School Board Governance
School boards can be amazing forces of change, unfortunately, though, the forces can yield both negative and positive ripples through our school community. The most traumatic cases of school board dysfunction are often caused by conflicting values and beliefs, which could have been surfaced and dealt with more productively earlier on. Common reasons for School Boards to seek the assistance of a professional facilitator are:
- Orientation for new board members
- Orientation for a new Head of School and/or Senior Leadership Team
- Fund Raising
- Strategic Planning
- Leading the school through significant changes
- Debriefing results from major milestones, projects and dilemmas
Governance does not directly involve budgets, personnel issues and compliance; it is value driven, ensures the school serves its core purpose and puts in place a mechanism for long term strategic planning. Good governance does include financial stewardship and fiduciary oversight; boards also have the responsibility to indirectly influence recruitment and marketing through consistently promoting and communicating the school’s values and core purpose.
If your school board is either looking to get more involved, or perhaps finding ways to extricate itself from the day-to-day operations of the school, then professional facilitation will help to surface stakeholder interests and concerns to ensure a successful transition. If the school board has had strategic objectives sit dormant on the agenda for successive years, then facilitation can help to dissect the underlying impediments to progress and identify steps to move forward.
Dr. Bernadette P. Carmody
American International School of Guangzhou