Board Meeting – April 24, 2012

Regular board meeting – April 24, 2012

Board members in attendance: Andrea, Casey, Brad, Shelley, Tiffany, Genevieve, Michael

Board members absent: Mark

Others in attendance: Dawn, Margaret Evers, Jay Younger, Shiloh Elkins, Teresa Slominski, Regina Flynn, Chris Engelke

Executive Session came to order at 6:10
Open Session came to order at 7:10

Website Updates:
Chris Engelke came to update the board on changes to our school website. The website switched to new software. Our old software was outdated and more difficult for volunteers to use. The new system is called Word Press. The cost is $15 a month to host it and then everything else is free.  A new look, new style, and a new calendar (not on iCal). The new site will offer a Facebook/social sharing and posting of events feature. There will be a volunteer profile feature, a photo slider on the front page, and a “Brochure” area on the home page for new families. Videos will also be able to be viewed by families. David Cross and Phong Ha will also be great resources for assistance with the website in the future.

To Do List:
• Teacher sites
• More pictures on the plain pages * Auction image slider. • Additional videos
• Landing pages for Volunteers and Fundraising
• Possible Future Uses:
• Comments
• Forms for sign-ups or registrations (emailed to a coordinator) • Event promotions or Sponsor Logos in the Footer area

Principal Report:
• 75% done with students completeing the State Tests. We hope to be done by May 7th.
• We are finalizing the new charter contract with OCSD.
• We are trying to coordinate orientation activities for the Foxes with the nine different high schools that they will be attending next fall.
• 7th grade will leave for ODS at Opal Creek next week.
• Staff Appreciation is coming up. The Spring Clean was successful!
• The River Otters will be going to ODS at the coast on May 14th-18th. The bus will stay with them the whole time. The Foxes will be leaving the third week in May for their ODS.
• The Artist in Residence program is going well with Tina and Mary working with the K-5.  Electives with grades 6-8 started three weeks ago; a new specialist was hired – his name is Ben Popp, and he is an animation specialist. We are thrilled to have his expertise.
• We did receive a grant for the installation of more solar panels, but matching funds will be needed. We have 2 weeks to proceed with this project. The District has approved the solar panels.
• We have enrolled three new students.
• We are currently reviewing applications for the preschool teacher position and a special education teacher. There are five people on the preschool interview committee (including several parents and board members).
• There was a successful Noodles fundraiser turn-out.
• Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District will be working with the Foxes 
on the “Lake Springwater” issue. Right now is just the design period, and 
implementation will take place this summer.
• Loren and Laura are doing well on their maternity/paternity leaves, and Loren will return next Monday. 

Our total anticipated ADMw revenue was $877,920, and to date, we have received $833,564.  (See budget hand-out for additional info.)  Andrea said that it is very difficult to calculate at this point what our year-end cash carryover will be. For the 2012-13 school year, every teacher will receive a $500 increase for experience credit, (except for Troy, who has topped out at 10 years’ worth of experience, meaning that he receives a $5000 experience credit each year).  This will be Lorenʼs 10th year of experience credit, as well, and Rae is also close. 

Because we asked teachers to accept a pay freeze (other than their experience credit increase) last year, Andrea is recommending a 2% increase in teacher salaries.  Dawn voiced her agreement with this recommendation.  As part of the salary increase, teachers will not be paid per diem any longer for the end-of-year work days, and they won’t be paid a recess stipend, as every teacher will have a duty schedule for some shift during the week in lunch/recess. Andrea asked for questions or comments on the proposed budget. 
Shelley asked if our special education count will still stay at 15 students?  Genevieve asked if we could have a separate budget category for safety. 

Andrea reviewed each budget category and the board discussed projections for next year’s budget.  After noting the board’s input, Andrea said that she will make revisions and present a final draft at the May board meeting. Andrea proposed no tuition increase at preschool, and no increase in our anticipated fundraising revenue.

Tiffany asked if we could change the “Field Study Fee” to be Field Study/Art or just for Art. Genevieve stated that she doesnʼt think we have had to update backpacks this year, so we could probably just say “Art Supply Fee.”  Andrea suggested we lower the amount, and Tiff agreed that we should have a later discussion about this.  The board discussed staff development, custodial, facilities, landscaping and playground line items.

We need 900 instructional hours for grades 4-8, 810 hours for grades 1-3.  Grades K-3 must have a school day that is no longer than 6 hours.

Two Plan Proposals: A and B
150 school days (173 contract days for teachers, 7 holidays, 5 staff development days, and 5 work days) 3 community service and 4 conference days built in.  Calendar A has one fewer Friday Field Studies than B.

Dawn proposed that we run all full Friday Field Study days. Also start time of 8:35-3:25. There would be a bus savings (not having to run two buses on FFS) and it would provide students with more instructional time, so that grades 4-5 can meet the state’s seat time requirement (grades 6-8 are already at full days on FFS days).

Staff would like to move conferences off of Spring Break, and have the conferences be a sharing and showcasing. They like the goal setting conferences about 4 weeks into school.  The staffʼs preference was to start a week later in Sept. and to start with the partial week, possibly a Wednesday. They donʼt mind going longer in June. Tiff proposed a start date of September 11th. The board agreed that staff development days and community service days should be on Fridays.
The board discussed the two calendar proposals and asked to see a final proposal that combined elements of both.  Dawn will come with a final proposed calendar at the May board meeting for a vote at that time.

Hiring Update:
We have a new grade configuration. We have three teachers on temporary contracts which were not renewed for next year.  Dawn met with every single teacher to talk about the possibilities for themselves and the support that they needed. Dawn proposed:
Rae: K
Jon: 1st
Loren: 2/3 and hire for a new 2/3
Jen and Laura: 4th

Marcelle: 5th/6th

Troy and Faith: 7/8

Wendy has expressed a strong interest in applying for the 5/6 or 2/3 position. Kassandra has also expressed an interest in applying.  The job share makes the most sense at 4th grade, since it will allow Jen and Laura to partner together (w/o the job share, there’s no natural partner for the 4th grade teacher, since there’s only one 4th grade).

The board felt comfortable with Dawnʼs proposal.

Dawn will proceed with posting the special education position; any interested board or staff members can participate in screening the applications, then Dawn will make reference calls.  Viable candidates will be invited to visit the school, then final interviews will be scheduled.  After the interviews, we’ll ask the successful candidate to teach a sample lesson before an offer of employment is made.  Dawn will outline the entire hiring process in a memo to board and staff this coming week.

Other Agenda Items:
The board talked about concerns regarding the 7/8 program and other school issues.  Dawn suggested parent input sessions, led by a facilitator, using “Keep, Start, Stop” as focal points. 

Andrea stated that the board needs to vote to hire Judy Herson to provide supplemental science instruction to the 8th graders; Tiffany made the motion and the board voted all in favor.   Andrea next asked for a vote to approve hiring Bev Forney to lead the Capstone project through the end of the school year, at a cost of approximately $1000.  Casey made the motion and Genevieve seconded it; the board voted all in favor.

After repeated mentions in the Tidbits requesting anyone interested in serving on the board to contact us, only two individuals expressed an interest :  Alex Van Pelt and Devon Sommer.  Andrea said she would distribute their letters of interest to the board members for consideration, and the board will vote on the new member at the next meeting.

Public Comment:
Jay wanted to give kudos for hiring Judy and Bev. Jay is strongly opposed to Families, due to the safety issues, bad language from older kids, and the kids are kept away from their friends. The kids are more disruptive in the classroom probably due to their lack of time together. The tables are also difficult for 8th grade; Jay felt that desks were a better option.

Shiloh asked if we were going to continue with Families, as is or with tweaks? She also asked if the board was listening to the community.

Andrea stated that there have been two surveys that have gone out to the students regarding Families; these surveys were designed and distributed by staff, as part of the work of the PLC sub-committee on mission and vision. 
Regina asked if there was more positive feedback from the younger kids than the older kids. She also asked if Families would be something we could do on a once a week basis as a celebration instead.  Regina also suggested that there may be students with behavior problems who might not be setting the best example. Regina believes that 6th graders should move on to a new set of boundaries.

Shiloh wondering what the leadership opportunities for older students will be next year.

Teresa asked what the purpose was for introducing Families? Dawn commented that there were strong reasons to bring Families together during structured times. Much of the negative feedback has been focused on lunch and recess. Teresa suggested that we have taught our children to use their voice, and we had a number of students who wanted to voice their opinions and they were squashed.

Casey said that last year we had 100 “Uh-Ohs” and this year we had under 20 during lunch and recess.
Regina asked if the consistency is happening with the behavior plan? Are the student behaviors being reported more in the classroom now? asked Jay.

Teresa expressed a need for consistency with the rules.
Regina suggested that the staff and the school set boundaries that are followed.

Andrea said we are now at a watershed year where we look at what weʼve been successful at, and where we need to improve. The input sessions will hopefully address this.

Teresa commented that we should restructure the public comment portion of the board meeting to the middle or the beginning so that people do not have to wait until the end. Andrea stated that scheduling public comment at the end common practice for board meetings, and that it allows the board to first get through the items on its agenda that it must discuss and vote upon.

Teresa expressed that she was unhappy that her emails were not answered by Andrea or Dawn, and that the board needs to hear her frustrations about her daughterʼs eighth grade year.  Andrea noted that Dawn had responded to Teresa’s e-mail in a timely manner.

Meeting adjourned at 9:42pm.