Common Ground Board Meeting – April 7, 2014 – Minutes

Note: March board meeting was rescheduled for April 7, 2014.

Present: Frank Mitchell, Michael Doolittle, Claudia Merson, Miranda Bailey, John Jessen, Ben Gardner, Babz Rawls Ivy, Monique Frasier, Betsy Sneath, Melissa Spear, Joel Tolman, Rebecca Holcombe, Jesse Delia, Liz Cox, Robert Parker  

Regrets: Wendy Battles, Jane Lee

Minutes: Mike moved to accept the minutes and Babz was the second.  The discussion included corrections on the Gray Organschi proposal of “architectural services during construction and design for the older building” and a name correction that Joel emailed.  The minutes passed.

Business Requiring Approval: The Safe Schools Climate proposal required some updated language and some clarification on roles.  Liz adjusted the plan to include the language and the new names.  Bob made a motion to accept the changes and Babz’s was the second voice to support it. The discussion included questions on how often the plan needs to be revised. An assessment should be scheduled every 2 years though revision may not be needed. Some discussion on difference between bullying and mean behavior and the plan for that is still needed.  The board approved the plan.

Educator Evaluation Flexibility Plan: Given the pushback on Common Core, SBAC, teacher evaluation the state has amended the plan allowing flexibility on the teacher evaluation plans that makes it possible to change the number of goals and objectives for growth and change the number of formal observations that had to be administered for proficient staff.  Originally the plan called for 3 formal observations with a pre conference and a written post op.  Liz already conducts many informal observations (12-14) and one full observation with pre post so suggest to state one formal in class and 2 informal observations and review of practice.  Claudia made the motion and Bob’s was the second voice. The discussion included questions on flexibility for administrator evaluation (none) but the goal setting style seems helpful for all especially as it relates to strategies for acquiring the goals and connecting to school improvement plan.  The body reaffirmed the plan.

Executive Director Report: Melissa reported that she’d received preliminary budgets from all departments and would have more detail for presentation at the next meeting.  Actuals through March 31st are here in detail and at this point the organization is under budget in most categories.  Construction bids were opened on Friday and there were 2 categories with no bids or not enough so those categories remained open.  They should be in soon. The bid discussions happen this week and that will reveal more but there won’t be final results until end of next week. The construction loan is in process but needs a note from the city allowing another tenant to take property in case of crisis and all that must be completed before state money is released. Geothermal wells are in and tested and wetland plants arrive May 10 during the Yale Day of Service.  The old building  has charrette June 12, 13.

Niyonu Spann sent diversity proposal with a question about goals and creating a climate of anti oppression at CG. Her 3-year proposal would be a start. The BCA (building cultural of anti oppression) team will continue conversations and maybe there is some overlap with CEIO though this would all be a major commitment considering the other initiatives around campus.  There was some discussion regarding healthcare coverage, the ACA Obamacare, and PT vs. FT employment.   Seemed to be the need for a policy that makes it consistent.  The body suggested a task force and some guidance from CBIA and HR colleagues wrestling with the issue.  There was a recommendation for Melissa on a couple leads.

There was a suggestion that Alan present at a future meeting and help us in our attempts to craft our own building narrative. We were reminded that interpretive work on the site continues and that is also an opportunity to consider the building narrative while deciding what is important.  There will be 3 or 4 committee meetings on site interpretation between April 21 and Jun 1 so the opportunity is there.

Development update: With roughly $200,000 left to raise in the campaign, it was delightful to hear about a commitment from the Gillette family and another foundation supporter.  An April 16 house party could use some additional buzzing from board members and friends and Rock to Rock is looming at the end of the month.

The meeting adjourned on that happy note by 7:05.

Upcoming Events
April 26 Rock to Rock
May 10 Community Build for Educational Wetland
May 23 Dedication of Wetland to Javier Martinez
Jun 1 Common Table with Carol Peck


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