Board Meeting Minutes Archive » BOD Meeting Minutes- April 14, 2020

BOD Meeting Minutes- April 14, 2020

Virtual Meeting due to COVID-19
Winston-Salem, NC
Tuesday April 14, 2020

In Attendance:

Kyle Barnes x
Kelly Emling x
Brian Cole x
Amber Dalholt  
Brittany Emery x
Chris Gilmore  
Tomisha Gladman x
Chrissy Davis Hardy x
Ellen Heck x
Cheryl Hicks x
Jennifer Holman  
Michelle Kennedy Taylor  
Charlie McCurry x
Griff Morgan x
Dani Parker Moore  
Kevin Nunley x
Lara Hanes-Pierce x
April Ruffin-Adams x
Bill Scheidt x
Suzanne Shuford x
Dara Silver x
Margaret Taylor x
Julia Toone x

Also In Attendance: Robin Hollis, Paige Raper, Mary Siebert, Trish Goldberg, Mary Anna Phillips, Bass, Becky Dickson, Sam Pearce, Ryan Leigh Runyon, EJ McCrae


  • Meeting Called to Order – 5:45pm – Called to order by Griff Morgan
  • Roll Call for Attendance (Paige) – Paige Raper calls roll for board attendance and guests.
  • Review of March Voting Results – Griff Morgan announced that the board approved minutes from Dec, Jan, and Feb, Jan. and Feb. financials, and the 2020-2021 school calendar by e-mail votes.
  • Review of March Financial Results (Brittany) – ACTION REQUIRED – Brittany Emery points out that the March report shows a surplus of $360,000 due to being front-loaded on the revenue side. Motion to approve the March financials made by Brian Cole and seconded by April Ruffin-Adams. All are in favor and the financials are approved.
  • Courtyard Construction Update (Kevin) – ACTION REQUIRED – Kevin Nunley reports that we received bids from three builders on phase 2 of the courtyard expansion. Don Vanderbeck at Premier came in the lowest of the three with a bid of $680,000 and we have worked with him before. We haven’t engaged with him yet. He suggests construction with a taller façade and a flat roof. It gives more ceiling height in the structure and allows the HVAC system to be put on the roof. This would cost a little bit to rework plans which would add a little bit of extra time but would work out financially in the long run. Becky Dickson asks if our other projects with Premier came in at budget in the past. The school did not pay out anything unexpected on past projects.
  • Budget Presentation (Brittany) – Robin Hollis sent out a proposed 20-21 budget today. We’re not asking for a motion or approval this meeting. We want everyone to have time to look it over before asking questions. The budget is holding ADM steady with 2019-2020 since there was no approved budget by the state this year. We hope it will increase but we’re being conservative. We also hope there may be additional funding from Forsyth County after the quarter sales tax increase passed. We were hurt this year financially by not having Community Creates and not running the parent campaign for the capital campaign due to COVID-19. The budget draft includes a 2% salary pool for increases. ABSSO board will discuss transferring the deficit for this year and also covering the salary increases for next year since they were created to support the school. If we put nothing up front for construction, we are looking at a $70,000 increase in rent each year. If we put up $200,000 that is reduced by $18,000. We would need to pay that in the fall and could then replenish it with capital campaign funds. The question is what can we afford to pay up front and what kind of increase can we sustain going forward. Kevin comments that the rent would be going forward after the capital campaign as well even though it is included in the capital campaign section of the budget document. We are discussing up to $70,000 increase in rent. In reality, if the project stays on budget, the rent is only a bit over $61,000 but we want to be mindful that it could end up being more so we’re saying $70,000. Griff says construction could start this spring and even if it wasn’t finished by August, it wouldn’t disrupt learning as there are no class homerooms in that space and the construction work could enter from 7th Street. Bill Scheidt asks about the impact on COVID on fundraising. Griff says no one knows. We hope that current parents are the ones that are most excited about the courtyard expansion as it directly affects their children. We would probably have to hold off on asks until the fall. We are not paying for the construction through the summer. We won’t pay until the expansion is occupied. Motion comes from the finance committee to approve up to a $200,000 one-time construction cost and up to $52,000 in increased rent per year. Seconded by Brian Cole. All are in favor with no one opposed and the motion passes. We will move forward on courtyard construction.
  • Board Development Update/Nominations – ACTION REQUIRED – Griff reports that the nominating committee has two board members to put forward. Shannon Meares – attorney with National Labor Relations Board and a former ABS parent. She has expressed interest in wanting to continue supporting the school. The committee recommends her. The other potential member is Larry Barron, LB the poet, who was at our January retreat. He has young children and worked with our board at the Civil Rights Museum in January. Motion from the committee to approve these two new members. Motion comes from the committee for Shannon Meares. All are in favor with no one opposed. LB: all are in favor with no one opposed. Both are added as new board members. We are not prepared to present a slate of officers at this meeting. We hope to do this at the May meeting.
  • Committee Updates – Various –
    • Development – Julia Toone – we did reach out to sponsors of Community Creates and thanked them and let them know it was cancelled. Lara Hanes Pierce says some of those offered the sponsorship money as a donation without the event going forward. Brittany Emery confirms that we have $8500 in revenue because of this under fundraising.
    • Ellen Heck – Marketing – No meeting since the closure. The new website is pretty much ready to launch but we’re not sure what the timeline is for that in light of everything going on right now.
    • Dara reports that the diversity and inclusion committee will set up a time to meet.
    • Margaret Taylor reports that the personnel committee will be reaching out to talk about a principal’s evaluation.
  • Principal’s Report (Robin) – Robin Hollis reports that we have a teaching assistant position to fill. We will potentially conduct interviews virtually. One of our speech therapists is out on maternity leave. A new therapist, Ms. Osswald, has been sitting in on virtual sessions. Performance framework: we exceeded expectations and were compliant in all areas. The current COVID situation has all schools closed until May 18th. There is some talk about that being extended. April 28th is when General Assembly will meet. They will decide on testing and calendar rules about days in and out of school. Our teachers have been doing a phenomenal job working with families and switching over to distance learning. It is not how we typically teach. We typically run a parent satisfaction survey at this time of year. We did not run that survey this year. The questions do not align well with the current situation. We will pick it back up next year.
  • Parent Council Updates – Becky Dickson reports that the last Parent Council meeting was cancelled due to the avoidance of large gatherings. We will need to figure out how to handle Parent Council elections if we don’t go back to school.
  • Other Business – Ellen Heck asks if the time we are not using with Whitney Jones will cause the contract to go longer. Brittany Emery says there would be two more payments left on our contract. It will depend on where we are when it feels okay to fundraise again. If we need their help, we can continue. There are a few grant deadlines that come up in the next few months that they are helping with. Griff also mentions that we still don’t have a secured location on the second school. NC ACCESS grant is still moving forward, and they plan to let everyone know by June. This is a $1.2M grant for replication. The ABSSO and ABS applied for Payroll Protection for help with hourly employees.
  • Adjournment – 6:45pm – April Ruffin-Adams moves to adjourn and Tomisha Gladman seconds. All are in favor with no opposed. The meeting is adjourned at 6:39.

Looking Ahead:

  • Board Meeting – May 12 via Virtual Meeting Platform