New Heights Charter School Board of Trustees

Minutes

April Board Meeting

Date and Time

Tuesday May 9, 2023 at 5:00 PM

Location

1105 W Chestnut St

Brockton, MA 02301

New Heights Board of Trustees

May 9th, 2023

Starting Time: 5:00pm

Location: 1105 W Chestnut Street 

Brockton, MA 02301

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ZOOM Meeting:

Description:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8981912806?pwd=WHJ2dE1sTHNYVlVmNUsvTkxEaW1JZz09


 

Trustees Present

D. Sauvignon (remote), G. Bengen (remote), G. Phillips, N. Christ (remote), S. Bernard (remote), S. Jackson (remote), V. Marturano

Trustees Absent

J. Charnel, M. Sullivan

Trustees who arrived after the meeting opened

G. Bengen, S. Bernard

Ex Officio Members Present

O. Walker

Non Voting Members Present

O. Walker

Guests Present

J. Geier, J. Vega (remote), K. Kendrick, M. Fernandes, M. Tracey (remote), M. Walek (remote), R. Bevis (remote), S. Graham (remote), S. Stephney (remote), T. Chin (remote), W. Libby (remote)

I. Opening Items

A.

Call the Meeting to Order

G. Phillips called a meeting of the board of trustees of New Heights Charter School Board of Trustees to order on Tuesday May 9, 2023 at 5:09 PM.

B.

Approved Board Members List

C.

Roll Call

D.

Reading and Approval of Minutes

N. Christ made a motion to approve the minutes from March Board Meeting on 03-28-23.
V. Marturano seconded the motion.
The board VOTED unanimously to approve the motion.

II. Executive Director's Report

A.

Enrollment/Lottery Report

  • 721 students total currently enrolled
    • Judge - have we increased or decreased from last year? 
      • Lourdes - we have decreased a little from last year but don't have those numbers. 
      • Omari - These numbers don't impact our enrollment with the state, we certified at 735.
    • Nick - would be interesting to see numbers compared to last month to see if there's any trends
    • Steve - would be good to see if there's any trend where withdrawals are happening
      • Lourdes - for this year it's mainly the 7th graders
      • Steve - how many and is there are a reason? 
      • Lourdes - There were 12, some moved out of state and some transferred to another school. Many who have transferred out have come to NHCSB asking to reenroll their students
G. Bengen arrived at 5:36 PM.

B.

NHCSB Civics Showcase

  • Dr. Vidmar presented regarding the upcoming civics project showcase at NHCSB
    • May 19, 2023 9:30-12:30pm

C.

Upcoming Senior Events

  • Tim provided the board with an overview of senior events happening May 30-June 7

III. Old Business

A.

Capital Needs Assessment

  • Tim provided an overview of the capital needs assessment that was addressed in the previous meeting. 
  • Judge - do you think the building as it is today will be sufficient in 5 years to meet our needs? 
    • Tim - we are already bursting at the seams. We will want to start looking for additional space as the building will not withstand our growth.
  • Nick - We're at max capacity, who else is coming? 
    • Tim - not a question of enrollment, more of what can be offered like Athletics. 
  • Vinnie - Are any of these included in next year's budget? 
    • Nick - Not a line item that will be addressed, there is a line item for building maintenance & grounds. 
    • Omari - no. next two years are very tight so we are hoping that urgent needs will stay away until FY26. Are there any things we need to keep an eye on?
      • Tim - the biggest is the electrical, original to building from 1955. We are nearing a replacement, will be $150-$200k to replace. 

IV. New Business

A.

Board Insurance

  • BJ McDonald from BayCoast Insurance spoke to the board regarding board protection under the insurance
    • BJ will send over a summary of the policy held by NHCSB
S. Bernard arrived at 5:20 PM.

B.

Board Communication with Staff

  • Lines of communication
    • Traditional system is the board communicates to Superintendent, Asst. Superintendent, and CFO. NHCSB has never finalized a system. 
    • Asking that the board consider that communication goes through Executive Director, Asst. Executive Director, or Jess Geier to ensure correct information is shared across the board. 
      • Judge - is this an issue/problem that needs to be discussed? 
        • Omari - there isn't one currently but there has been one in years passed. We would always facilitate the conversation but believe conversation should begin between the three named above.
      • Judge - has there been a complaint?
        • Omari - no, there has been in year's passed. Trying to avoid that.
  • Board agenda topics
    • Board agenda must be posted 2 days before the meeting. It can only be amended within 24 hours of the meeting legally. 
      • Steve - do you consult with chair when creating agenda? 
        • Omari - Used to meet with chair in the beginning but did get a bit more lax over the years. Did meet with Judge Phillips before this meeting and planning to continue that practice.

V. Academic Excellence Committee

A.

Report/Q & A

  • Judge requested that this is postponed until the May 30th meeting due to length of Finance report. 
    • Steve agreed.

VI. Finance Committee

A.

YTD Finances

  • No material changes, finances through March are inline

B.

FY24 Draft Budget Proposal

  • Nick presented the budget for FY24, discussing the lack of funding to keep services at the current level. 
    • Looking at $500k deficit, requesting that this is borrowed from reserve cash in the bank to keep almost level services
    • To balance the budget now it will require cutting staff which would reduce the ability to provide services to students
    • Anticipate that there will be a similar issue next year but it should level out by FY26
    • There will need to be close oversight of spending to ensure that the numbers don't go beyond the expected deficit
    • Finance Committee does support the budget as presented
  • Judge - Who are members of the committee and who attended today? 
    • Nick - Shelly attended the majority of the meeting today and myself, along with members of NHCSB executive team. The other member is Graham Bengen who was unable to attend
  • Steve - you mentioned a reserve. Are there restrictions on how reserves can be spent? 
    • Nick - there are not. They are in no interest bearing accounts
  • Steve - You said Omari and his team, who is that? 
    • Nick - Suzanne Graham, Maria Fernandes, Will Libby, Jess Geier, and Kaitlin Kendrick for the minutes
  • Finance Committee proposes to accept the budget as presented. 
    • Omari - getting conflicting information on if the board can pass a budget with a deficit. Hoping the board gives me permission to move forward with this budget to send out employment letters 
G. Bengen made a motion to allow the Executive Director authority to proceed with hiring decisions with the declaration that the budget will run a deficit no larger than $500,000.
S. Bernard seconded the motion.
The board VOTED unanimously to approve the motion.
Roll Call
G. Phillips
Aye
S. Bernard
Aye
N. Christ
Aye
M. Sullivan
Absent
V. Marturano
Aye
G. Bengen
Aye
S. Jackson
Aye
J. Charnel
Absent
D. Sauvignon
Aye

VII. Governance Committee

A.

Updating Board Roles

  • Vinnie recommends the approvals of nominations: 
    • Judge Phillips as Vice Chair
    • Steve Bernard as Secretary
V. Marturano made a motion to approve the nominations of Judge Phillips as Vice Chair and Steve Bernard as Secretary.
N. Christ seconded the motion.
The board VOTED unanimously to approve the motion.

VIII. Good of the Order

A.

Announcements

  • Everyone is invited to Jeff Charnel's installation as Rotary Club of Brockton President - June 22, 2023 5-7:30pm

IX. Closing Items

A.

Adjourn Meeting

V. Marturano made a motion to adjourn.
N. Christ seconded the motion.
The board VOTED unanimously to approve the motion.
Roll Call
G. Bengen
Aye
N. Christ
Aye
M. Sullivan
Absent
S. Jackson
Aye
D. Sauvignon
Aye
V. Marturano
Aye
J. Charnel
Absent
G. Phillips
Aye
S. Bernard
Aye
There being no further business to be transacted, and upon motion duly made, seconded and approved, the meeting was adjourned at 6:57 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
G. Phillips
Documents used during the meeting
  • Civics Project Showcase Flyer.pdf
  • Senior Week '23 .pdf
  • 20094_New_Heights_Charter_School_of_Brockton_PRELIM (1).pdf
  • Wright Education Coverage Highlights.pdf
  • 2021 Wright Specialty ELL Flyer.pdf
  • Budget narrative FY24.pdf
  • Draft FY24 Budget -- One page.pdf
  • Draft FY24 Budget -- larger print 2 pages.pdf
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