Common Ground Board of Directors Minutes- Dec. 2018

Meeting of the Common Ground Board of Directors Minutes
Dec. 17, 2018


Board members: Bob Parker, Wendy Battles, Kyeen Andersson, Charles Negaro, Kerry Lord, Jane Lee, Ilene Crawford, Beth Klingher, Mike Doolittle, Errol Saunders, Babz Rawls Ivy, Terry Snell, Brian Springsteen

Staff: Elena Augusewicz, Joel Tolman, Liz Cox, Henry Chisholm, Kimball Cartwright, Deborah Greig,  Rebecca Holcombe

Public Participation: Shelly Hicks

Bob called the meeting to order 5:34

Shelly Hicks, the Community Engagement Manager for the New England Charter School Network, re-introduced herself to the board and explained her role with NECSN and at Common Ground. She invited board members to the Capitol for NECSN’s first Lobby Day on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. If you are interested in joining, please contact her at and she will provide additional details. If you are unable to attend, there will be many other ways you can get involved over the next few months. One of the ways you can help is to share your story of Common Ground with her. Sharing your story will allow her to use your story (with prior consent and collaboration) to draft testimony, emails to legislators, and/or an op-ed/letter to the editor.

Business Requiring Approval

Minutes-November 2018

Charlie moved to approve

Wendy Seconded

Abstained: Errol, Kerry, Kyeen, Ilene


Suspension/Expulsion Policy

Kyeen questioned if the board representation in an expulsion hearing is really representative of the whole board if it’s only three board members.

Bob stated that we could bring back the idea of the school committee as a standing committee to handle expulsion hearings. This is a difficult process, the board members need to have experience but these hearings are also time sensitive. We would need more than three people on the committee in case people are not available the day of the proposed hearing.

Errol suggested we “appoint the member by the board/board co-chairs” so that it shows the whole board does support the individuals present.

Babz also stated concerns about potential bias in the three board members.

Kerry suggested having some sort of training/teach-in around hearings and how they are typically run and how they work.

Charlie asked why “education experience” has to be a requirement, he does not agree with including it.

Errol reiterated that having context as an educator is essential to providing real justice to the student

Beth wants to update 7G about stenographic recording: update to transcript or recording

Babz moved to adopt the Suspension and Expulsion Policy with changes and new language: “Reasonable effort will be made to ensure the quorum includes Board Members who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the student body and includes Board Members with education experience”
Beth seconds
Opposed: Charles

Agilix invoice $5785.00
Ky moved to approve
Babz seconds

Finance Committee

Jane has three things to report in about. One, our cash flow is low and it continues to be low. The committee discussed this and it’s not a bottom line issue, there are large receivables from the state that we are waiting on. Two, the final 2018 audit came through and it is recommended that the draft audit be approved. Three, the budget process will be led by Kimball and Betsy and will kick off in late January. There are preliminary schedules to what the process will look like and we will ask for feedback from the community. Every department will meet with them. We will have a final draft by May and require approval in June.

HR Report

We have posted a couple positions including Food Justice Education Coordinator. We will also be hiring a part-time Rock to Rock Organizer.

Organizational Updates

Liz stated that absenteeism has stayed the same

Deborah is working on pest management in and around the chicken coops. There will have to be some long term plans for rebuilding the chicken coops. Also seeking compost donations to fill the new compost building, it’s a forced air composting system. It does not have to be turned like a typical system. This is a great chance to make income and make connections to other schools.

Executive Director Search

A job description has been written and requires board approval. The finance committee would like to have a discussion around compensation at a later date. Anyone can email questions, comments, or concerns to and a representative from the Hiring Committee will respond. The MBA is a strong desire of the committee and management team, but its not required.

Kyeen suggested that the non-discrimination clause be changed to include the most up to date federal language. Rebecca said she would update it as soon as possible.

Rebecca pointed out that the description will be posted tomorrow with an application deadline of Jan. 31st. This date is to help us get an idea of the applicant pool and decide if we need to hire someone to consult on this process.

Michael moved to approve the amended document with updated federal language
Kerry seconds

Strategic Plan process

Bob stated that this week there is a face-to-face check-in without our consultant, Deloris Vaughn. After that, there is a phone call on Jan. 3 and final meeting Jan 9th. The mission statement is currently being updated and titles of the strategies have not been decided.

Bob adjourned the meeting at 7:03 pm.

Next Meeting: January 28, 2019, 5:30 PM



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