Pawling Board of Education
- District and Board Goals
- District and Board Goals Achieved
- Meeting Schedule
- Board Meetings and Minutes
- Policy Meeting Schedule
- How to
- Meeting Podcasts
- Application for Absentee Ballot
BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
Monday September 18, Middle School Cafetorium 7:00 pm
Audit Committee Meeting September 14th 3:00 pm District Office Conference Rm.
Policy Meeting September 14th 4:30 pm District Office Conference Rm
Board of Education Overview
What is the School Board?
School boards are comprised of volunteers within the community who dedicate their time to better public education. Except for those in Yonkers and New York City, board members are elected. The size of a school board depends on the type of school district but generally ranges between three and nine members. With limited exceptions, school board members serve three-, four- or five-year terms. Terms are staggered so all board positions are never open at the same time.
About our District
In Pawling, the Board of Education consists of seven members who are elected by district residents at the annual budget and board election vote each May. The positions are volunteer, and members serve staggered three-year terms. The exclusive authority of the school board involves hiring and evaluating a superintendent, adopting and proposing an annual budget to the voters, and establishing policies which govern the public schools within the district. The authority of the school board also lies within the collective group, or majority. No one individual has any power, or exclusive rights, as a member serving on the school board.
The Superintendent, Ms. Kim Fontana, acts as the district’s chief executive officer. As such, she administers board policy, and is in-charge of the operations and finances of the school district. The Superintendent, along with the Board of Education, make up the district governance team.
What are the responsibilities of a school board member?
A school board member takes on one of the most important citizen responsibilities: overseeing the education of the community’s youth. With schoolchildren always their ultimate focus, school board members act officially at the board table, working with other board members to serve students and accomplish the following:
- Create a shared vision for the future of education
- Set the direction of the school district to achieve the highest student performance
- Provide rigorous accountability for student achievement results
- Develop a budget and present it to the community, aligning district resources to improve achievement
- Support a healthy school district culture for work and learning
- Create strategic partnerships with the community stakeholders
- Build the district’s progress through continuous improvement
- Adopt and maintain current policies
- Hire and evaluate the superintendent
- Ratify collective bargaining agreements
- Maintain strong ethical standards
Civil discourse is important in a civilized society
Although state law does not require it, PCSD Board meetings include two public comment periods during our meetings because we believe it is important to hear from our community members. Comments are limited to three minutes; and unused time may not be transferred to another speaker.
We want our school board meetings to serve as an example of civility and mutual respect. Visitors should address comments to the Board President. Please note that the board is here to listen. The public comment period is not designed to be a discussion, so do not expect the board to respond to concerns or questions at the meeting. We take the community’s questions and concerns seriously, and need time to process or research issues. We may respond to questions or concerns at a future meeting, or the Superintendent may get back to you at a later time.
Due to state and federal privacy laws, comments should not include any discussion of individual District Personnel, students or individuals by name.
The Board President reserves the right to end a visitor’s time if these rules are violated. In the unlikely event the meeting becomes unruly, the board will recess the meeting and return once order has been restored.
The executive session takes place before or after the public session. It is not open to the public. Before moving into the closed session, a motion is made which identifies the general areas that will be discussed. The board votes and an executive session can only take place when the majority of the board gives approval.
Boards are allowed to enter into an executive session only to discuss the following topics:
- Matters that would jeopardize public safety if disclosed.
- Topics that disclose the identity of a law enforcement agent or informer.
- Information about current or future investigations or prosecution of a criminal offense that obstructs effective law enforcement if revealed
- Details of proposed, current or pending litigation
- Collective negotiations pursuant to Article 14 of the Civil Service Law.
- Details of medical, financial, credit or employment history or a particular person or corporation, or matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person or corporation.
- Exam preparation, grading or administration.
- The proposed acquisition, sale or lease or real property or the proposed acquisition, sale or exchange of securities, but only when publicity would substantially affect the value of these things
NYSSBA Guidelines for Executive Session can be found here.
A consent agenda (also known by Roberts Rules of Order as a “consent calendar”) groups routine meeting discussion points into a single agenda item. In so doing, the grouped items can be approved in one action, rather than through the filing of multiple motions.
The following types of items are sometimes included in the consent portion of meeting agendas:
- Topics of a routine/recurring nature
- Procedural decisions
- Non-controversial issues that do not require debate or deliberation
- Items previously discussed for which the team has come to a consensus, but that still need an official vote
- Financial Reports
- Committee Appointments
- Previous Meeting Minutes
Board Level Committees
Audit- Karen Burka and Nick Robertshaw (Community Member), Co-Chairs
Preeti Govindarajan, Member
Harvey Matcovsky, Community Member
Jeffrey Asher, Community Member
Policy- Deborah Klein, Chair
Guido Garbarino, Member
Preeti Govindarajan, Member
Zack Graczyk, Member
Kim Fontana - Superintendent
Debra Kirkhus, Ed. D. - Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
Marianne Heslin - Assistant Superintendent for Finance