Posts made in June, 2015

Board Meeting June 16, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Board Meetings

Mountain View Academy

45 S. Moss ◊ Lowell, Oregon 97452 ◊ (541)735-1709

Board of Director’s Meeting

June 16, 2015

Professional Development Center

6:15 pm – Executive Session

7:00 pm – Public Session


The Mountain View Academy School Board encourages public input.  Persons wishing to address the Board on school related issues, are invited to do so, either when the item is presented on the agenda, or under the “Public Comments” section.  In the interest of time and order, presentations from the public are limited to three (3) minutes per person, and the total time for individual agenda items shall not exceed (20) minutes.  An individual speaker’s allotted time may not be increased by a donation of time from members of the public in attendance.  If you wish to speak under Public Comments, please complete a Public Comment Form and turn it in to Beth Sprague.  The Board requests complaints or charges against an employee be held in Executive Session.  Individuals who require disability-related accommodations or modifications to participate in the Board meeting should contact the Administrator in writing prior to the meeting.


1.0 OPENING BUSINESS – Professional Development Center

1.1 Call to Order

1.2 Public Comment on Executive Session topics


2.0 EXECUTIVE SESSION – Lowell’s Superintendent’s Office Conference Room

2.1 Pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(i)

To review and evaluate the employment-related performance of the chief executive officer of any public body, a public officer, employee or staff member who does not request an open hearing

2.2 Pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(f)

To consider records exempt by law from public inspection.

2.3 Return to Public Session


3.0 OPENING OF PUBLIC SESSION – Professional Development Center

3.1 Public Session Call to Order.  The meeting was called to order at 7:04 pm by Jake Plahn.

3.2 Attendance:  Board President Jake Plahn, Vice President Julie Valencia, Members Erica Richardson, Jessica Justman and Beau Garner were present.  Administrator Laurie Cardwell and minutes recorder Beth Sprague were also present.

3.2.1 Guests:  No guests were in attendance.

3.3 Approval of Agenda.  Agenda additions included discussion of teacher bonuses and additions to kindergarten class cap.

3.4 Approval of Minutes.  The minutes were approved by unanimous consent with the correction of a clerical item in the attendance bullet point.

3.5 Schedule Next Meeting.  The next meeting of the board was scheduled for July 28th at 7:00 pm.

3.6 May Budget.  Beau Garner asked for clarification around the garbage bill.  Jake Plahn noted the carry forward reflects the budget estimate closely.  Responding to a question from Jessica Justman it was explained that MVA does not receive Adm for foster children, however that credit is placed in the Lowell School District.  Laurie Cardwell explained there are items within a Charter that MVA was not aware they are not receiving credit for. She has had discussions with peer districts regarding this and is working toward obtaining more information.  Principal Cardwell said she is working toward purchasing items before FY end to insure the budget is spent out appropriately.  President Plahn summarized the budget year is ending on a positive note and will reflect a carryforward of approximately $20,000.  Beau Garner added the FY15-16 budget reflected a carry forward of $20,000 as well.  Jessica Justman noted that the professional development line item is under budget. It was confirmed those amounts are included in that $20,000 carryforward previously discussed.  The FY14-15 audit has commenced with results being provided in October.

3.7 June Projected Budget.  The Board discussed in summary carry forward amounts for the next fiscal year in comparison to those budgeted for in FY14-15 and appropriate projections.  The current student ADm is 108, with 7 spots remaining open.This approved budget has 100k unallocated; with 20k less the projected previous carryforward and 7 spots remaining the FY 15-16budget shows 40k less then allocations at this time.  Via verbal consensus the Board remains in agreement with the June projected budget.



No public comment was offered.




5.1 Approve PERS Opt – out.  Laurie Cardwell said she recommends hiring an attorney to allow MVA to opt out of PERS.  Options are legal representation would be approximately 12,000, or cost sharing with ACE who is currently addressing the issue by setting up a corporation and obtaining a different retirement option. President Plahn expressed his preference to use ACE’s corporation in a shared capacity.  Laurie Cardwell said the $10,000 is a fixed fee which MVA would have to pay to opt out, however the $2,000 fee would not be owed to the attorney if the ACE option was used.   The anticipated proposal would be to pay ACE a monthly fee for use of their corporation.   President Plahn asked for additional detailed cost analysis of what the $10,000 includes and a proposal to provide to Lowell School District via Walt Hanline to opt out. He also asked for information on the 401k including the total cost of that alternate plan.  The next Lowell School Board meeting is scheduled for June 22, 2015 and Principal Cardwell has asked that the opt out of PERS for MVA be placed on the Lowell Board agenda.  The Board via verbal discussion supported the idea of an alternate option to PERS, but preferred Lowell’s opt out approval via contract amendment and additional specifics to consider before approving an expenditure.  The Board discussed verbally implications of moving from PERS to a 401k including the benefit to the teachers and considering this early in MVA’s PERS tenure rather than later.   Julie Valencia pointed out the current fiscal estimates may not included the additional teacher’s salary and would need update.  The issue was tabled for discussion at a subsequent meeting.

5.2 Approve Raise for Teachers.  Laurie Cardwell noted a compression issue in that new teachers were offered the same salary as those currently employed. She asked for Board discussion and consideration.  The Board agreed this is an issue and discussed options for addressing it.  The long-term goal for MVA is to institute a step based salary scale, however that is not possible this fiscal period.  The Board discussed options of a possible bonus rather than a nominal salary increase to prevent a premature long term fiscal commitment as there are multiple agenda items that may affect teacher salaries at this time.  The Board tabled the discussion for a further board meeting pending an outcome on the PERS issue.

5.3 Approve Purchase of Chrome Books.  Principal Cardwell asked for approval of a classroom set of Chrome Book computers in the amount of $3,000 for 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade classrooms. These would allow basic internet access for these grades and would complement the laptops and other technology the other classrooms have procured.  She requested the purchase be approved prior to the AY15 year start.  Jake Plahn expressed support of the recommendation.  The Chrome books use GoogleDocs rather than the MS office suite which does not require licensing purchase to maintain. State testing may also be completed on these books.  With no allocated line item for this purchase this would be funded for out of unallocated funds i.e., carry-forward.

Erica Richardson moved to purchase Chrome Books in the amount of $3,000 in the FY15-16 budget. Beau Garner seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.

5.4 Approve New Enrollment Window, July 1-10 and August 1-10.  Laurie Cardwell asked for Board discussion to open an additional enrollment window for a waiting list.  With school starting September 8th, she recommended the above two enrollment windows.  Julie Valencia recommended the windows coincide with summer staffing availability.

Jake Plahn moved to institute enrollment windows of July 1-9  and  August 3-6.  Jessica Justman seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote. 

5.5 Approve Smartboard Request for Rob Miles.  Laurie Cardwell said exact numbers on this proposal are not available at this time. The board tabled the approval for a future meeting pending receipt of details.

5.6 Approve 1st grade technology request.  Currently 1st and 2nd grade are sharing tablets, however there is a need for additional tablets.  Cost for 15 tablets would total $1,500.00.  Jake Plahn expressed concern that if technology was purchased now, it would sit until fall to be used.

5.7 Other technology requests: screen, smartboard.  Mr. Miles has requested a SmartBoard for his classroom.  An exact cost estimate is not available at this time.  Julie Valencia noted that MVA does not have a smartboard, but does have Kindles that could be shared with proper scheduling.    Jessica Justman and Laurie Cardwell were thoughtful about which technology would have more educational benefit for MVA.  Jake Plahn said this decision could be purchased next FY and recommended it be pended until Mr. Miles could provide a full proposal and useage details.  The discussion was tabled to the August meeting.

5.8Approve Purchase for Tablet Cases, 15 @ $27.99.  Currently tablets are not protected, Laurie Cardwell recommended approving the $420.00 to protect the investment.

Jake Plahn moved to allocate $420.00 for cases for current Kindles.Beau Garner asked how durable the Kindles are and the necessity of the case. After discussion, Mr. Plahn retracted his motion. The purchase was tabled until August.

5.9 Approve Donation for Nika’s Go Fund Me Account.  Erica Richardson confirmed that GoFundMe does take a percentage of the donation received for overhead.  Jake Plahn said common past donations have been $250.00. The Board was in full support.

Erica Richardson moved to donate $250.00 to Nika’s GoFundMe Account.  Jake Plahn seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously via voice vote.

5.10 Approve adjustment of kinder cap. The current cap is at 12 students. Currently a sibling has filled out an application for an early admit test to be given in the fall.  A lottery is pending for that 12th spot.  Principal Cardwell is requesting adjustment of the kindercap to 13 pending the student passing and being enrolled.  If the student does not pass the test the number will remain at 12.  There is also a teacher who is considering enrolling her student which could fill that 13th place as well.  There is no formal MVA policy language around early admit or teacher child preference for admit.  Once a cap adjustment is approved the first person on the waiting list is pulled in. The cap was originally placed at 12 for space within the classroom and for retention purposes.  AY 14-15 enrollment in kindergarten was 13.   MVA does not anticipate retaining any kindergarteners currently.  Beau Garner noted that as MVA continues to grow it will be important to address situations like this in a sustainable way.  Julie Valencia shared the possibility of using the unallocated space in the portable to accommodate the kindergarteners which would address the space issue and allow for additional students.

Jessica Justman moved to adjust the kindercap to 13 children for the July 1-9 open enrollment window. Julie Valencia seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.

 Jake Plahn will complete a kindergarten lottery to accommodate the Board decision.

5.11 Teacher Bonuses.  The Board discussed the fiscal status and amounts available to consider for teacher bonuses.  The Board recognized the desire to compensate employees who worked the AY14-15 school year in addition to their salary.  The Board expressed appreciation for the staff and teachers and recognized MVA’s success is because of the investment of their efforts.  Julie Valencia noted that the teachers are grossly underpaid in comparison to their peers and are vested in MVA’s success.  Beau Garner agreed with Ms. Valencia and expressed the desire to pair responsibility to the budget with expression of appreciation to the teachers. President Plahn reminded the Board the teachers have taken a risk by working with a startup like MVA and he is committed to their success as well as MVAs. Beau Garner expressed concern that they carryforward will not be a solid number under fiscal year end and it is currently under anticipated budget by 20,000.

Erica Richardson moved provide each teacher and the administrator a $575.00 bonus, Office Assistant $200.00 and Aides $100.00 as a bonus to be paid as a cash bonus at FY14-15 end.  Jake Plahn seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.



6.1 Administrator’s Report



7.0 ADJOURNMENT.  With no further business at hand, the meeting was adjourned at 9:32 pm.

Any documents that are public records and are provided attachments to public session items on this agenda are accessible to the public on the school’s website, with the exception of documents provided at the time of the meeting.  Documents that are public records, and are provided at the time of the meeting to a majority of the Board regarding a public session item, will be made available for public inspection upon request to the Administrator’s Assistant.

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