News & Announcements

School updates, important dates, and other notices.

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: September 18, 2018

  1. Call to Order, Roll Call and Recognition of Visitors and Board Co-Chairs
    • Alekej Abyzov: Absent
    • Mark Eilers: Present
    • Ivanna Gradinar: Absent
    • Yelena Hardcopf: Present
    • Julia Ishanova: Absent
    • Yelena Kurdyumova: Present
    • Elizaveta Lindman: Present
    • Christian Schmidt: Present
    • Paul Kinsey, Executive Director, ex officio board member: Present
    • Visitors in attendance: Sergey Porada, Andrew Wood of Nasha Shkola, and Nicole Nelson of IQS.
  2. Approval of the Agenda for this meeting
  3. Read the Nasha Shkola Mission and Vision – Paul Kinsley
    Vision:
    To be an academically rigorous school preparing students for continued success as motivated learners and global citizens.
    Mission: Nasha Shkola aspires to be a multi-cultural charter school committed to exceptional education in all areas of academic inquiry with an emphasis on Russian Language and Culture, providing structured and responsive learning environment based upon educational best practices for all students and their families.
  4. Open Forum for members of the public wishing to address the board
    • No comments from the public.
  5. Reports

    1. Audit report by Justin Nilsen CPA for Abdo, Eick, and Myers
      • The CPA delivered a “clean unmodified opinion.”
      • No findings on internal control.
      • Student count is low which is a worrisome thing.
      • Positive balance in lunch account is a good thing.
      • Increase revenue by increasing students.”
      • Board members asked some questions about student support services and reimbursement.
      • Question on ADM.
      • Food service budgeted transfer but not needed.
      • Board members talked briefly with the auditor about the process of auditing schools and how it works.
    2. Executive Director report
      1. Enrollment- 102
        • This is below our budgeted amount of 125 students and is very concerning to the school.
      2. First week of school report (operations, student count, programming)
        • The school had some transportation hiccups with buses arriving to school late to pick up students.
        • Problems have lessened since the first week of school.
        • JMC parent Portal is activated.
        • This can be used in other ways.
        • All the data for students has been entered.
        • New this year: Art classes to grades K-8 and PhyEd classes to grades K-4 with the help of highly qualified community experts
        • Fall growth assessments have begun including the NWEA Map tests, benchmarking and diagnostic testing. This data is used to identify students for support services.
        • Curriculum night , Thursday September 20th: The purpose of curriculum night is for parents and guardians to meet with classroom teachers to learn about grade level curriculum and expectations for the school year. Parents will hear presentation about schoolwide assessments, support services (Title programs), and School-Family Compact.
        • The school will continue to do guided reading as a schoolwide intervention/support/enrichment strategy. A new curriculum has been purchased for this purpose.
        • Question on reasons for decrease in enrollment. Busing was the main reason student enrollment decreased. Two or three students went to Parnassus.
        • Programming: The school has applied for prekindergarten program with the IQS. The following steps: approval by IQS, approval by the MDE, budget and planning starting in January.
        • Professional Development: the school has provided professional development for school staff during the teacher workshops week. PD was focused on areas of best teaching practices to promote student learning and increase proficiency: Formative Assessment (book study: Providing Effective Feedback), Using technology in the classroom (6hrs- Google Apps), Child Find/Study (identifying and supporting struggling students), and Literacy Intervention in the area of reading.
      3. MCA & ACCESS results on student achievement
        The Minnesota Department of Education Recognizes 526 Schools across the state as top performers in multiple areas of progress in school performance. Nasha Shkola Charter School is recognized for its progress toward English Language Proficiency. The recognition is a key part of the state’s new North Star accountability system that aims to create more equitable and wellrounded learning opportunities for all students across the state.
      4. Other reports
        • Ms. Kurdyumova reported she had disseminated flyers during campaign events, talked about the school during a video interview outside the school, and went to Wyoming on a business trip.
        • Ms. Kurdymova said flyers were too late to be effective.
        • The Executive Director presented the articles of incorporation for the school with Article V that outlines rules on political activity of board members. Board members examine the document. Ms. Kurdyumova makes a statement saying that running for a public office is not considered to be a political activity.
    3. Financial Report
      1. Fund 1 has a positive balance of $87,336.00 Fund 2 has a deficit of $1,358
      2. The bank balance is $78,039.35
      3. Fund balance has increased to $107,624.00
        • The school was able to save $51,940 after negotiations with the bus company.
        • The budget is currently 12 students over current enrollment. This could result in cuts and or revision of data during the November meeting.
  6. Consent Agenda
    1. Minutes of August 21, 2018 Board meeting
    2. Financials August 2018.
    3. Employment contract approval: Nicole and Sam

      Motion to approve the consent agenda 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3.
      Motion by: Mark Eilers
      Seconded by: Christian Schmidt
      6-0-0

  7. Old Business
    1. Strategic Plan: Annual Goals
      • The board examined the goals.
      • We examined areas for improvement such as increasing family and community engagement and retaining quality teachers.
      • Other areas of improvement are fiscal responsibility such as increasing our fund balance and developing a K-8 Russian language curriculum map.
      • The board will revisit goals in December.
      • The board asked some questions about smart goals and some board members commented on goals.
  8. New Business
    1. Decreased enrollment and its financial implications.
      1. Previously, the director’s salary has been cut significantly to increase fund balance and address the shortage of the funds. The director can’t afford to do this any longer and will be stepping aside and not collecting his salary for this year. He will continue working with the school in reviewing finances and providing guidance in operations, but he won’t be present at school two days a week.
      2. The school will apply for pre-school through IQS and will find out the results of the application in 2019.
    2. Strategies for increasing enrollment (CCX, Facebook, Russian Directory, newspaper adds, school rating websites, etc.)
      1. The school has poor ratings on school rating websites. Three of these types of websites have negative reviews by individuals who have grievances against our school. This is not an accurate depiction of what we do.
      2. The board agreed that the school needs to increase its web presence.
      3. The board came up with a list of ideas to increase awareness of our school: Facebook connections, Sun Sailor Paper, Robotics night, Information night on U.S. Russia relations, summer camp, adult basic education, family involvement, create smart places.
      4. The board talked about marketing versus community involvement and how we can get parents involved.
      5. Create an outreach committee of parents to talk to church’s with Slavic speaking populations.
      6. Create a committee on outreach made up of parents on the board.
      7. Tell parents about our schools’ existential crisis.
    3. Teachers salary schedule
      1. The board discussed the need of finding ways to retain quality staff. The discussion started with ideas of increasing teachers wages as happens in traditional public schools. The suggestions were made to come up with a plan to figure out ways to retain staff both monetary and nonmonetary. Arguments were also made that the school is not in position to introduce a payment plan or schedule due to unstable enrollment and shortage of funds. The issue requires more information to be addressed in a productive manner.
    4. Closed meeting: transportation

      Motion to table closed meeting.
      Motion by Christian Schmidt
      Seconded by: Mark Eilers
      5-0-0

  9. Other
  10. Adjourn
    Motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:04pm.
    Motion by Christian Schmidt
    Seconded by: Mark Eilers
    5-0-0

The Nasha Shkola Board meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:30
The finance Committee meets at 5:30 prior to the board meeting.

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Revisit ways to retain quality staff.
  2. Create a committee of parent members of the school board to help increase enrollment and reach out to the community.
  3. Transitional structure for the school’s management
  4. Ask attorney about the limits of political activity and board members.
  5. Strategies to increase enrollment ASAP.

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.

Contact Us

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