BEN W. MURCH HOME & SCHOOL ASSOCIATION
Meeting Minutes June 5, 2018
HSA Co-President Virginia Marentette called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM on June 5, 2018 in the media center of Murch Elementary School at Murch@UDC.
- Executive Board Members present: Virginia Marentette (Co-President), Ashley Webb (Co-Vice President), Sharon Bennett (Treasurer), Maura Healy (Assistant Treasurer), Nisa Gosselink-Ulep (Assistant Treasurer), Chris Cebrzynski (Principal), Meredith Grindrod (Teacher Representative), Diane Beasley (Secretary), Maurice Werner (Budget and Planning), Jason Levin (Ways and Means), and Amy Mack (Communications).
Other Members in Attendance: Julie Lobb, Sara Addeo, Meghan Duffy, Robin Groracke, and Paula Cuevas.
- Approval of prior minutes – Diane Beasley
Diane presented the minutes for the May 5 general meeting, which were posted on BaseCamp for review on June 4, and for the May 15 annual budget and election meeting, which were posted to BaseCamp for review on May 21. She sought the Board’s approval of both sets of minutes.
Diane made a motion that the Board ratify the previously posted minutes for the May 5 general meeting as the official record of that meeting. Maurice seconded the motion, there was no objection, and the motion passed by unanimous voice vote.
Diane made a motion that the Board ratify the previously posted minutes for the May 15 annual meeting as the official record of that meeting. Maurice seconded the motion, there was no objection, and the motion passed by unanimous voice vote.
- President’s Report – Virginia Marentette
Virginia introduced herself and asked everyone present to introduce themselves. She then thanked everyone who helped with Teacher Appreciation Week and noted that Joanna has been working on revising the teacher grant application forms and process to make it simpler. Virginia also thanked Sue and the rest of the Hospitality committee, as they have been organizing dinners for the teachers during the packing nights. She noted that a parent volunteer supported packing day is scheduled for this Saturday and that any teachers that wish for help on that day will solicit volunteers through their room parents. Virginia then thanked all the Board members for their support during the year, with special thanks to Maurice for his work on the HSA budget and to Ashley for producing the school musical. She noted the various successes of the Board this school year including fundraising efforts, getting the Square system set-up for credit card payments, transitioning out of having the HSA be an employer, and our involvement with the PEP low-income grant program. Finally, she encouraged outgoing Board members to stay involved in the HSA, especially with respect to the transitioning of duties to new members.
- Principal’s Report – Mr. Cebrzynski
Mr. C reported that the packing progress at the school is on schedule (80% completed) and trucks will start arriving at Murch@UDC on June 16 to start moving boxes and items out. Some items will be moved into storage and others into the new school depending on the item and renovation progress. He noted that the Murch office staff will be located at Deal MS over the summer. Enrollment for next school year is currently at 540 students (meeting the benchmark for June), and is just 85 students short of the enrollment projection. The enrolled students include 25 new families, but this number may increase. He also stated that all hiring for next school year has been completed, with a total of 16 new employees hired for next year (some of the new hires were previously on staff and have just moved into new positions, including some of the former HSA aides). Finally, he noted that this school year was really wonderful in terms of the partnership between the HSA and school, and he thanked the Board for their support.
- Treasurer’s Report – Sharon Bennett
- Monthly Financials Summary. Sharon provided a summary of the monthly financials. She reviewed the long-term liabilities and asked about zeroing out some of the reserves, namely the 5th Grade Promotion, Employee Salary Reserves, Paddles Up 2017, and Set-Aside for Off-Budget Board Approved Supplies. Maurice, as the incoming Treasurer, asked that after zeroing out those line items, she move those funds into a new, more general, “Reserves” line item and Sharon agreed. Sharon asked if she should carry over the funds remaining in Paddles Up 2015 ($10K) and Mr. C responded yes, because those funds will be spent on science related items in the fall.
Several questions were raised regarding the payments to the classroom aides and when those payments cease. Virginia responded that their contract runs through the end of the school year but that she was not sure when the last paycheck goes out. Sharon said she would follow up with Stephanie on this question, as well as on when to close out the Paychex account as there was some ambiguity concerning whether an active (open) account is needed to get W-2’s issued through Paychex at the end of the calendar year. Virginia asked about the HSA storage space and if we will still need it after the move to the new school. Maurice recommended holding onto the space until after the move, in case the HSA will not have enough storage at the school. Maurice reminded the Board about the piece of playground equipment we purchased earlier in the school year and noted that we still have not been asked for payment (although payment was offered and intended). Mr. C responded that he will follow up on payment with his contact.
Finally, Sharon noted that there were several Operating Expenses that went over budget and recommended that the Board vote to increase those expenses. These include an overage of $3,870.23 on Miscellaneous Fundraiser Expense; an overage of $273.59 on Miscellaneous Operations Expense; an overage of $935.36 on Resource Expense – Enrichment; and an overage on the School Musical Expense (overage amount TBD, but new budget not to exceed $15K).
Sharon made a motion that the Board increase the 2017/2018 budget for the Miscellaneous Fundraiser Expense to $4620.23, for the Miscellaneous Operations Expense to $773.59, for the Resource Expense – Enrichment to $1935.36, and for the School Musical Expense to $15,000. Virginia seconded the motion, there was no objection, and the motion passed by unanimous voice vote.
- End of Year Receipts. Sharon stated that if there are any outstanding receipts that have yet to be reimbursed, they must be submitted very soon since no checks can be issued for the 2017-18 school year after June 30. Ashley noted that there are likely a couple items for the school musical and that she will talk to Dr. Branch and let him know to submit his receipts by Monday, June 11. Ashley noted that Tanya (a parent who worked on the musical) may also have expenses, as well as cash from the bucket collection taken after the show. Virginia stated she would contact Tanya regarding any expenses and the cash pick-up (Sharon offered to pick-up on June 6). Discussion ensued regarding purchases related to the musical, cash collection and reimbursement procedures, and proper adherence to HSA guidelines for cash management and budgeting related to the school musical.
- Communications Update – Amy Mack
- Summer Communications on Procedures at Murch on 36th Street. Amy asked if a Communications chair had been lined up for the 2018-19 school year, and Virginia replied there was not, but that if anyone on the Board knew of a parent willing to volunteer in this role, please let Elisa and Jess know. Amy stressed the importance of filling that position as several communications go out before the start of the school year, such as the announcement of the Murch renovation “sneak peek” and the Pre-K and Kindergarten summer playdates. Amy inquired about the dissemination of new procedures for Murch on 36th Street, and Mr. C responded that all that info will be included in the Parent Handbook mailed out by the school in August, although he will want the Communications team’s help getting the word out via the website and newsletter.
- Ways and Means Update – Jason Levin
- Giant A+ Rewards. Jason reported that the check for the Giant rewards program for the 2017-18 school year came in at $1,163.88.
- Restaurant Nights. The last few restaurant nights did well. The HSA raised $267.24 at Chatter, $371.32 at Potomac Pizza, and $1,805.60 at Guapo’s. The Guapo’s turnout was huge and the manager expressed interest in partnering with Murch on future restaurant nights. Jason noted that the HSA received proceeds for the whole day, not just dinner.
- Nationals Event. Jason reported that he secured a September 23 1:35pm game versus the Mets for the Nationals event and that the event information (as well as a link to purchase tickets) has been posted to the Murch website. He also noted that he will be working over the summer to build a fundraising team and start planning for next school year.
- Old Business
- Willy Wonka Musical (Ashley Webb). Ashley reported that the musical was a huge success and thanked Ms. David for her work on the sets, Dr. Branch for his direction, and all the teachers and parents involved in the production. She noted that there were some issues with the microphones again this year (which were rentals) but that the issue was not with the equipment but because the microphones are not native to the UDC audio system. Mr. C stated that the new Murch auditorium will have an amazing A/V system and includes microphones and speakers, so we may not run into this issue on future productions. Ashley noted that next year, she may look to move the musical to a little earlier in the spring, while making sure it does not conflict with the auction. Virginia (on behalf of Elisa) asked if it would be possible to have an in-school performance so that all the kids could see the musical and Ashley responded positively, noting that the real constraint in doing so these last two years were the limited dates available to use the UDC theater. Ashley floated the possibility of having students sit in on an in-school dress rehearsal on a Thursday, followed by Friday night and Saturday afternoon paid performances. This idea was well-received by the HSA members present. Discussion ensued regarding the musical budget and overages and Ashley said that she, Elisa and Jess have planned to talk to Dr. Branch about expectations and budget constraints.
- New Business
- History Wall (Mr. C). Mr. C informed the Board that during the initial renovation planning a “History Wall” was included in the budget. This would be a wall in the new school with pictures, artifacts, and text describing the history of Murch. Unfortunately, a History Wall is no longer in the renovation budget. Laura Kaiser, a former Murch parent, put together a proposal for the HSA to fund the History Wall, which Mr. C will post to BaseCamp. Mr. C noted that it’s a big project with a hefty price tag attached – cost estimates range from $38K-$50K. The space for the wall is there and Laura is storing the material for the wall, so Mr. C asked that the Board consider funding the project, although the vote is up to the incoming Board. Mr. C added that some of the funding can potentially come from other sources if the HSA can’t cover the entire cost (e.g. fundraisers or grants).
- Thank You Virginia and Elisa (Ashley Webb). Ashley thanked Virginia and Elisa for their time and efforts serving as HSA Co-Presidents. She presented Virginia with gift certificates on behalf of the Board as a small token of our gratitude.
Virginia adjourned the meeting at 8:19 PM.