BOD Meeting Minutes- June 14, 2016
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
ABS 7th Street Building
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
In Attendance: Margaret Taylor, Doug Punger, Joan Marie Belnap, Emily Ball, Robin Hollis, Paige Raper, Brittany Emery, Heather Smith, Chris Gilmore, Lindsay Diebler, Renee Semones, Chrissy Hardy, Debbie Linville, Griff Morgan, Kelly Carswell, Kevin Nunley
- Meeting Called to Order 5:45PM – Meeting called to order by Heather Smith.
- Approval of May 2016 Minutes ACTION REQUIRED 5:45-5:47PM – Motion to approve the May minutes made by Emily Ball, seconded by Margaret Taylor. All are in favor, no one opposed. The May minutes are approved.
- Report of Vote by Email 5:47-5:50PM When the 7th Street building flooded, the 5th-8th graders missed a day of school. The Board voted via e-mail to forgive the day without a make-up day. There is still plenty of time on our calendar this year to be above the minimum.
- Review of YTD financial statements (Renee) 5:50-5:55PM – We are in the 11th month and realizing a $225,000 positive variation. We won’t finish that nicely but we will finish well. Renee Semones guesses that we might finish about $125,000 ahead at the end of the year.
- Budget Discussion and Approval ACTION REQUIRED 5:55-6:10PM – Heather Smith reports that the ADM used for the budget was the same as last year. We haven’t heard a new number from the state yet. On the expense side, we have put $50,000 for the operational reserves with $10,000 in the repair reserve. The board said $50,000 a year. We have been putting away more than that over the past few years. We are adding a Spanish teacher and a middle school math teacher and going from part-time to full-time on middle school music and drama. Those are the high points of the budget. It is a strange thing to make a budget without the ADM. We are hopeful the ADM will increase. Margaret Taylor asks if the ADM turns out to be much higher and the state allocates more for salaries, will we revisit the budget? Mrs. Hollis says yes, we would love to revisit in October after the state has approved the state budget. Joan Marie Belnap asks about benefits. Heather Smith says there is an addition of 4 benefit positions. We may consider a bonus if the timing doesn’t work once it’s approved. Kevin Nunley asks about the new overtime laws. Griff Morgan says there will probably be a professional or executive exemption. Renee thought it would go into effect on December 1. Griff will have more information on this in August. Doug Punger asks about the lease changing. Kevin Nunley reports that a portion of the operational reserve would be there in case the interest rate went up on our loan. The truth is the opposite might happen with that. It might be lower. Motion to approve the budget made by Joan Marie Belnap, seconded by Kevin Nunley. All are in favor and no one opposed. The budget passes.
- Principal’s Report 6:10-6:25PM – Mrs. Hollis sent information out via e-mail about EOG/EOC scores. We have tried to focus on math. Our scores are always skewed in favor of reading. Math has always been lower on achievement. We made a concerted effort to increase professional development across the board. We did see some real highlights and payoff. Our 5th grade teachers took a very specific class on fractions. 47% of the 5th grade EOG is on fractions. We will continue to make this a goal both in funding and time spent on development. Mrs. Hollis also wants to point out the 5th grade science scores. Across the board, our kids perform above the state average. The Read to Achieve law focuses on reading skills of third graders. The state provides funding for a summer program and we will again be running a 4-week summer program. This year, the state is allowing 1, 2, and 3rd graders to participate. We will target those who didn’t make the mark or barely made the mark as third graders and second graders who are struggling. It is a very small group and an intense program. We have had very positive feedback from parents. The state was running about 50% of third graders not passing last year. We have only two students who did not pass. Staffing update from Principal’s report on math teacher. We have tweaked this year with a math assistant for advanced math students in middle school. You will see on the budget that this year we are looking to have a second licensed math teacher.
- Facilities Update (Kevin)ACTION REQUIRED 6:25-6:40PM – Kevin Nunley reminds of the need for more classroom space in the 7th Street building. We need a math classroom, foreign language classroom, speech, EC, etc. The band room was designed for two-three classes at a time and there is only one class using it at a time. The short-term solution, which fits in with the long-term solution, is to “cut up” the band room into three spaces. The estimate to cut up the band room is $28,700. Band could use the smaller space temporarily. It doesn’t help with the noise but it is workable. The small space for EC is critical to serve students in line with federal requirements. Longer term, we are looking for a place to put band.
Another short-term problem that we need to address is the water problem on the exterior wall. We would like to put in a bigger catch basin drain so the water that runs down from MLK will be slowed to the main drain. The estimate is $5000 for this right now. This would be done before we try to waterproof the wall and put in French drains. Motion made by Emily Ball asks about having EC classes near the band room. The band room isn’t always in use and we hope to schedule creatively so band isn’t happening during speech classes in that area. Griff makes the motion to approve the band room construction and Doug Punger seconds the motion. All are in favor with no opposed. The motion passes. The longer-term solution is to build a band room on the courtyard. If we are going to construct something out there, what is our real vision? Would extra classroom space help? What else would be beneficial? We talked about “just” a band room. It’s probably a $250,000 project. In a lot of ways it makes sense to do more while you are already under construction. If you add three classrooms, you could add 30 students, which could add $180,000. This helps offset some of the costs. Another thing to consider would be some sort of indoor gym space. Obviously, if you are adding students, you need to add teachers. Our landlord, Neil Foster has been very supportive. Our lease is currently set at a 9% cap rate, which is high because interest rates are now lower. It would probably be worth refinancing and wrapping the new construction into a new loan. The dollar figure would still be higher than it is now but it would be “smart”. We’re doing the legwork on this right now. The next phase will be to possibly have someone draw this up for us. That might be an e-mail vote or something in August. We will also need a project plan. No matter when this would happen, there would be construction when students are here. Mrs. Hollis explains that we have 3 sections of 5th grade and we only have enough room for 50 6th graders. To have 3 sections at every grade level means we would have guaranteed room for everyone. It also helps with staffing. There are a lot of part-time people in this building right now. They do a great job but it is hard when staff members aren’t here every day.
The theater project is coming along beautifully. The walls are all down in the MLK building. Kevin has asked for a 3-D drawing of the space if possible. We are starting to get permitting. Mary Siebert has been instrumental and has really taken ownership of this project. She is working with lighting specialists, sound specialists, etc. It will be a black box theater with 6 rows of tiered seating and a flat stage with platforms that can be moved easily. There will be stairs in the storage closet going down to a conditioned storage area. There will be a lift to move things down to this area. We will plan to do a big opening in the fall to honor Alex Ewing for his donation of $300,000. Doug Punger asks if we will name the theater for Alex. We might. The new dance space will be outside the theater space along with the computer lab. Kudos to our staff for being great about lots of moving. It’s been a great year with great kids and teachers.
- Other Business 6:40-6:45PM – Heather Smith reports that 23 people were on the board and 5 were parents. Three rolled off so we are down to 20. We need to have one more non-parent. Julia Toone is a former parent. She works for Family Services of Davidson County and used to work for Imprints. She has been on the board for the Humane Society. Adding Julia would get us to 33% Kevin makes the motion to add Julia Tone to the board, Margaret Taylor seconds the motion. All are in favor and no one is opposed. Julia Toone is added to the 2019 class. Kevin Nunley asks if we need more board members. Heather Smith says we can have up to 24. Robin Hollis says it’s easier to have everyone start in the summer so we could add more in the 2020 class. Joan Marie would like the board to consider what skill sets are missing from the board. If we need to augment some of our skill sets, it would be nice to have the option to do that. Griff Morgan feels strongly that we should have a nominating committee so there is no one “sliding in” and we are being objective. Joan Marie asks if we’ve ever considered skill sets. Yes, Charles Cleveland has all of that information.
- Adjournment 6:45PM Meeting is adjourned.
● IMPORTANT DATES … MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
○ Next Meetings: NO July meeting, August 9