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Minutes March 17, 2021

OFFICIAL MINUTES

CHAPPAQUA CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
BOARD OF EDUCATION

Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 6:00 PM
Horace Greeley High School Auditorium

Presiding Officer: Victoria Bayard Tipp
Pledge of Allegiance: Holly McCall

Present:  Board of Education
    Victoria Bayard Tipp, President
    Holly McCall, Vice President
    Hilary Grasso
    Warren Messner
    Jane Kimmel Shepardson - via videoconference

Staff Members:
    Christine Ackerman, Superintendent of Schools
    John Chow, Assistant Superintendent for Business
    Ellen Doherty, Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services
    Adam Pease, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
    Tony Sinanis, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources & Leadership Development
    Joshua Culwell-Block, Director of Technology, Innovation & Mathematics
    Jason Semo, Director of Athletics, Health & Physical Education
    Karen Smith, Director of Special Education and 504 Services
    Liisa Elsner, District Clerk

President Tipp asked for a motion to open the meeting.

Motioned by Victoria Bayard Tipp to open the meeting at 6:05 pm.  Seconded by Holly McCall.  Motion carried 4-0.  Board Member Warren Messner was absent.

Motioned by Victoria Bayard Tipp to appoint Christine Ackerman as District Clerk pro tempore.  Seconded by Holly McCall.  Motion carried 4-0.

Motioned by Victoria Bayard Tipp to adjourn into Executive Session to discuss contracts, negotiations, the employment history of particular persons, matters of health & safety, and to receive advice from counsel.  Seconded by Holly McCall.  Motion carried 4-0.

Board Member Warren Messner joined the Executive Session at 6:10 pm.

Motioned by Jane Kimmel Shepardson to reconvene the public meeting at 7:48 pm.  Seconded by Holly McCall.  Motion carried 5-0.

1.        Information Business Affairs

1.1    President’s Report

1.1.1    New Castle Town Board Proposed Form Based Code:  CCSD Board of Education Written Comments

  • President Tipp summarized the Board of Education’s letter of March 16th to the Town Board of New Castle.


1.1.2    New York State Public Education Funding

WHEREAS every student in New York State should have access to a quality public education, regardless of where the student lives;

WHEREAS COVID-19 has created exceptional short-term costs for school districts, including but not limited to, personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, contact tracing, COVID testing, remote teaching equipment, 1:1 devices and WiFi hotspots for home use;

WHEREAS the recovery from COVID-19 is creating new student needs that will require long-term funding and solutions, especially in the area of mental health, learning loss and digital equity;

WHEREAS federal funds intended to aid schools in managing pandemic costs in the CARES Act was used to fully supplant state aid funds in the 2020-21 school year;

WHEREAS the Executive Budget proposes to use Federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA Act) funds intended for school pandemic expenses to replace $1.35 billion in state aid in the 2021-22 school year;

WHEREAS the Executive Budget proposes to fully use our district’s CRRSA allocation in lieu of state aid for the 2021-22 school year;

WHEREAS the School Tax Relief (STAR) program is intended to support property taxpayers and does not provide additional funding to school districts beyond ensuring the full receipt of their voter-approved tax levies; 

WHEREAS New York State insufficiently funds Foundation Aid, and proposes keeping Foundation Aid funding flat for the second consecutive year, and the shortfall is estimated to be $4 billion; 

WHEREAS the Foundation Aid formula is no longer running as designed, including the use of outdated data and inaccurate measures of student needs and regional costs;

WHEREAS the FY2021-22 Executive Budget proposes consolidating 11 expense-based aids into a Combined Services Aid, and cutting the expected and needed aid to school districts by $693 million in the upcoming year; 

WHEREAS the FY2021-22 Executive Budget proposes permitting transportation aid for spring 2020 during school closures due to COVID-19 only for bus runs that delivered meals, devices or homework to students, and does not permit aid for payments made to ensure buses remained on standby during school closures during that time, or for the school year of 2020-21;

WHEREAS the FY2021-22 Executive Budget proposes to cut the $19 million annual payment toward the Prior Year Adjustments (PYA) aid, and to cut off all funding for the PYA queue and disallow payments for approved aid claims in the amount of over $300 million; and

WHEREAS school districts are limited in their ability to raise funds due to a restrictive property tax levy cap that requires a CPI-based allowable growth factor in the tax levy cap calculation of only 1.23% for the 2021-22 school year, well below the increased costs on school districts due to the pandemic; 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Chappaqua Central School District calls on State Legislators to ensure public schools receive short- and long-term funding to deal with the extraordinary costs and student needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic;

The Chappaqua Central School District calls on State Legislators to reject the Executive Budget proposal to fully supplant state aid with CRRSA Act federal funds;

The Chappaqua Central School District calls on State Legislators to ensure STAR payments to school districts are taken out of the state school aid runs, and all STAR reimbursement due to school districts is fully paid by NYS;

The Chappaqua Central School District calls on State Legislators to work towards full funding of Foundation Aid to ensure a sound basic education for all New York State students; 

The Chappaqua Central School District calls on State Legislators to reject the Executive Budget proposal to combine and reduce 11 expense-based aids in a new Combined Services Aid;

The Chappaqua Central School District calls on State Legislators to deliver Transportation Aid for transportation payments made during school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 and the 2020-21 school year;

The Chappaqua Central School District calls on State Legislators to reject the Executive Budget proposal to permanently require local school districts to fund the State’s 18.42% share of residential placement costs for the most challenged special education students; 

The Chappaqua Central School District calls on State Legislators to maintain and fund the Prior Year Adjustments queue of approved school aid claims; and

The Chappaqua Central School District calls on State Legislators to set the allowable growth factor in the tax levy calculation for the coming 2021-22 school year at 2%.

The Board of Education directs the District Clerk to send a copy of this resolution to the following people:

  • Chris Burdick, State Assembly Member (for school district)
  • Pete Harckham, State Senator (for school district)
  • Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of the State of New York  
  • Carl Heastie, the Speaker of the New York State Assembly
  • Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Majority Leader of the New York State Senate
  • Michael Benedetto, State Assemblyman, Chair, Committee on Education
  • Shelley Mayer, State Senate, Chair, Committee on Education
  • Lester Young, Chancellor, NYS Board of Regents
  • Frances Wills, Regent, 9th Judicial District
  • Betty Rosa, NYS Commissioner of Education
  • Karen Belanger, Executive Director, Westchester Putnam School Boards Association

Motioned by Holly McCall to approve Item 1.1.2 as stated above.  Seconded by Hilary Grasso.  Motion carried 5-0.

1.2    Superintendent’s Report – Dr. Ackerman gave her Community Update highlighting the following:

  • Number of students attending remotely has dropped, including at HGHS
  • Staffing – Dr. Sinanis reported that a couple of teachers who had received remote accommodation would be returning to “in person” teaching
  • Quarantine numbers
  • The District is exploring options for full day in person instruction at HG in mid April
  • Dr. Pease gave an update on testing
  • 8th grade Algebra
  • Amendment to 2020-21 Calendar – ½ day Wednesday will continue to the end of the 2020-21 school year

1.2.1    2020-21 District Calendar – Revised 3/17/21

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby adopts the revised 2020-21 District Calendar.

Motioned by Jane Kimmel Shepardson to adopt Item 1.2.1 as stated above.  Seconded by Hilary Grasso.  Motion carried 5-0.

Presentations:   Curriculum / Technology / Special Education / Athletics Budget Presentations

2.    Committee Reports  
HGSF – Hilary Grasso reminded the community that the Gala will be held on 3/19 and encouraged everyone to logon.
Policy – Warren Messner indicated that the Committee had met and was working on policies for adoption in the near future.
Facilities – Holly McCall said that the Committee had discussed pavilions and cameras.
Communications – Jane Kimmel Shepardson reported that the Committee will meet on 3/23.
CARES – Holly McCall reported that the Committee met on 3/8 and are now engaged in working on recommendations from the CRE and PTA with additional student involvement.  The next meeting will be in May.

Public Comment Period:
We welcome public comments, and in respect for each other's time, we ask that you limit your comments to three minutes. Board members may be contacted via email or phone.  After the public comment period has been completed, Board members may have a discussion among themselves regarding comments presented.

3.      Approvals & Ratifications

3.1    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby accepts the minutes of the March 3, 2021 Board Meeting.

3.2    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby accepts the minutes of the March 7, 2021 Special Board Meeting.

Motioned by Victoria Bayard Tipp to accept Items 3.1 and 3.2 as stated above.  Seconded by Holly McCall.  Motion carried 5-0.

3.3    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby adopts the revised 2020-21 District Safety Plan.

Motioned by Hilary Grasso to adopt Item 3.3 as stated above.  Seconded by Jane Kimmel Shepardson.  Motion carried 5-0.

4.    Recommended Action:   Personnel

Dr. Ackerman recommended Item 4.1 as stated below.

4.1    Instructional

Resolution:
BE IT RESOLVED that, the Board of Education hereby appoints the individual listed as a per diem substitute teacher to be employed on an “as needed” basis:

Rachel Safferstein

Resolution:
BE IT RESOLVED that, the Board of Education hereby appoints the individual listed as a per diem substitute at the Building Specific substitute teacher rate:

Galina Pavel – Horace Greeley High School

Resolution:
BE IT RESOLVED that, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, the Board of Education hereby authorizes the Board President to execute an Agreement regarding Employee #6174, as presented to the Board at this meeting.  A copy of said Agreement shall be incorporated by reference within the minutes of this meeting.

Resignation for Purposes of Retirement:
Ms. Janet Fletcher, Teacher of Special Education, Horace Greeley High School, effective June 30, 2021.

Ms. Teresa McKenna, Teacher of Special Education, Horace Greeley High School, effective June 30, 2021.

Appointment: Long-term Substitute
Ms. Elizabeth DeLessio-Neubauer, School Psychologist, Horace Greeley High School, Robert E. Bell and Seven Bridges Middle Schools, effective March 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021 (or earlier at the discretion of the Board of Education), $630 per diem.

Motioned by Victoria Bayard Tipp to approve Item 4.1 as stated above.  Seconded by Holly McCall.  Motion carried 5-0.

Dr. Ackerman recommended Item 4.2 as stated below.

4.2    Non-Instructional 

Appointment:
Heidi Seymour, Cleaner at Westorchard Elementary School (12 months), effective March 18, 2021, at an annual salary of Step 1, $41,808 (prorated).

Motioned by Hilary Grasso to approve Item 4.2 as stated above.  Seconded by Victoria Bayard Tipp.  Motion carried 5-0.

5.    Recommended Action:  Other
Use of the Consent Agenda permits the Board of Education to make more effective use of its time by adopting a single motion to cover those relatively routine matters, which are included. Any member of the Board who wishes to discuss individually a particular piece of business on the Consent Agenda may so indicate and that item will be considered and voted on separately, thus preserving the right of all Board members to be heard on any issue. It is recommended that the Board of Education approve the following Consent agenda as submitted by the Superintendent of Schools.

5.1    CSE Summaries (2020-21 School Year) reported to the Board on March 17, 2021.

5.2    CSE Summaries (2021-22 School Year) reported to the Board on March 17, 2021.

5.3    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby approves a contract for special education services with North Salem Central School District for 1 student (#701081), effective September 8, 2020 to June 24, 2021, and authorizes the Board President to execute the contract.

5.4    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby approves a contract for health & welfare services with the Greenburgh Central School District for 3 students in the amount of $1,125.89 per student, effective September 8, 2020 through June 25, 2021, and authorizes the Board President, Superintendent and District Clerk to execute the agreement.

5.5    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby approves a contract for health & welfare services with the Somers Central School District for 2 students in the amount of $1,219.11 per student, effective September 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, and authorizes the Board President, Superintendent and District Clerk to execute the agreement.

5.6    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby approves a contract for health & welfare services with the Ossining Union Free School District for 3 students in the amount of $1,013.92 per student, effective September 9, 2020 through June 25, 2021, and authorizes the Superintendent to execute the agreement.

5.7    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby amends the resolution to approve a Tuition and Support Services Agreement with Chamberlain International School for one student (ID# 703449) effective February 13, 2020 to reflect an end date of August 31, 2020.

5.8    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby approves the Contract with The Center for Discovery, Inc. for educational services for the 2020-21 school year at the rate set by New York State Education Department, and authorizes the Board President to execute this Agreement.  

5.9    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby approves a special education services contract with the Irvington Union Free School District for an individualized education service program for one student, effective July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 and authorizes the Superintendent to execute the agreement.

5.10    BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education proposes that the following proposition be placed on the ballot at the Annual Meeting of the qualified voters of the Chappaqua Central School District, Westchester County, New York, to be conducted on May 18, 2021; 

PROPOSITION – HORACE GREELEY HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASIUM BOILER

“Shall the Board of Education of the Chappaqua Central School District, Westchester County, New York be authorized to install a new boiler at the Horace Greeley High School Gymnasium, including associated mechanical, electrical, and general trade work and incidental expenses at a maximum cost of $650,000, with the amount of up to $650,000 to be transferred from the Building and Facilities Improvement Capital Reserve Fund to the capital fund to pay for the costs of such project.  No budget increase is called for in this proposition."

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the School District Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to include this proposition in the legal notice of the Annual Meeting of May 18, 2021, and to publish the legal notice in the Board designated newspapers of the District four times within the seven weeks prior to the Annual meeting.

5.11    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the Chappaqua Central School District, Westchester County, New York, hereby authorizes and directs the District Clerk to give notice to the qualified voters of the School District of the 2021 Annual Public Hearing on the Budget and Annual Meeting, School District Election, Library Election and Vote, as follows:

NOTICE OF 2021 ANNUAL PUBLIC HEARING ON BUDGET, ANNUAL MEETING, SCHOOL DISTRICT ELECTION, LIBRARY ELECTION AND VOTE

5.12    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves Bid Award Recommendation CCSD RFP #2020-12:  Special Education & Related Services, to BANY Partners/Behavior Analysts of NY, LLC, at various rates for the 2020-21 school year with an option to renew for a 12 month period, for a second, third, fourth and fifth year, at the discretion of the District.

5.13    WHEREAS, the Chappaqua Central School District desires to provide a safe and healthy in school education to District students during the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Departmental guidelines and requirements; and
 
WHEREAS, the District is going to increase the number of students in the classroom for in school education and has researched and determined that desk shields are necessary to maintain the safety of District students in accordance with the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Departmental guidelines and requirements for social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and   

WHEREAS, District Administration has researched the best possible solution and resource for sturdy, good quality desk shields that meet, in form and function, the needs of the District and has identified 71 Visuals as the manufacturer that can provide the shields in a timely manner and at the best value to the District; and 
 
WHEREAS, in accordance with the provisions of General Municipal Law §103(4), the Chappaqua Central School District Board of Education, hereby finds and determines that a public emergency exists with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and that it is necessary to protect the health and safety of its students, staff, and anyone else who will occupy any of its buildings and therefore such procurement cannot await competitive bidding; 
 
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Chappaqua Central School District Board of Education authorizes the Superintendent of Schools to enter into a purchase contract with 71 Visuals to provide student desk shields in accordance with the attached price quote for the 2020-2021 school year, and approves and ratifies this resolution. 

Motioned by Jane Kimmel Shepardson to approve Items 5.1 through 5.9 and 5.12 through 5.13 as stated above.  Seconded by Hilary Grasso.  Motion carried 5-0.

Motioned by Holly McCall to approve Item 5.10 as stated above.  Seconded by Hilary Grasso.  Motion carried 5-0.

Motioned by Jane Kimmel Shepardson to approve Item 5.11 as stated above.  Seconded by Hilary Grasso.  Motion carried 5-0.

6.      Facilities

7.      Financials

7.1    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education acknowledges receipt of the Claims Auditor Report for February 2021.

7.2    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education acknowledges receipt of the Treasurer’s Report for February 2021.

7.3     BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education acknowledges receipt of the Appropriation Status Report for February 2021.

7.4    BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education acknowledges receipt of the Revenue Status Report for February 2021.

Motioned by Holly McCall to acknowledge receipt of Items 7.1 through 7.4 as stated above.  Seconded by Victoria Bayard Tipp.  Motion carried 5-0.

8.     Notice of Future Meetings 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 – 7:30 pm
Operations & Maintenance/Non-Instructional/Revenue/Tax Rates/Contingency Budget Presentations
Horace Greeley High School – Auditorium

April 14, 2021 – 7:30 pm
Budget Adoption
Horace Greeley High School - Auditorium

9.      Adjournment 

Motioned by Victoria Bayard Tipp to adjourn the meeting at 10:19 pm.  Seconded by Holly McCall.  Motion carried 5-0.

Respectfully submitted,

Liisa Elsner
District Clerk / Secretary to the Superintendent