Council Meeting: August 23, 2012

6:30 Introductions

● Council Procedures – Concordance, Council Board, Communication Policy

● Open Forum – Council members may share up to two minutes of information relevant to our community

○ Nel – Sally W had a bike accident 2 weeks ago, and broke her pelvis in 2 places. She is now

home from the hospital and is getting around better, but she can’t do stairs, and is still in pain.

She is stringently taking it 1 day at a time. Sally and her husband do not need food or emails

that need a response at this time. Sending good thoughts or good wishes via emails or cards

are great.

○ Hope – we are full and at capacity of 340 students.

○ Leyla – Interest in moving yearly calendar toward labor day. Called to see where process is.

Informed that it is with BVSD board. Meetings will happen this fall, and they will be soliciting

opinions. There is also a parent generated survey at right now. There will be

opportunities this fall to voice opinions if you want to be involved.

○ Carin – need place to hold auction. If you know a place, please let her know

○ Jen Perlick has kids interested in Frequent Flyer aerial arts and circus productions for after-
school activities. Want to know if others are also interested. Let her know.

○ Rick – is Managing the Avalon Ballroom. Would be great to talk about the Horizons Auction.

(Also could do your wedding, etc there.) Bring on the conversations!

○ Gina – PEN (parent engagement network) is a wonderful thing from the district. They are

parent-led, and they bring in great speakers to locations all over Boulder County. There is more

information and flyers outside the offices.

○ Denise D – Looking to grow a Junior Girl Scouts troop for 4/5 grade girls. In addition, she is

available for mentoring a Daisy or Brownie troop.

○ Asnat – Concern about the dress code. Sometimes I fight with daughter about what she’s

wearing to school. Would be nice to know what’s up and wants school’s support. Also is

interested to hear more about start time at 8:30 and wants to hear from teachers about it, didn’t

hear last year. IF start time is revisited, could we please do it before Open Enrollment? Finally,

there’s going to be a lot of landscaping work happening soon, so it would be a pity to have it

trashed by having paths get trampled into it. Would be good to plan ahead.

○ Rosemary – Contruction guys say that we need bike rack training so that we can fit more bikes

onto the bike racks. Also will be expanding bike racks to have twice as much space for bikes.

○ Rosemary – for future council meetings, we need to talk about safety during pickup and drop-
off times. All kinds of infractions are happening. It’s only been a few years since we did have

a student hit by a car. Also our neighbors are unhappy. Please walk a few extra yards – it’s not

that bad. ( Asnat: Mohawk and Sioux – could it be a 4-way instead of a 2-way stop?)

○ John – we are not taking advantage of the drop-off zone enough. Feel free to use it more. Julie:

It is ONE WAY, but it doesn’t say it any more.

6:50 Overview of Horizons Council

Introduction of John McCluskey (Principal), Cece Schehl (in her new role as Lead Teacher), Tracy Clement

(MS Science), Adam Hunt (MS LA/History), Ellen Mackey (2/3 Job Share with Adam Brink), Katie Miles (MS


7:10 Faculty Update – Outdoor Education Week

● K going on a BIG trip to the pond, also to the community peace gardens where they will wear bee suits

and have bees cover them. Then they will do a joint thing with 1st Grade with a naturalist coming to visit

● 1 is thrilled to bring back 1st grade overnight, starting with hiking at Chautauqua, and a parent potluck

dinner. Then the parents will drive the students back to school and drop them off. The students will be

spending the night at school, including watching a G-rated movie, a night tour of school with flashlights,

and in the morning they will be welcoming other students to school in their jammies!

● 2/3 is going to Keystone Science School (KSS) for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. They will stay

in dorms, and have KSS instructors for many activities. Back at school on Thursday and Friday, they

will have time for art and reflections.

● 4/5 are going to 100 Elk in front of the Collegiate peaks near Buena Vista, CO. They will be doing

archery, ropes course, canoeing, indoor climbing, and a service project involving pine beetle fire

mitigation. A goal for the trip is for each child to step outside of their comfort zone in a safe way, trusting

one another, trusting animals.

● Middle school is going on 3 different trips. Goals of all trips are building community and having a

positive impact on the environment. Students are traveling in community groups. They don’t get to

be in these groups for much of the day, so this is a new way to spend more time together with their

communities. In addition, we have 18-19 new students in middle school this year, so good chance to be

together with them and the rest of the students. Jim’s and Tracy’s Communities will be going to Glacier

View Ranch near Ward where they will have instructors leading them in outdoor adventures including

archery, canoeing, a low-ropes course, hiking, and wilderness survival skills. Lynn’s and Adam’s

Communities (and Pat) are traveling to Alamosa, CO where they will spend a day hiking sand dunes

and hiking to Zapata falls, another day on a working farm finding out how food goes from gardens to

table, and another day in service at La Puente shelter. Lance’s and Katie’s Communities (and Janice)

are going to Colorado National Monument along with Keystone Science School who will be leading

activities camping, hiking, and nature activities throughout the week.

7.30 Facilities and Playground update

● From John. Move front office off of stage next Friday (8/31). After that we will enter through the front


● Did walkthrough of new wing today. It’s looking like they may be ahead of schedule, if there aren’t any

bumps. May be in by mid-October?

● Soon after that the portables will be moved or de-constructed.

● By late October may have huge space and pea-gravel in the space for playing.

● Building was re-keyed today and yesterday. New keys will be coming soon. Find John if you can’t get in


● Rosemary: An explanation for families new to Horizons. This is not bond money. This is CDE BEST

grant money ($5) plus $1 matching money. Although focus is on the new wing, a lot of other stuff

got done. The domestic water supply in the south wing was replaced and rerouted. The electrical

infrastructure of the school has been upgraded and replaced. All door hardware has been replaced will

ADA compliant lockable hardware. All the windows were replaced in the school. The entire roof was

replaced, insulation added, new skylights and additional sola-tubes in interior rooms. The the sinks in

each classroom were replaced. Most of the unit ventilators were replaced, and remaining uni-vents

were refurbished. Lynn’s room was completely remodeled, and a new space for Special Education

offices and Literacy Support was created. Existing bathrooms were remodeled and enlarged. The

cafeteria was remodeled with new lighting, new ceiling, new windows, and the old stage, darkroom and

D’s old office were reconfigured to create much needed storage for teaching supplies, lunch tables and

an additional electrical closet. The parking lot was re-graded so it does not drain towards the building.

In other words, there was a huge amount of work over the summer, with 70 – 80 construction workers

on site most days. Some of the improvements you can’t see , but it was necessary infrastructure for

health and safety.

● Playground has been the casualty in all of this

○ It can also be seen as an opportunity

○ But to see creative play that is happening with …weeds, rocks, sand, rock building. These kids

are creating fun in this…”dead zone.” They are anxious and looking forward to a play space


○ Thanks also to Neil and Quinn who always have our Active Rec program with organized games

outside. This will go on for some time.

○ Great to look into the future also. Meeting last week with multiple groups/agencies including

Boulder Parks and Rec., Growing Up Boulder, CU interns (from environmental design),

Biohabitats, BVSD and Horizons. The goal is to create amazing community space (Multi-
generational, accessible, educational, recreational) that will go from Horizons out to Thunderbird

Lake (the Pond). Together we will pursue a GOCO (Great Outdoors Colorado) grant in the next

phase to get new accessible play structures. Will probably have a pre-council conversation in

the next months about this group, so please come and join if you’re interested. Also, contact

Cece if you’re interested in being involved. Meetings are starting as soon as tomorrow and will

keep going from there.

7:45 Looking Forward –

Capital campaign

● Had to commit to matching funds for this BEST grant for all this construction. We were persuasive

about using our $3.4million of bond funds as part of the matching funds for our original plans, but we

still needed a 46% match. The district figured out a way to help find $441k that we were short. State

will not let you borrow money, they want to make sure that it’s very secure. They let us get this money

fronted from the district, but we still have to pay it back to the district over the 9 remaining years of our

current charter. So now we need to find $49k each year for a further 8 years (this is no interest). The

district also said they would let us stay in this building for as long as we have a charter. (We have a

very good relationship with the district.) Last year we paid $49K from council reserves. We need to

find a new way to pay this back going forward. In the May meeting last year, we started brainstorming

ways to do this. We are eager to hear ideas from people of how to to this. We cannot put this on the

fundraising committee because they are maxed out with raising money for our other needs. We would

like for some people to take on the idea of forming a capital campaign committee. It may be best to try

to pay it off earlier rather than later, because it may become a hard sell in 8 years to get new families to

buy in to the idea of paying for that construction that was done “so long ago.”

● Carin – Kathy and I had a conversation earlier, depending on how long we’re looking at, we may be

needing to raise $500k. We feel like this is going to need a professional with expertise in nonprofit

fundraising. It would be difficult to do this with our usual ways. It would be great if someone knows of

someone who has experience doing capital campaigns with nonprofits. Like with capital campaigns with

NPR, CPR. Is there someone at the University who would have experience?

● Please talk about it, and if anyone has ideas, let us know.

● John S – Ask for money from alumni. Consider that it may be more appealing to some alums to fund

specific Horizons educational programs … which would free up council funds for capital expenses.

● Scott – Ideas about creating websites or using unique talents of Horizons parents or Horizons

philosophies to see if there is something that we could offer to sell to others that they would want to


● Carin – great ideas, but we need volunteers to step up and take this on.

● Gina – reach out to community restaurants? 5% of sales on one night at various places might get


● Laurie – We still need a person who will create the brand and go to those places and figure out our story

before we start going piecemeal from place to place.

● Please bring ideas to Rosemary, Carin, or Kathy

● Rosemary – wanted to let you know that the school is not on shaky ground financially. We are

financially secure. This is a somewhat small amount compared to our overall budget, but it would be

nice to get it covered now.

Role of Council in visioning

● (Rosemary and John) Look at where we are, where we’ve come from, and where we are headed and

do it intentionally. Can we fit this into council? Maybe we need to do it at another time? What is our

story? What do we want our story to be now? Seen groups burn out if they just are in the meeting to do

the business points, and not revisit the questions about story and picture.

● (Elizabeth) I love this. Parents of K’s ask a lot of Q’s about why we do what we do. Could we include

parents and let them ask q’s like “Why don’t we have grades?”, for example…

8:00 Committee Reports

Finance Review – Council Budget and District budgets

We will vote on a proposal to continue to use Council budget for Council child care expenses

● (Melinda) Council budget was approved in May to try to raise same amount as last year, with same

amount going back into reserves.

● Rosemary – proposal as stated above. May cost about $400 for the year.

● Proposal passes

● Hope – FRCAP trainers (child assault prevention), worked with all K-8 last year, this year we have a

tentative contract to work with all the K’s. Proposal for ~$500 for FRCAP to work with K this year,

pending a discussion by faculty later.

● Peter – in the past, this has been a staff discussion first when it’s something that affects curriculum.

Hope – it was supposed to go last year, and Sonny said it was approved by staff and that it was

supposed to be voted on.

● Proposal passes

● (Ron) District moved revolving accounts – created confusion

● BEST grant monies got lumped into different categories as revenue and expenses, so the right-most

column or District Budget spreadsheet takes out all those big numbers so that we can see our “normal”

operating status.

● In general, we ended year as we expected, about a ~10k net surplus. Nothing happened except that we

didn’t transfer as much over from council as we expected to (e.g. For computers, etc). That’s excellent

news! If you have interest in understanding it in detail – Ron would love to buy you a drink and explain it

to you!

● Reserves: last year we had ~$600k. 3A district money plus a lot of prudent financial management

in previous years really helped our reserves. We put some into those BEST matching funds. Now at

~$422k. We went from 22% down to 14%. Less than 2 months of our operating expenses. We need

to stay here, but not continue to draw down on it. State funding for education is getting tighter. We

need to keep realizing that this is happening and also keep being responsible too. We have increased

salaries and added programs and added contact hours and para time, and of course, the building, and

facility improvements while other places are going down. But we can’t continue to do it. We are a great

place. But I don’t see it continue to improve in the state right now. Reserves are targeted for 1 time

unexpected expenses, not ongoing operations needs of the school. We are in a healthy position, but it’s

tight and we could still stand to add to our reserves a little.

● Q – is there increase in janitorial cost? Yes – we budgeted it. But the rest of expenses we pay to the

district on a per student cost, so that doesn’t go up.

● Q – is there a policy for amount of reserves? How far can we go down? We’ve looked at other schools

and 20% is what some of them do. But is that right for us?

Fundraising – auction venue needed

● (Kathy) 3 big campaigns: grocery coupons – every 100, we get $5, easy to do, please do it; cattle drive,

moolah drive is direct ask, allows us to have small class sizes at this school; last one is the auction in

the spring. Looking for spaces and caterers to help with that. Contact me or Carin. Looking for lots of

help so that we don’t have to do it all.

Bylaws – brief summary – met twice over summer, welcome interested participants, next meeting TBA

District Accountability Committee (DAC) Kevin Holst No report this month First DAC meeting is Sept. 4

District Parent Committee (DPC) Shannon Hassan: No report this month.

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) Judy Florian: Report in Skylines

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