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February 2016:Board Meeting Minutes

@Le Monde Immersion‐ 2044 E. Burnside Street
Portland, OR  97214
February 9, 2016 5:45‐8:00 PM

Present: Shouka Rezvani, Jarod Hobbs, Dory Hobbs, Nicole Aas-Rouxparis, Karen Kitchen, Jeffrey Scott
Absent: Karyn Warner
School Educators: Chantal Dufour-Martel, Hadrien Gaudouen, Claire Reneau

  1. Approve January Board Minutes  – Board voted unanimously to approve January meeting minutes.
  2. School Update from Chantal
    • Chantal noted that DIBELS assessment show the English language literacy lag, and discussed whether the school should make additional efforts to address the lag.   Board discussion that such a lag was anticipated by the research we reviewed in drafting the charter.  Hadrien asked if we can encourage parents to read in English to their children at home.  Shouka indicated that during information sessions and with the enrollment package parents are told that reading at home is suggested.  Kindergarten teachers should be encouraged to inform Kindergarten parents of this suggested English support at home at the start of the year.  Claire suggested a tiered approach to ELA interventions.  Shouka proposed having Chantal and the staff evaluate whether or not we can restructure ELA instruction more efficiently.  Additional ELA staffing will depend on budget.
    • Chantal has concluded her teacher evaluations.
    • The PAX consultant will be conducting a refresher of the start of year training.
    • The fieldtrip to the Oregon ballet will occur in early March.
    • Teachers approve of suggested science curriculum and will discuss it at their next in-service day.
    • The teachers have received the health curriculum and since they are starting it mid-year will select the most pertinent materials to covers this year. If possible, they would like a training session in the health curriculum.
    • Chantal reports that the teachers discussed the proposed student French Language Pledge and teachers felt adequate recognition for French usage in class is given already.
  3. Equity Reflection – Shouka provided an article for board review by Paul C. Gorski, “Building a Pedagogy of Engagement for Students in Poverty.” The article posits that the only surefire way to eliminate the achievement gap is to eradicate poverty, but since that’s not going to happen anytime soon, educators can still take many research-proven steps to foster equality of opportunity in education.  The article proposes concrete steps for consideration, some of which are core the school’s existing mission, such as providing adequate music and arts education during the school day.  The board will review outside of the meeting in the interest of time.
  4. Facility Discussion – Shouka notes there is an ongoing discussion with the current landlord regarding addition of additional classrooms. It is cost prohibitive for the landlord to do so at this time. We are exploring the option of placing portable classrooms on-site and it appears affordable. Current landlord would consider an addition in the longer term to accommodate us. Shouka notes there are ongoing meetings with realtors and developers to discuss possible alternate locations. Dory and Shouka recently visited a site which appears too large and is out of district.
  5. Financial Review – Shouka presented budget. Our expenses currently exceed our budget, though this is the amount of the expense side in excess of budget is for Arts Tax and Run For The Arts income that are not reflected in the budget and are arts-restricted. As such, we are operating almost exactly on budget for expenses. On the income side, we are low compared to budget due to low enrollment and had to draw on cash reserves ($52,000 discrepancy between actual and budgeted income to date).  Options for bolstering income are to increase enrollment and fundraising. We anticipate making up some of the budget shortfall over the yearlong budget cycle, but cash flow will be very tight. Le Monde Programs is making monthly distributions to Le Monde Immersion.  If we are disciplined and can fundraise reasonably we should make it.  The budget for next year impacts our decision to offer 1 or 2 Kindergarten classes. With two portable classrooms, we have a better budget scenario. We have more than enough incoming Kindergarten siblings to fill one Kindergarten class. Next year we will budget for enrollment attrition. The board is to review and approve the proposed budget for next year via email for delivery to PPS by March 1, as well as our Form 990 annual tax return which is still pending with the accountant.
  6. Science Curriculum Adoption – There was a motion to adopt proposed Carolina Biological STC/Smithsonian Institute science curriculum was made by Shouka, seconded by Dory, and adopted by unanimous vote of all board members present.
  7. School Calendar – A proposed school calendar has been developed. Chantal and school secretary Terry have reviewed it and recommend it for adoption. The board must review, approve, and submit to PPS by 4/1/16. Claire questioned why the school year was longer than PPS. Shouka notes that this has been done to ensure that we can cover the additional French language material, and that we don’t exceed by much over the course of the year instructional hours as compared with PPS.  Having the additional days scheduled also means that we don’t need to add snow days or make-up days if they are needed during the year.
  8. 5th Grade Trip – The school trip committee will meet and review options for an end-of-year 5th grade trip. Canoe Island is not available for us due to scheduling issues.
  9. Executive Session.  Human Resources discussion.