Sky Mountain Charter School
Parent Council Meeting Minutes
WebEx Teleconference
September 20, 2012 1:00 pm




Shana Fisk; Sky Mountain Charter School Director, welcomed and thanked the Sky Mountain Parent Council Members for taking the time to attend the meeting.

Attendees: Jennifer Felton, Debbie Mashburn, Heidi Lynch, Sonia Giordani-Johnston, Vikki Gonzales, Marci Peterson, Josie Robles, Bernadette Oakley, Elizabeth Eagen, Renee Henry, Christine DeVries, Tracy Springford, Shana Fisk, Susan Clark, Eric Schoffstall, Jamee Block, Lisa Phillips, Erin Havrilesky, Sarah Coyan


Members of the public may be heard on any item. A person addressing the Council will be limited to 3 minutes, unless the Site Administrator grants a longer period of time. Comments by members of the public on an item on the agenda will only be allowed during consideration of the item by the Council.

-Announcement from Shana that a couple members do need to leave the meeting early and we have action items to be addressed while we have a quorum.

-Motion by Tracy Springford; seconded by Josie Robles to move Agenda Item #7 ACTION ITEMS to the beginning of the meeting.

-Motion to address Action Item #7 ACTION ITEMS was approved by unanimous vote.



A. To elect Parent Council Officers


-The Parent Council President will stay connected with and in communication with council members and subcommittee leads; this helps with communication flowing amongst council members in regard to subcommittee projects and ideas.


-Tracy Springford volunteered as President; Sonia Giordani-Johnston seconded the motion.

-Tracy Springford was voted in as SMCS Parent Council President by unanimous vote.


-The Parent Council Treasurer works with the fundraising subcommittee on managing funds earned for the school.


-Heidi Lynch volunteered as SMCS Parent Council Treasurer; Sonia Giordani-Johnston seconded the motion.

-Heidi Lynch was voted in as SMCS Parent Council Treasurer by unanimous vote.


-The Parent Council Secretary takes meeting minutes and sends Parent Council inquiries to members.


-Heidi Lynch nominated Sarah Coyan as SMCS Parent Council Secretary; Sonia Giordani-Johnston seconded the motion.

-Sarah Coyan was voted in as SMCS Parent Council Secretary by unanimous vote.


-Shana Fisk thanked the Parent Council Members for accepting the Parent Council officer roles.


B. To approve the 2012-2013 budget, Eric Schoffstall

-The 2012-2013 Adopted Budget was provided to the council members in hard copy and electronic copy for review prior to and during the meeting.

-Eric Schoffstall presented information on the Adopted budget:


- Each year, IEM develops and submits an adopted budget to Lucerne Valley USD prior to June 15th.


- Annually, the adopted budget is presented to the Parent Council for the review and acceptance.


-The budget is developed, with the support of our sponsoring district, on the recommendation of School Services of California.


-The budget represents a projection of revenues vs. expenditures.  These projections are very conservative.


-As a result of the budget Crisis in the State, the projected revenue reflects a reduction of $441/pupil as recommend by Schools Services of Cal. This is done in response to uncertainty to whether the Governors proposition will pass in November.


-In December, after the election and the P1 enrollment (Average daily Attendance) numbers are complete, IEM will revise the budget accordingly and submit the 1st interim budget to Lucerne Valley USD.


-In Addition, the state has passed on its cash flow problems to schools. The state cash deferral schedule shows a 38% deferral of cash annually. Sky Mountain has been able to use their reserve to meet their cash flow responsibilities. Cash flow is monitored monthly by finance.


-Bottom line: Sky Mountain is fiscally solvent


-Bernadette Oakley asked: If the GovernorŐs proposition does pass will the budget change?

-Eric answered, yes. The budget is revised in December at 1st. interim.


-Christine DeVries asked: Is the budget showing an unrealistic expectation?

-Eric answered that the projection is not unrealistic, but conservative.


-Heidi Lynch asked: How much money is in the reserve account?

-Eric answered, approximately 1.5 million which is used to meet the schools cash flow obligations.


-Heidi Lynch motioned to accept the budget; Elizabeth Eagen seconded the motion.

-The budget was accepted by the SMCS Parent Council by unanimous vote.




A. Jamee Block, WASC Report


- SMCS went through WASC Re-accreditation last year.


- WASC visiting team met with parents, students, ESs, LVUSD board members, and IEM staff.


- The WASC visiting team reviewed our Self Study plan.


- WASC Awarded SMCS with a 6 year accreditation; this was very good news because they do not award 6 year accreditations very often.      


- Moving forward over the next 6 years we will be continuing to work on our action plans and meeting our goals.


-We will have a mid-term visit from WASC at the 3 year mark.


-Tracy Springford asked: Is there is a list of the action plan items available to the public?

-Jamee answered that there is a link on the website on the WASC page of the school website that shows the action plan items and goals.


B. Lisa Phillips, Assessment Update


-SMCS is now using Multiple Measures. This is an online data reporting system for STAR, CELDT, CAHSEE, and local assessments.


-Multiple Measures is being used by ESs to analyze and share areas of strength and weakness in regard to testing. ESs can use the tool to create graphs and charts to facilitate discussion with parents, and create action plans to improve test scores.


-Multiple Measures is also being used to generate reports for WASC.


-SMCS added two new areas to test in Scantron. These tests are Geometry and Algebra


-STAR sites this year have increased to 8 sites. The locations are 2 in San Bernardino County, 1 in Riverside County, 2 in Orange County, and 3 in LA County.


-Christine DeVries asked; how are the STAR sites chosen? Shana Fisk answered; a tremendous amount of time, energy, and travel goes into finding and securing the test sites.  This year, we have changed our model due to parent feedback and school growth.  We have gone back to smaller test sites in more areas in order to accommodate our parents.  We utilize any contacts or connections we have with colleges, community centers, churches, and synagogues.  It ends up being primarily churches that offer us rental fees that are affordable to the school.  This year, we do have two sites that are college sites, but those sites are going to cost the school significantly more than the church sites.


-Sonia Giordani-Johnston asked questions about the beginning and end of year assessment (WRAT and Scantron). Will the online Scantron assessment be available for Kinder and 1st grade students? Shana answered; yes, next year Scantron will be available for grades K-1. Ed Performance is piloting it this year but they did not have it ready in time for our school year start date.


Sonia asked; why did 2nd grade students not receive Buckledown test prep? Shana answered that the budget only allowed this year for currently enrolled 3rd-8th grade students; this order matched up with the current teacher editions that we had. Budget will determine how much we can order in future years as well. Buckledown test prep can be ordered with instructional funds. Josie Robles stated that Buckledown is offered through Triumph Learning for $19.95.


-For the sake of keeping the meeting within the allotted hour time-frame, Shana advised the Parent Council members to email Sarah Coyan with any further questions in regard to assessments.


C. Erin Havrilesky, Curriculum/Guidance


-a-g Courses Added:


-SMCS SME teachers recently submitted the following courses that were approved by the UC: Geography as an elective, Economics and Biology.  We are excited about our first lab science course offering.


-Education Technology Coordinator:


-Ed Bernard is our new Ed Tech coordinator.  He is going to keep parents, ESs and students informed about the latest developments in educational technology and applications.  He's currently piloting HMH Fuse complete mathematics courses for use on iPads.  He is also researching online learning platforms for their potential use with SMCS "in house" online courses.


-SMCS Online Courses - We have 2 new in house courses this semester:  Career Exploration using the Bridges program and Debate/Web 2.0 for middle school.


-Heidi Lynch asked; Are there a-g courses available in foreign language?

-Erin answered; no there is not, but students can take foreign language at the community college. Also, we might be offering a-g Spanish within the next couple of years.



D. Susan Clark, IEM Report

-Susan Clark introduced herself; she is part of the leadership team at Innovative Education Management (IEM).


-Susan welcomed the new members of the SMCS Parent Council and welcomed back the retuning members of the Parent Council. Susan thanked the Parent Council members for their time attending the meeting, accepting roles of Parent Council office, and involvement with their studentŐs education.


-At IEM we believe that as a parent, you matter more to your child than a room full of PH.DŐs. We believe that by supporting parents in their responsibilities and desire to be active in their childŐs education we can make a change in the public education delivery model. 

- Sky Mountain is one of 4 IEM schools serving nearly 8,000 students in California. This speaks to the concept that parents want to participate in a quality innovative education program for their children.  Being on the Parent Council is also proof of you taking positive action for the good of the school and your student.

- Sky Mountain is a great school. The leadership is dedicated to you and your children. They are innovative in their approach and have developed an excellent training model for the Education Specialist that participates with you. Thank you for supporting the school by serving on the parent council.

E. Shana Fisk, SMCS Update


-Shana Fisk thanked everyone for being here and thanked the Parent Council for their participation.

-We have 16 new teachers this year; the advisors have put in a great deal of time training them.

-Our theme this year is R.E.A.L.  R=relationships, E=equipping, A=Attitude, and L=Leadership, based on the work of John Maxwell.  

-Our teachers will be learning about these attributes and how to incorporate them into their job; our hope is that parents will partner with us on this.   

-Our newsletter is coming out in the next week or two.  A lot of time has gone into preparing the articles.  Please take the time to read them.  There is a lot of valuable information contained there.  

-We were very pleased to be able to get the Buckle Down test prep out to our families much earlier this year.  All of our 3rd-8th graders should have their test prep in October at the latest, compared to February/March of last year.  We hope that this will make a significant difference in our test scores.  

-We have 1,859 active students enrolled in Sky Mountain as of today.



A. Selecting of Subcommittees, Sarah Coyan


-Sarah Coyan sent the Parent Council members information on the subcommittees via email attachment. Sarah will communicate individually with SMCS Parent Council Members to develop the subcommittees and a leader in each subcommittee.


-Please communicate with Sarah Coyan or 800-979-4436 by September 27, 2012 notifying which subcommittee you would like to be involved with. Also, if you have any question please contact Sarah.


-Sarah will email the SMCS Parent Council contact roster to the council within the next couple of weeks. The roster includes council members:

 Name/phone number/email address/subcommittee

*If you do not wish for one or more of those categories for you to be included please contact Sarah and she can adjust the roster.*


-Christine DeVries asked: Would field trips be discussed in this meeting or within a subcommittee?

-Shana answered that would be discussed in a subcommittee. Sarah mentioned that there is a Group Educational Activities (GEA) subcommittee where field trip ideas can be discussed.


-Bernadette asked: Why is there not a WASC subcommittee this year?

-Shana answered, because last year we needed parents to be involved with the WASC visiting team, and WASC re-accreditation process. This year there will not be a WASC visiting team so we do not have a need for a subcommittee this year.


7. ACTION ITEMS (notes under agenda number 4, per motion to move the action items to the beginning of the meeting).


8. Adjourn.


-Shana Fisk thanked the SMCS Parent Council Members for taking time to attend the meeting during this very busy time of year for homeschooling families.


-Shana is excited for the SMCS Parent Council to be very involved this year and appreciates their willingness to help support the school through their involvement on the Parent Council.


-If you have any questions about any of the agenda presentation, discussion, or action items that you did not have a chance to ask during the meeting please email Sarah Coyan and we will get those answered for you.


-Meeting adjourned at 2:00pm.