St. Clement’s School Board
Minutes of January 20, 2015
Present: Mrs. Jane Kromm (Principal), John Fiordimondo (President), Sue Perry (Vice President), Kate Sherwin (Secretary), Bill Darcy, Bernice McLellan, Anne O’Toole, MaryAnn Penney, Lisa Sondhof
Excused: Fr. Tim Keating (pastor), Mike DeAnzeris
I. Opening Prayer
The meeting was called to order at 7:03pm. The “Prayer for Guidance and Wisdom” was recited, as was the school’s Mission Statement.
II. Approval of Minutes
Anne O’Toole made a motion to approve the minutes, and Bernice McLellan seconded the motion. All were in favor; the minutes were approved.
III. Open Forum
Stan Weeks, chair of the Saratoga Central Catholic School Board and liaison between St. Clement’s and SCC, attended to share a few updates, namely: They are working on a revision of their Mission Statement. SCC recently mailed out an alumni newsletter (just offering updates, not asking for any money), and their goal is to put out two every year. They recently approved an increase of $250 in tuition for next school year; they also came to an agreement regarding students who are children of staff members. For the last seven years, staff members with children in the school were not required to pay any tuition; under the new policy, all current students of staff will be grandfathered in under the old plan, but going forward new students who are children of staff will pay 25% of next year’s tuition, and that amount (25% of next year’s tuition, not 25% of whatever the current tuition is) will be locked in. There’s also a 10% family rate within that new plan.
They’ve worked out the family plan between SCC and St. Clement’s/other area Catholic elementary schools as well: for families with a child/ren at both SCC and St. Clement’s/St. Mary’s in Ballston Spa/St. Mary’s-St. Alphonsus in Glens Falls, SCC will subtract 5% of their tuition, and the elementary schools have agreed to do the same on their end. For a family receiving financial aid, they’ll receive the larger of the two amounts (financial aid or 5%).
New uniforms will be introduced at midterms this year (allowed, not mandated)—the biggest difference is that girls will be allowed to wear skorts in addition to skirts.
SCC will be holding an Open House on February 3 from 6:00–8:00pm. Their Winter Gala (their major fundraiser) will be at Saratoga National on January 30 at 7:30. They’re planning to hold another joint board meeting between SCC and the boards of the elementary schools at the Saratoga Golf and Polo Club. They’ll be sending students out to speak at local parishes for Catholic Schools Week—Debbie McHale is spearheading the effort. Becky Stauffer (St. Clement’s teacher) also recently received her letter of approval from the Bishop for her appointment to the SCC Board, and will sit on the Development Committee.
Stephen Towne, member of the Diocesan School Board and liaison to St. Clement’s (and also SCC) from the DSB, also attended our meeting. He shared information about the DSB’s Annual Symposium, which will be held in March or April at St. Ambrose in Latham (thus easier for the North Country schools to be represented). It will be held on a Saturday, and will start in the morning and conclude with lunch. They’re hopeful more people will attend than did so last year, and so are going to factor in each school’s representation at the symposium when deciding which schools will be given Higher Power Learning Grants (was the school represented and in what numbers?). These grants—a maximum of $7500—are given to schools who apply and are selected by a committee. (St. Clement’s has applied twice but has not yet been awarded a grant.) He also noted that last year St. Clement’s was the second largest school in the diocese and this year we’ve dropped to 4th place; he wanted us to know that the diocese is happy to help if it can. Mrs. Kromm asked if that ranking took into account that we’re an Early Childhood–Grade 5 school where some other schools go up to Grade 8? Mr. Towne wasn’t sure.
IV. President’s Report
A. Introduction of new School Board member: We welcomed Bill Darcy, our new board member, appointed by the pastor of St. Peter’s Church. Bill has helped us a lot in the past, so we’re delighted to have him.
B. PTO Update: No updates to report.
V. Principal’s Report
A. Monthly financial statement & Enrollment Update: The only thing different in our financial statement is fundraising, which is going to come later. Regarding enrollment, we’re back up to 302 with new students in Early Childhood, K, and first grade. Our numbers for next year so far look like this:
3-year-old 13 (can only handle 16)
Jr. K 15 (can only handle 20)
Mrs. O’Toole 13
Other Pre-K 7
Next week (Catholic Schools Week) our 1–5 registration will open. There will be an Open House Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00–11:00 and 1:00–3:00. The PTO will be here and there will be people giving tours.
B. Personnel: As the school community had been notified, third grade teacher Mrs. Shimkus has left in order to take care of her ailing mother, and has been replaced by Erica Byham. In addition, our speech therapist Mrs. Tyler recently got hired full time in a public school, and her last day is this Friday. Her position here was two days/week and offered services that the public school district wouldn’t offer (her services were offered in addition to those provided by the district).
C. Diocesan Procurement Policy: With this policy, diocesan schools band together to buy such things as office supplies in order to save money overall. A couple of vendors are putting out pricing, and it will discussed more at the Symposium.
VI. Catholic Identity
A. Mission Statement update: In keeping with the Standards provided by AdvancEd, through which we’re seeking accreditation per the diocese, the Mission Statement was rewritten by Catholic Identity committee members Kate Sherwin and Bernice McLellan and presented to the Board for approval. After some discussion, Anne O’Toole moved to accept the Mission Statement with the changes agreed upon during the discussion, and MaryAnn Penney seconded the motion. This is the new approved Mission Statement (with changes):
St. Clement’s Regional Catholic School, located in Saratoga Springs, NY and supported by the Redemptorist Fathers of St. Clement’s Church, offers children in Early Childhood through Grade Five from its own and neighboring counties a solid foundation in the Catholic faith, a thorough and competitive academic education, and a strong sense of social responsibility and love for their neighbors.
Through (1) religious instruction and prayer, including Gospel studies, and frequent reception of the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, in balance with (2)the highest standards of academic excellence, which give our students exceptional preparation for all future educational goals, and (3) many, varied, and well integrated service projects to help those in our local and global communities, St. Clement’s students graduate with the tools needed to live a life of spiritual, academic, and professional success.
Mrs. Kromm will present it to the faculty, and send it to the Superintendent for DSB approval.
VII. Budget & Finance
A. Unexpected building expenses: Extra and unexpected building expenses associated with the disconnection of St. John Neumann Residence from the church, school, and Rectory include:
$16K (I missed what this is for?)
$10K for water/sewer
There may be additional expenses as well. These costs were supposed to be covered by the sale of the Residence, so they have come as a surprise. The Pastoral Council (parish) will be discussing them next week, and Mrs. Kromm will talk to Fr.Paul as well.
At the last Finance meeting, there was a discussion about starting a scholarship fund in Fr. Paul’s name. There is a family who has graciously donated $10,000 to start the fund. MaryAnn wondered about asking the donating family if they would mind if we started a match fund for their donation. We discussed when would be the best time to ask or to send out information for donations; it was thought that after Fr. Paul’s Mass in the spring might be a good time.
A. Christmas Tree & Wreath Sales: The Christmas tree/wreath sale went very well—all were sold before the last weekend and there was a net of $5200.
B. 50/50 Raffle:The 50/50 raffle generated $12,500 and one of the winners donated their prize back to the school, making a total of $16,250.
The Spring Ball is doing well—$70K was collected with sponsorships before the invitations went out. The goal for this year’s event is $200,000. Hopefully the proceeds will be directed toward the operating budget and working on creating a STEM lab.
A. Annual Fund: The Annual Fund, which was started before Christmas, has collected $1500.
Scrips cards are being sold in the first and third weekends after the 4:00pm Saturday Mass and the 9:30am and 5:00pm Sunday Masses.
A. Scheduled upgrades: New rugs are scheduled to be installed downstairs during break (square tile rug).
XI. By-laws & Policies
A. Tuition Waivers & Stipends: The policies for stipends and waivers for part-time and full-time employees need to be reviewed, as does the discount/tuition relief criteria.
XIII. Old Business
XIV. New Business
Bernice McLellan made a suggestion to have name tags for the board members.
Anne O’Toole made a motion to adjourn the meeting; Lisa Sondhof seconded the motion. All were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 8:41pm.
Kate Sherwin, Secretary