Minutes – Common Ground Board Meeting – January 25, 2016

Present: Wendy Battles, Kerry Lord (Julian), Monique Frasier, Bob Parker, Frank Mitchell, Beth Klingher, Mike Doolittle, John Jessen, Claudia Merson, Melissa Spear, Kimball Cartwright, Rebecca Holcombe, Joel Tolman, Liz Cox

Regrets: Kim Futrell, Jane Lee

Welcome: Body reviewed minutes and there was brief mention of new header language on the agenda (planting seeds, growing leaders, cultivating community).

Minutes: Bob made the motion to approve and John’s voice was the second. In the discussion Rebecca noted that the proposed program does not require a daycare license. There was a note suggesting clarification or greater specificity in attendance reporting for the state given the broad range of impediments Common Ground students face. The board voted to accept the minutes.

Business Requiring Approval: Review of the Newfield Construction invoice from Dec 31 for $589,192.11 led into discussion of RISC Foundation loan repayment. The body discussed the benefits and risks of loan repayment at this point in the construction cycle. Mike made the motion to accept and repay. Beth was the second and the board approved. Bob completed the financial review of the month’s statements.

Construction: Melissa reported on the transition plan for moving into the new building. The scope of work for the current building has been reduced to eliminate the elevator and other expensive options. Building improvements should include a ramp, bathroom update, office improvements, rot repair, painting, and HVAC upgrades. The plan is for design/build model with the proposed work to be cost analyzed and drawings to be prepared. Ideally the schedule will be bids accepted from March 1 through mid April.

Program: Rebecca presented the update on the Nature Year Program (nature enrichment program) which would operate more than 2 hours per day or meeting making the board the supervising body. Discussions have begun with faculty at Antioch’s nature based early childhood program. Body commended Rebecca on the idea for the program and the accomplishments that attracted the interest from Antioch. There was discussion about the feasibility and the planning and the board’s role in the proposed program. Planning will continue. Claudia moved to affirm the board’s role as supervisory body for this program like our afterschool programming. Mike was the second and the body approved the motion.

School: Liz noted details from the dashboard including the death of Buzz Climis and opportunities to memorialize his gifts to Common Ground. She also detailed the chronic absenteeism research to explain the special circumstances students face though they are all reported in the larger category of absent. School is at the beginning of the second semester after a successful presentation of learning with a community audience of board members, guests, teachers, and community partners. Portfolios were due the day after the public review.

CEIO update: Bob and others provided a recap of the CEIO project which is always difficult to frame in a linear narrative. The team recently completed the survey of staff/board and more surveys may appear before the work plan emerges. Board members discussed experiences with the survey and there were a few notes about a recent CEIO team meeting.

Budget & Development: Melissa reviewed budget numbers (on the financial dashboard) showing the organization still a little ahead of budget projections and a little below on expenses at this point in the year.

Kimball drew attention to a couple pending grant requests and conversations about resetting Feast from the Fields to alter the experience and ideally increase revenue.

Strategic Priorities: Body moved to small groups to review and discuss the strategic priorities document. Everyone reconvened for a quick report out on the conversations to be continued at a future meeting.

Meeting adjourned by 7:25


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