BOARD OF EDUCATION

MIDDLETOWN, NEW YORK

SEPTEMBER 25, 2003

 

A regular meeting of the Board of Education of the Enlarged City School District of Middletown, New York was held Thursday, September 25, 2003, at the Board of Education Office, 223 Wisner Avenue, Board President Robin Markovits, presiding.  

Present:  Dr. Best, Mr. Crescenzo, Mrs. Elliott, Mr. Estrada, Mrs. Knapp, Mr. McCormack, Mr. Perrino, Mrs. Botti, Mrs. Markovits  – 9.

Absent:            None.                                   

Others            Patricia McLeod, Acting Superintendent

Present:         Patricia Reilly, Acting Asst. Supt. for Curriculum & Instruction

                        Selena Fischer, Director for Pupil Personnel & Special Services

                        Thomas Scott, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds

                        Ellen Kaplan, Director for Personnel Services

                        Peter Ancona, Director of Technology 

Mrs. Markovits called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. and led the pledge to the flag. 

Mrs. McLeod introduced Ina Segnit, Fine Arts Coordinator, and Steve Austin, Band Director.    Mrs. Segnit said that two of our High School students have been selected to the All State Ensemble for the New York State School Music Educators Association.  Susan Riddick was selected to be a member of the All State Band and Kristin Stanley was selected as an alternate. Mr. Austin said that Susan was the number one person at Middletown’s audition site, was selected for one of 24 flute spots across the State, and is in the top 1% of all performers across the State.  

Mr. McCormack made a motion, seconded by Dr. Best, to approve the minutes of September 11, 2003. 

Ayes:  Best, Crescenzo, Elliott, Estrada, Knapp, McCormack, Perrino, Botti, Markovits – 9.  Noes:  None.  Motion was unanimously approved.

No written communications were read and no visitors asked to address the Board. 

Mrs. Markovits responded to a recent article in the Times Herald Record which referred to back pay claimed by Robert Sigler.  Mrs. Markovits said that the District does not intend to pay a now-convicted child abuser for all of the time he spent in jail waiting for his trial.  She said that Mr. Sigler violated the trust that everyone in District placed in him, not to mention the financial and emotional cost to the District.  Mrs. Markovits said that Mr. Sigler’s affiliation with the District is officially closed. 

Response to Previous Questions:

Mrs. McLeod said that pest control workers have addressed all areas of Chorley School.  Mr. Scott also met with parents at Chorley’s Open House and explained the preventive measures that are now in place. 

Mrs. McLeod reported that Suffolk BOCES will provide a demographic update in March 2004.  Mr. Perrino said that BOCES must be sure to take into account the many projects that are on the drawing board in the Towns of Wallkill and Wawayanda and in the City of Middletown, especially in light of the proposed High School project. 

Board Member Reports:

Mrs. Botti reported that she and Mrs. Markovits attended the leadership track at the New York State School Board Association’s Academy for Public School Governance.  She reviewed the various topics that were covered and noted the value this conference holds for school board members. 

Mr. Perrino noted the passing of John Masi, community activist and former member of the Middletown Board of Education.

Mr. Perrino also said that he visited several of our schools’ open houses, and pointed out that our schools are in excellent condition.  Mr. Perrino also attended a soccer tournament at the High School and said that there was good parental involvement at this event.

Mrs. Markovits said that prior to this meeting the Board conducted a building tour of Maple Hill.  She thanked principal Paula Amaditz and Assistant Principals Alan Lewis and Marlene Gaynor for their help with the tour.

Mrs. Markovits said that the Superintendent focus groups will meet on October 1 with the District’s consultant, Dr. Vincent Coppola, to begin the search process for a new superintendent of schools.  She said that the focus groups reflect the diversity of our community.

John Patterson of Clark Patterson Associates presented the proposed site plan and renovation/addition to the High School.  He said that he has met with the principal and staff at the High School regarding the specifics of the project and adjustments have been made to initial plans.  Mr. Patterson said that the District must submit plans to SED based on projected student enrollment five years out.  The proposed renovation/addition will meet the educational needs of a 2400 student school, which is well within the District’s demographic projections. 

Mr. Patterson continued by saying that the project must go through the State Environmental Quality Review Act process, anticipated to be completed by October 15.   A voter referendum date is targeted for December 2003.  A conceptual cost estimate of $34,900,000 was projected based on the design drawings that were presented at the meeting, and it is estimated that the project will be 70% State aidable.

At 9:15 p.m., Mr. McCormack called for a break in the proceedings of the meeting, seconded by Mr. Estrada.  Motion was unanimously approved.  The meeting resumed at 9:20 p.m.

 District Updates:

Mrs. McLeod reported that Twin Towers and Middletown High School have been designated as schools in need of improvement.  Monhagen is in its second year of the same designation.  Mrs. McLeod said that the special education subgroup has generated discussion at the State level.  She noted that the State did not permit the use of testing modifications which are legally placed on a child’s IEP.  Mrs. McLeod said that there is now a possibility that the testing results of this subgroup may not have to be taken into account when determining a school’s status. 

 Mrs. McLeod reported the following:  elementary Math test scores have been embargoed by the State; the elementary extended day program is underway and parents should contact their child’s school for additional information; she attended an Orange County Chamber of Commerce meeting, where Sen. Hillary Clinton was featured.  Mrs. McLeod is drafting a communication to Sen. Clinton regarding the impact of the NCLB legislation; proposed changes to the District’s Code of Conduct will be presented to the Board at the first November meeting.

 Mrs. McLeod said that a letter addressed to Gov. Pataki has been prepared and endorsed by many school associations.  The letter is entitled Fiscal Inequities versus New York State.

 Mrs. McLeod emphasized the impact that NCLB has on school district funding, especially that of urban areas.  She said aid will be taken from our schools and funneled to for-profit organizations that do not have to meet the requirements placed on the public school system, such as the requirement that all teaching staff be certified.  Mrs. Markovits suggested that our NYSSBA delegates put together a resolution for next year’s New York State School Boards Association convention to begin to lobby our New York State legislators in order to see what can be done about this funding as an equity issue and a civil rights issue.

 Mrs. McLeod said that Mrs. Kaplan and David Lust will be presenting workshops to employees on October 29 which will address issues regarding health, safety, professional conduct and abuse reporting.

Mr. McCormack made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Botti, to adopt the attached policy entitled Reporting Child Abuse in an Educational Setting.

Ayes:  Best, Crescenzo, Elliott, Estrada, Knapp, McCormack, Perrino, Botti, Markovits – 9.  Noes:  None.  Motion was unanimously approved.  

Mr. Estrada made a motion, seconded by Dr. Best, to approve Personnel Memorandum #4, copy attached.

Ayes:  Best, Crescenzo, Elliott, Estrada, Knapp, McCormack, Perrino, Botti, Markovits – 9.  Noes:  None.  Motion was unanimously approved.  

Mr. McCormack requested that a report be given in the near future on the administrative intern program structure.

Mr. McCormack made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Botti, to approve the following resolution:

Be it resolved, that the services of a part-time teaching assistant are hereby terminated effective September 1, 2003. Ayes:  Best, Crescenzo, Elliott, Estrada, Knapp, McCormack, Perrino, Botti, Markovits – 9.  Noes:  None.  Motion was unanimously approved.  

Mr. McCormack made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Elliott, requesting personnel folders for the purpose of conducting personnel business in executive session.

Ayes:  Best, Crescenzo, Elliott, Estrada, Knapp, McCormack, Perrino, Botti, Markovits – 9.  Noes:  None.  Motion was unanimously approved.  

Mr. Estrada made a motion, seconded by Dr. Best, to approve Special

Services Memorandum #4, copy attached.

Ayes:  Best, Crescenzo, Elliott, Estrada, Knapp, McCormack, Perrino, Botti, Markovits – 9.  Noes:  None.  Motion was unanimously approved.  

Mr. Crescenzo made a motion, seconded by Dr. Best, to accept the following bids for the sale of surplus District equipment: 

    1990 Chevy Pickup Truck $285.150
     1994 Oldsmobile Wagon 850.00
     48" Giant Vac Mower 626.00
    Utility Trailer   Scrap

 

 

 

Ayes:  Best, Crescenzo, Elliott, Estrada, Knapp, McCormack, Perrino, Botti, Markovits – 9.  Noes:  None.  Motion was unanimously approved.  

No visitors asked to address the Board.

 Roundtable:

Mr. McCormack introduced the 2003 Proposed Bylaw Amendments and Resolutions to be considered at the New York State School Boards Association Annual Business Meeting in Rochester in October.  The Board discussed a resolution submitted by Eastern Suffolk BOCES which was not supported by the NYSSBA Resolutions Committee. Mr. McCormack said that while Education Law requires school districts to forward a report of any allegation of child abuse in an educational setting to appropriate law enforcement authorities, and the SAVE legislation requires applicants for school positions to undergo a criminal history background check, there are circumstances where inappropriate behavior may not result in a criminal conviction.  Non-certified staff may then be hired by another school district without its knowledge of the abuse.  The Eastern Suffolk BOCES resolution calls for an amendment to the Education Law and/or Civil Service Law to expand reporting of sexual child abuse by non-certified staff in an educational setting to the commissioner of education and/or the commissioner of civil service for appropriate action.  The Board discussed the rationales of both the Resolutions Committee and Eastern Suffolk BOCES.  A majority of the Board concluded that Middletown should support this proposed resolution, despite NYSSBA’s assertion of the burden and expense of maintaining a partially duplicate database. Mrs. Elliott did not support the resolution because of the possibility that staff could be unduly penalized for a non-criminal offense. Mr. McCormack will note the Board’s support of this resolution at the next meeting of the Orange County School Boards Association.

Responding to a question from Mr. McCormack, Mrs. McLeod said that job postings will soon be placed on the District’s website.

At 10:10 p.m., Dr. Best made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Botti, to have an executive session for the discussion of a personnel evaluation.  Motion was unanimously approved.

Public session resumed at 10:30 p.m.  There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Alicia E. Olsen

School District Clerk

 

ENLARGED CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

OF MIDDLETOWN, NEW YORK

PUPIL PERSONNEL/SPECIAL SERVICES

MEMORANDUM # 4

 

TO:                 Board of Education 

FROM:           Selena Fischer, Director for Pupil Personnel & Special Services 

DATE:           September 25, 2003 

RE:                 Committee on Special Education/Committee on Preschool Special Education

Resolved, that the special programs and services required by the recommendations in the Pupil Personnel/Special Services Memorandum No. 4 dated September 25, 2003, shall be implemented by the Board of Education within the time period provided by law, and

Be it further resolved, that the proposed appointments set forth below to the CSE and CPSE are hereby confirmed.

1.COMMITTEE ON SPECIAL EDUCATION RECOMMENDATIONS REACHED AT THE FOLLOWING MEETING(S): 

June 18, August 19, August 20, 2003

2. COMMITTEE ON PRESCHOOL RECOMMENDATIONS REACHED AT THE FOLLOWING MEETING(S): 

September 23, 2003

3.         APPOINTMENTS TO COMMITTEE ON SPECIAL EDUCATION:

            MEMBER NAME                  POSITION                             EFFECTIVE

            James Cangialosi                     Parent-Member                       September 25, 2003

4.         APPOINTMENTS TO COMMITTEE ON PRESCHOOL SPECIAL EDUCATION:

            MEMBER NAME                  POSITION                             EFFECTIVE

5.         APPOINTMENTS OF SURROGATE PARENTS:

            MEMBER NAME                  POSITION                             EFFECTIVE