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October 2013: Board Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting
5:45-8:30 PM

Present: Shouka Rezvani, Nicole Aas-Rouxparis, Robyn Pfeifer, Karyn Warner, Jarod Hobbs, Jane Fabulet- Roberts.
Excused absence: Dory Hobbs
Teachers and Administrators present: Craig Nelson, Alexis Bidou, Jeanne Giles Parent Representative: Brittany Stover
Other: Stanford Brown


  1. Adoption of September Minutes. Karyn requested that the board defer adoption of September minutes until the October meeting.
  2. Decisions made/issues addressed since last board meeting. The Board formally approved decisions made between meetings via email:
    a. Acceptance of Resignation of Nadia Delshad – Nadia Delshad has resigned her board position. The
    board expressed great appreciation for her dedicated service, and wishes her the best.
    b. Adoption of Employee Handbook – Shouka motioned for adoption of employee handbook, and all
    were in favor.
  3. School Status Update from Craig Nelson
    Craig expressed thanks to the Le Monde community for the opportunity to help shape the school moving forward. He reports that things are off to a good start, and he has just completed his 15th day at the school.

    Craig noted some concerns on reviewing Le Monde’s attendance statistics, and notes that only 83% of students attended 90% or more school days last year. This means that 17% of our student population missed 10% or more of instruction. This has an enormous impact on learning. It also impacts our finances: we do not get full payment from the state for these students. The school pays for space and educators all the same, but loses significant amounts of money due to these absences. Tardies also cost the school income. Craig will work on sharing this information with parents.

    Craig shared that nightly reading should not be counted as homework time. Reading every day is the most important thing a student can do to improve their academic experience.

    Craig discussed assessments, and requested that Le Monde implement the MAP assessment program, designed by the NWEA. The MAP is a web-based interim assessment that measures growth. It is aligned to the common core, and provides comparative and normative data that determines areas where individual students need improvement. Craig will provide a quote to the board, and it was noted that the school will need computers to begin assessments with MAP. He is investigating ways of obtaining computers. The assessments begin in Kindergarten and will be done three times yearly, and take 90 minutes per assessment. The board was in favor of this.

    Building security has been a concern, and Craig and Shouka are addressing with the landlord and NW Academy, requesting that all staff and students be vigilant. There will be more meetings with the landlord as a plan is worked out. Anou’s room is too hot and they are exploring ways to better ventilate it while keeping the door closed. A security screen is a possibility.

    Alexis provided an update from staff: Samara has lined up specialist resources with PPS and we now have assigned support personnel to assist as needed. The board expressed their thanks.

  4. Math homework in English/Singapore Math Advisor
    Jeanne noted that the Singapore training would be more helpful if provided on a grade-by-grade basis. She requested that the board approve sending homework materials in English; the board agreed.  Shouka remarked that we must address the units of measure the students will be tested on in Grade 3 and these materials will provide the proper context for learning about temperatures, pounds, inches, and currency, which students must familiarize themselves with in order to succeed in third grade testing. The board agreed that teachers should use materials that allow them to convey this information as they feel necessary, whether in English or in French. Teachers may order additional Singapore workbooks.
  5. Addressing the needs of all students (Academic Vision)
    Craig has recommended that all teachers teach topics at grade level. Core instruction would be the same for all students, and then students would work in groups following that instruction period. The need for remedial support will decrease with all students being taught at grade level and then supported as necessary during group work.
  6. Teacher/Staff Assessment model
    Craig will be doing formal and informal observations. He will discuss the model at next meeting.
  7. PPS Accountability Plan
    Staff and board members are working together on this. Shouka needs more statistics to complete this, and it will be sent to the board for feedback and approval next week.
  8. Fundraising Report
    Howard Markwell has agreed to serve as a community liaison in support of our fundraising model, which takes a four-pronged approach: 1) Direct appeals 2) Grants 3) Microdrives 4) Events. The school needs to raise 10k/month in order for the school to meet budget. Last year direct appeals raised most of that via the 1k/family request. This year donations have lessened and the school’s programming has suffered as a result. The board expressed gratitude at Mr. Markwell’s willingness to spearhead this work.
  9. Other Committee Reports
    a. Budget and Finance – Robyn will add a donation & auto-pay option to the website.
    b. SOAR – New posters are being printed to be put up around the community. We will begin accepting
    new enrollment applications on January 1st. Robyn will work on the website piece of this.
  10. Executive Session—Employment Matters