Minutes – Common Ground Board Meeting February 22, 2016  

Present: Bob Parker, Beth Klingher, Mike Doolittle, Wendy Battles, Melissa Spear, Claudia Merson, Babz Rawls Ivy, Monique Frasier, Joel Tolman, Kim Futrell, Liz Cox, Kimball Cartwright, Frank Mitchell, Betsy Sneath, Jane Lee, John Jessen

Regrets: Ben Gardner, Kerry Lord

Welcome: The meeting began in the school as members reviewed the minutes.

Minutes: Mike made the motion and Bob’s voice was the second. The board accepted the minutes.

Business requiring approval: Melissa presented invoices from Gray Organschi ($10,000 and $5699) for design work on school buildings; a Newfield invoice for $287, 248.59; first payment to Elm Shakespeare for $5756; the CBIA health insurance payment.

Wendy made the motion to support the payments and Claudia was the second. Members approved the invoices. She also updated on Rebecca’s application to the Fresh Air fund, which is a request for access to the fund requiring an organization description and proposed use for the funding. Mike moved to affirm the request. Babz was the second and the body approved the motion.

Construction: The move is expected in 7 weeks and work continues encouragingly. Detail work continues from the parking area to the phone system.

Progress on the new building clears the way for the older building’s summer construction schedule. Schematic work will finish by March and then things move to a design phase with the MEP design-build team ready. Estimates still place the project cost at just under a million dollars. Funders, including RISC, seem interested in assisting with project. The presumed timeline shows the building construction finishing by August 23. Discussions on the photo-voltaic panel details continue and discussions about the plantings around the site have begun. A community plant is scheduled for the first Saturday in June.

School: Liz directed attention to the dashboard and described new state accountability measures. Evaluation criteria include English language skills, high needs, etc. There was some discussion and agreement on the need to offer more arts classes, college and career counseling, and more AP courses.

Community Programs: The response to Rebecca’s new nature based younger children’s program has been very enthusiastic. Registration is nearly full. The reorganized summer camp can proceed with some construction concerns. Vacation programs are full and March Maple fest is approaching.

Budget Planning: Collaborative Budget planning continues with the goal of expanded knowledge across the staff on the budget process. This is the earliest appearance of a preliminary draft budget in some time. Goals include 3% raises and honoring the teachers moving up a step. Staff will review, tweak and bring to March board meeting. Budget to date numbers remain strong because of savings on things like lower fuel costs.

Budgeting for new building includes projections for cleaning, electrical utilities and other operating expenses. The increased revenue possibilities (rental and other) are still under review but increased space will require additional programming income along with the income and the cost for more students.

Strategic Priorities: Joel recapped the session at the last meeting which included a close reading of 3 sub-priorities— human resource systems and financial systems and communications. To realize action steps by end of next month the March meeting will be an extended meeting focused on this draft. March 28 board meeting will begin at 4:30 with review of budget and business before moving to strategic priorities.

Development/Finance: Kimball noted the development task force march 12 meeting to glean recommendations. Also on March 3 Kate has a Feast from the Fields recharge meeting scheduled (planned for Sept 14). April 23 is the proposed date for building preview with brunch. Melissa finished the meeting with a comment on the finance section of the dashboard noting that the surplus is good news and that salaries may appear low but the 12 month option for the educators reads deceptively in the chart.

Claudia completed the review of the financial statements.

The meeting adjourned by 7:15


Leave A Comment

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