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April 2018: Board Meeting Minutes

Le Monde Immersion
Board Meeting Minutes
Mercy Corp, 45 SW Ankeny, Portland, OR
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Present: Ben Melix, Jarod Hobbs, Dory Hobbs, Ali Garfinkle, Shouka Rezvani
Also present: incoming K parent

Board Meeting called to order at 5:50pm

  1. Board approved consent resolutions since last meeting (student medical leave, staff unpaid leave in  excess of PTO, 2018/2019 academic calendar) and February minutes.
  2. School Report
    Shouka reported congratulations to Yann’s 4th grade class in their short novel award!
    The Le Monde Oregon Battle of the Books team is headed to state, as is 5th grader Henry Hall who is headed to the state Bee.
    Staff are starting to plan for next year, including purchasing curriculum and materials . For ELA , the ImagineIt! curriculum is going out of print. The staff and board will collaborate to propose a new one for consideration after 2018/2019.
    International Day was thoroughly enjoyed by those in attendance. Karen did a wonderful tribal drumming and dancing performance. The tables were full of food and country presentations despite a small sign up ahead of time. Shouka expressed thanks to Eva Robinson for helping to round up
    volunteers to set up.
    The Kindergarten lottery has been completed and the first round of spaces has been offered. Specified in offer letter that we don’t know which campus we will be offering for, but asking for preferences on the responses.
    La Fete is this Friday. Kudos to Jacqui Brock who organized this event. She even volunteered at her friends’ auctions and so they will reciprocate and volunteer at La Fete so that more parents can enjoy. Nice work, Jacqui!
    Board approved moving forward with International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP) applications. Beth Levin will serve .5 FTE in the IB Coordinator role. Shouka will work to complete and submit at least the IB PYP program application by June 1. MYP submission may be October 1, in order to stagger implementation.
  3. Intern Committee Report
    Currently Le Monde has 5 interns and all seem to be doing well. One host family needed a change, so the intern moved families and now seems to be doing well. Outreach has started to recruit host families for next year, Ali is working on flyers, an email, something for La Gazette, as well as an announcement at La Fete. Next year the school is budgeting for 7-8 interns (8 would be ideal). The budget for next year is $450 per month all in, which more accurately reflects the overall package including money for a bus pass and phone. We also included more in the introductory letter (description of the stipend including phone and plan and bus pass and insurance, as well as explanation of insurance and how it works, as well as
    Portland and our quirks). Ben asked if new incoming families could be included in the outreach.
  4. Equity and Inclusivity in Education Committee
    Shouka asked teacher Kate Gaudouen to join her at Oregon Department of Education’s next round of equity and inclusivity seminars in Salem.
    Shouka is speaking with a local author and story teller from Mali about possibly doing some workshops with students in June. A parent recommended him after seeing him at the African Film Festival, and Shouka was familiar with his local reputation and concurred that he would likely provide a positive cultural experience to students.
  5. Facility Discussion
    The board discussed potential facility configurations for next year. Many possibly blends and placements of classrooms where discussed, including pros, cons, and impacts on various constituencies. After a lengthy and thorough discussion, the board concurred that the primary priority should be what is best for the students. Final proposal is: Grades K through 3rd (one class each) at Burnside, and Grades K through 6/7th at Burnside (one class each), which involves collapsing current three second grades into two third grades of approximately 33 students each (assuming no attrition), and the two 5th and one 6th grades into one 6th and one 6/7th blend class. The two 3rd grades would get designated interns to provide support. Board approved by majority vote (Shouka has no vote, Alison abstained).Facility Committee reported there is still no final facility solution for after next academic year. Commercial realtors (including one LM parent) have been looking. The board discussed whether there are additional grants that might help facility. Shouka will ask for parents to help identify grants. So far, most of the ones she has identified are for underserved populations where the majority of students are free or reduced lunch qualifying. The board discussed a possible location near the Civic.
    Options seem to remain: (1) obtaining a large federal grant (Shouka is following federal grant opportunities); (ii) establishing a relationship with a developer who can include Le Monde in development plans (Shouka is reaching out to developers, but encourages others to do so as well); (iii)create a relationship with a charter developer to help identify and build a new project (Shouka made contacts at National Charter School Conference—Ben will follow up); (iv) have existing landlord expand or build a new facility on one of their available properties; (iv) find another commercial space that meets Educational requirements for lease.
  6. Financial and Fundraising Update
    The board discussed set up a separate capital campaign. We know we need to move. Certain people have indicated that they would fundraise separately for this, but there hasn’t been follow through.Should we hire someone to identify grants? Shouka feels that we should hire someone to write the grant once a very good grant is identified (as we have done in the past), but that we should have volunteers and board members looking for possible grants. Shouka will ask for assistance in La Gazette for grant identification.
    Shouka proposed a budget, which Ben reviewed and approved as Treasurer. Board reviewed budget terms. 2018/2019 budget approved for submissions to PPS.
  7. Le Monde Programs LLC Discussion
    Board has hired a new AFCA program manager. The outside bookkeeper is creating invoices, and is completing a general audit of the books. It may take some time to determine usage, and then invoice. It appears at least some families hadn’t been invoiced since about December/January when Shouka initially expressed concern at not receiving any reports from the AFCA Manager, so it is anticipated that some of the deficiency as against budget will be recovered. Going forward, board will require AFCA staff to scan and email usage rosters nightly to the AFCA Manager, and give Shouka and outside bookkeeper access to confirm receipt of those rosters.
  8. Executive Session. HR matters were discussed.
    Meeting adjourned at 9:30pm.