Dixie Montessori Academy
Board Meeting Agenda and Minutes for January 22, 2014
53 N. Main, St. George Utah
Board Members in Attendance: Julie Wand, Jacqueline “Jacque” Newman, Brian Poe, Michael Wand, Kevin Groke, Tracy Mitchell, Michael Currie
Others in Attendance: Justin Morgan, Jason Currie interested parents
MOTION: Kevin Groke calls meeting to order at 7:50pm
Reading vision and mission statement by Tracy Mitchell and Brian Poe
Review minutes from January 8, 2014 board meeting: Jacque Newman
MOTION: Kevin Groke motions to accept the minutes
Julie Wand second
Note: We received the resignation of Russell Armstrong as Board Member today.
There is still interest from parents and community members to be on board committees. We are holding off on that for the time being until we can finalize the site.
Finance Update by Brian Poe: Purchased treasurer computer, checking account and all records, checks and other Treasurer documents have been removed from Paula Nelson. The 2014 Finance Calendar has been created.
Julie Wand is asking about travel policy for her mandatory Directors trainings every other month for hotel reimbursement. There is no limit stated for hotel costs. Brian will take the action to get reimbursement for her previous request that has not been sent to her.
Michael Wand states that we did not build in the ability to attract experienced teachers into the budget. We need to have a three way decision on who gets paid and how much they get paid inside of the negotiation process. There needs to be a threshold set, but with the ability to consider higher qualifications. We do need to decide on what the budget is for salary and how much discretion they have. Julie Wand has requested that she be given a low and high for each position. Do we have the budget dialed in enough for teacher and staff hiring? Next steps are Michael and Brian will get together to fine tune the salary budget. Michael has looked at the budget and finding places to save and create salary cap room.
Facility Update by Tracy Mitchell: All plans have been submitted with the State Fire Marshall. Site and grading is waiting on Washington City. They are reluctant due to the uncertainty with the site purchase. We cannot move forward much until Boyer gets everything worked with the site. Boyer has gone above and beyond what has been expected. Once we have the site finalized Julie has several emails she would like to fire off for parents and interested parties to help with committees and groundbreaking ceremonies. Tracy has requested that he may need a person to be able to make educated decisions on site when he is out of town. He is considering a personal professional advancement that will require increased travel time. We need to set the check and balances on reporting to state and checking with Randy with Boyer. Facility line items will be moved to committee.
PR and Marketing: Lottery is at 650 currently. Radio has been huge for interest to DMA. 9 months word of mouth 200 names. 36 days with Canyon Media and Facebook over 500 names entered. Dave is working on other ideas with a test website. He has expressed interest in being more involved on the Board or on a committee level. Michael Currie has created a PDF file for all the forms to be put on the website. It would contain basic forms for parents to print and fill out, until we can get hard copies of birth certificates, signatures, etc.
IT update by Julie Wand- We are looking strongly at Aspire as an SIS program. We have plenty of outlets for computers in classroom design. No further IT update.
Curriculum by Julie Wand- We are done with committee for curriculum at this time. It will be struck from the agenda for the next board meeting.
Teacher Development by Julie Wand-We have 7 teachers that have accepted and been hired. Do we need 1 or 2 special education teachers? You will have a special education director overseeing department. They are capped at 25 student ratio. Clarification on a comment made by Michael Wand-Special education budget is awful due to the spectrum of what you will need based on student disabilities and what students are in the lottery. We can go and audit Gateway Preparatory and get with Otta as well.
Note-Michael Currie left the meeting at 9:05pm
Accountability by Brian Poe- Brian has been busy with transition to Treasurer. Julie and Tracy need to get with Brian on burn down charts and updating everything on progress. There are some procedural and policy issues that insurance application brought to light that needs to be looked into. Michael Currie has asked for a burn down chart on marketing. It has been suggested that due to lottery that we add two 6-9 classes so we can grow the Montessori community. We can make this change if we add before the lottery is pulled. It is suggested that we add 2 additional 6-9 classes and reduce the 9-12 class by two. We have a total of 27 kids per classrooms for 15 classrooms. 1 classroom is designated as special education. Discussion on how many kids per class do we want to sit? We have 9 classrooms for 6-9 and 5 classrooms for 9-12 and 7th grade. We also have 2 Kindergarten classrooms, 2 common rooms and 2 Special Ed rooms. We will need to finalize the lottery numbers and how many more than the 410 students we pull.
Discuss renting a room to a private/Pre-K- We table this item until we know that construction has begun.
MOTION: Kevin proposes that we intend to authorize a private Montessori Pre-K/Kindergarten for use in the DMA extra classroom.
Michael Wand seconded
Tracy Mitchell opposed
Vote on the board policy manual that has been submitted to the Board for review.
MOTION: Michael Wand proposes that we accept the board policy manual as written.
Brian Poe seconded
Discussion commences on the question of having a lawyer retained pro bono to protect DMA interests. Tracy would like an attorney to look at the finalized site contract. DMA could potentially be at risk for future interests. We need to committee this item and find pricing and specializing in Charter Schools.
Meeting is adjourned at 9:53pm
Audio Recording link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zn7saudva4omgy2/2014-01-22%20Meeting%20Audio.mp3