Black River Independent School Committee

Date/Time: 06-20-2019 @ 6:30pm

Location: Black River High School Middle School Library


I. Call to Order-Called to order by JB @ 6:36pm

  1. Roll Call-Hyle Daley, Suzy Buckley, Sean Williams, John Bannon, Uli Donohue, Melissa Perrino, Marissa Selleck; Kristen Garvey via Phone; Pat Pullinen @ 7:08pm & Joann Wilson @ 7:13pm & Heather Tucker @ 7:14pm from Sub-Committee Building Feasibility Group
  2. Approval of Agenda: Additions & Deletions-Added 5. Organizational Structure & 6. Finances via MP to III. Business A. Updates

II. Approval of Minutes

  1. 06/13/2019-SB mentioned that in III. A. Updates 1. She was at the work meeting for the State Application.  MS edited in Minutes’ google doc.  SB Motion to pass minutes, MP 2nd.  Passed.

III. Business

  1. Updates

1. Timeline Development Contact Meeting via MP & MS-MS explained that they met with a contact who was referred to group as an educational expert resource; contact, another retired superintendent, offered to assist in creating a concrete timeline for budget, financial goals, applications, hiring, enrollment, etc.  MP also explained that due to her articulation of the tasks ahead and her expertise she is willing to assist us with upcoming Vail meeting, which is currently in the works to be set up asap, tentatively next Wednesday June 26th.  As for Epic Promise, we are still not accessible on their website to apply; KG suggested to take a screenshot and send as an official reminder that it’s still not available.  

        *Follow Up-Lock down meeting with Vail

        *Follow Up-Reach out to contact w/ update

2. OMS Board Meeting-SW, MP, & MS attended OMS Board meeting this afternoon; opportunity to just introduce ourselves and provide a quick update on our fundraising, progress, events, etc.  Diane Mueller, OMS Chair & former Okemo owner, requested any information to be provided to Mariel to send to her & the rest of the Board; interested in what the vision/mission would like of the school.  Eliza Green also spoke up, requested bullet points document showcasing possible collaboration ideas.  Discussion about what their schedule looks like and how it might compare/contrast & intersect with BRA’s schedule.  Also discussion about local families being provided that opportunity as well as OMS families who locate here just for those couple of winter months to have a full school year opportunity here.  UD also suggested that in OMS’ off months (Sept-Oct & April-June) we provide an athletics track for those OMS kids.

3. Alumni Weekend Update via PP/MP/MS-PP set up small informational table for BRISC.  Very positive feedback, everyone wants to support preserving a local school here.  MP also explained PP’s idea to provide for next year’s Alumni Parade where every class has a float.  Potential to help Alumni and collaborate, get our names out there & explain our goal/purpose.  

4. Sub Committee Building Feasibility Update-Sorting out facts about stability of building, some uncertainty around health codes.  Pro-active on addressing some building upgrades need.  How to view/transition “ownership” when the public school closes in June 2020.  PP-most recent upgrades include bathrooms, furnace and structure of building are fine.  Aesthetically it does not look state of the art but overall the first year it’ll be good to go and will not deter students.  MP/PP-discussion with Town has come up that if we make a recommendation of how to fund it the Town is willing to cover the cost for the first few years; transition it from the school’s budget to the Town’s budget.  Main thing is how to market that the building is sound!  SW-Aside from the Town’s possible offer to cover costs we can also provide a plan for how to improve.  MP-Also, upgrade the plastic sign (the one by the exit).  HD-For the transition as far as the curriculum is concerned, where is coming from?  BR’s current curricula, another independent school’s model?  JB-Idea is to move it over, especially since a lot of current students will apparently be entering BRA.  PP-Noted we are also trying to provide something that’s different than what’s here.  Key point is to start this planning/process asap.  HT-Consider grouping as well, middle school population vs. upper classmen.  Lock down a schedule.  Break down into sub committees, enough people to do so.

5. Organizational Structure via UD-We are now operating for the trade name. Discussion came up at Building Feasibility Sub-Committee meeting about brainstorming other ideas, offering something new.  Sentiment still to retain something for tradition.  

6. Financial Opportunity-Gift in the form of appreciated stocks being provided to BRISC, MP has the paperwork as we need to open a Brokerage Account.  UD will fill out the packet

        *Follow Up-UD on brokerage account

Until we receive our 501(c)3 upgrade where will keep potential larger donations?  Possibility to accept donations through Ludlow Rotary or other 501(c)3 org.

      B. Discussion

1. Vision/Mission Work Meeting-SW & co worked on the presentation for

Stemwinder’s event using Summer’s vision that she modeled after the NOLS

school she & SW are employed for.  Presentation will be about 15-20 minutes.

Model is based off of their 6 pillars and how the school would look.  Review these

pillars in presentation and offer attendees and idea of what to expect.  Then

provide some information about the fundraising & financial needs.  Need to

organize who will speak and for what piece.  

2. Stemwinder’s Planning-MP suggested real name tags.  SW & JW has some

Ideas of where to get them.  Lock down a time to meet and flush things out to

structure the display by JB, JW, JP, HD, & SW).  HD shared viewbook sample

& how it would be utilized in presentation.  Goal is to have 40 attendees,

viewbooks are $15 each; will print out about 20, definitely worth it to provide a

handful. Best approach?  Small venue, light space.  Order of event?

(Includes viewbook, presentation, discussion).  Also order enough back up

viewbooks for future events/discussions.

*Follow Up-HD create/order Viewbook

        *Follow Up-Professional Headshots

Should we include State tuition resource?  Uncertainty on timeframe.  Is the tutition money enough in & of itself to run the school?  Technically yes but we still have to show the State we can operate without it; SW-think of it as start up.  Agreed show the budget without the per pupil/tuition costs.  It is going to be a fundraiser; HT-what is the protocol; PP-that’s where the end of the event leads into, 1:1 within group.  At end of formal display offer to be available to talk 1:1 about how to donate/get involved.  Provide pledges, too.  HD can include them in the viewbook.  MP-Suggestion of bullet points guide we all follow; JB-we have that in google docs

        *Follow Up-Solicitation protocol

        *Follow Up-Brainstorm Pledge ideas

3. Contacts/Committees List-HD has opened a Mailchimp account.  MP provides contacts & HD enters them into our Mailchimp account.  Currently includes resources, members, anyone & everyone, if need be they can opt to unsubscribe if they are not involved.  


4. Committees Structure via SW-Suggested organizing the discussion threads via Slack app to link to the working groups; and everyone else can check into it if they wanted to for an update.  Then an update from the working group can be provided for the Thursdays meetings.  Ie: Development/financial group which includes MH, MP, & MS.  Legal channel is also created, includes UD.  Presentation (& further curriculum to come) group as well is created; down the line create a materials/marketing group.  Reviewed Stemwinder’s group, shared evite MH assisted in creating & launching via Paperless Post account.  

7 groups: Vision, Legal, Development, Marketing, Curriculum, Building, Budget, (Extracurriculars, athletics, etc to follow up with).

-Vision: SW, JB, SB,

-Legal (& policy): UD, PP/JP, JW

-Development: MH, MP, MS, & PP down the line for Alumni

-Marketing: HD, JW, UD, MH, KG

-Curriculum: JB, SB, UD, HD, SE

-Building: HT, HD, JW, PP

-Budget/Finance: PP & JP, SW, KG

         *Follow Up-Link/share Agendas w/ Slack

        5. Members Credentials Updates-Provide bios of members to offer a clearer idea

        of who we are.  Perhaps focus on ED background; JW-include other job/skills, ie:

        financial backgrounds.  All members? Just Board?  Regardless gather bios.

                     *Follow Up-Provide bios to HD via Slack

IV. Public Comment


V. Suggested Items for Next

Wellness Fair Update, Vail Epic Promise Meeting Update, Financials Update, Viewbook & Bios/Headshots Update, Stemwinders Presentation Planning

VI. Adjournment-Adjourned by JB @ 8:28pm