New York State Council for the Social Studies
New York State Social Studies Supervisory Association
Joint Board Meeting
September 17, 2011
Niskayuna High School, Niskayuna, New York
Lori Megivern, Oliver Cashman-Brown, Michael Collazo, Mary Duffin, Katherine Evensen, Carolyn Herbst, Rozella Kirchgaessner, Karen Marconi, Erica Martin, Tim Potts, Len Romano,Taraneh Sabouri, Sarah Schultheis, Ollie Fields Thacker,
Katherine DeForge, Marianne Dixon, Sue Leung Eichler, Cathleen Hayes, Donna Merlau Joyce Nagle, Alfred Sive, Maria Thompson
1. Lori Megivern, President NYSCSS, and Katherine (Kathy) DeForge, President, NYS4A) called the meeting to order at 12:20 PM.
2. Letter of Agreement between NYSCSS and NYS4A. Kathy stated that she had received authorization from the 4A Board to proceed with the revised Letter of Agreement. It was noted that the two organizations would remain as two affiliated organizations, sharing financial aspects. Rozella Kirschgaessner moved “… that the NYS Council for the Social Studies empower the president to accept and sign the agreement.” Erica Martin seconded the motion.
The members of NYSCSS Board passed the motion. Lori and Kathy signed the Agreement, witnessed by the Boards of NYSCSSS and NYS4A.
3. 2011 status of HYATT penalty fees: Lori recommended to the 4A Board that it accept Hyatt Hotel’s offer of payment (2011 Convention) and no re-date for 2014.
4. 2012 Convention update: Lori moved and Kathy seconded the motion that the 2012 convention committee leaders speak with the Saratoga Hilton about: 1) no re-date, 2) downsizing number of rooms, and 3) changing the days from Thursday/Friday to Friday/Saturday. The motion carried with 2 abstentions.
5. 2010 Raffle -- Encounter Tours: Len Romano reported on the problems with Encounter Tours, the travel agency that had reneged on the agreement to provide six historical trips for winners of the raffle at the convention. Six people had won an all-expenses paid trip for one week for two people. Len said that he “take[s] full blame” for the failure of the company to follow through on the prizes. The CSS Executive Board had already asked him to investigate the possibility of going to small claims court to require the travel agency to honor its contract with CSS.
6. Snow InsuranceundefinedOliver Cashman-Brown raised the issue of snow insurance for the annual conventions. Oliver indicated that the CSS Board had discussed at its June meeting the possibility of weather forcing the cancellation of the spring convention. Carolyn Herbst stated that in the past such insurance was bought by the Council. Len indicated that the insurance cost could be built into the budget. Further investigation of snow insurance will be made.
7. NYSUT/Social Justice will have the winners of their “Speak to Truth” video contest show their work in Tribeca, NYC. The three-minute videos focus on the theme of social justice. There is the possibility of showing the three winning videos at the Awards Banquet and NYSUT would help promote the event. Tim Potts moved and Carolyn Herbst seconded the motion that the CSS/4A accept NYSUT’s offer to publicize and show the video finalists at the convention. The motion was passed with 1 abstention.
8. McGraw Hill Publisher has offered to provide the name badges for the 2012 convention.
9. Sites Coordinator and Executive Secretary:
Lori suggested that the Executive Secretary and Sites Coordinator positions be maintained as unpaid and unfilled positions.
Lori also suggested that that a sub-committee be established to consider a constitutional change to replace the former sites coordinator position with a volunteer sites committee.
10. Treasurer's report.
Al informed us that any board member can get a treasurer's report any time of day, from any internet connection. Our organization pays about $35 per month for this service. It is fully integrated with our checking account and our PayPal. Any transactions that come into our checking account or PayPal automatically is recorded in this system; this is a huge time-saver for all of us. There is no limit to the number of people who could view (not edit) reports. “View reports only” allows the user to see what checks have been written, what deposits have been made, what the balances are, etc. Rather than receiving paper reports, people can go online instead to see exactly how much money this association has, and what is spent on what.
Note: Our accountant is Jerry Dagastino.
Al made a motion: NYSCSS/NYS4A set up the QuickBooks financial system so that all board members have the ability to “view reports only.” The Board of Directors will have enhancements beyond that. Lori seconded it. Passed unanimously.
To get access, individuals should send their email address to Al (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a title of “Sign up for NYSCSS/NYS4A access”.
Note: The QuickBooks column of the online banking is most accurate (KeyBank checking + PayPal cash account).
Cash on hand right now is about $22,000. All deferred payments are up to date now. All board members now have the ability to know exactly how much money this organization has.
How to navigate: QuickBooks is set up for the lay person. On reports, one can click on Profit and Loss. What it automatically defaults to is the current fiscal year but the viewer can change the date range.
One may also click on Balance Sheet, on Banking (and Check Detail), and on the Member List.
Al recommended that everyone try to get their own PayPal account, because that way it makes it easier for him to get our reimbursements to us. The system is getting more and more automated all the time.
Regarding renewal reminders, Erica sent an email to local council presidents informing them that no one will be getting the renewal notices the way they had in the past. This is mostly
because of the transition, when we did not have a complete or accurate database. Erica has made a lot of efforts to try to contact people about their renewals, but it really isn't possible to reach everyone. She urged that when board members return home, they should try to get in touch with those they know to make sure they renew. People can still send in checks, but it is not preferred. We are trying to get this as automated as possible.
Al mentioned that one of the key ways for local council presidents to make a difference in this matter, is at the local council meetings, have a computer there, bring them to the website, tell people “it no longer costs you $50. It costs you $25, $20 for retired, $15 for students. We would really like you to become a member of your local council and the State council at the same time.”
Erica is working to reduce costs my phasing out hard copies of the newsletter.
Rozella stated that members should have the option to opt-in to getting a hard copy of the newsletter.
Lori emphasized how the dues are lower now because of these cost-savings moves.
Ollie suggested that local council presidents also get the word out as a back-up announcement.
Lori moved and Oliver seconded that the hard copies of the newsletter be phased out. In the next edition, recipients will be informed that their dues are being reduced because of cost-savings efforts, such as the phasing out of hard copies of the newsletter. They must check a box to inform us that they still want a hard copy. Local council presidents will also make this announcement. Passed unanimously.
Rozella suggested a membership card to brand the organization, the way the national organization does. Erica will put it on her list, but as a lower priority.
With regards to membership, Carolyn posed a question regarding the rights of retirees. There is some confusion as to whether or not retired members can vote. This right was lost a few years ago. Was it re-instituted? No one is quite sure. We will need to check previous minutes to answer this.
Donna suggested clarifying when renewals occur. Erica and Al said that with the new system in place, the best way to do it is to have each membership renew a year after it began (rather than do all renewals at the same date). Donna suggested that this be announced so that everyone understands. Al suggested putting together a membership flyer, an FAQ, to tell people why to join and how to join. Al volunteered to create it and share it with Erica.
Taraneh expressed an interst in developing an archive of all past and present memberships. Such a thing does not exist currently, but the new system should be able to help create it. She also wanted to know who has provided us with large donations.
13. NYSED Update: Donna Merlau reported on the latest developments with the common core standards and suggested that everyone be familiar with EngageNY, the state website on these new standards. She stated that currently there are no changes to the social studies assessments or curriculum. “Our social studies system already supports the common core: emphasis on identified skills (in speaking, listening, writing), sequential skills developments, broad understandings, close reading, among other elements of the new paradigm. Social Studies bridges [standards] between ELA and Math standards.” The goal of the shifts is to “change the way we look at education” and to deliver instruction that incorporates appropriate technology and common core -aligned activities. NYSED is also informing publishers to align their books to the common core. These efforts of the Board of Regents to change the standards are all part of the RTT.
14. Guest Speaker Dr. Larry Paska, Interim Director of Curriculum Services, gave a presentation on “Implementing the P-12 Common Core Standards in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects: Resources and Next Steps.”
15. Donna continued with her presentation and spoke about the APDA assessment page on the state website and the scoring process. She indicated that changes are under way for the DBQ scaffolding questions, which in the near future will require more analysis. There will be a “mix of easy and hard questions in the scaffolding section,” stepping up to Bloom’s taxonomy.
16. Announcement by Lori: The meeting with the Regent to advocate for social studies education was postponed and is supposed to be rescheduled in November.
Announcement by Tim: Depending on outcome with Saratoga for the 2012 convention, he has already networked with Charlie Gifford. But it is all going to depend on what happens with the contract. Saratoga does not want to hear from us until we had tangibles to talk about.
17. Adjournment: Erica moved to close, seconded by Tim. The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 PM.
Sue Leung Eichler