Maine Charter School Commission Meeting - February 5, 2013

Minutes

The Maine Charter School Commission held a meeting on February 5, 2013, at the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine. The following members were present:  Richard (Dick) Barnes, John Bird, Shelley Reed, Heidi Sampson, William Shuttleworth and Jana Lapoint;  James Banks, Sr. was delayed

Also present:  Bob Kautz, executive director, and Deanne Lavallee, administrative assistant

 

CALLED TO ORDER:

Chair, Jana Lapoint called the meeting to order at 1:06 PM.

ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA:

No adjustments

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

MOVED by Shelley Reed seconded by John Bird and unanimously voted by those present to approve the meeting minutes from January 8, 2013, changing the notes to read “Newtown.”

 

OFFICER'S REPORTS:

Chair, Jana Lapoin

 

  • During the morning workshop, there was a discussion of curtailment and the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee and an explanation from Jim Rier, DOE Deputy Commissioner.  Please feel free to talk with your local representatives regarding the curtailment and the Commission’s support of and desiring “equal” curtailment by all. 

  • Received January 28, 2013, Letter from Ruth Summers, Maine Connections Academy.  Question of:  When is the line of turned down or go onto interview and hearing; we have been addressing that and will try to take care of that as we move forward. 

 

Vice-chair, Richard Barnes

 

  • None

Executive Director, Bob Kautz

  • Report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools with their rankings for charter states; Maine was ranked second as one of the leaders in the country as far as authorization.  Judith (Jones, MACS) had sent out Commission members the graphic for that; you can get it on their website.

Maine is referenced number 1 or in the top group for many of their measurements. “As states look to improve their work in quality control, we recommend that they look to the state quality control policies already on the books in five states:  Maine, Washington, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico and New York.”   The law that was put together and the way the Commission has been interpreting it and carrying it out is being recognized as a leader.  Congratulations!

 

Sent PDF of Pages 6-9 pertinent to Maine to commission members via email 2-6-13.

 

 

Jana Lapoint:  Always going back to the Statutes – to read and re-read them.  What a job had been done here in the State of Maine on the Statutes.  I am very, very impressed.  The more I read them, the better I like them.  Can they be tweaked?  Sure it can always be done.  But the amount of work that went in to putting that legislation together is very impressive. 

 

John Bird:  We owe a big tribute to Judith Jones and Roger Brainerd; they had a lot to do with it.

Round of applause.

 

Bob Kautz:  LR does not include narrative eventually gets translated to a LD – Legislative Document, which contains the description and has a cover page with sponsors and co-sponsors.  LR and LD numbers are not the same.  LR number is listed on the bottom of the LD.

 

If you see any LR or LD that may pertain to charter schools, please get that information to me.

 

Jana Lapoint:  Thursday at 1:00 p.m.- the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee will be hearing, for the first time, the initial review of that $400,000 they spent to look at the method of Essential Programs and Services – the schools’ funding formula.  Room 202

 

NEW BUSINESS:

  1. Action on Fiddlehead School of Arts and Sciences Application

    Review team Chair Shelley Reed presented the following report and recommendation to the Commission:

     

    Background Information:

    The Review Team made up of Shelley Reed, Chair, Jana Lapoint and William Shuttleworth had a unanimous decision to move the applicant forward in the process after the initial application review. For the October 2 (2012) Commission meeting 2 team members were in agreement with the following recommendation:

    To conditionally approve upon completion of the items brought up in the Public Interview and sent out in the letter-for a time certain to allow for completion and reconfiguration of their application to bring it in line with the adjustments, -they bring strong academics, innovation, strong parent organization, capable staff, and demonstrated in their original application the skills and capacities to create a successful charter
    school.

    On January 28, 2013, a second Public Interview and Public Hearing was held to determine if conditions set forth had been met to the satisfaction of the Maine Charter School Commission. Members of the Review Team Shelley Reed and Jana Lapoint are satisfied with the responses given by Fiddlehead and recommend full approval of the Fiddlehead School of Arts and Sciences.

    William Shuttleworth, the third member of the team, would recommend denial of the application and has written a minority report.

     

    Applicant: Fiddlehead School of Arts and Sciences

    Recommendation: Approval

    February 5, 2013

     

    A Education Plan

    A.1.Mission, Vision, Identification of targeted student population and the community the school hopes to serve A.2. Academic Program A.3.Special Student Populations A.4. Assessment A.5. School Climate and Discipline

    Strengths

    Fiddlehead brings strong academics, innovation, strong parent organization, capable staff, and demonstrated in their application the skills and capacities to create a successful charter
    school. They demonstrate a clear mission and vision, basing their program on the Reggio Emilia philosophy with place based, multiple intelligences, art integration and inquiry based learning. From information presented in the January 28 Interview and Revised Application they have now a complete framework for assessment of student proficiency and growth through Work Sampling System (Pearson), use of NWEA and state grade level appropriate assessments of Maine Learning Results and Common Core. Student Academic Growth Targets have been set at 80% of students meeting or exceeding literacy, math and science performance indicators, 10 % of students will achieve 75% of performance indicators, 10% will achieve 50% of performance indicators.  Formal assessment starting at age 8 will be assessed through NECAP/ Smarter Balance  in reading and math with an increased proficiency each year by 3%. For struggling students the NWEA will be administered pre and post and mid-term with an increase of proficiency each year by 3%.The original proposal outlined positive behaviors desired and they have revised their application in the areas of suspension and expulsion to state they will follow RSU 15 policies and adjust for new policies following LD 1503. It is reasonable that the multi-age classrooms, hands-on, real world learning and school philosophy of embracing the whole child will be a supportive environment for students with learning challenges. 
    Fiddlehead School of Arts and Sciences has set aside funds for special education students and allocated staff  however it is acknowledged for all Maine schools that one high needs student can pose financial challenges.

    The Education plan supports the vision and mission through consistent philosophy and structure of the day.

     

     

    Questions, Concerns

    Concerns addressed in January 28, 2013 Interview

     

     

     

     

    B Organizational Plan

    B.1. School Calendar and Daily Schedule B.2.Student Recruitment and Enrollment B.3. Staffing and Human Resources B.4.Pre0Opening Plan B.5. Management and Operations B.6. Community Involvement

    Strengths

    The organizational plan shows a well-reasoned catchment area with strong interest to participate. The school calendar and daily schedule are clear and support the vision and mission of the charter school. Designated staff has a history of working with young children and demonstrated necessary skills and expertise. Opportunities and funds are to be available for the continued growth of staff. The student recruitment plan is robust and includes multiple efforts to reach potential students in the wide catchment area. The parent organization ,the Center has a long history of parent involvement reflecting various strategies that help parents connect in critical ways to their child’s education. This is to be the model for the charter school .Parents at the public hearing spoke to the importance of the assistance and support they received  from staff which enabled them to better parent and support their child educationally.

    Letters and testimonies of community partners and supporters were provided in the revised application and at the Public Hearing (1/28/13).

     

     

     

     

    Questions, Concerns

     

    RSU 15/MSAD 15 administrators attended the Public Interview and Hearing to express financial and duplication concerns regarding the charter school. They previously have utilized the Fiddlehead Center Afterschool program as a resource for students.

     

     

     

     

     

    C Governance

    C.1. Governing Body C.2.Governing Board Composition

    Strengths

    The Initial application did not show an independent governing board, the revised application demonstrates a separation of the Center’s Board and the Charter Schools Board with designated roles and responsibilities and appropriate bylaws.

     

     

     

     

    Questions, Concerns

    Addressing a concern by MCSC members:

    Statement in Attorney MacDonald’s letter  regarding Center Board  approval needed for change in number of board members, a dissolution, a merger or consolidation with other entity, a sale or lease of assets does not seem to be represented in the revised Bylaws.

    There is a section of the statement by Attorney Arnold McDonald that needs to be addressed to ensure full governing board authority. This piece was not stated in the original application but was drafted from the MEANS contract language. In the Fiddlehead School of Arts and Sciences Bylaws the Fiddlehead Center is the only member of the corporation. As such it was given in Article 2.2d on page 1 the approval to change the number of ‘’appointed directors” as long as it remains under the 49% minority membership. These are different than the “elected directors” designated by the charter school board. Also in  Article 12.2 entitled Fundamental Change the sale, lease, or disposition of assets(not including the mortgage, pledge or grants) shall require a 2/3 vote of the Board and member consent of the member as given in Article 2.

    The corporation can only be dissolved by a 2/3 vote of the Board of Directors Article 8.1 and Disposition of assets in 8.2 as required by Maine law will return to state or if not required specifically will be returned to member.

    On IRS form 1023 Jacinda Cotton-Castro must be listed as ex-officio on the Board.

     

     

     

     

     

    D Business and Financial Services

    D. 1. Budget D.2.Financial Management D.3. Facilities D.4.Transportation D.5.Insurance D.6.Food Service D.7. Closure Protocol

    Strengths

    The financial structure seems well developed with a CPA on the Board for expertise. Transportation has been thought through especially with young children’s safety in mind A van is already designated for those needing assistance  as well as pick-up and drop-off spots designated. The facilities are well designed for young children and provide access for a growing student population. Students will bring their own lunch with catered food provided for students in need. After 2 years food service will be provided. Communication between Fiddlehead and the Department of Education show the Jack Rabbit software to be able to be used to forward data with additional software data design by Fiddlehead. Closure protocol shows student transition and timetable elements. Special education costs projected at 10% with an increase built in the budget every year.

    The charter school will have the benefit of an 11 year history of the Center running programs, balancing budgets, fundraising, making available furniture and supplies. The Center has written and gained grants, and has been successful in attracting an increase in student population.

     

     

    Questions, Concerns

     

    none

     

     

     

    E Education Service Providers- Does not apply

     

    Summary statement: The Fiddlehead School of Arts and Sciences fulfills the evaluation criteria set forth in the RFP issued by the Maine Charter School Commission. The value of the program is excellent and serves a need of establishing an innovative, replicable model for early childhood education. Therefore the Review Team recommends approval on a 2-1 vote of the review team, Jana Lapoint and Shelley Reed in Favor, William Shuttleworth recommending denial.

    Submitted by Shelley Reed, Review Team Chair

     

    Statement on my vote regarding Fiddlehead Application entered as part of the minutes by:

    William Shuttleworth    February 3, 2003

     

    As one of the three members of the review team for the Fiddlehead application for charter school status, I am writing to explain why I have decided to vote against this application.  Fiddlehead has presented a plan to provide services to about 42 children in grades K-2 in the first year of operation.  It is a school that focuses on arts, science and inquiry-based learning.  The school has deployed the highly regarded Reggio Emilia Philosophy that promotes student centered learning through an active engagement with the world around them.

     

    Let me say from the outset that the passion and love of children demonstrated by the Director, Jacinda Cotton-Castro, the staff and board of directors represents the type of meaningful child centered connections necessary to make real changes in the lives of young people.  My reasons for voting against this application are:

     

    1.  I am not confident that the budget is strong enough to support the IEP of a very involved high needs child or children.  The budget is woefully inadequate to meet the unknown enrollment of children who bring very expensive challenges.  In discussing this concern, Jacinda expressed similar concerns, but stated optimistically that they would deal with that issue as it comes.   I don’t believe it is wise to address future problems of such magnitude with expressions of hope not grounded in a business plan.

     

    2.  The educational learning plans do not have well articulated measures  of educational growth. During the most recent interview Jacinda noted that she saw a model at a school she visited in Florida that might be replicable. However, the assessment of student learning is so pivotal to the consideration of any charter school approval, I would expect that this would be addressed in great detail in this application.

     

    3.  Transportation:  I just don’t believe it is viable to expect parents to be able to meet the transportation rigor of a three point pick up system.  This places a great deal of pressure on a family, especially families with infants at home and I believe one bus allocated to pick up all of these children is a plan that will collapse in a very short time.  

     

    4. Cost:  I know that this may be an area that my fellow commissioners believe is not within the business of the Commission. I believe differently.  This application intends to enroll 14 children who are four year old and 14 kindergarten children.  At a EPS rate of about $8,000 per child, this is money that is not currently part of the school districts’ EPS allocation.  In other words, for school age children, the money is already part of the subsidy that comes to each SAU. I believe there is a flaw in the charter school legislation that heavily burdens the local SAU’s to expend money for children not yet enrolled in their schools, and therefore not part of their EPS allocation. 

     

    5.  Need.  I believe that this charter school, certainly a great idea, is not meeting a hole in the educational delivery system centered in Gray, Maine.  Gray has been the center of education reform over the last five years, has received millions of dollars in grants and professional development to align their curriculum with the Common Core and assessments that are all standards based.  The district has invested a lot of money is professional development that is clearly visible in the organization for classroom instruction in each classroom. This work has produced publishable results. Their test scores on the NECAP have gone up over 20% in the last three years in Math and Reading in most grade levels and the two primary schools are ranked very high in the state of Maine.   It is unfortunate that Fiddlehead is geographically located right across the street from the Russell School, a school that now has to limit visiting educators because of their high levels of performance. If Fiddlehead were located in an area of high poverty and low school performance, it would make a difference in my decision.  The incredible success of the K-2, Russell school is a testament to the incredible rigor and focus of all the professionals in the school and is a model for educational excellence that has no parallel in this state.

     

    I took the time to visit both schools. I want to be clear when I say that Fiddlehead is a lovely place for children and all the people I have met associated with the school are people we need in education.  Many of the technical issues (special education, curriculum aligned with Common Core standards, assessment of learning) are critical pieces of any school and though I see a commitment to getting this work done, it is largely based on hope and faith that it will be accomplished.  On the other hand, the work one witnesses in Russell school is a hub of educational achievement, joy of learning and authentic assessments. I spoke to several children about their learning. One boy was able to articulate in detail how his class had “unpacked the standards for second grade math,” and went on to show how each standard was being assessed.  It was a level of understanding that most teachers in the state have not yet arrived at, let alone an 8 year old boy in second grade.   It is hard to believe that any child entering the SAD 15 school system will receive nothing less than a world class education.  Though the Fiddlehead application has a larger catchment area, most of the projected student enrollment comes from SAD 15.

     

    Much of the mission of Fiddlehead has been to provide preschool education. I would make the recommendation that the Maine Charter School  Commission vote to deny this application and refer their board to work closely with RSU 15 in being a provider of pre-school education as one of several community based choices.   

     

    Finally, I would point out that this is first charter application that provides the commission with the opportunity to visit both the charter applicant school and the public school(s).  I think we should avail ourselves of an on-sight visit to both the charter and the public schools to render an objective opinion of the efficacy of the application.   During our training last fall, we were cautioned that it is very easy to give support for an application based on our heart space and the personal relationships we develop with the applicant.  In this case, the folks at Fiddlehead are easy to like and it is understandable that we would want to lend them our seal of approval. But, our heads should prevail and the talking points that I have referenced in this memo I hope will give all of you pause as you consider your decision.  Thank you. I know how difficult this work is and respect the divergent opinions of my fellow commission members. 

     

    Words of support for Fiddlehead School of Arts and Sciences from: Heidi Sampson, Shelley Reed, Dick Barnes and John Bird.

     

     Jana Lapoint:  Please show in the minutes that Jim Banks is present. 

     

    Bob Kautz:   Remember the types of motions that you can make:  Three options - move to approve; move to approve with conditions and conditions sited in motion; motion to deny and reasons for denial need to be in the motion. 

     

    Dick Barnes:  Before we make a motion, discuss what Bob has just said.  Motion is relatively clean.

     

    Shelley Reed:  Move that we approve the Fiddlehead School of Arts and Sciences and that we move them onto the contract phase.

     

    John Bird:  Second.      No further discussion.

    Jana Lapoint:  Call for vote in alphabetical order:

    Jim Banks:  Yes.  Dick Barnes:  Yes. John Bird:  Yes.  Jana Lapoint:  Yes.  Shelley Reed:  Yes. 

    Heidi Sampson:  Yes.  William Shuttleworth:  No. 

    Vote is 6 to 1 and Fiddlehead is approved.  Congratulations.

     

     

  2.  Harpswell Coastal Academy

 

Review Team Chair Heidi Sampson presented the Teams report and recommendation: 

Our concerns have been flushed out and I will give snapshots of this report as I go through  (yellow highlighted areas were read).

 

Public Charter School Review Team Chair’s Summary for Recommendation

Applicant               Harpswell Coastal Academy

Recommendation:  The Review Team would like to recommend approval

Review Team: Heidi Sampson, Chair, Shelley Reed, John Bird

 

A  Education Plan

A.1.Mission, Vision, Identification of targeted student population and the community the school hopes to serve A.2. Academic Program   A.3.Special Student Populations   A.4. Assessment   A.5. School Climate and Discipline

Strengths

The vision for this school has been birthed through the efforts of local citizens of Harpswell who became increasingly concerned with the growing number of disengaged students in their midst.  Harpswell, a vibrant, enthusiastic community along mid-coast Maine, lends itself to a host of natural resources.  The Ocean, wetlands, woodlands and farmlands will become a central aspect of this school’s array of resources.  Harpswell Coastal Academy is therefore a noble effort to effect a positive change.  Their plan to incorporate a vast array of practical life principles and weaving them into their education plan is innovative.  Real life work, service, focusing on wellness along with solid, engaging academics makes for a winning combination that will develop well rounded, well-adjusted students who are prepared for life.  The small student teacher ratio allows for teachers to greatly impact each student. With this educational plan, the whole person is considered.  Their project and proficiency based, uniquely personalized and tailored comprehensive program is an exciting opportunity for students of the Harspwell region. 

 

   Questions, Concerns

Math program:

The Math program to be used will be a genuine standards based program.  Jump Rope will be utilized for teaching and learning as well as tracking progress of individual students over time.    The contention is that all students will learn Math well utilizing large real life concepts to apply actual math concepts (i.e. Stars)  For adaptive math “Alex” is an online Textbook that will steer students toward areas where improvement and development is needed.    It will allow HCA to track the learning and adjust and readjust the plan.   As a whole, if students are weak in a specific area of math, they will all be brought together for hands on, experiential application to help grasp the concepts.      

 

Long Days:

Gap preventing vs. gap filling – is the philosophy to encourage disengaged students while out of school.  The longer hours and flexible hours will be applied to both teachers and students.  The plan is to engage students as needed between 10-6pm.  Saturday classes will be community based including a wide range of interests to be facilitated – helping to encourage mentorships.  Saturday classes will be available for those who are not already involved in other activities.

 

Engaging Students:

Because of the small student/staff ratio, staff will get to know students well and therefore will be able to facilitate interests and passions of the students for further investigation and learning.  Let it be clear that although the ratios will be small, student engagement is not an automatic, and not a fool-proof element for success.  The engagement of students will require great effort, specific planning and the proper mind-set for success to be realized. 

IEP’s etc:

The use of IEP’s will be similar to other schools, however, the contention is that an engaged student often doesn’t manifest certain behavior issues because of the change in their environment.  For those who need significant, regular intervention will receive it and work with the sending schools.  They need to develop a strong collaborative relationship with other schools.  Until approval HCA will not be able to leverage collaborative efforts.

Practices for G&T/SpEd – good for all students.  Goal to hire teachers who can work with lead SpEd teacher to compliment = small school can do better.

 

The addition of Bart Beattie, Executive Director of Providence Services of Maine, to act as Special Education Advisor to the HCA board will provide assurance that SpEd issues will be appropriately addressed.

 

 

B Organizational Plan

B.1. School Calendar and Daily Schedule  B.2.Student Recruitment and Enrollment  B.3. Staffing and Human Resources  B.4.Pre Opening Plan  B.5. Management and Operations  B.6. Community Involvement

Strengths

The mission of this school alone will attract individuals who truly have a heart’s desire to not only teach, but to invest in young people with the mind to impart life sustaining skills and knowledge.  With this approach, students will graduate with the necessary tools in place.  This will allow them to have a solid launching pad, therefore not limiting their future but rather enabling them to pursue avenues in a host of directions.

 

Questions, Concerns

 

Extra Curricular:

Should students be involved in after school activities, their day is structured to incorporate this.  Students would come earlier in the day with middle of the day focusing on all the students together from 10-2; some arrive at 8am, some stay until 6pm

                                 

Core Advisory Group – Parent Advisory – continually involved

Parents and community involved in activities as well as fundraising

 

Community support – hearing was very impressive with 20 members of a large audience getting up to speak in support of the school.  In addition Brad Smith, SAD 75’s superintendent presented many valuable questions and concerns to provoke thought and consideration should this school be approved.

 

There is no concern; the time line and responsible entities.  This effectively has organized the overall time frame the school must meet.

 

Leadership team has potential, staff in mind, knowing their skills etc.

 

The mission of this school alone will attract those individuals who truly have a heart to not only teach, but invest in young people, to build in them life sustaining skills and knowledge.  With this approach, students will graduate with the necessary skills established as a launched pad to allow them to turn in a host of directions, not limiting their future.

 

C Governance

C.1. Governing Body C.2.Governing Board Composition

Strengths

The founding group for this school effectively recognizes the need to support disenfranchised students of Harpswell and its surrounding communities.  They have engaged strong community leaders with diverse and varied skills.

 

Questions, Concerns

It was unclear Erin Pelletier’s role – this has been clarified as she is the Treasurer for the board.  Just to be clear, she can be the treasurer of the board or the business manager.  If she is the business manager, she would need to be the assistant treasurer for the board.

 

Specific Roles of personnel:

This section appears to be solid, with well qualified individuals.  The implementation of the John Carver governance model and template is very well laid out.  This model provides an excellent template for board practices.

 

Economic/Finances – Erin Pelletier (non profit mng)

Contracts – Victoria Larson – (pre-opening plan)

Oversite School Leadership – Joe Grady, Sally KcKenzie

General Function/ Practice – Joe Grady, Jeff Slokam, Sharon Whitney (local)

Special Ed – Bart Beattie (Executive Director of Providence Services of Maine)

Legal Expertise – in house

 

The HCA board members are good people.  However, the board members don’t seem to have significant financial strength – there is a plan to add some more board members.   There is little evidence that the people in the funding leadership actually are people who have significant financial assets supporting them.  Fundraiser generated $50,000 for seed money.  Where to go from here?  There doesn’t seem to be a number of individuals who actually have capital to invest.

 

Fundraising:  There is a plan for robust fundraising.  Apparently the Harpswell region has been able to generously donate significant amounts of capital.  The plan is to raise $100,000 through a Founders campaign.  They have generated $13,400 to start with and it’s in the bank account.  Ronnie seems to be a very capable individual to spearhead the development aspect for this school.

 

D Business and Financial Services

D. 1. Budget  D.2.Financial Management  D.3. Facilities  D.4.Transportation  D.5.Insurance  D.6.Food Service D.7. Closure Protocol

Strengths

Harpswell Coastal Academy intends to employ ‘teachable moments’ to the fullest extent.  For example, they have the unique idea of generating their own food source.  This expands far beyond a traditional school model.  It will maximize learning, while establishing life sustaining skills.  This simple concept will challenge students and staff to the fullest as character, work ethic, sweat-equity and sheer intestinal fortitude will be effectively developed.  Students will be enthralled throughout the process as they learn where their food comes from, what is involved with cultivating and nurturing it, and how to effectively harvest and store it.  They will learn entire process; literally soup to nuts.  Additionally, to maximize efficiency they intend to be a school where more is less and lean is strong.

 

Questions, Concerns

Budget: 

It is lean but HCA contends they can do a bare bones program with just EPS allocation

Adult talent to meet needs as volunteers will be utilized

Parent contributors – special projects to coordinate and organize working together to meet the needs at hand.

 

Facilities:

24 hours prior to the public hearing, HCA located the Grange Hall as the facility of choice.  They were unable to secure the W. Harpswell School – however, the Grange Hall is closer to other catchment areas and closer to the farm they intend to work with. 

The lease agreement appears to be acceptable

The floor plan to be implemented in the Grange looks acceptable as well.

 

Transportation:

Collaboration for transportation using buses and pre-existing bus routes from sending schools is Plan A

Plan B would be to utilize a professional car-pooling system – every child needs commitments to getting them to school

In Year 1 - HCA is considering owning their own van, by year two, to own their own bus

They have several licensed school bus drivers

With the flexible day design – not required, all students will be on site from 10-2, however bus transportation will be a factor.  The plan is to not limit students to extracurricular activities because of lack of transportation….they will make the plan work for each student’s needs and interests.

Additionally, parents and students who desire to participate in this school will 1) desire to be there and 2) understand up front what the transportation issues are factoring that into their decision.   We have just received a list of options that HCA can pursue with regard to transportation.  Prior to a few days ago the transportation issue hadn’t raised serious concerns.  Questions were raised by commission members and HCA was given a last minute request with only a few days to compile information.  It is clear there are several options they may pursue as they go forward.

 

Food Service:

Generating  large portion of their own food (in corp of Slow Money Group) – will require much planning and forethought.  This is not unattainable, but preplanning will be critical

Students will be trained in proper hygiene and food service care as part of their curriculum

Maintaining the facility will be the responsibility of volunteers and students who will develop a keen understanding of stewardship of their own school.  Training in the proper care of waste management and cleanliness will also be incorporated into the curriculum.

 

Closure:

Student records on systems that can import into inf. campus (DOE systems)

Repository of student records statements of record disposal

 

Heidi Sampson:   It is the recommendation of this review team of John, Shelley and me that we would like to unanimously recommend this school for approval.

 

Shelley Reed, John Bird, William Shuttleworth,  Jana Lapoint, Dick Barnes  -   speak in support. 

 

William Shuttleworth:  ‘Discussion on Grange Hall budget; potential move for the next year.

 

Dick Barnes:  ‘Discussion on April 30 enrollment date not being acceptable; should be April 1st.’

 

John D’Anieri:  That was a mistake.  The April 1st is in fact, for whatever reason, I somehow translated that it was April 30th.  In fact, I feel that April 1st is very realistic.  And when I drew that plan out, based on some best practices, a phase one and phase two and afterwards, of other charter schools.  But in fact, meeting our enrollment target by April 1st and having our lottery March 29th or 30th, I think is realistic and better for us than stretching out longer.  The longer period was not because we needed that much time to get our kids; it was because for some reason April 30th stuck in my head.  It is a mistake.

 

Heidi Sampson:  Motion to approve Harpswell Coastal Academy and advance to contract stage with an April 1st enrollment deadline.

 

John Bird:  Second.   No further discussion.

Jana Lapoint:  I will call for the vote.

Jim Banks:  Yes.  Dick Barnes:  Yes.  John Bird:  Yes.  Jana Lapoint:  Yes.  Shelley Reed:  Yes. 

Heidi Sampson:  Yes.  William Shuttleworth:  Yes.

Vote is seven to nothing.   Congratulations.

 

  1. Baxter Academy Lottery – Tentatively March 8, 2013, if needed.
Shelley Reed, Heidi Sampson, Dick Barnes, Bob Kautz will be on deck to attend.

 

  1. Consideration of increase in staff time.

John Bird:  Motion to increase from 20 hours per week to 30 hours per week for the Executive Director and AdministrativeAssistant positions.  Heidi Sampson:  Seconded.

 

John Bird: These two people are doing a great job for us.   I would like to say that in my church, we call it pastoral care and Bob is the pastor.

Jim Banks:  Speak to individual legislators about having the full-time positions funded appropriately.

Jana Lapoint:  My concern is the make-up of the appropriations committee and where they stand and that it would come to a political vote again and we lose. They don’t care about charter schools then they have no interest in funding it.  I don’t disagree with you one single bit. I tried before.

 

Jana Lapoint:  No further discussion.  All those in favor.

Motion carried 100 percent.  Congratulations.

 

OTHER:

  • None

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Turn in Expense Account Vouchers at the end of the meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

  • Roger Brainerd – MACS would like to have copies of the extra binders of Baxter, Fiddlehead and Harpswell.
  • Bob having a conference call with NACSA on February 11th for technical assistance with virtual school RFP’s.  They have a fund and might be willing to lend us the technical support.
  • Roger Brainerd – List of Bills so far --- collated with virtual, funding, approval process.  And on the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Report - we will get a published booklet and we will be sure you get one to circulate among yourselves.
  • Judith Jones has suggested a grant application to the Davis Foundation for the purpose of professional development for MACS and the Commission.

ADJOURNMENT:

MOVED by Jim Banks, seconded by John Bird, and unanimously voted by those present to adjourn the February 5, 2013 Maine Charter School Commission meeting at 2:25 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted by Deanne Lavallee.

Approved by Bob Kautz.