District Leadership Team


September 2016

June 2016

April 2016

December 2015

October 2015

June 2015

March 2015

October 2014

January 2014

November 2013

September 2013

April 2013


Hagan Elementary School
February 22, 2012, 3:30 pm

Present: Patrick Bowdren, Ralph Chiumento, Paul Fanuele, Mike McCall, Michele Moloney, Mike Murphy, Jean Nemes, Lois Powell, Cathy Robinson

  • Eligibility Audit of MVP and CDPHP—Michele explained that we will be conducting an eligibility audit for the other two health care plans we offer, just as we did for DEHIC a couple of years ago.
  • APPR and MAPS—Lois stated that we are not yet clear on what the newly arrived upon agreement between the Commissioner, the Governor, and NYSUT means. We are trying to schedule a meeting that includes our attorney and our NYSUT representative to get a better understanding of the agreement. Cathy and Patrick explained the negatives of the agreement, particularly the point system for determining a teacher’s rating and the calculation of the SLOs (Student Learning Objectives). Paul explained the extra time it would require of administrators to observe and evaluate teachers.
  • Budget Reductions—Lois shared the three-year budget reductions scenario. Mike asked for feedback on the reductions. The Patrick and Cathy stated that many of the members are concerned that so many teachers are being cut while so few administrators are being cut. Paul said there are only 10.5 administrators to begin with. The teachers are also concerned that academics, such as enrichment, are being cut before a whole level of athletics. We talked about the problems associated with the tax cap and unfunded mandates. Patrick said that the worst unfunded mandate of all is special education. Lois will invite Senator Saland to meet with the District Leadership Team to hear about the effects of the tax cap and unfunded mandates on his home district.
  • Open Agenda—Mike asked for clarification on a few grade level schools questions. Patrick stated that he would like to attend state-offered APPR training with Jill.

Next Meeting

  • Subject to Senator Saland’s availability.




Todd Middle School
December 1, 2011, 2:30 pm


 Present: Patrick Bowdren, Ralph Chiumento, Paul Fanuele, Michele Moloney, Jean Nemes, Lois Powell, Cathy Robinson

  • Tax Cap—Michele handed out and explained a Powerpoint presentation on the tax cap that she plans to give at the December 12th Board meeting. While we will continue to get more accurate numbers as time goes by, at this point, we will have to cut more than a million dollars over each of the next two years in order to be within the tax cap.
  •  Budget—Lois distributed a list of prior reductions, organized by building. She did this so that the Board and the public can see where the cuts have been made in an attempt to balance future cuts. Michele will fill in the areas where the savings are missing.
  •  Grade Level Schools—Lois distributed class size projections through 2015-2016 (see link below). This document was sent to the board on Friday, December 2nd.
  • Open Agenda—Patrick raised concerns about implementing the new MAPS test this year. He thinks the assessment itself is useful, but does not think we should rush to implement it. Reasons cited are technical problems, costs, morale, and training of proctors. Lois will speak with Jill.

Next Meeting

  • March 29th, 2:30 pm, in the Conference Room at Hagan Elementary School.


Todd Middle School
October 6, 2011, 2:30 pm

Present: Patrick Bowdren, Ralph Chiumento, Paul Fanuele, Mike McCall, Michele Moloney, Mike Murphy, Jean Nemes, Lois Powell, Cathy Robinson


  • Tax Cap—Michele explained that there is still a lot of confusion regarding what is exempt and explained how important it is that the assumptions we make as a county be the same. She stated that tax certs and torts are definitely not exempt while some aspects of capital projects and debt service are. PILOTS cannot be used when calculating tax levy increase. The State is giving us the percentage that is exempt as well as the base salaries to use in calculating ERS costs, but not TRS costs. There is a lot of confusion among business administrators.
  •  Budget—We are working on revising the budget information packet and it will be available to the Board by November 1st. We will expedite the budget process this year by having a roll-over budget available to the board and district leadership team in December. It will still be presented to the Board in public in January. Michele explained that we are working at finding non-educational ways of savings costs, through such areas as bidding, transportation, and building use. The Energy Ed program is off to a good start. Chris had been doing audits and meeting with people, starting with the night shift custodians.
  • Grade Level Schools—Lois stated that at the next board meeting, she would like to address two areas: transportation and the pros and cons of grade level schools for students. Michele explained the misunderstanding of the transportation issue and has a plan to use color coded maps and route times to help clarify the process at the next meeting. John Farrell also has worked under such a model and will explain how it will work. Lois shared information from the January, 2010, grade level schools presentation regarding the pros and cons of grade level organization. The group agreed that these would be useful to present at the next meeting as well. At the November board meeting, Lois will present a prioritized list of other possible cuts. We discussed the timeline for making a decision. Lois stated that in order for grade level to happen next year, a decision would have to be made by the board at the first meeting in January. The administrators could then crunch the time it takes to do the decision-making about personnel and still get letters to teachers by April 2nd.
  • Open Agenda—Mike asked the teachers about how curriculum would get written if we did not have a Director of Curriculum. The teachers said that a facilitator is absolutely required and that if we did not have a director, teachers would have to be put on special assignment to facilitate the work.


Next Meeting

  • December 1st, 2:30, at the High School.

Spackenkill High School
June 16, 2011, 1:30 pm


Present: Patrick Bowdren, Ralph Chiumento, Mike McCall, Michele Moloney, Lois Powell, Cathy Robinson

  • Transportation Study—Michele explained that she will be convening a committee that includes teachers, administrators, and parents to review the various options presented in the study and select the best one for the 2012-2013 school year. Patrick asked if we were still considering combining the middle school and high school runs, and Michele said that it is one of the options. We also talked about looking into having the high school day start later.
  • Grade Level Schools—Lois explained that she is asking the board to request that she develop a plan for moving to grade level schools which would be presented to the board in the fall for their consideration for the 2012-2013 school year. An email went out to teachers about serving on committees this summer and approximately 20 people have volunteered. We talked a bit about the positives and negatives of such a change.
  • New Teacher Evaluation Instrument—Mike asked about how the new instrument is working out. Cathy, Patrick, and Paul reported that, like anything that is new, there are some things that still have to be worked out but that overall it seems to be working out okay. We are still waiting for guidance from the State regarding the appeals process.
  • Patrick asked about a new process for when it is necessary to rent a vehicle for a school purpose. Michele said that she is already working on that.

Next Meeting

  • Lois will schedule a meeting for the end of September.


Nassau Elementary School
March 31, 2011, 2:30 pm

Present: Patrick Bowdren, Ralph Chiumento, Barbara Craft-Reiss, Mike McCall, Michele Moloney, Jeannie Nemes, Lois Powell, Cathy Robinson

Absent: Paul Fanuele


  • Introductions—Everyone introduced themselves.
  • Denver Summit—Lois, Mike, and Cathy explained what they gleaned from the Denver summit—essentially, the importance of relationships, trust, and communications. They also explained that it was in Denver that we came up with the idea of the District Leadership Team.
  •  Lois explained that the purpose of committee is to foster communications and trust.
  •  Lois shared the outline of the budget process we used this year and asked for feedback. It was agreed that it was basically sound; the only real concern raised was that the first salaries used in the scenarios were too low, thereby, causing more people to worry about losing their jobs than necessary. The other point raised was that we need to keep individual’s names off the public presentation. Lois and Mike agreed with both points and assured the group that this will be addressed next year. The revised budget process follows.
  • Mike mentioned the possibility of talking about “Race to Nowhere” at some point. This brought up some concerns about how the topic/movie was being addressed at the high school. Lois explained that earlier that same day, she and Jill had met with Paul and Adam Hammond about the need for better communication and a plan for moving forward.
  • The next meeting will be held at the end of June. The transportation study will be on the agenda; copies will be provided to all members before that meeting.


Budget Process


Sept/Oct: Superintendent/Business Manager update Budget Fact Booklet; salaries and benefits will be listed separately. If a tax cap is legislated, the impact of the tax cap will be communicated to the Board and District Leadership Team.


Oct/Nov: Board members meet with each building’s PTA to get feedback about their priorities.

Discussion begins at District Leadership Team meeting.


Dec/Jan Board members meet with Parent Advisory Council to discuss budget. Business Manager meets individually with principals and heads of departments.


Jan: Roll-over budget is presented at first board meeting; conversation continues at second board meeting.

Possible additions to budget are presented at this time as well.

Budget input email link is added to website.

Discussion continues at District Leadership Team meeting.


Feb: Possible reduction scenarios are developed and shared with the administrators before the first board meeting. The administrators speak with faculty and staff who may be let on the Friday before the first board meeting.

The reduction scenario(s) are then presented at first board meeting; conversation continues at second meeting with board tentatively agreeing to possible reductions/additions.


March: Board finalizes reductions/additions to budget at first meeting; proposed budget is presented at second meeting.


April: Board adopts budget.


May: Budget materials are mailed.

Budget hearing and election are held.


Summer: District Leadership Team evaluates process and revises as necessary.