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Jan. 16, 2019, minutes

The regular meeting was called to order at 6 p.m. in the Jr./Sr. High School Cafeteria by President Brian Crandall and the Pledge of Allegiance was said.

President Crandall asked the BOE and audience to please stand silently for a moment of reflection and respect. Words cannot express the tremendous grief our community is experiencing over the tragedy this past week.  We mourn the lives of the tragic loss of three children, two of the children attended the Herkimer Elementary School, and our deepest sympathies go out to their families.

President Crandall welcomed members in the audience and staff members to this evening’s meeting.  He explained to all that the Board of Education sets aside time at each Board meeting to give those in the audience an opportunity to address the Board directly on any subject they wished to discuss.

President Crandall explained the BOE welcomes public comment and community input at meetings.  However, we caution that we are not authorized to engage in conversations pertaining to individual students, faculty, staff, or administrators.  Topics of this nature may only be discussed during executive session and must be coordinated with the Superintendent of Schools prior to a BOE meeting.

Public Comments

No public comments were heard.

Approval of the Agenda

Mrs. Fischer moved and Ms. Gilbert seconded a motion to formally approve the meeting agenda as submitted.  All voted in favor; motion carried 7:0.

Board Communications

Superintendent Miller indicated that the Board received several informational items that were not included in their Board packet for information only and noted they will be referred to later in the meeting.

Mr. Conley moved and Mrs. Fischer seconded a motion to place all appropriate Board Communications on file with the District Clerk. All voted in favor, motion carried 7:0.

Board Recognitions

Superintendent Miller and several BOE members provided the following Board Recognitions:

  • Student artists were recognized:  Sofie Burnes and Damien Mihevc (Kindergarten); Colton Bartlett and Molly Quinn Philo (Grade 1); PJ Gurtowski, Kurstin Gay and Emily Jackson (Grade 11) and Kharma Beth Angle, Celia Stone, Nathaniel Stapf and Jessie Rivers (Grade 12);
  • To everyone involved in providing this evening’s refreshments.

Approval of the Minutes

Upon the recommendation of Superintendent Miller, on a motion made by Mr. Conley, seconded by Mr. Petucci, the BOE approved the regular meeting minutes of Wednesday, December 19, 2018, as presented.  All voted in favor; motion carried 7:0.

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Update

President Crandall introduced Thomas Pfisterer, Food Service Director, along with Kate Dorr, Assistant Food Service Director, to present an update on the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) financials of our school lunch program.  Over the years the BOE has consistently supported our school lunch program and believes that providing our children with proper nutrition is critical to achieving our mission.  The CEP is one avenue for a school with a large percentage of students that qualify for free lunch to achieve this objective.

Mr. Pfisterer informed the BOE he will continue to monitor the district’s progress and report back to the BOE of any updates. Discussion followed.

President Crandall thanked Mr. Pfisterer and Ms. Dorr for their presentations, and the BOE looks forward to hearing an update at a future meeting.

Facilities Update

President Crandall introduced James McKernan, Building Maintenance Mechanic who provided the BOE with a brief update on the maintenance/safety procedures.  Discussion followed.

Business Reports

Upon the recommendation of Superintendent Miller, on a motion made by Mrs. Fischer seconded by Mr. Conley, the BOE accepted receipt of the following reports for the month of December 2018:  General Warrant, which represents 203 checks with payments totaling $916,558.16; a Federal Warrant, which represents three (3) checks with payments totaling $360.80; a Capital Warrant, which represents two (2) checks with payments totaling $18,233.58; the Trust and Agency Warrant, which covers items dealing with payroll [insurance, withholdings, etc.], totaled $876,883.64; an Expendable Trust Warrant, which represents one check with a payment totaling $44.71; the HHS/HES Extra-Curricular Treasurer report for December 2018,  along with six (6) budget transfers under the $5,000 limit totaling $10,700.00. All voted in favor; motion carried 7:0. [Material filed in the supplemental file dated 01/16/19]

The BOE acknowledged receipt of Ms. Hein’s, Claims Auditor report, for the month of December in which three (3) exceptions were noted which has been corrected and payments had been made.

The BOE also acknowledged receipt of the December 2018 Treasurer’s Report.

Budget Transfers

Upon the recommendation of Superintendent Miller, on a motion made by Mrs. Fischer, seconded by Mr. Petucci the BOE approved three (3) budget transfers totaling $215,000.00 as presented.   Discussion followed.  All voted in favor; motion carried 7:0. [Material filed in the supplemental file dated 01/16/19.]

2018-2019 BOCES Contract for Rental of Facilities

Superintendent Miller explained to the Board that the district is renting a Therapy Room to Herkimer BOCES; the total contract is for $3,000.00.

Upon the recommendation of Superintendent Miller, on a motion made by Mr. Conley; seconded by Mr. Mihevc the BOE authorized the Board President and Board Clerk to enter into the 2018-2019 BOCES Contract for Rental of Facilities contractual agreement as presented.   All voted in favor; motion carried 7:0. [Material filed in the supplemental file dated 01/16/19.]

Business Office/Superintendent Update

Superintendent Miller provided the following updates:

  • On behalf of the district, Superintendent Miller expressed our deepest sympathy to the families impacted by the most recent tragedy. He thanked all staff for their perseverance in the face of adversity and in particular, the districts’ Crisis Team and mental health professionals for their efforts over these last few days. The love, compassion and understanding they exhibited has been critical in maintaining a stable and supportive school environment for our students and staff. Also, the support offered by the Central Valley CSD, Frankfort-Schuyler CSD, Little Falls City SD, as well as all BOCES component districts played a critical role for our school and deeply appreciated.
  • The district received additional support services from Catholic Charities, as well as the Herkimer County Prevention Council. Available resources have been posted for our community on the district website and are hoping those needing assistance will access these resources. The district remains humbled and thankful for the strong support area organizations that schools have given us during this time.  For all those who have given or helped our school and community; we are truly thankful.
  • The district will continue to monitor our students and staff closely and offer support to those in need. Superintendent Miller expressed complete trust and confidence in our administrative team, our mental health professionals, and our staff as a whole; as we all show support for our students and to each other while we all work through our grief.
  • Superintendent Miller shared a draft of the Capital budget with the BOE.  This portion of the budget will have the largest impact on the budget for 2019-20 school year. A debt service payment will drop off for the 2002 capital project which will reduce the capital budget by about $2 million. However, the district is making an upfront payment of about $500,000 on the 2014 Phase II project to offset future costs to the district. The net impact in the capital budget will decrease by about $1 million dollars with the overall budget decreasing by about $1 million. The first estimate of the tax levy limit is 2.67%, but the numbers needed for the formula are not all known yet. Final numbers should be available at February’s BOE meeting. The fund balance use projected is about $650,000, this is about $400,000 more than projected last year. This is largely because of the upfront payment on the 2014 capital project. State Aid numbers will be in from the governor soon as his budget has been released, but we have not received district by district aid estimates yet. His projected education increase of $1 billion is less than half of what the educational organizations of NYS suggested were required.
  • Superintendent Miller shared the following: adjusted draft fund balance, revenue, and expense projections. These are all based on the impact of the approved project on our reserves and fund balance. The NYS Comptroller does have questions about the district’s Tax Cert reserves which we could address by shifting the funds to the ERS reserve. Further discussions will continue with the school attorney and will have a recommendation in February.
  • Superintendent Miller discussed the Town of Herkimer Sewer Project and make a tentative decision.

Administrative Reports/Updates

Ms. Tomaso and Mr. Abbe’s reports were reviewed with the BOE. Discussion followed.

Staffing Recommendations

Upon the recommendation of Superintendent Miller, on a motion made by Mrs. Fischer, seconded by Mr. Petucci, the BOE approved the following personnel action:

Teaching Appointment

  • Name: Corathers, Lily
  • Tenure area: Music
  • Date of commencement of probationary service in each tenure area: Dec. 19, 2018
  • Expiration date of probationary appointment: Dec. 20, 2022
  • To the extent required by the applicable provisions of Education Law Section 2509, 2573, 3213 and 3014, in order to be granted tenure, the classroom teacher or building principal shall have received composite or overall annual professional performance review ratings pursuant to Education Law 3012-d of either effective or highly effective in at least (3) of the four (4) preceding years.  If the classroom teacher or building principal receives an ineffective composite or overall rating in the final year of the probationary period, he or she shall not be eligible for tenure at that time. For purposes of this subdivision, classroom teacher and building principal mean a classroom teacher or building principal as such terms are defined in Sections 30-2.2 and 30-3.2 of the Part.
  • Effective: Dec. 19, 2018
  • Salary: Step 8 ($45,921) (pro-rated) (2016-2020 Herkimer Faculty Association contract)

Academic Intervention Service (AIS) Assignments

Name Grade Level Days worked Annual salary
Johnson, Marie Grade 5 – Math 2 days/week $2,250.00
McDuffee, Canaan Grade 5 – Math 2 days/week $2,250.00

Maternity Leave Request

  • Hein, Sarah- Mathematics

Effective on or about: May 25, 2019

Anticipated leave approximately 6-12 weeks; pending a physician’s release.

Resignation

  • Name:          Lojba, Susan
  • Position:      Part Time Cleaner
  • Location:     Herkimer Elementary School
  • Effective:     December 28, 2018

2019 Spring Interscholastic coaching appointments

Name Position Salary
Murphy, Cody Modified baseball coach $1,900
Bello, Brianne Modified Softball coach $1,900
Clarke, Scott Girls varsity track coach $3,200
Richard, Jason Boys varsity track coach $3,200
Krutz, Darryl Assistant varsity track coach $2,000
Nasypany, Robert Assistant varsity track coach $2,000
Richter, Angela Modified track coach $1,900
Heil, Kasy Modified track coach $1,900
Manning, Glenn Boys tennis coach $2,000

2019 Spring Interscholastic Coaching Appointments

  • Alexander, Jason: Unpaid volunteer varsity baseball coach
  • Shepardson, Kelly: Unpaid volunteer varsity softball coach
  • Spanfelner, Samantha: Unpaid volunteer modified softball coach

Retired/Substitute Appointment

Garro, Jean – Substitute Teacher; effective January 16, 2019-June 30, 2019 at $100.00/day, for no more than fourteen (14) days per the annual payment guidelines for substitutes.

Discussion followed.  All voted in favor; motion carried 7:0. [Material filed in the supplemental file dated 01/16/19.]

CSE/CPSE Program/Placement Recommendations

Upon the recommendation of Superintendent Miller, on a motion made by Mrs. Fischer, seconded by Ms. Giffune, the BOE approved the Committee on Special Education, the Sub-Committee on Special Education and the Committee on Preschool Special Education program/placement recommendations as presented.  All voted in favor; motion carried 7:0. [Material filed in the supplemental file dated 01/16/19.]

Gift to the School

Upon the recommendation of Superintendent Miller, the following resolution was offered by Mr. Conley who moved its adoption and seconded by Mrs. Fischer, to wit:

“RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the Herkimer Central School District, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, does hereby increase Revenue A2705 and to increase the Appropriation Code A2110.450 by $100.00 for the purpose of purchases needed by the Bake Club of the Family and Consumer Services.”

Discussion followed.  All voted in favor; motion carried 7:0. [Material filed in the supplemental file dated 01/16/19.]

2018-2019 Reorganization Resolution Adjustment (New IRS Mileage Rate)

Upon the recommendation of Superintendent Miller, the following resolution was offered by Mrs. Fischer who moved its adoption and seconded by Mr. Petucci, to wit:

“MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT FEE:  To authorize the BOE to change the mileage reimbursement to the I.R.S. rate, effective January 1, 2019, to $.58 cents.”

All voted in favor; motion carried 7:0. [Material filed in the supplemental file dated 01/16/19.]

King & King Architect Agreement No. 6

Upon the recommendation of Superintendent Miller, Ms. Gilbert moved and Mr. Petucci seconded a motion to sign on behalf of the BOE the Continuing Professional Services Agreement No. 6 between the Herkimer CSD (Owner) and King & King Architects, LLP. as presented.  All voted in favor; motion carried 7:0. [Material filed in the supplemental file dated 01/16/19.]

Board of Education Reports

President’s Update

President Crandall shared the following:

  • The latest State Aid runs were released. Even though the funding has increased, we would not see that much of an increase.  Many of the schools in the area are underfunded.  Discussion followed on how the State needs to fix the foundation aid;
  • BOE Goals – Looking to research new goals for the 2019-2020 school year;
  • Mission/Philosophy Statements – Explained our statements are what we portray in the school and our community.

Board of Education Member Updates

Mr. Mihevc discussed the possibility of developing a brochure with key advocacy points for 2019-2020 for district residents.

Mr. Petucci recognized Zach Williams’ thank you letter to the district; very well written.  He also recognized the 5th grade Boys Basketball program for wearing green to support their community and teammates affected by the recent fire.

Future Meeting Dates

Superintendent Miller reminded the BOE that the next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at 6 p.m. in the Jr./Sr. High School Cafeteria, and he confirmed that a quorum would be present for that meeting.

Meeting Evaluation

Mrs. Fischer, this evening’s meeting evaluator, presented her review of the January 16, 2019, Board of Education meeting.  It was a good meeting; ran smoothly, well-structured and organized; all aspects of the meeting evaluation were effectively met.

Mr. Conley moved and Mr. Petucci seconded a motion to move into an executive session for the purpose of discussing negotiations with the CSEA Part-time and Full-time units, the Herkimer Faculty Association (HFA) and the Herkimer Education Association (HEA).  The Board may take action in public session after the executive session ends and the board returns to public session.  All voted in favor; motion carried 7:0.

Executive Session

The Board moved into an executive session at 7:54 p.m.

President Crandall declared the public meeting reconvened at 9:18 p.m.

On a motion made by Mr. Conley, seconded by Ms. Gilbert the BOE adjourned the public meeting 9:20 p.m.   All voted in favor; motion carried 7:0.

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