Feb. 8, 2021 Meeting Minutes

The regular meeting of the Queensbury School Board of Education was held on February 8, 2021.

Call to order

President Mannix called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

The Pledge to the Flag was led by President Mannix.

Members present

Daniel Mannix, Esq., President, Timothy Weaver, Vice President (virtual), Stacy Flaherty (virtual), Amy Molloy, Michael Shea, Ph.D. (Virtual), Joseph Scriver (virtual), Kathleen Holser (virtual), Patricia Belden (virtual), Francis Cabana, Superintendent of Schools Kyle L. Gannon, Clerk of the Board Scott Whittemore

Members absent

None

Presentations

  • Budget Update – Scott Whittemore
  • Athletics – Rich Keys and Kyle Gannon

Open forum

Public participation is encouraged. There will be two Open Forums to provide opportunities to address the Board of Education. Each Open Forum is limited to a maximum of 30 minutes, with up to three minutes allocated to each speaker. If time does not allow all participants to speak, questions and/or comments may be directed to athletics@queensburyschool.org. The Board of Education appreciates public attendance and participation at meetings.

Protocols for virtual open forums

  • Participants who wish to speak during the Open Forum should type their full name and, if applicable, the organization they are representing in the chat bar.
  • Participants will be called upon in order of appearance in the chat bar.
  • The Director of Instructional Technology will announce each participant when it’s their turn and ask them to unmute themselves.
  • All speakers should identify themselves and the school-related matter/topic to be discussed.
  • A timer will be visible on screen to ensure the 3 minute time limitations are followed by each speaker.

Speakers

  • Cindy Conlon – Athletics
  • Jim Ward – Athletics
  • Frank Collins – Athletics
  • Brian Schell – Athletics
  • Mickey Hayes – Athletics (technical difficulties)
  • Jen Bremser – Athletics and ELA Program
  • Jim Coccia – Question regarding travel
  • Mark Ursha – Athletics
  • Xavier Ward – (current student) – Athletics
  • Taryn Kane (former student) – Athletics
  • Jason Rodriguez (current student) – Athletics

Business items

Motion by Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mrs. Holser to approve the resolution regarding the Board of Education’s 2021 Advocacy Priorities:

RESOLUTION DATED FEBRUARY 8, 2021

QUEENSBURY UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION REGARDING ADVOCACY PRIORITIES FOR THE 2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

WHEREAS, the Queensbury Union Free School District strives to provide an outstanding education and post-secondary pathway for each and every student; and

WHEREAS, the District works diligently to meet the needs of all students while still fulfilling the ever increasing list of state mandates and contractual obligations; and

WHEREAS, our School District’s free and reduced lunch rate has increased from 18% to 35% since 2010; and

WHEREAS, the district continues to work diligently to create a balanced budget that respects the needs of area taxpayers; and

WHEREAS, property tax levy legislation at the state level has provided an increased need for State Aid to maintain quality programs; and

WHEREAS, public schools are being asked to do more for students than ever before, so they are prepared for college, military or a career; and

WHEREAS, each child in Queensbury Union Free School District only has one opportunity to go through the full elementary and secondary educational experience;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Queensbury Union Free School District Board of Education calls on the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo to act upon the following priorities:

2020 has presented the state as well as school districts a set of operational and financial challenges unlike any other faced in the collective memory. While changing operations to shift to remote, and then reopening, all while making every effort to keep as many staff on payroll as possible, districts incurred significant unbudgeted expenses. Our districts are aware of the State’s significant budget deficit and how that will strain the 2021-22 budget process. However, within available resources we urge you to make every effort to preserve support for public school districts in the coming school year.

Fund 2021-22 School Aid to the Greatest Extent Possible: The State’s school aid system is intended to provide districts transparent, equitable, predictable and reliable funding. That system consists of a number of formula based aids including Foundation Aid and expense based aids that are necessary to provide students with a sound basic education. These formula based aids are then supplemented by a variety of additional grants and funds that further support students. Even without the limitations on local revenue presented by the tax levy cap, local taxpayers (who have suffered their own financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic) would not be in a position to close a state support gap.

Recommendations include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Ensure that school aid distribution is equitable, considering district ability to pay and student need;
  • Fund the Foundation Aid formula to the greatest extent possible;
  • Provide a stable baseline aid figure to schools for the 2021-22 school year;
  • Fully fund expense based aids.

Support a Long Term Solution to Small Group Health Insurance Protections: Under current law, many insurance policies, including health insurance provided through employing school districts, defines a small group as an employer with 1-100 employees, rather than 1-50 (the prior standard). This adjustment would have captured hundreds of school districts and as a result forced those districts out of their health insurance consortium and increased the costs for insurance for the small districts leaving the consortium as well as the districts left in the now smaller consortium. Since 2015, the state has adopted a number of short term (1-2 year) carve outs that would allow these districts to remain in their consortiums. However, this temporary protection is scheduled to end again in December of 2022. Given the ongoing financial strain, many districts have reduced staff through attrition, and those districts “on the bubble” have now dipped below 100 employees, increasing the pool of districts and employees at risk. Decisions about employee health insurance and district budgets cannot be made without adequate time. Changes in coverage have to be negotiated with collective bargaining units, and changes in cost must either be budgeted, or other programs must be cut. To ensure that these districts can remain in their consortiums and limit the impact on employees and taxpayers, these protections should be extended during the 2021 legislative session.

Address Dramatic Cost Increases Related to Unemployment Insurance: Despite extraordinary efforts to keep school district employees on the payroll in 2020, districts paid significantly higher than usual amounts of unemployment payments. Because of enhancements to unemployment, even legitimate claims were more costly than they would have otherwise been. However, districts in this region are addressing a number of claims that have been proven to be or are believed to be fraudulent or improperly paid. Due to the fiscal crisis, New York State worked extremely hard to send out unemployment checks as quickly as possible to assist those in need. However, as part of that process, many claims were paid without the prior verification by the employing district. As a result, claims that would otherwise not have been paid were released and then charged to school districts. While our districts are pursuing available remedies, the scope of the problem is so large that more direct intervention may be needed. We look forward to working with the Legislature and Department of Labor to address this issue.

9 voting in favor

Motion by Mrs. Molloy, seconded by Mrs. Flaherty to approve the following resolution:

RESOLUTION DATED FEBRUARY 8, 2021

WHEREAS, the school district’s independent auditor West & Company CPA’s PC has issued an annual external audit report on the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020 and

WHEREAS, it is required pursuant to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education that the District file a Board-approved corrective action plan within 90 days of receipt of that report, it is therefore

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the Corrective Action Plan, to be submitted to the State Education Department.

9 voting in favor

Motion by Mrs. Holser, seconded by Mr. Scriver to approve the following resolution:

RESOLUTION DATED FEBRUARY 8, 2021

WHEREAS, it is required pursuant to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education that the District file a Board-approved Corrective Action Plan by July 1st, 2021 for the internal auditor report issued by Marvin & Co. for fiscal year 2019-20.

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education approves the Corrective Action Plan, to be submitted to the State Education Department.

9 voting in favor

Motion by Mrs. Flaherty, seconded by Mr. Weaver to implement emergency pesticide and herbicide application treatments to the District’s grounds and playing fields due to exceeded threshold limits outlined in the District’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan.

9 voting in favor

Motion by Mrs. Flaherty, seconded by Mr. Scriver to accept the resignation for retirement purposes, of Terry Howk Maintenance worker, effective 2/27/21 with sincere appreciation and regret.

9 voting in favor

Business consent items

Motion by Mr. Scriver, seconded by Mrs. Holser to approve the following Business Consent Items

9 voting in favor

Motion to approve the minutes of the January 11, 2021 Board of Education meeting.

Motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report for the month of December 2020.

Motion to approve the Clerk’s Report, the Internal Claims Audit Report, the General Fund Revenue Report, the Federal Fund Revenue Report and the School Lunch Fund Revenue Report for the month of January 2021.

Motion to approve the following Warrants for the month of January 2021:

  • General Fund – January Warrant – $1,953,577.72
  • Federal Fund – January Warrant – $10,080.66
  • HS Auditorium Project – January Warrant – $1,013.85
  • HS Boiler Project – January Warrant – $30,222.00
  • Safety & Security Project – January Warrant – $25,118.51
  • School Lunch Fund – January Warrant – $103,007.13

Motion to approve the budget transfers for the month of January 2021.

Motion to approve the probationary support staff appointment of Jordan Boller, Cleaner, Step 2 (prorated), effective 1/13/21.

Motion to approve the revised appointment of Cheryl Dalton, Transportation Consultant/Mentor, $55.00 per hour, for up to 12 hours per week, effective 2/1/21 – 9/1/21.

Motion to approve the substitute support staff appointment of Johnathan Blackmer, Substitute Groundskeeper, $15.41 per hour, effective 2/8/21.

Motion to approve the termination of Kevin Kosach, Bus Driver, effective 2/4/21.

Motion to approve the memorandum of agreement between the Queensbury Union Free School District and Queensbury School Buildings and Grounds Unit 9013 of CSEA, effective February 28, 2021.

End of business consent

Educational items

Motion by Mrs. Holser, seconded by Mrs. Flaherty to accept the resignation for retirement purposes of Jeffery Kain, QHS Social Studies Teacher, with sincere appreciation and regret, effective 7/1/2021.

9 voting in favor

Motion by Mr. Scriver, seconded by Dr. Shea to accept the resignation for retirement purposes of Andrea Seamans, QMS Grade 6 Teacher, with sincere appreciation and regret, effective 7/1/2021.

9 voting in favor

Motion by Mrs. Molloy, seconded by Mrs. Flaherty to accept the resignation for retirement purposes of Carol Ann Sykes- Bowen, WHBI Grade 5 Teacher, with sincere appreciation and regret, effective 7/1/2021.

9 voting in favor

Motion by Mrs. Molloy, seconded by Mrs. Holser to accept the resignation for retirement purposes of Patricia Thompson, QES Special Education Teacher, with sincere appreciation and regret, effective 7/1/2021.

9 voting in favor

Motion by Mr. Weaver, seconded by Mr. Scriver to accept the resignation for retirement purposes of Jenifer Farley, QES/WHBI Art Teacher, with sincere appreciation and regret, effective 1/31/2022.

9 voting in favor

Motion by Dr. Shea, seconded by Mrs. Flaherty to accept the resignation for retirement purposes of Kathleen Wilson, QES Kindergarten Teacher, with sincere appreciation and regret, effective 7/1/2023.

9 voting in favor

Motion by Mrs. Molloy, seconded by Mr. Scriver to accept the revised resignation for retirement purposes of Colleen Sleight, QES Kindergarten Teacher, with sincere appreciation and regret, effective 2/22/2021.

9 voting in favor

Motion by Mrs. Holser, seconded by Mr. Scriver to approve the following revised long-term substitute appointment:

Michelle Lombardi

  • Assignment: QES Grade 3 Teacher long-term substitute
  • Rate: L1 BA + MA + 33 graduate credits (prorated)
  • Effective: 11/10/20 – 4/16/21
  • Certification: Childhood Education 1-6, Initial

9 voting in favor

Motion by Mr. Cabana, seconded by Dr. Shea to approve the following resolution:

WHEREAS, on January 22, 2021, the Governor and the New York State Health Department authorized schools to operate certain high risk winter sports effective February 1, 2021 as may be permitted and authorized by local county health departments; and

WHEREAS, the New York State Department of Health subsequently issued updated guidelines for the operation of sports related to high risk winter sports; and

WHEREAS, New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) and Section 2 have issued revised guidelines for Return to Interscholastic Athletics for the 2020-21 season: and

WHEREAS, the effectiveness of this Resolution is pending the Warren County Public Health Director and School Physician’s approval for schools within Warren County to operate winter high risk sports; and

WHEREAS, the Superintendent of Schools has shared with the Board the plan to provide winter high risk sports in accordance with all applicable New York State Department of Health, County Department of Health, and any applicable league health and safety requirements which will be implemented during all practices and games;

IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED, that, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education hereby approves implementing the following high risk winter sports for the 2021 winter season:

  • Boys Basketball
  • Girls Basketball
  • Hockey
  • Cheerleading

subject to the following conditions:

  1. Each parent/guardian must sign and submit to the District, a District issued COVID-19 informed consent for participation form;
  2. The District has a plan approved by Warren County Public Health that contains the health and safety protocols that are in place to allow each specific winter sport to occur and the plan is approved by the School Physician;
  3. If at any time, the high school in-person or hybrid learning model transitions to remote only learning, there will not be any athletics during any period of remote only instruction; and
  4. All practices and contests will occur in accordance with all guidelines issued by New York State, Warren County, and NYSPHSAA/Section/League as such guidelines may be amended; and

IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board hereby delegates to and authorizes the Superintendent to take any action he deems necessary and appropriate to ensure that such winter sports are implemented in a safe manner consistent with all applicable guidelines, and also authorizes the Superintendent to temporarily suspend District participation in any of the above winter sports, if the Superintendent deems such action necessary.

Roll call: 

  • Patricia Belden No
  • Francis Cabana Yes
  • Stacy Flaherty No 
  • Kathleen Holser No
  • Daniel Mannix Yes
  • Amy Molloy Yes
  • Joseph Scriver No
  • Dr. Michael Shea Yes
  • Timothy Weaver No

Educational consent items

Motion by Mrs. Molloy, seconded by Mr. Weaver to approve the following Educational Consent Items

9 voting in favor

Motion to approve the agreement dated 1/15/21 with Stacy A.S. Williams, Ph.D., NCPS, LP, to provide professional services at the cost of $200 per hour up to $5,000.

Motion to approve the Queensbury School District calendar for the 2021-2022 school year.

Motion to approve the Board of Education meeting schedule for the 2021-2022 school year.

Motion to approve the disposal of the attached list of non-public school obsolete/damaged textbooks.

Motion to approve the revised mentoring appointments for the 2020-2021 school year:

  • Jennifer Spath: 9/1/20 – 1/5/21 (.25 FTE)
  • Alicia Fazio: 9/1/20 – 1/5/21 (.25 FTE)
  • Patricia Thompson: 9/24/20 – 4/16/21

Motion to approve the following clubs/activities for the 2020-2021 school year:

Intermediate School

  • Dance Club
    • Lisa Higley (D – $350)
    • Lisa Patton (D – $350)

Motion to approve the following coaching appointments for the 2020-2021 Fall 2 Season:

Name – Coaching – Group – Level

  • Pete Crotty: Varsity Boys Soccer – IA – 6
  • Chad Wiekierak: Asst. Boys Soccer – III – 6
  • Tim Ciampa: Head Girls Soccer – IV – 6
  • Austin Cowper: Asst. Girls Soccer – III – 6
  • Jeanne Chrigwin: Varsity Field Hockey – IA – 6
  • Annette Carpenter: JV Field Hockey – III – 6
  • Mike Anderson: Girls Swimming – IA – 6

Motion to approve the unpaid leave of absence of Lauren Latter, QES Grade 3 Teacher, effective 2/22/21 – 2/24/21.

Motion to rescind the following policy, regulation and exhibit:

  • 0110-R – Sexual Harassment Regulation
  • 0110 E.1 – Sexual Harassment Exhibit Complaint Form
  • 0110 E.2 – Sexual Harassment Exhibit Appeal Form

Motion to approve the first reading of the following policies, regulation and exhibit:

  • 0110.1 – Sexual Harassment of Students
  • 0110.2 – Sexual Harassment of Employees
  • 0110.2-R – Sexual Harassment of Employees Regulation
  • 0110.2-E – Sexual Harassment of Employees Exhibit

Motion to approve the following policies as revised:

  • 0110 – Sexual Harassment
  • 0110.1-R – Sexual Harassment of Students Regulation (previously 0110-R)
  • 0115.1-E – Student Harassment and Nondiscrimination Incident Form

Motion to approve the minutes of the 2020-2021 (01/11, 01/14, 01/15, 01/20, 01/21, 01/25, 01/27) Committee on Special Education meetings and the minutes of the 2020-2021 (01/08, 01/26, 02/02) Committee on Preschool Special Education meetings for the month of January 2021.

End educational consent items

Board committee reports

The following committee report out:

  • Safety Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Facilities Committee
  • Health Committee
  • Policy Committee

Board member comments

  • Mrs. Holser commented on continuing to have a positive dialogue concerning sports and to review the sports matter in the future
  • Mr. Scriver commented on continuing to have a positive dialogue concerning sports and the potential of future sports
  • Mr. Mannix commented on the technology newsletter and student events

Open forum

Public participation is encouraged. There will be two Open Forums to provide opportunities to address the Board of Education. Each Open Forum is limited to a maximum of 30 minutes, with up to three minutes allocated to each speaker. If time does not allow all participants to speak, questions and/or comments may be directed to athletics@queensburyschool.org. The Board of Education appreciates public attendance and participation at meetings.

  • John Ward commented on the Boards’ decision with respect to sports.

Informational items

  • Monday, February 15 – Friday, February 19 – Mid-Winter recess – no school
  • Monday, February 22 – Classes resume
  • Monday, February 22 – Board of Education Budget Workshop – 7:00 p.m.
    • Location: Queensbury Room
  • Thursday, March 4 – One Hour Late Arrival
  • Monday, March 8 – Board of Education meeting – 7:00 p.m.
    • Location: Queensbury Room
  • Friday, March 12 – School Related Services Recognition Day

Executive session

None

Motion by Mrs. Molloy, seconded by Mr. Cabana to adjourn the meeting at 9:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Scott Whittemore
Clerk of the Board