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Superintendent's Message
Massena Central School Board of Education Update
July 1, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

Reorganizational Meeting

The Reorganizational meeting will begin at 6:00 pm on Thursday July 7th.  Candy will administer the oaths of office to newly elected Board members followed by the selection of President and Vice-President.  The BOE will then move into an executive session to discuss pending litigation with counsel. After executive session the main portion of the Reorganizational meeting will begin followed immediately by the Regular Meeting. We will need an executive session at the beginning of this meeting as well to discuss personnel et al. As always, I will send you the list of topics.

As listed below, there are some proposed changes in the items of action compared to last year.  The other categories on the agenda such as bond counsel remained the same. 
  • The Internal Claims Auditor salary increased by from $20/hr. to $21/hr.
  • Bus Driver Substitute was added to the Standard Workday Resolution.
  • The IRS rate for mileage reimbursement is $.54/mile down from $.575/mile in 2015. The rate is adjusted each December 31st.
  • The Pupil Benefits Plan for student insurance increased from 16.33/pupil to $16.66 (2.0%).
  • The Utica National annual contract for District liability insurance increased from $182,807 to $189,529 (3.7%).
  • Key Bank was added as a District depository of funds as they are in the process of acquiring First Niagara, a current designated depository.
  • Per BOE Policy 1322 Duties of Vice-President, the VP of the Board of Education has been listed as authorized to sign documents in the absence of the President. 

Regular Meeting
Food Service Program - Peter Bertrand, Director of Food Service

One of our District goals this year is to “Enhance programmatic and fiscal delivery of services in the Food Service Department.” At the Board meeting on Thursday, Food Service Director Peter Bertrand will provide an update to the BOE including budget status, meal pricing, menu changes, and other factors impacting the program.
Under the requirements of the Healthy & Hunger Free Kids Act, school districts are required to raise lunch prices to close the gap between the revenues gained for paid meals versus free meal revenues. The general idea is that pricing for paid lunches is below the cost of production which effectively increases Federal subsidies for higher income children because Federal funds intended for free and reduced price lunches are being used to help fill in the gap between what a paid lunch costs and what the school receives for it. Therefore, districts are required to raise the price of paid lunches over time so they meet cost of production. Based on their calculations, we are required to raise lunch prices by ten cents in 2016-17. Therefore the following prices are on the Reorganizational agenda:
Elementary Schools - $2.15; Jr. High and High School $2.25; Reduced Price Breakfast and Lunch - $.25 (no change); Full Student Price of Breakfast - $1.20 (no change).
Though the District Food Service program cut its losses in half this year, we still had a negative balance sheet. Director Bertrand improved his revenue by approximately 7% and held expenses level but still lost $80,765 for 2015-16 compared to $165,077 in 2014-15. Based on these estimates, the fund balance would go down to $111,283 from $192,048.  Peter will discuss further at the BOE meeting on Thursday.
Jefferson Elementary LAP Program - Duane Richards
As reported in May, Jefferson Elementary School was designated a Local Assistance Plan School for 2016-17 under the state’s accountability system.  The LAP is the lowest level of designation but does require considerable effort to meet the associated state requirements. Jefferson Elementary was identified as a LAP School as a result of the subgroup of White students not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in English Language Arts in the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years.
LAP School are required to complete the Diagnostic Self-Reflection (DSR)  completed by a team composed of building leadership, teachers, parents and District personnel.  We will also be required write a 2016-17 Local Assistance Plan based on the DSR which identifies:
a. The supports and interventions necessary to improve the performance of the subgroup identified
b. The list of actions which will be taken and the timeline for implementation
c. Additional resources and PD needed to support the implementation of the Plan
Jefferson’s LAP Plan has been produced and is ready for BOE review and approval.  It is attached to the BOE agenda and will need to be posted on the District’s website by July 29th.  The district will receive $20,000 to support the implementation of Jefferson’s LAP Plan.  Principal Richards will present the plan at the BOE meeting on Thursday.
District Technology Plan & Smart Bond Investment Plan
One of our District goals this year was to update our District Technology Plan and create the Investment Plan required under the Smart Schools Bond Act.  The District Technology Committee accomplished both tasks and are now ready for BOE review and approval. Attached to the BOE agenda are both plans which will now be submitted to NERIC and then to the NYSED.  Mike Allen, Sarah Boyce, and Duane Richards will present the plans at the BOE meeting.
Here are the vison, mission, and goals as presented in the District Technology Plan. The Investment Plan presents the proposed initial purchases which includes expanding our bandwidth, Wi-Fi, and mobile computer carts.
District Instructional Technology Vision Statement
Massena Central School District’s vision is to educate children, preparing them to learn from the past, imagine the future, and meet the challenges of the present. Instructional technology must be an integral and integrated component of lifelong learning and civic responsibility. Realization of this vision will require input from all stakeholders including students, parents, community members, teachers, administration, and the Board of Education.
Technology will guide instructional practice including how we work, teach and learn to ensure our students are prepared to succeed in the 21st century. By supporting standards based instructional goals, integrated technology will enable students to enhance their problem solving and higher order thinking skills by providing authentic, multi-disciplinary, and project based learning opportunities. Student achievement will be assessed through tasks that measure student progress towards meeting or exceeding local, state, and national goals.
  • Enhance student success through technology
  • Provide ongoing professional development
  • Expand web based information for parents, students, and community members
  • Extend security and increase safety measures
  • Upgrade technology infrastructure and enhance hardware and software
  • Continue equitable access for all stakeholders 
Professional Development Plan 2016-17
One of our District goals this year was to update the Professional Development Plan using NYSED guidelines.  This goal was accomplished through the work of Director of Curriculum Evelyn Fiske and our newly created Professional Development Committee.  Attached to the BOE agenda is the Professional Development Plan for your review.
As noted in the plan's mission,
"The ultimate goal of Massena Central’s professional development program is to improve student learning and achievement.  The most significant contributing factors to this goal are the skills and quality of the staff, both instructional and non-instructional.  As such, our program aims to create an environment for adult learning that is collaborative, reflective, and incorporates sound educational theories and practices from the most recent educational research. 
Massena Central’s professional development mission directly supports the district’s objectives in that our program is committed to providing staff with the tools they need to attain high levels of student learning and achievement. This means offering opportunities for training in the best research-based practices, effective use of technology and data, and how to foster a positive, safe learning environment for students."
Members of the Professional Development Committee will attend the BOE meeting on 7/7 to present the plan. The Committee is co-chaired by Evelyn Fiske and Burt Peck.
District Strategic Plan Approval
At the last BOE meeting on 6/16, members of the Strategic Planning Committee presented the District Strategic Plan for the BOE's consideration.  It has now been placed on the 7/7 agenda for approval.  This plan will help to guide the creation of our goals for next year and the foreseeable future. It will be a fluid process where we will continue to assess, revise, and implement goals to improve student achievement.  Preparations are underway to roll out the Strategic Plan to staff in September.  It was briefly discussed at the end of year assembly on 6/23.  Our consultant, Sean Brady of Prism Decisions Systems will also work with our individual building teams this year on 11/9, 11/10, 11/15, 11/16 & 11/17.  More to come...
Bids for Snow Plow Contract 2016-2020
The District snow plow contract with Danko Construction expired on June 30, 2016. This was a one year contract with a one year extension. In reviewing the agreement, Nick and I decided to request proposals to seek a longer term agreement in an effort to reduce costs and forgo continual contract renewal.  Three contractors bid on the service with Danko Construction retaining the job at $84,500 per year for the term of the deal. The bid sheet and contract are attached to the agenda for your review and I am requesting that the BOE accept the contract on Thursday. 
Modified Lacrosse Proposal
I recently received a request from Ed Letham to start a Girls Modified Lacrosse program at Massena.  Subsequently, I gave him some direction on the various aspects that would be required in a plan so the District could determine viability and potential support. I am awaiting a final report which I will attach to the BOE agenda.

Extracurricular Report

The personnel on the agenda contains the recommendations for the 2016-17 extracurricular programs. As discussed previously, advisors to the programs are now required to submit reports at the beginning and end of the year.  This information is then collated by administration and used to evaluate the effectiveness of the programs.  I have attached this administrative report to the BOE agenda for your review.  The volunteer programs are also on the list so the BOE can view other activities which are currently underway in the district.

District Upcoming Events

7/7—BOE Meeting—6:00 pm—HS Room 314
Last Updated: 7/26/16
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