The question of governance and accountability of the proposed new high school was brought to my attention last week. Acknowledging that the current school Board is fully occupied with its various responsibilities, I offered a suggested governance structure to provide oversight of the school development process as follows:
During the initial development and implementation phase of the proposed new high school, a High School Advisory Council (HSAC) will be convened whose mandate and primary function will be to provide oversight in matters of development concerning the proposed new high school per the request of the current Board.
Goal & Purpose
The HSAC will be charged to make recommendations for consideration, approval and action for regarding initial, annual and long-range plans for the proposed new high school and will serve in an advisory capacity for 3-5 years: one year (2012-2013) for initial preparation, planning and development, and then 2-4 years (2013-2015/16/17) for implementation, assuming one grade level implementation per year.
The HSAC will reference the existing Christian School International Vision to Action standards to develop, or cause to be developed, the immediate implementation plan for the new high school. This will include recommendations for consideration, approval and action regarding:
1) Community (CSI Standard Category 1.0)
This will address and include the development of a proposed high school philosophy, mission, goals statements (1.1), overall school organization (1.2), financial management (1.3), public relations (1.4), and parents (1.5).
2) Staffing (Category 2.0)
This will address and include the development of policies and expectations for all staff members (standard 2.1), administration (2.2), and teachers (2.3).
3) Students (Category 3.0)
This will address and include the development of policies and expectations on admission and retention (3.1), student services (3.2), and physical facility (3.3).
4) Curriculum (Category 4.0)
This will address and include the development, expectations and understanding regarding curriculum procedures (4.1), instructional procedures and resources (4.2), and the written curriculum (4.3).
Level of Authority
The HSAC will be under the authority of, and respond to, the Board. One current member of the Board will sit on the HSAC and serve as a liaison between the Board and the HSAC.
The decisions made by the HSACwill be understood as recommendations for consideration, approval and action when shared with the Board, with whom final decision-making authority rests.
The HSAC will consist of a minimum of five and a maximum of seven individuals. One current member of the Board will sit on the HSAC and serve as a liaison between the Board and the HSAC. This member will represent the HSAC at regular Board meetings.
All HSAC members either i) hold membership in the school society or ii) are employed as administrative and/or instructional staff at the school.
Monthly Reporting Mechanism
The HSAC will meet monthly on an agreed-upon date before the monthly Board meeting. All recommendations from the HSAC for consideration, approval and action will be reported to the Board in the form of written statements and/or minutes of the HSAC meetings. It is expected that the Board will respond diligently so as not to impede the progress of the HSAC.