Carlynton School District


Committee/Voting Meeting

December 10, 2009

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

Immediately following the Reorganization Meeting



The Carlynton School District Board of Education conducted its Committee/Voting Meeting on Thursday, December 10, 2009 in the library 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, Raymond Walkowiak and Sharon Wilson. Also present was Superintendent Michael Panza, Solicitor Ira Weiss, Pupil Services Director Lee Myford, Business Manager Kirby Christy and Principals Robert Susini, Courtney Tempest and Christopher Very. The audience was comprised of 13 individuals and two members of the press.



Call to Order - The meeting was called to order by President Brown at 7:56 pm.


Roll callThe roll was called by Recording Secretary Michale Herrmann. All members of the board were present.


public comment on business before the board: None


approval of minutes:


Director DiPietro moved, seconded by Director Hughan, to approve the minutes of the November 19, 2009 Regular Voting Meeting as presented.

President Brown noted that the contract mentioned in the minutes was for six years and not five.  Director Walkowiak moved to amend the minutes, seconded by Director Wilson. By voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

The motion for the minutes was approved as amended by a voice vote of 9-0.


  • Executive Session – President Brown stated that school code, contractual, and legal issues were discussed in executive session. The board planned to reconvene in executive session following the general public meeting.
  • Principals’ Report – Dr. Panza asked the principals to provide their reports. Principals Susini and Very distributed newsletters and provided a recap of information about news and happenings in their buildings. Mrs. Maslyk was absent from the meeting.
  • Business Manager Report Mr. Christy announced that he attended the second tax collection committee meeting; a solicitor was appointed and a budget was established. He also noted that as of January 1, 2010, Peg Bowman will be the new real estate tax collector for Carnegie. Director Hughan asked Mr. Christy to provide another PSLAF report; he said he will make them available once provided to him.
  • Superintendent’s Report – Dr. Panza then provided a synopsis of calendar events and upcoming activities, including the following information:

ü      Discipline reports were provided

ü      An update on the effect of the Facility Usage Policy will be forthcoming

ü      Look for the 600 policy series on next month’s agenda

ü      The district received a $86K refund from Parkway based on Average Daily Attendance

ü      Information was received about the archery program and climbing (traversing) wall and will be provided to the insurance company

ü      Grant monies for the Classrooms for the Future will be available next year

ü      Pennsylvania believes they are in a good position to compete for the Race to the Top, which offers $4.35 billion in competitive grants; his advice is to send a letter to PDE stating the district’s intent to participate. Director Schell suggested some serious discussion needs to take place to get a clear understanding of the responsibilities of this program, which she said are monumental. She has read and researched about the program quite extensively. Dr. Panza went on to explain that this is Obama’s response to NCLB and there will be much reform in a short amount of time

ü      The district is not eligible for Title II grant monies because our income levels and scores are too high

ü      Crafton Elementary teacher Clare Rex was named Outstanding Science Teacher by the Delta Kappa Honor Society

ü      More students are eating lunch in the cafeteria; due to this, a new convection oven needs to be purchased (out of cafeteria funds)

ü      The ice machine in the athletic trainer’s office needs replaced

ü      The contract with Comcast (to air board meetings on their Local Origination Channel) will end this month; Comcast will now charge to lease air time. Bob Mickolay and Michale Herrmann are researching the opportunity to broadcast the board meetings and other district and community events via franchises with Comcast and Verizon (negotiated within the boroughs of Carnegie and Crafton)

ü      A sample of the proposed band uniforms is ready – Mr. O’Neil and band member Zachary Caine were present to display/model the new uniform. Mr. O’Neil explained the reasoning for the custom design of the uniform. It was estimated that the uniforms would cost between $300 and $400 each. An RFP would need to be issued for the uniforms

ü      A third draft of the proposed 2010-11 school year calendar was provided; Director McCartney asked that snow days be taken in sequential order.

·         PSBA-Legislative – Director Walkowiak reminded everyone that PSBA president Tom Gentzel will be at the meeting in January. He suggested an agenda be set so board members can be prepared for a spirited discussion about timely issues.


I. Miscellaneous

Director Schell moved, seconded by Director Wilson, to approve the list of conference and field trip requests as presented and approved by administration:

§   C…J.Bhuta…AIU…IEP Development/PA Standards…12/10

§   FT…MBVeri... “Green Buildings/Architecture in Carnegie…12/16

§   C…S.Barnes…LaRoche College…Counselors Workshop…12/16

§   FT…R.Foltz…Broadmore Ass’t Living…Interact Club Activity…12/18

§   C…MBVeri…USC High School…SH Gifted Consortium…1/7

§   C…M.Smoller…USC High School…SH Gifted Consortium…1/7

§   C…A.Harrity…Riverside Beaver Cty. SD…PASA Training…1/12

§   FT…W.Steiner…O’Reilly Theater…Performance…1/20

§   FT…MBVeri…The Frick…Medieval Architecture…1/28

§   C…L.Ramandames…Sheraton SS…RtI Conference…2/1-3

§   C…N.Tobin…Sheraton SS…RtI Conference…2/1-3

§   C…L.Rowley…Sheraton SS…Federal Programs Conference…2/1-3

§   FT…M.Smoller/MBVeri…Pgh Public Theater…Competition…2/11

§   C…M.O’Neil…D.L. Convention Ctr…Prof. Development…4/21-24

             (Miscellaneous Item #1209-1 REVISED) 

By voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.



II.    Finance

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Wilson, to approve the Carnegie Real Estate Tax Refunds as presented;   (Finance Item #1209-1)


The October 2009 cafeteria operating report as submitted by Aramark Education.  (Finance Item #1209-2)


Resolution #435-09 specifying the 2010-2011 operating budget will not require an increase in taxes in excess of the index as outlined in Act 1 of 2006, The Taxpayer Relief Act;  (Finance Item #1209-3)

Director Walkowiak asked for clarification of the 3.6% index, to which Mr. Christy explained the index is roughly equal to .869 mils or $450K.  Dr. Panza explained that should the board decided to raise taxes, the process would be a referendum item on the voting ballot. He added that at this time the board does not perceive a need to raise taxes.


Resolution #436-09 indicating continuation of membership in the Joint Purchasing Board for the 2010-2011 school year along with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and other local school districts, which will empower the district to make bulk purchases of selected items for its use.  It is further recommended that the appropriate Carlynton School District official be authorized to sign the Joint Purchasing Agreement and that Mr. Kirby Christy be named said representative to the purchasing board and Dr. Michael Panza named as the alternate;  (Finance Item #1209-4)


Agreement with UPMC Mercy Child Development Center for services rendered for a student from August 24, 2009 to June 3, 2010 as presented;  (Finance Item #1209-5)


Academic Mental Health Services Agreement by and between the Carlynton School District and Wesley Spectrum Services, commencing on or about November 20, 2009, through the end of the 2010 school year, as presented;
(Finance Item #1209-6)


The Carnegie Wage Tax Audit Report for the year 2008 as presented;  (Finance Item #1209-7)


The Crafton Wage Tax Audit Report for the year 2008 as presented;  (Finance Item #1209-8)


Declare a portable cafeteria salad bar unit as surplus and accept sealed bids for the unit by January 3, 2010, with a minimum required bid of $50.

By ROLL CALL VOTE, the motion carried 9-0.

Prior to voting, Director Schell asked if proposed increases to PSERs would cause any difficulties to this year’s budget. She referenced an article in the December 10 issue of the Post Gazette regarding an increase in rates for state pensions.  Mr. Christy said the projected amount of an 8.4 percent increase should not create any problems in the budget since monies were budgeted for the increase.



III.  Personnel

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director Tassaro, to approve the addition to the 2009-2010 Supplemental Athletic List as presented and reviewed by administration:

§   David Oddi – Equipment Manager (August through November)

             (Personnel Item #1209-1)


The addition to the 2009-2010 Supplemental Activities List as presented and reviewed by administration and to post for anticipated opening:

§   Pamela Stone – Majorette/Silks Sponsor - effective September 15, 2009   (Personnel Item #1209-2)


High School Assistant Principal Courtney Tempest to serve as attendance officer for the junior-senior high school for the purpose of filing citations and truancy reports and appearing before the magistrate for related hearings;


Lee Myford as the Secondary After-School Skill Recovery Program Director, four hours per week at Carnegie Elementary, as presented;  (personnel Item #1209-3)


Andrea Harrity as the facilitator of the Secondary After-School Special Education Skill Recovery Program, two days per week at Carnegie Elementary, as presented;  (Personnel Item #1209-4)


The Leave of Absence for employee CFT09-16 as submitted.  (Personnel Item #1209-5)  By voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.



IV.  Student Services

Director Schirripa moved, seconded by Director Tassaro, to approve the 2010-2011 Program of Studies for Grades 9-12 as presented;  (Student Services Item #1209-1)  By voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

Dr. Panza said that per discussion at a secondary education meeting and dialogue with the teachers involved, it was agreed to modify the Program of Studies to include Spanish V and French V under the following three
conditions: 1) staff would not increase, 2) Spanish IV and V and French IV and V would be combined, and 3) teachers are willing to write the curriculum. President Brown stated that three board members attended the committee meeting and they agree the proposal is appropriate. Director DiPietro expressed concern that by combining IV and V, students will not be challenged. Dr. Panza said the teachers are good at adapting. Director Tassaro agreed that it can be done, explaining that at the higher levels, students are immersed in the language and extra enrichment is beneficial.


Director Wilson moved, seconded by Director DiPietro, the 2010-2011 Program of Studies for Grades 7-8 as presented;  (Student Services Item #1209-2)  By voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

President Brown said the junior high Program of Studies was also discussed at the education meeting.


Director Walkowiak moved, seconded by Director DiPietro, to approve the proposed performing and educational tour for the Carlynton Junior-Senior High School Marching Band to Chicago, Illinois, March 26-28, 2010, as presented.  (Student Services Item #1209-3)  By voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

Director Schell asked which option of the two presented would be used, to which Mr. O’Neil said the option with the two coaches because 50 students, at least, plan to attend. He also said eight or more chaperones would be used, in answer to Director Hughan’s query.




NEW BUSINESS: Director Schell made reference to an article in the Post Gazette about a study done at CMU. The study indicated that remedial learning can change or grow brain matter.


OPEN FORUM:  Parent Kim Close came forward to state she was upset over rumors to not renew the golf coach for next season. She said she has children at both Carnegie Elementary and the high school and believes the coach gives 100 percent as a teacher and a coach. Director Brown said the matter would continue to be discussed and a final decision had not been made, adding that the board was seeking a solution to the issue.

Parent/resident Jim Schriver came forward, stating he and a number of other parents did some research, in regards to the Feasibility Study, and found a group that helps school districts preserve the tradition of a community school. He distributed a letter and brochure from the organization to all board members. The board thanked him for his efforts and the information.


ADJOURNMENT:  With no further business to discuss, Director Hughan moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:22 pm, seconded by Director Schell.  By voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.


Board members returned to the superintendent’s conference room to reconvene in executive session.