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January 2016: Board Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting
@Tonkon Torp LLP‐1600 Pioneer Tower
888 SW 5th Avenue, Portland
January 12, 2015 5:45‐8:00 PM

Present: Shouka Rezvani, Jarod Hobbs, Dory Hobbs, Nicole Aas-Rouxparis, Karen Kitchen, Jeffrey Scott, Karyn Warner
School Educators: Chantal Dufour-Martel, Souaad Bendimerad, Kate Gaudouen
Note: December board meeting cancelled due to inclement weather and board member absences.


  1. Approve consent approval of November Board Minutes and health curriculum purchase – all in favor.
  2. School Update from Chantal.Chantal will be sending the board a link to the rubric she uses for teachers, it is based on the Danielson model, which the previous head of school used. Evaluations are going well and Chantal is seeing teachers being successful in the classroom as well as providing instructions for improvement where needed. Teachers are having PBIS discussions and sharing their matrices to help improve their effectiveness in the classroom.

    Molly is the Smarter Balanced testing coordinator this year. She is attending training sessions. Chantal may also train Carla Locher to assist with make-up sessions for students who miss the testing. The school needs 4 or 5 more chromebooks. Chantal will ask our IT consultant to ensure chromebooks are ready for testing. Chantal sent out an email to parents so they will know how to opt out of testing if they wish to do so.

  3. Equity and Inclusivity in Education Committee Update and Equity Reflection. Approximately 5 parents, as well as staff members Cynthia, Genevieve, & Shouka, attended a committee meeting. The committee proposed that the board change its name from Strategic Outreach, Appreciation, and Retention Committee (SOAR) to Equity and Inclusivity in Education Committee. The group discussed its aim and goals, which primarily focus on creating an inclusive environment for all families, regardless of race, ethnicity, socio-economic, or other factors reflecting a “minority” status. The committee will look at holding and arranging different activities and event, and is trying to emulate the model that Emerson School used to create a more inclusive environment and add more diversity to its community.
  4. Cap on Upper Age Admission Policy Proposal discussion/vote. The board voted to put an upper age limit on new enrolling students of no more than two years older than the minimum required age for admittance into any specific grade. Shouka will draft and circulate this language for board approval prior to the incoming enrollment period which is opening in January.
  5. Audit and Financial Review, including enrollment update. The audit was completed and was reviewed. The auditors provided a “clean” report showing no required changes. The management letter was reviewed. The cash flow report was reviewed, as well as December year-end financials including Q2 reports. Fundraising continues to be very necessary in order to try to meet shortfalls from reduced number of students as against budget.
  6. Election of officers. New officers were elected as follows:
    Shouka Rezvani, President
    Dory Hobbs, Vice President
    Jarod Hobbs, Secretary and Treasure
  7. Discussion of “French Speaking in Class” pledge for students. Dory presented that at Normandale school students take a pledge to speak French in class after a certain period of time. Pros and cons of this approach were discussed, including teacher input that at other schools this has created a resistance in students to wanting to speak French. Alternative ways to encourage students to speak French were discussed, including certificates where students are simply recognized as being “French speakers.” The board deferred to the teachers to consider ways that might work for them to individually incentivize students to speak French in class.
  8. Science Curriculum Discussion. After discussions with numerous science educators, Shouka recommends Experience STC by the Smithsonian Foundation as the science curriculum adoption. Nicole would like to determine whether there are curriculum options in French that would meet our needs but still meet Next Generation Science standards (core requirements). Shouka also would like the teachers to evaluate the proposed adoption. Adoption of a specific curriculum is tabled pending these analyses. Although the budget does not support an entire science curriculum purchase at this time, we can possibly purchase a few units once a curriculum is determined to see how it works.
  9. Executive Session–HR update.