Minutes March 13, 2012


Chappaqua, New York



March 13, 2012



8:15 p.m.



Horace Greeley High School



Board of Education
Alyson Kiesel, President
Jeffrey Mester, Vice President
Randall Katchis
Vicky Tipp
Karen Visser


Staff Members

Dr. Lyn McKay, Superintendent

Mr. Eric Byrne, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction

Mr. John Chow, Assistant Superintendent for Business

Theresa Markley, District Clerk / Adm. Asst. to Superintendent


Visitors Present:

Representatives of the Chappaqua PTA, school PTAs, building administrators, faculty, and other interested citizens.


President Alyson Kiesel convened the public session at 6:30p.m. moved to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of the discussion of the employment history of a particular person or persons. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously. At 8:28pm Jeffrey Mester moved to adjourn the Executive Session. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

At 8:35 p.m. Jeffrey Mester moved to reconvene the public session. Vicky Tipp seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

President Kiesel welcomed the community and asked Heidi McCarthy Director of Special Education Services to present her budget.


Special Education
- Dr. Heidi McCarthy, Director

Dr. McCarthy reviewed some of the many laws and regulations governing special education students to determine eligibility, the classifications, and recommended programs.

Dr. McCarthy reviewed the make up of the committees and their responsibilities to review evaluations, reports, other data and identify strengths and needs using the 13 classification categories. She went over the statistics and services that are provided to both preschool and regular classes. Classification rates are below state and other school districts. She outlined the in district and out of district programs.

Dr. McCarthy presented the main components of her budget:: staffing, contract services, tuition for students in out-of-district placements and transportation. She noted the reduction in staffing this year: a .6 FTE psychologist at the elementary level; 1 FTE special education teacher; 4.5 FTE teaching assistant positions. A .4 psychologist position will conduct all evaluations for elementary school.

She explained the line by line of her proposed budget with an increase of 4.07%, and pupil transportation 8.51%.

- Darleen Nicolosi, Director of Technology

The technology budget is composed of three components, instructional technology, data management, and operational infrastructure. Ms. Nicolosi reviewed the computer hardware inventory such as approximately 1700 PCs, laptops, netbooks, tablet laptops, iPads, smart boards, 11 district servers and noted a re-allocation of resources to find more efficient ways of using computers. About 159 Smartboards have been acquired over the years mostly through Chappaqua School Foundation. Technology uses a number of virtual devices to share resources and save money in district infrastructure. She went over the current and proposed leases and noted a tremendous reduction in cost of PC's over the past year. Software usage has been diminishing because of using more web-based programs. The proposed budget is a grand total is $2,054,803, and represents a decrease of 3.40%

Dr McKay addressed some comments and questions received over the past week regarding the staff cuts, specifically, a reduction from 3.0 to 2.4 for psychologist elementary schools, a social work reduction, due to retirement, from 1.0 to .5FTE, and a technology reduction in the middle school because of the new schedule. She discussed why these reductions were made and the more efficient use of time for the psychologists.

Pres. Kiesel made a statement about the appointment of a coach discussed last week.

"At the March 6, 2012 CCSD Board of Education meeting, a group of parents publicly stated their opposition to the recommendation and approval of the re-appointment of the varsity baseball coach. Both the administration and the Board were well versed on the issues these parents addressed.

As a matter of policy the Board and Administrators cannot and do not comment publicly on personnel matters. We take all legitimate complaints received by the District seriously. All matters of significance are carefully reviewed. Where corrective action is indicated, it is taken. While we take all complaints and accusations seriously, we also believe in the principles of fairness and due process. Know too that the overriding concern of the administration and Board is student safety and the administration and Board would take no action contrary to that concern.

We recognize that a group of student athletes were empowered to stand up and address what they perceived to be a significant problem. We hope and expect that all Chappaqua students learn to self-advocate and stand up for themselves as these students have. We similarly appreciate that parents will aggressively advocate on behalf of their children. We do expect that staff, students and community members act in an appropriate manner. While we may disagree, we respect the right to disagree and respect the individual with whom we disagree. As a community of fair and reasonable people we respect due process.

We are also a community that fosters growth. The district's guiding principal is the academic and social growth of its students. We promote growth and learning for our staff and administrators too. This community measures its members not by the challenges they face, but by how they respond to those challenges. A great deal of time and effort has been spent addressing these concerns, establishing a rigorous process and finding actionable solutions that are consistent with the principles espoused above, with consideration and respect for all involved."

Questions and Comments

We welcome public inquiries, and in respect for each other's time, we ask that you limit your inquiry to three minutes. Board members may be contacted via email or phone.

There were a number of community members, including students, who offered support for those staff members losing their jobs.


Information Business Affairs


President's Report


Legislative Action Report - continued discussion

Vicky Tipp, liaison to WPSBA Legislative Action Committee, reported that the group has been coordinating a mandate relief effort to address the laws that perform a function, but are not funded. Because they are imposed by Albany, the district has little control over them. She appealed to the departing community members to please stay and listen because it was one way in which they could positively affect the outcome of reducing staff positions and increasing budgets. The information for Mandate Relief will be posted on the website (Mandate Relief, Discussion & Resolution, Mandate Relief Council Review Process) and discussed further at a future meeting.

Randall Katchis and Vicky Tipp also attended a legislative forum with legislators and school board members, and superintendents. About four topics were covered at each table. They noted that legislators seem to be unaware that districts are laying off teachers because many of the legislators live in New York City and don't realize the impact of the tax cap. There was a brief explanation how districts and communities can utilize waivers to reduce impact. The discussion was tabled until we can find out from the business office specific numbers to support specific waivers.


Superintendent's Report


Dr. McKay reported that we have 132 applicants for Roaring Brook principal. She anticipates bringing back three people with the same interview committee.

Questions and Comments




Jeffrey Mester moved to table the Third reading of the Concussion Management Policy. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.




Recommended Action: Personnel


Recommended Action: Other

Jeffrey Mester moved to approve 5.1 - 5.4 Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously


Approve CSE summaries reported to the Board on March 9, 2012


Resolution directing the District Clerk to give Notice of the Annual Public Hearing on the Budget, Annual Meeting, School District Election, Library Election and Vote.


Approve 2011-12 contract for educational services with Ossining Union Free School District for two students at a rate of $803.47 per pupil.


Resolution to approve the Blackboard Renewal Agreement for one year effective, May 17, 2012 in the amount of $19,700.



Next meeting Wednesday, March 21, 2012.




President Kiesel gave Notice of Future Meetings -

Tuesday, March 20, 2012, Board meeting/Work session at Horace Greeley High School


Operations / Maintenance / Non-instructional / Fund Balance



At 11:50 p.m. Jeffrey Mester moved to adjourn the meeting. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Theresa M. Markley, District Clerk / Admin. Asst. to Superintendent

Alyson Kiesel, Board President