Board Minutes for December 18, 2017

A regular meeting of the Members of the Board of Education of the Goshen Central
School District, Orange County, New York, was held in the Board of Education Room at
the Main Street School on Monday, December 18, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

Present: Mrs. Judy Green, President
Mr. Jason Pucci, Vice President
Mrs. Martha Bogart
Mr. Jeremy Cassel
Mr. Thomas Mullane
Mrs. Allison Salte
Absent: Mr. Michael Lorenzo
Superintendent of Schools Mr. Daniel T. Connor
Assistant Superintendent for Business Mr. Robert Miller
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum,
Instruction, Personnel and Technology Dr. Kurtis Kotes
Principals: Mr. Robert McKiernan,
Dr. William Rolon,
Mr. Jason Carter,
Dr. Gregory Voloshin
Assistant Principals: Mrs. Patricia Lercara
Elementary Coordinator Mr. Henry Freedman
Director of Facilities III Mr. James Riley
Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Mr. Matthew O’Brien
Director of PPS Ms. Heather Hendershot
CSE Chairperson Ms. Marlene Gaynor
Director of Transportation Ms. Donna Post
Director of Personnel Mr. Robert Siracuse
Network Administrator Mr. James Sterett
Student Senate Representative Absent
Members of the Faculty, Press and Citizens of the District

The C.J. Hooker Select Chorus and Harmony Chorus performed prior to the Board
Meeting under the guidance of Pam Murphy, music teacher a CJH. They caroled in the
village starting at 6:45 p.m. and ended in our boardroom at 7:15 p.m., which put everyone
in the holiday spirit.

The regular meeting was called to order by President, Mrs. Judy Green at 7:35 p.m.
Mrs. Green led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a moment of silent meditation.
On a motion by Thomas Mullane and seconded by Jason Pucci, upon the recommendation
of the Superintendent, the Board of Education approves the draft of the minutes for the
meeting of December 4, 2017.
AYES-6 NAYS-0 Motion carried.

The board received the following correspondence: Mid-Hudson School Study Council’s
Messenger newsletter; Mid-Hudson School Study Council’s paper on college remediation;
and various newspaper articles.

Mrs. Green opened Privilege of the Floor.

Mrs. Green commented how wonderful the winter concerts were at Scotchtown Avenue
School, C. J. Hooker Middle School and Goshen High School. She also noted that Goshen
Intermediate School would have their winter concert this week.
There was no legislative report.

Mr. Connor noted that Michael Kelly was named Boys Soccer Coach of the Year in the
Times Herald Record. Thomas Stickley was named Boys Soccer Player of the Year. He
congratulated them both for their hard work and dedication to the sport.

Mr. Connor commented how well the C.J. Hooker Select Chorus performed tonight prior
to the Board Meeting.

Robert McKiernan, Matthew O’Brien and Patricia Lercara joined the Board to give a
presentation on initiatives being implemented at Goshen High School. The highlights of
the presentation included:

1. The Goshen Mission Statement was discussed:
a. What it does – creates lifelong learners and provide a quality education for
students.

b. How it is achieved – through a student-centered, standards-based
curriculum that is relevant and challenging.
c. Why we have it – to engage youth of today, to change their mindsets and
to change tomorrow. We do this by providing instruction that inspires
active learning that applies to real life. We respond to students who fail to
learn by providing direct intervention and through professional reflection
to determine new ways to implement instruction.
2. Different types of active learning spaces were discussed:
a. Traditional classrooms – desks in rows, teacher in front of classroom.
b. 4CLE classroom – promotes creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and
communication. Desks are mobile and can be moved into small or large
group settings. Teachers can move around the room and provide
instruction to each group. (An example of this is the new area in the
library. Whiteboard desks can be moved for small group activities.)
3. Response to Intervention Plan (RTI) Pyramid of Interventions – This model is
currently implemented to provide direct intervention to all students. The base (tier
3) of the pyramid is school-wide general education learning. Most students fall in
this level. Students at tier 2 (middle) require targeted interventions. Those in tier 1
(top) would receive intensive specialized interventions.
4. Intervention in attendance – Since attendance impacts student performance, the
high school has a system that accurately tracks attendance patterns and works
towards improvement. Last year, student attendance was 94%. With new
interventions in place, attendance this year has been 95%.
5. Highlights of 2017-2018 activities and programs available to students were
reviewed which allow students to succeed outside the classroom (i.e. college fair,
Orange County Youth Internship Program, World Language Honor Society,
National Honor Society, drama clubs).
The Board thanked Mr. McKiernan, Mr. O’Brien and Mrs. Lercara for the informative
presentation.

The district received a notice on December 6, 2017 from Cypress Creek Renewables of
their intention to construct a solar energy system, at 131 Owens Road, which will provide
energy to Orange & Rockland Utilities. NYS Real Property Tax Law §487 provides a 15-
year exemption from taxation for any “improvement” created by the systems, but not the
previous value of the property. Taxing jurisdictions can opt-out of the exemption. If they
do not opt-out, they can enter into a PILOT agreement, which will be greater than the taxes
on the property, but still allow for the capturing of some revenues. Under the law, we have
60 days to respond back to a developer of our intent to seek a PILOT. Legal counsel has
advised us to move forward to enter into negotiations, advising we should also include
other taxing entities who may also be interested in a PILOT agreement (town and county).
Mr. Miller provided a list of topics to the Audit Committee as suggestions that Cooper &
Arias can perform during their focused internal audit in February 2018. The Audit
Committee had two suggestions: controls over non-payroll cash disbursements and
reimbursements for meals and other employee expenses. Mr. Miller will have Cooper &
Arias draw up a cost proposal. The Audit Committee would like to have both items audited
if it falls within our budgeted amount, otherwise just one topic should be audited.
The Federal Communications Commission this week voted to overturn net neutrality rules
approved by the Obama administration in 2015. Net neutrality refers to internet service
providers (ISPs) treating all data on the internet same. They may not discriminate or charge
differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or
method of communication. ISPs are prohibited from intentionally blocking, slowing down
or charging money for specific websites and online content. Mr. Miller discussed the impact the overturn might have on our district’s budget. He consulted with the Mid-
Hudson Regional Information Center (MHRIC). There will be no effect on the contracts we have through the MHRIC, as prices are locked in through 2021. The contracts are silent
on net neutrality since this was not an issue at the time of contracting.
We were made aware that a teacher webpage on the old website contained an image that
was copyrighted without obtaining a license to use it. The U.S. Copyright Act does not
require that the violator knew or intended to infringe copyright in order to incur liability.
Our legal counsel has negotiated with ArtistDefense, Inc. to a reduced amount of $865 to
settle their claim against the district. Legal counsel advises that we settle with the group, as
this looks like a legitimate copyright infringement and they included all of the paperwork
validating their copyright infringement. Mr. Connor noted that all buildings would be
reviewing the district’s copyright policy with all employees to avoid this kind of mistake in
the future. A settlement agreement will be available at the next meeting.

In April, we were notified that the Goshen Central School District was designated as one
of the Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. Goshen is one
of 4% of districts across the nation receiving the prestigious award in 2017. The Best
Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate
outstanding achievement in providing music access and education to all students. Dr.
Kotes discussed with the Board that he will be reapplying for the accreditation this coming
year. Accreditation with NAMM would provide students the opportunity to possibly
content on a national level in the future.

On a motion by Jeremy Cassel and seconded by Allison Salte, upon the recommendation
of the Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education approves the Consent Agenda as
presented.
AYES-6 NAYS-0 Motion carried.

Accept resignation: Gina Martin, special education teacher aide, effective December 21,
2017.
Accept resignation: Adam VanEeuwen, building maintenance worker, effective December
31, 2017, to accept position of Head Maintenance Worker.
Approve medical leave of absence: Nancy Clark, Grade 6 teacher, is requesting a medical
leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act, if eligible, effective approximately
December 6, 2017 through on or about January 2, 2018.
Approve amending/Extending medical leave of absence: Sophie Szarwark, food service
helper, is requesting an extension of her medical leave of absence under the Family
Medical Leave Act, if eligible, effective December 6, 2017 through on or about January 4,
2018. The start date of Ms. Szarwark’s medical leave of absence is amended to be
September 14, 2017.
Approve creating position: temporary senior school secretary – long-term substitute, to
temporary fill the senior school secretary position while senior school secretary is on
medical leave of absence, at a salary of $159.63 per diem (CSEA Step A) for 8 hours per
day, effective December 18, 2017 to approximately February 28, 2018, or until senior
school secretary returns.
Approve appointment: Michelle Serna, temporary senior school secretary – long-term
substitute, at a salary of $159.63 per diem (CSEA Step A) effective December 18, 2017 to
approximately February 28, 2018, or until senior school secretary returns. Ms. Serna is a
teacher aide with the District. She has the requisite skills and aptitude for the position. Ms.
Serna is filling the medical leave of absence of Marie Coluccio.
Approve appointment: Adam VanEeuwen, head maintenance worker, at a salary of
$58,223 (prorated), (Step E of the CSEA salary schedule) effective December 31, 2017.
He has been a maintenance worker with the District for 3 years and has demonstrated the
requisite skills and aptitude. His expertise is heavily in the plumbing and HVAC spectrum
of his current position. Mr. VanEeuwen is replacing Melvin Bechard.
Approve appointment: Jennifer Cermak, food service helper (probationary), at a salary of
$13.60/hr. for 3 hrs. per day, effective December 19, 2017. In accordance with Civil
Service Rules, this appointment is a probationary appointment, in effect for 52 weeks,
effective December 19, 2017. Ms. Cermak is replacing Bernadette Wholey.
Approve appointment: Emily Gonzalez, food service helper (probationary), at a salary of
$13.60/hr. for 3 hrs. per day, effective December 19, 2017. In accordance with Civil
Service Rules, this appointment is a probationary appointment, in effect for 52 weeks,
effective December 19, 2017. Ms. Gonzalez is replacing Jaclyn Libman.
Approve appointment: Ariel Batis, substitute teacher at a salary of $110.00/diem, as
needed, not to exceed 29 hours per week, effective December 19, 2017. She has an Initial
Physical Education K-12 certification.
Approve appointment: Sahiba Makan, substitute teacher aide, at a salary of $10.40/hr., as
needed, not to exceed 29 hours per week, effective December 19, 2017.
Approve appointment: Cheryl Bakker, substitute teacher aide, at a salary of $10.40/hr., as
needed, not to exceed 29 hours per week, effective December 19, 2017.
Approve appointment: Humaira Zeb, substitute teacher aide, at a salary of $10.40/hr., as
needed, not to exceed 29 hours per week, effective December 19, 2017.

 

Approve appointment: Victoria Cefalu, substitute teacher aide, at a salary of $10.40/hr., as
needed, not to exceed 29 hours per week, effective December 19, 2017.
Approve appointment: Carmella Moore, substitute teacher aide, at a salary of $10.40/hr., as
needed, not to exceed 29 hours per week, effective December 19, 2017.
Approve appointment: Lisa Nowak, substitute teacher aide, at a salary of $10.40/hr., as
needed, not to exceed 29 hours per week, effective December 19, 2017.
Approve appointment: Connie Tetzlaff, substitute teacher aide, at a salary of $10.40/hr., as
needed, not to exceed 29 hours per week, effective December 19, 2017.
Approve appointment: Jason Miedema, tutor, at a salary of $32.35/hr., for 3 hour/day, as
needed, effective December 19, 2017 for the 2017-2018 school year.
Approve appointment: Elizabeth Joseph, tutor, at a salary of $32.35/hr., for 3 hour/day, as
needed, effective December 19, 2017 for the 2017-2018 school year.
Approve appointment: Daniel Muller, tutor, at a salary of $32.35/hr., as needed, effective
December 19, 2017 for the 2017-2018 school year.
Approve extra compensation: Katharine Gonzalez, ENL teacher at a salary of $80.46/
period, per GTA contract, effective September 6, 2017 to June 30, 2018. She is currently
an ENL teacher in the District. Ms. Gonzalez will be teaching an extra class, every day, to
meet the needs of our ENL students.

There were no CSE/CPSE recommendations.
Approve disposal of obsolete equipment.

On a motion by Jeremy Cassel and seconded by Allison Salte, upon the recommendation
of the Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education approves the Cooper Arias, LLP
proposal/engagement letter for the updated 2017-2018 Risk Assessment as presented.
AYES-6 NAYS-0 Motion carried.

On a motion by Martha Bogart and seconded by Jeremy Cassel, upon the recommendation
of the Superintendent the Board of Education accepts the additional insurance recovery
check from NYSIR in the amount of $1,000 for deductible reimbursement for a small bus
which was involved in a motor vehicle accident and declared a total loss. BE IT
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Education authorizes increasing the 17-18
budgetary appropriations by $1,000 and appropriates these monies to account code
A5510.208. The offsetting revenue account code A2680 shall also be increased by $1,000.
AYES-6 NAYS-0 Motion carried.

On a motion by Allison Salte and seconded by Thomas Mullane, that the Board President
is hereby authorized to execute an Addendum Agreement dated December 18, 2017, to the
Contract for the Superintendent of Schools, a copy of which agreement shall be
incorporated by reference within the minutes of this meeting.
AYES-6 NAYS-0 Motion carried.

On a motion by Jason Pucci and seconded by Tom Mullane, upon the recommendation of
the Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education approves entering into an
Agreement with Center for Spectrum Services to provide services for special education
students, effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. A copy of said Agreement shall be
incorporated by reference within the minutes of this meeting.
AYES-6 NAYS-0 Motion carried.

On a motion by Thomas Mullane and seconded by Martha Bogart, upon the
recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education approves the
audit engagement letter dated November 27, 2017, from Nugent & Haeussler, P.C., for
external auditing of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.
AYES-6 NAYS-0 Motion carried.

 

On a motion by Jason Pucci and seconded by Thomas Mullane, WHEREAS, on December
6, 2017, Cypress Creek Renewables (“Developer”), notified the Goshen Central School
District (“District”) that it intends to construct a solar energy system on real property
located within the District in accordance with Real Property Tax Law § 487, and
WHEREAS, the statute provides the Developer with a 15-year tax exemption on any
increase to the value of the real estate on which the solar energy system is constructed; and
WHEREAS, the statute requires the District to notify the Developer if the District
intends to request that the Developer enter into a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (“PILOT”)
agreement within 60 days of receipt of the notification (“District”); and
WHEREAS, the Board of Education intends to request such a PILOT.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Education of the Goshen
Central School District that the Board of Education intends to request that the Developer
enter into a PILOT agreement in accordance with Real Property Tax Law § 487; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Superintendent of Schools and such other
employees and agents of the District are directed to undertake and complete all acts as
required to effect the purposes of this resolution; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution shall take effect immediately.
AYES-6 NAYS-0 Motion carried.
Mrs. Green opened the second Privilege of the Floor.
There were no Board Member issues.

A community member inquired what the incentive would be to enter into a PILOT
agreement with Cypress Creek. Mr. Miller responded that the law provides a 15-year tax
exemption for properties with renewable energy systems, such as solar electric. The
exemption is limited to the “improvement” created by the system, not to the underlying
previous value of the property. School districts, as a local government, must offer the
exemption unless they have opted out of the entire program. The local government cannot
opt out on a case-by-case basis. If the local government has not opted out, it may enter into
a PILOT agreement with the developer so that it receives some revenues. It would be
better to receive some amount of money (PILOT) than no money on the “improvement”
portion.

Mr. Connor congratulated Bill Rolon for obtaining his doctorate degree.

Mrs. Bogart commented on how the Goshen Gladiator Gazette, produced by Goshen
Intermediate School students, contains great articles, which displays their English language
skills.

Mrs. Green wished everyone a very happy holiday season and thanked everyone for
attending.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:43 p.m. on a motion by Thomas Mullane and seconded by
Jason Pucci.

AYES-6 NAYS-0 Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,
Maureen Farrell
District Clerk