Board of Trustees
Meeting Date: October 23, 2017
Meeting Time: 7 pm
Meeting Location: 6 Resnik Road
Narrative Mission Statement:
What is the purpose of this school?
"…The Rising Tide Charter School provides students with community-based education each day, using the town of Plymouth as a local yet dynamic textbook which will provide fertile ground for the development of higher-order thinking skills."
Leadership and Governance:
"In accordance with MA Charter School Law, the Board of Trustees is ultimately accountable for the school's educational mission, performance and adherence to its Charter."
Rising Tide Charter Public School
Board of Trustees
October 23, 2017
Call to Order
Chairman Harry Salerno called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. In attendance were board members Chris Schelleng, Sandy Kozlowski, Norman DeCoste, and Harry Salerno. Also in attendance were Jill Crafts, Head of School, Michael O’Keefe, Assistant Head of School, and Eric Mello, Business Manager.
Guests in attendance were Colleen D’Alfonso and Kristopher Lane, of Daniel, Dennis & Co., Certified Public Accountants. Parents Wendy Marshall and Barbara Anglin also attended the meeting.
Kristopher Lane and Colleen D’Alfonso presented the 2017 Audit report to the board. Kris noted that Daniel Dennis opined on the issue of ownership of the new building at 59 Armstrong Road. The auditors consulted with Attorney Elka Sachs, of Krokidas and Bluestein. The building is owned by the school and the title is held by the Rising Tide Foundation. This opinion was agreed to by Ms. Sachs. The auditors also checked with GASB to make sure the opinion was in compliance with GASB principles, and it is.
Daniel Dennis conducted Rising Tide’s audit and had no findings. Colleen explained to the board that, in connection to the Dissemination Grant, Rising Tide will need to go through several procedures and there will be a separate report on that grant.
Chris Schelleng made a motion for the board to accept the audit report; Sandy Kozlowski seconded the motion. All voted in favor of accepting the 2017 Audit Report.
Comments from Guests
The two parent guests introduced themselves to the board. Ms. Anglin noted that the new playing field is very nice and provides a sense of community for Rising Tide students and families.
Board Meeting Minutes
Chris Schelleng made a motion to accept the September 25, 2017 Board Meeting Minutes and Sandy Kozlowski seconded the motion. All voted in favor of accepting the September 2017 minutes.
September 2017 Financial Reports
Eric Mello reviewed with the board his Memorandum concerning the September 2017 Financial Report. Harry Salerno asked Eric to provide a cash flow analysis with the October Financial Report; Eric agreed to have one ready next month.
Norman DeCoste made a motion to accept the September Financial Report; Chris Schelleng seconded the motion. All voted in favor of accepting the September 2017 Financial Report.
Nominating and Governance: Harry Salerno mentioned that everyone needs to work on recruiting new members for the board, including some potential members who are not parents.
Facilities: Jill Crafts explained to the board that Rising Tide currently has a temporary Certificate of Occupancy for the new building that expires on November 15. Before that date, Five Star needs to provide the town with a site plan for the sewer line including slope data as well as an explanation of occupancy numbers for certain rooms in the building.
Also, in order for the architect to issue a certificate of Substantial Completion, Five Star needs to complete the door locking system on all internal doors of the building. Five Star has repeatedly stated that the locks have been ordered but have not yet arrived. After the school receives the Substantial Completion certificate, the contractor will need to complete all items include in a punch list that is provided by the architects, Habeeb & Associates. Five Star needs to complete the work in a timely manner; throughout the project, it has been difficult to maintain a schedule for the work that needs completion.
Curriculum: Under the leadership of Rachel Ezell, Project Coordinator, Rising Tide staff members are working on the Dissemination Grant, preparing to begin work with a group of teachers from the Plymouth Public Schools. Joint work will begin in January 2018.
Twentieth Year Site Visit: Board members and Rising Tide staff members reported that last week’s site visit seemed to go well. Jill Crafts explained that the school will receive a preliminary report on the site visit in about five weeks.
Teacher Professional Development; Professional Learning Groups (PLG’s)
Michael O’Keefe explained to the board that, this year, Rising Tide teachers, under the direction of the Curriculum Coordinators, are continuing to work collaboratively on the instructional core of teaching and learning through participation in PLG’s. In curriculum areas, teachers are divided into groups of three to five teachers, who work together in everyday instructional practices that help students to learn and grow. Over the years, the staff has tried different methods to work collaboratively to improve the teacher and learning at Rising Tide. For a few years, teachers worked in Teaching and Learning groups. The new PLG’s will meet once in every six-day rotation and will focus on improving fundamental teaching practices. Professor Rebecca Woodland, from UMass Amherst, came to Rising Tide on October 6 to lead the Rising Tide staff in a four-hour workshop about PLG’s. Rising Tide’s small groups are just beginning to meet together to begin their collaborative work.
Harry Salerno mentioned that, at next month’s meeting, the board will need to begin discussing the process for transition plans for Rising Tide. He asked board members to be prepared at the November meeting to discuss this topic.
Chris Schelleng made a motion to adjourn the meeting; Sandy Kozlowski seconded the motion and all voted to approve the motion.
Head of School