A Meeting of the Minds – Two School Boards Talk about Collaboration

Is this really the right time? That’s the question from Deb Lennon, President of theSaranacLakeCentralSchoolBoard.. She’s sitting to the Right of Mary Deitrich, who recently became President of the Lake Placid School Board. The two are flanked by Clyde Baker to Mary’s left and Janet Smith to the Right of Deb Lennon..

AUDIO – 090612 – K&J SHOW – Joint Lake Placid Saranac Lake School Board Meeting

While there may have been a joint meeting in the past, perhaps before all of our times, no one can remember a modern day meeting of the two boards.Lake PlacidCentralSchool’s Board andSaranacLake’s Board are dealing with a unique situation that doesn’t come along very often. Both Superintendents… Gerald Goldman inSaranacLakeand  Dr Randy Richards inLake Placidwill be leaving their posts at the end of the now current school year… Goldman and Richards flank the ends of the meeting table, which has been expanded to handle the 14 board members, two Superintendents and two administrative clerks,,  It’s an impressive experience just to be in the library at Petrova’s library as these two school boards begin to find common ground on the question of Shared Services.

It’s an open conversation among all of the board members. The discussion leads to the question of Sharing a superintendent. Among the two school boards. The head table is flanked on two sides by the balance of the membership.. To the left of Dr Richards, Lake Placid Board Member Phil Baumbach sits next to Lisa Paschke and John Hopkins, among the group on the left, Ester Arlan who we spoke with on the K&J show on Labor Day andSaranacLake’s Business Manager Dan Bower sits to her left with Christine at the end of the upright…  Katie Fischer, Patti Gallagher and Terry Turbitty are seated in the left upright with Martha Stahl and Miles Nortwick.

The discussion leads from an open conversation to the logistics of scheduling and developing a group of committees to identify opportunities for sharing services and saving money…

Providing more to the students and to the staff are two topics added to the list of agenda items as the board begins to brainstorm concepts for the upcoming school year and to identify committees to work with particular departments in each district, food services for example, business management and budgets, vehicle maintenance and the bus garage come to the list during the conversation and Bower suggested combining the idea of buildings and grounds into one committee’s focus.

Instruction, sharing teaching assignments, and other concepts such as scheduling and travel generates an active discussion among board members of the opportunities which could become available to the committee which may arise ..

The final committee structure;

Instructional / Professional Development / Technology

Patti Gallagher will co-chair the Food Service / Nutrition committee representing Lake Placid’s Board. She says it’s a good fit because they’ve already been investigating options, but she did want to clarify that the area they are looking to consider sharing in food services is where an outside consultant had been used.   He had done the menu planning and some of the business end and he has chosen to no longer be working with Lake Placid’s district. The cafeteria staff at both the elementary and the middle high  school are terrific and do wonderful things for students everyday. Gallagher says “We are very lucky with our local staff.”  This is an opportunity to utilize local resources.

Food Service

Business development

Property and equipment

The Business Office according to Bower will take an active role in all of the conversations moving forward and as the board begins to identify who may be interested in participating in each of the four committees, it’s becoming clear that both Dan Bower and his administrative staff, and

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