Webutuck Board of Education held the September 10, 2007 Worksession meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Webutuck High School Library.


The following Board members were present:

Dale Culver

Joseph Herald

Andrew Jablonsky

William McGhee

John Perotti

Bernadette Coniglio arrived at 9:15 p.m.



Susan Lounsbury


Also Present:

Dr. Richard Johns

Therese Trotter

Linda Peters

Joel Freer

Jay Posephney



President Culver called the Worksession of September 10, 2007 to order at 7:33 p.m.  



The PTA President announced the first PTA meeting on Monday, September 17, 2007 at 6:00 pm.

The Superintendent thanked the PTA for providing coffee and donuts on Superintendent’s Conference Day for all of the District staff.

The Superintendent introduced the District’s new administration team to the public.  Present was School Business Administrator Linda Peters, WES/AES Principal Joel Freer, and WHS Principal Jay Posephney.



1. Personnel

The Board will go into Executive Session for discussion.


2.  A.P. Biology Textbook

The College Board requests districts to file the curriculum and textbook to be used for all AP courses being taught in New York State.  The textbook used in previous years was submitted for AP Biology and was not approved by the College Board.  This new textbook is College Board approved and also our Science and Curriculum Departments have reviewed and approved it.  It will be on the September 17 agenda for Board approval.

3.  Millerton Building Plan

The Millerton building had three issues cited and was given an “Unsatisfactory” rating in the 2004 Building Condition Survey given to the State.  The roof, driveway/parking lot and window system all are in need of repair and a corrective action plan needs to be formed.  The Superintendent is recommending the roof be replaced immediately with the EXCEL money.  He recommends the windows and driveway/parking lot be put into the next bond issue.  A Board member questioned if the Town of Northeast was approached to help fix the road/parking lot.  They were approached but the District did not receive an answer.  Discussion ensued.


4.  Transportation Revote

The Transportation referendum will be put back up for a vote due to the mistake in wording at the May vote.  The Transportation Department is strapped for vehicles at this time due to special needs students moving into the District.  Those students require transporting in smaller vehicles because of their individual placements.  A Board member asked if the District could lease a small vehicle to help for the moment.  Discussion ensued.


5.  Mr. Biasotti’s Contract

It was noted that Mr. Biasotti has worked for eight years in the District in various capacities.  Presently, he is filling in for Mr. Posephney until he comes to the District permanently.  Mr. Biasotti has worked at his current rate for several years.  His rate will be per diem with no pay for travel.


6.  EXCEL Project

Last year the State Dormitory Association released money for school improvements.  Most of the money went to New York City schools but every school received an amount of money.  Webutuck received $286,000 to be used for school improvements.  The projects being considered for the EXCEL aid are the Millerton School roof, the well and water system at the central campus and lastly the security system at WES, EBMS and WHS.  A Board member asked if the Transportation vote and EXCEL vote could be grouped together.  The Superintendent answered yes.  Discussion ensued.


7.  Special Education Teaching Assistant position

Special Education enrollment vacillates every year.  Ms. Nethercott’s classroom went from a 1:12:1 to a 1:8:1 because there are students with more concentrated needs.  There is a need of an additional .5 FTE Teaching Assistant in that classroom.  Discussion ensued.


8.  International Trip

The German and Spanish teachers are proposing a trip to Europe in the Spring of 2008.  Board members had questions regarding the cancellation date and informing students and parents of this date.  Also, if the world climate changes, safety of the students is foremost with the Board, what is the cancellation cut-off date?  If there is cancellation insurance, who can cancel the trip?  Discussion ensued.


Audience members commented on the following:

- Stated the transportation vehicles are needed now – not in November.

- Are we doing a good job identifying at risk four-year-olds now that we have a Universal Pre-K program?  Yes, between Astor and Pre-K we have 47 students out of a class of 60-70.  The Kindergarten teachers say they can see a difference.

- Is the Board still looking at a Land Purchase? It is up for discussion with the Board.

- Stated a concern about security at the school. There was a breach of security at the school at the end of last year.  Is there money the Board can release to help out?  The District has been working on this issue. There are safety committees in each building that meet once a month.  The front doors are the only doors to the outside unlocked.  All other doors are to be locked.  The District has a parking lot attendant that is there to be aware of people/students coming and going. There is a swipe card entry system being looked at to install in all buildings instead of metal keys.



Mr. Herald gave the Superintendent a list of comments regarding the Athletic Director job description because he was not at the last Board meeting.  Mr. McGhee responded to actions taken by the District for security measures.  They can be found under public comment.



Mr. Jablonsky made and Mr. Perotti seconded a motion to adjourn to executive session at 8:15 pm for the purpose of discussing a particular personnel matter. The five Board members present voted.  The motion carried unanimously.



Mr. Herald made a motion to adjourn the executive session and reconvene the public session at 9:44 pm.  The six Board members present voted.  The motion carried unanimously.



There being no further business, Mr. Herald adjourned the meeting of September 10, 2007 at 9:44 pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Therese M. Trotter