Minutes October 23, 2013


Chappaqua, New York



October 23, 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 6:30 p.m. Alyson Kiesel moved to enter into Executive Session with administrators for a discussion of the employment of particular persons, and discussion of a legal issue. Warren Messner seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Alyson Kiesel moved to adjourn the executive session. Warren Messner seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Alyson Kiesel moved to reconvene the public session at 7:35 p.m. Warren Messner seconded. The motion passed unanimously. President Mester welcomed the community and introduced Superintendent Lyn McKay and Assistant Superintendent Eric Byrne to begin the presentations.


Governor Cuomo has proclaimed October 28 - November 1, 2013 School Board Recognition Week.

Dr McKay noted that she does not always agree with Governor Cuomo, but his proclamation to recognize the work of school boards is a very good thing. She acknowledged the hard work and time spent on district initiatives recognizing that Board members do not always agree. However, their work on behalf of our students to provide the most and best educational opportunities Is a united effort. It is a privilege to work with them. She thanked them for all that they do for us.

PTA President Susan Fisher echoed Dr. McKay's sentiments on behalf of the PTA. She reviewed the Governor's proclamation that these board members are men and women dedicated to children, learning and community as they continue to strive for progress in education. She felt this was especially true of our board members. She thanked the board for their dedication, time and caring for our children and in honor of the school board, the PTA made a donation to the Tom Cardellichio Scholarship Fund. She also thanked Theresa Markley, the district clerk not just for the work she does for the board, but for everyone in the community.


Elementary Focus, 2013-14

Eric introduced the three elem principals, Jamie Edelman of Grafflin, Amy Fishkin of Roaring Brook, and Jim Skoog of Westorchard to discuss their focus for the school year, writing articulation.

Jamie Edelman acknowledged the support of the assistant principals who were also present at the meeting. The primary goal for the students is to become a skilled writer so that they will be effective all through their journey through school and for whatever they do in life.

Jim Skoog reported that they began discussing K-4 writing during the Administrative Retreat and engaged our teachers during faculty meetings to examine student writing. We have support from Teachers College consultants and our staff developers.

Amy Fishkin continued by presenting examples of good writing, and learning progression for Lead. There are lots of different opportunities to engage in this work. The students learn how to share with each other, give feedback, and give specific feedback about what is strong and where they can improve.

Board members gave positive comments and asked questions on how they can help their children. They were advised to ask their children to elaborate on ideas, talk to them, and share your own writings so the students can see that writing is a lifelong skill where you can share your thought processes. Don't just look at the grammar, but consider the message or what craft they are trying to achieve.

Facilities - Capital Projects and Maintenance Plan.

Joe Gramando, Director of Facilities and Maintenance reported that the cleanliness and care of the buildings sets the stage for a good learning environment. Roof replacement, asphalt replacement and pneumatic heating controls have all been installed and general maintenance performed regularly so there is no need for large capital expenditures or bonds. There has been a re-use of space such as two classrooms combined to make a needed, larger music room. Our own staff has installed a generator and is also doing a large part of the learning commons project, iLab.

Energy performance: Total project cost $12 million dollars with no cost to district He listed some of the benefits with pictures of boilers, pumps, and solar panels, and window replacement that have been installed in the buildings. Solar comes with an educational piece on teaching solar energy. District maintains 13 playing fields and uses organic turf management.

He explained that safety and security are an ongoing process that keeps evolving as we try to prepare for all emergencies. We have had two safety audits which have been very positive.

John Chow noted that Joe has been here for five years and how much the district building conditions have improved. The board also commented Joe is a good leader with a great staff who are highly skilled and that keeps us from outsourcing. They are also concerned about the students and education.




President's Report


Annual Business Meeting of New York School Boards - October 26, 2013

President Mester briefly reviewed the resolutions. Board members reviewed and voted on each one. The result is listed for each resolution and a representative must attend to present them. The board unanimously supported Resolutions 1-4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17. The board abstained on resolution 16. The board unanimously opposed Resolutions 5, 10, 11, 18, 19, and voted 3-2 in favor of resolution 20 which would result in one yes vote for resolution 20.


Superintendent's Report


Dr. McKay reported the district will begin the search for a Principal of Seven Bridges again in early January.


Knowledge Café: November 13, 2013. 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Bell Middle School

Dr. McKay explained that we want to open some dialogue on Common Core Standards, accountability movement and the impact on our students.



Dr. McKay reported that another safety audit was performed for the district and we had some useful feedback for each school. Some of our additional modifications include cameras that will be installed for schools and the Education Center that do not already have them. Principals will participate in candidate interviews for unarmed, security officers who will be at each school, eight hours a day to focus on safety greeting visitors, checking identification, and monitoring cameras. We will continue to have emergency response drills and training for all staff.

President Mester repeated that what information we share, is not everything that we do for security. We cannot share everything.

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.





Policy - New - APPR notification process

Victoria Tipp reported on the APPR teacher and administrative scores. She noted the purpose of the policy is to protect privacy rights of every teacher and yet disclose information affording parents the ability to obtain information for their student. A notice will be posted on the website and on school bulletin boards when the information is available. Parents/guardians will complete a form and schedule a phone appointment or in-person appointment with the district clerk upon verification of identity. She pointed out that the measure of the teacher's performance is based on last year's performance: 20% is based on test scores, 80% based on the good inquiry work that the district has been doing. The district has many ways to improve and provide good feedback to parents besides these scores that are based on tests that are themselves suspect.

Warren Mester moved to adopt the policy. Alyson Kiesel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Policy - New Anti-Nepotism

Alyson Kiesel explained the purpose is to guide persons in the hiring process that they cannot report to or be evaluated by relatives. It was suggested to change "working in the same building" because it may not cause a conflict in same school buildings.


Policy - Revision - Student Records.

Alyson Kiesel explained the revisions: add Parent/guardian before "emails" that can be distributed without consent and "audio". Alyson Kiesel moved to adopt the revisions. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.



Alyson Kiesel moved to approve the following minutes as amended. Jeffrey Mester seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Minutes of September 25, 2013


Minutes of October 9, 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":

Craig Henley,

Jennifer Hershman, and

Joan Smyth.


Ms. Suzanne Guziec, Varsity Girls' Swimming, Horace Greeley High School, effective October 7, 2013.

Mr. Charles Sehulster, Varsity Girls' Swimming Assistant, Horace Greeley High School, effective October 7, 2013.

Appointment: Coaching

Mr. Charles Sehulster, Varsity Girls' Swimming, Horace Greeley High School, effective October 8, 2013 through November 8, 2013 (or earlier at the discretion of the Board of Education).

Ms. Ellen Moskowitz, Varsity Girls' Swimming Assistant, Horace Greeley High School, effective October 9, 2013 through November 8, 2013 (or earlier at the discretion of the Board of Education).

Appointment: Volunteer Coaching

Ms. Sheila Larkin, Varsity and Junior Varsity Girls' Soccer, Horace Greeley High School, effective October 15, 2013 through November 8, 2013 (or earlier at the discretion of the Board of Education).

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




Recommended Action: Other


Karen Visser moved to approve the CSE summary reported to the board for approval on October , 2013. Victoria Tipp seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Victoria Tipp moved to approve partnership with Shanghai Yangjing High School and Shanghai Jincai Middle School, Shanghai. Host school responsible for accommodations with host families. Both parties responsible for own Visa fees, airfare, insurance, non-educational fees (sightseeing). Alyson Kiesel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Karen Visser moved to approve a contract with Pleasantville Union Free School District effective for the  2013-2014 school year for one student at the rates set in the contract for various services for an estimated total of $85,325. Alyson Kiesel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Alyson Kiesel moved to approve a printer service agreement with Guttz Corporation effective November 1, 2013 - October 31, 2014 at an hourly rate of $90 (over 1 hour billed in half hour increments), per contract, plus parts. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.





Alyson Kiesel moved to accept the financial reports, items 7.1-7.4. Warren Messner seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Claims Auditor Report - September 30, 2013


Expenditures Report - September 30, 2013


Revenues Report - September 30, 2013


Treasurer's Report - September 30, 2013


President Mester gave Notice of Future Meetings of board and committees -

Committees: Next Policy Committee meeting is Wednesday, November 6, 9:00 a.m. at the Education Center.

Board Meeting: Wednesday, November 6, 2013, at Horace Greeley High School, 7:30 p.m.


Middle School Focus



Victoria Tipp moved to adjourn at 9:52 p.m. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

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

Jeffrey Mester, Board President