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DECEMBER 1, 2014 - 7:30 PM

(Approved on December 15, 2014)

  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, Jessica Renjilian (Student Representative)
  2. The re-organization of the Board takes place for the election of a President and Vice-President and the setting of dates and times of meetings for the coming school year.

    Section 402 of the School Code states, "...that there shall be elected from the hold-over members a temporary President to chair the Re-organization meeting, and the Secretary of the Board shall act as Secretary of such meeting."

    Items of business are as follows:
    1. Election of Temporary President [Motion; Discussion; Public Comment; Roll Call Vote] 

      Motion, Bates, Second, Leopold-Sharp; Election of Mrs. Schroeder as temporary President. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 9-0.
    2. Report of Nominating Committee - Mrs. Schroeder 
      1. Election of President [Motion; Discussion; Public Comment; Roll Call Vote]
        Return of Chair to the President

        Mrs. Schroeder reported the Nominating Committee met last week and on the slate for President is Mr. Miller. Mrs. Schroeder asked for any other nominations for President. There was none.

        Motion, Freireich, Second, Bates; Election of Mr. Miller as President. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 9-0.
      2. Election of Vice-President [Motion; Discussion; Public Comment; Roll Call Vote]

        Mrs. Schroeder reported on the slate for Vice-President is Ms. Leopold-Sharp. Mrs. Schroeder asked for any other nominations for Vice-President. There was none.

        Motion, Clancy, Second, Shaffer; Ms. Leopold-Sharp to be elected as Vice-President. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 9-0.

        The meeting was turned over to Mr. Miller, President, as chair of the meeting.
    3. Appointment of Solicitor.  The administration recommends the appointment of the firm Stock and Leader as Solicitor of the District for the remainder of the 2014-2015 fiscal year and per previous discussion will anticipate a contract renewal for the next fiscal year prior to July 1, 2015.  [Motion; Discussion; Public Comment; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Leopold-Sharp, Second, Freireich; Approval of above. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 9-0.
    4. 2015 Meeting Schedule of Planning Committee and Regular Monthly Meetings. The administration recommends the approval of the meeting schedule for 2015.  Voting will only take place at regular monthly meetings unless advertised otherwise.  All times are at 7:00 PM and the place where the meetings will be held is the Ronald H. Provard Education Center unless advertised otherwise.  [Motion; Discussion; Public Comment; Roll Call Vote]

      Motion, Bates, Second, Leopold-Sharp; Approval of above. Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 9-0.

      Mr. Miller responded to a request to have reminders sent to Board members for the first several meetings noting the new time change and asked the administration to follow through with this request.
    5. Committee Assignments
      1. Policy No. 005 - Local Board Procedures - Organization  

        Mr. Miller asked Board members to let him know of their interest in serving on committees.
    6. Miscellaneous Board Representative Assignments
      1. York County Tax Collection Committee - Ms. Mason is District Representative and Ms. Leopold-Sharp is Alternate.
      2. York County School Technology Joint Operating Committee - Three-year term commenced on January 1, 2013 and will expire on December 31, 2015.  Mrs. Schroeder is District Representative. Mr. Posenau is the Alternate.
      3. York County School of Technology Authority - Mr. Posenau is District Representative.
      4. York Adams Academy Board Representative - Mrs. Freireich is District Representative.
      5. Lincoln Intermediate Unit Board Representative - Three-year term commenced on July 1, 2014 and will expire on June 30, 2017. Mr. Sears is District representative.
      6. Lincoln Intermediate Unit Joint Operating Authority - Mr. Sears is District Representative.
      7. Legislative Policy - Mr. Sears is District Representative.

        Mr. Miller highlighted above.
  3. Approval of the Contract with Intertek. The administration recommends approval of the contract with Intertek for Architectural Testing at a cost of $1,900 to review the Valley View Elementary roof. This will be an objective review to confirm or provide other substantiated cause and solution to the Valley View Elementary roof situation so we may proceed with a permanent fix to the leakage within the ceiling of the gymnasium. [Motion; Discussion; Public Comment; Roll Call Vote]

    Mr. Miller highlighted above.

    Motion, Bates, Second, Posenau; Approval of above.

    A discussion continued and points of the discussion were - this is the first step in the process to determine the accountability of the Valley View roof situation and an attempt to bring some resolution to this issue.

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

    Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 9-0. 
  4. Adjournment 

    The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 PM.


    DECEMBER 1, 2014
    Following Re-organization Meeting

     A G E N D A

  1. Call to Order - Board President

    Mr. Miller called the meeting to order at 7:40 PM.
  2. Board President's Report
    1. Executive Session.  The Board met in Executive Session on November 17, 2014 following the Regular Monthly Meeting and on November 24, 2014 for the purpose of discussing personnel and/or legal issues.

      Mr. Miller reported above.
  3. Superintendent's Report - Dr. Merkle
    1. District Affiliated Report - YS Dollars for Scholars - Stephanie Sullivan will provide a brief report on the work of this organization

      Dr. Merkle introduced Stephanie Sullivan.

      Mrs. Sullivan shared information about Dollars For Scholars Chapter having 16 board members made up of community leaders, business  leaders, alumni, faculty and parents. DFS is dedicated to providing a future education for students. The chapter has membership to  the national organization and that includes access to many resources. In 1998, an endowment was established through fund raising with an account in the York County Community Foundation that provides a steady flow of interest to support scholarships for students, initial and renewals. To date, DFS has supported over 100 students with $290,000. 78% of the scholarships are renewable scholarships. Last year, the scholarship applications were done totally on-line and the process worked very well with 37 applicants. Applications are scored anonymously for 50% scholastic merit and 50% financial need.

      Mr. Miller reported that we have heard from all five district affiliated organizations and we will begin again in January with each organization reporting a second time. 

      Mr. Miller reported that Mrs. Spencer informed the District that the Alan Spencer Memorial Award will be discontinued and the balance will be going to Dollars For Scholars.

      Dr. Merkle thanked Mrs. Sullivan for a terrific job with DFS. She travels internationally extensively and is gone for weeks at a time and handles the DFS responsibility very diligently.
    2. Demographic Data Report - Mrs. Gross

      Dr. Merkle congratulated Mrs. Victoria Gross as past principal of the middle school for her role in leading the MS to the #1 ranking in the state of Pennsylvania. She was unable to attend the last meeting when we announced this information. 

      Mrs. Gross reviewed above report.

      A discussion continued and points of the discussion were - the administration will review York Area Regional Charter and York Academy Charter; information was shared how poverty students are being assisted with social and academic supports, teachers are accustomed to these type of issues, the volume of high need students is increasing, support needs to be provided to the teachers and an example is having a math specialist in for a professional staff development day recently, the District needs to develop more safety nets for this type of student; appreciation was shared for this data and information; the administration will review the data to see if some of the students are going back and forth.

      Dr. Merkle concluded the discussion stating the Administrative Team will be reviewing this information next week at their meeting. Thank you was extended to Mrs. Gross for her research of this information and preparation of the report. As discussed in Communications Committee, a "Did You Know" section on the website will be available in January that will include this type of information to keep the community informed. 
    3. Request for Overnight Field Trip for High School Model UN Club  

      Dr. Merkle highlighted above. Responding to an inquiry about students not being able to cover the cost of this opportunity, Dr. Merkle commented that a safety net is a matter of practice to ensure that assistance is available to students. This item will be on for action at the December 15 meeting. 
    4. York Area Regional Charter School Renewal  

      Dr. Merkle reported that three school districts (Central York SD, School District of the City of York and YSSD) are sponsoring districts of the York Academy Regional Charter School. The charter expires in 2016 and the District received information during the summer. The three Superintendents met, looked at policies and the School District of the City of York has more stringent policies. Information was shared with the Solicitor and we were advised to follow the most stringent process. The step by step process has slowed down the process. The first step is complete by having information shared with YARCS and a huge amount of information is being gathered by YARCS for the School District of the City of York during this current process (enrollment, financial and student achievement records) and then will be shared with all three districts. Then a decision will need to be made if one committee of collective heads review the information or operate from three different committees. How the leadership may or may not change in the School District of the City of York is another factor to consider in the process. YS has met all the requirements at this time. A meeting as a group is anticipated during the spring months to discuss the process. 

      A discussion continued and points of the discussion were - The renewal is a five year charter; if the School District of the City of York goes to one charter entity remaining students in public school have the opportunity to go to YARCS and new charter school would be responsible for payment; the three Superintendents acknowledged that it will be difficult for the sponsoring three school districts to set performance standards and rigors because of the very different expectations in the three districts.

      Dr. Merkle reported at 1:00 PM this afternoon, a petition was filed with the Court of Common Pleas of York County for the appointment of a receiver for the School District of the City of York by Clyde Vetter, on behalf of Carolyn Dumaresq as Acting Secretary of Education for the state of Pennsylvania. The petition calls for a hearing within the first seven days of the filing of the petition for a decision. Within ten days of the hearing, a receiver will be appointed. In the petition, Mr. David Meckley is named as the receiver to be appointed. The petition cites School Code as rationale for the legality of this. This very important decision will occur in December. This decision will have an impact on YSSD.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time. 
    5. 2015-16 Calendar Discussion. This is a first draft of the 2015-16 calendar. The administration is seeking your input.

      Dr. Merkle highlighted above.

      A discussion took place and points of the discussion were - the administration will review if PM K students miss three full afternoons; suggestion shared to protect one of the spring break days for families that would like to travel and add a day on the end; concern with 180 days for students; the administration reported in addition to low number of student days, there is a low number of professional development days due to contracted days; administration reported October 12 is an important day to take a break as we heard from teachers, the December 23 is not as important; comment was expressed in liking the December 23 option to allow families a day for travel; one February day could be protected and only have one protected day in March; no concerns with current calendar.

      Dr. Merkle stated the administration could do some tweaks and bring back a final draft on December 15.

      The discussion continued and points of the discussion were - administration responded September 4 Professional Development Day is requested to establish K-5 or K-8 strategies for safety nets for the needier students and this would be beneficial for teachers; concern was shared teachers and students going for eight weeks at the end of the year is a long stretch.

      Dr. Merkle concluded the discussion stating the calendar suggestions can go to the Administrative Team next week for discussion along with checking with the teachers too.
    6. Transaction Fee  

      Point of information to the Board:  Effective January 1, 2015, the District will no longer be absorbing the transaction fees for online payments made by parents. Parents will receive written notification of this change. The transaction fee will be $1.95.

      Dr. Merkle reported above.

      A discussion continued and points of the discussion were - administration responded there are two on-line payment systems, transaction fee in the lunch payment system has been in effect per credit card charge, the District has been absorbing the transaction fee on other on-line payment system; if parents have an issue with this transaction fee, they can pay by check.
  4. Business Office Report - Ms. Mason

    Items being recommended for approval on December 15
    1. Approval of the Agreement with Samsung Electronics America, Inc. The administration recommends approval of the contract with Samsung Electronics America, Inc. to set up as a self service center so that we can do approved warranty service and have access to parts directly from Samsung. By having this agreement in place, Samsung will pay us to do repairs if it is a warranty repair and it will save us time on sending units out for repair.

      Ms. Mason highlighted above.

      A discussion continued and points of the discussion were - the administration reported the net project work load is averaging two units of repair for Chromebooks per week, this would allow parts streamline and additional training would be provided, time would be saved by sending item under warranty out for repair. 
    2. Approval of the Agreement with M. J. Delp Construction. The administration recommends the approval of the agreement with M. J. Delp Construction for the purposes of snow removal for Indian Rock Elementary, East York Elementary, the York Suburban Middle School and Yorkshire Elementary School entrances and parking lots. This cost is the same as last year:  $95 per hour per 3/4 ton pickup, per dump truck, per backhoe and skid steer; $110 per hour per 7 ton FWD truck; $650 per ton for salt spreading.

      Ms. Mason reviewed above.
    3. Approval of the Proposal from Houck Services, Inc. The administration recommends awarding the proposal to Houck Services, Inc. in the amount of $8,570 for Baseball Dugout Roof Replacement.

      Ms. Mason reviewed above and responded the funds would be coming out of general maintenance account. 
    4. Approval of the Agreement with Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, Inc. The administration recommends the approval of the agreement with Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, Inc. for the York Suburban Middle School. By providing monthly data that we already collect, we will receive a Breakfast Cart with supplies in the amount of $3,290 to be used as an additional serving line. 

      Ms. Mason reviewed above.

      A discussion continued and points of the discussion were - administration responded this needed to be processed with the District not Whitsons Culinary Group, this will be a grab and go type line.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment on any of the Business Office Items above. There was none at this time. 
  5. Student Board Representative Report - Jessica Renjilian

    Miss Renjilian provided the list of the fall athletic all-stars. French Week was held recently using trivia and raising awareness about France. The band performed in the Championship Competition on November 8 and performed in the Open Class Liberty Division which was first time in eight years. Next Tuesday and Wednesday will be the writing Keystone Exams for juniors. Saturday is one of the SAT testing days. The Drama Club is preparing for their next production, "Arsenic and Old Lace" , on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
  6. Committee Reports - Board President
    1. Academic Standards and Curriculum Committee - Mrs. Clancy

      Mrs. Clancy asked Dr. Ellis for the presentation of items listed below.

      Mr. Miller asked if there were any questions from Board members on the new High School course programs as this information was presented at Academic Standards and Curriculum Committee meeting and minutes are available from that meeting.

      Mrs. Clancy requested that Dr. Ellis be permitted to give a summary of each proposal.
      1. High School New Course/Program proposals for 2015-16 - Dr. Ellis
        1. AP United States Government and Politics  
        2. Breaking the Glass Ceiling:  Women's Voices in Literature  
        3. Diversity in Contemporary Literature  
        4. Teen Reads - Young Adult Literature 

          Dr. Ellis reviewed above proposals.

          A discussion took place and the point of the discussion was - the Board would be interested in hearing a report once the registration for courses takes place. 
      2. Open Campus Initiative - Dr. Ellis

        Dr. Fuhrman provided a review of above.

        A discussion continued and points of the discussion were - administration responded that safety nets will be in place for students that need to return to traditional track, the counselors have a partnership with students and their parents to make best choices, flexibility will exist for some internships and learning opportunities are available after school for students that are campus-bound without transportation, this initiative is for seniors. 
      3. High School Grading Scale- Dr. Ellis

        Dr. Ellis reviewed above.

        A discussion continued and points of the discussion were - rationale sounds great, sounds like grade inflation, incentive to take honors courses, what about deflating grades for CP courses?; agree with previous comments, stated this in committee meeting, very concerning to drive students to best selection for the higher grade, students do need to be prepared after high school to compete, don't do that with numbers but convincing the student to take the best class for themselves; concur with previous comments, why has enrollment in AP classes declined?; not in favor for penalize students for not taking CP classes; having trouble supporting this proposal; is there a cultural shift in what we are seeing with AP course registrations?

        Dr. Merkle thanked the Board members for their comments and reported that the administration is prepared to pull back on this proposal due to the comments just shared and will not be bringing this for action on December 15. The administration will take all comments shared this evening and respond in a revised proposal or amended proposal. Dr. Merkle added that a great amount of time went into this proposal that is very well thought through and the administration will review the Board's input.
      4. Flexible Instructional Days - Dr. Ellis

        Dr. Ellis reviewed above.

        A discussion continued and points of the discussion were - the administration will only submit and implement a proposal if we feel that we are ready, our primary goal is to have students with teachers for direct instruction, this is for that desperate place when we see that seniors will lose five days, this would be a green light to begin the proposal, this would be for Grades 9-12, internet access could be available at satellite locations or have information downloaded to the student  the day before, no transportation would be available in the District that day, make-up day for K-8 would be scheduled, this plan would be prepared to go if we needed it in a last resort type of situation.

        An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time.
    2. Communications Committee - Mrs. Schroeder

      Sponsorship Agreements  

      Mrs. Schroeder reported the topic of sponsorships and ads has come up at committee meetings and the committee felt it was a topic for discussion with the full Board. What is the will of the Board, for a fee, a business could have a verbal announcement at the beginning, during half time or the end of a basketball game.

      A discussion continued and points of the discussion were - the administration responded part of the contract with Wellspan Athletic Services fours ago was to permit signs outside at a cost, the four signs appeared during this year, revenue was $4000 for the four signs, there is a request to make verbal announcements at basketball games; policy 913.2 is rather general intentionally; administration responded the money would enhance academic programs; PSBA mentioned a court case in its daily email about similar situation asking can you say no?; not comfortable with verbal announcements at sporting events, no print ads on website; could policy committee review the policy again?; direction is needed from Board to administration about this matter, it is hard to turn away money, when the District contracted with Market Street Sports the Board was in the direction of having sponsorships at that time; not fond of verbal commercials but could possibly be pursuaded with money being available, that is just the way it is at this time, revenue generated is helpful to our tax payers; business ads are included in programs, sports, yearbook and musical ads; verbal ads would be less intrusive than signs; suggest we discuss with Solicitor for legal advice.

      Dr. Merkle concluded the discussion stating as the administration receives requests for signs or verbal announcements, per the policy the administration would bring the request before the Board for approval or not. The administration will not actively solicit sponsorships as a revenue source.
    3. Facilities Committee - Mrs. Freireich

      The minutes of September 17 are provided.

      Mrs. Freireich reported above. In January expect an update to the timeline regarding the current projects.
    4. Policy Review Committee - Ms. Bates
      1. The minutes of November 11 and November 24 are provided.

        Ms. Bates reported above. 
      2. Policy Revisions. The Policy Review Committee reviewed the following policies and will recommend Board approval at the meeting on December 15: 
        1. 216 - Student Records  

          A discussion was held on directory information as stated on page 1.
        2. 220 - Student Expression / Distribution and Posting of Materials  

          A discussion was held on designated posting areas and substantial interference with the education process/interference with another's rights. A revision was noted on page 2, #2 - any material instead of one material.
        3. 222 - Tobacco  
        4. 233 - Suspension and Expulsion  

          A discussion was held about the offenses that would lead to exclusion from school and they are clearly defined in the student handbook.
        5. 234 - Pregnant / Parenting / Married Students  

          A revision was noted on page 1 under Guidelines - ...prevents her/him from attending regular classes.
        6. 235 - Student Rights / Surveys  
        7. 236 - Student Assistance Program  

          A discussion was held on the explanation of a student's involvement with Student Assistance Program will be part of Administrative Regulations and procedure information is available on the website for parents.
        8. 237 - Electronic Devices  

          A discussion was held on students registering their electronic device.

          Dr. Merkle concluded the discussion stating it would be fair for the high school and the middle school administrators to provide a reminder to students following the winter holiday break for students to register their electronic device. 
        9. 239 - Foreign Exchange Students  
        10. 240 - Contests  

          A discussion was held on paragraph 2 where approval may be given by Superintendent as opposed to shall be given because not all come to the Superintendent.
        11. 246 - Wellness  

          A discussion was held about the Authority part of the policy and that the policy establishes what the District provides to students not what students bring for their own lunch. 
        12. 247 - Hazing  

          A discussion was held about paragraph 1 of Authority for school-sponsored student activities held off school district property and it was decided to provide language to articulate this. 
        13. 248 - Unlawful Harassment   
        14. 248 Attach - Report Forms for Complaints of Unlawful Harassment   
        15. 249 - Bulling / Cyberbullying  

          A discussion was held about paragraph in Definitions about activities that occur in a school setting and if additional information should be added about activities that occur outside of school setting.

          Dr. Merkle concluded the discussion stating that the District does have authority to contact law enforcement when necessary and stated that it would be difficult to include language to a murky area to try to make it black and white. 
        16. 250 - Student Recruitment   
        17. 251 - Homeless Students   
        18. 252 - Dating Violence  

          A discussion was held about paragraph in Definitions stating an intimate relationship with another person.

          Dr. Merkle concluded discussion stating this language may be coming out of School Code and will research to see if this language is necessary or if not that the Board has some concern with the language.
        19. 252 Attach - Report Form for Complaints of Dating Violence  
        20. 301 - Creating a Position  

          A question was raised if a Board could create a position without the Superintendent's recommendation.

          Dr. Merkle responded yes, referring to second sentence in second paragraph under Authority. 
        21. DELETE 303 - Employment of Administrators   
        22. 304.1 - Nepotism   
        23. 305 - Employment of Substitutes   
        24. 306 - Employment of Summer School Staff  

          A revision was noted in paragraph three under Authority to spell out Superintendent. 
        25. 308 - Employment Contract-Board Resolution   
        26. 311 - Suspensions-Furloughs   
        27. 313 - Evaluation of Employees  

          A question was raised if policy states when in the year and the rating tool for evaluation of employees.

          Dr. Merkle responded this would be stated in Administrative Regulations, as this changes regularly with PDE. 
        28. DELETE 315 / 415 / 515 - Disqualification by Reason of Health 
        29. DELETE 316 - Nontenured Employees; 416 - Nontenured Staff Members   
        30. 317 - Conduct-Disciplinary Procedures   
        31. 318 - Penalties for Tardiness   
        32. 320 - Freedom of Speech in Nonschool Settings   
        33. 321 - Political Activities   
        34. 627 - Tax-Exempt Bonds Compliance Procedures  

          It was noted this policy is incredibly difficult to read and it was recommended by Solicitor. A revision was noted to change Business Manager to Director of Finance throughout the policy.

          A discussion was held about the large number of policies for review, preference to November 11 minutes format was shared and policy specific to YS vs. one set of policy for all districts in the state.
  7. Additional Committee Reports/Announcements  

    Committee Meeting Schedule  
  8. Lincoln Intermediate Unit - Mr. Sears

    The " Dawn's Early Light", highlights of the LIU Board Meeting of November 25 is provided.

    Mr. Sears reviewed above.
  9. York County School of Technology - Mrs. Schroeder

    Mrs. Schroeder reported that Mr. Posenau attended last week's YCST Joint Operating Committee meeting.

    Mr. Posenau reported at the beginning of the meeting the level of increase for next year's budget was 3.8%, a presentation of the budget was given, and it was reported that the organization needed to grow. There was pushback and the group voted line by line on items and the budget went from an increase of 3.8% to 2.6% by removing teacher positions, athletic money, buses and growth. There was no clear answer as to the cost per student, only percentages were shared. During one of the discussions, a suggestion was given for establishment of a strategic plan to see what programs could grow, what programs could be trimmed, and where they are going as a school as it is not all about numbers. The budget will now be sent to school districts where it will be necessary for ten of the districts to approve the budget.

    Dr. Merkle reported the Superintendents have taken this position both last year and this year and this action by the JOC will help our District financially as well all the districts around the county. 
  10. Comments and/or Questions from the Public  

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

    The meeting was adjourned at 10:03 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.