Governing Board Meeting Minutes, October 30, 2014


Location: Bellevue-Santa Fe Charter School Library

                 1401 San Luis Bay Drive

                 San Luis Obispo, CA  93405


                 4:00-6:00 p.m. OPEN SESSION

Board in attendance: Marc Lebed, Sarah Diggs, Brian Getz, Kevin Ashworth, Jen Jarvis, Cheryl Kotlarek, Kathleen Schroeder

Public in attendance: Lindsey Wilkes, Mandi George, Cherisse Sweeney, Ryan Lawrence, Lisa Funk, Ellen Pitrowski, Carrie Gorton, Guy Wells, Mark Palmerston, Julie Stellpflug, Keely Gregorio, Brandon Gregorio, Kristen Escobar, Bradley Escobar, Rhys Heyden, Lauri Rainwater-Quinn, Tom Paine, Madelyn Paine, Allison Lebed, Caton Rethmeier, Jared Salter, Lisa Rizzo, Kristina Gee, Saro Rizzo, Ashlee Leonardo, Stephanie Purvis, Garrett Bernard, Lea Payne Scott, Zachary Scott, Robin Reed, Courtney Taylor, Rosemary Canfield and John George

1. OPEN SESSION______________________________________________________

1.01 Pledge of Allegiance – Marc opened the meeting at 4:04

2. ACTION_____________________________________________________________

2.01 Consensus on Order of Business – move 6.04 followed by 7.01 to top of agenda.  Marc gave an overview of the Brown Act procedure for the public

2.02 Approval of Minutes 09/25/2014 – Kevin made a motion to accept the minutes. Cheryl seconded.  All were in favor.

3. PUBLIC INPUT_______________________________________________________

3.01 Correspondence – will be addressed on item 6.04

3.02 Public Comment – none

4. ADMINISTRATOR REPORT____________________________________________

5. INFORMATIONAL____________________________________________________

5.01 Reports by Board members – Kevin – 6th graders are getting ready for their big Catalina fundraiser Let’s TACO-bout It!  The board and public are invited.  Sarah – greenhouse has been installed in the garden.  Lauri Quinn and Bryan Duggan are working on documenting what is happening in the garden.  Jen – finished soccer unit.  Cheryl – Thank you to the public for their input.  Marc – Thanked the audience for their patience.  Was invited to preservation society on the island, a first for French-Polynesia

5.02 Enrollment Report – tardies and unexcused absences are up.  An article was written in the Bulldog.

5.03 Governing Board Declaration – please return to Brian

6. DISCUSSION________________________________________________________

6.01 Appoint Governing Board Officers – Kevin made a motion to nominate Marc as president.  Brian seconded.  All were in favor.  Sarah made a motion to nominate Kevin as secretary.  Marc seconded.  All were in favor.  Brian nominated Cheryl as treasurer.  Kevin seconded.  All were in favor.

6.02 Governing Board Calendar – November meeting moved to Tuesday, November 18 and April meeting has been changed to the 16th.

6.03 Governing Board Goals 2014-15 –


  1. Design comprehensive plan for facilities
  2. Develop plan for funding facilities projects

LCAP – Local Control Accountability Plan

  1. Review and revise LCAP

Policy Development

  1. Admissions Policy – complete review
  2. Residency Policy – finalize
  3. Special Learning Needs – review and revise

Report Cards

  1. Implement digitalized format

School Budget

1.  Maintain balanced budget

6.04 Proposed revisions to Board Policy: Admission Policy (2nd reading) – Marc clarified that we are gathering information because the parent community asked us to look at admissions preferences.  A community forum was held for people to provide feedback.

Thomas Paine – Location should be the highest priority.

Robin Reed – Families that have bought in the area should have priority.  People that enroll from outside the footprint know they are making a choice to be in the lottery.

Guy Wells – People move into an area as a matter of choice.  Those that have bought in the footprint did so knowing they have priority in admissions.  Consistency dictates that the policy should be left alone.

Ellen Pitrowski – Where people live is chosen in part by where their children go.  Taking away the footprint priority will take away the neighborhood school.  Whereas others have the choice of a neighborhood school.

Saro Rizzo – Wrote a letter to the board.  Preference has been given for reasons.  It is a difficult decision.  He is willing to help the board if needed.

Lisa Rizzo – The board needs to look at the law before any decisions are made.  This could cause potential litigation.  Clarifications should be made and questions answered with counsel.

Courtney Taylor – Echos comments made to look at law before decisions are made.  Residents have a vested interest in the community and school.

Bradley Escobar – Made a decision to live locally and was reassured by office staff that he would have preference.

Garrett Bernard – Bought a house for the sole reason to go to Bellevue.  He doesn’t want his child to have to drive past the school.

Mandy George – Bought in the footprint so they could go to Bellevue.  Did their research before buying.

Rosemary Canfield – The categories were deliberated with much care when they were initially adopted.  The history of the idea of the charter was to keep it as a local school.  When you attend a school of choice, you are taking a risk that your children won’t get it.  Urges board to seek legal counsel.

Lindsey Wilkes – Purchased home specifically so children can attend Bellevue.  CL Smith is designated as the local school because you cannot force a family to attend a charter school.  Would like to see footprint as 1st category, any sibliing as 2nd category, and 3rd would be anyone, regardless of location.  Would like to see staff have a priority if that is legally possible.

Carrie Gorton – Staff should have first priority, regardless of attendance area.  Interested in hearing of the legality of reorganizing priorities.  The distinction between SLO areas and other should go away.  All siblings should move up before any new enrollees.  Can the board alter enrolment size to allow all sibling and footprint students?

Jared Salter – Tried to find a middle ground or compromise where both sides concede.  Echoes the sentiment to seek counsel.

Lisa Funk – Son got in by lottery because there were not enough Avila families to fill spaces.  Wants siblings to have the benefit of being together in school.  Glad counsel is being sought.

John George – Concerned that taking away footprint will require his family to drive by the school and pass it to go into SLO.

Ashlee Leonardo – We are here for the young people at the school.  Sibling bonds stretch out beyond siblings.  Urges the board to give siblings priority.

Christina Gee – The school welcomes families regardless of location.  They should be honored as such.

Lea Payne Scott – There is no one size fits all policy in conversion charter admissions.  We need to look at the families that are here today – that means honoring those that are currently enrolled.

Stephanie Purvis – Doesn’t think families should be punished for choosing Bellevue.  We need to be committed to families.  Bellevue is the choice, not where you live.

Lauri Quinn – The current population wants their student in, so they are being vocal.  Numbers of siblings and footprint residents varies from year to year.  Put staff into one category.

Brandon Gregorio – Made a conscious decision to buy in the footprint.  Echoes sentiment to provide priority to footprint.

Ryan Lawrence – Chose to come to the school to be involved as a family.  His family is committed to the school and should be valued.

Public Questions:

Has there been a demographic study?

Has the school or board considered having advanced registration?

What was the mission when the charter was founded?

Marc suggested to the board that an advisory committee of the board be created to assimilate public comment and legal counsel.  Three board members (including administrator and president), a staff member, 2 community members from the footprint, and 2 current families.  The committee would formulate suggestions for the board.  This would be a non-standing committee. Sarah Diggs will be the 3rd board member.  An invitation to be on the committee will be in the Bulldog.

7. ACTION / CONSENT AGENDA___________________________________________

7.01 Approval of Residency Policy

Ellen Pitrowski – suggested two small edits. Brian has these.

Lisa Rizzo – Asked the main difference between the new and original policy.

Christina Gee – wanted to thank the committee for their work on the policy.

Jared Salter – Clarified that a divorce or custody agreement could affect the determination of residency.

Stephanie Purvis – Does a court order supersede the residency policy?

Allison Lebed – Question if moving maintains residency?

Lauri Quinn – Declaration should be signed at the time of enrollment.

Saro Rizzo – Add language to policy stating that the student would be reclassified in the next school year if false documentation is found.

Robin Reed – Wants to make sure businesses are not used as residency.

Mark Palmerston – Does the level of specificity make it difficult to administer the policy?

Jen Jarvis – Should false documentation be discovered, the student would be reclassified to the appropriate category.  If there is a child of priority status, they will be offered their spot.

7.02 Approval of Blue Forum fieldtrip – Catalina – Brian moved to approve the field trip.  Sarah seconded.  All were in favor.

7.03 Approval of Green & White Forum fieldtrip – Coloma – Sarah made a motion to approve the field trip.  Kevin seconded.  All were in favor.

7.04 Acceptance of Donations – Brian moved to accept the donations.  Sarah seconded.  All were in favor.

7.05 Approval of August Budget – Marc made a motion to approve the budget.  Sarah seconded.  All were in favor.

8. ACTION_____________________________________________________________

8.01 Action on Consent Agenda

8.02 Action on items removed from Consent Agenda

8.03 Advanced Agenda – closed session will move to 3:00 in November and meeting moved to 11/18.  Brown Act Workshop will take place from 3:30-4:30.  Meeting will be held after at 4:30.

9. ADJOURNMENT – to meet again_______________________________________

9.01 Next meeting to be determined – add residency policy.  Admissions policy will report out during open session.

Meeting adjourned at 6:35

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