Common Ground Board Meeting – October 2013 – Minutes

Present: Kim Futrell, Mike Doolittle, Claudia Merson, Jane Lee, Bob Parker, Monique Frasier, Frank Mitchell, Miranda Bailey, Melissa Spear, Liz Cox, Betsy Sneath, Kimball Cartwright, Kyle Siriano, Ben Gardner

Regrets: Wendy Battles, Joel Tolman

Welcome: Chair offered congratulations and brief comment on the October activity that included the groundbreaking and related publicity.

Minutes: Claudia made the motion to approve minutes and consent agenda. Bob was the second and the motion passed.

Construction update: Melissa reported that a group had just finished meeting to review construction manager applications. A review of the estimate numbers suggested that at this point we have the money to complete the project if costs remain the same. CM contract charges a fee on the estimate 2 to 3.2 %. There will be a guaranteed maximum (excluding change orders) and the manager works to meet it. The group narrowed the choice down to 2 firms but very different; one experienced firm with complex building history other cheaper and scrappy. Ideally CM starts in the next 2 weeks on pre construction planning.

Berm work starts on Nov 14 and runs through the 20th. The student response to construction has been interesting, but the reality has been overwhelming. The degree of change this year —from the lunch changes and the reroute is a loss of freedom at some level, the leave—and how to discuss the change is challenging.

Business Requiring Approval: Liz presented the educator evaluation plan for amending. Last year we approved a plan based on the then current testing/reporting protocol. With the introduction of a new system (Common Core) the CT Dept. of Ed. requested a waiver so as not to switch testing and reporting in the middle of transition. But we are now taking SBACH (sic) or the new test. Ultimately there was no point in holding onto the old. We need an amended version of the evaluation plan (see handout) which presents changes to the number of required observations, the evaluation matrix, and a final evaluation rubric.

Other indicators will be a mix of standardized and some non-standardized. For example administrator objectives will include graduation rate but one might also be a reading rate, credit accumulation by grade, or numeracy and literacy improvement.

Bob made a motion to support the amended plan and Kim was the second to approve. There was some discussion of the motion with some concern for our institutional independence as another requirement, this time security, threatens to change the school. The security issues are scheduled to have a July 2014 implementation deadline. The board voted to approve the amended plan.

Invoices Requiring approval:

$13, 257 for Robinson and Cole construction lawyer for AIA contract and RFP prep
$50, 278 Altieri Siebor Weber final work
$10,000 Food Corps members (ours and others —partially grant funded)

Mike made the motion to accept and pay the invoices. Ben was the second and the motion passed. The body reviewed the revised non-discrimination policy with interest in the sentences supportive of equal access to the facilities to Boy Scouts of America and other designated youth groups— After some discussion the board deferred the topic for more research.

There was a brief discussion of the recruitment ideas and Mike Lane’s governance project. Kossouth Bradford, a social worker, Westville resident, and Common Ground camp parent was presented as a possible new board member. After some discussion (of his candidacy and others on the list) Claudia made a motion nominating him and Ben was thesecond. The board voted to accept K. Bradford.

Other Business: Miranda presented the Healthy City initiative (for Joel?). Everyone is encouraged to commit to some sustainable and informed environmentally conscious act to support the city: eat meat free, recycle, renewable energy. The goal is everyone taking that pledge. Miranda also explained that she is hoping to recruit another student board member, ideally a first year or second student to take a slot. The Healthy City link will be distributed to the board for corporate action at the next meeting.

Campaign & Development: Kimball reported that Feast info is now fully accounted for and there was a $2000 increase over last year to $42,000. He noted the energy at Dorothy Hurt’s party and reminded members of Bob Parker’s event Nov. 7. We were also reminded of the wednesday Oct 30th US Fish and Wildlife visit to announce city of NH as a community with urban wildlife. There was some congratulatory discussion and then the meeting adjourned by 7:07.



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