Williamson School Board – January 30, 2013
The January 30, 2013 meeting of the Board of Education began with a budget presentation by Superintendent Ehresman regarding the proposed budget for the 2013-2014 school year. She stated that the district is starting at the same place as last year and that while the media is reporting there was an increase in overall aid, Williamson is in the 20% that actually received a decrease in aid. The district has lost a number of positions over the past three years and unfortunately that trend will continue. She reported that the budget process is beginning with a shortfall of a million dollars. The Superintendent emphasized how important a good school is to the community. It is the district’s responsibility to give students a good education that will allow them to compete in a global environment. The Superintendent and the board will reach out to the community to encourage a letter writing campaign to our local representatives requesting more equitable funding for rural districts such as ours. Information will be posted on the district website and the facebook page. She reported that the number of letters legislators receive are counted and taken into consideration when additional education funds are allocated.
Under Reports from District Administrators, Andrew Wahl reported that the Response to Intervention (RTI) teams are currently working with a number of students to develop strategies that will help them become better students. In the next few weeks they will review the results from the first half of the year and reassess if necessary. He also highlighted Cindi Ferraro, Dustin Shove and the special education staff for their work in executing the test modifications for students in the high school for mid-terms. He also reported that Catherine Bonke recorded a perfect score on the integrated algebra exam. Doug Lauf reported that the high school has many activities in the next few weeks including a community bullying presentation in conjunction with Marion High School, a distracted driver presentation by Jacy Good and the first distance learning experience with other districts. John Fulmer reported on the mid-year assessments done at the middle school. The results are helping the teachers plan their instruction for future assessments. Mr. Fulmer highlighted Kelly Dixon and her work preparing test modifications for students. He also recognized Kathryn Taylor, who not only teaches in the high school in the morning, but then works at the Middle School in the afternoon as an administrator assisting with discipline issues, observations and chairing the RTI committee. Amy Busby highlighted Paula Dobesh and her work in coordinating and executing the test modifications for the elementary school. The MAPS testing is complete and the results are under review. Wanda Miller highlighted Annette Whitmore for her work in scheduling student annual reviews. She reported that the scheduling is a large task which involves providers, teachers and parents to be present for the meeting. Mrs. Miller also reported that the consortium directors will meet to review the current placements for students and evaluate for next year. Gary Barno reported that Medicaid reporting is high on the agenda. Wendy Havens highlighted the teachers in the district that participate in district projects in addition to their classroom duties. She highlighted Amy Vandergrift, Sue Collins, Nina Caraveo and Mary Lyons for taking part in team training in Albany, Christie Graves for facilitating a training session at the Elementary School, and other teachers that take time from
their day to participate in work sessions to improve the assessment process. Superintendent Ehresman reported there is a tremendous amount of strain with the new standards with the Elementary School feeling the impact the most this year. She has been spending some time in the building listening to concerns and hopes to make some changes to address some of the concerns voiced.
Christie Graves, Tracy Schoonerman and Amy Busby presented information on how the new state module in ELA is taught in the elementary school. In her introduction, Miss Busby discussed the dedication of the teachers that are using the new modules. Mrs. Schoonerman and Mrs. Graves gave an example of how a unit is introduced and reported on the success they are observing in the students. They each reported that regardless of a student’s level, they are succeeding.
The Board approved several CSE case summaries. Under the Consent Agenda, the board approved the following appointments:
• An additional appointment for Doreen Picotte as a classified substitute
• Tammy Currier, substitute nurse
• Anthea Perry, tutor
The board also accepted the retirement/resignation of Cathy Blakey, Science Teacher, High School, effective June 30, 2013, 15 years of service and the resignation of Michelle Seniuk as Dignity for All Students (DASA) Coordinator, Elementary School.
Under New Business the Board discussed the findings and actions of the self-review for Special Education Indicator 9 (disproportionality) as required by the State Education Department. Wanda Miller presented the findings and reported that there was one area out of the fourteen areas where the district was out of compliance and that has been corrected. The public discussion was the last step in completing the self-review. The following action items were then approved by the board:
• An unpaid Child Rearing leave for the 2013-2014 school year for Kathleen Case, Reading Teacher, Middle School
• Kelly Dixon, as the Internal Claims Auditor for the remainder of the 2012-2013 school year effective 1/28/13
• The remainder of the Policies in the 7000 Series (No Significant Changes)
• The remainder of the Policies in the 8000 Series (No Significant Changes)
• The remainder of the Policies in the 1000 Series (No Significant Changes)
• The remainder of the Policies in the 2000 Series (No Significant Changes)
• Accepted a donation of Varsity Cheerleading Uniforms from the Williamson Cheerleader Booster Club
• The Resolution for Bond Refunding
• Excess of equipment
• The 2013-2014 School Calendar
• A stipend for Amy Busby for additional duties during the absence of the principal due to illness effective 12/1/12
The Superintendent and board discussed the areas that should be considered for changes or cuts in order to eliminate the budget shortfall. The Superintendent will have the requested information available and an update on retirements at the next board meeting.