CCSD Board of Education – Meeting – Febuary 5, 2018

– Okay, it’s 7:00, call
the meeting to order. Please stand for the pledge. (chairs shuffling) – [All] I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. (chairs shuffling) – Okay, the exits are
in the back of the room and in the front of the room. At this point in the agenda, it’s time for recognition of visitors, and recognition of visitors
for any items on the agenda or for any other concerns. Does anybody? No, okay, thank you. Okay, then in this case, I will turn over the presentations to Neil. – Tonight we’re going to hear from our Director of Pupil personnel
services, Nicole Triassi, and she’s going to talk about
our special education program, the processes, and the programs. Nicole, the floor is yours. – Okay, thank you. As Mr. Miller said,
I’m going to talk about the process and programs. Really have three different
parts to this presentation. The first is the CSE referral process. A couple of weeks ago, we had that nice data presentation by Mrs. Duffy and Mrs. Argenial had spoken
during that presentation about building level supports that we offer to students
who are struggling. This is going to be kind of a continuation on to that in terms of
the referral process and the supports that we offer for students who need
special education supports. I really want to cover
how we involve parents throughout that process. I’m also going to talk about
the continuum of services that we offer here in the district. For those of you who were on the board a couple of years ago, you may remember I did a presentation at the high school. I brought my pool noodle with me and I spoke about the
continuum of services that we offer, and I had
an analogy to swimming. I’m not going to review
everything that was in there because that’s a whole
presentation by itself, but I did pull a few slides to review just so that you can
see some of the programs that we offer to students and
through special education, and I’m going to highlight the reasons that we need a change
at the elementary level. We changed from having a co-teach program and using the resource room
and consultant teacher model, I know a couple of questions
had come up about that, so I wanted to make sure you understand and I present to you why
we made those changes and then answer any questions
that you have related to that. And then, there is a last slide
just on parent disagreement. Fortunately, that does not
happen frequently for us. But, occasionally, parents do disagree with what the committee
on special education has recommended for their child, and so I’m just going to talk about what happens when that happens. The CSE initial referral process. CSE is the Committee on Special Education, and actually I had emailed
these out to you, I believe, but there’s not a copy for
everybody, you can share. That’s alphabet soup. We use a lot of acronyms
in special education, so maybe, I think there’s
a couple of copies, maybe people sitting next
to each other can share. Just in case I use terms like CSE or IEP, I will try to state what
those letters stand for, but it’s a little guide for you. CSE is the Committee on Special Education. We are governed by rules
and regulations and laws and there’s a lot of technical language. One of the technical pieces here is there’s a difference between
a request for a referral and the actual referral
to evaluate a student for special education services. Many different people can make a request to consider having a student
referred to special education. A doctor might make that request, an individual teacher, a
judge may make that request, but ultimately, only
two people or entities can make the actual referral,
one being the parent, and the other being the school district. What I’m going to do is just talk about what happens in terms of
processing that referral and how we involve the parents. Once a parent or school team says, you know, this student, or my child, is really struggling, I think
they might have a disability, I think they might need
special education services, they make a written referral. Sometimes we get that referral directly from the building team, and that would be a continuation of what
we were talking about at the data team meeting where Ms. Argenia was speaking about how we have a response to
intervention committee, we have academic intervention supports and we provide students with
different levels of support when they’re struggling, and we monitor the progress that they’re making and we look at all
different pieces of data, and sometimes, we provide
different supports and the building team is recognizing that this student may have something more that’s needing more support. They may have a disability that needs special education support or maybe they are responding to
some of the supports, but it’s not adequate progress or they believe that they’re going to need a sustained period of support, so that team will make a referral for that student to be
evaluated for special education, and that comes directly to my office. When we receive that referral, there is automatic communication,
three way communication, between the building principal,
my office, and the parent. If we get that request
from the building principal or the instructional support team, we reach out to them and say
how is the parent involved? Have they been coming to the meetings? Are they aware that you think that their child may have a disability? What has been their response? And often times, it’s yes,
they’re very involved, we’ve involved them
throughout this process. But we like to know
because we’re going to be communicating with that
parent, and want to make sure that we understand where
they’re coming from. And then we also need to understand what it is that they’re struggling with. What types of evaluations to do. On the flip side,
sometimes the request comes directly to my office from the parent. The parent writes a letter saying I think that my child has a disability, I want them to be evaluated
for special education services. Again, we have three way communication with the building to find out if they’ve been in contact with the parent. Did they know that the parent
has concerns about the child? Sometimes it’s yes, and
we support this referral. Sometimes it’s a surprise
and the building principal chooses to meet with the parent just to better understand their concerns, and sometimes the parent
doesn’t understand or isn’t aware of all the other supports that we offer in the building. Sometimes, as a result of that
meeting with the principal, the parent may say oh, special education is not actually what I think
is needed in this case. I withdraw my request, my referral, and they’ll have a written withdrawal and we’re going to do this plan instead, or sometimes they say
no, I definitely think that this is the way to go. There’s communication before
any type of evaluations are done between my office,
the principal, and the parent to better understand what it is that, what are the concerns and where we’re going to go from there. Once we process the
request, and we say yep, we all think that this
student needs to be evaluated, we need to do different assessments to kind of find out where
their strengths are, where their weaknesses
are, and whether or not they need special education services, we then send home from my office additional information to the parent. Once we process that referral, I will send home a letter,
and I’ll let you see it, this is just an example in which I outline that the
student is being referred, why they’re being referred
for an evaluation, what are the concerns,
exactly which evaluations are we going to be looking
at doing for this student, and if there are any questions, I provide my contact
information, my email address, my phone number, ’cause
I encourage parents to contact me so we can make sure that everybody is completely understanding of the process and informed. We also send home with that
letter a written consent form now that they have some
additional information, are they still in favor of their child being evaluated for
special education services, and we require that written consent prior to moving forward with
any kind of evaluations. I sent home the special education in New York state parent’s guide, which is, it’s pretty
thick, but what it does is it really lays out in layman’s terms a lot of the rules and regulations and rights for parents
related to special education. The process, the referral process and everything that follows. And then, we also send home the
procedural safeguard notice, which really outlines
the rules and regulations and all the rights that
the parents have under law. So, just so that you … In case you want to see,
I just have two copies. Once we’ve received that written consent back from the parents saying
that we can go forward with evaluating their child, the clock starts in terms
of our evaluation timeline that we’re governed by
the rules and regulations. We have 60 days to
complete the evaluations and then meet to review those evaluations. Parents are involved in
this evaluation process. Again, we speak with them ahead of time about what the evaluations entail. They sign consent
knowing which evaluations are going to happen. As part of the evaluation process, one of the standard evaluations that happen for all students
is a social history, in which the social worker
will contact parents and get some information regarding the student’s birth history, development, any medical factors, home
factors, social factors that maybe potentially be
impacting them in school. Many of the other evaluators, especially if the referral is coming directly from the parent,
a lot of the evaluators will often contact the
parent and make sure that they fully understand
what the concerns are so that they choose the
correct evaluation tools to really assess the concern. Then, the evaluators write,
they score the evaluations, they put together an entire report and those reports are
mailed home to the parents as a complete package from my office and there’s a cover letter on there which include the contact information for all of the evaluators
so that the parents, when they receive the evaluations, they can read through them,
have time to process them, they can contact the evaluator to ask any questions that they may have. Often times, the parent and the evaluator will set up a time to meet in person so that they can go over the evaluations and what kind of recommendations that professional may be
making regarding their child, and then we meet as a committee, the Committee on Special Education, and again, there are certain
rules and regulations that govern who is part of that committee. We have to have a special
education teacher present, we have to have the parent
present, a chairperson, basically, there’s a
number of professionals and other individuals who
have direct information about the child where we all sit together, we put our heads together and we find out, okay, why is the student
struggling in school? What was the reason
that they were referred? What kind of evaluations were done? We look at all the data,
hard data, soft data, and then we come to a decision as to whether or not
that student qualifies to receive special education services, and when I say qualify, we’re
looking at again, the data, hard data and soft data. That may include, parents
may bring some information from the doctors, that could be, again, the testing that’s done, that could be a student report. Sometimes the student is
part of their meeting, depending on the age,
and then we determine whether or not that student is eligible, and when I say eligible, I’m
not going to go through them, but New York state provides 13 different classification categories, and they define them. There’s regulations that define what each one of those are, whether
it be a learning disability or a speech language impairment, or one of the other 13, and
there’s specific criteria as to what constitutes being able to, what constitutes qualifying
for that classification, and if the student does, based on all of the evaluations that are done, we then meet to develop a plan. An IEP, which is an
Individualized Education Plan, so any student who is eligible
for special education, they have their own written plan. It’s pretty comprehensive. It’s typically eight
to 13 pages in length. It talks about their strengths, it talks about their weaknesses, it shows the evaluation results, it talks about the concerns, any concerns that the parent has, it talks about what their goals are, what kind of supports they
might need in the classroom, and what kind of programs, and again, I’m going to go into what we offer in terms of the continuum of services what kind of programs they need. When that meeting takes place and that plan is developed, we
then reach out to the parent again for their consent for
services to be initiated. They’re part of the
initial referral process, we get their consent. They are part of the evaluation process. They participate in the meetings and then they help develop the IEP, and we also then ask for,
we need written consent in order to initiate any services. It’s really nice, because
we are able to develop this relationship with the
parents throughout this process. It’s very transparent, and
this way we can work together because as you know, when parents
and schools work together, the better off for the child. Once we receive the
consent that the student is going to start receiving
special education services, that student is assigned a case manager, which is a staff member. It’s typically a special
education teacher, sometimes a related service provider, who becomes the person that is
overseeing that child’s plan, making sure that it’s being
implemented and followed. It’s also the point person,
the liaison for the parent, especially at the high school
where a student may have a number of different
teachers and providers. We have that one point
person to ask questions, to share information,
to schedule meetings, and to make sure that that
plan is being implemented. Then we, every year, for any child who’s receiving special
education services, they have what’s called an annual review. That’s taking place now. This is our annual review season, really February through May in which we develop a plan for next year to make sure that on
the first day of school everything is all set and
ready for these students when we come in. We can have other meetings
throughout the year if the parent requests a meeting or if a case manager requests a meeting, we can always come back to
meet on that student but, at the very least, every
year we’re going to have at least one meeting to talk
about the following year. And then at least every three years, we’re going to be re-evaluating again that whole process of evaluations, we’re going to be doing
some more evaluations to see what kind of progress
the student has made in that time, whether or not they’re still eligible for services, what kind of things we
need to be looking at at that point in their academic career. – I have a question on
eligible for services. Should we ask questions now or
should we hold until the end? – I think, if you don’t mind,
it would probably be best to hold until the end
just in case I answer it, but if you want to even jot them down I will have a time for questions. I want to make sure I answer
any questions that you have. Now I’m going to review the continuum, the special education supports that we offer here in Cornwall. Again, I’m pulling a few slides from a couple of years ago
when I did the presentation on the continuum of
services, and at that time, I was talking about, I was
trying to equate, make an analogy between special education
supports and swimming. And the way that we look at it is we are expecting that when children are coming in in kindergarten, they may be splashing around in the kiddie pool and then our hope is that when they graduate from high school, they’re able to swim in
the ocean unassisted, and maybe even some of them have an advanced regents designation of being able to do synchronized
swimming on top of that, or something. With normal, typical child development and good swim coaches, teachers, most students are able to progress and to be able to do that, and at the end, they can swim in the ocean
and synchronize swim. Some students require additional supports, special education supports related to different disabilities or
impairments that they have. Related services are
offered to any student with a special education
service that needs it. The related services that
we offer here in Cornwall are speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and counseling. For example, we would
expect that most students are typically developing and able to swim at the rate we need them
to at each course level, but maybe we have a couple of students who have lower muscle tone and they need the physical therapy and
they need to do pushups according to this, once a
week to kind of sustain that, or speech therapy, they’re blowing bubbles and learning how to do that to be able to help them to progress in
the regular curriculum. In terms of special
education teacher supports, we have consultant
teacher and resource room. These are two different
supports on the continuum, but they complement each other very nicely and we tend to use them
as a combined service at the elementary level. And I’m going to go a
little bit more into that in a few slides why we made to change at the elementary level, but
just so that you understand what it is, students who
are receiving these services are in the general education setting. They’re in a regular, typical
classroom environment, and the consultant teacher is
a special education teacher that pushes into that classroom a certain amount of time
per week, sometimes per day, in order to really
coach that student along and to remind them of some
of the strategies they need or maybe to modify a couple of things according to their disability. They really understand that student from reading their plan,
they understand what it is that they need and they go in. In the picture here, you’re
seeing up on the top left the consultant teacher. The students are in the pool, they’re in that general
education classroom as we would expect with
all the other students but they have an extra teacher coming and that teacher is only
working specifically with the students that need their support. The general education teacher
is doing the curriculum for the whole class, and then
that special education teacher is really focusing on the needs of the select individual
students in that classroom that need that extra level of support according to their plan and their goals. And again, the picture on
the bottom left, same thing, that they might be
doing some extra support with diving, for example. And then on the right hand
side, we see resource room. That is a pull out service we offer where the special education teacher will work with one or more,
no more than five students at a time in a small group
outside of the classroom to really work on that
small group reinforcement of material, sometimes
pre-teaching or re-teaching or certain skill work
that the students need, so it may be that they have
to preview some vocabulary. Okay, we’re going to be
learning the breast stroke in class today, and maybe
there are a couple of students that really need to be
exposed to that vocabulary and maybe watch a video about what that is before they can go in
the class and do that. Or maybe they have been in the class and they were struggling a
little bit with that lesson and they need more skill work with that or re-teaching of those concepts, or maybe they need some
specific skill work in kicking or something, in terms of our real life application
here we’re talking about. Maybe they’re working on
their reading or their phonics or their multiplication
facts or vocabulary, whatever it is that they need support with in terms of their goals
in order to progress. And again, at the elementary level, some students just
require one or the other, but many students have a combination which is really nice because
it’s the same teacher, the same special education teacher that works with them in a small group. Also pushes into their classroom so they’re able to carry
over a lot of the things that they’re working on in the small group into the class and they’re
able to be present in the class to see what it is that the students need extra support in
when they pull them out. Sometimes they’re in for ELA,
sometimes they’re in for math, depending on the student, they might be in for both subjects. Co-teaching is another level
of support that we offer, it’s another program on the continuum. This is the only one by regulation that is actually not required. School districts are not
required to offer co-teaching. Many do, because it is a
positive, proven program that assists students with
special education needs, but it is not mandated. It is similar to the consultant teacher that I had talked about in the sense that the students are in the
general education classroom. But, the difference is
that the two teachers that are in there, the
special education teacher and the general education teacher, are both for all of the students. The special education teacher cannot pull the students out of the
classroom into a small group. They will be staying in that classroom and often times as a result,
rather than pulling out and working on skill
work, say like the kicking or how to tread water in order to do your synchronized swimming, often times a lot of modifications will be provided within the classroom, where as part of the planning process the instruction will be
delivered differently. If you look at this picture here, we have on the top right
the synchronized swimmers and what you don’t see is under water, many of them are sitting on pool noodles because they needed that extra support. Then we have our special classes, and our special classes
are only for students who have special education needs. They are smaller ratio,
smaller size classrooms than our other general education classes and it’s really more targeted, the classroom instruction is modified to really target the
needs of the students. These students are still projected to be able to swim and earn that diploma but they may be swimming in a pool as opposed to the ocean, or they may need some other special education, other supports in order to swim, but they ultimately are
still on that track, but there’s more modifications so that maybe they’re
not learning how to do the backstroke and the breast stroke, maybe they’re just learning
how to freestyle swim, and there’s targeted instruction there. And then we also have
our specialized classes in our district and we
have our aspired class or success class and our CBI, which are community
based instruction class, and these classes are for students who ultimately are not on
the path of a diploma track. They need much more
support throughout the day and we’re really looking at
transition planning for them as they get older in terms
of what are their strengths and what kind of employability
skills do they have and we’re really focusing on life skills and job skills to help make them productive members of society. Not as focused on the diploma
and the college aspect. One of the questions that has come up is why did we switch
at the elementary level if co-teaching is so great, which it is, why did we switch at the elementary level and no longer offering co-teach? Why did we switch to
resource consultant teacher? I’m going to go over the reasons for that, but I think before I do that, I’m not sure, I want to make sure I let you know what the
co-teaching looked like when we did have it at
the elementary school. We only had it for grades
first through fourth grade, and it was only in one
school, at Lee Road here. The other schools did not offer it. And at the time, prior to my hire is when the district was looking
at making the change. There was a lot of work
that went into that. There was surveys that were
done with the teachers. Groups of teachers went and visited different school districts
and different programs and models that they offered. There were meetings with SEPTO, which is Special Education
Parent Teacher Organization to gather information about what would be the best program and how
we can really go forward to help meet the needs of
our elementary students. Ultimately, we did make a change. When I came in was the first year that we started phasing out the co-teach and putting in the consultant
teacher resource model, and it has been successful,
and I believe last year we phased it out completely,
but this may be the first year. Why did we make this change? Number one is teachers
identify that this is what the students needed at this level. At the elementary level, many students need to continue
working on their skills. When you’re younger in the earlier grades, you reading how to learn. In the older grades, you
are reading to learn. What we were realizing is that as kids were getting into
third grade, fourth grade, they were really supposed
to be reading to learn, some of those students were
still struggling with to read, and they really needed some small group targeted intervention specific to reading. They needed some more time with that, or math, or whatever it may be, and in order to pull
students into a small group, you can’t do that in co-teach
as a common practice. We just actually received a memo that came out from our attorney’s office about co-teach and the six approved models and that’s not one of the approved models. They were also saying,
the teachers were also explaining to us the
students really needed their direct support. They needed more time with the students who had IEPs in the class, as opposed to planning the instruction
for the entire class, they really needed to concentrate at that early elementary level of really targeting the needs, and they felt that the best
way to be able to do that was to pull them into a small group and to push in into the classroom. And, in fact, we were actually doing that. We had a co-teach model, but
that is what they were doing. And, again, information has
come out from regulations that that’s not what co-teaching is, so we’re saying if that’s what they need, then let’s give them what they need, but we can’t call it co-teaching, we have to call it what it is, which is resource consultant. There was an identified
need by the teachers. There was also identified
need by the parents that they really wanted more equal support in all three elementary schools so that their children can
stay in their home schools and receive the support that they need within their general education classes. Prior to making this change, like I said, Lee Road was the only school
that offered co-teaching. If a student had special education needs that didn’t require a special class, not that severe, can still be in the general education classroom, but needed the support of
a special education teacher in that classroom, the
only way they could get it was to move into Lee Road, which the committee would recommend. A student at COH, or a student at Willow, the committee would get together and with the parent and
everybody would say, they can still do this curriculum, but they really need that
teacher in the classroom to be able to push it and
help them and support them. The committee would recommend,
okay they need co-teach, let’s make that happen, and
then they had to switch. Your student who was struggling and needed special education support now also on top of it had to transition to a new building, learn
the new rules and routines and everything related to a new building in order to get the
support that they needed in the general education classroom. It was important to parents that their children remain in their home school wherever they could. In looking at everything,
in terms of trying to offer what the teachers felt
that the students needed and also trying to offer
that in all the schools, we realized that the most efficient and fiscally responsible
way of using our resources and staffing was to really target the math and ELA areas
with consultant teacher and resource room. So, that’s what we did. So, we say, okay, well
if this is so great, resource consultant teacher,
why do we still have co-teach at the middle school, why
didn’t we change that? Secondary level is a little bit different. Again, teachers are identifying that co-teaching is what they
need at the secondary level. There are subject-based courses, the curriculum is a
little bit more intense, they need the students to be in there, we want to do more
modifications, at that point, often times, the students are
still working on their skills but there comes a point
where you say okay, we’re going to continue this skill work to see what they acquire
and look at the progress that they’re making, and
make a determination, do they still need skill work or do they need maybe some
accommodations and modifications? Instead of continuing with
the multiplication facts and facts that the student
is really struggling with, why don’t we give them a calculator? And we can do that within
the co-teach class. Also, the students at that age level, they want a little more independence, they don’t always want a
teacher hovering on top of them, they don’t always want to be
pulled out of a classroom. At the elementary level, kids are moving in and out of different
things all the time. A lot of times, kids are like,
oh, are you gonna take me? Oh no, honey, I don’t take you, but can you take me today, too? Everybody wants to go. At the middle school
level, high school level, not always the case. Again, the other difference,
a major difference with the middle school is
that all of our students go to one middle school. There is no transition impact and we have all of our
students within one building and we can offer the co-teaching support in a more fiscally responsible
way at the middle school, and also resource room,
we can offer that as well for students who need that. And just the way that it works in terms of periods and scheduling, it’s the logistics is easier and more cost
effective at the middle school and the high school as well. The other thing that I wanted to cover is what happens when parents disagree with the recommendations that are made by the Committee on Special Education. Again, the parents are
part of that committee. We very much involve
parents, we work as a team, and most times, parents are fully on board with the recommendations. Often times, the teachers
and the evaluators and the parents all see
the same information and agree with the same recommendation. But sometimes, parents and teachers or the committee disagree on what it is that that child or that student needs. What do we do when that happens? We listen. That’s the number one thing that we do. Often times, we will say okay,
let’s have another meeting, sometimes Miss Schinella
will call them in, sometimes the principal
will call the parent in, myself or Miss Carpentieri,
the chairperson, just so that we can better
understand what the concern is. It may be something where
it was a miscommunication, or maybe the parent is very concerned about something that we didn’t realize. Or, maybe they’re
concerned about something that’s really not under the
realm of special education, but we can help point them
in the right direction. Often times, when we are able to have another sit down meeting
and just talk about it, we can understand where
the parent is coming from. Sometimes they don’t understand
the regulations or the laws and sometimes we explain those, and often times, we’re able
to come to an agreement. Sometimes, the parent says, you know, I hear what you’re
saying, but I really see a different child at home, I really think that there’s some additional information that you need to consider,
and we can say, all right, well, sometimes the doctor can provide some additional information or sometimes the parent doesn’t agree
with the evaluation and we offer an independent evaluation at district expense for them to go forward with that evaluation, it’s part of the rights that they’re entitled to, and we come back and we
review that information. Often times, again, we’re
able to really just stop and realize that we want the same thing, we both want the child to be successful. We may have had different viewpoints as to how to go about
it, but as we sit there and we talk a little bit
more, we get more information and we’re able to come to an agreement. It’s very rare that there’s
continued disagreement between a family and the
recommendation from the CSE. But ultimately, if there
is continued beyond that, we do inform the parents
of all of their rights. We want to be very transparent. We want to work together. So again, those guides
that I provided out to you, the parent’s guide to special education, the procedural safeguard
rights and notices, the Hudson Valley parents center, we provide different resources so that they have somebody
else that they can talk to and get some information as well and then we’ll come back from there or they’ll follow
whatever rights they have in terms of that process. But again, not often, which is great. But occasionally, it does
happen, so that’s where we go. I know you have some questions,
but before the questions, we’re going to take a quick fun quiz. I don’t know if that’s an
oxymoron, but a fun quiz. Go to Kahoot. If you have your laptops or
your iPads or even a cell phone, if you go to,
no .com or anything, and just hit enter, and enter, well I think this is the game pin I have to just … Okay. Go to Kahoot, audience can
play along if they want to. On your cell phones, go to, and enter this game pin, 125594. Oh, and 44, 1255944. (typing) Ok, we’ve got two players. We’ve got old dragon and
legend elephant coming in. Three players, wise eagle just joined us. Bald eagle, oh epic lion,
captain bear, up to six players. Awesome unicorn. Kahoot, while everybody is logging in is an instructional technology tool that many of our teachers
use for assessing students or their own instruction
throughout the period, and you can customize it so that players can enter their
actual names in there so you can see as a teacher who it is or you can have code names
in there like we are here. All right, wise cat, all right, thank you. Everybody in? Okay, so I’m going to start. I’m going to ask a question. The answer choices will
be up on the screen and then on your individual devices you can pick A, B, C, or D, or really, it’s a shape or a color
that you would pick. The first, we only have two
questions here for this quiz. The first question, how
do we involve parents in the CSE process? Do we require written consent
to evaluate and oh, oh no. (laughing) How do I get down here? Okay, do we require written consent to evaluate and initiate services? Do we provide resources to
inform, educate, and support? Do we gather parent input
during the evaluations in the CSE meetings? Or do we do all of the above? Okay. All right, so, 10
correct, one also correct, but not as correct, because
we do all of the above. We require written consent before we can evaluate and initiate the services. We provide the resources to
inform, educate, and support, and we also gather the parent input during the evaluations and the meetings. All right, next question. Oh, cats in bear, not only
did you get this right, but you are speedy. These are our top five. Number two, why did we
switch from co-teach to resource consultant teacher services at the elementary level? Was it because teachers said that it’s what the kids need instructionally? Was it because it’s more efficient and fiscally responsible use of resources? Was it because the parents wanted to keep their children in their home schools? Or was it all of the above? All right, again, 11
correct, well 12 correct, 11 very correct. Yes, the person who chose this, it was a more efficient
and fiscally responsible use of resources. It was also that teachers
said it’s what the kids need instructionally and parents wanted to keep their children in the home school, so it was a way of offering those services in all three of our elementary schools. So the answer was all of the above. Wise eagle, wow, wise
eagle and bald eagle. (laughing) Something about the eagles. Nice job, nice job. That is it, do you have any questions? Does anybody have any questions? – Yep, Nicole, I have a question for you. The co-teach model, is it available right up through grade 12 for these kids? – Co-teach is available in
some courses in grade 12. It’s not all the way through
for every single subject. Sorry, the answer didn’t turn off. We offer it for all of the
courses that (mumbles), and all of the core courses where we have decided that students
are going to need it. There are some, we offer
many, many different courses at the high school, we
offer different electives. Beyond our math requirements, we offer additional
math classes and things, and we don’t offer co-teach
in all of those because — – You just can’t, yeah, I understand that. – But we do offer it. – The other question that I have, again related more to the high school, the role of the case
manager at the high school. Let’s say a child,
because of their electives and everything they’re taking, there’s not those co-teach classes and there’s not, maybe they’re
even out of resource room for the last two years or whatever ’cause they’re doing
okay, but they still have their case manager, I believe, and does that case manager
communicate with the teachers and make sure that that
child is doing okay and doesn’t need additional
services at that point? – It depends. If the student no longer
needs their co-teach classes and no longer needs their resource room, they actually, and no longer needs any special education service,
they are de-classified, which means they no longer receive special education services. They could be de-classified
with some accommodations, testing accommodations,
but they would no longer have a case manager. Because we have people that oversee making sure that those accommodations and de-classifications before it happens. – Okay, that’s what I
was going to ask, okay. – But they don’t have a
special education teacher as their case manager because they no longer go through all the other special education process
of the case manager is responsible for. – Okay, thank you. – I have a question on that same subject. This is very close to my
heart, special education. It’s just an invisible disability. You just can’t see it, but it exists, and the question is, when you
re-valuate every three years, does that mean that the child has learned to deal with their handicap, and they’ve learned the
tools now to help themselves, or does that mean that they’ve
overcome the disability? – Well, it really, it
depends on their disability, but our hope is always
that we are going to provide the instruction that
they need to close the gap, but also that we are
going to teach the student to self-advocate for themselves, and to understand their
needs and their disability and what tools help them. Some of them might have
difficulty with study skills and they realize that an app
on the iPad of a checklist is very helpful for them and once they become proficient in using that tool, they really no longer need
a special education teacher to teach them how to use that tool ’cause they’ve already
become proficient in it, or whatever it may be. So, there are times
where they have learned compensatory strategies or skills and no longer need the services. There are times where, I don’t want to necessarily say they grow out of their disability, often times a disability is life long, but sometimes we have a difference between those disabilities and there sometimes are impairments, but you can mature, you can
have different therapies, and you can learn to really compensate for your needs in other ways. And some students need special education all the way through. You know, through the time
that they graduate or exit. But some students, they may
only be in special education for a couple of years and then ultimately, they’re doing great and
they don’t need it any more. And the nice thing is also that we offer so many other supports in our district that it’s not like if you no longer receive special education, you’re just left on your own, and we have a lot of other
academic intervention support services and corrective things to help the students. – I have a series of questions. Thank you for giving the information, ’cause it sorta re-focused me to what I used to do in another district. With the child that has been exited from programs that you offer. The accommodations that
you provide him or her, does a student have to accept those? And the reason I’m asking you, in our school district,
are they bound to do that? They have to accept them? – No. It does depend, if you’re
talking about accommodations, so for example, an accommodation might be expected time on a test. – Right. – Right, so instead of having
30 minutes to do your test, maybe you get 45 minutes to do your test. A student can say, I don’t want that, and ultimately they have the right to refuse that accommodation. When that happens, we keep track of it, and if it’s happening frequently we often will come
together and say okay, why? Sometimes the student will
say if you give me more time, I just use it, I procrastinate,
I like a deadline. Some of them are saying I
really just can’t concentrate for 45 minutes, I only
want the 30 minutes. There could be various reasons
as to why they don’t need it or maybe they do need it and
we need to encourage them. Look at the score that you got when you only took 30 minutes, but you didn’t finish the test, and why is it that you don’t
want the extended time? So, we’ll talk about it, but ultimately the child does have the right
to refuse an accommodation. – Right, I follow that. I’m an adjunct professor
up at Mount St. Mary’s, and especially as a freshman and sophomore when they come from, whether
it be public or parochial or other private school to the Mount, they come often times
with what I would call an exit IEP, and X, Y,
and Z accommodations are to be offered them, and I find that last semester when I had seven students in my three sections
that had that exit IEP, and all seven refused to
take that testing extension and also work time extension, too, with work time for regular assignments. And I was just, I would
give them as much time and work with them as much as possible. I’m not of that type,
but I was just wondering how bound is the, especially
in a public school situation, is the teacher liable to do that? – The teacher must offer it, but the student can refuse
it, and we document it if the student’s refusing. And again, we follow up. A focus has been recently
on really making sure that the students at the older levels are involved in their meetings. Sometimes they really needed
that extended time early on and they don’t need it any more, and we don’t want to just keep
rolling over on their plan. Sometimes, they don’t need it. We have to offer what’s on their plan. – Yeah. – Because we’ve identified it as a need, but the student can refuse. – Thank you. – You’re welcome. – Let me follow up on these questions. I’m sorry I arrived late
to your presentation, I may have missed this but did you review the populations in our school
district that need help with special needs? – Are you talking about the — – Excuse me, could you
talk into the microphone? Your back is to us and we can’t hear you. – I’m sorry. – That’s okay. – I’m sorry I arrived
late to your presentation. You may have reviewed this already, but did you review initially the population in our school district of children that need help? Was that something that you presented? – I did not present that today. – What is the population? Is that something that you can share? – I need to better
understand your question. Are you talking about classifications, like how many students
that we have with autism, (mumbles) are you talking about — – You identified that there’s
10 different categories — – 13. – That the state, 13. – Yep. – How many children fall within that? – I see. I don’t have that information here, but that is certainly something, I have reviewed it at other board meetings when I did the binding and
special education plan, it is data that I have
available, I can show Mr. Miller. and we can share it out,
but I don’t have it with me. – Can you give me an idea? I mean, I’m not going to hold you to, but are we talking about
hundreds of children or how many children? – About 400 students
district-wide, and we’re talking — – So more than 10% of
our student population. – Yeah, yes it is more than 10%. It’s probably closer to about 12. That number would also include students that are placed out of district in our overseas programs
or in private schools. – And of the 400 children that need help, how many children are
placed out of district? How many children are
placed out of district? Out of the 400, how many children? – I don’t want you to
hold me to this number. – No, I’m not. Just close. – I want to say that it’s
around 50 or low 50s. – Okay. – It used to be a lot higher, actually. We have a lot more students
we’re offering more programs. – Many of the services
now within our district. Okay, so that leads me
to the other question. Of the 350 children that need help, what’s the ratio of teacher,
special education teachers that we need to support the 350 children that need that extra, in other words, how many special education
teachers do we have? Do they need this qualification in order to be the consultant teacher? – They do, they need to be
a special education teacher. And we do, again, I don’t have it with me. I can figure it out easily. – Nine at the high school. – Nine at the high school? (chatter) – More at the middle school. 15 I want to say at the middle school. – Is that help mandated by law or is that a ratio that we
try to provide the most help? – We identify our students
that need support, what kind of support they need, and then we have teachers in
those roles to support them. It’s not like we, there have been times when we’ve had pockets of students where we’ve needed more support an extra special education teacher and we’ve come to the board and said we need that in order to provide the services that the students require. What’s mandated is that
the committee meets and determines the most
appropriate recommendation for that student. We are held by two main principles. One is that the students
must receive a free and appropriate public education, and two is that it must be in the least restrictive
environment possible. Any time we can offer a service in their general education
classroom, that’s best. Any time we can offer a
service in our district versus going out of district, that’s best. But of course, it depends
on the students need. We have an appropriate number of certified higher special
education teachers to meet all of the mandated
needs for our students. If we ever want to look
at creating other programs and things like that, that’s something that we would have to discuss, but in terms of all the programs and identified needs of
our students, we’re set. – Can you share that in a later meeting, because we’re going to be coming up, reviewing our budget needs. Is this an issue that you’ve identified that we may need additional support or, I know that there’s been an initiative to bring some of the children that within our school district
to provide that support but are we making an, where
I’m concerned is that are we providing the support
that the child needs? Are we providing the adequate support and are you getting the help that you need with the resources that we do have? – Yeah, yeah, we again, it is an issue, it has been an issue I’ve
discussed with the board about whatever programs
we can offer children in district versus out of district, that’s always the goal, but ultimately, the students needs to be able to get the support that they need, whether that be in district
or out of district, we need to make sure that
we’re proving that support. – Okay, so this is a much harder question. With that experience and with
the support that we’ve had, without sharing specific children, can you give us some success stories where the intervention that
we’ve provided has helped and where we can demonstrate
that the child has improved? – I can. I wouldn’t go into any specifics now. – No, I understand, I understand. – But what I can do is I can speak with Mr. Miller afterwards. Whatever questions the board has in terms of wanting additional data or information such as, I think one easy piece of data I can get is how many students have we de-classified? – Correct. – Okay, so we classify students — – And how they’re performing now. – But we also de-classify
students each year, and how many students are de-classified? That’s some information, ’cause
those are success stories. – Those are success stories. – If students are deemed de-classified, that means that they no longer need the special education support
that they previously — – Correct, and that we now
have a history of success that we’ve said, hey listen, we’ve identified these special needs, we’ve took them under
this special tutorship and now we’ve provided the tools and now they’re succeeding
in class on their own. And that would be — – One of the things when
we vote on the CSE and PSE, if you read through those documents, which sometimes are
difficult to get through, you can see right there
we have de-classifications almost always, somewhere in
that document you can see either what service they’re being provided or that they have, in
fact, been de-classified. So yes, that’s always a nice thing to see when you see de-classification,
that is a success story. – I would like to see the results. Is that something that you
can share at a later meeting? Just so we can see the
results, the trends. But at least we know, listen,
the child was a C student, but now they’re a B
minus or they’re scoring closer to what they should be. – I don’t know that I
would be able to provide all of that detail for each student, but I think that if you can, as a board, decide what it is exactly,
the information that you need, we can gather in whatever best way we can to provide that information. Again, I can tell you, not right here, but how many students who are presented as students who are being de-classified, I wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell you what all of their grades
are two years later because I’m not monitoring
that, the principals are. The other processes that Miss Argenia had spoken about and that
Stephanie had spoken about, but I also see whether or not a student is going to be re-classified. Say they were de-classified and now they’re struggling again, and they’re going to be re-entered to special education, rarely happens. Has happened, rarely, rarely
happens, so typically — – Did they get re-recommended? – For special education. ‘Cause typically, when
they’re in special education, receiving special
education services and then the committee recommends
de-classification, we celebrate that, but it’s also a strong recommendation to make ’cause you’re saying that
the student’s no longer qualified for special education, you have a lot of data
that you look through to make that recommendation
and you don’t make it lightly. When that recommendation is made, it’s very rare that the
student will later struggle and need to be re-referred
to special education. I wouldn’t say that it’s never happened, but it rarely, rarely happens. – Nicole, if I’m not mistaken, some of the success stories have absolutely nothing to do with grades, like fine motor skills,
those types of things. – Absolutely. – You’re being de-classified because you have improved on those skills that eventually will help them, obviously, but do not necessarily correlate going from a C to a B to an A. – Yes, I understand, I think that they’re different extremes. – Also, within our process the student, even if they’re not de-classified, they’re still using the special education as we annually meet on these students, and often times what we’ll see is discontinuing certain
services, so to your point, if a student maybe they will be seeing a special education teacher and they were going to
occupational therapy and they were going to speech therapy, well, now they no longer
need occupational therapy. Maybe they still need a
special education teacher but they’ve made success
in that other area. I can think of somebody right now off the top of my head
who I won’t share but who’s in a special class and is now in the general education class
with a consultant teacher and conversations with that
parent very recently is that child is probably
going to be de-classified before the end of the year
because, great success story. – And they’re striving
to be de-classified. I guess that’s our goal as a parent and also as a support
network is to reach a point that you don’t need that help. – Yes. – That’s a success. Now, what is the difference
between the IEP and the 504? – IEP is special education. 504 would be some kind of accommodations to be able to access your education but there’s no special education
teacher involved in that. – And that’s at the school level. – It’s at the building level. – At the building level. – I want to thank you. This was a nice refresher course and it also, Jim said, it brings back and kind of helps you put
it all back into focus. And thank you, this was well done. Oh sure, yeah, get up here. – Sorry. I think that sometimes this maybe sounds a little bit too mundane, whatever, but I think you’ve got
some great information here on terms of what Robin
declares your workload is, and you say you have this
information available. I don’t know if you might
want to come up with a proposed scenario how many
students come in every year, you have their classifications, number of teachers you have, and then the number de-classified if you want to break it down more, but I think it helps us understand your needs, your resource
needs, how they grow, how they shrink, or whatever, but it gives us a better understanding of how you use your
resources, your teachers. To the extent you can give
us some metrics, so to speak, some numbers of what the
staff is, would be helpful. – I appreciate your support,
and just so that you know from my perspective in
terms of the budget process, I do that every year with
Mr. Sotland, and Miss Duffy, and Mr. Miller, in terms
of looking at the trends in special education, our resources, what we need, what we don’t need, and we have those
conversations all the time. We have them frequently
throughout the year, but at budget time, which
actually starts in November, we identify all of those. I believe Mr. Sotland
takes that into account for what he presents to
you, but certainly, again, I’m happy to present any
information that is needed. – We’ll have that
discussion and figure out if, and, or what,
especially after Harvey does his presentation, we may
understand what you’re asking for. – Thank you. – Thank you. – Okay, that brings us
down to new business. Personnel actions. Resolved upon the recommendation of the superintendent of
schools, board of education does hereby accept the
following personnel actions as per document, do I have a motion? – So moved. – Second. – Any questions? Yes. – I was unclear about how this, this is the one where
some people were changed, there were resignations,
new people came on. – Do you want to explain? – Yes, we have a family leave at Willow in physical education. Mark DeCastro, who is
a teaching assistant, also has his teaching
certification in physical education so he took a leave from
his teaching assistant job to take the long term leave at Willow. Now, we have a monitor
who’s actually certified as a teaching assistant. She’s also high school,
so she took the leave of Mark DeCastro to become
a TA during the time that he’s taking the leave at Willow. Once that leave is over at
Willow and the teacher returns, Mr. DeCastro will return
to his TA position and Nicole Landusky will return to her teacher aide position. – So you’re saying the number of teachers actually employed on the
roster doesn’t change, it’s just you’re shuffling around, okay. I just wasn’t clear about
what was the population. Okay, thanks. – Any other questions? All those in favor? – [All] Aye. – Opposed? Sanctions, thank you. Motion to accept the parent
transportation resolution as per document. Do I have a motion? – So moved. – Second. – And questions. Could you explain this, please? – Sure. Actually, if you look at
item number two and three, they’re identical with
respect to a resolution pertaining to the parent
providing transportation to their special needs student to their out of district location. The first one you’ll see there, they’re going down to Rockland, there’s an annual satellite
program from BOCES, and in the other resolution you’ll see it has to do with two children who are going to the
Dutchess BOCES program. So, as is the case with any
out of district students, we have to provide transportation. In these two instances,
the parent has come to us and said, can we drive our own children? And the answer to that is
almost always absolutely. The law allows it. We reimburse them for mileage and tolls, and inevitably it is always
in a larger order of magnitude cheaper for the district. This is really a win/win. The parent welcomes to do that, we welcome them, too,
and we reimburse them. – Thank you. Any other questions? All right, all those in favor. – [All] Aye. – Opposed? Any abstentions? Okay, motion to accept the
parent transportation resolution as per document, this
would be number three. – So moved. – Second. – Any questions on this one? All those in favor? – [All] Aye. – Opposed? Any abstentions, thank you. Okay, item number four. Resolved upon the recommendation of superintendent of schools, the board of education does hereby adopt the updated CCSD code
of conduct regulations. I’ll take that as per document. – So moved. – Second?
– Second. – Okay, any questions? – I had a question on the — – Yeah. – This updated policy is
more driven by the vapor — – Vaping. – Vaping? Now, vaping in and by itself
is not illegal, is it? – It’s not allowed in our schools. – But just as like our
cigarettes are not allowed. – It depends what substance
they’re using in their vape. – Any time I see that,
I really feel like — – Well, there are some
illegal drugs that they can — – That they can use with that? – Yeah. – What we’re against is — – Vaping, in school. – The tool itself, whatever they use. – Yeah, it’s the tool. – It’s called paraphernalia. – This is kind of new territory for us, that’s why we had our attorneys because we’ve run into
this situation where we’re testing a substance, we have a test, and that sometimes comes
out positive for THC, which is the main ingredient in marijuana. – Okay. – So, when it does, the level of vaping goes up considerably, obviously, ’cause now you have
possession of drugs in school. But, because we didn’t have anything in our code of conduct about it, our attorneys felt so
that everyone knows that if you’re caught vaping, that
substance will be tested. – It will be tested? – Mmhmm. – Okay. – We have test kits to do that. – It will be tested, it’s
not illegal necessarily. – Not necessarily. – It will be tested. – But it’d be the same as,
if it didn’t test positive for a drug, then it would just be like if you were smoking a cigarette. – A cigarette, which is also — – Not allowed. – Not allowed on school property, right? – Any other questions? – I don’t smoke, by the way. (laughing) I’m not suggesting. – Okay, all those in
favor of the revisions. – [All] Aye. – Opposed? Okay, thank you. Neil, want to? – We’ve spent a number of months working with our
principals and they working with their teachers and staff and, as Nicole mentioned,
started back in November that we would meet with our principals, that’s Harvey, Gail, and I,
and talk about budgetary needs for the next school year. Tonight’s the first night
that we are introducing the beginning of the
budget process publicly and then for our board of education and so at this time, Harvey will start. I will point out also that this was the, when I said start of November, that may be the formal
beginning of the process, but this process begins early in July as the new school year starts and we start talking about
things and needs and all, so this really is a full year process, but formally, it kind
of begins in November. Harvey? – Sure. And I just want to reiterate that this is the presentation
phase, as I’ll call it, of the budget. The budget process is every single day of every single school year. We’re always talking about budget, we’re talking about our
needs on a daily basis, and we’re talking about the resources, and every day, we’re trying to meet that. With regards to the budget, the first thing you have
to keep in mind is that in this entire length of year
that we’re dealing with budget on a day by day basis,
this is really what I call the written phase, the written in time, because in November and
December, really right up to now, we have received from the principals their budget information
that we’ve requested. We’ve met with them, we’ve analyzed it, we’ve dug into it, we’ve
identified the needs, we’ve identified the priorities. This is really like the crunch time. Additionally, the needs
that you’re gonna see here are not a wish list. It’s not a boy, this
would be nice to have. These are actual hard needs that we need. It doesn’t mean we’re going
to be able to fund them all, but this is the needs of the district that the board needs to know about as we head into the budget process. And lastly, as I go through these slides, any time you see a cost
with respect to a personnel or a salary, that is
an all-inclusive cost. It’s not just a salary, it’s the benefits, it’s the retirement, the social security, it’s every single cost associated with bringing that person into that role. We’re going to look at this
on a school by school basis. With respect to the elementary schools, we’re grouping them because
their needs are identical, and with regards to the elementary level, the first item there is a
full time K4 STEAM teacher. Obviously, we’ve been
talking about STEAM a lot. It’s on the forefront of all
our initiatives right now. Additionally, the New York state, with respect to the science
and technology standards that’s becoming more and
more part of our curriculum, so what this position would do is this is an enrichment position that would basically work with the teacher and the students in STEAM. They would basically push in or they could be working in
another part of the building. I want to give you a
little correlation here. Everybody knows how successful
we’ve been with Keith as the technology integration specialist. This is similar, but this is really just with respect to STEAM. It’s a support for the teacher,
it’s a support for the kids. And that costs us about $103,000. The next item, the second priority, is two full time early
intervention teaching assistants. What we have currently is
in the elementary schools, we have one in Lee Road, which is a early intervention teacher,
not a teaching assistant, we have one elementary teaching
early intervention teacher in this building. Willow Avenue and COH share one. We have a total of two teachers. The problem that we have is that they need additional support now. We brought these positions on awhile ago and now they’re at a point
where they need some support and that’s why the need has come for these teaching assistants
to support them and the kids. Why do we have this support? The reason is because when
kids enter kindergarten, there is this wide range
of educational readiness. Some kids go to preschool,
some kids enter, they know their numbers,
some kids can’t read, some kids can read. It’s very broad. What happens is when they
come into kindergarten, we have to try to correct that within kindergarten and first grade. If we can bring them up to grade level in that time frame, we’ve done
a tremendous service to them and we’ve done a tremendous
service to the district because if they continue
to have that setback going into second grade,
if history shows that we’re going to be spending
a lot of money on resources to help them get up to
grade level after that. That is what these two positions do. It’s strictly focused on K1, and so it’s two first
grades that the kids see when they enter school, and this is really to get them where they need to be. And that would be about
$102,000 for the two positions, total of two. Those are the two key priorities
for the elementary schools. – There’s two positions
but there’s two schools? – Correct. – Sorry. There’s two positions for three schools. – Yes, but I mentioned it
indicates there that they share. Willow Avenue and COH share a teacher. And they will be sharing a
teaching assistant as well. Basically, that teaching assistant would follow that teacher. That moves us to the middle school. The first and most important request from the middle school is two AIS academic intervention teachers for grades five and six
in both math and ELA. The reason, or the impetus of that need is coming from the fact
that these two classes, with respect to AIS, both math and ELA, is taught during the skills period. The skills period is just a normal period in the middle school. As a result, it’s got the same population as a regular class. These classes are too big. They’re being about 25
students in these AIS classes. A good, normal, effective
size for an AIS class, you’re probably talking somewhere between six and eight children,
eight being the max, nine being the max. We have 25 kids in these classes. It’s not effective. It’s not giving them
the targeted instruction that they need. The next need is a full time math teacher for grades seven and eight. Again, the problem is with the academic intervention services for math, the class sizes are too big. They’re averaging 15 students, less than the grades five and six but still more than they should be. The children can’t get the individualized and the targeted services that they need. Additionally, you’ll see here
the grade eight algebra lab. This is an honors course. The lab comes as part
of the algebra course. Basically, much like bio, you
have the instructional part and you have the lab, the same thing holds true with algebra,
you have the class and you have the lab. The lab, though, is 30 plus students. This math teaching position
would help bring that down. – Does the lab include
the use of technology? Like for example, what
does the lab consist of? Is it a computer based lab? – It could be, it depends
on what the teacher wants to use on that particular day. Technology is clearly available to them. The next item is the
expanded tutorial program. You might recall two years ago we had an expanded tutorial
program for every level. Elementary, middle, and high school. Last year, though, which
is last year’s budget, which is really the 17-18
year that we’re in now, we were only able to continue budgetarily with the elementary schools. Only the elementary schools have the expanded tutorial program. What we’re looking to
do, the middle school and the high school, have
expressed a great need with respect to having
some funds available to move beyond just this
test prep tutorials. Two years ago when we did it,
it was extremely successful. It’s not a lot of money,
but it just wasn’t in the cards last year,
as you might recall. – How did you arrive at $5,600? When I see expanded tutorial, what’s the population of
children that need help, and we’re talking about $5,600. – Yep. – That doesn’t sound like a lot. – It’s not a lot. But, you need to have it in order to — – But, what are we hoping
to provide for $5,600? – Specifically for the middle school, the number of hours I believe is 70 hours. – So it’s after school, correct? – Yep. It may be before or after. – Yeah, before or after, how many — – It’s 70 hours. And that includes,
remember when I mentioned that’s all inclusive, so that
includes social security, retirement, on that. – It’s $5,600 in addition to
what we’re already investing. – Correct. – Which is? – I don’t have that with me. – Okay. – When I get into the numbers
with the regular budget. – Okay. – This is a need which has been identified for which we don’t provide right now. – Harvey, what will be the grade levels for this extension of that program? – This is the entire middle school. – Entire middle school? – Yes. – Okay, thank you. – And in this program, I
don’t know if you recall, but there’s a component
of keyboarding skills which is extremely
important at that middle, well it’s going to be more
important at every level, but it was very successful along with a languages other than English,
foreign language component, because again, that’s an important aspect of the middle school, and
this gives the extra help. Those are two really
main components of it. – The key part about this is that, as we mention here, this is not
a test prep type of a thing. It allows the principals to
really customize to their needs, which is really what is needed. Okay, the last item there on this page is the additional school safety officer. You might recall we talked
about this last year, it didn’t make the cut. The middle school right now
has one security officer, as well as one greeter. It’s got 1,100 students,
which is the same population as the high school. We only have one officer right there. The request is to add one
additional security officer. – Harvey, how many security
officers are at the high school? – Well, they have altering times. The most numbers of
officers at any one time when they overlap I think is four or five? Five. – Five at lunch. – Five at lunchtime. Obviously, there’s a
different element there with respect to the
children being much older. That doesn’t mitigate the fact that we need additional coverage. – Are the security officers, does this include their
benefits, or are they? – No, they’re contracted. – They’re contracted. – It’s an hourly rate. – Like 1099s? – It’s through a company that we — – Through a company, I see. Are they ex police
officers, law enforcement? – Yes, yes. The company we use is all ex NYPD, and there’s I believe one
that’s an NY correction officer. – Okay. – Many of them are at detective levels and they’ve worked in
various special forces. Yes? – Harvey, is there a thought that we hire this additional safety officer and then maybe take one of the five that overlap at the high school and then bring him or her so that we have three
during the lunch periods? – Unfortunately, we
wouldn’t be able to do that. The need is too great at the high school. I would go as far as saying
you could even ask them at the high school. You can never have enough security amongst the student
population at the high school. Lynn could talk for probably
the next half hour about that. It’s just a fact. – What’s our total population again? What’s our total staff for security at the middle school, one? – One. There’s a slight, so at the end of the day we have somebody come on that picks up where they left off to get us a little bit
into the evening hour, like with the after school activities. But, otherwise, they’re
starting early in the morning. – How many hours does
this 37,000 represent? – 37, oh that’s a full time. They’re here for the entire day. – Oh so that’s eight hours a day? – No, I believe it’s seven. – Seven times how many days? – 108. – 108 days, okay. – I think that number’s
gonna change because we are having a conversation
about security in general and there is the thought
that we need to do more. Did you take all, did you
anticipate that discussion, or is this just a — – This is the need that
we’ve identified right now. – Okay. – Okay, so that brings us
now to the high school. Top priority here is a math teacher. One full time additional math teacher. What this really does for us is provides five great solutions. I say five because a math
teacher teaches five periods. What this would allow us to do is to provide a new section in
Intro to Computer Science, and I say new, not additional, new. We do not offer any
computer science courses at the high school. We’re probably one of the
only schools in the area, perhaps the state, that does not. So, it would allow us to offer
Intro to Computer Science. It would allow a section
of AP computer science. We also would be able to provide an option to the fourth year math to those students who are
having trouble with pre-K or AP statistics, so it
just gives another choice for the kids. Additionally, it would
allow another section of math AIS for those
kids that are struggling. And lastly, it would
allows us eligible one has some high class sizes, it
would allows us to mitigate that problem, reduce those
classes in terms of their size. One teacher can do all
that, it’s tremendous. – How many math teachers do we have now? – Lynn? – Nine teachers? – Might be 10, might be just nine. I’ll get back to you. – Okay. – The next item is a 0.6 physical
education health teacher. This was on the list last
year you might recall, and really focuses on the fact that the PE classes often
times go over 35 students, and the health classes average about 25. This 0.6 again would help
with the class sizes. It’s extremely difficult to maintain an effective class in PE
when you’re over 35 students. It’s just not what it should be. Next need reflects a full time bi-lingual teaching assistant. This is to assist the
student and both the teacher with our ENL students. I think we’ve all seen it, regret it, we have such an increase
over the last couple of years with respect to incoming students who have difficulty with
English as a speaking language, understanding language. I can tell you for a fact we have students that come into this district who can’t speak a single word of English nor understand a single word of English. And the ENL teachers, they work magic. It works, but they need assistance. The population is growing. – Is Spanish the second language? – All languages. – Or is it? – We’ve had Russian,
Vietnamese, there’s no, I think Spanish would be more common. – Do we have any real numbers here? Can you tell us how many
Spanish speaking kids come in every year? – Spanish, I can’t tell you right now. I know that we have, I
can’t tell you the language, but I mean … – But you’re going to get
just Spanish teachers here. – No.
– No, no, no. That’s not how it’s taught here. – If they only need was
Spanish, but it’s a broad range. – One FTE bi-lingual,
so what does that mean? You’ll split it up
between several teachers? – No, no, no, what would happen is this teaching assistant would basically, they would be comprised
of working with students in various classes, they’d be
moving throughout the building with various students. – But, just one person. – One additional person. – Yeah, additional. – Yeah, we have ENL teachers. This is a teaching assistant. – And Peter, they’re not teaching them in their native language. That’s not what goes on. – I’m not clear, is it a Spanish teacher? – The person could speak Spanish, Peter, but they could speak German
or any other foreign language. – What it is is, keep this in mind, it’s not a foreign language teacher. It’s a teacher who has been taught how to help that child learn the language. They don’t have to speak Russian, but they help them get over the hurdles through a host of technology and material to get them up to speed
as fast as they can. I know it sounds kind of hard
to believe, but it works. Lynn, do you want to add anything to help? – Yes, I can just give you
an example from this year and obviously the numbers
change all the time. I currently have, for
example, there’s nine students who have full services. We have an ENL teacher, so she does do, she pushes into some
classes, she has pull outs, (mumbles) mandates by
the state, 560 minutes. If my numbers right, a
week that they have capped, but you think about a
high schools schedule where a student has
seven classes built in, the ENL teacher might be with them for one, maybe two periods out of the day. They have five other periods
that they’re going to classes, and they don’t speak a word of English and so a TA, a bi-lingual,
in this case Spanish would be very helpful. It’s just someone on
the team to be able to help them focus on what’s going on, to help with the translating of materials so that they’re understanding
in a global class they could have, in their language, a version of the Powerpoint
that the rest of the class is looking at, because
they’re still mandated to be in those classes,
and they might only have those specific help they wanted to. – What would help,
understanding the deed is, of course, English for
me is a second language. I really appreciate it. I learned English after I
arrived to this country, and I struggled. I’m very sensitive about it. But, and this is the
question that I would get in the neighborhood, why do we need that? How many children are we? – District-wide, 56. – 56 children district-wide, but we’re only talking
about high school now. – Correct. – Currently I have nine or 10 students. – So, nine or 10 students, and how many bi-lingual teachers do we have? – There’s one ENL teacher in high school. – One for the nine students. – Right, and each of those
students has seven classes. – And no bi-lingual assistants, this would be the first assistant? – Right, where possible,
I try to give support, but it’s not something
that’s mandated in my TA’s, I’m looking at the lady
sitting next to me because my TA’s are really hired
for special education needs. – I see. – In order to pull from them, it means I’m taking a
need from somewhere else, so it’s a prioritizing. – I see. – I would like to have a TA, sorry, that is not tied to special education. – Makes sense. – The law dictates how
many minutes, 560 minutes these children need
special ENL instruction. That’s what drives number
of teachers of ENL. – That depends on what
level of English acquisition the student has. It could be fewer than that number. That sounds as though that person, whoever that student is, is coming in and probably doesn’t even
have a survival language yet. – There’s many challenges. Often times, the parents come in to speak. – I’m confused with the 560
minutes, what does that mean? That each student has to
have 560 minutes of what? – Per week. – There’s levels of proficiency and the highest level a
student who is brand new to our country or to the school district that doesn’t speak
English could be entitled to 560 minutes a week of ENL services specific with an ENL teacher. That’s not counting the TA minutes. It could be 180. There’s different levels
of the number of minutes. We currently at the high school have a few students with
some pretty high needs. – You have nine students in varying needs between 560 and 180, let’s say. – Correct. – But they could only be taught by one teacher at a time, in other words? In other words, the
teachers, how many can have all nine students or the teacher has — – It’s never all nine students because on top of the minutes
there’s also regulations about the ages of students,
so if I have a freshman and I have a senior, I
cannot put them together. I can pull out. – Some you can put together,
so a teacher spends 60 minutes with three students, that
counts as 180 minutes. For the students. – It only counts as 60. – Well, for each student
it counts as 60, though. – Each period, our periods are 45 minutes. – Okay, whatever, I’m just getting — – Yeah, when possible, I
put the students together, so for example, I might
have three ENL students all in the same English 10 class, so the ENL teacher can push in, kind of like the co-teach
model or consultant model that Nicole just pointed out where the teacher, it’s
not a co-teacher form of consultant model. The ENL teacher is
working in the classroom with the general education
teacher at the same time. But that same student might be required to one additional period a day, and that might be a pull
out, where the ENL teacher at a different period has them come and work individually on skills. For some of the students, that’s it, two periods out of the day. But that might be their
English and their ENL time, and they don’t necessarily have support in global or geometry or health and some of the other classes
that they’re having (mumbles). – It’s all in the schedule,
it’s extremely challenging. – Are there other resources that the school districts can
pool together to collaborate to provide that type of support? For example, BOCES, do they
provide that type of support? – BOCES has certain programs. We tried one last year,
didn’t work as effectively as we wished it would. That’s why we brought the children back, a couple of them back. I think we’re hearing about
some pretty good success. You have to realize, just take yourself and put yourself in a country where you don’t speak that language at all. – I’ve been there. (laughing) – Sure. – I understand. – The next item here, the
last one on the sheet, is the expanded control program identical to what we talked about before with the middle school, but
here at the high school level. The difference between the middle school and the high school is that the high school has 10 extra hours. Wrapping up the high
school, the next item here you might recall in the
back of the auditorium, in the back left and the back right, there’s two separate rooms that have kind of stadium seating. What we’re looking to do here is take one of them and make them a second usable auditorium
from the perspective of presentations, classroom instruction. Right now when you close that wall, to use the projector
you’re just projecting on a closing door that’s all rigid and you’ve got the lines
where the joints are, it’s just not conducive
to that kind of use. This is basically providing
extra instructional space, first and foremost priority. Next, we have a 0.6
foreign language teacher. This is someone that we’d be looking to be both fully certified
in French and Spanish. The reason being is because,
and you may remember me talking about this last year, currently right now,
those student who take a SUNY level four course, they’re actually taking that
course in the same class as the Spanish four and French four. We just don’t have enough
teaching staff to break that out. Additionally, Spanish three would help reduce that class size in
that course level as well. The last item here is a
0.2 social studies teacher. Back in 2013, we cut a position. This is the last piece of
that position coming back, meaning we have a 0.8 right now. And what it would do is
it would help us address some of the senior course class sizes. As well, we can also offer
some new college level courses through SUNY or Marist. That’d be a tremendous help. Now we move to athletics. Athletics has two key needs. The first one here
we’ve been talking about for several years. Bringing back the assistant
varsity volleyball coach. Much as we’ve expressed in the past, this is kind of a safety
and supervisory concern. The example we used, which
happens unfortunately, not frequently but it happens, God forbid a child gets hurt,
have to go to the hospital, guess what, the whole team’s
going to the hospital. You’ve got one coach, one bus, everybody has to follow to the hospital. Whatever the case may be, it’s
just not a good situation, and much as with the other sports, they have assistant coaches to help with that responsibility. Something new here is what’s
known as this unified sports, specifically basketball and bowling. Section nine, which is our
interscholastic conference, they have this
interscholastic sports teams for students with special needs and 504, who cannot compete in
the level of competition that our regular children do. It’s a different league, so to speak, and they compete against
kids from other districts, and this is really for those two sports, basketball and bowling. It’s important to note
that what does this include is transportation, coach, officials. Moving to buildings and grounds, the key need here is in
regards to a position that was cut back in 2013
in the middle school. Currently, we have four custodial workers cleaning this building at night. The middle school’s approximately
100,000 square feet. Each person is cleaning
approximately 25,000 square feet. I just want you to think about that. That’s like 11 houses
they’re cleaning every night. Taking into account the fact that not most of the time but inevitably, there are various weeks
throughout the year that one of them is on vacation, or one of them is out sick,
so now you’ve got three. It is extremely challenging. Walter can tell you what a struggle it is to keep that building clean, particularly with the setup that we have with the sports in the back. Whether it’s community or our own sports, when they come into the building after using the fields in the back it looks like a herd of
elephants came in through there, because it’s just so dirty. It’s adding to that problem. Second request with respect
to buildings and grounds is something we had last year as well. This is to elevate one of the current, one of the four groundsmen
to a supervisory position. Would be a stipend position
or a stipend designation, I should say. And the reason this is needed is because when those men are out in the field, there is nobody who is
in charge, so to speak, other than Walter, and
he can’t always be there, he can’t always be available
to watch over them. This would designate one individual to help everybody in the field identify what the decisions are
for the sports field that need to be done, what has to be done with respect to past management, and really overall general
maintenance of the grounds. Next, we move to technology. The key position that
technology is looking for is a clerical position. Right now, the technology department has, for lack of a better word, it has none. It does use the registrar
on an as available basis. Philomena, who’s our
registrar, is extremely busy and she does not have a lot of time, particularly when Tina needs that time. Tina is extremely busy in the summer. Guess when kids register? In the summer. There are lines going down the hall. Tina doesn’t have that support. When you take into account the fact that there’s data management
issues and initiatives, when we have the Smart School Bond Act, we’re talking about $1.5 million dollars of equipment that we’re going to be bringing into the district, and we have the one on one model, which is where the kids
have their one on one with their own device. This is extremely
challenging for Tina to do without any kind of support. This would meet that need. The two other technology needs. The first one there is a
computer network specialist. We have one currently. When you take into account everything that needs to
be done in this district, here’s what we have. We have Tina, we have technology
computer network specialist and two technicians. We really have three
people who are working on the software and the
hardware in this district. It’s just not enough. And now we’re talking about
bring on more technology, which we want to do and we need to do, we need to support that which we bring in. – Where are they based out of? Where is Tina based out
of, the high school? – The high school.
– The high school. – Note the last item here
that you’ve seen in the past has to do with providing support to Tina with respect to data, and really what this is all about is this is somebody who
would live and breathe data and the analysis, work with the teachers, help them understand what
the data’s telling them, help train them and coach
them so they can use it to drive instruction. Right now we do not have
anybody in that capacity. Tina is that person. She can only be in so
many places at one time. – Are we talking about
existing programs that exist to collate that data,
or are we talking about a data specialist that can say this is the data structure that we have, now I want to utilize that data as a tool. – Keep in mind, this
is a teaching position. Think of it as support
to the existing teachers. – Is this for STEAM, or is this — – No, this is data, this
is district-wide data. – Okay, STEAM is data. – That’s what I’m saying, it’s everything. – Would this position be responsible for collecting the data
and reporting it up to the state? – Most likely not,
’cause that’s really more of an administrative process. This is really more dealing with teachers and getting them where they need to be with respect to understanding
what the data says so that they can adjust accordingly. – Now currently, Tina is doing this when she has time to do that. – This would be through
all the school buildings? – Yes. – How is the data, isn’t the data entered, this is utilizing the data
to learn from the data that we collect, so how are
we collecting that data now? – There’s a multitude of ways. Tina would be the best
one to speak for that, but it comes in from various sources. – The way I see it, I’m just again, isn’t this already automated? Isn’t the data already present, so it’s a matter of — – It’s raw data. – It’s raw data. – A lot of raw data. – So, you’re talking
about writing sub-routines that would collect that
data and pull that data out? – I don’t know if you want to
touch on this a little bit. – It’s a big number. – Right, so it’s a full
time teaching position, and so as you’ve heard
at some of our meetings we have a district data team,
we have school data teams, we have myself and Tina, we’ve
been building the capacity of our principals and teachers
over the years with data, but this person would, the raw data that Harvey’s referring
to, some of the data that we have access to,
it’s not in a format that I can just share with teachers. This person would be able to go on and it’s a lot of the
state reporting agencies that we see data from,
they can analyze that data, put it in a format that then we can share with the district data
team, the school data teams, and use that as another tool. It’s really a support to
what we currently have, but if we had this position,
it would free Tina up to do other things, so it really is a support to her office and also promoting data as we continue to move forward with our instruction. – I like data. – I had no idea. – I like data. – I’m just trying to
understand how is this position different from Tina’s position? Tina is more like the
technology person, right? – Tina is data and technology. – But this is more an academic position that’s collecting academic data, correct? This is a specialist that’s familiar with the academic data
and is supporting you to interpret that data
and perhaps distribute it? – They work with the teachers to help them better understand
how the children are doing. – So she teaches no classes? – Right, not in the class
type of position, yeah. – Okay. – At some point, it might be worthwhile to have Tina explain the
data collection process and how it has to be massaged to be sent up to the state, and what kind of form that is in so that then when it
comes back from the state, what kind of form it’s
in so that it has to then be broken out into a usable product. – And I think she’d love to do that so that you saw the size of this task. – That’s why I’m recommending it. – I think we’re going to need — – Been there, done that. – Okay, that brings us to our last area which is really a district-wide view. Not associated with any
one specific building but rather district-wide. The first one there is a district-wide technology integration specialist. This is our current Keith. We need another Keith. There is just such a large
need for that kind of support, particularly in light of the fact that we’re moving to the one on one model, where children are going
to have their own device, every child will have their own device, teachers need that support. Keith cannot be everywhere. Right now, he’s in one
building a day every week. It’s just not enough. – What is the status of that request? Hasn’t Tina requested
that for a long time? – We have been, we have been. We have been, this has
been a repeated request. – No, no, the actual Chromebooks, I thought you were getting Chromebooks. They’ve been arrived? – Oh, that’s a whole different issue. The answer to that is yes,
we have the Chromebooks for our regular budget as well
as through the Smart School. Those are, we got those budgeted for. – The Smart School
Chromebooks have arrived? – No, they have not. – How many years, how long ago was that when they were requested? A year ago, a year and a half? – That was the application process. – Okay. – We can’t order what we can’t support and what we can’t handle. It’s on a very controlled
basis in terms of when we’re ordering and receiving stuff. The last thing we want is to buy stuff, have it sit on a shelf, and
have that warranty tick away. Like I mentioned, there’s Tina
and just three other folks. – You have not ordered it then? – The ones through the Smart School have not been ordered yet. Ordering them is not a problem and receiving them is not a problem. They come relatively quickly. But like I said, we’re
not ready for it yet. – That’s not what I, I
thought we ordered them and we get them. I understand your logic,
but that’s the first I’ve heard of that. – That’s the very first item there. The second item is a
director of human resources. This is a request not only
amongst central office, but every principal and
director will tell you this is something that
they are looking for. As it indicates up there, when you take into
account our substitutes, we’re managing about 750
employees on an annual basis. We don’t have, forget about having a director of human resources, we don’t have a department
of human resources. It’s really spread out amongst
all the administrators. We all have our own respective role, depending on whatever the HR issue is, whether it’s a hire, fire, et cetera. We have to deal with
seven bargaining units. We have federal, New York
State, civil service, it’s really, it’s an
overwhelming task, we do it. The concern is that with
that many employees, with that many regulations, we’re concerned that at some point, something’s going to
fall through the cracks and it’s going to be costly. It hasn’t, and I don’t want it to, and that’s why that request is up there. It’s also taxing everybody’s time with respect with what
they normally have to do. The very last item there
is character education at mass assemblies. This was on there as well last year, and this really just fortifies what we’ve been doing all along and it really just funds something that could really be dynamic and far more than what we do right now. So all said, everything
that I just went over comes to about $1.5 million. The good news is it’s down from last year, which was about $1.7 million. The reality of it is that $1.5 million does not necessarily mean that’s what we’re going to be able to
do once we pull the data. There’s many variables that
we’re going to be dealing with, I’m going to talk about some in a minute, but this really represents what our true needs are right now. With that said, I want to move to the next portion. And it really deals with
the various parameters and variables that we’re facing. The very first one, as we all know, is the property tax cap. It is not the 2% property tax cap that we’ve always heard about, and I know you hear me say
that over and over again but it’s important. Based on the formula
that the state puts out that we have to follow,
our property tax cap this year, for 18-19, is 3.18%. It’s not 2%. Meaning our tax levy can increase 3.18% or almost $1.5 million dollars. How does it get to be that 3.18? What really drives that? Why isn’t it just the 2%? There’s two variables that play into that that really carry the most weight for us. The first one is what’s known as this tax base growth factor. What that number equates to
is really 1.16% increase. That represents hard
brick and mortar additions to the assessment rules. It has nothing to do with the re-valuation that occurred in the town. It has to do with if the house is built, somebody puts an addition on their house, it drives up the assessment. That’s really kind of expands the base. That’s what that factor deals with. The other one is a tax levy growth factor. I know a lot of these
names sound very similar. I didn’t make them up, the
state came up with them. This is the one that deals
with the increase in inflation. Inflation was actually greater than 2%, but the ceiling that
we can only use is two. That’s as high as we can go. When you take those two items into account with the grosses and smaller adjustments that the state requires us to do, that’s how we get our 3.18%. And just as a point of
reference, last year it was 1.74. – Can you go back to that? You’re saying that we had a
growth in Cornwall of 1.1%? – 1.16%. – 1.16%. – Assessment growth. The next item here is revenue. The governor came out with his proposal and despite what you may
have read in the paper or seen or heard, our increase
is only about $314,000. It’s not $778,000 that they said. And the reason for that is because the numbers that they use,
it’s important to understand, the numbers that they use, many of those numbers
are based on estimates. We know what the actual numbers should be, not the estimate, so
we have to adjust that, and it’s really $300,000. We will most likely get a little more. I can’t tell you how much. I’d be thrilled if we got it
up to $500,000 from the state, but you hear what’s going on up in Albany, it’s a difficult
situation, and the governor always is a little bit on the side, ’cause he knows he’s
going to have to give it. That’s where we stand right now. At the bottom, you’ll note foundation aid that went up $290,000, that
$290,000 of the $314,000. The state, had they followed the formula that they were supposed
to, our foundation aid, we would have received almost
$8 million dollars more. Not in this year, but over
the last several years. When we talk about being
the lowest cost per pupil, it’s not something to be
proud of, so to speak, but this is why we can’t do
many things that we want to. – Can you explain the
foundation aid again? – Sure. – Do we have time for that? – Just real quick, I can explain it. Basically, what happened was going back, they wanted to establish a
level of aid contributable to educating each child. And that’s really what it came down to. They basically came up
with a formula that said every child, this is what the state is responsible for to educate them and this is what the local district is. What happened was they
got to a point where the state backed out. Filed lawsuits, everything,
and it’s still being fought in the courts. The bottom line is that
the state stopped funding foundation aid. – Per students. The per pupil cost that the state should have been picking up. – Correct. – What you’re saying is that the state is now in the hole almost
$8 million dollars? – To us. – To us? – Just to us. – Just to us? – Just to us. – And the local community
has been picking, and that’s throughout the state. – Every school district. – Because the state just can’t fund it. – So they say. – How does the $290,000 go back, how does it relate to the $314,000? – It’s part of that increase. So, in other words,
the governor’s proposal increased the foundation
aid to us by $290,000. So, essentially, we got
$290,000 out of $8 million. – What is that based on? Is that based on the student population or is that based on our costs? – No, no, it’s based on
this elaborate formula. It’s unbelievable. It takes into account a host of things. It takes into account
what we spend per pupil, the poverty level, free and reduce, individual wealth, assessments, there’s a wealth of information that they take into account. – There’s an algorithm
there that distributes it that there’s a pie, there’s
$53 billion dollars, or whatever the pie is, they divide that, they take the share out for education and from that share they say, okay, this is the formula we’re going to use for every school district. – Foundation. – For foundation aid. – Some of the other
variables, some are helpful, some not so helpful, the first one is the New York state
teacher’s retirement system. The contribution rate this
year is going to be 10.63%. That’s going up from 9.8. Not a lot, but it doesn’t help. Employee retirement system. Again, these are the
non-certified employees. Their rate stays unchanged at 16.1%. 16.1 is a high number, but
thankfully it didn’t go up. Health insurance. Health insurance last year went up 18% and you might remember the
lengthy discussion we had on it. The good news is, relative to
what we’re paying this year it’ll be increased, it’s
only going up 7% in 18-19. That’s just the premium rate. What I can tell you is that our health insurance
costs will be low now, which I’ll get into in
coming presentations, which is good news. Transportation, we have a
contract with West Point Tours. The rate increase is 1.75% contractually. That’s good. Why is that good? Because if we didn’t have a contract, we conceivably would have to pay CPI, and CPI was like 2%. While the 1.75% is good news,
something worth mentioning, and you’ll see it when I get
into my coming presentations, utilization is up. The rate of increase is
down, but utilization is up. It’s just a fact. And our last — – Have you found a reason
why the utilization of transportation is up, is
there any specific thing? – Oh yeah, I know specifically why, yeah. – Okay. – Yeah, yeah, I’ll be talking about that. – Okay. – The last item on there is
special education tuition. As Nicole indicated, we
send certain children out of district. They’re either out of district for the day or they might need to be residential. All indications are pointing towards those costs being slightly down. Even if they’re down a dollar, that’s a huge win because
typically they’re up by a larger magnitude. Just keeping that cost
steady is a huge win. Which, again, I’ll get to. In closing, what I just
want to mention is that in the past, budgets used to be formulated based on the needs, and
whatever you needed, you just raised the tax levy to that. We can’t do that any more. Costs do not drive the budget any more. Revenue drives the budget because we’re limited by our tax cap,
and what the state gives us. Whatever our revenue pool is, we have to operate within those confines. The important thing,
down at the bottom right, just keep in mind that right now we’re looking at a maximum tax
levy increase of about 1.5, and we got about $300,000
more in state aid. Fund balance, it’s a
little to early yet to know where the indications are going, but that is where we stand right now. I just wanted to point out that what’s driving the budget is the revenue, it’s not what our needs are. Lastly, we have a host
of meetings coming up with the budget folks
on May 15th this year. Questions from the board? – This is my third time
going through this and it’s hard to see, the
challenge that we face is that we have all these needs,
but the reality is that we have the constraint,
and when I look at it, the last part, can you hear me? I’m sorry. The last part of your presentation is really what should be
driving this conversation, which is what are all the fixed costs that we have that are already
contractually mandated? What is that number with the
contractually mandated cost? Is it greater than the 1.5,
is it close to the 1.5, because that takes the
initial conversation that we just had — – You’re right, but it’s important that the board knows what our needs are. – I see. – I can’t just come in here and say, and you need to know the whole picture. – This is the hard part. This is where I’ve said we buy a house, we don’t ask for what we can afford. The parent just suffers that because now you can’t provide for your child what they hope they need,
but the reality is that if we face that reality from the beginning and say this is the
reality, like for example, we have all of these
contractually mandated costs that are not discretionary any more and we’re going to either, so our real discretionary
budget it might be, and I’m just, I don’t know, I’m just talking hypotheticals here, $200,000, $300,000,
$400,000 that we may have discretionary and we haven’t
had even a discussion about infrastructure because we haven’t even spoken about that. I didn’t see those numbers
on this presentation. This is just the academic needs. – That’s different. – That’s different. – That’s a fully operating budget. – Oh, I see, but doesn’t
that fall within our tax cap? – Infrastructure? – No, I’m not talking
about new construction. I’m just talking about basic
infrastructure maintenance. For example, we took out
some of the paving components out of our bond because
the thought is that we might be able to do paving in house, or that we may be able to put
that within our maintenance. I mean, that’s the thought. – I think that was,
somebody brought that up, that doesn’t necessarily
mean that’s reality. – Okay. – Think of this, this
is an operating budget. It doesn’t deal with the capital project or capital facilities. That’s a separate beast, it’s
a separate way we handle it. We handle it through a capital project. I could put it in the budget, but I can’t put millions
of dollars in the budget. – No, I understand. But, the conversation that we’ve had, and this is the concern
that many in the community have shared with me privately, is that there’s a certain
part of our infrastructure that we have to just currently maintain. – Which we do. – With that number, but what is that — – Okay, that’s not what
we’re talking about tonight. That’s coming up. – That’s coming up. That’s another conversation. – This is just the needs. – This is just the academic. – We have, for instance, Walter’s budget has a host of different categorical needs, categorical budget lines, that we address. The lights, the ceilings,
things go, things break. That’s in his operating budget. – That’s going to be in
the next presentation. – Yes, we’re not digging
into the numbers just yet. – I see. – And the reason for that is
because we don’t have them all. A lot of the information that we need has not been made available to us. You don’t want to be premature, and I don’t want to come up here and say this is what our budget is, but I got 200 open items
and then change the game. I’m kinda happy that our next meeting is not until February 26th,
’cause that gives us three weeks to try to hopefully collect
all that information from the people that
need to give it to us. – By February 26th, will we
have a complete proposal? – Yes. – Preliminary proposal? – Yes. – That we now can see all
the different components. – That’s what we do every year, yes. – So on this timeline, what
do you foresee, I’m sorry. What do we see achieving
in this timeline, then? – That depends on, what I envision is that on February 26th and March 5th, we’re going to go through
all the areas in the budget, we have maybe one or two open items which is beyond our
control, we’ll just wait, and then on the remaining meetings, at that point in time
which I don’t know just yet there’s going to be a discussion either we can add stuff, we may have to cut, or we may not be able to do anything. I don’t know the direction in full because that budget isn’t complete yet. We don’t know what all our expenses are. – I would like to suggest
that we take this, what you have given us tonight, take it home with us, kind
of chew it over a little. Understand that these are
needs that the district has, also understanding that
if we were to say yes to all of these, the question becomes what are we taking out of the
budget to make this happen? And that piece, those discussions, will be happening in the
next couple of meetings. And that’s just the reality of life. Just seeing what time it is and knowing what we have coming up, I would like to say thank you, Harvey. – I have a question. I would like to make a point. This is my second go round but this is the only place where I’ve ever had the chief executive
not present the budget, nor the other people present the budget. I’ve had questions, all
due respect to you, Harvey, I think Miss Semporado
gave me a much better feel for what’s going on then
some of the teachers. I don’t think you’re the person to make the budget recommendations. I think the individual
teachers, the Gail Duffys, the building superintendents,
and Neil Miller, should make this budget presentation. I don’t think it’s a numbers game, I think it’s a program game, and I want to have somebody who’s day to day familiar with this program. Gail Duffy’s familiar with it. I want to find some
numbers that deal with, first of all, how many
total teachers do we have? We’ve had a reduction of
population of 100 students year to year, last time I looked. – 50. – 50. – Well, last time I looked it was 100. We’ve got savings that should be realized. I don’t see the whole picture. All I see is little incremental bits. I think we have to look
at the whole picture. It’s a comprehensive budget. And I’m shocked to find out that we haven’t ordered our Chromebooks because we didn’t have people
to teach us how to do it. I’ve asked questions
before, when the Chromebooks are coming, I was told it
was paperwork was holding up, this and that. Now, all of a sudden,
it’s because we don’t have the staff to handle it. I think there’s a lot of questions here. I’m very frustrated. I’ve spent many, many years in budget, and I’ve never had a request like this come up in bits and pieces. I want to see the whole budget. How many full time teachers do we have? How many students do we have by grade? Then we’ll see the increment
and see how that builds, but all we have here is a
bunch of incremental marks and we don’t know what’s the
full complement of teachers. I want to see how many
math teachers we have, how many ENL teachers we have and how that fits in with the students. We don’t have any workload measures. We talked about it. I think that, we talked about,
Gail said and also Nicole, you know how many minutes
you have to have per student. You know how many students you have. You know how many teachers you have. What does that come out to in terms of additional teachers you need? But, we’re just saying
the need is extreme. That doesn’t do it for me. That doesn’t bake my cake. We need to show how many we have now, what’s the workload, and how
many we need going forward. We need to have confidence
in all these numbers. This is not a budget
that gives me confidence. This give me a lot of — – It’s not a budget. He hasn’t proposed a budget to us yet. – It’s the start of a budget. We’ve gotta have a proposed budget that sees everything in the context. I don’t see any context here. A budget is in basic context. We’ve got to know how
many teachers we’ve got, how many more teachers we need, how many students we have. We don’t have any of this stuff. A budget, that’s a budget. This is just a wish list. I can’t (stammering). – I understand. – I have been in budgets
for many, many years. – This is not a budget. – It is a budget request. These are budget requests, okay. – Exactly what it was. – All right, but you need to have the context of the budget
request, that’s the point. You need to have the context. We just think, I need this, I need that, it’s like I say I need a new car, really need a new car, but
I don’t know if that’s, how many cars do I have? What we need to have
is a budget that shows where we are now and
how many people we have, what we’re spending on, and
what we want going forward. And some of the stuff, I
think Gail came out with she had numbers of people that were using for intervention
and number of people that were being used,
number of hours being used. This is the kind of stuff
that’s called workload. We can have a workload budget. I’d like to see a workload budget. If we have additional
students that have needs, then yes, that drives workload. If we want to have improvements, that’s another kind of budget. That’s a different level of budgeting. I can’t make heads or tail
of what’s really workload, what’s an improvement, so
this, to me, as a budget is really lacking in the comprehensiveness that we need in a budget report. I’ve seen many, many budgets,
done lots of budgets, this is just a little tricky. First, we have to find out what we have as a full budget, as a
comprehensive budget. How many people were employed? How many people in facilities? How many people in teaching? How many assistants? How many people in clerical? Then we know how much
further we’re going forward. And we compare that to
our student population, which is decreasing. That’s my problem. I want to see a more comprehensive budget, and this is not a comprehensive budget. – This is not a budget. – It’s certainly the start of a budget. The things I’m looking for, Larry says he wants us to chew this over. I can’t chew it over unless I know what you’ve got in total. – I’m looking through here. We’ve got the second
option, there are classloads that’s a workload reduction. – Well, we don’t — – The next one down, the next one down. – Where are you? – Is a workload reduction. Now I’m at the middle school,
is a workload reduction. The next one down is a workload reduction. – Workload from what to what? – Well, let me see. It says AIS grade seven and eight averages 15 students,
eighth grade algebra lab averages 30 plus and
it’s an honors course. This would be — – Which is labeled as such,
this is an improvement. Some are workloads, some are improvements. – Okay. – That’s my point, I mean
we have to distribute — – If you’re reducing the
workload, you’re improving. So, how do you — – Well, workload is no,
workload is more students, you need more teachers. That’s workload. But we don’t have any more students, so there’s not much workload — – But you also can’t say that we’ve got 50 students less over the spread of across an entire
district of 30 something — – I know, I appreciate that. – If I reduce two kids in one class, doesn’t mean I can reduce a teacher. – No, but over time you can
start to reduce a teacher. – It’s important to keep in mind, it’s not about the student count, it’s about the student needs. You can have 100 less …

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