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FirstLine finances are well in the black; Green targets retention and college readiness goals

FirstLine schools anticipate ending the school year comfortably in the black, board members were pleased to learn at their monthly meeting in March. Revenues are expected to exceed expenses by  $738,000, finance committee chairman Stephen Rosenthal reported, to applause.

Though the fiscal year is not over, Rosenthal said the numbers should hold steady, given that they are based on mid-year per-student state funding through the Minimum Foundation Program , as well as federal dollars. The projected surplus means the management group has successfully navigated concerns such as the possibility, raised at last month’s meeting, that Arthur Ashe Charter School was slipping into the red, Rosenthal said.  Only Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School remains a financial worry.

In other developments, former board chair Dana Peterson has accepted a job as assistant superintendent for the Recovery School District and has left FirstLine’s board of directors to eliminate a conflict of interest.  Board member Lawrence Kullman was elected chairman by unanimous vote.

Allison Hartman was selected to head the board’s governance committee; the advocacy committee will be led by Brian Egana.

In discussion of The Net Charter, an alternative high school currently housed within Clark Preparatory, Kullman said that next year The Net will have its own charter and contract with FirstLine for payroll and administrative services only.

A team representing S.J. Green Charter reported to the board on academic  and attendance issues. With a growing student body, Green’s administration has prioritized pupil retention and college readiness as goals.

Egana questioned setting college readiness as a goal, given that most students leaving Green are still four years from graduation.

The Green staff contingent assured the board that teachers are working with graduating eighth-graders to help them select the right high school, one that will support their college aspirations.

Green’s principal, Ava Lee, said the school is canvassing the neighborhood and reaching out to parents to streamline morning drop-off and “get kids to school on time.”

All but two board members were present and one audience member.

 

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