Minutes from November 8, 2011 Open Meeting

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Open Board of Directors

San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408


Present:  Pete Aguilar, Dimitrios Alexiou, Carole Beswick, Ann Bryan, Ken Coate, Bill Easley, Al Karnig, Ed Lasak, Neil Macready, John Mirau, Lou Monville, Mike Page, Bev Powell, John Prentice, Ty Schuiling, Kristine Scott, Larry Sharp, Paul Shimoff, Phillip Southard, Shelli Stockton, Steve von Rajcs and Stan Weisser.

Guests: Robbie Broedow, Jason Jimenez, Jim Morris, Trevor Shunk, and Steve Wall

Announcements:  1) Pacific Gas & Electric and Best, Best & Krieger have accepted invitations of membership to Inland Action.   

M/S/P: Minutes of the November 1, 2011 meeting.

Lou Monville introduced Margaret Fortune, CEO Fortune School of Education.

Margaret Fortune is committed to closing the achievement gap in San Bernardino schools.  She met with local San Bernardino parents who then joined with Sacramento-based Fortune School of Education to bring a new school to San Bernardino focused on improving academic performance and increasing college going rates of African American students. 

Hardy Brown College Prep (HBCP) is a charter school in San Bernardino located in the Carousel Mall. Approved unanimously by the San Bernardino City Unified School District Board, the school opened in August 2010.  It is modelled after PS7, a successful K-8 Charter school in Sacramento serving predominately African American students.  PS7, founded in 2003, has had incredible success with scores on the California Academic Performance Index that are far above the state’s goals for all public schools.  The education model is replicated at HBCP by implementing the following five core principals of education achievement:
1) High expectations
2) Choice and commitment
3) More time
4) Focus on results
5) Citizenship   

Structure and guidance
College attendance is ingrained in the students at HBCP beginning in kindergarten.  Students may choose not to attend college but it will not be because they are unprepared.  Parents are encouraged to be engaged and are assisted by a family “playbook” that has been compiled for them by the school.  This “play book” has suggestions and guidelines to further encourage and challenge the student in daily activity.

Their school day and school year are longer than public schools and they have formed partnerships with groups such as the Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs to provide appropriate after school programs.  The performance based non-union teachers are “at-will” employees that are initially screened thru a rigorous process that includes interviews and a taped teaching demonstration.  Once hired, the teachers are assessed three times per year.  The salary range is 37-56K per year with average salaries of 45K.  Funding for charter schools is the same as traditional public schools and is based on Average Daily Attendance (ADA).  Currently the state rate is $5,500.00 per student.  Additionally they can apply for federal and block grants.   Unlike traditional district schools, most charter schools do not receive funding to cover the cost of securing a facility.

Politics of Charter Schools

Approximately 9 months of community organization is needed for a charter school to succeed.  The community must have the political will to challenge the status quo. It is not uncommon for a charter school to be denied at the district but then authorized through the county.  In the case of HBCP, pressure was expressed by parents and supporters attending the board vote wearing matching T-shirts as they filmed the proceedings.   

Margaret Fortune is dedicated to improving education.  Although she stresses the importance of a clear mission, clear standards and a disciplined structure, the biggest determining factors for successful academic results are extraordinary teachers.  

A Q & A period followed.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 a.m.