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TOWN OF TUXEDO
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Tuxedo Union Free School District
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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting September 28, 2017

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call and Quorum Check III. Pledge of Allegiance

IV. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)

V. Introduction of new staff members to the Board of Education

VI. Routine Business

1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes – 8/17/2017

2. Administrators’ Reports

• Business Administrator

• K-12 Principal

• Superintendent’s Report

3. OCSBA Update

VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion

1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids

2. TTA Agreement

3. Audit Committee Charter

4. Personnel

5. CPSE/CSE

6. Strategic Plan/Goals Discussion

7. Old Business

-Fraud Policy (#6215)

-Records Retention (#6301)

-Paroled Sex Offenders Who Reside Within the Boundaries of the District

(#2108/2108R)-Follow Up Discussion

8. Reserves Discussion/Repair Reserve

VIII. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)

IX. Correspondence

X. Proposed Executive Session - Potential Contract Negotiations XI. Adjournment

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Students from Tuxedo and Warwick are among 16,000 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists - 9/15/17

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Better State Test Scores For Local Districts - 8/23/17

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Board of Education Meeting August 17, 2017

The Board of Education met on Thursday, August 17 at 6:30pm.

Vice President Adam Eirand and Board member Mike Arone were absent.

Highlights of the meeting included discussion with regard to funding the District’s reserve accounts as well as Policy review.  It was also determined that moving forward the Board will revert to the 7pm time slot for regular monthly meetings.

To listen to this meeting in it’s entirety follow the links below.

Board of Education Meeting August 17, 2017 #1
Board of Education Meeting August 17, 2017 #2

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting August 17, 2017

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business
1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes – 07/05/2017, 07/26/2017
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Superintendent’s Report
-Email Retention Policy
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. School Breakfast & Lunch Prices
4. Resolution – Reserve Accounts
5. Tax Levy/Warrants & Tax Rate
6. Acceptance of Non-Resident Tuition Students
7. Resolution – Execution of APPR Implementation Certification Form
8. Resolution – Execution of APPR Independent Evaluator Hardship Waiver Application
9. Resolution – Select Sports Merger with Chester Academy
10. NYSSBA Board of Director Election
11. Clerk Pro Tempore
12. Personnel
13. Proposed Executive Session - Contract Negotiations
14. Personnel
15. Discussion of BOE Policies.
#1406-Duties of the BOE-Legal Counsel
#1502-BOE Meetings
#2108-Administration-Paroled Sex Offenders In The Community
#2108R-Administration-Paroled Sex Offenders Who Reside Within the Boundaries of a School District/Superintendent Regulations
#3102-Personnel-All Employees-Collective Negotiations
#6101-Budget-Calendar
#4409-Athletic Placement Process
16. Old Business
VII. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes tota by end of day Monday l per meeting)
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Adjournment

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Special Board of Education Meeting, July 26, 2017

The Board of Education held a special meeting on Wednesday, July 26 at 7pm for the purpose of discussing Board of Education Goals as well as Strategic Planning for the district.  All members were present.

Terry Reynolds of Orange Ulster Boces led the Board through a presentation in which she outlined the purpose of strategic planning and discussed the idea and importance of formulating “S.M.A.R.T. goals” (Specific & strategic, Measurable, Action oriented, Rigorous-realistic & results focused and Timed & tracked) Examples were provided and reviewed.  Utilizing the districts goals from the 2016-2017 school year as a jumping off point for 2017-2018, she then suggested that they break into smaller groups for the purpose of discussing and identifying measurable objectives, action strategies and data sources.

Board member Meg Vaught suggested that prior to moving forward with discussions specific to the goals as outlined, she felt it was important that each of the Board members have the opportunity to openly express and discuss what their vision was for the school district was, aside from simply remaining open.  Noting that this very basic conversation had never occurred at the Board level since she had joined the Board in 2015, she further commented that she was not sure they would be able to successfully create a shared a vision, if they did not take the opportunity to discuss their individual thoughts first.

Vice President Adam Eirand suggested that they initiate the discussion now.  He went on to say that in his view, the vitality of the District was not directly tied to the construction of the Tuxedo Farms Development.  This District has operated for a long time without the development, and he believes they can continue to operate.  If the development goes through and they are eventually able to secure 300 or 400 students this would be good, however at the end of the day he still feels they should try to attract new people from out of District.  He likes the small school atmosphere and he does not want a huge District.  The academics are currently good, but can always be built upon and he feels they should continue to focus on that while also attempting to expand the athletic program in whatever ways possible.  He suggested that they examine the idea of a full-day Pre-K program, which he believes would attract people and once they were in Tuxedo, they would come to appreciate the atmosphere and some would choose to tuition their children into the District.  “At no point in time do I ever see this district closing unless some sort of catastrophe happens,” he stated, further reiterating that he did not believe success was contingent on the Tuxedo Farms Development.

Meg Vaught stated that she agreed with Vice President Eirand.  She does not believe that the success of the District is dependent on Tuxedo Farms.  She further commented that based on everything that’s going on at the moment with the developer (multitude of proposed changes) she suspected that building might not begin any time soon.  She believes that they should continue to try and attract non-resident students, however she would like to see them develop a more “fine-tuned” strategic marketing plan.

Commenting that she was also a big proponent of small-school education, she stated that she would like to see the District try and take advantage of its small size.  She feels that there are opportunities that currently exist for Tuxedo because of their small size, specifically in terms of field trips and community based STEM opportunities.  She believes that if they can enhance these types of offerings, they will have a more unique product to market.  As an example, she sited a 2016 field trip where the District took a handful of students to the Presidential Debate.  She recognizes that scheduling and transportation can be an issue, but still believes there are opportunities out there to be explored.  “While we are this small, we should try and provide our kids with these kinds of interesting opportunities, which can be tailored to STEM and in turn be used to create a unique district to market.”

Nancy Bourke agreed with both Vice President Eirand and Mrs. Vaught, although she stated that in terms of field trips, she does not believe taking the kids out of school too much is a good thing.  She believes classroom time is very important.  She loves the small school environment and feels it is important to maintain it.

Diana Petrosky commented that one of the reasons she had gotten involved with the school in the first place was because she has come to love the small school environment.  “I think we can enhance our STEM activities….I think we ARE enhancing them.  Some of the relationships that we have developed throughout the business community I have been involved with only because of my involvement with the Chamber of Commerce.  I think that that is something we should grow.  I have said it before and I will say it again, Pre-K is a wonderful idea.  We need to sell ourselves.  We need to brag about ourselves.  We need to show everybody what we do and what we do well because we do a lot of stuff really well; we just don’t show it enough.”

Mike Arone, commented that he agreed with what everyone had said.  He stated that he hoped that Tuxedo Farms would move forward, but if it did not “so be it.”

He does not believe the District will ever have 500 or 600 kids in it. He noted that his children were currently enrolled at GGM, but once they reached High School sports were going to be an issue.  Tuxedo does not have the same offerings as all of the other Districts.   This is an issue with some of the current high school parents and he believes it will turn into an issue for his family as well if nothing changes.  Referencing an earlier conversation with regard to the possibility of attracting foreign exchange students, he commented that between this and the potential upcoming negotiations with Greenwood Lake, he felt the future looked positive.  Obviously, the District needs more students, but they are holding their own right now.  Things might be progressing at a snail’s pace, but they are still moving forward.

Dorothy Zeigelbauer added that she felt that they were all there because it was a small school.  They like the environment and in many cases, it’s why they ran for the Board.  The children are basically provided with a private school education in a public school setting and what can be better than this?   She feels that collectively they had expressed some concerns, specifically with regard to the Regents scores, and that these seem to be moving in the right direction.  She applauded the District and the Administration for their efforts in this regard.   She feels that they need to be vigilant in maintaining this upward trend.  With regard to athletics, she feels that students for whom sports are their “bread & butter” will ultimately go elsewhere.  She thinks that investing in alternative student populations in order to increase the enrollment is very important, including the idea of exchange students. With this being said, she also wondered whether there was a cut off number for high school enrollment at which point the District might determine that it was not worth it economically to continue running the program.  “I don’t know if there is, but I almost feel like we are obligated as a Board to try and figure it out.”

Bill Hecht of Boces interjected that making this kind of assessment would really be a business function.  He suggested that it was important that the Board has a clear idea as to the sustainability and that this would become part of their strategic plan over time.  Ho noted that in listening to the conversation that was unfolding, it seemed clear to him that the Board collectively had a good number of ideas and that it seemed to him as though it was just a matter of getting them all down on paper.

President Arbor commented that she agreed with everything that had been said.  She and her family moved to Tuxedo for the small school, although since that time Greenwood Lake has left, and things are notably very different.  While she does not want to see the District ever become huge, she does feel there is a happy medium to be achieved.  Currently, she feels it is too small and they constantly need to work to find ways to improve the number.  She agrees that looking into international exchange students could be a good thing to explore.  She stressed the importance of community relations, noting that there existed a sizable population within the Tuxedo community that does not attend the school.  She thinks that the Pre-K is a great idea, particularly from the prospective of attracting students to the program when they are young.  She noted that Tuxedo is not the only District that is currently working to attract non-district students and she finds the fact that the GGM enrollment has increased to be incredibly positive.  All grade levels in that building are either flat or improving to the point that they have added another classroom teacher for the first time in a long while. 

With regard to the Pre-K, Bill Hecht cautioned that he had witnessed similar efforts in other districts and that they would need to be very careful politically with regard to pre-school programs, which might already exist within the community.  A District pre-school could have a serious impact on these businesses.  It is important to have these conversations and to establish a plan and share that plan.

This was discussed.

Vice President Eirand commented that in his view, at the end of the day, they needed to what was best for the District and the community, as political as this might be.  He reiterated his belief that the District would have a good shot at retaining some of these young students. 

President Arbor suggested that it would be important to continue to monitor their fiscal stability.  She noted that class size seemed to fluctuate greatly from year to year and while there might be a small freshman class one year, the class behind them could well be much larger.  The District has been able to show over the past two years that it is fiscally sustainable and they must continue to evaluate as they move forward.  She further noted that while fiscal sustainability was extremely important, it was not the only factor and that the intangibles were also very important to a large percentage of the community.

The Administration was then asked for their thoughts.

Jason Schrammel commented that his son had attended a Pre-K program in his local district and the staff he had spoken with there had talked about how Pre-k had been “the big monster that rolled over everybody in the community.”  In a small district located in a somewhat remote area, it can be like cutting one’s nose of to spare their face.  In this case, establishing the program really hurt some of the local community and the new pre-school felt the burden of this early on, as a result of which it took a long time for them to get the ball rolling.   

He stated that the Administration is constantly looking at and analyzing grades.  The District has never had a comprehensive assessment plan before now.  It allowing them to look at cohorts and assess students’ growth over the span of several years and as they are reviewing this data and establishing snapshots, they are sharing this information with the Board.

Eric Sorenson stated that one of thing he really loved about the District was that their small size allowed them to bring opportunities to the students, especially technology.  He suggested that there were many districts out there currently who were only just trying to string their buildings for WiFi.  Tuxedo is leaps and bounds ahead in this area and moving forward.  He reiterated Mr. Schrammel’s comments with regard to assessment, commenting that they looked at data all the time.  It’s their responsibility to bring in the quality professional development as needed.  Following their first year as Principal and Vice Principal, based on the snapshot of test scores they received, they established a Professional Development Plan, which, he noted, was comprised of SMART goals, as discussed earlier.  They set obtainable goals and he believes that once they make them, they are seeing growth and then they can move forward.  He believes the District is moving in the right direction.  He came from a large District where classrooms were full.  In Tuxedo, students receive an individualized education.  He believes it is crucial that they maintain the private school feel in the public school setting, as this is something that is incredibly unique. 

President Arbor commented that she felt they needed to really highlight the things that Tuxedo does well.  For example, the strings program, which begins in Grade 3, is something that many huge districts don’t offer.  Field trips, such as the annual trip to Carnegie Hall, are impressive.  Many larger districts don’t offer middle school sports programs.  These are the things the District needs to be selling because bigger is not always necessarily better.

Nancy Teed commented that they were operating under the premise that they were staying open.  They need to operate this way.  The Administration is charged with motivating their staff members to do the best job they can do for the kids.  This is how they forge ahead every day.  She feels that they don’t look at the things they do well enough or sell themselves.  Speaking for the team, she feels they are all cut from the same mold in that they are constantly looking at things and ways to improve, but they need to stop and appreciate and celebrate their successes. For example, the school district that “can’t field enough teams” has a Volleyball team that advanced to States and placed 3rd.

Business Administrator Marc Matatia stated that he agreed with everything that had been said.  He believes the program is unique and it is important that they retain their identity while striving to build the enrollment to a comfortable level that will allow them to sustain the schools.  He agreed that the marketing has yet to reflect on what has been achieved and that is important to focus on this moving forward.  Tuxedo does have the ability to offer programs that other Districts cannot because of their size. 

Discussion then returned to the idea of establishing a Pre-K and various things that they might investigate in this regard.

Bill Hecht commented that as an outside looking in, it seemed to him as that everyone was on the same page with regard to the direction in which they wanted to see the District move.  He reiterated that the next step would be to get it down on paper in terms of a plan.

Stating that she understood that there was to be no public participation, audience member Mary Graetzer requested permission to make one comment.  She went on to say that she had been attending BOE meetings for over a year now and this meeting was by far the most productive meeting, where everybody was getting along and participating, that she had witnessed to date.  She congratulated the Board on this.

The process of how they would move forward was then briefly discussed and it was agreed that they would hold another workshop style meeting in early September at which they could begin drafting a plan.

Personnel:
After reviewing resumes and conducting a brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring two new staff members in GGM; one a second grade teacher and the other a STEM integration specialist. 

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Special Board of Education Meeting Wednesday, July 26, 2017

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that, a special meeting of the Board of Education of the Tuxedo Union Free School District will be held on 7/26/17 at 7:00 PM in the Multipurpose Room of the George Grant Mason School.

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss Board of Education Goals/ Strategic Planning for the district. There will not be an opportunity for public comment.

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Board of Education Meeting July 5, 2017

The Board of Education met on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 at 6:30pm.
Board member Mike Arone was absent.

Organizational Meeting:
Read Oath of Office – New Board Member – New Board member Nancy Bourke read aloud her oath of office.

Nominations & President of Board of Education Resolution – Allyson Arbor was nominated by Board member Meg Vaught for the role of president.  This was seconded by Board member Adam Eirand.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of the appointment and Mrs. Arbor read aloud her oath.

Nominations & Vice President of Board of Education Resolution – Adam Eirand was nominated by Board member Diane Petrosky for the role of Vice President.  This was seconded by President Arbor.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of the appointment and Mr. Eirand read aloud his oath.

Appointment of NYSSBA Delegates – The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Diane Petrosky as the NYSSBA delegate with Nancy Bourke as an alternate.

Appointment of OCSBA Delegates – The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Meg Vaught as delegate to OCSBA with Dorothy Zeigelbauer as an alternate.

Appointment of Officers and Personnel for the School District:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of the appointments of Officers and Personnel as presented.

Click here to view a list of the appointments.

Approval for Designations –  The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the designations as presented.

Approval for Authorizations –  The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the authorizations as presented.

Click here to view a list of the approved designations and authorizations.

Approval to Re-adopt Existing Policies & Past Practices –  Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer commented that when she had first come on the Board she had questioned a number of the policies and had not yet received full answers to several of her questions.  In particular, she questioned the policy which states that only the President and Vice President can have access the Board attorney and proposed that the full Board should have such access.

Diane Petrosky suggested that procedure dictated that any Board member could request that a particular policy be put up for review during a regular Board meeting and if the policy was revised at that point in time, the Board would then readopt it.  She cautioned however, that Board Attorney David Shaw had made it clear on more than one occasion that it was his policy to deal directly with only Board leadership and the Superintendent.  She further suggested that this was a policy adopted by all New York State education attorneys.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer then responded by requesting that review of this policy be added to the agenda for the August meeting.

It was agreed that this would be done.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of adopting the existing policies and past practices, with president Arbor reiterating that although they were adopting them in their current form, the Board could revise any of the policies as they saw fit in the future.

Approval for Business Official/Superintendent to Invest Monies at Best Prevailing Rate- The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Business Official/Superintendent to invest monies at the best prevailing rate.

Approval for Bonding of District Clerk, District Treasurer, Tax Collector and Treasurer of Extra-Classroom Fund – The Board voted unanimously in favor of bonding of the District Clerk, District Treasurer, Tax Collector and Treasurer of Extra-Classroom Fund.

Audit Committee- The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing President Arbor and Board Member Dorothy Zeigelbauer, along with one member of the public (to be named at a later date) to the audit committee.

Routine Business:
Approval of Board Meeting Minutes – 6/12/17 & 6/15/17- Board member Diane Petrosky requested that the name of Terry Reynolds be added to the 6/12 minutes as having been present.

The Board voted in favor of approving the meeting minutes for 6/12/17 and 6/15/17 with Board member Meg Vaught Abstaining.

When questioned, Mrs. Vaught explained that while she understood that Education Law allowed for minimalist minutes, she felt that there had been a number of very important discussions that took place during the workshop meeting on 6/12 and that the minutes did not reflect any of them.  It is her feeling that it would be beneficial for the Board, in their current capacity as well as future Boards, and also the public to include a more thorough depiction of what was discussed within the minutes of the meeting.

This was briefly discussed.

Board member and former District Clerk Nancy Bourke pointed out that as a part of the training, clerks are advised to take factual minutes, and not to get into descriptions of specific, individual statements in order to avoid inserting any sort of subjectivity into the document.

Board member Diane Petrosky suggested that typically Boards decide that they don’t want to take minutes at workshop meetings.   She suggested that moving forward if they wanted to change this, the clerk would have to be present at those meetings and that perhaps this was something they could discuss at some point in the future. 

Mrs. Vaught responded that she understood all of this,although she did not recollect agreeing to dismiss the clerk from the workshop meetings.  She reiterated her belief that it would be more beneficial to everyone involved to have more detailed meeting minutes, further noting that as a part of her job she spent a great deal of time both taking and reviewing minutes for a number of different municipal boards.  She stated that she would review some of the minutes from other school districts in the surrounding areas and that they could continue the discussion in conjunction with their policy review in the month of August.

Administrator’s Reports:
Business Administrator – Marc Matatia reported that the external auditors had been in the district on two occasions over the past two weeks collecting data.  Everything went smoothly and Mr. Matatia feels the time was spent productively.  The auditors are scheduled to return on August 2 and August 9.

There followed a somewhat lengthy discussion with regard to funding the district’s reserves.  Mr. Matatia went through each reserve, highlighting the ones that the administration feel should be funded.  Discussion centered around the Retirement Contribution Reserve, the Repair Reserve, the Unemployment Insurance Reserve and the Workers Compensation Reserve. 

In reviewing the reserve balances, Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer inquired as to how many retirements could be funded from the Retirement Contribution reserve at it’s current balance.

The answer was roughly 20.

The Repair Reserve was then discussed.  The school buildings are facing some fairly expensive repairs down the line (new boilers, new roof, repairs to the front steps of the High School etc) however the funding of this reserve is subject to voter approval.

Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer inquired as to whether or not it might be possible to look at a list of the proposed repairs and their estimated costs.

Mrs. Vaught agreed that this would be a good idea, noting that she felt it would be easier to win voter approval if they were able to let the voters know which projects they were funding.

There was some debate with regard to the Unemployment Insurance Reserve as the administration has recommended that $200,000 be placed there and several of the Board members felt that this was too much.  This is a new reserve fund that was recently established but has not yet been funded.

President Arbor suggested that they leave open the possibility of having funds that were not allocated to any reserves but rather returned to the budget in an effort to offset the 2018 tax levy.  She further commented that they had been reviewed the budget in March and had been provided with an estimate of expenses for the rest of the school year at that time however, the numbers they were now being presented with showed a larger variable.  She wondered if, to whatever extent possible and certainly not right away that evening, Mr. Matatia might be able to quantify what had caused some of these differences to show where the estimates had been off base and also whether there was room to put the funds back into the budget.  She further commented that she understood that putting the funds back affected both the tax levy calculation as well as the amount they would be able to levy the following year, however if they were coming out with the excess, in her view this begs the question as to whether that excess really belonged as an expensed line item in the budget to begin with.  She wondered if they were perhaps being a bit too conservative.

Superintendent Teed responded that they needed to take into consideration the placement of students.  This year, they had a residential student who changed their status and went to a day student.  This represented a huge savings for the district.  There are special education students who are placed in programs out of district and then they move out of the district.  This also represents savings.

President Arbor responded that she was not meaning to suggest that there were not valid reasons for the differences.  She further noted that she understood that they needed to be cautious because they could always be faced with new special education students who might move into the district, however if they were looking at a situation where some had moved out, she suggested that there might be some room there.

Mrs. Vaught inquired whether or not it would be legally possible to take some of the reserve money and set it aside to help offset the tax levy.

The answer was yes.  Monies can be kept as part of the unassigned fund balance, although they would be exceeding the recommended 4%.  That being said, provided that the Board had intention for how they planned to spend the excess, then it would be okay.  He cautioned that it would be important that the public be informed that should they not be able to retain their level of unassigned fund balance down the line, the District might have to at times exceed the tax cap to compensate.

Mrs. Vaught responded that she felt it would go a long way towards receiving voter approval for both the funding of the Repair Reserve and the budget in general, if they were to give a little something back to the taxpayers while they had the funds to do so.

Mr. Matatia responded that he felt that the important thing towards that decision was that the Board continue to have discussions about it.

The entire Board seemed to be in favor of funding the Workers Compensation Reserve.

Ultimately, it was agreed that Mr. Matatia and Superintendent Teed would look at it further and present the Board with options prior to their voting next month.

Superintendent’s Report – Superintendent Teed stated that she was very proud to announce that 10 of the recent 17 2017 graduates had graduated with an advanced designation diploma.  In order to achieve this type of diploma, the students must pass 9 Regents exams.  The remaining students received Regents Diplomas, having passed 5 regents exams.  Superintendent Teed congratulated all of the students as well as the faculty who helped them to achieve these accomplishments.

The Superintendent has also reached out to Terry Reynolds from Orange Ulster Boces with regard to possible Board Retreat dates. Neither Ms. Reynolds nor Mr. Hecht are available during the month of August, but they have provided a couple of dates in July as well as a few in September when they could facilitate the retreat.

The dates were provided and it was agreed that the Board would check their availability and follow up with the Superintendent, who would then coordinate with the administration before moving forward to schedule the retreat.

The Administration will be working with the Mid-Hudson Regional Information Center in the creation of their new website.  They will be moving to School Messenger.  Currently they have School World.  Work will continue over the summer, although the Superintendent does not feel that the site will be launched before the start of the 2017/2018 school year.

With regard to some financial information that had been requested by Mrs. Zeigelbauer pertaining to the breakdown of Orange and Rockland expenses on the monthly reports, the Superintendent noted that she had looked into this and that they system they currently utilized would not allow them to create reports that broke these expenses out by account gas vs. electric.  In order to create a report of this nature, a manual report would need to be completed monthly.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer then noted that there had been an expenditure on the recent report for $11,700 for the Tuxedo Park School.  She wondered what specifically this was for.

Mr. Matatia explained that this was for the health services for their nurse and psychologist.  The District, in turn, bills out for this cost to all of the other school districts that have students who attend TPS.

Items for Action and/or Discussion:
Warrants, Transfers & Bids – There were none.

Personnel – A revised personnel sheet was circulated to the Board members. 

The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the substitute pay rates for the 2017/2018 school year as presented.

Mrs. Petrosky commented that she felt that the substitute school nurse rate seemed quite low.  This was briefly discussed.  The Superintendent noted that finding a substitute nurse for a day or two in a K-12 district was quite difficult.  They had attempted to utilize a service with little to no success.  They are still actively looking for substitute nurses. 

Mrs. Petrosky suggested that increasing the per diem amount might help to attract more people.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the food service worker and part-time bus driver staff appointments as well as those for Gen’l Ledger Data Clerk, Accounts Payable Clerk and part time Internal Claims Officer.

Next, they voted unanimously in favor of accepting the resignation of the current part time Internal Claims Officer.

Classroom Section - A resolution proposing that the second grade be split into two sections was then presented and discussed.  The Superintendent suggested that creating this second classroom would create the need for a new full time teacher.  She proposed that the Board might consider the idea of eliminating the full time STEM Integration Specialist, a position for which they are also hiring, when considering the addition of another full time teacher.  Ultimately it was decided that the classroom should be split and that both full-time positions should be filled, maintaining the full time STEM integration position.

Professional Development Plan – The Professional Development plan was then put forward for adoption.

Board member Nancy Bourke inquired as to whether or not all of the teachers took professional development in language acquisition aligned with their subject matter.

The Superintendent responded that all teachers had undergone professional development training within this area.  Because the district is fairly small in terms of English language learners, they have a waiver from the State, which relieves them from having to have all teachers receive this training.

Mrs. Bourke then inquired about some of the Goals and Objectives noting that Objective One was that the number of students receiving a grade of 3 or higher on the New York State ELA and Math assessments meet or exceed 55% and Objective two is 65%.  She feels these numbers are low and noted that if it were her own child in the program, she would be looking for much higher percentages. 

The Superintendent responded that these percentages were based on data from the previous year and they did not yet have the data from this year.  She added that in putting together the plan they created obtainable goals.

Next Mrs. Burke noted that under the implementation section of the plan pre-testing was discussed.  She has a problem with the idea of pre-testing.  She doesn’t feel that testing students on information they haven’t learned yet is a productive use of time and furthermore that it creates frustration and anger for the students.

Superintendent Teed responded that they did use benchmark testing in order to determine what the baseline level of knowledge was at the beginning of the year so that teachers would know how to differentiate. 

Mrs. Burke responded that she understood how this might be helpful at the elementary school level, however at the high school level she did not feel it was a productive practice.

Principal Schrammel explained that the process of pretesting had begun just last year and that moving forward they were hoping to redesign it.  They are currently working on a comprehensive assessment plan to determine what the best methods are for assessing students.  One of the methods they will be using moving forward is though NWEA and Maps testing at the K-6 level.  Students will take  “screeners” in September, January and June and these will show successes or weaknesses in certain areas of math and English.  For 7-12 it is much more difficult to assess but they need to have some kind of goal to obtain towards the regents at the end of the year.  One of the recommendations, made by a teacher, has been to assess quarterly.  It is an ongoing process.

Mrs. Burke responded that she felt that it was safe to assume that a 10th grader going into Global History knows nothing about what started World War One.  She reiterated that she felt it was a waste of valuable class time to spend an entire period testing the kids on this kind of stuff.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer commented that she shared Mrs. Burke’s concerns with regard to the percentages.  She feels that goals are supposed to be aspirational.  While she understands that the District does not want to be skewered by either the public or the press and thus they have a conservative outlook in terms of making their goals obtainable, she feels that 55% and 65% is cringe worthy. “If somebody got a 55% or a 65% on a test, they failed.  When I look at 55% and 65% of our students passing those exams, it seems to me like that’s a failing number.”

Mrs. Vaught agreed, noting that it was somewhat of a “glass half full/half empty” type of situation.  While the District may meet it’s goal with 55% of students passing, what is unspoken in that is that 45% of the students are not passing.  She understands why they want to keep the goals obtainable but also feels they should be shooting for a higher percentage rate. 

Superintendent Teed responded that it was important for the Board to keep in mind that the goals represented grades 3-12, but in grades 3-8 there were students who were opting out of the tests, and this has a direct effect on the percentages.  “That is a huge factor in this,” she stated. 

Mrs. Zeigelbaueer suggested that they change the goal to indicate that the percentages referred to those students who were being testing.

Superintendent Teed replied that if they were to do that, the number could be skewed and this is why they strive to make the goals obtainable.  “But as much as you prepare your students, you could have your highest achieving students opting out. My recommendation would be to look at out results when they come in and then possibly revisit this, but it is hard to say right now.  Unfortunately the State wants you to submit a plan by a certain time of year, but you don’t have the results back from them yet.”

Mrs. Zeigelbauer wondered when the District could expect to receive the results.

“Hopefully soon,” responded the Superintendent.

Mr. Schrammel added that traditionally results came in mid-August.  The Commissioner has released questions earlier than usual this year and based on this, he assumes the scores might follow in a similar fashion.  It would certainly be beneficial for the staff to have them.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer responded that she would like to revisit the discussion when the scores come in.

Superintendent Teed agreed that this could be done commenting, “I understand what you are saying about the percentages.  I don’t disagree with you.  You want to have aspirational goals as do we.  When we work together we have to keep in mind what are the factors that effect these and we are focusing on student achievement.”

Noting that the Professional Development Plan had been put in place for the first time this past year, Mrs. Vaught inquired as to how the administration was measuring and evaluating its success in order to evolve it moving forward.

The Superintendent responded that the test scores would be a critical factor in evaluating where they had come in.  They also look at the professional development that they have put into place.  They had to put in for the new science and social studies standards and this has been incorporated into the plan. 

Mrs. Vaught wondered if all of the professional development was geared towards state testing.

Vice Principal Sorensen responded by providing a somewhat lengthy list of a wide range of professional development opportunities that the District took advantage of over the last year. 

Mr. Schrammel added that Goals 1-2 could be assessed based on the test scores.  Outside of that, they evaluate their success in house.  They work together as a team discussing various things with faculty and parents in order to get an idea of what is working and what is not.  For example, they were able to review their implementation of quarterly tests and determine that some of the process was working and some was not, which is why they have made the move to NWEA.  They do not have a specific checklist that they go by, but they are constantly re-evaluating programs.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the professional development plan.

Email Retention – Noting that there had been some recent questions with regard to the District’s Policy concerning email retention, Superintendent Teed circulated a copy of Policy #6301, which was most recently reviewed in 2004.  She further noted that the District complies with the latest Records Retention and Distribution Schedule. (ED1) She reached out to the Orange Ulster Boces Director of Technology in an effort to see what other districts were doing and he in turn asked his colleagues from another District.  There is no set standard Statewide.  This type of governance is really at the District level.  Some Districts save emails for 1 year, others 6 and others 10. 

Mrs. Petrosky commented that she had spoken with the District Attorney who had informed her that ED1 was the regulation that dictated what needs to be saved and that it is in effect and binding.

Superintendent Teed suggested that they could create a policy at the Boards discretion but added “again, I would have to get around the content-specific piece.”

President Arbor noted that there were certain content-specific emails that needed to be retained for a specific duration in accordance with ED1 but there was no specific email policy.

The Superintendent affirmed this, further stating “I think e-mail over-all is still a very confusing topic for many districts….on what has to be saved and what doesn’t.”

Mrs. Vaught inquired as to whether student emails were retained.  She wondered what would happen were there to be a bullying situation via school email.  Would the school be able to access these emails?

The Superintendent responded that student emails were not retained for a long time, but suggested that they might be able to create an email archive.

Mrs. Petrosky noted that there were ways of selecting certain flag words within e-mail that could tip off the retention process.

Mrs. Vaught suggested that she felt it was somewhat of a liability issue.  For the same reason that security cameras are installed in school hallways and lunchrooms, she feels they need to have the ability to access the emails should a situation arise.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer stated that at her company emails were retained for 5 years and they had been told by their council that one reason for this was that the emails were discoverable by law should there be a lawsuit.   She had assumed that the school District had some sort of similar policy.   While she is curious to learn what the details of ED1, she believes that the grit of it has to so with how the school implemented the system in order to comply with the law.

Mrs. Vaught wondered if anyone could tell them what the current retention period was.

Mrs. Arbor further inquired what the process for recovering an email that had been deleted might be.

The Superintendent noted that there was a difference between archiving and retrieving emails.

Vice President Eirand suggested that the Board put together a list of questions that they could submit to their IT people.

Mrs. Petrosky noted that as the Orange Ulster Boces server was directly involved with the District system, it might be helpful to have them come and make a presentation to the Board.

The Superintendent responded that Boces had recommended a records retention specialist and noted that she could reach out to this person.  She further suggested that should would contact the IT staff in order to determine how long student, faculty, staff and Board emails were being retained on the system and the ability to retrieve these emails in terms of time frame.

President Arbor further suggested that they should also speak with their attorneys to find out what their recommendations were in terms of what they should be doing.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer noted that she felt the other challenge laid in the fact that she was not sure if there were any current staff members who were aware of how the system was set up.  Obviously somebody has to administer it, but if they don’t know the details of how it was implemented, this will need to be sorted out as well.

Chromebooks – Superintendent Teed reported that newly elected Board member Nancy Bourke had requested the use of a Chromebook in order to manage her Board related materials.  Consequently, they decided to bring the discussion before the entire Board to see if they were also interested in utilizing Chromebooks.  The District does not have extra Chromebooks laying around so if the Board decides that they want them, the machines would have to be ordered at a cost of roughly $200-$225 per computer.

Mrs. Vaught commented that she had no problem with Mrs. Burke acquiring a computer however she did not need or want one.

Mrs. Petrsoky commented that if the District were to make a machine available to Mrs. Burke, they would have to make it available to all seven Board members.  She added that she would not like to see them take computers away from the students, so the decision would have to made as to whether or not they were going to spend the money to make 7 physically available.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer suggested that an alternative to this could simply be making hard copies of the Board Materials available to those Board members who requested them.

The Superintendent responded that currently the monthly materials are emailed.  She expressed some concern over the idea of sending these materials to the Board members via another individual.

President Arbor suggested that the Board members could pick up the materials themselves.

Mrs. Bourke expressed some concern over the hard copies, noting that this was a waste of paper.

Mrs. Vaught wondered if the District might have an extra machine floating around that they might be able to make available for Mrs. Bourke.

Superintendent Teed responded that they had begun pushing the Chromebooks down into GGM to help get those students acclimated with the machines.

Vice President Eirand indicated that he was not interested in using a Chromebook.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer concurred, but indicated that she would like to have a paper copy, as she often times printed the emailed materials out herself when reviewing them.

Various methods of dispersing hard copy materials to the various Board members was briefly discussed.

Ultimately it was agreed that the administration would look to see if they had a machine that they could make available for Mrs. Bourke.

Public Comments:
Mary Graetzer commented that she was somewhat dismayed to see that without having made mention of it in the meeting, the Board had changed the time of their regular meetings form 7pm to 6:30pm.  She further noted that as it stood with the 7pm time, there were many residents who were not able to attend the meetings, but having been at almost every one this past year she feels entitled to say that changing the time 6:30 will make it even more difficult for more people to attend.  Many of the residents in the community commute to and from jobs, which makes it challenging to make the meetings at 7pm, never mind 6:30.  She feels it is a real shame that the change was made and that it was made without any discussion or public notice of any kind.  She further commented that she did not know what the reasoning was behind the way the meeting room was configured, but without the use of the microphones, audience members could not hear a word of what was being said.  “Hopefully that horseshoe works well for you,” she commented “but we’re way back here and you’re way up there…you’re looking at each other and your voices are not projecting out and it feels as though you are not very friendly towards people who are coming to attend your meetings.”

John McNamara commented that in relation to the Chromebook discussion he felt it was outrageous that when there was a focus on trying to keep expenses low that the Board would even consider asking the school to provide Chromebooks for them.  In this day and age he feels this is embarrassing. He then inquired about Tuxedo Farms and specifically what was happening with the pending payment that was due to the district when the developer paid their first building permit. Further, with regard to that payment he wondered whether there had been discussions about how the money would be allocated once the District received it.

Superintendent Teed responded that there was no update.  In the past the District had been in discussions with the Farms as to a possible payment schedule however, the representative from Farms is unfortunately not making himself available to meet with the school currently.  They are waiting to meet with the developer to make things come to fruition before they make plans for the money.

Mr. McNamara commented that there was a legal agreement between the school and the developer, so that if the developer did not pay the school, legal action could be pursued.

The Superintendent affirmed this.

Barbara Johnson inquired as to how many IT staff the District maintained and where they came from.   She wondered if these employees were with the District or if they were outside consultants.

Superintendent Teed responded that the District is contracted with Orange Ulster Boces for an IT person two days per week. 

Speaking to the email retention discussion, Mr. McNamara commented that in the financial services industry, most firms are required to retain emails for a period of five years and there is email monitoring that takes place whereby the software is programed with key words to help identify certain emails for monitoring.  This could be designed to monitor situations such as bullying, which as Mrs. Vaught pointed out earlier, is something the District should do there best to stay in front of.

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The George F. Baker High School Class of 2017 completes its journey - 6/30/17

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SENATOR BONACIC HONORS EXCEPTIONAL GEORGE F. BAKER STUDENT AT HIS ANNUAL EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION EVENT

(Albany, NY)- Senator John J. Bonacic (R/C/I-Mt. Hope) recently honored high school valedictorians, salutatorians and honored students from 23 high schools in the 42nd Senate District at his annual “Excellence in Education” event in Albany. The special occasion honors students who not only have excelled academically, but have also made positive contributions to their community.

“These students are some of the best and brightest New York State has to offer,” said Senator Bonacic. “Each of these students excel because of their hard work and dedication to their studies, their peers and their community. They have the qualities to be the future leaders of America and I am proud of each and every one of them and their accomplishments.”

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You’ve Got This - 6/26/17

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Board of Education Meeting, June 15, 2017

The Board of Education met on Thursday, June 15, 2017.  All members were present.

Recognition of Retires:
Superintendent Nancy Teed and Board President Diane Petrosky recognized the following staff members who will be retiring at the end of the school year by presenting them each with a golden apple:
Kenneth Rubino, Linda Frazer, Beverly Tesser, Joanne Mingione, Ray Cerano and Joanne Miele.  Also recognized was retiree Lynn Caporale, who was not present.
Next, the Superintendent and Board President presented Vice President Joanne Vernon with a commemorative bowl, acknowledging her 9 years of service on the Board of Education.  Mrs. Vernon’s term ends on June 30.  In accepting the bowl, Mrs. Vernon thanked the Board, the Administration, staff, teachers and the community for their support, commenting that it had been a pleasure to serve in various capacities over the past 9 years.  She further commented that she had “really put her heart and soul” into the job and believed that every action taken over the course of the 9 years was done in a respectful way and in an effort to do what was best for the students of Tuxedo, while keeping the taxpayers in mind.  She wished the current Board all the best in continuing to what was best for the students, and again thanked everyone for the privilege of serving. 

Public Comment:
There were no public comments.

Routine Business:
Approval of Meeting Minutes – 5/18/2017 – The meeting minutes from 5/18/2017 were unanimously approved by the Board.

Administrator’s Reports-
Business Administrator – Business Administrator Marc Matatia informed the Board that due to a scheduling conflict, the auditors would be beginning their work on Tuesday, June 20 instead of the following day as originally planned. 

Moving on to the District’s reserves, he circulated a list of reserve funds available to school, indicating the District currently has 6 funds in total, with three of these being funded and three more recently established ones empty.  He also circulated a summary of balances for three funded accounts along with some information regarding the monies that they are projecting to have which can be put towards some of these reserve accounts.  He noted that the Board had previously discussed finalizing these decisions in the month of July however the auditor has suggested that they wait until August because they will not have their final figures until the books have been closed out, sometime in July.  He reminded the Board that should they choose to fund the Repair Reserves, they would need voter approval.  Depending on how much the Board decides to fund this reserve, the monies would be earmarked and kept in the Unallocated Fund Balance, with the proposed funding to appear as a part of next year’s budget vote. 

Board member Mike Arone inquired as to the full cost of the water damage that has occurred in both schools over the course of the past few months. 

Mr. Matatia and Superintendent Teed responded that they would be able to provide this information at the next meeting, once all of the repairs have been completed.  Thankfully, the repairs were completely covered by insurance.

Board member Allyson Arbor inquired as to what they would do if the need arose for emergency repairs during the first part of the school year…before they were able to put the repair reserves to a public vote. 

She was informed that if there were an emergency, they could access the funds but would have to make a plan for paying them back.

Vice President Vernon wondered at what amount the District was required to go out for a RFP.

The answer was $30,000, although in certain situations, depending on the job and the circumstances, they could do it for less.

With regard to the reports as presented in the Board packets, Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer commented that at the previous meeting, they had discussed the idea of having a greater level of detail provided with regard to the O & R charges, and wondered if moving forward they might be able to itemize these by building and also indicate which charges were gas and which electric.

Superintendent Teed responded that they could look at the program they utilize to generate the reports and see if they could break them down by building.

K-12 Principal and Assistant Principal Reports- These were included in the Board packets.  There were no questions from the Board.

Superintendent’s Report – Superintendent Teed stated that she was very pleased to inform the Board that in looking at the end of year data they are projecting that over 60% of the graduating seniors will graduate with a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation.  Last year, it was 46%,.  They are extremely pleased with this.  Approximately 70% of the graduates will have a Regents Diploma following the STEM Pathway in Science.  Noting that this was very preliminary data, she went on to say that based upon data they had collected during the year they are projecting to have a 95% pass rate for the algebra Regents and 30% of these students will score at a mastery level 4 (85 or above.) These numbers do not include students who choose to re-take the test.

Preliminary results are also allowing them to project an approximate 95% pass rate on US History & Government, with 72% of these students scoring at the mastery level. 

Again, she reiterated that these figures are preliminary.

tudents in GGM “knocked it out of the park” in the Rockland Boulders reading challenge.  Staff found out about the challenge late and the students only had 12 days to complete it.  7 students read 1000 pages or more and earned an opportunity to throw out a first pitch and free tickets to the Rockland Boulders game on June 22.

Superintendent Teed then extended her congratulations to the GGM Geography Bee champions Chima Oparaji (1st place) Noah Haring (2nd) and Aiden Iazzetti & Grace Donnelly (tied for 3rd.)

The District is hoping to have both the Gymnasium and Auditorium painted this summer.  Colors are still being determined.  They are also looking at he possibility of replacing the mat on the stage. 

The following dates were then announced:
Friday – 6/16 – 8th Grade Graduation – 6pm
Monday – 6/19 – Kindergarten Graduation – 9am
Tuesday – 6/20 – 6th Grade Moving Up Ceremony – 9am       
Friday – 6/23 – High School Graduation – 6pm

OCSBA Update :
As there was no OCSBA meeting in June, there was no update given.
                              
Items for Action and/or Discussion:

Warrants, Transfers & Bids – There were none

CPSE/CSE – These were unanimously approved.

Acceptance of Non-Resident Students – The District is looking to accept 6 non-resident students for the 2017/2018 school year.  This past year there were 7, but one of them is graduating.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting these students.

Acceptance of School Budget Vote & Board of Education Election – The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the budget vote and election results.

Energy Purchase Resolution – The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting this resolution.

Cooperative Purchasing Resolution – The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting this resolution.

2017 Reserve Fund Balance Resolution – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving this resolution, which will allow them to fund the reserves as discussed earlier in the meeting. 

New Course Recommendations:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the following new elective courses for the 2017/18 school year as recommended:
General Music (7&8) Oceanography (9-12) 3D Art (9-12 and Advanced Engineering (9-12)

Personnel  - The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving two new instructional appointments and 27 non-instructional appointments.  Board member Meg Vaught noted that of the 27 non-instructional appointments, 16 of these appeared to be students or alumni who were seeking summer employment.  She inquired as to whether or not there was enough work to keep them all busy and specifically what they would be doing.
The Superintendent responded that the schedules varied and that many of them could only work during certain time periods over the summer due to other summer plans.  She further commented that there was plenty of work for them to do as the would be helping to scour and clean both buildings “from top to bottom” in preparation for next fall.  Having the students there to do a lot of the preliminary work is extremely helpful to the custodial staff.

Next the Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the resignation of Nancy Bourke as a substitute teacher.  Mrs. Bourke has been elected to the Board of Education, effective July 1, 2017.

The following Clubs for the 2017/18 school year were then unanimously accepted
Art Club (HS), National Junior Honor Society, Art (GGM),
Odyssey of the Mind, Basketball (GGM),Production Team,
Drama Club, Haunted Hallways, Senior Class Advisor, Drama Club (GGM), Spring Musical Director, Drama Club (HS) Spring Musical, STEM Advisor, Engineering Club, Student Council (GGM), Fitness Club, Student Council (HS), Garden Club, Yearbook (GGM), Homework Club, Yearbook (HS), Jazz Ensemble, National Honor Society.

as were the following Athletic Teams/Activities:

Baseball – Boys Varsity, Softball - Girls Varsity, Baseball - Boys Modified, Softball - Girls Modified, Basketball  – Girls Modified, Volleyball - Girls Modified, Basketball - Boys Modified, Volleyball - Girls Junior Varsity, Basketball - Boys Varsity,  Volleyball - Girls Varsity, Cross Country – Varsity, Wrestling – Varsity, Golf –Varsity, Skiing – Varsity, Soccer - Boys Modified, Soccer - Boys Junior Varsity

Mrs. Vaught noted that there did not seem to be any math oriented clubs in the works, noting that retiree Mrs. Tesser had run both Math Counts and the Problem Solving Club.  Noting that there seemed to have been a good level of interest in these clubs, she wondered if they planned to add any math based groups based on ability of the staff to lead them.

The answer was that they were hopeful to add new clubs if possible.  They are currently seeking an individual to fill this position. 

Resolution Employees Covered Under Item A- The Board voted in favor of adopting this resolution with 6 Board members voting in favor and member Adam Eirand abstaining.

Discussion: Follow Up Items – With regard to the discussion that took place during the May meeting with regard to the use of personal hand held devices in school, the Superintendent reported that Principal Schrammel has crafted a letter that will go out to parents prior to the start of the 2017/18 school year indicating that there is a new building level policy, to be enforced by all teachers, that during academic classes students are to place their devices in their bookbags and they may not access them at any point during instruction.  If teachers require the use of these devices it will be on an individual basis.  Students will have to follow this directive or they will be identified as having violated the policy and will be subject to the District’s Code of Conduct.

Vice President Vernon wondered whether the Code of Conduct needed to be updated to reflect this.

The answer was no, the current wording would allow for it.

Mrs. Arbor suggested that Mr. Schrammel include information about how to reach students in case of emergency within his letter and it was agreed that this would be done.
Next, following up on last month’s discussion of honor roll and high honor roll, Superintendent Teed noted that they had been asked to provide the correlation between students receiving these honors while also receiving Academic Intervention Services (AIS).  Commenting that she felt it was important to note that in the High School most students taking student level courses are recommended for AIS based on their Regents scores from the prior year, the NYS test scores, parent referrals and teacher referrals she reported the following:
Quarter 1 – 22% of students in AIS made the High Honor Roll
                    50% of students in AIS made the Honor Roll

Quarter 2 – 22% of students in AIS made the High Honor Roll
                    25% of students in AIS made the Honor Roll

Quarter 3 – 18% of students in AIS made the High Honor Roll
                    33% of students in AIS made the Honor Roll

The Superintendent further noted that not all students receiving AIS were receiving the services for one particular program.  Vice President Vernon added that Tuxedo was unique because they offered the services for multiple subjects during the course of the school day.

Public Comments:
John McNamara requested that when scheduling meetings, the Board consider other municipal meetings that might be occurring at the same time, noting that earlier that week they had conducted a Strategic Planning Workshop at the same time as the Town Board was meeting and it was impossible for residents to be two places at one time. 
Secondly he inquired as to whether the date of school board budget vote was mandated by the State or if the District had some control over it, noting that there had been some conversation around town amongst residents who were wondering if the vote could take place on a Saturday, which would allow for increased voter turn-out.

He was informed that the District did not have any control over this and that the vote was held annual on the 3rd Tuesday in May. 

The Board then adjourned into an Executive Session for the purpose of discussion contract negotiations.

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting, June 15, 2017

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Recognition of Retirees
V. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. Routine Business
1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes – 05/18/2017
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal
• K-12 Assistant Principal
3. Superintendent’s Report
4. OCSBA Update
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Acceptance of Non-Resident Students
4. Acceptance of School Budget Vote & Board of Education Election
5. Energy Purchase Resolution
6. Cooperative Purchasing Resolution
7. 2017 Reserve Fund Balance Resolution
8. New Course Recommendations
9. Personnel
10. Resolution Employees Covered Under Item A
11. Discussion: Follow Up Items
12. Proposed Executive Session re: Contract Negotiations
VIII. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
IX. Correspondence
X. Adjournment

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Tuxedo’s George Grant Mason students rock the Rockland Boulder’s reading challenge - 6/16/17

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Board of Education To Hold Strategic Planning Workshop June 12

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that, a special meeting of the Board of Education of the Tuxedo Union Free School District will be held on 6/12/17 at 7:00 PM in the Multipurpose Room of the George Grant Mason School.

The purpose of this meeting is to hold a workshop for strategic planning for the district. There will not be an opportunity for public comment.

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Tuxedo School District participates in ‘Jeans For Troops’ Dress Down Day - 6/7/17

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Board of Education Meeting May 18, 2017

The Board of Education met on Thursday, May 18 2017.  All members were present.

Public Comment:
On behalf of the Tuxedo Teacher’s Association and the Tuxedo Employees Union, Cynthia Lyons thanked the Board for putting together a budget that the community could support.

Approval of Minutes:
 Meeting minutes for 4/6/17 and 4/20/17 were unanimously approved.

Administrator’s Reports :
Business Administrator - Business Administrator Marc Matatia addressed concerns raised at the previous meeting with regard to Orange and Rockland charges that had been more excessive than normal.  He explained that there had been 4 additional invoices included that were submitted by the Utility Company late.  These 4 invoices were representative of the District’s 4 largest accounts.

Board president Diane Petrosky inquired as to whether or not the gas rates were higher during the winter months.

The answer was no.  The rates do not change but the energy consumption and the gas consumption for the boilers go up.

Mr. Matatia then thanked everyone, including the administration, staff and all those who came out to vote for the budget, which was approved the previous Tuesday.

K-12 Principal – There were no questions from the Board for Mr. Schrammel.

K-12 Assistant Principal – There were no questions from the Board for Mr. Sorenson

Superintendent’s Report - Superintendent Nancy Teed began her report by announcing that the school had been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Gene Haas Foundation.  The monies will be utilized to provide scholarships to students interested in entering a CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) training programs and or engineering programs at the post secondary level.  She thanked Mr. Margotta for his hard work in securing the grant.  Superintendent Teed also expressed her gratitude to the PTO for their assistance with the 7th & 8th Grade Student Council sponsored dance as well as sponsoring the 4-6 grade Spring Fling Dance, commenting “The kids had a ball and the pictures show it!”
Next, the Superintendent congratulated the winners of the 4-6 Spelling Bee, which occurred the previous day.  Chima Oparaji took first place, followed by Noah Herring in second and Mareena Zeigelbauer in third.

There will be a new process put into place within the next week to 10 days for students riding the late bus. Because there is a new driver on this route, the Director of Transportation is initiating a process to help make the transition as seamless as possible.  Students will be issued bus passes whenever they stay after school, which contain their name and address.  They will turn these passes into the driver when boarding the bus.  The Administration will also maintain a list of which students are riding this bus on any given day.  Also with regard to transportation, the Superintendent noted that there had been an unfortunate traffic accident early that morning and the resulting road closures and traffic prevented some of the busses from picking up children.  In light of this, she reminded all parents to please sign up for Mr. Schrammel’s REMIND notices.  Noting that phone calls are not always the best method of reaching parents for numerous reasons, she stated The REMIND system is a quick and easy way to keep parents informed.

Board member Meg Vaught inquired as to whether or not there might be any merit in setting up a REMIND that was dedicated specifically to transportation.  Noting that some parents might want to customize which types of information they received from the school, she further acknowledged that she wasn’t sure if something like this would be easily manageable or not.

Mr. Schrammel responded that he could look into establishing this, however everyone would have to sign up for it specifically.

Mrs. Vaught suggested it might be easier to launch it with the start of the new school year.

The Superintendent added that in the meantime, they would continue making phone calls as they did not want to neglect anyone who might not be signed up for the REMIND.

On May 23 Mr. Schrammel and Mr. Margotta will be attending the Orange and Rockland reception for the STEM grant of $1,000 that the District received late last month.

This year in addition to the Memorial Day Float, which is currently being built, there will be a combination of a High School and Elementary School District drum line in the annual Town Parade.  Students in grades K-6 have also been invited to march and must complete a permission slip in order to join.  Any Kindergarten students wishing to march must be accompanied by an adult.

The Administrative staff is hard at work on a Comprehensive Assessment Plan for the 2017/18 school year.  The plan is currently in a draft stage and is undergoing revisions as they seek input from the staff.  Full details will be provided as the plan comes together.

The District has not had a Comprehensive Assessment Plan before.  The Administration feels it will be a good way to monitor how they are assessing student growth.

Finally, the Superintendent reminded everyone of the following upcoming events:
Tuesday May 23 – High School Spring Concert – 7pm
Friday – May 26 – School IS IN SESSION (originally, this was supposed to be a vacation day but had to be reclaimed for instruction due to the number of snow days utilized)
 Monday – May 29 – Memorial Day Parade – Line up is approximately 10:45am
Friday June 2 – GGM Science Fair – 1:30pm
Tuesday June 6 – Modified Pizza/Award Session for Modified Sports Teams – 3-5:30pm
Thursday June 8 – National Honor Society Awards Night – 7pm
Friday June 9 – GGM Field Day
Tuesday – June 15 – Donuts with Dads – 8:45am
Friday – June 16 – 8th Grade Graduation – 6pm
Monday June 19 – Kindergarten Graduation – 9am
Tuesday June 20 – 6th Grade Moving Up Ceremony -9am
Friday – June 23 – High School Graduation – 6pm

OCSBA Update:
Board member Meg Vaught reported that the most recent OCSBA meeting had featured a presentation by Vihn Gerald, an Education Services Specialist with regard to the ASVAB/Career Exploration Program.  Essentially what this group does is to provide aptitude tests that are used principally by the Military for placement but can also be extremely helpful in helping students to determine which career paths they might want to follow. Students who take this test are not required to submit them to the Military nor do they have any obligation to the Military.  The testing can be extremely helpful in determining career paths for those students who may be unsure of which direction they should go in.  The organization comes into Districts and provides the test to interested students for free however they have been meeting some resistance from districts who view the testing as military recruitment.  

The Nominating Committee put forth nominations for Board leadership and there were some minor changes.  Mrs. Vaught noted that since the meeting had occurred, OCSBA President Ron Sommer had lost the election in his district and this would likely impact his roll on the OCSBA Board.  Additionally Karyn Meier will be replacing Susan Boyle as the Executive Director.

A new OCSBA website is expected in June.

New School Board member training will take place on June 13 and June 15.  A recommended list of materials for New Board members was provided and Mrs. Vaught gave this to the Board clerk.

With regard to the OCSBA budget, things are remaining relatively flat with only a few, minor increases.  There will be no increase in dues.

There was a roundtable discussion with regard to district budgets across the County.  All districts present at the meeting reported having come in under the cap and the majority of them seem to be hiring, which was recognized as a good thing.  Mrs. Vaught further noted that since this discussion had taken place, all of the budgets had been successfully passed in their Districts.

Finally, Mrs. Vaught made a plea for the District to consider sending some representation to the NYYSBA’s annual Conference, which will take place in Lake Placid this year.  The conference features several key note speakers, a huge educational expo with hundreds of vendors and Mrs. Vaught feels it would also be a great opportunity for Tuxedo to network with other districts as well as key leaders in education for this region.

Board President Diane Petrosky  inquired as to who the first Vice President nominated to the OCSBA Board was, noting that it was this individual who would likely take over for Mr. Sommer.

Mrs. Vaught responded that she did not know the name off hand.
With regard to the aptitude testing, Vice President Joanne Vernon inquired as to whether or not parent notification would be expected in order for students to take the test.

The answer was yes

President Petrosky noted that previously there had been another organization offering a similar test, however the issue they had encountered was that the organization was keeping the information rather than providing it to the students.  She wondered whether this had been addressed.

Mrs. Vaught responded that it had not.  She provided a copy of the presentation to the Board clerk.

President Petrosky wondered if they might be able to investigate this further, reiterating that previously the keeping of information on students had been a discomfort to many parents.  She asked Mr. Schrammel if he would investigate the organization and obtain some information in this regard.

He agreed to do so.

Warrants, Transfers & Bids : There were none

CPSE/CSE – These were passed unanimously

Review & Yearly extension of Board Policy #4110 (Non-Resident Tuition, Student

Payment, Student Attendance): Following minimal discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of the extension.

Non-Resident  Tuition Rate for 2017/18 School Year : Superintendent Teed explained that based upon policies established by New York State as well as the Board of Education policy the Tuxedo non-resident rate is calculated for grades K-6 and 7-12 and they are as follows: K-6 - $11,108 and  7-12 - $14,312.  The increase is $149 in GGM and $192 in the High School.

Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer inquired as to what the increases were based on.
The answer was that policy dictates that the District use the New York State formula.  At minimum the increase must be commensurate with the tax rate increase that is incurred by the District residents.  Mrs. Teed is aware that there are surrounding Districts that are lowering their tuition rates.  She feels they must be supplementing this with other funding.
Mr. Matatia concurred, further explaining that the District begins with what they receive from the State as an estimated non-resident tuition rate and then they remove some fixed costs.  The number actually came in lower than what has been presented however, Board Policy dictates that the rate must increase by the tax rate increase at a minimum.

This is why the increases have occurred.

Vice President Vernon added that the District also offers scholarships to non-resident students who qualify, which allows them to offset this.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the rate.

APPR Lead Evaluator Certification: Each year the district is required to recertify the evaluators for both teachers and building Administrators.    The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Nancy Teed, Jason Schrammel and Eric Sorenson as evaluators for classroom teachers and Nancy Teed as the evaluator for building principals. 

Proposed Board of Education Meeting Schedule for 2017/18:This was unanimously approved.

Senior Citizens Tax Exemption:  Superintendent Teed read aloud the resolution.  It was then approved unanimously by the Board.

Real Property Tax Exemption for Volunteer Workers: Superintendent Teed read aloud the resolution.  It was then approved unanimously by the Board.

Alternative Veterans Exemption and Exemption and Gold Star Parents Resolution: Superintendent Teed read aloud the resolution.  It was then approved unanimously by the Board.

Presentation/Discussion Honor Roll/High Honor Roll – Benchmark Testing:
As per the Board’s request at their previous meeting, school Principal Jason Schrammel provided the Board with a presentation detailing the criteria for Honor Roll and High Honor Roll in both GGM and the High School including a comparison with surrounding districts and their criteria for the same.  The presentation also included information regarding the benchmark testing that is employed in the district.

Following the presentation, there was a discussion.

Vice President Vernon inquired as to what Map testing was specifically, noting that she wanted to make sure that everyone was aware what it entails.  She further commented that she was familiar with some of the software Mr. Schrammel had mentioned and wondered which one they would be using.

Mr. Schrammel responded that they had chosen NWA.  He also noted that 5 years ago the district had subscribed to NWA and maps testing and therefore, they are familiar with the software. 

Vice President Vernon inquired about the software’s alignment to the standards.

Mr. Schrammel replied that it was completely aligned to the standards.

Vice President then wanted to know, how the District would handle their AP schedule should they chose to move towards quarterly testing as opposed to mid-terms and finals.
Mr. Schrammel noted that this was something they needed to discuss with the teachers.  He suggested that for an AP given in May, that particular class might have to be run in trimesters.  In this case, quarterly testing would be used for the Regents level students and he feels that he could “chop up” the AP to fit the model. 

Commenting that she understood the holistic approach, Vice President Vernon inquired about the arts and other programs that might be factored in, specifically in terms of their value credit-wise.  Is an art class or a music class worth the same number of credits as one of these other classes?

Mr. Schrammel explained that they were all weighted and graded the same.

Superintendent Teed interjected that the weighting of an AP course is high than that of a typical course.

Vice President Vernon responded that they were also discussion the elementary school, where there was not much room for electives.  She further stated that she felt there was an often misunderstood piece, whereby people didn’t understand how it was possible for Special Education students to achieve honor roll.  “Obviously it is important that students be given the same opportunities to have their achievements based on their programs,” she commented further suggesting that she felt it was important that people be aware of this.  

Superintendent Teed agreed, commenting that for students with IEPs (Individualized Education Plan) their programs are designed to level the playing field so that they can achieve their goals.

“They still take the same 3-8 testing and Regents exams and they still have to get 65 or higher to pass and 85 or higher for mastery,” added Mr. Schrammel. “There is a safety net of a 55, but our goal is always 65 or higher and 85 for mastery.”

Mrs. Vaught wondered about the correlation between the number of students who are receiving Academic Intervention services and the number of students achieving honor roll and high honor roll.

Superintendent Teed responded that they could get this data, but she cautioned that not all students who are recommended for AIS are actually in AIS because their parents opt them out.

Mrs. Vaught responded that she understood this, adding that similarly, some of the students are opted into AIS without having met the criteria as based on State Testing.

Vice President Vernon added that AIS was not a Special Education oriented program either.

Commenting that she understood that each student had their own individual situation, she noted that when she took a step back and looked at things in “general terms” it doesn’t add up to her that a student could be receiving intervention services, presumably (although not all the time) because their test scores were at a certain level and yet at the same time that student is able to achieve the High Honor roll.  She further commented that she was not suggesting that this was not right, based on the data that had just been presented, just that it seemed odd.  She agreed with both Mr. Schrammel and Vice President Vernon that a holistic approach is a good one in forming well-rounded students, but she expressed some concern with the way in which electives are being weighted.  Using her own children as examples, Mrs. Vaught noted that chorus and orchestra in the high school take place during a portion of the daily lunch period.  She wondered how a course that spans roughly 40 minutes over the course of a week could have the same weight as one of the core subjects that the students are taking every day and which require a great deal of work and studying.   Noting that both subjects were equally important in terms of a well-rounded education, she questioned the decision to weight these courses equally given the amount of time and effort is being given to each proportionally. 

Vice President Vernon commented that she felt there was great value in providing the intervention and giving students the support they needed and that if the students are responding well, then they will be achieving. 

Superintendent Teed responded that they had discussed several options as follows:

Eliminate the Honor Roll and High Honor Roll altogether

Eliminate numerical and letter grades for Elementary school students (5-6) in all specials except Spanish.  These grades could be replaced with Pass/Fail and Pass with Honors

Eliminate the numerical and letter grades for High School Students in PE, Band, Chorus and Orchestra.  These grades could be replaced with Pass/Fail and Pass with Honors.

Vice President Vernon wondered how this might impact student applications for colleges. 

Mrs. Teed responded that if a particular student was applying in the area of Humanities, this raised an important issue as they would not have numerical grades attached to these courses.  She further commented that it was the recommendation of the administration that keep things as they currently are in the high school.  Tuxedo is in line with other high school programs.  If they want to consider changing the elementary school system for grades 5 and 6 then they could consider it.

Board member Allyson Arbor pointed out that when applying to colleges, the school sends a high school transcript and the colleges and universities can see what went in to making up a individual student’s GPA.  The colleges will know what derived the grades.  She further commented that she agreed they should keep things the same if this is what other schools were doing, but wondered if there was also a way to have an honor roll system to recognize the students who were excelling in the core subjects.  She proposed “honor roll with distinction.”

Vice President Vernon suggested that the trouble with this would be that other students with different strengths would not be equally recognized.

Mrs. Arbor suggested that this could be accounted for by adding distinctions for different areas of study.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer commented that she felt that the kids took pride in achieving honor roll and high honor roll and that it was important to them.  She feels it is important that it be kept it and that if all of the districts around Tuxedo are using the same criteria, they should probably stick with “the norm.”  She further questioned the decision to suggest as an option eliminating numerical and letter grades for Elementary school students (5-6) in all specials except Spanish.  Why Spanish?

Mr. Schrammel explained that Tuxedo is one of the few area schools that offer Spanish as a language at the elementary school level.  They are pushing the envelope at the 8th grade level when they take the proficiency exam and are setting them up to take college level prep courses in Spanish at a high school level.  They want to continue this rigor piece so that the students can take college level Spanish as a possible Junior in High School.
Vice President Vernon states that the one option that had not been named was to remain as-is with a continued focus on the rigor and the work that has been done with the staff in terms of monitoring that performance. 

Mrs. Vaught thanked Mr. Schrammel for compiling all of the information in his report.

Adding on to what Mrs. Arbor had stated earlier, Mrs. Zeigelbauer  suggested that there might be some value in assigning distinctions in certain areas of study.

The Superintendent stated that she felt they needed to be cautious in looking at the different grade levels and distinguishing different areas as there were bound to be some kids who were more athletic or musical.  She thinks it is a great idea to recognize kids and to this end they have awards at the end of the year.

Commenting that she didn’t know if it would be possible, Mrs. Vaught wondered if theymight be able to provide parents with two GPA numbers…one based on all classes and one based on just the core classes.

Superintendent Teed responded that these were the courses that they hoped parents were looking at when they received their children’s report cards.

Review & Discussion of Policy #4408 (Bring Your Own Device):
Superintendent Teed comment that questions had been raised with regard to students bringing their devices to school and possibly utilizing those devices during class time when they shouldn’t be.  There are times when students are allowed to use their devices, such as lunch time, but students should not be using them during class time.  She further noted that there are parents who are texting their students throughout the day.  The District wants to partner with parents, but they do feel that it is inappropriate to be texting back and forth in class.  In looking at the policy and reviewing It and talking with the administration and faculty, they have learned that there some faculty members who collect phones at the beginning of class.  She thinks this is a good idea and is not sure there is a need to change the policy.  Rather she suggested that it would be up to the Administration to work with the faculty to enforce the current policy and hold them accountable.

Vice President Vernon wondered whether the practice of collecting cell phones at the beginning of class would be enforced across the board moving forward.

Mr. Schrammel responded that in discussing this topic with faculty and specifically the possibility of a building policy that dictated that during tests and quizzes students would be required to put their cell phones in a designated spot, the issue of inequity was brought up.  For students who do not have devices, this will become a known fact.

Therefore, the designated spot would have to be a basket or a bucket where the devices were concealed.   With this policy in place, parents who felt the need to reach their children during the school day would have to contact Mr. Schrammel directly.

Vice President Vernon added that perhaps they should send a reminder home to parents as well to encourage them to refrain from texting during the academic portion of the day.  She feels a gentle reminder like this would be beneficial.

Mr. Schrammel agreed.

Mrs. Vaught pointed out that students in the High School had chrome books and active email addresses.  If necessary, their parents can reach them that way.  She further commented that she really liked the idea of having the devices collected before class.  Reading from the policy she stated “each teacher has the right to allow or disallow the use of mobile devices to support student learning or achievement during instructional time as he or she deems appropriate.”  She wondered how they went about determining the threshold for appropriate and the once determined, how to they follow through and make sure that it is being enforced.  Referencing experiences she has had with her own children, she commented that sometimes, when they have finished class work, the students are allowed to use their devices during free-time and have the ability to surf the web.  As a parent, this concerns her.  Conversely, in other classes students are permitted to use their devices as calculators, which is arguably a use that is directly supportive to instruction.  Where do they draw the line?  She further commented that although she might be antiquated in her thinking, she thought it might be a good idea to discourage the use of devices during lunch and encourage face to face communication and conversation.  She suggested that perhaps they could initiate “device-free lunch” a couple of times a week in an effort to promote real time communication.

Mr. Schrammel responded that there are students who engage and play cards with one another, however he feels there is something to be said for putting on music and taking a mental break as well.

Superintendent Teed commented that she thought in asking this question it was important that they allow teachers some flexibility because there are some classes in which the teachers utilize the devices.  There are kids that cannot manipulate the chrome book as easily as their device because they are used to the device.  She does not recommend taking the devices away from the students.

Vice President Vernon responded that she had a little bit of difficulty with this.  The chrome book is what the students will eventually be tested on if and when the district moves to electronic testing.  In her view it would have to be an unbelievably rare issue for a child to have to use their personal handheld device vs. using the chrome book. 

“I am speaking in terms of researching some items in certain classes,” responded the Superintendent.

“I think the benefits outweigh the negatives in terms of utilizing instructional time with the chrome books and if there is a child who is deficient in that area, I think we have to support them and make the call about the phones,” replied the Vice President.  “There’s tons of research out there about the use of devices.  We are not saying that the kids are never to use them.  We all use them.  I do think that the appropriateness sis using what we have and what we are allocating as a valuable technology to utilize in the classroom.  If they have the device in their hand, they could also be looking at whatever topic they might choose, even while they are looking up research.  We know it because we are guilty of it.”  She went on to say that in one of her daughter’s college classes, the students are not permitted to take notes on their own devices because the professor doesn’t want them doing anything else during class.  Instead they are required to use pen and pencil.  She suggested that sometimes the question as to why the students need their hand held devices during instruction exists.  Why do they need them 24/7?  She understands the fact that they should give teachers the opportunity to manage their classrooms, but the bottom line is that kids are very resourceful in getting around it.  She is sure that the administration will monitor this topic closely because it came up as an area of concern and they need to minimize those situations where students are utilizing the devices inappropriately.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer commented that she would be in support of a policy  that during instructional time the devices were removed unless the teacher deemed them necessary as part of what they are doing. She feels that they should be collected at the beginning of every class.

The Superintendent responded that this is what she had been suggesting.

Vice President Vernon commented that the idea of collecting them bothered her.
Board member Mike Arone agreed, stating he felt that students should be told to put them away.

Schrammel commented that at the end of the day, students would be able to text under their desks without teachers seeing.  A diligent student will be able to get around the rules.  Collecting the phones removes this possibility.  The equity piece also needs to be considered.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer suggested that it would come down to the honor system, as kids would be required to put their devices in a basket (or some such other collection spot) and if they did not do this, and were in turn caught with the device, there would have to be consequences.

Mr. Schrammel agreed.

Mrs. Vaught suggested there was a window of liability when kids posted to Social Media from school during the day.  Earlier that week she saw such a post depicting a child’s lunch.

It was argued that lunch was free time and the devices were allowed then.

“That might be true,” commented Mrs. Arbor “it’s on the property though….or is just not pictures of people, but you can take pictures of your lunch?”

Mr. Schrammel responded that they could look at DASA rules and regulations (Dignity for All Students Act), which is also something to be looked at.    “By removing that device, it might impede an individual from bullying…or not taking pictures of their lunch but of a classmate or something of that nature.  You can remove that aspect as well.  It’s a slippery slope and that is the discussion that we are having…especially that it was brought to light.”

“So we will keep it at the building level directive,” commented the Superintendent
Mr. Schrammel added that perhaps instead of collection, the devices could be kept in backpacks, which would then be left at the front of the room.  From there they would need to rely on the honor system.  If an individual is caught with the device in their pocket, then they would have to go see either himself or Mr. Sorenson.  If the devices are kept in backpacks at the front of the room, this takes away the liability involved with collecting the devices.  He feels that this might be a good way to bring everyone on to the same page and it is a conversation that he will be having with the staff.

Mr. Arone inquired as to when Mr. Schrammel anticipated something like this going into effect.

Mr. Schrammel responded that he could begin having conversations with the staff as early as the next day.

Mrs. Arbor wondered whether there would be any sort of written policy in terms of something that could be communicated to parents.

The answer was yes.

Discussion – Strategic Plan: The Board will conduct a Strategic Plan workshop with Terry Reynolds from OU BOCES on June 12 at 7pm.   Mrs. Teed provided the Board with sample plans from other districts for the Board to review in the meantime.

Personnel – The personal instructional appointments included Sharon Fox as Library Media Specialist beginning in the 2017/18 school year, a volunteer custodial substitute, a volunteer baseball coach and the resignation of a greeter.

Mrs. Arbor wondered whether the volunteer baseball coach was currently a teacher at the school.

The answer was no.

Mrs. Arbor then wondered whether anyone could volunteer for positions like this.

The Superintendent responded that there was a process that they need to go though, including fingerprinting and training, but the district does accept volunteers.

Vice President Vernon noted that the Library Media Specialist would be replacing both the Librarian and the Technology teacher.  It is newly combined position.

Mr. Schrammel added that they were really excited about Sharon.  She is a literature buff who builds computers on the side.  She writes code. She likes robotics.  He feels that she is that blend of what a Library Media Specialist should be and the District is very excited to have her.  She comes from a much larger school district (Middletown, Newburgh) and she is very excited to be in the classroom with our students.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer inquired as to what the delta was between Sharon’s salary and the two salaries she was replacing.

The Superintendent responded that she would follow up with this information as soon as possible.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the personnel items.

Public Comments:
Mary Graetzer commented that listening to the conversation about the handheld devices, she finds it appalling that any personal devices are allowed in the school.  “My parents couldn’t get in touch with me during the school day, and we all lived just fine,” she added.  She further comment that what she was really appalled about was the comment that some of the students didn’t get around very well on the chrome books and so it is easier for them to use their phones. “Then teach them, damn it,” she stated.  “They are in school and they should be taught how to be very conversant with the chrome books.
Superintended Teed responded that she had been referring to Special Education students with special needs when she made this comment.

“Ok, well you didn’t say that,” responded Mrs. Graetzer.

John McNamara inquired whether or not the Board had built in an additional meeting for the purpose of adopting the budget that is not at the budget deadline as a part of their meeting schedule.

It was explained that the budget calendar is separate from the meeting schedule that was approved earlier in the evening.

Speaking to the issue of handheld devices, he then stated that he felt it was a bad idea for any employee of the School District to be touching anybody else’s “$800 devices” and having them in their possession where something could go wrong, which would open the door to accusations of damage or sending emails etc.  He suggested that if the devices were going to be removed they might want to initiate a locker system.  If parents need to get in touch with their student for any reason, they should go through the Main Office.
Finally, referencing Mr. Schrammel’s report on the honor roll and high honor roll, Mr. McNamara noted that the charts had been presented by building.  He wondered whether the other schools that he had used for comparison had also been broken down by building.

Mr. Schrammel responded that the high school data he had presented encompassed 7-12.  The comparison of schools was broken down from elementary schools (Washingtonville, Port Jervis, Chester for example have a k-4 program and then a 5-6 program) to high schools.  When looking at other high schools, he noted that where there were 7-8 middle school programs, they utilized the same standards as the high schools in their district.  It is an apples-to-apples comparison.

Mike Reardon commented that he had a friend/client who is an executive at Stryker and he had reported that the High School had visited Stryker and that there was an incident with 2 children and as a result, Tuxedo High School is no longer welcome at Stryker.  He wondered whether there was any truth to this.

There was a brief disagreement with regard  to when the High School had visited Stryker.
“At the end of the day, did Stryker inform the High School that they are not allowed to go there anymore?” inquired Mr. Reardon.

“No Sir, I was never informed of that,” replied Mr. Schrammel.

“Ok.  On the record you are saying that.  Ok,” replied Mr. Reardon.

He further inquired as to whether or not there had been an incident.  Mr. Schrammel replied that they had had a conversation with some students with regard to something that might have happened.  Mr. Reardon then wanted to know if those students were in 7th or 8th grade.

“No comment,” responded Mr. Schrammel.

Mr. Reardon then went on to suggest that 7th and 8th graders did not belong with 9-12.

He feels it is a bad combination and that the younger kids are hurting the older kids. 

“You have to understand this,” He stated.  ‘Everybody acts like it is not a big deal, but it is a big deal.”  He further suggested that the immature behavior of the younger kids would have an impact on the older kids, who might one day be looking for a job.  He went on to suggest that if the High School were to close and Tuxedo children were sent to either Suffern or Mahwah, then taxes would go down and the kids would receive a better, well rounded education.

Mrs. Vaught responded that historically, prior to the construction of the addition, grades 7 and 8 had been encompassed in the high school for decades without any problems.

Mr. Reardon wondered whether during that time period the children were all going on fieldtrips together.

Mrs. Vaught responded that she did not know for sure, but she didn’t think so.  She acknowledged that Mr. Reardon might have a point with regard to the trips, but maintained that combining the grade levels in the school building itself was not an issue.
Mr. Reardon asserted that there were two different levels of maturity at play and what might be beneficial to the 7th and 8th graders could hurt the 11th and 12th grade students.

Mrs. Vaught argued that in her view, this depended on circumstance.

President Petrosky thanked Mr. Reardon for his comments, stating that she was not going to comment on any specific incident but assuring him that the administration was well aware of these types of concerns and were re-examining how the trips are handled.

Discussion – Follow-up Items:
Superintendent Teed recapped some items that will be followed up on at the next meeting.

The first was the correlation between students receiving academic intervention services and those who make honor roll and high honor roll.

The second was a follow up on the “Bring Your Own Device” policy.  The administration will work on a building level plan and inform the Board as well as putting together written communication to the parents with regard to this issue.

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting May 18, 2017

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business
1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes - (04/06/17 & 04/20/17)
2. Administrators' Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal
• K-12 Assistant Principal
3. Superintendent's Report
4. OCSBA Update
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Review & Yearly Extension of Board Policy# 4110 (Non-Resident Tuition
Student Payment, Student Attendance)
4. Non- Resident Tuition Rate for 2017 /18 School Year
5. APPR Lead Evaluator Certification
6. Proposed Board of Education Meeting Schedule for 2017 /18
7. Senior Citizens Tax Exemption
8. Real Property Tax Exemption for Volunteer Workers
9. Alternative Veterans Exemption and Gold Star Parents Resolution
10. Presentation/Discussion Honor Roll/High Honor Roll-Benchmark Testing
11. Review & Discussion of Policy# 4408 (Bring Your Own Device)
12. Discussion - Strategic Plan
13. Discussion Follow Up Items
14. Personnel
15. Proposed Executive Session re: Contract Negotiations
VII. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
Vill. Correspondence
IX. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Union Free School District Budget Vote and Election Results

Tuxedo voters went to polls on Tuesday, May 16 with the following results:

The Tuxedo Union Free School Budget was passed by a vote of 248-202.

Nancy Bourke will be the newest member of the Board of Education with 274 votes.

There were 10 write in candidates as follows:

Joe Rickard – 7 votes
Kathy Norris – 3 Votes
Michael Bruno – 2 Votes
Tara Schultz – 2 Votes
Paul DiPaolo – 1 Vote
Robin McFadden – 1 Vote
Michael Reardon – 1 Vote
Fidelis Curry – 1 Vote
Steve Debor – 1 Vote
My Dog Chester – 1 Vote

A total of 20 absentee ballots were received with the following outcome:
16 – Yes
4 – No

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Board of Education Budget Hearing, May 9, 7pm

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that a Public Hearing of the qualified voters of the Tuxedo Union Free School District, Towns of Tuxedo and Warwick, Orange County, New York, will be held in the George Grant Mason Elementary School Multipurpose Room in said district on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., prevailing time, for the presentation of the 2017-2018 budget.

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Tuxedo Union Free School District Survey Comments

At their most recent meeting on April 20, the Board of Education announced that upon the advice of their attorney they would not be releasing the comment section from the recent community wide survey that they conducted earlier this year.  It was however noted that the comments would be made available to public via FOIL in the business office at the school.

TPFYI has foiled the comments and they appear here.

The complete survey results are available for review on the school’s website: http://tuxedoufsd.org/

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26,189 pages read in four weeks - 4/25/17

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Board of Education Meeting April 20, 2017

The Board of Education met on Thursday, April 20 at 7pm.

Board member Adam Eirand was absent.

The meeting began with a moment of silence in honor of beloved bus driver Ed Kealer who passed away recently.  Superintendent Teed noted that if anyone wished to send condolence cards to Mr. Kealer’s family, they could send them directly to her attention and she would forward them on to his family.
 
Recognition of Valedictorian and Salutatorian:
Superintendent Teed introduced the Valedictorian for the class of 2017, Arik Mozejko.  Arik was awarded scholarship monies by the New York State Education Department as a recipient of the 2017 Academic Excellence Scholarship Award for his overall Regents exam average.  During his time at George F. Baker he has amassed a sizable resume of 13 AP or honors level courses and was one of the few students who pursued the Mandarin Chinese program, where he received a score of 100 on the Mandarin Chinese Checkpoint B Exam.  Arik has been researching and visiting many colleges, but has expressed the most interest in SUNY Stony Brook.  He was also awarded both the Presidential Scholarship and the Valedictorian Scholarship.  He is a member of the National Honor Society and recently lent his voice to the High School’s production of Beauty and The Beast in the role of Narrator.  Arik was also one of two students from Tuxedo who received the Orange County Scholar Athlete Award.  He plans to become an astrophysicist. 

Superintendent Teed offered her congratulations to Arik and his family on this tremendous accomplishment.  He was presented with a pin and photos were taken.

Next, the Superintendent introduced the 2017 Salutatorian, Jeremy Dedel.  Jeremy plans on attending Manhattan College in the fall, where he was awarded the highest recognition to students for academic achievement and will receive a Merit Scholarship in the amount of $26,000 per year.  He is planning to pursue computer science as his major and in his spare time will join the Jazz Club.   This year Jeremy was also awarded a $500 scholarship from the New York State Education Department t as a recipient of the 2017 Academic Excellence Scholarship Award for his overall Regents exam average.  During his time at George F. Baker, Jeremy has taken the most academically challenging course load available, including a total of 12 AP courses, 4 of which were taken during his senior year.  He is currently a member of Tuxedo’s Jazz Ensemble as well as the Band, where he plays the Piano and the Trombone.  He is also a highly regarded member of Tuxedo’s Production Team, a member of the National Honor Society and President of the Student Council.  This year he is also completing an internship at Live Technologies. 

Superintendent Teed offered her congratulations to Jeremy and his family on this tremendous accomplishment.  He was presented with a pin and photos were taken.

Proposed Executive Session – regarding personnel matter:
The Board then entered into an Executive Session for 45 minutes for the purpose of discussing a specific personnel matter.

Public Comment:
Joe Rickard urged the Board not to move forward with the budget currently before them, suggesting it was a contrived rather than a controlled document. 

Instead, he requested that they ask the business manager to provide a couple of cases where they would have a flat budget and another one where there would be a reduction in year over year spending. He feels that the proposed budget was engineered by the district administration to gain a year over year budget increase without really managing or controlling the budget. He feels that the Board should consider giving the taxpayers a break for a change.

He further pointed out that enrollment since “the Greenwood Lake exodus” continues to decline.   He feels that planning assumption made by the Superintendent of 236 students for next year is incorrect based on what some parents have told him. He thinks there will be less.  The District is receiving more in State aid.  They maintain 125 employees for 236 students!

They have 16 buses that can accommodate over 500 students.

He believes strongly that there are lots of areas within the line items provided where cuts can be made and that the Board needs to get more details.  In his view, the District should be spending less, not more, on athletics and extra curricular activities due to less students. Additionally, he suggested that there are excess funds within the reserve funds and budget to help reduce the budget. The district does not need to maintain reserves in excess of 4% as required by the State.

Administrators’ Reports:
Board President Diane Petrosky inquired as to whether there were any questions from the Board with regard to the Administrator’s Reports, which were included in the monthly Board Packet.

Speaking to the Business Administrator’s report, Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer inquired about 10 checks, all written on February 15 to Orange and Rockland, spanning two different bank accounts and totaling over $18,000.  Noting that the explanation in the report read “Traffic Light” for all 10 transactions, she wondered what the funds were actually for.

Consulting Business Administrator John Steiger explained that GGM and GFB issue checks from two separate accounts.  The description of  “Traffic Light” is the longest one that the system will allow them to enter when putting together the report. 

Mrs. Zeigelbauer thanked him for this information and again inquired what the charges were for, noting the large number of checks that had been issued.

Mr. Steiger responded that he did not know the specifics off hand, but they would look into it and provide the information.

Next Mrs. Zeigelbauer inquired about 13 instances where it appeared that checks had been issued without purchase orders.

Superintendent Teed responded that they have been working hard to stay on top of this, but occasionally one slipped through the cracks.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer recalled that the Superintendent had only recently initiated a new policy with regard to this specific issue.  She further commented that if there had been only 1 or 2, she probably would not have made a note of it, however 13 seemed a large number to have slipped through, given the fact that a new policy had recently been put in place. 
Superintendent Teed agreed with this assessment and stated that she would look into it further in an attempt to assess what had happened.

Addressing Principal Schrammel and Vice Principal Sorenson, Board member Meg Vaught noted that in Mr. Sorenson’s report for the month of March, he had referenced 57 students grades 9-12 who earned either Honor Roll or High Honor Roll for the second quarter.  She further noted that the total number of students enrolled for grades 9-12 was 77, which means that only 20 students are not achieving these honors.  She wondered how these numbers correlated with those from last year at this time. 

Mr. Schrammel indicated that he did not know these numbers off hand.

Indicating that this was understandable, Mrs. Vaught stated that was curious to know what the percentage of Honors Students was in correlation with the number of Students who failed to pass their regents exams.

Before Mr. Schrammel could respond, Superintendent Teed interjected, suggesting that the administration could put together a presentation detailing the system by which honor roll and high honor roll are awarded and present it to the Board at their meeting in May.
Mrs. Vaught responded that this would great and thanked Mrs. Teed for the offer.

Board member Allyson Arber wondered how other districts awarded honor roll and high honor roll and suggested that this might be valuable information to include with the presentation.

Noting that the regents exams were fast approaching, Mrs. Vaught then inquired about the benchmark testing, wondering how this was going and specifically how the data was being analyzed and what measures were being taken as a result to ensure that students performed better on this years tests.

Mr. Schrammel responded that he, Mr. Sorenson and the teaching staff were analyzing the benchmark data and he felt that the process was going well and that they have been able to detect some issues and ultimately implement assistance where needed via A.I.S. (Academic Intervention Services) It is an ongoing initiative and they are making changes and improvements to it as they move along.

Mrs. Vaught wanted to know if it was only those students who were enrolled with A.I.S. who were receiving extra help as a result of the initiative.

The answer was no.  Students across the Board are receiving help and remediation.

Mrs. Arber noted that Mr. Schrammel had made reference to Field Testing in his report.  She wondered if he could provide a little more detail as to what this was.

Mr. Schrammel explained that there are certain test questions that the State wants to  “test out” on the population before they become a part of the test and therefore schools are chosen to participate in this type of testing.  Selected high school groups are given specific blocks of time for this (2+ hours) The testing can also take place at the elementary level, and this year, in addition to Juniors and Seniors, 6th graders in Tuxedo will be Field Testing as well.  The field-testing is mandated. 

Board member Mike Arone inquired about Special Education costs.  He wondered specifically how many students in the district were receiving services, how many teachers had been allocated. and whether they could project how much money would be spent on Special Education in the following year.

It was explained that the amount of monies spent on special education relied upon a number of factors including the specifics of each situation and the amount of aid the District receives from the State.  There is a specific formula used to determine this.   At this point, the District does not know how much money they will receive for next year.

Mrs. Vaught asked whether they knew the percentage of students who had opted out of ELA State Testing.

Superintendent Teed responded that 14% of the students had opted out.

Mrs. Vaught then wanted to know what the students who opted out were doing during the time their classmates were taking the tests.

Mr. Schrammel responded that 7 and 8 graders who opted out ran through their regular class day while students in grades 3-6 go to the Multipurpose room where they work on independent work that they bring themselves.

Mrs. Vaught wondered whether the 7 and 8 graders who took the test were missing curriculum that the non-testers were receiving.

Mr. Schrammel assured her that they were not.  The non-testers are receiving remediation and review.

Finally, Mrs. Vaught asked if there were a policy in place with regard to regular classroom tests taking place during the same week that the State Tests are given.

The answer was no.  There is no such policy in place.

Superintendent’s Report:
Superintendent Teed began by congratulating the District Music teachers, Mrs. Kurian and Mr. Chan for all of their efforts as Tuxedo was named one of the 2017 best communities for music education by the National Association of Music Merchant’s Foundation.  This is a huge accomplishment and the district is extremely proud.  

During the month of March the Board approved the expenditure of up to $3,000 in order to secure a surveyor in order to have the Euvard property and the surrounding area surveyed.  The District received multiple estimates and has hired Robert S. Murray to complete the survey at a cost of $2,750.  This is in no way intended to disrupt the building that is happening in that area.  The District would just like to clearly define the boundaries of their property. 

The Healthcare contribution increase for the District is 18% for next year.  The Superintendent has been researching options and having conversations with multiple people.  Becoming self-insured is, in her view, not a feasible plan as from what she has heard the District would need a minimum of 500 employees in order to go this route.  “Even with 500, it’s very very risky,” she added, further noting that the New York State Health Plan had come in higher than their current plan for next year.  They will, however, continue to explore options.

The Superintendent is continuing to work with Mrs. Reynolds at Orange Ulster Boces on the District’s strategic plan with goals and measurable objectives.  She commented that she had been working together with her administrative team to develop the goals and they are aligning them to their Professional Development plan.  Their focus is on increasing student achievement K-12, providing high quality professional development to the staff, maintaining safe and technology rich innovative learning environment and continuing to improve community relations.  The Superintendent will be scheduling a meeting with Mrs. Reynolds for the purpose of reviewing all of this information before it is formally presented to the Board for their review as well. 

The Lady Black Knight basketball players from West Point visited students at GGM on April 20.  This is one of the nicest rewards the students receive for all of their hard work participating in the Lady Knight’s Reading Challenge and placing in the top spots in comparison to other students in Orange County.

The District would like to initiate a co-ed intramural club this spring, running five days a week for different grade levels; 2 days for 5-6 grades, 2 days for 7-8 and 1 day for 9-12.  The intent is to give all of the students an opportunity to get involved with competitive sports and develop their interests in these areas.

Mrs. Arber wondered if this would be taking place throughout the entire year or on a seasonal basis only. 

Superintendent Teed responded that it would run until June only.  They want to assess the interest rates and analyze the availability of the gym before making further plans.

While on the topic of athletics, the Superintendent noted that the Varsity baseball team has had 2 wins and 1 loss this season while the softball team has not been able to kick off their season due to rainy weather.

She then noted the following key events, which are coming up in the near future:

Friday April 21 – 7-9pm – PTO Spring Fling for grades 4-6
Thursday April 27 – Kindergarten Screening at GGM.
Saturday April 29 – All County Concerts for elementary band, chorus and orchestra
as well as vocal jazz at Newburgh Free Academy
May 2 – May 2 – New York State Math Assessments grades 3-8
Thursday May 5 – Muffins for Mom in GGM
Friday May 12 – Grandparents Tea
Tuesday May 16 – K-3 Spring concert – 1:45pm / 4-6 Spring Concert 6:30pm
The budget vote will also occur on Tuesday May 16 from 2-9pm in the Multi-purpose room at GGM.

Mrs. Arber inquired as to whether the Superintendent had received any feedback on the sports program for next fall, specifically the merger with the Chester school district, in terms of general interest levels.

The Superintendent responded that she had not received a lot of comments from the students yet, although with regard to football, the Chester Football coach works in High School and has been holding meetings to gauge interest.  “A lot of students initially will say they are interested and then when they talk to their parents and then come back and realize that they have to dedicate themselves in many ways to a sport….  It takes a full commitment.”

Mrs. Vaught in reviewing the enrollment report she had noticed that the District had lost two students in the high school over the course of the last month.  Being that one of these students is in class with her daughters, Mrs. Vaught understands that the reason for the departure has to do with relocation however she wondered whether the District had conducted an exit interview with the family.

The answer was not yet, but they are intending to do so.

President Petrosky then commented that in March the District had shared the results of their recent survey and they had received a few inquiries with regard to the release of the comment section.  On the advice of their attorney, the Board will not release these comments. However, they feel strongly that they would like to make them available to the public in as legal a method as possible.  Individuals wishing to view the comments can fill out a FOIL request with the Business Office after which a copy will be made immediately available.

Items for Action and/or Discussion:

Warrants Transfers & Bids – There were none

CPSE/CSE – A motion was made and unanimously adopted.

Adoption of the 2017/2018 Proposed Budget:
Referencing Mr. Rickard’s earlier comment, Mrs. Zeigelbauer wondered whether it might be possible for them to take $50,000 from the reserve funds and put it towards the budget.  Commenting that she realizes that they need money for capital projects and emergency funds, she stated that it seemed to her like there was a large sum of money in the reserve funds and while she certainly did not want to jeopardize their ability to complete necessary capital improvements or the overall fiscal health of the District for that matter, she still wondered if it were not something they should consider.

Mr. Steiger responded that adding additional money to fund balance whether it was from a reserve fund or not, would put them “behind the 8-ball” the following year, so when they went to prepare the 18/19 budget instead of having to come up with $600,000, they would have to come up with $650,000.  This means they would have to come up with this much money from savings, through the budget or via additional revenues.  Also, if they were to use the funds as Mrs. Zeigelbauer suggested, they would be reducing the tax levy, which would make it tougher for them to come within the cap moving forward.  He cautioned that it could end up costing them a lot more 2-3 years down the road.  There are also capital improvements as part of the 5-year facilities plan to consider such roofs, sidewalks and windows.  He feels that the district has a sound amount of funding in the reserves and that the administration has worked hard at making it work in a way that will be beneficial down the road.

Mrs. Arber wondered whether or not the District had received their final aid numbers form the State.

Mr. Stegier responded that they had.  Tuxedo receives the minimum amount of aid.  The amount of the increase was $9,000, although he cautioned that it would months before they did an audit on the aid, so they could not guarantee that that they would receive the full amount.  They were also notified that there was the potential of a mid-year cut, depending on what happens with President Trump’s budget cut to Federal programs.  They still do not know what the final number will be and won’t know until the Federal Government adopts their budget.

Mrs. Zegelbauer wondered how the Board could then adopt their budget without this information.

“It’s your best guestimate of what has happened in the past,” responded Mr. Steiger.         

Speaking to Mr. Steiger’s previous comment pertaining to the suggestion that should they put $50,000 back into the budget now, the district would have to come up with the money the following year, Mrs. Arber stated that this presupposes that the budget figures were accurate to begin with.  The question is raised as to why there is an extra $50,000 available to apply to a future budget.  The snowball effect really only comes into play if this is a good number.  It begs the question as to whether that budget should have been $50,000 lower to begin with.  It is not an automatic given that if they were to cut $50,000 this year, next year things would have to increase by that amount.  What they really need to do is re-examine it and determine whether the expense was overstated in the previous year.

Mr. Steiger responded that this was a fair assessment.  He further stated however that they have no idea what the future holds.  They could have a family move into the district with triplets who are blind, and something like this could blow the budget out.

Transportation is another major concern.  The District’s busses are aging.  He feels it is important to make sure that they put a well thought out budget in place taking all of these things into consideration.

Board Vice President Joanne Vernon added that just as they cannot anticipate whether they might have children with special needs moving into the district, they might also have children in the District who are currently receiving services who then decide to move.  The District will have budgeted for these students and so this where it could appear that there is an inflated amount of money.  The District has no control over these types of things.

“The object of a school district just because you have a $13,000,000 budget doesn’t mean you are going to spend $13,000,000,” commented    Mr. Steiger. “That is not the goal.  The goal is to spend less than that.”

“95%” stated Mrs. Arber.

“That is correct.  You beat me to it!” responded Mr. Steiger.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer commented that she felt that because the District did have excess money within the budget from previous years where they did not expend as much as they thought they would, resulting in a large reserve, that it would be a nod to the taxpayers to try and give them back $50,000.  Originally she was going to propose $100,000, but reconsidered this amount when thinking about the potential for unforeseen expenses as well as the capital improvements.  She went on to state that the sad part about all of this was that because of the schedule and the way the process goes, this was all a moot point as the Board was required by law to approve a budget that evening.

Mr. Steger responded that the process was crazy, noting that the budget hearing would not take place for weeks yet and that they would not have the power to make any changes to the document as a result of that hearing.  “It is a reverse system that the State has put in place.”

Mrs. Zeigelbauer requested that on a go-forward basis they arrange for more workshops and allow for more time to not only adjust the numbers and review them in detail but also allow for public comment and a thorough review before they are forced to adopt a budget.

Mrs. Vaught wondered what would happen if they did not adopt a budget that evening,
“The State comes in,” responded President Petrosky.

“Meaning what exactly?” Mrs. Vaught asked.

“They run the school district,” stated Mrs. Petrosky.

“How does that work?” responded Mrs. Vaught.

Mr. Steiger suggested that the State could ultimately decide that the Board was not fulfilling their obligation and then there would be a State appointed Board that would come in and do what they believed was right for the community.

He agreed that lengthening the process was a good idea, but also stated that historically even when this was so, residents tended to come out after the budget had been adopted and make their comments and suggestions.  He advised that it is very difficult to ascertain what everyone is thinking and would like to see in the budget.

“As John said,” added President Petrsoky, “it’s our best guestimate.”

Mrs. Vernon added that in June they would be making some decisions with regard to funding the reserve accounts and that might be an opportunity for them to plan forward towards the next budget.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of adopting the 2017/2018 proposed budget.
Adoption of School Tax Property Report Card – The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the School Tax Property Report Card.
Orange-Ulster BOCES Administrative Budget Vote – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the 2017/2018 Orange Ulster BOCES administrative budget.
Orange-Ulster BOCES Board Member Election – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the Board member elections (2 candidates for 2 open seats)
Resolution – OU BOCES Cooperative Bid – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the OU BOCERS cooperative Bid process.
Donation – The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the donation of a National Geographic Mural World Map from Mrs. Cynthia Dinan.  The map has been hung on the wall in the High School.
Personnel – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving all personnel items.

Public Comment:
Nancy Bourke thanked the Board for their hard work on the budget, which she feels appears to be very sound and will meet the needs to of the District in the coming year.  She further commented that she had enjoyed hearing the good news about the Black Knights visiting the elementary school and especially about the Music Department.  She commended the teachers, students, administration and the Board on this wonderful honor.

Joe Rickard commented that he resented the comments and behavior of an outside financial Consultant, who did not reside in the district and who, in his opinion, had hammered the Board into passing the budget.  The consultant told the Board that if they did not agree to the budget the State would take over the Board and the district.  He cautioned that the Board members should check into this as he had had issues like this in the past with this District where things that were stated were simply not true.  He is resentful of somebody coming in from the outside and literally trying to intimidate the Board into passing the budget.

Next he referenced the recent school survey, noting the following results as posted on the school website:

25% of our students either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the
statement "The school challenges me to my full potential"

27% of our students either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the
statement "School administration is responsive to student concerns"

27% of our students either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the
statement "Technology effectively supports teaching and learning"

32% of our students either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the
statement "Class sizes are appropriate to meet my needs"

37% of our students either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the
statement "I am proud to go to this school"

38% of our students either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the
statement "The rules at school are enforced for all students"

He wanted to know what the Board was doing about these results as he feels these comments are unacceptable.  He wanted to know if they were concerned? This is a small STEM school, for the kids to suggest that they did not have the technology they needed was unbelievable!  These are the kids and the parents!  “Do you think anybody is going to send a kid to our school when 38% of the kids said they are not proud to be in the school!?!”  Again, he inquired as to what the administration was doing about this issue.

President Petrosky thanked Mr. Rickard for his comments.  She further stated that the survey had been conducted as a tool for the Board.  “Those are the results.  We are aware of them and we are working with them with the administration and the students.”
Mr. Rickard wondered if there would be a follow up report.

“Those are the results of the survey,” repeated President Petrosky. “We are taking those results and working with them.”

Mr. Rickard wondered what the next step would be.  Would the results be shared with the public?

“We shared the results,” President Petrosky responded.

Vice President Vernon suggested that some of this would be included within the strategic plan, which should identify areas where the district needs to show improvement as well as areas of concern.  “That is why we have BOCES working with us to develop the strategic plan and the Board will continue to be working on it.”

“That was one step and one tool and we are using that tool to help us move forward,” added Mrs. Petrosky.

“There will be future goal setting that will address any concerns that have come up as a result of the survey”

Mrs. Vaught commented that she could speak directly to Mr. Rickard’s questions in stating that yes, members of the Board were concerned with the results and they were discussing this as a Board actively.

Mr. Rickard suggested that they should go back to the students and try to determine why these were the results, further commenting that in his view, they were devastating.
John McNamara commented that when Mrs. Vaught had asked Mr. Steiger what would happen if the Board did not adopt the budget that evening he had responded that the school would be taken over by the State.  This sounds like a lie to him.  Why could the vote not have been postponed?  Why was there not any opportunity for the discussions that were taking place tonight any earlier? 

Superintendent Teed responded that the budget had been discussed since the fall.
Mr. McNamara responded that from where he was sitting it appeared that everything had been thrown at the Board that night and they had been forced into making a decision.
Mrs. Zeigelbauer responded that in all fairness they had received the information at the budget workshops but they had not seen both pieces of the budget together until the second workshop.  She feels it is hard to take everything in and adjust it and formulate questions in the short period of time provided.  This is why she has suggested extending the process moving forward.

Mr. McNamara responded that he was not criticizing the Board members, but he did not understand why they couldn’t get in front of this. 

Vice President Vernon responded that as a Board they had been talking about how they needed to plan fiscally in a better way by setting up the reserves and allocating funds there and they had decided that they needed to see where were at the end of this year.  There have been discussions by the Board by meetings that are very poorly attended by the public. 

President Petrosky added that the discussions regarding the reserve funds took place back in October.  As far as the workshops are concerned, they have discussed it amongst themselves and they do feel they could extend the process, but they have had the information.  It was not thrown at them that evening.  They do have a New York State deadline.

Mr. McNamara responded that he appreciated the explanation, and as the Board knew, he had only missed 1 or 2 meetings over the course of the last 2 years.  Quite frankly, there has not been much discussion or questioning of the numbers in public.  There have been a few members of the Board who have been extremely vocal in questioning things, but if they knew they were up against this point tonight and there were still questions to be asked, there should have been an opportunity to do so.  He understands that this can be changed on the go-forward but he stated that he wanted to make it a matter of record that he found it extremely disappointing that he felt there were individuals on the Board who may have reluctantly voted in favor of adopting the budget (at least that is the impression he received in the audience.) He appreciates all the time and effort that everyone is putting in, but pushing things through is how the District got to the place its in now to begin with. 

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Local school districts earn national honors for music programs - 4/18/17

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting April 20, 2017

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Recognition of Valedictorian and Salutatorian
V. Proposed Executive Session-regarding personnel matter
VI. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
VII. Routine Business
1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes – 03/13/17, 03/16/17, 03/30/17
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal
• K-12 Assistant Principal
3. Superintendent’s Report
VIII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Adoption of 2017/2018 Proposed Budget
4. Adoption of School Tax Property Report Card
5. Orange-Ulster BOCES Administrative Budget Vote
6. Orange-Ulster BOCES Board Member Election
7. Resolution – OU BOCES Cooperative Bid
8. Donation
9. Personnel
IX. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
X. Proposed Executive Session- regarding potential contract negotiations
XI. Correspondence
XII. Adjournment

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Tuxedo and Chester school districts to merge for select sports - 4/17/17

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Tuxedo STEM Academy students visit pharmaceutical company - 4/17/17

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Board of Education Budget Work Sessions March 30 & April 6

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that, The Tuxedo School District Board of Education will hold Budget Work Sessions on 03/30/2017, 04/06/2017, and if necessary, on 04/13/2017. The meetings will be held at 7:00 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room in the George Grant Mason School, located at 11 Hillside Ave. in the town of Tuxedo, New York.

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George F. Baker Presents Beauty and The Beast This Weekend!

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Board of Education Meeting March 16, 2017

The Board of Education met on Thursday, March 16 at 7pm.
All members were present.

Business Administrator’s Report:
Interim Business Administrator Marc Matatia provided the Board with General Fund estimated Revenues for 16/17 vs. 17/18 as well as 2017-18 proposed budget appropriations, including a 16/17 17/18 budget to budget comparison.

He briefly reviewed any and all increases and decreases with the Board, providing explanations for each as he moved along.  The expected tax levy increase is expected to be a 1.06%, which is below cap.  There are two budget workshops coming up on March 31 and April 6 respectively, where the budget will be reviewed in detail.  These are public meetings and residents are encouraged to attend.

Next, Mr. Matatia presented the Board with an outline of Expenditures per pupil among the O-U BOCES component districts, as requested by a member of the public at the previous meeting.  The information comes from the 2015/2016 New York State School District Report Card, which is presented annually at budget time.  Mr. Matatia explained that the 16/17 report card will be coming out sometime in the beginning of April, so there is a little bit of a lag in the data as presented.  

To review this analysis, click here.

Commenting that she believed she already knew the answer to her question, Board president Diane Petroski states that on the Administrators Report there were a few areas where she had noticed repeated charges by a particular teacher at Staples.  She asked for an explanation as to how this could possibly happen.

Mr. Matatia responded that the district sometimes receives partial shipments on some of their orders and when this occurs, they make partial payments.

Next, President Petrosky commented that there were a number of checks drawn for substantial amounts of money ($4,000, $3,000) on individual community members.  She wondered if this was connected to the STAR reimbursements.
The answer was yes.  These are refund checks.

Superintendent’s Report:
Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed reported that the District was busy preparing for the New York State grades 3-8 ELA testing, which will take place March 28-30. 
This past Sunday, the District attended the Rockland Youth Fest, held at Rockland Community College.  There was a good turnout and they were able to hand out a good deal of information about both schools.  Ms. Teed expressed her gratitude to all of the staff members who assisted in running the event booth. 

Kindergarten through 6 grade parent/teacher conferences will be held on March 22 from 12-3.  Parents have the opportunity to register for these online. 

Beauty and The Beast tickets are available online or via the Main Office.  If anybody is experiencing difficulty obtaining tickets, they should contact Mr. Sorenson, who will be glad to assist.  Some of the cast members will give a short performance for the residents of the Promenade this coming Monday.

There will not be a family movie night during the month of April due to spring break.

Open Gym basketball for those ages 19 and up will begin on March 27 from 7-9pm in the gymnasium on Mondays and Wednesdays.

The District is continuing to send as much information as possible to parents in a digital manner.  Ms. Teed cautioned that it is really important for parents to notify them if their email address changes in order to ensure that they are receiving proper communication.  She requested that anybody whose email address might have changed should contact Mrs. Dickson in the Guidance office in order to update the information.

Mr. Sorenson has been attending The Model Schools, through O-U BOCES and the representative group will be visiting Tuxedo next Thursday in order to gain insight on the STEM program in both schools.

There has been a recent change to the school website.  Where there used to be “highlight” tabs all the way to the right on the top, there is now a “Newsletter” tab. 

All the District newsletters can be found there.

A report on staff training outlining all of the training that has been completed thus far this year was included in this month’s Board packet.  They are matching this training to their Professional Development Plan and are very close to achieving the goals that were set.  The committee will be meeting shortly to tweek the plan before the end of the year.

With regard to the O-U healthcare plan, Ms. Teed reported that she, Mr. Matatia and Mr. Martin have been attending meetings and there is a projected increase for next year of 20%, which is clearly a sizable amount.  This has not been finalized yet.  They expect to have more definitive numbers sometime next week.  There is also the possibility of a mid-year increase this year and if this is the case, Ms. Teed stated that she would update the Board immediately. 

Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer inquired as to whether or not there had been any indication as to why there might be such drastic increases.

Ms. Teed responded that there were many claims and losses last year.  Last year’s increase was relatively small  If this had been higher and the claims loss had been appropriately matched, the current increase would not be nearly as substantial.

Parent/Student/Community Survey Results:
Together with Principal Schrammel, Ms. Teed presented the Board with data-based results from their recent parent/student/community survey.  These results have been posted to the district’s website and can be viewed by clicking here.

66 students, 83 parents and 66 community members participated in the survey. 

Following the presentation, Board member Meg Vaught inquired as to whether there was an available breakdown indicating how many of the students who participated in the survey were from GGM vs. GBF. 

The answer was 40 students from GFB, 20 from GGM and 6 Anonymous.

OCSBA Report:
Board member Meg Vaught reported that the most recent meeting of OCSBA had been “action packed” with two different presentations having taken place.  The first was given by Diane Lang, who heads up Instructional Support.  Mrs. Vaught found Ms. Lang to be very enthusiastic and excited about the programming offered through her department, which includes a huge catalogue of continuing teacher leader education and professional development workshops as well as opportunities for digital field trips and e-learning.  They have also just launched a new Collaborative Science Initiative.

Next, there was a presentation entitled “What’s New At BOCES” given by BOCES Superintendent Bill Hecht.  In brief, BOCES is offering an abundance of new and exciting programming such as Animal Science, Aviation, Pharmacy Tech, Personal Training Assistant and Medical Administrative Assistant classes.  Of the 37 BOCES State-wide there is a 95% graduation rate among Career & Tech students and O-U BOCES enjoys a 98% graduation rate.  They are continuing to work on revising their current diploma system with the goal of creating 1 master diploma moving forward.

In addition to these two presentations, the two incumbents who are running for re-election to the BOCES Board briefly introduced themselves.

The budget presentation and dinner will take place on April 5.

There will be no OCSBA meeting during the month of April.

Items for Action and/or Discussion:
Warrants, Transfers & Bids – there were none.

CPSE/CSE – These were unanimously approved.

Nomination of O-U BOCES Board Candidates – President Petrosky stated that she knew both candidates personally and that they were both very dedicated individuals.  They are Lawrence Berger and Martha Bogart.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving these nominations.

Resolution: External Auditor – The Board voted unanimously in favor of extending the RFP with Raymond Preusser.

2016/2017 Board of Registration Recommendations – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the 2016/2017 Board of Registration recommendations.  These are the individuals who will be working on Election Day.

Adoption of 2017/18 School Calendar – The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the 2017/18 school calendar.

Personnel – A motion was made to approve 7.1-7.3 inclusive.  Board member Allyson Arber inquired about the Occupational Therapist, noting that she was already employed by the District.  She wondered if they were changing her full-time equivalency number.

The answer was yes, as her caseload is increasing and she needs the extra time in order to adequately service all of the students who receive these services.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving 7.1-7.3.  

Ms. Teed then announced that 7.4 two resignations for the purpose of retirement from Mrs. Beverly Tesser and Mrs. Linda Frazer.  She thanked both ladies for their many years of dedicated and wonderful service to the District.  This was met by a round of applause.  The Board then approved 7.4 unanimously.

Appointment of Business Administrator - Next, the Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Marc Matatia as Business Administrator for a 4-year probationary term from July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2021 at an annual salary of $105,000.  President Petrosky commented that Mr. Matatia had joined the District when they were in great need of both leadership and direction and had served them quite well.  The District looks forward to working with him moving forward.

Appointment of Superintendent- The Board voted 5-2 in favor of appointing Nancy Teed to a 3-year contract as Superintendent of Schools, expiring in June of 2020 at a salary rate of $168,000 with Board members Meg Vaught and Dorothy Zeigelbauer opposed.

Superintendent Teed thanked the Board for the opportunity, commenting that she looked forward to continuing her work on behalf of the students with the staff, parents and community.

Public Comment:

Donna Posta inquired about the lack of advertising with regard to presentation of the survey results, further commenting that she had received e-mail after e-mail asking her to engage in the survey, but no communication with regard to the presentation of the results.  She believes that if the presentation had been more widely publicized, there would have been many more people present to hear about the results. 

Superintendent Teed responded that all of the results had been posted to the District website. 

“The parents put their names on it.  Did the kids put their names on it?” inquired Mrs. Posta.

The answer was yes.

Mrs. Posta then wanted to know, given the fact the children had been required to supply their names, whether the administration believed the results were accurate. 

Mr. Schrammel responded that they did.

Mrs. Posta then wanted to know if the District had done anything to reach out to any surrounding schools with regard to athletics and the possibility of collaboration for modified. 

Superintendent Teed responded that they were working on lining up some possible options for next year. 

“What happened to this year?” responded Mrs. Posta.  “How come this wasn’t taken care of before my daughter found out that she can’t play softball?”  She went on to say that she believed the situation in which her daughter and friends were stuck was a real shame.  She wondered what was being doing to recruit new students.  She feels BOCES is a great thing, but this entails sending kids out rather than bringing kids in.  She wondered how many applications had been received to date for next year and for which grades.

Superintendent Teed responded that currently, students were filling out scholarship renewal applications.  They have until June to complete these applications.  To date, 2 of these have been received, but the others have time to complete them.

Mrs. Posta indicated that there would be at least 4 students leaving from her daughter’s class and the Superintendent responded that they did not have any confirmation on this as they need official requests for records, however they have a good idea of some students that might be leaving.  That being said, she has also spoken with parents who may be moving to the area.  She cannot say definitively until they have enrolled.

Mrs. Posta again wanted to know why nothing had been done about the athletic program.  “I would have had my daughter go out for the baseball team, but I am afraid she is going to get hit in face,” she stated.  She wondered why it was taking so long to get something established.

The Superintendent responded that she understood Mrs. Posta’s concerns, but she could not make the students play sports.  They do not want to harass kids to the point where they feel that they have to participate.

Mrs. Posta countered that she was not referring to the kids currently enrolled in Tuxedo, but rather was wanting to know why the District had not reached out further to explore possibilities with other schools, specifically TPS.

Superintendent Teed responded that Mr. Landro had reached out to TPS on several occasions over the last several years.

Board Vice President Joanne Vernon suggested that there were some scheduling conflicts with TPS.

Referring back to the survey, Mrs. Posta wanted to know if the District was planning to release the actual written comments that had been submitted by parents and community members alike.

President Petrosky responded that they could not comment on this, but indicated that they had been discussing it as a Board and had obtained some legal advice.
Mrs. Posta wanted to know how the community was supposed to know how everyone else was collectively feeling if the comments were to not be shared publicly. 

Superintendent Teed responded that they had presented a summery of the results.  She further stated that, despite the fact that Mrs. Posta felt that the Board members had seen her comments, that it had been an anonymous survey and that the Board had not been privy to any names.

“But we had to put our names on it before we could fill it out” responded Mrs. Posta.
“To submit for duplication purposes,” replied Superintendent Teed.

Mrs. Posta then stated that she didn’t feel the questions on the survey adequately addressed the issues within the school.  She has no problems with the administration or talking to the teachers.  She knows that her daughter feels safe at the school. She suggested that the real problems they were facing (athletics, enrollment etc) were either not being addressed or they were not being addressed publicly.  In her view, everything seems to be swept under the rug with all eyes on “the bigger picture,” which she does not believe will ever change until these other things are addressed.  She feels that the questions addressed in the survey were basically minutia in comparison.  This is why viewing the actual comments is so important in her view.

President Petrosky responded that the Board was privy to the comments but that some of them named specific students and teachers and as per the advice of their attorney they would be discussing this amongst themselves as a Board first.

Mrs. Posta responded that she understood this, further suggesting that in her view it was not about a particular teacher or child, but rather about how the school could be improved.  “You need bodies.”

“We are well aware of this,” responded President Petrosky.  “If you listened to what Ms. Teed said earlier, 7 members of our staff were at RCC this past weekend.”

Mrs. Posta indicated that she understood this but wanted to know what they were offering people.  She further suggested that prospective students could find 3d printers at any school.

President Petrsoky indicated that the Board was also well aware of the issue with athletics.  She commented that she was sorry that there were certain teams that they could not field.  She indicated that they are looking into partnering with other schools.  They have spoken with TPS on many occasions but unfortunately the schedules did no align and ultimately, the two schools play on two different types of teams.  TPS students cannot play on a public school team and although public school students can play on their teams, the scheduling remains a major issue.  This is why they are looking into partnering with other districts.

Mrs. Posta reiterated that she felt this was taking too long.  She went on to say that she had attended the community based focus group during the recent Superintendent search and one of the former Board members had indicated that he had spoken with many happy students and that his children had enjoyed a wonderful experience, graduating with a plethora of AP credits.  Mrs. Posta feels this is misleading, as the children of this particular person graduated while Greenwood Lake Students were still a part of the district.  She wanted to know which of the current students he had spoken with and in what capacity he had approached them, further suggesting that when approached by adults and official representatives of the school students often felt obligated to indicate that everything was fine, even when it was not. 

President Petrosky reiterated that the Board understood Mrs. Posta’s concerns and thanked her for her remarks.

Nancy Bourke offered her best wishes and congratulations to both Ms. Teed and Mr. Matatia on their appointments.  She then inquired about Mr. Matatia’s earlier preliminary budget presentation, wanting to know what was included in the “Miscellaneous Revenues” category. 

Mr. Matatia responded that the majority of it was the BOCES refund money that was distributed over the summer.  BOCES does not take a profit, so any monies that they do receive gets divided equitably among the school districts and returned to them in a payment the following school year.  Additionally, the District participates in E-Rate, which entitles them to certain technology reimbursements. 

Rachel DiPaolo inquired as to the number of students in the community who are eligible to attend the District but instead opt to attend private schools. 

Superintendent Teed responded that she did not have an updated number, but believed there were approximately 85 students attending private schools.

Mrs. DiPaolo wondered what percentage of overall school-age children in Tuxedo this encompassed, and Superintendent Teed responded that she did not know.

Mrs. DiPaolo then suggested that the survey results painted a rather “rosy” picture of the school environment but what they did not address was the number of students who have left the District over the last 4-5 years and why they had left.  She believes that the information that has been presented is quite distorted, especially as it does not include the individual comments.  She has a child in the 7th grade at St. Paul’s, and there are now a total of 12 students from Tuxedo in his class there.  She believes this paints an accurate picture of what is happening in the District.

The Superintendent responded that she appreciated Mrs. DiPaolo’s comments and that as a Community member she had the opportunity to voice them on her survey,
“But without reading the comments, one would never know this information,” responded Mrs. DiPaolo, indicating that the slides presented did not contain information of this nature.

The Superintendent replied that the slides were based on raw data collected in the survey.

Mrs. Posta interjected that the data might be correct, but without the comments, the results were in her view skewed.  She feels people need to be aware of the comments, because otherwise it appears that everything is rosy when it is not.  She further suggested that she was not the only parent who felt this way but because of the long history whereby nothing changes in the school that parents were either pulling their children or making the best of their situation without comment as it was widely believed that after years of complaining, nothing was going to make a difference.  She reiterated her disappointment with the fact that District had not informed the community that the results would be presented that evening.

The Superintendent responded that she had Mrs. Posta had exchanged emails the week prior and at that time, she had indicated that the results would be presented at an upcoming Board meeting.  She had not provided Mrs. Posta with a date because at that time there had not been a definitive date set.

Mrs. Posta wanted to know for how long the Superintendent had known that the results would be presented that evening.

“I was working on it earlier this week,” responded Superintendent Teed.

Mrs. Arber wondered if they might be able to add the presentation to the next month’s meeting agenda and re-present the information with plenty of notice to the community.

“I don’t see why not,” replied President Petrosky.

“It’s posted on our website right now,” stated the Superintendent. 

Joanne Vernon suggested that the school announce that the results had been posted to the website and then offer the presentation again in April.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer wondered if they might have a response from their attorney by that time, indicating whether or not they could release the comments.

“I have that information for our executive session this evening,” responded President Petrosky.

John McNamara thanked Mr. Matatia for his expenditure per pupil analysis, but suggested that it did not provide an accurate comparison of the total expenditure of the budget vs. the students.  He would like to go on record as stating that the analysis leaves out some administrative costs as well as transportation costs. 

Mr. Matatia partially agreed with this, commenting that the information provided is what had been given to them by the State during the budget season.

Mr. McNamara suggested that what the analysis did not do was to take the budget and divide it by the number of students, which in his view would be a more accurate method of obtaining the information he was looking for.  He feels that these are the numbers that the community really needs to see because they reflect the actual cost to the taxpayers.  The newspapers are not quoting these numbers.  “If we are going to say that our School District is competitive, or it’s not competitive, I am hoping to get to the numbers that are out there in public.  If you put these numbers out against what is in the paper, it makes us look extremely competitive and it makes the papers look wrong.  I think we have got to be able to look at numbers here in this room that are actually the numbers that can be compared to other school districts.”

Mr. Matatia responded that this is exactly why the State provides them with this information.  The numbers Mr. McNamara is referring to in the papers reflect the total budget divided by the number of students who can be quickly identified with a specific building.  The costs go outside of the students within the buildings however.  There are costs for educating other students from other districts.  There are costs for sending some students out to other districts.  There are costs associated with some students in the district who attend private schools, such as transportation, technology and text books.  This is why the State developed specific formula for determining the cost-per-student, which identifies all of those students and the specific costs that can be attributed to both general education and special education and also broken down into K-6 and 7-12 levels.

“We know hoe much we are levying on our tax payers, we know what grants come in, we know how many students live here, so we should be able to get to a bottom-line number of what it is costing us…the actual cost per student,” responded Mr. McNamara.  He further indicated that this is what he believes they are up against whether they believe the costs are contained or high.  He feels that one way or the other the information that was provided that evening would not put anybody’s mind at ease because they were not the actual numbers.  He inquired as to whether or not Mr. Matatia could provide the actual number for the cost per student, indicating that he could then go to other Districts and make a comparison.

Mr. Matatia responded that he would certainly look into it.

Mrs. DiPaolo indicated that she did not understand how a Board felt that an incoming Freshman class of 10-20 children was a healthy situation.  She believes that not one of the many Tuxedo children currently attending St. Paul’s is considering returning to Tuxedo for high school.  She doesn’t understand why there isn’t more being done to publish what is good about the school and the positive results (if there are any) that might entice people to return.  She has not received anything that makes her want to bring her child back to Tuxedo.  She has now put three children through private schools and it is not because she wanted to pay for private school education, but rather because she does not want to put her child in a class of 10-20 children where he cannot play a sport and there is no social aspect.  She wondered how the Board could perceive this as a healthy environment for a child’s high school experience. 

“Thank You,” responded President Petrosky.

“It was a question,” countered Mrs. DiPaolo.

“I can’t answer that question,” stated President Petrosky.  “We don’t have the numbers right now.  I can’t answer that question.  I did say to you that we are looking at all aspects of encouraging and building upon our children’s education.  There are some families that are very happy with those numbers.  There are some families, such as yours, that are not.   Your job as a parent is to meet your child’s needs.  Our job is to meet the needs of the student body within our building and we try to base those decisions upon that.  We do not have the degeneration numbers right now.  We continue to look at them.  We get updates all the time.  We try to stay on top of it.  You can say that because of conversations you know who is going and who is not going, but we don’t know that.  I thank you for coming out.  I thank you for your comments.  I assure you that we continually look at these numbers and what we can do to better the education of not only the students here but the students who are tuitioning in and we continue to try and entice people to come into the community.  Thank you.”

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting March 16, 2017

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business
1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes - 02/16/17
2. Administrators' Rep011s
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal
• K-12 Assistant Principal
3. Superintendent's Report
4. OCSBA Update
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Nomination of Orange-Ulster BOCES Board Candidates
4. Resolution: External Auditor
5. 2016/2017 Board of Registration Recommendation
6. Adoption of 2017 /18 School Calendar
7. Personnel
VIl. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
VIII. Proposed Executive Session- regarding potential contract negotiations
IX. Correspondence
X. Adjournment

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Special Board of Education Meeting March 13, 2017

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that, The Tuxedo School District Board of Education will hold a special meeting on 03/13/2017. The meeting will be held at 6:30 PM in the library of the George F. Baker High School, located at 1 Tornado Drive in the town of Tuxedo, New York.

The purpose of the meeting is (upon board approval) to enter Executive Session, for the purpose of receiving advice from counsel. There will not be an opportunity for public comment.

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Tuxedo STEM Academy visits Anka Precision in Congers - 3/1/17

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Board of Education Meeting February 16, 2017

The Board of Education met on Thursday, February 16 at 7pm.  Board member Adam Eirand was absent.

Public Comment: John McNamara inquired of the business administrator if he could provide a figure that could be used to compare the cost-per-student rate in Tuxedo to surrounding districts.  He noted that in years past this figure had been asked for and the public had been told that it would be like “comparing apples to oranges.”  With this in mind, he stated that he was looking for a number that would allow him to compare “apples to apples.”  Next he stated that in previous meetings the Board had mentioned creating surveys that could be distributed on a blind basis.  He wondered if there had been any progress in this area.  Finally, he wondered if there were any updates as to how the District might be able to influence the public rating sites, such as greatschools.org.

Vice President Joanne Vernon responded that there was currently a survey being circulated throughout the community that was put out by the District and was available through a variety of sources (both electronic and paper) Friday, February 17 is the deadline for participation. 

With regard to greatschools.org, she noted that this was a private business that was updated every three years.  That being said, Interim Superintendent Teed and Principal Schrammel have been looking at it in order to make sure the information there is accurate. 

Interim Business Administrator Marc Matatia assured Mr. McNamara that he could provide him with the cost-per-student figure he was looking for.

Routine Business:

Approval of Minutes - The Board unanimously approved meeting minutes from 1/12/17, 1/17/17. 1/19/17, 1/24/17 and 2/7/17.

Administrative Reports – Business Administrator Marc Matatia presented the maximum tax cap calculation and revenue budget for the 2017-2018 school year.  Click here to see what was presented.

K-12 Principal and Assistant Principal – These reports were included in the Board packets and although both gentlemen were present, there were no questions. 

Superintendent’s Report – Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed began by announcing the names of the students who will serve as Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the class of 2017.  These students and their families will be invited to an upcoming Board member so they can be formally congratulated. The New York State Education Department just released graduation rates for 2016 and Tuxedo had a 100%, vs. 97% the year prior.  50% of the students received an advanced designation diploma vs. 37% in 2015.  The Administrative staff is scheduled to meet with two vendors, Star 360 and NWEA, in their quest for formative assessments.  This is something that they are hoping to put into place next year, which would give them even more information upon which they can analyze data over longer periods of time.  

Read Across America will be taking place once again in GGM on March 1 and 2.

Board members, parents and faculty are all invited to read to the students.  Any of those who would like to participate should contact Mrs. Eirand in the GGM office to set up a time.

With regard to the survey that is currently circulating, the Interim Superintendent reported that to date they have received 65 Student surveys, 81 Parent surveys and 58 Community surveys.  A summary of the results will be provided at the next meeting.  February 17 is the survey deadline.

The District has been in talks with the Rockland Tennis and Golf Association in regard to bringing in extra-curricular activities, specifically golf and tennis, at the GGM level.  They are very excited about this. 

Mr. Stankiewicz will be bringing student artwork to the The Arts Build Confidence Showcase, which is taking place on February 25 from 11-5 in the center court on the lower level of the Galleria in Middletown.  Winners will be chosen at 4pm.

The District will be putting out information shortly with regard to the community open gym basketball program, which was a huge success last year.  They are hoping to kick it off in mid-March.

With regard to grants, Interim Superintendent Teed reported that the District had applied for two last year with O & R and the US Department of Education.  They did not receive money from any of these.  This year they have applied for two additional grants, one of which they did not receive and one they are still waiting to hear about.  The Administrative team is constantly on the lookout for grant opportunities.

Movie night will be taking place on March 3, where Beauty and The Beast will be shown.  This has been timed to coincide with the High School Musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which will be taking place March 24-26.  Tickets will be $8 for students and seniors.  All others will be $11.  Online ticket purchased will begin on February 17 and will be $12.50.  Tickets can also be purchased at the school.  Seniors must purchase their tickets in person in order to avoid the additional online ordering fees.

Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer commented that the PTO had purchased a license for Grant Station Software.  The credentials can be shared with anybody on staff who is interested in looking at grants for the school.  It was agreed that these would be sent along to the administration to review.

Board member Meg Vaught inquired of Principal Schrammel as to his thoughts on limiting the use of personal hand-held devices during school day.  She wondered whether there was a policy in place limiting or restricting such use, further commenting that she had actually seen some student Instagram posts made during the school day.

Mr. Schrammel responded that, years ago the Board had approved a BYOD Policy (Bring Your Own Device) and some students do use their own devices either in lieu of the School Devices or if they forget their Chromebook.  With regard to posting, Mr. Schrammel stated that this was a direct violation of policy and the Student Code of Conduct and when it is discovered it should be brought to their attention.  While they do not prescribe to use of personal devices, if it is during down time or lunch, the students are permitted to use them. 

Mrs. Vaught then wondered what the District’s liability was in terms of potential online bullying or the posting of unauthorized pictures.  Mr. Schrammel replied that these things constituted a violation of DASA (Dignity for All Students Act) rules and regulations and if it is brought to their attention it is handled in an expedited manner.  Mrs. Olivia is the DASA coordinator, and they work very closely with her on situations like these.

Mrs. Vaught thanked Mr. Schrammel for his answers, further commenting that she was sure these types of things were difficult to regulate given the push to move forward with technology and the increase of device use as part of the curriculum.

Vice President Vernon wondered if perhaps this might serve as an opportunity to remind parents and students that a policy exists and what the expectations are. 

Mr. Schrammel agreed, responding that a reminder blast of this nature could definitely be done.  He further noted that when one is logged into the school’s wifi, in order to sign out, one must agree to the AUP (Acceptable Use Policy.)  As part of the curriculum they also speak to the kids about using devices properly.  They have to teach 21st century digital literacy and leadership, emphasizing that actions have consequences.  He further commented that in GGM, when he sees a child with a personal handheld device (phone, Ipod etc.) he asks that child to leave the device at home, because if something breaks it is the responsibility of the student and dealing with this can be very difficult.  Phone should be off in the K-6 building.  Phones should also be off in the 7-12 building, but he acknowledged that he can not go through student’s pockets to ensure this is happening.

Mrs. Vernon commented that being in a digital age, the reality is that if a parent wants their child to have these devices, there is not much the District can do, but perhaps restating the need for students to not bring the devices to school could help alleviate any issues.

Mrs. Vaught added that with the Chromebooks, parents can be in contact with their students via email during their free periods. 

The Interim Superintendent stated that years ago, no devices were permitted in schools, implying that if discovered they were held with the administration until the end of the day.

Board member Allyson Arber pointed out that some children bring their devices because they have lengthy bus rides to and from school. 

Moving on, Interim Superintendent Teed stated that Mrs. Arber had recently met with Mr. Schrammel and herself in her capacity as a member of the Marketing committee to review updates and look forward at what as been secured.  A report detailing marketing expenses to date was provided to the Board.  A booth has been secured at the Rockland Community College Youth Fest coming up on March 12.  The District did receive a new non-resident application as a result of their participation in this event last year.  A booth has also been secured at an upcoming Nyack Street Fair.  Both schools will be promoted.  The PTO has some left over T-shirts and bags, which will be donated as giveaways.  Additionally, The District has secured Joe Brady from LMC, who is a videographer who has already shot a video consisting of students in both buildings, staff members, parents and BOE members.  There will be two videos, one for each school, to be used for promotional purposes.  The videos should be completed shortly and they are very excited to see it!  The district will also be running an online ad with NY Metro Parent/Rockland Parent Magazine for 5 months.  

An update of the Mulford Funds, detailing scholarship and marketing monies was also provided and discussed.  The idea of establishing a yearly budget for marketing expenses to be included as a line item was also discussed.  Mrs. Vaught asked if moving forward the Board could be provided with an update on these funds on a quarterly basis.  The answer was yes.

OCSBA Update – Meg Vaught reported having attended the recent OCSBA meeting at which a presentation focusing on the Governor’s proposed budget was given by representatives of NYSSBA (New York State School Board’s Association) and discussed.  The biggest point of concern, which played a central roll in the discussion, is the Governor’s proposed approach to Foundation Aid.  While this number will actually increase, it is anticipated that the State will award larger amounts of money to fewer districts, ultimately based on last year’s distributions.  Districts are eligible to receive anywhere from 1-15% in aid.  Unfortunately, due to a number of factors, Tuxedo receives the smallest amount possible, at 1%.  As a part of his proposed plan, the Governor is looking to repeal the statutory formula that is used to determine the amount of money that districts should be receiving in aid.  This number is important because it provides the districts with some leverage when they are able to point at the amount that they should receiving in aid vs. the amount they actually are receiving.  If repealed, this number will go away and in all probability districts will find themselves locked into their current percentage rates in perpetuity.  The annual Capital Conference, which provides districts with the ability to meet and talk with their government representatives, was supposed to take place on Monday, February 13, but was ultimately cancelled due to inclement weather.  This is unfortunate as representatives from OCSBA were scheduled to attend and raise these issues, along with some others, directly with government officials.  It does not appear that the Conference will be rescheduled this year.

There followed a discussion regarding the possibility of having representatives from Tuxedo attempt to meet/schedule appointments with various government officials in hopes of bringing awareness to these issues as well as some others that might be considered more district-specific.  Mrs. Vaught circulated the “talking points” that would have been used by OCSBA at the Capital Conference and it was agreed that the Board members would take a look at these and add anything they felt might be important before making the final decisions about scheduling any such appointments.

The recent of appointment of Betsy Devos was also briefly discussed relative to the idea of reviving the Charter Application, however it was ultimately suggested that while the Board could and should certainly keep their eye on what was happening, the State of New York was ultimately not in favor of either Ms. Devos or the idea of a Charter in Tuxedo.

Items for Action and/or Discussion:
Warrants Transfers and Bids – There were none
CPSE/CSE – These were unanimously approved
Personnel – All personal items were unanimously approved.  Interim Superintendent Teed noted that there were three resignations for the purposes of retirement.  They are Ray Serrano, Lynn Caporale and Jo-Anne Mignone.  These three individuals have dedicated many years to the District and the Interim Superintendent publicly thanked them for their dedication to the District, the facilities, the parents, the Administration and the Board.

Public Comment:
There was no further public comment.

The Board then adjourned into an executive session for the purpose of discussing potential contract negotiations. 

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting February 16, 2017

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business
1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes (01/12/17, 01/17/17, 01/19/17, 01/24/17,
02/07/17)
2. Administrators' Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal
• K-12 Assistant Principal
3. Superintendent's Report
• Marketing Committee Update
4. OCSBA Update
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Personnel
VII. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
VIII. Proposed Executive Session- regarding potential contract negotiations
IX. Correspondence
X. Adjournment

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Special Board of Education Meeting February 7, 2017

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that, The Tuxedo School District Board of Education will hold a special meeting on 02/07/2017 with a snow date of 02/08/2017. The meeting will be held at 7:30 PM in the library of the George F. Baker High School, located at 1 Tornado Drive in the town of Tuxedo, New York.

The purpose of the meeting is (upon board approval) to enter Executive Session, for the purpose of matters leading to the potential appointment/employment of a particular individual. There will not be an opportunity for public comment.

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Board of Education Meeting January 19, 2017

The Board of Education met on Thursday, January 19 2017 at 7pm. Board member Mike Arone was absent.

Public Comment:
On behalf of the Tuxedo Teacher’s Association, Vice President Cynthia Lyons thanked the Board for their time, energy and service. She went on to say that on behalf of the majority of their membership, they wanted the Board to know that they supported the continuity of the strong leadership and positive in which the district is moving.

Barbara Voss commented that she was the 6th grade teacher in GGM and also had a daughter who is currently a Junior at George F. Baker. She thanked the Board for their efforts to secure the best leader for the children of the District. She then stated that she wanted to simply declare her support for Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed for Superintendent of Schools.

Routine Business:

Approval of Board Meeting Minutes – The Board unanimously approved meeting minutes from December of 2016 and January of 2010.

Administrators Reports
Business Administrator – Business Administrator Marc Matatia reported that budget development for the 2017/2018 was well under way. The District cabinet had been meeting to discuss the spending plans for next year as well as saving opportunities that exist. They have also had preliminary communications with the teachers with regard to supplies and the best way to procure them. The initial, proposed executive budget from the Governor was released on January 18. Mr. Matatia noted that this would “change plenty” in the coming months, but that it was right on target with what the District had been expecting. The largest increase in AID will come from BOCES. This figure nearly doubled. The CPI (Consumer Price Index) was also released along with the proposed budget. This is the key figure in determining what the tax cap will be. The number is 1.62% which, while still below 2, is a marked improvement over last year’s cap, which was .12. This should help the District.

Board President Diana Petrosky commented that in reviewing Mr. Matatia’s report she had noted that there was a payroll check that had not been cashed since September. Suggesting that it was her background in business that lead her to the discovery, she asked Mr. Matatia how long the check was good for.

Mr. Matatia responded that he believed it was 90 days, but he would double check.

K-12 Principal – Jason Schrammel indicated that he had nothing to add to the report that had been included in the Board packet.

K-12 Assistant Principal – Eric Sorenson also indicated that he had nothing to add to the report that had been included in the Board packet.

Interim Superintendent’s Report – Interim Superintendent Teed noted that during Regents Week the 7th and 8th grade students would have Midterm Exams during the morning hours and would be offered a STEM related activity in the afternoon. These STEM activities will be optional for students, many of whom have indicated that they feel mid-terms are more important and they would like to spend the time studying. A field trip for 7th Grade students has been scheduled on Tuesday, January 24 to visit Caribbean Foods in Tappan. Caribbean Foods can accommodate up to 14 students and students will be included on a first-come-first-serve basis. Those who are unable to go on this trip will have another opportunity to visit the same location in June.

The Administration hopes that parents are finding the monthly District-wide newsletter as a valuable source of information regarding the events that are occurring within the District. They plan on continuing to distribute the letter and the Interim Superintendent thanked Mr. Schrammel for his efforts with it.

The District has surveyed students in grades 8-11 regarding elective interests for the 2017/2018 school year. Based upon the results of this survey, Mrs. Oliva will be meeting with students and course selection sheets will be going home in the coming works.

Parents are encouraged to have conversations with their children about the courses that they select for the coming year.

District Administration is also developing student, parent and community surveys to be used vehicles for school and District improvement. These surveys will assist in assessing the strengths and areas in need of improvement in the District. The target for distribution is February 1. Mr. Schrammel will be sending a message home to parents with regard to the student survey and if they would like to opt their child out of taking it that will be an option.

Board member Allyson Arbor wondered whether the survey would be distributed to every resident of the community at large or only within the school community.

Interim Superintendent Teed responded that for the community at large they planned on utilizing the Chamber of Commerce and Town e-mail blasts. They feel this is the most efficient way to send it out.

Mr. Schrammel added that there were 3 individual surveys that would be going out to each demographic, students, parents of students and community members.

Technically, a parent will have the option to fill out both the parent and community member surveys.

The Interim Superintendent added that there would also be hard copies available in the business office if there were people who wanted to obtain a paper copy.

Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer inquired whether the distribution method for all three surveys would be purely electronic.

Mr. Schrammel responded that surveys had been created using Google forms.

Mr. Sorenson added that if they needed to generate paper copies, they would do so.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer responded that she was only asking because she wasn’t sure that all of the students had internet access at home. She assumed that if this was the case, they would have the ability to fill the surveys out in school. She just wants to make sure that they are distributed to everyone and that nobody is left out.

The Administration is also working on a District-wide comprehensive assessment plan, which will be instrumental in assessing the growth of students. This year pre-testing, benchmarking and post-testing have been implemented. They are looking to formalize this “somewhat more” beginning in the next school year. Digital details will be provided in the very near future. They are currently firming up cost and timeline details.

Interim Superintendent Teed thanked both Mr. Schrammel and Mr. Sorenson for the time they had spent giving personal, guided tours of the school for parents and students over the past few weeks. They anticipate have a new non-resident student start in the High School at the end of the month. There is also a non-resident elementary school student who is coming to shadow for a day next week.

The following are upcoming dates of interest in the Disitrct:
Regents week is January 24-27. Schedules are posted on the District website.
February 3 – The Kindergarten presents The Mitten at 1:45pm
February 3 – Family Movie night – start time of 6:30pm
February 10 – GGM Pep Rally – 1pm
February 13 – Dedication for the Madeline Napolitano Fitness Center – 2:30pm. The silver dollars have been invited to attend this event and enjoy the refreshments afterwards.

Finally, the Interim Superintendent reported that she had been contacted by the Times Herald Record as they are putting together a piece on the age of teachers in the District as compared to salary rate. The results that were presented were inaccurate and Interim Superintendent Teed indicated this to the newspaper and also provided her with the correct information. When asked for a comment, Interim Superintendent Teed suggested that rather than comparing salaries and age, she would rather see them report on the educational levels of the teachers. If one looks at the staff in the Tuxedo Union Free School District, they will be amazed by the number of teachers who have Masters +. The article will focus on the number of teachers who are 49 and older and how many employees are making a certain dollar amount and up. The article is due to come out by Monday January 23.

Board member Meg Vaught inquired about the recent loss of a non-resident student and wondered whether an exit interview had been conducted.

The Interim Superintendent responded that the student had moved.

Mrs. Vaught then wanted to know if they had been receiving scholarship funds.

The answer was no.

OCSBA Update:
As there was no OCSBA meeting in January, no report was given.

Items for Action and/or Discussion:
Warrants, Transfers & Bids did not require any action

CPSE/CSE was unanimously accepted.

Resolution – Reserve Accounts – The Board voted unanimously in favor of establishing 3 new reserve accounts. They are not required to fund these accounts at the current time, but it is important that they be established now.

Resolution – TEU Contract Ratification – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the Tuxedo Employment Union contract. (3-year collective bargaining agreement)

Resolution – Course Change – The Interim Superintendent explained that Mr.Schrammel had recommended to her changing the Media Production course to Acoustic Performance for the second semester of the current school year. There are many students who are interested in enrolling in this course, which will be taught by Mr. Chan. The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the change.

Donation – Portable Piano – The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the donation of a portable piano.

Emergency Closing Days – To date, the Districthas not utilized any of their emergency closing days. The 2016/17 calendar allows for 5 such days. The Board voted unanimously in favor of giving back 1 day on Friday, February 17, provided 2 closings days were not utilized between now and February 16. If 2 or more days are used, then school will be in session on the 17th.

Personnel – Personnel items were unanimously approved by the Board with Interim Superintendent Teed drawing attention to the fact that long-time District Physical Education Teacher, Kenneth Rubino had submitted his retirement notice. She thanked Mr. Rubino for his many years of service in the district and this was met by a round of applause.

Public Comment:
There was no further public comment.

Other Business:
Board Member Dorothy Zeigelbauer asked for an update with regard to a meeting that was supposed to be taking place with Tuxedo Farms. She wondered if this meeting had occurred and if so, what the result was.

Board president Diana Petrosky responded that the meeting had not taken place. There was a meeting between a Town representative and the Board’s Tuxedo Farms Committee, and President Petrosky commented she believed that they had had a “very nice” discussion.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer responded that as she recalled it, Board members Adam Eirand and Mike Arone had been appointed to the committee and that they were going to attempt to set up a meeting with the Developer.

Mr. Eirand responded that there had been a meeting that included the Committee along with President Petrosky, the Interim Superintendent and Town Council member Michele Lindsay. Andrew Dance of the Related Companies was unfortunately unable to attend.

Various things were discussed with Mrs. Lindsay and Mr. Eirand felt that she was extremely receptive to the District’s view and she agreed to try and push Mr. Dance a little harder into attending a meeting in the future.

President Petrosky added that Mrs. Lindsay had committed to attempting to reach out on the District’s behalf in an attempt to set up a meeting with Mr. Dance.

Mrs. Zeigelbauer responded that as per their previous discussions, she had been under the impression that the Board would be sending only Mr. Eirand and Mr. Arone to meet with Mr. Dance.

President Petrosky responded “If you look at our policy, a part of the policy the Board President is a member of every committee. I was not available until about 10 minutes prior to that, so I came down as I was already coming down for a meeting later.”

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting January 19, 2017

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business
1. Approval of Board Meeting Minutes (12/15/16, 01/10/16)
2. Administrators' Rep011s
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal
• K-12 Assistant Principal
3. Superintendent's Rep011
4. OCSBA Update
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Resolution - Reserve Accounts
4. Resolution - Iroquois Contract
5. Resolution - TEU Contract Ratification
6. Resolution - Course Change
7. Donation - Portable Piano
8. Emergency Closing Days
9. Personnel
VII. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
VIII. Proposed Executive Session- regarding potential contract negotiations
IX. Correspondence
X. Adjournment

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Board of Education Special Meetings Notice

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that, The Tuxedo Union Free School District Board of Education will hold special meetings on 01/10/2017, 01/12/2017, and 01/17/2016 (snow date 01/18/2017). All meetings will be held at 7:00 PM in the library of the George F. Baker High School, located at 1 Tornado Drive in the town of Tuxedo, New York.

It is anticipated that the Board, upon Board approval, will convene Executive Sessions, to discuss matters leading to the potential appointment/employment of a particular individual. There will not be an opportunity for public comment and no public action will be taken.

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Board of Education Meeting December 15, 2016

The Board of Education met on December 15, 2016 at 6:30pm.  Board members Michael Arone and Dorothy Zeigelbauer were absent.

A public hearing was held on the Smart Schools Bond Act at 6:30, preceding the regular monthly meeting.  The Smart Schools Bond Act (SSBA) was approved by the voters in a statewide referendum held during the 2014 General Election, authorizing the issuance of $2 billion of general obligation bonds to finance improved educational technology and infrastructure to improve learning and opportunity for students throughout the State. The SSBA requires that a Review Board review and approve districts’ Smart Schools Investment Plans before any funds may be made available for the program.  Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed presented the Board with the District’s Investment Plan.  There were no comments from the public, so the hearing was closed.

The regular meeting began at 7pm.

Public Comment:

There were no public comments.

Recognition of Varsity Volleyball Team:

Interim Superintendent Teed welcomed the Varsity Women’s Volleyball team and presented them with a plaque on behalf of the Board of Education acknowledging their accomplishments this season.  Members of the team were recognized by name as were Coach Hines and Coach SchweitzerThe team placed third in the New York State Class D volleyball finals in Glens Falls, NY.  Some individuals received additional recognitions including Keira Costello (first team all state, MVP first team All County and all tournament team State Final Four) Emily Dowling (second team All State and first team All County) Ali Garcia (first team All County) and Elizabeth Minano  (honorable mention All County.)  Pictures were taken.  On behalf of the team, Coach Hines thanked the Board, commenting that they were extremely appreciative of the support and recognition.  She further noted that earlier in the week the Team had also been recognized as a New York State Scholar Athlete Team, which means that the GPAs of the team as a whole, accumulatively, was a 90 or above. 

Board President Diane Petrosky then announced that based on a conversation she had held with the Board attorney earlier that evening, she was requesting that the Board adjourn into an executive session for the purpose of discussing a particular officer of the District.

The session lasted roughly 35 minutes.

Routine Buiness:

Approval of the 11/17/16 Board Minutes – The Board unanimously approved the meeting minutes from 11/17/16.

Administrator’s Reports-

Business Administrator -  Interim Business Administrator Marc Matatia reported that the repairs on boiler #2 at the High School have been completed.  With regard to lead testing, 6 faucets were replaced and retested.  The District is still awaiting the results.  As reported last month, the District chose to flush and retest 8 faucets that originally failed the test prior to replacement.  Of these, five failed again but three showed lower levels after having been flushed.  Each test cost the District a total of $22, totaling $176.  In the long run, the flushing and retesting will be saving the district money, as it costs roughly $250 to replace each faucet.  The other five will be replaced and retested.

K-12 Principal – Principal Schrammel reported that the Parent Portal had been opened and all teachers are now using it.  Feedback from parents has been great thus far. 

K-12 Assistant Principal – Assistant Principal Sorenson reported that the District held a ½ conference day the day before, during which teachers completed Common Core training via BOCES for the second time this year K-6.  Curriculum, Curriculum mapping and RTI skill in the High School were worked on as well

Superintendent’s Report –

Interim Superintendent Teed reminded everyone of the following upcoming calendar events:

12/16/16 – High School STEM field trips – Students 7-12 will be going on STEM related field trips, visiting one of three destinations. 

Winter Recess runs 12/26-1/2 with school resuming on 1/3/17.

The PTO will meet on 1/5 at 7pm

Family Movie night will occur on  1/6 at 6pm

Kindergarten Orientation will take place on 1/19 an 9am in the cafeteria

Regents exams will be given from 1/24-1/27

In response to an inquiry that was recently made, Interim Superintendent Teed then provided the Board with information regarding the No Fuss Lunch program out of New Jersey.  This is a program whereby parents purchase all organic meals for their children, which are in turn delivered to the school for consumption.  They do follow the National School lunch standards, however, part of their agreement would require the purchase of a minimum of 70 lunches.  They also prefer to serve their own lunches with no other food servers in the same location, which would make it impossible for the District to serve their lunches.  Prices start at $4.75 per lunch, with a gluten free option starting at $6.25 per lunch.  The District would be responsible for the cost of any meals provided via the free & reduced lunch program.  Ultimately, it would cost one student $23.75 per week for lunches.  There are legalities involved with the serving of the food, should the District staff serve any of it.  The school attorney advised the Superintendent that he did not feel it was such a good idea.  Ms. Teed further commented that the District does get reimbursed by the State for some of the food they serve, which amounts for over $2,000 a month.  Although she feels it was worth looking into, ultimately the Interim Superintendent feels that bearing the burden of paying for these lunches would significantly hurt the district on a daily basis.

OCSBA Update-

Board member Meg Vaught reported having attended the December meeting of OCSBA at which a presentation on Collective Bargaining was made and the upcoming Capital Conference was discussed.

Items for Action and/or Discussion:

Warrants, Transfers & Bids – There were none

CPSE/CSE – These were unanimously approved by the Board

Resolution – APPR – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the District’s APPR plan. 

Acceptance of Non-Resident Student – The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting a non-resident student to the District

Resolution – Smart Schools Investment Plan – The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the Smart Schools Investment Plan as presented earlier by the Interim Superintendent.

Senior Trip – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the Senior Trip to Disney World in May, 2017.

Personnel – The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the personnel items as presented forth in their Board packets.

Superintendent Search – The Superintendent Search is underway, with interviews having taken place earlier in the day “in house.”  During the month of January, the Board will hold three executive session meetings for the purpose of interviewing candidates.  These will take place on 1/10, 1/12 and 1/17.  An alternate snow date of 1/18 was selected.

Marketing Committee Discussion – Noting that she understood that the current meeting was probably not the right time, Board member Meg Vaught commented that as a member of the Marketing Committee she was interested in hearing thoughts from the other Board members as to the direction the District should take with their marketing initiative.  She further suggested that she felt it might make sense to put together some sort of marketing plan aimed at retaining the current student population.  Using the 8th grade as an example, she commented that she understood that some families chose to send their children to private or parochial schools no matter what, but there were others that they might be able to retain with the right kind of effort.

The Interim Superintendent responded that she had initiated an internal marketing committee with all staff members and they were set to meet next Wednesday and would be meeting monthly moving forward.   She further suggested that one major marketing stumbling block they are encountering is that people are still unsure as to whether or not the High School is open or will remain open, which is a deterrent. 

Vice President Vernon commented that the District has stated unequivocally that they intend to remain open.  If they were contemplating closure, the discussion would have been initiated months ago as a decision would have to be made no later than February.  This discussion has not occurred, because the District is not considering closure. 

The Interim Superintendent responded that unfortunately there were still residents who were very concerned.  She further commented that she had an employee who had recently come to talk to her and informed her that they had sold their home in Tuxedo, suggesting that with the instability in the High School, they were afraid that their taxes were going to skyrocket should the school close.

That being said, Ms. Teed suggested that they set some dates post new year for the Advisory Marketing Committee to meet and review the ideas that the Internal Marketing Committee put forth.

Board member Allyson Arber commented that she felt it would be helpful for them review all of the marketing to date and take a look at the level of response they have received from the various types of initiative in order to determine what was working and what was not.

Interim Superintendent Teed responded that she had been attempting to track for the purpose of comparison to last year this and had also been keeping a record of the number of times the District has appeared in various publications.  She further commented that there were currently two prospective students scheduled for shadowing (Tornado for A Day) and they are very excited about this.

Public Comment:

John McNamara commented that in regards to the marketing piece, he felt that they needed to take a closer look at the cost per student which, being more than double that of the surrounding towns, he feels could be driving some of the problem.  Additionally, he feels they should take a look at some of the rating sites and determine what would be needed to turn around the District’s scores there. 

Interim Superintendent Teed responded that the data on many of those sites is 3 years old.  While some of the sites do pull state report card information, many of the ratings are based on survey questions completed by students and parents and therefore, it can boil down to how many people they can get to complete these surveys.

Mr. McNamara then stated that he liked Mrs. Vaught’s idea about interviewing the 8th grade class to see whether they were looking forward to attending the Tuxedo High School or another school.  He further suggested that the District should consider circulating an anonymous survey to all of the students and their parents asking them to rate the school and make suggestions for improvement. 

Principal Schrammel responded that he had reached out to all 8th grade parents last year personally to discuss  what options they were looking at and whether they wanted to talk more about Tuxedo and if so, how he could assist them.  Some of the parents were responsive and others were not.

Mr. McNamara responded that this was a good idea, but he also felt that an anonymous survey might be a better indicator of where problems existed in general, either perceived or in actuality.

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Tuxedo participates in the West Point Women's Black Knights Reading program - 12/14/16

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting December 15, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Recognition of Varsity Volleyball Team
VI. Routine Business
1. Approval of 11/17/16 Board Meeting Minutes
2. Administrators' Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal
• K-12 Assistant Principal
3. Superintendent's Report
4. OCSBA Update
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Resolution - APPR
4. Acceptance ofNon-Resident Student
5. Resolution - Smart Schools Investment Plan
6. Senior Trip
7. Personnel
8. Superintendent Search
9. Other: Marketing Committee Discussion
Vill. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
IX. Proposed Executive Session- regarding potential contract negotiations
X. Correspondence
XI. Adjournment

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Tuxedo's National Honor Society students assist food pantries - 12/2/16

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Tuxedo students to take part in Hour of Code - 12/2/16

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George Grant Mason School participates in Computer Science Week - 11/29/16

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George F. Baker National Honor Society assists local pantries - 11/28/16

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Board of Education Meeting November 17, 2016

The Board of Education met on Thursday, November 17 at 7pm.

Board member Allyson Arber was absent.

Public Comment:

There were no public comments.

Recognition of Service – Golden Apples Presented:

Golden apples were presented to both Nancy Bourke and Kathleen Bacigalupo, who both recently retired after many years of service to the district. 

Introduction of new faculty members to the Board of Education:

Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed introduced new faculty members Mrs. Sobel and Mr. Chan to both the Board of Education and the public.  Mrs. Sobel teaches math in the high school.  Mr. Chan teaches music in the high school and was also a coach to the modified soccer team.  As part of his work in the high school, Mr. Chan has put together a jazz ensemble, and following his introduction, this group performed a short number much to the delight of the Board and the audience alike.

Presentation by R. Preusser:

The District is in a strong fiscal position and has found itself with an unappropriated fund balance of roughly $375,000.

Raymond Preusser, CPA lead the Board through a somewhat lengthy review of the various reserve funds available to them, further explaining that although the Board can establish any of these funds at present, they could not transfer any of the money into them until summer of 2017. 

This was followed by a question and answer period with the Board members.

Routine Business:

Administrator’s Reports:

The Board had no questions in response to the Principal and Assistant Principal Reports they received as part of their packets. 

Principal Schrammel reminded everyone to wear red on the following day as the Varsity Women’s Volleyball team is heading off the State Finals!

With regard to Operations & Maintenance, Interim Business Administrator Marc Matatia reported that of the 105 water sources tested for lead as per the State mandate, 14 failed…8 in the High School, one outside the gym and 4 in GGM.  The subsequently water was shut-off the signs posted at all of these locations.  6 of the faucets will be replaced.  The other 8 were flushed and retested, with results due back next few weeks.

With regard to the boiler repair, Mr. Matatia reported that in addition to the contracted cost of $19,500, it has been discovered that 5 additional nipples are needed at a cost of $3,200.  There is also a steam leak in the high school, which has been ongoing for a while but in recent weeks has spread into the ceiling of the cafeteria.  Remediation efforts included the replacement of a pump, which will cost the district no more than $2,400.

Board president Diana Petrosky inquired as to whether the total cost of boiler repairs, including the additional work, was still below the other competing BIDs they had initially received.

The answer was yes.  Mr. Matatia added that they have been extremely pleased with the work to date.

The Interim Superintendent noted that it was important that everyone remember that these constituted unexpected costs, which are likely to occur.  She further commented that during the rain the storm earlier that week, Principal Schrammel had informed her that there were 5 leaks in GGM.  Therefore, at some point, roof repairs will be necessary.

President Petrosky agreed, adding that the District faces many repairs down the line such as work on the roof, repairs to the main steps and eventually boiler replacement.  She feels they need to keep all of this in mind when they begin making decisions about where to put their reserves.

With regard to the retesting of water faucets, Interim Superintendent Teed reported that they had done an initial cost analysis on replacing everything and that the results proved that the retesting made the most fiscal sense based on the location faucets in question.

Board member Mike Arone inquired as to what he felt was the extensive cost of the boiler nipple repairs, noting that this was his line of expertise.

Mr. Matatia responded that the nipples were $650 apiece whereas the other companies were asking triple that amount.

Mr. Arone then wanted to know based on what criteria the contractor had been chosen.

The answer was that they had been the lowest bidder.

Mr. Arone wondered how old the boilers were.

The Interim Superintendent responded that she was not sure exactly how old they were, but they were definitely quite old.  She cautioned that the maintenance staff had been telling her that the District would not be able to put “band-aids” on them for much longer.

Mr. Arone stated that he would like to see the boilers and Interim Superintendent Teed responded that this could definitely be arranged.

Interim Superintendent’s Report – Concerning enrollment, Interim Superintendent Teed reported that the District is down 2 students since September.  This reflects students who had made the decision to move on from the District previously, but had not formally requested records and were therefore still included in the enrollment numbers.  Currently there are 114 students enrolled in the High School (7-12) and 126 in the elementary school.  Next week there will be a Tornado For A Day event, where prospective non-resident students have the opportunity to visit the District and shadow current students.  Additionally, a new family recently moved into Tuxedo with 2 students who will be enrolling in the Elementary school. 

On November 28, the District will be opening the Grade Book section of the parent portal and grades will be posted in real time there.  Interim Superintendent Teed cautioned that it was important to remember that “real time” could be task and/or subject dependent.  All classes may not be posted at the exact same time each week.   That being said, the District is excited to be rolling this out. 

Board Vice President Joanne Vernon inquired as to whether there would be oversight that guaranteed that grades were posted within a certain time frame.

The answer was yes.  Mr. Schrammel and Mr. Sorenson will be monitoring the process.

The Administration anticipates holding a Public Hearing on December 15 (the next regularly scheduled meeting of the BOE) to present information on the Smart Schools Bond Act.  This information will detail the planned purchases that the District would like to make in order to enhance technology District wide.  The District was awarded roughly $96,000.

There will be a STEM trip on December 12 to Triangle Manufacturing in Upper Saddle River, NJ.  STEM Director Mr. Margotta was able to make a connection with the owner of this company, Neal Strohmeyer, who lives in Tuxedo Park.  Students will be able to take a tour of the company and see how they manufacture pharmaceutical products, such as replacement knees and hips as well as surgical instruments.  They also use a HAAS machine that is very similar to the District’s mini mill, which will be an additional bonus for the students.

Again, the Interim Superintendent congratulated the Varsity Girls Volleyball team, commenting that they would be playing in the final 4 State playoffs at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Saturday, November 19.  The District is extremely proud of these ladies.

Mr. Schrammel added that there would be a surprise send off for the team the following day at noon, featuring a Police escort out of town.

Interim Superintendent Teed then reminded everyone of the following upcoming events:

Open House will take place on Wednesday, November 30 from 6-8pm.

The PTO will meet on Thursday, December 1 at 7pm

The annual tree lighting is on December 2.

Parent/Teacher conferences for grades K-6 will take place on Wednesday, December 7 from 3-6pm.

The K-6 Holiday Concert will take place on Tuesday, December 13 at 9am with the 7-12 concert taking place on the same date at 7pm.

International Day will take place on Wednesday, December 14 at 9am.

Wednesday, December 14 is also a half day/conference day.

OCSBA Update – Board President Petrosky noted that she had been intending to attend the OCSBA meeting, but ultimately had not done so.  She was disappointed not to have made it as Legoland was scheduled to give a presentation.  Luckily, the District Administrators were able to attend a presentation by Legoland on November 9, where they detailed their involvement with curriculum throughout the local school Districts and their involvement with STEM.  Legoland does not yet have all of the necessary permits they need to move forward with the project, so this was an informational meeting only and in many ways, a sales pitch of sorts.  All the same, the Administrators found it to be both informative and interesting and hope that the District can form a relationship with Legoland that will benefit the STEM program in the elementary school if and when the project does move ahead.

Items for Action and/or Discussion:

Warrants, Transfers & Bids – There were none.

CPSE/CSE – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving these.

Standard Work Day & Reporting Resolution – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving this resolution. 

8th Grade Overnight Trip to Boston – May 31-June 1, 2017 – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving this trip.

Donation Resolutions – Three generous donations were recently made to the District.  The first was a gift of $1,000 from Sue Heywood on behalf of TPAG, to be used to enhance the performing arts program.  The second was the donation of a musical instrument from the Ferri family and the last was a donation of some colored paper to the Kindergarten from Andy Berish.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting all three donations.

Extra-Curricular Funds Resolution – The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting this resolution, which allows for the transfer of funds from those extra-curricular activities that no longer exist to those that are currently operating. 

Second Reading & Adoption of Policy 4210 – “Threats of Violence in School” –

The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting this resolution.

Adoption of 2016-2017 Board of Education Goals –

The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting their 2016-2017 Goals, a copy of which will be posted to the District website.

Personnel – The Board voted unanimously in favor of all personnel changes as proposed.

Superintendent Search –

Vice President Vernon reported that the Board had received a copy of the contract with Leadership Advantage, which came in $14,000 (2,000 less than the originally proposed cost) and includes all print advertising, which has already begun taking place.  The information will also be posted to the District website on November 18.  Focus group meetings have been scheduled for December 8.  Teacher representatives, representatives from support staff, the PTO, Administration, General Public and the Board will all participate in these group meetings at varying times throughout the day and evening.  The closing for the ad will be December 12 and the first round of interviews will be taking place in early January.  There will be additional group sessions will be set up so that the public can meet with the candidates once the Board gets through the first round, after which the decision process will begin.

President Petrosky commented that two of the Board members were also members of the PTO Board.  She further suggested that as the BOE will be the final team interviewing the candidates that these Board members should not serve as PTO representatives within that focus group.

Board member inquired as to how many individuals would be ideal for each focus group.

The answer was 3-5.

Discussion regarding students residing in northern part of Tuxedo:

President Petrosky commented that the Board had been discussing the possibility of reaching out to the Monroe Woodbury district regarding the students in the Northern part of Tuxedo.  An ad-hoc committee was formed for the purpose of gathering information at the October meeting of the BOE.  Updates were provided.

Committee member Mike Arone reported that he had overheard a conversation between residents of Laurel Ridge in which they expressed a strong desire to remain in the Monroe District and seemed dead set against any potential move back to the Tuxedo District. 

Meg Vaught reported that, as per directive given at the October meeting, she had reached out to Kristy Apostolides, President of the Northern Tuxedo Resident’s Association, to discuss the issue at hand as well as the possibility of possibly being added to the groups next meeting agenda.  Ms. Apostolides informed her that although membership within the group spanned all the neighborhoods in Northern Tuxedo, meetings were attended primarily by residents of Laurel Ridge and therefore, attending a meeting would probably not be the best way of pooling the entire demographic.  She suggested that the school put together a survey, which she in turn would help to distribute via an email list.  Ms. Apostolides further cautioned that many of the younger families living in Laurel Ridge had actually purchased their homes with the Monroe District in mind, and therefore were very resistant to the idea of a change like this.

President Petrosky added that she had spoken to a number of younger families, including her son and his family, who felt so strongly that they wanted to remain with Monroe that they would be willing to walk a petition against any potential move.  These families purchased their homes with the larger district and extra-curricular activities in mind.  Additionally, she reached out to  a number of Senior Citizens, whom she reported felt that their homes had more value because of the Monroe District and were also not in favor of the change.  Finally, she spoke with Town Supervisor Mike Rost, who informed her that the Town as a whole could not support the effort when there was a group of residents who were strongly opposed to it.  The President feels that this may not be the proper time for the Board to be reviewing this potential change.  She noted that there are currently discussions taking place in the Monroe Woodbury District about changing District lines having to do with the proposed Annexation.  One politician has cautioned her and Vice President Vernon that bringing attention to Tuxedo in this way could bring about consolidation into the Monroe District.  She feels that Board needs to take these possible repercussions into consideration when deciding whether or not to move forward with exploring this issue.

Vice President Vernon commented that she felt that at this time pursuing this initiative would be like “poking the bear.”  It is clear that the Monroe District has zero interest in returning these students to Tuxedo.  They are probably ecstatic about the potential line change currently proposed as they will lose the high cost of special education for the KJ population and in losing that certain population, she feels that they would probably love to have those monies made up by gaining Tuxedo’s population.  She feels Tuxedo needs to be very cautious and now is not the time.  Governor Cuomo is looking to consolidate Districts.  Tuxedo is an extremely small voting block and means nothing to anyone in terms of making change.  The small voices of Tuxedo do not have much of an effect.   She believes that moving forward could very possibly hurt the District.  There are some things on the horizon and, unofficially speaking, it appears as though the Tuxedo Farms project may be moving forward and this is the direction she feels that the school should take.

Adam Eirand agreed, commenting that several families he had spoken to had also told him they had purchased their homes for the Monroe District.  He noted that when the issue had first come up at the Board level he had supported investigating it, but after having talked with some of the applicable residents he had changed his mind.  “Very simply put,” he stated “putting myself in their shoes….I would be very upset if I bought a home in a District like Monroe Woodbury and then I was told that my children would no longer be going there.”  He further stated that without 100% approval from those residents, he did not favor moving forward.  He suggested that perhaps somewhere down the line they could provide those families with a choice, so that the families who are interested might be able to enroll in Tuxedo.

Mike Arone also agreed, commenting that Monroe will not back the decision and the general consensus from people living in those neighborhoods is negative.

Meg Vaught also agreed, but commented that she did not feel they should abandon the efforts permanently.  She believes that Monroe will never willingly give up the Tuxedo students, since tax dollars from Tuxedo make up roughly 10 million dollars of their annual budget.  Likewise, she does not feel there will ever be 100% support from Northern Tuxedo residents.  All the same, she believes that down the line, as the Tuxedo District grows, bringing all Tuxedo Students into one District is still something they should consider exploring for a multitude of reasons.

Dorothy Ziegelbauer also agreed, commenting she felt moving forward would be futile at this point.

President Petrosky stated that she felt they needed to focus on the students they already had and bringing more students in. It is important that they keep apprised of what is happening with Tuxedo Farms.  There is a committee in place that will hopefully be meeting with Councilwoman Michele Lindsay in the near future to discuss.  Currently, there is nothing going on with the Farms and this is a result of the developer’s supposed negotiations with the Pilgrim Pipeline.  It appears as though things are starting to move forward however, which should be a good thing for the school.  The Farms committee is more than willing to sit down with the Town and the Developer and discuss ways in which the school can help to move things along. 

Public Comment:

John Macnamara inquired with regard to the Board’s conversation about Tuxedo Farms and the school, noting the Related’s main representative, Andrew Dance, had made it very clear on several occasions that the developer did not want to move forward, and has even suggested that they cannot move forward, specifically because of the troubles with the school district.  He wondered how the Board planned on combatting this.  

Meg Vaught responded that at the most recent meetings of the Town Board and Planning Board it had been brought to light that the developer had not put as much effort into attracting builders for the project as they had previously implied due to their on-going negotiations with the Pilgrim Pipeline.  As originally proposed, the pipeline would cut right through the center of the development and, needless to say, this would have a significant impact on any building there.  According to Town Supervisor Mike Rost, Andrew Dance has now indicated that they plan to move forward with attempting to actively attract builders.  In light of this, Mrs. Vaught feels that this would be a good time for the Board to get together with the Town and the Developer and hopefully come to some sort of agreement as to how they can all move forward to everybody’s benefit.  That being said, there has been no disclosure from either entity as to what will actually be happening with the Pilgrim Pipeline and whether or not it has been rerouted around the development.

Mr. Macnamara wondered when the developer had first learned of the pipeline and how long the negotiations had been going on.

Vice President Vernon responded that she did think that the BOE could or should speak for either the Pipeline or the Developer.  She added that Mr. Dance had been asked to submit a list of builders who had been contacted by the developer initially and who had rejected the project.  This list has never materialized.

Following some further discussion, the Board adjourned into an executive session to discuss potential contract negotiations. 

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Tuxedo bands together for run to volleyball's final four - 11/18/16

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Tuxedo Kindergarten pays tribute to Veterans - 11/18/16

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting November 17, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Recognition of Service – Golden Apples Presented
VI. Introduction of new faculty members to Board of Education
VII. Presentation by R. Preusser - Options for Reserve Funds
VIII. Routine Business
1. Approval of 10/20/16 Board Meeting Minutes
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal
• K-12 Assistant Principal
3. Superintendent’s Report
4. OCSBA Update
IX. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Standard Work Day & Reporting Resolution RS2417A
4. 8th Grade Overnight Trip to Boston – May 31 -June 1, 2017
5. Donations Resolutions
6. Extra-Curricular Funds Resolution
7. Second Reading & Adoption of Policy #4210: “Threats of Violence in School”
8. Adoption of 2016-2017 Board of Education Goals
9. Personnel
10. Superintendent Search
11. Discussion regarding students residing in northern part of Tuxedo
X. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
XI. Proposed Executive Session – Potential Contract Negotiations
XII. Correspondence
XIII. Adjournment

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Tuxedo girls volleyball team soars to state Class D final four - 11/14/16

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Tuxedo moves on to regional Class D final - 11/9/16

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Tuxedo heeds coach's message in volleyball section final - 11/7/16

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Board of Education Meeting October 20, 2016

The Board of Education met on October 20, 2016 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Recognition of Service Awards:
The Board formally recognized former Board of Education member Dr. David Kauffer for his 12 years of service on the Board of Education, (2004-2016) presenting him with a golden apple. 

Former Board Member Dr. Ray Barone was also briefly recognized for his 11 years of service (2005-2016) however he was not present to accept an apple.

Public Comment:
Tina Cardona expressed her gratitude to Principal Jason Schrammel, noting that when her husband had stopped in unannounced at the school with some questions, he had made himself almost instantly assessable, providing answers and quickly addressing their concerns.  This type of service is extremely valuable for parents and the Cardonas are extremely appreciative for it. 

Independent Auditor’s Presentation – Scott Preusser of Raymond G. Pruesser presented the Board with an overview of the District’s most recent external audit.  A summary of the auditor’s results was distributed to the public and can be viewed here.  In summation, the district is in sound financial condition.    After putting money back towards taxes, the District was able to retain a $900,000 of unassigned fund balance.  This is due to substantial savings with employee benefits, as well as transportation and Special Ed costs.  The idea of creating additional reserve funds was presented and Mr. Preusser suggested that his firm would be willing to come and talk to the Board further about this and the various options that exist. 

Board Vice President Joanne Vernon commented that the Board was aware of the opportunity to participate in a workshop style meeting with Mr. Preusser’s firm, which would provide them with a better understanding of how they might utilize some of the funds, if they so chose, by instituting various reserve accounts that might be beneficial for the District as they move forward in keeping them in a stronger financial position.  Also, there may be some opportunity to support the education aspect of the staff members who may need to run certain clubs, and understand what their obligations are in order to meet financial standards.

Board President Diana Petrosky stated that she believed they were in the final stages of scheduling this presentation with Mr. Preussers office for the November meeting of the Board.  

Board member Dorothy Ziegelbauer stated that she wished to clarify that there was a typo on page two of the report, where the year 2015 had been put at the top of both columns.  2016 should be at the top of the column on the left.

A Board Member asked for clarification with regard to savings that lead to the increase in unassigned fund balance.  Noting that Mr. Preusser had listed employee benefits and special education costs as areas where substantial amounts of money was saved, she wondered how/why the benefits and costs had not been accurately budgeted for.

It was explained that the district had needed to budget for unemployment when excessing a large number of staff following the loss of Greenwood Lake Students.  Thankfully, many of the excessed staff members were able to find new jobs quickly and therefore, the District did not have to pay the anticipated unemployment costs, which lead to a substantial amount of savings within the budget.  Additionally, there was a special education student who moved out of the district, which resulted in the additional savings.

Mr. Preusser further advised that special education costs could be extremely difficult, especially for smaller districts like Tuxedo.  There have been cases where one student can cost a district up to $100,000 including transportation costs.  He cautioned that it was important to maintain leeway within the budget for situations like this.

Board member Allyson Arber pointed out that another reason the District was able to replenish their reserves was that they obtained some additional revenue.  Additional State Aid and grant monies also contributed to the increase in funds. 
Mr. Preusser agreed with this, pointed out that there had also been some insurance reimbursement adding to the increase.

Mrs. Arbor then commented that the District had spent roughly 91% percent of their anticipated budgeted expenditures.  She asked Mr. Preusser to clarify that moving forward they are looing to spend 94-96% of these budget monies. 

Mr. Preusser concurred, noting that the District had spent 95% of budgeted expenditures the two previous years.  He further commented that this having been the first year without Greenwood Lake students made things difficult for the District in terms of estimating what some of the expenditures would be.  These figures were adjusted for 2016-2017.  He suggested that 95% was a good number to aim for, further cautioning that should a district spend all of the money budgeted, they would eat into their fund balance. 

In summation, President Petrosky asked Mr. Preusser to confirm that over all, the District is in “very good fiscal health.”

Mr. Preusser complied, further stating that the situation had improved from the previous year and that the District now had options, which was a very good thing.

Administrators Reports:
Business Administrator – Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed introduced Interim Business Administrator Marc Matatia along with the consultant to the Business Office, John Steiger.  In response to the abundance of questions with regard to the District’s fiscal future, a 3-year Budget Outlook has been created.  Noting that the outlook was based on some assumptions and that certain things, such as commodity prices etc., could change very quickly, she asked Mr. Matatia to provide an overview of the Outlook.  Copies were also distributed to the audience.  To view a copy of the District’s Three Year Budget Outlook, click hereand here.

Following the presentation, the Board was invited to ask questions.  A fair amount of the discussion centered on the District’s PILOT agreements (Payment in Lieu of Taxes), which are not negotiated by the District. 

Mrs. Vaught inquired as to how many PILOT agreements the District Maintained. 
The answer was three: IBM, Millennium Pipeline and the Promenade.

Board member Adam Eirand inquired as to why the District did not have any say in negotiating their PILOT agreements.

President Petrosky responded that the way the law is written in the State of New York for Orange County, school districts are not included in the negotiations.   In Tuxedo’s case, IBM (provides the largest payment) is in the Tuxedo School District but physically in the Town of Warwick.   Therefore, Warwick negotiates that PILOT and informs the District what they will receive.

Mr. Eirand then asked about The Promenade and President Petrosky informed him that this agreement had been negotiated by the Town of Tuxedo years ago and that the District had not been consulted. 

Mrs. Ziegelbauer asked about Millennium Pipeline and whether the Town had negotiated that agreement as well.

President Petrosky informed her that several towns had negotiated that agreement, but ultimately yes, it was negotiated under the same circumstances.

Mrs. Ziegelbauer inquired about the variance for the BOCES funds and specifically what dictates that number.

Mr. Matatia explained that BOCES does not take profit so, at the end of each year, if their revenues exceed their expenditures, they have a formula for how that money is redistributed back to the Districts.    

K-12 Principal Report - Principal Schrammel gave a presentation outlining the new benchmark testing process that has been put into place this year. 
A copy of this presentation can be viewed here.

It is a process based in formative assessment, which will allow them to more clearly identify where student learning is and where they need to direct it, while also examining how they can close educational gaps.  Using the data, the district plans to put together a comprehensive District Wide Assessment Plan for the 2017-2018 school year. 

Noting that she thought the development of the district wide assessment plan was a great thing, Mrs. Vaught wondered by what method the data would be assessed and how then how those results would drive changes in instruction.   She further inquired as to how the district might deal with a wide array of learning needs within one classroom.

Mr. Schrammel explained that they had designed a differentiated instruction lesson for all teachers K-12 and then brought in a certified trainer in to educate them on this model.  He feels it was extremely beneficial for everyone involved. 

Speaking to the assessment of the data, Mr. Schrammel stated that there were a number of different services that they could contract out to.  In the past, the District has used MAPS testing, which is a computer based model that has the adaptive ability to scale the questions to the test taker based on their results in real time. 

Mrs. Vaught then wanted to know who would be analyzing the data.

Mr. Schrammel explained that initially he and Vice Principal Sorenson had been extracting the data and providing it to the individual teachers.   This practice will continue but moving forward, they will also be looking at the data in their monthly faculty meetings, where they have broken into faculty teams comprised of cross sections of teachers grouped by school, for the purpose of analyzing learning results and identifying commonalities.  He cautioned, often times “it could be about the data, or it could be about the individual student as well.”
For clarification purposes, Vice President Vernon stated that although the term “differentiated instruction” is often unclear to people, the reality is that it is all just an example of really good teaching.  It is not a new founded system.  Typically teachers are trained to ensure that they are meeting the student needs where the student it. (?? This doesn’t make sense.  Did you leave a word out?) By having baseline data, they can drive instruction to support a particular student wherever they may be.  She further suggested that small class size was also a beneficial component to all of this.  Not everyone will learn in the same way or at the same pace and students will need different things.  It is important that the District is providing all of these things, but they need to make sure that the level is high as they want their test scores to improve. 

Mr. Schrammel agreed, responding that one of the things they had learned about in their recent conference was a new technology, which allows for leveled reading. Students in K-12 can all read the same article at different levels.  Within one classroom, everyone might think they are reading the exact same thing because the content is consistent, but each student is able to learn and move forward at their own individual level.

Board member Alysson Arbor inquired as to how the tests were being derived.

Mr. Schrammel responded that most of them were either Regents or State test based.  They have also worked with Orange Ulster BOCES in the past to develop SLO testing.  (Student Learning Objective)  These are generalized tests by grade level.

Mrs. Arbor then wanted to know if the tests were given in the same format as the State Tests will be given.  For example, she wondered if the third graders (who will be testing for the first time this year) were presented with scantron sheets.

Mr. Schrammel responded that the District does not have a scantron reader in house.  While they could develop a bubble system, which he feels might be a great idea moving forward, they did not do this for the first round of testing.  They did, however, use comparable blocks of time for the testing.

Mrs. Arbor then inquired as to how the quarterly information would be distributed to parents and to what degree the parents would be brought into the process.

Mr. Schrammel replied that at elementary level (K-6) the information would be on the report cards.  At the high school level the information is provided during parent/teacher conferences. 

There followed a brief discussion between Vice President Vernon and Mr. Schrammel with regard to testing schedules and the ability of some students to retake Regents exams.  Retakes are typically administered in January and the District is working with students in AIS as well as those who declined AIS to encourage a re-take and help them prepare.

A discussion about the number of students who have declined AIS services ensued.
Mrs. Arbor wondered if it might be possible to offer AIS services after school to accommodate students whose schedules were jam packed.

The Interim Superintendent responded that this was a contractual item and that the District currently did not offer AIS services outside of the regular school day.

Board member Mike Arone asked if all kids at all levels were being given the same tests.
The answer was yes.  The baseline tests are the same.  Analyzing the data will allow them to assess whether or not students need to be advanced or pushed to new levels.

Board member Dorothy Ziegelbauer wondered how student achievement differences in the classroom were accounted for when everyone was provided with the same homework but there is one student who is at a much higher level than the others.

Mr. Schrammel responded that when this occurs, the homework should be differentiated so that the advanced student received a tougher assignment.

Mrs. Arbor wondered if this practice was currently employed in both schools.

The answer was yes. 

K-12 Assistant Principal – Vice Principal Eric Sorenson commented that he felt the ENL training and differentiated Instruction workshop with teachers had been both successful and powerful.  Additionally, the District has rolled out Google Guardians for grades 7-12, which is a program that will allow parents to oversee their child’s work/progress/assignments in Google Classroom and also communicate directly with teachers.   A workshop was offered for parents to better understand how to use the program and several attended with strong results. 

Vice President Vernon wondered if there was any way to monitor how many parents were utilizing the service.

Mr. Sorenson responded that he was not sure and would ultimately need to go into the system and count.  He guestimated that about ½ of the parents have signed up thus far.

“If ½ the parents haven’t signed up, how are they supporting their student…and aware?” wondered Vice President Vernon. 

She wondered if it were the District’s responsibility to remind parents that the opportunity was there and that they are holding parents accountable for their students progress track.

Mr. Sorensen agreed, commenting that this was one of the attributes of the system.  Instead of logging directly into their children’s account, this program allows for oversight.  Letters were sent to all of the parents inviting them to join and he has been very on top of getting all of those who are interested signed up.  “On our end, we are putting out all of the information so that parents can be in real time, knowing what is going on and so that communication between student, parent and teacher is clear.”

Superintendent’s Report:
Interim Superintendent Teed began by updating the Board with regard to certain mandates that have come down over the past several months and the associated costs.  The first is with regard to water testing.  Although the District proactively tested several drinking sources last year, the State has now mandated that every potable source be tested.  This testing has been completed, although the District has not yet received the results.  102 samples were tested as $22 per sample.  At this time, they are looking at a cost of approximately $3,100 for the testing plus whatever remediation might be necessary.  The State has also mandated that a certified engineer must review any remediation that takes place.  This will be an additional cost.  Interim Superintendent Teed assured the Board that once the results had been received, any necessary remediation would take place immediately.  In the meantime, the results of the voluntary testing that took place last year are available on the website.    Another new mandate is that carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in all of the buildings.  Currently the district has 25 battery operated detectors installed and 3 hardwired detectors.  The estimated cost of bringing everything into compliance is $4,200. 

A new sign-in security procedure has been implemented in GGM.  Parents and visitors must sign-in with the greeter.  If the visitor is there to pick up their child, the greeter will make contact with the classroom and the child will be escorted down to the greeter’s desk.  If the visitor has an appointment, they will wait in that area to be met.  This is a security measure that is being put in place in an effort to keep people from wandering about the building and to protect the students and staff.

GGM will soon begin using a new program called DREAM BOX.  This is a program that students can utilize at home to assist in reinforcing math skills.  It is cost-free and it will be recommended that students use it at home 2-3 times a week in addition to completing their math homework.  The program is an adaptive learning application, which replicates playing games and is based on math algorithms.  It assesses student learning in real time.

Senator Bonacic will be visiting the District on Monday, October 24 to assist in the unveiling of the new Haas Minimill machine.  The District was able to purchase the machine due in large part to the senator’s efforts tin obtaining additional state aid. 

There will be an Open House on Wednesday October 26 from 6-8pm.  All are welcome to attend.  The event will showcase both schools.

On Thursday October 27 at 7pm the National Honor Society and National Jr. Honor Society will hold its induction ceremony in the High School Auditorium.

Haunted Hallways is back and will take place on Friday October 28 and Saturday October 29 from 7-10:30pm.  This is a great, festive event and all are encouraged to attend.

Residents can sign up in advance by calling the main office in the High School.  There will also be a GGM Halloween parade for those students who wish to participate on Monday, October 31 from 8:30-9am.   No clown costumes will be permitted.  For those students who do not want to participate, additional fall activities will be available in the building.   Halloween will be a half-day for all students as it is a Superintendent’s conference day.  Dismissal will take place at 11:25 am. 

The Student Councils in both schools will be participating in Coloring for Chemo.

This organization collects art supplies and donates them to juvenile cancer facilities. 

The drive will take place from October 17-November 4.

President Petrosky added that even though the Interim Superintendent had provided rough estimates with regard to the water testing and remediation, that the public should realize that these costs could ultimately be in the thousands of dollars based on whatever might be necessary.  Referencing the new safety measures in GGM, she commented that this was something that had come up as a suggestion as they had sat down with their safety program and realized that there were individuals coming into the building and sometimes roaming about.  The new regulations are not to discourage parents from coming to school but rather to encourage safety for the students.

Mrs. Ziegelbauer wondered whether there had been any remediation following the voluntary water testing.

The answer was yes.  There were two locations that were in need of remediation. 

Mrs. Ziegelbuaer then wondered whether the three carbon monoxide monitors that were already hardwired were located near the furnaces.

The answer was yes.  They are in the boiler rooms.

Mr. Arone wondered how often water testing would occur.

The interim Superintendent responded that the State had not come down with a mandated schedule for testing as of yet. There has been talk about State Aid for the purpose of offsetting some of the water-testing costs however to date, she has not been informed of any procedures having been put in place.

Mr. Arone then wondered how many different tests were being run.

The answer was only lead.

He then asked how many water mains came into the buildings and how old the buildings were.

The answer was 2 mains (one for each building) and 86 years old.

Mr. Arone then inquired as to what a HAAS Minimill machine was.

The Interim Superintendent explained that this was a computer, numerically controlled machine.  Students will be taught to program the machine in order to build product, using CAD.

Mrs. Vaught wondered if there had been a large response to the Open House to date.
Interim Superintendent Teed responded that there had been a few responses.  The Rockland digital marketing piece kicks off on October 21 and over the weekend through Tuesday.  There will also be an insert in the Journal News and an ad in the Times Herald Record.  Digital Marketing will begin in November on the THR website as well. 

Bringing the topic back to the water testing, Board member Adam Eirand inquired as to whether the two sites that had already been remediated were identified by location on the school website. 

The answer was yes. 

He further wondered hat type of remediation had been needed.

The answer was replacement of a fixture, like a bubbler on a fountain.

OCSBA Update:
Mrs. Vaught reported the following with regard to the recent OCSBA (Orange County School Boards Assoc) meeting.

Lions Kidsight USA gave a short presentation detailing a free service they offer to schools whereby they do advanced vision testing in children up to 6 years.  This testing does not replace the testing done annually by the school nurse but rather augments it by screening more in depth for various issues.  Lions Sight has reported that they catch issues with 8-10% of those they test.  While the service is entirely free, a permission slip from the parents is required.  Mrs. Vaught provided the Interim Superintendent with the detailed brochure she was given at the meeting.

The annual NYSBA convention is coming up October 26-27.  Mrs. Vaught noted that at the last meeting, President Petrosky had identified herself as the voting delegate for the district but had not commented as to whether or not she was planning to attend.  Commenting that it seemed like it would be a fantastic opportunity for the District in terms of networking and learning, Mrs. Vaught suggested that although they had not budgeted for it this year, they might consider doing so for next year’s convention in Lake Placid.

President Petrosky indictaed that she was planning to attend.

Mrs. Vaught expressed her pleasure at this, noting that this year’s keynote speaker would be speaking on Why America Is Failing Science – Regaining Dominance in STEM, which she felt was pertinent to the District with the STEM Academy.

The meeting also featured some robust conversation surrounding the proposed NYSBA resolutions and Mrs. Vaught noted that many of the issues discussed, such as lunch time recess and not-enough-time-in-the-school-day, seem to be effecting districts across the county.

OBSBA will be offering training with regard to mandated child abuse reporting.  There will be a 30 minute session on November 16, after which they will be holding an additional meeting for new school board members who might wish to stay and discuss any issues they have encountered or questions they might have after having completed their first few months in office.

Finally, BOCES Superintendent Bill Hecht reported that BOCES had developed a 5-year facilities plan, which includes both a new septic system at the Goshen campus, as well as new roofing in other locations.  While the septic system can be paid for within the confines of the normal budget, the roofs will need to be bonded and there is a chance that this could come down outside of the tax cap, and if that happens, all Districts will be affected. 
President Petrosky noted that fortunately, in comparison to other Districts, Tuxedo is given a smaller portion of expenses to pay when large costs are broken out in that way.

Speaking to the convention, President Petrosky noted that she had attended it many times over the years and it is very valuable, however it can be cost prohibitive.   Attending all 4 days would cost well over $2,000, which include the fees to attend as well as the cost of a hotel room.  In lieu of attending the entire conference, she has registered to attend the convention meeting and represent Tuxedo as a voting delegate.  This will not cost the district anything.

Mrs. Vaught inquired as to whether the $2,000 was a flat fee for attendance of it his was a conglomerate of the various expenses.

President Petrosky replied that estimate would be per person.  There is a legal conference at the beginning of the event that is over $400 per member (Tuxedo is a member District) and then the convention itself is an additional $400.  Additionally, the rooms that are blocked off are typically well over $250 per night.  Associated dinners can also be well over $150 per person for night.  These are all great things to do and can be valuable for the District, but as the NYSBA rep for the District, she has made the decision to attend the one meeting only. 

Items for Action and/or Discussion:
Warrants, Transfers & Bids – There were none.

CPSE/CSE – Items 2.01 through 2.04 were unanimously approved.

School Board Recognition Week – School Board recognition week is October 24-28.  On behalf of the District Administration, the faculty and the Staff , the Superintendent offered her gratitude to the Board for all that they do.  The Students in GGM created cards for the Board members, which were distributed along with some snacks.

Adoption of 2017-2018 Budget Calendar – The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the 2017-2018 Budget Calendar as presented. 

Acceptance of the 2015/2016 Financial Audit Report – President Petrosky explained that by accepting the report as presented, they were not approving anything.  They were mandated to acknowledge receipt, which is what this agenda item is all about.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of accepting the 2015/2016 Financial Audit Report.

Policy #4210 – “Threats of Violence in School” (First Reading) –
President Petrosky explained that the Board Policy was to present new policies in the form of a “first reading” at a Board meeting.  Board members will then have one
month to review the policy and either make comments or suggest changes prior to it’s adoption at the following month’s meeting.    The policy was displayed on the screen for everyone to read.  Vice President Vernon asked for clarification that anybody making a threat against the District was engaging in a criminal act.  Board member and Greenwood Lake Police Sargent Adam Eirand confirmed that this was indeed correct.

Personnel – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving 7.1-7.2.

Discussion – Northern Tuxedo Students – Interim Superintendent Teed opened the conversation by explaining that initially she had reached out to Senator Bonacic in an attempt to enlist his help with convincing the Commission of Education to consider redistricting the boundaries in the Monroe District to allow those students to return to Tuxedo.  The Senator indicated that he felt that attempting to achieve this at the State Ed level would be “a very very hard hump to get over.”  Based on this,,she called the Superintendent in Monroe to discuss the issue, and was told that the issue would be brought to the attention of the Monroe Board.   This occurred and the Monroe Board indicated that they were not interested in entertaining the idea of losing those students.  Superintendent Teed then wrote a letter to Commissioner Elia at the New York State Education Department, asking her for her consideration with the redistricting.  A copy of this letter was also sent to the Monroe Superintendent along with Bill Hecht, the BOCES Superintendent and Senator Bonacic. 

The Interim Superintendent then circulated a copy of this letter to the Board for their review. 

For the purpose of clarifying things for the public, President Petrosky commented that the way the process is written, if the Tuxedo School Board agrees to accept the students and the Monroe Board decides to allow them to leave and the two Districts reach an agreement, the decision goes to the Superintendent at the County level to sign off on and make a recommendation to the State of New York.  This is why the letters were sent to the people they were. 

Vice President Vernon commented that the reality of the situation was that Monroe
Woodbury would not likely release those students because they would be letting go of millions of dollars in revenue. 

President Petrosky added that the Tuxedo students represented approximately ten million dollars of the Monroe budget.  She further stated that this is something she has worked on many times before with various groups through the community, however the Board felt that it might be worth another try now with everything that is going on in the Town of Monroe and with the Monroe School District.  She has also reached out to a number of people.  It has been recommended to her that to  proceed the District should try one of two things.  First they should show an interest from the northern portion of Town and to unify the Town by walking a petition door to door.  (This was done 5-6 years ago)  Secondly, they should contact the North Tuxedo Residents Association and speak to them to gauge their interest. 
President Petrosky then commented that she had been told that these students had never been a part of the Tuxedo District historically, but had rather been a part of the Southfields district, attending either Monroe or Tuxedo.  The President has been told that this is something that would “also have to be overcome.”  Bottom line, if they want to move forward, she suggested that first step would be to reach out to Residents in Clinton Woods, Laurel Ridge, Brammertown Road, Arden and Southfields gauge their interest in moving forward.  She further suggested that they put together an ad hoc committee for the purpose of doing this.

Mrs. Arber inquired as to whether any response had been received to the Interim Superintendent’s letter.

The answer was no.  The letter was sent to the Commissioner.  The Interim Superintendent had a verbal conversation with the BOCES Superintendent who indicated that he would have no trouble signing off on it, but both parties would need to be in agreement and he was not in a position to force this.

Mrs. Arbor responded that she would be very interested to hear how the residents in the Northern part of Town  felt about all of this and to that end, she was supportive of forming an exploratory committee. She further commented however, that she was under the impression that even if they did this, and were able to get a petition full of signatures to present to the Monroe Board, that Board would still say no.   She wondered if their were any other mechanism for moving things forward. 

President Petrosky responded that the Commissioner was in a position to change it but she believed that any such decision would be based on the impacts to both districts and it is believed that this change would have a seriously negative impact on Monroe, while having a positive impact on Tuxedo.  If there were going to be a positive impact on both Districts, she feels it would be looked at differently.  “If you have 300 homes in the Northern part of town and 298 of them want this to happen, that would hold weight with the Commissioner, but again, it’s in the hands of the Monroe School Board and the recommendation must be made by their Superintendent to the School Board in order to have that vote.” 

Vice President Vernon suggested that in light of the fact that there were redistricting and annexation discussions going on, and the impact that that will have on the Monroe School District, for them to loose 10 million would be very challenging.  She is not sure that Tuxedo is enough of a voting block to really send a message to the elected officials to have their voices heard.  It’s worth a try.  She also cautioned that if the State began looking very closely at this, the issue of consolidation could come to light and become an issue. 

Mrs. Arbor responded that the Tuxedo District is in the situation that they are in and she feels that the State is aware of that and therefore, she does not believe that moving forward with this would exacerbate that potential. 

President Petrosky commented that she had received feedback from a number of people indicating that it would be both the worst time and the ideal time to move forward with something like this. It is the worst time for Monroe because of everything they have going on, but it is arguably the best time for Tuxedo since they are going to be redistricting. 

Following some further discussion, Mrs. Vaught volunteered to talk with Kristy Apostolides, who is the president of the Northern Tuxedo Residents Association, about the possibility of coming to a meeting to gauge general interest in moving forward.   Vice President Vernon also volunteered to discuss the issue with the Senator while he was visiting on the District on Monday.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of forming an exploratory committee, comprised of Mrs. Vaught and Mr. Arone. 

Other Business:
Interim Superintendent Teed commented that she wanted to publicly thank High School Student Andrew Hekl.  Andrew recently completed his Eagle Scout project, which consisted of building 4 new tables and a stone flower planter, which have all been installed on Circle Field.  The Interim Superintendent encouraged everyone to visit it, commenting that it had really enhanced the playground area.  Students use it during the day and the community uses it in the evenings and on weekends.  Again, she expressed her sincere gratitude to Andrew and this was met by a round of applause from the audience.

The Board then adjourned into Executive session to discuss contract negotiations and/or potential employment of a particular firm or a particular person.

They emerged from the executive session roughly an hour and 15 minutes later and voted unanimously in favor of hiring the recruitment firm Leadership Advantage, LLC at a cost not to exceed $16,000 to conduct their upcoming Superintendent search.

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Tuxedo STEM Academy unveils HAAS Mini Mill - 10/26/16

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Senator Bonacic visits Tuxedo STEM Academy

On Monday, October 24, 2016, the Tuxedo STEM Academy held a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil its newest addition, a HAAS Mini Mill to the HAAS Lab at the STEM Academy. District staff and students, Dylan Leo, Arik Mozejko, Jeremy Dedel and Vasilis Lymberis were joined by Senator John Bonacic at the unveiling of the Mini Mill. Senator Bonacic was crucial in securing additional state aid for the district last year. This prompted district officials to investigate and plan the beginnings of the HAAS Lab.

District officials said the HAAS Mini Mill was purchased to enhance the STEM Program for the students at the high school. With the addition of the Mini Mill, students will be capable of going from the thought process/idea to the design process to the fabrication process. The students are currently utilizing CAD (computer assisted drawing) and will be introduced to SolidWorks in the near future.

Others who joined the unveiling of the Mini Mill were Neil McGill, Director of Operations at Allendale Machinery. McGill has worked closely with the district’s STEM Advisor, Marco Margotta in developing a partnership between the district and Allendale Machinery.

Others present were: Diana Petrosky, President of the Board of Education, Joanne Vernon, Vice President of the Board of Education, Jason Schrammel, Principal and Interim Superintendent, Nancy Teed.

The Tuxedo Union Free School District is holding Open Houses on 10/26 & 11/30 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Those interested may visit the website for additional information:
www.tuxedoufsd.org

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting October 20, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Recognition of Service Award(s)
V. Public Comment (Up to 3 minutes per person; 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. ApprovaL of Minutes: 09/15/16 and 10/11/16
VII. Routine Business
1. Independent Auditor's Presentation- Scott Preusser of Raymond G. Preusser
CPA, PC
2. Administrators' Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal
• K-12 Assistant Principal
3. Superintendent's Report
4. OCSBA Update
VIII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. School Board Recognition Week- (10/24/16 to 10/28/2016)
4. Adoption of2017-2018 Budget Calendar
5. Acceptance of 2015/2016 Financial Audit Repott
6. Policy #4210- "Threats of Violence in School" (First Reading)
7. Personnel
8. Discussion-Notthern Tuxedo Students
IX. Public Comment
X. Correspondence
XI. Proposed Executive Session- Contract negotiations and/or potential employment of a
pmticular firm or a pmticular person
XII. Adjournment

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Special Board of Education Meeting October 11, 2016

The Board of Education held a special meeting on Tuesday October 11 at 6:30pm.  Board members Adam Eirand and Michael Arone were absent.

Public Participation:
There were no comments from the public.

Resolution – Board Approval of Amended District-Wide School Safety Plan:
Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed provided a brief over view of the amendments, which consisted mostly of name changes/updates.

The Board then voted unanimously to approve the amended District-wide safety plan.

Resolution  - Board Approval and Awarding of Contract Bid for repair work for the Tuxedo High School Boiler Project:
Board member Meg Vaught inquired as to whether or not at least three competing bids had been obtained.

The answer was yes.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of awarding the bid as recommended by the Interim Superintendent.

Audit Committee Appointment:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Volker Baer as the Audit Committee Community Representative.

Superintendent Search:
Board Vice President Joanne Vernon explained that 6 search firms had been contacted for possible assistance with the upcoming search and of those, 4 had agreed to make presentations before the Board. 

Unfortunately, one of the firms had to back out at the last minute, so therefore, the Board would be hearing from/interviewing three entities that evening:
                        OUBOCES
                        Leadership Advantage
                        Hazard, Young, Attea & Assoc.

The Board then adjourned into executive session for the purpose of conducting said interviews and subsequent discussion of the potential employment of a particular firm or a particular person.

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Agenda for Special Board Of Education Meeting October 11, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Public Participation/6:50 p.m. move to Proposed Executive Session
IV. Resolution-Board Approval of Amended District-Wide School Safety Plan
V. Resolution-Board Approval and Awarding of Contract Bid for repair work for the Tuxedo High School Boiler Project
VI. Superintendent Search
VII. Proposed Executive Session – Potential employment of a particular firm or a particular person
VIII. Adjournment

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Baker students participate in the Presidential Debate at Hofstra - 9/28/16

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Tuxedo School Board Seeks Community Members for Audit Committee

The Tuxedo Board of Education has extended an invitation to community members who may be interested in joining the Audit Committee. The mission of the Audit Committee is to provide independent advice, assistance, and recommendations to the Board in the oversight of the internal and external audit functions of the district.

For more information, please visit the school website at http://tuxedoufsd.org/

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Special Board of Education Workshop Meeting September 19, 2016

The Board of Education held a Special Workshop Meeting on Monday September 19 at 7pm for the purpose of setting Board of Education Goals for the 2016/2017 school year.  All members were present.

The meeting lasted for roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes with a wide range of subjects being discussed at length.  The Board examined 5 key areas, ultimately making a list of goals as they pertained to each.  Some of these are listed here:

1. Community Relations

  • Foster strong partnerships with home, school, businesses and the community to ensure that everyone is well informed.
  • Improve the distribution of information to the public
  • Improve minutes by providing greater detail
  • Promote E-mail distribution (links to agendas, meeting minutes, policy    changes)
  • Create and provide a Quarterly Update from the Board of Education to the community

2. Finances and Long Term Planning  

  • Create and Show budget-to-actual format  
  • Restructure procedures in Business office based on results of recent Comptrollers report
  • Provide financial information to support the fact that the district does not  need non-resident students in order to sustain its program.
  • Expand the roll of the Audit Committee and nominate a Committee spokesperson
  • Provide a 3-year Financial Plan of fiscal sustainability

           
3. Staff Development

  • Support and Increase training in various instructional strategies across all  staff (Common Core (ELA & Math), STEM, Character Education

4. Student Achievement

  • Benchmarking according to District protocol
  • Prioritize continuous improvement for all students at all levels in all areas of instruction

5. School Environment

  • Maintain an innovative learning environment that is safe, efficient, nurturing and supportive of all student interest and needs.

It was agreed that this information would be compiled into one document, which would be presented at the October meeting for review and adoption.

Additionally, a Special Meeting was set for October 11 at 6:30pm for the purpose of interviewing Superintendent Search firms as well as approving a finalized District Wide Emergency Plan.

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Board of Education Meeting September 15, 2016

The Board of Education met on Thursday, September 15, 2016.
Board member Allyson Arber was absent.

Public Participation:
Uli Pendl of Tuxedo Park began by stating that he had several questions for the Board as follows:

  1. What is the final Reserve number?
  2. What has Ms. Cupano done to warrant her dismissal?  Was it connection with the recent State audit?  Have those members who were on the Board at the time of the audit submitted their resignations as a result of their oversight?
  3. When will the taxpayers see a new line-by-line budget?  Will there be a draft available to the public prior to the workshop?
  4. When will the taxpayers see the promised 3-year plan, which he feels ought to be based on “realistic facts” and not “made assumptions.”

In response to the first question, Board President Diana Petrosky responded that the Interim Superintendent would attempt to provide some information during her report.

Regarding the question about Ms. Cupano, she stated that the Board would not be discussing any such personnel issues.  Ms. Cupano is on personal leave.

 

She then inquired of Mr. Pendl as to specifically which budget (2014,2015, 2016) he was seeking a new line-by-line for.

He responded that he was looking for an updated version of the most recently approved budget, 2016/2017.

President Petrosky replied that this would be addressed throughout the meeting.

 

Joe Rickard commented that everybody was very disappointed by the recent audit, which he referred to as “devastating.”  He suggested that the Board had promised both a revised budget and the presentation of a 3-year plan at the two previous meetings, but they had not produced either.  He further commented that the school was going to be hiring a Business Manager that evening and he would like to know what process was used in selecting this individual, specifically how many people had been interviewed and what were the qualifications of the individual selected.  He feels that it is important that the Board is asking these questions.  He went on to inquire as to whom specifically on the Board or in the Business Office, with financial background, had interviewed the candidate.  He stated that the District had been struggling with their budget for almost a decade with budget after budget that had not been put out correctly.

Finally, he inquired about the forensic audit, commenting that the public had been told they could expect to see results in October.  He asked for assurance that the results would in fact be presented as promised so that the public could get a chance to see exactly how bad the situation was that the State created the audit.

Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed responded that she and Mr. Rickard had actually already corresponded regarding these questions. 

Mr. Rickard replied that there had been correspondence with regard to his first question, but not the second two.

The Interim Superintendent stated she had clarified during the August 18 meeting that she would not be putting up a revised budget, but that she anticipated providing an explanation as to the results of the Comptroller’s report and whether it had had any effects on the budget.  This clarification can be found in the meeting minutes.  

Mr. Rickard disagreed, stating that he had originally asked for a new budget and that Ms. Teed had told him that a revised budget would be presented at the September meeting.

Again, Ms. Teed disagreed with this, noting that she had already discussed this with Mr. Rickard, but again asserting that she had misspoken during a July meeting but had clarified herself during the August meeting, clearly stating that she anticipated providing an explanation.  In their most recent correspondence, Mr. Rickard had inquired as to whether or not there would be any explanation provided and she had informed him that due to the leave of absence of Ms. Cupano, there has not been a Business Administrator serving in that capacity.  She further stated that they would work their hardest to get this information out for the October meeting. 

Board President Diana Petrosky added that this was not a promise, although they would do their best to get the information.  She further stated that they were putting the right people in place.  “You keep saying that we are promising.  I am telling you in front of a room full of people, I am not promising.  We are going to work as hard as we can.”

“We’re working as hard as we can,” added Ms. Teed.

“To do it responsibly and correctly,” stated President Petrosky, “which is I’m sure what you want Mr. Rickard.”

“I do,” replied Mr. Rickard.

With regard to hiring the Interim Business Administrator, the Interim Superintendent stated that she was recommending the hiring of Marc Matatia.  He comes to Tuxedo from the Schenectady District where he worked for three years as an assistant to the Director of Finance.  He also worked in North Colonie.  She is also in receipt of recommendations from outside sources via Orange Ulster BOCES.  She further stated that she was also recommending the hiring of a consultant Business Administrator, John Staiger, who worked in the Tuxedo District many years ago. Mr. Staiger has recently retired.  He will assist on a consultant basis with closing the books and also helping the District to prepare for State Aid submissions.   The Interim Superintendent feels that hiring these two individuals will give them the opportunity to evaluate the situation in the business office and to look forward to 2017/2018 and the needs of the District within that office. 

As for the forensic audit, Interim Superintendent Teed stated that this had not been completed yet.  The Board is not yet in receipt of the report.   As soon as it is received, the findings will be released.  She went on to say that they had never promised that findings would be released in August.  She stated that she would never make that promise if she did not have a completed report.  Once she has it done, she will release it. 

Mr. Rickard wondered when this might be.

The Interim Superintendent responded that it would be released after it had received Board approval. 

Mr. Rickard wondered when the report was due to be submitted to the District for Board approval.  He reiterated that he felt this was incredibly important as the public had voted on a budget, but now knew that the numbers were incorrect.

Interim Superintendent Teed responded that she did not disagree.  At this time she does not have a due date, but she is working with the attorney to procure one as soon as possible. 

President Petrosky added: “The school attorney is working with the auditor.  There are specific guidelines.  When they complete that audit, as the attorney has advised me, the Board will be given a report.  Once that report is reviewed and we are satisfied that our criteria has been met, we will accept it or send it back.  If you have the financial background that you say, you know that that report will then be FOILable by anybody in the community, but we have set criteria and that criteria must be met before the audit report is created. Thank You.”

Routine Business:
1.Approval of Minutes – Minutes were approved for meetings that took place on 8/4/16, 8/18/16 and 8/23/16.

2. Administrators Reports –
Treasurer’s Report – Board Vice President, Joanne Vernon, commented that the Board realized that they were not yet “closed out” and that they were looking forward to the new staffing and the oversight to provide them with a close-out so that the figures would be understandable and accurate.
           
K-12 School Principal – Principal Schrammel had nothing to add to his
Report as it had been submitted to the Board.

K-12 Assistant Principal – Assistant Principal, Eric Sorenson, had nothing to
add to his report as it had been submitted to the Board.

3. Interim Superintendent’s Report – Interim Superintendent began by highlighting some upcoming events in the District.  The PTO sponsored Back To School Carnival is slated to take place on Friday, September 16 from 3-6pm.  Everyone is encouraged to attend.  Wednesday September 21 is Back To School Night in the High School beginning at 7pm.  On Thursday, September 22, there will be an early dismissal drill, with students being dismissed at approximately 2:15/2:20pm.  A letter will be going home to parents as a reminder.  Friday, September 23 is Peace Day.  This is a wonderful event that takes place annually on the lawn in front of the High School.  It begins at 9am.  On Wednesday, September 28 Back To School Night in GGM will take place, commencing at 6pm. 

Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer inquired as to whether or not the after school program would be taking place on the day of the early dismissal drill. (9/22)
The Interim Superintendent responded that she believed it would run, but she would double check on this.

Moving on she reported that Governor Cuomo had recently signed legislation to test drinking water for lead in all schools across the State.  Tuxedo was ahead of the curve when they initiated this process last spring.  They tested all identifiable drinking sources at that time and now they are required to test all potable sources.  There are 134 of them.  The District is hopeful that this testing will be complete on September 26 and once the results are received, they will be posted in addition to the other results, which were already posted.

Mr. Sorenson will be taking a small group of High School students to Hofstra University in September 26 to observe the Presidential Debate program.  This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for them.  This announcement was met by a round of applause from the audience.  The first High School STEM field trip will also take place on that day, with the students traveling to Krutgers.

An enrollment report entitled Transfer Report was provided outlining the number entering and exiting the District now that the shuffling around has stabilized in both buildings. 

Board member Meg Vaught inquired whether or not it might be possible to put together an enrollment report that showed the number of children in each class relative to what it was last year (i.e. last years 4th grade next to this year’s 5th grade) so that they could determine the loss and growth in each individual class.

The Interim Superintendent responded “We can certainly look at that to see if we can capture that moment in time that this was generated off our student management system.”
Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer clarified that there were 23 students who transferred into the District while 20 transferred out.  The net effect is 3 new students. 

Interim Superintendent Teed confirmed this, commenting that there was also a recommendation on the table that evening for the Board to accept 2 additional non-resident students, which would bring the District to a total of 8 non-resident students; 6 in the High School and 2 at the elementary level.

Moving on, the Interim Superintendent stated that she would also like to comment on information that had been shared out at the previous Board meeting regarding concerns about the Regents scores from the June 2014 time period.  Specifically, a parent addressed the Board with concerns because the Regents scores were listed inaccurately for her child.  Since that time, the administration has dug into every Regents exam given in the June 2014 period and discovered that there had been an error.  The then employed guidance counselor entered the scores incorrectly in the system.  The scores were sent to the Mid-Hudson Regional Information Center, who generated an error report back to the guidance councilor.  That report was ignored by both the guidance counselor and the then employed building Principal.

Ultimately, the scores were entered incorrectly, reflecting a Regents score that was actually a final exam score.  The Administration was contacted each of the 9 parents of the students that were effected and a new transcript has been generated and given to them.  For any student interested in taking the algebra Regents again, academic intervention services have been offered and they can re-take the test in January and/or June.  They have double-checked every other Regents score for tests given during that time period and determined that they are all valid. 

Board President Diana Petrosky inquired as to what procedure had been put in place to ensure that something like this does not happen again.

The Interim Superintendent responed that the “checks” currently in place allow that the High School guidance couselor, who imports the scores, will respond immediately to any error report that might occur by correcting the error.  The Building Administration will serve as a second check and now, both the Principal and the Assistant Principal will serve as a third check point for any potential errors.

 

Finally, Interim Superintendent Teed commented that she wanted to present some pre-closing figures, although she noted that the books had not been formally closed yet.  She has been working with the external auditor, who assisted her in providing this information, which she is presenting to the Board as there will need to be conversation regarding the unassigned fund balance monies and whether or not the Board would like to move monies into a different account.

To view the information that was presented, click here.

Again, Interim Superintendent Teed stressed that these were tentative figures for the reserves and fund balance from the General Fund Trial Balance, pre-closing.  The information is still under review until October, at which time additional results will be submitted.

Board member Meg Vaught asked for clarification on the Assigned Fund Balance of $600,000 and specifically whether this was money that was rolled over on an annual basis for potential emergencies that might arise in the District.

The answer was yes.

Additionally, the Interim Superintendent reported that she had recently been contacted by Moody’s Rating Service for information, which was supplied as requested with help from the external auditor.  Ultimately, Moody’s has decided to downgrade the District from a AA2 to an A2.  In speaking with them, it was explained that a big portion of this decision was based on the termination of the contract agreement with Greenwood Lake and the subsequent decrease in enrollment.  This is reflected in what they have labeled “a deteriorating tax base.”
Board member Dorothy Zeigelbaur wondered, other than the ability for the District to acquire credit whether there were any other impacts of the downgrade on the District.

The answer was no.  It will not have an effect on the District’s current debt, however it would have an effect on any potential debt moving forward.  President Petrosky added that this type of evaluation was also done in the Town of Tuxedo and that this is what started the whole the process.  The Town has also been downgraded.

OCSBA Update:
The Board’s OCSBA (Orange County School Board’s Association) representative, Meg Vaught, reported on having attended the first OCSBA meeting of the year where 3 major issues were discussed.  These included new rules and regulations related to Safety Plans, specifically lockdown drills of which the District is required to conduct 4.  A finalized safety plan is due on September 19.  Also discussed was the upcoming NYYSBA convention in Buffalo, to which the District can send a voting delegate if they desire.  Mrs. Vaught inquired as to who the District’s voting delegate might be, noting that this had not been voted on by the Board.  Board President Petrosky indicated that as the District’s NYSSBA representative, she was the voting delegate.  There are a number of resolutions that will be voted on and these were distributed to the Board via their Board packets.  Two that stuck out to her as being particularly interesting was the discussion of limiting tenure to 5-year renewable terms as well as the potential change in curriculum requirements for students graduating in the year 2022.   Mrs. Vaught requested that should the Board have any thoughts or questions that these be amassed prior to the next OCSBA meeting on October 5.   Finally, Mrs. Vaught reported that there had been a presentation given by the Mid Hudson Study Council.  In brief, this group is doing a study regarding the correlation between what colleges are teaching their education students in New York State vs. the required curriculum and specifically identifying the lapses.  Of particular note was the fact that the council is working with many engineering students who are willing and able to go into High Schools regionally to work with the students.  Mrs. Vaught brought contact information back to the District with the thought that something like this might make a valuable contribution towards the STEM initiative. 

President Petrosky thanked Mrs. Vaught for her report, commenting that she knew these meetings could be very interesting having attended them for the past 14 years herself.  She went on to suggest that the Board review the NYSSBA resolutions as they had been presented in their packets and if they had any strong thoughts these should be submitted to Arlene by September 25, who would put then together and return them to Mrs. Vaught, who could in turn bring them to the next OCSBA meeting. 

Speaking to the safety plan, the Interim Superintendent noted that the District does have one and that it is posted to the website, although there needs to be one name change made to it.  The District has been working very closely with the OU BOCES Health and Safety Coordinator, who visits the District every week.  The building level plan is currently being tweeked. The mandated mental health training with the staff was completed on September 14.  There are a few more points that need to be nailed down, and this is due to take place on Monday, September 19.

Mrs. Vaught wondered if there were a lockdown plan in place, noting that she understood the specifics of this could not be discussed in public session, nor would the document be FOILable by the Public.
The answer was yes.

Items for Action and/or Discussion:
Warrants, Transfers & BIDs – None

CPSE/CSE – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving CPSE/CSE 2.1-2.3

Audit Committee Charter – The Interim Superintendent reported that the charter proposal consisted of 2 Board members and a third member.  If the Board chooses to approve it, information will be posted to the District Website asking that interested individuals submit information to the Interim Superintendent’s attention.

Board President Diana Petrosky added that the Board had discussed adding an additional committee member from the public during a previous meeting and that according to advice received from council the correct process in moving forward with this is that the Audit Committee must recommend the Charter and once approved, the District can move forward with advertising for a community member.  The current committee consists of the Board President and Vice President along with Board Member Allyson Arber. 

Vice President Vernon then officially made the recommendation that the Board approve the charter as presented. 

Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer noted that she would like to see the committee meet more frequently on an annual basis. 

The Interim Superintendent noted that the charter called for a minimum of 3 meetings. 
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of accepting the Charter.

Resolution – Acceptance of Non-Resident Tuition Students – The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting 2 new non-resident students.

Donation – The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting a donation of Crayola crayons from the Eckert family in GGM.

Surplus Equipment – The Board voted in favor of declaring several items as surplus equipment.

Personnel – Board President Diana Petrosky reported that there was a revision to personnel.  The Interim Superintendent then explained that two new music teachers had been hired earlier in the day and that they were included in the revision.

Principal Schrammel forwarded a letter out to parents earlier in the day regarding how feverishly they had been working on bringing in candidates for these positions.  She then commended both Principal Schrammel and Vice Principal Sorenson, commenting that they had conducted many interviews and coordinated demo lessons in which students were incorporated for input.  The District appreciates the patience of both the students and their parents in getting to this point.  Hiring is not an easy challenge when a resignation is received less than a week before the start of the school year. 

Principal Schrammel further commented that he was very excited to have these two individuals join the school family.  At the end of the day they felt that these particular teachers would not only enhance the program but bring it to a levels they had not seen in a couple of years.  He feels that once the individual on leave has returned to the District, the collaboration between these teachers will bring them to where they want to be moving into the future.

Mrs. Teed echoed this excitement, commenting that the teachers would begin immediately and there was a plan in place for the following day.

The Board then unanimously approved the appointment of the two new music instructors.

The Board President then inquired as to whether or not the Board had any issues with approving motions 7.2 – 7.5 altogether.

Vice President Vernon responded that she did not, however Board member Meg Vaught stated that she did have an issue and requested that they discuss 7.2.

She further stated that she would like to review the contract for the proposed new Business Administrator prior to approval.

“That is a standard contract that has been provided by the attorney.  You want to see it?” responded the Board President.

Mrs. Vaught reiterated that she would like to review the contract before approving it.

Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer commented that although many of the Board members were new, she understood that many of the other Boards in the area did have some visibility to applicants before the final approval is given.  Obviously the Board trusts the administration.  With the teaching positions, clearly the administrators are the experts and perhaps the Board does not need to be involved there but when it comes to things like the business office, they might like to have a little more visibility into the process than just receiving a resume and a recommendation.  She then suggested that some of the other Board members might like to comment on this as well.

Vice President Vernon responded “At the last meeting we tasked the Interim Superintendent with the responsibility to fill that position and to do the interviews and she had been reaching out when we knew that there was a potential absence, so to speak.  So, we as a Board charged her with the task of working through to find someone to start this position.  We told her to do this.  I think if we had a different expectation I think we should of, at that time suggested it as opposed to the night of appointment.”

Mrs. Zeigelbauer responded that she had not been aware of the process.

“The Superintendent has the authority, when given direction by a Board, to appoint pending Board approval.  It’s not one person interviewing these candidates.  It is a team…the administrative team as well as, I believe, some of the business personnel involved.  So…do you want to hold up the approval?”

“I am not suggesting that I would like to hold up the approval,” responded Mrs. Vaught. “I am just suggesting that I would like to see what I am approving in writing before I approve it.”

This was comment was met by scattered applause from the audience.

A copy of the contract was given to Mrs. Vaught for review and subsequently passed around to the other Board members.

“Be aware that this is an Interim Business official.  This is not a permanent contract.  It only runs till June.” stated the Board president. 

Mrs Vaught then inquired as to whether there had been a number of applicants for the position.

Interim Superintendent Teed responded that there had not and that she had worked through BOCES to find the applicant.

Vice President Vernon then commented “If it meets the pleasure of the Board to consider a search at any particular time, we may want to in two or three months make a decision as to whether or not we would like to advertise the position and fill it with either a different individual or the same individual as a permanent position.  This was meant to be a temporary position to support the District in the time of need when we have no one in the business office.  It might service us well in a month to two months put out a search for a Business Administrator on a full-time basis.”

“or to re-evaluate the gentleman in the position,” added the Board President.

“We can do that, but bottom line is what I am suggesting is that we move forward with the interim situation based on the recommendation of our Superintendent, who processed through some applicants and has done her due diligence.  I put my confidence in her due diligence in researching out the best candidate for this interim situation and in a few months we can put it out there and advertise and see who the best candidates are.  We can certainly open it up to the Board, or whoever we chose to in terms of a committee, to hire, but I think at this time for an interim we as a Board agreed….”

“I don’t think anyone is disputing that,” interjected Mrs. Vaught.  “I just wanted to view the contract before I voted to approve it.”

“Right,” replied Vice President Vernon.  “I don’t want to get caught up that we didn’t do our due diligence.  We put our faith into the Superintendent and this is her role…to interview and find the person that she is going to work with to put the business order into place, also having the supervision of an additional person to supervise that transition.  I’m comfortable and I certainly feel that it is a valuable opportunity right now that Ms. Teed was able to find someone with a good reputation and the support of somebody that will be supervising this to move us forward in this interim time.  I do suggest that we can advertise it in a month to two months and this is something that we as a Board can discuss in the future.”

Mrs. Zeigelbauer added that she had no desire to hold the process up either, but that this was such a critical component within the District and there had been some issues, so if the Board could get some visibility on a go-forward basis to appointments like this, that would be great.  She trusts Ms. Teed’s judgment but at the same time would like to see the Board have a little more insight. 

The Board President responded that with regard to hiring somebody permanently, she felt that Vice President Vernon had provided some viable suggestions that can be employed moving forward however, the District can not exist much longer without hiring an interim official. 

Mrs. Vaught then inquired as to how many days per week the consultant would be working with the District.

The Interim Superintendent replied that there was no weekly schedule in place and that these services would employed on an as-needed basis.  She is trying to limit that.

Mrs. Vaught then asked for some clarification as to what the consultant would be doing.

The answer was that he would be helping the District to close the books.  He will be preparing information that needs to be submitted to the State in order to receive aid.  There is a specific timeline for these submissions. 

Mrs. Zeigelbauer inquired as to what the deadline for these submissions was.
Interim Superintendent Teed replied that there were deadlines in both September and October and that the District was on line to meet the October deadline. 
The consultant will also assist in budget preparation. 

Moving onto another personnel question, Mrs. Vaught noted that the District was planning to appoint Matt Takeuchi as the modified soccer coach, which she feels is a great decision, however she wondered about a possible scheduling conflict since his work in the main office at the High School is not done until after 3pm on a daily basis and the program is scheduled to run between 3 and 4.  Specifically, she inquired about coverage for the time period when Mr. Takeuchi could not be with the kids, noting that she had received some feedback from parents earlier in the week about the necessity for two late busses as the kids had not been finished with their practice in time to make the 4pm bus. 

Interim Superintendent Teed responded that they working on a plant so that the coaching would not interfere with Mr. Takeuchi’s duties in the High School Office.  For the record, she further stated that there were NOT two late busses.  She discovered that a trial run had been made, but there would not be two late busses moving forward. 

Principal Schrammel stated that he did have staff who had offered to help out with coverage and therefore, Mr. Takeuchi would have assistance during the time period in question moving forward.

The Board then voted unanimously of approving motions 7.2-7.5.

Superintendent Search Discussion:
Board President Petrosky began by stating that what was taking place was an initial discussion only.  The District is looking to decide whether or not to move forward with a Superintendent search and the best way to do that.

As a point of clarification, Vice President Vernon stated that the Board had announced that they would be doing a search when they first appointed Ms. Teed into her interim position.  They had decided to wait, and now they were initiating the discussion.

President Petrosky thanked the Vice President for this clarification, further commenting that after they had decided to move forward she had spent some time researching with both local school districts and the BOCES Superintendent.  The BOCES Superintendent has volunteered to come in and sit with the Board to explain the steps that are taken either by BOCES, who can conduct the search, or an outside agency.  She then spoke with a number of districts, those who have used BOCES and those who had used outside agencies.  Most recently, she spoke with somebody from the Florida school district.  Florida just appointed their most recent Superintendent through an outside agency whom they had utilized more than once before.  They have not used BOCES, so they could not speak to that.  In the past, Tuxedo has used BOCES’ services.  The comparison of what is done, how information is gathered and the committees that are formed are similar.  There are benefits to both.  In Florida they most recently appointed a Superintendent with whom some of the people in the community are unhappy, but the Board is very happy with their selection.  There are obviously monetary differences between using an outside agency and BOCES.  President Petrosky has obtained the name of an outside agency that has been used by other districts within the county.  The benefit to using an outside agency, in her view, is an independence from the County.  Then again, the benefit the County/BOCES Superintendent being involved is the benefit of them knowing the people within the surrounding counties.  There is a big cost difference.  Using an outside agency can be $12,000 or more.  The use of BOCES is included in the fees in the District’s contract and can be aid-able.  With this she opened it up to the floor, noting that she understood that Mrs. Vaught had also conducted some research on her own that she wanted to share with the Board. 

Mrs. Vaught responded that she had also looked into both the process utilized by BOCES as well as a couple of different outside recruitment firms; one being located locally in New York and the other with more National recruitment abilities.  She realizes that there is a cost associated with using an outside firm, but in her own personal view, the benefits associated with using an outside firm could be extremely beneficial to the District.  Based on the information she has received from BOCES directly during Board trainings as well as at the OCSBA level the week prior, indicatations are that the current pool of Superintendent candidates in the local area is not great and they are not enthusiastic.  She has heard it stressed multiple times that a search of this nature can be a daunting task.  She fears that this, coupled with what the District went through during their last search with BOCES (which resulted in hiring an internal candidate) provides a somewhat bleak outlook.  She cautioned that finding a good candidate for the District would be difficult considering the current situation, specifically the issues surrounding stability.  In her view, using an outside recruitment firm might be more beneficial.  She then circulated some information to the Board pertaining to the firms she had explored, noting that the National firm would actively recruit candidates rather than pulling from a local pool of individuals who are seeking employment.  They will find individuals who might not have known they would be candidates for the position before they were contacted by the firm.  Noting that details with regard to the services that the firms can provide was listed within the information she had distributed, Mrs. Vaught suggested that the National firm would interview the Board members both individually and as a Board, they would then interview the staff, the students, the parents and the stakeholders (taxpayers without kids in the school) prior to their recruitment activities in an effort to get a picture as to what the entire community is looking for in this leadership position.  Once they have amassed this information they will recruit and produce, within 30 days, a list of 10 candidates.  They will then assist with the interview process, to include both Board interviews and interviews with various focus groups comprised of community members from all demographics and they will help moderate them all.   They will also provide the Board with suggestions and tools for keeping the entire process as transparent as possible.

Once the Board has reached its decision, they will assist with putting together a contract.  They guarantee three rounds of vetting for all the candidates, one round of which is conducted by a third party.  Further, they will assist the Board in working with their new Superintendent to create a shared vision for the District and will then follow up in an effort to determine how effective and/or successful the entire process has been for the District.  Again, Mrs. Vaught stressed that the District is in a critical spot at the moment and that in her view a decision like this could “make or break” the District.  She believes it would be worth the investment to employ some extra help with the process.  She further stated that finding the right Superintendent for this district will be the sole task of a recruitment firm while it will be one of many responsibilities that BOCES handles.

President Petrosky responded that in her experience with BOCES, they had been assigned a team of individuals to do exactly the things Mrs. Vaught was talking about.  “When we did the search before, they came in, they interviewed all of the stakeholders, committees were formed, with questions and criteria developed.”  She went on to note that the various focus groups were then given a chance to interview the final candidates and provide feedback.  She noted that Mrs. Vaught had been a part of one of these groups.  At a Board level there was much more involvement.  They received 10-15 candidates and the Board was provided with all of their qualifications and they interviewed them all.  She suggested that there was a big difference between the type of involvement that Mrs. Vaught had had and that of the Board.  She further noted that when chatting with the people from Florida, she had spent some time comparing the services Tuxedo had received from BOCES in their most recent search with those that Florida received using an outside firm and that the process was very similar.  In her view, the benefits of using an outside firm is that they are looking for a perfect fit for the Tuxedo District while the benefit of using BOCES is that they tie into other counties within the State of New York.  It may or may not be more limited that what Mrs. Vaught was describing, but there is a specific committee assigned to the effort.  President Petrosky feels that there are benefits to both types of searches.  In her view, it is a question of budgeting the money for an outside firm and making sure that all of the stakeholders get their voices put into this very difficult choice moving forward.

Mrs. Vaught wondered from where BOCES obtained their pool of candidates.  She further commented that one thing that really appealed to her about the National Recruitment firm was the idea of actual recruitment.  She inquired whether Mrs. Petrosky had any idea the extent to which BOCES advertised and whether or not a majority of their candidates were from the tri-state area.  

Mrs. Petrosky responded that during the previous search there were candidates from New York State, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia.  The advertising goes beyond Orange, Ulster and Putnam counties. 

Vice President Vernon suggested that if the Board decided to use BOCES, they could give them a clear directive that they wanted to reach all possible candidates in our area, but also that we were interested in a National advertisement.  She cautioned that this could be costly, but was certainly an alternative.  She further commented that the finalist would not necessarily have on on-going relationship with the BOCES Superintendent.  She reiterated that during the last search they had interviewed candidates who had no previous relationship or work experience with anyone in BOCES.

Mrs. Vaught wondered whether or not BOCES actively recruited or relied on advertising to attract candidates.

Vice President Vernon responded that typically the BOCES Superintendent will reach out to the other Superintendents in various counties to help get the information out there.

President Petrosky agreed, commenting that typically they will advertise to the other BOCES Superintendents, providing the criteria for the search.  BOCES will vet the Districts criteria to ensure that it meets the appropriate educational requirements.

Vice President Vernon commented that there was also always an option to “go out a second time” or repeat a search using BOCES if the first round does not produce the candidate they are looking for.  Her experience with BOCES is that they do know both the District and the County.  The District needs to be very clear about what their expectations are when they put the initial call out there. 

Mrs. Vaught then inquired whether or not the District would be able to tap into the $600,000 assigned fund balance to help aid them with their search.

President Petrosky responded that she did not know and that they would need to ask the attorney that question.

Mrs. Vaught then requested that a continuation of this discussion be added to the agenda for the October meeting and President Petrosky responded that it had already been done.

Board member Dorothy Zeigelbauer inquired as to whether or not they could obtain some information from BOCES with regard to their process in addition to possibly some information about the firm Florida had used so that they could make an informed decision about which direction they should go in. 

There followed a discussion with regard to scheduling.  Vice President Vernon suggested that the Board should consider interviewing 3 or 4 different firms before making a decision and that it might be practical for them to dedicate a couple of special meetings for this purpose.

It was agreed that the Vice President would reach out the Board members to ascertain what the best dates would be and then they could move forward with setting up the interviews.

Public Participation:
Tina Cardona commented that both she and, more importantly, her children had had a wonderful experience in the Tuxedo District.  Her youngest is an 8th grader, who has just entered his second year in the High School, and he loves it.  She is really pulling for the District and hopes that it will remain open long into the future.

Carol Stachelek stated that she wanted to clarify that the Regents scores had been mis-entered in June of 2015 and not 2014 as the Interim Superintendent had previously stated.

The Interim Superintendent pointed out that it was the 2014/2015 school year.
Mrs. Stachelek then expressed her concern with the fact that an error report had been ignored.  She wondered why on earth anyone would ever ignore something like that.

Interim Superintendent Teed responded that she wished she could answer that question.  The guidance counselor who was employed at that time did not respond to the report.

Mrs. Stachelek inquired as to whether this counselor was still employed at the school.

The answer was no.

Mrs. Stachelek then wanted to know whether the Board was at all concerned over the enrollment numbers, noting that there were just as many kids leaving the District as there were coming in.  The school is not growing.

Vice President responded that they were “not thrilled” that people were leaving, but people do move and/or choose to go to other Districts and this is very typical of all school districts.  As a Board member she is very concerned, but she also recognized that students do move.  She knows of at least 4 families who have recently moved.  This being said, she is very concerned about the decrease in enrollment.

“But the majority of those leaving have not moved,” responded Mrs. Stachelek.

“They have pulled their children out, both in the elementary and in the High School.  You are making is sound like it is all because people are moving,”

“I didn’t say that!” responded Vice President Vernon.  “Let the record reflect that I have said that I am very concerned about the decrease of enrollment.  It is happening everywhere.”

“It’s happening here for another reason and you know that Joanne,” retorted Mrs. Stachelek. 

Board member Meg Vaught commented that she was, of course, very concerned about it but she felt that it was unrealistic to expect that the District would see a huge amount of growth in 1-2 school years.  The District knows that it is faced with depleted enrollment due to the loss of Greenwood Lake and they have to continue to have faith in the program they are trying to build and create.  There are people who are leaving, some because they are unhappy and some because they are moving, but there are also people who are coming in.  From where she sits, 6 new out-of district students in the first year, despite all of the issues that face the District is a pretty strong step in the right direction.  Yes, it is concerning, but the numbers as presented were not unexpected by her and she does not predict that there will be 100 new students in the coming year either.  In her view, the community needs to give the district some time and support in order to build what they’ve got going on.
President Petrosky commented that she did not think there was any member of the Board who was not concerned over the numbers.  They would love to have 50 new kids a year, but regardless, they are moving forward.  They have had some very positive feedback.  There are families who are moving into the District for the school! 

Board member Adam Eirand stated that he agreed with Mrs. Vaught.  There are new students coming into the school and these are people who want to be in Tuxedo.  Not all of the transfers out of the school are people who want to leave, some of them have to leave.  One cannot expect that 100-200 new students are going to flow in over a 1-2 year period. 

Mrs. Stachelek responded that she had a child who was currently enrolled in the High School and that she did not have 5 years to wait for things to build up.  Her child is being affected now and she feels that people are forgetting about the current students, who she believes are losing out on a real High School experience.  “You might be able to bring in kids from other Districts, but are we a District for Tuxedo, or for everyone else?”

Mrs. Vaught responded that the Board understood what was happening and that they were doing their best to build it up, but this was not something that was going to occur overnight. 

“So, I guess the kids that are there now are sacrificed for the next few years,” responded Mrs. Stachelek. 

Mrs. Vaught responded that she felt it was unfortunate that Mrs. Stachelek chose to view it this way. 

Board Member Adam Eirand started to speak however, President Petrosky cut him off suggesting that there should not be a public debate.

Mrs. Stachelek suggested that it was all right for the Board and the Public to converse back and forth, but President Petrosky disagreed.

Board member Dorthothy Zeigelbauer commented that the Board had asked to see the numbers presented in this way so that they could see, on par, how many students were leaving vs how many were coming in.  Of course they are concerned about it.  They were also concerned about the amount of money they had been spending on the marketing company relative to the net increase in students and therefore, they voted to discontinue that contract because they felt it was money that was not being well spent and that they needed to do other things to attract students to this District.  They are all very concerned.  In her view, it is a bit of a double edged sword in that Tuxedo is a small town which is great on one hand as everybody knows the kids and the parents within the small community, but on the other hand, the sports programs and extracurricular activities are fewer and smaller.  Even when Greenwood Lake was a part of the Tuxedo District, these programs were not on par with those in High Schools that have 3,000 kids.  She has only been in Tuxedo for a few years but from what she has been able to see, this District has never had a huge sports program and the people who have been interested in that have chosen to send their kids to other schools that thrive on those programs.  Everyone wants the High School to do well.  The entire Board has concerns.  They were all appalled when they learned about the Regents scores and that they had been mis-entered, but they are doing everything they can to try and make changes to move things forward in a positive way.

Joe Rickard commented that everyone was appalled because there had been a 15% pass rate on the recent Regents exams.  He understands that the academic department is going to try and fix the performance issues, but he wants to return to the finances.  He was thrilled to finally see two Board members raise their hands during the financial discussion.  The tentative numbers that were presented earlier in the evening for closing the books are very different from those that were presented 4 months ago with the budget.  There are two members of the Board who sit on the audit committee.  Members of the public spoke out and told them that the numbers were incorrect and had been misrepresented.  The State told the District that things were a mess.  He implored the Board to take this seriously, commenting that having both President Petrosky and Vice President Vernon on the audit committee was, in his view, laughable.  He suggested that other members of the Board should be on that committee.

Vice President Vernon responded “Mr. Rickard, this Board decided on the audit committee.  Everyone had input as to who is on it.  It may be laughable to you and a few other people…”

Mr. Rickard interrupted the Vice President, again requesting that other members of the Board participate on this committee, further commenting that if the District continues down the road they are on, they will not have any choice and the State will move in.  They are already in a financial mess.  Moody’s has downgraded them!

"Mr. Rickard,” interjected the Board President, “we have appointed new members to the Audit Committee.  There is one old member on that committee.  We have expanded the committee to a community member. All of our audits for the past three years have given us a clean bill of health.  We rely upon the external auditors that we have to pay by New York State standards to give us the accurate information.  We are well aware of things that have taken place.  We are well aware of what the Comptroller has recommended and we have taken huge steps to correct that.  To continue to insult us and say that we are not concerned is insulting sir!”

“Where is the 3-year plan?  Are you working on it?” inquired Mr. Rickard.

“You were told, Sir, at the beginning of the meeting that we do not have…”

“Are you working on a 3-year financial plan?” asked Mr. Rickard.

“You were told that Sir” responded President Petrosky.

“Yes,” stated Vice President Vernon. 

“Where are those meetings?” demanded Mr. Rickard.  “We haven’t been invited!  There are no public meetings!”

“The Business Office develops that plan,” responded that president.  “We will be discussing that in public when it is provided to us but without qualified personnel in the business office, would you prefer that I develop it?”

“No.” responded Mr. Rickard.  “You are on the audit committee.  I am worried.  Could you go on the audit committee?” he asked Mrs. Zeigelbauer?

“Our committees are formed by our District,” responded President Petrosky.  “Your time is up Sir, and one of the members of the Board who is on it is a CPA, so thank you very much.”

Mrs. Zeigelbauer further commented that Board member Allyson Arber was on the audit committee and that she was a CPA.  The Board also felt that opening the committee up to a member of the public to also participate would be helpful and so that is why that resolution had appeared on the agenda that evening.

Mr. Rickard responded that he liked this.

Uli Pendl commented that he would like to “call a spade a spade” and say there are concerns about both the academic programs and the finances in the District.  It is a fact that the taxpayers need to pay $48,000 per student, which is more than double than any other District in the county.  The people need to be relieved from these types of idiotic taxes.  They do not want to pay them anymore.  It is a joke.  The cost per student is less than half everywhere else.  This cannot go on.

John McNamara asked for a clarification about the number of music teachers who were hired, specifically wondering whether two teachers had been hired to replace one who had resigned.

The Interim Superintendent explained that they had hired a leave replacement who resigned after one day and that there had been another resignation on August 30.

Mr. Macnamara then commented that he wanted to applaud the members of the Board who were asking questions.  It seems as though there is now a higher level of involvement.   He observed however that there seemed to be a bit of an adversarial nature from certain members of the Board towards those members who were asking questions.  There are some people on the Board who had been silent for the entire meeting.  He does not know if it is due to the adversarial nature that he has observed, but he suggested that this might be something they should work on as a Board.  The public is watching.  They see who is paying attention and who is asking questions.  The lawyer has made it clear that there are a lot of discussions that need to take place in public so that they can be observed and the taxpayers can put the right people in place.  He is giving the new, quiet members the benefit of the doubt in assuming that it is not because they do not want to participate but maybe there is a little bit of an adversarial environment at play.

President Petrosky responded that she did not believe it was adversarial and that what creates a good Board are people with different opinions.  The Board respects each other’s differences of opinions.  She stated that she felt there was not a member on the Board who would not speak their mind if they felt that their opinions had not already been expressed. “We should be able to have a dialogue back and forth.  You requested it!” she further stated. “If I say its green and someone says its blue I respect their right to say so as they do mine.” 

“It’s not what I requested,” responded Mr. McNamara. “It’s what’s required by law.”
Vice President Vernon pointed out that Board had scheduled a workshop meeting and that any type of discussion about Board interaction and personal interactions would come out through that as this was one of the goal setting items. 

President Petrosky added that they were also attempting to set up a retreat which would create a very healthy back and forth discussion between the Board members.

Mr. McNamara responded that he was happy to hear this and that he wished everyone the best of luck in working it out.

Vice President Vernon added that as the meetings were now being recorded it was important to note that whoever was typing up the report might be interjecting their own opinion into the manor in which comments were delivered.  She asked that whoever it was that was typing up the reports, make them less personalized in terms of how they describe individual responses. 

Mr. Rickard commented that he would be happy to facilitate the retreat for free.

“We have professionals to do that,” responded the Board President.

“I am a professional and I will do it for free,” Replied Mr. Rickard.  “I hope you do it as soon as possible.”

“Considering your opinions on certain members of this Board,” replied President Petrosky, “I think we will pass. Thank You.”

The meeting was then adjourned into Executive Session to discuss possible contract negotiations.

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Tuxedo students' math test scores incorrectly recorded - 9/19/16

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Agenda for Board Of Education Workshop Meeting September 19, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Work Session – Setting Board of Education Goals
V. Adjournment

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting September 15, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business
1.  Approval of Minutes – 8/04/16, 8/18/16, 8/23/16
2.  Administrators’ Reports
·    Treasurer’s Report
·    K-12 School Principal
·    K-12 School Assistant Principal
3.  Superintendent’s Report
4.  OCSBA Update
VI.      Items for Action and/or Discussion
1.  Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2.  CPSE/CSE
3.  Audit Committee Charter
4.  Resolution - Non-Resident Tuition Students
5.  Donation
6.  Surplus Equipment
7.  Personnel
8.  Superintendent Search Discussion
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Proposed Executive Session – Possible Contract Negotiation
X. Adjournment

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Special Board of Education Meeting August 23, 2016

The Board of Education held a special meeting on August 23, 2016 for the purpose holding an Executive Session regarding the employment history of a particular employee and to receive advice from council. 

All members were present.

Prior to entering the executive session, the Board scheduled a Special Workshop Meeting for September 19 at 7pm at which they will discuss Board goals for the 2016/2017 school year.

Following the executive session, the Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting a paid leave of absence for Business Administrator Dawn Cupano commencing August 23, 2016 and continuing until January 22, 2017. 

They also voted unanimously in favor of accepting the resignation of business Administrator Dawn Cupano effective at the close of business February 16, 2017 as set forth in her letter of resignation, dated August 23, 2016.

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Board of Education Meeting August 18, 2016

The Board of Education met on Thursday, August 18 at 7pm.
Board member Adam Eirand was absent.

Public Participation:
Whitney deBordenave commented that as a longtime resident of Tuxedo, she favors the idea of keeping the High School open however, she is concerned with the low enrollment and the budget and feels that if things proceed as they currently are, the school might close.  She understands that last year was a transition year, but she still believes that the District is “behind.”  She came to one of the many STEM presentations, but worries that STEM programs in this area have become ubiquitous, and that the District needs to focus more on what makes Tuxedo different as this was not made apparent to her at the presentation.   She wonders how student projects and growth are being measured and also how teacher standards are being measured.  She proposed that the District should try doing things differently in the coming year based more on the values that have always existed in Tuxedo.  She thinks that Tuxedo should move away from their broad campaign to gather students and become more target specific.  The District needs to pick one defining factor that makes it unique and focus on that.  She suggested that the District focus on developing a strong curriculum that compliments Tuxedo’s strengths with the use of an educational consultant.  She then presented the Board with some informational resources, commenting that she had worked as a teacher for many years in VA and had the opportunity to work with a consultant there named Amos Fodchuk (www.advancedpartnerships.com) and that she would be happy to provide contact information.  She went on to suggest that the District was lucky enough to have a beautiful, historic high school building, which is loaded with wonderful architecture, but she feels that they do not utilize it enough to promote these things.  They should be partnering with the community and surrounding businesses and organizations to build awareness.   She believes that the narrative in Tuxedo needs to be rewritten and change starts at the School Board level.  She urged the Board to be bold in the coming year and to embrace change and begin a new path.  She cautioned that “the old way” will only lead the school to extinction and this is something that she does not want to see.  She then presented that Board with a packet of information, including the rubric used to measure student and teacher growth that was employed in the District where she worked in Virginia (they received an International Award for Technology Education) along with the contact information for the educational consultant she had mentioned earlier, whom she said had worked successfully with many schools of varying sizes in developing similar plans.

She commented that she would be happy to speak with any of the Board members if they wished to follow-up with her directly and discuss this further.  She reiterated that she had herself been an educator for over 10 years and that she was a supporter of the school.  She graduated from George F. Baker herself and felt she had become a better leader because it.  Tuxedo needs a high school.  She does not want to see the District fall apart and the children sent to other, larger schools in the surrounding districts that do not represent that same values found in Tuxedo. 

Board President Diane Petrosky thanked Ms. deBordenave and received the packet of information, which she said she would copy and distribute to all of the Board members as well as the District administration.  Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed also thanked Ms. deBordenave for her ideas and efforts, suggesting that once school was underway, she should come in and meet with the administration.

Carol Stachelek commented that although she did not know Whitney, she appreciated what she had to say.  She further commented that although the High School building was beautiful, she is worried about what is going on inside of it with only 70 kids.  She has great concerns about the quality of education.  She has been made aware of the Regents scores for a few of the classes, where the entire class failed.  The average score on the Geometry Regents was a 59 and the highest grade was a 77.  That class had 4 different teachers over the course of 1 year.  The way the school is running right now, she believes it is hard for them to obtain quality teachers.  Part-time teachers are leaving.  She feels that the kids are suffering.  This is supposed to be a STEM school, but there are clear problems with math and science.  It is her view that the school should not market themselves as STEM if they do not have the quality to back that up.  The past year was not a great one for her son.  He attempted to join the Engineering Club, but nobody else showed up, so the Club was not run.  She finds this kind of thing unbelievable in a STEM school.  Her son is not involved with athletics and she feels this has been a hindrance to him as there are fewer activities available.  She stated:  “The kids who are non-sports people end up having nothing to do!  They just come home and start tapping on their IPads and all that kind of stuff.  It’s difficult for working parents to try and get them out and do other things.  That is what the school is supposed to be there for….to help us out when it comes to activities after school.” Additionally she commented that she thought kids were not supposed to “slip through the cracks” in smaller classes, but her son had done so, slipping from a 90-100 down to an 80, which means he achieved 70s on several assignments that she was never made aware of.    She feels that the teacher should have contacted her to let her know that “something was slipping off.”   In her opinion, everything that the school is trying to say is so great about their program is just not happening.  She knows there are other parents who feel the same way.  There are problems here!  She inquired as to what the Board’s solution to all of these issue might be. 

Interim Superintendent of Schools Nancy Teed thanked Mrs. Stachelek for her comments.  She pointed out that the Engineering Club had in fact been run despite its’ small size, contrary to what had been stated.

“There was no picture of an Engineering Club in the yearbook,” retorted Mrs. Stachelek.

“Well, it did run,” Mrs. Teed responded. 

With regard to the test scores, Mrs. Teed commented that she was not in disagreement with Mrs. Stachelek and that they had been working closely with curriculum mapping for each class over the summer as well as providing additional professional development for the staff.  Increased academic interventions services have also been imbedded into the student’s daily schedules moving forward.  New policies regarding parental notification and assignments are being implanted as they strive to improve communication.

Mrs. Stachelek wondered why there was not an electronic portal for parents, allowing them access to their children’s schedules and grades. 

Mrs. Teed responded that this had been discussed administratively and they were hoping to launch something like it in the coming year. 

Ulrich Pendl expressed concern with the Board’s liberal “reserves policy” as he feels they are setting aside way too much money annually for this purpose.  He referenced an earlier meeting where he had expressed the same concerns and was told that there needed to be a substantial cushion built into the budget to account for any unexpected or emergency expenses that might arise.  The example given at that time had been was the ceiling collapse that occurred in the high school back in 2014.  Following the meeting, he looked into this and discovered that the ceiling repairs were $300,000.  The insurance paid roughly $235,000 of this.  He wondered again why it was necessary for the District to maintain reserves of almost 1 million dollars.    He further noted that the Focus Media contract had been cancelled as of August one.  He wondered how much in total had been spent with Focus and also whether or not there had been a bidding process with other PR companies when they were hired.  He also wanted to know how many new high school students the campaign had helped to bring in for the 2016/2017 school year and how many students there would be in the high school in total.  Finally he asked some specific questions with regard to the budget, pertaining to teacher salaries and more specifically, the stipends they receive for running various athletic activities and clubs.  He wondered whether the amounts listed were annual or monthly. 

Board President Diane Petrosky responded that the stipends to which Mr. Pendl was referring were based on contacts and were paid on an annual, not monthly, basis. 
With regard to the Focus Media account, Mrs. Petrosky reported that the district had spent $55, 486.07 to date.

Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed interjected that two different PR firms had presented to the Board prior to their decision to go with Focus and that the PR campaign had resulted in 4 new non-resident students, in addition to the 2 that existed prior, and she anticipates another will enroll in the elementary school within the next week.  The total number of students in the High School for the 2016/2017 school year is 113.  This encompasses grades 7-12. 

Joe Rickard commented that as per the budget there were a total of 80 students in grades 9-12 and 327 in the entire district.  He wanted to know what the actual number of students for grades 9-12 would be. 

The answer was 74.

Mr. Rickard then wanted to know how many students there were in the District in total.The answer was 245.

Mr. Rickard wondered why they had budgeted for 80 students when there were actually 74, noting that without the 6 non-resident students there were only 68.

Board Vice President Joanne Vernon noted that there were some children who had not yet indicated that they would be leaving at the time the budget had been developed and therefore, they were still accounted for in the budget.  Until students are officially withdrawn and records are requested, they cannot be removed from the roster and must be financially accounted for. 

Again, Mr. Pendl inquired as to why the District needed to maintain a reserve account of $900,000. 

Board President Diane Petrosky responded that for as long as she had been on the Board, the district had maintained a balance of  $600,000 in a reserve fund which was carried over from budget to budget.  It has been there for years.  The district does not collect it on an annual basis.  The funds are in a reserve account for purpose of mitigating any unforeseen expenses that might arise.  It is possible, for example, that a special needs student costing $200,000 could move into the District.  Without reserves, there would be no funding for that student.  The District does not have the ability to go back to the public after the budget has been passed and ask for more money if they need it.  This is why it is important to maintain reserves.  Each year, the money is returned to the budget in the form of a credit to the following year.

Vice President Joanne Vernon added that as the new school board was formed, they would have the option to decide whether or not they wanted to keep that amount of money in the reserves and they will make that decision after listening to the recommendations of the auditors and perhaps the State as well.  There are some districts that have up to 20% of their budget in reserve.  Tuxedo’s is roughly 4%, which is what the State recommends. 

President Petrosky added that when she first came onto the Board the amount had been $650,000, but it had since been reduced to the maximum amount that the State will allow. 

Mr. Pendl objected, suggesting the actual amount budgeted for reserves was closer to $800,000 and not $600,000 as President Petrosky and Vice President Vernon had suggested.  This is much more than 4%....it is actually closer to 6 or 7%. “Don’t tell us stories which are not true,” he pleaded.  “We are listening to stories that are correct, and the correct number for the reserves right now, according to the budget, is $865,000.”

Mrs. Vernon responded that this was correct, but that there are other reserve accounts that the District is required to keep. 

Mr. Pendl suggested that this information was not in the budget, and Vice President Vernon countered that it was.  She further noted that these accounts had been reported on in detail, including the individual reserve balances, in a public meeting this past spring.

Mr. Rickard commented that he felt it was extremely important that the Board not answer questions if they did not know the actual answer.  The budget reports the amount of money that is in the reserves.  It is not $600,000.  This should not need to be argued.  In September there will be a new budget, which the Board has committed to, and this will come with a 3-year plan.  Everyone will be able to look at exactly what is in reserve funds and following the audit, there will be a solid set of numbers that they can discuss over the course of the next 12 months. 

Vice President Vernon reiterated that there was a listing of all the reserve accounts, which had been reported out at a recent Board meeting.  The information is available to anyone upon request, but the Board did not have it at hand that evening.  There was no misinformation being provided.  She asserted that she had never suggested there was only $600,000 in reserves as there was more than that. 
Board President Petrosky stated that what she had said was that there was $600,000 in the unallocated reserves. 

“You did not say that,” responded Mr. Rickard.  He went on to state that Mr. Pendl had inquired as to why the District needed 7% of their budget in reserves and Mrs. Petrosky had come back and suggested that they had 4% in reserves, which is not correct. 

Vice President Vernon argued that she had not said that, but rather that she had said that the District kept a percentage.

Mr. Rickard interrupted her, commenting that he wished there was a tape recorder in the room. 

“There is a tape recorder,” responded Vice President Vernon.  “Mrs. Graetzer is taping it.”

“Alright, then let’s play it back,” said Mr. Rickard.

“You know Joe, I am not on trial here,” snapped Vice President Vernon “so forgive me if I have erred in my statement about the percentage.”  She went on to suggest that what she had said was that some districts kept up to 20% and others 4%, which is what the State recommends.  All of this information can be provided to anyone in the room who wants it.  She is not looking to either hide information or to misinform the public.  She did not have the actual numbers in front of her.

“This is very scary and it is why we are in the situation we are in,” replied Mr. Rickard. 

Vice President Vernon reiterated that there had been a full presentation on the reserve accounts several months back.

Mr. Pendl alleged that he knew the numbers better than Vice President Vernon did. 
“This is a banter back and forth,” stated Vice President Vernon.  “We have addressed the questions the best we can and the data can be provided to you so that there is no question as to what the numbers are.”

Mr. Pendl replied that according the minutes from the June meeting, Vice President Vernon had stated that she was intending to resign. 

Vice President Vernon responded that the minutes reflected that she had stated that she would not be seeking re-election.  She may not be able to finish out her term, but for the time being, she is continuing.  The rational for her having made the announcement that she would not be seeking re-election and that she may need to resign sooner, was to provide the Board with the opportunity to consider how they would like to proceed in the event that this should occur.  It is not a secret that her house is on the market or that her husband is working out of state.  She believes she was proactive in providing the Board members with options to consider in terms of filling the seat when and if it became available.

Routine Business:
Superintendent’s Report-
Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed began by announcing that she would like to clarify a statement she had made which was reflected in the minutes of the July 27 meeting.    The minutes state that Mrs. Teed had stated that she anticipated that a revised budget would be presented in September, but this was not the case.  A revised budget will not be presented.  The District has looked at the auditor’s results and will provide an explanation of the effects of this in the 2014/2015 school year.

Also, information was recently requested by members of the Board regarding past communications that the Board may have had for redistricting the boundaries for students that live in the northern portion of Tuxedo.  After nearly 2 days of research and looking back through files dating back as far as 1996, there is no documentation or evidence that this ever occurred or was attempted.  The closest thing she was able to find was that President Petrosky had gone to Albany.  There was a letter written by former Board President James Hickey dated 2010 regarding the Greenwood Lake situation, but it really did not address the issue at hand. 

President Petrosky commented that there had been a discussion about the boundaries with S.E.D. and a number of other people.  Most of the meetings that took place happened in Senator Levy’s office and in Sloatsburg with their Assemblywoman, and there was also a discussion during an Orange Country meeting with the OC Superintendent of schools.  There are no written records of these meetings.  Interim Superintendent Teed has spoken with the previous Superintendent to verify that these conversations took place with her as well.  There is one written letter in existence, which Interim Superintendent Teed sent recently following a verbal conversation with the Monroe School Board and she did so, and a response was received.  This is where things stand currently.  Board member Meg Vaught was the one who requested the information and President Petrosky asked her if she had any additional questions.

Mrs. Vaught responded that she did not.  She commented that she felt that this was something that the felt the Board should explore moving forward and in that regard she felt it was important to know what had happened in the past before attempting to organize any efforts moving forward.

Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed added that there had been a conversation between the former Superintendent Lomoscolo and the District Superintendent of Orange/Ulster Boces, during which it had been suggested that the Superintendents in both Tuxedo and Monroe would have to come to an agreement before the students could be released, but has not been the case.

Moving on, the Interim Superintendent reported that work on room 220 (which suffered a ceiling collapse in 2014) was almost complete.  They have also begun working on their HAS lab.  Equipment has been ordered and is expected to arrive within the first weeks of September.  This will only enhance the STEM program and provide more in-house designing and building opportunities for the students.

ELA and math test scores for grades 3-8 were then presented.   Tuxedo did quite well, scoring above the state average in both areas.   There was a 14% opt-out for ELA and 11% for math, which could ultimately skew the numbers either way.

The High School scores were then presented and discussed.  Interim Superintendent Teed noted that these have been discussed at great length, resulting in the professional development plan, which will assist the teachers with curriculum mapping amongst other things.

Upon reviewing the scores, Carol Stachelek commented that she would like it noted for the record that the math and science scores were, in her view, horrific. 

Interim Superintendent Teed commented that the District was not happy with the scores.  She then turned things over to Eric Sorenson, Vice Principal, who outlined in some detail the new Professional Development Plan, which will be put into place moving forward, the main focus of which is curriculum mapping.  Additionally, faculty will be participating in ELA and math common-core trainings several times a year and instructional rounds will be instituted. 
Board member Allyson Arber inquired as to whether or not the Interim Superintendent happened to have the Regents scores available on a comparable basis from other districts within the area.

The answer was no.

Board member Meg Vaught wondered whether or not there would be any sort of checkpoint or benchmark (practice tests, etc.) instituted which would enable the teachers to identify which students were in trouble long before the test actually took place so that they could, in turn, provide the necessary remediation to those students in need.

The Interim Superintendent responded that this was why they had academic intervention services, which are slated to begin by the end of September.

Mrs. Vaught wondered if these types of services had not already been in place and the Interim Superintendent responded that they had, but that moving forward there would be more opportunities for it during the school day.  Historically, these services were only offered in ELA and Math, but now science will be included as well.

Vice President Vernon commented that when the item analysis had been provided to the teachers over the summer, the information should have been beneficial to them in terms of thinking about what they were teaching, how they were teaching it and changes they might make.  Along the same lines as Mrs. Vaught’s question, she wondered what type of assessment piece could put in place a couple months prior to the test to allow the teachers to gauge how their students were performing. 

The Interim Superintendent responded that this would be benchmarking, which is typically something they speak of with the younger students, but she acknowledged that they did need to do it with the high school students more often. 

Board President Petrosky commented that as per a discussion in a previous meeting, once a teacher identifies a student who is having difficulty, there are some items put in place that will allow for extra help or tutoring.  Historically, this type of help has been left up to the student’s discretion, but moving forward they are considering notifying parents as well.

Board member Dorothy Ziegelbauer asked Mr. Sorenson if he might elaborate on the item analysis for the benefit of the public.

Mr. Sorenson responded that when receiving the data from the mid-Hudson rec, it is broken down to show which specific questions the students struggled with.  This information was sent to each of the teachers along with their scores.  Teachers can now make instructional decisions based on this data.

Items for Action and/or Discussion:

Warrants, Transfers & Bids – There were no transfers.

CPSE/CSE – These were unanimously approved.

School Breakfast and Lunch Prices - Interim Superintendent Teed noted that with the formula from the state these lunches would be increasing by .25, brining K-5 lunch to $2.75 and 6-12 to $3.  Pre-paid lunch tickets K-5 will be $55 and 6-12 will be $60.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting these prices.

Tax Levy/Warrants & Tax Rates - Board President Diane Petrosky read aloud the following: “It is recommended that the Tuxedo Board of Education establish a tax levy warrant of $11, 430, 415 and the following tax rates for the 2016/2017 school year. (Although presented in their actuality, these numbers were rounded off when read into the record)  Town of Tuxedo:  80.99, Town of Warwick: 91.89.
This was unanimously approved by the Board.

Designation of Legislative Liaison to NYSSBA – The Board voted unanimously in favor of making Board President Diane Petrosky the Legislative Liaison to NYSSBA with Board member Allyson Arbor as the alternate.

Designation of Legislative Liaison to OCSBA – The Board voted unanimously in favor of making Board member Meg Vaught the Legislative Liaison to OCSBA with Dorothy Ziegelbauer as the alternate.

Designation of Audit Review Committee –
The Audit for 2016 has already been conducted.  The committee currently has 2 trained members on it, Vice President Joanne Vernon and Board Member Allyson Arbor.  President Petrosky recommended that they keep the committee in place as it was and revisit it if necessary when and if Vice President Vernon chose to step down.

Board member Allyson Arbor questioned the decision to have a 2 person only committee. She suggested that they discuss the idea of having a member of the public join the audit committee.

President Petrosky responded that she was going to suggest this as well, however she reiterated that the audit for this year had already been done and suggested that any new committee members come on board for next year’s audit.  She stated that this could be added to the agenda for discussion in either September or October.

Vice President Vernon stated that rather than to wait a month or two, perhaps they could discuss it right then. 

The Interim Superintendent added that she believed what was being suggested was that a community member be added to the committee prior to the audit presentation.

Mrs. Arbor agreed, commenting that she was hopeful this could be put in place for the current audit. 

Following a brief discussion it was agreed that the Board would put something opportunity out to the community asking for volunteers and requesting a letter of interest. 

Other Business –
Board member Meg Vaught commented that before moving forward with the rest of the agenda she wanted to make a quick suggestion.  She proceeded to recommend that the Board schedule a special, workshop style meeting for the purpose of establishing and prioritizing Board goals.  She noted that there was a section on the website set aside for this, but that it currently read Under Construction.  She feels it would be both productive and proactive in helping the Board to have a successful year if they were to set some actual goals.

Following a brief discussion it was agreed that Board President Diane Petrosky would email the Board in near future in order to establish a date that would work for everyone.

Shaw, Perelson, May & Lambert, LLP 2016-17 Retainer Agreement-
Following a brief discussion with regard to some of the services included in the agreement, the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the president to sign this agreement.

Acceptance of Non-Resident Tuition Students-
The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting 2 new non-resident students to the District.

Resolution to Ratify the Execution of the APPR Implementation Certification Form-
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the document.

BOE Policy 4209 – Amendment – Student Harassment & Bullying –
Interim Superintendent Teed explained that the District is in the process of submitting their technology plan to the State.  Before they can do so, they need to amend this policy in order to reflect the date that it was originally presented to the Board  (July of 2015) so that they submit it.

The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the amendment.

BOE Policy 4102 – 1 – Revision – Comprehensive Attendance –
Interim Superintendent Teed explained that historically students had been allowed up to 40 absences before they failed a particular class, which is a lot of time out of the classroom.  The proposed revision would reduce that number to 25 excusable absences, which is admittedly still a little high.

Members of the Board questioned whether or not the number could be lowered, but Superintendent Teed recommended they stick with 25, commenting that it was inline with NYSSBA recommendations.

There was a brief discussion with regard to what constituted an excused absence.
Vice President Vernon suggested that with the new policy, they would still be looking at 2-3 allowed excused absences per month, which is still a lot. 

Board member Meg Vaught responded that she felt 25 was still a pretty high number, especially in looking at some of the test scores.  Kids who are failing math should not be able to miss 25 classes.

Dorothy Zeigelbauer commented that she was in agreement and suggested they move it down to 20.

Board member Mike Arone agreed.

Interim Superintendent Teed asserted that Principal Schrammel had recommended 25.  Assistant principal Eric Sorenson commented that they had looked at other Districts all over the State of New York when developing the revision.  Some were 28 while others were 20.  They felt that 25 would be a good number, keeping in mind that this revision would constitute a drastic change in the culture of attendance within the building.  He suggested they could review it again moving forward and revise as necessary/appropriate.

Meg Vaught inquired as to whether there were a large percentage of students currently who were missing the permitted 40 classes.

The answer was no, the percentage is not high, but there are students and parents who keep track.

This was discussed further.

Vice President Vernon suggested that they move forward with the 25 as recommended, but that the situation be closely monitored and reported back to the Board.

Meg Vaught wondered if there were any policies in place that dictated other disciplinary actions, such as in school suspension, after a certain number of absences had been accrued. 

Board member Mike Arone supported this question, inquiring as to what penalties were currently in place.

Mr. Sorenson responded that there had been some issues with tardiness over the past school year and that in turning to the Code of Conduct they had put in place a policy whereby 3 “lates” equals a detention and an additional 3 lead to in-school-suspension.  Employment of this technique helped to quell the tardiness issue. In looking at overall attendance, they determined that they needed to cut that number significantly from 40 so that students would understand where they were going.  Also, in looking at the test scores they determined that the attendance issues were in direct correlation with the results.

Dorothy Zeigelbauer asked for some clarification, commenting that they were amending the policy to allowing for 25 excused absences, but how many unexcused absences would be permitted prior to disciplinary action.

Mr. Sorenson responded that with 25 unexcused absences, a student would lose credit for the course. 

Meg Vaught commented that she felt 25 was too high.

Mike Arone agreed.

Allyson Arber stated that actually, they were talking about more than that, as there were to be 25 unexcused but no apparent limit to the excused absences.  She expressed concern that somebody might be absent from class for 50 days but still pass the course.  Even 25 is crazy is her view.

Mrs. Vaught suggested that the number should be 10.
Board President Diane Petrosky responded that she felt it should be evaluated on a case-by-base basis. 

Mr. Sorensen reiterated that currently the students were allowed to miss up to 40 classes and he felt there needed to be a balance between the old number and the new number.  There needs to be a window where students are able to miss class, make up the work, but still be held accountable.

Following some further discussion it was agreed that they would reduce the number to 20 and revisit the issue in December when there would become solid data to look at in terms of absences.  They could then amend if necessary.

The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the revision with the reduction from 25 down to 20 days and the understanding that it would be revisited in the month of December.

Adoption of Professional Development Plan:
The Interim Superintendent thanked Mr. Sorenson, who she identified as playing a key role in the development of the plan.  As presented, the plan outlines teacher training, the professional development that will be brought in on conference days as well as the use of faculty meetings.

Meg Vaught commented that she thought that it was fantastic that such a plan had been developed.  She wondered, however, why they had chosen to have only one committee overseeing the plan in both schools.  Although the District is small, she feels that the issues in the different schools and the curriculums that are being developed are very different K-6 vs. 7-12 and that perhaps two teams might be more effective.  

Interim Superintendent Teed responded that there were representatives from each school participating on the team.

Mrs. Vaught replied that she understood this, but still didn’t see why a 4th Grade teacher needed to be heavily involved in the Professional Development for grades 7-12 and similarly, why a high school teacher would need to be looking closely at 4th grade curriculum.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to have two different teams, one for each school that report back to one oversight committee?

The response was that the curriculum is being designed in a way that it builds on itself, and therefore it is important for the teachers in both schools to be aware of what was being taught and how for students spanning the entire system.  A kindergarten teacher needs to know the skills that a student will need once they reach the 12th grade. (what a stupid statement!) One of the things they have begun to put into place is communication between the various teachers at all different grade levels.  In looking at professional development as a whole, they feel it is important that all the teachers are talking together rather than to be restricted to the school in which they work.

On another note, Mrs. Vaught questioned the choice of Marie Castricone as the parent representative on the committee, commenting that while Mrs. Castricone was no doubt a wonderful parent, she was also a member of the school staff and in her view; this constituted a conflict of interest.  She suggested that the District reach out to parents in the community who did not work for the school in an effort to fill that spot on the committee.
It was agreed that this would be considered. 

Allyson Arber suggested that perhaps they would not have to remove Mrs. Castricone but rather they could add another parent in order to get the outside prospective.

Mrs. Vaught agreed with this idea, commenting that she had not intended to take away from Mrs. Castricone at all. 

Mrs. Vaught then inquired as to whether or not the Board would be informed as to which specific trainings the teachers would be attending as a part of the plan.

The answer was yes.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of adopting the proposed plan.

Adoption of Preliminary Smart Schools Investment Plan-
Interim Superintendent Teed explained that under the Preliminary Smart Schools Investment Plan Tuxedo is eligible to receive just shy of $96,000.  Securing the funds is a process that involves Board approval of a preliminary plan, which is then posted to the website for 30 days during which community feedback is solicited.  Following this, the plan will be revised and presented to the Board again for approval prior to being submitted to New York State.  The Plan as presented is simply a time line for executing this process.

Referencing the list of equipment that was outlined in the Board packet, Meg Vaught
wondered whether interactive white boards were the same as “smart boards” as it has been proposed at $81,000 of the money be spent on them. 

It was explained that smart boards are becoming outdated and that interactive white boards are the logical update for this technology. 

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of adopting the plan. 

Personnel –
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving motions 15.1-15.9 as presented in the Board packet with regard to personnel.

Public Participation:
Joe Rickard commented that Mrs. Teed had stated that she wanted to change the minutes from the July meeting, although this was not voted on, to reflect that she had made a decision not to provide a new budget but rather to provide an explanation of what had happened.  He suggested that it was Board President Diane Petrosky who had stated that a new budget would be provided in September.  He wanted to know who had made this decision.

President Petrosky stated that what she had said in July was that the District would show the effects of the Commissioner’s appeal to the budget.

Mr. Rickard disagreed with this and pointed out that it was not what was reflected in the meeting minutes.  The minutes state that there will be a new, revised budget.

President Petrosky responded that only one portion of the budget had been affected.
Mr. Rickard wondered if they would then be receiving that portion revised.

“Yes” responded president Petrosky.
Interim Superintendent Teed interrupted, stating that they anticipated having an explanation in September and that it had actually been her (she?) who had been discussing this with Mr. Rickard during the July meeting.

Again Mr. Rickard pointed out that the minutes clearly stated that Mrs. Petrosky had stated that there would be a revised budget in September.

The Interim Superintended responded, “I believe it said that I said that, which is why I made the clarification.” 

Mr. Rickard responded that he had heard Mrs. Petrosky say it and he felt it was important that they clarify exactly what had happened so that they did not get into discussions they had already had before.

President Petrosky replied that this was exactly what they wanted to do as well.  She apologized for having misspoke and further stated that what they wanted to show was what the effects of the audit report on the budget were.

On another note, Mr. Rickard stated that it was very embarrassing for the entire community to see the results of the test scores publically posted.  Kids flunked the algebra regents.  He inquired as to what remediation would be taking place to help them to get back on track.  The idea of professional development and working with the teachers via item analysis etc. had been discussed, but what was being done to help the students, who are now behind.

The Interim Superintendent stated that, as she had already said earlier, they would be providing more time for academic intervention services during the school day every day.  The attendance policy is another key piece as the number of absences correlate with the scores.

Mr. Rickard responded that when 85% of the students flunk the algebra regents, maybe the District should consider bringing in some mentors from the community to work one-on-one with the kids. He further stated that he was a little skeptical and believed that the numbers were skewed.

Moving on, Mr. Rickard inquired about Tuxedo Farms.  The community is waiting to hear about the 1.2 million dollars, when the district will be receiving it and when they can expect to see it reflected in their budget.  He wondered whether there could be a public hearing scheduled with the Developer present, so that everyone could hear the answers to these questions.  When can the district expect to receive this money?

“From your mouth to God’s ears,” responded President Petrosky.  She further commented that the Board had formed a new committee with two of the new Board members and they have reached out to the Developer.  It is clear in the Special Permit that the money should come to the District when the first building permit is issued, however they do not believe any such permit will be issued in the near future.  The developer is in no hurry to sit down and talk with the District, as they do not have a plan in place as to when they will start building.  Despite this, the District has made an attempt to contact the developer for the purpose of discussing the issue and how they can move forward.  A Town Board member will also be a part of these discussions when and if they take place. 

Vice President Vernon reiterated this, stating that a request had been made by the Interim Superintendent of Schools, in conjunction with the Town Board liaison, Michele Lindsay and Board members Mike Arone and Adam Eirand to initiate these discussions.  This request has been formally documented and the District awaits an answer.  The Town is also a part of the discussion and they share many of the same concerns.

President Petrosky stated that she had had a number of conversations with both the Town Supervisor and the Deputy Supervisor on this particular issue and District had moved forward with some of their recommendations in terms of creating the new committee and reaching out directly to the Developer.  As soon as the meeting has been set and there is any new information, the Board will be happy to share it with the public.

Dorothy Zeigelbauer added that at a recent Town Board meeting, the Board had been seeking clarification from their attorney as to whether a building permit for a water tower would fall under the jurisdiction of the Special Permit or not and she was not sure whether or not they had gotten any resolution on this matter, but it would certainly have an affect on the School District either way.

President Petrosky commented that the Town Supervisor had informed her, that this particular building permit would be drawn by the LLC and therefore, would not generate payment to the School the Town or the Library as dictated in the Special Permit.

Referencing the test scores and their possible correlation to attendance, John Macnamara inquired about the level of teacher attendance in those courses where the scores were low.  He wondered if there were any remediation plans for the teachers in terms of notice or warnings.  He further inquired if, by contract, the teachers were jeopardized by the low scores.

The Interim Superintendent responded that they had looked at the teachers.

Contractually, they are allowed certain days, but administratively they are taking a look at how many days are taken and what other activities might be involved.

Again, Mr. Macnamara wanted to know if there were plans to implement consequences when and if students did not perform moving forward.

The answer was yes.

Vice President Vernon stated that by contract, all that can be done is being done.
Mr. Macnamara then wondered whose job it was within the District to make sure that the school was applying for any and all possible grants and funding for which they might be eligible.

Interim Superintendent Teed responded that she personally wrote the Federal grants and that there was another member of the staff who looked at STEM grants. 

Carol Stachelek inquired about the number of new non-resident students, commenting that she had thought there were 4 but the Board had only voted on 2. 

The response was that the other two students had been accepted by a vote during a previous meeting.

Mrs. Stachelek wanted to know what grades the new students were in.
The answer was 7th and 8th.

“So they are not in the high school,” responded Mrs. Stachelek.

“No, they are in our high school,” stated that Interim Superintendent. 

Mrs. Stachelek went on to state that there had been a recent incident whereby when pulling her son’s transcript it was discovered that the algebra GPA had been misrepresented by 15 points on the report card she received.  In taking a closer look at this, it was discovered that there were other children who were affected in a similar way and clearly, there had been no oversight during the process.  Had they not needed to pull the transcript for other reasons, this information might not have come to light until her son was applying to colleges!  Now it is a year later and her son wants to remediate the situation in order to improve his record, so he has had to attempt to relearn algebra!  This is a small, small school.  Errors like this should not be made.  The District keeps touting the fact that their small size makes them comparable to a private school and that kids do not slip through the cracks in Tuxedo, but this district has the highest paid teachers around and the test scores are dismal.  The Interim Superintendent is suggesting that the kids will receive A.I.S. but it looks to her as though the entire class needs A.I.S.!  She wondered who from out of the District would want to send their kid to Tuxedo after seeing this kind of thing. She pointed out that Mrs. Vaught had inquired earlier about the number of kids who were missing 40+ classes but she did not hear the answer.  Is there a problem like that in Tuxedo?

The answer was no.

Mrs. Stachelek stated that in looking at the test scores, the math and sciences seem to be a pretty big problem.  She wondered if there were major amounts of absences in those particular classes. 

The answer was that in some of them there were.

Moving on, Mrs. Stachelek acknowledged that the plans moving forward called putting policies in place in an effort to keep parents more informed and involved, but she wondered why these types of things were not already in place in such a small school.  She stated that she was the only one there who had a kid currently in the system.  They are living it.  She had gone into last year feeling skeptical but hoping against hope that she was wrong.

Unfortunately she was not.  She feels that her son’s education is suffering.  He had nothing to do.  The school might be beautiful, but she believes that it is being kept open for the people who have an attachment to it and that in the process they community is failing the kids who are currently in the system. “This is no Joke anymore.”

She further expressed concern with the sports program for the upcoming year noting that she hoped that parents of the 7th and 8th grade students who were allowing their children to play sports at a high school level were made aware that if they intended to transfer their kids for high school, this will effect their ability to play in their new school.  Full disclosure is important.

President Petrosky responded that this had been communicated to those parents.
Mrs. Stachelek continued on to say that she did not know how many years of failing grades it would take before the Board realized that maybe keeping the high school open was not the best choice for the kids.

President Petrosky reiterated that everyone on the Board was devastated by the test scores and that as far as they were concerned there would be no more years of failing grades, which is why they were working to put remediation plans in place.
Mrs. Stachelek demanded to know what they would do if this didn’t work.

Vice President Vernon commented that this was one of the reasons the Board had requested that an interim assessment be put into place, so that the scored could be reviewed in order to measure the student progress.  Additionally, this is why the professional development and item identification plans have also been put into place. 

Mrs. Stachelek expressed concern with the teaching, commenting that if students were achieving high GPAs in a class all year long and then they scored a 50 on the regents, this suggested that a greater problem existed.  “The Regents exam is what levels the playing field for everyone in the entire State.”

Vice President Vernon responded that the other piece to this was that not all parents were as on top of things as Mrs. Stachelek was and that there were some parents who were not even aware when their children were taking the Regents exams.  Parent involvement is a key piece.

Whitney deBordenave added that, having been involved with education for quite some time, high stakes testing is nothing new.  It is concerning to her having seen the scores as presented that evening.  If she were a parent she would be upset if her child achieved a 95 in a particular class all year long and then only scored a 70 on the regents.  That test should be an indicator of how that child is doing in school.  The large district where she worked did benchmark testing every quarter, which is a predictor and eliminates the lag.  It’s not just about provided A.I.S. for a particular student, because if they are not testing with frequency but are instead tutoring the same way that they have been teaching, they will achieve the same results.  Benchmark tests are extremely important.  They must be created and given every 9 weeks, as they are indicators.  The students who are really struggling can get the help they need while those who are successful can be given opportunities to advance.  She further stated that she had not heard any of the administrators say that this testing would be occurring; only that extra time would be allotted for A.I.S.

The Interim Superintendent thanked Ms. DeBordenave for her comments commenting that typically benchmarking was something they talked about with the elementary school students, but moving forward they would be looking at it more at the high school level. 

Ms. deBordenave suggested that the benchmark tests could be found online with relative ease.  Again she stressed the need for them, cautioning that without this type of system, the District would wind up in the same situation at the end of the coming year.

Krista Desormeaux commented that she had pulled her daughter from the school after the Greenwood Lake students left and put her into a private school as she did not agree with the decision to keep the school open with such a small enrollment and her daughter did not wish to be “left behind” in the small school.   Although she has always been an advocate for public education, she is appalled but the test scores.  With her daughter in private school over the course of the past year, there was never a time when she did not know, as a parent, exactly where her child stood.  There were benchmarks.  The Regents is not new.  Why are the test scores dropping so dramatically now?  Why haven’t there been benchmarks?  Why haven’t the teachers been teaching to the tests properly? 

Meg Vaught responded that she agreed with everyone’s concerns and she also agreed that benchmark testing needed to be instituted as soon as possible.  That being said, she did not feel that it was terribly productive to waste a lot of time discussing why certain measures had not been taken in the past.  They weren’t taken.  What is important to note is that there is new Board in place and they are doing everything they can to get on top of it and implement the necessary changes.

She further suggested that scores statewide in many of the subject areas where Tuxedo did poorly were not great and although this was certainly not an excuse for the scores, it did need to be considered.

Allyson Arber suggested that there were indeed other components to the issue, commenting that some of the math regents were brand new exams, which had never been given before. 

The Interim Superintendent responded that there had been a transition from the traditional regents to the common core regents for some of the tests.

Mrs. Arbor continued that with the new tests, there would have been nothing to benchmark with.  Again, while it does not excuse the scores, it is important to recognize that State wide there were issues with some of these tests. 

Mr. Rickard countered that Tuxedo was one of the lowest testing districts in Orange County. 

Board President Petrosky reiterated that nobody on the Board was happy with the scores and that they were trying to do everything possible in order to ensure that the students would be successful. 

The public session was then adjourned and the Board entered into an Executive Session.

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Agenda For special Board of Education Meeting, Monday August 22, 2016

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Proposed Executive Session regarding the employment history of a particular employee and advice from counsel.  The Board may take action following the executive session.
  5. Adjournment

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Agenda For Board of Education Meeting August 18, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Organizational/Reg. Mtg. & Special Mtg. Minutes – 07/07/15 &
7/27/16
2. Administrators’ Reports
*Business Administrator
*K-12 Principal
3. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. School Breakfast & Lunch Prices
4 Tax Levy/Warrants & Tax Rates
5. Designation of Legislative Liaison to NYSSBA
6. Designation of Legislative Liaison to OCSBA
7. Designation of the Audit Review Committee
8. Shaw, Perelson, May & Lambert, LLP 2016-17 Retainer Agreement
9. Acceptance of Non-Resident Tuition Students
10. Resolution to Ratify the Execution of the APPR Implementation
Certification Form
11. BOE Policy 4209 – Amendment – Student Harassment & Bullying
12. BOE Policy 4102-1 – Revision – Comprehensive Attendance
13. Adoption of Professional Development Plan (PDP)
14. Adoption of Preliminary Smart Schools Investment Plan
15. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VII. Proposed Executive Session- Legal Advice from Counsel
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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Agenda For Special Board of Education Meeting August 4, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Proposed Executive Session-Meet with school attorney to receive legal advice.
V. Adjournment

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Agenda For Special Board of Education Meeting July 27, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation
V. Discussion: Policies, Protocol and Best Practices with Counsel
VI. Focus Media Advertising
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Adjournment

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Agenda For Board of Education Meeting July 7, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Organizational Meeting

1.0 Read Oath of Office into Minutes
1.1 Nominations & Appointment of President of Board of Education
1.2 Nominations & Appointment of Vice President of Board of Education
1.3 Nominations & Approval of Officers and Personnel for the School District
1.4 Approval by Board for Services
1.5 Approval by Board for Authorizations
1.6 Approval by Board to Re-Adopt Existing Policies & Past Practices
1.7 Approval for Business Official/Superintendent to Invest Monies at Best Prevailing Rate
1.8 Approval for Bonding of Business Official, District Treasurer,
Tax Collector and Treasurer of Extra-Classroom Fund
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. Adjournment

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Editorial: Local School Audit Has Alarming Results - 6/30/16

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Statement from Joanne Vernon, Tuxedo Union Free School District Board of Education president, and Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed on the recent State Comptroller Exceptions Audit - 6/22/16

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‘This school has really prepared me for life’ - 6/23/16

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Revised Agenda For Board of Education Meeting June 16, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Recognition of Retiring Board of Education Members
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 5/10/16, 5/18/16
2. Review of NYS Comptroller’s Audit
3. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 School Principal
• K-12 Assistant School Principal
4. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Acceptance of New Non-Resident Tuition Students
4. Acceptance of School Budget Vote & Board of Education Election
5. Code of Conduct
6. District-Wide Safety Plan
7. BOCES Cooperative Transportation Resolution
8. Energy Purchase Resolution
9. 2016 Reserve Fund Balance Resolution
10. Review and Acceptance of Policy # 2102
11. New Course Recommendation
12. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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2014/2015 External Audit of the Tuxedo Union Free School District Now Available on District Website

The 2014/2015 external audit of the Tuxedo Union Free School District is now available for the public and has been posted to the district website.
Click here to view.

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Tuxedo’s Top 10 Prepapre For Future - 6/6/16

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Madeline Doyle and Matthew Willins earn OCIAA scholar athlete recognition - 5/25/16

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School Budget Vote/Board of Education Election Results

Budget Vote Results:
393 - yes
219 - no


Election results:
Dorothy Zeigelbauer - 399
Adam Eirand - 392
Mike Arone - 392
Joe Rickard - 228

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George Grant Mason second-graders learn about the community by visiting their workplaces

TUXEDO, N.Y. (May 17, 2016) ---- Second-graders at George Grant Mason School visit different community venues throughout the year as part of the school’s ongoing outreach efforts.

The most recent was a visit to the Tuxedo Town Hall.

At the town hall, students held a mock trial in the court room and held an election where Logan Saari-Poznanski was named “Second-Grade Class Supervisor” for the day.

“Our second-graders are learning about the various roles the members of the Tuxedo community have in providing for our community and keeping it safe,” said K-12 Principal Jason Schrammel. “These hands-on experiences, which include onsite visits, help them to best understand how our community works.”

Other visits were to the Tuxedo Police Department, where they learned about an officer’s typical day and the equipment used, with an opportunity to sit in the front seat of a police car. At the Tuxedo Ambulance Corps, students learned to use a stethoscope and other EMS tools, had their heart rates monitored and learned about what paramedics and EMTs do during their shifts. The visit to the Tuxedo Fire Department included a discussion about equipment and fire safety with a chance for students to sit in the trucks.    

“We appreciate all that our community does to support and supplement our educational efforts,” added Schrammel.

Students will next visit the Tuxedo Highway Department.

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Agenda For Board Of Education Meeting May 18, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 4/20/16
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Principal’s Report
• Assistant Principal’s Report
3. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3 Setting Non-Resident Tuition Rate for 2016/17 School Year
4 APPR Lead Evaluator Certification
5 Proposed 2016-2017 Board of Education Meeting Schedule
6. Senior Citizens Tax Exemption
7. Real Property Tax Exemption for Volunteer Workers
8 Alternative Veterans Exemption and Gold Star Parents Resolution
9. Resolution for EPA Compliance Requirements under AHERA
10. Discussion - Board Retreat/Bimonthly Meetings/Advertising Opportunities
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Our Children Deserve a ‘Yes Vote’ - 5/13/16

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Please Vote on May 17 - 5/13/16

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Four Candidates Vie For Three Seats On The Board of Education

On Tuesday May 17 Tuxedo voters will be asked to elect three new members to the Board of Education.  Four candidates are vying for these seats.  Below please find their letters to the community, posted in the order that the names will appear on the ballot.

The election and budget vote will take place in the Multi-purpose room at George Grant Mason School from 2-9pm.

Please don’t forget to come out and vote.

Adam Eirand:

Hello Friends,

My name is Adam Eirand. I am a lifelong, third generation resident in the Town of Tuxedo. I am currently seeking a seat on the Board of Education for the Tuxedo Union Free School District. I was born in April 1982 and am a proud graduate of George F. Baker High School. I attended Rockland Community College for two years, graduated from the Rockland County Police and Public Safety Academy and now serve as the Detective Sergeant with the Village of Greenwood Lake Police Department. With my training and experience in budgeting and school safety/security, I am well informed to exercise the fiscal responsibility that our tax payers deserve, and offer unique and innovative ideas to ensure the safety and well-being of our children.

In 2008, I married my wife Megan, and we have since had two beautiful boys- Dylan and
Brayden. Dylan is currently attending George Grant Mason and Brayden is beginning preschool in St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Tuxedo Park.

As a graduate of Tuxedo Union Free School District I can vouch for the high quality education our children will receive in this school district. We are lucky to have many of the same highly regarded, experienced and well-rounded educators I was fortunate enough to have throughout my elementary, middle and high school years. Since we are one of the few municipalities blessed with a small school district, our teachers are more apt to know their students as individuals and to be familiar with the family backgrounds from which they come. This al lows our educators to make special provisions for individual needs and talents and to receive better cooperation from parents in resolving problems that may arise.

In the 34 years I have lived in Tuxedo, I can't think of a more important or more challenging election than the one we face on May 17, 2016. Tuxedo Union Free School District is a gem that sits in the middle of our community. It would be catastrophic to our children and our community to close this school district. Let's keep our K-12 district open and work together to ensure our children's academic success.

Please vote YES on May 17 for the School Budget and the Eirand, Ziegelbauer, Arone team.

Looking forward to serving you,

Adam Eirand


Dorothy Ziegelbauer:

Dear Neighbors,

My name is Dorothy Ziegelbauer, and I am running for an open seat on the Tuxedo Board of Education.

My family and I moved to Tuxedo in May of 2008, and we love it here.  My husband and I collectively have ten children, and eight grandchildren.  Nine of our children are adults, and Mareena who is the youngest and is ten attends George Grant Mason Elementary School. Of our adult children six of them went through Washingtonville, NY and three went through West Milford, NJ schools. Both of these districts have their merits, but in my opinion Tuxedo is the best school district of the three. I love the small class size, and individualized attention our children receive.  I like the fact that we have a private school feel in a public school setting. This aspect of our school is unique, and something that should be protected. I would like to help support the district as a board member, while ensuring that the finances are well managed, and do not become an unbearable tax burden to all of us, the taxpayers.

I have served for several years now as the Treasurer for the Tuxedo PTO, and have gotten to know several members of the Tuxedo school administration, faculty, and staff as well as a few members of the Tuxedo Board of Education.  These are all good people who only want what is best for our children, and I would be honored to serve with them. I also support STEM curriculum in our schools, as I truly believe this is the way to best prepare our students for the future.  If the Conversion charter application for the Tuxedo schools had come to fruition, I would have been a volunteer member of the board. 

In my professional career I have extensive experience that I believe positions me well to be an asset to the board.  I have Masters Degree in Information Management from Stevens Institute of technology, and worked in IT for eight of my nineteen years at Verisk Analytics. The past ten years I have worked on the business side, where I have found my passion.  I have managed relationships and negotiated contracts with customers, outside vendors, and business partners.  I have managed software development projects from inception through customer delivery, and have also managed revenue, expenses, marketing, legal contracts, and sales engagements on a business with over $8 million dollars in annual revenue.  I believe that my unique mix of both technical and business acumen positions me well to be a valued member of the Board. 

I understand that some families are unhappy with our small class sizes and limited sports programs, and that these folks prefer to send their children out of district to schools that have different strengths.   We all choose what we think is best for our children. My choice is to keep both of our schools open, and build upon a solid foundation for the future. 

On May 17th, 2016 please come out and vote YES for the Eirand, Ziegelbauer and Arone team, and the 2016/2017 Tuxedo School Budget.

Best regards,                                                          
Dorothy Ziegelbauer


Mike Arone:

Dear Neighbor,

For those of you who don’t know me, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Michael Arone .  I am running for a position on the Board of Education for the Tuxedo Union Free School District.

Growing up in Sloatsburg  gave me the opportunity to experience what it is like to attend a large high school (Suffern High). I am probably among the few that have also experienced the values and high academic level of education that Tuxedo Union Free School District has to offer.  My wife Sheri (Marsh) Arone, a life time resident of Tuxedo had just graduated from Tuxedo UFSD when I met her 24 years ago. We are now happily married for 17 years, reside in Tuxedo and we have made the decision to raise our two kids Anthony and Matthew in this wonderful community. Anthony and Matthew are currently attending George Grant Mason Elementary school with hopes that someday they will graduate from George F. Baker High School. I am a firm supporter of maintaining our district as a K-12 district, and if elected I will be honored to work with the team to accomplish that.

Over the past few years I have been heavily involved with the Cub Scouts and Tuxedo Little League where I have gotten to know a lot of the kids in our community and their families. I know that we all want what is best for our kids; academic excellence with the right balance of extracurricular activities is definitely our priority. Why take their school away from them now? Tuxedo currently offers everything to our community, the horizon looks promising as new developments start to settle in, removing our high school would be a huge step back not only for our kids but for our community as a whole.

I currently work as a Maintenance Supervisor for a power plant in NYC, some of my current responsibilities are to manage various contracts, make financial and technical decisions on behalf of my employer,  all in an effort to collectively as a plant achieve the company’s goals. My professional experience will be an asset to the team to explore and negotiate other options to attract more students to our school district; although in the long term the school’s good academic reputation will be enough reason for more parents to desire to have their kids attend George F. Baker.

The loss of Greenwood Lake’s students to our district should not be a reason to consider shutting down our high school. A small school environment has been proven to be effective and provides high quality education. George F. Baker has seen many generations go through its classrooms and I certainly hope many more new generations are given that opportunity as well.

On May 17th, 2016 we have the responsibility to vote for who will represent us on the Tuxedo Board of Education along with the proposed 2016/2017 Tuxedo School Budget. I urge you to think of the long term consequences that shutting down our high school will have to our community and the negative impact of not promoting the proposed budget. This is why the right team should be elected to represent us all on the Board of Education.  We would be honored to represent our community, and echo your voice at the Tuxedo Union Free School District as members of its board. Please vote YES for the school budget and for the Eirand, Ziegelbauer, Arone team.

I can be reached at mikearone@aol.com and look forward to discuss any comments or concerns you may have.

Respectfully,

Michael Arone


Joe Rickard:

As many of you have known by now I am a candidate for a seat on the Tuxedo Board of Education. It is now time to inform you all of my background and why I have decided to be a candidate.

My name is Joe Rickard, my wife, Maureen and one of my children then in college moved to Tuxedo in 2003. We live on 144 Woodlands Drive. I come from a large family of teachers and school board members in Orange County. I have an MBA degree from Hofstra and an MS degree in Education from St. John’s. I have a lifetime commitment to education having taught after college at the high school level for four years, and more recently taught as an Adjunct at the Dominican College of Blauvelt, NY and serve on the Dominican MBA advisory board. 

Before creating my own company, I have held executive positions at two large global companies, Xerox and Sharp Electronics. I managed large numbers of employees with overall financial responsibility of over a Billion dollars. I have had extensive training in leadership, financial and quality principles. My company, Intellective Solutions is the developer of national education standards and assessments used throughout the United States for 6 STEM subjects for the Graphic Arts Educational Foundation (GAERF) and SkillsUSA.

As most of Tuxedo’s residents know, the School district is facing significant challenges.  Important decision will have to be made by the Board of Education. These decisions will impact our community for many years.  I am committed to ensure those decisions will benefit not only the students, the faculty and the Board but the entire community.

So far the budget process which some of us are following scrupulously, leaves many questions open. For instance, the BOE has decided to go above the State CAP of -.33% by $157K for this year’s budget. Consequently, our residents will be deprived of a State rebate. In addition to some obvious overstated line item assumptions such as fuel costs, we learned at the Budget hearing there are reserves and excess funds well above the 4% recommended by the State that the BOE can use at their discretion.

To pass the budget, the BOE will need a 60% super majority and cause unneeded expense and time while creating a higher baseline for next year’s budget discussions. I recommend we vote the budget down. We can get to CAP without affecting any School programs or teachers.

The Tuxedo School System is being brought down by declining student enrollment and high costs. The consequence is threatening the viability of our Town as a place to move to and live in. In my professional career, I balanced operational performance with financial rigor. I will use these skills to help solve the financial and educational problems for our District. I will listen to all opinions. I will encourage the Board to be more open to resident and student concerns. I will press for more transparency in communicating their plans and decisions.

Our problems are well known beyond Tuxedo and throughout Orange County. A District-wide detailed plan must be developed by the Administration and Board ASAP quickly and presented to the community. I will be pushing for such an urgent plan starting with my first day on the Board of Education.

Please support my candidacy. I will need your vote to start the process of a fundamental change on our Board of Education. I vow to pledge my time, skills and energy to work for you, the residents of our town.

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Agenda for Board of Education Special Meeting/Public Hearing on 2016/2017 Budget

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Budget Hearing
V. Other
VI. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VII. Adjournment

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Tuxedo School District to hold Community Open House on May 10

TUXEDO, N.Y. (May 3, 2016) ---- The Tuxedo Union Free School District will hold a Tuxedo Community Open House on Tuesday, May 10 beginning a 5 p.m., giving residents an opportunity to learn updates about the district’s STEM curriculum, the one-to-one technology initiative launched earlier this year, see student projects and gain insight regarding the monthly STEM- related field trips at the high school level.

The program will begin with a keynote presentation on STEM and how it’s infused in both the George F. Baker High School as well as George Grant Mason School.

“While district parents visit the schools quite often, we are looking forward to meeting with all community residents and letting them see firsthand the wonderful things taking place in our buildings,” said Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed. “Our STEM-centric programming and methodology is a model of excellence and we want everyone to have the best possible understanding of what goes on here each day.”  

Following the open house, the district will hold its informational budget workshop meeting in the GGM multi-purpose room at 7 p.m.

To learn more, call 351-4799.

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George F. Baker High School students help Tuxedo Park Tree Advisory Board to commemorate Arbor Day

TUXEDO, N.Y. (May 3, 2016)  ---- Students from the George F. Baker High School, along with music teacher Anissa Kurian, joined Tuxedo Park Mayor MaryJo Guinchard in a performance commemorating Arbor Day on April 30.

The newly formed Tuxedo Park Tree Advisory Board organized the event to celebrate Arbor Day in the garden at the mayor’s residence.

The event was intended to be educational as well as entertaining with the main message that environmental stewardship matters.

“We are always honored to be a part of community events like this and welcome opportunities to showcase our students’ talents,” said Principal Jason Schrammel.

The students and Guinchard sang the poem “Trees’ by Joyce Kilmer to the large crowd who attended. A reception followed their performance.

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Tuxedo STEM Academy Community Open House May 10

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Casting A Wider Net For Tuxedo - 4/27/16

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George Grant Mason students selected for Elementary All-County music honors

Four students representing George Grant Mason School in Tuxedo will be part of this weekend’s Orange County Music Educators Association’s (OCMEA’s) annual Elementary All-County Festival, to be held at Warwick Valley High School. Grace Donnelly is a member of the All-County Orchestra, playing in the Violin 1 section.  Reginald Juance, Emily Ferri and Madison Madera are members of the All-County Chorus.

About the Tuxedo Union Free School District

The Tuxedo Union Free School District is a K-12 school district located at the southernmost tip of Orange County, near Sterling Forest and Harriman State Park. The George Grant Mason School is the district’s K-6 school and was named a 2015-2016 New York State Reward School, which recognizes schools that have made the most progress or have the highest achievement statewide with no significant gaps in student achievement. George F. Baker High School is home to students in grades 7 to 12. The district’s mission is to engage students in the pursuit of knowledge for academic success, productive citizenship and the development of personal potential in a diverse and changing world, while offering opportunities for real life experience in a safe and secure learning environment meeting every student’s individual needs. For more information, visit: http://tuxedoufsd.org.

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Tuxedo School Board Adopts A $13.49 Million Budget - 4/25/16

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Proposed Tuxedo budget exceeds tax cap - 4/25/16

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Tuxedo Board of Education adopts a $13.49 million budget

TUXEDO, N.Y. (April 21, 2016) ---The Tuxedo Union Free School District Board of Education unanimously adopted a proposed $13,497,279 budget for the 2016-2017 school year, a $669,864 reduction, or a 4.73 percent decrease, over the previous year’s budget on Wednesday night.

All programs, faculty and staff currently in place for this school year are maintained in the proposed budget.

“George F. Baker High School is not closing,” said Board of Education President Joanne Vernon. “While in the short-term it may be less expensive to send our high school students to a neighboring high school, variables such as the number of students, transportation costs and unknown tuition rates could have a catastrophic impact on the taxpayers in the long-term. The Board of Education does not support tuitioning our high school students to another high school or merging with any district. Some of the financial repercussions of merging with another district are as follows: Merging with Monroe-Woodbury, the taxes would increase by 83 percent (or $145.72/$1,000 of assessed value); merging with Ramapo Central, the taxes would increase by 126 percent (or $179.69/$1,000 assessed value). Currently the Town of Tuxedo is at $79.58/$1,000 of assessed value.”

The budget proposal has an estimated 1.06 percent increase in the tax levy and the total proposed taxes to be collected by the school district will be $11,450,415. The actual tax levy will be set in August when the town assessor provides certified assessment figures, state aid and equalization rates are confirmed. Due to the increase in the tax levy, a super majority, or 60 percent, is needed to pass this budget.

Per New York State calculations, the Tuxedo property tax cap is -.33 percent which enables the district to collect $37,363 less in taxes than it did in the 2015-2016 school year.

“Careful planning, prudent judgment and consideration of various options guided Tuxedo’s administration and this Board in the development of this budget,” Vernon added. “This gives all our students the very best educational opportunities and we believe voters will feel similarly.”

The Board of Education held multiple workshops over the course of March and April. At those meetings, members of the public had opportunities to comment on the proposed budget and were provided copies of the budget presentation as well as line by line items.

The district posted FAQs related to the budget workshops on its website shortly after the meetings were held.

“This budget is one that allows the district to maintain the highest quality of educational programs for our students,” said Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed. “The tax cap formula does not take into consideration the increasing costs that districts incur and the ultimate sacrifice is at the students’ expense. The district administration and the Board of Education have come up with a sound budget with a minimal impact being proposed to our taxpayers.”

Instructional costs are the largest portion of the proposed budget, at 51.08 percent, followed by retirement system, social security, health and workers compensation costs at 30.55 percent, general support services costs at 12.47 percent and transportation costs at 5.09 percent.

In addition to maintaining the existing academic programming, other budget proposal highlights include:

• Maintaining school clubs: Drama; National and Junior National Honor Societies; Art; Model UN; Production Team; Odyssey of the Mind; Homework; Engineering; GGM and high school yearbooks; Problem Solving; GGM and high school student councils; and GGM basketball
• Maintaining modified and varsity sports: soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball and varsity wrestling and cross country
• Tuition, transportation and related services for special education out of district placements: 21 students
• C-tech at Orange Ulster BOCES program available to 11th and 12th graders: – 8 students
• $200,000 re-appropriated from paid off GGM addition to make necessary health and safety repairs per the New York State Facilities Building Condition Survey Report
• A health insurance increase of 4.75 %

“This budget also includes a 10.93 percent increase in state aid over last year,” Teed said.

“We are grateful to our elected officials for their work in helping to secure the funding for school districts throughout New York State.”

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Agenda for Board for Board of Education Meeting April 20, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 3/17/16, 03/31/16 and 04/07/16
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal’s Report
• K-12 Assistant Principal’s Report
3. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Adoption of 2016/2017 Proposed Budget
4. Adoption of School Tax Property Report Card
5. Orange-Ulster BOCES Administrative Budget Vote
6. Orange-Ulster BOCES Board Member Election
7. BOCES Cooperative Bid
8. Tuxedo UFSD Professional Development Plan-2015-16
9. Donations
10. Personnel
VII. Other
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Agenda for Board of Education Budget Workshop April 7, 7pm

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Budget Discussion (Instructional, Undistributed, 3 Part Proposed Budget and Revenue Projections.)
V. Other
VI. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting
VII. Executive Session
VIII. Adjournment

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Reduction In Proposed School Tax Levy

The passage of the state budget last night brought good news to the Tuxedo School District. At the March 31st Budget Work Session, information was presented on our budget which indicated a proposed tax levy of 2.62 percent for the 2016/2017 school year.

With the recent release of state aid numbers, the Tuxedo School District is receiving additional state aid above the district’s projections. This means the new proposed tax levy is now 1.06 percent for the 2016/2017 school year.

This is wonderful news for the district and taxpayers. While the state aid number is less than the proposed number in the Governor’s Executive Budget in mid-January, we are grateful to our elected officials for providing the funding to Tuxedo and all New York State school districts which now allows us to reduce our proposed tax levy.

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Board of Education Presents Part 1 of the 2016/2017 School Budget

The Board of Education met on Thursday, March 31 for the first of two budget workshops.  General Support and Transportation budgets were reviewed line by line.  The district has reduced their budget this year, however the state mandated tax cap of -.33% combined with a loss of revenue (Greenwood Lake) has created a levy of 2.62%. 

Below please find a copy of the presentation, which, in addition to basic budget information, includes an explanation as to how the tax cap is calculated.  Also included are student enrollment numbers and a cost-per-pupil analysis.  The Public was also provided with an analysis of alternative high schools to the North and South and the potential costs related to tuitioning Tuxedo students into these institutions.  There is no question that the Tuxedo School District will be open for the 2016/2017 school year and the Board stated repeatedly that they remain committed to the long term success of the district.

Click HERE to view the presentation

Click HERE to view the line-by-line General Support & Transportation Budgets

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Agenda For Board of Education Special Meeting/Budget Workshop

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Budget Discussion
V. Public Participation
Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting
VI. Executive Session
VII. Adjournment

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Board of Education Message Regarding the TUFSD

As a follow-up to the recent Times-Herald Record article, the Tuxedo Board of Education wishes to stress these following points, which were also communicated to the reporter prior to the story’s March 23 publication:

The plan is clear, the G.F. Baker High School is not closing. The Board of Education is attentive to significant issues facing its neighboring school districts and feels that we have a strong alternative in Tuxedo. A small, innovative, safe school system is rare, and we are hopeful these qualities will be valued by others and our enrollment will rise.

• The election of two new Board of Education members and one incumbent Board of Education member who wanted to maintain an independent, viable school district in May 2015, was significant. The community spoke, and the district listened. We lose our voice in the education of our students if we send them to another school district.

• The district is basing its 2016-17 budget – which includes G.F. Baker High School – on the current enrollment figures. Growing the student population in the district is a goal and will help, but the budget is not contingent on the district’s growth in enrollment.

• Budget workshops are scheduled for March 31 and April 7. All budget materials discussed at the workshops will be available to the public and media at the budget workshops.

• The district is currently reviewing the ruling by the state regarding its legal dispute with the Greenwood Lake Union Free School District and is considering all of its options.

• Additionally, the district expects Related Companies to live up to its agreement as approvals of the Tuxedo Farms development are predicated on payments totaling $2.5 million, beginning with an initial payment of $1.25 million upon receipt of the first building permit. The district and the Board of Education are obviously eager to finalize this matter and we continue to work with Related as the success of Tuxedo Farms will bring students to our schools. Assuming student population increases, as predicted with the Tuxedo Farms housing rollout, the costs of educating and transporting our students out-of-district would quickly become crippling. That’s why maintaining the high school – and a K-12 district -- is ultimately the fiscally responsible thing to do for taxpayers.

• Monies from Related Companies for the Tuxedo Farms project are not included in our latest 2016-17 budget. The budget is based on savings, which will be put back into reserve funds, and what we feel is needed to operate. The district has reduced expenses by a total of $281,000 for the 2016-17 budget over the 2014-15 school year as a result of efficiencies created in the past year and the securing of a Rural Energy for America Program grant worth $50,000. We are adding $281,000 into our reserve funds from our savings and our recent grant. Additionally, the district now employs one principal for all grades – kindergarten through 12 – rather than two, and it has one less custodian. The district has fewer students attending Career and Technical

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Agenda For Board of Education Meeting March 17, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per
meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 02/18/2016
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal’s Report
• K-12 Assistant Principal’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Emergency Closing Days – 2015/2016 School Year
4. High School Sr. Class Trip to Orlando, Florida –04/- 04//16
5. Nomination of Orange-Ulster Board Candidates
6. Board Member Reduction Discussion
7. Adoption of 2016/17 School Calendar
8. Personnel
9. Budget Discussion
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Statement from Nancy Teed, Tuxedo School District interim superintendent to Pauline Liu of The Times Herald-Record

The Tuxedo Board of Education is contemplating exceeding the property tax cap for the 2016-2017 school-year because it is committed to meeting the needs of its students in a fiscally responsible manner.

This is largely due to the reduction in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which now means the district’s tax cap calculation is -.33 %. CPI, used for property tax calculations, is based upon household costs, doesn’t accurately reflect school districts’ economic conditions and doesn’t account for the increases in costs that schools would incur from year to year.

It is too premature to provide any specific numbers because the Tuxedo administration is in the midst of refining and finalizing the district’s 2016-2017 budget.

The board will address the proposed budget’s adoption at its April 20 meeting.

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Six school districts face negative tax cap - 3/11/16

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George F. Baker Presents THE WIZARD OF OZ - March 11, 12 &13

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George F. Baker High School national/junior national honor societies to host community blood drive on March 8

TUXEDO, N.Y. (March 1, 2016) --- The George F. Baker High School  chapters of the National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society will be host a community  blood drive, in conjunction with Community Blood Services, on Tuesday, March 8 from 8 a.m. .to 2 p.m. on the high school campus.

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone needs blood. The average blood cell transfusion is three pints and the blood type most requested by hospitals is type O.  

Blood donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be at least 17-years-old (or 16 with parental consent), be in general good health and feeling well on donation day. Blood can be donated every 56 days.

Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are also welcome. To schedule an appointment, call the high school main office at 845-351-4799.

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George F. Baker High School students begin STEM job shadowing at Live Technology

TUXEDO, N.Y.  (Feb, 29, 2016) ---- Tuxedo STEM Academy at George F. Baker High School juniors have launched the first of their STEM job shadowing opportunities with Live Technology in Tuxedo Park.

Live Technology is the nation’s leader in omni-channel marketing and communications solutions, providing an omni-channel platform that combines business content and brand to automate the production of all communications channels, including print, email, television, online ads, websites, video, social, direct mail, search engine optimization, collateral, mobile and QR codes.

“Job shadowing gives our students the ability to see real-world applications to their STEM education,’ said Marco Margotta, the district’s STEM advisor and technology and engineering teacher. “Live Technology is the first of several businesses to introduce them to the work- related environment.”

The STEM Academy job shadowing program provides opportunities for students to explore career fields by visiting local professionals at their businesses or other arranged locations to observe daily responsibilities and interactions within the workplace.

“The opportunity exposes students to a field of study, to experience that work environment to prepare them for an internship in a concentration area of their choice, said Margotta. “Students will meet with these professionals for a minimum of 30 hours throughout the semester.  Later, they will be matched in an occupation based on one or multiple areas of interest.”

Wayne Reuvers, Live Technology’s chief strategy officer and chairman, felt the partnership was a win-win for his company and the students.

“To be able to share our technology knowledge with these young adults gives us an opportunity to not only give back, but help shape the minds of students who will be looking for these cutting edge jobs,” Reuvers said. “We’re happy to help them excel in becoming career-ready.” 

To learn more about Live Technology, visit: http://www.livetechnology.com/

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Tickets on sale for George F. Baker High School’s production of “The Wizard of Oz”

TUXEDO, N.Y. (Feb. 23, 2016) ---- Tickets are on sale for the George F. Baker High School Drama Club’s spring musical, “The Wizard of Oz,” to be held March 11, 12 and 13 at the high school.

The three shows are based on the 1939 movie by the same name and the 1900 novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum.

The musical focuses on Dorothy Gale, who lives with her aunt and uncle on a Kansas farm, but finds her family and farmhands are too busy to pay attention to her. After her dog is taken away from her, she decides to run away from home.

She meets some interesting characters along the way, after being tricked into believing her aunt is sick, Dorothy races home just as a powerful tornado develops.  But she can’t get into her family’s storm cellar and seeks shelter in her bedroom, only to become unconscious after being hit on the head.

In a dream, Dorothy meets other characters who travel with her to the Emerald City.  And after more adventures and challenges, Dorothy eventually learns “there’s no place like home.”

Under the direction of Carol Marash and Peter Head, the play’s cast includes Daria Fatemi as Dorothy; Heidi Willins as Glenda the Good Witch; Rosalie Rodriquez as the Wicked Witch; Rachel Levinsky as the Tin Man; Matthew Willins as the Scarecrow; John Castricone as the Cowardly Lion; and Assistant Principal Eric Sorenson as the Wizard of Oz.

The total supporting cast is comprised of approximately 50 students, including 32 younger George Grant Mason students who will appear at Munchkins, and a stage crew of seven high school students. 

Show times are at 7 p.m. on March 11 and 12; and 2 p.m. on March 13.

Tickets are $13.50 and can be purchased in advance at https://tuxedo.booktix.com/ or at the door. If patrons would like assistance with printing their tickets purchased online or want to purchase online at the school, please come to the high school or call 845-351-2101.

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Board of Education Meeting February 18, 2016

Click here to read the report

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Tuxedo school district reappoints Teed as interim superintendent - 2/22/16

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George Grant Mason School students recited the pledge of allegiance for radio station WHUD

George Grant Mason School kindergarten through sixth-grade students had the opportunity to be recorded reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for radio station WHUD on Feb. 19.  Anissa Kurian, the school’s K-6 music teacher, helped coordinate the event, and Drew Butler of WHUD visited with students after the recording was complete. WHUD records the Pledge of Allegiance from students at different area schools and airs a school’s recording each day at 7:30 a.m.  A video recording of the students’ recitation can viewed here.

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting February 18, 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per
V. Tuxedo STEM Academy Presentation
meeting)
VI. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 1/14/2016 & 1/28/16
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal
• K-12 Asst. Principal
3. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Emergency Closing Days – 2015/2016 School Year
4. 2015/2016 Board of Registration Recommendation
5. Surplus Equipment
6. Review of 2016-2017 BOCES Student Calendar
7. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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George Grant Mason School to hold free Family/Community Elementary Engineering Night on Feb. 26

TUXEDO, N.Y. (Feb. 11, 2016) --- George Grant Mason School in Tuxedo will hold a free Family/Community Engineering Night on Friday, Feb. 26 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The event is open to any family in and beyond the Tuxedo School District interested in having a “family night out” and working together on engineering challenges.

“Families will have an opportunity to complete two engineering design challenges,” said Réne Blume, the school’s enrichment integration specialist.

“We want to show families that engineering is not only fun, but engineering skills are essentially important life skills that can be applied to any situation.”

The evening will include an introduction to engineering, followed by the two challenge sessions.

Participants will also have an opportunity to see how a 3D printer works and use “ozobots.”

“We’re purposely not revealing the engineering challenges so families have an opportunity to practice spontaneous brainstorming skills as well,” she added.

The event will take place at the George Grant Mason School’s multipurpose room.

Reservations are requested by Feb. 19 by email to:  Réne Blume at rblume@tuxedoufsd.org or by calling 845.351.4797.

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George Grant Mason School’s 'Hearts for Heroes' cards thank Tuxedo first responders - 2/11/16

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From Tuxedo to Quito Via Google

TUXEDO, N.Y. (Feb. 8, 2016)  --- Kindergarten STEM education at Tuxedo’s George Grant Mason (GGM) School has an “international infusion” now that O.J. Meekins’ class is interacting with a Quito, Ecuador preschool class via ‘Google Hangouts.”

“Our kindergartners are learning that our 1:1 iPads daily use brings us access to all kinds of information,” said Meekins. “Now, the latest technology we’ve introduced to them was videoconferencing through Google Handouts. Through this technology, we’ve met and are interacting with students at Alliance Academy International's preschool.”

Google Hangouts is a communication platform which includes instant messagingvideo chat, short message service (SMS) and voice over IP (VOIP) features. Google says Hangouts is designed to be "the future" of its telephony product, Google Voice. Hangouts allows conversations between two or more users and the service can be accessed online through the Gmail or Google+ websites or through mobile apps. 

Tuxedo Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed said the district’s STEM curriculum seeks to discover answers to real life issues, beginning with its youngest students.

“Several kindergarten students have family members who live in other countries,” Teed said. “As the students experience videoconferencing, they are learning to be comfortable with technology's capabilities and will bring that confidence home to their families.”

But, it’s more than just technology, too. The Tuxedo students are also getting an early introduction to the Spanish language and the Quito preschoolers are building on their English language lessons.  

“The Alliance Academy International's Preschool is an English Immersion program,”   said Bethany Meekins de Coloma, the academy’s early childhood administrator and Meekins’ daughter. “Though 85 percent of the students are English language learners, the students are well on their way to developing English fluency and comprehension.”
Meekins de Coloma said the engagement with other children internationally through technology helps students to further understand the meaning of “community" includes the international community.  Technology, like Google Handouts, makes that international community connection immediately available.

At the “first meeting” of both groups, students introduced themselves, sang songs to each other and agreed to read a book by author Jan Brett in preparation for next month’s online gathering.

“We will also make cards for each other and scan, email and print them,” said Meekins, the GGM teacher. “Experiencing this connection was near magical. Future ideas may be comparing our weather patterns, seasons and favorite activities and spring traditions. We will also let the children's interests and questions guide the different ways we will connect with our new friends in the days to come.”

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Tuxedo high school hosting 'Tornado for a Day - 2/3/16

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George Grant Mason School honored for West Point Army Black Knights Reading Program Accomplishments

TUXEDO, N.Y. (Jan. 29, 2016)  --- Students from George Grant Mason School in Tuxedo were honored at the recent West Point-Loyola University women’s basketball game half-time program for their accomplishments in West Point’s Army Black Knights School Reading Program.

The Black Knights Reading Program recognizes schools and students who document large amounts of pages read in an effort to reinforce and emphasize the importance of reading.  

“Our fifth-graders had the highest number of pages read of any other participating school in Orange County,” said Amanda Sayles, George Grant Mason School reading specialist.

“Our school was also honored for having the top readers in kindergarten, first, second and fifth-grade because they read the highest number of pages.” 

GGM’s fifth-grade class earned “High Class Total” honors by reading a total of 22,824 pages.

In addition, Black Nights “Highest Individual” reading honors, by grade level, were awarded to:

  • Kindergartener Tyler Marsh, for reading 1,462 pages
  • First-grader Kayla Jones, for reading 1,334 pages
  • Second-grader Isabel Yeon, for reading 4,097 pages
  • Fifth-grader Mario Ginis, for reading 6,092 pages

“Books expand our understanding of the world,” added Sayles. “Not only can books provide mental stimulation and offer readers additional knowledge, reading provides an opportunity to develop stronger analytical thinking skills, improved focus and concentration and even better writing skills. We’re thrilled to see our fifth-grade class and these four students honored for their reading accomplishments.”

In addition to being recognized during the Jan. 9 game, Black Knights women’s basketball players will make a special visit to GGM this spring as an additional way of honoring students for their reading efforts.

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Tuxedo STEM Academy at George F. Baker High School to hold open house for non-district students on Feb. 10

TUXEDO, N.Y. (Jan. 26, 2016)  --- The Tuxedo STEM Academy at George F. Baker High School will hold a student open house on Wednesday, Feb. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. for students outside its district borders who wish to attend on a tuition basis.

George F. Baker High School is the only area high school with a 100 percent Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) infused curriculum. It serves students in grades 7-12 and is part of the nationally recognized Tuxedo Union Free School District.

The open house will feature tours, a presentation and opportunities to meet with faculty, administrators and even students.

Multi-year scholarships are available for students in grades 9-12 based on academic achievement and STEM interest and experiences.  Annual tuition is comparable to area private schools.

“The future of education lies with successful STEM preparation,” said Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed. “To be able to fully integrate a STEM curriculum in a nurturing, small school environment gives students tremendous advantages in their academic careers. There is no other model in the region like ours.”

Tuxedo’s small class sizes feature curriculum rivaling private school offerings while providing real world learning collaborations with area businesses.

Students earn consistently high test scores and the district has received nationally recognized rankings, including from US News and World Report and Newsweek.

In addition to working daily with state-of-the-art technology, including take-home HP Chromebooks for all students, the Tuxedo STEM Academy at George F. Baker High School also is home to competitive interscholastic sports teams and an outstanding music and fine arts program.

The district also offers an innovative K-6 program at its George Grant Mason School for families interested in beginning a STEM infused education on the elementary level, also on a tuition basis.

“Our curriculum and instruction rival the best of what many private schools offer,” Teed said.  “We look forward to showing our wonderful campus to potential students and their families and telling them about all the great things awaiting them at Tuxedo.”

 To learn more and RSVP, call the STEM Academy Admissions Office at 845-351-4799.

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Agenda for Special Board of Education Meeting January 28 , 2016

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation
(Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Items for Action and/or Discussion

1. Revision and Acceptance of Board of Education Policy#4110
2. Other
VI. Adjournment

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Registration for February 8 Tuxedo ‘Tornado for a Day’ program now taking place

TUXEDO, N.Y. (Jan. 25, 2016) ---  Students interested in transferring to the Tuxedo STEM Academy at George F. Baker High School are invited to register for the school’s Feb. 8 “Tornado for a Day” Program.

“Students will experience a typical day at Baker,” said Principal Jason Schrammel. “You’ll be accompanied by a Tuxedo ambassador throughout your visit which includes visiting classes, meeting students and faculty and dining with students.”

Schrammel said the program would be extremely useful because it gives prospective students a real and honest look at a normal Baker day.

“We want to show new students all the great things at Tuxedo,” said Schrammel.  “This small school environment does make a positive difference in the success of all of us here.”

Parents will drop off visiting students at the building’s entrance where they will be greeted by ambassadors and faculty members who will escort them during their visit.

A complimentary lunch will be provided.

The daylong event runs from 8 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. Students should arrive at 7:50 a.m.

Reservations must be made no later than Feb. 3.

To learn more or make a reservation, call the Tuxedo STEM Academy Admissions Office at 351-4799.

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George F. Baker High School Senior Madeline Doyle named Time Warner Cable News Scholar Athlete of the week

TUXEDO, N.Y. (Jan. 19, 2016) --- George F. Baker High School senior Madeline Doyle, who plays varsity volleyball and softball, was recently named Time Warner Cable News’ Scholar Athlete of the Week.

“Madeline, more than most, is able to balance her academics, extra-curricular activities and volunteering over the past four years, with such grace and determination,” said Guidance Counselor Christine Oliva, who nominated her. “She lends great insight into classroom discussions and has an inner motivation to be creative and do well in all areas of her life.  Madeline is mindful of her friends and family, has a strong sense of duty, makes good choices, and is respectful to others.  She has already amassed a sizable resume, full of diversity and real-world experience.”

On the volleyball team, Doyle’s position is a setter.  She is the softball team’s catcher. 

Doyle is the anticipated school’s 2016 valedictorian with a 98.16 GPA and serves as president of the school’s chapter of National Honor Society.  She plans to attend Tufts University this fall and major in mathematics.

The Time Warner Cable News Scholar Athlete of the Week program honors students who excel both in the classroom and on the playing field.

About the Tuxedo Union Free School District

The Tuxedo Union Free School District is a K-12 school district located at the southernmost tip of Orange County, near Sterling Forest and Harriman State Park. The George Grant Mason School is the district’s K-6 school and was named a 2015-2016 New York State Reward School, which recognizes schools that have made the most progress or have the highest achievement statewide with no significant gaps in student achievement. George F. Baker High School is home to students in grades 7 to 12. The district’s mission is to engage students in the pursuit of knowledge for academic success, productive citizenship and the development of personal potential in a diverse and changing world, while offering opportunities for real life experience in a safe and secure learning environment meeting every student’s individual needs. For more information, visit: http://tuxedoufsd.org.

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Board of Education Meeting January 14, 2015

Click here for meeting summary.

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Agenda For Board of Education Meeting January 14, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 12/17/15
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal
• K-12 Assistant Principal
3. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Emergency Closing Days – 2015/2016 School Year
4. New Course Recommendations
5. Officer and Personnel Changes
6. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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My View: Tuxedo Offers Innovative STEM Education - 1/6/15

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Tuxedo STEM Academy To Hold Open House for Non-District Students on January 20 - 1/6/15

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George F. Baker High School To Hold Open house for Orange County and Rockland County students on Jan. 20

TUXEDO, N.Y. (Jan. 4, 2016)  --- The Tuxedo STEM Academy at George F. Baker High School will hold a student open house on Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 9  to 11 a.m. and  5 to 7 p.m. for students outside its district borders who wish to attend on a tuition basis.

George F. Baker High School is the only area high school with a 100 percent Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) infused curriculum. It serves students in grades 7-12 and is part of the nationally recognized Tuxedo Union Free School District.

The open house will feature tours, a presentation and opportunities to meet with faculty, administrators and even students.

Multi-year scholarships are available for students based on academic achievement.  Annual tuition is less than area private schools.

“The future of education lies with successful STEM preparation,” said Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed. “To be able to fully integrate a STEM curriculum in a nurturing, small school environment gives students tremendous advantages in their academic careers. There is no other model in the region like ours.”

Tuxedo’s small class sizes feature curriculum rivaling private school offerings while providing real world, learning collaborations with area businesses.

Students earn consistently high test scores and the district has received nationally recognized rankings, including from US News and World Report and Newsweek.

In addition to working daily with state-of-the-art technology, including take-home HP Chromebooks for all students, the Tuxedo STEM Academy at George F. Baker High School also is home to competitive interscholastic sports teams and an outstanding music and fine arts program.

The district also offers an innovative K-6 program at its George Grant Mason School for families interested in beginning a STEM infused education on the elementary level, also on a tuition basis.

“Our curriculum and instruction rival the best of what many private schools offer,” Teed said.  “We look forward to showing our wonderful campus to potential students and their families and telling them about all the great things awaiting them at Tuxedo.”
 To learn more and RSVP, call the STEM Academy Admissions Office at 845-351-4799.

About the Tuxedo Union Free School District

The Tuxedo Union Free School District is a K-12 school district located at the southernmost tip of Orange County, near Sterling Forest and Harriman State Park. The George Grant Mason School is the district’s K-6 school and was named a 2015-2016 New York State Reward School, which recognizes schools that have made the most progress or have the highest achievement statewide with no significant gaps in student achievement. George F. Baker High School is home to students in grades 7 to 12. The district’s mission is to engage students in the pursuit of knowledge for academic success, productive citizenship and the development of personal potential in a diverse and changing world, while offering opportunities for real life experience in a safe and secure learning environment meeting every student’s individual needs. For more information, visit: http://tuxedoufsd.org.

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Board of Education Meeting December 17, 2015

Click here to view

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Tuxedo Union Free School District launches marketing efforts to bolster student enrollment at GGM and GFB

TUXEDO, N.Y. (Dec. 16, 2015) -- As a way to further reinforce the long-term sustainability of the Tuxedo Union Free School District and to continue to build student enrollment, the Tuxedo Union Free School District Board of Education has retained Goshen-based Focus Media, the Hudson Valley’s largest public relations and marketing firm.

Focus Media will develop and execute marketing and promotion strategies to continue to broaden awareness of the district’s unique small classroom environment and its innovative STEM curriculum, which will also include outreach efforts to build student enrollment both at George Grant Mason School, home to kindergarten to 6th grade students; and George F. Baker High School, home to 7th to 12th graders. Funding for this initiative comes from private funds.

 “The Tuxedo Union Free School District is committed to maintaining our independence as we seek ways to bolster our student census,” said Joanne Vernon, Tuxedo Board of Education president. “These efforts will ensure the long-term growth of our school district. Our elementary and high school curricula and instruction rival the best of what many private schools offer. We look forward to this effort to show and demonstrate to potential students and their families the great things awaiting them at Tuxedo.”

District Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed noted the many advantages of a Tuxedo high school education.

“Our  elementary  school and high school offer small and supportive classroom settings that match the academic rigor of any district while offering unique, relevant, real-world STEM experiences, which will best position students for what employers are looking for in the workplace,” Teed said. “The future of education lies with successful STEM preparation, and we begin this on the elementary level.  To be able to fully integrate a STEM curriculum in a nurturing, small school environment gives students tremendous advantages in their academic careers. There is no other model in the region like ours.”

Focus Media President and CEO Josh Sommers said he was excited to develop and implement a marketing plan that will assist Tuxedo with long-term success.

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Tuxedo drops plans for charter school - 12/16/15

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting December 17, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total
per meeting)
V. Recognition of Tenure
VI. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 11/19/15
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 High School Principal
• K-12 Assistant High School Principal
3. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. APPR Lead Evaluator Certification
4. Acceptance of Non-Resident Tuition Student
5. Revision and Acceptance of Policy# 3103 – All Employee
Compensation
6. Resolution for Board of Education President to Execute Project
Adventure Iroquois Springs Contract
7. Donation for Senior Lounge
8. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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Tuxedo School District students participate in ‘The Hour of Code’ - 12/15/15

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Tuxedo Superintendent Of Schools Responds To Times Herald Record Article

Dear Parents/Guardians & Community Members,

I am writing this letter in response to an article that was written by Pauline Liu and Paul Brooks
in the Times Herald Record on 12/2/2015. The article listed information regarding school
salaries and the number of school employees who made $100,000 or more in total pay for the 2014-2015 school year. There was a linlc provided to the Empire Center which obtained the information from the NYS Teachers' Retirement System.

In the miicle by Ms. Liu and Mr. Brooks, Tuxedo Union Free School District is listed as having
43 employees who earned $100,000 or more in total pay for the 2014-215 school year. This is inaccurate. It is very obvious in the linlc provided that Tuxedo Union Free School District had a total of 24 staff members who were in this category. The miicle in the paper did not provide information about how the salaries were inclusive of monies earned for extracurricular activities, such as coaching and/or advising a club. If the repmiing was pe1iaining solely to contractual salaries, there would have been 21.5 staff members in this category.

I have reached out to the repmiers requesting an explanation for the numbers that were provided in the newspaper. I have yet to receive a response back.

Sincerely,

Nancy Teed
Interim Superintendent

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Agenda For Board of Education Meeting November 19, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per
meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 10/15/15 & 10/28/15
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• K – 12 Principal
• K – 12 Assistant Principal
3. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Approval of Corrective Action Plan 2014/2015 Audit
4. Standard Work Day & Reporting Resolution RS 2417-A
5. 8th Grade Overnight Trip to Boston – June 1, - June 2, 2016
6. Approval of Lease Agreement between Tuxedo UFSD with Rockland Teacher Center
7. APPR Lead Evaluator Re-Certification
8. Extra-Curricular Resolution
9. Donation for Student Lounge Area
10. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Tuxedo School District remembers needy families this Thanksgiving

TUXEDO, N.Y. (Nov. 24,  2015)  ---- The Tuxedo Union Free School District delivered turkey/ food baskets to 20  local families this past Tuesday, making sure they had the opportunity to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with a traditional meal.

Interim Superintendent Nancy Teed said the district’s ability to do this was made possible through community involvement.

“The turkeys are provided by Susan Meyer on behalf of the Sloatsburg Food Pantry and the food baskets are provided by Sue Heywood on behalf of the St. Mary’s-in-Tuxedo Episcopal Church’s Outreach Committee,” Teed said. “These two organizations have made this turkey and food distribution possible for many years and the families in the Tuxedo community are truly appreciative of all their efforts. There is much kindness shown in this three way effort.” 

Assisting in the turkey/food basket project organization and distribution were Christine Oliva, a district guidance counselor, and JoAnn Martin, the district’s transportation director.

About the Tuxedo Union Free School District

The Tuxedo Union Free School District is a K-12 school district located at the southernmost tip of Orange County, near Sterling Forest and Harriman State Park. The George Grant Mason School is the district’s K-6 school and was named a 2015-2016 New York State Reward School, which recognizes schools that have made the most progress or have the highest achievement statewide with no significant gaps in student achievement. George F. Baker High School is home to students in grades 7 to 12. The district’s mission is to engage students in the pursuit of knowledge for academic success, productive citizenship and the development of personal potential in a diverse and changing world, while offering opportunities for real life experience in a safe and secure learning environment meeting every student’s individual needs. For more information, visit: http://tuxedoufsd.org or call 845-351-2296.

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George Grant Mason School’s youngest students retell the story of the first Thanksgiving

TUXEDO, N.Y. (Nov. 23, 2015)  ---- Kindergarteners at George Grant Mason School in Tuxedo retold the story of the first Thanksgiving in a skit performed this past Monday, which was attended by family and friends.

Students narrated the details of the first Thanksgiving Day as their drawings were shown on a  full screen. 

“Our skit was the culmination of Kindergarten's English Language Arts listening-learning domain, ‘Columbus and the Pilgrims,’” said Kindergarten teacher O.J. Meekins.

The Thanksgiving skit, written by Mary P. Churchill, was complete with pilgrims, Wampanoag Indians, turkey and “corn” characters.

“Students piped up on cue,” Meekins added. “All of this is meant to bring our grownups into our school so we can sing ‘thank you’ to our most important people.”

About the Tuxedo Union Free School District

The Tuxedo Union Free School District is a K-12 school district located at the southernmost tip of Orange County, near Sterling Forest and Harriman State Park. The George Grant Mason School is the district’s K-6 school and was named a 2015-2016 New York State Reward School, which recognizes schools that have made the most progress or have the highest achievement statewide with no significant gaps in student achievement. George F. Baker High School is home to students in grades 7 to 12. The district’s mission is to engage students in the pursuit of knowledge for academic success, productive citizenship and the development of personal potential in a diverse and changing world, while offering opportunities for real life experience in a safe and secure learning environment meeting every student’s individual needs. For more information, visit: http://tuxedoufsd.org or call 845-351-2296.

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Tuxedo’s George Grant Mason School honors local veterans

TUXEDO, N.Y. (Nov 18,  2015) ---   O.J. Meekins’ George Grant Mason (GGM) School kindergarten class honored veterans from within the Tuxedo community and the Promenade at Tuxedo Place, the nearby assisted living residence, for Veterans Day.
 
Children presented veterans with crafts and were part of a short ceremony honoring them for their service to the nation during the recent gathering.

Participating kindergarteners were Joey Vega, Mariella Nissirioss, Colina Membreno, Tyler Marash, Nerla Paul, Lorelei Colletti, Victor Chacko, Max Mitchell, Santana Jackson, Anthony Tripoli, Khrisztian Caburnay, Nicholas Iazzetti and Matthew Arone.

“It’s important for us to offer teachable moments to our students, and often times this includes an opportunity to invite community residents into our school,” said Nancy Teed, Tuxedo School District interim superintendent. “We want them to understand the importance of honoring these wonderful people and to begin to understand the importance of Veterans Day, especially at this young age.”

The program was part of the school’s annual effort to recognize area veterans.      

About the Tuxedo Union Free School District

The Tuxedo Union Free School District is a K-12 school district located at the southernmost tip of Orange County, near Sterling Forest and Harriman State Park. The George Grant Mason School is the district’s K-6 school and was named a 2015-2016 New York State Reward School, which recognizes schools that have made the most progress or have the highest achievement statewide with no significant gaps in student achievement. George F. Baker High School is home to students in grades 7 to 12. The district’s mission is to engage students in the pursuit of knowledge for academic success, productive citizenship and the development of personal potential in a diverse and changing world, while offering opportunities for real life experience in a safe and secure learning environment meeting every student’s individual needs. For more information, visit: http://tuxedoufsd.org or call 845-351-2296.

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Tuxedo Lady Tornadoes win OCIAA Division III volleyball title but lose Section 9 Class D Finals this past weekend

TUXEDO, N.Y. (Nov. 10,  2015) ---The Tuxedo Lady Tornadoes came close to winning the Section 9 Class D Volleyball Finals this past weekend at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, falling to Pine Plains in sectional play, 3-1.

After winning the Sectional Semifinal Game against Webutuck in three sets on Nov. 6, the team fought hard in division play against Pine Plains’ height advantage, even with senior outside hitter Emma Meore leaving the court due to a health issue.

But, the team came up short in four sets: 23-25, 25-22, 25-22 and 25-18.

Coach Michelle Hines praised the team’s tenacious tournament play.

"We are so proud of these girls,” she said. “They never gave up. They fought until the very end. This is what Tuxedo is all about.”

George F. Baker High School Principal Jason Schrammel said the team serves as an inspiration to all Tuxedo students.

“This team’s work ethic is an example for all of our students,” he added. “Tuxedo consistently demonstrates its ability to excel with dedication and perseverance. Our team’s Division III volleyball title (the 1st since 2003), and advancement to Class D finals, shows this school can hold its own against other schools in sports.”

About the Tuxedo Union Free School District

The Tuxedo Union Free School District is a K-12 school district located at the southernmost tip of Orange County, near Sterling Forest and Harriman State Park. The George Grant Mason School is the district’s K-6 school and was named a 2015-2016 New York State Reward School, which recognizes schools that have made the most progress or have the highest achievement statewide with no significant gaps in student achievement. George F. Baker High School is home to students in grades 7 to 12. The district’s mission is to engage students in the pursuit of knowledge for academic success, productive citizenship and the development of personal potential in a diverse and changing world, while offering opportunities for real life experience in a safe and secure learning environment meeting every student’s individual needs. For more information, visit: http://tuxedoufsd.org or call 845-351-2296.

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Tuxedo’s George Grant Mason School honors local veterans - 11/20/15

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So Close - 11/12/15

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Agenda For Special Board of Education Meeting

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Independent Auditor’s Presentation – Scott Preusser of Raymond G. Preusser CPA, PC
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion

1. Acceptance of 2014/2015 Financial Audit Report
2. Other
VII. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Volley Ball Team On Cusp Of New Heights - 10/20/15

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Agenda For Board of Education Meeting October 15, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 9/17/15
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• K-12 Principal
• K-12 Assistant Principal
3. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3 School Board Recognition Week - October 26- October 30, 2015
4. APPR Lead Evaluator Certification
5. APPR Resolution for Hardship Waiver
6. Adoption of 2016/2017 Budget Calendar
7. Senior Class of 2016 Trip to Orlando, Florida – April 12 – April 17, 2016.
8. Donation from Tuxedo Parents
9. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Smaller classes suit Tuxedo students - 9/30/15

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Tuxedo's pinwheels commemorate International Day of Peace - 9/23/15

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State approves Tuxedo's request for a K-12 principal - 9/23/15

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Agenda For Board of Education Meeting September 17, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 8/20/15
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Elementary School Principal
• High School Principal
3. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Second Reading and Adoption of Policy #5206A/5204-15/5208
4. Resolution - Application for Variance
5. Resolution - Dedication of Classroom in Memory of Madeline Napolitano
6. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Spike the ball - 9/11/15

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Tuxedo high school's principal resigns - 8/27/15

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Tuxedo High School Principal Quits - 8/27/15

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Tuxedo students get Chromebooks and iPads for school year - 8/20/15

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting August 20, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Recognition of Retirees
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. Routine Business

1. Approval of Organizational/Regular Meeting Minutes – 07/06/15
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• High School Principal
• Elementary School Principal
3. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. First Reading of Policy # 5206A/5204-15/5208
4 Second Reading and Adoption of Policy # 4408
5. Grade Re-Configuration Resolution
6. School Breakfast & Lunch Prices
7 Tax Levy/Warrants & Tax Rates
8. Designation of Legislative Liaison to NYSSBA
9 Designation of Legislative Liaison to OCSBA
10. Shaw, Perelson, May & Lambert, LLP 2015-16 Retainer Agreement
11. Acceptance of Non-Resident Tuition Student
12. Resolution to Ratify the Execution of the APPR Implementation Certification Form
13. Resolution – Cooperative Transportation
14. Corrective Action Plan/Administrative Review - Cafeteria
15. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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4 out-of-district students apply for scholarships to Baker High School in Tuxedo - 8/17/15

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Tuxedo School District wraps up enrollment drive for Baker High - 7/8/15

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting July 6, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Organizational Meeting

1.0 Read Oath of Office into Minutes
1.1 Nominations & Appointment of President of Board of Education
1.2 Nominations & Appointment of Vice President of Board of Education
1.3 Nominations & Approval of Officers and Personnel for the School District
1.4 Approval by Board for Services
1.5 Approval by Board for Authorizations
1.6 Approval by Board to Re-Adopt Existing Policies & Past Practices
1.7 Approval for Business Official/Superintendent to Invest Monies at Best Prevailing Rate
1.8 Approval for Bonding of Business Official, District Treasurer, Tax Collector and Treasurer of Extra-Classroom Fund
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. Adjournment

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Scholarship program announced for non-resident Tuxedo students wanting to attend Baker STEM Academy - 7/3/15

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Tuxedo To Offer Scholarships To Baker Applicant - 6/29/15

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Tuxedo confers diplomas in Thursday night ceremony - 6/25/15

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Tuxedo names Teed as interim school superintendent - 6/22/15

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Superintendent of Schools Announces Unplanned Retirement

June 17th, 2015

To All Community Members

It is with regret and mixed emotions that I am informing you of my resignation for retirement purposes. Although this was not my original plan, personal situations beyond my control have necessitated this decision.

I strongly believe that the programs that have been designed and planned for both the George Grant Mason School and the George F. Baker High School will be exceptional programs that will continue to set our schools apart from others. I am confident that this direction is right for this district and this community and I will look forward to Tuxedo’s continued success as a leader in the field of education.

I had hoped that the high school would have been on its path to being a Conversion Charter High School. I still believe that this is the future of education and therefore the future of Tuxedo. I hope that I may be able to continue to support this effort along with this great district.

I would like to thank community members for their support and trust through these past years. This community has stood strong and supportive through the most difficult of circumstances. I am proud to have been the leader of such a great school district and school community.

As of July 1st, I will assume the role of Deputy Superintendent in an effort to transition the Interim Superintendent into her new role of leadership. My last day in district will be August 31, 2015. I will then be using accrued vacation with a retirement date effective October 16, 2015.

Once again, I thank you for your support throughout these years and I wish only the best for this school district and community.

Sincerely,
Carol Lomascolo


June 17th, 2015

To All Community Members

This continues to be a busy and ever-changing time for the Tuxedo Union Free School District. Some recent changes have resulted in staff changes and retirements. At tonight’s Board of Education Meeting we have one change that although was not total unexpected to the Board, may raise some questions in the community. Superintendent of Schools, Carol Lomascolo has decided to retire effective October 16, 2015. While not part of her original plan, personal situations beyond her control have necessitated her decision. We thank Carol for her dedication to the District.

In light of this retirement news, the BOE has decided to provide a transition plan that will best support the students, staff and programs at George F. Baker High School and George Grant Mason Elementary School. The search for a Superintendent of Schools is a lengthy process and requires much time and careful consideration. The appointment of an Interim Superintendent will ensure that the work of the District continues and provides time for the BOE to plan forward.

• Ms. Nancy Teed has been appointed Interim Superintendent of Schools to begin on July 1, 2015. Ms. Teed currently is the Director of Pupil Personnel and Services and has been with the TUFSD since 1999.

• Mrs. Lomascolo has been appointed Deputy Superintendent of Schools to begin on July 1, 2015 through October 16, 2015. Her time will be spent on transitioning with Ms. Teed and Special Projects.

The BOE is appreciative of the support from our community and will continue to do all that we can to provide the best programs, a safe school environment and open communication for the students and residents of Tuxedo.

Have a wonderful summer.

Joanne M. Vernon, President

Diane Petrosky, Vice President

Members:
Renard Barone Ed Gedvila
David Kaufer Angela Mulvaney
Robert Werner

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High School Seniors Leave School Halls For Last Time - 6/17/15

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting June 17, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Recognition of Tenure and Retirees
VI. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 4/16/15, 5/12/15, 5/21/15
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Acceptance of New Non-Resident Tuition Students
4. Acceptance of School Budget Vote & Board of Education Election
5. Code of Conduct
6. District-Wide Safety Plan
7. BOCES Cooperative Transportation Resolution
8. Energy Purchase Resolution
9. Alternative Veterans Exemption and Gold Star Parents Resolution
10. First Reading - Policy #’s 4209; 4209A; 6224; 6225
11. Review and Acceptance of Policy # 5202; 6201
12. New Course Recommendation
13. PTO Donation
14. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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The end of an era - 6/11/15

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Baker Benefit Concert June 11

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George F. Baker High School art students exhibit work at library - 5/26/15

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Tuxedo school board election results underscore effort to save Baker High - 5/26/15

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Tuxedo Budget Passes - 5/22/15

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting May 21, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 4/23/14, 5/7/15
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Change of June Board or Education Meeting Date
4. Setting Non-Resident Tuition Rate for 2015/16 School Year
5. APPR Lead Evaluator Certification
6. Review of Meal Charge Policy #6207A
7. Proposed 2015-2016 Board of Education Meeting Schedule
8. Senior Citizens Tax Exemption
9. Real Property Tax Exemption for Volunteer Workers
10. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Voters Approve $14.1 Million Tuxedo Budget - 5/20/15

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Tuxedo Names Schrammel Principal For George Grant Mason School - 5/18/15

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Tuxedo Candidates Care About Our Future - 5/14/15

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Rainbow Run 3K at Powehouse Park This Saturday!

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School Budget Vote/Board of Education Elections May 19

The Tuxedo Union Free School District Budget vote and Board elections will take place on Tuesday, May 19 from 2-9pm.

The school has proposed a 1.69 tax levy, which is at cap.  Originally, a 10% levy was proposed, but this amount was reduced drastically when the Board decided to draw on reserve funds to close the gap.

A line-by-line copy of budget and associated important information can be viewed on the school’s website or by clicking here

Additionally, eight candidates are vying for three open spots on the Board of Education.

They are:
Diana L. Petrosky (incumbent)
Angela Mulvaney (incumbent)
Mary-Fidelis Feeley
Edward J. Colletti
Joe Rickard
Allyson Arber
Mary (Meg) Vaught
Raymond R. Ferri

TPFYI strongly encourages residents within the school district to educate themselves as to the issues and to vote on May 19.

Some additional information can be found here:

Tuxedo BOE approves budget with a 1.69 percent tax levy

Debate over Tuxedo school's future draws 8 candidates for 3 board seats

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Debate over Tuxedo school's future draws 8 candidates for 3 board seats - 5/7/15

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Tuxedo BOE approves budget with a 1.69 percent tax levy - 5/1/15

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Tuxedo Will Resubmit State Application For Charter School - 4/27/15

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Tuxedo School Board OKs 14.1M Budget With Lower Tax Rate Increase - 4/24/15

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting April 23, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 3/12/15, 3/19/15, 3/24/15,3/31/15,4/9/15
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Adoption of 2015/2016 Proposed Budget
4. Adoption of School Tax Property Report Card
5. Orange-Ulster BOCES Administrative Budget Vote
6. Orange-Ulster BOCES Board Member Election
7. Adoption of 2015/16 School Calendar
8. Approval of Emergency Day Give Back Date
9. Questar III BOCES-Fund Surplus Resolution Agreement and Release
10. BOCES Cooperative Bid
11. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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A look at the proposed 2015/2016 Instructional Program (Grades K-12) for the Tuxedo Union Free School District - 4/20/15

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Tuxedo Schools Propose Ten Percent Tax Increase - 4/17/15

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The Tuxedo PTO Presents Paint It Forward Friday May 1

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting April 16, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Items for Action and/or Discussion

1. Board Work Sessions #2 on Working Draft of 2015/2016 Budget
• Instructional
• 3-Part Proposed Budget
• Contingent Budget
• Revenue Projections
2. Other
VI. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VII. Adjournment

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Tuxedo school district could cut 20 jobs - 4/13/15

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Agenda for Special Board of Education Meeting April 9, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Items for Action and/or Discussion

1. Board Work Session #1 on Working Draft of 2015/2016 Budget
• Presentation of General Support, Transportation and Undistributed Proposed Budget
2. Other
V. Public Participation
VI. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Board Keeps High School Open - 4/1/15

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The Future Of Our High School - 4/1/15

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Vote To Determine Fate of George F Baker High School in Tuxedo - 4/1/15

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Agenda For Special Board of Education Meeting March 31, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
IV. Pledge of Allegiance
III. Executive Session (Approximately 60 Minutes)
V. Future of George F. Baker High School (Approximate Start Time 8:00 P.M.)
VI. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VII. Adjournment

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Tuxedo lays out plans for Baker High School discussion - 3/24/15

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Agenda for Special Board of Education Meeting March 24, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
IV. Pledge of Allegiance
III. Executive Session (Approximately 60 - 90 Minutes)
V. High School Option (Approximate Start Time 8:30 P.M.)
VI. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person)
VII. Adjournment

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Students, parents fight to keep Baker High School open - 3/20/15

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Time has run out for Tuxedo - 3/20/15

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Crowd turns out in support of Baker High - 3/20/15

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting March 19, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 02/18/15, 02/19/15, 02/26/15
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. High School Sr. Class Trip to Orlando, Florida –04/21- 04/26/15
4. High School Music Class overnight trip to Hershey Park – 05/15 -05/16/15
5. Nomination of Orange-Ulster Board Candidates
6. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Tuxedo devastated by charter school rejection - 3/18/15

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State board denies Tuxedo charter school bid - 3/16/15

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TUXEDO SUPERINTENDENT LAYS OUT OPTIONS - 3/13/15

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Meeting to address future of Tuxedo high school - 3/10/15

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Board of Education to Hold Special Meeting March 12, 2015

Dear Community Members:

As indicated in my community letter dated February 6, 2015, there will be a Special Board of Education meeting on March 12th at 7:00 in the George Grant Mason Multipurpose Room.

The purpose of this meeting is to provide a forum where an informational message may be shared and where our community concerns and opinions may be heard. To be more specific, this meeting will be focused on:

1. Providing an update on the application for the Tuxedo STEM Academy at George F. Baker High School Conversion Charter School,

2. Presenting information about the options that have been considered in the event that the final answer regarding this application approval is not received from NYSED over the next month, and

3. Listening to the concerns, comments, and opinions of our community as well as answering community questions, if possible.

The purpose of this meeting is NOT to provide the final decision for the future of our high school. This final decision will be made by the Board of Education following this meeting as the board considers community feedback and the program and fiscal impact analysis.

Please note that community comments and feedback will be heard from Tuxedo Union Free School District RESIDENTS ONLY.

Childcare will be provided, if requested, during this meeting by our High School National Honor Society students. If you will need child care, please call Kathy Bacigalupo at (845) 351-4799 so that this may be made available.

Sincerely,
Carol A. Lomascolo
Superintendent of Schools

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting February 26, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per
meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 1/15/15
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Review of Policy #4110–Non-Resident Tuition Student Payment
4. 2014/2015 Board of Registration Recommendation
5. Review of 2015-16 BOCES Student Calendar
6. Donation
7. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Agenda for Special Board of Education Meeting February 18, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
I I. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Items for Action and/or Discussion

1. Conversion Charter
2. Other
VI. Adjournment

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting January 15, 2015

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation
(Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Recognition of Retirees
VI. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 12/18/14
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Resolution for Emergency Building Repairs
4. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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Tuxedo charter application on hold again - 1/15/15

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Charting a new charter course - 1/15/15

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Tuxedo awaits word on charter school application - 1/12/15

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting December 18, 2014

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 11/10/14 & 11/20/14
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Assistant High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Resolution for Board of Education President to Execute Project
Adventure Iroquois Springs Contract
4. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Decision on Tuxedo charter school delayed - 11/18/14

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Agenda For Board of Education Meeting November 20, 2014

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per
meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 10/16/14 & 10/29/14
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Assistant High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Approval of Corrective Action Plan 2013/2014 Audit
4. Standard Work Day & Reporting Resolution RS 2417-A
5. Approval of Lease Agreement between Tuxedo UFSD with
Rockland Teacher Center
6. Approval of Overnight NYSTEA (New York State Theater
Education Association) Field Trip 01/09 – 01/11/15
7. Donation to Student Council
8. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Agenda for Special Board of Education Meeting November 10, 2014

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call and Quorum Check

III. Pledge of Allegiance

IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)

V. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Conversion Charter
2. Other

VI. Adjournment

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Students anxious for decision on Tuxedo school - 11/7/14

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Greenwood Lake Looks at the Projected Financial Impacts of Tuxedo's Conversion Charter on Their School District

The following is a link to the presentation made at the October 16th Tuxedo UFSD Board of Education Meeting.  This presentation details revisions to the Greenwood Lake UFSD presentation made at their September BOE meeting titled "Potential Financial Impact of Conversion Charter on Greenwood Lake UFSD".  This presentation in the link below takes into consideration the lottery system that exists for a charter schools and significantly changes the financial impact to the Greenwood Lake UFSD.

Click here to view presentation

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Agenda For Special Board of Education Meeting October 29, 2014

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Independent Auditor’s Presentation – Scott Preusser of
Raymond Preusser CPAPC
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion

1. Acceptance of 2013/2014 Financial Audit Report
2. Other
VII. Adjournment

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting October 16

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Introduction of New Teacher
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. Routine Business

1. Independent Auditor’s Presentation – Scott Preusser of Raymond Preusser CPAPC
2. Presentation of revised Impact of the Conversion Charter School on GWLUFSD
3. Approval of Minutes – 9/18/14
4. Administrators’ Reports
- Business Administrator
- Director of Student Services/Human Resources
- Elementary/Middle School Principal
- High School Principal
- Asst. High School Principal
5. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
6. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3 School Board Recognition Week - October 28-November 1, 2014
4. Adoption of 2014/2015 Budget Calendar
5. Acceptance of 2013/2014 Financial Audit Report
6. 8th Grade Overnight Trip to Boston – 6-11 – 6-12-15
7. Acceptance of Non-Resident Tuition Student
8. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Union Free School District's Response the Greenwood Lake Charter School Opposition

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Editorial: Feuding schools need to start over - 9/30/14

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Greenwood Lake concerned over Tuxedo charter school tuition costs - 9/29/14

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting September 18, 2014

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation
(Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 8/21/14, 8/25/14, 9/4/14
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Surplus Equipment
4. Resolution to Ratify the Execution of the APPR Implementation
Certification Form
5. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Tuxedo continues path to high school conversion charter school - 9/15/14

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Opening day at Tuxedo schools - 9/5/14

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Tuxedo school board approves plan for STEM Academy - 9/5/14

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Agenda for Special Board of Education Meeting September 4, 2014

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation
(Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Items for Action and/or Discussion

1. Conversion Charter
VI. Adjournment

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Tuxedo PTO Annual Back-to-School Carnival To Take Place Friday September 19

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Tuxedo's school conversion at issue - 9/3/14

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting August 21, 2014

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Conversion Charter Presentation by Lead Applicants
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. Routine Business

1. Approval of Public Hearing/Organizational/Regular Meeting Minutes – 6/24/14,
7/1/14, 7/1/14
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. School Breakfast & Lunch Prices
4. Tax Levy/Warrants & Tax Rates
5. Designation of Legislative Liaison to NYSSBA
6. Designation of Legislative Liaison to OCSBA
7. Shaw,Perelson,May & Lambert, LLP 2014-15 Retainer Agreement
8. Acceptance of Non-Resident Tuition Student
9. Surplus Equipment
10. Overnight Trip for Summer Soccer Camp
11. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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Plan to turn Baker High School into charter school progressing - 7/16/14

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Special Board of Education Meeting/Public Hearing on Conversion Charter Application - June 24, 2014

SPECIAL BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING

PUBLIC HEARING ON
TUXEDO STEM ACADEMY
CONVERSION CHARTER
APPLICATION

 

Date:              Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Time:              7:00 p.m.
Place:             George F. Baker High School Auditorium
Purpose:        To solicit comments from the community on Conversion Charter Application
Application:    Available for viewing on school district website www.tuxedoufsd.org
Email:             Email comments on the application to convcharter@tuxedoufsd.org

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Tuxedo voters OK $15.9M school budget on 2nd try - 6/18/14

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Tuxedo School Budget Passes

On June 17, 2014, the Tuxedo Union Free School Budget was passed by a vote of 304 to 127.

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Casino donation aids Tuxedo School District - 5/29/14

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting May 28 2014

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call and Quorum Check

III. Pledge of Allegiance

IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)

V. Student Council Liaison Representative

VI. Recognition of Valedictorian & Salutatorian

VII. Routine Business
1. Approval of Minutes – 4/24/14
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report

VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Setting Non-Resident Tuition Rate for 2014/15 School Year
4. APPR Lead Evaluator Certification
5. Second Reading and Adoption of Meal Charge Policy #6207A
6. Proposed 2014-2015 Board of Education Meeting Schedule
7. Public Consulting Group Contract Amendment
8. Senior Citizens Tax Exemption
9. Real Property Tax Exemption for Volunteer Workers
10. BOCES Cooperative Transportation Resolution
11. New Course Recommendation
12. Personnel

VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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School Budget Vote Tuesday May 20, 2014

Voters will take to the polls on Tuesday, May 20 to decide the fate of this years proposed school budget. Board President, Joanne Vernon, is also running for re-election.  She is unopposed.  Click here to view a copy of the budget as presented to the public earlier this month.

Voting will take place in the multipurpose room at the Elementary School (GGM) from 2-9pm.

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Joanne Vernon will be reelected to Tuxedo BOE - 5/15/14

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting May 13, 2014

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Budget Hearing
V. Other
VI. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VII. Adjournment

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George F. Baker Principal Announces Intensions To Move On | Posted 5/8/14

George F. Baker High School Principal School Denis Superintendent Carol Lomoscolo made the following community announcement on May 7:

“I would like to share the following information with our community.
Mr. Petrilak, Principal of the George F. Baker High School, has accepted a position as Middle School/High School Principal at the Chester Union Free School District beginning July 1, 2014.  We wish him well as he moves into this new position.

Our Board of Education and Administration remain positively focused on the future plans for this district and high school.  We continue to be fully supportive of both our High School STEM Academy and the consideration of a Conversion Charter School.On behalf of the Board of Education and myself, I would like to assure our communities that we are dedicated to reviewing options for new leadership.  We will be making timely decisions in support of a smooth transition to this new leadership and the continuation of our drive towards our future goals.”

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Tuxedo proposes $15.93 million school budget - 5/8/14

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See what your school district is proposing for 2014-15 budget season - 5/5/14

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting April 24, 2014 | Posted 4/23/14

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Student Council Liaison Representative
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 3/20/14, 3/27/14, 4/3/14
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Adoption of 2014/2015 Proposed Budget
4. Adoption of School Tax Property Report Card
5. Orange-Ulster BOCES Administrative Budget Vote
6. Orange-Ulster BOCES Board Member Election
7. Adoption of 2014/15 School Calendar
8. Meal Charge Policy #6207A – First Reading
9. BOCES Cooperative Bid
10. Donation to Wrestling and Class of 2014
11. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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TUXEDO EYES NEW CHARTER SCHOOL - 3/31/14

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George F. Baker STEM Academy Conversion Charter School Information Session March 31st at 7pm | Posted 3/24/14

George F. Baker STEM Academy Conversion Charter School Information Session March 31st at 7pm

An informational session will be held on March 31st at 7pm in the George F. Baker Auditorium regarding the proposed conversion charter school.

Select members of the Founding Group will present information about a proposal to create a conversion charter school at the George F. Baker High School.

Information to be presented will include:

Purpose of school and key design elements
Location and size of Charter School
Overview of the educational plan
Timeline for the proposal and implementation

For more information, please visit http://www.GFBSTEMAcademy.org/George F. Baker STEM Academy Conversion Charter School Information Session March 31st at 7pm

An informational session will be held on March 31st at 7pm in the George F. Baker Auditorium regarding the proposed conversion charter school.

Select members of the Founding Group will present information about a proposal to create a conversion charter school at the George F. Baker High School.

Information to be presented will include:

Purpose of school and key design elements
Location and size of Charter School
Overview of the educational plan
Timeline for the proposal and implementation

For more information, please visit http://www.GFBSTEMAcademy.org/

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Group to introduce conversion charter school - 3/24/14

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting March 20, 2014 | Posted 3/18/14

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. BOCES Budget Presentation – Mr. William J. Hecht
V. Student Council Liaison Representative
VI. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VII. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 2/20/14
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VIII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Resolution for Emergency Building Repairs
4. Emergency Closings Days 2013/14 School Year
5. Lease of Quarry Field
6. Review of 2014-15 BOCES Student Calendar
7. New High School Courses/Classes
8. High School Sr. Class Trip to Orlando, Florida – 4/02-4/06/14
9. Nomination of Orange-Ulster Board Candidates
10. Review and Approval of Policy #5205 – Class Size
11. Personnel
IX. Public Participation
X. Correspondence
XI. Miscellaneous
XII. Adjournment

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Local Theater Abounds This Week in Tuxedo | Posted 3/5/14

Local Theater abounds this week with the T.P.S. production of SHREK THE MUSICAL March 5 and 6 at 6pm, followed by George F. Baker’s presentation of GUYS AND DOLLS March 7 and 8 at 7pm and March 9 at 2pm.  Support local theater and check these shows out!

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Agenda For Board Of Education Meeting February 20, 2014 | Posted 2/19/14

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Student Council Liaison Representative
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per
meeting)
VI. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 1/16/14 & Public Hearing Minutes 2/6/14
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Second Reading & Adoption of Policy #4110 w/revisions Non-Resident Tuition Student Payment
4. Review and Discussion of Policy #5205 Class size
5. Acceptance of Non-Resident Tuition Student
6. Municipal Cooperation Agreement
7. Review of 2014-15 BOCES Student Calendar
8. Alternative Veterans Exemption and Gold Star Parent Resolutions
9. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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George F. Baker Proudly Presents GUYS AND DOLLS March 7, 8 and 9 | Posted 2/12/14

George F. Baker Tuxedo High School
Proudly Presents
Frank Loesser’s
Guys and Dolls

Friday, March 7th, 2014 @ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 8th, 2014 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 9th, 2014 @ 2:00 p.m.

Cast

Jeanna Manana
Anthony Nowack
Paul Jones
Skye Santiago
Megan Horgan
Pei Pei Yu
Victoria Fracalossi
Monique Oparaji
Joanna Cichon
Emily Atkinson
Emily Creighton
Jaimie Morales
Miles Miller
Aley Maynard
Heidi Willins
Samantha Castricone
Talia Posta
John Castricone

 Matt Sperzel
Max Miller
Amanda Torres
Daria Fatemi
Robyn Mammato
Kyle Chhe
Dillon Taber
Matt Willins
Shannon Wagner
Leighann Navarro
Mike Ciaccio
Dan Castricone
Sophia Loncar 
Elizabeth Smith
Micah Bardell
Eliana Ulloa
Sabrina Villalona
Hannah Noll
Hanna Tapparel
Savanna Lugo
Everett Mackenzie
Brandon LaBar
Kylie Powers

Student Directors: Dan Furtado and Christine Meore

Ticket Information
Ticket Sales
Tickets may be ordered using the Guys and Dolls Order Form found on the George F. Baker Website.
All tickets will be assigned seating. 
Tickets will go on sale 2/17/14.  Ticket pre-sale for cast and crew will begin 2/12/14.

Ticket Prices
Adults   $12                          Students & Senior Citizens $10

For more information call 845.351.4786 ext. 2101

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Tuxedo among 87 school districts reviewed by state - 1/22/14

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Agenda For Board of Education Meeting November 21, 2013 | Posted 10/20/13

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Student Council Liaison
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per
meeting)
VI. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 10/17/13
2. Administrators’ Reports
- Business Administrator
- Director of Student Services/Human Resources
- Elementary/Middle School Principal
- High School Principal
- Assistant High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Approval of Corrective Action Plan 2012/2013 Audit
4. Standard Work Day & Reporting Resolution RS 2417-A
5. Approval of Lease Agreement between with Rockland Teacher Center
6. Resolution for Board of Education President to Execute Project
Adventure Iroquois Springs Contract
7. Approval of High School French Trip – 4/09-4/18/14
8. Approval of Overnight NYSTEA (New York State Theater
Education Association) Field Trip 01/10 – 01/12/14
9. Nomination and approval of Records Management Officer
10. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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George F. Baker High School and STEM Academy To Host Open House on Thursday, November 14 | Posted 11/8/13

The George F. Baker High School and STEM Academy will be holding an Open House on Thursday, November 14, 2013 from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

During this Open House prospective students and parents can tour school facilities and meet the faculty, administration, staff, and students that make George F. Baker High School’s programs so successful.  Visitors will also get to pick from several presentations about the school’s various academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs, including the new exciting George F. Baker STEM Academy, and ask questions of our students and staff.

George F. Baker High School is known for excellence having been recognized nationally by US News and World Reports and Newsweek, and The Daily Beast for our academic programs.  With a student to teacher ratio of less than 10:1 and an extracurricular activity participation rate of approximately 80% GFB provides incredible access to teachers and programs for all students.

For more information, visit the George F. Baker High School webpage at www.tuxedoufsd.org or check out our George F. Baker High School Facebook page where you can see some of the things that make the school such a unique and welcoming place for students. 

Join us on November 14th and find out why The George F. Baker High School and STEM Academy should be your high school of choice!

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GFB STEM Academy Teachers Hit the Airwaves - 10/29/13

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Agenda for BOE Meeting October 17, 2013 | Posted 10/16/13

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Introduction of New Teachers/Recognition of Retiree
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. Routine Business

1. Independent Auditor’s Presentation - Chris Melley of Nugent & Haeussler
2. Approval of Minutes – 9/19/13
• Rescind Minutes of 8/22/13
• Approval of Amended Minutes of 8/22/13
3. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
4. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
5. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Adoption of 2014/2015 Budget Calendar
4. Acceptance of 2012/2013 Financial Audit Report
5. School Board Recognition Week - October 28-November 1, 2013
6. First Reading & Adoption of Policy #7107
7. Eighth Grade Overnight Trip to Boston – 6/4-6/5/14
8. Approval of Academic Intervention Services Plan
9. Reserve Transfers
10. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting September 19, 2013 | Posted 9/18/13

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 8/22/13
2. Administrators’ Reports
Business Administrator
Director of Student Services/Human Resources
Elementary/Middle School Principal
High School Principal
Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Surplus Equipment
4. Public Auction Surplus Equipment
5. PTO Donation
6. Resolution to Ratify the Execution of the APPR Implementation
Certification Form
7. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Agenda For Board of Education Meeting August 22, 2013 | Posted 8/16/13

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 7/1/13
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. School Breakfast & Lunch Prices
4. Tax Levy & Tax Rates
5. Designation of Legislative Liaison to NYSSBA
6. Designation of Legislative Liaison to OCSBA
7. Second Reading & Adoption of Board Policy #4408 –
Acceptable Use Policy for Mobile Devices (AUPMD)
8. Contract with Rockland Teachers Center
9. Pride Survey Expenditure
10. Technology Plan
11. Overnight Trip for Summer Soccer Camp Revision
12. Public Consulting Group Contract Amendment
13. Orange County School Safety & Security Grant Program
14. BOCES Cooperative Bid Transportation Agreement
15. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting July 1, 2013 | Posted 7/1/13

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Organizational Meeting

1.0 Read Oath of Office into Minutes
1.1 Nominations & Appointment of President of Board of Education
1.2 Nominations & Appointment of Vice President of Board of Education
1.3 Nominations & Approval of Officers and Personnel for the School District
1.4 Approval by Board for Services
1.5 Approval by Board for Authorizations
1.6 Approval by Board to Re-Adopt Existing Policies & Past Practices
1.7 Approval for Business Official/Superintendent to Invest Monies at Best Prevailing Rate
1.8 Approval for Bonding of Business Official, District Treasurer, Tax Collector and Treasurer of Extra-Classroom Fund
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. Adjourment

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School District to Hold Important Community Meeting on Thursday Night | Posted 6/3/13

There will be an important meeting this coming Thursday, June 6th, at 7:00 PM in the George F. Baker High School Auditorium.  At this meeting, an update on the George F. Baker STEM Academy will be provided as well as detailed information on Conversion Charter Schools.

The purpose of this meeting is to keep the community informed as well as to gather feedback and input  from the community and parents concerning the level of support for Conversion Charter Schools.  Steve Kutno, from the PCG Consulting Group,as well as representatives from the NYS Department of Education - Department of Innovative Schools will be present at the  meeting.

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School Budget Vote and BOE Elections To Take Place May 21 | Posted 5/20/13

The 2013/2014 Budget Vote and Board of Education Elections will be taking place on Tuesday, May 21st from 2-9pm in the George Grant Mason Multipurpose Room.  

Click here to view a copy of the 2013/2014 Budget

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!!!!

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting April 25 2013 | Posted 4/24/13

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Recognition of Valedictorian & Salutatorian
V. Student Council Liaison Representative
VI. Naviance Presentation – Mr. Arthur Shouten, Ass’t. HS Principal
VII. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VIII. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 3/21/13, 4/4/13, 4/11/13
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
IX. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Adoption of 2013/2014 Proposed Budget
4. Adoption of School Tax Property Report Card
5. Orange-Ulster BOCES Administrative Budget Vote
6. Orange-Ulster BOCES Board Member Election
7. Donation of SMART Board
8. Revision to 2012/2013 School Calendar
9. Adoption of 2013/14 School Calendar
10. Board Meeting Date Change
11. Appropriation of Funds for the Tuxedo Chapter of the National Honor Society
12. BOCES Cooperative Bid
13. Revision of Policy #4110 Non-Resident Tuition Student Payment
14. Personnel
X. Public Participation
XI. Correspondence
XII. Miscellaneous
XIII. Adjournment

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Tuxedo’s STEM Academy plans taking shape - 4/16/13

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting March 21, 2013 | Posted 3/20/13

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. BOCES Budget Presentation – Mr. Terry Olivo
V. High School Musical Presentation
VI. Student Council Liaison Representative
VII. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VIII. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 2/21/13
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
IX. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Lease of Quarry Field
4. New High School Courses/Classes
5. Review of 2013-14 Student Calendar
6. Nomination of Orange-Ulster Board Candidates
7. High School French Trip to Montreal, Canada – 4/19-4/21/13
8. High School Sr. Class Trip to Orlando, Florida – 4/10-4/14/13
9. Donation from Tuxedo Volunteer Ambulance Corps
10. Personnel
X. Public Participation
XI. Correspondence
XII. Miscellaneous
XIII. Adjournment

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STEM Academy is coming to Tuxedo - 3/1/13

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting January 17, 2013 | Posted 1/17/13

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Student Council Liaison Representative
V. Performing Arts Presentation
VI. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VII. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 12/20/12
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VIII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Board Meeting Date Change
4. PTO Donation for 7th Grade Tubing Trip at Tuxedo Ridge
5. Eighth Grade Overnight Trip to Boston – 6/13-6/14/13
6. Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR)
7. First Reading of Policy #4110 – Non-Resident Tuition Student Payment
8. Personnel
IX. Public Participation
X. Correspondence
XI. Miscellaneous
XII. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Union Free School District: Shaping the Future of George F. Baker High School | Posted 1/11/13

Click here to view presentation.

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High School Consultants To Present Recommendations To The Community Thursday January 10 at 7pm | Posted 1/8/13

IMPORTANT MEETING DATE - January 10th at 7:00 PM

The Public Consulting Group (PCG) will be presenting their recommendations for the future of the George F. Baker High School on January 10th at 7:00 PM in the George F. Baker High School Auditorium.

The purpose of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for our communities to hear these recommendations directly from the PCG consultants.   There will not be a Question and Answer portion of this meeting.  However, there will be an opportunity for questions from the community to be collected.  Answers to these questions will be provided
as we proceed through this year’s budget cycle, if appropriate.

For those who are unable to attend this meeting, the presentation from this meeting will be made available on our school website under the Shaping the Future of Our High School link. Questions may be emailed to the Board of Education at BOE@tuxedoschooldistrict.com .

Carol A. Lomascolo
Superintendent of Schools
Tuxedo Union Free School District
Route 17
Tuxedo, New York  10987
(845) 351-4799
Fax:  (845) 351-4907
clomascolo@tuxedoschooldistrict.com

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting December 20, 2012

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Fourth Grade Orchestra Performance
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 11/15/12, 11/29/12
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4.Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Excessed Textbooks
4. APPR Lead Evaluator Certification
5. Resolution for Board of Education President to Execute Project
Adventure Iroquois Springs Contract
6. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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Shaping the Future of our High School

Click here to download a .pdf of the most recent update

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School District Looks to Tuxedo Community for Valuable Input and Participation

The Greewood Lake School Board and the Tuxedo Union Free School District have signed a 22 month contract, which effectively adds George F. Baker High School to the list of choices for parents to send their high school students to.  This is great news, however in 22 months time, Tuxedo could find itself right back where it was 2 weeks ago…wondering whether or not this community can maintain the district without Greenwood Lake.  To this end, the Board of Education has engaged Public Consulting Group to provide both support and expertise in putting together recommendations for the future.

As the process gets underway, the district is looking to the community for their feedback.  A community survey has been posted on their website.  Input from residents and taxpayers is invaluable.  If you live in Tuxedo or pay taxes here, please take a moment to read through and complete it.  You can do this by clicking here.  The Survey will only be available through October 26.

Additionally, next week, the district will conduct several important community based focus groups to discuss shaping the future of George F. Baker High School.   Participation is strongly encouraged.  Register by contacting Nancy SanEmeterio at (845)351-4799.  The meetings will run roughly 90 minutes in duration.  The schedule is as follows:

Town Board Work Session – Tuesday (10/23) –6-7pm – Town Hall
Village Community Members - Tuesday (10/23) 8-9:30pm - H.S. Library
Hamlet Community Members - Wednesday (10/24) - H.S. Library
Southern Town (Eagle Valley, Woodlands, Hamilton Estates, Table Rock) - Thursday
(10/25) - 8-9:30 - H.S. Library

Please make every effort to attend one of these meetings and let the district know what you are thinking.  Your input can help shape the future of our high school, our district and our community.

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting October 18, 2012

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Independent Auditor’s Presentation
- Chris Melley of Nugent & Haeussler
2. Introduction of New Teachers
3. Approval of Minutes – 9/6/12, 9/20/12
4. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
5. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
6. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Adoption of 2013/2014 Budget Calendar
4. Acceptance of 2011/2012 Financial Audit Report
5. School Board Recognition Week - October 29-November 2, 2012
6. Resolution to Amend the Tuxedo UFSD 403(b) Retirement Plan
7. Overnight Trip to Villa Roma -1/04/13-1/06/13
(NYS Theater Education Association Conference)
8. New Course Recommendation – Conversational Spanish
9. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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George F. Baker To Hold Spirit Rally This Friday Night - 10/5/12

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting September 20, 2012

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation
(Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 8/23/12
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Greenwood Lake Board of Education votes to rescind Recent resolution regarding Tuxedo Contract - 8/30/12

The Greenwood Lake Board of Education has voted 4-2 in favor of removing Tuxedo as an option for their high school students beginning in the fall of 2013.  Instead, they will enter into a 22-month contract with Warwick and Chester, giving GWL parents the option to choose which of these schools to send their children to.

What this means for the Tuxedo Union Free School District is unclear at this time.  In a message sent by mail to the community last week and posted on the District website, Superintendent Carol Lomascolo said that the Tuxedo Board has been “carefully considering options for our district both with and without Greenwood Lake.”  As the year unfolds, members of the community will be invited to attend both communication meetings and community forums dedicated to the issue.

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Still Up In The Air - 8/17/12

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Tuxedo Union Free School Greenwood Lake Update - 8/13/12

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Message from the Tuxedo superintendent - 8/10/12

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Greenwood Lake BOE hosts special meeting August 15 - 8/10/12

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GWL BOE mulls 'parental choice - 7/3/12

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Greenwood Lake Board of Education votes to rescind Recent resolution regarding Tuxedo Contract

At a Special Board meeting of May 23rd, the Greenwood Lake Board of Education voted to rescind the resolution to allow for a community vote to enter into a 5 year contract with Tuxedo.

This Special Meeting took place in response to an overwhelming community outcry for high school choice.  The discussion at this meeting focused on the lack of information available for the two options that were presented at the April 25th meeting - Regional High School and Parent Choice. The community and the Board of Education discussed various options that might allow time for the necessary information to be gathered.
The Tuxedo Board of Education and Superintendent of School Carol Lomascolo remain committed to the continuation of Tuxedo’s long-standing relationship with Greenwood Lake.

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GWL Starts Over on School Choice - 5/25/12

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting May 17, 2012

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Student Government – High School Update
VI. Technology Update
VII. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 4/19/12, 4/26/12
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VIII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Proposed 2012-2013 Board of Education Meeting Schedule
4. Senior Citizens Tax Exemption
5. Real Property Tax Exemption for Volunteer Workers
6. Code of Conduct
7. Adoption of 2012-2013 School Calendar
8. First Reading of Board Policy # 5207 - Animal Dissection
9. Second Reading & Adoption of Board Policy # 1606 – Display of the Flag
10. Board Meeting Date Change
11. BOCES Cooperative Bid Resolution
12. New Course Approval for High School
13. Personnel
IX. Public Participation
X. Correspondence
XI. Miscellaneous
XII. Adjournment

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Proposed 2012/2013 School Budget

Click here to download.

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George F. Baker High School/Tuxedo New York/Best High Schools/US News - 5/9/12

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School Budget Vote /BOE Election May 15, 2012

On Tuesday, May 15 the community will be asked to vote on the 2012/2013 school budget.  Additionally 4 individuals will bevying to fill three open seats on the Board of Education.  They are: incumbents Diana Petroski, Robert Werner and Ed Gedvila and newcomer Angie Mulvaney.

Voting will take place in the George Grant Mason Multipurpose Room from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO VOTE.

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Tuxedo is the one - 5/3/12

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Dub This - 5/2/12

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Greenwood Lake School Board Votes 4-3 In Favor of Renegotiating Contract with Tuxedo

On April 25 the Greenwood Lake School Board voted 4 – 3 in favor of negotiating a new five-year contract with the Tuxedo Union Free School District.  A proposed referendum on allowing parents to decide which of the three high schools to send their kids to was defeated 3-4.  The decision will be put to a public vote in that district on June 19. If voters reject the proposal, the board could hold another referendum, or vote without a referendum on a one-year contract.

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Greenwood Lake voting on high school in June - 4/26/12

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting April 19, 2012

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Recognition of Valedictorian & Salutatorian
V. Student Government – High School Update
VI. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VII. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 3/8/12, 3/15/12, 3/22/12, 3/29/12
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VIII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Adoption of 2012/2013 Proposed Budget
4. Adoption of School Tax Property Report Card
5. First Reading of Board Policy #1606 – Display of the Flag
6. Resolution for BOCES Cooperative Bid
7. Personnel
IX. Public Participation
X. Correspondence
XI. Miscellaneous
XII. Adjournment

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Greenwood Lake To Conduct Final Public Forum on High School Options April 25

The Greenwood Lake School Board has announced that they will conduct a final public forum regarding high school options on Wednesday, April 25 at 7:30 pm.  This meeting will take place at 7:30pm at the Greenwood Lake Middle School.

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Tuxedo proposes $16,519,011 school budget - 3/30/12

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Board of Education Budget Workshop Presentation #4

Click here to download .pdf

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Board of Education Budget Workshop Presentations #2 & #3

Click here to download .pdf

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Board of Education Budget Workshop Presentation #1 - General Support & Transportation

The following was presented at the B.O.E. meeting on March 15, 2012:

Click here to download .pdf

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Community service at Tuxedo High School

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Agenda For Board of Education Meeting March 15, 2012

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III.Pledge of Allegiance
IV.BOCES Budget Presentation – Mr. Terry Olivo
V.Student Government – High School Update
VI.Guidance Presentation
VII. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VIII. Board Work Session #1 on Working Draft of 2012/2013 Proposed Budget

•Review of Budget Philosophy and Chronology of Budgeting Process
•Presentation of General Support Portions of Proposed Budget
•Other
IX. Routine Business
1. Approval of Minutes – 2/23/12
2. Administrators’ Reports
•Business Administrator
•Director of Student Services/Human Resources
•Elementary/Middle School Principal
•High School Principal
•Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
X. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Lease of Quarry Field
4. Review of 2012-13 Student Calendar
5. PTO Donation: $1,200 for Play “Austin the Unstoppable”
6. NYCLASS Resolution
7. Personnel
XI. Public Participation
XII. Correspondence
XIII. Miscellaneous
XIV. Adjournmen
t

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Frequently Asked Questions About The GWL and Tuxedo Contract Discussions

Click here to download .pdf

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Tuxedo School Budget - Detailed Budget Calendar

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Reasons for kids to smile in Tuxedo

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Greenwood Lake high school kids' fate up in air

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Agenda For Board of Education Meeting February 23, 2012

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV.Student Government – High School Update
V. Guidance Presentation
VI. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VII. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 1/19/12, 1/30/12
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VIII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Appropriation of Funds for the Tuxedo Chapter of the National
Honor Society
4. Nomination of Orange-Ulster Board Candidates
5. Second Reading & Adoption of Board Policy #1605 – Ceremonies, Holiday Displays & Observances
6. Donations: PTO – Project Adventure | PTO – Two Cellos | St. Mary’s Church – Kohls’ Gift Card
7. APPR Update
8. Review of BOCES 2012-13 Student Calendar
9. Personnel
IX. Public Participation
X. Correspondence
XI. Miscellaneous
XII. Adjournment

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Bullying prevention program begins at the George Grant Mason School in Tuxedo

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Chester To Make A Play For GWL High School Students

The Greenwood Lake School District announced last week that the Chester School District has returned to the table to discuss the possibility of hosting its 300 high school students in the fall of 2013. The decision comes as result of Greenwood Lakes request that Chester reconsider its original choice not to make a play for the students. Chester decided not to enter the race back in December because they felt that they would not have enough time to meet with the community and obtain feedback, a step they believe to be of vital importance. Following Monroe Woodburry’s decision to withdraw their district from consideration this past month, the prospect of adding a third choice to the mix has led GWL to extend their original timeline. With a community forum scheduled for February 9, Chester is planning to present to the GWL district on Thursday February 16 at 7pm. Similar presentations already given by the Tuxedo and Warwick districts, this presentation will take place at the Greenwood Lake Middle School and will be open to the public.

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Tuxedo students collect 1,000 items

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George Mason geography students know where they stand

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Monroe-Woodbury bows out of effort to attract Greenwood Lake students to attend its high school in Central Valley

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Students Organize For Tuxedo

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Campaign To Remain

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Tuxedo Union Free School District Makes Presentation To Greenwood Lake School Board - January 17, 2012

Residents from Tuxedo, Greenwood Lake and Warwick packed the multipurpose room at the Greenwood Lake Middle School on Tuesday night for a presentation by the Tuxedo Union Free School District entitled “What Makes Us Proud.”  The presentation was given at the request of the Greenwood Lake School Board and will be followed by similar presentations from both the Warwick and Monroe Woodbury school districts later this week and next.  All three districts are hoping to host the 300+ Greenwood Lake high school students when the current contract with Tuxedo expires in June of 2013. 

Greenwood Lake has announced that they plan to make a decision by June of 2012.

Greenwood Lake students make up roughly 80% of the total student population at George F. Baker High School and without them the future of the school would be in serious jeopardy. 

Representing the district were Superintendent of Schools Carol Lomoscolo and George F. Baker Principal Denis Petrilak.  The hour long presentation focused not only on those aspects of GFB that make the district proud, but also those that set the district uniquely apart from their competition, namely its small size(10:1 student to teacher ratio) and the extra level of student attention and program flexibility that this allows.  Suggesting that cost saving measures such as shared services and consolidations would be an integral part of negotiations, Mrs. Lomoscolo also emphasized the need for a joint legislation committee, which would in her view be a key element for enacting meaningful change in the district.

The presentation was followed by a brief question and answer period, with questions being limited to fact clarification only.  Once all three districts have made their presentations, the Greenwood Lake School Board will hold a follow-up meeting for the purpose of discussion at which public opinion will be welcomed.

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting January 19, 2012

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Recognition of Ronald Stover, High School Football Coach of the Year
V.Student Government - High School Update
VI.Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VII. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 12/15/11
2. Administrators’ Reports
•Business Administrator
•Director of Student Services/Human Resources
•Elementary/Middle School Principal
•High School Principal
•Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VIII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Resolution for Board of Education President to Execute Project
Adventure Iroquois Springs Contract
4. First Reading & Review of Board Policy #1605 – Ceremonies,
Holiday Displays & Observances
5. Cyber-Bully Awareness Week January 15-21, 2012
6. PTO Donation to Garden Works Club
7. March 15, 2012 – ½ Conference Day
8. Property Tax Relief Resolution for Hurricane Irene & Tropical Storm Lee
9. Personnel
IX. Public Participation
X. Correspondence
XI. Miscellaneous
XII. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Union Free School District To Make Important Presentation to Greenwood Lake January 17

Last Thursday, the Times Herald Record ran an article (below) regarding the future of Greenwood Lake high school students and whether or not they will continue to attend George F. Baker High School when the current contract expires at the end of June of 2013. 

While this may seem like an all to familiar song and dance, things are different this time around with 4 other districts actively campaigning to host the students.

Students from Greenwood Lake make up roughly 80% of GFBs’ student body and without them, the school would like have to close its doors.
On Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 7pm at the Greenwood Lake Middle School, the Tuxedo Union Free School District will make a presentation before the Greenwood Lake School Board entitled WHAT MAKES US PROUD.  The presentation will run 30 minutes in duration and is being done at the request of the GWL Board.  It is open to the public. 

The Greenwood Lake Middle School is located at 1247 Lakes Rd in Monroe, NY. 

5 districts vie to host Greenwood Lake's H.S. students
Board wants better balance of cost, studies

Times Herald-Record
Published: 2:00 AM - 01/12/12
GREENWOOD LAKE — In a telling sign of the economic times, an unprecedented number of school districts are bidding to host some 300 high-school students from Greenwood Lake in 2013-14.

Five districts offered letters of interest to the Greenwood Lake school board, which is beginning work on a new contract. The students have been attending Tuxedo's George F. Baker High School since 1981, but under state law the districts must renegotiate a contract every five years, Superintendent Richard Brockel said.

The district is beginning the high school choice process early to ensure time to consider all options, Brockel said. Earlier this year, the district asked for and received letters of interest from five districts: Chester, Florida, Monroe-Woodbury, Tuxedo and Warwick. Interested districts were also asked to provide a list of course offerings and indicate whether they would negotiate on tuition.

The school board is looking for the district that offers "the most comprehensive high school education in academics, co-curricular activities and athletics at the least cost to the taxpayers," Brockel said.
"The education in Tuxedo has never been in question," Brockel said. "But in the current economic climate, affordability becomes more of an issue."
Greenwood Lake officials have said in the past that tuition at Tuxedo, now $3.2 million a year, is too high, primarily because the district is in a wealthier community that receives less state aid per student. During the last negotiations, the district was poised to send students to Warwick until a community vote in Warwick rejected the proposal.

Warwick Superintendent Ray Bryant said he wants to rebuild the bridge between the communities. "Our kids grow up together and take part in the town's athletic program together," Bryant said. "We should be together."
Bryant believes Warwick can offer Greenwood Lake students a broad range of courses. Further, the students would bolster his district's declining enrollment. "It's a win for both of our communities," he said.

Tuxedo will also make a strong pitch for Greenwood Lake students, who make up at least 75 percent of Baker's population.

"We are willing to work with them on the tuition, and we're willing to work together on consolidations and cost-savings measures," Superintendent Carol Lomascolo said.

Each district will make 30-minute presentations to the board. The school board hopes to vote on a contract by the end of this year, Brockel said.

Two presentations, open to the public, have been scheduled so far, both at 7 p.m. at Greenwood Lake Middle School. Tuxedo presents Jan. 17; Warwick presents Jan. 18

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5 districts vie to host Greenwood Lake's H.S. students

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting December 15, 2011

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance

IV.Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business
1.Approval of Minutes – 11/17/11
2.Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of Student Services/Human Resources
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3.Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4.Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Conference Day – March 21, 2012
4. Excessed Textbooks
5. Overnight Trip to Villa Roma -1/06/12-1/08/12
(NYS Theater Education Association Conference)
6. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting November 17, 2011

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III.Pledge of Allegiance
IV.Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V.Budget Parameters – Ms. Dawn Cupano
VI.Annual Professional Performance Review Plan (APPR) – Dr. Patricia Tripken
VII. Routine Business

1.Approval of Minutes – 10/20/11
2.Administrators’ Reports
•Business Administrator
•Director of Student Services/Human Resources
•Elementary/Middle School Principal
•High School Principal
•Asst. High School Principal
3.Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4.Superintendent’s Report
VIII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Donation for Crew Team
4. Standard Work Day Resolution
5. Personnel
IX. Public Participation
X. Correspondence
XI. Miscellaneous
XII. Adjournment

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Carol Lomascolo is now officially Tuxedo schools chief

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Halloween Arcade at GGM October 28th 4-7pm

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting October 20, 2011

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business

1. Independent Auditor’s Presentation
- Chris Melley of Nugent & Haeussler
2. Introduction of New Teachers
3. Approval of Minutes – 9/15/11
4. Administrators’ Reports
•Business Administrator
•Director of Student Services/Human Resources
•Elementary/Middle School Principal
•High School Principal
•Asst. High School Principal
5. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
6. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Adoption of 2012/2013 Budget Calendar
4. Acceptance of 2010/2011 Financial Audit Report
5. School Board Recognition Week - October 31-November 4, 2011
6. Review of Policy #2110 – Anti-Nepotism
7. Excessed Science Books
8. Annual Professional Performance Review Plan
9. Board Meeting Date Change
10. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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A Tuxedo School Program Celebrates Peace

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Tuxedo PTO Presents The 4th Annual Back To School Carnival September 16, 2011

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting July 14, 2011

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
IV. Routine Business

1. Approval of Minutes – 6/14/11, 6/23/11
2. Administrators’ Reports
•Business Administrator
•Elementary/Middle School Principal
•High School Principal
•Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
V. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. EPEX Energy Contract
4. Review and Update of Board Policy
#2109 – Non-Discrimination
5. First Review of Policy #2110 – Anti-Nepotism
6. Nomination of Area 9 Director
7. Purchase Option Plan for IKON
8. Building Conditions Survey
9. Personnel
VI. Public Participation
VII. Correspondence
VIII. Miscellaneous
IX. Adjournment

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting June 14, 2011

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III.Pledge of Allegiance
IV.Recognition of Retirees
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. Routine Business

1.Approval of Minutes – 5/10/11, 5/19/11
2. Administrators’ Reports
•Business Administrator
•Elementary/Middle School Principal
•High School Principal
•Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Independent Auditor for 2011/2012
4. Acceptance of School Budget Vote & Board of Education Election
5. High School New Courses – Music Theory, Oceanography, College Readiness Seminar
6. Overnight Trip for Summer Soccer Camp
7. K-5 Math Adoption
8. Donation of Picture
9. Amended 2011/2012 Board of Education Meeting Schedule
10. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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Announcement of Selection of New Tuxedo Superintendent of Schools

After an extensive search for Superintendent of Schools, the Tuxedo BOE is
pleased to announce that the position has been offered and accepted by Carol
Lomascolo. We are currently in the process of finalizing her contract and expect
to formally vote on this appointment at the June 14th BOE meeting. We are excited
about the opportunity to have Carol Lomascolo lead the District into a new and
progressive direction to provide our students with an excellent educational
experience.

By Education Law, the Board has the responsibility for selecting, appointing, and
evaluating the Superintendent. However, the Board recognized that the input and
beliefs of our stakeholder groups served as an invaluable resource in assisting the
Board in making this extremely important decision. We thank the District Staff
and Community members that took the time to serve on the focus groups. Along
with the District Administration, these focus groups interviewed the finalists and
highlighted the strengths of Carol Lomascolo which led to our final decision.

We thank Mr. Terry Olivo, the BOCES Search Consultant and his staff for their
support in this search process. We reviewed over 20 applications and resumes and
interviewed many applicants over the course of the past few months. We are
confident that the selection of Carol Lomascolo as Superintendent of Schools will
provide our School District and Community with a new vision and focus.

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School Budget Vote May 17, 2011

Voting for the 2011/2012 School Budget and election of Board members will take place this coming Tuesday, May 17 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at George Grant Mason Elementary School.

This year’s budget, totaling $16,449,304 calls for a 1% decrease in spending, with an estimated 1.98 percent tax levy increase. The district lost $58,487 in aid due to state budget reductions.

As proposed, the budget will not require any layoffs or reductions in programming.

For more specific budget information click here

TPFYI strongly encourages all residents to come out and vote in support of this budget. During a time when many districts are facing mass layoffs and serious cuts to programs and services our school board is to be commended for their hard work and accomplishment.

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting March 17, 2011

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III.
Pledge of Allegiance
IV.
Recognition of Valedictorian & Salutatorian
V. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
VI. Routine Business
1. Approval of Minutes – 3/10/11, 3/17/11, 3/24/11, 4/2/11
2. Administrators’ Reports
•Business Administrator
•Elementary/Middle School Principal
•High School Principal
•Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Adoption of 2011/2012 Proposed Budget
4. Adoption of School Tax Property Report Card
5. Photo Equipment Donation
6. Adoption of 2011-2012 School Calendar
7. Resolution for BOCES Cooperative Bid
8. Personnel
VIII. Public Participation
IX. Correspondence
X. Miscellaneous
XI. Adjournment

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Upcoming Events

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting March 17, 2011

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation on Agenda Items (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes
total per meeting)
V. Budget Work Session #2 & #3 on Working Draft of
2011/2012 Proposed Budget
• Presentation of the Instructional/Community
Service and Undistributed Portions of Proposed
2011/2012 Budget
• Introduction of Supplemental Needs Budget
VII. Routine Business
1. Approval of Minutes – 2/17/11
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VIII. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Child Nutrition Corrective Action Plan
4. Time Warner Cable.
5. Standard Work Day Resolution
6. Board Policy #6210
7. Personnel
IX. Public Participation on Agenda Items
IX. Correspondence
XI. Miscellaneous
XII. Adjournment

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting March 10, 2011

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation
V. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1.Board Work Session #1 on Working Draft of 2011/2012 Proposed Budget
• Review of Budget Philosophy and Chronology of Budgeting Process
• Presentation of General Support Portions of Proposed Budget
• Other
VI. Public Participation
VII. Adjournment

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Goodbye to the Tuxedo superintendency

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting February 17, 2011

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation on Agenda Items
V. Routine Business
1. Approval of Minutes – 1/13/11, 1/20/11
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of PPS/Curriculum
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Nomination of Orange-Ulster BOCES Board Candidates
4. Modification of 2010-2011 School Calendars
5. Tuxedo Employees Union Memorandum of Agreement
6. Standard Work Day and Reporting Resolution
7. Resolution to approve the Corrective Action Plan for the Internal Audit.
8. Personnel
VII. Public Participation on Agenda Items
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Tuxedo already takes back one day due to snow; M-W safe…for now

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting January 20, 2011

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation (Up to 3 minutes per person; up to 30 minutes total per meeting)
V. Routine Business
1. Approval of Minutes – 12/16/10
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of PPS/Curriculum
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Equipment/VHS Tapes Donation
4. French Trip to Quebec, Canada
5. Resolution in Support of the Continuance of the Greenwood Lake/
Tuxedo Relationship
6. Personnel
VII. Public Participation
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Agenda for Special Board of Education Meeting January 13, 2011

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Interviews for Prospective Board Member
V. Adjournment

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Open Meeting to DIscuss Taxes, Services and Schools for Residents of Northern Tuxedo January 5, 2011

Click here to download flyer.

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Community Survey regarding Northern Tuxedo and the Monroe VS. Tuxedo School Districts

What follows is a survey regarding the community sentiment in northern Tuxedo concerning Monroe vs Tuxedo schools.

To date, the survey has 54 responses and is showing very interesting data.

Please"spread the word" and encourage participation so that a good sense of what the residents of northern Tuxedo want/think can be ascertained.

The online survey can be accessed at this link:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5JPH87B

A meeting has also been scheduled for January 5, 6-8 at the VFW Hall in Southfields. Turns out that a number of people are looking at this issue and I thought it would be useful for everyone to get together and brainstorm/compare notes.

All interested parties are welcome.

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Board of Education Update

At the December 16th Board of Education meeting, Mrs. Carol Lomascolo was appointed by resolution to the position of Assistant Superintendent, effective January 1, 2011.  This will provide for transition as Mrs. Lomascolo will become the Interim Superintendent of Schools, effective March 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011.

The Board of Education will continue in our search for a new Superintendent of Schools.  It is our hope to make an appointment to this position, effective July 1, 2011.

The Board of Education extends our wishes to all for a very Happy New Year!

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Community Member Needed to Serve on Join Steering Committee of the Greenwood Lake/Tuxedo School Districts

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Vacancy On The Board of Education

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Diana Petrosky Erns Mid-Hudson School Study Council Honors

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting November 18, 2010

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation on Agenda Items
V. Routine Business
1. Approval of Minutes – 10/21/10
2. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of PPS/Curriculum
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. BOCES Cooperative Bid Resolution
4. Approval of Corrective Action Plan 2009/2010 Audit
5. Garden Works
6. Personnel
VII. Public Participation on Agenda Items
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Agenda for Special Board of Education Meeting November 8, 2010

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Proposed Executive Session
• Collective Negotiations
V. Adjournment

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Agenda For Board of Education Meeting October 21, 2010

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation on Agenda Items
V. Routine Business
1. Independent Auditor’s Presentation
- Chris Melley of Nugent & Haeussler
2. Introduction of New Teachers
3. Approval of Minutes – 7/28/10, 9/16/10, 9/23/10
4. Administrators’ Reports
• Business Administrator
• Director of PPS/Curriculum
• Elementary/Middle School Principal
• High School Principal
• Asst. High School Principal
5. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
6. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. NYSSBA Conference Approval
4. Adoption of 2011/2012 Budget Calendar
5. Acceptance of 2009/2010 Financial Audit Report
6. School Board Recognition Week - October 25-29, 2010
7. MSG Varsity Network
8. Donation of Nautilus Squat Machine
9. First Review of Policy #1502 – Board of Education Meetings
10. Personnel
VII. Public Participation on Agenda Items
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Union Free School District Back Pack Program

The BackPack Program provides necessities to keep school-age children from going hungry over the weekend

While many children of lower-income families receive free breakfasts and lunches during the week at school, the weekends often go overlooked. As a result, these children frequently go hungry awaiting their next full meal on Monday. In response to this need, in December 2009 the Tuxedo PTO and the Tuxedo Union Free School District collectively launched the BackPack Program to aid at risk children in our community. Each Friday, eligible students are given backpacks filled with nutritious food to be consumed over the weekend. Oftentimes, parents/legal guardians are away at work and unable to cook meals or supervise food preparation. As such, the backpacks are filled with many child-friendly, shelf-stable foods. Sample items include peanut butter, cereal, fruit cups, granola bars, juice, etc.

Since this program is funded 100% by community donations we need your help to continue for the 2010 – 2011 school year. The Tuxedo PTO will be hosting their 2nd annual “Dine Out to End Hunger” fundraiser on Tuesday, October 26th at Characters Bar & Restaurant in Sloatsburg, NY. Simply dine in or take out for lunch or dinner and 15% of your bill (excluding tax and gratuity) will be donated back to the Tuxedo PTO. All money raised from this event will be reserved for the BackPack Program.

If you would like to make a direct donation to support the BackPack Program please make your check payable to the Tuxedo PTO and note BackPack Program on the memo line. Direct donations can be mailed to: Tuxedo PTO, c/o George Grant Mason School, 11 Hillside Avenue, Tuxedo, NY 10987. If you would like additional information on the BackPack Program, please contact Angela Mulvaney, Tuxedo PTO Co-President at apm1@optonline.net.

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Whirled Peace

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Tuxedo School Superintendent Joseph Zanetti Announces Retirement

The Tuxedo Board of Education has been notified that Superintendent Joseph Zanetti will resign for retirement purposes effective February 28, 2011. We thank Mr. Zanetti for his dedication to the students, staff, and community of Tuxedo and Greenwood Lake for over 25 years. He has led the district in a most positive direction and we are grateful for his many fine accomplishments over the years. We wish Mr. Zanetti and his family all the best!

The Tuxedo Board of Education will begin to plan for this change in administration over the next few months and we will provide updates as we move forward. We thank you in advance for your cooperation throughout the transitional times ahead. 

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting September 16th, 2010

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call and Quorum Check
III. Pledge of Allegiance
IV. Public Participation on Agenda Items
V. Routine Business
1. Approval of Minutes – 7/8/10, 7/28/10, 8/24/10
2. Administrators’ Reports
- - • Business Administrator
- - • Director of PPS/Curriculum
- - • Elementary/Middle School Principal
- - • High School Principal
- - • Asst. High School Principal
3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
4. Superintendent’s Report
VI. Items for Action and/or Discussion
1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
2. CPSE/CSE
3. Designation of Legislative Liaison to NYSSBA
4. Designation of Legislative Liaison to OCSBA
5. Energy Performance Contract Financing
6. Surplus Equipment – Projectors, Optical Microscopes
7. Academic Excellence
8. Senior Trip to Orlando, Florida – 4/28-5/1/11
9. Personnel
10. Student Transportation Appeal
VII. Public Participation on Agenda Items
VIII. Correspondence
IX. Miscellaneous
X Adjournment

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Back To School Carnival September 10

Friday, September 10th
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Circle Field
(adjacent to GFB High School)

Admission: $10 per child
Children under age 3 are free!

  • BOUNCE HOUSES
  • FOOD
  • CARNIVAL GAMES
  • TUG-OF-WAR
  • MUSIC
  • TEAM RACES

Show your school spirit - dress in red & white - (Prize for best dressed!)

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!!!

Contact apm1@optonline.net if interested

SPONSORED BY TUXEDO PTO

Special thanks to…

John Meore ~ J & J Jump Rentals, Inc.

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Tuxedo’s George F. Baker High School named again to Newsweek’s best high schools nationwide

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Garden Works Club gives Tuxedo students opportunities to grow

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Hickey voted off Tuxedo School Board

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Tuxedo voters approve $16.6 million school budget

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School Budget/Board Results

Budget: $16.6 million
Yes 261
No 173

School board (four seats, three for three years, one for two years)
*Ray Barone 334
*Laurance J. Hickey 228
*David Kaufer 284
*John G. Moon 351
Robert R. Werner 267

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Choices In Tuxedo

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School Board Election Forum WILL NOT Take Place

Please take note, contrary to a report in the May 14 Photo News there WILL NOT be a School Board Election forum on Monday May 17.

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Five Candidates Vie for Four Spots on the Tuxedo School Board

On May 18, 2010 School Board elections will take place in the Town of Tuxedo. This year, five candidates are vying for 4 spots.
Running for re-election are Tuxedo residents Ray Barone, James J. Hickey, (current board president) David Kaufer and John G. Moon. Robert J. Werner, also a Tuxedo resident, is running for a first time seat.
The make-up of the school board is extremely important as it has a direct and immediate impact on the future of the School District as well as every ones taxes. Therefore, understanding these candidates, their areas of expertise and their levels of experience is crucial in making an informed decision.
TPFYI has asked each candidate for biographical information and will post this in the order that it is received.

* TPFYI will provide links to local newspaper coverage as it becomes available for those seeking further info.

DAVID KAUFER

  • Tuxedo resident for 13 years
  • Born and raised in Suffern, New York
  • Post graduate degree Doctor of Chiropractic 1989
  • Joined family practice established in 1957 by father Dr. Marshall Kaufer
  • Married 22 years, 3 children educated in the Tuxedo school system
  • Community Oriented
  • Coached Hal Block Ramapo Soccer League 5 years
  • Coached Tuxedo baseball T-shirt League 2 years
  • Elected School Board of Education Tuxedo, New York for 2 terms 2004–present

I chose to run for the Board of Education six years ago enabling me to be involved in the educational process of our children. I wanted to secure the best possible educational experience and allow for enriched academic opportunities for our community.

As a Board of Education member, many difficult choices have been made, and there continues to be ongoing challenges. I have confidence that this Board of Education will continue to make positive changes for our students. It is important that continued educational excellence remain my top priority.

I am extremely proud that our school district has been recognized academically for high achievements by the state and other published journals. This success has occurred due to the involvement of the administrators, teachers, and the hardworking students.

The current economic status in our state has played a critical role in the upcoming budget. The Board of Education has worked tirelessly over the last several months to maintain the academic integrity that the Tuxedo School District is known for.

In closing I am running for the Tuxedo Board of Education for a third term to offer continued stability and unity within the school district. It is my intention to maintain quality education and give the students tools for academic excellence and achieve a successful future.

ROBERT J. WERNER
As many of you know on April 19th I officially became a candidate for the Tuxedo School District Board of Education. I would like to thank those of you who signed the petition and request your support in the upcoming election on May 18th.

I believe the school board will need to make difficult decisions in the near future, decisions that will affect the quality of education in Tuxedo. I know most of the costs associated with the district are the result of contractual obligations which leaves few areas to trim. Nonetheless, I am confident the school district needs to and can work smarter.

I hope to be part of the decision making process that will determine what is best for the students and people of Tuxedo. I do not believe that state aid will be restored this year and I expect it will be reduced further next year.

The salary and fringe benefits for the Tuxedo School Districtís Superintendent and Business Administrator exceed $425,000 or 2.5% of the entire 2010/2011 budget or 50% of the projected state aid. There may be an explanation for these escalating costs, maybe these two individuals have reduced costs in other areas and saved the district thousands of dollars, it is possible our graduating students receive a very significant portion of academic scholarships to the best universities. I do not know the answers to these questions, but I intend to find out.

I will bring to the school district the same traits I have exhibited as a member of the Woodlands Board of Directors, honesty, transparency and fair play.

I would also like to share a short bio. I retired from the New York City Police Department after 21 years, the last 11 of which were at the New York County District Attorneys Office. I was asked to join a management team to establish the office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District, leaving as the Deputy Chief Investigator. In 1996 I was recruited to rebuild the New York State Office of the Inspector General. I am currently the Chief Investigator and in that role supervise all criminal investigations and systemic reviews of over 200 state agencies, authorities, boards and commissions.

Finally, if you believe students and taxpayers need to receive the full value of every dollar spent by the school district and new ideas and fresh perspectives are needed, vote for me. I promise to do my best for the Tuxedo School District and all concerned.

DR. RAY BARONE

  1. Biographical information. I attended grades K-12 in Tuxedo, graduating in 1974. In 1978, I received an undergraduate degree in Business from Siena College and was commissioned as an Officer in the United States Army. After completing Airborne and Ranger training, “Uncle Sam” stationed me in Vicenza, Italy with the 1st of the 509th Battalion Combat Team, Airborne. For the next 20+ years, I served in the US Army, retiring honorably as a Lieutenant Colonel. In July 1999, the United States Military Academy, West Point competitively selected me to teach physical training as well as some cognitive courses. Additionally, I instruct ‘Professional Military Ethics Education’ to cadets; a curriculum that focuses on the moral and ethical challenges of being an Officer. My education includes: a Masters from Indiana University, a Masters of Military Arts and Science from the Command and General Staff Officer’s College, Fort Leavenworth, and both a Masters and Doctorate in Teaching and Curriculum from Columbia’s Teachers’ College. I have been blessed with 3 children: Kyra, 21, who is a second semester junior attending West Point; Kyle, 20, who will start West Point this summer as a member of the Class of 2014; and Clayton, 18, who will graduate from high school this year and subsequently attend a civilian preparatory school on his way to the class of 2015 at West Point.
  2. What makes a sound school district, and what is required to ensure its proper functioning? I believe that parental involvement, student effort, and the proper mix of good teachers, administrators, and Board of Education members are the foundation of high-quality education system. The School Board working with the administrators first and foremost has to ‘protect’ the core courses to ensure that students meet the requirements to graduate and are prepared for their future endeavors. To achieve this, especially during these tough economic times, the Board must balance the needs of the students to receive a well-rounded education with the constituent’s needs regarding taxes and the tax levy.
  3. Candidate’s statement. I have been privileged to serve on the Board of Education within the very school that I attended, as a result of the people of the community providing me with their ‘vote of confidence’. I am running for my 3rd term on the Board and will continue to do my utmost to represent and balance both the needs of the students with those of the voting constituents.

JOHN G. MOON
Several reasons motivate me to run for the Board of Education, but there are three I would like to emphasize. Primarily, I hold a strong belief in advancement through education. I hold a Bachelorís degree in Philosophy and Political Science, and graduate degrees in Law. Education has taken me from growing up in a distant part of Pennsylvania to in-house counsel at a global financial institution in Manhattan.

Furthermore, as a practicing lawyer, I have complemented the Boardís skill set with the retirement of Judge Brown. I am dedicated to financial accountability, having been a Federal Prosecutor of financial crimes and an Enforcement Branch Chief at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. My present board experience includes a seat on the Board of Managers of the Harvard Club of New York City. I hold a Fiscal Oversight Certification issued by the New York State School Boards Association.

I have enjoyed serving the entire community while on the Board; that is to say, by working to deliver education directly to the children, caring for our studentsí special needs, and honoring the fiscal constraints of our taxpayers. It has been hard work. The school budget before you involved detailed assessment and cuts of certain administrative and non-essential expenses, and a reduction of personnel. However, the budget does not cut a single core educational program and even enhanced the Mandarin Chinese curriculum. Significantly, the proposed tax levy will increase less than 1 percent at a time when state aid is diminishing.

I ask for your vote on May 18, 2010.

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting April 22, 2010

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Recognition of Valedictorian & Salutatorian
  5. GGM Guidance Presentation – Rose Laure Beauvais
  6. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  7. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 3/18/10, 3/25/10, 4/8/10, 4/13/10
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  8. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. CPSE/CSE
      3. Adoption of 2010/2011 Proposed Budget
      4. Adoption of School Tax Property Report Card
      5. Orange-Ulster BOCES Administrative Budget Vote
      6. Orange-Ulster BOCES Board Member Election
      7. Donation: Plexiglas Purchase for Frames from Tuxedo PTO
      8. Personnel
  9. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  10. Correspondence
  11. Miscellaneous
  12. Adjournment

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Tuxedo continues to grapple with school budget challenges

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting April 20, 2010
Budget Work Session #7

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation
  5. Budget Workshop
  6. Other
  7. Public Participation
  8. Adjournment

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting March 18, 2010

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Information Technology Update by Ms. Carol Lomascolo
  6. Budget Work Session #2 & #3 on Working Draft of 2010/2011 Proposed Budget
          • Presentation of the Instructional/Community
            Service and Undistributed Portions of Proposed
            2010/2011 Budget
          • Introduction of Supplemental Needs Budget
  7. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  8. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. CPSE/CSE
      3. Surplus of Textbooks
      4. Lease of Quarry Field
      5. Proposed 2010/11 School Calendar
      6. Orange-Ulster BOCES Board Nominations
      7. Personnel
  9. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  10. Correspondence
  11. Miscellaneous
  12. Adjournment

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting March 4, 2010

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Presentation – Kelly Fosstveit, Intervention Specialist
    • Pupil Personnel Services Support Function
  6. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 1/21/10, 1/28/10
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  7. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. CPSE/CSE
      3. Audit Committee Report
      4. District-Wide Superintendent’s Conference Day – March 26 th
      5. Proposed 2010/11 School Calendar
      6. Surplus Equipment - VCR
      7. Resolution for Board of Education President to
           Execute Project Adventure Iroquois Springs Contract
      8. Proposed Resolution by Orange County Executive in
           Opposition to Holding 9-11 Terrorists Trial in Orange County
      9. Proposed 2010-2011 Attendance Policy
    10. Overnight Boston Band Trip Proposal – May 14-15, 2010
    11. Donation of 25 Reading Books to GGM
    12. Personnel
  8. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  9. Correspondence
  10. Miscellaneous
  11. Adjournment

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Board of Education to Hold Work Session on Working Draft of 1010/2011 Proposed Budget March 4, 2010

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Board Work Session #1 on Working Draft of
          2010/2011 Proposed Budget
          • Review of Budget Philosophy and
           Chronology of Budgeting Process
          • Presentation of General Support Portions of
           Proposed Budget
          • Other
  5. Adjournment

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Tuxedo school board picks Moon to fill vacancy

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Agenda for Special Board of Education Meeting January 7, 2009

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Comments on Agenda Items
  5. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Board of Education Candidate Interviews
  6. Adjournment

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting December 17, 2009

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 11/19/09
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  6. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. CPSE/CSE
      3. Amendment to 403 (b) Retirement Plan
      4. Response to Intervention Update (RTI)
      5. Personnel
  7. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  8. Correspondence
  9. Miscellaneous
  10. Adjournment

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Agenda for Tuxedo Union Free School District Board of Education Meeting November 19, 2009

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 10/15/09, 10/22/09
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  6. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. CPSE/CSE
      3. Donations: Tabletop SunLite Garden
                      Rulers & Pencils
                      Art Supplies
      4. Proposed 2009/2010 District Goals
      5. BOCES Cooperative Bid Resolution
      6. State Environmental Quality Review Resolution for High School Front Steps
      7. Approval of Corrective Action Plan 2008/2009 Audit
      8. Tuxedo Reserve Update
      9. Anticipated Vacancy for Board of Education
    10. Zero Based Budgeting
    11. Personnel
  7. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  8. Correspondence
  9. Miscellaneous
  10. Adjournment

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Dine Out To End Hunger

Characters Bar & Restaurant

Tuesday, November 17th
Lunch, Dinner, Take-Out
11:30am – 10:00pm
No reservation required.

Tell your server you support the Tuxedo pto and
15% of your dining bill automatically gets donated

back to tuxedo pto to help stomp out hunger!

Characters Bar & Grill
94 Orange Turnpike
Sloatsburg, NY 10974
845-753-5200

Proceeds to Benefit The Tuxedo PTO BackPack Program
The BackPack Program provides children at risk of hunger with a weekly backpack full of nutritious, kid-friendly, shelf-stable food to get them through the weekend, when school meals are not available. Backpacks are discreetly distributed to children on the last day before the weekend or holiday vacation. All money raised from this event will be reserved for the BackPack Program.

Sponsored by
Tuxedo PTO

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Tuxedo School District staff raise $700 for Breast Cancer Awareness at Denim Day

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Agenda for Board of Education Meeting October 15, 2009

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Routine Business
      1. Independent Auditor’s Presentation
          • Chris Melley of Nugent & Haeussler
      2. Introduction of New Teachers
      3. Approval of Minutes – 9/9/09, 9/17/09, 10/1
      4. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      5. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      6. Superintendent’s Report
  6. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. CPSE/CSE
      3. NYSSBA Conference Approval
      4. Adoption of 2010/2011 Budget Calendar
      5. Acceptance of 2008/2009 Financial Audit Report
      6. School Board Recognition Week - October 19-23
      7. Donations: Olds Tenor Saxaphone and Case to Music Dept.
             HP Color Laser Jet Printer
      8. Zero Based Budgeting/Budget Direction
      9. Response to Intervention (RTI)
    10. Personnel
  7. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  8. Correspondence
  9. Miscellaneous
  10. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Hosts National Honor Society Inductions

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Agenda for Special Board of Education Meeting October 1, 2009

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Comments on Agenda Items
  5. Review of 08/09 Goals
  6. 09/10 Goal Setting
  7. Adjournment

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Agenda for Tuxedo Union Free School District Board Meeting September 17, 2009

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  4. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 8/27/09
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  5. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. CPSE/CSE
      3. Overnight Varsity Soccer Tournament - Soccer Hall of Fame
          Oneonta, NY – September 19-20, 2009
      4. Proposed Employee Benefit Accrued Liability Reserve
      5. Proposed NYS & Local Employee Retirement Reserve
      6. Personnel
  6. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  7. Correspondence
  8. Miscellaneous
  9. Adjournment

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P.T.O. Sponsored Back to School Carnival September 10, 2009

GGM BACK-TO-SCHOOL CARNIVAL

Thursday, September 10th
Rain Date: Thursday, September 24th

5:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Circle Field
(adjacent to GFB High School)

Admission: $10 per child
Children under age 3 are free!

BOUNCE HOUSES/SLIDES GAMES FOOD FUN

Show your school spirit
dress in red & white
(Prize for best dressed!)

SPONSORED BY TUXEDO PTO

Special thanks to…
J & J Jump Rentals, inc shoprite
John Meore Photography     A &P     Mariano’s Pizza at Take-a-break

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Agenda for Board of Education Reorganization Meeting July 9, 2009

ANNUAL ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call and Quorum Check

III. Pledge of Allegiance

IV. Organizational Meeting

     1.0 Read Oath of Office into Minutes
     1.1 Nominations & Appointment of President of Board of Education
     1.2 Nominations & Appointment of Vice President of Board of Education
     1.3 Nominations & Approval of Officers and Personnel for the
            School District
     1.4 Approval by Board for Services
     1.5 Approval by Board for Authorizations
     1.6 Approval by Board to Re-Adopt Existing Policies & Past Practices
     1.7 Approval for Business Official/Superintendent to Invest
            Monies at Best Prevailing Rate
     1.8 Approval for Bonding of Business Official, District Treasurer,
            Tax Collector and Treasurer of Extra-Classroom Fund

V. Public Participation

VI. Adjournment

REGULAR BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  4. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 6/18/09
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  5. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. CPSE/CSE
      3. Surplus of Textbooks/Equipment
      4. Energy Performance Contract Financing
      5. Personnel
  6. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  7. Correspondence
  8. Miscellaneous
  9. Adjournment

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Agenda for Special Tuxedo Union Free School Board of Education Meeting July 2, 2009

I. Call to Order

II. Roll Call and Quorum Check

III. Pledge of Allegiance

IV. Oath of Office

V. Proposed Executive Session

VI. Adjournment

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Baker High School Makes Newsweek's List of Top 1,500 High Schools

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School District Budget Notice

Download the PDF here.

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About Your Schools...Budget and Board of Education Information

Download the PDF here.

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Agenda for Tuxedo Union Free School District Board Meeting April 23, 2009

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Recognition of Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Wrestlers, Skiers,
    Girls JV & Varsity Basketball Teams
  5. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  6. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 3/12/09, 3/19/09, 3/26/09
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  7. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. CPSE/CSE
      3. Adoption of 2009/2010 Proposed Budget
      4. Adoption of School Tax Property Report Card
      5. Orange-Ulster BOCES Administrative Budget Vote
      6. Orange-Ulster BOCES Board Member Election
      7. Return of Unused Emergency Closing Day in Accordance
           with the Collective Bargaining Agreement of the
           Tuxedo Teachers Association
      8. Adoption of 2009/2010 Code of Conduct
      9. Greenwood Lake Elks Lodge 2067 Donation
      10. Wheelchair Accessible Bus Lease Agreement
      11. Personnel
  8. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  9. Correspondence
  10. Miscellaneous
  11. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Union Free School District Reschedules Open Forum Meeting

Public Invited to a
Board of Education Open Forum
(Rescheduled from February 18th)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

(Immediately following Budget Work Session #2
scheduled at 7 PM)

George Grant Mason Multi-Purpose Room

Come share your constructive ideas or
ask questions regarding:

- 2009/10 School Budget
- School Activities
- Other Concerns

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Agenda for Tuxedo Union Free School Board of Education Meeting
February 19, 2009

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 1/15/09 
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  6. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. CPSE/CSE
      3. District-Wide Superintendent's Conference Day – March 23rd
      4. Lease of Quarry Field
      5. Dedication of First Floor HS Corridor to Carmine Antonelli
      6. Overnight Trip – Mudville Softball Tournament May 8-9 – Herkimer, New York
      7. Personnel
  7. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  8. Correspondence
  9. Miscellaneous
  10. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Union Free School District Community Briefing

Download the briefing here.

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Agenda for Tuxedo Union Free School District Board of Education Meeting January 15, 2009

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 12/18/08 
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  6. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. CPSE/CSE
      3. Energy Performance Contract Financing
      4. Personnel
  7. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  8. Executive Session
      1. Collective Negotiations
      2. Litigation
  9. Correspondence
  10. Miscellaneous
  11. Adjournment

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Agenda for Tuxedo Union Free School District Board Meeting

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 11/20/08 
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  6. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. CPSE/CSE
      3. Donation of Puzzles and Fun Pack
      4.  Adoption of 2009/10 School Calendar
      5. Personnel
  7. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  8. Correspondence
  9. Miscellaneous
  10. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Union Free School District Board Meeting November 20, 2008

The Board meeting convened at 6:34 PM with all members present except Barone, who arrived late. The normal administrative matters were covered, and items of unusual interest are as follows.

First, a teacher and a senior student made a very compelling presentation about the five year old Safe Schools Ambassadors Program, which now starts in the sixth grade and goes through twelfth grade. The program’s goal is to make the school a safe environment for students to work in, and recognizes that without ongoing student assistance, the faculty and staff alone cannot realistically achieve this goal. Students account for 90% of the school population; 95% of its targets for either cruel or violent behavior; and 99% of the aggressors. However, students are really the ones who determine what acceptable norms of behavior are and are not, and students often see and know things that staff does not and can take timely action in ways staff cannot. The program is built around regular training for all students and additional training for selected students. This program encourages students to work with other students in preventing abusive or violent behavior before it happens using a variety of methods.

The School’s website has been revised and updated with particular focus on the high school, in an effort to improve communication with both parents of students and the community. Please go to www.tuxedoschooldistrict.com to review the information at the website. This is part of an overall effort by the school Administration and Board to explore ways to reduce paper communication in favor of electronic communication.

Other items covered during this meeting included the Tuxedo Library, which is now hosting an exhibit of various student works of art and the addition of a daily 5:30 PM bus to Greenwood Lake to accommodate the GWL high school students who have late afternoon commitments.

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Agenda for Tuxedo Union Free School District Board Meeting November 20, 2008

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 10/16/08 
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  6. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. CPSE/CSE
      3. Overnight Trips: Girls Varsity Basketball Competition in Lake Placid
           Wrestling Tournament in Oneonta
      4.  403 (b) Third Administrator and Requisite Plan Adoption Agreement
      5.  Approval of Corrective Action Plan - External Audit
      6.  Donation of Children's Scissors to GGM
      7. Personnel
  7. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  8. Correspondence
  9. Miscellaneous
  10. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Union Free School District Board Meeting October 16, 2008

The Tuxedo Union Free School District School Board met on October 16, 2008.
Board member Ray Barone was absent. During the first portion of the meeting, normal administrative matters were covered, including the introduction of new teachers who joined the District this fall.

There were two items of substance covered during the remainder of the meeting. The first was a report from the independent auditor’s, Nugent & Haeussler. The audit covered the previous fiscal year. Chris Melley of the accounting firm highlighted the firm’s findings. The auditor commented positively on the strong internal audit and accounting controls that were in place. District Management was complemented for budgeting revenues within one percent of actual revenues received, and expenses within 5% of monies actually spent. Overall, it was a very positive audit report.

The second item of interest was the Board’s vote on a new contract with the Greenwood Lake School District. They approved a five-year Memorandum of Agreement, running through June 20, 2013. Earlier this week, Greenwood Lake’s Board approved a one year Agreement with the Tuxedo District covering the current school year, with the intent of putting a request to approve the longer five year Agreement on the Ballot before the end of December, as is required by New York State.

There are several very important points covered by the Memorandum of Agreement. The three most important points of agreement are:

  1. The two Districts agreed on a base year tuition amount for General Education of $12,800 plus multipliers for Special Ed, CTEC and Vocational Special Ed students
  2. Both parties agreed to a formula for calculating additional years’ tuition levels. The formula relates to each District’s General Fund expenditures as reported annually to the State on the ST-3
  3. Both parties agreed to billing procedures to include late payment penalties.

The two districts issued joint press release regarding this Agreement.

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Agenda for Tuxedo Union Free School District Board Meeting October 16, 2008

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Routine Business
      1. Independent Auditor’s Presentation ­ Chris Melley of Nugent & Haeussler 
      2. Introduction of New Teachers  
      3. Approval of Minutes – 9/18/08 
      4. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  6. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Memorandum of Agreement with Greenwood Lake 
      2. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      3. CPSE/CSE
      4. NYSSBA Conference Approval 
      5.  Adoption of 2009/2010 Budget Calendar 
      6.  Approval of Corrective Action Plan– Internal Audit 
      7.  Acceptance of 2007/2008 Financial Audit Report 
      8.  School Board Recognition Week ­ October 20­24th 
      9. Personnel
  7. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  8. Correspondence
  9. Miscellaneous
  10. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Union Free School District Meeting September 18, 2008

The meeting started promptly at 6:30 PM, with Diana Petrosky chairing the meeting in the absence of Jim Hickey. All other members were present, although Ray Barone arrived 30 minutes late.

The Superintendent advised that the Audit Report for the past financial year had been received and there were several accounting matters needing to be addressed. He expected some of the issues would be resolved by the end of 2008, and the balance will be dealt with before the end of the 08-09 school year.

The various Administrators’ reports were then presented primarily dealing with routine matters of a routine nature. With regard to Greenwood Lake and its on-going use of the TUFSD for High School purposes, the Superintendent advised that negotiation discussions were continuing and both Districts still had legal issues to resolve. Once this had been accomplished, an appropriate press release would be made.

Shortly before 7 PM, the Board adjourned to Executive session, indicating they expected to return within 15 minutes. However, they did not returned until 7:40 PM, once again leaving the public waiting for a long period as they had done at the prior month’s meeting.

When the meeting recommenced, the Superintendent addressed the subject of a report in the Greenwood Lake/New Milford News alleging that his salary and benefits had been under reported in State Board filings. He did confirm the relative numbers reported to the State were incorrect, in that the school business office had reported such costs for the year, as opposed to budgeted numbers. Reporting errors also covered two other employees. At the conclusion of this discussion, the Board then approved granting tenure to two employees, approved the employment of two other staff and approved the remuneration levels of an assorted number of part-time staff primarily responsible for extra-curricular activities. A total dollar number was not available, but it looked to be somewhere in excess of $150,000.

In the public comment period questions were asked regarding dress code for the children, the manner in which tenure was judged and approved, the frequency of outside trips to places of historical, cultural or otherwise academic benefit to the children and finally the content and appropriateness of the school lunch menu.

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Agenda for Tuxedo Union Free School District Meeting Thursday, September 18, 2008

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 8/28/08
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. Greenwood Lake Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  6. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Greenwood Lake Update
      2. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      3. CPSE/CSE
      4. Approval of Corrective Action Plan to State Comptroller's Audit
      5. Personnel
  7. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  8. Correspondence
  9. Miscellaneous
  10. Adjournment

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Tuxedo Union Free School District Board of Education Meeting
August 28, 2008

The meeting was called to order at 6:41PM. Members absent were Diana Petrosky and Shawn Brown.

A fairly lengthy discussion took place regarding the approval of the prior meeting’s Minutes, with particular focus by Ray Barone on the draft of the Minutes stating that the vote to increase Superintendent Zanetti’s salary had been “unanimously” approved, when both David Kaufer and Barone believed they did not vote in favor of the increase. At 7 PM, Chairman Hickey requested the public meeting be adjourned to Executive Session to discuss personnel matters – specifically, the Contract between the School District and the Superintendent. Public session was not resumed until 8:15 PM, by which time I had left, so what follows is information gathered from third parties.

GOOD NEWS: Upon reconvening the public meeting, the Board approved a 3.39% increase in the 2008-09 Tuxedo School District tax levy, which is exactly what the estimated increase was back in May during the most recent School Board elections, at which Joanne Vernon won her seat on the BoE.

During the Public Session, several speakers focused on various issues, the most substantive being administrative salaries and the leasing of Konica copiers. Regarding administrative salaries, the Board President was questioned as to whether he had seen a specific newspaper article pertaining to Orange County School District administrative salaries – he had not. Also, the leasing of certain Konica copiers by our District was also discussed.

Although the topic of going into Executive Session twenty minutes into a regularly scheduled public meeting was not raised, it would be extremely helpful for purposes of both public participation and transparency if this could be avoided in the future. Ideally, if Executive Session could be held either before the public meeting [a practice that Greenwood Lake’s Board uses] or after the public meeting, this would be very helpful in maintaining the public’s ongoing participation. If a pressing contractual issue arises during the public session requiring an immediate adjournment to Executive Session, that meeting should be held to no more than ten minutes, with the focus of the Board being to agree to reconvene after the Public Session to further discuss whatever issue or issues need Executive Session resolution.

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Agenda for Tuxedo Union Free School Direct Board Meeting August 28, 2008

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 7/10/08
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. GWL Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  6. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. GWL Update
      3. CPSE/CSE
      4. School Breakfast & Lunch Prices
      5. Tax Levy & Tax Rates
      6. Designation of Legislative Liaison to NYSSBA
      7. Designation of Legislative Liaison to OCSBA
      8. Donation: Educational Games, Children’s Books & Videos
      9. Varsity Soccer Trip to National Soccer Hall of Fame – Oneonta, NY
      10. Purchase Option Plan for Konica Minolta
      11. Approval of Academic Intervention Services Plan
      12. Personnel
  7. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  8. Correspondence
  9. Miscellaneous
  10. Adjournment

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State Board of Education gives Greenwood Lake Specific Direction

On June 20, 2008 Charles Szuberia of the New York State Education Dept. sent the following letter to both John Guarracino, Superintendent of the Greenwood Lake Union Free School District and Joseph Zanetti, Tuxedo Union Free School District Superintendent, with regard to the ongoing issues between the two districts:

greenwood

greenwood

In reviewing the letter, please focus on the following of Szuberia‘s points, in order to gain a better understanding of our District’s current situation with Greenwood Lake.
In paragraph two, second to last sentence, Szuberia clearly lays out the only two viable tuition choices Greenwood Lake has regarding tuition costs that must be paid to Tuxedo. “Tuxedo, however, must charge Greenwood Lake tuition based either on the non-resident tuition rate (Seneca Falls formula) or the actual costs of educating students.” For the upcoming fall school year [2008-09], Tuxedo has demonstrated that the actual cost for high school tuition students was well over a thousand dollars per student higher than the Seneca Falls Formula. Thus, for the upcoming school year, it is a safe bet that Greenwood Lake’s Board will opt for the Seneca Falls formula to determine its tuition per student cost.

The first part of paragraph three is extremely important. Szuberia clearly states that the Governor’s Commission on Local Government and Efficiency “…recommends greater consolidation of school districts and services.” In other words, the State Department of Education is not in favor of creating additional small schools at any level unless there are very compelling reasons to do so, which flies in the face of Greenwood Lake’s desire to build its own small high school.

In the second part of his letter Szuberia lays out four steps Greenwood Lake must take if its request for a separate high school is to be considered. The first is that Greenwood Lake must enter into a new five-year agreement with the Tuxedo District. Assuming this cannot be done over the summer, we are looking at the school years 2009 -2014. Given that a five-year agreement with Tuxedo is a precondition Greenwood Lake must meet in order to achieve their own goal, the Tuxedo Board has no reason to make any tuition concessions to Greenwood Lake as it has done in prior five year agreements. Ergo, there is no reason for the Tuxedo taxpayer to subsidize the Greenwood Lake students.
Only after Greenwood Lake has reached a five-year agreement with Tuxedo, may it proceed with steps two though four. Step two is a road Greenwood Lake has gone done repeatedly with zero success, but this does not mean that they will stop looking for a new high school district home for its students.

Steps three and four, as laid out by Szuberia, represent very high hurdles for Greenwood Lake to overcome. Why? Given today’s construction costs, it will be extremely difficult for their Board of Education to come up with all inclusive cost numbers for a new high school, properly staffed, that has a cost per student that is less than the cost of tuitioning them into Tuxedo. Even the Greenwood Lake tax payer will be able to figure this out. Thus, Greenwood Lake’s only viable option is to find a District other than Tuxedo, where it can send its students.

As an aside, I would tell you that in this editor’s opinion, this entire ongoing debate has always had at its heart the Greenwood Lake Board of Education’s desire to control the education of its own students, and although cost has been an important issue, it has never been the main issue. Thus, sending its students to another district, will not solve the issue of “control.”

-David du Pont

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Agenda for Tuxedo Union Free School Board of Education Meeting
June 19, 2008

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Presentation of Road Merit Safety Plaque
  6. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 5/6/08, 5/22/08
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. GWL Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  7. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. GWL Update
      3. CPSE/CSE
      4. Review of Board Policies
          #3115-1 - Personnel: Sexual Harassment of Employees
          #3115-2 – Personnel: Sexual Harassment of Employees Regulation
          #3115-3 - Personnel: Sexual Harassment of Students
      5. Independent Auditor for 2008/2009
      6. Code of Conduct
      7. Course Approval for High School
          - Advanced Placement Chemistry
          - History in Hollywood
      8. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Playground Equipment
      9. Senior Class Trip – 2009
      10. Personnel
  8. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  9. Correspondence
  10. Miscellaneous
  11. Adjournment

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School Election Results

School Budget
281 – Yes
191 – No

School Board
Joanne Vernon – 232
Carol Stachelek – 219

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Agenda for Tuxedo Union Free School District Meeting May 22, 2008

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call and Quorum Check
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
  4. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  5. Routine Business
      1. Approval of Minutes – 4/10/08, 4/17/08
      2. Administrators’ Reports
          • Business Administrator
          • Director of PPS/Curriculum
          • Elementary/Middle School Principal
          • High School Principal
          • Asst. High School Principal
      3. GWL Liaison’s Report
      4. Superintendent’s Report
  6. Items for Action and/or Discussion
      1. Warrants, Transfers & Bids
      2. GWL Update
      3. CPSE/CSE
      4. Second Reading & Adoption of Board Policies
          #3112 - Personnel: Equal Opportunity Employer
          #3113 - Personnel: Absence for Religious Purposes
          #3114 - Personnel: Tobacco Use and Smoking Policy
          #5204-2 – Instruction: Local Certificate to Handicapped Students
          #4106 – Attendance: Non Resident Students
      5. 2008/2009 Board of Education Meetings
      6. Code of Conduct
      7. Adoption of New Elementary ELA Textbooks
      8. Senior Citizens Tax Exemption
      9. Real Property Tax Exemption for Volunteer Workers
      10. State Aid Review Consultant
      11. Donations: Playground Equipment from Tuxedo PTO
            $250 for High School Chorus from Spanish Evangelist Church
            Photography Equipment from Dr. Patricia Tripken
      12. Personnel
  7. Public Participation on Agenda Items
  8. Correspondence
  9. Miscellaneous
  10. Adjournment

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Newsweek Ranks George F. Baker High School in the Top 5%

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Meet the School Board Candidates

On May 20, 2008 voters will take to the polls and decide who will fill the soon to be vacated seat on the School Board. Two candidates, Carol Stachelek and Joanne Vernon, are running for the position. In an effort to provide the community with a better picture of who these ladies are TPFYI has collected the following Bio information.

CAROL STACHELEK

carol stachelek   Vote for
Carol Stachelek
for School Board

Personal Background:

  • Resident of Tuxedo for 11 years
  • Married 20 years, 2 children - ages 6 and 9
  • My 2 young boys attend the George Grant Mason School and are in the 1st and 4th grades.

Professional Background:

  • Bachelor of Science Degree - Business Administration - State University of New York at Buffalo.
  • Currently employed as bookkeeper at the Tuxedo Park Library. Work closely with library board putting together yearly budgets.
  • Tuxedo PTA - Vice President, 2 years - Corresponding Secretary, 2 years.
  • Member of the Save Our Schools Committee. Working with the superintendent and school board, this committee was instrumental in providing information that helped keep Greenwood Lake at our High School.

Why do I want to be on the School Board?
I am all about the kids! With my own 2 children attending the elementary school, I have a vested interest in our educational program. An excellent school district not only serves our children by bringing about the best in all of them, but it also is a reflection on the community, thereby drawing people into our district and enhancing real estate values. I am a strong proponent of small class sizes. Studies show that the smaller the class, especially in the elementary level, the higher the grades, the better the morale of the teachers and the happier the kids.

Our High School offers an excellent program and it is important that we get back to talking about the education of the students. To that end, negotiating with Greenwood Lake for a long term solution is imperative to having our focus back on the educational program. This needs to be accomplished without the expense burden put on the Tuxedo community.

Being a school board member will allow me the opportunity to be a part of a team that will work toward the best educational setting for our children.

 

JOANNE VERNON

Dear Neighbor,

My name is Joanne Vernon and I am running for the Tuxedo Board of Education on Tuesday, May 20, 2008. I would like to share some information regarding my background and why I would like to serve our community.

My educational experience is extensive. I have a B.A. in Education and an M.A. in Administration and Supervision. I hold the following N.J. certifications: Elementary Teacher K-8, Teacher of Reading K-12, Reading Specialist, Supervisor, and Principal.

I have been involved in the ever-changing world of education for 27 years. Currently I am the Principal of the Robert D. Reynolds School in Upper Saddle River. I am completing my ninth year in this wonderful school of over 460 students. My prior work experiences include: serving as a classroom teacher for 15 years in the public schools of West Orange, Vice-Principal and Director of Special Services in Oradell, and Principal of Ridgewood Avenue Upper Elementary School in Glen Ridge.

Recently, I have served on the Tuxedo Options Committee charged with exploring alternatives due to Greenwood Lake’s desire to withdraw from G.F. Baker High School. Additionally I served on the Tuxedo Strategic Planning Committee to determine the needs and goals for the Tuxedo School District K-12. I served in a leadership position in the Tuxedo PTA for four years and also served as President of the USR Administrator’s Association. In my teaching days, I served as Treasurer of the West Orange Education Association.  I am a current member of the Tuxedo PTO, SPOT, the Upper Saddle River PTO, and the Upper Saddle River Educational Foundation. I am also a member of the NJ Supervisor’s Association, National Reading Association and many other curriculum based organizations.

My desire to serve as a Board of Education member is to add a new dimension and to bring some creative thoughts to the major issues we are all facing. I am most especially concerned about the rising costs of education (taxes), fiscal accountability regarding various contracts and most importantly the curriculum development and student needs facing us in this time of major technological advances in education. It is time to bring new ideas and solutions to the table.

My husband Russ and I have lived in Tuxedo for 12 years. We have the pleasure of raising two wonderful girls, Alex, 17 and Annie, 11. I know the community of Tuxedo and the Village of Tuxedo Park very well. I look forward to serving as a BOE member if given the opportunity. I am confident that with your vote, I will make a difference for our community.

Please feel free to email me jvjds1@optonline.net or call me 753-1910 with any questions you may have.

Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy.

Sincerely,
Joanne M. Vernon

Again, voting will take place on Tuesday, May 20 from 2pm-9pm at George Grant Mason Elementary School. Please take the time to cast your vote in this very important election.

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School Board Candidates Comment on The Issues

On May 20, 2008, voters will take to the polls for two very important reasons; the school budget and the School Board. Two candidates, Carol Stachelek and Joanne Vernon, will compete for one seat on the School Board, currently held by Michael Catenaro. In an effort to educate the community as to where they stand on several key issues, TPFYI presented both candidates with the following questions:

  1. Please tell us why you have decided to run for the School Board at this time.

    C.S.
    - Since I have 2 children that attend the Tuxedo elementary school, I have a vested interest in the educational program. I wish to be a part of a team that will work toward the best educational setting of our children.

    J.V. - I have been interested in serving on the Tuxedo BOE for the past few years, however due to family commitments did not feel the timing was right. Now with one daughter off to college in the fall and my younger daughter entering 6th grade I believe I will have the time needed to devote to this important position. Additionally I have become increasingly concerned with the current issues related to GWL, negotiations, school budget development, and the quality of education needed in our world today. I believe my expertise will be very helpful to the BOE and the community and therefore decided to run.

  2. In your opinion, what has been the School Board's most important accomplishment within 2007/2008 school year?

    C.S. - As a member of the Save Our Schools Committee, I feel that the best accomplishment was disseminating information to the Greenwood Lake and Warwick communities that was instrumental in keeping Greenwood Lake at our High School

    J.V
    - In my opinion, the School Board’s most important accomplishment within this school year has been to form committees which included community members along with school staff and Board members to study the critical issue of the GWL District’s desire to leave Tuxedo. (Options Committee and SOS Committee) The community involvement in the researching, planning, and development of ideas was very valuable.

  3. In your opinion, what has been the School Board's most significant failure within the 2007/2008 school year?

    C.S. - I feel that there have been no significant failures this past year.

    J.V. - In my opinion, the School Board’s most significant failure within this school year is that they refused to utilize the expertise of negotiators for the GWL contract. It is now May and there are no scheduled meetings or plans for a settlement. The long term goals of GWL and Tuxedo must be clearly understood before a deal can
    be made.

  4. If elected, what will be your priorities and/or goals as a School Board member?

    C.S.
    – My priorities are the kids! I wish to keep classes as small as possible thus accentuating the “uniqueness” of our small school district. This uniqueness makes for what I think is something that people look for when buying a home in Tuxedo, this enhancing our real estate values. I wish to try and show the need for enrichment programs in the elementary school for our more advanced students as well as more clubs for extra-curricular activities

    J.V. - If elected, one goal as a Board Member is to ensure that I fully understand and have reviewed all details related to any and all items up for vote. I will be sure to do my homework. Additionally I would like to see improved communication between the School District/Board and the community. The District web page must be kept up to date and serve as a daily means of informing the community of all aspects of the school district. I intend to review policy and contracts and explore creative ways to provide for the many needs of the schools. Increased costs are a challenge for all and we must look to alternate funding sources, beyond school taxes to support the educational goals of the District.

  5. What specific steps, if any, should the School Board take to develop a long-term relationship with Greenwood Lake?

    C.S. - Unfortunately, the answer here lies with the New York State Department of Education, who, thus far, have not been much help. Coming to a 5-year contract is important so that we can focus our energies again on the educational program, not money. This is not an easy thing to do since the 2 boards are so far apart on what an acceptable tuition should be. The only real way to solve this is for Greenwood Lake to get their state aid based on the income of their town, not ours. So, the ball is in their court. They need to lobby for more money, since they have no other district to go to. We have an unprecedented situation in NY state in that the sending district (Greenwood Lake )makes up the majority of the receiving districts (Tuxedo) school population. The State Education Department needs to address this.

    I do not feel that a having a mediator is in Tuxedo’s best interest. All a mediator will want for us to do is meet in the middle, which would bring the tuition way below what we feel is fair, and cost the Tuxedo tax payer even more.

    J.V. - Developing a long-range relationship with Greenwood Lake requires the willingness of both sides to agree to long term goals of at least five to eight years. Both Districts must work together to accomplish a long range plan instead of working and meeting separately with the State Education Department and law makers. A commitment to implement funding changes and/or allowing GWL to build its own High School must be made by the State Education Department so each District can plan and move forward.

  6. If it continues along its current path, the School Board’s Budget will double every nine to ten years. In your opinion is this a problem? If so, what steps should the School Board need to take to reduce budget growth?

    C.S.
    – There were a few years where we experienced tremendous growth in our school. A new development (Hamilton Estates) went in with 50 houses and many small children. Other areas experienced a big “turnover” where older families moved out and younger ones moved in. This made an elementary school that for years has had only 1 class per grade, now have 2. This, of course, comes at an expense. More teachers, materials, extra buses and all that goes into educating those children increased our taxes for about 4-5 years. This was necessary to the proper education of our Tuxedo’s children. I have lived here for 11 years and I know that for the first 4 or 5 my taxes were stable. It was only in the last 4-5 where the growth was seen. I know this well, since my children are in the elementary school where the growth was felt.

    For now, the Tuxedo school population is at a downward trend. For the last 2 years, the incoming Kindergarten class has only been around 18 kids. So, now those classes are back to being only 1 class. Our budget this year is at a mere 3.36%.

    If you check other districts, our school taxes are still way below other districts, even with the bigger increases in our growth years. In fact, we have the 3rd lowest real school tax base in Orange County.

    We will see what the future holds. If the Tuxedo Reserve goes in, we will again see growth in a few years. It is always a struggle for school districts to try and keep a budget palatable to the voters. I have attended many board and budget meetings over the years and I know that it is not easy.

    I currently work as bookkeeper of the Tuxedo Park Library and am closely involved in putting together the library’s budget each year. And, even though their budget is only about 3% of the school’s budget, it is also an arduous task getting together a good budget for the town, so I know how difficult this can be.
    With the current costs of just about everything rising, we are up against even more challenges. Only the future will tell how we can reduce our budget growth without it affecting the educational program.

    J.V. - Increasing costs are always a problem, especially when the only source of funding is local taxes. Prices all around us are increasing, school budgets are no exception. We must keep in mind that school budgets are made up of some fixed costs, many of which are non-negotiable; hence there is limited room for reductions. The steps the School Board must take to reduce excessive budget growth is to explore cost saving measures and alternate funding sources. We have a community of many talented individuals that can serve as a resource to the Board to plan and develop options other than increased taxes. The BOE must tap into the expertise of the residents and develop alternative ways to provide the funding needed to support excellence in our schools.

Voting will take place at the George Grant Mason School from 2pm-9pm on May 20th.

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Superintendent's Office Tel. # (845) 351-4799
Business Office Tel. # (845) 351-2296
Email address: BOE@tuxedoschooldistrict.com
Website address: www.tuxedoschooldistrict.com

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