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September 26, 2009
Via Teleconference

The regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the California Science Teachers Association, a California Non-profit Corporation, was called to order at 9:08 a.m.

Attendance and Quorum
The following Board Members were present: Meg Burke, Deb Farkas, Michelle French, Dean Gilbert, Rick Pomeroy, Sue Pritchard, Bonny Ralston, Donna Ross, Greg Schultz, Marian Murphy-Shaw, Tim Williamson, 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 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 approved as written.

Approval of Minutes
Rick Pomeroy moved that the minutes of the June 6, 2009 Board of Directors meeting be approved. Seconded by Dean Gilbert; motion carried.

2009 Science Education Conference
Christine Bertrand provided an update on the conference attendance, sessions that have been cancelled, and sponsors. She reported that, in addition to the sponsors listed on the handout, a commitment of $1000 was received from SeaWorld San Diego. Board members volunteered for various duties on site at the conference. A verbal survey indicated that enough board members will be at the star gazing event to help out there and with setting up the Sunday luncheon. Christine will email the final volunteer list for reference.
Christine mentioned that, in addition to the board events listed on the packet handout, there will be a chapter meeting on Saturday from 3:30 to 5:30; while board members are welcome to attend, they are not obligated and preferably will not outnumber chapter members present.

2010 Science Education Conference
Rick Pomeroy presented the 2010 conference committee’s proposed changes to the conference format, explaining that the intent is to increase the ease of attendance for teachers who may not be able to attend on Thursdays. Pros and cons as discussed in committee were presented for consideration. Hotel contract obligations and vendor concerns were noted. The revised CSTA structure could make it easier for another group to hold an associated pre-conference event which could help with our contracted hotel room obligations.
The board expressed appreciation for the creative model, as it addresses substitute teacher and travel costs and prompts the board to think about why events are offered on certain days and what has priority, such as the opening session and when to hold the awards event to include more of those in attendance. The 2010 location in Sacramento provides a good test site due to its central location and ease of travel. Dean Gilbert moved that

the 2010 conference committee move forward with the proposed plan as presented, contingent on addressing hotel, exhibitor, and membership input questions.

Seconded by Deb Farkas. Rick Pomeroy asked that the motion not be prescriptive to the committee. Motion and second were withdrawn.
Rick and the committee will move forward with the proposal addressing the questions, concerns, and input from the board, and provide a detailed proposal for final approval by the board by either phone or email.

Conference Proposal Scoring Rubric
Christine Bertrand presented the proposed conference proposal scoring rubric, stating that the board had requested that some sort of rubric for scoring workshop proposals be developed, to ensure that reviewers were looking at and rating the same things. She reminded the board that, at its request, the scoring would be by blind review this year. Discussion included suggestions to evaluate sessions for newness in terms of repeat conference attendees, allowing for rationale notes during scoring, including proposal-writing support at newcomer sessions or via the webpage in the future. Rick Pomeroy reminded the board that some more hands-on involvement will be in the future for this process. Dean Gilbert moved that

the board accept the rubric with changes to a 5-point scoring scale and an addition to item 3 to evaluate the “newness” of a proposal.

Seconded by Karen Withey-Smith; motion carried.

Booth and Activities for San Diego Science Festival
Christine Bertrand reported that she received information from the San Diego Science Festival indicating that planning is already underway for next year’s event. She indicated that, if CSTA chooses to participate, we need to act at this meeting to put together the type of interactive, hands-on display the festival requires. Donna Ross presented additional details, noting that Petco Park is the likely location as, with 50,000 in attendance last year, Balboa Park was overwhelmed. The event is attended by the general public, teachers, and students. Donna Ross moved that

the board form a sub-committee to submit a proposal to the San Diego Science Festival being held in March 2010.

Seconded by Dean Gilbert. It was suggested that a sponsorship might be more appropriate for CSTA as an organization and allow statewide support of the event. Motion withdrawn. Dean Gilbert moved that

the board form a subcommittee to open conversation with the Festival planning committee to discuss options for CSTA involvement.

Seconded by Donna Ross. Discussion indicated that a motion was not really needed as Donna’s current role allows her to proceed. Motion withdrawn.
There was agreement that this is a good PR opportunity, but a budget would need to be developed to ascertain how and if CSTA would be involved. Donna will proceed to contact the organizers and inquire about sponsorship at a level suited to our organization as well as other options for CSTA involvement.

Policy and Organizational Issues
Appointment of Director
Tim Williamson presented the nomination of Valerie Joyner as Region 1 Director. Sue Pritchard moved that

the board appoint Valerie Joyner as Region 1 Director for the reminder of this term.

Seconded by Deb Farkas; motion carried.

2010 Election
Christine Bertrand reported that CSTA will be conducting the next election via electronic ballot, but members without email addresses on file or those who request it would be able to vote via paper ballot. Christine will test the electronic system with the board in a simulated election prior to the election. Christine noted that since there is still a vacancy in the 2-Year College Director position, it could be added as a one-year term to the next ballot.

Committee Recommendations
Tim Williamson commended the committees and members for all their time and work.

Membership Committee
Dean Gilbert presented the proposals of the membership committee with the note that preservice and new teachers are a focus area. He indicated that the committee will proceed with focus groups to survey the field; dates from the committee are due to Dean for these events statewide. The committee proposed five membership incentive options for board approval, with the goal that incentives and increasing membership remain the focus. Especially for students, the simpler the process, the easier it will feel to teachers. Dean moved that

a one-year free student membership be offered for students (preservice), which would include receiving the conference member rate and web access but no publications.

Seconded by Deb Farkas. Discussion that the definition of “preservice” remains unclear and that staff needs clear definitions to process membership categories. Motion withdrawn. Dean Gilbert moved that

a one-year free student membership be offered for students enrolled in a credential program, which would include receiving the conference member rate and web access but no publications.

Seconded by Deb Farkas; motion carried.
Dean Gilbert moved that

new teachers, defined as first or second year teachers, be offered two years’ membership for the price of one year, at full price ($39).

Seconded by Deb Farkas; motion carried. Christine Bertrand noted the need to address the logistics of this for staff and how they would ascertain if someone is a new teacher. It was suggested that teachers wishing to join under this option be required to get signed verification from a BTSA provider or a site principal. Christine replied that a paperwork process for a principal signature could be managed.
Dean Gilbert moved that

veteran teachers who have never been members of CSTA be offered, for a limited time of six months and with the conference in the middle of that timeframe, two years’ membership for the price of one year.

Seconded by Michelle French. It was suggested that the offer could address the elementary teachers who are often not aware that they can join CSTA, but there was profound concern for offending existing members who have made the effort to join and concern that it would be hard to distinguish those who are members every other year. A variety of marketing ideas were discussed. It was suggested to consider Option 4 (below) in lieu of this option. Tim Williamson called the question. Vote: Yes 4, No 6, Abstain 0; motion failed. Dean Gilbert moved that

the board approve Option 3 as in the proposal.

Seconded by Michelle French. Vote: Yes 1, No 8, Abstain 2; motion failed.
Dean Gilbert moved that

current members who bring in five (or other number) new members get the following year’s membership free.

Seconded by Rick Pomeroy; motion failed. It was suggested that there be a set timeframe for the new members to be submitted, as the lag time is too hard to track. It was suggested that all the names would need to be submitted at the same time. It was suggested that the number of new members be lowered to three and that the offer be expanded to include members who convert their status from “student” to “new.” Dean Gilbert moved that

current members who bring in three new members get the following year’s membership free.

Seconded by Sue Pritchard. Some concern was expressed that regular members could misuse this or it could increase the “every-other-year member” issue. Request was made to amend the motion to address this issue. Amended motion:

current members who bring in, at the same time, three new regular members who have not been active for three or more years get the following year’s membership free.

Amendment accepted by Dean and Sue; motion carried.
Dean Gilbert introduced the last membership committee proposal, that vendors and informal science organizations who purchase four or five memberships for employees would get a discount on their booth at the conference. It was suggested that this is seen as an unnecessary complication by informal board members for their staff. Concern was expressed on how this may impact the budget. Staff was requested to look at the fiscal impact of this option and defer this item to the next membership committee meeting.
Dean Gilbert introduced his marketing message and requested feedback by the board to the membership committee in time for their next meeting, October 21. The message includes questions to address about professional organizations as perceived by teachers, PR for the profession itself, and CSTA as their professional organization. Some board members indicated they were unable to open the sample attachment; Christine will send it out again and Dean will accept input by email. The item was tabled until the December 2009 CSTA board meeting.

Bylaws Review Committee
Tim Williamson and Christine Bertrand introduced the recommended revisions to the bylaws. Sue Pritchard moved that

the board accept all changes to the bylaws as presented.

Seconded by Dean Gilbert; motion carried. Christine mentioned that, in accordance with the California Corporations Code and the changes to the bylaws just approved, the position of 2-year college director continues to be held by Jeff Bradbury, as no one ran for that position in the last election and attempts by the board to fill the position have not succeeded. Sue Pritchard moved that

the board formally request, pursuant to the revised bylaws, that Jeff Bradbury continue as the 2-Year College Director through the remainder of the term ending in 2011.

Seconded by Rick Pomeroy; motion carried.

Finance Committee
Greg Schultz presented recommended adjustments to the 2009-2010 budget, noting that the anticipated reduced revenue from the conference suggest it would be prudent to make a number of preemptive adjustments at this time. A question about our reserves was addressed. It was suggested that cost savings, like AV provided but not used during conference, need to be explored during the budget review in December. It was suggested that data be collected at the Palm Springs conference as to how many presenters are using overhead projectors. Dean Gilbert moved that

the board approve the recommend adjustments to the 2009-2010 budget.

Seconded by Donna Ross; motion carried. Rick Pomeroy recommended that all board members need to look at details closely, such as the voluntary furlough by Christine Bertrand; sincere thanks to Christine were expressed by the board. Other changes noted include removal of conference attendance support for directors and a staff member leave, resulting in some one-time savings. Christine reminded the board that more cuts were imminent after the conference.

Legislative Update
Christine Bertrand referred to her report in the board packet and added that the Race to the Top issue is growing and is a concern on many counts. She reported that it includes business group involvement in structuring preservice teacher programs at universities and holding teacher education programs, as well as teachers, accountable for student test scores.

Science Framework and Adoptions
Christine Bertrand reported that all work on the curriculum frameworks has been stopped in all content areas. She reported that, apparently, the work done so far on the science framework in particular was not appreciated by those in the governor’s office, and she warned that the gains made in conducting a transparent framework and adoption process are being directly opposed. Christine suggested that CSTA consider publishing a framework document independently to support the profession.

National Congress on Science Education
Tim Williamson reported on his attendance at the National Congress on Science Education and expressed his opinion that there was great value for CSTA in maintaining a presence on the congress. Board members were referred to the report in the meeting packet.

Presidential Awards
Dean Gilbert reported on the submissions and process of the Presidential Awards, which he and Diana Takenaga reviewed this year. He indicated that there were still very few science applicants, and he asked that his recommendations be reviewed and this item revisited at the December meeting.

Due to time running out, all reports are to be emailed to the full board.

Sue Pritchard moved that the meeting be adjourned. Seconded by Dean Gilbert; motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.