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MARCH 3, 2014 - 7:30 PM

(approved on March 17, 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. Board President's Report - Mr. Miller
    1. The Board met in Executive Session following the February 24, 2014 Regular Monthly Meeting for the purpose of discussing personnel and/or legal issues.

      Mr. Miller reported above.
    2. Project Planning 

      Mr. Miller reported a Board discussion would be held about the above capital project list and will include how to finance and proceed with projects.

      Mrs. Freireich, Facilities Committee chair, reported #1 has been completed and #2-7 will be done during summer of 2014. There are various types of projects on this list, short-term, long-term and various costs. A decision is needed as to how to finance the projects.

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp, Finance Committee chair, reported as we look to prioritize and assign funding, it may be an appropriate time to contact Ken Phillips of RBC for bond financing. It may be time to assign a line item in the annual budget for facilities maintenance on smaller projects.

      A discussion continued. Points of the discussion included - separation of projects into different groupings such as strategic and facilities maintenance; not having to review this list over and over is desired; financing is also a consideration.

      Dr. Merkle stated the administration could provide a recommendation with a strategic list, facilities maintenance list and financing options for the Board's review. It was decided to have this available for the May Planning Committee meeting for the Board's review.
    3. Acknowledgement of High School Students

      Dr. Merkle reported Mr. Oliver Good, High School teacher, worked with a group of students and the student council for last weekend's Mini Thon, an incredible event at the high school.

      Mr. Good shared the students were engaged in a big undertaking of planning for the Mini Thon and the event far exceeded our expectations with student participation and money raised. The students had very good behavior throughout the event.

      Quinn Casey, Vice-President of Student Body, shared that he was one of the chairs of the Thon committee. We really were not expecting too much for the first year. We visited other schools to see how they planned their event at their school. On Friday, we had 270 students out of 800 participate and $30,000 was raised, our goal was $10,000. We were really amazed and this speaks volumes of what kind of students are in this district.

      Raphaelle Greco, President of Senior Class, shared other students in attendance this evening, Alexis Mailman, Nicole Spaulding and Bethany Spencer and herself were involved with the planning of Thon. The money raised went to The Four Diamonds Fund, an organization that raises money for childhood cancer. The four diamonds stand for courage, strength, wisdom and inspiration and was created by a 4th grader diagnosed with cancer. Penn State University took the reins to raise money with their Thon and mini thons were held around the area. We attended a conference over the summer and learned many things related to Four Diamonds and the assistance they provide to families in a very significant way.

      Dr. Merkle commented a job well done! It was a great night and this is an example of making us YS Proud!

      Mr. Miller commented from the Board and applauded each student for their efforts. Learning doesn't only happen in the classroom and it seems valuable things were learned as you continue with life.

      Mrs. Freireich added that she attended Friday evening and there was much enthusiasm and faculty support. Things were very well planned with many games and activities.

      Mrs. Clancy stated that she had two of her children attend. The students worked very hard in planning this event. Comments from my children were how well the students across peer groups interacted during the event, everyone talked with everyone. This did volumes for the community at the high school. Hopefully, Mr. Good will continue this endeavor in future years.

      Mr. Good commented that he plans to continue to assist with this event next year.          
    4. Possible Board Statement on Funding Formula 

      Mr. Miller reported Parkland School District in the northeastern part of the state created a resolution about the school funding formula. The Board will now discuss how to proceed, possibly prepare an op-ed piece, prepare a resolution, etc.

      A discussion continued. Points of the discussion included - a sample generic resolution is available in the School Leader newsletter and could be customized; encourage other school districts in the county to follow our lead with a similar resolution; op-ed piece is encouraged too; no districts benefit from status quo in York County; suggest a timeline on this project; we could include the basic education subsidy per student in 1991 and 2013 for comparison for the community; consensus of Board was to share the final resolution with other districts in the county.

      Mr. Miller announced Mr. Sears and Dr. Merkle will work on a draft resolution and Dr. Merkle will prepare a draft op-ed piece for review at the April Planning Committee meeting. 
  3. Superintendent's Report - Dr. Merkle
    1. Kindergarten Registration Update 

      Dr. Merkle reported that we have 64 students at Valley View and 65 studens at Yorkshire scheduled for registration. That is down about 20 students at this time. The administration is concerned about this and reviewing if this is slow registration or if numbers are down. March 17-20 are the Kindergarten Registration dates.
    2. Student Activities.  

      Dr. Merkle reported on some student activities over the weekend. The Middle School Musical on Friday evening with advisors Mrs. Molly McAuliffe and Ms. Tasha Koontz was phenonemal this year. There were many students and parents involved for this outstanding performance. The Mini-Thon at the High School was awesome. Then on Saturday, members of the football team raised $2,000 for Special Olympics by jumping into the river. All these things are a real source of pride for the district.
  4. Business Office Report - Ms. Mason
    1. Budget Update - Group Reduction Summary Chart 

      Ms. Mason highlighted above and reported this information was presented to the Finance Committee. The administration started the budget process at 5% increase, has narrowed the gap to 2.2% and will continue to work on more reductions.

      Dr. Merkle added credit is extended to the teachers, administrators and Ms. Mason for the hard work necessary to continue the reductions in this process. 
    2. Standard & Poor's Update 

      Ms. Mason was contacted by Standard & Poors on February 6 to indicate the district rating was being reviewed and at their February 19 committee meeting, the district rating was upgraded from A negative to A stable. The reason for change was increasing reserves. After talking with Mr. Phillips, this equates to a better interest from .5% to 1%. Rates are reviewed every 1.5 to 2 years. Ms. Mason is checking if a rate is reviewed again at the time of bond issue or if this new rate would be considered. 
    3. Agreement with York Jewish Community Center, Inc. 

      Ms. Mason reviewed licensing agreement and provided background. Following the fall swimming session, the instructor resigned and the district has not been able to find a replacement instructor. The JCC will provide an instructor at the York Suburban pool and the district will receive 15% of revenue from registrations. The draft agreement is currently being reviwed by the JCC and their solicitor.

      Dr. Merkle answered several questions from Board members. The community education program can be sustained with this agreement in place with the JCC. The administration continues to learn more specifics of the community education program and decisions will need to be made about time expended and the facilities. The district has difficulty obtaining instructors because of evening hours and the competitive rate the JCC offers. The administration believes there are benefits both ways and this pilot program will continue to be reviewed. At this time, we have no estimation of funds because numbers vary a great deal from one session to the other. The same registration price will be charged, no JCC membership is needed and the JCC provides director, instructors and lifeguards. This year, Kathy Meals will do the registration during the pilot program. 

      An opportunity was provided for public comment.

      Sarah Reinecker, 1101 Farquhar Drive - capital plan list - suggest exploring alternative funding from the private sector - private funding, naming rights, advertising 
  5. New Business - Ms. Leopold-Sharp
    1. Board Charter Discussion 
      1. Current YSSD Board Charter
      2. Draft YSSD Board Charter
      3. PSBA Code of Conduct
      4. PSBA Standards 

        Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported that at a recent workshop with Board members, it was decided to review the Board Charter. Above information was highlighted. A discussion will take place this evening for review of the document. In previous years, a poster with the former Charter was placed in the board room and that could be considered again and placement of the Charter with prominence on the district website may be considered.

        A discussion continued. Points of the discussion were - recommendation to include the two PSBA documents with the Charter by adding a sentence to affirm the documents was consensus of the Board; the need to refer to them as something other than a Charter.

        Mr. Miller reported consensus of Board was to have Ms. Leopold-Sharp add a title, Principles of Operations and Priorities, reference the PSBA documents and Board will review and vote at this month's regular meeting. 
  6. Committee Reports - Mr. Miller
    1. Committee Meeting Schedule 

      Mr. Miller reported above.
    2. Academic Standards & Curriculum Committee Report - Mrs. Clancy

      Mrs. Clancy stated at the Annual Committee meeting, the following information was highlighted by Mr. Ellis and he will provide overview the proposals below.

      Mr. Ellis provided an overview of the following proposals.
      1. Proposed New High School Courses - Mr. Ellis 
        1. Anatomy & Physiology 
        2. Biotechnology    
        3. Essentials of Mathematics    
        4. Independent Physical Education   
        5. AP Music Theory   
        6. AP Psychology
        7. AP Statistics   

          An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time. 
    3. York Adams Academy - Mrs. Freireich
      1. 2014-15 Proposed General Fund Budget   

        Mrs. Freireich reported above and stated there is no increase. For the 12 seats, the cost is $48,000 per year. There may be a minimal increase the following year. Mrs. Freireich answered questions from Board members - Dr. Lombardo, Superintendent of Record, did a study and in the interest of keeping the districts' cost the same, some of the fund balance will be used to balance the budget; not all districts are full members and request a seat or two when needed.

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

        Mr. Miller reported their fund balance is still at 6% which is pretty good. Voting will take place at this month's regular meeting. 
    4. Minutes/Announcements
      1. Finance Committee Minutes - February 11   

        Mr. Miller reported above.
  7. Comments and/or Questions from the Public 

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

    Meeting adjourned at 8:49 PM.

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

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.