Mallard Creek STEM Academy/Southwest Charlotte STEM Academy

Board of Directors Meeting

October 24th at 7:00 pm

SCSA 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), MCSA community members, Ms. Shekeira Barnes (SCSA principal).

7:07     Call to Order

7:08    Approval of Minutes from last meeting

Mr. Garcia asked that the September minutes be amended to reflect that he was a call-in presence last month; the current minutes list him as absent. Ms. Condon made a motion to approve the September minutes with the correction. Mr. Harmon seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously. Board tally: 6/6

7:09     Principal’s Report

Ms. Shekeira Barnes, SCSA

Enrollment: 438 enrolled.Coming to the end of the first quarter. It’s been a very active and productive quarter. The programs are in full swing and are being done with fidelity. The Letter Land curriculum is being used in the lower grades and are even going on a field trip to see their favorite characters.

Student Enrollment/Projections Report

Student Support: Now has an EC and ESL Coordinator to reflect the growth 27 with IEPs and 16 ESL. Our amazing school counselor is working with students and focusing this month on Anti-Bulling and the Kindness Project.

Staff: 11 teachers are in the 1st -3rd year Beginning Teacher category; 15 teachers obtain a NC teacher license

Facility: The facility is 100% finished, fixed, etc. We are still awaiting the turf fields and some trees. The gym issue with the floor brought up at the last meeting has been resolved. Temporary lines are down but due around Thanksgiving. Mr. Garcia inquired about scoreboards. This could be a fundraiser. The bleachers may be also a fundraiser as well and is not included in the original budget. MCSA’s are installed but retractable. Cost of the bleachers is around $48,000 without installation.

Compliance: 26 cases spent with 1.5 teachers. We have contracted with Therapy Smarts for screening of students.

General Operations: Parent communication is done two times a week—generally Wednesday and Friday. These things are also transitioned to Facebook and website. Cafeteria—less than 23 student applications for free and reduced lunches. The afterschool program has been uneventful and running well.

Professional Development: Partnering with MCSA for Lucy Calkins.

Athletics: we are moving toward a 2020 basketball and cheer. With the addition of turf fields we may have soccer offered as well. Other clubs such as dance and chess are thriving. SCSA is working on putting together an intramural basketball team for boys and girls.

Activities: All students and staff chromebooks are up and running. Awaiting the filters to be added to them for additional safety. The Book Fair is in full swing. Book Drive going on until November 16th. Just drop off new and gently used books. Unity Day wear orange to raise awareness of bullying. They are also having Pink Out day to donate to local cancer center. Kids are decorating pumpkins.

Budget: First day ADM 427. We were hoping for 554. Budget was retweaked. They are now at 434. November 1st is the opening of 2020-2021 lottery application.

Celebrations: SCSA had a successful Open House this past Sunday with well over 250 families in attendance! Check out our Facebook page for more pictures.

7:27     Principal Report:

Ms. Deanna Smith MCSA

Enrollment: Steady at 913 students; 920 students was our goal. Some kids have moved and normal attrition. We are completely full in all grades but 1st, 2nd, and 8th grade. We added many seats in 1st and 2nd grade.

               Student Enrollment/Projections Report

Revenue Planning (Budgeted Target) 920   K-8  Sections    This week
Kindergarten 6 109
1st 6 110
2nd 6 126
3rd 5 101
4th 4 102
5th 4 100
Elementary Total   648
6th   93
7th   97
8th   75
Middle Total   265
School Total   913

Events: Book Fair coming up.

Enrichment and Sports:

Soccer had a good season. Our standard clubs are in full swing. The new Lego Robotics teams is amazing. Ms. Smith will work with Ms. Barnes on how to get this program up and running as well. Girls and Boys basketball try-out are this week. Teams will be named early next week. Clubs Include some favorites: Chess, Bricks for Kids, Dance, Science Olympiad New Club: LEGO First competitive Robotics

Academic Performance:

NC Check In for NC Science has started. At the next meeting, we will have results to look at. iStation has not been an issue and has gone very smoothly. We are doing a lot of looking at the data to see what it’s really showing us as it’s a new test. The EOG will not all be online this year. 5th and 8th grade Science are online. This year we have an exemption letter; however, next year all EOG tests will be online. There is a Technology elective that also allows for more time on those platforms to practice.

Professional Development:

Discovery Ed Vision Setting meeting. Looked at DPI rubric to see where we are model school and where we are not yet there. Our goal would be to be recognized as a NC model school. We would also be working for recognition and accreditation for STEM program. These goals are all part of our overall goal. Advertisement to other charter schools to have a STEM Fair competition. We are shooting for April 2020. Much discussion around how we measure the soft skills of STEM like process rubrics.


Fully staffed; however, we are advertising for substitutes.

EC Compliance:

There is a significant increase in EC students. There was an 100% increase in IEPs this year, many requiring many hours of services. There are over 90 students. We are looking at ways to support this growing number of students with needs. We had some trouble transitioning from one EC system to another. WE have an EC Coordinator, 2 EC teachers, and contracted professionals. We may be coming back later in the year to ask for additional support for these students. Some challenges are occurring with ECATS and information transitioning from CECAS. The team is working on this.


Active shooter training 10/16/19. There will be a focus on “Say Something” which is a crisis hotline for students to report anything dangerous that they see in school. This is a program that all schools will be participating. Teachers will see the rollout in November and the presentation to Middle School students in December.

Communication and Community

4th Annual Trunk or Treat this Saturday, 10/20/19. November 2nd Fun Family Community Day—farmer’s market community-style event. The day is centered around health.


Beautiful bleachers are installed. Basketball tryouts are this week. The two coaches that we have: girls’ coach who played overseas as did our boys’ basketball coach.

Charter Renewal: Nothing new to report. March 3rd at 9:30 a.m. is the mandatory site visit.

7:47     Budget

There is still not an approved education budget. We still do not know how much money we will be allocated per pupil. This means that we are operating a bit in the dark; however, due to this, we are budgeting conservatively. Because there isn’t a budget, the state is using last year’s dollar amount to give out some money for operating costs. SCSA budget was set at 554 students; we had 600 fully completed enrollment packages so we were more surprised about this. Budgets presented to the board is mostly the same as it was last month. SCSA may end the year with a small surplus. MCSA may end with a fund surplus of over $300,000.

8:11     Board Introductions

Ms. Lucas introduced herself to the parent community in attendance and then the board

introduced themselves and told a little about their backgrounds. We try to do this at each meeting so people in attendance know who is representing the school.

8:30     New Business

403B Retirement Fund

This was set up for the teachers through AXA Advisors. They will be supportive to the teachers to better fiscally plan for their retirement. Both schools are enrolling teachers now.

Action Item: Signature from the Chairman is needed to verify that school policies have not changed so it can be updated. Mr. Harmon made a motion to approve this document where our enrollment, nepotism, board conflict of interest, employee grievance, parent grievance policies have remained the same. Ms. Condon seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously. Vote tally: 6/6

8:25     Public Comment

Yadira Millen and Rashena McKay, parents at MCSA, presented to the board. There is an attached letter with a request for the MCSA board to consider opening a high school. Liz Sturgill asked a question about posting an agenda with the reminder of the board meeting. We also want to be sure to have to follow up with the person who uploads content to be sure that minutes up online. The quarterly budgets will be posted.

8:31     Adjourn

Mr. Harmon makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Cook seconded the motion. The meeting was unanimously adjourned. Vote tally: 6/6. The meeting is adjourned.

Board of Directors Meeting, October 24th, 2019

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