New Heights Charter School Board of Trustees

Minutes

May Board Meeting

Date and Time

Tuesday May 30, 2023 at 5:00 PM

Location

1105 W Chestnut St

Brockton, MA 02301

OR 

Zoom

New Heights Board of Trustees

May 30th, 2023

Starting Time: 5:00pm

Location: 1105 W Chestnut Street 

Brockton, MA 02301

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ZOOM Meeting:

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


 

Trustees Present

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

Trustees Absent

None

Trustees who left before the meeting adjourned

N. Christ

Ex Officio Members Present

O. Walker

Non Voting Members Present

O. Walker

Guests Present

J. Vega (remote), K. Kendrick, M. Fernandes (remote), M. Tracey (remote), R. Bevis (remote), S. Graham (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 30, 2023 at 5:07 PM.

B.

Approved Board Members List

C.

Roll Call

D.

Reading and Approval of Minutes

V. Marturano made a motion to approve the minutes from April Board Meeting on 05-09-23.
S. Bernard seconded the motion.
The board VOTED unanimously to approve the motion.

II. Executive Director's Report

A.

Enrollment/Lottery Report

B.

State Site Visit Report

  • For the first time in history, have met all requirements. 
N. Christ left at 5:20 PM.

C.

End of Year Events

  • Maria presented the end of year events calendar
    • June 7 6pm New Heights Graduation
    • June 9 5-8pm Multicultural Night
  • Is there a mentorship program for new students? 
    • Haven't been able to work that out with the college schedule but do a 2-3 orientation for incoming 6th graders

D.

Class of 2023 Recap

G. Bengen made a motion to accept Executive Director's report as presented.
D. Sauvignon seconded the motion.
The board VOTED unanimously to approve the motion.

III. New Business

A.

FY24 Org Chart

  • Will presented the organizational chart for the upcoming year
  • Board requested to defer vote until next month
  • Does the chart break down position or salary of the person?
    • No, can create a narrative of job descriptions for the next meeting with salary ranges 
S. Bernard made a motion to defer discussion and vote on organizational chart until next meeting.
J. Charnel seconded the motion.
The board VOTED unanimously to approve the motion.

B.

FY24 School Calendars

  • Maria presented FY24 calendars 
G. Bengen made a motion to accept FY24 calendars.
J. Charnel seconded the motion.
The board VOTED unanimously to approve the motion.

IV. Academic Excellence Committee

A.

Report

  • Committee met on Thursday and set a monthly calendar for upcoming meetings
  • Previous presentations speak to academic excellence of New Heights and should be applauded
  • Encouraged board members to be more involved in the understanding of academics and New Heights
  • Instructional team will be doing a deep dive into the curriculum for the 2024-2025 school year and developing professional development
  • No additional pathways will be added at MCC at this time
G. Phillips made a motion to accept Academic Excellence Committee report as presented.
G. Bengen seconded the motion.
The board VOTED unanimously to approve the motion.

V. Finance Committee

A.

YTD Finances

  • Everything is inline at this time, nothing to report

B.

FY24 Budget Approval

  • Proposing that revised budget be accepted as is, acknowledging that we will be reporting monthly and will anticipate some overages. 
    • Did not change any revenue figures
    • Spending reduced by 3% - bulk from professional development
    • Be overly cautious the first half of the year on what expenses are necessary
  • Steve - concerned about cuts in PD due to effect it could have on academic excellence
    • Amount of PD isn't being reduced but the way it will happen will be adjusted - more in house and less travel
  • Important to understand that the board can't pass a budget in the red, these are the cuts that are needed to get it into the black. 
  • Jeff - no further reductions in staff in this budget? 
    • Not since the previous meeting, no
V. Marturano made a motion to adopt the FY24 budget as presented by the Finance Committee.
S. Bernard seconded the motion.
The board VOTED unanimously to approve the motion.

VI. Governance Committee

A.

Report

  • Vinnie suggested presenting some of report in Executive session due to discussion of personnel matters
  • Meeting to discuss Omari's planned move into principal of grades 6-10. Discussion followed regarding Omari's expanded principal role and changes in that
G. Bengen made a motion to accept portion of report in open session.
S. Jackson seconded the motion.
The board VOTED unanimously to approve the motion.

VII. Good of the Order

A.

Communications out to parents/staff regarding safety

  • Toy guns in school
  • Suspension policies for fighting in school
  • Omari - want to get serious about school culture and ensuring that all staff and students feel safe coming to school. Current approach is not working so there needs to be a harder line taken as approved in the student handbook. This could be a finding in the future but we have to do this to get to where we want to be in our culture
  • Judge Phillips volunteered to take the lead for any complaints that come to the board
  • Is peer mediation an option? 
    • Some schools see success with this but attempts we've tried have led to retaliation against the mediators. We do offer staff mediation
  • Concerned that a 90 day suspension is the most that can happen to someone who brings a weapon to school. Does there need to be some sort of expulsion? 
    • State has made it very difficult to expel a student and has very clear guidelines on what schools are able to do and when. 
  • Do we allow parents to attend public portion of board meeting to discuss what they're feeling? A lot can be diffused if parents have the chance to talk 
    • Judge - would like to open up a forum for parents with a couple of board members to meet with families outside of meeting
    • We do post the information about the meeting 48 hours in advance due to open meeting law. Do hold a family forum biweekly 
  • Shelly questioned providing mediation as a chance to reduce suspension for lesser physical interactions
    • Currently doing a restorative model for lesser infractions but need to take the harder line for more physical interactions
  • Would a resolution recognizing the situation help? 
    • A letter was sent today clearly indicating a resolution to take a harder line stating board backing
  • Board has confidence that Omari will address each situation individually to his best ability
V. Marturano made a motion to enter executive session to discuss a personnel matter.
The board VOTED unanimously to approve the motion.
Roll Call
M. Sullivan
Aye
S. Bernard
Aye
S. Jackson
Aye
G. Bengen
Aye
D. Sauvignon
Aye
N. Christ
Absent
G. Phillips
Aye
V. Marturano
Aye
J. Charnel
Aye

VIII. Closing Items

A.

Adjourn Meeting

There being no further business to be transacted, and upon motion duly made, seconded and approved, the meeting was adjourned at 6:48 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
M. Sullivan
Documents used during the meeting
  • NHCSB Y7 Site Visit Report 2023 FINAL.pdf
  • FY24 Proposed Org Charts.pdf
  • EC2023-2024 School Calendar_Draft .pdf
  • 2023-2024 School Calendar_Draft .pdf