October 4, 2017

  • 1October 4, 4:00 pm

    Time: 4:00 pm
    Place: BCS/BCSF Conference Room

    Karen Fagg, Chair
    Bucky Heringer, Vice Chair
    Fr. Steve Zabrocki, Parish Representative
    Leo O’Brien
    Mary Susan Fishbaugh
    Ashley Harada
    Brian McGovern
    Brittney Souza
    Bob Cerkovnik
    Alex McCready
    Stella Ziegler
    Nate Haney
    John Newbury, Foundation Representative
    Shaun Harrington, BCS President
    Jan Haider, Foundation President
    Kaitlin Overton, Finance Officer
    Danielle Watson, Education Director
    Kathy Harris, Marketing Director
    Shel Hanser, Principal BCCHS

    Opening Prayer: Mary Susan

    Approval of Minutes:Brian made a motion to approve the September 6, 2017 and September 20, 2017 School Board minutes.  Ashley seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

    Foundation Update:
    Mayfair: Lia and the Mayfair Chairs have reviewed the budget and are looking at venue options.  This year we are using a team approach and will have 6 chairs, instead of a 2 (two).   Clayton and Erin Augustine, Travis Heringer and Dan, Mike and Brittney Paquette.  The first major change is splitting the event into two separate weekends.  They are hoping to have the carnival at the new school, but are still in the planning stage for everything.

    Annual Fund:  The development committee met last week and will meet again next week to finalize the Annual Fund approach.  The plan is to conduct 2 mailings during this year and a phone-a-thon during Catholic Schools Week to try to get increase the income.  Now that the capital campaign is over, there are 2 dire needs grants that can be contacted.

    Budget and Audit: The Auditor was here a couple of weeks ago and completed his fieldwork for the Foundation’s audit.  We are not anticipating any problems and have asked for a first draft in November.

    Strategic Planning:  The Strategic planning meeting is tentatively set for October 17th.   As soon as the number of people is known, the preparation materials will be sent out.

    Capital Campaign: A donor has volunteered to pay for a new master plan for our Catholic Campus, which will be vital as we move forward with strategic planning, and planning for the future.   Tentatively the meeting will be October 17th, 8:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Mansfield Center.  Food will be provided.  Shaun sent out an email inquiry about dates.  Shaun will email the information out again asking for confirmation.  It is important for everyone to respond so the materials can be sent out in advance.

    Two donations totaling $100,000 of new money for the Capital Campaign came in this week.

    Grant Applications: The Foundation applied for 2 (two) grants to acquire and replace white boards and 1 (one) was applied for to repair and replace high school musical instruments.  Donors are requesting guarantees that what they donate will not be impacted by the Diocesan bankruptcy.

    Diocesan Loan: The last of the Diocesan loan for the St. Francis School has been drawn.  The money has not been distributed.

    SF Lockers: The lockers at St. Francis are too small.  The plan is to give the 5th and 6th graders a double locker, top and bottom.  The 7th and 8th graders will get big lockers.  The construction would take place when school is not in session.   There are 132 lockers needed

    A bid needs to be obtained on the lockers, have a conversation with the architect, and then decide what to do.  There is still $140,000 needed to pay for the work that was done at the preschool/daycare building so finances will be reviewed before a decision is made on the lockers.

    Business Committee Report:

    Task Forces: The Business Committee asked for a subcommittee to address concerns and emails about benefits offered to part time employees. Shel, Bucky, Ashley, Alex, Jan, and Stella have volunteered to be on that task force. When the ideas have been compiled and reviewed, the information will be taken to the Business Committee to determine feasibility. If the Business Committee decides to go ahead with the proposal, they will write up a policy for the Board to review.  The subcommittee will be called the Employee Benefits Task Force.

    The Business Committee will start on revenue discussions as soon as possible.  They will review all family fees, bussing, preschool/daycare, and others.  The committee plans to be able to answer parents’ questions on Discovery Night.  More information will follow during the President’s report.

    Financial Report
    Statement of Financial Position: The cash and cash equivalent is currently $1.2 million vs last year $1.7 million.  The current assets now are $1.5 million and last year it was $1.9 million.  Current liabilities are $1.17 million with last year at $1.23 million.  The biggest issue facing BCS is the drop-in cash listed below:
    $125.000         Change in accounts payable: AP was higher last year, therefore there was more cash in the bank.
    $190,000         Additional expenses incurred on BCCHS Boiler and iPad program
    $  25,000         Fortin Grant—Missed application deadline in 2016-217
    $  12,500         Annual Fund under budget
    $116,000         Mayfair under budget

    Tuition, parish, and bus receivables reduced in the current month by payments received.  Tuition receivable is about $58 thousand higher than the previous year.  This is mainly due to more families participating in payment plans this year and the use of Smart Tuition to facilitate direct deposits.  A/R BACET consists of June credit card activity.  Other A/R is mainly due from BCCHS activities fund for credit card activities due from Scrip for 2016-2017 profits and money due from families for 2016-2017 fundraising fee.

    Accounts payable is higher than expected due to the bill for Central’s new lockers.  This bill was paid in September.  Prepaid Tuition and Registration contains the Foundation’s scholarships ($67,000) for the 2017-2018 school year.

    The Business Committee changed the accounts payable procedure.  Kaitlin and the accounts payable clerk were new last year so things were behind schedule.  That meant that there was $125,000 more in cash that had not been paid to the vendors.  That number involves timing not a loss.

    The AR/AP discrepancy changes the final number to approximately a $350,000 cash loss.  The $350,000 is made up with additional expenses incurred in the High School boiler and the iPad program from last year.  The committee was aware that those expenses were going to be over what was budgeted.

    The Fortin Grant application deadline was missed because Kaitlin was unaware that she had to send it instead of the Foundation.  That grant was included in the budget and not received.  It has been applied for this year.

    Annual Fund and Mayfair (which includes Special Projects) was under budget. The cash disadvantage is that BCS can no longer spend funds that are not in the budget.

    The expenses for the remodel of the daycare center is not included in the above figures.  Receivables went down and the tuition receivable is about $15,000 higher this year.  This is due to timing because of the change to using Smart Tuition.  There are also some receivables from last year and it is believed that most of it will be collectable.

    The Foundation will finalize their budget October 11th and it will be sent out to the School Board members.  The BCS budget has not been approved by the Business Committee because there are a few items that need to be reviewed.

    Mayfair Donations: The Foundation numbers need to be revised.  The prepaid scholarships for next year were put in next year’s budget.  The Mayfair committee is working hard to meet the budget.  Fundraising needs to budget more accurately.   The committee works hard but some mistakes were made this year.

    Fundraising will be an ongoing discussion with the executive committees and at the Strategic Planning meeting.  It is important that the Mayfair Chairs be aware of how important it is to not go over budget.  We hope to get some of the younger families in the system involved.  They are not involved because they have not been asked.  Now is the time to correct some of the problems from last year and not spend money that is not in the budget.

    Statement of Activities: The payables were consistent with last month but it was expected to be lower.  The reason it was higher than expected was the lockers and it was a timing issue.  AP year to year is down and that is due to the Foundation Scholarship and enrollment was up.

    Revenue before special projects is $6.2 thousand is down about $170 thousand from budget.  Expenses before special projects is $6.5 which is over budget by $150 thousand.   Net income actual is negative $214 thousand, budget was down $175 thousand making a difference of a negative $39 thousand.

    Cash Flow: Tuition revenue this year vs last year is only down about $9 thousand and expenses were up $332 thousand.  It is at $6.5 this year vs $6.2 last year and the net income this year is a negative $215 thousand vs last year a positive $585 so the change is down almost $300 thousand.

    The budget vs actual is down about $170 thousand and the expenses are up $150 thousand.  The net income is down about $40 thousand.  Tuition and registration fees are up almost $80 thousand and the general donations were up about $16,700.  Some areas are under budget such as Mayfair, other fundraising, school fundraising is down a little, preschool/daycare are down almost $40 thousand.

    The preschool registration fees are higher this year and there are more students attending but the budget was over estimated putting the income at a defecate.  There is a big jump in preschool revenue this year but it was not as high as expected.

    The expenses are over budget by $150 thousand.  That is mainly the transition from the old IT Director to the new one.  There was a long period that an outside technology company was being paid plus the compensations that had to be paid to the exiting director.

    There was a lot of snow removal required this year.  The extracurricular activities being over budget is due to the schedules and the success of the teams.  The auditor was doing both the Foundation and school audit at the same time.  The high school boiler expense was capitalized.  The move into the new school caused closing the other buildings and so some of the assets had to be exposed of that came to $80 thousand.  Smarttuition was over by about $13 thousand.

    The rental income is down because both houses changed tenants and some repairs had to be done.  The rentals do not show up as income and expense but is a single line item showing only net amount.   BCS is investigating the possibility of selling the rentals.  They are 2 buildings comprising 3 units.  One is a single-family home and the other is a duplex.

    Overall the budgeted revenue balanced, there were just unforeseen expenses.   The revenue did not meet the expenses this year.  The high school boiler used 2 years of Dorothy Porter funds which was $400 thousand then there were upgrades in each classroom and the gym bringing the total to $564 thousand.  The initial bids for the boiler were much higher.

    The Business Committee spends hours trying to predict future needs.  BCS did not know the preschool/daycare would need $150 thousand.  Last year was the perfect storm.  The committee made the decision to move forward with the boiler and knew it would take $200 thousand of the money set aside.  That was something that needed to be done.  As the year progressed, technology had to be addressed and the iPad issue had to be dealt with.  The Diocese presented $60 thousand in expenses that were unexpected.

    There were revenue shortfalls in the budget that caused damage to the overall financial position.  BCS had money set aside for emergencies that no longer exists because of the above events.  That money will have to be replenished.  The question is, “Do we go to the Foundation for the money or do we create additional revenue?”  That is very difficult to do and keep tuition down to a reasonable level.  Those are the challenges facing the Business Committee.

    One more person was hired for the preschool.  All year events took place that depleted the emergency funds.  There are still things at the high school that could require immediate attention.  The Foundation is trying to build emergency funds for unexpected events.  Once tuition is set it cannot be changed and the upcoming expenses are unknown.

    The Business Committee is working on issues to the best of their ability.  The schools are financially sound but need to be vigilant as they move forward.  There are a lot of positive things in the system and the schools are doing well academically.  Increasing enrollment is a large part of the solution.

    The strategic plan will be to focus on the long term, to keep the Foundation informed, and  to set budgets on the Foundation’s assets.   The cash projection has not been done but will be available for the next Business Committee meeting and will be used at the Strategic Planning meeting.

    Ipad Update: All BCS students and staff have new iPads.  Kaitlin and Bruce worked with Apple and lowered the iPad lease almost $9 thousand for each year of the 4-year lease.   The iPads that the schools had were sold to Apple.  There were a lot of things that were not needed like engraving, power cords, and adaptors that, over the 4-year lease, will save $16 thousand.

    Bruce has reduced expenses in several areas by $15 thousand.  He is doing a good job making sure his expenses are necessary.  We currently do not have any ongoing fees except the ones that are payed for with “Title Funds”.

    Marketing Enrollment Report:
    Enrollment: The enrollment numbers from the last meeting have changed very little.
    International Student Exchange: Kathy has been working on the short-term international student exchange.  There are 11 students visiting BCS.  The students are enjoying their stay.  It is a great recruiting tool.  The students enjoyed their visit to MSU-Billings.  The MSU-B representative worked in China so he was able to speak to them in their native language.  The students pay to be here and the funds go to the enterprise fund and the expenses are paid out of that.  There will be a farewell celebration Friday.  The Central Freshmen did well with interaction.  It was a great experience but more work than anticipated.
    Upcoming Events: Turn the Table is October 11th.
    The business sponsorship statements will be out early next week.  There will be 4 (four) available sponsorship sign spaces available.

    President’s Report:
    Board Committee Descriptions – Handout:  The Board received a handout with names and descriptions of each committee from the School Board Bylaws.  A list of the people that were on the committees were also provided.

    • Catholic Culture Committee: Carlos was the Chair for the Catholic Culture Committee and he is no longer on the Board.
    • Business Committee: The Business Committee members were listed and the members are very consistent in attendance.
    • Marketing Committee: The Marketing Committee has not met in a year. The list consists of the members at that time.
    • Education Committee: The committee met through the end of December last year.
    • Technology Committee: The Technology Committee has not met in the last 2 years so will have to restart.
    • Several Ad Hoch Committees:
      • Tuition Review: This task force works with requests for a tuition adjustment.
        • Adjustments are considered for families with unexpected financial changes.
      • Tuition Task Force: This group studies tuition and decides on what tuition and fees will be each year.
        • There was a suggestion to change this to a Revenue/Tuition Task Force that will look at all revenue sources and tuition.
      • iPad Task Force: This task force studies options for leasing or purchasing iPads. The decision has been made for the next 4 years.

     Karen would like the Board members to review the standing committees and their description.  This would be a 1 (one) year assignment.  The committees vary in the number of times they meet a year.  For specific information contact:

    • Catholic Culture Committee: Steve
    • Business Committee: Leo
    • Marketing Committee: Shaun
    • Education Committee: Mary Susan
    • Technology Committee: Karen

     Please email Karen and Shaun with your top 2 (two) choices.  Every Board member needs to be on a committee.  Periodically there will be task forces that need to be filled.  The Tuition and Revenue Task Force needs members now but should be finished by Christmas.  Task Forces are typically very intense but short term.

    Tuition Review is typically at the beginning of the school year, done after a Board meeting, and only 2 or 3 meetings a year.  This task force is typically the Business Committee.  The Tuition Revenue Task Force could use new members.  The new Education Director should be asked what she feels that committee’s goals should be.

    The Marketing Committee’s purpose is to get more students to attend BCS and grow the business.  The marketing area will be reviewed during the strategic planning meeting.  The Marketing Committee may be renamed and have members from the Foundation.  Having Foundation members on this committee may help resolve some past issues.  They may also have a lot of great ideas that the Marketing Committee has not considered.

     International Student Residence: Because of the way mediation is going and our cash position, the Business Committee has reservations about moving forward with the Student Housing project.  If the International Student Residence is abandoned, a decision will have to be made on what to do with the Sacred Heart building.

    Strategic Planning with the Foundation:  The Strategic Planning with the Foundation is for October 17th from 8:30 am to 1:00 or 1:30 pm and lunch will be included.  Shaun will send out an email tomorrow morning to see who can attend.

    Montana Catholic Schools Conference: September 25th, PIR Day, the Montana Catholic Schools Conference that Dr. Uhl has put together will be held in Butte.  The Butte Chamber of Commerce secured funding to pay for our hotel rooms and Dr. Uhl has put together a great conference.  There will be two teams of professors from Notre Dame there presenting, one will be part of the group that our teachers and Kathy received the grant to go to Notre Dame on last summer.  The conference was to study the relationship between religion and science.  The other opportunity our religion teachers have, is to attend a workshop presented by the Sophia Institute which is part of the Diocesan Catechetical Certification Program.  Sophia Institute is where the new K-8 religion instructional materials came from  which were donated by Martin Family Foundation.

    Round Table: The Round Table was a fun night.
    Turn the Table: Turn the Table is October 11th and the ladies are encouraged to attend.

    New Business: Mayfair Special Project Suggestion List: The schools were asked to discuss a list of options the schools would like the Board to consider for the Mayfair Special Project.

    • Elevator at Central: An individual donated $50,000.00 as seed money for an elevator at Central. If we decide to make it the Special Project this year, that person is willing to donate another $50,000.00.  The original $50,000.00, after the Foundations 5% fee and growth from the investment, is at about $50,700.00.  We would like to propose using part of that money for an engineering study to determine the actual cost of putting in an elevator.  There is a time limit on the donation.
    • Gym Floor at Central: The gym floor at Central is in bad shape. The floor will not be able to be sanded again.  The new floors have bounce and are a lot safer.  The replacement would be approximately $100.000.
    • Reading/Language Materials for K-8: Our reading and writing materials are very old.  Our teachers are forced to look for materials on the internet and research best practices to piece together a reading and writing curriculum K-8.  Our teachers have done an outstanding job of piecing together materials, activities, and instruction, but we need a well-designed research based series to help with instruction.  The materials would cost between $85,000 and $88,000.  Internet materials last about 5 years and then are no longer available and books last longer.  The option will have to be researched carefully.
    • Bleachers at Colton Field: The bleachers at Colton Field are hazardous and need to be replaced.  The replacement cost will depend on size and materials used to make the bleachers.

    Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 6:00 pm to an executive session to set a date to meet with the Foundation Executive Board.

    Respectfully Submitted:  Shaun Harrington, Billings Catholic Schools President