New Heights Charter School Board of Trustees
May Board Meeting
Date and Time
Tuesday May 30, 2023 at 5:00 PM
1105 W Chestnut St
Brockton, MA 02301
New Heights Board of Trustees
May 30th, 2023
Starting Time: 5:00pm
Location: 1105 W Chestnut Street
Brockton, MA 02301
Join Zoom Meeting
D. Sauvignon (remote), G. Bengen (remote), G. Phillips, J. Charnel (remote), M. Sullivan (remote), N. Christ (remote), S. Bernard, S. Jackson, V. Marturano
Trustees who left before the meeting adjourned
Ex Officio Members Present
Non Voting Members Present
J. Vega (remote), K. Kendrick, M. Fernandes (remote), M. Tracey (remote), R. Bevis (remote), S. Graham (remote), W. Libby (remote)
I. Opening Items
Call the Meeting to Order
Approved Board Members List
Reading and Approval of Minutes
II. Executive Director's Report
State Site Visit Report
- For the first time in history, have met all requirements.
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
Class of 2023 Recap
III. New Business
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
FY24 School Calendars
- Maria presented FY24 calendars
IV. Academic Excellence Committee
- 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
V. Finance Committee
- Everything is inline at this time, nothing to report
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
VI. Governance Committee
- 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
VII. Good of the Order
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