Carlynton School District


Regular Voting Meeting

February 18, 2010

Carlynton Jr.-Sr. High School Cafeteria – 7:30 pm


The Carlynton School District Board of Education conducted its Regular Voting Meeting on Thursday, February 18, 2010 in the cafeteria of the junior-senior high school. Those in attendance included President Thomas Brown, Vice President Patricia Schirripa and School Directors Thomas DiPietro, Sandra Hughan, Ronald McCartney, Nyra Schell, Betsy Tassaro and Raymond Walkowiak. Also present was Superintendent Michael Panza, Solicitor Ira Weiss, Business Manager Kirby Christy and Principals Jacie Maslyk, Robert Susini, Courtney Tempest and Christopher Very. The audience was comprised of 93 individuals and two members of the press.



Call to order - The meeting was called to order by President Brown at 7:30 pm. Crafton Elementary students Alexa Crown and Erin Conner led the Pledge of Allegiance after reporting on a special service project they are completing at school regarding packages of supplies and foods for the troops.


Roll call The roll was called by Recording Secretary Michale Herrmann. Director Sharon Wilson was excused from the meeting.



PREsentation: R. L. Kimball architects John Hummel, Peter Szymanski and Steven Ackerman led the Feasibility Study Report. Prior to the presentation, Dr. Panza made remarks about the process of initiating the feasibility study from the bid process through the hiring of an architectural firm to conduct the study.  The Kimball representatives began the presentation by indicating they have vast experience as educational planners, and provided a Power Point that outlined the history of the firm and an overview of the company. They explained that a feasibility study has a shelf life of two (2) years, and as planners, they must adhere to strict regulations under PlanCon (Planning for Construction). The Power Point and verbal presentation went on to provide a summary of the work to date, explaining that all buildings were evaluated (excluding the field house). The architects continued by exhibiting building assessment reports which targeted high and medium priorities. Mr. Szymanski said the team of evaluators did their best to be thorough and objective. While noting some areas of high priority, such as roofs and MEP system replacements, he commented that proactive and invariable maintenance and care of the facilities were indicative of the buildings extended life expectancies.


Director Schell asked what will be covered in the final report and what can be expected. Mr. Hummel said the long-range plan is to look at the evaluation, decide what facilities need upgrades and make recommendations; the final decision will be made by the board who ultimately decides what works best for the district. Director Brown acknowledged that it is fair to say the board is just seeking recommendations and have yet to make any decisions.


Mr. Hummel, Mr. Szymanski and Mr. Ackerman said the next phase will be to conduct interviews with individuals to gain a feel for what the community expects or wants. Resident Jeremy Meyer asked who would be conducting the interviews. Mr. Szymanski said the interviews would most likely be conducted in groups with individuals of varying backgrounds and mind-sets.



Several residents asked that information be posted on the district website so the progress of the report would be available to anyone. A main concern of residents appeared to indicate an interest in the study and how they could best be informed of all processes.  Director Brown affirmed that the district has been candid and forthright about the project and will continue to keep the public informed. Crafton resident Kim Cooper said she felt the meeting could have been advertised better. Tony DeWitt, a Rosslyn Farms resident and employee of Google, offered to meet with Superintendent Panza to discuss a manner by which the feasibility process could be made available to the public via a moderated website. Crafton resident Carl Hunt reiterated the importance of opening and publicizing meetings so all options of the study are made available to the communities.


Mr. Hunt questioned the architects, asking whether renovations of multiple buildings could be lumped together under PlanCon guidelines. Mr. Hummel said it could be done in some instances, explaining a 20 percent rule applies. Offering further clarification, Mr. Hummel said improvements to be conducted can not add up to a certain percentage of the replacement costs; if costs are over, they are not reimbursable.


Resident Sean Beck asked for a more definitive path the district might be choosing, considering one elementary school is nearly a century old and the other needs improvements. Mr. Hummel voiced that it was rare to find a 100-year-old building in service, noting that as a building ages, a risk is added and renovating costs are higher. On the same note, resident Dave Jones asked the architects where they see the district in the future relative to demographics and the state of the buildings. Mr. Hummel said the feasibility study has a 10 year outlook; that said, the present study indicates demographics have leveled.



Carnegie resident Mark Popovich asked if an occupancy cost study was or will be conducted. Mr. Hummel stated that Kimball looks objectively at the pros and cons of renovating facilities versus razing buildings and building a new one. Rosslyn Farms resident Patrick McNamara asked if an analysis of current operating costs versus costs of replacing facilities were investigated. Mr. Hummel said regardless, major systems need replaced. Mr. Szymanski added that if the district wishes to consider that data, another layer of options could be added to the study. Carnegie resident Bob Popichak urged that energy efficient and environmental or “green” options be considered if renovating or construction does occur. He asked if the architects are LEED certified to which they affirmed. Director Schell asked if government reimbursement is higher under LEED certified standards and Mr. Hummel said yes, by 10 percent.


Crafton resident Meghan Schriver asked for more specific enrollment projections, adding that many families are drawn to school districts with neighborhood schools. She suggested that families may move out of the district should Crafton Elementary be closed and wondered how this would affect enrollment. Mr. Hummel said they follow a formula provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).


Residents Mr. Smith and Mr. Clark asked what level of detail will be provided to the public as the study continues and does the district see a May date for the conclusion of the study.  Mr. Hummel stated that PlanCon A does not cover a schematic design of a proposal building. Dr. Panza affirmed that more public meetings will be held with a tentative date of May to showcase the final recommendations of the architects. Mr. DeWitt asked if Kimball has been given a commitment to remain as the contractors for the project; the architects indicated they are only the designers. Mr. Hunt asked if there was a clause in the agreement with Kimball that stated the firm will apply a monetary credit from the cost of the study if they are retained to oversee the construction. Dr. Panza said that was true.


With no further questions concerning the feasibility study, the discussion ended at 9:00 pm. The board held a 10 minute recess and reconvened to resume the voting meeting.



public comment on business before the board: None


approval of minutes:


Director DiPietro moved, seconded by Director Tassaro, to approve the minutes of the February 4, 2010 Agenda Setting/Committee/Voting Meeting as presented.   By a voice vote, the motion carried 8-0.


Minutes of the February 4, 2010 Meeting


  • Executive Session President Brown recalled that employment and labor issues were among the items discussed in executive session.

Ø      Principals’ ReportsMrs. Maslyk and Mr. Veri reminded everyone that kindergarten registration will be held March 9 and 10; Dr. Susini reported the National Honor Society induction ceremony will be held March 1 and that the Hometown HighQ team performed well; the show will be aired February 27 and March 6

Ø      Business Manager ReportMr. Kirby said a five percent increase to health insurance will cost the district in excess of $150K. He also indicated that when necessary, allowance has been granted for school districts to approve a resolution to pull money from another line item in the budget to cover the proposed increases to PSERs. Lastly, numbers from the state assure a 2.6 percent increase in funding for basic education while funding for Special Education remains flat.




  • Superintendent’s Report – Dr. Panza called attention to the calendar of events and reported on the following:

§         The bid packet for the band uniforms was distributed for review and will be on the upcoming agenda; a rough timeline was given: approve bid, advertise, award bid in late April/early May, receive finished uniforms by September

§         Student handbooks will be available for the March agenda

§         The Pre-K Counts program is again in operation; information is available on the district website

§         A $559 refund was received from the AIU due to overpayment

§         Additional modifications to the policy on cellular devices was provided to all board members

§         Make-up days were suggested for all the snow days; tentatively, they
may be Easter Thursday and Monday, April 1 and 5, June 4, 7, 8 and 9 with a clerical day on June 10. Seniors would graduate June 4 as originally scheduled.

§         Kind words were shared of former employee Dorothy Mikus who recently passed away.






I.       Miscellaneous


Director Tassaro moved, seconded by Director Hughan, to approve the Conference and Field Trip Requests as submitted and reviewed by administration:

§   FT…Foltz/Bunch/Stagl…Interact Club…Sr. Citizen Home…2/19

§   C…M.Smoller…AIU…Gifted Workshop…2/24

§   FT…A.Harrity…Mt. Lebanon… Bowling/Comm. Instruct…2/26

§   C…K.Papst…PATTAN…Speech/Vocab Workshop…3/5, 4/16

§   FT…F.Zebrasky…Mellon Arena…Disney Ice Show…3/11

§   FT…Ferro/Pedersen (Car.)…T.Jefferson HS…Elem.Singfest…3/19

§   FT…Ferro/Pedersen (Craf.)…T.Jefferson HS…Elem.Singfest…3/19

§   C…C.Tempest…GT Radisson…Practical Strategies Conf…3/23

§   C…M.Smoller…AIU…Gifted Resource Day…3/25

§   C…L.Myford…Hershey…PDE Conference…4/6-9

§   C…MBVeri…Sheraton North…Gifted Conference…4/22

(Miscellaneous Item #0210-1)  By a voice vote, the motion carried 8-0.


Conference and Field Trip Requests


II.    Finance


Director DiPietro moved, seconded by Director Hughan, to approve the Treasurer’s Report for the month of January 2010 as presented;


Treasurer’s Report – January 2010


And the January 2010 bills in the amount of $1,914,274.32 as presented.  

By a voice vote, the motion carried 8-0.


January 2010 Bills


III. Personnel


Director Walkowiak moved, seconded by Director Schell, to approve the addition of Eric Carothers to the 2009-2010 Day-to-Day Substitute List as approved by administration;  (Personnel Item #0210-1)


Addition to Day-to-Day Sub List – Eric Carothers


Erin Martin to complete a one-year internship position as school psychologist for the 2010-2011 school year at a stipend of $15,000, to be paid through ACCESS funds. (Personnel Item #0210-2)


2010-11 School Psychologist Internship – Erin Martin


And the addition to the 2010-2011 Athletic Supplemental List as follows:

§         John VaughanVarsity Head Football Coach

(Personnel Item #0210-3)  By a voice vote, the motion carried 8-0.

Dr. Panza spoke highly of Mr. Vaughan. He provided a verbal summary of the hiring process and a synopsis of Vaughan’s resume, noting past successes as an assistant football coach for Shadyside Academy, Central Catholic, and most recently, North Allegheny School District. Director Schell said she was impressed that Vaughan placed emphasis on the whole athlete, both athletically and academically. Director Brown mentioned that
Mr. Vaughan has no interest in running the weight program; therefore, the board would seek a qualified individual to run a weight training program.


Addition to the 2010-2011 Athletic Supplemental List


IV.  Policy


Director Hughan moved, seconded by Director Tassaro, to approve the final reading of the 600 series of the board policies as presented with recommended modifications;


600 Policy Series – Final Reading

And the first reading of the 700 series of the board policies as presented with recommended modifications.  By a voice vote, the motion carried 8-0.


700 Policy Series – First Reading




NEW BUSINESS: Director Schirripa announced that the AIU Board presented a book to the elementary library. She ordered a second book so that each library would have the same.



OPEN FORUM:  Director Hughan complimented Kimball on the presentation, saying their process made for a smooth transition.



ADJOURNMENT:  With no further business to discuss, Director Hughan moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:45 pm, seconded by Director McCartney.  By voice vote, the motion carried 8-0.