Common Ground Board of Directors Minutes- January 2020

Minutes of the Board of Directors

January 27, 2020

Meeting called to order by Wendy Battles at 5:36

Board Members Present: Bob Parker, Wendy Battles, Michael Doolittle, Charles Negaro, Brian Springsteen, Kyeen Andersson, Monica Maccera Filppu, Peter Ludwig, Errol Saunders, Ilene Crawford

Staff Present: Deborah Greig, Elena Augusewicz, Joel Tolman, Kimball Cartwright, Liz Cox


Public Participation


      1. There was no public participation.


Business Requiring Approval


    1. Minutes of the December 16th Board meeting 
      1. Kyeen moved to approve and Michael seconded. Minutes approved with two abstentions. 
    2. Revised bylaws with changes required by SDE
      1. Charlie moved to approve and Bob seconded. Revised bylaws approved unanimously.
    3. 19-20 Employee Handbook with State Department of Education changes to Anti-nepotism language
      1. Charlie moved to approve and Kyeen seconded. Employee Handbook approved unanimously.
    4. Invoices Needing Approval
      1. Performance Environmental (monthly for cleaning three buildings): $5,157.25 (current invoice). 
        1. Bob moved that the Board approve the payment of this invoice and that the board approve the payment of this amount to Performance Environmental monthly until the end of the current fiscal year. Michael seconded. Motion approved unanimously.
      2. Thurston Foods (monthly breakfast, lunch & snack) $8,787.76 (current invoice).  

Great American Insurance (monthly for liability insurance): $5,620.18 (current invoice). 

United Illuminating (CGHS monthly): $5412.77 (current invoice). 

          1. Kyeen moved that the Board approve the payment of the invoices to Thurston Foods, Great American Insurance, and United Illuminating, and that the board approve the payment of these amounts to these vendors each month until the end of the current fiscal year. Ilene seconded. Motion was unanimously approved.


Finance Committee Report


      1. Q2 Budget vs. Actuals with Year End Projections
      2. Days of Cash on Hand Graphic  
      3. Report from the Finance Committee    
        1. Peter moved to approve the Financial Audits for CGHS And NHEP as recommended by the Finance Committee. No findings were reported in the audit. Kyeen seconded. Motion was unanimously approved.                                        


Organizational Update


      1. Questions about the Program Dashboard
        1. Kimball will be reaching out to Board for participation in “Thank You Phone Calls” and other involvement in fundraising. 
          1. Audrey Nefores, our new Development Manager for Supporter Engagement started today.
      2. Quarterly ED update on goals
        1. Monica is on track to meeting most of the goals she’s set, developing alignment across our team and goal setting. There’s a cross-organizational all staff meeting this Thursday to review our goals and discuss with folks outside of our regular teams. Staff are going to have mid-year check-ins with Managers to check in on their goals for staff. 
        2. Monica is working with board members since the Purposeful Boards workshop and the retreat is being planned. The Board still needs to expand its membership because it is rethinking the work of the Board at Common Ground and will need more people to do that work. Board recruitment will be a priority in the next 6 months. 
        3. Monica has set a goal to have a draft budget to the Board in March. In the meantime, Monica is focusing on how much it will cost for Common Ground to invest in capital improvements  to our land and facilities and how much it will cost to compensate our staff at the 50th percentile with organizations like ours and parity with the New Haven Public Schools. 
        4. Monica has been focusing much of her energy on internal staff culture. She has been spending external facing time working on strategies with regard to how we approach our work with schools in New Haven, relationship building with the state, and on advocacy. 
        5. Monica is supporting Liz in reaching her goals outlined in the Student Improvement Plan that was presented at the November 2019 Board of Directors meeting. The Governance Committee/Task Force could potentially support Monica in formalizing a system to evaluate her own progress and offer feedback along the way. 


Old Business


      1. Update on charter renewal
        1. Charter Renewal is moving forward, will have more info on March 3. A representative will be here to view the Presentations of Learning and Leadership tomorrow. 
      2. Update on Special Education funding
        1. Monica reported that we have reached an agreement with New Haven Public Schools for them to pay $140,000 for current year Special Education (SPED) costs. We agreed to move toward using the rate sheet the city uses when funding Magnet schools for SPED during the next fiscal year. That gives us a predictable way to budget for our SPED services. 


New Business


      1. Peter Ludwig introduced himself to the Board.


Executive Session


    1. Brian moved to go into executive session, Errol seconded. The motion was unanimously approved. 
    2. The Board exited executive session at 7:08. No votes were taken during the executive session. 

Adjournment Brian moved to adjourn and Peter seconded. The meeting adjourned at 7:08pm.

Next Meeting: February 24th 5:30 pm



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