Maine Charter School Commission Meeting - July 2, 2012

Minutes

The State Charter School Commission held a meeting on July 2, 2012, at the Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine. The following members were present: James Banks, Sr.; Richard (Dick) Barnes; Lynda Doyle; Jana Lapoint; Shelley Reed; and William Shuttleworth.

 

Excused:  Donald Mordecai

Also present were: Jennifer Pooler, Department of Education

CALLED TO ORDER:

Chair, James A. Banks, Sr. called the meeting to order at 11:00 AM.

ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA:

  • None

 

OFFICER'S REPORTS:

Chair, James Banks, Sr.

  • Met with val Seaberg regarding the funding for the job vacancies.  It should be available in about a month.

Vice-chair, William Shuttleworth

  • None

 

NEW BUSINESS:

  1. Consideration of the application for a public charter school
  • Baxter Academy for Technology and Science

 

Meeting turned over to Jana Lapoint, review team chair.   

(Below is the review team summary for recommendation)

 

Public Charter School Review Team Chair’s Summary for Recommendation

Applicant _Baxter Academies of Maine

Recommendation  More questions – interview scheduled for 7/17/2012  (original recommendation to approve with changes to the budget).

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 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

Mission, Vision, Identification of targeted population well described and supported. Richness of catchment area provides a wealth of STEM opportunities. With only one program in Northern Maine, Baxter, is also geographically well situated. A.1vi. Academic program A2xii commendable as all courses are directly tied to Common Core & Maine Learning Results.  Assessment in line with recently passed LD1422.  Emphasis placed on standard and proficiency based education

with capstone projects as part of graduation requirements.

A.5 well spelled out the role of Vision Keepers.

Questions, Concerns

Baxter will still need to show for year 11 & 12 how they will complete requirements for PE for graduation along with Art & Design.

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

Both B.l, B.2 is straight forward.   It is significant to note that the Management structure positions with responsibility are well thought out. Resumes of management indicate all are highly skilled.  The academic staff comes well prepared and includes a teacher with strong ELL qualifications.   Pre-Opening Plan revised taking into consideration reducing opening enrollment to 100 students and by opening one floor at a time more manageable.  B6i showed enormous strength within the community to partner with local businesses, university, professional and research organizations. High number of letters of support from various segments of the community.  All staff reflect the vision and mission of the school.

Questions, Concerns

Once resumes of staff received, staffing concerns were eliminated.  Budget was still a problem in administrative area until recent e-mail of June 30, 2012 revealed that Executive Director would forgo salary if Federal Grant of $175,000 were not granted and Director would only take salary if the Foundation raised additional monies.

 

C . Governance

C.1. Governing Body

C.2.overning Board Composition

Strengths

The cultural concepts imbedded within “Vision Keepers” tied the role of governance within the school C1ii.  The broad expertise of the board is reflected in their resumes.  Founding members of the advisory board presented a wide range of expertise both in and out of Maine.

Questions, Concerns

Originally, there was concern over the possible lack of fundraising strength on the board but when the board held their June meeting, the current President, Mr. Jaques stepped down and Andrea Berry became Chair of the Board with extensive fund raising expertise.  Along with a Director of Fundraising and Development this would appear to be sufficient.

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

Willingness to review budget downward to 100 student enrollment in first year.  June 22, 2012. The budget included the 3% for commission and 1% to be held by district, removal of transportation for first year.  Removal of salary for Director, Mr. Jaques until Foundation could raise the money and reduction of some Administrative salary if they did not receive Federal Grant.  Mr. Jaques e-mail of June 30 indicated that the startup grant has less than 20 states eligible for approximately 14 – 20 awards.  The STEM program is a high priority for President Obama and the awards will be made official by the end of September as stated by Mr. Jaques.  There is also another $100,000 on the secured line of credit that can be used in first year if needed.    The facilities location is excellent.  No concern about insurance, food service (recommended students should be allowed more than 30 minutes for lunch) and closure. 

Questions, Concerns

D.3 Facilities outstanding location but a concern if the building could be readied for a September opening.  The owner of the building assured the commission it would be ready at meeting on June 22, 2012.  A Certificate of Occupancy would be required to approve final contract.  Based on the outcome of the July 22nd meeting, only the first floor will be used and renovated for the initial 100 students.  It is further noted that the removal of the transportation funding within the budget is allowed by statute, when possible this figure should be restored.  Further noted the removal of Art & Enrichment along with PE funds have been eliminated in first year but restored in year two and three. If the Federal Grant is received the commission would recommend these funds be immediately restored.  Still remaining is a concern for the overall budget although Baxter has shown strong willingness to work within the established guidelines.

E. Education Service Providers

Strengths

Baxter will not be seeking an ESP.

 

Questions, Concerns

 

Virtual School Applicants

Strengths

 

 

Questions, Concerns

 

 

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Moved by Jana Lapoint, seconded by Shelley Reed to continue the discussions with Baxter Academy of Technology and Science – interview scheduled for July 17 at 9:00am.    Jana Lapoint will compile a list of questions from Commission members for Mr. Jaques to respond to.    Unanimously voted by those present.  Motion carried.

 

Recess from 12:30-12:40

 

The tape recorder did not work past this point, following is  a recollection from notes and memory.

 

Chair, James A. Banks, Sr. called the meeting back to order

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  • Cornville Regional Charter School

Education Plan

 

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OTHER:

  • None

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

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

PUBLIC COMMENT:

  • Several people spoke in favor of Cornville Regional Charter School.

ADJOURNMENT:

MOVED by Shelly Reed, seconded by Richard Barnes, and unanimously voted by those present to adjourn the July 2, 2012 State Charter School Commission meeting at 1:15 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted by Jennifer Pooler.