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June 2014: Board Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting 6/9/2014
5:45-8:00 PM

Board Members Present: Shouka Rezvani, Jarod Hobbs, Dory Hobbs, Jane Fabulet-Roberts, Robyn Pfeifer, Karyn Warner Board Members (excused) absent: Nicole Aas-Rouxparis
Teachers Present: Cris Davis, Yann Renimel, Anou Stahl

  1. Adoption of April Board Minutes (May meeting cancelled)
  2. MAP/Teacher Update (10 min) Cris has MAP testing preparations underway and on track. He reports that the board has been supporting the teachers all year. He feels that concerns are being resolved and the board and staff are working collaboratively. Yann thanks the board for including the teachers in the hiring process for the new head. Anou reports that parents keeping a positive outlook and energy at home is important to the students. She notes that parent attitudes are reflected by students in the classroom. Yann reported that the recent classroom training was worthwhile and useful, and he will implement what he is learning in the coming year.
  3. Enrollment Update – Enrollment is on track. A new student began last week, and another new student may begin this week.
  4. Arts tax money – Move to establish second bank account to hold restricted Arts Tax funds. Shouka moved and all were in favor. We hope to hire licensed art teachers next year so that we can spend the funds next year and we will possibly work with other charter schools collaboratively to have more hours to fill a licensed position. We must use the funds next year or we will lose them.
  5. Assessments Update
    1. Dibels – The third DIBELS piece is going to be coming Fri-Thu. Some of it has already been started.
    2. Idapel  – This is underway.
    3. MAPs – Cris is setting up this testing.
  6. Normandale Presentation
    Dory and Robyn went to Normandale, a highly successful French immersion school in Minnesota. They toured the school and asked questions and learned a great deal about the curriculum, discipline, how the school is structured, how classes are structured and how class time is used, fundraising, what technology is used, how students are grouped – including pre-entry assessments, and what curriculum is used.  The school has 6 Kindergarten classes, and 4 classes each of Grades 1-5.
    The visit will be recapped at the PA as well. Parents are encouraged to attend.

Yann suggested finding out if French public libraries would share ebooks with us. Jane will look into.


  • Parent comments:
    Erin Dhruva suggested that we have a recruiter assist with the head of school search. Christopher Gorton wanted to know if we are assessing students coming into the school at this point in the year. Phil Duong recommends giving curriculum benchmarks to incoming parents to help them gauge their student’s proficiencies and make educated decisions about their student’s ability to keep up in the classroom. He encouraged the board to develop a “rote” response when employees leave for employment law reasons and not to disclose too much reasoning. Nicole Nadeau asked why we cannot test incoming students for French proficiency, and the answer is that charter schools are not allowed to do this because of the risk of discrimination. Regis Andre asked if the school has a teacher for both 3rd grade classes next year, and was told the school is hiring. Barbara Preyale asked if there is a parent survey coming out, and the board indicated that it hopes to provide one soon. Barbara feels that the PA forum shuts down dialogue. She felt that at the last meeting she attended, her concerns about Craig were not heard thoroughly (the board regrets that they felt they were not heard, the board was already examining the issue and the comments were indeed heard). Kristen Kingsbury said she was upset because the latest school newsletter is “alienating.” She is also upset because when Shouka said at the town hall that Le Monde is one option for a school and may not be the right fit for everyone, because she equated it with being asked to leave. That was not Shouka’s nor the board’s intention, but simply a confirmation that one school, especially a start-up, will not likely be perfect for everyone, though the board will strive to make it be the best school it can be consistent with the original vision. Kristen noted that the school’s PPS liaison found a specific sentence in the school’s most recent newsletter to be inflammatory. Anish Karmarkar thanked  the board for the newsletter, and all the time they put in and all the efforts to make the school successful. Anish suggests that the board increase communication levels in the future to help decrease parent anxiety levels. David Maxey suggested that the PA’s mission is not to discuss curriculum and other issues, and it should not go on that way because there are no answers to be had via the PA. The PA should be focused on socialization and fundraising.Nicole Nadeau noted that we should move together and forward as a community. We may disagree on facts, but we should focus on taking concerns to the board rather than putting concerns out on the PA forum or talking in the hallway. The board recommended that parents email Shouka concerns and she will share with the board, and the board will confer via email or in person and provide a response. Anish suggested the board could work with PA to put up a FAQ. MJ Christopher thanked David for saying what he said about remembering what the mission of the PA is. MJ found the board town hall very useful and suggests that the board consider attending PA meetings. MJ found the emails on the PA forum that weren’t from the Fox class frustrating this weekend because no real issues were described in many of the emails that went out.  The board reiterated that it does  not control or have anything to do with the PA forum.
  • The Board accepted the resignation of Jane Fabulet-Roberts from the Board, since she is moving to France. We thanked her for her service and encouraged her to remain in contact as an advisor to the board, which she accepted.
  • Executive Session.  Employment matters were discussed.