BOD Meeting Minutes – February 9, 2016

ABS MLK Building
Winston-Salem, NC
Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

In attendance: Heather Smith, Debbie Linville, Renee Semones, Paige Raper, Lindsay Deibler, Emily Ball, Charles Cleveland, Joan Marie Belnap, Margaret Taylor, Leigh Atkins, Eric Prior, Kevin Nunley, Doug Punger, Robin Hollis, Chad Cleveland, Griff Morgan


  1. Meeting Called to Order – 6:45PM – Meeting called to order by Heather Smith at 6:48.
  2. Approval of January 2016 Minutes – ACTION REQUIRED6:45-6:47PM – Motion to approve February’s minutes made by Leigh Cameron Atkins and second by Charles Cleveland. All are in favor and none opposed, so the February minutes are approved.
  3. Review of January Financials (Renee) – 6:47-6:55PM – We are in the 7th month and realizing a positive variation of $162,000. We are where we expect to be for this place in the year. There is nothing notable to point out.
  4. Capital Campaign Update 6:55-7:00PM Heather Smith alerts everyone to the April 22nd celebration for named rooms and window pieces. This will be combined with Artist Fusion when Community Creates artists bring their pieces to the school.
  5. Principal’s Report (Robin and/or Paige) – 7:00-7:20PM – The principal’s report was sent to board members via e-mail prior to the meeting. Charles Cleveland wanted to know who is responsible for water damage Neil or us? Neil Foster is working with us. Kevin Nunley is talking with Bill Wright and Neil about getting more relief for the water to move. The problem is it all drains into the railroad track area. Doug Punger asks if anyone has spoken with an engineer. Kevin says Bill reports that when the building was built a camera was put into the pipes.

Swimming – Charles wonders if we could add swimming funds into our annual campaign. Emily Ball asks if there is “Fund the Need” at Community Creates. Her mother’s school had a stage funded this way one year. Emily’s Montessori school did this also. We could do this for swim lessons. Griff Morgan asks if it is worth looking into the YWCA. Joan Marie Belnap says they are all connected now (YMCA/YWCA branches)

  1. Board Nominations 7:20-7:25PM – Debbie Linville submitted a nomination for Chrissy Davis Hardy. She is an adjunct professor at Salem College and a literacy coach. She is also a former K-2 classroom teacher. She was a theater minor at WFU. Debbie has known her for quite a while. She is an advocate for teachers and would be a huge asset. She has two young children. Joan Marie Belnap – asks how that is for our balance or parents vs. non-parents. Heather Smith and Renee Semones are becoming non-parents in the new school year when their children graduate. We are at 30% or less on parents, which is where we need to be. Margaret Taylor wants to see us move to a “class” of new members with orientation. Heather agrees. We did have two people roll off unexpectedly that we filled. We can also fill in when someone leaves to finish his or her term. The board votes to approve Chrissy Davis Hardy for immediate addition to the board. Margaret Taylor makes the motion to approve and Chad Cleveland seconds the motion. All are in favor and none opposed. The motion is approved.
  2. Other Business7:25-7:30PM – Brittany asked to see the management letter for the audit and copies are given out. We use GAAP standards and there were no difficulties dealing with management, no uncorrected mis-statements. Heather says this is important since we receive federal funds. This firm works with other charter schools. They were recommended by Acadia. Heather thinks it’s nice to not have a local firm. This firm is from Raleigh. Robin talks about an editorial from the Winston-Salem Journal written by a high school teacher at West Forsyth. ABS was mentioned as a school that is innovative and filling a need. He mentions the charter school report from the state Office of Charter Schools. The report is mostly stats. When it comes to demographics, we are pretty typical. Of 148 charter schools, only nine are fully compliant in operations, student achievement, and finances. ABS is one of the nine. This is based on 2014-2015 data. Leigh asks for a two-minute elevator speech on this topic. Are their talking points about the argument that we take money away from public schools? Robin Hollis answers that we’re getting the money for that child that we’ve enrolled. We also don’t get every dollar. The voucher argument is very different from what we do. Private schools don’t have the same state standards that they must follow. They may have self-imposed standards. The reason charters get lumped in with private schools is because of vouchers. Doug says that there are lawsuits currently pending about school vouchers. Eric Prior says that there is a demand for this kind of education. There is a reason we have a lottery with so many applicants.

Joan Marie reports that Charles is helping with the board annual campaign. She would like to report to parents that the board has supported the efforts. She is turning in over $2000 from board members tonight. The Annual Fund campaign is being held at a different time of year than usual.

  1. Adjournment – 7:30PM The meeting is adjourned at 7:30.

Looking Ahead:


  • Next Meetings: Tuesdays, March 8, April 12, May 10
  • Artist Fusion and Capital Campaign Celebration Friday, April 22, 2016
  • Community Creates! Saturday, May 7, 2016