Minutes April 3, 2013


Chappaqua, New York



April 3, 2013



8:30 p.m.



Horace Greeley High School



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


Staff Members

Dr. Lyn McKay, Superintendent

Mr. Eric Byrne, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum

Mr. Andrew Selesnick, Assistant Superintendent for Leadership, 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 Tipp called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

Alyson Kiesel moved to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussion of labor negotiations. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Jeffrey Mester moved to adjourn the executive session. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Karen Visser moved to reconvene the public session at 8:27 p.m. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

President Tipp welcomed the community, students, and parents and turned the introduction of presentations and a special announcement to Superintendent Dr. Lyn McKay.

Superintendent McKay enthusiastically announced that the CSEA and the District had come to agreement on a two-year contract, ratified by their membership and was happy to recommend their agreement to the board for ratification. She briefly outlined the major issues with 1.7% increases in salary for each of two years, steps are frozen, night differential will increase and there is an incremental increase in health insurance. This is in line with the administrative and teacher contracts. All public employee negotiations take place under the umbrella of the Triborough and Taylor laws that allow the provisions of previous contracts to remain in effect. By working with the district, the result is approximately $83,000 in savings to the district. Thank you to Mario and Diego Reinos and all the CSEA members for stepping up, partnering with the district in support of public education. This saves jobs and maintains the high standards of the district. Board members also voiced their appreciation for the hard work and the care and concern members show for students.

Superintendent McKay announced that Martha Zornow, Principal of Seven Bridges will be leaving the district in June for a position as . She has been an outstanding administrator over the past four years. We have enjoyed our work together and I wish her the very best as Principal of the Public Prep program in New York City.

Revenue / Tax Rates / Contingency

John Chow presented the good news that the new state aid has been revised upward -- $344,765 more. The district controls the budget and the tax levy numbers, but the tax rates come from the assessors. A combination of budget, assessed value, and equalization rate controls the tax rate. Mr. Chow reviewed the general funds, state aid projections comparison with the increase of $344,765 and noted BOCES aid and transportation ratios have increased.

This year equalization rates show only a slight increase of .45% and 0% increase of Mt. Pleasant and New Castle respectively. The tax analysis for 2013-14 estimate with no change to assessments shows a 2.02% for New Castle and 2.48% for Mt. Pleasant estimated tax rate increase compared to 2012-13

Mr. Chow reported the contingency budget rules have changed and noted if the budget failed, it would have to be reduced $2,078,859 by reducing both personnel and non-personnel expenditures and offset by using more fund balance.




President's Report


President's Report

President Tipp reported that the state budget passed, aid has been returned as reflected in the budget, and the gap elimination was restored. She reported that all items were rejected as discussed with the Mandate Relief Council and the work of that group was not reflected in the final budget. Legislators are not responding to the fiscal needs of school districts. She remarked that part of the problem is the lack of focus by the community on the issues. People don't understand that school districts have to drop programs when limited funds must be allocated to mandates that remain unfunded or underfunded by the government. Schools in the Hudson Valley are closing and reducing programs because of not enough money.

A Knowledge Cafe is scheduled for next week April 10, at Bell Middle School, 7:00 p.m. Diane Cunningham will discuss in depth on teacher and administrator professional development with the APPR.


Superintendent's Report


Douglas Grafflin Search

Andrew Selesnick reported that three candidates have spent full days meeting various stakeholder groups before the break. One has moved forward in the process.

Update on Writer's Camp -- Eric Byrne anticipates 30 students may attend the district's Writer's Camp that will run 8:30 - noon, August 12-23. Any student interested, no matter their ability, is welcome to apply. The primary component is the child's interest and not necessarily a need for remedial work.

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.






Alyson Kiesel moved to approve the amended minutes of January 30, 2013. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Recommended Action: Personnel

Dr. McKay made the following personnel recommendations:

Addendum item 4.1:




Ms. Martha Zornow, Principal, Seven Bridges Middle School, effective June 30, 2013.

Alyson Kiesel moved to accept the recommendation. Victoria Tipp seconded. The motion passed unanimously.




BE IT RESOLVED that, the Board of Education hereby grants a leave of absence, without pay, to Jane Taffet - Teacher Aide at Westorchard Elementary School from Monday, April 1, 2013 through Friday, April 5, 2013.

Alyson Kiesel moved to accept the recommendation. Victoria Tipp seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Recommended Action: Other

Addendum items 5.1 and 5.2


Alyson Kiesel offered the following resolution,

"BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board hereby ratifies the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement executed by the negotiating teams for the District and the CSEA, Local 1000 AFSCME, AFL-CIO Chappaqua CSD Unit No. 9226, Westchester County Local 860, dated March 19, 2013 and authorizes the expenditure of those monies necessary to implement the provisions of the 2013-2015 CSEA Collectively Negotiated Agreement."

Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Randall Katchis moved to approve Chappaqua School Foundation grants for 2013 in the amount of $130,108.00. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

President Tipp introduced Allison Wintner, President of the Chappaqua School Foundation and thanked the Foundation for their generous gifts to the schools and the district.

Allison Wintner, President of Chappaqua School Foundation explained the process for soliciting grant proposals. The Foundation approved another round of Mac books this year on a number of projects for both middle schools, rolled out smart boards throughout the district, supported the arts at the high school, piloted Noon books in fourth grade levels last year and will continue to do this year. We like funding pilot programs and that will be continued by the district. Every school will get a small piece of the pie. We like to see how it will impact learning and how many students will be served throughout the district. The Foundation would like feedback from the teachers and administrators to make sure that these programs will function well in the schools and reap benefits. Parents, students can input grants, but not everyone is aware of this. Someone at a school has to take ownership of the grant to implement it.






President Tipp gave Notice of Future Meetings -

Thursday, April 4, 2013, Education Center, 8:00 a.m. which we anticipate will go into Exec. Session to discuss the employment history of a particular person.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at Horace Greeley High School

8:15 p.m. - Board meeting


Developing Global Learners: A Conversation with Dr. Yong Zhao

Adopt Budget


Adjournment - Jeffrey Mester moved to adjourn. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 10:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

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

Victoria Tipp, Board President