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Jan. 26, 2021 Meeting Minutes

Minutes Regular Board Meeting – January 26, 2021

Location: Virtual (Originally Scheduled for CVMS)

Consideration of Executive Session –Board Communications 6:00 PM

Regular Session 7:00 PM

Meeting televised Live Streamed remotely with attendance via Google Meet Hangouts. Video and Minutes to be Posted to Website with Closed Caption.

Members Present

  • Gretchen Meier, President
  • Cara Robertson, Vice President
  • Kristin Graessle
  • Dori Johnson
  • Kristi Kheiralla
  • Ross Tompkins
  • Matthew Watkins

 

Members Absent

  • None

 

Others Present

  • Tim Mains, Superintendent of Schools
  • Donna Geidel, Deputy Superintendent of Schools
  • Amy Brockner, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
  • Michael Pacella, Assistant Superintendent for Business
  • Angela Wise, Director of Human Resources, Data and Counseling
  • Linda Smith, District Communications Representative
  • John Hicks, Director of Educational Technology
  • Deborah June, District Clerk
  • Maria Wise, Incoming District Clerk
  • Approximately 28 residents/students/staff members (virtual)

 

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by President Gretchen Meier with the following motion offered:

MOVED by Trustee Graessle, second by Trustee Robertson, that the Board of Education open the regular meeting at approximately 6:02 PM

YES –7 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

 

Adjourn to Executive Session

MOVED by Trustee Robertson, second by Trustee Kheiralla , that the Board of Education adjourn regular session to executive session for a discussion regarding a particular contract and personnel matter at approx.6:03 PM.

YES –7 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

 

Adjourn Executive Session and Return to Regular Session

MOVED by Trustee Johnson, second by Trustee Kheiralla, that the Board of Education adjourn executive session to regular session at approximately 7:01PM.

YES –7 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

 

BOE Resumes Regular/Public Session

MOVED by Trustee Graessle, second by Trustee Johnson, that the Board of Education resume the regular meeting/public session at approximately 7:03 PM.

YES –7 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

 

President Gretchen Meier welcomed all to the regular meeting, and requested all stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, noting the time at approx. 7:03 PM.

 

Approval of Minutes

MOVED by Trustee Johnson, second by Trustee Kheiralla, that the Board of Education approve the minutes from the January 12, 2021 regular board meeting as submitted by the District Clerk.

YES –7 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

 

Board of Education Approves Including Addition to Consent Agenda

MOVED by Trustee Kheiralla, second by Trustee Tompkins, that the Board of Education approve to add an addition to the Consent agenda for action (pertaining to a resolution regarding the continued temporary appointment of
Donna Geidel, Deputy Superintendent of Schools).

YES –7 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

 

Reports, Recommendations of the Superintendent of Schools

Consent Agenda

MOVED by Trustee Robertson, second by Trustee Kheiralla, that the Board of Education approve the following Consent Agenda and addition* to the Consent Agenda as submitted by the Superintendent of Schools:

Tonight’s consent agenda included the appointment of the following:

  • Jennifer Schiesser –Teacher
  • Lisa Gorman – Monitor

 

Resignations

Instructional

  • Lisa Jollie, resignation, for the purpose of retirement, from her position as a 1.0 FTE Teacher- Elem 4-6, effective at the close of business on February 12, 2021.

 

Non-Instructional

  • Cynthia Russell, resignation, for the purpose of retirement, from her position as a 1.0 FTE Physical Therapy Assistant, effective at the close of business February 27, 2021.

 

Leave of Absence

Instructional

  • Cynthia Coleman, unpaid leave of absence from her position as a 1.0 FTE Teacher- Elem 4-6 effective January 19, 2021 through February 26, 2021.  
  • Arlene Cooper, unpaid leave of absence from her position as a 6.0 hours/day Teaching Assistant effective January 21, 2021 through February 21, 2021.  

 

Non Instructional

  • Cathy Kahn, unpaid leave of absence from her position as a 3.5 hours/day School Monitor effective January 19, 2021 through April 19, 2021.  

 

Appointments

Administrative

Appointment (Addition to Consent Agenda)*

Recommend the Board of Education approve the following resolution:

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the Pine Bush Central School District appoints Donna Geidel as a full-time Deputy Superintendent on a temporary basis at the rate of $950.00 for each day worked through no later than February 9, 2021, and further approves the Waiver of Tenure Agreement.

 

Instructional

Jennifer Schiesser, who holds a Permanent certificate in PreK, Kindergarten and Grades 1-6, be appointed to a part-time, non-tenure bearing position of 0.5 FTE Teacher in the Elementary tenure effective January 27, 2021 and ending June 30, 2021. Salary for the school year will be MA, Step 5 of the salary schedule (pro-rated).

 

Non Instructional

  • Lisa Gorman, probationary appointment to a 3.5 hours/day position of School Monitor, effective January 19, 2021 salary as per contract (pro-rated).  

 

Non-Instructional – Rescind

Rescind the appointment of the following staff member previously reinstated to the School Monitor positions, based on her seniority, through the following appointment, effective on January 19, 2021 or at a later date pending the district return to in person hybrid instruction for grades 7 -12.

  • Cindy Rivera, rescind reinstatement of 3.5 hours/day

 

Per Diem Substitutes

Board approval for the appointment of the following individuals as per diem substitutes effective January 27, 2021
(or as noted) at board approved per diem substitute rates:

  • Taylor Jones
  • Wendy Holmes*
  • Alyssa Rosanelli
    *Such appointment is conditioned upon the District’s receipt of clearance for employment from the N.Y. State Education Department relating to the fingerprinting and criminal history record check of the prospective school
    employees. The emergency conditional segments of the appointments shall commence as of January 27, 2021 and shall not exceed twenty (20) business days.

YES –7 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

 

CSE and CPSE Placement Recommendation

MOVED by Trustee Robertson, second by Trustee Robertson, that the Board of Education approve all IEPs of the Committee on Special Education and the Committee on Preschool Special Education as submitted by the CSE and
CPSE Chairperson and reviewed by Trustee Robertson.

YES –7 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

 

Long Range Planning Study Report / Demographics Update

Mike Pacella, Assistant Superintendent for Business provided a PowerPoint presentation summarizing the Long Range Planning Study / Demographic Update for 2021. Highlights from the presentation were as follows:

Births

  • There were 3,745,540 nationally recorded births in 2019, which is the lowest number recorded since 1985.
  • The projection is that there will be a further decline due to the pandemic and economic recession.
  • Within the district, the birth data is not yet available as hospitals were too busy with COVID related illnesses.

Census/Population Data

  • NYS actually had a net gain in population of 75,000 people since 2010 Census. However, NY was second in the nation (behind California) in domestic migration at -180,649.
  • Between 2010-2019, Orange County’ population increased by 12,127(3.3%); Ulster County decreased by 4,920 (-2.7%); Sullivan County decreased by 2,115(-2.7%).
  • Pine Bush Central School District decreased by 67 for a total of 33,178 in 2019.

District Housing

  • Due to the pandemic the housing market came to a halt resulting in a decline of 65% in new listings. It rebounded in the last few months spurred by record low mortgage rates and NYC residents seeking homes with open space and schools that have a greater chance of in-person learning
  • Median sale prices increased to $340,000 (25.9%) from prior year
  • 86% of all housing is occupied while 14% is vacant
  • 75% of the housing is owner occupied (decrease from prior year)
  • 25% is renter occupied ( increase from prior year)

Local Planning Departments reported:

  • Bloomingburg – 28 units under construction (Winterton Condos)
  • Wallkill – 23 units under construction (Various Locations)
  • Crawford – no new construction

 

District Enrollment

  • We have experienced a loss of 930(16.5%) students over the last 10 years
  • More losses are expected over the next 10 years of 628 (13.3%) students
  • The current enrollment is 4,721 which is 205 less than last year
  1. Current K-5 enrollment is 1,931
  2. Current 6-8 enrollment is 1,138
  3. Current 9-12 enrollment is 1,649

The presentation continued with review of the 10 year Enrollment Change; 5 year Projected Enrollment (actual 2020 through projected 2025-2026; 10 year enrollment chart illustrating change (actual vs. projected) 2012 to 2021.

Summary:

  • New York is the fourth most populous state in the country. Prior to 2014, New York was third. The 2020 Census data is not yet available.
  • The housing market posted significant gains at the end of 2020 and the median price has increased almost 25%.
  • The district recorded a loss of 930 students from 2011/2012 to 2020/2021 spread out in all grades.
  • Over the next 5-year period, all grade levels are projected to continue losing students.
  • The accuracy of these projections has averaged approximately 98.5% over the past five years.

Mr. Pacella was thanked for his presentation.

 

Return to Learn Report/ Re-opening/ Athletics Update

Donna Geidel, Deputy Superintendent and Amy Brockner, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction provided a return to learn /re-opening report and an athletics update. Slide presentations were provided.
Highlights from the RETURN TO LEARN REPORT were as follows:

  • The number of students who returned to Hybrid Instruction was broken down by school and A day and B day.
  • The total number of students in the district returning to hybrid instruction is 2,380, with 1218 students on A days and 1,162 students on B days.

Important Reminders

  • Parents of hybrid students need to complete the health questionnaire on the mornings their child attends school.
  • As per Orange County Department of Health guidelines, children and staff members who are required to quarantine cannot return to school without a clearance note from a physician.
  • Parents of hybrid students who are absent will receive a call from the school nurse inquiring about the reason for the absence. If the child is exhibiting COVID symptoms, a doctor’s note will be required to return to school.

How to Keep Our Schools Open

  • If your child exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, do not send them to school
  • Remind your child to wear a mask and be socially distant from non-family members on the bus and in school
  • Limit non-essential travel – especially during the February and March breaks
  • If your child travels to a non-contiguous state, US territory or CDC level 2 and higher country for more than 24 hours, follow NYS’s quarantine procedures before sending your child to school. A doctor’s note will be required, as per Orange County Department of Health guidelines.

Percentage of In-Person/Hybrid Students Whose Parents Agreed to Testing (if in Orange or Red Zone) (By Building)

  • Chart demonstrated the percentage of families in agreement to testing by school building.
  • Mrs. Brockner explained that we would need 20% tested if we were to be in Orange and 30% tested if we were in Red Zone.

Mrs. Brockner was thanked for her presentation.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ATHLETIC UPDATE were as follows:

Pine Bush Athletics “Back to Play:” Information was presented to communicate the transition process our school is taking to return to competitive athletics during the continued COVID pandemic.

Review of athletics since last March

  • NYSPHSAA (New York State Public High School Athletic Association) cancels 2020 spring sports season
  • NYSPHSAA to delay start of fall high school sports season due to COVID -19. Start date delayed to Sept. 21, fall regional and state championships cancelled; option remains for ‘condensed seasons’ starting in January 2021
  • Section IX postpones high school fall sports to 2021; winter sports to start Nov. 30
  • NYSPHSAA moves “high” risk fall sports, including football, to March 2021
  • NYSPHSAA cancels winter state championships and puts high-risk sports on hold for high school student–athletes due to pandemic
  • OCIAA postpones winter sports start to Jan. 19
  1. January 22: Gov. Cuomo punts the decision to allow high risk sports to county departments of health.
  2. Each Sport Was Assigned a Risk Classification:
  • NYSDOH (New York State Department of Health) Risk Classification System as per the Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
  • The ability to participate in sports and recreation activities is determined by a combination of the risk for COVID-19 transmission (1) inherent in the sport or recreation activity itself and (2) associated with the “type of play”(e.g. individual practice vs. game).

Lower Risk Sports, Moderate Risk Sports and Higher Risk Sports were reviewed. Also reviewed were the guidelines to return to play, current plans based on that guidance, COVID considerations that are necessary for safety and reasons for delaying modified sports for now.

The plan moving athletics forward:

  • The district is planning to continue to implement a gradual return to play in order to safely get our athletic program back to full strength (all sports and levels).
  • Winter- Varsity Only (Boys Swimming and Diving)
  • Fall 2- JV and Varsity Sports
  • Spring- Modified, JV and Varsity Sports

***Decisions about expanding will be based on positivity rates and success of the sports we offer first.

Current Pine Bush Winter 2021 Offerings (All Meets are virtual)

WINTER SPORTS 2021

  • High School Level (grades 9-12)
  • Varsity Boys Swimming & Diving
  • Proposed Pine Bush “Fall 2” 2021 Offerings:

FALL 2 SPORTS

  • High School Level (grades 9-12)
  • Varsity Girls and Boys Cross Country
  • Varsity and JV Girls & Boys Soccer
  • Varsity and JV Cheerleading-Pending***
  • Varsity and JV Field Hockey
  • Varsity and JV Girls Tennis
  • Varsity and; JV Volleyball-Pending***
  • Varsity and JV Football-Pending***
  • Varsity Girls Swimming and Diving

***Pending: Department of Health approval and/district approval of high-risk sports

Tentative Pine Bush Spring 2021 Offerings:

SPRING SPORTS

  • High School Level (grades 9-12)
  • Varsity Golf
  • Varsity & JV Softball
  • Varsity & JV Baseball
  • Varsity & JV Boys Tennis
  • Varsity Girls & Boys Track & Field
  • Varsity & JV Boys Lacrosse- Pending
  • Varsity & JV Girls Lacrosse
  • Unified Basketball
  • Middle School Level (7-8)
  • Modified Baseball (2)
  • Modified Softball (2)
  • Modified Girls & Boys Lacrosse (Pending)
  • Modified Girls & Boys Track and Field

Mrs. Geidel continued to review what the district has done to date to prepare so far. In closing she provided the following reminder:

  • COVID is a fluent situation;
  • Our primary goal is to keep schools open for in-person hybrid learning;
  • Balancing that goal while also supporting students’ participation in extracurricular activities.

Mrs. Geidel was thanked for her presentation.

(Brief board conversations ensued throughout the presentation some of which included the following topics;

  • Will practice take place if school is closed? District needs to be mindful that safety is the priority;
  • Inquiry regarding testing abilities (possible drive-up or one location to facilitate).

Public Participation

The first public participation segment was open at approx. 8:06 PM. Some of the following questions/comments/concerns raised and received before 5 PM:

  • Several parent comments requesting district have students eat in lunch in their classroom as other district are doing (addressed by Deputy Supt., currently making plans for elem. students to begin eating in classroom beginning next week)
  • Parent comment, district doing wonderful job but request not to change students to eat in their classroom;
  • Could volunteers come in to help monitor classrooms for lunch;
  • Statement putting all responsibility on board and central administration;
  • Concern regarding travel during winter break and return to school
  • Concerned regarding non-socially distanced gatherings;
  • Will district enact a holiday pause after breaks, please consider;
  • Request to consider pause pending staff get vaccinations (note: vaccines are difficult to obtain, at this time it is not the district’s intention to have a holiday pause, however, it is all under consideration as time goes on, also noted vaccinations are not mandated and if people travel they need to follow the state guidelines);
  • Thank you provided Covid updates and consider temporary return to learn;
  • Thank you for platform for the community to express concerns;
  • Please consider return to fully virtual until schools are more fully vaccinated;
  • Thank you for all your hard work, however, why are we not offering modified sports, other districts are;
  • Statement from staff member regarding lag in time of notification of being told to quarantine due to exposure, feels all at risk, remote is safest option;
  • Concern regarding return to in person learning when numbers are higher than last spring;
  • Confused on school closure surrounding two cases (administration provided clarity);
  • Concern/question – with the high school currently remote, why are teachers and staff required to attend in person to teacher;
  • Staff and students put faith and trust in board to keep all safe, please return to virtual learning until positivity rate in county is below 5% for two weeks in accordance with CDC;
  • Welcome Mr. Mains, parents of modified sports request that they be able to play/reinstated;
  • Why is PB not making any attempt the let athletes play (basketball/wrestling);
  • Concerned that only district not allowing modified sports;
  • Consider sending out anonymous survey regarding their preferences in returning to school;
    (Ass’t Supt.Brockner expressed reminder we have to follow guidelines regarding distancing/masks, cannot have all the students back, not a choice at this time).
  • High risks teams should be able to play with precautions of course;
  • Several comments/request to consider having modified students play;
  • Request that parents help with transportation for modified sports, however, there are guidelines that must be met;
  • Concerns regarding student attendance practices (clarification provided by Mrs. Brockner);
  • Concerns regarding kindergarten learners virtual and in-person, challenges faced;
  • Teachers are struggling, please meet with our buildings to help come up with a solution;
  • Question -Is it possible for the district livestreaming athletic contests since there are no spectators;
  • Although it was a smooth transition to reopening to inperson learning, there is a 30% increase, how can we make it safer;
  • Question/comment: Why no basketball or wrestling included in winter sports, other districts doing four days a week in person learning, why can’t we be doing the same.

 

Upcoming Board Meetings, Events / Old, New Business / Updates

Upcoming board meetings and events were announced Tuesday evening:
The start time for the regular sessions of our board meetings – 7:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

Regular Board Meetings:

Important: Locations for February Regular Board Meetings (reversed):

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 7:00 PM at Circleville Middle School
  • Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 7:00 PM at Pine Bush High School
  • Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 7:00 PM at Pine Bush High School
  • Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 7:00 PM at Circleville Middle School

 

Other Important Dates

  • School Board Member Petition Packets –Available first week in March at District Office. (See Maria Wise, District Clerk)
  • OCSBA Delegates Meeting February 3, 2021 at 7:00pm – Virtual Meeting

Old/New Business:

The Board of Education welcomed Superintendent Tim Mains back to District Office. Superintendent Mains stated how extremely happy he is to be back.

Also, noted was Debbie June, District Clerk’s last meeting prior to her
retirement. Kind words were shared for both Mr. Mains and Debbie June. Debbie also thanks the board and district administration for the opportunity to serve the district.

 

Business and Finance

Claim Auditor’s Reports

MOVED by Trustee Robertson, second by Trustee Tompkins, that the Board of Education acknowledge receipt and acceptance of the following Claims Auditor’s Reports as submitted:

Claims Auditor’s Report covering Warrant #0042 dated 9/24/20-1/6/21 void and reissue authorizing payments in the amount of $ 4,148.04

  • HS Activity Fund (1 check 004331) $ 300.00
  • Trust & Agency Acct. (1 check 004239) $ 995.67
  • General Fund (6 checks 065281-066348) $ 2,223.22
  • District Activity AC (7 checks 005674-05688) $ 629.15

Total $ 4,148.04

 

Claims Auditor’s Report covering Warrant #0043 dated 1/8/2021 payroll authorizing payments in the amount of $ 874,567.25

  • Trust and Agency Acct. (5 checks 004282-004286) $ 874,567.25

Total $ 874,567.25

 

Claims Auditor’s Report covering Warrant # 0044 dated 1/8/2021 check run authorizing payments in the amount of $ 1,960,381.20

  • Cafeteria Fund (3 checks 005494-005496) $ 8,044.31
  • Trust & Agency Acct. (2 checks 004287-004288) $23,259.67
  • Federal Fund Acct. (1 check 002561) $220,316.35
  • General Fund (50 checks 066349-066398) $1,708,760.87

Total $ 1,960,381.20

YES –7 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

 

Approval of the 2020-2021 Health Service Rates

MOVED by Trustee Watkins, second by Trustee Graessle, that the Board of Education, in accordance with Section 912 of the New York State Education Law, approved the following resolution covering 2020-2021 Health Services
Rates:

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the Pine Bush Central School District establish a rate of $1,026.69 per pupil for the 2020-2021 school year for health and welfare services provided for non-resident pupils attending non-public schools in the Pine Bush Central School District.

YES –7 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

 

Health and Welfare Services Contract

MOVED by Trustee Robertson, second by Trustee Graessle, that the Board of Education approve the Health and Welfare Services Contract for the 2020-2021 school year with the Middletown Enlarged City School District at a per
student cost of $ 757.90. The contract covers 29 students who are Pine Bush residents attending a non-public school within the Middletown Enlarged City School District for a total contract cost of $21,979.10 (29 students have
been verified).

YES –7 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

 

Public Participation

Due to the meeting being held virtually, all comments received by 5 PM were read into the record during the first public participation. Therefore, there were no further comments for the second public participation.

 

Board Member Makes Personal Comment:

A board member expressed her understanding and compassion for our teachers and what they are dealing with on a daily basis. As a teacher herself, she is personally living their same experiences and is understanding of the
challenges.

 

Consideration of Executive Session

MOVED by Trustee Graessle, second by Trustee Kheiralla, that the Board of Education adjourn regular session to executive session for the purpose of board communications, noting the time at approx. 9:05 PM.

YES – 7 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

 

Due to technical difficulty Gretchen Meier was unable to remote back to regular session, therefore, Trustee Johnson asked for motions to adjourn executive session and return to regular session, as well as adjournment.

 

Adjourn Executive Session to Regular Session

MOVED by Trustee Graessle, second by Trustee Watkins, that the Board of Education adjourn executive session
and resume regular/public session, noting the time at approx.9:25 PM.

YES – 5 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

(C.Robertson did not partake in exec.session/ G. Meier attended exec. session but could not connect back to reg.session to close out).

 

Adjournment

Moved by Trustee Graessle, second by Trustee Watkins, that the Board of Education adjourn the regular meeting noting the time at approximately 9:26 p.m.

YES – 5 NO – 0 MOTION CARRIED

(Note: Trustee Meier remoted back in after the motion was carried)

Note: BOARD MEETINGS are live streamed and video recorded    
with closed captioning available and can be viewed at www.pinebushschools.org

Maria Wise
Maria Wise, District Clerk Pine Bush CSD
                   

Deborah A June
Deborah A. June District Clerk (through 1/30/2021)

(Disclosure: Minutes will be printed on numbered
minute paper and placed in the district minute
books).

 

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Brian Dunn
Superintendent of Schools
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