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DECEMBER 7, 2015 - 7:00 PM



(approved on December 21, 2015)

  1. Call to Order - Ms. Leopold-Sharp, Vice-President

    Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag  

    Ms. Leopold-Sharp called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
  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, Schroeder, Second, Shaffer; Emily Bates for Temporary President

      Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 9-0.
    2. Reading of the Certificates of Election for Elected Board Members
      1. Scott M. Eden
      2. John H. Posenau
      3. Richard M. Robinson
      4. Lois Ann Schroeder
      5. Michael J. Thoman

        Ms. Bates read the above certificates.
    3. Swearing in of Elected Board Members  

      Ms. Bates swore in the elected Board members.
    4. Roll Call  

      Members Present - Emily Bates, Scott Eden, Ellen Freireich, Lynne Leopold-Sharp, John Posenau, Richard Robinson, Lois Ann Schroeder, Cathy Shaffer, Michael Thoman

      Members Not Present - Elizabeth Ha (Student Representative)
    5. Report of Nominations Committee - Ms. Bates
      1. The minutes of November 17 are provided.

        Ms. Bates reported above.
      2. Election of President  [Motion; Discussion; Public Comment; Roll Call Vote]
        Return of Chair to the President

        Motion, Bates, Second, Freireich;  Lynne Leopold-Sharp as President.

        There was an opportunity for public comment. There was none at this time.

        Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 9-0.
      3. Election of Vice-President  [Motion; Discussion; Public Comment; Roll Call Vote]

        Motion, Bates, Second, Schroeder; Cathy Shaffer as Vice-President.

        There was an opportunity for public comment. There was none at this time.

        Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 9-0.
    6. 2016 Meeting Schedule of Planning Committee and Regular Monthly Meetings.  The Administration recommends the approval of the meeting schedule for 2016. 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]

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported above.

      Motion, Freireich, Second, Schroeder; Approval.

      There was an opportunity for public comment. There was none at this time.

      Roll Call Vote, all present, yes. Motion carried 9-0.
    7. Committee and Miscellaneous Board Representative Assignments

      Policy 005 - Local Board Procedures - Organization

      1. Academic Standards and Curriculum Committee
      2. Communications Committee
      3. Facilities Committee
      4. Finance Committee
      5. Personnel Committee
      6. Policy Review Committee
      7. York County Tax Collection Committee - Ms. Mason is District Representative and Ms. Leopold-Sharp is Alternate.
      8. York County School of 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.
      9. York County School of Technology Authority - Mr. Posenau is District Representative.
      10. York Adams Academy Board Representative - Mrs. Freireich is District Representative.
      11. Lincoln Intermediate Unit Board Representative - Three-year term commenced on July 1, 2014 and will expire on June 30, 2017. (Mr. Sears) was District representative.
      12. Lincoln Intermediate Unit Joint Operating Authority - (Mr. Sears) was District Representative.
      13. Legislative Policy - (Mr. Sears) was District Representative.

        Board Members - Please call or email the President by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, December 9, to indicate your top three requests, ranked in priority order.

        Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported above. By the end of the week we hope to finalize the list and will be prepared to report out at the December 21 meeting.
  3. The Administration recommends the Board approve the contract with Core Design Group Architects & Engineers for the Middle School Cafeteria and Secure Vestibule project.  [Motion; Discussion; Public Comment; Roll Call Vote]

    Ms. Mason reviewed above. This action will finalize the contract.

    A discussion continued and point was - final design plans continue and since there are no committee meetings in December, information and a timeline may be presented at the Planning Committee meeting in January.

    Motion, Shaffer, Second, Bates; Approval.

    The discussion points included: this contract will approve Core Design Group Architects & Engineers as architect of record for the project that will not exceed $2.1 million, the architect fees are to be included in that figure; additional votes required will be for approval of design and going out for bids; this vote will bind the District and architect to the project; this project will not go through the Plancon process as it is not a reimbursable project.

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

    Roll Call Vote, all present, yes, except Thoman, no. Motion passed 8-1. 
  4. Adjournment  

    The Reorganization Meeting was adjourned at 7:14 PM.


DECEMBER 7, 2015 - 7:00 PM


  1. Call to Order - Board President

    Ms. Leopold-Sharp called the Planning Committee meeting to order at 7:14 PM.
  2. Board President's Report 
    1. Executive Session following meeting  

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported that there will be an Executive Session following this meeting.
    2. New President's Remarks 

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp thanked fellow Board members for their confidence in her by voting her President of the Board. She is committed to do her best to serve both the Board and District in the coming year. Everyone is encouraged to share their opinions, agree to disagree and treat each other, staff and community with respect when different viewpoints exist. We all have the opportunity to be heard and we will not all need to agree. Once a decision is made, encouragement is to move forward. Open communication is very important among Board members and Administration. If you have difficulty with someone on the Board, it is encouraged that you go to that person to try and work it out directly. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance. As we develop trust and open communication, interacting directly with one another is encouraged. Please feel free to contact me if you have concerns with what I am doing. The well being of this District is central to all that we do. We have been elected to serve the YSSD and that includes the students, family, entire community and all who live and work here, whether they have students that currently attend the District or not. I look forward to working with each of you.

      Ms. Leopold-Sharp gave a special welcome to Peter Ruth, Solicitor this evening. He is a YS alum from the Class of 2004.
  3. Superintendent's Report - Dr. Merkle
    1. District Affiliated Report - YS Education Foundation - Sarah Reinecker, President, and Zach Weinstein, YSHS Junior, will provide a brief report on the work of this organization.

      Dr. Merkle introduced Sarah Reinecker. 

      Mrs. Reinecker provided a handout to the Board members and introduced Mac Brillhart, a YS alum from the Class of 1998 that will be the next YSEF President and Zach Weinstein, a current high school junior. History and structure of YSEF was shared. Community and philanthropy relationships are developing and a few examples were shared. Grant recipients and positive press coverage was expressed. The YSEF Board went through a strategic thinking process from January through June 2015 and the focus was alignment with YSSD's strategic priorities. Dr. Merkle provided much information on the systemic changes in the District recently. As a result of that study YSEF is expanding its contacts with District retirees and alumni, building awareness and relationships throughout the community and student population. YSEF, Dr. Denise Fuhrman and several other administrators developed a student-led philanthropic effort at YSSD, the Impact Foundation.

      Zach Weinstein, as Vice-President of Impact Foundation, shared the main focus of the Impact Foundation is students impacting students in our own community. During a feasibility study from January through May, a mission was created - educating and engaging students and meeting the needs of our own student body through philanthropic action. With the help of Julie Lando, the name, Impact Foundation, was created. We have formally attached the Impact Foundation with an internship at the high school with our advisor, Dr. Fuhrman. The next action step was starting up and planning. Our structure mirrors that of YSEF and an example is our committees. The Impact Foundation has applied for a grant from the York County Community Foundation in the amount of $5000. The Impact Foundation, along with the National Honor Society, are currently assisting the York County Food Bank food drive this holiday season. The next step in the near future is action. The students are most excited for this, the actual impact in our community. With the $3000 YSEF grant and hoping to get the other grant, our main goal is to give money to the caring closets that will supply necessities for our students. 

      Mrs. Reinecker shared the students did a feasibility survey themselves and one of the words that kept occurring was impact, the impact they could have on other students. Involving the students in the formal process of grant writing was a great experience. YSEF Board has recently committed money for the Impact Foundation as seed money to impact the lives of students. The students are an impressive bunch. Jamie Myers, Impact Foundation President, was unable to be here this evening as she works two jobs after school.

      Dr. Merkle thanked Mrs. Reinecker for all she does with the Foundation and the District has benefited tremendously from the work of the organization and it continues to grow and flourish. Thanks was also extended to Mac Brillhart and Zac Weinstein for attending this evening. Thanks was also extended to Dr. Fuhrman for all her leadership in the formation of the Impact Foundation.
    2. Early Learning Initiative - Dr. Ketterman

      Dr. Ketterman, Jessica Clough and Tonya Bastinelli reviewed above information and answered questions.

      Dr. Merkle shared that Dr. Ketterman has willingly led the partnership with Bright Horizons. During the opening of the program, we relied on Bright Horizons, as the experts in the field, as we got started. We are clearly meeting the needs of families in the community. This is a revenue neutral program for the District, does make greater use of our facilties and as we move into summer programming it extends learning to 12 months without over-extending our staff. York County School of Technology hosts Bright Horizons as a day care facility. YS is unique with the partnership with Bright Horizons with our teachers meeting with their teachers and shared learning. The costs are competitive with local community resources.

      Dr. Merkle thanked everyone for sharing their time this evening.
    3. High School Band  

      Dr. Merkle reminded the Board of the changes proposed with the High School Band and that this is the third time the Board has an opportunity to discuss the change as referenced above. Dr. Ellis prepared the detailed synopsis above while Mr. Husler and Dr. Ellis have met with all the constituencies about the change. 

      Dr. Ellis and Mr. Husler were available for any questions. During the meeting with the Band Boosters, approximately 20 parents were in attendance. Discussion focus was mostly about showcase format, concerns on scholarship applications-competitive and non-competitive environment, scheduling questions were raised and some support and some reservations were heard. We do believe this is the right direction at this time.

      Dr. Merkle thanked Dr. Ellis and Mr. Husler for all their work on this big initiative.
    4. New Board Member Orientation  

      Dr. Merkle reviewed above. The handbook that was prepared is a work in progress.

      Thanks was extended to Dr. Merkle for this in-depth orientation that was provided for the three new Board members. This will benefit them and the Board as a whole. 

      Dr. Merkle thanked the whole administrative team for their time and interactions during orientation sessions. 
    5. York Academy Regional Charter School Renewal

      Dr. Merkle reminded everyone that this is a complex process with three chartering school districts. The response has been received for the requested specific information. Dr. Maloney, Ms. Mason and Mrs. Gross reviewed the information. The administrative recommendation is to renew the charter with YARCS. The Administration believes YARCS has fulfilled commitments in their original charter application, they are meeting needs of the YS students attending and while the performance is not at the standards of YS, they are growing and there is solid plan for YARCS' continued growth and improvement. YARCS is an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) school for the primary program. They are moving to grow that authorization as the school grows into the higher years. They do have approval in consideration phase for middle years program, but they do not have students in that program yet. Although YARCS has fallen short of the goal stated in the original charter application of achieving at least 85% proficiciency, we do have do keep in mind that the assessment changed just as it did for us. As the assessment changed and the inclusion of the more rigorous PA Core Standards, it would not be fair to hold them to that same standard when the rules changed along the way. YARCS is taking very appropriate measures to address the issue and to improve the percentage of proficiency, as well to close the achievement gaps that were noted in the initial packet that was presented. The Board had several concerns about teacher retention, staff student ratio in special education and ELL and areas of special education non-compliance and the Administration believes YARCS, in their second response to the District, has satisfied those concerns. If any Board member would like additional information, the opportunity to review any information or if a more comprehensive report is desired, the Administration can certainly accomodate that.  The next step in the process for the District, is a meeting scheduled on December 16 with representatives from the School District of the City of York and Central York School District along with legal counsel from Levin Legal Group, who is handling this matter for the School District of the City of York. The intent is to begin to draft a charter renewal agreement. Dr. Merkle asked the Board if additional information is requested or do you believe our needs have been satisfied?

      A discussion continued and points were - the impact on the rent of the building with respect to the newspaper article stating approval of tax abatements for building that houses YARCS and is owned by Kinsley Construction will be researched by the Administration; the Administration will be discussing if higher expectations of better scores and outcomes can be part of renewal; if YS declines to renew the application, YS students would not be given priority for enrollment and YARCS is not turning students away so that should not be an issue; the renewal would be for three years; the feedback from several parents that had their children return to YS from YARCS has been that they are very pleased; another effort to contact YARCS parents to discuss their child(ren) return to YS will take place this year. 
  4. Business Office Report - Ms. Mason
    1. Item being recommended for approval on December 21
      1. The Administration recommends Board approval of a three year Service Agreement for the District with Johnson Controls in the amount of $30,276 for the first year and $31,184 for year two and year three.

        Ms. Mason reported above. This is district-wide agreement that has been in place previously. This type of of renewal was not brought to the Board previously. The Administration is now bringing this renewal to the Board.
      2. The Administration recommends Board approval of Gilbert Architects, Inc. to do a District-Wide Facility Study at a cost not to exceed $25,000.

        Ms. Mason reported above. This would be a letter of engagement with the architect.

        A discussion continued and the point was - once this is approved, the timeline would include a start as early as January and typically the study takes four months to complete, this will be funded from the general operating budget with budgeted money. 
    2. Informational Item

      2016-17 Budget Update 

      Ms. Mason reported there is no handout and no state budget. The Administration is working on the 2016-17 District budget and the gap is currently $1.2 million. The 2.4% index will not cover the gap. Exceptions would amount to $300,000. The special education exception templates are not available at this time from the state and an estimation will be calculated. Additional information will be available on December 21.

      Dr. Merkle added with the increased new students the Administration has been reporting with ELL needs and special education needs and the struggles with numbers at the middle school, close monitoring of staff is taking place so that we are educating students appropriately. The staff has been pared down in previous years. As the District projects out several years, along with an unknown state budget, it will be important to obtain revenue for staff going forward.   
  5. Student Board Representative Report - Elizabeth Huh

    Miss Huh was not in attendance.
  6. Committee Reports 
    1. Academic Standards and Curriculum Committee Report - Dr. Maloney

      The Committee will be recommending Board approval of four new and five modifications to existing high school courses as per the attached documents.  

      Dr. Maloney reported above. Dr. Maloney thanked Dr. Ellis for this comprehensive document.

      Dr. Ellis reviewed above and asked for any questions.

      Dr. Merkle reported this information was very thorough and was worked through committee.

      A discussion continued and point was - the Career & Work Skills course target would be necessary preparation for the students going to the work force after high school and the students going to school along with working. 

      Dr. Merkle thanked Dr. Maloney for her leadership with this process.
    2. Facilities Committee - Mrs. Freireich 

      The minutes of September 16 and the combined Finance/Facilities meeting of October 28 are provided.

      Mrs. Freireich reported above. 
    3. Finance Committee - Mr. Posenau

      The minutes of October 28 are provided.

      Mr. Posenau reported above. 
    4. Personnel Committee - Ms. Shaffer

      The minutes of September 24 are provided.

      Ms. Shaffer reported above. 
    5. Policy Review Committee - Ms. Bates
      1. The minutes of October 27 are provided.

        Ms. Bates reported above. 
      2. Discussion Topic:  Policy 005 - Local Board Procedures - Organization  

        Ms. Bates reported the Nominations Committee procedure be included with a Board Operating Guideline with Policy 005. During the committee discussion about Nominations Committee procedure it was raised if nominations should come to floor at Reorganization Meeting rather than at a Nominations Committee meeting.

        Discussion points included: there would be pros and cons for both, is the extra step valued?, the Administration could research the county how other districts operate; Nominations Committee is a non-transparent process and can be viewed as negative and this was the main focus of committee discussion; Nominations Committee is an advertised public meeting, having talk amongst ourselves prior to the Reorganization Meeting seems to be less transparent; the practice of Nominations Committee has worked well in the past, why re-invent something now, no reason to change; pros and cons were discussed; suggest the slate of officers be placed on the Reorganization Meeting agenda rather than just verbally announcing during meeting.

        Ms. Bates concluded the discussion stating this will go back to committee to write Board Operating Guidelines for the Nominations Committee process.  
      3. The Policy Review Committee will be recommending approval of the following policy revision.

        916 Volunteers, Visitors, Unpaid Assistants and Co-Op Supervisors  

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

      Mrs. Schroeder reported the Community Budget meeting is scheduled January 19.

      A discussion took place about Board Docs system and points were - Board Docs system has the option of storing and searching information on board agendas and minutes which would be convenient during meetings; the current use by PA School Boards Association with Board Docs for the policy manual does give the policies a new look; unfortunately the Administration and Policy Review Committee are not satisfied with some of the nuances with Board Docs such the inability to put school district name and logo on policies, limitations with committee work in reviewing and revising policies and difficulty of uploading information, Dr. Maloney is in contact with PSBA regarding District's concerns and other districts have reported same concerns; Board Docs is a separate system and would require additional cost to use beyond policy manual. 
  7. Lincoln Intermediate Unit  

    The " Dawn's Early Light" highlights of the LIU Board Meeting of November 24 is provided.

    Ms. Leopold-Sharp reported above. 
  8. York Adams Academy - Mrs. Freireich

    Mrs. Freireich reported YAA Board approved  the 2016-17 budget. There is no increase in tuition and $4,100 per seat for member districts would remain. The Administration should be receivng a copy of the budget this month. There will be no salary increases for staff and the elimination of one teacher, one part-time aide and one part-time clerifical staff position. With the elimination of the teacher, some of the classes may increase in size from 13-14 to 15-17 students. There is a lot of one-to-one attention at YAA and this will be monitored closely with the larger class size.
  9. York County School Technology - Mrs. Schroeder

    The YCST Joint Operating Committee Mini-Board Report of November 24 is provided.

    Mrs. Schroeder reported Mr. Posenau attended meeting as the alternate.

    Mr. Posenau reported approval of the 2016-17 YCST budget and information would be distributed to districts. There was a 1.24% increase in tuition. For the last several years, the member districts have been concerned about the quality of academic performance at YCST and in the past three years YCST raised their academic performance by 20 points in the last three years.  

    Dr. Merkle reported the Administration received the YCST 2016-17 budget today. 
  10. Board Meeting and Committee Schedule  

    A new calendar will be published for January through June 2016 meetings once committee assignments are made.

    Ms. Leopold-Sharp 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 8:49 PM.

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


    An Executive Session was held following the meeting.

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.