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RC 2010 10 OCT
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Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Teachers Association

PO Box 494, Burnt Hills, New York 12027


Representative Council Meeting

Thursday, October 21, 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 (23/27 = 85% -- italics indicate absent members)

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

Rep Council members and guests introduced themselves.

Action Items

The minutes from the September 23, 2010 meeting were approved.

The Treasurer's report for Sept 2010 was accepted.

Lisa Febraio was elected Treasurer for 2010-2011.  As the only candidate for this position, the TA Secretary cast the sole vote following the process described in the TA Constitution.

The 2010-2013 Negotiation Team was nominated by TA President Jason Lasky and confirmed by Rep Council. The team will include:

(The Chief Negotiator, Andrew Haluska (CH), was nominated and confirmed in September. Council members Sue Cifaratta, Rocco Montesano, Andrew Lancaster, and Raelene Noll abstained from the confirmation vote above.)

Several individuals applied to be negotiators. Rep Council members commented that the selection process was well thought out. Rep Council thanks all members who volunteered to serve the Association in this capacity.

Public Relations Committee Report --  Mike Mosall went through the report. Discussion centered on the precise sources of funds (these will include VOTE-COPE funds and money from ad hoc fundraising events) and setting specific amounts available each year for grants and charities (one suggestion was to use a percentage of current funds, another was to set a dollar amount based on current holdings).The report findings were accepted.

Discussion Items

Renee Tolan thanked the TA for sponsoring the fireworks at Homecoming this year. Mike Mosall passed around the Homecoming brochure which included a thank you note from the Student Government Organization President.

504’s and Interpretation of Regulations -- Jason Lasky updated the Council on his investigation of 504 issues discussed last meeting. He read a statement from the Superintendent related to the discussion, but this statement seemed to be one among many different interpretations of the regulations. Jason stressed to the Superintendent the need for education (staff development) on this issue. Many members agreed that teachers need a clear presentation from the Superintendent on this issue. Jason will consult with NYSUT legal to get their perspective on this issue.

Shared Decision Making Committee -- Jason Lasky explained that a key component of Shared Decision Making involves the equality of TA and administrative reps. Any TA committee co-chair is equal to the administrator co-chair in the context of the committee. Committee co-chairs should be setting agendas and agreeing on minutes together. Meeting agendas and minutes for district committees should be sent to all TA members. While administrators do not have to accept committee recommendations, they do have to provide an explanation for not doing so.

Professional Council --  Jason Lasky explained that the TA Executive Board will be meeting with the Board of Education about Shared Decision Making (SDM). The goal is to inform and educate the Board about SDM.

Technology Committee -- There was discussion of committee process. Some buildings have not been represented on the committee due to lack of attendance by building reps. There were questions about the process being using to allocate technology money. It was agreed that the goal of the Technology Committee is to give teachers a voice in determining what resources are purchased, how resources are allocated, and how they are used. Processes must be in place to ensure these things happen.

High School Opening Day Survey -- HS President Jen Adams talked about survey the HS TA sent out to get feedback about the opening day of school. The survey was a good experience and provided a lot of useful feedback. Jason Lasky mentioned that the TA has the ability to help other buildings with a survey of this nature.

NYSUT Conference Update -- Mike Mosall talked about the current negotiating environment. It is important to keep all Association members informed, involved, and active. He also talked about using school networks to conduct Association work. NYSUT advises locals to not use school networks for sensitive business. The BH-BL TA has a private Google Docs account which provides members with private e-mail (e.g.,, shared documents, and more.

Jason Lasky talked about an APPR session he attended. This will be a major issue for the next few years. The district will be re-forming the previous APPR committee that worked a few years ago to revise APR procedures to bring them in line with state requirements. The committee will again be working to update the process due to new state regulations.

Mike Mosall explained that NYSUT has an array of useful information services.

The meeting adjournment at 5:32 pm.