Board Meeting Minutes » BOD Meeting Minutes - May 11, 2021

BOD Meeting Minutes - May 11, 2021

ABS Board Meeting 5/11/21

The meeting was called to order by Ellen Heck at 5:46pm after a quorum of Board members was met.

Roll Call was performed with the following Board members in attendance: Ellen Heck, Dara Silver, Kyle Barnes, Ellen Coble, Brian Cole, Brittany Emery, Tomisha Gladman, Chrissy Hardy, Michelle Taylor Kennedy, Shannon Meares, Griff Morgan, Dani Parker Moore, April Ruffin-Adams, and Bill Scheidt were present

Non-voting Members: Principal Robin Hollis, Assistant Principal Paige Raper Parent Council Members: Katherine White, Becky Dickson

Kyle Barnes moved to approve the April Board Meeting and Special Meeting Minutes, which were emailed to the Board prior to the meeting. This was seconded by Ellen Coble and Shannon Meares simultaneously. Both sets of Minutes were approved by unanimous vote.

Kyle Barnes presented the April Financials, which were emailed to the Board prior to the meeting. Despite appearing to run a deficit for the month, year-to-date we are trending ahead of the budget and are executing appropriately. The motion to approve the April Financials came from the Finance Committee. This was seconded by Brian Cole. The April Financials were approved by unanimous vote of The Board.

Ellen Coble gave an update from the Development Committee. Emails are being sent to Board Members and parents who gave pledges to the Windows to Learning Campaign. The emails are updates of their pledge and the outstanding amount. In regard to supporting the Courtyard Project, to this point there has been a soft push for parents to support the project by way of inclusion in Principal Hollis’ Thursday Notes email and a few social media posts. There will be a postcard going out soon about the Courtyard Project offering recipients the opportunity to contribute. Prior to the soft ask 4 families elected to support the project and we now have 21 families, outside of Board members, who have supported the project. Moving forward, more emphasis will be placed on The Annual Fund as a support mechanism for the school. This will include a fundraiser for next year, likely in Spring. Involvement in fundraising by Board members through engagement with area foundations and potential major donors is encouraged. The music technology grants we’ve pursued are still on hold due to a number of factors, but may be included in plans for next year. Principal Hollis added that there will be an update on the status of that at the next Board meeting, citing the importance of this project for the Middle School music curriculum. Ellen added that the foundation grant has been drafted and may be used across the range of foundations that we plan to approach.

Griff Morgan gave an update from the Nominating Committee. The Committee has six nominations to put forward to the Board. If all 6 are added, 22 of the potential 24 seats on the Board will be filled, allowing some flexibility to add a few more members in the future. That scenario would also put us at 11 parent members and 11 non-parent members. The nominations that the Committee would like to put forward include:

1)  Asher Ellis, longtime parent of ABS whose child will be graduating at the end of this school year. Mr. Ellis brings a background in finance and banking and would be a non-parent member should he be added.

2)  Joy Blaser, also a parent with a graduating 8th grader, is a photographer and artist and has been a longtime volunteer at ABS. She would also be a non-parent member if added to the Board.

3)  David Ford is a reporter and producer at WFDD. His educational background is in music and the fine arts with both a BA and MA from Northwestern. He brings a skillset in public relations and a connection to Wake Forest with him. He would also be a non-parent member if added to the Board.

4)  Elizabeth Repetti is an attorney at Bell, Davis, and Pitt, PA, having graduated from Wake Forest School of Law. She has served on the Sawtooth School for Visual Art Board and Brenner Children’s Hospital and would also be a non-parent member if added.

5)  Maya Gilliam is an ABS parent who owns three businesses close to the school on North Main Street. They include Ma’ati Spa, III Eye Digital, and Hempress Farms. She has served on the Boards of the Winston-Salem YMCA and Mechanics and Farmers Bank and is a member of the Winston-Salem Urban League Young Professionals Program.

6)  Chanita Coulter is an ABS parent who is an early childhood education teacher focused on economically disadvantaged children between pre-K and 5th grade. She completed undergraduate studies at North Carolina A&T University, a Masters of Social Work at Boston College, and a Masters of Education at Harvard.

The Nominating Committee moved all of their nominations to the Board. Bill Scheidt seconded the motion. All of the nominations were approved unanimously.

Robin Hollis presented The Principal’s Report. An email containing much of the information in the Principal’s Report was sent to Board members prior to the meeting. End of Grade testing will be starting soon with a window of 3 weeks as opposed to the typical 10 days. Mandates require testing to be conducted in person. COVID-19 protocols regarding masks, distancing, and handwashing are still in effect. About 80% of students are in-person with 20% deciding to remain remote. K-6 are on campus 4 days/week while 7th and 8th grades are still in cohorts and on campus 2 days/week. The searches for the Interventionist and Counselor are ongoing. Work continues on the federal grants that were approved to be submitted at the last Board meeting. ABS typically receives Title I, Title II, and IDEA grants for the remedial reading program, teacher support, and our contracted speech therapist respectively. The ESSER II grant has been submitted to cover the cost of the Interventionist and Summer School to address any learning loss incurred by students during the pandemic. The multiyear grant is for approximately $90K. A draft of the State-required Mental Health Plan will be brought to the Board at the next meeting. The NC Access Grant training continues despite having pushed the second school project off for a year. Principal Hollis also reminded the Board that we got approval for a weighted lottery for next year that will allow us to increase our number of students who are considered disadvantaged learners. Graduation is June 10 outside in the courtyard.

Becky Dickson presented the Parent Council update. Teacher Appreciation week just wrapped up. The Council is continuing to seek volunteers for next year’s Parent Council Board. The regular Parent Council Meeting is scheduled for May 14, but an additional evening meeting will likely be added to the schedule later in the month for those parents who requested a meeting later in the day. Becky’s position and the Parent Representative Coordinator are positions that need to be filled on the Parent Council Board. Both technology positions will also need to be filled. Secretary is also a position that will need to be filled.

Brittany Emery was asked to update the Board on the Form 990, which will be sent to the Board via email. There are no significant changes compared to last year and follows the audit that has already been approved. It will be sent out later this week.

Ellen Heck then directed all non-Board members to log off the meeting with the exception of Principal Hollis and Vice-Principal Raper for a closed session of the Board meeting.

At the end of the closed session, Shannon Meares moved to adjourn and Griff Morgan seconded. The meeting was adjourned by vote of the Board.