Approved Minutes of January 23, 2019

WEST GENESEE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2019

MINUTES of the REGULAR MEETING of the BOARD OF EDUCATION held JANUARY 23, 2019 at the West Genesee High School Library.

Members present:
Eric Bacon
Kimberly Coyne
Vladimiro Hart-Zavoli
Roberta Herron
Jennifer James
Shawn Mitchell
Joseph Simon
Barbara Wells
Neil Widrick

Others present:
Paul Pelton
Brian Kesel
Jody Manning
David Cirillo
Bonnie Russell
Ken Coon
Alicia Kroner
Darlene Chapin
Gene Bobey
T.J. Vaughan
Rob Leo
Gary McAfee
Ann McAfee
Tracy Klefbeck
Maura White
Erica Henson
Randy Henson
Christa Bennett
Brent Suddaby
Lisa Craig
Sean Fahey
Beth Lozier
Mike McGrath
Steve Dunham
William Roberge
Sandi Sherlock
Allyson Stalter
Colleen Lauricella
Chris Repice
Bill Davern
Megan Auge
Mike Burns
Meg Bleskoski
Joanne Bleskoski
Lisa Goodsell
Thomas Hart
Chris Paoli
Sue Corbin
Brad Corbin
Rhys Brigida
Pauline Brigida
Nancy Kastick
Jack Guthrie
Kimberly Femano
Judy Griffith
Kelly Fassinger
Charlie Fassinger
Ike Sisson
Donna Alberts
Terry Moore
Jim St.Croix
Deanna Fitzpatrick
Lauren Mitchell
Keara Robson
Maria Zollo
Thomas Bidwell
Scott Herron
Krista Herron
Nicole Bartolotta
Sophia VanHorn
Abbey VanHorn
Dana Northrop
Monica Canterino
Erin Paris
Mary Weaver
Keith Newvine
Jennifer Mannion
Jennifer Munson
Beth Applegate-Debo
Kristen Klaben
Jamie Abdo
Kathleen Ryan
Kristin Grome
Gloria Francisco
Kim Hagadorn
Patty Searle
Kate Korzeniewski
Heather Puchta
Mary Gotham
Dawn Personte
Jeanine Stables
John Mannion
Mary Beth Smith
Derek Noce
Kim Kemp
Annette Patriarco
Kathleen White
Approximately 15 other staff and/or residents

MEETING CALLED TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by President Roberta Herron at 7:00 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

President Herron led the Board in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ADDITIONS AND DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT

None

OPEN FORUM

None

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

A. Motion: Joseph Simon

It is recommended that the minutes of the Regular Meeting of January 16, 2019, be approved.

Second: Shawn Mitchell Approved 9 – 0

STUDY SESSION TOPICS

None

FINANCIAL ACTION ITEMS

B. Motion: Jennifer James

It is recommended that the stipulated Split Rock Elementary School library materials be declared surplus and disposed of in accordance with New York State Education Law.

Second: Kimberly Coyne Approved 9 – 0

C. Motion: Eric Bacon

It is recommended that the Board of Education accept a donation from the East Hill Elementary School PTA in the amount of $259.85, and it is further recommended that the 2018-19 general fund budget be amended as follows to reflect said donations:

A510 – Estimated Revenues
A2705 – Gifts and Donations $259.85

A960 – Appropriations
A2110-501-05-0030 – General Supplies – EH $259.85

Second: Neil Widrick Approved 9 – 0

D. Motion: Joseph Simon

It is recommended that the Board of Education accept a donation for East Hill Elementary School from the Travelers Employee Giving Campaign in the amount of $240.00, and it is further recommended that the 2018-19 general fund budget be amended as follows to reflect said donation:

A510 – Estimated Revenues
A2705 – Gifts and Donations $240.00

A960 – Appropriations
A2110-501-05-0000 – General Supplies – EH $240.00

Second: Barbara Wells Approved 9 – 0

PERSONNEL/OPERATIONAL ACTION ITEMS

E. Motion: Vladimiro Hart-Zavoli

It is recommended that the following resolution be approved:

RESOLUTION TO APPROVE AND ACCEPT THE RESIGNATION OF
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS AND APPROVE THE SEPARATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE DISTRICT AND THE SUPERINTENDENT (Dr. Christopher Brown)

Be it resolved, that the Board hereby approves and accepts the resignation of Dr. Christopher Brown from his employment as Superintendent of Schools, dated January 22, 2019, to become effective January 23, 2019; and

Be it further resolved, that the Board accepts the Separation Agreement between the District and Dr. Brown, and authorizes the Board President to execute the Separation Agreement on behalf of the Board and file it with the District Clerk.

Second: Kimberly Coyne Approved 9 – 0

A brief discussion followed the motion to approve the resolution accepting the resignation of, and separation agreement with, Dr. Christopher Brown:

Roberta Herron noted that the terms of Dr. Brown’s separation agreement included 90 days pay, plus payment for 30 days of unused vacation time, totaling $120,000, and continued health, dental, and vision insurance through April 2019.

Eric Bacon discussed the factors that were taken into account when considering Dr. Brown’s separation agreement; including pay, legal fees, and hearing officer costs, which would have exceeded the settlement. He thanked the Board for working through the difficult time, and asserted that it is important to move forward now.

Barbara Wells noted that the investigation is now closed.

Roberta Herron added that the details of the investigation are sealed and both parties are bound by a non-disparaging clause.

Shawn Mitchell spoke of the due process that has been completed. He reiterated that moving forward should occur now rather than 4 or 5 months down the road.

Vladimiro Hart-Zavoli stressed the importance of moving forward for the benefit of the students.

F. Motion: Neil Widrick

It is recommended that the following resolution be approved:

APPOINTMENT OF ACTING SUPERINTENDENT

WHEREAS, the Superintendent Dr. Christopher Brown has submitted and the Board of Education has accepted his resignation as Superintendent, effective January 23, 2019; and

WHEREAS, the Board is desirous of appointing a qualified person to serve as Acting Superintendent to oversee and direct District operations; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Education, after due consideration, has determined that Dr. Jody Manning, currently serving as OCM BOCES District Superintendent, possesses the qualifications and experience to serve as the Acting Superintendent of the West Genesee Central School District, to continue the orderly administration of the District’s educational and operational affairs and to undertake such duties and responsibilities on behalf of the District; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Jody Manning, has agreed to additionally serve as the Acting Superintendent for the District during such period without compensation.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that this Board, pursuant to applicable provisions of the New York State Education Law, hereby appoints Dr. Jody Manning as Acting Superintendent of Schools of the West Genesee Central School District effective immediately and continuing through June 30, 2019 unless further extended or terminated; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, as Acting Superintendent, Dr. Manning shall possess all authority and responsibility to serve as Acting Superintendent of Schools of the West Genesee Central School District; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Education Law, the District shall defend, indemnify and hold harmless Dr. Manning from any claims which may arise in connection with his services as Acting Superintendent during such period.

Second: Shawn Mitchell Approved 9 – 0

A brief discussion followed the motion to approve the resolution appointing an Acting Superintendent:

Jennifer James asked about the difference between Acting Superintendent and Interim Superintendent.

Shawn Mitchell explained the process of appointing an Acting Superintendent versus an Interim Superintendent.

Dr. Jody Manning noted that it was a privilege to work with the District through this process. Dr. Manning explained the logistics of his role.

G. Motion: Joseph Simon

It is recommended that the following resignation be approved:

Robert Kawejsza, School Bus Driver, Transportation –
Effective 2/2/19 – Personal Reason

Second: Jennifer James Approved 9 – 0

H. Motion: Barbara Wells

It is recommended that the following appointments be approved:

James Hickey
School Bus Driver
Transportation
Part-time Appointment – Subject to a 52-week probationary period
10.85 hours per week
Effective 1/24/19
Salary: $23.00 per hour
New PM route added

Second: Neil Widrick Approved 9 – 0

I. Motion: Vladimiro Hart-Zavoli

It is recommended that the following change in hours for bus drivers be approved effective 1/24/19:

Melanie Lamanna from 10.85 to 22.10 hours per week

Second: Kimberly Coyne Approved 9 – 0

J. Motion: Joseph Simon

It is recommended that the substitute lists for the 2018-19 school year be approved as stipulated.

Second: Jennifer James Approved 9 – 0

K. Motion: Neil Widrick

It is recommended that the following Permit for Use of Facilities be approved:

Midland Park High School Marching Band
Marching Band Rehearsal
Sunday, October 27, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
West Genesee High School Athletic Field
Per Fee Schedule

Second: Kimberly Coyne Approved 9 – 0

L. Motion: Joseph Simon

It is recommended that the following volunteers be approved for Stonehedge Elementary School:

Colleen Amedro
Beth Binns
Elizabeth Bowen
Jessica Brickman
Rebecca Buff
Marie Casavant
Mary Kay Corcoran
Rebecca Cousineau
Patricia D’Angelo
Michael Davis
Joanne Deaton
Lisa Diers
Coral Falchi
Stacie Fitzgerald
Dawn Frontuto
Jacklyn Godfrey
Katie Hayes
Sarina Howe
Michelle McCarthy
Alison Meade
Julie Napierski
Jennifer Pawliw
Gretchen Schlienk-Schubmehl
Sean Smith
Sarah Snell

Second: Kimberly Coyne Approved 9 – 0

CURRICULUM ACTION ITEMS

M. Motion: Barbara Wells

It is recommended that the Board of Education of the West Genesee Central School District accept the recommendations of the CPSE, CSE, and Building Level Review Meeting dates listed below; thereby agreeing to make necessary arrangements for program implementation.

CPSE
January 16, 2019

CSE
January 8, 2019
January 11, 2019
January 14, 2019

Building Level
December 3, 2018
January 9, 2019
January 11, 2019
January 16, 2019

Second: Jennifer James Approved 9 – 0

N. Motion: Joseph Simon

It is recommended that the following Board of Education Policies be approved (2nd vote consideration):

INSTRUCTION #4326
CURRICULUM
Instruction for English Language Learners

INSTRUCTION #4730
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
Homework

INSTRUCTION #4773
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
Credential Options for Students with Disabilities

Second: Vladimiro Hart-Zavoli Approved 9 – 0

REPORTS

Claims Audit Sub-Committee – Joseph Simon reported that the next Committee meeting is March 6, 2019, at 6:15 p.m.

Audit Committee – Paul Pelton said that the Internal Auditor will start soon.

Policies and Bylaws Committee – Neil Widrick stated that the next Committee meeting is February 6, 2019, at 6:15 p.m.

Teaching Center – Brian Kesel reported that the Directing Council did not meet in January.

Parent Curriculum Information Council – Brian Kesel shared that the next meeting is February 12, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. The topic is the multi-tiered system of support for students with an emphasis on English Language Learners.

Ad Hoc Employee Benefits Committee – Neil Widrick stated that the next meeting will be March 11, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. in the District Office.

SEPTSA – Vladimiro Hart-Zavoli noted that the previous meeting had been cancelled.

OPEN FORUM

Roberta Herron commended the Board for persevering the last 21 days. She thanked the community for their support, and mentioned opportunities for improvement.

Eric Bacon noted that he did a lot of listening last week. He spoke of contributions needed from all stakeholders moving forward.

Vladimiro Hart-Zavoli first thanked Mrs. Herron and Mr. Mitchell for their tireless efforts. He noted that over the past weeks many things were said, but we will heal together moving forward.

Barbara Wells shared that she is proud of how appropriately the Board handled this situation.

Kimberly Coyne agreed that the Board did allow for due process while maintaining their integrity.

Neil Widrick noted that the group has been through a lot the last few weeks. He thanked the community for coming out to speak. He added that we will get through this and heal together.

Joseph Simon thanked the Board of Education and District Administrators. He asked the community to stay involved and thanked them for their support.

Jennifer James thanked everyone involved, agreeing that we would move forward stronger.

Kathy Ryan thanked the Board of Education for an expedited solution. She noted that she realizes that the expectation of immediate results is unrealistic.

Sandra Sherlock read a statement that was published on syracuse.com.

Judy Griffith thanked everyone for coming to a quick solution. She inquired about the status of Shannon Coholan. David Cirillo responded that Miss Coholan is on administrative leave.

Dan Burlingame asked what the plan is moving forward, now that we have a solution. He noted, that in his opinion, the current superintendent contract is excessive. The Board discussed the process of establishing a contract.

Martha Bugin spoke of the actions of the Board on previous matters. She felt that some Board Members are there for the wrong reason. She read a lengthy statement regarding the rights of children.

Krista Bennett noted she is a West Genesee alumni and moved back to have her kids graduate here. She pointed out that Dr. Brown did do a good job in the District. She said integrity is the key. She hoped the Board keeps their word moving forward. She added that parents also have responsibility.

Dana Northrop asked about the current cost of the investigation. He wanted to know how the buyout was calculated. He noted that we need to do something about social media and TV. He wants to see more students on the news versus photo ops.

Kathleen Guthrie shared that she is upset with the amount of Dr. Brown’s salary.

John Mannion said he appreciates the Board’s efforts, and also wants to make things better.

Karen Kelly wanted to know who is responsible for future hires, and what the plan is moving forward. She then questioned the importance of attending Board meetings, asking what she would learn.

Gloria Francisco was impressed with how many people attended this BOE meeting. She hoped that people will come more often.

Shawn Mitchell spoke of integrity again. He noted that he feels that he is in tune with the community.

Jody Manning gave a brief overview of the superintendent search process.

Kimberly Coyne spoke of the logistics of the agenda for Board meetings. She noted that the superintendent’s report discusses the happenings of the last week or two. The report also discusses projects that are being planned and underway. Paul Pelton noted that the open forum was another agenda area that gives the District the opportunity to present program results, recommendations, and student recognition for academic and athletic accomplishments.

Erica Henson noted that this dialogue is not personal, but out of concern for their children. She asked about the succession plan, and the structure of the administration.

Dana Northrop expressed his curiosity of the Board’s level of participation in hiring staff for leadership positions. David Cirillo gave a review of the various processes used to fill vacancies.

Jamie Abdo declared her desire to move forward with more communication and wants to make sure there is a committee to be part of the process. She asked if there are more counselors available for students. Brian Kesel noted that these processes are already in place, and that all our staff is ready to assist students and staff as needed.

Kathleen Guthrie expressed that she feels kids will not open up to counselors. She noted that we need open communication with students.

Dan Burlingame thanked Brian Kesel for his services.

Mary Gotham noted that when John Mannion speaks, he is speaking on behalf of all teachers.

Meg Raymond spoke of the West Genesee Marching Band and Color Guard staff that was let go. Bill Davern replied that Marching Band and Color Guard staffing needs are reviewed every year, seeking opportunities for improvement.

Keith Newvine expressed that he still has no idea where Miss Coholan is, and asked who is in charge at the High School. David Cirillo clarified that Miss Coholan is still the Executive Principal. During her administrative leave, Tracy Klefbeck is the main contact at the High School.

Jennifer Munson asked about the principal vacancy at Split Rock Elementary School. She also questioned the Safety Committee responsibilities. David Cirillo reviewed the hiring process for the Split Rock Elementary School principal, adding that the Safety Committee is going to be moving forward soon.

Tom Hart said he is a proud parent and thanked Chris Brown for helping his children.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

O. Motion: Eric Bacon

It is recommended that the Board of Education go into Executive Session for matters of personnel. (8:25 p.m.)

Second: Shawn Mitchell Approved 9 – 0

RETURN TO REGULAR SESSION

P. Motion: Shawn Mitchell

It is recommended that the Board of Education return to Regular Session. (9:34 p.m.)

Second: Vladimiro Hart-Zavoli Approved 9 – 0

ADJOURNMENT

Q. Motion: Vladimiro Hart-Zavoli

It is recommended that the Regular Session of the Board of Education be adjourned. (10:16 p.m.)

Second: Shawn Mitchell Approved 9 – 0

Respectfully Submitted,

Paul E. Pelton, District Clerk