Common Ground Board of Directors Minutes: October 2019

Minutes of the Board of Directors
October 28, 2019

Board Members Present: Beth Klingher, Ilene Crawford, Michael Doolittle, Babz Rawsl Ivy, Wendy Battles, Monica Maccera Filppu, Kyeen Andersson, Errol Saunders, Charlie Negaro, Brian Springsteen

Staff Present: Kimball Cartwright, Lizanne Cox, Joel Tolman, Rebecca Holcombe 

I. Public Participation

There was no public participation. 

II. Business Requiring Approval

Minutes from the September meeting

Amendments were made to correct the spelling of board member names: Ilene and Kyeen. Also, corrected to note that the August minutes were moved by Michael, seconded by Wendy.

Approval of the minutes was moved by Kyeen and seconded by Beth. Passage was unanimous.

Adult/Parent Code of Conduct

Monica presented a proposed code of conduct for parents and other adults on campus. Board members requested additional time to review the policy before approval, and encouraged staff to look at similar policies from other Connecticut schools, and to consider having it reviewed by our lawyer. In the meantime, staff will post on the web site pending board approval, with a correction on grammatically incorrect language in one bullet point. Board members also recommended physically posting it on our campus. 

CDBG Resolution

Monica presented a resolution and statement of assurances that would allow us to apply for and receive Community Development Block Grant funding, as well as federal Title I-IV funds administered through the Connecticut State Department of Education. Moved by Ilene, seconded by Brian. Passage was unanimous.

III. Finance Committee Report

Presentation of Full Year Budget v. Actuals

Beth presented the Finance Committee’s report. Revenues look strong due to successful grant applications and the per pupil funding coming in from the State. Monica has been negotiating with the New Haven Board of Education to secure additional special education funding. 

Areas of risk include potential capital expenses for replacement of aging equipment. It’s very early in the fundraising season and some upcoming expenses are uncertain (e.g. snowplowing). 

The board discussed additional ways to report budget vs actuals that show a year to year comparison. 

IV. Organizational Update

Program Dashboard.

Joel shared copies of the organizational dashboard.

Kyeen shared feedback that the “conference” language may deter wide-spread community participation.

Ilene asked about chronic absenteeism numbers compared to last year.

V. Old Business

Charter Renewal Hearing & Site Visit Update

We have not yet received official feedback/follow-up from our charter renewal hearing and site visit. The special education representative was impressed by Common Ground’s programming, and arranged for some professional development for our team. Liz plans to share the School Improvement Plan during the November board meeting, so that board members will understand our top priorities in the year ahead and can ask questions.

VI. New Business

Board Member Recruitment

Wendy shared that identifying new board members is a priority. Michael has identified a potential board member who has been invited to apply. Wendy has identified another potential board member who would bring an experience closer to those of our students.

Executive Session 

Moved by Babz. Seconded by Kyeen. Motion passed unanimously. Board went into executive session at 6:28. Board ended executive session at 7:04. Moved by Brian. Seconded by Beth. No votes were taken in executive session. 


Adjournment moved by Kyeen. Seconded by Michael. Motion passed unanimously at 7:05pm.


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