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The Neshaminy Board of School Directors met in public session on May 7, 2002 in the Board Room of the District Offices, Maple Point Middle School.  The following persons were in attendance:



 Mr. Steven Schoenstadt, President

Dr. Gary Bowman
Mr. P. Howard Wilson

Mrs. June Bostwick, Vice President

Dr. Raymond Boccuti

Mrs. Yvonne Butville
Mr. Harry Dengler, Jr.

Mr. Harry Jones
Mr. Richard Marotto

Ms. Carol Drioli

Mr. Joseph Paradise

Mr. Richard Eccles
Mrs. Kimberly Jowett

Mr. Bruce Wyatt

George Mecleary, Jr., Esq.*


Dr. William Spitz

OTHERS:  Approximately 11 persons from the


public, staff and press

SECRETARY:  Mrs. Anita Walls


 *     Left meeting at 10:15 p.m.   



Prior to the Public Board Meeting (Work Session), the annual Neshaminy Employee Recognition Program was held.

Recognition Awards - The annual Neshaminy Employee Recognition Program, which was held prior to the Public Board Meeting (Work Session), included the Chanticleers, under the direction of Mr. Nelson, performing several musical selections.  The following long term service awards were presented to certified and support staff members for 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 years of service.

15 Years of Service - Employees received a ceramic box inscribed with the Neshaminy School District seal.  Fifty-nine employees have completed 15 years of service.
20 Years of Service
- Employees received a gold lapel pin.  Twenty employees have completed 20 years of service.
25 Years of Service
- Employees received a silver bowl.  Twenty employees have completed 25 years of service.
30 Years of Service
- Employees received a brass hand bell.  Twenty-eight employees have completed 30 years of service.
35 Years of Service
- Employees received a pewter bowl.  Eight employees have completed 35 years of service.

Ninety-one of the one-hundred thirty-five long-term service award recipients attended the Neshaminy Employee Recognition Program.

Distinguished Budget Presentation Award and Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting was presented to Joseph V. Paradise, Anne Donovan and Linda Glennie.

Assistant Principal of the Year Award was presented to Karen Wychock.

Mr. Douglas Bauer was a Regional Semi-Finalist for 2003 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.

Mr. Charlie Schmidt received the NASPE 2002 Distinguished Leadership in Physical Education Award.

Mr. Roy Nelson received the PMEA Award.  

Mr. David Wert received the Bucks County Conservation Teacher of the Year Award, which was presented by Karen Mahon.

Mr. Frank Collins was a Semi-Finalist for 2002 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Award.

The 2002 Violence Free Youth Challenge Award was presented to Teena Rutberg, Jane Gibbons, Bonnie Anderson, Kim Foster and Christine Peterson.

The Milken National Educator Award was presented to Mr. Mike Hoy.

Thirty-one 200l-2002 Retirees were introduced and recognized by Dr. Gary Bowman.

l.   Call to Order

      Mr. Schoenstadt called the meeting to order at 8:15 p.m.

2.       Pledge of Allegiance

Mr. Schoenstadt requested those in attendance join in the salute to the flag.

3.       Announcements

Mr. Schoenstadt announced that George Mecleary, Jr., Esquire, received from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, Inc. a Certificate for School Governance Inservice Education in recognition of his commitment to public education and self-development through participation in PSBA-sponsored school management programs.  Mr. Mecleary earned twenty-one points.

Mr. Schoenstadt announced that correspondence was received from the Pennsylvania Department of Education regarding the Pennsylvania Virtual Academy and the Einstein Academy Charter School.  The Board voted not to pay the fees that were requested and this document from the State is notifying the district that the state subsidy will be reduced by the appropriate amount.  Mr. Schoenstadt passed the documents on to Dr. Bowman, and Mr. Schoenstadt felt that the appropriate response would be to file a class action suit against the State of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Bowman advised that for the months of December through February the amount would be $26,000 for Einstein Academy Charter School and $6,700 for the Pennsylvania Virtual Academy.  Dr. Bowman advised that there is legislation pending wherein they are going to try to cap the amount of money that is received.  Currently, they are receiving the full tuition amount of approximately $8,000 per student.

4.       Public Comment

There was no public comment.

5.       Items for Discussion

a)       NESACC/Neshaminy Kids Club Lease Renewal

       Dr. Bowman advised that this a normal request made by NESACC.  The program accepts students
     early in the morning and after school for working parents.  Every year they ask for a three (3) year 
extension to the lease and every year the district only provides a one (l) year extension.  Dr.Bowman 
     recommended a one (l) year extension.  Mrs. Butville noted in their correspondence that it would help 

     with the grant-writing if they were given a three (3) year lease.  Mr. Paradise received correspondence        addressing that issue and they have not been successful in obtaining grants. 

        Mr. Eccles inquired whether we receive any revenue and Mr. Paradise advised that the district has
        received what they have agreed to pay.  Mrs. Bostwick inquired whether there was any
        surrounding district providing a three (3) year extension.  Mr. Paradise advised by entering
into a one (l)
        year lease extension it was not locking the district into an extended lease, if, in fact 
the district decided
         that they were no longer happy with the program or if something else would

        Dr. Bowman recalled that the Neshaminy Kids Club was never unhappy with receiving just a one (l) year

b)       Request by the Hulmeville Historical Society, Inc.

        Dr. Bowman announced that the Hulmeville Historical Society has researched many old files and they
        found minute books from Hulmeville High School and the Grammar School that date back to the early
        l900’s.  They have an active historical society and they are requesting that they be
permitted to have
        those records for historical keeping.  Dr. Bowman believed that the records were
probably better kept
        with the historical society rather then the district.

        Mr. Eccles inquired as to whether the state passed a mandate that records needed to be kept for one 
   hundred years.  Mr. Paradise advised that this referred to student records.

      Mrs. Drioli inquired whether the district could copy the records.  Mrs. Bostwick questioned how long the
      historical society has been in existence and what is its viability, since the district should
not be handing
      over records and have the historical society suddenly dissolve and then we lose track of the records. 

      Mr. Paradise advised that many years ago there were six (6) separate school districts within Neshaminy. 
Hulmeville Historical Society is asking for the Hulmeville School District documents.
Mrs. Bostwick would
      like someone to contact the Bucks County Historical Society and see if
they would be better able to
      house the material and certainly more liable to keep it.

      Mr. Eccles suggested that if the Hulmeville Historical Society was no longer in existence that the 
records would be returned back to Neshaminy School District, and also that the records could never 
be sold.  Mrs. Butville advised that it should be required that they be kept in a fire proof safe so that they
      will be protected.  Mr. Paradise informed the board that the records were presently
kept in a fire proof safe
      at the district. 

      Dr. Bowman advised that the records could be put on loan to the Hulmeville Historical Society with 
the condition that they will be well protected.  Dr. Bowman advised that Mr. Paradise would request
more information from Hulmeville Historical Society and receive some clarification to the request.

c)       Lower Southampton Township use of Tawanka

      Dr. Bowman advised that Lower Southampton Township has made a request to use the gym and one 
wing of the Tawanka School.  Dr. Bowman advised that the alternative school would use one wing. 

      The IU will use the kindergarten wing.  The IU will lease three (3) classrooms at $l5,000 per classroom. 
The remaining wing contains eight (8) classrooms.  Dr. Bowman advised that the Township of Lower
      Southampton is requesting the use of five or six (5-6) classrooms as well as the gym to be used during
      the daytime, after school and evening.  The district has advised that it 
would like to be cost neutral and
      Dr. Bowman inquired whether the Board is looking to generate
any revenue.  Cost neutral means
      electricity and custodial services that will be needed at night since that would not normally be needed at
      night or on weekends.  Dr. Bowman advised that the 
letter stated that start-up funding would be a great
      challenge for them. 

     Dr. Bowman advised that whatever classrooms are not allocated to them, the district is confident that 
they can lease to some other group.  Mr. Schoenstadt stated that some of the activities that the Township
     will be planning will be charging a fee, so in negotiating with the Township that must be considered that
     they will have some revenue and it will be increased as time goes on.

Mrs. Drioli advised that they would also have some expenses with regards to staff.  Any of these programs that they are going to have will require staff.  These programs will be a service to the community.  The use of Tawanka is a natural flow, since the community feels that it is their facility to begin with.  Mrs. Drioli suggested that when they do make a profit the books need to be audited, and if and when they do make a profit, we need to be part of that profit.  If certain consideration is given for fees, then when they do begin to draw a profit we should be part of that process. 

Mr. Schoenstadt stated that is a valid point; however, the weekends will require overtime by the janitorial staff and electricity.  Dr. Bowman advised that presently CYO uses the facility on Saturday.

Mrs. Drioli advised that they are requesting consideration of a certain amount of space with soft consideration towards the fee the district will charge them. 

Mr. Eccles questioned how many alternative students would be scheduled for the school.  Mr. Wilson advised that this year seventy-two (72) students, and six (6) additional rooms have been taken for expansion. 

Mr. Schoenstadt stated that a commitment was made to the community that in the first year we would not do anything except what we planned to do.  Two or three years down the road we will have the option, since we will have the space in the one wing that we allocated for the education facility.

Dr. Bowman questioned whether the Board wanted the district to incur any costs for the recreation program.  Mr. Schoenstadt stated that the Board was not looking to gain any revenue other then to offset the costs.

Mr. Paradise stated that being objective, if the building is used by outside programs, the building needs to be clean and it requires staff.  Presently, two part-time custodians are in the budget just for this purpose, which in turn are increasing costs.  Also, increased utilities will be incurred. 

Mr. Schoenstadt advised that a price could be put on that and it would need to be negotiated with the Township or recreation board. 

Dr. Spitz inquired whether the Board has already decided that this is the group that we are interested in giving the space to.  Dr. Spitz felt that other groups were also interested.  Mrs. Drioli felt the Board did give consensus.  Dr. Spitz does not recall the discussion, but Dr. Spitz recalls the Peace Center possibly acquiring space.

Mr. Schoenstadt advised that the NESACC program is not interested in expanding their current program.  NESACC was thinking about a full day kindergarten program and decided not to pursue it.

Mr. Dengler stated it was discussed, but never decided, and he would like to see the district obtain as much money as they could for the space. 

Mrs. Butville cannot see closing a school and moving the students to another school and then giving the space or paying to let someone else run a recreational program and underwriting a recreation program for that community.  Mrs. Butville has no problem with them using the facility as long as all the expenses are paid.   

Dr. Spitz questioned if any of the other groups were interested, i.e. Peace Center.  Mrs. Bostwick wondered what programs do they provide to the community, since we need to try to fill in the awful gap that we left the community with.  Does the Peace Center offer this type of open program to the community?  Dr. Spitz noted that we never responded to any of the groups regarding their requests. 

Ms. Drioli advised that Nate Cooper is working with Kids First, Communities That Care.

Mr. Wilson stated the following organizations have requested space:

·        Peace Center – extensive use of building, no funds, exchange of services for  
  alternative school program.

·      Sunshine Foundation – take care of terminally ill children.  Provide trips for the children and they are losing their location in Trevose.  Very interested in one or two classrooms.  Cannot afford asking price of $11,000 per classroom but would be willing to work with the district, since they wish to stay in the area

·         Bucks County Day School – looking for the entire building.

Dr. Spitz suggested that a letter be forwarded to each group and state what the requirements will be. 

        Mrs. Butville inquired whether the $11,000 per classroom would draw a profit.  Mr. Paradise advised that it would be profitable.  Dr. Spitz inquired if $11,000 is profitable, how much would need to be charged to break even.  Mr. Paradise stated that it depends on the usage; daytime versus nighttime will be different.

        Dr. Bowman suggested that this is now a starting point:

l.         get a handle on the dollar amount

2.       day use versus night use

3.       obtain letters from groups stating specific interests

         Dr. Bowman felt that when the Lower Southampton Recreation program toured the facility there 
was intent on their part to obtain funding to take care of any costs that the district would incur 
above and beyond.  The Sunshine Club is willing to negotiate a price, however, they do not need 
any classrooms.  Different groups can be accommodated. 

        Mrs. Butville stated that the letter should include that the district cannot incur any costs, that they
        must at least cover their costs. Mr. Schoenstadt advised that each group would need to know what  
        those costs would be.

        Mr. Paradise was directed to respond to all groups.  

6.       Items for Approval

  1. Overnight Trips

Trip information was distributed for the following trips and was self-explanatory.

FBLA National Conference & Competition – Neshaminy High School – Nashville,

Tennessee – June 27 – July 3, 2002

Future Problem Solving Program – Neshaminy High School - University of Connecticut

June 6-7, 2002

There was Board consensus for the trips.

  1. Approval of Dr. Gary L. Bowman Scholarship Fund and Bank Accoun

There was Board consensus for the motion to be prepared for the next public meeting.

        c.    Approval of Carolyn Baldwin Scholarship Bank Account

There was Board consensus for the motion to be prepared for the next public meeting.

d.       Bucks County Technical High School Budget

A copy of the proposed Bucks County Technical High School proposed Budget was distributed to all Board members.

Mr. Dengler noted that on page 2, Neshaminy School District’s contribution would be decreased by $1,175,000.  Every district has decreased except for Bristol Township.  Mr. Dengler advised that the official vote would be taken on Thursday, May 9, 2002; whereat four boards are needed to pass the budget and twenty-eight (28) votes.  At least five people from four different districts are required to pass the budget. 

Dr. Bowman polled the board and seven members will definitely be in attendance at the meeting.  Mr. Schoenstadt noted that he has a concern and even though Mr. Snyder made a presentation to the district, it was not addressed to his satisfaction.  Mr. Schoenstadt does not feel the budget is improper; however, the concern arises with the allocated spots for Neshaminy.  When in freshman year the student does not apply to the Tech School, they have difficulty getting accepted and Neshaminy loses the spots, and that does not represent what the full year round technical school was approved to be.

Mr. Eccles advised that our school configuration is l0-l2 and it is not unheard of for a 9th grader to say he/she does not want to leave his last year at middle school to attend the tech school.  Mr. Schoenstadt stated that in the long term planning the Board needs to give serious consideration to reexamine the grade level structure that the district has at the high school and middle school level.

            Dr. Spitz questioned whether the district’s contribution depends on how many students attend in             the prior year.  Mr. Schoenstadt advised that the district had 9l spots this year and only filled 73.      
The previous year we had l02 spots and only filled 65 spots. 

            Ms. Drioli stated that her biggest concern was still the special education students and she felt             that the presentation by Mr. Snyder was not answering the questions regarding special education. 

            Mr. Eccles commented that the students graduating from the Bucks County Technical High 
School are in demand and it is highly competitive.  Corporations are constantly recruiting students. 
Mr. Eccles reminded Board members not to underestimate what is happening at that facility as far as

      e.  Appointment of Treasurer

Dr. Bowman advised that annually a Treasurer must be appointed, and Mr. Paradise has been appointed in the past.   

There was board consensus to reappointment Mr. Paradise as Treasurer.   The appointment of a Treasurer will be an agenda item at the May 22 Public Meeting. 


f.   Revised Board Policy #512 – High School Diploma

Dr. Bowman advised that it is a minor change on page one, line 29, state or local assessments.  The change is that instead of the word “and” the word “or” is being used. 

There was board consensus to prepare a motion for the next public meeting.

      g.  Approval of Bids and Budget Transfers

Mr. Paradise reviewed the following bids:

Bid No.03-12 – Science Supplies

Bid Amount:  $11,473.66

The bid is for various supplies for the instruction of science curricula district-wide.  Mr. Paradise advised that the bid is actually less then last year’s bid.  

Bid No. 03-13 – Classroom & Art Aids

Bid Amount:  $34,135.68

The bid is for classroom and art supplies for the 2002-03 school year which include the following:  paints, drawing paper, brushes, markers, yarn, cloth and other arts and crafts materials for the classroom use. 

Bid No. 03-16 – Trash Removal & Recycling

           Bid Amount:  $l62,720.00

           The bid is for trash removal and recycling for the District for the school years: 2002/03,   2003/04,
           2004/05.  This is a three (3) year bid.  The price per year is $54,240.00.

           Bid No. 03-17 – Chiller Replacement at Neshaminy Middle School

           Bid Amount:  $38,000.00

           The bid is for the replacement of the chiller at Neshaminy Middle School.  Mr. Paradise advised            that this is a good news budget item.  One of the capital projects is the replacement of  air
           conditioning for the office in the guidance area and the main office at Neshaminy Middle.  It 

was estimated the cost to be $l00,000, but good timing on the bid brought it to $38,000.  Mr.

           Paradise had a special request, that since this was an item that was cut out of the budget last year,
           and since last year the unit is not functioning, the offices have no air conditioning.  Mr. Paradise
           advised that they would like to install it by the end of June and there is a six (6) week lead-time on the

Mr. Schoenstadt presented the following motion :

To accept Bid No. 03-17 – Chiller Replacement at Neshaminy Middle School.  Ms. Drioli moved the motion to accept Bid No. 03-l7 and Mr. Schoenstadt seconded the motion.  The Board approved the motion with nine ayes.

Dr. Spitz inquired where the funds would be coming from for the chiller replacement.  Mr. Paradise advised that the funds would be coming from the capital reserve fund swing loan.  The payment is not critical; however, the lead-time on the order is what is critical at this time.  Mr. Paradise advised that this would appear as another budget cut. 

Mrs. Butville inquired regarding the supplies.  What is the per pupil allotment?  Is it different in the various schools?  Dr. Bowman advised that the number of pupils is accounted for at each school and a certain amount is given for each pupil.  Dr. Bowman advised that more money is allotted at the high school level then at the grade school level.  Dr. Bowman advised that the elementary allotment is $l26.79 per pupil.  At the middle school level the amount is $l74.00 and $238.00 at the high school level.  All teaching materials, textbooks, library books, anything associated with the student comes out of this amount. 

Ms. Drioli stated that per student ratio for the schools that are renovated new is the same as it is for the schools that are older and trying to keep themselves together.  Yet, the schools that are renovated new are now buying all the good things; however, schools like Poquessing and Neshaminy Middle are still trying to get essential items.  Poquessing Home and School had to buy their own screens for the auditorium because it could not afford to go on the budget because other things were necessary.  Yet at Maple Point and Sandburg, the pupil allocation can be used elsewhere.  Can a formula be developed for pupil allocation based on the age of the building that the pupil attends?  If a student is in a newer building, that accounts for a certain amount of the allocation?  As the school ages, that particular building receives a larger allocation.  As the school is renovated, that particular school gets less allocation.  The principals are advising that they are buying necessary things for their building out of that pupil allocation.

Mr. Paradise advised that the pupil allocation does include furniture and cafeteria tables, etc., but at the same time the Superintendent has funds to allocate. 

Dr. Spitz agreed with Ms. Drioli and felt that it may not be fair that each school gets the exact same amount per pupil.

 Dr. Bowman advised that the Board did not have the facts and was relying on what was heard at the different PTO meetings.  Yes, the same allocation is given, but extra money is provided to certain schools, such as Poquessing and Neshaminy Middle.  Could more be used, yes.  The best is trying to be accomplished.  The basic allocation is an allocation the principals receive to buy the instructional materials they use in the classroom, the intramural and athletic equipment, and they then receive an additional sum for capital outlay for tables, chairs, etc.  The principals are allowed to use their discretion on how to use their money.  They are the educational leader, and if a principal wishes to buy desks, it is their decision.  Dr. Bowman advised that the last few budgets the allocation has not increased very much.  Obviously, they could use more.  Dr. Bowman advised that he has a Superintendent’s account, where he has provided extra funds to certain schools. 

           Mr. Paradise advised that the whole concept behind the per pupil allocation is that the building 
principal makes the decision as to what the priority items may be.

           Dr. Spitz inquired why items such as desks, chairs and auditorium curtains are not purchased with
other district funds as opposed to coming out of the per pupil allocation.  Mr. Paradise advised 
that items such as doors are facility/maintenance items.  No maintenance items come out of
           the per pupil allocation.  The only things that do come out of the per pupil allocation are consumable
           supplies, teaching materials and furniture items

The bids will be presented for approval at the May 22nd Public Meeting.

h.       2002-2003 Budget

       Dr. Bowman advised that Mr. Paradise would summarize and review the Budget Update that has been prepared, and significant changes have been made.  Dr. Bowman pointed out that the amended budget document indicates the changes itemized in this document reduces this projected gap from 59.6 mills down to 34.2 mills. 

Mr. Paradise presented the following Fiscal year 2003 expenditure budget reductions

·         The cost of the Lower Southampton Boiler Replacement can be eliminated from the budget  -   $200,000

·         The savings from staff retirements will reflect a net savings of  $564,000 (after insurance and all incentives are paid)

·         Changes in Health Insurance Premiums will result in a $325,000 reduction, which reflect a decrease in Personal Choice coverage and an increase in drug coverage

Mr. Eccles inquired whether the savings in staff retirements of $564,000 includes replacing every staff member that has retired.  Mr. Paradise affirmed that.

·         Legislative Action has reduced Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System Payments to l.l5% resulting in a $3,257,000 gross expenditure reduction of which the Commonwealth subsidizes half; therefore, the net reduction of $l,628,675.

·         Due to GASB accounting changes we need to reclassify certain items.  You will note the 4000 section (facility improvements) increasing and the 2600 section (facility maintenance) reducing.

·         The working draft budget reflected a lower technical school payment - $112,940

·         Five (5) staff reductions, portions of people - $103,796.

·         Delay in the payment for textbook purchases -  $285,000.

·         Swing loan

·         Schweitzer F wing roof replacement - $530,000

·         Hoover D wing roof replacement - $250,000

·         Buck HVAC system replacement - $350,000

·         Maple Point 3 rooftop unit replacements - $350,000

·         Interest expense for swing loan - $45,000

·         Rolling into a bond issue - $l,435,000

Mr. Paradise advised that this brings us a 25.4 mill reduction over last month and brings us to 34.2 mills.  The budget increase is down from l0.4% to 5.07% and decreases the expenditure budget by approximately $6,282,000.

Mr. Paradise detailed on the final pages other options and areas that will continue to be reviewed.

Mrs. Drioli questioned that even though we closed a school and experienced a decrease in enrollment, we are only eliminating l.7 teachers.  Dr. Bowman advised that staff was already reduced from the first wave of the budget by closing the school.  Mr. Paradise advised that it is the difference between the experienced versus the new.  Mrs. Butville inquired whether all positions needed to be replaced.  Dr. Bowman advised that the district has contractual class sizes that we need to work with.  Staffing will take place on May 8th to look at the needs.  Between May and June we can inform the Board of the number of certified staff replacements.  The Tawanka staff placement is coming together and teacher preference forms have been completed.  

Mrs. Butville inquired if at the elementary level we will use sister schooling so that every class is brought up to the contractual limit requirements and send additional students to a sister school, rather than having two (2) smaller classes in the same school.   Ms. Butville suggested being more flexible in using sister schooling at the elementary level.   Dr. Bowman advised that sister schooling has been used in the past, which is primarily used in the summer.  Once you pass the budget, any new students that come into the district, the district looks at any siblings in the district, walkers, special education, etc.  Every summer letters go out to parents when they register the students, and we give them the alert that they could be sister schooled. 

Mrs. Butville commented that families in the lower end that may work in the upper end have inquired whether their children could attend different schools in the upper end.  Dr. Bowman advised that it might help in some areas, but cripple the district in other aspects. 

Dr. Spitz had a number of questions regarding the staffing charts.  The enrollment on the elementary level went down by 109 students.  The coming year it is projected to go down by 71 students.  That is a total of 180 students over two years, plus one less building.   However, there is a decline of only one (l) position and zero (0) special education positions. 

Mr. Paradise advised that you would always find that the budget is going to be higher in terms of staffing and dollars.  That is so for legal, state required reasons.  The board cannot spend one dollar more then the budget.  You literally subject yourselves to personal surcharge if you overspend the budget.  It is our responsibility to make sure that there is enough money and padding to be sure that enough money is allocated for example, the worst possible winter, staffing, etc. 

Dr. Spitz stated that the current enrollment at Everitt for last year was 473 students, and next year it decreases to 418.  However, on the staffing chart there is an addition of l.5 positions.  Mr. Marotto advised that you are comparing a budgeting number to an actual number that will be discussed with principals in the days to come.   Mr. Marotto advised that this is a continuing process based on projections.

Mr. Paradise advised that what is on the chart is actual columns from 2 years ago, and actual columns for this year, and a budgeted column for next year.  You are not looking budget to budget.  In many cases the budgeted number for this year was higher then what we actually used.  We need to account for every possible thing that could happen. 

Dr. Bowman clarified that the district only hires according to the contractual class size that the district has agreed to.  Sister schooling is looked at over the summer.  Attendance boundaries are discussed with the community for elementary schools.  Sister schooling basically violates the boundaries, except we look at sister schooling in the summer for people moving into the district.  Dr. Bowman stated that the only staffing that will take place is justified by contract class size. 

Mr. Eccles stated that maybe we need to be looking in other places.  If the district is only hiring certified staff contractual obligations in the elementary school, maybe we need to turn our attention to other areas and look at middle school and high school.

Dr. Spitz inquired why are we adding four (4) more special education teachers at the middle school?  Mr. Wilson stated class size contractual agreement.  All increases in special education that are seen are purely contractual.  Mr. Wilson advised that the bubble is moving from elementary to middle school.  The district is identifying l3-l4% of the students as special education.

Ms. Drioli stated that special education is addressed in Southeastern Pennsylvania in a better way then in other parts of the state.  As a consequence, people move from different states and different areas just to have their special education children educated in Southeastern Pennsylvania schools. 

Mr. Wilson informed that the answer to the special education problem lies with the federal government and the legislature.  The problem with the funding is that Washington is not coming anywhere near what was promised, however, they mandate everything.  Harrisburg has a funding formula that is ridiculous.  They pay special education based on regular education enrollment.  It has nothing to do with the amount of students you have in special education nor the services that you provide.   The district is also getting close to maximizing IDEA. 

 Dr. Spitz inquired regarding regular aides and the difference at individual schools.  Dr. Bowman advised that regular aides are hall aides, security aides, cafeteria aides and playground aides.  Mr. Jones advised that it was a phase in period.   Dr. Bowman advised that the internal suspension classroom provided that instead of sending the children home, they are sent to a room in the school for internal suspension that is staffed by an aide.    It was agreed that the aides would be phased in as opposed to doing it all at one time. 

Mr. Wyatt advised that in-school suspension is a level of discipline below an out–of-school suspension.  Students may be there a half-day or several periods.  Not as severe a consequence to the student.

Ms. Drioli agreed that the in-school suspension was much more beneficial then the out-of-school suspension.   

Mrs. Butville inquired that when an aide was added to supervise the in-school suspension and the teacher does not have to use their coverage time, what does the teacher use the coverage period for?  Dr. Bowman advised that they are involved in a variety of coverage, for example:

·         Substitutes

·         Curriculum writing

·         Professional skills are accessed

·         Cafeteria

·         Hall duty

·         A.M. & P.M. Bus duty

·         Study hall

Dr. Spitz asked why are four more part-time aides being added at the middle school?  Next year we are budgeting 30 part-time aides.  Why this huge increase in part-time aides over two (2) years?  Dr. Bowman advised that services were equalized.  For example, at Poquessing for security reasons another aide was added over a period of time.  Phasing in of the in-school suspension has required additional aides, which is a contractual issue falling under the support contract, not the teacher contract. 

Dr. Bowman advised that long term it was felt that it was better to keep the students in school and serve an in-school suspension, as opposed to sending them home.

Dr. Bowman stated that the budget is down to 34.2 mills and what we are asking the Board to do at the end of the month is to pass a motion that is required by law that says that we will make this document now available to the public for review.  The Board is not adopting the budget, you are simply saying that this budget will now be made available to the public, and we will continue to work on the budget.   All of the hiring of additional staff is done with the Board’s approval in August. 

Mrs. Butville advised that this budget is still too high, and personally she could not even vote to make it public with this amount of increase.  More needs to be cut and that is one reason we need to look at the sister schooling because programs that affect the students should not be cut.  Dr. Bowman advised that with sister schooling you have the problem of possibly violating what you told the community the attendance boundaries would be.  During the summer the sister schooling applies to new students entering the district. 

Mrs. Butville advised that she would rather use sister schooling then have the need to hire another staff person, which in turn is a way to cut the budget and fill each classroom and space to the maximum.

Mrs. Bostwick commented that she would like to see the budget stay at the level we are at this year.

This kind of increase cannot be accepted after what was done last year, and after closing a school in the name of saving money and then the increase is at this level. 

Mr. Schoenstadt advised that he does not want to see any unnecessary staff.  The Administration must be charged with the responsibility to use common sense and good judgment.  Staffing the buildings is part of this process.  The Board is not equipped to micromanage that aspect.  The Board can in certain areas at the high school do a much more detailed examination of the criteria used to develop curriculum which drives staffing.   

Mr. Schoenstadt advised that he cannot disagree with the comments made by Mrs. Bostwick, but with what has been presented, he sees nothing that would cause the Board not to approve a preliminary budget to comply with the state law that then can be cut between the end of May and the end of June when we need to approve a final budget.  Traditionally, in this district we have made some significant changes between the preliminary budget approval and the final budget.  By law we need to approve a      preliminary budget.

Mrs. Butville advised that she would like to see more cuts in the preliminary budget and the reasoning is that the preliminary budget goes out to the public and the public looks at that like that is what it is going to be. 

Dr. Spitz made a final comment regarding a topic brought up at the Ad Hoc committee, which is staffing at the high school, particularly for electives.  Dr. Spitz would like to see the Administration as they are working through the loading of the classes to see what the effect would be on staff if they were to raise the class size numbers.  Dr. Spitz was not satisfied with the targets for each class, and what would happen if the target levels were raised across the board for electives by two (2).  Instead of having 26 students make the class size 28.  See what effect that will have.  There maybe a savings of one staff person per department.  Educationally, that may not be a good thing to do in certain types of classes; however, for certain electives it could be feasible to raise the size and see what impact the numbers would have.

The Board approved the preliminary budget with a vote of seven ayes.  Mrs. Bostwick and Mrs. Butville were not in favor of the preliminary budget.

      Mr. Mecleary left the meeting at l0:l5 p.m.

7.   Items for Information

      Ms. Drioli announced that she attended the Home and School meeting at Poquessing Middle School 
and advised that they have raised $3,000 for Move-Up Day from corporations, businesses, etc.  They 
are planning a super Move-Up Day.  Ms. Drioli hoped that the newspaper would have the opportunity 
to write about the good things happening at the school.  Ms. Drioli would like to see the newspaper
write about some of the awards that have been received at that school. 

8.   Committee Reports

      a.  Educational Development Committee

Mrs. Butville reported the committee would meet on May 14th at 5:00 –7:00 p.m.  Dr. Boccuti will be forwarding an agenda and minutes from the last meeting at the end of this week.  Dr. Boccuti will also be forwarding an agenda for the Ad Hoc Committee, which will follow at 7:00 p.m. 

      b.  Educational Foundation

           Mr. Dengler advised that 75 tiles for the endowment wall have been sold.  There are 118 tiles yet to 
be sold.  Letters have gone out to all the 2001-02 graduates.  No responses have been received 
from these 800 students.  Mr. Dengler further advised that at the meeting of the Educational 
Foundation Mr. Clem Piscitelli will be asked to join the board.  The Foundation is actively seeking
           additional board members from the community.  The Board is always invited to attend the meetings on
           the second Monday of the month at 8:00 a.m.

      c.  Building Utilization/Finance Committee

Mr. Schoenstadt advised that the meeting is schedule for May 28th at 7:00 p.m.  Mr. Eccles advised that focus will be on what direction to take so that the architect knows specifically what design and what avenue will be taken.  The goal for that meeting is to arrive at a decision to see what direction will be taken.  All board members are strongly encouraged to attend.

      d.  Intermediate Unit Board

There was no report.

      e.  Board Policies Committee

Mrs. Butville pointed out that in the board members packets you will find the Fixed Assets policy, which basically needs to be approved at the end of the month.   A motion will be needed to approve the Fixed Assets Policy.  Two other policies, Advertising and Home Education Program and the Supplement to Board Policy #533 which lists all of the activities which a home schooled student would be able to participate in, have been worked on this year.  These policies are at the point for presentation to the Board for approval at the end of the month.  The Supplement is not part of the Board Policy and it is not a complete listing, it is an on-going list.  The Advertising Policy takes into consideration Channel 1, all media, newspaper, program books at football games and gym night.  This will also cover corporate sponsorship.  The Policy Board is recommending approval of these policies.  

      f.  Technical School Board

There was no report.

      g.  Ad Hoc Committee/High School Course Offering

Dr. Spitz advised that a meeting is scheduled for May 14th at 7:00 p.m. following the Educational Development meeting.

9.       Future Topics

Dr. Bowman advised that the Budget remains our main priority.  In reference to future Board meetings, Mr. Wilson will prepare the agendas with Mr. Schoenstadt and Mrs. Spadaccino.

Mrs. Butville advised that she had presented previously that at the Technical School the Treasurer receives payment.  In order to eliminate the Treasurer and make the Business Administrator the Treasurer, the Articles of Agreement need to be modified.  In order to change the Articles of Agreement one of the sponsoring schools must initiate that process, and at this time, I am asking that this Board makes a motion at the end of this month to initiate making the Business Manager, Isabel Miller, the Treasurer.  Dr. Bowman advised Mr. Paradise that a motion is necessary at the end of the month that Neshaminy School Board recommend that the Bucks County Technical School amend its Articles of Agreement wherein it states that we must appoint a Treasurer from one of the sending schools.  The motion should also include that this is communicated to the other five school districts in order that they may follow. 

10.  Agenda Development for the May 22, 2002 Public Meeting

11.  Correspondence

  No correspondence was received.

12.   Other Board Business

        There was no further board business.

Mr. Schoenstadt moved the meeting be adjourned and Mrs. Bostwick seconded the motion.  The Board voted to adjourn the meeting with eight ayes.  Mr. Schoenstadt adjourned the meeting at 10:30 p.m.

  Respectfully submitted,

 Anita E. Walls
Board Secretary


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