In an effort to maintain transparency between the BSCO Board and the BSE community, a monthly snapshot will be published of the various topics discussed at the Board's monthly meetings. These are not official minutes or a detailed description, but rather a window into the discussion and voting results of the Board.
December and January Meetings-- 12/3/2018 and 1/7/2019
On Monday, January 7th, the board gathered for their first meeting since winter break and to prepare for the 2nd of 3 community meetings on Wednesday, January 30th. Treasurer, Melissa Gatchell was unable to attend. Prior to winter break, the board met on Monday, December 3rd. Principal, Janet Maza, and Assistant Principal, Ali Montelongo, joined as guests.
After budgeting to boost BSE's Emergency Preparedness using carry over funds, the board made meaningful progress researching and selecting water storage drums and working with Steve Sparks on where the barrels should be located on school grounds. 5 55-gallon barrels were purchased and delivered, along with water treatment and siphon kits. As suggested by Steve, the board agreed to also purchase a locked storage shed, which will contain the 5 barrels once filled. The board discussed ongoing work needed in coming years to build out BSE's emergency preparedness. Assuming a recommended gallon per day per person, it is clear that the 5 barrels are just a start to equipping BSE for a natural disaster or emergency situation.
Ashish shared gratitude from 1st grade teacher, Bitsy Parks, who has utilized teacher funds to go mobile in her classroom. Mrs. Parks' new mobile desk and ipad stand enables her to teach and support her students even more effectively by being able to easily move her instructional tools throughout the classroom and from student to student. Other community dollars at work include another year of coding classes provided to our students in November-December by Saturday Academy. Technology Specialist, Andrea Sangston, has been able to begin outfitting a makers space for BSE. And, for fun, all classrooms were treated to winter parties, led by classroom party coordinators and supported by many volunteers.
Outside of sustaining the many enriching school programs, the upcoming auction fundraiser prompted a brainstorm of school projects which would require 2019-20 budget. Ellen Rothery, VP of Fundraising, reminded the board that a paddle raise for a big ticket item or project is not planned, because this year's budget is already short to balancing by nearly $60k. Amongst the ideas discussed by the board included international mindedness or country books titles for the library, gymnasium speaker/audio improvement, ongoing maker space buildout, cellular phone coverage improvement inside the building and emergency preparedness. In December, both Janet Maza and Ali Montelongo were present to hear the ideas and participate in the brainstorm. With winter break now behind us, the auction committee and those interested in contributing will kick off meetings on Wednesday, January 9th. Amongst a variety of different ways to get involved, there are opportunities to lead grade-level student art and adult/teacher party coordination. This year's auction will be held at Top Golf on Sunday, April 14th at 5pm. Mark your calendars for this adults-only, informal community event.
At the January board meeting, Josh Resch, Director of Communications, shared a detailed map of the registered carrier cell towers within a 1-2 mile radius of BSE. There is currently one located 0.8 miles from BSE and no others within a 2 mile radius. The residential zoning, in which BSE is located, means strict requirements for unobtrusive tower structures and challenges for the carriers to enable better coverage in the area. Josh presented bidirectional amplifier options which could boost the signal within the building. In addition to the funding needed for these amplifiers, install is a long lead item, as it would require a FIP approved by BSD. Tested by board members, wifi calling is an effective alternative for those with phones which have the capability. A blog post is in the works to share instructions and tips for community members who visit the school often.
Katie Kammer, Director of Committees, reported on the accomplishments and progress of a number of committees in full swing, inclusive of OBOB, Pancake Breakfast and Science Night. The Science Night materials were distributed via Friday folders on January 11th. Every student is invited to share his/her experiment or engineering design and a number of STEM vendors are expected to provide the entire community an evening of science inquiry and fun. This year’s Science Night is Friday, March 15th, 6-8pm. As in previous years, the 5th graders will host a pancake breakfast at BSE on Saturday, February 2nd. This fundraiser supports 5th grade activities, inclusive of a Science School which this year will be run by Trackers Earth over 2 consecutive days. 5th graders have tickets for sale now and are excited to greet, seat and serve their guests in a few weeks. The Community Outreach team continues to make a difference for the BSE community and more broadly, partnering with local non for profit organizations. In December, backpacks containing non-perishable foods generously donated by our community benefited our own BSE families in need.
In December, Treasurer, Melissa Gatchell, reviewed the budget, YTD spending and current/projected reserves. Benevity, which is the corporate matching program for monetary donations and volunteer hours, continues to deliver a meaningful amount of money for BSCO. The community is invited to view the current financials here.