Board News February 2015
The Board of Trustees met on January 28, 2015 at 5:30 pm. Board members present: Greg White, Yvette Atkinson, Pam Reister, Angela Tracey, Karen Andrews, Jon Lonsway, Christine Kelley. Public present: Al Waters, Shellee Almquist, Mary Bassett, Rhonda DeLong.
The Board met with Randy Trent, facilities manager for last 1.5 years at WISD. We thanked him for his work so far (replacing floors, fire damage, etc.). Emphasized collaborative approach to WISD maintenance. We addressed concerns around cleaning the building (especially mice/mice droppings, nightly mopping), interruptions from the PA system throughout the day, slippery entry to the modulars, and also concerns about air quality in some of the classrooms. Randy committed to speaking with cleaning staff, weatherstripping to try to remove entry points for mice, and working with the other entities at the WISD to improve the appropriate use of the PA system. The air quality issue is a work in progress. Randy will provide logs so that teachers and students can let him know what problems specifically are encountered, and then he can target cleaning and testing with that data.
It appears that email issues with Dream Host seem to be resolved.
Expansion/replication committee met and reviewed enrollment/demand. Next steps: Feb. 10 meeting, laying out needs for K-8 building, curriculum requirements for high school, and also laying out needs for high school.
Al has met with special education staff and implemented a spreadsheet to record all progress made on IEP goals, making data aggregation easier.
The University of Michigan Ross School of Business sent out an appeal for projects in which students would conduct a market review; this was accepted and Al will attend the student presentation in April; board members may also be invited.
Immunization regulations: Al reports that the State of Michigan has changed requirements for waiving immunizations. Families seeking religious/philosophical waivers will now need to attend class and have a form signed by health department; Honey Creek will exclude anyone without a waiver for next school year. Compliance goal is 95%
Committee Reports Finance Committee Report:
Jon Lonsway is working with Jessica P’Simer on a technology grant application.
Fund balance remains at 15%. The committee recommended reinstating stipends for teachers: board liaison, CSLE teachers, math alignment project. Karen Andrews moved to approve, Pam Reister seconds. Unanimous vote to approve stipends. Board will continue conversation about 2% raise for staff at retreat.
Foundation Liaison’s Report:
Foundation donations are nearly the same as they were during 2013-2014 school year.
Foundation is engaged in a lively conversation about the board’s recommendation to hire an Executive Director, and may instead opt for a modified position that is less costly.
Governance Committee Report:
New board members: We have two nominees for the board: Steve Rich (parent) and Rhonda DeLong (referred by Yvette Atkinson). Rhonda DeLong, Marketing and Communications Director for University of Michigan School of Public Health, introduced herself and described her experience around marketing and communications, design, web, internal communications and messaging. DeLong talked about her work with School of Public Health especially doing fundraising, honing messages for developing donors. Board thanked her for her interest, welcomed her involvement. Karen and Greg explained a bit about what being a board member is like (time, responsibilities). Al introduced rebranding project as a potential area where DeLong could consider contributing. Discussion followed. Governance committee will vet the two nominees and bring recommendations to the next board meeting. Governance will invite two candidates as guests to the board retreat.
Reporting requirement around reviewing salaries. Committee is reviewing salaries of other charter schools in county; noted that this was not a good market comparator (because of management companies); also look at independent charters in Michigan. Will also look at salaries for other administrators and teachers. The issue before the board will be: what do we want to make of this data?
Board retreat to review goals and set new 90-day goals will be February 7, 8-12 at Gladwin Center.
Board development: We will invite Diana Kern to speak to board, either as Board Spotlight or stand alone training. Karen will follow up with her to bring back options. Also potential for Stephen Gill to do Board Spotlight (innovation in education); Deborah Parizek (from Henry Ford, about monetizing experience). Governance will also flesh out online independent training options. Al has copy of Innovation and Change, and will be glad to loan out.
Yvette would like to have training in what works for independent charters in terms of business model. Karen invited Yvette to do some more research around other potential speakers.
Beginning process for Al’s evaluation. Form will be outlined toward the end of March. This year will be an abbreviated evaluation.
Communications and Outreach Committee:
There was a written report in the board packet. Committee remains very active, and has several projects in process.
One faculty member expressed support for the Wellness Committee assisting with air quality, if WISD leads. Another faculty member expressed extreme concern around mouse problem in A Wing. A third faculty member voiced concern around loud and interruptive PA announcements for High Point. Al indicates that this may be a problem with substitutes on front desk misusing PA system; there is also a need to have more training on the phones. One faculty member responded to Al’s question about Workman’s Comp claim, declining to do so. Karen Andrews suggested potential of having a committee that could tour facility 2x/year. Al volunteered to make this an administrative committee, Greg White volunteered to serve. Will invite faculty, Wellness, potentially students.
Relinquishment of Title 1 Funds. Al has had communications with the state about relinquishing the funds. Letter has been drafted. Christine moved, Karen supported, and board voted unanimously to withdraw funds.
To the faculty and students for their hard work on the curriculum celebration. To the speakers at the two enrollment meeting for giving time and points of view—Rita Hathaway especially for fielding question. Thanks to Will and Rita Hathaway for editing and posting video of the financial state of the school meeting. To Karen Andrews for work on Governance Committee, Christine Kelley for work on Foundation board/ communications committee. To Shellee Almquist for work on enrollment process, and for Johnny Thompson for her help with forms.
Coming Meetings/Events: February 6, 2015 Professional Development 1⁄2 Day of School February 11, 2015 Count Day February 16th – 20th Mid-Winter Break
Next board meeting will be February 25, 2015, 5:30p.m. in the Pit. Public participation is always welcome! Full board minutes are available at honeycreekschool.org.