Board of Trustees Annual Meeting

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Our World Neighborhood Education Corporation

Elementary School

36-12 35th Avenue, Astoria, NY  11106

7:00 pm

 

The Trustees present were:

Melissa Chin, Vice President

Maura Fitzgerald, Secretary

Charles Guadagnolo, Treasurer

Manu Bhagavan

Olubunmi Emigli

Also present were:

Brian Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer

Monique Officer, Senior Accountant

Nerissa Vales, PTO Co-Chair

Melissa Chin, Vice President of OWNCS Board of Trustees, chaired the meeting. 

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CEO’s Report

Brian Ferguson

Leadership Changes

Mr. Ferguson shared the CV of the incoming Vice Principal for OWNCS, Douglas Rickets who has an extensive background as an Elementary School teacher, a Principal and as an education consultant providing advice and training on topics such as integrating Common Core Learning Standards, English Language Learners, and Special Education.

Board Business

Mr. Ferguson distributed the Code of Ethics, the Board Contract: Statement of Trustee’s Responsibilities, Calendar of Meetings, the Proposed Amended and Restated By-Laws for the Education Corporation (as opposed to a single charter school) as well as required forms for completion by the members of the Board.  He noted that there were no changes to the By-Laws other than the name change.

Safety

In the wake of recent school shootings, Mr. Ferguson reviewed safety practices at the OWNCS buildings, and distributed a summary of all the practices, trainings and drills in place at our buildings and reviewed them in detail.  He noted that our practices meet all NYC standards, and that we ID all visitors to the school.  He said some parents are not completely comfortable with this but that we have continued to enforce this requirement for the safety of our students. The school has discussed school safety practices at the PTO to ensure the parent community is informed.

Facilities Committee

Charles Guadagnolo

Mr. Guadagnolo circulated notes from the Committee meeting held on November 21, which included updates on the design and lease negotiation processes for OWN2, including schematics of the new space, and the way the construction is intended to be phased in order to be ready for us to move in ahead of the start of the 2018-2019 school year.  He stated that lease negotiations were going well, and that the core issues have been worked out.  We are aiming to sign a lease by mid-December.

The notes also gave a summary of lease negotiations for the renewal of the OWN1 Middle School building.  We informed the Board that OWN had hired appraisers to inform and support our position in the negotiations, and that we are waiting for the report.

Resolution

Upon motion duly made, seconded and carried, the Trustees:

RESOLVED that the Facilities Committee and CEO, Brian Ferguson should continue to negotiate the terms for building out and renting a facility for OWN II at 79-01 Linden Boulevard and approved their authority to bind the Education Corporation to an agreement per the existing draft, with the modest changes anticipated including the total square footage to be included in Phase 1 of the construction , and the scheduling details for Phases 2 and 3 with respect to the impact on the school when it is in session.

PTO

Nerissa Vales

Ms. Vales reported that the annual Auction was a huge success grossing around $30K with a net of $22K, about $10K more than last year.  She was pleased that lots of staff attended and that they had many more items to auction off this year, and that the auction ended with a spontaneous dance party.  She announced that the PTO had voted to give more than $6,000 to the school for technology, $2,000 more than last year.  In addition, October Spirit Week raised $4,200 in change, so the PTO is having a great fundraising  year.

Next week the PTO will host lunches for teachers at both schools during Parent/Teacher conferences.  As last year, the meal at the Elementary School will be hosted by one family who has a restaurant in the city, and they will do the same for the Middle School teachers in the spring.  As the holidays approach, class parents are collecting gifts for individual teachers, and planning has begun for Free Art Saturdays during the winter and spring months.

Finance & Administration Committee

Charles Guadagnolo

Mr. Guadagnolo reported that the Committee had a meeting on November 21st at which they reviewed the 1st Quarter financials, and that everything was on track for this time of year, and that the Finance Office and the Committee would continue to monitor results closely.

He also informed the Board that we were in the process of resolving a billing discrepancy with the NYC–DOE on per pupil funding for last year that resulted in OWN needing to reimburse the city.   To ensure this does not happen again, the Business Office will systematically reconcile student data from the two databases in use by the school.

The Committee also discussed the financial aspects of lease negotiations that were discussed in the Facilities Committee report, and planning for our Business Manager’s maternity leave.

Audit Committee

Maura Fitzgerald

Ms. Fitzgerald reported that the Audit Committee had met with the Auditors on October 25th to review the Audit report in detail.  Per customary practice the Auditors thoroughly reviewed the process used to inform their opinion, and which resulted in a clean, unmodified audit opinion.

Resolution

Upon motion duly made, seconded and carried, the Trustees:

RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the September 26, 2017 meeting, as presented.

The Board members called an Executive Session.  A report on their business follows:

Annual Review of Board Terms and Election of Trustees

The Board conducted its annual review of board terms, which are as follows:

        Expiring 2017

        Rich Bogle        

Maura Fitzgerald

                Olubunmi Emigli

Expiring 2018

        Jeanette Betancourt

Charles Guadagnolo

Expiring 2019

        Melissa Chin

                        Manu Bhagavan

Upon motions duly made, seconded and carried, the Trustees:

RESOLVED to re-elect Rich Bogle for a term ending in 2020;

RESOLVED to re-elect Olubunmi Emigli for a term ending in 2020; and.

RESOLVED to re-elect Maura Fitzgerald for a term ending in 2020.

        


Annual Election of Officers

As per OWN by-laws, officer positions are elected each year at the annual meeting.  

Upon motions duly made, seconded and carried, the Trustees:

RESOLVED to elect Jeanette Betancourt as President;

RESOLVED to elect Melissa Chin as Vice President;

RESOLVED to elect Maura Fitzgerald as Secretary; and

RESOLVED to elect Charles Guadagnolo as Treasurer.

Annual Review of Committee Assignments

The Trustees proceeded to review the Committee assignments and appointed Committee Chairs as follows:

Education

        Melissa Chin, Chair

Jeanette Betancourt

                Manu Bhagavan

Olubunmi Emigli

Finance & Administration

        Charles Guadagnolo, Chair

        Melissa Chin

Maura Fitzgerald

Audit

        Maura Fitzgerald, Chair

        Melissa Chin

Charles Guadagnolo

Development

        Jeanette Betancourt, Chair

        Richard Bogle

                Olubunmi Emigli

Facilities

        Richard Bogle, Chair

        Melissa Chin

        Charles Guadagnolo

Executive

Jeanette Betancourt, Chair

Melissa Chin

Maura Fitzgerald

Charles Guadagnolo

                                                                

Respectfully submitted by:                        

Maura Fitzgerald, Secretary, OWNCS Board of Trustees                

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