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08-04-04 BOT MinMinutes of the School Board meeting WESTLAKE ACADEMY SCHOOL BOARD MINUTES OF THE WORKSHOP August 4, 2004 Present: Scott Bradley, President Buddy Brown, Member Bill Frey, Member Fred Held, Member Don Redding, Member Larry Sparrow, Member Trent Petty, CEO Barbara Brizuela, Head of School Darcy MacFarlane, Assistant to the Head of School Ginger Crosswy, Secretary Troy Meyer, Recreation & Facilities Debbie Piper, Finance Director Carolyn Sims, Director of Marketing & Public Affairs Absent: No one. Item #1: President Bradley called the meeting to order at 9:28 a.m. by announcing a quorum. Item #2: Discuss planning for 2004-05 school year. President Bradley told the assembly this would be an open agenda with everyone free to discuss any item relating to the Academy. He asked Ms. Brizuela to recap the first year of the Academy and list anything considered a success, anything that can be improved on for the coming year and. any enhancements she would like to see regarding curricula and things of that nature. Mr. Brizuela began by stating that the Academy had been established with the intention of being a serious but pleasant place to be and this she feels has been accomplished. She told the Board that since everyone, teachers and students, had been new it had been difficult to build the school into a community but the house system that was put into place had helped. She said one of the problems had been learning the TEA and state laws governing the Academy. Ms. Brizuela told the Board that the cliques in school, especially sixth grade, had been a problem but the lady who will be the counselor this year worked as a part time teacher last year and was familiar with the situation. There was a long discussion regarding the students who are problem students and the discipline techniques used with emphasis put on the authority given the Head of School to give students a second chance to improve. Mr. Sparrow told Ms. Brizuela that the Board has every confidence in her decisions but if she ever feels there is a situation where the Board should be involved they would be happy to help. President Bradley told everyone that the only negatives he has heard from parents is that a very few students cause disruptions in the classroom and in some instances there is a failure to enforce the uniform policy. Ms. Brizuela answered that since the teachers last year were not used to uniforms they sometimes were not as observant as she is sure they will be this year since teacher awareness of this policy has been stressed. Mr. Petty told the Board that he feels the expulsion policy in the handbook is very weak. There was a lengthy discussion of this issue with the Board stating that they will back up any decision the CEO and the Head of School makes regarding any discipline issue. The Board told Ms. Brizuela if she would like to beef up this policy so everyone knows exactly what will and what will not be tolerated that would be fine but that she has the support of all of the Board in dealing with these problems. The Board asked if the parents and students were both required to sign that they understood and agreed with the policy http://www.westlake-tx.org/agendas/sbmws08O4O4.htm 8/24/2004 VI U1U acnooi -board meeting Page 2 of 3 outlined in the Handbook and were told yes. Ms. Brizuela said the Academy has everyone sign an anti bullying pledge and this has helped. Ms. Brizuela told the Board that the required IB application has been submitted and the consultation visit was requested for November of this year. All teachers spent a week in Austin for their PYP and MYP training this summer. The meeting was recessed at 10:05 a.m. and reconvened at 10:30 a.m. Ms. Brizuela continued by going through the faculty for the 2004-05 academic year. She answered a question by stating the Academy is paying teachers less than the surrounding school districts but in her opinion the best teachers are coming to the Academy because of (1) the testing policy, (2) class size and (3) teaching to the whole child which is the IB curriculum. The curriculum appeals to the teacher because it helps to build character in the student. She then told the Board about the new music programs that are being implemented this year. She told the Board about the difficulty of bringing in the international teachers this year. There was a short discussion regarding the special needs students, there are 12, and the programs in place to address these needs. President Bradley asked if there would be any reason to approach any of the surrounding school districts regarding any cooperative efforts in this area. Ms. Brizuela said she had had lunch with the people from Northwest ISD last year and will speak with them concerning this issue. There was a long discussion about the admission policy with the Board asking Mr. Petty to examine the possibilities for admission requirements and to explore a preschool and after school program. The meeting recessed for lunch at 12:10 p.m. Mr. Sparrow and Mr. Brown left during this recess. The meeting reconvened at 1:05 p.m. with Mr. Meyer outlining the athletic programs that will be available to the students this year. Mr. Petty spoke regarding the expense of building sports fields and was asked to explore the charges associated with leasing fields from other sources. Mr. Petty told the Board they should be prepared for increased pressure from parents regarding athletics. Ms. MacFarlane gave the current enrollment figures for each grade telling the Board that the third grade is already over the preferred number of students. There was a short discussion regarding class size and Mr. Petty then went through the expansion plans for the Academy outlining the increased need for classroom se pac until the Academy occupies the current facility and additional buildings are in place. He spoke about the need to begin planning for the new Town Hall and high school buildings. Mr. Petty then gave the Board the breakdown on the debt service payments with the various options for increases in the revenue. The Board recessed at 2:40 p.m. The meeting reconvened at 2:55 p.m. with a lengthy discussion of the alternatives relating to limiting enrollment and hiring a floating teacher for the third grade this year. The Board decided that there would be a workshop on the first day of school to determine the options after the exact enrollment numbers are known. There will be a workshop scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Monday, August 23rd. There was a lengthy discussion regarding the amount of money that comes from the state per the number of students enrolled in the Academy and how much of the current tax payments made by residents come to the Academy and how much stays with the school district. The issue of storage at the Academy was brought up with no solution being suggested. The workshop was adjourned at 4:35 p.m. Approved by the School Board on August 23, 2004. I Scott Bradley, President ATTEST: http://www.westlake-tx.org/agendas/sbmwso804O4.htm 8/24/2004