March 15, 2017
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: BCS/BCSF Board Room – St. Pat’s
Ken Frazier, Chair
Reverend Steve Zabrocki, Parish Representative
Mary Susan Fishbaugh
Kaitlin Overton, Finance Officer
Kathy Harris, Marketing Director
Shel Hanser, Principal BCCHS
Deb Hayes, Principal SFP
Opening Prayer: Fr. Steve
Approval of Minutes: There was not a quorum so no vote was taken. The March 1, 2017 minutes will be presented at the next meeting.
Foundation Update: None.
Business Committee Report: Financial Report: The financials were postponed until the Board has a quorum.
ACE Scholarship News: ACE will be adding 35 new recipients this year. The 35 scholarships will be in addition to the 111 BCS already has generating $80,000 in tuition revenue. K-8 students would get $2,000 and 9-12 would receive $3,000. The change in the new tuition model will allow BCS to receive more from ACE than before. Fourteen seniors with ACE scholarships will graduate this year making 14 more ACE scholarships available.
BCS may be able to award ACE scholarships to all students in tiers 13 and 14. The old tier model gave discounts to the students before the ACE scholarship was calculated. That would mean that ACE was not contributing as much per student as they will with the new tuition model. The percentage of BCS students that qualify for free or reduced lunch went from 13% to 17% which is used in the calculations for ACE awards.
The parish discounts have not been changed. Most of the people that have contributed to the “Cost of Mission” fund requested the parish discount be donated.
International Student Housing Center: The Business Committee had a contractor do a cost analysis on the Sacred Heart Building with plans to use it as a dorm for Exchange Students. The plan is to eventually put 17 dorm rooms on each floor. The Business Committee proposes borrowing the estimated $1.6 million for the project from the Diocese. EEG stipulated that BCS would not work with any other Asian student exchange company and then EEG would guarantee 15 students at the cost of $25,000 per student per year.
The Business Committee has been looking at it as a profit perspective and revenue enhancement. Kaitlin created a spreadsheet depicting the breakeven number and profit margins. The goal is to have 20 to 21 exchange students to keep the culture of BCS stable. All of the expenses and the loan have been calculated. The committee plans to set it up with its own enterprise fund.
Each student would pay $25,000 and of that $9,618 will go straight to BCS for tuition, then the rest of the money would go to operating costs, loan repayment, and other expenses. Any money left over at the end of the year would go into the BCS operating budget. The project will not be profitable until there are 18 exchange students paying tuition.
The Business Committee wants to conduct a feasibility study and have the architects go in and look at the building to make sure the renovations can be done within the budget that was projected. The plan is to use the tuition above the cost of mission from the 2017-2018 exchange students to fund the feasibility study. The exchange student tuition will be set at $15,000 for the 2017-2018 school year. The goal is to create a positive cash flow. EEG already works with Great Falls Central and Butte Central.
EEG was very confident guaranteeing 15 students considering BCCHS reputation and the location of the school, and dorm. EEG covers all of the insurance for the students. The students like to do the last few years of high school in the US because they feel it will give them a better chance at getting into an American college.
This project will not affect the “not for profit” status of BCS. Once the feasibility study is done there will be a presentation to the entire Board. This is just a brief outline of the information.
Many schools looked at international students as a means of financial survival. Schools that initiated this type of program without appropriate considerations had negative impacts. They jumped into international programs very quickly and brought many international students into their system without having necessary supports in place. The committee has researched what led to these failures and feels they have taken steps to mitigate concerns.
From a monetary perspective, there are always risks. EEG sent representatives here, they toured the school and Billings and they know what their clients want. Having housing on campus is a gold mine. They were shown the downtown area and when they went on First Avenue North where they could see the school they felt the location was a big draw. The downside is that if BCS takes out a $1.6 million loan and the program fails BCS will still have to pay back the loan. The Business Committee considers the renovation of the Sacred Heart building a win-win for BCS and the Diocese.
Catholicism is not the draw to BCS for these students. They do not practice Catholicism where they come from but a conversion might be possible. There could be a cultural impact to the BCS system. Great Falls ended up with a subculture of Asian students. There are a lot of programs that can be put in the high school to help with assimilation. The worst thing that can happen to an Asian student is to be sent home.
The additional funds could provide an opportunity to serve people from third world countries. This could open up a lot of opportunities to expand the things that are important to BCS. EEG will provide a teacher to teach Mandarin free of charge. Boarding school education could draw students from across America.
This project will be revisited.
Marketing/Enrollment Report: The registration numbers are about the same as reported at the previous meeting. There are 4 to 5 shadows or tours a week. The ACE changes are very helpful in retaining students because a lot of the students not returning were for financial reasons.
The “I Belong” visit to Central for the current 8th graders will be April 12th. Seniors will be paired with 8th grade students that have similar interests and will write them invitations to the high school.
The Kindergarten Roundup will be April 7th.
Catholic Culture Committee: Carlos distributed the latest draft from the Question and Answer sessions.
President’s Report: Tim Lowe has resigned and will be leaving BCS at the end of the school year. He will become the Associate Principal at Will James Middle School. BCS is sorry to see him go as he has been an asset in many areas. Shaun hopes to advertise soon and have someone in place by mid to late April.
School Board Bylaws Change: There was a request to table the School Board Bylaws change until Shaun is present.
Mayfair Special Project: The principals recommended new lockers for the high school as the Mayfair Special Project. There was a lack of quorum so Ken stated the Board would approve the lockers for Mayfair and Kaitlin was asked to contact Shaun to request his vote electronically. There were no objections to the decision.
Sodexo Meeting: The representatives from Sodexo were given a tour of the new school. Sodexo utilizes the Mealtime for tracking student lunches and student accounts that they would like us to use. The students would have an ID number or card that would be swiped at the time of purchase. The parents could pay online and the purchases would be tracked electronically. The program would notify the parents when the account was getting low. Currently the lunches are being tracked by hand.
The initial BCS investment for Sodexo’s program would be $10,500. There is a lunch tracking program in PowerSchool but Sodexo and other schools have found it to be inefficient. The high school does not have much of an issue with the paper tracking. The St. Francis School with 600 students would be much more difficult to control.
The lunch tracking program will be discussed at a later date. The Business Committee has been discussing it along with the BCS technology needs. All of the proceeds from the lunch program goes to Sodexo.
Meeting With Mary Queen Of Peace
Staff: Shaun, Deb, Karen Petermann, and Kim Studer met with the realtor, Fr. Jose, Matt Low, and Celest Kessler at St. Francis Primary. They conducted a tour of the building and discussed which items belonged to the church and what belonged to the school. Most of the decisions have been made.
Daycare Summer Program: Shaun spoke to the Executive Director of Head Start about the SFP transition. Head Start has purchased Holy Rosary (St. Francis Primary) and decisions have to be made about the BCS Daycare Summer Program. The aftercare program is also of great concern to the parents. Shaun is reviewing the options and the summer and aftercare programs will be on the agenda for the next Board meeting.
CEEDAR Grant Meeting: Dr. Mary Susan Fishbaugh, Dr. Jeramiah Gee, and Dr. Rachel Waller met with Shaun and Tim to discuss a pilot partnership with MSU-Billings and the new St. Francis School. It is a limited partnership focusing on a reading program. Deb and Jim will be going to the CEEDAR state meeting at the end of March. The program has the money to enable 6 people to attend the MBI Conference in Bozeman the week of June 19th.
The principals were interested in technology integration so there is a plan for a technology expo day that would include BCS faculty, MSU-Billings Faculty, and some BCS students right after school is out for the year.
There are plans to have 2 to 5 teachers from the 1st floor and 2 to 5 teachers from the 2nd floor of the St. Francis School meet in a book discussion group one morning a month. The purpose of this book study is to build trust between the teachers so they can talk about teaching and build team efforts. The plan is to have them meet just before or after school, bring treats and build interaction between the floors. The interactions could help prevent St Francis from becoming two schools within one building.
Great Science Fair: Thursday March 9th a Science Fair was held at SFU. Jim and the SFU staff included every SFU student in the fair. It was well done and the projects were outstanding.
BCS Foundation Board Meeting: At the last BCS Foundation Board meeting there was a discussion on long term planning and having a formal agreement between the Foundation and the Schools. Currently there is an agreement in place but it has not been reviewed since 2007. Shaun will keep the School Board informed and there will need to be some participation from the School Board members during the process.
New Business: Ken reminded the Board to submit their responses to the Superintendent’s survey by March 31st.
Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 5:21 pm.
Respectfully Submitted: Shaun Harrington, Billings Catholic Schools President