Minutes of Board of Directors Meeting
November 16, 2021 ● 6:30pm ● Creative Arts Classroom #202
1601 Turk St. San Francisco, CA 94115
A meeting of the Board of Directors (“Board”) of CREATIVE ARTS CHARTER SCHOOL (“CACS”) was held at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 1601 Turk St, San Francisco, California via a virtual meeting.
The Spanish version of this document was translated using Google Translate, apologies for errors.
La versión en español de este documento se tradujo con Google Translate, disculpas por los errores.
Following are the minutes of the meeting.
Meeting called to order at 6:37 pm
Eric Talbert, President
Justin Amirault, Treasurer
Laura Farley, Staff Representative
Janina Floyd, Secretary
X - arrived 7:18pm
Approve Consent Agenda =
This meetings agenda + Prior meeting minutes - Eric T. & Justin
Board actively listens to comments shared by CACS community members.
Board actively listens to comments shared by CACS community members.
CACS is set to receive $87K for Covid funding to be divided over two years to continue working with Verta Maloney and Kathy Gonzales in staff development. In the event they cease services then additional professional development will be sought out in alignment with the Essential Question.
Fernando: Any Questions?
Laura: Is there an opportunity for staff to provide feedback on the spending of these funds?
Fernando: So far there has not been but we definitely can do that in the way of a survey. We can go back to the finance committee and get feedback from staff and bring it back to this meeting for approval. This does need to be approved by the December meeting.
Eric T. The December Board Meeting is a week earlier due to the winter break, so the meeting is December 14th, and the Finance committee meets on December 9th.
Fernando: Also, not sure what staff may be aware of, but for the first round of relief funding we used it for professional development and the stipends for staff. That information may be helpful to share regarding the history of the spending decisions we have made in the past.
Laura: Yes that is helpful, I know the teachers appreciate being able to have input when it comes to professional development.
Jenny: Since we have a December deadline, Laura, can we work together to get the survey out by the end of the week so teachers have time to review and give their reply after the Thanksgiving break?
Laura: Yes, I am happy to assist with getting that done.
Eric T: Great that timeline will work well to get it done by the next Board meeting.
Fernando: Ok we will get feedback from teachers, and anyone who is watching this recording can also send in feedback by next meeting and we will vote and finalize the document.
Eric T.: How do you see this going once all is approved? Have you developed a plan or how do you envision this going forward in regards to timelines and goals to establish?
Fernando: We have a high level plan we completed for the development with both Verta and Dr. Kathy on how the development will go and communicate that to the staff as well as ongoing feedback from the staff for what's working and what’s not.
Eric T.: Ok we will see this document again for approval at the December board meeting once we get feedback from community members, staff, and stakeholders.
AB361: Ralph M. Brown Act
Vote on board meetings to be virtual or in-person due to covid
Motion to stay virtual for the next 30 Days.
Justin: Would a no vote be indicative of a willingness to go back?
Eric T: If you want to vote no to encourage us to go back in person, you are welcome to do that, as long as you are ok with being outvoted .
Justin: I would like to ask how the admin and staff feels about it.
Laura: I prefer this option personally mainly because I moved to Oakland and it makes it easier for me to get home and do the meeting via zoom. That’s just my own personal reason for choosing this forum.
Fernando: I am open to either option, as long as safety protocols are in place I am fine with in-person. Last year we had much more participation which I loved. Even if we met in person we would need the option to meet on zoom to keep up participation.
Jenny: Seeing that we are in an industry that requires our full attention all day everyday I do appreciate being able to come home and take the meeting. Also board meetings do often run late so when that happens I think it makes it easier when you are already at home. If we do go in person, I agree with Fernando we need to keep an online option so that we can maintain as much participation as possible.
Maria: I agree, I live very far away and I don’t like making the long trip when it’s really late.
Ann: I would like to keep doing them from home. I was reading an article this morning that some companies have tried the hybrid model for executive meetings and that it does not work well. I vote for zoom all the way.
Fernando: What did they say the issue was?
Ann: They said that it was not inclusive, there were interactions going on in person that those on zoom were missing out on because they couldn't interact the same as those in person. I can send you the article so you can check it out.
Alecia: I strongly prefer zoom because I live far away as well and since Tuesdays are early dismissal it’s nice to get home early and have dinner and relax a little before the meeting and still be able to participate. These meetings do go really late, sometimes 10pm so it’s nice to close my laptop and go to bed versus having to spend 45 minutes driving home afterwards..
Grace: I’m indifferent, I live close and I can walk home so the travel time is not an issue. I think there’s a benefit to both. Maybe every third or fourth meeting we can have in person because there is something that’s added when you see people in person since we don’t get to do that everyday anymore so the connection sometimes gets lost. It is also nice to be home with the kids and be able to put them to bed as well.
Eric T.: I also think we should give people with younger children (5-11) time to get their kids fully vaccinated and the ones who need boosters time to get them. Also taking into consideration the amount of travel that is going to take place over the next month due to the holidays and despite the greatest efforts to be safe I am sure there will be concerns for a spike on Covid cases. So it would be beneficial to wait a few meetings for extra caution before considering having everyone in person again.
Justin: Thank you, I do feel something is missed not being in person. I agree that this forum does offer more opportunity for community members participation but I do think when we are able, I am for the in person option.
Eric T: Shared the Defensiveness worksheet and examples on how to be more mindful and aware as a board to practice the skills within.
Justin: I struggle with this a lot. I often use practicality as a means for interpreting something when there is much more to it. I find this tool very helpful.
Fernando: I have been guilty of all of these defenses. It's good to take a moment and step back and try to understand the other person’s point of view. Trying to be more open and more receptive is my work right now. So this is very helpful.
Eric T: I am also guilty of these things and keep this guide in my office as a daily reminder. Please use this link, you can download it, and if you come across anything similar to this that is helpful to this agenda item please feel free to share it with us.
Executive Directors Report - Fernando
Important Upcoming Dates
Q. How many kids are on the waitlist?
A. I have to check that information.
Q. Do we have a sense of vaccination rate for CACS students 5-11?
A. No, because we are not requiring proof.
Q. Can we ask or inquire about it?
A. Yes we can ask on a voluntary basis like on a survey but we cannot make it mandatory.
Q. How is the turnout at the testing?
A. It has not been a very big turn out.
CACS Staff of Color Committee
Special Education @ CACS
Q. It sounds like the bottleneck is the assessment. Is there anything we can do about that?
A. When we meet with the specialist from the district we plan to ask if we can work with an outside agency to take care of the assessment delay issue.
Eric T: If there are any board members that may be able to offer support in this effort can they contact you after the meeting?
Fernando: Yes, please.
Eric T: Before the pandemic, we used to do a grade level potluck. Is that something we can start doing again? If so, is there anything the board can do to help with getting that started? If not that, what can we do to foster social /emotional support?
Fernando: We have been doing monthly lunches. There have also been more volunteers on site and some classes are going on field trips which has helped. Other things I have seen are organizing weekend play dates which also helps build community.
Laura: Agreed social events outside of school definitely helps.
Eric T: Just let the board know if we can help or if you need anything from me personally or if there is something we can specifically do to help with this effort.
Maria: I would like to encourage parent volunteers to help as hall monitors. Some help from friendly parents to help at any time of the day especially with middle school level.
Fernando: I also want to add that it is important to be mindful that students may discuss what other students are struggling with so I encourage parents to have a playdate with that student that might be struggling and how beneficial it may be to invite those students to bring them in closer and show them that the are seen, it would do so much for our community.
Grace: Do you allow walk-in volunteers? Providing they have all the proper documentation in place, if they have some free time unexpectedly and may be able to help, would it be ok?
Fernando: Yes, I think ideally we can use all the help we can get. Jenny, would you agree?
Jenny: Yes, I agree that could be allowed. I think it would depend on the person and level of comfort they have with the kids. For example if they don't have much experience being with large groups of kids on the yard we may have them help with office work instead.
Finance Presentation - Justin Amirault
Laura: Was the sub budget bigger this year or the same we have had in the past?
Justin: I will need to check the data last year and get back to you.
I think we allotted more this year; Fernando do you know?
Fernando: I think we used the same budget as 2020.
Laura: So it is the same as last year?
Fernando: It went up slightly but not a lot.
Jenny: Despite our best effort we did not get a lot of family income forms back which will impact our funding. As a group this is something we should brainstorm on.
Alecia: Do families understand what the form means? Some families may not understand what the information is being used for so they may be hesitant to turn it in because they don’t understand it. Was anything done to help them understand why this information was needed?
Jenny: Yes we did explain why we needed it, and we were not asking for a lot of detailed information, just a box that needed to be checked with an income range.
Alecia: I will confess that I didn’t complete the form because there is always something to sign and if everything is important then nothing is important.
Jenny: I hear you, but we did all we could to chase people down to get it signed. I do understand the importance of making sure we get the correct message out of how important the form really is.
Maria: Thank you for saying that Alecia, I think when I provided the form I was not as informative as I could have been and did not explain the importance of it.
Alecia: Maybe using stronger language like you do when requesting immunization records it may help it be prioritized better for the parents that have a lot going on.
Laura: Maybe we can put things in dollar format for instance, if your kid missed school we can inform the parents saying this is how much money the school loses or something to that effect. Same with this form, perhaps informing families how much not having the form costs the school might help them understand the impact.
Fernando: No meeting since the last board meeting but Manda and I spoke last week about reaching out to Chris P who was the former lead on this committee to get his input on his goals and vision for next steps after the Thanksgiving break. Also getting Grace who has expressed interest will be joining. We plan to meet as a committee in January.
Laura: No updates, not much of a committee and not sure how we are going to rebuild the committee.
Janice and Melanie are no longer on the board but still acting on the development committee. They are still working actively on fundraising. As Justin indicated during the finance report, we need to assist in that effort in any way we can.
Ann: Is the annual action being planned?
Eric: No not at this time, but they will be reaching out to you soon for planning Ann.
Justin: So is there a plan to have an auction?
Eric T: Yes, there is, we just don't have any details like location, etc.
Jenny: Thinking about changing the committee to be the general operations committee. TK mandate may be coming soon so if another building pops up somewhere that would be nice. Only WiFi and website issues that are being addressed right now.
Eric T: Rescheduling the board retreat; looking at a date in January, no set date yet.
Recruiting more board members.
To join a committee you do not have to be a board member, community members are encouraged and welcome to help.
Grace: Maybe we can have someone on the yard asking parents if there was interest in joining a committee and seeing if they want to sign up for an informational meeting to understand their role, responsibilities, and expectations.
Eric T.: That’s a great idea. Can we meet to discuss logistics of what that would look like as a follow up to this meeting?
Closing check-in and action items: Updated 20-21 Approvals List
Questions on the updates from the board? None
Action Items - Next Board meeting will be a week earlier than usual - December 14th
Adjournment - Eric T.
If any questions come up after the meeting please reach out to Eric T. or Fernando.