Home » Meeting Minutes

June 2010 Board Meeting Minutes

30 Jul 2010

Agassiz Board Meeting 6-7-10

Tracey Kaplan
Ben Mayer
Janet Young
Josh Safdie
Kathryn Rosenberg
Paul Robinson
Michael Baran
Erick Wirch
Gillien Todd
Kristin Blum

1.       Director’s report

Tracey reported that she submitted the permanent loan application to Winter Hill Bank. We are going through the approval process for a short extension and the permanent loan at the same time.  The bank has the audited statements (08-09), which showed a profit of $91k (half of which is an asset rather than cash).  The bank is comfortable with how the building looks, how its going, and how our finances look. The loan app should be easy.  MassDevelopment has approved their piece and Winter Hill is working with them.
Hiring Committee – Tracey  made an offer to an applicant who said no.  She had taken another position. The position has been reposted and Tracey has some good applications. If anyone knows someone good, they should refer them to Tracey. FYI we have actually hired an OG teacher, April Kierstad, who seems great. She has lots of experience from another local coop & got very well recommended.
Tracey went to licensing renewal meeting – Tracey needs to start the licensing process in late July.  In preparation for that Tracey needs to go through every child’s file to make sure all of the necessary paper work is in there. Tracey may need administrative help with that. Whenever anyone is available they should come in and do that.
The health inspector was here today . She said the current building is falling apart. But raised no serious issues.  Tracey asked her how deep we need to dig in new building to remove soil for it to be safe.  She’s going to find out and get that info to Tracey.
Starting next fall, Agassiz is going to adopt the Somerville school calendar.  Sept 7 will be a professional training day, and Sept 8 is first day.  We won’t follow the early release schedule – there will be no early releases.  Board voted to approve the shift.
Schedule items:  Graduation will be held 6/16 at 6:00pm;  Ice cream social and tile painting party  – July 14th at 6:00pm
Cleaners – Tracey has decided to let the current cleaner go. She is ok, but  not brilliant. One big issue has been that she doesn’t speak any English at all. Tracey needs someone she can communicate with better regarding cleaning products and expectations at the new building.
2.       Staff report

Paul reported that things are going well. Photos were this week. Fun was had by all.  Paul’s last day is June 23rd.
3.       Group Reports

YG – Janet indicated things are going well.  The only special activity planned is a quick field trip to the firehouse.  Three children from the YG will not be returning next year..
MG – Nothing to report. Everything is going well.  The MG may try to have a meeting before the end of the  year.
OG- Graduation is Wednesday, June 16th at 6:00pm . Everyone is welcome.
4.       New building

Josh gave a report on the status of the new building. The recent work weekend was good, and very well attended.  Ben, Joel and Josh created a schedule that they gave to the contractor. They are on track in next 3 weeks to get all of current subs to finish up – electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and get rough inspections.  During the third week June, the contractor will be on vacation, so school would like to hire Joel to work and also have parents come in and do some very picky carpentry work done before Insulation and drywall.
Upcoming work:
Alumni and pro weekend – June 27th
Insulation – week of June 28th, followed by Drywall
Painting – July 10and 11
Josh reported that they pulled trigger today on replacing the siding. He feels confident that there’s enough money to do the siding.  The “Pros” will strip all of the trim, except  the gingerbread details.  The new siding will be Hardiplank with Azek trim. It will be  prepainted. These are  composite materials and shouldn’t need to be painted frequently. The entrance door will be “fire engine red”.
Josh thinks we have enough funds to get in the building and then some.  After that, the school can then decide about the yard work and some other items.
He thinks the building is looking great.  For the alum workday there are 7-8 volunteers lined up, many of which are real “Pros”.   We will also have opportunities for rising families.
Ben indicated that there’s still a lot to do, and some important decision-making for the school.
Some important unknowns  pricing-wise are the fire alarm, the insulation (mixture of open and closed cell),  interior finishes and furnishings.  Finishes can go 50k either direction, depending on what materials are selected. One new Agassiz family is an architect who will help out with planning the kitchen.
Construction budget – as of 5/1 – have spent $130k of construction budget and had $250k to pay out. Several big chunks are committed but have not yet been invoiced.  Budgets for Plumbing-  30k fire protection – 45k;  heat – 22k, electrical – 30k.
5.       Capital Campaign

Gillien reported on the Capital Campaign. There are several capital campaign efforts are underway:
·         Run – $5k in pledges and donations, hoping for $8k
·         Tiles – Hoping for $3- 5k.  Tiles for businesses. – a letter is ready to bring to businesses in the area.  The campaign is looking for volunteers to take letters around to businesses
·         They are looking for 20 people to give $1,000 each, and are thinking it could be a  “word of mouth” campaign:  “4 people signed up, will you?.
·         Contemplating an event –perhaps a  celebration in honor of Richard.  The committee is trying to think of an item that can bring in $30k, and an event is one possibility.
·         Lesley – Tracey reminded the board that Lesley offered “in kind help.”   We have to give Lesley some suggestions. Tracey asked for help from their facilities folks for the landscape work but they use a contractor for that kind of work.  Tracey has requested we think of suggestions of things to ask Lesley for.

Total raised to date: $50,000.  The campaign needs to raise $80 more to pay down the bridge.
6.        New Business –

One question that has come up is how are we getting rid of bottled water of snack.  The plan is for the new building to have a building water filter so bottled water will not be needed.
Kristin asked about the capital needs assessment that she obtained a proposal for.   Tracey and Eric indicated this should be postponed until the fall.
Paul gave a great speech on his time at Agassiz and the opportunity it was for him. He wants Agassiz to continue working with Lesley’s Threshold program.
Kathryn gave an update on the new task force that was created on financial controls, board fiduciary responsibilities,  Board tenure and continuity.  The group is looking at whether the terms are  appropriate — should they be longer for continuity purposes.  The committee is made up of Kathryn, Kristin, Danielle Jankovich, and Jay Rudolph. The committee has met ounce, and outlined some clarifying questions.  They are looking at financial controls, and what are we doing now, and what we should be doing, so its not Tracey all of the time. Perhaps an administrative person, the treasurer, a teacher etc. could be enlisted to help with certain duties so that there is segregation of duties.  Another board Jay is on has goals documents for each position, so there’s clarity for everyone on what are they doing, and what are expected to do and achieve.  The committee is talking to other preschools, and looking at other non profits, and at regulations, to find out what non profit board reporting/could  and should look at. More info on their work will be presented at the next meeting.
Election s –
The board discussed elections of new board officers. Tracey indicated she would post a sign where potential board chairs and co-chairs could be nominated.