"In the Know" Weekly Newsletter - The International School

Welcome from the TIS Board

The Board of Trustees wishes all of you a fantastic start to the year. We know how hard the faculty and staff have been preparing for the school year, and we are excited for what is in store for students and families alike. We especially welcome our new teachers and families to the TIS community.

Families often ask what the Board of Trustees does at TIS. Consistent with Best Practices for independent school governance, the TIS Board is charged with looking after the long-term interests of the school. The Board hires and evaluates the Head of School. Trustees work—with the Head of School--on strategic projects involving critical areas of the school, including school finances, investment, facilities, and governance. We have four scheduled meetings a year, plus the Annual Meeting each May. These meetings are open to the school community, and we hope to see you there. Meetings will be posted on the TIS calendar.

The Board is working on many important projects this year, including the next phase of the Campus Master Plan and the school's application for NWAIS accreditation. Gaining accreditation from the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (formerly PNAIS) is an important milestone in TIS's history. It is a massive undertaking that faculty and staff have been working hard on since last year. Trustees are excited to support their efforts and lend their own energies to the project. This has included updating the school's Strategic Plan and writing a Board Manual of policies and procedures. Keep an eye out for future ITK articles discussing these and other Board activities.

It is important to also know what the Board does not do. The Board is not responsible for operational matters--that is, the day-to-day responsibilities and policies that Robert Woods and the administrative staff oversee. The Board doesn't hire or evaluate teachers, schedule after school activities, or select where the pizza comes from on Mondays.

Rather, one of the Board's chief responsibilities is respecting the distinction between strategic and operational matters. This can be challenging for Trustees who also are parents, but we can be proud of the seriousness with which Trustees undertake their roles. And to this end, the Board engages in training with other independent school Boards to ensure that the TIS Board is both professional and effective.

This year’s Board officers are Matt Schweitzer, President; Bryan Higgins, Vice President; Joe Sawicki, Treasurer; and Phoebe Trubowitz, Secretary. These officers form the Executive Committee of the Board. There also are four standing committees on the Board: Governance, Finance, Development, and Buildings and Grounds. This year, we are looking for parents with relevant experience and expertise to join the Finance and Development Committees in an advisory capacity. Serving on these committees will be a great way to help the school move forward. If this interests you, please submit your CV or a brief professional bio to board@intlschool.org.

Scott Kerman, TIS Board of Trustees, board@intlschool.org