Minutes December 11, 2013


Chappaqua, New York



December 11, 2013



7:30 p.m.



Horace Greeley High School



Board of Education
Jeffrey Mester, President
Karen Visser, Vice President
Alyson Gardner Kiesel
Warren Messner
Victoria Tipp


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 Mester called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Warren Messner moved to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussion of the employment history of a particular person and corporation, legal issues, contractual negotiations. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Karen Visser moved to adjourn the executive session. Warren Messner seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Karen Visser moved to reconvene the public meeting at 7:30 p.m. Warren Messner seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Celebrate Student of Distinction - Jeffrey Playford

President Mester welcomed the community and introduced our special guests, John McCarthy and Lynn Allan, Asst. Superintendents at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, Director of Special Education Adam Van der Stuyf and Principal Fred Santole, who are here to celebrate Student of Distinction, Jeffrey Playford, a Chappaqua student who attends PNWBOCES.

Jeffrey Playford is a volunteer with the Mt. Kisco Fire Department and hopes to become a member of the Ossining Ambulance Corps. He has a desire to aid people who are in need and has often offered help and compassion to younger, more vulnerable students. President Mester joined with the staff from BOCES and our board in congratulating Jeffrey.


High School Focus 2013-14

Dr. McKay introduced Principal Robert Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes noted that he is particularly interested in the student voice and he enjoys teenagers. By the time the students graduate, they will have witnessed about 12,000 hours of decision making in the classroom. They have learned about the hiring process from writing resumes to the actual interview experience. They provide input on technology, and give their advice on the kiosk and food environment. They participate in student government and on the Building Planning Team.

He explained that tasks are taught for transparency and how we allocate time, intellectual capacity and funds. We have set priorities as an entire school to utilize resources rather than by departments.

Mr. Rhodes explained that we utilize students in roles as department co-facilitators helping with co-planning, Emergency Response Team, Faculty Advisory Committee - all working on clear teacher roles and support building-wide issues. Mr. Rhodes used a short video to illustrate greater involvement in decision-making process for students. Students learn hands on as authentic learning, and by inclusion in the hiring process. They are learning what employers also look for in the hiring process. It is good to see them actually participating in the running of the school. It's useful to have clarity and focus.

Special Education Focus 2013-14

Dr. McKay introduced Director of Special Education Dr. Heidi McCarthy.

Dr. McCarthy mentioned that last week was National Inclusion Week and we developed a number of activities to include all of our children to celebrate them whether or not they are in special education.

Dr. McCarthy noted this is not separate or different - the programs, focus are all inclusive and keep in mind the Board strategic questions besides our priorities. She shared some of the classifications of inclusion and noted the mission statement where our obligation is to prepare all students for productive lives.

She reviewed the CSE reorganization and noted that the meetings are now held at the Education Center. If there is an issue, needs are being met more quickly, but the timeline from the state has to be met and approved by the board to provide services. She worked with Director of Technology Darleen Nicolosi to develop alternative use of technology, including an iPad pilot, to assess or address use of different apps. Dr. McCarthy also used a video of a student working with fine motor skills and another teacher adapted study skills and follow up activities that helped foster independence by self-check homework and still have fun.





President's Report


Report of NY Suburban Consortium for Public Education and WPSBA

Advocacy liaison Victoria Tipp reported on the meeting of this group. She attended along with Chris Madden, who is starting a new PTA advocacy group. The list of participants include school districts in most of Westchester and some of Putnam. Legislators are taking an interest, especially in the data collection issue, and it is believed that parent letters will make a difference. Ms. Tipp suggested a small meeting with representatives of the board and the PTA to discuss a few common issues for writing letters to legislators. Other districts have letters on their websites, and we should be able to focus on one or two common issues. She noted It is a challenge but there is a coalescing, especially around the data and the privacy issue.

Ms. Tipp attended another panel meeting on data collection sponsored by Westchester Putnam School Boards Association on December 2. Mary Fox-Alter, Superintendent of Pleasantville and our school attorney David Shaw, Esq., led a very lengthy discussion on data sharing plans. Every other state has either opted out or allowed parents to opt out. New York is the only state that requires this sensitive information to be collected and parents want to know what happens to it after graduation. Data collector inBloom couldn't give any guarantee that it would be kept private or not intercepted in the transfer. They also supported a letter writing campaign.

Westchester Putnam School Boards is sponsoring a program by Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error, "The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools" on January 16, at Fox Lane High School in Bedford.


Superintendent's Report


Proposed 2014-2015 Chappaqua School Calendar - second reading

Dr McKay presented the proposed calendar for second reading. President Mester discussed the calendar. Board members were enthusiastic. There was positive feedback from parents and staff as well. Jeffrey Mester moved to adopt the calendar for 2014-2015. Alyson Kiesel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Security status

Dr. McKay reported on the status and said that many of the new security guards stationed at each school have met parents and we have received positive feedback from parents.


iLab update

Dr. McKay reported that the iLab at Horace Greeley will be opened on Feb. 3.

Superintendent McKay asked Eric Byrne to report on the status of the Chinese Exchange Program.

Eric reported we have had about 30 teachers request information and complete applications to be chaperones. Several interviews have been completed and the student application has been completed. There will be a meeting, 6-7 p.m., tomorrow night, Friday, December 12.

Superintendent McKay reported that a life changing book, Opening Minds by Peter Johnston - about the language that we use when speaking with our students will be discussed at the Board / Administrative Retreat prior to board meeting on January 29. She recommended it highly for parents as well.





Jeffrey Mester tabled until the next meeting, January 15. Victoria Tipp seconded. The motion passed uanimously.


Minutes of November 6, 2013


Minutes of November 20, 2013



Recommended Action: Personnel

Superintendent Lyn 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":

Linda Degelsmith,

Elaine Juran, and

Danielle Schiavone-Marsenison.


"BE IT RESOLVED that, the Board of Education hereby amends the appointment from the 11/20/13 Board of Education meeting of Shannon Bailey to read as follows:

Ms. Shannon Bailey, (.04) Teacher of Elementary Education to provide Academic Intervention Services as per the Teachers' Contract, Roaring Brook Elementary School, effective November 12, 2013 through May 22, 2014 (or earlier at the discretion of the Board of Education)."


"BE IT RESOLVED, that the Superintendent is hereby authorized to direct a psychiatric and, if necessary, a medical evaluation of Employee #1577, in accordance with the provisions of Section 913 of the Education Law; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby directs that Employee #1577 submit his/her medical records, if any, from the last two years to the District appointed physician(s) on or before such evaluation."

Resignation for Purposes of Retirement:

Ms. Susan Williams, Teacher of Home Economics, Horace Greeley High School, effective June 30, 2014.

Request for Parental Leave of Absence:

Ms. Alison Turner, Library Media Specialist, Douglas Grafflin Elementary School, effective January 7, 2014 through June 30, 2014.

Appointment: Coaching

Mr. Yoonho Park, (.5) Varsity Skiing, Horace Greeley High School, effective November 21, 2013 through March 1, 2014 (or earlier at the discretion of the Board of Education),Step 1, $2,236, prorated.

Appointment: Volunteer Coaching

Ms. Michelle Saccurato, Varsity Boys' Swimming, Horace Greeley High School, effective November 27, 2013 through March 1, 2014 (or earlier at the discretion of the Board of Education).

Karen Visser moved to accept Dr. McKay's recommendation. Victoria Tipp seconded. The motion passed unanimously.



Superintendent Lyn McKay made the following recommendations:


Mary Jane Spergel - Senior Office Assistant - Automated Systems at the Education Center, effective December 12, 2013. Her salary will be $49,789.

Jeffrey Mester moved to accept Dr. McKay's recommendation. Warren Messner seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Recommended Action: Other


Karen Visser moved to approve CSE summaries reported to Board on December 6, 2013. Alyson Kiesel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Alyson Kiesel moved to approve 2013-2014 School Year Contract with White Plains City School District for one student in STAR program at an annual rate of $16,234.92.effective September 9, 2013 - June 26, 2014. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Warren Messner moved to approve a gift of a $500.00 grant from Exxon Mobil courtesy of Larry Milton of New Castle Auto Center to Douglas Grafflin to be used in math and science projects. Victoria Tipp seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Alyson Kiesel moved to approve a gift of $1,170.96 from Target for the Take Charge of Education School Foundation to be used for schoolwide supplies at Seven Bridges Middle School. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Jeffrey Mester moved to approve an agreement with our asset database vendor AssetWorks, effective December 1, 2013 - November 30, 2014, for a cost of $1350, plus any special service fees that may be required per contract. Warren Messner seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Alyson Kiesel offered the following resolution,

"Be it resolved that the Board of Education ratifies the Supplemental Memorandum of Agreement between the Superintendent of Schools and Board of Education and Chappaqua Administrators Association, for amendments and additions to 2011-12 and 2013-14 collectively negotiated agreement, as amended by the Memorandum of Agreement dated March 14, 2013. The Agreement will be incorporated by reference into the minutes of this meeting."

(Tabled from November 20, 2013)

Victoria Tipp seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Karen Visser offered the following resolution,

"Be It Resolved, that the Board of Education, in accordance with Board Policy 9045, hereby authorizes the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school year salaries of the non-aligned confidential employees of the School District who are not represented in collective bargaining units, as recommended by the Superintendent of Schools in a memorandum to the Board of Education dated November 26, 2013. Said memorandum is incorporated by reference in the minutes of this meeting."

Warren Messner seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Alyson Kiesel offered the following resolution,

"Resolved, that the Board of Education authorizes its attorneys, Shaw Perelson, May and Lambert, LLP to execute a Consent Judgment in a tax certiorari proceeding captioned Millwood NS v. Town of New Castle and the Chappaqua CSD:

And it is Further Resolved, that the Board authorizes the refund of taxes as required by the terms of the Consent Judgment."

Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Warren Messner offered the following resolution,

"WHEREAS, the District owns the attached list of items which are no longer useful or necessary for school district purposes and is of no value to the School District;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board hereby declares such equipment to be surplus property and of no value to the School District and authorizes the disposal of such equipment in a prudent manner in accordance with law."

Victoria Tipp seconded. The motion passed unanimously.




President Mester reported the Board tours are scheduled for: Wednesday, December 18, 2013, at Westorchard, 7:00 a.m.; and at Seven Bridges 7:45 a.m.



Warren Messner moved to accept the following reports, items 7.1-7.4. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Revenues Report - November 30, 2013


Expenditures Report - November 30, 2013


Claims Auditor Report - November 30, 2013


Treasurer's Report - November 2013


President Mester gave Notice of Future Meetings -

Thursday, December 12, 2013, at Education Center at 7:30 a.m.,

which we anticipate will go into Executive Session to discuss the employment history of a particular employee.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013, board tour at Westorchard, 7:00 a.m.; at Seven Bridges 7:45 a.m.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014, at Horace Greeley High School, 7:30 p.m.


Budget Preview



Victoria Tipp moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:20 p.m. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

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

Jeffrey Mester, Board President