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Catholic School Governance The Mission and Function of Education Commissions

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Title: Catholic School Governance The Mission and Function of Education Commissions


1
Catholic School Governance The Mission and
Function of Education Commissions Boards
2
Prayer
  • Eternal God
  • Bless all of our schools that they may be lively
    centers for sound learning, new discovery, and
    the pursuit of wisdom
  • And grant that those who govern, those who
    administer and teach, and those who learn may
    find you to be the source of all truth.
  • These things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ,
    Our Lord.
  • Amen

3
Questions
  • Why do we have commissions/boards?
  • What is the authority of a commission/board?
  • What are the areas of responsibility of a
    commission/board?
  • How should a commission/board function?
  • What are key characteristics of an effective
    commission/board, commission/board members,
    schools?

4
What is a Catholic Education Commission/School
Board?
  • A Catholic education commission/school board is
    a governing body whose members participate in the
    educational mission of the Church in
    collaboration with dioceses, religious
    congregations, bishops, pastors, and school
    administrators by acting as fiduciaries for the
    Catholic community and by providing long-range
    direction for the school. A guardian, one who
    has discretion, who will act with care, skill,
    prudence, and diligence as a prudent person in
    similar circumstances would act.

5
WHY DO WE HAVE COMMISSIONS/BOARDS?
6
Reasons for Commissions/Boards
  • To provide for stability continuity
  • To assure fidelity to mission
  • To insure organizational effectiveness
  • To serve as a positive voice for the school

7
  • To provide resources for the school/connect the
    school to resources
  • To provide for collaboration, participation,
    ownership, common vision
  • To enable leadership
  • To provide for multiperspectivalism Different
    analytic perspectives which contribute to the
    elucidation of an issue or a problem.
  • To provide direction in policy, planning,
    finance

8
WHAT IS THE AUTHORITY OF A COMMISSION/BOARD?
9
Advisory
  • Governance
  • Gives advice.

10
Differencesbetween
  • Catholic School Board
  • provides Catholic education to those who choose
    it,
  • responsible for direction of one school,
  • advisory, consultative or limited in jurisdiction
  • Established by Episcopal/Congregational mandate
  • Public School Board
  • provides free education for all
  • responsible for the general operation of a system
  • regulatory in nature
  • established by civil law

11
Responsibilities
  • Catholic Schools
  • Board/Commission Formulates Adapts Policy
  • Authority Enacts Policy
  • President/Principal Initiates Implements
    Policy
  • Public Schools
  • Legislature Initiates, formulates, Adapts,
    Enacts Policy
  • State Board of Education Establishes
    Regulations
  • Local Board Superintendent Implements
    Regulations
  • Principal Manages

12
The Authority of the Commission/Board
  • The commission/board has the authority to make
    recommend any and all policy decisions which it
    judges to be for the good of the school in
    keeping with the limits of its jurisdiction.
  • The administrator should be allowed discretionary
    action in the implementation of commission/board
    policies.
  • The commission/board does NOT exercise
    administrative authority except in keeping with
    a written policy to hire the administrator who
    then administrates the school.

13
  • The administrator may seek the advice of the
    board in administrative decisions but is not
    required to do so.
  • The administrator has full authority in the
    day-to-day operation of the school within the
    commissions/boards policy mandates.
  • The role of the administrator in a Catholic
    school is akin to superintendent AND principal
    in a public school.

14
  • Members of the commission/board act officially or
    with the authority of the commission/board ONLY
  • when meeting as a commission/board the
    commission/board does not exist outside of the
    commission/board meeting,
  • when directed in a meeting to act for the
    commission/board,
  • when authority to act is given explicitly in the
    constitution or by-laws.

15
WHAT ARE THE AREAS OF REPONSIBILITY OF A
CATHOLIC SCHOOL COMMISSION/BOARD?
16
  • Mission Effectiveness
  • Planning
  • Policy Formation
  • Finances
  • Selection Support of Leadership
  • Development, Public Relations, Marketing
  • Evaluation

17
ASSURE MISSION EFFECTIVENESS
  • Fundamental to an institutions performance is a
    clear, strong mission and purpose. A successful
    organization must know what it does, why it does
    it and whom it serves.
  • The statement of mission should also explain what
    makes the organization distinctive and special
    and present compelling reasons for individuals
    and groups to support it.

18
What is the Mission of Catholic Education?
  • Catholic education is an expression of the
    mission entrusted by Jesus to the Church He
    founded.
  • Through education the Church seeks to prepare its
    members to proclaim the Good News and to
    translate this proclamation into action.

19
  • Since the Christian vocation is a call to
    transform oneself and society with Gods help,
    the educational efforts of the Church must
    encompass the twin purposes of personal
    sanctification and social reform in light of
    Christian values.
  • To Teach as Jesus Did, 1972

20
  • the Catholic school is educating its student
    to promote effectively the welfare of the earthly
    city, and preparing them to serve the advancement
    of the reign of God. The purpose in view is that
    by living an exemplary and apostolic life, the
    Catholic graduate can become the saving leaven of
    the human family Declaration on Christian
    Education, 1966.

21
  • The Catholic school aims to develop in the
    school community an atmosphere animated by a
    spirit of liberty and charity based on the
    Gospel. It enables young people, while
    developing their own personalities, to grow at
    the same time in that new life which has been
    given them in Baptism. Finally it so directs the
    whole of human culture to the message of
    salvation that the knowledge which the pupils
    acquire of the world, of life and of humanity is
    illumined by faith Declaration on
    Christian Education, 1966.

22
  • The Catholic school has as its aimthe total
    formation of the individual.These premises
    indicate the duties and the content of the
    Catholic school. Its task is fundamentally a
    synthesis of culture and faith, and a synthesis
    of faith and life the first is reached by
    integrating all the different aspects of human
    knowledge through the subjects taught, in the
    light of the Gospel the second is the growth of
    the virtues characteristic of the Christian
  • The Catholic School, Congregation for
    Catholic Education, 1977

23
The Role of Catholic School Governance in
Assuring Mission Effective
  • Understand mission and purpose
  • Be committed to the mission
  • Let mission drive decision making, organizational
    planning, assessment, accountability Integrate
    mission values into operations
  • Articulate core documents

24
  • Educate its members
  • Evaluate mission effectiveness
  • Do decisions of the commission promote reflect
    the values articulated in the mission statement
    of the school?
  • Is the school remaining true to its original
    purposes?
  • Review the mission statement for adequacy,
    accuracy, and validity

25
PLANNING
  • The process of determining what a school intends
    to be in the future and how it will get there,
  • Planning for an institutions future is critical
    for its success

26
PLANNING
  • gives the commission/board purpose and focuses
    its energy
  • is proactive Translates the mission of the
    school into objectives and goals that can be
    accomplished
  • is done in cooperation with the
    pastor/president/principal
  • is long-rangea definition of a blueprint for
    the schools desired future

27
WHY PLAN?
  • TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE
  • TO STIMULATE FORWARD THINKING
  • TO BUILD TEAMWORK AND EXPERTISE
  • TO INFLUENCE RATHER THAN BE INFLUENCED
  • TO PROVIDE DIRECTION

28
The Role of Catholic School Governance in Planning
  • To initiate and own the plan.
  • To support, renew, and approve the plan
  • To actively participate in the planning process
    by asking good questions, expecting good
    answers, and serving as resources in areas of
    personal and professional expertise.

29
Planning involves
  • Catholic identity
  • Religious education
  • Programs/activities
  • Public relations
  • Development
  • Personnel
  • Spiritual growth
  • Academic curriculum
  • Marketing
  • Plant facilities
  • Finance
  • Governance
  • Parents
  • Recruitment
  • School community
  • Mission integration

30
Characteristics of Policies
  • Policies are broad, general, and direction
    setting statements or guidelines.
  • Some policies call for regulations to set a tone
    or to establish the schools position.
  • Formulating policy is the responsibility of the
    board.
  • Regulations are specific, concrete, and tightly
    written.
  • Some administrative regulations arise our of
    necessity and do not flow from policy.
  • Determining how policy is to be implemented is
    the responsibility of the pastor and his
    administrator

31
Policies
  • clarify expectations for students, parents,
    teachers, others
  • codify and preserve board decisions
  • foster continuity and consistency
  • are intermediaries between the schools
    philosophy and objectives and its regulations,
    programs, procedures, and organizational
    structures
  • give general direction to the administration
    (pastor/principal/president)
  • anticipate and forestall crises
  • reduce subjectivity, inconsistency and
    arbitrariness

32
Policies CANNOT
  • control or supervise the administrator
  • resolve specific problems after the fact
  • address isolated cases, exceptions, petty item
  • substitute for programs
  • be in conflict with diocesan or congregation
    policy

33
Good Policies
  • respond to/anticipate need
  • are clear enough to give guidance and broad
    enough to give space
  • are written down in plain language
  • are effectively communicated
  • are regularly evaluated (annually)

34
Getting to Policy
  • Determine the need.
  • Identify the issues and facts.
  • Gather relevant data.
  • Draft the policy consider and be able to
    explain the rational and the consequences.
  • Present clarify.
  • Consult if/as appropriate.
  • Discuss vote accept, amend, defeat, table,
    send back to committee for reworking.
  • Gain approval by appropriate authority.
  • Promulgate.
  • Follow-up.

35
FINANCES
  • The Commission/Board
  • provides financial oversight
  • assures that fiscal policies and practices are
    mission focused
  • develops the budget and provides for a realistic
    funding of the budget.
  • ensures adequate resources and monitors their
    use.
  • oversees financial management by developing
    policies which will ensure a financially
    efficient operations.

36
  • provides for reasonable tuition, just salaries,
    financial aid, and adequate maintenance
    development of property and plant.
  • provides for financial accountability by
    reviewing the monthly/quarterly statements of
    account
  • oversees investments by formulating and
    monitoring an investment policy and strategy
  • maintains fiscal transparency

37
SELECTION SUPPORT OF LEADERSHIP
  • The administrator is the leader of the school,
    possessing full administrative responsibility for
    the school under the authority of the
    pastor/president.
  • Selection of the administrator must conform to
    diocesan/congregational policy.
  • Research states that the administrator is the key
    to the success of the school.

38
  • The administration (pastor, principal, president)
    needs, expects, and has the right to the support
    of and positive reinforcement by the
    commission/board collectively and individually.
  • For good relations, clarify roles and
    responsibilities, keep one another informed, and
    understand each others roles.

39
DEVELOPMENT, PUBLIC RELATIONS, MARKETING
  • A major role of governance is to insure that an
    institution has the resources to be effective
    The quality and quantity of students who use the
    schools services, friends who understand and
    appreciate the mission and role of the school,
    and funds for capital and operating purposes are
    essential resources every school needs.

40
DEVELOPMENT, PUBLIC RELATIONS, MARKETING
  • A systematic effort
  • to attract funds for the school
  • to attract friends for the school
  • to build confidence in the school for the long
    term
  • to enable the public to know about and understand
    the school
  • to create good will
  • to attract students to the school
  • to realize the schools desired future

41
The Role of the Commission/Board in Development,
PR Marketing
  • to provide leadership in creating, adopting, and
    monitoring planning for each area
  • to be askers--under the direction of development
    staff
  • to be cultivators--create a positive awareness of
    the school through advocacy

42
  • to be ambassadors--enhance the schools public
    standing ensure a healthy and accurate image
  • to be identifiers--identifying gift opportunities
  • to help realistically access the feasibility of
    fund-raising goals
  • to ensure adequate budgeting for development

43
EVALUATION
  • Assessing effectiveness
  • by monitoring and oversight,
  • that is, by asking the right questions and
    expecting good answers

44
The Role of the Commission/Board in EVALUATION
  • evaluate its external effectiveness
  • evaluate its relationship with the pastor,
    principal, president
  • enable an evaluation of programs to ensure that
    they are of high quality and consistent with the
    mission of a Catholic school
  • enable a professional evaluation of the
    principal through the Office of Catholic Schools
  • evaluate its internal operations
  • composition
  • process of identifying new members
  • committee structure functioning
  • meetings
  • relationships with key constituencies
  • overall performance

45
Professional Evaluation of the Principal
  • The principal of the school deals with all the
    individuals and constituencies in the school.
    Consequently, the principal moves in an
    atmosphere of constant approval, criticism,
    pressure, acceptance, gossip, and informal
    evaluation.

46
  • To make a principal less vulnerable to casual,
    partisan evaluations, a professional evaluation
    based on agreed upon professional expectations is
    conducted via the Office of Catholic Schools.
  • Evaluation should empower, build confidence, and
    encourage as well as stimulate discussion of
    goals and focus energy.
  • Both governance members and the administration
    (pastor, principal, president) need to understand
    that their effectiveness is interdependent--the
    success of one is the success of the other.

47
One Additional Board/Commission
RoleGenerativity
  • Recruit, communication expectations, orient new
    members for the commission/board
  • Assess define membership needs experience,
    skills, influence, affluence, demographic, etc.
  • Orient new members to how the commission/board
    functions its members (by-laws)
  • Orient new members to the organization that is
    the school its mission, programs, services,
    goals, and aspirations as well as issues and
    opportunities

48
The Basic Focus of a Commission/Board a Summary
  • Mission Understand, Articulate, Live
  • The Future Ensure it Provide for it

49
The Commissions/Boards Basic Responsibilities
a Summary
  • Enable mission effectiveness purpose
  • Ensure effective planning
  • Provide overall direction
  • Ensure adequate resources monitor their
    effective use
  • Select and support the administration (pastor,
    principal, president)
  • Enhance public image
  • Assess and review performance
  • Monitor programs and services

50
HOW SHOULD A COMMISSION/BOARD FUNCTION?
51
By-Laws
  • Clearly Written
  • Followed
  • Template

52
Characteristics of an Effective Board Meeting
  • Planning
  • Clear Time Limits
  • Organized Format
  • Follow-up

53
Planning
  • Prepared Agenda Sent out in advance
  • Effective Committee Structure Process business
    of the Commission through its committees

54
Clear Time Limits
  • Meet Expectations!
  • Start on Time.
  • Set an Ending Time.
  • End on Time.

55
Organized Format
  • Take Minutes Who, What, When .
  • Follow Established Procedures.
  • Enable Adequate Dialog.
  • Stay Focused.
  • Consider Only Pertinent Items.
  • No Committee Work only discussion of that work
  • Avoid Information Items they should be in the
    reports sent out before the meeting
  • Avoid items not in commissions authority
  • Do not try to deal with everything!

56
Follow-up
  • Circulate Written Minutes.
  • Check on the Progress of Action Items.
  • Evaluate Effectiveness of Decisions.

57
Attendance
  • Number of Meetings
  • Focus of Meetings
  • Length of Meetings
  • Meetings Open or Closed

58
KEY
  • An Effective Board Chair
  • A person who keeps the meeting and the group
  • FOCUSED
  • ON TASK

59
Effective Board Committees
  • Rationale
  • Efficient way to handle. responsibilities of the
    board.
  • Given the scope of the task, a method of working
    effectively.
  • Small group can handle issues in depth get in
    depth knowledge.
  • Small group can get specialized information.
  • Role
  • Process all work of the board
  • Examine issues in its competence in depth
  • Review recommend policies actions in its area
    of competence to the pastor, principal, president

60
Common Standing Committees
  • Institutional Advancement
  • Academic/Student Activities
  • Strategic Planning
  • Mission Effectiveness
  • Executive Committee
  • Building Grounds
  • Finance
  • Board Development

61
What the Principal Does
  • Act as executive officer of the Commission/ Board
    under the authority of the pastor/president
  • May work with chair to prepare agenda
  • Interprets the needs of the school, and prepares
    submit appropriate policy recommendations
  • Provides direction to the Commission/Board
  • Keep the Commission/Board informed

62
What the Commission/ Board Does
  • Discuss to decide.
  • Give advice counsel to the administration
    (pastor, principal, president)
  • Contribute the benefits of its perspective, its
    experience, and its familiarity with the
    community
  • Identify and provide resources

63
What a Commission/Board in a Catholic School Does
NOT Do!
  • Act as a grievance committee or conciliators
  • Hire, evaluate, or terminate faculty/staff
  • Administer the school
  • Tell the administration how to administer the
    school

64
Pitfalls to Avoid in Decision Making
  • Vote
  • Railroading
  • Hidden Agendas
  • Hand Clasping
  • Avoiding the Issue
  • Begging the Question

65
The Most Difficult Things for Board Members to
Learn
  • No authority as an individual
  • Differences between formulating policy
    administering the school
  • Considering the total picture
  • Dealing with individual complaints concerns
  • That change comes slowly
  • That you cant solve everyones problem
  • Holding one point of view supporting another
  • Board Room Vs. Parking Lot

66
Membership of the Commission/Board
  • The membership of the governance body (appointed
    by the pastor or president) determines what this
    body is capable of being. A commission should
    represent the three ws Work, wealth (talent),
    wisdom.
  • The governance body needs a range of talent,
    experience, and knowledge to accomplish its role.
  • Members of the governance serve the institution,
    not a constituency.

67
Qualities of Commission/Board Members
  • A genuine interest in Catholic school education
  • A willingness to work with others in achieving
    consensus decisions
  • A willingness to make the time commitment
  • A willingness to maintain confidentiality
  • Credible witness to the Catholic faith
  • Supportive of the administration (pastor,
    principal, president)
  • Prudence
  • Objectivity
  • Courage to face unpleasant tasks decisions
  • A willingness to support board decisions, even if
    not fully agreed with

68
Individual Responsibilities of Members of
Catholic School Boards/Commissions
  • GENERAL
  • Know the schools mission, goals, policies,
    programs, services, strengths, and needs
  • Fulfill duties responsibly
  • Help perpetuate the board/commission
  • Serve in leadership positions
  • Avoid judgments based on inadequate information
    refer those with grievances to follow established
    procedure
  • Bring good will and a sense of humor to the
    deliberations of the board/commission

69
  • MEETINGS General Committee
  • Be prepared participate
  • Ask timely and substantive questions
  • Support the decisions reached
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Speak for the board only when authorized

70
  • RELATIONSHIPS
  • Support the pastor, principal, president
  • Dont ask for special favors
  • Serve the organization as a whole, not any
    special interest group
  • Avoid even the appearance of a conflict of
    interest
  • Be objective and act out of fairness and personal
    integrity

71
  • FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Exercise prudence especially regarding financial
    matters
  • Faithfully read and seek to understand the
    information necessary to give direction to the
    organization
  • FUNDRAISING
  • Assist in development by implementing fundraising
    strategies and using personal influence with
    others
  • Board Source Building Effective Nonprofit Boards

72
Four Key Characteristics of An Effective School
Board
  • The Board
  • understands its primary role
  • places a high priority on the recruitment of new
    board members
  • keeps informed
  • measures board performance and activity

73
  • The board leader represents not only what we
    are, but above all what we know the organization
    should be. Membership on a board is not power,
    it is responsibility. What I mean by this is
    responsibility not just to the organization, but
    to the board itself, to the staff and to the
    institutions mission.
  • Peter Drucker

74
Success Markers for Schools
  • They are strongly mission-driven.
  • They have developed a practicable strategic
    financial plan.
  • They are tuition-driven rather than being
    dependent on fund-raising to balance their
    operating budgets.
  • They understand marketing and do it well.
  • They look for balance of talent in their boards.

75
Top Stability Markers
  • Stable schools will have a board-level mission
    statement.
  • Stable schools will carefully tend and nurture a
    major gifts program that has reached and
    sustained its own organizational maturity.
  • Stable schools will have substantial cash
    reserves.
  • Stable schools will have established an
    endowment-building process.
  • Stable schools will think of faculty/staff
    professional development as a core component in
    instructional and academic excellence, and will
    have developed operational budgets that reflect
    that thinking.
  • Stable schools will have substantial annual
    budgets for faculty/staff recruitment.
  • Stable schools will provide a range of fringe
    benefits for faculty/staff.
  • Stable schools will have a profiled board
    (individuals who fit a profile of talent that
    derived from a strategic plan).
  • Stable schools will have a collaborative
    pastor/president principal relationship

76
  • Thank you for your service, dedication and
    commitment to furthering the mission of our
    Catholic schools!
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