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November 2023: 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, November 29, 2023

5:38pm meeting called to order

In attendance: Dory Hobbs, Karen Kitchen, Jarod Hobbs, Ben Melix, Michal McCamman, Ali Garfinkle, Mark Williams, Shouka Rezvani (Executive Director/Principal; nonvoting)
Other members of public present.

  1. Consent Resolutions
    Board approves Q1 2023/24 Financials including Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Statement, August board minutes, revised 2023/24 budget to include increased SIA funding (subject to adjustment discussed below), Staff Handbook, and employee holiday bonus.
  2. Intern Committee Report
    There are three French teaching interns on campus supporting the school. Two of the interns plan to stay in their host family situations for the spring term (this is preferred by both the interns and the host families). We appreciate the host families! One host family is needed for spring.
    The Board helped brainstorm possible places to share the need for host families, including messages to Le Monde alumni, Facebook posting with the FAQs prominently featured, other board member networks, a Back to School Night presentation next year, short videos from the interns or the teachers, and highlighting interns in a newsletter.
  3. School Report
    Things at school are going well in general! There was a whole-middle school trip to OSU for a ketball game. The first trimester report cards and parent/teacher conferences are complete, including the first round of MAP testing, and students in early grades who have been flagged for interventions have been working with the early literacy specialist and/or receiving math support. The Director of International Baccalaureate is working with teachers on IB; the extra hour put in the calendar this year on Wednesdays has proven to be very useful for grade band collaborative planning. The Director of IB has been facilitating IB implementation and documentation, and has set rotating meetings between grades. Shouka would like to wait to implement the IB Middle Years Program as we assess the overall implementation at Le Monde. The model is definitely something we would like to continue. Dory asked about whether there is significant middle school attrition, and Shouka reported that the school enrollment is in a good place overall. In middle school, the focus this year is working on improving the production aspects of French and English (oral presentation and writing skills), as well as organization and other executive functioning planning skills that will help them in high school (and life). Students have been performing very high on the French STAMP assessment, and 8th graders are starting their DELF B1 assessments soon.
    An ongoing challenge is hiring and retaining teachers who have the required level of French fluency, TSPC licensure, and the appropriate work visas. On the agenda for the next Board Meeting will be setting the calendar for next year.
  4. Early Literacy Plan and Grant Application
    The State has a new Oregon Early Literacy Framework and is budgeting an Early Literacy Success Grant for all districts and charter schools to receive noncompetitive grants through the Oregon Department of Education; Le Monde s allocation for the initial two years was reviewed (roughly $46,000 in year one, $48,000 in year two). Part of the requirement of the grant is to specify how 25% of the funds provided by the grant will be matched by the school toward the literacy goals, and this matching is planned for and provided in the budget that will be discussed in this meeting. The Department of Education is supporting the applications by holding explanatory meetings with charter school leaders. Shouka is working on the application with input from Le Monde s English Language Arts teachers, and she is finding that many of the included elements are currently in place at Le Monde or are part of our existing literacy plan: teachers are receiving regular professional development, we use assessments that are nationally-normed and which provide the ability to dis-aggregate data to evaluate student growth, including for historically underserved students; Le Monde provides targeted interventions starting in first grade when students are found to not be meeting benchmark, including what is called high density tutoring in the grant from the school s early literacy specialist, who is a licensed teacher with specialized knowledge about English Language Arts intervention instruction. Opportunities for extended learning are provided through push in support that does not meet the definition of high density tutoring, through the provision of readers for home use to parents for struggling learners after school and during summers, and, since the pandemic, through collaboration with the district to identify students and provide summer learning programs at the district. The school will continue to publicize more about its early literacy program in newsletters to the community.
    This grant is good news since more money can be allocated towards literacy. An overview of the school s Early Literacy Plan and this application was reviewed, including the current English Language Arts core curriculum (Houghton Mifflin s Journeys curriculum) and supplementary materials, and the use of specific assessments (MAP and DIBELS, as well as assessments embedded in the Journeys curriculum). Journeys is not on the state s current approved curricular list for the grant, but is very similar to the Houghton Mifflin Into Reading curriculum that is on the list. The Journey s curriculum is very widely-used by schools nationally, and was selected by the board at the start of 2020 with the collaboration of all of Le Monde s English Language Arts teachers after careful review to ensure that it has important components, like being culturally-responsive. As indicated above, a continued area of improvement for the school is working on its writing program.
    An opportunity was provided for public comment, and there was none. The Board approved the school s Early Literacy Plan as well as the school s application for the Early Literacy Success Grant by the January 8 deadline.
  5. Financial and Fundraising Update
    A new budget incorporating the above Early Literacy Grant funds as well as matching funds retroactive to October was reviewed and approved, and will be provided to the district.
    The school received more donations than was budgeted for Oui Run. (Yay! Thanks again to Michal for her organization, and to the Le Monde community!) We are currently operating very close to budget. Our current investments are in certificates of deposit and the board approved rolling those over in certificates of deposit of the same durations. The school s cash is split between two banks, which increases the FDIC coverage. The board reviewed and approved the audit report and management letter for the year-ended June 30, 2023, which was a clean audit and contained only best practices recommendations
  6. DEI Committee Report
    The DEI Committee reports that two families with connections to Senegal will travel there Dec
    12 Jan 3rd. The DEI Committee is supporting the LMPC to help expand access to and engagement in the Science Fair. There is a plan to continue the February Black History Month talent showcase. The Portland Art Museum is hosting an African Fashion exhibit highlighting designers from French-speaking countries. February 4th is Miller Family Free Day at the museum, and the Committee hopes to encourage students and families to attend. The board recognizes meaningful collaboration happening with the DEI Committee, and the Board appreciates their work.
  7. Le Monde Parents Council (LMPC) Update
    LMPC new co-Chairs introduced themselves (Marisa Robertson-Textor and Jessica Brinson). They organized park playdates over the summer, a Welcome Weekend in September, and have park playdates planned for fall and spring as well as coffee meet-ups for parents. The LMPC supported the Walk and Bike to School Day, and provided back to school welcome gifts to all staff (a pen, notebook and plant!). There was a new Halloween costume swap, which is hoped to be continued. The LMPC completed the Student School Directory! Currently they are conducting a school-approved Winter Wreath Fundraiser in support of the school. Upcoming they are organizing a January 6th Elementary Winter Dance at Oaks Park (glow in the dark theme, looking for volunteers!). LMPC continues to organize snack sign-ups for staff, which the staff appreciates! In the spring the LMPC will organize a Staff Appreciation Week and will conduct the Science Fair in May. The LMPC Co-Chairs express that they are there to support the school, and are happy to help in various ways.
  8. Executive Session (HR discussion) Meeting adjourned 8:27pm