The Board met on 10 October. Now for the first time you will be able to see the Board minutes in redacted form on the Community Portal. The redaction will simply be to remove the parts of the minutes that record discussion, as opposed to decisions. All the Board’s decisions will be there for members of the Community to see, if they wish.
No need then to list here the Board’s proceedings, but there are a couple of things we should mention:
- Paul Heinz has been elected as Vice-Chairman. As Paul himself acknowledges, this does not imply anything about chairmanship succession. He will deputise for me when needed and will also chair the Governance Committee.
- Quite a bit of time was spent in the Board meeting on my own proposals for changes in the way the Board is organised and goes about its business. This is in response to a feeling among Board members that the Board needs to evolve to reflect the way the School itself has grown and evolved.
- One such change is the formation of what we have called a Director Support Group, which will meet regularly with Nicki to widen the channel between the Board and the Director from a one-on-one relationship via the Chairman. The Group will consist of the Chairman, the Vice-Chair/Governance Chair, the Secretary and the Treasurer.
- Another change is to simplify the committee structure, with Facilities grouped under Finance, Risk and Nomination under Governance and Strategy grouped with Future scenario planning. You can see who the committee chairs are from the minutes, so I will not list them here.
- We also approved the Board Goals for 2016-17, which were already published in the Highlights on 1 September. These are not all the things the Board will be doing in the coming year. But communications and relationship building are central to them. Some new approaches to this area will be introduced in the coming months and some existing practices will be reviewed. Nothing revolutionary, but hopefully some sustainable improvement.
The School is at the beginning of the lengthy and extensive process of re-accreditation by the Council for International Schools (CIS) and the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, which will go on until March 2018. It is not only important for the School to maintain its accredited status, but also to learn from this ‘intensive’ process.
Finally, a couple of weeks ago we asked for candidates to come forward for the Board elections at the Annual General Meeting on 29 November. We have not yet heard from many people, so I would like to make a particular appeal for your interest in this. But most particularly I would like to appeal for diversity. I have pointed out before that every student at the School has by definition both a father and a mother. But we have currently only one woman on the Board! When I joined there were four. Every Board needs an adequate mix and School Boards especially.
I hope you enjoy your mid-term break!
Chairman, Board of Governors