Meeting Minutes





Monday, October 19, 2015, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Room 103

PRESENT: Bob Brick, Keith Purcell, Lillian Miranda, Heyda Martinez, Damaris Vega, Hazel Rosario, Priscilla Baez, Tom Weiner, Luis Miller, Christina Cruz, Frankie Santos, Jaq Tuttle, Brenda Cepeda, Bernice Kwade, Tom Gardner, Dan Zukergood


1. Public Comment:  None

 2. Introduction of New Members:

3. Review and Acceptance of September Minutes: With the addition of: when taking a vote, include the numbers of For, Opposed, &/or Abstained & Unanimous vote.  Bob Brick made a motion to accept the amended minutes, seconded by Priscilla Baez.  Vote: unanimously accepted.

4. Special Report: Vero Gonzalez reported ELA MCAS scores were 99% proficient or better.  17 students have received Abigail Adams Scholarship awards, full tuition to any 4 year MA state school.  The school is looking into PRIDE and Achieve 3000 programs to collect data to see how to increase reading proficiency.

5. Financial Committee Report: Keith Purcell after a brief explanation, made a motion to accept the Audit report to allow the committee time to review the report and submit it by November 1.  This is due to our business manager being out ill for several weeks.  Bob Brick seconded it.  Vote: passed unanimously.

6. Parent’s Report:  None now but there will be in November

7. Student’s Report: they are looking to get more students active in the Student Council. They’re hoping to create a more serious group.  They also said HCC is great.

8. Staff Report: Jaq Tuttle had no report this month but will have next meeting.

9. Old Business: the Board retreat is October 24, , for review and follow up on Board training. Bob Brick asked that the original time of 9:00 to 3:00 pm be changed to 9:00 – 1:00 pm. to leave time for various staff & parents to attend a 20t year celebration of Charter Schools in MA.  The members agreed & there will be coffee and muffins in the morning and then a light lunch.

Lillian Miranda reported about Board evaluation and that something to really help would be to get a coach for cultural consciousness.  Both Bob Brick and Ljuba Marsh agreed.  Pat Romney is looking into getting candidates for coaching. A draft of the grievance policy report should be presented at the November meeting.  The report should include students, staff & community members.  Jaq Tuttle said she would give the report in November.  While it is still a draft, Bob said he would have the school attorney to check to make sure

10. Membership: Priscilla Baez has been a Parent member of the Board but would like to be considered as a Community member.  Lillian Miranda has stepped down as President of the Board as she is moving to CA, Tom Weiner proposed a motion to change Priscilla’s capacity from parent member to community member, Hazel Rosario seconded the motion.   Vote: unanimous in favor with cheers.

Damaris Vega was proposed as new president with Tom Weiner as vice president to be voted on in November.

11. Principal’s Report:  NA

12. Executive Director’s Report: Bob Brick ask the Board to adopt the DESE mandated Expulsion Policy.  After a lively discussion the subject was tabled until November so more people in the community, staff & student body could be informed about it.

13. New Business: Restorative Justice, Union and Academic Support.

Meeting adjourned at 8:12 pm


Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

Board of Trustees Meeting

Monday, September 14, 2015

6:00pm – 8:00pm



1.     Public Comment – (10 Minutes)

2.     Review & Acceptance of June Board Meeting Minutes (5 Minutes)

3.     Discussion: Presentation by Jaq Tuttle on our HCC program.

4.     Finance Committee Report (15 Minutes):

·      End-of-year Financials

·      Audit Update

·      How to Read Financial Reports Presentation

5.     Parent’s Report (10 Minutes)

6.     Student Report (10 Minutes)

7.     Staff Report (10 Minutes)

8.     Old Business (5 Minutes)

·      Reminder of Board Training and Retreat Dates

9.     President’s Report (10 Minutes)

·      Grievance Policy Process Update

·      Membership Issues

10.  Principal’s Report (10 Minutes)

·      Staffing Report

11. Executive Director’s Report (10 Minutes)

·      Expulsion Policy Review and VOTE

·      Enrollment Policy Review and VOTE

12.  New Business


Meeting Came to Order at 6:07pm


      I.         Public Comment 

            No public comments were made.

    II.         Review & Acceptance of June Board Meeting Minutes (5 Minutes)

 May Meeting Minutes: B. Brick will bring May minutes for the next meeting at the request of Board Member T. Gardner for possible corrections and to verify the inclusion of I.W.W. in the notes.

June Meeting Minutes:  B. Brick made the motion to accept the June Meeting Notes.  S. Lemons seconded.  Motion passed.

  III.         College Liaison & Internship Coordination Report – Jaq Tuttle

Shared details regarding her new position at HCC (Holyoke Community College)

Seventeen (17) students have been placed in internships.  All students must complete fifty (50) hours of an internship by the end of their senior year as a graduation requirement.  This happens regardless of whether or not a student is placed in HCC.

Jaq works one-on-one with the students at HCC on various issues, challenges and concerns.

Jaq helps students find their interests and helps look for possible careers.

Jaq is the bridge between PFSJCS and HCC.

There will be placement testing in October for non-seniors who are eligible to take classes in the Spring.

Jaq will be communicating via newsletter (in both English and Spanish).

There will be a commitment to have students come back to the school and keep the feeling of “home”.

There will be a breakfast once a month with students to connect back with PFSJCS.


   IV.         Treasurer’s Report – Keith Purcell

K. Purcell presented the budget.

B. Brick – In the coming months there will be a more operative/meaningful data because the school is in session, (Graphs)

T. Gardner - Requested that K. Purcell be on the October agenda.

P. Baez – Question: About the future kitchen.  Matter was tabled.

L. Marsh – Question: State payments are they quarterly or monthly?  Answer (B. Brick) Monthly

T. Gardner – Question: Regarding fundraiser.  Answer (B. Brick) – Invite Igualdad to speak at Board Meeting.

Finance Committee will be meeting before next month’s board meeting to review budget.

H. Rosario – Question: Where does the money go that is fundraised? Answer (K. Purcell/B. Brick) You won’t see that in this report because it’s not an itemized list of our checking account.  In these reports it’ll just fall under fundraiser but finance committee can go over each grant.  Our financial information is public.

Finance Committee meeting time is going to move.  Bob will send out a Doodle to invite.

We ended our year in the black.  Out total income > expenses.  (1% in the black)


     V.         Parent’s Report

There was a parent orientation held for each grade this year.

 Low attendance at parents’ meetings still tends to be an issue.  Outreach efforts will continue and they are looking for more ways to improve the attendance, perhaps meeting before school starts in September.

Question: How was the turnout for the Seniors’ meeting?  Answer: 90% of the parents showed up.

Concern:  Some parents due to language barriers are reluctant to speak at meetings or attend events.  They shut down. Solution: Translation/Translators should/will be made available.

Concern: Confidentiality

Discussion: Having a parent’s meeting in Spanish or translator at the meeting.  Concern: Might turn people off/away; may feel uncomfortable. Also… How welcoming are the meetings?

Question: What % of parents speak Spanish only?  Answer (B. Brick) Have had meetings about this issue. Too late for funding this year.

Suggestion: Policy Change regarding meetings – Heyda Martinez

Proposal (Demaris): Publicize two (2) Meetings (Spanish and English) in two (2) rooms

Hazel Rosario Comments:

Protocol: Bob is first for all school issues

Kudos:            Eduardo – The Sotomayer visit to Springfield field trip

            Melanie – Puerto Rican Parade participation

Workshop: Cultural Issues Workshop Needed – White vs. Latino Differences

Better Board Communication



   VI.         Students’ Report

No student report was given.

New students will be elected by their classmates next week.  Students are self-nominated.  New members will be in place by the next board meeting.

New Essentials this year for Student Council (2x/week)

Proposed: Trip to Massachusetts State House.

Proposed: Have former members of the board (students) share their experiences.

Question (S.F.) Charter Review to address changes that students have proposed.

Discussion: Communication is a big issue with students. The community needs to encourage participation in the process.  The student presence is sorely missed.

Suggestion: Letter to parents explaining the challenge and ask for their support.


 VII.         Staff Report

Cultural Competency Training by Heyda Martinez was approved for the new staff.  Training dates are: 9/22, 9/24 and 9/29.

Group training need: Time set aside for staff to discuss board and minutes.  Department Directors have a plan for this to happen.

P.R.I.D.E. – 15 minutes of dedicated reading time has been incorporated in each academic class.

Teachers are to submit weekly updates to the directors.


VIII.         Old Business

Retreat for the Board of Trustees:

October 24, 2015

9:00 – 3:00

Location: PFSJCS

Breakfast & Lunch will be provided

Pat Romney will be here.

Election Date: Publish them. New members will be expected at the October Board meeting.


   IX.          President’s Report

Not united on the number of Parent representatives to the board.  At minimum there should be four (4).

Next two weeks: students will self-nominate for open board positions (1-year terms) Three (3) representatives from each grade.  Total number of student council members is twelve (12). 

Students can vote if they are 18 and older.

Important that the students are here for the board retreat on Saturday, October 24th.

Community Membership: Ingrid Askew not in attendance in two (2) years.  Proposed that she be offered a non-voting permanent board status similar to Rhonda Soto and Reuben Sepulveda.  This will mean there are two (2) more open seats on the board.

Motion: Letter to Ingrid regarding her status and the suggestion. Motion carried by unanimous vote.

Need to review the needs of the board in looking for new members.  Community members need to meet.

Discussion: Board needs more diversity, in particular Holyoke community members.  H. Martinez says she has two (2) candidates for the board and has their resumes for submittal.

There should be a meeting before the next board meeting to discuss board recruitment.

Question (S. Lemons): What is the definition of “community” member?  Discussion: Not firmly defined, open definition, reflective of the PFSJCS community.

Kudos on the solid beginning of the new school year.

Grievance Policy Update:

Sofia and Kelly were going to share with the staff what has been discussed and what issues to exist.  (They are the point people)

Next step: Draft proposal due at the November meeting.

Discussion: People meet over the summer to discuss issues.  Friday staff meeting did happen in the Spring as well as the meeting with students.  There needs to be time to discuss this in the meeting schedule. (This needs to be a guaranteed time)


     X.         Principal’s Report

Hit the ground running this year.

Diversity was raised as an issue of concern last year.  Update:

75% of Faculty/Staff are of color.

Every level has seen a change

   Question: Is there a stated goal? Answer: Not a specific one.

   Comments: Aides should be more diverse.  There should also be more bi-lingual staff members.

  Academic Support: Kudos to Melissa on the work she has done with her department and the changes made.

  Reading Specialist position is still open. Interim (part-time) is Selena Gomez

  Agenda Item Request for Next Meeting: SPED


   XI.         Executive Director’s Report

  Required by the DESE:

o   Enrollment Policy Update – has been approved by the DESE and needs a vote by the Board. (Bob provided approved update) 

o   Expulsion Policy Update – Submitted to DESE for approval.  If approved will be submitted to the Board for approval next meeting.


 XII.         New Business:

  Tom Weiner:

   I. W. W.

   Department Directors

   Restorative Justice

   Academic Support

  Follow-Up on grievance with Caridad Martinez


  Heyda Martinez:

   Social Justice Training – only new staff attending due to time constraints.

   Concern: There is a fee to be charged.  Conflict of Interest because she is being paid. $500.00

   Finance Disclosure Form – Heyda needs to mention it and cannot vote on this.

   Board Vote: Approved the expenditure.


  Issue: What happens to a staff member when their behavior comes into question?  What are the consequences?


Meeting Adjourned: 8:10






Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

161 Lower Westfield Road

Board of Trustees Meeting

Monday, April 13, 2015, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Room 101

Present:  Lillian Miranda, Tom Weiner, Hazel Rosario, Mike Smith, Damaris Vega, Heyda Martinez, Eric Frary, Tom Gardner, John Rivera, Priscilla Baez, Bob Brick, Ljuba Marsh

Absent: Dan Zuckergood, Ingrid Askew, Brendan Larrow, Jeronimo Fernandez, Keniel Cabrera

1.  Public Comment: None

2.  Review of Minutes: Bob Brick made a motion to accept amended minutes from March 9, 2015 meeting, seconded by Eric Frary.  Vote: unanimous in favor.

3.  Discussion:  The subject of discussion was the article Heyda presented last meeting, Liberation: Our Historical Task. Tom Weiner highlighted areas he felt were important.  A lively discussion ensued.

4.  Parent’s Report:  Hazel Rosario reported parents would like an effective Board of Trustees, and suggested Board members come to campus more often to familiarize themselves with students & teachers and see what is going on. A suggestion was made that members might attend the monthly Parent’s Committee meeting.

5.  Student’s Report:  John Rivera spoke about students homework load, the ongoing question of lunch quality, that there seems to be a lack of trust between some students and teachers.  It was mentioned that because PFSJ is a college prep school, the work is meant to fully prepare students for college.

6.  Staff Report: Nina Kunimoto has resigned from the Board, there will be a vote on a new member on Wednesday the 15th at the morning meeting.  Mel Motel facilitated a restorative justice circle with staff & administration.  A committee comprised of teachers and staff will be looking at an equitable wage process.

7.  Old Business: Pat Romney reported on her progress gathering information through interviews with the Board members and committees. She indicated that the Board needs more diversity both ethnic and economic, more participation from parents & staff members, and more training.

8.  President’s Report: Lillian Miranda posed the question of how the Board can entice more attendees to meeting.  A draft proposal of a grievance process was presented to the Board, and was read aloud by Tom Wiener. The main topic of discussion was the wording of the sentences: “Students, Teachers, and/or Staff have the right to internal or external advocate(s) when meeting with administrative personnel and/or a teacher or staff member.  This advocate cannot be denied entry into any meeting.”  After some helpful discussion the wording became: “Students, Teachers, Parents and/or Staff have the right to internal or external advocate(s) when meeting with administrative personnel and/or a teacher or staff member.  This advocate cannot be denied entry into such meeting.” A motion was proposed by Lillian Miranda and Tom Wiener seconded the motion.  Vote: unanimous agreement with the proposed language change.   Lillian also reported that they’ve chosen Jenny Daniel as the grievance process mediator for the Board.

9. Financial Committee’s Report:  Cindy Landers, Business Mgr, presented the material saying we are on track as of the March report.  Bob Brick offered to supply and explain the line item breakdown of the report. Next year’s budget should be thought of not as a bunch of numbers but as “Quantifying the Vision” of what the school wants to accomplish.

10. Principal’s Report: Ljuba Marsh had Eric Frary, science teacher, layout a proposed change in the academic sequence designed to better support students coming into the school without adequate science background, as well as giving them more opportunity to succeed at MCAS. This sequence requires acceptance by the Board.  Tom Wiener made a motion to accept the new science sequence, Heyda Martinez seconded the motion.  Vote: unanimous in favor of the proposal.

11. Executive Director’s Report: The report on the physical violence incidents and procedure was postponed.  Ljuba Marsh presented an overview of the partnership with HCC.  Currently there are a number of Sophomores and Juniors taking courses at HCC.  Another group of students has just taken the entrance exam to qualify for next semester.  Details are being worked out for having eligible Seniors take their core classes at HCC for both high school & college credit.

12. New Business: None




161 Lower Westfield Road, Holyoke

Board of Trustees Meeting

Monday, March 9, 2015 6-8 PM

Room 101

Present: Hazel Rosario, Damaris Vega, Heyda Martinez, Ljuba Marsh, Bob Brick, John Rivera,

Eric Frary, Nina Kunimoto, Mike Smith, Keith Purcell, Lillian Miranda, Tom Weiner

Absent: Dan Zukergood, Ingrid Askew, Tom Gardner, Brendan Larrow, Jeronimo Fernandez, Priscilla Baez, Keniel Cabrera


1.     Public Comment:  A question about why there is one student representative in attendance, Ljuba will look into it.

2.     Review and acceptance of February Meeting Minutes. Motion by Bob Brick, seconded by Hazel Rosario.  Vote to accept the minutes with clarification of comments by Heyda Martinez and John Rivera, was unanimous.

3.     Discussion: Heyda Martinez presented a copy of a portion of Liberation: Our Historical Task and recommended it would be nice to make it available to our community.  We agreed to read the chapter for our discussion next month.

4.     Parent’s Report: Only a few parents came to the last parent meeting.  They discussed the lunch quality and menus.  It was mentioned they are working on outreach in the community for PFSJ and are looking for sites in the community we serve to hold meetings for parent input.

5.     Student’s Report: John Rivera reported about students’ questions regarding uniform color choices, how to resolve teacher/student difficulties with homework and credit, the difference between suspension and being sent home, and whether a student can attend Board meetings if they aren’t on Student Council.  Finally they would like to know the policy for difficult behavior, dress down days, and how students are informed about rules.  

6.     Staff Report: Eric Frary presented a slideshow of the school’s first of two trips to Puerto Rico this year.  It’s a way to give students a new experience and learning opportunity.  It also builds strong community bonding as everyone lives in the same house, cooks together, have regular meetings as a group, play sports, visit new places, meet new people and learn about different cultures.  The pictures showed students and faculty enjoying the location & activities.  Nina Kunimoto reported on the staff’s interest in working on communication and having a neutral place to voice grievances.

7.     Old Business: Bob Brick reported that there is 1 vendor interested in working with the school lunch program but we can’t change food venders mid-year.  He will report on the progress next meeting.  Pat Romney went over the schedule for the Board assessment and training for the next 3 months including meeting with all sub-committees and attending the next Board meeting.

8.     President’s Report: Lillian Miranda complimented the thoughtful and thorough presentations by the groups.  The S. J. committee is dedicated to the school and how to correct systemic problems.  The plan is to develop a clear process to handle difficult situations because the committee is committed to supporting & helping improve the school.  Mayra DeJesus wanted to remind the attendees that: PFSJ is like a baby growing.  There are many good things happening; it’s a great school and a great place to work in.

9.     Financial Committee’s Report: Keith Purcell went over the budget to date & we are in good shape.  Now the committee is working on next year’s Budget and that they will be devoting lots of time to that project over the next few months.

10.  Principal’s Report: Melissa Mirhej reviewed what the SPED dept. is working on changing things up, the process is not static it is constantly evolving. The department works not just with students with Ed plans but students who need academic support in other areas such as math and reading.  Focus is on need & what works best.  The staff has grown from 3 to 9 this year.  Lissa Pierce Bonifaz will report on ELL next meeting.

11.  Executive Director’s Report: Bob Brick reported on April 6 there would be a healing restorative circle with Mel Motel, faculty & staff.  Trevin Bond reported on our uniform bank where if students come to school missing part of their uniform, they can trade a phone or other personal article for the missing clothing.  They return the clothes at the end of the day and get back their items. A motion was made by Bob Brick to close the public meeting for the purpose of further discussing progress with an employee grievance. The Board does not intend to return to public session after the Executive Session. Keith Purcell seconded.  Vote: A roll call vote was taken. All present voted in the affirmative. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30.





Board of Trustees Meeting

February 16, 2015, 3:00-5:00 PM

Room 101


Present: Bob Brick, Ljuba March, Tom Smith, Damaris Vega, Hazel Rosario, Heyda Martinez, Dan Zukergood, Priscilla Baez, Tom Weiner, Lillian Martinez, Keith Purcell, Tom Gardner, John Rivera


Absent: Eric Frary, Ingrid Askew, Nina Kunimoto, Brendan Larrow, Jeronimo Fernandez, Keniel Cabrera


1. Public Comment: There was none.

2. Review and acceptance of minutes from December Board Meeting. A motion was made by Bob Brick to accept the minutes with a few small amendments, Tom Weiner seconded the motion. Vote: unanimous acceptance.

3. Auditor’s Report: Presentation by Kristoffer Lane CPA, via conference call.  Mr. Lane went over the report, explaining procedures, findings and conclusions and how they arrived at such. Two items were pointed out as needing action, procedure relating to start-up grants/funds and MTRS accounting compliance.  Eight items of discussion were touched upon as areas of ongoing attention as well as the board member compliance paperwork new as of FY 2015 due by September 1, 2015 for standing and new members.

Keith Purcell addressed those areas in the report and what the Finance Committee is doing in that regard to those items; going over each grant on a monthly basis with a report for the next years audit, and confirming the completion of the member paperwork listed in the discussion items.  Conference call ended at 3:15 pm

4. Parents Report: None at this time due to snow cancellation of the prior 2 Parent’s meetings.

5. Student’s Report: John Rivera presented the student council’s report touching on 3 areas of concern; a. the quality and variety of food offered at lunch, b. more help needed for ELL students who are struggling with reading in any language, c. the question of uniforms and the lack of consistent and equal handling of non-uniform clothing.  Heyda Martinez asked about how students perceive the discipline policy and suspensions.  John responded that the main problem is lack of information.  What the students are being disciplined for, what behavior is acceptable, what is not and why, vis-a-vis kids who live with street rules and influence bringing them to school and/or minimal home support or guidance.Hazel Rosario confirmed the poor food quality as of late. Bob has emailed Sodexo on each occasion and is looking into Aramark as an alternative to the current provider.  Tom Weiner suggested that John report back to the students what the Board is acting on and get more feedback from them. 

Heyda asked about Academic Support (vs SPED), re tutors for ELL students.  Melissa Mirhej said she would have a report for the Board at the next meeting on what is being done.

Ljuba reported that she keeps a supply of uniform pieces on hand for students and is going to restock what is low.  She also stated that we have a scholarship program for families who would have trouble paying for uniforms.  Heyda commented that because of the sensibilities of the Holyoke culture, pride would not allow some families to accept the help, they would see it as a challenge to their ability to provide for their kids.  It was also mentioned that staff & students were not held to the same standard.

6. Staff Report: No report because both staff reps were absent.

7. Old Business: Board training.  Bob proposed Dr. Patricia Romney for consultation to assist with the development of the Board in areas of board education, function and composition.  She has contracted for a 3-month time frame to include assessment, planning & implementation & a maintenance plan. The cost will be $10k. A motion to accept Dr. Romney’s plan was made by Bob Brick, Priscilla Baez seconded the motion.  Vote: unanimous approval.

8. President’s Report:  Lillian asked the members to adopt the goals for 2014-2015 as described in the meeting handout.  A suggestion was made to recruit a committee of community members to broaden the scope of the Board.  A motion was made by Bob Brick to adopt the goals, seconded by Heyda Martinez. Vote: unanimous approval.

9. Finance Committee Report:  Keith Purcell went over the December financial report saying that we are actually doing OK with the amended annual budget and that based on next year’s predicted income and real figures from this year, we should be in good shape for the next fiscal year. Tom Weiner motioned to accept the Finance Committee amended budget recommendations; Dan Zukergood seconded it. Vote: unanimous approval.

10. Principal’s Report: Ljuba reported that our enrollment numbers were good as of February 16 and that she plans to do more door-to-door contact in the coming weeks as well as radio & TV spots that we’ve been part of.  We were also a presence at the Charter School information fair in Springfield where we collected applications for the coming September. The lottery for the 2015-2016 school year is March 5.  Student assessments and evaluations are scheduled and will be on going not just yearly.  Heyda asked if we have a reading specialist for the ELL students, what the orientation process for mid-year incoming students involved, and if we would have summer programs.  Melissa Mirhej said we are in the process of finding a reading specialist, and we plan to have summer programs. A math assessment was put together by our math department and administered February 13, results forthcoming. It will be taken again in June. 

{An unofficial suggestion to extend the meeting past 5:00 was accepted}

 Ljuba went on to describe the dual-enrollment partnership we have with HCC, that the students participation currently are pulling A’s & B’s and that we’re working on a program where Seniors will be taking all their academics at HCC, giving them credits for both high school & college with a goal of earning an Associates Degree by graduation.  She also plans to have staff to assist the new college freshmen with getting acclimated with college life, how to navigate the new environment, what is expected of college students and help them through the first year.

We will be going to foundations to help fund the program.  Ljuba reported on the first staff restorative justice training in January and a second coming in March to help us with Social Justice tactics.

11. Executive Director’s Report: Bob reported on the DESE visit’s preliminary report saying we did well and will update the Board when the complete report is available. 

Joseph Wise, Dean of Students outlined what our suspension policy is and what the number of suspensions is to date. He also reported we set up tutoring for the few who may have an extended time out of school, to avoid getting behind. Heyda asked why students were sent home during Paideia and Joseph explained that some students didn’t want to be in their assigned group and were wandering the halls.  The problem seemed to be not being able to switch students into other groups.  Lillian Martinez was concerned that we are not communicating enough with the students and Dan Zukergood suggested we revisit Paideia’s organization.  

12. New Business: Bob Brick presented the main points of the non-binding agreement with O’Connell regarding planning for the new building.   He made a motion to accept the agreement, Tom Gardner seconded it.  Vote: unanimous approval.

A motion was made to close the regular Board meeting and go into an Executive Session to address an employee grievance.   It was indicated that we would not reconvene the public portion of the meeting after the Executive Session. A role call was taken regarding going into Executive Session.

The following members voted AYE: Bob Brick, Ljuba Marsh, Heyda Martinez, Thomas Weiner, Keith Purcell, Dan Zukergood, Lillian Miranda, Hazel Rosario, Tom Gardner, Mike Smith, Damaris Vega, Priscilla Baez.

The Board meeting was officially adjourned at 5:34 pm.

Minutes submitted by Joanne Rose




-       diversity of board via nominating committee/promote diversity among faculty and staff – need to determine what we mean by diversity

-       seek to involve the Holyoke/Springfield community – measurable via participation of parents in parent meetings

-       more members of the financial committee – new members of committee (Hazel, Damaris)

-       more timely and inclusive evaluation of executive director (this year have evaluations of students and teachers to give Bob feedback) -

-       make sure students are involved in meetings – plan in place for doing this with parents and Ms. Miranda

-       fund-raising – all members of board contribute

-       how to make more time to talk about what we need to talk about – get help from trainers with this…

-       determine best time for optimal participation

-       Appreciation Day by board for teachers and staff

-       More visibility and communication between community board members and staff/faculty/students – i.e. visit school at least once a semester, attend community events

-       How to be involved as board in non-traditional ways to support mission of school

-       Clearly designated roles for officers of board, executive director, principal and other board members with lens of social justice

-       Standing committee that would focus on social justice mission throughout school and how it would monitor progress

-       Slate of officers – Lilian Miranda, President, Tom Weiner, vice-president, Priscilla Baez, clerk


Community Member Goals

-       increase diversity

-       more knowledge of school

-       having presence at school activities

-       hearing about and spreading word about community events

-       get calendar of school events (sports nights, poetry, etc…)

-       training of our committee to increase possibility of being board that community wants to be on

-       by getting more Holyoke and Springfield community members as board members will increase community involvement

-       set up date for meetings to occur that includes us all! (is next board meeting Nov. 17th since 2nd Monday is Nov. 10th???)

-       understanding how to get more community buy-in by heightening our awareness of our own ways of being (issues of privilege need to be included in training) via board training


Board Meeting

Monday, December 8, 2014


 PRESENT: Shai Spruell, Caridad Martinez, Lillian Miranda, Tom Weiner, Tom Gardner, Ljuba Marsh, Keith Purcell, Bob Brick, Janet Sheppard, Hazel Rosario, Damaris Vega, Heyda Martinez, Dan Zuckergood, Irene Thornton

 ABSENT: Priscilla Baez, Eric Frary, Ingrid Askew, Mike Smith, Nina Kunimoto, Brendan Larrow, Jeronimo, Fernandez, John Riveras, Keniel Cabrera

 Meeting Called to Order: 6:35 (Lillian Miranda, Chair)

 1)   Public Comment – 10 Minutes

Janet Sheppard, President of Igualdad shared information about the upcoming Valley Gives fundraising drive.  She stressed that it was important that information be shared with all members of the PF community (staff, administration, BOT, families and potential donors) Ljuba Marsh stated that information would be shared with parents in the next published newsletter.  Sheppard went on to say that this was PFSJCS first year in Valley Gives and therefore was designated as a “Unique Donor” status.  Minimum Donation Amount is $10.00.  There is a $2,500.00 matching gift donation on the line and well as “Golden Ticket” opportunities.  As of this meeting, $400.00 had been donated.

 2. Review and acceptance of minutes from the November Board Meeting

* This did not occur.

 3. Discussion

* This did not occur.

 4. Parent’s Report – Hazel Rosario and Demaris Vega

Need more parental help in the day-to-day school operations.

Need more community involvement.

Planning to hold meetings in each of Holyoke’s seven Wards to get more parents involved.

The last parent’s meeting was characterized as “Interesting”. Several concerns were raised. (Eight parents were in attendance)

Content: Classroom materials utilized in certain classrooms was brought up as being questionable due to their content and whether or not it was appropriate for students.  Parents expressed a desire to have a “Yes or No” (provide permission) for topics.  In response, Ljuba Marsh stated that a parent release form which outlines that material of a certain nature can/will be discussed in the classroom and it is on this disclosure form a parent can sign-off that such materials (books, films, etc.) are either permitted or not permitted by the parent for their child.  There are alternative titles available. There was a rather long discussion that took place at this point in the presentation.  Lillian Miranda asked whether or not a book list with description might be generated with rating for parents/families. At issue for some parents was the impact some of this material might have on past traumas for a student and how this would be managed.

Workload: Parents felt that the workload for their students was quite high.  They inquired on whether or not their would be catch-up days built into the schedule.  It was suggested that a syllabus in advance could help support students.

Protests: In recent days there had been a number of protests in light of the court decisions in Ferguson, MO and New York regarding the deaths of African-American men. The parents raised numerous concerns about the protests, what it meant to students and the need to have control regarding whether or not their students would be allowed to participate. 

This discussion became a very long and detailed one with the following issues/concerns raised:

a)    Parents right to know about protest activities

b)   Parents giving permission for such participation

c)    What about the opinions of the students who didn’t feel comfortable about the situation; were their needs taken into consideration.

d)   The idea of “permission” was characterized a “slippery slope” and one that made many board members uncomfortable.

e)   Can’t promise, this can lead to censorship.

f)     This is a BIG conversation that will need give and take.

g)   There is a pubic education value to this; teaching engagement versus just the subject.

h)   Determining a student’s ability to handle materials and events is a case-by-case determination by the teacher and the principal.

i)      Clear guidelines are needed.

j)     A Parent Calendar is needed to be created on the school’s website

k)    Bottom Line: How can we help?

 Next parent meeting is scheduled for December 17, 2014.

 Question: There are Ward meetings planned for the Holyoke parents, what about the Springfield and Chicopee parents?

 Answer: There are plans to hold meetings in these communities as well.  Parent leaders are looking for locations to hold these meetings.  They will be published on the Parent’s Calendar and shared in the parent newsletter.

 5. Student’s Report

         There were no student representatives present.

6. Staff Report

         There were no staff representatives present.

 At this point Bob Brick took the moment to clarify the administration position/perspective regarding the week’s events:

a)    Student walkout regarding the Ferguson decision took place in the front of the building.

b)   It was a positive event.

c)    Administration Concerns: Safety of the students, possible inappropriate people responding to the protest (there were taunts and profanities leveled at the students)

d)   Students at first wanted a sign on the building.  Such a sign would require getting a permit and approval and therefore the request couldn’t be granted.  They then opted to protest.

e)   Parent meeting happened and concerns were raised and heard.  The permission slip was discussed.

f)     Administration met with the student leaders; parameters and concerns were discussed.

g)   On Friday, December 5, 2014, at 11:15/11:20 about 100 students and several staff members walked out to the front of the school.  Bob Brick and Hazel Rosario were also out there to keep the protesters 25’ from the road.

h)   Students chanted and marched

i)      Parents were notified

j)     This protest was not approved of by the administration.

k)    Keeping people safe was the first concern.

l)      Check-in with those who didn’t participate.

 There was a great deal of feelings and emotions expressed about the issues raised. A long discussion took place.

 Summary by Lillian Miranda:

Important Discussion

Bottom Line: Make sure school member voices are heard, if not then the mission isn’t being fulfilled.

 7. Old Business

         *This was tabled

 8. President’s Report

         *This did not occur

 9. Election of Officers. 

The entire slate was approved of.

 10. Finance Committee Report – Keith Purcell

         a) Presented the current P&L versus Actual Cnd

         b) Down 4-5 students at 13k per student means a decrease of 70k in funding.

c) Mass Development Loan: Used for technology used; need a new one.  Paid off 150k, need another loan for 85k.  Five months of negotiation for a current loan.

d) Need to add Hazel and Demaris to the meeting distribution list.


11. Principal’s Report:

a) Restorative Justice Training (Circles – Students and more staff work is needed)

         b) Communication work is needed/essential.

         c) Creating supportive community.

         d) Starting up a school is a great deal of work.

e) Goal is to have the school in great shape when they (Bob and Ljuba) retire; there is an enormous amount of work to do.

f) Possible energy workshops for the Board.

g) If there are issues, let’s talk about them directly.

h) Restorative justice training is needed.  Professional development will focus on this on Friday, January 2, 2015.  Mel Motel will facilitate. Question was asked was there a grant for this.  Action Item was taken to contact the A.G. office for training around the Road to Incarceration.

 12. Executive Director’s Report

a) Follow-up with O’Connell regarding the school’s permanent location.  We will entering into a non-binding agreement.  Crucial meeting next week.  Areas that they (O’Connell) will be looking at include Charter Leadership (succession plan) and Finances.  Lillian and/or Tom really need to be at this meeting.  It will be either December 17 or 18.

 b) Very positive DESE visit

 c) Discipline Issues: Deans to review, the number of students suspended/out of school is too high.  What actions constitute what reactions?  Drugs, alcohol and violence are automatics.

Meeting Adjourned: 8:36PM

Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

161 Lower Westfield Road


Board Meeting

Monday, November 17, 2014 6:30 PM

Room 102

 PRESENT: Charles Hopkins, Hazel Rosario, Priscilla Baez, Nina Kunimoto, Michael Smith, Brendan Larrow, Eric Frary, Ljuba Marsh, Keith Purcell, Tom Gardner, Tom Weiner, Marlene Jeliciaro, Damaris Vega, Janet Sheppard, Bob Brick, Heyda Martinez

ABSENT: Lillian Miranda

GUEST PRESENTERS: Andrew Chrystal, O’Connell Development Co. and Aelan Tierney, Kuhn Riddle Architects.

 1. Public Comment: Janet Sheppard, President of Igualdad, reported a great turnout at the fundraiser at the Log Cabin, November 10.  A preliminary tally is +/- $26 K plus several 3 year pledges and contributions still coming in. The next event is a 24-hour e-philanthropy event through “The Valley Gives” to encourage residents in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties to contribute to their favorite nonprofits via   A request for items needed by faculty, staff, & students as a focus for funds.

2. Review and acceptance of October’s meeting minutes.  Motion: Bob Brick made a motion to accept the minutes, Eric Frary seconded the motion.  VOTE: Unanimous yes with the stipulation that minor changes be made.

3. Discussion: Preparation for the DESE visit meeting on Tuesday.  Bob Brick gave an overview of the scheduled meetings and observations the DESE team will be attending on Tuesday starting at 8:00 AM.

There will be separate meetings with Board members, Faculty, Student and Family support team members, SPED & ELL administrators, and observe various classes through out the day.  Ljuba Marsh voiced her confidence in the faculty and the work that has been accomplished in the past year siting 3 mission points of challenging our students, getting them into college & helping them become strong leaders.   And added that this visit is an excellent way to help us prepare for our up-coming 5 year charter renewal process.  

4. Parent’s Report: Hazel Rosario reported that the meeting between the parents and DESE was extremely productive and positive.  She said there were very positive and varied observations from the parents about the school during their meeting.  Also she and Priscilla Baez will attend student council meetings.

5. Student’s Report:  Brendan Larrow, student council president, reported on 2 issues.  First, many students, mostly Juniors, feel swamped with homework especially writing assignments and that they didn’t feel prepared for the workload.  Consequently, several students have fallen behind but not just the 11th graders. The student council had an idea for perhaps using a week where students just caught up with work &/or help other students catch up. Second, regarding the recent difficulties resulting in several external suspensions.  The council feels having a student out of school for any extended period of time is counter productive and not in line with restorative justice practices.  They suggest an alternative of removing a student from the area of conflict to a “safe” place to chill, regroup, and perhaps do school work.  Thereby keeping them on campus and on task instead of off campus and possibly getting in trouble out there.  There was a great deal of discussion about the effect of the suspensions, workload, the including the restorative justice component, and how to incorporate them into the daily schedule.

6. Staff Report: Nina Kunimoto reported staff would like more training on Race & Class, ideally a weekend to have more time to work uninterrupted.  It should also include main office staff, kitchen folk and essentials teachers & subs.  Eric Frary reported the faculty feel overwhelmed because of the increase in students and a breakdown in communications reguarding policies & rule changes.  Bob & Ljuba are committed to reestablishing clarity of communication.

7. Old Business: Tabled

8. President’s Report: Tabled and

9. Election of Officers:  Tabled until Lillian Miranda is able to attend.


            Board Sub-Committee Meeting Report: Tom Weiner reported briefly. PURPOSE:

·       To define what social justice means in the context of this school

·       To make sure that curriculum reflects this definition

·       To have input into hiring process so that social justice lens is essential

·       To hear from the various constituents of the school – we want to hear and be open to ALL the voices in this community

·       To ensure accountability from administration, faculty and students that social justice is being served

·       To assist in obtaining resources necessary to further the mission of bringing social justice curriculum to students

10. Principal’s Report: Tabled

Building Site Presentation, including portions of the Finance Committee and Executive Director’s Reports: The presentation of the proposal for PFSJ’s permanent home was given by Andrew Crystal & Aelan Tierney.  The Finance Committee had seen 2 site proposals and based on the Site Committee’s findings the site proposed is the 161 Lower Westfield Road location, remodeled & enlarged.  The presentation was very exciting and informative.  After some question and answer,

Bob Brick made a motion to accept the recommendation of the Site Committee’s that the remodel and enlarged 161 Lower Westfield Road site become the permanent home of PFSJ, with the stipulation that we work with the developer to make sure that the cost, including utilities and taxes does not exceed 1 million dollar per year, or about 15% of our projected future budget. Eric Frary seconded.  VOTE Unanimous with the exception of Keith Purcell who recused himself.

11. Finance Committee Report: Keith reported on the October Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss.  Also Damaris Vega and Hazel Rosario have agreed to be on the Finance Committee as 2 new members.  Finally, the auditor will on hand during the December Board meeting.

New Business: Heyda Martinez called for a vote of confidence for Bob & Ljuba, and asked that they have a report for the December meeting regarding how to deal with school’s issues discussed during November’s meeting.  She had 3 points of most importance; 1. Discipline and Suspension issues. 2. Even State rules shouldn’t hinder our methods when supporting students’ progress. 3. Address issues the staff have with communication and questions about regulations.  Heyda ended by saying she would like to see positive things next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:34PM.


Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

161 Lower Westfield Road

 Board Meeting

Monday, October 20, 2014 6:00 PM

Room 101

 PRESENT: Heyda Martinez, Eric Frary, Tom Weiner, Tom Gardner, Hazel Rosario, Damaris Vega, Bob Brick, Keith Purcell, Ljuba Marsh, Priscilla Baez, Mike Smith

ABSENT: Lillian Miranda, Vero Gonzalez,

 Tom Weiner led the meeting Lillian Miranda who was unable to attend. Board Officer elections are at our November meeting.

 1. Public Comment:  Introductions were made of the new Board members, Tom Gardner, Damaris Vega & Mike Smith.  Janet Sheppard, President of Igualdad, presented an update on the November 10th fundraiser.  500 invitations have been sent out, some RSVPs have come back with checks. Igualdad is hoping for 100% participation from Board members & staff no matter how small a contribution is made which   

 2. The September corrected minutes were reviewed.  Motion: Tom Gardner made a motion to accept the minutes, Bob Brick seconded the motion.  VOTE: Unanimous Yes.

 3. Discussion:  Tom Weiner went over details of the November 1st Board Retreat.  A copy of the proposed schedule was handed out and discussed.  Tom clarified a few items on the agenda and topics were suggested for the lunchtime, small group discussions.

 4. Parent’s Report: Hazel reported on the difference between this year’s open house and last year’s.  Parents had nothing but praise for the school and staff. Their kids are “thriving”  and happy to come to school, even to doing their homework. Also they love the turn around in academic support with the addition of Melissa Mirhej as director of the department.

 5. Student’s Report:  NA

 6. Staff’s Report: Eric Frary reported the staff quite happy with the way this year is starting stricter cell phone and uniform rules.  Having clear expectations and consistent responses is a big improvement and is having positive affect on the students and faculty.   Also, Trevin Bond is a welcome addition to the administration.  The staff is also working on ways the school can provide living wages for all the teachers and staff.  It was suggested forming a working committee comprised of staff and Board members would be helpful to reach that goal. The question of who has the final say on wages was raised.  The Board has control through approval of the budget.

 7. Old Business:  NA

 8. President’s Report: Because the School is in its third year, we have a $10,000 grant for development of the Board which we need to use it or loose it.  Heyda proposed finding a consultant to assist the members with defining what a board is and does and the role it plays in the life of the school, how to create a more diverse board and keep the members engaged in the school and its mission.  Heyda then mentioned Pat Rodney as onepossible candidate.  More discussion is needed.

 9. Finance Report:  Keith went over the findings of the audit,  siting overall a positive outcome with 2 areas to correct, both of which are being addressed and corrected.  He then went over the Balance Sheet and the Profit & Loss Budget vs Actual. He then put out the call for a Board member to join the Finance committee.  Hazel volunteered if no one else does, because she likes math.

 10. Principal’s Report: Ljuba is observing classes regularly and sees real improvement & progress.  Opportunity Class supports students who come to us needing help & support with improving skills, organization, and methods so they don’t fall through the academic cracks.  They are doing very well.  We have students in the dual enrollment program partnering with HCC & we will have several more second semester. We have 2 field trips planned to go to PR this year & they’ll be fundraising to help pay for the trips.

DESE visit November 17 & 18.  They will meet with students, staff, parents, and board members as well as going over all the systems and methods we have in place to run the school and then they will send us a report on what they saw in the 2 days.  We are now putting ducks in rows but expect to do very well.

 11. Executive Director’s Report: Bob reported that the Building Site Committee had a meeting to go over the 2 proposals submitted for our permanent location.  They will meet again next week and put together a recommendation for the Board’s November meeting.

 Meeting finished at 8:02 pm.


Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

Board Meeting

 Monday, September 15, 2014 6:00PM    CORRECTED

 161 Lower Westfield Road, Holyoke

Conference Room


LjubaMarsh, Charles Hopkins, Tom Weiner, Priscila Baez, Rafael Burgos-Mirabel, Bob Brick, Lillian Miranda, Heyda Martinez, Janet Sheppard

The quorum was called at 6:05

For Public Comment Janet Sheppard, President of Igualdad presented details of the November 10th fundraiser. 

Also, Rafael Burgos-Mirabel introduced himself.  He is from UMASS and had a possible interest in working with our school.

The minutes of the May and June meetings were considered.  MOTION:  Tom Weiner made the motion to accept both minutes as presented.  Second by Charles Hopkins.  VOTE:| Unanimous YES

It was decided that November 1st from 8:30AM until 1PM will be our full Board Retreat.  Lillian, Bob, Tom and Ljuba volunteered to be on the committee to set the agenda for the retreat day.


The parents reported on the meeting they held with the parent group last week.  They discussed their plans to have a Potluck at their next meeting and to have a bake sale the night of the upcoming open house.  They also discussed the process for choosing new Parent Representatives to the Board for next month.


The staff reported on the “calmness” they were seeing so far this year, with the successful implementation of the new NO CELL PHONE policy, and the renewed strictness concerning our uniform policy.  They appreciated the early access to IEPs this year, as we have been more successful getting the reports from other schools.   They reported that many children with “discipline problems” in their old schools were doing very well here.


Heyda reported that the Evaluation of the Executive Director is continuing and would be finished soon.

Heyda reported that she was resigning as President of the Board, but would stay on as a member.  Lillian Miranda, as Vice President will take over the duties for the next 2 months until we are able to elect new officers.

 Heyda introduced the nomination of Tom Gardiner, which was made by Tom Weiner, as a new community member on the Board.  A motion was made by Ljuba Marsh and seconded by Bob Brick to accept Tom Gardiner as a new member. Heyda reminded the Board how important it is to have a diverse Board that represents our student body. VOTE: Unanimous YES

The Board then discussed the candidacy of Theresa Austin as a new community member. It was agreed that at this time we do not have a space on the Board for another educator, as we only have one spot and need some more varied skills. Lillian agreed to meet with Bob to draft an appropriate response to her.




Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

161 Lower Westfield Rd, Holyoke

Board Meeting

Room 101

June 9, 2014 6PM-8:25PM

In attendance:

Bob Brick, Charles Hopkins, Heyda Martinez, Ljuba Marsh, Hazel Rosario, Eric Frary, Vero Gonzalez,

Note taker: Jaq Tuttle (9th grade English teacher)

Review of May Meeting Notes:

Charles Hopkins made a motion to add the fact that we agreed to submit a new Technology Loan at our last meeting.

 A number of members felt that there were some important points left out of the discussion in the last minutes, especially in regard to staff issues.

 Bob suggested we table this discussion until he goes back to amend the minutes.  We can review the amended minutes at a future meeting.

Discussion:  Vero Gonzalez. NYT Article: “Who gets to Graduate?” by Paul Tough

Parent’s Report:

Parents are concerned about the use of cell phones by students.  They would like all use eliminated.  After much discussion Ljuba suggested we include students, parents and teachers in a more in depth discussion and report back to the Board. It was agree Jaq would get teachers to participate, Hazel would get parents and teachers, and Ljuba would get students and would convene a meeting.

Student Report:

No students present

Staff Report:

Vero reported on many concerns raised by the teachers about salaries and job security.  There was much discussion about these and other issues including wage inequality between administrators and teachers.  It was pointed out that at a Social Justice School we should be especially sensitive to this issue.  It was agreed that Board members would meet directly with staff to discuss these and other issues.

Heyda, Dan Zuckerberg, Keith Purcell, & Lillian Miranda want to be on this committee and want to meet with teachers.

Old Business:


President’s Report:

Heyda presented the resume of a possible new Board member.  There was much discussion about why some Board members do not attend and what kind of new Board members we would like to add.  We decided to table the discussion concerning the particular resume until we could engage in further discussion about membership and skills that we are looking for.

Finance Committee:

In Keith’s absence Bob gave the financial report and shared the Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet reports.  The finance committee reviewed proposals from 3 vendors wanting to provide our audit.  Bob Brick made a motion on the Committees behalf to hire Daniel Dennis and Company.  Ljuba Marsh seconded the motion.  VOTE: Unanimous in favor.

Principal’s Report:

MCAS finished for our first year. Teachers & students are amazing. Good experience of people supporting each other during the test, 9th graders being exceptionally quiet, 10th graders took it seriously and did their best.

No results yet. Next year will be better because kids will have 2 years of learning with us before the MCAS, versus 7 months (this year)

Executive Director’s Report:

Bob reported on the construction about to begin this Wednesday in the parking lot.  The new building will be done by the end of July so construction should not interfere with our Summer Academy.

Our RFP for a permanent home is due July 15th.  We will have a representative committee review it as required in the document.

Bob presented the draft accountability plan, which needs to be voted upon and submitted to the DESE this month.  There was much discussion and a few amendments suggested.  Bob made a motion to accept the Plan as amended.  Second by Ljuba.  VOTE: Unanimous in favor.

Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

161 Lower Westfield Road, Holyoke

Board Meeting

Room 101

Monday, May 12, 2014 6-8 p.m.  AMENDED

Present: Bob Brick, Ljuba Marsh, Mayra DeJesus, Vero Gonzalez, Melanie Diaz, Lillian Miranda, Heyda Martinez, Keith Purcell, Janet Sheppard, Tom Weiner, Hazel Rosario, Priscilla Baez, Owen Fogg, Charles Hopkins

 1.)   Public Comment: Janet, President of Igualdad, mentioned an upcoming fundraising event. Major event fundraiser will take place at the Log Cabin. Monday, November 10th (Day before Veterans Day no school following day.)

Goal: 400 people (Donors) ; 10 People per table ; 40 Tables

Business Goal: $2,500 per table

Per Person: $100-250 (*May vary +/-)

Evening will look something like this…


  Bob and Ljuba talk about school accomplishments Etc.

   Student’s view/experience

   Short request for donations

   Sing for Bob’s B-Day


Heyda M. suggested “band” could maybe be a cultural event/community event maybe a local celeb?

** Free to attend, MUST donate. **

2.)   Review and acceptance of minutes from April Board Meeting:  Motion Approved

3.)   Discussion – Vero Gonzalez.   This discussion was tabled until the June meeting.

4.)   Parent’s Report: Hazel Rosario reported that: “I have really seen the difference in students from the beginning to now, and how they have shown a lot of growth.”

Mayra DeJesus. added, “I have worked in Springfield as well as Holyoke Public schools, and there is no place like this one it is the best; to work for/with people that care so much. I love this place.”

5.)   Student Report: Ljuba- Spirit Week is June 16-20th Week View: Mon-Wed = Dress Up, Field Day, activities, Etc. Thursday = Reflection Friday = Field Day.  Myracles G. (a student) added: “Coming to this school has really boosted my confidence, and self-esteem.”

Staff Report: Teachers expressed interest in having Board visit school more, also requested an update on the Social Justice Committee mentioned a few months ago. Ljuba suggested a subcommittee specifically for Social Justice that will uphold standards for SJ in school. It will include staff, teachers, and parents. Motion to set meeting for a SJ committee. Motion approved .Meeting pending date. (before end of school year)

Charles- Brought a suggestion before the board: What makes this a social Justice school? There should be Involvement in the community, SJ mission that not only prepares our students academically but, prepares our students for public speaking, Etc. Should it be a requirement to graduate? Ljuba mentioned it is already a requirement to graduate for 11th, and 12th graders to take public speaking. Parent reps. agree with the mission, but not that it should be a requirement. Teacher rep. feels some students have already been doing this.

Motion to approve calendar 2014-2015- Motion Approved

SPED REPORT, Charles: The mission of SPED is to help students, and families become more independent.  Students are a part of the IEP meetings they are encouraged to engage, and speak for themselves.  Accommodations will be provided according to the needs of the individual students.  The schools mission to prepare students for four-year College.

President: Jose Irizarry resigned for personal reasons, resumes are being accepted.

Finance Committee Report: FY15 budget Discussion Motion to pass budget, as well as for Bob, and Keith to work with Mass Development on the terms of a new payment schedule and a new tech loan not to exceed 100K for the next school year. Motion Approved. Note: The discussion included an awareness that our teacher salaries need to be an important consideration.

Principal Report: Brief MCAS – Students came in with little to no skill, teachers have worked hard to teach this during school, as well as after school. - Tabled (Will be continued next meeting…)

11.)                  Executive Director’s Report- Tabled


Meeting Adjourned at 8:46 p.m.

Submitted by Melanie Diaz



Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

Board Meeting

Monday, April 7, 2014 6-8PM

161 Lower Westfield Road

Room 101

Present: Bob Brick, Charles Hopkins, Lilian Santiago Bauza, Jose Irizarry, Cynthia Gonzalez, Tom Weiner, Lillian Miranda, Vero Gonzalez, Priscilla Baez, Hazel Rosario, Marcus Rosario, Samantha Correa

Absent: Ljuba Marsh, Heyda Martinez, Keith Purcell, Dan Zuckergood


1. Public Comment: Samantha Correa talked about the spring dance at the War Memorial Auditorium on Thursday the 17th.  A suggestion was made to possibly have end of day announcements at 10 to 4:00PM

2. Review and acceptance of minutes from March Board Meeting:

Motion by: Jose Irizzary, Second by Priscilla Baez.  Vote: Unanimous in favor.

3. Discussion: None (Heyda out sick).  Vero Gonzalez offered to bring material for next meeting's discussion.

4. Parent's Report:  Concerns reported about Academic Support and the SPED department not living up to promised levels.  Lack of continuity within the essentials staff cited.  The need for more diverse staff reflecting the color and ethnicity percentage of the student body was discussed.  The question of emails not being sent out for Parents Meeting.  Questions were posed about the Parent Portal & how to set up access.  They also asked how to improve the after school program. The Board requested that Ljuba and Bob report back to the next Board meeting concerning SPED and diversity in hiring.

5. Student's Report: Tabled

6. Staff Report:  None

7. Old Business: None

8. President's Report: None

9. Executive Director's Report: The draft 2014-2015 calendar was handed out.  A question about Three Kings Day being on or off the calendar was discussed.  A vote was tabled until the next meeting so that parents and students can get feedback about this issue.  A proposal on behalf of Principal Ljuba Marsh, to have 2 more lotteries, one May 29 with the application deadline on May 22, and the other August 19, with applications due by the 15th.  A motion to accept the proposal by Bob Brick, Second by Charles Hopkins,  Vote: motion carried unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 8:00PM

Submitted by Joanne Rose





Board Meeting Minutes

March 21, 2013

Present: Charles Hopkins, Vivian Pappas, Elaine Reall, Hazel Rosario, Keith Purcell, Ljuba Marsh, Bob Brick, Heyda Martinez

Absent: Dan Zukergood, Ruben Sepulveda, Lillian Miranda, Rhonda Soto, Ingrid Askew

Others Present: Staff: Kelly Lamberto, Vero Gonzalez, Ryan Ambuter, Nina Kunimoto, Eric Frary, John Letendre, Mayra DeJesus, Others: Meg Maccini, Sam Texidor (student), Irbian Codero, Amanda Cordero (student), Alex Vasquez, Ken Williams

Public Comment:  Everyone new introduced himself or herself.  Hazel thanked everyone for the students of Holyoke!

A motion was made to accept the Minutes of the February Meeting:

Motion: Ljuba Marsh

Second: Elaine Reall

Vote: After discussion by those present: Unanimous affirmative

A motion was made to accept the Fiscal Policies and Procedures Manual  to submit to the DESE for review and approval, as amended.

Motion: Elaine Reall

Second: Keith Purcell

Vote: After discussion by those present: Unanimous affirmative

A Motion was made to accept the Employee Handbook with amendments:

Motion: Elaine Reall

Second: Vivian Papas

Vote: After discussion by those present: Unanimous Affirmative

A motion was made to authorize the Executive Director to submit the Proposed Bylaw Amendment, changing our regular meeting times for Submission, Review and approval by DESE

Motion:  Keith Purcell

Second: Vivian Pappas

Vote: After discussion by those present: Unanimous affirmative

President’s Report

Charles submitted the minutes from the Executive Director compensation subcommittee, and a copy of the proposed amended contract.  He explained how the committee had reviewed the latest Charter School Salary Survey during it deliberations and negotiation.  As the minutes indicated, the proposal puts the proposed salary in the lowest third of similar schools.

Elaine Reall talked about starting the salary being so low and how it might effect our valuing this position at a later date. In the future she suggested it should be closer to the median.  Charles agreed and indicated that budgetary considerations during start-up were a significant determining factor.

A motion was made to accept the recommended contract extension for the Executive Director.

Motion: Vivian Pappas

Second: Hazel Rosario

Vote: After discussion by those present: Unanimous of all voting members present with the Recusal of Bob Brick and Ljuba Marsh

Finance Committee Report:

The Balance Sheet, and Profit and Loss versus Budget were distributed.

Treasurer Keith Purcell talked about the amended federal grant and draw down today.

A motion was made to authorize the Treasurer and Executive Director to negotiate with Peoples Bank on a credit line of up to 450,000.

Motion: Keith Purcell

Second: Heyda Martinez

Vote: After discussion by those present: Unanimous affirmative

A motion was made to authorize the Treasurer and Executive Director to apply for a technology dollars loan from Mass Development of up to $250,000

Motion; Keith Purcell

Second: Vivian Pappas

Vote: After discussion by those present: Unanimous affirmative

Discussion: Led by Ken Williams

Ken talked about the leadership article he shared with us (collective leadership). We all talked about our challenges in working with the “outside” community: opposition from city government, communication as a challenge and how frustration has made us stronger. Ken talked about all the strong leadership qualities he already saw in the room. We need to have a bucket of water and a bucket of oil: to put the fire out, and to fan the flames of success!

Executive Director’s Report (attached)

 Principal’s Report (attached)

A motion was made to schedule an additional lottery for the purpose of adding to our waiting list for grades 9 and 10, to have a due date of April 18th, and Lottery date of April 23rd.

Motion: Ljuba Marsh

Second: Heyda Martinez

Vote: After discussion by those present: Unanimous affirmative

New Business:

Charles asked the Board to think about the problem we have of certain Board members who are not able to attend the Board Meetings on a regular basis.  He talked about the possible creation of an advisory committee for those folks who are interested but cannot regularly attend.  We will talk about this further at the next meeting.

Next meeting is April 18th at 5PM.

Motion to Adjourned at 7PM


Board Meeting Minutes

February 28, 2013



Charles Hopkins, Bob Brick, Ljuba Marsh, Keith Purcell, Vivian Pappas, Lillian Miranda, Ruben Supulveda,


Ryan Ambuter, Veronica Gonzalez, John Collura , Nina Kunimoto, Amanda Rodriquez(Student), Joanna Oleet, Katherine Gilbert-Espada, Michaela Litzner , Sam Texidor (Student)

Public Comment:

There was an introduction of all members present including proposed new staff members.

Social Justice Discussion:

Katherine Gilbert-Espada led this discussion because Ingrid Askew was unable to attend the meeting due to illness.  He discussion centered on “Race and Prejudice”.


Charles Hopkins reported that he had received the resignation of Jo-Ann Konieczny.  There were no objections to accepting the resignation, with regrets.

Review of Minutes of the December Board Meeting

A motion was made to accept the minutes of the December Board meeting as presented by Keith Purcell.

Second: Lillian Miranda

Vote: Unanimous acceptance of those present.

Old Business:


President’s Report:

Charles discussed the need to get our Board meetings on a regular schedule.  After discussion it was agreed that the third Thursday of each month would work the best for all.  It was also agreed that we would need to amend our bylaws to make this official.

The Third Thursday of month for all upcoming meetings is as follows:

March 21

April 18

May 16

June 20

Lillian Miranda made a motion to amend the bylaws as regards meeting dates in Section III(3).

Ljuba Marsh seconded the motion.

As amendments to the bylaws require prior notice Vivian Pappas made a motion to table.  Ljuba Marsh seconded the motion.

This motion will be discussed and voted on at next meeting for submission to DESE.

Charles informed the Board about new charter school approvals from DESE and the impact of the cap on Holyoke.  He suggested people read about it online and he hoped we would all support the state to raise the cap.

Finance Committee Report:

There was a question about the looming federal sequester and its impact on us.  Bob shared the analysis that the Commissioner and the Charter School Association had distributed.

Treasurer Keith Purcell handed out and went over end of February report. (Attached).  He stated that the Finance Committee is working on a dashboard report starting next month (hopefully), which will condense the important information and make it easier for all Board members to digest.

The Fiscal Policies Manual was distributed to the Board for review and a vote.

Motion:  To authorize the Executive Director to submit this manual to DESE for review and approval: Vivian Pappas.  Second: Ruben Sepulveda

Vote: To Table and vote at March meeting: Lillian Miranda, second by Ljuba Marsh. There was a unanimous vote of all present.  It will be on Old Business next month.

The proposed Employee Handbook was handed out as well as “employee benefits at a glance”.  Bob went over the basics and why we can only offer this amount at this time. There was a suggestion to table a vote on the employee handbook until next meeting:

A motion was made by Vivian Pappas to accept the Benefits package as presented and to table a vote on the full handbook until the March meeting.

Lillian Miranda seconded the motion.

Vote: Unanimous acceptance by all present.

Principal’s Report:

It was distributed and is attached.  Ljuba went over the report and took questions and comments.

Executive Director Report:

Bob gave an update on the Federal Grant extension we just received.

Executive Director Contract Extension Discussion:

Motion:  To authorize a subcommittee (Lillian, Keith and Charles) to negotiate a contract extension with Bob Brick: Vivian Pappas

Second:  Lilliian Miranda

Vote: Unanimous of all present with recusal by Bob Brick and Ljuba Marsh.

Motion: To extend Bob’s current contract on a per diem basis until authorization of his new contract: Vivian Pappas.

Second: Keith Purcell

Vote: Unanimous of all present with recusal by Bob Brick and Ljuba Marsh.

Motion to adjourn: 7:40PM


Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School


Board Meeting

Monday, January 13, 2014 6-8PM

161 Lower Westfield Road, Holyoke

Conference Room


Heyda Marinez, Keith Purcell, Bob Brick, Dan Zukergood, Tom Weiner, Charles Hopkins, Hazel Rosario, Priscilla Baez, Lillian Miranda, Lillian Santiago-Bauza, Amanda Rodriguez, Christina Cruz, Marcus Rosario

Not Present: Ingrid Askew, Vero Gonzalez, Ljuba Marsh

Others: Duver Gomez-Vega

Public Comment:  Hazel spoke about Holyoke not supporting our basketball team by not providing gym space.  Board members suggested some positive ideas on how to get more gym time from Holyoke schools. Lillian suggested the Board writes a formal request letter. : Lillian Miranda and Hazel will work on a letter.

Duver Gomez-Vega (a parent) expressed concerns about transition times at the school and drama that occurs during these times.  Priscilla agreed with these concerns. People felt there needed to be a better balance between student expectations and restorative justice approaches. People want clearer consequences. Responsibility was also discussed.  We need to have a better balance and student government and staff need to work on this together to achieve a better balance of consequences.   Also, it was suggested we set-up a meeting with parents to talk to them about all of this and how we are progressing.

Review and acceptance of minutes from the December Board Meeting:  Motion by: Tom Weiner, Second by: Keith Purcell. Vote: Unanimous in favor.

Discussion: Donaldo Macedo article on Paulo Freire . The discussion was tabled until the next meeting so more people can finish reading the article. Bob will re –email the article.

Old Business

Getting started: Accountability Plan Committee.  We have Bob, Ljuba and Charles.  We need a Student and a Parent member

Getting started: Executive Director Evaluation Committee

President’s Report

Heyda recognized the Holiday school performance for its excellence and warm, positive feelings. It was suggested she send an official letter from the Board thanking the students and faculty involved.

Acceptance of resignation of Vivian Pappas: motion by Bob Brick second: Keith Purcell. Vote: Unanimous acceptance reluctantly.

Vote to accept Jose Irizarry as a new Board member: Motion: Tom Weiner, second: Keith Purcell, Vote: unanimous acceptance

Finance Committee Report: December Financials(preliminary), Cash Flow Update, Budget Amendment Process, FY15 Budget process

Principal’s Report: There was no Principal report as Ljuba Marsh was absent due to her broken wrist.

Executive Director’s Report:

A suggestion was made to reset the Lottery dates: Feb 21st for deadline, February 25th for lottery: Motion by Tom Weiner, second by Charles Hopkins.  Vote: Unanimous acceptance.

Bob reported on building site issues for the next 2 years and for after year 3.

New Business


Motion to adjourn: Bob Brick (8PM)



Board Meeting Minutes

December 9th, 2013


Board Members Present:

Charles Hopkins, Bob Brick, Ljuba Marsh, Heyda Martinez, Keith Purcell, Vero Gonzalez, Ingrid Askew, Hazel Rosario, Thomas Weiner, Priscilla Baez

Absent: Vivian Pappas, Ruben Sepulveda, Lillian Miranda, Rhonda Soto, Dan Zukergood, Christina Cruz, Julie Vazquez

Others: Meg Maccini

Public Comment:  A moment of silence for Nelson Mandela was observed and then some members read some pertinent quotes.

Review of November Minutes: Motion to accept minutes as presented: Bob Brick Second: Charles Hopkins. Vote: Unanimous

DESE Site Visit Report discussion:  There was much discussion about the report.  Recognition of the excellent results were primary. Focused discussion ensued on the Special Education section.  Administration will report back to the Board in March on progress in this area.

Other area discussed included Culture and Family engagement, Mental Health support for students and ELL.

Principal’s Report:

Lottery Date Discussion:  A motion was made by Ljuba Marsh to hold our lottery for next year’s enrollment on February 13th with a deadline for applications of February 7th.  Thom Weiner seconded the motion.  Vote: Unanimous.

Ljuba talked about a brief break between the two semesters for diagnostic testing and a 2-day “January Term” which will include fun, meaningful and exciting academic opportunities for students to choose.

Old Business:

Appointment of Accountability Plan Committee: Bob Brick will facilitate this committee and initial volunteers included: Charles Hopkins and Ljuba Marsh.

Executive Director Evaluation: Heyda Martinez will Chair this committee and Keith Purcell volunteered to serve on the committee.

There was discussion about putting out a description of these 2 committees to the rest of the community. Bob volunteered to make sure this happened.


President’s Report:

Heyda discussed the issue of Board members who cannot attend.  She suggested we create a category of Founding Member, which will be honorary. A motion was made to create an Honorary Board Member category, which will not have voting power by Ljuba Marsh, specifically for Rhonda Soto and Ruben Sepulveda. Second by Heyda Martinez.  Vote: Unanimous.

Heyda suggested a possible new Board member: Jose Irrizary. Resumes will be sent out to everyone.  Motion to table until January meeting by Charles Hopkins. Second by Thom Weiner.  Vote: Unanimous.

Finance Committee Report:

Finance Committee is meeting tomorrow, so we will be about a month behind on reporting to the Board because of our new Board meting schedule.

Executive Director Report:

Bob Brick talked about the continuing cash flow issues.

Adjourn at 7:55PM



PFSJ Board Meeting November 18, 2013

6:00 – 8:00 P.M.


In attendance: Heyda Martinez, Ljuba Marsh, Bob Brick, Charles Hopkins, Vero Gonzalez, Thomas Weiner, Priscilla Baez, Hazel Rosario

Absent: Keith Purcell, Vivian Pappas, Ingrid Askew, Rhonda Soto


1. Public Comment: Vero offered a proposal for a staff sick day bank where those who wish to can contribute sick days to be held for someone needing additional sick time.  Those who contribute will be the deciding body allocating days.  Bob will look up the program used by PVPA as an example.  Hazel suggested that Essentials teachers be trained in the “PFSJ Way.”  Heyda agreed that it was a good idea.  Ljuba also agreed and went on to explain the program currently in place.  Tom asked if student teachers would be part of our program.  Ljuba explained we have a robust student teacher, and intern program already in place.


2. Motion to accept the minutes from October’s meeting: Bob proposed a motion to accept the October minutes, Tom seconded the motion. The Vote was unanimous in favor of accepting the minutes.


3. DESE Visit: Charles asked about the DESE review, Bob answered they will send us a review of their observations along with suggestions for us. Ljuba said the visit was great.  The team was impressed and very positive in their comments. There will be some suggestions for improvement contained in their final report.


4. Old Business: There was no old business


5. President’s Report: Heyda reported that on December 4th, we would have a visitor from Umass.   Also the date for the next Board meeting is Monday, December 9th.


6. Finance Committee Report:  Keith Purcell being out ill, Bob stepped in.  October Profit and Loss versus Budget report indicated a negative, this was expected. Bob talked about the Cash flow issues we are facing over the next few months.  The Finance Committee will come to the Board in January with a budget amendment to bridge the gap in the real vs the extrapolated figures.

7. Principal’s Report: Ljuba reported the newsletters are very well received, our community is gelling very well & she’s looking forward to having upper classmen mentor younger students. The last lottery of the 2013-2014 school year is November 23, as insurance against students leaving. The lottery for the next school year will be in the middle of February and we’ll be taking 9th & 10th graders allowing us to keep 11th grade small. We will be bringing in a test prep person to assist the 10th graders prepare for the MCAS.


8. Executive Director’s Report: Bob reported that the community would be asked to evaluate the Executive Director’s performance. He also talked about the need for a committee to draft a school Accountability Plan, work beginning in January.  The plan will indicate whether we are adhering to our mission as a charter school and performing our duties as such.


9. New Business:  To confirm a lottery date for February. The application is to be on-line for downloading, door-to-door canvasing as per our charter, public meetings, articles in local newspapers and notices in our weekly newsletter getting the word out.

Possible location for public meetings is Fernandez Restaurant. 

Heyda reminded us that we are closed for 3 Kings Day (Epiphany).


Bob proposed a motion to adjourn the meeting, Tom seconded, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:00 PM


Submitted by Joanne Rose 



Board Meeting October 21, 2013

Members Attending: Heyda Martinez, Bob Brick, Keith Purcell, Vivian Pappas, Hazel Rosario, Ljuba Marsh, Rhonda Soto, Ingrid Askew, Vero Gonzalez, Charles Hopkins, Priscilla Baez,

Jessica Morales

Eric Frary

Janet Sheppard

Bill Jastromb

Public comment:

Need a sign that helps with traffic, school zone, with our school for traffic purposes and have newspaper articles, interview from students and teachers.

Motion to accept the minutes of the September meeting:  Bob Brick made a motion and Ingrid Askew seconded the motion. There was unanimous acceptance by those in attendance.

There was then an Introduction of all board members.

Janet Sheppard, President of Igualdad presented a fundraising plan for the school where board members can send out 25 letters to friends and family in order to raise funds. We raised over $67,000 in grants and donations so far.

Finance Committee Report:

Keith Purcell, Treasurer reviewed the independent accountant's financial review report and went into much detail on the entire report.

Bob Brick made a motion to accept the financial review report as submitted, and Vivian Pappas seconded the motion.  After discussion there was unanimous acceptance of the motion.

Keith then did a review of our summary financial report for September.

It was suggested we have a meeting to discuss what a charter school is and how we get funded.  Heyda Martinez, President will set up a meeting where parents are informed about this.

Rhonda Soto suggested we conduct a “Board Member 101” including topics like Roberts Rules of Order. Ljuba will bring a short version of Robert’s Rules to the next meeting.

Principal’s Report:

 Ljuba asked for the Board to approve one more lottery for this year.

A motion was made to authorize a lottery on November 22 by Vivian Pappas and seconded by Hazel Rosario.  After discussion it was approved unanimously.

Executive Director:

Bob reported that there will be a November 14th site review visit by DESE.   Board members will meet from 8:00 to 8:40AM.

Bob reviewed the site visit protocol.

Three people will be coming to visit.  

Meeting adjourned at 8PM


Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

Board Meeting

Monday, September 16, 2013 6-8PM

Present:  Ingrid Askew, Bob Brick, Ljuba Marsh, Heyda Martinez, Vivian Pappas, Keith Purcell, Hazel Rosario

Absent:  Elaine Reall, Rubin Sepulveda, Rhonda Soto, Dan Zuckergood

Others:  Amanda Rodriguez, PFSJ student; Amelia Moore, Sylvia Ngo & Hayli Kinney, Amherst seniors observing, Glisel Colon, parent.

1.     Public Comment:  Introductions of Amherst Seniors observing this semester and the projects they’re working on.

2.     Review and acceptance of minutes of August Board Meeting

Motion: Bob Brick, Second: Keith Purcell, to accept Minutes of August meeting as submitted.

VOTE: Unanimous in favor.

3.     Discussion: Recap of Student Orientation; workshops on how to understand and foster the vision and mission of Paulo Freire and the school.  Bob Brick related his experiences and impression of how successful orientation turned out.  Ingrid suggested watching the videos of Paulo Freire being interviewed.  Ljuba suggested BOT members read the Pedagogy of the Oppressed if they haven’t and have discussions about the book.

4.     Old Business:  None

5.     New Business: Heyda presented information about 2 opportunities to attend an orientation for new charter school administrators and board members .  She also reported the outcome of her calls to no-show Board members.  One member has resigned and Bob will send the information to DESE.  Still 3 members who have not submitted the Financial Disclosure forms.  DESE is very particular about the paperwork we need to submit. 

6.              Financial Report: Keith presented his report including a set of graphs illustrating the school’s expenses and spending, current year and forecast for 2 successive years.  He plans to add 2 more columns so that they can include data comparing PFCSwith other charter schools in the state. He also said there would be a Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday, September 17.

7.              Principal’s Report: Ljuba went over how well the opening weeks have gone, how many sports we’ve incorporated into the curriculum.  She mentioned that the school van should arrive the week of September 23rd , which will help with the transportation to and from sports practice & games.  School lunch was discussed regarding menus portions and quality.  Discussion then turned to 2 possible candidates for the Board.  Lillian Santiago and Tom Wiener.  Motion: Bob Brick proposed nominating Lillian Santiago to the Board, Vivian Pappas 2nd.  VOTE:  None opposed, 1 abstention.  Motion: Bob Brick proposed nominating Tom Wiener to the Board, Vivian Pappas 2nd.  VOTE: Unanimous in favor. It was also proposed to have Hazel Rosario remain on the Board for another year.  Ljuba will put the information in the weekly newsletter. 

8.              At that point the regular meeting was suspended and it was agreed to go into Executive Session. Motion: Made by Bob Brick and Seconded by Ljuba Marsh to go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing Real Estate negotiations.  The vote was unanimous affirmative.


Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

Board Meeting

Thursday, August 15, 2013 5-7PM


Ljuba Marsh, Heyda Martinez, Vivian Pappas, Dan Zukergood, Bob Brick,

Lillian Miranda, Keith Purcell

Absent: Elaine Reall, Ruben Sepulveda, Rhonda Soto, Ingrid Askew, Hazel Rosario

Others: Amanda Rodriquez, Sam Texidor, students

Public Comment:  To avoid conflict of interest, Charles Hopkins has resigned as President of the Board to assume the position as temporary SPED Director.  Heyda Martinez, vice president, assumes the duties as president of the Board for the time being.  Charles asked board members for help in the search for a permanent SPED director.

A review of minutes from June Board Meeting

Motion: Vivian Pappas, Second: Ljuba Marsh, to accept minutes of the May meeting as submitted.

VOTE: Unanimous in favor.

Discussion: Orientation Process, Ljuba presented an overview of the 2 week orientation process for faculty & staff starting Monday, August 19.

Old Business

No old business

President’s Report

Ethics Ruling, Officer changes Membership questions discussed, attendance by Skype as possible method of attending and voting during a meeting, the question of out of state members remaining on the Board.  Heyda will contact members who live outside of MA.  Possible new board candidates mentioned.

Unanimous acceptance of President’s Report

Finance Committee Report

FY 13 financial report & FY 14 financials to date.  Bob Brick reviewed employee benefits during Financial Committee Report.

Executive Director’s report, Bob Brick

Requested a vote to select American Benefits as our Employee Benefits provider.

Motion to approve both: Ljuba Marsh, 2nd Dan Zuckergood.

VOTE: Unanimous approval.

Requested a vote to change the Employee Benefits Policy by amending the Benefits-at-a-Glance. (attached)

Motion to approve: Ljuba Marsh, 2nd Dan Zuckergood.

VOTE: Unanimous approval.

RFP deadline is 8/16/13; we’re in negotiation for an extended lease in current space.

Principal’s Report, Ljuba Marsh

Reported Enrollment going for 160 to plan for attrition due to the transient nature of our district.  Requested permission for another lottery on September 16th, deadline for submission September 10th.

Motion to approve September lottery, Bob Brick, 2nd Lillian Miranda.

VOTE: Unanimous approval

New Business

Looking for members for Site Review Committee

Motion to change next month’s meeting day to Monday the 16th at 6:00 PM, Bob Brick, 2nd Heyda.

Motion approved.



Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

Board Meeting

Thursday, June 20, 2013 5-7PM

Meeting Minutes


Keith Purcell, Ljuba Marsh, Bob Brick, Charles Hopkins, Lillian Miranda, Dan Zukergood, Vivian Pappas, Heyda Martinez

Absent: Elaine Reall, Ruben Sepulveda, Rhonda Soto, Ingrid Askew, Hazel Rosario


Amanda Rodriquez, student

There was a review  of minutes from the May Board Meeting.

Motion:  Ljuba Marsh, Second: Dan Zukergood.  To accept the minutes of the May meeting as submitted.

 VOTE: Unanimous in favor.

 Instead of a Social Justice discussion we took a 15 minutes tour through our beautiful new home.

Old Business


President’s Report

Charles reported on the upcoming DESE phone call on SPED requirements scheduled for tomorrow.

Finance Committee Report

The Treasurer, Keith Purcell submitted reports from the end of May. The Balance Sheet and P & L actual versus budget were discussed.  He reported that we were in good shape.  He reminded the Board that starting in August these reports would become much more involved.

Keith also reported on the Line of Credit approval from Peoples Bank.  He reported on the MassDev Tech loan of 150k and that it should go forward.

Keith ask for a vote on hiring an accounting firm for our 18 month financial review, due following the end of this year.

MOTION:  By Ljuba Marsh, Dan Zukergood seconded.  To hire Daniel Dennis and Company LLP for our 18-month financial review and to authorize Keith Purcell to sign an engagement letter for an estimate of $3500.

Vote: Unanimous affirmative.

Principal’s Report

 Ljuba shared enrollment update issues and problems.  Especially the issue of reaching families that have applied and been accepted but have no current way to contact them.  Ljuba has been doing home visits to try to find them. In some cases we have had to drop them from the list and move on to the waiting list.  We hope to enroll 160 for opening day.


To set our next lottery, Tuesday, August 6th with a deadline for submission of Thursday, August 1st. 

Motion: Dan Zuckergood, Second: Vivian Pappas

VOTE: Unanimous affirmative

Hiring Issues: 

Ljuba is working on our last few hiring issues.  She is still looking for apprentice math and apprentice biology teachers.  Also, she is trying to hire part time staff for sports, physical education, technology, and arts teachers.

Teachers are working on curriculum, standards and benchmarks, rubrics, lessons, etc.

She reported that materials and textbooks are to be ordered in July.

Executive Director’s Report:       


MOTION:  To authorize the Executive Director to enter into contracts, loans and other legal instruments as approved by the Board of Trustees and to sign said documents.

Motion: by Bob Brick, Second by Keith Purcell.

Vote: Unanimous affirmative

MOTION: by Bob Brick, second by Lillian Miranda, To authorize the Executive Director to sign the loan papers for the $300,00 line of credit loan with the People bank.

VOTE: Unanimous Affirmative

 Motion: by Bob Brick , second by Vivian Pappas To authorize the Executive Director to sign the loan papers for the MassDevelopment Tech Loan for $150,000 for a term of one-year.

VOTE: Unanimous Affirmative

New Business



Minutes submitted August 16, 2013

Joanne Rose