The meeting was called to order by Mrs. Maurer, President, at 7:00 p.m.
It was moved by Mr. Graham, seconded by Mr. Deason, to approve the minutes from the December 11, 2017 Regular Board of Education Meeting. The motion was carried unanimously. (8-0)
2. SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT:
- The Public Hearing for the proposed land purchase will take place under “Old Business”, that will be the time that we will discuss the proposal, and questions from the audience can be asked.
- A capital project status report was given out to the Board. Ken Chester put together a report on the project because we did not have our committee meeting. We will have one more meeting to finalize the plans. Ambient will test for asbestos and what type of abatement we will have.
- Since we did not have a policy committee meeting in January, Mr. Jenkins went through all the policies and wrote notes on them. After the Board reads through the policies, if there are any questions, we can discuss them at the February meeting under Old Business.
3. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION:
Joe Cutshall-King, and his wife Sara live on 20 Elizabeth Street in Glens Falls. Mr. Cutshall-King said he had concerns regarding the purchase of the property on 35 Glenwood Avenue. If we are not a bussing district, why is there a need for more buses? He said he had difficulty understanding because our enrollment dropped over the last fourteen years. He also wanted to know if we were going to modify the buildings or demolish the buildings, and was the plan available to the public. He also wanted to know if there was a historic impact report online or is one going to be done? He also asked if the school district paid for the removal of the trees in front of the house.
Mr. Jenkins – We will be discussing the purchase of the property during the Old Business section of our agenda. We are going to show a video that may answer some of your questions, and I will try and make sure I address each one of your concerns.
- Kensington PTA – Kelly Stevens reported $250.00 was raised for Make-A-Wish. In December, the PTA held an Ornament Party, and a Breakfast where students could meet Santa. It was a huge success! The PTA is currently preparing and working on the upcoming talent show, which is being held on January 26th.
- Curriculum Committee – Mr. Deason reported the committee met prior to the Board Meeting. Mr. Clay provided an update regarding the professional development that the district has been doing with Meteor regarding rigor, student engagement, and unit design. High School English Department Chair, Katie Arney, provided board of education members with an overview of a project based unit she has developed based on the professional development with Meteor. This project involves students redesigning their classroom space to make it more conducive to collaborative work. Students from Mrs. Arney’s class will return in the spring to present findings from their research and ideas to the board of education. Mr. Clay provided a summary of our 2017 High School Regents results that were embargoed until recently. Discussion also took place regarding computer based testing. All grades 3-8 Math and ELA state testing will be computer- based for Glens Falls this spring (April – May 2018).
It was moved by Mrs. Culliton, seconded by Mr. Deason, to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion was carried unanimously. (8-0) (Attached)
A. Student Placements
B. Financial Reports
1. Warrant 6A, 6B, and the Internal Claims Auditor’s Report
C. National Honor Society Field Trip
to New York City on Friday, May 25, 2018 – Saturday, May 26, 2018
D. Early Graduation Request
for Sebastian LaForge
E. Discard Library Books
at the High School
F. 2017-2018 Health Services Rate
G. 2018-2019 Budget Calendar
H. Election Inspectors
for the Special District Meeting on Tuesday, January 23, 2018
I. Photographic Donation
of the 2017 Football Team from Jenn March
1. Non-Teaching Resignations:
- Harris, Bobbi, Library Aide, Effective November 14, 2017 Waite,
- Allicen, Teacher Aide, Effective December 13, 2017
2. Non-Teaching Change in Appointment:
- Mason, Meresa, from 6.50 Hour Teacher Aide to 6.50 Hour Teacher Assistant, Effective December 18, 2017, Salary; $14,189.50 prorated, Probationary Period: December 18, 2017 – December 18, 2021
3. Rescind Coaching Appointment:
- Iullucci, Ashleigh, Modified Softball Coach, Effective January 2, 2018
4. Volunteer Coaches:
- Backus, Dan; Varsity Wrestling
End of Consent Agenda
It was moved by Mr. Deason, seconded by Mr. Levin, to approve the 2018 Advocacy Resolution. The motion was carried unanimously. (8-0) (Attached)
Mrs. Stockdale – Can you go through the list and explain why these are the advocacy priorities?
Mr. Jenkins – The advocacy priorities are developed by Superintendents through BOCES, and put together with guidance from our lobbyist in Albany. We have approved advocacy priorities in the past, but not last year. The CSO Advocacy Committee has asked each Superintendent in our BOCES to approve the resolution.
- 1. Fund and Adjust the Foundation Formula The Foundation Aid Formula was put in place several years ago as part of an effort to provide for a transparent, equitable and reliable funding stream for school districts. It was designed to supplement other forms of district revenue, specifically the local tax levy. With the implementation of the tax levy cap, it is critical that the foundation formula be adequately funded. Recommended changes include, but are not limited to the following:
- Review and Update the Foundation Amount – currently $6,340.00 per pupil.
- Since the great recession, area school districts have seen a notable increase in the Free and Reduced Rate for School Lunch (FRPL count). The Foundation aid formula was designed prior to the “great recession” and the tax cap. Adjust the weighting factor for Free and Reduced Lunch to reflect large increases in this population.
- Reduce the Income Wealth Index
- Maintain the “SAVE Harmless” provision. Many districts have lost enrollment since Foundation Aid was frozen at 2008-09 levels. However, the enrollment decrease is generally not sufficient to further decrease staffing.
- Provide a minimum increase in foundation aid to all school districts.
- 2. Increase the $30,000 Threshold on BOCES Aid for Career and Technical Education (CTE)Programs: Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs provide students with essential skills that prepare them for college and careers. However, the existing state aid formula for CTE programs operated by BOCES only provides aid for the first $30,000 of a BOCES instructor’s salary, although the average salary of a CTE teacher is now $65,000. The current salary cap was established in 1992 and must be increased to ensure that students have access to the CTE pathway by providing 100% aid ability for the salaries of CTE teachers.
- 3. Small Group Insurance
The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) required states to change the definition of what constitutes a small group for purposes of health insurance from the previous classification of those with between 1-50 employees to those with 51-100 employees. As a result, many school districts and other municipal corporations that had 51-100 employees would have encountered significant increases in health care costs because they would have been forced to leave their Health Care Consortiums or Trusts and enter the community pool. To prevent this from happening, create a carve out provision, to allow all school districts with 51-100 or more employees to continue to participate in an experience rated Health Care Consortium or Trust.
- 4. Building Aid for Small Capital Projects: Current law allows school districts to be reimbursed for base year capital outlay expenses for one project each year that has a total cost of $100,000 or less without being subject to the lengthy assumed amortization schedule that otherwise exists. This helps districts to undertake smaller, but important capital projects, receive aid much quicker, while saving the State money on interest payments. Because the threshold amount of $100,000 was established in 2002 and has not increased since that time, raising the threshold amount to $250,000 would assist districts in making critical capital improvements.
It was moved by Mr. Graham, seconded by Mrs. Culliton, to approve the following Volunteer Coaches for the Youth Basketball Program:
- Deason, Jeremy K-1 Basketball Romeo, Mike K-1 Basketball
- Woodell, Jeffery 4th Grade Boys Basketball
The motion was carried. (7-0) (Mr. Deason abstained)
Mrs. Stockdale – Were they fingerprinted and background checked?
Mr. Jenkins – Yes
It was moved by Mrs. Culliton, seconded by Mr. Deason, to approve the Certification of unpaid Queensbury Taxes. (Roll Call): Mr. Levin (Yes), Mrs. Greenwood (Yes), Mrs. Culliton (Yes), Mrs. Spector- Tougas (Yes), Mrs. Maurer (Yes), Mr. Deason (Yes), Mr. Graham (Yes), Mrs. Stockdale (Yes). The motion was carried unanimously. (8-0) (Attached)
The district received a request from a community-based theatre group. The group is comprised of adults, with many adults in the group who have dealt with special needs. The annual performance is usually held at Queensbury School, but they cannot have it there this year because of renovations. Joe Ambrosini, a former School Counselor at Glens Falls, is the Board President of the group and asked if they could use our auditorium in April. They would like us to waive the building usage fee. We have a number of Glens Falls graduates in the program.
Mr. Deason – It’s not a huge amount of time? Mr. Jenkins – No, a weekend and practice on a Thursday. We would have to pay for a custodian, and someone to run the lights.
Mrs. Stockdale – We could have them cover the extra charges that are incurred.
- It was moved by Mr. Graham, seconded by Mrs. Culliton, to waive the rental fee for the Adirondack Production and Theatre, Inc. The group will cover the expenses above and beyond the rental fee. The motion was carried unanimously. (8-0)
Public Hearing on the Property Purchase Ballot Resolution of Jan. 23, 2018
The public hearing was held for the Purchase of the Property at 35 Glenwood Avenue. Mr. Jenkins showed a video (https://vimeo.com/214745366), and discussion followed.
Mr. Jenkins: To answer Mr. Cutshall-King’s questions:
- Our student enrollment is 2,050 right now. It has consistently hovered right around 2,000 students for at least the last five years (since 2013).
- We bus a good portion of our student population, as every one of our 16 buses and 6 vans is on the road, each morning and afternoon — not even counting the mid-day field trips and sports transportation. As a district, we are mandated by NYS to transport homeless, foster, and special education students.
- We currently have no plans to demolish the buildings on site. Regarding the house, if we were to utilize it for office space, some modifications would be necessary to make sure it is in compliance with ADA/wheelchair accessibility, and fire alarm codes. We’ve looked at the buildings as part of the property assessment, and we don’t see the need to knock anything down now. Our immediate need is for the land, so that we have more space to park and maneuver our buses safely. The one thing we’d do right away is pave some area for the buses.
- The district hasn’t removed any trees at 35 Glenwood. We don’t own it, so we wouldn’t (and couldn’t) order or pay for that. The only thing we’ve purchased is the appraisal on the property, which was necessary to draft the property purchase offer and Board resolution. If it passes and we own it, at that point we would do the historical study, etc.
We are able to use fund balance to buy this property. There would be no additional taxes on residents, and the district is not cutting programs. We’ve talked about a land purchase for a number of years with property owners on both sides of the bus garage … whether they would be willing to sell. Our postage- stamp property for the bus garage doesn’t give us a lot of room since our fleet has expanded to meet students’ needs.
Sue Vincent – What percent of fund balance are you using?
Mr. Jenkins – Mr. Yusko, our Assistant Superintendent of Business, is not here tonight. If you give me your number, I will call you with that answer, but it is not a large percentage of our fund balance that we would be using.
Sue Vincent – National Grid took the trees down because they’re putting in a new main line.
Audience Member – Why the rush to purchase the property now?
Mr. Jenkins – The property owner approached Mr. Chester in September and said they were relocating and had to sell. They gave us a few months to try and get this approved. The owners were on a timeline, and they’ve already relocated. The house has already been off the market for several months, which isn’t good for them if the district’s proposal to buy the property doesn’t go through.
Mrs. Stockdale – Are there any limitations on the purchase price?
Mr. Jenkins – Yes. The property appraisal came in at $240,000…that is the cost we can pay. By law, we cannot pay more money than its worth. We actually had to negotiate that with the current owners because the property was initially listed at more than that.
We don’t have another piece of property within the district boundaries where we could relocate our bus garage or make changes that could house our fleet. Even on our current bus garage property at 31 Glenwood, if we had to knock down our barns, there’s no place to go because we already use every foot of our property and then some.
In future, it would take a capital project, with approval by the Board of Education, district voters, and State Ed, to build or re-build any structures on the properties. We can’t just go in there, knock the buildings down and build a new bus garage. That’s not an option.
Audience Member – Would that expand the amount of buses and vehicles we have and possibly open up transporting our kids to after school programs, such as going to the ski program at West Mountain?
Mr. Jenkins – We don’t have any spare buses. If we could expand our space that would give us the option to expand our fleet and then we’d be able to talk about additional transportation possibilities.
Mr. Jenkins – Right now, we are looking at using the house for offices. Currently, the transportation and facilities office is right inside the bus garage, so they could move over. We could also relocate the Special Education office that is at Sanford right now, and rent Sanford Street School out completely. The garage and the ice house would be used for storage.
Mr. Cutshall-King – Is there a concern that it’s a historical property?
Mr. Jenkins – The property isn’t on the historical register. The vote is on January 23rd from noon – 9:00 p.m. at Sanford Street School.
8. NEW BUSINESS:
9. EXECUTIVE SESSION:
At 7:48 p.m., it was moved by Mr. Deason, seconded by Mrs. Stockdale, to adjourn to executive session to discuss a personnel issue. The motion was carried unanimously. (8-0)
Executive Session ended at 8:12 p.m.
It was moved by Mrs. Greenwood, seconded by Mr. Deason, to come out of executive session. The motion was carried unanimously. (8-0)
At 8:13 p.m., there being no further business, it was moved by Mrs. Stockdale, seconded by Mrs. Culliton, to adjourn the meeting. The motion was carried unanimously. (8-0)