August 2, 2017
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: BCS/BCSF Board Room – St. Pat’s
Present: Ken Frazier, Chair
Karen Fagg, Vice Chair
Fr. Steve Zabrocki, Parish Representative
Mary Susan Fishbaugh
Shaun Harrington, BCS President
Superintendent Timothy Uhl
Jan Haider, Foundation President
Kaitlin Overton, Finance Officer
Danielle Watson, Education Director
Kathy Harris, Marketing Director
Shel Hanser, Principal BCCHS
Opening Prayer: Fr. Steve
Approval of Minutes: Vote: Brian made a motion to approve the July 12, 2017 minutes. Shaun seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Foundation Update: Capital Campaign: The Capital Campaign Committee held the donor reception on July 27th from 4-6 pm. The contractor and Sub-contractors worked fast and furiously to make the space presentable for the nearly 200 attendees. Thank you to those of you who attended. The Bishop opened with a prayer, which was followed by a brief program. There were a lot of positive comments about the building.
The Bishop attended so we had the opportunity to collect necessary signatures for both the trust indenture and the revised promissory note. The trust indenture was a formality required by the bankruptcy lawyers. Bernie Harrington notarized the documents, which allowed us to get the check for the most recent draw from Rich Mood. To date, we have drawn 5.4 million dollars and have $2,906,205 in accounts receivable.
The Campaign Leadership Team met in July and have accepted new assignments. Representatives from the Fortin Foundation will be in town next week and Nick Cladis is putting our school tour on their agenda. We have offered to do a reception or dinner for them. Nick will see what they have time for.
Fratt Building: David Charles put together a draft petition, which he and Jessica are finalizing. The task force is in the process of setting up a meeting date to discuss talking points. Jock sent an email that “we are now able file”. Because there are so many defendants, David asked the clerk how they wish to proceed. Jock said we should have a better sense of when this will happen after David has talked to the clerk.
Golf Tournaments: Both golf tournaments are scheduled for August. The Ram Scramble will be on August 18th at Lake Hills and the Full Moon Open will be held the next day August 19th at Yegen golf course. Teams and sponsors are needed for both tournaments.
Business Committee Report: The Business Committee reviewed the preliminary financial statements for June and the annual budget. They are not being presented today because there are some things that need to be done to wrap up yearend. The timing of the iPad purchases, the high schools’ boiler and other line items resulted in a deficit in the budget of about $200,000.
The committee also discussed software and the related costs. A few months ago there was a proposal to have the students use electronic cards instead of manual tickets for the lunch program. The committee was unsure if this proposal was taken any further.
The committee would also like to compile a list of projects that need to be done at the high school to be ADA compliant and to keep it up to par with the new St. Francis building.
Marketing Enrollment Report: International Student Center: Shaun, Kathy and Kaitlin met with the Diocesan Finance Council on Friday concerning the International Student Center. They were given plans for the building and responded very positively. The purpose was to inform the Diocese of what was being worked on and to know that the BCS would possibly be requesting renovation funding in the future.
BCS is hoping to proceed without 50% down, which the Diocese normally requires. The business plan demonstrates the financial stability of the venture and how financial obligations would be met. The group felt the Diocesan bankruptcy may be an issue; however, they were informed that the bankruptcy did not have to be finalized only the mediation would have to be completed.
Kathy met with the architects and the city today for a preliminary meeting. The renovation is estimated at 1.6 million dollars. It is BCS’s obligation to look to the Diocese for loans before researching other sources of financing.
Currently everything concerning the International Student Center is informational and the numbers are estimates not bids. The Diocesan loan for the St. Francis School is with the Foundation not BCS. Since the Foundation is totally separate from the schools, this would be the only loan BCS would have with the diocese.
The center is an opportunity to make use of the Sacred Heart Building and for the BCS schools to have an additional source of income. The plan is to have the architects speak to the School Board after they have more definite information on cost and design.
Billings Gazette: Jan and Shaun met with the Gazette and there will be an insert in the paper on August 20th. The insert will be 8 or more pages celebrating St. Francis School. Writing materials for the insert is in progress.
Enrollment: There has not been a lot of change in the enrollment numbers. The scholarship recipients are sometimes late to register because they are waiting to see their tuition amount after the scholarships have been deducted.
St. Francis registration has increased 7% over last year. The high school has 314 registered plus 6 international students. Last year there were 329 students in the high school however, with 89 graduating seniors and a small incoming freshman class we were concerned about high school enrollment. There have been many calls from potential new families requesting tours and enrollment numbers look better than expected.
The St. Francis and BCCHS have met enrollment goals. It is too early to run the retention numbers but the perception is that they are higher than in previous years. Every family leaving the system this year has been spoken to by a BCS representative.
The other Catholic schools in the state showed a very small increase collectively last year. Normally they have been showing a small decline in student population.
Presidents Report: New Teachers: The high school Spanish teacher will be Lindsey Bell-Martinson and the high school religion teacher will be Doug Trotti.
Donor Reception: The donor reception went great and was a lot of fun.
Public Open House: The Public Open House was outstanding. We probably had between 2500 -3000 people in attendance and the feedback was extremely positive. People were surprised at how beautiful the school is and how much thought went into the design of the building.
SFP Sale Has Closed: Head Start now occupies the SFP building. We have cleaned out our belongings except for furniture that Head Start and SD#2 would like to buy.
Remodeling and smoke detection at SFI: The nightmare continues with the remodeling of SFI to get licensed as a daycare. We need to install fire rated sheet rock on both sides of the hallway and across the west wall of the first classroom being used for daycare as a fire separation. Along with the smoke detectors, we must install magnetic door hardware so that if the fire alarm goes off the doors will close automatically. We were informed of these requirements by the city on Tuesday, August 1st.
Shaun met with the deputy fire marshal, a representative from the city code enforcement department, engineers from A&E, and our alarm contractor to get this sorted out. Hopefully, everyone understands and has agreed to what must be done. The engineers are working on new plans and the contractor has submitted the plan amendment for approval. We are optimistic that work will begin soon. Since we start school in less than 3 weeks, the fire marshal and city have agreed to consider a provisional approval for occupancy, if the fire alarm system is completed and work is underway with the fire separation walls. This will also require approval of DPHHS and the Health Department. Shaun is working on it. The flooring project will hopefully start tomorrow.
K-8 Teacher Leadership Team/Faculty Meeting – 07/20 & 07/31: Administration and the Teacher Leadership Team met with all teaching staff that chose to attend for a couple of hours before the Public Open House. Practices, processes and procedures were discussed and teachers gave their input to draft plans. Plans for the opening of school were also discussed.
Moving: August 1st was a big day. Shaun had the portable storage units delivered to the school starting at 7:00 AM, there were about 20 students and staff that unloaded them and brought materials to the appropriate areas of the new building. Jan borrowed a delivery truck from St. Vincent DePaul and flatbed carts from Sam’s Club which were a huge help. They made the move much easier.
St. Thomas Parking Lot: St. Thomas parking lot started construction yesterday. They are tearing out the parking lot and completely re-doing it. They are working hard to have it completed and available to drive on for Ribbon Cutting at the new building.
Ribbon Cutting: Plans are underway for ribbon cutting. The Mayor, Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, the Bishop, the Sisters of Charity and St. Vincent’s will all be involved. Shaun will have more information for you at our next meeting on August 16th at the new school.
St. Vincent’s called and wants to give all the kids water bottles that day as an opening present.
Update on changes at Central: Shel gave an update on the progress with the lockers, power-washing the building, and painting to freshen the school up.
Gazette Meeting: Mike Gulledge called Shaun and talked about doing an insert in the Gazette about the new school. Shaun suggested he and Jan meet with the Gazette staff and we are working on the insert. Thanks to Kathy for really putting it all together.
Dr. Tom Burnford, President of National Catholic Educational Association will visit St. Francis School on August 24th. It is a special event to have him visit our school. The Bishop, Superintendent Uhl, and Dr. Burnford will meet for breakfast that day and later visit St. Francis and BCCHS.
CASC & DFC Meeting – International Student Center: Kaitlin and Shaun met with the Catholic Assets Security Committee of the diocese to inform them of our study on turning Sacred Heart into an International Student Center. This was an informational meeting and no requests were made. The same afternoon, Kathy, Kaitlin and Shaun met with the Diocesan Finance Committee to give them the same information. Both groups seemed very interested and supportive.
New Board Member Recruitment: As is consistent with our by-laws we need to look at adding a new board member to replace Carlos Arce. If you have suggestions about people who would be good board members please submit their names and we can make plans to contact them to see if they would be interested. There is a process to select new School Board members. There is an application form and the Superintendent and Bishop will be asked for approval. Superintendent Uhl will get some information to Shaun about how Board member selection is conducted in other systems.
Next meeting is at St. Francis School!
Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 5:37 pm.
Respectfully Submitted: Shaun Harrington, Billings Catholic Schools President