Carlynton School District

 

Regular Voting Meeting

August 21, 2008

Carlynton Jr.-Sr. High School Library – 7:30 p.m.

 

MINUTES

The Carlynton School District Board of Education conducted its Regular Voting Meeting on Thursday, August 21, 2008 in the library of the junior-senior high school. Attendance included President David Roussos, Vice President Thomas Brown, and Directors Thomas DiPietro, Sandra Hughan, Ronald McCartney, Patricia Schirripa, Betsy Tassaro, Raymond Walkowiak and Sharon Wilson. Also present was Superintendent Michael Panza, Solicitor Ira Weiss, Business Manager Kirby Christy, Principals Jacie Maslyk, Robert Susini and Christopher Very, and Director of Pupil Services Lee Myford. The audience was comprised of 42 individuals and one member of the press.

 

 

Call to order: The meeting was called to order by President Roussos at 7:37 pm. The pledge was led by Lee Myford.  Recording Secretary Michale Herrmann called the roll. All directors were present.

 

public comment on business before the board: None

 

approval of minutes:

 

Director Tassaro moved, seconded by Director DiPietro, to approve the minutes of the August 7, 2008 Agenda Setting/Committee/Voting Meeting as presented.  On a voice vote, the motion carried 7-0-2, with Directors McCartney and Walkowiak abstaining (due to their absence at the August 7 meeting).

 

REPORTS:

 

  • Executive Session – President Roussos reported that contractual issues and other matters were among the topics discussed in the closed session.

Ø      Principals’ ReportsThe elementary principals reported that the in-service day was productive and all is in place to begin the new school year.  High school principal Robert Susini called attention to the new banners gracing the school’s parking lot and driveway and said the student government is working hard to promote school spirit.

Ø      Pupil Services’ Report – Mrs. Myford announced that information about an after-school tutoring program will be provided soon.

 

  • Superintendent’s Report – Dr. Panza provided an overview of the calendar and reported on the following:

Ø      Enrollment numbers and class sizes for the new school year

Ø      Flag presentation ceremony will be held on November 10; more details to follow

Ø      A letter was received from Crafton Volunteer Fire Department requesting permission to introduce and initiate a junior fireman program for high school students

 

Ø      The 200 Policies will be on the September agenda

Ø      Ten teachers attended the orientation program on August 18

Ø      A presentation regarding test scores will be made at the September 4 meeting

  • Secretary’s Correspondence

Ø      The minutes of the Parkway West Career and Technology Center Joint Committee Meeting of June 3, 2008 were entered into record. (Secretary’s Correspondence #0808-1)

·         Pathfinder Report – Director Wilson reported that enrollment is at 80 students and continues to grow; the new principal is implementing a number of promising programs, i.e., computer lab and media room, speech therapist room, guidance counselor and services.

·         Parkway West CTC Report – Director Hughan announced the selling of items on e-Bay resulted in sales totaling $62,090; the roof is to be replaced and the welding lab is being renovated, in addition to many energy saving upgrades; enrollment is down substantially, and less Carlynton students are attending due to scheduling conflicts.

·         SHASDA – Director Schirripa said the meeting is the following month

·         PSBA-Legislative – Director Walkowiak reported that a one-year hold has been placed on the GCAs with plans to reinitiate; PSSA test scores has been released; 92% of schools in the state met AYP and student achievement has increased at all levels across the board.

 

BUSINESS BEFORE THE BOARD:

 

·         Curriculum

 

Director Tassaro moved, seconded by Director McCartney, to approve the updates and revisions to the Music Curriculum as presented by the music department and recommended by the administrative staff. (Curriculum Item #0808-1)  On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

·         Finance

 

All finance matters were approved in one motion:

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Wilson, to approve the Treasurer’s Report for the month of June 2008 as submitted; 

 

To approve the Treasurer’s Report for the month of July 2008 as submitted; 

 

To approve the June 2008 bills in the amount of $1,984,648.07 as presented;  

 

To approve the July 2008 bills in the amount of $8,213,699.00 as presented, which includes investments of $7,000,000;

 

To approve the 2007-2008 fourth quarter and year-end Athletic Fund Report as presented;  (Finance Item #0808-1)

 

To approve the 2007-2008 fourth quarter and year-end Activities Fund Report as presented; (Finance Item #0808-2)

 

To approve the Rosslyn Farms Earned Income Tax Collector Audit Report, for the year ended June 30, 2007, as submitted by Hosack, Specht, Muetzel and Wood, LLP;  (Finance Item #0808-3)

 

To approve Amendment No. 1 to the Food Services Management Agreement with Aramark Educational Services; (Finance Item #0808-4)

 

To approve official change order for real estate tax exemption, dated August 5, 2008, as submitted by the County of Allegheny Office of Property Assessments;  (Finance Item #0808-5)

 

And to approve the proposal by Sprint for mobile phone services as presented.  (Finance Item #0808-6)  On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

Director Brown noted that due to eRate, the District will realize a greater savings by moving to Sprint services; Dr. Panza concurred, adding the contract is for one year and was granted to the lowest responsible bidder.

 

·   Personnel

 

Director Wilson moved, seconded by Director DiPietro, to approve the Day-to-Day Substitute List of teachers, aides and custodians for the 2008-2009 school year as reviewed and recommended by the administrative staff; (Personnel Item #0808-1)

 

And to approve the addition to the Supplemental Athletic Contract list and submitted and recommended by the administrative staff:

§         Melissa Kubiscek – Assistant Varsity Girls’ Basketball

§         Lawrence Fingers, Sr. – 7th and 8th  Grade Soccer  

      (Personnel Item #0808-2 REVISED)

                                    On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Walkowiak, to approve the Temporary Professional Employee Contract of the following individual for a position within the district for the 2008-2009 school year. The position will become effective August 18, 2008, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Carlynton Federation of Teachers Collective Bargaining Unit Agreement:

§         Shannon Vitale– Special Education

                             (Personnel Item #0808-3) 

                             On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director DiPietro, to approve the following names for positions within the district for the 2008-2009 school year. The positions will become effective August 21, 2008 in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Carlynton Federation of Teachers Collective Bargaining Unit Agreement:

§         Julie Lewis – Elementary Education Long-Term Subsitute

§         Nathan Milsom – Business Education Long-Term Substitute

      (Personnel Item #0808-4 REVISED)  

      On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

 

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Wilson, to award Professional Employee Contracts of the following individuals for three years of satisfactory service, as submitted and recommended by the administrative staff and consistent with the provisions of Section 1008 of the PA School Code:

§         Josh Ficorilli

§         Nicole Fontana

§         Marlynn Vayanos   (REVISED)

                                    On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Wilson, to approve the recommended salary increases for the Act 93 Employees’ for the 2008-2009 school year as presented.

Before voting, Director Brown raised concern about the percentage increase for one individual.  Dr. Panza said the adjustment was noted, thereby increasing the percentage for one employee (Mr. Sacco) from a three to a four percent increase. 

Director Brown moved, seconded by Director Tassaro, to approve the item with indicated changes. On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

The original motion was then voted upon: On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Hughan, to approve the recommended salary increase for Business Manager Kirby Christy for the 2008-2009 school year as presented.  On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Tassaro, to approve the recommended salary increases for the Confidential Secretaries for the 2008-2009 school year as presented.  On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Wilson to approve Jennifer Tylka for the position of K-8 gifted education teacher, effective August 21, 2008 in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Carlynton Federation of Teachers Collective Bargaining Unit Agreement.  (Personnel Item #0808-5)  On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Tassaro, to approve Michelle Smoller for the position of elementary art/gifted education teacher, grades 9-12, effective August 21, 2008 in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Carlynton Federation of Teachers Collective Bargaining Unit Agreement.  (Personnel Item #0808-6)  On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Hughan, to not grant tenure to Temporary Professional Employee #07-08-02 and to move for dismissal. On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Hughan, to accept the resignation of high school math teacher Bernard Holland, effective immediately.  (Personnel Item #0808-5) On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

 

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Wilson, to approve the agreement between the Carlynton School District and the Secretary-Cafeteria-Aides Bargaining Unit regarding Employee #07-08-01SCA.  On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Director Wilson asked for reconsideration regarding the facility policy, citing the discussion at the last meeting. She read a statement, stating she believes the policy is contrary to those residents who voted board members into office, adding the policy has resulted in negative consequences. She continued by saying she agrees out-of-district residents should pay a fee for facility use, but taxpayers should not be burdened. “We are a public facility and we should be open to the community,” she read. She ended by saying activities are beneficial and constructive for youth and asked that the current policy be rescinded until a better plan is development. 

 

The audience broke into applause and cheers.

 

Director Tassaro stated that someone who voted for the facility policy would need to move to rescind it. President Roussos said a motion could also be made by someone who was not at the meeting.

 

With that said, Director Wilson moved, seconded by Director Tassaro, moved to reconsider the facilities policy.

 

Director Hughan spoke up and said the word “compromise” comes to mind. Dr. Panza said if that is the case, a compromise would be to adjust the roster requirements to 85 percent and charge a $50 fee rather than $100. He also said the policy should cover all groups, not just athletes and not only groups within the K-12 guidelines.

 

Director Brown said he did not have a problem with that example and Director Walkowiak agreed.

 

Director Wilson said she had concerns with the K-12 age group, asking why a four-year old wouldn’t be eligible, for example. She also said senior citizens who take water aerobics would be affected.

 

Director DiPietro said he believes that youngsters who have graduated should not be counted in the rosters. Further discussion ensued and it was suggested more time was needed to discuss and develop a new plan.

 

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Hughan, to table the earlier motion so further development of a plan can take place. On a vote voice, the motion carried 9-0.

 

 

NEW BUSINESS:  None

 

 

OPEN FORUM: Parent Jack Kubistek asked if all elementary computers are in working order for the start of the school year, explaining his concerns stem from the number of deficient computers last year. Dr. Panza assured him all computers are working and a plan has been set into place to address repairs, when necessary, within a 24 hour period.

 

Parent Rich Taylor raised concern about an audit finding that money from activities accounts were mistakenly withdrawn. Dr. Panza said no money from any activities account will be removed.  Director Brown clarified this by saying that “no one is robbing the till;” a minor problem from a few years back was discovered, but everything has since been settled.

 

Director Schirripa said she had a phone call from a parent about the student handbook, which states that students can not carry purses in school. Dr. Susini said the rule was also in last year’s handbook and was created so cell phones can not be concealed and carried during school hours.

 

8:55 pm – The principals and Mr. Christy were excused from the meeting.

 

Resident Bob Gentile spoke about the facilities policies, saying he believes an 85 percent participation rate is too high. He has been a taxpayer for 40 years and his children went to Carlynton. His seven year-old granddaughter now swims for the Carlynton Swim Club but lives in Kennedy and if the policy isn’t changed, she won’t be able to swim with Carlynton. He asked that the policy be “tweaked, but please don’t hatchet it.”

 

Resident Lori Lange said she moved into the district so her son would have better opportunities and could play football. She asked that the policy be changed so as not to harm Little Cougars.

 

Doug Clark, a resident of Crafton and president of the Carlynton Soccer Association asked to go on record as opposing the policy. He said it is counter-productive to all youth sports’ program and state he believes the former policy was the best option. He further explained that because the district/communities are small and the organization is restricted by rosters, it is often necessary to share players with other organizations/clubs. Citing this, he added that the new policy damages reciprocity with other groups.

 

Director Hughan asked Mr. Clark how they recruit students. He said they advertise in newspapers, circulate flyers, and post on the organization’s website. When Dr. Panza asked if a $50 charge would impact his organization, Mr. Clark said “definitely” and provided examples as to why. Director Hughan encouraged Mr. Clark to reach out to residents who attend parochial schools. He said they currently do.

 

Director Tassaro said she believes there is a misconception that groups are not trying to recruit and she feels they are doing their best.

 

Tamika Crowley, a Carnegie resident, said she moved into the district so her children would be able to attend better schools and her son can eventually play football for Carlynton. She said she learned of Carlynton because her son plays Little Cougars, adding that Little Cougars is giving her son the skills to play better football for Carlynton.

 

Dr. Panza said that everyone who used the district facilities in the past year received letters about the new facilities policy. Since then, he has not heard from Little Cougars. He said that meetings were held in the past with Little Cougars, but the group was not open to compromising.

 

Lynette Haygood, a Carlynton resident, said her younger son plays Little Cougars and her older son plays for Carlynton. She believes transportation should be provided to high school students who play sports because parents can not always pick up their child after practices. Mrs. Haygood noted that the Carnegie Boys’ and Girls’ Club offers flag football for children, which also pulls away from the Carlynton football program. She concluded by saying the treatment to Little Cougars is an embarrassment.

 

Isabel Ford of Rosslyn Farms came forward to ask why the facility fee is only affecting sports when other groups, such as Camp Aim and Relay for Life, also use the facilities. She doesn’t believe in excessive fees and said that Keystone Oaks, in its policy, says it welcomes surrounding community members. She said Carlynton should also be good neighbors.

 

Benjamin Bonham said he is not a Carlynton resident, but does own property within the district and pays taxes; yet, the new policy would penalize his children, who swim for the swim club.

 

Resident and parent Sam Millikin cautioned that some of the suggestions for compromise would still impose a burden on organizations and district residents. He urged the board to be reasonable and fair.

 

Angel Baker said she lives in the city, but if she steps out of her back yard, she is in the Carlynton School District. Because her husband is a city fireman, they must live in the city. Her son plays for Little Cougars, explaining the teams have had much success in the Pittsburgh area, winning several Super Bowls, and their jerseys indirectly represent Carlynton because they say “Carlynton Little Cougars.”

 

Jeanine Schultz, a parent and resident of Crafton, said her daughter plays for the Carlynton tennis team. Because her coach recommended she play through the summer to improve her skills, she takes lessons in another district; yet, she is bringing those skills back to benefit a Carlynton sports’ program. She would hate to see other districts cutting Carlynton students out because we are not allowing their children access to our facilities.

 

Francesmary Modugno, Rosslyn Farms resident, said her children attend parochial school, but almost feels her children aren’t welcome in Carlynton even though she is a taxpayer. She said the emphasis should not be placed on whether a program is a feeder program but whether it benefits children. The focus should be on kids. Mrs. Modugno urged the board to not place restrictions on the age limits, then read several lines of the district’s philosophy, which is included in board policy. “The new policy,” she said, “doesn’t live up to the district philosophy.”

 

Mrs. Haygood came before the board again, saying the Little Cougars play their home opener at the end of the month, but don’t have a home field. She asked if anything could be done.

 


President Roussos, addressing the board, asked if everyone is in agreement to not “double dip?” He suggested they charge the former policy usage fee schedule and allow Little Cougars to play at the athletic field until a revised plan is in place.

 

Director Brown moved, seconded by Director Walkowiak, to amend the facility policy to read that a facility usage fee will be charged, if roster requirements are not met, but there will not be any additional charges for out-of-district residents. On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

 

Residents George and Deanna Sago reiterated that Little Cougars has recruited heavily within the district but the kids just aren’t coming out. Mr. Sago said that if Little Cougars were to eliminate the 12-13 year group (which competes with the Carlynton junior high football program), they would be forced, under league rules, to forfeit the entire division, which would affect all children 13 and under.

 

Resident Dave Lange said the 12-13 age group in Little Cougars might be hurting the junior high football program, but questioned whether  the boys would have the necessary skills to be successful in seventh grade if they never played football until then. Mr. Lange said at least Little Cougars is preparing kids for the high school football program.

 

District aide Maureen Nelson asked why Little Cougars incorporate “Carlynton” into their name. No one had an answer to that question.

 

Prior to  adjourning the meeting President Roussos and Director Brown clarified the above motion by stating that an organization will either pay a rental fee or an out-of district fee, but not both.

 

ADJOURNMENT:  With no further business to discuss, Director Hughan moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:10 pm, seconded by Director McCartney. On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.