Minutes from September 15, 2016
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SOUTH CAROLINA WHITMORE SCHOOL
510 Commerce Dr NE
Columbia, SC 29223
September 15, 2016
The meeting was called to order by Board of Directors Chair, Dr. Terry Hitch, 9:30am.
Dr. Terry Hitch, Chair (via phone); DuJuan Council, Secretary; Ann Brown (via phone), Allison Bullard, Susan DuRant (via phone), and Roger Sears. Additionally, John Loveday, Principal; Eboné Adams, Assistant Principal; Michelle Bishop, Compliance Coordinator, Annette Havens, Testing/Social Media Coordinator; Kendall Stewart, Office Manager; Amber Goff, School Counselor; Chaz Friendly, Elliot Davis, Inc.; Leslie Maley, Elliot Davis, Inc.; Peyton Bryant, NAI Avant, LLC; and Bill Moser, Kelley-Moser Consulting.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of June 16, 2016 were presented for approval. Motion was made by DuJuan Council to approve the minutes, 2nd Roger Sears. Approved by unanimous vote.
2015-2016 AUDIT REVIEW
Chaz Friendly of Elliot Davis, Inc. shared two documents with the Board and staff members regarding SC Whitmore’s Financial Statements. The first document was their report on our financial statements for the year that ended June 30, 2016. One highlight was regarding headcount growth from the 45th day and 135th days, 309 to 340, respectively, which impacts funding. It was indicated that their opinion was located at the top of page 2 of this document, disclosing that all was correct. Chaz then proceeded to outline the layout of the document from their discussion and analyses, to how the school performed, as well as a report on internal control and their findings (none). The second document shared was the report to the Board of Directors, also for the year ending June 30, 2016. This text represents report for the Board’s audit process in reference to SC Whitmore’s financial statements.
REAL ESTATE UPDATE
Peyton Bryant of NAI Avant, LLC gave an update regarding the Chapin property and where we stand on it. In the process of the sale, it was discovered that there was no master deed or official bylaws for the structure. Price was a concern for building 1 of the property (SCWS was in bldg. 6) until it was exposed that they had not been paying their regime fees, and a lien was filed against them. Peyton is hopeful we will go through with a sale before 2017 begins. John is confident that, should we not sell by then, that we are financially able to handle both mortgages.
JUNE 2016 – AUGUST 2016 FINANCIALS
Bill Moser provided a quarterly update including June, July, and August financials. In June, the revenue and budget balance was increased by $15K and $7.1K, respectively. Closing out the year, the Fund Balance was increased $3.7K. It was indicated that we closed out the year with an unaudited ending Fund balance. Per Bill, it was a good, solid year. Based on the previous year, the revenue in July was increased by 94.6%, and Bill emphasized how we do not purposefully undercut budgets, these things just happen. It is easier to underestimate, than it is to overestimate, and not utilize the full amount. The budget and fund balances were also amplified. A new line item was added for Property Development of 501 Commerce Drive Lastly, August financials, where there was no change in revenue. Line 64, Membership Dues and Fees, was increased .59% for iNACOL, International Association for K-12 Online Learning, membership. Both the budget balance and fund balances were decreased.
FINANCE COMMITTEE UPDATE
Due to the absence of our Treasurer, Christopher McClure, John provided this update. It was reviewed that $102K is the amount we need to reinvest in the school. As of today, September 15, 2016, we have 395 students actively enrolled. We only projected for about 350 students. Meaning we are nearing capacity for our teachers/staff. John outlined that we are currently staffed for approximately 400-415 students, and a waiting list may be coming as soon as next week. In addition, the number of students in the queue remains to hang around 200. These students are attempting to enroll, but we have yet to receive their full enrollment packet. On average, about half of the student in the queue will come to fruition.
It was requested of the Board to hire two part time teachers, to relieve the workload of our full time teachers. These part time teachers would focus on electives to alleviate the load of our teachers. In addition to the part time teachers, it was requested to employ a part time office assistant. This role would contribute to clerical work primarily. After John made mention of these positions, Roger immediately asked about cost and when we were looking to hire for the positions. John replied that we would like to hire immediately following when job positions were posted. Seeing as how all three positions are part time, John provided a ballpark figure of roughly $15k per employee. Dr. Hitch said that all sounded solid to her.
One concern that Roger brought up was that of the possibility of ending the fiscal year with excess funds? Collectively, the possibilities of bonuses for faculty/staff, making a significant payment for mortgage(s), bringing a few part time employees to full time, and assistance to help families travel to graduation were all discussed.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND TESTING
Annette shared an abundance of information regarding our marketing campaigns on both Facebook and Twitter. As of March 1st, 2016, a new campaign was introduced on both social media platforms for students to pre-register. On Facebook, we reached 226,000 people and of those, 30,000 clicked on the link. One hundred and ninety thousand people were reached on Twitter, 454 of those followed the link.
We’ve since updated the campaigns, including pictures from graduation. This was put into production as of July 1, and we have already reached 359,000 and had nearly 60,000 clicks on Facebook. Twitter has reached 379,000 people and we’ve already gotten just under 1,000 clicks from there.
Also, Annette informed us of our EOC Testing trends. Although we do not have complete 2016 data, we have grown to an overall growth rate from 2013-2015 of 77% passing! Both US History and Algebra have an annual pass rate growth of 23% and English is at 2%. Biology is the only EOC where we have a negative growth rate, and that is only because we had such a small number of students test in our first year, we are down -5% in that subject area EOC, though that is up from -14%, so moving in the right direction.
iNACOL CONFERENCE UPDATE
Michelle explained that towards the end of October, herself, Erin Rivers, Casey Donohue, and Kim Dunbar will be heading to San Antonio, Texas to present at the iNACOL Conference. They will review how we provide counseling, Special Education services, attendance and such items via online schooling at SC Whitmore School. This is an international conference and we are excited for this opportunity.
2015-2016 IN REVIEW
Ebone’ presented our overall 2015-2016 school year to the Board in reference to graduations and scholarships. As of May 28, 2016, we had 46 students complete their graduation requirements. Then, we added on 20 more students to that total by July 29, 2016. Over the last 5 years of operation, SC Whitmore School has awarded 213 diplomas! In addition to this, our number of college bound students has grown from 23 in 2014-15 to 39 in 2015-16! We have even increased the number of Blue Diamond Scholarships we’ve provided to those students who qualified from 28 to 32. In turn, this led to the amount of scholarships rising from $386,400 to a whopping $471,000!
The first item John discussed was that of proposed amendment with CompuHigh referencing proprietary information. Article VIII was written up to clarify the concern between course development by our faculty/staff and that which CompuHigh has rights to. Line B outlines that if we (SCWS) develop a course, meaning, build it from scratch, then it remains our property. Roger asked if this was introduced to our attorney, and John answered that not only has our attorney seen it, but it was drafted with him as well.
The motion was made by DuJuan to agree with this amendment and was 2nd by Ann, complete with a unanimous vote. SCWS now has an app for both iPhones and Androids. It’s the Parent Assist app where they can monitor items like the student’s attendance, progress and such, all from your phone! As of today’s meeting, we already have 105 downloads!
Lastly, John introduced SC Whitmore School’s new mascot, Eli the elephant! Eli was created by our very own Sydney Kinard, who is a senior this year. She took it upon herself to form this creation and introduced it to her counselor, Mrs. Goff, who then shared it with everyone else. Kinard also explained why she chose an elephant to represent SCWS, and how it was majestic and sometimes underappreciated. She then goes on discussing all the things she loves about SC Whitmore.
There was no new business. Next Board meeting in December 15, 2016.
Roger Sears made the motion to adjourn, Ann Brown 2nd. Unanimous vote to adjourn the meeting.
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