BOARD OF EDUCATION

MIDDLETOWN, NEW YORK

SEPTEMBER 22, 2005


A regular meeting of the Board of Education of the Enlarged City School District of Middletown, New York was held Thursday, September 22, 2005, at the Board of Education Office, 223 Wisner Avenue, Board President Vincent Crescenzo, presiding.

Present: Dr. Best, Mr. Geiger, Mrs. Knapp, Ms. Perkins, Mr. Perrino, Ms. Tobiassen, Mr. Crescenzo – 7.

Absent: Mr. Estrada, Mrs. Botti (arrived at 8:22) - 2.

Others Present: Kenneth W. Eastwood, Superintendent of Schools
Elizabeth McKean, School Business Administrator
Richard DelMoro, Director for Secondary Education
Darlene McDonough, Director for Elementary Education
Ellen Kaplan, Director for Personnel Services
Selena Fischer, Director for Pupil Personnel & Special Services
Thomas Scott, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds

Mr. Crescenzo called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Mrs. Knapp made a motion, seconded by Ms. Tobiassen, to have an executive session to discuss matters regarding collective negotiations. Motion was unanimously approved.

Public session resumed at 7:40 p.m.

Mr. Crescenzo led the pledge to the flag. He asked for a moment of silence to remember Frieda Isola, a beloved member of the Central Office staff for many years.

Mr. Crescenzo said that Mr. Estrada will be absent this evening because he is helping family members in Texas prepare for the impending hurricane. Mrs. Botti is at an Open House in her employing school district and will join the meeting later in the evening.

Ms. Tobiassen made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Knapp, to approve the minutes of August 25 and 26, 2005.

Ayes: Best, Geiger, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Tobiassen, Crescenzo – 7. Motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Crescenzo introduced Fortune Esposito, a 33-year veteran of the Middletown music department, who was named first runner up for the New York State Teacher of the Year Award. Esposito, who teaches music at Monhagen Middle School, was honored at a luncheon in June at the State Education Department in Albany. The State Teacher of the Year Program is co-sponsored by NYSUT, NEA/NY, and the Association for School Curriculum Development (ASCD), the SMARTer Kids Foundation, and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The program is run in conjunction with the National Teacher of the Year Program, sponsored by CCSSO.

Mr. Crescenzo said that the Middletown School District is very fortunate to have several international exchange students at our High School. He introduced High School Principal Dr. Larry Ashley and International Student Exchange Program Area Representative Barbara Bostock. Ms. Bostock spoke about the opportunities the students have at MHS and the enrichment their presence brings to our school community. The following students introduced themselves:

Sun Koo Lee-Korea
Amanda Lopez- Spain
Gabrielle Peixoto-Brazil
Carolin Beltz-Germany
Esther Lausch-Germany
Doo Young Cho-Korea
Pittawan Chirkeatikul- Thailand
Ivana Mostak-Croatia
Johann Emmanuel Bergmann-Germany
Quan Vu- Vietnam
Debora Gomes-Brazil

Mr. Crescenzo read a letter from MHS student Peter Baltera regarding scheduling issues at the High School.

Mrs. Botti joined the meeting at this time.

Correspondence regarding the Orange Classic 10K Road Race was also read. It was noted that the name “Orange Classic 10K” was retired by the Times Herald Record, which will no longer be the organizer of the event. Instead, Wayne Beam, Robert Bright, George Shurter and Frank Giannino, four lifelong area runners and residents, will make up the Classic 10K Steering Committee. Mr. Giannino said that the committee is looking forward to the support of the Middletown School District to play host to the continuation of this historic Orange County event, to be known as The 2006 Classic 10 and Junior Classic. The suggested race weekend date is June 10 and 11, 2006. The Board agreed to support this endeavor.

Mr. Crescenzo also read a letter from Joseph Urbinati, Jr., Vice President of Morris Park Contracting Corporation. Mr. Urbinati said that an employee of Morris Park Contracting inadvertently cut through the roof of the second floor hallway at Middletown High School, causing gypsum roof material and ceiling tiles to fall into the corridor. Morris Park took complete responsibility for this mistake and will take every precaution necessary to insure that a situation such as this does not happen again.

No responses to previous questions were pending.

Visitors:
Samantha Newmark and Eric Flores addressed scheduling issues at the High School.

Rick Brown spoke about problems that occur in the community after High School football games.

Kathy Bellars spoke about scheduling concerns, attendance reporting, class lists, computer shortages, and construction issues at the High School.

Sheila Esposito said there has been little change in morale issues and also addressed the state of the District’s computer technology.

Theresa Marchena spoke about the frustration students are experiencing regarding their class schedules.

Tatiana Vasquez said there is a locker shortage at the High School and said that the four minute allotment to change classes is not sufficient.

Mr. Scott noted that the High School renovation is a 27 month construction project. The dust situation is being monitored, additional watering has been done, and a new ventilating system is been worked on. He also said that a stop work order has been issued to the contractor to stop working in the demolition area until better control dust control measures- are provided.

Dr. Eastwood said that the construction project must balance the needs of students and staff and, at the same time, make sure that the construction work proceeds in a timely fashion in order to open the new classrooms, gymnasium and auditorium next year. He also said that the District has started the process to employ a liaison, part of whose function will be to communicate construction information to staff, students and parents.

Dr. Larry Ashley, Executive Principal at MHS, reported that the tone of cooperation in the High School during the construction process has been good. He also noted that some scheduling issues have been corrected, but there are some limitations in terms of scheduling and classroom availability. Dr. Ashley continued by enumerating how other matters at the High School, such as assessment and accountability, graduation requirements, the house concept, open house preparations, community outreach, the role of the school resource officer, parking availability, communication with parents, etc. are being addressed.

Mr. Geiger left the meeting at 10:05 p.m.

Barbara Knecht, Elementary Summer School Principal, said that this summer 216 students participated in the elementary summer institute. She provided information concerning class size, gender and ethnicity breakdowns, attendance, and bussing. Mrs. Knecht said that the students worked on Fast ForWord, a computer software program that enhances cognitive skills required for reading and learning; Recipe for Reading, a phonemic awareness program; Steck-Vaughn Think-Alongs, a reading comprehension program; and Bridge the Gap, a McGraw-Hill Mathematics Program. Mrs. Knecht concluded by presenting pre/post assessment data showing the average percentage of proficiency by grade level.

Eileen Shapiro and Jim Higgins, Middle Level Summer Session Principals, reported on the 2005 middle level programs. Ms. Shapiro said that the summer session program was intended for those students who failed a core course(s) during the academic year and had at least 80% attendance in that class(es). Students who failed four core courses during the school year were not eligible to participate in the summer session. Ms. Shapiro listed the course offerings of the summer session, and said that 452 students from Monhagen and Twin Towers were enrolled in content area classes. She concluded by explaining the passing rates for each curriculum area, and noted that promotion to the next grade level would be determined by the home school principal upon successful completion of the summer session.

Michael Barone, Principal of the Middletown High School Summer Session, said that the program offered academic services to 605 students in grades 9-12. Students participated in programs raging from remediation (core courses that were not successfully completed during the previous year) to enrichment (drivers education, health/parenting and art classes for seniors). Data on the number of students that were enrolled in each of the course offerings, the number of students taking and passing/failing the Regents exam at the conclusion of the summer session was presented. Mr. Barone said that the summer program came to a close with an August graduation ceremony, recognizing 33 graduates of the class of 2004-2005.

Mr. DelMoro and Dr. McDonough reported on the District’s Professional Development Plan. The mission of professional development is to prepare and support educators to help all students achieve to high standards of learning and development.

Ms. Tobiassen left the meeting at this time.

Board Member Reports:
Mr. Crescenzo said that he, Mr. Estrada, Mr. Geiger and Ms. Perkins attended the New York State School Boards Association Academy for Public School Governance in Albany. This workshop focused on financial matters and the role of Board members.

Mr. Crescenzo also presented a resolution proposed by the Guilderland Central School District to be submitted at the NYSSBA annual convention in Rochester in October. The purpose of the resolution is to establish a Task Force on Financing School District Retirement Benefits that will produce a proposal for consideration at the convention. The Board will consider this proposed resolution at the next meeting.

Mrs. Botti made a motion, seconded by Dr. Best, to approve Personnel Memorandum #17, copy attached.

Ayes: Best, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Botti, Crescenzo – 6. Noes: None. Motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Perrino made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Botti, to approve Personnel Memorandum #18, copy attached.

Ayes: Best, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Botti, Crescenzo – 6. Noes: None. Motion was unanimously approved.

Mrs. Botti made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Knapp, to amend the agenda to consider additional personnel items.

Ayes: Best, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Botti, Crescenzo – 6. Noes: None. Motion to amend the agenda was unanimously approved.

Mr. Perrino made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Botti, to approve Personnel Memorandum #19, copy attached.

Ayes: Best, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Botti, Crescenzo – 6. Noes: None. Motion was unanimously approved.

Dr. Best made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Knapp requesting personnel folders for the purpose of conducting personnel business in executive session.

Ayes: Best, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Botti, Crescenzo – 6. Noes: None. Motion was unanimously approved.

Discussion regarding the NYSSBA 2005 Proposed Bylaw Amendments and Resolutions was postponed until the next meeting of the Board.

Superintendent approved budget transfer #7 was presented.

Mrs. Botti made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Knapp, to approve Special Services Memorandum #6, copy attached.

Ayes: Best, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Botti, Crescenzo – 6. Noes: None. Motion was unanimously approved.

Mrs. Knapp made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Botti, to approve Financial Memorandum #7, copy attached.

Ayes: Best, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Botti, Crescenzo – 6. Noes: None. Motion was unanimously approved.

Dr. Best made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Botti, to accept a bid from William Wilcox, Middletown, New York for the sale for the following District equipment which has been declared surplus/obsolete:

1989 GMC Vandura 1500 Van
$326.00

Ayes: Best, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Botti, Crescenzo – 6. Noes: None. Motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Crescenzo said that the Cornwall School Board has adopted a resolution calling for reform of school taxes. This resolution may be presented at the NYSSBA conference in October, and the Cornwall School Board has asked other school districts in Orange County to support the resolution.

Dr. Best made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Botti, to support the following tax reform resolution:

WHEREAS, this Board of Education is concerned about the ever-increasing cost of public education that must be borne by the owners of real property in the Town of Cornwall and elsewhere in the State of New York, and

WHEREAS, this Board of Education recognizes that despite its efforts and those of other school districts throughout the State of New York to try to keep tax rates within bounds, escalating costs of education are often not easily controllable and result in tax rates that are becoming burdensome, and

WHEREAS, it is apparent to this Board of Education that the continued reliance on real property taxes to fund all or substantial portions of the costs of public education is a condition that cannot be permitted to continue, and

WHEREAS, this Board of Education believes that the time for action on this problem is now,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED as follows:

1. That by this resolution the Board of Education of the Cornwall Central School District calls upon our elected leaders in Albany - the Governor, the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, together with other State officials - to address this problem once and for all and to develop a solution that will provide adequate funds for public education for the Cornwall Central School District and for all school districts in the State of New York without relying in whole or in substantial part on real property taxation.

2. That this Board of Education directs that copies of this resolution be forwarded to the Governor, the Majority Leader of the New York State Senate, the Speaker of the New York State Assembly, together with such other public officials and bodies as may be appropriate under the circumstances.

Ayes: Best, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Botti, Crescenzo – 6. Noes: None. Motion was unanimously approved.

Dr. Best made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Botti, to accept the following International Exchange Students into the Middletown School District:

Doo Young Cho-Korea
Pittawan Chirkeatikul-Thailand
Ivana Mostak-Croatia
Johann Emmanuel Bergmann-Germany
Quan Vu-Vietnam
Debora Gomes-Brazil

Ayes: Best, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Botti, Crescenzo – 6. Noes: None. Motion was unanimously approved.

Mr. Crescenzo said that one exchange student previously accepted into the Middletown School District has been placed in another school district.

Mrs. Botti made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Knapp, to discontinue the registration of International Exchange Student Wooje Chun, Korea, in the Middletown School District.

Ayes: Best, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Botti, Crescenzo – 6. Noes: None. Motion was unanimously approved.

Mrs. Botti made a motion, seconded by Mr. Perrino, to amend the agenda to include a resolution to accept the Professional Development Plan, as amended.

Ayes: Best, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Botti, Crescenzo – 6. Noes: None. Motion was unanimously approved.

Mrs. Knapp made a motion, seconded by Ms. Perkins, to approve the Enlarged City School District of Middletown Principles for Professional Development, Revised August 2, 2005.

Ayes: Best, Knapp, Perkins, Perrino, Botti, Crescenzo – 6. Noes: None. Motion was unanimously approved.

No visitors asked to address the Board.

Roundtable:
Mr. Perrino noted that there are many positive programs in this District that children can take advantage of as they become more familiar with our District. He and Mr. Crescenzo noted the good work that Dr. Eastwood has done in uncovering and correcting problem situations in the District.

Mrs. Knapp suggested that the public be made aware of the requirements that must be met in order to establish child safety zones. Dr. Eastwood responded to a question from Mrs. Knapp by saying that the issues with busing at Maple Hill are being addressed with Mid City Transit.

Mrs. Botti thanked Dr. McDonough and Pre-K Director Susan Barsky for coordinating the tour of the District’s pre-k program and the pre-k program at New Beginnings.

Ms. Perkins inquired about access to our schools by military recruiters. Dr. Eastwood will confirm that military recruiters have the same access to secondary school students as postsecondary institutions or prospective employers.

Mr. Perrino suggested that issues relating to our school buses be addressed at the next meeting of the Board.

At 11:45 p.m., Mr. Perrino made a motion, seconded by Mr. Estrada, to have an executive session for the discussion of the employment history of particular persons. Motion was unanimously approved.

At 12:05 a.m., there being no further business, Mr. Perrino made a motion, seconded by Dr. Best, to adjourn the meeting. Motion was unanimously approved.


Respectfully submitted,

Alicia E. Olsen

School District Clerk

 

 

ENLARGED CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

OF MIDDLETOWN, NEW YORK

PUPIL PERSONNEL/SPECIAL SERVICES

MEMORANDUM #6


TO: Board of Education
FROM: Selena Fischer, Director for Pupil Personnel & Special Services
DATE: September 22, 2005
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. 6 dated September 22, 2005, 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):

August 9, 30, 2005

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

September 13, 2005

3. APPOINTMENTS TO COMMITTEE ON SPECIAL EDUCATION:
MEMBER NAME POSITION EFFECTIVE

4. APPOINTMENTS TO COMMITTEE ON PRESCHOOL SPECIAL EDUCATION:
MEMBER NAME POSITION EFFECTIVE

5. APPOINTMENTS OF SURROGATE PARENTS:
MEMBER NAME POSITION EFFECTIVE

 

 


ENLARGED CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

OF MIDDLETOWN, NEW YORK

FINANCIAL MEMORANDUM #7


TO: Board of Education
FROM: Elizabeth McKean
DATE: September 22, 2005
RE: Financial Memorandum #7


1. Budget Transfer #7 Approved

From:     A.1910.8420.10.0300.00          Unallocated Insurance          $22,000.00
To:          A.2855.8501.10.285505           Interscholastic – Supplies    $22,000.00

2. Bids Awarded – See Attached