Board Meeting Agenda/Minutes 9-16-2015

Watch video of the meeting through CNET1.org
All attachments in pdf
 
September 16, 2015 (Wednesday) - Regular Board Meeting
7:00 p.m. - Board Room
131 W. Nittany Avenue
State College, PA 16801


I.    CALL TO ORDER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

II.  COMMUNICATIONS

Press Release Preview (attachment)

III. PUBLIC COMMENT
(Each individual will be limited to comments of five (5) minutes as time permits
for items on this agenda or related to Board business.)

IV. ROUTINE APPROVALS

A motion to approve the listing of Routine Approvals as presented:
A. August 24, 2015 Board Regular Meeting Minutes (attachment IV-A)
B. August 29, 2015 Work Session Minutes (attachment IV-B)
C. August 31, 2015 Special Meeting Minutes (attachment IV-C)
D. Accept Subcommittee for Facilities and Grounds Joint Meeting Notes with CAC for Facilities September 10, 2015 (attachment IV-D)
E. District Bills for August 2015 (attachment IV-E)
F. Financial Reports for July 2015 (attachment IV-F)
G. Bid Award for 170 replacement Chromebook top cases to low bidder, Asset Genie, in the amount of $16,150 as
presented. (attachment IV-G)
H.Human Resources Recommendations (attachment IV-H)

V.   ACTION ITEMS
A. A motion to approve the NHS Contract presented and reviewed at the August 31 meeting. (attachment V-A)
B. A motion to direct Board Secretary to submit SCASD Board Members’ vote for 2016 PSBA officers.

VI.  INFORMATION/DISCUSSION

A. Research Proposals:
         “Leadership in a Democratic School” (attachment VI-A1)
         “Teaching Student Writers for Independence and Identity: A Collaborative Inquiry for Teachers and
          Students in a Writing Workshop Context” (attachment VI-A2)
B. District Goal Category: Facilities and Grounds
         Structural Analysis Report for the Fairmount Ave. and Nittany Ave. buildings (attachment VI-B1 Memo)
         (attachment - Central Office Building Assessment) (attachment - Fairmount Ave Building Assessment)
         Introduce Resolution on Memorial Field/Downtown Campus (attachment VI-B2)
         Permission to bid temporary parking construction at High School (attachment VI-B3)
C. District Goal Category: Fiscal Stewardship
         Contract for Assessment and Marketing with Affinity Connections (attachment VI-C1)
         Updated Capital Plan to consider downtown campus and HS project cost (attachment VI-C2)

VII.  FUTURE AGENDA PLANNING
September 28, 2015 - Regular Meeting
**Action Items
Bid Award for Drainage Swale Stabilization
Permission to Bid temporary parking construction at High School
Contract for Assessment and Marketing with Affinity Connections
**Information/Discussion
District Goal Category: Facilities and Grounds
   State High Project:
         Massaro’s final estimate and final documents for CRA with Massaro changes
         Floor plan refinement from 90% to Construction Documents

October 5, 2015 - Special Meeting

**Action Items
Approve Construction Documents and Alternates
Approve PlanCon G for SP 15
Approve PlanCon F for Main Bid
** Information Discussion

October 12, 2015 - Regular Meeting
**Action Items
**Information/Discussion
District Goal Category: Student Learning
         High School Bell Schedule Update/Reflection
         Board Policy Updates: Gifted Education - 114 , Curriculum -105 & Booster Clubs - 915

October 26, 2015 - Regular Meeting
**Action Items
**Information/Discussion
District Goal Category: Student Learning
         Student Achievement Update
         Strategic Planning Update

November 9, 2015 - Regular Meeting
Location: Panorama Village
**Action Items
**Information/Discussion
District Goal Category: Facilities & Grounds
         Present State High Project Bid Results

November 16, 2015 - Special Meeting (tentative)
Location: Panorama Village
**Action Items
**Information/Discussion
District Goal Category: Facilities & Grounds

November 23, 2015 - Regular Meeting
**Action Items
Award State High Construction Project Bids
**Information/Discussion

VIII.  ADJOURNMENT
==
MINUTES
 
I. CALL TO ORDER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Ms. Concepcion called the regular Board meeting of the State College Area School District Board of Directors to order at 7:01 p.m. She welcomed all those attending and those viewing from home. She announced the Board held an executive session prior to the meeting on negotiations. With the agenda before them, she asked board members if there were any changes, there were no changes.
 
A copy of all materials distributed to board members for discussion and/or action is included with the official minutes, unless otherwise indicated.
 
Board members present: Amber Concepcion, Penni Fishbaine, Scott Fozard, David Hutchinson, Jim Leous, Ann McGlaughlin, Jim Pawelczyk, Dorothea Stahl, Laurel Zydney
Board members absent :
Board Secretary: Mary Jenn Dorman
Student Representative: Gillian Warner
Solicitor:
Superintendent: Robert O'Donnell
District Personnel: Courtney Beers, Randy Brown, Katie Davy, Michael Hardy, Katie Housel, Paul McCormick, Colleen McCracken, Linda Pierce, Ed Poprik, Chris Rosenblum, Courtney Scheuchenzuber, Candace Smith
Guests: Gretchen Brandt, David James, Tyler James, Anne Whitney
 
II. COMMUNICATIONS

Dr. O’Donnell provided an update on Westerly Parkway with being on schedule to complete the South building loop road and back parking lot by October 1. Crews are busy putting the finishing touches on the road, lot and sidewalks. He noted that people could check out the progress via the project webcam on the district website and logging into the link. At the end of the month, there will be a shift in the South Building traffic flow with the entrance and exit being reversed. Mr. Poprik will share more information about the change later in the meeting. The District will communicate full details through various means and a new State High Project notification system. Members of the public can also sign up for email and text notification at the following: www.scasd.org/shpsignup. Things will pick up significantly in December with the start of building construction.
 
We are in the third week of school with 6,829 students, 31 higher than last year at this time. Back-to-school nights are occurring and are posted on the SCASD calendar. Dr. O’Donnell noted that he has been getting around to many classrooms in the district and spoke on his experience with Mr. Merritt’s class at the High School. He was very impressed with conversations in many classrooms and that kids can transfer their learning to many other places.
 
Dr. O’Donnell spoke on Board prioritization from their work session a few weeks ago, the refinement of K-6 Language Arts and 7-12 English curriculum, the High School working through change, and the bell schedule.
 
Ms. Stahl thanked Mr. Poprik, Ms. Pennepacker, and the construction management team for working out opening up the gates and letting the elderly drive up to the field to watch sport events. They have made things much more user-friendly and she wanted to recognize and thank them.
 
III. PUBLIC COMMENT

There was no public comment.

IV. ROUTINE APPROVALS

A motion to approve the listing of Routine Approvals as presented:
  • August 24, 2015 Board Regular Meeting Minutes
  • August 29, 2015 Work Session Minutes
  • August 31, 2015 Special Meeting Minutes
  • Accept Subcommittee for Facilities and Grounds Joint Meeting Notes with CAC for Facilities September 10, 2015
 
District Bills for August 2015
                                2014-15                 2015-16              Total
General Fund          $47,300.67            $6,015,045.13     $6,062,345.80
(checks 1018700 to 1019141, V103168 to 103194)
Food Service Fund      -----                   $10,445.97          $10,445.97
(checks 62021 to 63030)
Athletics Fund             -----                   $37,865.93          $37,865.93
(checks 48957 to 49017)
Activities Fund            -----                   $3,491.50             $3,491.50
(checks 91093 to 91097)
Purchasing Cards         -----                   $41,190.12           $41,190.12
(month of August 2015 Checks 201, 7283, 824)
Total All Funds      $47,300.67            $6,108,038.65     $6,155,339.32
  • Financial Reports for July 2015
  • Bid Award for 170 replacement Chromebook laptop cases to low bidder, Asset Genie, in the amount of $16,150 as presented.
  • Human Resources Recommendations (refer to attachment IV-H)
Ms. Stahl moved and Dr. Pawelczyk seconded to approve the Routine approvals as presented. There was no discussion. All board members present voted aye on a roll call vote. The motion passed unanimously.
 
V. APPROVAL of NHS CONTRACT

A motion to approve the NHS Contract presented and reviewed at the August 31 meeting. Ms. Stahl moved and Mr. Leous seconded to approve the motion. There was no discussion. All board members present voted aye on a roll call vote. The motion passed unanimously.
 
VI. VOTE for PSBA 2016 OFFICERS

Scott Fozard moved and Ms. Fishbaine seconded to direct Board Secretary to submit SCASD Board Members’ vote for candidates Mary Birks President Elect and Michael Faccinetto Vice-President as the 2016 PSBA officers. Board members discussed: a review of the materials, Mark Miller being a superior candidate and his resume, Mr. Miller brought zealous advocacy for education, and the two candidates brought forth would do a good job. With the motion made above moved and seconded, and with nine board members present, eight board members voted aye, one nay (Dr. Pawelczyk) on a roll call vote. The motion passed 8 to 1.
 
VII. RESEARCH PROPOSALS

“Leadership in a Democratic School”

Dr. Downs, Director of Alternative Education and Mr. McCormick were at the table for this discussion. Mr. McCormick is a teacher in the Delta Program and also a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. He is hoping to conduct a case study describing the nature of leadership in a democratic school, how democratic the leader needs to be in this setting to navigate challenges and tensions, and the best practices that emerge. Dr. O’Donnell noted that he appreciated Mr. McCormick bringing this forward and board members discussed: the IRB approval, which Mr. Hardy confirmed he received, appreciating the thoroughness of putting this together, very well done, this could have an interesting impact in other schools, and would like to know the results of the study. It was suggested to have an annual district research report, should come from the investigator, and have an approval link, then with results. Dr. O’Donnell shared that we do not get a high rate of returns.
 
Dr. Pawelczyk moved and Mr. Fozard seconded to move this item to action. There was no discussion. All board members present voted aye with a voice vote. The motion passed unanimously. Dr. Pawelczyk moved and Ms. Stahl seconded to accept the research proposal as presented. There was no further discussion.
 
With this moved and seconded to accept the research proposal as presented, all board members present voted aye on a roll call vote. The motion passed unanimously.
 
“Teaching Student Writers for Independence and Identity: A Collaborative Inquiry for Teachers and Students in a Writing Workshop Context”
Anne Whitney, an Associate Professor of Education at Penn State University, in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, will be working with two elementary teachers at Easterly Parkway Elementary School. This study with the teachers, their interns and other classroom partners and students will examine the development of student writing identity, writing skills and habits, and reflect practice by teachers and students. She has the support from the principal, Mr. Maclay, and Ms. Whitney noted that this was requested by Ms. McCracken and Ms. Washell to do. Dr. O’Donnell added that Ms. Whitney has been helping us over several years and we are very grateful for her work around writing. Board members commented they thought this was great and appreciated all the efforts. It was also asked that results of the research be shared with board members.
 
Mr. Leous moved and Dr. Pawelczyk seconded to move this item to action. There was no discussion. All board members present voted aye with a voice vote. The motion passed unanimously. Ms. Stahl moved and Mr. Leous seconded to accept the research proposal as presented. There was no further discussion. With this moved and seconded to accept the research proposal as presented, all board members present voted aye on a roll call vote. The motion passed unanimously.
 
VIII. DISTRICT GOAL CATEGORY: FACILITIES and GROUNDS

Structural Analysis Report for the Fairmount Ave. and Nittany Ave. Buildings

Mr. Poprik noted there were draft reports, one for Fairmount Avenue (FA) building and the other for Central Office building. The analysis was led by Weber Murphy Fox and two board members were present at the joint meeting of the CAC for Facilities and Board Subcommittee for Facilities and Grounds. There was no significant issues found with the buildings from a structural perspective, however, the bigger take away was significant issues with ADA accommodations and other issues that would make this a very expensive process, attributed to some of these issues. It creates a very interesting picture making these buildings usable for the future downtown campus. Part of Memorial Field improvement project would be to demolish Central Office, suggested in 2010 and now with this analysis supports the decision of four to five years ago. There was a lot of detail.
 
Board members discussed: the joint meeting and the minutes were approved tonight, the video is on CNET, Mr. Poprik has captured all very clearly, nothing in this report changes minds from five years ago, looked at all the different levels in the buildings, especially FA, trying to make this ADA accessible, level one alone has 17 changes with steps, ramps, etc., and it is on a sloping site and built in sections.
 
The key is the recommendation is still to remove the building, the historical 1914 does not exist anymore and was torn down in 1940 with the addition. Nothing is intact for historical value. The take away for Central Office is that we could not have chosen a worse place to start. This is an office building and cannot support the field outside. Potential next steps would be to delegate this back to the Subcommittee for Facilities and Grounds for review and amending what the next steps should be for the field, designate the process. This will displace people, but we are renovating Panorama Village. This will be discussed at the next subcommittee meeting, to keep going forward. Other things have been decided now, we know high school is underway, we know we need this for students, need to continue to refine a timeline that is respectful for Mr. Poprik’s time and board secretary will work on getting dates to meet.

Introduce Resolution on Memorial Field/Downtown Campus
Dr. O’Donnell noted there was an updated version of the resolution the Board saw before that came out of a Subcommittee for Facilities and Grounds meeting. There have been multiple concepts for Memorial Field with some that might not work so well. The district has financial capacity and he spoke about the Borough and S. Allen Street Civic District, including the parklet, post office and a few other sites. The resolution states where we are on paper. Board members discussed: the feedback was related nicely, in support but would like to “tweak” some wording, nicely done, appreciates work done and helps to get ahead of Borough on this, captures the thinking of the Board, this is not a project completed quickly, important to transition things and capture what we are doing and why, can accept this with a few changes done, and the student representative noted they would be having a general assembly soon and she will bring back feedback to the Board.
 
Ms. Zydney moved and Ms. McGlaughlin seconded to move this item to action. Not all board members were in favor of moving this item forward due to not being pressed for time, and would like more time to review. This will be brought back on the September 28 agenda for action.
 
Permission to Bid Temporary Parking Construction at High School
Mr. Poprik noted that the bulk of the new construction will be at the South main parking lot. This will need to be closed as the construction starts and build some temporary lots at the North site. These lots will be stone. He requested to remove this from the main bid package to be done in October or November instead of December. He reminded board members they would only be approving permission to bid and he reviewed where the stone lots were projected to be placed on a temporary basis. The staff would use the temporary lots and students would use the existing parking spaces.
 
Mr. Hutchinson left the meeting at 7:58 p.m.
 
Board members discussed: Student parking on the North side also, the scope of the project and creating an opportunity to clean up along W. Irvin Ave., establish some of the construction site, the number of spaces this provides, approximately 180 spaces, not being reimbursable due to being temporary, and moving this item to action. Ms. Stahl moved and Mr. Fozard seconded to move this item to action. All board members present voted aye with voice vote. (Mr. Hutchinson had left the meeting.) The motion passed unanimously. Ms. Stahl moved and Mr. Fozard seconded to approve the permission to bid the temporary parking lots. All board members present voted aye on a roll call vote. (Mr. Hutchinson had left the meeting.) The motion passed unanimously.
 
IX. DISTRICT GOAL CATEGORY: FISCAL STEWARDSHIP

Contract for Assessment and Marketing with Affinity Connections

Mr. Brown noted he was working with Mr. Olivett and need resources beyond the scope already in the district. Brought Affinity on with the brick project, they do donor tracking, and other functions. This contract is “fee for service.” This would be a positive relationship and fits in the budget. The information that is shared is district information that they hold there. Board members discussed: how this differs or is the same as before, Mr. Olivett will do things directly and will be doing much of what Affinity was going to do, and have no specific plan at this time. The cost and details for a survey, more of an audit survey, the survey would be going to all in the community businesses and various stakeholders, how respondents would be selected, the information seeking to gain, cultivate donor relationships, and Mr. Brown explained there would be a link on the website and communication strategy also. Dr. O’Donnell noted they talked in July about what the resources would be used for: Accelerated opportunities for kids, programs, and extracurricular activities for kids. Mr. Olivett added that right now they really do not have a sense at all what people want to support, and need to hear from alumni, parents, etc. Any further questions send to Board leadership and this item will be brought back as an action item on the September 28 meeting agenda.

Updated Capital Plan to Consider Downtown Campus and HS Project Cost
Mr. Brown provided an update for the financing of the District-Wide Facilities Master Plan (DWFMP) from August 10. He reviewed the state High Project financing, additional school building projects, the Downtown Campus, a capital reserve analysis, an update for capital financing plan and reviewed capacity to fund items noting that various estimates and assumptions were used for this process. The refinancing savings would be an addition of transfers into Capital Reserve. Board members discussed: A substantial roll of debt service, Mr. Poprik needing a maintenance plan for buildings, his plan needs to align with a capital finance plan, most debt service not a wrap but a straight line, holding a financial contingency of 5%, not knowing what will happen on bid day, we know we need more and see where we are at the end of the year, and need to know the number and make part of the structural part of the budget. A nice job was done on this, great information to build on, just need to know how to structure timing, with the Act 1 environment you cannot just raise taxes as it used to be done, cannot get additional funds due to Act 1, and need to make decisions and have finances so we can plan for it and do it. Dr. O’Donnell noted that Mr. Brown would be back in October for refinements after the audit report. They will continue to be reflective and cannot change in a day, but ongoing.
 
Ms. Stahl left the meeting at 8:51 p.m.
 
Board member suggested a Board Resolution for approval for capital needs. It would set the stage for future Board and administration, and show the effort many have taken over the last five to six years. Would be like a PSERS pay forward.

X. FUTURE AGENDA PLANNING

Ms. Concepcion reviewed the agenda items for upcoming Board meetings and asked if there were any questions for agenda items. Board member suggested not to add a lot of other items to the September 28th agenda. Really need to focus on the Massaro estimates. Ms. Concepcion also noted for the November 9 meeting the Board will change location for their meetings to Panorama Village building.
 
XI. ADJOURNMENT
 
Ms. McGlaughlin moved and Mr. Fozard seconded to adjourn the meeting. All board members voted aye with a voice vote. (Mr. Hutchinson and Ms. Stahl had left the meeting.) The motion passed unanimously.
 
Ms. Concepcion adjourned the meeting at 8:56 p.m. to an executive session.
 
Submitted by,
 
Mary Jenn Dorman
Board Secretary