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YORK SUBURBAN SCHOOL BOARD
PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING

MARCH 5, 2012 - 7:30 PM
HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA

 MINUTES
(approved March 19, 2012)
 

  1. Call to Order - Mr. DeHaas
    1. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag - Mr. DeHaas
      President DeHaas called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
    2. Roll Call - Mr. Younkin
      All members present - Emily Bates, Jennifer Clancy, John DeHaas, Bill Kirk, Lynne Leopold-Sharp, Roger Miller, Lois Ann Schroeder, Joel Sears, Cathy Shaffer, Michael Hogg (Student Representative)
  2. Board President's Report - Mr. DeHaas
    Mr. DeHaas reported the Board met in executive session following the February 27, 2012 Regular Monthly Meeting for the purpose of discussing personnel and/or legal issues. 
  3. Superintendent's Report - Dr. Orban
    No report
  4. Committee Reports
    1. Academic Standards and Curriculum Committee Report - Mrs. Clancy
      1. The next Curriculum Committee meeting is scheduled May 17 at 3:45 PM.
        Mrs. Clancy reported above information and stated the PSSA testing will starting on March 12 for grades 3-8 and 11. 
    2. Communications Committee Report - Mrs. Schroeder
      1. The next Communications Committee meeting is scheduled April 2 at 6:00 PM.
        Mrs. Schroeder reported above information. 
    3. Facilities Committee Report - Ms. Leopold-Sharp 
      1. The minutes of February 1 are provided.
        Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported above information. 
      2. EnergyWise Consulting Natural Gas Procurement and Monitoring Discussion
        Memorandum of Understanding
        Mr. Younkin reported and explained the above information.  Action will be requested at the March 19 meeting.
         
        An opportunity was provided for public comment.  There was none at this time.
      3. School Consolidation Discussion 
        Ms.  Leopold-Sharp reviewed above information and provided an introduction to the discussion.

        Mr. Kirk shared that the process of evaluating building utilization is a prudent one.  It is not an attempt to destroy public education, as some have stated, but rather preserve the excellent education at York Suburban.  Mr. Sears and Mr. Kirk continued by highlighting a handout provided to the Board and concluded that because of Act I and upward pressure of costs, something has to be done.  School consolidation is one of the choices.

        Ms. Leopold-Sharp stated one of the requests at the Facilities Committee meeting was a space utilization list at each of the buildings. 

        Dr. Orban replied principals provided specific information on the room number list for each building and this information was provided to the Board earlier today.

        Ms. Leopold-Sharp asked about the assessment of classrooms, LIU fair share classrooms and the before and after school care programs and what would be the impact of moving to three buildings?

        Dr. Orban replied class sizes would definitely need to be increased in order to accommodate a reduction to three buildings.  A cost savings in the budget in the bringing back of the emotional support classrooms would create the need for an additional classroom at East York.  At the elementary level, the administration may want to add an additional fair share LIU classroom.  We are able to have art, music and support services in classrooms at this time.   Some of those programs are mandated and specific education space must be available for some learning support students.

        Mrs. Clancy shared that other board members and herself, after studying the data, felt it was the best interest of the district at that time to vote in favor of building the Yorkshire Elementary School and the renovation of Valley View Elementary School.  To inform the members of the audience, the Board is not proposing a motion to close an elementary building at the next meeting.  The Board is simply discussing information and  the procedure of closing a school at the request of several Board members.  The Board is looking at the financial future of the district and the options that are available. 

        Dr. Orban added this is a very regulated process by the PA Department of Education with minimum lead time of six months during which public meetings must be held, followed by a three month cooling off period where comments may be given.  State mandates that have costs associated with them do require a feasibility study and enrollment projections to proceed.  Another part of the process would include reconfiguration of buildings with application to the state.

        Ms. Bates shared that most of the Board voted to build the elementary building and renovate a building and upheld class guidelines.  Consolidation of a building would change those elementary class guidelines.  The Board had discussed this at great length during the time during those decisions.  My feeling remains the same in holding the class guidelines.

        Mrs. Shaffer echoes similar comments that Ms. Bates shared. It is not quite as black and white as described, there are some grey areas for class sizes. There are several things that we distinguish ourselves as a district, 7th grade foreign language and class size are two ways.  If we continue to chip away at things such as eliminating 7th grade foreign language and increasing class size, I think this would impact our property values, it makes the district a less and less desireable place to live and raise a family.  This is something I am not willing to support or engage in conversation.

        Mr. Kirk asked how we know that we would have to raise class sizes and if so by how many?

        Dr. Orban responded she was directed at the Facilities Committee meeting to do preliminary classroom student numbers based on ten classes per grade level.

        Mr. Kirk continued the scenario we shared would be 18 classrooms in one building to house grade K and 1, 21 classrooms in one building to house grade 2 and 3 and 20 classrooms in one building to house the 4th and 5th grade students.  Time is needed to examine the classroom information we received this afternoon.  Increasing class size is not a foregone conclusion at this time.

        Ms. Leopold-Sharp talked about the facility costs. What costs might be reduced by eliminating an elementary school; bringing back ES students would save a considerable cost; if an elementary building is closed, would educating them outside of district be a cost savings; maintenance costs would remain at a closed building; if any elementary school would be closed, half of the students would have to transverse I83, which will soon be involved in a monumental infrastructure project; we now have neighborhood-based schools; we need to look very carefully at potential savings and other increases.

        Mr. Kirk shared it is prudent to do an analysis now to be able to make a decision in the future.

        Mrs. Schroeder shared the smaller class size is a hallmark of the district and would not want to see it discarded to save money; there are significant advantages of smaller learning communities.

        Dr. Orban concluded the discussion stating that feasibility study information would be good for two years.

        An opportunity was provided for public comment.

        Shama Mir, 104 Scarborough Drive - suggestion to Board members without children in elementary school to take time to talk with parents and/or walk through the buildings

        Lisa Davis, 1479 E. Philadelphia St - spoke about the advantages of the four elementary buildings this year

        Ralph Felter, 1491 Turnberry Ct - consolidation is not a good or bad idea yet; consider further consideration

        Kelly Posenau, 1750 Hillock Ln - I am graduate of YS and was a National Merit Scholar; suggest continued consideration of the value of smaller class sizes

        Mr. DeHaas concluded discussion sharing that out of ideas come changes.  He thanked the Board and the community for this discussion of an emotional subject and appreciated the respect shown for each other.
         
      4. The next Facilities Committee meeting is scheduled March 21 at 5:30 PM at Valley View staff development room.
        Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported above information.  She added the school consolidation subject will not be at the committee level but at the Board level for continued discussions. 
    4. Finance Committee Report - Mr. Miller
      1. The minutes of February 8 are provided.
        Mr. Miller reported above information. 
      2. Resolution - Real Estate Tax Universal Installment Payment Plan Discussion  
        Mr. Younkin provided information on above information and asked for action at the March 19 meeting.

        Mr. Sears reported he would support the universal option; otherwise, intricate bookkeeping would be required.

        An opportunity was provided for public comment.  There was none at this time.
      3. Food Service Fund Budget 2012-13 
        Mrs. Klinke provided an overview of the above information.

        Action will be taken at the March 19 meeting.

        An opportunity was provided for public comment.  There was none at this time.
      4. The next Finance Committee meeting is scheduled March 28 at 5:30 PM. 
        Mr. Miller reported above information. 
    5. Legislative Policy Committee - Mrs. Clancy  
      No report
    6. Personnel Committee Report - Mrs. Shaffer
      1. The minutes of Febuary 13 are provided. 
        Mrs. Shaffer reported above information.

        Mrs. Shaffer also reported a Fireside Chat will be held on March 22 with the Association.  Ms. Bates, Mr. Miller, Mr. DeHaas and self will represent the Board and asked for agenda topics to be forwarded by March 19.
      2. The next Personnel Committee meeting is scheduled May 17 at 2:00 PM. 
        Mrs. Shaffer reported above information. 
    7. Policy Review Committee Report - Ms. Bates
      1. The minutes of February 16 are provided. 
        Ms. Bates reported above information. 
      2. Recommendation for revised policies
        1. Policy No. 218 - Code of Student Conduct 
          Ms. Bates highlighted changes on above information.
        2. Policy No. 218 - Attachment ActivitiesYSSD Code of Student Conduct 
          Ms. Bates highlighted changes on above information.
        3. Contract for Participation in Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular 
          Ms. Bates reported the Board requested the above document be reviewed.  Dr. Merkle lead the review by receiving input from all constituencies.  The entire document was re-created following the review.

          Dr. Merkle reported the contract includes stronger consequences which was something that was heard from the majority of the participants during the extensive review.  If this is approved, implementation will begin wth consistent energy to educating the students to be sure it is understood. 

          A discussion continued.  Points of the discussion include - new document will be a very useful framework as students move through the system; if a violation occurs outside the season, year or activity, consequences will be carried over to the beginning of the next season, year or activity; Board members publicly thanked Dr. Merkle for her tireless energy during this review. 

          Ms. Bates concluded the discussion, following the approval of this document, several other policies will be affected and they will be reviewed in time for the target for implementation at beginning of next school year.

          An opportunity was provided for public comment.  There was none at this time. 
        4. Policy No. 204 - Attendance (Educational Trips) & Request Form 
          Ms. Bates highlighted changes on this policy.

          Ms. Bates reported the policies will be on the March 19 meeting agenda for action.

          An opportunity was provided for public comment?  There was none at this time. 
      3. The next Policy Review Committee meeting is scheduled March 13 at 3:45 PM. 
        Ms. Bates reported above information. 
    8. Lincoln Intermediate Unit Report - Mr. Sears  
      No report
    9. York Adams Academy - Mr. DeHaas 
      1. 2012-13 Preliminary General Operating Budget Discussion 
        Mr. DeHaas reported above information and added that the cost for educating students at York Adams Academy has not changed as it remains $4000 per seat.  A slight deficit in their budget will be covered with their fund balance.  This item will be on agenda for March 19 meeting.

        A opportunity was provided for public comment.  There was none at this time. 
    10. York Area Tax Bureau Report - Mr. Sears 
      No report
    11. York County School of Technology - Mrs. Schroeder 
      Mrs. Schroeder provided a reminder of the orientation scheduled at YCST on March 22 at 6PM.
    12. Business Office Report - Mr. Younkin 
      1. 2012-13 Budget Development.  The administration will provide an update on the FY2012-13 budget development.  Dr. Orban, Dr. Maloney, Dr. Merkle
         
        General Fund Budget Summary for Prior Years, Current and Budget Year
        FY 2012-2013 Proposed Budget Changes
        Explanation of Proposed Budget Changes 
        Mr. Younkin, Dr. Orban, Dr. Merkle and Dr. Maloney highlighted above information.

        A discussion continued.  Points of the discussion include - the original proposal for bringing back ES students to the district included elementary students but because of lack of space and other reasons, it did not happen; with the sale of Memorial Hospital, additional revenue would not be available until 2013-14 budget, the transfer tax revenue will probably be included in this year's budget, can the district charge real estate tax for six months?; increased bus riding times could be 10-15 minutes; Dr. Merkle will forward to the Board the comparison for Spanish as was shared in German and French; concern was expressed about changing kindergarten mid-day transportation year to year; 5 families have utilized IB Charter School due to no kindergarten mid-day transportation.

        An opportunity was provided for public comment. 

        Kimberly Stambaugh, 701 Hoffman Road - calendar and kindergarten mid-day transportation are small items on the grand schedule when you're possibly talking about closing a school; for one year parents can handle the decision of no kindergarten mid-day transportation; suggestion to have more than one assistant in ES classrooms

        Shama Mir, 104 Scarborough Drive - concern with decrease in counseling department
         
      2. Request for Proposal - Athletic Training Services 
        Mr. Younkin explained above information and looking for action at the March 19 meeting.

        An opportunity was provided for public comment? 

        Brian Bixler, Orthopedic & Spine Specialists - I am a physician associated with OSS that has provided sideline and athletic training support coverage for the past 21 consecutive years at YSSD; for the past 13 years, I have been privileged to care for these athletes; in the past six years we have employed Sharon Hont at YS as the athletic trainer.  We were presented with a RFP for the athletic training contract beginning in 2012.  At the beginning of the process at a meeting, I asked if there was a problem with the care and was informed the RFP was strictly for financial reasons.  We submitted our proposal.  The proposal you see tonight is very similar to our proposal at a slightly lower price.  Questions - 1. Was the original RFP unclear or misleading and did it contradict itself, it stated that no changes were permitted after the proposal due date; later in the text it shows that the YSSD reserves the right to negotiate modifications in terms of the provider's proposal.   2.  Was the process and the subsequent negotiations within the standards that govern such processes and procedures?  3.  Did the process begin with a pre-determined winner and were negotiations to occur until that party submitted the lowest proposal?  In conclusion, when you consider this relationship in general with the other things you have talked about this evening, it may not seem like a very big deal, but it is a very big deal to OSS, myself and Sharon Hont. I take great pride in having the opportunity of the privilege to care for YS athletes.  If a decision is made and takes that privilege away from us after all these years of excellent service, we want to be sure all Board members are aware and comfortable with the process that led to the conclusion.       

        Judith Efiom-Ekaha, Wyndham Drive - Could that proposal be made public?

        Mr. DeHaas replied a private conversation will take place at the executive session to be sure that things were processed properly.

        Jane Young, 103 N. Marshall Street - I would encourage tabling this item until April and wait until more information is available for discussion.

        Mr. DeHaas asked if there were additional comments from Board members.

        Mrs. Clancy stated this should be discussed in executive session and Mr. Younkin could provide a comment to help the community understand after the information that was just presented to the Board.

        Mr. DeHaas asked other Board members and all agreed.

        Mr. Younkin commented this was an RFP for services.  Services are not governed by the bid laws in the state of PA.  There was a clause in the RFP to allow the administration to negotiate the best price as well as the best service for the district and this was done.  Advertisements are not necessary with RFP process.  It was a service contract that we were going to enter into and both parties were knowledgeable of what the other proposal included and what was being offered by both parties for approximately two weeks.   After those discussions, I provided the Board with the recommendation.  Both parties were given ample opportunity to adjust their price all the way through the negotiations.

        Mr. Kirk asked if similar protocol was used with similar processes?

        Mr. Younkin replied yes, most recently, for banking, auditing and architectural services.

        Ms. Leopold-Sharp commented these services provide athletic trainer services, physicians on site at football field and opportunity for a fee for school physicals.  This contract does not dictate where a family takes their child for orthopedic treatment.   This would have nothing to do with long-term care of an orthopedic patient.

        An opportunity was provied for public comment.  There was none at this time. 
      3. Memorandum of Understanding - York Suburban Education Support Personnel Association Discussion  
        Mr. Younkin highlighted above information.

        Mr. Miller asked during last summer, we went to this schedule to save money.  How much money was saved?

        Mr. Younkin replied the district saved approximately $26,000 with a four-day work week and summer activities being held at this campus.

        An opportunity was provided for public comment.  There was none at this time. 
      4. June 30, 2011 Audit Findings Action Plan   
        Mr. Younkin highlighted above information.

        Mr. Miller added if any Board member has ideas on the priority of these items they should contact Mr. Younkin.

        There was an opportunity for public comment?  There was none at this time. 
  5. Comments and/or Questions from the Public 
    Mrs. Shaffer reported that she registered to go to the NSBA Conference in Boston.  It was decided to cancel the district's affiliation with NSBA last year at the cost of $3000.  In the commuinication from NSBA, a special offer was received for the district to join at the discounted rate of  $2771 to join NSBA.  I wondered if this may be something the Board would entertain.

    An opportunity was provided for public comment.

    Ellen Freireich, 2805 Lehigh Road - what is the implementation cost of substitute teacher calling system?; building consolidation, I would not support spending any money for a feasibility study; York Adams Academy, suggest the district maintain 12 seats as previous; sorry to see reduction in counselors in middle school and elementary
     
  6. Adjournment
    Meeting adjourned at 9:39 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.