Call to Session: Carolyn @ 8PM
Board Members in Attendance: Carolyn, Heather, Allison, Libby, Patricia, Tracey, Bridget, Jessie.
Board Members & Parents (Approximately 20) introduced themselves to each other.
Carolyn presented the 2012-13 Budget and Highlighted Major Increases/Decreases Year over Year (See Budget for Details).
Carolyn ran through possible Board projects for the 2012-13 school year:
- Connect with a mentoring group for non-profits to learn how to be a stronger board and school organization
- Create a steering committee of former board members, community members to foster long-term knowledge, possibly fundraising
- Create a real estate committee to look at space options: a larger space, a secondary space for twos or afterschool prep
- Plan + implement improvements to the space, including soundproofing, more room divisions
- Consider doing a summer camp, either with our teachers or contracted out
- Reconsider how CHP does admissions
- Desire for a garden: use the South Brooklyn Children's Garden, or create a container garden in the trashy corner triangle
- Establish a concrete goal for fundraising, and publicize it
- Find legal representation for the school
- Conduct parent survey as part of NAEYC accreditation
- Carolyn opened up the floor for comments from parents:
- A parent asked about the possibility of establishing a scholarship fund at CHP. A few other parents expressed interest. Further discussion and feasibility-legal and otherwise will need to be conducted by the Board.
- A parent asked for clarification on a secondary space for two’s. Carolyn explained that having a second incubator location would give CHP more flexibility with the program offerings for threes and fours.
- By a show of hands approximately 2/3’s of the parent body raised hands that they were interested in a Summer Camp offering.
- A parent inquired about legal representation whether or not we have had any substantial issues. Carolyn responded no. Another parent mentioned that the NYC Bar Association could be a possible pro bono option.
- A parent mentioned difficulty in getting feedback from her child about the child’s day at CHP. Board members mentioned how valuable the website can be to help facilitate this conversation as well as attending Curriculum night where the Carol and the teachers usually address this issue.
- Carolyn also mentioned that everyone should be on the Yahoo listserv to stay up to date on school happenings and also to use as a resource for duty parent day swaps, etc…
Meeting Adjourned @ 8:40
* Copies of the CHP 2012-2013 school budget are available to all parents.
Please ask Janie, Stacey, or Carol for a copy.
Hi CHP Families!
Just a reminder that we have created a Yahoo group to help connect all the families at our preschool this year. We hope this group will help you get to know each other, set up play dates, pass along used clothes & books – and find ways to work together & support our cooperative preschool. If you haven’t already, please go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/chpfamilies/ request to join or send an email to email@example.com to subscribe. Once you are a member, you can send posts to the group at the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions about the group, please email Carolyn Pravda at email@example.com.
In attendance: CHP Board Members & Parents
- Call to Session: 7:05-Carolyn
- Introduction of Parents to one another
- Presidents Report: (Carolyn)
o Introduction of CHP Board
o Brief Status Update: Historically, we have been a parent run co-op but that has started to change over the past four years as we have grown. Responsibilities that formerly were fulfilled by Board members need to be passed to paid employees. Janie has been promoted to operations manager and we have added a part time administrative assistant to help us further this transition. We have also extended the board terms to three years to take ensure continuity of operations that has been missing in years past. We have never had a school wide election process.
o Budget: CHP has only had a proper Budget and an accountant to assist with the budgeting process for a couple of years. Carolyn reviewed highlights of this years budget that was presented to parents in attendance for review.
o Tuition Increase Update: Last years substantial tuition increase was due to many factors but primarily due to the fact that the school had not sufficiently raised tuition in recent years to cover the increasing costs of a growing school and was therefore was running a deficit. This was due in large part to the fact that there wasn’t an accountant contributing and guiding the school in the complicated budgeting process. CHP now has this in place. With the tuition increase, we are now “paying” our teachers for June School (June was added to the school calendar for the first time last year without properly compensating teachers), increased cleaning services, reduced fundraising for items such as graduation, created a budget for community support activities, and started a contingency fund to prevent the school from future unexpected financial hardship.
o School Communications:One of the pieces of feedback gleaned from last years parent survey was that parents want more transparency into the classroom. Carolyn presented the following ways in which the school provides insight into the time your child’s spends at CHP
- Weekly News & Views
- This Week at CHP (RSS Feeds)
- Website Updates
- Yahoo Group
- Mail Clips
- Open Door Policy/Conferences on Request
- Curriculum Nights
- Twice yearly Assessments
- Teacher in foyer at Pick-up
- Open Parent Board Meetings
o Coop & Small Committees: Our school is changing and therefore the parent jobs need to be changed. We are developing committees to act as focus groups to study how to adjust to these changes in order to meet the needs of the school and families. Carolyn presented the following and asked that any interested parent contact her.
- CHP Small Committees: The goal of these committees is to support the work of the current executive board to help execute short and long term goals for the year. Each committee will be made up of at least two board members and an equal number of interested parents from the school. The goal is to provide interested families a voice and a view into the operations of our school and cultivate future board members. All committee recommendations will need to be approved by the board.
- Parent Job Committee: This committee will take an in-depth look at our current parent jobs and provide recommendations for improvements. They will provide suggestions on additions to the current list as well as removing anything that is unnecessary. They will try to find jobs that utilize the talents of our families and support the mission of a cooperative school environment. They will work to address inequalities in workload between jobs by adding or subtracting duties. Committee will also provide recommendations on potential penalties for incomplete parent jobs.
- Look at current job list and provide recommendations on additions and deletions
- Determine number of hours per job and try to balance number of hours among jobs
- Try to make best use of current talents within the school
- Brainstorm potential ways to encourage participation and discourage incomplete duties
Please note: Families are to act in support of school and its staff so any job duties will not involve curriculum or teaching.
Short & Long Term Goals Development Committee
As part of our NAEYC certification as well as to support the mission of Cobble Hill Playschool, this committee will assist in putting together an official plan of short and long term goals for the school. This committee would kick off the process by brainstorming with administration, staff and families to create a vision for the school to give us a path for the future as we grow and change.
Goals & Objectives:
- Research other cooperative preschools for ideas
- Meet with teachers, administration, and families through emails, in-person meetings, surveys, etc. to find common ground
- Flesh out goals and create a plan and timeline for execution for recommendation to board
Executive Board & Steering Committee Formation
The current board is considering forming an executive board that would meet 3 times per year made up of former CHP parents, community leaders, etc that would provide a historical memory and act in an advisory capacity for the school as we move forward. The current board would morph into a steering committee that would perform the tasks of the current board. This committee will work advise on creating this new board and committee. The committee will be responsible for finding interested persons to serve on the Executive Board as well as help to find interested persons to fill vacant positions for the 2012-13 school year for the newly formed steering committee. As part of this process, they will oversee revision of our current outdated board bylaws. They will also create a detailed written description of the steering committee’s role and function within the school.
Goals & Objectives
- Create new executive board
- Rework current board to become a steering board/committee by evaluating all positions
- Rewrite & update bylaws
- Write detailed written description of role of both new executive board & steering board
- Assist in filling empty positions for next school year
• Website & Marketing: (Lisa)
o We re-launched our website this year to make it better than ever with particular attention to feedback received from the parent body via the parent survey.
• Fundraising Report: (Heather)
o Fall Auction Update: Reminder: Fall Auction is upcoming at Diety Lounge. Our fundraising goal for this year is to avoid constant fundraising (a complaint on the parent survey) and we have added line items to our budget to avoid this.
• Cooperative Oversight: (Allison)
o For the first time this year, parents have been given the opportunity to accept or decline jobs assigned to them. If a parent does not want to accept a job, a new position will be offered to them that better suits their needs. This policy will hopefully contribute to better parent job satisfaction.
• Meeting Adjourned: 8:30