Principles of Good Practice
The QAIS Principles of Good Practice for member schools define high standards and ethical behavior in key areas of school operation and are designed to help guide schools in becoming leaders in education. QAIS believes that thoughtful discussion of all the principles will be of great benefit to our school communities.
The QAIS Principles of Good Practice for Member Schools define high standards and ethical behavior in key areas of independent school operations – admission, fund-raising, financial and business management, the hiring process, instruction, governance, headship, athletic and academic activities as well as school/family relations. The adoption of these principles commits the association to articulating and promoting high standards of educational quality and ethical behavior for its membership. The collected QAIS Principles of Good Practice for Member Schools reflect the overall dedication to quality education that characterizes independent schools.
The Principles of Good Practice for Equity and Justice appear first in the listing because QAIS believes they serve as the overarching guide to all activity in schools.
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Equity and Justice
Schools have found that the process of creating and sustaining an equitable and just community requires commitment, reflection, and conscious and deliberate action, as well as constant vigilance. These Principles of Good Practice for Equity and Justice provide the foundation for such a community by ensuring the inclusion of a diversity of individuals and groups in the many aspects of school life.
1. The school respects, affirms, and defends the dignity and worth of each member of the school community.
2. The school lays the groundwork for its commitment to equity and justice in the life of the school.
3. The school establishes, publishes, implements, and monitors policies that promote equity and justice in the life of the school.
4. The school supports the ongoing education of the board, parents, and all school personnel as part of the process of creating and maintaining an equitable and just community.
5. The school ensures a bias-free environment by addressing issues of equity and justice in pedagogy, assessment, curriculum, and programs.
6. The school values each and every child, recognizing and teaching to their varied learning styles, abilities, and life experiences.
7. The school uses inclusive, bias-free language in written and oral communication.
8. The school distributes resources equally.
9. The school adheres to provincial and federal laws and regulations which promote equity.
10. The school provides appropriate opportunities for leadership and participation in decision-making to all members of the school community.
11. The school engages parents as partners in the process of creating an equitable and just community.
12. The school develops in its students a sense of responsibility for equity and justice in the broader community.
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Through the recruitment and selection of its students, admission officers play a critical role in their school's educational vitality and culture. The following principles of good practice are intended to provide common ground for interaction between independent school admission officers and their many constituents – parents, students, colleagues, even the general public. These principles may be read in conjunction with the QAIS Principles of Good Practice for Equity and Justice, which serve as the overarching guide to all activity in schools. The director of admission and, by extension, the head of school bear the ultimate responsibility for communicating and upholding these principles of good practice to all those professional staff and volunteers (including parents, alumni/ae, tour guides, coaches, faculty, board members) who represent the institution in admission, promotion, recruitment, and retention activities.
1. The school seeks to ensure the appropriate match between a prospective student/family and the mission of the institution.
2. The school respects and affirms the dignity and worth of each individual in the admission process.
3. The school adheres to provincial and federal laws and regulations that require non-discriminatory practice in the administration of admission policies.
4. The school adheres to established policies and procedures for student recruitment and enrollment.
5. The school operates under a clear set of practices for gathering, disseminating and maintaining prospective student information, and respects the need for confidentiality.
6. The school does not initiate the transfer or recruitment of students from other independent schools.
7. The school respects the needs of students and families through the application and enrollment process and is clear about the time frame for acceptance of an enrollment offer.
8. The school shares complete information with families about their financial obligations before enrollment.
9. School representatives apply the same standards of integrity whether talking about their own school or making comparisons with other institutions.
10. The school recognizes the right of currently enrolled students to consider other educational options and provides appropriate support in that process. The receiving school suggests that the parent(s) of an applicant inform the school in which their child is currently registered of their intentions. The receiving school, however, must seek permission from the parent(s) before contacting the school in which the student is enrolled for a reference on the student. If admission is sought for the current school year, the receiving school must require that the parent(s) inform the school in which the student is enrolled of their application, as the receiving school must discuss the admission with the school in which the student is currently enrolled.
11. The school adheres to provincial regulations.
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Interscholastic Athletic and Academic Activities
Interscholastic athletic and academic activities can play an important role in the lives of children. The school's athletic and academic activities can be an essential part of the education of students, fostering the development of character, life skills, sportsmanship, and teamwork.
1. The school's athletic and academic activities embody the mission, philosophy, and objectives of the school.
2. The school ensures that coaches have appropriate training and knowledge of the school's mission, philosophy, and objectives.
3. The school promotes equity in all aspects of its athletic and academic activities.
4. The school's athletic and academic activities are considered to be an integral part of the school's curriculum.
5. The school is committed to the safety and physical and emotional health of participants in the athletic program.
6. The school's athletic and academic activities value the dignity and worth of the individual in a context of common purpose and collective achievement.
7. Coaching is teaching.
8. The school ensures that coaches have an understanding of the developmental needs of the children with whom they work.
9. Coaches design and implement activities that improve the knowledge and skills of all participants.
10. Coaches have a strong collegial relationship with other educators and contribute to the school's understanding of the whole child.
11. The school educates parents about the philosophy, policies and appropriate expectations of the academic and athletic interscholastic activity programs.
12. The school defines and clearly communicates standards of conduct to participants, players, spectators, coaches, and other teams.
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Although responsibilities of business administrators are as varied as the institutions they serve, the following principles provide a common standard of leadership and good practice for individuals vested with the responsibility for the school's financial and physical resources.
1. The business administrator understands and promotes the mission, standards, and policies of the school, and provides leadership as they evolve and when they are evaluated.
2. The business administrator manages the school's resources in a prudent manner, consistent with the mission, safeguarding the real value of those assets for the use of future generations of students.
3. The business administrator maintains and fosters high ethical standards, integrity, and respect for colleagues, alumni, parents, and students in the conduct of the school's business.
4. Through informative disclosure and other educational means, the business administrator provides important assistance to the head in administering the school and to the board in meeting its fiduciary responsibility.
5. The business administrator respects and maintains confidentiality and rights to privacy applicable to individuals and institutional records.
6. The business administrator ensures that the human resource policies and practices are clearly articulated, consistently applied, conform to legislative requirements, and affirm the dignity and worth of each member of the school community.
7. The business administrator fosters professional standards and development by participation in local and national associations that offer personal support and professional assistance.
8. The business administrator adheres to provincial and federal laws.
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Financial Aid Administration
The primary concern of independent schools must always be for the welfare of their students and their prospective students. These principles of good practice are in keeping with the commitment of QAIS to access and diversity and its belief that member schools should distribute financial aid funds based upon demonstrated financial need. These principles are intended to promote orderly and professional financial aid procedures.
1. A school shall not discriminate in the administration of its financial aid policies because of race, colour, religion, national origin, sex, or age in violation of existing federal and provincial laws or regulations.
2. A school shall strive through its publications and communications to provide students and families with factual information about the total yearly cost of attending its institution and about its aid opportunities, financing opportunities, policies and procedures.
3. A school shall recognize that the primary responsibility for financing a student's independent school education rests with his/her family.
4. A school shall use a uniform methodology to assess annually, in a consistent and equitable manner, each family's ability to pay for education.
5. A school shall require adequate documentation of family resources when determining need.
6. A school shall not use financial need as a consideration in determining a student's eligibility for admission.
7. A school shall notify accepted aid applicants of financial aid decisions before expecting a binding reply to the offer of admission.
8. A school shall allow applicants sufficient time to select from the offers of financial aid from all the schools to which they have applied.
9. A school shall make every effort to meet the demonstrated need of all admitted or enrolled financial aid applicants.
10. A school shall not exceed in its offer of financial aid the amount needed to meet the difference between the resources determined to be available to the family and the student's total educational expenses.
11. A school shall not set different standards of behavior and academic performance for its financial aid recipients.
12. A school shall continue to fund a student until graduation unless he/she no longer demonstrates need.
13. A school shall have a review procedure for families who wish to request additional funding.
14. A school shall refrain from and discourage others from making any public announcement of the amount of financial aid awarded to a student.
15. A school shall safeguard the confidentiality of all financial information supplied by a family.
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Guide for Merit Awards/Tuition Remission
QAIS reaffirms its belief that the purpose of a financial aid program is to provide monetary assistance to those students who would not be able to attend an independent school without such assistance. To fulfill that purpose, in determining a family's need for assistance, schools should use a uniform methodology such as that provided by the School and Student Service for Financial Aid program. In this way schools can most equitably distribute need-based financial aid funds to children of qualifying families.
However, it is recognized that schools do use other forms of tuition reductions, such as merit awards and tuition remission, to encourage students to attend their institutions. Such reductions should not be considered financial aid. As a means of implementing these programs, QAIS believes that schools should not reduce the amount of money they allocate for financial aid. Such a step would limit access to independent schools.
To distinguish further between financial aid and tuition reduction, the following are offered as guidelines for tuition reduction programs.
Financial support for merit award programs should be obtained from sources not available for need-based financial aid. Such awards should be administered and accounted for in a manner distinct from the institution's need-based financial aid program.
Recipients of merit awards may be expected to meet the standards of performance, participation, or involvement commensurate with the purpose of their awards. However, in all other areas of school life, recipients should not be held to different standards than other students.
Recipients of tuition remission should not be held to different standards of behavior and academic performance than other students.
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The advancement program of the school should exemplify the best qualities of the institution and reflect the highest standards of personal and professional conduct. The following principles of good practice are addressed to those involved in the school's advancement operation – trustees, school head, development and alumni/ae officers and staff, volunteers, consultants and business officer.
1. The school establishes a well-constructed development plan to guide its fund-raising activities.
2. The school is mindful and respectful of the cultural and economic diversity of constituent supporters.
3. The school accepts only gifts that support its mission, character, integrity, and independence.
4. The school understands that accepting a gift is accepting the obligation to honor the donor's intent.
5. The school initiates stewardship, as well as nurtures, appreciates, and sustains an ongoing healthy and effective relationship with its constituents.
6. The school clearly articulates roles and responsibilities for volunteers.
7. The school safeguards its constituents' privacy and all confidential information.
8. The school encourages donors to consult with their own professional tax advisors when making charitable gifts.
9. The school complies with all provisions of the provincial and federal laws that affect charitable giving.
10. The school discloses to its constituents gifts received through philanthropy.
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The primary responsibility of the head of an independent school is to carry out the school's stated mission. While there are profoundly different ways to accomplish this goal, QAIS offers the following principles as guideposts for all heads engaged in this rewarding, complex job.
1. The head works in partnership with the board of trustees to establish and refine the school's mission; articulates the mission to all constituencies – students, faculty and staff, parents, alumni/ae, and the community; and supports the mission in working with all constituencies.
2. The head oversees the shaping of the school's program and the quality of life in the school community.
3. The head establishes an effective manner of leadership and appropriately involves members of the administration and faculty in decision-making.
4. The head is responsible for attracting, retaining, developing, evaluating and making every effort to promote the establishment of salaries and benefits commensurate with the professional responsibilities of personnel.
5. The head is accessible, within reason, and communicates effectively with all constituencies.
6. The head is responsible for financial management, maintenance of the physical plant, strategic planning, and fund-raising.
7. The head ensures that every element of school life reflects the principles of equity, justice, and the dignity of each individual.
8. The head is alert to his or her role within the broader networks of schools, school leaders, and the community.
9. The head cooperates with heads of other independent schools to ensure that the principles of good practice of all school operations, especially those of admission, marketing, faculty recruitment, and fund-raising, demonstrate integrity at all levels of the school.
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The Hiring Process
The quality of the hiring process sets the tone for a mutually satisfying relationship between the school and the candidate and communicates to the candidate the spirit and values of the community. The values that infuse these guidelines can be applied to any hiring process, whether that process involves the use of placement agencies or is fully managed by the school. QAIS encourages schools to adopt these principles and to share them with candidates.
1. The school creates a complete job description of available positions.
2. The school makes current staff aware of openings as they become available.
3. The school seeks candidates who will add to the racial, cultural, and gender diversity of the institution.
4. The hiring process includes the people who will be directly involved with the candidate in his or her new position.
5. The school discloses all information that is necessary for the candidate to make a well-informed decision.
6. The school and its representatives follow the laws that govern hiring practice.
7. The school checks references, focusing on the ability of the individual to fulfill the professional duties of the position.
8. When inviting a candidate to the school, the school explains who is to be responsible for expenses and what the visit will entail.
9. The school keeps all candidates informed about the hiring schedule and pertinent decisions.
10. When making an offer to a candidate, the school provides all relevant information, including compensation and working conditions.
11. The school affords candidates a reasonable period of time to consider an offer.
12. The school acknowledges the employee's right to make inquiries in another school about a position which takes effect subsequent to the end of the employee's present contract. Heads must ensure that all employees understand that they may ask for a reference without prejudicing their present position. Collegiality requires that the head be informed of the offer being made for the impending position initially by the candidate and subsequently by the hiring head. Every effort must be made so that schools are not adversely affected by the date on which the position takes effect.
13. A school may not discuss or offer a contract to an individual already bound contractually at another school without first contacting the head of school.
1. The candidate discloses all information that is necessary for the school to make a well-informed decision.
2. The candidate is seriously interested before accepting an invitation to visit at the school's expense.
3. The candidate responds to an offer within a reasonable period of time.
4. An individual who is under contract for the upcoming year does not apply for another position without discussing the possibility with his or her present employer.
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Parents Working with Schools/Schools Working with Parents
Parents and independent schools work together to create and sustain effective partnerships. The following principles of good practice describe the respective roles and responsibilities of both partners.
Parents Working with Schools
1. Parents recognize that effective partnerships are characterized by clearly defined responsibilities, a shared commitment to collaboration, open lines of communication, mutual respect, and a common vision of the goals to be reached.
2. In selecting an independent school, parents seek an optimal match for the needs of the student, their own expectations, and the philosophy and programs of the school.
3. Parents are familiar with and support the school's policies and procedures.
4. Parents provide a home environment that supports the development of positive learning attitudes and habits.
5. Parents involve themselves in the life of the school.
6. Parents seek and value the school's perspective on the student.
7. When concerns arise, parents seek information directly from the school, consulting with those best able to address the concerns.
8. Parents share with the school any religious, cultural, medical, or personal information that the school may need to serve the student best.
Schools Working With Parents
1. The school recognizes that effective partnerships are characterized by clearly defined responsibilities, a shared commitment to collaboration, open lines of communication, mutual respect, and a common vision of the goals to be reached.
2. The school clearly and fully presents its philosophy, program, and practices to parents during the admission process and encourages dialogue that clarifies parental expectations and aspirations for the student.
3. The school seeks and values the parents' perspective on the student.
4. Teachers and administrators are accessible to parents and model candid and open dialogue.
5. The school keeps parents well informed through systematic reports, conferences, publications, and informal conversations.
6. The school defines clearly how it involves parents when considering major decisions that affect the school community.
7. The school offers and supports a variety of parent education opportunities.
8. The school suggests effective ways for parents to support the educational process.
9. The school actively seeks the knowledge it needs to work effectively with a diverse parent body.
10. The school must adhere to provincial regulations affecting private schools.
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School Search Committees and Search Consultants
The following principles of good practice are designed to help search committees as they embark upon the task of selecting a school head. Each school must decide for itself whether or not it will retain a consultant to help with the search. If the school does decide to engage professional counsel, the same principles should be observed.
1. The board and search committee should devise a search process that is viewed as fair, orderly, and cost-effective by all parts of the school community.
2. The search committee should actively solicit the names of the best available candidates drawn from a broad candidate group without regard to age, sex, religion, gender, or national origin unless the school has a religious mission that requires the head to have a specific religious orientation.
3. The search committee should see pertinent materials related to any and all candidates, including applications that come from outside the consultant's regular network.
4. The search committee should recognize the sensitivity of visits by trustees to a candidate's present school. The consultant should work with the search committee and candidate to see that such visits are complete and thorough yet at no time jeopardize the relation of the candidate to his or her present school. School visits should be made only when the candidate and search committee are at a mutually serious stage.
5. The search committee should make every effort to present the school with a diverse group of candidates. All principles associated with providing equal opportunity should be observed in the process.
1. The search consultant should make every effort to present the school with a diverse group of candidates. All principles associated with providing equal opportunity should be observed in the process.
2. In outlining procedures to the search committee, the consultant should provide a full written description of services offered, including expenses and fees. In the case of a consulting firm, the search committee should be told which person in the firm will do the search and should interview that person prior to any contracting for services.
3. The consultant should make known the names of other schools for which he or she is actively performing a search for persons to fill a similar position.
4. The consultant should limit searches during any given period to a number that will assure service of high quality to each client school.
5. The search consultant should make a reasonable effort to understand the school, its mission, its culture, and the nature of the position to be filled.
6. The school, not the individual candidate, should always be the client.
7. Both consultant and search committee should check candidates' references with great care. The consultant is responsible for presenting a candidate for consideration by the search committee and for emphasizing the committee's responsibility after that time.
8. The consultant should respect the confidentiality of each candidacy and impress upon both committee and candidates the importance of discretion. Any candidate now a head who is seriously exploring other school headships should so inform his or her current board chair in confidence.
9. The consultant should keep the search committee fully informed about the progress of the assignment throughout the search and ensure that each candidate is informed fully and promptly about the status of his or her candidacy.
10. The consultant should refrain from inviting the head of a school placed in that position by the consultant's firm within the past five years to become a candidate for the client school.
11. No consultant or any member of the consultant's firm should be a candidate for a position in which the consultant is conducting a search.
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Teachers and Supervisors of Teachers
Entrusted with the education of children, the independent school teacher promotes the best interests of the child within the context of the school's philosophy. Those who supervise teachers are responsible for the quality of teaching and for promoting growth in those who teach. The following principles of good practice provide guidelines for teachers and for supervisors of teachers in their joint efforts to educate children.
1. The teacher has a thorough knowledge appropriate for his or her teaching assignment and stays abreast of recent developments in the field.
2. The teacher uses a variety of teaching techniques suitable to the age and needs of the students and subject matter being taught.
3. The teacher establishes positive relationships with students, which, while recognizing the differing roles of adult and child, are characterized by mutual respect and good will.
4. The teacher collaborates with colleagues and the school's leadership in the design and implementation of curriculum within the context of the school's overall program and mission.
5. The teacher initiates growth and change in his or her own intellectual and professional development, seeking out conferences, courses and other opportunities to learn.
6. The teacher is self-aware and self-monitoring in identifying and solving student, curricular, and school problems. At the same time, the teacher knows the mission and policies of the school and, when questions or concerns arise, raises them with appropriate colleagues or supervisors.
7. The teacher serves his or her school outside the classroom in a manner established by the individual school and consistent with the responsibilities of a professional educator. For example, teachers often serve as advisers, coaches, or activity sponsors.
8. The teacher participates in the establishment and maintenance of an atmosphere of collegial support and adherence to professional standards.
9. The teacher welcomes supervision in the context of clearly defined and well-communicated criteria of evaluation.
10. The teacher models integrity, curiosity, responsibility, creativity, and respect for all persons as well as an appreciation for racial, cultural, and gender diversity.
Supervisors of Teachers
1. The supervisor has thorough knowledge appropriate to his or her supervisory position and stays abreast of recent developments in the field. The supervisor also exemplifies in his or her own work with faculty members the qualities that he or she hopes to develop in the faculty.
2. The supervisor develops and administers a comprehensive system of hiring, consistent with the policies of the school, which results in the appointment of the best-qualified candidate and a well-informed match between school and teacher. Throughout the hiring and supervisory processes, the supervisor values racial, cultural and gender diversity.
3. The supervisor ensures that faculty members new to the school receive orientation and support sufficient for them to work effectively and with confidence that they are carrying out the educational mission, policies and procedures of the school.
4. The supervisor ensures that teachers are informed of both praise and criticism of their work and that useful support is available to each teacher to improve the quality of his or her teaching.
5. The supervisor makes available to all faculty members on an equitable basis whatever resources the school can provide for professional growth and development, both inside and outside the school.
6. The supervisor encourages and challenges teachers to initiate curricular improvement by providing the necessary time and resources and by creating structures to foster faculty collaboration on curriculum development.
7. The supervisor leads faculty members in upholding high standards of professional behavior and responds immediately when behavior occurs that is harmful to children or harmful to the school community.
8. The supervisor evaluates and works to improve teaching through classroom visits, discussions with teachers, and other methods that are fair and consistent with the practices of the individual school. Evaluation is based on clearly articulated criteria that teachers have helped define and occurs in a context of respect for the teacher's professional knowledge and decision-making capability. The supervisor also monitors his or her own work by inviting suggestions and critiques from teachers.
9. When a faculty member's future in the school is in question, the supervisor devotes sufficient attention and resources to ensure that the situation is resolved or that the faculty member's departure from the school is handled with attention to due process and the dignity of the individual.
10. The supervisor ensures that all personnel policies are clearly articulated to faculty members and makes every effort to promote the establishment of salaries and benefits commensurate with the professional responsibilities of teaching.
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Early Childhood Educators
Early childhood education emphasizes the development of the whole child, providing for each child's social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs. Early childhood programs are developmentally appropriate, in that they are based on an understanding of general patterns of growth in the early years as well as children's intellectual development.
1. Early childhood educators, and all personnel who interact with young children, have appropriate training, understanding, and knowledge regarding the developmental characteristics of this age group.
2. Early childhood educators recognize that play is the work of young children.
3. Early childhood educators build on the child's natural curiosity to promote a love of learning.
4. Early childhood educators prepare the environment so that children learn through active exploration and discovery.
5. Early childhood educators recognize the importance of outdoor play and provide appropriate time and equipment.
6. Early childhood educators design programs that develop the large and small motor skills of young children.
7. Early childhood educators engage parents as partners in understanding the unique characteristics and needs of young children.
8. Early childhood educators, in observing and interpreting children's behavior, use bias-free assessment tools based on developmental norms.
9. Early childhood educators promote equity and justice by creating a community that fosters respect, understanding, and an appreciation of differences.
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Elementary School Educators
Building on the work of early childhood educators, elementary school educators continue to nourish the child's joy of discovery and passion for learning, and provide for the child's social, emotional, physical, intellectual and moral growth – giving special attention to the mastery of those basic skills and concepts which are the foundation of all future learning.
1. Elementary school educators, and all personnel who interact with children, have appropriate training and knowledge regarding the developmental characteristics and needs of this age group.
2. Elementary school educators create a safe and secure environment in which students grow in both autonomy and the ability to work and play together.
3. Elementary school educators design and implement programs that actively engage students in making connections, solving problems, and thinking independently.
4. Elementary school educators teach to individual learning styles and intelligences and assess learning in a variety of ways.
5. Elementary school educators support the child's emerging identity by respecting and providing for each student's voice.
6. Elementary school educators build relationships with their students in which each child feels understood, nurtured and challenged.
7. Elementary school educators work to create a relationship with parents that facilitates the exchange of information necessary to ensure the child's progress.
8. Elementary school educators create opportunities for children to become increasingly responsible for the many communities in which they live.
9. Elementary school educators defend the dignity and worth of each member of the community and create an environment that fosters respect, understanding, and acceptance of differences.
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Middle School Educators
Recognizing that middle school students experience a variety of significant changes, middle school educators respond to and provide for the unique developmental needs and characteristics of their students.
1. Middle school educators affirm the dignity of each individual and promote equity and justice.
2. Middle school educators and all personnel who interact with middle school students have a thorough understanding of the patterns of physical, intellectual, social, and emotional growth of their students.
3. Middle school educators actively engage parents as partners in recognizing the implications of the significant changes affecting middle school children.
4. Middle school educators work to ensure a smooth transition experience for students and parents entering and leaving the middle school years.
5. Middle school educators provide programs that support each student's need to develop a distinct self-concept and to be recognized as an individual and as a member of a group.
6. Middle school educators create an environment that fosters respect, understanding, and acceptance of differences.
7. Middle school educators help students learn to make responsible choices and understand the consequences of their actions.
8. Middle school educators create opportunities for students to develop a sense of belonging to and responsibility for the multiple communities in which they participate.
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Secondary School Educators
Secondary school educators are committed to helping their students move from adolescence to young adulthood.
1. Secondary school educators help students to become passionate, serious scholars capable of effective communication, sustained work, independent thought, meaningful collaboration, and original expression.
2. Secondary school educators use their training and knowledge of their disciplines to design programs appropriate to the developmental characteristics of this age.
3. Secondary school educators employ a range of teaching and assessment strategies which invite students to learn and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
4. Secondary school educators teach to the learning styles, abilities, and life experiences of their students.
5. Secondary school educators develop and sustain relationships with colleagues that benefit their students and further their own professional growth.
6. Secondary school educators develop and sustain relationships with parents that support each student's well-being and increased autonomy.
7. Secondary school educators take responsibility for being role models.
8. Secondary school educators affirm and defend the dignity and worth of each member of the community and maintain an environment that fosters respect.
9. Secondary school educators help students take more and more responsibility for themselves and the multiple communities in which they live.
10. Secondary school educators prepare students to take advantage of subsequent opportunities for learning and to take their places as members of a democratic society and the global community.
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Board of Trustees
The board is the guardian of the school's mission. It is the board's responsibility to ensure that the mission is appropriate, relevant, and vital to the community it serves. The board monitors the success of the school in fulfilling its mission. The following principles of good practice are set forth to provide a common perspective on the responsibilities of independent school boards. The board and the head work in partnership in fulfilling these principles.
1. The board prepares a clear statement of the school's mission and objectives.
2. The board reviews and maintains bylaws, and establishes policies and plans consistent with the mission.
3. The board is accountable for the financial well-being of the school, including capital assets, operating budgets, fund-raising, and endowments.
4. The board selects, supports, and nurtures the head.
5. The board, or a committee of the board, conducts a written evaluation of the performance of the head and works with the head to establish goals.
6. The board evaluates itself and establishes goals.
7. The board keeps full and accurate records of its meetings, committees, and policies.
8. The board works to ensure all its members are actively involved in the work of the board and its committees.
9. The composition of the board reflects a balance of expertise and perspectives needed to achieve the mission of the school.
10. The board develops itself through new trustee orientation, ongoing education, and leadership succession planning.
11. The board assures compliance with applicable laws and regulations and minimizes exposure to legal action.
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Independent School Trustees
The following principles of good practice are set forth to provide a common perspective on the responsibilities of individual members of independent school boards.
1. A trustee actively supports and promotes the school's mission.
2. A trustee is knowledgeable about the school's mission and goals as well as current operations and issues.
3. A trustee attends meetings well-prepared and participates fully in all matters.
4. The board sets policy; the administration implements policy. [An individual trustee takes care to separate the interests of the school from the specific needs of a particular child or constituency.]
5. A trustee accepts and supports board decisions and respects board confidentiality.
6. A trustee guards against conflict of interest, whether business-related or personal. [The trustee takes care to separate the interests of the school from the specific needs of a particular child or constituency.]
7. A trustee has the responsibility to support the school and its head and demonstrate that support within the community.
8. Authority is vested in the board as a whole. A trustee who learns of an issue has the obligation to bring it to the head of the school, or to the board chair, and must not deal with the situation individually.
9. A trustee contributes to the development program of the school, including financial support and active involvement in annual and capital giving.
10. Each trustee, as well as the treasurer and finance committee, has fiduciary responsibility to the school for sound financial management.