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School Board Meeting Minutes: February 9, 2021

Mountain School Board Meeting Minutes

February 9, 2021

3:30 PM Remotely on Zoom

Mountain School

311 W. Cattle Drive Trail
Flagstaff, Arizona 86005

Board Members Present:  Renee Fauset, Bryan Cooperrider, Kim Khatibi, Katherine Lampros

Board Members Absent:  Jason Aulwes, Sandra Dihlmann, Mark Neumayr

Non-Board Members Present: Vanessa Fitz-Kesler, Gina Andress, Audra Morales

  1. Call to Order/Welcome: The meeting was called to order at 3:32pm.

  2. Adoption of Agenda:

Adopt the agenda.

                        Motion made by Kim Khatibi, seconded by Bryan Cooperrider.

                        Resolution: Motion passed.                                                                         

Aye – Bryan Cooperrider, Renee Fauset, Kim Khatibi, Katherine Lampros

  • Call to the Public: There was no public in attendance.

  • Disclosure of Conflicts: There were no disclosures of conflict.
  • Action Item: Approve January 12, 2021 Meeting Minutes:

Approve the January 12, 2021 meeting minutes.

Motion made by Kim Khatibi, seconded by Katherine Lampros.

Resolution: Motion passed.

Aye – Bryan Cooperrider, Renee Fauset, Kim Khatibi, Katherine Lampros.

  • Action Item: Approve  Brett Backlund as auditor for 2021-2022:  Vanessa Fitz-Kesler stated that Mr. Backlund’s proposed fees are $10,500 for the audit and $1,500 for preparation of the 990 tax return.  She and staff have had no concerns with the auditor, who has completed two years of audits for the school. 

Approve Brett Backlund as auditor for 2021-2022.

Motion made by Katherine Lampros, seconded by Kim Khatibi.

Final Resolution: Motion carried.

Aye – Bryan Cooperrider, Renee Fauset, Kim Khatibi, Katherine Lampros.

  • Agenda Item: Review of tax form 990 (physical copy available at office):  There were no comments or suggestions about the 990 tax form.
  • Agenda Item: COVID update:  Vanessa Fitz-Kesler updated the Board with the following information:
  • She discussed that of the 38 people on staff in total, only 3 people are choosing not to get the covid vaccine. 
  • There was a need to increase staffing for the school’s safe space due to the number of children utilizing it, so another person was hired to assist with staffing.
  • Enrollment is down by 19 students due to covid, though staff believes that approximately ten children would return once the school re-opens for in-person learning.
  • At the end of the week of January 22nd, three staff members got COVID-19.  All are recovering and no one needed to go to the hospital.  It is not known where or how these people were exposed.
  • FUSD is discussing a reopening after spring break. Basis Charter School will be reopening in two weeks.  With staff vaccinations and ventilation improvements, reopening needs to be reevaluated and a new plan developed. The first step would be to survey the parents to learn how to best prepare for in-person learning.  Secondly, Mountain School will need to reevaluate the metrics currently in place for re-opening and make appropriate decisions.  This will be the primary agenda topic for the next Board meeting which the staff is recommending be before the end of February.  Staff noted that the State is requiring the AZ Merit tests to be administered in person only.  Those testing dates are April 5 to April 21st.  Thirdly, the administration will need to determine how comfortable the teachers and staff would be with in-person learning.  There are many unknowns.  At a minimum, everyone would be required to wear masks and maintain a physical distance, and parents or others would not be allowed in the building.
  • Director’s Report:  Vanessa Fitz-Kesler reported on the following items:
  • Multiage Focus Group.  Staff met with the original architect of the property who explained that the School has maxed out what can be done on the property.  One option could be to use part of the gym for additional classroom space to enable all straight grades. Another option would have different grade combinations, and an elimination of the pre-K program.  If using the gym is not chosen, then Mountain School would have multi-grade classes (not multi-age).  It could take three years to fully realize these goals.
  • A new registrar/front office position was added and Nicole Krouse was hired; she started February 8th.
  • Training on the new SIS system has started then was paused until Flag IT could assist with data transfer from the prior system.  They expect to resume training in one week.
  • Cable internet service is expected to be available by around mid-March.
  • The PPP loan was forgiven.
  • The Annual Board meeting will be held in October 2021 per the Bylaws.
  1. Agenda Item:   Future meeting date(s):  Meeting dates were set for February 23 at 3:30pm via Zoom and March 30 at 3:30pm via Zoom.
  1. Agenda Item: Sign vouchers:  Voucherswill be signed in person or via a scanned signature on the cover voucher page provided.
  1. Future Agenda Items:
  2. Action item to reevaluate reopening criteria
  3. Action item to revise the budget and resubmit to the State
  4. Principal evaluation process
  5. Adjourn:   

Motion made by Kim Khatibi, seconded by Bryan Cooperrider.

Resolution: Motion passed.

Aye – Bryan Cooperrider, Renee Fauset, Kim Khatibi, Katherine Lampros.

Meeting was adjourned at 5:08pm.

Dated: 9th  of February, 2021



Renee Fauset, President


Sandra Dihlmann, Secretary

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311 W Cattle Drive Trail
Flagstaff, AZ 86005

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