District Council

District Council

As a way for all stakeholders of the Spackenkill School District to have a voice in district issues, the District created a new council. This council is in keeping with the New Compact for Learning initiated by, then Commissioner of Education Thomas Sobol in the 1990’s. It functions much like a building-level site team, but addresses issues that span the buildings.

Meetings

The District Council will meet quarterly throughout the school year. The inaugural meeting in September focused on discussions about a parent survey, creating site-based team self-assessments, and on the new state-required Parent Portal/Dashboard.

Agendas and minutes will be published on this page for all to review. Meetings are open to the public; however, non-members may observe only.

SHARED DECISION-MAKING PLAN

SBT ASSESSMENT

For more information, please contact your District Council representative.

Representatives

District Administrators

Dr. Mark Villanti, Interim Superintendent
Dr. Lois Powell, Superintendent of Schools 

School Administrators
John Farrell, Principal, Hagan Elementary School
Steve Malkischer, Principal, Spackenkill High School

Teachers and Teaching Assistants
Cindi Battistoli, Elementary School Teacher 
Michele Brenner,  TA
Mark VanHorne, Secondary School Teacher 

Support Staff
Marcella Byrne

Students
Caitlin Speranza, Spackenkill High School
Sam Wile, Spackenkill High School

Parents
Stephen Krakower
Kerri Maslyn
Vickie Setzer                           

Community
Joan Cox

AGENDAS

MINUTES

Shared Decision Making Committee

Minutes
Hagan Elementary School
May 21, 2013, 3:30 pm

 

Present:  Julia Caldwell, Sharon Ciccone, John Farrell, Heidi Huczel, Dana Jackson, Jennifer Kaufman, Ellen Marble, Lois Powell, Vickie Setzer, Mariaelena Ullinger

  • We introduced ourselves and welcomed the new HS students (Julia Caldwell and Dana Jackson).
  • The Nassau Representative search is still in progress.
  • Minutes from April 23, 2013 approved. Action items reviewed: stakeholders are expected to provide meeting minutes to the groups they represent. HS: bring to HS Site-Based Team; District PTA, HS PTA mtg attendees distribution list, and in the future, blog if/when set up.
    • Draft of Changes from April 23rd meeting were reviewed:
    • Plural (goal -> goals) to be fixed (page 2)
    • Flowchart: okayed
    • Order of chain of command discussed in principals, teachers, and support staff entries (page 4)
    • Student stakeholder communication to be revised (page 5)
    • District council terms of HS students to be revised (page 6)
  •  Building Site-Based Team reviewed:
    • Minimum team membership to be revised
    • Student stakeholder # and arrangement to be revised (page 7)
    • Community rep # to be revised (page 7)
    • Procedures of meetings to be revised (page 7)
  • Principle guidelines (page 7), topics (page 8), and biennial review (page 8) presented. Determined biennial review is good topic for District Council next school year.

Action Item 1: Provide these meeting minutes to the stakeholder groups you represent.
Responsible: Each member of this committee.

With HS structure different, Vickie Setzer should communicate to HS Site-Based Team; District PTA, HS PTA mtg attendees distribution list, and in the future, blog if/when set up.

Action Item 2: Supply copies of the updated Shared Decision Making document, the meeting agenda, and last month’s minutes to absent members (including new Nassau rep if identified).
Responsible: Lois Powell

Action Item 3: Since accountability was a prime concern, obtain feedback from Steve Malkischer on that aspect of the document.
Responsible: Lois Powell

Action Item 4a: Update the shared decision making document based on changes identified at this meeting (within a week).
Responsible: Jennifer Kaufman and Lois Powell

Action Item 4b: Distribute the updated shared decision making document to all the members of this committee (shortly after revision).
Responsible: Lois Powell

Action Item 4c: Once it’s received, provide the updated shared decision making document to the stakeholder groups you represent, obtain feedback, and report any issues to Lois Powell before June 30th. If you have no issues, indicate this as well.
Responsible: Each member of this committee

Action Item 4d: Based on the comments from members of the committee, Lois will determine whether another meeting is needed over the summer and set the meeting date/time.
Responsible: Lois Powell

Action Item 5: Let Lois Powell know by July 30th if you plan to serve on the District Council starting in Sept (meetings will be quarterly, based on the school calendar; additional meetings may be called if needed).
Responsible: Each member of this committee

Note: Based on responses, new members may need to be identified.

Action Item 6: Invite the Support Staff to provide a representative to the new District Council for participation (in time for new school year).
Responsible: Lois Powell

Next Meeting: Scheduled, if necessary, in July.

  • Work items expected to be completed by each and every one by June 30th.

Minutes
Hagan Elementary School
April 23, 2013, 3:30 pm

 

Present: Sharon Ciccone, John Farrell, Heidi Huczel, Jennifer Kaufman, Ellen Marble, Lois Powell, Vickie Setzer, Mariaelena Ullinger

  • The Nassau Representative requested replacement. Jennifer Herrera and Kerry Maslyn were notified and a new representative will be selected.
  • Two HS students will be in attendance in the future: Dana Jackson and Julia Caldwell.
  • The team discussed the requirement to have a District Council – the legal aspects and the district defined parts such as the # of representatives from each of the shareholder groups. Two portions:

 1. The District Council, which comprises the members of this team, whose sole charter is to update the Shared Decision Making Document and process.

 2. A new District Council, which could comprise members of this team if they so choose, whose charter is to review the District’s Strategic Plan and convene when there are district-wide decisions to take place (such as testing, budget forum schedule, district-wide building use, etc.). General consensus was this was a good idea. Composition of the team / meeting included discussion of:

--Same # of reps per stakeholder group as in former shared decision making doc

--2-3 year terms so there’s a rotation that allows transition and turnover so new people can get involved.

--Include support staff as stakeholders -- large group so should be represented; although since generally they don’t participate wouldn’t be required.

--Start with 2 teachers but if they feel they are underrepresented then address.

--Indicate these are open meetings.

--Guests invited, as can be valuable resources.

--Would not necessarily meet monthly for a set time but convene when there are district-wide issues to address.

--Important to have a chair to keep things moving; council would select person for this position.

  • Provided an updated draft of the Shared Decision Making document - a more current starting point for the team to modify and build on.
  • Stressed importance of team members to report back to their shareholder groups (at faculty meetings, PTA, etc.), forwarding the meeting minutes, and to get input.
  • Discussed that the biennial review form is what is submitted to the State and whether the information was useful.
  • Determined that next meeting we will tackle the building site-based team structure.
  • Set a date of May 16 at 3:30 at Hagan for next meeting. Decided to keep the meetings about 1 hour in length.

Action Item: Provide these meeting minutes to the stakeholder groups you represent.
Responsible: Each member of this committee.

Action Item: Be prepared to discuss the building site-based team structure by next meeting (May 16).
Responsible:
Each member of this committee.

Action Item: Supply copies of the updated Shared Decision Making document, the meeting agenda, and last month’s minutes to absent members (including new Nassau rep and two HS students) and let them know of next scheduled meeting date.
Responsible: Lois Powell

Action Item: Update the District Council structure and chart based on this meeting and complete before next meeting.
Responsible: Jennifer Kaufman and Lois Powell

Action Item: Invite the Support Staff to provide a representative to the new District Council for participation. (Not time critical).
Responsible: Lois Powell

Next Meeting: Thursday, May 16 at 3:30 pm at Hagan

 

Minutes
Hagan Elementary School
April 3, 2013, 3:30 pm

 

Present: Jennifer Kaufman, Ellen Marble, Maureen Shilkunas, Steve Malkischer, Lois Powell

With so few in attendance, we decided to hold off on in-depth discussion; however, for the sake of those in attendance, Lois Powell:

  • Covered the history of Shared Decision Making and Site-Based Teams at each building level at Spackenkill. (Pretty much the first 7 pages of the “Spackenkill Union Free School District Collaborative Decision-Making: A Framework for Our School and Community” – especially pages 2, 5-7).
  • Explained that the charter of the District Council is to identify members and review the plan every 2 years with assessments: “Biennial Review of Shared Decision Making.” An example of the last one submitted (2/13/12) was handed out, recognizing an improved process needs to be addressed.
  • Explained that the Task of this Committee, what is required by NYS, is that the last 4 pages of “Spackenkill Union Free School District Collaborative Decision-Making: A Framework for Our School and Community” needs to be updated; however, it was recognized that the first 7 pages no longer map to our Strategic Plan and that perhaps we would like this additional work accomplished as well. A copy of Spackenkill’s Strategic Plan was distributed.
  • Developed timeframe - although the aim is to have the document done by Nov/Dec 2013 for review for approval by the Spackenkill BOE by Feb. 2014, those in attendance felt let’s work on this more aggressively and get it done.
  • Set a date of April 23 at 3:30 p.m. at Hagan for the next meeting.
  • Raised and discussed general high-level concerns:
    • Do we have buy-in in our district from the BOE? Admin? Attorneys? Several issues were identified: BOE policy, MAPS testing, GLS, Block Scheduling, un-Block Scheduling, Recent Safety Decisions in light of budget survey results and building utilization study work-in-progress.
    • The response seemed to be “yes” but factors need to be recognized and addressed:
      • Timeliness necessary on making decisions – consensus takes time.
      • Accountability – ultimately where will responsibility fall?
      • Various committees and their decisions.
  •  Gave examples of where Site-Based Team / District has worked well / been responsive:
    • Hiring teams
    • Safety Meeting
  •  Other schools have fairly good documents in place, but does that necessarily mean it’s working?

Action Item: Bring those not in attendance up to speed.
Responsible: Lois Powell

Action Item: Notify those not in attendance of time/date of next meeting.
Responsible: Lois Powell

Action Item: Since this could extend into Fall 2013, find HS students to serve on the committee who aren’t seniors this year.
Responsible: Steve Malkischer

Next Meeting: April 23 at 3:30 p.m. at Hagan