Common Ground Board Meeting October 27, 2014 Minutes

Present: Michael Doolittle, Kim Futrell, Frank Mitchell, Bob Parker, Monique Frasier,  John Jessen, Ben Gardner, Babz Rawls Ivy, Jane Lee, Wendy Battles, Joel Tolman, Liz Cox, Kimball Cartwright, Melissa Spear

Welcome: Group remembered the SDE training the Wednesday before the meeting  and noted that a member celebrated his birthday that day too.

Minutes: John Jessen moved to approve the minutes. Mike Doolittle was the second. There was a note correcting urban act not urban ag. The board approved the minutes of the September meeting.

Business requiring: Liz reported the suggested charter renewal site visit dates of Jan27, 29, 13, 15 with the Thursday 29th 12;15-1:15 as ideal. There will be a board  member focus group as in the past. Checklist includes evaluation rubric, statement  of assurances, background check—which led to discussion of contractors need for background check potentially. List continued with training in board responsibilities,  conflict of interest policies, and anti nepotism. The written application is due Nov. 21. The charter school legislative breakfast is tomorrow.

The body agreed to defer the audit presentation.

Director report: Bid process will open on Wednesday with the required pre walk  through and it will run through Nov. 12. It should close by the 19th and the low bids will be identified. OPM has committed to $750,000 and some legislation will need to  be drafted to increase to reach the amount needed to cover the cost of building. We should get $500,000 out of value engineering. The RISC Foundation may assist with the construction project. We must decide whether to start immediately or start foundation in mid March. New utility work started earlier in the day.


Bensonwood $20,331.25
Gray Organschi $10,000.00 value engineering

Michael Doolittle made the motion to approve payment of these bills and Benjamin  Gardner was the second voice. The body approved the motion.

Program School: Liz mentioned we’d already noted construction, legislative breakfast and then reminded that we are almost ¼ of the way through the school year. College placement realities suggest most senior apps may be finished by Dec.

The all school hike had a medical incident but no other issues. The first town hall meeting covered attendance rate improvement with guidance group prep work followed by a shared recommendation. College spirit week is in process and a masquerade dance is planned. Reading testing with the benchmark test is now complete and freshman reading scores are good. Math and ELA are beginning. A student disciplinary action led to a board member suggestion to review safety and  student transportation to and from school.

Community Program: Rebecca noted it was already the last 2 weeks of the fall afterschool program. Shannon introduced a Fall CSA subsidized for CGHS families. It  required some work in the beginning to connect but was well received and appreciated. Everyone gratified to be sending CG farm food to CGHS families. Mobile market season will end later in the week. There was a mention of Jesse’s
healthy food & soul food program over the weekend a reminder to look for her other programs. And there will be some hiring of new program staff.

Vision and Values Work: Joel reported on a staff conversation of nearly 60 people on the 15th/16th. There was a commitment to bring together all staff every 6 weeks after that meeting. Joel distributed a new doc with comments that will go out to community for comment and then return to board. That will be followed by action, goals…

Budget Update: Melissa presented the budget and a budget vs. actuals and pointed out a slightly revised budget with the expenses that are updated as now final i.e. salaries for new hires and some insurance benefits cost that follow the school year.

One adjustment to income is the ATT grant for $50,000. The budget could be revised to reflect the costs and income that accurately reflect the beginning of the academic year. Ben made the motion to approve the revised budget and Jane’s was the second
voice. There was some discussion of the proposed motion. The body voted to approve the revised budget.

Development: Kimball suggested a letter party in early December. He’d be in contact.

Meeting adjourned by 7:05.


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