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NOVEMBER 2, 2015 - 7:00 PM

(approved on November 16, 2015)

  1. General Business

    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 - Elizabeth Huh (Student Representative)
  2. Board President's Report - Mr. Miller

    The Nominations Committee will meet November 17 at 6:15 PM. 

    Mr. Miller reported above.

    Mr. Miller announced on November 16, he has been invited and will be speaking at Harrisburg Area Community College on the subject of school financing.
  3. Superintendent's Report - Dr. Merkle
    1. District Affiliated Report - YS Communities That Care - Kristy Atkinson, CTC Mobilizer, and Rachel Scarpato, CTC Board President, will provide a brief report on the work of this organization.

      Dr. Merkle introduced Kristy Atkinson and Rachel Scarpato.

      Mrs. Scarpato reported CTC is very excited to have Kristy Atkinson join as community mobilizer and seven new board members have been added. A handout was provided to the Board. With Big Brothers/Big Sisters, we have 41 matches with elementary students and their match of a high school or middle school student. The new family inclusion program has reached out to 27 familities that requested a contact to provide assistance with the transition to the district. The Variety Show is scheduled November 21, the multi-cultural festival is scheduled March 31, Kids in the Kitchen has been scheduled in the elementary schools, and the middle school and high school student boards have been started. The high school board has all returning adult volunteers and have scheduled the dodge ball tournament for March 3 and coat drive for kids was kicked off today that will culminate at the Variety Show. The coat drive is seeking gently used children's coats to be used in the community. The middle school board has a brand new slate of adult volunteers and we have completed a refresh of our curriculum and implementing some new programming.  Back in August at National Night Out in Spring Garden Township, we had a table with family friendly activites. Following information received from the PA Youth Survey last year with high school and middle school students struggling with mental health, specifically depression and anxiety, a Wellness Committee has been formed to work in conjunction with the Administration.

      Mrs. Atkinson reported about the wellness initiative that is starting and going along with the wellness initiative of the District that is coordinated by Chris Adams. Glen Spinello is the chairperson for CTC Wellness Committee and he has spoken with Mr. Adams. On May 13, the District has a Wellness Night planned and CTC is planning a 5K Fun Run that evening. Throughout the school year, Wellness Wednesday focuses on wellness facts and/or events. Over the summer, we are looking to work with the Administration to use the campus and facilities to schedule Wellness Wednesday Nights  to bring students out and focus on wellness. The students just took the PA Youth Survey last Friday and that data will be available next year. As for the mental health component, the committee is reviewing research-based programming with plans to work with the administrators at both the high school and middle school.

      Dr. Merkle thanked Mrs. Scarpato and Mrs. Atkinson for their work with the District.
    2. High School French Society - The high school administration is requesting Board approval of the French Society, which will provide students with the opportunity to engage in activities that promote the study of French. Proposed activities include French week at the high school, adoption of a needy family for the holidays, and additional activities to promote French culture and language. Mr. Robinson will serve as the volunteer advisor and the District will establish a Student Activities Account.

      Dr. Merkle reported above. We do not have French V level course this year. This is a way to move things forward with the French program.

      A discussion continued and the point was - since there are no students eligible for French Honor Society this year, this is one way to keep students engaged in French study.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time.
    3. High School Band - Dr. Ellis will provide an update on the preliminary recommendation for changing the structure of the high school band as a course.

      Dr. Merkle reported above and introduced Dr. Ellis for additional information.

      Dr. Ellis reported that he meets with Mr. Husler throughout the year and they have been brainstorming ways to include more students in the band program. The semester based concert band course has become very popular. Previously in the 1980's and 1990's, there were 120 students in the band. There is a large level of extra practice for marching band with football games, events and competitions. Mr. Husler has talked with the current band students about a change in structure and changes will not negatively impact the students. Other students may be interested as well in a non-competitive environment. We talked with the students that have not been a part of the band since 8th grade. We believe we are headed in the right direction and look for the Board's suggestions and ideas. The year-long concert band would be similar to the chorus and orchestra groups. The possibility of a student that does not play an instrument could be part of the marching band organization for various miscellaneous tasks that are needed.

      Mr. Husler reported that he has been involved with Calvalcade of Bands, a competitive circuit. Some things have changed with the number of students declining. The time commitment is the biggest reason for the decline, specifically Saturday and evening commitments. It has become necessary to travel further away this year for competitions because many York County school districts are no longer competing. The competitive season extends into November and students do not enjoy that long season as much especially with the colder weather. York County has started a marching band exhibition show and they are currently held at Red Lion, Spring Grove and Dover. That would be a better opportunity for our students and parents. We would not have to tailor it to be competitive in nature and cater the show to a judging panel. The students would be part of the selection of music. There would be many benefits to the students with a non-competitive program.

      Dr. Ellis added that there are few more steps in talking with other stakeholders. Mr. Husler will be talking with the current 8th grade students. On Wednesday evening, there will be a presentation at the Music Boosters meeting. On November 11, the proposal for a curricular piece will be discussed at the Academic Standards and Curriculum Committee meeting, followed by Board discussion in December.

      Dr. Merkle reported extracurricular direction is not a decision made by the Board and the Administration is looking for thoughts, suggestions and comments from Board members.

      A discussion continued and points were - what is the time commitment for a student with marching band as extracurricular activity?, the current commitment is 220 hours outside of school day with band camp, evening practices, football games and competitions, with marching band as extracurricular activity, activities would include band camp, evening practices on Wednesday through middle of October, band shows, research will be done to provide number of approximate hours and an example of a practice schedule; glad this discussion is taking place now and again at December Planning Committee meeting and with this big decision, some things to consider are 1. consider later start for band camp, 2. consider quality of marching band component without curricular component; concert band curriculum as a year-long course would be similar to choir and orchestra, jazz band would be extracurricular; extracurricular marching band would continue to participate in teddy bear and homecoming parades to maintain the culture at YS; the document that defines what activity trumps practices in athletics and band would remain the same; students have seven periods to schedule, four core classes, world language, physical education and 9th grade health, choice of band is priority, the only exception is the sophomore students that want to take two math courses in 10th grade to allow Calculus to be scheduled in their senior year; what has been the result at other schools that have made this type of change?, that is difficult because not all schools were competitive and many have been non-competitive for many years; expectation is for a large number of students to be involved with extracurricular marching band and full-year of concert band; Calvalcade is the only local competitive group in the area, others would not be suitable.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment.

      Lauren, Russell, 119 Greystone Road - I marched competitively in college. In high school, we are preparing students for that experience. In college, my experience in the band with a football game on Saturday was to start at 8:00 AM and end at 8:00 PM. It is a good idea to have students practice to manage their time and be involved with a high-pressure situation.

      Emily Clark, 1745 Wyndham Drive - I have been involved with my three children in the band. Could consideration be given separately, competition vs. exhibition, curricular vs. extracurricular? Additional information will be available at the Band Boosters' meeting later this week.

      Dr. Merkle reported the band was not scheduled to report to the football game in Gettysburg last week due to budgetary restraints. There were some students that wanted to participate and even Mr. Husler joined in with different instruments. 
    4. York Academy Regional Charter School Renewal - Dr. Merkle will provide an update on the YARCS renewal application process.

      Dr. Merkle reported the tentative timeline has changed and will change again. Earlier today, three Board members, Dr. Maloney and Ms. Mason attended YARCS for a site visit. The visitation did not go as planned as there was some miscommunication between YARCS and York City School District and we are continuing to look into that situation. The three chartering schools did present questions to YARCS and they have 60 days to respond. The timeline will change due to this request for additional information. The three Board members that participated in the site visit did receive a copy of the questions to have background information.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time.
    5. York County Board of Commissioners' Proclamation - National Association of Elementary School Principals -  Dr. Mary Beth Grove, 2015 National Distinguished Principal 

      Dr. Merkle commented that she had the opportunity to attend one of the events at Penn State to honor Dr. Grove with this national recognition. This is very special to have an administrator with this national recognition. Dr. Grove had the opportunity to talk with a very large group of people and did a fabulous presentation in representing the District. Last spring a surprise assembly was held with students to honor Dr. Grove. We would like to acknowledge this recognition tonight.

      Mr. Miller read the proclamation from the York County Board of Commissioners.

      Dr. Grove thanked everyone and shared that she had the opportunity to share with others what a great District she has had the opportunity to work in along with the great support from Board, fellow administrators, staff and families.
    6. Special Education Needs - The Administration will present data to demonstrate the need for an additional half-time Learning Support position.

      Dr. Merkle reported above and added this additional support for learning support students is due to the significant growth in the elementary grades, specifically in 4th and 5th grades. We have seven new students at Indian Rock and eight new students at East York with significant learning support needs. It is a fairly easy move at Indian Rock by adding one-half position to a current one-half learning support position to become a full-time position. As East York still has a need, we are unable to identify a strong candidate for a one-half position and we are looking for substitute teachers.

      A discussion continued and points were - at East York, the teacher is currently carrying the load along with additional aide support time, the Administration is actively recruiting one-half position at East York as it is a difficult scenario because the current one-half learning support position is a traveling teacher; the LIU would not be resource for assistance with the one-half position.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time.
  4. Business Office Report - Ms. Mason
    1. Items being recommended for approval on November 16
      1. The Administration recommends Board approval of the 2014-15 Audit Report.

        Ms. Mason reported above.
      2. The Administration recommends Board approval of a transfer of $700,000 to the Capital Reserve Fund.

        Ms. Mason reported above.

        A discussion continued and points were - this transfer will be to build the Capital Reserve Fund and not target for anything specific; capital fund projects and capital reserve are two different things.
      3. The Administration recommends Board approval of advertising and soliciting of bids for the High School sidewalk repair.

        Ms. Mason reported above.
      4. The Administration recommends Board approval of the Opt-Out Resolution which states that the District budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year will not have a tax increase that exceeds the Act 1 Index of 2.4%.

        Ms. Mason reported above.
    2. Informational Items
      1. All-Sports Booster Club donation in the amount of $705 for swim bags
      2. All-Sports Booster Club donation in the amount of $1,017.66 - $320 for boys tennis jerseys, $384.82 for boys and girls volleyball, $289.94 for boys lacrosse and $22.90 for swimming. 

        Ms. Mason reported above.

        Dr. Merkle reported when the Audit Report was presented at the Finance Committee meeting, there were no findings and no recommendations. One of the Finance Committee members asked the auditor about this conclusion and it was shared that this was very unusual. This conclusion is largely due to Ms. Mason and Jennfier Leppo and we congratulate them for a job well done!
  5. Student Board Representative Report - Elizabeth Huh

    Miss Huh was unable to attend this evening.
  6. Committee Reports - Mr. Miller
    1. Facilities Committee - Mrs. Freireich

      The Facilities Committee recommends authorizing the Administration to move forward with approval for advertising and soliciting bids to renovate the kitchen and dining area of the Middle School as well as adding a secure entrance.

      Mrs. Freireich reported above and added the projects list will continue to be updated.

      An opportunity was provided for public comment. There was none at this time.
    2. Finance Committee - Mr. Posenau

      The minutes of September 30 are provided.

      Mr. Posenau reported above.
    3. Policy Review Committee - Ms. Bates
      1. The minutes of September 29 are provided.

        Ms. Bates reported above.
      2. The Policy Review Committee will be recommending approval of the following policy revision.

        006 - Meetings  

        Ms. Bates reported above.
    4. Additional Committee Reports/Announcements  

      Mrs. Schroeder reported there will be a Communications Committee meeting tomorrow at 4:00 PM.

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported there will be an Academic Standards and Curriculum Committee meeting on November 11 at 3:45 PM.

      A Fireside Chat is scheduled tomorrow at 6:30 PM. 
  7. Lincoln Intermediate Unit - Mr. Sears

    No report
  8. York Adams Academy - Mrs. Freireich

    No report
  9. York County School Technology - Mrs. Schroeder

    The YCST Joint Operating Committee Mini-Board Report of October 29 is provided.

    Mrs. Schroeder reported above. 
  10. Board Meeting and Committee Schedule  

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

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

    The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 PM.

    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.