Black River Independent School Committee

Date/Time: 05/16/2019 @ 6:30pm

Location: Black River High School Middle School Library


I. Call to Order-Called to order @ 6:39pm by John

  1. Roll Call-Melissa Perrino, Suzy Buckley, John Bannon, Jerry Tucker, Uli Donohue, Pat Pullinen, Joann Wilson, Marissa Selleck, & Kristen Garvey
  2. Approval of Agenda: Approval & Deletions-JB to add 5. Grants; PP & JT to add 3. Budgets; and MP to add 4. Athletics.  JW made motion to pass new Agenda, SB 2nd; Passed.

II. Approval of Minutes

  1. 05/09/2019-Postponed

III. Business

  1. Updates

1. Women’s Group via KG-KG & HT were able to do a presentation for the Women’s Group for their end of the season event.  Provided a 10 minute presentation sharing information & current updates; group was very engaging & supportive and offered contacts/outreach to follow up on.  Feedback following meeting was in fact to follow up with contacts, lots of positive support.  (*Need to continue to update email outreach list/google doc in BRA account).

        *Follow Up-KG/HT to reach out to groupcontacts; also, look into gathering

        emails of attendees from Darlene Remy, who invited us to the event.

2. Wine & Cheese Event via MP-Small turnout but positive feedback from attendees; interest from some attendees to transition their children to Ludlow/BR in the next year or 2 throughout closing/reopening.  Also, Megan Jenkins (Mt. Holly PTSA Chair/parent) attended & immediately offered afterwards to host one in Mt. Holly.  Offered June 4th, which is the same day as the school play; as long as a few members can attend it should work out.  

*Follow Up-Officially schedule Mt. Holly event w/ MHJ

3. Budget Update via PP (& JT)-PP’s wife was Superintendent in Ludlow during a turnover period and worked to adjust budget for said transition.  Reviewed our drafted budget & offered us assistance.  Lots of moving pieces: maintenance, building, revenues, cleaning services, etc.  Build it in, schedule different groups for cleaning/maintenance.  Also, how it correlates with the fundraising as well, & the various strategies we have employed/will employ.  Need to continue to gather contacts for larger funds.  Contingent as well as when the money from the State begins to transfer to independent school.  Furthermore, JT spoke with Benson’s Chevrolet about possibility of transportation opportunities.  Had good conversation with owner, Trevor Benson (also BR alum, class of 2006), for possibilities (good deals available for passenger vans, which do not require CDLs).  JT then spoke with the Town & apparently they also have a 12 passenger van.  Key though is to be self-sustainable for the first few years.  Possibility to operate with school board as they will be running buses for grade school students anyway.  Separate passenger van could be for the farther outliers if we receive students from Londonderry, Landgrove, etc...

*Next Thursday: Meeting officially rescheduled to 6pm instead of 6:30pm.

        *Follow Up-Invite Judy Pullinen to our next meeting for budget assistance.

4. Athletics via MP-Has started a google doc with information about potential athletics; a lot of information had been provided from PP’s response, which is also in the doc now.  PP suggests we need to pinpoint our numbers (ballpark figure of how many students & which activities we can immediately confirm/provide).  JB suggested too the uncommon smaller sports are designed by independent schools to get students into college for those specialties.  Also, opportunity to correlate activities to fulfill PE requirements.  

        *Follow Up-Schedule meeting, probably sooner the better to move forward

     B. Discussion

        1. Next Event, Mt. Holly Option via MHJ-See above, MHJ offered to host

        2./3. 501(c)3 & Laws-UD Met on Tues to work on the by-laws.  Finalized a draft,

        sent it to the lawyer with the note that we are hoping to approve these by next

        week’s meeting, as well as some open questions that still we need some

        answers to fill in on form.  Big gap however is the budget.  JB requested an

        estimated timeline, UD says it depends on budget numbers.  MP-Utilizing

        Quickbooks could help expedite this.  Basically just need to finish organizing

        the information.  Following up with Quickbooks; a few logistics to sort out

                *Follow Up-Work Meeting to organize bank account

                *Follow Up-Set June 1st to send in upgraded 501(c)3 form

                *Follow Up-Setting Up Quickbooks

        4. Motto/Insignia via PP-Drafted possible Latin phrase: Servata, Locorum,

        Doctrine (Preserving Local Learning).  Unanimous, group approved.

        5. Grants via JB-Printed out the Available Grants doc; suggested we divvy up the

        grants and all look into them.  PP-what are the amounts we are considering

        requesting?  Depends on the source, research them & go from there & won’t hurt

        to ask for the optimum amount.  Note about VT Community Fund-They have

        been in town speaking with a couple of local groups, seeking an organization to

        provide funds for.  PP-We are limited right now ($50,000 is our cap with current

        Non-profit status).  But time frame with submitting new one should be ok.  

        Grants organized as such:

        -SB: Orton Foundation & Hannaford Charitable Foundation (might need a

Board of Trustees listed, though);

        -PP/JP: VT Community Foundation

        -UD: The Windham Foundation

        -KG: Dartley Foundation & Merrow Trust (With MP)

        -MS: Epic Promise

        *Several others listed on google doc, but those are bigger grants/monetary

        support and will most likely need a lot more logistics entered.

                *Follow Up-MS/MP reach out to Hyle & Megan for more grant research

IV. Public Comment-via PP we should follow up with a press release update about the excellent turnout at the School Fair, & update student outreach progress on webpage; MP/UD-also update Minutes on webpage; Q of “Financial Viability?”-UD, when it makes more money than it spends ultimately & JB-when we can support ourselves prior to State money being provided.  Lastly, PP-Building Sub-Committee meets Thursday via Town/Select Board.

V. Suggested Items for Next Meeting-501(c)3/By-Laws update; Board of Trustees revote Q/Concern for Lawyer (update) via KG; Press Release update; Condo Association Contact via SB; Mt. Holly Event via MHJ; Quickbooks option; Grant Legwork; Budget Discussion w/ Judy Pullinen; Building Sub-Committee Update

        *Meeting switched back to 6:30 because of Building Sub-Committee Meeting

        prior to it on the same evening.

VI. Adjournment-Adjourned @ 8:02pm by JB