BOT Notes and Votes | January 2017

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Board of Trustees Notes and Votes for January 10, 2017

At January 10, 2017 meeting the Board of Trustees:

  • Welcomed the members of the Governance Council: Marilyn Fox, Dorothea Altgelt, Theresa Baker, Cherie Flandrick, Jamie York.
  • Participated in a discussion regarding tuition setting, led by Andy Wyckoff-Judson, Treasurer.  The Finance Committee has recommended a tuition increase of 5%, which they feel to be a moderate increase that will allow improved compensation for the Faculty, and preserve the program.  Tuition increase decision passed by consensus vote.
  • Participated in discussion regarding Tuition Assistance led by Jane Zeender.  Last month the BOT mandated a task force to review our TA policy, with a focus on diversity and affordability.  The task force recommends maintaining current TA policy for grades k-8, with a maximum of 30% in the KG.  Maximum amount in HS extended to 60%.  In the case of special circumstances requesting deviation from this policy, TA committee needs approval from both the GC and EC of the board.  This recommendation was passed by consensus vote.
  • Secondary to the TA policy decision, the Board passed the following resolution by consensus vote:  In terms of maintaining appropriate controls, the TA Committee will provide both the Board and Finance Committee a monthly report of the % of TA and tuition remission as part of the gross tuition revenue.
  • Received an update on the Annual Fund and plans for the Spring Benefit, “The Local” from Development Director, Kim Rector.
  • Received Campus Development update from Michael Shaun Conaway.
  • Michael Shaun Conaway and Marketing Director Mary Fairfield presented an overview of the brand roll-out and preview of the new marketing video.
  • Approved November and December minutes by consensus vote.
  • Received Finance Committee update from Andy Wyckoff-Judson, Treasurer.  The bank requires approval from the board to make a change to our loan covenant.  The referendum was reviewed, and this change was approved by consensus vote.

 

Board of Trustees Notes and Votes | Fall Semester 2016

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Board of Trustees Notes and Votes for June 2016

At June 14, 2016 meeting the Board of Trustees:

  • Received an update from the GC regarding the state of the school at all levels, retention and enrollment.
  • Received Campus Development update, including current process and timeline. Marilyn Fox will lead the Programming work for the Campus Development in order to receive maximum faculty input.
  • Received Finance Committee Update from Andy Wyckoff Judson, Treasurer. Finance Committee proposes an authorization of preliminary budget authorizing expenditures based on current enrollment projections.  The budget will be adjusted and final budget will be approved in September or October based on actual enrollment.  Passed by consensus vote.
  • Approved minutes of May 17, 2016 meeting by consensus vote.
  • Participated in a discussion regarding the Board’s self-assessment and evaluation process and results.

Board of Trustees Notes and Votes for September 2016

At September 13, 2016 meeting the Board of Trustees:

  • Participated in Board training session with Sean Spellecy of New Dawn Security. New Dawn Security completed a thorough and in-depth investigation and risk assessment for our school last May.
  • Received Finance Committee Update from Andy Wyckoff Judson, Treasurer. Audit is largely complete; the goal is to bring final audit to the BOT for approval in October.  This year, we didn’t borrow the current year’s tuition deposits to finish last year’s costs.  This was a goal in our Strategic Plan that we hoped to accomplish in three years, and we were able to achieve it this year.  Finance Committee is working on developing a policy for the school regarding financial reserves and debt level.  The goal is to have a policy to present to the BOT by January 1.
  • Approved minutes of June 14, 2016 meeting by consensus vote.
  • Received Campus Development update from Brian Hludzinski. Brian presented a comprehensive summary of the work to date.

Board of Trustees Notes and Votes for October 2016

At October 11, 2016 meeting the Board of Trustees:

  • Participated in Board training session with Pat Bassett, Educational Consultant and past President of NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools). Training included information and recommendations regarding school diversity and tuition assistance policies.
  • Participated in Board study, led by Michael Janzen and Joan Bremner. The Board is working with the text Republican Academies by Francis Gladstone.
  • Received Annual Fund update from Kim Rector, Development Director.
  • Approved September BOT meeting minutes by consensus vote.
  • Received Finance Committee update from Andy Wyckoff-Judson, Treasurer. Approved presented 2016-17 school Budget by consensus vote.
  • Received Campus Development update from Michael Shaun Conaway. Michael Shaun presented several different possible scenarios regarding land sales structure.  Next step includes prioritizing program.
  • President Will Paradise led discussion regarding status of BOT leadership. Michael Shaun Conaway and Brian Buckley have been asked to move into the role of co-vice chairs of the Board.  In June the new slate of officers will be voted in.  Proposal approved by consensus vote.

Board of Trustees Notes and Votes for November 8, 2016

At November 8, 2016 meeting the Board of Trustees:

  • Participated in a phone conference audit review with Kevin Rickman of Altruic Advisors. Finance Committee recommended approval of the audit.  Audit was approved, passed by consensus vote. The final audit report will be released upon completion of the paperwork for the agreed upon loan covenant waiver.
  • Received Finance Committee update from Andy Wyckoff-Judson, Treasurer. Received overview of 1st quarter financials.  Discussed policy and procedure for cash management at the school.
  • Received Campus Development update from Will Paradise, President. Meetings are being held every two weeks in conjunction with Sopher Sparn.  Different proposals are being considered.
  • Approved October BOT meeting minutes by consensus vote.
  • Pam Lambert has completed her third trial meeting as a trustee candidate. She has accepted the invitation to become a trustee, and was approved by consensus vote.

Board of Trustees Notes and Votes for December 6, 2016

At December 6, 2016 meeting the Board of Trustees:

  • Welcomed three new trustee candidates: Latane Hill, Jarrett Kovics, and Jennifer Colman. Welcomed Pam Lambert as a new trustee.
  • Received Finance Committee update from Andy Wyckoff-Judson, Treasurer. Heard progress of committee in their work towards developing a reserve policy.  Received update on budget and tuition setting process.
  • Participated in Board study, led by Michael Janzen and Joan Bremner. The Board is working with the book Republican Academies by Francis Gladstone.
  • Received Campus Development update from Michael Shaun Conaway.
  • Participated in discussion regarding the school’s strategic direction on diversity and tuition assistance policy. A Tuition Assistance Task Force will be formed to explore the existing policy and make recommendations.   This decision was passed by consensus vote.

 

All School Community Meeting

All School Community Meeting

Thursday, January 12, 2017 | 7:00-9:00pm
Mary B. Winston Atrium of the Festival Hall
999 Violet Avenue, North Boulder

 The Board of Trustees and Marketing Committee of Shining Mountain Waldorf School invite and encourage all community members to join us for a special evening where the future brand of our school will be presented! Come hear about our new brand messaging platform, see our newly designed logo, and screen our just produced SMWS comprehensive marketing video. There will be giveaways and refreshments to celebrate this exciting time in our school’s biography!

For those parents who are not able to attend in person, we now have the capability to live stream our all school events, and hope you may join us that way from home!  

Join us via live broadcast:

http://youtube.com/channel/UCt7en05z-cBCZxY_WWTy3eQ/live

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Board of Trustees Notes and Votes | May 2016

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Board of Trustees Notes and Votes for May, 2016 At BOT Meeting on May 17, 2016:

● Approved minutes from 4/19/16 Board meeting by consensus vote.

● Board training by Jane Zeender regarding governance structure of the school. Consultant Michael Moore has been assisting with the creation of new organization charts showing the staff/administration, faculty governance, and BOT committee structures.

● Discussed and made plans for June BOT meeting, which will be the second joint meeting with the BOT and the Governance Council of the Faculty for the year.

● Discussed and made plans for the final Town Hall meeting of the year, May 20.

● Received financial update from Andy Wyckoff Judson, Treasurer. Reviewed 3rd quarter financials and preliminary draft budget. We are on track with budget for 3rd quarter and are anticipating a positive end-of-year bottom line.

● Received update from Andy Horning, School Director Performance Review Committee Chair. The online feedback form is open and responses are being collected. Review will be completed by end of June.

● Received update from John Marr, Campus Development Committee Chair. Committee is currently meeting with 3 candidates for a Real Estate and Development Plan Consultant. Decision is expected by end of May.

● Received Committee on Trustees update from Mark Feigal, Chair. Pam Lambert will begin the first of her three trial meetings in August.

Board of Trustees Notes and Votes | April 2016

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At 4/19/16 BOT Meeting

  • Lorraine Fairmont attended Community Speaking Time to speak about scheduling.
  • Approved minutes from 3/8/16 Board meeting by consensus vote.
  • Received update from Michael Moore regarding planning for upcoming HS parent meetings.
  • Received update from John Marr for Campus Development Committee. The committee is in the process of issuing a RFP for Real Estate and Development Plan Consultant Services. A selection is expected by May 20.
  • Received update from Andy Wyckoff-Judson for Finance Committee. Vote: FC recommends that the BOT approve the use of up to, but not to exceed $50k from the Restricted Bond Proceeds account which has the previously unallocated capital funds from the 2009 bond to pay for a development consultant to support the Campus strategic plan as defined in the RFP. Due to the long term goal of increasing operating reserves, the FC recommends when a property is sold the funds be returned to the operating reserve. FC recommendation was passed by consensus vote.
  • Received update from Jane Zeender regarding status of BOT committees and possibilities for recruitment to fill strategic gaps.

Following the Board meeting, all members of the BOT attended the presentation given by Karen Steinhauser. Ms. Steinhauser is a former Denver prosector, and is currently a law professor at the University of Denver and criminal defense attorney. The presentation and Q&A addressed a number of areas: drugs, alcohol, harassment, and social media issues.

Board of Trustees Notes and Votes | March 2016

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Board of Trustees Notes and Votes for March 2016

At BOT Meeting on March 8, 2016

● Approved minutes from 2/9/16 Board meeting by consensus vote.

● Received update from Mark Evans, Chair of Campus Development Committee. A preliminary meeting took place on 3/7/16 with 15 interested individuals, both from within and outside of our community, to discuss next steps. The Board passed by consensus vote to authorize the Campus Development Committee to solicit three bids to hire a Development Consultant for this project.

● Received update from John Marr for Audit Committee. The Audit Committee has met with the current auditor looking towards next year. The target date for next year’s audit is September (preliminary), final by October. The Board passed by consensus vote to authorize the Audit Committee to reengage Altruic Advisors for the 2015-16 fiscal year audit.

● Received update from John Marr for Finance Committee. We are on track for mid-year budget. It is likely that we will be under budget by end of year due to higher than expected enrollment. The Board is in agreement that there is a need for increased Development leadership at the BOT level.

● Received update from Jane Zeender, School Director, regarding Tution Assistance. The majority of TA has been granted, with some funding being held back for end of summer and mid-year enrollments.

● The Board passed by consensus vote to welcome Brian Buckley as a Trustee.

At additional BOT meetings on March 9, 2016:

● The Executive Committee of the Board ( Jane Zeender, School Director; Will Paradise, President; John Marr, Vice President; Andy Wyckoff Judson, Treasurer; Beth Leuchten, Secretary) met with Pat Bassett for a training on the topic of principle-based decision making and successful governance. After serving as president of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) for 12 years, Pat is now a senior consultant to schools and organizations on issues such as leadership, governance and strategy.

● The full Board was joined by several teachers and senior staff members of the school, for an additional evening training with Pat Bassett on the topic of how to elevate the functioning of the Board team.

Board of Trustees Notes and Votes for February 2016

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  • Approved minutes from 1/12/16 Board meeting by consensus vote.
  • Participated in Board of Trustees continuing education program with John Suitor, Head of School at Boulder Country Day, regarding fundraising and development in independent schools.
  • Received update from Mark Evans, Chair of Campus Development Committee. Subcommittees are currently being formed and populated.
  • Received update from Finance Committee. Audit is complete. Bank covenants are under review.
  • Received update from John Marr, Board VP, regarding Board committee restructuring.
  • The Board passed a resolution in support of the Clean Living Policy of the High School by consensus vote. The Board passed by consensus vote a mandate to establish a task force to support this policy and progress toward culture change in the High School.

Strategic Plan Unveiling and Discussion With Community, Jan. 14, 2016 | by Mark Evans, Chairman of Strategic Planning Task Force and Campus Development Committee

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Last Thursday, over 75 members of the Shining Mountain community joined together in the Mary B. Winston Atrium of the Festival Hall with standing room only to hear and discuss the school’s strategic plan.

Jane Zeender, School Director, and Will Paradise, Board of Trustees President, led off with some of the history about the plan. While the school has developed several strategic plans over the years, we took a different approach with this one. First, we wanted to have a very concise and action-oriented plan―ideally 2-3 pages containing a few key bullet points that would be supported by more detailed sub-points, as many as possible with specific actions and target dates. Second, we followed a process called Future Search, whereby 40 or so community members gathered in August for a 2-day off-site meeting to develop the fundamentals underlying the plan. The group included parents, faculty, administration and alumni, including founders of the school. At that off-site gathering, the group identified issues and ideas, grouped them into themes, voted on their importance, and then developed approaches to tackling them. What a great way to truly bring together the community to develop a shared understanding of what is important and a shared vision of what we need to accomplish!

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At the September all-community meeting in the Festival Hall, the community again came together to hear what the Future Search process had generated, and to participate in an abbreviated version. About 60 community members were able to contribute their own perspectives about each of the major themes, adding to the trove of ideas we can draw upon to achieve our goals.

Five major themes emerged from this process, and the Strategic Planning Task Force (Mark Evans, Will Paradise, Jane Zeender, John Marr, Michael Shaun Conaway, Mark Feigal and Debbie Brown) began the process of gathering input, refining the exact meaning and language of the themes, and defining and exploring options to accomplish the goals of each of the five areas. Knowing that the strategy we set today will guide the school’s choices for years to come, we committed to being rigorous and comprehensive, with a bias toward action. We broke out of the comfort zone and included unconventional and audacious options as possible approaches. One thing is for sure—that gets the conversation going! We met weekly for several months, developing and assessing options, redefining and refining approaches, all the while gathering input from the board, faculty, staff, parents and non-SMWS community members. The final result is a plan that truly captures the critical areas we must work on together to make Shining Mountain thrive.

Sharing the plan with the broader community was the purpose of last week’s meeting. It was great to describe the plan and how it came about. And it was wonderful to have an extensive Q&A, covering just about every aspect of the strategies. The main points are:

  • There are 5 strategic themes:
    1. Financial sustainability and physical improvements
    2. Family satisfaction and retention
    3. Marketing and community engagement (“telling our story”)
    4. Vibrant engaged community
    5. Parent education
  • Each of the strategies is actively guiding school decisions and actions, and will do so for years to come
  • Each of the strategies is owned and supported by one or more groups of people who are responsible for implementation
  • There is A LOT to do!

You may read the entire Strategic Plan here.  We hope that you will become familiar with the strategies. And more importantly, we hope you share our excitement about the direction of the school and the bright future ahead of us!

As you can imagine, this is not a stopping point. We are moving full steam ahead. If you have comments, questions, ideas or an interest in learning more or contributing, please use the forms below to contact the team members responsible for leading our collective efforts.

Contact the Board of Trustees form

SMWS Strategic Plan Feedback form

 Thank you for joining together to make the Shining Mountain community of students, families, faculty, staff, alumni and neighbors flourish!

2016/2017 Tuition Increase | by Andy Wyckoff Judson, Board of Trustees Treasurer

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andy-wyckoff-judsonIn our January 12th Board meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase of 2.5%.   Over the past year we have worked diligently to balance the school’s operating and cash flow budgets. Adjustments have been made to non-program related expenses and rapidly increasing benefit costs with the goal of reversing the trend of losses for the school over the past eight years. We will continue to analyze ways to keep our costs as low as possible while maintaining the excellence of our program.

As a result, we were able to keep the tuition increase to 2.5%, one of the lowest tuition increases in recent years.

The Board and the Finance Committee are committed to Shining Mountain being a financially sustainable school. We are working hard on behalf of the community to balance program, affordability, appropriate spending and staffing.

Board of Trustees Notes and Votes for January 2016

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  • Roger and Fiona Theodoredis, Lorraine Fairmont, Tra-Ling Tu presented at Community Speaking Time.
  • Received update from Mark Evans, Chair of Campus Development Committee. Strategic Plan will be presented at the All School Community Meeting, Thursday, January 14, 2016.
  • Approved minutes from 12/8/15 and 12/15/15 Board meetings by consensus vote.
  • Received update from Finance Committee. Audit has been released to the community, available on school website. Financial statements through November have been reviewed and we are tracking with the budget.
  • Approved setting of tuition with 2.5% increase over 2015-16 by consensus vote.
  • Created final plan and set agenda for All School Community Meeting, 1/14/16.