Black River Independent School Committee

Date/Time: 07/25/2019 @ 6:30pm

Location: Black River High School Middle School Library


I. Call to Order-Called to Order by JB @ 6:34pm

  1. Roll Call-John Bannon, Joann Wilson, Suzy Buckley, Kristen Garvey, Melissa Perrino, Heather Tucker, Marissa Selleck, Sean Williams & Summers Eatmon via Google Chatroom; Sue Star (Community Guest); Megan Harlow Jenkins via Google Chatroom @ 6:39pm
  2. Approval of Agenda: Additions & Deletions-N/A, passed unanimously

II. Special Guest: David Wilson, Long Trail School Founder; Synopsis:

This is the second time David Wilson has met with us at our meetings, the first time being just over a year ago on June 7th, 2018.  Provided David an update: Reviewing State Application and filling in as progress is made; Waiting on 501(c)3 Upgrade Status; Began our larger fundraising efforts with a Stemwinder event; Drafting budget; Updating content and materials to disperse with community and potential donors.  

David Wilson’s Response: Advocated we also settle our State Tax status asap.  Also advocated to reach out to families/current students ASAP for attendance commitment.  Explained that events do not actually make the money, they are the conduit for it via information sharing and communication channels/networking, *FOLLOW UPS!

Group inquired about best way to initiate; David Wilson opted for personal phone calls, and express the possibility of making an impact, ie: Scholarships.  Further inquiry about how much to ask for, as it’s hard to gauge; DW’s response “A lot,” but remember to advocate the impact it offers local kids.  Also expressed utilizing software designed to search for donors (as well as for keeping track of).  Brought copies of another one of the Fundraising Consultant’s books for guidance, as well as diagram of giving pyramid (base tier contains largest percentage of donors at smaller amounts, top is smallest percentage but largest donations).  Include presentations? Depends on venue/setting; again, emphasize passion and impact.  Do anything and everything to get message across and secure gift.  Inquiry about fundraising via golf tournament; DW response is that yes at some point but not initially, it is hard to organize and make enough money to be worth it; best way is to have sponsors at holes &/or be a beneficiary of a pre existing one; or wait until you’re established enough.  Offered guiding rule: think about why you are doing something and if it meets the overall goal. Another guiding rule is to do your research on people/events!  Question of Alumni resource, for DW it was one of the few things founding LT School that slipped through to his chagrin, so yes worth it.  Finished conversation with 2 more inquiries regarding attaining Board Members (DW-keep variety and include/involve someone who has the big financial backing), as well as comparing options for a Development Coordinator &/or Head of School hiring asap.  DW-Both would make sense, one works with the Board for Policy & Fundraising (& giving money), and the other with school structure.  Last question in regards to potential stock gifts, DW-yes, it’s easy.  Go for it.  A tremendous thank you to David Wilson for meeting with BRISC again, much needed and appreciated boost!

III. Approval of Minutes

  1. 07/18/2019: JW Motion, SB 2nd.  Passed

IV. Board Comments

Sean Williams & Summers Eatmon hosting BBQ for Board at their house: Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 (@ 6pm?)

V. Business

  1. Updates

1. Hiring Committee Meeting of 07/23/2019 via SB (& MS): Group had reviewed Pros and Cons list that SB had drafted (& shared them at meeting) for hiring a Head of School sooner rather than later; shared suggestions with group.  Both are well done with only several suggestions, main idea is to have consistent format between the two.  Also, upon further investigation about where to post it looks like it is very beneficial to share it via social media (it’s all about sharing information).  Suggestion from community guest-have we considered offering a decent pay with severance?  Could be an option…

Group agreed that once suggested edits are made reshare it and vote/finalize them at next week’s meeting.

        *Follow Up-Share suggestions with KG

        *Follow Up-Add to next week’s Agenda

        2. Marketing Progress: Press Release via JW & KG; Video Presentation via MS;

        Website Content via MHJ: Press Release is drafted, KG/JW in touch with our

        financial consultant, just waiting to confirm a few more details.  Website Content

        is being updated by MHJ, requested bios from the members in the group to

        upload. Video Presentation-Presentation group (MHJ, HD, SW, JB & MS) still

        working on setting up a recording with OVTV.  Inquiry about officially voting in

        content ie: Pillars prior to any more dissemination; discussion back and forth

        about which details need to be sorted out; key component is just double checking

        Some wording and making sure we are all in accordance with all related

concepts.  Scheduling recording has not been able to be finalized yet anyway,

might have some leeway to review any suggestions/questions.  

        *Follow Up-Review Presentation/Pillars outline to finalize for next week

        (add to Agenda in the beginning)

        3. Budget for Building Feasibility Sub Committee-As explained to David

        Wilson, Town is cooperative & wants to find most beneficial plan of action;

communication & plan are moving forward cohesively.    

      B. Discussion

        1. Designate Team Leaders for Work Groups: SW for Vision; MS for

Development; UD for State; MHJ for Marketing; JB for Curriculum; JW for

Building; JW & KG for Finance; & SB for Hiring Committee

        2. Development: Angel List & Follow Ups via MS: MS drafted list of guests from

        Stemwinder event in Excel Google Doc (will eventually transfer into a program as

        Recommended once we reach that point for tracking donors/donations).  Has

        begun to assign Members guests to follow up with; will finalize assignments on

        Spreadsheet this evening for Development Work Group members.  However,

        members can coordinate if they want to swap based on acquaintances.

                *Follow Up-MS to finalize assignments and share

        3. Financial Report-Table (group member who suggested it not in attendance)

        4. School Choice Night @ BR-Reach out/follow up sooner rather than later, need

        to gather commitments from students/families; show them we have progress and

        something tangible.

VI. Public Comments

Community Guest agreed to be included for group emails.

VII. Suggested Items for Next Week’s Meeting

Video Presentation Update; Website Content Update; Pillars Vote

VIII. Adjournment

Motion by JW, 2nd by SB; Adjourned by JB @ 8:31pm