EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY
OF THE STATE OF
Jean C. Stevens
Status Report on Roosevelt Union Free
June 12, 2006
Goals 1 and 2
Issue for Information
In May, the full Board received a report on the Roosevelt Union Free School District prepared by Department staff and Superintendent Ronald Ross that included data on academic performance and school completion and a summary of technical assistance provided to the district by SED and the Long Island technical assistance network. In addition, the full Board heard a brief report from Superintendent Ronald Ross and Board President Edward McCormick. Staff was asked to provide additional information on a monthly basis on the status of key issues for the district. The attached report responds to that request.
Response to request for additional information on a monthly basis.
Section 1 of the statute authorizes the Commissioner of Education to
appoint and supervise the superintendent of schools; he may disapprove the
appointments of assistant or associate superintendents, building principals and
other school administrators in accordance with contractual agreements, while
ensuring stability in governance and administration of the school district. Furthermore, the Commissioner exercises
fiscal control as well as educational program oversight. The interim BOE must provide a five-year
education plan with annual updates and a five-year financial stabilization plan
for the district, which shall ensure that revenues and expenditures are in
balance. The interim BOE must also
provide the Board of Regents with periodic updates of the educational progress
of the school district.
Staff recommends that the
Regents review the attached status report on three timely issues related to the
operation of the
Status Report on Roosevelt Union Free
The following provides a status report on three areas of the Departmentís focus during this reporting period: finance, audit and construction.
Department has started the process of identifying and recruiting a fiscal
administrator to monitor the budgetary and financial operations of the
∑ District Business Official
The district has been recruiting and interviewing candidates for the full-time position of school business official. To date, this is still a work in progress. The district has hired a retired school business official to assist in the interim.
∑ Budget Vote Status
The district will submit its budget for a second vote on June 20, 2006. At this point, district staff is optimistic about the result. In the event of a budget defeat, a contingency budget must be adopted. As a result, expenditures would be reduced by approximately $3.6 million or 5.5%.
Final Audit Report
The final audit report was issued by the
Office of Audit Services (OAS) on May 18, 2005. The President of the Board of
Education indicated in the districtís response that all appropriate
recommendations will be implemented and pledged a cooperative relationship.
Progress in implementing any outstanding
audit recommendations will be tracked during scheduled monthly meetings of SED
Senior Managers with Superintendent Ross and members of his administrative
cabinet. The next scheduled meeting
is June 30, 2006.
OAS routinely follows up on all
recommendations contained in final audit reports. The process involves a request
from OAS for a formal description of actions taken to implement the
recommendations. The request also asks for timeframes and the designation of
officials responsible for implementation. The follow up takes place 90 days
after the issuance of the final report and allows 30 days for response. On or about September 15, 2006, OAS will
analyze the information provided by the district and prepare a status report on
Staff from the Office of Audit Services
(OAS), as well as the Office of Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing
OAS staff will be returning to the district
to examine the reliability of the reported number of 2001 graduates, and the
2002 cohort data.
the Office of Facilities Planning regularly visits
Thus far, the
team has adjusted the program scope as necessary to remain on budget despite
huge unanticipated material cost spikes of approximately 2% per month for the
last 2 years for a total increase of approximately 24%. These spikes are the result of certain
material shortages such as steel, concrete, and masonry products, resulting from
diverse issues such as war reconstruction in
Phase I of
this project consists of the new classroom and administrative spaces and is
complete and operational. Minor
punch list items remain and are being corrected. The building was completed on time and
under budget. Phase II will be the
The building masonry foundations and block walls for the classroom wing are complete through the third floor with temporary roofing scheduled within the next 2 weeks. Structural steel for the cafeteria, gym, and library are currently underway. This project is on schedule for December 2006 occupancy and currently expected to be slightly below budget upon completion.
Preliminary programming and design work is underway for Ulysses Byas. This project is not subject to the delays at the middle school and will be bid and awarded on schedule in January 2007 with occupancy scheduled for September 2008.
school bids were awarded and initial work has begun. The discoveries of
substantial amounts of debris buried on-site by past
Because of the delays in original land acquisition, and because of the delays due to debris remediation, it is very unlikely, even with overtime, that the facility could be completed on schedule by September 2007. If issues are resolved in a timely manner, it may be possible to occupy the classroom portions of this facility in December 2007. Gymnasium and auditorium work could be completed later, or the entire occupancy could be delayed until September 2008. The work of the project is being scheduled with a concentration on the classroom portions of the school scheduled for earlier completion.
Several early construction projects for boilers and elevators have been bid. Both projects are below budget estimates. This will ensure the facility remains code compliant and will also cause future reconstruction scheduling to be less complicated. The current boilers are leaking badly and extensive repairs are needed to last the heating season; the elevator is inoperable. The remainder of the high school design is currently underway with Cannon Design.
Due to the delays on the middle school project, the high school work will also be delayed. Work cannot begin in earnest until the middle school wing is vacated into the new middle school. Increased costs of construction due to delays in the high school bids will require appropriate adjustments to the program scope as the design moves forward to keep the project on budget.