Breaking News
Where Learning Has No Boundaries

Polaris Charter Academy

Where Learning Has No Boundaries

Polaris Charter Academy

Where Learning Has No Boundaries

Polaris Charter Academy

Board Minutes 2.4.13

Polaris Charter Academy

Board Meeting Minutes

February 4, 2013

Board Topic: Leadership Transition and Development

 Meeting – 6:30   Dinner will be available at 6:00pm

Dial In Number –  (610) 214 0000

Access Code          316557#


Board Members present:  Darren Snyder (conference), Sarah Walker, Greg Borkowski (conference), Uday Khedkar, Michelle Navarre, Keecia Broy, Susan Kajiwara-ansai, Dr. Kameron Matthews

School Leaders: Michelle Navarre (Head of School), Carol Clavadetscher, Roel Vivit, Jamie Samsel, Kapria Robinson

Teachers in Attendance: None

Guests: Marta Michalska, Joshua Jackson, Ally Moloney (3 Americorps)

 Welcome and Approval of Minutes          

Darren welcomed all of the attendees and asked to do a quick introduction for the Americorps members.

The meeting began with the review of the minutes from the December 4th board meeting. Uday moved to approve the minutes; Keecia seconded the motion. The minutes were unanimously approved.

Darren asked to address the board about his ongoing engagement as a board member. He shared that he needed to step aside as Board President due to a significant increase in the demands of his job. Darren stressed his commitment to continuing to support Polaris as a board member, but did not believe he could provide the support needed as the Board President. Michelle thanked Darren for his strong leadership, especially during the renewal timeframe.

Sarah moved to have Uday Khedkar take the role as Board President, Michelle seconded the motion. All board members present voted in favor of Uday taking the leadership role. Uday thanked everyone for their support and shared his excitement for taking on the new role.

State of the School                

Michelle shared with the board her upcoming travel schedule, which includes a trip to Memphis for the America Achieves conference, as well as the upcoming national conference. Michelle and Roel discussed the upcoming change to the cut scores for ISAT, representing another step toward moving to the Common Core testing. Michelle shared that the new cut scores will have a significant impact on the Polaris pass rate, with a 20-30pt decrease in the number of students who would have been at “Meet/Exceeds” in 2012. Michelle shared that teachers are working closely with those students who are on the new “cusp” to help support the 2013 testing. Susan shared that ALL schools will be experiencing similar drops; the impact for 7th graders for high school entrance should not be significant due to the portion of the test used for high school acceptance.

Committee Reports                                                                         


Carol shared a December cash balance of $508,548. Year to date spending is approximately $123,000 favorable to plan, driven by the decision to opt out of the CPS facility services and timing of expenses. Revenue to date (as of December 31) is $66,000 unfavorable drive by donations less than budget. Balance of year forecast is $85,000 favorable to budget.

Carol shared that December was a strong fundraising month, with $57,080 collected from board members and a grant from the Perkins foundation. Enrollment as of 2/4/13 had dropped to 378, 6 students less than budget. The official count date for H2 is February 14th. The forecast assumes we will be flat to budget for the year (H1 was 391 vs. 384).

Uday shared with the board that one of his first goals would be to find a Finance committee lead, given his new role as president.


Jamie shared that the new date for the event had been set, Tuesday, April 30th. The event will still be held at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Jamie shared that ALL board members MUST have their list to her by Monday, February 11th, in Excel format. She also requested that EACH board member provide 1 new prospect meeting before Valentine’s Day.

Keecia invited board members to invite a few individuals to her Polaris event at her home on February 20th.

Jamie provided an overview of the grant calendar, the new contact-tracking software, and the success of recent prospect visits. YTD pledged is $85,000, approximately 45% of the toal.


Sarah began the governance report communicating that Mick Domagala will be leaving the board, as his family is moving out of Chicago. She shared that she will be conducting an exit interview with him. Sarah then moved to have Kameron Matthews join the governance committee; Keecia seconded the motion. All board members were in favor.

Sarah then turned over the governance discussion to Michelle, as it relates to the growth initiative.

Polaris Growth Initiative

Michelle shared with the board that school leadership has started an exploratory phase around expansion. Michelle, Roel, and Carol have met with CPS (Carly Bolger), Darryl Cobb from the Charter School Growth Fund, and Phylis Lockett from New Schools for Chicago. All organizations have demonstrated strong interest in the potential expansion of Polaris. Michelle shared that the leadership team (board and staff) will be establishing a formal process to review the opportunity, which will be shared at the next board meeting.

Upcoming Schedule Review




Tuesday, February 26thRESCHEDULED FOR MARCH 12th

Tuesday, April 29th RESCHEDULED FOR APRIL 16th

Tuesday, May 29th

Tuesday, June 25th (Conference Call)

Activate Search
Board Minutes 2.4.13