Common Ground Board Meeting – February 2014 – Minutes

Present: Frank Mitchell, Wendy Battles, Michael Doolittle, Claudia Merson, Miranda Bailey, Kim Futrell, John Jessen, Jane Lee, Betsy Sneath, Kimball Cartwright, Melissa Spear, Joel Tolman. Regrets: Monique Frasier, Bob Parker. Proxy: Ben Gardner

The meeting began in the farmhouse, which meant dismissing the cat.

Minutes: Mike made the motion to approve the minutes and Claudia was the second. The minutes passed with the addition of Joel’s corrections.

Business requiring approval: Melissa presented a $12,818.75 invoice from Bensonwood, the final bill for design and construction documents, to the body. Claudia made a motion to approve payment of the invoice and Kim’s was the second voice to support it. The board voted to approve payment.

School Policies 5216 and 4117: There were several policies for discussion and approval. The first was Policy 5126 addressing homeless students and restricting the school from compelling those students to produce documentation of a permanent residence.

Mike moved to approve the new policy and Wendy was the second. The board approved Policy 5126. The second, Policy 4117, states that physical activity can’t be used a disciplinary tool. Claudia made the motion in favor of this policy and Mike’s was the second voice. The board voted to approve Policy 4117.

Construction Update: Drilling the 500 ft deep wells for geothermal systems has begun and should finish by late March. Bid packages were supposed to go out the day of the meeting, and the bid opening is scheduled for March 12 or 16. There may be 100 bids to open on the day. Soon after we’ll accept the final bids and work should start on the foundation around April 1. A loan needs to be in place by then and we need a final project number (reminder that there is a campaign supporter event on April 2).

Melissa met with the architects since the team is reaching final billing for the contract with some time left on the project. They have suggested a monthly charge of $5,000 for the next year and this would also include the design/renovation of the new building and providing architectural services during construction of the new building.

The Diversity Committee continues to review consultants to guide the process. A smaller group conducted interviews to recommend a facilitator and someone to do the training. Niyonu Spann emerged as a favorite for the facilitator and subsequent discussions are needed.

Through the process the committee hopes to encourage culturally sensitive and competent and relevant teaching with professional development possibilities. There might be new organizational policies and procedures focused on bias free, hiring, discipline, administration, etc. and fostering this ethos through the culture via trainings, a shared vocabulary that references inclusivity and equity.
Before engaging in that work there needs to be some effort on communication. Everyone feels ready to begin but the working style needs to be perfected. Nionu would come in to do that work, with the group Cultural Bridges taking the next phase (also under consideration is Vision).

Program: School Garden Resource Center is a co-sponsor of the March 20th conference at Beardsley Zoo). Everyone is back and preparing for first garden workshop with NHLTrust and Neighborhood Housing Services. Rebecca is at work on program catalog, and March 15 Kyle and the maple syrup team celebrate. Jesse Delia is preparing next round of adult programs that may engage IRIS, Junta, and others.

Development/Campaign: There is $400,000 left to raise for the building. A recent meeting of the minds strategy session generated some ideas and plans for new opportunities to invite visitors for exclusive previews. A Hurt/Rees party on April 16 on technical aspects of the building is planned and a Rick Mayer spring party is a possibility along with a 9th Square event.

Grant numbers should look better at the end of the year, though there was a fine response to the request for support of Javier’s family. Indy Giving is category to note with plenty of opportunities to build back up in the coming months including Green Riders for Rock to Rock, Launch party on March 5 at city hall 5:30 -7:30.

Planning Conversations: What Compels Former Board Members to remain engaged?

Meeting adjourned by 7:15


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