Board of Trustees Meeting
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Our World Neighborhood Charter School
31-20 37th Street, Astoria, NY 11106
The Trustees present were:
Melissa Chin, Vice President
Maura Fitzgerald, Secretary
Also present were:
Brian Ferguson, Executive Director
Mark Crusante, Development Director
Lucille Ranchor, Admissions Coordinator
Monique Officer, Senior Accountant
Nerissa Vales, PTO Co-Chair
Melissa Chin, Vice-President of the OWNCS Board of Trustees, chaired the meeting.
Mr. Ferguson made note once again of recent school shootings, stating that they were up significantly over last year, even before the latest Florida shooting incident. Per our discussion earlier this year, he had already sent a letter regarding safety to the school community, but he will send another message shortly. He stated his intent of including a statement that OWN does not wish to arm its teachers, and reiterating our commitment to our Pillars, and that how we treat each other within the OWN community is of the utmost importance. The attending Board members fully agreed that we all must model appropriate behavior both at the school and in our broader community, and that we do not want to arm our teachers. It was recommended that Mr. Ferguson share the text with our Board President before sending it and asking her to co-sign it to demonstrate the Board’s shared commitment to these principles.
Mr. Ferguson went on to say that the latest events had sparked interest in socially responsible investments, and the attendees discussed ways of offering an SRI line-up in the 403(b) retirement savings plan.
Ms. Vales reported that the PTO is gearing up for a lot of events, and that the PTO Board meeting is scheduled for the next day, with a packed agenda. The Free Art Saturdays are due to start and have a waiting list of over 30 kids. The founders of entertainment event Kaiju Big Battle, who are OWN parents have offered tickets again this year to an event on March 10 to serve as a fundraiser. Spirit Week, the Multi-Cultural Festival, and a K-2 craft fair are also all in the works. In the meantime, they are seeking a new Auction chair for the fall as well as a new PTO Co-Chair.
Mr. Ferguson reported that the lease negotiations for the Middle School building have not progressed because we are still waiting on responses from our landlord about whether it will be feasible to expand the facility. He stated that the weekly meetings to the OWN2 site have continued, that construction is proceeding on schedule, and that we have begun to purchase computers and furniture. He also noted that we have identified space for outreach meetings to the local community. In the meantime, he held a kick-off meeting with the same writer we hired to help write our last charter application to launch work on the 3rd charter application, and is working on a non-binding Letter of Intent with the landlord for the potential OWN3 building.
Mr. Ferguson stated that he and his team are continuing to work on improving the SPED program and that they have begun visiting other schools to identify places our teachers can visit.
Respectfully submitted by:
Maura Fitzgerald, Secretary, OWNCS Board of Trustees