Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Mallard Creek STEM Academy/Southwest Charlotte STEM Academy

Board of Directors Meeting

February 27, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

at MCSA STEM Lab

7:07 Call to Order
Present: Christy Condon, Vishu Cook, Tyrone Harmon, Kellen Nixon Missing: Jose Garcia (flu) Shelly Domenech (NY)
Also present: Deanna Smith, Anntoinette Duncan, Jennifer Lucas, parents 

Approval of Minutes from last meeting 
Vishu made a motion to approve the minutes and Tyrone second the minutes motion passed unanimously

Principal Report: 

Academic Performance:
Discussed mid-year benchmarking assessments. Case 21 results in ELA, Math and Science have been received. ELA scores in growth are a little flat, staff did a deep dive into the data and noticed that in all grades 3-8 some questions and text related nonfiction text (science/tech) had high level vocabulary that students missed. Remediation will be in the area of vocabulary on topic specific academic vocabulary. March 9th is the next data meeting where each teacher will meet with the curriculum team to give them support in developing action plan for instruction. Math increases was significant and we have reached 6% growth overall in math so far in all grade levels. Mrs. Smith and the team are providing additional tutoring opportunities for 5th grade students in need during the day and after school camps. 

A school wide assessment for k2 students was added to make sure we are developing math skills in early elementary students using the NC Check Ins. A week long read-a-thon was implemented to build stamina in reading. The science scores are not cumulative; they are units of study and do not demonstrate growth. Can they use the end of year case 21 before testing to predict proficiency? Weaknesses in the science scores are interpreting vocabulary, reading diagrams and pulling information from charts etc. The cumulative case 21 will be given in April. Reading nonfiction text and high level vocabulary is where we need to focus to maintain higher proficiency in all areas. 

Staffing update
Staff turnover in the 5th grade section. One teacher had a position offering in California which was a great opportunity for him. The decision was needed to be made for turning over another staff position because it was in the best interest of students. Hardest decision a principal has to make is to transition mid-year but it was the right decision. Supporting the kids, addressing their concerns and checking in on them. Additional support from others and making sure kids are making gains. 

STEM/Curriculum
Professional Development
Natural consequences, for kids, and handling behavior through PBIS. Meetings with staff to address student behavior. Recess had been an issue and making sure teachers are not taking recess away. How can the teachers make better consequences for students who are having classroom issues? PD in the area of building culture in the classroom was presented by three teachers during two breakout sessions during the event. How to be assertive without yelling and classroom management were the other two topics. Administration utilized feedback from parents and staff to create a full day of PD appropriate for needs right now. Next one will be on data and using best practices to meet those needs. 

Enrichment and Sports: The gym floors are completed and getting a final coat of polish. Basketball teams are in training and participating in tournaments. Getting a baseball team started by a dad volunteer who will be coaching. Track and Field has just started. 

Field Trip and Service Learning: Science museum and Raleigh, theater are upcoming field trips. Charlotte Hornets book bus was here to support Read across America and got kids excited about reading. MCSA had their first assembly on the gym floor. 

Enrollment: We are still accepting enrollments application and we are taking in completed packages now. 

7:30 Public comment
Public comment included questions on 5th-grade staff transition and student preparedness for EOG in Spring from one parent in the meeting and one parent on a phone call.

7:45 Updated Budget report (MCSA/SCSA)
Monthly BVA for MCSA remains steady. We have received 3 PMR payments from CMS thus far and we are waiting for the 4th payment and recently approved the 5 PMR for submission. We have little State funds to pull down and a balance in 060 for EC and our Title 1 money still to pull. The rest of the year will be in local funding. 

Discussion of RTO docs for SCSA updated policies, handbooks
Action item: Approval updated policies/cleaned versions
Updates, Corrections and Changes were made the Board Operating Manual and Policies and a few changes were made in the Staff handbook so that all the policies are aligned. Some required changes were made to the by-laws as needed for compliance with NC statute. Additional language was added for Conflict of Interest. Some realignment and cleanup work on Enrollment and Admission were required for this year and the Calendar was adjusted to notate PD days and holidays. This calendar is more aligned with CMS schools than we have done in the past. SCSA will be adopting all the same policies and practices so the schools will be aligned in all items for consistency and clarity. Some policies were added to the Board Manual that hadn’t been included, but were being done in practice. The employment agreement removed the non- compete clause and the job requirements for the testing coordinator was updated to include the NCDPI language. The new manual will be posted on the SCSA website. The same changes will be made to the MCSA manuals and they will also be updated on the website. 

Christy made a motion to approve the cleaned, red- lined new policy manual and additional changes. Tyrone second the motion the approve cleaned policies. There were no other questions or discussion and the motion was approved unanimously. 

Enrollment update MCSA: Lottery was completed on 2/15 and completed enrollment packets are coming in. We had almost 500 applications for approx. 180 spots in the school so we currently have a good wait list. Applications continue to be received and are immediately placed on the waitlist after the initial applicant pool. 

Applications and Enrollment update SCSA: Initial application pool had approximately 375 applications and is growing daily. There were about 70 families at the eve parent session in February and another 40 on the daily tour last week. Families are emailing completed docs and dropping them off in hard copy at the school for now. Next parent session is March 21. 

Board Update: Roll-out communications subcommittee work and plan 

Vishu shared that we have a subcommittee for communication and many channels of how do we communicate, what tools do we use, and where are the gaps in the chain? How do we solve the problem and developing a scope of work for the external vendor to help us make the communication more professional and help make it better? 

New Business: We will change the format of the board agenda. Discussion of bringing students and teachers here during the meeting and celebrating something happening in the school. Then the guests can leave and we will do the principal report and public comment. 

Principal interviews for SCSA have begun. The personnel committee hosted 3 interviews today and will conduct three more next month and then plan to make two recommendations for final board discussion and vote in the March or April meeting. 

8:55 Adjourn Tyrone made a motion to adjourn, Vishu seconded the motion and the motion passed. 

Parent comments: 

One parent on call to discuss plan for EOG prep and student data (she had missed the beginning of the call) 

Second parent asked about getting updates from electives teachers too, but sending home parent info on content areas. 

Board of Directors Meeting February 27, 2019.