Board of Education Meeting, 9-10-19


Welcome. I need a motion to adjourn to
executive session for the purpose of interviewing for the Director of Facilities. Thank you. Scott, thank you. A second.
Eric. All those in favor? Motion passes 5-0. We’re off to interview.
Welcome back we are returning from executive session. We need a motion to open up our public session. Kerry, and second, Christa. Thank You. All
those in favor and motion passes 6-0. We are six this evening. Glenn is stuck working late this evening. If I could just as our student representative to lead us in the Pledge. Thank you. We start with Administrator remarks. Who would like to go first? Michelle? Great, thank you. Good evening. I have two brief comments tonight. First has to do with our new mathematics curricular resource at JFK and CV Starr,
Math and Focus. You’ll probably remember this is a result of over a year long
conversation and pilot with the K-5 team to pick what resource would best
meet the needs of our students. I’d like to thank Mrs. Allie O’Connor and Mrs.
Francis Lang who are the CV Starr and JFK math liaisons for their herculean
effort in getting this off the ground, as well as of course, Mrs. Patti Lawlor.
I’d also like to point out that Mrs. O’Connor is on the consent agenda this
evening for an FTE.5 math specialist, so thank you for your support of that
position and I wholeheartedly recommend her. She
will be key in not just ironing out all the kinks associated with a big
implementation like this, but she’s just the person to help us get to that next
level of mathematics instruction at the K-5 level through the support from
herself and staff. Finally, we welcomed new educators back right before (it feels like we’ve been in session for a long time) but right before school began we welcomed our over 20 new educators and had a book talk and a day-long orientation session in
addition to that which Mr. Harrington coordinated. Our newest colleagues they
were great to work with. The enthusiasm was palpable. They talked about our
collective values as a learning organization and they are really proud
to work in Brewster. They are exactly the people we want here, so we look forward
to supporting them and working with them for many years to come. That concludes my comments. Thank you. Dr. Harrington? Good evening everyone. Not the doctoral yet. Soon. So the board and the public will note we
have three new instructional hires, appointments, and those are not those are
familiar names as they are individuals who have been employed in district. It’s
a wonderful testament to the district and that there’s opportunity to learn
and grow and be nurtured. So we have Mrs. Gagliardo who’s being
recommended to be appointed as a teaching assistant who was formerly
in the SEIU as a teacher’s aide. Miss Litt who has been in the BTA bargaining unit as a teaching assistant who’s being recommended as our new special education teacher, and Miss Lund through a grant increasing our opportunity to meet the
needs of our ENL students to a .4 moving to a .6
full-time position. On the non- instructional end, the board and the
public will note that we had a number of permanent appointments. Excuse me,
probationary appointments. They’re individuals that have previously
been provisionally appointed under civil service, and they are all fortunately,
reachable and we are able to appoint them. Miss Smith and Miss Volpe in transportation, along with Mr. Manfredi, Mr. Martinez, Mrs. Panzanella and Miss Granado’s all in transportation. So
we are delighted to be able to appoint them now. Good evening. So the renovations to baseball/softball
fields is nearly complete. Miss Ferrara and I have been discussing a possible
ribbon-cutting. Tentatively we have date of September 20th, Friday, September 20th.
We’re going to be meeting with Brewster Sports Foundation to plan the ribbon cutting ceremony. Obviously the project took much longer than anyone would have liked, but we’re nearly complete. There’s still a number of DEP required treatments that are
going into place which will be presenting signs for each of those
different treatments to give the community an understanding of what a
rain guard is and why it’s here, and why it’s necessary. Again because complications
that the DEP poses whenever we put a shovel in the ground here in the district. Nick Hayward is nearly complete with his Eagle Scout project which looks phenomenal at the corner of 312 and Farm to Market. We want to thank Nick and I want to invite Nick to the September 24th board meeting. We could acknowledge him for the great work that he put in.
Lastly I’ll get into it in more detail. Update on the tax bill correction issued by Putnam
County just yesterday. I have a short presentation. Four slides
and that concludes my comments. Thank you. Dr. Bandlow? I just want to take the opportunity to let the
board know, and thank the school community for a wonderful start to the
school year. We’ve had a very smooth opening. We also are starting with our
open houses. Last evening Dr. Zamperlin had his Kindergarten open house and he had a great showing. One of the most important things he mentioned was that the
teachers are the first point of contact, so I want to just remember that the chain of
command is so important and there was a lot of parents out last night. It was a
really really nice event. Also we want the school community and the larger
Brewster community just to be aware that we are looking forward to partnering
with you on this journey with your child and it’s a joint partnership and
we’re looking forward to working with the entire school community on behalf of
your children. Tomorrow is a very very significant important day. Tomorrow is
Patriots Day. It is the commemoration of 9/11 and many of us lost people that
were very close to us. Many of us have people that were first responders. So New
York State has actually just come out with a law that we need to have a moment of
silence throughout the district tomorrow. There will be a moment of silence to
commemorate 9/11, and also there are
several different activities that will be taking place at each of the schools. I
want to thank Dr. Gosh for heading that up and reaching out to the principals,
and there will be several things you’ll probably be seeing on the website. That concludes my comments. Thank you. I just wanted to comment on our opening day. I thought it
went well. I thought there were a lot of inspirational things said by everyone
who shared that day and got up there to start the year off
right. And also I’d like to just ask if we could take a moment tonight, a moment of silence for our student, Zachary Schwartz.
We had a gathering for him. Parents, students and community members came out here at the
high school the other evening, and it is really great when our community comes
together for any one of our students and I would just like to take a moment. Okay, thank you. And I think that it
you know it was great to see the community come together and I think it makes us
stronger with both good and bad. It just shows how tight we are and
how we work together quite well. That’s it for now from me. So we move on
to our student representative. Aaron welcome. You’ve got a whole year ahead of you so please share whatever you have. Good evening I’m Aaron Lurin. I’m a senior at the high school.
I’ve been on Democratic Congress which is a club at the high school for three
years and I’ll be the student representative to the Board of Ed. When
I’m not here Grace Stathatos another senior will be here. So some of the things going
on at the high school within the next week the Learning Center which will be a
place for peer tutoring for any subject in English and Spanish will be up and
running in the LGI. There are already 150 high schoolers volunteered to tutor and
that’s only been for two weeks so it’s a great number. Another program, the
Passport for Good allows logging of student participation in different clubs
and activities including athletics and community service hours. Teachers
advisors and student leaders are being trained this week. So that’ll be open
soon. The high school is also piloting an e-hall pass system which is
electronic hallway passes with many features aimed to increase time spent
in the classroom and to maintain accountability for student attendance.
Starting Thursday will be positive sign Thursday. Throughout the building
administrators and student teachers will be holding positive signs to greet and to
welcome in a positive environment. The first football game was last Friday. They
won 18 – 0 against Lakeland, and the entertainment was provided by the dance team, cheerleaders and the marching band. SUPA public policy classes which is a senior
social studies class, the students are currently speaking with administrators
about building level policy problems. Auditions and casting for the fall drama
which will be Peter and the Starcatcher around the first week of November have begun this week. Tomorrow for 9/11 the Chamber Singers will be singing God
Bless America over the loudspeaker, and social studies
classes will be addressing the event in their classes. The last week of this
month is spirit week so pep rally, homecoming, and preparations are underway,
starting already so thank you. Thank you Okay so we move on now to presentations/
recognitions/discussion. And first up we have recognition, Donna McAlpin and Jim Treloar from the Technology Department and our new web page. We have two presentations this evening.One is for our technology department I’m going to talk about in a minute, and the second will be
our Assistant Superintendent of Finance. So we’ll be
presenting tonight about the tax information that we sent out
yesterday. So first I wanted to invite the board president, Sonia please come up,
and board vice president Kerry please come up and Dr. Gosh would you mind joining us also. This was long before I even got here. This whole thing started with working on
improving, and there’s always room for improvement with everything, improving
the district website. So I wanted to see if Sonia, do you want
to say a few words about the website long before I got here? Well it’s more about the work that went into it. I know that
it took a lot of hands but really it came down to Donna. I know, and of course Jim as well. It was mostly Donna. I don’t know how it could have gotten done ultimately without you. I think it’s a great
improvement. You know we’re all still even, you know myself, even though I’ve been in it, I’m
still navigating through it, but I think there’s a lot more information now. And I
know the hours you put in. I don’t know if you stayed up all night to get this stuff done because I know there’s a time line, but there’s a lot in there and it
was a lot of work. And so far the feedback has been good and I know that
you know as we hear things and the improvements will make them but so far
so good, so just thank you. So at this time I’d like to
ask our Director of Technology, Mr. Jim Treloar please come up. And also Donna.
Donna is our Web and Communications Specialist. I wanted to make sure I got
that right. We want to thank you for your hard work. So as many of you may be aware the
county identified an issue with the application of an exemption for the
veterans exemption. And what happened was the software system that the county uses
in preparation of tax bills failed to implement the ceiling used for that
exemption, so the veterans actually actually received more of a benefit and
tax break than they were entitled t.o Consequently all other non veterans
received or had to shoulder the burden for the tax break that was the
additional tax rate that was given to veterans. They contact the New York State
Department of Taxation and Finance and they recommended to the county that they
reissue all school tax bills throughout the county.
So it’s not just in Brewster. It’s also in Mahopac schools, it’s also in Haldane, Garrison, Pawling. Put Valley has a slight portion Putnam County in the town of Patterson. Also Lakeland
schools. So it’s massive implications throughout the county.
The County is in the process of preparing
revised tax bills, but at this point in time they’ve directed the towns to
suspend tax collections until the new bills are submitted. So if anyone
attempts to pay the property taxes they’re being turned away until the new
bills are generated. So what’s next? Again the county is issuing new tax bills.
They’re putting it on yellow paper so it’s easier to identify for residents
and also for the tax collectors in both Southeast and Patterson. They hope to be
mailed out by next Friday. Hopefully Wednesday, even sooner. The collection
dates have been extended. So typically our first partial payment due date is
September 15th with full payment due on September 30th. They’ve extended both of
those deadlines in recognition of the extension of the new tax bills, so the
first half partial payments will now be due on October 7th and full payments due
on October 21st. The district or the town both towns have already begun collecting
taxes so any residents who paid their tax bill already are most likely due a
refund if they’re not a veteran. If they’re a veteran they’re likely going to
have a supplemental tax bill issued to them. So the district unfortunately is
required to reimburse, I believe it’s up to 500 tax bills at this point in time,
which is going to be a an excessive amount of work because each taxpayer
needs to be entered into our software system as a vendor and then we need to
calculate and reverse each of them for their overage.
So it’s certainly a large project that not only Brewster is contending with but
Carmel, Mahopac, everybody’s in the same boat. We’re targeting refunds of
November 30th so no later than November 30th. Our goal is that we reimburse
anybody who paid their tax bill. We’re trying to get that done as soon as possible. Dr. Bandlow and i had a conference call with
the county commissioner of finance and they agreed to absorb all costs
associated with issuing corrected tax bills including the postage and the
the staff needed to make those refunds etc. However, something to consider is
cash flow. We have a number of events that occur as the school year begins. Teachers
come back and our first payroll of the year is on September 15th where all the
10-month employees return. So September 15th and September 30th payroll were
affected by not having received those tax payments. We believe that we have
enough cash on hand, but out of an abundance of caution we want to make sure that we
have enough money to make our payroll, pay our vendors, pay our debt, which we
have debt coming due October 1st and October 15th. So in
consideration of that agenda item that was presented to the board, or that will be
presented before the board tonight is considering the authorization of a tax anticipation
note. So we discussed bond anticipation notes each year when we issue our busses,
or when we purchase our busses. Similarly a tax anticipation note is a short-term
borrowing that can be issued over a 60-day period or as long as a nine month period
extending through June 30th. The issue amount could be as much as the tax levy or
a lesser amount depending on cash flow needs. And most importantly, authorizing a
TAN does not bind the district into that commitment. It simply gives us the
flexibility to borrow money if necessary. Again going back to cash flow
considerations, what’s really unknown at this point
is what the flow of revenue will be as those collections begin. Each year we
measure our collections throughout the month of September, and we know in
general, you know, we’ll receive, you know, sixty percent of tax revenue no later
than September seventeenth. And so on and so forth.
Given the unique circumstance we’re not certain that we’re gonna be able to
collect our tax revenues at the same pace that we would have historically. So
again, what we’re requesting of the board is to authorize a tax anticipation note up to
ten million dollars which would float us for the debt service payments in October
and also the October 15th payroll. Again it is our goal not to issue the
tax anticipation note. However, given the uncertainty of tax collections and the
flow of revenue into the district, it is certainly a conservative recommendation that the board authorize a tax anticipation note.
We’ll continue to monitor tax collections, of course, throughout the
next several weeks. Again it is our goal not to issue a tax anticipation note.
However, if necessary, you know we were asking the board to authorize that borrow. So I’m sure everyone has lots and lots of questions, so I’d be happy to answer any
questions that you may have. When do you think with once the
corrected bills are issued, when do you think all the money that we should have had in by a certain date will be in? So typically it would follow the same pattern as it
would during a normal collection. So you see September 15th is the due date for
the first half and now that date is. practically each date is
extended by about three weeks. That in a normal year we would expect
to receive, you know, a percentage. Again given the fact that
there’s a lot of uncertainty with this and folks may attempt to go pay their
old tax bill. They may not even be aware of this and attempt to pay their old tax
bill, and we’re told that the tax collectors are actually going to turn
them away and ask them to come back with the corrected tax bill so as not to
compound the issue. That alone may delay you know people’s
ability to pay their tax bill. I’m not sure if that’s the majority of folks or
if that’s a minority, but it’s a possibility so we have to consider it. I
don’t know that that exactly answers your question. And that’s part of the
challenge that we have is we truly don’t know the pace at which we’ll be able to
collect the tax revenues as we have in the past. So if you have to, I don’t know if
drawer is the right word, on the note, it will be paid off as money is made? I mean there’s no like pre-payment penalty. We don’t have to keep it open for
a length of time? No, it’s a finite borrowing, so we would have to
analyze what we’ve collected to date, make a decision, and
say, okay we are going to need, you know, five million dollars to get us through
the October 15th payroll cycle. We would then issue a note and go to a bank in the
same manner that we do with our bond anticipation notes. Banks would compete and submit, you know, essentially their bids on the borrowing, you know, on the interest. And of course we would select the financial institution that offers
the lowest interest rate. It would be payable on whatever the term is that we
determine, which of course, we want the shortest term possible so as not to
accrue more interest then we need to. Again, the provider here at the bottom. The county agreed to absorb all costs associated with this. It’s certainly not our intention to
issue a tax anticipation note. We’re going to do everything within our power
to utilize cash on hand and draw on all our reserves until we receive those tax proceeds. Worst case scenario is
issuing a tax anticipation note. I spoke to the business official for the Carmel
School District. He’s asking their Board of Education also to approve a tax
anticipation note this evening. Their fund balance, they utilized their fund
balance for the purchase of a piece of land, so in all likelihood
they’re actually going to pursue a tax anticipation note. Again it is not our
intention at this time to go forward with that. However. we would require the
authorization in order to make that decision at a later date. Another question. If we approve this, it’s
specific to this situation. Does the approval expire? Yes, it
relates to the 2019-20 tax collection year, and that’s included in the
resolution through June 30th of 2020. Which again, you’re allowed up to nine
months. Again because the timing of when we should
receive our tax revenue, our note would actually expire in 60 days or 90 days to
again to shorten the length of the borrowing to limit the
amount of interest expense that we incur. Okay, I just want to make sure. It’s within 9 months but we could go over, but that June 30th is… Yes, yes. That would be the
due date. But again we would structure it and limit it as much as possible. We would
borrow the least amount as possible, and pay it off as quickly as possible to reduce the interest expense incurred. Again
it is my belief at this point in time that we will be able to make. This is
just a very prudent and proactive measure just in case. I just want to
echo what Mr. Karlsson is saying that it’s just from being cautious and this is
just a very conservative approach to take if necessary. Is the interest on the
tax anticipation note considered a cost associated? Did the county agree to
pick up the interest for this? The conversation that we had with the county
yesterday afternoon was all costs associated with this issue including
this. Obviously that would need to be ironed out through a memorandum of
understanding, but that is almost secondary in terms of our cash
flow. You know of course we need to make our payroll.
We need to make sure we pay our debtors on October 15th. In regards to people who escrow, my understanding is that
the county has reached out to the escrow organizations to make sure that
they’re on board as well? Yes, the tax collectors actually did that proactively.
The tax collectors reached out to all of the mortgage and escrow companies that
submit payments to the towns. Of course they know each of those
organizations because they’re registered to receive ACH. So
anyone who escrows their mortgage, their mortgage company has been notified of
this and are going to delay payment until the reissued corrected tax bills
are sent to them. If you do have to borrow..let me back up a little bit. You better speak to the county to
make sure that the interest is going to be absorbed by them. If we do have to
borrow, are they gonna hold us to hit the bull’s eye with the amount of money? If
you’re gonna need a million you can’t borrow two million because you’re going
to accrue interest that they’re gonna have to pay for what we
didn’t need, so what’s gonna go into..? Well we’re gonna have to have that
negotiation with them. I mean sooner rather than later obviously. This is all
breaking very quickly. You know that promise that was made over the
phone call of course we’re gonna want that in writing. Again not that
that’s not important, but that’s almost secondary in terms of our
primary responsibility of making sure that we make our payroll, pay our vendors. We would hope that the county would make good on their promise to us, and of
course we will follow up that with them very soon to get that
understanding in writing. I know I just want… I don’t want to see us go borrow five million dollars when we need a million. Certainly, of course. That’s what I’m saying. Then the County says of course for too much and we’re not going to pay for that.
Absolutely, you’re absolutely right. You’re absolutely right.
Again and I cannot stress enough that it is not our intention to borrow
anything. We’re going to turn over every couch cushion, empty
every single reserve to float us for this collection period. This is
just an extremely conservative measure that we’re taking in case, God forbid, there is another issue with the next tax bill. You
know, just the uncertainty of it and again, because it is so confusing
with folks that may go and attempt to pay their old incorrect tax bill. The fact that
the tax collectors are then going to turn them away which will make their
payment you know more delinquent. You know that of course impacts our cash
flow those tax revenues that would normally flow in, you know, in an ordinary year. Any questions? Are there any purchases or anything else that was scheduled to be done sort of within this time frame that have had to be pushed..?So we’re in a cooperative for our health insurance, and it’s managed by Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES. I already put them on notice to let them know that we’re
likely going to be delinquent in paying that bill. Each month is about a million
dollar bill. So you know right off the bat I knew to contact them to let them
know that we’re going to be you know delinquent in that. All other vendors – we do cut checks on a weekly basis- we’re going to move to semi-monthly check payment
for the next month and a half. It really shouldn’t make that much of an
impact on them. Again just because we’re usually so very timely, and that’s thanks to Ann Marie Kovaleski our accounts payable clerk who is here this evening. See us thank you
okay part of the mark and if anyone here has any remarks comments they would like
to make specific to any of our action items on the agenda this evening you are
welcome to come to the podium and state your name we will have two minutes to
address the board okay so we will move on now to action eyes and we start with
one approval acceptance of brewster high school exchange student for 2019 2020
here yes thank you board policy 7132 outlines the way in which we can accept
exchange students into our districts so this action item formalizes the process
asking you to accept an exchange student from Spain in high school – thank you any comments or questions
I’m gonna have stay from this folk I know the family that is hosting the
student though my daughter says she’s very lovely this our only exchange
student this year and vote all those in favor by zero with cord extension move on to
action number two approval of interview mystical agreements regarding property
tax collection software 810 the southeast a town of Patterson first and
foremost I want to state that this is in no way related to the issue constant
election or tax preparation software this is tax collection software that
allows them to better identify tax payers and run reports that are
important for our analysis this memorializes the cost sharing that’s
already in place with each of the two towns based on the number of parcels
that are served sitting on all those in favor zero
action I have another three approval of tax refund and budget amendment number
two yes this has been reached activated by our treasurer and reviewed by our
attorneys has been recommended for half of this refund will come from our
reserve protects our shard Krista and Kari thank you
questions or comments favorite capacity 6-0 action item number
for approval of tutoring contract and addendum with fun Lux X thank you this
action item outlines a proposed agreement with learn well which
previously list education Inc this is strictly for the tutoring of
hospitalized students so they’ll probably remember previous agendas we
formalized attuning for tutoring contracts with at least two maybe three
other agencies this is not in conflict with those again that’s just specialize
in slurm law specializes in providing tutoring students on hospitalization Kerry and Eric thank you questions or
comments being on the oldest of paper Europe move on to action item five approval of
memorandum of agreement with private sports one year school so in this action and we ask for your
approval of Aloise between Green Jimmy’s and long view for titles one two and
four funds as you probably remember we serve as a lead educational agency for
the two private schools and our boundaries and these Emma weights
outline our roles as well as the the school rules to ensure that we fulfill
the requirements associated with the receipt of these federal funds so please
note that the MOA with green chimneys is updated this afternoon to reflect a
change of approximately $300 in rollover funds so whenever they create an
expenditure which they previously have approved through us they transfer an
invoice to us and then then process that so this that reflection this afternoon
was just – with that trend that the 70 was just to reflect that that change and I can’t either motion in a second please
all right Carrie thank you questions or comments action item number
six approval of stipulations settlement from forty number nine for a mr.
Harrington hi this is a resolution for stipulation settlement for employee see nine bottles and favorite faction of seven approval attacks
anticipation note authorization as I mentioned just out of an abundance of
caution we’re asking the board to authorize the tax anticipation note not
to exceed ten million dollars for the taxes tax collection period of course
we’ll work through our analysis that here certainly reach out to have
interviews regarding the cost absorption Carrie thank you any other questions or
comments yes mr. Fetzer yes mr. Stephen yes so again we really
certainly congratulate those being recommended for appointments many of
whom are not new to the district are moving into these new roles so we
certainly congratulate them and welcome stop carry thank you
questions or comments – remarks so we start this evening with
public remarks your opportunity to come to the podium and address the board of
the Commons aim we’re just all my questions report so
okay so we have on to summary of email communications to the forest this is
something that we need to our agenda through for this year to help with
transparency of communication so we do get emails from community and this would
be the time when we would share with the community kind of a summary of those
emails between meetings it’s actually quiet so I don’t have anything to share
this evening but I’m sure we’ll just share what people are talking about or
asking her out so nothing at this time so we’re going
to depend to or remarks and board committee updates Oh God the Fall Festival was held in the
village nor’easter on Sunday and we or vegetation table and we were present
throughout the day to talk to anybody want to come by you know make comments
ask questions so we had a few people while I was there I’m sure there were
more throughout the day dr. van Lowe was there so it was a gorgeous day you know
there was a lot going on in the village a lot of different tables and activities
so we thought it was important for us to have a presence there as well and we
intend to do it next year I just want to thank our funnel cakes
for going you want to be next to them yeah why did walk by them so there’s
anything online waiting you can talk to them yes I portrayed so much I want to
follow up on the Fall Festival as well I want to take that number the legislators
came by new superintendent the mayor booster stopped by to say hello as well
very nice event say sports and everything else is off to a someone
couldn’t start this year figure the point the cross-country team they
finished second while picture board was first in the whole event was very nice
and you have the upcoming bears classic the beginning of the October which I
believe is one of the longest running in the state so the first are Education
Foundation is currently in the midst of one of our big fundraisers which is the
Corvette raffle so the last of the whole formal game versus Lakeland a few the
board BEF members were there looking to sell tickets tickets are $1 apiece you
can go online to be BFF org and buy those with a credit card or we’re gonna
try to be out in the public to make you know give everybody every opportunity
to enter that raffle for the chance to win either a Corvette or a payout of
$38,000 your choice and the drawing for that is Bertie Lewis November 9th
November 9th time is running out okay so now we move on to just upcoming
meetings our next meeting will be September 23rd yes and our open houses
of the dates are all listed on our website so welcome to check it out and
please come visit the schools and new teachers I have a legislative action committee
that I’m gonna go test against 16th I think they’re going to start discussions
with what Chester Park School Boards Association and I think that’s the
meaning we’re going to have the discussion that matters to the
resolutions that will ultimately presented at this convention that we’ll
have to bring back to this table will have to go it on or about to let me know
how you want me to go and any other remarks can be emailed to
the Board of Ed at lieutenants at the BOE Federation schools Network email – is this a record and my 29 carry

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