Bullet points April 18 NECSD meetings

The Newburgh School District Board of Education had a budget meeting, special meeting, and workshop meeting yesterday at NFA. At the 6PM budget workshop meeting there were a few restorals to the budget due to an expected increase in State aid. Restored items:

  • 17 kindergarten teaching assistant positions
  • 2 science specialist positions
  • Director of Fine and Performing Arts position
  • 2 music teachers (this restores instrumental music at the fourth grade level)

At the special meeting at 7PM the school district budget, library budget, school lunch fund, and property tax report card were approved. The revised budget amount for the property tax report card is $228,476,702.

The monthly workshop meeting was quite routine.

After an executive session two resolutions were passed. One ammended a prior resolution authorizing legal action against the Palumbo group "to include litigation to recover the moneys paid by the school district". The second appointed Kenneth Swanson "to serve as the district's authorized resolution session representative" for the 2011-12 school year. This has to do with special education hearings.

Video and handouts--hopefully will have those available tomorrow.

Board of Education Candidates

Eric Motley, Aric Meyer, and Lissette Martinez are running for Board of Education positions. I am happy to post any press releases from candidates here. Drop an email to newburghedinfo@gmail.com.

-- ANNOUNCEMENT – Eric Motley, Aric Meyer and Lissette Martinez (“the M Team”) are running for the NECSD School Board, and have gathered sufficient signatures on their Petition to be placed on the ballot. Eric Motley is a husband and father of 5 children who are in or who have graduated from the Newburgh Enlarged Central School District ("NECSD"). Aric Meyer is an NFA graduate, educator at the Greater Newburgh YMCA and Head Coach of the Newburgh Rowing Club. Lissette Martinez is a wife, mother and advocate for children, who works for Orange County AHRC, where she serves people with unique abilities.

Together, the M Team is committed to putting "EDUCATION" back in the "Board of Education." Their goal is to represent the very best interests of the children of the Newburgh School District. Among their immediate goals are: (1) Attract and maintain teachers and educators of the highest quality; (2) Keep all the Teachers' Assistants positions; and keep Security Guards at all Elementary Schools; (3) Maintain the Music programs; (4) Be fair to all Varsity Sports; and (5) Maintain the language programs.

Mr. Motley lives in the City of Newburgh with his wife and 4 youngest children. His oldest daughter, Erika, age 18, is a 2011 graduate of NFA and was a member of the National Honor Society. She is currently a student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. His son, Eric Motley, Jr. is a senior at NFA, where he is on the NFA Crew Team. He has been accepted at several colleges and universities and has chosen to attend Johnson and Wales. His son, Tradell, is a freshman at NFA North, Class of 2015, where he is on the Freshman Basketball Team and Freshman Football Team. His son Malachi, attends South, and is Class of 2018 and is on the Newburgh Zion Lions Basketball Team. His youngest, Hezekiah, is in 3rd grade at Fostertown and is also on the Newburgh Zion Lions Basketball Team. Mr. Motley is dedicated to his family, their education, and the education of all who attend school in the NECSD. He is formerly the Assistant Director of the Afterschool Program at Newburgh Performing Arts Academy. He has long been a Parent Volunteer, having garnered national attention in the National Teachers Magazine as an outstanding African American parent education volunteer. He served on the NECSD Hiring Committees in 2010 and 2011 which resulted in the hiring of NFA's current Varsity Basketball Coach and incoming new Principal. He has also coached the Newburgh Zion Lions Basketball Team and the Newburgh Panthers Basketball Team. He was instrumental in putting together the Basketball League at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center. Mr. Motley says, "First and foremost, a Board Member is elected to serve their community as an advocate and representative for all voices. The board members must be accessible and willing to collaborate with all members of the community, including all faculty and staff of the school district. I believe that a school board member must be responsive and receptive to parents, school staff, students, and the community at large, encouraging open dialogue."

Aric Meyer graduated from NFA in 2008. He was a member of the Student Council and Captain of the NFA Crew Team which won the New York State Championship and went to Nationals. He received the NFA Goldback Eagle Award. He works in elementary childcare at the Greater Newburgh YMCA in the City of Newburgh. He studies Adolescent Education, with a Major in Biology at SUNY New Paltz (Class of 2013). He is the Head Coach of the Newburgh Rowing Club, located in the City of Newburgh and has put in countless hours of community service through the Y, the Rowing Club, and the NRC's Hudson River Student Ambassador Program. Says Mr. Meyer, "I attended the Newburgh School system during the 'golden age,' when programs, and support for academics, athletics and extra-curriculars was abundant. Since then, I have dedicated my career to teaching; I believe nothing is more important than bringing top flight education to the students of the Newburgh Enlarged Central School District and am ready to bring a fresh point of view to the School Board."

Ms. Martinez graduated NFA in 1992, and remembers what it was like to have to avoid the gangs at NFA. Ms. Martinez resides in the City of Newburgh with her husband and son, Adrion Fuentes. With more than one-third of NFA students identifying themselves as Latino, Ms. Martinez brings an important voice to the table. She works for Orange County AHRC, where she serves people with unique abilities. She is part of the Orange County AHRC "Community Builders" program, in which she integrates her clients with the community at large through volunteer programs, including leading them in volunteering to clean up the Armory, St. George's Cemetary in the city of Newburgh, and Old Town. Ms. Martinez is on the Board of the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, where she serves on the Athletic committee and the prestigious Education Committee. Ms. Martinez is on the Board of the Newburgh Rowing Club and the Newburgh Armory Soccer Club. Her son, Adrion, attends Heritage, where he is Class Treasurer. Adrion rows for the Newburgh Rowing Club, plays soccer for the Real S.C. and is a member of the Sea Cadets. Ms. Martinez says, "I will do whatever it takes to help the children of the Newburgh School District. Nothing is more important to me than education.”

Please vote in the School Board Election/ Budget Vote on May 15, 2012.

For more information, contact Team Mom on Facebook at "Motley Meyer and Martinez for Newburgh School Board" or contact Team Mom Juliana LoBiondo at 845-569-7600. Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/MotleyAndMeyerForNewburghSchoolBoard

One more budget workshop

A Budget Workshop meeting has been scheduled for this evening, April 18, at 6PM at the NFA auditorium. This is to be followed by a Special Meeting at 7PM, at which the BOE is expected to approve a budget. The special meeting will probably be very short, and will be followed by a regular monthly BOE Workshop meeting.

The late addition is on the NECSD meetings page. No agendas on the agendas page.

2012-13 Budget Workshop meeting four video

Video of yesterday's budget workshop meeting is available on YouTube.

2012-13 Budget Workshop meeting four

There was a Budget Workshop meeting of the Newburgh School District Board of Education on Tuesday March 29, 2012. The meeting was held at Temple Hill Academy. There were probably over 200 in the audience. The meeting began with a presentation by David Little, who works for NYSSBA. His presentation was quite good.

Board President Fucheck summarized the reductions to date: Administration--including Directors--reduced by 10.53%, Teaching--including Teaching Assistants 6.74%, all other support staff 8.41%, all supply lines reduced by 20%, total equipment lines by 10%. She went on to say that: the unions have been asked to consider a change in insurance companies which could save nearly $2 million; central office senior staff has voluntarily agreed to a wage freeze for the 2012-[presumably 2013, Fucheck misspoke here] school year; there is an expected restoration of 1.13 million from NYS; and from Assemblyman Skartados an additional 250k.

The following were items were raised for discussion or approved by consensus:

  • School Lunch fund: request for a slight increase in meal prices. "The fund balance accumulated over the years is anticipated to cover the loss of the operating schools' cafeterias." [???] No information was provided about what is to change or the impact on the budget. The lunch fund will be brought forward as a resolution on April 14.
  • Newburgh Free Library budget. Sounds like it would go up the allowed percentage: 2.94%.
  • Instrumental Music program to begin at grade five. This will result in a loss of 2 FTEs. Reduction in budget of $171,339.
  • No longer offer an accelerated program at grade 6 level. Instead a grade 6 Honors program will be developed at Heritage, South, and the Hill Schools. Reduction of $83,165.
  • Community Resource Officer to be funded by grants instead of General Fund. Reduction of $100,000.
  • Shifting of expenses to grant sources. Costs for instructional coaches to be shifted to grants. Reduction in General Fund budget: $496,033.
  • Reduction in freshman sports. This would allow modified sports to go back. Savings: $54,900.
  • Portion of Health Insurance, Workers Comp, Tax Certiorari, and Unemployment costs to be covered by allocation from the "Employee Benefits and Accrued Liabilities Reserve Fund". The State is allowing the more flexible use of this Reserve Fund. Savings of $2,255,861.

The next budget workshop meeting is Wednesday April 18 at 7PM. There will be a Special Meeting to adopt the budget for the School District and the Library, to be followed by the board workshop.

The budget gap is closed. There is a net reduction of 128.5 positions. The board anticipates being able to restore 1.3 million in cut items.

Video will be available tomorrow morning.

Newburgh BOE Meeting March 27, 2012

The March regular BOE meeting was on Tuesday at the NFA main campus auditorium. There was an audience of perhaps 700 or so. The agenda items were covered very quickly. There were around a dozen public comments on budget topics. Public comment was limited to one hour, and the main topics were: Foreign language and music, Music programs, Teaching Assistants (4), Psychologists, Crew (5), Attendance personnel.

Click through for the March BOE meeting notes.

Click here for Video of the March 27, 2012 NECSD BOE meeting.

BOE Meeting tonight

There is a regular meeting of the Newburgh School District Board of Education tonight at 7PM at the NFA Main Auditorium. The agenda is posted, additional details including details about HR items and tenure recommendations are in this additional "agenda items" document. It is a very positive step for these details to be available.

This is a Regular BOE meeting. So the Board will be following the agenda closely, and may not be discussing the 2012-13 budget very much at all. However, this meeting will also be one of the very few opportunities that the Board extends for public comment to be made to them on budget matters. There will probably be many speakers. Speakers, please be aware that at the Feb 28 meeting the BOE began strict enforcement of a five minute limit for public comments.

March 22 budget meeting handout and video

The handout that was made available at the beginning of the March 22 budget workshop is available here.

The handout summarizes the cuts and changes approved at the March 5 and March 15 meetings, and also the items that were discussed March 22. The only significant item that was not approved at the March 22 meeting was "Music - Elimination of Instrumental programs at elementary".

Video of the meeting is also available.

2012-13 Budget Workshop meeting three

The Newburgh School District BOE met Tuesday evening, March 22. A brief Special meeting was followed by a Budget Workshop. The purpose of the Special meeting at 5:45 was for the BOE to vote to commence legal action against the Palombo group.
Budget recommendations approved at the Budget Workshop included:

  • Eliminate Crew team
  • Add back 2 Art positions at Middle schools
  • Reduce Social Workers (-4 positions)
  • Shift Special Education students to in-district placment (+28 positions, but still results in some savings)
  • Reduce Elementary Teaching Assistants (-21 positions)
  • Reduce Violence prevention coordinator (-1 position, currently vacant)
  • Reduce Elementary Security Guards (-7 positions)

The proposal to eliminate elementary instrumental music (-6 positions) was "bubbled" for further consideration.

Special meeting before the budget meeting

Per the NECSD Clerk of the Board:

A Special Meeting of the Board of Education has been scheduled for Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm in the Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus Auditorium, 201 Fullerton Avenue, Newburgh, NY.

The Budget Workshop Meeting scheduled for 6:00 p.m. will follow the Special Meeting.

March 15, 2012 Budget meeting video available

Video of the March 15, 2012 Newburgh School District Board of Education Budget Workshop meeting is up: embedded player or at YouTube. Sorry about the video quality. Most of the audio is clear enough to follow the procedings.

2012-13 Budget Workshop meeting two

2012-13 Budget Workshop meeting two

There was a Budget Workshop meeting of the Newburgh School District Board of Education on Monday March 15, 2012. The meeting was held in the NFA Auditorium. There were probably over 300 in the audience. There was noticeable attendance by Teaching Assistants and the Crew Team.

The following budget cuts/changes were approved:

  • Reduce teachers on special assignment by 8.
  • Reduce 20 (of 61) Teaching Assistant positions. These are the first grade positions.
  • Eliminate a telephone operator position at NFA.
  • Eliminate a transition specialist position.
  • Reduce 2 physical education positions at NFA.
  • Eliminate 1 photography position at NFA.
  • Reduce one Assistant Principal [via retirement].
  • Lease West Street School to BOCES -- reduce 1.5 positions.
  • Schedule J reductions.
  • Adjust Curriculum and Instruction changes: restore 3 directors; reduce 5 teachers on special assignment

The following items were not decided ("bubbled")

  • Reduce 40 (of 61) Teaching Assistant positions. Kindergarten assistants.
  • Eliminate instrumental music programs at elementary level. 6 positions.
  • Eliminate a violence prevention coordinator position [currently vacant?].

Cutting the Crew team budget was rejected by the Board.

The budget gap stands at $5.8 million. The next Budget Workshop meeting will be Thursday March 22 at 6PM.

Click through for additional notes.

Please do let me know if any corrections are needed to the notes.

Location change for upcoming meetings

Per the District Clerk:

At the request of Mr. Pizzo, I am writing to inform everyone that the room location for the Budget Workshop Meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 15th at 6 pm has been changed to the NFA Main Campus – Auditorium instead of the South Cafeteria. In addition, the Workshop Meeting of March 20th and the Regular Meeting of March 27th both scheduled for 7 pm will be held in the NFA Main Campus – Auditorium instead of the BOE Auditorium.

Need a little help

Hi All,

I could use a little help at the Thursday 6-8PM Budget Workshop Meeting. Very simple stuff; if you have ever aimed a video camera you have the necessary skills. : ) Please send an email to newburghedinfo@gmail.com if you are planning to attend the meeting and could assist, and I'll provide more details. Thank you.

Basketball attendance again

The THRecord continues to report on the basketball attendance issue from time to time. Around March 6 the BOE sent a letter to the Record. Here's a link to the related THRecord article and a copy of the text of the letter is here. The Record followed up on March 12 with a jeer "to the Newburgh School Board members for failing again to give the community the information it has requested."

Newburgh Schools Curriculum Committee Tuesday March 6

Thursday March 6, 2012 there was a meeting of the Newburgh School District BOE Curriculum committee at 5 PM.

Click through for the notes.

March 5, 2012 Budget meeting video available

Video of the March 5, 2012 Newburgh School District Board of Education Budget Workshop meeting is up: embedded player or at YouTube.

2012-13 Budget Workshop meeting one

There was a brief Special meeting and a lengthy Budget Workshop meeting of the Newburgh School District Board of Education on Monday March 5, 2012.

The bullet points...

  • Maxine Nodel was appointed Executive High School Principal effective July 1.

The following budget cuts were approved:

  • Reduce 10 one-on-one special ed teaching aides and 20 special ed related teaching assistants.
  • Cut ski team and ice hockey team.
  • Reduce 7 attendance aides.
  • Reduce 5 buildings and grounds positions.
  • Eliminate shuttle buses between campuses.
  • Reduce 8 typist positions.
  • Reduce 7 curriculum directors.
  • Reduce 11 secondary teachers.
  • Reduce 6 elementary teachers.
  • Eliminate van drop off to Children's Corner Daycare.
  • Eliminate Executive Director for Special Education position.
  • Reduce field trips.
  • Eliminate one guidance counselor position.
  • Switch Homeless Liaison position to CSEA.
  • Reduce Pre-K testing staff by 3.5 fte.
  • Reduce Security by 3 fte.
  • Reduce 2 Psychologist positions.

Click through for more detailed notes.
Video will be up later on Tuesday.

February 2012 BOE meeting video available

And... video of the February 28, 2012 Newburgh School District Board of Education meeting is up, too: embedded player or via YouTube.

January 2012 BOE meeting video available

Video of the January 31, 2012 Newburgh School District Board of Education meeting is up. Try an embedded player or via YouTube.