March 1, 2017
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: BCS/BCSF Board Room – St. Pat’s
Present: Ken Frazier, Chair
Karen Fagg, Vice Chair
Reverend Steve Zabrocki, Parish Representative
Shaun Harrington, BCS President
Jan Haider, Foundation President
Kathy Harris, Marketing Director
Shel Hanser, Principal BCCHS
Deb Hayes, Principal SFP
Opening Prayer: Carlos
Approval of Minutes: Vote: Brian made a motion to approve the minutes from February 15, 2017. Alex seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Foundation Update: Capital Campaign Progress: The capital campaign committee is finishing up the fundraising and they plan to wrap it up in May. Tours are being done with major and potential donors. Tours will only be set for Fridays after 2:00 pm because there is less construction going on at that time. Shelly Engels from Ingegrus in Seattle was in town last week and met with the principals and finalized the furniture selections.
Bob Weisner, from Rocky Mountain Doors, looked at the chapel, got dimensions for the Chapel alter and podium. He will build them to match the wood accents and pews. The stained glass windows are almost finished.
The attorneys met yesterday to finalize plans for cleaning up the title for the Fratt building to alow the sale to proceed. Jock received verbal approval from the Bishop to file the paperwork. Dani Emery has continued to search for heirs, and Keziah has been looking up addresses on the family for the last 3 weeks. She secured 436 addresses out of the 585 names. The names and addresses will be attached to the complaint when it is filed which will possibly be by the end of the month.
There are two active Letters of Inquiry:
Wiegand Foundation: The Wiegand Foundation called and may be interested in funding a project at the high school. They asked for 3 project proposals with estimated budgets and specifically wanted areas within the high school that excelled regardless of limited resources. Jan conversed with Shaun and Shel and submitted the music department, science labs, and redoing the gym floor. They will decide in May if any of these projects fit their funding criteria.
Louis Calder Foundation: The Louis Calder Foundation funds capital campaign projects of Catholic organizations. BCS applied a year ago and were told to contact them again when the project was more complete. Jan has contacted them and is waiting for a reply.
Mayfair: There are 16 tables sponsored for Mayfair which is close to the number at this time last year. Each year the Mayfair committee asks the School Board and the Foundation Board to contribute to an item that can be auctioned. This year they would like to build a package called “Whisky Wagon” and they are asking each of the board members to donate $100. The money will be used to purchase the wagon, some accessories, and various kinds of whiskey. The Board members will receive a letter in the next couple of weeks.
St. Francis Questions: There will be a giving wall on the St. Francis School to honor the major donors.
There is a nice cornerstone at the Fratt (SFU) building. A committee will be put together to discuss how the Fratt building will be disposed of and if it is demolished, what BCS would like to keep. Ken, Shaun, Ashley, Karen, and Bob will be on the committee. They will meet next month.
Business Committee Report: The committee discussed converting health insurance to the diocesan plan. There is real concern about the cost and much work to be done before a decision is made.
Business Committee is also looking at a list of projects that need to be done at the high school and are working on a plan to accomplish them.
The audit was reviewed and approved by the business committee. Copies of the audit will be sent to the Board for questions at the next meeting. Leo assured the Board that there were no significant concerns with the audit.
Vote: Brian made a motion to approve the 2015-2016 audit. Bob seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
The Business Committee will review the overall revenue situation. Kaitlin will present a detailed report to make sure the numbers a sound.
Marketing /Enrollment Report: There are currently 689 students registered. Of that number, 590 are returning students and there are 99 new students including 36 Preschool/Daycare students. Kaitlin ran several versions of projected student population and financial impacts.
Work is being done on a Facebook campaign explaining tuition costs and encouraging families to register and then look at their tuition assessment.
Efforts are underway to videotape the speech one of our students gave on behalf of ACE Scholarship. The video will be presented to the Board. The speech is a perfect example of how ACE has positively affected some of our students and families.
The advanced placement environmental science class has invited Bishop Warfel to speak to their class on the Church’s take on the environmental issues in the world. Bishop Warfel will come to Billings and have a private session with the science class about world issues. The press will be at the school before or after the class meeting with the Bishop.
Kindergarten Roundup will be on April 7th.
The tuition questions were quickly answered. Once the parents understood how it worked they were fine with the change. It was surprising that there was a lack of negative reaction to the tuition changes. A second letter went out to the parents to answer any questions we knew were out in our community. The teachers and principals were educated on how the new tuition model works so they could answer any questions they may receive.
Catholic Culture Committee
Report: Carlos is editing the next question and answer information to be sent to the staff. CCC’s intent over the past year is to make people feel safe asking questions about faith and Catholicism. The committee will be working with the principals in the same way they did with the teachers. The committee members from each school will replicate the PIR days with questions and answers in a group environment. The goal is to do a session at least once before the end of the school year.
Carlos is exploring the possibility of having group conversations with some students. The end goal is for the group question and answer sessions to continue at St. Francis next year.
President’s Report: Bylaws Change: Shaun emailed the School Board By-Laws to the Board for review of the changes. The Board was asked to send in suggestions and they will be put in and reviewed again before a vote is taken.
The Marketing Committee created committee plans that have not been voted on by the Board. They will be emailed to the Board by Kathy for review.
Tuition Letter – Questions? A copy of the tuition letter that was sent to parents was given to the Board for review.
Mayfair Special Project: There is a process for determining the Mayfair Special Project. The principals make suggestions and it is discussed during the principal meetings. The ideas are then brought to the School Board for a vote.
Wish List: There are several items needed for the new school that have not been listed such as floor scrubbers, snow removal equipment, cameras, gym floor cover, and several items for the high school.
Lock ‘Em Up: Another proposal was to do lockers for both schools. The committee felt it may be better to focus on something exclusively for the high school since the St. Francis fundraising has been a focus for a long time. This project would benefit both schools but again the lockers will already be in the new school.
You Floor Me: New gym floors at the high school are badly needed but would not go in until 2018 and the St. Francis gym floors will already be installed.
Elevator at Central: Some preliminary estimates were done for an elevator for the high school without an RFP, or competitive bidding, and there are some in-kind donations that would figure into the project. There is also a $100,000 donation at this point. It was the recommendation of the administration to wait until next fall for the elevator project and get solid numbers through an RFP process.
A history of Mayfair Special Projects was analyzed. In 2007 and again in 2008 Textbooks were the Mayfair Special Projects and there was a starting donation of $35,000 each year to go toward textbooks. Boiler, lockers, desks & chairs, and playground equipment with each building benefiting in 2009 and there was $25,000 seed money. In 2010 the Special Project was a new phone system, 2011 new lighting, 2012 were Promethean Interactive White Boards. From 2013 through 2016 the special project was iPads. There are many factors involved in the Mayfair Special Project and donor perception.
The hesitation with the purchase of textbooks when so much money has been spent on technology is that it appears to be going backwards. Paper textbooks become outdated and electronic textbooks are purchased and the schools receive a 6 year contract. At the end of the contract the textbooks disappear off of the computers automatically. It would not be a matter of the material being outdated but it is gone completely.
A concern is the teachers are putting together their own materials to teach the standards so the students are getting the standards but in different ways in different classrooms at the same grade level. There is no consistency not only in the same grade level but no consistency vertically throughout the system. This is not necessarily something for Mayfair Special Projects but it is something that needs to be corrected. The students are still testing very well.
English/Language Arts Curriculum: Shaun ordered sample kits and access online from McGraw-Hill for grades K-5th. Other publisher’s sample materials will be ordered for teachers to review. Shaun is looking for a benefactor to help finance the K-5 curriculum. Things would be more clearly aligned throughout the system and there would be better instruction with these materials.
The high school may be the focus of Mayfair this year. The suggestions were to look at a facelift for the high school that could include lockers, cameras, and other needs as money will allow. Security is also needed at St. Francis. Currently there are cameras on the doors and guests would have to be buzzed in but there are no cameras in the hall ways and other areas. The hallways are very long and the time to move on security in now during construction. Shaun will review options.
Solicitation for scholarship dollars should be done separately from the Mayfair Special Projects. If the Board has any questions or suggestions, they will send them to Shaun and the Mayfair Special Project discussion will continue.
Faculty Meetings: Shaun met with the faculty at each school. They had some concerns with assessments; standards based grading, parent and student reporting, and teacher professional development. The conversation with the principals on how to address the concerns has been started and they will be looking how to change, fix, or provide better professional development to the staff.
Staff Tour of the New Building: The staff tour of St. Francis was a huge hit. There are still a lot of questions. Work is almost complete on who is going to be teaching which subject, which classroom they will have. The teachers will be informed in the next few weeks of final placement decisions. Discussions have included how to leave our buildings in a respectful and dignified manner.
On Friday, representatives of Mary Queen of Peace and BCS will tour SFP to start discussing what will be moved to the new building and what belongs to MQP. Head Start will be taking over the property. Shaun will contact the Head Start representative to discuss their needs and what items they may like to buy from BCS. Shaun will be negotiating the possibility of the BCS summer program and summer daycare being able to stay at SFP until August 4th.
Collaborate Talk Last Week & Rotary Next Week: Last week Shaun spoke to the Collaborative group from the Chamber of Commerce and this week on Monday he will be speaking to Golden K Kiwanis and then at the Downtown Rotary club.
Catholic Radio Dinner: The Catholic Radio Dinner will be on the 9th and Shaun would like Board members to join him and fill a table.
March 15th Board Meeting: Shaun will be on accreditation team at Missoula Loyola March 15, 16, 17 and will not be present for the Board meeting scheduled for March 15th. The School Board meeting will follow the regular schedule.
New Business: No new business at this time.
Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 5:30 pm.
Respectfully Submitted: Shaun Harrington, Billings Catholic Schools President