Special Board of Education Meeting, 1.22.20

Schenevus Central School District Board of Education

Minutes for the Special Meeting of the Board of Education, Tuesday, January 22, 2020 at 6:30 p.m., located at Worcester Central School

Board President, Kelly Gallagher, called the Board of Education meeting to order at 6:31 p.m.

Members present: Kelly Gallagher, Stacie Haynes (6:37), Liz Reed, Jay Deitchman

Members absent: NONE

Also present: Theresa Carlin, Superintendent, Nicole Couse, District Clerk, Kimberly Matthews, Principal, Alan Pole, Consultant, Deb Ayers, Consultant, Timothy Gonzales, Worcester Superintendent, Wendy Elliott, Worcester District Clerk, William Fisher, Worcester BOE Member, Michelle Francis, Worcester BOE Member, Tanya Shalor, Worcester BOE Member, Stacey Serdy, Worcester BOE Member, Peter Kwiatkowski, Worcester BOE Member, Jessie Westfall, Worcester Elementary Principal, Melissa Leonard, Worcester Secondary Principal, Bill Fredette, Kathi Fredette, Eleanor Rostohar, Peter Oberacker Jr., Shana Ritton, Jason Ritton, Amy Sulas, Gary Pochkar, Nicholas Savin, Camerin Manchester, Ryland Evans, Bev Barnett, April Neske, Aileen Head, Ed Head, Kyle Imperato, Lisa Risse, Veronica Johnson, Leah Johnson, Alicia Basso, Malgorzata Sasso, Chriss Odell, Andy Odell, Sarah Eames, Robert Huntington, Jocelyn Harris, Leean Harris, Eric Haley, Jason Stroosnyder, Aaron Lorette, Mackenzie Sutliff, Lynn Chase, William E. Ellis, Michelle Empie, Jacob Schoeberl, Jeff Schoeberl, Tina Schoeberl, Jillian Clark, Glenn Jaquish, Shannon Manchester, Kiarra Fisher, Heather Conroe, Sean Land, Alexis Jones, Katrina Schwab, Michele Wright, Dawson Rielly, Sean Ralph, Harry Bristol, Jason Knapp, John Zaengle, Athena Frost, Justin Frost, Kelly Maynard, Matt Maynard, Dawn Geiskopf, Emily Hall, Jessie Judd, Janel Reardon, Gail Sondergaard, Harold Ridgeway, Ray Pichette, Tina Brundage, Glen Huot, Brian Morell, Wendy Burton, Diane Addesso, Heidi Armao, Jessica Gaske, Debra Reed, Karrin Reed

Reports

Alan Pole and Deb Ayers, from Castallo and Silky Education Consultants LLC, presented to the Worcester and Schenevus Central School Boards on the process of a Merger Study. See attached slide show presentation. After the presentation, Worcester and Schenevus BOE members were able to ask questions;

  • How do you determine the staff savings so early in the study? You would compare programs and eliminate duplicates.
  • There is no contract in place at this time but there are no limits on how many meetings are needed throughout the study.
  • How do you choose those on the advisory committee when so many people would be interested? You can request to self nominate, appoint certain people, pull names out of a hat, choose based on nominations or application process. It was recommended that both schools use the same process to choose.
  • How is the board involved in what the advisory committee is discussing? You can have the advisory committee present to you at your BOE meetings or the BOE members are welcome to attend the advisory committee meetings as they are part of the community.
  • If the timeline is to be delayed by more than one month, the timeline would have to be pushed back a whole extra year. If we need to make up one meeting we can make that work but no more than that.
  • After the vote passes there will need to be a new BOE, a new Superintendent, a new budget all between January – July. Is this a true realistic timeline? Mr. Pole stated that it is possible however it is not easy.
  • Another part of the study is the comparison of contracts so new contracts can go into place since there will be a new “school” new Teacher Union new CSEA Union and a new BOE to approve of them. This will happen after the July 1 start up.
  • Out of their 11 merger studies 2 have merged successfully.
  • Mr. Pole was asked to give one example of something positive found in a merger study when communities didn’t see a reason to merge. Mr. Pole stated that the last merger that actually did merge began with signs displayed; “Don’t merge”, “Keep our school”, “Keep our kids”, etc. When it came down to it, they realized it would lower taxes in both districts, and they found more opportunities and courses for the kids. They were also able to build a brand new district with 98% paid by the state.
  • Mr. Pole said that when it comes down to it, it will be a clash of data and emotions and it is all determined on how to deal with it.

Public Comment

There were several questions from the public to Mr. Pole, the Merger Study Consultant, such as;

  • Are there sub committees who discuss matters among the non-teachers, teachers, students, and community that would then bring consensus back to the advisory committee? This is not a normal practice but you could schedule things among yourselves.
  • Are there guidelines on how to use state funds? There are recommendations but you are not told what you have to do with it. They help come up with a plan process for a savings for years to come. You could use it to lower taxes or create more classes.
  • What are some reasons for a merger to not happen after a study? Data may not show positive results or emotion may trump the data.
  • What kind of aid will we receive from the state if we merge? It was told that over a 14 year period we would receive just under $11,000,000, which would break down to 1.1 million for 5 years, declining by 4% up to the 14th year. This aid is just to run the school, create programs, change logos, colors, etc. There is also a separate aid amount for facilities reimbursements.

Having no further business before the Board, Jay Deitchman made a motion to adjourn at 8:08 p.m. second, Liz Reed , vote 4-0.

Respectfully submitted, Nicole Couse, District Clerk