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March 2015: Board Meeting Minutes


Board Meeting
@Tonkon Torp LLP-1600 Pioneer Tower, 888 SW 5th Avenue, Portland March 10, 2015
5:45-8:05 PM

Present: Jarod Hobbs, Dory Hobbs, Shouka Rezvani, Nicole Aas-Rouxparis, Karen Kitchen, Jeff Scott Excused Absence: Karyn Warner
Educators Present: Molly Sloan, Reena Gupta, Chantal Dufour-Martel


  1.  Adoption of January Board Minutes and Confirmation of 2015/2016 Budget previously approved by email. Unanimous approval.
  2. Equity Training Review. The staff members and Shouka received an equity training conducted by our outside consultants. Generally, the staff indicated that they enjoyed the approach taken by the trainer and felt that the training opened eyes to issues of equity in education. A group of staff agreed to join the SOAR Committee to define and institute next steps in the school’s approach to equity.
  3. TAG Update. Karyn absent, so discussion delayed.
  4. Arts Tax Usage. We have finally located some art and dance teachers with the appropriate TSPC certification to teach using the Arts Tax funds, and they will start working with us in April.
  5. Facility Update. We are still negotiating with two possible facilities. Shouka has been actively negotiating with the assistance of Debbie Thomas, a commercial broker and school parent. We still have not reached a final agreement and recognize the need to move forward and make final decisions. Although we feel confident that one of the locations will work, all are encouraged to share facility possibilities with Shouka and Dory.
  6. School Update (Chantal).
    1. The Academic Vision Committee met. Sidsel Andersen has defined math needs.  For FLA, there is a specified need for more authentic texts; board members agreed to make contact with International Schools and other similar schools to see the curriculum they are using, and Chantal will discuss with teachers whether the Milles Images and other color texts of GB+ could meet needs. Nicole will provide Chantal with the previous texts discussed and where she ordered them. With respect to science, teachers will provide a “science wish list” for us to present to a science consultant to determine an articulated science curriculum with appropriate materials. In ELA there is a desire to supplement the curriculum with appropriate text studies, so board and staff will work to identify age-appropriate materials. Molly raised the concern of the need to move away from “Imagine It!” for higher grades since she believes the phonics are not as key for them. Molly was encouraged to speak with Karyn, Chantal and the rest of the Academic Vision Committee to propose any changes in curriculum.
    2.  RTI. The system is working well, with many kids moving out of interventions and others moving in as IDAPELS and DIBELS results are examined. Chantal reiterated the need for a bilingual interventionist as included in the budget. This will be especially critical for new students who enter in first or second grade without previous French experience.
    3. Room Buddies. The third and first graders and the second graders and kindergarteners have been paired up as “buddies.” They visit periodically to provide reading assistance, do skits about how to seek help in different situations, etc. The buddy system appears to be well-received by the students.
    4. Professional Development.  Sidsel and all teachers will attend a Singapore Math training with a professional consultant in August.  In addition, they will attend a PBIS CHAMPS workshop.  They also will be having a creative writing in-service training day in May.
    5. Testing. Third graders will have their Smarter Balanced testing in May and currently are receiving some keyboarding training.  They also will need to do their final round of MAP testing in English reading and Math for this year, as will all students.
  7.  Fundraising/Financial Update.  Year-to-date financials were reviewed. Fundraising is about $10,000 below budget, though since other income and expense line items also have varied the end result is that we are on target. Nevertheless, the fundraising will play a key role in making sure that we have facility options and can afford making facility deposits from a cash flow standpoint. The parents planning Iron Chef have reported about their progress in planning what promises to be a fun event. Thanks to the law firms of Sussman Shank and Tonkon Torp, all of the expenses of Iron Chef have again been covered by sponsorships and all ticket sales and sales of any student art projects will reflect net profit.
  8. Le Monde Programs.  Financials circulated by email.
  9. Executive Session.  Employment matters were discussed.