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YORK SUBURBAN SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
NOVEMBER 21, 2016 - 7:00 PM
VALLEY VIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL



M I N U T E S
(approved on December 19, 2016)

 

  1. General Business

    Call to Order - Ms. Shaffer
    1. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag  

      Ms. Shaffer called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
    2. Roll Call  

      Members present - Emily Bates, Scott Eden, Ellen Freireich, John Posenau, Richard Robinson, Lois Ann Schroeder, Cathy Shaffer, Michael Thoman, Peyton Stuart (Student Representative)

      Members not present - Lynne Leopold-Sharp

      Dr. Merkle reported that Ms. Leopold-Sharp  had knee surgery earlier today and we wish her well during her recovery.
    3. Public Comment.  All comments and questions will be addressed to the President. Board and staff members will not normally respond to comments or questions during the meeting unless recognized by the President for this purpose. Comments will be limited, at the discretion of the President, to five minutes or less.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment. There will be no vote on the full day kindergarten recommendation this evening, only a presentation. The vote will take place on December 19. An opportunity will be provided for public comment following the presentation.

      There was no public comment at this time.
    4. Discussion and Action on Board Minutes.  Approval of the Minutes of the Planning Committee Meeting of November 7, 2016 and the Regular Monthly Meeting of October 24, 2016.  [Public Comment; Approval as submitted/corrected]

      Ms. Shaffer reported approval of the minutes.
  2. Treasurer's Report - Mr. Posenau  [Consent Agenda:  Would any Board member like any of these items considered separately or are there any questions any any of these items?  If not, the chair moves approval of the below-mentioned items; Public Comment; Roll Call Vote]

    Motion, Posenau, Second, Bates; Approval. Roll Call Vote,  all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
    Approval of Financial Reports as of October 31, 2016  [File for audit]
    1. Treasurer's Report (All Funds)
    2. General Fund Revenue Report
    3. General Fund Expenditure Report
    4. Summary Report - Capital Project, Capital Reserve, Food Service
    5. Check Summary Report - General Fund, Food Service, Capital Project
    6. Student Activity Account Summary
    7. Budget Transfers
  3. Board President's Report - Ms. Shaffer, Board Vice-President
    1. The Board met following the Regular Monthly Meeting on October 24, 2016 in Executive Session as permitted by Section 707 of the Sunshine Act for the purpose of discussing matters of personnel and legal items. No official action was taken.

      Ms. Shaffer reported above.
    2. A committee of the Board met with representatives from York Suburban Education Association (YSEA) on October 26, 2016 at 6:30 PM in Executive Session for a Fireside Chat as permitted by Section 707 of the Sunshine Act for the purpose of discussing Personnel matters. No official action was taken.

      Ms. Shaffer reported above.
    3. The Board met following the Planning Committee Meeting on November 7, 2016 in Executive Session as permitted by Section 707 of the Sunshine Act for the purpose of discussing matters of legal items. No official action as taken.

      Ms. Shaffer reported above.
  4. Superintendent's Report - Dr. Merkle
    1. Student Enrollment Report  

      Dr. Merkle reported above. the enrollment has grown 12 students in one month. Cyber and charter numbers are down at this time. There are some increased numbers in the special education non-school district operated students.
    2. The Administration will be presenting a recommendation for Board approval of the expansion of the full day kindergarten program to be implemented in August 2017. Dr. Maloney will be presenting information on the process, the program and the draft plan for transition.

      Dr. Merkle, Dr. Maloney, Dr. Stoltz and Dr. Ketterman provided a presentation.

      A discussion continued and points were - the importance of students being strong readers would benefit throughout their K-12 careers and 3rd grade benchmark is important; FDK vs. 1/2 day kindergarten would be a quantitative judgment due to the different population currently in the District's FDK classes; several comments were heard about needing cost association with a FDK program before making a decision in a vote; the recommended FDK program would require five teachers including related arts, no additional aides, the cafeteria usage would increase at no extra cost and custodian cleaning schedule would include more classrooms to clean; from the parent survey 60% of the students are going somewhere other than a home setting with 1/2 day kindergarten, this assumes parents are looking for more education not babysitting; personnel report was given earlier this school year; there is a benefit for all with investment early on with students; during Breakfast with the Board meeting recently held at the high school, staff was advocating for FDK program; Dr. Merkle responded to the question a Board member was asked by a community member, "the District has done a great job, receives awards and students are prepared for college, if it aint broke, why fix it?" - We are not trying to fix anything, we need to do more, at this time we are different than five years ago, we need to put interventions in all levels, a rigorous curriculum exists and state expectations are much higher at this time, students are coming to school less prepared for school, implementing interventions at the primary level would be difficult at this time, it is a real tribute to the staff and support of the community for where the District is at this time; the Administration is not contemplating bringing full-time librarians into the elementary buildings as students can access the libary for books; guidance counselors are not just for academics as they deal with emotional needs too, the current counselor to student ratio is very good in comparison to other districts in the area, the District is currently working with outside providers for partnerships for social worker access for students that could benefit; length of day for 1/2 day kindergarten vs. FDK is two and one-half hours vs. seven hours; the District is not investigating FDK to keep up with other districts in the area as the vast majority of districts have FDK, the District does have qualified professionals to figure how to make a FDK program successful; many students come from a full day pre-school program and then are disappointed when they come to the 1/2 day kindergarten program, having the District's struggling kindergarten students in FDK program at this time in a full seven hour day is a tremendous credit to our professionals that make the program successful for those students; the Administration would not have brought this forth if the District could not do or afford a FDK program; the District has an outstanding staff and there are some students that will struggle and Administration is certain the teachers will assist these students to a FDK program day and then the adjustment will not be necessary in 1st grade where more rigorous academic expectations exist; a FDK schedule could be prepared and would need to be explained with the hurdles; the Administration is looking for a total of eight FDK classrooms rather than the current two classrooms; no building renovations would be necessary, when Yorkshire was built several years back, incorporating FDK program was part of the plan and then budget constraints delayed that plan; kindergarten is not mandated in Pennsylvania.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment.

      Alexis Gordon, 473 Country Cub Road - support FDK program; my experience when I volunteer in the kindergarten classroom is students are lacking fine motor skills, like holding a pencil, and it is challenging; students need more instruction than in the past.

      Laurel Rolle, 502 Wynwood Road - my family is new to the District with 5th grade twins and a 2017-18 kindergarten student, the 5th graders at the end of the first marking period did well and they started with a FDK program; thanks was extended to the Board members that serve as volunteers; encourage Board members to observe a 1/2 day kindergarten program classroom and a FDK classroom as the learning platform is not what it used to be; kindergarten is not being used as a babysitting service.

      Gerri Thoman, 2840 Forrest Lane - opposed to FDK, what problem are we trying to solve, YSHS is the only blue ribbon school in the area, studies show there is not a significant change or academic benefits with FDK and 1/2 day kindergarten programs, suggest use of tax dollars for other academic programs such as learning support teacher, social worker to help the 40% of students that need assistance, reading improvement teacher, math improvement teacher, homework club. 

      Alexis Spicher, 2820 Forrest Lane - why are we going to allocate all our funds in one part of the district?; difficulty in retention does not change over the years; suggest pulling students out of the intermediate unit to save money for the District; look at ways we can help other students.

      Carol Brillhart, 511 Colonial Avenue - I am an educator, a YS alum, have several nieces and nephews in the District, and a parent of an upcoming kindergarten student in 2017-18. I have no doubt that my children will get a great education at YS; prefer 1/2 day kinergarten for my children, the gift of childhood is not something we can put academic number on; the rigor is very real; the District is already providing FDK for those students that need it and the Hildebrandt program is available for those that want it; uncertain if kindergarten is really benefitting students; should funds be put in something involved with the changing demographics?

      A question from Laurel Rolle was shared as something to think about. As a Board, are you confident in Dr. Merkle and Dr. Maloney in making the right economic decision for the District?

      Bora Salanova, 286 Lambeth Walk - are there any schools in the area that added FDK and reversed back to 1/2 day kindergarten?

      Dr. Merkle responded there are none in the tri-county area.

      Mr. Salanova commented that he is in strong support of FDK from the evidence that was shared.

      Dr. Merkle thanked the Board for their discussion this evening and the Administration will review the minutes and audio recording to come back to the Board with additional information that was requested for continued discussion on December 5 and anticipate a vote on December 19. If there is any specific information you request, please communicate with Dr. Merkle prior to December 5 and it will be forwarded to the committee. If support for the FDK program recommendation is not reached on December 19, the Administration will plan to review the priorities for program and decide how to prepare a budget. That will take time and a December decision will allow the Administration the time necessary to make decisions for the preparation of the budget.
    3. The Administration recommends Board approval of the confidential Administrative Disciplinary Hearing Agreement for SID# 8179857646, following a hearing conducted by Board appointed hearing officer, Michele Merkle. The Agreement sets forth the details of the recommendation in response to the Act 26 violation. The student will complete a six day out of school suspension and be placed on social probation through February 18, 2017.  [Motion; Discussion; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Freireich, Second, Bates; Approval. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
    4. The Administration recommends Board approval of the immediate expulsion of SID # 5145515391 as set forth in the adjudication submitted by Attorney Brooke Say, following a hearing of a committee of the Board. The student will be placed at an alternative school following the intake meeting and will be permitted to apply for return to the District in the fall of 2017.  [Motion; Discussion; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Bates, Second, Schroeder; Approval. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
    5. The Administration recommends Board approval of the confidential Administrative Disciplinary Hearing Agreement for SID # 3156729701, following a hearing conducted by Board appointed hearing officer, Michele Merkle. The Agreement sets forth the details of the recommendation in response to the Act 26 violation. The student will complete a nine day out of school suspension and be placed on social probation through February 28, 2017.  [Motion; Discussion; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Freireich, Second, Bates; Approval.

      A discussion continued and the point was - social probation is monitoring a student more closely with regard to discipline and with the understanding if there is a suspendable offense that the student would come to a hearing again rather than just a suspension.

      Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
    6. The Administration recommends Board approval of the confidential Administrative Disciplinary Hearing Agreement for SID# 1511340347, following a hearing conducted by Board appointed hearing officer, Michele Merkle. The Agreement sets forth the details of the recommendation in response to the Act 26 violation. The student will complete a nine day out of school suspension, be placed in a program for academic and behavior support, and be placed on social probation for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year.  [Motion; Discussion; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Freireich, Second, Bates; Approval.

      A discussion continued and the point was - the academic and behavior support is done in-house.

      Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
    7. The Administration recommends Board approval of the immediate expulsion of SID # 4803282234 as set forth in the Administrative Hearing Agreement following a hearing conducted by Board appointed hearing officer, Michele Merkle. The student will be placed at an alternative school for a minimum of seventy-five days.  [Motion; Discussion; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Freireich, Second, Bates; Approval. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.

      Dr. Merkle reported that the Administration is concerned about this number of expulsions. A committee is beginning to review expulsion patterns, especially those with weapon violations.

      A discussion continued and the point was - if policy states the result for the possession of a weapon is expulsion and we do not expel the student, are we creating grey area down the road with being inconsistent with punishment?

      Dr. Merkle responded that we are responding to grey areas and creating grey areas. The Administration reviews ages of children, needs of children, behavior history and the circumstances surrounding the violation. There is a lot of grey area in discipline and many factors enter into it.  

      Attorney Say shared that state law for weapons posession requires a one year expulsion and also has an exception with Superintendent discretion for a different recommendation. A grey area is built into the statute.
    8. Dr. Merkle recognized Dr. Christopher Adams, in attendance this evening, on earning his doctorate. Congratulations and exclamations were heard around the table! 
  5. Business Office Report - Ms. Mason
    1. The Administration recommends Board approval of the 2015-16 Audit Report.  [Motion; Discussion; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Posenau, Second, Schroeder; Approval.

      A comment was shared - Well done, an audit with no findings!

      Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
    2. The Administration recommends Board approval of a transfer of $500,000 to the Capital Reserve Fund.  [Motion; Discussion; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Posenau, Second, Schroeder; Approval. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
    3. The Administration recommends Board approval of the IDEA Pass-Through Funds Allocation Agreement for 2016-17. The estimated allocation is $381,897.  [Motion; Discussion; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Freireich, Second, Schroeder; Approval. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
    4. The Administration recommends Board approval of advertising and soliciting of proposals for Transportation Contract.  [Motion; Discussion; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Frerieich, Second, Bates; Approval. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
    5. The Administration recommends Board approval of advertising and soliciting of bids for the Stadium Field turf replacement.  [Motion; Discussion; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Bates, Second, Frereich; Approval. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
    6. The Administration recommends Board approval of the catering contract with Wisehaven Catering and Events for the Academic Awards to be held on May 15, 2017. Total amount of the contract is $5,319.  [Motion; Discussion; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Bates, Second, Freireich; Approval. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
    7. The Administration recommends Board approval of the Catering Sales Agreement with Wyndham Garden York for the May 20, 2017 York Suburban Prom which includes a room rental of $1,000.  [Motion; Discussion; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Bates, Second, Posenau; Approval. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
    8. Informational:
      1. In a letter we received from the PA Department of Education dated November 7, 2016, we have received approval for our PLANCON Part K - Project Refinancing for the Accelerated Redemption of General Obligation Bonds, Series of 2007 submission. As instructed in the letter, this document and appended materials are to be entered into the minutes.
      2. York Suburban Middle School PSO donation in the amount of $588 for the field trip to Whittaker Center on November 17.
      3. York Suburban Middle School PSO donation in the amount of $892 for the field trip to Whittaker Center on November 18.

        Ms. Mason reported above information.
      4. Food Service Report
        1. Food Service Department Report
          1. Dining Review Report for October
          2. Sales Report  

            Ms. Mason reported above. With the implementation of the new cafeteria at the middle school, 548 lunches were sold in one day and sales are climbing in both breakfast and lunch.

            Dr. Merkle shared the Board did a lot of homework with the renovations in the middle school cafeteria and asked if Board members would be interested in a time to observe the cafeteria in operation. A visit will be arranged. 
  6. Student Board Representative Report - Peyton Stuart

    Mr. Stuart reported students have early dismissal on Wednesday before Thanksgiving vacation and the following Tuesday will be Collabortion Day that results in late entry for students. An athletic report was provided. The Quiz Bowl Team is currently 2-0 and particiapted in Brain Busters recently that will be shown at a later date. The Model UN Team attended a convention last week. The Induction Night was held recently. Pursuit of starting a National Math Honor Society and a National Science Honor Society at the high school is currently taking place with Dr. Ellis. 

    Mr. Stuart was asked if he had an opinion to share about FDK program recommendation. He responded that he does not see the need for it, suggest acquiring more guidance counselors and social workers at the high school. 7 hours per day for kindergarten students is a lot to expect.  
  7. Committee Reports - Ms. Shaffer
    1. Communications Committee Report - Ms. Shaffer

      The Activity and Communications Reports are provided.

      Ms. Shaffer reported above. Encouragement was shared to promote in the community by Board members the new link for the community connections portal located on the website. 

      A discussion took place and the point was - the YS PRIDE newsletter looks very good and the current frequency and format is appreciated.

      Dr. Merkle share her thanks and will pass along that comment to responsible parties. 
    2. Facilities Committee Report - Mrs. Freireich

      The minutes of October 19 are provided.

      Mrs. Freireich reported above. The commitee is looking at projects for next summer.
    3. Nominating Committee Report - Mr. Eden

      The minutes of November 16 are provided.

      Mr. Eden reported above. 
    4. Personnel Committee Report - Ms. Bates

      Consent Agenda  [You have before you the Personnel Report which includes resignation, employment, substitute teachers, guest teachers, volunteer winter coaches and volunteers.  Would any Board member like any of these items considered separately or are there any questions on any of these items?  If not, the chair moves approval of the below-mentioned items; Public Comment; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Bates, Second, Posenau; Approval. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
      1. Resignation

        Recommend Board approval of the resignation of Jared Conway as High School Percussion (Winter) Advisor effective November 15, 2016.
      2. Employment

        Recommend the employment of TW Drumm as High School Percussion (Winter) Advisor for the 2016-2017 school year at the salary of $2,100, which represents Step 4 of the Extracurricular Salary Schedule.
      3. Recommend the employment of the following Substitute Teachers at the daily rate of $100, effective November 22, 2016.

        Angela Jones
        Elizabeth Lutz
      4. Recommend the employment of the following Guest Teachers at the daily rate of $100, effective November 22, 2016:

        Jeffrey Foxwell
        Marian Fuentes
        Christina Polihrom
      5. Recommend Board approval of the following Volunteer Winter Coaches for 2016-17:

        Alexandra Anderson, Cheerleading
        Jordyn Kahlbaugh, Girls Basketball
        Claudia Mingora, Girls Basketball
      6. Recommend Board approval of the following Volunteers for 2016-17:

        Sandra Harberger
        Cristina Lentz
        Joan Rosengrant
        Scott Rudacille
        Melissa Spurlock
        Christie Swengel
        Troy Thomason
    5. Policy Committee Report - Mr. Thoman
      1. The minutes of October 18 are provided.

        Mr. Thoman reported above. 
      2. The Policy Review Committee recommends approval of the following policy revisions.
        1. 004-BOG-1.  Filling a Board Vacancy
        2. 004-BOG-2.  Application to Fill a Board Vacancy
        3. 004-BOG-3.  Process to Fill a Board Vacancy (New)
        4. 004-BOG-4.  Reimbursement for Expenses
        5. 004-BOG-5.  Expense Report
        6. 005-BOG-1.  Duties of Board Officers
        7. 005-BOG-2.  Board Standing Committees
        8. 005-BOG-3.  Functions of Standing Committees
        9. 005-BOG-4.  Solicitor Services
        10. 005-BOG-5.  Solicitor Letter
        11. 005-BOG-6.  Questionnaire for Propspective District Solicitors
        12. 005-BOG-7.  Employment of Consultants
        13. 006-BOG-1.  Public Notice of Board Meetings
        14. 006-BOG-2.  Official Board Minutes
        15. 006-BOG-3.  Abstentions from Voting
        16. 006-BOG-4.  Abstention from Conflict of Interest Memorandum
        17. 212 Reporting Student Progress
        18. 235.1 Surveys
        19. 246 Wellness  

          [Motion; Discussion; Roll Call Vote]

          Motion, Thoman, Second, Bates; Approval. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
    6. Additional Committee Reports  

      Ms. Shaffer asked if there were any additional reports. There were none at this time.
  8. Lincoln Intermediate Unit Board Report - Mr. Robinson

    Mr. Robinson distributed an LIU quick reference sheet to Board members.
  9. York Adams Academy Report - Mrs. Freireich

    No report. 
  10. York Adams Tax Bureau Report - Ms. Mason

    No report. 
  11. York County School of Technology - Mrs. Schroeder

    Mrs. Schroeder reported Mr. Posenau will attend the meeting tomorrow evening in her absence.
  12. Recognition of Visitors  

    An opportunity was provided for public comment. A comment was shared that the Board and Administration is doing a good job.
  13. Board Meeting and Committee Schedule  

    Ms. Shaffer reported above.
  14. Public Comment.  All comments and questions will be addressed to the President. Board and staff members will not normally respond to comments or questions during the meeting unless recognized by the President for this purpose. Comments will be limited, at the discretion of the President, to five minutes or less.

    An opportunity was provided for public comment.  There was none at this time.
  15. Adjournment  

    The meeting was adjourned at 8:44 PM.
     
    THERE WILL BE AN EXECUTIVE SESSION IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE MEETING.

    An Executive Session was held. 
     

The York Suburban School District is an Equal Opportunity Education Institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religious creed, ancestry, sex, age, marital status or handicap, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Action of 1964, Title IX of the Education Act Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation of the Handicapped Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, in its activities, educational and vocational programs and in its recruitment and employment practices. Inquiries concerning the application of Title VI, Title IX, Section 504, the ADA and the implementing regulations may be referred to the Superintendent, 1800 Hollywood Drive, York, PA 17403, telephone (717) 885-1210.