CSTA logo CSTA - California Science Teachers Association
California Science Teachers Association California Science Teachers Association California Science Teachers Association California Science Teachers Association California Science Teachers Association


December 5, 2009
Via Teleconference

Attendance and Quorum
The following Board Members were present: Jeff Bradbury, Deb Farkas, Michelle French, Dean Gilbert, Jim Jones, Rick Pomeroy, Sue Pritchard, Bonny Ralston, Donna Ross, Greg Schultz, Marian Murphy-Shaw, Tim Williamson, Valerie Joyner, and Karen Withey-Smith. A quorum was present. Also in attendance was Executive Director Christine Bertrand. Tim Williamson served as Chair, and Marian Murphy-Shaw served as Secretary.

The Chair called the meeting to order at 9:09 a.m. and announced that the meeting was held pursuant to written notice to all members of the Board of Directors of the Corporation. A copy of the notice was ordered entered into the minutes book following the minutes of the meeting. The Chair reviewed the protocols for the meeting.

Approval of Agenda
Item 5.6 was added to the agenda. Jim Jones moved the agenda be approved as amended, seconded by Rick Pomeroy; motion carried.

Approval of Minutes
Rick Pomeroy moved that the minutes of the September 26, 2009 Board of Directors meeting be approved. Seconded by Dean Gilbert; motion carried.

Old Business
Presidential Awards
Dean Gilbert asked the board to support action by CSTA to enhance the PAEMST application process and encourage more applicants. A list of suggestions was presented for consideration and discussion. It was suggested that a model application posted by past recipients may be one low cost suggestion and is something CSTA can do that the PAEMST cannot. Discussion that followed addressed a concern about liability with videos being posted online and the suggestion that videos might best be used only at a conference workshop. It was agreed that promoting things like PAEMST and National Board certification would support the work to address mentoring professionals within the CSTA membership. Tim Williamson suggested that Dean work with a small committee to develop some ideas for CSTA’s involvement. Bonny Ralston and Sue Pritchard volunteered to work on this with Dean.

2009 Science Education Conference Wrap-Up
Jim Jones reported that approximately 1300 people attended the conference and that the many positive comments received from participants made this conference a success, or as a board member echoed the “little conference that could.” Jim reported that the dine-around went very well, and that, although the conversation tables were not full, there is potential for them to become popular if they are refined. Jim reported that the stargazing event went well, though food sales were low, and that those who used the tech room benefitted, although the signage was a concern. Jim reported that there were overall drops in courses/sessions, reducing offerings to some degree this year.
Board members reported that the recognitions to Bill Ritz and Zack Taylor were of special note. It was reported that the Payne event was well-attended, and that first-timers also had praise for the welcoming, helpful air of the conference. Appreciation was expressed to Christine Bertrand, Jessica Lewis, Jim Jones, and all, who were impressive in their dedication and contributions to the positive feeling that was felt throughout the conference.
It was suggested that some of the criteria for selecting presenters may be a little narrow, some quality workshops might have been missed for lack of a way to categorize them during the application process. Some sessions which support the practice of teaching rather than content, such as “surviving the first year,” might win CSTA future members and help retain teachers in the profession, even though such sessions do not easily get a “check” on the presenter application. This might inform the next conference committee. Some consideration might be given as to how the screening will address this and might help in meeting teacher needs we are hearing about from the field.
Tim Williamson commended everyone who went above and beyond to make the conference a success. Jim Jones closed with thanks to all and especially Christine and Jessica.

2010 Science Education Conference
Rick Pomeroy presented a revised proposed format for the 2010 conference, intended to promote the idea of a three-day, as opposed to a four-day, conference, which might facilitate teachers getting approval to travel to the event if one less sub-day is requested. It addresses exhibitor and participant needs regarding time and also adjusts speaker and luncheon schedules. Overall appreciation was expressed for the re-working that maintains a quality conference, and support for including STEM as a focus topic was expressed. It was suggested that a truly powerful speaker would be necessary to keep people present on a Sunday.
Dean Gilbert moved that

the board accept the proposed 2010 conference schedule with inclusion of a pre-conference STEM event on Thursday and that substantial financial resources be allocated to secure a Sunday speaker of highest quality.

Seconded by Sue Pritchard. Discussion included concern that the motion was too prescriptive in requiring a STEM pre-conference event. A request was made to simplify the motion as either an acceptance or not of the proposal, leaving the motion less restrictive. It was requested that the motion simply state that there “be a pre-conference event.”
An amendment to the motion was accepted by Dean and Sue to read

the board accept all seven recommendations in the proposed 2010 conference schedule, including that there be a Thursday pre-conference event.

Motion carried, 14-1-0.

Policy and Organizational Issues
Membership Committee Recommendations
Dean Gilbert reported that the membership committee will be reviewing the feedback from focus groups held up and down the state to provide input to guide the committee work.
Dean presented a marketing message promoting professionalism and suggested ideas for where it might be used. Dean Gilbert moved that

the board approve the marketing message as presented.

Seconded by Valerie Joyner. Discussion included concern that it might be mistaken as CTA, as the word “science” is absent from the message and only those familiar with CSTA would recognize it. It was mentioned that the message’s intended use or expected next steps is still not clear. Dean clarified that the uses might be illustrated signs, t-shirts, buttons, etc to make the message visible at the conference. He suggested that the artwork might be more science-oriented. Christine Bertrand reminded the board that a budget would need to be attached to this. Dean indicated he will take the input back to the committee for further work.

Motion and second withdrawn.

Legislative Update
Christine Bertrand reported on the common core standards component of Race to the Top to the attention of the board. She mentioned that also in the California Race to the Top proposal are STEM credentialing and UC/CSU/CC being allowed to use the database to track graduates’ wage data. She reported that the linking of teacher evaluation to student performance is still in the application and is a big part of the points awarded to each state’s application. Concern was expressed about the lack of science and history in the realignment to common core standards and about teacher evaluations being related to tests that do not have multiple measures or include all content areas.
It was suggested that CSTA oppose the legislation. Christine noted that CSTA would not be the only group to oppose elements of RTTT, as ACSA, CSBA, CTA, and PTA have noted elements of concern. Christine reported that the understanding among state leaders is that when ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) is re-authorized, the RTTT criteria will be applied. Concern was voiced that we are rushing forward for funds rather than addressing actual needs of California.

Board Meeting Materials
Christine asked members if receiving board meeting materials electronically is working. The board reported that, overall, it is working, but that all materials should be in the same format; a preference for format submissions in PDF was recommended. The board agreed that this system should be used for face-to-face meetings in the future, as well, so board members will need to either print out the materials or bring a laptop to meetings.

Honorary Membership in CSTA
A proposal to formalize honorary memberships to CSTA was presented by Christine Bertrand.
Deb Farkas moved that

the board accept the resolution on honorary memberships as presented.

Seconded by Bonny Ralston; motion unanimously carried.

Resolution Regarding Electronic Communications
Christine Bertrand reported that plans to hold the 2010 elections electronically may be in jeopardy, as, according to our attorney, we need to get affirmative consent to communicate electronically from each member in a form that can be audited. Christine indicated that it is unlikely that we would receive consents from most members, for a variety of reasons. A variety of means for receiving consents were discussed, including an e-blast with request for a return email or through the member application/renewal process. Christine reported that our attorney indicated a “passive” consent, such as checking a consent box on our website, or requesting members to return a revocation of consent if they do not want to receive e-communications, would not be acceptable. It was suggested that, until a resolution to the situation can be worked out, we not hold the next election electronically. Christine estimated that approximately $4000 could be saved by going to electronic voting.
Rick Pomeroy moved that

the board proceed with the 2010 election using paper ballots.

Seconded by Michelle French; motion unanimously carried.

Tim reminded board members that any form of sponsorship has to go to the board for formal consideration. Cal State Fullerton recently asked about sponsorship of an event; Karen Withey-Smith will pursue this for further clarification. Sue Pritchard noted that CTA is supporting the CLMS conference and should support the CSTA conference as well. It was suggested that Lisa Marroquin be approached about this.

President’s Report
Tim Williamson reported that he will be attending the California Green Schools meeting.

Treasurer’s Report
Greg Schultz referenced the financial report sent by email on November 5th and reported that, overall, we were on the plus side for first three months of the year.

Executive Director’s Report
Christine Bertrand indicated she had nothing additional to report.

Directors’ Reports
Michelle French asked what the Central Valley region members can do to help the organization locally. It was indicated that receiving materials for events just requires giving Christine a couple of weeks notice.
Dean Gilbert shared that he had an opportunity to connect with INTEL in California.
Sue Pritchard reported on follow up conversations she had with engineering and Intel and Imagine It Project. She reported that she was invited to speak at CSBA and contacted a K-20 technology member at the event who expressed interest in sponsoring booths.
Valerie Joyner reported that she is meeting with contacts in Region 1 and thanked board members for making her feel welcomed. Tim welcomed Valerie to her first meeting with us.

Other Reports
Christine Bertrand thanked Diana Takenaga, whose report is in the board packet, for attending a STEM meeting on behalf of CSTA.

Tim Williamson mentioned that details for the March 6, 2010 meeting are still being worked out.

Meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.