CCLA All-Hands Meeting
Sunday, March 21, 2010 10:37 PM
I like to add some comments on today's all parent meeting at CCSU campus.
Similar to TEM campus, over 50% parents attended the meeting. Before the meeting, the school administration team members, particularly Xiaodong and Cuiping, and myself went through the hallways and classrooms to inform parents about the meeting.
Nancy went through the new structure of the school, the school administration team structure and CCC education committee members, goals and tasks. She explained to the parents that the online job posting will be available in a week for interested individuals to apply. Nancy walked through the increase of tuition rates both the language classes and ASA. And reminded parents about the upcoming events in the following two weeks.
We hear no rejection or negative response on tuition increase. I will say it was well accepted. A parent asked whether there is still CCC membership fee, if so whether still $25. Of cause the answers are yes, since the board didn't discuss any changes.
Some parents asked about summer camp. The majority likes to have the camp in August. The school administration team will work out a plan.
Upon request from parents, also for the parents who didn't attend the meeting, the school will post the meeting presentation on the CCLA website soon.
On Sun, Mar 21, 2010 at 9:25 PM, <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
As a role of a parent and board member, I would like to share my experience from the parent meeting at TEM campus this afternoon. We had approx. 50 parents attended the meeting.
Increase tuition and ASA fee: Received positive response from parents. One of the parents (former teacher) suggested to raise higher percentage to $75 in ASA fee in order to break even (Current: $50, 2010-11: $60).
Summer Camp location and date: Parents concerned the consistency of locations and dates for the Summer Camp. Suggested posting Summer Camp information earlier to avoid conflicts and competitions.
PTA: Several L1 parents expressed interested in joining PTA.
Dropped out/Customer Satisfaction
Question: Have we thought about contact dropped out students (families)? If not, perhaps now is the chance to touch base with "families" who dropped out this year. We should take an effort to follow up with the dropped out students except relocation reason. For example, if two children of that family come to school, the expense is around $600-$700 total including tuition fee, ASA fee, membership fee, book fee etc. Think about if we have 5 returned families, that number makes a difference.
Yes, we are not social workers, we can not solve their family issues. However, some children struggle with homework and exams. I am sure our school administrators would easily re-evaluate the student's level and recommend appropriate level for next school year.
Thanks and regards,
Concerns on the process and decision made on the recent CCLA Admin Team Pay Proposal
Dear Yi and all the boards,
Thanks for initiating the meeting. And I understand that it is not a good time this Sunday morning, so can we reschedule it to Sunday afternoon or Saturday?
I think it's important to have a meeting this weekend because of the urgency of the matter. Regarding to everyone availability, I do not think this should be an issue as it is very difficult to have everyone, as we even do not have everyone on the annual dinner. Regarding to the place, if there is no space on CCSU or South Windsor, then we could check with Stephanie if Marli school is available or not.
All the boards, please reply to Yi and everyone your availability on Sunday afternoon and Saturday asap, and then Yi could schedule the meeting based on majority's availability.
Yi, we all know your strong leadership, and we know you could make it happen.
Yi and other members,
Thank you for offering help on the coming Sunday. Please let me know if you can help. I will meet you at the CCSU basement auditorium at 9:10am to let you know your assignment.
I am sorry that I cannot make 4/25 meeting as I will be in Cape Cod for my father-in law's memorial.
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 22:11:57 -0400
Subject: Re: Concerns on the process and decision made on the recent CCLA Admin Team Pay Proposal
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Ok, I was just reminded 4/4 is Easter Sunday (I can't believe I missed that), given I'm going to be out of town traveling on business on 4/11 and spring break is the week following 4/18, the next feasible time for all of us to meet would be 4/25. For that, I'd like to ask everyone make a concerted effort to attend, hopefully third time is the chime, thanks.
On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 8:43 PM, Yi Zheng <email@example.com> wrote:
I'm such a terrible parent, my wife just told me that my daughter will be participating in the "I can speak Chinese" event this Sunday, so Nancy I'll be there, let me know if there's anything you need my help with.
On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 8:39 PM, Yi Zheng <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear Board Members,
So far we have 6 people already emailed me with conflict with the proposed board meeting schedule this weekend. In addition, since Nancy also expressed the need for board members to volunteer at this year's "I can speak Chinese" event this Sunday and no class room available at CCSU, I'm going to look for an alternative date for the proposed board meeting. Could everyone let me know if you can make it if I move this to Sunday 4/4 at the same time at CCSU?
On the other hand, I encourage everyone from the board to volunteer your time at this school event, Nancy, please let the board know how many people you need. If someone wants to volunteer, who do they contact to make the arrangement?
On Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 9:51 PM, Nancy Yu <email@example.com> wrote:
I am not available for the coming Sunday meeting as CCLA has "I can speak Chinese" event.
I also would like to call out the board members to help on this event. We need volunteers on maintaining auditorium and hall way in order, students security, stage management and teacher helper, and auditorium cleaning after event.
On Sun, Mar 21, 2010 at 9:21 PM, Yi Zheng <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear Board Members,
Given the email traffic this weekend, I'd like to communicate to you all to address several issues all together:
1. Vote on last Sunday: The voting was conducted with a sufficient quorum and majority approval, therefore the voting results are valid in accordance with CCC by law. Further, as I indicated in my previous email, I've also consulted a legal counsel for interpretation of the by law to validate such results. In terms of question around voting through proxy, that is only applicable to membership voting (i.e. at annual meeting for board election) as defined under Article III "Meeting of Membership" in the by law, but for CCC board of directors meeting, the voting process was consistent with the by law defined under article IV Directors, "QUORUM: At any meeting of the Board of Directors, a majority of the Directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The act of a majorityof the Directors present at a meeting at which there is a quorum shall be the act of the Board of Directors." Anyone can consult with external entity in terms of quorum and voting procedure defined in our by law. I'd like to see us move forward instead of stepping back.
2. Clarification on what budget approval means: It came to my attention that people have a different understanding of what budget approval means, therefore it has generated some controversy. Let me try to help clarify what the approval means. Given my motion was referring to the top line numbers in Nancy's proposal (slide 17), the approval means overall budget for the school has been approved for 2010 - 2011 year. As for the details such as how much the administrative team gets paid (which I understand it is controversial) and exact pay strucuture, I've asked the education committee to further evaluate, define and modify if necessary based on their assessment of the market, validation of school functions, guiding principles around administrative management process as well as assessment of the qualified candidates. Once the proposal is drafted, the proposal will be presented by the education committee to the board for review and approval. This is consistent with a corporate planning/budgeting process, where details of how the budget will be managed will be worked out be the management team, reviewed and signed off by the senior management team. In other words, just because the budget was approved, it did not mean that we will go ahead pay the principal $9,900 without any evaluation. A good personal example would be, even though I have the approved budget for hiring people on my team at work, I would not necessarily spend all that $$ that's budgeted for each position. That's precisely what I've asked the committee to do here. I don't want to steal any thunder from them, but for example, I know the committee is considering a salary plan of $3000 for the campus directors (4 hours) and $4000 (5 hours) for the principal based on some feedback. I'm confident once they have the entire proposal drafted, they will bring it to the board for review and approval. I think we have an approved concept, we need to start somewhere and adjust or modify based on the environment, market, competitors etc instead of trying to figure out a perfect solution. None of us has the crystal ball, I'm hoping we all agree taking measured steps and learning from it is better than belaboring the points with status quo. The goal is to improve school function and ultimately grow enrollment and improve quality and breadth of our curriculum.
3. Education Committee Appointment Process: I want to be clear on how the process was carried out. On the contrary to statement made that the education committee appointment process was inappropriate, I'm executing my duty as the president defined by the by law. Under Article V of the by law, the president "shall appoint chairmen and members of standing or Ad Hoc Committees". My appointment of these individuals was consistent with the by law. The reason I picked these individuals is that they are CCC board members who are familiar with the school functions. Given their knowledge and experience at school, I think they are in a better position to examine the current school process and function, evaluate pain points and developing management process to improve such. On the other hand, since we do have majority of the board of directors having concern over the committee, I'm planning to call a special all board of directors meeting to discuss this. However, I want to be clear, there's a distinction between a president appointing a committee in accordance with his duty defined by the by law then the board have concerns with the appointed team and wanting to discuss it versus I did not follow proper procedures to appoint this committee. As I stated at our very first board meeting, I'd like to see all of our discussions as board members based on facts, not speculation. I respect different opinions and open to fact based dialogue and open communications, but would NOT tolerate any personal attack on my integrity or threat.
4. Progress towards our 2010 plan: To address the question on not making progress, I'd like to remind everyone that for each of the plan items in our 2010 plan, we have both the lead and supporting team assigned in our very first board meeting, I'd like us move on with plan and budget discussion on all other important items in our 2010 plan so we can nail the plan and start executing our duties as the board. All of these activities need good preparation and improved management in order to achieve our desired outcome. All that takes time and dedication. As I suggested in my previous email, I'd like to see these being presented and voted on during our April board meeting. I welcome any earlier submission if timing wise your particular project needs immediate attention of the board.
Next steps: in response to the written request of a special meeting, I would like to inquire everyone's availability on this coming Sunday 28th in the morning from 9:15 - 11:00 at CCSU. The agenda will be focusing on the Education Committee formation, we should discuss the status of the current committee appointed by me and vote on any modification needed. Given the concern over this particular item expressed by the 9 board members, I'd like to hold the meeting with all of the board of directors being present. Please let me know at your earliest convenience your ability to attend.
On a separate note, the April board meeting was previously scheduled on 4/18, given that's the spring break week for many schools, I'd like to move it to 4/28 instead so parents can take their kids for vacation. I wish we can move it to a week earlier (say 4/11) but I'll be traveling on business and can not host the meeting. Please let me know if you can not make the 28th in April.
some points from Chen Li
Sunday, March 21, 2010 5:51 PM
Yi and All board members,
I want to take this chance to express some points from my mind.
First, as for the running model change for CCLA. I believe the paid positions should be the future running model for CCLA. It will benefit and doing good for CCLA from long run. I appreciate Nancy and her team to make this proposal to CCC board. From my point, this is good proposal not perfect one. It has some weakness and not clear issues. That is why we need discuss and make the changes on it. I voted "yes" for the proposal based on what I believe good for CCLA and CCC. However, I share same concerns with other members as well. From my understanding, even we passed this proposal we still have chance to fix it by adding new proposal based on the original one as amendment as long as board members vote "Yes" for new proposal. Now, we need action not only discussion. We can vote on the new proposal from Edmond on next board meeting or earlier based on needs. Personally, I respect the authority of CCC board. I don't want withdraw my vote for last meeting. If we all do this it will hurt the authority of CCC.
Second, how much should we pay for Principal and directors? I can't answer that question. I don't have any experience. $9000/year may be OK if principal does good job, such as improving quality of teaching, showing strong leadership, increasing enrollment. If not, we just not renew the contract for next year. Also, I think CCC board always can make change based on the different situation. Why can't CCC? This will be the first year of new running model. Just give a trial and see what is going on. Nobody can predict what will happen for new business model. What we can do is just be ready to make the change based on the future situation. If you have concern and have new ideal just give the proposal to CCC board. The board member can discuss and vote to make it going forward. That is what we suppose to do as board member.
Third, as for educational committee. I believe five members will be OK. It should include senior member and junior member.
Fourth, as for efficiency of CCC board meeting. I have to say I am disappointed by it. If we can form several sub-committees to take care different issues, such as financial, education and activity, it will improve it. All committees will be formed by 3 to five members including senior and junior members. The committees will take care issues first and form the solution. Then, the solution will be presented to the board for the vote. I think this will make thing easy and more efficient.
Thanks for your reading,
My vote for last CCC board meeting
Friday, March 19, 2010 7:30 PM
Dear CCC board:
Sorry for that I misunderstood the motion last time. I only vote for forming the education committee from CCC board first then we can continue talk about the budget. I didn’t approve the budget. I don't agree to use CCC financial resource to pay such high compensation to the principal and the directors because even teachers are paid they are largely still on voluntary base. They put more time outside of the campus. They are only compensated based on one or two hour on campus, respectively. This should be applied to the principal and the directors too for equal treatment. I thinks that in this bad financial situation we should not raise too much tuition to add financial burden to the parents. I also thinks that the education committee should be formed democratically, approved by the CCC board. The ideal size should be five people.
On Sat, Mar 20, 2010 at 10:41 PM, Edmond Wong <email@example.com> wrote:
This is an addendum to our last letter that was sent to you yesterday.
We want to advise you and anyone in the board that it is important to have a clear and accurate communication about our board decision. It will not be appropriate to communicate that the CCC Board has approved the CCLA budget in the parents' meeting since we have raised numerous concerns to you including the legitimacy of the vote count. However, we are waiting to have a sincere dialog with you to resolve the issues, otherwise we may consider taking further actions. We are asking you to call a separate meeting as soon as possible.
Your prompt attention into the matter will be greatly appreciated.
Signed by CCC Board Members:
Edmond Wong Frank Zhu Jeff Zhu Jian Yuan Lena Tan
Mingxin Lu Shuning Zhan Stephanie Sum Xiongzi Li
On Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 10:55 PM, Edmond Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear Yi & CCC Board,
Please see attached letter addressed to you and the board from 9 current board members.
Dear Board Members and Yi,
This letter is to officially raise our concerns to the CCC Board regarding the process and decision made on the recent CCLA Admin Team Pay Proposal.
Board Approval Process
· 2 times in a row, the CCLA proposals were not shared ahead of time to allow the board members to review and understand the content including the budget. It was only shared at the board meeting on 3/7 & 3/14 when Nancy Yu, the current CCLA principal presented her first and revised proposals to the board.
· There were numerous concerns raised both in writing as well as during the meetings, but the concerns were not addressed.
· On 3/14, voting on the budget was done after the review of it in less than a minute. A motion was raised to request for more information since it didn’t allow sufficient time to confirm it’s a sound financial proposal. However, it was voted down in the same meeting by the board members while majority of them currently serve on the CCLA board or part of the CCLA school functions.
· School improvement plan was also presented on 3/14 and allowed no time for the board to understand and validate if it’s a valid and achievable plan.
· No organization should make important decision with no time and actions for evaluation and assessment.
· Other board members who were absent were excluded from the voting of this issue. Shuning has given her proxy to one of the board members and was not counted. The by-law was established for a decision to be made with a quorum but not intended to allow exclusion of votes from other board members who simply were not present at the meeting. A serious matter like this requires a full board voting.
· The appointment of the education committee was done by the president himself. This appointment was not discussed nor approved by the board. The made-up of the education committee are the CCLA board members or personnel. This doesn’t provide the objective body of governance.
· The entire process and appointment of the education committee should be approved by the CCC board.
Budget and School Administration Pay Model
· While majority of the board members believed the administration team could be paid or appreciated, the proposed pay model is too high for the principal and campus directors.
· The proposed principal’s pay will take close to 10% of the entire school’s annual operating expenses. The Principal’s pay is 6 to 12 times salary of the teachers.
· The proposed campus director’s pay is 2.5 to 5 times salary of the teachers. The total Pay for the principal and 2 campus directors will take up to 18% of the entire school’s annual operating expenses.
· The proposed budget will have $9,000 deficit every year based on the school financial model.
· We are concerned of this proposal will create unfair compensation to the other school employees based on the current duties every employee has to perform both physically at the school sites as well as time spent beyond school days. The inconsistent pay model will result in many negative impacts to school management.
· The 2 paid campus directors have not demonstrated much improvement to the school functions since these 2 paid positions were created. The confidence of simply paying more to the 2 campus director and paying the principal will improve the quality of the school is very doubtful.
· CCC is a community based organization and volunteer works should continue to be the tradition for CCC and CCLA. We relies on skills and experiences contributed from our volunteers to build a strong community since we are not in a financially strong position to pay for many volunteers who dedicated their time, efforts and talents to the organization. This proposal delivers a poor message to the community and in turn discourages volunteerism, and creates negative impacts to the volunteer based, non-profit school and CCC.
· CCC is a big family and has 30 year of history and excellent reputation. We expect the CCC president will carry the same mission to service the community.
Proposed Actions/Next Steps:
· Since the total votes of acceptance of the proposal was less than ½ of the board members and electronic and phone email were not accepted, a re-voting is needed.
· Form a financial committee to work with CCC education committee to review and adjust the budget and provide recommendation of pay to the administration team.
· Need board discussion, nomination, and approval of the education committee. As part of the duties from the education committee, form an organizational assessment team to conduct a drill-down evaluation of every school function.
· Delay the registration process till May until this issue is properly addressed and resolved.
Signed by CCC Board Members: (in alphabetical order of their first names)
Edmond Wong Frank Zhu Jeff Zhu Jian Yuan Lena Tan
Mingxin Lu Shuning Zhan Stephanie Sum Xiongzi Li
CCLA Education Committee and Budget
Dear Board Members,
First I want to thank everyone's active discussion and participation in Sunday's board meeting regarding CCLA plan. While we are waiting to have the formal minutes summarized and sent to the group, I'd like to summarize the two approved motions from our board meeting for everyone, especially those who were not present.
First, we have a unanimous approval on the proposed CCLA school administrative team structure and governing body going forward. In addition, a motion to approve the budget plan as outlined in Nancy Yu's presentation was approved with 8 "yes" vote and 6 opposed. (Nancy, I'm not sure if you sent out a copy of your plan and supporting documents to the group or not, if not, please do so) Given we had 14 board members present during the meeting, based on the by law, we had enough members to form a quorum and the vote was approved with a majority.
I know there were questions raised on the second motion, specifically if it met the by law in terms of approval, I've attached the by law with this email below for others to examine. Given the critical nature of this motion, I've consulted with the Chief Legal Counsel of my division at CIGNA, she reviewed our by law and concurred with the conclusion that the motion was approved based on CCC's by law.
With that said, I want to thank everyone for the timely approval of the plan and budget for our school, and would like to ask everyone's support moving forward as we defined in our ground rule (9. Once decision has been made by the board, unite in public). Further, I would like to move forward with specific action plans as we discussed.
1. First, most immediately, Nancy, please proceed with your plan in terms of communications at Parent meetings and early registration process
2. I completely understand that we still have lingering questions around management process improvement for CCLA. To address those, I'd like to appoint the following individuals to be the CCC educational committee to start executing the proposed plan:
a. Jamie Zhu
b. Serina Shi
c. Rongguo Zhao
I'd like to start the committee with a small group in order to act swiftly in terms of defining the followings:
I. Scan each major school function, examine today's management process, identify issues and understand root causes.
II. Further develop management process for each of the main school functions Nancy outlined in her proposal, report preliminary draft by the end of April to the board for review, the goal is to have the management process clearly defined, documented and P&P developed by May 2010.
III. Develop a plan for recruiting of CCLA administrative team and define hiring process, report this back to the board by April board meeting
Should there be any questions, please feel free to let me know.
With CCLA plan out of the way, my goal is to ask the rest of the project lead from our 2010 plan to submit your plan and budget for the board to review during our April meeting. If timing wise you believe what your needs require board's earlier attention, based on the by law, we can vote through written consent with 2/3 of the board members "yes" vote constitute as approval. I think Nancy's plan and budget presented good examples of what need to be prepared, even though many of the other activities are not as complex as operating a school, the layout, template and story board might be beneficial to use as you build your particular plan and budget.
On a separate note, FYI, I've been actively engaged in a number of activities. Most recently I've had a number of exchanges with Department of Labor regarding unemployment claim issue. In addition, I've met with CCSU officials from a number of areas including the director from administrative affairs, Dr. Scott McKenna, to discuss the use of Welte Hall, ongoing contracts for CCLA, sponsorship issue as well as potential partnership. I'll prepare a separate communication to address these, there are exciting opportunities as well as harsh realities we need to deal with immediately (i.e. risk of CCSU not going to allow us to use Welte Hall for future new years gala). There's an urgency to address these strategic and administrative issues, I'd like to bring these to our April meeting as well. In the mean time, I will reach out to some of you for help. I am confident that with collective effort from everyone, we can make great progress and continue to move CCC forward.
2009 CCC Financial Report
2010 CCC Plan
Dear Board Members,
Just a friendly reminder, we will be meeting tomorrow morning at 9:00 in room 201 at CCSU. My cell phone number is 443 804-8737 should you need to get a hold of me. In addition, I've made some revision to our agenda items, see the latest document attached. I look forward to seeing everyone in the morning.
On Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 4:30 PM, Yi Zheng <email@example.com> wrote:
Dear Board Members,
Happy New Years Everyone!
First, I'd like to thank everyone for your support. Being elected as the new president of CCC, I'm very grateful for the trust you've bestowed on me. As I said on the election night, I'm humbled by this honor as well as the tasks before us. CCC is a great organization with tremendous pride and a long history of community service. Our organization's value to the community has recently been further validated by the certificate issued by Governor Rell. I'm mindful of all the great work and accomplishments this organization has achieved over the past 30 years. I am excited about this opportunity to work with everyone and continue improving the life and well beings of people in our Chinese community.
Currently I'm working on pulling together the agenda for our very first board meeting. My plan is to have the board meeting held on Sunday Feb 28th at CCSU from 9:00 to 11:00 (Nancy, please help us reserve a room for our meeting and Edmond, please bring the projector and laptop for the meeting). I would like to ask for everyone's presence at this meeting as we collectively will be discussing the following important topics:
1. Ground rules for the board meeting going forward
2. Criteria for decision making built upon CCC's mission and guiding principles
3. Overall plan for 2010 with project lead identified and project team assigned
4. Review of CCC financials
5. Budget planning/approval process
6. Issue log review and resolution: Welte Hall Rehearsal Charges
Given one of the key goals of this meeting is to identify major projects for the year so we can ensure development detail plans as well as securing necessary resources for each. Please review the attached document (currently it's simply a draft, nothing carved in stone yet, I'm looking for your feedback prior to our first meeting so I can make adjustments accordingly and save us time for items on the agenda) in terms of our agenda as well as the initial list of projects. Should there be other projects that need to be listed here, please let me know so I can add them accordingly. Our goal is to review all the potential projects and finalize our plan for 2010
I know everyone shares this with me, being part of the board is a privilege and this privilege comes with responsibilities. Please make every effort to make this meeting, be respectful of other people's time by arriving on time. Let me know if you can not make it by this Friday 2/19 and your reason so we can document it accordingly. If this date/time does not work for many of you, I will try to propose an alternate date.
I look forward to a productive discussion and a great start for the year, see you all on the 28th.
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