Mallard Creek STEM Academy/Southwest Charlotte STEM Academy
Board of Directors Meeting
May 29th at 7:00 pm
MCSA Middle School STEM room
Present: Jose Garcia, Christy Condon, Tyrone Harmon, Shelly Domenech, Vishu Cook, Kellen Nixon (call-in)
Other: Jennifer Lucas (Managing Director) and Deanna Smith (MCSA principal), Anntoinette Duncan, MCSA community members, 6 amazing students, and Ms. Shekeria Barnes, SCSA principal.
7:00 Call to Order
7:02 Approval of Minutes from last meeting
Ms. Condon made a motion to approve the April minutes. Ms. Domenech seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously with 6/6 board votes.
Gear-reat! MCSA Presentation
Six representatives of Girls from STEM presented their STEM Fair projects to the board. They were invited to present at Duke Energy Explorium. Verity Morgan (6th grade) presented to the board about her invention—the Pet Packer that solves the problem pet owners have when they want to take their pets on fun adventures with them. Board member, Mr. Harmon, and, new SCSA principal, Ms. Barnes couldn’t wait to be a part of the presentation. The second presenter was Morgan Gilliland (5th grade) who invented the coat of magnets, replacing those pesky buttons. She invented the coat because of the needs of friends who have difficulty unbuttoning jackets when they have a broken arm. Neha George presented a Home Security System because of her desire to deter home break-ins. She used a PIR sensor to detect motion and link it to a command terminal on her smartphone. Suhani Agarwal presented the next project and the effects of how radiation affects marigold seeds. The plants not exposed to any radiation had 100% germination rate. The more radiation the seeds were exposed to caused negative effects. She explored ionizing radiation and nonionizing radiation. Keira Hoey (7th grade) was testing how age affects reaction time. Her hypothesis was that the older the participant (she used ages 10- 58 years old) had a slower reaction time. Her results showed the opposite result. Ages 10- 19 had a reaction time that was about 1 second. Older participants reacted on average 2 milliseconds. Keira concluded that people can improve reaction time through activity and exercise. The final presenter was Brianna Larkins (6th grade) who explored how to get rid of stains. She used several different brands of popular stain removers. The best stain remover was actually her homemade stain remover using: Dawn dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda.
Introduction of Ms. Barnes
Ms. Lucas formally introduced Ms. Shekeria Barnes for Southwest STEM Academy to the board. She has been holding parent meetings.
7:15 Principal Report:
29 students short of our 920-student enrollment target. Postcards are being dropped in the 5-mile radius. There is an average of 10 applications per week. We have waitlists at most grade levels. Ms. Cook asked about attrition rate of students. We invited 75 students for 6th grade. 6 sections of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades.
Events: Family Information session tomorrow night. Tiny Titans (rising Kindergarteners) come in to visit. Ms. Kropf spearheaded our Family Code Night, inviting several new families to join us, and it was successful.
Feedback from Ms. Smith’s Communication Roundtable: There was an opportunity to share their thoughts, ideas, and feelings about communication at the school. There was a morning and evening session. They were not well-attended. Based on the discussion as a group that we would send out the weekly newsletters as main communication. Ms. Smith put out a parent survey to the community. That definitely supported the need for reminders for weekly events. There were 30 responses to the survey. Overall respondents feel that the ParentSquare platform as the unifying tool for communication. Many parents responded that they appreciate the effort faculty and staff put into improving overall communication.
Discussed security concern and consideration of using the school resource officer until 6 p.m. rather than 4 p.m. Considering outside contracted person.
Enrichment and Sports: Tony Smith, former NFL player, coming as guest speaker at the first annual sports banquet. Our sports teams have been working hard and performing incredibly well this year.
The data shows that the ELA scores increased from the middle of the year. The Math scores increased tremendously across grade level which is where our PD focused. We have 5 Math 1 students in 8th grade and all of them proficient. Next year we are moving to NC CheckIns for 4th through 8th grade. Next year we have a staff member who will be sharing data reports in a timelier manner. Summer reading camp for our younger students. Some ideas are being tossed around about creating summer book club. Next year we will be moving to online EOGs.
8:27 Public Comment
There were no public comments.
8:30 Updated Enrollment Report SCSA
We have 900 applications and 469 confirmed students.
Discussion of Performance Framework MCSA
Discussion RTO Docs
About 1,000 documents were submitted. We’ve updated BT and Licensure Renewal and need to call for board approval. Ms. Condon makes a motion to approve the Beginning Teacher and Licensure Renewal. Mr. Harmon seconded the motion. The documents were approved unanimously with 6/6 board votes. The SCSA Uniform Policy for 2019-2020 will be posted to the SCSA website.
Budget Update MCSA and Financing: We were able to course-correct. CMS still owes us a quarter of a million dollars. The school will end up in great shape financially. We are going to move to a different accounting firms to use between the two schools. In line with our projections. We will still end up with a surplus. Facility lease vs. bond: 1.6 million dollars and 2% escalator but when we bonded at a great rate and $1.2 million and years 2 through 30 the full payment is over $1.6 million. The bond will save us about $32 million over 30 years. SCSA is the first school in NC to open with a bond.
Monday, June 17th Board Dinner in lieu of board meeting in June.
Construction Update SCSA
There is a live construction link that updates every half an hour. Construction still on target for delivery in the early part of August. Ms. Barnes will use community space to reserve for back up for opening. 8:46
Signatures needed for the Beginning Teacher and Licensure documents. Mr. Garcia signed the Beginning Teacher and Licensure documents. 8:47
Mr. Harmon makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Cook seconded the motion. The meeting is adjourned. We will be breaking for June and resume meeting in July.