Advisory Board Notes

Welcome to the Lesley Ellis School Advisory Board (LEAB) Notes Page.

Here you will find highlights from the LEAB throughout the school year…

At the January, 2014 Advisory Board Meeting…

  • Head of School Deanne Benson gave an update on her goals for the year, which focus on middle school program development and implementing the plans for the Lesley Ellis House and the work to be done in the Wing.
  • The Board had a lengthy discussion on plans for the spring Annual Meeting. The Executive Committee will take the information and create a draft agenda. 
  • Jackie Robinson reported from the Development Committee that the Annual Fund is at $43,000. Work on the auction is underway!
  • The Program Committee is researching scientists in the area to support the planned Visiting Scientist Program that will be launched in 2014-2015.
At the December, 2013 Advisory Board Meeting…
  • The RFP for the Gibbs Building lease was made public this week.
  • The AISNE Visiting Team (for re-accreditation) has just finished their visit. The school will receive a report at the end of January, 2014.
  • The Development Committee gave an update on the Annual Fund, which at the time of the meeting was at $20,000.
  • As a main task for the year, the Finance Committee is working on developing a financial aid policy.
At the November, 2013 Advisory Board Meeting….
  • The Board approved tuition for the 2014-2015 school year at $24,010, emphasizing a desire to increase faculty salaries.
  • Head of School Deanne Benson shared details about the upcoming AISNE Visiting Team’s upcoming arrival on December 8 as the school finished the re-accreditation process.
  • The school is hosting a Middle School Open House in November and beginning a series of Middle School in Motion events for students in grades 3-6 and their parents.
  • The Development Committee reported that Annual Fund appeals were mailed and parent volunteers will make follow-up calls.
At the October, 2013 Advisory Board Meeting …
  • The Lesley Ellis Advisory Board reviewed the goals of several of the standing committees including: Finance Committee- goals include developing a financial assistance policy and investigate tiered tuition. Marketing Committee - planning many activities and materials to promote Middle School at Lesley Ellis. Development Committee - volunteers will make phone calls about Annual Giving this year.
  • Deanne Benson reported that the Lesley Ellis House is now being used for upper elementary and middle school science. Plans are in the works to complete work on the second floor for use next year. The Garden Committee helped with some landscaping outside of the house!

At the September, 2013 Advisory Board Meeting …   

  • LEAB Chair, Rebecca Trachsel welcomed new members, James Braman, Development Committee; Lisa Corrin, Development Committee; Scott Packard, Marketing Committee; and Megan Lancelotta, Parents Association Co-Chair; 
  • Ellen Stimson, of Isabel Pratt, lead a working session with the group for Capital Campaign planning  
At the January, 2013, Advisory Board Meeting…
  • The Finance Committee presented 5-year financial projections, which take into account various enrollment simulations. 
  • Carlos Morales reported the Finance Committee’s tuition recommendation for the 2013/2014 school year. The recommendation for a tuition increase of 5% was based on a need to increase faculty salaries.
  • Deanne Benson reported on the first meeting of the Joint Oversight and Expansion Committee. The committee is working on a plan to renovate the first floor of 19 Foster Street and install glass panels on the upper Wing classroom in time for the start of school in September 2013.
  • Ted Wilson shared information with the Advisory Board about the upcoming (April 5) NISCE Conference.
At the November, 2012, Advisory Board Meeting…
  • LEAB Chair, Rebecca Trachsel, reviewed the various questions that came up at the Annual Meeting, as well as plans to address those questions. Areas being worked on for completion before the end of the calendar year include financial modeling, facility vetting relative to compliance with different oversight bodies, and coordination with Schools for Children. A fundraising/financing plan is also being developed. Everyone in the school community received a letter communicating this information.
  • Head of School, Deanne Benson, reported on a very successful Early Childhood Educator’s Forum with 75+ attendees from area preschools. Our Early Childhood Program Director, Barb Wilder-Smith, was the presenter. Deanne also updated the Advisory Board on how hard the faculty is working on the AISNE Self Study, for Lesley Ellis School, which is part of the Association of Independent Schools in New England re-accreditation process.
  • Finance Committee Chair, Carlos Morales, reported on the financial scenarios that committee is building so that school will know the financial impact of different decisions as we expand our school.
  • The Marketing Committee is developing a Middle School page for our website.

At the October, 2012, Advisory Board Meeting…

  • Deanne Benson shared the architect’s suggestions for how we use both 19 Foster Street and repurpose some of the space we currently use in the Gibbs Building so that we can comfortably add grades 7 and 8, as well as continue our current program. These plans will be shared at the October 25, 2012, Annual Meeting.
  • The Finance, Marketing and Program Committees all shared their goals for the year, with each committee focusing on various aspects of the school’s expansion to 8th grade and upcoming facility changes.
  • Ted Wilson reported that the National Institute for Child Centered Education (NISCE) is continuing to have professional conversations in various venues, and their first full-day symposium is scheduled for April 5, 2013.

At the September, 2012, Advisory Board Meeting ...

  • The LEAB welcomed new members Kathryn Geismar, Lisa Giovanetti, and Carlos Morales. Cheryl Mullan will be the PA representative to the board.
  • Director of Development, Diane Lewis, gave a summary report from the last school year.  Total giving in 2011-2012 increased to just over $150K, with $90K attributed to the Annual Fund and $43K attributed to the Auction.
  • Director of Admission, Tricia Moran, shared that our enrollment is at an all time high of 179 students. Approximately 17% of our families receive financial aid.
  • All of the Advisory Board committees (Marketing, Development, Program, and Executive) have their first meeting scheduled prior to October 4. Each committee’s first meeting will focus on goal setting for the year. 
  • Head of School, Deanne Benson, shared her goals with the Advisory Board. Main areas of focus are grade 7 and 8 program planning; use of 19 Foster Street and the Gibbs Building; support writing of the school’s self study as part of the AISNE re-accreditation process.