BOD Meeting Minutes- October 10, 2017
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
ABS 7th Street Building
Tuesday October 10th, 2017
In Attendance: Joan Marie Belnap, Brittany Emery, Yvonne Leab, Griff Morgan, Julia Toone, Joy Blaser, Robin Hollis, Paige Raper, Margaret Taylor, Kevin Nunley, Bill Scheidt, Matthew Donnell, Suzanne Shuford, Ellen Heck, Michelle Kennedy, Amy Lanning (by phone)
- Meeting Called to Order – 5:45pm – Kevin Nunley calls the meeting to order.
- Approval of September Minutes – ACTION – Motion to approve the September minutes made by Julia Toone, Griff Morgan seconds the motion. All are in favor with no one opposed – the minutes are passed.
- Review of September Financial Results & Budget update (Brittany) – ACTION – Finance committee met about a week ago. Revenue increased $48,000 based on ADM. Salaries increased $37,000 based on actuals. Benefits increased $67,000 based on health insurance and retirement increases. We have decreased building reserves and repairs budget lines. ADM increased but not as much as increases in benefits. The state dictates both of these. We are back to a balanced budget. The motion to approve the amended budget comes from committee and is seconded by Joan Marie Belnap. All are in favor. The amended budget is passed. September financials – We have an audit draft and are meeting on October 23rd. We are on track with the exceptions of books and supplies. The motion to approve the Sept. financials comes from committee. Michelle Kennedy seconds the motion. All are in favor with no one opposed. The Sept financials are approved.
- Facilities and Capital Campaign Update (Kevin & Joan Marie) – ACTION – Kevin Nunley reminds everyone about the board approved phasing of courtyard expansion. We also discussed the idea of a capital campaign big enough to buy the buildings vs. renting indefinitely. We could save $150,000 each year by buying instead of renting. That is with a minimal amount down. The savings could be $260,000 over projected rent if you have a larger capital campaign. It reduces more each year as you pay more down over the years. The question is how big of a capital campaign could be successful. Any capital campaign over $500,000 has to be registered with the W-S Foundation. There is currently a slot for 2019 and we could start the quiet phase now. The question is how large could our capital campaign be? Robin, Kevin, and Joan Marie met with Whitney Jones. He suggested a feasibility study. Whitney Jones could do this for $20,000. We would like to vote tonight on whether or not we engage Whitney Jones to do the feasibility study to see how large a campaign we could achieve. We could probably get through this in November and be on the W-S Foundation January meeting to be approved hopefully for a capital campaign in 2019. Michelle Kennedy asks what else you get for the money. Joan Marie says you get an idea of who may be donating and at what level. Where does the money come from? Reserve. Kevin mentions that a foundation would need to be created because the school cannot purchase the building. The foundation could cover the teacher’s academy, an endowment, etc. Margaret Taylor says we would need a lawyer to draft these things. Robin Hollis sees the benefits of purchasing a building or both because of the money saved when we are getting to the point of breaking even with ADM now. This capital campaign discussion is about the courtyard expansion. A second school (replication) is a different idea. That would be started like this original school was started: with ADM dollars. Right now we’re thinking purchasing saves enough money to not have to use reserves and not have to cut programming. Joan Marie would like to be on the January meeting at W-S Foundation but maybe we don’t have enough clarity about what we want. Michelle Kennedy asks if we could do a capital campaign for both buying the building(s) and replication. Brittany Emery reminds that a replication would be part of an elementary school and ADM would cover that for a few years. Feasibility study is what is on the table at the moment. Michelle Kennedy thinks the marketing committee should be encouraged to get advertising out about the great things we’re doing already. Matthew Donnell thinks the earlier, the better because UNCSA is going to launch a big campaign. ACTION – Margaret Taylor moves to approve the feasibility study for $20,000 for a campaign. Michelle Kennedy seconds the motion. All in favor, no one opposed. The motion passes. Jeff Brinker now has elevations to us. Roofline pitched slightly into courtyard. Covered walkway to walk outside without getting wet. Additional bathrooms are included. Additional details are being discussed so we can get some idea on cost and timing estimates from contractors. The most pressing issue is the classroom space. The project could be done in two phases if necessary. There is no update from the railroad.
- Strategic Planning Update – Griff Morgan reports that the committee reviewed the June minutes and strategic plan. There are four ideas for how the committee can be involved: 1. teacher’s academy (build reputation as a place to come and learn how to be a creative educator and possibly a financial benefit for this). The admin staff will work on this. 2. Possible expansion into a replicated school. The committee can look into possible locations, forecasts on real estate and costs, possibilities for shared facilities with other organizations, talk with possible partners such as Neil Foster, Brice Shearburn 3. Work with marketing and communications committee to develop materials. 4. Work with finance committee on capital campaign(s). Margaret Taylor mentions the CEO of the Crossnore School, Brett Loftis. They are now at the Children’s Home and this may be a possibility for useable space. UNCSA is looking at acquiring some more space near campus. There may be some space on the Waughtown side of campus. Kevin Nunley reminds everyone that at the retreat last year we discussed identifying and defining what makes us special as we go out and look at possibilities. Griff reminds everyone that another benefit of expansion is having a few more opportunities for advancement for the great people we have who work here. Michelle Kennedy suggests a schedule for social media posting. This may help with grants and being known by other community organizations. Robin Hollis says we’ve been reluctant to have a formal social media presence until we have solid branding standards. We were working with a group on this but haven’t had any follow up yet.
- Personnel Update/Advisory Council – Margaret Taylor says proposal was approved at a final board meeting that Advisory council would be “elected for three year terms and may be re-elected”. Instead it could say, “invited by the board development committee and approved by the board”. Gives some flexibility in how we’re consulting with individuals. Joan Marie Belnap still thinks there should be a board notification of some sort as opposed to a small committee. Michelle Kennedy suggests that maybe the committee brings forward a group with a small time frame (6 months?). Margaret Taylor thinks there needs to be more flexibility to ask for different things and time frames. Robin Hollis reminds that this advisory council would have no voting or decision-making power. Ellen Heck asks if there is a way to vote on this group but still have flexibility in how to include individuals. Some may be invited to board retreat and others wouldn’t. Joan Marie Belnap is not uncomfortable with the flexibility aspect but thinks the names should come across the board as a larger group. Michele Kennedy says the larger board may have thoughts on adding diversity to the council at some point. The board has been asked over several months for names but no names have come from the larger board yet. Joan Marie asks how big we want this group to be? In other organizations this is a small group (3-5 people). Do we have enough parameters around this group? Robin pictures a large group of community members answering questions, giving advice/thoughts on strategic plan initiatives. It also may keep former board members engaged. Michelle Kennedy wonders if we should revisit this in two months. Robin and Margaret say we’ll table this for a month and come back with more thoughts in November.
- Principal’s Report (Robin) – Math and Reading MAP test results are shared from 3rd through 8th This is done three times a year. These results are compared to a national norm group. This year is a focus on math (see differences in numbers between reading and math) as a staff. We started this last spring with ERG and it will continue all year. We will be looking at whether or not we should continue with beginning of year tests for all students. It’s not a lot of time for the individual student but it takes about three weeks for the institution. Joan Marie Belnap says we should consider the value of having that data for capital campaign purposes.
- Parent Council Updates – $1400 raised for the day at Fall Fest. Book Fair just ended. Last year we earned about $12,000. There are no final numbers for this year yet.
- Other Business – No other business.
- Adjournment – Kevin Nunley adjourns the meeting.