Children’s Kiva Montessori School

Elementary/Middle School - Board of Directors Special Meetings

12.10.18 at 7:30 pm - Children’s House, 1204 E Empire

BOD Approved on 12.17.18

  1. Call to Order - Special Meeting
  1. Stacey called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm.
  1. Roll Call: Stacey Weyand, Vice President; Tamia Hurst, Secretary; Cayce Hamerschlag, Treasurer; Holley Christensen, Member; Melissa Gould, member (via phone); Jordan Meyers, Member

Absent from BOD:  Kelli Jackson, President

Staff: Alexia Hudson-McGrath, TIHOS; Urulu Yazzie, FD, Caitlin Munroe

Community Members: Jon Orris, Barbara Mate, Margaret Schmalz, Vee Bauer-Landes, Shannon Pixler, Angel Morris, Debbie Fish, Sheila Fish, Cassidy Parks, Rebecca Milholand, Valerie Muniz, Sara Parks, Jenny Munoz, Cynthia Jones, Waley Pixler, Avilton Jones, Angela Seeley, Crescent Rossiter, Joel Cosper, Haley Randall, Rebecca Gardner, Vivian Bracetti, Ondrea Whited, Trena Yazzie

  1. Vision – Children’s Kiva Montessori School will provide a vibrant and engaging learning environment based on the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori that supports all students’ academic excellence and ability to become empowered, creative, lifelong learners responsible for themselves, their community, and their environment.

Mission – Children’s Kiva Montessori School uses authentic Montessori methods, Community-Based educational approaches, and integrated academics (STEAM) to support student academic success, responsibility, and independence.

  1. Motion to Adopt Agenda: Tamia moved to approve the agenda as presented.  Motion seconded.  Discussion: Items VII.a and VII.c need to be switched.  No further discussion.  All in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.

  1. Staff Comments: three minute time cap please.  For discussion(s) that may take more time please email the board at bod@kivacharter.org.
  1. Alexia - expressed concern with our academic performance and that we are no longer being true to our mission and vision.  Her daughter, even with a strong Montessori foundation, felt that our academics were lacking and decided to transition to another school.  If the Board votes to continue, she needs to see a written, comprehensive plan to bring our students back up academically, not just how social and emotional needs are going to be met.  If we are achieving Montessori with fidelity, we shouldn’t see academic gaps.  Alexia will stand to support the Board and school regardless of what is decided, but pleaded that we take the mission and vision to heart.
  2. Caitlin - our past academic performance is something to pay attention to.  It will take some coordinated effort to get to where we need to be.  What we had at Manaugh shows what is possible for us now.  It’s worth every effort that we have and then some.

  1. Community Member Forum: Community members may use this time to speak to the board; three minute time cap please.  For discussion(s) that may take more time please email the board at bod@kivacharter.org.  Please note that issues concerning personnel matters need to follow the Communication Pathway and Grievance Procedure.
  1. Questions / Comments:
  1. Did Re1 present our budget accurately in their presentation?
  2. How is the rent for our school written into the budget in the future?
  3. Does the future budget include more staff and specials?
  4. As a middle school student, my daughter’s test scores were not reflected in what the districted presented due to how few students are in the middle school.  However, her academics have improved since transitioning from public school to the Kiva.
  5. Several parents felt that the Districts reporting of our academics is not reflective of our school’s academic performance over all.  It was too small of a group to give an accurate picture.
  6. If we don’t surrender, how far will we go in the appeal process?
  7. Where do we go from here?
  8. One parent thanked all the parents that have stepped forward through all of this.
  9. What the scores are not showing are self motivation and lifelong learning skills.  You can’t measure us against public schools.
  10. It was difficult to find out enrollment information for our school.  There may have been other people over the summer that weren’t able to get into our school due to the lack of a building and leadership to follow up with interested families.
  11. The parents thanked the Board for the communication that was sent out today.  It was very helpful information.
  12. An individual spoke of her own children attending public school and then her grandchildren attending public school and all of them being “prepped” specifically for the tests.  We don’t “prep” our students before tests in Montessori do we?  It will never be fair to compare our students to public school students who are being specifically “prepped” for tests.
  13. A parent expressed that they appreciate the information that RE-1 presented to our Kiva Community, but are very bothered by the comment, “This is in the best interest of the students.”  Revoking our contract is most certainly not in the best interest of my students.
  14. If our school does not continue, my kids will not be attending RE-1 schools.
  15. If the Board decides not to surrender and the District decides not to revoke our Charter, will the District revisit this again if our trends don’t go up?
  16. Is there a difference to us between surrendering our Charter and the District revoking our Charter?
  17. I don’t know where else my child would go.
  18. We are willing to work with the school, Board, and IHOS however we can, so I say we should go for it.

  1. Business
  1. Charter breach / Surrender discussion and action
  1. Tamia moved to not surrender our Charter at this time and to continue exploring additional options and discussions with the RE-1 School District.  Motion seconded. No discussion.  All in favor.  Motion carried.
  1. CH and E/M S MOU discussion
  1. The E/M S Board (12.07.18) and Children’s House Board (12.10.18) moved to follow through with the termination of our MOU as outlined in the MOU between Children’s House and Elementary/Middle School regarding the Temporary Interim Head of School position so that the E/M S Board could move forward with the hiring of an Interim Head of School.
  2. We would like to extend our appreciation to Alexia Hudson-McGrath for her countless hours of service on our school's behalf.  She willingly stepped into the role of Temporary Interim Head of School at a very challenging time.  Through her leadership our school successfully transitioned back out to Crow Canyon in an emergency situation and she has provided the school with stability that allowed us to continue forward.
  1. Long-term IHOS discussion and action
  1. Discussion: On 12.05.18 the E/M S BOD made the following motion: “Cayce moved that we approve the Letter of Hire for Jon Orris as IHOS should the Board decide to continue forward with the Charter as is and with the ability to offer that letter effective the date the decision is made by the Board.  Motion seconded.  No discussion.  Roll Call Vote: Stacey - aye, Tamia - aye, Cayce - aye, Holley - aye, Jordan - aye.  Motion carried.”
  2. We would like to introduce and welcome Jon Orris to our Kiva Community.
  1. RE-1 Meeting on Tuesday, December 11, 2018
  1. Who can present UIP
  1. Alexia has already prepared the snapshot and will meet with Jon tomorrow to review it.  Cayce and Jon will meet together and then present it to RE-1.
  1. Other needs for this meeting
  1. Staff and parent attendance at the meeting.  The more representation we can get, the better.

  1. New Business
  1. Building and Locations Committee plans to hold a meeting in the near future.  Anyone interested may attend.

  1. BOD Report to Kiva Konnect Newsletter or Community, if applicable
  1. Announcements from tonight’s meeting.
  2. Kiva E/M S IHOS.

  1. Next Meeting(s)
  1. Regular Board Meeting - Monday, December 17, 2018 at 5:30 pm (Work Session) and 7 pm (Regular Meeting) at Children’s House, 1204 E Empire.

  1. Adjournment - Cayce moved to adjourn the meeting, unanimously approved.  Motion carried.  Meeting adjourned at 8:03 pm.

Prepared by Tamia Hurst, BOD Secretary

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