Common Ground Board Meeting – September 2013 – Minutes

Present: Kim Futrell, Mike Doolittle, Claudia Merson, Jane Lee, Bob Parker, Wendy Battles, Monique Frasier, John Jessen, Frank Mitchell, Miranda Bailey, Mike Lane, Melissa Spear, Liz Cox, Rebecca Holcombe, Joel Tolman, Kimball Cartright

Welcome: Greetings after the August break included introductions to Mike Lane—Yale School of Management fellow— and Miranda Bailey—student rep.

Minutes:  Kim made a motion to accept the minutes and Bob was the second.  With no discussion the board approved the motion. Feeling sentimental, the body went with live reporting.

School Report: Liz shared details from the school report. After 4 weeks of classes, the honeymoon ended earlier in the day.  The school now has 2 distinct lunch waves, 65 students in freshman class, and 183 students in the building.  There are 28 SPED, 14 have 504 plan and 4 teaching assistants in classes to assist. There is new staff in French, Math, Spanish (also a new vista volunteer), and additional help in college and career counseling. Other resources include after school academic lab and office hours.

To prepare for the busy fall the summer faculty institute covered effective instruction for Common Core, environmental leadership with site based opportunities, and revised software to monitor student progress. An ACES literacy and math consultant advised and a school improvement plan is now complete (see plan)— SIP.  This year it is aligned with teacher evaluation.  Details on the Mastery Test—its use in teacher evaluation— are still to be determined by the state and the federal government. This fall’s expanded afterschool offerings mean that nearly everyone is taking something. Building accessibility issues have moved from hypothetical this year.

Community Programs:  Rebecca reported on the summer’s highlights.  Summer camp ended 6 weeks ago and the fall program season had just begun. Seasonal staff requirements made it possible to do a 4-day training experience for the environmental educators. It was an opportunity to reinforce the institution’s teaching philosophy, program culture, and discipline—ways CG staff meet the needs of all kids. Programs for the new season would start tomorrow with afterschool West Rock Rangers and Kids Unplugged (40-90 kids a day).  A concern this year will be rain spaces and different supervision issues with construction on site. Relationship with Hooker, Barnard, Columbus, BOOST Martinez continues (Audubon CT involvement?) and there is afterschool interest from parents in suburban districts who value CG’s unique context for environmental programming. School Garden Resource staff members are finishing up with current group of schools though the statewide survey on school gardens continues (looking for a survey response from every school in the state if possible).  Finally, the early and cursory camp financials suggest the season may have drawn in nearly $500,000 in income.

Business requiring approval: Melissa distributed the statement and reviewed the month’s invoices and the following resolutions or motions:

Gray Organschi  $11,833.93 (Composed of $5000 for professional services July 15 – Aug 15. $6,833.93 for reimbursable expenses.

A fund transfer between NHEP and CG along with transfer of revenue from fundraising activities like Rock to Rock, Feast, independent giving, transfer for end of year reconciliation. Wendy made the motion to approve the invoices and transfers.   Jane’s voice was the second and the board voted to approve the motion.

A resolution for CDBG funding affirming a meeting where the board agreed to contract with city of NH for grant funds for 2013/2014 and authorized Melissa to act as agent.  ($10,880 for community programs).

Another resolution for $30,000 CDBG money to support the construction project.

Claudia made a motion acknowledging the meeting and approval of Melissa as agent to accept CDBG money. Mike D. was the second and the board approved the motion.

Construction news/Director report: Activity on the new building continues.  An Aldermanic committee has considered and moved forward an approval on the lease until 2033.  The full board will vote later in October.  The Building committee meets regularly and has 4 firms reviewed for a selection process by Oct. 23.   The selected firm will do pre construction services, line up subcontractors, and do cost estimate.  They’ll do a guaranteed max price and then need to realize it.  Oct 23-Dec 1 is prep period for the big trucks.  The plan is a year of construction with occupancy over the holidays. Soon they will remove 300 truckloads of berm in time for the October groundbreaking event.  Some campaign costs remain (like administrative…) and a smooth process may require some loan from the line of credit.  The summer ended with a few comments on the plan from the state reviewer but nothing really significant in the corrections.  He did note that the entire site does not comply with ADA (which has become painfully obvious this fall).  Facilities that are for school use must be outlined.

The auditor has begun visits and last year’s recommendations/findings seem to have prepared us for a clean and easy process.

The Diversity committee is meeting with 13 people, interesting dynamic with some generational difference on the direction and what to do or how to proceed.  To focus on organizational systems or the personal is the dilemma.

Campaign/Events:  campaign and development news started with the reminder that 1.4 74 million or 1.5 million is in hand but $600,000 still needs to be raised and we now move toward the smaller gifts.  Report lists the pending events to highlight new people.  4pm pre event for feast and see 3-d model of the site hear about the wood use.  Feast as preview for public launch of the campaign.  9:30 Tuesday October 15 Project launch groundbreaking campaign case statement goes out to 2600 people.

Oct 15 house party at Dorothy Hurt/Bill Reese, and later Bob Parker house party

There is a plan to build a Match pool for this phase of the campaign.

This phase can also be community networking allowing connections to school families and alumni.

Student Rep: Miranda described the student selection process noting that there would probably be another student rep.  Mike D. made the motion to recognize her status as a designated student representative to the board and Wendy was the second. The board voted to approve and welcomed both Miranda and Mike Lane once more before adjourning.


Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.