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School updates, important dates, and other notices.

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: November 12, 2015

  1. Call to Order, Roll Call and Recognition of Visitors and Board Co-Chairs
    1. Yelena Hardcopf: Present
    2. Oksana Cox:Present
    3. Natalia Kormina:Present
    4. Elizaveta Lindman: Present
    5. Christian Schmidt: Present
    6. Ben Wallace: Present
    7. Alex Brusilovsky: Present
    8. Paul Kinsey, Executive Director, ex officio board member.: Present
    9. Visitors in attendance: Gedaly Meerovich, Michelle Hoffman CLA, Sher Tischner BDKA, Olesya Sazonova
  2. Approval of the Agenda for this meeting
    The board moves to approve the agenda with addition of the finance report to follow the audit report.
    Motion by: Christian Schmidt
    Second: Okasana Cox
    7-0-0
  3. Read the Nasha Shkola Mission and Vision
  4. Open Forum for members of the public wishing to address the board
    Gedaly Meerovich addressed to the board and informed the board of his concern regarding enrollment and the need for our school to more effectively market itself.
  5. Reports
    1. Co-Chairs Executive Report- Yelena Hardcopf and Oksana Cox.
      1. Our recently appointed parent candidate resigned due to health concerns. Our board currently has an open seat for a parent.
      2. IQS observations have begun.
      3. Our school needs to think of ways to develop the brand of our school.
    2. Executive Director report, Executive Director Paul Kinsley
      1. Current Enrollment: 125 Students
      2. Present Challenges.
        1. The school has seen the departure of three staff since the last board meeting. The school’s ELL teacher, second grade teacher, and special education teacher each resigned. Departing staff reported moral problems among staff, personal reasons, and better pay as reasons for abruptly ending employment with our school.
        2. The executive director would like to discuss problems among staff with the staff to determine ways to stop rumors, gossip, and speculation. The director would like a board member present who is not a member of the staff at our school.
        3. The board also discussed challenges such as cultural misunderstandings regarding Russian educated staff and staff with a mostly American education.
        4. The board also discussed the need to better communicate with staff.
      3. Student Achievement
        1. Students took the NWEA tests in October and parents will be given the results of the test during conferences in November. NWEA tests allow our school to measure student growth and are required by IQS.
        2. Pull out for title services are occurring and students are receiving supports as needed.
        3. The student find group is currently working on supporting two students who have been referred.
      4. Staff Update: Naira Maxa has been hired as title 1 and 3 teacher full time.
      5. LIT (Yelena Hardcopf): LIT group observed classroom to gather data on implementation of learning targets.
    3. Audit Report Michelle Hoffman, CLA
      Ms. Hoffman gave a summary of the report to the board.

      1. Ms. Hoffman explained the increase in TRA and PERA obligations is not a threat to the general fund balance and is not something that schools are held accountable for.
      2. Ms. Hoffman also highlighted other areas of the report including food service deficits and community service deficits.
      3. Ms. Hoffman took questions about the report and explained that any late invoices should be identified as received late with a stamp. The billing party should be called after invoices are stamped.
      4. Ms. Hoffman also reported that the school had a positive general fund at year’s end and had a “clean audit.”
    4. Financial Report
      1. Ms. Hoffman gave a summary of the report to the board.
        1. Ms. Hoffman explained the increase in TRA and PERA obligations is not a threat to the general fund balance and is not something that schools are held accountable for.
        2. Ms. Hoffman also highlighted other areas of the report including food service deficits and community service deficits.
        3. Ms. Hoffman took questions about the report and explained that any late invoices should be identified as received late with a stamp. The billing party should be called after invoices are stamped.
        4. Ms. Hoffman also reported that the school had a positive general fund at year’s end and had a “clean audit.”
  6. Consent Agenda
    1. Minutes of October 8, 2015 Board meeting.
    2. Financials:October 2015
    3. Approve Work Agreements
      Naira Maxa, Title 1 & 3 Full time.
    4. Approve audit report
      The board moves to approve the consent agenda, minutes of the October 8, 22015 board meeting, the October 2015 Financials, and a work agreement for Naira Maxa with the addition of the board’s approval of the annual audit report.
      Motion by: Ben Wallace
      Second: Elizaveta Lindman
      7-0-0
  7. Old Business
    1. Before/After Care program
      Mr. Kinsley reported that the program‘s current cost is 165$ in excess of revenues. This program may be OK but the school needs to make sure parents are being billed in a timely and accurate way.
    2. Policies
      The board discussed the need for a revision of policies and the staff handbook with regards to staff expectations and retention of students who do not complete coursework. The board discussed the policies 1, 2, and 3 of the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools (MACS) board policies prior to the adoption of policies 1, 2, and 3.
      The board moves to adopt the MACS board policies 1, 2, and 3.
      Motion by: Christian Schmidt
      Second: Alex Brusilovsky
      7-0-0
    3. Nasha Shkola 2015-2016 Programming
      1. Ms. Hardcopf reported that future instruction in grades K-8 must align and flow smoothly from the earliest grades through middle school. This will allow students to make connections with material learned in previous years as they progress through each successive grade.
      2. The focus should be on Math instruction in grades K-8 with an emphasis on teaching Singapore math as set out in our charter with IQS. Other subjects should also align.
      3. This process could be helped with the hiring of a Math teacher for grades k-4 with a Russia background in Math instruction.
      4. The board discussed future programming at our school
  8. New Business
    1. Reduction of the director’s salary to assist with budget process- Director Kinsley has reduced his salary by another 9,000$. The director explains his decision.
    2. Discussion with Minnetonka Christian Academy on cost reductions ad building upkeep- Director Kinsley reported that he will be meeting with people from MCA to discuss the costs and the upkeep of the property rented by Nasha Shkola.
    3. Benefit comparison of Staff- Director Kinsley reported that the current benefit program offered to staff will expire in July of 2016. The director said he would look into retting a new plan in January of 2016 to avoid loss of coverage for staff.
    4. Annual Report- The director reported that this is currently in progress.
  9. Other
    1. New Year Programming Advertising- The board discussed the need to advertise for the New Year Program.
    2. Parent committee- The committee gave $350 for the purchase of a pass for the school for the Spelling Bee and Russian Museum of Art.
  10. Adjourn
    The board moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:59pm.

Action items:

  1. Membership on the curriculum committee.
  2.  Revise polices in the staff handbook and policy book with regards to two weeks of plans for departing staff and the retention of students.
  3.  The board should have a working session on ways to develop the brand of our school.

Nasha Shkola — Russian for Our School — is an academically rigorous K-8 charter school, providing a highly-structured learning environment for students interested in Russian language and culture.

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School Info

Nasha Shkola
6717 85th Avenue North
Brooklyn Park, MN 55445

Phone: 763-496-5550
Fax: 763-424-8520

School Hours
Monday – Friday:
8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Office Hours
Monday – Friday:
8 am – 4 pm