Human Resources Newsletter -Spring

2015/2016 School Year ~ Sue Keogh, HR Associate

Thank You

I wanted to thank those that have helped me all year with my quarterly newsletters. With their help, I am able to provide the staff with information from multiple departments within the District and have a second set of eyes proofing my newsletters before they go live. A special thanks to: Alan Klingbeil, Pam Young, Kathy Freier, Alison Schaffer, Mary Lou Kaboly, and Drew Bishop. Great teamwork!!

Palisades School Board Policy #322: Gifts

As the end of the school year is approaching, a reminder to all of the Palisades School District Gift Policy.

The Board considers the acceptance of gifts by administrative, professional, confidential, and classified employees an undesirable practice.

It is the policy of the Board that staff members not accept gifts of significant value, as determined by the immediate supervisor.

The Superintendent or designee may approve acts of generosity to individual district employees in unusual situations, but shall report such instances to the Board on a timely basis.

Board Policy #322 (reference policy 322 in search)

Administrative Regulations #322

Helpful Tip

Question: Why did I get a 1095-C Form?
Answer by Drew Bishop, Business Administrator:

The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) includes specific provisions that require all Americans to have healthcare coverage that meets minimum coverage standards and is considered affordable.

Starting in 2015, Americans will receive written verification from their employers verifying their calendar year 2015 eligibility and enrollment in their employer sponsored group healthcare coverage.

All employees received a Form 1095-C this year (on or near March 31st). The Form 1095-C contains information about your healthcare coverage that will be required when completing your 2015 tax return. This form verifies your eligibility and enrollment in your employer’s healthcare benefits coverage and is essential for the federal government to confirm that you, and any eligible dependents, had health insurance coverage in 2015. This form is your proof of insurance.

The contents of the Form 1095-C will include general information about you and the employer. The form will also address your eligibility for health coverage, the offer of health coverage and that the coverage was deemed affordable under the rules of the Affordable Care Act. The final section of the form will indicate the individual(s) who had health coverage through the District in 2015 and the months in which the coverage was held.

The Internal Revenue Service has extended the due date for insurers, employers and other reporting entities to file the 2015 Form 1095 C that is due in 2016.

The due date for furnishing to individuals the 1095 C (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage) has been extended from February 1, 2016 to March 31, 2016.

This extension will not affect individuals when filing their 2015 income tax returns. Individuals who receive the form following the completion of their tax returns will not be required to amend their 2015 tax returns.

It is recommended that individuals keep the Form 1095 C with their tax records but will not be required to send the updated information to the IRS.

Please contact your tax accountant if you have any questions regarding the filing of your taxes.


Spring Safety Tips

Spring is a beautiful time of the year. A time to enjoy the warmer temperatures and sunshine.

It also brings stormy weather that can be dangerous. If skies look threatening, check to see if a storm warning has been issued before you plan outdoor activities.

If you are outside and thunderstorms approach, go immediately into a building or enclosed vehicle. If a tornado warning is issued, go into the basement or an interior first floor room. If you happen to be outside and can’t get safely into a building, lie down in a ditch or a depression in the ground.

Warmer weather brings people outside. People are working outdoors, children are playing outdoors. You always want to be extra watchful while driving in residential areas.

Remember to stretch those muscles before doing lawn work. Winter’s inactive muscles can only take so much strain. Don’t overdo it, build up slowly to help avoid strains that can put you out of commission.

Before you do any hands on weed removal; make sure you know how to identify poison ivy, sumac, oak and similar toxic plants.

Statistics show that more than 75,000 people are injured in lawn mower accidents each year. 10,000 of them are children. Be sure to rake up any stones or loose debris before mowing to prevent them from being thrown into the air.

Wear sturdy shoes while mowing. Never wear sandals or mow barefoot. Be sure to wear eye protection.

Always start and refuel mowers outdoors. While refueling your mower, make sure the engine is off and cool. Do not spill gasoline on a hot engine.

Spring is a good time to change your smoke detector batteries and make sure your fire extinguishers are fully charged. Check your flashlights and keep extra batteries handy in case of power outages from storms.

Health and Safety Tips

Palisades School District Going Green - Part Three

Submitted by Alan Klingbeil, Crew Chief Custodian at PALMS

One of the areas we spent a lot of time on was looking for vacuums that are green seal certified and meet our guidelines for indoor air quality. The major concern was looking for vacuums that would reduce indoor air pollution as well as providing us with good equipment for our Custodians to use.

Dust and SVOCs – The Silent Contaminant

Particles in the air can not only be a vehicle for the spread of airborne disease but can also be the major cause of many allergic and respiratory reactions as they present exposure to toxic chemicals that ride on dust. These odorless semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), such as phthalates, flame-retardants, pesticides, biocides, plasticizers, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are silent contaminants that emit from materials and ride on the dust in the air you see and breathe. Unlike volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) that reduce relatively quickly and warn of their presence with an odor, SVOCs are insidious because they have no odor and can persist for years indoors at increasing levels because of their continual, slow rate of release from sources.

The HEPA Difference – Why the right Vacuum Matters

“Cleaning” with the wrong vacuum can actually contribute to allergic reactions, asthma, and other illness. Most vacuum cleaners exhaust the very dust that was just collected back into the air, making the area more contaminated than before. To prevent this, a HEPA vacuum that has a certified sealed system (also called an abatement level vacuum) should be used to ensure that the finest dust (including animal dander) is picked up and that no particulates leak out at junctures where hoses and nozzles connect. HEPA is an acronym for High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance, a particular type of filter that removes fine dust – 99.97% of particles that have a size of 0.3 µm (micrometers), or three millionths of a meter. Cleaning regularly with a certified sealed HEPA vacuum dramatically improves air quality by reducing the amount of airborne allergens, dust, and harmful chemicals.

Our District uses Windsor Sensor Vacuums. They are one of the top rated vacuums for the reduction of indoor pollution. They use the HEPA system.

Another product we use to help reduce indoor air pollution is called Aqua –Dust. This is an organic product that help reduce the amount of dust that is put into the air as the Custodians sweep the floors. This product encapsulates the dust particles so they do not get in to the air. The Custodians treat their dry mops with this product at the end of each day.

District Recycling

Our District Recycling Program started at PALMS in 1991. Over the years it expanded to the other schools in the District.

Our District Recycling program is as follows:

  • Green Bins – all recyclable paper
  • Blue Bins – all plastics, cans and glass
  • Gray Bins are for non-recyclable items
  • We also recycle all cardboard and batteries

Staff Training - Your Custodial staff receives yearly training to keep them current on the products and procedures we use.

Our goal is to provide our students, staff and our community with clean and healthy buildings. By using the green products and equipment that I have spoken about in prior issues, we are achieving the goals of creating a healthy environment.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about our efforts to go green. Because of these efforts, our District is ahead of a lot of other Districts with our green cleaning, a fact that I am very proud of.

If you would like to know more, please contact Alan at extension 1411.

Overview of Health Care Consortium

See the following link to an information video regarding our Health Care Consortium. It is 9 minutes but interesting if you want to know more about the Labor and Management partnership that is our Health Care Consortium.

The Palisades School District Trustees are Drew Bishop, Business Administrator, and Dennis Gluck, PSEA First Vice President.

Wellness Incentives Reminder for Independence Blue Cross Members

REMINDER to submit for your Health Care Reimbursements before June 30, 2016:
**Note: To access the following reimbursement links, you must log into the Palisades School District's website.**

The following reimbursements are eligible for employees enrolled in the Palisades School District health insurance. See details of each program.

Fitness: $150 back when you join an eligible gym and work out regularly

Weight Management: $150 back when you participate in an approved program

Tobacco Cessation: $150 back when you complete an approved program to help you quit using tobacco

If you have any questions about your health care, contact a Health Advocate for FREE.

The Health Advocate is a great resource of benefit information and assistance. Learn more today at or call your Health Advocate at 1-866-695-8622.