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March 5, 2011
Via Teleconference

Attendance and Quorum
The following board members were present: Jeff Bradbury, Eric Lewis, David Budai, Michelle French, Dean Gilbert, Rick Pomeroy, Sue Pritchard, Peter A’Hearn, Donna Ross, Meg Burke, Marian Murphy- Shaw, Tim Williamson, Valerie Joyner, Karen Withey-Smith, Bonny Ralston, and Heather Marshall. 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 9:04 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.

Approval of Agenda
The agenda was amended and approved as amended.

Approval of Minutes
David Budai moved to approve the minutes of the December 4, 2010 board meeting; seconded by Meg Burke. Motion carried.

Old Business
Leadership Workshop
Dean Gilbert reminded the board that a planning meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, March 23, 2010. Those not able to attend in person will be able to participate via teleconference. Marian Murphy-Shaw, David Budai, Heather Marshall, Pete A’Hearn, and Rick Pomeroy had previously volunteered to participate in the planning meeting. Dean will send out an e-mail with information for participating in the conference call.

P21 Coalition
Dean Gilbert was interviewed on MSNBC and provided a response to the President’s prioritization of science and 21st century recognition – noting if ESEA is not reexamined then we will get nowhere, we are losing science fairs and 21st century skills. A link to the interview has been posted on CSTA website.

Serving on the P21 Coalition committee has given Dean this opportunity to speak on behalf of California science educators’ perspective on 21st century skills and the 4 C’s: creativity and innovation; critical thinking and problem solving; collaboration; and communication.
A mission and goal statement has been developed by the coalition group to communicate with legislators. In original draft the word science was left out, Dean reassured CSTA this was by accident. The coalition is working with Governor Brown and the California Department of Education (CDE) to craft local policy and legislation and to inform the federal level. This will eventually inform California’s K-12 content and assessment work.

While this may be a long process and hard to see immediate action from theory Christine Bertrand, Jeff Bradbury, and Marian Murphy-Shaw noted it as the critical work to do at this time in the U.S. for education and a broader vision. More can be found in the P21 Coalition document on web.

Question from Michelle French – most endorsements to date have been from southern California, can more be done with the north? It was noted the coalition started in south. Marian mentioned that in Sacramento at a recent policy-makers meeting much of this was discussed. This was mentioned at the California Educating for Career's Conf. in addition to the news that CDE is moving ahead with their California Model Curriculum Standards for CTE revision and alignment to 21st century skills, community college, and STEM starting this May.

No is action needed at this time – so what can CSTA members do? Watch legislation and related reports and activities by associated groups. Christine suggested work with AAAS and Achieve Common Core Standards work groups.

Sue commented that in timelines for credentialing, testing, and what California will put into place, such as models that have technology applications to provide richer assessment opportunities. In 2014 the contract for the California assessment system will need to award a contract to new provider.

CSTA thanks Dean for his work on this committee.

2011 Conference
Dean Gilbert stated that we need more workshop proposals (100 v. 170 in years past), as a result, the conference committee elected to extend the proposal deadline to March 11. Meg Burke recommended that the deadline be extended to after the NSTA conference in San Francisco to allow us the opportunity to solicit proposals during the event. Dean and the board agreed and the new workshop proposal deadline was set for March 18. Dean asked that the board members send the request for proposals to their contacts. Sue Pritchard recommended that we contact the California Math Council (CMC) and invite them to submit proposals on math and science integrated workshops. The board agreed and Jessica Sawko will contact CMC. She had presented recently at their STEMposium event in Fresno and was well received. Marian Murphy-Shaw said she would pass the word to her contacts in STEM-Service Learning and CTE. Valerie Joyner said she would share the information with CPIN. It was suggested that the number of ASTE offerings could be bumped up to draw this group. Jessica said that so far one short course for methods teachers had been accepted.

The search for the keynote search is drawing to a close, Ed Begley, Jr. will be invited back as the closing session speaker. Superintendent Torlakson will very likely accept the invitation to present at the opening session. Jessica Sawko will also request an endorsement letter from the superintendent to designate the conference as a PD event, similar to the letter we have on file from Jack O’Connell.

Save the date promotional material will be created for the NSTA conference. We need to encourage Lawrence Hall of Science and similar organizations to please support California science.

Rick Pomeroy said that Nevada has science conference needs and that we can market to them. Arizona was seen as another possible market and Tim Williamson said he would work with Rick on making contact.

The conference committee requested that the board consider the option to allow for the sale of tickets to certain conference events without having to register for the conference. This is being presented as a way to include the public and other interested parties in science and the conference. There were concerns about the pitfalls of such a move. After a discussion of the pros and cons Dean Gilbert moved that individual ticket prices be created for and sold independently from the Awards Breakfast, Evening Programs, and the Wyland Art Display.

Seconded by Valerie Joyner; motion carried. Jessica Sawko will set the ticket prices and include them in the registration materials. Due to the nature of the events, food events will be limited to advance sales only.

Site selection 2013
Jessica Sawko referred to memo in the board packet outlining the proposals received in response to the RFP that was issued for the 2013 California Science Education Conference. Jessica indicated that Palm Springs is a better fit for us in terms of service, budget, capacity, etc. The Renaissance property and the convention center are of sufficient size and that the Hilton is available as back up if there is growth. The space offered by Long Beach is not the space we have used in the past and that the workshops would be split amongst three properties, rather than the usual two.

Meg Burke and Dean Gilbert: We should keep in mind that NSTA is proposing to meet in Long Beach in a better part of the convention center than is being offered to us in 2013. This is a good reason to consider Palm Springs.

Jeff Bradbury agreed and inquired about differences in attendance between Palm Springs and Long Beach. Jessica says it varies from year to year, but hotel room nigh use is stronger in Palm Springs due to the nature of the destination. Trends hard to see: in 2009 (Palm Springs) there were 1,300 attendees; in 2007(Long Beach) there were 2,700; in 2005 (Palm Springs) there were 2,300 attendees; in 2003 (Long Beach) there were 2,400; and in 2001 (Palm Springs) there were 2,700.

Pete A’Hearn suggested that if we went to Palm Springs again it would likely be possible to negotiate with the district office to use the tech room again.

Sue Pritchard said that Palm Springs would be the perfect opportunity to build contacts with Arizona.

Christine Bertrand noted that attendance varies by only about 100 between Long Beach and Palm Springs, but that in Palm Springs the exhibit hall is carpeted and that lowers cost for quality set up.
Donna Ross noted that considering dates, Palm Springs is best because it avoids Halloween.

Sue Pritchard moved that

The 2013 California Science Education Conference be held in Palm Springs.

Jeff Bradbury seconded; motion carried.

Policy and Organizational Issues
Executive Director Transition
Rick Pomeroy provided a status update from the Transition Committee. Christine Bertrand will retire effective March 31, 2011; the new executive director will begin on April 1, 2011. Staff duties have been outlined and a model for operating with two staff members has been developed. The overall plan maintains vital activities and exceptional staff. There are a few staff tasks that remain unassigned:

  • Conference marketing.
  • Field Course coordination – it is the recommendation of the transition committee that the conference committee address this as a new role or delegation.
  • Editing of the Journal – the transition committee recommends to forgo one cycle and examine how to address it.
  • Bill review – the transition committee recommends that we could sub-contract, possibly with Christine Bertrand.

Sue: Praise and thanks for the committee and exceptional people in the CSTA office.
Dean: Tim, office staff, and board will work on staff review/salary etc once positions are in place.
Karen: Clarified of where in budget this is reflected and confirmed it is present in today’s board materials.
Jeff: Wonderful work by transition team noted. Concern that journal is a membership incentive. Rick and Christine share concern but it is just too much at this time. Communication will go out to members.

Rick Pomeroy moved that

Jessica Sawko be appointed to the position of Executive Director of the California Science Teachers Association, effective April 1, 2011 with a salary increase of 10% and additional week of vacation to total 3 weeks.

Sue Pritchard seconded; motion carried.

Rick Pomeroy moved that

Connie Morrill be given a title, Manager of programs and Member services, that reflects her new responsibilities, effective April 1, 2011 with a salary increase of 10%.

Dean Gilbert seconded; motion carried.

Rick Pomeroy moved that

The President direct the finance committee to prepare an evaluation and salary plan for office staff that reflects longevity and job performance while maintaining fiscal solvency.

Dean Gilbert seconded; motion carried.

Rick Pomeroy moved that

The board consider hiring outside consultants for conference marketing and legislative matters when these responsibilities cannot be met by board members, conference committee members, and/or staff.

Sue Pritchard seconded; motion carried.

Rick Pomeroy moved that

The board temporarily suspend publication of the CSTA Journal and revisit the issue in December.

Valerie Joyner seconded; motion carried.

Tim Williamson thanked Rick and the committee for a fantastically thorough and thoughtful transition.

Discussion and Approval of Revised Budget, FY 2010-2011
Karen Withey-Smith reported that the revised budget showed a projected net loss of about $3,500. Membership revenue projections have been lowered by $10,000, conference revenue was lower than originally budgeted, with exhibitor participation down to about $23,000. CCS advertising projections are down 10-11% and should increase as format adapts.

On the positive side, CSTA received a BellJAR Foundation grant (an off-shoot of the now dissolved Payne Family Foundation) and that those funds have flexible use. Expenses show a majority of savings are due to cuts made last year, reduction from CCS change to electronic, and a hiatus from Journal production. The salaries are lower than what the two full time positions and increases will be. Conference expenses were lower, including lower than anticipated honorariums. The hotel penalties from the Hyatt did offset some of those savings.

Dean: The 1,800 CA residents attending NSTA in San Francisco, of whom only about 340 are CSTA members is a concern. Dick Filson’s negotiations with NSTA made a huge difference – need to discuss this with NSTA items.

Karen Withey-Smith moved to accept the revised fiscal year 2010-2011 budget as submitted. Seconded by Dean Gilbert; motion carried.

Discussion and Approval of Revised Budget, FY 2011-12
Karen Withey-Smith reported that the budget presented shows a projected loss of ($285), as opposed to ($9,000) last year. Savings in salary expenses are also reflected in the budget. Contracting and board meeting expenses remain at a minimum. With our expenses reduced to the level in the budget, CSTA is now within the six months minimum reserve as prescribed by CSTA policy.

Jessica Sawko described that the revenue projections in the budget reflected a proposed change in the registration fees for the 2011 California Science Education Conference. She proposed that the board consider changing the rate for weekend-only student registration from a flat fee of $35 to a scaled fee of $35, $40, and $45 and a group rates from $73/$83 to $83/$100. Conference revenue expected to higher in absence of NSTA. She made a correction due to a typo for Entertainment Line 354, it should $1000, not $100; making the total net loss of ($1,185).

Karen Withey-Smith moved to accept the revised fiscal year 2011-2012 budget as submitted. Seconded by Dean Gilbert; motion carried.

Nominations Committee Report and Approval of Slate of Candidates
No nominations were received for the 2-year college director position. We need to look for a person to fill this position. (no offense to Jeff of course). The community colleges are significant in supporting teacher pathways in California.

Sue Pritchard moved to accept the recommendations of the nomination committee and submit the following slate of candidates for member election to the board of directors:

for Informal Science Education Director: Debbie deRoma and Grahme Smith
for Middle School/Junior High Director: Cheryl Frye and Lisa Hegdahl
for President-Elect: Laura Heriques and Heather Marshall
for Region 1 Director: Valerie Joyner
for Region 3 Director: Dean Gilbert
for Secretary: Marian Murphy-Shaw
for Primary Director: Michelle French

Seconded by Rick Pomeroy; motion carried.

NSTA Conference Events
Christine Bertrand referenced the document in the board packet. One of the events CSTA was co-sponsoring is no longer taking place because George Miller not going to be present. She described the location of the CSTA display, note the floor plan and CSTA location near registration in Hall D.

Tim asked those planning to attend to volunteer to spend some time at the CSTA booth, please see the attached schedule and let Christine know by Monday. There will be an dinner on Friday at the Slanted Door, 9:00 pm, RSVP required to Tim.

Legislative Update
There are two bills not included in the packet: SB 402 Correa P-21 Coalition sponsor to put 4 C's into future Framework and AB 1033 from CDE to permit the Superintended of Public Instruction to inform an update of science and history/social-science framework. Letters of support have been written for SB 402 and SB 300.

Dean Gilbert stated that it is critical that we not lose track of these bills as we transition staff roles. Christine noted SB 300 is ours as sponsor so we need to stay active on that for those carrying forward. Dean will watch that if so directed by the board, Tim asked him to do this. Heather Marshall, along with a few other board members, expressed interest in getting involved.

LA County Science Fair Press Event
Dean Gilbert stated that Senator Lu, the Mayor of Pasadena, Wyland, and others will be present for this press event. Could the CSTA President be there? The event will be Saturday, April 16, 1:30 pm - 2:00 pm. There will be a luncheon at 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm – Tim Williamson will attend.

Intel ISEF
Dean Gilbert noted that the Intel ISEF will take place May 8-13, 2011 and that it is now the state affiliate through the California state science fair. Would CSTA like to have a booth? It will be held at the LA Convention Center. There was concerned express regarding the cost of exhibiting. Dean thought that he could see if those could be mitigated. CSTA booth materials can be coordinated by Jessica Sawko. Tim Williamson will take lead.

Dean Gilbert moved that

the board approve an expenditure for up to $1,000 for the cost associated with presence at Intel ISEF, May 8-13, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Rick Pomeroy seconded; motion carried.

Future Board Meeting Dates
Rick Pomeroy presented the proposed meeting dates for the 2011 – 2012 Board of Directors meetings. Marian Murphy-Shaw and Dean Gilbert expressed concern about holding a board meeting before the conference, as this conflicts with the CISC-Science meeting. It was a problem in 2010. The cost of an in-person board meeting is $2,000 - $2,500. Is there a way to meet regionally?

Rick Pomeroy moved that the board approve the following dates for the 2011 – 2012 board of directors meetings:

September 17, 2011 (via teleconference)
October 20, 2011 (retreat)
December 3, 2011 (via teleconference)
March 10, 2012 (via teleconference)
June 2, 2012 (in person)

Meg Burke seconded; motion carried.

Resolution on CSTA Retirement Plan
Jessica Sawko reported that it was necessary for the board to approve an amendment to the CSTA retirement plan in order to remain in compliance with the Heroes Earnings and Assistance Relief Tax Act of 2008 and the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Sue Pritchard moved to accept the amendment as presented in the board packet. Rick Pomeroy seconded; motion carried.

CCS Articles
Eric Lewis expressed concern over the content for CCS provided by the region directors. While he loves CCS, it is now more often than not just lists of events as opposed to an article written by each Director. Valerie Joyner agreed, and said that the change to e-CCS felt overwhelming because of the need to produce a monthly article. Pete A’Hearn felt that it was easier to produce topical articles rather than regional articles. Marian Murphy-Shaw suggested that CISC contacts can help with information for the regional events and that she will bring this to CISC and share contacts with region directors. Tim asked that Regional Directors connect and do this on their own please. Meg Burke suggested more outreach to informal science education organizations doing good work, perhaps an interview with a local informal educator or a teacher who has used informal science resources.

Jessica Sawko reminded the board members to look at the end of their articles for comments posted to you as the author. No motions were made.

NSTA Regional Dec 2014
This would be the first in California, as CSTA has requested in past they do not meet here regionally. Tim Williamson noted that NSTA meeting in California 2011, 2014, and 2017 is three events in six years. Christine Bertrand’s concern for 2014 because it is in the fall, the same as ours and we are in a financially precarious position. The board tabled discussion until after the 2011 NSTA conference.

National Youth Science Camp Student Scholarships
Rick received an email from CDE regarding the absence of a Secretary of Education to support the National Youth Science Camp in Virginia. They asked if CSTA can help get the word out. The information will be distributed via email and the CSTA website.

President’s Report
Tim Williamson reported that he was looking forward to attending NSTA in San Francisco and that he participated in the Noyce scholar conference.

Treasurer’s Report
Karen Withey-Smith reported that she had no additional report.

Executive Director’s Report
Christine Bertrand reported that yesterday May 15 was her 15 year anniversary and that today was her last Board meeting. She enjoyed the work and thanks to each member.

Diretor's Reports
Jeff Bradbury reported that he is working on finding a replacement 2-year college director. He has some grant work for CTE mentoring in grades 9-14, embedding CTE into sciences, and placing preservice science teachers. He is working on digital education with Sue Pritchard on CalTAC.
Meg Burke reported that Cal Academy and other informal staff met regarding the practice of using science notebooks, the group included representatives from SFSU, the community college, the Academy of Sciences, Exploratorium, Lawrence Hall of Science, and San Francisco USD working on NSF MSP.

Michelle French reported that she was excited to be on board again. She stated that in the primary grades the teaching of science is often limited, however, the Fresno COE contact is now supporting teacher PD for science, and is now convinced to include science at the primary level and expand to support primary teachers.

Valerie Joyner reported that she attended a Pre-K Framework focus group- which has produced an exemplary inquiry document to guide early learning. The group was receptive to science educator comments. She was hopeful to have them present at our conference, for any inquires on this matter, please direct questions to Valerie.

Eric Lewis will be glad to see CSTA folks in Nor Cal! He will be at NSTA with lots of students.

Heather Marshall reported that she will also be attending NSTA and going to ASCD. She was awarded the Northern California Geology Teacher of the Year.

Marian Murphy-Shaw reported that she will be attending NAPE, and is looking for housing in San Francisco.

Dean Gilbert reported that the in the last MSP cohort, only 2 of 12 awards went to science topics. He also reported that he was contacted by a teacher wanting to form a STEM magnet school. Panel discussion on STEM campus configurations (like Lompoc, etc.) Sue Pritchard said she had just completed some research on who the STEM schools are in U.S. – its project based! Sue can share the draft of the document she prepared with the board and see where this can go. To extent that they are able board members will read and share thoughts with Sue or help expand and support the work she has begun. Rick will integrate this into his message as president. Tim asked those interested to work with Sue after this meeting with Pete’s idea for a practitioner panel at a CSTA or other educational event as a possible starting point.

Sue Pritchard reported that she participated in the Science and Entertainment Symposium. It was an exciting event and that there are $225,000 available in grants from this for educators. She enjoyed being the CMC STEMposium keynote, her presentation focused on math and data analysis. She will report back on digital education in the future and thanks the board members for volunteering to look over her plan to convert her school to a STEM magnet school.

Donna Ross reported that there are some positions at 4 year institutions for science education faculty and she hopes to connect the new hires to CSTA.

Jessica Sawko thanked the board for opportunity to serve as executive director. She is honored and looking forward to the future.

Tim Williamson said in closing “Christine we thank you, stay in touch – enjoy retirement.”

Other Business
The next meeting of the board of directors is scheduled for June 4, 2011 in Long Beach.

The meeting adjourned at 12:40 pm.