"In the Know" Weekly Newsletter - The International School

Board of Trustees update - 7/29

Happy summer to everyone from the TIS Board of Trustees. We, too, have been enjoying the summer break with our families. But we have also continued the work of the Board, so I'm writing this mid-summer article to update you on the Board's work.

The Board of Trustees ended the school year with its day-long Spring Retreat to reflect on the year and begin preparations for the upcoming school year. This year's retreat was led by Meade Thayer, Executive Director of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (formerly PNAIS). Meade led the Board in workshops on a variety of important Board issues, including strategic planning. A significant focus of the Board's work this year is updating the existing Strategic Plan, which you can read here.

Updating the Strategic Plan is just part of the Board's work in support of TIS's bid for NWAIS accreditation this year. Another big project has been writing a Board Handbook of policies and procedures. The 60-page document is currently under review by the Board's Governance Committee. It's essential that Board policies and procedures reflect Best Practices for independent school governance, as well as be consistent with applicable state and federal law regarding non-profit governance. The Board hopes to adopt this Handbook at its October meeting.

Another important focus for the Board this year is our Campus Master Plan. The Campus Master Plan is the strategic vision for our future campus and facilities, designed to meet the future needs the TIS program and culture. Last year, the Board completed the first phase of the CMP: purchasing the Hilltop Building and exercising the options on parcels west of Stearns Hall.

The Board continues to make important preparations for the next phase of the CMP, which involves significant coordination between our finance and development committees. As this is an immense project, the Board is eager to invite members of our community to join our work. The Board is looking for volunteers who can give of their expertise and experience in finance and development to serve in advisory roles on the finance or development committees. This is a great opportunity to serve the school in a significant way, but without necessarily taking on all of the obligations and responsibilities (and time commitment) of being a Trustee. Committees meet once every other month or as needed.

The finance committee would benefit from members who have a variety of finance experience, from financial planning and investment to budgeting and auditing. Financial experience connected to facility planning is especially valuable. The development committee seeks volunteers with experience in strategic fundraising and planning. This is not necessarily the committee that works on school fundraising event, such as the Auction and Run for the Arts. Rather, the Development Committee is responsible for long-range development efforts in support of significant school projects and the school's long-term financial health.

If you are interested in serving on either the finance or development committees, please send your CV to board@intlschool.org. A Trustee will contact you to set up a time for an interview and to answer questions you may have about this commitment.

Scott Kerman, President Emeritus, board@intlschool.org