October 9, 2018

Belton Preparatory Academy Board Minutes

10/9/18

6:00pm
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Present:

Deirdre McCullough

Chad Groover

Angie King

Jordan Denmark

Magon Wilson

Terrie Hall (Taking Minutes)

Public: 3 attendees

Absent:

Donelle Millwood

Chris Cauley

Call to Order - Deirdre McCullough

Invocation - Jordan Denmark

Pledge

Approval of October Agenda -

Motion to approve agenda - Angie King

Second - Magon Wilson

Vote - Unanimous

Approval of September Minutes

           Motion to approve minutes - Chad Groover

           Second - Jordan Denmark

           Vote- Unanimous

Public Comments (allow 5 minutes)

           1 comment - “We are happy with everything.” Liliya Sholom (parent)

Deirdre – August Financials; Bottom line in negative

           Waiting on reimbursements from P&I Planning Grant ($268,000).  The last    

                 reimbursement claim was recently submitted.

                      Expect to use Title I allocation for supplies and professional development

Jordan Denmark - When can we expect the reimbursements?

Deirdre - The reimbursements are sent after requests are uploaded to the state system.  Claims can be made weekly and reimbursements generally are received within 7 business days. We have until April 30 to spend the P&I Year 1 allocation.  We are waiting for the final approval of the P&I Year 1 budget.

           Invited BOE to visit the school to see the purchases made with the P&I Planning grant.

           Nomination forms were sent home to parents and returned. All current BPA Steering Committee members have been nominated.  Voting will end Nov. 15th.

Jordan Denmark - Will there be absentee votes?

Deirdre - Ballots will be sent to parents; votes will be returned in a sealed envelope provided by the school or mailed to the school on/before November 15. I suggest changing the election process next year. Only faculty, staff, and parents/guardians can vote.

          

           Parent/Student Handbook - Are there any questions? Please turn to pg. 44, Dress Code. The rule states that boys are not to wear earrings. We have a male student who wears an earring - not too obvious. What are your thoughts?

Angie King - I want our students to be set apart. What we allow sets a precedence.

Deirdre - You will need to decide if you want BPA’s uniforms to be conservative or allow some freedom in expressing themselves with accessories like hair bows, socks, etc.

Chad - To avoid future questioning of our motives if we change the dress code later, I say we should keep the classic feel and support keeping the provision in. If we change it later, a parent may say we are picking on their child.

Jordan - I disagree. I think we need continuity. We may be stepping on shaky ground and may be safer to go with a no earring at all policy. Especially next year or even this year. We may have to deal with whether the earrings are too big. Everyone can or everyone can’t. Not to mention the equality thing if it ever comes up. Maybe far out or extreme. I’m just looking into the future.

Deirdre - One thing we need to add is no gauges. Strong possibility we may have older students wearing these if we add higher grade levels. So do you want no earrings?  I recommend making dress code changes after winter break or for the next school year. This gives parents time to come to terms with, adjust to, and prepare for the changes. Some of the girls are wearing multi-color bows and socks. This will give parents time to adjust.

           You can take a look at Facebook and see examples of what some of them have been wearing. They are using this as a way of expressing themselves - socks and bows. If you decide this is not how you want it to look, they will need time to prepare.

Chad Groover - My children go to a classical school. All their accessories must match the uniform colors and generic.

Angie King - No matter what we do there is always going to be some type of inequality; like girls wear skirts and boys don’t. Shorts, pants, skirts; whatever the case.

Deirdre - So, do you want to just look over the dress code and check out our Facebook page to see what they are wearing? If you have any questions, you can get in touch with me.

           I have already visited a classical school in Beaufort, and they follow the classical dress code very closely. Private schools can set the dress code, and it is more readily accepted because they are paying.

Chad Groover - Because we are not private, we can’t base the dress code on scripture or anything like that.

Deirdre - Right because we are public. We plan to visit another classical school in NC. We can put off just the dress code part - are you ready to vote on everything but the dress code?

           (Board members still looking through the handbook.)

Angie - I have a question about 2:10 in the behavior chart. Does that mean all weapons?

Deirdre - No. That only pertains to toys that look like weapons like a toy gun.

Chad - Homeless Policy - question

Terrie Hall - The definition of homelessness is a more complex definition than its connotative meaning like living in a shelter or car.  It includes those who are living with relatives because they do not have a home of their own.

Deirdre - Yes. We can enroll any child in the state of SC who wishes to attend our school.

Looking at the behavior matrices; our handbook reflects the SC Common Behavior Matrix.

           Ours is very comprehensive and includes three levels. Level one, the lowest level, begins on page 25. Examples of the types of behavior can be seen there.

           Level two - page 30 - deals with disruptive conduct and level three is criminal.

           Our students are very well-behaved.  Do you need more time to review the handbook?

Chad Moore- Service Learning - I think that is great. Is this something you came up with or what?

Deirdre - Service learning requirement is something I implemented at my former school. The high school students had an opportunity to earn a cord for graduation.  Colleges are now offering scholarships for community service. We kept a log in the students’ records at CFCS to have as documentation for college applications.

           Do you want to take the handbook home and look over it more carefully before you make a decision?

           (Responses from all board members to delay voting on it.)

           Emergency Handbook (AKA Crisis Management Plan) - Guidelines from D.O. So we have to follow guidelines already submitted.

Jordan Denmark - Is it a requirement for everyone to be CPR trained?

Deirdre - Not required for everyone, but we want all of our faculty members CPR certified.

Magon Wilson - Are classroom doors locked?

Deirdre - Yes

Jordan Denmark - Who is responsible for searching visitors if necessary?

Deirdre - Administrator performs student searches

                Visitors - administrator calls law enforcement

Angie King- All doors coming from the outside are locked. Question if there would be an alternate drop-off for pouring rain?

Deirdre - We will send a Remind to parents directing them to drop off at the lower level.

Angie King - Are the kids going to be allowed to wear rain gear?

Chad Groover - My kids can’t at their school

Deirdre - Yes. They can wear rain gear.

           Appendices for the Emergency Handbook are not included because they have confidential information.

Motion to approve the Crisis Management Plan - Jordan Denmark

Second - Chad Groover

Vote - Unanimous

Deirdre - We are still seeking legal advice regarding nut-free policy. Any question?

           PTO - we are also receiving legal consultation on how to start a PTO. We do have a group of women and men we refer to as the PTO.  They will co-sponsor the Fall Festival on October 27.

We participated in the Standpipe Festival. (Deirdre discussed details of how we   

participated in the Festival and that we offered marketing merchandise to advertise the  

school.)

One student is enrolling as a result of our participation.

Angie King - The church will have sponsor the activities at the Fall Festival and Miranda Bolt (one of the parent volunteers) will be organizing some activities. We will have hayrides and other activities.

Deirdre - We just took our first field trip and we went to the Heritage Festival. The second grade attended and enjoyed it very much. We do not have our own transportation and the cost of chartering a bus will be too expensive to attend events nearby.

             Unfortunately, public school children cannot travel on a van due to Jacob’s Law.  A used school bus can be purchased for about $1,500.

Angie King- Why can’t we purchase one?

Deirdre - We are monitoring our budget closely but feel that it is too early to make any unnecessary purchases at this time. Donations can be used for purchasing a bus.

Brooke Elgin (public comment) - If we had a bus, who could drive it? I know the person would have to have a CDL license, but does it have to be a school employee?

Deirdre - It would be someone the school admin hires - a certified driver.

Liliya (public comment) - my father has a CDL

Chad Groover - What does that do to the insurance?

Angie King- AU sells their stuff - including buses

Deirdre - We want to provide our students with a variety of educational experiences to include field trips.  Right now we are having to be creative and trying to bring events to us.

             In November, we will be hosting A Time for Thanksgiving. We want to invest in our community by taking a week to recognize local officials such as policemen, firemen, EMS workers, etc. We want to be visible in our community. So many people still do not even know we are here. We want to spread the word.

             Contact information - we now have a phone number and fax number. Of course, you may still use my cell phone as a contact number.  We have a website; however, it is not fully developed at this time.

Motion to adjourn - Angie King

Second - Magon Wilson

Vote - Unanimous

Deirdre - Meeting is now adjourned at 7:09 pm