By Rick Detwiler, Schools Governance Consultant
As if international school governance was not already a challenge!
This pandemic has wrought a heavy toll on all of us, especially our schools as we try our best to maintain students’ social, emotional, and academic growth in the midst of lockdowns, alternative learning structures, and uncertainty. It has also highlighted the challenges facing trustees in balancing their fiduciary accountability for sustaining the school logistically with their strategic responsibility to guide the school community through these times and on into a thriving future.
Recently, AISA sponsored an online Governance Workshop Series for school-based teams focusing on the elements of the AISA Code of Governance. Working with those schools as they grappled with the governance issues they face and sought direction to support their work as trustees, I discerned five particular guideposts that seemed to mark the way… “Tips for Good Governance,” if you will. Here they are:
Yes, this pandemic has raised a number of challenges for Boards, but by forging a path with the help of these five guideposts: sound policies, strong leadership from the Chair-Head team, healthy Board culture, staying strategic, and learning by doing, effective Boards can not only cope, but actually thrive during these tough times.
About the author:
RICK DETWILER, former head of school of five international schools, now consults with international school Boards on governance and policy review/revision. Rick has consulted Boards from over 60 international schools, including 20 AISA schools, on the strategies cited in the NAIS International Trustees Handbook, which he co-authored.
Particular interest: school board training experiences that are action-driven and individualized for the specific needs of the client school.
Education and experience: After graduating from Dartmouth College, Rick served as a Naval officer, including two tours in Vietnam, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching science in Botswana, followed by ten years as teacher/principal in Vermont and a 20-year career in international schools.
Rick now lives in Vermont with his wife of 49 years, Sandi, a retired ESL teacher.
The Association of International Schools in Africa is dedicated to serving its members throughout Africa during this challenging time. Please let us know if you require additional or specific information, resources and or support, and we will endeavour to assist you as soon as possible.