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August 2022 Board Meeting Minutes

Sunday, August 21, 2022 Board Meeting
Atlas Immersion Academy Parking Lot, 3643-B SW Vermont Street, Portland


In attendance:

Shouka Rezvani (non-voting), Ben Melix-Stanciu, Mark Williams, Michal McCamman, Ali Garfinkle, Karen Kitchen, Dory Hobbs, Jarod Hobbs and parents in attendance.

Meeting called to order at 3:06pm

  1. Discussed and approved: Q3 financials, annual district site visit board responses, new COVID protocols, Staff and Family Handbooks, Employee Retention Grant application, and February board meeting minutes.
  1. School Report

We have hired a nice group of new and diverse staff to fill some new and old roles. The process of finding licensed and qualified teachers for certain specials roles has been challenging and we still have a few spots to fill. The August back to school trainings for staff will include Jory and Associates conducting a training for mental health for Middle School teachers, and we will also have other health and safety trainings. Shouka will continue to emphasize creating moments of fun for the students throughout the year. Electives will be an opportunity for students to connect and socialize after school, and the idea of screening the movies in which Le Monde students have roles was floated with enthusiasm!

A new Family Paid Leave Act has passed into law in Oregon, and employers must either pay into a state claims fund or privately insure. Shouka plans to learn more about the requirements and welcomed board input.

The school’s Director of Student Support and Shouka worked on a Suicide Prevention Policy and Plan. This is a usable document with pre-, during- and post-vention planning in the event that it is needed. The Plan was discussed and reviewed, and unanimously approved by the board.

  1. Discussion of Covid Protocols/Updating Travel Policy

The school will be following recommendations from the CDC and local public health authority, making masks optional unless the county moves to high risk. If we have to shut down classes or school we will shift as needed. The guidance also means students will eat indoors sometimes. Shouka would like to take the front tents down because parents have indicated that they would prefer the students not eat outside of our fences. The board approves the new communicable disease management plan and plan of operations, and Karen seconds the motion.

  1. Intern Committee Discussion

Shouka reached out to see if we could have 3 interns this year, two emails were sent but did not hear back from our former contacts. Ali will follow up with the intern organization.

  1. Financial and Fundraising Update

Overall the school was very close to budget last year although ended up with less revenue as compared to budget (about the amount of 6 fewer students). In addition, in general everything (from utilities to supplies and materials) was more expensive than years past. In order to be fiscally responsible we did not provide end of year discretionary bonuses to a well-deserving staff. This year we hope to offer these bonuses. The school applied for and received an employee retention grant that the board approves providing to returning staff in accordance with the terms of the grant application.

Updated budget was reviewed and approved, including ESSER III, Employee Retention Grant, and other grant funding and planned uses. Based on Q4 results the budget for the coming academic year may need further revision in the future, but it has been adjusted to include anticipated increases in expenses due to inflation. The budget remains pretty conservative. The board might be asked to approve bonuses throughout the year. Current enrollment aligns with budget, but anticipate some variance during the year. Kindergarten teachers strongly advocate for 24 students as a maximum.

Michal discussed continuing to do Oui Run, and asked for a partner to help pass the baton and make it easy to replicate. Michal will create a shared Google drive of relevant Oui Run documents and forms. An earlier date in the year is preferred for the run–ideally before the end of September to try to have better weather.

Discussion held about differentiating the middle school in some way, such as an addition to their uniform policy. The goal is equity, so no logos should be allowed. The board approved an addition to the Uniform Policy for middle school only that students can wear plain sweatpants in gray or dark blue/navy, and PLAIN t-shirts or hoodies in white, light blue, or navy. There should be no logos, slogans, or other distractions on the items. The policy is nongender specific, and requires that students should be covering the torso from neck to approximately mid-thigh, with skirts/pants at least to where fingertips would end when standing with arms hanging down.

  1. Champions AFCA Conversation

Champions are currently conducting their operations but owe rent. They want to expand but the school is short on space, and no additional space has been licensed by Champions. Shouka hopes to hear more about their plan soon, and notes that the actual service has apparently been positive.

  1. Le Monde Parents Community Update

Michelle Lamanet will co-chair the Le Monde Parents Community with Jess Weit. Two park playdates were held with great success. They will host a Welcome Weekend on 9/16-18 with an adult event at Leikam Brewing and a park fair on Sunday. The Family Directory, that includes Le Monde student families who voluntarily opt-in, should be out by September. The group will hold community outreach each month, and hold First Friday coffee dates during the first three months of school. The Parents Community would like to hold the Readathon closer to OBOB, and Shouka recommends the end of February. The Parent Group wanted to create some Le Monde SWAG and the board welcomes that with collaboration/pre-approval from the school.