BOD Meeting Minutes- May 10, 2016
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
ABS 7th Street Building
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
In Attendance: Robin Hollis, Joan Marie Belnap, Amy Lanning, Kevin Nunley, Eric Prior, Doug Punger, Paige Raper, Charles Cleveland, Emily Ball, Laura Luykx, Renee Semones, Cheryl Harry, Margaret Taylor, Kelly Carswell, Heather Smith, Griff Morgan, Michelle Lawrence, Chrissy Hardy, Chad Cleveland
- Meeting Called to Order – 5:45PM – Heather Smith calls the meeting to order.
- Approval of March and April 2016 Minutes ACTION REQUIRED 5:45-5:50PM Kevin Nunley reports that he was at the March meeting but accidentally left off the “in attendance” list. Motion made by Kevin Nunley to approve the minutes with that addition, seconded by Emily Ball; all are in favor with no one opposed. The March and April minutes are approved.
- Review of YTD financial statements (Renee) 5:50-5:55PM – End of April – 10th We are realizing a deficit but it is strictly due to the local revenues not being drawn down. April and May payments haven’t been made yet. We will finish the year at budget or much better. We will talk about this more later tonight.
- Proposed Budget Discussion VOTE WILL BE IN JUNE 5:55-6:10PM
Budget Report May 2016
As a charter school we receive state, local and federal funding to educate our students. The ADM (Average Daily Membership) is the amount of state dollars per pupil that we receive. Last year’s ADM was $4971 for 518 students. As we begin to build this year’s budget we anticipate an increase in ADM but do not have a planning allotment at this time. We often keep the budget flat at this point without an allotment. We have roughly a 4 million dollar budget. Last year we spent 67% of the budget on salaries and benefits= $2,669,479. We also have a current operational/maintenance reserve of $961,729. We have a board resolution from 2014 stating that we build/maintain reserve funds to cover a minimum of three months of current year operational cost. At this time that would be 1.1-1.3 million needed in reserves.
As we build the school’s budget for 2016-2017, we would like to increase investment in staffing-
Ideally we would like to increase staffing to include:
Part time Spanish teacher for middle school
Part time counselor for middle school
Increase part time music teacher to full time
Increase math teaching assistant to part time math teacher
Part time AIG teacher for K-8
Increase Part time drama teacher to full time
We would also strive to increase salaries of existing positions by 5% as proposed by Governor McCrory.
At this time the finance committee has been unable to create a balanced budget that meets all of our goals. The committee will continue to meet over the next week to prepare a draft budget for board review. The committee will distribute the draft budget via email and ask for approval at the June board meeting. This is provided to the state in July. Joan Marie Belnap asks what the total cost is for the proposed new positions. Eric said there is a nice to have vs. a need to have list so we don’t have a total amount on new salaries. Margaret Taylor asks if we have to decide before the state decides on increases. Robin Hollis says, yes, we must submit a balanced budget but we do not contract teachers until we have a concrete amount for the ADM from the state. Eric Prior says we need to consider increases for teachers, new positions, operating reserve, and ADM. Historically we’ve budgeted using last year’s ADM but that doesn’t work right now including everything we want to include. Eric reminds us that we need to think about not only this year but also future years. We have always been competitive and above average compared to the county. Not by a lot but above. Doug Punger spoke with Don Lambeth the house is anticipating getting their portion done before June. He heard from the governor about 231 million dollars. He heard they were thinking about using this on one-time expenditures. It should be a relatively good year. Robin Hollis clarifies that they don’t automatically give charters the increases for individual line items. They look at all the increases and then give charters a figure for ADM. Laura Luykx asks what percentage of that is what we really need vs. would like. We haven’t done that yet because we started with the whole list and then regrouped when we saw that it didn’t work for the budget. Eric would personally like to see the priority be for new positions. Chad Cleveland asks what percentage we are above the county pay. Robin says that is very hard to say because of when each teacher began teaching. You must go line-by-line and look at each person individually. School systems have money they can use to bonus people (math teachers for example). Chad asks if we’re held to the state salary scale. No, but we’ve kept it in mind to keep good people. Robin says we got out of sync when the state did not increase but we were able to. It became close again when the school system went to the step increases. Chad asks if in the past the board gave Robin a blanket amount. We have tried that in the past. Eric says we are looking at all factors but the ones mentioned before are priorities. The resolution about the reserve funds passed by our board in 2014 says $45,000 to $50,000 a year should be saved until 3 months expenses are covered, then maintain that amount. We were very aggressive in the amount we set aside in just a couple of years. Eric reminds us that we knew the rate at which we could save would slow down because we aren’t adding students anymore. Heather reminds that usually at this point we present a budget with figures but this year we will send it via e-mail and have a full discussion and vote in June. Please plan to be here if you can make it so we can vote.
- Title 1 Grant Application Approval (Robin) ACTION REQUIRED 6:10-6:15PM – Motion made by Chad Cleveland to approve the grant application and seconded by Doug Punger. All are in favor, with no opposed. The Title I grant application is approved.
- Principal’s Report 6:15-6:30PM Staffing Statistics – One of our greatest assets is our magnificent teaching team. We have a collection of well-qualified, experienced and dedicated educators meeting the needs of students everyday.
Of our 27 full time classroom teachers….
-12 have bachelor’s degrees
-15 have Master’s degrees
-3 have National Board Certification
-5 have AIG Certification
They range in years of experience from 2 years to 38 years. The median is 10 years of teaching experience. Letters of Intent for our current staff will begin going out this week.
We had higher response to the parent survey this year. 138 responses this year is way more than any other year. Parents helped encourage others to respond. Doug Punger asks if there are open-ended questions. Yes, but we don’t publish them. They are anonymous but sometimes they are not nice. Charles Cleveland asks what do we do with this information? We use it to see trends. For example, five respondents asked for an AIG program. You may remember that we submitted a plan to the state a few years ago but we haven’t heard back from them. You may have seen that an AIG teacher is listed as a position on the list and it would be very nice to have. Another response we got more than once was that the elementary school is great but the middle school may not have students prepared. Doug asks if we have tried to contact a legislator about the AIG program? No. Paige Raper reports that the person who oversaw the program at DPI has changed. Charles asks if we have a way to sort results by grade level. Yes, we do.
- Board Officer Slate (Charles) ACTION REQUIRED – 6:30-6:35PM – We have a great slate of officers to present to you. Joan Marie has agreed to stand for president, Kevin Nunley for vice president, Margaret Taylor for secretary. We will elect to start in July. Motion to elect made by Chad Cleveland, seconded by Eric Prior, all are in favor, no opposed. The officers are elected.
- Facilities Update (Kevin) 6:35-6:45PM – We have had several meetings over the past month. We have discussed several ideas but decided we do not want a raised stage, want static, built-in tiered seating, cutting in stairs to go to the basement for a dried-in, climate-controlled storage room with a dumbwaiter. We spoke with Don Vanderbeck, architect Andrew Lopina, and Robert Long, theater expert. We have heard that the check will arrive next week from the donor for $300,000. The budget that is estimated right now is well below that amount. Chad reminds everyone that Mary Siebert is spending a lot of time researching all of this and what works best. Cheryl Harry asks about seating capacity in this updated space. 350 but the room is rated for 600 for fire safety. We are thinking only 6 rows because it leaves a lot of space in front of the seats for other chairs and students on the floor. Robin reminds us that we would still use community theaters for older student productions. This space is for younger productions and rehearsals. With 9 productions every year, there is always a show in rehearsal and needing space for that. Margaret Taylor asks if this would happen this summer. Yes, it would be this summer. Emily Ball asks if we would consider renting this space out. That is hard because there are really always people or sets in there.
7th Street building – We are in need of space in this building. It is very loud in the building when the band is playing. We need four additional spaces. There are currently students working in hallways and spaces not allocated for classes. We have talked about moving a temporary structure into the courtyard. It’s very difficult/impossible to crane over the walls. Neil Foster has agreed to finance the build and roll it into the rent. He is very excited about this project. Kevin says that we would need to consider how much to put out there. A band room but nothing else or another classroom or two where you could consider adding students? Griff asks if there should be a gesture of gratitude for the donor? There will be a press release and we will reach out to see how he wants that handled.
- Board Member Transitions (Robin) 6:45-6:50PM – A few board members are completing their tenure on the board. Chad Cleveland, Renee Semones, and Leigh Cameron-Atkins. Michelle Lawrence is our PC chair who has served for two years. Thank you so much to all of you for your hard work.
- Other Business 6:50-6:55PM – Margaret Taylor says Community Creates was a great event. Preliminary amounts are $31,000. Our goal is to have more corporate sponsors. Was attendance the same? Pretty close. We had some new people attend and some regulars who couldn’t make it. First Tennessee was our monetary sponsor this year. Hauser Rentals does a great job with the tent. Michelle Lawrence says it’s her last night as PC chair and she isn’t running again. She’s been a parent at ABS for many years and is an educator. She wants to say that she is amazed by what this board does. She is grateful for the work that Robin Hollis and Paige Raper do and how special this place is. Julee Nunley is running unopposed for PC co-chair and will do a great job.
- Adjournment 6:55PM – We are adjourned at 6:50.
● IMPORTANT DATES … MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
○ Next Meetings: June 14, NO July meeting, August 9