2014 Board Meetings

14-15 Board Meeting Schedule

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 3:15PM
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 3:15PM
Tuesday, October 9, 2014 (Board Elections) 4:30PM-7:30PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 (Annual Meeting) 3:15PM
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 3:30PM
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 3:30PM
Tuesday, January 20, 2014 3:30PM
Tuesday, February 17, 2014 3:30PM
Tuesday, March 17, 2014 3:30PM
Tuesday, April 21, 2014 3:30PM
Tuesday, May 19, 2014 3:30PM
Tuesday, June 16, 2014 9:00AM

December 16th, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes

Northern Lights Community School

Board of Directors Meeting

December 16, 2014

Board Members Present:            Art Norton, Matt Alleva, Don Vidal, Josie Pitts,

Karen Fleming, Lori Dowling-Hanson

Board Members Not Present:   Kendra Smith

Non Board Members Present:   Nick Pretasky, Becky McCauley

1.  Mission Statement read by Matt Alleva

2.  Approval of Agenda:  After two additions (“Fund Balance” and “Budget Revision”),

motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Karen Fleming to approve amended agenda.

Motion carries.

3.  Approval of Minutes:  Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Art Norton to

approve minutes of November 18, 2014.  Motion carries.

4.  Audit Results Conference Call at 3:45 PM

Becky Cebelinski, Audit Manager for Wipfli LLP, reviewed NLCS annual financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2014 together with independent auditor’s report with the board.

Key financial highlights for the 2013-2014 fiscal year:

·         Net position at June 30, 2014 was $1,207,053, an increase of $144,755 over

June 30, 2013.

·         General Fund balance at June 30, 2014 was $283,143, an increase of $3,903 over June 30, 2013.

Wipfli did not audit the financial statements of the Northern Lights Building Company.  Amounts included for the Northern Lights Building Company are referred to as Building Company Fund, and these amounts are based solely on the report of the other auditors.  It would be easier if Wipfli audited both the school and building company financial statements, and Nick has recommended this to the building company.

There were no findings under Section I – Financial Statement Findings.

There were no findings under Section II – Minnesota Legal Compliance Findings.

The three recommendations referenced in letter dated December 4, 2014 from Wipfli LLP to the School Board have already been taken care of.

5.  Treasurer’s Report:  Check register, NLCS bank reconciliation as of 11/30/2014, November receipt register, and NLCS Balance Sheet and Income Statement through November 30, 2014 were reviewed.

Motion made by Art Norton and second by Karen Fleming to approve the following resolutions:

Resolution 1:  To approve November operating receipts of $151,488.50

Resolution 2:  To approve November checks 8399-8459 of $178,585.64

Resolution 3:  To approve November check card transactions of $0.00

Resolution 4:  To approve November miscellaneous disbursements of $80.45

Motion carries.

November donations totaled $469.00.

6.  Finance Meeting Discussion:  This month’s meeting revolved primarily around budget revisions.

7.  Fund Balance:  NLCS did not meet our minimum fund balance policy at

June 30, 2014.

8.  Open House for 5th Graders:  It was decided that we want to plan an open house with a targeted market, probably during the month of April, to include designed activities for prospective students.  Advertising would be essential (flyers, radio, newspaper, our website, Children’s Fair @ Civic Center).  Our Recruitment Team will meet the first week after break in January.  We will present this to them and have it added to the calendar of events.  Karen, Don and Matt will be in charge of planning this open house.

Karen expects our current middle school advisory to be full in January (21 students).  We may also need an open house for 6th/7th/8th graders.  Since we have 20-23 students graduating this school year, it was recommended that we focus on middle school recruitment.  Would it make sense to have two middle school advisories?  What would that look like?  This will be added to our January board meeting agenda.

9.  News from Nominations Committee:  Our current board has seven members:  4 staff,

1 parent, and 2 community members.  As you become aware of referrals, please send those names to Nick.

10.  Attendance By-Law:  Josie read the proposed addition to Article IV – Meetings of Members in our bylaws.

Section 6 – Attendance:  Board members may attend meetings through conference

calls, video conferencing, or other remote means of communication.  Board

members shall attend 80% of scheduled board meetings.  Dismissal of board

members due to poor attendance is at the            discretion of the board.

Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Karen Fleming to approve this addition.

Motion carries.  Since any change to our bylaws must be voted on twice, this will be on the agenda for our January board meeting.

11.  NLCS Board Evaluation:  When Matt attended the Leaders Retreat at Audubon, it was suggested that we conduct an annual board performance.  Matt presented a draft copy of a full board evaluation as well as an individual board member evaluation form.  Matt will email both to all board members for suggestions and edits.

12.  Strategic Planning Discussion – Improvement for Next Year:  Becky will email to all board members a copy of the 2012 strategic plan summary that should be reviewed before our next board meeting.  Nick started a list of items to focus on for 5 and 10-year plans.

13.  Record of Continuous Improvement:  NLCS has been designated as a Priority school and we are working with MDE’s Northern Minnesota Center of Excellence to improve reading and math results.  We have created an Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) to assist in this process.  The Record of Continuous Improvement School Improvement Plan and Title I Schoolwide Program (SWP) Plan for School Year 2014-2015 was presented to the board.  Motion made by Lori Dowling-Hanson and second by Josie Pitts to approve.  Motion carries.

14.  Annual Report:  Nick presented a three-page summary of our 2013-2014 annual report for approval by our board.  This can be shared with current parents and students as well as families interested in our school.  Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Lori Dowling-Hanson to approve.  Motion carries.

15.  Director’s Report

·         NLCS has written a formal request to be included in Itasca Area Schools Collaborative.  Nick attended their meeting this morning to provide rationale for our inclusion and answer questions.

·         NLCS has zero tolerance for controlled substances.  If a student is using a controlled substance on campus there is an automatic out of school suspension.  An assessment is needed for the student to be able to return to school.  School board may expel student for a second violation on school property.  Nick provided this information to students at Town Hall today.

16.  Recruitment:  As of 12/16/2014 we have 102 students enrolled with an ADM of 95.6.

We anticipate that we will have a waiting list by February.

17.  Budget Revision:  Our current budget is based on ADM of 94.  Our ADM has been fluctuating.  There have been some minor adjustments in our budget (audit, insurance, changes in staffing); nothing major since June.

NLCS Budget Revision – FY 2015              12/16/14

Board reviewed proposed changes in revenue and expenditures in the categories “current budget / proposed revision / adjusted budget”.

Current Budget Proposed Revision Adjusted Budget
Surplus / (Deficit)

5,346

13,238

18,584

Fund balance,

beginning of year

283,143

283,143

Fund balance,

end of year

288,489

301,727

Fund balance as

% of expenditures

17%

17%

Motion to approve budget revision made by Lori Dowling-Hanson; second by Don Vidal.  Motion carries.

18.  Other News

  • Karen is in the process of compiling a list of individuals that we partner with so that we can invite them to our school events.  Please provide contact information (along with email address) to Karen.

Next Meeting 1/20/15 @ 3:30 p.m.

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Don Vidal to adjourn.  Motion carries.

November 18, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes

Northern Lights Community School

Board of Directors Meeting

November 18, 2014

Board Members Present:             Art Norton, Matt Alleva, Don Vidal, Josie Pitts,

Karen Fleming, Kendra Smith

Board Members Not Present:    Lori Dowling-Hanson

Non Board Members Present:    Nick Pretasky, Becky McCauley, Lee Matson

1.  Mission Statement read by Matt Alleva

2.  Approval of Agenda:  After three additions:  “5.a. Fund Balance; 7.b. Policy 411/PTO; Other News – start time”, motion made by Karen Fleming and second by Kendra Smith to approve amended agenda.  Motion carries.

3.  Approval of Minutes:  Motion made by Art Norton and second by Don Vidal to approve minutes of October 21, 2014.  Motion carries.

4.  Treasurer’s Report:  Check register, NLCS bank reconciliation as of 10/31/2014, October receipt register, and NLCS Balance Sheet and Income Statement through October 31, 2014 were reviewed.

It was noted that percentage used under the expenditures category “Instructional Support” was at 93.84%.  Instructional Support includes staff development, and many of our staff attended the High Tech High Retreat in August 2014.  Budget revision will be required.

Cash Flow/Treasurer’s Report was also reviewed.  There is a large difference between cash balance (budget versus actual) because the State is still closing out special education; we should receive a large receivable in January.

Motion made by Art Norton and second by Karen Fleming to approve the following four resolutions:

Resolution 1:  October operating receipts of $104,495.37

Resolution 2:  October checks 8317 thru 8398 of $176,278.30

Resolution 3:  October check card transactions of $0.00

Resolution 4:  October miscellaneous disbursements of $4.20

Motion carries.

October donations, grants, fund raisers totaled $500.00.

5.  Finance Meeting Discussion:  Our audit has been completed and the auditors are putting together our financial statement.  We ended up with a small profit for the year; approximately $4,000.

 a.  Fund Balance:  Fund Balance is lower than our 20% target and will be closer to

16 – 17%.  In order for us to be close to the 20% target we would have

to add $50,000 to our fund balance.  Lee does not anticipate us hitting 20% for at

least a couple of years.  Audubon would prefer a fund balance of 25%.  It was decided

to keep our fund balance at 20% for now and place on our agenda again next month.

6.  Strategic Planning Discussion – Improvement For Next Year:  Earlier this month

Nick and Matt attended the ACNW Leaders Retreat.  It was brought to our attention that our board needs a strategic plan and vision as to where are we going to be five years from now.  This will be placed on our December agenda.

Vicki Nelson was here a couple of years ago and worked with staff on strategic planning.

We could also create a committee that reports back to the board.

7.  Policies

 a.  Policy 514 – Bullying Prohibition:  Motion made by Don Vidal and second by

Kendra Smith to approve.  Motion carries.

 b.  Policy 411 – PTO:  Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Art Norton to

approve.  Motion carries.

8.  Director’s Report:  Board members found the charter school myths and facts in Nick’s report interesting.  Nick will be appearing at the December meeting of Itasca Area Schools Collaborative (IASC).  NLCS has the support of Deer River and Grand Rapids.  This may be a huge factor in our ability to offer more extra curricular activities for our students.

At the end of October our ADM was 90.19.  Our ADM as of today is 92.22.  We have three kids visiting tomorrow, November 19.  Our pupil unit (WADM) is 110.36.  However, we expect 20 students to graduate.  How do we change this going forward?  Karen suggested an open house for 5th graders and their families.  We will explore this further at our next board meeting.

9.  Board Recruitment Discussion:  We currently have a teacher-majority board.  Our bylaws specify that during the month of August the board shall appoint a nominating committee.  Do we currently have a recruitment committee to advance board recruitment?  How do we go about getting the message out – past board members, staff?

Art and Karen indicated an interest in co-chairing this committee.  Nick will also bring this to the attention of our current staff in the morning meeting.

Board attendance will be discussed at our next meeting as well.

10.  Recruitment:  The options for our school logo have been voted on.  The design with the highest vote has been submitted to our consultant.  She will actually have this put on our letterhead and/or school flyer and bring examples back to us.

11.  Other News:

 Start Time:  Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Kendra Smith to change our

monthly board meeting start time from 3:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Motion carries.

Another item to address from ACNW Leaders Retreat:  annual board performance.

To be discussed at a future board meeting.

We would like to encourage all of our board members to attend all school

events.  For those board members who are not staff, what is the best way to

communicate and keep them informed?

·         Email – Karen will start compiling a list of individuals that we

partner with so that we can invite them to our school events.

·         Possible project for students:  create and sell NLCS calendar

Next Meeting 12/16/14 @ 3:30 p.m.  Following this meeting the building company has invited us to join them for dinner.

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Don Vidal to adjourn.  Motion carries.

October 21, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes

Northern Lights Community School

Board of Directors Meeting

October 21, 2014

Board Members Present:              Art Norton, Matt Alleva, Don Vidal, Josie Pitts,

Lori Dowling-Hanson

Board Members Not Present:     Karen Fleming, Kendra Smith

Non Board Members Present:     Nick Pretasky, Becky McCauley, Lee Matson

1.  Mission Statement read by Matt Alleva

2.  Approval of Agenda:

Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Josie Pitts to add 2.a. to our agenda:

Donna Hanson and Vickie Kepler / Advisory Project.  Motion carries.

Also, remove “6. Steps and Lanes”; remove “7. Purchasing/Procurement Policy” (this will be covered under 13. Policies); add “13.d. PTO Policy Discussion”; add “NLCS logo” under other news.  Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Don Vidal to approve amended agenda.  Motion carries.

2.a.  Eco-Columns / Advisory Project:  Students in Donna’s advisory created structures out of soda bottles that functioned as mini ecosystems.  Using anything alive they found in the river (plants and small creatures), students were able to observe and record in nature journals happenings in three zones:  terrestrial, decomposition, and aquatic.  Our students really enjoyed this and their advisory is considering a crayfish study in the spring.

3.  Approval of Minutes:

Motion made by Art Norton and second by Josie Pitts to approve minutes of

September 16, 2014.  Motion carries.

4.  Treasurer’s Report:

Check register, NLCS bank reconciliation as of 9/30/2014, and August / September receipt registers were reviewed.

Motion made by Art Norton and second by Don Vidal to approve the following four resolutions:

Resolution 1 – September operating receipts of $121,063.80

Resolution 2 – September checks 8253 thru 8316 of $133,491.55

Resolution 3 – September check card transactions of $0.00

Resolution 4 – September miscellaneous disbursements of $2.30

Motion carries.

Donations / Grants / Fundraisers:

June, July and August – $429.22

September – $3,800.00

5.  Finance Meeting Discussion:

Progress is being made on our audit.  Auditor was here at NLCS on Monday, October 20.

Audit recommendations:

  • More detailed plan for using State and Federal funds / Special Education
  • Eliminate debit cards (only use credit cards)
  • Additional steps could be added in the procedure for checks and balances when issuing checks payable to our director, Nick Pretasky

During the finance committee meeting the idea of a for-profit catering business was discussed.  We are aware of one school that is already doing this in Esko (Bridgeman’s ice cream).  It would be necessary to go through MDE.

We currently have budgeted for 94 ADM.  Budget revisions to meet our current ADM will be discussed during our November board meeting.

6.  Steps and Lanes:  (removed from agenda)

7.  Purchasing / Procurement Policy:  (added to “13. Policies”)

8.  Lake Country Power Elective:  We are receiving the appropriate discount from Lake Country Power.  Joseph Dowling will be applying for our Lake Country Power scholarship.

9.  Insurance Issues (Data Breech, Pollution Policy, Extra Coverage):

We recently switched insurance companies.  Representative from the new insurance company, Continental Western, came and did a walk-through.  As a result, our sprinkler system was tested over break, and there were changes made to signage and lighting.

It was also brought to our attention that we currently have $10,000 in coverage for theft and forgery by staff.  It was recommended that we increase to $50,000.  There would be an increase of $64.00 annually in our premium.

Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Josie Pitts to increase coverage for theft and forgery by staff from $10,000 to $50,000.  Motion carries.

10.  Electric Usage:

  • We are using more energy than last year
  • Brand new LED lights have been installed in our gym.  They should last up to

20 years, and we should see a savings of approximately $1.00/day per light

  • Future consideration/option:  motion lights

11.  Board Member Check Sign Designee:  Josie Pitts, Treasurer, has been added in

the procedure for checks and balances when issuing checks payable to our director,

Nick Pretasky.  Josie will sign off on the request and also sign the check.  Any checks written payable to Nick will require two signatures.  Josie will also be reviewing copies of all checks presented in our bank statement.

12.  NLCS Director Evaluation Checklist Discussion:  Matt Alleva handed out and reviewed summary of data received back from board members.  All responses indicated that Nick “exceeds performance measure” or “meets performance measure” in all five categories.  There were no votes in the column “does not meet performance measure”.  Lori Dowling-Hanson made a motion that it be recorded in our minutes that our director, Nick Pretasky, had a successful performance appraisal.  Motion carries.

13.  Policies

a.  Policy 214 Out of State Travel by School Board Members (annual review):  Nick summarized the highlights of this policy.  Motion made by Josie Pitts

and second by Don Vidal to approve.  Motion carries.

b.  Policy 715 Procurement (second reading):  Motion made by Josie Pitts and

second by Art Norton to approve.  Motion carries.

Policy 740 Bidding Requirements, Purchasing, and Payment Procedures (second

reading):  Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Art Norton to approve.

Motion carries.

c.  Policy 514 Bullying Prohibition:  The board reviewed updates/clarifications to this policy to more directly align with the required language and definitions the State requires.  Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Josie Pitts to approve.  Motion carries.  The final reading of this policy will be on the agenda for our November board meeting.

Nick Pretasky, Director, and Aimee Love, School Social Worker, are currently the individuals that would receive reports of bullying.  The school has three day to act on the report.

d.  PTO Policy Discussion:  There was a concern expressed that “III. Emergency

Leave” does not include child’s spouse.  After discussion, motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Don Vidal to add “child’s spouse” in III.A. and also add that it is “up to the discretion of the director” to determine additional possibilities.  These changes are retroactive to the beginning of this school year.  Motion carries.

14.  Director’s Report – School State of the State:  NLCS has been designated as a priority school by MDE.  Only schools receiving Title I funds receive a designation.  A priority designation is given to those schools with a Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR) in the bottom 5%.  The MMR is derived from the results of MCA tests in the past two years.  We shall be working with MDE’s Center of Excellence to provide support to increase our test scores.  This process will include free professional development for our staff.

A comprehensive needs assessment was created with the staff of NLCS in June 2014.  Nick summarized the specific strengths and weaknesses determined from this assessment in this month’s Director’s Report.

15.  Elect Board Members:  Board elections were held on Presentation Night, October 9th.  Art Norton, Matt Alleva, and Lori Dowling-Hanson were all re-elected for three year terms (expire October 2017).

16.  Annual Report:  Our annual report for the school year 2013-2014 is completely finished.  Nick shared the charts from pages 14 and 15 comparing NLCS proficiencies in reading and math to another charter school, the local area learning center, ISD 318, and schools statewide.  This annual report will be placed on our website.

17.  ACNW Visit Follow Up Letter:  Nick shared Audubon’s letter with the board.  We received very positive feedback from Audubon.  They are impressed with our Advisor-led projects.

18.  Recruitment:  Within the next couple of weeks we expect eight new students to register.

19.  Other News:   NLCS logo:  We are continuing to work with Liz Dean, marketing consultant, and have received several different logo designs to share with staff.

Next meeting 11/18/14

Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Josie Pitts to adjourn.  Motion carries.

September 16, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes

Northern Lights Community School

Board of Directors Meeting

September 16, 2014

Board Members Present:             Art Norton, Karen Fleming, Matt Alleva,

Don Vidal, Kendra Smith

Board Members Not Present:    Josie Pitts, Lori Dowling-Hanson

Non Board Members Present:     Nick Pretasky

1.  Mission Statement read by Matt Alleva

2.  Approval of Agenda:  Motion made by Kendra Smith and second by Karen Fleming to approve agenda; motion carries.

3.  Approval of Minutes:  Motion made by Art Norton and second by Karen Fleming to approve minutes of August 19, 2014.  Motion carries.

4.  Treasurer’s Report:  Check register and NLCS bank reconciliation as of 8/31/2014

were reviewed.

Motion made by Kendra Smith and second by Karen Fleming to approve the following four resolutions:

Resolution 1 – August operating receipts of $133,748.04

Resolution 2 – August checks 8204 thru 8252 of $143,519.67

Resolution 3 – August check card transactions of $221.97

Resolution 4 – August miscellaneous disbursements of $26.40

Motion carries.

5.  Gail Otteson – NLCS Reading Program

Gail shared an overview of our reading program.  Sustained Silent Reading is scheduled daily from 11:00 to 11:45 a.m.  Last year we started school wide quarterly goals for reading.  Results from MCA reading tests indicate our reading scores rose 23% from 2013 to 2014.  For our first quarter this year we have a school wide goal of 215 books.  Should this goal be met Nick will work in a chicken suit all day.  We also raised $5,000 last year to purchase books.  Each advisor has $700 available this year to buy books.

6.  Tower Paraprofessional Steps and Lanes

We have nine students from Tower this school year.  Tower students are here at NLCS two days each week.  Some of these students require one-on-one paraprofessionals.  Since the Tower paraprofessionals have additional responsibilities (prepare meals, provide transportation), their pay scale is higher than a typical paraprofessional here at NLCS.  This will be reflected in a budget revision, and a different job description will be written for Tower paraprofessionals.

7.  Lake Country Power Electric Discount

Yes, we are receiving the appropriate discount from Lake County Power.

8.  Board Training Options

Chuck Speiker provided training for our board members in three required areas (March 8, 2014).  Now we need to plan and document ongoing training.  Art will contact Becky LaPlant, Blandin Foundation.  We could also ask Lee Matson to address how charter schools are financed.

We want to explore what we can do as a school to be more involved in our community.  Also, what would be available and workable for our students after school?

9.  NLCS Director Evaluation Checklist

Matt provided a copy of the updated checklist we shall utilize to evaluate our Director, Nick Pretasky.  Each board member shall complete and return to Matt no later than Tuesday, September 23.

Nick provided the board with a copy of his professional development plan for 2013/2014 school year.

10.  Annual Report

Nick sent this annual report out to the board for review prior to our board meeting.  Comments and feedback from the board were very positive.  Motion made by Karen Fleming and second by Don Vidal to approve, with the stipulation that Nick Pretasky may make minor adjustments/revisions and add pictures.  Motion carries.

Out of our 18 graduates from last year, 34% are attending college and 66% are working.

For our current students we have transition goals on our website which they complete and add to their portfolio.

11.  Director’s Report

There were no questions or comments on the academic highlights portion.

12.  Policies

a.  Policy 210 Conflict of Interest Charter Board Members:  Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Art Norton to approve.  Motion carries.

 b.  Policy 211 Conflict of Interest Employee:  Motion made by Art Norton and

second by Kendra Smith to approve.  Motion carries.

 c.  Policy 514 Bullying Prohibition:  This policy was approved during our

August board meeting.

 d.  Policy 715 Procurement:  Section II.A.  Small Purchases

Recommended change:  A purchase under $10,000.00 will be considered a small purchase.

 e.  Policy 740 Bidding & Purchasing:  I. Bidding Requirements and Procedures

Recommended change:  Two or more quotations are required on all items of

equipment costing over $1,000.00 but less than $10,000.00.  On items

exceeding $10,000.00 formal sealed bidding procedures will be used.

Bids should be opened in front of the board or key school personnel.  All bids

over $10,000.00 are subject to board approval.

13.  Recruitment

Our current ADM is 90; our budget is based on 94.  We are expecting three students to return within the next few weeks, and another in November.

Nick will be working with Liz Dean on strategies for the next steps in our marketing plan.

14.  Other News

Karen mentioned that we have formed a collaboration with Grand Rapids Players and Forest History Center – “Terror in the Timbers” – to be offered the last three weekends of October.  Our band will be playing the opening weekend – Friday, October 17.

A group of NLCS students is working on our next trip overseas (June 2016) and the destination is London and Stonehenge.  There will be an informal parent meeting on

September 25th @ 6:00 p.m.

Board elections will be held on Presentation Night, Thursday, October 9th.

Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Kendra Smith to move our annual board meeting from Tuesday, October 14, to Tuesday, October 21 @ 3:15 p.m.  Motion carries.

Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Kendra Smith to adjourn; motion carries.

August 19th, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes

Northern Lights Community School

Board of Directors Meeting

August 19, 2014

Board Members Present:            Karen Fleming, Josie Pitts, Matt Alleva, Art Norton,

Lori Dowling-Hanson

Board Members Not Present:   Don Vidal, Kendra Smith

Non Board Members Present:   Becky McCauley, Nick Pretasky, Lee Matson

1.  Mission Statement read by Matt Alleva

2.  Approval of Agenda:  Motion made by Lori Dowling-Hanson and second by Josie Pitts to approve agenda; motion carries.

3.  Approval of Minutes:  Motion made by Lori Dowling-Hanson and second by Josie Pitts to approve minutes of June 17, 2014; motion carries.

4.  Treasurer’s Report:  Josie Pitts reviewed check register, receipt register, debit card purchases, miscellaneous disbursements, and NLCS bank reconciliation as of 6/30/2014.

Motion made by Karen Fleming and second by Lori Dowling-Hanson to approve the following four resolutions:

Resolution 1 – June operating receipts of $151,919.03

Resolution 2 – June checks 8129 thru 8193 of $177,150.26

Resolution 3 – June check card transactions of $55.94

Resolution 4 – June miscellaneous disbursements of $2.60

Motion carries.

Josie Pitts reviewed check register, receipt register, debit card purchases, miscellaneous disbursements, and NLCS bank reconciliation as of 7/31/2014.

Motion made by Art Norton and second by Lori Dowling-Hanson to approve the following four resolutions:

Resolution 1 – July operating receipts of $226,438.16

Resolution 2 – July checks 8170 thru 8203 of $136,182.12

Resolution 3 – July check card transactions of $551.96

Resolution 4 – July miscellaneous disbursements of $4.16

Motion carries.

NLCS Income Statement through 6/30/2014 (unaudited) was also reviewed.  Total revenues exceeded budget by $153,216.61.  Transportation expense came in a bit under budget.  Fund Balance as of 6/30/2014:  $300,939.34 (17%).  Our fund balance will continue to grow toward 20%.  We are in the process of closing our books, and final numbers will be provided after our audit is completed.

5.  New Auditor:  Don Zierke, CPA at Miller McDonald, Inc. is retiring, so Miller McDonald will not be doing our audit this year.  We received quotes from two other CPA firms:  WIPFLi and Fort & Company, PA.  After discussion, motion made by Lori Dowling-Hanson and second by Karen Fleming to accept the contract with WIPFLi.  Motion carries.

6.  New Insurance:  We are required by law to carry insurance for hazardous materials.  Becky McCauley gave us an update on progress made, and we have received quotes from Continental Insurance Company and EMT Insurance.  After discussion, motion made by Lori Dowling-Hanson to accept quote from Continental Insurance Company; second by Karen Fleming.  Motion carries.  This is approximately $1,200 more than we had budgeted.

7.  Sign Fund: There is $501.02 that is available to be spent from donations received on a previous Give to the Max Day.  This was set aside to be used for a new sign for our school, however when the building company put an addition on the back of our school they added a new sign at that time.   Nick will share this information with our staff.  One suggestion was to explore the option of making our existing sign solar powered.

8.  Adult lunch price is $3.50:  Our school has qualified for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), a new program through MDE so that all of our students are eligible for free breakfast and lunch.  Adults will continue to pay for any meals taken.  Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Art Norton to keep the adult meal price at $3.50 for this school year.  Motion carries.

9.  Sustainability Training Jan. 14th 2015

There will be training available on how to build sustainability for nonprofits on Wednesday, January 14, 2015.

10.  3 New Staff Members:  During our June board meeting we accepted the resignations of Jerry Snustad, Facility Coordinator, and Ellen Coffel, Kitchen Cook/Manager.  Rachel Maki, Advisor, accepted a position at Chisholm Middle School.

  • Doreen Matteson has been hired to work with special education students
  • Don LaPlant, Facility Coordinator (to replace Jerry)
  • Cari Pajerski, Kitchen Manager (to replace Ellen)
  • Chad Olson, Advisor (to replace Rachel)

11.  NLCS Director Evaluation:  The board reviewed the draft of this procedure.  It was suggested that this evaluation be conducted annually.  Adding boxes to be checked next to the indicators listed under the five performance measures as well as an area for comments may be helpful.  Nick will provide the board with a copy of his professional development plan for last year.

12.  Policies

a.  Policy 411 – no action needed

This policy was approved at our June board meeting.

The following three policies were presented for final vote:

Policy 504  STUDENT DRESS AND APPEARANCE

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Karen Fleming to approve;

motion carries.

Policy 506  STUDENT DISCIPLINE

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Karen Fleming to approve;

motion carries.

Policy 514  BULLYING PROHIBITION

Motion made by Lori Dowling-Hanson and second by Karen Fleming to

approve; motion carries.

13.  SPED Coordinator:  Josie Pitts agreed to take on these additional responsibilities.

14.  ACNW Contract vote – this was taken care of at our June board meeting

15.  Director’s Report:  Nick shared results from the Student Success and Hope surveys.  As of 8/14/2014 there were 88 students on the list for our 2014-2015 school year.  This is higher than we were at this time last year.

16.  Recruitment

Karen Fleming mentioned that our booth at the Itasca County Fair went well.  We received positive feedback from the community.  Parents expressed interest in/need for a choice in K – 12 education.  What should NLCS look like in 5 years?  Would it be helpful to start a focus group?

It would also be helpful in recruiting if NLCS was able to partner with other school districts to enable our students to participate in sporting events and extra curricular activities.  Motion made by Lori Dowling-Hanson and second by Josie Pitts to contact other school boards in our community (Grand Rapids, Greenway, Nashwauk-Keewatin) to be placed on their board agenda to discuss that possibility.  Nick will be the point person to start this process.

NLCS is working with MN Nonprofits Assistance Fund to help fund the creation of a sustainable marketing plan.  We have met with Liz Dean, marketing consultant.

Other suggestions:

  • Invite WDIO to attend our first Presentation Night on October 9th
  • Add testimonial(s) from parents on our school website
  • Targeted mailing (post cards) through USPS
  • Radio ads

There may also be some families that may not be aware that our charter school exists (i.e. home schooling families).  What is the best way to reach these families?  Is there a home school network in our area?  Karen Fleming will look into this.

17.  Other News

We have three board members with terms expiring in October 2014:  Art Norton,

Lori Dowling-Hanson, and Matt Alleva.  Please let Matt know what you have decided.

Rachel’s Challenge will be presented at our school on Monday, September 8th.

Next meeting 9/16/2014 @ 3:15 p.m.

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Karen Fleming to adjourn; motion carries.

June 17, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes

Northern Lights Community School

Board of Directors Meeting

June 17, 2014

Board Members Present:             Karen Fleming, Josie Pitts, Kendra Smith,

Matt Alleva, Don Vidal

Board Members Not Present:    Art Norton, Lori Dowling-Hanson

Non Board Members Present:    Becky McCauley, Nick Pretasky, Lee Matson

1.  Mission Statement read by Matt Alleva

2.  Approval of Agenda:  After one addition, “15. Resignations”, motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Karen Fleming to approve agenda; motion carries.

3.  Approval of Minutes:  Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Karen Fleming to approve minutes of May 20, 2014; motion carries.

4.  Treasurer’s Report:  Josie Pitts shared and reviewed detailed check register (May 2014), NLCS Bank Reconciliation as of 5/31/2014, and May/June donations totaling $1,146.04.

Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Karen Fleming to approve the following four resolutions:       Resolution 1 – May operating receipts of $296,081.36

Resolution 2 – May checks 8053 thru 8128 of $183,229.30

Resolution 3 – May check card transactions of $11,250.47

Resolution 4 – May miscellaneous disbursements of $7.00

Motion carries.

We received $164,215.l5 from the State for special education, so there is no need for us to borrow money.

5.  FY 2014-2015 budget approval:  Lee Matson went over in detail the changes to school funding beginning in FY 2015 and reviewed the proposed budget for next year.  This

budget is based on an ADM of 94.

Board Resolution:  Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Don Vidal to establish the budget for fiscal year 2015 in the following amounts:

General fund revenue                         1,692,155

General fund expenditures                 1,686,809

Food service fund revenue                      50,697

Food service fund expenditures              50,697

The general fund expenditures and the food service fund revenues include a transfer of $16,797 from General Fund to Food Service Fund to eliminate the operating deficit in the Food Service Fund.

Motion carries.

Estimated Fund Balance as of 6/30/2014       281,759

Net Income per FY 2015 Budget                       5,346

Estimated Fund Balance as of 6/30/2015       287,105

Fund Balance as % of Expenditures                  17.0%

% per Board Policy                                            20.0%

6.  Insurance Update:  Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Karen Fleming to extend our insurance coverage through Continental Western Group provided by Grand Rapids Insurance Agency through August 23.  Motion carries.  This will give our agent additional time to search for other options.

7.  SERVS Budget Changes (401):  Our finance committee recommends a revision to the current year budget (FY 2014).  The revision is needed as part of the reconciliation of the federal grant programs and to ensure that all claims for reimbursement can be made through MDE’s “SERVS” system.  This revision adjusts revenue and expenditures in the same amount so does not affect current year surplus or fund balance.

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Kendra Smith to approve the following:

Resolution:  To increase the General Fund revenue budget for Fiscal Year 2014 by $2,884, from $1,688,820 to $1,691,704 and to increase the General Fund expenditure budget for Fiscal Year 2014 by $2,884, from $1,686,898 to $1,689,782.

Motion carries.

8.  Substitute Pay:  Board received information on NLCS sub rates compared to Grand Rapids sub rates 2014-2015.

9.  Transportation Bid:  We reviewed and discussed the two bids received for pupil transportation contractor for the 2014-2015 school year:  One from NK-G Transportation, Inc. based on miles, and one from Arrowhead Transit based on hours and routes.  Motion made by Karen Fleming and second by Kendra Smith to accept Arrowhead Transit bid.  Motion carries.

NLCS decided to go with Arrowhead Transit bid for the following reasons:

  • Strong relationship with Arrowhead Transit
  • Seat belts on every Arrowhead bus
  • Positive past experience with Arrowhead Transit
  • Cameras on every Arrowhead bus help with behavior expectations since school staff are not always on the bus
  • Public routes allow our students to transfer to other locations (job sites, community events, treatment programs, other living residence, etc.)
  • Price of bid fits with transportation allocation from the state
  • Arrowhead buses are smaller than traditional school buses and only hold a maximum of 28 students, which fits our school mission as a small learning community
  • Friends and family have been able to ride the bus as the transportation is a public route
  • It is important that our students learn to navigate public transportation as this skill will benefit them in the future
  • Students claim Arrowhead buses are more comfortable than school buses from other schools
  • Many of our students take a public route to their job and other transitional services
  • New students can easily join an existing route.  This minimizes the need to change pick-up times, routes, and overall timeline

10.  Policies

 a.  Policy 506  STUDENT DISCIPLINE

Motion made by Kendra Smith and second by Karen Fleming to approve revisions to this policy. Motion carries.

 b.  Policy 411  PERSONAL TIME OFF DAYS (PTO)

Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Karen Fleming to approve revisions to this policy and make these changes retroactive to beginning of this school year.

Motion carries.

Policy 504 STUDENT DRESS AND APPEARANCE and Policy 514 BULLYING PROHIBITION will be presented for final vote at our August board meeting.

11.  SPED Coordinator:  As mentioned in the Director’s Report of 5/20/2104, there are new duties required by the state in the area of Special Education.  These are brand new duties that would require work outside of normal hours.  It was hopeful that we could add these duties to one of our Special Education teacher’s job description.  Along with the increase in duties, Nick was recommending that we offer an increase to this person’s salary of $5,000.  Nick talked with Special Education staff during evaluations.  Neither Christel nor Lori was interested.  Josie has an interest provided we could decrease her caseload.

One of the items we need to set up is hearing and eye tests for our students.  Kendra will check around to see if she can find a nurse interested in providing this service for us.

12.  ACNW Contract vote:  David Greenberg attended our April board meeting and went over the charter school contract between Audubon Center of the North Woods and Northern Lights Community School in great detail.  Our new contract would be a three-year contract beginning July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017.  Nick reviewed with our board the academic goals, Life Skills Rubric, and the environmental education goals included as exhibits to this contract.  Motion made by Karen Fleming and second by Don Vidal to approve this contract with Audubon.  Motion carries.

Audubon also needs to be aware of any major changes during this time period, such as changes to our Bylaws.

13.  Director’s Report:  The Director’s Report includes highlights from our staff summary as well as what we accomplished during our professional development days in early June.

14.  Recruitment:  With our budget based on an ADM of 94, recruitment is still a major focus.  Do we want to reward our current families for student referrals for this coming school year?  Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Kendra Smith to offer a $100 stipend to any NLCS family that refers a new student to our school; provided this referral is made by November 1 and the student is enrolled here for at least six months.  Motion carries.

NLCS will have a float in the Tall Timber Days parade, and we will also have a booth at the Itasca County Fair.

Our students are out and about assisting in our community and it would be great to have NLCS polo shirts for them to wear while at these events.  Karen offered her advisory to look into this as well as pricing on letter jackets.

15.  Resignations:  Our Board Chair shared letter of resignation from Jerry Snustad, Facility Coordinator, indicating that June 30th will be his last day at NLCS.  Ellen Coffel, Kitchen Manager/Cook, also indicated via correspondence that physical demands of cooking on a daily basis have become too much for her.  She would have an interest in being the Kitchen Manager only but will continue doing what she can until we find a replacement.  Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Kendra Smith to accept both resignations.  Motion carries.

16.  Other News:  Todd Hassel, Northern Lights Building Company, let us know that they may need to hire a contractor to take care of issues in Matt’s room and Karen’s room due to leaking in the basement.  A water tank will be installed to collect runoff from roof.

Motion made by Josie Pitts to adjourn; second by Don Vidal.  Motion carries.

Next Meeting 8/19/14 @ 3:15 p.m.

May 20, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes

Northern Lights Community School

Board of Directors Meeting

May 20, 2014

Board Members Present:           Karen Fleming, Matt Alleva, Josie Pitts,

                                                  Don Vidal, Art Norton, Kendra Smith

Board Member Not Present:     Lori Dowling-Hanson

Non Board Members Present:   Becky McCauley, Nick Pretasky, Lee Matson

1.  Mission Statement read by Matt Alleva

Dave Hagman joined us for this part of our meeting to remind us that our 2014-2015 school year will mark the 10thyear of Northern Lights Community School.  He shared some general thoughts and ideas on how to celebrate our success.

2.  Approval of Agenda:  After two additions to our agenda (Dave Hagman / NLCS 10th anniversary celebration; and Draft Budget fiscal year 2015) and two deleted agenda items (7. Line of Credit Resolution; 8.c. Policies / Policy 506), motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Art Norton to approve amended agenda; motion carries.

3.  Approval of Minutes:  Motion made by Karen Fleming and second by Don Vidal to approve minutes of April 22, 2014; motion carries.

4.  Treasurer’s Report:  Josie Pitts shared and reviewed detailed check register (April 2014), Balance Sheet and Income Statement through 3/31/2014, NLCS Bank Reconciliation as of 4/30/2014, April donations totaling $49.06, April grant and award totaling $752.94, April deposits, and fundraisers year-to-date.

Motion made by Art Norton and second by Karen Fleming to approve the following four resolutions:      Resolution 1 – April operating receipts of $133,817.99

                        Resolution 2 – April checks 7996 thru 8052 of $156,037.86

                        Resolution 3 – April check card transactions of $0.00

                        Resolution 4 – April miscellaneous disbursements of $3.00

Motion carries.

Since our May 15th state aid payment was larger than anticipated, we will let Phil Hatley know that we do not need to use our line of credit.

Lee Matson presented draft of fiscal year 2015 budget.  This budget is based on ADM of 94 and reflects 1.5% increase in state funding.  Beginning July 1, 2014, NLCS (providing district) will have to contribute 10% of unreimbursed special education costs.  There would be a 2% increase across the board for salaries.  Projected surplus as of 6/30/2015 would be $7,192.  Ending Fund Balance as % of expenditures would increase from 16% to 17% ($288,951).  We would like to see an increase of 1% per year to get closer to 20%.

5.  SERVS Budget Changes (401):  There are some minimal changes which require board approval.  These will be addressed at our June meeting.

6.  Credit Card Limit Resolution:  We currently have two credit cards issued to our school: DISCOVER Card and a low balance VISA card.  Becky McCauley explained that not all places accept DISCOVER Card and there are certain instances where we need a higher limit on our VISA card.  Motion made by Art Norton and second by Don Vidal to increase the credit limit on our VISA card to $10,000.  Motion carries.

7.  Line of Credit Resolution: (removed from agenda)

8.  Policies

     a.  PTO Policy 411

          Un-used PTO days buy-back:  Only one individual showed up and expressed

          his opinion at the meeting scheduled for our staff.  PTO buy-back will be left as

          is at $50 per day.

          Bereavement:  Emergency leave is included in Policy 411 PERSONAL TIME OFF

          DAYS (PTO).  Emergency leave may be used for funerals or medical emergencies.

     This policy was reviewed and discussed.  Becky McCauley will provide requested

     changes to Vicki Nelson and this policy will be presented again at our June meeting.

     b.  Policy 504  STUDENT DRESS AND APPEARANCE

     Original policy was adopted November 15, 2011.  Changes to this policy were

     reviewed and discussed.  This policy will be on our June agenda.

     c.  Policy 506 – tabled until June meeting.

     d.  Policy 514  BULLYING PROHIBITION

     There are changes in this policy since a new law has been passed to hold schools

     more accountable.  The definition of “bullying” now includes cyberstalking and

     cyberbullying.  Our director would be the person responsible for receiving reports

     of bullying, and a form has been created.  This policy will be on our June agenda.

9.  Minnesota State High School League

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Don Vidal to renew membership with Minnesota State High School League for 2014-2015.  Motion carries.

10.  Calendar

Draft calendar was presented to board.  Orientation (previously “Open House”) will be on Thursday, August 21, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.  First day of school will be August 25, 2014 and the last day of school will be May 29, 2015.  October 13 and October 14 will both be student days.  This calendar has one snow day and one late start day (two hours) built in.

Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Josie Pitts to approve amended calendar.  Motion carries.

Becky McCauley also shared NLCS Flexible Scheduling Report for 2014/2015 since we must provide 1,020 hours of instruction per year.

11.  ACNW Contract Update

David Greenberg attended our April board meeting and explained the renewal process and timelines.  NLCS draft of goals and exhibits was provided to Audubon prior to

May 15.  ACNW will review and provide feedback.  Since our contract with Audubon must be fully executed no later than July 1, 2014, goals will be presented for approval during our June board meeting.  NLCS will also have to obtain hazardous substance insurance.

12.  Greenhouse Design Discussion Continued (bids, insurance coverage)

Nick shared the bid we have on file with the board.

13.  Board Member Biographies to Nick

Please provide these to Nick so that we can get them on our website.

14.  Grant Procedure

There are instances when a grant deadline occurs prior to our actual board meeting.

In order to streamline our grant process and obtain all the information we need, a new Grant Approval Form has been created including applicant information, who we are getting the grant from, and funding source contact information.  Once completed signatures are required from our Director, Board Chair and Business Manager.

Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Art Norton to accept this new procedure.

Motion carries.

     a.  Earthworks Grant ($500)

     Daryan Thompson, a senior at NLCS, received an award of $500.00 through the

     Community Sustainability Initiative (CSI) at The Iron Range Earth Fest held in

     Mt. Iron on April 26th.  These monies will be used to assist in building a recycling

     center located at our school to be used by our community.

 

     b.  Cliffs

     We are in the process of applying for a $10,000 grant to assist with our greenhouse.

15.  Director’s Report

There were no questions regarding the information provided in this report.

16.  Recruitment

With our proposed budget at 94 students, NLCS needs to recruit 10-15 students for our next school year.  Nick shared our summer calendar with board members.  We welcome any help from the board with any and all events.

17.  Board By-laws

       a.  Board Member Attendance:  Josie Pitts shared proposed addition to our bylaws.

       Article IV – Meeting of Members; Section 6 – Attendance.  Revisions were made,

       and revised addition will be reviewed at our June board meeting.

       b.  Nominations Committee

       Our bylaws contain “Article VIII – Nominations”

       Section 1 – Committee on Nominations

       Section 2 – Independent Nominations

       Three of our board members have terms expiring in October 2014 (Lori Dowling-

       Hanson, Matt Alleva, and Art Norton).  We will need to address this during our

       June board meeting to determine whether there is a need to appoint a nominating

       committee.

18.  Other News

NLCS graduation will be held on May 22, 2014.  We expect to graduate 18 students.

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, June 17th @ 9:00 a.m.

Motion to adjourn made by Don Vidal and second by Josie Pitts; motion carries.

April 22, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes

Northern Lights Community School

Board of Directors Meeting

April 22, 2014

Board Members Present:            Karen Fleming, Matt Alleva, Josie Pitts, Lori Hanson,

                                                   Don Vidal, Art Norton, Kendra Smith

Non Board Members Present:   Becky McCauley, Nick Pretasky, Lee Matson,

                                                   David Greenberg / Audubon

1.  Mission Statement read by Matt Allev

2.  Approval of Agenda:  After one addition (19. Escape Clause Language), motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Karen Fleming to approve agenda with changes; motion carries.

3.  Approval of Minutes:  After one minor change in 12. Lunch Procedure, motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Don Vidal to approve minutes of March 18, 2014; motion carries.

4.  Zach Larson Senior Project:  Zach would like to see an automotive repair shop added to NLCS that would be owned and operated by the school.  He presented a draft of his business plan.  Instructor/students would perform basic auto maintenance to support the shop financially.  There would be no labor charges on school vehicles.  Interested students could work in the auto shop and prepare for a future in auto repair career field.

5.  PTO Policy 411

     a.  Un-used PTO days buy-back

     b.  Bereavement

Rachel Maki and Suzanne Star joined us for this discussion.  The current buy-back rate for PTO is $50 per day.  Some of our staff would like to see this increased.  Contract information for other school districts is available online.  If there is an increase in PTO buy-back rate how would this affect our budget?  Nick will meet with any of our staff that are concerned and update the board at our next meeting. 

When our PTO policy was approved during our board meeting in October 2013, the portion regarding emergency leave/bereavement was inadvertently not included.  We shall put this on our agenda for next month as well.

6.  Treasurer’s Report

Josie shared and reviewed Balance Sheet as of 2/28/2014, Income Statement as of 2/28/2014 (including budget, actual and percentage used), March payment register by check number 7935-7995, and NLCS bank reconciliation as of 3/31/2014.

Motion made by Art Norton and second by Don Vidal to approve the following four resolutions:Resolution 1 – March operating receipts of $129,697.62

                        Resolution 2 – March checks 7935 thru 7995 of $152,345.72

                                                (includes void check #7780)

                        Resolution 3 – March check card transactions of $0.00

                        Resolution 4 – March miscellaneous disbursements of $29.70

Motion carries.

Since our projected cash balance is at $75,491.36 for the period June 1 thru June 15, 2014, we will contact Phil Hatley in case we need to use our line of credit this summer.

Our Finance Committee met on April 7.  Nick presented the proposed revisions to the board.  Motion made by Karen Fleming and second by Josie Pitts to adjust the budget:

“Resolution:  Adjust the general fund revenue budget from $1,669,456 to $1,688,820.

Net change of $19,364.  Adjust the general fund expenditure budget from $1,655,134 to $1,665,079.  Net change of $9,945.  Adjust the food service fund expenditure budget from $48,219 to $55,719.  Net change of $7,500.  Adjust the operating transfer between the food service fund and the general fund from $14,319 to $21,819.”

Motion carries.

Ending Fund Balance as of 6/30/2014 – $281,162 (16.89%)

We are working on our budget for next year based on an ADM of 93.  Draft will be presented to the board at our May meeting, with a vote at our June meeting.  This budget does not provide for any growth in our fund balance.

7.  ACNW Contract discussion with David Greenberg

Our current contract with Audubon runs through June 30, 2014. ACNW has decided to renew our contract and will be working with our school board and leadership to establish a new contract.  This contract must be fully executed no later than July 1, 2014.  David Greenberg reviewed the basic elements of the contract, goal setting, and tasks and timelines.

It will be necessary for NLCS to develop goals for this new contract (academic, non-academic, environmental education).  Rod Haenke and Erin Anderson from ACNW will be contacting Nick to assist with this process.  Draft of all goals and exhibits must be submitted to ACNW by May 15.  Our board must approve these goals before July 1, so the plan is to approve these at our meeting on June 17.

8.  Greenhouse Design Discussion:  Tabled until next meeting in May.

9.  Insurance Coverage for Volunteers at NLCS:  Volunteers have coverage under the General Liability.  They would be protected if they were driving one of our vehicles and got in an accident.  However, there is no coverage for medical payments/injuries to our volunteers.

10.  Board Member Biographies to Nick:  Please send these to Nick so that we can put on our website.

11.  Letter to ACNW Regarding Increased Sponsor Fee Report:  This fee is based on NLCS student enrollment.  The amount budgeted last year (approximately $7,200) was based from data pulled from MDE student reports/EDRS; however our actual enrollment was higher.  Going forward we can expect a fee closer to $10,000.

12.  90 Day Void Check Becky Update:  Becky emailed vendor.  We can put “void after 90 days” on our checks, but it is not legally enforceable.  It was decided to have this printed on our checks. 

13.  Fundraiser trailer information:  Nick shared a photograph of a trailer the building company will purchase and loan out to our school for fundraisers.  Students could sell coffee and baked goods.  Advisor/project manager would be present with the students.

This would provide a work experience opportunity for some of our students and would also be a great way to market our school.  Nick will be attending the Warba City Council meeting this evening to present this idea.

14.  Charter School Lease Aid Certification Form – Board Signatures:  Matt obtained the necessary signatures from board members.

15.  Policies Final Vote

     a.  Policy 503 – Attendance

Motion made by Art Norton and second by Josie Pitts to approve this policy; motion carries.

16.  Director’s Report:  There were no questions on the information provided in this report.

17.  Board By-laws

     a.  Procedure for Changing By-Laws:  The procedure for changing bylaws is the same

we follow for changing policies.

     b.  Board Member Attendance:  Josie will look into making this change and update us at the next meeting.

     c.  Nominations Committee:  Matt will look into this and update us at the next meeting.

If our bylaws are amended, we must provide to Audubon within 20 days of change.

18.  Other News:

There are three Summer Experience options being offered for this summer:

·         Environmental Science Week            June 23 – 27

·         Summer Theatre Camp                      July 14 – 18

·         Star Lake Wilderness Camp              July 22 – 25

Graduation will be held on May 22, 2014.  We expect to graduate 18 students.

Nick will be sending a letter to seven school boards regarding letting our students participate in extra-curricular activities with other school districts.

19.  Escape Clause Language:  Motion made by Karen Fleming and second by Don Vidal to add the following to our lease with Northern Lights Building Company.

Northern Lights Building Company will allow Northern Lights Community School the opportunity to discuss a lease termination without penalty should the authorizer of Northern Lights Community School terminate or not renew the charter contract.

Motion carries.

Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Art Norton to adjourn.  Motion carries.

March 19, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes

NLCS Board Meeting Minutes March 18, 2013

3:15PM at NLCS

Present:

Board Members: Matt Alleva, Karen Fleming, Josie Pitts, Lori Hanson, Don Vidal, Art Norton, Kendra Smith

Non Board Members: Becky McCauley, Nick Pretasky, Vickie Kepler, Todd Hassell

1.       Mission Statement read by Matt Alleva

2.       Approval of Agenda: Motion to approve by Don Vidal, second by Josie Pitts, motion carries

3.       Approval of  Minutes: Motion to approve by  Don Vidal, second by Art Norton, motion carries

a.       Approval of special minutes:Motion to approve by Josie Pitts, second by Don Vidal, motion carries

4.       Greenhouse Design Discussion: Vickie Kepler and Todd Hassell came to present the design for the new greenhouse. We have a $10,000 grant from Cleveland Cliffs for a new greenhouse to be built. Todd showed an example of the material being used. The greenhouse is being built to last for a long time. The question came up if it will be covered under our insurance policy. We will look this up and get the answer at a later time. It will be anchored to the ground for security from wind and weather. There will be hydroponics for use in the winter as well as summer usage. It comes with a propane heater for winter heating. This will happen in stages so hydroponics will be added later. The hope is to sell plants to the public to fund usage of the greenhouse. There will still be an outdoor garden as well. This will help to create a nature garden on the school grounds. If there are any questions please bring them to the next meeting for further discussion.

5.       Financial Information – a question was raised as to why our authorizer raised their fee 44%. We will pose this question to them for an answer at the next board meeting. The treasurer will draft a letter from the board. The second question was raised if we should put on our checks “void after 90 days”. Becky will look into how this would change our procedures and get back to us at the next board meeting.

a.       Resolution 1: February operating receipts of $144,983.98

b.       Resolution 2: February checks 7873-7934 of $150,365.76

c.       Resolution 3: February check card transactions of 0.00

d.       Resolution 4: February miscellaneous disbursements of $673.05

e.       Treasurer’s Report: Motion to approve by Josie Pitts, second by Lori Hanson, motion carries

6.       ACNW Board Letter: this letter is to inform the board that our authorizer will be renewing our contract with them for the next three years. It included our evaluation from them.  

a.       Building Company priorities list – they have given us a list of things that need to be worked on. They would like us to prioritize the order of those needs. One item that was discussed was a security system to be installed. We already have the cameras they just need to be installed. This would help us know when people are entering the building. Other items on the list included a stage curtain, workshop, and garage for our vehicles. Don asked about a P.A. system and if that could be added to the list. Becky would like all staff to have input as well as the board. Our priority list is: 1) having the security system installed, 2) Stage curtain that we will be looking into for further discussion

7.       School Garden in Budget: Matt would like us to put money into the budget for a nature center that would include our garden and greenhouse. Matt will come back to the board with a budget for what the needs would be.

8.       Board Member Resume On-Line Discussion: Matt would like to see these put on our website. We would need to remove personal information before they are put on the website. We decided to do a bio rather than a full resume for the website. We will send these to Nick within a week.

9.       School Closing Staff Make-up Days Approval (June 9, 10): motion to approve by Lori Hanson, seconded by Josie Pitts, motion carried.

10.   Policies Final Vote

a.       Policy 503 – Attendance: tabled for the next meeting

11.   Director’s Report: Nick went through his report highlighting some of the key points. One point was that we are doing well with our Star testing goals. We are on track to meet these goals. He touched base on our contract with our authorizer. Our attendance still needs to be higher for next year. We are working on recruitment by placing a newly designed poster, Nick talking within the community, and media coverage. Nick would like to see a waiting list happening within the next three years so that we will not have to worry about enrollment numbers. Lori volunteered to look into what it would cost to have Paul Bunyan advertise our school. It was suggested that we raise our marketing budget for next year. In our budget we have 90 ADM. We currently have 95.67 ADM enrolled for this year. This is good for our budget this year. The environmental evaluation was a good evaluation. The one negative in the authorizer report was not having a $3 million item in our insurance for hazardous materials. We are required by law to carry this. It is an issue we will have to address soon.

12.   Lunch Procedure: We have a policy about lunch procedure. How do we handle when a student goes through the line and does not have money for lunch? There is a policy being drafted by the state that says if your school has a 40% free or reduced lunch population, we do not have to have a food cost. This would make our lunch program much easier and simpler. Nick read our current lunch policy. We will change the procedure to say that all students will receive a nutritious lunch regardless of finances.

13.   Roller Derby Sponsorship Discussion: We give a roller derby team space in our gym to practice on weekends. They would like to put our name on their jerseys in return. There is concern that the image of roller derby may not be one we want to put our names on. Nick expressed that he felt it was good marketing. Motion to approve the sponsorship, second by Josie Pitts, motion carried.

a.       Breakfast Challenge grant: we applied for a grant from the State. Motion by Josie Pitts, second by Karen Fleming, motion carried.

14.   Board By-laws: Motion to table until next meeting by Josie Pitts, second by Don Vidal, motion carried.

a.       Procedure for Changing By-Laws: our by-law change procedure is the same as policy change procedures.

b.       Board Member Attendance: this is not currently in our by-laws

c.       Nominations Committee: this committee does not meet until August.

15.   Other News

a.       Next Meeting 4/22/14

February 25, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes

Northern Lights Community School

Board of Directors Meeting

February 25, 2014

Board Members Present:         Karen Fleming, Matt Alleva, Josie Pitts, Art Norton,

                                                Don Vidal

Board Members Not Present:Lori Dowling-Hanson, Jim Wilkins

Non-Members Present:           Nick Pretasky, Becky McCauley, Lee Matson,

                                                Todd Hassell

1.  Approval of Agenda:  After one addition (6.a. Disposal Procedures) and one change to our agenda (10.b. changed from “Duluth/Superior Areas Community College” to “Northland Kids Plus”), motion made by Don Vidal and second by Josie Pitts to approve agenda.  Motion carried.

2.  Approval of Minutes:  Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Don Vidal to approve minutes of January 21, 2014.  Motion carried.

3.  Financial Information

     a.  January Expenditures

The board reviewed January expenditures.

     b.  January Donations

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Karen Fleming to accept January donations in the amount of $2,999.24.  Motion carried.

     c.  January Local Receipts

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Don Vidal to accept January local receipts.  Motion carried.

     d.  Bank Reconciliation

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Don Vidal to approve NLCS bank reconciliation as of January 31, 2014.  Motion carried.

     e.  Treasurer’s Report

Motion made by Art Norton and second by Don Vidal to approve the following four resolutions:

Resolution 1:   To approve January operating receipts of $167,253.91

Resolution 2:  To approve January checks 7817 thru 7872 of $154,553.24

Resolution 3:  To approve January check card transactions of $0.00

Resolution 4:  To approve January miscellaneous disbursements of $1.10

Motion carried.

Lee Matson provided NLCS Balance Sheet and Income Statement thru December 31, 2013 for review.  If any further questions on this summary, please contact Lee or Becky.  Our Finance Committee will meet on March 10th and begin budgeting for 2015.

4.  Individual Board Member Donations

In the event we are asked what the percentage of board donations at NLCS is, it would be a great message to our community to answer 100%.  Our directors have the option to make a donation to our school.  If you have an interest in donating, please give your check to Becky McCauley.  You may designate a specific area for your donation to go to, or a line item can be designated at an upcoming board meeting.  Possibilities would be classroom supplies, field studies, artists in residence, general fund, and healthy snacks.

5.  Prioritize Building Company Work

Todd Hassell will distribute a list of items/projects on the agenda for the Northern Lights Building Company so that the board can review and prioritize.

6.  School Donations (Assets Over $500) Discussion and Disposal Procedures

Becky McCauley shared copy of new form, Property Disposition Request (PDR), which also includes process for disposing of fixed assets.  Becky will share this procedure with our staff and remind them that they are responsible for the safeguarding, maintaining, and utilizing all equipment and fixed assets they acquire.

7.  Check signature procedure

Becky McCauley explained the current procedure we use for signing checks.  Although our Director reviews the vouchers and approves before checks are issued, a signature stamp is used for the signing of checks.  Becky was exploring the option of using electronic signature rather than the signature stamp and explained to the board the benefits as well as the risk involved.  It was agreed that Becky may go ahead and use electronic signature.

8.  School Closing Make-up Days

After the recent school closings due to weather, we are short hours and need to add days to our school year.  Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Karen Fleming to add June 2, 3 and 4 to our school year as make up days and revise 2013-2014 calendar.  Motion carried.

Since June 2 – 6 was originally set aside for staff days, two additional days will have to be designated for licensed staff.  Nick will have our Leadership Team address the best way to handle this.

9.  NLCS Participation in National Center for Disease Control Survey

NLCS has been offered the option to participate in this survey regarding teen tobacco use.  After much discussion, it was decided by the board not to participate in this survey.

10.  Grants

     a.  Toyota $2,500 Library Grant

Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Josie Pitts to accept this $2,500.00 grant. Motion carried.

     b.  Northland Kids Plus

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Karen Fleming to accept this grant in the amount of $252.00 (Zach Simons senior project).  Motion carried.

     c.  Cleveland Cliffs $10,000 Green house grant

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Karen Fleming to accept this $10,000.00 grant.  Motion carried.  Board approval is required before any funds are disbursed.

11.  Board Training Date

Board training will be conducted by Chuck Speiker here at NLCS on Saturday, March 8.

12.  Policies

     a.  Policy 503 – Attendance

Revisions were made to this policy.  We will provide to Vicki Nelson so that she can update prior to March board meeting.

     b.  Final Vote

Policy 410       Family and Medical Leave Policy

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Art Norton to approve.  Motion carried.

Policy 413       Harassment and Violence

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Art Norton to approve.  Motion carried.

Policy 522       Student Sex Nondiscrimination

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Don Vidal to approve.  Motion carried.

Policy 526       Hazing Prohibition

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Karen Fleming to approve.  Motion carried.

Policy 411       Personal Time Off (PTO)

Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Josie Pitts to approve.  Motion carried.

13.  Director’s Report

     a.  ADM = 95.62 with the WADM at 123.17 (as of 2/20/14)

After clarification of WADM, there were no other questions regarding the Director’s Report.

     b.  Enrollment 103 (as of 2/24/14)

Enrollment of 105 works well for our school.

14.  Director Evaluation

Matt Alleva reviewed this procedure with the board.

15.  Assurances

The director that we needed a signature from is in the process of resigning from our board and was not able to attend this meeting.

16.  Other News

     a)  Next meeting 03/18/2014

     b)  The MAAP Conference in Duluth on February 11-13 was well attended by our staff and very beneficial.

     c)  We shall hold a Special Meeting prior to board training on March 8 @ 9:00 a.m. to accept resignation of Jim Wilkins and add a new board member.

Motion made by Josie Pitts to adjourn meeting; second by Karen Fleming.  Motion carried.

January 21, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes

Northern Lights Community School

Board of Directors Meeting

January 21, 2014

Board Members Present:         Karen Fleming, Matt Alleva, Josie Pitts, Art Norton,

                                                Lori Dowling-Hanson, Don Vidal

Board Member Not Present:   Jim Wilkins

Non-Members Present:           Nick Pretasky, Becky McCauley, Lee Matson

1.  Approval of Agenda:  Motion made by Karen Fleming and second by Josie Pitts to add one item to our agenda (15.b. NLBC square foot rate change). Motion carried.

Motion made by Lori Dowling-Hanson and second by Art Norton to approve agenda. Motion carried.

2.  Approval of Minutes:  Motion made by Art Norton and second by Josie Pitts to approve minutes of December 17, 2013.  Motion carried.

3.  Financial Information

     a.  December Expenditures

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Karen Fleming to approve December expenditures (checks).  Motion carried.

     b.  December donations

Motion made by Art Norton and second by Don Vidal to approve December donations in the amount of $1,997.57.  Motion carried.

It was recommended that our policy/procedure on disposal of donated items be reviewed at a future board meeting.

     c.  December Local Receipts

Motion made by Lori Dowling-Hanson and second by Josie Pitts to approve December receipts.   Motion carried.

     d.  Bank Reconciliation

Becky McCauley gave us an update on outstanding checks listed in NLCS bank reconciliation as of 12/31/2013.  Motion made by Karen Fleming and second by Josie Pitts to approve.  Motion carried.

     e.  Treasurer’s Report

Motion made by Lori Dowling-Hanson and second by Art Norton to approve December operating receipts of $123,040.46.  Motion carried.

Motion made by Art Norton and second by Lori Dowling-Hanson to approve December checks 7758 thru 7816 of $163,960.29.  Motion carried.

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Don Vidal to approve December check card transactions of $0.00.  Motion carried.

Motion made by Karen Fleming and second by Don Vidal to approve December miscellaneous disbursements of $2.80.  Motion carried.

     f.  ADM update

Our average daily membership as of 1/16/2014 was 94.48.

     g.  Budget update

As previously discussed in our board meeting on November 12, current general fund budget is based on an ADM of 100.  During our Finance Committee meeting in November it was estimated that ADM would be closer to 90.  The lower ADM figure would result in reduced state aid of $73,000.  Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Art Norton to approve this budget based on ADM of 90.  Motion carried.

Our second budget item was a one-page budget revision for Title I.  The proposed revision includes increases in line items for Title I testing, supplies and FICA totaling $10,116; decrease in line item for Title I classroom totaling $7,185; for a net increase in Title I revenue of $2,931.  Motion made by Lori Dowling-Hanson to approve Title I budget revision; second by Josie Pitts.  Motion carried.

Lee Matson also shared and reviewed NLCS Balance Sheet and Income Statement thru November 30, 2013.

4.  Board Member Resume On-Line

Tabled

5.  Background Check Frequency Revisited

Since the State does a background check on licensed teachers every five years, it may be to our advantage to rewrite this policy (404) and bring to the board.  Each background check costs $38.00 so this would save our school some money.

6.  School Closings January 6 and 7

Lori Dowling-Hanson was very happy with the way our school handled the closures on January 6 and 7.  The State statute requires 1020 hours.  We are now six hours short and will have to make this up.  Becky McCauley explained options we have available to us.  One possibility would be to add a day during our April student/staff break (April 14 – 18); or add a day during June staff days (June 2 – 6).  Nick will talk with staff and figure out what would work well, and then we will bring calendar change back to the board at our next meeting.

7.  NLCS Participation in Lead School for Student Success Work

Itasca Area Initiative for Student Success (IAISS) is composed of schools within Itasca County including members from all different sectors of the community and led by the Blandin Foundation.  Search Institute has created a survey to measure 40 attributes believed to ensure student success.  NLCS has been asked to be the lead school in this process.  Motion made by Lori Dowling-Hanson and second by Karen Fleming to approve our students participation in Search Institute survey.  Motion carried.  They would also like to use our students as a voice; students with an interest in this could serve on a panel and get credit for participating.  Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Art Norton to approve our students participation.  Motion carried.    

8.  Promise Fellow Grant

We have two AmeriCorps Promise Fellows working with us this school year:  Bill Law and Onica Lilgreen.  The application to apply for Promise Fellows for 2014-2015 is due January 31, 2014 and we are seeking board approval for this grant.  Motion made by Lori Dowling-Hanson and second by Don Vidal to approve.  Motion carried.

9.  Board Meeting Time Change

Jim Wilkins is not able to make the present board meeting time of 3:15 in the afternoon and was inquiring whether we would be interested in starting our meeting at 5:30 instead.  The later starting time does not work for the remaining board members.

In the event that Jim Wilkins decides to resign from our board, please consider nominations and email Nick with suggestions.

10.  Board Training Date

All of our board members are available for training on Saturday, March 8.  Chuck Speiker will be providing that training here at NLCS on that date.

11.  NLCS Director Evaluation

Additional changes were made to this procedure.  Final review will be next month at February board meeting.

12.  Policies

Policy 801:  Final reading and vote on Policy 801 EQUAL ACCESS TO SCHOOL FACILITIES

Motion made by Josie Pitts and second by Don Vidal to approve.  Motion carried.

Policy 410:  FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE POLICY

First reading; no recommended changes by the board.

Final reading and approval vote at February board meeting

Policy 413  HARRASSMENT AND VIOLENCE

Policy 522  STUDENT SEX NONDISCRIMINATION

Policy 526  HAZING PROHIBITION

Policy 411  PERSONAL TIME OFF (PTO)

There were recommended changes to all four of these policies.  We shall provide this input to Vicki Nelson so that she can update these and we will review updated versions at our February board meeting.

Policy 801 addresses student use of school facility.  Is there a policy in place for community member use?

13.  Staff Recruitment Committee

This committee meets weekly on Mondays and is continuing to get the message out in the community about our school.  Nick and Suzanne Starr will be taking a couple of our students to Hibbing on Wednesday, January 22, to work with the local television station.

The application for NLCS 2014-2015 school year is on our website.  Priority is given to current students and their siblings.  If new applications for enrollment exceed spaces available, the NLCS Board of Directors will hold a lottery to determine new admissions and places on a waiting list.

It will be necessary to review policies dealing with admissions and enrollment cap in either March or April.

14.  Director’s Report

Audubon Center of the North Woods has finalized our school’s academic evaluation for the 2012-2013 school year.  The cover letter and evaluation were sent out to board members prior to this meeting for review.  Our reading and math proficiency according to MCA test results did not meet standards set.  Our goals written for the 2013-2014 academic year align better with the curriculum, vision, and focus of NLCS.

15.  Other News

     a.  Next meeting 2/25/14

     b.  NLBC square foot rate change (re: 2013 summer addition to our school)

Northern Lights Building Company has reduced our rate per square foot from $8.61 to $7.66 so that our rent remains the same.  Motion made by Don Vidal and second by Lori Dowling-Hanson to approve this reduction.  Motion carried.

Motion made by Josie Pitts to adjourn meeting; second by Karen Fleming. Motion carried.