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RC 2010 11 Nov
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Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Teachers Association

PO Box 494, Burnt Hills, New York 12027

Representative Council Meeting

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Middle School Library

 Jason Lasky, Mike Mosall, Lisa Febraio, Brad Thomas, Jen Adams, Valerie Wadsworth, Lyndsay Wilson, Aimee Miller, Sue Cifaratta, Rocco Montesano, Andrew Haluska, Kathy Yando, Tracy McCarthy, Stephanie Andrejcak, Raelene Noll, Mary Grasso, Dianne Alois, Michelle Carbonelli, Renee Tolan, Andy Lancaster, Melissa Thomas, Danielle Manning, Kristin Trapini, Suzanne Rayome, Sue Guba, Star Gaworecki, Carol DiLallo (18/27 = 67% -- italics indicate absent members)

The meeting was called to order by Mike Mosall at 3:58.

Action Items

The minutes from the October 2010 meeting were approved.

The Treasurer's October 2010 report was accepted.

Discussion Items

Professional Council -- Jason Lasky talked about the recent meeting between the Board of Education and the Association Executive Board. Shared Decision Making was the topic of the meeting. The Association gave a brief presentation about the history and benefits of Shared Decision Making in BH-BL.  Some concerns about the way this process is currently working were then shared. The Exec. Board provided the Board with a document outlining some of these concerns and some suggested actions to move forward. There was discussion about how to evaluate the Shared Decision Making process in the future. The Exec. Board is planning on meeting with the Board of Education in the spring to do a follow up.

Middle School Schedule -- Valerie Wadsworth talked about the process that has been used to explore schedule changes at the Middle School. The process started well, but then there were no meetings in September and October of this year. In November, a presentation was made to the staff by former principal Don Germain,  but many felt it was confusing. The process needs to be thoroughly reviewed. One suggestion was to have the School Council charge a committee to revisit the process.

Professional Development -- Committee co-chair Dianne Alois explained that Staff Development summer days were cut last year. It is during these summer days that the committee used to form and finalize plans for the first Superintendent's Conference Day of the year and other aspects of Staff Development. Budget cuts have severely limited the committee’s opportunity to shape the process. Dianne then walked the Council through a set of Staff Development Half Days Schedules that show the diminishing role the Staff Development Committee has been able to play in planning staff development over the past few years.  Professional Development has been a topic of interest and the TA leadership will be looking into how to help improve the effectiveness of Professional Development and the work of the committee.

Committee Handbooks -- Mike Mosall walked the Council through a handbook he is developing for committee co-chairs. Council members were asked to provide feedback on information that could be useful for inclusion in the handbook.  

Privilege of the Floor -- A TA member explained to the Council that he applied to be a member of the Negotiating Team and was not satisfied with the explanation he received regarding why he was not selected. He suggested that Rep. Council play a greater role in providing input during the selection process. Council members replied that the selection process is more open than it has ever been but agreed that the process could be examined further.

Motion -- Jason Lasky made a motion to open the collective bargaining process for the Negotiation Team to begin negotiating a new contract with the District. The motion passed.

Good of the Order -- Rocco Montesano suggested that Privilege of the Floor be moved to the beginning of Council meetings.

Good of the Order -- Andy Lancaster stated that community events such as the recent public forum focusing on the impact of Global Foundries are good opportunities for the Association to show its participation and investment in the community.  

Good of the Order -- There was discussion of giving small incentives to Association members who contribute “freelance” articles to the monthly newsletter. Council members agreed that this sounded like a good idea.

Motion -- Mike Mosall made a motion to authorize  the Public Relations Committee to spend $100 on small incentives for Association members who contribute “freelance” articles to the monthly newsletter. The motion passed.

Adjournment -- The meeting adjourned at 5:21pm.