School Board Meeting
April 14, 2011
Board Members Present: Jill Johnson, Steve Nelson, Linda Dowse, Cami Lovell, Clarke Arnold, Sunny Larson, Heather Carter and Rob Lee
Public Present: John Finlay, Delaine Finlay, Rebecca Hughes, Tiffany Christensen, Debra Grafelman, Camille Frandsen, Emily Smolka, Erin Waldman, Melodie Jett, Tom Jeff, Alyse Clements, Carice Oliver, Amy Rice, Merrit Bowden, Lincoln Filmore (Charter Solutions), and Janice Stewart (Charter Solutions)
Meeting called to order 7:06 pm, Thursday April 14, 2011
Public Comment: John Finlay, Delaine Finlay and Tiffany Christensen – salary scale should include years of experience. Level 3 and special teachers should be given a different salary scale. Camille Frandsen – Had a letter for the board regarding Montessori Training Salary Agreement (Letter is attached). Erin Waldman – Montessori Training Contract. Melodie Jett – Compliments to the board for time spent taking care of our school.
Agenda for April 14, 2011 – motion made to approve the agenda with the move of the Transportation discussion being moved to the first item of business. Motion was unanimously approved.
Transportation – Steve Nelson reported to the board that most of the students we have lost this year have been from moving out of the area. The second reason for loss was transportation needs. We need to look into the fesability of purchasing a few buses. (1) Used buses can be purchased at a very reasonable cost. (2) Our insurance would only raise about $150.00 per month. (3) Bus drivers are usually paid $12 – $15 per hour. Amy Rice has run the maintenance department for the SUU Headstart program in Washington and Beaver Counties. Mrs. Rice stated the Iron County Bus Garage is very easy to work with. They are also very good about including other driving in their bus driver training. All bus drivers will be put in a random drug test pool. If we can include our drivers in this pool it would be more cost effective to us. We need to look at the areas of greatest need. Lincoln Filmore thougt it would cost about $15,000 per year per bus. This breaks down to about $41.00 per day. This is it the buses are running 2 hours per day. Administration will get together a contact list of students who have left the school this year because of transportation. They will then call and ask the following questions:
(1) If the school offered transportation would you be willing to come back to our school?
(2) Would the parents be willing to sign a letter of commitment?
(3) Would they be willing to talk with other families in their area about attending GPA?
(4) Would you be willing to pay a fee to help offset the cost of transportation?
These calls will be made and a report submitted to the board during the April 28, 2011 meeting.
Charter School Association – Chris Bleak – tabled until May board meeting.
Director’s Report – Rob Lee
Portfolio Progress – This information will be sent via e-mail to the board this week.
Marketing – We need to change the branding of our school. This area is not very knowledgeable about Montessori. We need to change the way we market to fit their needs. We need to do a website update. Steve Nelson suggested possibly hiring a Marketing Director to teach the teachers how to sell the school. Rob Lee has let all the teachers know that they need to make personal contact with all the parents of their students. Parents are more likely respond positively to the teachers than a board member.
Board Walk Through – We only had three board members complete their walk through. Mr. Lee will compile information and e-mail information to the board.
Staff Recruitments – Applications will be reviewed at the April 28th meeting.
Summer Montessori Training Dates – Julie has committed to training dates this summer. Lincoln will help draft a letter of training commitment for Julie to sign.
Financial Report – Janice Stewart
We have already set aside the money needed for the August 1st interest payment. We have a slight cushion in our checking account at this time. We will be working on a budget tomorrow morning for the 2011-2012 school year. Jill Johnson asked about possibly paying the employees twice a month. Janice Stewart stated it would be a slight increase but nothing to high.
Human Resource Items/Financial Report – Lincoln Filmore
We are in the process of pricing different benefit plans. We should be able to get better coverage for less money. We are also looking into a flexible spending plan.
Rural Finance is very pleased with our financial situation. They are the agency who holds the loan for the building.
The accounts who did the audit forgot to file an extension on our tax return. Therefore, we have been assessed a fine. Lincoln is working with the accounting firm to straighten this issue out.
Employment Agreement Discussion – Draft of employment agreement letter was reviewed. A new draft needs to be prepared by Rob Lee to include the following: “teachers will not be committed to salary agreement if we have poor management in school (i.e. loss of pay due to overbudgeting).”
Also include line that states extenuating circumstances can be approved by board in order to get out of monetary commitment.
Each employee needs to know how much each of them owe for their training. The salary agreement that is signed cannot be retroactive. We need to figure our how much time and financial amount is due for 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12 trainings.
This letter should leave the idea of a time commitment.
Salary Discussion – This current salary discussion was drafted with the input of Heather Carter, Clarke Arnold and Steve Nelson. We need to make sure that we are (1) a Montessori School. (2) Teachers are compensated on how good and well trained as Montessori teachers not years taught in a traditional setting.
Preliminary Salary agreement attached.
Observations regarding teachers need to be made by administration and an outside Montessori source.
We need to develop a separate Pay scale for our Level 3 and special teachers. This draft will be drawn up with input from Steve Nelson, Clarke Arnold and Heather Carter. Additional input will be submitted from our salary committee.
We should change the 6-9 certificate incentive to $2,000 from $1,000. Our levels leaders compensation would change from $1,000 to $500.
P.R. Report – Emily Smolka
We have decided to do the neighborhood nights again. Each board member needs to pick a night to host a meeting in their home. Each member should invite at least 10 people. Emily Smolka will take care of the invitations and refreshments. Emily needs the dates from the board members no later than April 22, 2011. These dates can be e-mailed to her as we are on break at the time.
Motion was made by Steve Nelson to have a special board meeting on April 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm. This motion was unanimously approved.
Meeting adjourned at 10:29 pm.