Merit School Board

Angela Bunker

Board President

angela.bunker@meritacademy.org 

Tyler Griffin

Board Member 

Rebecca Stromsdorfer

Board Member

rbstroms@gmail.com

 

Brett Palmer

Board Member 

Meeting Minutes

3/8/2019
Merit Academy Board Meeting

Work Session Retreat

March 8, 2019

11am

 

The board meeting began at 11:32am.  Present are Angela Bunker, Rebecca Stromsdorfer, and Tyler Griffin.  Excused is John Young and Brett Palmer. Dr. Jesse Meeks joins the Board for the Work Session.

 

  1. Executive Session.  Angela recommended an Executive Session.  Tyler motioned to move into the session. Rebecca seconded the motion.  The Board moved into Executive Session at 11:33am to discuss issues related to the School’s refinance deal.   

    The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of discussing:
        -Character, competence, or health of an individual
        -Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate
        -Deployment of security systems and personnel
        -Investigating criminal misconduct
  1. Vision Statement:  (This will be the guiding vision statement for our school.)

 

The Board has decided to combine the vision and mission statement for the school:

 

Merit Academy provides an outstanding educational experience to instill excellence, build a love of learning and service, and create principled leaders, to engage in real world challenges and opportunities.  

 

Values of Merit

7th Grade:  Belonging- Find your Place  

8th Grade:   Vision- Chart your course

9th Grade:  Intelligence- Build your potential

10th Grade:  Service- Grow through Sacrifice

11th Grade:  Resilience- Know you Can

12th Grade:  Leadership- Change the World

We aim for our teachers to have high amounts of love for their students and to hold them to high expectations.

 

III. Executive Session.  Rebecca motioned to move into Executive Session.  Tyler seconded the motion. A by-name vote was taken:  Angela-yes, Tyler-yes, Rebecca-yes. The Board entered Executive Session to discuss a matter pertaining to the Character and Competence of an Individual.    

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of discussing:
    -Character, competence, or health of an individual
    -Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate
    -Deployment of security systems and personnel
    -Investigating criminal misconduct

 

  1. Adjourn:  Rebecca motioned to close general session.  Tyler seconded motion. General session closed at 7:02pm

2/13/2019

Merit Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

February 13, 2019

4:00 PM

  1. Call to order at 4:08pm:  Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance

John Young, Angela Bunker, Brett Palmer, Tyler Griffin, Rebecca Stromsdorfer in attendance.

Rebecca Stromsdorfer offered the prayer.

  1. Marketing Proposal from Bradford and Bird Marketing:  Bradford Priest, David Bird

Items that Bradford and Bird Marketing have contributed to Merit Academy:  Monthly marketing meetings, built the website, design work for flyers, business cards, folders, any brand related. All advertising through social media and newspaper adds. Strategic planning for marketing. Have tracked data for targeting. They want to go over a budget that will work.

III. Refinance Update:  Clint Biesinger

Merit’s Continuing Disclosure Agreement certifies that the school will provide complete and accurate information to investors in a timely matter and that certain material events will trigger the need to report ASAP. The Board’s responsibility is to make sure the information is reported to lenders by due dates that will be given by lenders. A Trustee will be appointed to work with Merit.  That will be US Bank. The office is headed by Kim Galbraith. Ticklers will be in place to remind us of those due dates. Our oversight officer (Jesse Meeks) will make the reports, but the Board is ultimately responsible to make sure that the reporting is complete and on time. Red Apple will advise the Board. The timelines associated with the reporting are of utmost importance and will contribute to our ability to refinance in the future.  Most reports will be quarterly and annually. There is a list of 16 material events that will trigger the need for immediate reports. The possibility of those events occuring is remote. The list of the 16 reportable items will be given to the board at closing.

  • Vote on Continuing Disclosure Policy

Motion to vote on the adoption of the Continuing Disclosure Policy made by Rebecca Stromsdorfer, 2nd by John Young, all members agreed.

The Board voted to adopt a resolution, authorizing the refinancing  of the School’s facilities as presented by Brandon Johnson, the School’s council.  

  • Motion to adopt a resolution authorizing the refinancing of the school’s facilities was made by Angela Bunker and 2nd by Rebecca Stromsdorfer. The vote was unanimous by the board.

 

The Board is voting to agree to pay the debt service of the bonds.  Also, the Board is voting to accept the offering document which will be presented to investors.  Efforts will be made to ensure that the information presented in the document is accurate.

 

Angela set up a phone call with Clint on 2/19/19 after 12:30 to discuss how to present the board to the authority for application review and approval. The discussion will include covering the marketing plan.

  1. UVU Distance Education Discussion:  Jennifer Young, Alisse Shiles

Benefits of the UVU program were presented to the Board. Alisse Shiles (UVU Coordinator) provided that list:

  • Students can save a lot of money by taking courses via Merit. (Medical majors won’t benefit as much from the UVU program.)
  • Students will be able to complete courses that are required for UVU degrees.
  • Gives a jump start for those looking to go to college.
  • Prepares them for college and sets expectations.
  • Creates an improved behavior in having an environment of a college atmosphere.
  • The students have greater responsibility.
  • They will get a college transcript to have the option to take their credits to any colleges which accept the college courses.  

Requirements to participate: A 3.5 as a 10th grader and 11 and 12th graders need a 3.0 for all core classes. CTE course can be taken with a lower GPA: 2.5 for 10th graders and 2.0 for 11 and 12th graders. Allisse stated that students have raised GPA’s in order to take college courses.   

 

Jennifer Young asked if we are a college prep school or an early college high school. Why are we offering classes through the UVU room when we teach them at Merit? Concurrent enrollment classes may be easier. Why are we having 10th graders taking college classes? Why are we wanting students to graduate from Merit if they are taking UVU courses on campus? She thinks we should have full time students as much as we can. She wants to stick to our mission. She wants more AP classes.

  1. Public Comments

Taura Gannon:  Her son, Zachary, will be graduating from Merit with an Associate Degree from UVU.  She is in full support of the UVU program. Her son has grown a lot from his participation in the program.  She feels that one of the best benefits is that students save a lot of money.

Zachary Gannon:  Commented that he learned a lot from the program. He won’t have to spend time to do generals when he moves onto college.  He’s learned a lot from the college professors and appreciates the opportunity to take college courses.

 

  1. Marketing Report: Angela Bunker

The school has hired a new employee to fill the marketing role.  The title of the position will now be called a School Ambassador.  Kilie Tomadakis will start as our School Ambassador tomorrow.

Kilie introduced herself to the board.  She has been in education for quite a while.  She worked as a tracker at Salem Jr. High. She is excited to be at Merit.

Total Enrollment is 452 students (18 Meridian students)

      73:  7

      76:  8

      88:  9

      74:  10

      85:  11

      57:  12

Total students to withdraw this month:  17

New students enrolled this month:  22

This last month:

  •       4 tours
  •       2 shadows completed
  •       3 shadows scheduled in February thus far
  •       45 students are entered into our lottery for next year

      29-  7th grade

      1-  8th grade

      10-  9th grade

      3-  10th grade

      2-  11th grade

      0-  12th grade

Current students who are enrolled for next year:  120

Upcoming Events:

  •       February 19th- Bring your Parents to Lunch Day- 11:25-12:10pm
  •       March 1st-  Meal for M’Tulu- 5:00-8:00pm
  •       March 11th- Academic Showcase and Public Open House- 5:00-9:00pm
  •       March 23rd- Quiz Knight, 7-10pm-

      Donate Items for the auction

      Gather donations for the school to auction

      Attend Quiz Knight

 

Marketing Goals:

      We are in the process of ordering 640 Merit T-shirts to distribute to the students and staff- our purpose is to develop our culture and build unity which will help with student retention.  The shirts will also advertise to the community.

 

VII. Approval of Board Meeting minutes-

      January 9, 2019

        January 18, 2019

Motion to approve minutes for January 9, 2019 made by Tyler, Rebecca seconded the motion.  Board voted unanimously to accept.

Motion to approve minutes for January 18, 2019 made by Tyler, Rebecca seconded the motion.

VIII. Report on School Emergency Operations Plan:  Amanda Kuhnz

A four member board, comprised of two teachers, an administrator, and a school counsellor met to go over the school’s emergency plan.  The plan is very thorough. Items to note are:

  • Information about chemicals used at the school is going to be kept in the emergency binder in the front office and in another binder located in the science lab.
  • FEMA provides on-line training for school staff.  It has been recommended that the Board set the requirement for this training to be completed just before school starts this coming fall.
  • The school has been asked to include information regarding school safety drills in the parent newsletter.  The newsletter should discuss the nature of the drills and be provided at least every other month. The school is having some type of drill at least monthly.
  • One item that needs to be done is to identify parents who are willing to help in the event of an emergency.  This list needs to be easily accessible.
  • A media release template needs to be completed.

    The approval plan is:

  1. Review and validate the plan
  2. Present it to the Board
  3. Obtain plan approval from the Board
  4. Post the plan on the school website

Rebecca Stromsdorfer and Tyler Griffin were tasked with looking through the plan on behalf of the Board.  A recommendation from them will be given next month in the March Board Meeting.

 

 

  1. Executive Session– as needed:

     The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of:

Character, competence, or health of an individual

Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real   estate

Deployment of security systems and personnel

Investigating criminal misconduct

 

Angela made a motion to move into Executive Session to discuss a matter pertaining to the Character, competence, or health of school personnel.  Rebecca seconded the motion. A by-name vote was taken. Brett- yes, Rebecca- yes, Angela- yes, Tyler- yes, John- yes. The time was 5:48pm.

 

At 7:01pm, the Board returned to General Session.  John Young and Brett Palmer were excused following the Executive Session.  The Board continued with a quorum consisting of: Angela Bunker, Rebecca Stromsdorfer, and Tyler Griffin.

 

  1. Finance Report:  Angela Bunker

The School is healthy and financially sound.  At this point, we are forecasted to finish the year with a $180,000 surplus.

This does not include the additional savings we will realize when we close on the re-finance deal on March 28th. We will have additional savings from our reduced mortgage payments for the months of April, May and June.

We are 58.3% of the way through the year.  Revenues are being collected as we expected.  Federal revenues are always paid towards the end of the year.

Almost all of our expenses all in-line with what we had budgeted.  Certain line items are paid up front (such as audit expenses #352, Insurances #520, department supplies #610, professional development #613, Fundraising supplies #619,  Textbooks and instructional software #640, and Dues and Fees #810)

There are two categories which brought unexpected expenses because our budget was created before the refinance deal was a reality.  One is line #349- those are legal expenses. We paid to have an attorney review our lease before we agreed to it. The other is line #890 (titled miscellaneous) The amount was paid to the Utah Charter School Finance Authority (UCSFA) in connection with the upcoming bond refinance of your building.

  •      The money goes to the UCSFA when you submit an application.  They now have to begin hiring their own financial and legal teams to review merit.  Your money pays for these services.
  •      In the unlikely event you are not approved, you lose the money.  You will be approved (no one has been turned down) so they actually refund the money back to the school as a credit at closing.

 

The plan for the surplus is to identify items that will benefit the school through growth opportunities.  Items being considered are:

  • Closing the opening between the theater space and the gym, allowing for growth in both of those programs
  • Purchasing another bus or shuttle to improve the transportation experience of the students.

The finance plan moving forward is to focus on saving and setting aside money, to build up the school’s accounts, allowing for a refinance possibility in five years.  

 

  1. Approve 2019-2020 School Calendar

Items to note:

  • 1st day of school for students:  August 19
  • Graduation:  May 22
  • Finish each term before a major break
  • Christmas break is two full weeks, a full week for Spring Break, 4 day weekend over President’s Day

Tyler made a motion to approve the 2019-2020 calendar as presented to the Board, Rebecca seconded the motion.  The calendar was approved by unanimous vote.

XII. Follow-up Items:

    Background checks- Angela Bunker:

      All staff members and Board members have background checks completed.

XIII. Second Discussion Policies:

    Discipline and Classroom Management Policy-

Changes made to the policy include:

  • The addition of reverse suspensions
  • Parents must contact the administration on a monthly basis when their student has been expelled
  • The board, as a whole, is responsible for expulsions
  • After a hearing, the Board’s decision is final
  • The Board will make sure that parents and students can attend the hearing.  After the hearing is set, the parent/guardian will be notified of the time
  • Merit is a closed campus, except for at lunch.  During lunch, 10-12 graders may leave the campus.  All other students must be checked out.

 

A motion was made by Tyler to accept the policy, Rebecca seconded the motion.  The policy was approved

 

    Attendance Policy-

Rebecca made a motion to accept the Attendance Policy, Tyler seconded the motion.  The policy was adopted by unanimous vote.

  1. Upcoming Board Events:

Date for Board Retreat- Philosophy Discussion:  March 8

Look for Forward to UAPCS Training- June 12 & 13

  1. Adjourn:  

Rebecca made a motion to adjourn, Tyler seconded the motion. A vote in the affirmative closed the Board meeting at 7:17pm.  

1/18/2019

Merit Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

January 18, 2019

4:00 pm

 

  • Call to order:  Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance

 

  • Mission Statement:  Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to      achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

 

  • Public Comments:

 

  • Executive Session- motion- Tyler to move into Executive Session, Rebecca second- 4:09pm

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of:

  •      Character, competence, or health of an individual
  •      Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real       estate
  •      Deployment of security systems and personnel
  •      Investigating criminal misconduct

 

  • Adjourn-
    • Re-entering Executive session at 4:17pm
    • Discussed the expulsion of a student. The vote came through as follows:
      • Rebecca–Yes
      • Angela–Yes
      • Tyler–Yes
    • Angela recommends that we develop a policy regarding drug possession, use, and distribution.
      • Rebecca made a motion to develop such a policy
      • Tyler–2nd on the motion
      • Unanimous vote
    • Rebecca moved to close the executive session
    • Tyler–2nd the motion
    • Unanimous vote. Session closed at 4:21

1/9/2019

Merit Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

January 9, 2019

4:00 PM

Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance

In attendance Angela Bunker, Brett Palmer, Rebecca Stromsdorfer, Tyler Griffin in attendance. John Young excused.  Meeting started at 4:14 PM.

  •     Approval of Board Meeting minutes-

○     November 14, 2018

○     November 26, 2018

○     December 17, 2018

Motion to approve board minutes for November 14, 2018 by Tyler Griffin and 2’nd by Rebecca Stromsdorfer. Motion Carries.

Motion to approve board minutes for November 26, 2018 by Rebecca Stromsdorfer and 2’nd by Brett Palmer. Motion Carries

Motion to approve board minutes for December 17, 2018 by Rebecca Stromsdorfer and 2’nd Tyler Griffin. Motion Carries.

Public Comments: No comments

Refinance Report:  Clint Beisinger

  •     Continuing Disclosure Policy

Clint explained that Michael Lambert the investment banker with Cruz and Associates and Butler Snow attorneys will come tour the Merit on Thursday January 17 or Friday January 18 for 1 hour to get a feel for their investment.

 

Clint informed us that the current lender verbally agreed to all the subordination terms. Clint clarified senior and subordinate loan terms and explained that we are approved for public debt. Clint gave explanation of the continuing disclosure procedures that allows disclosure of our reports for investors. Letting the investors know that we are transparent for the purpose of financing the building. The board needs to make sure the oversight officer for the procedures is doing their job, because the board is held responsible if conditions are not met. The continuing disclosure procedures is something we need to adopt by February to get financing approved. Clint believes the loan should be closed in 60 to 80 days.          

Finance Report:  Casey Holmes

The Budget summary is on track and in good standing.

 

Marketing Report:  Kati Evans

Kati wants board members to be at open house Monday January 14th. to answer questions. Current enrollment is 455. This includes 18 Meridian students. 2 new students are enrolling shortly. 20 families are on the lottery waiting list. 15 students have withdrawn sense the last board meeting and 14 new students have enrolled.

The Merit Website is being update for marketing. Marketing is getting good responses from our feeder schools.  

5:00- Director’s Report: Amanda Kuhnz

Highlights of Merit include: Hope squad did a worry barrel burn and retired a flag. Fall dance show case was a success. Game night show case was a success. Speech and debate competitions were done locally. There was a trip to planetarium for astronomy. The band concerts went well.     

5:15- Follow-up Items:

  •     Homeschool Credit Policy

○     Endorsement follow-up report- Rebecca Stromsdorfer

The potential policy was seeing how homeschool kids could be accredited with certain subjects. If someone is doing homeschool and they need to be approved for a subject it can be done with teachers that are approved. The current policy seems to get the job done.  

  •     Background checks:

○     Board Members

Rebecca Stromsdorfer and Brett Palmer need background checks.  

○     Merit Staff- Jesse Meeks

Staff should have all their background checks done according to Jesse Meeks.

  •     Update website with recently reviewed policies

5:30- Policy Discussion:

  •     Discipline and Classroom Management Policy

State wants additional verbiage added to policy. Jesse Meeks will get that updated to approve next board meeting.

  •     Attendance Policy

Board has requested a committee to go over attendance policy. The committee will be Rebecca Stromsdorfer, Angela Bunker, Jesse Meeks, Amanda Kuhnz and Vivian.

Executive Session- as needed:

        The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of:

  •      Character, competence, or health of an individual
  •      Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real   estate
  •      Deployment of security systems and personnel
  •      Investigating criminal misconduct

 

At 5:15 pm the board has requested to close the general session and enter an executive session for the purpose of character, competence, or health of and individual.

Motion to close general session made by Rebecca Stromsdorfer and 2nd by Tyler Griffin. All members approved.

Motion to enter executive session made by Angela Bunker and 2nd by Rebecca Stromsdorfer. All members approved.

At 6:11 motion to close executive session was made by Tyler Griffin and 2nd by Rebecca Stromsdorfer. All members approved.

Motion made by Rebecca Stromsdorfer to enter general session 2nd Tyler Griffin. All members approved.

At 6:13 motion made to close general session was made by Rebecca Stromsdorfer and 2nd by Tyler Griffin. All member approved.  

Adjourn:

12/17/2018

Merit Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

December 17, 2018

12:00 PM

Welcome and Roll Call:  Angela Bunker, Brett Palmer, Rebecca Stromsdorfer, Tyler Griffin in attendance. John Young, excused.  Meeting started at 12:13 PM.

Call to order:  Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance

Public Comments:

  •        No public comments

Executive Session:

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of:

Character, competence, or health of an individual

Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate

Deployment of security systems and personnel

Investigating criminal misconduct

Motion made by Tyler to adjourn general session and move into executive session for the purpose of discussing real estate matters.  Motion seconded by Rebecca. A by-name vote was taken. Rebecca- yes, Brett- yes, Angela-yes, Tyler-yes. Session ended, and the board moved into an executive session at 12:16pm.

Board re-entered general session at 1:44pm.  

Clint Biesinger provided and overview of the refinance option for real estate.

The refinance will include a senior and a subordinate loan. The senior loan will be approximately 9 million and the subordinate loan will be approximately 4 million, according to the terms. Loans will be backed by investors.

Motion to Vote for approval and authorization of refinance agreement. Motion made by Tyler, seconded by Rebecca. All board members agreed.

Motion to adjourn the meeting by Rebecca, seconded by Tyler. Motion carried at 1:48pm.

11/26/2018

Merit Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

November 26, 2018

4:00 PM

Welcome and Roll Call:  John Young, Angela Bunker, Brett Palmer, Rebecca Stromsdorfer, Tyler Griffin in attendance.  Meeting started at 4:26 PM.

Call to order:  Prayer by Tyler Griffin and Pledge of Allegiance

Public Comments:

  •        No public comments

Vote on Amendment to Promissory Note:

Angela Bunker made a united statement of behalf of the board regarding the acceptance of the “Amendment to Promissory Note”:

 

Be it resolved that the Board of Trustees believes that it is in the best interest of Merit College Preparatory Academy to authorize Angela Bunker, board chair, and Brett Palmer, board secretary, to sign the “Amendment to Promissory Note” based on the fact that the school is currently in default and the board has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure the long term sustainability of the school. That said, We, The Board of Trustees, would like to publicly record that our approval does not represent an agreement to the terms set forth in the amendment. We believe that the school should not continue to pay an interest only loan and we question the fairness and out-of-market terms currently being charged to the school. It is our hope that as Merit Academy, its financial advisors, and Merit School Development continue in discussions relating to the financing of the building, that more favorable terms will be agreed upon.

Vote on approval of amended note:

Agreed- John Young, Agreed- Angela Bunker, Agreed- Brett Palmer, Agreed- Rebecca Stromsdorfer, and Agreed- Tyler Griffin.

Motion to approve “Amendment to Promissory Note” by Rebecca Stromsdorfer and seconded by Tyler Griffin. By name vote: Brett Palmer Yes, Angela Bunker Yes, John Young Yes, Rebecca Stromsdorfer Yes, and Tyler Griffin Yes.

Motion to close session by John Young and seconded by Rebecca Stromsdorfer.

Motion carried at 4:29pm.

11/14/2018

Merit Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

November 14, 2018

4:00 PM

Call to order:  Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance

John Young, Angela Bunker, Brett Palmer, Rebecca Stromsdorfer, Tyler Griffin in attendance.  

Meeting started at 4:05 PM.

  •     Approval of Board Meeting minutes-

○     October 10, 2018

○     October 24, 2018

  •     Motion made by Rebecca Stromsdorfer to approve meeting minutes from October 10, 2018 and October 24, 2018. Seconded by Tyler Griffin. Motion carries.

Public Comments:

  •         No public comments

4:10- Marketing Report:

  •         We are currently at 452 students, with 19 Meridian students included.
  •         Building relationships with other charter schools is an emphasis.
  •         Treeside is going to come with 90 Students to watch the Merit play. CS Lewis and Franklin discovery are the most closely aligned with our philosophy.
  •         Intramural sports, expansion of the orchestra and a choir and band program could attract more students.  
  •         Buying a bus may attract more students. We have had to turn away a lot of students because there wasn’t a bus route for them. Bus travel time is also an issue. Dr. Meeks suggests reserving seats for new students.
  •         Each bus costs around $20,000 to purchase and around $11,000 to operate. We need about 2 new students per bus to operate the bus and 4 or 5 new students to buy a bus. Angela Bunker asked finance to report on bus costs in the next finance report.
  •         A new bus could help with attracting new students.  The school could advertise by wrapping the school name around it.
  •         Marketing would like an approval for a bus before the open house in order to advertise for the next school year.
  •         Shuttle buses may be good alternative.       

Graduation Requirements

  •     Report on graduation recommendations from UT Colleges- Scott Jenkins
  •     Almost all Utah colleges are good with our curriculum. University of Utah is the only one that recommends 4 consecutive years in math and sciences.
  •     Dr. Meeks suggest keeping our requirements where they are.
  •     Students seeking college or who are excelling may be counseled to take college preparation courses.  

  

Background checks

  •     Board Members need to get background checks done ASAP.
  •     Merit Staff is required to get their background checks done within two weeks.  

 

Casey- Finance Report

  •     Line 200-Benefits is a little high and we may have to review in the future.
  •     Line 700 -Property and Equipment is high because we are waiting on the SPED money.
  •     All other monies look to be inline.  

Director’s Report & Business: Jesse Meeks

  •     Dr Meeks would like the Merit Mission and Vision to be clarified and finalized.
  •     Many events have been taking place in honor of students and teachers efforts. Few noted items are the Marine Biology class visited the Channel Islands in California. Our Town was performed by our theater students.  A JV basketball team was added this year due to increased interest in playing. Orchestra pieces are growing. $400 was raised for Kenya Keys.
  •     Dr. Meeks and Ms. Kuhnz have been doing observations of the teachers.
  •     Dr. Meeks will use the Elliot tool to help teachers if needed.
  •     Angela Bunker asked for survey results that were sent to the parents.
  •     Dr. Meeks will share survey results of surveys sent to the teachers.

 

Policy Discussion

  •     Dr. Meeks added grooming to 3.9.7 of the dress code policy.
  •     It is up to Dr. Meeks’ discretion to decide what is distracting dress.
  •     It is suggested that specific requirements and a one page essay be added to the Work Credit Policy.

Consent Agenda:

  •     Dress Code Policy changes to be approved-

Motion made by Tyler Griffin to approve amended dress code policy. Seconded by Rebecca Stromsdorfer. Motion carries.

 

  •     Service Animal Policy

Motion made by Rebecca Stromsdorfer to accept amended Service Animal Policy. Seconded by John Young. Motion carries.

  •     Work Credit Policy

Motion made by Tyler Griffin to accept the amended work policy to include specific requirements and a one-page essay. Seconded by Rebecca Stromsdorfer. Motion carries.

Executive Session

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of:

  •      Character, competence, or health of an individual
  •      Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real       estate
  •      Deployment of security systems and personnel
  •      Investigating criminal misconduct

Motion made by John Young to adjourn general session and move into executive session for the purpose of discussing a real estate matter. Seconded by Rebecca Stromsdorfer, A by-name vote was taken. Rebecca-yes, Brett-yes, John-yes, Angela-yes, Tyler-yes. Session ended, and board moved into executive session at 5:35pm.

Board re-entered general session at 5:57pm.

  •     Vote to accept “Amended Promissory Note” for the loan on the building of Merit Academy to be done in the next session.

John Young made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Tyler Griffin. Motion carried at 5.58pm.

10/24/2018

Merit Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

October 24, 2018

3:45 PM

 

Welcome and Roll Call:  Angela Bunker, Brett Palmer, Rebecca Stromsdorfer, Tyler Griffin in attendance.  Meeting started at 3:54 PM.

 

Call to order:  Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance

 

Public Comments:

  • No public comments

 

Executive Session:

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

Character, competence, or health of an individual

Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate

Deployment of security systems and personnel

Investigating criminal misconduct

 

Motion made by Rebecca Stromsdorfer to adjourn general session and move into executive session for the purpose of discussing real estate matters, seconded by Tyler Griffin.  A by-name vote was taken. Rebecca- yes, Brett- yes, Angela-yes, Tyler-yes. Session ended and board moved into executive session at 3:56pm.

 

Tyler Griff motion to end executive session and Rebecca Stromsdorfer 2’nd the motion. All attending board members voted yes to end session. Board re-entered general session at 5:41pm. Rebecca Stromsdorfer motion to adjourn the meeting and Tyler Griffin 2’nd the motion. Motion carried at 5:42pm.

10/10/2018

DRAFT

 

Merit Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

October 10, 2018

4:00 PM

 

Welcome and Roll Call:  John Young, Angela Bunker, Dan Hill, Rebecca Stromsdorfer, Tyler Griffin in attendance.  Meeting started at 4:07 PM.

 

Call to order:  Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance

 

Public Comments:

  • No public comments

 

Presentations:

 

Graduation Requirements

  • Scott Jenkins presented the proposed graduation requirements, including recent updates on elective course offerings.
  • Have upped graduation requirements from 25 to 27 hours.  There is some flexibility on case-by-case basis since state requirements are 24 hours. We have separate recommendations for college bound students, which follow the guidelines from the Regents Scholarship.
  • Request to clarify the wording around F Grades, if students earn an F at another school it will be averaged. If an F is earned at Merit, it can be expunged by retaking the course.
  • Jennifer Young requested that the board consider requiring four years of math (which could include math intervention for Merit, which receives a grade, but would not count for the state).  All universities in the state recommend the fourth year of math, and a minimum of Secondary Math III (which is a college algebra course).
  • Board requested that Scott Jenkins also ask the colleges about other areas such as language arts, so that we can ensure our graduation requirements fill the mission to be a college preparatory school.

 

Homeschool Credit Policy:

  • Scott Jenkins added an online portion to the original homeschool policy, and wording in the first paragraph to establish stricter requirements for courses to get credit.
  • Rebecca Stromsdorfer requested an additional month to review the policy to allow more time to research. Would like to know what endorsements are available. Plan to vote on policy at next board meeting.

Service Animal Policy – will allow for time to review and vote on at the next board meeting.

Work Credit Policy – would allow for 2 work experience credits towards graduation in Junior and Senior Year (only 0.5 per semester). Policy outlines requirements.

 

Marketing Report:  

  • Student count vs. last year on Oct 1 is 429 vs. 385 in 2017.  Seeing greatest progress in the lower grades. As of today enrollment is 448 total, with 18 being Meridian.  46 part time students. 408 full-time equivalents. Still have new students starting this week and next.

 

Director’s Report & Business – Amanda Kuhnz:

 

Utah County Pornography and Sex Ed current statistics reviewed – reporting on this as part of the Utah State Board of Education as regards requirements for sexual education.

 

Board Business:

  • Background checks
  • Motion made by Dan Hill to appoint Brett Palmer to the Merit Academy Board of Trustees. Seconded by Rebecca Stromsdorfer. Motion carries.
  • Dan Hill to be released from position on Board of Trustees following the meeting.

 

Approval of Board Meeting minutes:

  • Motion made by Dan Hill to approve meeting minutes from September 5, 2018. Seconded by John Young. Motion carries.

 

Policy Review:

  • Dress Code Policy Reviewed. Discussion on how to interpret “bare shoulders” in light of shirts with slits.  Board wants the director and assistant director to have discretion to use good judgement for one-off situations.  
  • Asked for 3.1.2 to add the language of “in support of” drugs, alcohol, etc. to be sure that anti-drug, anti-porn, etc. messages are okay in the policy.
  • In 3.1.6 we should add a clarifying statement “no skin should be visible through the shirt”. The wording “modest” is a little vague.  Also add to 3.2.7 “no skin should be visible”.
  • Fix indentation on 3.8.1.2.  
  • 3.8.1.2.1 needs to add “or skirts” to accommodate cheerleading outfits.
  • Add to policy that Activities Director needs to approve uniforms and performance dress before purchase.
  • Angela requested to review these adjustments before it’s sent to be posted on the website.

 

Finance Report:

  • Motion made by Rebecca Stromsdorfer to approve the Utah Consolidated Application (UCA) for the upcoming year. Seconded by Tyler Griffin. Motion carries.
  • Budget and forecasts are based on 384 students. Now with October counts, by next meeting can have it updated.
  • Discussed importance of temporarily restricted funds, cash, and the building payments.

 

Board Training:

 

  • Open Meetings Laws- Training was presented by Monty Hardy from Red Apple Finance

The board is required to receive training on OML training once each year.  The philosophy is that everything this is discussed by the board is the people’s business, and they have a right to know what is discussed and decided upon.  

  • Meeting Minutes- a handout was given to board members outlining items that should be recorded in the meeting minutes.  

 

Executive Session:

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

Character, competence, or health of an individual

Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate

Deployment of security systems and personnel

Investigating criminal misconduct

 

Motion made by Angela to adjourn general session and move into executive session for the purpose of discussing real estate matters, seconded by John Young.  A by-name vote was taken. Rebecca- yes, Brett- yes, Angela-yes, John-yes, Tyler-yes. Session ended and board moved into executive session at 6:38pm.

 

Board re-entered general session at 7:04pm.  Tyler made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Rebecca seconded the motion.  Motion carried at 7:04PM.

9/5/2018-3

Merit College Preparatory Academy Board of Trustees

September 5, 2018*

6:30pm

Welcome and Roll Call:  John Young, Angela Bunker, Dan Hill, Rebecca Stromsdorfer, Tyler Griffin in attendance.  Meeting started at 6:41PM.

 

Mission Statement:

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

 

Call to Order and Prayer: Prayer offered by Tyler Griffin

 

Pledge of Allegiance

 

Public Comment:

 

Approval of Minutes:

Motion proposed to approve meeting minutes for August 14, 2018 made by John Young, seconded by Rebecca Stromsdorfer.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Budget Report:  Report will be presented by Red Apple during our October Meeting.  437 (417 full time equivalents) Merit students and 18 Meridian students.   Did meet with Red Apple earlier and things are still on target.

 

Director’s Report:

  • Many teachers have come in, reporting on the high quality of the students.  Many positive feelings. Behavioral problems are less than normal, and less severe.
  • 9th grade assembly next week (9/13) and start to get them excited about college and what’s available.  Parents will be invited.
  • Multiple surveys are needed for the accreditation year. We don’t have a lot of information about this yet. Getting information on what is needed is still in process.  The date for the accreditation process is up in the air. We know they want to know how students, teachers, community, etc are feeling, what we think is going great. Less emphasis on details and more on the trajectory of the school.  AdvancEd has several resources that can be used to assist with surveys, etc.
  • Have dropped 10-20 students due the ten day legal obligation.  These students had registered, but did not show up.
  • Volleyball and baseball are in full swing.  Boys and girls are both doing open gyms for basketball.  Cross-country is out practicing.
  • Renaissance Fair update – assignments are being taken on and in full progress. Everybody has a job and is hands-on and getting going.

 

Board Business:

Reorganization of the board-

Board Chair:  Angela Bunker

Board Vice-Chair:  John Young

Treasurer:  Rebecca Stromsdorfer

Secretary:  Dan Hill

Board Trainer:  Tyler Griffin

 

*Note for board, that they are doing pictures on Sep 27th. Want to have pictures and a short bio on the website.

 

Follow-up Items:

Regarding the committee on graduation requirements, the question is do we need to follow what is in the charter or are we okay to follow the state guidelines.  Committee has not met yet. John will follow-up.

 

New Business:

* Tyler Griffin made a motion to authorize PE classes of Kickboxing and Weights and Conditioning to fulfill the graduation requirement for the Individual Lifetime Activities’ class. Dan Hill seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.  A document has been written by the teachers on how these classes could fulfill those requirements. Would like this to go into the file, and should be included with the board meeting minutes.

*Discuss ‘Entrepreneurial class’- profits from student projects.  Startup Academy began last year and they began executing their business plans and selling. Discussed whether to have a policy for how those profits should be handled.  Board saw this more of a function of how the school is run than a need for a policy by the board.

*Discuss the establishment of a fundraising policy regarding the division of funds collected by students. No existing policy, but would like to have something uniform that a certain amount goes into.  Rebecca and Jesse to be on the committee. Recommendations to also have Darlene and Robinne Booth on that committee. Amanda can represent athletics since she has the coaching background.

 

Executive Session:

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

Character, competence, or health of an individual

Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate

Deployment of security systems and personnel

Investigating criminal misconduct

 

Tyler Griffin made a motion to adjourn general session, seconded by John Young. Motion carried at 7:18 PM.

 

Adjourn:

General session adjourned at 7:18 PM.

9/5/2018-2

In Attendance – Board, Department Chairs, Administration

 

Angela’s opening comments:

 

2007 Charter Approved – Opened next fall

Who are we?

 

Goal: Revise and refresh charter to take to the state by 2020

 

We need to show Consistency, Clarity, and Community

 

What do you think is our greatest success as an organization?

 

100% graduation last year – some on a packet shoestring – we would like the quality to be high and we would like our struggling students to be successful, survived 10 years, tenacious – we do not back down from a challenge – we do not quit, kids are individuals not just a numbers, we have a great set of teachers here – we have picked great teachers – teacher who care about the kids – teachers who want to be here, feel like we take kids who are lost and by the end they want to be here and are successful, build long term relationships, push them to new levels, our student body president – our students are kind and see the goodness in others, tolerant of students who are struggling with out mean derision, island of misfit toys, do not see clicks – not very many, cheer program is positive – inclusive – based on merit not popularity, inclusive, seamless 7 – 12 – upperclassmen are kind, unity in assembly seating, graduates are going on to do good things

 

Goals:

 

Would like to boost the number of students going to college

Need to use MTEC – excellent in a skill

A plan for every kid who graduates – education, etc.

Start this earlier

Information Equity! Make sure every student has all the information to be successful in next phase – make sure the counselors reach out to every student

How to declare a major –

Expand their minds –

Name of the school is Merit College Preparatory Academy

Does the name need to change or do we need to put more emphasis on college prep

Our classes need to be robust – not too easy

Let students pick the thing they want to be good at

Teach the skills needed to be good at any of these avenues – identify and teach these skills

We do not allow them to fail – retake class versus do a packet

An alternative path for entrepreneurship in our school – start a business

*Mentor to a class for your entire career at Merit – reading activities and values for the year – 6 year curriculum – do it for the lunch logistics, start preparing the curriculum now

M’tulu –

Student pictures

Hoby

Rila

Show who we are

Athletes

Paint the hallways

Theme – Springville Junior High is….

We are Merit

Swag

S.O.S Drug – dressed up in High School Swag

 

Do three words flow

Student T-Shirt

Principal visit – at the beginning of the year to new students

Reach out to child

Branding

Who are we

Kids should be able say who we are

“Be Excellent to each other.” Xanthe and Ted

Live long and prosper

Are Excellence, Innovation, and Achievement the right words

 

Focus of each grade – 6 words – value for each grade:

 

7 SC – Belonging

8 HE – Excellence

9 HE – Knowledge

10 CL – Service

11 SC – Resilience

12 CL – Leadership

 

Who are we not?

Stale, homogeneous, normal, system, not a cookie cutter, babysitter’s, a safe place to be noticed, opportunities,

 

What do we do better than anybody else? Why send your student here?

Safe place for the students, known for our theater and dance and other arts programs, a creative spirit, great lunch, service well, turn misfits into responsible beings, consistent quality, excellence in every department that causes the community buzz, do the teachers feel like we belong – how to we get better connected – building cross connections in the PBL – support each others programs and getting to know the teachers, eat lunch in faculty room, M’Tulu, etc – builds a sense of cohesiveness, not teach in a vacuum, Work at lunch,

Students matter, have to have hug line at graduation,

 

Diverse, dynamic, creative, invested, personal, autonomy, on a graduation track, can play sports, etc. when they would not at bigger schools,

 

Teachers:

Provide alternative ways to succeed

Teachers who are friends and not enemies – build supportive relationships

 

Skills we want to see when they graduate:

Advocate for themselves

Take ownership of their problems

Self accountability

We do not allow them to

Behaviors in common with next level of success in education

Talk to a college teacher

A sense of independence

🙁 Let an assignment slip, turn in late or at the end, have a lot of things going on in life

Step up to the plate

Entrepreneurs – let them succeed in that

Critical thinking

Research

Apply the scientific method

 

Mission goals

Excell in:

  1. Higher Education –

 

  1. Community Leadership – office, involved in community, civic mindedness, I am responsible, service

 

  1. Social Commitment – service be in society, contribute positively, feel accountable to participate in community, beyond our little community – the human society, accountability to others

 

Do all of our decisions align the mission statement

All understand this the same way

Something in all of our classrooms to remind us of the right words (Provide this)

 

*** PBL Something in the rooms to remind us so we can all use the same language (Provide this)

 

Who are we – sum up in a tagline or a couple of sentences

 

Your child matters

A safe place to be noticed

Know how to think and discuss

Think critically and sustained inquiry

More than a place but a feeling

A place where every student matters. Where they can feel comfortable being noticed. And where they are encouraged and inspired to think about and discuss real subjects that matter

Become a part of something and contribute to a larger whole

Be a part of something and make a meaningful contribution

Don’t do education in a bubble

“Merit lives matter.” John Young

Theme this year is Make Your Legacy.

 

We prepare our students to choose their quest and change the world.

#We are Merit

 

Choose your quest, and change the world!

9/5/2018-1

*Xanthe, Christy, Kimmie, Jennifer, Rachael

 

Success

-100% grad rate ‘18

Survived 10 yrs

Increased enrollment – 437 +18 Meridian (385)

Teacher down back down from a challenge

Know every student

Take kids who were lost – connect

Opportunities not offered elsewhere

Outside of school support

Push to excel – allow failure = try again

Teachers who care – invested in being at Merit

Cheer program

Seamless 7-12 – mix of grades

Student body is accepting and inclusive – kind

Students can be themselves

Student culture

Graduates go on to do great things

M’tulu (need pictures

 

Goals

Catch students early – intervention

Beginning of Yr identify problems

Advanced ed for our graduates (start early)

-goal for after HS

College prep

College/entrepreneur

 

What do we expect from students

Talk to teachers

Advocate for yourself

Accountability / responsibility

Make choices

Independent thinking

 

Mission Statement

-Excel in Higher Education

 

-Community Leadership

 

-Social Commitment

Be in society

Contribute positively

 

Combine community leadership and social commitment into civic mindedness

 

How do we show it?

Need M’tulu wall

Pictures of students

College banners

“We are Merit”

Merit is…

Swag

 

Who are we?

Knowledge

Leadership

Belonging

Excellence

Service

Resilience

 

Current

Excellence

Achievement

Innovation

 

Could we have each grade concentrate on one of the words?

7 – Belonging

8 – Excellence

9 – Knowledge

10 – Service

11 – Resilience

12 – Leadership

 

Mentoring group lead by same teacher for all of school

 

Knowledge and Excellence = Excel in higher education

Service and leadership = Community Leadership

Resilience and Belonging = Social commitment

 

What do we do better than anyone else?

  • Lunch (sharon)
  • Service
  • Kids don’t fall between the cracks – find spark

 

Why would you send your kids to Merit?

-Teachers

-Fine Arts

-Music

-Belonging

-consistent quality (staff/faculty)

 

How do we connect the staff?

  • Cross connect through PBL
  • Lunch together (teacher have to stay in class)

 

Who are we not?

  • Maiser
  • Landmark
  • We’re not stale
  • Homogeneous students
  • Boring
  • Cookie cutter
  • Babysitters

 

We are…Merit

  • Diverse
  • A person not a number
  • Dynamic
  • Creative
  • Invested
  • Personal touch
  • Flexible
  • Autonomy
  • Inclusive
  • Opportunities
  • A safe place to noticed and excel

 

Your child matters

A safe place to be noticed

Know how to think and discuss

What is our focus? – Our Students

 

We prepare our students to choose their quest and change the world

 

#WeAreMerit

 

Choose Your Quest and Change the World

8/14/2018

Notice Date & Time: 8/14/18 6:00 PM

Description/Agenda:

      Merit College Preparatory Board of Trustees
Board Meeting
August 14, 2018

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

Call to Order & Prayer: 6:07 Call to order

Approval of Minutes
July 28, 2018
July 25, 2018
May 22, 2018
May 8, 2018

  • Approved unanymous


Public Comments – None

 

Budget Report – Casey reviewed the budget summary from 1 – 31 July 2018

Waiting for allotment, slow during summer


Special Presentations
Clint Biesinger: bond update

Met with Larry Beach, visited with Larry two weeks ago

Presented the bond structure to the investor group

Larry spoke with Scott and Neal – they want to wait to see attendance numbers (Oct 1)

Clint voiced his concerns and frustration

They assert that there may be a different bank deal that they can see if it would work better for them

Looking to get a better attendance projection for AY 18-19

As of today Merit enrollment is at 466. Projecting realistically 515 by Oct 1 (Kati Evans)

(angela) can we do anything to encourage them to take the deal we presented

 

401K – issue with implementation

Cannot offer simple IRA and 401K in the same year. Have to push back implementation to January 1, 2019

Start educating employees in November, help with roll-over

 

Kati talked about how we have seen so much success in our enrollment – focused on growing locally – Springville bus route – teachers and student shadowing


Jennifer Young: statistical report

Evaluated transcripts from previous year with regards to math (grades)

7th – on grade 8.49% Meridian 63% (fail rate)

8th – on grade 32.5% 66.67%

9th – on grade 9.6% 59.37%

10th – on grade 14.28% 51.56%

11th – on grade 17.88% 76.59%

12th – on grade 6.67% 28.57%

Others – stats, AP calculus, UVU math 1010

Recommend hiring a 4th math teacher

Merit takes a pause year for math requirements

Requires 4 years of math with one year that can be used as a catch up year

Recommend no new Khan students

Recommend Merit be a 4 year math school


Kati Evans: marketing report

Enrollment looking really good, new registrar is being trained – cleaning up old student records that are no longer enrolled

Minimal lose compared to last year – very good positive trend

10 days after start of school will be a better gauge of true enrollment

More buses could equal more enrollment

Focusing on Fire/Police dept free lunch

Advertising on the buses – Focused on Merit who we are etc

Focus on website and social media

Pioneer Performing arts school shut down – gained 4 students to Merit

Possible to become a feeder school for refugees

First dog at school – service dog

Tyler Griffin – suggests we utilize the free UTA bussing


Director’s Report

Amanda – hired some awesome people

-front desk, registrar, part time german teacher, PE teacher, counselor, ballroom

Still looking for Chinese teacher

Close to getting a part time science teacher

Most parents are excited for the new school year

Demo accomplished on the courtyard (Kendrick Levitt)

Kudos to marketing especially Katie

Difficult task to establish workable bus routes – working to meet the needs of the students/families

 

Board Business

Work session- schedule date

Board training

Foundation for the school
Pulse surveys

Training schedule- monthly training time


Follow-up Items

Report from committee regarding graduation requirements – discuss at work meeting


Unfinished Business

None
New Business

‘Policy Development’ document

Revisions to the Bullying, Cyberbullying, Harassment, Hazing,and (Retaliation) Policy – Angela discussed the proposed changes to the policy to better meet the requirements set forth by the state. Based on current requirements the proposed policy meets all the requirements.

Motion to waive second review of the policy – Rebecca, 2nd Angela – motion carries

Motion to approve policy Angela, Rebecca.

John Young steps down as board chair – Angela will become the new board chair

John motioned to vote on Tyler Griffin to the board, seconded by Angela – vote was unanimously approved.


Executive Session
The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of the discussion of :
Character, competence, or health of an individual
Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real  estate
Deployment of security systems and personnel
Investigating criminal misconduct

Adjourn:

Motion by Angela to adjourn, seconded by Rebecca. Motion approved unanimously. Board meeting adjourned at 7:37.

7/28/2018

Merit College Preparatory Academy Board of Trustees

July 28, 2018

1:00pm

Welcome and Roll Call:  John Young, Angela Bunker, Dan Hill, Rebecca Stromsdorfer in attendance.  Meeting started at 1:11 PM.

Mission Statement:

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

Prayer: Offered by John Young

Pledge of Allegiance: Led by John Young

 

Public Comment:

  •         None

Consent Agenda:

  •         Student Hair Color

o   Motion made by Dan to amend dress code policy to remove restrictions on only natural hair colors, separate out hair style out as “non-distracting”, and leave the administration the option to determine if hair color or style is deemed to be disruptive.  Angela seconded. Unanimous vote in favor. Motion carried.

  •         Charter

o   Plans for 11 years ago vs where we are now shows many differences, from the building to activities, but we want to reflect the standards in the charter wherever we can.

o   Bylaws define the board and the role of the board, but does not get into policies and procedures. What we ought to do is be familiar with policies and procedures.

o   Proposal to break charter into parts and each of us take a part and report back on what part we studied and how we think we can more closely align.  Need to have a working meeting.

o   Charter did not allow for much autonomy in the way the school was run.

o   In preparation for an eventual revision of the charter we need to plan ahead and understand what elements of the charter are not feasible since the model was created.  Start with things that pertain to how we run the school.

o   Angela to go through charter and identify which parts to start with.  Take one section each quarter. Spend a part of each future board meetings discussing what was found.

o   Want to review policy in some way at each board meeting as well.  This will ensure that we keep a consistent review of policies.

Executive Session:

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

Character, competence, or health of an individual

Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate

Deployment of security systems and personnel

Investigating criminal misconduct

Board adjourned from general session and entered executive session at 1:39 PM

General session reconvened at 2:42 PM

Angela made a motion to adjourn general session, seconded by Rebecca. Motion carried at 2:42PM.

Adjourn:

General session adjourned at 5:18 PM.

7/25/2018

Merit College Preparatory Academy Board of Trustees

July 25, 2018

3:00pm

Welcome and Roll Call:  John Young, Angela Bunker, Dan Hill, Rebecca Stromsdorfer in attendance.  Meeting started at 3:08 PM.

Mission Statement:

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

Prayer: Offered by John Young

Pledge of Allegiance: Led by John Young

 

Public Comment:

  •         Tyler Griffin attending the board meeting to observe. Shared background and inquiring for more information about joining board of directors.
  •         Jennifer Young

o   Some parents in the neighborhood would like to see more of an effort to communicate the board meetings ahead of time.

o   Representing the teachers, many are requesting that we relax the hair color policy to allow for any hair colors.  Agree with policies around piercings, leggings, etc. but hair color is something that the teachers don’t feel is a critical issue.

Finance Report:

  •         Final Fiscal Year 2018 reviewed. Final numbers came in in-line with the approved budget from the May, 2018 meeting.
  •         Red Apple Best Efforts Agreement
  •         Report from Clint Biesinger from Verapath on Bond Financing Framework

o   Facilities financing, we continue to make very good progress. As of 2 weeks ago we have a credit approval from Cruise and Associates to underwrite the deal. This is the underwriting firm that will agree to purchase the bond and sell it into the market.

o   Forecasts from Verapath sent to board by e-mail for review. Details discussed.

o   Projections have modest organic growth built into them, but would take building payment to a lower percentage than today and provide for fiscal health.

o   Last hurdle is finalizing the agreement with the original investor group. Expect to present this to them in the next week. After this the appraisal can be ordered and application filled out.

  •         Retirement Benefits

o   Jesse had asked for Verapath analysis on what currently doing with staff for 401(k) vs. UAPCS plan. There is an option to join that plan. At a high level the positives are that the plan would be a significant improvement for both what it looks and feels like for the employees, and a better tool to retain and recruit staff.  Contributions don’t need to be adjusted. , but responsibility for management would handled at the sponsorship level by joining as an adopted employer. It also reduces the school’s liability. Verapath takes the fiduciary responsibility to vet funds and make sure they are fair. Also takes the management of updates to staff, education, and providing information needed so the staff can be participative in building their retirement. School’s role is to have business manager (Red Apple) fund this on time.

o   There is a $1200 base cost per year ($300/quarter) for the school. $800 goes to admin partner and $400 to UAPCS as plan sponsor to handle audits, etc. The only other fee the employees would see is $48/yr ($12/quarter) taking to cover all fees.  All fees end up being about ½ of 1%.

o   Their hope is to raise the returns up to 1.5% – 2%.

o   Dan made a motion to approve the new employee retirement/401(k) plan. Rebecca seconded. The vote was unanimous in favor.

  •         Fee Schedule 2018/2019 school year

o   Need to publish with the registration process

o   Miss Gilbert shared proposal to move towards a Renaissance Fair based on a play to be done that year at the Shakespeare Festival, and use this to offset the costs to attend the Shakespeare Festival, leaving roughly $60/student.

o   Dan made a motion to approve student fee schedule as presented. Seconded by Angela.  Unanimously approved.

  •         Fee Waivers discussed

Marketing Report: Kati Evans

  •         Marketing Goals 2018/2019 school year

o   434 students enrolled with 11 of those Meridian.  12 to 20 hot leads. Expecting more students at the start of the year.  Been focusing on old leads from last year that chose not to come last year and have captured some of them.  Investor’s goal had been 450 from Merit. New goal is 510.

o   Last year during the school year we brought in 72 more students. Goal is 80 this next year. Lost 92 during the last school year. Goal is 70.  Focus on retention is big. #1 most impressive things to students and parents is the distance education, but percentage of students doing it is quite small. Next most frequent thing bringing kids in is theatre.  Want to help this distance education grow and really support it.

o   Requested from board to help know what the board goal is for marketing and where to focus. Board will put heads together and get back to Katie.

Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Report: Scott Jenkins

  •         By accepting funds, the state determines a lot of the job description for guidance counselors. A part of this is CCRs (College and Career Readiness) with the students and parents.  New change will allow them to do some portion of this in groups.
  •         Scott teaches six courses on college and career awareness.
  •         All students this past year had a CCR with their counselor.
  •         Another function is responsive services, which is like an “emergency room” for students. Is about 20-30% of the time.  Can be everything from mental health issues, to last minute scholarship needs.
  •         Systems support is about 15% of the time, which is supporting the administration and school goals and things done in the summer to run the school.
  •         Guidance Curriculum is any of the lessons we do with the teachers. Teaching about scholarships for example. These align with school goals and counseling department.
  •         This year we covered all of the areas that we are supposed to.  This year for the audit we will have other charter schools come in and look at what we are doing and get feedback. In another 3 years we will have the next state audit.
  •         100% graduation rate achieved this year.

Director’s Report: Dr. Jesse Meeks

  •         Expeditions – due to result of state audit on fees many schools reconsidering how fees are done.  We feel it’s wise to hold off on this to ensure that fee waivers don’t end up creating a difficult financial situation.
  •         Drop-off and Pick-up procedures

o   Want to make it a one-way during drop-off and pick-up procedures to avoid blocking the driveway, and also allow buses through.  Propose to hit it hard in the first couple of weeks to train parents. Put out cones, signs, etc.

  •         Parking
  •         Graduation Requirements (Foreign Language)

o   Need to align a couple of points in the proposal to the charter.  Working meeting suggested to determine the way forward.

o   Approval tabled until next meeting.

o   A graduation requirements committee will report back on this, and include Jesse Meeks, John Young, and Scott Jenkins.

  •         UVU
  •         MATC
  •         Recognition: Miss Literski finished masters degree in curriculum and instruction. Joseph Wright is working on his Masters Degree right now.  The office staff has been working really hard this summer and continuing to move things forward and done some amazing things.

Board Business:

  •         Need to set up board training.  Need to pick some times we would be available and Red Apple could come and do some training on board responsibilities. Also have UAPCS available to do some trainings as a benefit of being a member.  Angela will take the assignment to contact them on some training times.

Consent Agenda:

Meeting Minutes- May 29, 2018

Dan made motion to approve May 29 minutes. Angela seconded.  Unanimously approved.

For next time – need to approve meeting minutes from May 8, 2018 and May 22, 2018 (executive session).  

Executive Session:

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

Character, competence, or health of an individual

Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate

Deployment of security systems and personnel

Investigating criminal misconduct

Adjourn:

General session adjourned at 5:18 PM.

5/29/2018

Merit College Preparatory Academy Board of Trustees

May 29, 2018

4:00pm

Welcome and Roll Call:  John Young, Angela Bunker, Dan Hill, Rebecca Stromsdorfer in attendance.  Meeting started at 4:26 PM.

Mission Statement:

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

Prayer: Offered by Dan Hill

Pledge of Allegiance: Led by John Young

 

Public Comment:

Heather Hill commended the graduation event.  Due to the surprising attendance she mentioned that she has heard that the BYU Legacy Center can host graduations at the Legacy Hall.  Jesse commented that we anticipated 700 people and had many, many more and will consider other venues for next year.

Finance Report:

Steve and Red Apple team shared financial summary for 2017-2018 year-end and budget for 2018-2019 school year for approval.  Two votes needed.

  •         Angela made a motion to approve the year-end 2017-2018 budget we were presented with an understanding that some projects are incomplete but will be done in the next few months, and as a result some shifting of funds may take place within the budget categories. Dan seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
  •         $155K more in state revenue projected.  Salaries category is increased, including Special-ed Director. Goal for next year is $175K positive.
  •         Rebecca asked how marketing is funded since the budget category is smaller.
  •         Angela made a motion to accept the budget presented to us for the 2018-2019 school year. Dan seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
  •         Clint presented an update regarding efforts to lower the building cost. Been working closely with the issuer, Utah Charter School Financing Authority and Scott Jones, Deputy Superintendent of Operations for the Utah State Board of Education, who is supportive of the solution presented. Fully disclosed situation with state along with the plan. Superintendent Jones is supportive of the solution. Now going back to current creditors and giving them terms with series A and B bonds (have to pay) and C bonds (pay as we get healthier). Will also work in the next few weeks with current investors, that hold the series C bonds, and hope to have application in by end of month and go to market by end of July and close by August. One thing we have run into is that we hoped the series C bonds would be tax exempt, but it looks like they will need to be taxable.  Think it’s best to not have a default on the series C bond.
  •         By June 13th approval on credit review process is expected and something solidified with current investor.
  •         Clint will need some approvals to do some spending after June 13th. Appraisals, environmental surveys, etc.
  •         Group will send a letter to John as the board chair.  May need to have a designee since he will be absent for a few weeks in the summer, but this was not on the agenda so cannot act on this today.
  •         Post June 13th will need to bring on some other partners. Their fees are contingent.

Marketing Report: Kati Evans

  •         Need to cover 66 students lost, plus Meridian lost 10 seniors. Ahead of last year’s numbers at this time. Have 52 seventh graders already as of beginning of summer.  Meridian is also out marketing to get more. Ended year with fifty-three 7th graders which was one of our highest ever. Eight new 8th graders will start us making it 61. Twenty-five new 9th graders. Adding nine 10th graders, three 11th graders, two 12th graders.
  •         29 students are not returning and are working on 6 of those to keep them.  Five of those not returning were early 11th grade graduates.
  •         Goal is to be down to <5% loss each year. Currently at about 8%.
  •         Would start year at 395 if no change, but we still have summer to go so feeling positive.  Goal is 18 to 24 more students at beginning of school year.
  •         Working on growing from within and retention.

Director’s Report: Dr. Jesse Meeks

  •         Update on Expeditions provided. Survey of 170 students to gauge interest in various expeditions. Brought each teacher in groups and asked how they were feeling about it, both logistically and emotionally.  Some math teachers concerned about time off for the days that are needed to cover curriculum. Drama also with some days away from the stage. Some teachers will be on the middle school expedition and be on-site.  Will break group into 7 teams and do the same expedition every day but students will rotate.
  •         Katie expressed feedback that we want to make sure there are options for students to earn money, such as Rimports.
  •         Project-based learning after one year – feeling is that we are on the right track. Feel like we were able to be responsive and able to be flexible enough to ensure teachers weren’t overwhelmed while still pushing forward for learning to become more exciting and authentic.

Board Business:

  •         John will be gone June 12-July 21.
  •         Angela gone on most weekends from Thursday-on during the summer.

Consent Agenda:

Meeting Minutes, May 8, 2018 and May 22, 2018 minutes not yet approved – postponed to correct date on May 8 and to ensure notes from May 22 executive session.

Executive Session:

Angela made a motion to move into executive session, seconded by Rebecca. Motion carried unanimously. Adjourned at 5:31 PM. Jesse Meeks joined.

Left executive session at 5:48 PM.

Angela made a motion to close general session, seconded by Rebecca.

Adjourn:

General session adjourned at 5:48 PM.

5/21/2018

Merit College Preparatory Academy

Board Meeting May 21, 2018

 

Welcome & Roll Call: Meeting called to order at 4:05 PM Present: John Young, Angela Bunker, Dan Hill, Rebecca Stromsdorfer

 

Opening Prayer: John Young

 

Mission Statement: Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

 

Public Comment: None

 

Executive Session: Motion to suspend general session and move into executive session made by Angela Bunker and Seconded by Dan Hill at 4:06 PM

    By name vote on motion: John, yes; Angela, yes; Dan, yes; Rebecca, yes

 

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

    *Character, competence, or health of an individual

    *Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate                *Deployment of security systems and personnel

     *Investigating criminal misconduct

 

General session resumed at 4:42 PM Adjourn: Motion to adjourn made by Angela and seconded by Dan. Unanimous vote to adjourn.

 

Meeting adjourned at 4:43 PM

5/8/2018

Merit College Preparatory Academy Board of Trustees

May 8, 2018

6:00pm

Welcome and Roll Call:  John Young, Angela Bunker, Dan Hill, Rebecca Stromsdorfer in attendance.  Meeting started at 6:07 PM.

Prayer: Offered by Kati Evans

Pledge: Led by John Young

 

Mission Statement:

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

Public Comment: No public comments made

Finance Report:

Steve from Red Apple shared budget report and financial summary.

  •         2nd payment from Meridian is still to come.
  •         Federal funds should be coming by end of May.
  •         We are on track with where we have been forecasting.
  •         Details shared on some areas where savings have been able to offset overages.
  •         Next year draft budget reviewed.
  •         Goals for next year discussed, including favorability targets. A few updates will be made based on outcomes of building plans.
  •         Met with superintendent from the state and had a positive meeting regarding bonding. Very transparent.  Clint is optimistic about the options right now, with potential to close in July.
  •         Will send out a new copy of the budget based on changes. For example:

o   Bus fees – buying a bus pass up front. Rather than trying to collect we would allow students to buy a bus pass and open it up to more students in Springville.

  •         Being conservative on CTE Money and possibility for some technology-related grants.
  •         Salaries are lower, even though there were raises. Net change is due to changes in positions.
  •         Will add a bit to substitutes, but added a benefit for teachers that if they don’t use all personal time they can cash out.
  •         Need to vote at next board meeting on the final budget and next year’s budget.

Marketing Report: Kati Evans

  •         398 students. 21 Meridian.
  •         Ahead this year by 30 vs. last year from January through now.  Have 76 new students that will be joining us. 16 students confirmed that won’t be coming back next year. 118 leads being worked on. Some other schools have had some major changes in their academics so we are keeping an eye on the local charters and public schools and home schooling groups.
  •         This summer we could use some exciting or fresh ideas or events to continue getting the word out about Merit.  Ideas should be shared with Kati. Word of mouth is the most important thing.

Director’s Report: Dr. Jesse Meeks

  •         Knighting ceremony will be on the 23rd, first of the day. 8:450-ish. Will be on Ameritus Day. Little bit of fun, little silly, little award giving.  Want to recognize as many kids as we can during graduation.
  •         Doing a revised finals schedule this year to make it more like an authentic finals experience. Includes study periods in between finals.
  •         Graduation will be on the 24th at 4:00 PM on the campus.
  •         Senior night will follow graduation.
  •         John asked about teacher hiring. Everyone is hired, except looking for a SPED director and interviewing now. If we can find a great SPED director we want to hire. If not, we will continue with SPEDCO.
  •         John asked about building maintenance in the summer. Jesse confirmed. Brent will be leading the charge.
  •         Many plans for CTE to provide great options for the students.

Board Business:

  •         Discussed options for recruiting new board members.  Rebecca had a suggestion to add follow-up e-mails so that with some redundancy it can stay on people’s mind.  John wondered about a “meet the board”. Jesse suggested entertaining the idea of a man or woman in the community interested in a professional experience. One way to prepare yourself for advancement in careers is to bring in someone from the community, and there may be interested community members who would value the experience.  Angela requested to review the charter to be sure what percentage must be parents before we move forward. Agreed to reach out to the community to people we know to see who might be a good option. Katie suggested looking at the Springville Chamber of Commerce and see who is supporting them, because those are people that want to make a difference in the community.

Consent Agenda:

Meeting Minutes, April 10, 2018 and April 30, 2018.  Angela made a motion to accept the meeting minutes. Rebecca seconded the motion. Vote was unanimous.

Angela made a motion to move to executive session.  Seconded by Rebecca. Adjourned to executive session at 6:41PM.

Executive Session:

Executive session begun at 6:43PM.

Date for next board meeting agreed for Friday, June 1st at 6:00 PM

Adjourn:

General session adjourned at 6:59 PM.

4/30/2018

Merit College Preparatory Academy
Board Meeting
April 30, 2018

Welcome & Roll Call:  John Young, welcome. Roll Call at 6:10 pm. In attendance: Rebecca Stromsdorfer, John Young, Angela Bunker, Amanda Kuhnz. On the phone: Dan Hill

 

Opening Prayer:  Given by John Young


Mission Statement:
Read by John Young

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

Public Comment:
No public comment


Executive Session:
The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :
*Character, competence, or health of an individual
*Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real  estate
*Deployment of security systems and personnel
*Investigating criminal misconduct

Angela motioned that the Board enter Executive Session.

Rebecca seconded the motion.

The Board entered Executive Session at 6:10pm

A Roll Call Vote was taken:  

Rebecca- Yes

John- Yes

Dan- Yes

Angela-Yes

 

The Executive Session concluded at 7:08pm

 

Angela made motion to re-enter General Session.

Rebecca seconded the motion.  

The Board re-entered General Session.

 

During Executive Session the Board Deliberated as such:

 

Student 1- The recommendation is expulsion.  The vote is unanimous for expulsion.

Student 2- The recommendation is graduating this student early.  He has sufficient credits.

The vote is unanimous for graduation of student 2.

Student 3- The recommendation is expulsion.  The vote is unanimous for expulsion.

Student 4- The recommendation is no expulsion, however the student will have no activities upon returning to school, and is to serve the full suspension time.  The vote was unanimous for this action.

Student 5- The recommendation is expulsion.  The vote is unanimous for expulsion.

 

Angela made a motion to close the General Session.   

Rebecca seconded the motion.  

 

Adjourn:  The General Session of Board Meeting closed at 7:11pm

4/10/2018

Merit College Preparatory Academy Board of Trustees

April 10, 2018

6:00pm

Welcome and Roll Call:  John Young, Angela Bunker, Dan Hill, Rebecca Stromsdorfer in attendance.  Meeting started at 6:07 PM.

Prayer: Offered by Kati Evans

Pledge: Led by John Young

 

Mission Statement:

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

Public Comment: No public comments made

Finance Report:

Steve from Red Apple shared budget report and financial summary.

  •         2nd payment from Meridian is still to come.
  •         Federal funds should be coming by end of May.
  •         We are on track with where we have been forecasting.
  •         Details shared on some areas where savings have been able to offset overages.
  •         Next year draft budget reviewed.
  •         Goals for next year discussed, including favorability targets. A few updates will be made based on outcomes of building plans.
  •         Met with superintendent from the state and had a positive meeting regarding bonding. Very transparent.  Clint is optimistic about the options right now, with potential to close in July.
  •         Will send out a new copy of the budget based on changes. For example:

o   Bus fees – buying a bus pass up front. Rather than trying to collect we would allow students to buy a bus pass and open it up to more students in Springville.

  •         Being conservative on CTE Money and possibility for some technology-related grants.
  •         Salaries are lower, even though there were raises. Net change is due to changes in positions.
  •         Will add a bit to substitutes, but added a benefit for teachers that if they don’t use all personal time they can cash out.
  •         Need to vote at next board meeting on the final budget and next year’s budget.

Marketing Report: Kati Evans

  •         398 students. 21 Meridian.
  •         Ahead this year by 30 vs. last year from January through now.  Have 76 new students that will be joining us. 16 students confirmed that won’t be coming back next year. 118 leads being worked on. Some other schools have had some major changes in their academics so we are keeping an eye on the local charters and public schools and homeschooling groups.
  •         This summer we could use some exciting or fresh ideas or events to continue getting the word out about Merit.  Ideas should be shared with Kati. Word of mouth is the most important thing.

Director’s Report: Dr. Jesse Meeks

  •         Knighting ceremony will be on the 23rd, first of the day. 8:450-ish. Will be on Ameritus Day. Little bit of fun, little silly, little award giving.  Want to recognize as many kids as we can during graduation.
  •         Doing a revised finals schedule this year to make it more like an authentic finals experience. Includes study periods in between finals.
  •         Graduation will be on the 24th at 4:00 PM on the campus.
  •         Senior night will follow graduation.
  •         John asked about teacher hiring. Everyone is hired, except looking for a SPED director and interviewing now. If we can find a great SPED director we want to hire. If not, we will continue with SPEDCO.
  •         John asked about building maintenance in the summer. Jesse confirmed. Brent will be leading the charge.
  •         Many plans for CTE to provide great options for the students.

Board Business:

  •         Discussed options for recruiting new board members.  Rebecca had a suggestion to add follow-up e-mails so that with some redundancy it can stay on people’s mind.  John wondered about a “meet the board”. Jesse suggested entertaining the idea of a man or woman in the community interested in a professional experience. One way to prepare yourself for advancement in careers is to bring in someone from the community, and there may be interested community members who would value the experience.  Angela requested to review the charter to be sure what percentage must be parents before we move forward. Agreed to reach out to the community to people we know to see who might be a good option. Katie suggested looking at the Springville Chamber of Commerce and see who is supporting them, because those are people that want to make a difference in the community.

Consent Agenda:

Meeting Minutes, April 10, 2018 and April 30, 2018.  Angela made a motion to accept the meeting minutes. Rebecca seconded the motion. Vote was unanimous.

Angela made a motion to move to executive session.  Seconded by Rebecca. Adjourned to executive session at 6:41PM.

Executive Session:

Executive session begun at 6:43PM.

Date for next board meeting agreed for Friday, June 1st at 6:00 PM

Adjourn:

General session adjourned at 6:59 PM

3/13/2018

Merit College Preparatory Board of Trustees
March 13, 2018
6:00pm

Welcome and Roll Call:  Dan Hill, John Young, Angela Bunker in attendance.  Meeting began at 6:15pm.

Prayer:  Offered by John Young

Pledge: All

Mission Statement:  Read by Angela Bunker
Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

Public Comment:  No comments were made

Finance Report: Steve Finley, Red Apple

 

Introduction was made to Merit Academy’s new long-term business manager.  Casey Holmes will be working with Merit. He is from South Ogden. Before joining Red Apple, he worked in the software industry.  He began as a junior accountant, and had advanced to the position of a controller at the time he left his last job. He comes to Merit ready to work with a fascination for school financing.

 

School Finances:  

The report presented was complete as of February 28, 2018.  As of that date, 8 of 12 months of the year has expired, putting us at 67% of the year complete.  Our local revenues are a bit low due to the fact that Meridian owes its second tuition payment. School finance members are also working to collect bus fees and money owed by the students for the Senior trip.  Once these three sources are collected, local revenues will be inline with what was expected.

The federal money source is also low.  However, the Title 1 audit was recently completed, went well, and now Red Apple will submit for reimbursement.  We will recognize these funds over the next couple of months.

Merit’s expenses are right in line with 67% of the year expired, with the exception of the line item, “property and equipment”.  Items in this category were purchased at the beginning of the year, and a large expense was made last month. The finance team will assess, at its next meeting, if the forecast needs to be adjusted.

This last month, there were more expenses than revenue collected.  While this is a bit concerning, it was fairly close to expected amounts and will be monitored.  Our days of cash on hand is 793. Trends are picking up and should come in close to those forecasted at the beginning of the fiscal year.

Steve made a note about the enrollment graph looking as though enrollment had plummeted.  In reality, enrollment dropped from 380 to 375. This represents only 1.3% change. Also, some of the change is a result of seniors graduating early.

 

Legislative Priorities:

   Update on legislature:  The Legislature approved a total 4% WPU increase.  2.5% is in the WPU, 1.5% is in the flexible allocation line.  If Merit’s enrollment stays stable at 384 students, that represents a $56,000 increase in the WPU reimbursement, a $22,000 increase in local replacement fund, and an increase of $9,000 in the land trust fund- total funding should increase by about $88,000 for next year, if enrollment stays at or above 384 students.  Additionally, a bill is up for vote that would add .10 cents to the gasoline tax. If that passes, the school could also recognize additional funding there as well. HB313, passed- it set minimum standards for every authorizer in governance, finance, and education. HB282- did not pass, thus we will not need to pay for ASPIRE.  SB232-dealt with issues of transportation funding. Three schools were given reimbursement funds for busing- we were not given any funds. There were three criteria established for qualifying for these funds. Merit was not eligible with this particular bill, but it is possible that in the future the state will reimburse for our busing expenditures.  HB245- was amended to allow schools to give preference to students located “up to” two miles from the school . HB231- allows a school to over-enroll with the stipulation that if the state budget cannot afford it, funding for those students will be cut first.

 

Dan asked a clarifying question regarding National tax legislation and the relationship to bonding.  Clint Beisinger, from Verapath Global, addressed it. The board was told that the early drafts of a bill dealing with tax issues, disallowed private 501c3 entities eligibility to issue tax exempt bonds.  That would have greatly affected Merit, but that was taken out of the bill early on. Merit will still be able to issue a tax exempt bond. However, what will affect Merit is the structure of the advance refunding.  As we are restructuring our building financing we will have to be sensitive to the timing put in place. We will likely plan for an earlier time than we would have, if the bill was not in place.

 

Clint Beisinger- Verapath Global

Verapath Global is a financial advisory firm who works with schools to help them issue tax exempt bonds.  They were contacted by Red Apple to advise about Merit’s current financial situation.

 

The assessment is:  Merit is making a very high minimum payment that isn’t even paying on the principle.  The current annual payment is close to $875,000. In short, Merit cannot afford the building.  Verapath has found an investment group who offers relief. Clint has sent Merit’s public data for them to review.  They have looked at our financials, enrollment history, and academic profile. When the cost of the building is isolated, things look very positive for Merit. Verapath Global is proposing a three part bond.  Part one is a Series A bond. It will be an $8 million bond. It will pay off the current lender’s financial obligation on the building. That will reduce the payment on the building to $675,000 a year, which is manageable with our current enrollment numbers. Part 2 is a Series B bond.  It is a taxable bond. It is a small bond that will pay for the cost of issuance. Part 3 is a Series C bond. The current creditors own this bond. It will be for $3-4 million. We are required to pay the Series A and B bonds now. As we grow, and school meets specific parameters, triggers are set in place for the Series C bond to be paid.  If we don’t grow, the payment gets deferred. The next step is to get all parties happy enough to strike a deal. The creditors are not completely on board. The investment group is holding the ball, and they are very busy. They need to identify what will trigger Series C payments. If the bonds are not able to be issued, then it is necessary for the creditors to reduce the cost of building significantly to help Merit get healthy enough to be able to pay in the future.  The hope is that this will be resolved within 4-5 months. The creditors will still have claim on building. We will still have to pay the full $12 million for the building, but it will be when we are healthy and have better growth. This gives us breathing room. If all parties agree, we will issue tax exempt bonds. It is a 30 year bond. We would likely have a 5 years call. The question was asked about what risks might exist for us? If enrollment stay the same or even decreases, we would be under financial stress again.  Hence, we are no worse off than the situation right now. The question was asked if Clint thought our building was worth at least 8 million. He responded that he believed an appraisal would come in at higher than $8 million. Clint’s advice is for Merit to focus on enrollment and build up our student population.


Marketing Report:  Kati Evans

   Currently there are 400 students attending Merit. 21 of them are Meridian students and 379 are Merit students. There are 53 seventh graders, 62 eighth graders, 67 ninth graders, 76 tenth graders, 66 eleventh graders, and 76 twelfth graders.   43 new students are already registered for next year. The marketing team is working with 87 possible leads. 40 of those leads are solid, of those, 25 have had tours. The Open House has been changed to combine it with the Academic Showcase. This will have the benefit of being able to show what Project Based Learning is and how it impacts the students.  That will take place on April 18. The time is 5 to 8pm. The Board and their spouses have been asked to come help give tours and answer questions. The Marketing group is also running targeted FB ads within a 6 mile radius of APA and ALA. The ads are also running within a 9 mile radius of Merit. 1500 flyers will be sent out about the Academic Showcase. Plans are underway to Increase bus routes in Springville.  This change will be advertised heavily.

Director’s Report:  Dr. Jesse Meeks
The ACT test was administered to all the Juniors.  The administration has great expectations regarding the scores.  The school is ramping up for Sage Testing. Teachers are talking with their students about test taking strategies.  There was an orchestra concert recently. The students had a great Senior trip. The girl’s basketball team went to state.  It was pretty exciting. The teachers have been introduced to Expeditions. They are being creative and coming up with great ideas.  The boys and girls soccer teams are ramping up for the season this year. The theater department is working on producing “Brigadoon”.  It will be performed the end of April and the first of May. Next week the theater department is going to Regionals. Dr. Meeks is meeting with a computer science group to strategize for next year’s IT program.  Next year’s volleyball team has already started practicing. Tomorrow the staff members are going to eat pies to celebrate pi day. Next year’s baseball team is already ramping up for next year as well.

Consent Agenda:
Meeting Minutes, February 13, 2018
Wellness Policy- Utah County Health Department reviewed the policy and gave input on how to strength the policy.  The recommended changes were made. The revised policy more clearly states how we are promoting and marketing health.  

Dan made a motion to accept the consent agenda.  Angela seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.  

Executive Session:
The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :
Character, competence, or health of an individual
Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real  estate
Deployment of security systems and personnel
Investigating criminal misconduct

Adjourn:  John made a motion to close the General Meeting and enter Executive Session.  Angela seconded the motion. A roll call was taken. Dan voted yes. John voted yes. Angela voted yes.  The Board Members all attended Executive Session and invited Dr. Meeks and Ms. Kuhnz to attend. The time was 7:10pm.

 

At 7:24, the Board re-entered General Session.  Angela made a motion to close the General Session.  Dan seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 7:24pm.  

2/13/2018

Merit College Preparatory Board of Trustees

February 13, 2018 6:00pm Started: 1815

 

Welcome and Roll Call: John Young Attendance: John Young, Dan Hill, Angela Bunker; excused: Dave Jungheim

 

Prayer: Angela Bunker

 

Pledge: Dan Hill

 

Mission Statement: Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

 

Public Comment: None

 

Student Government Report: Be sure to connect with students about coming to the meeting to give a report

 

Finance Report: Steve Finley, Red Apple Financial, presented a financial summary through Jan 31, 2018.

Property is still high.

Early year months are always lean, last couple of months revenue has increased.

78 Days cash on hand.

Enrollment is sitting at 402.

Projected Budget is less than the original approved budget due to enrollment.

Down 96K in local revenue, should increase as the year progresses.

Down 85K in State funding due to lower enrollment.

Up in Fed $ – got extra Title I money.

Expenses: Salaries – looking great.

SPED costs have gone up this year, also affects the overall budget.

Projecting a -77K deficit by the end of the year.

UAPCS meeting report:

    WPU – gov wants it to increase.

    Local replacement has increased.

    Based on projections, w/o increase in enrollment, Merit could see +100K next year.

 

Bonding – still work in progress

 

Monty is representing MPCA in the negotiations

1/2/2018

Merit College Preparatory Board of Trustees

January 2, 2018

6:00 pm (1800 hours)

Welcome and Roll Call: John Young. Started at 6:11pm

Prayer: David Jungheim

Pledge: John Young

Mission Statement: John Young

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

Public Comment: TBA

Student Government Report: TBA

Finance Report: Greg

  •         No change from the report handed out during our last meeting
  •         Line items to discuss?  No
  •         Line items will be discussed in detail at the finance meeting
  •         We are over 20k in the red and some cuts have been made recently

Marketing Report:  Kati Evans

  •         405 students (as of 31 Dec 404)
  •         After Christmas parents usually decide to stay or go and we have retained almost
  •         25 Jan is MCPA Open House (March and April are the other two)
  •         Letters are being sent out to welcome students from other (feeder schools) to come out to our open house
  •         We are looking for people to help at our health fair (doctors etc.)
  •         We need to look to replace the 12th graders that are leaving

Director’s Report:  Dr. Jesse Meeks

  •         Distance Education Program (DL)

o   Dr. Meeks’ wife recommends that we partner with a company to start off our DL

o   Harmony, My Tech, Williamsburg have a huge pool of people that they are working with, which we could bring into the organization

o   After about a year, we can look at starting our own program (after we build a love group by providing a great service)

o   Middle schools tend to attract all of the distance learning (there are no high school DL students in the area)

o   Doing HS is hard and most parents don’t want HS age kids at home

  •         How would DL look on the books?

o   This would be seen as a service

o   We buy the curriculum, we administer, the students are ours, the brand is ours

o   This would be a unique way to go through MCPA

o   Students could do a hybrid

o   We’d need to do an RFP (Request For Proposal) for this

o   We pay the outside company x-amount for the curriculum, but we get paid by the state

o   Doing DL with older students can be hazardous because the seniors have a much lower graduation rate than those physically attending

  •         What are the dangers to doing DL?

o   Who we choose to affiliate with.  We want one that matches our needs

  •  John and Angela who both feel that Williamsburg would be a good fit and have looked into it.  They created a charter school to sell the curriculum (www.williamsburgacademy.org) aka Leadership academy of Utah.  Steve Finley steve@redapplefinance.com would be a good POC
  •  My Tech gives the parents too much choice.  We don’t let our own students do that
  •  Harmony was trending the wrong way when Jesse Meeks looked

o   We want to serve more students

o   Not having a robust 5 year master plan (with milestones)

o   Looking like we are using a company to get higher numbers

o   No leveraging this to increase actual (on-campus) enrollment

o   Diluting our brand

  •         We need to do some more research into what’s out there and rank order our top three choices are for consideration for partnership (Jesse will put a list together in the next two weeks and give a call out to Williamsburg)
  •         Next year (2018-2019) is our accreditation year
  •         When should we open the school?

o   Dr. Meeks has talked to Lisse Shiels about having an early drop off window

o   7:25 – 7:40 am is when the doors will be opened

  •         Springville Bible Outreach update – no less than $250 a month

Board Business:

  • Data Security Policy approval for next month (Feb 2018 board meeting)

Consent Agenda: Dan motions to approve, Angela seconds

  • School calendar approval
    • Dave Jungheim motions to approve the 21st start date, Angela Bunker seconds
    • 14 Aug start date = two week Christmas break
    • 21 Aug start date = shorter break (Nebo school district is following this plan)
    • Does our charter have us following Nebo?
  • Approve the Sex Ed curriculum (State Curriculum) – Amanda Koons
    • Utah policy states that there is committee in place to ensure a conservative approach
    • Our health and two of our science teachers have been officially trained
    • We have a committee in place (Amanda, Ko, John Young)
    • Motion to approve that we have a committee in place and that meetings can be held to discuss/ approve material or guest speakers in addition to the state’s approved material
  • Meeting Minutes Approval, November 2017
  • Dr. Jesse Meeks – Approve Title 1 Policies
    • Titles 1 information meeting was held this year, but no one showed up
    • We are in compliance because the entire board is composed of parents that have children attending MCPA
    • More 1/1 tutoring for math and English (we do have limited money for this, this year).  This can be a huge help to student who are struggling
    • Students are identified as title 1 as part of state implementation
    • The state will be visiting and giving guidance on this soon
    • We don’t have to take or apply title 1 money, but it does help us bridge the gap/ cover the workload?
  • Woodshop Fee ($20.00)

Executive Session:

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of

  • Character, competence, or health of an individual
  • Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real  estate
  • Deployment of security systems and personnel
  • Investigating criminal misconduct

Adjourn: Angela motions to adjourn, Dan seconds it

11/07/2017

Merit College Preparatory Board of Trustees

November 7, 2017

6:00 pm

Welcome and Roll Call: John Young

Dan Hill, John Young, David Jungheim, Angela Bunker

Prayer: Angela Bunker

Pledge: Led by John Young

Mission Statement: Dave Jungheim

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

Public Comment: TBA

  •         David Cox (Parent)

o   Policy regarding the school doors being locked at 8 am

o   Has a daughter in Drivers Ed at Springville HS where the doors are open at 7:30

o   Has to be at work at 8:00 and doesn’t want his daughter to stand in the cold for 30 minutes while they wait for the doors to open

o   Some parents have no other choice but to drop kids off before the doors open due to their work schedules

o   Is it possible to let the children in early?

o   There are teachers here that early

o   Kids at MCPA have an excellent demeanor and know how to behave better than public HS kids even though we are the melting pot in the state

o   Daughter is cheer captain here

  •         Kami Kelly (Parent)

o   Here for the same issue of kids being dropped off before the doors open

o   Due to kids going to different schools, she has no other choice but to drop them off early

o   If this is a rule, it should apply to all kids and all doors.  There are stories of kids getting in different doors earlier and kids from the bus getting in early

Student Government Report: TBA

Finance Report: Greg Neslen (Red Apple)

  •         The report was last minute because he was unaware of the date change caused by some board members being called out of town on business
  •         The next board meeting is on the 19th (tentative)
  •         All the numbers should go live on the portal in the next few months (by the new year)
  •         The board can help push from their end by reaching out to Monte, who will get general ledger notes on all of the meetings
  •         Greg doesn’t have QuickBooks access here at MCPA
  •         Things are going pretty well

o   Local funding is a big variable that we have more control over

o   State funding is lower than expected because the state is just getting used to our new numbers (320 students are funded which needs to be adjusted for 386).  We are expecting 1.5 million.

o   Federal tends to be farther behind, which is quite normal

o   We are growing very well

o   Cash 77 days COH, we want to get to 80-90 days Cash on Hand

  •         Expenses

o   A lot are front loaded for the beginning of the school year (Insurance, furniture, technology, Professional development, textbooks)

o   The goal is to be at 33% this time of year, so we are doing pretty good

o   Salaries are on track, we are making a few office staff adjustments (admin support)

o   Benefits has to do with enrollments.  Benefits are pushed but are not obligatory because some employees use their spouses insurance

o   This slush fund needs to be watched closely

o   The numbers in the report are projected for the rest of the school year

o   Substitute teachers is lower than expected (in and out of house subs)

  •         How often do we want to adjust the financial forecast?

o   These are our numbers (not submitted to the state) to let us know how we are doing

o   20k increase projected

o   We need to know what we are changing and why

o   The recommendation is quarterly but we would prefer monthly because of how closely we are currently monitoring the numbers

  •         Red Apple needs to fine-tune the report because our numbers are still tracking charter solutions (double up in August?)
  •         Jesse Meeks needs to get with Monte about the numbers (5,500 is in the contract)
  •         We are being comped for the 1st of our 13 months contract.
  •         Repairs and Maintenance section can be hard to predict due to the unpredictability of weather (watering, snow removal)
  •         Some lines (348 purchase services) were moved to different sections by Red Apply
  •         Gred can send us the report down to the general ledger (every transaction) until we get on line (go live with the report)
  •         Special Ed money can only be spent in that particular area
  •         Why have we only spent 9% on employee motivation?  It might be going under the PD (professional development) line
  •         We have tried to negotiate a lower payment around 65k, they would like closer to 80-90k, which we can’t do right now
  •         They are working on getting a refi deal with their deal and others are working with different bonds
  •         28% of our operating expenses.  We are on the high end of what we should be spending which doesn’t help us with building our cash reserves or make needed improvements.

Marketing Report:  Kati Evans

  •         62 in 8th grade
  •         10 withdrew and 9 enrolled (staying at par)

o   Some moved out of state

o   Some the distance was too far

o   Some that left, we were glad to see them go

  •         6 tours this week = students not succeeding where they are at causes them to look for a new school this time of year
  •         We are tracking why students come and leave much more closely now
  •         We have 9 new students registered already for next year
  •         Our new CRM program will give us names scenarios, interests.
  •         The board will get access in about a month
  •         “Your Family Matters” recruiting event, which will bring in a whole bunch of people from acupuncture to karate.  The goal is community involvement
  •         Local schools invited to our Christmas party
  •         We are fine tuning where to send our fliers and are working on a pinpoint map

o   Where do we want our growth to come from?

o   Our ideal area would be Springville (travel distance)

  •         Help our good students and parents to learn how to reach out to potential students
  •         Difficult students tend to attract difficult students
  •         There has been a decrease in negative review and an increase in positive reviews and opinions of the school
  •         Idea – We need to look at our bussing.  We need to bus this area (not Genola or north Orem)  We need to build a sustainable cohort

o   This would require more busses but could make a long term solution

o   The worry is that we would end up bussing our current students

  •         We have to be careful about whom we are and what student we want to attract.  This goes into our long-term marketing effects. Students need to resonate with our mission and should not be grown inorganically
  •         Are we quick to call on students that are not living up to the standards?
  •         Students must know what they are signing up for and get a quick intervention when there are issues
  •         We don’t want to lose good students due to negative behavior
  •         We are an amazing school that can help people change

Director’s Report:  Dr. Jesse Meeks

  •         Tomorrow we have a final on the project based learning
  •         The national honor society induction was yesterday
  •         BB try outs for boys and girls
  •         Greta has done amazing work with the senior citizen center (positive energy)
  •         Christy Gilbert applied her classy touch (decisive)
  •         Lorena and Sharon appreciated her helping
  •         No lock on PE locker doesn’t = the administration going in and taking everything

o   There is policing going on but its being done by the coaches

o   Its better to have the coach take your stuff than to have your 600 dollar phone get stolen

o   Admin is not checking lockers

o   We have a robust lost and found

  •         Do we have to do an amendment to adjust numbers for classes.

o   We were approved to have a 7th and 8th grade but there were no numbers associated with this

o   The Charter talks about projected/ target population

o   We can’t randomly close grades without meeting certain numbers

  •         We have a huge senior class and will be losing 81, and have 51 7th graders to replace (130 new students)
  •         Due to our growth, we have not maintained consistent class sizes

Board Business:

  • UCA (Utah Consolidated Application) Report needs board approval (certain funding streams)
    • How will we spend the money that we’ve asked for
    • Last year Dr. Meeks used what was written and this year he took more to refine the UCA
    • There are specific grants like the accelerated student programs title 1-2 IDEA at risk students
    • This is another reporting tool to ensure tax payers money is used appropriately
    • Dr. Meeks has sent the report in already
  • Angela moved to motion to approve the UCA, Dan second, Board motions to approve

Consent Agenda:

  • Meeting Minutes, September 12, 2017
    • Dan motions to approve, Angela second, The board approves
  • Board assignments have changed
    • Angela is the treasurer
    • Dave is the secretary
    • Dan is on the finance committee
  • Teachers are contracted to be here at 8 am = do we want to assume the liability of “early morning child care”
    • Springville HS has an open library at 7 am
    • Can we parents to organize as volunteers to open the school to allow early morning arrivals?
    • This is more of an administrative issue, not a board issue.  Ultimately Dr. Meeks has to make the call and is then accountable to the board for financial changes
    • .02% come early (currently)  It’s not our mission to have doors open 24/7
    • Carpooling is an option for parents to discuss
    • Bus drivers have been counselled to not open the doors before 8 am
    • Classes that start earlier than scheduled are to only allow the students of that class in

Executive Session:

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of

  • Character, competence, or health of an individual
  • Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real  estate
  • Deployment of security systems and personnel
  • Investigating criminal misconduct

Adjourn: Angela motions to adjourn, Dan seconds, board approved

9/12/2017

Merit College Preparatory Board of Trustees

September 12, 2017

6:00pm

 

Welcome and Roll Call:  Dan Hill, John Young, Dave Jungheim, Angela Bunker, Jesse Meeks- Director of Merit.  The meeting was called to order at 6:11pm.

 

Prayer:  Offered by Dan Hill

 

Pledge:  All, lead by John Young

 

Mission Statement:  Read by John Young

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

 

Public Comment:  Darlene Yates gave an update on the activities of the PVO.  The parent volunteers met and discussed ways they felt they could best serve the school. They determined that the court yard needs serious renovation. They plan to fundraise for supplies, and plan to approach local nurseries for donations .  Brady Swainston, a math teacher at Merit, has expressed an interest in designing the layout of the courtyard. He has been asked to give an overview of his ideas and what supplies would be needed to accomplish his vision. Dr. Meeks asked Darlene to take proposals, vet them, and bring viable ideas to the DIrector for review.  The PVO is also forming committees to meet with Department heads to find out what needs exist. The PVO then plans to host fundraisers for each department.

 

Student Government Report:  None

 

Finance Report: Monty Hardy and Greg Neslen attended the meeting, representing Red Apple Financial.  Greg Neslen is our business manager. He indicated that Red Apple personnel have been working diligently to become acquainted with Merit’s financials. A big concern is that our building note and interest rate are some of the highest in the state.  We pay about 23.6% of our income to our building, and our interest is at 9%. On a positive note, they indicated that Merit Administration is doing a good job of managing the money that we do have. The administration team has shaved off $70,000 from the original budget approved by the board on June 19, 2017.  The projection at this point is that we will realize about a $50,000 surplus at the end of the year. The finance team is having a meeting with the investors this week. Their goal is to have the investors accept payments at 20% of our income. Dan asked how we are doing on getting bonded. The finance team has concerns regarding last year’s financials. Last year’s numbers are not going to be great.  We need a financial advisor to help us with a bond. We need the investors to give a break on the building, before we are in a position to bond. We will have significant challenges because of our building. At this week’s meeting, the investors will be given a copy of the budget and shown the efforts that Merit Academy is making to be fiscally responsible.

 

Board Business:

  • Discuss: ‘Unpaid Meal Charge Policy’

The policy seems in line with state policies.  No student will be denied a meal for any reason.  If balances are unpaid, the consequence will be denial of extra curricular activities.  Angela made a motion to accept the policy. Dan voted to second the motion. The board approved the policy unanimous.

 

Consent Agenda: Angela made a motion to accept the Consent Agenda.  Dave seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

  • Meeting Minutes, July 20, 2017
  • Meeting Minutes, August 15, 2017

 

Marketing Report given by Kati Evans. Currently Merit has 388 students. Including Meridian students, the total student number is 408. This year we have 138 new students. Our retention rate dropped to 78%.  Although the student count is lower than expected, with our ADM and rapid growth rate, we are on target for our ‘17/ ’18 budget goal. We have until October 1 for the final count to be taken, and we are still growing.  Our target is to have 395 students enrolled by the first. We had four new students enroll this week. Our growth rate is positive. We have a large group of homeschool students and part time students. The counselors are working to give credit to those students for activities they are involved in such as release time, classroom aids, and work release credit. We are also working to establish a relationship with MATC. When students are enrolled with MATC, we are given credit for them being enrolled here.  Most students have been able to increase their class credits from 1 to 4. One issue we are facing is that many senior students have all the credits they need to graduate. We have addressed the Senior issues by increasing our credit requirements needed for graduation and decreasing the classes offered each year from 9 periods to 8. School staff members have prepared a proposal for the investors regarding Marketing needs. The team has identified social media and retention programs as the most pressing marketing needs.  It has also been very helpful to have an on-site marketing person.

 

Director’s Reports given by Dr. Jesse Meeks.  He reported that we have a great team of people working together to make the magic happen.  He specifically recognized Kati Evans and her efforts with marketing. He mentioned her ability to build positive relationships with the new students and their parents, thus improving our retention rates. He indicated that she is an important part of Merit’s growing success.  He also stated that as Erika Whitmer has been working with parents and students, they are feeling the “College” come back into MCPA. Students are feeling like they have to work harder and smarter. Nothing is just being given to them. Dr. Meeks also reported that there is positive energy with the teachers. He said that we have had a strong start to the year.  The department heads had a great meeting yesterday, discussing grades, classroom tactics, and working with teachers to problem solve low student grade issues. He also wanted to give a teacher shout-out for Kristi Gilbert. She is a new teacher in the English Department and currently serves as that department’s head. She has been very proactive, doing teacher observations and offering to have other teachers watch her teach as well.  Also positive is that more teachers are spending time in the faculty room eating together and talking. They are building relationships with one another and starting to develop a feeling of community. Maintenance is working on the outside facilities. The focus this week has been on improving the field, specifically on putting dirt in the holes. As far as the front of the building, the people who do our grounds had their equipment stolen. That is why our lawn is a bit unkept. However, they reported that they will be back at work this week, so that situation will improve.

 

  • Kati gave kudos to Dr. Meeks. She reported that she has had great conversations with parents who have been working with Jesse. Parents are reporting that the administration is doing a great job and directors are willing to listen to concerns.  Students are feeling important and individually recognized and cared about by the administration team. Kati also reported that the administration has great energy as well.

 

John gave a task to Dr. Meeks to see that the website is up-to-date. The board has asked that the teachers be sorted into their departments, that an org chart be available, and that the pictures and names are updated to show students and faculty who are currently attending Merit.  

The board has been requested to come take pictures on Friday, September 15. The board has also been asked to do a formulaic bio to be displayed with their pictures on the website.    

 

Executive Session:  The board did not have a need to enter Executive Session tonight.

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

  • Character, competence, or health of an individual
  • Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate
  • Deployment of security systems and personnel
  • Investigating criminal misconduct

 

Adjourn:  Angela made a motion to adjourn the General Session of Board Meeting.  Dave seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously to do so at the time of 7:05pm.   

8/15/2017

Merit College Preparatory Board of Trustees

August 15, 2017

5:00pm

 

Welcome and Roll Call: 5:15pm  John Young, Angela Bunker, Dave Jungheim, Dan Hill, Jesse Meeks- Director of Merit

 

Prayer:  omitted because of work session

 

Pledge:  omitted because of work session

 

Mission Statement:

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

 

Public Comment:  No comments made

 

Mission and Vision Statement Overview- Jesse Meeks:  During teacher meetings, discussions were had to identify three main foundational skills and attitudes which Merit will focus on.  Those are: Innovation-Excellence-Achievement. Dr. Meeks has asked department heads to come up with their own vision and mission statements in order to develop a 6- year plan for each department.  The department mission and vision statements will reflect the ideas found in the school’s vision and mission statements.

 

Dr. Meeks’ biggest challenges for this next year will be cleaning up “a million little procedures that are inefficient and ineffective”, making the department chair position meaningful and effective, providing clarity for the direction of the departments, and improving the “Master Schedule” process.  

 

The CTE program is being well managed.  Sarah Ware is our coordinator. She works with ten different charter schools and represents us at the state.  

 

Business Services Overview- Red Apple:  Red Apple was not available to attend.

 

Board Business:

  • Charter Review- The board is in need of an elected board member who will serve until April 2017.  The person who fills the elected position must be a parent. Angela will talk with the counselling staff to ask them to reach out to parents who might be interested and willing to fill that role.  John will send a notice to the school community to advertise for a new board member.
  • Policy Review- Angela is working with Jamie Morris to update the policy binder and on-line policy postings to make sure that needed policies are in place and accessible. The board will review the binder as it is updated.

 

Executive Session:

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

  • Character, competence, or health of an individual
  • Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate
  • Deployment of security systems and personnel
  • Investigating criminal misconduct

-The board did not enter Executive Session.

 

John made a motion to re-appoint Angela Bunker to a board position.  Dave seconded the motion. The board voted unanimously to reappoint her.    

 

Adjourn: Angela made a motion to adjourn the board meeting. Dave seconded the motion.  The board adjourned at 6:49pm.

7/20/2017

Merit College Preparatory Board of Trustees

July 20, 2017

6:00pm

 

Welcome and Roll Call:  Welcome at 6:04pm. Present:  Nanette Tanner, John Young, Angela Bunker, Jesse Meeks- Director of Merit, Amanda Kuhnz- Assistant Director of Merit, Dave Jungheim (excused, arrived late)

 

Prayer: Offered by Jesse Meeks

 

Pledge: All, lead by John Young

 

Mission Statement:  Read by John Young

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

Public Comment:

    Darlene Yates:  Introduced herself as the new PVO President for 2017/2018. She commented on how impressed she has been with Merit Academy teachers, students, and parents.  She stated that she is looking forward to working with other parents.

 

Finance Report:  Nicole Desmond, Charter Solutions

  • Report Ending May 31, 2017- Everything is in line with the new revised budget.  We received income again in June and still have outstanding federal reimbursements that will be realized in this fiscal year. New fundraising guides put in place, expenses were moved from one line to an additional line. Nanette motioned to accept the financial report. Angela seconded the motion.  The board accepted the report unanimously.

 

Student Government Report:     Stetler Tanner: Student Body President ‘17/’18-

The student body chose “Knight Vision” as its theme for this year.  All the students are going to receive sunglasses to be able to remember their “Knight Vision. When they are about to do something hard, they are suppose to remember to put their “Knight Vision” on and have courage to do hard things.  A theme song was chosen for this year as well. It is “Magic” by BOB. The student government has made videos to introduce their theme for next year. They are planning additional meetings in August to finalize plans for the first day of school assembly.  The group is excited for the coming year and ready and willing to help.

 

Consent Agenda:

  • Board Meeting Minutes- June 19, 2017:  Nanete made a motion to accept the minutes.  Angela seconded the motion. The board approved them unanimously.
  • Rental Agreement for Loafer View Recreation Complex
  • Rental Agreement for Hillman Field

The board reviewed the rental agreements and discussed pricing.  Angela made a motion to accept both agreements. The motion was seconded by Nanette.  The agreements were accepted by unanimous vote.

 

Board Business:

  • Discuss: “Unpaid Meal Charge Policy”- The policy was not shared with the board at this time, so the discussion will be had at a future board meeting.  
  • Partnership agreement with Springville Playhouse- The board has never formally adopted anything with them, but the spoken agreement is that Merit will have the building clean on performance nights. At the conclusion of the evening, Springville Playhouse will clean up. Dr. Meeks reported that SPH has been super flexible.  We seem to have a great working relationship.
  • Dress Code Policy- Minor changes were made to the policy. All references of leggings were taken out of the dress code.  Wearing leggings is no longer acceptable under the new dress code policy. The Ameritus Dress code policy was also revised. It is no longer required for students to dress in specific colors and clothing.  The new standard will be business professional dress. Administration will establish the acceptable standard for business professional dress. The teachers will thus be able to teach students appropriate dress guidelines for situations requiring such dress standards.  Dr. Meeks invited the student body council to meet with him to advise regarding the new standard. The hope is that the policy will take into account what kids feel comfortable in, what they feel they look great in, things that they already have in their closet that are stylish, and that there will be no additional expense required for the family.  The students will come looking good and feeling good, which will translate into a fun day. Teachers will help with the implementation of policy during the first hour of the day. Mrs. Young and Ms. Literski expressed excitement about the opportunity to teach about appropriate dress for success. The new policy will be about teaching, not punishing. Angela made a motion to accept the revised dress code policy., Nanette seconded the motion. The board accepted the revised policy unanimously.   
  • Board Positions-  Vacant Board position:

Dan Hill- Dan’s family has been part of the Merit community for several years.  His wife, Heather was the PVO president two years ago and his daughter, Holly, is actively involved in the school.  His daughter has one year left before graduation. Dan is always looking for a way to give back to the school. Merit has made a big difference, for good, in Holly’s life.  He loves the culture of school and sees this as an opportunity to volunteer and give back. Dan graduated from BYU in manufacturing engineering. He has worked for Nestle since 1999.  He is based out of Switzerland, but supports their six North American companies. His specialty is area of continuous improvement. He builds competence in the leaders of the company to filter through all of the problems they have to solve. He travels a lot, but has one office week a month, when he will be available. If he is out of town, he is generally available by phone.  Angela made a motion to accept Dan’s Hill’s appointment to the board. Nanette seconded the appointment. Dan was appointed to the board by unanimous vote.

Nanette Tanner’s term of appointment as a board member is complete. She requested an opportunity to address the meeting attendees regarding her desire to serve another term as a member of the Board of Trustees.  She stated that she has learned a lot as a member. She expressed concern that there is no one else who is ready and wanting to serve in her place. She pointed out that she has much to offer the Board, such as the fact that she has served on a public school board for six years, is an educator, a business owner, the mother of current Merit students, who are great students and who have done a good job both as students and athletes. She reminded the group that she is disappointed that the Argyles left Merit, and doesn’t feel that an acceptable replacement has been made.  She feels that she brought to the board a balanced budget. Stating that she “put her foot down” and would not pass a budget in the red. It is her understanding that a balanced budget will bring Merit closer to the goal of becoming bonded. She called herself a champion of those who don’t have a voice and noted that she will listen to staff members who do not feel heard.

Mark Tanner spoke in the meeting in support of his wife.  He stated that he would like to see her serve again. He stated that she cares deeply about the issues that Merit has faced and has wrestled with concerns as she has contemplated how to help solve them.  He expressed his belief that it is critical that people with counter ideas serve together. To the board, he challenged, “Do not be afraid of counter ideas”. He said that he felt the board would struggle to overcome the challenges it will face if all the members are agreeing with everyone else.  He said that it is a benefit, and a blessing to have someone on the board who has a counter voice. He feels that Nanette has done a remarkable job. He also expressed his concern that there is no one else stepping forward to fill her role.

 

Marketing Report:  Kati Evans stated that the marketing team is feeling a lot of enthusiasm.  Seven new students enrolled today. July will see a push from the marketing group as they advertise on FaceBook.  The group is blasting out advertisements focused on a 10 mile radius from the school. They have targeted women who are between 35-50, and who have teens and pre-teens in their households.  The most effective way that the marketing team has found to advertise is with family and friends. The marketing group is planning to start “Your Family Matters” the month after school starts. Last year they saw success in that program because three students register as a result of attending. The marketing group would like to work in conjunction with student government and the yearbook staff to establish a social media presence.  Marketing is also planning to look for surrounding schools who would like to help serve Mtulu, our sister school. Merit has a misperception in the community. It is important to speak positively of Merit.

 

Director’s Reports:  Dr. Jesse Meeks

    The staff is having a great summer.  The counselors and office staff members are working hard. Dr. Meeks loves the fact that we have teachers that show up and do whatever it takes. Kati has worked all summer.  Nicole Desmond has continued to support Merit as we transition to working with Red Apple. Rachel Barlow has been working with the student government. Jennifer Young and her family have been de-cluttering, organizing, and cleaning up.  Darlene Yates has accepted the position to be the PVO President and has also been teaching students from the community. Various students have also been at the school, volunteering their time to help get the school ready for the new year.  Dr. Meeks said that one of the happiest things to happen this summer was to have our new Assistant Director show up. Amanda Kuhnz introduced herself. She is from California. She had a softball scholarship to North Western, where she played softball and then later coached the softball team.  She feels that her leadership skills began there. She has a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She has taught at several small schools and coached a ton of softball. She recently felt like it was time to take the next step and go into leadership, so she obtained her leadership credentials.  She had a lot of rigorous leadership training. She is looking forward to using that to help Merit progress. The people she’s met and worked with at Merit have been very positive. She feels that the positivity at Merit is a great first step in making the school successful. She believes that PBL is a great idea. Her belief is that when students are given high expectations, they will reach them.  She has heard good things from the community as she’s been interacting with people. She expressed an appreciation for her opportunity to work at Merit

    Physical changes have been taking place at the school as well.  The remodeling has included turing six small rooms into three large classrooms. The English Department has been holding regular meetings during the summer to prepare for next year. We are almost ready for next year.  

  • Update on DSC Space Camp- We decided that DSC was not a program that was growing the school. There was not a lot of participation among our students and the program was taking up a big space. DSC cleaned out their stuff. Merit will repurpose the computers which were used in that program, by updating the computer labs. The Meridian School moved into the space that DSC was previously occupying. Meridian will be teaching more classes for Merit Academy such as Khan Academy, and Dr. Helvey will be teaching biology to Merit students.  There will also be more explore labs offered to Merit students.

 

Executive Session:

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

  • Character, competence, or health of an individual
  • Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate
  • Deployment of security systems and personnel
  • Investigating criminal misconduct-

Angela made a motion to enter Executive Session.  Dave seconded the motion. A vote was taken. Angela voted yes. Dave voted yes.  John voted yes. Nanette voted no. The Board moved into Executive Session with a majority vote.  The time was 6:49pm.

 

Adjourn:  General Session:  The Board re-entered General Session at 8:20pm.  Angela made a motion to adjourn the General Session of Board meeting.  Dave seconded the motion. The board adjourned with a unanimous vote.

6/19/2017

Merit College Preparatory Academy
Board of Trustees Meeting
June 19, 2017

 

  1.  Welcome & Roll Call: 10:08am.  In attendance: John Young, Dave Jungheim, Nanette Tanner and Angela Bunker

  2.  Prayer: John Young

    3.  Pledge of Allegiance: All

    4.  Mission Statement:
    Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

    5.  Finance-  Nicole Desmond,  
    Report Ending April 30, 2017

FY17 Budget Discussion- The board opened for public comment regarding the final FY17 Budget.  No comment was made. Dave Jungheim motioned to approve the final budget for FY17. Angela Bunker seconded motion.  The motion carried with a unanimous vote.

 

*A vote was taken to remove the FY18 Budget from the consent agenda.  Dave Jungheim made the motion and Nanette Tanner seconded the motion. The FY18 Budget was removed from the Consent Agenda by unanimous vote.

 

  1.  Consent Agenda:  Angela made a motion to accept the Consent Agenda.  Dave Jungheim seconded the motion. Items on the Consent Agenda were accepted by unanimous vote.
  • Finance Report- Report ending April 30, 2017
  • Fee Schedule- 2017-2018-

 

  1.  Board Business:

 

FY 18 Budget: The budget is based on 405 Merit students and 30 Meridian students.  All Merit staff members were given a 4% salary increase for the coming year. Charter Solutions was given the directive to gather insurance quotes to both check competitive pricing rates and acquire insurance for the board.  Adjustments were made in the benefits portion of the revised FY18 budget to bring the budget to a positive net income.

 

  • The board opened for public comment regarding the FY18 budget.  A question was asked about the final amount being approved. The answer was just over a $4,000 surplus.  No other comments were made. Nanette Tanner motioned to accept the revised FY18 Budget presented to the board.   Angela Bunker seconded the motion. The board voted unanimously in the affirmative to accept the positive net-income FY18 Budget.  

 


Ameritus Dress: The board talked last month about changing Ameritus dress to business professional dress.  Jocelyn Young came from Student Government to report on a discussion they had regarding Ameritus Dress. Student Government would like the student body to wear business professional dress and would like to present it to the students as “Dress for Success”. John Young felt that before the start of the year, we could make adjustments to the Ameritus dress code. Nanette Tanner felt that because the assembly schedule has been reduced to four assemblies this coming year, it makes sense to allow students to dress in business professional dress, rather than having a prescribed dress standard.  Because Ameritus Dress code is a policy, the policy will be revised during this coming month and the board will vote on it at the board meeting in July.

8.  Public Comment:  

    *Jennifer Young (Merit math teacher)  brought concerns from some of the teachers regarding the Dress Code Policy.  It has become increasingly difficult to deal with leggings and joggers being worn at school.  The discussion resulted in the board deciding to look at needed revisions. The pant section of the policy states that dress pants, slacks, cords, cargo style and blue jeans pants are acceptable.  That will be clearly defined in the revised policy. A vote on the revisions in the Dress Code Policy will be taken next month.

 

    Jennifer also commented on the teachers who were missing a payment from previous years. She is one of them.  She appreciated the payment because it was something she had noted at the time it happened, but it was unresolved.  She also requested that as the school becomes more financially solvent, that teacher salaries increase. She noted that beginning teachers in the Salt Lake district are making as much as teachers who have been working at Merit for more than six years.    

 

    Jennifer noted that a lot of the Chromebooks that are missing came from the SpED cart.  She is wondering if some of the SpED money can be spent to replace the missing Chromebooks.

 

    *MayBrit Reyes asked how confident we are in our enrollment increases.  We are going to discuss that in the Marketing Report section of the agenda.

    

    She expressed concern that as a parent, she isn’t familiar with Project Based Learning.  She wonders if it was in our original charter, and if not, was the charter changed? Dr. Meeks was asked to answer the question. He stated that PBL is a pedagogy, in other words, a teaching method. The mission of the Academy has not changed, nor has the charter been amended.  The vision of the school is being redefined. The board, the administration, and the teachers have sought a way to make Merit Academy more unique. The answer has been to become more project based. We encourage our teachers to use the pedagogies that are currently working for them and develop those into Project Based Learning gold standard projects.  There is no conflict with the mission or vision statements currently in our charter. Nanette asked the question of how PBL affects ACT scores. Dr. Meeks answered the question, stating that the Buck Institute has done research which shows that PBL helps students with critical thinking, which will increases scores on the ACT.

  The teachers in attendance were asked how they feel about PBL.  

  • Rochelle Zibetti is feeling nervous.  Her concern is whether or not what she has been doing in the past meets the PBL paradigm and if her projects are gold standard.  She is hoping that with training, she will better understand expectations. She feels that teacher development is the key.
  • Jennifer Young is also feeling nervous about being able to get all of the projects, standards, and objectives into the mathematics curriculum.  She feels that teacher development is also key.

 

    Jocelyn Young (student) expressed a concern that she might get more busy work.  Dr. Meeks stated that with the implementation of PBL, there will be less busy work.  Dr. Meeks said that gone is the day of binge and purge in education. We actually want to change the way that we educate to have real comprehension with our students.

9.  PVC Report:  No report

 

  1.  Marketing Report, Kati Evans:  The enrollment goal for the 2017/2018 school year is 405 students.  Meridian’s goal is 30 students. We have a retention rate of 92% from last year.  We have 284 students returning. We have gained 85 students since March. We need 36 new students between now and October 1 to hit our goal.  We have about 15 students we know of, who are planning to register. We have FB ads running. All FB users within a 3 mile radius of Merit and other schools we compete with, are receiving our ads.  Important focus points for Marketing are keeping a positive image and retaining our students. The board asked for Kati to send a marketing report to them every Tuesday.

    11.  Director’s Report: Merit Director, Dr. Jesse Meeks

Meridian is moving in the school to a larger classroom.  It is the space that the Space Center used to occupy. Meridian is covering the expenses for the remodel and move.

12.  Executive Session (if needed): not needed
The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :
* Character, competence, or health of an individual
* Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate
* Deployment of security systems and personnel
* Investigating criminal misconduct

13.  Adjourn: At 12:19pm Dave made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Nanette seconded the motion and the meeting was adjourned by a unanimous vote.

5/17/2017

Merit College Preparatory Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

May 17, 2017

  1.  Welcome & Roll Call:  5:06pm- Nanette Tanner, John Young, Dave Jungheim, Angela Bunker

 

  1.  Prayer:  John Young

 

  1.  Pledge of Allegiance:  All

 

  1.  Mission Statement:  Read by Nanette Tanner

Merit College Preparatory Academy will prepare all students to achieve their highest potential as citizens in society by developing the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and by developing the knowledge and skills required for community leadership and social commitment.

 

  1.  Finance-  Nicole Desmond-  
  • Report Ending March 31, 2017- things are trending well.
  • FY 17 Budget Review
  • FY 18 Budget Hearing:  Most budgeting expenses remain the same.  Some expenditures next year include the hiring of an assistant director, additional teachers to meet the needs of our growing school, and increasing some teacher salaries to become more competitive with surrounding district’s teacher salaries. The school will also need additional funding for computer and tech supplies. The school will loose some Title 1 funding, but gains an increase in funding per pupil. There is also extra funding in the benefits portion of the budget. The board would like to have Dr. Meeks visit with the investors and have follow-up conversations about concessions regarding our building expenses for FY 18.  The board requested that Dr. Meeks and Charter Solutions find a way to present a budget that will result in a positive year end spending. The budget presented was not approved. A revised budget will be presented next month.

 

  1.  Consent Agenda:
  • Finance Report- Report ending March 31, 2017- Nanette Tanner made a motion to accept the finance report. Dave Jungheim seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.

 

  1.  Board Business:
  • Ameritus Dress:  Teachers have brought it to the attention of the board that they are seeing a lot of absences in the classrooms during Ameritus Day.  The teachers have suggested that we switch to business professional dress, instead of the strict dress code required at this time. It is possible that if the student cannot afford the Ameritus Dress, that the school would have to supply them with the clothing.  That would bring an additional expense to the school. The board is continuing discussions regarding the Ameritus dress code and looking at data regarding student absences on those dates.
  1.  Public Comment:  None

 

  1.  PVC Report:  None

 

  1.  Marketing Report:  The marketing department is hard at work.  Things are going very well. There is a lot of interest in the school.  We are having lots of kids shadow, and visit the school. The enrollment numbers are fluctuating a bit as we near the end of the year and students are deciding where they want to attend school next year.  This summer we will host classes for the purpose of having students and community members in the building. We are hoping that this will help get our name out in the community. We are planning to participate in Springville Days, but not planning to do parades.  We were informed that we could no longer hand out flyers during parades and feel that if we can’t hand out flyers, that the effort and expense would not be worth the return. We feel that there are better ways to market the school. Dave Jungheim asked about the students who had not yet turned in their enrollment packets.  The marketing department is continuing to call those families, but they are not having a lot of response. People are not returning phone calls. One possibility is a language barrier. Marketing is working to overcome that challenge and continues to reach out to those students.

 

  1.  Director’s Report: Merit Director, Dr. Jesse Meeks:
  • Employee Recognition
  • We are signed off on Advanced Ed.  We have met all of our goals.
  • Title 1 Focus Report was conducted. The administration, teachers, a group of parents and students were all interviewed. All of the interviews went well. There is a lot of positivity about Merit. It is especially important to note that our students were very excited about the teachers.  The whole time they were interviewed, they had many positive things to say. It was a rewarding experience for Dr. Meeks to realize the support and excitement for Merit.
  • The Board was given a fee schedule that they will need to approve next month.
  • Graduation: Angela will be giving the welcome remarks, John will lead the audience in a pledge of allegiance.  Graduation is at 4. The board will lead the procession. Angela will be on the stand asking the audience to rise.  Sophia would like to sing the National Anthem. The board would prefer the song. There will be a reception following graduation. Sharon will have cakes and lemonade for our guests.

 

  1.  Executive Session (if needed):  none needed

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

  • Character, competence, or health of an individual
  • Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate
  • Deployment of security systems and personnel
  • Investigating criminal misconduct

 

  1.  Adjourn:  The meeting was adjourned at 6:04pm by a motion made by Dave Jungheim and seconded by Nanette Tanner.  Action was done unanimously.

4/25/2017

Merit College Preparatory Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

April 25, 2017

  1.  Welcome & Roll Call:  6:02pm- Nanette Tanner, John Young, Dave Jungheim, Angela Bunker

 

  1.  Prayer:  Offered by Jesse Meeks

 

  1.  Pledge of Allegiance:  All

 

  1.  Mission Statement:

      Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

 

  1. Public Comment:  No comments

 

  1.  Finance Report- Ending February 28, 2017:  Charter Solutions, Nicole Desmond-
  • Income Statement- the annual budget has been updated to represent the budget we approved in the last board meeting.  It is likely that there will be some savings realized in June. In the May board meeting the board needs to approve next year’s budget (June 22- due date to have next year’s fiscal budget approved)
  • The board reviewed revenue and cost comparisons between Merit and other schools in Utah.  The school is doing well, the biggest challenge is the cost of the facilities. In the past, there have been positive negotiations with the school’s investors to reduce facility costs and increase enrollment. Those talks continue. We are working closely together to ensure fiscal success in the future.

 

  1.  PVC Report:  No Report

 

  • Relationship with Meridian:  Meridian Director, Tasi Young- Mr. Young was unable to attend.  *He shared with Dr. Meeks his desire to talk about our symbiotic relationship.  Dr. Meeks feels that there are unspoken benefits in having Meridian as part of our school.  
  • Mr. Young has previously addressed the need to discuss representation of both schools.  This topic will be addressed in a future meeting.

 

  1.  Marketing Report:  We are at 382 students today. Tomorrow, we will be at 384 for student enrollment. There are 319 live leads.  Currently we have 335 confirmed students for next year, meaning that registration is complete. We have more new enrolled students than we have seniors graduating.  Merit is hosting an Open House tomorrow, 6-8:30pm. The Board has been asked to attend and help with the event. CS Lewis is coming Friday to see our play and have lunch.  The marketing group is planning summer camps and classes. Our online presence includes mobile and facebook ads. One thing that needs to be addressed is negative publicity and false information about the school that is present on the internet.  We would like to increase the number of positive reviews posted. The marketing department is working to correct the false information and respond positively to negative reviews.

 

  1.  Director’s Report: Merit Director, Dr. Jesse Meeks

Evaluation:

    Today we had a visit from Advance Ed- our accrediting agency.  Several years ago we were evaluated and it was very low. Goals were written at that time.  This year we have been working on the goals. The assessor came on campus today to interview and access the school.  She was pleased with the progress of the school and will report to the state that we no longer need to be observed.

Staff:

    Teachers are being hired, some to replace a few teachers who left and some to meet the needs of our increased enrollment numbers.

Employee Recognition:  

    Joseph Wright and Donny Helvey are being recognized for their excitement for Project Based Learning.

Teacher training:  

    The staff studied the eight different components of project based learning. They divided into groups, studied the material, and presented to each other. Last week the teachers were shown how to find support on the Buck Institute online. Discussions have been had regarding the requirements of a gold standard project  

 

  1.  Graduation Requirements:

In Merit’s charter, it states that 27 credits are needed in order to graduate. Over the years, we have change that requirement to 25 required credits. The state requires 24 to graduate. Surrounding districts require 27.  Alpine actually requires 28. The board has requested that we return to the requirements stated in our charter and expect students to complete 27 credits in order to graduate.

 

The mission statement we read, is not the statement that is in our charter.  The board would like to return to reciting our original mission statement.

 

Graduation:  We have been allowing all Senior Students to walk at graduation.  This year we will allow all students to walk, but will differentiate between those students who have completed graduation requirements and those who have not in the program. Further discussion will be had to determine if this practice will continue.    

 

  1.  Consent Agenda:
  • Finance Report- Report ending January 31, 2017- A motion to accept the report was made by Nanette Tanner. Dave Jungheim seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.
  • Finance Report- Report ending February 28, 2017- A motion to accept the report was made by Nanette Tanner.  Angela Bunker seconded the motion and it also passed unanimously.

 

  1.  Board Business:
  • Fiscal Year 2018 Land Trust Proposal- A motion to accept the proposal was made by Angela Bunker. Nanette Tanner seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.

 

  1.  Executive Session (if needed): No session was needed.

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

  • Character, competence, or health of an individual
  • Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate
  • Deployment of security systems and personnel
  • Investigating criminal misconduct

 

  1.  Adjourn: A Motion to adjourn the meeting was made at 7:28pm by Dave Jungheim. Nanette Tanner seconded the motion and the meeting was closed by a unanimous vote.

3/21/2017

Merit College Preparatory Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

March 21, 2017

 

  1.  Welcome & Roll Call:  6:03pm- John Young, Nanette Tanner, Angela Bunker.  Dave Jungheim joined later
  • Jonathan Frey stepped down from his board position on March 10, 2017 in an email, sent to Board Chair, John Young.

 

  1.  Prayer: John Young

 

  1.  Pledge of Allegiance:  All

 

  1.  Mission Statement:  Read by Angela Bunker

      Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

 

  1. Public Comment:

 

  1.  Financial Report:
  • Finance Report- Charter Solutions, Nicole Desmond
  • Balance Sheet Report- Ending January 31, 2016
  • Cash Flow Report- Ending January 31, 2016
  • Income Statement Report- Ending January 31, 2016
  • Check Register Report- Ending January 31, 2016

 

Our biggest expenses this month are surrounding our buses.  All of them have needed repairs recently. The mechanic has visited the school, and discussed a summer maintenance plan to get the buses ready for next year.

 

The legislature has approved a 4% increase on WPU. Local replacement will include a 9% increase- that is about double what we have seen in the past.  We are going to lose our Title 1 finance money this following year. It is about $40,000.

 

We need to have a budget hearing in May.  We need to approve a final report for this fiscal year, and next year’s budget by June 22.

 

  1.  PVC Report:  No report

 

  1.  Marketing Report: We currently have 377 students enrolled.  6 students are expected to enroll this week. Most kids who shadow, request to start immediately, and are not wanting to wait until the new school year. 160 current students have indicated that they are wanting to return to Merit for the coming school year.  The enrollment committee is going to call all of the students who have not returned their intent to re-enroll. They hope to discuss the vision of the school and gather feedback from families. This Monday, March 27, will be the “My Family Matters” series. Dr. Jones will be presenting on ADHD. The April Open House will be on April 26.  Unfortunately, during the last two weeks we have had a lot of negative feed back from Reagan. The front office staff at Reagan seem to be saying negative things about Merit. The board encouraged the marketing group to reach out to Reagan’s director and ask questions. CS Lewis has been very supportive of a relationship with Merit. They want to be a feeder school for us.  They intend to start an early morning program to help families who have elementary students and want their older students to ride the bus to Merit.

 

  1.  Director’s Report:
  • Dr. Jesse Meeks, was not in attendance, but sent this letter:

 

We had two new employees join us this week. Jim Larkin, a retired deputy sheriff from the Los Angeles area who is a competitive athlete, a track and field coach, and substitute teacher. He will be a permanent sub for P.E.

John Ko, a recent graduate of BYU in Physical Education and Health Education; bonus, he also speaks Korean and I hope he can connect with our Korean students as well. He will cover P.E. classes and our middle and high school health classes.

 

3rd term is in the books and we are looking for a strong finish to the year.

  1.  Employee Recognition:  Greta Crofts, Joseph Wright, and Dr. Donny Helvey were recognized as dedicated teachers, who attended a conference at The Lonestar Institute in Mesquite, Texas focused on PBL training. They participated in a three day immersion experience, learning and doing PBL. They are enthusiastically sharing what they have learned since their return.

 

  1.  Consent Agenda:
  • Finance Report- Report ending January 31, 2016- Angela Bunker made a motion to accept the report. Nanette Tanner seconded the motion. It was accepted unanimously.
  • Amended Budget- Nanette Tanner made a motion to accept the amended budget. Angela Bunker seconded the motion.  All voted in the affirmative to accept the budget

 

  1.  Action Items:  None

 

  1.  Board Business:  

The board would like to conduct an anonymous survey addressing parents and staff.  Charter Solutions will be sending sample questions to be reviewed. An assignment was given to board members to review the questions and add any changes or additional questions they would like answered.

 

We need to look at our “Grievance Policy”.  John will forward the policy to all members.  Each will review

 

  1.  Executive Session (if needed):  Angela made a motion to enter executive session. Dave Jungheim-seconded the motion. Time was 6:38pm.  A vote was taken. John-yes, Dave- yes, Angela-yes. Nanette Tanner left the meeting early.

 

  1.  Adjourn:  Executive Session ended at 7:28pm. The board entered general session then. Dave motioned to close General Session at 7:29pm,  Angela seconded the motion. Board adjourned unanimously.

3/6/2017

Merit College Preparatory Academy
Board of Trustees Meeting
March 6, 2017

1. Welcome & Roll Call: 7:38pm- John Young, Jonathan Frey, Nanette Tanner, Angela Bunker, Dave Jungheim

 

  1. Prayer: Offered by John Young  

  2.  Mission Statement:  Read by Nanette Tanner
          Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

 

  1. Pledge of Allegiance:  All
  2. Consent Agenda:
    School Calendar 2017/2018-  The faculty and staff voted overwhelming to select the schedule which starts on August 15th and has two weeks for Christmas break.  Dave Jungheim made a motion to accept the school schedule, with school beginning on August 15, 2017. Angela Bunker seconded the motion.  The board vote was unanimous in favor.

 

  1. Public Comment:

    These comments are regarding Coach and Mrs. Argyle

-Idalis Bedore:  The coaches have changed and inspired her.  Mr. Argyle encouraged her to join the volleyball team when she was in 9th grade.  “Look where I am now’. Mrs. Argyle pushes her to do her best everyday.

-Chandler Higley:  He feels that the Argyles are not just coaches, but that they and their children are family.  They have encouraged him as an athlete. He feels they have sacrificed their personal time to help students develop in athletics.  They have a great devotion to the students.

-Matthew Frey:  He discussed baseball.  A couple of years ago Merit didn’t have a baseball team, and several students were interested in having a team.  They didn’t know how to make it happen. Mr. and Mrs. Coach planned it and put together a season. It was a success.  On the second year, the team went to state. He feels the Argyles push students to be inspirational and they, themselves, are inspirational.  

-Jonathan Frey:  During his 10th grade year, he was having a hard time.  He really wanted to quit basketball because things were really piling up.  Coach sat down with him after practice and told him, if he worked hard, good things would happen.  Mr. Coach has given him opportunities, that he doesn’t feel he would have had anywhere else. Jonathan said that coach  gave him a reason to do his best. He stated that Mrs. Coach is like a second mom to him, and that she is always supportive of him.

-Candi Higley:  Read a letter from Savannah, her daughter- Mr. and Mrs. Coach have impacted her life.  They have encouraged her to be a better volleyball player and to not be afraid to try things that are out of her comfort zone.  She sees that they really care about her and the other students on the volleyball team. She sees that they have had the same influence on her friends.  

Mrs Higley:  They chose to come to Merit over schools in Payson because of the smaller size of the student body, and the opportunities at Merit. Mr. and Mrs. Coach have encouraged her children as they’ve expressed interest in sports.  They have become, not only teachers, but also mentors and friends. She stated that “It takes a village to raise kids and I want those two in my village”

-Matt Higley:  He stated that he didn’t want his children to come to Merit initially because of the dynamic of 7th and 12th graders in the same school.  Their family gave it a try because his wife wanted it. He is glad that they did. He feels that the teachers at Merit are awesome. He is especially appreciative of the coaches.  He felt that he couldn’t say enough about their impact, and could never repay them for the good they have done. He felt it would be a huge detriment to the school if the Argyles left.  He feels that they work hard and care about the students.

-David Cox:  He expressed appreciation for all the teachers at Merit.  All of them are really great teachers, but the Argyles stand out.  He appreciates the relationship that they have with his daughter and describe them as being her rock.  In his opinion, the Argyles have put Merit on the map and have made Merit shine.

-Kristen Frey:  She expressed trust for the Argyles and stated that it is a big deal for her to trust them with her boys.  She pointed out that the Argyles travel all over the state with the student athletes. It is important for her to be able to feel comfortable with them traveling with her children.  She also stated that she feels they are great examples to her sons. She sees the coaches including their family in the athletic program. She reported seeing Coach Argyle get off the bus with his daughter in his arms and this also has had a positive effect on her sons.  She expressed appreciation for the Argyles and the opportunities that her boys have had to play sports. She’s not sure they would have had the same opportunities at other schools.

-Stetler Tanner:  He agreed with the comments that had already been made.  He also felt that the coaches pushed the players to be better and brought them closer as a team and as a school.  He found it impressive that Coach Argyle would make the effort to become a bus driver so he could drive the team around to their games. He appreciated that Mr. Argyle coached baseball and soccer, even though those were not primarily his sports.  He felt that the coaches put in a lot of work and was grateful for their efforts and realized that those efforts took the teams to state.

-Daxton Bunker:  During his 8th grade year, Daxton was the team manager for the basketball team.  He had a fun experience with Coach Argyle on a trip to Wendover. He stated that Coach Argyle is more than a coach and a teacher, he’s one of his best friends.  He feels that coach is a great example of hard work. Whenever Dax needs advice on how to improve himself, he feels that coach is there to help him get better. He hates to see coach leave Merit.  He feels that coach is a big part of Merit

-Alessandro Guzzon:  As an eleventh grader, Alessandro came as a foreign exchange student from Italy.  Coach Argyle was the reason he came back to Merit for his senior year. He felt that Coach taught him how to be a teammate, a classmate, and a man.  He felt that he will benefit from those teachings for the rest of his life. He wants the school board to know what a great influence the Argyles have been on him and how much he loves them.

-Mark Tanner:  He expressed a belief that the students will learn more from how the administration acts through these difficult times, than they will learn in their academic classes.  He states that Abraham Lincoln pointed out that it is weakness to surround ourselves with only people who share our similar ideas, and act the way we do. He encouraged all to put aside ego and allow others to show their strengths and to capitalize on what others can offer.  He feels that the school will not be at an advantage to lose Mr. and Mrs. Argyle. He recognizes that there are challenges, but that when we only surround ourselves with people who agree with us on all counts, we weaken our organization.

-Xanthe Hardy:  She said that when she started to coach cheer three years ago, the cheerleaders decided to make treat bags for the athletes.  There were 12. This year, they had to make 125. That is the kind of influence the Argyles have had.

-John Young congratulated the Argyles and the Boys Basketball team on their recent win at State.  He expressed appreciation for the coaches, and stated that the school would support them in their employment decisions.

 

  1.  Executive Session (if needed):  Angela made a motion to enter executive session.  Nanette seconded the motion. A vote was taken. Angela- yes, Dave- yes, John- yes, Nanette- yes, Jonathan-yes.  The Board entered Executive Session at 7:58pm.
    The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :
    -Character, competence, or health of an individual
    -Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate
    -Deployment of security systems and personnel
    -Investigating criminal misconduct

    8.  Adjourn:  At 9:56pm- Angela made a motion to close Executive Session.  Dave seconded the motion. The Board re-entered General Session and immediately closed the session by a motion from Dave and a second from Jonathan.  The session was closed unanimously.

2/27/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

February 27, 2017

 

  1. Welcome & Roll Call: Welcome at 6:48pm.  Present are Dave Jungheim, Nanette Tanner, John Young and Angela Bunker.

 

  1. Public Comment: none

 

  1.  Consent Agenda:

Vote on Attendance Policy:

Discussion:  Two changes were made to the policy.  First, the time given to excuse an absence was extended from three days to five days.  Also, throughout the policy it is stated that a parent cannot excuse a single class absence in a day, if they have not followed proper procedure to check out their student.  That procedure includes; calling into the school, or sending a note, or coming into the school to check out their student. This will eliminate the ability for a parent to excuse a student sluff.  The policy states that if a parent finds a mistake in the student’s attendance or has concerns, they can come into the school and discuss their attendance concerns.

Angela Bunker made a motion to accept the revised Attendance Policy.  Dave Jungheim seconded the motion. The motion carried by unanimous vote.  The policy is set.

  1.  Board Business:  none

 

  1.  Executive Session (if needed): not needed

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

-Character, competence, or health of an individual

-Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate

-Deployment of security systems and personnel

-Investigating criminal misconduct

 

  1.  Adjourn:  Angela Bunker made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Nanette Tanner seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 6:53pm by unanimous vote.  

2/21/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

February 21, 2017

 

  • Board Meeting began with a General Finance Meeting at 5:30pm

 

  1. Welcome & Roll Call:  Welcome at 6:09pm. In attendance:  John Young, Jonathan Frey, Nanette Tanner, Dave Jungheim, Angela Bunker.

 

  1. Prayer:  John Young

 

  1.  Pledge of Allegiance: All

 

  1.  Mission Statement:

      Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

 

  1. Public Comment:  No Comments

 

  1.  Financial Report:
  • Finance Report- Charter Solutions, Nicole Desmond
  • Balance Sheet Report- Ending December 31, 2016
  • Cash Flow Report- Ending December 31, 2016
  • Income Statement Report- Ending December 31, 2016
  • Check Register Report- Ending December 31, 2016

 

  • Discuss Amended Budget-  The reduction in the mortgage payment resulted in about $200,000 of savings.  

 

  1.  PVC Report:  Donuts with the Director was held this morning.  There were three parents who attended. Heather Hill was instrumental in gathering donations for Quiz Knight. We profited a little bit over $3,000.  The money is to be spent on the Court Yard and perhaps a scissor lift. Some young men have approached Dr. Meeks about ideas for the Court Yard, no ideas have been submitted for approval.  One idea is to replace the grass with cobblestone and turn the space into a gathering place for the students during lunch. Tasi Young reported that some investigation had previously been done to turn the courtyard into a theater.  It was not feasible.

 

  1.  Marketing Report:  As of today, a total of 375 students are enrolled. Ten students enrolled this month, and 4 students withdrew this month.  For next year, the numbers show 21 new students in the 7th grade. Five new students for 8th grade. Five new students enrolled for 9th grade. Three new students for 10th grade. Three new students for the 11th grade.  Three new students for the 12th grade. An Open House will be held on April 26th. Our recruiting efforts are focused on possible feeder schools: American Preparatory Academy, CS Lewis, Reagan, and Franklin Discovery.  Your Family Matters will be held on April 27. The fundraising Mtullu Dinner will be held on March 24th. An Academic Showcase will be held during the dinner. We have 261 leads in the database that are currently being worked on.        

 

  1.  Director’s Report:

Dr. Jesse Meeks-

Buses: 35 students ride the North bus, and 15 students ride on the South.  We are in the positive with revenues collected from the students riding the buses.  The Discovery Space Center doesn’t seem to have a lot of energy or interest in developing our space center.  A discussion was held regarding putting shop classes, makerspace, debate classes, or Meridian in the space currently occupied by the Space Center.  Dr. Meeks noted a 2 year requirement in our charter for a foreign language. A question was asked about whether that requirement should be enforced. It was decided to discuss it further. It seems beneficial to develop a Chinese program because of local elementary school Chinese immersion programs. Meridian could provide electives, and also support classes. We discussed the viability of the ASK and JR Seminar classes. Dr. Meeks will determine if those subjects are being covered in other classes, or if it makes sense to include the subject matter covered in other classes. As we move to project based learning, we could incorporate service into classes.  We discussed the vision of our project based learning environment. Angela suggested that we look for teachers and staff who are excited about and engaged in Project Based Learning. Dr. Meeks’ concern is that a teacher might approach a board member and will not feel that the board is completely supportive. He encouraged the board to be 100% invested in understanding the concepts of PBL. He feels the school needs a big vision. Dave feels that parameters need to be in place for quality control. The teachers need to be trained in how to implement the program. Nanette asked what percent of the school is doing project based learning. The answer was that projects are being done, but the projects are not robust enough.  Parents who are interested in the school, seem quite excited to do project based learning. There is a lot of work to do in the grading system of the school. We need to have discussions on what grades mean. We don’t want to keep the student who is failing academically, from going on a fieldwork experience, because it might be the very thing that inspires him or her. The move to project based learning is going to be a five year plan. The school needs to have a vision to be successful.

  1.  Employee Recognition:  Rachel Barlow was recognized for her immigration project.

 

  1.  Consent Agenda:
  • Finance Report- Report ending December 31, 2016.  Nanette made a motion to accept the report. Jonathan seconded the motion and it was accepted unanimously.
  • Minutes- January 17, 2017  Angela made a motion to accept the minutes. Dave seconded the motion and the minutes were accepted unanimously.
  • Vote on Attendance Policy- Angela asked for clarification about attendance points.  The board felt unprepared to take a vote. The vote was tabled. Jonathan asked for the updated attendance policy to be re-sent to the board.  Dave made a motion to have everyone read over the policy and to vote on the policy at a later time. The board planned to meet Monday, February 27 at 6:45pm to vote on the Attendance Policy. Dr. Meeks will re-send the policy to the board members.
  • Calendar for 2017/2018 School Year- Dr. Meeks gave the board two different schedule options for next year.  Jonathan made a motion that Dr. Meeks survey the teachers and the schedule which is selected by the teachers, will be the schedule that the board selects for the school year.  The vote was tabelled until next month.

 

  1.  Action Items:
  • Follow-up on Background Checks.  Background checks are all complete.
  • Follow-up on partnership with Springville Playhouse.  Angela mentioned to Robinne Booth (member of the Springville Playhouse Board, and Merit’s theater teacher) that the board would like to have the Playhouse clean up after their events. She agreed and will pass the information onto the Playhouse Board.

 

  1.  Policy Review:
  • Attendance Policy- final vote. The vote was tabled pending further discussion and clarification. A vote will be taken next week.

 

  1.  Board Business:  Kati Evans, marketing specialist, asked for the board members to provide her with bios for the website by Tuesday, February 28.    

 

  1.  Executive Session (if needed): Angela motioned for the board to move into executive session. Nanette seconded the motion. The General session was adjourned at 7:35pm. A vote was taken.  Angela- yes, Dave- yes, John Young- yes, Nanette- yes, Jonathan-yes

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

  • -Character, competence, or health of an individual
  • -Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate
  • -Deployment of security systems and personnel
  • -Investigating criminal misconduct

 

  1.  Adjourn:The board returned to General Session at 9:05pm. Jonathan motioned to end the session. Nanette seconded the motion.  A vote in the affirmative closed the general session.

 

1/17/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

January 17, 2017

  1. Welcome & Roll Call:  In attendance: John Young, Dave Jungheim, Nanette Tanner, Angela Bunker.  Meeting began at 6:04pm. Jonathan Frey joined at 6:25pm.

  1. Prayer:  Angela Bunker

  1.  Pledge of Allegiance:  All

  1.  Mission Statement:  Read by John Young

      Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills                required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

  1. Public Comment:

Aaron Williams (student at Merit):  Came to present student concerns regarding Ameritus Day.  He mentioned that he and the other students enjoy the assembly speakers and the fact that everyone wears nice clothes.  However, everyone is not able to attend, due to the Ameritus Dress Policy. The reasons are that students may not want to wear the dress code clothing or they can’t afford to purchase them. The clothes that are available at the school, if students cannot provide their own, don’t fit well and it is embarrassing to the student to have to wear them. There is a worry among the students that they will have to go to the front office instead of going to class.  As a result, they just don’t come to school. The students are petitioning that they be allowed to wear business casual clothing. Aaron stated that all students should be able to attend school and that dress code issues shouldn’t keep them from coming. He feels that this is a great school, and he and others really enjoy being here. The board asked for information regarding how many students the policy adversely affects. Also, there is a question about whether the problem is that the students don’t like the assembly or they truly can’t obtain the clothing or they don’t want to.  Dr. Meeks stated that when his attendance secretary ran the statistics, they found that there was about double the number of students missing on Ameritus Days compared to any other Thursday. A concern was expressed that the difference between standard dress code and Ameritus dress code is too different. Dave asked about whether or not the lowering of the dress code last year, directly impacted the desire to lower the Ameritus dress code. The board feels that issue may be affecting students’ negative feelings about the Ameritus Dress Dr. Meeks stated that it is logistically challenging to have the Ameritus Dress Code. The administration has to take responsibility to dress the students and they do not like the dress code. Kati Evans stated that as a parent she notices that her student feels proud of dressing up and feels good about being dressed well.  She wonders about other students, though, if they are resentful of having to dress up. Dave mentioned that perhaps the students need to know why dressing up is important. Dr Meeks reiterated that the students argue that they don’t like the Ameritus Dress. He thinks that they would say that they like how they feel dressed up in church or dance clothes that they have chosen. John recommended to Aaron that he form a student committee with 9-11 students to give some actual examples of how they could dress in clothes that the students would feel comfortable in and be cost wise, but also use school colors. Angela asked whether or not the blazer was required. After reviewing the policy, it was noted that there are other options for the “blue blazer” concern. It was suggested that the students be informed of all of their options. The board expressed the desire to make the best decision for the school as a whole.  Aaron was asked to form the committee, and return to board meeting next month to discuss the results of the committee. He made a commitment to return or have another student from the committee bring an update.

  1.  Financial Report:
  • Finance Report- Charter Solutions, Nicole Desmond- We are in good financial shape because of salaries that were not used from the budget and the concession the investors made to lower the monthly rental amount. ADM + growth is the number we will be funded on next year.  We will not receive any additional funding this year, even though our numbers have increased significantly. A revised budget will be presented to the board for a vote next month. We will get the budget in advance of next month’s meeting to review. We will include the finance meeting next month as part of board meeting and all board members are encouraged to attend.  An opportunity will be provided for questions and answers, in order to discuss the budget before taking a vote.
    • Balance Sheet Report- Ending November 30, 2016
    • Cash Flow Report- Ending November 30, 2016
    • Income Statement Report- Ending November 30, 2016
    • Check Register Report- Ending November 30, 2016

  1.  PVC Report (given by Dr. Meeks):  Donuts with the Director was held this morning.  Joy Herring directed the meeting. There were 3 parents in attendance.  

  1.  Marketing Report:  
  • Bradford Priest- Website:  The website has been delayed because of content issues and calendaring concerns.  The team is busy making sure that the information that is posted is up-to-date. It has been noted that the teachers page needs to be updated to include some current staff members and remove other staff who have left.  Bradford is feeling like the website will be up this week. The board was able to look at the website in its unfinished form. There is excitement for a polished, up-to-date website.
  • Kati Evans-
    • Current Events- a monthly series event called, “Your Family Matters” is being hosted by Merit.  Current Merit families have been invited to attend, as well as families in the surrounding community.  The event is on Monday, January 23 at 7pm. There is no cost. Children are invited. The event is for the whole family and will focus on issues that matter to the family.  The chosen speakers have lots of experience in presenting and have received national attention for their messages. Kati asked that the board members invite people they know to attend.  
    • School Open House- Monday, January 30th.  The board has been asked to help with registration on the 30th. During the open house there will be performances from the student body, the teachers will be available to answer questions, Dr. Meeks will be in attendance. The school counsellors will also be available to answer questions and register students.  Three schools, who have been identified as possible feeder schools, have been sent a letter to invite their graduating class of students to attend the open house. In addition, 15,000 fliers will be mailed to selected homes in the surrounding communities, inviting them to attend the open house.
    • Merit has also been featured in a local newspaper called, “Serve Daily”. Merit will have a page with that newspaper for the next several months.  Information about the school will be presented as well as advertisements for the school
    •  An insert in the “Tribune”, featuring Charter Schools, will include Merit.  
    • The board asked about having a banner across main street.  The marketing company will look into it.
    • The school is getting a sign out front that states that we are a 7-12th grade, free- public charter school.
    • We will mention our Sage scores, but not focus on them.
    • Student count as of 1/17/17- 373

  1.  Director’s Report:
  • Dr. Jesse Meeks- Hosted a half day of training on Friday, January 13th, focused on project based learning.  Dr. Helvey provided training on project based learning skills as well. There is positive energy surrounding the new style.
  • Two students have received scholarships for $1000 each
  • Quiz Knight is coming up on February 4 at 7pm.  The board was encouraged to attend.
  • The “Poetry Out Loud” Competition is tomorrow morning.  Our winners are going onto Regionals next week.
  1.  Employee Recognition:  Kati Evans was recognized for “hitting a home run”.  Dr. Meeks described her as “the missing link in our marketing efforts”. She has been very successful. In a very short period of time, she has developed an amazing marketing strategy and has also developed lots of positive relationships with students and staff.  Her efforts have brought stability and organization to the school.

  1.  Consent Agenda:
  • Finance Report- Ending November 30, 2016- A motion was made by Nanette Tanner to accept the finance report.  It was seconded by Jonathan Frey. The motion was passed unanimously.
  • Minutes- December 13, 2016- A motion was made by Jonathan Frey to accept the minutes.  It was seconded by Dave Jungheim. This motion was also accepted unanimously.
  • Vote on amended Dress Code Policy- The board was given some information about changes in the policy.  It was discussed that the volleyball short length was removed as were stipulations about cross- gender dressing.  Piercings are limited to the ears. Dr. Meeks has some reservations about piercings. He has had some kick back from students about nose piercings. Jonathan recommended that our policy state that other piercings and tattoos be allowed, but they must be covered up. This sentence was included in the policy: “Jewelry worn in any body part other than ears, must be covered up or removed while on school grounds or on school activities.” The dress code should be enforced while students are at school functions or on school property. The teacher “in charge” will have a tag so they are able to be identified.  Another addition made to the policy now states that the PE classes will have a specific dress code during class time. The code includes maroon, navy blue or white T-shirts for the shirt option and maroon, navy blue, white or black shorts. This part of the policy will be enforced starting next fall. A discussion was had regarding pants. It was determined that neat, clean, modest, solid material for pants is the intent of the policy. It was noted that Dr. Meeks has discretion to allow slight modifications based on his interactions with students and insights he may have. Jonathan Frey made a motion that the board accept the revised dress code policy with the amended changes.  Nanette Tanner seconded the motion. The board voted unanimously to accept the dress code policy.

  1.  Action Items:
  • Follow-up on Background Checks:  John, Angela, Nanette and Jonathan have all completed their background checks.  Dave is having issues with his email, so Nicole is sending him information to another email and he committed to having the background check completed quickly.  
  • Follow-up on partnership with Springville Playhouse- The meeting was not held, but will be held this coming month.  The intent is to solidify the relationship between the Springville Playhouse and ask for janitorial help when they use the building. It is most important that the relationship remain positive and they feel welcome at our school.  

  1.  Policy Review:
  • Attendance Policy:  The policy was amended to include real consequences.  The policy is not specific with regard to numbers of tardies or absences that will bring about specific consequences. That will be a procedural issue.  Next month the board will vote on the amended Attendance Policy.

  1.  Board Business: no additional business to be discussed

12/13/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

December 13, 2016

 

  1. Welcome & Roll Call:  Called to Order: 6:12pm. Board Members: Jonathan Frey, Nanette Tanner, John Young, Dave Jungheim, Angela Bunker.  Also in attendance: Dr. Jesse Meeks

 

  1. Prayer:  John Young

 

  1.  Pledge of Allegiance:  All

 

  1.  Mission Statement:  Read by Jonathan Frey

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

 

  1. Public Comment:  None

 

  1.  Consent Agenda:

Vote on Bullying and Harassment Policy:  

Our policy is modeled on the document sent out by the state.  We added the definition of bullying, added language in II. A- 1a to include sexual aggression, added clarifying information regarding reporting, added information in IV. A- C3- regarding our discipline plan. In section V., discussed the need to notify parents.  Dr. Meeks’s plan is to go over the policy with faculty to familiarize them with the procedures. Angela Bunker made a motion to approve the bullying policy, Dave Jungheim seconded the motion. The board approved the policy unanimously.

 

  1.  Board Business:  discussed the budget and the likelihood that this year we will end the year over budget. Nevertheless, the board agrees that there is a need to hire an assistant director right away.  The goal is to hire the right person to fill the job. The board will assist Dr. Meeks in the interview process.

 

  1.  Executive Session (if needed):  Not needed

 

  1.  Adjourn:  Nanette Tanner made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Jonathan Frey seconded the motion. The board agreed unanimously to adjourn at 6:29pm.

11/16/2016

Merit Academy

Board Member Retreat

Minutes for

November 16, 2016

 

Welcome by John Young at 9:16am.

 

Roll Call:  Nanette Tanner, Jonathan Frey, John Young, Angela Bunker, and Dave Jungheim.

 

Also in attendance:  Dr. Jesse Meeks (Director of Merit Academy) and Lincoln Filmore and Mandee Black (Charter Solutions)

 

Prayer:  Nanette Tanner

 

History– The board received information about the history of Merit Academy from Lincoln Fillmore of Charter Solutions.

 

Training–  The board received training on Board Governance from Mandee Black of Charter Solutions.

  • Roles
  • Responsibilities

 

Charter Discussion–  John Young discussed provisions of Merit’s Charter

  • Provisions that are being met
  • Provisions that need to be covered by the board

The point of bringing up a discussion on the charter is to encourage members to get into the charter, and learn what’s in there.  It was noted that Jesse Meeks’ vision for the school more closely meets the directives of the charter than what we, as a school, are doing currently.

  • Next April we are going to hold an election for a board member position
  • In the future, we will also implement a 24 month term, and hold reappointment hearings

 

Break for Lunch

 

Merit’s Mission Statement–  The board received advice from Lincoln Fillmore that they shouldn’t change the mission statement of the school.  It is a long and lengthy process that often brings scrutiny and a new list of requirements. The intent of possibly revising the mission statement was to bring clarity to the vision of the new administration for Merit Academy.  Therefore, it is more feasible to state a vision for the school, and develop in that direction. As a result, the mission statement was not amended, thus no vote was needed.

 

Educational Philosophy– Jesse Meeks discussed:

  • Mastery Learning
  • Project Based Environment

 

Goals for Merit’s Board of Trustees–  

  • Find ways to apply for grants
  • Take a survey of teachers and parents
  • Tap into CTE funds
  • Support efforts to build enrollment
  • Have a presence in the School
  • Display board member photos in the school

 

Adjournment– Angela Bunker made a motion to close the board training meeting.  Dave Jungheim seconded the motion. The training session was closed by unanimous vote at 3:07pm.  

11/15/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

November 15, 2016

 

  1. Welcome & Roll Call:  Welcome at 6:04pm. In attendance:  Jonathan Frey, Angela Bunker, Dave Jungheim, John Young, and Nanette Tanner.   

 

  1. Prayer:  Dave Jungheim

 

  1.  Pledge of Allegiance:  All

 

  1.  Mission Statement:

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

 

  1. Public Comment:

Dave Chappa (Springville Playhouse Representative)- Presented to the board the history of the Playhouse and Merit Academy.  The Springville Playhouse has been affiliated with Merit for 4 administrations. In 2011, Springville city demolished the library.  The library had previously been the location of the SP performances. Several venue options were available at that time. Merit approached the playhouse and offered it a location.  Merit encouraged the Playhouse to move in. In exchange, the Playhouse would help Merit build its program from the ground up. Merit would use Springville Playhouse resources. Currently, the Playhouse contributes infrastructures, a DMX system, the Powerbox, expertise, set design, production assistance, tech, advertising, and collaborative efforts to Merit’s theater program. The Playhouse makes an effort to showcase Merit in the best light.  Merit’s name is associated with SP. The two programs share a common vision. The Springville Playhouse is the longest running, community theater in the area and it is all volunteer run.

Bradford Priest (Marketing Representative)- Update on Marketing: An on-site recruiter, Kati Evans, was hired for a part time position. The marketing group is going to send out a survey to gather information.  They began putting together a social media calendar. A professional to work on the website has been hired, and a skeleton has been put together. The website should be done by January 1. We are using WordPress for the platform.

 

  1.  Financial Report:

Finance Report- Charter Solutions, Nicole Desmond

Balance Sheet Report- Ending October 31, 2016

Cash Flow Report- Ending October 31, 2016

Income Statement Report- Ending October 31, 2016

Check Register Report- Ending October 31, 2016

 

The discussed budget is the one that was approved in June.  A revised budget proposal will be presented in January, with numbers from the state included at that time.  Some areas have been re-coded by the state, thus the budget lines will need to be revised as a result.

 

  1.  PVC Report:  Joy Herring (PVC President)

Events coming up:  January 15: “Authors and Books Night”.  The student body, parents, and the community will be invited to attend.  Quiz Knight is February 4. Efforts are being made to gather items for auction and prizes. Chaperones for the upcoming “Ugly Sweater Dance” are being recruited.  Everything is running smoothly and there are lots of people willing to help.

 

  1.  Director’s Report: Dr. Jesse Meeks

The school community has had the opportunity to enjoy wonderful performances in theater department.  They are currently performing “Dear Ruth”. The department is also busy practicing for their upcoming Christmas extravaganza.  There are lots of exciting things on the calendar.

The department chairs have all developed a summative and a formative assessment for presentation to the faculty as a whole.  During teacher development, some of those assessment strategies were presented. Four department chairs presented their assessments, giving eight  new tools for assessing learning. Thus, helping the school community, as a whole, gather creative ways of working with students to help them learn and excel.   

 

  1.  Employee Recognition:  Robinne Booth and Connie Warenski – They are at the school, sometimes it seems like 24 hours a day, working with their students.  They deserve a hearty recognition for their great dedication and all of their hard work.

 

  1.  Consent Agenda:

Finance Report- Ending October 31, 2016:  Jonathan made a motion to approve the finance report.  Angela seconded the motion. All voted in favor of acceptance.  

Minutes- October 18, 2016 and October 28, 2016:  Angela made a motion to accept both October meeting minutes.  Dave seconded the motion. They were accepted by a unanimous vote.

Vote on Club Policy- Nanette made a motion to accept the club policy, with recommended revisions. Jonathan seconded the motion.  It was accepted with a unanimous vote.

Vote on amended Dress Code Policy:

    Discussion:  Dr. Meeks recommended these revisions:  In section 3.7.2.1; 3.8.1.2.1, he removed the wording “standard length of volleyball shorts” and left the policy to read that shorts should be 4” in length or longer.   3.9.4- hats and sunglasses are not to be worn, except as part of an approved school activity or event, for medical reasons or religious purposes. He added a 5 tiered consequence statement, providing for no ambiguity on the consequences.  The staff is spending a lot of time with the same students violating the dress code policy. This gives a stop-gap. Jonathan made a suggestion to strike the enforcement/ discipline section from the policy, and make that an administrative procedure. Thus allowing Dr. Meeks to adjust it as necessary without consent from the board.    

    Jonathan: Points 3.9.1, 3.9.2, 3.9.3- all are redundant- they are covered in other sections of the policy.  3.9.2- With cross-gender dressing prohibited in the policy, it is opening up Merit for a possible lawsuit. 3.5.8- This section deals with formal wear and is also redundant (point 2 should be added to 3.5.5) 3.2.7- contains more redundancy.  Section 3.6, 3.7, 3.8- Jonathan feels that these items are classroom procedural items. He asks if each group in Merit needs to have the policy defined specifically for its subject matter? John Young and Angela Bunker felt like some classes need to have specifications for that class.  Xanthe Hardy (cheer coach) suggested that class specifics be left in the policy. Dave Jungheim said that specifics are helpful, but redundancies should be removed.

    Mandee (Charter Solutions) stated that dress code policies should not be reviewed every 6 months, nor every year.  This is a hot-topic item. Mandee’s suggestion is to look for a long-term, permanent dress code. Dave Jungheim made a motion to table the vote on the dress code policy.  Angela Bunker seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of tabling the vote of the dress code policy.

 

  1.  Action Items:

Follow-up on Background Checks:  Nanette, Angela, and John have completed their checks.  Dave needs information, in order to complete his. (Nicole will email him the information). Jon has scheduled to complete his next week

Follow-up on partnership with Springville Playhouse- Angela and John will meet with Kathy Llewellyn to discuss our partnership.   

 

  1.  Policy Review:

Bullying Policy:  Dave Jungheim was tasked with reviewing our policy.  He felt that our bullying policy, including its wording should be in-line with national policy.  Our policy will provide links to national sites. The policy will also cover harassment, cyber-bullying, and hazing. We need to do some refining of the policy.  All board members were tasked to read Dr. Meeks’ additions and compare and contrast the two policies presented.

Attendance Policy:  Dr. Meeks is feeling as though there isn’t enough meat in the current policy. A revision is needed.  Board Members have been tasked with reading through the policy to discuss it at the next monthly board meeting.

 

  1.  Board Business:

Remind Board Members, Dr. Meeks, and Charter Solutions of the date and time for Retreat (November 16, 2016; 9-3pm).  Give the address for the location: 53 W University Parkway. It is in the Harmon Building in Orem.

Marketing Committee Board Member Assignment: This topic needs further discussion and understanding before it is discussed in board meeting.   

 

  1.  Executive Session (if needed):  Jonathan made a motion to enter Executive Session. Angela Bunker seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was taken- Jonathan Frey- yes, Nanette Tanner- yes, John Young- yes, Dave Jungheim- yes, Angela Bunker-yes. The board entered  Executive Session at 7:04pm.

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

-Character, competence, or health of an individual

-Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate

-Deployment of security systems and personnel

 -Investigating criminal misconduct

 

  1.  Adjourn:  The board re-entered General Session at 8:11pm.  Angela Bunker made a motion to end General Session and adjourn board meeting at that point. Dave Jungheim seconded the motion.  The board meeting ended by unanimous vote.

 

10/28/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

October 28, 2016

 

  1. Welcome & Roll Call- Meeting began at 5:36pm.  In attendance: John Young, Dave Jungheim, Angela Bunker.  Excused: Jonathan Frey, Nanette Tanner.

 

  1. Prayer:  John Young

 

  1.  Pledge of Allegiance:  All

 

  1.  Mission Statement:  Read by Angela Bunker

 

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

 

  1. Public Comment:  None

 

  1. Consent Agenda:

    UCA Report:  

Questions Addressed:  

  • Why does Goal 3 not have any funds allocated?  Nothing is there because it is a goal from last year.  We just upgraded the school’s internet system, so it is not needed.
  • What is Title 1A?  It is money that is given to Merit to help with students who scored low on the Sage test, have bad grades, or a teacher requests additional help for the student.  The money is used to pay the salaries for teachers who work with those students.
  • What is IDEA?  It is Federal Special Education funds.
  • Are we voting to approve the application as a whole? Charter Solutions has identified what we are eligible for and has put the application together, so, yes.  
  • What comes with receiving the grants?  We stick with the Utah Core and educate the students.  We need to make sure that we don’t mix funds.

 

Angela made a motion to accept the application.  Dave seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously with the board.

 

  1. Executive Session (if necessary):  None

 

  1. Adjourn:  Angela made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Dave seconded the motion.  The meeting was adjourned at 5:44pm.

10/18/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

October 18, 2016

  1. Welcome & Roll Call: Meeting began at 6:05.  In attendance: Angela Bunker, John Young, Nanette Tanner, Jonathan Frey.

Excused:  Dave Jungheim  

 

  1. Prayer:  Offered by Jonathan Frey

 

  1. Pledge of Allegiance:  All

 

  1. Mission Statement:  

 

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

 

  1. Public Comment:

    Royce VanTassell, Executive Director for UAPCS: Presentation made to Board Members regarding services provided by UAPCS:  Those services are: 1. Lobbying on Capitol Hill for the interests of public charter schools 2. Training of Board Members  3. Member Services, such as: 401 K program, health insurance, group buying discount programs.

    Bradford Priest, Bradford & Bird Marketing: Presented his company’s plan to the board of their marketing strategy for the ‘16/’17 school year.  The goals are: 450 enrolled students, 90% retention rate, and to correct the perception of the school within the community. The strategy will be to change the enrollment process, improve communication, update the website, and utilize social media.  Deliverables were discussed. The website is to be complete by January 1. Usability to be done first. The platform to be used will likely be WordPress. Merit will have ownership of the website once it is built.

    Kim Frank, Executive Director of UCN/ECA:  Presented information on her organization to the Board.  She reported that UCN has experts on board who can help with lobbying, creating a school philosophy, marketing, branding, and board training.

    Craig Frank:  Informed the Board that UCN was given an award for their services, in essence, the state recognized UCN as experts at fixing problems.  They have developed a program that uses each school’s data to change the school’s culture. UCN provides unlimited access to data and resources for their consumers.  They strive to discover actual problems and work to fix them. They want to have a 5 year contract with those they provide services to.

 

  1.  Board Training:

    Board Member Roles- Mandee Black was unable to make the meeting, this training was moved to a later date.

  1.  Financial Report: Finance Report- Charter Solutions, Nicole Desmond

 

    September went smoothly in the business office. All state reports that were due by October 1 were submitted on time. October 1 counts were done on Monday, October 3 this year and came in at 320 enrolled students. This number will be transmitted to the state and a mid-year update is expected in December or early January. The business office will continue to work with administration to review and revise the budget as necessary.  A revised budget can be anticipated to be submitted to the Board in January or February depending on when the state revisions are received.

 

Balance Sheet Report- Ending September 30, 2016

Cash Flow Report– Ending September 30, 2016

Income Statement Report– Ending September 30, 2016:

The school is doing an excellent job of collecting fees, particularly Transportation (004) and Class Fees (011).

040- LAND Trust- this revenue is received as a lump sum in the fall.

046- Teacher Materials are dispersed in two payments.  A large amount in the fall and a smaller amount in the spring.

063- Title II- this amount from FY16 will be received on the October allotment.  Salaries and Benefits budgets will be updated to reflect current staffing levels with the proposed budget amendments.  

137- This line reflects the new H-Wire contract.  The budget will need to be added to the budget amendment.

139- This line will be adjusted in the amended budget proposal.  Late fees were paid on the Sam’s Club account during the administration transition on year end purchases.

152- Utilities appear high at this point in the year, but could be due to seasonal usage.  This line should be watched.

154- This expense line will need to be watched closely.  A budget amendment may be necessary.

156- Lease expense appears high at this time, due to rental of equipment for floor projects over the summer.

176- Postage budget will need to be watched over the next few months and may require a budget adjustment.

194- This line is typically spent up front at the beginning of the year and we will continue to monitor this expense line.

196- This has been used primarily to make the upgrades in the faculty lounge.  This budget will require amendment.

Check Register Report– Ending September 30, 2016

 

  1.  PVC Report: Joy Herring:  Not present, no report

 

  1.  Director’s Report: Dr. Jesse Meeks

Stetler Tanner and Coach Mitchell Argyle- report:  Baseball went well. Every game was competitive. Our team placed fourth in our region and went to a State.  We lost to the state champs, 5:0. We played them better than any other team they encountered.

Our Cross Country team won 1st place seed in Regions.  This is the first time in our history that we both qualified as a team and took first place in Regions.  The team is running tomorrow in the State Meet.

Fall Break starts tomorrow.  It is Wednesday-Friday. Term 1 just ended.  Term 2 starts on Monday.

  1. Employee Recognition:

Mitchell Argyle and Tyler Gish (baseball), Christine Cuomo (track), Penny Argyle, Heather Lee and Jessica Swapp (volleyball)-  These teachers were recognized for their dedication to the school’s student athletes and for contributing hours beyond other staff members to work with the athletes.  They were praised for their efforts being done out of love.

  1.  Consent Agenda:

Finance Report- Ending September 30, 2016:  Nanette made a motion to accept the finance report, Jonathan Frey seconded the motion.  The motion carried.

Minutes- August 2, 10, 16 & September 20:  Angela made a motion to accept the minutes. Nanette seconded the motion.  The board approved the minutes unanimously.

Approve the UCA report-  This item was tabled, to give board members a chance to review the report.  A vote will be taken before November 1.

Club Policy- A discussion and review of the policy occurred.  A vote will be taken next month. Items of concern included: What is character?  How do we define “gain”? Committee members and board members will look over the policy and make suggestions before the next board meeting.

  1.  Action Items:

Follow-up on Background Checks:  Angela completed her check. Nanette had hers done previously.  John Young needs to complete his within the coming month. Jonathan Frey will discuss the possibility of using his current background check from his school.  

 

  1. Policy Review:

Dress Code Policy- Representatives from Merit’s dance, cheerleading, athletics, Board of Trustees, Parent Volunteer Organization and administration were consulted regarding the dress code. Xanthe Hardy, John Young, Jesse Meeks and Joy Herring met to discuss the policy.  Coach Argyle sent a written opinion. The policy was expanded and clarified. Nothing was taken out. The proposal that was presented to the board to allow sport shorts and sweats, was declined. The reason for this was that consent was given last year to do away with uniforms.  The students have the ability to make many choices in their school attire. Relaxing the policy to conform to those requests is not holding to the values of the charter. Jonathan Frey suggested that our policy is long and complicated and presented a concern that it would be difficult for our administration to enforce.  Dr. Meeks feels that specific instructions are better than a policy that needs to be interpreted by the enforcer. The piercing policy was tightened up. The committee looked at other examples from other charter schools and public schools to design our policy. Board Members have been tasked with reviewing the policy and voting on it next month.   

 

  1.  Board Business:

Verify date and time for Retreat, invite Dr. Meeks and Charter Solutions to attend-  The retreat is scheduled for November 7th, 9:30am-2:30pm, in Orem.

Update on partnership with Springville Playhouse- The Springville Board has decided to have productions only June- September.  They will hold practices during the school year, but will coordinate their schedule other groups using the gym/theater area. The Merit Board has asked for an inventory of items and services that bring value to the school – John Young asked for the Springville Playhouse board to provide an inventory and an associated value.  The concern is that the relationship be mutually beneficial and fair.

Update on Marketing- See notes in the Public Comments section

Follow-up on advertising for hosting foreign exchange students- Meridian did not feel that it would provide any conflict with their program.  

Report on Rimports Fundraising Opportunity- $11,500.00 was raised.  The project that we were given wrapped up early. The project was very successful.    

 

  1.  Executive Session (if needed):  None needed

The board can enter an Executive Session for the purpose of :

 Character, competence, or health of an individual
  -Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate
  -Deployment of security systems and personnel
  -Investigating criminal misconduct

 

16.  Adjourn:  Angela made a motion to conclude the meeting.  Jonathan seconded the motion. The meeting was brought to a close at 7:22pm.

9/20/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

September 20, 2016

 

  1. Welcome & Roll Call:  6:04pm. Attending: Angela Bunker, David Jungheim, John Young, Nanette Tanner.

 

  1. Prayer:  Dave Jungheim

 

  1.  Pledge of Allegiance:  All

 

  1.  Mission Statement:  Read by Nanette Tanner

 

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

 

  1. Public Comment:  
  • Mori Anderson and Sakina Steflik– Anime Club- These students attended board meeting to introduce board members to their club and the activities they are hoping to schedule for the coming year.  They want to take a field trip to FanX. They would also invite the Dr. Who Club members and members of the Gaming Club to attend the activity. Topics of interest would include: digital media, art history, networking with professionals in the industry, and career exploration. The field trip would be self funded.  Members of the club will plan and orchestrate fundraising opportunities. The event will take place on a Saturday in March and will cost about $40.
  • Kathy Llewellyn– Springville Playhouse President- Brought proof of insurance with Merit listed as a beneficiary.  She also brought a proposal for a partnership agreement. Both Merit Academy board members and Springville Playhouse board members are looking to form a mutually beneficial relationship.  The proposal will be reviewed and discussed further.
  • Dominique Fitch– Boys and Girls Club After School Coordinator- She introduced herself to board members and expressed a desire to work in conjunction with the board to make sure the clubs offered at Merit are beneficial for the school and hold to the focus and vision of the school.  In order for her program to be fully funded, she needs to have 60 kids participating on a daily basis or the program will lose funding. As a result, Dominique is trying to design clubs with the students’ interests in mind in order to keep them invested. She is hoping to balance that with providing opportunities to learn life skills and educational skills. The clubs will include elements of discussions, papers and research.  The minimum number of participants is 9-10. The size of the school does not impact the quota set for the boys and girls club members. The numbers are good this year. We are averaging 45 students each day. We will add the additional clubs of theater and sports later this month, which should increase our daily attendance. Dominique is willing to meet with board members to further discuss clubs. She is here at the school from 1-6:30 each day.  
  • Alessandro Guzzon– is a student at Merit who started a petition for some changes to the dress code policy.  He presented these ideas to justify changes to the current policy: 1. A different policy actually helps students prepare for college, because no other college has such a dress code as Merit.  2. The students respect the mandate to wear and see a need for modest clothing. 3. Clothing should be comfortable, and having to wear specific clothes listed in a dress code policy, is not. 4. Money should not be spent on clothing that the student would not wear in another circumstance, to buy clothes for a specific dress code adds unnecessary expense to parent’s budgets.  5. The idea that our dress code policy promotes is “what you wear is more important than your education”, and that is not what Merit stands for. 6. Clothing should express your individual personality. The petition was given to board members and a committee was established to review the current dress code policy. John Young is the board member who is assigned to lead that committee.  
  • Bradford Priest, from Bradford and Bird Marketing, introduced himself to board members.  He stated the goals of marketing are to increase enrollment, retain the current student body, and promote a positive image of the school.  He and his partner will be submitting a proposal to investors next week for the 2016-2017 school year.

 

  1.  Board Training:
  1. Open Meeting Training- Presented by Mandee Black, Charter Solutions.  Training written by Lincoln Fillmore

 

The common sense principles:

•You are a public body, spending public money.  All your deliberations and decisions should be made in view of the public.
•Some limited topics can be discussed privately to protect individual privacy, and to protect the school’s liability and competitive advantage in negotiations.
•Efforts to get around the law smell bad, turn off the public, and are probably illegal

 

What makes a meeting:


  • As the policy-making body of a public entity, all your meetings are required to be open, consistent with the open and public meetings act
    •A meeting occurs anytime a quorum (as defined by your bylaws) are present to discuss issues related to your school
    •This applies to any location, using any means of communication (including phone and email)

    Notice of the Meeting:

  • You must publish a public notice of your meeting so that the public can exercise its right to attend
    •Notice must be given at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting
      -By posting the agenda of the meeting at the location of the meeting, and at your school, if the meeting is held elsewhere
      -By posting on the Public Meeting Notice website: pmn.utah.gov.

 

Agenda:


  • Your notice must have the time, location, and agenda of the meeting
    •In the meeting, the board may only discuss and take action on items on the agenda
      -Items must be listed with “reasonable specificity” (not “Finance Matters” if what you’re really doing is amending a budget)
      -If other topics come up, there should not be a lengthy board discussion, except to assign a group to follow up or to put the topic for a future agenda
      -You should always put “Closed Session, if necessary” with valid reasons, just so you have the option if needed

Minutes and recordings:

•Meetings must be recorded in audio and written minutes
•Minutes are the public record, and must be provided to anyone upon request.
•Minutes are not a transcript.  Make it easy on yourself. Your minutes should include a summary of:
  -The times the meeting began and ended, and the names of board members in attendance
  -All matters proposed, discussed or decided
  -Names and substance of information from individuals giving testimony
  -Individual votes on each matter, and
  -Additional information requested by a board member

 

Non-open Meetings:

•Some “meetings” that involve members of the board need not be “open and public”
  -Committee meetings that don’t involve a quorum of board members
  -Chance social meetings (running into each other at Costco—happens all the time)
  -Social gatherings, where no school business is discussed

 

Closed Sessions:

•There is no such thing as a closed meeting.  All “meetings” of the board are open.
•The board can move into a closed “session” of the open meeting for limited reasons
  -Character, competence, or health of an individual
  -Strategy sessions regarding collective bargaining, litigation, or the purchase of real estate
  -Deployment of security systems and personnel
  -Investigating criminal misconduct
•You are never required to have a closed session

 

Closed Sessions, part 2:

•To close a meeting
  -The closed session, and the reason(s) for it must be on the agenda for the open meeting
  -The board must vote by roll-call
  -It takes a 2/3 majority to close
•In the closed meeting
  -Only discuss appropriate topics relevant to the stated reasons for closure
  -Never take action or a vote—all votes and action must be public
•Closed minutes also must be recorded with audio* and written minutes, though the records are not public unless a judge determines the session should not have been closed.
  -Closed sessions that discuss only individual competence, character, or health, don’t need to be recorded, but the board chair must sign an affidavit to that effect.

 

How to break the law:


  • Close a meeting without members voting first in an open meeting
    •Close a meeting for reasons not allowed by the law
    •Take official action during a closed meeting
    •Meet without proper notice
      -Including conference calls
      -Having discussions over email or chat with a quorum of board members

    Creative ways to get around the law, but that really are still illegal:

  • Calling every member individually to see how they’ll each vote
    •Discussing it in “committees” (less than a quorum) that involve a quorum over time
    •Emails that involve a quorum of board members
    •Implementing what one board member wants without a board decision

What if you break the law:

•A court can void any action you took outside of an open meeting
 -That may have a financial consequence, if an illegal action (like a termination of employment) causes you to owe money
•You may be liable for reasonable attorney fees and court costs
•It is a Class B Misdemeanor to discuss in public, what you first discussed in a closed session
•Repeated violations of open meetings law may be a reason for revocation of your charter

 

Back to common sense:

•If you keep basic common sense principles in mind, you’ll likely be okay
•Remember all your deliberations and decisions should be done in full view of the public, with a few common-sense exceptions
  -So, give notice of when you’ll meet and what you’ll discuss
  -Err on the side of openness and transparency
  -Follow the guidelines and protocol

 

  1.  Reports:
  1. Finance Report- Charter Solutions, Nicole Desmond
    1. Balance Sheet Report- Ending August 31, 2016

Days cash on hand: 83, based on budget approved in June 2016.  We get an allotment every month. On Oct 3, a count will be taken and the numbers will be revised.

    1. Cash Flow Report- Ending August 31, 2016
    2. Income Statement Report- Ending August 31, 2016

Money that has been spent last year has been reversed on the report and the money will pull down sometime in August or September.  We should not have negatives on the income statement after September. A Dash Board will be available at our next meeting to be able to see trends.  A cheat sheet will be prepared for future meetings. Board members are invited to attend the finance meeting which is held a half an hour before this meeting at 5:30pm.

    1. Check Register Report- Ending August 31, 2016

 

  1. PVC Report- Joy Herring

The PVC is working toward improving communications.  They are using google sheets to do sign-ups for help at the Homecoming Dance.  It has been well-received and the needed services have been filled. Some students have asked about dance dress code.  The PVC recommends that the dress code description be attached to the tickets.

The “Donuts with the Director” will be held the same day as board meeting, which is the third Tuesday of the month.  

The PVC inquired if Merit is willing to advertise to find host families for foreign exchange students who are here on a short term basis?  Compensation is offered to host families. $50 will be given to Merit for each family who is presented by Merit, who then hosts a student. The $50 is given to the PVC when the student leaves.  We have no obligations, nor quota to meet. The Board would like have a discussion with Meridian before participating in this program.

   

  1. Director’s Report- Dr. Jesse Meeks

The staff had their first professional development day. They discussed the problem of having a slow start- it will cost 5 days in lost instruction time over the course of a year.  The department heads each presented great ways to start the class.

Dr. Meeks is currently doing teacher observations.  They are going well.

Last year we had a “C” rating for our school, this year we have a “B”.  We are leading the schools in our area in our science, math, and language arts scores on the Sage.  One of Dr. Meeks’ goals is to work with marketing to showcase our successes.

  1.  Employee Recognition:

Scott Jenkins and Erika Whitmer, our school counsellors.  We had a really busy summer and some changes. Both of them put in 60-80 hours a week.  They had the vision of the school as their focus and work hard to enroll new students.

 

  1.  Consent Agenda:
  1. Finance Report- Ending August 31, 2016

Nanette made a motion to accept the report.  Angela seconded the motion. All were in favor.

  1. Minutes-
    1. July 9, 2016- Angela motioned to accept the minutes, Dave seconded the motion.  All were in favor.
    2. July 20, 2016- Dave motioned to accept the minutes, Angela seconded the motion.  All were in favor.

 

  1.  Action Items:  None reported

 

  1.  Policy Review:
  1. Dress Code Policy- Students have questioned some of the clothing restrictions in the policy.  Dr. Meeks would like clarification and an understanding of the board’s purpose and desire for the dress code.  The dress code needs to be cleaned up. Questions regarding the length of the student’s dresses seem to come up frequently.  The wearing of hats, gym shorts and sweats sometimes is an issue. Sports clothing is not always modest. John proposed that a committee be formed to discuss dress code issues.  Joy Herring, from the PVC, would like to be on the committee. John is going to head up the committee. The board would like to have other parents and some teachers participate on the committee.  A report will be given during the October board meeting.
  2. Bullying Policy-  Dave will review our policy, compare it to other bullying policies, re-work and re-word as needed.  The Policy revisions will be presented in November

 

  1.  Board Business:
  1. Background Checks- need to be on file through BCI, linked to Merit for the continual reporting.  Everyone who has significant, unsupervised contact with a student must have a background check. Nicole will email paperwork for the board to do their background checks.  All board background checks will need to be complete by the October board meeting.
  2. Date for Retreat-  November 7th, 8am-1pm
  3. Board Member Appointment:  

The board released, with a note of thanks, Sherwin Harris as a member of Merit Academy’s board.  Jonathan Frey, was presented as a new board member. He currently work for UCAS as an assistant principal.  He has three children who currently attend Merit Academy. His children are actively involved in the extra curricular offerings at the school.  They are enjoying the school very much. Mr. Frey has spent his whole career in the field of education. Angela made a motion to accept the appointment of Jonathan Frey  to the Merit Academy Board of Trustees, Nanette and Dave both seconded the motion. The motion was accepted unanimously.

  1. Defining and Creating a Club Policy:  Nanette will head up a committee to define a club policy, Angela will assist as needed.  Abbey McDonald and Dominque Fitch have volunteered to help with the committee. A report on the committee will be given in the October board meeting.

 

  1.  Executive Session (if needed):  none needed

 

  1.  Adjourn: Nanette motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:03pm.  Dave seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned unanimously by the board.

8/16/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy

Board of Trustees Meeting

August 16, 2016

 

  1. Welcome & Roll Call:  Meeting began at 6:14pm  

Present:  Nanette Tanner, John Young, Sherwin Harris, & Angela Bunker Excused:  Dave Jungheim

.  

  1. Prayer:  Sherwin Harris

 

  1.  Pledge of Allegiance:  All

 

  1.  Mission Statement:  read by Angela Bunker

 

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

 

  1.  Reports:

 

  1. Discovery Space Center– Casey Voeks: CEO of Discovery Space Center

Discovery Space Center (DSC) has enjoyed a good working relationship with Merit Academy.  Merit was one of the first schools to believe in the vision of DSC. DSC is pleased to be a part of the school.  Casey was encouraged by Dr. Meeks to come to Merit and test the systems. Dr. Meeks was interested in the viability of the program.  Casey was thrilled to find that the networking issues we’ve had in the past have been solved. He attributes this to the new internet system Merit has through H-Wire.  The ship and its systems performed flawlessly during a test flight, flown last Friday. The ship, The Excalibur, is ready for flights. The second ship, The Katana, has some structural issues that need to be resolved.  Both ships will require future funding to deal with issues that will come up. DSC has changed the focus of their business to provide software for individual users to experience a space center challenge on a PC in the school’s computer lab.  They are calling it an “Infinity Lab”. DSC has only six partner schools that have simulators. Merit is one of those schools. DSC is committed to working with Merit and to helping build a successful space program. They are working at this point to organize field trips for Merit and to market the experience to surrounding schools.  DSC feels confident that Merit’s program will be successful. They are interested in making sure that the classroom experience is entertaining and educational. DSC’s plan is to divert the field trips that have been scheduled in the past, at their central location, to Merit. Casey recommended that the student body at Merit be encouraged to fly on the ships to increase excitement for the program, and thus help market the experience to their friends and neighbors outside of Merit.  Casey asked for contact information for the board and expressed appreciation for working with Dr. Meeks.

 

  1. PVC Report– Joy Herring:  PVC President

The PVC has created a board for the 2016-2017 school year.  There are five members on the board. Thirty parents have signed up to help and have provided contact information to the PVC.  A lack of communication is the number one concern that parents of Merit students have expressed to Joy. She feels that if the calendar on the website was complete and up-to-date, it would help with the communication issues.  She feels that if the website was also current, it would help as well. The number one goal of the PVC is to improve communication between the school and the home and to ensure that more up-to-date information is going out to parents.  

A parent has approached the PVC about helping with the flooding victims from Louisiana.

A concern has been raised about the school moving to a no-bell system.  According to Joy, the students are worried about getting in trouble for using their phones to tell time.  Joy feels that we should put in clocks in the hallways for students to monitor the time. Sherwin asked why should we not have bells?  Dr. Meeks responded that the purpose is to develop students who accept responsibility for their actions and own their behavior. It helps develop relationships of trust and mutual respect between students and teachers.  

Joy feels that the main purpose of the PVC is to be a support to the parents.  She wants parents to feel that she will go to the administration with concerns and that those concerns will be heard and acknowledged.  She sees her role as a liaison between the administration and the parents.

  1. Finance Report- Charter Solutions, Nicole Desmond
    1. Balance Sheet Report- Ending July 31, 2016
    2. Cash Flow Report- Ending July 31, 2016
    3. Income Statement Report- Ending July 31, 2016

The report reflects what was actually received in July.  The annual budget column is based on the budget the board approved in June.  UStar has a negative income amount, Special Ed extended has a negative, and Title One and Title two both list negative amounts.  Those amounts have been requested, but have not yet come in. We anticipate having those funds paid in the August or September allotment.  Changes in staffing are not reflected in the budget presented. When a revised budget is presented, those amounts will be updated. The income statement shows rentals for refinishing the gym floor, updates to the faculty room, the costs for the H-Wire remodel, the purchase of a new lawn mower, and one month of the new lease payment.        

    1. Check Register Report- Ending July 31, 2016

We ended the 2016 fiscal year on target.  The auditors will be at Merit on the 18th and 19th to review the 2016 fiscal year.  They may contact the board chair and the board treasurer for questions regarding the budget.  Once we have solid numbers on enrollment, Charter Solutions will present the board with a revised budget.  They have sent the board a snapshot of where we currently are in regards to the current budget.

  1. Director’s Report–  Dr. Jesse Meeks

Dr. Meeks reported a great first day.  He had several people who came to his office and reported that it was the best first day that the school has had in years.  These reports came from both parents and teachers. The school had a wonderful, student lead assembly. Dr. Meeks introduced himself and the staff.  He and several staff members got out and danced with the students. We had a very successful back to school night. It was very well attended. The first day of school was a very peaceful day.  Both the teachers and students seemed happy. We have 116 new students this year. We have 29 international students at Merit for the 2016-2017 school year. The school is fully staffed. We may need to hire another teacher for the 10th grade English class.  New teacher requirements were passed by the State Board of Education which now allow for schools to hire teachers who do not currently have a teaching certificate. The spirit of the law is to grant a grace period of three years to teachers who may be talented, yet not quite licensed.  The teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. This was passed to help ease the shortage of qualified teachers that Utah is currently experiencing.

 

  1.  Consent Agenda:
  1. Finance Report– Ending July 31, 2016:  Sherwin made a motion to accept the finance report ending on July 31, 2016 as presented by Nicole. Nanette seconded the motion.  It was approved unanimously.
  2. Minutes– May 2016

      June 2016:  Sherwin moved that the board meeting minutes for May and June be accepted.  Angela seconded the motion. The board approved them unanimously.

  1. Distance Education Partnerships– Merit has not yet offered any formal agreement to Williamsburg or Harmony for a distance education partnership.  Some concerns that have been felt by Dr. Meeks, John, and Angela include the fact that provisions for such a partnership are not found in our charter and forming such a partnership could result in sanctions from the state.  They are also worried about diluting the “Merit” brand and adding additional workload for the staff. There is concern that partnering with such programs will drop Sage scores and lower Merit’s graduation rate. The teachers are not excited about the prospect of the partnership.  As a board, we want our school to stand on its own merits. The main benefit for accepting a partnership is an increase in enrollment numbers, which will add financial benefit. It is necessary for the board to decide if they are comfortable with the risks of such a partnership, or if they are willing to take a chance that Merit will be able to meet its enrollment needs.  Sherwin, John, Angela, and Nanette all originally felt that the only viable option was to accept the student enrollment from an outside program. Because of our staffing changes and our strong enrollment numbers, the board feels like it now has other options. The investors have addressed the possibility of approaching the bank and requesting that the lease payment be reduced.  As a school, Merit is showing a growth trend. If the school can enroll 332 students, it will break even with the finances. Our Numbers are at 315 students currently. Angela made a motion that the board withdraw its intent to partner with Williamsburg Learning. John seconded the motion. The decision carried unanimously with all board members.

 

  1.  Public Comment:  none

 

  1.  Board Business:  John has a concern about Merit’s relationship with The Springville Playhouse.  The Springville Playhouse had a meeting with Dr. Meeks today. Dr. Meeks met with Kathy Llewellyn (board President), Dave Chappa , Robinne Booth and Connie Jackson.  They are performing “Arsenic and Old Lace” this fall. The playhouse is on the school calendar for performances, but not on the schedule for practices. They are wanting to set up a stage in the Commons Area.  The stage will take up far too much room in the lunch area for it to be workable. With our increase in student body, we cannot give up that much space. After looking at the available space, the Playhouse decided to use the stage in the gym instead.  The concern of the board is that the relationship be mutually beneficial. John tasked Dr. Meeks with the responsibility to come up with a proposal that we mutually benefit both Merit and The Springville Playhouse. John would like to see Merit reimbursed for expenses incurred because of the use of the building.  He would like to see the Playhouse pay utilities and cleaning expenses. John would like to see a written agreement between the two parties. The board would like to see Merit have greater advertising exposure with them. Dr. Meeks would also like to see their schedule be more accommodating with the school’s calendaring needs.

Communications: John would like to look into the possibility of using text messaging to update parents and keep them informed.  We also need to make sure that our public forums stay up-to-date. April is the point person for the Facebook page.  Angela accepted the responsibility to make sure that the Facebook page is updated with the announcement of board meetings each month.          

Board Bios:  John also asked for board members to send a short bio to him for Merit’s website.  He appealed to members to provide information that will be accessible to the community.  

  1.  Executive Session (if needed):  none needed


10.  Adjourn:  Sherwin made a motion that the meeting be brought to a close.  Nanette seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 7:37p.m. by a unanimous vote. 

8/10/2016

Merit Academy Board Meeting Agenda

August 10, 2016

 

Call to Order:  Welcome by John Young- Chair, 7:23pm

Roll Call:  Angela Bunker, John Young, Sherwin Harris, Nanette Tanner (came late)

Prayer:  Angela Bunker

Pledge of Allegiance:  All

Mission Statement:  Read by John Young

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

Public Statements:  Dave Jungheim has expressed an interest in being part of the board.  Heidi is his daughter. She is going to be a junior. His daughter, McKayla is coming to Merit Academy this year.  He has three younger children as well He has a vested interest in the success of the school. He has worked 24 years in aerospace defense for the Army National Guard.  He just retired. He works full time at BYU’s business school. He is one of the administrators who works with alumni relations. Prior to that he worked for almost nine years in the military science department as a defense contractor.  He has 12 years of college level teaching. He is a native born German, who immigrated as a child. He has 8 sisters and 4 brothers. His hobbies include art work and legos.

Sherwin asked:  “What skills or perspectives do you bring to the Board?”- Dave responded:  He has dealt with alumni relationships, which he feels is important for a school.  He has also done recruiting. He has worked in HR, training, and operations. Mostly he wants to serve and see if he can do some good.  He is highly interested in the education of his children. He feels that Merit has been a good fit for his girls. He wants his children to not only learn in school, but learn things outside of school.  He wants to be involved to help facilitate that learning.

Angela asked:  “What do you see as the role of the Board?”:  He responded that he is still learning that role.  He knows that the board works closely with the director.  The main objective is to work for the good of the school.

Angela asked:  “What kind of a time commitment do you expect?”:  He expects to attend at least monthly meetings. He finds himself at the school on a regular basis.  He expects that to continue. He has made career decisions based on the opportunity for his girls to attend Merit.  He has stayed in Springville, in part, because of Merit and how much his children like attending. When he retires from the guard, he will have more time.  Dave has thought about how to market the school. He has thought about reaching out to feeder schools, siblings of current students and alumni. He is willing to work and to do the work to do things right.  He likes strategy and structure. Dr. Meeks stated that role of the Board is to the establish and guard the vision. They have the role to provide oversight of the vision. An active Board anchors the community.  Dave wanted to know what is our lane, and how to not overstep our lane. He was advised that there are several resources to help board members understand their roles and responsibilities. Sherwin talked about trainings that are available and John let Dave know that, as a board, we would be taking advantage of those trainings throughout this coming year.        

 Sherwin motioned that we accept Dave Jungheim’s application for a position on the Board of Trustees.  Angela seconded the motion. The motion carried in the affirmative.

Director’s Report:

The first day of teacher training was today.  There was great energy. Dr. Meeks shared his philosophy.  He introduced himself. Each of the teachers introduced themselves.  They seemed to feel supported and comfortable with Dr. Meeks. A couple of teachers commented that they were not used to this kind of positiveness.  They talked about the Comprehensive Guidance Program, talked about suicide training, room preparations, and benefits. Dr. Meeks talked to the teachers about being professional.  He talked about being accountable and the opportunity for professional development that will be provided this coming school year. Dr. Meeks feels that it is necessary to have a culture of teacher development.  His Philosophy is that “we govern ourselves on principles and always assume best intent”. Everyone was there except Xanthe, who was picking up a missionary. Tomorrow they will break up into departments and have their first department meetings. The board is welcome to come to any part of the training.  In fact, Dr. Meeks would like for board members to attend, if it is possible.

Marketing Report:  

307 packets have been turned in.  There are 78 potential students who haven’t made a commitment.  We would like to have student council members reach out to the students who haven’t made a commitment.  Angela will reach out to April to get names and also reach out to Rachel to find volunteer student council members to help with the calls. Ten students have said that they are coming to Merit, but have not turned in packets.  Tasi is working to enroll more students in his program as well.

Website Report:  

Sherwin is willing to continue working on the website.  If we find someone else to take on the responsibility, he would be willing to step down.  He is most interested in empowering the teachers to do their own pages. He is willing to provide some training for them.    

Relationship with Springville Playhouse:

We need the Board to have a presence at the play each night and reach out to the community coming to see the play.  Assignments were made that Angela would attend Friday night; on Saturday night, John will attend; and on Monday night, Dave will be present.

Open House Report:  The question was asked about whether or not we should and could have an open house in early September.  The answer was yes, we can plan to have an open house the second week of September. Some other suggestions were:  Could we get a billboard and also advertise on WaterGardens theater screen? Could we get some give away items for a raffle to get people to sign up?  We need to reach out to the parents of our current students. It is the board members’ opinion that they are our best marketing strategy. Another question was asked, “How can the school reach out to students who have decided not to come back?”  It was suggested that perhaps our student council can provide some positive peer pressure.

Dr.Meeks had a great conversation with Jenni Theobald.  She is one of the original founders of the school. She provided some insight regarding Merit.  She expressed support for the current board.

       

Vote on Distance Education Partnership:  

John, Sherwin and Jesse had a chance to browse all of the proposals.  We received 5 RFPs. Three of the RFPs were for curriculum only resources.  Harmony and Williamsburg both present a student population for Merit. Past experiences with Harmony creates negative feelings with some of the staff members.  In order for this to be successful, we need to have a strong registrar. Sherwin made a motion that we accept the Williamsburg agreement. Angela seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously to move forward with the agreement to partner with Williamsburg Academy.    

 

Board Items: None

 

Adjournment:  Sherwin made a motion to close board meeting at 9:28pm. Nanette seconded the motion.  The board agreed and the meeting was closed.  

8/2/2016

Merit Academy Board of Trustees Meeting

August 2, 2016

 

  • 6pm:  Call to Order:  Welcome- Sherwin Harris, 6:08pm  

 

  • Roll Call: Angela Bunker, John Young, Sherwin Harris, Nanette Tanner.

 

  • Prayer:  Offered by Sherwin Harris

 

  • Pledge of Allegiance: All

 

  • Mission Statement:

 

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.-read by John Young

 

  • Public Statements:  None

 

  • Distance Education Partnership:  Report given by John Young.  

John Young, Angela Bunker and Dr. Meeks met with Distance Education Providers, Pete Jensen and James Ure from Williamsburg Learning Charter, which is headquartered in St. George.  This company has been in on-line education since 2010. They also own an accredited school. They are looking to partner with a charter school to provide courses and professional development to students and teachers.  The company’s goal is to create principled leaders. They believe that every student has the potential to change the world in a positive way. Their curriculum is experiential and engaging. They have several leadership courses, which is a major focus for them.  They are looking for students who want to be challenged, who are “out of the box thinkers”. They believe in academic rigour. They provide the instructor and the curriculum- their teachers teach the course and then provide feedback to the teacher of record. They are hoping that Merit will agree to be the school of record.  With this partnership, Williamsburg students then become Merit Academy students. These students are taking online courses, which Williamsburg will provide. Our teachers will have access to the records. Thus, they will be able to see what is going on in the courses they have stewardship for and will also be able to assess how well the students are performing.  Williamsburg has over a 90% course completion rate. Questions were asked about the load the Merit Academy teachers would carry. The teachers would need to check in on students about once or twice a month and at the end of each semester. Teachers will be given a spreadsheet with recommended grades. The teacher would need to review the suggested grade, and if needed, can request a conference with the Williamsburg teacher.  If the grade seems right, the teacher plugs it in (That would be about 2-3 hours of oversight per student). If the Merit teacher prefers, he or she can do a weekly check-in. Some of the elective courses that are offered by Williamsburg are leadership courses, public speaking, debate and journalism. They have a school newspaper. Current Merit Academy students would be able to take their courses. Williamsburg does have some live-interactive courses.  In fact, 80-90% of the courses have a live-interactive component. Other classes are self paced and the students do not join a live, online class. The courses offered by Williamsburg can be found at williamsburgacademy.org.  All of their courses are Utah-core aligned. They have focused on making sure that their core is solid.  They haven’t diversified in electives a whole lot. Leadership is their core objective. Our mission statement and their mission statement are very similar and aligned.  Leaders at Williamsburg have set the goal to teach students how to think critically and to think for themselves. “College leadership” is a course they require of their students in their Junior year.  We have a similar course required of our students to help with college readiness. When asked how many students Williamsburg would like to place here, they said that they are hoping to have 25 to 100 students this year.  They have never had any negative interactions with the state, nor any concerns from governing boards. The Utah State Board and Utah State Charter Board have both approved their charter. Students will come here for state testing.  Merit would be responsible for maintaining Williamsburg students’ school records, conducting state testing, entering grades into SIS, updating transcripts, IEP’s, and 504’s. Williamsburg has a template RFP to share with our board if needed.    

 

       * Lincoln Fillmore from Charter Solutions provided this advice:

He helped Williamsburg write their charter.  They sell an online curriculum.

 

Things to consider:  

  1. We would be outsourcing academic results to another group that we have minimal control over.  Our graduation rate was severely affected with distance online before. Our image was effected with the previous partnership.
  2. Schools who partner with online schools for the purpose of boosting enrollment are frowned upon by the state charter board authorizers.  Schools who have done this have been put on probation. We are likely to undergo some sort of discipline from the authorizers.
    1. Lincoln provided financial update:  Merit is fine on cash for this year.  However, we don’t have the operating revenue to make it through more than one more year, because of our large amount of restricted funds.  We are getting over-funded with special education funds. The way to solve the cash problem is to increase enrollment. We need to get facility costs in-line with enrollment.  
  3. Lincoln’s advice is to proceed with caution, with transparency to those who are supervising us.  We are not sure why our special education money did not get spent. We are likely to have regulatory sanctions if we proceed with a partnership with a distance education school.  
  • The board discussed the contract with Williamsburg Academy.  They asked questions about the process of amending Merit’s charter.  The length of amending the charter is about two months. It will include much more restrictions from the state.  
  • How do we be upfront with the state?  Dr. Meeks has spoken with the State Charter Board Chair.  We need to write an RFP. Williamsburg has a template that Merit can use.  Dr. Meeks will make a call to the state and coordinate with Williamsburg. Dr.  Meeks will request the RFP.
  • John made a motion that we submit an RFP proposal to the state for an online school agreement, stipulating that we do not accept seniors in our program.  Nanette seconded the motion. The board voted unanimously to submit the RFP proposal.

  

  • Special Education Outsourcing Contract:  The transitional services offered to our school counsellor, would be appreciated.  Erika felt like it would be advantageous for her to have the additional support. The program services would make sure that in our program, our teachers are working well together.  The director will make sure we have compliance. Dr. Meeks spoke highly of the SpedCo program. Angela made a motion that we accept the SpedCo contract. John seconded the motion. All board members voted affirmatively to hire SpedCo.

     

  • Ameritus Dress:  About 10% of the student body does not come on Ameritus day.  We discussed the possibility of students wearing business professional dress.  The board decided that we will keep Ameritus dress as it has been in previous years.      
  • Board Support and Roles:  The board’s willingness to help and promote is appreciated.  The role of the Board of Trustees is to look at and protect the mission of the school and hold to the vision.  

 

  • Technology Support Service Update:  There have been no complaints of spotty internet.  A few issues have come up, but have been dealt with in a timely manner.  The faculty room has been re-painted and has new furniture. A separate work room has been created for the staff.  The staff is being moved to google for email and each student will have a google account as well. Students will be able to access “google classroom” at home.

  

  • Recognitions:  Dr. Meeks would like to recognize a staff member or a member of the faculty for excellence.  The investors would like to participate in the recognition.

 

  • Changes on the Board:  Sherwin made a motion that John Young become the new board chair.  Nanette and Angela both seconded the motion. The entire board voted in the affirmative to make John Young the new board chair.

 

  • Executive Session: None needed.

 

  • Action, if any, from Executive session: none

 

  • Adjournment: Sherwin made a motion to adjourn the board meeting. Nanette seconded the motion.  The entire board agreed. The meeting was adjourned at 8:19pm.

7/20/2016

Merit Academy Board of Trustees Meeting

July 20, 2016

 

Call to Order:  7:15 pm

Roll Call: Angela Bunker and Sherwin Harris (present in the room), John Young (called in)

Prayer:  Sherwin Harris  

Pledge of Allegiance: All

Mission Statement: Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

Public Statements:  None

Technology Support Contract:  $1250/month.  A charge of $8,100 will cover upfront costs- this will be paid out immediately.  As new technology is developed, our systems will be replaced. This route is cheaper than having a technology person on site.  Our current internet is out of date. Our filters are not properly used, because they haven’t been installed. The teachers cannot use the internet as it is for instruction in their classrooms.  It is completely unreliable. This will fix that problem. The bid from H-Wire is a good deal for install and right in-line with other technology support systems. The board plans to ask if it would be appropriate to spend some SPED money.  Sherwin accepted the responsibility to contact Charter Solutions to ask that question. John made a motion to approve the contract the board has received from H-Wire. Angela second the motion. The board voted unanimously to accept the technology support contract.     

Distance Education Partnership:  The board discussed partnering with distance education providers.  If we can do the partnership with a K-8 program, the concerns that we have will be minimized.  Our graduation rate would not be affected. Sage test scores would not have the same impact, because the Sage testing for 7th and 8th graders is handled differently by the State. Also, class attendance would not nearly be the same concern because it is not counted toward graduation.  We would support working with Harmony, but cannot feel comfortable having Dr. Meeks’ wife as our mentor. Only because we don’t want there to be any appearance of impropriety. The board has decided to set up a meeting with two board members, a representative from Harmony and Williamsburg, and Dr. Meeks.  Angela will take initiative with setting the appointment and report back to the board.

Special Education Outsourcing:  SpedCo presented a proposal, which was sent to the board via Dr. Meeks.  The board has concerns about the hourly rate for the SpedCo employees. They are uncertain about which services are included in the $2,000 a month payment.  The board would like to ask questions about how much money was actually paid to SpedCo in a year through Dr. Meeks’ last school. The board has decided to gather more information before a vote is taken.    

Ameritus Dress:  The board is wondering if the Ameritus Dress is a way to express school spirit and is part of the identity of the school.  The concern was brought up about the possibility of students sluffing because of the dress code. The board has decided to reach out to students to find out what concerns the students have about the Ameritus Dress Code and will continue the discussion at the August board meeting.   

Executive Session: none was held

Action, if any, from Executive session: none  

Adjournment:  Angela made a motion to adjourn, John second.  The board voted unanimously to adjourn at 7:49pm.  

7/9/2016

Merit Academy Board of Trustees Meeting

July 9, 2016

 

Call to Order:  Sherwin Harris, 9:04pm  

 

Roll Call: Dave Hennessey, Sherwin Harris, John Young, Nanette Tanner, Angela Bunker

 

Prayer:  Nanette Tanner  

 

Pledge of Allegiance: All

 

Mission Statement:  Read by Sherwin Harris

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

 

Public Statements:  none

 

Executive Session:  Dave Hennessey made a motion to leave General Session and enter into Executive Session.  Angela Bunker seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken. Dave Hennessey- yes; Sherwin Harris- yes; John Young- yes; Nanette Tanner- yes; Angela Bunker- yes.  This was done at 9:07pm.

 

Action, if any, from Executive session:  none required

 

Adjournment:  The Board re-entered General Session at 10:55pm.  They adjourned immediately. John Young made a motion for the adjournment and Nanette Tanner seconded the motion.  The vote to close the session was unanimous.

 

6/27/2016

Merit Academy Board of Trustees Meeting

June 27, 2016

● Call to Order: Welcome at 6:01pm by Sherwin Harris
● Roll Call: Angela Bunker-Secretary, John Young, Sherwin Harris-Chair,
Dave Hennessey.
○ Nanette Tanner (not present, excused).
● Prayer: Dave Hennessey
● Pledge of Allegiance: All
● Mission Statement:

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with
the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education
and with the understanding essential for civic and social
responsibility.- Read by Sherwin Harris

● Public Statements: None
● Recognition given, by John Young, to the Bunker family for service for
mowing the grass, trimming the lawn, weeding the beds and cleaning
up the grounds.
● The Board of Trustees announced Merit Academy’s new director:
After completing a very thorough interview process, the Merit Academy
Board of Trustees is pleased to announce Dr. Jesse L. Meeks as our new
Director:

○ Dr. Meeks​ addressed the gathering:
He expressed an excitement for the position and also nervousness for a
new job. He acknowledged that probably everyone felt a bit nervous.
But, that everyone in the room is excited about education. He gave an
introduction of himself. He is married with four children. Two of his
children are students at BYU, a third, a daughter, is going to be a
student at Utah State, and his youngest, a son, is a student at Maeser
Prep Academy. Dr. Meeks completed his Bachelor’s’ degree in history

and sociology. He also did his pre-med. He was interested in
education and interested in being a chiropractor. When the moment of
decision came, he went to chiropractic school. He became a
chiropractor for 15 years. During all that time, he lectured and couldn’t
stop teaching. He put together a constitutional seminar. About three
years before he stopped his chiropractic practice, he started a private
school. He ran the school for three years, it was later sold. During this
time, he realized that his heart was in education and he became a full
time teacher at Maeser Prep Academy for four years. The last two years
he has been a principal at a Charter school in Magna. He intended to
go back to teaching, but got excited about the opportunity to be the
director at Merit and decided to accept the position. He is especially
excited to work with the great staff.
He is an educator because he believes that every student is a genious.
He takes a student where they are and then takes them as far as they
can go. A teacher’ job is to help students see where they can go. He
says, “No pressure, all I ask is that you change the world.” He wants
teachers to provide meaningful experiences in interesting ways. He
loves to connect with the students. His personal phrase is “Go forth
and Conquer”. He looks forward to an exchange of ideas with his staff.
He has an open door policy. He is looking forward to taking Merit
Academy to the next level.

● Student Fees Policy: The Board asked questions about the policy.
Our policy is a compilation of three different policies. The
teachers were interviewed about the needs of their classes,
activities and field trips to help put the fee schedule together.

● Dave Hennessey made a motion to accept the Student Fees Policy.
John Young seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously
in the affirmative to accept the policy.

● Personal leave policy needs to be amended to say that the carry over of
days cannot be more than double the allotment of days

● The Board voted to accept Dr. Meeks Employment Agreement.
Angela Bunker made a motion that the Board accept Dr. Meeks’
employment agreement and hire him as the Director of Merit.

John Young seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken-
Angela Bunker- Yes, John Young- Yes, Sherwin Harris- Yes, Dave

Hennessey- Yes.

● Executive Session: Not needed
● Action, if any, from Executive session: None

● Adjournment: Angela made a motion that the Board bring the meeting
to a close. John Young seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous
in ending the meeting. Sherwin thanked everyone for coming and
closed the meeting at 6:22pm.

6/20/2016

Merit Academy Board of Trustees Meeting

June 20, 2016

● Call to Order: Welcome by Sherwin Harris at 8:12pm.
● Roll Call: Sherwin Harris- Chair, Nanette Tanner- Treasurer, John
Young, Angela Bunker- Secretary.
○ Dave Hennessey was not present (excused)
● Prayer: Sherwin Harris
● Pledge of Allegiance: All
● Mission Statement:Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all
students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher
education and with the understanding essential for civic and social
responsibility.
● Public Statements: none
● Student Fees Policy: We need to look over the policy and vote on it at
our next meeting. The policy needs to be approved as soon as possible
so that the information can be prepared for registration and included in
the student handbook. A plan was made to vote on this policy at the
next Board Meeting.
● Personal Time off Policy: An accrual system is a better fit for our
school. Two other positive aspects of the policy are that the teachers
will receive an additional day off and there will be a limit set for
administrators. A plan was made to vote on this policy as soon as
possible.
● The Board would like to schedule some training in the near future. It
was recommended that we look to July for a time to meet.
● Executive Session: John made a motion that we close General Session
and move to Executive Session for the purpose of discussing personnel
issues. Nanette seconded the motion. The Board invited David Bunker
(HR Consultant) and Jesse Meeks to participate in the Session. A vote

was taken. Nanette- Yes, John- Yes, Sherwin- Yes, Angela-Yes.
Executive Session began at 8:19pm
● Action, if any, from Executive session: Board Members were tasked
with considering all the candidates they have interviewed.
○ Angela Bunker made a motion to leave Executive Session and
re-enter General Session at 10:55pm. John seconded the motion.
The Board voted in the affirmative to close Executive Session.
● Adjournment: General Session was re-entered and immediately closed
by a motion from John Young. Nanette Tanner seconded the motion.
All members were in favor. The Board Meeting was closed at 10:55pm.

6/17/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy
Board of Trustees Agenda
17 June 2016
∙ Call to Order – 5:10, Sherwin Harris
∙ Roll Call: Present: Nanette Tanner, Sherwin Harris, John Young, Angela Bunker
Not Present: Dave Hennessey (excused)
∙ Prayer: Nanette Tanner
∙ Pledge of Allegiance: All
∙ MCPA Mission Statement
o “Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills
required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social
responsibility.”
∙ Public Comments:
John Young­His kids have attended Merit for 5 years. As a parent, he would like the board
to hire a director who has experience as both an educator and an administrator.
Jennifer Young­ As a teacher at Merit, she would like to express thanks to the board. She
indicated that she has spoken with many teachers and they have all expressed faith in the
board’s decision in finding a replacement director.
∙ Finance Update
o Annual Requirement –
Vote on amended 2015/2016 school year budget­ We believe that we’ve received all of the
local revenues that we will receive for this school year. We received $30,000 more than we
previously thought. We are still waiting on some state money. The federal money still has a few
small amounts to pull down. Salaries and benefits have been adjusted to reflect actual
numbers. We will hit the budget numbers for June. There will be a small amount of salary left in
the budget to pay for someone who is helping with maintenance. We will have one more utility
bill. The kitchen remodel is done. The final bill will be coming soon. We still have money left in
the budget to purchase a bus. At the end of year we are $ ­426,681 (a deficit), which is less
than we anticipated (Deficit was a result of lower than expected enrollment numbers and the
decision to use savings from past years in an effort to improve class variety and offerings.) *
Meeting opened for public comments: Jennifer Young asked for an enrollment count: At the May
board meeting the count was 246. There are 263 students enrolled as of today. An additional 6
students have said yes, they are returning, but have not turned in their enrollment packets. We
are finding that about 2 students are signing up everyday.
John Young made a motion to approve the amended budget. Nanette Tanner seconded. The
motion passed unanimously by the board members.
Vote on proposed 2016/2017 school year budget­ In order for the school to break even, we
need an enrollment count of 332­ if we have no raise in the rent. If we do have the expected
raise in rent, the needed number of students increases to 365, + Meridian students. We are no
longer a Title 1 focus school­ because of that, we’ve lost $80,000 in funding. On the positive
side, it means our school is improving. There will be no salary increases for the staff this year.
SpED needs additional budget to pay for an increase in salary for the school psychologist and

additional aides. The lease payment was increased to reflect the increase we anticipate having
this year in our rent payment. Land Grant money is going to be used for teacher salaries.
* Meeting opened for public comments: Blair Reyes clarified the needed number of students.
The number is 365 for Merit to meet its financial obligations without running at a deficit. The
advertising costs went up for the coming year because this year we had a sponsor who was
paying for Merit’s advertising. They were paying for the purpose of awareness and enrollment.
We do not anticipate having the same sponsor this year, so the advertising costs have been
returned to Merit’s budget. The board is hoping that Merit can be better advertised with the
Springville Playhouse. Blair Reyes also asked, “Does Merit have a tag line?” Yes­ we have
three we have used. 1­ “A private school education, at a public school cost”. 2­ “Choose your
quest and change the world”. 3­ “Choose to be More”. The need to brand Merit as a
free­public Charter School was discussed. The public was encouraged to help with advertising
Merit.
Angela moved to accept the proposed budget, John Young seconded the motion. The policy
was voted in the affirmative and unanimously passed by the board.
Directors Report
o Facility Update
§ Springville Playhouse Update: The “Scarlet Pimpernel” has been a fantastic
production. The Springville Playhouse just started holding practices for Annie Jr.­ 50/60
children are here in the building each day. The show will open in the first part of August.
§ Boys and Girls Club/Summer School Update: 20 to 30 kids are here each day. Most
of the kids are here completing packets. They’ve also done guitar, track, basketball. Our faculty
has been able to come in and help kids complete packets. Merit pays for the utilities for the
program. The B&G Club is paying for the faculty and snacks.
§ Improvement Update
Inside/Outside: The whole commons area is being re­painted. The Gifford Family has
been doing the painting. The outside improvements are being put on hold because of lack of
funds.
§ Facility Maintenance
∙ The tile floors are being waxed­ The process was started with the Chemistry, Biology,
Earth Systems, and Art rooms­ 7 coats of wax were put down. The floors look great. These
rooms are completed. The faculty and hallway bathrooms have been completed, as well as the
locker rooms. The kitchen and commons areas will be started on Monday. The school will be
open, but there have been some room assignment changes. Maps have been provided for
clarity.
o Gym­ A professional is coming to help resurface the floor in the gym. He has three
days that he can be here next week. This service was donated by the company providing us
with the chemicals.
The carpets will be cleaned during the last 2 weeks of July.
∙ The staff will manually reset the lockers July 5­7.

Mark Slik, Assistant Director, made a request that a Board member participate in a
sub­committee to determine how to spend additional monies allocated to the SpED department.
There is about $11, 000 to be spent. Nanette Tanner volunteered to be the board member
involved.
o Policy Update:
Personal Time Off:​ It was recommended by Mr. Slik that Merit Academy move to an
accrual system for time off. It was suggested that full time personnel receive 6 personal days
for those who are 8 month employees, and 8 personal days for those who are 12 month
employees. The policy would include the ability to bank 50% of the given time off each year.
Staff would not be able to accrue more than double what they would normally earn in any given
year.
Our current system only gives 5 days of PTO and it is a “use it or lose it” system.
The proposed “Personal Time Off” policy also clarifies the bereavement policy. It
clarifies how to use the days off, which family members would qualify for bereavement time­off,
and how many days the employee can use.
∙ Student Fees​: The board was given a draft of the 2016/2017 school year student fees
policy. The policy includes all fees, including: class fees, library fees, donations, athletics,
cafeteria fees, school activities, field trips, misc. fees, etc. Board Members were also given an
updated policy about how to include students with fee waivers and give them an opportunity to
earn money to supplement fee needs. It is ok, according to state law, to ask a student to
participate in fundraising in order to cover fee­waived expenses. If a student turns down an
opportunity to participate in fundraising, the school can waive the waiver and the student may
not be able to participate in the activity.
Attendance Policy:​ The current policy has some holes in it. The school needs to look
at the reasons why students are missing. (504 forms, chronically missing students) The policy
talks about what is an absence, which tardies can be excused, home­bound students, and the
10­day rule. This information will be made available to parents and students, both online and in
the handbook. The policy talks about the consequences of a habitually truant child.

Executive Session: John Young made a motion to move to Executive Session to discuss
personnel issues. Nanette seconded the motion. A vote was taken. Vote: Angela­Yes,
John­Yes, Sherwin­ Yes, Nanette­ Yes. The board invited David Bunker (HR consultant) and
Jonathan Frey to the executive session. Denece Kitto was invited to join the Executive Session
later in the evening. The Executive Session began at 6:11pm.
Action Items resulting from Executive Session: None were needed

Adjournment: Executive Session concluded at 10:32pm, and the Board moved into General
Session. John Young made a motion to end the General Session. Angela Bunker seconded
the motion. The meeting was adjourned.

6/15/2016

Merit Academy Board of Trustees Meeting

June 15, 2016

● Call to Order: Sherwin Harris welcomed participants at 6:10pm.

● Roll Call: Present from the board: Dave Hennessey, Nanette Tanner,
Sherwin Harris, John Young, and Angela Bunker.

● Prayer: (omitted from the meeting due to time constraints)

● Pledge of Allegiance: (omitted from the meeting due to time
constraints)

● Mission Statement:

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with
the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education
and with the understanding essential for civic and social
responsibility.

● Public Statements: None given

● Executive Session: The Board moved into Executive Session for the
purpose of discussing personnel issues. John Young made a motion at
6:10pm to enter Executive Session. Angela Bunker seconded the
motion. A vote was taken from the Board. Vote: Dave Hennessey- Yes,
Nanette Tanner- Yes, Sherwin Harris- Yes, John Young- Yes, Angela
Bunker- Yes. The vote was unanimous and the Board entered executive
session, having invited David Bunker, human resource consultant, and
Mark Slik for the purpose of discussing personnel issues. The Board
exited Executive Session briefly. Mark Slik was excused and the Board

invited Mitchell Argyle to join with them. Executive Session continued
at 8pm.

● Action, if any, from Executive session: none required

● Adjournment: John Young made a motion to end Executive Session at
10:24pm. Angela Bunker seconded the motion. The Board voted
unanimously in the affirmative to end the session. The Board briefly
entered General Session. Angela Bunker made a motion to close the
General Session. John Young seconded the motion. The General
Session of the Board Meeting was closed with a unanimous vote.

6/8/2016

Merit Academy Board of Trustees Meeting

June 8, 2016

● Welcome and Call to order: Sherwin Harris at 5:04pm
● Roll Call: Nanette Tanner, Sherwin Harris, John Young, Angela Bunker
○ Dave Hennessey, not present (excused)
● Prayer: (Due to time constraints, item was omitted from the meeting)
● Pledge of Allegiance: (Due to time constraints, item was omitted from
the meeting)
● Mission Statement:

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with
the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education
and with the understanding essential for civic and social
responsibility.

● Public Statements: None were given

● A motion was made by Sherwin Harris to enter into an Executive
Session. Both John Young and Angela Bunker seconded the
motion. A vote was taken. Vote: Nanette Tanner- yes, John
Young- yes, Sherwin Harris- yes, Angela Bunker- yes. The
Board invited Denece Kitto to join them in the Executive Session.
Following our visit with Ms. Kitto, she left, and the board invited
Jonathan Frey to join the meeting for discussion relating to
personnel issues.

● Executive Session: Entered into Executive Session at 5:04pm to discuss
matters related to personnel issues. Exited Executive Session at
7:50pm

● Action, if any, from Executive session: No action was required as a
result of Executive Session. The board exited Executive Session and
re-entered General Session at 7:50pm.
● Adjournment: John Young made a motion to end Executive Session and
conclude General Session. Nanette Tanner seconded the motion and
the meeting was adjourned at 7:50pm with a unanimous vote.

6/6/2016

Merit Academy Board Meeting Agenda:

June 6, 2016
● Call to Order: Sherwin Harris- 9:09pm
● Roll Call: Sherwin Harris-Chair, Nanette Tanner-Treasurer, Angela
Bunker-Secretary, John Young, Dave Hennessey
● Prayer: Sherwin Harris
● Pledge of Allegiance: All
● Mission Statement: Sherwin Harris

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with
the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education
and with the understanding essential for civic and social
responsibility.

● Public Statements: None Given
● Board Items:
○ Charter School Conference: Board Members are welcome to stay the night and
then can request reimbursement. Fuel costs can also be reimbursed. UAPCS
has given grants to pay for these items. There will be no costs assessed to the
school for the conference.
1. Who is going? Nanette Tanner, Angela Bunker, Dave Hennessey, Sherwin
Harris, Department Heads, Mark Slik, LaRinda O’Donnal, and Scott Jenkins
2. When are we going? Classes start at 1:30pm on Monday afternoon. The
classes start 9am on Tuesday morning. There are four classes on Tuesday.
3. Are we carpooling? (when and where) No­ Sherwin is driving up with his family.
Nanette is coming up later. Dave is working in Salt Lake in the morning.
4. Who is staying the night? Sherwin, Dave and Angela are planning to stay the
night.
5. Reserving hotel rooms­ There are rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn that have been
set aside for conference participants. They may not still be available. Each
Board Member should book their own room.
6. Which classes should we attend? Each of us will choose classes to attend and
then share the things we learn with one another. We will communicate our choice
through email by Friday this week.
7. When can we meet while at the conference? We will not plan to officially meet,
nor make any decisions.
8. Do we need to register separately for the meals? No the meals are included.

● Items Mark has asked for help with:
1. Updating policies­ binder. We will work on the policy binder while at the
Conference during down times. Angela will ask Mark to bring the policy papers
to the Conference. Angela will also ask Jenni Theobald to email the board the
digital copies of the policies.
2. Updating board files at the school. We will work on the binder at the UAPCS
Conference.
● Executive Session
○ Nanette made a motion to move into Executive Session to discuss personnel

issues. John seconded the motion. A vote was taken: Nanette­ Yes, Angela-
Yes, John­ Yes, Dave­Yes, Sherwin­ Yes. The board invited David Bunker to join

the Executive Session to advise the board regarding best hiring practices.
Executive Session began at 9:35pm.

● Action Items Resulting from Executive Session:
○ John will contact candidates and set up interviews for Wednesday, June 8 at 5pm
and 6pm and also next Wednesday, June 15 at 6pm,7pm, and 8pm
○ Angela will post meeting notices on Utah Public Notices website.
○ Each member of the Board will choose three questions to include in the interview
process and then email those questions to everyone else on the board. This is to
be done by the evening of Tuesday, June 7.

● Adjourn:
○ Angela Bunker made a motion to leave Executive Session. John Young
seconded the motion. The board voted in the affirmative and the Executive
Session was closed. The Board entered General Session at 10:42pm. Dave
Hennessey made a motion to adjourn. John Young seconded the motion. The
Board voted unanimously to end the Board Meeting at 10:42pm.

5/17/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy Board Meeting

Board of Trustees’ Agenda:
May 17, 2016
● Call to Order: Sherwin Harris- 6:07pm
● Roll Call: Sherwin Harris-Chair, Nanette Tanner-Treasurer, Angela
Bunker-Secretary, John Young.
Dave Hennessey- not present (excused)
● Prayer: Angela Bunker
● Pledge of Allegiance: All
● Mission Statement: Sherwin Harris

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with
the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education
and with the understanding essential for civic and social
responsibility.

● Public Statements: John began the discussion by reading the policy on
public comments.
○ Jennifer Young- Sent an email. She is concerned that this is the
6th director hired at Merit in 9 years. She encouraged the board
to find a director who has experience in both the education and
charter school world.
○ Tiffany Chamberlain- Agreed with Jennifer
● Student Life Update: Brinler Tanner- The prom and promenade
happened on April 23. Prom had a great turn out. The promenade was
fun, and the students performed well. Everyone who came had a great
time. Anime had a movie night, which went very well. Soccer is over,
except for the girls have one soccer game left (12:30). The last week of
school includes an Aquarium Day (24), Lagoon (25), the Luau dance
and the Senior all nighter is the Friday before (20).
● Director’s Report:

○ Enrollment- 250 enrollment packets have been turned in. 46 of
those are new students.
○ Assessment- We are very close to being done with Sage. The
science scores are fantastic. English needs some looking into it.
Our scores were not as strong. Math testing is still in progress,
but preliminary scores look really good. We have been randomly
picked to test 8th graders in reading and math. The legislature is
discussing getting rid of sage tests all together.
○ The Knighting Ceremony is at 1:15pm on Friday, May 20.
Graduation is on Thursday, May 26 at 4pm. Board members,
staff and students should arrive by 3:15pm. The Spring Concert is
on the 18th. The instrumental concert is the next night on the
19th.
○ Kim gave her official notice that she is stepping down as the
director of Merit Academy. She thanked the staff, Charter
Solutions, and Board Members, Dave Hennessey & Sherwin
Harris.

● Finance Update: The budget needs to be reconciled to within 5% of
actual expenditures. We will discuss budget next month. The kitchen
remodel should be finished by June 1. The 2017 budget is projected on
332 students (excluding Meridian). Hand-outs were given for the 2016
budget and 2017 budget, more discussion about budget will happen
next month and a vote needs to be taken to approve the budgets.
● Facility Improvement Update: Mark Slik presented the improvement
plan. Over the summer, we are resurfacing floors, thin clients for
North lab are being installed, carpets are being cleaned, lockers need to
be manually re-set, the fencing from the ball fields needs to be
installed. We have a bid out for landscaping. There are homes being
build to the east of us. Bus #10 overheated again and it needs to be

replaced because it is completely unreliable. The company who towed
it, wants to buy it. Merit will be allowed to strip the bus and be paid
$850.00. We have looked at buses. We will bid on a bus in Texas. The
board approved $6500.00 for the purchase of a new bus.
● Contracts:
○ Harward Irrigation Systems- The school would like to open an
account for sprinkler supplies. There are repairs that need to be
made and having an account will cut down on the costs. John
Young made a motion to approve an account, Angela Bunker
seconded the motion. The board vote was unanimous in the
affirmative.
○ Home Depot- The school would like to open an account for
supplies, again they will get a discount. John Young made a
motion to approve the account. Angela Bunker seconded the
motion. The Board vote was unanimous in the affirmative.

● Update School Calendar
○ Bell Schedule- There is concern with the bell schedule. It has
been proposed that the school move to having 8 periods, instead
of 9. As a result, school may end at different times on different
days. We could boost the after school program with the new
schedule. The teachers would have less to prep for and it would
relieve some of their stress. There would be less classes to take,
and so our Seniors wouldn’t have extra hours at graduation. It
seems that some Seniors are bored and running out of classes
they want to take. The school is required to hold session each
year for 990 hours, and 180 days to meet state standards. The
proposed plan is to hold 5 classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and
Fridays; and 3 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

● State Report for Special Education Inspection: 28 record errors were
discovered, all were corrected on-site. The inspection went well and
the inspectors were impressed with our program. They were very
complementary.
● Continuity of Operations Update: Summer needs to be a time to
complete facilities projects. The student and employee handbooks both
need to be updated. Our policies need reviewing and updating. We
need to set student fees. Our procedures need updating. The school
needs to do some planning regarding field trips and school activities.
Our transportation needs updating. We need to review and plan for
improvements in mentoring, updating and scheduling the school
calendar, teacher development, student assessments and teacher
evaluations. We are planning on providing summer school this year.
The plan is to have 2 hours of academics and 2 hours of sports and
clubs.
● PVC Update: The ties and scarves have come in. They will be presold at
$10 for scarves and $12 for the ties. The PVC had a parent recognition
breakfast. There were 10 parents who showed up. The PVC gave
recognition awards to four of the parents for outstanding service. Joy
Herring is going to be the new PVC President for 2016/2017 school year.
● Approval of April Board Meeting Minutes: Nanette made a motion to
accept April’s Board Meeting Minutes. John seconded the motion. The
minutes were approved unanimously.
● LEA Audit Discussion: The state has requested that each school report
on who is part of their audit committee . Most schools did not report.
A letter was sent to each school board requesting that they report who
is on their audit committee. The audit committee needs to report
privately, thus we cannot have a quorum. Also, school employees
cannot be part of the audit committee. Audits are being done on all

aspects of the school. We need to engage an auditor, who then makes a
report to the state. Our school is small enough that we don’t have to
have an internal auditing committee. Our auditing committee needs to
have two board members and a member of the community. We will
submit a response that the whole board is members of the audit
committee and we will have to decide in the future who will be part of
the final committee.
● Director Position- The whole board will meet tonight for the first time
tonight to discuss the director position. The board has sole
responsibility to place an interim director or new director.
● Executive Session- if necessary: John made a motion to move into
Executive Session for the purpose of discussing the director position.
Mandee Black and Nicole Desmond were invited by the board to attend.
Angela seconded the motion. A vote was taken- Nanette, yes; John,
yes; Angela, yes; Sherwin, yes. General session ended at 7:47pm
● Action, if any, from Executive session: The board re-entered general
session at 9:49pm. A statement was made that the Board has decided
to post the position for a director as soon as possible. The position will
be filled when the Board finds the right person. Kim’s contract is valid
through the end of June and in the absence of the school’s director, the
assistant director will assume leadership. The board will not, at this
time, appoint an interim director. The effort will be made to find a
director to lead the school. If this is not able to be done in a timely
manner, an interim director may be placed at a later date.
● Adjournment: Angela made a motion to close General Session, Nanette
seconded the motion. A unanimous vote closed the session at 9:50pm.

4/19/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy Board Meeting

Board of Trustees’ Agenda:
April 19, 2016

● 5pm: Finance Meeting: Training for board members-
Income Statements

● 6pm: Board Meeting Call to Order: Sherwin called to order at 6:07pm
● Roll Call­ Attending: Nanette Tanner­Treasurer, Sherwin Harris­ Chair,
John Young, Angela Bunker­ Secretary, Mark Slik­ Assistant Director,
Mandee Black & Nicole Desmond­ Charter Solutions.
● Prayer: Nanette Tanner
● Pledge of Allegiance: Sherwin Harris
● Mission Statement:

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with
the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education
and with the understanding essential for civic and social
responsibility.

● Finance Report: Finances are in line with projections and plans.
Reimbursements from 2015 all received. Amended budget covers
unexpected expenses. Salaries and benefits in line. Discovery Space
Center was paid as professional services, until they were hired as an
employee. This allowed us to use allocated money to pay this
position. Administration continues to keep expenses down. Kitchen
remodel is going to be done this school year.
○ Vote on Amended Budget: The school was able to cut about
$80,000 of expenses. We had an initial deficit of $200,000.
Nanette motioned to accept the new budget. John seconded the
motion. The new budget was accepted by a unanimous vote of
the board members.

● Public Statements: No public statements
● Student Life Update: Larinda O’Donnal, administrative assistant gave
the update. Our play, The Secret Garden has ended. The production
went well. It made about $4,000 after expenses. Soccer has started.
There has been good student support. Prom is on April 23. Student
Government is advertising the dress code. We are including a
Promenade for the first time at Merit.

● PVC Report: Heather Hill­ The parent volunteers are busy preparing
for teacher appreciation week­ (next week­ parents are doing hall
duty, breakfast on Friday morning, and lunch during the week). The
PVC is planning to chaperone for prom. Parent volunteers helped with
the theater production of the Secret Garden. They sold concessions
and took tickets. The PVC is also helping with the Cinco de Mayo
celebration. The ties and scarves for the PVC fundraiser are on order.
They are in school colors. They should be here within a couple of
weeks. There are also water barrels for sale. The PVO needs a quote
from each of the board members to put in the newsletter, as well as
the photos that were taken of the board members. These items will be
in the May newsletter.
● Approval of Minutes: Approval of March board minutes. John made a
motion to accept the minutes from March, Nanette seconded. Motion
carried with a unanimous vote.

● Comprehensive Counseling Guidance Program Update: Scott Jenkins-
New school program was presented on all 12 standards, it was

approved. It was a positive experience. We will receive additional

funding with this success. Every year the State audits new programs-
we were the only one who applied this year, so we will automatically

be audited next year. We need to add a policy about career readiness.
The plan we followed this year with regard to CCR interviews was: 7th

grade­ individual interview with parents, 8th­ school group, 9th-
individual interview with parents, 10th­ school group, 11th & 12th

grade students have individual meetings with parents and counselling
staff.
● SAGE Testing Update: Larinda O’Donnal­ Sage testing starts next
week. We are starting later this year. We are doing this so that we
don’t have finals the week after Sage. Our math, science, and English
scores have all gone up from 2014. A new law passed that 11th
graders don’t have to take Sage test. The state is using ACT scores.
This will be in effect next year.
● Springville Summer Production: Rochelle Zibetti, our English teacher,
is directing “The Scarlet Pimpernel”. This will be Rochelle’s first
directing experience. Robinne Booth is directing “The Foreigner” at the
Covey Center. Mr. Duffin and Ms. Newman are in “The Foreigner”.
● Director’s Report (Given by Mark Slik, Assistant Director)
○ Public Education Summary from Utah Legislation­ HB 155­S2:
Child Pornography reporting updated. Addresses issues

surrounding staff who do not have a Cactus ID #. The school is
required to make a report regardless of the employee’s Cactus
ID status. We need to include this in our employee handbook.
○ 11th Graders no longer have to take Sage tests, the ACT will be
used instead to determine proficiency. We will want to make
sure that all of our 11th graders take the ACT and do their best
on it. This will be part of our school score. So, we will want to
do bootcamps and prep classes.
○ HB 277­S2: Personalized Learning and Teaching Amendment: a
new grant coming out that will be worth some significant money.
There are no procedures set as of yet. The Bill discusses how to
get ready for a digital assessment. We may be able to get some
funds from this program.
○ HB 301 S1: School Bus programs may be able to apply for some
funding. We are one of two charter schools who has a state
approved school bus trainer in a charter school. It is a big deal.
○ HB 343: School Improvement plans are changing.
○ SB 125 S1: After school amendment ($50,000, that we could
use, but there are no guidelines)­ We were given a contact to
get more information. We may be able to get some additional
funding for our school. We are wondering if we might be able to
pay packet­recovery teachers with this funding.
○ SB 149 S2: School grading modification­ 66% of schools will
have A’s, most of schools in Utah are “C” schools­ We are a C
school.
○ Formal Wear Update­ Last year at Prom, the school had to turn
away some students for dress code violations. We may have to
do so again. But, we have made several attempts to educate
both students and parents on the dress code. Emails have been
sent, signs posted, and a flyer was given out with the tickets
that were purchased.
○ Enrollment Update­ Currently we have 264 7­11th graders. Of
those, 221 are planning on coming back (84% said they are
coming back­ these are WPU students). Of the 221 students,
128 kids have completed their enrollment packets. We have 24
brand new students (19% of next year’s student body are new
students). We are budgeted at 290 students, we’d like to be at
310. Historically, we average between 50­100 new students
signing up each summer­ so we are on­track for enrollment,

maybe even a little bit ahead. We will be holding another open
house on April 28th. The open house is all day, but 4:30­6pm is
the busiest time. The Meridian program averages 38­40 foreign
exchange students each year. We need 290/310 + Meridian
students. One of the reason, Meridian students are such a
benefit to the school, is because they pay their fees in full and
on­time.
○ Recruiting and Marketing: A marketing committee meets every
Wednesday at 1pm. The board will be updated on these
meetings.
○ What is a Public Charter School? Packet of information given to
board members to give them perspective on what the leaders of
Merit are trying to do with our school.
○ Building MX/Upgrades­ Throughout the summer, we have
several building updates planned. We will be closing off the gym
to refinish the floor, carpets are being cleaned, the soccer field
needs some sprinkler work, and we would like to update the
doors to allow them to be controlled electronically. At this point,
we only control two doors electronically. We’d like to fundraise to
have a door controller and be able to electronically control 2
additional doors­ The cost is estimated to be $4200.00. We also
need cameras outside. The estimated cost for those is
$2400.00.
○ Open House­ April 28th
○ Graduation­ May 26th/Knighting­ 17th or 23rd ­ The students
submit names and the staff will select four students (two male
and two female) students in the 12th grade who have lived the
values of being a Knight, and they will be knighted and given a
dagger in a ceremony. Winners for the scholarship program at
Merit will be announced at graduation. The board has been
requested to attend both events.
○ Accreditation Update­ 3 years ago we had to go through a full
accreditation process. We were given a 5 year re­accreditation
plan. We need to do a 3 year assessment to determine how well
we have addressed the things we were given to work on. We
had 5 weak points. Points 1­3 are dealing with assessment and
data and the usage of it to drive instruction. Point four was
having an adult mentor assigned to each of the students. Point
five had to do with PLC’s, another data and assessment issue.

We have done fairly well with data assessment, but still have
room for improvement. We have made huge improvements by
having an adult mentor for each of the students, sometimes with
our new SASS program, we have even more. A review of all
points is being done on May 1st.

● Board Member Items: None
● Executive Session­ if necessary: Angela Bunker made a motion to
enter Executive Session. John seconded the motion. A roll­call vote
was taken. Vote­ Nanette Tanner, yes; Sherwin Harris, yes; John
Young, yes; Angela Bunker, yes.
○ Executive Session began at 7:16pm for the purpose of discussing
personnel issues.

● Action, if any, from Executive session: None needed
● Adjournment: John made a motion to end the General Board Meeting
of Merit Academy. Nanette seconded the motion. A vote from all
Board Members was taken in the affirmative, and the meeting was
adjourned at 7:34pm.

3/15/2016

-Merit College Preparatory Academy
Board of Trustees’ Meeting, March 15, 2016

● 5pm: Finance Meeting and Training­ Board members trained on the different
finance spreadsheets and documents used in accounting.
● 6pm: Board Meeting­ Call to Order: 6:15pm
● Roll Call­ Attending: Dave Hennessey, Nanette Tanner­treasurer, Sherwin
Harris­chair, John Young, Angela Bunker­secretary, Kim Mitchell­MCPA
Director, Mark Slik­MCPA Assistant Director, Larinda O’Donnal­Administrative
Assistant, Nicole Desmond & Mandee Black­ Charter Solutions
● Prayer: Nanette Tanner
● Pledge of Allegiance: All
● Mission Statement:

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the
knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the
understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

● Approval of Minutes: Motion made to approve January and February board
meeting minutes­ John moved, Nanette second, all approved. Minutes were
approved.
● Public Statements: None
● PVC Update: Joy Herring gave report. The PVC is working with
manufacturer to get ties and scarves­with Merit logo on them­ Scarves and
ties are in production. It will be a fundraiser for the PVC. They should be
available in 6 weeks. The scarves and ties will be for sale for the next school
year.
● Student Life Update: Laura Warner­ Seniors just got back from SR. trip. The
9th grade went ice skating. Soccer season started this week. Play opens
this week. Things going well. Student body happy.
● Director’s Report: Kim Mitchell
○ Land Trust: Discussion and Vote: Kim gave a list of appropriate and
inappropriate expenditures. She presented two proposals for the
board to consider. 1. Improving Wireless Infrastructure 2. Teacher

Salary­ give money to social studies to pay for an additional teacher-
keep class size to 15. ­John moved that we accept the proposal for

the use of Land Trust Money for the “Teacher Salary” option,
Angela­second. Motion passed unanimously
○ Training­ board members trained in finance meeting
○ Assessment and Data­ ACT given on March 1. We were given 54 /154
pts last year, 42­ Springville High, 42­ for APA
○ Sage tests start after Spring break and go all the way to May.
Teachers have received interim scores and have made plans to
improve actual Sage scores.

○ Enrollment­ 12 new students have given paperwork for next year. We
have 75 leads to follow­up on. April, Martie, Scott, and Kim will
follow­up with the leads to see if they are coming to Merit next year.
The plan is to complete the follow­up calls next week.
○ 237 current students, 208 have said they are coming back (88%
returning), 12 have said not coming back­ moving, new school,
graduating early (5%)­ none of the students in the “no” category are
disappointed, or leaving because expectations are not being met. 15
“maybes”, 2 “not sure”
○ April 18­ Comprehensive Guidance Review for the counselling
department. We will be getting $ if approved
○ Administration has done staff feedback and evaluation on all teachers.
The feedback has been well received.
○ SPED review: Last year we were in the “yellow”­ not good, given a
mentor­ this year we are on “guiding” level­ this is because of our bad
financial audit 2 years ago. Terry Henry is appealing the audit with
our report of two years of good finances. The woman who did the
report was impressed with our school. Typically, charter schools don’t
do as well as public schools in their SPED department. We did very
well.
○ Events: Theater­ Thursday, March 17, opening. Soccer schedule
available on website­ season is underway. Saturday 9­11am, Mr. Slik
is asking for volunteers to work on soccer field. Fourth term begins
Monday, 21. Open house and Ameritus day is on March 24. BYU is
coming to the school to do a Financial aid presentation on March 25 for
the student body and their parents . Academic Showcase­ 30th,
5:30­8­ dinner served for a fee. An art exhibit will be on display.
Spring break April 4­8th. Senior trip was awesome! Being at the
beach was a new experience for some. During the trip, students
learned to budget and tip. 7th and 8th graders going on a day­trip
April 1st. 9th graders went ice skating. Kim made the board aware
that on facebook is­ “The best of Utah County”­ page 12­14, put in our
name and get vote­ once per email address. PVC was asked to get the
word out. Voting closes on 21 March.
○ Open house for February was tremendously successful. We had a
crowd visiting the school. So many people wanted to tour the school
that we didn’t have enough tour guides to accommodate them.
○ Our Theater department is going to compete at State. 15 of 19
students are moving on from regional competition.
○ Dance company went to state competition and received a superior.
○ Boys basketball had a successful season. They competed well at
State. Kim felt like having the student body attend the competition
would have improved the boys’ playing abilities.

○ Kim is feeling good about direction of school.
○ For the next school year, the schedule is going to 8 periods­ 4 on
Monday & Wednesday, 4 on Tuesday & Thursday­ Probably going to do
all classes on Friday for 37 minutes.

● Finance Report: Nicole Desmond and Mandee Black
○ Board received training. Days cash on hand 103. Local revenues
looking good. School has done a good job of collecting fees­ Jaime is
still trying to collect some fees. We are needing to make a budget
adjustment in April. Need to amend workers comp line in particular.
Administration is being vigilant in watching school expenditures.
Supply budgets are being watched closely. Doing a good job of
watching expenditures. Budget amendment tabled last month. We
will be bringing it for approval next month

● Policy/ Facilities/ Agreements and Contracts Discussion: Mark Slik­
○ Policies:
■ Dress Code Policy­ approved last month
○ Facilities:
■ Soccer Field Prep Day: Saturday, March 19­ working on
cleaning up the field for the coming year.
■ Summer Projects: Install fencing, Build bookcases, Build hall
passes

○ Agreements and Contracts:
■ Zaycon Fresh­ like “Swann”, they are coming in March, April,
and May­ school is getting some food as a benefit for hosting
them. It will pull Springville citizens to our school location.
■ Mr. Utah Basketball update­ 46 games at $50.00 a game­ 6th to
8th graders involved.
■ UVU Community Education update­ this past year we brought in
community members to our school to take classes­ pottery,
dance, cooking­ this has brought in about 100 people. Positive
comments are being made about our school at these classes and
we are getting exposure to the community.
■ Space Camp update­ 1 simulator up and working. Grace Bible
church­100 kids ran thru. The children enjoyed the experience.
We have 3 schools who are interested in field trips. Casey
Voeks has been working with us in building flyers, promoting us
to schools, and putting together cost structure. 1 student will
take his test this week­end to be an actual flight director.
■ Cyber club­ competed regionally. Both teams placed in top tier
of their categories. A very positive news story was written
about our team.

● New Business: Meridian Report­ the school year has been great. Foreign
students did well in basketball. We have been able to use the English
program to help support local students. Working on cultural block
particularly with the Chinese. Last year had 36 students over the whole
year. This year we have had 39 students for the whole year. Meridian would
like to have more growth for next year. Merit and Meridian looking at which
programs would work well together. We want to partner with foreign
schools. Meridian would like a more substantial presence at Merit. As people
visit, they don’t recognize where Meridian is, in the building.
● Board Member Items:
○ Is GBOT accessible?: Yes­ information was given to members for
log­ins
○ Training for Board: Next month, more financial review before board
meeting

● Executive Session: Not necessary
● Action, if any, from Executive Session: N/A
● Adjourn: John motions to adjourn at 7:22pm, Nanette seconds the motion.
Vote is unanimous for adjournment.

2/16/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy Board Meeting
Board of Trustee’s Agenda: February 16, 2016

● Call to Order: Sherwin Harris­ 6:16pm
● Roll Call­ Attending: Angela Bunker­ Board Secretary, John Young,

Dave Hennessey, Nanette Tanner­Board Treasurer, Sherwin Harris-
Board Chair, Kim Mitchell­Director, Mark Slik­ Assistant Director,

Nicole Desmond and Mandy Black ­Charter Solutions, Scott
Jenkins­School Counsellor, Larinda O’Donnal­ Administrative Assistant,
Heather Hill­ PVC President
● Prayer: John Young
● Pledge of Allegiance: All
● Mission Statement: Kim Mitchell

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with
the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education
and with the understanding essential for civic and social
responsibility.

● Approval of Minutes: task not done this meeting
● Public Statements: Keri Young­ daughter wants to take classes at the
ALC and there is a conflict with our M days and T days, it is very
difficult because of the district schedule of A­B days. Kim Mitchell
replied: all bell schedules are being reviewed at this point. Teachers,
students, parents, and administration will be surveyed for
recommendations and input.
● PVC Update: Heather Hill­ “Parents are involved”­ at Quiz Knight,
parents were surveyed about how to participate in the school.
● Student Life Update: Brinler Tanner (Senior Class President)­ Student
Government sold cookies and balloons for Valentine’s day­ sold
$130.00. SG had prep rallies for Boys Basketball­ had good turn­out
at the games following. Sweethearts Dance is this Saturday (Feb 20)­
Humanities class puts this on. Chinese New Year was good­ 80­90
students attended, had a Chinese Dragon, cracked eggs on their head,
sent lanterns off, had a variety of students attend.
● Director’s Report: Kim Mitchell

■ Sage: Math & Science scores are in. Kim asked teachers
to use data to make a plan for their classes for the
remainder of the year. English scores not in. Teacher
training has started in staff meeting ­ January theme was

“change”. Talked about passive­aggressiveness, don’t
avoid­ discuss. February­ peer observation. March­ all
day teacher training­ “Teach Like a Champion” (49 traits)­
the book that the administration is using to base training
points on.
■ Enrollment­ 12 new students since January 1. 11 new
students for next year. 56 contacts to explore for next
year­ 6 have said no, 50 live contacts.
■ Parent report­ Merit very competitive with surrounding
school with test scores.
■ Intent to re­enroll: 95.9% of those turned in, students
coming back. The reason for those not coming back:
moving
■ Pre­enrollment: packets given out last week
■ Reagan: Was the new director announced today? We
would like to make contact.
■ Departments: “keeping everyone in their lanes”­ working
with Special Ed­ processes (planning a survey to assess
successes); Meeting with Assistant director on Mondays
and Fridays for weekly planning, ASL teacher quit Tuesday
morning­ ASL classes have been cancelled as a result.
■ ACT given to Jr Class­ March 1, Jrs come, no other
students in the building that day
■ Quiz Knight very successful, made good money
■ Boys Basketball going to state on March 2

● Finance Report: Nicole Desmond­ “finances are good”, presented a
revised budget­ we have to approve the budget in June because it has
to be submitted by July 15­ Asked for approval of revised budget,
board asked for further training. Revised budget approval tabled.
● Annual Comprehensive School Counselling Report: April 18 State
coming to decide if we get money for our program. Faculty, parents
and students were surveyed. Mentoring will start “Utah Futures” next
week in class.
● Policy Discussion: Mark Slik­
○ Dress Code Update­
■ Physical Activity Dress Code­ recommended changes,
Nanette motioned to accept, Dave second, all in favor of
passing the revised dress code­ Motion passed

■ Volunteer Policy­ introduced to the board, further
information coming in the future. Policy needed because
of volunteers who later decide that should be paid for their
services.

● Follow­ up on Action Items and Policy:
○ Lighting­ summer project
○ Chain link fencing­ more work being done in the spring as the weather
improves and ground thaws
○ Refinish gym floor: using money from Grace Bible church, has to be done
this summer­ cannot be in use while being refinished
○ Need new copier­ Copiers (2) are now in place, staff is being trained on
use, they are enjoying them
○ Refinish parking lot: looking for resources, but putting it off at this point
because of other projects that have higher priority
○ Buses: UDOT program­ Dave will look into it. Buses are operating much
better
○ Fire inspection­ need sprinklers in kitchen, some money from the kitchen
remodel will be used
○ Ameritus Assembly­ February assembly: internet safety, March assembly:
value of education
○ Grace Bible Church: coming this weekend, paying $1000.00
○ Mr. Utah Basketball wants to use our facility for games Thursdays and
Saturdays
○ UHSAA: wants to use our building for region 2A play offs
● Board Member Items:
○ Training­ Need access for new board members for GBOT, waiting for
system to be up. State Office has been contacted.
○ Charter Solutions to provide training for board members on financial
reports and processes

● Executive Session: Angela moves that we close general session and
move into executive session. Kim Mitchell and Mark Slik were invited

to attend. Nanette second. Roll call was taken and the count was
unanimous.
○ Student Issues:
● Action, if any, from Executive Session: none
● New Business:
○ 165 students back on failure list. Teachers asked to look at
themselves and solutions.

● Adjourn: John moves to adjourn, Nanette seconds, all in favor-
8:30pm

1/25/2016

Merit Academy Board of Trustees
Work Session
January 25, 2016

Attending: Kim Mitchell, Sherwin Harris, Nanette Tanner, John Young, Angela Bunker
Purpose of Meeting: To set goals for both the Director, Kim Mitchell,l and the Board of Trustees
Goals​:
Goals for Kim​:
1. Enrollment 160 more kids. Replace the 54 seniors plus 1oo
2. Helping teachers understand the need for how data is evaluated and acted upon a. Would
like to help the teachers see how they can improve their teaching (e.g. have them record
themselves and give feedback on what they can do better. The video is for the individual
teachers not for Kim to review b. This helps people realize the benefit they add
3. Making the relationship work better with Reagan a. The board needs to help with this
4. Helping people learn to stay in their lanes, maximizing the value from their skills will have
regular meetings about what is expected
Goals for the Board:
1. Training
a. utips
b. UAPCS
2. Preparation for Board responsibilities
a. We need to have the finance reports reviewed before our meetings.
b. We need to have minutes reviewed.
3. Director Accountability
a. Follow up on director evaluation process
4. Create Board Member continuity system
a. Board orientation process
b. Everyone will complete the training modules
5. Parent Advisory Committees
a. This is a hope and would be a great feeder system for the board

1/19/2016

Merit College Preparatory Academy Board Meeting

Board of Trustee’s Agenda:
January 19, 2016
● Call to Order: Sherwin Harris, 6:08pm
● Roll Call­ Attending: Dave Hennessey, Nanette Tanner­Treasurer,
Sherwin Harris­ Chair, John Young, Angela Bunker­ Secretary.
● Prayer: Mark Slik
● Pledge of Allegiance: Sherwin Harris
● Mission Statement: Sherwin Harris

Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with
the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education
and with the understanding essential for civic and social
responsibility.

● Public Statements: Heather Hill: PVC report­ The PVC sponsored
“Authors and Books” night in January. Sharon provided dinner. The
authors spoke about the positive connections made between parents
and students when they are reading the same books. There were 54
attendees. Free books were given to all who attended. The PVC is
planning to do a fundraiser to sell scarves($10­presale/12) and
ties($13­presale/15). The scarves and ties will be made in Merit’s
school colors and have out name. They will be appropriate for
Ameritus Day. Quiz Knight­ PVC helped with these donations: sets of 6
items to give away, baskets, silent auction materials. The PVC
committee is making food for inspirations night. They need volunteers
for selling tickets at the play and selling concessions at basketball
● Approval of Minutes: John moved, Nanette second, unanimous vote for
approval.
● Student Life Update: The new term has started. The student
government is looking for ways to lighten students’ loads. The bball
teams have 2 home games this week­ West Ridge boys­(Wed),
girls­(Tues), St Joseph­girls (Thursday), boys (Friday)
● Finance Report: The finance team is currently going thru and updating
the budget­ they have found that yearbook sales are down, the
number of adults eating lunch is down, but the administration has
done a good job collecting fees this year. 58% of fiscal year
completed, an updated budget will be voted on soon.
● Director’s Report:

○ Marketing Plan Presentation­ Focus: marketing/advertising, recruitment,
and retention
○ Enrollment is + 7 (total 321). The focus for Kim for next 2 months: getting
kids in the door, working with a marketing firm to do so. April Leavitt has
been hired. She is doing PR­ 30 hours a week. We have an 85% retention
rate for the last two years. School is sending out intent to re­enroll within
the next week. There are 3 open houses planned for Jan 28, Feb 25, Mar
24 (all Ameritus days)
­Sage testing is going on now­ our school is doing well.
­Inspirations awards night is this Saturday
­January 29, BBall game and late night dance.
­Poetry out loud­ January 29 (need a judge­ 8:30­11, Nanette volunteered
to judge)
­Quiz Knight­ Feb 6­6pm, $10 per seat
­Donuts with Director­ Feb 9­8:30
○ Boys and Girls Club Partnership: we are currently waiting for funding
from the grant to pull down. It will be free for the students. They can ride
the bus home 3 days a week for free. A free snack will be provided. The
snack will contain at least 2 food groups. All of the teachers and parents
who are involved are ready to go, we are just awaiting approval. The
schedule will be as follows: 3:30­4 snack and homework, 4­6 is program
time. Grades 7­12 (age 12­18) will be included. There will be no income for
school, but we will have exposure to the community. The teachers will be
paid from funds provided by them. We will also be given some IT help and
cleaning help. It’s a good community partnership for our school.

● Follow­ up on Action Items and Policy:
○ Lighting: Hallways, Theater, Parking lot­ these needs will be re­assessed
and done, per budget availability, in the summer.
­Chain link fencing­ to be done in the summer as part of field improvement
project.
­Need to refinish gym floor: will happen over the summer.
­We need a new printer­ the old one is wearing out. The administration is
looking into possibilities.
­Refinish parking lot: we will look at the budget and make an assessment
during summer
○ Buses: UDOT program­ Dave will look into it

● Board Member Items:
○ Work Session: January 25­ 1­5pm, need to post agenda for the meeting.
● Executive Session­ if necessary­ Not needed
● Action, if any, from Executive Session: none
● Adjourn­ move­Angela, second­John, unanimous­ meeting adjourned
at 7:47pm

 

 

 

11/17/2015

Merit College Preparatory Academy Board Meeting
Board of Trustee’s Agenda: November 17, 2015
● 6:00 p.m. – Call to Order
● 6:01 p.m. – Roll Call- Attending: Angela Bunker, John Young, Sherwin Harris, Nanette Tanner, Dave
Hennesy
● 6:03 p.m. – Prayer: John Young
● 6:06 p.m. – Pledge of Allegiance: Sherwin Harris
● 6:08 p.m. – Mission Statement: Mr. Brothers
Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills required to
excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.
Emphasized his ability to work with students that have difficulty learning. He focuses on helping them to
be appreciated and become good citizens, knowing they are loved and can do hard things.
● 6:13 p.m. – Public Statements:
● 6:23 p.m. – Approval of Minutes: Moved John Young, 2nd Dave Hennesy, unanimous approval
● 6:25 p.m. – Student Life Update: Brinler Tanner
Homecoming very successful, Basketball just starting
● 6:35 p.m. – Finance Report: Mandy
Audit and financial statements available in next few weeks. No findings or management notes in
preliminary findings
Moved to accept by Nanette, 2nd John, unanimous approval
● 6:50 p.m. – Director’s Report:
SASS is doing very well, lots of students, using field trip to motivate
TESS, teaching education support system, starting well but will take 2 years
Interim testing for SAGE, coming up in January
Working with Marketing team to determine how we get students here
Landscaping plan, present on Friday from BYU Landscaping
Meeting with Reagan on Thursday to see about working together
World War 2 veteran came today to speak

Nov 19th is Ameritus day
Dance department Concert is 20th and 21st
Mtulu dinner 21st 5:30 – 7:30
Thanksgiving vacation
Drama Concert
Dec 8th, Donuts with Director, 10th grade trip
Dec 9th, National Honor Society induction
Dec 10th, Music Department concert
Dec 11th, Energy Solutions game
3 years ago an audit was performed,
4 Categories, minimum, partial, sufficient, substantial
we were are 33% acceptable ratings
This was just redone in October
the 2 areas of focus Leadership and Culture, is now 60% and no minimums
Culture is now 100% passing
Now we will focus on teaching and learning
Alan Bird is getting a Mayors award tonight
Larinda – Title 1, presenting information
letters are sent to parents that have students in the math or English labs
We are a focus school, based on graduation rate from 2-3 years, the letter says why
We have received $40k additional funds to help our students in Title 1
Provide ways that parents can help their students
Parent school educational compact, shows what the school will do to facilitate the parent
interaction with the school, as well as what expectations there are for the teachers. Also, expectations for
the parents to promote learning inside and outside the school. Finally, what students will do.
Mentioned the Data Gateway on schools.utah.gov
90 day action plan, relating to tests. Required to set goals. Looking to increase student
engagement and we will have more students excelling. Comes from the report that was gotten in October

Two kids participating in Springville Youth Court
● 7:05 p.m. – Follow- up on Action Items and Policy – Assistant Director:
o Dress Code Policy: Update to address wearing of images of weapons
Moved, Nanette, 2nd John, approved
o Update Academic Policy to address performance grades
Moved, Angela 2nd, John approved
o Student Usage of Information Technology
Moved, Nanette 2nd, Sherwin approved
o Usage Policy for Excess Information Technology: Discuss
Moved, Dave 2nd Nanette, approved
Agreements/Contracts
o Possible contract for light bar in gym installation: Discuss
BYU Landscaping
Gym and theater improvements/fixing
Sherwin check with Alex Roylance about borrowing cherry pickers to change lights in parking
light
Running coax for security cameras, operating system and hardware upgrades Thanksgiving
PVC is doing wonderful cleaning and helping at the school, helping with lunches, serving in the
library
Buses, 1996, 1999, 2000 bought at ~105k miles, we have spent $34k to buy buses, so far we have
spent 65% of annual bus budget,
Travis is now a certified bus driver trainer
● 7:20 p.m. – New Business:
● 7:30 p.m. – Board Member Items:
○ Training
○ Report on Board Retreat- very worthwhile, need to
Instead of board meeting Goals on Tuesday Dec 15th, 1-5, need to find a place
● 7:50 p.m. – Executive Session- if necessary:

Moved by Angela, 2nd Nanette, approved by roll call, invited Kim and Mark
● 8:00 p.m. – Action, if any, from Executive Session:
● 8:10 p.m. – Adjourn

 

11/4/15

Annual Board Retreat

Board Member Training
November 4, 2015

Attending:
Board Members:​ Sherwin Harris, Dave Hennessey, John Young, Nanette
Tanner, Angela Bunker,
School Personnel:​ Kim Mitchell­ Director, Mark Slik­ Assistant Director
Trainer: ​ Lincoln Fillmore­ Charter Solutions Consultant
Goal: Training
Area #1: Strengths
Questions to ask:
∙ What advantages does your organization have?
∙ What do people in your neighborhood see as your strengths?
∙ What do you do better than anyone else?
∙ What tools do you have that others don’t?
Merit’s Strengths:
Students can be or do anything and everything
Teacher collaboration and supportive culture
Money
Strong leadership
Staff have personal relationship with students
Interaction and connection with students
Awesome lunch program
Space Camp
High quality teachers
Autonomy encourages teacher creativity
Student individuality is valued
Landlord is supportive
Dramatic improvement in academics
Community partnerships (UVU, Springville Playhouse)
High quality electives

Area #2: Weaknesses:
Questions to ask:
∙ What could you improve? What should you avoid?
∙ What is the scuttlebutt among families about your school?
∙ What causes students to withdraw?
What is keeping you from achieving the goals outlined in your charter?
Merit’s Weaknesses:
Low enrollment
High financial obligations
Poor reputation from school’s history
Poor relationship with Reagan Academy
Large restricted SpEd balance
Facilities need improvement
Scheduling difficulties
Lacking data for enrollment struggles
Lacking consistency in grading among teachers
Teachers not always on top of grade books
Area #3: Opportunities
Questions to ask:
· What educational trends do you know about that might benefit you compared to
other schools?
· Useful opportunities can come from such things as:
o Changes in technology and curriculum.
o Changes in your neighborhood, demographic trends, new businesses or
housing developments, etc.
o Changes in state law related to charters or education in general.
Local events
Merit’s Opportunities:
Marketing firm engaged to help
Excellence initiative
SASS and TESS
Potential for surrounding schools to focus on elementary students
Increasing partnerships for visibility

Getting kids in the school for space camp
International shoulder­rubbing
Showcase Merit’s arts programs
Voluntary charter transition
Frontrunner going in across the street

Area #4: Threats
Questions to ask:
· Is any new school opening? Another charter expanding? Is the district
building a new school nearby?
· What are neighboring schools doing that may impact you?
· What obstacles stand in the way of carrying out your charter and achieving
your goals?
· Is there new technology that you aren’t well­positioned to use?
· Is the political environment for charters changing? Might new laws threaten
your ability to attract students or meet your goals?
Do you have bad debt or cash­flow problems?

Merit’s Threats:
Regulations
Increasing debt next year

 

10/20/2015

Merit College Preparatory Academy
Board of Trustees Meeting
October 20, 2015 6:00 PM

 Call to Order – 6:08 PM
 Roll Call – Sherwin Harris, David Hennessey, Nannette Tanner
 Prayer – Nannette Tanner
 Pledge of Allegiance – David Hennessey
 MCPA Mission Statement – Connie Warenski
‘Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills
required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social
responsibility.’
 Public Comments – See Public Comment policy

o Heather Hill – Parent Volunteer Committee update

 Student Life Report
o Brinler Tanner
 Sr Night for Volleyball, including faculty vs student game
 This Friday is Homecoming – 8:30 to 11
 Senior Trip in March – to California

 Approval of prior minutes

o September 2015. Moved – Nannette, Seconded Sherwin, Unanimously
approved
 Finance Report
o Max
 Days cash on hand is 119
 Fed revenue doesn’t come till 2nd quarter of next calendar year
 Progressing normally

 Directors Report:

o Enrollment of 286
o gaining more as students are shadowing friends
o Marketing group will start to work with admin team for next month
o Land Trust membership report
o Ameritus day will go back to 2 lunches
o Choir concert is tomorrow at 7, Band and Orchestra is Thursday
o Homecoming dance
o 10th graders planning activity
o Payson High School colleges trip
o Art taking field trip on Oct 28th
o Cyber Security Oct 29th
o Nov 9 & 10 Basketball tryouts

o Nov 10 Donuts with the director
o Nov 16-20 clash of the classes
o Student academic success program – ineligibility list
 started higher on ineligibilty list but have gone down each week
o Nov 5th-9th, 11th-14th – Play – Murder in the Heir
 9 different endings, 2 casts
o Baseball and Volleyball are over, went well

 Mark Slik

o Tech update, labs are coming together, South Lab is just about ready. Will
have 50 machines that are great
o Space Center going well, Discovery Center has installed software and are
working through bugs, they are here every day. They are saying Nov 1st for
internal trip, test class.
o Facility updates, we got $10-12K fencing, BYU landscaping is evaluating
ways to improve the landscape, via family volunteer projects. Put fertilizer on
field today, to be ready for soccer. U13 soccer coach is weeding the field weekly.
o Transportation update – 2 of 3 buses passed state without problem and 1
was repaired to pass
 We need to get a current value and specs for existing buses

 Policy Updates

o Dress Code Policy: Update to address wearing of images of weapons:
Discuss (1st)
 Add exclusion of weapons from permissible
o Update Academic Policy to address performance grades: Discuss (1st)
 Request to waive based on
 The only exception to this rule is required performances as a
component of the student’s grade. In this case, the student will still be
either on probation or ineligible for other activities.
 Moved by Sherwin, Seconded Nannette, passed unanimously
o Student Usage of Information Technology: Discuss (1st)
 Discussion of anti-bullying, ways to empower teachers in ways to
control device usage during class, proper methods to use technology in the
classroom or school. Stated consequences of inappropriate usage.
o Usage Policy for Excess Information Technology: Discuss (1st)
 Discussion of what we do with surplus items, including identifying
surplus and ways in which to dispose of/repurpose equipment

 Agreements/Contracts

o Possible contract for light bar in gym installation: Discuss (1st)
 Did RFQ for light bar to 3 companies and only 1 has responded.
o Curriculum Review – Human Sexuality Instruction
 This was to provide information for the course that is offered as
part of 9th grade health. Parents may opt out of all or part, as provided by
the State Law, R277-474. Instructions runs from Nov 10th – Nov 24th.

 Vote and approve Board Member Positions for 2015-2016 Academic Year
o Introduction of John Young, board member nominee
 Lives in Springville, daughter attends Merit, 2 kids plan to attend
after Reagan, Assistant Professor of AeroSpace studies at BYU, recruiter
for ROTC, Reservist, works for DHS in Federal Enforcement. Strong
interest in Merit and desire to serve. Would like to serve Merit
Community.
o Angela Bunker will serve as secretary, Nominated – Sherwin, Seconded –
Dave, approved unanimous
o Sherwin Harris – nominated as Chair – Dave Hennessey, Seconded –
Nanette, Approved – Unanimous

 Board Member Training
 Approve Board Retreat Dates

o Nov 4th or 11th, Sherwin will find a location and coordinate with Lincoln.
Will be 9-1 or 2

 Watch Land Trust Training video – http://www.schoollandtrust.org/fall-training/
o watched short video and all board members must watch Touch the
Future and report back to
 Break for Executive Session as needed

o Moved by Sherwin at 7:49, Seconded by Nanette, Roll call vote approved
by all

 End Executive Session at 9:05pm
 Re-entered General Session at 9:06pm
 Motion to accept John Young as voting member of Board by Dave, Seconded by Sherwin
, unanimous approval
 End of meeting

o Moved by Nanette at 9:06pm, Seconded by Dave, unanimous approval

 

9/15/2015

Merit College Preparatory Academy (MCPA)
Board of Trustee’s Agenda for 15 September 2015
Call to Order – 6 PM
Roll Call – Dave Hennesy, Angela Bunker, Sherwin Harris
Prayer – Sherwin Harris
Pledge of Allegiance – Dave Hennesy
MCPA Mission Statement – Mark Slik
‘Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills
required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social
responsibility.’
Public Comments – Policy was convey by Dave Hennesey
 Jessica Eddie
o Concerns about the assembly and what happened
o Concerns about the response she received
o We received the copy of her letter that was read
 Tracy Meecham
o Personal issue – not discussed at this time
 Heather Hill
o Talked about the volunteers and what they have done. Offered help from the
parents and her own assistance if it is ever requested.

Matters considered by the MCPA board are published in advance and can be reviewed at
the Utah Public Notice Website (http://www.utah.gov/pmn/index.html.
If you wish to provide oral comments during a meeting, please sign the public comments
sheet at least 10 minutes before the start of the meeting. All public comments are at the
direction of the board chairperson.
The MCPA board welcomes all citizens to participate in the public process. The meetings
are a forum where opinions may be given in an atmosphere of respect and courtesy,
regardless of whether listeners agree or disagree with arguments made. Any disruptive
outbursts, muttered comments, cheering, or clapping are inappropriate.
Comments are limited to three (3) minutes for each individual unless the person is
speaking on behalf of a group, in which case the comments are limited to five (5) minutes.
The Board may time speakers to ensure compliance with this provision.
To ensure sufficient time to conduct its business, the Board President or other presiding
officer may limit the number of patrons allowed to address the Board in a given Meeting.
The total amount of time allotted for public comments will not exceed thirty (30) minutes.
Individuals should conduct themselves and present their comments in a respectful and
courteous manner, giving due respect to the dignity and privacy of others who may be
affected by their comments. Individuals should refrain from making rude or slanderous
remarks that may violate the rights of others under laws of defamation or invasion of privacy.
Comments are not allowed regarding the following subjects:
Bidding or contract matters.
Employment or personnel issues.
Complaints, criticism, or personal attacks against individual students, employees, or other

citizens.
Grievances, complaints, or other issues that are governed by specific hearing, appeal, or
negotiation procedures.
Patrons may submit written comments to the Board regarding (a) employment or
personnel issues and (b) complaints, criticism, or concerns with individuals. Patrons
presenting highly detailed or complex information should, before the Meeting, provide a
written copy or synopsis of their comments for the Board.
Persons appearing before the Board are reminded that members of the Board are without
authority to act independently as individuals in official matters. Thus, questions may be
directed to individual Board members, but action by the Board is necessary to resolve such
questions. Likewise, members of the Board may not immediately respond to patrons’
questions or engage in discussion or debate. The Board will take each patron’s comments
under advisement, and if further discussion or action is required, the topic will be added to
the agenda of an upcoming Board Meeting.
The Board President or other presiding officer may terminate the remarks of any
individual who does not adhere to this policy. Individuals addressing the Board who engage in
inappropriate or disruptive conduct will be removed from the meeting.
Approval of prior minutes
Finance Report
 Lower Cash on Hand because of increases made to increase enrollment
 Many higher percentage expenses due to the timing of expenses which happen earlier
than the budget that is broken out equally monthly
Directors Report:
Enrollment report, Calendar update, Goals Update, Academics Update, Sports
update, Drama update, Arts Update, Tech Update, Transportation Update, State
Updates, Staff Update
 Graduation rate almost double from 2 years ago and ~20% higher than last year
Other matters as desired by the Director
Policy Updates – Mark Slik
Dress Code Policy (daily wear and formal wear): Ratification of informal vote
 Moved by Sherwin and seconded by Dave, unanimous approval
Public Board Meeting Policy: Discuss (1st)
 Presented for discussion and vote at next meeting
Facility Policy (Springville Playhouse): Discuss (1st)
 Presented for discussion and vote at next meeting
Fee Schedule for Home School Students: Discuss (1st)
 Presented a prorated fee schedule, Moved – Sherwin,Second – Angela, vote is
unanimous
Agreements/Contracts
Acceptance of Insurance for Springville Playhouse
 Moved – Sherwin, Second – Angela, vote is unanimous

Future purchases of new buses
 will bring back more information for replacement information and current info on the
buses we do have
Future facility constructions: Auditorium, Sports complex (track, baseball field)
 Want to find what grants might be available and look towards further planning
Future Partnership with Discovery Science Center
 Need to determine whether there is a contact and what our obligations might be. They
have not provided all of the contracted services.

Student Government update by Brinler Tanner
 Spirit week, homecoming, baseball and volleyball games
Board Member Training – need to plan board retreat, new applicants for board
Break for Executive Session as needed
 Moved – Sherwin, Second – Angela, vote is unanimous via roll call
Executive Session
 In executive session at 8:00pm
 Out of executive session at 9:00pm
Re-entered general session at 9:08pm
Look into ways we can encourage the Home Schoolers to come and take advantage of the
benefits of the school.
We don’t have to come up with any new goals to amend our charter
Board retreat in early November
End of meeting
Moved by Sherwin at 9:25, Seconded by Angela, vote unanimous

 

8/25/15

Merit Academy Board of Trustees
Board Meeting
August 25, 2015
Call to Order​: Welcome by Dave Hennessey, 6pm
Roll Call:​ Dave Hennessey, Sherwin Harris, Mark Slik, Nanette Tanner
Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance:​ All
MCPA Mission Statement
Merit College Preparatory Academy will endow all students with the knowledge and skills
required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and
social responsibility.
Public Comments​: Heather Hill, PVC President, informed the board that September 8 will be
the first “Donuts with the Director” of the new school year. The first PVC meeting will follow.
There are 8­10 committee heads. Most of them are coming prepared with questions to ask the
Director. There is positive energy with the committee heads.
Approval of prior minutes for June 2, 2015 and June 30, 2015​. Sherwin made a motion to
approve both sets of minutes from the June meetings. Mark seconded the motion. The board
voted unanimously in the affirmative to accept the minutes.
Attendance Policy​: Discuss and Vote (2nd)
Jaime Morris presented the changes to the updated Attendance Policy. The policy starts
with why attendance is important. The goal of attendance is to maximize instructional time, to
provide uninterrupted learning time, to promote responsible behavior, to support parental efforts
and to act in accordance with state laws. The policy outlined school and parental responsibility.
Teachers are encouraged to do bell­work to help with tardies. Absences were clarified. A
doctor’s note is required after 5 consecutive absences. All absences have to be excused by the
last day of the term. A new check­out procedure was added. This helps with safety and liability.
An unexcused absence was defined as one that hasn’t been excused by a parent. The 10 day
rule is included and clarified: After ten days of missing school, the student can be unenrolled by
the school. The single absence policy is clarified and the student will now be sent a notice. The
student has three days to clear it up with the teacher. If they don’t, it becomes a sluff and has to
be made up. The description of a “sluff” was cleaned up. Attendance recovery has to be done
in the class where the sluff happened. After five sluffs, it becomes a disciplinary issue. The
policy defines what “homebound” means. In that case, the school can intervene with packets. If
the tardies become excessive, the student is turned over to Mr. Slik. Parents can only excuse 5
tardies each term. After 15 minutes, a tardy becomes an absence. Then it has to be made up.
Tardies have to be excused within three days. The school would like to use positive
reinforcement to encourage good attendance and taking responsibility for attendance problems.

Sherwin moved to accept the attendance policy. Nanette seconded the motion. The
attendance policy was passed with a unanimous vote.
Shakespeare​: The Humanities class is providing an opportunity for students to go to the
Shakespeare Festival. Students have the option to earn English credit, or go for fun. To
receive credit, they have to attend 6 of the 8 classes being held March­May and pay $35.
Parents will be given credit for driving. The cost will be $210­$245. There are fundraising
opportunities being made available. 20 students are needed for the trip to happen. They are
looking at being able to bring people into Merit using this opportunity. Any grade can go, but 7th
& 8th graders will need parental supervision and will not be able to earn high school English
credit. The board is interested in students having the option for competing in the fall
Shakespearean festival. Teachers will look into the possibilities. They don’t want it to be a
casual event, but for students to take it very seriously.
Fee Schedule​: Discussion and vote (2nd)
Some class fees went up because of the cost of supplies and additional coverage items
included in the class fee. A few classes had fees that went down because the class changed.
Some classes and sports are new this year, so fees had to be added to cover those things.
Field trip expenses are additional. If parents don’t want to volunteer their time, they can pay $15
per hour to cover their responsibilities. Mark made a motion to approve the fee schedule with
the modifications for breakfast fees. Sherwin seconded the motion. It was approved
unanimously by the board
Food Purchasing Agreement:​ Discussion (1st)
Sharon found a new food vendor for produce that she would like to use. They deliver
every day. An order can be made as late as midnight, the night before. There is no minimum to
order, so Sharon can just get what she needs. Their pricing and product is better than Nicholas,
who we currently purchase from. Other schools using this company have found their service to
be very good. Sherwin moved that the board accept the food purchasing agreement. Nanette
seconded the motion. The board approved the purchasing agreement unanimously. Sharon
thanked Mark Slik publicly for his assistance with the kitchen remodel.
Ratification of State Law Requiring Background Checks on all Employees and Volunteers
(House Bill HB 124): Discussion and vote
On­going monitoring was added to the background policy. All employees of a charter
school who do not hold a teaching license must have a background check. This includes Board
Members, non­licensed employees and volunteers in our school. The school will pay for all but
volunteers to get background checks. Volunteers who are unsupervised, will need background
checks. But, if the volunteer is supervised, then they don’t need the check. Mark moved to
approve and put into place the criminal background check and arrest reporting policy, with the
amendment that Board members, non­licensed employees and volunteers shall submit to
background checks every five years be removed. Sherwin seconded the motion. The board
approved the policy unanimously.

Finances:​ Merit has 124 days cash on hand. We received extra cash from Land Trust. The
plan is to use that money to buy additional computers. The board is going to use Chromebooks
instead of paper reports.
Directors Report​:
New teachers and Employees:​ Mr. Slik is our new Assistant Director. Christine
Cuomo is our new CTE teacher. Anthony Cummings is our new Biology teacher. Erika
Whitmer is our new German teacher and Special ED Counsellor. Bill Brothers is our new SpED
Math teacher. Marianna Toro is teaching two hours of Spanish for us. Glenn Hicks is our new
music teacher. Vicki Nelson is on staff in the kitchen. Penny Argyle is teaching health and PE.
Debbi Slik is full time with both Title One and SpED. Jaime is picking up some advertising.
Missy Kammerman has been hired in SpED to work with math classes.
Student Academic Support System ​(SASS): All students are on level 1 to start with.
They will receive weekly grade checks on Monday. 2 1⁄2 weeks into the year, administration will
check the academic ineligibility list. If a student is on the ineligibility list, they move to Tier 2,
called “Tracking” (At this point, their parent will be contacted) The student will be assigned to a
member of the administrative staff, whom they will meet with weekly. If a student stays on the
ineligibility list for 2 consecutive weeks, they move to Tier 3, called ”Guiding” (This level requires
a parent meeting with an administrator). When this level is reached, the student is required to
do 3 hours a week of mandatory tutoring. There is also a group of kids identified as “at risk”.
Three factors would place a student in this group. 1. The student has a failing Sage score. 2.
The student failed a math or an English class, or 3. A teacher requested additional help for a
student. Those who are in this group, have been placed in a mandatory math or English
mastery class. Parents have been very supportive so far. If a student gets off the ineligibility
list, they drop down to Level 1. If they are “at risk” students, they have to be able to keep a “c”.
At that point, they can move to level 1 with adult recommendation. If the student won’t work and
improve, they move to tier 4. At this point, the student and administration have a conversation
about whether merit is the right place for the student to earn their education. There is a written
document with this level and the objectives on it need to be met.
Enrollment​: Current enrollment is at 279 students (Our budget was based on a
headcount of 325). In the last several days, we’ve had 15 kids withdraw. Most of the kids
withdrew to do homeschool, change schools, or move. If our enrollment stays at this level, we
will have to make some adjustments. We cannot go to the state with a $500,000 deficit.
Athletics: ​We had our first baseball game today, but we lost. We have 12 kids on our
team. 5 students joined Merit to play ball. Mitchell Argyle is doing a great job. We have hats for
sale. The volleyball team played in Gunnison. Our bus broke down on the way home. We are
in the process of fixing the bus. The girls competed and had a good time, but the score was not
available.
New Technology: ​With land trust money, we bought 100 new chromebooks. We had a
full day of training to use them. We are going to use them for testing. 50 of them are for check

out. 50 are for the support classes. We are replacing all of our computers with Thin Clients in
both the North and South computer labs.
Upcoming Events: ​September 3 is picture day. The board should all come to have
their pictures taken. September 7 is no school because of Labor Day. September 8 is “Donuts
with the Director”. September 9, the Humanities class has a field trip to The Hale Center
Theater to see The Diary of Anne Frank. September 11­ the school is going to have a flag
retirement ceremony and that evening The Student Council is having a movie night. September
16 is a 1⁄2 day for staff development. The next Board Meeting is on September 15.
Vision for the School:​ A group was organized to put together a vision for the school.
The group sent surveys to parents and teachers. They created three possible themes, then met
as an administrative team. They presented the ideas to the teachers. The theme that was
chosen was “Choose Your Quest, Change the World”. The hope is that students understand
the value of choice and the value of what they can do when they make their choices. Our kids
are going out and they are going to change the world because of the choices they make here.
Space Camp​: The Discovery Science Center has been involved in the school, but they
haven’t delivered the software they had promised. The question was asked, “Where do we go
from here?”. One of the ships in our space camp is ready to fly, if we are running on the
software we currently have. The board is wondering if Discovery Science Center is in breach of
contract. We were supposed to run the space camp all summer long. But, we haven’t been
physically ready to fly. We have done the majority of the work ourselves, even though that
wasn’t the agreement. We need to look at the contract and review if there were any deliverable
dates on it. Administration would like to civilly severe the contract with Discovery Science
Center.
Kitchen​: In the kitchen, a false ceiling was added above the cook area, which allows for
an office upstairs. We also have added some extra storage area in the kitchen.
Gym​: A mural was painted in the gym over the summer. It adds so much to the gym.
Fields​: Over the summer, Travis and Coach Argyle replaced sprinklers. A group who
uses our field has helped to clean up the fields from weeds.
First Day of School:​ This was the best start of the school year Merit has ever had.
There were no surprises and nothing unusual that happened. Everything was in place and ran
well.
Board Membership Discussion:​ We currently have 2­3 openings on the board. Soon it will be
3 openings. Tara Greenwood has left. Amy Blahd has also left. The Merit community was
solicited. Interested persons have been interviewed. Angela Bunker has met with the board
several times. Lincoln gave the advice that she should be introduced and tell about her
involvement at the school. Then the board could ask questions, afterwards they will go into
Executive Session and discuss bringing her on as a board member.
Angela was President of the PVC last year. The reason she is involved is because of a
deep love for Merit Academy. When she was first introduced to the school, she could see that
there was something very different about Merit academy. So, she pulled all of her children out
of their various schools and brought them to Merit. Her children love being here. She feels it is
worth the 1⁄2 hour commute each way everyday. Her children are full of excitement and energy

as they describe their teachers and the experiences they have at Merit. She has worked in the
Humanities classroom with Joni and Greg. She has served on the PVC board each year, since
she began at Merit. She likes being involved, likes knowing what’s going on and having a say.
Break for Executive Session as needed:​ Sherwin motioned to move into Executive Session at
8:27pm. Mark seconded the motion. The board voted unanimously to enter Executive Session.
Sherwin made a motion at 9:02pm to re­entered General Session. Nanette seconded the
motion. All members were in favor.
Action Required, if any, from Executive Session:​ The board entered general session at
9:03pm. Sherwin moved to accept the appointment of Angela Bunker to a position on the Board
of Trustees. Nanette seconded the vote. The appointment was made with a unanimous vote.
Mark Slik announced his resignation from the board at 8am on August 26, 2015 to accept a
position as the Assistant Director for Merit Academy.
End of meeting​: Sherwin moved to close the General Session at 9:05pm. Mark seconded the
motion. The meeting was adjourned.

 

 

 

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