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March 2024: Board Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes
Conference Room at Washington Trust Bank,
Portland Financial Center (19th Floor)
760 SW 9th Avenue, Suite 1900
Portland, OR 97205
Wednesday, March 13, 2024

5:38pm meeting called to order

In attendance: Dory Hobbs, Karen Kitchen, Jarod Hobbs, Michal McCamman, Ali Garfinkle, Mark Williams, Shouka Rezvani, parents present

  1. Approved consents since the last meeting (Q2 2023/24 Financials including Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Statement, November board minutes
  2. School Report
    • Teachers are currently working on report cards and planning for parent/teacher conferences.
    • The MAP assessment testing window for the trimester has not closed yet, but preliminary results might indicate a slight dip in math overall, but the school is keeping watch on the scores and trends. We might see an overall dip with other schools too.
    • Many field trips taking place.
    • A lot of administrative time has been recently spent on accountability reporting for grants and Covid Relief Funds. This includes the new Early Literacy Grant. The Board has always adopted curriculum, but we now realize we must complete a rubric to score certain curricular adoptions, which were teacher vetted. The Board reviews and approves the ELA Instructional Materials Independent Adoption as well as the Kindergarten FLA Independent Adoption using the appropriate rubrics.
    • Overall things at the school are going pretty well. Shouka reports some behavior concerns in middle school, possibly linked to social media. While “low tier” (excessive chatting, moderate disrespect), the level seems higher than in years past. The Board discusses options to create a more regulated/structured environment, including how best to enforce the phone-free school policy. Options include developing a social media and phone use statement and providing resources for the community (including in the Community Corner section of the Gazette). Some middle school students/families are not complying with the uniform policy. Perhaps the largest issue is many middle school students are consistently arriving to school 15-20 minutes late. This is very challenging for the teachers who need to re-do lessons and instruction in order to keep students on the same page. The Board discusses how to support the teachers, who have already sent messages to parents regarding these issues. Perhaps direct messages to repeat offenders explaining the impact to the learning environment. Across schools nationwide attendance is down, for many reasons–cold/flu season, people not taking school “seriously” post-pandemic, mental health, and a lot of longer mid-semester vacations.
    • Teachers and staff are participating in Dual Language French Immersion Professional Development events and opportunities.
  3. Officer Elections
    Board votes to approve the following as officers:
    President – Jarod Hobbs
    Vice President – Dory Hobbs
    Secretary – Ali Garfinkle
    Treasurer – Mark Williams
  4. 2024-25 Calendar Discussion and Vote
    • Teachers have re-evaluated the planning time used this year, and request a change to the calendar in the coming year. Elementary teachers ask for a monthly half day instead of a weekly one-hour early release, and middle school teachers would like to just have full days next year instead of a regular early release (meaning that elementary and middle school will dismiss at different times approximately once per month). The impact of slightly different schedule every Wednesday was more dramatic than expected, and collaborative time in one hour was less helpful than 4 hours will be all together for elementary schools. PPS is also instituting this change so our early release day will match much of the PPS calendar, making scheduling easier for after school programs. The middle school teachers have additional planning and collaborative time built into their schedules, so one day per month Middle School will have a regular day and Elementary School will have early release.
    • In creating the calendar some historical days off for Le Monde were removed, since our traditional academic year will be shortened somewhat. Comparing 23-24 to 24-25 calendars there are similar instructional hours overall, still more days and hours than the PPS district, and well over minimum instructional requirements for Oregon.
    • Board discusses how field trips factor in to instructional time, as many field trips are tied into the curriculum. The Board is in support of field trips.
    • Board approves proposed calendar.
  5. Intern Committee Update
    • Shouka applied for and received a grant from French government for $4000 to pay for intern expenses.
    • The committee is starting to market host family outreach for next year and would like to sponsor 4 interns. The committee would like to publicize in the Gazette, with a direct email message, and through the Le Monde parents group.
    • The intern program has requested that host families be identified by May 2024, far earlier than usual.
  6. Financial Report
    • Generally speaking, the school is currently ahead of budget, in part because we are currently somewhat understaffed as we wait for visa issues to be resolved. The Board is expecting a substantial bill from our independent contractor handyman related to facilities maintenance conducted over the course of the year, but don’t yet have that bill.
    • Paid Leave Oregon is a new legal leave provision that is taking up a lot of time with a tremendous amount of paperwork and limited guidance for our privately-insured equivalent plan. Staff are taking leaves, which is positive for their well-being, but also poses a challenge due to the difficulty in replacing French-speaking staff, particularly on a limited term basis.
    • Foregin visa challenges continue. It will be important to increase salaries both for visas and to ensure that we can attract and retain the best candidates. Every salary increase also increases PERS, which creates a fundamental budgeting challenge. Immigration issues were discussed, including that staffing with these additional immigration and leave challenges takes a lot of administrative time.
    • The Le Monde lottery will take place in April; application numbers seem similar to previous years.
    • The Board asks if Shouka can make a specific ask for donations since taxpayers will be receiving the large Oregon kicker refund (she already made this ask in the Gazette).
  7. Public Comment

    • Marisa shares that the elementary school dance took place in January with positive feedback. The general sense is that early January is a good time to hold this event.
    • OBOB took place in February with 14 elementary school teams and 2 middle school teams. Marisa gave a shout out to Michelle Lamanet, Zeljka Boyd and the parents that acted as moderators and organizers for the exciting day.
    • A book swap was held in March at Leikam Brewing with a good crowd. The event was well-attended and included crafts for kids.
    • Upcoming events include the Science Fair at Tabor Space on May 5. LMPC is also hoping to do another “walk and bike to school day” on the National Day for spring in early May, and is starting to talk about an end of year party in a park.
  8. Executive Session

Meeting adjourned at 8:00pm