Black River Independent School Committee

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

Location: Black River High School Middle School Library


I. Call to Order-Called to order @ 6:37pm by JB

  1. Roll Call-Pat Pullinen, Suzy Buckley, John Bannon, Uli Donohue, Megan Harlow Jenkins, Melissa Perrino, Joann Wilson, Marissa Selleck; Community Member Dan Ventner; Cara Philbin; Kristen Garvey at 7:01pm; Craig Huttvater at 7:18pm
  2. Approval of Agenda: Additions and Deletions-SB Motion, JW 2nd. Passed.

II. Approval of Minutes

  1. 08/29/2019-SB Motion, PP 2nd.  Passed.

III. Board Comments

  1. Financial Report-Overall we have about $30,000; We have another pledge of $10,000 and the $8,000 from the Ludlow Enterprise Fund.
  2. Mail Key-SB has one; the other one is probably UD, she will double check; for now SB is fine being singular key holder; might reorder a 2nd one in future if need be.

IV. Business

  1. Updates

        1. Legal: 09/05/2019 Meeting w/ Lawyer RE: Hiring Contract, State App, & Board

Insurance-For hiring, the lawyer is drafting a contract for our Development Coordinator,

who was just officially hired prior to the meeting by the Hiring Committee as agreed upon

by the Board. Candidate/hire is Cara Philbin, present for meeting (introductions held just

before starting the meeting). In meeting earlier lawyer did remind us that as an

independent contractor he/she designates their own work, while Board acts as sounding


2. Hiring Committee Details with Top Candidate-Offer was provided and she is officially

hired (see above), we should have the contract from the lawyer in the next few days.

*Follow Up: Have contract signed for Development Coordinator when it arrives  

3. Building: Select Board Meeting 09/02/2019-via JW, very succinct report provided to

the Select Board, who were impressed with its thoroughness.  Next will be the

forewarned public hearing in October for open discussion with the community, then

Town/public votes on it in November.  

4. Chamber Membership-MHJ met with Carol Lighthall at Ludlow Chamber of

Commerce, who is very supportive.  If we joined it would be a great resource as well as

PR potential.  She suggested an event such as the llama auction (MHJ suggested owls). We could kick this off soon.  MHJ discussed briefly with Kathy Burns, potential support/collaboration resource.  MP-Price, annual or once?  MHJ-Annual, $140/year.  We also get our name posted.  Induction ribbon-cutting ceremony; would be good PR &

fundraiser, we could host a mixer.  Good location to hold it would be Du Jour (restaurant

run/owned by local alum, very excited to collaborate for this). PP made motion for

BRISC to join Chamber, MP 2nd.  All in favor, none opposed.  Passed.

5. Development: HWC Meeting RE: IRA Accts-In depth discussion about fundraising for

over these loan-type monetary funds from IRA accounts; MS explained that both

financial advisor and lawyer advised it is not an appropriate avenue for our

causes/purposes.  Further discussion then about time expended for more fundraising

& to return to lists and big donors.  A lot to cover still reaching out to donors, past &

present, and raising significant amount left.  Also, MP received delivery of box of

envelopes, present members unsure what they pertain to.  As it stands collaboration

between Marketing & Development is stuck.  Will need to work this out asap.

                *Follow Up-Identify envelopes delivered with BRISC info

        Last update for HWC meeting: financial advisor wants to assist more with networking

        then any big transactions, other than what is in their realm.  But is comfortable helping

        BRISC make contacts.

  1. Discussion

1. Mangiamo Family Free Pizza Night Planning-Event is next Thursday September 12th, 2019, in lieu of our regularly scheduled public meetings at the BR library.  MS has confirmed with Mangiamo owners, they will discount us for pizzas and will monitor intake & production.  As for event, some form of questionnaire will be available for collecting families contact information.  SE is also going to incorporate laptops to share & gather information.  Group agreed to do an informal presentation, play it by ear but keep it short.  Presenters will be MS as introduction, MHJ discussing pillars, and SW providing closing remarks about this opportunity and support needed ASAP!

  1. Marketing: Reordering Brochures?-A few typos had come up, discussion about how/when to reorder.  Group eventually agreed Mangiamo event was too soon to print more for that event; will wait for the next event.
  2. Marketing: T-shirts/Swag-MP & MHJ have been looking into potential clothing wear to order as swag, ie: T-Shirts & beanies/hats.  Reviewed some examples for lettering.  Also discussed possible prices for sale; CP (new dev coordinator) suggested getting local businesses to sponsor & thus have their name/logo printed on the clothing, group unanimously agreed great suggestion.

        *Follow Up-CP will look into contacting local businesses for sponsorships.

  1. School Fair (Segway with this presentation?)-Presenters will be SB, SW, & SEW.  Curriculum is meeting next Tuesday September 10th to continue chipping away at the curriculum.  

        2. Finance (Board), Spending Limits-Tabled, adopt at the next meeting; discuss for next

        week’s Agenda.

Tech-JB’s reminder, looking into how that facilitation works with schools as well as

price/payment process through district/State. JW-River Valley Tech in Springfield is absolutely interested; Scott Farr, Superintendent/”Principal” would come to talk to students.  CP-What if Tech was offered in the summer?  They don’t do that but they are willing to entertain ideas; they also provide a program for younger kids, a “tech camp” in the summer.  At first, at least, we could outsource some programs to River Valley (eg, horticulture). River Valley is very eager/willing to work with us. PP-reiterated they’d be willing to find a way.  PP also advocated for Stafford Program in Rutland, esp for Mt. Holly students.  SB-also. PP-we also lose a percentage of tuition (depends on your day); it gets billed to the district. JW-explained to River Valley the Select Board updates on building; where/when do you see them coming in to talk to us?  PP-Not till next August before we open; maybe June.  JW-Ok, so we can hold off.  Are e-funds a possibility?  CP suggested Kickstarter; big thing will be forming a creative campaign to reach students and the rest of their families.  

V. Public Comment

Dan Ventner asked about transportation.  JB-Planning on renting several vans to head to central areas in specific neighborhoods to start.  DV-other schools might jump on the opportunity to provide bussing to scoop up students; Burr & Burton, Long Trail

MHJ requested donor letter sending vote; JW made motion, PP 2nd.  Passed.

JW noted that for the next meeting we will need to vote on official Mission now that we have edited some wording and language in it.  JW-the brochure is the action creating event.

UD-wants to add to the Agenda regularly is progress of the State Application. Group Agreed.  UD advocated that we need to work on it and check in weekly.  SB-We need more expert help for Special Ed, PP offered expert acquaintance he will reach out to asap.  

VI. Suggested Items for Next Meeting

Board Growth Mindset; Curriculum and Accreditation; Board Potluck; Alumni Meeting for Mailers; Co-Sponsoring Alumni Parade/Event next June; Fundraising

VII. Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 8:28pm by JB