President Michael Collins opened the October 2, 2013 meeting of the Williamson Central School District Board of Education with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence. Student Representative Nicholas Vitalone reported on the Old English W award ceremony and the upcoming high school open house. Student athletes are half-way through the fall sports season and followed by sectionals. Under Reports from District Administrators, Wendy Havens expressed appreciation on behalf of the district to Kerri Ann Barber who assisted at the bus accident. She also highlighted the Teaching Assistants – Cindy Ferland, Heidi Montondo, Adele Storms, Rhonda Tuchrelo and Donna Shadduck – along with Anthea Perry who successfully completed a new observation/evaluation system for teaching assistants.
Thomas Schulte reported that at the High School the year has started off very smoothly and that discipline referrals for the month of September were incredibly low. Kathryn Taylor agreed and reported that at the Middle School the tone is positive and discipline referrals are also very low. John Fulmer reported that the Middle School Travel Club is preparing for their Columbus Day trip to Boston. He complimented Nina Caraveo and Deb DelPlato for the amount of work they have done in preparing for the trip. He highlighted two teaching assistants – Adele Storms and Stephanie Poole – for their hard work with students. Doug Lauf stated that he is proud of the positive start to the year at the High School and commented that Spirit Week was very enjoyable.
He recognized the senior class for their flash mob in forum and complimented Andy Luke for placing in the top 25 of the 1.5 million students who took the PSAT. Wanda Miller reported on her meetings with student aides that included the development of plans for increased independence for the students. She recognized Manuela Noble for her work with a high school student including possibilities for college if the student remains in New York.
Gary Barno reported that there will be two Treasurer’s Reports at the next meeting. He also reported that the roofing work is scheduled to begin and the capital project is moving along quickly. Superintendent Macaluso updated the board on the district phone system which may need to be replaced due to the difficulty in obtaining replacement parts due to the age of the system. He commented on his visits to the building events and how wonderful it is to see the enthusiasm of the student body.
Carol Fox, Andrew Donovan, Ian Thomas and Ellen Saxby highlighted Smart Board use in the classrooms in the Elementary School. In kindergarten, Stephanie Gowan utilizes YouTube videos to allow students to hear the sounds of the vocabulary that are in the lesson. Andrew Donovan uses the Smart Board to facilitate the delivery of a Common Core Math lesson and uses various activities from Brain Pop Jr. in his ELA lessons. Carol Fox shared with the board how she presents the concept of symmetry to third grade students and Ian Thomas demonstrated how math and science lessons are presented in fourth grade. Mr. Thomas also commented that he uses iPads with students as another learning strategy.
Board Committee Reports included updates on the 4th Grade Band Parent Night, Open Houses, Homecoming Weekend, Building & Grounds Committee meeting, and Old English W Awards.
The board approved several CSE Case Summaries.
Ellen Saxby, John Fulmer and Doug Lauf presented the Building Planning Team plans for their respective schools for the 2013-14 school year. The focus of all three plans is on the Common Core implementation, Annual Professional Performance Review and Data Driven Instruction. Highlights include ongoing discussion of the shifts of the Common Core and examination of student work reflecting the shifts, data collection from observations conducted last year and training provided on areas that have room for improvement and ongoing exposure to the rigor represented in the Common Core curriculum as well as college and career readiness. In the area of Data Driven Instruction, a team will be assembled at each building to examine data and provide support to teachers as DDI moves forward.
With the approval of the Consent Agenda, several substitute teachers, volunteers and a classified substitute were approved along with the following appointments:
• Extra-Curricular appointments for the 2013-2014 school year for Janet Follette, Accompanist, Elementary School Musical and Mary Jo Bailey, High School AV Coordinator
• Nicole Leggue, Long-Term substitute for Nancy Barton, student aide, effective 9/18/13
• Probationary appointment of Nicole Schuhart, part-time monitor, effective 9/16/13
• Change in appointment for Janet Mahon from classified substitute to part-time bus monitor effective 9/11/13
• Change in appointment for Kevin Winter from probationary full-time cleaner to permanent full-time cleaner effective 9/23/13
Under New Business the Board approved the tenure appointment of Ingrid Wander, Social Worker, several unpaid leaves of absences, a raise for Gary Barno, School Business Administrator based on revisions to Policy 4202 – Organization Chart. The board acted to remove from the agenda a budget amendment for the purpose of telephone repair in the amount of $200,000 to be financed from insurance funds. The board also discussed the agreement with the Williamson Civic Betterment Association for the period of July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016 and are in support of it as written.