The ability of Boulware Springs Charter School to carry out its mission and vision depends on the strength of our organizational foundation. A critical element of this foundation is our Board of Directors.
What is the purpose of a charter school’s Board of Directors?
The word “govern” derives from a Greek word meaning “to steer a ship.” John Carver, an expert on board governance, writes, “Governance is not about budget lines, personnel issues and field trip approvals. It is about values and vision and strategic leadership. The re-invention of the school board calls for a new paradigm, a fresh reconstruction of what the work of the board is to be.”
The ability of the charter school to carry out its mission and vision depend on the strength of its organizational foundation. A critical element of this foundation is the charter school board itself. The board carries the mission of the school into the community and brings the views of the community into the school. Its importance to the health of the charter school and its financial base is primary.
What are the responsibilities of the Board of Directors?
At Boulware, these are the primary responsibilities of our Board members:
1. Uphold the charter school’s mission and purpose. A statement of mission and purpose should articulate the charter school’s goals, means, and primary constituents served. It is the board of directors’ responsibility to review it periodically for accuracy and validity. Each individual board director should fully understand and support it.
2. Support the charter school administrator and review his or her performance. The board should ensure that the charter school administrator has the moral and professional support he or she needs to further the goals of the charter school. The charter school administrator, in partnership with the entire board, should decide upon a periodic evaluation of the administrator’s performance.
3. Ensure effective organizational planning. As stewards of the charter school, the board must actively participate with the staff in an overall planning process and assist in implementing the resulting plan.
4. Ensure adequate resources. One of the board’s foremost responsibilities is to provide adequate resources for the charter school to fulfill its mission. The board should work in partnership with the charter school administrator and development staff, if any, to raise funds from the community.
5. Manage resources effectively. The charter school board, in order to remain accountable to the charter granting entity, parents and students, its donors, the public, and, in the case of a separately incorporated nonprofit, to safeguard its tax-exempt status, must approve the annual budget and ensuring that proper financial controls are in place.
6. Determine and monitor the charter school’s programs and services. The board’s role in this area is to determine which educational programs and services are the most consistent with the charter schools mission, and to monitor their effectiveness.
7. Enhance the charter school’s public image. A charter school’s primary link to the community, including constituents, the public, and the media, is the board. Clearly articulating the organization’s mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public, as well as garnering support from important members of the community, are important elements of a comprehensive public relations strategy.
8. Assess its own performance. It is the board’s responsibility to ensure that the total organization is effective in achieving its mission and efficient in using its resources. It should begin this annual discussion by evaluating its success as a board. By evaluating its performance in fulfilling its responsibilities, the board can recognize its achievements and reach consensus on which areas need to be improved.
For a list of current Boulware Board Members, click here: http://www.boulwarecharter.com/board-directors/
For a list of past and upcoming Boulware Board meetings, including the agendas and minutes, click here: http://www.boulwarecharter.com/board-meetings/