ISLA Board Update

September 14, 2018

Nora Tycast

Board Chair, Executive Committee Chair,  Human Resources Chair
2018 Summer Board Update

The ISLA School Board has been busy this summer and looks forward to updating our

community about a wide variety of action items. All past board information can be

found on the ISLA Website at https://www.isla.school/board/documents .

There have been several large discussions and decisions made at the Board level starting

in April of 2018. At the August 21st Board meeting, the Board voted unanimously to

continue the conversation with the Hopkins School District about what a collaboration

may mean for ISLA. The details of that discussion and the rest of the board updates are

enclosed in the below paragraphs. Parents and community members have the

opportunity to attend all Board meetings and we welcome your input and engagement

in order to keep ISLA a welcoming and vibrant learning environment for all students.

Board Turnover: In June, Susan Malaret and Heather Copps, both parents at ISLA, were

congratulated and thanked for their Board Service. Susan will continue to head up the

ISLA School Board Marketing and Communications committee with her expertise.

Heather Copps’ youngest child graduated from ISLA. She has served ISLA in some

capacity since ISLA opened, and we were so fortunate to have her share her history and

enthusiasm for ISLA for 10 years. Susan and Heather are replaced on the Board by Sarah

Markus, Liz Crouse, and Jennifer McCormack--all parents of students at ISLA. Sra.

Maldonado (5th) served on the ISLA Board as Technology Committee representative and

teacher representative. We were fortunate to have her education and leadership

expertise on the Board. Sra. Adams (5th grade) will be continuing on the Board as a

teacher representative and Sra. Alfaro (1st grade) will be joining her this year. We are

fortunate to have such a wide variety of expertise and enthusiasm to serve on the ISLA

School Board.

Commercial Developer’s Interest in Our Current Location: The ABC Corporation and

ISLA Board have been approached by a commercial developer who is interested in

acquiring our current building/lot (located at 5959 Shady Oak Road). This developer is

currently working with the City of Minnetonka to redevelop the area surrounding our

school, including our our building currently resides. If the ABC Corporation and ISLA

Board were to agree to any sale of our building/lot, there would need to be a

sustainable plan for the future location of our school. Our team has been working

exhaustively to flesh out all best alternatives on how to best capitalize on this

opportunity for our school.

GreenSpace Update: The pursuit of designing a Green Space at ISLA has been a part of

Sr. Perrin’s vision since he became Executive Director three years ago. Developing the

funding and planning, along with getting the correct permitting from both the Nine Mile

Creek Watershed District and the City of Minnetonka, have proven to be a more

strenuous and extensive process than we had hoped. The intention was to break ground

last fall and then again this spring. These dates were pushed out with the final date

being mid-August. Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen change from the City of

Minnetonka, we can not break ground on the Green Space this fall. We know that this is

a disappointment to families and students alike, however we do have some added

capacity for newer play equipment coming yet this fall.

July Update: The board met to discuss our goals and a vision for the upcoming school

year. As part of our annual board training and retreat process, all board members

reviewed the Strategic Plan, identified action items for specific committees, and set

goals for specific deliverables for the 2018-2019 school year. A significant amount of

time was spent evaluating the validity and potential risk in proceeding with the

GreenSpace plan in regards to the larger escrow required, as well as the construction

delays.

August Update: The board held a special board session on 8/20 to continue reviewing

the information regarding the Hopkins Immersion Proposal and a more detailed

property discussion from the ISLA ABC board. Informational note: no charter school in

the state of MN is allowed to own their own building. They are required to lease their

building either from an external company or a specifically created 501(c)3 as governed

by Minnesota state statute. ISLA is fortunate to be able to have their own ABC (A

Building Corporation) who owns and manages the physical ISLA property. In additional

to the special session, the ISLA board also convened from their regular monthly board

meeting on 8/21 to vote on the proposal from Hopkins (additional information below.)

Current ISLA School Board Members are as follows:

● Nora Tycast (Chair), parent

● Jaiah Kamara, parent

● Dan Tix, parent

● Martin Hoff, parent

● Estella Alfaro, teacher

● Kris Taylor (Secretary), parent

● Liz Crouse, parent

● Jared Goodwin (Vice-Chair),

community member

● Sarah Markus, parent

● Cori Adams, teacher

● JJ Schlangen (Treasurer), community member

● Jennifer McCormack, parent

● Mary Jo De Villers, grandparent and

community member

● Jeremy Perrin, executive director

(non-voting member)

If you would like to be involved with a committee that serves the Board, we would love

to have you. Please see the ISLA school website for committee information:

http://isla.school/board/board-committees

To view the complete agenda and notes for the board meeting please follow this link:

http://isla.school/board/documents

Sincerely and with appreciation for all that you do for ISLA,

Nora Tycast,
ISLA Board Chair

Hopkins Proposal Task Force

On behalf of the ISLA Board, and the Hopkins Proposal Task Force, I would like to

welcome all ISLA students, families and staff back to another school year. To all our new

ISLA families not familiar with ISLA Hopkins Proposal Task Force, this committee was

established in the Spring of 2018 by the ISLA Board. This group was asked to evaluate

the invitation from the Hopkins School District to have ISLA join the Hopkins School

District as a district school. The Task Force was asked to identify, investigate, analyze

and summarize important decision making criteria perceived to be critical in evaluating

the value of the ISLA merger with Hopkins. The task force was also given the

responsibility of receiving, processing and responding to ISLA community feedback

which was received through the proposal.feedback@isla-school.org . All Task Force

summary findings, recorded town-hall meetings, and final report can be viewed at

https://www.isla.school/board/hopkins-proposal-information .

Hopkins Proposal Update: Since we published our final report at the end of the last

academic year, there have been significant developments the ISLA Board has either

learned about or been forced to manage.

These developments include, but are not limited to:

(1) the joint expressed interest by the City of Minnetonka and a commercial developer

to move ISLA out and redevelop the land under which our school currently currently

resides

(2) the expansive search conducted for a an alternative location for our school which

resulted in inadequate alternative facilities any possible relocation

(3) the confirmation from Hopkins School District that they will not sell or lease the

Katherine Curren building to us

(4) the confirmation from the Hopkins School District that they will proceed with a

competing IB Spanish Immersion K-6 school (likely in the Katherine Curren building)

(5) the expressed interest communicated to the board by a representative speaking on

behalf of our ISLA teachers speaking in favor ISLA increasing collaboration with the

Hopkins School District

Due to these developments over the past few months, the board has decided to

re-engage the Hopkins School District to explore all forms of what future together could

look like. A Letter of Intent has been created and approved by the board to invite

Hopkins School District to the table so that our two parties can bring true form and

structure to this discussion.

We understand that there are still quite a few unknowns as we go down this path with

the district, but we are doing our due diligence to ensure that we can deliver the best

possible outcome for our school and community. In regards to the state legislature, the

ISLA Board and Executive committee plans on being a fully collaborating partner in the

crafting of any bill coming from the district that would have an impact on this

arrangement.

Ultimately, as a board we believe that our ability to capitalize on the sale of our building

would enable us to do some tremendous things for our school. It is in our schools best

interest that, at a minimum, we put efforts forward to explore what a path forward with

the Hopkins District would look like.

As a board, we understand that many of you will have questions or comments regarding

this communication. If you do, please do feel welcome to reach out to us by sending

your email to proposal.feedback@isla-school.org .

Have a great start to the year, and we wish you all the very best,

Jaiah Kamara
ISLA Board Director