Council Meeting: April 18, 2013

5.30 Pre­Council Conversation

An opportunity to ask questions about the new governing documents which will be

presented at Council tonight.

● Introductions and Council Procedures

● Concordance and Communication Policies

● Open Forum

○ Kateri ­ Needle felting class during conference week for adults and kids and another one on the

weekend. There is info on the community board.

○ John ­ to celebrate, finance committee, knowing how intimately how every dollar makes a

difference, celebrate how auction went on Sat night. In addition to raising money, the fun we had

in dancing and celebrating each other’s company was worth a million bucks!

○ Cece ­ spontaneous film showing of Project Happiness in Hub on Tuesday from 4­5, can Google

it to find out more. It’s very inspiring. For adults.

○ Rosemary ­ 2 3 show this week was great fun! History of US taught by 2nd and 3rd graders was

great. DVD coming your way. Order forms still available. (Challenge of open space in gym, and

kids playing in the back, doesn’t respect the performers, also hard for recording. Maybe in future

we want to ask audience to remain partially seated.)

○ Cece ­ Tuesday we have GOCO grant site visit with community members coming over to meet,

CU students coming, tour will be lead by 5 students who have been practicing. Wish us luck!

○ Rosemary ­ Middle school aperture night on May 2. Come see 8th graders show off the projects

they have worked on all year.

○ Julie ­ Thanks to 4 5 team for dream homework and sharing.

○ John ­ thanks to Arti for help as crossing guard and creating norms for our traffic flow. Making a

functioning system for us. Thanks also to everyone for not idling out there. (Is she done? She’s

taking a break. We’ve noticed a small increase in “violations” since she’s been gone. Hope will

put an advertisement in Skylines tomorrow for another crossing guard.)

○ Rosemary ­ We will be looking for new parent board members. If you’re interested, come talk to

one of the current board members about what is involved. You need to be completing 2 years as

a parent at Horizons.

○ Kateri ­ Spirit Wear will begin on sale tomorrow. Display will be up. We have t­shirts, zipper

hoodies, hats, and bags. Order forms will also be on website.

● Discussion Items and Proposals

● Bylaws Discussion

○ (Some history from Rosemary) About a year ago, we started needing to look at changing the

way we select our principal and teacher. After changing that process, we had to amend the

bylaws to reflect the change. Combing through bylaws, the committee found areas of conflict of

interest with faculty approving the district budget because the district budget is mainly salaries

and benefits. Looked into getting legal advice and opened up looking at whole of bylaws. Found

out that all charter schools will need to be incorportated as non­profit corportations later this year

in the state (and for BVSD). So we began down the route to be incorporated as a non­profit.

Remind everyone that by­laws are about governance and not about philosophy. Got a lot of

pro­bono legal assistance from Kevin’s company, Sherman & Howard LLC. They crafted our

new by­laws documents and articles of incorporation, which took some skill because of wanting

to reflect our concordance model and council setup. Council board will be new legal governing

body. Council will still have many responsibilities relating to mission, vision, school goals ,

charter renegotiation, amending the charter etc. Council board structure will change to 5 parents

and 5 faculty members. Rest is in documents that have been emailed out to everyone.

○ We are on a timeline. State requires incorporation by July 2013.

○ Go around and hear everyone, and questions

■ non­profit incorporation is a good thing

■ didn’t see where faculty committee’s job would be. are there changes? x2

■ concern of not coming to concordance during council, having it go to council board, then

not having full representation of teachers at every level on board, and parents don’t

represent all levels too

■ 501(c)(3) status, need charitable designation

■ honors marriage (good and bad) of holding true to our values, financial conflict of interest,

■ as board matures with financial fiduciary responsibilities, to get training

■ point out typo that needs to be corrected: current by­laws allow students to be voting

legal status, and how that came together with thoughtfulness

members. right now these new ones do not allow students to be voting members, but

that didn’t happen in the articles of incorporation and needs to be changed so that

students are not voting members there either

of 14 (this happened during 5:30 pre­council conversation)

■ another change suggested to allow the flexibility of council board to go up to a maximum

■ like having more parents on council board

■ wish that with new structure we can continue with same spirit of openness and

■ wonder how idea of “teacher­led” school changes with now having “co­teacher led” idea

■ similar idea, full trust that this says it’s a polished “us”, but the language that sounds like

concordance and that part of Horizons doesn’t change

it’s …teachers are here because of our governance model, and hopefully this is just a

shined up version of that

○ Answers:

■ Faculty Board in old by­laws. New Faculty Committee, what will change? These

■ Grade­level representation on board, or making it 5/5 vs 6/6.

■ What changes in regard to “teacher­led”?

responsibilities are not actually in the by­laws: committee responsibilities will be

determined by the Council Board. It’s already functioning in a great way. Idea is to stay

with as much of traditions as makes sense. By the time we got through looking at it

before legal company came in, we already figured this out. Essentially this won’t change


● The idea of not including these (and other specific descriptions) in the by­laws is

that it gives us more flexibility in the future so that nothing is “hard­wired” in.

● There are some things that will be taken away like approving some compensation

things that faculty cannot legally do anymore.

● We are changing the maximum to be 14 directors, so that we could possibly have

6 teachers and 6 parents in some year in the future.

● Help me understand the changes in respect to “governance” vs “operations” for

this discussion?

● For faculty (this is “operations”): curriculum, student learning, daily operation of


○ if faculty cannot come to concordance, it goes to faculty committee for

decision (and does not go up to council board)

● Governance of school: fiduciary responsibilities, compliance with charter, licence,

public complaints, 501c3 interactions with IRS, CDE interactions,

○ if council cannot come to concordance, it goes to council board for

● 6­4 Board is perception of Teacher­Led school, voices in the room matter, but if

decisions are by concordance, even 1 voice matters and absolute numbers do


● If decision by supermajority, then parent / faculty voices need to be equal in


● Hiring committee could be 6 teachers and 4 parents

● Original Horizons governing documents do also talk about shared governance

between teachers and parents

● I’ve always heard this is a “teacher­led” school, but I have no idea what that

means. Seriously.

○ There’s the legend of what certain terms mean, and there is what the

○ What do we need your trust on? We need to be more clear about what


○ When teachers started this school, (as opposed to most charter schools

reality is.

things faculty “owns” and need your trust that we can do it, and what

things are shared decisions.

that are started by parents), it was in opposition to a principal led school.

Parents said, “If only I could have xxx, I could be a much better teacher,

and students could learn better…” We didn’t ever have a principal at this

school until this year

was “teacher­led, parent­supported”

○ It was started by 5 teachers at one school who were thinking “If only…” It

● Beg us not to limit our view of how we look at leadership, just like what we teach

the students. Do what we know to be best for kids in the classroom with support

from their peers. Let’s not put boundaries on who makes decisions, or have a

“sticky­wicket”, want to be expansive instead.

● Nothing in these by­laws that impacts or changes this philosophy. That’s all in the

handbook. This is legal stuff that will help us align with a new policy to become


■ How do you vet people who want to be on council board? How seriously do they take the

position? You need to speak for the group, and a place of love and respect for the group.,

not just your own personal place.

● Bylaws Proposal moved to concordance


○ (1) Proposal to authorize Horizons K­8 School, an unincorporated nonprofit corporation, to

○ (2) Proposal to approve the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the corporation in substantially

○ (3) Proposal to allow the corporation to seek tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue

○ (4) Proposal to approve any technical modification to the existing CHarter Agreement with

formally incorporate as a nonprofit corporation with the Colorado Secretary of State.

the form presented to the council.


Boulder Valley School District that may be required as a result of the incorporation of Horizons

K­8 School as a nonprofit corporation.

○ discussion

○ #4 technical modifications

■ It’s about teacher evaluations and other things in Charter. There will be need for Charter


■ questions about makeup of council board and which version to vote on

■ Propose that it’s 6 faculty and 6 parents. If it turns out to be too cumbersome, we can

adjust it the next year.

● would adjust quorum requirements to go with that

○ 3.11.d faculty committee change to “at least 5” licensed teachers

○ PASSES with amendments

● Calendar: Brief overview of written material provided prior to meeting and discussion

○ 8:30­3:30 School day

○ Conference days timing, feedback from note cards. Made a change to have 8th grade

○ To consider: Middle level conferences February 26­28 with K­5 in school, Elementary (K­5)

○ Rest of calendar handed out to look at. Major days were sent in email announcement about

○ Discussion of all calendar (go around)

■ from survey, comments like: shorter school day, harder to get to outside activities, too

late of end time (10% leave early because of late end time)

■ State Dept of Education requires amount of instructional minutes, at John’s last school

they used conference days as instructional days, and he started to find out about it for us,

especially because we have the instructional practice of self­directed conferences.

Teachers ask students to work on instruction during that time, so now we can do it again.

(It was only 2 years ago that we thought we could not count it as instructional time.)

■ Also, we aren’t allowed to count our extended hours during Outdoor Ed days.

■ Lots of discussion about length of days, ending time, change in conference days from 4

to 3 now, whether we are making less quality in school

■ We are 16 hours over minimum requirements at middle level

conference in February because of registering for high school needs. Continued to hear from

parents who needed a mid­year check­in or adjustment, progress conference. Still having

enough time in the year to show progress and change from adjustment. Younger kids it’s better

to have a later conference to show progress and work. Faculty came to a compromise place

that we feel meets both needs.

conference April 23­25 with Middle in school. Fall conferences over Halloween (Oct 30­ Nov 1)

■ Spring conferences are now driving by TCAP schedule. Will be same next year, but after

that we will have new PARCC tests, which will be online, and may be later in the year, so

the conference schedules may change again with the new tests.

■ We always make ourselves available for parent meetings as needed.

council meeting.

■ district alignment? district off April 18 and 21, but we are suggesting April 23­25? Could

we overlap those?

■ Worry about taking away minutes and not adding them back from some

■ Having students in middle and elem. makes spring conferences at different times hard

for 2 working parents

■ What do we value as a school in terms of length of school day?

■ John: more collaborative time for teachers = even better instruction for kids

■ “Instructional time” doesn’t necessarily mean teacher­­>student time

■ Where is the 15 minutes coming from? A&S or…?

■ Horizons is a high­performing school, we trust the teachers to make the call

● Calendar Proposal moved to concordance


■ to adopt this calendar, and give faculty the permission to consult the calendar and

attempt to reschedule April conferences dates to 4/18 and 4/21. Approved!

● The rest of the agenda postponed

Council Adjourned at 9:00

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