Horizons Council Meeting
Thursday, March 15, 2018
6:30 pm – 8:15 pm
Present: 15 Horizons parents, including the Board of Directors Parent Co-Chair and Vice Co-Chair. There were 7 Horizons faculty and our principal present, and several members of BVSD Staff.
The meeting began at 6:30 promptly with a bit of a community exercise enabling those present to focus on elements in their lives for which they are grateful. Shortly thereafter, Principal Lauren Tracey reviewed the role and responsibilities of the Council. The process of Concordance was also introduced and explained to those present. Conversation then shifted to the success of the silent peace vigil that Horizons students organized and participated in on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. As it turned out, residents of Frasier Meadows Retirement Community were in Burke Park holding their own vigil and chose to join the students. Council participants related their own experiences/views.
Lauren then introduced Stephanie Faren, Health & Wellness Coordinator for BVSD who was invited by Lauren to offer a presentation on the trend of young people Vaping–as either an alternative to cigarette smoking, or, as an independent social norming activity. There were several other District health employees in attendance in support of Stephanie’s work—a few have played different roles in this effort. Ms. Faren outlined the information available as to the health and addictive nature of the vaping materials—most offer some flavoring and most contain some amounts of nicotine. Vaping is considered to be highly addictive and overall fairly expensive with some devices costing upwards of $50 just for the delivery device, with the cartridges and other materials even more. Stephanie made the point that many substances such as alcohol and marijuana can be vaped through a device.
Following the presentation Council participants were able to ask questions of Ms. Faren and the other District and Horizons staff present. Lauren stated that while vaping had not yet become a very visible problem at Horizons, she is certain that our young people are exposed and curious.
Committee Reports then followed and were generally presented by Lauren as few Committee chairs were present. This included a Development Committee update on the Auction, Moolah campaign and more. The Finance Review highlight focused on the plan to utilize excess reserves to combine with Innovation dollars ($600,000) to improve the facility along with the $1.1 million Bond proceeds for Horizons that will be focused on school infrastructure improvements. The Diversity Committee report was provided by Erica and she discussed a visit and work with a former colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King. Erica also mentioned the desire to focus on a conversation in 2019 concerning the question of raising awareness of the diversity and inclusivity of Horizons and whether some changes are warranted.
Lauren then mentioned that two items would be highlighted in Skylines: the first: service on a Master Planning Committee to work through possibilities with an architect and team on school improvements, and the other: a call for interested members of the Horizons community willing and eager to serve on the school’s 501 c3 Board of Directors. A request for a bio and statement of interest and qualifications will be sought.
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting adjourned at 8:09 pm.
Frank W. Bruno
Horizons Board Co-Chair 2017-18