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YORK SUBURBAN SCHOOL BOARD
PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING AND SPECIAL BOARD MEETING
MAY 7, 2012 - 7:30 PM
  RONALD PROVARD EDUCATION CENTER

MINUTES
(approved May 21, 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
      Members Present - Jennifer Clancy, John DeHaas, Bill Kirk, Lynne Leopold-Sharp, Roger Miller, Lois Ann Schroeder, Joel Sears, Cathy Shaffer, Michael Hogg(Student Board Representative)
      Members Not Present - Emily Bates
  2. FY13 Proposed Final Budget Hearing
    1. 2012-13 Budget Hearing Presentation
      Mr. DeHaas asked for questions by Board members on the above information.

      Mr. Sears asked if the tax rate of 1.7% is part of proposal.

      Mr. Younkin replied yes.

      Mr. Sears asked if there was opportunity to scale it back further to consider 1% which would roughly equate to $400,000?

      Mr. DeHaas replied the discussion will continue following Mr. Younkin's presentation of the above information.

      Mr. Younkin provided the presentation for Budget Hearing.

      A discussion continued.  Points of the discussion include - if the three Plancons were not approved at the state, that would be approximately $100,000; it is difficult to anticipate charter school student enrollments; a few students enrolled in the district cyber school, but not as many as we expected.

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

      Mr. DeHaas stated last year the Board adopted a plan to put $225,000 towards the fund balance each year.   Putting all that into the budget this year would not be a responsible thing to do in the long term.    A possible option includes taking two years worth, $450,000, from the $600,000 available funds and put it in the fund balance.  That would be a two year move toward our goal both administratively and as a Board re-establish workable fund balance while also providing a small amount of tax relief in the amount of $150,000.  Mr. DeHaas asked for Board members' comments on the options.

      Mr. Miller would like to see a compromise and take advantage of either position.  The idea of $150,000 tax relief is preferred.

      Mr. Kirk concurred with Mr. Miller's comments.  The unexpected money should go back to owner which equates to the taxpayer.  He would support an amount between $150,000 and $600,000.

      Mrs. Shaffer asked if information is available how these options would impact the district's bond ratings?

      Mr. Ken Phillips, RBC, responded the district is being penalized for lower fund balance.  He suggested utilizing 2/3 of the $600,000 for the fund balance would be a good step.

      Mrs. Clancy stated the Board had this discussion previously and her recollection was that the majority were in favor of the entirity of the $600,000 going to the fund balance.

      Mr. DeHaas replied that he is willing to keep $600,000 or the smaller amount of $450,000 for the fund balance and giving taxpayers a small amount of relief.

      Mr. Sears stated when we look at impact of tax increase, the proposed increase is not issue.  He spent the day in Harrisburg hearing about people that are losing their houses and farms.  The district can do something, maybe the amount would be symbolic.

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp stated support for the amount of $150,000 for tax relief and also noted being cautious.  She expressed optimism in that the legislature is very supportive of the governor, they will face extrordinary pressure from the constituents if they choose not to reimburse districts for building projects.  The impact is modest to this district compared to other districts in the Commonwealth.

      Mr. Kirk asked for clarification on previous fund balance activity and Mr. Younkin responded.

      Mr. Kirk commented that at $912,000 the fund balance is significantly above where we had planned to be and the $150,000 addition to the fund balance is more than was planned approximately five months ago.

      Mr. DeHaas talked with Board members about their stands on amounts and counted five in favor for the middle of the road option of $450,000 going to fund balance and $150,000 going to tax payer relief of the $600,000.

      An opportunity was provided for additional comments by the Board and/or Public.

      Mrs. Shaffer asked for a comment from administration.

      Dr. Orban respectfully disagrees with Ms. Leopold-Sharp that the state will give the district the PlanCon money as there has been no move towards that action.  There is no definitive change from the state at this time for cyber school reimbursement.  I would support building the fund balance as the district is well below what the administration has been recommending for years and this has put the district in a very difficult place with the balance well below recommendation.

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp requested at a later date from administration a charter school enrollment summary to provide information on the 25% increased enrollment and what is causing the increase.

      Dr. Orban replied the administration will provide that information.  There are a number of homeschool students that go directly to a cyber school and really are never one of our students.

      Mr. Younkin commented that he supports the Board's policy to move the fund balance to 5%.  It is very difficult from a budgeting perspective to have the numbers sharp enough for the $150,000.  It is very difficult, along with great anxiety, working with estimated revenues and expenses that are planned thirteen months prior to when dollars are spent.  He shared that he is very concerned about Board's position on the fund balance and is fearful toward a deficit that could occur any year.

      Mr. Kirk asked the administration why the $225,000 was so easily pulled out of the $900,000 fund balance?

      Mr. Younkin replied that it was needed for program.

      Mr. DeHaas requested two resolutions be prepared for the voting on May 21 Regular Monthly Meeting. 
  3. Lincoln Intermediate Unit - Mr. Sears
    1. Special Education Presentation - Dr. Kerri Bloom, LIU Director of Special Education
      Mr. Sears introduced Dr. Kerri Bloom and Dr. Michael Thew, Executive Director, from the LIU.

      Dr. Bloom provided presentation on Special Education costs. 

      An opportunity was provided for Public Comment.  There was none at this time.
  4. Committee Reports
    1. Facilities Committee Report - Ms. Leopold-Sharp 
      1. Guaranteed Energy Savings Program.
        Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported the above information was reviewed and discussed at the March and April Facilities & Finance Committee meetings.  The above information was highlighted and requested discussion from the Board.

        A discussion continued.  Points of the discussion were - the recommendation of $2.8 million financing for the necessary items and administration roll-ins was not unanimously recommended at the Finance Committee level;  concern was expressed for wrap financing which pushes financing off to 12 through 14 years, there is no short term financing for a longer term project; Facilities Committee felt this issue should be discussed by the Board; there is guaranteed savings for the first three years, if a deficit occurs after year three Johnson Controls would be obligated to make it right; Mr. John Schmidt, Sales Manager of Johnson Controls, was available and answered several questions on the above information.

        Mr. Schmidt will provide the Board additional requested and corrected information.

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

        Mr. DeHaas stated at the May 21 meeting, the Board will approve fundamentals of contract. 
      2. Demand/Response Electricity Contract.  The administration recommends approval of a Demand/Response electricity contract with Johnson Controls Incorporated subject to approval of final contract language by the Solicitor.  This contract will result in District savings on electricity costs where the District participates in electricity load reduction events when requested.  [Discussion, Motion, Vote]
        Ms. Leopold-Sharp provided an explanation for the above information.

        Motion, Leopold-Sharp, Second, Clancy; Approval of a Demand/Response electricity contract with Johnson Controls Incorporated subject to approval of final contract language by the solicitor.  This contract will result in district savings on electricity costs where the district participates in electricity load reduction events when requested.

        A discussion continued.  Points of the discussion included - June through September are the most important months for this contract; the district can elect to be excluded during winter months.

        Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 8-0.
      3. The next Facilities Committee meeting is scheduled June 25 at 5:30 PM.
        Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported above information. 
    2. Finance Committee Report - Mr. Miller
      1. Guaranteed Energy Savings Program Financing.
        Mr. Miller provided an explanation of the above information and shared a concern of late payment of principal.

        Mr. Ken Phillips explained different structures are possible.

        Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported action will take place at the May 21 meeting.  RBC will be back in the summer to look at a parameter resolution.  The Board will review a reprioritized capital projects list during the summer. 
      2. The next Finance Committee meeting is scheduled June 13 at 5:30 PM.
        Mr. Miller reported above information.

        An opportunity was provided for public comment.   There was none at this time. 
  5. Business Office Report - Mr. Younkin 
    1. Food Service Management Company Proposal Update 
      Mr. Younkin highlighted the above information.  He did announce that Gareth Pahowka, Solicitor, is in attendance this evening to answer any questions. 

      Dr. Orban provided an overview of the meeting that was held with food service personnel.  One concern is that sick leave does not carry over.  It is the administration's recommendation for retiring food service personnel for payout for remaining sick days and for other food service personnel for payment for their remaining sick days.  Mr. Pakowka confirmed this is a fair and legal action. 

      Mr. Pahowka stated a resolution will be ready for action on May 21 to authorize the administration to work with PDE to make sure contract is complete.  The contract term would start July 1 and is for one year with up to four additional one year renewals for a total of five years.

      Dr. Orban reported the employees had some questions for PSERS.  Arrangements will be made for PSERS to meet with employees to allow best personal decisions for retirement decisions.

      A discussion continued.  Points of the discussion include - a draft contract will be available that must be submitted and approved by PDE and will be posted with the May 21 Board meeting agenda; guaranteed savings is $69,000 compared to the projected $30,000 income with food service department budget;  sick leave payout will be shared with the Board prior to May 21 meeting; information will be made available to food service personnel before information is made public; thanks extended to the committee for all the hard work, our employees are important and that was the focus of discussions.

      Mrs. Shaffer stated that a Whitson's representative is in attendance this evening if any questions remain.

      The Whitson's representative commented on question about company not currently providing services in Pennsylvania.  The company currently services New Jersey and New York.  The company's expected growth is anticipated in New Jersey and southcentral Pennsylvania.  The company plans to showcase the food service program at this school district to others in Pennsylvania.

      A discussion continued.  Points of the discussion were - Mr. Younkin did talk with some school districts in other states that they were the first district to work with Whitson's and the company does have a track record; since this is a fundamental change, it was strongly suggested a wise thing to do is arranging a trip to taste the food, see the food preparation area and review the environment where people work in the next two weeks and inviting the current and next year's Student Board Representatives as a representative group of the student body; committee recommendation was requested for focus on portion size, moving more desireable items to a la carte items which are more expensive, how many students and faculty members stopped participating in purchasing meals as a result of a food management company.

      Mrs. Shaffer, one of the committee members, shared the quality of foods purchased did surpass all other proposals and portion size is dictated by guidelines. 

      An opportunity was provided for public comment?  There was none at this time.
    2. 2012-13 Budget Development Budget
      1. FY13 Proposed Final Budget Update
        Mr. Younkin reported the accessed value is slightly less that what is budgeted which is about $40,000 less in revenue than projected.  There still remains April, May and June to get other values on the rolls and additional changes may be take place. 
      2. Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion
        Mr. Younkin explained the above information. 
  6. Board President's Report - Mr. DeHaas
    1. Board Goals Review and 2012-13 Board Goals Discussion 
      Mr.  DeHaas reported Ms. Leopold-Sharp, Mrs. Schroeder and Mr. Sears worked on this draft list of goals that are presented for discussion this evening.

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp stated during our discussions, the question was raised if we are writing goals for the Board or the district.  The list includes a combination of the two and overall information about the process was shared.

      Mr. Sears reviewed goal #1.  Quality reports, state reports and district reports are made available.  Suggest utilization of moving averages like other school districts.  This would fill in the gap between some grade levels and  provide better handle on trends.

      Mr. DeHaas asked the Board how it wanted to proceed.  It was decided to provide overall information this evening.

      Mr. Sears reviewed goal #2.  The quality assessment report does not provide faculty information, economic demographics, etc.  Develop an annual report at end of academic year, to be made public in the following fall to give the public a broader idea about the district, listing the challenges and successes.

      A discussion continued.  Points of the discussion - Curriculum Committee spent significant time on revamping quality assessment report, will this replace the report?; broaden the report and incorporate additional data for accountability, including what has happened and what is accomplished.

      Mr. Sears reviewed goal #3.  Advocate for public education and collaborate with other districts with similar demographics.

      Mrs. Schroeder reviewed goal #4.  Communication, customer service topic, culture of transparency to engage the community.

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp reviewed goal #5.  Community engagement - next year being an election year, make sure community is aware of what Board members do, provide facilitator for candidates night in the fall.

      Mr. Sears reviewed goal #6.   Financial management - disagregate line item from PDE language to benefit community with utilization of lay terms.

      Mrs. Schroeder reviewed goal #7.  Detailed information to help make decisions and timeline to meet benchmarks.

      Mr. Sears reviewed goal #8.  Utilization of Outlook calendar and other tools that are available to maximize payback.

      A discussion continued.  Points of the discussion - many good ideas and thoughts presented, any idea for measurements, some are obvious and some are not; Board will discuss for measurements.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment.
       
      Ellen Freireich, 2105 Lehigh Road - Board goals - administration has precious little time to take on more goals - think very carefully before you agree on these - measurable goals are necessary; suggest $150,000 for reduction to taxpayers - once tax bills come out, reassessments will take place.

      Mrs. Shaffer reported that she attended the NSBA conference and one of the workshops was on goal setting for Superintendent and Board, collaborating on their goals. She suggested this take place.

      Mrs. Schroeder commented the goals do overlap and are interrelated.
  7. Superintendent's Report - Dr. Orban
    1.  Request for Overnight Field Trip Discussion  
      Dr. Orban highlighted above information.

      A discussion continued.  Point of the discussion - accommodations will be made if exam schedule is impacted during dates of trip. 
  8. Committee Reports Continued 
    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 that the agenda will include middle school math.
    2. Communications Committee Report - Mrs. Schroeder
      1. The minutes of April 2 are provided.
        Mrs. Schroeder reported above information. 
      2. The June 18 Communications Committee meeting has been cancelled. 
        Mrs. Schroeder reported above information. 
    3. Legislative Policy Committee - Mrs. Clancy
      1. PSBA Resolutions Discussion
        Mrs. Clancy asked if Board wanted to discuss/comment on resolutions separately?
         
        A discussion continued and it was decided to have Board members make comment on each resolution.
        1. Resolution Supporting Reform of the Charter and Cyber Charter School Funding Formula
          Mr. Sears commented a complete overhaul of the system is needed and the whole funding formula needs changed.
        2. Resolution Urging Pension Reform
          Mr. Sears stated pension reform is wonderful but where is money going to come from because it is like moving from thing to another.

          Mrs. Shaffer commented that PSBA has a hybrid and that was the recommendation.
        3. Resolution Supporting Increased State Funding for K-12 Public Education
          Mr. Sears commented investments in distressed districts have not shown any measurable good.  Where we tried to personalize the resolution about making AYP, this district has made AYP without breaking much of a sweat because the federal regulations are so low.

          Dr. Orban replied she takes exception with Mr. Sears' statement, everyone works very hard to get those numbers and we have high expectations.

          Mr. Sears said that the resolution should urge the state to adopt some type of fair share allocation rather than spending more.
        4. Resolution Supporting Prevailing Wage Reform
          Mr. Sears suggests the district not participate in this resolution because it basically does nothing.  
        5. Resolution Supporting House Bill 855
          Mr. Sears commented he is in support of this resolution.

          Mrs. Schroeder commented she is not in support of this resolution.  We need teachers in both good and bad economic times.  Furloughing of teachers for economic reasons is not wise.  If a teacher is not performing adequately the teacher should be terminated as opposed to furloughed because that means they could be back later. 

          Mrs. Clancy reported the five resolutions will be on May 21 meeting agenda with a separate vote on each one.

          Mrs. Clancy stated the breakfast meeting with state legislators is scheduled on May 24.

          An opportunity was provided for public comment.  There was none at this time. 
    4. Personnel Committee Report - Mrs. Shaffer
      1. The next Personnel Committee meeting is scheduled May 17 at 2:00 PM.
        Mrs. Shaffer reported above information. 
    5. Policy Review Committee Report - Ms. Bates
      1. The minutes of April 10 are provided.
        Dr. Orban reported the Policy Review Committee has been working very hard. She reported the above information.  She asked if there were questions on the policy revisions.
      2. Recommendation for Revised Policies Discussion
        1. Policy No. 121 - Field Trips
          Ms. Leopold-Sharp inquired if the change of self medication for students is feasible for elementary children?

          Dr. Orban replied that it is legal and there are occasions when the parent goes along on a field trip.
           
        2. Policy No. 121.1 - Overnight Field Trips
          Ms. Leopold-Sharp suggested a change in wording on Policy 121.1 and 121.2 pertaining to chaperones of both genders if the student group is comprised of both genders.

          Dr. Orban replied the policies would be revised.
        3. Policy No. 121.2 - Foreign Travel
        4. Policy No. 222 - Tobacco Use 
        5. Policy No. 227 - Controlled Substances - Paraphernalia and Attachment
        6. Elimination of Policy No. 227.1 - Anabolic Steroids.  This policy is embedded in Policy No. 227.
        7. Policy No. 122 - Extracurricular Activities
        8. Policy No. 122.1 - Participation in Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Activities
        9. Policy No. 123 - Interscholastic Athletics
          Dr. Orban reported the policies will be on the meeting agenda on May 21.
      3. The next Policy Review Committee meeting is scheduled June 18 at 6:00 PM.
        Mr. DeHaas reported above information.
        An opportunity was provided for public comment.  There was none at this time. 
    6. York Adams Academy - Mr. DeHaas  
      No report
    7. York Area Tax Bureau Report - Mr. Sears
      Mr. Sears reported there was an investment account maintained under the old form of the YATB and with the Act 32 reorganization it was decided to release those funds and the district's share is  $34,648.56. 
    8. York County School of Technology - Mrs. Schroeder
      No report
  9. Comments and/or Questions from the Public
    There were none at this time.
  10. Adjournment
    Meeting adjourned at 10:08 PM.

 

     

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.