Posts made in January, 2015

Board Meeting February 24, 2015 at 7:00

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Board Meetings

Date: 2/24/2015

Start Time: Meeting was called to order at 7:04 pm by President Jake Plahn

End Time:

Location: Mountain View Academy Middle School Classroom

Attendees:  President Jake Plahn, Vice President Julie Valencia, Board Member Beau Garner, and Board Member Erica Richardson.  Principal Laurie Cardwell and Minutes Recorder Beth Sprague were also present.

Guests:  Maureen Weathers and Walt Hanline were also present.

Agenda Items

  • Call Meeting to Order
    • The meeting was called to order at 7:04 pm by President Jake Plahn.
  • Adoption of Agenda
    • Agenda was adopted by unanimous consent.  Board Member Richardson and Justman were not present.
  • Approval of Minutes from the February 9th Special Session and January 27 regular meeting.
    • Minutes of the February 9th, 2015 Special Session.  Beau Garner moved to accept the minutes from the February 9th meeting and asked it be noted that there was information disseminated in the previous meeting which has since been updated. He expressed concern that the actual amount of students in the class, vs. the weighted number was represented incorrectly and would have lead to an alternate voting outcome.  He asked that the previous meeting minutes be footnoted to reflect this and that his concern be recorded.  President Plahn seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously with Board Member Erica Richardson and Justman were not present.
    • Minutes of the January 27th, 2015 Board meeting were approved as presented. Board Member Erica Richardson and Justman were not present.
  • Schedule next meeting
    • Meeting of the Board was scheduled for March 17, 2015 at 7:00 pm.
  • Special budget report By Maureen Weathers
    • Maureen Weathers introduced herself to the board. Walt Hanline said that the error identified in the budget from the last board meeting was due to his error, rather than hers and was due to an incorrect interpretation on his part. Walt Hanline said that the Lowell District needs a budget by March 1, 2015 from MVA.  Maureen reviewed the General Fund Summary, noting a 6,000 favorable adjustment on PERS currently noted.  She will continue to work on the projections.  This document was the basis for preparing the budget, pages 12 and 13, with scenario of 2b, as is with teacher / with health insurance with teacher / with health insurance with teacher / with portable.    Maureen reminded the Board this year kindergarteners are counting as full.  The numbers are weighted on rate rather then per head.
  • Erica Richardson joined the meeting at 7:23 pm.
    • Changes included 4,000 decrease due to the 20,000 per year rather then 2,000 a month x 12.  The PERS rate had a typographical error; the rate should reflect 17.64.  A potential budgetary adjustment for portables may be anticipated.   Julie Valencia asked regarding the e-school agreement which is 26.00 per student a year and split in half between Lowell and MVA.  The Board agreed that should be added to the budget.  Laurie Cardwell explained with 115 students, and chose to fund the portable, teacher and benefits, the GF ending balance would be approximately 100k with the updates.  Ms. Cardwell solicited budget questions from the Board.
    • Responding to a question from Beau Garner Laurie explained that 115 students reflects 10 cap in middle school and all the rest of the spots full. Currently MVA has 92 enrolled, with a potential 3 arriving within the month.  Of the 95, 9 would be in kindergarten class.  That number is not rated.  The weighed factor is 57.40 to apply to actual students.  Jake Plahn said he is not concerned about the budget or the numbers, but more toward how many students we want to provide our services to.    Walt Hanline added that the concern should not be for the students, but that they will be the correct grade levels.
    • Walt Hanline said if MVA is full with 15 kids per grade level x 8 classrooms, is 120. Less 5 for the middle school.  Supt. Hanline agreed with President Plahn in that adding 8th graders is a difficult dynamic and the Board should be cautious on around that.
    • Julie Valencia asked that a line item be added for marketing. Maureen replied affirmatively.
    • Jake Plahn thanked Maureen for her services and clarified that creation, development and submission of the budget is included in the contract.  Maureen and Walt Hanline said it is.
    • Vice President Valencia noted that at FCA students increased yearly without marketing.
    • Mr. Hanline explained process wise, you do not need a committee; the budget committee requirement would be part of the community committee as would the budget hearing.  The State of the District Celebration scheduled for May will include the MVA.
    • Mr. Hanline said with the budget proposed MVA has a $98,000 cushion.  That would require MVA to get to 103 students to properly be funded.  He said that Lowell is working on bus routes, and will be competing with MVA as it wont be as easier to get kindergarteners out of Lowell.  The budget does reflect the 250 per student as well as well as a carry-forward of approximately $50k.
    • Budget
      • The budget presented by Laurie Cardwell shows the full options.  Per Maureen a supplemental budget is not necessary when changes are made, rather a budget change can be made by motion.  When a budget is adopted, it is submitted to the Lowell District Board for approval as an appendix to the Lowell Budget.
      • Maureen said she heard changes to be made were to add a line item for advertising, adjustment business services downward and add 13.00 for e-services as well.
      • Jake Plahn said he believes we should approve the budget listed and add Maureen’s caveats to the agenda for the next meeting.  Walt Hanline recommended that MVA have the cleanest budget.
      • President Plahn moved the proposed budget be approved with the line items of e-services added at 13.00 per student, (estimated at $1,500), 3,000 added for advertising and adjustment of business services down $4,000. Erica Richardson seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously with Board Member Justman not present.
  • Walt Hanline available to explain portable/lease agreement and answer questions
    • Additional Information
    • Mr. Hanline distributed the project scope handout from Modern Building Systems dated February 20, 2015.  He reviewed the documents noting the following:
      • Doublewide, with doors in between
      • Exterior will be matching the existing buildings
      • Interior color choices are left to MVA
      • Zero overhangs, 12, 16 or 18 overhangs are possible, however 18′ are proposed
      • The structure will be on grade.
      • The overhang is 8ft 3 inches, which Mr. Hanline is concerned about students pulling out the gutters if they are too low.
      • The cost totals at $115,000
      • Once the proposal for the portable was accepted, then MVA would discuss the financing. The current interest rate would be around 5% as MVA is not tax exempt with a tax exempt bonds option.  He solicited questions from the Board regarding the portable and financing.
        • Beau Garner asked how firm the bids are.  Walt Hanline said all amounts are locked in. The only item questionable is the electric service.  Mr. Hanline said that MVA will not be charged for anything over $115,000, any amounts over that estimation will be covered by the District.  President Plahn said that the bid looks acceptable to him and is aligned with MVA’s growth potential and shows a conscious effort to expand.  Mr. Hanline discussed the question of MVA intending to be K-8 or not. He recommended selling a safe, family type environment.
        • Laurie Cardwell spoke in support of the proposal.
        • The Lease Agreement was reviewed on a line item basis by Mr. Hanline with the Board.
          • Term: July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2022.
          • Charter can occupy as long as agreement is in effect.
          • Extension of charter license:  if at any reason Lowell closes, the liability rolls to Lowell and not to MVA.  State law keeps the charter contract from extending past 5 years.  Should the charter contract not be renewed the contract agreement will terminate.
          • The rent for 7 years is $1675 per month with payments due 1st of the month.
          • Rent will be due as 500 per month in July 1, 2022.
          • The  District will use the excess annual rental fees for common use facilities of Lundy Elementary.  Responding to a question from Julie Valencia, the common use facilities referred to are defined in the original lease.
        • President Plahn said he puts trust in Walt and believes this contract is just a formality.  Maureen added this rent is in line with West Lane Technical Charter who just completed a rental agreement as well.
        • Julie Valencia said she wants to be sure that nothing is left open to interpretation when Walt Hanline retires.   Mr. Hanline said that creating past practices to fall back on is important.
        • President Plahn moved to approve the portable and the property use agreement as presented.  Julie Valencia seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.
        • Agenda Addition
          • WHA Insurance
            • Walt Hanline provided the Board a handout from WHA Insurance dated February 24, 2015.  He said that currently MVA is paying 4,247 andthe estimated PACE premium woudl be approximately 4,500.  Mr. Hanline said he believes the current insurance is not meeting the word of the contract and he would recommend the Board direct him to pursue a quote for insurance.
            • Jake Plahn spoke in support of the proposal. The Board directed Walt Haline to pursue obtaining a quote using President Plahn, Laurie Cardwell and Kelly Harris as resources as needed.
  • Teacher technology requests
    • Laurie Cardwell provided technology proposals outlining a document camera and projector, wireless extender and 15 tablets.
      • Jake Plahn noted that the proposed tablets are cheap quality as they are basically disposable.
      • President Plahn moved the Board approve $1424.85 for tablets as proposed for the Kindergarten class and the purchase of an additional wi-fi device to be funded from donations.  Erica Richardson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
      • President Plahn moved the Board approve $450 for Amy Christensen’s technology proposal to be funded from donations.  Beau Garner seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
      • President Plahn proposed that MVA purchase Office 365 for Students, Faculty and Affiliates which would provide Office on each device totaling $1200 per year.
      • President Plahn moved that MVA purchase Office 365 totaling $400 for MVA computers as well as a document camera for Jill Chapman.  The Office 365 purchase would provide 4 months of licensing and would be readdressed after that time.  Amounts would be taken from the donations.  VP Valencia seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.
  • Administrator’s Report
    • Laurie Cardwell said last Friday students were taken to OMSI which was a successful event and included a submarine tour.  The students were commended on their manners.  The 3rd graders were taken to Snow White in the Wildish Theatre. The 3rd graders dressed up for the event which was a success.  On February 12 the Lions Vision, Hearing and Speech evaluated students.  This is a help in evaluated academic progress. The mid-year testing for Dibels K-4 has been completed. With initial results we’ve targeted students who needed extra help.  Walt Hanline and Maureen have been worked with on budgets. A marketing focus will be needed in the upcoming months.  On February 18th, 3rd – 8th grade received testing training on OAKS.  The OAKS science test will be administered next month and smarter balance reading and math grades k-8 will be administered in May.
  • Approve hiring of new teacher
    • The Board noted the new teacher has been budgeted and approved Laurie moving forward.
  • Discuss setting monthly enrollment dates for March, April, May
    • Julie Valencia spoke with Kelly Harris who recommended the last two weeks of each month would be ideal for the enrollment dates and would prevent having to revisit this repeatedly.  Erica Richardson recommended opening the MVA window prior to the Pleasant Hill window.  Laurie recommended not having a long period of time open to prevent a lottery situation.
    • Erica Richardson suggested that summer packets be handled by a volunteers.  Laurie Cardwell suggested the summer packet cost be funded by activity fees.  Jake Plahn agreed that this could be funded by activity fees. Laurie said the cost previously was <.01 per page and was completed by volunteers.
    • Erica Richardson moved an enrollment window be set for the first 10 days of each month commencing in March and ending in May.  President Plahn seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.
  • Discuss sub day rollover or EOY cash out(budget, perk)
    • As a board a policy decision is required for the sub day roll over process.  Jake Plahn confirmed currently there is no option for sub-day rollover or cash out and the days are lost at year end.
    • Erica Richardson said she sees this as a huge perk as it allows MVA not to pay for a sub, and can be seen as a benefit. She spoke in favor of the teachers being able to cash out, but not accrue days to cash out.  Julie Valencia said that a cash out could be offerred as part of a bonus plan. Beau Garner agreed.  Jake Plahn said as long as the budget provides for it he is in support.
    • Julie Valencia moved that at year end, any teacher with unused sub-days may cash them out.  Erica Richardson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
  • Discuss having a drug policy for MVA staff
    • Julie Valencia suggested that as of July 1, 2015 there will be a new marijuana law in Oregon going into effect, however federal law supercedes state law.  Technically this would be a non issue as you cannot have paraphernalia on campus anyway.  President Plahn said he is anti drug policy and if it is a teacher affecting their work, MVA is not a collective bargaining campus and has at will employees.  Beau Garner asked Laurie Cardwell for input. Laurie said after speaking with Mr. Hanline that federal law supersedes state law.  No action was taken by the board.
  • OSBA budget committee
    • Referenced in previous discussion, Supt Hanline advised a budget committee is no longer needed.
  • OSBA Membership
    • Maureen suggested obtaining members for charter schools specifically. This would provide access to legal and hr, professional development for Board members, communications specialist, and an avenue for assessing state-wide services.  Julie Valencia said as long as MVA utilized the service it could be valuable.  The membership is due June of each year.  Beth Sprague expressed support of the membership.
      • Jake Plahn moved that the membership be applied for and Julie Valencia be assigned as the lead. Erica Richardson seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.
  • OSBA services
    • This was addressed in the previous agenda item.
  • Laurie Cardwell reminded the Board that their training is scheduled on March 8, 2015.
  • Julie Valencia said a parent is putting together a used sports equipment day on March 18th, Leann Monteith is leading and can be contacted with questions.  Laurie Cardwell said she is in the process of making a flier for the Parent Teacher Association and volunteer needs.  Once completed it will be added to facebook.
  • Adjourn
    • With no further discussion the meeting was adjourned at 9:03 pm.
Learn More

Board Meeting January 27 at 7:00 PM

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Board Meetings

Date: Tuesday, January 27. 2015

Start Time: The meeting was called to order at 7:09 pm

End Time:

Location: Mountain View Academy Middle School Classroom


Agenda Items

  • Call Meeting to Order.
  • Schedule next meeting
    • The next board meeting date was set for February 24, 2015 at 7:00 pm at Mtn View Academy.
  • Adoption of Agenda
    • Laurie Cardwell requested Sub Days be added to the agenda.
  • Approval of Minutes
    • No comments were received.  The minutes were adopted as submitted for the December 16, 2014 Board meeting.
  • Approve summer curriculum days for teachers,

    proposal attached.

    • More Info  The proposal suggested allowing each grade level to have an interactive social studies/science plan for learning which would commit 5 hours by 8 teachers at 20.00 per hour for a total commitment of $800.00  The second proposal brings forward Shurley English training for all grades for a commitment of $800.00.  Lastly, a MAP In-Service training was suggested for all grades for 8 hours by 8 teachers at $20 per hour for a total commitment of 1,280, plus $4,500 for the MAP training by the company.  Ms. Cardwell said this would help show students’ progress across the year regardless of grade level which would empower teachers within their teaching curriculum.  Historically, MVA has performed well within the traditional math/science OAKS testing which has been used.  Beau Garner confirmed this proposal is a substantial fiscal increase from the previous years’ summer commitment.  He said #1 and 2 would match the budgeted commitment, with #3 being a one time increase and 1,500 per year thereafter.  Jake Plahn suggested a more formalized budget for #3 be submitted before formal approval being given by the Board.
      • Erica Richardson moved to accept the proposal and associated funding of $1,600 for summer curriculum #1 and #2.  Proposal #3 will be added to the agenda for a subsequent meeting at which time a more specific budget will be presented for approval.  Julie Valencia seconded the motion.
  • Approve addition of 6th grade teacher and modular based on current enrollment data.
    • Laurie Cardwell provided a MVA projected growth handout outlining growth for the 2015-2017 academic years.  Current enrollment is at 91 students. Ms. Cardwell is optimistic about meeting the additional added students projected.  At these projected figures MVA will be one class space short to accommodate enrollment.  A sixth grade class and a 6th grade teacher will need to be added based on these projections.   Laurie Cardwell is seeking approval to add a 6th grade teacher and a modular to accommodate the projections.  Jake Plahn suggested the Board wait until the budget cycle to approve another 6th grade hire.  The Board reviewed Mr. Hanline’s previous proposal reviewed at the December in which a preliminary verbal estimate of $15k was provided for a single modular.  Ms. Cardwell shared an email with the Board in which she requested a lease price for the modular from Mr. Hanline.  He responded that he has provided the information from the vendor, I cannot give MVA more information until MVA gives him the specific size and details. Mr. Hanline expressed concern due to his perceived delay in approval. He said the option of MVA leasing the buildings from a vendor may be the best option due to the bid process.  Julie Valencia shared that Mr. Hanline stated at the Lowell Board meeting a modular did not meet Lowell School District’s master plan as Lowell School District is now considering obtaining a bond.  Jessica Justman offered to pursue researching estimates for a used facility; Laurie Cardwell will provide Board Member Justman the details required.  Per Jake Plahn a meeting will be set up with Walt Hanline, Julie Valencia, and Laurie Cardwell to discuss the issue further.  Beau Garner asked the Board consider options to use the current space more effectively rather than move toward a modular.  The Board discussed options for using the current space.
  • Approve teacher request: Kirsten requests tablets.
    • Laurie Cardwell shared Kirsten Cardwell requested 15 tablets for for her kindergarten class at $54.99 each, with an additional cost of $600 to enable connectivity.   Laurie Cardwell said that the internet connectivity addition to that area would be of value to more than this classroom.  Julie Valencia asked if the parameters around the use of the activity fee could be interpreted for this kind of need.  President Plahn advised he does not believe that is an appropriate use of that funding source based on his understanding of the State of Oregon rules.  Laurie Cardwell suggested the 10k donation recently received could be used to fund this proposal.  Jake Plahn noted that donation puts MVA $5k over the projected donation amount.  Laurie Cardwell will provide the Board projected expenditures for the remaining FY14-15.  President Plahn suggested the Board complete a budget review at the next meeting with MVA’s accountant prior to the board making a decision.  The issue was tabled until the February 24, 2015 meeting.
  • Dec. Budget
    • Ms. Cardwell reviewed the MVA Profit and Loss Statement with the Board.   Board Member Erica Richardson asked if MVA had looked into using a printer service to save funds rather than using only MVA equipment.  Laurie Cardwell said that issue has not been looked into, but she would review that option.  Ms. Cardwell noted that summer packets could be funded out of the activity fee; after review of the policy, President Plahn agreed.
  • Propose an idea for a teacher perk
    • Vice President Valencia asked if there is a way to offer to the teachers that have their students attending MVA, some sort of incentive, for example a staff rate activity fee?  President Plahn suggested an attorney review that suggestion prior to implementation, however he suggested that a teacher could be provided a bonus for enrolling their child in MVA to support community based education.  Erica Richardson brought up only providing an incentive to teachers with children vs. teachers who have no children as a concern.  Vice President Valencia said she would like to see action taken toward teacher retention and asked the Board to consider this and other option throughout the year.
  • Progress on enrollment/marketing and next steps
    • Board Member Justman reported she passed out fliers for enrollment. She said MVA is participating in the alternative education fair will be held on January 31st, 2015.  Ms. Justman asked the Board to prioritize marketing and the value of coming up with a strategic marketing plan.  Board member Garner agreed that a strategic plan or direction would be a valuable outline for MVA to follow.  Ms. Justman offered to provide the Board a drafted plan for their review and discussion.  Julie Valencia thanked and commended Board Member Justman for the GoogleDocs project.
    • Board Member Justman asked for clarification on a student enrolling in the current AY year, when another student had already been projected to fill a spot in the subsequent year.  President Plahn clarified that the current student has preference over the incoming student.
      • Erica Richardson moved that Jessica Justman lead the market plan development. Jake Plahn seconded the motion. The motion was discussed with Beau Garner clarifying leading the marketing plan does not include committing funds to the project. Motion passed unanimously.
  • Discuss creating a PTA.
    • Jessica Justman spoke to the Board regarding volunteer recruitment and suggested a PTA forum could be helpful to MVA as they continue to pursue marketing and fundraising.  Vice President Valencia added that she felt a classroom parent working hand in hand with each teacher would be helpful.  Erica Justman asked regarding the formalities of a PTA organization and whether it is a formal organization.  Laurie Cardwell said access to the school may be an issue. Erica Richardson said currently trying to ascertain where volunteers are needed, or what a parent can be helpful with is difficult.  VP Valencia added the school website is under-utilized and could be used for items such as this if a facilitator was identified.  Laurie Cardwell suggested at a staff meeting, teachers could create a list of needs which could be shared. Beau Garner added MVA has a good base of volunteers that are committed to assisting, but an organizational structure or forum is needed.  Board Member Justman reminded the Board that Administrative Assistant Kelly is responsible for scheduling and coordinating volunteers.  Beau Garner suggested distributing a flyer of ways to get involved with MVA to include a mention of the PTA with a contact of Erica Richardson for more information.  Laurie Cardwell will contact teachers about volunteer needs as well as create the flyer. The Board will revisit the topic at the February Board meeting.
  • Address public notice for your meetings. Records retention compliance and knowledge transfer
    • Board Minute Recorder Sprague reviewed the requirements for posting the agenda publically and records
      • Vice President Valencia agreed to link a Board meeting notice and agenda on facebook prior to each meeting.
      • Sub-Days (added agenda items)
        • Amy has ended up with Jury Duty which affects the amount of sub days.  Laurie Cardwell advised the MVA bookkeeper said she would move forward as the Board directed.  The Board was supportive of the teacher and discussed options to accommodate jury duty and leave time outside available balances.  Laurie Cardwell will check with peer institutions to ascertain their policies around issues like this.  Jessica Justman confirmed the issue must be resolved prior to the February pay period.
  • Administrator’s Report
    • Laurie Cardwell shared a note from Rommells, thanking the school, administrators and teaching staff for their hard work on the recent play  and enclosing a $10,000.00 donation check.  She reported MVA has successfully started their marketing campaign and Lowell bus services have started as well.  Ms. Cardwell said the electronics drive is a great success and new computers have arrived and are being used for mathematics kinders.  Quartney Nydam is our new custodian. A new batch of electives started in January including woodworking, newspaper and quilting among others.  She shared an OMSI field trip will occur on Friday including a submarine tour.  A course has been ordered on managing student records put on by a law firm for Laurie Cardwell and Kelly Harris to take.  Dibels testing is being worked on. Jessica  is taking a graduate course on autism.  Current enrollment is 90 with 4 students being lost over the break and 2 being gained.  Beau Garner asked regarding an exit interview on departing students.  Laurie Cardwell said she had been in contact with departing families. Julie Valencia suggested sending a self addressed stamped envelope with a questionnaire for families to return
      • President Jake Plahn moved to accept the 10k donation from Dave Rommel into the donation fund in the budget, Beau Garner seconded the motion, the motion passed unanimously.
    • Julie Valencia clarified that due to MVA not having an enrollment window open currently, any applications or students obtained from Board Member Justman’s marketing work will need to be held for processing until the next open enrollment window has begun.    The Board discussed options for insuring all interested students are able to enroll and President Plahn reviewed the requirements for an enrollment window.
      • Julie Valencia moved to begin an enrollment window from January 31, 2015 to February 12, 2015 with identical content, format  and capacity as the previous enrollment window. Jessica Justman seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

      • Erica Richardson announced that Green Valley Archers has moved more locally and could be considered for a field trip.  Laurie Cardwell said she is aware and will keep options open.
  • Adjourn
    • With no further business the meeting was adjourned by President Plahn at 9:09 pm.


Learn More