School board to discuss human resources, special education at meeting tonight


A request for proposals (RFP) for Rome school district human resources services, and retirement plans in 2021 for the district’s director of special education, were to be among Board of Education topics tonight.

Among other items before the board were an update on the special education program; discussion of an upcoming energy-performance contract project for Rome Free Academy and Staley Upper Elementary School; and tenure for an elementary school art teacher.

The board meets today at 6:30 p.m. at the district office, 409 Bell Road. On the agenda:

• Discussing an RFP for human resources services will involve “some options available to us to proceed,” said board President Paul Fitzpatrick.

The review is part of addressing how human resources categories will be handled when district Director of Employee Relations Frank Conestabile retires in June, observed Fitzpatrick. In a related move, the board last month discussed an RFP for legal services involving labor-related functions such as personnel and contractual matters.

• District Director of Special Education Kathy Bragan plans to retire effective July 15, 2021, according to a resolution before the board. Bragan was appointed to the position in December 2016. Among her prior district positions have been director of support services, Gansevoort Elementary School principal, and assistant director of support services.

Bragan wlll provide a special education update for the board. The board typically receives such updates at least once a year regarding the status of programs and related topics, Fitzpatrick noted.

• A prior energy-performance contract presentation by C&S Companies of Syracuse will be discussed further to clarify additional questions by board members, said Fitzpatrick.

The board at a prior meeting authorized district Superintendent Peter C. Blake to put together a contract proposal involving C&S, Fitzpatrick said. Once compiled, it will be subject to board approval. Options as outlined by C&S could generate annual net benefits of about $191,000 after a $3.8 project to improve energy-related systems at RFA and Staley, or $247,000 after a $4.928 million project.

• A resolution to grant tenure is for Gansevoort Elementary School art teacher Amanda Benoit.

Tenure is typically considered after a probationary period, and guarantees due process in the event that dismissal charges are faced. It also is considered in future assignments.


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