Board Meeting Minutes Archive » BOD Meeting Minutes – June 10th, 2014

BOD Meeting Minutes – June 10th, 2014


ABS 7th Street Building

Winston-Salem, NC

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014.


In attendance: Eric Prior, Leigh Atkins, Renee Semones, Robin Hollis, Paige Raper, Gayle Anderson, Michelle Lawrence, Neil Foster, Don Vanderbeck, Frank Wood, Charles Cleveland, Alex Ewing, Amy Lanning, Mary Benton, Joan Marie Belnap, Hal Johnson, Heather Smith, Chad Cleveland,


Meeting called to order by Eric at 5:45.

Approval of May 2014 Minutes – ACTION REQUIRED – Eric asked for approval of last month’s minutes. Leigh made a motion to pass the May minutes. Hal seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Principal’s Report (Robin) – 5:47-5:55PM ABS was recognized as a school to receive the Community Appearance Award. On June 5th, Joan Marie and Robin accepted the award along with the other winners. Robin wanted to recognize Neil Foster, our landlord, and Don Vanderbeck, our contractor, for making the physical space what it is. The board members can’t say enough about how much they appreciate what Neil and Don have made possible. Mary Benton added that the architect of a school in Davidson might be calling to see our facility.


We received a letter from Virginia Foxx after last month’s visit telling us to contact her office when we are applying for grants and she can write recommendations on our behalf.

MAP results – At each grade level, our students outperform the national average. Our 5th graders (on average) score at the national average of 7th graders. Students just completed EOG tests. The scores are not published yet and some schools are still taking the tests. We have 60 3rd graders and according to Read to Achieve criteria, 58 have been deemed proficient.

We are still hiring for a middle school science teacher.

Gayle asked about the two students who did not meet proficiency. Robin reported that they would be retained in third grade. Those two students have received interventions since kindergarten.

Mary asked if that class would be over in numbers. Robin reported that these students have been considered for retention for a while and there is room for them to repeat 3rd grade.

Approval of 2014-15 Budget – ACTION REQUIRED The budget is due to the state by the end of this month. Last meeting there was an extensive discussion about this and more information went out by email after that meeting. Eric opens the floor for questions or comments about the proposed budget.

Mary asked why $0 is budgeted for capital purposes? Eric reported that we put everything in the capital campaign budget. We kept the same percentage going towards reserve as we did last year. There is some latitude each year depending on specifics.

Eric asked for a motion to approve the ABS budget. Charles made a motion to approve, Frank seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Closed session – Eric moved to go into closed session pursuant to NC General Statute 143-318.11(a) (5) to establish or instruct the staff or agent concerning the negotiation of the amount of compensation or other terms of an employment contract.

Gayle Anderson moved to exit closed session, Leigh Atkins seconded this.

Approval of New Board Members & Officers – ACTION REQUIRED – Charles reported that Gayle, Hal, and Mary are rolling off the board. They have been with ABS for a long time and their contributions have been invaluable. We currently have 19 members, 3 roll off and 1 resigns (Kathy Goliszek who sent an email resigning from the board because she couldn’t meet her obligations). This creates a class of 4. We can have 33% or 7 (whichever is less) board members be current parents.

Kevin Nunley (parent) and Margaret Taylor (alum parent) are suggested by the committee as board members. Robin says they are very active already. The committee also recommends re-electing Damien and Amy.

Chad seconded the motion to approve these elections because it’s coming out of committee. The motion passed unanimously.

Charles said we might be back to discuss this next month. We still have 5 available spots – the board can have 24 members.

Slate of officers: Eric agreed to continue as president, Heather would step in as VP, Doug and Renee for secretary and treasurer.

Leigh seconded because it comes out of committee. The motion passed unanimously.

Review draft of proposed Financial Stability Strategy (Charles) – Charles crafted a strategy with input from prior conversations. Charles reminded everyone that we discussed the strategic plan in January at the board retreat. Mission, strategies, and targets are a part of the strategic plan. Financial security is a strategy that needs heavy involvement from the board.

Charles drafted a narrative and hopes that it will eventually be a document that the board uses for years to come with some revision as needed. What do we need to change or say differently? Hal had a concern on the last bullet point regarding other sources of revenue, and the percentage of budget set to capital reserve. Hal said if we’re too dependent on the generosity of others it’s a bad thing. He feels that money brought in from other sources should be used to help set up an endowment.

Charles said we did discuss endowment and it is in the part of the narrative but needs more work and discussion.

Heather doesn’t want to “tie the hands” of future boards with a dollar amount to go to reserve.

Mary Benton asks if the current reserve is 3 months of operating expenses. Eric says no. That would be $965,000. It will take a few years to get to a place where we have 3 months operating budget. We are on our way with about $240,000 a year.

Eric is cognizant of not putting something in writing that handcuffs future boards.

Mary asked if the number above our operating expenses is what gets put in operating reserve. Eric says yes, mostly.

Heather clarified that we will alwys have something going towards operating reserve. We already voted that operating reserve would be a part of the balanced budget. If there is a year where there is a large cushion over the reserves that would be the time to start or add to an endowment.

Mary asked what happens to the reserve? Renee reported that we have a savings account. Reserves used to be taken out yearly. Now it is quarterly.

Charles said we talked about fundraising and also “products” or events as other sources of revenue. Mary said we talked about a business partner or sponsorship. Charles said that could be future work for a committee.

Eric wanted to entertain a motion to adopt this document as our current strategy. Frank Wood made a motion and Mary seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Other Business – 6:45-6:50PM – Robin reported that the property tax exemption application was due June 30th and it will be filed annually. This year Bill Wright filed for us.

Teacher Working Conditions Survey – Robin reported that the School Leadership Team and the Board use this to determine what areas need to be addressed and how to we improve what we are doing. Some questions are hard for us to interpret what teachers want so we go back to the staff to ask for clarification. Gayle noticed that we didn’t go “down” in any area, which was something we wanted to watch as we expanded.

Joan Marie asked about OSHA. Robin reported that the penalty started as $8000, it came down to $2400. Doug doesn’t think it will go lower than that. The executive committee decided to accept that penalty and it is payable over 12 months.

Mary asked what the penalty was for. Robin reported on blood borne pathogen training and Hepatitis vaccines. All things are fixed and put in place to happen annually. Mary asked if we require flu shots for staff. Robin said that we do not. A parent who is a paramedic provided the required training for the staff.

Capital Campaign – Joan Marie reported that we are $102,000 short at the moment on the capital campaign. There is still some opportunity to bring in money. Once the 8th grade opens the sense of urgency goes away. We have started application with the Cannon Foundation. We will ask for $25 – $40K.

Robin wanted to make note that the community gifts number has increased significantly due to board members and staff reaching out to people. Robin said thank you to Joan Marie and Gayle for working on this. Gayle asked if the Annual Fund was negatively impacted by the capital campaign. Robin reported that it was not. We have surpassed last year’s annual campaign amount raised. Shannon Wright did a great job with the Parent Council. Hal asked about our collections to date vs. the total raised. Robin didn’t have that information easily accessible but can get it.

Mary said she feels like the three are leaving the school in good hands, and it has been a pleasure. The board thanked Gayle, Mary, and Hal for their leadership.

Adjournment – 6:50PM – The meeting adjourned at 6:59.