In an earlier article, “The Head Support and Evaluation Committee: An Update,” we stated that “the HSEC, as a Board Committee, is primarily concerned with the Board’s strategic objectives and the Head’s responsibilities in their successful achievement.” Consider now the HSEC’s membership, its charge, and its self-evaluation.
In staffing the HSEC, the Committee on Trustees should consider the School Head’s position as an executive and as the sole employee of the Board. The Head is responsible for all aspects of the school’s operations, from marketing to teaching Social Studies—without a peer in the school. Use the following chart to ensure the appropriate questions have been asked about the HSEC’s membership.
The annual administrative agenda delineates the tasks of the School Head and the Leadership Team (the senior administrators who report directly to the Head). A previous I&P article articulated the process for uncovering the operations responsibility in the Board’s strategic plan/strategic financial plan.* That is not the totality of what the School Head and Leadership Team are accountable for, however. This article, the third in the series, details how to develop the annual administrative agenda.
Many schools run capital campaigns and annual fund campaigns simultaneously. Capital campaigns are usually implemented over several years and are designed to increase capital assets such as new or improved facilities and/or growing endowment. Annual fund campaigns are repeated yearly and are most often created for enhancements for the current year. Balancing these two efforts requires clear goals, appropriate volunteer training, targeted donor solicitation, and a strategic sense of timing. A capital campaign, because of the size of the goal and the drive’s length, is more likely to falter than an annual campaign that in many schools has become habitual. Being prepared with “jump-starting” strategies can mean the difference between success and failure.
As your school grows in size and complexity, you should review (or establish) accounting policies. Often overlooked is the school’s capitalization policy.
A capitalization policy sets guidelines determining which purchases you expense and which purchases you capitalize and then depreciate. It allows your school to match revenues more closely to the expenses associated with the use of those assets. By depreciating an asset, you recognize that it will provide value to your school’s operation for several years. It is easy to determine what constitutes an asset. Land, buildings, utility systems, kitchen equipment, and vehicles certainly qualify. Classroom furniture, computers, and athletic equipment, among others, may also fall into the asset category.