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FEBRUARY 10, 2014 - 7:30 PM

 An Executive Session was held at 6:30 PM at Valley View Elementary School.


(approved on February 24, 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

        Members not present - Alison Liu (Student Representative)
  2. Superintendent's Report - Dr. Merkle
    1. Proposed Calendar Revisions. The administration recommends board approval of the following revision to the 2013-14 school calendar due to the extreme weather conditions that have forced the cancellation of school:
      1. March 7 - change from professional staff development day to regular school day; and
      2. Add professional staff development day to the day following the last student day of the school year.  

        This change will require immediate and intensive communication to parents including backpack express, Alert Now email and phone call, website and Infinite Campus updates. 

        [Motion; Discussion; Public Comment; Vote]

        Dr. Merkle reported a recommended change to school calendar and explained above information. This will allow an instructional day earlier in the year.

        Motion, Clancy, Second, Schroeder; Approval of above.

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

        Voice Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 9-0.

        Dr. Merkle reported that the administration would like to have the date of commencement remain as scheduled if that would be the will of the board. There is concern about moving the school year into the third week in June because that would cause significant hardship with teachers and students. It may be necessary to look at the April date depending on the future weather conditions. 
  3. Committee Reports
    1. Finance Committee - Ms. Leopold-Sharp
      1. 2014-15 Budget 
        1. Approval of Proposed Preliminary 2014-15 Budget and ResolutionThe administration recommends approval of the Proposed Preliminary Budget for 2014-15 and authorization to file for the Act 1 Referendum Exception for Retirement. The Preliminary Budget Proposal assumes the District will receive approval for the use of one Act 1 real estate tax referendum exception. Until the Final Budget for 2014-15 is approved, the administration will continue to review and revise the budget. 

          [Motion; Discussion; Public Comment; Vote] 

          Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported above and provided a refresher that this would not be setting a tax rate or setting total expenditures for next year but allowing the administration to apply for the exception.

          Motion, Leopold-Sharp, Second, Freiriech; Approval of above.

          A discussion continued. Points of the discussion were - the pressure on citizens is real, this would indicate a 3.4% increase, the extra inflationary increase is uncalled for.

          An opportunity was provided for public comment.

          Ralph Felter, 1491 Turnberry Court - in addition to thoughts shared at previous meetings, I would like to reiterate the taxpayers need as much relief as possible as the Board and administration move forward in the budget process.

          Mr. Miller reminded everyone this is a starting point, not an ending point in the process.

          Roll Call Vote, all present, yes, except Sears, Miller, no. Motion carried 7-2. 
    2. Personnel Committee - Ms. Shaffer
      [Consent Agenda:  You have before you the Personnel Report which includes resignation, employment, request for leave for absence and an additional substitute teacher for 2013-14. Would any board member like any of these items considered separately or are there any questions on any of these items? If not, the chair moves approval of the below-mentioned items; Public Comment; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Shaffer, Second, Schroeder; Approval of consent agenda.

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

      Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 9-0.
      1. Resignation
        1. Recommend Board approval of the resignation of Jo Ellen Ferguson as an instructional support aide at Yorkshire Elementary effective January 31, 2014.
      2. Employment
        1. Recommend the employment of Nicole Stump as an instructional support aide at Yorkshire Elementary School effective February 11, 2014 at the hourly rate of $10.50.
      3. Request for Leave of Absence
        1. Recommend Board approval of the request of Catherine Braun, science teacher at the high school, for a FMLA leave of absence starting on or about February 11, 2014 and ending on or about May 8, 2014.
        2. Recommend Board approval of the request of Janae’ Kauffman, learning support teacher at the middle school, for an unpaid leave of absence for the 2014-2015 school year.  Mrs. Kauffman will be returning to employment at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.
      4. Additional Substitute Teacher for 2013-2014
        1. Kara Fox
  4. Comments and/or Questions from the Public

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

    Meeting adjourned at 7:38 PM.



 M I N U T E S
(pending approval on February 24, 2014)

  1. General Business
    1. Call to Order - Mr. Miller

      Mr. Miller called the meeting to order at 7:38 PM.
  2. Board President's Report - Mr. Miller
    1. The Board met in Executive Session following the January 27, 2014 Regular Monthly Meeting and prior to this evening's meeting for the purpose of discussing personnel and/or legal issues.

      Mr. Miller reported above.

      Mr. Miller reported that the Board has held several meetings in this room and asked for feedback on this location and set-up.  The board must decide to continue here or return to the Education Center.

      A discussion continued. Points of the discussion included - this room is spacious, but misses the decorum of board room; set-up is better this evening with tables, but do miss the board room; it takes approximately two to three hours of set-up for this room compared to about one-half hour in the board room; having extra people at the table was a concern in the board room and this room allows for extra seating; possibly consider smaller chairs in the board room rather than the current larger style; no overwhelming need to stay here if it is causing extra work for district staff.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time.
  3. Superintendent's Report - Dr. Merkle
    1. Administrative Leadership Options Update

      Dr. Merkle reviewed leadership options that the administration prepared that was shared at the Personnel Committee meeting. There were six options presented and that was narrowed down to four options. The options do include benefits and concerns for each option. A comparative study of districts in the county and high performing schools in PA was completed and we are the lowest number of central office administrators at this time. The administration has completed this goal and is not looking for a recommendation this month, we are seeking input from the Board.

      Mr. Sears thanked the administration for completing this and shared it will be important for the future of the district.

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

      Mr. Miller shared that the Board will vote on this in the future. This was one of the administration goals that has been completed. 
    2. Elementary Summer School Restructure 

      Dr. Merkle highlighted above information and the administration recommends this change for an enhanced program and cost savings. The elementary principals did submit a grant for this restructured program. This would meet our needier population.

      A discussion continued. Points of the discussion were - previously there was a cost for busing and with this restructure there is no busing component; approximately 70 students across the district would be invited to participate; principals will follow up with family if lack of student activity is experienced; possibly have an aide available for the Martin Library part of the program; this would directly support the district curriculum; assessment is requested as done previously; notification about grant will take place in April.

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

      Mr. Miller reported that he is pleased with the effort to collaborate with Martin Library. 

      Dr. Merkle extended kudos to the elementary principals for this new idea for restructuring. 
    3. Position Elimination 

      Dr. Merkle reported following the approval of the retirement of the facilities secretary and the community education coordinator, it was decided to eliminate that position assigning work duties to other support staff. In the community education program, an adjustment would be to continue to run the student programming and suspend the adult program for fall and re-evaluate. The program is losing money and costing money for the district.

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

      Mr. Miller added this would be a suspension of the adult portion of community education and upon reevaluation in the fall, we will see where to go from there.
    4. Due to the weather related cancellation of school on Wednesday, February 5, the public meeting of the Academic Standards and Curriculum Committee has been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 18, at 6:30 PM in High School room 160.

      Dr. Merkle reported above and stated notice will be sent to parents via Alert Now and other avenues of communication.
  4. Business Office Report - Ms. Mason
    1. Update on Governor Corbett's 2014-15 State Budget 

      Ms. Mason reported $387 million was added to state budget by the Governor. In the Ready to Learn Block Grants, the district is set to get an additional $195,000 for a $241,000 total. Dr. Merkle and I plan to attend a conference next week to gain greater detail. They are talking about "Ready by Third Grade", to ensure every student in Pennsylavnia is performing in Reading and Math by third grade. A hybrid grant goes along with that and grants will be available for high performing schools that are willing to share their strategies and techniques to help support schools throughout the Commonwealth as they identify these best practices. The district will have an opportunity to apply for this grant. An increase was indicated for special education but no specific details were shared to date.

      Dr. Merkle added that it is interesting to note that the proposed budget includes two key components that the administration has been sharing with the Board, Ready to Learn for our young students and also opening the high school campus.  The money coming in for that really supports two initiatives that we are already working toward for the district. An important note on this is that this is not money we have, we are not sure where the Governor will get the money and we must be very careful that we do not count on this money in our budget for next year. We can be hopeful for additional funding.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time.
  5. New Business - Ms. Leopold-Sharp
    1. No new business 
  6. Committee Reports
    1. Committee Meeting Schedule 

      Mr. Miller reviewed above schedule.

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp reminded everyone of the rescheduled Finance Committee meeting scheduled tomorrow at 4:30 PM.

      Mrs. Clancy reminded everyone that the rescheduled Annual Academic Standards and Curriculum meeting on February 18 is the annual meeting where parents and community are encouraged to attend.
    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 reported above.
      2. Legislative Report

        Mr. Sears reviewed above and encouraged pressure on legislators by Board members, administration and individuals for the way the state funds public education. A note to Policy Review Committee about the audiotaping on school vehicles that already is a state law and a review of our policies is encouraged.

        A discussion continued. Points of the discussion included - local legislators like real life examples and suggestion to include information from this report to include number of students and possibly the number of economically disadvantaged students.

        Mr. Miller asked Mr. Sears to work on a letter with examples and share with Dr. Merkle. This may also be good for an op ed piece for the newspaper too.

        An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time.
    3. Personnel Committee - Ms. Shaffer
      1. Transitional Job Descriptions 

        Dr. Merkle reported one of the goals for administration was creation of transitional job descriptions. Although the transition occured more quickly than anticipated, the information above is how we are currently operating with these roles. 

        An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time. 
      2. A Fireside Chat meeting will be held on February 11 at 6:30 PM.

        Mrs. Shaffer reported above information and noted this is not a public meeting.
    4. Policy Review Committee - Ms. Bates
      1. Policy Revisions
        1. No. 800 - Records Retention

          Ms. Bates reviewed the above new policy.
        2. No. 000 - Board Policy/Procedure/Administrative Regulations 
        3. No. 001 - Name and Classification
        4. No. 002 - Authority and Powers
        5. No. 003 - Functions

          Ms. Bates reviewed the above four revised policies.

          A discussion continued and it was decided on No. 003, page 4, last sentence to add ...annual plan "for board evaluation".
        6. No. 004 - Membership

          Ms. Bates reviewed above revised policy.

          A discussion continued and it was decided on top of page 3, to clarify with "if a board members fails to attend two consecutive monthly voting meetings", addition of participation by electronic means and access to Board Policy Manual since manuals are no longer distributed. 
        7. No. 004.1 - Student Board Representative

          Ms. Bates reviewed above revised policy.
        8. Elimination of No. 004.2 and Attachment - Conflicts of Interest/Anti-Influence - Board Member and will become part of the Board Operation Guidelines
        9. Elimination of No. 004.3 - Conflicts of Interest/Anti-Influence - Superintendent and will become part of the Board Operation Guidelines

          Ms. Bates explained the Board Operation Guidelines and the above two policies are part of these guidelines not policy. 

          An opportunity was provided for public comment.

          Ralph Felter, 1491 Turnbury Court - voting meeting emphasis is suggested; should any meetings be mandatory for all board members to attend?; if board member is elected by public, can the Board have a policy to restrict and vote someone off the Board?

          Dr. Merkle responded that the Code does allow that type of action.
    5. Minutes/Announcements
      1. Communications Committee Minutes - January 13 

        Mrs. Schroeder reported the Communications Committee met this evening and debriefed on the community budget meeting. The committee's recommendation is that we emulate this year's timetable with similar timing for future years. 

        Dr. Merkle shared that the feedback from the board was appreciated.
      2. Facilities Committee Minutes - October 23 
  7. Comments and/or Questions from the Public 

    Mrs. Shaffer reported that she does plan to attend the NSBA conference in April at her own expense. 

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

    The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM.

    An Executive Session was held immediately following the 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.