Black River Independent School Committee

Date/Time: 05/09/2019 @ 6:30pm

Location: Black River High School Middle School Library


I. Call to Order-Called to order by John

  1. Roll Call-John Bannon, Suzy Buckley, Joann Wilson, Craig Huttvater, Kristen Garvey (filling in recording for Marissa Selleck), Pat Pullinen; Uli Donohue at 6:45pm, & Melissa Perrino at 7pm.
  2. Approval of Agenda: Additions & Deletions-CH added 3. Special Ed to III. B. Discussions; JW Motion to pass amended Agenda, SB 2nd; Passed

II. Approval of Minutes

  1. 04/25/2019-JW Motion to pass, SB 2nd; Passed

III. Business

  1. Updates

1. School Fair Event Review-CH says there was buzz and excitement about BRA. Parents and teachers were positive. Good turn-out. Per JW, Karen (Trimboli) also said there was a lot of buzz from speaking with students. Schools with the most interest appeared to be: Long Trail, Woodstock and BRA. The PR “kit” that Joann put together can go to different events. Can bring it to event at Mount Holly for example. PP give kudos to JW for putting together the kit - thanks her for her efforts putting it together. The group applauds JW. PP says setting up for fair felt easy and the interaction piece was memorable and popular with the kids. SB says the kids really felt involved and part of building their own school. Unique interests came out such as archery and horseback riding. There is discussion about unique activities providing an opportunity to reach special populations of students as well as utilizing local resources (i.e. Rainbow Riding). There was nice feedback from other schools. Stafford really wants to work with us - gave us brochures. Another strong interest came out for Japanese. Sports interests were fairly typical (i.e. baseball, basketball, soccer, etc.). There is discussion about having transitional activities begin next year that will continue. There is discussion about having a connection with UVM for foreign language - JB mentioned a special program available where an instructor will come to your school if you provide housing.

2. May 6th Select Board Meeting via JW, SB-Appointed Building Committee; members are Joann Wilson, Pat Pullinen, Dan Buckley, Ralph Pace, Earl Washburn, Sue Pollender, Cheryl Gurdak, Heather Tucker, & Justin Hyjeck. First meeting is May 23rd, Goal for proposal is September.

3. Grants Update via JB, JW-BRISC applied for the Ludlow Enterprise Fund; Both BRISC and Chamber of Commerce are the only two applicants so far. We asked for $10,000.00 Scott Murphy has acknowledged our application and feels that the town is very supportive of BRA. Decision will be on or around June 1.  As for Agency of Education, goal is to have application completed by the end of the summer. Do we need to have location solidified to submit the application? Need to reach out to Steve Lorenz and ask him more about financial viability and location. PP spoke with him and he said that financial viability is huge. Perhaps we should reach out to Logan Nicoll? Any other connections? Colin McKaig’s contact? Dan French?

        *Follow Up-Reach out to above-mentioned resources for clarification

Lastly, other Grant Information: Overview of available grants presented by John. Added Epic Promise and Dartley Trust to list. Confirm with MHJ and HD that they can take the lead on grants. MS to follow up on Epic Promise, SB explained that John Neal (Select Board Member & Vail-Okemo Manager) is in charge of the Okemo part of this. KG to follow up on the Dartley Trust.

        *Follow Up-Confirm with MHJ & HD for Grant assistance

        *Follow Up-KG on Dartley Trust

        *Follow Up-MS on Epic Promise

4. LMHUUSD May 8th Meeting-Highlights for BRA via Karen Trimboli. Discussion about subdivision included. Changes since DRB June meeting. Building Sub-Committee will review everything. If the town takes the 40 acres there will likely be allowances for school use (LES and BRA). Need to find compromise as well as put things in writing.  As for AoE Application timeline and Building Sub-Committee timeline, discussion about money = credibility. JB feels that we need to focus on PR/fundraising. PP feels we need to lock in on a building & need an agreement between the Town and School Board, by/for July 1, 2020? Discussion about more legal help and possibly a Letter of Intent. Consult Steve Lorenz? Questions about contents of the building, i.e. furniture, desks, Smartboards. JB-technology is outdated. Consideration of a bridge loan based on enrollments. JB to reach out to Barb Lamere at People’s United Bank.

5. Webpage Update via UD-Minutes & Agendas to be updated, as well as suggestion to remove donor list.

        *Follow Up-MP to reach out to Christine Graham for fundraising advice.

      B. Discussion

1. 501(c)3 Status-By Laws are needed. UD merged BRISC and BRA by-laws, edited the purpose. Added non-discrimination article. They need to be adopted. Details needing to be added: budget, expenses, income, members of board, qualification, fundraising efforts, lawyer and accounts to review.

2. Outreach to Community Resources (ASAP)-Outreach as follows:

        Women’s Group

3. Special Ed via CH-Gathered notes and research, will need to continue to follow up on receiving proper Special Ed resources.

VI. Public Comment-SB & MP went to the Booster Club Meeting - Andrea Sanford will be stepping down after next year; she is supportive of BRA. Also, PP mentioned fundraising and financial viability again; will reach out to Steve Lorenz. Need to recruit Board of Trustees and make sure there is no conflict of interest with people who may want to have a job at BRA. We will also need to recruit a Headmaster soon.

V. Suggested Items for Next Meeting-Grants Update, Wine & Cheese Meeting Event via MP, 501(c)3, By-Laws,

VI. Adjournment-Adjourned by JB