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Where Learning Has No Boundaries

Polaris Charter Academy

Where Learning Has No Boundaries

Polaris Charter Academy

Where Learning Has No Boundaries

Polaris Charter Academy

Polaris Board Minutes 10.30.12

Polaris Charter Academy

Board Meeting Minutes

Oct 30, 2012

Board Topic: Development

Meeting – 6:00   Dinner will be available at 5:30pm

Dial In Number –  (610) 214 0000

Access Code          316557#

Board Members:  Darren Snyder (Chair), Sarah Walker, Mick Domagala, Uday Khedkar, Michelle Navarre, Dr. Kameron Matthews, Helen Wolfe, Michelle Navarre

Staff in Attendance: Carol Clavadetscher, Roel Vivit, Jamie Samsel, Mona Iehl, Nora Ryan,

Guests: Parents Jorge and Alexis, UTEP intern (need name)

Darren called the meeting to order at 6:10pm and welcomed all board members and visitors. Michelle introduced parents Jorge and Alexis to the board, sharing that the parents would be providing an update in the State of the School.

The minutes from the August board meeting were reviewed and approved by the board. Uday Khedar moved to approve the minutes, Mick Domagala seconded the motion.

Michelle started the meeting with the state of the school. She shared with the board that John Finlay, New Leaders, had decided to return to his previous role as a case manager. She shared that his experience at Polaris was positive yet, through the experience, he realized he wanted to return to his original career path. Michelle also shared that Kapria Robinson, of the current New Leaders cohort, would be replacing John. Roel shared that 4 UTEP interns were working with crews 104 and 106.

Michelle shared enrollment is 386, down from 391 on the 20th day. We continue to recruit additional students to ensure enrollment numbers are equal, or above, the budgeted number of 384.

Parents Jorge and Alexis were invited to speak about the creation of the Parent Patrol and parent efforts to appeal for traffic changes to improve the safety of students. The Parent Patrol has committed to providing additional support and monitoring of the Polaris campus during drop off and pick up of students. Darren thanked the parents for their support, inviting them to return in April to share their progress.

Finance Committee

Uday shared that the FY2012 audited financials were complete and approved. He shared that the audit and finance committee would be meeting with ORBA on November 13th to discuss the audit process and results. No staff is present at this meeting to ensure open dialogue. There are no known issues or concerns.

Carol presented the quarter end financials, with a cash balance of $472, 379. Due to the new CPS requirement of maintaining $75,000 in escrow, the available cash balance is $397,379. Year to date spending is approx. $50,000 favorable to plan, driven by benefit favorability, timing of EL contract, and open positions. Revenue to date is $20,000 favorable, driven by enrollment higher than budget (391 vs. 384). BOY forecast is $44,000 favorable to budget. Darren requested that the Finance data be added to the official dashboard.

Carol shared that Polaris has officially opted out of CPS Building Services for the lease beginning July 1, 2012. Estimated savings for FY13 is $20,000. Carol and Michelle shared that Strategic planning, encompassing potential growth options, will begin in November

Governance Committee

Sarah requested that board members continue to explore their networks for potential board members, due to a limited number currently in the pipeline. She and Mick shared they were working on developing a formal exit package, to effectively keep “retired” board members engaged.  Sarah and Mick also stressed the importance of maintaining an accountability process for fundraising.

Academic Excellence – No Update

Development Committee and Presentation

Jamie shared with the board her excitement to join Polaris, in an effort to professionalize the development program for the school. She shared with the board her experience in fundraising as an independent consultant, as well as her work in establishing a major gifts program at the Sierra Club.

Jamie stressed the importance of broadening the Polaris network through expanding board membership and engaging current board member networks in a more meaningful way. She shared the 3 key goals for development in the 4th quarter of the calendar year:

Schedule and execute 1 introductory meeting with someone in EACH board member’s network before December 15th. The purpose of the meeting is two-fold: provide an opportunity for the board member to share Polaris with his/her network in a more targeted fashion, while giving Jamie the opportunity to “demystify” the structure and goals of meetings to the board member.

Plan for execution of a February fundraising event at the Garfield Park Conservatory, focusing on the 1st and 2nd grade bee expedition. Board members will be asked to provide Jamie with a guest list prior to the December 4th board meeting. Each board member will be asked to bring 20 guests.

Establish and begin execution of a formalized grant calendar.

Jamie stressed the importance of these key goals to achieving success in the FY13 school year, as well as in establishing a longer term giving program to ensure the financial future of Polaris.

Board Priorities and Goals

Darren expressed the need to schedule the board retreat, which would be focused on establishing the footprint for the next 5 years for Polaris. The board agreed the strategic planning session would take place on Sunday, January 13th, 2013. Michelle shared that she, Roel, and Carol would be working be brainstorming and reviewing potential growth options the week of November 12.

Darren recommended that the December board meeting be held at Prairie Capital.

Darren moved to end the meeting at 7:40pm. Uday seconded the motion.


SCHEDULE – January 13th – time TBD

Tuesday, December 4th  – CONFIRMED. Will be held at Prairie Capital

Tuesday, January 29th

Tuesday, February 26th

Tuesday, April 29th

Tuesday, May 29th

Tuesday, June 25th (Conference Call)


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Polaris Board Minutes 10.30.12