Full Board



Jean C. Stevens


Status Report on Roosevelt Union Free School District



January 24, 2007



Goals 1 and 2










Issue for Information


Monthly status report on key issues for the Roosevelt Union Free School District.


Reason(s) for Consideration


Requested by members of the Board of Regents.
Proposed Handling 


For information.


Procedural History


          Not applicable.


Background Information


          Roosevelt Union Free School District is the only New York State take-over school district.  On April 12, 2002, Chapter 33 of the Laws of 2002 was enacted into law authorizing the removal of the Board of Education (BOE) of the Roosevelt Union Free School District and the appointment of an interim board by the Commissioner of Education.


          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 and supervisors, including tenure appointments. Furthermore, the Commissioner exercises fiscal and 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 and SED/Roosevelt monthly meeting agenda that provides information on the operations and oversight of the Roosevelt Union Free School District:


·       Attachment A: SED Status Report on Roosevelt Union Free School District

·       Attachment B: Roosevelt School District/SED Monthly Meeting Agenda, January 18, 2007.


Timetable for Implementation


          Not applicable.






                                                                                                    ATTACHMENT A





This item provides information regarding six areas of continued Department focus during this reporting period.



1.     State Education Department (SED) Oversight and Support


                   The State Education Department continues to provide ongoing and sustained oversight of the Roosevelt Union Free School District. A Department team, consisting of program, legal and fiscal staff, meets monthly with the Superintendent and his administrative cabinet. The January meeting was conducted on January 18, 2007. The agenda is developed each month with input from all members of the SED Roosevelt team and with the opportunity for input from the district. The agenda for the January 18, 2007 meeting is included in Attachment B.


          In addition, on January 12, 2007, State officials met with the Superintendent and members of his administrative cabinet in order to advance the school district’s plan to address the budget deficit.


2.       Interim Board of Education


         Following the action by the Board of Regents at the January 9, 2007 meeting, the Roosevelt Interim Board of Education is now complete with five members, including three new members and a new Board Chair. SED will work with the Superintendent to ensure that the Roosevelt Interim Board receives required training and necessary briefings.


3.               Academic


·     Accountability Status of Roosevelt Middle School


In 2003-04, Roosevelt High School included grades 7-12. In 2004-05, the Roosevelt School District received approval from the Board of Regents to register a separate middle school with grades 7-8. The Department made a determination at that time that the middle school could not start in “good standing” but must assume the middle-level accountability status of the high school, which was School Planning for Restructuring in middle-level English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. A summary of the middle school status is as follows:


Performance in School Year

AYP Decision

Accountability Status in the Next School Year




School Planning for Restructuring in middle-level ELA


School Planning for Restructuring in middle-level mathematics




School Planning for Restructuring in middle-level ELA


School in Good Standing



School in Good Standing


School in Good Standing



For a school to be removed from improvement status on an accountability measure, it must make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years in that subject. In 2004-05, Roosevelt Middle School made AYP for the second consecutive year in mathematics.  Therefore, it was placed in good standing in mathematics. In 2005-06, Roosevelt Middle School made AYP for the second consecutive year in ELA.  Therefore, it was placed in good standing in ELA.


To be placed in improvement status, a school must fail to make AYP for two consecutive years.  Roosevelt Middle School did not make AYP in mathematics in 2005-06.  If it fails to make AYP in mathematics again in 2006-07, it will become a school in need of improvement (Year 1) in mathematics.


Roosevelt Middle School remains a School under Registration Review.  Its 2005-06 mathematics performance places it farthest from State standards in mathematics. Its performance in mathematics was very low.  Roosevelt had 341 continuously enrolled students and a Performance Index (PI) for the "all students" group of 67.  This PI indicates that, at a minimum, 113 of the 341 students scored at Level 1. The majority of the remaining students scored at Level 2.   According to the rules established by the Commissioner for SURR schools, once a school is identified as SURR, the school, even if it is in good standing under NCLB, may not be removed from SURR status if the school is farthest from a State standard. 


·     Accountability Status of Roosevelt Elementary Schools


The elementary schools, Centennial, Ulysses Byas, and Washington Rose, remain in good standing.


·     Accountability Status of Roosevelt High School


The high school is currently in Restructuring Year 3. The 2005-2006 accountability status indicated that the school was listed as Restructuring Year 2 for secondary-level English Language Arts and for secondary-level mathematics. The high school remains in SURR status.


          The district has petitioned for the Roosevelt High School to be removed from SURR status. The SED Office of Audit Services completed the review of remaining records that are connected to the decision regarding SURR status. The final determination regarding SURR will be made by the Office of Accountability, Policy and Administration in February 2007.


·       Five-Year Education Plan


The Department Roosevelt teams will work with Roosevelt staff to revise the Five-Year Education Plan based on recommendations included in the site visit report. This report was provided to the Board of Regents at the January meeting.


4.               Finance


          The Department has been working closely with the district to prepare a deficit reduction plan.  It is believed that most, if not all, of the revenue shortfall may be offset by a combination of invoicing previously unbilled foster care tuition, favorable variances in interest income from capital funds, and tax levy revenues in excess of budget.


          In order to address the expenditure shortfall, the school district has prepared a deficit reduction plan detailing substantial personnel and programmatic reductions.  For 2006-07, such reductions would have a pro-rated impact since five months remain in the fiscal year.  The full extent of such reductions will be realized during 2007-08 over a full-year period.  Other alternatives being considered in order to address this deficit during the current school year include: 1) additional grant funding; and 2) special legislation to increase the contingency budget cap. 


          All options are being carefully studied and reviewed with the objective of addressing this fiscal crisis without adversely affecting the educational program.  To prevent a recurrence of such a crisis in the future, efforts to complete an accurate budget are moving ahead.  The budget will be reviewed by the fiscal administrator, the Department and the Office of the State Comptroller with the goal of a realistic budget being developed by February 28, 2007.  The district will also be required to complete its encumbrance process each July.  Thereafter, appropriations will be reviewed monthly. 


5.       Audit



The school district needs to provide the status of six remaining recommendations as they become implemented. The district plans to implement all recommendations by the end of February 2007. The Office of Audit Services (OAS) will follow up, analyze the information provided by the District and prepare a status report for the Board of Regents.



The Office of Audit Services (OAS) completed field work on the audit of the reliability of the district’s data. Preliminary audit findings were issued to the district. The district may respond to the preliminary findings by providing additional information for review. The next phase in the audit is the development of a draft report. The District is given 30 days to respond to the draft. A final report is then issued, which includes the district’s response as an appendix. At the conclusion of the audit, the report will be presented to the Board of Regents.



The Office of the State Comptroller audit has been completed and auditors are scheduled to meet with the district on January 24, 2007. The district does not expect any surprises to be contained in the audit and believes that the information will be helpful in the development of the 2007–2008 school district budget.


6.       Construction


          The Roosevelt School District construction update this month is focused on  Washington Rose Elementary School and the middle school as follows:


·       Washington Rose Elementary School


          The move into the new Washington Rose Elementary School is scheduled for the winter break in February 2007, with occupancy by students and staff when school reopens following the break.  The bonding company has made payments that have allowed the work to continue despite the financial difficulties of the HVAC contractor. 



On January 18, 2007, the district conducted a public meeting to inform the Roosevelt community of the progress and problems related to the new Roosevelt Middle School construction project.  Representatives from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Department of Health (DOH) and the State Education Department (SED) were present at the meeting to address questions from the public.  In addition, a representative from AKRF Engineering, Inc. was present.  AKRF is the company selected by the district to manage the effort to remediate the property.  There were approximately 180 community members present at the meeting.


The community expressed concern about the safety of the site and distrust of the State regulatory agencies. They expressed concern that the school would be forever located on a contaminated site. SED committed to continuing the effort to keep the public informed regarding the status of the project through additional community forums such as the one conducted on January 18.


The Department, at this time, is unsure of the total financial impact of the remediation and the impact on the building completion schedule. Once the full extent of the necessary remediation is known, the Department will have better information about the final schedule for occupancy of the middle school and the impact of cost of the middle school remediation project on the high school renovation project.





Roosevelt School District-NYSED Monthly Meeting Agenda

January 18, 2007 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Roosevelt UFSD, Administrative Building, 240 Denton Place, Board Room






Board of Education

Discussion of selection process, outcomes and next steps.



5 minutes

District receives information on Board of Education appointments.



SED Site Visit

Collaborative discussion of SED visits, outcomes and next steps.


30 minutes

District and SED agree on next steps related to the site visit.


Fiscal Issues

Discussion of:

--Fiscal Administrator Report

--Fiscal deficit reduction plan

--Quarterly budget report for OSC

-- 07-08 Budget preparation


35 minutes

District and SED are clear regarding timely fiscal issues.



      District Personnel Issues



District provides information regarding personnel actions in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures related to personnel.


10 minutes

District shares information regarding upcoming personnel/actions.



Curriculum and Instruction

And Accountability

Discussion of:

--Update regarding SURR petition

for high school

-- Update regarding accountability status of Middle School


10 minutes

District and SED receive update on SURR status.


Special Education Issues




 Update regarding the District’s participation in the VESID/Quality Assurance Focused Review (QA FR) in the area of “IDEA Effective Practices” for 2006-2007.


10 minutes

District and SED have clear understanding of next steps related to 2006-07 QA FR and anticipated Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) with a focus on MS/HS improved instruction and outcomes reflected in State Performance Plan (SPP) indicators.




Discussion of:

--Office of Audit Services audit of 2001 and 2002 cohort data and systems that will affect accuracy of data in the future

--Progress in implementing outstanding OAS audit recommendations

-- Status  of OSC audit



5 minutes

District and SED have clear understanding of data reliability and data management issues, and status of audit recommendations.


Construction Status

Discussion of status of construction projects:

-- Update on building security  (locks)

-- Preparation for Public Meeting on middle school construction progress


10 minutes

District and SED receive update information on construction.


Master Calendar

-- Review of Master Calendar, due dates and status of actions

-- April 23, 2007 Board of Regents meeting on Long Island; school visits


5 minutes

Status of calendar items is confirmed.