In July, the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) released its annual report, "Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2014." The report includes research on bullying and cyber-bullying, weapons on school property, victimization, teacher injury, and other crime and safety-related topics—all of which should be priorities for the Board to anticipate and address.
Most private-independent high schools are college-preparatory, and they take great pride in the success of their alumni in higher education and beyond. But, as in all schools, your faculty and staff are always concerned that they are effectively preparing their students for college.
As classroom technology becomes more prevalent, especially with teachers using computer apps to track student performance, student privacy issues also become a concern. Teachers are now integrating interactive whiteboards, tablets or electronic readers, and even handheld devices like smart phones in their lesson plans. This does not come without risks, however. Providers of online educational services and apps can “harvest” personal student information (email addresses, phone numbers, and numerous other data points) that can be used for marketing and analysis, or even shared and used inappropriately.
To maintain the trust, your Board must ensure the school can fulfill its mission and meet its goals without having land values and the lack of space limit program or planning decisions—not just now, but 100 years in the future! If your school does not have a land-acquisition plan. Now is the time to develop one. Acquiring land now that you may need in the future is of strategic importance to your school.
With this in mind, you must (1) determine your school’s needs, and (2) take action if necessary. In this article, we will discuss how to ascertain your school’s needs. In the next issue, we will discuss how to move forward if you decide more land is required.
The Board must not be involved in your school’s educational program, either as individuals or as a group. Discussions and decisions about the program are not appropriate topics for Trustees. The Board has hired the School Head to orchestrate the curriculum and programs, and supervise their delivery.
However, that does not excuse Trustees from knowing how your mission is fulfilled and being able to effectively describe the excellence that occurs on your campus to community members and prospective families. Trustees must possess accurate information about your educational programs. What they describe must match what people see and experience in their associations with the school. The School Head must provide Board members compelling information that they can share. Consider employing the following strategies in education your school’s Board.
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