Minutes October 10, 2012


Chappaqua, New York



October 10, 2012



8:15 p.m.



Horace Greeley High School



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


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 6:00 p.m. Karen Visser moved to convene the public session and move into Executive Session for the purpose of discussion of labor negotiations with all unions. Alyson Kiesel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

President Tipp welcomed the community and asked for a motion to reconvene the public session. Karen Visser moved to reconvene the public session at 8:39 p.m. Alyson Kiesel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Audit Report

Alan Kassay, partner with O'Connor Davies reported that he met with the Audit Committee on May 25 for a planning meeting and a post audit meeting on September 10. These are legally required meetings with the Audit Committee. The auditors were in the district the week of July 30, 2012. He detailed the auditor's responsibility under the auditing standards generally accepted in the United States. He reviewed the management letter, schedule of revenues, expenditures and changes in fund balance, budget and actual as of June 30, 2012. He also noted the Statement of Assets as of June 30, 2012. The district received an unqualified opinion or "clean opinion" that is the highest that can be received. He declared the district is in good financial standing.

Jeffrey Mester, on behalf of the Audit Committee recommended, that the Audit Report be accepted for the past year, as in the following formal resolution adopted each year, Be it resolved that the Audit Report for the year ended June 30, 2012 submitted by the firm of O'Connor Davies upon the recommendation of the Audit committee, be accepted. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Teacher Action Research Project (TARP)

Superintendent McKay introduced Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Eric Byrne in charge of TARP and asked him to introduce the teachers and their projects for this year. She emphasized that it is one of the most powerful tools of professional development and its importance to improving teaching using inquiries.

Annie Piekarski, elementary teacher: Annie reported on using sculpting with Playdoh in her class to deepen understanding of the student's reading text. It was amazing to see the level of creativity and how they were sculpting instead of taking notes. It also reaffirms the importance of collaboration. By working with high school teachers, it provides an opportunity to see how they work on a high school level.

Christina Provenzano, high school science teacher. Christina reported on the positive outcome of working with Annie's class and the many opportunities for staff development. There is a concentrated focus on what we do and how we improve. Her goal was to create time in her classroom to do more in depth teaching. She provided notes for students and the class became a flipped classroom. Students studied at home to learn the material and then came into the classroom to do guided practice, which is traditionally performed in just the opposite manner. It created time in the classroom with someone there to help and guide them.

Karen Baker, SB librarian: Although not a classroom teacher, she became involved because of teachers who raved about the process. She decided to teach students how to search better using Google. She was grateful to have much more time with students and tried to figure out why they don't use subscription services and databases. It was their lack of awareness about search engines and so she worked to create short, online videos on how to utilize online databases. TARP has been very energizing and has added opportunities for the library experiences.

Dr. McKay indicated that every teacher in our district now has an inquiry question.

Board members commented on the positive outcome of allowing the children to learn differently.

Eric Byrne added that teachers have taken their projects "on the road" to other districts. He stressed the increased breadth and depth of material that is covered.




President's Report


P/NWBOCES capital project vote

President Tipp reported on the capital project bond vote yesterday, October 9. The project was first introduced and voted upon last January. It required a unanimous vote from the 18 component school district boards and would allow financing of the repairs over a long term bond. It was voted down by six districts at that time. BOCES administrators attended the Chappaqua September 27 board meeting and explained the approximate $2 million dollars in reductions to the $19 million project. Yesterday, Brewster, Mahopac, and Chappaqua voted no to the bond for a second time. School districts are operating under a 2% tax cap, eliminated positions, and still have huge budget gaps. In the last four years, our district has eliminated 88 full time positions.

President Tipp explained that the board believes that BOCES was created in 1948 and we live and work in a different time and it is no longer a sustainable model. The board exercised their fiduciary responsibility to the district and voted no. The BOCES administrators and teachers do good work, but we can't afford to do this without making changes to their system of maintenance that we feel is broken. Repairs need to be made, but the board feels the need to work together with the other 17 districts to change this model into a sustainable one. The BOCES administrators told us at the last meeting that their board has given them the authority to go ahead with the necessary repairs. Repairs will be charged back to the districts as they occur, rather than over the length of a bond, which is 18 years.


Superintendent's Report


Sam Wang, October 22

Dr McKay reported that Dr. Sam Wang, professor of neuroscience from Princeton University and co-author of "Welcome to Your Child's Brain: How the Mind Grows From Conception To College," will discuss how to promote healthy development of all children at the PTA meeting on October 22, 7:15 p.m., at Bell Middle School Auditorium.

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.




President Tipp gave an explanation for the brief draft revision, and second reading of 5030 Student Code of Conduct and Grid. She pointed out that it should be brought into compliance with the new Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), Harassment and Bullying Policy adopted in June 2012. Further review will be given to the Code during the year. Alyson Kiesel moved to adopt the revisions. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


The Policy Committee requested this, Draft revision, second reading: 9051 Staff Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) be postponed.




Alyson Kiesel moved to approve the minutes of September 27, 2012, as amended. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Recommended Action: Personnel

Dr. McKay made the following recommendations:




"BE IT RESOLVED that, the Board of Education hereby appoints the individuals listed as per diem substitute teachers to be employed on an "as needed" basis":

David Menna,

Milian Rachich, and

Stacey Schriro.


"BE IT RESOLVED that, the Board of Education hereby appoints the individuals listed as PSAT and/or SAT and/or ACT proctors to be employed on an "as needed" basis effective for the 2012/2013 school year, or earlier at the discretion of the Board of Education":

Gary Lanza

Request for Child Care Leave of Absence:

Ms. Naomi Cook, Teacher of Science, Horace Greeley High School, effective November 5, 2012 through March 1, 2013.

Randall Katchis moved to approve the recommendations. Alyson Kiesel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.




Recommended Action: Other


Karen Visser moved to approve CSE summaries reported to the Board on October 5, 2012. Alyson Kiesel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Alyson Kiesel moved to approve a gift from the Friends of Greeley Theatre, Inc. in the amount of $3,150.00 for purchase of 1) $2,000.00 - assorted lumber and construction supplies needed to build the set of Gypsy; 2) $1,150.00 - (2) Sennheiser EW112G3-B Transmitters, ME2 Omni Lavalliers and racks (wireless microphones to replace broken mics and increase permanent inventory). Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Board members thanked the Friends for their continued support.


Jeffrey Mester moved to table the approval of this agreement with NESS. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve consultant agreement with New England Systems and Software, Inc. (NESS), to perform hardware and software technology support, network administration and database management, including NY State reporting requirements, effective October 1, 2012 thru September 30, 2013.



Alyson Kiesel moved to approve an Agreement with Auctions International for sale of institutional assets. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Alyson Kiesel moved to approve an Agreement with Anderson Center for Autism for the 2012-13 school year per attached rates as established by the NY State education department and Office of Children and Family Services. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.




Postponed from September 27 discussion to October 10, 2012: Randall Katchis explained the purpose of this proposal is to do preparation work the for eventual sale of the property. Randall Katchis moved to approve Campbell Proposal site study for Orchard, Hog Hill, Seven Bridges at an estimated cost of $15,000 - 20,000. Jeffrey Mester seconded. The motion passed unanimously.



Christy Hill, representative of Sports Boosters, asked the board for permission to have fireworks at Homecoming festivities that begin Friday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Greeley. She was joined by Jim Nottingham who also worked on this project. They have obtained the required permits and presented them as proof of following safety regulations. Randall Katchis offered the following resolution, "Be it resolved, that the Greeley Sports Boosters be granted permission to obtain a permit allowing fireworks on the Horace Greeley Field, as determined by Director of Facilities and following all school policies, legal and safety rules under New York State Law." Jeffrey Mester seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Randall Katchis reported that the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund is having an Art Exhibit as a fund raiser on October 14. He gave the times and suggested a visit to the website for more information, www.HGSF.org




Alyson Kiesel moved to approve STAR refund appropriately filed with Westchester County and due to their error, Ms. D.L. is due a refund in the amount of $1555.31. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Randall Katchis moved to accept Expense Report as of September 30, 2012. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Randall Katchis moved to accept Revenue Report as of September 30, 2012. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


President Tipp gave Notice of Future Meetings -

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at Horace Greeley High School, 8:15 p.m.


Administrator and teacher leadership development

President Tipp also mentioned that Dr. McKay is a panelist on an APPR discussion sponsored by Westchester Putnam School Boards on October 11, at Seven Bridges.



At 10:17 p.m., Jeffrey Mester moved to adjourn. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

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

Victoria Tipp, Board President