THE YEAR OF COLLABORATION Table of Contents
Our Vision: We are a force for positive change in the world by cultivating courage, confidence, and a passionate presence in everything we do. Our Mission: We will provide an academically rigorous, arts-infused education in a safe and supportive learning community. We will ignite the personal potential of our students and empower them to become compassionate, powerful thinkers and leaders. Our Values: We value an educational approach that allows our students to: • Acquire an outstanding academic foundation and be enthusiastic about continuing their learning •Face challenges with confidence, persistence and creativity •Develop self-awareness and reach their potential artistically, socially and emotionally •Bring compassion to their friendships and their local and global communities We believe that community is built through the practice of open, supportive and constructive engagement, and that through this we will: •Maintain a strong and vibrant community •Explore and develop opportunities for community growth and enrichment
Head of School Message 3 Strategic Goals
History of Development
Growth of School
Task Force Updates
Board and Staff
As Chair of the Board of Directors for Urban Academy, it is my great pleasure to share with you our 2011-2012 Annual Report. This year in review is another we can be very proud of as we saw significant growth, development, and progression in many areas of the school. Entering into this last academic year we had heard from the community through our School Wide Evaluation. What we heard was that the Community, Staff and Board were united in their satisfaction with the quality education we have created for our children and the strong community that came as a result of it. They were also united in their desire for further developing and improving our program offerings, for hiring additional expertise, and expanding our facility to accommodate our growth. The Board of Directors took this community feedback very seriously, and embarked on a mission to address these points within the academic year. Early in 2011-2012 we got to work on hiring a professional Marketing and Admissions Director to optimize our advertising, exposure in the independent school market, and to increase our general enrolment. The success of this one change alone saw an increase in student population of 18% in just 8 months. In addition, for the first time in the history of the school, the Board of Directors decided to appoint a member to the Board who was from outside of the Urban Academy community. We have begun this process with our first Independent Director being Cheryle Beaumont, who, as a retired Superintendent, past principal, and teacher, brings a wealth of knowledge from her 36 years of experience in education. Ms. Beaumont will be a valuable asset to the future growth of Urban Academy. We have also engaged in a consulting contract with Mr. Eddie de Beers, past Deputy Head of School for Mulgrave. Mr. de Beers brings with him 12 valuable years of experience being part of the growth of a new school from it’s humble beginnings to it’s maturity. The support and guidance he offers the leadership of Urban Academy will be a great benefit as we manage our own significant growth currently underway. During the 2011-2012 school year the Board also created task forces using community members to assist in the research work of evaluating our grade offerings and looking to improve our income streams for the future. The updates of these task forces will be detailed within the body of this report. In addition a task force specifically devoted to facilities research was also struck to address the issue that growth is imminent and further facilities are required. As a primary responsibility for the Board of Directors we also took on the significant work of updating and clarifying our official 5 year Strategic Plan. Using feedback provided through community surveys, the school wide evaluation, task force recommendations, and referencing the previous Strategic Plan, the Board of Directors completed this exhaustive but exciting undertaking. The result is a crystal clear vision of a mature Urban Academy, one which we are proud to share and excited to unfold. Every step of the way in creating this Strategic Plan for Urban Academy’s future we have reflected on connecting each goal with the Vision, Mission and Core Values of the school. We have broken down the growth into attainable objectives which are already underway. We are a Board committed to being a force for positive change in this world and focused on the mission of igniting our students’ personal potential. With our future so clearly laid out and our stakeholders so excited to support the growth, it is truly an exciting time to be a member of this wonderful community. Deborah McKenzie Chair – Urban Academy Board of Directors
Head of School Report Reflection is one of the most powerful tools we have to gain wisdom, refocus our vision and mission, and ensure that our actions are aligned with our goals. During the 2011-2012 school year, the Urban Academy community experienced a very positive momentum shift. Our vision, mission, and strategic planning became clearer and this led to attracting additional talented professionals, resources, social capital and new families to our school. The UA Board of Directors can be credited with the major revision of our strategic plan; reflecting on community surveys and focus groups and clarifying our strategic direction. It is an honour to work with such a talented group of parents that are so dedicated to the well-being of UA students and families. I am impressed by the financial stewardship of the Board of Directors and the Finance Committee. All of these volunteer parents are looking carefully at the value we are getting for each dollar we invest in our students. I owe a debt of gratitude to Deborah McKenzie, our Board Chair, for her dynamic leadership. Deborah cares so deeply about the experience that each family has at our school and I am inspired by her determination to hold high standards in all aspects of our work. Our parent involvement in the school was outstanding throughout the year. Parents were involved in school events, community events, charitable acts, field trips,
committee work, class presentations, parent-teacher discussions, staff appreciation, morning circles, lunch time supervision (the list is endless). My staff and I are grateful for the exceptional support that was given from the parent body. We took significant strides as a staff in our understanding of concept-based learning. Ms. Adisa, Ms. Celis, and Ms. Wright took part in advanced conceptbased training. Their insights are regularly shared with UA staff during professional development days, morning meetings, collaborative meetings, and specific concept-based planning sessions. Ms. Celis and Ms. Adisa continued to stand out as leaders throughout the year leading to their promotions this year to Directors of our Junior and Senior schools. In our regular collaborative meetings, it is evident that these two individuals inspire courage and confidence in their colleagues and students. Great progress was also made in the area of arts-infused learning. Ms. Spencer in collaboration with all staff ensured that our students’ imaginations were cultivated through highly creative and complex learning projects. We have been able to showcase our students’ creativity at a wealth of community and marketing events. People in our wider community are drawn to what our students have achieved as artists and thinkers.
Ms. Sonja Kennedy, a wellestablished marketing professional, joined the UA team in January. We could not have asked for a more dynamic, intelligent, and charismatic marketing leader. Ms. Kennedy was able to look deeply at the programs we offer and reflect these to our wider community in a way that was clearly understood. New families are attracted to our arts-infused, concept based approach to learning. Sonja also is an excellent listener and regularly brings ideas from UA families to the leadership team for consideration. She knows the importance of responding proactively to families and values each family and their UA experience. This is truly an exciting time to be part of the UA community – clear in our direction, generous with our time and energy, and united in our efforts.
Michael Bouchard Head of School
Strategic Goals Urban Academy is committed to the following:
Education: We will enhance educational excellence through an innovative 21st century curriculum
Finance: We will maintain a financially sustainable school while retaining accessibility
Community: We will engage the community in the realization of the Urban Academy Vision, Mission and Core Values
Staff: We will attract and develop a dynamic, effective staff who embody the Core Values of our School Community
Governance: We will ensure a visionary, stable and accountable Society and Board structure clearly communicated to the Community
Advancement: We will build on our culture of giving to support the growth of Urban Academy
Facilities: We will enhance our existing facilities and provide new structures and technologies that support our curriculum and culture
Student Achievement Urban Academy saw many successes in fulfilling our mission for the 2011-2012 school year. Academically Rigorous
Academically and socially our students demonstrated their commitment to excellence. These achievements are due to hard work, determination, excellent instruction and engaging units of inquiry. In Reading and Mathematics 86% of our students met or exceeded the Provincial Standards on their Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA). In writing, 100% of students met or exceeded these standards. The most impressive results on the FSA came from our Gr. 4 students (75% of these students exceeded the provincial standards in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics). In our high school our academic goal was a B plus average in the core subjects of English, Math, Science and Social Studies. In 2011-2012, our UA high school students maintained an average grade of A minus. In the area of science achievement, two of our senior school students received honourable mention, at the Greater Vancouver Regional District Science Fair.
There were numerous opportunities for UA students to develop their creativity while increasing their knowledge in core content areas. Ms. Spencer (Fine Arts), Ms. Newman (Drama) , and Ms. Stewart (Music) worked collaboratively with core UA staff to develop Arts-Infused projects that related to student inquiries. Memorable projects included tessellation projects in mathematics and the Fine Arts, anatomy projects using clay, sculptures relating to the Golden Ratio, and the combination of music, drama, art, and dance in our spring plays.
Marketing & Admissions: We will attract and retain students and families aligned with our Vision and Mission
More Student Achievement Safe and Supportive Learning Community UA teachers ensure that UA classrooms are safe learning spaces where students enjoy taking appropriate risks. Ideas generated during student discussions are respected and UA students are specifically taught how to build on each otherâ€™s ideas and give intellectual credit when it is due. Buddy learning, where older students mentor younger students, is a regular part of our learning program and fosters a culture of caring between all grade levels.
Igniting the Personal Potential of Students Student council was supported by UA staff to develop their leadership skills and actively promote a vibrant school community. Students had the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities to promote their personal growth including: speech and debate, organic gardening, community service, UA ambassador program, camping, tennis, drama, choir, and science workshops. Students also attended unique field trips that were designed to support their regular classes and units of inquiry. Our senior students have a special UA Pins Recognition Program that honours their academic and social contributions.
Compassionate, Powerful Thinkers and Leaders In addition to their academic achievements, Urban Academy students also demonstrated a commitment to giving back to their broader community. Examples of these contributions include: junior school students building relationships with seniors at a local care facility; senior school students serving food to those in need; and many of our students performing at Royal City Centre to honour the seniors in our community. The entire student body contributed generously to our Terry Fox Run and Run for Water campaigns. Our Run for Water campaign ensured that 144 people in Ethiopia will have clean water throughout their lifetime.
History of Development
Urban Academy began in a rented space of Knox Presbyterian Church in New Westminster with one teacher and ten students. Using a model of adding one grade per year to maintain a careful and balanced approach to growth, after four years of operation, Urban Academy had outgrown its space in the back of Knox Presbyterian Church in Sapperton. Attempts were made to buy or lease other properties for two years to no avail, as no bank would grant a mortgage to a small, non-profit society with limited history, limited cash flow, and no assets. April 2005, the UA Board entered into discussions with a consultant for ideas on how to raise capital to purchase a space that would allow the school to grow and have a permanent home. A series of Board and community meetings and information sessions throughout May and June 2005 were facilitated and in response to feed back from these sessions a proposal for a Parent Equity program was presented and ultimately supported and initiated. This financial vehicle was regulated and authorized by the Canadian Securities Commission and had been successfully used to raise equity in a number of other independent schools in Canada. The initial installment of Parent Equity units allowed Urban Academy to be taken seriously in the local real estate market. In the late summer of 2006, with the generosity of primary lender, Gerald Schweighofer, the school was able to acquire, for 2.1 million dollars, what was then known as Robson Manor. This beautiful heritage building was in a fantastic location, near parks, skytrain and the Queenâ€™s Park fields and sports facilities, and provided a space where the school could grow, and where it resides today. The facilities have since undergone three renovation stages: An initial renovation to bring the building to the code of a four story commercial building, remove the catering kitchen and transform various rooms into appropriate classrooms and office spaces began in the summer of 2006. A second smaller renovation removed two key walls to expand two rooms to classroom size was followed by construction of a play ground in 2008. A portable, housing two classrooms, was added at the back of the facility in 2009. A large renovation in the summer of 2010 added Type Of School: Non Profit, Independent, Non Denominational dormers and converted the fourth floor attic to two Age Range Of Pupils: 4 â€“ 18 additional classrooms with a Grade Offering: JK to Grade 12 science lab, counseling, and tutoring space. This work Opening Date: 2001 also provided the Gender Of Pupils: Mixed opportunity to physically expand the school library. Number On Roll: 120 The next step for Urban Number of Staff: 21 (see page 16 for full list) Academy was the further assessment and review of Campus: Urban Academy, New Westminster, British Columbia our facilities needs and Curriculum: Non-denominational, Ministry of Education Inspected opportunities through related task forces Appropriate Authority: Board of Directors (Urban Academy Society) beginning in January 2012. Lead Administrator: Michael Bouchard, Head of School (Further details on this process are outlined in the Facilities Report on pages 8 and 9)
School Address: 101 Third St, New Westminster, B.C. V3L 2P9 Telephone Number: 604-524-2211 Fax Number: 604-524-2711 Web Site: www.urbanacademy.ca 6
GROWTH OF THE SCHOOL School Year
Kindergarten / Grade One
Rental space at Knox Presbyterian
Grade Two added
Rental space at Knox Presbyterian
Grade Three added
Rental space at Knox Presbyterian (Damage by arson fire relocates classrooms to hall during repair)
Grade Four added
Rental space at Knox Presbyterian
Grade Five added
Financial research initiated and potential sites assessed for planned expansion
Grade Six added and Out of School Care opened
Robson Manor was purchased, the property rezoned, and a large initial renovation completed to upgrade from Residential to Commercial and meet the schoolâ€™s needs
Grade Seven and Junior Kindergarten added. Kindergarten expanded to a full time verses a half day program
Grade Eight added
Playground and fencing addition completed as well as interior renovation to create two more classrooms
Grade Nine added
Portable added to back of facility adding two more classrooms
Grade Ten added, summer programs developed and provided
Attic renovated and dormers added to develop: two additional classrooms, tutoring center, computer and science lab and resource storage and library expanded.
Grade Eleven added, summer programs expanded
Facilities upgrades and repairs prioritized and completed including flooring renewal , emergency outbuilding and organic garden added to school grounds
Grade Twelve added
Submarine sandbox built. Facilities expansion plan in the works and negotiations underway for additional space. 7
Facilities Report Historical background: In 2005 Urban Academy initiated its search for a permanent location. From 2001until 2005 Urban Academy operated out of a leased space under a model of moving towards a purchase option once a fiscally responsible and calculated level of growth was achieved. It was at this time that Robson Manor came to the table as an option for purchase. As you will see in the attached Growth of School timeline, much has happened since then. Many people (Board, Staff, Parents, and Consultants) oversaw the initial re-zoning, acquisition, renovation and additions to the existing facility. Over the past few years they also continued building relationships within the community and researching growth potential for either an interim secondary site (5 year plan) or a dream goal of securing a larger site to one day be home to the long term vision of Urban Academy. Past Year completed projects: 2011-2012 saw the completion of several upgrades to our facility gratefully funded via our first year of collecting a Facilities Fee, an annual fee that supports maintaining, repairing and improving the existing facility in order that it remain safe, and in great working order for the wellbeing of our students and community. This past year, operational Facilities work changed structure with the introduction of a paid and
designated custodian who now manages a significant portion of regular repairs and maintenance, taking this work off the hands of
roundabout, installation of safety signage, repair and refinishing of the Urban Academy sign, exterior pressure washing, gutter repair,
volunteers. Having professional trades people managing the larger maintenance and repair issues that arise is also being accomplished through the annual Facilities Fee.
and painting, repairs and improvements to interior doors, replacement of a dishwasher, electrical upgrades, and most significantly upgrades & refurbishment to the main building boiler and hot water heating system, and new electric heat for the portable to provide desired classroom temperatures.
In the summer of 2012, (2012/2013 school year) a number of significant initiatives around Facilities also took place. These included replacing a damaged heritage window, blind repairs and replacements, painting, and retrofitting the garage doors with lighter window coverings to aid staff and student operations, painting of a student safety walkway in the
(Facilities Continued) Alongside the general maintenance and upgrades of the building, we saw the addition of a community organic garden built for and designed to aid student learning across the grades. This structure, along with the beautiful Emergency Preparedness Centre built in the back schoolyard were designed and built by an Urban Academy parent. The Emergency Preparedness Centre was built and stocked with supplies to coincide with the detailed Emergency Preparedness Plan created by our Head of School, in collaboration with another parent from our community (experienced in this field), and with additional support from the Justice Institute. Moving forward: Another important undertaking related to Facilities for the coming year will be the development of a Facilities Maintenance Plan to address the maintenance needs of the school over the next 2, 5, and 10 years. This will ensure we are able to plan for major works based on a long term maintenance schedule.
Â This strategic work will be completed in the coming year.
Exciting future growth and development: At the end of the 2011-2012 school year, a Facilities Dream Team was established, made up of Board, Staff, Parents & Consultants. While all of the above work was going on, The Facilities Dream Team has been working very hard towards delivering a facilities expansion plan for the 2013-2014 school year in order to align with the strategic goals of the school. We are excited to have put forward additional facilities options to the Board and are currently engaged, by way of letter of intent, for a secondary location in New Westminster ( by way of a lease option) for the 2013-2014 school year. Our current location will remain.
This work is being accomplished in conjunction with legal consultation and sound financial growth projections. We look forward to concluding negotiations in the new year, at which time details will be announced. As always, we remain positive and poised to be accommodating for our future growth for the coming years!
Financial Report My name is Elizabeth Fletcher and I was appointed Treasurer of Urban Academy in November, 2011. I am pleased to report that Urban Academy has a surplus of approximately $13,000 for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012. This surplus, while small, builds on the surplus from the prior year and helps us toward our goals of replacing our current mortgage with conventional financing and improving our financial sustainability.
Revenue Sources – 2011/12
I am also pleased to report that we were able to retain our Independent School Group 1 status through prudent fiscal spending. By keeping our annual eligible operating costs below the required threshold of $7,922 per student, we remained eligible for the maximum 50% funding from the Government, rather than the 35% funding allocated to Group 2 schools. It should be noted, however, that the annual grant per student actually fell in 2011-12, compared to the prior year. With the government grant for 2012-13 also expected to decline, it is essential that we increase our enrolment, in order to continue to maintain Group 1 status.The past year also saw the introduction of the Consolidated Fee, which represents charges for school facilities, textbooks, and field trips.
Facilities and textbook fee Other, including interest & OOSC 53%
High school levy
Donations and fund raising, net Registration & application fees
Total Revenues - $1,230,472
Expenses – 2011/12 2%
Teaching wages, sub-contracts and benefits Office salaries and expenses
Interest on demand loan Advertising and promotion
Professional fees Teaching and other supplies Repairs and maintenance
Events and fund raising expenses Utilities Other, including insurance & gym rental
Total Expenses - $1,217,111
(Finance Continued) Finally, in 2011-12 our Summer Camp program was established and generated $4,700 in support of general operations. In the coming year, the Finance Committee will develop financial plans to support the expected increase in enrolment and facilities for 2012-13. A Finance subcommittee will review the current tuition model and revenue streams, aligning to our strategic goals of financial sustainability and accessibility. I would like to thank the members of the Finance Committee for their dedication and hard work over the past year. In particular, thanks go to Patty Brnjac for her tremendous effort in preparing for the annual financial audit and Miranda McNamara for her tireless support of Finance Committee activities. For further financial information, please see the attached audited financial statements Elizabeth Fletcher - Treasurer ADVANCEMENT REPORT It gives me great pleasure to report on the success of our donation programs and friend/fundraising events for the 2011/12 school year. Most notably was the very significant commitment of volunteer hours tremendously accomplished by our families. We raised $24,467 by way of individual donations and an additional $20,348 (net of expenses) through fundraising events which included our “It’s a Love Thing” Gala, Annual Appeal, Business Directory and current/ Alumni family United Way company contributions which they gratefully directed to Urban Academy. Our overall contributions were down from last year, however the Urban Academy community remains grateful for the continued support of our families. A substantial amount of work was completed by the Board on refining the Strategic Plan document. An Advancement plan which supported and embraced aspects of the Strategic Plan was presented to the Board of Directors to ensure the funds received were directed towards the Head of School’s “WISH LIST” (in collaboration with Staff and Parent Surveys).
Advancement and PAX: Fundraising – 2011/12 2% 2% 3%
Avancement Donations Gala revenues, net of expenses Summer Camp Programs
Halloween Party 55% 21%
Yearbook Other events, net of expenses
Total Funds Raised - $44,815
(Advancement Continued) We are pleased to report the following items were purchased with these funds: technology upgrades that included Mimeo projectors, document cameras, Mac minis, software programs, keyboards, speakers, Mac computers, plus Science equipment (an Anatomical Skeleton the students named “Bob”), Library books and equipment, plus funding for additional after school programs. It became clear throughout the year that a data base management system and support staffing would be required to fully expand donation procurement, reporting and receipting activities let alone the development and execution of new events such as our “Wurst Party Ever” Parent Appreciation Night! The groundwork of investigating the best systems for the school was undertaken with a proposal of consideration for the following year. Looking forward, a future goal of Advancement in having us move towards our strategic plan in ensuring that Urban Academy is “a 1% 3% 2% financially accessible and sustainable school” 3% 6% was researched.
Advancement and PAX: Program Expenditures – 2011/12 Computers & Technology Drama Library
38% Cameras One way of achieving this goal will Furniture & Equipment 7% come from building a Art specific fund or Gym endowment to make 14% available more tuition Music assistance to assist Science students and families in 20% French need. Currently our donations are Total Program Expenditures - $20,729 designated to specific categories of giving if made by individual donors so that they can personally connect to their giving in a deeper way. The balance of funds go into unrestricted accounts that the Head of School accesses based on the priorities of the school and enriching its educational programs. The specific allocation of these funds are determined each year. As a young, growing school, we have incurred debt resulting from the initial acquisition and renovation of our beautiful facility. It has been challenging to provide significant financial aid programs, however since the inception of the school, accessibility has been of fundamental importance. While we have managed a very tight budget with ever increasing operational costs, we have managed to offer comparatively low tuition fees. It is true however, that as the cost of living increases and fees need to be adjusted, each year some families find the cost becomes prohibitive. By developing and building up an endowment for this purpose we will be able to offer a longer term partial solution to the issue of financial accessibility and sustainability. 12
(Advancement Continued) As the school grows, the success of our donation program is essential. The support shown by our families demonstrates so clearly the sense of community. We will continue to nurture and build upon a culture of philanthropy as these provide concrete examples to our children by living our values which is in so many ways invaluable to the school, the school culture and our children. Your Board of Directors was asked to “lead by example” in their giving, and as such must be recognized. Collectively, they have contributed over $65,000 to our donation programs since the Advancement office opened in 2011. Our school wide Annual Appeal was initiated last year and support was more limited than expected. The goal for the 2012-2013 school year is 100% participation. Together WE CAN! As always, we are deeply appreciative of the generosity by our families. On a personal level, I want to thank my Advancement team members, Jennifer Wipp (Gala Team Leader) Jayn Steele (Business Directory) and Stacy Kington (Pax). Our community is a giving community. Thank you for the many noble and altruistic family contributions which serve to both humble and inspire me. It is indeed a privilege to be part of such a community. Donna Tays Advancement Director email@example.com THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS We deeply appreciate the extent of your participation in supporting the education of our students who will make a difference in our world. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to those whose names appear on the following list. During our fiscal year July1, 2011- June 30, 2012, each of these made a contribution to our donation programs.* DONATIONS: Anonymous (4) Cory and Dana Bailey Phillip Cotterill Jennifer Danielson Laura and Brian Drummond The Fletcher Family Ted Hamilton Kate Lancaster The McKenzie Family Arif and Farzana Merali James Oh & Teresa Lime Jayn Steele Robert Tanaka Donna Tays & Glen Clarke Jennifer Thompson and Kurt Wipp The Hooper Family (5) Gala "Good Karma" ticket donors
CORPORATE SPONSORS: Carrier Talent Management Inc. Conex Projects Inc. Eric Pattison Architect HSBC Bank Canada CORPORATE DONORS
Aero Carpet Services Ltd. Big Life Coaching Cactus Club Cafe Cambridge Uniforms Chilliwack River Valley Natural Honey Ltd. Creatures of Deletion David Martino Hair @ Style Lab Designer Cookies Donald's Market * Every effort has been made to ensure the Dueck on Marine accuracy and completeness of these very Garden Works Mandeville important lists. We apologize for any errors Greens & Beans Deli or omissions.
CORPORATE DONORS Cont’d: Cartwright Jewelers Cadeaux Gifts and Home Embellishments Essence Hair Design Isagenix Products Canada Kunio Photography L'Atelier Exploration Studio Malene Grotrian Design NWSS “You Wear it Well” Pacific Breeze Winery Place des Arts Purdy's Chocolates Royal City Curling Club Science World Space to Shine Staccato Studios Starbucks Coffee Company Survivor Bootcamp Thrifty Foods Uptown Market Vancouver Symphony Westland Insurance Wild Rice Restaurant 13
Governance Report The 2011-12 school year saw Governance move forward with confidence and passion in furthering its long term goal of strengthening the UA Board and Society structure in a way that is true to the vision and purpose of the founding vision while at the same time is flexible and responsive to the changing needs of our growing school. An important development, which exemplifies this approach, was the refinement of our Board Succession process. By creating new policy, protocols and instruments and modifying existing ones such as the annual Board Performance Assessment, the Board Appointment process and the Succession Planning Survey, Governance was able to provide enhanced support to the Board in identifying its needs and opportunities, in terms of having an appropriate balance of skills and capacities sufficient to meet the growth and development targets that were being formulated in the Strategic Planning process. This work happened in parallel to and was also the result of the establishment of a Nominations Committee, which has been very effective in developing selection criteria and identifying and recruiting dynamic and highly skilled Board candidates. These efforts resulted in the election of Ted Hamilton and appointment of Elizabeth Fletcher, at the start of the term and the recent appointment of new Board Secretary Jenn Danielson. Also for the first time in UA Board history, the appointment of an external candidate, Cheryle Beaumont. In the spring Governance joined forces with the members of the Long Term Leadership Task Force (LTLTF). Our work included, among other things, an interview process with the founding UA Society members to learn more about their long term vision and dreams for the school, a research component investigating other independent school Board and Society structures, and meetings and correspondence with our legal counsel to get their opinion on the most appropriate structure, constitution and by-laws to support the vision and culture of the school in the long term. The culmination of our efforts was a report delivered to the Board at the end of June and the recommendations of which were approved by the Board at the July Retreat. The Governance team is now busily at work carrying out the recommendations with the aim of meeting the spring 2013 deadline of filing an updated set of by-laws that will provide a strong and stable governance foundation for the school for many years to come. I am sad to say that this report is my last task in a leadership capacity with Urban Academy as I am stepping down from the Secretary and Governance Chair roles, leaving these positions in the very capable hands of Jenn Danielson and Laura Bradley respectively as well as the rest of the amazing individuals who serve on your Board and on the Governance Committee. I feel privileged and grateful to have been a ‘student’ of this amazing school and a member of the leadership of this vibrant community for the past 6 years and I look forward eagerly to many more great things to come. Helen Loshny Outgoing Governance Chair
Appreciations Urban Academy is supported by many special volunteers who give generously of their time and talents. The Board would like to especially recognize: 1. Helen Loshny for her incredible, six years of Board service. Helen has contributed to so many key areas of the school with her wide ranging talents and generous heart. We look forward to her continued participation in our school community. 2. The High School Evaluation Task Force members for their time and passion in this area. Kurt Wipp Steve Leptik Peter Jorgenson Sarah Cepeliauskus 3. The Additional Income Streams Task Force members for their commitment to the schools financial growth: Arif Mulji Sue Lashmore Susie Tai Candice Brooks Patty Brnjac 4. In addition: Finance Committee Member Kurt Wipp (for his instrumental work with the Finance Committee in replacing our mortgage with a conventional lender, his support to the Facilities Dream Team for building forecast models and financial analysis tools, and his connections to real estate legal expertise) 14
The Additional Income Streams Task Force (AISTF) Report The Additional Income Streams Task Force (AISTF) was established to review, research, and suggest to the Board of Directors, additional income generating avenues that would benefit Urban Academy in both the short term and into the long term vision for the school. The Task Force consisted of 6 members of the Urban Academy community including one Board member. These individuals conducted research into other existing independent and private schools as well as other non-profit charitable organizations and compiled and reviewed the research to provide the Board with a list of ideas for increasing revenue streams to the school that were supportive of the vision and mission of Urban Academy. One of the most significant recommendations which came from this Task Force was supporting the growth and further development of our Parent Auxiliary (PAX). A strong and vibrant PAX brings with it engaged community members who contribute to the growth and development of the school in many ways. Along with this idea came the recommendation from the Task Force of several revenue generating ideas which could be initiated and orchestrated by an enhanced PAX. In addition to increasing the strength of the PAX, and the initiatives they could undertake to increase revenues, the AISTF also made such recommendations such as purchasing policy and procedures reviews and supplier contract reviews to bring attention to cost saving initiatives. A final component to the AISTF was recommendations towards the long term sustainability of the school. The Task Force continues to research investment opportunities as well as other financial tools which will assist Urban Academy to increase its revenue potential in the years ahead. The final recommendation for long term investment and financial tools will be presented by the AISTF in 2013.
High School Evaluation Task Force Report In the spring of 2009, after much community input and discussion, the Board approved the recommendation that Urban Academy would expand to include the provincial high school curriculum (grades ten, eleven and twelve) and would do so by adding one additional grade in each of the following three years. In the spring of 2012, as part of the high school implementation process, a committee was formed to evaluate the Urban Academy High School Program on a number of levels; specifically program strengths and weaknesses, financial health and sustainability, student satisfaction academically and socially, and future outlooks and possibilities. This committee, known as the High School Evaluation Task Force (HSETF), is made up of
Board Members Laura Bradley (Chair) and Ted Hamilton, as well as UA parents Sarah Cepeliauskas, Kurt Wipp, Peter Jorgensen and Steve Leptick. Since its creation, the HSETF has been consulting with the UA Marketing Director, Finance Committee, Head of School, staff, teachers, high school students and parents, both directly and by way of specific surveys, to gather information with regards to the current state of the high school, the future direction and viability of the high school, and ways to improve and expand on the UA High School Program, keeping in mind the UA Mission Statement and overall academic and artsâ€“ infused mandate. The HSETF has recently provided the completed report and recommendations to the Board. After review the Board was able to approve the primary
recommendations of the Task Force which were to: 1. Continue to develop the High School program based on the reflected feedback and research. 2. Formally strike a High School Committee, whose mandate would be to oversee the development and review process of the high school program on an ongoing basis. The remaining recommendations were specific to the addressing of various needs and priorities within the program. The Board is in the process of reviewing these specifics, which will aid in the next step, the creation of a High School Committee mandate and prioritization of the tasks to be undertaken. The Board will provide details in this regard in the near future. 14 15 15
Urban Academy Board of Directors
Deborah McKenzie Chair
Laura Bradley Vice-Chair
Jennifer Danielson Incoming Secretary
Helen Loshny Outgoing Secretary
Elizabeth Fletcher Treasurer
Past Chair Founder
Michael Bouchard Head of School Ex Officio
Donna Tays Member at Large Founder
Ted Hamilton Member at Large
Cheryle Beaumont Independent Member at Large
Brian Drummond Ex Officio Founder
The Board is proud to introduce the Urban Academy Staff and Faculty for the 2012/2013 school year: Front Row Left to Right: Nadia Vaseva (Junior Kindergarten) Holly Meek (Grade Three) Sean Kitts (Director of Athletics) Miranda McNamara (Administration) Jenelee Jones (Grade Five/Six) Sonja Kennedy (Admissions / Marketing Director) Misty Shuttleworth (Out of School Care) Middle Row Left to Right: Katherine Adisa (Director of Senior School) Jeni McBride (Administration) Suzanne MacLeod (Director of Unique Learners) Stephanie McIntosh (Grade Four) Rosa Celis (Director of Junior School)
Back Row Left to Right
April Wright (Kindergarten), Michael McDiarmid (Grade Two) Michael Bouchard (Head of School) Ross Robinson (Math Director) Yonka Stoykova (Out of School Care)
Cassidy Taylor (Librarian) Susan Seneshen (Music Specialist) Karle Spencer (Art Specialist) Kate Newman (Drama Specialist)
To the caring, motivated group of professionals who go above and beyond at Urban Academy. THANK YOU for all you do! The Urban Academy Board 16
Published on Nov 13, 2012