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February 2019: Board Meeting Minutes

Le Monde Immersion
Board Meeting Minutes
Mercy Corp, 45 SW Ankeny, Portland OR
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Called to order at 5:50pm.
In attendance:

Board: Shouka Rezvani (non-voting), Karen Kitchen, Ben Melix-Stanciu, Ali Garfinkle, Michal McCamman, Dory Hobbs, Jarod Hobbs

  1. Approved consents since last meeting: Q2 financials and December board minutes, with correction by Karen of the name of “Experience Oregon,” at Oregon Historical Society, which opens February 14 and has a nice Social Studies curriculum for every grade.
  2. School Report by Shouka Rezvani
    The Information Session for interested prospective applicants to the school was held and was well attended (standing room only). Many in attendance cited reading the Oregonian article. We are receiving a lot of applicants for K through 2nd grades next year.
    Many field trips have occurred. Among other things, upper grades saw Boom Arts’ collaboration with Young Audiences to present Silencio Blanco, a group of Chilean puppeteers who performed an hour-long silent show entitled “El Pescador.” Students were attentive and then had the opportunity to meet the puppeteers. Fifth graders visited Fort Vancouver; for Rebecca’s K class had a special artist workshop for winning Run for the Arts.
    We completed the second round of MAP testing for the year. Classroom and English Language Arts Teachers will meet Friday, February 15, during in service to go over results class by class with Shouka and David. Each class is reviewed to discuss any issues and to see if students need additional interventions.
    We need to do a new English Language Arts curriculum adoption because the old one is going out of print. Shouka and the English teachers reviewed common core-aligned programs, recommended by ODE and districts in other states that are high performing. Staff narrowed down to 8 options and ordered examples. They encourage adoption of Journeys for the elementary grades and Into Literacy for middle school. This will involve an increase in the budget line item, but not impact budgetary bottom line.
    Genevieve is taking the Kenmore intervention program, which is an auditory learning approach to supplement our other intervention approaches like Orton-Gillingham.
    Overall, like most other schools in the district, we are seeing an uptick in students entering the school with behavioral challenges. We have limited resources. The district and state are having a hard time with the issue as well which has been featured in the local news. Issues are not always special education related, but sometimes it is hard to differentiate causes. The current PPS SpEd team assigned to Le Monde has incorporated well with our staff, and we are finding many more students are SpEd eligible. Under contract, the district provides Special Education at Le Monde. Shouka recommends that we get more professional development for the staff regarding trauma-informed practices. Jarod and Dory really like the Conscious Discipline model. Shouka thinks the Mind Up curriculum also helps, but we need more professional development to help the teachers recognize and address behavior issues before they escalate. Shouka will follow up with Jarod to learn more about Conscious Discipline.
    Six Le Monde teachers were trained in DELF French assessment administration, and will administer the test for middle school classes in May. The DELF content creates a useful French benchmark.
  3. P.A. Update
    Community Events: Thanks to Shouka for putting events in the Gazette – been very successful and a good community builder. Events all full! With waiting lists! Re-scheduling book binding; events each month.Science Fair: Teachers are handing out information to families and Shouka will re-send any emails the PA provides about Science Fair. Bowling: Grand Central Bowling event on Friday. 50 people signed up! Asked for a deposit and Joanne pulled a favor! Shouka suggests maybe pre-selling and then covers. Seems like a popular and good community building event.
  4. Calendar Discussion
    The 2019/2020 academic calendar was reviewed and adopted.
  5. Intern Committee Report
    Interns and families doing well! Ali will start advertising for new host families. If you know any families who want to host – let us know!
  6. Facility Discussion
    Lease extended for Division as a back-up in case move date is pushed back. Shouka remains in active communication with Burnside landlord about timing for changes, and is seeing preliminary work taking place.
  7. IB Report
    Last in service instructional staff met to create framework under IB program. Co grade teachers, Beth and Shouka worked on this framework. Looked at other schools as examples (French speaking countries). This is going to be a long process but continues to move in a positive direction. Beth and Shouka are meeting bi-weekly to make sure this is moving forward. August training with the IB trainers will significantly advance IB implementation. Holding off on the Middle School MYP submission to ensure that we are able to implement sagely.
  8. Financial and Fundraising Update
    The balance sheet and profit and loss statement for end of January were reviewed and approved. Teachers on H1-B visas receive PERS, though we didn’t realize it last year, so making up for this fact in February. This is a difficult time of the year in terms of cash flow because of the reduced student support payments we receive for October and December when there are fewer days of school.
  9.  Le Monde Programs LLC Discussion
    A lot of effort goes into collections because certain parents simply don’t pay their AFCA bills. Ben says he will help with calling families. Jarod will look into alternative service. AFCA team and bookkeeper spending too much time on this. Parents agree that having an automatic option would be helpful. Sharing information in Gazette and letting them know they can pay online. Jarod says a lot of after school apps with merchant services built in. Suggestion of doing the form at the start of the year, include line with payment option for future.
  10. Executive Session
    Board discussed HR issues.

Adjourned at 8:45pm