What does it mean to serve on the High Meadow School Board of Trustees?
High Meadow School is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees which follows the protocols and guidance of the National Associations of Independent Schools (NAIS). The Board of Trustees holds the mission of High Meadow School in trust. It is charged with hiring the head of school and ensuring the school’s ongoing fiscal health and well-being. Along with the administration, the board sets and monitors the strategic direction of the school.
All newly elected board members shall serve for a term of three (3) years starting on July 1 following their election. Board members who are elected before their term starts shall be considered Trustees immediately following their election and shall be re-confirmed prior to July 1st. Trustees may be re-elected following each three (3) term not to exceed three (3) successive three (3) year terms. Former trustees may request re-nomination to the board following a period of 3 years off the board.
All members of the Board of Trustees shall sign a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement upon election to the Board and annually thereafter.
The Board of Trustees meets for approximately 2 hours once a month in the evening as a full Board. Board members can expect to spend an additional 3-10 hours per month on committee-level work.
All Trustees shall at all times act with decorum, honesty, integrity, and in accordance with the highest ethical standards. A relationship with High Meadow School shall not be used in any way that will inure to the personal benefit of any Trustee. Trustees who are also parents at High Meadow School must take great care to separate their role as a Trustee from their role as a parent and member of the community. In a small, close-knit community the importance of the confidentiality of Board proceedings cannot be overstated. Board members must take care to never speak on behalf of the Board without the express consent of a vote of the Board. Individual board members have no power or authority, the Board only has authority as a group.
Board members are expected to make High Meadow School a priority in their financial giving. Board members are expected to donate to the school’s annual fund (Fund for High Meadow). In addition, Board members may be asked to contribute to financially, to the best of their ability, to other causes on occasion, such as a staff party for the staff of the school.
Becoming a Trustee
There are three (3) standing committees created and run by the Board. All Board members serve on at least one committee and the majority of Board time is spent on committee work. Interested people may also consider joining a Board Committee before committing to joining the Board.
The purpose of the Governance Committee is to ensure that the school has effective and mission-aligned governance and leadership in place. The Chair of the Governance Committee shall be appointed by the Chair of the Board.
Specific actions that may be taken by the Governance Committee include:
● Establishing priorities for board composition
● Designing and implementing evaluation of the board of trustees
● Planning ongoing board education
● Review governance concerns brought by the larger community and determine if they should be brought to the attention of the full board or, if not, respond to such concerns in accordance with the Corporation’s Whistleblower Policy, or any other related policies.
Other duties of the Governance Committee, which may require Board approval to fully carry out, include:
● Planning for Trustee recruitment and orientation
● Planning for Trustee succession, especially of the Chair
● Planning for Head of School succession
● Ensuring that the Head of School and Board of Trustees maintain an effective working relationship
● Leading the evaluation of the Head of School
● Ensure the Corporation’s Whistleblower and Nondiscrimination policies are updated as needed
The purpose of the Finance Committee is to ensure fiscal oversight of the corporation, ensuring that financial records are complete and accurate, that appropriate financial controls and policies are in place, and that the corporation has a long term plan for fiscal health.
Specific actions that may be taken by the Finance Committee include:
● Establishing reserve funds, lines of credit, or investments in coordination with the Head of School and any employees or contractors the Head of School designates.
● Overseeing the annual audit in coordination with the Head of School and any employees or contractors the Head of School designates.
Other duties of the Finance Committee, which may require board approval to fully carry out, include:
● Overseeing the organization’s budget development, including in-depth review of proposed budgets and the routine review of budget reports.
● The periodic review of financial reports, ensuring that they are accurate.
● Ensuring the school has a long term plan for fiscal health
● Ensure the schools fiscal policies meet the requirements of any legal or accreditory authorities.
● Ensure the Conflict of Interest policy is updated as needed
Strategy and Outcomes Committee
The purpose of the Strategy and Outcomes Committee is to ensure the school is fulfilling its mission and operating effectively and efficiently by monitoring any key success metrics for the strategy or general health of the corporation. This includes supporting the Head of School in identifying key success metrics and periodically reviewing those metrics. The committee also ensures the periodic review of the school’s mission and oversight of any process to adjust the school’s mission.
Specific actions that may be taken by the Strategy and Outcomes Committee include:
● Developing or implementing tools or rubrics for evaluating progress and outcomes for fulfilling the school’s mission.
● Developing or implementing tools or rubrics for evaluating progress and outcomes for the school’s operations.
● Initiating a review of the mission of the Corporation
Other duties of the Strategy and Outcomes Committee, which may require Board Approval to fully carry out,
● Initiating and monitoring the setting and execution of long-term goals