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JANUARY 13, 2014 - 7:30 PM

 M I N U T E S
(approved on January 27, 2014)

  1. General Business
    1. Call to Order - Mr. Miller
      1. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

        Mr. Miller called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
      2. Roll Call 

        Members present - Emily Bates, Jennifer Clancy, Ellen Freireich, Lynne Leopold-Sharp, Roger Miller, John Posenau, Lois Ann Schroeder, Joel Sears, Cathy Shaffer, Alison Liu (Student Representative)
  2. Board President's Report - Mr. Miller
    1. Executive Session Announcement 

      Mr. Miller asked for discussion by the Board about an Executive Session for performing an interview/job-type interview with Dr. Merkle to decide whether we want to offer a Superintendent contract to her or advertise for the Superintendent position.

      A discussion continued about whether to continue the discussion in an Executive Session?

      Mr. Miller announced an Executive Session will be held immediately following this meeting for this discussion. 
    2. Policy 701:  Naming Right for School District Facilities 

      Mr. Miller reported the above policy was established in the fall. A request would be submitted to the Superintendent, followed by review of the Facilities Committee and recommendation coming to the full Board for discussion and action. Per the policy, the District does have ability to ask for monies/compensation to cover costs. To date, no requests have been submitted to the Superintendent.

      A discussion continued. Points of the discussion included - should consideration go back to several students that came to the Board and also faculty member from several years ago and should this policy be publicized?; it is not the position of the Board to request these applications; should the Board inform previous requests of this new policy?

      Dr. Merkle stated a student came to the Board in August or September with a request and there was no next step because this policy did not exist. The concensus of the Board was for Dr. Merkle to notify that student.

      Ms. Bates stated at the time the Policy Review Committee reviewed the policy, an application form was not prepared and it was my understanding the administration was going to produce the form.

      Dr. Merkle replied the administration can create a form. Should the form be reviewed by the Policy Review Committee?

      Ms. Bates stated it is not necessary for review by committee as it would eventually become one of the Administrative Regulations.

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

      Mr. Miller reported the Board Retreat is scheduled on Saturday, January 25, from 8:00 AM to Noon and will be held in the Education Center for Board members and the Acting Superintendent. Information about facilitator will be emailed to Board members. The facilitator will lead us together through the exercises to enhance our efficiency and function. This will be an Executive Session.

      A discussion continued. Points of the discussion included - suggestion to have time reserved towards the end of the meeting for additional items that Board members would like to discuss; is the Cabinet to be part of this meeting?; it is a little late to ask Dr. Maloney and Ms. Mason for this expectation.

      Mr. Miller concluded the discussion stating that he will talk with facilitator about planning extra time at end of meeting as requested and there is no expectation for Dr. Maloney and Ms. Mason to attend due to lateness of request. 

      An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time. 
    4. Acting Superintendent Evaluation Process
      1. Proposal
      2. Survey Form
      3. Rubric 

        Mr. Miller reviewed above information and reported Dr. Merkle's evaluation will take place in April or May. 

        A discussion continued. Points of the discussion included - the evaluation does need completed by the time of the Administrative Retreat planning to allow the Superintendent to plan appropriately; previously, the timing of the Superintendent evaluation was per the contract and wording in School Code.

        Mr. Miller stated the administrative team will be surveyed with the Survey and Rubric above to provide information for Board's evaluation of Superintendent. It was decided not to survey the teachers at this time because they may not know all the responsibilities of the Superintendent.

        Dr. Merkle explained principals are evaluated under Educator Effectiveness model, Directors are evaluated with above rubric that was developed by the district under the direction of Doug Reeves with the administrative team and this was brought to the Board previously. Dr. Merkle will provide the principal rubric to Board members as requested.

        Dr. Merkle stated that she will talk with administrative team on Wednesday about this information.

        Mr. Miller stated the information will be sent to administrative team on Thursday or Friday and the summary will be provided to the board in early February.

        An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time. 
  3. Superintendent's Report - Dr. Merkle
    1. Technology Update - Mr. Henry 

      Mr. Henry gave presentation on above information and responded to questions from Board members. Board members thanked Mr. Henry for providing this valuable information.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time. 
    2. Affordable Care Act Information Meetings. Three meetings have been scheduled for all staff members and their family members on January 23 at 3:30 PM and 6:30 PM and January 28 at 4:00 PM.  

      Dr. Merkle reviewed above information. Responding to an inquiry about Board members being permitted to attend a session, Dr. Merkle stated that some Board members saw this information this past summer and Board members are welcome to attend these sessions that will be held at the high school.

      Dr. Merkle responded to an inquiry about the additional inclement weather make-up day being added following graduation, an additional day will not be added for seniors. 
  4. Business Office Report - Ms. Mason
    1. Grant to Yorkshire Elementary from Patient First in the amount of $1,000.

      Ms. Mason reviewed above information. This amount funded summer reading bags for students and professional development for staff. Patient First also gave grant money last year that was used for document cameras and the year before that was used for emergency preparedness go bags.

      Dr. Merkle replied to an inquiry about whether other buildings have applied for this grant and that will be added to Elementary Principals' meeting agenda. 
    2. Money received from First Energy in the amount of $8,689.36 related to the energy conversation measures applied to the Yorkshire Elementary Building.

      Ms. Mason reported above. It was necessary for the LEED Certificate to be issued before the district could apply for this amount. This is not a grant as it is an one-time amount.

      Mrs. Schroeder commented thanks to these people for taking the time to make application for these monies. These smaller amounts all add up and help.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time. 
  5. New Business - Ms. Leopold-Sharp
    1. Proposed 2014-15 School Calendar  

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp highlighted above proposal and stated that it is very similar to this year's calendar.

      A discussion continued. Points of discusion were - is there a reason for different timing with parent/teacher conferences for secondary students after marking period ends and elementary is scheduled five weeks before end of marking period?; progress reports used to be sent at mid-marking period but with Infinite Campus and 24/7 access to parents that is no longer done.

      Dr. Merkle concluded the discussion stating secondary students take more of an ownership and that teachers are willing to meet with parents prior to the end of a marking period. She will plan to take back to administrative team for review. A parent notification message to trigger parents to look at grades at mid-marking period would be very beneficial.

      The discussion continued. Points of the discussion included - like the two hour delay for professional development; concern with 180 days, used to be 185 days for students.

      Mr. Miller concluded the discussion stating that voting will take place on January 27 for the proposed calendar.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time.
    2. Proposed 2014-15 Lincoln Intermediate Unit Operating Budget 

      Mr. Sears reviewed the above information, stated there is a 1.2% increase for York Suburban and  encouraged approval of the budget. 

      Action will be taken on January 27.
    3. Proposed 2014-15 York County School of Technology Budget 

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp highlighted above information.

      Dr. Merkle commented there is a 3.1% increase with the budget. Concerns and frustrations exist with some Superintendents in districts and some districts may not approve the budget with this increase.

      Mrs. Schroeder was unable to attend the meeting in November and does not have additional information to share about the budget increase. Historically, the Board has voted on this in February or March and we can defer until additional information is available. The next meeting will be held at the end of the month where additional information will be provided. Also, YCST administration would be happy to come and answer any questions at one of our meetings if the Board wishes to schedule that time.

      Mr. Miller asked for discussion by the Board. The points of the discussion included - would like to hear more information since this increase is above our index; we could reject the budget and send a message; majority of schools must pass the budget for it to pass; several Board members stated they cannot support this budget that is going above our index.

      Dr. Merkle concluded the discussion stating that she will get additional information prior to the vote. 

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

      Mrs. Freiriech reported that that York Adams Academy Budget proposed budget for next year is the same at $48,000 for 12 seats for a full membership. The meeting in January was canceled due to inclement weather. 
    4. Transitional Leadership Position Decriptions. This item is for your information only. This topic will be added to the Personnel Committee agenda in February and the Board approved deadline for this project pushed to February 24.

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported the above item will come back in a month.
  6. Committee Reports
    1. Finance Committee - Ms. Leopold-Sharp
      1. 2014-15 Budget 
        1. PDE-2028 - Preliminary General Fund Budget 
        2. Exception Report
        3. Tax Increase Chart 

          Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported the Finance Committee (seven Board members were present) reviewed the administration's recommendation with the Exception application to allow flexibility to look at multi-year projections. A discussion ensued with strong opinions, with Mr. Sears recommending not to apply and Mrs. Clancy and Ms. Leopold-Sharp recommending to apply to give flexibility to look at projections.

          Dr. Merkle stated the administration would need a nod now to apply for the Exception.

          Ms. Mason re-stated that no vote is needed, direction for administration is needed.

          Dr. Merkle stated the message was received loud and clear not to go above index. The administration can bring several proposals including options not to go above the index.

          A discussion continued. Points of the discussion were - last year, the administration provided both scenarios one with Exception and one without Exception; at the Finance Committee meeting, the majority verbalized support for applying for the Exception but not use the Exception; if you are not going to use the Exception, why apply for the Exception?; several Board members expressed willingness to apply for Exception.

          Ms. Mason added that things are a little behind this year with what happened in November, we only had 32 days with budget preparation. If the Board decides to apply for Exception, this needs advertised next Tuesday and if the Board goes with the resolution, action needs to take place on January 27.

          Mr. Miller stated that we have more than five Board members willing to apply for the Exception.
          Dr. Merkle stated the administration had limited access to prepare budget prior to November 19. We are not doing due diligence with the Board to not go forth with the Exception and allow time for work that is vital. The administration is not in favor of going above the index.

          A discussion continued about Exception and the index.

          Mr. Miller concluded the discussion stating at the community budget meeting next week, it would be a good time to inform the public of this process.

          Dr. Merkle agreed that it would be valuable information for public.

          An opportunity was provided for public comment. 

          Ralph Felter, 1491 Turnberry Court - during the recent campaign in 2013, I had the opportunity to talk with about 750 people in the community and everyone wanted to protect the high academic scores of the district. People are hurting from the insideous tax increases in previous years. Last year was better. Please keep in mind the people on fixed incomes with no cost of living increase available to them. 
      2. Update from Ken Phillips, RBC Capital Marketing 

        Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported that seven of the nine Board members were present at Finance Committee meeting  last week and information was provided to the other two Board members about the update that Ken Phillips provided. His suggestion was that nothing needs to be done at this time. Once the Facilities Committee presents the five year capital projects list, we will plan to interact with Mr. Phillips.
    2. Legislative Committee - Mr. Sears
      1. The meeting with Representative Kevin Schreiber has been rescheduled on February 24, 6:00 to 7:00 PM, prior to the monthly board meeting.

        Mr. Sears provided a summary of legislature briefs from Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA).

        A discussion continued about the pending lawsuit by Educational Law Center, arguing the constitutional funding formula for more euitable share of funds. Points of the discussion were - major changes need to take place, can we send a letter of support?; could this be discussed at the Superintendents' meeting and instead of individual school district, possibly have an "amicus brief" filed with several school districts; there are 80 growing districts in the commonwealth, could they join a lawsuit?; it could be expensive and would want to hear from solicitor; if we don't try, we will not get anywhere.

        Mr. Miller concluded the discussion stating that Dr. Merkle will talk with Superintendents in the county. 
    3. Personnel Committee - Ms. Shaffer
      1. Fireside Chat meetings have been scheduled February 11 at 6:30 PM and April 24 at 6:30 PM.

        Mrs. Shaffer reviewed above information and added these are not public meetings.
    4. Policy Review Committee - Ms. Bates
      1. Policy Revisions
        1. No. 530 - Overtime  
        2. No. 614 - Payroll Authorization 
        3. No. 616 - Payment of Claims 

          Ms. Bates reported that Ms. Mason brought these policies to the Policy Review Committee to bring these policies in line of practice. Action is requested on January 27.
        4. No. 915 attachment - School Related Community Organization's Annual Report 

          Ms. Bates reviewed above revision and requested action on January 27.

          An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time.
    5. Minutes/Announcements
      1. Finance Committee - November 25  
      2. Policy Review Committee - January 7  
  7. 2014 Board Meeting & Committee Meeting Schedule 

    Mr. Miller reviewed above information.
  8. Comments and/or Questions from the Public 

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

    Meeting was adjourned at 9:33 PM.

    An Executive Session was held immediately following meeting.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of each report.

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.