Minutes March 5, 2014


Chappaqua, New York



March 5, 2014



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 6:30 p.m. Alyson Kiesel moved to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussion of security, the employment history of particular persons, and settlement. Victoria Tipp seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Alyson moved to adjourn the executive session. Victoria Tipp seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Alyson Kiesel moved to reconvene the public meeting at 7:40 p.m. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

President Mester welcomed everyone and asked Superintendent Dr. Lyn McKay to begin the Budget Proposal for 2014-2015.


Curriculum / Technology

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Eric Byrne began his Curriculum Budget Presentation with a classroom clip on the science research project with a group of students who are developing the skills necessary for the twenty-first century. They collaborate with mentors across the globe, produce original work of which they can take ownership, and be able to share with the community. Using the strategic question, he mapped out the teaching and learning priorities and elements of educational excellence. Notable projects for 2013-14 have been a new elementary schedule, middle level ELA alignment with Common Core State Standards, local assessment revision and development, nurturing a Chinese partnership, the iLab and Innovation Fellows work and a summer writers' camp. He followed up with some of the plans for 2014-15 filled with innovation, collaboration, and creativity. Professional development will have more project based learning and feedback for learning will also provide opportunities for leadership. Administrative Network Visits and Summer Leadership Retreats are also part of the leadership program and help us learn how we can support our teachers. He reviewed the cost of these line items in his budget and noted that the budget for 2013-14 was $1,529,486 and, this year's proposed budget is $1,539,293.

Director of Technology Darleen Nicolosi presented the Technology Budget. The technology budget supports teaching and learning, infrastructure and manages data for the district. Back in September she discussed the strategic vision of the department: Development of a digital age learning environment that prepares our students to live, learn and work in a globally networked society and is adaptable to the ever-changing role that technology has in teaching and learning" She then stated the number of projects that were implemented in 2013-14. She explained the line items for her proposed budget of $2,212,957 that represents an increase of approximately 7%.




President's Report


President Mester announced that the Joint Town/School Boards meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m.


President Mester asked Eric to comment on changes announced this afternoon regarding the SAT tests. Eric reported that the scoring will go back to the old 1600 point system, the essay will be optional, and vocabulary will be based on more commonly used words. The tests have become disconnected from the work being done in our high schools.


President Mester clarified the rules for addressing the board at meetings. He asked that remarks be respectful, kept to the topic, brief and kept to 3 minutes and 15 seconds, Board members cannot always give a specific answer because of legal restraints. This is especially true of personnel issues that cannot be discussed in public.


Superintendent's Report

Dr. McKay explained this is a very responsible budget in terms of students, parents and staff that moves us forward. We will be able to do some new things and follow certain themes - excellence in education, innovation, physical and emotional impact for our students. She stated no programs are excessed or reduced, but may configure them a bit differently. Reductions are related to a decrease in enrollment which caused us to reconfigure positions. Although12.2 positions are being cut. it does not mean that 12.2 people are losing their jobs. In fact, through retirements, leaves, and resignations, people whose jobs were cut may come back with a full time job or more part time jobs. We want to keep our teachers. We also work with other districts to help network positions.

On another note, after 36 years in our district, Gary Lanza, our videographer for board meetings as well as his regular responsibilities, will be retiring. Andrew Selesnick worked with Gary closely over the years and commented on the change in technology and how Gary has managed to always keep up. He also explained that Gary's office was always a welcome place where kids could gather, not to hang out, but who needed some support. These were kids, who probably would not have graduated if it were not for Gary. Board members also expressed their appreciation to Gary.

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.







Recommended Action: Personnel


Recommended Action: Other


Alyson Kiesel offered the following resolution,

"BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education appoints Arthur Riegel as the Hearing Officer pursuant to Section 75 of the New York State Civil Service Law, with respect to Employee No. 4716, and authorizes the Hearing Officer to hear evidence, make a transcript of proceedings and to issue a written report of his findings of facts and recommendations, including disciplinary penalty, if any."

"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Education hereby suspends Employee No. 4716, without pay, commencing on March 6, 2014, up to the maximum permitted by the New York State Civil Service Law and then with pay during the pendency of these proceedings, if during a time when the employee would otherwise be paid."

Victoria Tipp seconded. The motion passed unanimously.






President Mester gave Notice of Future Meetings -

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - Board meeting/work session at Horace Greeley High School

6:30 p.m.

Joint Town / School Board meeting rescheduled from 2-5-2014

7:30 p.m.

Special Education / Athletics



Alyson Kiesel moved to adjounr the meeting at 9:55 p.m. Warren Messner seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

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

Jeffrey Mester, Board President