Le Monde Immersion
Board Meeting Minutes
First Republic Bank (Uptown Shopping Center)
2405 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97210
Wednesday, March 22, 2023 5:30 PM
Board Members in Attendance: Dory Hobbs, Jarod Hobbs, Karen Kitchen, Ali Garfinkle (joined by phone), Mark Williams, Ben Melix-Stanciu, Michal McCamman (took minutes), Shouka Rezvani (nonvoting)
School parents present.
5:31 pm meeting opens
1.Reviewed and approved Q2 2022/23 Financials and November board minutes.
2. School Report
PPS granted Le Monde a 10 year charter renewal!
Shouka also submitted an application for the LabelFrancEducation, which is a quality mark or acknowledgement of a rigorous French bilingual education program granted by the French government. The application is a rigorous and formal process. We will likely learn if it is granted in June. This label could open up some new opportunities such as being able to have access to cultural opportunities like professional development, author visits, access to curriculum and materials, networking opportunities with other immersion schools, etc.
Shouka and our French teachers have been revisiting and honing the curriculum and interventions.
We have a .5 FTE SPED learning center teacher from PPS who is working really hard and we appreciate them but could use more help. PPS has indicated they will likely assign 1 FTE learning center teacher next year, which still will barely meet needs. Additionally, our PPS-assigned school psychologist has been onsight occasionally this year, something that hasn’t always been the case, so we are grateful for the consistency of working with the same, qualified person.
In elementary, we have been doing a lot of IB Projects across grades and across the school students are going on field trips as well. Genevieve is helping the teachers with implementation as the Director of IB. A core part of IB is that teachers must spend time after projects documenting and reflecting, which takes collaboration and time.
Certain smaller grants that the school has applied for were discussed.
Shouka sent out the sign-up for International Day, which will be held in-person at the school on Saturday, April 15. There are already many families signed up.
There is a day-long charter leader collaboration retreat that Shouka is coordinating with the other local charter school leaders. She is looking forward to discussing with other charter school leaders their similar challenges, policies and practices that are relevant specifically to charter schools.
Paid Leave Oregon has a mandatory paid leave program that will be going into effect later this year. Le Monde chose to go with MetLife and privately insure for this instead of using the state’s program, and we have just signed the agreement with them. It is less expensive than the state plan. Schools have been advised to be prepared for a lot of people taking leaves pursuant to this program, and we do anticipate this could have a big impact on institutions like ours.
All in all, from an academic standpoint, everything is going very well at Le Monde. The teachers are going above and beyond with after school supports and in other ways. Shouka expressed how much she values Le Monde teachers and staff.
We have 5 teachers in the federal H1B Visa lottery. We probably won’t find out if they get pulled in the lottery until the end of April. If one or more must leave us, we do have some teachers from previous years who could feasibly come back on a Q1 Visa for a year, but we hate losing teachers to the visa process, as we often do.
3.Intern Committee Report
We have been approved by the French government program to have 3 French teaching interns next year. The next step will be having three specific interns assigned, and then we will need to find host families.
4.Financials and Fundraising Update and Approval of Form 990 Filing
The ESSER COVID Relief funds will be ending this year. We have about 3 full time staff members and other items in budget that have been being paid with those funds. We continue to do excellent fundraising for a school of our size and demographic, but the loss of that funding will create significant challenges in next year’s budget.
The annual Form 990 for 2021 was circulated to all the board members for review. Shouka asked if the board would approve filing it. Jarod made a motion to approve it and the rest of the board unanimously approved it.
The Board has received and reviewed the proposed calendar. It aligns in most aspects with PPS for the larger breaks, like Fall and Winter Break. Staff would like more professional development time, and time for collaboration, especially in light of IB implementation that requires collaboration between teachers within a grade and across grades. One proposal is to dismiss 1 hour earlier on Wednesday, and other ideas were taking days from the end of the year or from the beginning of the year. Options were discussed. Vote was taken to accept the proposed calendar with an early release by one hour on Wednesdays (except the day after Halloween, which already is a delayed start day), and to remove the In Service day in November in the proposed calendar to partially compensate for the instructional hours lost by the early release. Dory voted against and the rest of the board voted in favor.*Subsequent to the meeting the board noted that two In Service days had already been removed from this academic year in the proposed calendar, so the November In Service day in the proposed calendar was added back in
Le Monde Parents Council (LMPC): Jess Weit provided the LMPC update. The Elementary Winter Dance was held at Glencoe and was well attended. OBOB was very successful. The first Friday coffees are coming back at Crema. Uniform exchange is coming back, April 28th will be the next one. Science Fair (Adam Goldstein) is hybrid this year on Saturday, May 20th, online and at school. Teacher appreciation week is coming up at the end of April and LMPC is organizing that week. Monday, June 26th, the LMPC would like to hold a farewell park get-together at a local park.
Families for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Le Monde French Immersion (DEI): Emma Colburn provided the update. There was a great event at the Portland Art Museum in conjunction with the Oscar Howe Exhibit, where board member Karen Kitchen was a featured Native storyteller. DEI organized a family group to attend. DEI also hosted their third annual talent show in February showcasing the diverse talents of our black students. They also collaborated with LMPC on a BIPOC authors book drive in February. They have a roller skate planned at Mt. Scott rink, to celebrate Earth Day. In early June, they plan to schedule a pride picnic at Colonel Summers Park. DEI has also started a monthly study cohort group that currently has three families, with the goal and hope that this will ultimately culminate in a group trip to Dakar, Senegal. They were unable to have the Blue Lake Park event to celebrate indigenous people’s month due to rain and extremely poor weather.
Jess Weit: Jess submitted a proposal to the board that a new role be created for the school as a communications director/public relations position to enhance the community-facing aspect of the school. The board had no questions and is electing not to pursue this additional staffing.
Adjourned at 7:43 pm