Council Minutes: Nov 21, 2019

Council Minutes

November 21, 2019 (Minutes taken by Emmy)

Charter application

  • Thanks to Peter and Lucas for their work to finalize the application
  • Due date is December 1 – turning in early!
  • Next steps: Paul Martin and Lucas enter into charter contract negotiations with BVSD
    • Council’s responsibility is to concord on and approve the final charter contract for the school
    • Will start in Feb/March
  • High-level overview of charter application – linked here
  • Next steps and follow up based on questions from application overview
    • Share PDF version of current charter contract via Skylines
    • Enrollment policy – target enrollment of 348
      • Is this really binding? Does statute trump that?
    • Clarity on accountability committee (council? SAC?)
    • Change “council bylaws” to just “bylaws” in all future drafts
  • Anticipated areas for negotiation and pressure points
    • Mill levy 
    • SPED
    • Transportation – clarify field trip transportation contracts/funding
    • BVSD enrollment is anticipating a decrease in the next 5 years, which puts a strain on the district budget. Could charge HK8 more for central services and/or cut central services. Need to prepare our programming to make do with a smaller budget
    • No anticipated issues with performance and governance
    • We are in a district-owned building – could be a leverage point
    • Prepare response regarding our student population not being on par with the population of ELL students and students from low SES of district

Decision-Making Matrix

  • Matrix outlines who and how all the decisions are made at Horizons
  • Going through this process is helping us define what being a teacher-led school means – faculty working together to come to a strong, unified understanding
  • 7 main areas
    • Curriculum
    • HR
    • Strategic – finance, council budget, trip budget, transportation, etc
    • Organizational – schedules, calendars, attendance policies, legal issues, etc.
    • Governance – board composition, etc.
    • Culture and equity – school climate, enrollment practices, discipline, etc.
    • Community – accountability, marketing, promotion, website, etc.
  • 3 different decision types (outlined with more detail in document)
    • Level A: direct decision made by individual(s)
    • Level B: collaborative decision made by individual(s) with input from stakeholders
    • Level C: concordance decision
  • Faculty concorded on definitions of different stakeholders
  • Hoping board will concord on this document as well to make this operational about who and how are decisions are made
  • Faculty has had slow and deliberate conversations in order to concord on 
    • PD
    • Teacher evaluation
    • Hiring process
  • Discussion point: Student voice in the matrix
    • Students considered as stakeholder in parts of matrix
    • Student voice in daily choices, agreements, etc. – daily experience for our students
      • Decisions are sometimes made by concordance in the classroom
      • Students bring requests and proposals to teachers frequently
    • Can we incorporate more student voice in the formal matrix?
  • Next steps
    • Finish matrix with faculty by end of the year
    • Board concords on Matrix, then bring to council for concordance
    • Possibly combine matrix with bylaws
    • Will always be improved and revised
    • Review and possibly revise definition of concordance in Matrix
      • PD on concordance for faculty

Committee Reports

  • DAC
    • Presentation of network reorganization
    • Team working with principles to support specific areas of need; need to continue to support our HOS in similar manners
    • Lucas and Board went above and beyond what was asked of them in regards to charter application; flexibility with various communication and requests from district
  • Diversity and Inclusion
    • Well attended learning lunch about autism with speaker
    • Next learning lunch in December
    • Looking for new ideas for speakers
    • Reading to End Racism – January 23
      • Pop up library
      • Buy books for classrooms – wishlists needed from teachers (~$50-$75 per teacher), put out in next administrivia
    • Open enrollment letters sent out to targeted schools to encourage application to Horizons
    • Outreach goal is to spread word of mouth to a variety of different communities in Boulder
  • Finance Review
    • Annual audit delivered today for last year will be posted on website, no alarming questions or calls, assuming things look good
    • General goals and projects: design more sophisticated 5-year budget outlines, determine tools needed in place to improve our budgeting procedures
    • Jaime Schlomberg joined staff in budget office
  • Board report
    • Updated Board on Matrix
    • Board approved HOS evaluation process and timeline
      • Created committee that will facilitate accelerated interim HOS eval
      • Hope this will be pilot year for how we evaluate our HOS in future
      • Survey coming out to all parents and faculty
    • Draft of bylaws updated and will be made available
    • Approved more para support funding (one year initiative)
      • In process of hiring additional paras to support based on student need, hoping to be completed after fall break
  • Community Group
    • Halloween bash was huge success – great expression of our community
    • Dec 6 – coffee connections with representatives from the new Sanitas High School to share information about their programming
    • Dec 6 is also ARTastic

Open Forum

  • Request for conversations around Horizons’ values and guiding principles
  • Request for further information on giraffe talk to support children at home
  • Ultimate frisbee club tournament was fun experience – Horizons team received highest scores for sportsmanship
    • Hoping for more female representation on club
    • Looking for more parent volunteers for spring club
  • Come see Nutcracker and/or Christmas Carol – lots of Horizons students represented
  • Sensory pathway – connect with K/1/2 team
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