Penn Yan School District eliminates three non-teaching posts; will share services with Marcus Whitman and Dundee School Districts

The Penn Yan Central School District has begun reducing positions and setting up shared services with neighboring districts in an effort to create efficiencies for the next school year. Superintendent David Hamilton says the cuts will trim $194,000 from the 2013-2014 school year budget.

At the Board of Education meeting on Dec. 12, the following positions were abolished:

• Director of Facilities/Infrastructure Technology: Chuck Roach will be terminated as of June 30. Roach's status at the school district has been in question since Nov. 8 when a brief memo to district staff from Superintendent David Hamilton stated, "Due to unexpected circumstances, Mr. Chuck Roach will be out of the District. In his absence, please direct questions related to facilities or technology to Cathy Milliman, Assistant Superintendent for Business."

In his report to the board on Dec. 12, Hamilton explained that starting on July 1, Penn Yan's technology department will be led by a BOCES part-time director who will be hired and assigned in consultation with the district and BOCES. The new IT director will be shared with another district and will be at both locations based on scheduling and needs. These services will replace the 70 percent position held by Roach.

Also starting on July 1, 2013, the 30 percent position of Director of Facilities will be eliminated and the duties will be eliminated or reassigned to remaining personnel.

• Director of Transportation: This post was held by Calvin Cummings whose employment will be terminated as of Dec. 31 He has been on administrative leave since Dec. 7.

• Dispatcher: This post was most recently held by Kaye Marold, who will retire on Dec. 31, but who also is on administrative leave as of Dec. 7.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, David Adam, the director of transportation at Marcus Whitman School will manage the transportation office in Penn Yan. The Marcus Whitman district will be paid a fee for his services. Adam will be on site at both districts based on scheduling and needs, according to Hamilton, who also explained that to facilitate this position, a new position — head bus driver — will be filled to assist in the day-today operations. The head bus driver will carry out the dispatcher duties, and be available to drive busses if necessary.

Hamilton said these changes are specific recommendations from the shared services study that was commissioned in 2011 by Penn Yan's Interim Superintendent Tom Cox. Hamilton outlined the recommendations from the shared services study in a report prepared for the board of education.

The Penn Yan and Dundee Central School Districts will continue sharing the Director of Food Services that has been successful since earlier this year.

Dundee Central School Superintendent Kathy Ring issued a similar report at the Dec. 13 Dundee School Board meeting. Her report said, "This arrangement is providing increased services at a lower cost and was a specific recommendation from the (shared services study) report."

Other areas addressed in the reports include:

• REGIONAL SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS: Both Hamilton and Ring say the three districts have begun "substantive talks" to create programs here in Yates County to replace outside placements. The reports state: "One current program located in Penn Yan may have students from all three districts as early as February 2013, with two other programs under study for implementation in the fall of 2013. These shared special education programs allow students to attend classes a short bus ride from their homes rather than the hour or more many now travel and at a lower cost to the districts.

• OTHER NEW MANDATES: The Dundee and Penn Yan Districts are investigating ways to share administrative expertise on an as-needed basis to address new mandates in Special Education, Counseling, Bullying Prevention, Professional Development and Student Data Analysis.

• ONGOING DISCUSSIONS: The reports state that some recommendations that came from the study, such as moving to the BOCES Centralized Business Office and hiring a Human Resources administrator through BOCES were not feasible at this time. But the boards and superintendents of the three districts will continue discussions to investigate new opportunities for sharing staff and services.