading

Abigail Simon                            Childhood Education1-6

Deborah Sorbo                            non-cert

Michael Sunkis                            non-cert

2.              Unified Sports Bowling  Team

Coaches                            Allison Relyea & Kelly Tynan

3.              Appointments Over 1.0 FTE

Name                                          Cert. Area                            School                                          FTE

Chelsea Connolly                            ESL                                          GHS & AES                            1.2

4.              Tracy Coulson, as a teaching assistant at Farnsworth Middle School, effective February 27, 2017.  Ms. Coulson holds special education, permanent certification.  The probationary period for this appointment is eight (8) to twenty-six (26) weeks and may be extended to fifty-two (52) weeks.

5.              MaryBeth Pierrot, as a temporary school psychologist at Altamont Elementary School, effective October 17, 2016 through June 30, 2017.  Ms. Pierrot holds school psychologist, initial certification.

6.              Shannon Whelan, as a teaching assistant at Altamont Elementary School, effective February 13, 2017.  Ms. Whelan has pending teaching assistant level 1, certification.  The probationary period for this appointment is eight (8) to twenty-six (26) weeks and may be extended to fifty-two (52) weeks.

 

C.              Resignations - Non-Instructional

1.              Michael Cole, a bus attendant in the Transportation Department is resigning for the purpose of retirement, effective May 26, 2017.  Mr. Cole has been employed by the District since May 16, 2005.

2.              Deborah Zarrelli, as a food service worker in the food service department, effective February 12, 2017.

 

D.              Appointments - Non-Instructional

1.              Paul Farnsworth, as a food service worker at Guilderland High School, effective February 2, 2017.  The probationary period for this appointment is from eight (8) to twenty-six (26) weeks unless extended.

2.              Sharon McGuire, as a food service worker at Farnsworth Middle School, effective February 27, 2017.  The probationary period for this appointment is from eight (8) to twenty-six (26) weeks unless extended.

3.              MaryEllen Roche, as a custodial worker at Guilderland High School, effective February 6, 2017.  The probationary period for this appointment is from eight (8) to twenty-six (26) weeks unless extended.

4.              Deborah Zarrelli, as an aide/ monitor at Farnsworth Middle School, effective February 13, 2017.  The probationary period for this appointment is from eight (8) to twenty-six (26) weeks unless extended.

 

E.              Requests for Leave of Absence

1.              Pierra Camposeo, a foreign language teacher at Farnsworth Middle School and Guilderland High School, is requesting an extension of her personal leave of absence from September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018.

2.              Jeanne Lee, an ESL teacher from Westmere Elementary School, is requesting an extension of her parental leave of absence from September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018.

3.              Theresa Pollack, an English teacher at Guilderland High School, is requesting an extension of her parental leave of absence from September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018.

 

F.              Emergency Fingerprint Clearance

Kim Lowe              aide/monitor sub, clerical sub

Sharon Sobieski              food service worker sub

Martin Spencer              custodial worker sub

             

G.              Substitute Aides, Monitors, Bus Attendants, Bus Drivers, Food Service Workers, Cooks, Clerical Workers, Custodial Workers, Messengers, Auto or Maintenance Mechanics or Accountants:

Kim Lowe              aide/monitor sub, clerical sub

Sharon Sobieski              food service worker sub

Martin Spencer              custodial worker sub

              E.  Financials

B.              Revenue Report for the Period Ending January 31, 2017

C.              Expense Report for the Period Ending January 31, 2017

D.              School Lunch Financial Reports for the Period Ending January 31, 2017

E.              Capital Project Financial Status Report for the Period Ending January 31, 2017

F.              Fund Balance Estimate Report

Text Books

D.  1842 : Textbooks

Christopher McManus said he is concerned by the evaluation form the teacher filled out for the book, All American Boys.  He feels police brutality is the sensitive issue in the book, not adult language as written on the form.    He asked how the teacher is going to respond to the issue.  He stated it should be documented on the evaluation form.

 

Seema Rivera stated the language in the book “was a little much” but the book is worthy of reading.

 

Catherine Barber agreed and said the book merits discussion.

 

Barbara Frateriggo said the book was fascinating but agrees police brutality is a sensitive issue.   She said staff needs to be sensitive and present the issues fairly.

 

Teresa Gitto said she also is worried about the issue of police brutality and worries about where the discussion could go.

RESULT:              ADOPTED [7 TO 2]

MOVER:              Allan Simpson, Board Member

SECONDER:              Judy Slack, Board Member

AYES:              Barber, Fraterrigo, Hayes, Rivera, Simpson, Slack, Towle-Hilt

NAYS:              Gitto, McManus

Information Items

I.              Curriculum & Instruction Information

A.              FMS Project FeederWatch Recognized in Cornell University Blog

Congratulations to Farnsworth Middle School teacher, Jennifer Ford.  Jennifer has been working on Project FeederWatch through Cornell University with student volunteers.  Their project was mentioned in a blog - here is the link:  <http://feederwatch.org/blog/inspiring-story-feederwatch-classroom/>

RESULT:              DISCUSSED

B.              Guilderland High School Teacher Appointed to ChemMatters Policy Board

Congratulations to Guilderland High School science teacher, Stacey Haas who was appointed as a member of the ChemMatters Policy Board.  Stacey will be an invaluable addition to the ChemMatters policy board by helping to guide the direction and set policy for ChemMatters magazine.

RESULT:              DISCUSSED

C.              Guilderland High School Student Runner Up in 2017 Albany Brain Bee

Congratulations to Sayeed Khan, grade 11, who was selected as runner up at the 2017 Albany Brain Bee competition.  This event was held on Saturday, February 4 at Albany Medical College. Students ages 13-19, who are interested in the brain and neuroscience, answered questions about the brain and its vital functions. They competed for a chance to participate in the Regional Brain Bee in Baltimore, Maryland.

RESULT:              DISCUSSED

II.              School Business Information

A.              Schedule of Reserve Funds

Legislation passed December 31, 2016 mandates school districts, as part of the annual budget process, to provide a schedule of reserve funds by name, the balance in each reserve as of the close of the third quarter of the current school year, and a brief statement explaining any plans for use of such reserve in the ensuing fiscal year.   In addition, the legislation stipulates that any money placed into a reserve fund requires the board of education to approve such action by resolution.  Neil Sanders, Assistant Superintendent for Business reviewed the various reserve funds with the Board.

RESULT:              DISCUSSED

B.              Multi-Year Financial Plan

Legislation passed December 31, 2016 mandates school districts post on the district website any multi-year financial plan adopted by the board of education.  Although the board of education has for many years received a multi-year financial plan on an annual basis, those plans have not been formally adopted or posted to the district website.  Mr. Sanders presented the five year financial projection for the school years 2017-18 thru 2021-22.   After a discussion it was decided the Board would not formally adopt the financial plan because so many elements of the plan are speculation.

RESULT:              DISCUSSED

III.              Superintendent Information

A.              Joint Trustee Meeting with the Guilderland Public Library

Each year, in accordance with our agreement, a joint meeting is scheduled between representatives of the respective boards from the Guilderland Public Library and school district. A possible time-frame for the meeting, member participation and potential agenda items will be forthcoming.

RESULT:              DISCUSSED

B.              Grade 8-9 Transition Activities

Each year, a team of teachers, counselors, and administrators from Farnsworth Middle School and Guilderland High School work together to plan activities to promote a smooth transition for students moving from grade 8 to grade 9.  Based on the work of that team, changes to some of those activities were proposed for the 2016-2017.  One of those changes moves the 8th grade visitation day to the high school from March (to align with the high school musical performance) to May. 

 

Farnsworth House Principal Michael Pipa, High School House Principal Amy Hawrylchak and High School Principal Thomas Lutsic explained the reason behind changing the visitation schedule.  Mr. Pipa said the new plan is to have the students in MASK join the Guilderland Players for lunch and “talk shop”.  They will have a media blitz encouraging 8th grade students to go see the show.   At the May visitation day one of the activities for the 8th graders will be to interact with students in the various co-curricular clubs and possibly watch a video presentation made by the Guilderland Players.

 

Parents were invited to address the Board about their ideas and concerns.  Parents asked the Board not to limit the viewing of the production to just the MASK students.  It is should be performed for the entire 8th grade class.

RESULT:              DISCUSSED

C.              Guilderland C.S.D. 2017-2018 Budget Survey Results

We have had a tremendous response rate to our survey.  As reported during the community conversation at 6:00 p.m. 1037 responded; including 228 Guilderland high school students.  The survey closed on Monday, February 13. 

 

The highest support was for safe, secure buildings, followed by academic support for struggling students, safe transportation and social/emotional growth.

 

The full report will be posted the website.

RESULT:              DISCUSSED

IV.              Board President Information

A.              Strategic Planning

The board had a further discussion on the strategic planning initiative:

 

Allan Simpson said he supports having a strategic plan and was surprised to see the letter from the Guilderland Teachers Association opposing the initiative.

 

Catherine Barber said it seems to be the same thing as the district does in May of every year.  She also said the district has been doing a lot of big initiatives lately and is concerned about the money.

 

Seema Rivera said the cost is too much, but supports having a strategic plan.

 

Chris McManus supports the strategic plan initiative.  He said the plan would help to know if we are meeting our goals and what the tasks are to accomplish the goals.  He asked if the Board is willing to spend $30,000 on repairs for the Cobblestone School House, which is no benefit to the students or school, why wouldn’t you spend $40,000 on a strategic plan which will help the school.  He said if teachers and the community are not on board with the plan then we need to go back and educate them.

 

Teresa Gitto is in support of the strategic plan if you can measure the results.  She doesn’t want to spend $40,000 and have nothing to show for it.

 

Barbara Fraterrigo said we need a strategic plan but need to step back and educate the teachers and the community. 

 

Gloria Towle-Hilt said she was very excited about the strategic plan initiative.  She said the best businesses have a strategic plan.   She considers the $40,000 as an investment.

 

Christine Hayes believes the benefits on the plan outweigh the costs.   But the community and the teachers are not in support.  She said don’t take it off the table but we need to take the time and educate everyone.

 

It was decided to ask Robert Hendriks, Managing Principal of Leadership for Educational Achievement Foundation, Inc. to meet with the Board and explain what a strategic plan would look like.

RESULT:              DISCUSSED

B.              Board of Education Policy Review

The following policies were presented for information and discussion.  These policies were discussed at a recent Board of Education Policy Review Committee meeting.

 

1050 Annual District Election and Budget Vote

1222 Relations with Booster Organizations

4329 Implementation of School-Wide Approaches and Pre-Referral Intervention

5061 Social Service Trained Facility Dogs

5695 Students and Personal Electronic Devices

8121.1 Opioid Overdose Prevention

RESULT:              DISCUSSED

Action Items

I.              School Business Management Action

A.              Resolution to Authorize School Bus and Vehicle Bond Proposition for the May 16, 2017 School Budget Vote and Election    (Roll Call Vote Required)

RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE GUILDERLAND CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, IN THE COUNTY OF ALBANY, NEW YORK, AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1.  At the Annual District Meeting and Election of the qualified voters of Guilderland Central School District, in the County of Albany, New York (the “District”), to be held on May 16, 2017, a Bond Proposition in substantially the forms as hereinafter set forth shall be submitted to the qualified voters of said District.  Said Bond Proposition shall appear in the Notice of Annual District Meeting and Election to be held May 16, 2017, and the District Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to include such Bond Proposition in said Notice by inserting therein substantially the following paragraphs:

NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that a Bond Proposition in substantially the following form shall be presented to the qualified voters of the District at such Annual District Meeting and Election:

BOND PROPOSITION

RESOLVED:

(a)              That the Board of Education of the Guilderland Central School District, in the County of Albany, New York (the “District”), is hereby authorized to purchase various school buses and vehicles for use by the District, at the estimated maximum cost of $1,071,500, and to expend therefor, including preliminary costs and costs incidental thereto and the financing thereof, an amount not to exceed the estimated total cost of 1,071,500;

(b)              that a tax is hereby voted in the aggregate amount of not to exceed $1,071,500 to pay such cost, said tax to be levied and collected in installments in such years and in such amounts as shall be determined by said Board of Education; and

(c)              that in anticipation of said tax, bonds of the District are hereby authorized to be issued in the principal amount of not to exceed $1,071,500 and a tax is hereby voted to pay the interest on said bonds as the same shall become due and payable.

Such Bond Proposition shall appear on the ballots used for voting at said Annual District Meeting and Election in substantially the following condensed form:

BOND PROPOSITION

RESOLVED:

(a)              That the Board of Education of the Guilderland Central School District, in the County of Albany, New York (the “District”), is hereby authorized to purchase various school buses and vehicles for use by the District and to expend $1,071,500 therefor (b)  that a tax is hereby voted in the aggregate amount of not to exceed $1,071,500 to pay such cost, said tax to be levied and collected in installments in such years and in such amounts as shall be determined by said Board of Education; and  (c)  that in anticipation of said tax, bonds of the District are hereby authorized to be issued in the principal amount of not to exceed $1,071,500 and a tax is hereby voted to pay the interest on said bonds as the same shall become due and payable.

 

Section 2.  The proceeds of the bonds authorized pursuant to the Bond Proposition set forth in Section 1 hereof, and any bond anticipation notes issued in anticipation of said bonds, may be applied to reimburse the District for expenditures made for the purpose or purposes for which said bonds are authorized.  The foregoing statement of intent with respect to reimbursement is made in conformity with Treasury Regulation Section 1.150-2 of the United States Treasury Department.

 

Section 3. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

 

The adoption of the foregoing resolution was duly put to a roll call vote which resulted as follows:

 

              Catherine Barber                                           Yes

              Barbara Fraterrigo                            Yes

              Teresa Gitto                                      Yes

              Christine Hayes                                          Yes

              Christopher McManus                            Yes

              Seema Rivera                                     Yes

              Allan Simpson                                                   Yes

              Judy Slack                                           Yes

              Gloria Towle- Hilt                               Yes

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Allan Simpson, Board Member

SECONDER:              Seema Rivera, Board Member

AYES:              Gitto, Barber, Fraterrigo, Hayes, McManus, Rivera, Simpson, Slack, Towle-Hilt

B.              General Fund Transfer

From

Function

Amount

To

Function

1430

Personnel

$510

1981

BOCES

9731

BAN Interest-

School Construction

$2,000

1010

Board of Education

$22,500

2110

Teaching

$19,000

1621

Operation of Plant

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Judy Slack, Board Member

SECONDER:              Catherine Barber, Board Member

AYES:              Gitto, Barber, Fraterrigo, Hayes, McManus, Rivera, Simpson, Slack, Towle-Hilt

C.              Authorization to Attend Capital Region BOCES

Resolved, that the Board of Education, in accordance with Education Law Section 3602-c, approve the request from a resident student attending a non-public school to enroll in the district’s career and technical education program provided by Capital Region BOCES.

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Allan Simpson, Board Member

SECONDER:              Catherine Barber, Board Member

AYES:              Gitto, Barber, Fraterrigo, Hayes, McManus, Rivera, Simpson, Slack, Towle-Hilt

D.              Transportation Lease Agreement

Resolved, that the Board of Education approve the Transportation Lease Agreement with the Guilderland YMCA for the use of one school bus on Thursday, February 23, 2017 and authorize the Superintendent of Schools to execute the agreement.

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Judy Slack, Board Member

SECONDER:              Allan Simpson, Board Member

AYES:              Gitto, Barber, Fraterrigo, Hayes, McManus, Rivera, Simpson, Slack, Towle-Hilt

E.              Donation

Resolved, that the Board of Education accept the donation of an electric wheelchair from Mr. Justin Phillipee.

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Barbara Fraterrigo, Board Member

SECONDER:              Christopher McManus, Vice President

AYES:              Gitto, Barber, Fraterrigo, Hayes, McManus, Rivera, Simpson, Slack, Towle-Hilt

F.              Suspend the Rules of Polcy #2350, Board Meeting Procedures, to adopt the resolution for the Smart Schools expenditure authorization

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Christopher McManus, Vice President

SECONDER:              Seema Rivera, Board Member

AYES:              Gitto, Barber, Fraterrigo, Hayes, McManus, Rivera, Simpson, Slack, Towle-Hilt

G.              Smart Schools Bond Act

Resolved, that the board of education, in anticipation of New York State Smart Schools Investment Plan approval, authorizes the expenditure of up to $564,000 for the Farnsworth Middle School 1:1 Device Initiative to purchase student devices and technology infrastructure upgrades and further authorizes any short term borrowing that may be necessary while awaiting state reimbursement.

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Allan Simpson, Board Member

SECONDER:              Christopher McManus, Vice President

AYES:              Gitto, Barber, Fraterrigo, Hayes, McManus, Rivera, Simpson, Slack, Towle-Hilt

Board Committee Reports

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee has not met since the last Board meeting.  A meeting has not yet been scheduled.

 

Business Practices

The Business Practices Committee has not met since the last Board meeting.  A meeting has not yet been scheduled.

 

Communications Committee

The Committee finalized the format of the February 15th Community Engagement, reviewed the strategic planning initiative and discussed the development of a booklet for new Board members at the February 7 meeting.   The next meeting has been scheduled for February 27, 2017.

 

Policy Committee

The next Policy Committee meeting has been scheduled for March 22, 2017.

Board Issues, Ideas, and Sharing

Seema Rivera asked to discuss the School Tool and report card issue at the next Board meeting.